A host of big-name tech companies including Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft have filed an amicus brief in a Washington state court opposing Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. A total of 97 firms put their names to the document, which supports the state of Washington in its battle against what is widely considered a Muslim ban, each one stating that their “operations are affected” by the executive order.
“The Order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the United States for more than fifty years,” the brief reads, indicating a philosophical objection from the signees. But they also present an economic argument, saying that the order also “inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth,” disrupting current operations, and making it “more difficult and expensive for US companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees.”
Today, ten years after the iPhone launched, I have some of the same sense of early constraints and assumptions being abandoned and new models emerging. If in 2004 we had 'Web 2.0', now there's a lot of 'Mobile 2.0' around. If Web 2.0 said 'lots of people have broadband and modern browsers now', Mobile 2.0 says 'there are a billion people with high-end smartphones now'*. So, what assumptions are being left behind? What do you do differently if you assume not just the touch screen from 2007 but unlimited battery and bandwidth (around half of smartphone use in developed markets is on wifi and mobile networks are 10x faster), high-DPI screens, a CPU and GPU 100x faster than PCs in 1994, and lots of high-quality image sensors?
911 OPERATOR: 911—what’s your emergency?
ROBERT: Hi, I . . . uh . . . I work from home.
OPERATOR: O.K., is anyone else there with you, sir?
ROBERT: No, I’m alone.
OPERATOR: And when’s the last time you saw someone else? Was that today?
A reliable measure of Apple’s ambitious expectations is its R&D expense: It keeps climbing, 19% higher than last year. Another sign can be found in the Off-Balance Sheet section of the 10-Q. This year, Apple has committed $24B in manufacturing purchase obligations — money promised to suppliers. That’s a 16% increase over last year’s $20.7B. This doesn’t mean that the company’s output will increase by a similar amount, but it’s always a reliable trend indicator. For example, we saw the same number go down from $21.6B in December 2014, to $20.7B in 2015, a timeframe in which Apple revenue also declined.
Apple has argued in its latest submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that the collective negotiating between four of Australia's largest banks is not about access to the iPhone's near-field communication (NFC) technology to stir healthy competition, rather it is an attempt to avoid paying the fees associated with using Apple Pay.
It doesn't do what it is supposed to do, and it also doesn't do what is needed to do.
Thanks for reading.