Samsung announced Monday that it will acquire the "battery pack business" of Magna International, a major automotive supplier. The company said the purchase, "is expected to enhance Samsung SDI’s capabilities in batteries for electric vehicles by combining the company’s established leadership in battery cells and modules with Magna's expertise in battery packs."
The Wall Street Journal is tossing its hat into the "Apple is Working on a Car" ring. On Friday, the newspaper reported the most extensive details yet of Apple's research team, and said specifically that Apple was developing an electric car with an Apple code name of "Titan."
Apple has a new "top secret" research lab, and the company has hired a former Mercedes-Benz executive to work there. The news adds a heaping helping of credibility to the idea that Apple is developing its own car.
Apple is going into the car business. According to BusinessInsider, an Apple employee wrote to say that his group was working on something that will, "give Tesla a run for its money." Bryan Chaffin says his own sources back this up.
It makes sense. Apple just turned in its best quarter ever, so the folks who don't get Apple feel compelled to double down on their predictions of the company's inevitable fall. It would seem that Apple Is Doomed is becoming its own religion—it certainly requires faith in the face of facts. And that brings us to our 66th entry in the Apple Death Knell Counter.
Apple had planned on using synthetic sapphire glass for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus display, but those plans fell apart when its partner supplier GT Advanced Technologies imploded and filed for bankruptcy protection. When the iPhone 6 shipped with what Apple called Ion-X glass instead, that led to speculation and hope that maybe the next iPhone models would ship with sapphire glass surfaces. Those hopes will only lead to disappointment because they won't, and that's going to be a big win for Corning's Gorilla Glass.
There's a quiet, yet potentially game changing tempest brewing in the background in the world of search. This might be surprising, considering everyone knows Google won the search wars, but what is even more interesting is that the key player is Apple. Or rather, the desktop and mobile empire united by Apple's Safari Web browser.
Under Armour has its sites on topping Fitbit to be the biggest name in the fitness tracker market and is spending US$560 million to buy MyFitnessPal along with Endomondo to make that happen. The purchases give Under Armour 120 million users for its combined fitness platform—a number it says makes it the world's largest fitness and wellness community.
Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler made it clear on Wednesday that he wants to move forward with his plan to use Title II from the Communications Act to regulate Internet service providers and block them from creating Internet fast lanes. Mr. Wheeler's announcement is being heralded as a big win for net neutrality, which seems a bit premature. The FCC still has to vote on his proposal, and assuming it's approved, will then face a legal onslaught from the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Slowly, we're coming to appreciate how Apple is going to create the purchase experience for the Apple Watch. Because of the unique nature of this product, combined with supply constraints, Apple will probably have several, tweaked rollout stages.
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