There’s a saying among consumer electronics start-ups: hardware is hard. Unlike a software or internet company, hardware start-ups have to worry about manufacturing, distribution and inventory, as well as all the working capital worries that go along with them. Read more
Apple more than doubled its sales in China to nudge third-quarter revenues and earnings just ahead of market forecasts. But a shortfall in iPhone sales compared with Wall Street’s forecasts caused the stock to tumble by as much as 8 per cent after-hours on Tuesday. Revenues for the three months ending in June were up 33 per cent to $49.6bn with earnings up 45 per cent to $1.85 – the ninth consecutive quarter that Apple has beaten earnings forecasts. Sales of the iPhone rose 35 per cent to 47.5m units, below the 49m Wall Street was looking for, while Chinese revenues jumped 112 per cent to $13.2bn. Tim Bradshaw brings live reaction to Apple’s earnings and updates from its earnings call with chief executive Tim Cook.
Dick Costolo is out as chief executive of Twitter, and Jack Dorsey, one of the company’s co-founders, is in – at least on an interim basis.
Here’s how the news unfolded on the messaging platform on Thursday. Read more
It’s Apple turn to court the app makers, after Google and Microsoft held their developer conferences in recent weeks. This year’s Worldwide Developer Conference is expected to see the unveiling of Apple Music, its new subscription streaming service, following last year’s $3bn acquisition of Beats. There will also be changes to Watchkit, to improve apps for the Apple Watch, and potentially updates to Carplay, Homekit and its TV platform, alongside the usual annual refresh of iOS and Mac OSX.
Tim Bradshaw, Richard Waters and Matt Garrahan will provide live updates from the WWDC keynote at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.
What have we learnt in this week’s experiment? Can we better understand how wearables might be used in workplaces by looking back at history? Just what did FT’s news editor, Alec Russell, make of Sarah’s wearables data? Does he want to roll it out across newsroom? Read more
What could go wrong? Many things, it turns out, when a company wants to use wearables to track its workers or measure its business. Employers have to be aware of potentials for people to game the system, how to ensure cybersecurity and legal compliance, and perhaps most importantly, how not to lose their workers’ trust. Read more
Even if employees are happy with their bosses’ using wearables to track their days – and possibly nights – they risk seeing that sensitive data fall into the hands of hackers.
Information on how employees spend their time could appeal to hacktivists
searching for potential embarrassments, cyber criminals looking to sell addresses online or rivals seeking an insight into possible M&A negotiations (who visits where) or trade secrets (who sources what where).
Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and chief technology officer at mobile security start-up Lookout, said wearables will inevitably be attacked once they become more widespread.
“Wearables are computers and all computers are hackable,” he said. Read more
Thousands of developers are gathering in San Francisco for Google I/O, one of the internet company’s biggest events of the year. Google is expected to reveal the latest updates to its Android smartphone operating system and Chrome web browser platform, as well as its extensions into wearable technology, TV sets, the “internet of things” and perhaps even virtual reality. Richard Waters and Tim Bradshaw are at the Moscone Center to bring live news and commentary from the keynote, which starts at 9.30am local time (5.30pm BST, 12.30pm EDT).
Do employers want to track their staff with wearables, or is it too much information? Would managers even know how to make sense of, and use, the data collected? Read more
How would employees feel about being tracked by their bosses via wearables? Could some grow to value it if it helps them in their work? Read more
Some experts think wearable technology – from sleep monitors to fitness bands – could be the next frontier in how companies monitor their workers, further blurring the lines between our work and private lives.
Over the next four days Sarah O’Connor, the Financial Times’ Employment Correspondent will be fitted out in wearable gadgets while she works, to see if the personal data they generate really would be useful to managers – and whether workers could learn to live with it.
Follow her regular updates via the Wearables at Work Facebook page, where you’ll find her updates, videos, and thoughts on the project. She’ll be tweeting about the project using the #wearables hashtag, and each day, we’ll storify a selection of the Facebook posts and bring it here to the Techblog.
In Kevin Martin, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under George W Bush, Facebook has just hired a moderate on the all-important issue of network neutrality.
One of his first challenges: to prevent a repeat of the backlash seen in India last month against Facebook’s Internet.org, which critics see as a blatant attempt by the social network to colonise the mobile internet. Read more
At a party the other day, one start-up founder told me the secret of Silicon Valley’s sky-high valuations. “I’ve had investors tell me, you can name any valuation you want, we’ll just make up for it in the terms,” he said.
His comment points to the fact that in the world of tech start-ups, the word “valuation” means something a bit different than it does for public companies. The favourable terms and generous downside protections that accompany many investments help limit the risk that venture investors take. Read more
Apple sold 270,000 iPhones in just over a day when its breakthrough smartphone made its debut back in 2007. Then in 2010, the original iPad sold and delivered 300,000 tablets in its first 24 hours.
Now there are signs that the Apple Watch, released last weekend, may have topped them both. Read more
Apple’s stock price grazed its all-time high on Monday morning as investors anticipated another record-breaking quarter for the iPhone maker. As well as another big quarter for the iPhone, many analysts expect that Apple Watch has already shipped more than the 300,000 iPads that were sold on its first day back in 2010.
Here are four things to look out for when Apple reports after the markets close on Monday evening: Read more
CoinTent co-founders Kendra Gibbons, Bradley Ross and Bigi Lui © CoinTent
The people behind FarmVille and Mafia Wars want to bring micropayments to the news. Read more
Even by the standards of today’s rapidly ascending start-up valuations, Docker has reached unicorn status remarkably quickly.
Barely two years after releasing its software to the world, the open source company has raised a $95m funding round that one source says puts it either at – or very close to – a $1bn valuation. With open source once more the flavour of the month among venture capitalists, this will be one of the more conspicuous tests of whether giving away software can be the route to a seriously large business.
The first wave of Apple Watch reviews are out and their conclusion is mixed. While there is consensus that Apple has made the best smartwatch out there, many see niggles that make it equally clear this is still very much a “version one” product.
That chimes with my experience trying the device at its two launch events. But after reading all the reviews, two unexpected observations stood out. Read more
Alternative lenders such as Lending Club are now well known for having created new kinds of securities for investors looking for high yields. But it’s not just Silicon Valley’s larger start-ups courting hedge funds with new financial instruments.
April Fools’ Day has become a grand tradition in the tech world, with Google in particular pulling out all the stops to show how they don’t take themselves too seriously, no really haha.
But this is 2015, a time of self-driving cars, kickable robots, interplanetary internets and a Cambrian explosion of connected devices. It’s getting tricky for us poor journalists to separate reality from science fiction at the best of times.
So forgive us if some of us were left a little confused when some of this year’s April Fools were just too close to call. Read more