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Apple's Income Exceeds That of HP, Google, Intel, and Cisco Combined

We already know that Apple makes incredible profits, but it’s sometimes dizzying to realize just how profitable the iPhone maker is. According to the San Jose Mercury News (via Cult of Mac), the Cupertino company generates more income than Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Cisco combined.

The Mercury News revealed the data in its Silicon Valley 150 list, which categorizes tech companies based on information from Bloomberg and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

0412sv150_175.pdf

Apple’s total annual revenue comes in at $174 billion a year, which means it manages to rake in more revenue than the combined efforts of second-place holder Hewlett-Packard and Google in third. The statistics are even more impressive for sheer profit, as Apple brings in more profits than the other companies ranked in the top five together.

As Cult of Mac notes, a recent infographic showed that the iPad maker brings in around $325,000 per minute.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Apple Allegedly Negotiating with Reluctant Carriers to Raise Price of iPhone 6 By $100

We’ve heard a lot of good things about the so-called iPhone 6, but the word from Peter Misek, an analyst from Jefferies, is that Apple is trying to get carriers to raise the price of the device by a full $100, up from its base cost of $199. At the mome…

Amazon Reportedly Planning 3D Smartphone Launch in September

The smartphone war has focused on the two superpowers of Apple and Samsung as of late, but according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon might open a third front later this year. The Journal reports that the massive e-tailer has been showing prototypes …

The Week's 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, April 11

Sooo, just the biggest internet security problem in EVER this week, but no biggie. Lucky for Apple users, many of their services were safe, though it’s not like you can’t have been affected. Plus, iWatch rumors heating up this week, so we’re moving int…

The Week's Best Deals for Your Mac and iOS Device, April 10

With reports that Retina Display is in the mix for the latest round of MacBook Airs, maybe that’s what you’re saving up for, or maybe that is just gonna prove too pricey or you need a machine yesterday. Well, you’re in luck, because we’ve got some swee…

Apple UI Chief Greg Christie Leaving Apple, Allegedly Following Clashes with Jony Ive

Something is rotten in Cupertino. After more than 20 years with Apple, Greg Christie, who played a key role in the development of the original iPhone and other major Apple products, is allegedly leaving the company due to “friction” (to use 9to5Mac‘s word) with design chief Jony Ive. As a result, Ive will have even more direct control over the design of Apple’s software.

Christie’s involvement with the iPhone runs deep: he is, for instance, the man responsible for the signature “slide to unlock” design of the iPhone’s home screen, along with around 100 other patents associated with Apple.

Lately Christie has been working on software under the leadership of Craig Federighi, but 9to5Mac reports that this will end because Ive and Christie haven’t been getting along. According to the report, all of the software designers formerly under Christie will now work directly for Ive on the latter’s industrial design team rather than on Federighi’s engineering team.

If you disliked the changes made with iOS 7, Christie’s apparently with you. This radical overhaul of iOS was allegedly the main cause of all the headbutting, although the exact details of what caused the split currently aren’t known. It’s hard to see this as good news for Apple on any level, as Christie has been on the Apple team since 1996 — way back in the days when the Newton came out.

Apple released a statement to the Financial Times this afternoon acknowledging the split in neutral language. “Greg has been planning to retire later this year after nearly 20 years at Apple. He has made vital contributions to Apple products across the board, and built a world-class Human Interface team which has worked closely with Jony for many years.”

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Israeli Startup Claims It Can Charge Smartphone Batteries to Full in 30 Seconds

The charging times for the iPhone have steadily gotten better over the last few years, but as the Wall Street Journal reports, it’s possible that you’ll be able to plug the device in and charge it from 0 percent to 100 percent in just under a minute. A…

Samsung in 2011: 'Beating Apple is #1 Priority'

We knew the rivalry between Samsung and Apple was bad, but it’s sometimes surprising to see just how deep it goes. As a part of the latest patent trial between the two juggernaut tech companies, internal Samsung documents dating from 2011 have emerged …

The Week's 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, April 4

Well, Apple’s future is getting close to becoming clear as the date for WWDC 2014 has finally been let loose. Looks like some tech journalists are going to be revamping any early summer vacation plans. Meanwhile, it feels like it’s been so long since M…

Pixar President Claims Studio 'Transformed' Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs tends to get a bad rap on account of his near-insufferable nature and his demands for perfection, but a new book by Pixar president and co-founder Ed Catmull demonstrates how the famed animation studio partly changed the Apple co-founder for the better (via MacRumors).

Indeed, in his Creativity, Inc., Catmull reportedly describes a Steve Jobs who was highly interested in his employees’ “value as contributors to the creative process,” as well as (get this) their personal feelings. Gizmodo has published an excerpt of the book, which details Jobs’ last two decades in relation to the company.

Jobs, Catmull says, was inspired by the “nobility of entertaining people” in the last years of his life, and praised the abilities of movies to “dig for deeper truths.” Pixar was a place where Jobs could “play a little,” he says, although the Apple co-founder reportedly delivered his signature brand of constructive criticism to the Pixar team as well.

In Catmull’s words, “Jobs’ experience with Pixar was part of this change. Steve aspired to create utilitarian things that also brought joy; it was his way of making the world a better place. That was part of why Pixar made him so proud—because he felt the world was better for the films we made. He used to say regularly that as brilliant as Apple products were, eventually they all ended up in landfills.”

Pixar, indeed, changed him a bit, and arguably for the better. “While he never lost his intensity, we watched him develop the ability to listen,” Catmull says. “More and more, he could express empathy and caring and patience. He became truly wise. The change in him was real, and it was deep.”

Catmull’s Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration is scheduled for release on April 8, and it’s available for preorder over at Amazon.com. Again, be sure to check out the chapter on Steve Jobs over at Gizmodo.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Apple's Contributions to (RED) to Fight AIDS Reach $70 Million

With a tweet today, Product (RED) revealed that Apple has raised even more money to fund the ongoing battle against AIDS, bringing the iPad maker’s total contributions up to $70 million. That’s a $5 million improvement on the $65 million U2 frontman Bo…

Speech Recognition Company Novauris Reportedly Bought by Apple

Sometimes important acquisitions by Apple make big news; other times, months by go by before anyone even knows about it. (It’s a pity it seemingly can’t achieve that same secrecy with the iPhone anymore.) As TechCrunch reports, it appears that the iPhone maker acquired staff from Novauris Technologies last year to assist in improving Siri, thus all but confirming Apple also acquired the company at the same time.

Accumulated evidence highly suggests this is the case. The LinkedIn page for Yoon Kim, the CEO of Novauris, now lists him as a manager for “Siri at Apple.” TechCrunch also contacted Novauris’ operations in the U.K. and learned that from an unnamed employee that, yes, the company is now under Apple’s wing.

Novauris boasts an uncommonly talented staff, as it was founded by the creators of the speech recognition pioneer Dragon Systems (best known as the creators of Dragon NaturallySpeaking). In an interesting twist, Apple uses some of the technology produced by Nuance, Dragon’s current parent company, to assist with Siri’s speech recognition.

Novauris’ specialization is, shall we say, a little more nuanced. It focuses on using speech recognition to access information both on local devices and on external servers — exactly, in other words, the purpose for using Siri on the iPhone. The company’s website also states that it’s able to handle multiple voice requests at once, partly by focusing on syllables and complete phrases.

In the words of Novauris’ website, “NovaSearch doesn’t carry out recognition at the word or sequence-of-words level, but rather identifies complete phrases from start to finish by matching them against a potentially huge inventory of possible utterances. This enables it to assemble information about what has been spoken over utterances of virtually any length and take near-optimal decisions.”

Apple made a ton of other acquisitions last year, including the public transit navigator HopStop, the digital mapping companies BroadMap and Locationary, and the indoor GPS outit called WifiSLAM. The iPhone 6 is alleged to contain many significant improvements for iOS 7 in general, and thus it’ll be interesting to see how fruitful these acquisitions were after the coming launch.

Update: Apple sent a confirmation (of sorts) to TechCrunch, merely passing along its usual line about how “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Greenpeace: Apple Has Most Environmentally Friendly Datacenters in Tech

We’ve come a long way from the days when critics at Greenpeace used to accuse Apple of espousing environmentally unsound policies. Indeed, just two years ago, the environmental group slapped the Cupertino company with poor scores for its reliance of fo…

Renderings Show 'iPhone Air' Based on Allegedly Leaked Japanese Schematics

It’s not certain, but there’s a slim chance that we know exactly what the next iPhone looks like. Late last week Japan’s MacFan magazine posted (via MacOtakara) what it claims are schematics for the upcoming (also alleged) 5.7-inch and 4.7-inch iPhones…

Swiss Watchmakers Reportedly Unwilling to Work with Apple on 'iWatch'

If you want to make a good watch, it’s probably a good idea to court the Swiss. Apple’s allegedly taking that advice to heart, reports The Financial Times (via MacRumors), but few watchmakers in the landlocked country are willing to lend their technical expertise to Apple (or to any other smartwatch maker, for that matter). In fact, the Swiss themselves are making no secret of their lack of desire to contribute to the excitement over smartwatches designed in other countries.

“We have been in discussions – not ever initiated by us – with practically all players in smart wearables up until today,” said Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek to the Financial Times. “However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement.”

Concept via The Telegraph

To be fair, Hayek is protecting his own company’s technologies associated with battery life, ergonomic design, and durability. Hayak has also publicly stated that he doesn’t believe the so-called iWatch will be Apple’s “next revolution.”

According to Jean-Claude Biver, LVMH’s president of Watches and Jewelry, Apple has even tried to poach employees working on the Hublot line of watches.

“Apple has contacted some of my employees – I saw the emails personally,” said Biver in an interview with a Swiss publication. Biver also stated that everyone who had been contacted resisted Apple’s efforts.

The iWatch is rumored to launch later this year, although conflicting reports continue to roll in. The device is said to place a heavy emphasis on monitoring fitness and health statistics, although sources claim the associated sensors aren’t quite as innovative as early reports made them out to be.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Ahead of Samsung Trial, Apple Reveals Photo of Room Where iPhone Was Born

One unexpected benefit of Apple’s ongoing legal battle with Samsung is that it allows us to see resources from Apple that might have remained secret for years. The latest comes from Greg Christie, a senior software engineer at Apple, who recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal regarding the iPhone’s development with permission from Apple.

As a followup to a previous article regarding the iPhone’s software, Christie yielded some insights into the environment in which the phone was created, complete with an image of the room where the most important decisions regarding the new smartphone were made.

It wasn’t pretty. The room had no windows, and its fluorescent lighting recalled similar drab conference rooms in office parks throughout the country. Christie met with Jobs in the small room to discuss the progress on the device, and used an outdated Mac to run the software to mimic the slower processing speeds of the phone. In addition, a plastic touchscreen device called “Wallaby” simulated the interactions we’re familiar with today. (It’s probably the unit that looks somewhat like an iPhone 4 in the photo.)

Source: Apple via Wall Street Journal

In the words of the Journal, “Christie recalled the walls had signs of water damage from a flood in an adjacent bathroom. A few images covered the walls including one of Apple’s ‘Think Different’ posters of famous graphic designer Paul Rand and another of a large chicken running around without its head.”

Christie released the information ahead of Apple’s second patent trial with Samsung, which is expected to start on March 31. Apple won the first trial, which netted the company $890 million in damages. The upcoming trial will focus on more recent products, such as the iPad 4, the iPhone 5, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note II and S III devices.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

The 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, The Week of March 21

A big week for stories about Apple competitors. There’s a real rogues’ gallery of names here from Google to Samsung from Microsoft to Amazon. And if you’re a fan of the actor Christian Bale, then you’re in for a treat. Meanwhile, it’s not too early to …

Apple Considers Spotify-Style Music Streaming Model, Android iTunes App

iTunes Radio draws much of its inspiration from the streaming radio service Pandora, but the latest word from Billboard suggests that Apple might want to mimic the on-demand streaming model used by Spotify and Beats Music instead. That would make Apple…

Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel Perform Doo-Wop Duet with iPad App on 'Tonight Show'

Jimmy Fallon may have won himself a few unintended laughs a couple of months ago when he awkwardly tried to hide his beloved MacBook from guest Bill Gates, but the incident hasn’t dulled his love for the products coming out of Cupertino. Indeed, just l…

Minneapolis' FirstTech, Apple's First Reseller, to Close Its Doors March 30

Apple’s retail stores have spread like wildfire over the last few years, but we don’t often get to hear about the resellers who sometimes get pushed aside in the process. Today the oldest, Minneapolis’s First Tech, announced that it’ll close its doors …

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