Both Kaspersky and Symantec released reports this week pointing out the increase in attacks by Wild Neutron (aka Jripbot, Morpho, or Butterfly). WN had gone mostly dormant (or undetected?) since 2013 after hitting Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft using zero-day Java exploits (seeded in the hacked forums of various websites) and the OSX/Pintsized Mac OS X or Windows Jiripbot backdoor.
Apple stock tanks after iPhone 5S/5C announcementAs late-night talk show hosts had a field day poking fun at Apple’s lackluster iPhone 52 and iPhone 5C announcement and competitors began tweeting jibes about Apple's superficial presentation, Apple’s stock began a hearty plummet on heavy volume trading immediately following the announcement of their new flagship devices. And all with good reason. If Apple loses their status as a trendsetter, they will no longer be able to charge a premium for their products. Was Apple's announcement really all that bad? Let's put it this way: Don't. Stand. In. Line.
In a decision that could reshape how e-books (and wishfully, digital music) are sold on the Internet, a federal judge in Manhattan has ruled that Apple Inc conspired to raise the retail prices of e-books in violation of antitrust law, and has called for a trial on damages. Apple had been accused of colluding with five publishers to boost e-book prices beginning in late 2009, as the Silicon Valley giant was preparing to launch its popular iPad tablet. The U.S. Department of Justice said this conspiracy was designed to undercut online retailer Amazon.com Inc's dominance of the fast-growing e-books market. Only Apple went to trial, while the publishers - Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, News Corp's (surprise, surprise) HarperCollins, Penguin Group and CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster - settled with the U.S. government and the states. The federal judge noted that the conspiracy resulted in prices for some e-books rising to $12.99 or $14.99, when Amazon had sold the same books for $9.99.
Apple announced yesterday (2/19/13) that hackers had infected Macintosh computers of employees using an exploit in Oracle’s Java software stack. The attack is largest known cyber attack targeting Apple computers. The malware is believed to have originated from an iPhone developer website and was later used to launch massive attacks against Facebook, Twitter, and “other companies”.
They are. They aren't More reports come in today that Apple is working with Asian suppliers to create a new Apple branded TV set. Excitement is high because Steve Jobs had previously stated that Apple had finally cracked the code for a television OS that was as clean and simple as the iPhone. Reportedly, several designs are in the works. Some sources are saying the new sets are “not a formal project yet. It is still in the early stages of testing.” Once sources says that Hon Hai is the supplier that's working with Sharp to design the new TV. It is worth noting that Apple often works with suppliers on prototype designs before committing to manufacturing.
And the battle of the two Titans continues. Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo is reporting that Samsung has increased the price of Apple’s processor by nearly 20%. The newspaper noted that this is the first time Samsung has sought to increase the prices of the processors that go inside Apple’s mobile devices. This after Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1 billion for infringing on Apple’s product design elements. The Korean newspaper went on to report that Apple, faced with no alternatives, has accepted Samsung’s demands in order to guarantee uninterrupted production at the levels required to meet demand for its tablets and smartphones.
Reports are out that Apple has paid $21 million for rights to the Swiss Federal Railway clock it used in iOS 6 without their permission. In addition, Apple and HTC announced this past weekend that they have ended all their patent disputes. The financial terms of their agreement remains confidential but since HTC has been on the losing end thus far, it is safe to assume they paid a hefty sum to stop the litigation. In addition, the companies announced a 10-year license to current and future patents held by both companies.
It’s the song that never ends. Federal District Judge Lucy Koh will "consider the questions" of whether the jury foreman, Velvin Hogan, in the Apple v. Samsung case, concealed information during the jury selection process and whether there was any misconduct on the jury foreman's part. Apple will be required to disclose any information they had gathered on the jury foreman in question, including the undisclosed fact that the foreman had been sued by his previous employer, Seagate. According to Samsung, Seagate and Samsung have a “substantial strategic relationship”. The jury foreman’s battle with Seagate was life-changing for him - he was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1993 after the litigation.
The UK Court of Appeal in London ruled yesterday on the specific wording of Apple’s apology that Apple was forced to post on its homepage as the result of losing a ruling that Samsung infringed on their product design. While Apple did update their hompage to publicly acknowledge that it was wrong to accuse Samsung of stealing the design for the iPad, it also added extraneous information to the effect that other courts had ruled differently on the matter. It also included soundbites from the court case, a comment by the judge that Samsung’s products were not as cool as Apple’s, that blunted the message. According to the court, this equivocation made the apology “too slippery,” and thus, “non-compliant” with the original order. The court has ordered Apple to rewrite the apology, in 11-point font, and keep in on their homepage until December 14, 2012. They have 24 hours to remove to “apology” and 14 days to get a new one online.
Apple often gets credit for its ingenuity. Others argue that marketing has driven its success. Beast Master recently published an infographic documenting the history of several Apple “innovations” – you may be surprised to learn that most of Apple’s “ideas” originated outside the company. Here are some quick bulleted facts regarding those origins.
Reminiscent of the Jobs expulsion a few decades ago, Scott Forstall was ousted from Apple yesterday, regardless of what Apple may or may not admit. His design taste, abrasive personality, aggressive risk taking, belief that Apple was not working hard enough on “big ideas”, and of course, the iOS Maps fiasco, all rubbed Tim Cook the wrong way. Where Steve Jobs could rein Forstall in and employ his imaginative talents, Cook would rather have a smooth running machine rather than one that includes a crewmember willing to play devil’s advocate. Fact is, the turning of Apple (and yes, Apple is “turning” right now) has very little to do with Forstall and more to do with the business decisions that have been coming from the top.
Amazon quickly went on the offensive after last week’s iPad mini announcement, pointing out the glaring differences between the iPad Mini and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. Leading off the ad is this quote: "Your Apple 7.9 inch tablet has far few pixels than the competing 7-in tablets. You’re cramming a worse screen in there, charging more, and accusing others of compromise? Ballsy."
sung shipped a stunning 56.9 million Android-based smartphone units in the third quarter of 2012, the most units any smartphone vendor has ever shipped. Of the 162 million smartphones sold in the third quarter, Samsung’s share adds up to a massive 35% of the total market share as Samsung seemingly shrugs off legal attacks launched by its archrival, Apple (Apple shipped 26.9 million iPhones during the same time period). In effect, for $1 billion, Samsung has been able to secure the top spot in the mobile market and continue to cement its leadership position.
A Dutch court in Hague ruled yesterday that Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s multi-touch technology in its Samsung tablets and smartphones. This time around, the judge did not require that Apple admit its defeat, publicly, in the media. Apple had already lost a preliminary injunction in the Netherlands on this same patent last year. This loss came in addition to losses in the United Kingdom and Germany but countered a huge $1 billion win in the United States.
A trash talking Schiller made a point to compare the new iPad Mini to the other guys (ahem, Google Nexus 7) in today’s announcements telling the crowd, “You get a tablet experience on the iPad Mini. You get a scaled-up phone experience on the other”. Bunch of exciting Apple gear was announced today. Good specs for some and as expected, all were priced higher than relative competitor products. Here’s the scoop.
Apple lost its appeal in a UK court against the Samsung Galaxy Tab – the court of appeals upheld its previous judgment that Samsung did not infringe on any of Apple’s design elements. As a result, the court has ordered Apple to run ads in leading UK newspapers as well as on its own website (for an entire month) stating that Samsung did not infringe its products. The text of the ad must be no smaller than Arial 14.