Forbes Stories November 5, 2014

Forbes names Apple world’s most valuable brand for the year, Microsoft and Google follow

Forbes today released its list of the world’s most valuable companies, putting Apple at #1 with a valuation of $124.2 billion. That total puts its worth at almost twice that of any other company on the list, including Microsoft and Google, which came in second and third place, respectively.

Forbes factored in items such as how many products Apple moved in 2014, which pushed the company’s brand value up 19% over last year’s. That Apple would top a list of most valuable brands for the year likely comes as no big surprise to most readers. The company launched two new iPhones, updated versions of both models of the iPad, a new mobile payment system, and showed off its upcoming entry to the smartwatch market.

As for the competition, Microsoft’s brand was valued at a mere $63 billion, while Google came in at $56.6 billion.

Forbes Stories September 11, 2014

Tim Cook

Big-name analysts seemed satisfied with what they saw and heard during Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch and Apple Pay, reports Forbes. Summarising investor notes from a dozen major companies, Chuck Jones found the general feeling was that Apple had delivered what was expected.

The overall average of AAPL stock price targets was $109, against the current price of just over $100. Analysts pointed to a range of factors in forming their views, among them …  expand full story

Forbes Stories February 11, 2014

Flappy Bird developer ‘It was just too addictive’, felt guilty for people wasting time

Dong Nguyen made waves at the weekend after announcing Flappy Bird would be removed from the App Store. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Nguyen explains his —  unorthodox — reasoning.

“It was just too addictive,” Mr. Dong said. He says he didn’t intend for people to play the game for hours at a time, as many gamers appear to have done.

“That was the main negative. So I decided to take it down,” he said.

Forbes Stories February 11, 2013

Analyst says $300 price point is sweet spot for unsubsidized iPhone mini

Topeka Capital analyst Brian White issued a report to clients today (via Forbes) to provide what he thinks Apple has in store for the much-rumored low-cost iPhone. According to White, Apple will introduce the lower-priced iPhone as early as June. This is of course something we heard before from previous reports, but White also predicted pricing and a possible name for the device…

Some new information that White added: He said the device will be called the “iPhone mini” or “iPhone Air” and sell for an unsubsidized price of $250 to $300.

“A $250-$300 price range would also be competitive with China-based Xiaomi that offers a high-end phone experience at a mid-range price of ~$320 in China,” he writes. “We believe a $250-to-$300 price point will allow Apple to significantly expand its reach in the smartphone market and better address developing markets such as China, while opening up more opportunities in Brazil, Russia, India and elsewhere.”

Forbes Stories February 8, 2013

evasi0n jailbreaks record 7M iOS devices in four days

We previously told you that around 1.7 million people had used the new evasi0n tool to jailbreak their iOS device, according to stats from Cydia installs. Today, we get a little update on the progress: Jay Freeman told Forbes that Cydia recorded over 7 million devices, as of last night, and “insanely more new traffic” than the release of iOS 5’s Absinthe jailbreak tool and others before it.

As of Thursday night, Freeman’s alternative app store had received visits from 5.15 million iPhones, 1.35 million iPads, and 400,000 iPod touches that were jailbroken with evasi0n, the first jailbreaking software for the iPhone 5 and iOS 6.1.

Freeman says that evasi0n has brought Cydia “insanely more new traffic” than the release of the jailbreak tool called Absinthe that worked on some versions of iOS 5. And even Jailbreakme3, the popular web-based jailbreak released by iPhone hacker Comex in the summer of 2011, was only used on 1.4 million devices in its first nine days online

Forbes Stories February 5, 2013

evasi0n Jailbreakers reveal the incredibly complicated methods they used to Jailbreak every Apple iOS device

Forbes posted an article on Tuesday that gave some updates on the highly successful launch of the evasi0n jailbreak tool straight from its creators. After having officially released the jailbreak yesterday at noon, according to stats from Cydia’s Jay Freeman, around 1.7 million people have decided to jailbreak their iOS device. Perhaps more interesting is a description of how exactly the four members of the evad3rds team were able to get the job done. Team member David Wang, aka @planetbeing, walked through the process with Forbes:

Evasi0n alters the socket that allows programs to communicate with a program called Launch Daemon, abbreviated launchd, a master process that loads first whenever an iOS device boots up and can launch applications that require “root” privileges, a step beyond the control of the OS than users are granted by default. That means that whenever an iPhone or iPad’s mobile backup runs, it automatically grants all programs access to the time zone file and, thanks to the symbolic link trick, access to launchd.

Wang described the entire process from finding the initial exploit in the iOS mobile backup system to accessing Launch Daemon and getting around code signing and restrictions at the kernel layer:

Once it’s beaten ASLR, the jailbreak uses one final bug in iOS’s USB interface that passes an address in the kernel’s memory to a program and “naively expects the user to pass it back unmolested,” according to Wang. That allows evasi0n to write to any part of the kernel it wants. The first place it writes is to the part of the kernel that restricts changes to its code–the hacker equivalent of wishing for more wishes.  ”Once you get into the kernel, no security matters any more,” says Wang. “Then we win.”

Go to Forbes to read Wang’s entire step-by-step description of the jailbreak process for evasi0n.

Here’s another third-party analysis. The verdict is the same: incredible work.

Forbes Stories October 25, 2012

Apple is all set to announce its fiscal Q4 financial earnings today, during a conference call with company executives scheduled for 2 p.m. PST/ 5 p.m. EST. iPhone 5 sales are expected to be a topic of conversation, of course, while recent predictions from 59 analysts provided an average estimate of 26.3 million iPhones total for the quarter. Today, Forbes posted revised estimates from 36 of the analysts that also includes predictions for iPhone, iPod, Mac, and other product sales.

A few things we already know from CEO Tim Cook’s announcements during the iPad mini event: 5 million iPhones 5s sold during opening weekend, 3 million new iPod nano and touch units sold, and 200 million iOS 6 devices. Cook also noted the company has now sold 100 million iPads in 2.5 years and more iPads in June than any PC manufacturers’ entire PC lineup.

In Q3 Apple reported revenues of $35 billion. As for Q4, Apple predicted during its last conference call that revenues for the fourth quarter would be around $34 billion with diluted earnings per share of about $7.65. Today, Forbes pointed us to updated estimates from Wall Street showing a consensus of $8.81 on sales of $36.02 billion.

Forbes has also posted revised estimates from 36 analysts (below). Among the 20 pros in the group, the average estimate is $8.75 on sales of $35.51 billion. The independents, on the other hand, have earnings of $9.66 on sales of $37.23 billion.

As you can see from the chart of the 36 analysts below (pros in blue), the high-end of iPhone estimates hit the 32 million-unit mark, while one independent has Mac sales as high as 5.70 million units:

expand full story

Forbes Stories October 18, 2012

Prominent iOS hacker Comex no longer working at Apple after communications breakdown

Famed iOS hacker Comex tweeted today that his internship at Apple has ceased. “So… no point in delaying,” he said to 195,000 followers. “As of last week, after about a year, I’m no longer associated with Apple.” Comex, whose real name Nicholas Allegra, explained to Forbes that his employment at Apple was terminated for not responding to an email. Forbes Andy Greenberg wrote:

When I followed up with Allegra in a phone call, he explained that the email he forgot to answer was an offer to continue his employment at Apple as a remote intern. At Apple, apparently, offer letters are taken rather seriously, and Allegra soon learned that his had been rescinded. “I wasn’t too happy about it, but it didn’t seem like I was able to fix it,” he says. “So that’s what it is.”  

Before joining Apple as an intern over a year ago, Comex’s hacking work most notably included JailbreakMe. It is a popular tool to jailbreak iOS devices through an exploit within Safari. He also developed another popular jailbreak tool called “Spirit”.

Forbes Stories October 2, 2012

Forbes lists some untold Steve Jobs stories

Forbes just published a piece on the “Untold Stories About Steve Jobs,” as the late Apple cofounder’s one-year anniversary since his death looms around the corner; and while many of the anecdotes are never-heard-before memories from acquaintances, most provide only shallow insights into the innovator’s working mind.

A few of the notable memories:

  • Hide The Porsches | Software engineer Randy Adams detailed a few occasions about his NeXT days, specifically referring to when Jobs told him to hide their Porches as to not scare off investors and even commanding unsatisfactory employees to fire themselves at times.
  • Scuff Marks in the Mini-Store | According to a source named “C.G.,” Jobs met with reporters —in his first public appearance since having surgery in 2004—at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif. to unveil a new  “mini” store design. Jobs reportedly had a “meltdown” before the unveiling, because the store walls had dirty handprints and the floors were littered with scuffmarks.
  • They’ll Get Used To It | Venture Capitalist Marc Andreessen recalled how he asked Jobs in 2006, after playing with an iPhone prototype, if typing on a screen is practical. The Apple cofounder sternly said consumers would “get used to it.”
  • Blunt, But With Taste | Apple’s chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki explained a time when Jobs, who showed up with a friend, asked for his opinion on Knoware software. Kawasaki gave his negative first impressions, and then Jobs introduced his friend as the CEO of Knoware.
  • A Little Hand In the Screen | Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, while only pinpointing one moment with Jobs at a lavish party, for which the late CEO still only donned his Levi’s, fondly summarized Jobs’ intensity and their shared “philosophical relationship” about big ideas.
  • A Christmas Story | Apple original marketing chief Regis McKenna explained how Jobs once saved Christmas—after one of his five newly-bought iMacs failed to work—by convincing a dealer to go against Apple policy and replace a defective desktop for his granddaughter.

Check it out for more: Forbes — Untold Stories About Steve Jobs: Friends and Colleagues Share Their Memories

Forbes Stories September 14, 2012

Twitter picks up iPhone hacker Charlie Miller for its security team

[tweet https://twitter.com/0xcharlie/statuses/246598708865679360]

Forbes reported on Twitter’s latest hire: Charlie Miller. He is a well-known iOS and Mac hacker who discovered various exploits for the platforms in recent years. Miller will join Twitter’s security team with the title “Software Engineer, Systems.”

Miller has a long list of epic hacks in his recent past: In 2007, he was the first to fully compromise the iPhone through its web browser. Six months later he won the Pwn2Own hacking competition in Vancouver by compromising a Macbook Air in two minutes. In 2009, he revealed a technique that would have allowed an attacker to hijack iPhones via text message, virally spreading from phone to phone. He’s found a method of infecting Macbooks with malware via their power adapter, and had his Apple developer license revoked for successfully sneaking an iOS app past Apple’s safeguards. Most recently he’s shifted his focus to Android, defeating Google’s “Bouncer” program for detecting malware in the Android Market and using near-field communications chips to wirelessly compromise Samsung and Nokia phones just by waving another device near them.

Forbes Stories August 14, 2012

Update: List of items stolen (and returned)

According to a report from MercuryNews, suspects are now in custody for the recent burglary of the Silicon Valley home of Steve Jobs that contained more than $60,000 worth of computers and personal items:

The deceased Apple co-founder’s home on the 2100 block of Waverley Street in Palo Alto was burglarized July 17, said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Tom Flattery, a member of the high-technology crimes unit…More than $60,000 worth of “computers and personal items” were allegedly stolen, but Flattery declined to say whether they belonged to Jobs, who died last year at the age of 56, or another family member.

Weeks after the burglary on July 17, police arrested Kariem McFarlin, 35, who is currently in jail on $500,000 bail, but other specific details regarding the crime are not available. We know that Laurene Powell Jobs and family were likely not living in the home at the time of the robbery, as during July the property was undergoing renovations with construction barricades and scaffolding surrounding the house. Forbes snapped photos of the property under construction (below) on July 4:

expand full story

Forbes Stories May 23, 2012

Seagate buys long time Mac peripheral maker LaCie for roughly $186 million

Seagate announced its plans to buy LaCie, a Paris-based maker of various data storage products that are popular among Mac users, this morning. LaCie makes various products aimed at Mac users including a couple Thunderbolt enabled solutions that we showed you recently. Seagate will buy the 64.5-percent of the company currently held by CEO Philippe Spruch—and the rest in cash upon completion of that transaction (via Forbes):

Seagate Technology plc the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and LaCie S.A. a leading manufacturer of consumer storage products, today announced an exclusive agreement with the intent for Seagate to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie.The transaction would combine two highly complementary product and technology portfolios, adding LaCie’s line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings to Seagate’s array of mainstream consumer storage products.

SEAGATE AND LACIE ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT WITH INTENT FOR SEAGATE TO ACQUIRE CONTROLLING INTEREST IN LACIE

May 23, 2012

Seagate has Offered to Purchase LaCie CEO’s 64.5% Ownership Position; Seagate to Subsequently Commence Tender Offer for Remaining Outstanding Shares

Expands Seagate’s Product Line and Capabilities in the Growing Consumer Storage Market

CUPERTINO, CA and PARIS, FRANCE – May 23, 2012 – Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and LaCie S.A. (Euronext: LAC), a leading manufacturer of consumer storage products, today announced an exclusive agreement with the intent for Seagate to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie. Seagate has offered to purchase from Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, all of their shares, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie. Following receipt of governmental approvals and the close of this transaction, Seagate would commence an all-cash simplified tender offer (followed as the case may be by a squeeze-out procedure) to acquire the remaining outstanding shares in accordance with the General Regulation of the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

Seagate has offered Mr. Spruch and his affiliate €4.05 per share in cash, minus a potential adjustment depending on the cash and debt position of LaCie at closing. This price may be increased by a possible price supplement of 3% in the event that the threshold of 95% of the shares and voting rights of LaCie would be reached by Sparrow within 6 months following closing, resulting in a maximum potential price per LaCie share of €4.17. Without the price supplement, the offer currently values LaCie at an approximate €146 million, or $186 million total equity value, including acquired net cash of approximately €49 million, or $65 million, as of March 31, 2012. The €4.05 per share price represents a premium of 29% to LaCie’s average closing stock price over the 30 trading days ended May 22, 2012.

Ricol Lasteyrie & Associés was appointed today as independent expert by the board of directors of LaCie, to deliver a fairness opinion on the price that would be offered in the context of the tender offer, including in the perspective of a potential squeeze-out procedure.

The transaction would combine two highly complementary product and technology portfolios, adding LaCie’s line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings to Seagate’s array of mainstream consumer storage products. The combination would accelerate Seagate’s growth strategy in the expanding consumer storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan, and add strong engineering and software development capabilities, as well as relationships with several key retailers.

The transaction is expected to be neutral to Seagate’s fiscal 2013 earnings per share.

Following the close of the sale of his shares to Seagate, Mr. Spruch would join Seagate and lead the company’s consumer storage products organization. Reporting to him would be Patrick Connolly, who currently serves as vice president and general manager of Seagate’s retail group, as well as Pierre van der Elst, who currently serves as deputy general manager of LaCie. The financial terms of the new position of Mr Spruch are not determined as of today and would therefore be described subsequently, including in the tender offer documentation.

“Seagate has a strong commitment to the growing consumer storage market and bringing the most dynamic products to market. LaCie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high-end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium-branded direct-attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development,” said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. “We are also excited that Philippe, who is a true visionary and leader in the consumer storage business, would join Seagate to run our consumer storage products organization.”

“With the proliferation of devices and content being shared and stored today, consumer demand for high-quality branded storage solutions continues to grow,” said Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO. “We are excited about the potential for this combination to benefit customers and employees by creating significant scale and opening up new markets. We look forward to making the resources of a much larger company available to our customers around the world.”

LaCie will initiate the information and consultation process required by its employee representative council in relation to the contemplated transaction, in accordance with French law. Upon completion of this process, Seagate and Mr. Spruch would execute a definitive share purchase agreement and finalize the purchase of the controlling interest held by Mr. Spruch and his affiliate. This share purchase transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2012 pending completion of the relevant governmental reviews. Seagate would then commence a tender offer for the remaining outstanding shares of LaCie (followed as the case may be by a squeeze-out procedure), subject to a clearance decision from the AMF. The tender offer is expected to be completed in the third calendar quarter of 2012.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the United States (antitrust filing), France (approval of foreign investments by the Ministry of Finance) and other jurisdictions (antitrust filing in Germany) and to other customary closing conditions.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Allen & Overy LLP served as legal advisor to Seagate in connection with the transaction. De Pardieu Brocas Maffei A.A.R.P.I served as legal advisor to LaCie.

Forbes Stories April 18, 2012

Did Apple snub China iPad launch over trademark mess?

Forbes brings up the point that Apple may have snubbed China in its new iPad launch plans over the iPad trademark lawsuit it is fighting with Proview. While there are many other factors likely in play —like logistics—it certainly would not be out of character for Apple. Plus, Apple gets to sell them cheaper in Hong Kong anyway.

Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook recently toured China and met Chinese officials about issues concerning trademark and copyright infringement, which seems to overwhelmingly favor China.

Forbes Stories December 7, 2011

There has been no shortage of analyst reports regarding an Apple branded HDTV that the company is rumored to have already started work on. Some are calling for a late 2012 launch, but up until now, all have imagined the device as a standalone HDTV. Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair offers up another concept, claiming Apple will introduce a next-gen iMac with TV capabilities that will act as a transitional device before jumping head first into the TV business. The device would essentially integrate iCloud and Apple TV features, in addition to traditional TV hardware, into the larger 27-inch iMac design. Blair explains (via Forbes):

We think this makes sense because while we typically think about the newest TV’s hanging on the wall in large form factors, Apple could effectively start with what they already have on the manufacturing line and slowly push their offering from 27 inches and scale up from there to 32 inches and then move on to the 42, 50 and 55 inch market. In short, we believe the initial Apple TV is their iMac computer that can function as a TV, over the iCloud platform.

While this appears to be entirely speculation at this point, he makes much of his case based on the fact Apple already has the 27-inch iMac in production. We know Apple killed Front Row in Lion, while at the same time introducing iOS-like functionality like Launchpad. The 27-inch iMac is already an excellent display for consuming video content, but how conventional TV features might be baked into Lion is yet to be seen.

We’re pretty sure the Apple HDTV, if it comes to pass, will be based in iOS.  It will also be a living room experience unlike the up-close experience of an iMac.  Also, Apple seems to be going away from using its Mac Hardware as a TV device killing both Front Row and the included remote on many of its products.  Therefore we think this speculation is off. expand full story

Forbes Stories October 11, 2011

Steve Jobs laid to rest in Alta Mesa Memorial Park Friday afternoon

Steve Jobs was buried in the Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California Friday afternoon according to information discovered by Forbes. The memorial park where he was laid to rest includes many other technology greats like HP’s co-founder David Packard and engineer Lewis Terman who were partners with Walter Hewlett — who gave Jobs’ […]

Forbes Stories August 22, 2011

Another day, another analyst making bold predictions about Apple. Though this time it’s the usually accurate Jason Schwarz. In a post on SeekingAlpha.com (via Forbes) Schwarz writes:

“With the era of the laptop coming to an end how should we extrapolate Apple’s recent quarter of 9.25 million iPads into the holiday quarter? It’s logical to assume that the iPad will mirror the growth that the iPhone experienced in 2010 as it grew from 8.4 million units sold in Q2 to 16.2 million in Q4, 92% growth. We also take into consideration the 183% year over year growth that the iPad experienced in its most recent quarter to come up with a forecast of 21.9 million iPads to be sold in this year’s holiday quarter.”

2011 has been a difficult year for Apple’s tablet competitors. HP recently halted production of their WebOS powered TouchPad device after only three months on the market (though it has been selling well at $99). Blackberry’s new PlayBook has been panned by many reviews. Android manufacturers have been sued by Apple for violating many of their software patents. Even laptop manufacturers are starting to feel the pain of the increasingly popular and powerful tablet. Traditionally the holiday quarter has always been the strongest for Apple. Furthermore, we would be remiss to leave out the very unlikely possibility of a rumored iPad holiday refresh. Such an event, though unlikely, could help push these numbers into the stratosphere.

It’s pretty amazing to see how far the iPad has come in such a short period of time. Starting out for many as “just a big iPod touch”, the device has matured and found a place in millions of homes throughout the world. The iPad has played a major role in defining and boosting the stagnant tablet market. Could it help boost that market beyond laptops in 2012? 22 million sales for the holiday quarter would certainly be a good start.

expand full story

Forbes Stories August 1, 2011

In a profile on Comex, the 19-year old who has on three different occasions cracked open the iPhone security completely, Forbes reveals the jailbreaker’s name and MO.  He’s Nicholas Allegra who lives with his parents in Chappaqua, New York and is on leave from Brown University.

On iPhone hacking, he says,

“It feels like editing an English paper,” Allegra says simply, his voice croaking as if he just woke up, though we’re speaking at 9:30 pm. “You just go through and look for errors. I don’t know why I seem to be so effective at it.”

His work has blown away his peers, if anyone can be labeled as such.

Dino Dai Zovi, co-author of the Mac Hacker’s Handbook, compares JailbreakMe’s sophistication to that of Stuxnet, a worm thought to have been designed by the Israeli or U.S. government to infect Iran’s nuclear facilities. He compares Allegra’s skills to the state-sponsored intruders that plague corporations and governments, what the cybersecurity industry calls “advanced-persistent threat” hackers: “He’s probably five years ahead of them,” says Dai Zovi.

Allegra says that 2 million iOS devices have been jailbroken with the third release of jailbreakme.com.  Forbes concludes, Apple should be offering up an internship to Allegra.

Internship?  How about a six figure salary and a corner office? expand full story

Powered by WordPress VIP