Apple Rumored to Be Working on Pair of Large-Screen iPhones for 2018

Today’s topics include reports of Apple releasing two new large-screen iPhones in 2018; Broadcom continuing its acquisition pursuit of Qualcomm despite an initial rejection; the Missouri attorney general launching an investigation into Google; and AMD announcing a new suite of high-performing systems.

Prominent industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities claims Apple will introduce two larger screen versions of the iPhone X next year. A new 6.5-inch version of the iPhone X will come with a higher resolution OLED screen while a 6.1-inch version will have an LCD screen.

The current iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen will continue, probably as an S model, according to Kuo's assessment. It’s not clear whether the 6.5-inch iPhone will be called the iPhone X Plus or something else.

The OLED screen on the new larger phone will have a resolution of 480-500 pixels per inch, versus the existing iPhone X’s resolution of 458 PPI. The LCD version will have a screen resolution of 320 to 330 PPI, which is similar to the resolution on the iPhone 8. The lower resolution version of the iPhone X is designed to cost less as a way to appeal to the lower end of the market.

Qualcomm’s board of directors unsurprisingly rejected Broadcom’s $105 billion unsolicited acquisition bid on Nov. 13, saying the offer undervalues Qualcomm and doesn’t take into account its growing influence in the IT industry.

Despite the rejection, Broadcom officials said they intend to continue pursuing the acquisition. "This transaction will create a strong, global company with an impressive portfolio of industry-leading technologies and products,” said Broadcom President and CEO Hock Tan.

While Tan believes the acquisition would benefit Qualcomm stockholders, Qualcomm officials argued their customers and stockholders would be better served by an independent entity. “No company is better positioned [than Qualcomm] in mobile, [internet of things], automotive, edge computing and networking within the semiconductor industry,” said CEO Steve Mollenkopf. “We are confident in our ability to create significant additional value for our stockholders ... and lead the transition to 5G,” he added.

Nearly five years after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission controversially decided to close an antitrust investigation of Google, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley on Nov. 13 announced his office has launched a similar investigation into Google's business practices in Missouri.

“My Office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits," he noted.

Concerned with the vast amount of consumer information Google has access to, Hawley’s antitrust investigation will look at Google's collection, use and sharing of information on the online activities of its users and will examine whether Google misappropriated online content from other websites. Hawley will also investigate Google's alleged manipulation of search results to favor its own websites.

Advanced Micro Devices is taking steps toward democratizing supercomputing IT with its announcement of a suite of new, high-performance systems at the SC17 supercomputing conference in Denver on Nov. 13. The new systems are powered by AMD EPYC CPUs and AMD Radeon Instinct GPUs to accelerate the use of supercomputing in smaller data centers.

This portfolio is combined with new software, including the new ROCm 1.7 open platform with updated development tools and libraries, enabling complete AMD EPYC-based PetaFLOPS systems. The systems can handle multiple workloads with up to a three times advantage in performance per dollar for the EPYC 7601 versus Intel’s Xeon Platinum 8180M, according to AMD.

Target workloads include machine learning, weather modeling, computational fluid dynamics, simulation and crash analysis in aviation and automotive manufacturing, and oil and gas exploration.

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