Apple is making a big splash in Europe this week. On the same day the European Commission published the initial findings of its investigation into Ireland’s handling of its taxes, Apple popped up at Paris Fashion Week to show off its forthcoming Watch to the general public for the first time.
In a clear break with previous launches, Apple chose a chic fashion boutique, rather than its own retail stores, as the venue, giving a hint of how the smartwatch might be marketed and distributed when it goes on sale next year. Read more
One of the early investors in payment processing start-up Stripe is upping its investment. Not in the company itself, valued earlier this year at near $2bn, but in the ecosystem of other start-ups that is slowly coalescing around it.
General Catalyst, an early investor in Stripe, is putting up $10m fund to invest in start-ups that offer services, like analytics or other business analysis tools, tied to the company’s Stripe Connect platform. Read more
Google has mocked News Corp for this anti-EU headline in the Sun
Google has responded to criticism from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp that it is dominant, anti-competitive and bad for media companies. So where are the key battle lines, and how convincing are Google’s arguments?
Point 1: How dominant is Google?
News Corp said: “[Google’s] power increases with each passing day”. Read more
Apple’s latest iPhone has been has been hailed as the thinnest and biggest mobile device it has created yet. But those qualities may have created an unexpected problem: the gadget may have a tendency to “bend”.
Lewis Hilsenteger of product review site Unbox Therapy has published a video that has gone viral (over 3m views and counting), in which he conducted a not-so-scientific “bend test” on the phone. Using his hands to apply pressure on the back of the device while pulling the edges back, he found that the device was warped.
“Will this happen in your front pocket?” asked Mr Hilsenteger. “That probably depends on how tight your pants are.”
Ray Ozzie, the man who once filled Bill Gates’ very big shoes as chief software architect at Microsoft, is back.
His latest start-up – a voice-powered collaboration tool for workers – looks like a not-so-subtle snub of his former employer. It is, he says, what Skype (now owned by Microsoft) might have become, had it not given up on “innovation in depth”. Read more
The virtual-reality creations on show at this weekend’s Oculus Connect event were as varied as they were bizarre.
Some 800 overwhelmingly male developers gathered at the upmarket Loews Hotel in Hollywood to attend presentations ranging from game design to “360-degree filmmaking”. A session dedicated to the Gear VR, Oculus’s collaboration with Samsung to launch a mobile VR headset later this year, was particularly busy.
Outside the talks, developers lined up to try Oculus’s new Crescent Bay prototype device and showed off their own VR software – just some of the 325 games uploaded to Oculus Share, its version of an app store. Read more
After weeks of hype, Apple’s big day is finally here: the iPhone 6 goes on sale in the US, UK, Hong Kong and other key markets (though not China) on Friday.
As ever, the Apple faithful are lining up outside its stores, after supplies of its supersized iPhone 6 Plus were exhausted in online preorders within a matter of hours last week. Most analysts predict pent-up demand for upgrades will push iPhone sales to a new record.
“Big” is the operative word all round. Apple has lent the FT both of the new iPhones and, after an evening playing with both devices, one conclusion feels obvious: the iPhone 6 Plus is just too big. Read more
© Photo: Getty
If Google Glass didn’t exist, guys in Silicon Valley would be having affairs or buying unsuitable motorbikes – or so claim the “White Men Wearing Google Glass” Tumblr and Twitter feeds, which mock the device’s associations with unfashionable male geekery.
Now Google’s flagship wearable is a step closer to shedding its unflattering image: high-end online fashion sites Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter have started selling Glass to UK shoppers, the first third-party retailers to do so. Read more
Don’t let anyone tell you that size doesn’t matter.
The first reviews are in for the latest iPhones and if there is one common obsession, it’s the undeniable fact that these are the largest iPhones Apple has ever made.
Here are a few highlights from reviewers’ first takes of the iPhone 6 and the supersized iPhone 6 Plus. (No sniggering at the back.) Read more
Payments start-up Square is raising at least $100m in a funding round that valued the group at $6bn, up from a $5bn valuation earlier this year, according to a new company filing.
The design of Apple’s Watch draws on the heritage of the iPod and iPhone but wears its history lightly. Read more
Which is better value: Netflix or the BBC?
Some TV viewers – especially younger ones – seem to think the answer is Netflix. It has cool new shows, including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. And a subscription costs UK viewers roughly half as much as the BBC – £6.99 a month, compared to the BBC’s licence fee, which works out at £12 a month.
But the BBC wants to knock down the Netflix-mania, at least when it comes to drama. Read more
Paypal will soon start to enable merchants on its payments processing network to accept bitcoin, a sign of the growing acceptance and maturation of the volatile digital currency sometimes derided as magic internet money.
The Kickstarter community has funded many innovations in the past few years.
The Pebble smartwatch raised $10.3m in 2012, shooting the starting gun on the wearables trend that Apple is about to leap into. The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset raised $2.4m, only to be acquired by Facebook for $2bn two years later. SmartThings raised $1.2m for its first connected-home kit before being snapped up by Samsung. New ideas like Hello’s Sense sleep-monitoring device just keep coming.
But one crowd-funded gadget this week emerged to trump them all. After two years at the top, Pebble has lost its crown as the most-funded Kickstarter of all time. And it has lost it to… a freezer box. Read more
If you thought flying a Flappy Bird was fiendish, just wait until you try swooping Swing Copters. So say new addicts of the latest free app from cult Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, who this week overcame his famous revulsion at his previous creation to release what looks like another hit.
Droves of instant Swing Copters devotees took to Twitter Friday to bemoan how guiding the propeller-headed hero through a landscape of deadly swinging obstacles was even closer to impossible than navigating Flappy Bird’s famously exasperating arrays of killer pipes. Read more
By Matthew Garrahan, FT global media editor
Thomas Lesinski, the former head of digital production at Paramount Pictures, has launched a new company to produce content for television and online channels, striking a deal with Legendary Entertainment, which will have first option to release its programming. Read more
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is among the new investors in Lookout, a San Francisco-based mobile security company that just pulled in the largest fundraising by a cyber security company so far this year.
As Amazon promised to be “relentless” in its pursuit of selling everything, Bezos appears to being equally eager to make personal investments in almost every industry. Here are some – but not all – of the investments he has made through his vehicle Bezos Expeditions.
Media: Bezos’ most high profile recent investment was his purchase of the Washington Post, the DC-based newspaper renowned for its role in breaking the news of the Watergate scandal. But he has fingers in other media pies too: in 2013, he took a stake in Business Insider, the loud mouthed financial news site fond of slideshows, and back in 2008 he invested in Twitter, the social media site beloved by journalists. He also has investments in Vessel, a video platform, and Next Door, a social network for neighbours. Read more
Venezuela might have the mannequins with the world’s biggest breasts, but Britain now has the most tech-savvy models gracing its store windows and shop floors.
This week three UK retailers launched the world’s first mannequins embedded with so-called iBeacons – little Bluetooth transmitters that can send alerts to smartphones in the vicinity, offering details about the clothes such as how to buy them online and where to find them in store. Read more