• Apple Gives New Contract to Samsung for Chip Manufacturing
November 17, 2014
The Korea Times reports that Apple has given a new contract to Samsung, whereby Samsung will manufacture 80% of iPhone and iPad chips, staring in the year 2016.
This past year, Apple had switched to chips made by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), leaving Samsung only a small fraction of this business. The effect on Samsung was devastating - profits fell significantly.
Why was the new deal signed? Speculation is that TSMC was not able to meet the specifications and chip yield required by Apple.
However, Samsung's own smartphone business continues to suffer, but not because of Apple. Samsung's market is low cost smartphones, where the competition is Xiaomi and Lenovo. Both of these companies are able to undercut Samsung pricing for smartphones.
Apple OS Updates
Mac OS X 10.10.10
improves WiFi connectivity
Eric Jhonsa, SA News Editor
• BMO's Keith Bachman reports seeing improved U.S. iPhone 6 (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplies. "Whereas the iPhone 6 Plus was very hard to find a few weeks ago, supply has improved ... Whereas Apple stores were sold out of virtually all iPhone 6 models a few weeks ago, retail stores now appear to have almost half of the iPhone 6 models across the various carriers available for walk-in."
• Bachman does note there's still "virtually no available stock of iPhone 6 at carrier partner stores, such as AT&T and Verizon." However, online wait times at carrier stores have fallen in half to ~10 days.
• Apple has added UnionPay, China's dominant payment-processor, as an App Store payment option. UnionPay credit/debit card holders will be able to link their cards with their Apple IDs, something Internet software/services chief Eddy Cue calls "one of the most requested features from [Apple's] customers in China." Quartz notes the agreement could pave the way for an Apple Pay deal.
• While TSMC (NYSE:TSM) is manufacturing Apple's 20nm A8 processors, Samsung has been expected to supply a large portion (if not all) of Apple's A9 processors, leveraging a 14nm FinFET (3D transistor) process it's developing with Globalfoundries.
Eric Jhonsa, SA News Editor
• Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has officially launched its MICA smart bracelet (previous). The device is priced at $495, and aimed at women. It features a 1.6" OLED display, and delivers texts, e-mails, and Facebook/Google notifications over AT&T's 3G network. Two years of free data is bundled.
• Much like Qualcomm wth its Toq smartwatch, it doesn't look as if Intel's goal is to challenge Apple and Samsung's wearables, but to provide a proof-of-concept for OEMs looking to create similar hardware running on Intel processors. Intel began shipping its low-power Quark CPUs this year, and has also developed Atom CPUs meant for embedded devices.
• Meanwhile, Intel has shared more details Knights Landing, an upcoming 14nm product for its Xeon Phi co-processor line (used in HPC/supercomputer systems), and added Knights Hill, a successor product that will use a 10nm process, to its roadmap.
• Knights Landing, which succeeds the current Knights Corner in 2H15, is said to deliver a 3x improvement in single-thread performance. It includes up to 16GB of memory, can work either as a co-processor or a standalone processor, and relies on a new interconnect fabric (called Omni-Path) that Intel promises will deliver better performance and require fewer switches than the widely-used InfiniBand - that makes it a potential challenge for Mellanox (NASDAQ:MLNX).
• The product takes aim at Nvidia's (NASDAQ:NVDA) leading position in the HPC co-processor market. Today, Nvidia unveiled the Tesla K80, a high-end HPC co-processor said to deliver 8.7 teraflops of single-precision throughput (74% above the prior-gen K40). The K80 sells for $5,000, and contains two of Nvidia's new (28nm) GK210 GPUs.
Apple Pay's 3-Week Report Card Shows A Promising Start
Nov. 17, 2014 7:26 PM ET | 3 comments | About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)
By Aman Jain
Apple Pay is garnering decent number of users on a per store basis, but without NFC-enabled smartphones, the growth will be limited for now.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Pay service has witnessed a decent start, with Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) telling The New York Times it received 150,000 transactions in the three weeks following the launch of the service. Though the number is not extraordinary, it is substantial for a single store to garner such numbers from a brand new service with limited device support.
Apple Pay making inroads
Other merchants have not yet released their statistics, but are indicating that the numbers are decent. According to the report, Walgreens' (NYSE:WAG) mobile payments increased two-fold and McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) is receiving half of its mobile payments through Apple Pay now.
Apple Pay was released on October 20th as a part of the iOS 8.1 update, and since then, the service has been in swing, with McDonald's and Walgreens seeing the most number of Apple Pay payments. At McDonald's 14,000 U.S. locations, 50% of all tap-to-pay transactions were done with Apple Pay. Walgreens, with its 8,000 drugstores, says the number of mobile payments has doubled since Apple Pay was enabled.
Some merchants are seeing little-to-no change with the release of the payment service from Apple. Toys "R" Us said that there has not been any notable surge in its mobile payment numbers, and cash and credit options are still more popular than Apple Pay.
Rival services noticing surge
The success of Apple Pay cannot be ensured just yet, and much depends on the additional hardware support and cooperative retailers. The payment service from the iPhone maker is not showing startling numbers, but it is encouraging greater use of other tap-to-pay services such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Softcard, as both the services noted that they have seen a surge in usage over the past few weeks.
The NY Times report noted that a lot of service usage depends on the strength of the Apple brand and the easy-to-use features of pay service. Apple Pay service needs the NFC feature, but a substantial part of the population in the United States does not have NFC-enabled mobile, which makes it difficult to garner a whole lot more NFC payments. However, with a growing number of customers buying the iPhone 6, companies are now ready to offer the payment feature.
HTTP header, X-UIDH, is injected into your requests to an web site.
The web site can use server side processing to identify you via this header.
When you are using a connection via an ISP account Hotspot or home modem, your identity can be associated with your requests by attaching the X-UIDH header. This is done in route by the ISP — you have no control over this from your client computer.
At the destination web site, this X-UIDH value can be read. The destination server can send the value back to the ISP, to query for the associated user information. This will typically be for a fee paid to the ISP by the site owners or by a third party “Ad Exchange”. The site owners or any third party they work with can track what you look at, for how long, and how frequently.
Because the same X-UIDH value is attached to your requests for all web sites, the data can be consolidated to build a full profile of your web usage.
This only works if you are connected via your ISP account, not if, for example, you are using a public WiFi at your local library. It also only works for unencrypted connections, but most consumer oriented sites are only encrypted for the purpose of monetary transactions or sometimes for delivery of protected content.
You can choose to use public connections, but that is inconvenient, and in some cases, risky. You try a proxy service, but that is not easy.
The Perma Cookie technique is known to have been used only by AT&T and Verizon. AT&T has indicated that while it ran a test of Perma Cookies, it is not using such at the time of this report. Verizon seems to be actively using Perma Cookies.
State Department hacked on Sunday. It is said that only unclassified email and documents were compromised.
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