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Apple's Phil Schiller Takes the Stand in Epic Games v. Apple Trial...
49 minutes ago
Today marked the kickoff of the third week of the Epic Games v. Apple trial, and this week is notable because Epic has finished with its witnesses and we're now transitioning to Apple witnesses, including notable Apple executives. Apple Fellow and former marketing chief Phil Schiller, who is in charge of the App Store, took the stand today. Schiller will testify for up to nine hours, and will see the most questioning out of all of Apple's witnesses. Schiller's hours of commentary will see him explaining just how the App Store works, the value of the App Store and Apple's SDKs, and why it's important that the judge side with Apple to maintain security and privacy for customers. Questioning today started with the history of the iPhone, where Schiller made sure to say that security and privacy were the "most important" considerations when developing the iPhone. "This new computing device in your pocket means it's capable of new things," he said. "It's going to store information around our lives that we aren't used to having in our pocket." Schiller covered how the App Store was set up from the beginning. The iPhone's software is "part of the product" that Apple creates, which is very different from Android, which is licensed to device makers. This licensing model "reduces quality" and the "speed of innovation," Schiller said in defense of Apple's setup. Early questioning covered the transition from Apple-only apps on iPhone to third-party app support, and the security and privacy risks that Apple had to contend with. After the launch of the iPhone, Apple heard from developers that they wanted to create native apps, which Apple viewed as the first "demand for quality and security" on iPhone. Apple has always been concerned about jailbroken apps and rogue app developers creating content without documented APIs, which could lead to "unreliable, unstable devices." He pointed out the importance of protecting users from malware to keep devices functioning. "This is your phone in your pocket that needs to work reliably," he said. Schiller has also been speaking about Apple's App Store policy to treat developers large and small the same, and his testimony has included some interesting little tidbits. Apple wanted to charge $99 for the App Store developer program to prove that an app that's being worked on is "important" and that developers are "serious about making a quality app." Notably, Schiller said that it costs Apple $50 million for every Worldwide Developers Conference event that it puts on annually. We'll undoubtedly hear additional interesting details from Schiller as his testimony continues, and later this week or early next week Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to take the stand.Tags: Phil Schiller, Epic Games, Fortnite, Epic Games vs. AppleThis article, "Apple's Phil Schiller Takes the Stand in Epic Games v. Apple Trial" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums......
Google Planning to Take 'Baby Step' Approach to New Privacy Features for Users...
4 hours ago
Google is facing internal concerns that implementing an Android equivalent of Apple's ATT or App Tracking Transparency framework, which offers iOS and iPadOS users the ability to opt-out of tracking across apps and websites, will hurt its more than $130 billion annual spending budget for ads, according to a new report from The Information. According to the report that cites sources within Google, the internet giant is "accelerating work to limit how app developers can track the 2.5 billion people who use phones powered by its Android software." Apple previewed ATT at its Worldwide Developers Conference last year, but it only recently shipped to iOS and iPadOS users. At every WWDC, the company unveils new versions of its operating systems, including new privacy features and protection for users. Tomorrow, Google will be holding Google I/O, where similarly, it will preview a new version of Android and reveal other new technologies. However, according to the report, Google plans to take a "baby step" approach to new privacy features during its conference, only previewing minor new changes. Google will take a baby step regarding phone privacy this week during its annual developer conference. There it plans to preview coming privacy controls that will make it easier for smartphone users to reach a settings screen where they can restrict apps’ abilities to access the phone’s camera, location and other permissions, according to a person who has seen the planned presentation.Google's resistance to implementing an Android version of ATT could be fueled by backlash Apple faced in the run-up and even after the new framework was enacted. Major companies such as Facebook voiced concerns that the new framework presented a threat to its ad business, given that most users are likely to opt out of tracking. Apple continuously responded to concerns by echoing its firm belief that giving users a choice on whether they wish to be tracked or not is the right thing to do. Tags: Android, App Tracking TransparencyThis article, "Google Planning to Take 'Baby Step' Approach to New Privacy Features for Users" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums......
Twitch announce worldwide rollout of new lower ‘Local Subscription’ prices...
6 hours ago
The change will affect existing subs, new subs, and gifted subs The post Twitch announce worldwide rollout of new lower ‘Local Subscription’ prices appeared first on NME.......
Clubhouse For Android Is Rolling Out Worldwide This Week: Where & When...
8 hours ago
Following the launch of its Android app in the US and English-speaking countries last week, Clubhouse is rolling the app out worldwide this week.......
FilmSharks Snags Argentine Horror Sensation, ‘History of the Occult’ (EXCLUSIVE)...
8 hours ago
Worldwide and remake rights to Argentine political horror pic, “History of the Occult,” has been snapped up by leading Buenos Aires-based sales and production company, FilmSharks International. According to FilmSharks’ CEO Guido Rud, advanced talks are underway with a streaming giant while a major U.S. genre producer is eyeing it for a remake, which FilmSharks […]......
AT&T to Spin Off WarnerMedia in Merger With Discovery...
8 hours ago
AT&T announced Monday that it was spinning off WarnerMedia into an independent company that will merge with Discovery Inc. The all-stock deal will create an entertainment juggernaut that seeks to rival Netflix and Disney, and puts the likes of Warner Bros., CNN, Turner and Discovery’s stable of non-fiction networks under one roof — as well as two competing streaming services, Discovery+ and HBO Max. It also combines WarnerMedia’s U.S. sports rights like the NBA, MLB and March Madness with Discovery international sports giant Eurosport. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and a vote by Discovery shareholders, is anticipated to close in mid-2022. Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will receive $43 billion (that’s subject to adjustment) in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt, and AT&T’s shareholders will receive stock representing 71% of the new company. Discovery shareholders will own 29% of the new company. The boards of directors at both companies have approved the merger. Speaking of the boards, the new company’s board of directors will consist of 13 members. Seven will initially be appointed by AT&T, including the chairperson of the board. Discovery will initially appoint 6 members, including CEO David Zaslav. The combined company’s anticipated 2023 revenue is approximately $52 billion. The merger should bring about “at least” $3 billion annually in cost savings via synergies, the companies said. That typically means layoffs are coming. The surprising deal marks a stunning reversal for AT&T, who is walking away from the content business less than years after it acquired what was then Time Warner for $85 billion. Discovery CEO David Zaslav will lead the new company as its CEO, with WarnerMedia boss Jason Kilar will be in charge of the company’s streaming push. Kilar, who led Hulu during the early days of the streaming industry, was named CEO last year. “This agreement unites two entertainment leaders with complementary content strengths and positions the new company to be one of the leading global direct-to-consumer streaming platforms,” AT&T CEO John Stankey said in a statement on Monday. “It will support the fantastic growth and international launch of HBO Max with Discovery’s global footprint and create efficiencies which can be re-invested in producing more great content to give consumers what they want. For AT&T shareholders, this is an opportunity to unlock value and be one of the best capitalized broadband companies, focused on investing in 5G and fiber to meet substantial, long-term demand for connectivity. AT&T shareholders will retain their stake in our leading communications company that comes with an attractive dividend. Plus, they will get a stake in the new company, a global media leader that can build one of the top streaming platforms in the world.” “During my many conversations with John, we always come back to the same simple and powerful strategic principle: these assets are better and more valuable together,” Zaslav added. “It is super exciting to combine such historic brands, world class journalism and iconic franchises under one roof and unlock so much value and opportunity. With a library of cherished IP, dynamite management teams and global expertise in every market in the world, we believe everyone wins…consumers with more diverse choices, talent and storytellers with more resources and compelling pathways to larger audiences, and shareholders with a globally scaled growth company committed to a strong balance sheet that is better positioned to compete with the world’s largest streamers. We will build a new chapter together with the creative and talented WarnerMedia team and these incredible assets built on a nearly 100-year legacy of the most wonderful storytelling in the world. That will be our singular mission: to focus on telling the most amazing stories and have a ton of fun doing it.” The two executives hosted a conference call at 7:30 a.m. ET, though they pretty much just reiterated their above remarks. The deal comes as HBO Max continues its rollout since its launch a year ago, offering all of Warner Bros.’ 2021 films the same day they are released in theaters with plans to introduce a cheaper ad-supported tier later this year. The service will also be launched worldwide in June. Combined with HBO, the service has accumulated over 44 million subscribers, adding 2.7 million this past quarter. Discovery+, meanwhile, was launched in January, accumulating 13 million subscribers with its offering of unscripted original programming as well as streaming on-demand of hit shows on the companies’ networks like “Fixer Upper” and “Deadliest Catch.” The coupling of WarnerMedia and Discovery immediately becomes one of largest players in Hollywood — topped only by Disney — and joins together two of the biggest streaming newcomers. Together, WarnerMedia and Discovery garnered more than $41 billion in ad sales in 2020, with an operating profit above $10 billion. It is unknown what the fate of the two streaming services. This new company could bundle the two in the same way Disney offers a discount for those who buy all three of its streaming services: Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. A merger or bundling partnership of the two streamers would be the latest phase in a growing trend of media consolidation following Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox in 2019 and Discovery’s own purchase of Scripps Networks the year prior for $14.6 billion. WarnerMedia has undergone multiple restructurings in its three years under AT&T, and now figures to see its organization flowchart change yet again. For Zaslav, the deal puts him atop one of the biggest players in Hollywood and cements an already-impressive legacy for one of the industry’s biggest titans, as well as that of Liberty Global CEO John Malone, one of Discovery’s biggest shareholders. Since taking over last summer as CEO of AT&T, John Stankey has unwound some of his predecessor’s biggest deals. In February, AT&T spun off its video assets including struggling satellite provider DirecTV in a $7.8 billion deal with TPG Capital. AT&T bought DirecTV in 2015 for $49 billion, just before the pay-TV bundle was about to start an irreversible decline. AT&T took on hefty amounts of debt to complete its purchase of Time Warner. The announcement comes ahead of the May Upfront Week, when the broadcast networks and some of the top cable channels present their new programming and fall schedules to advertisers. Discovery is set to present on Tuesday, with WarnerMedia going on Wednesday.......
RMVISTAR Takes Rights to Caribbean Mystery Thriller ‘Jupía’ (EXCLUSIVE)...
10 hours ago
RMVISTAR, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has secured worldwide rights to mystery-laced film “Jupía” from producer and co-writer Leticia Tonos. The film stars Julietta Rodriguez, who appeared in “La Hija Natural” and “El Hombre que cuida,” alongside David Maler, whose credits include “La Familia Reyna” and “Reinbou.” Rodriguez is also a co-producer […]......
AT&T Enters Merger Talks for Entertainment Assets With Discovery...
1 day ago
AT&T and Discovery Inc. have reportedly entered talks for a potential merger of entertainment assets in a move that could alter the ongoing competition between streaming services. Bloomberg reports that the early talks could see the companies bring their vast entertainment portfolios together, with AT&T’s WarnerMedia owning networks like HBO, CNN, TNT, TBS and the HBO Max streaming service while Discovery brings its own streaming service, Discovery+, along with networks like HGTV, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Food Network and TLC. It is unclear how large the scope of the potential merger would be or if it would impact the two fledgling streamers. The rise of multiple streaming services has led to bundle offers like Disney’s package of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ while others have merged entirely, as the WWE Network shut down in the U.S. last month and moved its live and archived content to NBCUniversal’s Peacock. A deal could be announced as early as this week, possibly during this week’s annual television upfronts. Discovery is scheduled to hold its presentation on Tuesday while WarnerMedia will hold its presentation on Wednesday. Reps for AT&T and Discovery did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment. The deal comes as HBO Max continues its rollout since its launch a year ago, offering all of Warner Bros.’ 2021 films the same day they are released in theaters with plans to introduce a cheaper ad-supported tier later this year. The service will also be launched worldwide in June. Combined with HBO, the service has accumulated over 44 million subscribers, adding 2.7 million this past quarter.Discovery+, meanwhile, was launched in January, accumulating 13 million subscribers with its offering of unscripted original programming as well as streaming on-demand of hit shows on the companies’ networks like “Fixer Upper” and “Deadliest Catch.” A merger or bundling partnership of the two streamers would be the latest phase in a growing trend of media consolidation following Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox in 2019 and Discovery’s own purchase of Scripps Networks the year prior for $14.6 billion.The move also would be a reversal of AT&T’s recent efforts to offload assets in order to reduce debt after acquiring Time Warner for $85 billion. Part of that effort was a 30% sale of DirecTV to equity firm TPG for $7.8 billion, six years after the company acquired the satellite TV provider for $49 billion.Related stories from TheWrap:AT&T Earnings: 'Godzilla vs Kong' and NCAA March Madness Lift Q1 RevenuesAT&T to Launch Ad-Supported HBO Max in June, Sets Much Loftier Subscriber GoalAT&T to Spin Off DirecTV in $7.8 Billion Deal With TPG Capital......
Clubhouse will make its Android app available worldwide in a week...
1 day ago
Clubhouse now expects its Android app to be available worldwide within a week after limiting it to US beta testers.......