Financial Times

FT: Apple stepping up efforts in augmented reality eyewear

The Financial Times ran a paywall’d story Monday, in which it reported that Apple is “stepping up” its augmented reality efforts across the company, especially in augmented reality eyewear, with the ultimate goal of releasing a consumer-facing accessory. Augmented reality is now reportedly the most important development project within Apple, after iPhone.

The report notes that both Apple with its yet-to-be-announced product and Facebook with its tethered Oculus headset are gearing up to challenge the secretive Florida-based startup Magic Leap and Microsoft, which more than two years ago debuted its praised augmented reality accessory, called HoloLens.

Spotify may reportedly restrict biggest new music releases to paid users

The Financial Times is reporting that the leading music-streaming service, Spotify, which recently passed 50 million subscribers, may restrict biggest new music releases to paid users as it renegotiates contracts with record labels.

The Swedish company is looking to potentially decrease the amount of royalties paid to content holders as it readies a long-rumored initial public offering, said people familiar with the situation.

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

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.

Amazon to take aim at Apple with $9.99 a month music service, due in September

Amazon already has a music store, but its catalog of songs is limited and streaming is only available to those subscribed to the company’s $99 per year Prime service. As Re/code said, the online retail giant has also considered a bargain-priced music service that would only work on Echo hardware and be priced at $4 to $5 per month.

Monday, The Financial Times newspaper reported that Amazon has a third offering in the works, a $9.99 per month music-streaming service that would offer the full catalogue of songs that Spotify and Apple offer.

Tim Cook is Financial Times’ Person of the Year, TIME’s award goes to ‘Ebola Fighters’

The Financial Times newspaper on Thursday announced it’s picked Apple’s boss Tim Cook its Person of the Year. Although Apple’s chief executive faced criticism since taking the helm of Apple following Steve Jobs’ passing, he did manage to turn things round in 2014, the paper said.

Cook’s maniacal focus on Apple’s financial performance has managed to please investors, while new products such as the bigger iPhones and the Apple Watch took naysayers by surprise.

That he publicly came out as gay to become the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO and took the time to made some smart hiring decisions didn’t hurt either, notes the article.