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Apple Inc Bets Big On India As It Opens First Flagship Store

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NEW DELHI, India — Apple Inc. launched its first flagship shop in India on Tuesday, highlighting the company’s expanding ambitions to expand in the nation, which it also aims to transform into a potential manufacturing hub.

Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, posed for selfies with a few of the 100 Apple fans who had gathered outside the vast 20,000-square-foot store in India’s financial hub, Mumbai, whose design was inspired by the city’s famed black-and-yellow cabs. A second store will open in the national capital of New Delhi on Thursday.

“India has such a beautiful culture and incredible energy, and we’re excited to build on our long-standing history,” Cook stated.

The IT behemoth has been in India for almost 25 years, distributing its wares through authorized stores and a website launched a few years ago. However, regulatory issues and the epidemic hampered its intentions to construct a flagship store.

According to Jayanth Kolla, an analyst at Convergence Catalyst, the news outlets clearly show the company’s determination to invest in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market, where iPhone sales have steadily increased. The outlets demonstrate “how much India matters to the company’s present and future,” he added.

India’s sheer size is especially appealing to the Cupertino, California-based corporation.

Around 600 million of India’s 1.4 billion people use cellphones, “which means the market is still under-penetrated and the growth prospect is huge,” said Neil Shah, vice president of research at technology market research firm Counterpoint Research.

According to Counterpoint data, the Silicon Valley business increased its share of the country’s smartphone market from 2% to 6% between 2020 and 2022.

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Nonetheless, the iPhone’s high price puts it out of reach for most Indians.

Instead, iPhone sales in India have prospered within a sliver of upper-middle-class and rich Indians with disposable incomes, a group that Shah claims is growing. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple owns 65% of the “premium” smartphone market, with prices starting at 30,000 rupees ($360).

Apple said in September that it would begin manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India. The announcement was welcomed as a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which has advocated for increased domestic manufacturing since his election in 2014.

Apple began manufacturing in India with the iPhone SE in 2017 and has since produced various iPhone models nationwide.

Contractors with facilities in China produce the majority of Apple’s smartphones and tablets, but the company began considering transferring some manufacturing to Southeast Asia or other locations after repeated shutdowns to combat COVID-19 affected its worldwide product flow.

“Big companies got a jolt, and they realized they needed a backup strategy outside of China — they couldn’t risk another lockdown or any geopolitical rift affecting their business,” Kolla explained.

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The difficulty for Apple is that raw materials are still coming from outside India.

According to Counterpoint Research, India now produces nearly 13 million iPhones per year, up from fewer than 5 million three years ago. This equates to around 6% of all iPhones produced globally – a pittance compared to China, which still produces around 90%.

Last week, India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal stated that the government was in constant contact with Apple to boost their business in India and that the corporation intended to have 25% of its global output come from India within the next five years.

According to Shah of Counterpoint, the difficulty for Apple is that raw materials are still coming from outside India, so the tech company will need to either find a local source or bring their suppliers, who are based in countries like China, Japan, and Taiwan, closer to push up production.

Nonetheless, he is optimistic that this aim can be accomplished, especially given India’s lower labor costs and the government’s enticing subsidies to stimulate local production.

“Everything is about timing for Apple.” They will only enter a market with full force once they are sure of their chances. “They see the opportunity here today — it’s a win-win situation,” Shah explained.

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SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Using AI, Mastercard Expects To Find Compromised Cards Quicker, Before They Get Used By Criminals

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Mastercard | AP news Image

NEW YORK  — Mastercard said Wednesday that it hopes to detect that your credit or debit card number has been compromised long before it falls into the hands of a cybercriminal.

Mastercard’s most recent software upgrade incorporates artificial intelligence into its fraud-prediction system, which it hopes will allow banks to replace stolen cards before criminals use them.

“Generative AI is going to allow us to figure out where you possibly got your credentials compromised, how we can identify how it happened, and how we can very quickly remedy that situation not only for you, but also for other customers who don’t know they are compromised yet,” said Johan Gerber, executive vice president of security and cyber innovation at Mastercard, in an interview.

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Mastercard | Investopedia Image

Using AI, Mastercard Expects To Find Compromised Cards Quicker, Before They Get Used By Criminals

Mastercard, based in Purchase, New York, says that with this new update, it can use other patterns or contextual information, such as geography, time, and addresses, and combine it with incomplete but compromised credit card numbers that appear in databases, allowing it to reach cardholders sooner and replace the bad card.

The patterns can now be applied in reverse, potentially employing batches of faulty cards to identify potentially hacked businesses or payment processors. According to Gerber, pattern identification goes beyond what humans can perform with database queries or other typical approaches.

Billions of stolen credit and debit card numbers are floating on the dark web, ready for purchase by any thief. Most were stolen from merchants in data breaches over the years, but a substantial number were stolen from unwary customers who used their credit or debit cards at the incorrect gas station, ATM, or online shop.

These compromised cards may go undiscovered for weeks, months, or even years. Only when the payment networks themselves dig into the dark web to look for stolen numbers, a merchant discovers a breach, or a criminal uses a card do the payment networks, and banks realize a batch of cards may be compromised.

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Mastercard | Youtube Image

Using AI, Mastercard Expects To Find Compromised Cards Quicker, Before They Get Used By Criminals

“We can now actually proactively reach out to the banks to make sure that we service that consumer and get them a new card in her or his hands so they can go about their lives with as little disruption as possible,” Gerber stated.

The payment networks are primarily attempting to transition away from “static” credit card or debit card numbers — card numbers and expiration dates that are used consistently across all businesses — and toward unique numbers for specific transactions. However, that transformation could take years, especially in the United States, where payment technology uptake is typically slow.

While chip cards are currently used in more than 90% of all in-person transactions worldwide, EMVCo, the technological body behind the chip in credit and debit cards, estimates that the proportion in the United States is closer to 70%.

Mastercard

Mastercard | Mastercard Image

Using AI, Mastercard Expects To Find Compromised Cards Quicker, Before They Get Used By Criminals

Mastercard’s announcement comes as its main competitor, Visa Inc., looks for ways to force users to discard their 16-digit credit and debit card numbers. Visa revealed big changes to how credit and debit cards will work in the United States last week, implying that Americans will carry fewer physical cards in their wallets and that the 16-digit credit or debit card number inscribed on each card will become less relevant.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Group Of Tesla Shareholders Ask Investors To Vote Against Musk’s Compensation Package

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Tesla | AP Image

A group of Tesla shareholders is urging investors to vote against CEO Elon Musk’s compensation package worth more than $40 billion, arguing that it is not in the company’s best interests.

Tesla is grappling with declining global sales, sluggish electric car demand, an older model lineup, and a stock price that has fallen 30% this year.

The shareholder group, which includes New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, SOC Investment Group, and Amalgamated Bank, stated in a letter to shareholders that ratifying Musk’s pay deal will not positively impact Tesla’s long-term growth and stability.

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Tesla | Reddit Image

Group Of Tesla Shareholders Ask Investors To Vote Against Musk’s Compensation Package

There is also concern that ratifying the remuneration package may result in litigation alleging corporate waste. According to the letter, Musk is perceived as a part-time CEO at Tesla, with his time increasingly being spent on other business commitments.

“Shareholders should not believe that this reward has any incentive effect—it does not. “What it does have is an excessiveness problem, which has been obvious since the beginning,” the organization stated.

They highlighted that if shareholders approve the remuneration package, another plan may be proposed next year.

“Given Tesla’s history of exponentially larger awards, Musk may well ask for another award,” the organization stated.

The group also requests that investors vote against the reelection of board members Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk’s brother, and James Murdoch, a former executive at media conglomerate Twenty-First Century Fox

Tesla urged shareholders this month to reinstate Musk’s $56 billion pay plan, which a Delaware judge had earlier this year rejected. At the time, it also requested that the company’s headquarters be moved to Texas.

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Tesla | AP News Image

Group Of Tesla Shareholders Ask Investors To Vote Against Musk’s Compensation Package

Stockholders will vote on the measures at the June 13 annual meeting.

In a statement to shareholders published in a regulatory filing last month, Chairperson Robyn Denholm stated that Musk has delivered on the automaker’s growth expectations. Tesla meets all of the stock value and operational benchmarks outlined in the 2018 shareholder package. Shares have been up 571% since the pay package began

“Because the Delaware Court second-guessed your decision, Elon has not been paid for any of his work for Tesla for the past six years that has helped to generate significant growth and stockholder value,” Denholm stated in a letter. “That strikes us — and the many stockholders from whom we already have heard — as fundamentally unfair, and inconsistent with the will of the stockholders who voted for it.”

Tesla reported record deliveries of more than 1.8 million electric vehicles worldwide in 2023, but the value of its stock has fallen sharply this year as EV sales have slowed.

The business said it shipped 386,810 automobiles from January to March, about 9% fewer than last year. Future growth is still being determined, and convincing shareholders to support a large pay package in a growing global competition may be difficult.

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Tesla | Tesmian Image

Group Of Tesla Shareholders Ask Investors To Vote Against Musk’s Compensation Package

Last year, Tesla reduced the costs of some models by up to $20,000. The price decreases caused the prices of used electric vehicles to fall, reducing Tesla’s profit margins.

In April, Tesla said it laid off around 10% of its workforce, or 14,000 individuals

SOURCE – (AP)

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Studio Ghibli Takes A Bow At Cannes With An Honorary Palme D’Or

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Studio Ghibli | AP News Image

CANNES, France — The Cannes Film Festival honored Studio Ghibli, the Japanese cartoon factory of surreal ecological wonders that has captivated moviegoers for 39 years, with tales of Totoros, enchanted jellyfish, and floating castles, on Monday with an honorary Palme d’Or.

In the 22 years that Cannes has given out honorary Palmes, Ghibli’s prize was the first for anything other than an individual filmmaker or actor. (This year’s other winners include George Lucas and Meryl Streep.) Hayao Miyazaki, the 83-year-old animation genius who co-founded Studio Ghibli with Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki in 1985, did not attend the ceremony but spoke via video message from Japan.

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Studio Ghibli | AP News Image

Studio Ghibli Takes A Bow At Cannes With An Honorary Palme D’Or

“I don’t understand any of this,” Miyazaki replied. “But thank you.”

At Cannes, where standing ovations may last for hours, Ghibli’s envoys — Goro Miyazaki (son of Hayao) and Kenichi Yoda — received one of the festival’s most thunderous responses. Thierry Fremaux, Cannes’ creative director, walked across the platform of the Grand Théâtre Lumière to shoot the extended ovation, which he stated will be sent to Miyazaki via video.

“With this Palme d’Or, we’d like to thank you for all the magic you’ve brought to cinema,” said Iris Knobloch, the festival’s president, who presented the award.

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Studio Ghibli | AP News Image

Studio Ghibli Takes A Bow At Cannes With An Honorary Palme D’Or

The occasion was honored not with a new Ghibli picture but by four previously unreleased short films outside of Japan. “Mei and the Baby Cat Bus,” a minor sequel to Miyazaki’s 1989 film “My Neighbor Totoro,” grows the Cat Bus from that classic to a full fleet of cat conveyances, most notably the small Baby Cat Bus

The films were all created for the Studio Ghibli Museum outside Tokyo, including “Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess,” a culinary-themed desert for Miyazaki’s 2001 film “Spirited Away.” The other two—”House Hunting” and “Boro the Caterpillar”—create acoustic mini-adventures for forest critters.

Miyazaki’s long-awaited “The Boy and the Heron” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in March, so the Studio Ghibli party came soon after. (A documentary on its making, “Hayao Miyazaki and the Heron,” was also shown at Cannes.)

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Studio Ghibli | AP News Image

Studio Ghibli Takes A Bow At Cannes With An Honorary Palme D’Or

Miyazaki also sat out at the ceremony. Goro Miyazaki, whose own films include “From Up on Poppy Hill” and “Tales From Earthsea,” revealed that they had to wrap the Oscar in a hotel towel before bringing it home to his father. On Monday, he was relieved that the Cannes prize is portable.

“I’m reassured seeing the Palme d’Or was in a box,” he remarked, smiling.

SOURCE – (AP)

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