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Apple Aims for 10% Growth in iPhone 16 Shipments in 2024

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Apple Inc. is setting its sights on a significant increase in iPhone 16 shipments for the latter half of this year as it targets at least 90 million units, according to sources familiar with the matter.

This represents a 10% growth compared to the 81 million iPhone 15 devices shipped in the same period last year, reflecting the company’s confidence in the demand for its new lineup powered by advanced AI services.

Despite a challenging 2023, particularly in the Chinese market, Apple is optimistic that the integration of new Apple Intelligence features will drive consumer interest and boost sales.

The company’s projections suggest a potential rebound in 2024, even as it faces stiff competition from AI-enhanced smartphones by rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Xiaomi Corp.

The upbeat forecast comes after a tough year where Apple struggled to maintain its foothold in China, a market disrupted by Huawei Technologies Co.’s Mate 60 Pro, which gained popularity due to its advanced, locally-produced 7-nanometer processor.

However, recent trends indicate a resurgence in demand for Apple’s iconic handsets, aided by a series of strategic discounts and promotional activities, especially around major shopping events like the “618” festival in June.

Apple’s projections have already had a positive impact on its stock, which surged as much as 1.8% to a record high of $232.74 following the news.

The stock has seen a 19% increase this year to date, underscoring investor confidence in the company’s growth strategy.

In the broader smartphone market, overall shipments declined by 3.2% last year, according to IDC. Yet, Apple managed to buck the trend with a 3.7% increase in sales.

This resilience, coupled with the anticipated AI enhancements in the iPhone 16, is expected to further strengthen Apple’s market position.

The integration of AI is a critical component of Apple’s strategy to differentiate its products and enhance user experience.

The company has been playing catch-up in the AI domain, recently announcing a partnership with OpenAI to incorporate AI features into its devices.

However, challenges remain, particularly in navigating stringent AI policies in China, where the availability of services like ChatGPT is restricted.

Beyond AI, Apple faces broader challenges in its largest market outside the US.

Chinese government agencies and state-backed firms have increasingly mandated the use of local devices over foreign alternatives, reflecting Beijing’s push to reduce dependence on imported technology amid escalating US-China tech tensions.

In addition to market dynamics, Apple is contending with legal and regulatory hurdles in China.

The company recently petitioned the Supreme People’s Court to remove references to its “dominant position” in a lower court decision related to app revenue disputes, highlighting the complex regulatory environment it operates in.

Despite these challenges, Apple remains committed to its growth targets and innovation-led strategy. By leveraging AI and continuing to enhance its product offerings, the company aims to sustain its competitive edge and achieve its ambitious shipment goals for the iPhone 16.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Fintech

Flutterwave Celebrates Inclusion in CNBC’s Top 250 Global Fintechs

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Flutterwave has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Fintech companies globally by CNBC and Statista.

Joining the ranks of industry giants like Ali Pay, Klarna, Piggyvest, and Mastercard, this accolade underscores Flutterwave’s impact on the financial technology sector.

This honor follows Flutterwave’s recent inclusion in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, highlighting the company’s pivotal role in transforming Africa’s payment landscape.

The recognition is a testament to Flutterwave’s dedication to innovation and excellence in providing seamless payment solutions across the continent.

Expressing gratitude, Flutterwave acknowledged its talented team, supportive board, reliable partners, and loyal customers for contributing to this success.

The company continues to drive progress in the fintech industry, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing financial accessibility and inclusion in Africa and beyond.

Flutterwave’s recognition on these prestigious lists marks a proud moment and a significant milestone in its journey, reflecting the company’s growing influence and leadership in the global fintech arena.

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Google Leads $250 Million Funding Round for Glance

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Google is leading a $250 million funding round for Glance, a mobile content provider.

This infusion of capital aims to expand Glance’s reach and solidify its market position amidst growing competition.

Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi Group, offers a unique service that delivers news, entertainment, and other content directly to users’ mobile screens without unlocking their devices.

With a user base exceeding 300 million across India, the US, Japan, and Indonesia, the startup has gained significant traction since its inception in 2019.

The funding round, expected to close in the coming weeks, marks a continued partnership between Google and Glance.

Google initially invested in the company in 2020, and this latest round will further enhance Glance’s capabilities to innovate and reach new audiences.

This investment reflects Google’s strategic interest in India, the world’s most populous nation, where it competes with tech giants like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon.

With India’s rapidly growing middle class and increasing smartphone adoption, the market presents vast opportunities for digital expansion.

The support from Google comes on the heels of a previous $200 million investment by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest individual, which valued Glance at over $1 billion.

The startup’s largest stakeholder, InMobi, continues to thrive as a pioneer in mobile advertising, with Glance benefiting from its expertise and resources.

As Glance prepares for this new phase of growth, it stands poised to redefine how content is consumed on mobile devices worldwide.

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Cyber Threats Surge as Nigeria’s Digital Economy Expands

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As Nigeria’s digital economy flourishes, it faces escalating cyber threats, prompting the Federal Government to issue 33 cyberattack advisories in the past year.

These warnings, issued by the Nigeria Computer and Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), highlight the growing vulnerability of the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Since July 2023, ngCERT has alerted Nigerians to new attack methods and vulnerabilities. With 22 advisories issued in 2024 alone, the surge in cyberattacks coincides with the accelerated digitization spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly internet usage in Nigeria soared from 125,149.86 terabytes in December 2019 to 753,388.77 terabytes in March 2024.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) notes that increased digitalization has heightened cybersecurity risks, necessitating robust protective measures.

According to Check Point Research, Nigerian businesses face approximately 2,308 attacks weekly across all sectors.

The advisories reveal various cyber threats, including ransomware and banking trojans. A recent warning highlighted Grandoreiro, a malware targeting over 1,500 banks globally, affecting 41 banking applications in Nigeria alone.

These attacks aim to steal sensitive financial data, potentially causing significant financial losses.

Nigeria’s critical infrastructure is also under threat. In August, pro-Nigerien hackers attempted to disrupt MTN Nigeria’s network, although they were unsuccessful.

During the 2023 elections, the government recorded 12.99 million cyberattacks, underscoring the scale of the threat.

Cybercrime costs Nigeria about $500 million annually. This includes data damage, stolen money, lost productivity, and post-attack disruptions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked Nigeria as the 16th country worst affected by cybercrime in 2020.

Experts emphasize the need for stronger cybersecurity measures. Adesina Sodiya, a professor of Computer Science and Information Security, warns that cyberattacks will continue to grow in sophistication.

He stresses the importance of building a cybersecurity curriculum and involving experts in creating effective strategies.

In response, NITDA plans to reduce cyberattacks by 40% by 2027. “As we digitize, we must build with security in mind,” said Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA.

The agency aims to implement comprehensive strategies to protect Nigeria’s burgeoning digital economy.

As Nigeria’s digital economy expands, it must address the growing cyber threats that accompany this progress. By enhancing cybersecurity measures and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, Nigeria can safeguard its digital future.

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