AT&T announces buying Time Warner as it looks to compete nationwide with cable companies

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2016

Following reports that AT&T, the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier, held talks regarding a possible acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T has now formally confirmed that it will be purchasing the entertainment conglomerate in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share. The purchase price implies a total equity value of $85.4 billion and a total transaction value of $108.7 billion.

The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies. It gives AT&T access to Time Warner’s precious media properties like CNN, HBO, TNT and Warner Bros, as well as films like Harry Potter, Batman, Superman and next-generation super hero movies being developed by DC Comics.

The blockbuster merger, pending regulatory approval and closing before year-end 2017, will create a unique company that’ll “define the future of media and communications”. Read More


“Online Stores” dropped from Angela Ahrendts’s title, but she is still Apple’s retail boss

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 3, 2016

Apple’s boss of online and physical retail stores, Angela Ahrendts, no longer has “Online Stores” in her official title. Instead, Apple is now referring to her role simply as “Senior Vice President, Retail” to better reflect its efforts to simply retail branding. Her reworded title along with a tweaked job description is live at the Apple Leadership webpage.

The change occurred over this past weekend. This is a purely cosmetic change: her responsibilities have not shifted and she is still in charge of all things retail at Apple. Read More


Latest 4K drone flyovers show off iSpaceship facade glowing at night & more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2016

A pair of new flyover videos from YouTubers Duncan Sinfield and Matthew Roberts reveal that Apple has installed exterior lights at Apple Campus 2 site, showing the iSpaceship building facade glowing at night. It’s quite a spectacular sight given the enormous scale of the flying saucer-shaped structure.

Apple Campus 2, as it’s officially called, will become home to more than 12,000 employees when it’s completed some time in early 2017. Read More


Apple to open R&D center in China’s “Silicon Valley” that’ll employ 500 people

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2016

Tim Cook said during his August charm offensive in China that his company could deepen its cooperation with the local government by launching its first Asia-Pacific research and development center. According to local media reports today, the facility will open in Zhongguancun Science Park, situated in the Haidian District in northwestern Beijing. Read More


London’s iconic Battersea Power Station will be Apple’s new UK headquarters

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2016

The British newspaper Evening Standard reports that Apple will be opening a “stunning new” campus in London’s iconic Battersea Power Station. The $11.7 billion project will create a new home for 1,400 employees in the brick “cathedral of power,” which had been powering and lighting London up to 1983. Read More


Apple will hold September quarter earnings call on October 27

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 27, 2016

Apple said on the Investor webpage that it has scheduled an earnings call to discuss fiscal 2016 fourth quarter earnings a month from today on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 2:00pm PT / 5:00pm ET. The company’s fourth fiscal quarter corresponds to the third calendar quarter. A press release will go out 30 minutes in advance of the earnings call. Read More


The government of Ireland will back Apple in its fight against EU’s tax bill from hell

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2016

Following news earlier this week that the European Commission had ruled that Apple must pay €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes to the government of Ireland because its sweetheart deal with Dublin that lets it be subjected to a lower tax rate constitutes “illegal state aid,” the Irish government said today it would join Apple in its fight against the ruling.

“Paradoxically, Ireland is determined not to accept the tax windfall, which would be equivalent to what it spent last year on funding its struggling health service,” says the report. Read More


Here’s Tim Cook’s message to Apple community regarding massive Irish tax bill

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 30, 2016

The European Commission has ruled that Apple is on the hook for €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes as its “sweetheart deal” to pay a lower tax rate in Ireland has been characterized as “illegal state aid”.

Apple is going to appeal the ruling and now CEO Tim Cook has penned an open letter, entitled “A Message to the Apple Community in Europe,” in which he explains Apple’s position in this case, writing he is “confident” that the huge tax bill will be reversed. Read More


EU orders Apple to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 30, 2016

At a press conference Tuesday, the European Commission’s competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager announced that the European Union has ordered the government of Ireland to collect up to €13 billion, or about $14.5 billion, in back taxes from Apple. The sum represents Europe’s largest tax penalty and a significant increase over the 1 billion figure floated around ahead of the ruling.

Apple will appeal the decision. Read More


European Commission to reportedly rule against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal with Ireland

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

According to a 130-page judgment seen by The Financial Times, the European Commission (EC) is set to rule Tuesday against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal it struck with the government of Ireland back in 1999.

The Commission is reportedly set to demand that Ireland recoup over 1 billion euros in back taxes from the iPhone maker, or circa $1.12 billion.

“Apple will on Tuesday be hit with Europe’s largest tax penalty after Brussels ruled that the company received illegal state aid from Ireland,” warns the financial newspaper. Read More


Pinterest just bought Instapaper

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2016

In a newsworthy move that in all likelihood makes lots of sense, the photo sharing service Pinterest has acquired Pinterest, the popular app and web service for saving webpages to read later.

According to the announcement, Pinterest will continue to develop and maintain the mobile Instapaper app, available at no charge on the App Store. Read More


Apple Store updates: design changes, new & renamed positions + ambitious retail credo

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

During an all-hands meeting held with retail employees this weekend, Apple’s retail boss Angela Ahrendts discussed changes coming to its brick-and-mortar locations while revealing an updated corporate credo that all retail employees are expected to follow.

She also announced three new retail positions—Pro, Creative Pro and Technical Expert—renamed a few existing ones and shared tidbits on Jony Ive-approved store design and layout, as first discovered by MacRumors. Read More


Apple buys personal health data startup Gliimpse

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

Apple has acquired another small startup, called Gliimpse, that has built a secure software platform for users to manage and share their own medical records, Fast Company learned Monday.

The acquisition reportedly happened earlier this year, but Apple’s been quiet about it and has now issued its usual non-denial, saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More


Tim Cook resumes charm offensive in China, confirms Asia-Pacific R&D center

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 16, 2016

Tim Cook is on the road again, visiting China, where he’s promised to increase investment by opening up a research and development center in the increasingly tough 1.33 billion people market by the end of 2016. Cook has confirmed the move to Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, one of China’s most senior officials, Reuters reports this morning. Read More


Apple’s presence in Seattle could increase with a big piece of office space

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2016

Following its reported $200 million acquisition of Turi, a Seattle-based machine learning and artificial intelligence startup, Apple appears to be interested in purchasing hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space in the region to accommodate up to 2,300 engineers, reports GeekWire. Read More


Apple given go-ahead to start building its massive $1 billion data center in Ireland

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2016

Following months of back and forth between Apple and Ireland’s independent planning body An Bord Pleanála, plans for a massive $1 billion data center in Galway County have been approved, reports Business Insider. “Despite opposition from a number of individuals and local businesses,” Apple’s been granted the go-ahead to build the first stage of the data center on a 197-hectare site.

The facility will support Apple’s online services for customers in Europe, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri. Read More


Apple bolsters its Health team by re-hiring Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 11, 2016

Evan Doll, former Senior iPhone Engineer who left Apple a few years ago to co-found popular social news reader app Flipboard, has been re-hired by the Cupertino firm to help advance Apple’s health-related initiatives. Bloomberg first caught wind of Doll’s re-hiring this morning, based on his recently updated LinkedIn profile revealing his new position at Apple: Director of Health Software Engineering. Read More


U.S. regulator grants Apple Energy permission to sell solar-generated power to public utilities

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 4, 2016

Apple Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Apple, Inc. registered in Delaware last month, has successfully obtained federal approval from the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to sell excess energy generated from its solar facilities into the wholesale market, joining Google parent Alphabet in the energy-trading business.

The firm sought permission from FERC to begin selling power within 60 days of its filing on June 6. Sales can officially begin on Saturday, Bloomberg said, as FERC’s determined that Apple Energy doesn’t pose a risk of being able to hike up prices. Read More


Apple-backed Didi Chuxing buys rival Uber China

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 1, 2016

Now we (probably) know why Apple poured a cool $1 billion into China’s leading ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing as that company’s just invested—you guessed right—$1 billion into its biggest rival, Uber China. The transaction, subject to closing conditions, will also give a 20 percent stake in the combined firm for Uber and its shareholders, said Bloomberg. Read More


Bloomberg: Apple’s Project Titan prioritizes autonomous driving amid new hirings

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2016

Apple’s rumored electric vehicle project has shifted its focus towards autonomous driving systems although that shouldn’t be interpreted as Apple abandoning efforts to design its own vehicle, Bloomberg reported today.

After bringing former hardware chief Bob Mansfield back from retirement to run its Project Titan initiative, Apple has now hired BlackBerry and Ford talent to help perfect its secret self-driving software. Read More

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