The Cellular-Modem Edition Friday, July 26, 2019

Apple To Buy Intel Modem Unit To Jumpstart In-House 5G Plans, by Mark Gurman, Bloomb erg

Apple Inc. is buying Intel Corp.’s struggling cellular modem unit, bringing on key engineering talent and patents that will allow the technology giant to more quickly develop crucial components to connect its devices to the mobile internet.

The deal is valued at $1 billion, Intel and Apple said in joint announcement. Intel sought to shed the unit because Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan decided it was costing the chipmaker too much money to support just one customer, which is Apple. The deal will give Apple 2,200 new employees and now a total holding of 17,000 wireless patents, the companies said.

Here's Why Apple Is Spending $1 Billion To Buy Intel's Modems, by Jason Snell, Tom's Guide

In the late 1990s, Apple almost went out of business. When Jobs returned to the company, he made a series of bold decisions that got Apple back on its feet. On the Mac side, the company embraced a Windows-focused world and dropped Mac-only peripheral and networking standards while adding USB. The iMac (and an agreement from Microsoft to keep making Office for Mac) helped stabilize Apple's business and set the stage for the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

But Jobs learned a lot of lessons along the way to saving Apple. Microsoft's software support for the Mac may have helped the computer line survive, but in another way, Microsoft was holding the Mac back. Most Mac-versus-Windows comparisons in those early days of the web focused on web browsing, and Internet Explorer —the default browser on both the Mac and Windows — was vastly superior on Windows. The Mac was seen as an inferior platform, in large part due to software that Apple couldn't control.

Apple Music's Next Era -- And The New Leader Spurring Global Growth, by Micah Singleton, Billboard

“You hear Tim talk a lot about humanity -- how we’re at the crossroads between the liberal arts and technology,” says Oliver Schusser. “It’s got to be both.” The new leader of Apple Music (the Tim in question would be his boss, Apple CEO Cook) is relaxing in his sun-drenched corner office at the company’s Culver City, Calif., headquarters on a June morning, explaining -- in his typically measured way -- why the service he oversees hasn’t gone all-in on algorithms. “That’s just not the way we look at the world,” continues Schusser. “We really do believe that we have a responsibility to our subscribers and our customers to have people recommend what a playlist should look like and who the future superstars are.”

Executives both inside and outside Apple often describe Schusser as “very German.” Like a Teutonic Barack Obama, he balances an unflappable calm -- and an apparent inability to say anything controversial -- with an impressive mastery of detail, in this case the inner workings of Apple Music. Dressed unassumingly, in a black tracksuit and sneakers, he hardly seems like one of the most powerful figures in the music business.

Apple And Goldman Sachs Credit Card Targeting August Launch Date, by Julie Verhage, Bloomberg

Apple and Goldman Sachs’s hotly anticipated new credit card is now just weeks away from launch, according to a person familiar with the companies. The release will be the culmination of an intense, high-stakes development process for the Silicon Valley giant and the Wall Street stalwart.

The Apple Card is targeted to launch as early as the first half of August. That timing means the project is on schedule for the summer release date that Apple first announced in March. People who own an iPhone will be able to sign up for the card via the Wallet app, which will have built-in Apple Card support as part of the latest iOS 12.4 update.

Apple Bleee. Everyone Knows What Happens On Your iPhone, by Hexway

If Bluetooth is ON on your Apple device everyone nearby can understand current status of your device, get info about battery, device name, Wi-Fi status, buffer availability, OS version and even get your mobile phone number.


2019 iPhone Photography Award Winners Announced, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

This year's recipients were selected from thousands of entries from over 140 countries around the world.

Apple, Meet WYSIWYG; It’s The Way Macs Used To Work, by hoakley, Eclectic Light Company

There are only two reasonable ways of displaying colour like this, irrespective of Mode or background window colour: faithful to the colour, or to expected human perception. TextEdit has neither intent. It simply inverts the lightness of each colour when the window background is switched between light and dark. That deliberately flouts WYSIWYG for no good reason.

SoftBank Announces AI-focused Second $108 Billion Vision Fund With LPs Including Microsoft, Apple And Foxconn, by Catherine Shu, TechCrunch

SoftBank Group announced today that it will launch its second Vision Fund with participation from Apple, Foxconn, Microsoft and other tech companies and investors. Called the Vision Fund 2, the fund will focus on AI-based technology. SoftBank said the fund’s capital has reached about $108 billion, based on memoranda of understandings. SoftBank Group’s own investment in the fund will be $38 billion.

The Grassroots Growth Of Mechanical Keyboard Culture, by Ernie Smith, Tedium

For a while, it seemed like tech innovation flowed up rather than down, where the little guy’s big idea eventually found its way to the big stage. But then the little guys got really big, and they made it hard for the next generation of little guys to succeed.

But the big guys still get blind spots—and that creates new opportunities for the little guys. The mechanical keyboard is one of those opportunities in action.