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Apple-Made Computer Chips Coming to Mac, in Split From Intel – Financial Post

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(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. said it plans to sell Mac computers using processors designed in-house, signaling an end to its 15-year alliance with Intel Corp.

The first Macs with the Apple-designed chips will debut by the end of the year, Tim Cook, the chief executive officer, said Monday at the company’s virtual conference for software makers. Apple is also working on models with Intel processors, Cook said.

“When we make bold changes, it’s for one simple yet powerful reason: so we can make much better products,” Cook said. “The Mac is transitioning to our own Apple silicon.”

The new chips will enable Apple to build computers with improved security and battery life, said Johny Srouji, Apple’s silicon chief. Developers will need to compile versions of their apps compatible with the new products for the software to run smoothly. However, Apple will provide a fall-back to make old apps run on the new system. Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Inc. have already begun updating Office and Photoshop, Apple said.

Apple introduced an array of software enhancements to its products at the event Monday. It will make the most drastic changes to the iPhone home screen since the product’s release in 2007, bringing the software more in line with Google’s Android. Users will be able to place widgets that sit between the typical grid of apps, can be set to varying sizes and present information, such as the weather or a calendar, that updates throughout the day. The Apple Watch will get sleep tracking and hand-washing detection tools.

The changes to the Mac are the most significant, though. Apple will release a major new version of the Mac operating system, called Big Sur, with support for the new chips. The design looks similar to the iPhone and iPad, with curved app icons, translucency, notification bubbles and the new widgets feature from iOS 14. The Messages and Maps apps will gain many of the features available in their mobile counterparts, and the Safari web browser will get a translation tool, changes to tabbed browsing and a customizable home page. Executives made a point of demonstrating how smoothly these apps run on Apple-designed chips.

The partnership between Apple and Intel was formed in 2005, when Steve Jobs outlined a move away from PowerPC processors onstage at the same Apple event series for developers. Intel helped Apple catch up to Windows computers, some of which were more powerful at the time. In tandem, though, Apple was working on more energy-efficient chips for mobile devices based on Arm Ltd. designs and continues to use those to power the iPhone and iPad.

In recent years, the speed and power efficiency of Apple’s mobile chips have rapidly increased, while the pace of improvement to Intel’s parts has slowed. This irked Apple executives, who pushed the company’s silicon unit to develop more powerful processors fit for the Mac, people familiar with the matter have said.

The split from Intel has been a long time in the making. As far back as 2012, Apple was exploring a switch to its own chips, Bloomberg reported at the time. In 2018, Bloomberg reported that Apple would formally begin the transition away from Intel in 2020.

In addition to ensuring legacy software runs well on the new Macs, a challenge for Apple will be to make processors speedy enough to replace Intel chips in its “pro” line of computers. Apple didn’t say Monday which models will get the new chips. Intel shares were about flat in intraday trading, while Apple’s stock was up 2% Monday, surpassing market-wide gains.

Intel said in an emailed statement that it will continue to support Apple as a customer. Intel also boasted that its chips are the most advanced and offer the most open platform for software developers.

The Mac is no longer the key revenue driver for Apple that it once was, but it safely sells about 20 million unit a year, delivering about $25 billion in revenue. The computers are also key for Apple to retain its professional market, which helps spur purchases of more popular devices like iPhones, AirPods and Apple Watches.

For Intel, a break with Apple is more of a symbolic blow than a financial one. The entire Mac laptop lineup represents less than 5% of Intel’s annual revenue, according to an estimate by Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. The bigger concern is that Apple could embolden other computer makers to make similar moves, he said. “Now you have an actual PC that can run on something that’s not Intel.”Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, has shrugged off attempts to unseat its dominance of personal computing for decades. Its only direct rival today is Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which has produced newer processors that have begun to take share over the last two years. But AMD’s revenue is still less than 10% of that of Intel.

Other efforts to break Intel’s lucrative grip on computer processors haven’t made much of a dent. Microsoft Corp. has a version of Windows that works with chips made by Qualcomm Inc. PC makers, including Microsoft itself, have made laptops based on that combination. Those products are praised for their battery life but haven’t grabbed significant market share. The Qualcomm processors are based on the Arm technology that Apple uses in its semiconductors.

While Intel’s grip on the market is largely intact and its earnings continue to grow, analysts have seen signs of slippagge. Most of that stems from persistent delays in introducing new production techniques. Once the leader in the crucial means of making processors faster and more efficient, Intel now trails Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the producer of all Apple-designed chips.

Those slip-ups may have accelerated Apple’s departure from Intel, said Matt Ramsay, an analyst at Cowen & Co. Apple is a technology leader partly because of its control over both the software and hardware and its willingness to replace suppliers when it spots a vulnerability or an advantage elsewhere. “Their reputation with suppliers is of being somewhat ruthless,” said Ramsay. “It looks like another consequence of Intel’s execution challenges.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg.com

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Apple and ad industry clash over iOS 14 popup seeking permission for tracking – 9to5Mac

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Apple and the ad industry are once again in conflict, as ad associations object to the way iOS 14 seeks user permission for tracking.

It’s not the first time this has happened – Apple’s adoption of Intelligent Tracking Prevention led to criticism by the ad industry back in 2018

Background

Advertisers like to measure the effectiveness of their ads by working out how many people who purchase a product have seen an online ad for it. To do this, a cookie is dropped on the user’s device when they see an ad, and the website where the purchase is made can check for the presence of that cookie.

Conversely, if you visit a website about (eg) drones, the site can drop a cookie, and ad networks like those run by Google and Facebook can check for that cookie and then serve you ads for drones. This is why you often see ads relating to topics you’ve recently been researching.

This type of tailored advertising is more likely to be effective, so ad networks can charge more for displaying personalized ads.

Advertisers don’t know who you are – they don’t know the identity of the person who saw the ad or visited the website – they just know that the same person (actually, device) did both.

iOS 14 approach to seeking permission for tracking

In iOS 14, if an app wants to show tailored ads, it must display a popup asking permission from the user.

Reuters reports that the complaint stems from Apple not adopting a permission standard required by law in Europe. This means that apps with European users will need to seek the same permission twice, once with a GDPR-compliant request, and again with Apple’s request. Advertisers fear this will make it seem a bigger deal than it is, and lead to more users refusing permission.

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook Inc and Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.

Facebook and Google are the largest among thousands of companies that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests and serve them relevant ads.

Apple rejects the criticism because it already offers a tool to help advertisers measure effectiveness.

Apple engineers also said last week the company will bolster a free Apple-made tool that uses anonymous, aggregated data to measure whether advertising campaigns are working and that will not trigger the pop-up.

“Because it’s engineered to not track users, there’s no need to request permission to track,” Brandon Van Ryswyk, an Apple privacy engineer, said in a video session explaining the measurement tool to developers.

Attitudes to personalized ads vary, some preferring relevant ads to generic ones, while others object to what they consider a privacy breach.

I’ve argued in the past that online advertising is a hot mess, and that we really need agreed standards laid down in law.

I’m personally of the view that I don’t mind anonymised tracking. I’m a decisive shopper, so generally it only results in me being shown ads for things I’ve recently bought, but I have nothing against the principle. Others disagree, and strongly object to the practice. But I don’t have strong views either way: let’s allow it or ban it – the important thing is to agree in law what is and isn’t allowed.

With ad standards legislation in place, we can finally get rid of the most obnoxious forms of advertising, and put an end to the war of escalation between ever-more aggressive brands and ever more fed-up consumers.

Part of this would involve giving websites greater control over the ads inserted by ad networks like Google. Currently, for example, you will occasionally see scam ads on sites like ours because they make it through Google’s checks. We can only block them reactively, when we spot them or a reader reports them. Legal controls would make them far less likely to make it into an ad network in the first place.

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After NBA 2K21, more publishers are considering raising game prices to $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X – VG247

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NBA 2K21 may only be the first AAA game whose base price jumps to $70 on next-gen consoles.

This week, 2K Games revealed new details about the upcoming NBA 2K21. In the press release, the publisher confirmed that the game’s standard edition will be priced $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X, making it the first AAA game to commit to higher pricing on next-gen consoles.

This doesn’t appear to be an isolated decision. According to research company IDG, other publishers are also considering raising the base price of their AAA games to $70, a $10 increase.

“The last time that next-gen launch software pricing went up was in 2005 and 2006, when it went from $49.99 to $59.99 at the start of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation,” IDG CEO Yoshio Osaki told Gamesindustry. “During that time, the costs and prices in other affiliated verticals have gone up.”

Osaki explained that the price of admission across other competing industries has risen considerably over the years, but not in video games. The CEO cited cinema ticket prices, Netflix and cable subscriptions as examples, but neglected to mention that video games have a multitude of other ways to monetise users after the fact, such as DLC, microtransactions and several other forms of recurring revenue.

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“Even with the increase to $69.99 for next-gen, that price increase from 2005 to 2020 next-gen is only up 17%, far lower than the other comparisons,” Osaki went on.

“While the cost of development and publishing have gone up, and pricing in other entertainment verticals has also gone up substantially, next-gen software pricing has not reflected these increases. $59.99 to $69.99 does not even cover these other cost increases completely, but does move it more in the proper direction.”

Osaki, however, doesn’t think that $70 will become the new minimum price for every game, just the biggest and highest-profile. Indeed, the move is already being considered by other publishers, according to IDG’s research.

“IDG works with all major game publishers, and our channel checks indicate that other publishers are also exploring moving their next-gen pricing up on certain franchises, for the same reasons outlined above,” Osaki added.

“Not every game should garner the $69.99 price point on next-gen, but flagship AAAs such as NBA 2K merit this pricing more than others.”

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Google-backed groups criticise Apple's new warnings on user tracking – CNA

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SAN FRANCISCO: A group of European digital advertising associations on Friday (Jul 3) criticised Apple’s plans to require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites.

Apple last week disclosed features in its forthcoming operating system for iPhones and iPads that will require apps to show a pop-up screen before they enable a form of tracking commonly needed to show personalized ads.

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook and Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.

Facebook and Google are the largest among thousands of companies that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests and serve them relevant ads.

Apple said the new feature was aimed at giving users greater transparency over how their information is being used. In training sessions at a developer conference last week, Apple showed that developers can present any number of additional screens beforehand to explain why permission is needed before triggering its pop-up.

FILE PHOTO: Facebook is among thousands of companies that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests and serve them relevant ads. (Photo: AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

The pop-up says an app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies” and gives the app developer several lines below the main text to explain why the permission is sought. It is not required until an app seeks access to a numeric identifier that can be used for tracking, and apps only need to secure permission once.

The group of European marketing firms said the pop-up warning and the limited ability to customize it still carries “a high risk of user refusal.”

Apple engineers also said last week the company will bolster a free Apple-made tool that uses anonymous, aggregated data to measure whether advertising campaigns are working and that will not trigger the pop-up.

“Because it’s engineered to not track users, there’s no need to request permission to track,” Brandon Van Ryswyk, an Apple privacy engineer, said in a video session explaining the measurement tool to developers.

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