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  • Qualcomm pushed for iPhone exclusivity in response to $1B incentive payment demand, CEO sa...

    Hmm...I am not sure why AI is presenting this (the incentive payment) as some kind of a bribe that Apple offered Qualcomm. Going by Florian Mueller's article on, it appears to be the other way around!

    That is, Qualcomm had a habit of negotiating incentive payments (by offering rebates) with device makers in return for strategic favours. So, there's really no wrinkle in the FTC case, as suggested by AI. On the contrary, it aligns with the testimony of Apple supply chain executive Tony Blevins who said the rebate offered by Qualcomm made it very unattractive (read, financially unviable) for Apple to pursue a secondary chip supplier.

    In fact, the issue of such 'incentive payments' is one of four issues related to Qualcomm's conduct that are being investigated in the FTC trial. To quote:


    For the FTC, Jennifer Milici outlined the four key issues surrounding Qualcomm's conduct that the FTC is tackling (let's not forget that some other aspects are at issue in Apple v. Qualcomm in San Diego, where a trial will start on April 15), which are interrelated as she also explained:

    • the "no license-no chips" policy;
    • incentive payments (for a brief explanation, those incentives effectively reduce patent licensing fees in exchange for doing Qualcomm some strategically-relevant favors);
    • the refusal to license rival chipset makers (note that Judge Koh's summary judgment in this context was based on contractual obligations, while the focus at this trial is now on an antitrust duty to deal); and
    • past exclusive arrangements with Apple.

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  • Drake's Scorpion on Apple Music crushes Spotify in streaming

    xbit said:

    Apple Music is just doing a better job at reaching and serving demand. That's it.
    Or, more likely, Apple Music’s subscription base has a higher percentage of North American listeners. North American listeners are more likely to want to listen to North American artists such as Drake.
    You seem to have missed this part of the article:
    Apple stated that Scorpion achieved both U.S. and global streaming records on Apple Music...
    So, it was not just in North America.
  • Apple's India chief reportedly departs amid sluggish sales

    There's no way Apple can ever sell many iPhones in India. Apple doesn't sell $100 smartphones. A used iPhone 4s could be too expensive for most Indian consumers. That's just the way it is.

    Believe it or not, Apple has great brand cachet with the middle class and upper middle class in India, not to mention the rich and the super rich. Here's an anecdotal encounter I had recently at a restaurant. An older person (easily 60+) sitting at the next table and dressed in the traditional white wraparound (called dhoti) and a white shirt was animatedly explaining something about a mobile phone to his colleague; it took me a while to realize that he had an iPhoneX in hand (with a clear case!). I was flabbergasted because it would have cost him nearly 100,000 INR for the phone and the case. He looked like a businessman, so money was obviously not an issue, but you must have seen the enthusiasm and conviction with which he spoke about the iPhoneX in glowing terms!

    The stores of all the premium Apple resellers in my city are always full of people checking out the Apple stuff and buying things. When I got a 2017 MacBook Air recently, I saw someone walk in and, in literally minutes, walk out with the latest model of the Apple Watch.

    I hope Apple gets its marketing strategy right to reach out to more customers. One thing that puzzles me is why Apple doesn't roll out its programme to buy the iPhone in monthly installments - this is how a vast majority of consumer white goods are purchased in India and I bet people would buy Apple products in the millions if such a programme were available directly from Apple.

  • Qualcomm pushed for iPhone exclusivity in response to $1B incentive payment demand, CEO sa...

    gatorguy said:
    acejax805 said:
    It sounds like Mr. Mollenkopf doesn't know his a$$ from a whole in the ground. Qualcomm has been in the business of gaining exclusivity through rebates. It has been documented several times by different Android manufacturers throughout the years. When I heard Huawei was being interviewed as part of the FTC's investigation, I knew Qualcomm would be in hot water. Huawei has done a great job documenting how Qualcomm attempted to gain exclusivity through these rebates (they called them financial bribes). 

    Huawei and Lenovo are both on record stating Qualcomm has in the past threatened retaliation against them if they attempted to challenge Qualcomm's legal terms by either delaying, or cutting off supply of chips.

    Qulcomm's refusal to license their patents is another dangerous game they are playing since most consider their patent holdings to be standard-essential patents. This is a clear violation of FRAND. 

    It takes a company like Apple to stand up to a company like Qualcomm and personally I am glad to see it happen. I'm sure many of the other OEM's who cannot sustain a fight against Qualcomm (or are unwilling to) are glad to see it as well, which can be confirmed by the support Apple is receiving by many of it's competitors (Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Sprint).

    You make the point well; that if the same rebates for exclusivity have been cut with multiple smartphone vendors, it’s more likely that it’s Qualcomm pushing this arrangement than it would be that each smartphone vendor happened to decide on its own to demand a large rebate, out of the blue, thus prompting Qualcomm to think up the idea of requiring exclusivity as a reaction to the rebate demand.  Common sense.  

    FWIW Mr Mueller whose opinion and articles have been mentioned a few times in this thread already believes it was likely Apple who offered to deal exclusively with Qualcomm in return for a lower royalty. He thinks  Apple is being disingenuous by saying they've always wanted to have multiple suppliers and leaving the impression it was Qualcomm saying that wasn't going  to happen. 
    Very strange summary of Mueller's opinions. I didn't see him stating anywhere that he thinks Apple is being disingenuous about having multiple suppliers. If I have missed that, I will be happy to stand corrected.

    You also left out his subsequent and final summary:

    I doubt that this question of who, under what circumstances, took the initiative to offer exclusivity has any weight. If this were a criminal price-fixing case, then the one who came up with the scheme might be sentenced to a couple more years than the other guy, but the latter would still go to jail, too. In price-fixing, they'd both have an anticompetitive benefit because they'd gang up on customers (the same group of customers, in fact). In the Qualcomm-Apple case, the benefit to Apple was a deal that an Apple witness basically described as "less bad" than the original deal, but still not fair in Apple's view, while Qualcomm had the benefit of raising the entrance barrier to its (Qualcomm's) competitors--with a customer the FTC argues (and Intel confirmed) is strategically extremely important for a component supplier to gain market share, build a reputation, and generate volume. By contrast, Apple didn't foreclose any market to its own competitors. And it certainly didn't leverage this deal to undercut anybody.
  • Why you shouldn't worry about radiation from your Wi-Fi router or iPhone

    I think this article does a disservice to AI readers by presenting one man's opinion as the gospel, more or less, while brushing away a lot of recent studies as not belonging to the category of 'science' this particular author will accept as valid. And, this bias reflects right in the title.

    Indeed, the entire article isn't a genuine attempt at exploration or questioning of a very complex topic, but a declaration of a position the author has taken, because of what constitutes 'bad' science, in his personal opinion. That, right there, is a disservice to AI readers.

    The article starts by referring to the usual red herring in all the arguments about cell phone radiation:
    First and foremost, RF radiation is not the same as ionizing radiation generated by decay of radioactive isotopes, and from the sun itself. This isn't Radiation Physics 101 in 1000 words, so in short, RF lacks the energy that ionizing radiation has to break chemical bonds, ionize atoms, and damage DNA.
    However, many recent studies have dwelt on the non-thermal health effects of long term exposure to non-ionizing radiation. Dr. Martin L. Pall of Washington State University has done important research (probably pioneering?) research on the exact biological mechanism through which non-ionizing radiation may be causing lasting damage to human health. To summarize, the non-thermal effects of radiation from electrical devices are real and probably work by causing mitochondrial damage. 

    To summarily dismiss such studies or imply they are non-science or bad science, as the author does in multiple comments doesn't seem to me to reflect the so-called 'scientific method' the author supposedly follows. 

    More recently, two long term studies have shown an increase in specific types of tumour, with the authors concluding that they are most likely caused by cell phone radiation. The first of these is in the U.K and involves a study of humans; the second is in the U.S and involves a study of the effects of cell phone radiation on rats and mice under the National Toxicology Program.

    Needless to say, vested interests deny the validity of both these studies. The NTP study's results were almost whitewashed by the FDA and the American Cancer Society, but a scientific review panel revised their stand when they found that male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed a form of heart tissue tumour that's extremely rare in rats - the kicker that made the panel change their stand is that this rare form of heart tissue tumour has also been found in people using cell phone at high power settings:

    National Toxicology Program senior scientist John Bucher said the heart tissue cancer that developed in male rats is the same type of cancer that has been seen in some people who have used cellphones at the highest power settings for years.

    "The fact that this tumor type was the same really drew our eye to it," Bucher said. "And also they were some of the strongest findings from a numerical standpoint."

    Finally, on the subject of the 2011 IARC/WHO study, to which the author alludes in one of his comments, not many know that the Ramazzini Institute, which is highly respected for the quality of its medical research, is urging the IARC to revise its categorization of cell phone usage from possibly carcinogenic to probably carcinogenic.

    So, my point is that, like many others have pointed out, this is far from a subject on which the final word has been said. For the author to suggest otherwise and to declare the matter as 'settled science' is, to put it mildly, irresponsible and a gross disservice to AI readers.
  • Valve not giving up, rolls out new Steam Link beta for iOS, Apple TV

    elijahg said:
    nunzy said:
    It looks like they learned a valuable lesson. If you mess with Apple, you get hammered.
    The one that's going to get hammered is Apple, if they continue with this anticompetitive behaviour. The new rule that "transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device." is probably a way to skirt this.
    The part I don't get about people calling Apple's actions as anti-competitive is this - Steam clearly tried to use the iOS app as the doorway to sneak in a method for their users to then purchase their games on external store fronts. So, Steam gets to use the iOS ecosystem, where users are known to be more willing to spend and spend heavily, to then bypass that system and deny Apple their cut of the in-app purchases. If this isn't a shady business practice, I am not sure what is.
  • Video: iPhone X vs OnePlus 6 - Benchmarks

    I have no doubt that certain models of OnePlus perform well. Recently, my PC repair technician showed me the latest Vivo (or Oppo, I forget which) and it was pretty sleek. It also had facial unlock that was very fast.

    However, for me, the problem with all of these Chinese devices is trust. And, indeed, OnePlus has a poor track record in security and handling user data. Here's a sample in just the last few months:

    The first two, which were going for a long time, are real shockers. But, you get what you pay for, I guess.
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  • Editorial: Bloomberg spins Apple's Event as a desperate, blind stab for cheap iPads in edu...

    Dracarys said:

    Listen to Rene Ritchie’s recent Vector podcast with Bradley Chambers. Apple has work to do in the education sector. DED can spin all he wants but Chromebooks and Google’s G Suite are winning in the classroom. Probably one reason why Apple is having an education focused event. I actually don’t expect hardware to be announced at this event. My guess is it will be software focused.
    I'd rather pull my kid out of school than allow the likes of Google to data mine them and turn them into products like they have almost all living people on the planet.
    Enough of the hyperbole. You'd rather pull your kid from school than to have them educated? Also Google doesn't data mine education Chromebooks, maybe you should actually ready their privacy terms for the education market. So maybe you should do some research and stop listening to people like DED who will spin anything and everything to favour Apple no matter what.
    Google doesn't data mine education Chromebooks? Seriously???

    Well, the EFF has a somewhat different opinion and you might want to educate yourself on their complaint to the FTC and their detailed report last year:

  • CBC Video claims Apple's repair policies are abusive, but 'proof' falls far short

    rcfa said:
    Apple e.g. refuses to even look at my MacBook Air for repair because it has “a dangerous third party battery” in it. Nothing about that battery is dangerous, the battery that’s dangerous was the Apple supplied original, that with only 32 cycles became so bloated one couldn’t close the lid properly anymore, necessitating the emergency repair with a third party battery (which was all that was available within a useful time period). 
    You are being somewhat disingenuous here. As someone pointed out in the original thread where you first made this statement (in a different article a month or so ago), you chose to use a third-party battery rather than wait for a replacement from Apple. When the subsequent problem developed and you went back to Apple, they refused to entertain you, because of the third party battery.
  • Apple's Dan Riccio responds to bent iPad Pro reports, says device 'meets or exceeds' produ...

    Kuyangkoh said:
    Maybe the case meets that spec when it is milled but gets deformed during the rest of the assembly process?
    What are you even talking about. Return the thing if it appears bent to you.Why is this something you have to tell people.
    Why are you repeatedly saying "just return it"?  I think everyone here knows to return it if it bent.  But you seem hell bent (intented) on trying to down play the issue.  People hold Apple to higher standards because Apple holds themselves to higher standards.  They're responses to this issue, thus far don't reflect a high standard.  It smacks of legalese.  
    It's pretty obvious some of the bending is beyond 400 microns.  That's not explained by "tolerances".  The issue should be addressed properly so that people have confidence in the products they're buying.  "Return 'til you get a good one" isn't the solution.
    RETURNED THE DARN BEND THINGY, now go somewhere ie Microsoft or Google done w cry baby
    Your reaction is extreme too.All companies’ products can have issues. Do Ferraris have no issues just because they are ‘premium’.
    Exactly, but the “issue” is how you deal with it. I wonder if Ferrari would tell a customer not satisfied with fit & finish that it’s not an “issue” for them. 
    What customer has Apple told that to? Who was refused a right to return? Be specific. 
    Okay, here’s what Macrumors posted of the letter from Apple to complaining customer: 
    “Relative to the issue you referenced regarding the new iPad Pro, its unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple's high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We've carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled. 

    Our current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns which is even tighter than previous generations. This 400 micron variance is less than half a millimeter (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper at most) and this level of flatness won't change during normal use over the lifetime of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in any way. 

    Again, thanks for reaching out and I hope the above explanation addresses your concerns.”

    Does that last part sound like an offer to return and replace? That’s as specific as I can get. 
    You’ve argued the wrong point.  The other commentor asked you to be specific about someone Apple has refused an opportunity to return a defective product.  What you’ve shown is only that  Apple took the time to educate and inform a customer, reassuring him that the product he purchased is fit for use and won’t degrade from that status over its normal lifetime.    

    How does that suggest Apple is refusing this customer a return of a defective product, when the product is not defective but is within its manufacturing tolerance and, while noticeably shows a curve, won’t be adversely affected by that curve, a curve that is within a tighter tolerance than any previous generation iPad’s tolerance?
    That's a really well-stated argument, and got me thinking about my own reaction to the news.

    As a thought experiment, I imagined taking a piece of paper and folding it twice. That gives me the equivalent of the four sheets of paper Riccio uses to describe the tolerance, in a form narrow enough to represent only the crest of the curve. Place that piece of paper on the table and set an iPad on top of it. With the paper near the middle of the iPad, try pressing on the screen near the top then near the bottom. Even just that 400 micron variance is enough to allow the iPad to rock back and forth like a seesaw. Certainly enough to be distracting and possibly disruptive to operation.

    To me the issue is that Apple's range of accepted deviation from flat is wider than what would make me happy. I consider that WORSE news than hearing a few freak bent units escaped unnoticed. It tells me that ANY given iPad Pro may not lie flat, and I need to be prepared to cherry pick if that matters to me.

    Whether or not this is actually a big deal or just over-reaction to a relatively minor issue obviously depends on how much curve a "typical" unit exhibits and how many are going out with enough curve to be bothersome. I have no idea how serious or widespread the issue is, but it wouldn't deter me from buying one. I wouldn't want one that doesn't lie flat though, so Apple saying "that's normal" makes me wonder how many I'd have to go through before I got one that's "good enough." Maybe only one, maybe several. Who knows?
    You seem to have missed Esquirecats' post (comment #51) that already shares his experience about this concern. To sum up, the iPad Pro doesn't rock back and forth, as you theorize. He said, 

    "Interesting about the curve, but I can see how this is a non-issue for real world users because the device has plenty of flex in it, which seems deliberate when you use the device. I.E. You can lay it flat on a table and despite the camera bump it won't rock back and forth as you draw on it.

    To me personally (speaking from the perspective of having one of these) I'm glad that it has that amount of flex because if it rocked back and forth like the iphone does it would drive me insane. It was the first thing I noticed when I used it, I literally said to myself "how does this lay flat even though there is a camera bump.""