Tag: apple

Apple sticks spanner in Toshiba sale

apple-disney-dreams-snow-white-Favim.com-142405The fruity cargo cult Apple is holding up the sale of Toshiba’s memory chip business.

An agreement worth over $18 billion for Toshiba was announced last week, with the winning bidder a consortium led by Bain Capital and including Apple and Dell.

However Tosh has been telling its banks that Apple is stalling and apparently one of the failed bidders, KKR, is now trying to tempt Apple to switch sides.  Apple had previously opposed KKR’s bid because its consortium included Western Digital, which is a joint investor in TSMC’s flash memory facility.

Apple, which is the biggest consumer of the memory chips, feared that Western Digital’s involvement would consolidate the market too much and lead to less competitive pricing, Bloomberg said.

Western Digital has since pulled out of the consortium and is seeking to block Bain Capital’s bid.

If KKR is able to persuade Apple to switch sides at the last minute, it could upset a deal that had looked like it would end months of twists and turns in finding a buyer for Toshiba’s family jewels.

Tosh needs cash to shore up a balance sheet destroyed by a failed foray into the nuclear power equipment industry and is facing a deadline in March to complete a deal or be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Microsoft moves close to Apple’s sacred London Turf

6629255509_1bcb6e1997Software King of the World Microsoft is opening a new store on London’s Regent Street area which is zoned by the Apple Cult as sacred and holy to them.

The Tame Apple Press is furious after Microsoft announced plans for its first UK retail store, just a stone’s throw from Apple’s flagship outlet.

While not revealing when the store will open, Microsoft’s UK boss Cindy Rose said in a blog post: “We couldn’t be happier to be opening a flagship store in the heart of central London at Oxford Circus, where two of the world’s most iconic shopping streets meet.

“We know our customers and fans, whether they are from London, the broader UK or just visiting, will love our bold plans for the space.

“This will be so much more than just a great place to experience all that is possible with Microsoft, but a real hub for the community where we’ll be bringing to life our passion for helping people explore their creativity through an ambitious programme of workshops and training along with moments that work to unite the community.”

This is not the first time that Apple has faced its sworn rival threatening to contaminate its sacred ground with cheaper more reliable products.  Vole has been threatening to open an inner London store close to Apple since 2012.

There are 75 Microsoft stores globally, with two flagship stores in New York and Sydney.

Jigsaw24 up for sale

funny-haha-148Apple reseller Jigsaw24 is about to be sold off.

The Telegraph has reported that private equity group NorthEdge Capital is seeking a buyer for the Nottingham-based outfit. It has a 2016 turnover of £86.9 million which is not to be sneezed at.

The report claimed NorthEdge Capital, which bought a majority stake in Jigsaw24 in 2013, has hired Clearwater Corporate Finance to approach buyers for the business.

The Telegraph concluded that a deal is expected to be announced at the end of this year or early next, with the paper’s sources insisting the move was not linked to concerns that Apple iPhone sales had peaked and it products were on a slow slide to oblivion.

Jigsaw24, one of Britian’s largest Apple resellers, has major clients including Channel 4, BBC Sport and News UK.

 

Apple signs Accenture deal to grab corporate customers

apple-disney-dreams-snow-white-Favim.com-142405Apple has teamed up with Accenture to increase the adoption of iOS in enterprise customers

The move is part of Jobs’ Mob’s bid to get itself into the enterprise market following similar deals with IBM.

The hope is that Apple can turn around its flagging tablet and iPhone business by getting lucrative corporate deals.

Accenture will be creating a dedicated iOS practice in its digital studio network and Apple staff will be based in those teams. The two firms will be creating tools and services to help enterprise users of iPads and iPhones.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that starting 10 years ago with iPhone, and then with iPad, Apple has been transforming how work gets done.

“Yet we believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products.”

He added that given Accenture’s strong background in helping customers with digital transformation the two businesses could help modernise more user experiences.

From the Accenture point of view the firm’s chairman and CEO Pierre Nanterme said that it had also got experience developing mobile apps and iOS was “the superior mobile platform for businesses.

“By combining Accenture’s vast digital capabilities and industry expertise with Apple’s market leadership in creating products that delight customers, we are in a perfect position to help our clients transform the way they work”, he said.

Supplier discovers a quarter of Brits have been scammed

nigeria1A quarter of UK adults have been scammed online in the past, according to research conducted by the supplier Misco.

Apparently only a third can tell if an email is real or not, which might be the main problem.

In light of recent high-profile cyberattacks, Misco tested the nation’s ability to spot whether an email is real or fake. The research used screenshots of both real and fake emails and texts from banks, online money transfer services and Apple’s iCloud.

When asked to identify which of two near-identical emails – one real, one fake – was a genuine online account statement update from a bank account, 12 percent were fooled by the phishing email, believing it to be legitimate.

Those aged 16 to 24 were twice as likely to be duped, with 25 percent of this age group believing the fake email was genuine. Sixty-one per cent believed both to be fake, even though one was authentic.

Only 60 per cent of those surveyed could correctly identify another fake phishing email, this time a supposed security update from a bank. Sixteen percent believed the email to be authentic, while 24 percent admitted they were unsure as to whether it was real.

Afsar Chaudhury, Misco practice lead for network and security at Misco said: “We live in a digital age, where everything from our boarding passes to our bank accounts are accessed online. This makes it easier for hackers to gain access to our details, and this is shown in the increasing level of sophistication that goes into phishing emails.”

Chaudhury advised people to look out for certain clues, such as poor spelling or grammar, and high levels of impersonalisation to prevent phishing attempts.

“Services will never ask you to enter your details through a message, so avoid clicking those links or sending personal information in a message. We recommend using a different, secure password for each account you hold and changing them regularly, as this makes it harder for your accounts to be hacked. Regularly updating the security software on your computer can also stop any malware in its tracks, in case you do accidentally click through on a phishing link.”

Death spiral of the tablet continues

iTomb-design-offers-mourners-touchscreen-tributes-from-the-grave-Macworld-AustraliaThe death spiral of the “game changing” tablet is continuing and soon there will be very few people wanting to buy one anywhere and resellers would be more likely to successfully flog used bog-roll tubes.

According to IDC, the tablet market continued its “downward spiral” in Q2 this year with worldwide shipments falling 3.4 percent.

The year-on-year decline was caused by tight consumer spending, IDC said. There was even a decline in shipments of detachables in Q2, as consumers wait for flagship launches from Apple and Microsoft.

Detachables had previously been a shining light for the tablet market, which has now been in a state of decline for 11 consecutive quarters.

IDC research director Linn Huang said that the tablet market has essentially become a race to see if the burgeoning detachables category can grow fast enough to offset the long-term erosion of the slate market.

However he has not given up hope yet as new product launches from Microsoft and Apple are generally accompanied by subsequent quarters of inflated shipments.

“The reintroduction of Windows to the ARM platform could help remedy the aforementioned hollowing of the middle of the market, and we expect a proliferation of Chrome OS-based detachables in time for the holidays.”

Despite the market decline, three of the top five tablet vendors saw their quarterly shipments increase year on year.

First-placed Apple, third-placed Huawei and fourth-placed Amazon all saw growth, while second-placed Samsung saw flat growth and Lenovo saw a decline.

Most top vendors suffering

220px-Dramaten_mask_2008aNumber crunchers from Gartner group claim that four of the top five IT vendors suffered a fall in sales last year.

Out of Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and IBM, only Google grew its revenues.

In its Gartner, Global Top 100: IT Vendors report, the number crunchers attempted to rank the top 100 largest tech companies based on estimates for their revenue across IT and component market segments.

Despite seeing estimated IT revenue fall from $235 billion to $218 billion year on year, Apple topped the rankings, well ahead of Samsung, which saw its haul shrink from $142 billion to $1391 billion.

Google grew its revenues from $74.9 billion to $90.1 billion, while Microsoft shrank from $88.1 billion to $85.7 billion and IBM fell from $79.6 billion to $77.8 billion.

Gartner said its figures will help illustrate the shift in the industry from the ‘Nexus of Forces’ to digital business as the driver of IT purchasing.

For those who came in late, or find it difficult to care, the Nexus of Forces, Gartner’s term for the convergence of social, mobility, cloud and information. It believes it has propped up many of the IT market’s leading players – including Apple and Google – in recent years.

Gartner vice president John-David Lovelock said that the needs of IT buyers are shifting. CEOs were focused on growth and are more focused on realising business outcomes from their IT spend, Big G said.

We are not sure about this, people have been saying that sort of thing since the 1990s when we started reporting on the IT market. In fact, it was the reason so many companies moved to outsourcing.

Digital giants, like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent will leave their mark in 2017, Gartner said.

These seven companies will be involved in 20 percent of all activities an individual engages in by 2020, Gartner predicted.

“Digital giants effectively become gatekeepers for any business that delivers digital content and services to consumers. Any company that wants to engage consumers in, or through, their digital world will have to consider engaging with one or more of these digital giants,” Lovelock said.

Tablets could be the next big channel package

tabletBeancounters at IDC seem to think that the channel could make big money flogging tablets to corporates.

While tablet sales in the consumer market are deader than Steve Jobs, corporates can find a use for the bigger models.

IDC predicted that because of the mobility attractions of the hardware tablets will be a key investment for  firms undergoing digital transformation next year.

Premium devices drove tablet growth in the third quarter, with IDC recording a 13.1 percent increase year-on-year in the commercial sector. Overall there were 8.2 million tablets shipped in Western Europe in Q3, which represented a 6.7 percent decline on the same period last year.

Although volumes are dropping the unit value has held firm, which has offset the impact of the declines, as more customers pay for higher quality products. The share of detachables in Western Europe priced above €600 increased from 26.5 percent in 3Q15 to 52.2 percent a year later.

Daniel Goncalves, research analyst, IDC Western European personal computing, said that detachables are proving to be particularly attractive to firms, particularly those with the performance and security to meet enterprise standards, are continuously gaining traction and this is boosting demand for premium devices.

“Surface Pro and iPad Pro success comes from them being a notebook replacement, as well as the quality of the devices. The devices are increasingly adopted across consumer and commercial segments, and while in the consumer segment both appeal to the ‘prosumer’ user, in commercial the adoption varies depending on the activities of the end user. iPad Pro is more popular for creative types of jobs, whereas Surface is more likely to be adopted by top executives, partly due to Windows’ strong legacy in enterprise.”

Apple, Samsung and Lenovo dominate the market but Amazon has seen its unit growth increase year on year by 166.5 per cent thanks to the very competitive pricing of its Kindle tablet range.

Pigs fly as Apple moves to the Battersea Power Plant

2011-09-26-pink-floyd-pig-at-battersea-power-station-06The fruity tax dodger Apple is going to take up six floors of the iconic Battersea Power Plant  when the restoration work is finished.

Apple will move onto the site in 2021 and relocating 1400 staff from offices around London to create an Apple campus. It is being billed as one of the biggest property deals in London outside the City and Docklands in the last 20 years.

This means that Jobs’ Mob will have 1400 staff working in London and there is room to accommodate 3000 staff.

Of course that is not going to be Apple’s HQ. That will remain in its Irish Tax haven in Cork.

Apple said that the new building is a great opportunity to have our entire team working and collaborating in one location while supporting the renovation of a neighbourhood rich with history.

The Art Deco power station is a 20th century icon. The plant is still the largest brick building in Europe. It stopped generating power in 1983, has been falling to bits ever since. It was bought by a Malaysian group, who have gutted it and are building luxury apartments and high end office space inside it.

Dell gives up on Android tablets

tabletDell has stopped selling Android devices as it moves to Windows 2-in-1 devices.

It has said that it is giving up on its Venue line of Android tablets, and will no longer offer the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, a thumb-size computer that can turn a display into a PC.

Dell has long said that the slate tablet market is over-saturated and declining. They appear to be being replaced by  2-in-1s which provide a more spiritual  blend of PC capabilities with tablet mobility.

Dell won’t be offering OS upgrades to Android-based Venue tablets already being used by customers.

Customers who own Android-based Venue products, Dell will continue to support currently active warranty and service contracts until they expire, but will not be pushing out future OS upgrades.

Dell now mostly has laptops and 2-in-1s with Windows on its books with a smattering of Chromebooks, which run Chrome OS. These can run Android apps through access to the Google Play Store but not Android.

If you don’t want Windows, Dell also sells XPS and Precision laptops with Ubuntu to developers, and thin clients with Linux, Windows Embedded and Wyse’s ThinOS operating systems.

Venue is a brand often placed on the chopping block by Dell.  It killed off Venue smartphones in 2012, but reintroduced the brand through the tablets. You can find Venue tablets with Windows but the product has not been upgraded in a while.

HP is also doing something similar. It now offers just a handful of Android tablets, mainly for businesses. Lenovo is offering fewer Android tablets and has expanded its Windows-based, 2-in-1 lineup.  So much for Steve Job’s “game changing” technology which was going to change the world.

Marlow-based reseller Softcat floats

Flying-Cat-8The Marlow-based software reseller Softcat has listed in a deal that valued the business at £472.3 million.

Softcat valued its shares at 240p, and they climbed as high as 270p in early trading. It said the IPO allowed its founders to sell down their stakes and the group would receive no proceeds from the flotation.

Founder Peter Kelly set up the firm in 1993 and has described himself as a “weird and eccentric entrepreneur.” He sold just over a third of his stake, raising an estimated £88m. He retains a holding of around 33 percent, which is worth around £150 million.

Kelly ran the company until 2006 and was its chairman until three years ago, owning around half the equity before the listing.

Martin Hellawell, chief executive, owned 12 percent of the business, valued at £56 million. He sold a third of his holding.

The float also created a number of paper millionaires among its employees. Staff, excluding founders, own some 24 percent of the company.

Kelly hitchhiked around the world before joining Xerox sales in 1981. His past ventures include founding a recruitment firm, and he launched an Apple dealership in 1988 before going on to found Softcat in 1993.

Started as a mail-order software firm, it has grown to become a major reseller to Microsoft and other large providers, as well as providing data centres for small businesses across the UK.

The group’s sales last year rose 18 pe cent to £596m with profits of £40.6 million. Hellawell said in a statement: “We are delighted with the outcome of the IPO process thus far and now look forward to fully focusing on the running and future development of our business.”

Vin Murria joined the board. She is one of the UK’s longest-standing female IT entrepreneurs, she ran Advanced Computer Software until it was taken over by US private equity group Vista Partners last year in a £725 million deal.

Apple admits poisoning its channel

apple-disney-dreams-snow-white-Favim.com-142405Fruity cargo cult Apple has admitted that it is burning its resellers and might lose a few more after it beefs up its direct sales unit.

In a 10-K Annual Report Job’s Mob mentioned that it losing resellers was number four on its list of risks which could negatively impact the business.

Apple runs a network of distributors and resellers which are having to operate some incredibly “narrow operating margins”.

The company said that its channel partners have raised some concerns about its go-to-market strategy which they think will conflict with their business interests as distributors and resellers of the company’s products.

“Such a perception could discourage resellers from investing resources in the distribution and sale of the company’s products or lead them to limit or cease distribution of those products.”

Apple said it did not want to kill off its channel and will continue to invest in programmes to boost resellers’ sales.

“These programmes could require a substantial investment while providing no assurance of return or incremental revenue. The financial condition of these resellers could weaken, these resellers could stop distributing the company’s products, or uncertainty regarding demand for some or all of the company’s products could cause resellers to reduce their ordering and marketing of the company’s products.”

Fiorina’s attempts to dig up Jobs fails

carlyfiorinaFormer HP CEO turned US presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina has been targeting the Apple fanboy vote by claiming she was friends with late Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Iit appears that if they ever were friends, that did not stop the self-serving megalomaniac from getting one over on her. Fiorina has forgotten the sad story of the HP/Apple deal which went sour.

Apple wanted HP to stop installing Windows Media Store on its PCs and replace it with iTunes Music store. Jobs basically offered Fiorina the chance to sell iPods branded with HP’s name if she did this.
Fiorina nodded and the deal went through. However Apple upgraded the iPod, making HP’s version outdated and HP was still stuck with iTunes.

It got worse for HP. After it purged Fiorina in 2005, HP ended the iPod deal in July that year, but because of Fiorina’s deal HP was banned from selling its own music player until August 2006.

All’s fair in love and business, but it does seem odd that Fiorina would suggest that she was a “good friend” with a bloke who mugged her and HP’s shareholders for his own evil cunning plan.

Jobs had effectively got his software installed on millions of computers for free, stifled his main competitor, and got a company that prided itself on invention to declare that Apple was superior.

Fiorina seems to think that Jobs was her mate because he rang her to say he was sorry she got canned. Of course, that could have just meant that Jobs was upset because he did not think he would get another deal like that past a different HP CEO.

EU denies it is “anti-American”

euThe EU has denied US corporate claims that it is “anti-American” in its recent wave of litigation against top American tech companies.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s accusations of anti-US bias over her decision to go after Google for abusing its internet search dominance and Apple over an Irish tax deal, saying such talk was a fallacy.

The US media fails to understand why all the cases on Vestager’s agenda all happen to be big companies from the Land of the Free – Google, Apple, Amazon and Starbucks. The feeling is that regulation is for non-American companies and the US should be allowed to do what it likes in its colonies.

Vestager told the Foreign Policy Association in New York that the nationality of companies played no role in her assessment.

“Yes, US companies are often involved when we investigate the digital industry. But you will also see many Japanese firms in our car-part cartel cases,” she said.

The European Commission is now studying Google’s response to antitrust charges of favouring its Google Shopping service over rivals. It is also investigating the company’s popular Android operating system for smartphones.

Amazon is in the EU’s crosshairs for a Luxembourg tax deal and Starbucks for a Dutch tax arrangement.

The EU is also wondering if it should ban cloud connections to the the US while its intelligence agencies insist that they have the right to steal it.

Apple does business market deal with Cisco

Cisco Kid The Fruity Cargo Cult Apple is trying to get businesses to buy its shiny toys and has signed a deal with Cisco to make it happen.

Apple already has a deal with IBM, which was supposed to get its sales teams a foot in the door in a market which traditionally looks for value and function over style.  However that arrangement has not produced the sort of sales that Apple had hoped.

Jobs’ Mob has finally realised that after years of having comedy networking technology, it needs to get something a little better to connect its shiny toys, before businesses will take it seriously.

The deal will see Apple and Cisco working together to make the mobile gadgets work better on corporate computer networks running on Cisco gear.

Apple hopes that this will encourage businesses, which traditionally have steered toward BlackBerry and Microsoft devices, to spend a fortune buying Apple when they could get something cheaper.

Cisco said that an employee in the office using an iPhone to video-conference a colleague abroad automatically would get a faster internet connection than someone streaming a game on ESPN.com.

Someone who has most of his contacts on an iPhone will be able to access the same phone book from landlines. And several Cisco apps, such as the collaboration tool Spark, will run smoother on Apple devices.

Cisco Chief Executive Chuck Robbins said in a blog post said that what makes this new partnership unique is that our engineering teams are innovating together to build joint solutions that our sales teams and partners will take jointly to our customers.

It is a turnaround from Cisco. Cisco and Apple had fought over the “iPhone” trademark before agreeing to its joint use.

Apple hopes that more businesses will turn to iPads, just as tablet sales are dropping in favour of bigger smartphones.