In the quarter ending June 2011, Apple spent less than $1 billion on property, plants, and equipment.
By March 2012, the number had spiked beyond $2 billion, beyond $3 billion, and approached $4 billion.
Here’s a chart he made to show what the spike looks like so far:
Here’s the the interesting part about all this massive spending.
No one outside of Apple knows where it’s going.
“The capital is being deployed almost silently and, though vast in scale, barely gets a mention from analysts,” writes Dediu. “Not even a single question has been raised at any earnings call about this spending.”
His theory is that Apple, which prefers an “integrated” approach in everything it does, will soon make more of the components inside its gadgets, like chips.
That would explain why Apple has been so busy hiring former Texas Instruments employees, for example.
The truth is, Apple is a very secret company and it doesn’t have to say, specifically, where it’s spending that money.
For all we know, it could be building TV set factories.
One thing one know for sure is the Apple is always working on products that would cannibalize its current lineup.
Maybe Apple is investing billions in a product that could kill the iPhone, like computerized glasses.
Brewster, the new contacts management app for iPhone, had a few privacy leaks on launch day yesterday.
We pressed Brewster for more details, but they would only give us this statement:
“We take privacy extremely seriously at Brewster. When we launched yesterday, we had a tremendous number of user signups, and fixed a number of problems, including scale issues and bugs.
One unfortunate problem that arose was for Foursquare users who were fans, but not friends, of other Foursquare users. Even further, Foursquare only offers the ability to be fanned to an extremely small number of users. In this case, if we had the contact information from a full Foursquare friend, we briefly displayed their contact information to fans. This happened with one user who was fans of multiple people on Foursquare.
As soon as we heard of this issue from the user, we made sure this bug was resolved immediately, and put safeguards in place to ensure it never happens again. This is the only instance we heard of this issue.
Separately, from this bug, we have also responded to questions from users related to information that they had access to from different services. For instance, a user might have a public photo available that they haven’t seen before, or a phone number rightfully accessible if connected on Foursquare. These instances are completely consistent with the access the user gives these third-party services.
Brewster strives to be a trusted personalized address book for our users. We hope this serves as an example of how seriously we take issues of privacy, how candid we will be if issues ever arise, and that our users remain a top priority.
InMobi CEO Naveen Tewari tells us that he expects his mobile ad company — which he believes operates the largest mobile ad network bar Google’s — to remain a large standalone play in the future, even though it is not yet profitable.
InMobi has about 850 employees in about 30 countries worldwide, of which 125 – 150 are in the U.S. Tewari declined to discuss revenues as the company is still private, having taken a $200 million investment from SoftBank last year.
“We think this could be a standalone company,” Tewari said when asked if he believed InMobi would be acquired. Growth has been “so fast and so large, we’re one of only a handful of players that exists in this space” at scale, he said. InMobi serves 93.4 billion impressions monthly, across the planet.
But the company is not yet running a profit, Tewari said. “We are in investment mode so we’re concentrating on that. We have internal targets but we’d rather keep it that way.”
Profits have proven elusive among the large-scale mobile ad network providers. Both Velti and Millennial Media are also currently running at a loss.
If you’ve ever wondered why people write malware, it’s just like anything else – it’s all about the money. Symantec has worked out that the evil-doing bottom-feeders behind that nasty Flashback Trojan, which caught the Mac world with its pants down, were raking in around $10,000 a day.
Apparently Flashback was cheating Google out of ad money on a colossal scale, redirecting clicks and banking the cash. With 100,000s of users unknowingly infected, all those tiny 5p clicks quickly added up, and that was just one variant of the Trojan.
With that much money on the line it’s no wonder Macs have become a target – Windows users are supposedly wiser to these kinds of things. In theory it’s a lot easier, once you’ve actually managed to get onto a Mac, to hide-out there earning serious money. Now that they’ve successfully proved Macs are vulnerable, and made a hatful of money in the process, don’t expect the Mac to escape Windows-style virus hell – where there’s a will, there’s a way. [Symantec via MacWorld UK]
Image by Images of Money under Creative Commons license
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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