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Supply issues cost Apple $6 billion but customers don’t care

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Apple CEO Tim Cook blamed Apple’s fall in revenue over larger-than-expected supply constraints, but experts says customers are unphased

MACRUMORS REPORTER SAMI Fathi ON TICKER NEWS

Apple revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations in its fourth quarter earnings.

However, Apple’s overall revenue was still up 29 per cent and each of its product categories grew on an annual basis.  

Cook still expects Apple to have solid growth by the end of the year. But how will it hit green as the tech giant faces more supply chain woes?

Macrumors reporter Sami Fathi told tickerNEWS Apple continues to grow, and customers will continue to stay loyal to the brand despite its challenges.

“Compared to last year, there is solid growth across the board,” he said.

iPhone sales were up 47 per cent year-over-year, but still came in under Wall Street estimates.

“They did miss expectations, but Wall Street can be pretty tough to satisfy sometimes.”

Apple’s annual revenue for its fiscal 2021 was up 33 per cent from 2020 to $366 billion.

This quarter marks the first time since April 2016 that Apple has failed to beat earnings estimates

“Mac is in this Renaissance moment”

However, Fathi says Apple is stronger than ever when it comes to its product offerings

“If you look at every product category, every single one is I think the strongest it’s ever been, if you look at the Mac, the Mac is sort of in this renaissance moment,” he said.

“Every product category is very strong. We still have the holiday quarter coming up, which is used the very solid quarter for Apple so I’m overly optimistic for what’s income.”

What about supply chain woes?

Cook said the global chip shortages is really impacting product availability and cost Apple around $6 billion in losses this quarter.

Fathi says customers are willing to wait for their new products.

“If you really think about it, in practice, a lot of customers are willing to wait very long times to get their products,” he said.

“I mean, I know people who are still waiting for their iPhones that they ordered weeks ago. So while these you know, shortages are obviously concerning, I think the broader picture is that customers are willing to wait very, very long times to get their products.”

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Russian spies release tape of secret German meeting held on WebEx

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A clandestine meeting among top German military officials has been thrust into the spotlight following the leak of a 38-minute audio tape, revealing discussions about potentially supplying Ukraine with Germany’s formidable Taurus missiles.

The tape, posted online by the head of Russian state-run broadcaster RT, has ignited controversy, unveiled sensitive Western strategies, and heightened tensions between Germany and its NATO allies.

Senior German officials have acknowledged the authenticity of the recording, which captures Air Force Commander Gen. Ingo Gerhartz and his aides deliberating over the logistics of supplying Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

The meeting, held on the WebEx platform, reportedly touched upon the possibility of Ukraine utilizing these missiles to target Russian assets, including the strategically vital Kerch Bridge connecting Russia to Crimea.

Russian espionage

The leak has not only sparked outrage in Germany but also raised concerns over the country’s susceptibility to Russian espionage.

This incident comes on the heels of the arrest of a senior officer in Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service on charges of spying for Moscow.

Despite Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s reluctance to provide Taurus missiles to Ukraine, discussions within the leaked recording revealed considerations on training Ukrainian personnel to operate the sophisticated weapon system independently. However, with the leak now public, analysts speculate that the likelihood of Germany delivering the missiles has diminished.

Russian officials swiftly condemned Germany for discussing potential attacks on Russian targets, issuing veiled threats of retaliation should Berlin escalate its involvement in the conflict.

Chancellor Scholz vowed a thorough investigation into the leak, acknowledging its seriousness and the imperative of swift action.

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Lawyers seeking $6 billion fee from Elon Musk

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The legal team responsible for voiding Elon Musk’s mammoth $56 billion compensation package is now seeking an unprecedented $6 billion in legal fees.

The three law firms involved justified their request in a filing with the Court of Chancery in Delaware, citing the monumental effort and risk involved in challenging Musk’s compensation package, which was deemed excessive by a Delaware judge in January.

“We recognise that the requested fee is unprecedented in terms of absolute size,” the firms stated, adding that the fee equates to an astronomical hourly rate of $288,888.

Musk swiftly condemned the request as “criminal,” taking to his platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to express outrage: “The lawyers who did nothing but damage Tesla want $6 billion.”

Neither Tesla nor Musk’s attorney have responded to requests for comment.

Pay packet

The legal battle stems from a lawsuit filed by shareholder Richard Tornetta in 2018, which led to the nullification of Musk’s lucrative pay package.

The electric vehicle manufacturer could be on the hook for the hefty fee as it stands to benefit from the return of Musk’s compensation, which includes a staggering 266 million shares.

“This structure has the benefit of linking the award directly to the benefit created and avoids taking even one cent from the Tesla balance sheet to pay fees,” the lawyers argued, emphasising that the fee would be tax-deductible to Tesla.

Judge Kathaleen McCormick, overseeing the case, had previously described Musk’s pay as “unfathomable” in her ruling.

However, Tesla may contest the fee, given a similar fee request in a separate case concerning pay for its directors.

Legal compensation

The proposed fee, if granted, would set a new record in legal compensation, surpassing even the $688 million awarded to attorneys in a 2008 securities fraud case involving Enron Corp.

As the Delaware Supreme Court weighs an appeal regarding a $267 million fee in a case involving Dell Technologies, the issue of attorney compensation in high-stakes litigation continues to be a subject of debate.

Critics argue that as settlements and judgments increase in size, attorneys should receive a declining percentage to prevent overcompensation.

The legal team behind the Musk case contends that their requested fee represents around 11% of the judgment.

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Google CEO condemns AI blunders in staff memo

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In response to recent controversies surrounding Google’s artificial intelligence blunders, CEO Sundar Pichai issued a memo to employees, addressing the company’s missteps and outlining plans for improvement.

The memo comes after Google faced criticism for flaws in its Gemini image-generation feature, leading to the tool being taken offline for further testing. Pichai described the issues as “problematic” and acknowledged that they “have offended our users and shown bias,” according to reports first surfaced by Semafor.

The Gemini image generator, introduced earlier this month as part of Google’s main group of AI models, allows users to input prompts to create images.

However, users discovered historical inaccuracies in the generated images, prompting widespread backlash online.

Consequently, Google removed the feature last week, stating its intention to relaunch it after addressing the issues.

Google Gemini

Pichai expressed regret over the offensive responses produced by the AI system, emphasising that such behavior is “completely unacceptable.”

He emphasised the challenges of developing AI technology, acknowledging that perfection is elusive, particularly in the nascent stages of the industry’s evolution.

Nevertheless, Pichai stressed that Google recognizes the high standards expected of them.

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