Apple responds to tracking feature, data storing
We reported last week that Apple’s iPhone tracking feature could track its users locations, and the company has responded to the allegations. Apple says that it is not tracking the location of its users’ iPhones and “has never done so and has no plans to ever do so,” the company says on its website. In a Q&A format, Apple addresses why users are so concerned about the tracking feature:
“Providing mobile users with fast and accurate location information while preserving their security and privacy has raised some very complex technical issues which are hard to communicate in a soundbite. Users are confused, partly because the creators of this new technology (including Apple) have not provided enough education about these issues to date.”
Instead of logging the location of users, Apple admits that the iPhone maintains a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers near where the user is, some of which can be more than 100 miles away. Apple uses the information to accurately determine the phones’ location when the person uses navigation or location-based services.
See top stories in the WDM Content Network:
• Comparing Apple to the Rest of the World
• Top Ten Biggest Brands
• Click here to read the latest edition of Business Review USA
Apple plans to release a software update that will reduce the amount of location data stored on the phone and will cease the backup of that information. The update will also address an issue where information is updated even when a user turns its "Location Services" off.
In layman’s terms, Apple isn’t tracking your location or your phone’s location to benefit those working in the Cupertino headquarters, but rather it was tracking the surrounding hotspots and cell towers near your iPhone’s location. It does admit, however, that it was storing too much information and shouldn’t have created a backup for this data.
M&A activity key lever for future tech sector growth
Despite the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic, the tech sector has witnessed soaring dealmaking activity over the past year, rocketing in the second half of 2020, with the last quarter of 2020 a record one for M&A activity, and momentum continuing into 2021.
Dealmaking in tech sector soars in past year
And the latest figures bear this out with the number of technology M&A deals totalling US$208.44bn globally in Q1 2021, according to GlobalData. While the US holds top spot both in volume of deals (1034) and total value (US$140.61bn), Europe ranked next with 649 deals (US$44.49bn) with the UK continuing its reign as Europe’s biggest M&A market with 204 deals.
In particular, megadeals – those valued at US$5bn or more – soared in 2020 representing 59% of all global technology sector deal value in 2020, up from 47% in 2019, according to the latest edition of the EY Technology Global Capital Confidence Barometer.
This tech sector trend towards megadeals is backed up by EY’s CCB data, with 16% of tech sector respondents planning to pursue transformative deals valued at US$5bn or more in the near-term.
While technology deal activity “all but stopped at the beginning of 2020 after fluctuating between historic highs and lows, companies pivoted quickly and tech M&A exploded in the second half of the year”, says Barak Ravid, EY Global TMT Leader for Strategy and Transactions.
M&A activity level for tech sector growth
Looking ahead to the future, technology executives are optimistic, with nearly half (47%) expecting profitability to fully rebound this year, according to CCB data, compared to 23% across all sectors, and with more than half (51%) planning to pursue M&A in the next year in order to sustain growth.
According to Ravid, M&A activity is increasingly becoming a key lever for growth as businesses look to recover.
“To position themselves for future revenue growth, tech companies are now adjusting their M&A strategy to focus more on a target’s business resilience, digital technology alignment and to gain market share through consolidation,” says Ravid.
However, with an increasingly competitive deal market and ongoing geopolitical tensions, the majority of tech execs expect to see more competition in the bidding process for assets over the next year, primarily from private capital.