|Bid||319.00 x 900|
|Ask||319.10 x 1100|
|Day's range||315.37 - 319.23|
|52-week range||170.27 - 327.85|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.17|
|PE ratio (TTM)||25.05|
|Earnings date||28 Jul 2020 - 03 Aug 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||3.28 (1.04%)|
|Ex-dividend date||08 May 2020|
|1y target est||308.91|
A renowned iPhone hacking team has released a new "jailbreak" tool that unlocks every iPhone, even the most recent models running the latest iOS 13.5. For as long as Apple has kept up its "walled garden" approach to iPhones by only allowing apps and customizations that it approves, hackers have tried to break free from what they call the "jail," hence the name "jailbreak." Hackers do this by finding a previously undisclosed vulnerability in iOS that break through some of the many restrictions that Apple puts in place to prevent access to the underlying software.
Digital media companies have understood podcasts for years. Now tech giants are getting in late, but bringing big dollars to buy instant footholds.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a massive stock market sell-off in late February and March, many investors have bought stocks with the expectation that they'd make nice gains when the market rebounded. Sure enough, the stock market began to rebound in late March. The major market indices have regained much of their losses.
Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) has made no secret of its efforts to dethrone Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) in the world of podcasts, scooping up four start-ups over the past year and a half as part of its broader strategy and announcing a major exclusivity deal with Joe Rogan just this week. Considering the sheer size of Rogan's following, the pact has the potential to transform the economics of the podcasting ecosystem, as Spotify is reportedly paying over $100 million as part of the exclusive licensing agreement. Apple isn't going to sit still while Spotify tries to take a bite out of its podcasting business.
(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp are in the firing line as Europe’s leading privacy watchdog for U.S. tech giants edges closer to delivering its first major sanctions under the region’s tough data-protection rules.The Irish Data Protection Commission said on May 22 that it finalized a draft decision linked to a data breach at Twitter and has asked its peers across the European Union for their sign-off.The regulator said it’s also completed a draft decision in a probe of WhatsApp’s transparency around data sharing. The Facebook service will be asked to give its comments on any proposed sanctions before EU counterparts can weigh in.The Irish authority’s probes have been piling up since the bloc’s tough General Data Protection Regulation took effect in May 2018 -- but with no final decisions to date. The regulator is the lead data protection authority for some of the biggest U.S. tech companies, including Twitter, Facebook, Google and Apple Inc.GDPR empowered regulators to levy penalties of as much as 4% of a company’s annual revenue for the most serious violations. The biggest fine to date was a 50 million-euro ($54.5 million) penalty for Google by France’s watchdog CNIL.The Irish regulator said it has also made progress in a number of its other pending cases, including an investigation into obligations of Facebook’s local unit “to establish a lawful basis for personal data processing,” adding that this “inquiry is now in the decision-making phase.”Twitter and WhatsApp representatives declined to comment on the Irish probes.While sanctions in the two cases wouldn’t be the first under the new GDPR rules, they will be the first to test the cooperation between all 27 EU data authorities. Due to the EU-wide effects of the alleged violations in the two cases, the Irish regulator has to share its draft decisions with other regulators, allowing them to weigh in and either approve or object to its findings.(Updates with company response in seventh paragraph)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.
At the presser, Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray announced that after months of work, FBI technicians had succeeded in unlocking the two iPhones used by the Saudi military officer who carried out a terrorist shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida in December 2019. Early this year — a solid month after the shooting — Barr had asked Apple to help unlock the phones (one of which was damaged by a bullet), which were older iPhone 5 and 7 models.
Canada will ramp up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing as it gradually lifts restrictions and is working closely with Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google on a mobile phone app to help, the prime minister said on Friday. In his daily news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government was already helping Ontario, the most populous province, with contact tracing and was open to do the same for the other 12 provinces and territories. Businesses and citizens "need to know that we have a coordinated approach to gradually reopen that is rooted in science, evidence and the ability to rapidly detect and control any future outbreaks," Trudeau said.
IBM is laying off employees amid the pandemic, and Apple wants to use podcasts to promote its Apple TV+ streaming service.
TSMC (NYSE: TSM), the world's largest contract chipmaker, recently announced plans to build a new $12 billion plant in Arizona by 2024. The announcement might seem like good news for Taiwan-based TSMC and Arizona, but it also indicates the company is becoming entangled in the escalating trade war. Let's see how this deal could affect TSMC's business, and whether or not it's becoming a pawn in the messy tech war between the U.S. and China.
Apple (AAPL) looks to build backlog content library in Tv+ streaming services to boost subscriber growth amid intensifying competition.
Apple is facing fresh questions from its lead data protection regulator in Europe following a public complaint by a former contractor who revealed last year that workers doing quality grading for Siri were routinely overhearing sensitive user data. The timing of the letter comes as Europe's updated data protection framework, the GDPR, reaches its two-year anniversary -- facing ongoing questions around the lack of enforcement related to a string of cross-border complaints.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are two important lessons in this week’s announcement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has finally succeeded in cracking two mobile phones belonging to Mohammed Alshamrani, the aviation student who killed three people last December at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.The first lesson is that cracking an encrypted device takes time and effort even when the federal government brings all its resources to bear. The second is that Apple still refuses to build tools to make hacking its mobile devices easier.Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m happy about both.The story is a familiar one. After the Pensacola attack, the FBI found a pair of iPhones belonging to the shooter. The Justice Department promptly obtained a warrant for their contents, and, lacking Alshamrani’s password, went to Apple to ask for help breaking the encryption that protects the contents from snoopers. Although the company did provide certain assistance, it refused to develop software tools to crack its own devices. This has been Apple’s position for years, and it’s one I’ve defended in this space.So what happened? As in the past, after fulminating for a bit, the FBI got down to work and managed, through means not disclosed, to get into Alshamrani’s phones, obtaining valuable intelligence in the process. It just took longer than the government had hoped.That the FBI found a way past the phones’ defenses is no surprise. The tech community was skeptical from the start of the government’s claim to be unable to crack the devices. Security consultants have long warned that end-to-end encryption is never fully secure. This is particularly true “when the data is at rest rather than in transit.” So even if a hacker (governmental or not) cannot monitor a communication while it’s being sent, as long as the message remains resident on either the sending or the receiving device, there’s a target for technological attack.In other words, the feds don’t really need Apple to get into an iOS device. Just this past January, the Justice Department admitted that the FBI had been able to break into an iPhone owned by Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who faces criminal indictment. The government complained that because Parnas wouldn’t provide his password, the FBI needed “nearly two months” to unlock the phone. The implication is that cracking encryption should be easier. But it shouldn’t. That breaking into a locked mobile device takes time and effort is one of the few guarantees we have that the government will only rarely invest the resources needed to do it.Encryption is getting better. As innovations in the field begin to scale, it may soon be a whole lot better. That’s why under both the current administration and its predecessor, national security officials have called upon tech companies to include in their devices special keys that will allow access in an emergency.(1) The tech industry has resisted these demands, but few went as far as Apple — until recently. Just over a year ago, Google added protections that make hacking Android phones harder, even when the hacker is law enforcement. Some experts believe that Android phones are now harder than iPhones to crack.I'm told that behind closed doors, much of Silicon Valley thinks Apple is wrong to be so intransigent. Cooperation with law enforcement is routine among U.S. businesses; some techies see no reason for Apple to get a pass. Although I see the point, I continue to find the company’s position attractive. I’m left uneasy by the notion that privacy should be restricted because bad people might misuse it.Still, the pressure has had its effect. Although Apple steadfastly refuses to build a back door into its mobile devices, earlier this year, the company abandoned plans to allow iOS users fully encrypt their iCloud data. Given that iCloud has an estimated 850 million users — and that the service is the only practical way to back up an iPhone — this is no small concession.What this means in practice is that when law enforcement comes to Apple with a warrant for the contents of your phone, the company will turn over whatever you’ve uploaded. In the case of the Pensacola shooter, Apple has proudly touted that it did exactly that. The caveat is important. Even if what attracts you to Apple is the end-to-end encryption of messaging and the difficulty of breaking into your phone, whatever you upload to the cloud is available.Maybe this is an attractive compromise: Keep your data resident only on your phone and the government will need months to break in. Upload your data to the cloud, and a warrant will gain rapid access to all.But I worry. My rather old-fashioned view is that privacy is less a “right” than a check on the power of the state. Government can’t regulate what it’s unaware of. That’s why I’m glad that even for the FBI, cracking a phone takes time and effort. The cost in resources forces officials to be picky about when to try.You might object that the next case might present a true need to hurry. You’d be right. There’s always a hard hypothetical: a child at risk, a hidden bomb ticking away. But even if we can imagine a moment when we’d all agree that the maker ought to find a way to open the phone, we do better to pretend that we can’t. Nearly six decades ago, the great constitutional scholar Charles Lund Black pointed out that absolutist rules have the virtue of being rarely breached. As rules grow more flexible, we become more creative at coming up with exceptions.That’s why if our goal is to ensure that manufacturers will help government break into our phones only in the most urgent circumstances, the best approach is to cheer them when they say “Never.”(1) As the National Research Council predicted a quarter century ago.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” and his latest nonfiction book is “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.” 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Britain’s mobile phone app for tracking coronavirus infections has been delayed by bureaucracy and the addition of more symptoms to monitor, according to a person familiar with the matter -- who said they expected the government to abandon it in favor of the model backed by Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged Wednesday that the U.K. would have a tracking-and-tracing system -- essential to lifting the current lockdown -- in place by June 1. But he emphasized recruiting 25,000 workers to trace potential cases, rather than using the app that was due in the middle of May.The app is being developed by VMware Inc. and Zuhlke Engineering Ltd at a cost of 4.7 million pounds ($5.8 million). There has been controversy about the U.K.’s decision to reject the structure backed by Apple and Google, a move that has been criticized by privacy campaigners.The U.K. has opted for a “centralized” model, where people who test positive for coronavirus upload all their recent contacts to a database, and those people are then contacted and warned.Apple Inc. and Google released their Covid-19 exposure-notification tools on Wednesday. Some governments have criticized the “decentralized” system because it doesn’t let authorities store data on who has the virus and track where it is spreading. Instead, it just notifies individuals if they have been exposed.But one person involved in the U.K. app’s development suggested that after initially using its own model, the U.K. would end up using Apple and Google’s software tool because it would be more battery-efficient and better at alerting users to nearby positive cases.Development of the app began in March, commissioned by Matthew Gould, head of NHSX, the digital arm of the sprawling state-run health service. Since then, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and his officials, digital oversight officials at the Cabinet Office and security specialists at the National Cyber Security Centre have all had a say in its development. The growing number of stakeholders led to difficulties over deciding how to tackle various problems, two people said, who asked not to be named discussing confidential matters.After an initial trial on the Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England, the app’s national launch should have gone ahead by now, but Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told Sky News on Wednesday that June was a more likely date. The new timetable came as the nation’s cybersecurity center said Tuesday the app contains flaws that could leave it vulnerable to attack, including a lack of encryption in the test app.The app will flag to users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive to Covid-19. Users can also opt to record their symptoms. However, the U.K. has been increasing the number of symptoms that should lead to a positive test. On Monday the loss of taste and smell was added as an official symptom.Because the app is health-related, changes to it require an extensive authentication process before it is approved for Apple and Google’s app stores, leading to further delays, one person said.On Tuesday John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies, told Sky News a “well-functioning track and trace” system needed to be “embedded and working well” before schools could re-open. Johnson’s spokesman James Slack said volunteers may be able to start work before June 1, although that is unlikely to allay union fears.Teachers’ unions are in a battle with government over what safety conditions should be met before they return to work. While ministers had urged primary schools to return by June 1, they appeared to water down the instructions on Wednesday, with Buckland telling BBC radio the date is conditional on tests being met. The large numbers of children unable to go to school means the restarting of the economy is being held back. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak warned Tuesday of a “severe recession the likes of which we haven’t seen.”The Department for Health and Social Care said in a statement the app would be available “soon,” adding, “we are working at pace to develop our test and trace service, which will significantly improve our ability to track the virus and stop the spread,” a spokesperson said.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.
Maybe you've had some cash on the sidelines as major market indices have rebounded sharply from lows in March and feel like you've missed all the good investment opportunities. Consider buying shares of tech giant Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), insurance and investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) (NYSE: BRK.A), and data-driven ad-buying specialist The Trade Desk (NASDAQ: TTD). One of the rare high-quality stocks still trading near the low it saw in March is Berkshire Hathaway -- the insurance and investment conglomerate led by famed investor Warren Buffett.
(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong saw a spike in downloads of software designed to mask internet usage Thursday after Beijing signaled plans to usher in a new national security law that could tighten its grip on the city.Virtual Private Networks, the tools that help people bypass web restrictions and disguise their digital footprints, represented seven of the 10 most-downloaded apps in Apple Inc.’s Hong Kong app store, excluding games, on Thursday, according to data provider Sensor Tower. There weren’t any on the list in the preceding days.One popular provider, NordVPN, said it received 120 times more downloads Thursday compared with the day before. Competitor Surfshark VPN reported a 700% surge in Hong Kong sales, recording as many in one morning as it did in the prior week. Its Friday sales are maintaining that pace and may go even higher, the company said.Unlike in mainland China, Hong Kong maintains an open internet and relatively loose constraints on online speech because of the city’s semi-autonomous status. VPNs and U.S.-based messaging apps like Twitter and WhatsApp, which are banned on the mainland, are legal in Hong Kong.The national security law is expected to pass in China’s parliament before the end of its annual session next Thursday, but it would still take several procedural steps before being implemented. The law could lead to increased surveillance and censorship in Hong Kong, privacy advocates said.“The Chinese government is taking advantage of the pandemic and stepping up its attempts to enforce control over the region,” said Ray Walsh, of digital privacy advocacy group Proprivacy.com. “For Hong Kong citizens, who fear how this could impact their ability to work and communicate with the outside world online, this has led to an almost instant spike in searches for VPNs.”Read more: How China’s VPN Ban Asserts Digital ‘Sovereignty’: QuicktakeNordVPN’s downloads began to surge around 6 p.m. in Hong Kong, prompting efforts by the company to add new servers there and in Taiwan, said Laura Tyrell, a spokeswoman for the company. The effect mirrors similar responses in other countries after governments took measures to restrict online speech, such as when the U.K. expanded electronic surveillance in 2016 or the U.S. repealed net neutrality rules in 2018. The last time NordVPN saw a spike in Hong Kong was in October, when anti-government protests erupted across the city over a now-frozen extradition law.The Hong Kong protests resulted in violent demonstrations and sent the local economy into recession.It also spurred Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to invoke a colonial-era emergency law, which granted officials control and suppression of all means of communication, including the internet. The protests simmered after the coronavirus emerged at the end of 2019 and swept across the globe, prompting protesters to stay home. Talk of restarting demonstrations began circulating recently on Telegram, another popular messaging app that’s blocked in mainland China.(Updates with Surfshark sales increase in third paragraph)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 Inc. is ramping up its push into original podcasts by seeking an executive to lead the initiative and buying shows that would be exclusive to its services.The technology giant has begun acquiring two types of original podcasts, according to people familiar with the matter: one category is audio spinoffs of existing movies and programs on its Apple TV+ service, and the other is original programs that could eventually be adapted into future TV+ video content.The company is seeking a leader for its original podcast work who would report to Ben Cave, its head of podcasting, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the effort isn’t yet public.The move should help Apple promote its fledgling TV+ service, as well as defend the company against Spotify Technology SA’s aggressive move into podcasts. While Apple remains the dominant distributor of such programs in the U.S., Spotify has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in studios and original shows. The company, already the world’s leading paid music streamer, has boosted its share of podcast listening.Apple, based in Cupertino, California, declined to comment.In the industry, podcast producers are waiting for Apple to put more of its money into the medium. So far, it’s just dipping its toe into original podcasts -- nothing like the massive bet that Spotify is placing on the category.About 37% of U.S. adults listen to podcasts on a monthly basis, according to Edison Research, but the industry still generates less than $1 billion in advertising sales.Even if podcasting never becomes a big moneymaker for Apple, it could help support its trove of intellectual property, said Rich Greenfield, an analyst at LightShed Partners. Audio offshoots of shows for TV+ would largely be marketing for the platform, which the company is hoping will further boost its services revenue over time.“The audio consumption market, and the ability to use intellectual property to transform into other forms of IP, is really interesting,” he said.Apple was one of the first technology players to popularize podcasting, adding the medium to iTunes 15 years ago. Since then, it’s been building out features for podcast listening on its devices.Rogan PodcastBut Spotify is also on move. On Tuesday, it acquired the exclusive rights to Joe Rogan’s podcast, which consistently ranks as one of the five most popular shows on Apple. Spotify has also has purchased the Ringer, which owns Bill Simmons’s sports podcast; Gimlet Media, producer of the show “Reply All”; and Parcast, a producer of many popular true-crime shows.Bloomberg News first reported last year that Apple planned to bankroll original podcasts and reported earlier this year on the plan to make original podcasts out of Apple TV+ shows.Separate from its work on originals, Apple has asked some producers working on podcasts to provide versions of their offerings without advertisements, which fits into TV+’s ad-free approach. Apple has shunned advertisements in most of its services, including its Music and Arcade platforms, but features ads in the App Store and its free tier of Apple News.Though the popularity of podcasts has surged in recent years, they’re suffering a hiccup during the pandemic. Many people listen to the shows during their commutes, and with so many people in lockdown, use has declined, according to Podtrac.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.
Here are 3 blue-chip tech stocks that investors might want to buy as giants such as Amazon hit new highs despite the coronavirus...
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. plans to hire more remote workers in areas where the company doesn’t have an office, and let some current employees work from home permanently if they’d like to.Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said the company plans to “aggressively open up remote hiring” starting immediately with the U.S., particularly for engineering talent. Based on internal employee surveys, he believes remote workers could make up as much as 50% of Facebook’s workforce in the next five to 10 years.“We and a lot of other folks were very worried that productivity was going to really fall off a cliff,” Zuckerberg said in an interview. “It just hasn’t. We are at least as productive as we were before, and some people report being even more productive.”The social network, which closed its Menlo Park, California, offices in early March due to the coronavirus outbreak, has already told employees that they can work from home through the end of the year. Zuckerberg shared the remote hiring plans with workers Thursday. Facebook had more than 48,000 global staff at the end of March.“The vast majority of people at the company are working remotely anyway, so constraining ourselves to only hiring people who live near an office that’s not open anyways isn’t really that efficient,” he added.Facebook is the latest, and largest, tech company to announce a full or partial move to more permanent remote work amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Twitter Inc. and Square Inc., both run by CEO Jack Dorsey, have announced that their employees can work from home permanently if they’d like. Canadian e-commerce company Shopify Inc. said this week it will allow its 5,000 staff to work from home indefinitely.It’s a trend that could drastically change Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, which has for decades been the mecca for high-paying technology jobs. Many of the world’s most valuable companies, including Facebook, Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are headquartered just south of San Francisco, which has made the surrounding area one of the wealthiest and most expensive in the world.Facebook employees who wish to work remotely, and are approved to do so, will be paid based on their new location, Zuckerberg added. That means employees who move to areas with a lower cost of living than the Bay Area would likely take a pay cut. Employees currently working remotely who want to extend their remote work plans beyond the end of this year will need to alert Facebook for tax and payroll reasons.“We’ll localize everybody’s comp on January 1,” he said. “They can do whatever they want through the rest of the year, but by the end of the year they should either come back to the Bay Area or they need to tell us where they are.”Zuckerberg said his decisions aren’t driven by employee demand, but there are a number of other benefits to remote hiring. This will extend the “talent pool” of people Facebook can hire, he said, and could help Facebook increase the diversity of its workforce, both racially and ethnically, but also ideologically.There is also a potential environmental benefit, Zuckerberg said, pointing out that pollution and emissions have dipped as people have stopped traveling. “I’d rather have our employees teleporting to work with VR or video chat than sitting in a commute and kind of poisoning the atmosphere,” he said.There could be product advantages, too. Facebook’s mission is to create products that help people feel closer even when they are physically apart, Zuckerberg said. This would give the company a chance to put its own products to the test and “eat our own dog food,” he added.There are still some unknowns. Zuckerberg believes a change like this could impact some of what he calls “the softer stuff,” like social connections, group brainstorming and creativity. Companies like Facebook and Google have changed work culture by offering employees never-ending perks, like free food, shuttles to work and even laundry. Those elements of work cultures will undoubtedly be affected.“We don’t know yet how much we are drafting off of culture, relationships, strategy and direction that have been developed up until this point. We’re kind of just gliding forward,” he said. “We don’t know how hard it’s going to be to evolve.”Zuckerberg said the Covid outbreak and current plan to increase remote workers won’t change the company’s real estate ambitions – at least not in the short term. Facebook has been expanding its sprawling headquarters for years, and has other plans to expand East across the San Francisco Bay to Fremont. Facebook has also embarked on a major push in New York, where it last year signed a lease for more than 1.5 million square feet of space in the Hudson Yards development. The company had planned to start moving employees into the space this year.When some employees do return to work following the July 4 holiday, Facebook plans to keep office capacity at just 25%, so will need as much room as possible. “If anything we just don’t have enough office space,” Zuckerberg said.The virus “is going to be with us for a while, so we really need to get good at this,” Zuckerberg added. “I just don’t think there’s going to be a single day where it’s like, ‘OK, Covid is done.’”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.
Regardless of how you feel about Joe Rogan, one simple fact is indisputable: The comedian-turned-podcaster has a massive audience. Spotify has spent the past year fleshing out its podcasting strategy, challenging Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) long-standing dominance in podcast distribution. Part of that initiative entails securing original content for the platform, and in no uncertain terms JRE will become the biggest exclusive podcast for Spotify's audio-streaming platform.