Apple Watch to Get Cellular
The Cupertino company is reportedly set to release a watch that will operate independently from the iPhone.
Editor’s Remarks: The much-anticipated Apple Watch initially launched in 2015 and drew a lot of attention. But users had to be connected wirelessly to their phones in order to stream music or send messages. According to reports, the upcoming iteration of the device, using modems provided by Intel, will be able to connect directly to cellular networks, cutting its tie to the iPhone. Apple is apparently set to launch the device at the end of the year, but the number of networks able to support it might be limited at first. The company is in talks with all big carriers to provide the infrastructure for the watch. With Jawbone having exited the wearables business, and with Google Gear not really catching on, Apple has done well in the market, but the Apple Watch has not yet been seen as a transformative device. With independent cellular connectivity, though, maybe that’s about to change. It should at least drive new sales for the tech giant.
The UN Hits North Korea on Exports
The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on North Korea’s exports over its ballistic missile tests last month.
Editor’s Remarks: The move could slash the country’s $3bn annual export revenues by a third. The Council’s vote was unanimous, which means even Russia and China, which have been more lenient towards North Korea, voted for the sanctions. On the face of it, this translates into a victory for Donald Trump, who has been very vocal in his criticism of Pyongyang, and the sanctions could also mean that Trump’s pressurising China to rein in North Korean might finally be showing results. However, with the Hermit Kingdom’s tight control of the press and information, little is known about its leader’s plans or his reaction to the news. As it stands right now, the country is at odds with the US and also with Japan, its Asian enemy. It has the capacity to use its new missiles against Japan and maybe the US. Whether Kim Jong-un will cede ground and show restraint remains to be seen.
May’s Price for Brexit: €40bn
UK leaders are reportedly willing to pay the hefty price tag to settle the country’s departure from the EU.
Editor’s Remarks: Britain would pay €10bn a year and settle the rest at the end of the Brexit process. The government is apparently also seeking a trade agreement as part of the deal. However, the figure has not been agreed with Brussels, and it is under their reported €60bn asking price, and No 10 has denied the €40bn rumours. Theresa May’s government is also battling growing internal problems. The country’s economy has started to slow down, and companies across industries have put their investment plans on hold, waiting for more clarity on the Brexit process and its consequences. London’s financial sector might have to pay billions of pounds in order to relocate to other parts of the EU, and Frankfurt and Dublin are in pole position to win jobs and business from Brexit London.
Google Moves into Snapchat’s Territory
The company plans to launch a product similar to Snapchat’s Discover.
Editor’s Remarks: Stamp would present articles in a magazine-style format and has evolved from Google’s fast article loading product, AMP. The AMP has allowed Google to develop relationships with publishers and it will use those relationships for Stamp. Snap, the owner of Snapchat, is now being attacked from all sides. The company saw Facebook launch Stories, a product very similar to Snapchat, and now it has to battle competition from Google, too. Snap’s shares closed at a new record low on Friday, and the company has to find a way to convince shareholders and analysts that it can innovate, or it might end up being the Yahoo! of social media.
The US Buys 2 Boeing 747s for Air Force One
The new planes, which need to be adapted serve the US president, will be ready in 2024.
Editor’s Remarks: The planes seem to have been originally meant for Russia. Boeing had a deal to sell the 747s to Russian carrier Transaero Airlines, but they were not delivered before the airline closed its gates in 2015. The US managed to buy the planes at a discount. Trump has been criticising the deal the government had with Boeing, threatening to cancel it if he couldn’t get more competitive prices. While the value of the discount was not made public as part of the deal, the jets carry a catalogue price of $386.8m per unit. Trump will not be able to use these, however, unless he wins a second mandate, something he is likely to achieve only with the help of an increasingly hostile Republican Party.