Here’s why Apple failed in 2018, according to Tim Cook

Blames China, cheap battery replacements



Image source: Apple.com

For most of the year, Apple’s 2018 was one of the most turbulent periods in the company’s recent history. Despite launching three new phones, Apple trudged through a flurry of controversies and feuds with other companies. The company is facing a whirlwind of legal battles in different fronts, including China and Germany. Now, as 2019 gears up for its go, Apple reflects on the ups and downs of 2018.

In a publicly available investor’s note, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared his thoughts on what led to a tumultuous 2018. Among others, he enumerated the company’s troubles in China, the cheapened battery replacement program, and the success of non-iPhone properties.

Of course, Apple’s difficulty in China is well documented. For one, the company is up against more popular Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Huawei. Apple is doing poorly in the country. “In fact, most of our revenue shortfall… occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac, and iPad,” Cook said. Besides that, the company’s older models are banned because of Qualcomm.

While China (and other emerging markets) caused most of Apple’s downfall, another sizable chunk comes from the lack of iPhone upgrades. Existing iPhone users have stopped upgrading to the latest models. According to Cook, “some customers [are] taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements.”

In 2017, the company ran into a planned obsolescence issue. Apple purposely slowed down its older models to supposedly promote upgrading. As a result, the company offered a cheaper battery replacement program to stave off obsolescence. Because of increasing prices, most consumers preferred new batteries over new phones. While the decision was right for consumers, Cook is now mulling over the plan’s side effects.

To Apple’s credit, the company is enjoying success outside of the iconic iPhone. Apple’s services, wearables, MacBook, and iPad offerings “grew almost 19 percent.” Their services, including aftermarket care, generated US$ 10.8 billion in revenue. Wearables grew by 50 percent. At the very least, Apple succeeded in other fronts.

With that, Cook remains hopeful for the company’s future. “Most importantly, we are confident and excited about our pipeline of future products and services,” he concluded.

Of course, Apple’s future depends on more than its head honcho’s high hopes. As 2019 begins, the company is still facing several battles elsewhere. Apple is still undergoing an arduous appeal process to reverse China’s decision to pull out the company’s products. The company’s stock crashed by 38 percent since October. The future is still a blurry mess for the company.

SEE ALSO: Apple: New iPad Pro is ‘tighter than previous generations’


ARM is developing a 192-core processor

Limited to cloud computing for now



How many cores do you want on your smartphone? Most smartphone users can settle for eight cores. However, ARM wants to blow that figure out of the park. According to a roadmap, ARM is developing a 192-core processor.

Reported by TechRadar, the British chipmaker is building the gigantic chipset as part of its expanded Neoverse lineup. Currently, the lineup can already go up to 128 cores. With that, it will offer better performance and DDR5 memory. According to the same report, the upcoming processor will go up against Intel and AMD.

However, if you’re hoping to grab one for your smartphone, you’re still out of luck. For now, ARM is reserving the technology for cloud computing, rather than for smartphones. It will take a while before massive chipsets make their way to consumer products.

The company has also made further headlines recently. As confirmed by the buyer itself, Nvidia will purchase ARM from current owner SoftBank. With the report of the 192-core processor today, Nvidia likely knew about the upcoming roadmap before making the purchase.

That said, ARM’s future will still need some marinating time before it lands in our hands. We can only imagine what a 192-core processor on a smartphone will look like.

SEE ALSO: Apple is shifting to Arm-based Macs but isn’t interested in buying the company

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US has blocked another major Chinese company

Due to “unacceptable risk”



After a seemingly successful crusade against Huawei and an ongoing battle against TikTok, the Trump administration is starting separate fights against other companies. Recently, the government inquired about Tencent’s potential connections with the Chinese government. Skipping the line, the US has blocked another major Chinese company.

This time, the country’s target is China’s biggest chipmaking company, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). Earlier this month, the government had already pondered on the potential ban. Today, the Commerce Department added SMIC to the current list of blacklisted Chinese companies.

According to a Reuters report, the SMIC’s hardware poses “unacceptable risk,” potentially succumbing to military use. As expected, potential customers must now apply for an operating license to do business with the SMIC. Likewise, the SMIC denies any ties with the Chinese military.

With the inclusion, the SMIC joins the likes of Huawei, ZTE, and TikTok in facing adversity on American soil. Since Trump’s crusade against Huawei and ZTE, the United States has shone critical eyes against several Chinese companies operating in the country.

At the point, all implicated Chinese companies have not enjoyed any long-lasting reprieve from American criticism. Now, after SMIC’s inclusion, the list keeps growing with no signs of stopping.

SEE ALSO: Globe will replace Huawei-supplied equipment

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Globe launches network upgrade to improve connectivity by 2021

The telco is building more cell sites and rolling out fiber cable upgrades



During the 2020 State of the Nation Address, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte urged telcos to improve their service as most Filipinos work or learn from home. Now, Globe is embarking on its largest network upgrade to keep up with growing demands for a reliable and faster Internet connection.

A three-pronged strategy for Globe network upgrade

As part of its upgrade, the telco has laid out a three-pronged strategy to improve connectivity for customers. The first part of the strategy is building more cell sites throughout the Philippines. The telco is working with different government sectors to make this possible. Through the support of the Anti-Red Tape Authority and Bayanihan 2, the process of obtaining permits to build cell sites is much faster and simplified.

This simplified process enabled Globe to construct 900 cell sites alone in 2020. The telco obtained 190 permits from 80 local government units, making key upgrades in several areas of Visayas and Mindanao possible. It has also built 32 new towers in several barangays across Quezon City.

The second part of Globe’s strategy is diversifying 4G frequencies for increased frequency and speed. Through this, more Filipinos can now enjoy faster 4G speeds and coverage anywhere in the country.

The final part of Globe’s strategy is intensifying its fiberization efforts nationwide. The telco is upgrading its old copper cables to newer fiber optic cables. A rollout of fiber lines happened in key areas of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Batangas, Cebu, and Davao del Sur within the span of eight months.

Overall, the rollout represented a full 51.4% increase over its 2019 fiberization efforts. By now, the telco is in the process of migrating customers from copper lines to fiber.

Moving to 5G

Globe is also busy rolling out next-generation 5G networks across the country. Recently, it expanded the reach of its 5G network to nine more cities within Metro Manila. The network expansion follows the initial rollout that happened in busy commercial districts such as Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City.

Globe hopes to complete its network upgrade by 2021. It has already spent a considerable amount of money on undertaking this huge initiative. Hopefully, the promise of the better connection surfaces as the new year begins. After all, the Internet in the Philippines remains one of the slowest in Asia.

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