Enterprise

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

Blames China, cheap battery replacements

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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’

Enterprise

Dell taking concrete steps towards sustainability, inclusivity

With the help of digital data

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Once in a while, tech companies unveil their roadmaps to orient their mission, vision, and goals into the future. Peering into roadmaps, however, is not enough. Tech companies also need to fulfill their objectives and ensure progress at every step of the way.

Only then will they make progress a reality by ensuring concrete steps to the future.

For Dell, making progress a reality is a matter of listing down bold agenda. As part of its “Progress Made Real” campaign, the company has unveiled three innovative goals it will accomplish by 2030. The company hopes its moonshot goals will drive responsibility and innovation while making societal impact.

Here are Dell’s goals as part of its campaign.

Advancing sustainability

Dell is following the general trend of most companies in reducing carbon footprint and using recyclables with its products. Unlike most companies, however, the company stated concrete goals by 2030 that will make it accountable to the planet.

One of those is recycling an equivalent product for every Dell product a customer buys. Now that’s a bold goal — but necessary if the world will eliminate e-waste. Elsewhere, Dell is also announcing the start of a circular economy by making products from recycled or renewable materials.

That goal is not just an empty promise — after all, Dell already started using bamboo packaging on its XPS 13 laptops.

What remains to be seen, however, is the company’s commitment to 100 percent recycled or renewable materials in all its packaging.

Cultivating inclusion

Part of Dell’s goals for 2030 is ensuring gender inclusivity in its workplace. As such, the company wants 50 percent of its global workforce and 40 percent of global managers to be women.

According to Ronnie Latinazo — Dell’s country manager for the Philippines — the country comes ahead of this goal with 45 percent of the workplace comprised of women.

Country Manager Ronnie Latinazo discussing the future of Dell’s technologies

By 2030, Dell wants 95 percent of its workers educated yearly on issues regarding unconscious bias, harassment, micro-aggression, and privilege. Such a bold goal is sorely needed at a time when more cases of sexual abuse are being uncovered every year.

The company is not lagging on these goals as it already took the first steps with its annual women empowerment summit, which inspires women in the workplace to do more and go the extra mile.

Shaping an ethical company

Establishing a company with ethics at its core means transforming the lives of many people and respecting fundamental human rights. Dell hopes to achieve 75 percent worker participation in charitable giving and community volunteerism. With the help of digital data, the company will make it easier to measure and monitor sustainable living goals for more than a billion people on the planet.

Privacy, as one of the fundamental human rights, remains a top priority for the company’s 2030 goals. By fully automating data control processes and making it easier to access customer’s data, Dell hopes to lead the way when it comes to digital privacy in the 21st century and beyond.

To ensure fulfillment of these goals, the company partnered with its workers, customers, and third-parties in fine-tuning and making progress towards these a reality.

Unveiling a streamlined PowerOne system

Along with making progress in sustainability and inclusivity, Dell is pushing ahead with the expansion of its cloud products designed for business managing dedicated data centers.

Dell recently launched its PowerOne infrastructure, which automates every step in creating and managing a data server for cloud deployment. As such, IT professionals will spend lesser time figuring out how to make software work to ensure smooth operations.

PowerOne is fully automated and uses Kubernetes and Ansible as its back-end technology. It is made up of other singular components such as PowerEdge, PowerMax, PowerSwitch, and PowerProtect. Gone are the days when businesses need to purchase these components individually since they can buy PowerOne to take care of everything.

“We believe that PowerOne would be a game-changer in the industry because it is the first autonomous infrastructure in the market,” said Ronnie Latinazo.

To know more about PowerOne, head to Dell EMC’s site for more information.

Making progress a reality

Dell is facing a challenging decade ahead as it unveils its goals towards a sustainable and inclusive future. With a plethora of options to choose from, the company is ensuring it will be the customers’ go-to brand for everyday computing and professional needs.

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Enterprise

Samsung’s phones are sending information to a Chinese company

But it’s not all bad, according to Samsung

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More than a week into 2020, the Chinese cybersecurity issue still proliferates. Today, the target is Samsung. A few days ago, Reddit presented a comprehensive thread on a concerning issue involving all Samsung smartphones.

Apparently, Samsung’s utility app — called Device Care — obtains one of its features from “a super shady Chinese data-mining/antivirus company called Qihoo 360.” As the name suggests, Qihoo 360 provides the app’s storage scanner. Further, as with most utility apps, Device Care is a mandatory, pre-installed app; you couldn’t delete it, even if you wanted to.

Allegedly, the antivirus provider has a less-than-stellar reputation, even in its own home turf. Among other things, it peddles obnoxious adware and actively hunts down other antivirus software in a device. Similarly, it has also been implicated in spyware cases in the past — including a controversy wherein the company sends user data to the Chinese government.

More than just Chinese fear, the Reddit user also tested the app for any communication with outside servers. Surprisingly enough, Device Care does establish communication with several Chinese servers. Unfortunately, the thread does not detail what information was transferred in the process.

Regardless, the information was enough to spark discussion especially among Western users who remain wary about Chinese involvement in their technology.

However, according to a statement from Samsung Members Korea, Device Care sends only information regarding suspected junk files to Qihoo 360. The app merely cross-references its information with Qihoo 360’s databases to confirm whether a file should be deleted or not.

Additionally, in a statement addressed to The Verge, the sent data includes only generic information such as phone model and OS version. “The storage optimization process, including the scanning and removal of junk files, is fully managed by Samsung’s device care solution,” the statement said.

Put simply, there’s nothing to be worried about. Unfortunately, Samsung’s statement will not quell the world’s fears against Chinese technology. Currently, China’s technology sector is still waging a defensive war against all front all over the world.

SEE ALSO: Samsung copies Apple’s logos for CES keynote

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Samsung copies Apple’s logos for CES keynote

Almost identical to FaceID and TouchID logos

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Image source: Samsung

These days, every smartphone maker has a feature that everyone else has. Everyone has bezel-less designs, multi-camera setups, and facial recognition software, for example. However, despite the industry’s tendency to share features with one another, every company has their own take or branding. It’s an unwritten rule that companies can have the same features as another, only if the branding is different.

Oddly enough, Samsung breached this rule recently. At a CES 2020 press conference, the company copied one of Apple’s most prized technologies in recent history. During the company’s talk on cybersecurity, the keynote presented its latest investments in the industry, including facial recognition software. However, in presenting the new information, Samsung used an all-too-familiar image: Apple’s FaceID logo.

More precisely, Samsung’s weird facsimile has thicker lines and tighter spacing. Regardless, the resemblance is damning. Of course, Samsung did not advertise or claim any involvement with Apple’s products. That said, the blunder is a big one, especially considering that both companies have engaged in copyright spats in the past.

Similarly, Samsung’s included graphic for fingerprint recognition is also remarkably similar to Apple’s TouchID.

Samsung has not clarified the blunder. On the other hand, Apple has also remained silent. If anything, Samsung’s mistake is a source of lighthearted amusement in this year’s CES event.

SEE ALSO: Samsung QLED 8K TV: Future-proof your TV viewing

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