Weekly news recap – April 1, 2016
The latest news of the week. A round-up of the news over the past week so you can be sure of staying up to date with what’s happening in the world.
Apple is free. FBI unlocked the iPhone by themselves
Finally, the fight of Apple against the US government, which lasted 3 months, came to the end. It all ended quite suddenly – the FBI found the possibility to unlock the iPhone without the help of Cupertino. In this battle both came winners – FBI could access the data on the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter and the Apple came out as the winner in case related with personal data protection. It is not known exactly how the FBI was able to hack the device. A week ago the press reported that a third party has offered its assistance in unlocking the device. The US Justice Department said that in the case of successful operation, the hacking method will be provided to Apple. The FBI has already stated that the method that was used, is suitable only to a particular gadget and cannot be applied in other cases.
However, recently the FBI has agreed to hack the iPhone for the police of Arkansas. Given Apple’s unwavering stance against the security of user data, the further development of the case is of great interest. And just curious to know how many Apple devices can be unlocked by the FBI without Apple’s intervention.
Sales of iPhone SE: 3.4 million pre-orders in China in just two days
The new 4-inch iPhone SE can become very popular in the Chinese market, where the number of pre-orders for the novelty is breaking all records now. According to CNBC television, to date, local retailers have received more than 3.4 million pre-orders for the new smartphone.
The greatest demand is for models in colors “gold” and “pink gold”. It should be noted, Apple does not disclosure the information of the total amount of pre-orders executed, so as far we are talking about preliminary data.
According to various surveys, a third of iPhone owners prefer models with a small screen – only in 2015, Apple sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones. This year, analysts predict an increase in sales of smartphones by the release of the new iPhone SE and line of iPhones which is expected this autumn.
It became known what design Apple has chosen for the new iPhone
According to an authoritative analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities, the next year, Apple plans to significantly change the design of the iPhone smartphone. It is expected that one of these models will receive body made of glass (just like the iPhone 4) and increased AMOLED display.
According to forecasts, the iPhone that will be released in 2017 will receive a curved glass body with metal edges and a display with a diagonal of 5.8 inches. At the same time, as the sides of the screen will not be covered by frame, smartphone dimensions will be smaller than the 5.5-inch model of Apple smartphones. It is reported that when creating a design, engineers have borrowed some features from the iPhone 4. However, the details about the device are unknown at the moment.
Also, analyst talked about the new wireless charging technology for smartphones, which will be realized in the new iPhones. According to rumors, Cupertino were able to abandon the elements in the gadgets which limited the range of charger. Due to developments of Apple engineers to recharge smartphones contact with docking station will be not required and the operating range will be up to 2-3 meters.
The latest information related to the new technology of biometric facial and eye recognition, which can be implemented in the future iPhone models. Thus, according to analyst, the current year we should not expect significant changes in the iPhone 7 model. The most that is likely to happen is the abandonment of the audio jack and some light design changes.
Apple released enhanced iOS 9.3
After numerous user complaints about bugs related with activation in new iOS 9.3 firmware and the termination of the signature for the old devices Apple has finally solved the problem – updated and enhanced version of iOS 9.3 is now already available for download.
New build 13e237 corrects problems related with device activation after the update, which was repeatedly claimed by the owners of iPhone 5s and older models. You can update the firmware “over the air” and in iTunes.
Previously we have reported that after the installation of iOS 9.3 on the older devices turned them into “brick” and the company didn’t bother to provide information to solve the problem.
Apple is preparing to issue bonds
The Securities and Exchange Commission of the USA has recently published documents, according to which Apple plans to issue bonds for the purchase of its own shares and payment of dividends.
Raised funds will be used for general corporate purposes, including to purchase shares of the corporation and the payment of dividends under the program to return the capital to holders of shares, financing working capital, expenses, purchase and return of debts.
Bonds with the payment in 2018 and 2019 will have a floating interest rate, and payment of securities during the period from 2018 to 2046 will have established rate. Apple has not yet specified any bet size or the amount that is going to take. We can only assume that a company of this size is going to gain more than a dozen billion dollars.
The corporation plans to buy back shares for a total of $200 billion. In the last month in the quarterly report Tim Cook said that Apple has already bought shares in the amount of $153 billion.
At first glance it is difficult to understand why the world’s wealthiest company wants to borrow money, but for this there are several important reasons. Firstly, Apple has a very high credit rating (Aa1/AA+), so the company can count on favorable interest rates when applying for a loan or issue bonds. Second, a huge amount of money kept in banks and other financial institutions abroad, on the one hand will be expensive to transfer to the United States, on the other hand, they also generate income in the form of interest. So, much more profitable to borrow money for current needs from investors to have some kind of reliable safety cushion.