Apple says Siri will no longer retain audio by default, one-upping Amazon and Google on privacy

Apple says Siri will no longer retain audio by default, one-upping Amazon and Google on privacy

5:08am, 3rd September, 2019
Photo by from Siri won’t be so sneaky about snooping anymore. That’s the gist of from Apple this morning. It’s a move that could pressure its fellow tech giants Amazon and Google to follow suit. Apple says it will no longer retain audio recordings of users interacting with its Siri voice assistant unless they opt in. And when they do, only Apple’s own employees, not contractors, will review the audio samples as part of the company’s efforts to monitor and improve the quality of Siri’s responses. The announcement follows assigning teams of people, in some cases contractors and not direct employees, to review audio clips of their users interacting with their voice assistants, unbeknownst to those users. The resulting outcry over the privacy invasions led each company to reconsider their policies. Both Apple and Google have put their practices of human review on hold pending reviews. by giving users the ability to opt out of voice recording and “manual review” of their interactions with its Alexa voice assistant, while still subtly discouraging users from taking that step by warning them that “voice recognition and new features may not work well” for them if they take that step. Apple, with this morning’s announcement, goes further by saying it will no longer retain audio recordings by default, instead requiring users to opt in if they want to participate. Here is Apple’s summary of the changes it’s planning to make. As a result of our review, we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize. As we previously announced, we halted the Siri grading program. We plan to resume later this fall when software updates are released to our users — but only after making the following changes: First, by default, we will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions. We will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve. Second, users will be able to opt in to help Siri improve by learning from the audio samples of their requests. We hope that many people will choose to help Siri get better, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy controls in place. Those who choose to participate will be able to opt out at any time. Third, when customers opt in, only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of the Siri interactions. Our team will work to delete any recording which is determined to be an inadvertent trigger of Siri. Apple is committed to putting the customer at the center of everything we do, which includes protecting their privacy. We created Siri to help them get things done, faster and easier, without compromising their right to privacy. We are grateful to our users for their passion for Siri, and for pushing us to constantly improve. Apple suspended the program after that contractors reviewing Siri recordings for quality control regularly heard “confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex.”
Apple stock rises after tech giant snaps declining revenue streak, posts $53.8B in its Q3

Apple stock rises after tech giant snaps declining revenue streak, posts $53.8B in its Q3

3:39am, 31st July, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the company’s keynote event in 2019. (Apple Photo) Apple snapped a streak of sliding revenue in its third quarter driven by continued growth in services. However, revenue from Apple’s flagship hardware division declined year-over-year as the tech giant prepares for its next iPhone release. Apple bested analyst expectations for both revenue and profits, and shares in the company rose more than 3 percent in after-hours trading. Revenue: Apple posted $53.8 billion in revenue, up 1 percent and ahead of analyst expectations of $53.39 billion. Revenue from the services division grew 13 percent to $11.45 billion. The product division brought in $42.3 billion in revenue in the quarter, down 1.8 percent from a year ago. Profits: Apple beat analyst expectations of $2.10 per share in profits, reporting net income of $10 billion, or $2.18 per share. Looking ahead: Apple posted better than expected guidance for its crucial fourth quarter, which typically includes the latest iPhone release. Apple expects to post revenue of $61 billion to $64 billion in its fourth quarter, compared to analyst expectations of $61.02 billion. While Apple posted disappointing iPhone sales, its revenue guidance for the next quarter (when the new iPhones launch) was higher than expected. Shares up 3.3% in after-hours trading. — Roger Cheng (@RogerWCheng) “This was our biggest June quarter ever — driven by all-time record revenue from Services, accelerating growth from Wearables, strong performance from iPad and Mac and significant improvement in iPhone trends,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “These results are promising across all our geographic segments, and we’re confident about what’s ahead. The balance of calendar 2019 will be an exciting period, with major launches on all of our platforms, new services and several new products.” Despite the record services revenue Cook highlighted, growth in the division is beginning to slow. looks like Apple had the slowest services growth in almost four years in Q3 — Jordan Novet (@jordannovet) Apple is dipping into its vast cash reserves unit for $1 billion earlier this week. The deal gives Apple the ability to develop its own modems for faster, 5G iPhones. Apple’s revenue declined year-over-year the past two quarters. Cook early this year that China’s weakening economy and trade tensions with the U.S. were weighing on the company’s revenues. The company has also seen fewer iPhone upgrades than expected. Apple has unveiled a number of new products and services over the last couple months as it looks to build on rising services revenue and refresh existing products to juice the hardware side. In late March, a streaming service called Apple TV+, magazine subscription offering Apple News+, game streaming service Apple Arcade and an Apple-branded credit card that works with Apple Pay and will be At its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, a new operating system specifically for the iPad, the latest version of iOS and MacOS — which included the demise of iTunes — and a refreshed Mac Pro supercomputer and the powerful Apple Pro display.
Which tech giant do you trust? How Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are doing privacy

Which tech giant do you trust? How Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are doing privacy

11:07am, 11th May, 2019
There’s a common theme running through the spring season of developer conferences and tech events: trust and privacy. With the tech industry faceing a backlash from consumers and regulators, tech giants including Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are looking to assure everyone that they’re listening. But each company is approaching the issue in a very different way, and with a very different track record on the topic. On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we listen to the CEOs of these companies talk about privacy, and analyze the different approaches. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in : “But we also share a deep responsibility together. It starts with us as platform providers, but we have a collective responsibility. A few years ago when we started talking about it, it felt a bit prosaic to talk about responsibility in tech conferences where it’s all about the glitz of technology, but it’s no longer the case to us really thinking about the trust in everything that we build in the technology we build is so core.” Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Flickr Photo / Maurizio Pesce) Google CEO Sundar Pichai talking about Google Maps : “In addition to finding easy access to your privacy controls, you’ll find a new feature, incognito mode. Incognito mode has been a popular feature in Chrome since it launched, and we are bringing this to maps. While in incognito in Maps, your activity, like the places you search and navigate to, won’t be linked to your account. We want to make it easy to enter in and out of incognito. And maps will soon join chrome and YouTube with support for incognito and we’ll be bringing it to search as well this year.” Apple CEO Tim Cook promotes privacy at the company’s recent product event. Apple CEO Tim Cook discussing Apple News : “We felt we could make a difference in the way that news is experienced and understood. A place where the news would come from trusted sources and be curated by experts.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the F8 developer conference. (Facebook Photo) Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg : “Privacy gives us the freedom to be ourselves. It’s easier to feel like you belong when you’re part of smaller communities and amongst your closest friends. So it’s no surprise that the fastest ways that we’re all communicating online are private messaging in small groups and in stories. As the world gets bigger and more connected, we need that sense of, of intimacy more than ever. So that’s why I believe that the future is private.” Zuckerberg’s comments were a radical departure from the company’s recent strategy, but in some ways . But the Facebook CEO is having a hard time convincing the industry and the public that he’s genuine in his sudden concern for the issue. PREVIOUSLY: Microsoft is coming to these issues with the most experience and the least to lose. The company fought its own battles with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy back in the day, and it doesn’t rely on advertising revenue as the main driver of its business, having shifted from traditional software licensing revenue to subscription-based software and services. Apple is in a similar position, making most of its money from devices and paid subscription services, which makes it easier for the company to tout privacy as a competitive advantage. Google’s business is largely based on advertising revenue, and because of that it’s walking a fine line as it introduces new privacy controls. But Pichai went public with a thinly veiled criticism of Apple on this topic in , writing, “Our mission compels us to take the same approach to privacy. For us, that means privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services. Privacy must be equally available to everyone in the world.” Listen to the full podcast for more details and our analysis. You can play the show above, or subscribe to GeekWire in your favorite podcast app. Other stories covered on this episode:
Apple stock up 5% after beating estimates with $58B in Q2 revenue, services business up 14%

Apple stock up 5% after beating estimates with $58B in Q2 revenue, services business up 14%

4:25pm, 30th April, 2019
Apple tapped a number of stars, including Oprah and Steven Spielberg, when announcing the Apple TV+ subscription service last month. The company’s services revenue has been a bright spot amid slowing iPhone sales. (Apple Photo) Apple delivered higher-than-expected earnings and revenues for the second quarter, sending the company’s stock up more than 5 percent in after-hours trading. As expected, the company’s services segment posted strong growth but failed to offset slowing sales of the iPhone. Apple also gave strong revenue guidance for the third quarter. Here’s how Apple’s financial numbers compared to Wall Street analysts’ expectations. Earnings per share (EPS): $2.46 vs. $2.36 expected. Revenue: $58 billion vs. $57.37 billion expected. Projected third-quarter revenue: Between $52.5 billion and $54.5 billion vs. $51.9 billion expected. The company said it would buy back an additional $75 billion worth of stock and increase its dividend 5 percent to $0.77 per share. Sales of the iPhone, by far the largest segment, came in slightly better than expected at $31 billion for the quarter, a decline of 17 percent from the same period last year. Total product sales — which includes the iPhone, iPad, Mac, wearables, home and accessories segments — came in at $46.6 billion. The company’s services revenue grew 14 percent to $11.5 billion, versus $9.9 billion in the second quarter of 2018. Apple has shifted more effort into its growing services business. The company last month announced the launch of subscription television service Apple TV+, digital magazine service News+ and gaming subscription Arcade. Apple also launched a credit card with Goldman Sachs earlier this year. The tech giant is leaning on privacy as a competitive advantage against Google, Facebook and other companies that rely on advertising revenue. Apple CEO Tim Cook early this year that China’s weakening economy and trade tensions with the U.S. were weighing on the company’s revenues. The company has also seen fewer iPhone upgrades than expected. Apple’s stock rose more than 40 percent in the period since Cook issued the lowered guidance. Earlier this month, Apple and Qualcomm and reached an agreement for future chip sales.
Apple reportedly spending $30 million a month on Amazon Web Services

Apple reportedly spending $30 million a month on Amazon Web Services

11:55am, 22nd April, 2019
Apple’s newest campus in Cupertino, Calif., which is known as the Spaceship. (YouTube Image) Apple’s use of Amazon Web Services has increased over the past few years and is now projected to hit $360 million this year, according to a report. that Apple was on track to spend $30 million a month on cloud services from AWS during the first quarter of 2019, making it one of the bigger customers of the cloud giant’s services. And that spend will continue into the future: according to the report Apple has signed a multiyear deal with AWS that commits it to spending $1.5 billion over a five-year period, which is a drop in the bucket for Apple but a sizable win for AWS. Apple also operates its own network of data centers to power its own cloud services, which are a growing point of emphasis for the company as smartphone growth slows. It’s not clear how large a percentage of Apple’s workloads run on AWS, but as a point of comparison, Pinterest — which runs everything on AWS — . It’s earnings week for the cloud service providers, with Microsoft expected to report on Wednesday and Amazon scheduled to report on Thursday, which will give us a better sense of how much Apple is contributing to AWS revenue. , and it’s likely still growing at the 45 percent clip it enjoyed during the past year.
Apple reportedly spending $30 million a month on Amazon Web Services

Apple reportedly spending $30 million a month on Amazon Web Services

11:55am, 22nd April, 2019
Apple’s newest campus in Cupertino, Calif., which is known as the Spaceship. (YouTube Image) Apple’s use of Amazon Web Services has increased over the past few years and is now projected to hit $360 million this year, according to a report. that Apple was on track to spend $30 million a month on cloud services from AWS during the first quarter of 2019, making it one of the bigger customers of the cloud giant’s services. And that spend will continue into the future: according to the report Apple has signed a multiyear deal with AWS that commits it to spending $1.5 billion over a five-year period, which is a drop in the bucket for Apple but a sizable win for AWS. Apple also operates its own network of data centers to power its own cloud services, which are a growing point of emphasis for the company as smartphone growth slows. It’s not clear how large a percentage of Apple’s workloads run on AWS, but as a point of comparison, Pinterest — which runs everything on AWS — . It’s earnings week for the cloud service providers, with Microsoft expected to report on Wednesday and Amazon scheduled to report on Thursday, which will give us a better sense of how much Apple is contributing to AWS revenue. , and it’s likely still growing at the 45 percent clip it enjoyed during the past year.
The best Apple CEO ever? New book explains why Tim Cook deserves more credit for Apple’s success

The best Apple CEO ever? New book explains why Tim Cook deserves more credit for Apple’s success

2:31pm, 20th April, 2019
Silicon Valley is filled with plenty of characters and superstar CEOs. But Apple CEO Tim Cook is easily one of the steadiest performers and likely the most under-the-radar of the bunch, as he leads one of the most powerful, profitable companies on earth. In 2011, Cook inherited one of the toughest jobs ever: taking on the impossible task of following Steve Jobs. Cook has not only made the impossible possible, but has led Apple into one of its most successful eras ever, becoming the first American company to hit a . Under his tenure, Apple has continued to release successful products, from new iPhones to the AirPods. In his new biography, , author Leander Kahney makes the case that Cook deserves more credit for Apple’s success, as he’s expertly and consistently guided it to new heights. While Jobs was a celebrity, Cook shuns the spotlight — but still gets it done. Cook has also taken on several new agendas at Apple when it comes to social causes such as the environment and diversity, something Jobs didn’t show much of an interest for. GeekWire interviewed Kahney about his latest Apple book. He’s already the author of Inside Steve’s Brain and Jony Ive, and is the editor at . As someone who’s covered Apple for more than a dozen years, he’s carefully dissected the Cook era to present a case that the company’s strongest years are post-Jobs — and the best years may still be to come. GeekWire: You’ve covered Apple for a long time. What did you think would happen when Tim Cook took over? Leander Kahney: I actually had a lot of confidence in him. I knew that he was one of the big architects of Apple’s comeback. I was one of the lone voices, I think. Most pundits thought that that was the beginning of the end for Apple for many reasons: Where are they gonna be without Steve Jobs? Where are the new products going to come from? They thought the company would survive at best, but most likely decline. Cook didn’t get any credit for saving Apple. He was recruited by Jobs in 1998, and what he did had a massive effect on a very important part of Apple: How it operated and how it made its products, which are so essential to how efficient the company is. Before, it had its own factories, which was just a disaster. They couldn’t meet demand or made too many products that they couldn’t move. He really fixed that up and made Apple into the gold standard. GeekWire: He is very much seen as ‘Operations Guy.’ Kahney: That’s what people say. This is why I think Cook hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves. Everyone says, “he’s just an operations guy,” like he’s just a bureaucrat who makes the trains run on time. When I looked back, Jobs made him head of sales in 2001, then Cook took over the Macintosh division, and then he was in charge of services, then COO. It seems like Jobs made him jump around a little bit and take on these different areas, and it looks like there’s a CEO-in-training going on. GeekWire: Do you think Cook is a better CEO than Jobs? ‘Tim Cook’ author Leander Kahney. (Zana Woods Photo) Kahney: Yes, he’s a better CEO than Jobs. Jobs was a terrible CEO. He succeeded in spite of himself. He succeeded because he hired people like Cook to help run the company. That was definitely true at Pixar. At NeXT, he was all over the place. Apple’s first round, he was never put in charge as CEO, then he took over the Macintosh project, and he quit before he got fired a year after that. Of course, Jobs did an amazing job when he came back to Apple. It’s one of the biggest turnarounds in corporate history. The company was on the ropes, and he fixed it up into the world’s biggest company. Early on, Jobs was more mature and wise enough to hire someone like Cook to help build the business. Jobs got all the credit for that era, but Cook had a lot to do with it, building it up as a business. Jony Ive had everything to do with the products. Like Camelot, it was the Knights of the Round Table. Jobs as King Arthur, but he was mature enough to hire a great team. GeekWire: Last August, Apple became the first company to pass a trillion-dollar valuation. Let’s talk about some advantages it has over competitors with its , like Apple TV+ and AppleNews+, especially when comes to issues of privacy and data. Kahney: The Apple brand is about ease of use. It just works. And I think with Tim Cook, the Apple brand is one you can trust. We’re not going to spy on you. We’re not going to sell your data. There’s no back doors for the FBI or anybody else in an era when we’re all being spied on. And a cell phone is a mobile spying device, but you can trust your iPhone. It’s not going to betray you, and it’s not going to spy on you. Services is the new software. Apple has always done this, with both hardware and software, but as more software migrates to the cloud and becomes blended with media, payments and communication, it’s a natural step to invest more in services. They’re late to the game, really. They played with MobileMe back in the Steve Jobs era, but it’s taken a good 10 years to catch up, and under the Cook era, they’re really getting serious about it. . They don’t allow advertisers to spy on you. They don’t give you fake news or propaganda, it’s curated by humans. With TV+, it’s family-friendly, you turn it on, nothing is going to embarrass you. It’s the trust thing that comes into the Apple brand. It’s kind of a no-brainer. They built this massive platform and look at the giant growth of companies it’s enabled: Uber, Netflix, take your pick, are being built off this mobile platform that Apple invented. It’s foolish not to compete with these folks. Apple has a billion active users, and that’s a huge captive audience. GeekWire: Cook is a private guy. What was the hardest part of getting information about Apple and him? Kahney: It’s always hard to write about Apple because they are so secretive. Even years later, after they left, people don’t want to talk. I did loads of interviews and just to see people’s pure memories unspooling, and they haven’t talked about it with their wives or husbands — they don’t talk about it with anybody. It’s a really strange experience watching them relive these things they’ve never talked about. With Cook, it’s even more difficult. He’s had absolutely no public life at all. Steve Jobs has been covered for decades. Even Jony Ive has much bigger profile than Cook. I think Cook has done like two or three on-the-record interviews during his whole career at Apple. I didn’t look at his private life at all. This is a business biography, and he keeps his private life private, and I respect that. One rumor is that he’s dating some Silicon Valley VC, but I looked at that VC’s Instagram feed and there’s tons of pictures with this guy with his partner, and it’s obvious that is an implanted rumor. Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Apple Photo) GeekWire: His coming-out letter in Bloomberg was impactful for LGBTQ rights in the workplace. Can you speak more as to what Cook/Apple are doing to lead in diversity in the workplace? Kahney: It was a very brave thing to do for someone in his position. I think it was beautifully phrased, like it was one of God’s greatest gifts to him, which took the wind out of sails of religious grounds. He says, “Look, I’m in your camp.” Apple’s stock didn’t tank, people weren’t protesting outside the stores, the culture moves on. Then the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage, and now there are like two or three other openly gay CEOs in the Fortune 500. I think 10 years ago it would have been a big deal, like business suicide, to do something like that. Since then he’s been pretty vocal about LGBTQ issues. He’s a very big advocate of strong anti-discrimination laws; like 30 states still don’t have anti-discrimination laws on the books. He’s been asked in Alabama, where he’s from and when he went down there for lifetime achievement award, “When are you going to bring some of this Apple money to Alabama?” And he said he wouldn’t do it unless the state had stronger anti-discrimination laws on the books. GeekWire: He’s also been more active about addressing Apple’s impact on the environment and improving supplier-chain conditions, including worker conditions in China, after coming under fire for that. Kahney: He’s been vocal about several progressive issues. Apple’s stance on the environment has done a complete 180 since Jobs was involved, who didn’t do anything, and now in Silicon Valley, Apple is the first to be 100 percent renewable. And the worker supply chain is now a little less awful. GeekWire: Apple was called out for human rights issues with manufacturing in China. As a very hands-on operations guy, do you think there was any way Cook didn’t know about this? Why did it take so long for Apple to step in? Kahney: Around that time, in 2009 and 2010, the iPhone was growing like crazy, they were doubling the number of units they sold every year. Apple went to Foxconn because of cheap labor, because all these units are assembled by hand. The secret of Foxconn was its flexibility. They have huge, city-like campuses making so many products, so if someone like Apple wants to double capacity overnight, they can do that. That’s why you had these suicides. Foxconn was hiring like crazy, bringing in all these kids from rural areas, and they’re all away from home, there’s a weird thing here. Many wanted to work as many hours as possible, and work yourself to death for a couple years, send some money home, and then leave to do their own thing. Asking whether he’d do the same thing now? It’s hard to know, since he [Cook] was in charge back then. He does bear responsibility for that. He was COO, but he is more culpable, that’s his background, his baby. It was an awful time, and it’s terrible what happened. Jobs didn’t engage with it at all, saying, “Don’t worry about it. We’re all over it. Those aren’t sweatshops. They have health centers and swimming pools.” He wasn’t concerned. He was concerned about bad PR, not worker’s rights. Cook, who came from working in factories, does care. If you look at latest about a month ago, I read through it, and, I think they found once incidence of child labor, and it’s funny, because they made the factory send him home. They used to have hundreds and hundreds of cases of child labor in the factories. You gotta take Apple’s word for it. They’ve gotten rid of child labor and bonded labor, where someone pays bribe to get a job or pay off a debt. Apple’s been forcing companies to do this. The supply chain looks a lot more like conditions in the West than it used to. They still have a ways to go, and there is a bargaining problem China-wide, as it’s a totalitarian, communist state. GeekWire: Let’s talk about Apple and the environment. Are they on track to being carbon neutral and using 100 percent renewable energy, even with all their suppliers? Kahney: Apple’s supply chain is 75 percent of its carbon footprint. In a last week, they said that twice as many supply chain partners signed on than anticipated and claimed to be ahead of the game. I talked to , Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. Jackson was administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, appointed by President Barack Obama. She said they’ve committed to making supply chain 100 percent clean energy, and it took four years to get a third of them, and it will likely take another eight years to get the remaining two-thirds. Even though Trump is talking up coal, “beautiful coal,” and how it’s coming back, it’s not. Solar is cheaper than coal now, and it’s the same thing with China, which is doing a lot with renewables simply because it’s cheaper, which is good news. So Apple is not only following this trend, they’re leading it. GeekWire: Apple’s launched some great products under Cook, like the AirPods and new iPhones. There’s also been some missteps. What’s the next great thing? Kahney: Healthcare is a big area of research, and the Apple Watch is the first medically certified wearable. As that develops, it could be a big deal. Who wouldn’t want to wear a device that could save their life? The watch is already a pretty good wellness partner, giving you motivation to get up and exercise. In health research, there’s a big debate about digital health records. Would you trust Google with your health records? Hell no, I would not. Facebook, no. But I would trust Apple. by Leander Kahney is out now.
Should Apple join Amazon’s healthcare venture? Analysts make the case for collaboration between tech giants

Should Apple join Amazon’s healthcare venture? Analysts make the case for collaboration between tech giants

11:43am, 19th April, 2019
The Apple Watch added a feature late last year that lets users take an electrocardiogram to detect irregular heart rhythms. (Apple Photo) As big tech companies vie for a slice of the $3.5 trillion spent by Americans on healthcare each year, analysts at Morgan Stanley have a bold proposal: Work together. Apple’s Health app is a way for patients to view and store their health information. (Apple Photo) In a recent report, the analysts laid out the reason why Apple might want to join , the healthcare joint venture from Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway. “We believe Apple joining Haven would fill two important gaps: 1) the ability to continuously monitor biometric data and 2) provide a platform to aggregate health information and in turn deliver new health services. Both are important as we transition to consumer-centric healthcare,” the analysts wrote. Apple has added patient-facing features to its products, including heart rhythm monitoring on the Apple Watch and health information storage on the Health app. The company has also partnered with Stanford Medicine on a as well as other studies with medical institutions at Johns Hopkins, NYU Langone and Duke University. Morgan Stanley estimated that healthcare could represent 35 percent of the company’s revenue by 2027. At the high end, the analysts projected Apple could clear as much as $313 billion in sales from the sector. Haven CEO Atul Gawande has previously said that wearables and smartphones will be a cornerstone of healthcare in the future. “The more capacity we develop to monitor the body and the brain for signs of future breakdown and to correct course along the way — to deliver ‘precision medicine,’ as the lingo goes — the greater the difference health care can make in people’s lives, as well as in reducing future costs,” Gawande in 2017. But none of the three companies behind Haven produce medical technology for consumers, the analysts said. “Apple can fill that gap.” And it’s not all about the gadgets: “iCloud could become the go-to cloud service for storing individual’s health data,” Morgan Stanley said. Haven was formed more than a year ago as to give their employees better healthcare at a lower cost. Haven has kept quiet about specific plans but said that it will be doing partnerships with other companies in 2019. The health technology sector is expected to grow 15.9 percent annually to reach $280 billion by 2021, . So far, partnerships have been a key part of the strategy among tech companies to break into the market. But those partnerships have generally been with incumbent health companies or insurers. Apple’s historical reputation for walling off its products and software from the competition . Last year, the company partnered with Amazon to bring and . It has also — a direct competitor — as well as Sony and Vizio to bring iTunes to smart TVs. The analysts also noted that the Apple stock owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway “could further incentivize the companies to join forces on Health.” They also floated the idea that Apple could form its own joint venture with other tech and healthcare companies.
Should Apple join Amazon’s healthcare venture?

Should Apple join Amazon’s healthcare venture?

10:41am, 19th April, 2019
The Apple Watch added a feature late last year that lets users take an electrocardiogram to detect irregular heart rhythms. (Apple Photo) As big tech companies vie for a slice of the $3.5 trillion spent by Americans on healthcare each year, analysts at Morgan Stanley have a bold proposal: Work together. Apple’s Health app is a way for patients to view and store their health information. (Apple Photo) In a recent report, the analysts laid out the reason why Apple might want to join , the healthcare joint venture from Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway. “We believe Apple joining Haven would fill two important gaps: 1) the ability to continuously monitor biometric data and 2) provide a platform to aggregate health information and in turn deliver new health services. Both are important as we transition to consumer-centric healthcare,” the analysts wrote. Apple has added patient-facing features to its products, including heart rhythm monitoring on the Apple Watch and health information storage on the Health app. The company has also partnered with Stanford Medicine on a as well as other studies with medical institutions at Johns Hopkins, NYU Langone and Duke University. Morgan Stanley estimated that healthcare could represent 35 percent of the company’s revenue by 2027. At the high end, the analysts projected Apple could clear as much as $313 billion in sales from the sector. Haven CEO Atul Gawande has previously said that wearables and smartphones will be a cornerstone of healthcare in the future. “The more capacity we develop to monitor the body and the brain for signs of future breakdown and to correct course along the way — to deliver ‘precision medicine,’ as the lingo goes — the greater the difference health care can make in people’s lives, as well as in reducing future costs,” Gawande in 2017. But none of the three companies behind Haven produce medical technology for consumers, the analysts said. “Apple can fill that gap.” And it’s not all about the gadgets: “iCloud could become the go-to cloud service for storing individual’s health data,” Morgan Stanley said. Haven was formed more than a year ago as to give their employees better healthcare at a lower cost. Haven has kept quiet about specific plans but said that it will be doing partnerships with other companies in 2019. The health technology sector is expected to grow 15.9 percent annually to reach $280 billion by 2021, . So far, partnerships have been a key part of the strategy among tech companies to break into the market. But those partnerships have generally been with incumbent health companies or insurers. Apple’s historical reputation for walling off its products and software from the competition . Last year, the company partnered with Amazon to bring and . It has also — a direct competitor — as well as Sony and Vizio to bring iTunes to smart TVs. The analysts also noted that the Apple stock owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway “could further incentivize the companies to join forces on Health.” They also floated the idea that Apple could form its own joint venture with other tech and healthcare companies.
Apple said to be spending more than $500M on Arcade gaming subscription effort

Apple said to be spending more than $500M on Arcade gaming subscription effort

1:46pm, 15th April, 2019
new gaming subscription service Apple Arcade may have been a bit of a footnote at its Services event earlier this month compared to the stage time given to more prime time-ready efforts like Apple TV+ and Apple News+, but the company is throwing some major funding behind its effort to get people paying a monthly fee for exclusive titles. The company has already set aside a budget of more than $500 million for its Arcade service, according to a report in the . The service, arriving in the fall, will let users play exclusive gaming titles across their Apple devices ad-free and offline. The titles will be free of micro-transactions, unlike many of the popular gaming titles on the App Store. While the company has already reportedly spent more than $1 billion on its TV+ content service, the gaming subscription world marks another uncharted territory for Apple as it will put the tech giant in the position of curating with its cash by directly funding titles for exclusive launches on Apple Arcade. At its event, the company detailed that it will have more than 100 new and exclusive gaming titles launching as part of its service. The report states that in order to receive funding from Apple, developers will have to eschew releases on the Google Play Store and refrain from taking part in other gaming subscription services. After a “few months” of exclusivity, developers will be able to release their games on non-mobile platforms such as PCs and gaming consoles. The company is focusing its efforts on funding indie titles as opposed to bankrolling AAA studios to create an exclusive epic. As with Apple TV+, we’re still waiting on exact details regarding price and availability.