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The Verge

Apple’s revenue experiences first annual drop since 2001

Apple’s revenues had its first annual drop since 2001 after seeing a decline in iPhone sales. For the fiscal fourth quarter 2016, which ended in September 24, the company saw its revenue decline 9.8% to $46.9 billion and profit down by 23% to $9 billion. Sales of the iPhone dropped 13% year-over-year to 45.5 million units. Mac sales decreased 17% to $5.7 billion. Revenue from the iPad were more stable due to the new iPad Pro line. Its services division which includes Apple Music saw a 24% growth to an all-time quarterly high of $6.3 billion. Apple’s China market is not growing as fast as before, posting a 30% year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter. The company expects revenue for the December quarter between $76 billion to $78 billion, higher than what analysts are forecasting. The company will introduce new Mac products at its launch event Thursday.

Key Takeaway: 

Apple posted its first yearly drop in sales since 2001 after reporting its fourth quarter results which saw iPhone and Mac sales drop as well its China market decline; its services unit, however, grew double digits to a quarterly high of $6.3 billion.

Transforming Business Models: 
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Publication Date: 
October 25, 2016

Modem that supports gigabit speeds will be available at year end

Qualcomm, Netgear, Ericsson and Telstra announced the first product, a hotspot, to support gigabit LTE speeds which will be available at the end of the year. The hotspot, a modem called X16, uses different technologies to reach gigabit speeds, including carrier aggregation and is faster than the 600 megabits per second maximum speed the current X12 modem offers. Qualcomm believes carriers will launch gigabit LTE services once X16 is available. It will also include the modem in its new chip for smartphones, expected in the market in 2017. It has also announced its plans for the Snapdragon X50 which will have speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second and will be commercialized in 2018. It will be featured in the next Olympics in Korea as a testbed for 5G technology.

Key Takeaway: 

The first modem to support gigabit LTE speeds will be available at the end of this year, which can be a gateway for carriers to introduce services with fast gigabit speeds.

Transforming Business Models: 
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Publication Date: 
October 17, 2016

Court favors state laws governing municipal broadband services

A federal court has blocked the US Federal Communications Commission's plan to allow municipalities to provide their own broadband networks, favoring state laws. The FCC had approved Wilson, North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee's plans last year to build their own broadband networks. However state laws in 19 states make it difficult, onerous or near impossible for municipalities to offer their own Internet services. Nevada, for example, requires municipalities to have at least 25,000 people before they can provide a broadband network, while Pennsylvania does not allow them to do so if the market is already served by a private entity. The FCC said the court's decision prevents the creation of jobs, investment and opportunity that community broadband networks could provide.

Key Takeaway: 

A federal court decision prevents the FCC from overriding state laws concerning municipally-owned broadband networks, which would have increased competition with private companies for more affordable Internet services.

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Publication Date: 
August 10, 2016

Galaxy Note 7 will have an iris and fingerprint scanner

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 7 will come with an iris scanner as an extra layer of security. Iris scanning is enabled by an IR camera module and a proximity sensor to quickly scan the iris from a distance of 25 centimeters to a foot. There is also a special folder to store important documents that can only be opened by an iris scan. The feature comes as authorities, researchers and hackers have found ways to use 3-D printing to replicate a person's fingerprint. Reports circulated that Microsoft could also add an iris scanner to the new Lumia phones and Windows 10, and possibly in future iPhones. Last quarter, it was reported that sales of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S7 exceeded the iPhone in the US.

Key Takeaway: 

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will have an iris scanner in addition to a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone and securing documents, bringing eye scanning to the mainstream.

Market Disruptions: 
Transforming Business Models: 
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Publication Date: 
August 2, 2016

Microsoft touts smaller Xbox and VR-ready version at E3

Microsoft unveiled a smaller Xbox One, dubbed as Xbox One S, which is capable of playing 4K HD videos and HDR gaming at the E3 event in Los Angeles. The console is 40% smaller than the original Xbox One and will come with a 2 terabyte drive when it is released in August. The company also revealed a more powerful Xbox, code named Project Scorpio, is in the works that will support 4K gaming, virtual reality and will have 6 teraflops of power. No definite date of release was given but it could be available by next year. The announcement may be a response to Sony's new PS VR (which will launch this year) and an upgrade to the PS4.

Key Takeaway: 

Microsoft announced two new Xbox consoles at E3, one called Xbox One S that is 40% smaller and a second premium version that will support virtual reality games and will compete with Sony's PS VR which will be released this year.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
June 13, 2016

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