Intel giving up on 5G tech explains Apple’s sudden Qualcomm settlement

In a move that accompanies today’s shocking settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, Intel has suddenly announced it’s not even going to try building 5G modems for smartphones. Apple had attempted to replace Qualcomm as a supplier for its modem chips with Intel, but reported issues with implementing 5G tech were a reason it’s not expected to appear in an iPhone this year.

In a statement, Intel said it “does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020.” According to CEO Bob Swan “We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns.”

As late as last November, Intel said it was speeding up development of 5G modem tech, and [...]  read more

Apple said to be spending more than $500M on Arcade gaming subscription effort

Apple’s new gaming subscription service Apple Arcade may have been a bit of a footnote at its Services event earlier this month compared to the stage time given to more primetime-ready efforts like Apple TV+ and Apple News+, but the company is throwing some major funding behind its effort to get people paying a monthly fee for exclusive titles.

The company has already set aside a budget of more than $500 million for its Arcade service, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The service, arriving in the fall, will let users play exclusive gaming titles across their Apple devices ad-free and offline. The titles will be free of micro-transactions unlike many of the popular gaming titles on the App Store.

While the company has already reportedly spent more than $1 billion on its TV+ content service, the gaming subscription world marks another uncharted territory for Apple as it will put the tech giant in the position of curating with its cash by directly funding titles for exclusive [...]  read more

Uber spent $457 million on self-driving and flying car R&D last year

Uber spent $457 million last year on research and development of autonomous vehicles, flying cars (known as eVTOLs) and other “technology programs” and will continue to invest heavily in the futuristic tech even though it expects to rely on human drivers for years to come, according to the company’s IPO prospectus filed Thursday.

R&D costs at Uber ATG, the company’s autonomous vehicle unit, its eVTOL unit Uber Elevate and other related technology represented one-third of its total R&D spend. Uber’s total R&D costs in 2018 were more than $1.5 billion.

Uber filed its S-1 on Thursday, laying the groundwork for the transportation company to go public next month. This comes less than one month after competitor Lyft’s debut on the public market. Uber is listing under the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UBER,” but has yet to disclose the anticipated initial public offering price.

Uber believes that autonomous vehicles will be an important part of its offerings [...]  read more

New iPhones sport three-camera arrays in latest rumors

One thing we count on for sure in this unpredictable world of ours: the will, indeed, be new iPhones. Another thing that’s looking — at the very least — pretty likely is the inclusion of a three-camera array. A number of different rumors from different sources are currently circling around the addition of a third lens for 2019 models.

New reports from “reliable sources” in the Chinese supply chain (by way of 9 to 5 Mac by way of Macotakara, a Japanese Apple blog) have the three-camera system popping on on models with 6.1 inch and 6.5 inch OLED screens, marking another real estate for the base level model of the flagship.

The larger camera configuration (which may well induce minor trypophobia among some users) is said to be a driving factor in the decision to increase screen size). We’re still very much in the “grain of salt” portion of the Apple rumor cycle, through as 9 to 5 notes, the source has had a solid track record with these sorts of rumors before.

All of that, [...]  read more

Fleetsmith lands $30M Series B to grow Apple device management platform

Fleetsmith launched in 2016 with a mission to manage Apple devices in the cloud. It simplified an IT activity that had previously been complex with help from Apple’s Device Enrollment Program. Over the last year, the startup has beefed up its offering considerably, and today it announced a $30 million Series B round led by Menlo Ventures.

Tiger Global Management, Upfront Ventures and Harrison Metal also participated. Under the terms of the deal Naomi Pilosof Ionita, a partner at Menlo will join the company board. Her colleague Matt Murphy will become a board observer. With today’s announcement, the startup has now raised over $40 million, according to data supplied by the company.

Company co-founder and CEO Zack Blum says the original mission was about solving a pain point he and his co-founders were feeling around finding a modern approach to managing Apple devices. “From a customer perspective, they can ship devices directly to their employees. The employee unwraps it, connects [...]  read more

Apple Music cuts prices in India

This morning, The WSJ reported Apple’s streaming music service overtook Spotify in paid subscribers in the U.S., and now it hopes to do the same in the Indian market by way of a big price cut. The company’s individual plan in India is now 99 rupees per month ($1.43 USD), versus the 120 rupees per month ($1.73 USD) it was previously.

In addition, the price for the Apple Music student plan dropped from 60 rupees per month to 49 rupees; and the Family Plan is now 149 rupees per month versus the 190 rupees per month it was before the price cuts.

The news was first reported by The Indian Express and was shared across social media.

The new, lower prices are available to both existing subscribers and new customers, it appears.

India is a crucial market for streaming services, and one that’s a more recent battleground for major U.S. tech companies in addition to Spotify.

In March, YouTube Music and its paid subscription service, YouTube Premium, launched [...]  read more

Trying out Beats’ fully wireless Powerbeats Pro

Beats took its time getting untethered. The last addition to the Powerbeats line arrived in late 2016, right around the same time as the original AirPods. The product shared Apple’s W1 chip, further cementing its place as part of the company, with instant iOS syncing. But the products were once again yolked together with a cable.

A few weeks after the release of the second-generation AirPods, Beats finally unveiled the Powerbeats Pro, the company’s first fully wireless earbuds. Comparisons with Apple’s latest are inevitable. After all, Apple and Beats are one big happy family now, sharing technologies and working together in some capacity.

In many ways, however, Beats remains its own brand. Where the AirPods are a living testament to Apple’s minimalist “just works” approach to hardware, the Pros owe much of their design to the fact that Beats has long targeted athletes with its earbud line. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see promotional campaigns with the likes of LeBron [...]  read more

Beats’ Powerbeats Pro could beat AirPods at their own game

AirPods are far and away the leader in the world of fully wireless earbuds. New numbers out this week give Apple’s headphones a commanding 60 percent of the market, and a second-gen release is likely to help the company maintain its top position.

But Apple’s got a lot of competition these days, like a solid new offering from Samsung. And its latest competition is coming from inside the house. Apple-owned Beats have been inching toward a fully wireless solution, finally announcing the Powerbeats Pro this week.

At $250, they’re not cheap. That’s $50 more than AirPods 2. They do feature much of the same functionality provided by Apple’s H1 chip, including quick syncing and “Hey Siri” functionality. That’s part of the benefit of working alongside the Apple development team.

The earbuds are decidedly [...]  read more

Apple’s lead iPhone chip designer leaves the company

As CNET noted, A7 was the first 64-bit processor for mobile devices. Its debut on the iPhone 5S forced Qualcomm to release a 64-bit mobile processor of its own — one that had big issues and wasn’t ready for primetime. In addition to leading the processor design process, William was also in charge of the layout on Apple’s systems-on-a-chip (SOCs) in recent years. In other words, he was the one who decided the placements of the SOCs’ components, such as the CPU, GPU and memory.

It’s unclear why Williams left Apple, and he’s also yet to update his LinkedIn page. He probably still had a hand in the development of the next few devices Apple will roll out, though, maybe even the first Macs powered by in-house processors — that is, if reports that Cupertino is dropping Intel for its own laptop chips are true, of course.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/30/apple-chip-designer-gerard-williams/

Apple Watch ECG capabilities arrive for users across Europe and Hong Kong

Apple’s latest-generation Apple Watch doesn’t just have a curved display and a new industrial design, one of the major features of the Watch when it launched last year were its advanced health-tracking capabilities, particularly in regards to heart health and AFib detection.

Those features arrived in the US in December, but users abroad have had to wait. Today, Apple announced that the electro-cardiogram feature and irregular rhythm detection functionality is coming to 19 European countries and Hong Kong in the Watch’s latest update. These users will also gain access to the irregular rhythm detection features available on Watch models Series 1 and later.

Supported countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, the U.K and Switzerland.

Irregular rhythm detection is available on Apple Watch Series 1 and later. The ECG app is only available on the Apple [...]  read more