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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] New iPhones take features from Asia and add profit

    Robyn Mak
    September 13, 2017

    Apple’s new handsets take features from Asia and add profit. While the latest iPhones boast big upgrades, much would be familiar to users of Samsung or Huawei phones. Apple’s branding wizardry, price discipline and focus on richer customers set it apart when it comes to the bottom line.

    The new phones, unveiled on Tuesday, boast numerous improvements. Key selling points include wireless charging, bigger screens powered by cutting-edge OLED display technology, and advanced cameras that allow facial recognition and augmented reality.

    Yet none of this is revolutionary. Flagship phones from South Korea’s Samsung already have OLED displays, facial recognition and wireless charging. And China’s dominant, privately owned handset makers - Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo – cram new features into affordable phones. OPPO devices can be 75 percent charged in less than half an hour, a more useful trait than wireless charging. Meanwhile, Huawei is set to launch a new phone with artificial intelligence-powered features, like instant translation and image recognition.

    Yet Tim Cook’s $831 billion company is way ahead when it comes to profitability. Last year, Apple accounted for a whopping 79 percent of all the smartphone industry’s operating profit, according to Strategy Analytics. To compare, Samsung and Huawei captured just 15 percent and 2 percent respectively.

    Apple’s brand and market power help explain its superior operating margins, which analysts estimate to be more than 30 percent for handsets. At $999, the new top-of-the range iPhone X will be a luxury status symbol, particularly in faster-growing emerging markets like China and India. And Apple’s sheer size helps it negotiate favourable prices from suppliers that are dependent on the iPhone. This benefit is not open to its smaller competitors, although Samsung also enjoys huge scale.

    And unlike rivals that compete on price in the lower and mid-end segments, Apple is focused on winning over richer users, meaning higher margins for each device. It has only tentatively moved downmarket by cutting prices on older models. Unfortunately for the others, it is harder to copy Apple’s financial playbook than it is for Apple to copy exciting new features.


    - Apple on Sept. 12 unveiled the iPhone X, which features wireless charging, faster processors and facial recognition, replacing the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone. Chief Executive Tim Cook called the phone "the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone."

    - The device is priced at $999 and is due to ship on Nov. 3.

    - South Korea's Samsung Electronics is the world's top smartphone seller, with a 23.3 percent market share in the second quarter, according to IDC. It is followed by Apple and China's Huawei, with 12 percent and 11.3 percent market share respectively.


  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    The procrastinator's guide to the new iPhones, minus the bullshit

    A no-bullshit examination of everything Apple announced.

    Kyle Wagner
    Sep 13 2017

    Apple announced its new iPhones Tuesday in a two-hour-long commercial livestreamed from the new Steve Jobs Mausoleum at the company's new Cupertino campus. As always, this was a pitch for a system of products, a whole ecosystem of devices and software and accessories that, increasingly, don't fucking work together. Rather than obsess over the technical minutia, here's what you actually need to know.

    iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus

    There are two things you need to know about these phones: They have wireless charging, and the back of the phone is made of glass, so you can once again shatter the back of your phone when you drop it. Otherwise, this is basically the same phone as last year which was the same phone as the year before...as the year before. The difference, of course, being that by now many of those identical phones don't fucking work because they no longer get software updates, their batteries no longer charge, or some combination of feature bloat, bug-addled updates, and basic wear and tear has ensured that your phone today doesn't work anything like it did the day you bought it. (Mine sure doesn't.) Tightly scheduled obsolescence has won out.

    The glass is allegedly "most durable glass ever in a smartphone" which is in about the same class as being the most bulletproof nipple pasties, but it's necessary for the Qi (pronounced "chee") wireless charging.

    Wireless charging is a neat trick. You'll probably like it if you get around to buying enough charging pads to make it convenient. But! It is 1. a feature that other phone companies have had for the better part of a decade now and 2. so late to the party that it's less useful now than it would have been five years ago. Why? Because wireless charging requires that you actually put your phone down. A few extension cords and a bigass USB cable will get you more mileage at home when you're on the couch or texting in bed or laid out on the floor because if you're old and broken and it feels nice on your mangled back.

    Things you don't need to think very much about: The phone is "fast." It has a new 64-bit, six-core A11 bionic chip that Apple says is the fastest ever, because a new chip that is slower than the old ones is practically impossible to do. Although, that being the case…the GPU is the "first Apple-designed" graphics processor to appear in an iPhone. Apple has spent years building up its chip-making and designing capabilities for a variety of business and manufacturing reasons, and this is probably nothing more than a footnote, but this being Apple's first run at designing a graphical processor adds an element to the always-amusing "We didn't make our phone worse this year!" claim, which is, "Unless we did."

    The camera is better because the camera is always better. It takes better slow motion (240fps at 1080p) better 4K video (60fps), and does a little better in low-light (faint, faint praise), but the big new trick this year is "portrait lighting" which promises to help you take more flattering selfies. This could be a VERY BIG UPGRADE for lots of you who take VERY BAD SELFIES but probably not a very big deal overall. I could be wrong. Live Photos, the feature that allows you to press down on a photo to see a few seconds of compressed video taken before and after the shot, is one of the more charming features on the iPhone in a while and that was just a dumb throw-in feature. So maybe making you more appear to be attractive on Tinder will be a game-changer.

    Siri won a made-up Emmy, received scant further mention, and can be presumed to remain worthless.

    Apple also said that the new iPhone gets two more hours of battery life than the last iPhone but Apple says this every single year and the claim has never meant less. For one, that is a made up number derived from a standardized usage that fits basically no one. For another, every iPhone's battery life is great for the first few weeks—the real test is how well it holds up over time. This past year there was a widespread battery issue with the iPhone 6S (the phone anyone on a two-year upgrade cycle will be coming from) that caused rapid drain and random shutoffs. Apple replaced the batteries on affected devices for free, but only after months of complaints from people whose phones would stop working at random times. Battery life is the most important feature a phone has, and until Apple puts real effort into doing better than incremental gains you can expect typical iPhone performance followed closely by typical iPhone deterioration. Which is to say typical smartphone bullshit.

    Storage for the 8 and 8 Plus is only available at 64GB ($700 and $800 for the 8 and 8 Plus, respectively) and 256GB ($850 and $950) which, for once, is a fair mix of just enough space and enough to host the Pirate Bay.

    Oh and they once again have no 3.5mm headphone jacks because tech companies have shit for brains. The prevailing trend is trading major hits to usability for marginal gains in design efficiency, like saving space on the jacks, or dropping MagSafe (was just about perfect) for USB-C in the MacBook, or the facial recognition circus we'll get to in just a minute.

    Apple Watch

    Ordinarily the watch would be way at the bottom of the list for reasons such as "lmao Apple Watch" and general irrelevance, but we need to pull one feature up higher. Toward the middle of the Apple Watch presentation, Apple COO Jeff Williams threw out a small but ridiculous feature. He said Apple Watch users were often surprised by their heart rates elevating at unexpected times, so Apple built an alert system to notify users when their heart rates rise but they seem to be sitting around. Soooo activities that cause an elevated heart rate while your left arm remains relatively motionless narrows down to, what, job interviews, poker games, and certain sex stuff. Take an honest inventory of how often you do each of those things and you're going to be left with a time-coded list of your jerkoff sessions. Which, sure!

    The other shit it gets—built-in cellular data, music streaming, talking Siri—bring it more or less in line with what everyone assumed it would be able to do two years ago. In theory this could mean you can ditch your phone in favor of an Apple Watch, but I'm coming up short for why anyone would do that outside of when you go out for a run. Especially when the "all day" battery life turns out to be ONE HOUR of talk time or four hours of LTE/GPS. The Apple Watch is still a solution to a bunch of problems that can be solved by reaching into your pocket. It is excessive and unnecessary on every practical level, but damnedest thing is, until now it didn't even make sense on an impractical level—it served no purpose and added no value.


    Baaaahahahaha this costs $1,000 and it's WORSE than the iPhone 8.

    The iPhone X (you sound out the "ten") is the fancy new iPhone with an edge-to-edge screen, no home button, and which unlocks via facial recognition. I don't have strong opinions on the home button or facial recognition beyond the fact that they're first-generation tech for Apple, and first-generation tech is to be avoided. Just like batteries degrade over time, other components can break down in unexpected ways. Like, has anyone used this in direct sunlight yet? The shit didn't even work on stage, man.

    Biometric facial recognition is not a new technology, but it's new to Apple and replacing a technology that had been rock solid (the TouchID fingerprint scanner). Apple says it's very proud of the work its engineers did to make a facial scanner up to the task other companies' engineers have been doing since 2012 or so. And fair enough! But what it didn't say was that, according to various media reports, its engineers had also been working to find a solution that would allow them to include Touch ID sensors built right into the screen or on the back panel, and apparently came up empty.

    (And, Apple says the technology can tell if you're growing facial hair or putting on weight, but twins are fucked apparently? Phil Schiller began talking about how close family relatives throw this system off, and I thought he was going to pivot like, "Actually we're good enough for even this!" but no! He quickly moved along like "Nahhhh watch your back don't get got out there." Twins are fairly rare, and I find family resemblance in general to be creepy and off-putting and so am all for undermining it as an institution, but still: "Can't win 'em all!" as a selling point is a new one.)

    Related: The screen, which is the first OLED screen on an iPhone, is to hear Apple tell it, the "first OLED screen great enough to be in an iPhone." This is a creative way of saying that it is the first time Apple could convince anyone to sell it the good OLED screens (the new screens are made by Samsung), but it seems to be quite nice despite being called a "Super Retina Display" which SHOULD have no appreciable meaning considering the original definition of a Retina Display was that it was as pixel-dense as it would ever need to be.

    Anyway, beyond the facial recognition thing, there seems to be very little to recommend about the phone itself beyond the screen. The screen is by all accounts gorgeous. But that's really it. The flunkies on stage literally re-did the iPhone 8 presentation during the iPhone X time slot, reminding the audience about features they had hurried through 20 minutes prior. "And hey, wireless charging!" "Get a load of this chip! Which is in the other, cheaper phone as well but this one isn't any worse!" It was an interesting sell.

    You can also use the facial recognition camera to record obnoxious animated emoji messages, which I will use a LOT the first week and then likely never again.


  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
    Dan Rayburn‏ @DanRayburn 22 hours ago

    I think it's funny people cheer over an Apple 4K TV. Not a big deal. But good that Apple will not charge a premium for 4K, same price as HD.

  4. #4
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Who’s going to buy a $1,000 phone?

  5. #5
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Apple crumbles cookies

    Latest software update has enraged companies who have been using cookies to track users across the Web

    Alex Hern
    19 September 2017

    Apple is cutting down on how many cookies advertisers can force on to your devices, with changes coming to iPhones, iPads and Macs. The advertisers, naturally, are not happy.

    Digital cookies are small text files that can be used to track users as they surf the web, helping to build up a detailed profile of which sites they visit, what they do while they are there, and how long they do it for.

    It wasn’t always this way. The cookie has humble origins, as a small file that a website could drop on a user’s computer when it needed to remember something specific about them. That could be the contents of a shopping trolley, or the username they used to log in last time they visited the website. A slightly more advanced version of the same thing is still the core way that websites ensure that you are logged in – an authentication cookie is placed in your browser, meaning that you don’t have to log in each time you refresh the page.

    But as the web became more complex, so did the uses of cookies. The rise of large, third-party advertising networks was the genesis of cookie becoming a dirty word: an advert hosted on a website has the same ability to place a cookie on your computer as the site itself. And if that advertising company is widespread enough, it can see the same cookie every time you visit a page that hosts its adverts, helping it to build an accurate profile of your online activity and using it to target more specific advertising to you.

    These third-party cookies are relatively easy to spot and block. But a wrinkle is added when a website places the cookie itself, but uses that to track and target the user: think, for example, of that shopping-cart cookie (which you probably do want) being used to show you adverts for the contents of your shopping cart across the internet (which you may not).

    This is what Apple is beginning to block with its latest update, and it has caused an almighty freakout from advertisers, who called the move “sabotage” in an open letter.

    But this is an arms race, and cookies are just one battlefield. Already, companies have been spotted experimenting with other ways to track users, from measuring the amount of battery life they have left, to seeing how bright the room they are in is. Those are all subsets of the broader field of “fingerprinting”, which allows advertisers to go far beyond simple cookies in tracking a given user around the web.

    By comparing devices, IP addresses, browsers and behaviour, it’s possible to know not only what websites you visit on your phone, but that your phone, iPad, and work computer are all you, and let adverts follow you from home to work and back each day. And that’s not even getting started on firms such as Facebook. Persistent conspiracy theories about the social network, which makes 98% of its revenue from ads, listening to conversations through microphones conceal a more prosaic truth: Facebook doesn’t need to do any funny business to target advertising with uncanny accuracy – it just waits for you to tell it all about yourself.


  6. #6
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Apple’s new tracking protection is “sabotage”, claims ad industry

    19 Sep 2017

    The ad industry is gnashing its teeth over Apple’s latest move to limit how we get tracked around the web.

    They’re concerned about the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system – iOS 11 – which will hit phones and tablets today.

    To be clear, the arrival of iOS 11 doesn’t mean that the Safari web browser will stop sites from tracking you around. No, there will be no advertising Armageddon for the way that sites track visitors’ browsing from site to site. Marketers will still be able to do things like try to sell you flip flops after you 1) check out an online shoe store and then 2) visit a site that has nothing to do with Maui.

    Tracking via cookies won’t come to a screeching halt, but it will, in fact, be corralled, as Apple described in June when it announced a feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP).

    ITP uses a number of methods to try to cut back on ad-tracking, one being to limit the use of cookies for ad retargeting to 24 hours, and deleting a site’s cookies entirely if you don’t visit for 30 days. If you visit, say, your favorite flip flop emporium on one day, then show interest in that same site within 24 hours, the technology will allow that domain to track you as you visit other sites by planting cookies to follow you around. If you don’t go back to the flip flop shop after 30 days, it will lose the ability to track you.

    Well, that might sound reasonable to Apple, and it might sound reasonable to people who don’t really want to see irrelevant ads for the rest of their lives after accidentally stumbling onto fill-in-the-blank-dot-com by accident (all too easy to do when you’ve got ads popping up on mobile devices, where the X button is too tiny to hit with any accuracy).

    But it doesn’t sound reasonable to the advertising industry. In fact, it sounds like internet sabotage.

    Six major advertising consortia have signed an open letter to Apple in which they claim that Apple is replacing the current model of user-controlled cookie preferences with its own set of “opaque and arbitrary standards” for cookie handling.

    It’s going to hurt users by giving them generic ads, they say. Thanks, Apple, the consortia say: you’re popping a hole in the internet’s economic model.

    From the open letter, published in AdWeek last week:

    Apple’s unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love. Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful. Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice.

    Yes, machine-driven: as Apple announced in June, Safari has been outfitted with machine learning, built into its WebKit browser engine.

    When it comes to cookies, there are a few types.

    First-party cookies are planted by sites that we visit and can only be read by that sites that set them. Third-party cookies typically come from resources such as Facebook Like buttons or tracking scripts that are included in the pages we visit but are pulled in from different domains. Third-party cookies can be used to track us as we move across sites that share the same third-party resources.

    A first-party cookie set when you visit facebook.com can become a third-party cookie when you visit another site that includes resources from facebook.com.

    Apple haven’t done a great job of explaining how their machine learning is being used but so far as we can tell it’s there to figure out which first-party cookies are allowed to become third-party tracking cookies on other sites, and which aren’t.


  7. #7
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
    Every Major Advertising Group Is Blasting Apple for Blocking Cookies in the Safari Browser

    Marty Swant

    The biggest advertising organizations say Apple will “sabotage” the current economic model of the internet with plans to integrate cookie-blocking technology into the new version of Safari.

    Six trade groups—the Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Advertising Federation, the Association of National Advertisers, the 4A’s and two others—say they’re “deeply concerned” with Apple’s plans to release a version of the internet browser that overrides and replaces user cookie preferences with a set of Apple-controlled standards. The feature, which is called “Intelligent Tracking Prevention,” limits how advertisers and websites can track users across the internet by putting in place a 24-hour limit on ad retargeting.

    In an open letter expected to be published this afternoon, the groups describe the new standards as “opaque and arbitrary,” warning that the changes could affect the “infrastructure of the modern internet,” which largely relies on consistent standards across websites. The groups say the feature also hurts user experience by making advertising more “generic and less timely and useful.”

    “Apple’s unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by Adweek this morning. “Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful. Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice.”

    Of course, the digital advertising world has a lot to lose if hyper-targeting becomes more diluted. According to an eMarketer report released in March, digital ad spending in the U.S. is expected to reach $83 billion in 2017, up nearly 16 percent from last year.

    When Apple first announced the limitations to cross-website tracking in June, the company said the changes are meant to improve trust with users, explaining that “users feel that trust is broken when they are being tracked and privacy-sensitive data about their web activity is acquired for purposes that they never agreed to.” In a statement emailed to Adweek regarding the industry groups’ letter, Apple reiterated the importance of consumer privacy while also pointing out Safari was the first browser to block third-party cookies by default even before the introduction of Intelligent Tracking Prevention. (According to Apple, Intelligent Tracking Prevention will still allow tracking on websites a person visits.)

    “Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history,” according to an Apple spokesperson. “This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet.”

    While the Safari updates detect and eliminate cookies and other data, it doesn’t block actual ads. (Google, however, is already testing an ad blocker for Chrome which could be released more broadly next year.)

    While the trade groups criticized the move by Apple, some industry experts said the latest feature is a welcome addition.

    “Intelligent Tracking Prevention uses machine learning to block companies with no relationship with consumers from employing cross-site tracking work-arounds,” said Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, an online publishing group. “While this may not be a perfect solution, I applaud Apple’s efforts to more closely align with context and consumer expectations.”

    Here’s a full copy of the letter, which was also signed by the Data and Marketing Association and the Network Advertising Initiative:

    September 14, 2017

    An Open Letter from the Digital Advertising Community

    The undersigned organizations are leading trade associations for the digital advertising and marketing industries, collectively representing thousands of companies that responsibly participate in and shape today’s digital landscape for the millions of consumers they serve.

    We are deeply concerned about the Safari 11 browser update that Apple plans to release, as it overrides and replaces existing user-controlled cookie preferences with Apple’s own set of opaque and arbitrary standards for cookie handling.

    Safari’s new “Intelligent Tracking Prevention” would change the rules by which cookies are set and recognized by browsers. In addition to blocking all third-party cookies (i.e. those set by a domain other than the one being visited), as the current version of Safari does, this new functionality would create a set of haphazard rules over the use of first-party cookies (i.e. those set by a domain the user has chosen to visit) that block their functionality or purge them from users’ browsers without notice or choice.

    The infrastructure of the modern Internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies, so digital companies can innovate to build content, services, and advertising that are personalized for users and remember their visits. Apple’s Safari move breaks those standards and replaces them with an amorphous set of shifting rules that will hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the Internet.

    Apple’s unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love. Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful. Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice. As organizations devoted to innovation and growth in the consumer economy, we will actively oppose any actions like this by companies that harm consumers by distorting the digital advertising ecosystem and undermining its operations.

    We strongly encourage Apple to rethink its plan to impose its own cookie standards and risk disrupting the valuable digital advertising ecosystem that funds much of today’s digital content and services.


    American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s)

    American Advertising Federation (AAF)

    Association of National Advertisers (ANA)

    Data & Marketing Association (DMA)

    Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)

    Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)


  8. #8
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    As Apple slows, fast-moving Asian rivals gain in wealthy markets

    In the $600-plus segment, Apple has 63% market share and the U.S. firm’s retention rate of around 82%

    Sijia Jiang, Jeremy Wagstaff
    September 20, 2017

    Slowing innovation at iPhone maker Apple gives Asian rivals their best chance yet to conquer developed markets, retailers and consumers say - thanks to better designs and lower prices.

    Apple last week unveiled new iPhones with wireless charging, an edge-to-edge screen and dual cameras - all features already widely available in phones from China’s Huawei and Oppo, and Samsung Electronics.

    While Apple must convince buyers to fork out nearly $1,000 for its high-end model, challengers are tilting at the luxury market, offering similar features for less money.

    Chinese vendors, formerly seen as churning out cheap phones with copycat innovation, have upped their quality game and now control nearly half the global mobile market. By cramming high-end features into affordable devices, and using a canny mix of promotion, advertising and retail reach, they have also won over some loyal Apple users.

    “Huawei is seen as a relevant competitor to Apple and Samsung (by) covering all major price points and placing big investments in marketing and sales,” said a spokeswoman for MediaMarktSaturn, Europe’s biggest electronics retailer.

    She said Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and TCL - all Chinese firms - were among the top-10 best-selling smartphones in its stores.

    Chinese manufacturers’ rapid growth has been fueled by strong domestic sales, but they now export 40 percent of their smartphones, almost double the number just three years ago, according to CLSA.

    Huawei, whose smartphone shipments to Europe jumped more than 50 percent in the first half of this year, is poised to overtake Apple as the world’s second-largest vendor.

    The Chinese firm’s confidence was on show in a short Facebook video ad ahead of its “RealAIphone” launch next month, using a clown to poke fun at Apple’s facial recognition feature that unlocks the new iPhone.

    Huawei plans to unveil its top-of-the-line Mate 10 phone on Oct. 16, with artificial intelligence-powered features such as instant translation and image recognition. And media reports speculate the phone will have an edge-to-edge screen, and undercut the iPhone on price. Huawei declined to comment.

    With their growing scale and the flattening of hardware improvements, other Chinese firms are also looking to crack the high-end smartphone market.

    Xiaomi, for example, unveiled a full-screen phone this month that features a sleek, all-ceramic ‘unibody’ design and 12-megapixel front camera. The special edition Mi MIX 2 retails for $720. Also, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are working with Qualcomm to embed ultrasound sensors under smartphone screens to improve the touch function.

    “Chinese brands with growing scale, access to the same supply chain, rising components buying power, aggressive marketing and value-for-money offerings have stalled Apple’s growth rate and nullified the differentiation points,” said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint.

    Apple declined to comment beyond what their executives have said publicly about why they hold off on certain technologies.


    To be sure, Apple maintains a healthy market share lead over Chinese rivals in the premium segment, and few experts see Apple fans switching from the iPhone X to Huawei’s Mate 10.

    “The biggest challenge they (Chinese firms) face would be proving to consumers their products and brand are worth paying that much for,” said Xiaohan Tay, an analyst at research firm IDC.

    “Apple has taken years to build that premium brand image, and Samsung too. If they can pay a little more to purchase an Apple or Samsung phone, most consumers may still continue to do that.”

    In the $600-plus segment, Apple has 63 percent market share, against just 3 percent for Huawei, and the U.S. firm’s retention rate of around 82 percent, versus Huawei’s 52 percent, suggests it will be tough for Chinese firms to raise their prices, according to UBS.

    The average selling price of smartphones from the top-3 Chinese makers - Huawei, Oppo and Vivo - is just $248, or two-thirds less than the cheapest iPhone 8.

    Yet experts say the threat of competition is real, especially as buyers pay more attention to smartphone apps than hardware features.

    “How much impact would a $1,000 iPhone really have on UX (user experience) of WhatsApp, or YouTube, or Snapchat?” said Sameer Singh, founder of research firm Tech-Thoughts.

    “The most popular apps being available on both platforms (Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android) really makes the experience a bit of a wash, making it harder to justify the price point based just on features. This isn’t all that different from the PC industry 10-20 years ago. At one point, a PC was a PC irrespective of the manufacturer.”

    Additional reporting by Eric Auchard in Frankfurt and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Ian Geoghegan


  9. #9
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    HTC suspends shares in wake of Alphabet takeover rumours

    The reason Alphabet might want to buy HTC is not as clear cut as Google’s grab for Motorola’s patents.

    Samuel Gibbs
    20 September 2017

    The Taiwanese smartphone and virtual reality headset manufacturer HTC will halt shares from Thursday, pending the “release of material information” following media reports of a purchase by Google’s parent, Alphabet.

    The once-powerful smartphone market player, which started life as a manufacturer of other brands’ handsets and now makes the Vive VR headset, has seen sales fall year on year for the best part of half a decade as competition from Chinese and South Korean rivals increased.

    The Taiwan Stock Exchange said in a statement: “TWSE announced trading in the shares of HTC Corporation and the securities underlying the company will be halted starting from 21 September 2017 pending the release of material information. The company will apply for resumption of trading after the release of material information.”

    Local reports speculate that the “release of material information” could be an impending acquisition by Alphabet. Before the formation of the Alphabet holding company in 2015, Google acquired the mobile phone pioneer Motorola in 2011 for $12.5bn (£9.24bn), gaining an important stock of patents in the process. It then sold Motorola to China’s Lenovo in 2014 for $2.9bn without the collection of patents.

    The reason Alphabet might want to buy HTC is not as clear cut as Google’s grab for Motorola’s patents. The Android maker recently began pushing its own-brand Google Pixel smartphones in 2016, which were manufactured by HTC on Google’s behalf, but without the Taiwanese company’s branding.

    Some have suggested Alphabet might intend to turn the company into an in-house manufacturer for Google-branded products, dropping the HTC brand entirely. Many big name electronics companies, including Apple, rely on others to manufacture their products for them.

    According to company filings, HTC’s handset sales fell by more than 50% in August compared with last year’s figures. But HTC has been in decline for years, from a height of 8.8% of global smartphone market share in 2011, shipping 43.5m handsets, to just 0.5% today, according to data from IDC.

    The brand was the first to adopt Google’s Android, and became a household name pioneering many of the premium smartphone manufacturing techniques that are in use today, including the metal unibody design. But HTC has failed to maintain a competitive advantage either on price, design or features against the dominant Apple or Samsung, or Chinese players such as Huawei, which have undercut it.

    Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices for IDC, said: “If you don’t make money it’s difficult to survive.

    “HTC was one of the most innovative companies, and honestly it still is. But it is also a prime example of the fact that despite having the best product out there, if you don’t know how to sell it, to work with the channels of retailers and networks, then you won’t succeed.”

    According to supply-chain analysts, HTC’s small shipment volumes also led to it struggling to acquire the chips necessary to make competitive smartphones in volume, which led to increasing manufacturing costs and therefore pressure on the firm’s margins, losing out to Samsung, Apple and Huawei.

    At the same time, HTC’s rivals could rely on larger combined revenue streams, which helped support their smartphone businesses, be it from software and services or chip or equipment manufacturing for others. HTC does not make its own silicon and so is wholly reliant on third parties.


  10. #10
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Nasdaq weighed down by falling Apple

    Jessica Dye

    The Nasdaq Composite has taken a sharp leg lower in mid-morning trading on Wednesday, pressured by a 2.6 per cent fall in Apple shares on the heels of less-than-glowing reviews of the newly launched Apple Watch 3.

    The fall took the Nasdaq’s loss on the day to 0.34 per cent, or 6,439. The Dow Jones Industrial Averag, meanwhile, rose slightly to hit a new intraday high of 22,388.3, as did the S&P 500, which briefly touched a new high of 2,508.8 before falling back slightly.

    Apple shares are feeling the pinch after multiple reviews panned several aspects of the new Watch, falling to $154.48.


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