Apple is reportedly losing its Project Titan auto mastermind

Apple VP Steve Zadesky was personally tapped by Tim Cook to lead Project Titan. But it looks like the so-called Apple Car will need to come to market under a new leader, as Zadesky is planning on leaving the company after 16 years. It doesn’t look like he has been headhunted, or fired, though. According […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple is reportedly losing its Project Titan auto mastermind

Glitch Caused Apple to Underestimate Apple News Traffic

Publishers who have been offering their content on Apple News have been receiving incorrect usage statistics from Apple due to an internal glitch that caused the company to miscalculate the number of people using the service, Eddy Cue told The Wall Street Journal in a statement this evening.

According to Cue, Apple has been underestimating the number of readers using the News app since it launched alongside iOS 9 in September. The problem went under the radar because Apple was busy working on improving other aspects of the service. Apple doesn’t know how exactly many people are using the News app, but the company is working to fix the problem.

„We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality,“ [Cue] said. „We don’t know what the right number is,“ but he added that it was better to undercount than overcount traffic.

In October, during Apple’s fourth quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple News had approximately 40 million users, but he did not specify whether that number represented people who use the Apple News app on a regular basis or if it was a number reflecting the number of people who accessed the app at one point or another. Cue echoed that number in his comments to The Wall Street Journal, but it is not clear if that is an accurate figure given Apple’s current inability to calculate exact usage.

Despite not knowing how many people are using Apple News at the current time, Cue says that Apple News usage has „scaled very fast,“ and that the company is happy with the Apple News product’s progress thus far. After launching in the United States in September, Apple News expanded to the U.K. and Australia in October with the launch of iOS 9.1.

As The Wall Street Journal points out, accurate readership numbers are important to publishers because the figures impact advertising. Publishers who share content on Apple News are able to keep 100 percent of proceeds from ads sold on their own, or 70 percent from ads sold through the Apple iAd service. According to Cue, iAd has been popular enough with publishers that Apple will be expanding the platform with a self-service ad-buying feature in the next two months.

Apple has partnered more than a hundred publications for Apple News, including The New York Times, CNN, ESPN, The Atlantic, The Daily Mail, Slate, and more. MacRumors is also on Apple News and can be subscribed to by clicking this link on an iOS device.

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Glitch Caused Apple to Underestimate Apple News Traffic

YouTube Accuses T-Mobile of Downgrading All Video With Binge On Program

YouTube this morning provided a statement to The Wall Street Journal criticizing T-Mobile’s recently introduced Binge On program and accusing T-Mobile of throttling all video and not just the video of its Binge On partners.

Launched in November, Binge On is a T-Mobile video service that allows T-Mobile subscribers to watch video from content partners without it counting against customer data plans. The catch is that it uses a proprietary data compression algorithm to stream the video in 480p. While Binge On can be disabled, using the feature requires partner video to be watched in 480p, which T-Mobile calls „DVD quality.“

T-Mobile has 24 partners for Binge On, including Netflix, HBO, Sling TV, and more, but YouTube has not signed up to participate. Despite the fact that YouTube is not partnering with T-Mobile, the company says its video streams are still being downgraded to 480p quality, a problem YouTube would like fixed.

YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., said T-Mobile is effectively throttling, or degrading, its traffic. „Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent,“ a YouTube spokesman said.

The Internet Association also backed up YouTube’s claim, stating that T-Mobile’s Binge On service „appears to involve the throttling of all video traffic, across all data plans, regardless of network congestion.“

T-Mobile did not address YouTube’s complaints when questioned by The Wall Street Journal, instead giving a blanket statement about Binge On. Customers love „free streaming video that never hits their data bucket“ and „the quality of their video experience and the complete control they have.“

The United States Federal Communications Commission is looking into Binge On along with free data services from AT&T and Comcast. While there is no formal inquiry at this time, the FCC has asked the three companies to answer some questions about their free data practices. YouTube’s accusations could further spark the FCC’s interest, especially as some consumer advocates believe that programs like Binge On violate net neutrality rules.

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YouTube Accuses T-Mobile of Downgrading All Video With Binge On Program

Apple Offers ‘Proxy Access’, Making it Easier for Shareholders to Nominate Board of Directors

In a recent securities filing, Apple announced that it plans to offer „proxy access“, which allows longtime shareholders or a group of shareholders to nominate a member for its board of directors, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In a securities filing, Apple said its board of directors had adopted amended bylaws Monday that allow a shareholder, or a group of up to 20 shareholders, holding 3% of its shares continuously for three years to include board nominees in the company’s annual proxy statement.

The new bylaws allow shareholders to nominate up to 20 percent of Apple’s board of directors. Since Apple has 8 directors, shareholders would be allowed to nominate one director. Proxy access is a recent push by activist investors that seek to make changes on company boards, giving shareholders greater influence on company strategy and the ability to oust directors. Other prominent companies to adopt proxy access include McDonald’s, Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola.

In March at Apple’s most recent annual meeting, a shareholder proposal that asked the Cupertino company to adopt proxy access garnered 39 percent support.
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Apple Offers ‘Proxy Access’, Making it Easier for Shareholders to Nominate Board of Directors

TD Canada Trust Lends Credence to Apple Pay Launch in Canada Next Month

Just one month before Apple Pay is rumored to launch in Canada, large bank TD Canada Trust briefly provided evidence of the forthcoming launch by prematurely listing the iPhone-based mobile payments service as a method of payment on its website, as spotted by blog iPhone in Canada. The link has since been removed.

Apple Pay was briefly listed under „Ways to Pay“ at the bottom of TD Canada Trust’s website, but the link now leads to a blank page. When it was live, the page said that Apple Pay will soon support TD Canada Trust debit and credit cards, with purchases subject to a $100 transaction limit like other contactless payments in Canada.

In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in negotiations with the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and National Bank of Canada about a potential November launch of Apple Pay in Canada. The six financial institutions combined account for more than 90% of Canadian bank accounts.

Apple Pay launched in the United States last October, and expanded to the United Kingdom in July.

TD Canada Trust has around 11 million customers in Canada.



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TD Canada Trust Lends Credence to Apple Pay Launch in Canada Next Month

Samsung Estimates First Profit Growth in Two Years Thanks to Sales of Chips, Not Hardware

Samsung this morning announced its forecast predictions for the company’s third quarter, suggesting an overall year-over-year profit growth of 79.8 percent, which would be its first since 2013.

The company didn’t provide specifics regarding where the profit came from, but analysts speaking with The Wall Street Journal attributed it to the „robust sales“ of various chips and displays used in smartphones and other devices throughout the year. Specifically, those analysts believed Samsung’s earnings this year are being fueled by the chip sales „due to tight supply and firm pricing.“

Overall, the company’s chip unit will likely account for nearly half of its total profit in the third quarter of 2015, with the addition of display sales bolstering the rest of its foreseeable monetary gains.

The South Korean technology company said Wednesday its operating profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 likely rose 79.8% to about 7.3 trillion Korean won (US$6.3 billion), its first year-over-year growth since the third quarter of 2013 when the company posted a 26% increase. Revenue likely rose about 7.5% to 51 trillion won.

Analysts were expecting Samsung to post an operating profit of 6.5 trillion won on revenue of 50.5 trillion won, based on a poll of nine analysts.

Most recently, Samsung announced the newest iterations of its smartphone lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Note5 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, whose 5.7-inch displays make them slightly larger than Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus and are marketed as a direct competitor to the Cupertino company’s large-screened device. Announced and launched in August – alongside services like Samsung Pay and the new Gear S2 Smartwatch – the new smartphones were pegged as an early competitor for Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

But, if the analysts’ predictions today are correct, Samsung saw most of its profits from its contribution to chip production within Apple’s own smartphone line-up. When initially discovered a few days after the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the split of A9 chips between Samsung and TSMC met a small wave of controversy, with one iOS developer going so far as to calculate the percentage split between the two manufacturers. Even though the 60/40 percentage was in favor of TSMC, it appears Samsung’s chip manufacturing for the 6s and 6s Plus was enough to help in some way boost its overall quarterly growth.



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Samsung Estimates First Profit Growth in Two Years Thanks to Sales of Chips, Not Hardware