(Global TMT News, November 16, 2022) Today’s highlights: Apple will purchase chips in the United States from 2024; Amazon begins laying off Alexa and cloud gaming departments; TCI Fund urges Google’s parent company to lay off employees; Musk postpones Twitter Blue V again Paid certification; Qualcomm released the second-generation Snapdragon 8 mobile flagship platform.
Apple will source chips in the US from 2024
Apple CEO Cook said at an internal meeting in Germany that Apple is preparing to start purchasing chips from a factory in Arizona, USA from 2024. At the same time, Apple may also consider purchasing chips from Europe. The move is to expand Apple’s chip sources. At present, all Apple processors are purchased from Taiwan, China. The supplier Cook is referring to is likely to be a factory in Arizona of Apple’s exclusive chip manufacturing partner TSMC, which is scheduled to open in 2024.
Apple provides same-machine repair for all iPhone 14 series
Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers around the world will continue to provide on-board repairs for all four iPhone 14 models without replacing the entire device. The program went into effect last week, and Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers are now ordering parts to complete repairs on the iPhone 14 series in-store. Before this program was introduced, iPhones were usually replaced as a whole if they encountered specific problems that were difficult to repair. Regarding whether this solution means only repairing but not replacing, Apple customer service said that it must be based on the principle of environmental protection, and repair as much as possible. If the device cannot be repaired, it will be replaced as a whole. The actual situation of the device shall prevail.
Apple begins providing security emergency satellite service in US, Canada
Apple said it will offer safety emergency satellite service in the U.S. and Canada starting Nov. 15 and will launch in France, Germany, Ireland and the U.K. in December.
Amazon begins layoffs in Alexa and cloud gaming divisions
Amazon began laying off workers on Tuesday as CEO Andy Jassy stepped up efforts to rein in costs. Amazon employees claiming to be affected posted on LinkedIn that the company notified employees in several departments, including the Alexa and Luna cloud gaming divisions, that they would be fired. In recent weeks, Amazon has also begun laying off some contract workers in advertising, internal operations and recruiting in its Fire TV division. Amazon plans to cut about 10,000 jobs, mainly in the retail, equipment and human resources departments.
Amazon faces $1 billion antitrust lawsuit in UK
Amazon is facing a $1 billion lawsuit in the UK alleging it violated UK and European competition laws. The lawsuit was filed by international law firm Hausfeld & Co. LLP, filed in the UK on behalf of Julie Hunter, accuses Amazon of abusing its position by promoting favorable offers on its website to the exclusion of other sellers. An Amazon spokesman said the allegation was baseless and the company believed that would become clear through the legal process.
TCI Fund Urges Google Parent to Cut Jobs
The well-known investor TCI Fund submitted an open letter to Alphabet, Google’s parent company, not only asking the company to follow other technology giants to start layoffs, but also to significantly increase buybacks to reward shareholders. TCI Fund pointed out that the number of employees of Alphabet has continued to grow at a rate of 20% since 2017, reaching 186,000 in the third quarter of this year. Alphabet’s median employee compensation of $296,000 in fiscal year 2021 is 67% higher than that of fellow tech giant Microsoft, and it’s unlikely there’s a good reason to explain such a big difference. The TCI Fund disclosed that it has held Alphabet stock since 2017, and its current holdings are worth approximately $6 billion.
Google plans to pay 40 states $390 million in privacy settlement
Google intends to pay $391.5 million (approximately RMB 2.8 billion) to 40 states in the United States to reach a settlement for 40 states accusing Google of illegally tracking user information. The agreement became the largest privacy settlement ever in the United States. The Michigan attorney general announced that Google has agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states. Previously, 40 state prosecutors in the United States jointly sued Google, accusing Google of misleading users and illegally collecting user location information.
Musk postponed Twitter Blue V paid certification again
Musk once again delayed the launch of the Twitter (Twitter) Blue V user paid authentication subscription service. On November 16, Musk tweeted that he would postpone the re-launch of “Twitter Blue V Certification” (Blue Verified) until November 29 to ensure that it is rock solid. Subsequently, Musk revealed: In the new version, changing the verification account name will cause the verification to be lost until Twitter confirms that the account name complies with the terms of service. Also, all unpaid legacy blue marks will be removed after a few months. Musk launched the “Blue V Certification” mechanism, charging users nearly $8 a month for certification.
Microsoft CEO Nadella visits Korea for first time in four years
On November 15, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella visited South Korea for the first time in four years. Nadella met with Choi Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, Park Jung-ho, CEO of SK Hynix, and Kim Taek-jin, CEO of South Korean game giant NCSoft. Industry sources said Nadella and Jin Zechen may have discussed the console game business, as the South Korean game maker seeks to release new console games.
Qualcomm releases second-generation Snapdragon 8 mobile flagship platform
At the Snapdragon Technology Summit, Qualcomm released the second-generation Snapdragon 8 mobile flagship platform. The second-generation Snapdragon 8 platform (code-named SM8550) also uses TSMC’s 4nm process technology. It is a flagship mobile platform specially designed for AI. Its X70 5G baseband chip is the first RF chip integrated with an AI processor. The first commercial devices of the second-generation Snapdragon 8 platform are expected to be released by the end of this year. Officially announced cooperative manufacturers include: Xiaomi, Star Age/Meizu, Redmi, OPPO, vivo, OnePlus, iQOO, Honor, Red Devils, ZTE, Sony, Nubia, Motorola, Sharp, ASUS ROG.
ASML mulls M&A as demand soars
Peter Wennink, chief executive of Dutch lithography giant ASML, said the company may pursue mergers and acquisitions as global demand for advanced chips soars. ASML sees strong demand ahead as countries race to develop their chip industries. Growth of this magnitude requires a larger supplier base, Winpeter said. Wen Peter arrived in Seoul, South Korea on Tuesday, and will attend the groundbreaking ceremony of ASML’s new Korean factory. ASML will invest 240 billion won (about 183 million U.S. dollars) and plans to build a 16,000-square-meter maintenance center and engineer training center in South Korea by 2024, which can accommodate up to 1,500 employees.
Intel releases FakeCatcher detection software
Intel launched the software FakeCatcher, which can accurately identify the situation of AI changing faces. The FakeCatcher software can judge whether there is a face-changing behavior by detecting the facial blood vessels of a person. Intel calls it the world’s first real-time deepfake detection tool, which can complete the judgment within a few milliseconds, with an accuracy rate of up to 96%.