Episode 511 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Apple brings back online sales event for ‘Black Friday’ after a year of absence

Black Friday marks the beginning of Christmas shopping in the US and is one of the biggest days for commercial shopping in the year. Apple extended its own sale to Australia in 2013.

Last year, the vendor decided not to participate in the sale.


Apple to swap ‘faulty’ iPhone 6S batteries

The phones with this fault were manufactured between September and October 2015

Affected devices will suddenly stop working even though the handset’s battery has plenty of charge.

Anyone with an eligible phone who takes up the offer will get a free replacement battery for their handset.

The battery swap programme comes only a few days after Apple announced a separate offer intended to fix a fault on the iPhone 6 Plus.

That problem meant that the touchscreens on some handsets steadily became less and less responsive if they had been accidentally dropped on to a hard surface a few times.

Image result for apple 6s batteries


Google stops booking Australian profits in Singapore

Google Australia has moved the provision of the vast majority of its products out from Singapore and back into Australia following a restructure that is likely to have a big impact on its local tax bill.

The company was forced to restructure its local operations in January to count revenue generated from Australia in the country, or face penalties of double tax under new laws that target tax avoidance and profit shifting.

With effect from 1 November 2016, SG [Singapore] is assigning your agreement for the [G Suite/Adwords] services to Google Australia Pty Ltd,” Google informed customers last month.

“This means that from that date, Google Australia Pty Ltd will be providing the [G Suite/ Adwords] services to you and will be invoicing you for those services.”

The change is likely to have a big impact on Google Australia’s financial results for the 2016 financial year.

Its advertising revenue in Australia alone is widely understood to sit at around $2 billion.

Last year – before the restructure – the company posted Australian net profit of $47.1 million on revenue of $502 million. Its tax bill was $16 million.

Image result for google gst


The rise in selfie deaths and how to stop them

research found 15 selfie-takers died in 2014, 39 in 2015 and 73 died in the first eight months of 2016.

They revealed where most incidents happen and how causes of death can change depending on where in the world you live.

The first report (by a reputable news source) of a selfie-taker dying while snapping a picture was in March 2014.

Since then, Hemank and his team of researchers found there had been 127 recorded incidents of selfie deaths across the world.

76 of these took place in India, nine in Pakistan, eight in the US and six in Russia.

The most likely cause of death was falling from a great height, with people going to extreme lengths to take a selfie on cliffs or the top of buildings to impress followers on social media.

In India, there are more selfie deaths related to trains, which Hemank and his team said are due to “the belief that posing on or next to train tracks with their best friend is regarded as romantic and a sign of never-ending friendship.”

In the US and Russia, a high proportion of deaths occur due to weapons, which the researchers believe is most likely due to gun laws in the two countries.


EBF

Apple Abandons Development of Wireless Routers

Apple Inc. has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, another move to try to sharpen the company’s focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced.

Apple hasn’t refreshed its routers since 2013 following years of frequent updates to match new standards from the wireless industry. The decision to disband the team indicates the company isn’t currently pushing forward with new versions of its routers. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s plans.

Routers are access points that connect laptops, iPhones and other devices to the web without a cable. Apple currently sells three wireless routers, the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time capsule. The Time capsule doubles as a backup storage hard drive for Mac computers.

The products, which cost $99, $199, and $299, respectively, make up a small slice of Apple’s revenue and are part of Apple’s “other products” category on its financial statements. The category, which includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV, generated $11.1 billion in fiscal 2016, or about 5 percent of total sales.

Apple shares rose 0.9 percent to $111.07 at 11:03 a.m. in New York Monday. They gained 4.6 percent this year through Friday.

Exiting the router business could make Apple’s product ecosystem less sticky. Some features of the AirPort routers, including wireless music playback, require an Apple device like an iPhone or Mac computer. If the company no longer sells wireless routers, some may have a reason to use other phones and PCs.

The core of the technology in routers comes from chipmakers such as Broadcom Ltd. that advance Wi-Fi technology through developing the fundamental components. While router makers can differentiate the design of their products, the number of antennas and the software that controls them, they reliant on advances first made by chipmakers to be able to offer new, higher-performing models.

Apple’s AirPorts have historically lagged behind those of companies such as D-Link Corp., Netgear Inc. and Belkin International Inc., which have rushed to adopt new standards. Apple, which has charged more for its routers, has focused more on integrating control of its devices into its computer operating system and industrial design. The company’s decision to leave the business may be a boon for other wireless router makers.

Earlier this year, Apple stopped making its own external monitors and in October introduced a new strategy by selling new high-resolution screens for professional users with LG Electronics Inc.

Jony Ive Said to Be ‘As Connected to Product Design as Ever’ Following Speculation About His Role

Over the last few days, speculation has begun brewing over the potential winding down of Jony Ive’s career at Apple, where he works as the company’s chief design officer.

During an episode of “The Talk Show” podcast posted last Friday, John Gruber mentioned that he had recently heard Ive has been “checked out or not as directly involved with product design” at Apple, and instead focused on architecture projects for its campuses and retail locations.

Earlier this week, a couple of websites began sharing Gruber’s words in stories angled with Ive’s lessening involvement at Apple, backed up by the recent release of “Designed by Apple in California,” which many look at as the designer’s swan song within the company.

Rumors of Ive being “on his way out” of Apple have existed for a while, however, going back to his promotion to chief design officer last year. The position was described as allowing Ive to focus less on management and more on design, or as Gruber said, “the skeptic’s take is that this new arrangement allows Ive to be less involved, period.”

Following all of this, Gruber yesterday posted a new blog to clear up his original statement. He reiterated on the second and third-hand sources speaking of Ive’s status in the company, stating that no one has directly mentioned Ive has stopped overseeing Apple’s day-to-day product design, but what he’s heard is from sources who “think” he has. After addressing the nuance he meant to convey during his podcast, Gruber admitted that he’s in fact heard from “well-placed sources within Apple” that Ive is as devoted and involved as ever.

Importantly, I’ve also heard from well-placed sources within Apple that there is nothing to this — that while Ive is devoting much of his time and attention to architecture recently (both for the new campus and Apple retail), every aspect of every new product remains as much under his watchful eye as ever. That his chief design officer title isn’t the least bit ceremonial, and instead is an accurate representation of his increased authority.

When I first started seeing these “Gruber thinks Jony Ive is on his way out” stories, I was appalled. It felt like a punch to the gut, because it wasn’t what I meant to convey, and I realize how influential my word is in such regards. But perhaps it was worth it. It shook a few well-placed little birdies out of the tree, all of whom emphasized that Jony Ive is as connected to product design as ever.

Gruber ultimately bet that Ive is “not going anywhere,” because the arguments that state the designer is leaving Apple must also argue that he is giving up being a designer altogether, and “that doesn’t sound right” to him. Addressing the recently released design book — which covers all of Ive’s history with Apple — Gruber also mentioned that while it could be construed as a goodbye to Apple, “it feels to me like Ive’s heartfelt goodbye to his best friend and colleague, five years gone. I don’t think Jony Ive is going anywhere.”

iPhone 8 to Feature All-Glass Casing in Order to Support Wireless Charging

Apple will switch to an all-glass casing for next year’s entire iPhone lineup in order to support wireless charging, with Pegatron being the exclusive supplier of the wireless charger. That’s according to the latest research note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors.

According to Kuo, the transition from metal to glass casing is key if Apple is to introduce a wireless charging feature in the 2017 iPhone. While patented engineering solutions do exist for wirelessly charging devices with metal cases, issues with wireless frequency tolerances for metal alloys can limit the speed at which charging takes place. On top of that, it is widely believed that Jony Ive has wanted to introduce an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass for several years.

iphoneconceptimage

iPhone concept image via ConceptsiPhone

We believe one of the reasons why new iPhones will switch from metal casing to glass casing is to support wireless charging. In order to ensure a superior performance, we believe it is most appropriate for EMS suppliers to develop and make the wireless charger because then a comprehensive test can be conducted. As Hon Hai needs to deploy most resources to develop and produce OLED iPhone, we expect Pegatron will be the exclusive supplier of the wireless charger.

Kuo remains uncertain whether a wireless charger will be bundled with all new iPhones, but expects at least some models to be next year, with wider availability by 2018.

Kuo last week claimed that Apple will release 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model iPhones with LCD screens as well as an all-new OLED model with a dual-lens camera. Kuo previously said Apple will launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with a curved OLED display and glass casing next year. He later said that model will have a 5.1-inch to 5.2-inch active touchscreen area. Barclays analysts said it will have a bezel-free design.

Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is set to introduce wireless charging into the “iPhone 8“, despite the company downplaying the usefulness of the technology back in 2012. Last month it was reported that Hon Hai – better known as Foxconn – is testing wireless charging modules for use in the 2017 iPhone, although inclusion of the technology in the iPhone 8 was thought to be dependent on whether Foxconn can boost the yield rate to a satisfactory level.

Reports that Apple was exploring extended range wireless charging for the 2017 iPhone also appeared back in January. Extended wireless charging is considered superior to existing wireless solutions because it does not require the device to be as close to a charging mat or source.

Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone, which is expected to feature a major redesign with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that integrates a Touch ID sensor and front-facing camera, is expected to arrive in September 2017.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)

 

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