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Elon Musk Chastises Apple for 30% App Store Fees

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Elon Musk Chastises Apple for 30% App Store Fees

Elon Musk slammed Apple in a series of tweets o Twitter on Monday over its 30% App Store fees, providing Spotify and Epic Games with a powerful ally in their battle against the tech giant.

Elon Musk chastised Apple for charging software developers a fee for in-app purchases and posted a meme implying he was willing to “go to war” rather than pay the levy.

Musk also claimed that Apple had threatened to remove Twitter from its app store, though he did not elaborate.

Spotify has filed antitrust complaints against Apple in Europe, and Epic Games planned to sue Apple in the United States in 2020.

Musk, who purchased Twitter last month, has announced plans to charge users $8 per month to become verified on the social media platform to increase profitability and avoid bankruptcy. A 30% reduction would be a significant blow to those plans.

After Spotify filed an antitrust case against Apple in 2019, the European Commission has been investigating whether Apple’s rules for app developers violate its rules.

If found guilty of violating EU antitrust rules, Apple faces a fine of up to 10% of its global revenue.

Apple is “playing a dangerous game,” according to Luke Suddards, an analyst at investment insights firm Finimize, by threatening to remove Twitter from its App Store.

“If Twitter is suspended, another lawsuit could be filed. Elon Musk used the courts effectively during his Twitter acquisition, and it would not be surprising if he used the same strategy now.”

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Apple vs. Epic Games

Epic Games asked a three-judge U.S. federal appeals panel earlier this month to overturn portions of a lower court antitrust ruling that favored Apple and its App Store payment business.

Apple previously stated that the commissions it receives help it fund app reviews to ensure consumers are not exposed to fraudulent, pornographic, or privacy-invading apps.

“Apple continues to disadvantage competitors, with significant consequences for consumers, app developers, and, most recently, authors and publishers. Nothing will change unless policymakers take action. “Last month, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek posted on Twitter.

Musk, who was in the process of purchasing Twitter at the time, responded to Ek’s post with “concerning.”

However, some analysts are concerned that going to war with Apple will drive more users away from Twitter.

“While Musk seeks to rekindle the ongoing feud between Apple and developers, all of this negativity will drive Twitter users away,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst with PP Foresight.

“People are not going to abandon their iPhones… They are used to signing up for various social services but only use one phone at a time, “He stated.

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Apple threat to yank Twitter from App Store

In a series of tweets on Monday, Elon Musk accused Apple of threatening to block Twitter Inc from its app store without explaining why. He also claimed that the iPhone maker had stopped advertising on social media.

The billionaire CEO of Twitter and Tesla claimed that Apple was putting pressure on Twitter over content moderation requirements.

Apple has not confirmed the action, but it would not be unusual given that the company has routinely enforced its rules and previously removed apps such as Gab and Parler.

Apple restored Parler, popular among US conservatives, in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices, the companies said at the time.

“Apple has largely discontinued advertising on Twitter. Do Americans despise free speech? “Musk, who purchased Twitter for $44 billion last month, stated in a tweet.

In a subsequent tweet, he tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Twitter account, asking, “what’s going on here?”

Apple did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

“It wasn’t clear to me how far up the Apple food chain that idea went internally,” Randal Picker, a law professor at the University of Chicago, said.

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Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter.

According to ad measurement firm Pathmatics, the world’s most valuable company spent an estimated $131,600 on Twitter ads between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, down from $220,800 between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal.

According to an internal Twitter document, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter in the first quarter of 2022, spending $48 million and accounting for more than 4% of total revenue for the period.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report from Reuters.

The up to 30% fee Apple charges software developers for in-app purchases was among Musk’s list of grievances, with Musk posting a meme suggesting he was willing to “go to war” with Apple rather than pay the commission.

The fee has drawn criticism and lawsuits from companies such as Epic Games, the creators of ‘Fortnite,’ as well as the attention of regulators worldwide.

The commission may consider Musk’s efforts to increase subscription revenue at Twitter, partly to compensate for the exodus of advertisers due to content moderation concerns.

Since the acquisition, companies ranging from General Mills Inc (GIS.N) to luxury automaker Audi of America have stopped or paused advertising on Twitter, and Musk stated earlier this month that the company had seen a “massive” drop in revenue.

Ad sales generate roughly 90% of Twitter’s revenue.

The self-described free speech absolutist, whose company has reinstated several Twitter accounts, including that of former US President Donald Trump, in recent days, has blamed activist groups for putting pressure on advertisers.

According to Ben Bajarin, the head of consumer technologies at research firm Creative Strategies, Musk may be reading too much into a routine process Apple uses for app review.

“App review from Apple is not perfect by any means, and it is a consistently frustrating process for developers,” he said. “However, from what I hear, it is a two-way conversation.”

Elon Musk to Grants Amnesty to Suspended Accounts

Twitter to Grant “Amnesty” to Suspended Accounts

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Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

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Sony said on Tuesday that it will lose 900 jobs, or 8% of PlayStation’s global workforce.

According to a PlayStation news statement, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s layoffs will affect all regions, with its in-house London studio, which is responsible for the competitive singing video game “Singstar,” closing entirely.

“These are incredibly talented people who have contributed to our success, and we are very grateful,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “However, the industry has changed immensely, and we need to future ready ourselves to set the business up for what lies ahead.”

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

According to Bloomberg, the personnel cut comes after the business lowered its sales expectations for the year and Naomi Matsuouka, Sony’s senior vice president, stated that the PlayStation 5 console was nearing the end of its lifecycle.

Ryan stated in September that he would resign as president of Sony Group Corporation in March. Hiroki Totoki, the COO and CFO, will serve as interim CEO.

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

The incoming CEO will face an entire tech sector in turmoil, with industry giants laying off 5,500 staff in the first two weeks of 2024 alone.

Specifically, the video gaming industry has seen employment losses from 2023 into this year, with Epic Games slashing 830 workers last September and Tencent’s Riot Games laying off 11% of its workforce in January.

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

In his email to employees, Ryan echoed the leadership of those other game firms, saying, “We had to step back, look at our business holistically, and move forward focusing on the company’s long-term sustainability and delivering the best experiences possible for our community.”

Sony Group Corporation’s (SONY) stock declined less than 1% after the announcement on Tuesday.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Sideways Moon Landing Cuts Mission Short, Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – A private US lunar lander’s mission was cut short after landing sideways near the moon’s south pole. It is likely to stop operational on Tuesday.

Intuitive Machines, the Houston-based firm that developed and flew the spacecraft, announced Monday that it will continue to collect data until the solar panels no longer receive sunlight. Officials estimate this to happen early Tuesday, based on the Earth’s and moon’s positions. That falls two to three days short of the week that NASA and other clients had anticipated.

The lander, dubbed Odysseus, is the first U.S. spacecraft to land on the moon in over 50 years, carrying experiments for NASA, the primary sponsor. However, it arrived too quickly last Thursday, and the foot of one of its six legs caught on the surface, forcing it to tip over, according to company authorities.

According to photographs taken by NASA’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter, Odysseus landed within a mile (1.5 kilometres) of its planned target at the Malapert A crater, roughly 185 miles (300 kilometres) from the moon’s south pole.

The LRO shots from 56 miles (90 km) above show the lander on the surface, but it is hardly visible in the blurry images. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s camera-ejecting experiment, which was supposed to record photographs of the lander as they both dropped, was called off shortly before touchdown due to a last-minute navigation difficulty.

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Sideways Moon Landing Cuts Mission Short, Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday

According to NASA, the lander landed in a small, deteriorated crater with a 12-degree slope. That is the closest a spacecraft has ever gotten near the south pole, which is important due to probably frozen water in the permanently shadowed craters.

NASA, which intends to land astronauts in this region in the coming years, paid Intuitive Machines $118 million to bring six experiments to the surface. Other customers had things on board.

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Sideways Moon Landing Cuts Mission Short, Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday

Instead of landing upright, the 14-foot (4.3-meter) Odysseus landed on its side, limiting its connection with Earth. The overturned lander covered up some antennas, and those that remained exposed ended up near the ground, resulting in intermittent communications. The solar panels were much closer to the surface than expected, which was less than optimal given the mountainous terrain. Even in the best circumstances, Odysseus only had a week to function on the surface before the long lunar night began.

Since the 1960s, only the United States, Russia, China, India, and Japan have successfully landed on the moon, with the United States being the only one with crews. Japan’s lander also ended up on the wrong side last month.

Despite its tilted landing, Intuitive Machines was the first private company to join the privileged group. Another American company, Astrobotic Technology, attempted it last month but could not reach the moon due to a fuel leak.

moon

Sideways Moon Landing Cuts Mission Short, Private US Lunar Lander Will Stop Working Tuesday

Intuitive Machines almost failed as well. Ground teams only activated the lander’s navigational lasers after its launch from Florida on February 15. The mistake was noticed when Odysseus circled the moon, forcing flight controllers to rely on a NASA laser-navigating gadget only on board as an experiment.

As it turned out, NASA’s test lasers guided Odysseus to a nearly perfect landing, marking the first moon landing by a U.S. spacecraft since the Apollo programme.

Twelve Apollo astronauts walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972. While NASA occasionally sent satellites around the moon, the United States launched another moon-landing mission this month. Astrobotic’s aborted voyage was the first in NASA’s programme to promote commercial lunar delivery.

Both Intuitive Machines and Astrobotics have NASA contracts for additional lunar landings.

SOURCE – (AP)

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AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

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Nvidia’s market value has reached $2 trillion (£1.58 trillion), marking a new milestone in the chipmaker’s meteoric rise to the ranks of the world’s most valuable corporations.

Shares of the Silicon Valley corporation gained more than 4% in opening trading on Friday before falling slightly.

The gains built on the company’s impressive earnings announcement earlier this week.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

The company is profiting from improvements in artificial intelligence (AI), which has boosted demand for its processors.

The company’s turnover doubled last year to more than $60 billion, and CEO Jensen Huang told investors this week that demand was “surging” worldwide.

The corporation, which became worth $1 trillion less than a year ago, is now the world’s fourth most valuable publicly traded company, trailing Microsoft, Apple, and Saudi Aramco.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

After shares fell from their early Friday highs, the company’s market capitalization ended the day just under $2 trillion.

Nvidia was founded in 1993 and was originally recognized for producing computer processors that processed images, primarily for computer games.

Long before the AI revolution, it began adding capabilities to its chips that it claims to aid in machine learning, which has helped it acquire market dominance.

It is currently regarded as a vital company to monitor how quickly AI-powered technology spreads throughout the commercial world.

The firm’s stock price has more than tripled the previous year, from less than $240 per share to about $800 in midday trading on Friday.

On Thursday, the day after its earnings release, purchasers snapped up shares, boosting its value by $277 billion, the greatest one-day rise in Wall Street history.

He research has also contributed to a larger market rise, appearing to persuade investors that, as Derren Nathan of Hargreaves Lansdown put it, the AI boom is “living up to the hype”.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

“It’s being used in automotive for design, in telecommunications for network planning, and in mainstream companies to figure out and get insights into data that they haven’t been able to get before,” Bob
O’Donnell, a technology analyst based in the United States, told the BBC earlier this week.

“This is now really starting to hit the kinds of companies across the board, not just specialized tech companies and that’s a real tipping point for the industry.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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