Apple Watch Takes Center Stage Amid iPhone Excitement

In Apple’s universe, it’s usually iPhone news and rumors that takes center stage. But this week, it’s Apple Watch that hogged the attention.

First, a report said the Apple Watch come with a new feature that would allow it to connect to cellular networks without having to be tethered to an iPhone. It was quickly followed by an analyst report providing more information about the LTE chip. And most recently, a report detailed how many Apple Watches the company may sell this year.

 Story image for Apple from Fortune

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter

But the news didn’t end on the wrist. There was also talk this week of Apple’s (AAPL, -0.21%) efforts in entertainment, and surprisingly, it mulling over a change to the design of App Store icon after years of leaving the image alone.

Read on for a quick look at this week’s biggest Apple news:

This is Fortune’s weekly roundup of the biggest Apple news this week.

  1. The next Apple Watch, which could be announced in September, may come with an LTE connection, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors this week. The feature would provide Apple Watches with a cellular connection, eliminating the need for it to be linked to an iPhone for an Internet connection. It would be the first Apple Watch to come with LTE since the smartwatch was introduced in 2015.
  2. Just a day later, Kuo wrote another note to investors to clarify that the LTE compatibility won’t mean that Apple Watch will be capable of placing and receiving calls on its own, as some users had hoped. Instead, the LTE connection will only allow for data transfers, meaning people who want to place calls through the Watch must tether it to an iPhone.
  3. Although Apple won’t reveal the number of Apple Watches it sells, unidentified suppliers told supply chain news site DigiTimes on Friday that the company is expected to ship 15 million units in 2017. That figure could jump to 20 million in 2018, the suppliers say.
  4. In response to last weekend’s Charlottesville, Va. rally and violence, Apple this week stopped allowing far-right sites integrate Apple Pay in websitesthat used the mobile-payment service to take payment for merchandise. According to a report, Apple blocked access to Apple Pay on three white supremacist websites. It was part of a broader effort by Apple to speak out against hateful speech and violence.
  5. Apple CEO Tim Cook blasted President Donald Trump this week for his comments following Charlottesville. Cook said that he didn’t agree “with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights.” Cook also said that Apple would donate $1 million to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
  6. Apple has allocated $1 billion in its budget to acquiring original video content, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple will try to buy shows to bolster a video service the company is reportedly working on that would compete against Netflix and Amazon Video. The Journal‘s sources said Apple wants to use the money to produce 10 TV shows.

One more thing…Apple has used the same App Store icon, featuring an “A” made up of a pencil, paintbrush, and ruler, for years. The new design features three sticks all arranged in an A. It’s a simple change, but it’s one that people have been chatting about on social media all week. And some are not too happy.


Apple has an idea for car sensors that could drastically reduce crashes

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

Apple has scoped out an idea for Bluetooth sensors that help cars communicate with each other, according to an updated patent published on Thursday.

Sensors, likely Bluetooth short-range wireless technology, would scan the surroundings, communicating with other cars, sensors and a GPS system, updating a drivers’ dashboard display to reflect obstacles like ambulances or cars passing.

The patent doesn’t describe the technology as a self-driving car, but rather, compares it to a souped-up version of parking sensors blind-spot detection systems that are already commonplace in cars today.

Source: USPTO

Just because a technology is patented doesn’t mean it will ever see the light outside of Apple’s headquarters — indeed, most patented technologies are never commercialized and this might not be either.

And the idea of vehicle-to-vehicle communication isn’t new: The CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium was founded in 2002. Broadcom, for instance, has already been working on similar technology for years.Qualcomm has several solutions, incorporating Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G/4G LTE.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.

Still, it makes sense for Apple to be doubling down on this type of technology for a few reasons.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company is investing heavily in building autonomous systems — and one major application of that technology is cars. Apple already has a modified mobile operating system, CarPlay, that’s designed to be used in the car. As autonomous vehicles take over more of the drivers’ traditional duties, systems like CarPlay could be more widely used.

Source: USPTO

Apple is also interested in improving wireless connections in general. With its latest wireless earbuds, AirPods, Apple revealed a new W1 chipto improve performance. While it’s a bit of a leap to draw a line between the two, one of the inventors on Apple’s automobile patent lists his occupation as iOS Bluetooth engineer. Not to mention that a recently disbanded automotive sensor company, Pearl Automation, was flush with former Apple engineers.

If Apple does build the fabled iCar, it may actually be required to have this type of vehicle-to-vehicle communication system. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposal would require vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, predicting the technology could “prevent or reduce the severity of up to 80 percent of non-alcohol-related crashes.”


3 Funds That Crush Apple And Pay 9%+ Income

I write on high yield assets that deliver a reliable income stream. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

If you’ve held Apple (AAPL) for a long time, you’re probably feeling pretty smug. And you should—the stock isway up over just about any time period and has nearly doubled in the last five years:

Apple’s Sparkling Performance

Clearly, Apple is an amazing stock. But what if I told you we can top that 96.3% gain in the next five years?

All we have to do is go someplace most investors aren’t. I’m talking about high-yielding—and almost totally ignored—closed-end funds.

The three I want to show you today are the PIMCO Dynamic Income Fund (PDI), the Tekla Life Sciences Investors Fund (HQL) and the Western Asset Mortgage Defined Opportunity Fund (DMO).

Because here’s something that might surprise you—they’re all beating Apple, and not by a little bit.

Apple Gets Schooled

Before I get to why these funds are soaring, let me show you three reasons why it’s better to buy into them than Apple.

#1: You Get Paid Upfront

Let’s cut right to the chase. These funds are better because they pay out more in dividends.

Apple’s dividend yield is a measly 1.6%. So even if you own $1 million of Apple stock, you’d get just $1,333 in monthly cash income. That’s poverty wages for a millionaire—ridiculous!

These 3 funds are in another league entirely.

HQL pays a 9.9% dividend, and DMO is paying 11.3%. PDI pays a tad less, at 9%, but it also has a habit of paying massive special dividends at the end of the year. I’ve written before that PDI’s special dividends will likely shrink in the future, but even without them this fund boasts a massive cash payout.

And if you put all 3 of these income studs in a $1 million portfolio, you’d trigger $8,417 in monthly dividend payments (even better, two of these CEFs—PDI and DMO—actually pay dividends monthly, just like 4 other high-yield investments I recommended a couple months ago).

That’s a six-figure income that you can get passively—without selling a single stock! Apple can’t hold a candle to these funds’ massive payouts.

#2: Safety Through Diversification

With Apple, you’re buying a great company. But you’re just buying one company.

With PDI, HQL and DMO, you’re getting exposure to hundreds of companies. And while all of them are smaller than Apple, many of them are bargains because they get a lot less attention than Cupertino’s fruit company.

And this extra layer of safety goes beyond that.

Because all 3 funds buy some combination of stocks, bonds and private equity stakes—meaning there’s upside, some insulation from a market correction and exposure to investments that most folks just can’t buy. This broad base is a big reason for these funds’ gangbuster returns.

#3: They Can’t Wait to Put Cash in Your Pocket

One of the problems with companies like Apple is that it’s in no rush to return profits to investors. While Apple has a profit margin of 20.9%, investors are only getting that 1.6% dividend yield!

That’s partly because Apple wants to keep that money and invest it in new ventures. But it also means Apple has $257 billion in cash it isn’t using for anything—and it isn’t getting much of a return, considering interest rates are near zero!

That isn’t Apple’s fault; it’s a complicated story, but a mix of tax codes and an overvalued venture capital market make it hard for Apple to make a lot of savvy acquisitions.

The CEFs I prefer don’t have either problem. Since they focus on returning as much capital to investors as possible while still investing in growing ventures, we get a bigger portion of the fund’s profits than we’d get with Apple. Plus we get our share immediately in the form of cold, hard cash.

Finally, these funds are no slouches in a place where Apple fanboys and girls think the company has the market cornered: innovation. The people managing these funds are specialists who run them as if they were managing actual companies.

Tekla and Western Asset Management hire industry experts to make investments in very specialized and highly complicated sectors and assets—things your typical stock picker is not going to pick up on. That, again, makes their funds act a lot more like companies than diversified mutual funds or ETFs.

The bottom line?

I like to think of funds like these as Apple+. You’re getting access to top-notch experts making wise bets on the future, just like you would with Tim Cook’s company. But you’re also getting a far bigger income stream, much more diversification and superior returns. That’s why I like CEFs much more than regular stocks—and you should, too.

Disclosure: none

Michael Foster is the Lead Research Analyst for Contrarian Outlook. For more great income ideas, click here for our latest report “7 Great Dividend Growth Stocks for a Secure Retirement.”


Tim Cook’s Charlottesville email to Apple employees: “Hate is a cancer”

The Apple CEO sent an email to employees about the events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend that saw one woman killed at a white supremacist rally, reports BuzzfeedIn the email, Cook said “hate is a cancer” and that he “disagree[s] with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights.” Cook also announced Apple will give $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. You can read his full email below:

Story image for Apple from Reuters


Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.

What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world. We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.

Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point–that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect. I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.

In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30. In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.


Apple is bringing a billion dollar checkbook to Hollywood and wants to buy 10 TV shows

Apple is officially open for business in Hollywood.

The company is telling content makers it wants to spend $1 billion on its own stuff over the next year. That’s music to studios’ ears, and a tune they have been expecting for some time — especially after Apple hired two top Sony TV executives in June.

We still don’t know what Apple wants to do with that content: The Wall Street Journal says Apple wants to make up to 10 “Game of Thrones”- or “House of Cards”-scale shows, but that’s not enough to launch a full-scale subscription service.

For context: HBO spent about $2 billion on content last year, and Netflix is spending $6 billion. While Apple is now formally competing with those guys for content, it certainly doesn’t want to beat them. It wants them streaming their shows on Apple devices, and selling their services via Apple’s iTunes store, where Apple can take a cut of the monthly fee.

But Apple’s all-but-official announcement is a sign that it’s done with its first, halting effort to make its own programming, which it used to augment its Apple Music service. You don’t hire those guys, and spend that kind of money, as a marketing exercise.

Reminder: The list of guys writing checks in Hollywood now includes Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google; Verizon and AT&T are coming, too. You should stop reading this and start writing your spec script.


Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 8 Rumors: What’s Next for the iPhone 8?

While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 8 rumors have been accelerating in the last few weeks, pundits still are going back and forth over whether “iPhone 8” will even be the name of the forthcoming flagship. “iPhone X” could get the nod instead, and some have even suggested that AAPL will release three iPhone 7S models in 2017 instead.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 8 Rumors: What's Next for the iPhone 8?

Source: Shutterstock

However, notorious Apple blogger John Gruber asserted in his personal blog that iPhone 8 remains the most likely name for the device.

In his Daring Fireball blog, Gruber suggested that if the handset features a new design that it is also likely to attract unique branding. “There’s no way Apple is going to call these devices “7S.” The S models have had minor cosmetic differences from the preceding year’s non-S iPhones, but these phones are sporting entire new designs.”

Gruber instead suggests that either iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8 Pro, or iPhone, iPhone Plus, iPhone Pro are likely naming schemes.

“Either of these naming schemes would make all three new iPhones sound new,” the analyst asserted.

The Best Way to Buy Bitcoin for 2x, 3x, Even 5x Returns
Despite the staggering growth of Bitcoin, many investors still don’t really understand what it is or how it works… or how to safely join in on the profit-making. This Special Report outlines everything you need to know… including the best way to buy Bitcoin right from your brokerage account or IRA. ONLY 13 FREE COPIES LEFT: Click here to grab your copy while you can.

Gesture System

Apple iPhone 8 rumors over the last week have also focused on a new gesture system. This will enable Apple fans to silence notifications for the smartphone by merely glancing at the device. Leaks of the iOS 11 code have revealed that this will be a major new function of facial recognition technology in the smartphone, as AAPL looks to ramp up the capabilities of its next generation handset.

It will also be possible to suppress sounds or ringtones by simply glancing at the phone in a certain way, according to development documents. Other titbits revealed by the code for the mobile operating system indicated it would be possible to capture ultra slow-motion video, while the Home button will feature customization options.

This later suggestion implies that Apple will not integrate the Home button within the display of the iPhone 8, as has been suggested in some quarters.

Wraparound Display

Developers have also found some interesting features hidden in the HomePod smart speaker’s code. Crucially, these include a design for the wraparound display that has been strongly linked with the iPhone 8, while facial recognition software is also included. These revelations have come from a firmware release from Apple, which was apparently published by mistake, judging by the rapidity with which it was taken down by the California corporation.

But such fast action is not enough to prevent the Internet generation from learning a great deal, and thus a raft of new Apple iPhone 8 rumors have emerged. Of course, it is important to note that the capability indicated by the leak may not necessarily come to fruition in the forthcoming generation of Apple smartphones. But it is nonetheless a distinct possibility.

Display Confirmation

While previous Apple iPhone 8 rumors have suggested that the smartphone may feature a significantly extended display in comparison to previous generations, it now seems that this has been finally confirmed. The same HomePod beta code indicates that the next generation smartphone will benefit from a 5.8-inch display, confirming the suspicions of many analysts.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith has been credited with discovering this information, and has already tweeted on the subject. “These are the metrics used by the status bar on the edge-to-edge iPhone, including notch height and ear width,” the analyst asserts. This means the iPhone will feature the largest screen that Apple has ever included in a smartphone, with the 5.5-inch screen of the iPhone Plus range being the previous recipient of this statistic.


Apple iPhone 8 colour variants show up in a hands-on video

Image credit: Danny Winget/Youtube
NEW DELHI: Apple iPhone 8 has been creating a buzz since last year. We have seen countless leaks and rumours for the upcoming smartphone — it has been seen in renders and has been talked about by tipsters and analysts. Now, someone has done a full-blown hands-on video (scroll below) of the smartphone mock ups, which are being said to be the closest versions of the official handset. The 2 minute, 40 second video is uploaded on YouTube by Danny Winget, a tech reviewer, and shows all the three colour variants of the upcoming iPhone 8 in the most clearest way possible.

View As Photolist »

7 ‘confirmed’ features of Apple iPhone 8

7 'confirmed' features of Apple iPhone 8
Augmented Reality
Dual-rear cameras
Homepod integration
Wireless charging
Water resistant, glass back panel
Siri may do a lot more

7 ‘confirmed’ features of Apple iPhone 8

Apple will be launching its tenth anniversary iPhone this year. The speculations about the likely features and specifications of the upcoming smartphones have kept the tech grapevine churning for months now. Recently, Apple unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system iOS 11. The software update coming to iPhones and iPads also gives some clues about iPhone 8’s features. Other than these, CEO of Wistron, a contract manufacturer of Apple devices, too inadvertently revealed some details about the upcoming iPhones. Based on these, here are 7 ‘confirmed’ features of Apple iPhone 8.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) will play a big role in the upcoming Apple iPhone 8. Apple made some big announcements related to AR for the upcoming iOS 11 at the recent WWDC conference. The company announced its own AR development platform (ARKit), which means that developers can create AR apps well in time for iPhone 8. It is likely that by the time the smartphone launches in September, Apple developers will be ready with several AR-based apps.

Dual-rear cameras

Although Apple has revealed nothing about the dual-rear camera setup, guessing it’s inclusion with the upcoming iPhone 8 is easy. This is as Apple has already brought such camera technology with the iPhone 7 Plus last year. AR apps will also be able to make good use of the dual-rear cameras.

Homepod integration

Apple recently unveiled HomePod, its answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. Shipping later this year, the pill-shaped speaker will very likely have support for Apple iPhone 8. Though the company didn’t go much into the details, iPhone 8-HomePod integration appears integral part of Apple’s home computing ambitions.

Wireless charging

Yes, iPhone 8 will feature wireless charging. This has reportedly been revealed by Robert Hwang, CEO of Taiwan-based iPhone assembler Wistron. “Assembly process for the previous generations of (iPhones) have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing, and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit,” Hwang reportedly told reporters during a shareholders’ meeting. Wistron is said to have recently started assembling iPhone SE units at its plant in Karnataka, India.

Water resistant, glass back panel

Besides confirming the wireless charging feature, Wistron CEO also revealed that the upcoming smartphones will have water-resistant design. Since the smartphone will come with wireless charging, analysts believe that it is likely to sport a glass or a plastic back panel for hinder-free connection.


With iPhone 8, Apple is quite likely to take its NFC support beyond Apple Pay. The company’s all-new iOS 11 Beta adds support for Core NFC, which as per release notes is described as “a new framework for reading Near Field Communications (NFC) tags and data in NFC Data Exchange Format.” This means new NFC chip may read more tags than just Apple Pay tags. Users may be able to pair the Apple Watch with the iPhone using NFC. It could also be used for online payments at stores.

Siri may do a lot more

Apple didn’t reveal much about the new features coming to Siri during its WWDC conference. This has led to the speculation that users may have lot more to do on Siri in iPhone 8. The glimpse of the improved AI seen at WWDC 2017 conference during the iOS 11 launch too hints at the same. Siri will able to translate languages in real time and will will be fluent in carrying out other commands as well.
7 'confirmed' features of Apple iPhone 8
Augmented Reality
Dual-rear cameras
Homepod integration
Wireless charging
Water resistant, glass back panel
Siri may do a lot more

The video suggests the iPhone 8 to come in ‘Copper Gold’ along with Silver and Black colour variants. If you have been following the leaks and rumours surrounding the iPhone 8, you won’t be surprised looking at the design. The handset, as mentioned before, is seen sporting a full-screen front with a sleek bezel on top including the speaker grille, dual cameras and the sensors.

At the back there’s a vertical dual camera setup with a LED flash placed in between them. The Apple logo and the ‘iPhone’ moniker is seen as well. On the right there’s a SIM card slot and what is said to be a power button, while on the left you get a the usual volume buttons and the alert slider. At the bottom the iPhone 8 is seen sporting a lightning port along with two speaker grilles on either side. The antenna lines too are hidden now, giving it a cleaner overall look.

According to recent survey made by Barclays, the rumoured $1000 price tag for the iPhone 8 is much to ask for. According to a report by CNBC, Barclays conducted a survey in which only 11 per cent respondents said they would pay $1000 for the iPhone. We are yet to see how much Apple plan to charge for its upcoming device, which is rumoured to launch in September


Apple’s Accidental Leak ‘Confirms’ iPhone 8 Design

Apple AAPL +1.42%’s HomePod accident delivered a mother lode of iPhone 8 information. The company’s own code verified two exclusives (1, 2) I published last month and now in conjunction with this I can confirm the iPhone 8’s production-ready final design…

Following on from my renders last month, I have been able to obtain a prototype of Apple’s finalised iPhone 8 design. Unlike a number of dummy units which have surfaced in recent months, this is not a crude slab but a highly detailed model constructed with premium materials and operational power, volume and mute buttons.

This is the iPhone design Apple is currently putting into mass production.

Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8 prototype (left) beside iPhone 7 (right)

So what do we learn from my prototype? In short: the leaked schematics were spot on. The iPhone 8 is indeed slightly larger than the iPhone 7, but noticeably smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus and it feels great in hand. It is similar to the Galaxy S8 in look and feel (which is a good thing) and it should be relatively easy for most owners to use one handed.

Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8’s cut-out ‘notch’ can clearly be seen in the top bezel

The massive 5.8-inch edge-to-edge is also going to look stunning in the final release, though how the ‘cut-out’ notch in the top bezel – housing the front facing camera and sensors – will be designed around in software is open to dispute. I have some tip-offs here, but nothing rock solid. That said I do believe the notch will ‘square off’ (be blacked out) when viewing video to create a straight vertical image along the top bezel.

Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8 vertical dual camera will protrude significantly

And speaking of vertical, yes the rear dual cameras are vertically aligned as widely tipped. This is partially to aid augmented reality (which it is frequently viewed in landscape mode) and partially as I believe the circuitry of the iPhone 8 left Apple with little choice, though expect it to be marketed as the former.

Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8 (top) has a much larger power button than the iPhone 7 (bottom), but why remains a mystery

In February I also exclusively revealed fast charging is coming to the iPhone 8. That remains correct and it will be joined by wireless charging (though the wireless charger will be an – expensive – optional extra) and the headphone jack will not be returning – something I saw coming in 2014.

Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8 (left) switches to a glass back for wireless charging

For the record I also understand almost every point of the Bloomberg/Kuo iPhone 8 25 feature leak is indeed correct. These two sources have been on fire.

Adding to my confidence are my good contacts at MobileFun which have supplied me with Olixar’s commercially ready iPhone 8 cases. These are the real deal. I tried its Crystal Clear, Wallet and FlexiShield cases and each fits perfectly around my prototype unit. I’ve taken several images to demonstrate the precision of these finishes above and below – Apple’s partners are all on the same page.

Gordon Kelly

iPhone 8 prototype inside an Olixar wallet production case

As for my iPhone 8 concerns, these are less to do with the hardware and more to do with the supply chain itself. The same leaky supply chain which has provided me with so much information throughout the year is also consistently reporting drastic stock shortages at launch and a major price increase.


Chinese Developers File Antitrust Complaint Against Apple

A group of Chinese app developers has filed a complaint against Apple, alleging that the company had violated antitrust regulations in its App Store. And the complaint is only the latest sign of Apple’s increasing trouble in the country.

The complaint, which was filed with Chinese regulators, accuses Apple of anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior. The group of developers allege that Apple charges excessive fees for in-app purchases, doesn’t give explanations or details for arbitrary app removal, and doesn’t respond to queries in Chinese — putting local developers are a disadvantage — according to The Wall Street Journal.

The case was filed by Beijing-based law firm Dare & Sure, and sent to two separate Chinese regulatory entities: the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Industry & Commerce. “Steve Jobs represented the American dream. But Apple’s unequal treatment of China’s young developers stops them from realizing their China dream,” Dare & Sure’s Lin Wei said in a statement.

Apple began cracking down on illegitimate apps earlier this year, which resulted in the removal of over 58,000 Chinese apps. According to the developer’s complaint, Chinese app makers never received sufficient explanations for their apps being removed — and were often left waiting months before they were able to get their legitimate apps back onto the marketplace. Additionally, the developers allege that Apple takes too high of a cut for in-app purchases — around 30 percent. In China, in-app purchases on mobile platforms like Weibo are widely used for everyday transactions — from buying public transit tickets to ordering food.

China is an extremely important market for Apple, and specifically, its App Store. Apple made more money in China via its digital marketplace than any other country, according to research firm IDC. Apple’s iOS also has an edge over Android — its largest competitor — as Google Play is blocked within China.

An even bigger issue, Lin contends, is that Apple’s App Store doesn’t appear to have legal registration in China, making it technically illegal for the company to provide internet content within the country, according to The Financial Times. Apple, for its part, says that it does comply with all “local laws and regulations.” Despite that, analysts and tech executives are predicting that “Apple’s troubles [in China] have just started.” Specifically, as the company shifts from being, primarily, a hardware manufacturer to more of a content provider. The Chinese government notoriously restricts the flow of information and content, which could bring Apple’s Services business into further conflict with local regulatory bodies.

The Cupertino-based tech giant has already compromised on several issues in China. Last month, Apple removed all major VPN apps in the country in accordance with new Chinese regulations that required the anonymity platforms to be explicitly approved and licensed by the government. The company also recently opened its first data center in China, allowing it to store user information locally.


Chinese developers target Apple with antitrust suit

Image result for Chinese developers target Apple with antitrust suit


Apple is facing complaints of anti-competitive behavior in China, according to The Financial Times.

The case, filed by a Chinese law firm on behalf of 28 local developers, alleges Apple violated antitrust regulations by abusing its control of the iOS App Store by charging excessive fees for in-app purchases and removing apps from its local store without detailed explanation.

In a statement, Apple noted that its App Store guidelines apply equally to all developers across all countries, and in the chance an app is removed from the App Store, developers have the opportunity to request a review to reinstate the app in a timely manner.

The complaint comes as Apple continues its efforts to maintain strong ties with China’s government, which has heavily restricted the ability of western technology companies to compete.

  • A few weeks ago, Apple announced the removal of several virtual private network (VPN) services from its App Store in China. This move came as the Chinese government had been pressuring the firm to ban all VPNs — which allow users to bypass China’s heavily regulated internet — that aren’t approved by state regulators.
  • Earlier this month, the company announced plans to begin storing its Chinese users’ data on servers run by a Chinese government-controlled company. This could arguably give the government access to users’ personal information. Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook has taken a hard line against sharing user data with the US government.

Apple is looking to China as a key growth market, but has struggled in the region in recent quarters. With the Google Play store for Android smartphones being blocked in China since 2010, the Chinese app market plays to Apple’s advantage; China accounts for Apple’s largest source of iOS app revenue, according to App Annie. The country is also the firm’s largest market outside the US, accounting for over one-fifth of Apple’s total revenue in the 2016 fiscal year. However, revenue derived from China has fallen for six consecutive quarters, to $8 billion in fiscal Q3 (that ended June 30) 2017, down 10% from fiscal Q3 2016.

Laurie Beaver, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on app monetization that:

  • Provides key factors driving the expected growth of global app revenue
  • Evaluates the top app monetization strategies
  • Looks at emerging trends to help developers navigate the app ecosystem
  • Explains the challenges that developers face to compete in the app market
  • And much more
  • [Source”cnbc”]