Roku CEO says Apple TV ‘loses money’, calls it an iPad accessory

roku-3-with-headphones

CNET is reporting that Roku CEO Anthony Wood described Apple TV as an ‘iPad accessory’ at Re/code’s Code/Media conference. Until recently, even Apple characterised the product as a ‘hobby’. The Apple TV box has not changed much since its major revamp in 2010. More controversially, Wood followed up by claiming that the Apple TV actually loses money for Apple – which would immediately seem strange since Rokus have similar hardware and cost less.

“Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad. They lose money, which is unusual for Apple,” he said Thursday, speaking at the Recode conference here. “If you’re losing money, why would you want to sell more?”

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Contestants at Pwn2Own take down Safari, but said OS X security is better than other systems

As usual, the annual Pwn2Own contest featured many hackers targeting the latest operating systems and browsers from the major vendors, including Apple. Threatpost reports that the “Keen Team” focused Safari on Thursday and exploited it with relative ease.

The team took home a $40,000 bounty for their efforts on Safari, as well as a share in a $75,000 prize for co-engineering a zero-day Flash exploit. They say they will donate some of their winnings towards charities representing missing Malaysian Airplane passengers.

The group say that for Safari, they used two different exploit vectors. One vulnerability was a heap overflow in WebKit that enabled arbitrary code execution. The team then used this opening to use another exploit to bypass the application sandbox and run code as if it was user privileged.

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It’s AAPL schizophrenia time: most admired company; institutions bailing; tablet growth falling

Photo: Business Insider

Photo: Business Insider

If you based your assessment of Apple’s future prospects on analyst reports and polls, you’d be upping your medication today while reading three separate sets of numbers.

Fortune reports that Apple tops the ‘most admired companies‘ list for the seventh time in a row, with Amazon and Google the runners-up. The charts are based on polling directors, executives and analysts in the USA’s largest companies.

The same source cites a Morgan Stanley investment note showing that the 30 largest institutional investors, who between them hold at least 30 percent of the shares on the market, have been selling AAPL, with their holdings at a record low …  Read more

Apple explores customizable layers for future Apple Maps app – new patent application

layersappl

We’re pretty selective in the Apple patent applications we cover here, simply because Apple patents all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons, and for every one of them that makes it into an Apple product, there are hundreds of others that never will. But this is one we think might.

The core concept is nothing new: layered maps. The existing Apple Maps app already allows us to choose between standard mapping, satellite view or both, and Google Maps on the web allows us to switch on or off layers like traffic, weather, public transit lines and so on. But what the Apple patent application describes would, if you’ll excuse the pun, take this idea to a whole new level …  Read more

Get your subsidized iPhones while you can – AT&T says the deals can’t last

unlocked

AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson told investors yesterday that with smartphone penetration approaching 90 percent, the existing business model – where carriers sell highly-subsidized smartphones to drive demand – will have to change.

When you’re growing the business initially, you have to do aggressive device subsidies to get people on the network. But as you approach 90 percent penetration, you move into maintenance mode. That means more device upgrades. And the model has to change. You can’t afford to subsidize devices like that.

Many U.S. iPhone buyers don’t realise the true cost of their handsets, as carrier subsidies mean they typically pay no more than $200. The full retail cost of those handsets, however, ranges from $549 for a 16GB iPhone 5c to $849 for a 64GB iPhone 5s. The balance is paid by the carrier, then clawed back through the contract payments …  Read more

iPhone was a “bet the company” product, says Phil Schiller, in opening remarks

iphone_2007

Phil Schiller’s real testimony in the Apple v. Samsung damages trial will come later today, but he put the importance of the iPhone into perspective in his opening remarks yesterday by stating that Apple “bet the company” on it (via CNET).

There were huge risks [with the first iPhone]. We had a saying inside the company that it was a ‘bet-the-company’ product […] We were starting to do well again in iPod […] Then here we’re going to invest all these resources, financial as well as people, in creating this product …  Read more

It’s like déjà vu all over again: Apple vs. Samsung trial kicks off

apple-v-samsung

After a judge in March invalidated almost half of the $1B verdict Apple won in its patent infringement case against Samsung in August of 2012, another trial would have to take place to determine how much Samsung would actually owe. It still owes Apple the other approximately $600 million in damages pending an appeal, but today the two companies are in court for a retrial to determine how much of the other roughly $400 million in damages Samsung will be responsible for. CNET reports that Apple’s attorney today told the court it wants $380 million in damages from Samsung, slightly less than the original $410 million in vacated damages:

“We will hear a lot from Samsung, saying no one would have purchased Apple products,” McElhinny said. “But in its heart, Samsung knew it was a two-horse race.”

He pointed to an internal Samsung document as “conclusive evidence Apple lost sales because of Samsung.”

“In a fair fight, that money should have gone to Apple,” McElhinny said.

The $380 million number comes from Apple’s calculations of around $114 million in lost profits, $231 in Samsung’s profits, and $35 million in royalties. Apple says Samsung made around $3.5 billion revenue selling 10.7 million infringing devices. Read more

Verizon no longer the gold standard for mobile data?

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …  Read more

Retina iPad Mini supplies expected to remain tight through the holidays

rmini

If you’re planning to give anyone a Retina iPad Mini as a holiday gift, it might be advisable to buy it sooner rather than later. Retina iPad Mini supplies are expected to remain constrained for the rest of the year, with two analysts both estimating production at around two million units. This is a very small number in what is likely to be a quarter with high demand.

kgi

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo and IHS iSuppli’s Rhoda Alexander had both previously said they expected supply to be very tight, but this is the first time we’ve had sight of KGI’s estimates of the numbers.

We maintain our iPad mini R shipments forecast of around 2.2mn units for 4Q13. Considering production yield improvement at the supply chain, we forecast shipments will grow 102% QoQ in 1Q14 to 4.5mn units.

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Adobe working on an iPad app for presentations called ‘Ginger’

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Adobe is currently testing a new presentation app for the iPad similar in purpose to PowerPoint and Keynote, via CNET. The project is currently called Ginger. Although details are sparse, it seems to be focused on the creation of sales pitches and what Adobe calls “explainer videos”. Adobe has said that the app is in the beta stage of development, but is yet to confirm whether the app will ever be publicly released.

On Ginger’s minisite, there are a few demos of what the app could create. One example presentation is embedded below …

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iPhone expected to become market leader in Japan, thanks to DoCoMo deal

docomo

Photo: mashable.com

Apple is expected to become the market leader in Japan, with the iPhone 5s and 5c forecast to make up 40 percent of all new contracts on Japan’s DoCoMo carrier, reports Nikkei (via CNET).

The 40 percent figure is believed to be the quota that Apple and DoCoMo agreed on, the report said […] This development marks a tectonic shift in DoCoMo’s strategy and the Japanese phone market in general. Domestic phone suppliers like Sharp and Fujitsu are expected to suffer as a result …  Read more

‘jOBS’ opens to mixed reviews, Kutcher talks of fear and hospitalization

Ashton Kutcher called the starring role scary and seemed to have an appropriate amount of reverence for the subject matter. However, reviewers seemed to have mixed feelings at best about the movie.

TNW’s Matthew Panzarino liked the movie and called it entertaining but inaccurate:

But, overall, jOBS works. The lead actors are likable and appear to have put serious effort into getting the spirit of the characters right. The film looks (mostly) good aside from some of what could likely be ascribed to budgetary constraints. And though the director is a tad indulgent here and there, it doesn’t take away from the overall feeling of ‘decent’ that I came away with.

This isn’t going to be the canonical Steve Jobs biography movie. Honestly, Jobs was such a complex individual that I can’t see one ever being made. But, as an impressionist portrait of a specific period in his life, it’s successful. Don’t go into it looking for complete verisimilitude or whip-crack dialog and you should like it just fine.

CNET’s Casey Newton, who was allowed to review this movie, didn’t like it:

My primary disappointment was in how shallow the film felt, given the extensive historical record. In the early days Jobs’ co-workers had to wrestle with a man who smelled bad, who cried often, who yelled constantly, who missed deadlines, who overspent his budget by millions. He did it in service of products we love and use daily, and yet his obsessions took a toll on those around him. It also inspired others to do the best work of their lives, pushing themselves further than they ever imagined they can go. There is great drama to be found in all that, but it is not to be found in the saccharine “jOBS.”

USA Today relayed some weirdness before the shooting:

Kutcher says that he started a fruit-only diet to prepare to play the Apple co-founder for the biopic Jobs, which premiered Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival.

The diet, which the film claims Jobs adhered to, ended up sending Kutcher to the hospital with pancreas problems.

“First of all, the fruitarian diet can lead to like severe issues,” Kutcher said after the film’s screening. “I went to the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was like doubled over in pain.

“My pancreas levels were completely out of whack,” Kutcher added. “It was really terrifying … considering everything.[Jobs died as the result of Pancreatic Cancer]”

More review snippets follow:

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