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Apple in 2019: Will a recession ruin its run?

Apple has faced onerous challenges in the past from powerfully entrenched adversaries that once looked like they might derail the company’s advancement, including Microsoft, Nokia, Google, Motorola, and Samsung. But today, with no real competitors standing in its way, will Apple’s premium-priced trajectory get knocked out of alignment by a recession in China and global aftershocks? Here’s a look at Apple’s future informed by its recent past.

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Apple in 2019: Will a recession ruin its run?
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Editorial: Apple 2019 and the case of the expensive iPhone

A glance at the writing that passes for financial news headlines today might make it appear that Apple is entering 2019 with troubled sales, intense new competition emerging in China, and a weakening economy where nobody can afford to buy its expensive products anymore. The solution held up by many pundits is so old that it sounds comfortably soothing: iPhones should be cheaper! But they’re wrong, here’s why. 

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Editorial: Apple 2019 and the case of the expensive iPhone
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Apple's COO delivers blistering testimony on Qualcomm's 'onerous demands' over cellular patents

Court testimony from Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams has laid out that Qualcomm has repeatedly flexed its monopoly control over the cellular industry in its dealings with Apple, demanding that Apple not only pay to license its patents, but also cross-license all of its own intellectual property above and beyond requiring a 5 percent cut of the total cost of Apple's products plus exclusivity in sourcing all of Apple's mobile chips.

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Apple's COO delivers blistering testimony on Qualcomm's 'onerous demands' over cellular patents
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Apple licensing of iTunes, AirPlay 2 oddly maligned as a "strategy reversal" by WSJ

Once again, Apple stole the attention of CES this year without even appearing as an exhibitor, thanks to a series of announcements from Samsung-- now incorporating support for iTunes video playback in its smart TVs-- and a series of other television makers incorporating Apple's AirPlay 2 wireless streaming in their products, including LG, Sony and Vizio. This news was cynically portrayed as a "strategy reversal" and a new effort at "copying Microsoft" by the Wall Street Journal in a piece chock full of errors and backward logic.

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Apple licensing of iTunes, AirPlay 2 oddly maligned as a "strategy reversal" by WSJ
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WSJ takes bizarre shots at Apple's best selling iPhone XR as a "failure" that "can't sell"

Bloggers hired to write about Apple for a major American newspaper are telling stories of an arrogant fall from grace by the world's leader in smartphone profits, centering on the new iPhone XR--a model that ostensibly failed to live up to its hyped expectations. However, that entertaining story is really a contrived bit of fiction that isn't based in facts.

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WSJ takes bizarre shots at Apple's best selling iPhone XR as a "failure" that "can't sell"
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Apple note sends media pundits into a fit of histrionic gibberish

After Apple restated its December quarter revenue guidance to account for weaker than expected iPhone demand in China, members of the tech media have cranked their clickbait content generators up to 11 to take full advantage of AAPL panic season. Unfortunately, what they are writing is almost entirely ignorant gibberish that has nothing to do with actual events. 

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Apple note sends media pundits into a fit of histrionic gibberish
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Apple's guidance correction in China would be great news from Samsung

While Apple's critics are scrambling to portray its restatement of guidance as some sort of evidence of a "lack of innovation" or "pricing that's too high," the reality is that it's simply evidence that President Trump's tariff war on China has hurt a key Apple market. Apple has never been better positioned-- and its competition is now performing so badly that any one of them would love to be in Apple's shoes. 

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Apple's guidance correction in China would be great news from Samsung
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Huawei celebrates Nikkei iPhone Ban by posting 2019 greeting from an iPhone

Just days after Nikkei Asian Review contrived the story that 20 Chinese firms were supposedly supporting Huawei in a boycott of Apple's iPhones, Huawei itself tweeted out an official New Years' greeting—from an iPhone. 

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Huawei celebrates Nikkei iPhone Ban by posting 2019 greeting from an iPhone
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iPhone XR launch attracted more Android switchers in the U.S.

A new report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners indicates that iPhone XR attracted a significantly larger proportion of Android switchers in the U.S. during its first month compared to last year's launches of iPhone 8 and iPhone X models, bolstering the idea that Apple is successfully expanding its installed base of buyers rather than just selling to iPhone users.

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iPhone XR launch attracted more Android switchers in the U.S.
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The secret of Apple's success in selling premium tech as an affordable luxury

Apple's hardware designs, software, icons, marketing, retail strategy, and branding have all been closely copied by its rivals. One thing they aren't copying is Apple's vast, premium installed base of loyal buyers.

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The secret of Apple's success in selling premium tech as an affordable luxury
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Apple's manufacturers: Qualcomm's 'China Ban' just a distraction technique

Qualcomm's patent infringement suit seeking an import ban on Apple's iPhones in China is a desperate distraction staged by the imperiled chipmaker in an attempt to draw attention away from a series of critical lawsuits it faces from device makers, global regulators, and a class action of consumers which all challenge its core business model, according to the attorney representing Apple's manufacturers in a recent interview.

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Apple's manufacturers: Qualcomm's 'China Ban' just a distraction technique
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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 is over a year behind Apple's A12 Bionic, lacks a premium Android audience

At its Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm outlined its new 855, a chip it hopes will power the next generation of premium Androids. It addresses silicon work Apple has driven in its Application Processors leading up to the latest A12 Bionic, but it's less clear who will be building high-end Androids with Qualcomm's most advanced processor yet, and for how long.

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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 is over a year behind Apple's A12 Bionic, lacks a premium Android audience
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Apple iPhone XS awarded smartphone camera of the year, Google Pixel 3 runner-up

Apple's iPhone XS beat out other rivals for 2018's best smartphone camera award from Digital Photography Review, notably Google's Pixel 3.

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Apple iPhone XS awarded smartphone camera of the year, Google Pixel 3 runner-up
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Bloomberg continues iPhone panic mongering by conflating Apple's Give Back trade-in program with price slashing

Bloomberg is back with a story that presents Apple's trade-in program as being an example of desperate price slashing in response to supposedly flagging sales of what Apple has actually stated is its most popular phone —the iPhone XR.

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Bloomberg continues iPhone panic mongering by conflating Apple's Give Back trade-in program with price slashing
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Apple's largest supplier reported 24 percent surge in revenues from OLED display, components sales

Apple's largest supplier—and the primary source of the flexible OLED panels used in iPhone X and the new iPhone XS lineup—reported 24 percent year-over-year growth in its Q3 revenues from its semiconductors, memory, and display panel unit, an increase it attributed to "increasing demand for flexible [OLED] panels." That supplier was Samsung, and the "major customers" it credited clearly included the world's largest seller of high-end OLED phones. Why aren't Samsung's results attributed to being an "iPhone supplier"?

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Apple's largest supplier reported 24 percent surge in revenues from OLED display, components sales
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Why Apple is now focusing on users, not units in Fiscal 2019

the last 20 years, Apple has shifted from selling Macs in a world dominated by Windows PCs to being a dominant global brand that services a vast installed base that's more valuable, influential, and lucrative than Windows was at its peak. Apple wants its investors to understand that, and is now challenging the media narrative that suggests it running an unsustainable race against various manufacturers churning out ever-increasing volumes of hardware units.

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Why Apple is now focusing on users, not units in Fiscal 2019
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Disrupt Berlin 2018 picks Swiss sperm freezer Legacy as its Startup Battlefield winner

A panel of tech industry judges narrowed down a dozen contestants-- from over a thousand applicants-- to pick up the Disrupt Cup award at Disrupt Berlin 2018, ultimately coming up with a single winner that wiggled its way past the others to win $50,000: a Swiss startup named Legacy that freezes men's sperm when they are healthy and young to archive their ability to reproduce until they're ready to pay for children.

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Disrupt Berlin 2018 picks Swiss sperm freezer Legacy as its Startup Battlefield winner
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Disrupt Berlin 2018 sponsor Otter Voice Notes uses AI to create live, searchable transcripts

One of the most overtly impressive products on display at Disrupt Berlin was Otter Voice Notes, a live transcription service from AISense, powered by artificial intelligence. The product generates searchable archives of presentations, meetings, interviews, or any other audio feed, delivering transcribed text synchronized to an audio recording, with identified speakers and keyword metadata.

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Disrupt Berlin 2018 sponsor Otter Voice Notes uses AI to create live, searchable transcripts
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TestCard turns your iPhone into a private, clinical-grade urinalysis kit

A UK startup is launching an app that uses the iPhone camera and flash system to provide immediate and accurate results for a variety of issues ranging from pregnancy to blood glucose to prostate health, kidney disease, STIs and even illicit drugs —using low-cost test strips that arrive in the form of a postcard-sized mailer.

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TestCard turns your iPhone into a private, clinical-grade urinalysis kit
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At Disrupt Berlin 2018, TechCrunch provides a platform for Europe's aspiring tech startups

TechCrunch is in Germany to highlight promising new ideas and award a "Startup Battlefield" winner at its Disrupt Berlin conference, the second event it has held in the German capital and only the fifth it's held in Europe. AppleInsider is there to take a look at new tech on the Old Continent.

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At Disrupt Berlin 2018, TechCrunch provides a platform for Europe's aspiring tech startups
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Five reasons why Apple is ending unit sales reporting of Macs, iPhone and iPad

Unlike any other major consumer electronics company, Apple has long detailed quarterly unit sales along with revenue figures for its major product categories. This initially helped investors get a sense of how many buyers Apple was attracting with its Macs, and later began to reveal to investors how iPod and then iPhone were reaching entirely new audiences. Here's a look at why that's now changing in Apple's Fiscal 2019.

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Five reasons why Apple is ending unit sales reporting of Macs, iPhone and iPad
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Why the end of unit sales reporting of Macs, iPhone and iPad isn't bad news for Apple

Apple raised eyebrows when it announced it would no longer be detailing quarterly unit sales for iPhone, iPad, and Macs starting in the December quarter. Various pundits have sought to portray this as Apple having "something to hide," and have added it to their listicles of "bad news" that various writers keep insisting is "piling up" for Apple. They're wrong, here's why.

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Why the end of unit sales reporting of Macs, iPhone and iPad isn't bad news for Apple
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Poor news curation at Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters created misleading iPhone supply chain panic

Editorial incompetence at several prominent news sources is again blowing a cloud of speculative rumor-mongering that claims Apple's iPhone sales are--perhaps!--in desperate straits. Revised revenue reports from just five firms--out of Apple's 200 primary suppliers--are at the core of these reports, so take a look at how flimsy these conclusions are

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Poor news curation at Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters created misleading iPhone supply chain panic
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Supply chain channel check stories hurting skittish investors, enriching Apple's shareholders

It might sound bad for investors long on Apple that the company's stock price has dipped so dramatically once again on new reports that claim supply chain rumors are somehow, suddenly a good way to forecast iPhone sales after being completely wrong year after year. But that's wrong, and here's why.

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Supply chain channel check stories hurting skittish investors, enriching Apple's shareholders