This is Why Apple iPhone Sales are Tanking in China

Apple is performing terribly in China, but it’s not because of the economy
Provided by MarketWatch

It was early morning eight months ago when Tim Cook shot an email to TV personality Jim Cramer telling him the company was doing fine in China. The global markets roiled amid broader macroeconomic concerns, yet Apple’s shares quickly recovered on Cook’s optimism.

Two quarters later, things are far from rosy.

Sales in the Greater China region plunged 26% in its fiscal second quarter, marking the biggest percentage decline of any of Apple’s geographic regions. Total sales fell for the first time since 2003, while the iPhone suffered its first-ever quarterly decline.

“Whereas China accounted for half or more of the company’s revenue growth for several quarters, it’s now accounting for half its year-on-year shrinkage,” said Jan Dawson, founder of tech consulting company Jackdaw Research.

Apple   blamed the slowdown on macroeconomic issues and tough year-over-year comparisons, with the iPhone 6S flailing next to the huge success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Cook also blamed Hong Kong, which accounted for the vast majority of declines in Greater China, because its dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar, which has strengthened significantly over the past two years, thus making it more expensive for international shopping and tourism in the country.

But there are reasons to believe the quarter’s troubles aren’t just cyclical and isolated. People in China are buying more phones from local manufacturers, such as Huawei Technology Co. and Xiaomi. And the Chinese governmentrecently banned certain media services from Apple, as it clamps down on distributed content, a move that could weigh heavily on Apple’s next big revenue driver: services. When excluding Hong Kong, mainland China sales still fell a whopping 11% during the quarter.

“Only super rich, really high-paid professionals buy iPhones in China — you’re not talking about lots and lots of people,” said John Zhang, faculty director of the Penn Wharton China Center, and a professor of marketing. “That means at some point, you’re not going to be able to grow unless you put out new innovative products to keep your people engaged, which is not the case with Apple.”

While the company released the Apple Watch last summer, those sales still pale in comparison with Apple’s more traditional products. The four-inch iPhone SE was released last month in part to target China’s sprawling middle class, yet the phone’s starting retail price of $399 is still expensive compared with the Xiaomi’s sub-$200 phones, and analysts have said it doesn’t appear to be growing in-line with expectations.

“It’s almost like a fashion designer who runs out of ideas and is making clothes tighter and looser and there’s no new design,” said Zhang. “When you set the phone downward, you’re reaching out to people who don’t want to pay the higher price, but then you get into the territory that many other Chinese manufacturers feel very comfortable with, such as Xiaomi.”

Competition in China is increasing across the board, with lesser-known Chinese manufacturers OPPO and Vivo making IDC’s list of the world’s top five smartphone manufacturers for the first time in the first quarter, ousting Lenovo and Xiaomi, which slipped to the sixth and seventh spots.

Those companies offering mid-tier phones in China priced below $250 are growing in line with the improving wages of the middle class. However the majority of those wages are still far below the premium market that Apple’s phones target in China.

“Lenovo benefited with ASPs below US$150 in 2013, and Xiaomi picked up the mantle with ASPs below US$200 in 2014 and 2015. Now Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo, which play mainly in the sub-US$250 range, are positioned for a strong 2016,” said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker team.

The China slowdown can’t be dismissed, especially since other U.S. companies, including McDonald’s and Caterpillar , have recently reported improving conditions in the region.

Shares of Apple plunged 6.2% to $97.87 in afternoon trade, pushing the stock down more than 26% on the year. The stock was on track for its eighth decline over the last nine trading days.

But there are analysts who believe things will start to recover once the economy starts to improve and wealthier Chinese customers get ready to upgrade their phones, potentially starting with the iPhone 7 in September.

“The [high-end] segment they are playing in is still growing much faster than the market,” said IDC analyst Ryan Reith. “In 2015 we saw China smartphone growth slow to 2.5%, yet the premium segment (>$400) grew close to 50%, and this was largely dominated by Apple.”

When it comes down to it, said Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves in a note to clients on Wednesday, iPhone customers “remain extremely loyal.”

That’s an obvious benefit for Apple, especially as it tries to roll out increased pay-for services such as music and payments. The data suggest Apple is “likely to continue growing iPhone unit sales over several years, albeit modestly,” he said.

Written by Jenniger Booton of MarketWatch

(Source: MSN)

You Can Now Preorder Apple’s New iPhone and iPad

Apple Introduces New Products
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As promised, Apple’s new hardware is now available for preorder.

Customers looking to get their hands on the company’s iPhone SE or 9.7-inch iPad Pro can now preorder the devices on Apple’s website. When customers click on the iPhone SE or Apple’s latest iPad Pro on its website, they’ll be given the option to order their hardware. The devices will start shipping to customers on March 31.

Apple announced both the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro at its “Let us loop you in” press event Monday. The iPhone SE comes with a 4-inch screen, making it notably smaller than the 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays built into the flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, respectively. In addition, the handset features Apple’s A9 processor and a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera. It’s designed to replace Apple’s iPhone 5s, a smartphone the company had been selling since 2013.

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a complement to the 12.9-inch version Apple had been selling since last year. The 9.7-inch screen is nearly identical to the 9.7-inch option built into the iPad Air 2, but comes with additional features to enhance picture quality. The iPad Pro runs on Apple’s A9X processor and has up to 256GB of storage.

There is some debate over just how well the devices will perform at retail. Apple’s iPad business has been in free fall for the last several quarters. Meanwhile, the tablet industry as a whole has been down, calling into question customer demand for slates. On the iPhone side, Apple says it sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, suggesting they’re popular, but a study this week from Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP) argued that the iPhone SE might not sell so well in the U.S. That research firm believes Apple could ship as few as 4 million to 6 million iPhone SE units in its first year on store shelves.

For its part, Apple doesn’t typically announce initial sales figures, and lumps all of its device unit sales into its quarterly report. So it’s impossible to say for sure how well the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro are selling.

However, unlike some previous iPhone launches, like the iPhone 6 that saw initial stock run out soon after preorders went live, that doesn’t appear to be the case with the iPhone SE. As of this writing, the vast majority of iPhone SE models (there are several, depending on the color, storage size, and carrier choice) are still available to ship on March 31. A handful, including the Space Gray, 64GB version for AT&T, won’t ship until April 1 at the earliest, though it’s possible it won’t be shipped until April 5.

On the iPad Pro side, all versions are currently available and ready to ship on March 31.

In addition to online preorders, Apple plans to start selling its new hardware in store on March 31. And if things remain the same, it appears that just aboutanyone where the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro are available should be able to get their desired device on launch day.

Written by Don Reisinger of Fortune

(Source: Fortune)

Apple Encryption Engineers, if Ordered to Unlock iPhone, Might Resist

Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Apple’s employees’ concerns provide insight into a company culture that still views the world through the anti-establishment prism of its co-founders Steven P. Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

SAN FRANCISCO — If the F.B.I. wins its court fight to force Apple’s help in unlocking an iPhone, the agency may run into yet another roadblock: Apple’s engineers.

Apple employees are already discussing what they will do if ordered to help law enforcement authorities. Some say they may balk at the work, while others may even quit their high-paying jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have already created, according to more than a half-dozen current and former Apple employees.

Among those interviewed were Apple engineers who are involved in the development of mobile products and security, as well as former security engineers and executives.

The potential resistance adds a wrinkle to a very public fight between Apple, the world’s most valuable company, and the authorities over access to an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the December mass killing in San Bernardino, Calif.

It also speaks directly to arguments Apple has made in legal documents that the government’s demand curbs free speech by asking the company to order people to do things that they consider offensive.

“Such conscription is fundamentally offensive to Apple’s core principles and would pose a severe threat to the autonomy of Apple and its engineers,” Apple’s lawyers wrote in the company’s final brief to the Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

The employees’ concerns also provide insight into a company culture that despite the trappings of Silicon Valley wealth still views the world through the decades-old, anti-establishment prism of its co-founders Steven P. Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

“It’s an independent culture and a rebellious one,” said Jean-Louis Gassée, a venture capitalist who was once an engineering manager at Apple. “If the government tries to compel testimony or action from these engineers, good luck with that.”

Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, last month telegraphed what his employees might do in an email to customers: “The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe,” Mr. Cook wrote.

Apple declined to comment.

The fear of losing a paycheck may not have much of an impact on security engineers whose skills are in high demand. Indeed, hiring them could be a badge of honor among other tech companies that share Apple’s skepticism of the government’s intentions.

“If someone attempts to force them to work on something that’s outside their personal values, they can expect to find a position that’s a better fit somewhere else,” said Window Snyder, the chief security officer at the start-up Fastly and a former senior product manager in Apple’s security and privacy division.

Apple said in court filings last month that it would take from six to 10 engineers up to a month to meet the government’s demands. However, because Apple is so compartmentalized, the challenge of building what the company described as “GovtOS” would be substantially complicated if key employees refused to do the work.

Inside Apple, there is little collaboration among teams — for example, hardware engineers usually work in different offices from software engineers.

But when the company comes closer to releasing a product, key members from different teams come together to apply finishing touches like bug fixes, security audits and polishing the way the software looks and behaves.

A similar process would have to be created to produce the iPhone software for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A handful of software engineers with technical expertise in writing highly secure software — the same people who have designed Apple’s security system over the last decade — would need to be among the employees the company described in its filing.

That team does not exist, and Apple is unlikely to make any moves toward creating it until the company exhausts its legal options. But Apple employees say they already have a good idea who those employees would be.

They include an engineer who developed software for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. That engineer previously worked at an aerospace company. Another is a senior quality-assurance engineer who is described as an expert “bug catcher” with experience testing Apple products all the way back to the iPod. A third likely employee specializes in security architecture for the operating systems powering the iPhone, Mac and Apple TV.

“In the hierarchy of civil disobedience, a computer scientist asked to place users at risk has the strongest claim that professional obligations prevent compliance,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “This is like asking a doctor to administer a lethal drug.”

There are ways an employee could resist other than quitting, such as work absences. And it is a theoretical discussion. It could be a long time before employees confront such choices as the case moves through the legal system.

The security-minded corner of the technology industry is known to draw “healthfully paranoid” people who tend to be more doctrinaire about issues like encryption, said Arian Evans, vice president for product strategy at RiskIQ, an Internet security company. But that resolve can wither when money gets involved, he said.

An employee rebellion could throw the F.B.I’s legal fight with Apple into uncharted territory.

“If — and this is a big if — every engineer at Apple who could write the code quit and, also a big if, Apple could demonstrate that this happened to the court’s satisfaction, then Apple could not comply and would not have to,” said Joseph DeMarco, a former federal prosecutor. “It would be like asking my lawn guy to write the code.”

Mr. DeMarco, who filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of law enforcement groups that supported the Justice Department, also noted that if the engineers refused to write the code, rather than outright quit, “then I think that the court would be much more likely to find Apple in contempt,” he said.

Rather than contempt, Riana Pfefferkorn, a cryptography fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, said Apple could incur daily penalties if a judge thought it was delaying compliance.

The government has cracked down on tech companies in the past. A judge imposed a $10,000-a-day penalty on the email service Lavabit when it did not give its digital encryption keys to investigators pursuing information on Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who leaked documents about government surveillance.

The small company’s response could be indicative of how individual Apple employees reacted to a court order. When Lavabit was held in contempt, its owner shut down the company rather than comply.

Written by John Markoff, Katie Benner, and Brian X. Chen of The New York Times

(Source: The New York Times)

Apple Is Said to Be Working on an iPhone Even It Can’t Hack

New York police officers stood guard during a demonstration outside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue on Tuesday.
Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Apple engineers have already begun developing new security measures that would make it impossible for the government to break into a locked iPhone using methods similar to those now at the center of a court fight in California, according to people close to the company and security experts.

If Apple succeeds in upgrading its security — and experts say it almost surely will — the company would create a significant technical challenge for law enforcement agencies, even if the Obama administration wins its fight over access to data stored on an iPhone used by one of the killers in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., rampage. The F.B.I. would then have to find another way to defeat Apple security, setting up a new cycle of court fights and, yet again, more technical fixes by Apple.

The only way out of this back-and-forth, experts say, is for Congress to get involved. Federal wiretapping laws require traditional phone carriers to make their data accessible to law enforcement agencies. But tech companies like Apple and Google are not covered, and they have strongly resisted legislation that would place similar requirements on them.

“We are in for an arms race unless and until Congress decides to clarify who has what obligations in situations like this,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Companies have always searched for software bugs and patched holes to keep their code secure from hackers. But since the revelations of government surveillance made by Edward J. Snowden, companies have been retooling their products to protect against government intrusion.

Apple built its recent operating systems to protect customer information. As its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, wrote in a recent letter to customers, “We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.”

But there is a catch. Each iPhone has a built-in troubleshooting system that lets the company update the system software without the need for a user to enter a password. Apple designed that feature to make it easier to repair malfunctioning phones.

James B. Comey Jr., director of the F.B.I., said the government is not seeking a skeleton key to iPhones.
Drew Angerer/The New York Times

In the San Bernardino case, the F.B.I. wants to exploit that troubleshooting system by forcing Apple to write and install new software that strips away several security features, making it much easier for the government to hack into the phone. The phone in that case is an old model, but experts andformer Apple employees say that a similar approach could also be used to alter software on newer phones. That is the vulnerability Apple is working to fix.

Apple officials alluded to this in a conference call last week when a journalist asked why the company would allow firmware — the software at the heart of the iPhone — to be modified without requiring a user password. One executive replied that it was safe to bet that security would continue to improve, and someone close to the company confirmed this week that Apple engineers had begun work on a solution even before the San Bernardino attack. A company spokeswoman declined to comment on what she called rumors and speculation.

Independent experts have offered possible solutions in both public forums and private, informal conversations with the company over the last few weeks. “There are probably 50 different ideas we have all sent to Apple,” said Jonathan Zdziarski, a security researcher.

Apple regularly publishes security updates and gives credit to researchers who hunt for bugs in the company’s software. “Usually, bug reports come in an email saying, ‘Dear Apple Security, we’ve discovered a flaw in your product,’ ” said Chris Soghoian, a technology analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union. “This bug report has come in the form of a court order.”

The court order to which Mr. Soghoian referred was issued last week by a federal judge magistrate, and tells Apple to write and install the code sought by the F.B.I. Apple has promised to challenge that order. Its lawyers have until Friday to file its opposition in court.

In many ways, Apple’s response continues a trend that has persisted in Silicon Valley since Mr. Snowden’s revelations. Yahoo, for instance, left its email service unencrypted for years. After Mr. Snowden revealed how the National Security Agency exploited the company, the company quickly announced plans to encrypt email. Google similarly moved to fix a vulnerability that the government was using to hack into company data centers.

Apple’s showdown with the Justice Department is different in one important way. Now that the government has tried to force Apple to hack its own code, security officials say, the company must view itself as the vulnerability. That means engineers will have to design a lock they absolutely cannot break.

“This is the first time that Apple has been included in their own threat model,” Mr. Zdziarski said. “I don’t think Apple ever considered becoming a compelled arm of the government.”

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey Jr., signaled this week that he expected Apple to change its security, saying that the phone-cracking tool the government sought in the San Bernardino case was “increasingly obsolete.” He said that supported the government’s argument that it was not seeking a skeleton key to hack all iPhones.

Apple, though, says the case could set a precedent for forcing company engineers to write code to help the government break any iPhone. “The U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create,” Mr. Cook said in his letter.

The heated back-and-forth between the government and technology companies is, at least in part, a function of the Obama administration’s strategy. The White House has said it will not ask Congress to pass a law requiring tech companies to give the F.B.I. a way to access customer data. That has left the Justice Department to fight for access one phone at a time, in court cases that often go unnoticed.

While it is generally accepted that Silicon Valley’s tech giants can outgun the government in a technical fight, the companies do face one important limitation. Security features often come at the expense of making products slower or clunkier.

Apple’s brand is built around creating products that are sleek and intuitive. A security solution that defeats the F.B.I. is unworkable if it frustrates consumers. One of the impediments to encrypting all the data in Apple’s iCloud servers, for instance, has been finding a way to ensure that customers can easily access and recover photos and other information stored there.

“Telling a member of the public that they’re going to lose all the family photos they’ve ever taken because they forgot their password is a really tough sell,” Mr. Soghoian said. “A company wants to sell products to the public.”

Written by Matt Apuzzo and Katie Benner of The New York Times

(Source: MSN)


Apple Reportedly Plans to Unveil a Smaller iPhone in March

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Next month, Apple will reportedly reveal a new, smaller iPhone in an effort to jumpstart sales of its flagship device.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple is looking to March 15 for an event where it will reveal an iPhone with 4-inch screen, as well as a revamped iPad Air and updates to its Apple Watch.

March events are not new to Apple. Last year, the company hosted an event in March to unveil the Apple Watch, while earlier March events have focused on devices such as the iPad.

The new smartphone, called iPhone 5se, will feature a 4-inch touchscreen. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus features screens of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches respectively. The 5se will also include an A9 processing chip and new perks of the 6s such as Live Photos. Apple Pay will also work on the 5se.

The arrival of a new smartphone would come at an important time for Apple. Last quarter, Apple revealed sales of the iPhone were flat, and warned they will trend lower this quarter. Sales figures for the second quarter were below Wall Street forecasts.

Written by Brett Molina of USA Today

(Source: USA Today)

Alphabet Topples Apple to Become Most Valuable US Company

An Apple logo is seen at the Apple store in Munich, Germany, January 27, 2016.  REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
Michaela Rehle/Reuters

NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc surpassed Apple Inc as the most valuable company in the United States in after-hours trading on Monday, knocking the iPhone maker from the top spot that it has held for the better part of four years.

The change may signal the passing of the technology baton to Alphabet – formerly known as Google – from Apple, which surged past Microsoft Corp in market value in 2010. Microsoft in turn eclipsed International Business Machines Corp two decades ago.

It is not without piquancy for Apple and Alphabet, which worked hand-in-hand to develop mobile computing, but fell out bitterly after Google launched its own Android mobile operating system in 2008. Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt left Apple’s board the following year.

The two companies’ operating systems and apps are in direct competition with each other and Apple is still in litigation with Samsung Electronics, the biggest Android smartphone maker.

Alphabet shares jumped 6 percent on Monday after reporting strong quarterly earnings after the bell, making its combined share classes worth $554 billion, compared with Apple, which had a value of about $534 billion. Apple shares dipped last week after reporting the slowest-ever increase in iPhone shipments and forecasting its first revenue drop in 13 years.

Alphabet will officially overtake Apple in market value if the two companies’ shares open around current levels on Tuesday.

The Internet powerhouse’s stock has surged in the last year, helped by increasing sales of advertising on mobile devices, while Apple has struggled due to signs of softening demand for its signature phone, especially in China, and the lack of another blockbuster product in its pipeline.

“This makes Alphabet an even stronger bellwether for investors to watch,” Scott Fullman, chief strategist at Revere Securities Corp, after the earnings on Monday. “The company has been tracking very well given the volatility in the market, dominated by falling energy prices and weakness from China.”

The latest spurt in Alphabet’s stock price growth started around July last year. Since then the company has restructured, forming a new holding company and splitting into two parts.

Google includes its search engine, YouTube and related parts of the company, while a unit called ‘Other Bets’ includes its ‘moonshots’ such as self-driving cars, and encompasses Google Capital, the secretive X research division and Nest, which offers smart-home accessories.

Investors have appreciated the company’s new discipline on costs, which started with the arrival of new Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat.

For a time it looked as if Apple would never relinquish the top spot in terms of market value. Bolstered by success of the iPhone, an enormous cash hoard, Apple took over the top U.S. spot in 2012 from Exxon Mobil, and at one point in early 2015 was worth more than $760 billion.

Alphabet shares are much more expensive, relatively speaking, than Apple’s, trading around 38 times earnings for the last 12 months, compared to about 11 times for Apple. Alphabet pays no dividend, whereas Apple’s dividend currently yields about 2 percent of the stock’s value annually.

Alphabet’s move into the top spot makes it the 12th company to be recognized as the largest publicly traded U.S. name since 1928, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Past No. 1 names include General Electric, General Motors and IBM.

Written by David Gaffen of Reuters

(Source: Reuters)

Has Apple Peaked?

File photo of Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook during an Apple event in San Francisco, California.
Robert Galbraith/Reuters

When Apple reports its earnings on Tuesday, it’s virtually certain that the tech giant will report record quarterly profits. Apple almost always does.

The question is, are overall iPhone sales growing or shrinking? And if they’re on the rise, will the pace of that growth be enough to cheer Wall Street and stem the recent drop in Apple’s stock, which has tumbled nearly 5% this year and 25% from its all-time highs?

Despite the recent slump, Apple is still trading at around $100 per share, and investors have made the consumer electronics giant—with a total market value of $562 billion—the most valuable company on earth.

That doesn’t mean they quite believe in it, though.

For one thing, Apple now faces stiff competition for the title of world’s most valuable company. Thanks to Apple’s decline and the 40% gain in shares of Alphabet since the start of 2015, Google’s parent company is closing in on Apple, with a total market value of $507 billion.

Moreover, the stock’s price is less than 11 times the earnings analysts expect for next year. That compares with a P/E ratio of 16 for the S&P 500, and 19 for rival Microsoft. In other words, the “E” in Apple’s P/E is so high that its total value must be similarly stratospheric, but investors are skeptical that Apple’s profits can grow quickly from here.

Apple does have enormous strength.

The iPhone, which represents two-thirds of the company’s revenues, grew sales 52% over the past year. Continuous upgrades give Apple a regular source of huge cash flow, plus it can still set a premium price “despite a deflationary environment for smartphone prices,” says Motley Fool Asset Management portfolio manager Dave Meier, who holds the stock.

Provided by Money







On the other hand, smartphones are a maturing business, and it’s hard for new products to move the needle at a company of Apple’s size.

“There is no next big thing at Apple that will suddenly dwarf the iPhone,” concedes Michael Sansoterra, portfolio manager of RidgeWorth Large Cap Growth, another Apple owner. Sales of the iPad and digital music have been soft, and the Apple Watch wasn’t the massive hit Apple fans were hoping for. Retailers were offering steep discounts on the watches over the holidays.

What to do: The iPhone-driven corporate leap that brought Apple from about $30 a share six years ago to triple digits today won’t be repeated. But the stock could be compelling for investors seeking tech exposure with a bit less drama.

Apple’s comparatively modest P/E means it doesn’t have to keep shooting out the light to keep its share price rising. And its enormous cash stake — some $200 billion — means investors can expect to steadily get paid back in dividends and stock buybacks. It’s also a business you can get your arms around conceptually.

“It’s not like Microsoft, with lots of different businesses,” says Lamar Villere of Villere Balanced Fund. “It’s straightforward, high-cash, and high-profit margin, and yet it’s valued as though it’s going to be shrinking.”

Written by Susie Poppick of Money 

(Source: Time)

Beware, This URL Will Crash Your iPhone

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 21: The Apple logo is displayed on an iPhone 6 on July 21, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple reported a 38 percent surge in third quarter earnings with a profit of $10.7 billion compared to $7.74 billion one year ago. The quarterly earnings were boosted by strong demand for the latest iPhones. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Do not visit on an iPhone. It will crash your browser or even the device itself.

Because we are foolish care about our readers, we tried this and can confirm that the website will indeed crash an iPhone 6S and an iPhone 5S running iOS version 9.2.1 and a regular iPhone 6 running iOS 9.2. In other words, if you’re using a recent iPhone or one running the latest version of iOS, you’re probably at risk.

When you visit the website, it’ll load for a moment and then crash Safari or force a reboot of your iPhone, sending you back to the home screen with everything else intact. Depending on your settings, you might lose some tabs, but it won’t do anything to damage your device otherwise.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post about the website. That said, it’s nothing to worry about: 9to5 Mac explains that the site relies on JavaScript to create a loop with the History API — a pretty complicated way of saying that is annoying but won’t compromise your personal information. 9to5 Mac also said the glitch works on desktop versions of Safari, though not many people use that.

People have reportedly been sharing the link on social media and sending it to friends using link shorteners to trick them into opening it. But you wouldn’t do anything so vile, would you?

Written by Damon Beres of The Huffington Post

(Source: The Huffington Post)


How You’re Most Likely to Break Your Phone

© Provided by CNBC

Apple  (AAPL) enthusiasts went gaga Thursday for the tech giant’s latest patent — a device that could aid in “liquid expulsion from an orifice,” and could thus, save your iPhone from being waterlogged if it was accidentally dropped in a body of water.

As great as it would be, that kind of technology is just speculative, for now. But new iPhone users have a very real hazard to worry about in the meantime: cracking their screen.

Dropping your iPhone 6S, 6S Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note 5 face down is the most likely way for it to break, according to SquareTrade, which issues protection plans for consumer electronics like mobile phones.

SquareTrade put phones through a series of tests of extreme hot and cold, water, bending and drops to test how they fared, rating each hazard from 1 (low risk) to 10 (high risk). Water dunks rated 1 or 2 on the scale, while dropping the phones face down hit 7 or above on the scale, according to the September study.

Not only is a drop the fastest way to kill your device, it’s one of the most common. Cracked screens due to accidental drops are responsible for half of all smartphone damage, SquareTrade said. Indeed, each week, you have a 31 percent chance of dropping your phone, according to case company OtterBox.

Given the likelihood of a cracked screen, some consumers have even tried to wear it as a badge of honor — the battle scar of selfies past, if you will. And if you’re too hesitant to break your screen, a quick Web search pulls up wallpaper images, apps and even screen covers that give an intact phone the look of a shattered screen.

Written by Anita Balakrishnan of CNBC

(Source: CNBC)

Google Reportedly Wants to Design its Own Android Chips

Provided by The Verge

Google is reportedly taking a page out of Apple’s playbook and expressing interest in co-developing Android chips based on its own designs, according to a report today from The Information. Similar to how the iPhone carries a Ax chip designed by Apple but manufactured by companies like Samsung, Google wants to bring its own expertise and consistency to the Android ecosystem. To do that, it would need to convince a company like Qualcomm, which produces some of the top Android smartphone chips today using its own technology, to sacrifice some of its competitive edge. Google did not respond to a request for comment.

The discussions around Google-designed chips, which The Information say occurred this fall, originated around the company’s desire to build an “enterprise connectivity device” — possibly the Pixel C laptop-tablet hybrid unveiled in September — that would rely wholly on in-house technology. Soon, Google was discussing the possibility of designing its own smartphone chips as well, the report states. One benefit of Google’s strategy would be the ability to bake in cutting edge features into future versions of Android, like support for augmented and virtual reality, that would require more closely integrated software and hardware.

A Google-designed chip may find its way to Nexus phones first

However, finding a chip co-developer may prove difficult. Though Google may find a willing partner from the pool of low-cost Android manufacturers, that partner may not be able to produce the highest-quality chips capable of powering high-end smartphones. The high-end market, which Apple dominates, is where Android fragmentation may be costing Google precious sales. One possibility, if chip makers don’t agree to use Google designs, is requiring manufacturers of Google’s Nexus line use only its own designs — all the way from the chip to the body of the device.

Written by Nick Statt of The Verge 

(Source: The Verge)

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