Morning Consult Tech: Apple’s Q3 iPhone Sales Rise 50 Percent Year Over Year to $39.6 Billion
 

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July 28, 2021
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  • The 5G iPhone 12 and new iPad models powered Apple Inc. to a record-setting sales gain of 36 percent in its third quarter and revenue of $81.4 billion, with iPhone sales specifically jumping around 50 percent to $39.6 billion. But Apple cautioned that supply-chain issues will impact iPhone and iPad production in the current quarter, in addition to an anticipated slowdown caused by lessening demand for services. (Bloomberg)
  • Alphabet Inc. reported a record-high quarter for sales and profit, with revenue jumping 62 percent to $61.88 billion and profit more than doubling from the year-ago period to $18.53 billion. Google’s online advertising market fueled the record results, with Chief Executive Sundar Pichai pointing to “a rising tide of online consumer and business activity.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Microsoft Corp. had its all-time most profitable quarter, reporting sales of $46.2 billion, a 21 percent increase year over year, and profits of $16.5 billion, up 47 percent. Revenue from Office 365, the cloud-computing product Azure and other commercial cloud business offerings rose 36 percent to $19.5 billion. (The New York Times)
  • President Joe Biden said during a visit with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that a cyberattack of “great consequence” perpetrated against the United States could result in a “real shooting war with a major power.” Biden’s comments follow weeks of high-profile ransomware attacks on U.S. companies and what officials see as escalating threats from China and Russia. (Reuters)
 

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What Else You Need to Know

General
 

Tech Giants’ Record Quarter Gives Way to Growth Skepticism

Mark Bergen and Ian King, Bloomberg

Three of the world’s largest companies — Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. — reported about $57 billion in combined profit in a record-busting quarter, riding a resurgence in consumer and business spending. Yet markets responded coolly. In part, investors were skeptical that these companies can continue to post double-digit growth for quarters to come.

 

Google and Apple warn delta variant could prove disruptive

Reed Albergotti et al., The Washington Post

In many ways, the pandemic has been a boon to large technology companies, as consumers stuck at home have accelerated demand for digital services and consumer electronics to help them stay connected, employed and entertained amid lockdowns. But the pandemic also battered the advertising industry, strained supply chains, spurred a global semiconductor shortage and created shipping disruptions.

 

Biden to Propose Buy American Rule for Government Procurements

Alex Leary, The Wall Street Journal

Officials said the new rule would also give priority to purchase supply-chain goods that have become scarce during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as semiconductors and medical equipment.

 

Work-From-Anywhere Perks Give Silicon Valley a New Edge in Talent War

Katherine Bindley, The Wall Street Journal

Startups in smaller markets feel pinch as coastal tech giants poach their employees; ‘a national competition’ for every hire.

 

Exclusive: Amazon’s companywide deal to use Workday’s HR software ended after about 3 years. Workday shares slump.

Eugene Kim, Insider

Amazon halted a plan to roll out Workday’s human-resources software across the e-commerce company last year, roughly three years after announcing the partnership, according to people familiar with the matter. Workday shares slumped more than 7% on Tuesday, after Insider’s report.

 

Senate’s semiconductor aid may be opening bid in global race

Gopal Ratnam, Roll Call

Chipmakers go where the customers are, putting the United States at a disadvantage against Asian countries.

 

Now hiring: The FTC seeks ad tech and social media experts as it shifts its approach to investigating data abuses

Kate Kaye, Digiday

The Federal Trade Commission aims to toughen its approach to stopping data-related harms —and it wants help from people who understand ad tech.

 

Why Mark Zuckerberg is going meta

Scott Rosenberg, Axios

Facebook’s “next chapter,” Mark Zuckerberg says, is to be prime builder of “the metaverse” — an open, broadly distributed, 3D dimension online where, he says, we will all conduct much of our work and personal lives.

 

Groceries in 10 Minutes: Delivery Start-Ups Crowd City Streets Across Globe

Eshe Nelson, The New York Times

Zipping around central London, among the bikes and scooters of Uber Eats, Just Eat and Deliveroo, is a new entrant promising almost instantaneous satisfaction for your craving for a bar of chocolate or pint of ice cream: Getir, a Turkish company that says it will deliver your groceries in 10 minutes.

 
Antitrust and Competition
 

After Flipkart, Amazon files appeal at India’s Supreme Court in antitrust probe

Reuters

Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday filed an appeal with India’s top court against a state court’s order that allowed an antitrust probe against the U.S. firm and Walmart’s Flipkart to continue, according to source and court listings.

 
Telecom, Wireless and Internet Access
 

Where Is Biden’s Permanent FCC Boss?

Karl Bode, Motherboard

Nearly six months into Biden’s term and his FCC remains gridlocked and incapable of reversing unpopular Trump-era policies.

 
Mobile Technology
 

China Is Still Searching for a Chipmaking Advance That Changes the Game

Bloomberg Businessweek

The country’s attempts to steer its semiconductor industry into relevance are languishing. Vice Premier Liu He is betting on third-generation chips with faster processing speeds.

 

Spotify’s quarterly revenue beats estimates, paid subscribers rise 20%

Reuters

Spotify Technology SA beat Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue on Wednesday, as the music streaming company reported a 20% jump in paid subscribers for its premium service driven by demand in Europe and North America.

 

Clubhouse Opens Its Doors. Is Anyone Rushing to Get In?

Arielle Pardes, Wired

Just a few days after ditching its invite-only status, the audio chat app had fewer than 500,000 new downloads.

 

LG Display braces for slowing electronics demand as lockdowns ease

Song Jung-a, Financial Times

Apple supplier expects digital boom sparked by Covid-19 to fade with vaccine rollout.

 
Cybersecurity and Privacy
 

Many ransomware attacks go unreported. The FBI and Congress want to change that.

Gerrit De Vynck, The Washington Post

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, representatives of the Justice Department, FBI, Secret Service and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency all said Congress should consider passing a bill forcing companies that have been hit by a cyberattack to tell the government.

 

FBI tracking more than 100 active ransomware groups

Kevin Collier, NBC News

While some ransomware gangs have gone silent, many continue to operate, pointing to the challenge authorities face in cracking down on the problem.

 

TSA, Transportation Officials Give Insight into New Cybersecurity Mandates for Pipeline Operators

Mariam Baksh, Nextgov

The second of two recent directives the Transportation Security Administration has issued to pipeline operators will allow some flexibility but mandate certain cybersecurity best practices, according to the head of the agency. 

 

Ex-EBay Security Manager Gets 1 1/2 Years for Cyberstalking

Janelle Lawrence, Bloomberg

The first of five former eBay Inc. employees who were convicted of running an elaborate cyberstalking conspiracy against a couple who put out an e-commerce newsletter was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison for his role in the plot.

 

Analyst who leaked drone secrets sentenced to 45 months

Chris Mills Rodrigo, The Hill

A former Air Force intelligence officer was sentenced to 45 months in prison Tuesday for sharing top-secret information about the U.S.’s drone program to the press.

 

A Controversial Tool Calls Out Thousands of Hackable Websites

Andy Greenberg, Wired

The web has long been a playground for hackers, offering up hundreds of millions of public-facing servers to comb through for basic vulnerabilities to exploit. Now one hacker tool is about to take that practice to its logical, extreme conclusion: Scanning every website in the world to find and then publicly release their exploitable flaws, all at the same time—and all in the name of making the web more secure.

 
Social Media and Content Moderation
 

Twitter Permanently Suspended Eight Accounts That Had Been Promoting Pro-Trump “Audits” Of The 2020 Election

Sarah Mimms, Buzzfeed News

Among those suspended was the official Twitter account for the ongoing, Republican-led audit in Arizona, which is being overseen by a contractor who has spread false conspiracy theories, including in a recent pro-Trump movie.

 

Instagram’s new protections for teens come as experts say tween venture poses big risks

Olivia Solon, NBC News

Instagram has introduced protections for its teenage users to default young people into private accounts and make it harder for “suspicious” adults to make unwanted contact, the company announced Tuesday.

 

Facebook says it’s moving forward with Instagram for kids despite backlash

Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN Business

Facebook on Tuesday reaffirmed its intention to build an Instagram for kids under 13, despite pressure from lawmakers to back down on the plan, while simultaneously announcing new updates to address concerns about the safety of younger users on its platforms.

 

Exclusive: New Facebook partnership tackles health misinformation

Sara Fischer, Axios

Facebook is partnering with a global tech non-profit called Meedan to give its 80+ fact-checking partner organizations access to training from experts in how to handle health and vaccine misinformation, a spokesperson tells Axios.

 

Republicans press White House on communications with social media platforms

Chris Mills Rodrigo, The Hill

A group of nine Senate Republicans is demanding the White House clarify recent comments about flagging coronavirus misinformation to social media platforms.

 
Tech Workforce
 

Your Apple laptop is probably repaired at a facility workers say is a ‘sweatshop’

Rachel Premack, Insider

If you’re ever unlucky enough to spill a latte between the keys of your $1,300 MacBook Pro or shatter its screen, your first stop would probably be Apple’s website, where you could schedule an appointment to take it to a nearby Apple Store.

 

China’s era of Big Tech Overwork has ended

Shen Lu, Protocol

Two years after Chinese tech workers started a decentralized online protest against grueling overtime work culture, and one year after the plight of delivery workers came under the national spotlight, a chorus of Chinese tech giants have finally made high-profile moves to end the grueling work schedules that many believe have fueled the country’s spectacular tech boom — and that many others have criticized as exploitative and cruel.

 

Amazon Workers Secure $13.5 Million Wage Deal Over Bag Checks

Kathleen Dailey, Bloomberg Law

Amazon.com Inc. and a staffing partner will pay $13.5 million to end a multidistrict suit involving 42,000-plus workers who sought wages for time spent undergoing mandatory security screenings, after a federal judge in Kentucky approved the class settlement.

 
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
 

Cuba’s Internet Cutoff Highlights Fragility of Free Expression Online

Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and former Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) (Advisory Board Co-Chairs, the American Edge Project), Morning Consult

Though a mere 90 miles of sea separate our country from Cuba, the gulf between our approaches to freedom of expression and the digital tools that facilitate it couldn’t be wider – or more consequential.

 
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