Apple’s HomePod: Paying $350 for a speaker that says “no” this much is tough

Jeff Dunn

What is this thing?

That, in essence, is the question most onlookers have asked about Apple’s HomePod speaker since its unveiling last summer. The natural inclination is to compare it to smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. It’s a speaker with a talking assistant in it, the thinking goes. Apple just wants a piece of that growing pie.

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apple – Ars Technica

Qualcomm fined €1 billion by the EU for paying off Apple

Qualcomm was slapped with a €997 million ($ 1.2 billion) fine by the EU. The chipset company paid Apple to shun competitors between 2011 and 2016. According to the European Court, “billions of dollars” were involved in the deal for the 4G chips in iPhones and iPads. Margrethe Vestager, EU Competition Commissioner, said the deal meant that “no rival could effectively challenge Qualcomm in this market, no matter how good their products were”. The agreement between Qualcomm and Apple shut out mostly Intel, who supply iDevices since the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Vestager…

GSMArena.com – Latest articles

EU fines Qualcomm $1.2 billion for paying Apple to not use rival manufacturers’ LTE chips

As rumored earlier today, the EU announced a 997 million euro fine to be imposed on Qualcomm, approximately $ 1.2 billion dollars, which makes cellular baseband chips inside most iPhones. The EU says Qualcomm bribed Apple with billions of dollars in rebate payments to make Apple not use chips from competing manufacturers, reducing competition from other manufacturers in the LTE baseband chip industry.

The fine is a hefty levy against Qualcomm’s bottom line, which recorded $ 20 billion in total revenue last year, although it is subject to appeal so the final number might be less.

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9to5Mac

Airbnb will now let you book by paying 50 percent in advance

Airbnb is introducing a new way for users to pay for rentals, letting them reserve accommodation by paying 50 percent upfront and 50 percent before they arrive. The feature, called Pay Less Up Front, effectively lets customers stagger the cost of accommodation — perfect if you’re managing a budget but want to make sure you don’t lose the rental for your upcoming holiday.

Before this feature was introduced, rentals had to be paid for 100 percent upfront. Airbnb says it hopes the feature will encourage customers to pick pricier accommodation.

There are some requirements though: the rental has to be booked 14 days before check-in, and must cost at least $ 250. Airbnb also notes that the split between paying now and paying later is usually…

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The Verge – All Posts

Spotify now has 70M paying subscribers

Spotify might be having some legal trouble, but its userbase is growing handsomely. Earlier today the music platform updated its About page with more recent paying subscribers count – 70 million, as of January 2018. This is nearly half of all active users, which were 140 million as of June 2017. Hello 70 million subscribers 👏— Spotify (@Spotify) January 4, 2018 Currently available in 61 markets and expanding, Spotify offers 30 million songs and has over 2 billion playlists which form a unique algorithm that provides relevant music to all the paying users. The 70 million…

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