The Apple Check out is even now the a person to defeat

The sheen has worn off of wearables. The pack has started to thin, and even industry leaders like Fitbit felt the pinch. There are a couple exceptions, of study course. At the reduced finish, corporations like Xiaomi have promptly develop into industry-share leaders, courtesy of $15 exercise bands. And then, of study course, there is Apple.

The Apple Check out has succeeded by actively playing to the company’s strengths, offering a unified hardware/computer software answer that created the most of the product’s restricted display screen actual estate. The end result was a uncommon issue: a smartwatch that individuals basically purchased. So it is not genuinely a shock the enterprise hasn’t futzed with the method a lot in two generations. In actuality, the small pink accenting on the Watch’s crown is genuinely just a little bit of supporter company to aid wearers distinguish their system a bit from older types.

Subsequent types have been far more about refinement than redefinition. Last time out, it was a more quickly processor, GPS and neat small speaker doohickey that spit out drinking water immediately after a swim. Factors have gotten more quickly again, this time out, but all any individual is genuinely conversing about is, understandably, LTE. As is frequently the case, Apple is not the initially enterprise to provide the engineering (both Samsung and LG have defeat it to the punch), but it is the finest positioned to produce in a way that will cause wearers to rethink the way they interact with their devices.

Return to the wrist

I’ve been residing with the Check out for several days now. As someone who regularly cycles as a result of wearables as component of operate (it is a residing), it is fantastic to have an Apple Check out on my wrist again. It is common, it is consumer-pleasant and it is a pleasant in good shape — that last is evenly doubly so, many thanks to the new Sporting activities Loop band, which appears to be just all right, but is palms-down the most snug smartwatch strap I’ve tried therefore far. Though, the velcro/nylon combo, whilst straightforward, will almost certainly degrade rather promptly with recurring fastening and unfastening — a bummer for a $50 strap.

In standard, the company’s accomplished a a lot much better career than most creating a wearable that just suits comfortably. They’ve generally supplied two dimension possibilities, but even the greater 44mm frame is a a lot much better in good shape than a vast majority of smartwatches that overwhelm the wrist with gadgetry. The Apple Check out sits flush when paired with the nylon sports loop, I frequently forgot I was putting on the issue — anything I couldn’t say when I don the cartoonishly significant Equipment S3.

As far as basically employing the issue goes, the actuality of the make a difference is the most essential apps are the very same they’ve generally been. It is not that the lookup for the killer smartwatch application has absent unfulfilled, it is far more that there will almost certainly in no way be a single killer a person. Like the smartphone, the price of the system is far more about the sum of its parts. For the extensive vast majority of end users, no single application is ample to justify the $200-$300 price tag, but taken jointly, a handful of distinct applications have the probable to meaningfully effects your regimen working day to working day.

Cellular phone, home

And for some, the addition of LTE could rework items nevertheless again. As with the broader smartwatch category, LTE is not a aspect for absolutely everyone — or at minimum not a aspect absolutely everyone will come to feel is a required addition to their lives. I discover myself falling rather firmly into that category, therefore far. I’ve accomplished a small little bit of functioning all around the streets of San Francisco in purchase to exam the aspect and, you know, steer clear of an early dying, and that’s the a person occasion it is truly come in handy.

Runners undoubtedly know the perpetual soreness in the ass that is attempting to determine out what do with your smartphone. The arrival of Bluetooth earbuds have absent a approaches towards alleviating some of that soreness, and addition of LTE to smartwatches is the subsequent main step in that procedure. As soon as you consider the check out out of range of the connected cellphone, four dots pop up in the center of the default check out experience.

It is a little bit liberating, and feels like taking child methods towards curing a 24/7 smartphone habit. The blend of the tech alongside with on-board apps like Apple Pay and Maps means you can basically carry out a rather massive portion of what most individuals do on their cellphone. There are even now restrictions, of study course, generally owing to the restricted display screen actual estate, but the addition of Siri’s voice, now created right into the check out, is a fantastic operate all around — and pretty probably the finest argument for Apple’s wise assistant to date.

Audio streaming is a massive blind location at start. Let’s be honest, that’s as essential to a runner as any exercise application. Apple Audio streaming is arriving subsequent month — in the meantime, there are the regular workarounds, like employing the watch’s storage to preserve stuff locally in advance of you go out for a run. But it is a bummer — and a little bit surprising — that the enterprise wasn’t ready to get the performance labored out in time. You can also be expecting the performance for other key streaming solutions like Spotify — assuming, of study course, they are eager to add it on their finish.

All pleasant performance to have on the go, but in the days I’ve been putting on the check out, I’ve been straining to come up with quite a few situations in my personal everyday living outdoors of functioning wherever untethering myself from my cellphone is required — or even especially practical. Tech pundits breathlessly talked up the product’s sport-shifting probable when the Apple Check out 3 was small far more than grist for the Apple rumor mill. Who understands, maybe the guarantee of unhooking their cellphone for the initially time in modern memory will lead to far more end users to go with out it.

We can operate it out

In the meantime, however, it is no coincidence that LTE’s primary little bit of actual entire world usefulness relates right to exercise. As Apple’s personal merchandise has matured, the enterprise plainly acquired the very same lesson as absolutely everyone else: Physical fitness is not just the primary driver for the reduced finish of the industry. The guarantee of supporting end users make healthier options is also driving the superior finish. That is precisely the wager Fitbit created when it made a decision to go all in with the Ionic, and it is promptly develop into the centerpiece of the new Apple Check out.

A strong vast majority of announcements the enterprise has created for the earlier two generations of the system have associated right to exercise and overall health. Earlier in the calendar year, the enterprise introduced GymKit, a progress platform aimed at creating Apple Check out compatibility as ubiquitous in Physical fitness Facilities as 30-pin iPod docks once were (and, unfortunately in the case of quite a few lodge gyms I go to, keep on to be).

Above four comprehensive functioning method upgrades, exercise has come to dominate the encounter, from functions like functioning and swimming, to passive notifications integrating your day by day functions together with textual content messages and cellphone phone calls.The capabilities also echo Apple’s curiosity in extending past exercise into standard overall health. Following all, as the enterprise eagerly pointed out onstage last week, the Watch’s heart-price watch is the world’s most broadly deployed — which in convert, practically undoubtedly will make it a person of the most broadly deployed overall health displays, period of time.

That will make for a rather strong instrument in its wearers’ day by day lives, and Apple will fortunately cite a number of incidents in which individuals have avoided disaster when the check out detected an abnormally superior heart price whilst resting. It is an interesting perception into what is to come, and a rather fantastic argument as it continues to solution the massive healthcare corporations about partnerships. The Apple Check out will in no way be a appropriate medical system by Fda expectations, but it even now has probable to do a whole lot of fantastic.

Encounter off

The inside of, alongside with the outdoors, hasn’t adjusted far too a lot. Storage has doubled for the LTE edition to 16GB, which is fantastic for caching stuff and also means you are going to be ready to store far more tunes whilst you wait for Apple Audio streaming to go stay. The biggest adjustments, however, are the addition of the twin-main Apple S3 + Apple wireless W2 chip. Offered the light-weight mother nature of quite a few of the Apple Check out apps, you could not see a large variation, working day to working day, but the processing improvements provide a pair of essential additions that obviously are key to creating the full LTE encounter operate.

It took the new processor to lastly get Siri speaking back again to you as a result of the created-in speaker. It would seem like a smaller issue, but the Apple Check out is Siri’s most practical application to date. I rarely use the wise assistant’s voice performance on my cellphone. Possibly I just in no way genuinely bought utilized to it — but far more to the place, it is just a lot easier to sort. When you’re working with 1.65 inches, that’s not genuinely an alternative.

Chatting to the check out is just way a lot easier than typing a letter at a time — and whilst the computer software does a fantastic career changing finger scribbles into letters, producing everything but a brief textual content is a chore. I’m also amazed to say that I did not discover the act of conversing to my check out tremendous uncomfortable. Maybe many years of Dick Tracy have prepared us for the inevitability, but taking a brief call on the check out in a loud environment basically variety of labored — and I managed to not come to feel like an idiot in the procedure.

The W2 wireless chip, in the meantime, addresses the single biggest difficulty of bringing an LTE smartwatch into the entire world: battery. All of the concerns and the jokes in the guide up to the Watch’s launch revolved all around this a person key concern, for the reason that a wearable is only as fantastic as its battery everyday living. Apple explained onstage that the Check out really should get about 18 several hours on a demand — and I observed that wasn’t all that far off. With the check out untethered and LTE fired up, I created it as a result of a comprehensive working day, no difficulty.

Of study course, there are a pair of caveats right here — namely the actuality that Apple Audio performance hasn’t been rolled out. If you’re paying out a whole lot of time employing the check out to stream new music, the battery’s going to consider a massive strike. And whilst Apple’s accomplished an admirable career protecting battery everyday living whilst adding cellular, the enterprise requirements to try to enhance the battery with just about every subsequent edition.

For its flaws, Fitbit’s Ionic is environment the bar extremely superior with a promised four days of battery. The guarantee of genuinely ubiquitous action and rest tracking will not be attained when devices even now want to be billed just about every time the wearable goes to bed for the evening. It is a lofty aim in these a smaller kind component, but Fitbit fortunately implies that it is not out of the realm of probability.

Get and mobile

I can’t complain about a career that forces me to continuously cycle as a result of new wearables. As at any time, I’m enthusiastic for the subsequent issue on my plate, but, as also, Apple has established a superior bar. Like its predecessor, the Series 3 is generally a motor vehicle for refinement. LTE aside, there is small or practically nothing right here that justifies the price tag of improve in excess of last year’s design. Apple bought the smartwatch issue rather ideal on its initially stab, and just about every era will make the merchandise that a lot much better.

As for LTE, if I were buying a new Apple Check out ideal now, I’d have to give the full issue a critical deliberation. The price tag gulf in between $329 and $399 is not insignificant for most of us. But far more to the place, the more $10 a month you are going to be adding to your plan surely adds up. Granted, it is a pair of cups of espresso, but these days, $10 every month company costs are starting up to eat a rather sizable portion of our paychecks.

But if that’s the a person issue standing in between you and a small far more phoneless independence in your everyday living, maybe it is really worth the price tag of admission. We can all almost certainly benefit from cutting our caffeine intake.

Apple can patch bugs, but its largest Apple Watch problem can not be fastened

Apple Watch Series 3The structure of the Apple Watch is unchanged since 2014.Reuters

Apple’s new Watch made plenty of headlines on Wednesday — but for all the improper causes.

The hottest version of the company’s wrist-worn gadget — the Apple Watch Collection 3 with LTE — was found to have an uncomfortable glitch.

It turns out that the watch’s LTE cellular connectivity, which is supposed to allow buyers make phone phone calls specifically from their wrists and has been touted by Apple as a key offering place, would not always work quite well. 

Actually, it truly is a bug with the watch’s Wi-Fi, but the conclude-consequence is the very same: LTE would not get the job done the way it truly is supposed to. Critiques of the unit, which hits merchants shelves on Friday, ended up cruel. Apple’s inventory fell as significantly as 3% at just one place on Wednesday. 

Apple is doing work on a fix, which will be delivered in a future software release, an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider. 

But the problems with Apple’s new look at don’t stop at terrible critiques, inconsistent wireless, or even a shorter battery lifestyle. (It can only take care of an hour of discuss time when applying LTE.)

The problem with the Apple Watch Collection 3 with LTE is that it truly is a indication that Apple has shed sight of the principle that led to its meteoric increase: Apple would not provide engineering for technology’s sake. It figures out what individuals want to do (even when individuals really don’t know it them selves) and delivers engineering to make it possible. 

“Section of the most difficult thing about coming up with new products and solutions is to figure out a seriously amazing set of systems that you can employ it with and make it effortless, but also figuring out a thing that individuals want to do,” late Apple CEO Steve Positions once explained.  “We’ve all observed products and solutions that have come out that have been interesting but just fall on their face since not sufficient individuals want to do them.” 

 

Apple WatchAppleHarvard Business College professor Clayton Christensen places this very same idea in a related way he phone calls the “employment to be accomplished” principle. In an more than-simplified nutshell, customers really don’t purchase systems or products and solutions, they decide on points that can entire specific employment for them. 

And lately, at minimum just one Wall Road analyst has advised that Apple has shed its capacity to find new employment to be accomplished. 

“[Apple chief design officer] Jony Ive’s Industrial Design and style Group has proven a knack for identifying employment even ahead of customers know of their require. The iPod’s ‘1,000 songs in your pocket’ was an instance. Also, Apple’s practical firm and metrics show up to align with the employment to be accomplished approach. Nevertheless, the company seems to be having difficulties to determine the employment for Apple Watch and Apple Pay,” UBS analyst Steven Milunovich wrote last 12 months. 

Past beach front bums

apple watch marketingApple/ScreenshotSo what’s the Apple Watch Collection 3 With LTE’s task? 

Here is the advertising and marketing duplicate Apple wrote on its web site:

Solution a phone from your surfboard. Request Siri to deliver a information. Stream your preferred songs on your operate. And do it all when leaving your phone at the rear of.

Are these seriously employment that customers are trying to fill? Hardcore surfers who want to answer pressing company phone calls in the ocean seems like a specialized niche.

Siri can currently deliver a information from an Apple iphone, and there isn’t really a ton of proof that which is a popular characteristic on the phone, anyway. Having the capacity to depart your phone at home is a major deal for runners but which is even now a subset of the general populace. 

Here is how Apple COO Jeff Williams introduced the new look at previously this month:

Now you have the flexibility to go any place with just your Apple Watch. This has been our eyesight from the quite commencing and we consider developed-in cellular make Collection 3 the top expression of Apple Watch. Now you can go for a operate with just your look at and even now be linked. You can depart your phone when you go to the beach front or just operate a quick errand. And it is seriously wonderful to know you can be reached if desired when keeping in the minute.

For Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, we designed a custom wireless chip, we phone W2. There is very little else like it. It delivers up to 85% more rapidly Wi-Fi when remaining 50% a lot more energy economical for both of those Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. And we have included a barometric altimeter. So now you get flights of stairs climbed and elevation gains immediately after a workout. We’re also releasing an app for builders. This can be terrific for snowboarding and snowboarding functions. 

Of system, the largest problem of all was introducing cellular. You see, our minor look at is currently packed, and you have to add antennas, radios, energy amplifiers, a SIM card. And if you really don’t do it appropriate, it gets so major it appears to be like a dwelling arrest bracelet and you’re not likely to want to put on it.

Aside from this specific use case Apple keeps repeating that consists of a beach front bum who also needs to decide on up critical phone calls from the shore, the main sales pitch is concentrated on how remarkable the unit is technologically.

Apple Watch Series 3Apple

Offering the improper thing

Sure, it’s an achievement that Apple figured out how to make LTE wireless work on a this kind of a modest unit, and managed to do it with very same sized-battery as the previous, non-LTE product. But most individuals really don’t purchase $400 devices since the cellular chip is so technically remarkable.

Just one hour of “discuss time” battery lifestyle could essentially be a substantial accomplishment provided how energy-hungry an LTE modem is. But for the ordinary customer, just one hour of discuss time appears like a weak point, not a offering place.

The potential of the Apple Watch is effortless to see. If it failed to have any battery problems, and it ended up a little bit a lot more highly effective, it truly is effortless to imagine it changing a phone for some individuals. If and when it gets packed with a lot more state-of-the-art sensors, it could become a significant resource that absolutely everyone needs to preserve an educated eye on their health. And someday, if engineering breaks the appropriate way, you could depart your keys at home and use your look at as your common ID to do every thing from commencing your automobile to unlocking the doorway at the workplace. 

But customers really don’t purchase the potential of a product or service, they purchase a device to fill a specific job in their life currently. And introducing LTE to the Apple Watch would not seriously solve any further use cases, other than perhaps for a runner. Instead, it seems like Apple unveiled this cellular look at since it was on a components roadmap from two several years ago — “this has been our eyesight from the quite commencing” — and since it could.

And which is finally a significantly even bigger problem with the Apple Watch than some pre-release glitches. 

Visit Markets Insider for consistently current sector rates for specific shares, ETFs, indices, commodities and currencies traded all-around the earth. Go Now!

How to Make an Apple Music Profile to Connect With Friends in iOS 11

Although Apple has fumbled with social network features within its music apps in the past, the company is trying again with an all-new social sharing ability in iOS 11. There’s no exact name for the feature, but Apple describes it as a way for you to discover music that your friends are listening to through sharing playlists, artists, and albums on your own personal Apple Music profile.

If you already have an Apple Music account with a paid subscription, or if you’re taking advantage of the service’s free three-month trial period, follow these steps to enable the social sharing features within Apple’s streaming music service. Note that this guide is specifically tailored for iOS devices, but the process is similar on macOS.

Creating a Profile on Apple Music

  1. Open Apple Music. (Note: opening Apple Music for the first time after installing iOS 11 should also give you a direct link to “Get Started” with friend sharing, so jump to Step 5 if you tap this button.)
  2. Tap the “For You” tab.
  3. Tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
  4. Choose “Start Sharing with Friends” and then “Get Started.”
  5. Upload a profile photo, type in your name, and pick a username so other Apple Music users can find you. Tap “Next” when done.
  6. Choose “Everyone” or “People You Choose” to determine who can see your listening history.
  7. Choose the playlists to share on your profile, or “Hide all” to show none.
  8. Pick contacts to share music with.
  9. Toggle on/off “Friends” and “Artists and Shows” to choose what kind of push notifications you want. Tap “Done.”

If you can’t find the friend you’re looking for in the recommended contacts section, navigate to Apple Music’s “Search” tab. With iOS 11, this area now functions as a profile and user playlist search tool as well. Start typing in their name and you might see an “in people” recommendation, or simply tap the “Search” button and you’ll see results for Songs, Albums, Playlists, Music Videos, Connect, Artists, and now People and Shared Playlists at the bottom.

With your own Apple Music profile set up, you can begin listening to music as normal, and the more you do the more your favorite albums, artists, and songs will show up in the “Friends Are Listening To” section of your followers’ “For You” tabs. On your own “For You” tab, you can tap “See All” and browse a list of recent albums and playlists listened to by your friends, and then tap to add them to your own library.

If your friends allow it, this will even include their own personally created playlists. To discover and save the playlists of a specific person, follow these steps. Note that this guide assumes the friend in question has their activity shared to “Everyone,” or that they have chosen you to share with.

Finding Friends’ Shared Playlists on Apple Music

  1. Navigate to your Apple Music profile.
  2. Scroll down to “Following,” then tap the friend you’re looking for, or tap “See All” for a vertical list.
  3. Scroll through their “Playlists” and “Listening To” to find a collection you want to save.
  4. Tap the collection you want, then “+Add” to place it in your library.

From then on, you’ll find friends’ playlists taking precedence atop the playlists section of your library, alongside any Apple curated collections. The name of the playlist will be there, along with the name of your friend. Once added, it’ll function in much the same way as Apple’s own playlists, updating in your library when changes are made by your friend.

You can revisit your profile any time by tapping your profile picture in the top right of “For You,” and here you’ll see your shared playlists, content you’ve listened to recently, followers, and following. Tap the “Edit” button to customize items like your profile picture, name, username, follower permissions, and reorganize shared playlists.

If you ever change your mind about sharing a playlist (which also makes it searchable to anyone using Apple Music), tap on the playlist in your library, tap “Edit” in the top right corner, then toggle off “Show on My Profile and in Search.” You can follow these same steps for adding a new playlist onto your profile whenever you create a new collection of songs.

Trumbull firm readies Apple View tumble observe for seniors

A trio of southwestern Connecticut startups received money prizes in a “Shark Tank”-model entrepreneurship contest, including FallCall Solutions, which is building a program working with the Apple View that sends an warn if an aged human being takes a tumble.

The CTNext initiative of Connecticut Innovations awarded more than $50,000 to 5 startups in all, as section of its Entrepreneur Innovation Awards which have now awarded virtually $650,000 in 13 iterations of the plan. In December, CTNext hosts what it describes an “All-Star version” of the EIA pitch competition, bringing again previous winners who will go head to head for the option to gain more award money.


Below co-founders Dr. Shea Gregg and Dr. Kristin Gregg and centered in Trumbull, FallCall is now significantly along the route to commercialization of a solution that it claims will be a person of the first “smart” tumble detectors. The enterprise experienced beforehand secured $12,000 in commitments in a Kickstarter marketing campaign to increase funding for development of the program.

Intended for the Apple View, the FallCall Now program is made to detect when an aged human being has fallen and position a contact for assist that is acceptable to the severity of the tumble. It also consists of a guide operate permitting an specific to contact for enable on their personal initiative.

Bridgeport-centered Rumble Helmet received $12,000 for acquiring a bicycle helmet with embedded sensors and other features to signal cyclist’s intentions to other vehicles and pedestrians, with the intention of starting profits up coming yr.

Rumble Helmet founder Reem Alattas is a Saudi Arabia indigenous and doctoral candidate in computer system science and engineering at the University of Bridgeport. She has labored on many startup attempts the previous number of yrs, including a cellular application for payment processing working with fingerprint authentication.

Below founder Patrick Morrow, Norwalk’s Deo2Go was the lone other southwestern Connecticut winner, using house $12,000 as “crowd favorite” — marking a second straight EIA pitch contest it has received in excess of the audience — with gadgets that can be crammed with deodorant, sunscreen, lip balm and other products utilized topically.

Also awarded prizes in other places in Connecticut were EZ Ice in Enfield with an idea for a yard ice rink that can be assembled in below an hour and Sitrep, a Cheshire enterprise creating a system to signal facility workers when any issues manifest with a building’s heating, air flow and air conditioning devices.

Involves prior reporting by Linda Conner Lambeck.


Alex.Soule@scni.com 203-842-2545 @casoulman

iPhone X Production Faces Further Delays, Will Start in Mid-October

Final production on the iPhone X has yet to start, even though Apple will begin taking orders for the device in just over a month. Raymond James chip analyst Christopher Caso conducted supply chain checks this morning and then shared what he learned about Apple’s production schedule in an investor’s note obtained by Barron’s.

According to Caso, while there were already production delays affecting the iPhone X, further delays have occurred recently. He says production is set to start in mid-October, later than earlier predictions. With additional delays, full production ramp up will be delayed into the December quarter.

Interestingly, while the industry widely anticipated a shift in iPhone ramp timing, our checks suggest there was an incremental delay in the build plans – with orders firmed up as recently as last week – shifting production more into the December quarter.

While our checks are ongoing, initial feedback from our meetings suggests that final production of iPhone X has not yet begun, with production expected to commence in mid-October. That production start is about a month later when compared to expectations a month ago, and about 2 months later than expectations at the end of June. Notably, this is consistent with commentary from Diodes last week suggesting the timing had changed since reporting June quarter results and is important as it relates to tone and expectations for the December quarter.

We’ve already known the iPhone X is going to be severely constrained, but hints of further delays suggest supplies could be more restricted than originally thought.

With the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus seemingly not garnering as much interest from customers as previous smartphones launched in fall, it seems there could be quite a lot of Apple fans who are holding out for the iPhone X.

It could be months before Apple has adequate supply to meet demand for the $999 device. Reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, for example, has said it could take well into 2018 for Apple to fill all orders.

The iPhone X will be available for pre-order on October 27, with the device to officially launch on November 3. Pre-orders will undoubtedly sell out rapidly so all but the luckiest customers may need to wait for several weeks to get their hands on one of the new flagship devices.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, launching this Friday, should be readily available at retail stores around the world.

Craig Federighi: Apple Has Considered Nightstand Mode for iPhone X

Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi has revealed that Apple has considered a Nightstand mode for iPhone X.


“This is definitely something we’ve considered,” said Federighi, in response to an email from MacRumors reader Zain, who asked whether it would be possible for a Nightstand mode on the iPhone X. “This probably makes the most sense for customers who charge their phone in a dock that tilts up the phone.”

However, Federighi noted that it’s “not currently super common” for people to charge their iPhones that way.

Nightstand mode is an Apple Watch feature that allows the watch to be used as a nightstand clock and an alarm clock while it is laying on its side and charging. The watch displays the time in large text, along with the date, the battery’s remaining charge, and an upcoming alarm if one is set.

When the Apple Watch is in Nightstand mode and isn’t being used, the display turns off. To see the display again, users tap it, press the Digital Crown or the side button, or lightly nudge the Apple Watch. Sometimes, even nudging or tapping the nightstand or other surface the watch is sitting on works.

Since the iPhone X can’t be positioned on its side by itself, it could be placed on a wireless charging pad with an angled stand, like this one from RAVPower. Coupled with new tap to wake functionality for the display, the idea of a Nightstand mode for iPhone X could make sense.

Apple could add Nightstand mode to iPhone X in a future update to iOS 11, but it’s possible they’ve already dismissed the idea.

Federighi has been replying to several customer emails over the past week following Apple’s iPhone X event at Steve Jobs Theater. MacRumors obtained full headers of this latest email, which can be traced back to Apple’s headquarters.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), AT&T Inc. (T) and Nvidia Corporation (NVDA)

U.S. stock futures are in a holding pattern this morning, as Wall Street awaits the results of the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day policy meeting. While a rate hike isn’t on the table, the Federal Reserve is expected to detail how it plans to wind down its massive balance sheet. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will hold a press conference following the announcement today at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Wednesday’s Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), AT&T Inc. (T) and Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) and

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="With that in mind, it’s no surprise that futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 are all trading within a 0.04-point range this morning.” data-reactid=”23″>With that in mind, it’s no surprise that futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 are all trading within a 0.04-point range this morning.

In the options pits, options traders were also reluctant to take up positions ahead of the Fed’s decision on monetary policy. Volume nosedived to about 12.1 million calls and 10.8 million puts on Tuesday. Over on the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio expressed a bit of concern, rising to a two-week high of 0.67. The 10-day moving average held pat at 0.61.

InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Taking a closer look at Tuesday’s volume, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw call volume fall off its recent highs following comments from CEO Tim Cook on the iPhone X’s lofty price tag. Meanwhile, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) also drew low call volume amid a flurry of news including rumors it may sell its Latin America pay TV business. Finally, Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) stock struggled to makes gains despite another bullish analyst comment from RBC Capital Markets.” data-reactid=”26″>Taking a closer look at Tuesday’s volume, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw call volume fall off its recent highs following comments from CEO Tim Cook on the iPhone X’s lofty price tag. Meanwhile, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) also drew low call volume amid a flurry of news including rumors it may sell its Latin America pay TV business. Finally, Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) stock struggled to makes gains despite another bullish analyst comment from RBC Capital Markets.

Wednesday’s Vital Options Data: Apple Inc (AAPL), AT&T Inc (T) and Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) and

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="While both the financial and tech media are buzzing about the $999-plus price tag for the new iPhone X, CEO Tim Cook told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he wasn’t all that concerned. “It’s a value price, actually, for the technology you’re getting,” Cook said. In downplaying the price, Cook remained unworried about the potential impact on iPhone sales, stating, “Apple has never been about selling the most of anything … Our objective is not big revenues.”” data-reactid=”41″>While both the financial and tech media are buzzing about the $999-plus price tag for the new iPhone X, CEO Tim Cook told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he wasn’t all that concerned. “It’s a value price, actually, for the technology you’re getting,” Cook said. In downplaying the price, Cook remained unworried about the potential impact on iPhone sales, stating, “Apple has never been about selling the most of anything … Our objective is not big revenues.”

While Cook’s objective might not be big revenue, AAPL investors certainly disagree. The stock has dipped from its pre-iPhone X perch above $160, and the shares are struggling to challenge this area so far this week.

AAPL options traders have taken note, and call volume is falling as a result. On Tuesday, some 249,000 contracts traded on AAPL, numbering less than half the stock’s daily average volume. Furthermore, calls only made up 61% of the day’s take, down sharply from the 67% range heading into the iPhone event.

Options trading can be a leading indicator for AAPL stock, and in this case, the sentiment is pointing toward at least a short-term decline for the shares.

AT&T Inc. (T)

AT&T shares leapt more than 2% yesterday, as T stock reacted to consolidation rumors in the wireless market and news that the company is considering selling its Latin America pay TV unit. The latter would certainly help pay down AT&T’s hefty debt load, while the former would spell trouble for the company.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Rumors emerged yesterday that T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) is seriously considering a takeover bid for Sprint Corp (NYSE:S). According to sources, the talks are only in the preliminary stages, but a T-Mobile/Sprint tie-up could be bad news and increased competition for AT&T at a point when the company needs it the least.” data-reactid=”50″>Rumors emerged yesterday that T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) is seriously considering a takeover bid for Sprint Corp (NYSE:S). According to sources, the talks are only in the preliminary stages, but a T-Mobile/Sprint tie-up could be bad news and increased competition for AT&T at a point when the company needs it the least.

Options traders, at least, can see the writing on the wall. Volume rose to 247,000 contracts on Tuesday — roughly 2.5 times the daily average — while call activity fell to just 56% of the day’s take. That said, T’s October put/call open interest ratio has fallen from its perch at 1.58 on Monday to today’s reading of 1.39.

These call adds are likely due to T’s break above its 50-day moving average, and it will be interesting to see if this bullish trend continues.

Nvidia Corporation (NVDA)

NVDA’s recent rally may be weighing on bullish investors. The stock failed to gain ground yesterday despite bullish commentary from RBC Capital Markets. RBC reiterated its “overweight” rating and boosted its price target to $205 from $175. It was the second such price target boost this week for NVDA, after Evercore SI lifted its target to $250 from $180 on Monday.

Even NVDA options bulls look a bit fatigued. Volume on Tuesday rose to only 171,000 contracts, well shy of recent peaks in activity. Furthermore, calls made up just 63% of the day’s take — also down from recent highs.

That said, NVDA stock is trading at all-time highs right now, and the shares are lingering in overbought territory. As such, some short-term options speculators may be betting on a pullback to support for NVDA, which could emerged in the $180 to $185 region.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.” data-reactid=”63″>As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

More From InvestorPlace

The post Wednesday’s Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), AT&T Inc. (T) and Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) appeared first on InvestorPlace.

Motorola redux? Google appears set to buy HTC

Enlarge / The all-glass back of the HTC U11.

Ron Amadeo

Evidence is mounting that Google is going to buy HTC. Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan is reporting HTC shares will halt trading tomorrow pending a “major announcement” from the company. The speculation is that the struggling smartphone and VR headset company is going to be sold, and further speculation suggests the buyer is Google.

The “Google to buy HTC” rumors have been churning for some time. The local Taiwan media has been reporting whispers of talks between the two companies since the beginning of September, and one site, Apple Daily, is reporting that the sale is already a done deal.

So what would Google want with HTC? Any tech watchers’ mind should immediately jump to the last time Google bought a failing Android OEM: its acquisition of Motorola. Along with a ton of patents, Google got a bunch of factories dedicated to producing smartphones and other products. It sold off the parts it didn’t want, like the cable modem business, and then it set about whipping Motorola into shape. After clearing the 18-month product pipeline the old Motorola execs left in place, Motorola turned into one of the better Android OEMs out there, offering stock Android, fast updates, and a simple lineup of about three main phones across the pricing spectrum. Google eventually got rid of Motorola, though, probably as a result of negotiations with other Android OEMs.

Google’s HTC acquisition would again result in the company owning a bunch of factories. So does it just bring Pixel production in-house? Google now has a formal “Hardware” division, run by former Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh, and the company has been pumping out hardware like the Pixel, Google Home, Google Wifi, Chromecast, and the Daydream VR viewer. If it bought HTC, the group would actually have its own factories. The “Vive” team is now a wholly owned subsidiary of HTC and seems gift-wrapped for a potential buyer.

Currently, Google’s Pixel line brings great software to the table, with things like a highly optimized version of stock Android and the Google Assistant, but there’s not much of a focus on hardware. The 2016 Pixel was built by HTC and looks just like an HTC phone. The 2017 Google Pixel 2 XL is being built by LG and looks a lot like an LG V30. Other than the glass window on the back, there isn’t much focus on making hardware that stands out. If Google does acquire HTC’s factories, it could start more deeply customizing what its phones look like, because right now Pixel phones look like they are made from off-the-shelf parts from other manufacturers.

While we haven’t seen the results hit the market yet, Google has seemed more interested in hardware lately. Rumors have also suggested Google is interested in creating its own SoCs, and the company now has a position called “Lead SoC Architect,” filled by Manu Gulati, a former chip architect at Apple. On stage at I/O, Google suggested future phones would come with special processors dedicated to machine learning. Without an HTC purchase, Google would have to get a third party to use these new chips, but if it buys HTC, it can quietly work on integrating these new chips into an actual product.

HTC’s struggles have been well documented and ongoing. The company peaked in 2011 with a mix of Android and Windows Mobile phones but never managed to recover once Windows Mobile died and Samsung swallowed up much of the high-end Android market. HTC spent several years making boring flagships with little design growth and botched marketing. The company eventually tried to transition away from the smartphone market, investing in a fitness band (which never actually launched) and a weird, viewfinder-less camera.

HTC’s only real success has come from partnering with other companies. With Valve, it created the HTC Vive VR headset, one of the first good VR headsets on the market (along with the Oculus Rift). It also partnered with Google to create the Google Pixel smartphone, which has consistently been hailed, at Ars and other places, as the best Android phone on the market. While these products were critical successes, they sold in low volumes and are not the kind of successes that can keep HTC afloat. HTC doesn’t even have much to do with the success of either product. Valve owns all technology that makes the Vive work. The Pixel is only good because of Google’s software optimizations, and this year it added LG, a competing hardware company, to the program. Google and Valve both seem like they just needed a manufacturer, and HTC was desperate enough to make other companies’ products.

This all seems like something Google has done before, but, remember, that’s kind of Google’s thing. It wanted to sell smartphones directly with the Nexus One program, then it didn’t. Then it bought Motorola and started making its own smartphones, then it decided it didn’t want to do that anymore. Now it’s starting up again with the Pixel program, and maybe it wants to get even more involved with hardware.

Whatever HTC’s announcement is, it’s coming sometime Thursday, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled.

Inside the Second Coming of Nest

“We have better light rings than any other products on the market,” says Adam Mittleman. This is a sentence that I have never before heard uttered by anyone, even after a long time living on Planet Earth. But because I am visiting Nest, and Mittleman is its Head of Product Design, working on a new gadget that this startup-turned-controversial Alphabet division is launching, I can’t say I am surprised. After all, light rings—the shimmering glow-circles that allow digital appliances to provide feedback—have been a leitmotif for Nest throughout its eventful journey of disrupting the home. Thermostats, smoke alarms, and now Nest’s new home security system signal users via rings. Nest has given a lot of thought to them. Literally years of thought.

Naturally, there is a light ring on the Nest Guard, which is the hub of the Nest Secure suite. That suite has been in the works since well before the company was acquired by Google in January 2014 and then underwent a second recalibration in October 2015 when Google made Nest one of the divisions (“bets”) in the Alphabet archipelago. Depending on the message the new Nest Guard wants to convey, its ring might glow red, yellow or green.

Mittleman passionately cites the three potential problems that occur if a company does not pay attention to the design of its light rings. “One, the light is too direct, so that calls too much attention to itself,” he says. “Two, color uniformity can be really bad. Say, a yellow might look like some mix between oranges and reds and yellows, and it just doesn’t look really good. Three, hotspots. That’s the most common affliction—they’ll be much brighter in one location and then get dim and then bright and then dim and bright and dim.”

Red, yellow, green. In its brief history, Nest’s own progress might also be charted by a color-shifting light ring signaling the unit’s varying fortunes. Because Alphabet doesn’t break out sales figures or other numbers for Nest, it’s hard to say for sure what those actual fortunes are, but these days a yellow beam might be cutting the company a break. For a long stretch, Nest’s biggest splashes have been product recalls, destructive public infighting, and the departure of its CEO and cofounder. Meanwhile, Nest hasn’t announced a major new product category in ages. Until today. In Nest’s biggest moment in years, it is announcing a series of products that take it onto new ground—and, it hopes, flips its light ring to green for good.

The new products include the aforementioned Nest Secure, a home security system; Nest Hello, an internet-connected doorbell; an outdoor version of its Nest Cam IQ security camera (which uses Google face recognition to identify people who wander into range); and, perhaps most significant, the integration of the voice-based Google Assistant into Nest products, beginning with the indoor IQ camera.

Nest’s new security system (bottom), video doorbell (left), and outdoor security camera (right).

Balazs Gardi

The launch not only brings Nest into new territory, but also sends a signal that despite changes and setbacks, it’s still powered by the same impulse: to transform the home by reinventing mundane home appliances and services with internet connectivity and cutting-edge design. “The DNA hasn’t changed,” says Matt Rogers, who cofounded the company in 2010 with its first CEO, Tony Fadell. “But I think we finally are able to achieve what we’ve always talked about doing. We’re in millions of homes now. We’ve laid this foundation of products that solve really important problems and now we can link them together and do more with them.” Given, of course, that the lights glow green.

The face of Nest used to be Fadell, a visionary product designer best known for his iPod work, and a famously exacting leader. (He reportedly tried to cut short his cofounder’s honeymoon so the new bridegroom could address some product crises. Rogers refused.) The new leader would prefer not to be its face. When Fadell left in June 2016, Larry Page replaced him with Marwan Fawaz, a nuts-and-bolts guy who is much in the mold of other recent Alphabet division leaders: experienced, middle-aged guys (always guys) known less for vision than for delivering quarterly results. Though Fawaz is not reticent about invoking his considerable experience, his approach is methodical and straightforward. And decidedly not flamboyant. “They call me No Drama Marwan,” he says.

Fawaz’s previous jobs have involved launching and managing products for cable and telecom firms. The jewel of his resume was leading the Motorola Home product, a rare success in the troubled recent history of that firm. Also of note is his chairing the Technical Advisory Board of the security firm ADT. Fawaz says that his marching orders from Alphabet CEO Page were clear: “We want to make sure the presence in the home, and the business, is meaningful and global and [that] it’s successful. That it could thrive on its own as a business. You can interpret that by financial discipline, bringing new products to market, scaling the business.” Though it was widely believed that Alphabet was considering offers to sell off Nest (a rumor confirmed to me by knowledgeable sources), Fawaz assured Nesters on day one that the company was not for sale. He takes pains to assure me that despite what some may believe, the company will not go back on the block. “Selling Nest is not the right decision,” he says. “Nest has so much potential being in the Alphabet family.”

Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz.

Balazs Gardi

Fawaz sees his job as carrying forth the Nest mission by scaling its current products to larger audiences and markets. “We’re about creating the conscious home,” Fadell once said about the mission. “To take a truly important device that has had no great innovation and make that device really, really great.”

But that message got lost in a series of blunders and corporate shifts. The calamities began
soon after the Google acquisition, when the company discovered a serious flaw in its smoke alarm. Its coolest feature, the Nest Wave—the ability to shut down a false alarm by waving your hand—held a potential danger: Under some circumstances it could have kept the alarm silent during a real fire or carbon monoxide release. Though no case like that had ever been reported, Nest halted sales for a few weeks and issued a recall to disable the feature in 440,000 Protect units.

During the next few years, news from Nest always seemed to have a bite to it. Users pestered the company with lawsuits about marketing promises and other issues. Rumored products didn’t appear. And everybody wondered just how many gadgets Nest was selling. Alphabet’s silence did not build confidence.

Nest’s video doorbell system.

Balazs Gardi

In June 2014, Nest bought Dropcam for $555 million, filling a gap in its smart home strategy with the connected camera leader. Though Nest’s painstaking integration of the technology into its system proceeded, however, it failed at combining the two companies’ cultures. Dropcam’s former CEO Greg Duffy, who had joined Nest to head the camera team, became so frustrated—primarily with Fadell—that he reportedly suggested that Page remove Fadell and make him CEO. After Duffy was rebuffed, he took his gripes public in a scathing Medium post.

Meanwhile, under the new Alphabet structure, tough-minded CFO Ruth Porat was putting the “bets” on a shorter leash, demanding better quarterly results. This didn’t please Fadell, who believed that investing in innovation was more important at the moment than focusing on profits. (All these woes and more were mercilessly recounted in a well-circulated takedown by The Information.)

Fadell left Nest in June 2016. Fawaz immediately replaced him.

(Some wondered why Fadell’s cofounder Rogers did not get the nod. His answer is: not yet. “I love spending time on product and design [but] having a sole product- and design-focused CEO is not enough. You need someone who’s focused on either the business or product, but it’s hard to do both. I think the split that Marwan and I have works really well. Maybe I’ll be CEO of Nest one day. Maybe a CEO of a different company.”)

Nest cofounder Matt Rogers.

Balazs Gardi

The pileup of calamities might have hurt Nest’s profile among the digerati. But those who remained at the company (though, indeed, some Fadell loyalists have split) say that aside from the personalities of the respective leaders, the culture is still pretty much the same. One positive sign was the return early this year of Nest’s original VP of technology, Yoky Matsuoka, who left the company in 2015 and wound up at Apple. “When I started to look for the place where I can really have the most impact, I was really surprised to see that Nest was on the top of the list,” she says.

The real measure of Nest’s success, however, rests on its sales figures. Alphabet keeps those closer than the secrets of its search algorithm—but if you shake the tea leaves just right, you can see signs that Nest has sold pretty well. The fact that it had to recall 440,000 smoke detectors indicates that, even at its high price, the Nest Protect was a hit. Also, Nest products always seem to hold high positions on Amazon’s best seller lists. As I was researching this story, I actually got some concrete evidence: While talking about how he hoped the company would grow in the future, one of Nest’s executives blurted out a number: “Nest is on track to be a billion-dollar run rate company by the end of the year.” And that’s before Nest hits the market with the roster of products it’s launching today.

Making a security system—a connection-dependent home appliance whose current incarnations have been driving users crazy—has always seemed to be in Nest’s wheelhouse, and everyone has long assumed the company was working on one. Indeed, Nest has being doing just that—for almost four years. So the introduction of Nest Secure (shipping in November) and the companion video doorbell (out early next year) have been years in the making. In that time, Nest has finished up a communications protocol (Weave) and a wireless standard (Thread) to develop a platform where not only Nest products but also outside developers could plug in together and connect a whole Internet of Things-worth of stuff. But another reason it took so long was the high stakes of getting something wrong. “If a music app fails, people can say, ‘Wow. That’s a crappy product.’ The consequences aren’t so big,” says Matsuoka, who is now Nest’s Chief Technology Officer. “But in security, you have to make sure the door sensor works reliably every time the door cracks open.”

Nest CTO Yoky Matsuoka.

Balazs Gardi

As with most Nest products, the apparent star of the show is a control device that gives users a window into the workings of a tool that was previously buried in analog obscurity. In the case of Nest Secure, that is a sleek tabletop disk—much in the mold of the recent routers from Eero or Google—that replaces the standard (ugly) keypad where customers anxiously tap in their codes before an alarm shrieks.

Head of Product for Nest Secure Sophie Le Guen explains the advantages: flexibility in placement (not everybody uses the same door to enter a house); no need to rip open the walls to install wiring; and it looks good. It also provides a number of ways to avoid what Nest discovered was the biggest failing of current systems: false alarms, the majority of which are caused by the same beloved family members (and their pets) that the system is meant to protect. The most important way of defeating those unwelcome, ear-piercing warnings (the Nest Guard is capable of 85db of eardrum misery) is a walnut-sized fob known as the Nest Tag—a $25 personalized pebble that verifies (via near-field communications) someone who’s supposed to be there. If you open a door or window when the system is alarmed, holding the Tag near the Nest Guard prevents the sound blast. “I can give it to my mother-in-law, I can give it to my kid, and they have no stress about how to arm and disarm because you just tag in and tag out,” says Le Guen. Not that you have to give your mother-in-law (or, say, the dogwalker) constant access: Using the Nest App, you can specify limited times and dates that the tag will work.

Nest’s security system.

Balazs Gardi

Like memorable character actors crushing in cameos, the real showstoppers of Nest products are often its sensors—and this is especially the case with Nest Secure. Called Nest Detect, the security system’s new $59 sensor performs double duty as a motion detector and a magnet-equipped monitor that detects when a door or window is opened. Another advantage of the Nest Detect is something it doesn’t do: light up when it detects motion. “People don’t want to be reminded that there’s a security device [watching them],” says Le Guen.

Nest head of product Sophie Le Guen (center) with her team members Andy Hengel (right) and Adam Mittleman (left).

Balazs Gardi

The Nest Secure system sells with a basic kit at $499 including the Guard, two Detects, and two Tags—at which point, unless you live in one of those twee tiny cottages, you will stock up on more sensors and fobs. It’s still cheaper than a “professional” rig from the likes of ADT. And unlike those traditional products, Nest Secure users can get considerable value without having to buy a service contract. For those who do, Nest has contracted with a security company, MONI, to automatically call in the gendarmes when necessary. But many people will be happy to do their own monitoring via the Nest app, especially if they use the system in tandem with internet-connected Nest Cams.

A logical companion to a security system is a video doorbell—another product that Nest won’t be the first to release. But with its expertise in cameras, Nest has a shot at making its entry the best, especially if it successfully uses Google’s AI to recognize who’s ringing the bell.

What’s clear is that Nest has a tough road ahead of it. The thermostat was an unloved product category that Nest made cool. Now the low-hanging fruit has been plucked. The new categories—security systems, doorbells, smart cameras—already have multiple competitors who are basically using Nest’s playbook. Nest’s best pitch might be its ability to tie all the pieces together in one home network and control them in one app. As the different sensors Nest plants in your home pool their data, they can start to help each other do more—a network effect.

All of this makes sense. But though every piece is well thought out—including, of course, the light rings—there is no single jaw-dropping feature like the flashing green leaf on the Nest Learning Thermostat that rewards you for saving energy, or the ill-fated Nest Wave on the Nest Protect. That’s no accident.

Nest’s outdoor security camera.

Balazs Gardi

Le Guen says that after the Wave debacle, Nest learned a lesson in simplicity: “You really have to focus on the core experience—what is the purpose of the product? Here, it’s, ‘I want to be able to secure my home’ and ‘I want to be able to arm and disarm and be able to trust the system.’ Convenience is important, but it has to be convenience that helps me—not convenience where there is potentially a risk, which is what happened with Nest Wave.”

In fact, though Nest certainly won’t be putting this on billboards, the company seems to be recalibrating toward everyday consumers rather than tech-savvy aficionados. The most explicit example of that was the recent release of the Nest Thermostat E, a lower-cost version of the original Learning Thermostat that began Nest’s quest to become a stalwart brand. Director of Product Marketing Maxime Veron, who has been a marketing exec at Nest since 2011, explained to me that the company’s original customers were “people who really care about the kind of furniture, the specific furniture they have in their home, and spend months looking for the right floor lamp.” (Like…the people who work at Nest.) Though there are apparently hundreds of thousands of those people, there aren’t millions of them. So the “E” is for the masses who “don’t want something that stands out, they just want something that blends in, does its job in the background.”

That’s why I shouldn’t have been surprised that while its partner Google intones an “AI-first” mantra like a broken record, Nest is downplaying its own machine-learning chops, even with its new product. “I wouldn’t say what we’re shipping is going to be the most amazing AI that nobody has ever seen,” says Yoky Matsuoka. “That’s not what this is about.”

In fact, though Nest says it will indeed add AI when appropriate for its products, the company seems more comfortable with tapping the fearsome AI powers of its sister Alphabet company, Google. The prime example of that comes with the announcement that Nest products will begin to utilize Google Assistant, the voice-controlled bot that competes with Amazon’s Alexa and other services. Some observers thought it was a dis when Google, not Nest, built the Assistant-powered Google Home, and other devices like OnHub, a combination router and music speaker. Indeed, there seemed to be a rivalry between Nest and a fortified Google Hardware group under a recently hired Rick Osterloh—like Fawaz, a Motorola veteran. Nest’s Google Home collaboration—first on the IQ Camera, later on other devices—would seem to put a rest to that speculation.

“The last six months [working together] deepened our relationship,” says Rishi Chandra, VP of product management of Google’s Home Products. “We want to think of ourselves as one company.” Which was exactly the way Google operated when it was one company.

This past August, I sat in on a series of product and strategy meetings at Nest. I’d done this in the Fadell days, and in some ways the routine was the same. The agenda and slide decks were displayed side by side on two screens in front of the room. The CEO sat at the head of the table. Of course, this spot was now occupied by no-drama Fawaz, with Rogers sitting to his left—both a sidekick and a corporate conscience. The sessions took place in Nest’s new headquarters in the hills above Palo Alto, an expansive space necessary to accommodate a workforce that has grown to over 1,000.

As you’d expect in meetings approaching perhaps the company’s most important launch, there were tensions. As launch date loomed, there were still bugs and technical issues to be resolved, from serious ones that absolutely had to be resolved before shipping to others that would certainly be nice to check off. (The feature that let the motion sensors ignore dog activities didn’t work so well with cats.) All that unfinished work led to a problem. With so many projects headed toward completion, there weren’t enough engineers at Nest to dispatch all the issues fast enough—at least not to Fawaz’s satisfaction. It was also clear that the delay—along with other issues that needed to be dealt with—was hugely annoying to Fawaz.

Fawaz didn’t mince words. He expressed pique that he hadn’t been alerted to the problem earlier. He prioritized the Google collaboration with Assistant as something that had to be done. But he wanted the other problems addressed as well. When his team noted that there was only a finite number of engineers, Fawaz’s voice turned cold. “We will revisit this,” he said, perhaps aware that an outsider was in the room.

Speaking to one of the meeting’s participants afterward, I remarked that for a low-key leader, Fawaz seemed pretty hardcore. I was assured that compared to to Nest’s first volcanic, charismatic CEO, what I saw was pretty mild. Then we returned to the subject at hand: Nest Secure. From here on in, Nest’s fortunes will rise and fall not on its drama but on its products.

Wednesday’s Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), AT&T Inc. (T) and Nvidia Corporation (NVDA)

U.S. stock futures are in a holding pattern this morning, as Wall Street awaits the results of the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day policy meeting. While a rate hike isn’t on the table, the Federal Reserve is expected to detail how it plans to wind down its massive balance sheet. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will hold a press conference following the announcement today at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Wednesday’s Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), AT&T Inc. (T) and Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) andWith that in mind, it’s no surprise that futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 are all trading within a 0.04-point range this morning.

In the options pits, options traders were also reluctant to take up positions ahead of the Fed’s decision on monetary policy. Volume nosedived to about 12.1 million calls and 10.8 million puts on Tuesday. Over on the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio expressed a bit of concern, rising to a two-week high of 0.67. The 10-day moving average held pat at 0.61.

Taking a closer look at Tuesday’s volume, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw call volume fall off its recent highs following comments from CEO Tim Cook on the iPhone X’s lofty price tag. Meanwhile, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) also drew low call volume amid a flurry of news including rumors it may sell its Latin America pay TV business. Finally, Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) stock struggled to makes gains despite another bullish analyst comment from RBC Capital Markets.

Wednesday’s Vital Options Data: Apple Inc (AAPL), AT&T Inc (T) and Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) and

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

While both the financial and tech media are buzzing about the $999-plus price tag for the new iPhone X, CEO Tim Cook told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he wasn’t all that concerned. “It’s a value price, actually, for the technology you’re getting,” Cook said. In downplaying the price, Cook remained unworried about the potential impact on iPhone sales, stating, “Apple has never been about selling the most of anything … Our objective is not big revenues.”

While Cook’s objective might not be big revenue, AAPL investors certainly disagree. The stock has dipped from its pre-iPhone X perch above $160, and the shares are struggling to challenge this area so far this week.

AAPL options traders have taken note, and call volume is falling as a result. On Tuesday, some 249,000 contracts traded on AAPL, numbering less than half the stock’s daily average volume. Furthermore, calls only made up 61% of the day’s take, down sharply from the 67% range heading into the iPhone event.

Options trading can be a leading indicator for AAPL stock, and in this case, the sentiment is pointing toward at least a short-term decline for the shares.

Next Page