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Global Tech

Alibaba’s Ma Eyes New Partner in Apple’s Cook

The headlines are buzzing today with news about newly listed Alibaba, led by word that the e-commerce giant may explore an electronic payments tie-up with global gadget leader Apple. I’ll be quite frank and say that such a tie-up would seem destined for disaster, based on the previous experience between Alibaba and Yahoo, its only other major partner in a similar past tie-up.   More

Global Tech

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Seeks China Entree at Tsinghua

I previously wrote that Apple’s plain-spoken CEO Tim Cook should consider buying a second home in China due to his frequent visits to the country, and the same could be said for Facebook’s more brash founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. While Cook’s frequent visits are quite official and include many stops at government and company offices, Zuckerberg has been far more low-key in his equally regular visits due to Facebook’s lack of official presence in the country where its website is formally blocked.   More

Business Mobile

Apple’s Surge in iPhone Sales Matched by Mac

“No company gets attention like Apple. No company,” says Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick—whether it be from the development of new products like the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, or from news of the company’s profits and sales. On Tuesday, the tech colossus reported its fourth-quarter earnings, announcing some formidable figures, including a whopping 21-percent jump in iPhone revenue. It’s no surprise that that increase was due in large part to high demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. But what did surprise some is the fact that that surge was matched by a 21-percent increase in revenue from none other than the Mac.   More

Global Tech

Xiaomi Hit by Apple’s Ive, Lifted by Qihoo’s Zhou

Publicity savvy smartphone maker Xiaomi was making awkward noises in the blogosphere this past week, as it found itself stinging from critical remarks made by a top executive at Apple, the company’s role model. At the same time, the company got an unexpected show of support from another source, as controversial Qihoo 360 CEO Zhou Hongyi defended the smartphone maker over a different brouhaha involving involving an embarrassing data security investigation in Taiwan.   More

Global Tech Techonomy Events

The Digital Divide: How Can the Tech Industry Become More Inclusive?

As companies like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Apple release their hiring data figures, the Twitter-verse explodes with commentary on the lack of diversity in the industry. This is not a new problem, but there should be new solutions. How can tech and American entrepreneurship be more inclusive? Brian Forde of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Google's Chris Genteel, Laura Mather of Unitive, Marlin Page of Sisters Code, and Indiegogo's Danae Ringelmann discuss how to make the tech industry more of a melting pot in this Techonomy Detroit 2014 breakout session, moderated by Andrew Keen of TechCrunch.   More

Global Tech

New Microsoft Chief Sets Sail for China

It’s become a sort of rite of passage for CEOs of major tech firms to visit China after moving into their job, which looks set to happen again with a September trip to Beijing set for Microsoft’s new top executive Satya Nadella. Tim Cook traveled to China just 6 months after taking the reins from Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO in 2011, and has visited the country several times since then. Even Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo visited Shanghai earlier this year, just months after the social networking giant’s New York IPO, despite saying earlier that China wasn’t a market where his company could do business.   More

Global Tech Mobile

Apple, Samsung Face China Telco Freeze-out

Cost-cutting pressure is putting a squeeze on China’s three big telcos, creating an unusual set of conditions that could claim smartphone giants Samsung and Apple as victims. The latest signs of trouble for the world’s two largest smartphone makers comes in the form of an article in the English language China Daily newspaper, calling on China’s big three mobile carriers to stop offering packages with Samsung and Apple smartphones and instead only offer models from domestic manufacturers like Lenovo, ZTE, and Huawei.   More

Global Tech

It’s Getting Complicated for Growing Chinese Smartphone Makers

Smartphone makers Xiaomi and Huawei are learning tough new lessons this week, reflecting intense competition in the overheated market where a feisty field of Chinese players are vying for a place alongside global leaders Apple and Samsung. News in the smartphone space has been coming nonstop over the past year, as a crop of larger players including Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo compete with smaller but equally aggressive names like Coolpad and Oppo in their home market.   More

Healthcare

The Convergence of Medical and Consumer Health Apps

Consumer healthcare apps linked to smartphones or wearable devices are growing in popularity, and forthcoming offerings from Apple and Google are likely to draw more attention to the field. These systems allow users to monitor a range of information—heart rate, calories burned, distance walked—but they don’t guarantee a change in behavior, much less an improvement in health.   More

Arts & Culture

Kirkpatrick: Apple Acquisition of Beats a Smart Move

Much has been made of Apple's $3 billion decision to buy Beats, and whether it displays savvy and foresight, or something closer to desperation. Some say Apple is smart to be using its vast resources to infuse the company with fresh talent and a renewed sense of "cool." Others wonder if Apple hasn't gone off the deep end. Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick appeared on Bloomberg Surveillance Thursday to talk about Apple's acquisition, calling it a "smart move" that puts the company in position to broaden its market share. In buying Beats, Kirkpatrick said, Apple will increase its appeal among young people—by way of both Beats' iconic headphones and the "good intellectual DNA" of its co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.   More

Business Global Tech

Huawei Eyes Big Growth, ZTE Rolls out Game Box

Telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE are in the headlines for their newer product initiatives, as each tries to offset slowing growth in their core telecoms equipment business. Of the pair, Huawei’s news looks the most bullish, with the company targeting a sharp rise in smartphone sales as it sets its sights on overtaking Apple as the world’s second largest seller. Meanwhile, ZTE has formally rolled out its new gaming console, the FunBox, which looks a bit more exciting that I’d originally imagined and carries an extremely low price tag.   More

Global Tech

China: Xiaomi, Huawei Set 2014 Goals, ZTE Adjusts

The start of a new year is seeing two of China’s top smartphone and telecoms equipment makers lay out their new goals for 2014, with fast-rising Xiaomi aiming to continue its explosive growth as the more mature Huawei targets more modest gains. Meanwhile, another leading telecoms player, ZTE, is also detailing a major reorganization aimed at rekindling growth as it tries to diversify beyond its core business of building networks for big telcos. All of these plans are consistent with previous signals from each of the three companies, and in that regard aren’t very surprising. But they do provide a hint of where priorities will lie in the new year.   More

Business

Kirkpatrick: Apple Could Shake Up Wearable Tech in 2014

What’s in store for Apple in 2014? Will Apple shake up wearable technology and traditional television, or will it struggle to innovate? Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick speculated about Apple’s year ahead on Bloomberg Surveillance last week, predicting good things for the tech giant. Even in China, where Apple’s market share is relatively low, Apple has a “great opportunity,” said Kirkpatrick, who is a Bloomberg contributing editor. “It’s a very high-quality, well-respected product in China,” he explained, pointing to Apple’s standing as a higher-status, luxury brand. “In China, status matters very much.”   More

Startup Culture

Can Silicon Valley Survive?

Silicon Valley hasn’t had one of its best years. There are more and more complaints about inequality, discrimination against women and minorities, lack of innovation and a focus on short-term economic gain. The Valley, veterans say, isn’t what it used to be. And, they go on, if Silicon Valley is to survive, it has to reinvent itself in an increasingly competitive global economy where most of the rest of the world is trying to emulate the Valley. So, I asked David Kirkpatrick, when I interviewed him at an Ericsson and AT&T Foundry hosted FutureCast event that focused on the future of innovation, how exactly can Silicon Valley reinvent itself?   More

Global Tech

What’s Behind Apple’s iPhone Deal with China Mobile?

Last week will go down in the history books as the week when China finally entered the high-speed telecoms era with its granting of 4G licenses after years of waiting. But China still has the dubious distinction as one of the world’s few markets where Apple’s wildly popular iPhone isn’t available to more than half of the country’s 1 billion mobile subscribers. That looks set to finally change soon, with media reporting that China’s dominant carrier China Mobile has finally signed an iPhone deal with Apple.   More

Global Tech

Weibo: Google’s Schmidt Eyes China Gadget Market

The microblogging realm has been buzzing these past few days with speculation on a brief China visit late last week by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, who checked out counterfeit goods at a gadget market in Beijing’s Zhongguancun high-tech area. Equally interesting was the inclusion in Schmidt’s group of two former Google executives who now work for Xioami, the fast-rising smartphone maker that hopes to someday become China’s equivalent of Apple.   More

Business

Kirkpatrick: Apple Still Defined by Great Products

Despite reporting quarterly earnings any other company would envy, Apple received a heavy dose of criticism from industry experts. A bevy of business and tech outlets reported on Apple’s “disappointing” quarter, pointing to the company’s shrinking margins as proof that it’s stuck. Pundits blamed the standstill on Apple’s sluggishness in rolling out what consumers want: the next big tech innovation—or two or three. Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick joined Bloomberg’s “Taking Stock” Monday night to offer his opinion on Apple’s fourth-quarter results and what they forecast for the company’s future.   More

Global Tech Mobile

Xiaomi Joins Mobile OS Field

There’s an interesting report out saying that up-and-coming smartphone maker Xiaomi is developing its own mobile operating system (OS), becoming the latest Chinese player to try to muscle in on a market now dominated by three U.S. companies—Apple, Google, and Microsoft. I’ll admit there have been so many similar initiatives by both Chinese hardware and Internet companies these days that it’s hard to know which of the campaigns are genuinely new systems and which are just variants of Google’s popular and free Android OS.   More

Global Tech Mobile

China Lands on iPhone Global Launch Map

China reached an important milestone this week when it was included for the first time in the global launch for Apple’s newest smartphone, the iPhone 5S. The move reflects the growing importance of China to Apple, which now counts the market as its second largest. China’s inclusion in the global launch also reflects an effort by Apple to try and win back local consumers, many of whom have recently abandoned the U.S. tech giant due to long waits to get the latest iPhones and a series of negative media reports.   More

Global Tech Manufacturing

Where Do Apple’s iPhones Come From?

Apple has never been as popular as it was in the 2nd quarter of 2013. In the Q3 earnings call, Apple reported that 31.2 million iPhones were sold in that quarter. This was a quarterly record for Apple. Contrast this with 26 million iPhones sold last year. In this infographic, we trace the iPhone 5 supply and manufacturing chain. Did you know that 90% of all the rare-earth minerals used on an iPhone 5’s circuitry, screen, speakers, and glass cover are mined in China and Inner Mongolia? What does the rest of the world contribute to the making of the iPhone 5?   More