Smartphone apps processor revenue surges in quarter two

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The global smartphone applications processor (AP) market once again defied the COVID-19 pandemic and grew 20% in revenue terms to $5.8 billion in quarter two (Q2) of 2020, according to Strategy Analytics’ Handset Component Technologies (HCT) service report.

The research group says that Qualcomm, HiSilicon, Apple, MediaTek, and Samsung LSI captured the top-five revenue share spots in the global smartphone applications processor (AP) market in the quarter. Qualcomm maintained its lead of the smartphone AP market with a 32% revenue share, followed by HiSilicon with 22% and Apple with 19%.

Strategy Analytics estimates that smartphone AP shipments declined 16 percent year-on-year in Q2 2020, driven by COVID-19-led weakness. However, increased mix of higher-priced 5G APs more than offset this weakness and helped the AP market to register 20 percent year-on-year revenue growth.

Smartphone APs with on-device artificial intelligence (AI) registered strong growth even as the total market declined and accounted for 70 percent of total smartphone APs shipped in Q2 2020, up from 48 percent in Q2 2019. Top-selling smartphone AI APs include Apple A13 Bionic, Qualcomm Snapdragon 765/G and HiSilicon Kirin 990.

Stand-alone AP shipments grew 36 percent as vendors such as Qualcomm and Samsung used stand-alone AP approach to address the flagship 5G market in 2020.

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States that reopened sooner, such as Texas, Arizona and Florida, experienced summer surges, report says — ScienceDaily

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For every two deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S., a third American dies as a result of the pandemic, according to new data publishing Oct. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study, led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, shows that deaths between March 1 and Aug. 1 increased 20% compared to previous years — maybe not surprising in a pandemic. But deaths attributed to COVID-19 only accounted for 67% of those deaths.

“Contrary to skeptics who claim that COVID-19 deaths are fake or that the numbers are much smaller than we hear on the news, our research and many other studies on the same subject show quite the opposite,” said lead author Steven Woolf, M.D., director emeritus of VCU’s Center on Society and Health.

The study also contains suggestive evidence that state policies on reopening early in April and May may have fueled the surges experienced in June and July.

“The high death counts in Sun Belt states show us the grave consequences of how some states responded to the pandemic and sound the alarm not to repeat this mistake going forward,” said Woolf, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health at the VCU School of Medicine.

Total death counts in the U.S. are remarkably consistent from year to year, as the study notes. The study authors pulled data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2014 to 2020, using regression models to predict expected deaths for 2020.

The gap between reported COVID-19 deaths and all unexpected deaths can be partially explained by delays in reporting COVID-19 deaths, miscoding or other data limitations, Woolf said. But the pandemic’s other ripple effects could explain more.

“Some people who never had the virus may have died because of disruptions caused

Dow Jones Surges 300 Points as Apple iPhone Event Approaches, Cisco Stock Shakes Off Downgrade

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A winter wave of COVID-19 may be brewing in the U.S., with many states reporting distinct increases in confirmed cases. More economic stimulus may be necessary if the pandemic worsens from here, but Congress remains deadlocked on the issue. Despite all of this, the stock market was surging on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) up 1.05% at 1:05 p.m. EDT.

Tech giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the Dow’s top performer on Monday, rallying hard one day before the company is expected to announce iPhones that feature 5G technology. Shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) were also higher despite an analyst downgrade.

5G text over earth.

Image source: Getty Images.

Apple surges ahead of iPhone event

If 2020 were a normal year, Apple’s latest iPhones would have likely already launched. But supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced Apple to delay the launch by a few weeks. At an event in September, Apple unveiled new Apple Watches, iPads, and subscription services, but the iPhone was absent.

The story changes tomorrow when Apple is expected to announce its iPhone 12 lineup at an event scheduled for 10 a.m. PDT. While nothing has been confirmed about the devices so far, the new iPhones are expected to sport a new form factor, multiple display size options, and 5G connectivity.

The support for 5G may be enough to spur elevated upgrade activity from those with older iPhones, but the jury is still out on how much consumers really care about the latest wireless technology. Apple has seen strong sales of iPhones during the pandemic, partly due to the launch of the affordable iPhone SE, and partly due to economic stimulus. Whether full-priced iPhones sell as well absent additional stimulus is an open question.

Apple stock was soaring on Monday as investors looked ahead to the iPhone

When Your Last $166 Vanishes: ‘Fast Fraud’ Surges on Payment Apps

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Charee Mobley, who teaches middle school in Fort Worth, Texas, had just $166 to get herself and her 17-year-old daughter through the last two weeks of August.

But that money disappeared when Ms. Mobley, 37, ran into an issue with Square’s Cash App, an instant payments app that she was using in the coronavirus pandemic to pay her bills and do her banking.

After seeing an errant online shopping charge on her Cash App, Ms. Mobley called what she thought was a help line for it. But the line had been set up by someone who asked her to download some software, which then took control of the app and drained her account.

“I didn’t have gas money and I couldn’t pay my daughter’s senior dues,” Ms. Mobley said. “We basically just had to stick it out until I got paid the following week.”

In the pandemic, people have flocked to instant payment apps like Cash App, PayPal’s Venmo and Zelle as they have wanted to avoid retail bank branches and online commerce has become more ingrained. To encourage that shift, the payment apps have added services like debit cards and routing numbers so that they work more like traditional banks.

But many people are unaware of how vulnerable they can be to losses when they use these services in place of banks. Payment apps have long had fraud rates that are three to four times higher than traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards, according to data from the security firms Sift and Chargeback Gurus.

The fraud appears to have surged in recent months as more people use the apps. At Venmo, daily users have grown by 26 percent since last year, while the number of customer reviews mentioning the words fraud or scam has risen nearly

IBM Surges As Infrastructure Spin-Off Highlights Cloud Focus

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International Business Machines Corp.  (IBM) – Get Report shares jumped higher Thursday after the cloud-focused computer group said it would spin off its infrastructure division.

IBM said it will sell its ‘managed infrastructure services unit’, a legacy division that sits within the group’s global technology services group. The move will help concentrate IBM’s focus on hybrid cloud growth, the company said, which have been driving group earnings under new CEO Arvind Krishna.

IBM said the separation, a tax-free spin-off to IBM shareholders, will likely be completed by the end of next year.

“IBM is laser-focused on the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity. Client buying needs for application and infrastructure services are diverging, while adoption of our hybrid cloud platform is accelerating,” Krishna said. “Now is the right time to create two market-leading companies focused on what they do best. IBM will focus on its open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities. NewCo will have greater agility to design, run and modernize the infrastructure of the world’s most important organizations.”

“Both companies will be on an improved growth trajectory with greater ability to partner and capture new opportunities – creating value for clients and shareholders,” he added.

IBM shares were marked 7.5% higher in early trading following news of the division sale to change hands at $133.62 each, the highest since early June.

IBM’s second quarter cloud revenues rose 30% to $6.3 billion. as well as solid sales from its cloud and cognitive software division, following a re-focus of business operations and reporting strucures announced last year.

Free cash flow generation also impressed, growing 15% year-on-year and snapping several quarters of decline under the previous executive team, while margins and cash collections improved.