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.
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.
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.
A little over a month ago we reported that Apple had to adjust their iPhone Plus orders twice just to keep up with demand. The day before that we reported that 3 out of 4 Korean consumers want an iPhone 6 Plus over a Galaxy Note 4. Today, Apple's first phablet is continuing to win consumers vote all over the world including the U.K, Italy, and beyond. REPORT UPDATED NOV 12: New Chart Added.
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."
Apple's product appeal is not only for the rich and famous around the world. It's also the favorite choice of dictators. A new report out of Seoul Korean today notes that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has a preference for Apple products which has led to a iPhone craze in their country, even though very few are likely to be in a position to get one.
Earlier today we posted a report about a possible Apple + Alibaba payment system alliance. If you had any doubts as to why Apple would be interested in such an alliance, perhaps this next report will open your eyes. According to a new report out of China today, Alibaba's global online transactions on China's "Singles Day" hit US$163.1 million in the first two minutes after the China-based e-commerce giant kicked off the world's largest online shopping frenzy Tuesday.
Cyber Security Nightmares Continue: Today the US Postal Service was hacked with 500,000 of its employee's personal data and possibly social security numbers has been compromised as reported on by CNBC. Days ago The Home Depot reported that hackers stole 53 million email addresses in the U.S. and Canada in addition to payment card data. In context, the news of the masque-attack on iOS devices is nothing compared to the cyber security nightmare that are out there today on a weekly basis.
Last week we reported that Apple rapidly moved to block malware from launching in China. This afternoon Reuters is reporting that researchers have warned that a bug in Apple's iOS operating system makes most iPhones and iPads vulnerable to cyber-attacks by hackers seeking access to sensitive data and control of their devices.
According to a new "Good Technology" report, Businesses of all sizes continue to evolve from point solutions to a full platform approach for mobility. As they do so they continue to adopt additional apps and the business impact of these apps continues to increase. Already this year, we've seen enterprise mobility move well beyond simple mobile device management (MDM) and basic email on smart devices. Noteworthy is the fact that the Good Technology report noted that Apple's iOS activations in the enterprise continued to grow in Q3 thanks to the iPhone 6. The report further noted that iOS reversed a decline in activation share and won share from Android.
The Irish love a good Fight: Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan said late on Friday that a European Commission case against Ireland over tax breaks given to Apple is likely to fail. "My legal advice is that the Irish authorities will win the case quite easily and that there isn't a very strong case by the Commission," Noonan told journalists after a meeting in Brussels. His comments were broadcast on RTE.
Bloomberg TV briefly covered the Apple-GTAT saga today after the court unsealed GTAT's Chapter 11 Supplemental Declaration. Today Bloomberg's Editor-at-Large Cory Johnson reminds us that while the unsealed document reveals some of Apple's hard hitting practices, the fact is that GTAT when accepting the deal pounded the table of how great an opportunity it was with them on Wall Street and enjoyed their stock rising 160% on their positive presentation.