November 17, 2016

AAPL: 109.95

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While there had been speculation that Apple might pick up sales from Samsung after its disastrous Note 7 launch, with KGI estimating that Apple could pick up an additional 5-7M orders, this doesn’t appear to be the case. The latest numbers from Gartner suggest that it is Chinese brands that saw the benefit.

The September 2 recall of the Note 7 saw Samsung’s Q3 market share fall year-on-year from 23.6% to 19.2%, its worst performance ever, creating an opportunity for other brands to pick up the slack – but the iPhone didn’t manage to do so …

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November 14, 2016

AAPL: 105.71

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With both smartphone and PC sales plateauing, tech giants like Apple and Samsung are always looking for new markets. Apple of course made a big bet on music with its $3B acquisition of Beats, and Samsung is now making an even bigger play by announcing plans to buy U.S. automotive component maker Harman International.

The WSJ reports that the $8B deal will be the biggest one Samsung has ever struck, and it has more than a little in common with Apple’s purchase of Beats …

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November 1, 2016

AAPL: 111.49

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A report from Korea’s ETNews says that the OLED Touch Bar panel in the new MacBook Pro was made by Samsung, and that Apple is currently testing OLED panels suitable for use in MacBooks.

According to an industry , Apple installed Samsung Display’s OLED panel for touch screen bar for its new MacBook Pro. This panel is rigid-type OLED that is produced from Samsung Display’s A2 Line […]

“Apple is currently looking into ways of using OLED panels for MacBooks and testing their performance.” said a different representative.

It’s of course a no-brainer that Apple would be looking at a switch to OLED for future MacBook displays given the benefits these offer …

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October 31, 2016

AAPL: 113.54

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October 28, 2016

AAPL: 113.72

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October 20, 2016

AAPL: 117.06

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October 17, 2016

AAPL: 117.55

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Apple appears to the be the primary beneficiary of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall blunders, with replacement devices also prone to catching fire which eventually resulted in the company cancelling production of the Note 7 entirely. This means Note 7 customers have no choice but to choose another type of phone. Obviously, Samsung hopes customers will flock to one of its other phones (like the Galaxy S7) but a report from KGI believes that Apple and Android manufacturer Huawei will be the biggest benefactors.

Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that 5-7 million ex-Note 7 orders will convert into iPhone 7 sales, predominantly iPhone 7 Plus thanks to the dual camera. KGI says Note 7 users will have lost faith in the Samsung brand and have a tendency to like iOS and camera features, making the new iPhone an attractive sale.

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October 12, 2016

AAPL: 117.34

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The never-ending court battle between Apple and Samsung over three iPhone design patents finally reached the Supreme Court yesterday. It had earlier been found that a total of 11 Samsung phones copied three design elements patented by Apple – including the famous ‘black rectangle with rounded corners.’ Lower courts ruled that Samsung should have to pay 100% of the profits earned from those phones, while Samsung thinks it should pay less.

Remarks by two of the Justices seem to indicate that they are leaning heavily towards Samsung’s side of the argument. Samsung’s position is that the patented features represent only part of the reason for purchase, and that they should accordingly have to hand over only part of the profits earned from them …

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October 11, 2016

AAPL: 116.30

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The BBC has an interesting take on the Apple versus Samsung patent case that is finally heading to the Supreme Court today, arguing that a definitive ruling is needed in order to bring a 19th Century law into the 21st Century.  It also explains why the legal battle probably won’t end with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

A one-paragraph recap for anyone who hasn’t been following the case closely. Samsung infringed several of Apple’s design patents – that is, patents concerned with how things look (in either hardware or software) rather than what they do. Samsung is no longer denying that. The lower courts ruled that Samsung must pay all of the profits made by infringing these patents. That’s the bit Samsung is fighting, arguing that it should pay a much smaller sum.

And it is this element of patent law which the BBC’s Dave Lee suggests needs to advance a century or two …

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Samsung has officially ceased worldwide production of its Galaxy Note 7 after multiple reports of replacement models, like the original ones, catching fire.

I argued yesterday that the company ‘might as well write-off this year’s flagship phone as a lost cause,’ and there are today multiple reports (The Verge, Bloomberg and the BBC) that it has now done so.

South Korean tech giant Samsung has permanently ceased production of its high-end Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after reports of devices it had deemed safe catching fire.

“We recently readjusted the production volume for thorough investigation and quality control, but putting consumer safety as top priority, we have reached a final decision to halt production of Galaxy Note 7s,” the company said. “For the benefit of consumers’ safety, we stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 and have consequently decided to stop production.”

The announcement was made in response to growing pressure …

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October 10, 2016

AAPL: 116.05

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You might have thought things couldn’t get any worse for Samsung after a series of fires and explosions forced it to recall its flagship Galaxy Note 7. It had already been forced to recall almost 2.5 million devices at an estimated cost of a billion dollars, with all U.S. major carriers offering customers the option to return replacement devices also.

But things have now gotten worse. Much worse. The Verge has found that no fewer than five replacement devices have caught fire in the U.S. alone.

When it was just one case, I cautioned against jumping to conclusions, but with five separate fires in such a short time, we’re well beyond the point of being able to ascribe this to the simple statistics of lithium battery failures. All four major U.S. carriers have now pulled the Note 7 altogether, and Samsung has ‘temporarily’ halted production of replacement Note 7s …

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October 7, 2016

AAPL: 114.06

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Bloomberg reports that Apple this week won an appeal in its long-running case against Samsung over its slide-to-unlock patent.

The decision reinstates an original $119.6 million verdict owed to Apple that a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled was wrongly thrown out in a previous decision back in February.

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October 6, 2016

AAPL: 113.89

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As regular readers will know, I’m a long-time fan of Siri. It’s my default way to interact with my iPhone: from checking the weather forecast through opening apps to dictating text messages. It was the sole reason I upgraded from the iPhone 4 to the 4S back in the day.

At the same time, I’ve also long wanted Siri to do more. Last month, Apple finally granted the request I made last year: to give her access to third-party apps. But I was also hoping then for more – much more – while Apple seems to be content to expand Siri’s capabilities at a relatively leisurely pace.

Many of Siri’s original developers, it turned out, had also grown frustrated at Apple’s apparent lack of ambition for the intelligent assistant. They wanted to proceed at a much faster pace, and finally parted company with Apple to develop a next-generation assistant, Viv. The demonstration they gave back in May seriously impressed me, and I said then than Viv was what Siri should always have become …

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October 5, 2016

AAPL: 113.05

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Over the last year, the artificial intelligence assistant “Viv” has garnered a lot of attention. Viv was cofounded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham, the original creaters of Siri, and has been billed as a more powerful and more capable personal assistant than Siri. Now, TechCrunch reports that Samsung has acquired Viv and plans to implement it into its devices.

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September 30, 2016

AAPL: 113.05

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Update: Apple is also showing the October 14 date for Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Montenegro and Turkey, and it’s likely we’ll see more countries added soon.

Apple Premium Reseller iStore has tweeted that the iPhone 7 is coming to South Africa on October 14, with the information confirmed on both its website, above, and now Apple’s site too. We heard a week ago that it will be hitting India on October 7.

ET News is also reporting that Apple’s new iPhone is expected to be launched in Samsung’s home market of South Korea a week later, on October 21 – though it notes that this is not yet certain.

Through discussion that took place [yesterday], Apple Korea and three mobile network providers have decided to release the iPhone 7 on the 21st of October, based on final approval from Apple Headquarters.

Apple products are currently sold in South Korea only by third parties, but it appears that Apple has plans to take on Samsung directly on its home turf …

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September 29, 2016

AAPL: 112.18

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This iPhone 7 may have exploded, but I doubt yours will
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I don’t have any hard data on this, folks, but I have a hunch that the iPhone 7 does not combust in the same way that the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 does. It’s trendy in news to apply one attention-grabbing narrative to an unrelated story, but there’s no evidence that suggests the iPhone 7 explodes in normal use like Samsung’s recalled flagship – despite that virally burned up iPhone 7 image.

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September 22, 2016

AAPL: 114.62

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The rivalry between Apple and Samsung may be about to intensify: the WSJ reports that the iPhone maker is considering opening up an Apple Store very close to Samsung’s HQ in Seoul, South Korea. Perhaps very close indeed!

Apple looked at sites across the street from the Samsung ’s longtime headquarters in Seoul, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move could be a very smart one for Apple …

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September 19, 2016

AAPL: 113.58

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The root cause of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explosions and fires that forced the company to recall all 2.5 million devices sold was the company rushing to market ahead of the iPhone 7 launch, claim Bloomberg sources. Based on reports that the iPhone 7 would be a ‘dull’ upgrade, the company decided to take advantage by bringing forward its own launch.

The top brass at Samsung Electronics, including phone chief D.J. Koh, decided to accelerate the launch of a new phone they were confident would dazzle consumers and capitalize on the opportunity, according to people familiar with the matter. They pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines, despite loads of new features, another person with direct knowledge said. The Note 7 would have a high-resolution screen that wraps around the edges, iris-recognition security and a more powerful, faster-charging battery. Apple’s taunts that Samsung was a copycat would be silenced for good.

The move backfired in the most literal sense, and may ironically have contributed to the iPhone 7 selling better than expected …

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Benchmark scores have already shown us that the iPhone 7 is theoretically faster than a standard MacBook Air, but they always raise the question how much difference such performance makes to real-life use. One realistic speed test carried out by PhoneBuff seems to quite convincingly demonstrate that the answer is ‘a lot.’

The test pits the iPhone 7 against the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 by opening a bunch of commonly-used apps – including some heavy-duty games – and having them create a timelapse from the same video …

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September 1, 2016

AAPL: 106.73

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