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Powermat Releasing Updated, Stronger Wireless Charging Pad

December 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Powermat plans to roll out an upgrade to its wireless charging technology in January  that will enable 15-watt power transfers through a 1.5-in. thick solid surface and provide support for new Apple iPhones and other Qi-enabled devices.

The wireless charging company also plans to release an under-tabletop product that allows users to simply place enabled mobile devices atop a desk, for example, to begin receiving a charge.

By moving from 5 watts to 15 watts with the upcoming software upgrade, Powermat chargers will transfer power to a mobile device at the same rate as a traditional charging cable, according to Powermat CTO Itay Sherman.

The upgrade, to be formally unveiled at CES in January, will also open the door for future software improvements, including power transfer rates of up to 65 watts; that would cover everything from tablets to laptops, Sherman said.

Currently, only Dell’s Latitude 7285 2-in-1 laptop features wireless charging based on technology from WiTricity.

The software upgrade is particularly significant in that it natively supports charging for Qi-enabled devices, such as the iPhone 8 and X series, Apple’s first smartphones to get wireless charging. A software upgrade earlier this year did enable compatibility with the Qi specification, but it only offered 5W power transfer.

Powermat’s upcoming software upgrade will support 7.5W so called “fast charging” for the new iPhone line as well as most Android smart phones.

Powermat’s inductive wireless charging is widely used today and has been adopted by Duracell, General Motors, Starbucks and AT&T. Among airports, coffee shops, malls, restaurants and arenas, Powermat claims to have 12,000 charging spots in the U.S. and Europe, and is being embedded in millions of cars and smartphones.

While the technology is inductive as opposed to resonant, which allows for greater distances between a charger and enabled device, Powermat added a larger charging coil and a booster to its newest chargers. That allows for power transfers of up to 1.5 inches in distance.

“With this charging technology there are no more wires on top of the desk or table,” Sherman said. “In the past, there has been a reluctance on the part of enterprise customers to use wireless charging because of all the wires on the top side of a desk, but with this technology they no longer need to do that.”

The new charger can attach to the bottom of a desk or conference table with just two screws; a sticker atop the surface then directs users were to place their smart phones for charging. The charger’s firmware also contains an algorithm that detects how far power needs to be projected to an enabled device.

Pricing for the new charger has yet to be released.

Powermat is part of the Airfuel Alliance consortium, which was founded when two of the three major wireless charging standard bodies — the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP)­ — merged in 2015. The Airfuel Alliance competes against the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), a standards groups backing the Qi specification.

Because the WPC’s specification is open, Powermat’s latest upgrade will offer compatibility, Sherman said.

“Charging devices we have today are upgradable to support the WPC’s [Qi] specification, but the new design will be compatible day one,” Sherman said. “To be very honest, the difference between these two technologies have been minute. The whole market is consolidating now.”

Are AMD’s Ryzen 2 Processors Arriving Next Month

December 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

AMD must be tired of the success it enjoyed with the Ryzen CPUs as its second-gen processors are set to launch early 2018.

The Ryzen 2 lineup, according to WCCTech, will be made up of the Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 2000 chips, and are set to bring in better performance with jacked-up clockspeeds and overclocking capabilities. Bet Intel’s happy about that….

Core specifications for chip fans include the Ryzen 2 family being the first chips AMD will have built using the 12 nanometre fabrication processes to pack in more transistors into small squares of silicone.

The Ryzen 2 familiy will feature AMD’s Zen+ CPU architecture, which is set to offer more power efficiency alongside beefier speeds and support for DDR4 memory running at higher frequencies.

Dubbed Pinnacle Ridge, the wave of second-gen Ryzen chips will start predictably with the flagship Ryzen 7 in February, followed by its less gutsy siblings in March.

With up to eight cores and clock-speeds reckoned to hit up to 4.4GHz, the Ryzen 2 CPUs are not only set to butt heads with Intel’s eighth-generation processors, but also take on Intel’s 9000 series CPUs set to make a splash mid next year.

The first bout of Ryzen CPUs made their debut earlier this year and offered enough performance on tap to give people an alternative to Intel chips, which had for some time offered better performance than AMD’s CPUs.

But the Ryze 2 family demonstrates there’s still more to be had out of AMD’s Zen architecture and that the chip maker wants to build upon its CPU rise with Ryzen.

There’s not a vast amount of extra information about what we can expect from Ryzen 2, but we reckon the chipset will be more of an evolution in performance rather than a massive power hike to annoy people who bought a Ryzen CPU earlier this year.

That being said, later down the line we’d not be surprised to see a new ‘Threadripper’ chip built on the same Zen+ architecture but rocking a serious number or cores, or perhaps a 2000x series chip with 12 cores and 24 threads to really stick two fingers up at Intel. But as ever time will tell.

Courtesy-TheInq

Facebook Beefs Up Augmented Reality In Messenger App

December 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Facebook is moving forward to add more augmented reality to its services.

For the uninitiated, augmented reality, or AR, lets people superimpose virtual graphics on top of real-world images. It’s what gives you digital sunglasses or dog ears in Snapchat and Instagram.

The social network on Tuesday said it’s bringing a new feature, called World Effects, to its Messenger chat app. The feature lets you add 3D objects you can interact with to your pictures or videos — like putting a heart over someone’s head or adding a robot that plays music to an image.

Separately, Facebook also said that it’s expanding its AR Studios platform, first announced in April during Facebook’s F8 developer conference, to the general pubic. The set of tools allows users to create AR content for Facebook. Initially, AR Studios was only open to around 2,000 brands, publishers and artists.

The expansion comes as rivals Google and Apple invest more heavily in AR. Apple earlier this year announced a platform called ARKit that lets software developers build AR apps for iPhones. Google followed suit in August with its own platform for Android-powered phones, called ARCore.

This isn’t the only investment Facebook has made in AR. The company developed an augmented reality art installation on its corporate campus in Menlo Park, California. The company worked with San Francisco artist Heather Day to create a digital mural you can only see by looking at it through a special app on your phone.

Will Off-Branded iPhone Chargers Put You At Risk

December 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Many of the fake or look-alike iPhone chargers put consumers at risk of lethal electric shock. 

So says experts at Electrical Safety First who, in a study carried out with Apple, found that 49 out of 50 ‘lookalike’ chargers purchased in the UK failed safety tests.

One in three chargers tested failed every part of the safety screening, while almost half failed an electric strength test, which means they post a “severe risk” of electric shock.

What’s more, internal examination of the knock-off cables revealed that almost half ailed basic safety requirements and contained sub-standard internal components or inadequate spacing.

“We tested a range of fake iPhone chargers and found that 98 per cent of them had the potential to cause a lethal electric shock or start a fire,” Electrical Safety First said in a blog post.

“It’s a scary thought, especially when you think about how often we continue to use our phones while they’re charging. And if you leave yours to charge overnight, you have even more reason to be concerned.”

The outfit has offered up some advice on how to spot a fake Apple charger. For example, a look-a-like cable could take twice as long to charge your iPhone’s battery, will likely be missing markings or contain spelling errors, and the USB port could be upside down or in a different place.

This latest warning comes just weeks after Trading Standards has warned consumers to bite the bullet and pay for official Apple charges after discovering that fake alternatives are just as dangerous as they are cheap. 

The consumer advice outfit earlier this year bought up 400 fake Apple chargers, likely costing it approximately £396, and found that 397 of them failed to pack enough insulation to protect users’ against electric shocks.

Courtesy-TheInq

Did Consumer Report Give The iPhone X A Cold Shoulder

December 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Consumer Reports has rated Apple’s iPhone X as rubbish and claims that Apple’s iPhone 8 was a better phone despite being much cheaper.

The publication published its results from testing the iPhone X’s display, camera, battery life, and durability.

While Consumer Reports called the phone an “innovative device with a fantastic camera and beautiful display” the iPhone X lost to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in a full comparison of the phones because it was flimsy.

The iPhone 8 proved “hardier” when it came to drops and damage. The iPhone X performed well in the initial drop tests, but it didn’t fare so well after more extensive testing.
Consumer Reports found: “We tumbled three samples of the iPhone X. The first was fine after 50 drops, but the glass on the back was significantly cracked after 100. The other two phones ended up with malfunctioning displays after 50 drops. Though the front glass didn’t crack, several bright green bars stretched across the screens from top to bottom.”

The iPhone X performed about the same as two other flagship phones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, Consumer Reports said.

The Tame Apple Press has rushed to defend their favourite overpriced toy. After all many of them have already bought the expensive turkey.

They say that Consumer Reports’ findings differ from other iPhone X and iPhone 8 drop tests. In drop-test videos by EverythingApplePro, PhoneBuff, and JerryRigEverything, the iPhone X was found to be more durable than the iPhone 8. And drop tests published right after the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus released in September showed that the phones were more durable than Samsung’s flagship phones, but still prone to easily cracking and shattering when subjected to drops or tumbling.

However, Consumer Reports has considerably more status than EverythingApplePro, PhoneBuff, and JerryRigEverything. The last time Consumer Reports complained about something, Apple actually did something about it.

There is the serious matter that the iPhone X is hugely more expensive than its predecessors. You should, in theory be getting more for your dollar or kidney, not less.

Courtesy-Fud

iPhone Top Camera For Photos On Flickr

December 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Flickr, the highly popular picture hosting site, just shared some interesting info on the top cameras of 2017. According to its data, the iPhone ranks as the most popular camera with 54 percent of photographers using devices from Apple — more than all the other traditional camera companies combined.

In general, phones captured 50 percent of the photos uploaded to Flickr. Other camera types like DSLR, point-and-shoot and mirrorless came in at 33 percent, 12 percent and 4 percent respectively.

It shouldn’t be too surprising that phones account for such a large portion of modern photography. The cameras in phones keep getting more and more advanced with dual-lenses, more megapixels and AI integrated camera software. Phonemakers know this and use photography as a major selling point for new phones — Huawei collaborates with Leica, Google brags about the highly rated camera on its Pixel 2 and Apple even has an Instagram for its “Shot on iPhone” campaign.

Flickr says that nine out of ten of its most popular devices are taken up by different iPhones. The top three spots were occupied by the iPhone 6iPhone 6S and iPhone 5S in that order. The only non-iPhone to place in the top ten was the Canon 5D Mark III, which came in 9th place. While Canon came in second place for most popular brand, it only accounted for 23 percent of the top 100 devices. Nikon came in third with 18 percent.

Apple’s photography presence has been growing steadily for the past few years. In 2016 Flickr ranked Apple as its most popular brand with 47 percent using Apple devices. In 2015 Apple took the top rank at about 30 percent. But 2017 marked the first year that the majority of Flickr users were using iPhones and phones in general accounted for half of all photos uploaded.

Canon or Nikon may come to mind when told to think of a popular camera brand, but that title may belong to Apple.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

Apple Exploring Acquisition of Shazam

December 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Apple Inc is holding negotiations to acquire Shazam Entertainment Ltd, whose software helps users identify songs by pointing their phone at an audio source, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Shazam’s smartphone app is already tightly integrated with Apple’s Siri digital assistant. Users of Apple’s iPhone with the Shazam app installed can say: “Hey Siri, what’s that song?” and the app will identify it. But Shazam has other features, such as the ability to identify television shows, that do not yet work with Siri.

Tech news website TechCrunch reported the talks earlier, writing that Apple could pay about $400 million for Shazam and that a deal could be signed as early as next week.

Shazam did not respond to a request for comment.

Privately-held, UK-based Shazam has raised $143 million from DN Capital Limited, Institutional Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, among others, over its 18-year history, according to PitchBook, a firm that tracks private venture investments.

The price TechCrunch reported would fall far below Shazam’s most recent $1 billion valuation reported by PitchBook.

An acquisition of Shazam could help bolster Apple’s music efforts by making it easier for users to find songs and add them to playlists in its Apple Music service. As of mid-2017, Apple Music had 27 million subscribers, behind rival music streaming service Spotify’s 60 million users.

Samsung Begins Production of 512GB Storage Chip

December 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Samsung confirmed that it has begun mass production of a 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage memory chip for mobile devices, meaning that your next Galaxy phone could have seemingly endless storage.

High storage phones models currently come with 128GB or 256GB of memory, but Samsung’s new 512GB chip is double or quadruple that. Samsung says the chip consists of eight 64-layer 512GB V-NAND chips, but what’s interesting is that although it doubles the storage and density of Samsung’s 256GB chip, it takes up the same amount of physical space.

Of course Samsung’s and other Android phones sometimes have the option of expandable storage through a microSD chip, but internal storage has its benefits. The 512GB chip is able to read and write new data at 860MB per second and 255MB per second respectively, which Samsung claims is eight times faster than your average microSD card. Plus, expandable storage has always been an add-on; internal storage is built directly into your phone.

Samsung says that the chip is intended for use in next-generation phones, which makes us wonder which phones will get it. Will the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy Note 9 come with 512GB of storage? Or will it appear in other manufacturers’ phones, like how some iPhones used Samsung memory chips.

Increasing sizes of internal storage is a good thing. This is especially the case as apps get bigger, operating systems take up more space and photo and video quality increases for built-in cameras. Samsung claims that the 512GB chip can hold approximately 130 10-minute 4K Ultra HD videos, which is good news for all the phones that come with 4K video recording capability.

If you can’t imagine using that much storage, Samsung also announced that it’ll expand production of its 256GB chips, too. So as memory extremes increase on the high end we may see more phones with 256GBs of storage, too.

Will Apple Sell A Cheaper iPad

December 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A report said that Apple will introduce a 9.7-inch iPad next year, with a comparatively low-price tag.

According to Digitimes, which quotes unnamed Apple suppliers, the unit will sell for around $250 or so.

The tablet market is somewhat flat because people don’t have to replace them for quite some time, and those that want tablets generally have one, unless they’re tempted like a magpie for more bright shiny things.

The iPad is slated for the second quarter of next year and the wire said that Compal is likely to make the unit with other firms like Compeq and Unitech contributing to the components. Apple also wants to shift iPad into the industrial sector too.

If the reports are true, it is likely to spur Apple competitors to cut their prices too.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Apple’s Strong Arming Tactics Work In The Long Run

December 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Yet another loyal Apple partner is suffering for failing to do what Apple told it.

Dialog saw its shares plummet by 19 percent after Apple announced that it is designing its own power management chips for next years batch of iPhones.

Apple has been telling its suppliers that they either have to slash costs or it will develop things inhouse. The policy has already had casualties with graphics chip maker Imagination and lead to a monumental spat with Qualcomm.

Jobs’ Mob has realised that it is not going to keep its high profits as its iPhone cash cow dies. So what it wants is to push its margins by cutting costs. It has been strong arming its suppliers, many of whom became addicted to Apple’s custom at the expensive developing other customers.

Apple accounted for 74 percent of Dialog’s revenue in 2016.

The main power management chip controls an iPhone’s charging function, battery management, and energy consumption. “Based on Apple’s current plan, they are set to replace partially, or around half of its power management chips to go into iPhones by itself starting next year.

Apple’s main power management chips for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch are now exclusively designed and made by Dialog.

Power management chips are one of the most crucial and expensive components after core processors, modems and memory chips.

The Tame Apple Press claims that by designing its own gear Apple will also be in a better position to integrate software and hardware and to manufacture products that can be differentiated from those of its rivals such as Samsung and Huawei.

It insists that Apple’s new in-house power management chip will be the most advanced in the industry and could have processing capabilities that allow it to better monitor and control power consumption among various components.

Quite why this would be the case is anyone’s guess. Apple has no experience in making power management chips let alone have enough experience to be cutting edge. It is more likely that Apple’s initial chips will have to be something that uses

The only thing that we can be sure of is that its initial efforts will have to use Dialog patents with the new chips churned out cheaply by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.

Courtesy-Fud

IS Apple Using Qualcomm Patents Without Paying

December 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Apple’s legal spat with Qualcomm just got even messier as the chipmaker found even more patents which it thinks that Apple is using without permission.

Qualcomm filed three new patent infringement complaints against the fruity cargo cult saying there were 16 more of its patents that Apple was using in its iPhones.

The new complaints represent the latest development in a long-standing dispute and follows Apple’s countersuit against Qualcomm, which alleged that it invented part of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile phone chips.

Qualcomm in July accused Apple of infringing several patents related to helping mobile phones get better battery life.

That case accompanied a complaint with the US International Trade Commission seeking to ban the import of Apple iPhones that use competing Intel Corp (INTC.O) chips because of the alleged patent violations.

The three cases filed Thursday were all filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego. One of the cases is a companion civil lawsuit to a new complaint also filed Thursday with the ITC that seeks the same remedy of banning iPhones with Intel chips. The other two cases are civil patent infringement lawsuits.

It all started when Apple tried to increase the margins for its dying iPhone cash cow.  It decided that Qualcomm was asking too much and demanded a reduction.

In January, Apple sued Qualcomm for nearly $1 billion in patent royalty rebates that Qualcomm allegedly withheld from Apple.

In a related suit, Qualcomm sued the contract manufacturers that make Apple’s phones, but Apple joined in to defend them.

Qualcomm in November sued Apple over an alleged breach of a software agreement between the two companies. Apple emailed Qualcomm to request “highly confidential” information about how its chips work on an unidentified wireless carrier’s network, Qualcomm alleged, but Apple had copied an Intel engineer in the email for information.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple’s iOS 11.2 Adds Apple Pay Cash

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple’s new iOS 11.2 software update became available on Saturday, adding Apple Pay Cash and faster wireless charging to supported iPhones.

For anyone with an iPhone 6 or later, the update’s Apple Pay Cash feature opens up the ability to send cash to friends and family over iMessage. While I didn’t see the feature immediately turned on after updating my own iPhone to iOS 11.2, when it does appear it should work similarly to Paypal’s Venmo service.

Anyone with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X can look forward to faster wireless charging, with the update release specifically noting improvements when using third-party chargers. That’s pretty much every Qi wireless charger currently out, as Apple’s own AirPower charging mat is planned for a 2018 release.

Other improvements and fixes listed by Apple include:

  • Improves video camera stabilization
  • Adds support in Podcasts to automatically advance to the next episode from the same show
  • Adds support in HealthKit for downhill snow sports distance as a data type
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete
  • Fixes an issue that could cause cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear
  • Improves stability in Calendar
  • Resolves an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen
  • Fixes an issue that could cause app icons to be arranged incorrectly on the Home Screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent users from deleting recent photos when iCloud storage is exceeded
  • Addresses an issue where Find My iPhone sometimes wouldn’t display a map
  • Fixes an issue in Messages where the keyboard could overlap the most recent message
  • Fixes an issue in Calculator where typing numbers rapidly could lead to incorrect results
  • Addressed an issue where the keyboard could respond slowly
  • Adds support for real-time text (RTT) phone calls for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Improves VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, App Store and Music
  • Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from announcing incoming Notifications

Samsung’s Galaxy Phones May Have New Password Technology

December 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

A recently uncovered Samsung patent application proposes the use of palm scanning as a method of identification on Samsung phones. The example given in the patent shows a person taking a picture of a hand to retrieve their forgotten password. But instead of the password just popping up on the screen, the phone hides the letters in the distinct patterns in your hand. The incomplete characters should then give the user enough of a hint to guess the password without making the answer too obvious.

If this palm-scanning method ever makes its way onto future Galaxy phones, it would join a long list of biometric identification techniques. Current Samsung phones like the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 already use fingerprint scanning, iris scanning and facial recognition on top of PIN and pattern-based passwords. Even though the palm-scanning patent would use the instance of a forgotten password there’s always the possibility it could be adopted for other purposes, like unlocking the phone or authenticating Samsung Pay.

Samsung’s chief rival, Apple, introduced facial recognition as the main form of authentication on the iPhone X. In order to do so, Apple designed a entire camera system that uses 3D sensors, infrared cameras and a dot projector to make the method — called Face ID — even more secure. If Samsung is to introduce palm scanning as a new method of authentication, we don’t know if it’ll use current Samsung tech or commission brand-new hardware. This could make a big difference in making the process more secure.

In bringing facial recognition to the iPhone X, Apple also took away fingerprint scanning — its main method of identification for years. So this brings up two schools of thought. Samsung’s approach is to explore as many methods of authentication as possible to give you more choice, versus Apple’s focus on one method to make it as secure as possible. Which would you rather have for Samsung’s next phone?

Qualcomm Goes 7nm With TSMC

November 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Korean based Etnews has mentioned that Qualcomm 7nm manufacturing has been a big win for TSMC while two other US and China customers chose Samsung’s 7nm. TSMC traditionially have dibs on Nvidia and MediaTek too. 

The Taiwan based foundry and Qualcomm are expected to ship in volume in early 2019 with announcement of the new product in late 2018, no surprises there. This will be the chip that comes after the soon to be announced Snapdragon 845.

The most talked phone after iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S9, is the first chip to feature the Snapdragon 845 but Samsung will use its own 10nm Exynos 8910 for some markets too. Luckily for Qualcomm no one else will use Exynos, as the majority of the Android high end phones exclusively use the Snapdragon 800 series chips.

Samsung is of course expected to manufacture its chips at its own fabs and we would expect this to happen in 2019 and volume production with some risk production in late 2018.  This is the SoC that comes after Exynos 8910 and if all goes well, it will first ship in the 2019 Galaxy S phone.

Qualcomm and Broadcom, according to the report are designing their next generation chips with TSMC’s7-nano PDK. The reason why Qualcomm went with 7nm with TSMC is the fact that the fab uses normal steppers while Samsung wants to make its 7nm with more bold and riskier EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) photolithography technology.

Samsung is expected to be later to the 7nm game and early adopters had to go with TSMC. EUV is still technology that is not entirely ready for the mass market and there is a disagreement weather you should need to use Extreme Ultraviolet light manufacturing with 7nm or first with 5nm. Obviously the two main fabs disagree while GlobalFoundries cooperates and shares technology with Samsung, and will have Samsung to rely upon for 7nm.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple Mac Sales Slump

November 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Apple announced last week that it had sold a record number of Macs for a September quarter.

“The Mac…had its best year ever, with the highest annual Mac revenue in Apple’s history,” said CEO Tim Cook in prepared remarks during a Nov. 2 call with Wall Street analysts. Apple recorded revenue of $25.8 billion from Mac sales in its fiscal 2017, which ended Sept. 30.

Mac unit sales of nearly 5.4 million bested both industry and financial analysts’ expectations. Before Apple released its data, research firm IDC had pegged Apple’s number at 4.9 million, while rival Gartner offered an even lower estimate: 4.6 million. And according to Philip Elmer-DeWitt, who regularly polls Wall Street for quarterly forecasts, every analyst from a group of more than two dozen undershot Mac sales, some by over half a million machines.

Unit sales were up 10.2% over the same quarter in 2016, and the Mac’s ASP, or “average selling price,” jumped to $1,331, a year-over-year rise of $156, for an increase of 13.3%.

According to IDC, the 5.4 million Macs represented almost exactly 8% of the 67.2 million personal computers shipped worldwide in the September quarter.

Apple executives explained the bonanza in different ways when they spoke with financial experts last week.

“This performance was fueled primarily by great demand for MacBook Pro,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “[And] we are also seeing great traction for Mac in the enterprise market, with all-time record customer purchases in fiscal year 2017.”

“Mac revenue growth…was driven by notebook refreshes we launched in June and a strong back-to-school season,” asserted Cook.

When asked why the Mac beat outsiders’ sales predictions, IDC Research Director Linn Huang concurred with Cook that back-to-school sales had been strong. But he had another idea. “To understand 2017, you have to go back to 2016, which was a very poor year for Apple,” said Huang. “It ended a very long stretch where Apple consistently beat the [PC] market.”

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