Yahoo and Microsoft Court Apple as Google’s Safari Search Engine Deal Expires in 2015

Apple renewed its maps and search partnership with Google in 2010, but with that contract reportedly set to end in 2015, both Yahoo and Microsoft are actively vying to be the next default search provider for Apple’s Safari products, reports The Information.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo have existing relationships with Apple, with Yahoo providing stock data to iOS and Microsoft supplying Siri with Bing search results. Executives from both companies have reportedly already approached Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, about a potential agreement that could see one of them displace Google to become the default search engine for iOS devices and Macs. There is no indication Apple has made any decision which company, if any, will replace Google.

Yahoo has approached Apple in the past about expanding their relationship on mobile, although things moved in the opposite direction with iOS 8 as Apple cut out middle-man Yahoo for weather data and instead began sourcing data directly from The Weather Channel.

Yahoo has also reportedly been working on a revamp of its mobile search in hopes of landing an agreement with Apple to be the default search provider on iOS, but for now the companies are still in the discussion stages as Apple’s deal with Google remains in effect for the time being.

Microsoft was said to be in the running for the 2010 deal with its Bing services, but Apple ultimately opted to extend its deal with Google that has seen Apple reportedly receiving in excess of $1 billion per year.

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Apple schools Xiaomi in art of trash talk

; Apple and Xiaomi executives got into a little trash talk fight at the World Internet Conference this week in China. Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun described his company as a “small miracle” that’s ready to dominate the smartphone world. But Apple’s general…Read more ›

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AppleCare for Enterprise With On-Site Support From IBM Now Live

Earlier this year, Apple and IBM announced a major enterprise mobility partnership that would see IBM selling iOS devices to its corporate customers, creating industry-specific native apps, providing iOS-optimized cloud services, and providing support for a new AppleCare service.

IBM and Apple are now moving forward with their partnership, and Apple has recently launched a new AppleCare for Enterprise website, suggesting that its promised enterprise-grade AppleCare plan is now available for IBM’s enterprise customers.

As detailed on the website, all AppleCare for Enterprise accounts are handled by an AppleCare Account Manager, providing a personal liaison with AppleCare. Apple promises a one-hour response time for all urgent issues, with IT department-level support available 24/7 via phone or email. All AppleCare for Enterprise customers can also replace 10 percent of damaged iOS devices, giving businesses an easy way to replace iPads or iPhones that have been accidentally damaged by employees.

As promised during the announcement of its IBM partnership, Apple is offering an onsite hardware repair service for AppleCare for Enterprise customers. While Apple is handling all email and phone requests, IBM Global Technology Services will provide onsite repairs.

You have the option to get onsite service coverage for two or three years from the date of your hardware purchase. If you have a hardware issue during that time, AppleCare for Enterprise will help get you back up and running quickly. IBM’s Global Technology Services, a worldwide Apple Authorized Service Provider, will provide onsite service within the next business day.

The new AppleCare for Enterprise site comes just ahead of IBM’s first dedicated enterprise-focused iOS apps. During Apple’s recent earnings call, Tim Cook said that next month, IBM will introduce apps across six sectors: banking, government, insurance, retail, travel, and transportation and telecommunications.

Pricing on the Enterprise plans is unknown, but enterprise customers interested in finding out more about Apple’s AppleCare for Enterprise plans are encouraged to contact their Apple or IBM Account Executives.

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Apple Executives Receive More Than 30,000 Restricted Shares in Bonuses [Mac Blog]

Six Apple executives received more than 30,000 shares of stock in the form of restricted stock units or RSUs according to a series of filings with the SEC. RSUs are typically issued to employees to encourage them to stay with the company. They are awarded in a similar way to stock options, but convert directly into shares of stock upon vesting.

At current prices, the awards are worth as much as $12.1 million per executive.

In this case, the shares appear to have been awarded as part of the executives’ 2014 compensation package. Apple Senior Vice Presidents Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi, Dan Riccio, Phil Schiller, Bruce Sewell, and Jeffrey Williams all received equal bonus awards, with shares granted thusly:

– 22,738 RSUs with one-third of the units scheduled to vest into full shares of Apple stock on April 1 of 2016, 2017 and 2018.

– 6,626 RSUs scheduled to vest on October 1, 2015, with that number subject to adjustment based on Apple’s total shareholder return.

– 6,416 RSUs scheduled to vest on October 1, 2016 with the same adjustments as the 2015 award.

In June of 2013, Apple’s board adjusted the company’s executive compensation package to consider shareholder return, as compared to companies in the S&P 500, as part of senior management’s bonus scheme. In this case, Apple executives can see their award increased by as much as 100%, or decreased to 0, depending on the company’s performance.

Apple executives typically receive bonus awards every other year, with bonuses paid out over several years as part of the company’s overall executive retention package. Executives who leave the company see their unvested RSU’s expire. Tim Cook did not receive any awards as his compensation package is determined independently of his senior staff.

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TSMC Confirms Deal with Apple to Produce A-Series Chips for Future iOS Devices

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) to produce some A-series chips for Apple’s iOS devices starting in 2014. The article confirms a report from Digitimes published earlier this week regarding the deal.

This month, after years of technical delays, Apple finally signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make some of the chips starting in 2014, according to a TSMC executive. The process had been beset by glitches preventing the chips from meeting Apple’s speed and power standards, TSMC officials said.

The report states that TSMC plans to start producing the chips in early 2014 using 20-nanometer technology, which would make chips smaller and more energy efficient. The two companies have been discussing their arrangement since 2010, with serious discussions on the process of creating the chips starting in 2011.

TSMC executives told the WSJ that Apple had asked to either invest in the company or to have TSMC set aside a factory specifically for Apple chips. Executives said they had denied both options because they wanted to keep TSMC’s independence and manufacturing flexibility intact.

Apple has so far used Samsung to exclusively manufacture the A-series chips for its iOS devices, but with the two companies becoming rivals in the mobile device market, Apple has been trying to reduce its reliance on Samsung for components.

As the WSJ notes, Apple and Samsung’s relationship as far as components goes back to the early days of the iPod as Samsung won some business from Apple after the company became unhappy with original iPod processor supplier PortalPlayer. While Apple was aware that Samsung planned to compete with it in the mobile device market, Samsung had told Apple that it kept its component business separate from the mobile device business and promised to keep its executives from sharing information with each other.

Some Apple executives didn’t like the arrangement, and in 2008 Apple began an effort to shift away from Samsung for its flash memory supplies. In 2010, Apple made a similar move with its iPhone displays, shifting production from Samsung to Sharp and Toshiba, although Retina display iPads continue to use Samsung displays.

And while Apple is trying to rid itself of its reliance on Samsung, the Korean company understandably would still like to keep Apple as one of its customers, with an estimated $10 billion of Samsung’s reported $59 billion in component sales coming from the Cupertino company.

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Foxconn Seeks to Offset Slowing Apple Growth With Software and Licensed Apple Accessories

Earlier this month, we noted that Apple’s primary manufacturing partner Foxconn/Hon Hai has been seeking to diversify its business, an effort in large part intended to offset slowing growth for Apple’s products. One aspect of that effort has been a focus on televisions, with some suggesting that the work could bring benefits for Apple’s rumored television set.

The Wall Street Journal now follows up with more on Foxconn’s expansion plans, reporting that the company is looking at a software push into mobile applications and cloud services to complement its existing expertise in hardware. Foxconn is reportedly also moving to enter the accessory business, recognizing the relatively high profit margins available for such products. That accessory business will reportedly include officially licensed Apple accessories sold under Foxconn’s own brand.

Hon Hai is also reviewing plans to make accessories such as data transmission cables, headphones and keyboards under the Foxconn brand, said executives who have direct knowledge of the plan.

„Chairman (Terry Gou) has ordered all business units to produce peripheral accessories of electronics products as it is more profitable than assembly services. We also plan to license Apple’s technology to make some own-brand accessories that are compatible with iPhones and iPads,“ said one of the executives.

The market for third-party Apple accessories is of course already well established and offers a wide array of products, but some may hope that Foxconn’s existing partnership with Apple for manufacturing of the company’s flagship products could lead to innovative new accessories that could come to market more quickly than those from competitors.

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Apple Board Changes Its Mind, Now Requires Execs To Hold Triple Their Salary In Stock Options

Time to tie executive salaries to stock performance, right?

According to a newly-posted shareholder document, Apple now requires executive officers to own three times their annual salary. The CEO is still required to hold ten times his own annual salary in stock, as well.

This current move, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes a month after Apple’s board actually opposed a similar measure proposed by a shareholder.

Implemented February 6, the new decision comes as Apple continues to face some pressure from shareholders about the sliding stock price, as well as requests from folks like David Einhorn to start offering preferred stock options.

Apple is just one of many US companies trying to get its executive officers to act like owners rather than employees. If your stock options tank because of decisions you are making in a company like Apple, you’ll certainly act a bit more responsibly toward your employer. Or so goes the logic.

Apple’s new policy gives executives up to five years to satisfy the requirement of owning three times their annual base salary in stock. Non-employee directors, like board members, must hold five times their annual retainers in stock, too. Board members typically get retainers of $50,000 per year, and some committee chairs earn even more.

From the shareholder document:

The Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Apple Inc. (the “Company”), the Company’s named executive
officers (“Executive Officers”), and any member of the Company’s Board of Directors who is not
employed by the Company (a “Non-Employee Director”), should own shares of Company common stock
that have a fair market value equal to the following multiple of the individual’s base salary (or, in the
case of a Non-Employee Director, the cash annual retainer paid to the Non-Employee Director by the
CEO 10 x annual base salary
Executive Officers 3 x annual base salary
Non-Employee Directors 5 x annual retainer

Source: Wall Street Journal
Via: Mac NN

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