MediaFile

Apple secrets at center of insider trading case

APPLE/The blockbuster insider trading case that shook Silicon Valley and Wall Street on Thursday likely gave Steve Jobs, Apple’s famously secretive CEO, a healthy case of heartburn this morning.

Four people were arrested on charges of leaking tech secrets to hedge funds–including details about Apple’s iPad months before Jobs took the tablet computer onstage with him to formally show off to the world.

According to the complaint, in October of last year, Walter Shimoon — who worked for Apple supplier Flextronics — was recorded in a phone conversation leaking information that tech geeks around the world lust for.

The complaint said that in 2009 Apple informed Flextronics about a “highly secretive project being developed that was internally known at Apple as ‘K48′”– which turned out to be the iPad.

Snippets from Shimoon’s taped phone conversation, as laid out in the complaint:

A “completely new” iPad, says Jobs, for the holidays

APPLE/The iPad will have just a smattering of competition for the holiday season, but nonetheless, Steve Jobs says he is basically reinventing Apple’s tablet as consumers prepare to hit the stores over the next five weeks.

Apple on Monday announced the latest software update for the iPad, bringing multitasking, AirPrint and a few other goodies to the touchscreen tablet.  While these features are certainly nice (they came to the iPhone earlier this year), Jobs took it a bit further. And he of course didn’t pass up an opportunity to smack his tablet rivals, which include Samsung and Research in Motion.

“iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season,” Jobs said in a news release. “Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.”

Adobe CEO on Apple: “Let the games begin”

MEDIA-SUMMIT/The war between Apple and Adobe, which revolves around the use of Adobe’s Flash software on devices like the iPhone and iPad, has simmered down to a low boil, but it certainly hasn’t gone away. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen turned up at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, and the first question out the gate from the interviewer was about — what else? — Apple.

Although Narayen said the media is doing its part to help fuel the spat, he sounded anything but conciliatory:

“There’s a war happening for developers … Adobe has always been about helping people create content for multiple devices, multiple platforms … Apple and Adobe are on different sides of that point of control.”

Yahoo Chief slams Apple’s iAd

jobsiad2You might think from listening to most of the world’s iPhone, iPad, i-everthingelse enthusiasts that Steve Jobs and Apple can do no wrong, but not everybody is in agreement. 

In a bout of clear anti-i sentiment, Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo, scorned the notion that her company should follow in Apple’s footsteps with a service similar to iAd, the mobile advertising platform Apple unveiled this year. 

 ”That’s going to fall apart for them,” Bartz said in an meeting with Reuters reporters Wednesday. 
She suggested that advertisers will balk on Apple’s efforts to exert full Jobsean control over the ads. She kindly conceded that Apple’s effort is “ok for experimentation.” 

from Summit Notebook:

Dell: stay tuned for “Streak”

It's hard to tell how much anticipation there is out there for Dell's upcoming "Streak" micro-tablet. The No. 3 PC maker's latest foray into a consumer arena that Apple's iPad has essentially helped create is set to hit stores this summer in the United States.

Consumer business unit chief Steve Felice told the Reuters Global Technology Summit that Dell isn't interested in becoming the No. 1 player in the smartphone and tablet mobile devices categories, where Apple and Google are waging a very high-profile war. But the former leader in personal computers fully intends to be a "top-tier player".

streak1"We look at this whole thing as an experience between the computer and the remote device. We still view these as complementary devices," he said.

“The Cloud” overhyped? Brocade says not there for business yet

Say it’s not so — ‘the cloud’ isn’t ready for prime time? That’s the view from networking company Brocade, whose marketing chief compared the hype to the rush years ago to call center outsourcing.

All those applications and data that live off your computer somewhere in the Internet make up the cloud, from Google word processing software to your home pictures and video, and it is hot, hot, hot. But Brocade chief marketing officer John McHugh told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco that big business was not ready to embrace it for sensitive data and the most important applications.

SUMMIT/TECH

“There’s lots of issues. They’re being skirted over because they are really tough and there are no obvious solutions for them today,” he said. It will take “years” before big companies do that with important data, he said.

Apple’s Jobs: “Butterflies” and more jabs at Google

jobs1The media and industry analysts gathered at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Thursday got a heavy dose of commentary from CEO Steve Jobs on a range of subjects, representing probably his biggest mouthful in a single setting since returning from medical leave last summer.

In a session that lasted more than 90-minutes, including Q&A with reporters, a clearly energized Jobs expounded on the iPhone’s new system software, his nerves ahead of the iPad launch, Apple’s new role as a peddler of mobile advertising, and of course Google, the company’s nemesis du jour.

Jobs announced Apple new iAd platform, which thrusts the company into a small but fast-growing market where Google also has designs.  But Jobs made clear that his company had no plans to become a “worldwide ad agency,” and he acknowledged that Apple was indeed pursuing AdMob when Google swooped in to buy the mobile ad firm:

IPad pre-orders begin, and so does the speculation

ipadApple began accepting pre-orders for the iPad tablet this morning, around three weeks ahead of the April 3 launch date in the U.S.  Only the WiFi version of the tablet will be available on that date, with the 3G version shipping later in April.

Apple is limiting pre-orders to two devices per customer, which one prominent Apple blog said suggested the company is stretched thin on supply. Analysts over the past two weeks have noted some hiccups in iPad production.

Here’s Oppenheimer & Co analyst Yair Reiner in a research note earlier this week:

Apple blocks iPad shipment info, report says

ipadpicApple is apparently leaving nothing to chance when it comes to protecting information about its soon-to-be-released iPad tablet computer.

According to a new report by Trade Privacy LLC, a trade data protection company, Apple has blocked all of its ocean freight import records from public view as the company prepares for the much bally-hooed launch of the iPad.  Apple’s trade data is inaccessible from U.S. Customs, the group said.

“As the arrival of Apple’s new iPad approaches, industry competitors as well as the media will be unable to acquire early intelligence on arriving Apple products from overseas manufacturers,” Trade Privacy said in a press release.

Apple: AT&T a “great” partner (but will they get the tablet?)

appleiphoneFew relationships in the technology world are as closely scrutinized as that between iPhone maker Apple and its exclusive U.S. carrier, AT&T. Complaints about AT&T and its network have reached a crescendo in recent months, and most analysts believe it is only a matter of time before rival Verizon Wireless gets the iPhone, perhaps as early as this June.

When Apple executive were asked about AT&T on a conference call Monday — following its strong December quarter results — Apple executives played nice, to no one’s surprise

“AT&T is a great partner,” said Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.  He continued: “in the vast majority of locations we think that iPhone customers are having a great experience, from the research that we have done. As you know, AT&T has acknowledged that they are having some issues in a few cities and they have very detailed plans to address these. We have reviewed these plans and we have very high confidence they will make significant progress towards fixing them.”