apple empire
May 14, 2019

Apple might be taking its health trackers a step further.

Over the weekend, Patently Apple discovered that Apple acquired a new patent from Tueo Health, Inc., a California-based health company, that may offer a new way to monitor an individual's health while they sleep.

Going beyond the mechanisms already present in Apple's phones and smart watches, this technology could use sensors placed in your pillows or under your mattress, ZDNet explained. Tueo Health already makes a non-intrusive sensor for asthma management in children, so the development of another device that may work for other medical conditions makes sense.

Apple's acquiring of this patent gets more interesting when you take into account that it also acquired a company that makes a different sleep-tracking device, Beddit, in 2017. This device measures resting heart rate, total sleep time, and other factors. With the added patent, Apple may be looking to branch out Beddit's capabilities over time, or it may be looking to create its own device that can track health while users sleep. Learn more at ZDNet. Shivani Ishwar

August 2, 2018

Apple on Thursday became the first publicly traded U.S. company to be valued at $1 trillion, achieving the milestone when its stock hit $207.05 a share, The Associated Press reports.

Strong third-quarter earnings brought the tech giant to the record valuation, while competitor Amazon's peak has hovered around $900 billion and Google owner Alphabet has passed $800 billion. CNN Money reports that oil company PetroChina once topped the trillion-dollar valuation as well, though it has fallen significantly since it hit that mark in 2007. Summer Meza

January 30, 2018

Apple reportedly plans to halve the production of its iPhone X as winter comes to a close, signaling weak demand for the pricey, decked-out device. "They always do this when things aren't selling well," a person familiar with the supply chain told The Wall Street Journal. "It's a real headache."

In the three-month period ending March 31, 2018, Apple will reportedly make just 20 million iPhone X devices, down from the 40 million that were planned. Other people say the cut in production is even greater, closer to 60 percent. Apple will offer its first report on the iPhone X sales for the quarter that ended in December on Thursday.

Overall, the iPhone X rollout has been less than dazzling for the company due to manufacturing troubles, lackluster reviews, as well as a consumer base that isn't thrilled about the $1,000 price tag. "Consumers are not stupid," said Taiwan-based analyst Kylie Huang. "People love Apple but they still have limitations." Jeva Lange

September 12, 2017

Apple announced the rollout of its "face data" technology on Tuesday, expanding the horizons of personal security, emoji customization, and how identical twins can troll each other.

"FaceID," which is available with the iPhone X (pronounced "ten"), recognizes users by projecting thousands of tiny, invisible dots on their faces when they look at their phone. The technology is so specific that there is only a one-in-a-million chance that a random person can pick up your phone and "unlock" it with their own face (with TouchID, on the current iPhone models, that chance is more like 1 in 50,000).

"FaceID works if you change your hairstyle, wear a hat, wear glasses," writes The Verge's Nilay Patel. "It adapts to you if your face changes over time, like if you grow a beard. Works day and night. Can't be spoofed by photos."

In addition to simply unlocking the phone, Apple envisions FaceID technology being used to pay for products in person or to unlock apps. The company also rolled out "Animojis" on Tuesday, which are cute emoji avatars that match your facial expressions. "Finally, I can be a cat," applauded The Verge's Lauren Goode.

Watch a demonstration below, and follow live updates at The Verge. Jeva Lange

October 27, 2016

Apple on Thursday revealed its thinnest and lightest MacBook Pros ever, previewing two versions of the laptop computer at its October 2016 keynote. The smaller version will feature a 13-inch screen and weigh 3 pounds, while the larger version will measure 15 inches and weigh 4 pounds.

The machines will come with an updated keyboard with a "touch bar," which will feature a Retina display that responds to taps and adapts to whatever software is being used; if Safari is running, for example, the bar will display browser bookmarks and search and back buttons. Apple's voice control app, Siri, will also have a dedicated key. The computers ship with four Thunderbolt 3 ports that support USB-C, and any of the ports can double as a charging port.

"The Mac is more than a product to us," CEO Tim Cook said. "It's a testament to everything we do and everything that created Apple." The laptops start at $1,499 for a 13-inch and from $2,399 for a 15-inch. Pre-orders start today, with shipping beginning in two to three weeks. The Verge has all the specs and details on their live blog, which you can visit here. Jeva Lange

September 28, 2015

Apple sold 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in their first three days on the market, the tech giant announced Monday. The sales mark a new opening weekend record for the company, surpassing 10 million iPhones sold in 2014, Reuters reports.

The smartphones hit shelves Friday after Apple unveiled the line in early September. The iPhones feature "3D Touch" technology that allows users to zoom in on the screen with the press of a thumb. The smartphones are reportedly also more durable than previous models.

About two-thirds of Apple's revenue comes from its flagship smartphones. Julie Kliegman

September 9, 2015

Worried that nabbing one of the iPhone 6S Pluses is going to break the bank? Be glad you don't live in Brazil. Due to tariffs and taxes in the South American country, an iPhone 6 costs over $1,200, National Geographic reports. As a result, smuggling phones illegally into Brazil is a billion-dollar business — and the phones being moved into the country are typically stolen from the United States.

Because American smartphones are mainly subsidized through contracts with carriers, smartphones in the U.S. are relatively inexpensive. But in Brazil, it would take the average person 41 days of work to even afford the price tag ($1,286). In Vietnam, it takes the average person over 181 days of work to afford an iPhone.

It's no wonder then that there's a large overseas market for stolen phones. In 2014, 2.1 million smartphones were stolen in the U.S.:

According to numbers gathered by Sprint lawyers during court proceedings with traffickers, the vast majority of the stolen phones reviewed were sent to Hong Kong, where Sprint attorney James Baldinger says they're "unlocked, re-flashed, re-kitted—which means they'll get put in a new box with new accessories and with an instruction manual that's in the language of whatever the destination country is."

The destination country can be anywhere the phones might fetch a high price — countries like Brazil, where subsidies aren't common and various fees hike the legal price of cell phones into the four-figure range. [National Geographic]

Stolen American phones have been found on every continent on Earth aside from Antarctica. Read the whole story over at National Geographic. Jeva Lange

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