Copyright © 2015
Tag - Industry
A new study that compared the security of user data as transmitted by the short-range Bluetooth used by the leading fitness and health wearables has found, as one headline writer summed it up, that "every fitness tracker but [the Apple Watch] is a privacy nightmare." The report, done by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab and Canadian privacy-rights group Open Effect, tested eight wearables and found that all -- apart from the Apple Watch -- leaked Bluetooth data that could be read nearby.
Happy birthday to us -- The MacNN Podcast turned one this week, and so -- when you listen to this episode -- picture us both wearing jaunty party hats. Back down to the usual two-man rowboat, this week MacNN Editor Charles Martin and Managing Editor Mike Wuerthele talk about a few hot topics, and by that we don't mean the emo superstore down at the mall. Naturally, our recent site redesign -- the first in a whopping eight years -- is our first focus.
Apple GPU supplier Imagination Technologies has reported that it will report a second business year of losses in April. Additionally, partially in response to the terrible results, the company has fired CEO Hossein Yassaie, and will divest itself of its unprofitable music line, Pure.
A new report from industry analyst Canalys reports that the Apple Watch has established itself as the industry leader in smartwatches, shipping around 12 million units since its debut last April and accounting for two-thirds of all smartwatch shipments. In part the confirmation of what many analysts already suspected came about because of a strong holiday quarter, with Apple selling around five million Apple Watch units during that period. Separate from full-blown smartwatches, basic fitness bands exceeded 37 million units for calendar 2015.
At a "Town Hall" meeting with employees following the company's Q1 earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly rejected the notion -- long favored by analysts -- that Apple needs a "pared down" and inexpensive iPhone model in order to attract buyers in developing or "emerging" markets like India. While most of the meeting dealt with a rehash of information given during the analyst call, some was concerned with employee matters like retention incentives, as well as saying the Apple TV and tvOS both have "bright" futures.
Apple Pay is now available at two million locations worldwide, according to a new report, in a year that should see rapid expansion of compatibility as US merchants update to point-of-sale (POS) terminals that support both mobile payment options and the new "chip-and-PIN" EMV debit and credit cards. A new Bloomberg article notes that a number of US chain restaurants and retailers will be adding Apple Pay and other NFC-based payment options to their stores, including Au Bon Pain, Chick-Fil-A, and Crate & Barrel.
Apple was handed a rare defeat in a patent case today, with virtual private network (VPN) company VirnetX granted a $625.6 million verdict in the FaceTime patent damages retrial. While the attorneys for VirnetX claim that this is the second time a federal jury has found Apple liable for infringing patented technology, the hearing was not about finding infringement for the devices in the first trial, but determining what damages VirnetX should be paid for Apple's continued unlicensed use of the company's technology.
Two carriers have launched new promotions today, with Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile both vying to draw in new customers after the busy holiday season. T-Mobile has reintroduced its free fourth line offer, this time with the option of adding unlimited LTE data to the plans, while Virgin Mobile is adding new monthly plans to its roster, featuring unlimited talk and text with a selection of different data allowance tiers.
Apple has announced that the expansion of the Apple Watch to new countries is continuing, with an emphasis on the Middle East. The wearable will become available in several regional countries, including Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Israel, and Kuwait beginning February 11, according to notices on the Apple website in those countries. In addition, the Apple Watch will launch in Greece on February 12. None of the countries in the latest set of rollouts have physical Apple Stores, so the debuts will happen through resellers.
Accessory manufacturer Zagg and smartphone case developer Mophie announced today the signing of a merger agreement. Zagg has agreed to pay $100 million for the acquisition of Mophie, plus a supplemental payment based on revenue for the pair generated between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.