Thursday, January 24, 2013

Apple stock plunges 10%


Apple's stock bubble continued to deflate Thursday.

Shares of Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) plunged more than 10% in early trading, as investors grew skeptical about the iPhone maker's growth prospects. Despite reporting a record quarterly profit, Apple's forecasts showed signs of slowing consumer demand for its products, particularly its iPhones.

Apple's stock has been on a steady decline for months. In fact, shares have plunged more than 35% from their all-time intraday high of $705, reached Sept. 21, 2012.

Since then, Apple's stock has dropped in value by nearly $230 billion, with its valuation slipping to $430 billion in just four months.

Almost exactly one year ago, Apple nudged out Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) to become the most valuable publicly traded company in the world.

While it still holds the top spot, Apple's recent sell-off is narrowing the gap. Exxon's valuation is now just $14 billion below Apple's.
Following Apple's earnings report, a slew of Wall Street analysts swiftly downgraded the company's stock.  Analysts at RBC. Deutsche Bank, Oppenheimer, Jefferies, Scotia Capital and Morgan Stanley all lowered their price targets. However, the lowered price targets between $500 and $625 are still higher than Apple's current level. Morgan Stanley also removed the stock from its best ideas list.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Apple OSX trojan malware can drain your mobile phone load


You may want to think twice before running these new installers of "useful software" being offered online - they may end up draining your mobile phone's load or rack up huge phone bills.

In a blog post, Russian anti-virus firm Doctor Web said the new Trojan for Mac OS X, "Trojan.SMSSend.3666," targeted Windows users but is setting its sights on OS X only now.

"Trojan.SMSSend programs are found in large numbers on the Internet. These are fake installers available on various sites disguised as distributions of legitimate software," Doctor Web said.

When a user starts the fake installer, he or she will first see the usual interface imitating the installation of an app.

But during the installation, the user will be asked to enter his or her mobile phone number, and then specify the code found in a reply SMS.

"By performing these actions the user agrees to terms of a chargeable subscription and a fee will be debited from their mobile phone account on a regular basis. Such installers usually contain meaningless data or the programs they are supposed to install, which in fact can be downloaded from official sites of their developers free of charge," Doctor Web said.

'Affiliate program'

Doctor Web said the malicious app spreads under the so-called "affiliate program" ZipMonster, adding Trojan.SMSSend.3666 is the first program of its kind that targets Mac OS X.

It advised users to be wary of installers that require them to submit their phone number or send a text message.

"Most likely, you will lose money and end up with nothing. Moreover, you will most likely be able to find the program you want with a search engine and download it free of charge from an official site of its developers," it said.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Apple won't fix Do Not Disturb bug

The Do Not Disturb feature on the iPhone won’t be resolved until it fixes itself on Monday, Apple has confirmed.

The popular Do Not Disturb feature stops the iPhone ringing unless specific or persistent callers are trying to get in touch. Since January 1, however, it has not turned itself off at the time specified by users.

In a new support document, Apple acknowledged the problem, describing it as “After January 1st, 2013, Do Not Disturb mode stays on past its scheduled end time.”

It said, however, that “Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off.”

Users should be able to schedule when the feature turns itself off and the phone resumes normal operation. Developers, however, have speculated that the way the software formats dates could have caused the problems around the new year.

Apple iOS developer Patrick McCarron suggested on Twitter that Apple had made a common mistake by incorrectly formatting how the iOS software defines dates, allowing the underlying software, based on Unix, to define the final week of 2012 as ending on January 7.

That would mean the feature will resolve itself as Apple suggests.

Apple has previously had a string of similar problems with dates. In March 2011, the iPhone 4 clocks went back rather than forward as daylight saving changed. Earlier in the same year, a clock glitch prevented alarms from sounding on New Year's Day, and the devices also struggled to adjust to the end of daylight savings time back in November.

The glitch affected iPhone owners who subscribe through both AT&T and Verizon.

A simple solution - either shutting down the phone or switching it to and from airplane mode - offered little comfort to users who had already missed appointments on Sunday.

When clocks went back in 2010, the iPhone's clock automatically went back one hour as planned, but a fault meant the alarm didn't synchronise, meaning users were woken up an hour later than intended.

Scores of iPhone 4 users flooded blogs and internet chat boards to vent their frustration.

It is likely that the bug will be fixed in a minor update over the course of 2013, or in the new version of iOS, to prevent a repeat in 2014.