Enterprise

Microsoft beats Apple as the world’s most valuable company

Just for a brief moment

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When Apple became a trillion-dollar company about four months ago, it was a momentous triumph for the company. Although, their market value slowly went down after the excitement over the new iPhones. On the other hand, Microsoft is slowly crawling up to the top and was able to overtake Apple in market cap value for the first time in eight years.

Microsoft briefly reached US$ 812.93 billion earlier today and it was closely followed by Apple with US$ 812.60 billion. Even for just a brief time, the Redmond company became the most valuable entity in the world. Traders are still making Apple and Microsoft battle for the title as we speak.


It was in 2010 when Apple passed Microsoft due to the massive sales and popularity of the iPhones and MacBooks. Apple’s stock grew phenomenally over the years and it peaked with a US$ 1 trillion valuation.

Yet, investors started to express concern about current iPhone sales which make up about 60 percent of the company’s revenue. The Cupertino company doesn’t expect to hit market estimates for the holidays which is why stock prices are going down. There are now reports that Apple has resumed the production of an older iPhone model due to the weak sales of the latest one.

Microsoft’s current company logo | Image credit: Microsoft

To add to the list of concerns, Apple doesn’t even want to disclose how many iPhones, iPads, and Macs it sells. This make will it harder for analysts to foresee the future of the company’s revenue and, of course, increases the risks for investors.

Things are a bit different for Microsoft which is performing pretty good since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014. Unlike Apple, Microsoft has a number of revenue sources including popular services and products like Windows, Office, Xbox, and Surface. What makes most of Microsoft money though is their focus on cross-platform technologies, the cloud, and artificial intelligence.

Who could forget the failure of Windows Phone? Still, the company showed resilience and was able to keep itself on the right path. Microsoft passed Google’s and Amazon’s market value, so the leap over Apple’s is just another indication of the company’s bright future.

Until when can Microsoft hold the torch? Nobody can say for sure, but it’ll be an exciting tomorrow for the company and for all the tech giants who are constantly competing.

Source: Bloomberg

SEE ALSO: Samsung breaks sales records, thanks to Apple

Enterprise

Huawei on getting to top spot: ‘This process may take longer’

Admits that there are other priorities

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By now, it’s become clear that the US trade ban saga against Huawei won’t end any time soon. Despite the support of fellow tech companies and occasionally positive news, the Chinese manufacturer realizes that solving this issue is top priority.

It was made even more evident after Shao Yang, chief strategy officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group, admitted that there’s been a change in Huawei’s plan to reach the number one spot in smartphone market share.


“We would have become the largest in the fourth quarter (of this year) but now we feel that this process may take longer,” said Shao Yan.

The New York Times states that he didn’t elaborate on reasons for this shift in strategy, but it’s an apparent response to the trade ban the US has been imposing on the tech giant.

Recently, Huawei overtook Apple for second place in global smartphone market share to trail behind only Samsung. Chipping away at the South Korean brand’s spot will have to take a break for now.

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Computers

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: Dell embraces a circular economy

Sustainability is at the core of everything Dell does

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As consumers our top considerations when buying a new device are specs, performance, value for money, and design. We rarely think about the impact we and the technology we use have on the environment. The only time we probably ever do is when we need to dispose an irreparable phone or a dinosaur laptop. When that moment comes, we also don’t know exactly what to do or where to bring our old devices.

Fortunately there are companies like Dell that think ahead and consider the entire lifecycle of their products — from sourcing materials, to manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and recycling — and beyond. This approach is called a circular economy.


In a traditional, linear product cycle, recycling or refurbishing is thought of at the end of the product’s life, if at all. In Dell’s circular economy, the concept of waste is designed out of the system. This means sustainability is at the core of everything that they do. Here are some ways Dell is minimizing their footprint as a company while helping us consumers reduce ours as well:

Trade-in and recycling programs, not just for Dell products

Through Dell Reconnect, you can take that old computer sitting in your attic to a Goodwill store for recycling or refurbishing. The program also provides green jobs, and ensures that no environmentally sensitive materials are sent to landfills. The same program allows you to recycle or send back used ink cartridges responsibly as well.

If you’re due for an upgrade, the company can also recycle your old laptop for you, no matter the brand. You may also trade in any eligible piece of electronics, including smartphones and consoles, to earn a gift card that you can use to buy yourself a shiny new Dell laptop.

Packaging made of bamboo, mushrooms, straws

Photo from Dell

To solve mountains of packaging problems we face after unboxing a new device — large fancy boxes, plastic, and foam — Dell has come up with the 3Cs packaging strategy, which stands for cube (size and shape), content (material choice), and curb (recyclability).

For Dell, wasted space inside any packaging is just that — wasted — so the company is continuously finding ways to minimize the amount of material needed to create packaging, as well as reduce box sizes so as to fit more products in storage and during shipping.

More importantly, Dell uses the best possible material to protect the product, and consider that which makes most sense for each region by using what’s locally available. In 2009, Dell was the first to use packaging made from bamboo. Not only is it a renewable alternative to petroleum-derived foams, the bamboo they use also grows near their manufacturing facilities.

In 2011, Dell started developing cushion packaging made of mushroom, which has a smaller footprint compared to the usual protective foam, and is compostable. Recently, the company also started taking ocean-bound plastics like straws back to the economy where they can be reused to make the trays found inside Dell boxes.

The company reuses boxes up to 7 times before they are recycled. So when you buy a new laptop and the box is not in its most perfect form, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In certain markets, Dell also rewards customers for returning packaging that can be refurbished and reused.

Ink made of smog

Photo from Chakr Innovations

Here’s an unexpected way Dell is putting waste back into the economy and using locally available materials at the same time. Traditionally seen as a pollutant, the company is using ink made from smog in India to print some of its packaging.

A startup called Chakr Innovations developed the device called Chakr Shield which captures 90% of particulate matter emissions from diesel generators. The captured soot is then turned into carbon black, which is used to make ink. Dell is the first to use the ink on a larger scale and it works just as well as regular ink.

Backpack made of recycled windshields

Photo from Dell

Dell doesn’t just make computers and printers, they also make a whole array of accessories, and some of them are made with sustainability in mind. The Dell Pro Backpack 15 is made with a more environment-friendly solution-dyeing process. It’s also water-resistant, which is made possible by a layer of coating that’s made from reclaimed windshields.

Jewelry made of used computers

Photo from Dell

In its effort to reduce waste dumped in landfills, Dell also reclaims gold from motherboards through its recycling programs, reuses them to make not only new motherboards, but jewelry as well. So that old laptop you’re going to trade in for a new one? Parts of it will end up on someone’s finger or ears at some point, not in a developing country that becomes a dumpsite for other companies and countries.

Photo from Dell

Vivian Tai, Head of Global Environmental Affairs for the APJ region says the company is integrating sustainability efforts not for Dell’s benefit, but to provide better value for customers. She says sourcing and bringing what many consider “waste” back to life is challenging but is important to the company. Just this year, Dell already reached two of its 2020 goals: recover two billion pounds of used electronics and use 100 million pounds of recycled-content, plastic and other sustainable materials, one full year ahead of schedule.

Next time you need to buy a new laptop, take sustainability into consideration, too. Technology plays a big role in making our lives easier, and the good that it can do should not end at that but also extend beyond its usual lifecycle. It’s not just big companies who benefit from minimizing our ecological footprint — it’s also us, consumers, and the generations that come after us.

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Apps

Google: Cutting off Huawei is an even bigger threat

Could lead to less secure apps

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For three weeks, Huawei’s biggest concerns were the loss of Android and ARM architecture support. The recent Trump ban created pandemonium for the Chinese company. Since the ban’s announcement, Huawei has struggled with solutions and appeals. Unfortunately, the company’s troubles are not stopping.

In a Financial Times report, Google argues that Trump’s ban will ironically open Huawei to more cybersecurity issues. Likewise, an Android ban will cascade down to the operating system’s supported apps. Users will likely resort to less secure installation methods for their lost apps.


Google further explains that using an Android hybrid (since the platform is open-source by nature) could result in more holes in the system’s security. Huawei’s alternative — either their own custom OS or a forked Android variant — will not offer the same amount of protection.

In related news, Facebook has banned their app’s pre-installs on their future smartphones. Currently, Huawei’s phones come installed with Facebook’s slew of apps — Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. Arguably, all three apps are essential pieces of a smartphone’s ecosystem. As such, smartphone makers often strike pre-installation deals with app developers, allowing devices to come with these essential apps.

Of course, Huawei users can still install them manually through the Google Play Store. However, this method is also in jeopardy. By August 19, Google is forced to sever support for Huawei, pending a permanent resolution. The ban can feasibly take the Play Store with it. If that happens, Huawei users can no longer install Facebook through the usual means. Users will start resorting to Huawei’s own store or APK installs.

Huawei’s continued dealing with bans rings an ominous death knell for the Chinese company. Without a conclusive resolution, the world’s number-two smartphone manufacturer is facing an uncertain, dangerous future for its phones, inside and out.

SEE ALSO: Huawei inks a 5G developmental deal with Russia

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