14 September 2013

Apple iPhones, China no go

Globally, the smartphone business is a low margin business today (see next two stories). Outside of the US, and exclusive of premium buyers, Apple's iPhones will not sell --

Prices of latest iPhones putting off smartphone shoppers in China - latimes.com: "...But for many, the launch brought a series of disappointments. First, the release event in China — Apple's first media event in the country — turned out to be only a screening of the prior night's Silicon Valley unveiling. And then, according to online posts and interviews, Apple failed to impress. "The prices are too high," said Nuo Long, manager of Wanxiang, a Shenzhen company that manufactures and sells knockoff iPhone handsets. "Also, there aren't many new innovative features. So I don't think the 5c or the 5s will sell as well as the 4s or 4."..."

Hugo Barra Talks About His Future at Xiaomi and Why He Left Google - Kara Swisher - Mobile - AllThingsD: "“There is no question the phone business is very low margin today, but they want to get to a place where they can sell the device at cost and then sell high-margin services to make that phone experience even better,” said Barra. That’s easier said than done, especially as Xiaomi moves into more markets. While he would not get into specifics about what products he hopes to first move abroad, that’s why Barra said he would be focused on more rapidly developing ones first. “I think that’s the sweet spot for Xiaomi — places like India, Russia, Indonesia, Latin America, Thailand,” he said. “It’s where the equation of quality and affordability works, because it’s in those markets you can replicate what the company has done in China.” Still, Barra knows that Xiaomi has to also rate in the “trend-setting countries,” like the U.S. and Europe. . . ."

Twitter Sets Market Debut in Motion With Filing for IPO
Bloomberg
Twitter Inc., the microblogging service with more than 200 million members worldwide, filed to go public, moving closer to the most highly anticipated offering since Facebook Inc. (FB) · Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) will be the lead underwriter for the initial ...

Voyager-1 departs to interstellar space
BBC News
It's the relentless question that Voyager-1 scientists get asked all the time: "Are we nearly there yet?" I myself have asked it three times of Ed Stone this past year. When I sat down with the mission's project scientist in California in August 2012, his response ...

Why Apple went 64-bit with the iPhone 5s
ZDNet
Summary: The reasons why Apple put a 64-bit processor inside the iPhone 5s goes way beyond hype. While the applications for it might be limited right now, Apple is paving the way for improvements that we'll see trickle into the iPhone over the next few ...


Microsoft will pay iPad users at least $200 to switch to Surface
Los Angeles Times
based tech giant has recently rolled out a new promotion that offers customers at least $200 when they go to a Microsoft retail store and trade in their "gently used" iPad. Users can bring an iPad 2 or a third- or fourth-generation iPad that comes ...

Microsoft's Answer To Siri: Cortana
InformationWeek
Microsoft is reportedly readying a virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8 that will not only compete with iOS's Siri and Android's Google Now, but also constitute the backbone of the entire Windows ecosystem, including tablets, PCs and the Xbox game...


'Cortana': More on Microsoft's next-generation personal assistant | ZDNet: "Microsoft is working on its 'Cortana' rival to Apple's Siri and Google Now, which will be integrated into all flavors of Windows in the future."

Microsoft Nukes Buggy Office 2013 Update
InformationWeek
"I've got Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus running on Windows 8 Professional. I just applied today's Microsoft updates, and now that I've done so, the Outlook 'Folder Pane' is empty," one Windows user posted to a Microsoft help forum Tuesday. "I ...

Cassidy: Apple's Mac team gathers for insanely great Twiggy Mac reunion
San Jose Mercury News
The blessings were very much on Wigginton's mind the other day as he and a long list of early Apple employees got together to check out the resurrection of a rare machine known as the Twiggy Mac. The prototype was a key chapter in the development of ...

Google Jet Fleet Loses a Pentagon Fuel Perk
Wall Street Journal
Google Inc. founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin may have to dig deeper to operate their fleet of private jets, after the U.S. Department of Defense ended a little-known arrangement that for years allowed the tech billionaires to travel on sharply ...

Google shares exotic views of the Galapagos Islands
NBCNews.com
Google Maps, in partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation, is sharing Street View images and 360-degree panoramas of the islands, with cameos from a few of the islands' exotic indigenous inhabitants. The images were collected by explorers who ...

Google continues to expand, leasing big office complex in Sunnyvale
San Jose Mercury News
SUNNYVALE -- Google (GOOG) confirmed Thursday it has leased a big office building in Sunnyvale where the technology titan could move 1,000 employees -- part of an eye-popping growth surge of nearly 1 million square feet of leases in about a month.

Microsoft makes Bluetooth blunder with Sculpt keyboard
CNET
After Microsoft told me about its reasons for shunning Bluetooth, I did some other tests with the Mac. The wakeup lag time is exactly the same with the laptop's built-in keyboard. So somehow Apple has managed to get a Bluetooth keyboard working just fine.

Microsoft Secures 'Xbone' Domain Name
Forbes
Now, Microsoft has tried to at least secure the term on the web to some degree, as they've recently purchased the Xbone.com domain name. No, it wasn't set up as a dig atMicrosoft, rather, the domain has existed since 2000, where I have to assume it ...

Google EU Probe Outcome to Be Decided in Weeks, Almunia Says (2)
Businessweek
Google rivals, including Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US), have urged the EU to seek tougher concessions from the Mountain View, California-based company. Competitors and users were able to review Google's proposed remedies the first time around and are ...


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