Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in what will probaly be a long legal battle. Apple disputed Qualcomm’s legal right to charge heightened royalties for use of its tech, and Qualcomm requirement that Apple pay a percentage of the iPhone’s revenue in return for the use of Qualcomm patents, and Apple has sued the company in three countries.
In the United States, Apple is suing Qualcomm for $1 billion — but it has also filed a lawsuit in China against the company for $145 million, and it has another suit pending in the United Kingdom. Qualcomm has followed with its own countersuit.
Qualcomm is asking the court to join this claim to a similar case it brought against Apple, in which Qualcomm accused the iPhone giant of not allowing pre-agreed audits on the use of Qualcomm’s source code. However, Qualcomm asserts that these charges are serious enough to stand on their own should the court not allow the two cases to be merged at a planned April hearing. Qualcomm has supplied no evidence yet, but has pointed to discussions between Intel and Apple engineers discovered in the course of an investigation.
A recent survey, developed by Motorola and an expert from Harvard University, found more than half of Generation Z respondents described their phone as a best friend, and 35 percent of respondents agreed they spend too much on their smartphone.
Apple and Google have launched different devices to help consumers better manage the time we spend on our digital devices. Apple recently launched the Screen Time tool for the iPhone — and Google released Digital Wellbeing, a similar tool for Android devices and other Google products.
For those who tend to check their phone often, Screen Time has a section dedicated to letting you know how many times you’ve picked up your phone. You can see the total number of pickups and the average amount of times you pick up your phone per hour. It’ll also tell you between what times you picked up your phone the most. For example, our most pickups at one point was 33 times between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Now the dust is settling on the EU’s action against Google for exploiting the dominance of Android, Vestager is casting around for her next tech project. And we got a big clue about what it is this week.
Vestager said her team is about to launch a review of smartphone chargers, as a result of concerns that tech firms have not acted on a promise to standardize charging points.
Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia were among 14 companies to sign a voluntary deal in 2009, agreeing to harmonize chargers for new models of smartphones coming into the market in 2011.
Vestager said progress against this aim had not been good enough. “Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options,” she said.
This could spell all sorts of trouble for Apple. Android phones use either USB-C and micro-USB connectors into the handset, and Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector is something of an outlier. This may make it an obvious target for Vestager’s investigation.
Apple has signed Oprah Winfrey to a multiyear deal for new original programs.
Apple is now going head to head with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in a war for consumers’ attention.
“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” the company said in a statement Friday. “Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.”
Apple did not specify whether Winfrey would appear in any of the shows, but she is expected to have an on-screen role as a host and interviewer. The company also declined to discuss financial aspects of the deal.
Apple said the deal will not affect Winfrey’s contract with OWN, the television network she launched in 2011. Winfrey recently extended her contract there through 2025.
Apple, Amazon and Netflix have been competing to lock-in producers, show runners and performers, and paying unprecedented sums to do so. Apple has made deals for more than a dozen shows with big names like Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Durant.
Netflix recently signed former President Barack and former First Lady Michelle Obama in a multiyear deal that will see them producing and starring in original shows. Netflix also has a show hosted by David Letterman that features interviews with the world’s biggest celebrities.
Apple sent a lengthy memo to its employees warning them about leaking and the consequences. There have been numerous arrests for the leaks. The memo stated that there were 29 leakers and 12 arrests. Addressed were situations outlined in which information was leaked to the media, including a meeting earlier this year where Apple’s software engineering head Craig Federighi told employees that some planned iPhone software features would be delayed. Apple also cited a yet-to-be-released software package that revealed details about the unreleased iPhone X and new Apple Watch.
Netflix is in talks with former President Barack Obama for a new series.
The New York Times reports that the deal would have Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, provide content that would only be available on Netflix. Sources close to the deal indicate that the series might focus on inspirational stories or feature moderated discussions of the topics that were highlights of the Obamas’ time in the White House.
The report indicates that some episodes could feature conversations on health care or voting rights moderated by Barack Obama, while Michelle Obama might moderate a show focusing on nutrition, for example. Other potential show ideas rumored for the deal include documentaries or other projects endorsed by and possibly introduced by the Obamas.
Executives from Apple and Amazon have also reportedly been in talks with the former president and first lady.
Terms of the Netflix deal are unknown at this point.