Growth in China, iPhone 6 push Apple to another record quarter
Apple achieved its second straight quarter of record results as demand for the new iPhone 6 surged and China became Apple’s second most important market after the U.S. The company sold 61.2 million units of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during the first three months of 2015, blasting past the 44 million it shipped during the same quarter of last year when the iPhone 5S was still new on the market. Apple turned a profit of $13.6 billion, up by almost 33 percent, on revenue of $58 billion for the quarter, up 27 percent.
LG out to show it can do it again with new flagship smartphone
LG Electronics has something to prove on Tuesday: that the G3 wasn’t a fluke, and it can dazzle the market again with its new flagship smartphone. The G4 will have an improved display, upgraded camera and a new design that features a leather back. We don’t know yet what’s under the hood, though multiple reports point to the Snapdragon 808 as processor of choice. The G4 will launch at events in London, Paris, New York, Seoul, Singapore and Istanbul, highlighting LG’s global ambitions.
Facebook adds free video calling to Messenger
Facebook is sweetening the deal for Messenger users—and going up against Microsoft’s Skype and Apple’s FaceTime—by adding free video calling to extend the app beyond simple text chats. It works on both iOS and Android mobile devices and began rolling out Monday in the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries.
Microsoft might write off Nokia acquisition
Microsoft hinted in an SEC filing last week that it could take a massive write-off of its Nokia acquisition as early as July, Computerworld reports. It detailed losses in the phone hardware division and said the unit was “at risk of impairment,” that is, being worth less than what’s on the books. Given that Microsoft’s books show $5.46 billion in “goodwill” from the Nokia acquisition and $4.51 billion in intangible assets, there’s a lot to potentially write off, and it could mean a quarterly loss. Funny, we were just reflecting on disappointments with the deal’s results just one year after it closed.
SAS broadens its big data analysis reach
SAS Institute was doing big data for decades before “big data” became a buzz-phrase, and now the company is expanding the audience for its large-scale analysis tools beyond specialists and data scientists. One way of putting predictive analysis in more hands will be via a security software package, meant for IT, that will process large amounts of real-time data from network operations to help identify malicious activity. And, it’s making a customized package for the banking industry called SAS Model Risk Management.
CurrentC member Best Buy breaks with clique, will take Apple Pay
When Apple Pay launched last year, it was snubbed by a group of retailers who were already committed to backing a competing mobile payments system, CurrentC, from the Merchant Customer Exchange. But now electronics chain Best Buy is breaking ranks and will let customers use Apple Pay, it said Monday. Separate but related: Discover card members will be able to use Apple Pay to pay from their phones and iPads. At launch in October, Apple Pay was supported by Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Yet another flaw leaves iOS apps open to snooping
Attackers can potentially snoop on the encrypted traffic of over 25,000 iOS apps due to a vulnerability in a popular open-source networking library. The AFNetworking library is used by app developers to implement communications, and the flaw has been fixed in the latest version, but many apps remain vulnerable. If you’re concerned about particular apps that transmit sensitive data, SourceDNA set up an online service called Searchlight that will let you check if iOS apps installed on your devices are vulnerable.
Google might buy your patent to protect it from trolls
For two weeks next month, Google will take a look at patents submitted by innovators and consider buying them in a bid to stop patent trolls from acquiring the intellectual property. Google is building a portal to accept submissions, which will be taken from May 8 through 22. It plans to evaluate the offers quickly and get back to patent owners by June 26. Payouts should happen by the end of August, it said.
What if you could have a smartwatch that looked like an elegant Swiss watch—because it is? Take a look at these luxury smartwatches from Frederique Constant and Alpina.
One last thing
Virtual currency didn’t start with bitcoin. Liberty Reserve had a flourishing dollar-pegged currency—before law enforcement took the company’s servers down. The Atlantic traced its rise and fall.