AAPL - Apple Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real-time price. Currency in USD
265.73
+3.26 (+1.24%)
As of 1:24PM EDT. Market open.
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Previous close262.47
Open270.80
Bid265.52 x 1400
Ask265.74 x 1100
Day's range263.03 - 271.70
52-week range170.27 - 327.85
Volume29,557,164
Avg. volume49,632,122
Market cap1.163T
Beta (5Y monthly)1.17
PE ratio (TTM)21.10
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yield3.08 (1.17%)
Ex-dividend date06 Feb 2020
1y target estN/A
  • Microsoft (MSFT) Boosts Hardware Efforts With New Appointment
    Zacks

    Microsoft (MSFT) Boosts Hardware Efforts With New Appointment

    Microsoft (MSFT) looks to strengthen position in the hardware market by bringing Ruben Caballero on board.

  • Will Apple's (AAPL) Assumed NextVR Buyout Meet AR/VR Goals?
    Zacks

    Will Apple's (AAPL) Assumed NextVR Buyout Meet AR/VR Goals?

    Apple (AAPL) will supposedly acquire California-based virtual reality company NextVR, which is expected to lend a huge impetus to the company's AR/VR efforts.

  • Samsung Will Offer Clues on How Covid-19 Is Roiling Global Tech
    Bloomberg

    Samsung Will Offer Clues on How Covid-19 Is Roiling Global Tech

    (Bloomberg) -- When Samsung Electronics Co. brass addressed analysts during its last earnings call, much of the talk revolved around finally turning the corner after years in the doldrums. That was in January, before Covid-19 threw the global economy into a tailspin.Now, executives are struggling to assess the damage. In the short term, Samsung’s most profitable business is riding a surge in online activity from the millions confined to home, driving demand for the memory chips that help power datacenters and cloud services. But should the pandemic persist into the second half -- a worst-case scenario -- the tech giant foresees missing its own 2020 revenue projections by a double-digit percentage, according to people familiar with internal discussions.Samsung unveils preliminary earnings Tuesday, becoming one of the first major technology corporations to paint a picture of how the pandemic impacted the global tech industry in 2020’s first three months. As the world’s largest maker of memory chips, phones, displays and appliances, the Korean giant is exposed to the economic shocks of Covid-19 like few other tech corporations. The novel coronavirus has already forced Korea’s largest company to shut plants from Gumi at home to India, costing Samsung days of lost production. While it’s expected to post first-quarter revenue growth, the question is whether the initial surge in semiconductor demand can offset a hit from what could be the worst global economic shock in at least a generation.“We are truly in uncharted waters as the tech industry in general has continued to grow, perhaps at varying rates, but we haven’t seen a broad-based, global downturn such as we may be in line for,” said Robert Maire, president of Semiconductor Advisors in New York. Chip demand in particular “will likely not be as robust as it could have been as demand for devices that contain semiconductors, such as smartphones, TVs and consumer electronics, will be reduced through negative economic impact.”Foremost among the divisions under scrutiny is the semiconductor unit, which accounts for more than half of operating profits at Samsung. It’s been pounding out memory chips -- the lubricant of the tech industry -- round the clock, essential in datacenters hosting everything from video conferences to e-commerce. But executives and investors worry that prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns may crimp final demand for smartphones and other electronics -- and ultimately deal a serious blow to the chip industry’s nascent recovery.Read more: Apple Tells Staff U.S. Stores to Remain Closed Until Early MaySamsung’s shares have dived more than 20% since their January 2020 peak, depressed by a series of analysts’ price-target cuts. Much of the hit could come this quarter since Covid-19 escalated globally in March. Revenue growth is likely to fall off steeply, according to Eugene Investment & Securities, which projects a 12.3% decline in the June quarter from a forecast for a mere 0.1% increase in the January to March period.Among the analysts that cut price targets was Hana Financial Investment, which also slashed its projection for Samsung’s 2020 smartphone sales from 300 million units to 260 million. It expects OLED panel shipments to plunge 12% to 373 million this year. Now that the Euro 2020 soccer tournament and Tokyo Olympics have been postponed, TrendForce also lowered its market forecast for TV shipments by 5.8% to 205.2 million units, warning that could slip further as the situation worsens in North America and Asia.“The current financial crisis that accompanies the pandemic has produced a lot of uncertainties and could surpass the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 in scale,” TrendForce said on March 30. “Hence, the general economic outlook for 2H20 could become even gloomier as the pandemic is not expected to be brought under control in the short term.”Read more: Micron Gives Strong Outlook Lifted By Data-Center DemandThat’s a far cry from just a month ago, when Samsung told shareholders the memory market will stabilize this year thanks to upgrades in manufacturing processes, datacenter expansions and the rollout of fifth-generation or 5G wireless networks. Having learned its lesson from previous industry slumps, Samsung was confident it could maintain a balance between supply and demand for memory chips, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about internal deliberations. Their prime concern was avoiding a repeat of the oversupply that triggered a chip price crash in 2019, they said.The industry is still toting up the impact of the pandemic. In a positive scenario, analysts expect pent-up demand for smartphones and sustained use of online learning and work-from-home gear like laptops to engender a soft-landing for Samsung later this year. Just a week ago, Qualcomm Inc. and Western Digital Corp. said they were seeing a recovery in demand from Chinese consumers for phones and computer disk drives. And Micron Technology Inc. has predicted stronger-than-expected revenue.What Bloomberg Intelligence SaysMemory chips are likely in tight supply due to disruptions in obtaining certain raw materials and equipment on the Covid-19 outbreak. This may bolster DRAM and NAND sentiment following rising contract prices in March, supported by rising remote work access needs, despite an extended smartphone shipment slump to 2Q.\- Anthea Lai and Anand SrinivasanClick here for the research.It may well be that the disease will encourage shifts in consumer activity that benefit the industry in the long run, said C.J. Muse, senior managing director at Everscore ISI in New York.“The world is changing,” said Muse. “There is clearly something that, over the long term in this kind of virus world, should be positive, given how our lives are evolving and how important the cloud is to a lot of what we do now and even more than ever.”Read more: ‘Nightmare’ for Global Tech: Virus Fallout Is Just Beginning(Corrects Trendforce’s forecast in seventh paragraph to refer to industry, not Samsung, shipments)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Samsung’s Profit Beat Showcases a Rare Bright Spot in a Pandemic
    Bloomberg

    Samsung’s Profit Beat Showcases a Rare Bright Spot in a Pandemic

    (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co.’s better-than-expected profit revives hopes that a surge in internet usage from people sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic will help make up for a drop-off in demand for smartphones and other consumer electronics.Shares in Korea’s largest company climbed more than 3% after it posted operating profit of 6.4 trillion won ($5.2 billion) in the March quarter, surpassing the average analyst estimate by 3.6%. Sales rose 5% to 55 trillion won, according to preliminary results released Tuesday. The company didn’t provide net income or break out divisional performance, which it will do later this month when it releases final numbers.Samsung -- one of the first major technology corporations to unveil March quarter results -- demonstrates how the novel coronavirus outbreak is exerting an uneven impact on the global electronics sector in the short term. Soaring online activity from gaming to video streaming is driving sales of semiconductors -- the lubricant for the internet and Samsung’s most profitable business -- even as worsening employment prospects curtail spending on gadgets such as the company’s just-released flagship Galaxy S20.The Asian giant’s solid performance underscores expectations for resilient chip demand since Micron Technology Inc.’s stronger than anticipated outlook. That lifted Asian chipmakers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Nanya Technology Corp. Much now hinges on whether governments can mitigate the fallout from potentially the worst global economic shock in at least a generation.“Right now, we can only project a picture of the second quarter: soaring demand in server chips may offset slump in display, mobile and consumer electronics,” said Song Myung-sup, analyst at HI Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. “The problem is, if the Covid-19 pandemic continues further, we can’t guarantee that the uptrend in expansion of servers will be sustainable in the second half of this year.”Samsung’s Symptom-Less Earnings Don’t Make It Immune: Tim CulpanAs the world’s largest maker of memory chips, phones, displays and appliances, Samsung is broadly exposed to the economic shocks of Covid-19. Despite Tuesday’s rally, the company’s shares remain down about a fifth since their January 2020 peak. The better-than-expected result unveiled Tuesday was helped by the South Korean won weakening about 5% against the dollar in the first quarter, lifting the value of income repatriated from overseas.Should the pandemic persist into the second half -- a worst-case scenario -- the tech giant foresees missing its own 2020 revenue projections by a double-digit percentage, according to people familiar with internal discussions. It’s grappling with plant shutdowns and store closures this quarter alongside rivals and customers like Apple Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co. At the same time, memory chipmakers have experienced rising demand and prices for DRAM and flash memory used in data centers and cloud service operators.Read more: Working From Home Gives Chipmakers Boost While Others SufferWhat Bloomberg Intelligence SaysSamsung Electronics’ strong 1Q operating profit beat may affirm rival Micron’s upbeat expectations for memory chip demand, despite the Covid-19 outbreak. DRAM contract prices rose in March after reaching a bottom in December, while those for NAND inched up from late 3Q. Chipmakers’ wafer cuts may tighten supply and restore inventory to normal levels.\- Anthea Lai, analystClick here for the research.Contract prices for 32-gigabyte DRAM server modules rose roughly 12% in the March quarter, according to InSpectrum Tech Inc. Prices for 128-gigabit MLC NAND flash memory chips increased about 5.6% in the first three months of 2020. Thanks to growing demand for online services from video-conferences to e-commerce and gaming, prices of server DRAM and enterprise SSD or solid-state drives are projected to keep growing in the current quarter. TrendForce raised its price-growth forecasts on server DRAM to 20%, while it expects enterprise SSD prices to rise by as much as 15%.“The growing demand for server DRAM led to low inventory levels for both clients and suppliers,” TrendForce said in an April 1 note. “Also, following a new round of tenders from Chinese telecom operators in February, the supply of server DRAM has become much tighter, in turn maintaining the upward pull on server DRAM prices.”Samsung’s hardest-hit business was mobile because of disappointing demand for S20 devices released in early March. In the first quarter, the company shut its key Gumi plant several times after discovering infection among employees, prompting the shift of some of output to Vietnam. Lockdowns of major cities and store closures across North America have depressed overall business. Hana Financial Investment expects Samsung to report 62.2 million unit shipments of smartphones for the first quarter of 2020, compared with 71.5 million units a year earlier.“Although semiconductor earnings look set to increase on the back of memory chip price hikes, the divisions selling finished products” will likely see their earnings decline, said Greg Roh, senior vice president at HMC Securities.Samsung’s Beauty and Beast: Fully ChargedFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Samsung's Symptom-Less Earnings Don't Make It Immune

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Earnings released early Tuesday by Samsung Electronics Co. show that the technology giant dodged any major impact from the Covid-19 pandemic. Expect that to change.Revenue growth was the strongest in six quarters, though 5% is hardly stellar. And while it was in line with estimates, analysts had been trimming expectations over the past few months. That also applies to the better-than-forecast operating profit, with analysts having lowered the bar in recent weeks.Investors should also note that earnings are reported in Korean won. Samsung’s numbers may have been helped by the fact that the won weakened 6.1% against the U.S. dollar in the quarter, the most in more than four years (the currency swung wildly during the period, so the company’s average exchange rate may have been different).With the coronavirus having shut down swathes of the global economy, any growth is to be lauded. Peers including Apple Inc. aren’t likely to have performed as well. But don’t be fooled into thinking that Samsung is in the clear. Much of the strength during the period probably came from its chip business, driven by the needs of internet companies like web-conferencing provider Zoom Video Communications Inc. These have had to boost server capacity to cope with higher demand from employees forced to work from home amid the pandemic.More than 40% of Samsung’s revenue comes from handsets. This sector was already looking lackluster before the coronavirus outbreak. Now, with the U.S. having reported an astonishing 10 million new jobless claims within two weeks, much of Europe on lockdown, and most of Asia in varying degrees of economic strife, it’s unlikely that consumers are eager to pony up for a flashy new smartphone.Apple’s largest supplier has already felt the pinch. On Monday, its Taiwanese assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. announced first-quarter revenue dropped 12%. While Apple accounts for half of Hon Hai’s sales, the other half comes from a broad collection of companies including Dell Technologies Inc., HP Inc. and Xiaomi Corp. It’s unlikely any of them will come through this economic downturn unscathed.Samsung has the strength, and most importantly the cash, to ride out what will certainly be a tough few quarters for the global economy. That size doesn’t give it immunity.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Microsoft Hires Ex-Apple Exec in Charge of Wireless for Hardware
    Bloomberg

    Microsoft Hires Ex-Apple Exec in Charge of Wireless for Hardware

    (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. hired Apple Inc.’s former executive in charge of wireless technologies to work on mixed reality hardware and artificial intelligence technology.The Redmond, Washington-based technology giant appointed Ruben Caballero to a role as a corporate vice president, according to his LinkedIn profile. Caballero is working on hardware such as the HoloLens mixed-reality headset, according to his profile. The move underscores Microsoft’s investment in its growing hardware portfolio. Microsoft confirmed the hire.At Cupertino, California-based Apple, Caballero was a vice president of engineering in charge of developing wireless technology, such as antennas inside of devices like iPhones, iPads and Macs. He also oversaw Apple’s global wireless product testing efforts.Caballero worked at Apple from 2005 until early 2019 when his division’s work on modems -- chips that power cellular connectivity -- was subsumed by Apple’s custom chip division run by Johny Srouji. After leaving Apple, Caballero became an adviser at several Silicon Valley-area startups, including wireless company Keyssa and Humane, a startup run by former Apple employees.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Trump Risks U.S. Jobs While Saving Apple’s at Austin Factory

    (Bloomberg) -- When Donald Trump toured an Austin, Texas, factory in November alongside Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, the president promoted the event as a celebration of U.S. manufacturing and the return of good-paying jobs to the country.The Apple CEO had successfully made his case to the administration that some components for his company’s products should be excluded from Trump’s China tariffs in exchange for keeping production in the U.S.“Today, I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high-paying jobs back to America,” Trump tweeted on Nov. 20.But the facility Trump visited is owned and operated by contract manufacturer Flex Ltd. and has been open for 30 years. For decades, it has been producing various devices for many companies including Cisco Systems Inc. Apple has been at the Flex plant since 2013.Computer Parts“He doesn’t have to worry about tariffs,” Trump said of Cook during the Nov. 20 factory tour. “Because when you build in the United States, you don’t have to worry about tariffs.”Two months earlier, the iPhone maker was exempted from tariffs levied on components it imports from China that are used in the Mac Pro desktop put together at the Flex plant. The removal of a 25% surcharge on items like power supplies and printed circuit boards that house the main components of the computer lowered Apple’s costs and, according to Cook, was the reason why the Cupertino, California-based company continued its manufacturing at the Austin factory.But other companies, like San Jose, California-based Cisco, didn’t receive the same treatment. Now jobs related to the manufacture of its products are at risk.In July 2019, Cisco asked the government to exempt the company’s power supplies for U.S.-made servers and switches from the same 25% tariff. Cisco said neither this China-made product nor a comparable one is available in the U.S. or from sources in third countries.Tariff ExemptionsCisco, like many other U.S. companies, was making the same plea to the Trump administration as Apple had: The exemptions were necessary to save good-paying American jobs.After months of being stuck in the process, Cisco was told March 5 that its application for the tariff exemption was denied.“After careful consideration, your request was denied because the request concerns a product strategically important or related to ‘Made in China 2025’ or other Chinese industrial programs,” Joseph Barloon, general counsel for the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, wrote in the denial notice.The applications for an exemption from Apple and Cisco were strikingly similar, particularly when it came to the question of whether their products helped China expand its industrial might.Power Supply“The subject power supplies are not strategically important or related to ‘Made in China 2025’ or any other Chinese industrial policy,” Cisco wrote. “The manufacture of these products in China is unrelated to China’s efforts to develop indigenous, advanced Information and Communications Technology products.”Apple used nearly identical language, saying: “This product is a component of a consumer electronic device. It is not strategically important or related to ‘Made in China 2025’ or other Chinese industrial programs.”Indeed, the power-supply boxes imported from China don’t require cutting-edge technological know-how. They are mostly made up of large spools of copper wire, capacitors and other basic wiring. They haven’t been made in the U.S. for years and don’t require highly paid skilled labor.Apple’s application to get a tariff exclusion was approved in September 2019.Tariff ReliefA USTR spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment when asked why Apple’s power supply unit doesn’t constitute a product that’s strategically important to China’s industrial programs if an almost identical one from Cisco does.Cisco representatives specifically told USTR and others in the administration while the applications were pending that jobs were at risk, according to sources familiar with the process who asked not to be identified discussing private talks.In a statement after the decision, Cisco said the exemptions it sought “would support the competitiveness of this domestic manufacturing.”The company said it would continue to work with the trade representative’s office for tariff relief on other items, including “for communications equipment that we believe are vital to support the medical response to the coronavirus.”USTR doesn’t make public the reasons why it approves a company’s exemption requests. The business community writ large has complained about the lack of visibility into why certain companies get what appears to be preferential treatment over others.San Jose, California-based Flex, which works for both companies, said in a statement that “securing waivers for tax exemptions is an individualized process based on each customer situation” and declined to identify other customers that use the Austin plant. “Flex’s global footprint provides our customers with options for manufacturing locations, however, we also work closely to help our customers secure tariff exemptions based on their needs.”A group of Texas lawmakers in a letter to trade chief Robert Lighthizer last year underscored that jobs are on the line in Cisco’s case. “Cisco’s operations in Texas directly support more than 1,150 jobs in our state and indirectly support thousands of related jobs in logistics, warehousing, distribution and transportation,” the lawmakers said in their Sept. 13 letter.The decision by the trade office means it’s now a lot cheaper for Cisco to put together its servers, switches and routers in Flex plants in Mexico and export the finished device tariff-free to the U.S. The company declined to say what actions it would take regarding jobs or manufacturing in light of the denial of tariff exemption.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Real Estate Is Struggling With a Lack of Data
    Bloomberg

    Real Estate Is Struggling With a Lack of Data

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- How can we determine the state of the housing market when we lack data? That is the challenge facing those in the real-estate industry today, says this week's guest on Masters in Business, Jonathan Miller, co-founder of Miller Samuel and a master appraiser and consultant to the industry. The contract data we do have reflects transactions entered into a month or so ago, before most of the shelter-in-place orders were adopted.Miller’s expertise on real-estate appraisals and transactions comes from the data he assembles and analyzes. He has created a variety of real-estate data analytics for regional and national markets. He is sought after as the go-to appraiser for the most expensive dwellings in Manhattan. Miller, who also writes at the Matrix Blog, explains how real estate is responding to the lockdown: The industry move to online listing services, such as Street Easy and Zillow, is all but complete. But some online sites are removing crucial data from their listings, including “days since listed” that show how long a property has been on the market. We also discuss the challenges appraisers are having doing interiors inspections, now in New York City but eventually the rest of the country. Appraisals that are “desktop” by computers, or “curbside” drive-bys are becoming more common, he said.Part of the problem the residential market is facing is that the spring selling season most likely is lost; how soon the market returns to normal won't be known until the pandemic passes. Although virtual tours and live videos are an option for some buyers, the human element requires being physically present to see, walk through and even smell a home, which is usually a person’s largest purchase.His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is available here. Our 2014 conversation with Miller can be found here; our 2016 MiB is here.You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Apple iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak with James Montier, a member of GMO UK Lt.’s asset allocation team. Before joining GMO in 2009, he was co-head of global strategy at Societe Generale. He is the author of several books including “Behavioural Investing: A Practitioner’s Guide to Applying Behavioural Finance”; “Behavioural Finance: Insights into Irrational Minds and Markets” and “The Little Book of Behavioural Investing.”This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • What Happens When Hollywood Shuts Down
    Bloomberg

    What Happens When Hollywood Shuts Down

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Todd Garner was in Puerto Rico filming his latest comedy “Vacation Friends” — for 20th Century Studios and starring John Cena — when it started to become evident that the coronavirus was going to be a serious problem. While the U.S. government wasn’t quite yet relaying such severity, “I could see the anxiety on everybody’s faces” among the cast and crew, Garner recounted on a recent episode of his podcast. Questions arose that filmmakers haven’t had to confront before: Should so many people be working in such close quarters? Is it safe for makeup artists to be touching the actors’ faces? Two weeks into production, and with six weeks to go, they put the film on ice.It’s hardly the only movie that’s had to temporarily stop filming and send everyone home for an unknowable period of time. Indeed, “show business” is neither right now. Garner, who co-produced “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” said he also had two TV series for Netflix Inc. that were already far along and had to cease production. Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” HBO’s “Succession,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” AMC Networks Inc.’s “The Walking Dead,” Hulu’s “Handmaid’s Tale” and Apple Inc.’s “The Morning Show” are among other series with highly anticipated returning seasons that will be delayed by national stay-at-home orders. And it’s not just scripted shows. For example, it seems unlikely that the “Friends” reunion special can still be filmed in time for the arrival of HBO Max, a new streaming-TV service launching in May from AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia, which reportedly paid $425 million last year to snatch away from Netflix the streaming rights to the popular 1990s-early aughts sitcom.Movie theaters are closed and there aren’t any sports to watch. For an audience bored by the isolation on a good day, and entirely dispirited by it on the bad ones, it’s all the more devastating to not be able to look forward to our favorite shows.The Hollywood shutdown hit just as media giants like Comcast Corp. and Walt Disney Co. are getting their streaming products off the ground, each looking to spend billions of dollars on new content. Disney+ and Apple TV+ both launched in November, while Comcast’s NBCUniversal is introducing its Peacock service April 15. Quibi, a startup created by a pair of media and tech veterans that’s reportedly raised $1.75 billion in funding, launched Monday. With everyone home and glued to their TVs and devices, these companies will have a chance to attract more subscribers, while viewers gain more options for passing the time.Even so, none of these apps on its own may have enough to watch or offer sufficient variety for the average household. The most sought-after programs have been divvied up among the different services, which each charge their own monthly fees. Viewers might just grow tired with of any of these streaming apps when forced to spend so much extra time with one, potentially creating more volatile churn rates — the closely tracked measurement of customers canceling subscriptions. It’s a test for the streaming newbies and even Netflix that’s made all the more challenging if new content stops flowing in.New theatrical releases have gotten caught in the middle of this, too. For a big-budget film like “F9,” the latest installment of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, bypassing hundreds of millions of dollars in box-office revenue isn’t really an option. That’s why Universal Pictures pushed back the release by almost a whole year to next April. But with “Trolls World Tour,” Universal decided to make the movie available to rent on-demand for $20 instead of just delaying its theatrical debut. Other studios are having to make similar decisions. It raises the question of how all these delayed movies will fit into exhibitors’ schedules once theaters do reopen. As movie-goers grow accustomed to being able to see first-run films at home, and as streaming services try to juice their subscriber bases, a potential outcome may be shorter theatrical windows and an industry that’s forever changed.The pain is also being felt by contractors and local businesses in Atlanta, which became the new U.S. hub for TV and film production in recent years. About 400 works were filmed, resulting in $2.9 billion invested in Georgia for the fiscal year ended June 2019, according to the state. “Film & Entertainment” is featured prominently on the Georgia Department of Economic Development website, but visit the “now filming” section and you’ll find a bare page that reads: “Production in Georgia has been largely suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak.”Hollywood isn’t the only industry where workers’ safety has been suddenly put at odds with their livelihoods. Still, as housebound viewers devour more content than ever, new shows and movies aren’t getting made. That makes TV entertainment one area where the effects of the pandemic could be most striking for the everyday consumer.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Apple's (AAPL) Alleged Buyout of Voysis to Boost Voice Search
    Zacks

    Apple's (AAPL) Alleged Buyout of Voysis to Boost Voice Search

    Apple (AAPL) acquires Voysis, a natural language processing (NLP) solutions provider, which aids virtual assistants like Siri to better comprehend users' voice commands.

  • Large Caps Switch to Medical Gear as Coronavirus Spreads
    Zacks

    Large Caps Switch to Medical Gear as Coronavirus Spreads

    Companies like Apple, Inc. (AAPL), General Motors (GM), Ford Motor Company (F) and The Gap, Inc. (GPS) have taken to manufacturing face masks and ventilators keeping in mind the growing demand.

  • Apple to make 1 million coronavirus face masks a week
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Apple to make 1 million coronavirus face masks a week

    Apple is making and shipping face shields to protect medical staff from the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Investing.com

    Stocks - U.S. Futures Higher Amid Optimism Over Virus

    Additionally, gold futures rose 1.4% to $1,668.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded at $1.0811, up 0.1%.

  • Solid chip sales unlikely to cushion Samsung's virus-hit first-quarter profit
    Reuters

    Solid chip sales unlikely to cushion Samsung's virus-hit first-quarter profit

    The coronavirus-driven global shift to working from home is set to have boosted demand for Samsung Electronics' memory chips from laptop makers and data centres, but first-quarter profits are likely to remain flat as the outbreak weakened consumer electronics sales. The South Korean tech giant is the world's largest memory chip maker, and its Galaxy smartphones are a major rival of Apple Inc's products. Samsung, which also makes home appliances and displays, on Tuesday releases guidance for the January-March quarter profit which is widely expected to be unchanged, and come under pressure in the next few quarters as the impact of coronavirus-related factory and retail stores shutdowns bites.

  • Solid chip sales unlikely to cushion Samsung's virus-hit first quarter profit
    Reuters

    Solid chip sales unlikely to cushion Samsung's virus-hit first quarter profit

    The coronavirus-driven global shift to working from home is set to have boosted demand for Samsung Electronics' memory chips from laptop makers and data centres, but first-quarter profits are likely to remain flat as the outbreak weakened consumer electronics sales. The South Korean tech giant is the world's largest memory chip maker, and its Galaxy smartphones are a major rival of Apple Inc's products. Samsung, which also makes home appliances and displays, on Tuesday releases guidance for the January-March quarter profit which is widely expected to be unchanged, and come under pressure in the next few quarters as the impact of coronavirus-related factory and retail stores shutdowns bites.

  • Apple Is Designing Face Shields for Medical Workers, Tim Cook Says
    Bloomberg

    Apple Is Designing Face Shields for Medical Workers, Tim Cook Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is designing face shields for medical workers and separately has sourced over 20 million masks through its global supply chain, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said.Cook made the announcement Sunday on Twitter, saying that its design, engineering, packaging and operations teams are working with suppliers to get the shield made and shipped.The first shipment was delivered to a Santa Clara, California, hospital last week. The shields are fully adjustable and assemble in under two minutes, he said, adding that Apple plans to ship over a million this week and another million weekly after that.Apple plans to quickly expand shipping of the shields beyond the U.S., the executive said. Apple has shuttered all 458 of its retail stores outside of China to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and is requiring its engineers and designers to work from home.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Pandemic Data-Sharing Puts New Pressure on Privacy Protections

    (Bloomberg) -- Data sharing by technology companies is helping government officials fight the dizzying spread of the coronavirus by monitoring compliance with social distancing and stay-at-home orders.It’s also putting privacy experts on edge.Companies including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. were already collecting, for advertising purposes, huge volumes of data from websites and smart-phone apps like maps and weather services, which transmit signals about their owners’ location. Some of them are now stripping the data of personal identification markers, aggregating it, and providing it to researchers, public-health authorities and government agencies.The ability to pinpoint the movements of individuals is crucial at a time when controlling the pandemic’s spread depends on compliance with government orders to stay home if possible, and to practice social distancing if not.But consumer advocates fear that an emphasis on health over privacy could undermine the protection of civil liberties, similar to what happened after 9/11, when the U.S. secretly began collecting mass amounts of data on its own citizens in an effort to track down terrorists.Risk of Intrusion“There is an understandable desire to marshal all tools that are at our disposal to help confront the pandemic,” said Michael Kleinman, director of Amnesty International’s Silicon Valley Initiative. “Yet countries’ efforts to contain the virus must not be used as an excuse to create a greatly expanded and more intrusive digital surveillance system.”In the U.S. the new data-sharing practices are happening on many levels. One leading effort that began two weeks ago involves a partnership between a network of researchers and tech companies such as Facebook, which supplies anonymous and aggregated geo-location data.In assembly-line fashion, an analytics firm called Camber Systems takes mobile application data from digital ad companies and sends it multiple times a day to researchers who’ve joined the Covid-19 Mobility Data Network, according to network co-coordinator Andrew Schroeder.Those scientists study the now-anonymous data from multiple sources for insights about mobility rates, which are then shared with foreign governments like Italy and Spain and with U.S. states and cities, including New York, Seattle and California, Schroeder said.No ‘Surveillance’ The network says the analysis, which is meant to help measure enforcement of social-distancing rules, doesn’t contain personally identifiable information and that contracts governing the use of the information prohibit raw data from going directly to governments.Camber Systems declined to comment. Facebook said its data are aggregated in formats that prevent re-identification of individuals and that scientists and other users are subject to licensing agreements. Schroeder said the group is only using the data to address the public health crisis and not “for commercial purposes” or for “police surveillance.” Separately, Facebook, Google, Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and others have pledged to work together in coordination with government to combat the spread of the virus. An ad hoc tech industry task force has also spoken with White House officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a person familiar with the matter. Members of that task force have discussed proposals to share analyses of social-distancing compliance and hospital usage, the person said.Google announced Friday it would release new data about how the pandemic has cut down on foot traffic to transit centers, retail stores and public parks in more than 130 countries. The company said it’s responding to requests from public-health officials who want to know how people are moving around cities as a way to better combat the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Google reiterated in a blog post on Friday that, in its mobility reports, it’s using anonymized, aggregated data. Apple Inc. launched yet another initiative when it announced on March 27 that it was developing an app in partnership with the White House’s coronavirus task force, the CDC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The goal is to give the CDC guidance on users who input symptoms, risk factors and other information. The company said that individual responses wouldn’t be sent to the government.Earlier: Apple Joins Others in Launching Covid-19 Screening ToolsBut on Friday, four Democratic senators sent a letter asking what Apple was doing about privacy compliance, data retention, cybersecurity, and the terms of agreements with governments.With so many initiatives popping up, privacy gurus worry that information collected will later be used in ways it wasn’t intended. They say they don’t want to obstruct efforts that could help turn the tide in the crisis. Still, they want assurances that the data are truly anonymous. They want the data to be clearly defined, with real potential to be helpful, and to include limits on its reuse -- especially by law enforcement. They also want the data discarded once the coronavirus crisis ends.The sources of anonymous data can sometimes be exposed by combining datasets. Even when made anonymous, location points that come from phone apps, for instance, can be linked to a person by checking who lives at the address where the phone rests at night.“Location data can clue you in to a lot of other sensitive points about you,” said Sara Collins, policy counsel at Public Knowledge. “This discussion about backing into sensitive data from one data point I think is going to stay relevant.”Some of the data-sharing initiatives have already exposed potential community-spread problems. Tectonix GEO, based in Maryland, specializes in visualizing geolocation data, including for the federal government. It teamed up with X-Mode Social, based in Virginia, which sells location data from mobile phones to marketers. In March, they used the phone coordinates found on a single Florida beach during spring break to show how people had congregated and then dispersed -- possibly spreading the virus far and wide.X-Mode hasn’t shared any data with governments or heath agencies and hasn’t been been asked to, a spokesman for the company said.Cuebiq Inc., which specializes in helping companies analyze the effectiveness of ad campaigns on travel, weather, and other location-based apps, is posting its own “Mobility Insights,” with county-level readings across the U.S. on the movements of people in areas under stay-at-home orders. Chief Executive Officer Antonio Tomarchio, said it chose to provide analysis from a wide geographic area to protect privacy while trying “to help as much as we can.”“This is not like surveillance,” said Tomarchio, who’s watched the “disaster” unfold in his native Italy. “It’s not that we’re seeing each device.”Privacy RulesBusiness groups have used the pandemic to seek a delay in privacy rules, including a March letter from dozens of trade groups that urged California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to delay enforcement of the state’s new privacy law for six months due to Covid-19. The groups represent advertisers, tech companies, financial services firms, telecom providers, retailers, toymakers and more. Becerra’s office said it wasn’t planning any delay in the July 1 enforcement date.“Industry wants to use its role addressing today’s threats to public health as a lobbying tool to weaken the resolve of lawmakers to protect privacy,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy and a longtime online privacy advocate.Use of consumers’ data is governed largely by individual services’ privacy policies, which are often contained in sprawling documents that most users click through without reading. Few, if any, of the data uses clearly run afoul of laws or regulations, privacy experts say.Hubei ProvinceMany of the proposed ways to use data to combat coronavirus in the U.S. also stop short of what several other countries have done.In China, authorities used phone-carrier data to trace everyone who’s been in or near Hubei province, home to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. Singapore’s TraceTogether app uses Bluetooth technology to map a person’s contacts in case an infected person fails to recall all social interactions. And Israel has approved the use of tracking technology developed to combat terrorism to trace the movements of coronavirus patients.The lack of a federal law in the U.S. and the potential for privacy erosions are prompting advocates to push for guardrails. “This pandemic is just another example of why we need a strong, comprehensive baseline federal privacy law and a U.S. data protection agency,” said Caitriona Fitzgerald, policy director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which has filed government records demands about the White House’s work with tech companies.“People may choose safety for the moment,” said Jessica Rich, a former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection bureau and now a fellow at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy. “When this crisis is over, we will have eroded privacy norms and expectations and even regulations. And will we be able to get that back?”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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    Apple Supplier Targets Production of 30,000 Ventilators a Month

    (Bloomberg) -- Flex Ltd., a contract manufacturer known for making Apple Inc. computers, is starting to assemble thousands of ventilators to meet surging demand for the machines in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.The San Jose, California-based company will be churning out 25,000 to 30,000 ventilators a month by May or June, according to John Carlson, Flex’s head of medical solutions. That’s equal to the industry’s typical annual output, but as many as 1 million of these machines are needed now, he said in an interview Friday.The coronavirus has infected more than 1 million people and killed 58,000. Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, affects people’s respiratory systems. That has led to shortages of ventilators as hospitals try to keep thousands alive. On Friday, New York and New Jersey governors ordered unused ventilators to be seized from medical facilities and redistributed to hospitals treating coronavirus patients.Flex generates about $2 billion in annual sales by manufacturing medical devices for other companies. But ventilators are usually made in-house by medical-device companies, so this is new territory.Still, Carlson said Flex and other electronics contract manufacturers are well placed to respond. Flex has plants in the U.S., Mexico and China as well as other locations around the globe, along with experience procuring parts, dealing with regulations and adapting to local situations, such as workforce lockdowns.Ventilator production is slowed by the limited availability of proprietary valves and tubes that control the flow of air in and out of patients. These are usually made my small, specialist firms that supply them to medical-equipment companies, which, in turn, assemble ventilators themselves. That makes it hard to increase production quickly, Carlson said.Flex is working to make its own versions of these valves and tubes by reverse-engineering existing units and using techniques such as 3-D printing, he said.Many different companies are trying to make ventilators, including Flex rivals. U.S. President Donald Trump has pressured carmakers to pitch in, too, but Carlson said those companies will struggle because they have no experience making these devices and it will take time re-tool their factories.“It seems like a simple problem but the details get more complicated,” he said. “The whole world is trying to solve it, which is a great place to be, as long as the solution works.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Apple Acquires AI Startup to Better Understand Natural Language
    Bloomberg

    Apple Acquires AI Startup to Better Understand Natural Language

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. acquired Voysis, an artificial intelligence startup that developed a platform for digital voice assistants to better understand people’s natural language.Dublin, Ireland-based Voysis focused on improving digital assistants inside online shopping apps, so the software could respond more accurately to voice commands from users. A now-removed company webpage said the technology could narrow product search results by processing shopping phrases such as “I need a new LED TV” and “My budget is $1,000.” Voysis provided this AI to other companies to incorporate it into their own apps and voice assistants.Read more about the startup here: Synthesizing Realistic Human Speech Just Got a Lot EasierAn Apple spokesman said the company “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”Voysis’s system taps into Wavenets, an AI-based method for creating more human-like computer speech that was first developed by Google’s DeepMind in 2016. Voysis co-founder Peter Cahill said in 2018 that his company managed to shrink its system to the point where, once the AI is trained, the software uses as little as 25 megabytes of memory -- about the same size as four Apple Music songs. That made it much easier to run on smartphones without an internet connection.Apple could use the acquired know-how improve Siri’s understanding of natural language or to offer the Voysis platform to thousands of developers that already integrate with the Apple digital assistant. Apple has been the top buyer of AI startups in recent years and has a portfolio that already includes former startups including Turi, Xnor.ai, and Laserlike.Read more: Big Tech Swallows Most of the Hot AI StartupsVoysis was founded in 2012 and sold its services to several companies. It also had offices in Edinburgh and Boston and got $8 million in venture funding from Polaris Partners in 2017.The acquisition is the second Apple deal disclosed this week. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant also bought Dark Sky, a popular weather app for iPhones and iPads.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Apple CEO Cook Questioned by Senators on Covid-19 Screening App

    (Bloomberg) -- Several Democratic senators asked Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook about the privacy of the company’s new Covid-19 screening app and website.Senators Bob Menendez, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to the company on Friday expressing concern “for the safety and security of Americans’ private health data.” They want to know about data-sharing practices and safeguards, and whether the app complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The senators are also seeking information on Apple’s agreements with federal or state governments for the development of the app, according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg.The senators acknowledge that Apple says the software does not “require a sign-in or association with a user’s Apple ID, and users’ individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.”Read more: Apple Joins Others in Launching Covid-19 Screening ToolsThe iPhone maker addresses the tool’s privacy on its website. “Apple is not collecting your answers from the screening tool,” the company says. “To help improve the site, Apple collects some information about how you use it. The information collected will not personally identify you.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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