At a BlackBerry event held earlier today in San Francisco they announced a new management-services partnership with rival Samsung Electronics. This is the very first time that the two companies have teamed up for a major product. The new partnership is designed to compete head-on with the new Apple-IBM alliance.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is seeking assurances from Apple that it will prevent sensitive health data collected by its upcoming smartwatch and other mobile devices from being used without owners' consent.
It was just Monday that we posted a report titled "FireEye Releases Details of Masque-Attack on iOS in Q2. The attacks were apparently occurring in China alone. Today the U.S. government stepped in with a new warning for U.S. iPhone and iPad users to be on the alert for hackers who may exploit a vulnerability in Apple's iOS operating system that would enable them to steal sensitive data. Noted above is a Bloomberg TV report that interviews FireEye's COO Kevin Mandia (FireEye acquired Mariant). Our report also provides you with the FireEye iOS Masque Attack demo video.
Today DigiTimes is reporting that chip suppliers involved in the Apple Watch supply chain are gearing up to start production for the upcoming wearable device. The initial production target is larger than what the entire smartwatch market was supposed to do in 2014 and never did.
It's hard to say if Apple engineering teams are just in a bit of a lull or if Apple's battle with Samsung has gotten them paranoid, but Apple's great ideas in the form of patent filings are far and few between lately in comparison to years past. Today the US Patent Office published a great number of Apple patents that are basically technical inventions. One covers a new liquid metal invention, another about ceramics with sapphire or zirconia, and yet another about improving color on OLED displays that directly relates to Apple Watch as Apple lists a wrist-watch and other devices like a television that the invention is aimed for. So make no mistake about it, these are important and practical inventions. But the big game-changer ideas like an electronic wallet or smart bezels aren't surfacing as they once did. Time will tell if this is just a temporary phase, a change in market tactics or a lack of vision.
In September Samsung introduced their new Galaxy Note Edge that has a distinct curve on one side of its display which fulfilled a 2013 patent application that our Patently Mobile site covered. To date, Samsung has many patents on record regarding possible future smartphones with varying styled bendable and foldable displays. In one of Samsung's latest bendable device/display inventions, they go far beyond a mere bent edge to the entire device being able to be bent if not rolled to extremes. While it could be considered the ultimate bendable smartphone, the oddity of it makes you wonder why Samsung would even consider such a contorted design to begin with. Samsung has some fairly interesting dual display based smartphone concepts on record that make more sense. Now that Apple has taken away Samsung's one advantage in smartphones with their new iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung is trying to find that next hit feature in smartphones that could put them back into the spotlight. Unfortunately, this latest design isn't likely to be the one to get them there. For more on Samsung's latest bendy idea, see our full Patently Mobile report.
An iMovie Production: In late August we posted our first video of a drone flying over Apple's Spaceship headquarters site that's now under construction. It gave us a feeling that we were flying with a massive swarm of killer bees, as the drone's mechanics were audibly captured. This latest video of the construction site shows us the steady progress being made on Apple's new headquarters. The video is also noticeably quieter this time around.
It was reported yesterday that Samsung, the world's largest memory chip maker by revenue, resumed supplying its memory chips to Apple for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus earlier this year, after ties were cut during the peak of the two rivals' court battles over copyright infringement. Today we learn about the giant leap coming to next generation NAND flash that is based on the new UFS 2.0 standard. Apple's next generation iDevices that are on the drawing board for late 2015 are likely to adopt this powerful new NAND flash memory.
Hon Hai Reports Record Sales due to the iPhone 6: According to Taiwan media reports, Hon Hai's October revenues hit a new record monthly high as revealed in their financial call yesterday. The increase is due to Apple's hot selling iPhone 6. The financing results showed that the company earned about NT$468.999 billion (approximately US$15.33 Billion) in October, with an increase of 22.58% Year-over-Year beating the market expectations.
Last month we reported that TSMC had completed the development of their 16 nano FinFET plus (16FF+) process technology and began preparation for mass-production together with its suppliers. FinFET is a technology to design and produce system semiconductors in a 3D structure. Today TSMC announced their progress on this process that will likely be adopted by Apple for their A9 processor.
More Apple Business Please: Today news out of Taiwan states that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest semiconductor OEM and the major chipmaker for Apple, is considering acquiring Qualcomm's plant in Taiwan that is engaged in the packaging and testing for chip, according to the reports.
According to a new report published late this afternoon, Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft are likely to be some of the big beneficiaries if a deal reached between China and the U.S. leads to slashed tariffs on a range of technology products around the world, including videogame consoles, advanced chips and prepaid cards.U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled the deal Tuesday, saying it would "contribute to a rapid conclusion to the broader negotiations in Geneva."
Yesterday we covered US President Obama's statement about net neutrality wherein he stated that "An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known." Of course that brought reactions from the far right as expected. Today FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel discussed President Obama's net neutrality stance.
Russia, Land of Cheat Vodka and iPhones: John Heisel, Moscow-based vice president of sales and trading at Renaissance Capital Holdings Ltd told Bloomberg that while sanctions and the ruble's ongoing collapse had made his grocery bill jump by 25 percent, at least one thing has gotten cheaper in dollar terms: iPhones. Heisel added that "The days of buying Apple gadgets for friends when I visit New York are over." Heisel further noted that he took advantage of the current situation and bought himself a new iPhone 6.