Apple found itself again in the firing line of China’s state media on Friday, when CCTV accused its iPhones of threatening national security due to their location tracking features.
At a time when sensitivities over US government surveillance are at an all-time high and when Chinese smartphone manufacturers are taking on the iPhone like never before, there could be many ulterior motives for this latest attack.
Nonetheless, many iPhone owners outside China may also be surprised to know how much their device knows about where they have been – including its uncanny ability to guess where you live and work. Read more
Uber is wasting little time in putting last month’s huge $1.2bn fundraising to work. As it races for marketshare against not-quite-so-well-funded rivals such as Lyft, it has been cutting prices for its cheapest service, UberX, in several markets including its largest, the San Francisco Bay Area.
The fare reduction is flagged as temporary, which may be just as well: Fortune discovered that Uber is losing money on every fare by paying drivers more than it charges passengers, in order to boost their earnings and prevent them from switching to a more lucrative rival. Read more
GoPro’s stock leapt more than 30 per cent on its first morning of trading on Thursday, valuing the action camera maker at around $4bn.
Nick Woodman, GoPro’s billionaire founder and chief executive, who still owns almost half of the company, spoke with the FT shortly after ringing the Nasdaq opening bell. Here is an edited transcript of our conversation about how he got here and how he plans to build a media business around millions of people taking photos and videos of themselves. Read more
Apple’s annual developer conference saw chief executive Tim Cook and head of software engineering Craig Federighi dominate the stage. Apple showed off new operating systems, including iOS8 and the newly-minted OS X Yosemite, as well as HealthKit, its first foray into fitness tracking, and HomeKit, a connected home platform. Not to mention tools for developers and a new programming language called Swift. Tim Bradshaw, Richard Waters and Sarah Mishkin give the rundown and reaction from the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Image from @tim_cook on Twitter
Even before the ink is dry on his $3bn acquisition of Beats Electronics, Apple chief Tim Cook is still “on the prowl” for more deals.
That was Mr Cook’s phrase when asked in last month’s earnings call whether Apple would consider making large acquisitions, before he had sealed the iPhone maker’s largest ever transaction.
In April, he said that Apple had made 24 acquisitions in the last 18 months. That number has now risen to 27, Mr Cook told the FT on Wednesday, and looks set to keep growing: Read more
Watching the Apple faithful grapple with its imminent acquisition of Beats Electronics has been fascinating.
The only thing Apple watchers seem to agree on is that nobody saw it coming, even though Reuters reported talks about some sort of tie-up over streaming music more than a year ago. It’s the ultimate example of Apple doing something nobody could imagine Steve Jobs doing. Read more
Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba made its long-awaited filing for an initial public offering in the US, a deal which could ultimately top Facebook’s debut two years ago with an estimated $120bn valuation.
FT reporters delve into the details with live reaction and analysis. Read more
What a difference a month makes. When Box filed to go public in late March, hot tech stocks such as Google, Facebook and Tesla were trading at close to their all-time highs.
Now, the cloud storage company’s timing looks a little less fortuitous. A month after the “tech rout” began, the financial markets don’t look quite so welcoming to a fast-growing but heavily loss-making new listing, however ‘sexy’ its enterprise technology might be. Read more
Tim Cook onstage at an Apple launch (Reuters)
Apple just announced that its biggest new slate of product launches in years is finally arriving soon.
This declaration came not from a black-clad stage or rising on a spotlit podium, but buried in a regulatory filing following Wednesday’s quarterly earnings. Read more
Apple returned to its old forecast-busting ways on Wednesday, reporting better-than-expected revenue and iPhone growth. Even though iPad sales underwhelmed, Wall Street cheered the second-quarter results with an 8 per cent spike in after-hours trading. Apple also added $30bn in new dividends and share buybacks to its existing $100bn capital return programme, alongside a seven-for-one stock split.
Tim Bradshaw and Sarah Mishkin bring live commentary from Apple’s conference call and reactions from the market.
A cheeky Apple advertisement appeared in several newspapers on Tuesday. Above a vast array of solar panels, it read: “There are some ideas we want every company to copy.”
The ad ran not only during Apple’s latest bout of patent litigation against Samsung, which continues in a San Jose courtroom, but on Earth Day, an annual reminder of our environmental responsibilities.
Apple used Earth Day to launch a new video ad, ‘Better’, narrated by chief executive Tim Cook himself, and a new portion of its website dedicated to its green achievements. These include powering its data centres with 100 per cent renewable energy, as well as 120 of its retail stores.
But perhaps more remarkable is that Mr Cook let Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental initiatives, give an open and sometimes unscripted talk at Stanford University on Tuesday night. Read more
Lytro caused a lot of excitement among photography enthusiasts when it launched in 2011. Billed as the third evolution of the camera after film and digital, Lytro’s unique “light-field” sensor allowed snappers to “shoot first, focus later”, as well as other “computational photography” tricks such as shifting perspective or add 3D elements to an image after the photo is taken.
However, the Silicon Valley start-up’s first camera was aimed not at hardcore photographers, but at a mass market. The $500, flashlight-shaped device was described by the FT’s Chris Nuttall as “an amusement for now”, due to issues such as a small screen/viewfinder and counter-intuitive controls, even if he predicted the underlying technology was “likely to change photography radically in the long run”.
Three years and one CEO change later, Lytro is back with a new device, the Illum. It is aimed more directly at those snap-happy early adopters, professionals and “aspiring amateurs” who were most enthusiastic about its technology in the first place but perhaps found version one fell short of their hopes. Read more
While Silicon Valley races ahead into a future filled with drones, robots and wearable technology, the rest of the US watches on with a mixture of hope and anxiety.
Americans are optimistic about the long-term prospects for the next 50 years of technological and scientific advances, according to a survey of 1,001 people by the Pew Research Center in February, but more nervous about the immediate future. Read more
Dropbox chief Drew Houston is preparing for life as a public company executive.
In an interview with the FT after Wednesday’s launch of Carousel, a new photo-sharing app, and a suite of other new products, Mr Houston didn’t even wait for the inevitable question about an initial public offering to address the topic.
“We will continue to surround the company with great advisors, board members and other folks who have public company experience,” he said. “I’m not worried about the tactical side of operating as a public company.” Read more
Greg Christie, the Apple designer who was a key part of the team behind the original iPhone, will leave the company later this year, a spokesman confirmed to the FT.
Apple blog 9to5Mac, which broke the story earlier on Wednesday, suggested that Mr Christie had fallen out with Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design. Read more