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Posts Tagged ‘Business Insider’

This chart reveals a growing problem for Apple — that ‘customers are getting less excited for each new generation of iPhone’

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Getty/Justin Sullivan
  • New iPhone models haven’t sold out as quickly as they have in years past.
  • Citi analysts have used search trends to surmise that “customers are getting less excited for each new generation of iPhone.”

Apple launched the iPhone XR at 3 A.M. in the morning on Friday, and when morning came, nearly all of the models were still in stock, according to Macworld.

It’s a change for Apple, which usually requires customers to wake up in the early morning to put in a pre-order if they want the new iPhone on the first day. Lines outside Apple stores when the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max went on sale were smaller than they were in years past.

These data points can be taken as a sign that perhaps an iPhone launch doesn’t generate as much buzz as it used to.

That’s what analysts from Citi concluded in a note distributed earlier this week, based on Google searches.

“We observed there are significant spikes for web searches after the launch event each year. We also see the momentum has been decreasing over time,” the analysts wrote.

“We believe this indicates the market has been maturing, and customers are getting less excited for each new generation of iPhone,” they continued. “We suspect this is because of a slowdown in innovation and the saturation of iPhone in the addressable market.”

Their research can be summed up in this chart:

iPhone search trends Citi

There are a lot of reasons why search traffic might be decreasing year-over-year, and it doesn’t necessarily suggest that iPhone sales will sag. “We are not expecting a ‘Super Cycle,’ but we do believe sustainable single-digit unit growth of iPhone is achievable,” the Citi analysts write.

One issue might be that the overall smartphone market has matured. Apple’s big new features include water-resistance, a facial recognition scanner called Face ID, and a display that covers more of the front of the phone. But none of those banner features represent as much of a jump as iPhones from 4 or 5 years ago, when the camera was improving by leaps and bounds and the displays were getting much larger on an annual basis.

It’s also possible that these search trends were collected before the iPhone XR went on sale. The iPhone XR comes in a bunch of colors, and starting at $749, is expected to be the most popular new iPhone this cycle.

Regardless of why, there certainly does appear to be less buzz around new iPhone launches. Perhaps that’s why Apple is pouring so much money into research and development— to find the next big thing.

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Powerful Facebook investors just co-filed a proposal to take down Mark Zuckerberg as chairman

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and chairman.
  • Four powerful institutional Facebook investors have co-filed a shareholder proposal to split Mark Zuckerberg’s dual role as CEO and chairman.
  • The proposal was originally filed by the activist investor Trillium Asset Management and revealed by Business Insider in July, after Facebook’s brutal second-quarter earnings.
  • Scott Stringer, the New York City comptroller, and Joe Torsella, the Pennsylvania state treasurer, are among those lending their support, giving significantly more weight to the governance-change demand.
  • But the chance of the proposal becoming a reality is slim. A similar proposal in 2017 was popular among independent investors but crushed because of Zuckerberg’s voting power.

Four powerful institutional Facebook investors have co-filed a shareholder proposal to take down Mark Zuckerberg as chairman following what they say was his “mishandling” of several scandals this year.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Rhode Island State Treasurer Seth Magaziner, and Pennsylvania State Treasurer Joe Torsella are joining forces to pile the pressure on Zuckerberg.

They have put their names to a proposal, originally filed by the activist investor Trillium Asset Management, demanding that Facebook appoint an independent chairman. Business Insider first reported on the proposal in July.

Their support gives the demand significantly more weight, given that they control more than $1 billion in Facebook stock. It also points to an increasing base of support for sweeping governance change at Facebook.

If approved by investors — including Facebook’s management — at its annual shareholder meeting next year, Trillium’s proposal would require the company to appoint an independent chairman, breaking up Zuckerberg’s dual role as CEO and chairman.

A similar plan was put forward last year. Though 51% of independent investors voted in favor of that change, it was crushed as a result of Facebook’s dual-class share structure; Class B shares have 10 times the voting power of Class A shares, and Zuckerberg owns more than 75% of Facebook’s Class B stock.

That means he has more than half of the voting power at Facebook and therefore the ability to swat away investor proposals, making the chance that Trillium’s proposal becomes a reality slim.

A new chairman is essential to helping Facebook out of its ‘mess’

But unrest among investors is growing.

“We need Facebook’s insular boardroom to make a serious commitment to addressing real risks — reputational, regulatory, and the risk to our democracy — that impact the company,” Stringer said in a statement, adding, “An independent board chair is essential to moving Facebook forward from this mess, and to reestablish trust with Americans and investors alike.”

Magaziner said: “Without an independent board chair, the board’s oversight of the company remains inadequate, as evidenced by the recent mishandling of several controversies. Having an independent board chair … is in the best long-term interest of Facebook shareholders.”

Chris Wylie
Christopher Wylie blew the whistle on the Cambridge Analytica crisis.
Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images

Trillium’s proposal cites a series of scandals involving Facebook as the reason for a change, including the use of its platform to meddle in the 2016 US election, as well as the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Trillium also mentioned last month’s Facebook data breach, which affected 30 million users, in an email to Business Insider. (You can read Trillium’s proposal in full here.)

Stringer and Frerichs have previously spoken to Business Insider and other news organizations about the need for an overhaul.

Together, the four manage $333.4 billion in state funds, including pensions and college-savings plans.

Stringer oversaw about $895 million worth of Facebook shares, while Frerichs had $35 million invested as of June — before the firm’s stock price cratered following its brutal second-quarter earnings in July. Trillium had $11 million of Facebook stock under its management.

Facebook declined to comment. It has previously said that removing Zuckerberg as chairman would cause “uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency in board and management function.”

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Hackers stole millions of Facebook users’ highly sensitive data — and the FBI has asked it not to say who might be behind it

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
  • Facebook says 30 million users were affected by the massive hack it first disclosed two weeks ago.
  • On Friday, the social-networking firm revealed more details about the attack — and said the FBI had asked it not to reveal who might be behind it.
  • Hackers accessed millions of victims’ highly sensitive personal data, including locations, relationship information, recent searches, and birthdates.

Thirty million people have been affected by a massive hack of Facebook, with the attackers gaining access to millions of victims’ highly sensitive personal data.

On Friday, Facebook provided more details about the attack that it first disclosed two weeks ago — and said the FBI had asked it not to discuss who might be behind the attack.

In its update, Facebook said that the company was cooperating with the American law-enforcement agency and that 30 million people were affected, down from its original estimate of 50 million. In the case of 14 million victims, the attackers gained access to a variety of data including locations, contact details, relationship status, and recent searches — highly sensitive data that could be used to facilitate identify theft.

It appears to be the worst hack in Facebook’s 14-year history.

The hackers were able to exploit vulnerabilities in Facebook’s code to get their hands on “access tokens” — essentially digital keys that give them full access to compromised users’ accounts — and then scraped users’ data.

“We’re cooperating with the FBI, which is actively investigating and asked us not to discuss who may be behind this attack,” the Facebook executive Guy Rosen wrote in a blog post.

“We now know that fewer people were impacted than we originally thought. Of the 50 million people whose access tokens we believed were affected, about 30 million actually had their tokens stolen.”

For 14 million victims, the attackers accessed a trove of user highly sensitive data, including gender, relationship status, religion, hometown, current city, birth date, devices used to log in, education, locations checked into, pages followed, recent searches, name, and contact details.

For another 15 million, the hackers accessed less information — only name and contact details.

And for 1 million affected users, the hackers did not access any information.

Users can check whether they were affected, and what information was accessed, by visiting Facebook’s help center.

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27 great apps you should download first for your new iPhone XS

iPhone XS and XS Max
The iPhone XS and XS Max.
Getty

You’ve managed to get your hands on a new iPhone XS or XS Max, and now you want cool apps to run on it.

The Tech Insider staff picked some of our favorite apps that show off the power of Apple’s new phones.

The list is focused on lesser-known software that we use and love; if you’re looking for the most commonly downloaded apps — think Facebook, Snapchat, Google Maps — Apple publishes a list.

Let’s check them out:   https://www.businessinsider.com/best-ios-apps-and-games-for-iphone-xs-2018-9

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5 myths about iPhone battery life you might mistakenly believe — and what you should do instead

iPhone Battery iFixit

You’re not alone: everyone wants to eke out more time from their iPhone battery.But you might not be going about it the right way. Because so many people have iPhones, a lot of conventional wisdom about iPhone battery life can be similar to folk wisdom.

But that’s not to say there aren’t ways you can improve your battery life by changing specific settings or the way you use your iPhone.

Here are five common myths about iPhone battery life, what you can do about them, and sources where you can find additional information:

Myth #1: Closing apps you’re not using can save battery life

Myth #1: Closing apps you're not using can save battery life Apple

It’s a safe bet that at some point you know someone who compulsively shuts off apps on their smartphone to save battery.

They hit the home button twice, and then swipe up on various apps they’ve used in the past until the carousel is cleared.

In fact, this does not save battery, and may actually use extra power when you re-open apps you’ve totally switched off. Apple’s top software executive even confirmed this in an email to a user.

“You should force an app to close only when it’s unresponsive,” Apple wrote in a support page.

You can read a more thorough debunking of this myth here.

Myth #2: Charging your phone overnight can hurt the battery

Myth #2: Charging your phone overnight can hurt the battery Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

For years, some users have insisted that plugging your smartphone in while you sleep can harm the battery.

Maybe this made sense years ago, but it’s overblown today. Instead, your battery lifespan depends on “cycle count,” or how many times you’ve charged it over its lifetime.

Modern smartphones, including the iPhone, have advanced power management that means that they won’t take in more current than is necessary to charge them — meaning that leaving it plugged in after it reaches 100% won’t have any effect.

“All rechargeable batteries are consumables and have a limited lifespan — eventually their capacity and performance decline so that they need to be replaced,” Apple writes in a support document.

There’s more information about why it’s safe to charge your phone overnight here.

Myth #3: Apple’s $29 battery replacements are guaranteed to improve your device’s battery life

There was a minor scandal last year when it was discovered that Apple sometimes reduced the power to iPhone processors with old and spent batteries.

Basically, Apple did make some iPhones appear to run slower. It fixed the issue in a software update and offered $29 replacement batteries to users.

But just because you can get a battery for $29 doesn’t mean it will solve all your battery life issues. For some people, it could. But if you go to an Apple store and the technician said your battery seems fine, it probably is.

“I would say less than 10% of the phones we have ordered batteries for actually need a battery, based on diagnostics,” a Genius at a Midwestern Apple store told Business Insider earlier this year.

To check if your battery needs a replacement, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta).

If you don’t see it, you probably need to update your iPhone software.

If your “maximum capacity” is under 80%, you might want to change it. Otherwise, if you’re only missing a few percentage points, you can probably wait.

Myth #4: Turning off settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will always save your battery life

Myth #4: Turning off settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will always save your battery life Business Insider

The standards for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi say that when they are on and not in use, they use no power, so there’s no need to turn them off to eke a few more minutes out of your phone.

In fact, if you have an Apple Watch and you turn Bluetooth off, it not only will stop your Apple Watch from working correctly, it could drain faster too.

However, if you are in an area with a bad cellular connection, that can negatively impact your battery life. Turning on Airplane Mode in these kind of situations can save battery life.

In fact, Wi-Fi uses much less power than a cellular network, so Apple recommends keeping Wi-Fi on at all times.

More information is available from Apple here.

Myth #5: Letting the iPhone adjust brightness automatically hurts battery life

Myth #5: Letting the iPhone adjust brightness automatically hurts battery life Hollis Johnson

While it might be tempting to manually control your iPhone brightness, dimming it when you need extra juice and ramping it up when you don’t, Apple says that its auto-brightness setting actually saves battery life.

To turn it on, go to Settings > General >Accessibility >Display Accommodations > Auto-Brightness.

You can also dim the screen manually in Control Center, which does use less power. But you might also forget to turn it back on, and you’ll be stuck squinting at a very low-power screen.

More information is available from Apple here.

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Bitcoin has been plummeting in value — but the world’s largest crypto exchange still expects to net up to $1 billion in profits

Changpeng Zhao YouTube
  • The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, expects to bring in as much as $1 billion in profit in the course of 2018, Bloomberg reports.
  • The exchange has netted $300 million in profits since the start of 2018 alone.

Bitcoin, ethereum, and ripple all plummeted in value earlier this year — but their sudden decline hasn’t hurt one key player in the cryptocurrency industry.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, expects to bring in as much as $1 billion in profits in the course of 2018 alone.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao said his company has netted $300 million this year. Already, the company has 10 million users and turns over billions in cryptocurrency exchanges daily, Zhao said.

The success of Zhao’s company is largely unprecedented: Zhao founded Binance just last year in July 2017. It’s snagged the attention of cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide with its impressive transaction rates (Binance can handle as many as 1.4 million transactions per second) and emphasis on security.

In a February interview with Forbes— in which he was featured on the magazine’s cover — Zhao said, “No decentralized exchange today can handle our volume, and none are as secure as we are.”

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iPhone 8 iPhone X iPhone 8 Plus
The iPhone 8, the iPhone X, and the iPhone 8 Plus.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Apple is expected to release three new iPhone models in September.
  • One of them will use a lower-cost LCD screen part to keep the price down, according to a Friday report in The Wall Street Journal.
  • Electronics manufacturers say Apple expects the lower-cost LCD model to be the most popular.

Apple will release a new iPhone lineup this fall with three new models, according to a Friday report from The Wall Street Journal.

Two of the phones will be built around screens using OLED technology, the same type of display in the iPhone X. One will have an LCD screen, the type of display on the iPhone 8 and all previous iPhones.

The biggest question for investors is what the mix will be between the three devices. The iPhone X, which is the only phone with an OLED screen, starts at $999, making it one of the most expensive smartphones in the world.

That price tag is largely due to its screen technology. The OLED part costs $100, whereas LCD iPhone screens cost about $40, according to analysts cited by The Journal. If Apple sells more OLED iPhones, the iPhone will have a higher average price.

That’s part of the reason Apple may be shifting its production plans to make more LCD iPhones than OLED iPhones, The Journal reported, citing executives at parts makers with direct knowledge of the matter. They say Apple anticipates that the less expensive models will be more popular.

OLED screens can have better image quality than LCD displays, as well as darker blacks and lower power consumption.

Friday’s news corroborates other reports about the 2018 iPhone lineup from sources likeBloomberg and the well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

All three predict that Apple will launch three new iPhones this fall: an upgraded version of the iPhone X, a version of the iPhone X with a bigger screen, and the lower-cost LCD iPhone with facial recognition.

Kuo previously predicted that the LCD iPhone could be priced between $550 and $650. Here’s a graphic that shows what his iPhone-lineup prediction looks like.

2018 iPhone lineup

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