leswing

Apple CEO Tim Cook once personally threatened to kick Uber out of the App Store

(Apple CEO Tim Cook and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (L) arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala (Met Gala) to celebrate the opening of “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” in the Manhattan borough of New York, May 2, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
Apple CEO Tim Cook once personally told Uber CEO Travis Kalanick that the Uber app violated Apple’s privacy rules, and threatened to remove Uber from Apple’s App Store, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The issue in the reported early-2015 meeting was that Uber was tracking iPhones after they had been wiped and the Uber app had been deleted — something Uber was doing to combat driver fraud in China.

Apple didn’t like that, and believed it violated its privacy policy for the App Store. “So, I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules,” Cook reportedly told Kalanick. 

If Apple were to stop carrying the Uber app, the multi-billion dollar startup would lose access to millions of its most valuable customers. 

In fact, Uber went so far as to write software that ensured that anyone accessing Uber from Apple’s headquarters would see a different version of the app without the bits of code that tracked iPhones after they had been wiped, a practice called “geofencing." 

But Apple engineers were able to spot that something wasn’t right with the Uber app at Apple headquarters, and escalated the issue, which led to the meeting between Kalanick and Cook, according to the Times. 

Kalanick was reportedly "shaken” by the meeting with Cook, but the relationship between the two men and companies seems fine today. Cook and Kalanick were spotted mugging for the camera together at last year’s Met Ball, for example, and the Uber app is still available on Apple’s App Store. 

The entire profile of Travis Kalanick by the New York Times’ Mike Issac is absolutely worth a read. 

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Apple is catastrophically late to the self-driving car game

(No. Just no.Motor Trend)
After thinking that the Apple Car — “Project Titan” — was pretty much dead, we saw it crawl from the grave via a filing in California to test a self-driving technology on public roads.

With this move, Apple joins a host of other automakers and tech companies that are already permitted to test their autonomous experiments on the Golden State’s highways and byways.

And thanks to some intrepid reporting by Business Insider’s Kif Leswing, we now have some idea of what Apple is actually up to. 

The tech giant is clearly developing some type of self-driving car technology. That much is obvious from the test vehicle setup, which consists of a Lexus SUV with self-driving controls in the backseatUp front, it’s a regular old steering wheel, so that if anything goes wrong, a human driver can take over. I’m pretty sure that the “fly by wire” system is something that Apple has engineered in a bolt-on capacity.

(The interior of Apple’s “Automated System,” according to a training document obtained by Business Insider.California DMV)
There are some serious problems with this approach. For starters, bolt-on technology doesn’t work, you have to develop a self-driving technology that’s designed to be integrated into a vehicle as it’s assembled — but that’s beside the point.

The real takeaway here is that Apple’s self-driving program, although evidently not dead, might as well be. 

This is because Apple has fallen catastrophically far behind the competition. 

Just for the record, Google started outfitting Lexus SUVs back in 2009 with the first of its own self-driving technologies. Eight years later, Google has become Alphabet and the Google Car has become Waymo — and Waymo has racked up an enormous number of self-driven miles, with precisely zero monetization in sight.

Waymo’s concept of a self-driving car is very out-there, very futuristic. Meanwhile, Tesla has been taking a here-and-now approach with its Autopilot semi-self-driving tech: incremental improvement through software and hardware updates. It, too, has been racking up the real-world miles.

A lot of other automakers have been reeling in experimental miles including Ford, General Motors, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. In fact, almost every major car company has some kind of autonomous plan under construction.

And let’s not forget about Uber, which stunned the auto establishment last year when it debuted its fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh.

So let’s run through what the self-driving world is up to:

Here’s a run-down of Waymo’s efforts

(Waymo; Business Insider/ Skye Gould)

A look back at the Google Car, the adorable podmobile:

(AP)

And some of the original Google self-driving Lexus SUVs:

(AP/Eric Risberg)

A visualization of Tesla Autopilot: (Tesla)

Me going hands-free with Autopilot, which I don’t recommend:

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)

One of Audi’s self-driving vehicles:

(Audi)

A self-driving Uber:

(Uber)

And finally a self-driving Ford:

(Ford fully autonomous Fusion Hybrid research vehicle on streets of Dearborn, MI. Ford has been researching autonomous vehicles for more than a decade and currently tests fully autonomous vehicles in Michigan, Arizona and California, and will triple its autonomous vehicle test fleet this year to have the largest of any automaker.Ford)

Finally, Apple’s latest:

(Apple)

The self-driving systems powering these cars use similar hardware, but are ultimately different. 

Some companies are using complex and expensive laser-radar or Lidar systems, some have combined radars and sensors, and some are using cameras. It’s not entirely clear yet what Apple’s setup consists of, but according to BI’s reporting, the training protocol demands some simple maneuvers and scenarios. 

Maybe Apple’s systems and/or vehicles are capable of more. Maybe. But the permit applications suggest that Apple has made rudimentary at best progress on autonomy. 

I have a theory about this, which is that Apple was at one time, under Project Titan, working on a fully-fledged car with a radically innovative driver/infotainment interface, an electric powertrain, and some self-driving capability.

Given that I’ve been saying the Apple Car is vaporware since the get-go, I still think that Project Titan writ large has been abandoned. But Apple has probably decided to keep the self-driving component going and is likely focusing most of its efforts on developing the software for autonomous vehicles. Hence the crude-looking setup in the test vehicle.

The problem is it has to play catch-up. Apple has a gigantic heap of cash to spend on doing just that. But sometimes, money isn’t enough when you’re running a decade behind.

NOW WATCH: A Tesla bull makes his case: ‘We think it’s real …. it’s a good car. That’s not a fluke’



More From Business Insider
Apple is catastrophically late to the self-driving car game

(No. Just no.Motor Trend)
After thinking that the Apple Car — “Project Titan” — was pretty much dead, we saw it crawl from the grave via a filing in California to test a self-driving technology on public roads.

With this move, Apple joins a host of other automakers and tech companies that are already permitted to test their autonomous experiments on the Golden State’s highways and byways.

And thanks to some intrepid reporting by Business Insider’s Kif Leswing, we now have some idea of what Apple is actually up to. 

The tech giant is clearly developing some type of self-driving car technology. That much is obvious from the test vehicle setup, which consists of a Lexus SUV with self-driving controls in the backseatUp front, it’s a regular old steering wheel, so that if anything goes wrong, a human driver can take over. I’m pretty sure that the “fly by wire” system is something that Apple has engineered in a bolt-on capacity.

(The interior of Apple’s “Automated System,” according to a training document obtained by Business Insider.California DMV)
There are some serious problems with this approach. For starters, bolt-on technology doesn’t work, you have to develop a self-driving technology that’s designed to be integrated into a vehicle as it’s assembled — but that’s beside the point.

The real takeaway here is that Apple’s self-driving program, although evidently not dead, might as well be. 

This is because Apple has fallen catastrophically far behind the competition. 

Just for the record, Google started outfitting Lexus SUVs back in 2009 with the first of its own self-driving technologies. Eight years later, Google has become Alphabet and the Google Car has become Waymo — and Waymo has racked up an enormous number of self-driven miles, with precisely zero monetization in sight.

Waymo’s concept of a self-driving car is very out-there, very futuristic. Meanwhile, Tesla has been taking a here-and-now approach with its Autopilot semi-self-driving tech: incremental improvement through software and hardware updates. It, too, has been racking up the real-world miles.

A lot of other automakers have been reeling in experimental miles including Ford, General Motors, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. In fact, almost every major car company has some kind of autonomous plan under construction.

And let’s not forget about Uber, which stunned the auto establishment last year when it debuted its fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh.

So let’s run through what the self-driving world is up to:

Here’s a run-down of Waymo’s efforts

(Waymo; Business Insider/ Skye Gould)

A look back at the Google Car, the adorable podmobile:

(AP)

And some of the original Google self-driving Lexus SUVs:

(AP/Eric Risberg)

A visualization of Tesla Autopilot: (Tesla)

Me going hands-free with Autopilot, which I don’t recommend:

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)

One of Audi’s self-driving vehicles:

(Audi)

A self-driving Uber:

(Uber)

And finally a self-driving Ford:

(Ford fully autonomous Fusion Hybrid research vehicle on streets of Dearborn, MI. Ford has been researching autonomous vehicles for more than a decade and currently tests fully autonomous vehicles in Michigan, Arizona and California, and will triple its autonomous vehicle test fleet this year to have the largest of any automaker.Ford)

Finally, Apple’s latest:

(Apple)

The self-driving systems powering these cars use similar hardware, but are ultimately different. 

Some companies are using complex and expensive laser-radar or Lidar systems, some have combined radars and sensors, and some are using cameras. It’s not entirely clear yet what Apple’s setup consists of, but according to BI’s reporting, the training protocol demands some simple maneuvers and scenarios. 

Maybe Apple’s systems and/or vehicles are capable of more. Maybe. But the permit applications suggest that Apple has made rudimentary at best progress on autonomy. 

I have a theory about this, which is that Apple was at one time, under Project Titan, working on a fully-fledged car with a radically innovative driver/infotainment interface, an electric powertrain, and some self-driving capability.

Given that I’ve been saying the Apple Car is vaporware since the get-go, I still think that Project Titan writ large has been abandoned. But Apple has probably decided to keep the self-driving component going and is likely focusing most of its efforts on developing the software for autonomous vehicles. Hence the crude-looking setup in the test vehicle.

The problem is it has to play catch-up. Apple has a gigantic heap of cash to spend on doing just that. But sometimes, money isn’t enough when you’re running a decade behind.

NOW WATCH: A Tesla bull makes his case: ‘We think it’s real …. it’s a good car. That’s not a fluke’



More From Business Insider
Apple is catastrophically late to the self-driving car game

(No. Just no.Motor Trend)
After thinking that the Apple Car — “Project Titan” — was pretty much dead, we saw it crawl from the grave via a filing in California to test a self-driving technology on public roads.

With this move, Apple joins a host of other automakers and tech companies that are already permitted to test their autonomous experiments on the Golden State’s highways and byways.

And thanks to some intrepid reporting by Business Insider’s Kif Leswing, we now have some idea of what Apple is actually up to. 

The tech giant is clearly developing some type of self-driving car technology. That much is obvious from the test vehicle setup, which consists of a Lexus SUV with self-driving controls in the backseatUp front, it’s a regular old steering wheel, so that if anything goes wrong, a human driver can take over. I’m pretty sure that the “fly by wire” system is something that Apple has engineered in a bolt-on capacity.

(The interior of Apple’s “Automated System,” according to a training document obtained by Business Insider.California DMV)
There are some serious problems with this approach. For starters, bolt-on technology doesn’t work, you have to develop a self-driving technology that’s designed to be integrated into a vehicle as it’s assembled — but that’s beside the point.

The real takeaway here is that Apple’s self-driving program, although evidently not dead, might as well be. 

This is because Apple has fallen catastrophically far behind the competition. 

Just for the record, Google started outfitting Lexus SUVs back in 2009 with the first of its own self-driving technologies. Eight years later, Google has become Alphabet and the Google Car has become Waymo — and Waymo has racked up an enormous number of self-driven miles, with precisely zero monetization in sight.

Waymo’s concept of a self-driving car is very out-there, very futuristic. Meanwhile, Tesla has been taking a here-and-now approach with its Autopilot semi-self-driving tech: incremental improvement through software and hardware updates. It, too, has been racking up the real-world miles.

A lot of other automakers have been reeling in experimental miles including Ford, General Motors, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. In fact, almost every major car company has some kind of autonomous plan under construction.

And let’s not forget about Uber, which stunned the auto establishment last year when it debuted its fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh.

So let’s run through what the self-driving world is up to:

Here’s a run-down of Waymo’s efforts

(Waymo; Business Insider/ Skye Gould)

A look back at the Google Car, the adorable podmobile:

(AP)

And some of the original Google self-driving Lexus SUVs:

(AP/Eric Risberg)

A visualization of Tesla Autopilot: (Tesla)

Me going hands-free with Autopilot, which I don’t recommend:

(Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider)

One of Audi’s self-driving vehicles:

(Audi)

A self-driving Uber:

(Uber)

And finally a self-driving Ford:

(Ford fully autonomous Fusion Hybrid research vehicle on streets of Dearborn, MI. Ford has been researching autonomous vehicles for more than a decade and currently tests fully autonomous vehicles in Michigan, Arizona and California, and will triple its autonomous vehicle test fleet this year to have the largest of any automaker.Ford)

Finally, Apple’s latest:

(Apple)

The self-driving systems powering these cars use similar hardware, but are ultimately different. 

Some companies are using complex and expensive laser-radar or Lidar systems, some have combined radars and sensors, and some are using cameras. It’s not entirely clear yet what Apple’s setup consists of, but according to BI’s reporting, the training protocol demands some simple maneuvers and scenarios. 

Maybe Apple’s systems and/or vehicles are capable of more. Maybe. But the permit applications suggest that Apple has made rudimentary at best progress on autonomy. 

I have a theory about this, which is that Apple was at one time, under Project Titan, working on a fully-fledged car with a radically innovative driver/infotainment interface, an electric powertrain, and some self-driving capability.

Given that I’ve been saying the Apple Car is vaporware since the get-go, I still think that Project Titan writ large has been abandoned. But Apple has probably decided to keep the self-driving component going and is likely focusing most of its efforts on developing the software for autonomous vehicles. Hence the crude-looking setup in the test vehicle.

The problem is it has to play catch-up. Apple has a gigantic heap of cash to spend on doing just that. But sometimes, money isn’t enough when you’re running a decade behind.

NOW WATCH: A Tesla bull makes his case: ‘We think it’s real …. it’s a good car. That’s not a fluke’



More From Business Insider
Analyst says the iPhone 8 could have the 'most meaningful feature and technology upgrades in iPhone's history'

(Apple CEO Tim Cook.Apple)
2018 is shaping up to be a great year for Apple stock, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note distributed to clients on Monday.

According to the research, there is “increasing evidence OLED iPhone launches in October, rather than September.”

If Apple launches a new iPhone with an OLED screen in October, none of the sales would be counted in its September quarter, which could be weaker than what Wall Street is expecting. But the delay would only drive sales estimates for 2018 higher, Huberty writes.

Huberty’s new forecast suggests Apple could have big December and March quarters after the anticipated launch this fall of the redesigned iPhone, which is expected to come with a higher price tag.

Some reports have suggested Apple is still working out the kinks in the device ahead of producing millions.

“In light of the most meaningful feature and technology upgrades in iPhone’s history — including OLED displays, wireless charging, and 3D sensors for AR — we believe it’s reasonable to assume the new, higher-priced OLED iPhone ships in October rather than September,” Huberty wrote.

(The OLED iPhone is expected to have a screen the covers nearly the entire front of the phone. This drawing shows what it could look like.COMPUTER BILD TV)

Depending on its desirability, a new OLED iPhone could spur a “supercycle” of sales, as there is a buildup of current iPhone users waiting for a compelling new model before they upgrade. Huberty says the iPhone supercycle hasn’t been fully priced into other analysts’ estimates.

Morgan Stanley rates Apple stock a “buy” and raised its price target to $182 from $177.

(Morgan Stanley)


More From Business Insider
Analysts say the iPhone 8 could have the 'most meaningful feature and technology upgrades in iPhone's history'

(Apple CEO Tim Cook.Apple)
2018 is shaping up to be a great year for Apple stock, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note distributed to clients on Monday. 

According to the research, there is “increasing evidence OLED iPhone launches in October, rather than September.”

If the new iPhone with an OLED screen launches in October, none of the sales will be counted in Apple’s September quarter, which could be weaker than what Wall Street is expecting. But the delay will only drive sales estimates for 2018 higher, Huberty writes.  

Huberty’s new forecast suggests Apple could have big December and March quarters after the anticipated launch of the new redesigned iPhone.

The context to Huberty’s forecast is that one of the iPhone models expected to launch this fall will be a complete redesign with a higher price tag. Some reports have suggested Apple is still working out the kinks in the device ahead of volume production of millions. 

“In light of the most meaningful feature and technology upgrades in iPhone’s history - including OLED displays, wireless charging, and 3D sensors for AR - we believe it’s reasonable to assume the new, higher priced OLED iPhone ships in October rather than September,” Huberty wrote.

(The OLED iPhone is expected to have a screen the covers nearly the entire front of the phone. This drawing shows what it could look like.COMPUTER BILD TV)
Depending on how desirable this OLED iPhone is, it could spur a “supercycle” of sales as there is a buildup of current iPhone users waiting for a compelling new model before they upgrade.

Huberty says the iPhone “supercycle” hasn’t been fully priced into other analysts’ estimates. 

Morgan Stanley rates Apple stock a “buy” and raised its price target to $182 from $177. 

(Morgan Stanley)


More From Business Insider
The iPhone 8's biggest change will not be a 'must have' feature, analysts say

(Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, attends the second day of the annual Allen Apple is expected to launch a redesigned iPhone this fall with a screen that covers nearly the entire front of the phone.

The iPhone 8, as some analysts call it, will use a new kind of screen technology called OLED that could be a top selling point for the phone. OLED screens can display more accurate colors, including darker blacks, and can theoretically use less battery. 

But some analysts believe the OLED screen may not be a big enough difference to convince many consumers to upgrade.

Barclays analysts on Thursday said they “struggle to see the incremental benefits” that come with the upgrade to OLED screens from LED screens, which current iPhones use. 

Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz and team write: 

“In terms of the year ahead, OLED displays continue to be top-of-mind for investors when contemplating form factor improvements that could drive a growth revival, particularly with the iPhone. With OLED, we struggle to see the incremental benefits visually that would inspire a customer to replace an adequately-performing device. While battery life could improve with OLED, our conversations with industry participants suggest that most consumers will not notice any major “must have” experience changes because of new OLED displays versus LCD. We think that this dynamic, if sustained, could limit the upside potential related to new OLED-based devices that likely sell for a premium, which could keep average selling prices from moving much higher.”

Of course, Apple rarely uses pure technology to market its products and it’s a master of creating demand through incremental improvements. But these analysts are suggesting the increase in screen quality alone will not be enough to get average iPhone users — who are increasingly holding onto older phones — to upgrade.

(A drawing of what an iPhone with an edge-to-edge screen could look like.COMPUTER BILD TV)
Barclays goes on to suggest the new OLED screen may not be enough alone to increase the average selling price of the redesigned iPhone. Some Apple observers have suggested that the OLED iPhone could cost $1,200, a sharp increase from previous years. 

Apple is also expected to introduce other features with the redesigned iPhone in addition to the new screen, such as wireless charging and new camera features. 

In addition to the redesigned, OLED iPhone, Apple is believed to be planning to launch two other phones that are more affordable alongside the redesigned iPhone.

These two devices could look more similar to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and they would probably remain close to them in price — closer to $700 than $1,000. According to KGI Securities, these phones will have LCD screens, which are abundant.

But the screen is still the centerpiece of a phone and perhaps its most important component. Apple moving to OLED screens for the iPhone — which is made in extreme volumes of 10s of millions per quarter — has reportedly created a shortage of the screens, which competing brands like Samsung include in their high-end phones too. 

Last year, a top Foxconn executive called Apple’s transition to OLED panels as a “crisis.” Foxconn is assembling the OLED iPhone. 

“We don’t know whether Apple’s OLED iPhones will be a hit, but if Apple doesn’t walk down this path and transform itself, there will be no innovation. It is a crisis but it is also an opportunity,” Sharp President Tai Jeng-Wu said.

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