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Posts Tagged ‘ Amazon ’

Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world. It generates so much profit that the latest reports indicate that its cash reserves have swollen to over US$250 billion, with the actual number of its cash reserves expected to be revealed later this week during its earnings call.

To offer some perspective, that’s more than the foreign currency reserves held by the U.K. and Canada combined. The next richest tech company is said to be Microsoft, which has US$126 billion in cash.

Another interesting tidbit is that Apple has doubled its cash hoard in just over 4.5 years. And in the last three months of 2016, it made US$3.6 million per hour.

But like many other big U.S. companies, most of this cash is parked overseas. However, President Trump’s proposal to offer a one-time tax holiday on corporate cash brought home has sparked fresh speculations that Apple could hand back more money to shareholders or make more acquisitions.

The report also says that Apple could, theoretically speaking, acquire both Tesla and Netflix and still have plenty left to spare. Apple is said to be exploring the automotive industry and has also started producing its own original TV content.

Lee Pinkowitz, a Georgetown University professor of finance, also said that Apple’s cash reserves are more than sufficient for its needs. He said, “If this a rainy-day fund, they’re saving for a millennial flood.”

If you were Apple and were allowed to bring all that cash home, what would you do with all money?

Three months ago, Google announced it would in early 2017 launch support for high-end graphics processing units (GPUs) for machine learning and other specialized workloads. It’s now early 2017 and, true to its word, Google today officially made GPUs on the Google Cloud Platform available to developers. As expected, these are Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs, and developers will be able to attach up to eight of these to any custom Compute Engine machine.

 

These new GPU-based virtual machines are available in three Google data centers: us-east1, asia-east1 and europe-west1. Every K80 core features 2,496 of Nvidia’s stream processorswith 12 GB of GDDR5 memory (the K80 board features two cores and 24 GB of RAM).

 

ou can never have too much compute power when you’re running complex simulations or using a deep learning framework like TensorFlow, Torch, MXNet of Caffee. Google is clearly aiming this new feature at developers who regularly need to spin up clusters of high-end machines to power their machine learning frameworks. The new Google Cloud GPUs are integrated with Google’s Cloud Machine Learning service and its various database and storage platforms.

 

 The cost per GPU is $0.70 per hour in the U.S. and $0.77 in the European and Asian data centers. That’s not cheap, but a Tesla K80 accelerator with two cores and 24 GB of Ram will easily set you back a few thousand dollars, too.
 

The announcement comes only a few weeks before Google is scheduled to host its Cloud NEXT conference in San Francisco — where chances are we’ll hear quite a bit more about the company’s plans for making its machine learning services available to even more developers.

Apple has hired an industry veteran to head its Apple TV business.

According to Bloomberg, Timothy Twerdahl, former Amazon Fire TV,  joined Apple earlier this month as a vice president for product marketing. Twerdahl has a wealth of experience in internet-connected TV devices; he was the General Manager and Director of Amazon’s Fire TV business since 2013. Prior to his career at Amazon, he also worked as an executive at Netflix and later as a Vice President at Roku.

The hiring of Twerdahl allows Pete Distad, who previously held the position, to focus on Apple’s content deal efforts. These moves suggest that Apple is renewing its focus on the Apple TV business, which contributed more than 5-percent of sales in 2016.

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Amazon and PayPal have discussed the possibility that the online retail company to support PayPal payments at checkout.

Amazon offers credit and debit cards, gift cards, and Amazon.com store cards as payment methods. Customers can also link their checking accounts to the site to make quick purchases.

PayPal grew to 197 million active users at the end of 2016. According to the company’s data, each of those accounts averaged 31 transactions in the preceding 12 months.

Amazon Payments can be used by merchants to facilitate payments, and by customers to make those payments. In many cases, the merchants that use Amazon Payments to facilitate purchases also offer customers PayPal.

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Reports indicate that Amazon is eyeing the Southeast Asia market and will launch its services in this region early next year beginning with Singapore.

Singapore will be an ideal entry-point as it is a lot smaller than other countries in this region, which makes it easier for Amazon to acclimatize from an operational standpoint. Furthermore, its has a much higher level of consumer spend than its neighbors; plus, its consumer culture is more similar to that of developed markets. Reports also say that Amazon is quietly acquiring assets like refrigerated trucks and are ramping up new hires in Singapore.

Amazon is likely to offer its Prime and AmazonFresh delivery services here in Singapore, and that the current plan is to launch in the first quarter of 2017. However, it is believed that Amazon’s grand target is Indonesia, which is the fourth most populous country in the world, and also the largest economy in this region.