$1B wiped off Samsung’s value following Presidential veto; Samsung continues appeals

Photo: tractoroutdoor.com

Photo: tractoroutdoor.com

The WSJ reports that more than a billion dollars were wiped off Samsung’s market value today following President Obama’s veto of the decision to ban the import of iPhone 4 and 3G iPad 2 devices into the USA. The fall represented 0.9 percent of the company’s market cap.

While a Presidential veto over-rules the original ITC ruling, the Financial Times reports that Samsung is appealing the ITC decision on the grounds that it only upheld one of the four patents it believes Apple has infringed. The appeal is expected to be held in Q1 2014. Were Apple to lose then, however, the impact would be significantly lower, as Apple is almost certain to have launched new iPhones and iPads by then, with the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 likely removed from Apple’s retail and online stores and seeing only residual sales elsewhere …  Read more

Report vaguely hints at ‘aggressive’ iWatch team hires, late 2014 debut

As reported by Financial Times, “people familiar with Apple’s plans” for the iWatch are claiming Apple has started a hiring frenzy as they ramp up development of the upcoming product. The article goes on to state that people close to Apple feel that “the timing of the hiring spree implied the iWatch would not be ready for launch until the latter part of next year.”

Back in May, we reported on KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s similar claim of a late 2014 launch:

Read more

Foxconn reportedly halts hiring due to slow iPhone 5 production, resumes next month (for next iPhone?)

Image (1) Foxconn-factory-001.jpg for post 61231

Update: While it’s hard to read too much into these reports, Foxconn told The Wall Street Journal the freeze on hiring is a result of “a high employee return rate following the Lunar New Year holiday.”

According to the report from Financial Times, Apple’s major assembly partner Foxconn has halted new hiring at its facilities due to a slow down in production for the iPhone 5:

The suspension in hiring by China’s largest private sector employer and the biggest assembler of Apple products, is the first such countrywide move since the 2009 downturn, prompted by the financial crisis. It underscores the weakening demand for some Apple products, which has put pressure on the US company’s battered share price.

Foxconn confirmed it is not currently hiring in its plants located in mainland China, and FT reported the company’s employees were informed that hiring would stop until at least the end of March “in response to reduced orders for the iPhone 5.” While the iPhone 5 doesn’t seem to be experiencing a slow down, according to the latest numbers from Strategy Analytics, the March time frame would line up nicely with rumors of iPhone 5S production beginning in March. Many analysts are calling for a June or July launch of the next-generation iPhone, and Apple could begin initial production as early as next month if true. The decreased production at Foxconn is likely thanks to the expected falloff in new sales in the months following the busy holiday season. Less likely is speculation that Apple could be switching manufacturers.

Recruiters in China told FT that Foxconn has stopped hiring specifically for the iPhone and iPad production lines in many of its factories:

Read more

This is what the new iPhone’s Nano SIM tray looks like

According to a translated report from Nowhereelse.fr, images of the tray for Apple’s new nano-SIM design started surfacing from China. In June, the ESTI was thought to have selected Apple’s new SIM card design for its 4FF standard, and reports from just last month claimed European carriers are stockpiling the new SIMs in anticipation of a next-gen iPhone launch. A smaller home button appears to also be present in some of the images, which of course lines up with previous leaks.

Presented as being designed to slip into the SIM card slot of the iPhone 5, this element seems in turn confirm that the next iPhone indeed adopt this new standard imposed by Apple. I take this article to drag other photos with us in passing a Home button which should equip the iPhone 5 and which is also slightly smaller than previous generations, details of which we heard last Friday.

Read more

Report: European carriers placing nano-SIM orders in anticipation of next-gen iPhone launch

According to a report from Financial Times, carriers in Europe are stocking up on mini SIM cards designed for Apple’s next-generation iPhone in anticipation of the device’s expected October launch. In June, reports speculated that Apple’s nano-SIM design for the new 4FF standard was selected by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, while hands-on video of the next-generation iPhone backs, which we first revealed in May, showed what appeared to be a smaller SIM card holder.

Today’s report from FT claimed Apple’s nano SIM card design is indeed the mini SIMs being purchased by European operators:

Operators expect that the iPhone will feature the nano sim in a slimmed down design, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation, and have begun to store millions of the cards in warehouses in anticipation of high demand for Apple’s iPhone. Apple declined to comment[Shocker]…

Read more

FT profiles Jony Ive: Transformational designer who understood the politics of Jobs

In a Financial Times story about Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive “emerging from [Steve] Jobs’ shadow,” we get a few interesting stories from ex-Apple employees regarding the design guru’s work ethic. While one anonymous ex-Apple employee told the publication Ive’s “main talent was his ability to manage his relationship with Jobs,” Path chief and former Apple employee Dave Morin remembers Ive as a perfectionist.

Morin described a story about Ive spending three months adjusting the MacBook design to ensure it could be easily operated with one finger:

Read more