Why Apple Can Take a Bigger Stand Against Trump Than Its Rivals

Why Apple Can Take a Bigger Stand Against Trump Than Its Rivals
Whatever happens at the Republican National Convention next month, one thing is clear: It won’t be brought to you by Apple. The firm won’t be providing any funding or support for the convention, according to news reports.Apple has been more outspoken on public policy issues than many of its peers in Silicon Valley. A report from Politico said that its latest move is because of the rhetoric of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Many of Trump’s positions, particularly on immigration, clash with the political stances of tech firms.

Apple, which declined to comment on the reports, is arguably in a unique position among tech companies to take big political stands. Not only does its size insulate it against some backlash, but it is also protected because expressing political opinions does little damage to the reputation of its products.

That’s not true for many other tech titans. Facebook learned emphatically this election cycle that the appearance of impartiality counts. After the controversy with “Trending Topics” and accusations of conservative censorship – accusations, it should be said, Facebook denies – it makes sense that the firm would tread lightly to maintain a sense of neutrality. So, despite the fact that chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has taken a pretty clear and public swipe at Trump, Facebook itself is sticking to the central path.

“Facebook will support both the Republican and Democratic conventions in a similar manner and without endorsing any one candidate, issue, or political party,” Erin Egan, Facebook’s vice president of US public policy, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “We believe encouraging this ongoing conversation is important because an informed debate about the candidates and the issues is essential to the democratic process.”Meanwhile, Google is in a similar position with its search engine. The firm has strenuously denied reports that it biases its search engine results to favor Hillary Clinton. Google will provide the technology to live-stream the Republican and Democratic conventions, but has not commented on whether it plans to sponsor events or make other donations.

Apple, however, is still largely a company that makes phones and the personal stuff that comes with them, rather than dealing in information. Although Apple is making inroads into the publishing business with Apple News, its platform doesn’t have nearly the reach of Facebook or Google – and therefore, people don’t look to it to be an arbiter of information in the same way. And so, despite the growing activism of Apple chief executive Tim Cook, there are still plenty of people who use iPhones and don’t agree with Apple’s stances on political issues.

There’s also certainly no love lost between Apple and the Trump wing of the Republican Party. Trump has repeatedly criticized Apple for its reliance on foreign labor as well as for its stance – widely supported in Silicon Valley – to oppose FBI demands to unlock the phone of San Bernardino, Calif., shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Still, it does seem as though Apple is committed to making friends on both sides of the aisle – Cook will host a fundraiser for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., according to a separate Politico report.

Trump does seem to be the sticking point for Apple, as seems to be true for other companies as well. Apple’s decision also falls in line with a broader campaign from the political action committee for advocacy group ColorofChange, which has asked several companies to divest from the Republican convention to protest Trump’s remarks.

Among tech firms, Hewlett-Packard has also said that it will not make cash donations to the convention. Microsoft has said it will significantly cut back its participation. Motorola has said it will not donate to either convention.

Non-tech firms that have said they will either not participate or cut back their participation in the Republican convention include Coca-Cola, UPS, Ford, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Organizers for the convention did not respond to a request for comment.

ColorofChange spokesman Rashad Robinson said that his group has focused on tech firms to take a stand because they deal in the business of being forward-looking — and, his group believes, Trump’s rhetoric is not. This is not a campaign that the group plans on running every four years, he said, but one that it felt it needed to run to combat comments that Trump has made about women, Muslims and immigrants.

The advocacy group has directed ads at tech company employees — targeting the IP addresses of prominent firms – to drum up popular support among Silicon Valley’s rank and file.

“Tech companies in many ways are signals of the future,” Robinson said. “They’re creating the innovation and the tools of what we will use in the future. And if you think about the America that Donald Trump is attacking, it’s the America of the future.”

And although he said he understands that firms such as Facebook and Google have to be careful about appearing biased, he also thinks that it would be possible to take a stand by denying financial donations without compromising their neutrality.

“We understand the role of those platforms have for covering events,” he said.

© 2016 The Washington Post

Tags: Apple, Apple News, Apps, Donald Trump, Encryption, FBI, Facebook, Google, Hillary Clinton, Internet, Laptops, Microsoft, PC,Tim Cook, Wearables
[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Misbah-ul-Haq Looks to Pakistan’s Bigger Challenges

MISBAH YASIR CELEB 0511

Misbah-ul-Haq and Yasir Shaha celebrate the wicket of Stuart Broad.

© AFP

Sharjah: Pakistan’s Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq looked forward to his team’s bigger challenges ahead after thumping England 2-0 in the three-match series in Sharjah on Thursday, saying wins on away tours matter.

The series win lifted Pakistan to number two in the Test rankings but Misbah said it will be how they perform on away tours which will make his team greater.

“I think our biggest challenge is to play abroad so we have to get ready for that and prepare for that,” said Misbah of Pakistan’s tours to England in July next year followed by visits to New Zealand and Australia.

Misbah said his team needed to prepare for the four Test tour of England as of now.

“We have achieved a big and satisfying win against England but we have to forget that and from now on really prepare for the tough challenges as we have to plan differently on tours,” said Misbah, who remains undecided over his own Test future.

“There has been a lot of talk on that,” said Misbah who had hinted retiring from Test cricket after the England series. “Obviously I have some time to think about that, at the moment not sure about that.

“Let’s see, we have enough time for the next series and I can just rethink and plan what I am going to do in the next two three months,” said Misbah, who admitted it will be tough to motivate himself after only playing one format.

“Obviously the hunger is there. I love the game and want to play it. The one thing that is difficult is when you are not playing any competitive cricket for six to eight months and suddenly you come and play against top players, that is the period where you need to motivate yourself, if you do then it’s good.”

Misbah admitted England proved tough opponents, coming close to an upset win in the first Test and delaying Pakistan’s wins in the last two Tests until the fifth day.

“I think as far as the win is concerned this is great because England is one of the top teams and the way they have been playing after winning the Ashes and they put up good fight in all three Tests, so its satisfying to win.”

Pakistan, defending a 284-run target, needed eight wickets on Thursday morning. They grabbed four inside the first hour before Alastair Cook (62) and Adil Rashid (22) put on a valiant 49-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah (4-44) and Shoaib Malik (3-26) dismissed England for 156 to give Pakistan a 127-run win.

“Obviously we were very confident of the win,” said Misbah. “Because the manner in which our bowlers bowled yesterday and the pitch was spinning but we were also aware that England team has good players and their depth in the batting.

“We got our rewards by taking four early wickets at the start and then spinners dis the trick. Credit to Yasir, Malik and all other bowlers.”

Pakistan and England now play four one-day matches, the first in Abu Dhabi on November 11. The one-day series will be followed by three Twenty20 internationals.

[“source-ndtv”]

US IRS Breach Bigger Than First Thought, With Over 700,000 Victims

US IRS Breach Bigger Than First Thought, With Over 700,000 Victims

The IRS said Friday that the number of taxpayers whose tax information may have been stolen by computer hackers now exceeds 700,000 – more than double the agency’s previous estimate.

The tax collecting agency said 390,000 more taxpayer accounts may have compromised than the 334,000 it warned about a year and a half ago. The breach was first discovered in May 2015, and the increase first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

(Also see:  US IRS Cyber-Attack More Extensive Than Previously Thought)

The sensitive information can be used for identity theft or to claim fraudulent tax refunds.

The thieves accessed a system called “Get Transcript,” where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer.

The IRS says it is immediately moving to notify taxpayers, offering identity theft protection services and giving them access to a program that assigns them special ID numbers that they must use to file their tax returns.

“The IRS is committed to protecting taxpayers on multiple fronts against tax-related identity theft,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We are moving quickly to help these taxpayers.”

In addition, hackers have tried to access almost 600,000 additional IRS accounts in an attempt to gain private information on taxpayers.

The IRS has earlier said that agency investigators believe the identity thieves are part of a sophisticated criminal operation based in Russia.

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobile

[“Source-Gadgets”]

 

iPhone SE may not make Apple’s India bite bigger

iPhone SE may not make Apple's India bite biggerApple’s plan to target buyers in emerging markets with its smaller and cheaper iPhone SE could backfire in India as the country’s mobile-first population, whose primary computing device is a smartphone, has already shifted to larger screen phones or phablets.

With similar specifications to its outgoing flagship iPhone 6s Plus and a price tag of Rs 39,000, the iPhone SE costs approximately Rs 5,000 more and Rs 2,000 less than the base variants of the iPhone 6 and 6s, respectively, on popular e-commerce websites. The device is slated for launch in India on April 8.

Globally, the iPhone SE will replace Apple’s ageing iPhone 5s model, which currently retails at around Rs 18,500 in India. Despite selling older models in the country with hefty price cuts, the trend in the past two quarters has seen a shift towards Apple’s larger iPhone 6 and 6s models.

“If you see, the older phone models, even though Apple is pushing them at lower price points, are selling less. The sales mix of Apple phones in the last two quarters (second half of 2015) in India is made up by 75-80 per cent of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s,” said N Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research.

“A 4-inch phone is a disappointing thing at  Rs 39,000 in India. The addressable market is very small. It would have made sense if the device size was 4.7-5 inch,” he added.

The shares of devices with screens smaller than 4-inch and 4-4.5 inch in India in December 2015 were seven per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, a big drop from 15 per cent and 26 per cent in the same month in the previous year. On the other hand, devices with screen sizes of 5.5-6 inch cornered 15 per cent of the market share, up from just four per cent.

iPhone SE may not make Apple's India bite bigger

“Only 10 per cent of the total smartphones sold at the end of 2015 were 4-inch screen size, which has shrunk from almost one-fourth of the market a year ago. In just one year, the consumer preference has completely shifted towards phablets,” said Shah.

Apple claims it sold about 30 million 4-inch iPhones in the past year, which would roughly contribute to 15 per cent of the company’s overall iPhone sales. While the company is offering incentives such as the latest processor, Apple Pay, a great camera and the latest software with the iPhone SE over the 5s and 4s, the small screen size might still remain a deterrent to sales.

“India is a mobile-first country. There is a clear trend towards consumers needing a bigger screen size. Not many people own a laptop or tablet, meaning the phone is the primary device, not a second or third device,” adds Shah.

Apple has been increasing its focus on India, witnessing 76 per cent growth in iPhone sales in the country during the October-December quarter, while globally sales growth slowed to just 0.4 per cent.

Another move in this direction is Apple’s application with the government of India to sell certified pre-owned phones in the country.

Other analysts believe that the iPhone SE will allow Apple to increase its market share in India, which currently stands at around two per cent in terms of sales and 10 per cent in terms of revenue.

“Users will be able to buy a phone with latest features, which is very different from buying an older version at a lower price. I think this will appeal to people who couldn’t afford their flagship phone,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

Smartphone penetration in India, the second largest mobile market after China, is less than 15 per cent, and is dominated by Google’s Android operating system. Nine out of 10 smartphones sold in India is an Android phone with Chinese and local phone makers such as Xiaomi and Micromax offering more powerful smartphones at lower prices than Apple’s iPhone.

[“source-Business-standard”]

iPhone SE may not make Apple’s India bite bigger

iPhone SE may not make Apple's India bite biggerApple’s plan to target buyers in emerging markets with its smaller and cheaper iPhone SE could backfire in India as the country’s mobile-first population, whose primary computing device is a smartphone, has already shifted to larger screen phones or phablets.

With similar specifications to its outgoing flagship iPhone 6s Plus and a price tag of Rs 39,000, the iPhone SE costs approximately Rs 5,000 more and Rs 2,000 less than the base variants of the iPhone 6 and 6s, respectively, on popular e-commerce websites. The device is slated for launch in India on April 8.

Globally, the iPhone SE will replace Apple’s ageing iPhone 5s model, which currently retails at around Rs 18,500 in India. Despite selling older models in the country with hefty price cuts, the trend in the past two quarters has seen a shift towards Apple’s larger iPhone 6 and 6s models.

“If you see, the older phone models, even though Apple is pushing them at lower price points, are selling less. The sales mix of Apple phones in the last two quarters (second half of 2015) in India is made up by 75-80 per cent of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s,” said N Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research.

“A 4-inch phone is a disappointing thing at  Rs 39,000 in India. The addressable market is very small. It would have made sense if the device size was 4.7-5 inch,” he added.

The shares of devices with screens smaller than 4-inch and 4-4.5 inch in India in December 2015 were seven per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, a big drop from 15 per cent and 26 per cent in the same month in the previous year. On the other hand, devices with screen sizes of 5.5-6 inch cornered 15 per cent of the market share, up from just four per cent.

iPhone SE may not make Apple's India bite bigger

“Only 10 per cent of the total smartphones sold at the end of 2015 were 4-inch screen size, which has shrunk from almost one-fourth of the market a year ago. In just one year, the consumer preference has completely shifted towards phablets,” said Shah.

Apple claims it sold about 30 million 4-inch iPhones in the past year, which would roughly contribute to 15 per cent of the company’s overall iPhone sales. While the company is offering incentives such as the latest processor, Apple Pay, a great camera and the latest software with the iPhone SE over the 5s and 4s, the small screen size might still remain a deterrent to sales.

“India is a mobile-first country. There is a clear trend towards consumers needing a bigger screen size. Not many people own a laptop or tablet, meaning the phone is the primary device, not a second or third device,” adds Shah.

Apple has been increasing its focus on India, witnessing 76 per cent growth in iPhone sales in the country during the October-December quarter, while globally sales growth slowed to just 0.4 per cent.

Another move in this direction is Apple’s application with the government of India to sell certified pre-owned phones in the country.

Other analysts believe that the iPhone SE will allow Apple to increase its market share in India, which currently stands at around two per cent in terms of sales and 10 per cent in terms of revenue.

“Users will be able to buy a phone with latest features, which is very different from buying an older version at a lower price. I think this will appeal to people who couldn’t afford their flagship phone,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

Smartphone penetration in India, the second largest mobile market after China, is less than 15 per cent, and is dominated by Google’s Android operating system. Nine out of 10 smartphones sold in India is an Android phone with Chinese and local phone makers such as Xiaomi and Micromax offering more powerful smartphones at lower prices than Apple’s iPhone.

[“source-Business-standard”]