Apple gets a taste of the billion actives

So it’s very likely that the total Apple user base is between 900 and 1 billion. If it’s not 1 billion now then it’s very likely it will be 1 billion within 12 months.

Write Horace Dediu

This is a big milestone. You can technically understand why iMessage doesn’t need to come to Android. It’s Apple’s apple only social network and has a base of 1B potentials.

What are the other potential implications?


On the Apple supply chain news

AMS AG, an Austria-based maker of light sensors for smartphones, became at least the fourth key supplier to the U.S. company this week to reduce revenue estimates for the current quarter. The spate of warnings, coupled with underwhelming earnings from main iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., underscore concerns about weak demand for Apple’s bread-and-butter device.

Writes Mark Gurman on Bloomberg

Why isn’t anyone speculating that Apple might be building the faceID technology in house? It seems like something they’d like to own and secure, given their track record. 

So, my wild prediction — Apple cut down its components from suppliers because it’s likely building similar technology on its own.



How did Pence attend this meeting without his wife in tow? :O 

Pot calling kettle – white?

Vice President Mike Pence had strong words for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi at a regional summit being held in Singapore, calling out her country’s brutal military campaign against minority Rohingya Muslims and the imprisonment of two prominent journalists.

Emily Sullivan reports for NPR


Go edition as the default…

Android Messages App for Android (Go edition) is now ~50 percent smaller in size and the Phone App includes caller ID and spam detection.


Whenever I read that Go edition / Lite edition apps are so much smaller and faster and data friendly, I always wonder — why is that not the default for everyone? Wouldn’t everyone stand to benefit from removing bloat?


Product Visionary vs. Product Leader | Casey Accidental

What does a product leader do at a tech company? It’s actually very little of creating a vision and a strategy from scratch. It’s about helping everyone understand what the vision and strategy is. It’s about communicating to the entire team why the company is doing what it is doing. It’s about building a process that helps a team execute on that vision. It’s about when there are competing visions, aligning and motivating the team to focus on one, and getting people to disagree and commit (including sometimes yourself). It’s about looking at data to measure if product changes are having a positive impact on the customer and the company’s growth. It’s about talking to users to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and the problems they still face even though your product exists. It’s about mentoring more junior people on your team, across product as well as engineering, design, and analytics. And they don’t have to listen to you, so you have to use influence rather than authority to be successful.

via Product Visionary vs. Product Leader | Casey Accidental


Whatsapp, e2e encryption and the Government

When rumours and fake news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability. If they remain mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action.

via Whatsapp told to find more effective solutions

The demands to lift e2e encryption on Whatsapp and other platforms continue to increase. This is not a good thing. Whatsapp has issued a statement that they will preserve e2e encryption:

“We remain deeply committed to people’s privacy and security, which is why we will continue to maintain end-to-end encryption for all of our users,” the company said


This got me thinking what the actual brouhaha is about. The truth is: Facebook doesn’t have to stop the e2e encryption to actually determine / help the authorities from accessing the unencrypted content of Whatsapp messages. There are 2 key parts for the Government to get access to messages:

  • Metadata collected by Facebook (phone numbers, groups and phone numbers in groups)
  • Backups of Whatsapp messages to iCloud / Google Drive

Metadata from Whatsapp > Facebook: Facebook already collects metadata from Whatsapp messages. And knows which phone numbers communicate with whom and which phone numbers are members of groups. (Facebook also uses this to aggressively grow their own social graph in Whatsapp-popular countries like India.)

Backups of Whatsapp messages to online cloud: If you notice, Whatsapp has been aggressively pushing backup of messages recently. Apart from the user benefit of backing up Whatsapp messages, photos etc., it adds an interesting dynamic:

Whatsapp FAQ (Restoring your chat history)

Media and messages you back up aren’t protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption while in Google Drive.

On iOS

Media and messages you back up aren’t protected by WhatsApp end-to-end encryption while in iCloud.

So, the merits of e2e encryption is lost even if one of the folks in your group is backing up their content because the Government can easily request the metadata and then just look for backups of the content from any of the phone numbers associated with a group.

If you are really using Whatsapp for e2e encryption, beware of what’s promised. Try using Signal instead.


Qualcomm Expects Apple to Ditch Its Modems for the Next iPhones

Qualcomm Inc. Chief Financial Officer George Davis said Apple Inc. likely won’t use its cellular modems in the next iPhones, cutting the chip maker out of one of the consumer electronics industry’s best-selling products.

via Qualcomm Expects Apple to Ditch Its Modems for the Next iPhones – Bloomberg

Hmm, interesting. FWIW, I wonder if Intel has the necessary technology to make all-band modems. So far they didn’t. This is why the AT&T version of the product was different from the Verizon version of the product.

Maybe all-LTE solves it?


7. What is money good for…

7. What is money good for? Distance. It buys you distance from everyone else. But normal human beings like to be near other human beings. We are a social species. So not only can’t money buy you happiness, it can buy you a lot of isolation and that’s not happy. You’ll likely be happier living in the middle of the noisy messy world than all alone at the end of a long driveway in the middle of nowhere.

Dave Winer’s advice to the new millionaires in Silicon Valley owing to the Facebook IPO.