Bosch to Supply Up to Half of Motion Sensors in Future iPhones

Bosch has won orders to supply Apple with some of the motion sensors in its next range of iPhones, according to a report by Bloomberg, potentially loosening Invensense’s position as the primary supplier of the smartphone components.

California-based Invensense exclusively supplied the gyroscopes and accelerometers in the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7, but Apple’s new deal with Bosch could see the German firm supply as much as half of the motion-sensing components in Apple’s upcoming phones.



Bosch already supplies the barometric pressure sensors for the iPhone, but the deal could reflect Apple’s aim to source components from at least two suppliers to make it easier to negotiate cheaper prices.

Invensense is currently seeking to complete a $1.3 billion sale to Tokyo-based TDK Corp, which had hoped to strengthen its business with Apple as part of the deal. “We aim to become a strong player in the sensor business with InvenSense as our perfect partner,” TDK CEO Shigenao Ishiguro said in December, when the purchase agreement was first made. Shares in Invensense dipped more than 5 percent on Thursday’s news.

Apple has a major iPhone redesign planned this year, with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that includes an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor and front-facing camera. The new iPhone is expected to be sold alongside standard “S” cycle 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
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YouTube to Spend Millions Producing Free-to-View Original Content

YouTube has announced plans to produce a raft of original programming beginning this year, as the Google-owned video site moves to counter the rising tide of premium streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

The difference in YouTube’s approach to original content is that its shows will be free to view on its website and apps through an ad-supported format, rather than being tied to the company’s ad-free $9.99 YouTube Red subscription service.



The company will make a multi-million dollar investment in more than 40 original shows and movies in the next year, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. YouTube hopes that high-profile stars will feature in the content and that this will in turn attract bigger advertisers to sponsor the programming.

“We’re working with YouTube stars and big celebrities that we know have global appeal, advertiser appeal and are largely established on the platform,” Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s head of original content, said in an interview.

YouTube has signed up comedian Kevin Hart and TV host Ellen DeGeneres as its first two high-profile celebrities. Hart’s show will be a workout-based series, while DeGeneres’ program will give fans a peak backstage into the making of her talkshow.

Katy Perry and Demi Lovato also announced behind-the-scenes shows with YouTube, while TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest confirmed his involvement in a music competition called “Best.Cover.Ever”, which will debut on the site later this year.

YouTube’s original content plans were announced at the annual digital NewFronts conference in New York on Friday.

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Apple Named World’s Largest Wearables Vendor With an Estimated 3.5M Apple Watch Shipments in Q1 2017

Apple became the world’s largest wearables vendor in the first quarter of 2017 with an estimated 3.5 million Apple Watch shipments, according to new research data shared this afternoon by Strategy Analytics.

Apple Watch shipments overtook Fitbit shipments during Q1 2017, allowing Apple to capture 15.9 percent global marketshare to become the top wearables vendor. Fitbit shipped an estimated 2.9 million wearable devices during the quarter, while Apple’s closest competitor, Xiaomi, shipped an estimated 3.4 million wearable devices.

Apple’s estimated 3.5 million shipments are up from an estimated 2.2 million Apple Watch shipments in the year-ago quarter. As Apple Watch shipments have grown, Fitbit shipments have dropped sharply from an estimated 4.5 million units in Q1 2016.



Xiaomi is still close to Apple at 15.5 percent global marketshare, but has seen its shipment numbers slip while Apple’s have grown.

In the year-ago quarter, Xiaomi’s marketshare was at 20.9 percent, while Apple’s was at 12.1 percent. Fitbit, meanwhile, has dropped from 24.7 percent in Q1 2016 to 13.2 percent in Q1 2017.

Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Fitbit shipped 2.9 million wearables worldwide in Q1 2017, falling a huge 36 percent annually from 4.5 million in Q1 2016. Fitbit has lost its wearables leadership to Apple, due to slowing demand for its fitnessbands and a late entry to the emerging smartwatch market. Fitbit’s shipments, revenue, pricing and profit are all shrinking at the moment and the company has a major fight on its hands to recover this year.”

Apple does not share official Apple Watch sales numbers, instead lumping the device into its “Other Products” category that also includes the Apple TV, Beats products, iPod, and Apple-branded and third-party accessories, so Apple Watch sales numbers shared by various analytics firms are all estimates.

Revenue from “Other Products” was $2.87 billion during the second quarter of 2017 according to Apple’s recently released earnings report, up from $2.19 in the year-ago quarter. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Watch sales have nearly doubled year-over-year.

“Combine Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats and our revenue from wearable products in the last four quarters was the size of a Fortune 500 company,” said Cook.

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Puzzle Game ‘Zip-Zap’ Available for Free as Apple’s App of the Week

Puzzle game Zip-Zap has been named Apple’s App of the Week, and as a result, it is available to download for free for the next seven days. Zip-Zap is normally priced at $1.99 and this is the first time it’s been free since its September 2016 launch.

Zip-Zap is a puzzle game that asks users to solve puzzles using Rube Goldberg-style hinges and levers that are put into place via well-timed taps. There are more than 100 levels to complete, and the game has no ads or in-app purchases.



Zip-Zap will be available for free until next Thursday, when a new App of the Week will be chosen. It can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]

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