From Apple and Windows PCs to Android devices, Intel bug affects them all

A major design flaw has been discovered in the Intel processors. It is found that the bug is affecting devices as old as 20 years. Initially, reports only talked of the damage it wascreating towards Mac OS and Windows computers. However, it is now being noticed that Android smartphones are being affected too. While Google has patched the bug on several platforms, Microsoft and Intel have confirmed the bug to be 2018’s first major widespread flaw.

As per Engadget, “We are in the process of deploying mitigations to cloud services and have also released security updates to protect Windows customers against vulnerabilities affecting supported hardware chips from Intel, ARM, and AMD,” said Microsoft.

The Gadgetsnow reported that Google’s Project Zero has confirmed that the bug is running on both Android and ChromeOS platforms. An update will be rolling out on January 23 for the Chrome users so as to help them mitigate the attack. For now, users can enable the ‘site isolation’ feature as a temporary method for protection.

The chipmaker has acknowledged the existence of the vulnerability; the vulnerability being towards gathering sensitive data from the computers. However, Intel also stated that the bug cannot corrupt, delete or modify data.

“Contrary to some reports, any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time,” said the company’s newsroom website.

Also, the company has sent out updates about its firmware and hardware to its partners to decrease the level of impact. Intel is yet to give out details pertaining to when and how will it be rolling a fix to this flaw.

Sources:  Gadgetsnow , Endgadget

 

iPhone X: Apple of everyone’s eye

10 years after the first iPhone was released, Apple launched its 10th-anniversary gift, with not one, or two, but three iPhones- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. Apple CEO Tim Cook launched the trio in new “spaceship” headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The front-back glassy looking iPhone X and siblings will be available at an eye-popping price of $999 for 64GB iPhone X which means INR 89000, $699 for iPhone 8  and 8 Plus at $799.
iPhone X, 8 and 8 plus have updated features of the earlier lot of iPhones. The trio has an A11 Bionic processor and has 2 gigs of RAM, better brightness and colors with TrueTone Tech. Wireless charging update will help the users to charge the phones by resting them on the charging mat. Also, the two cameras outfitted with 12-megapixel sensors will increase the camera use surely. With iOS11, the augmented reality support is available which will virtually advance your phone for games and apps. But iPhone X became the apple of everyone’s eye.
For the first time, Apple’s used 5.8 inch OLED screen called a Super Retina display that covers the iPhone X edge-to-edge, to brighten the colors.
Also, the disappearance of home button makes the new iPhone absolutely new though the users will have to change their habits. Swiping up for multitasking and down for control options. Siri will respond you either by pressing long side button or by calling her out-“Hey Siri’.
Another unique feature is the FaceID. Your face replaces the finger scanner unlocking system. Apple guarantees that glasses, accessories, photographs, nothing can fool the high-end security system as it works by mapping 30,000 invisible dots to create a mathematical 3D model of you face. One can even animate the emojis by giving them voice and expressions through this FaceID technology.
Pre-booking for iPhone X starts on October 27, and it ships November 3.
Image Source: Reuters

Apple pays Nokia $2 billion to end fight over patents

In what seems to be a sidestepping for tech giant Apple, it recently paid a compensation of $2 billion to Nokia over multiple patent disputes that began in 2009.

“We got a substantial upfront cash payment of €1.7 billion from Apple, strengthening further our cash position. As said earlier, our plans is to provide more details on the intended use of cash in conjunction with our Q3 earnings,” reads the official transcript of Nokia’s quarterly earnings call with investors, the Verge reported.  Neither of the companies have disclosed the terms of the new licensing deal, including whether it involves recurring payments or how many years it will be in place.

The lawsuit, the second high-profile patent dispute between Apple and Nokia in the last decade, began last year when Nokia accused Apple of infringing on dozens of patents it owns, as well as patents owned by Nokia subsidiaries. . Apple has had a licensing deal with Nokia in place since 2011, after the two settled their last patent dispute. But Apple reportedly did not want to sign a new deal and accused Nokia of seeking unfair terms.

The agreement marked the end of a patent dispute that began last year, when Nokia sued Apple in Germany and the US, alleging infringement of 32 patents. The two companies sued one another in 2009, and struck a licensing agreement in 2011.

The two settled in May, striking new licensing terms and agreeing to a joint effort to explore “future collaboration in digital health initiatives.

Sources: Livemint, The Verge

 

Apple appoints Isabel Ge Mahe as new China head

Isabel Ge Mahe, vice president of wireless technologies, has been named the managing director of the Greater China project on 18th July. She will directly report to Apple CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams. The role she has been entrusted with is newly created as an effort to combat the gradual decline of sales in Apple’s second largest market.

According to Livemint, Apple disclosed plans to establish its first data center in China last week to adhere to the new laws that require foreign companies to store user data within the country.

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated, “Apple is strongly committed to invest and grow in China, and we are thrilled that Isabel will be bringing her experience and leadership to our China team.”

The Chinese-born wireless technology veteran has played a major role in developing Apple Pay, HomeKit and CarPlay and has worked intimately with Apple’s Research and Development Center in China to advance features for the iPhone and iPad specific to the China userbase like QR code scanning in the latest version of iOS.

It has been reported that Apple will invest one billion dollars for a project in the Guizhou province that will comprise of a data center run in collaboration with a local partner. The systems will have an iron-clad security that negate outside parties from being able to access data. Apple will also invest an additional 508 million dollars to build two Research and Development centers in Shanghai and Suzhou.

Sources: NDTV, Livemint

Apple cuts prices in the wake of GST in India

In the wake of Good and Services Tax (GST),  the Cupertino-based company Apple Inc. has decided to cut cost from 4% to 7% for Indian retailers. The slashed prices do not only comply to Apple iPhones but to other products such as iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches.

The 32GB variant of Apple iPhone 7 Plus slashed from Rs 72,000 to Rs 67,300. The 32 GB variant of iPhone 7 can now be purchased at Rs 56,200 from Rs 60,000. Similarly, the 128 GB will now cost Rs 65,200 and the 256 GB variant will be available at Rs 74,400 (were previously available at Rs 70,000 and Rs 80,000 respectively).

Senior Analyst at New Delhi-based Counterpoint Research, Tarun Pathak, said: “I think it is a good move ahead of the upcoming festive season.” He further added “we believe the best way for Apple to increase their share in India is to bridge the gap between affordability and aspirational value of iPhone. Even in the past, they have tasted success with 4S, 5S and iPhone 6 when reduced the price.”

These measures are taken into serious consideration, keeping the future of the company in the country. Apple was successful to increase sales by the first quarter of 2017, as its revenue grew by 20%. These are also countermeasures to the growing Chinese competition in India, since the launch of its popular brands Xiaomi and Oppo.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook too praised the introduction of GST after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in America. Apple currently holds 3 percent market share in the country.

 

Sources-

  1. Hindustan Times-http://www.hindustantimes.com/smartphone/gst-impact-apple-slashes-iphone-ipad-prices-in-india/story-FCyVdgN78JWHY84AGifTwI.html

2. Economic Times-http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/gst-impact-apple-cuts-prices-of-all-iphone-models-in-india-by-up-to-7-5-per-cent/articleshow/59400840.cms

Apple to start manufacturing in India

Wistron Corp, Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner is setting up an assembly in Bengaluru with sole motive of assembling iPhones.

A source, who asked not to be named, said the Indian government and Apple were still discussing “the repatriation of long-term profits from local sales and exports.”

Karnataka government welcomed Apple’s proposal to begin initial manufacturing operations in Bengaluru which is the tech hub of Karnataka, hinting it is moving forward with its plans to assemble iPhones in India.

“Apple’s intentions to manufacture in Bengaluru will foster a cutting edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally,” stated the Karnataka government.

Priyank Kharge, IT Minister of Karnataka told Reuters that he believes Apple will most probably begin the manufacturing in the state by the end of April, or beginning of May.

Another source, that also requested Reuters not to state his name, said that no memorandum of understanding or agreement has so far been finalised with the Karnataka government.

Wistron’s spokesperson, Joyce Chou revealed that the final production of smart phones from the Bengaluru plant is expected sometime in the first half of 2017. She refused to comment on whether it would be a captive iPhone assembly site.

California-based Apple company, Cupertino, is eager to assemble its phones in India which considered to be one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone market.

Sources: NDTV, Indian Express

Image source: Financial Express

Nokia and Apple file lawsuits over patent violation in US and Europe

For the second time in the past seven years, Apple Inc. and Nokia Corp. have filed competing lawsuits over intellectual property used in the iPhone and other Apple products.

Last time, a two-year patent case was settled with Nokia in 2011, where Apple had agreed to pay licensing royalties for use of some Nokia patents in its phones.

This week, Apple filed the suit in the state of California, on Tuesday, arguing that Nokia excluded some patents from the earlier agreement and has been using them for “extorting excessive royalties” from them by transferring these patents to third-party companies. The company has requested the court to compensate it for its damages and rule that Nokia has indulged in a breach of contract.

On the other hand, Nokia filed a suit on Wednesday in the District Court of Eastern Texas (U.S.) and the Regional courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich (Germany). It has alleged that the Apple products infringed on 32 Nokia patents covering technologies such as video coding, antenna and display.

As per a report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple has accused Nokia of not licensing their patents on a fair basis and now using such tactics to extort money from the company. Incidentally, Nokia won a settlement worth $720 million from Apple in the previous patent dispute.

SOURCES: USAToday, Bloomberg, WSJ