Connect with us

World

iPhone shipments in China fall 19.9 percent: IDC

Published

on

Chinese customers in an Apple store on Jan. 3, 2019, in Beijing, one day after Apple preannounced weak quarterly results that it attributed primarily to a sales slowdown in China.

Lintao Zhang | Getty Images

Chinese customers in an Apple store on Jan. 3, 2019, in Beijing, one day after Apple preannounced weak quarterly results that it attributed primarily to a sales slowdown in China.

Apple‘s iPhone shipments fell 19.9 percent during the fourth quarter in China, according to the latest figures from research firm IDC published Monday.

This was reflected in Apple’s earnings release last month, when it said it booked $13 billion in revenue from China during the quarter, down 27 percent from the year-ago quarter. Overall, Apple said iPhone revenue fell 15 percent.

Apple revised its guidance ahead of that report in early January, when it said a weakening economy in China and the strength of the U.S. dollar were to blame for weaker-than-expected iPhone revenue.

Huawei ate up Apple’s shipment losses in China, where its shipments increased 23.3 percent during the same period. Other local phone makers including Oppo and Vivo saw shipment gains of 1.5 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

“In addition to the regular performance upgrades in 2018, there is no major innovation to support users to continue to change their machines at the greatly increased price,” IDC said. “At the same time, under the impact of China’s severe macro environment and domestic brand innovation products, consumers’ increasingly harsh eyes are also the reasons for Apple’s continued decline in the domestic market.”

IDC said the iPhone’s high price specifically “led to the decline of Apple’s domestic market,” while the increased strength of Huawei’s brand and its flagship phone’s “excellent technology'” helped it continue to widen the gap over Apple. The latest iPhones start at $749 for the iPhone XR, and go all the up to $1,449 for the iPhone XS with the maximum storage option.

Source link

World

Facebook spent $20 million last year on Zuckerberg security

Published

on

Facebook on Friday announced that it allocated CEO Mark Zuckerberg $20 million for security purposes — that’s four times what he received for security in 2016.

The increase shows up in a Friday afternoon financial filing, which showed Zuckerberg’s compensation more than doubled from $9.1 million in 2017 to $22.6 million in 2018.

However, that increase is nearly all attributable to higher security costs. The company said Zuckerberg received nearly $10 million in 2018 for his standard personal security, plus an additional pre-tax allowance of $10 million, new this year, “to cover additional costs related to Mr. Zuckerberg and his family’s personal security.”

These funds are used to cover security at Zuckerberg’s “residences and during personal travel.” Zuckerberg received $7.6 million and $5.1 million for security in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Not all of the funds in Zuckerberg’s security compensation are for security, the filing said. About $2.6 million of the $20 million were “for costs related to personal usage of private aircraft.”

Facebook has a broad security operation, which is known to track the locations of specific users that the company has deemed to be threats to Facebook and its executives.

Zuckerberg’s sharp increase in 2018 compensation came after the company navigated a turbulent year riddled with scandals, starting with the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March, in which a political consultancy obtained personal data of Facebook users in an unauthorized way and used it to target political ads; and ending with the Definers Public Affairs episode in November, where Facebook was found to have used a firm to write negative stories about competitors and plant them in the press.

WATCH: Here’s how to see which apps have access to your Facebook data — and cut them off

Source link

Continue Reading

World

California state report says wildfire costs should be spread ‘broadly’

Published

on

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday released a wildfire report that slams PG&E for its role in major blazes and suggests the state could push to break up the utility. The report also suggests wildfire costs should be spread “broadly,” and not just to utilities and investors but to insurers and even government.

“After years of mismanagement and safety failures, no options can be taken off the table to reform PG&E, including municipalization of all or a portion of PG&E’s operations,” said the report prepared by the governor’s “strike force” on wildfire and climate change.

Shares of PG&E shot up 20% in trading Friday after the report was released.

PG&E, the state’s largest electric utility, filed for bankruptcy protection in late January after getting hit with a flood of lawsuits from devastating wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018, including the catastrophic Camp Fire in Butte County that killed 86 people and destroyed more than 10,000 homes. Also, PG&E was fined $1.6 billion four years ago after the 2010 deadly gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, a suburb of San Francisco.

“PG&E hasn’t been a good actor,” Newsom told reporters after release of the report. “If they get in the way of doing the right thing, all options are on the table.”

The governor’s strike force report also said the state should “demand that a reorganized PG&E serve the public interest,” including if it means “refocusing PG&E’s operations on transmission and distribution.” The San Francisco-based company currently has natural gas and electric operations, serving about 16 million people throughout northern and central California.

“We share the concerns of the governor and lawmakers for those impacted by the wildfires of 2017 and 2018,” said PG&E spokesperson Lynsey Paulo in a statement. “They are our customers, our neighbors and our friends, and we remain focused on supporting them through the recovery and rebuilding process.”

She added, “We’ve heard and are embracing the calls for change. Wildfire risk is a complex issue and we look forward to continuing to work with our regulators, policymakers and the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery to examine a range of solutions that will help make the energy system safer and safeguard California’s clean energy future.”

In February, PG&E said in a regulatory filing that it believes it’s “probable” that the company’s equipment will be found to be the source of the deadlyCamp Fire. Problems with PG&E equipment near where the Camp Fire is believed to have started were also reported by the utility in November.

Cal Fire previously found PG&E at fault for 17 wine country fires in 2017, including the Redwood Fire, which resulted in nine fatalities. The state agency also found PG&E responsible for the Cascade Fire that killed four in Yuba County in October 2017.

“It is imperative that utilities not put profits ahead of safety and service,” said the report. “That is why the state has and will continue to advocate in PG&E’s bankruptcy proceeding for fair treatment of fire victims, for California consumers, and for California policies and values.”

The report also suggests the state overhaul legal and regulatory policies because of the risk of more destructive wildfires and the potential impacts to fire victims, communities and the utility industry. One of the changes it proposes is spreading financial risk of wildfires.

“Any real plan must allocate costs resulting from wildfires in a manner that shares the burden broadly among stakeholders, including utilities (ratepayers and investors), insurance companies, local governments, and attorneys,” said the report.

For example, the report suggested the state consider creating “a catastrophic wildfire fund coupled with a revised cost recovery standard to spread the cost of catastrophic wildfires more broadly among stakeholders.” It also said the state should consider “a liquidity-only fund that would provide liquidity for utilities to pay wildfire damage claims.”

In California, utilities face liability under what’s known as inverse condemnation as well as for negligence claims for wildfire and other damaging incidents caused by such things as power lines or other utility equipment. However, the report said California should consider modifying the current strict liability standard under inverse condemnation to one that is “based on fault to balance the need for public improvements with private harm to individuals.”

Source link

Continue Reading

World

GM hints at 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 to take on luxury sports car market

Published

on

Chevrolet Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra drive in a camouflaged next generation Corvette down 7th Avenue near Times Square Thursday, April 11, 2019 in New York, New York.

Chevrolet

Chevrolet Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra drive in a camouflaged next generation Corvette down 7th Avenue near Times Square Thursday, April 11, 2019 in New York, New York.

While the Corvette may not generate the sort of sales you’d expect of a Chevy SUV like the new Blazer, it has long been billed as “America’s sports car,” giving a halo not just to GM but the American auto industry, as a whole. The latest version, known to fans as the C7 – for the Corvette seventh-generation model – is an impressive and well-respected piece of machinery, but not quite a world-beater. The C8, it is widely expected, will be the first version to give a serious challenge to the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini.

Corvettes, up until now, have put their engines upfront, pretty much like anything else that you’d find in your typical showroom. With rare exception, all of those European brands traditionally mount their engines amidship, or even in the rear, layouts that translate into markedly better vehicle dynamics. With its big V-8, the Corvette is plenty quick. It just can’t keep up with the likes of a Ferrari sweeping through the corners.

It’s not that GM hasn’t thought about building a true world-beater. Coming up with a mid-engine model was the one unfulfilled dream of Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Belgian-born engineer widely known as “the father of the Corvette.” Since the first ‘Vette was produced 66 years ago, in fact, there have been any number of prototypes, none making it into production.

The Corvette itself nearly went away during the automaker’s economic collapse a decade ago. The current model, the C7, was officially put on hold as GM went through bankruptcy, though a secret “skunkworks” team kept plugging away until the automaker could loosen up the purse strings again. The current model has widely been hailed as the best Corvette ever — but ever so slightly short of being that true Ferrari challenger.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending