Apple's HomePod ranks fourth in smart speaker market
May 18, 2018 7:47 AM ET|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By: Brandy Betz, SA News Editor
‧ Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) HomePods only sold 600K units in their first quarter of release, according to Strategy Analytics data.
‧ The performance gives HomePod a 6% smart speaker market share compared to Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) 4M quarterly Echo sales and 43.6% share and Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) 2.4M Home sales and 26.5% market share. Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA) smart speaker came in third with 700K units and a 7.6% share.
‧ But HomePod wasn’t in last place: Xiaomi (BATS:XI) only sold 200K units in the quarter for a 2.4% market share.
Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple
May 16, 2018 8:34 AM ET|By: Brandy Betz, SA News Editor
‧ Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to release a low-cost line of tablets to rival Apple’s iPad, according to Bloomberg.
‧ The new Surface tablets would cost about $400 and feature 10-in. screens, rounded edges, USB-C connectivity (a first for Surfaces), and weight about 20% less than the Pro models. The budget line will have a battery life that’s about four hours less than the Pro line.
‧ Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) will supply the processor and graphics chips, according to Bloomberg sources.
‧ Microsoft previously released the $499 Surface RT in 2012 to limited success before switching to the Surface Pro line.
‧ In the past year, Apple sold 44M iPads for $20B in revenue. Microsoft’s Surface hardware business had sales of $4.4B in the same period.
Bloomberg: TSMC mass producing 7nm chips for Apple's iPhones
May 23, 2018 9:01 AM ET|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By: Brandy Betz, SA News Editor
‧ Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (NYSE:TSM) has started mass production of its next-gen 7nm processors for the new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones launching this year, according to Bloomberg sources.
‧ The processor will likely be called the A12 chip and will have a smaller and more efficient performance than the 10nm chips in current iPhones.
‧ TSMC announced the 7nm mass production in April but didn’t disclose a partner.
Apple supplier Finisar will start production at new plant in October
Mar. 5, 2018 8:02 AM ET|About: Finisar Corporation (FNSR)|By:Brandy Betz, SA News Editor
Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR) gains 2.4% to $18.60 premarket after telling a local news outlet that production will soon begin at its Sherman, Texas plant.
VP and GM Curtis Barratt tells TV station KXII: “About 90 percent of the equipment is on order, and we’ll bring that in starting in April or May. We’ll start the line first articles by August and production will get going by October.”
Last December, Apple paid Finisar $390M against future orders, which went towards funding the 700K square foot plant in Sherman.
Finisar produces vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), a laser tech used in the iPhone X’s Face ID system and Portrait-mode pictures.
Bloomberg sources recently said three new iPhones will release this year and all will include Face ID...
AMZN recently agreed to a $1 billion deal to acquire Ring, a home security manufacturer.
Ring's internet connected home security products integrates well with the popular Echo range.
More rivalry and competition between AMZN and GOOG in smart-homes and smart-cities, a key growth sector in the coming years.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2018, popular products in the past year such as drones, GoPros and 4K TVs, have had to stand aside for the newest addition in technology -- smart homes. Powered by voice recognition technology, major technology firms such as Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSLNF) have devoted much of their new product R&D efforts into this particular niche...