AWT News Update: January 5, 2016

CES 2016 doesn't officially kick off until tomorrow, but that doesn't mean we don't have tons of news about the big technology event:

  • A CES announcement by Fitbit of its new Blaze smart fitness watch backfired, as investors sold shares and drove the price of Fitbit stock down over 18 percent today
  • Last night's Faraday Future (see picture of their concept car above) event begs the question -- is Apple really serious about getting into the car business? If they are, they'd better get moving
  • Sources say that Apple is cutting back on production of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus citing decreased demand and robust inventories
  • Apple's data center plans are moving ahead, with permits acquired for a second facility in Reno, Nevada

The text edition can be read in its entirety below, and video can be viewed here.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 5, 2016. If you haven’t yet ordered one of our cool Apple World Today logo wear products, be sure to get to the site today or tomorrow and get ‘em while they’re still available. We have t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies available in a variety of colors, styles and sizes, so there’s something for everyone.

CES is always full of news and good cheer. Take, for instance, Fitbit announced its new Blaze Smart Fitness Watch today. You think that a $199 device would kick the Apple Watch’s rear end, right? Well, apparently investors don’t think it’s a good idea to invade Apple’s smartwatch space, as the company’s shares dropped over 18 percent today.

Another CES-related note comes from last night’s reveal of a concept car from mystery company Faraday Future. The company also revealed the money behind it — a Chinese content company called LeTV — and described its “move fast” strategy and unique flexible technology platform. Faraday Future has some big names from the automotive business working in its executive offices, and has accomplished a ton of work in just 18 months. The company will break ground on a $1 billion North Las Vegas (NV) factory next month, and plans to have cars available within “a couple of years”. Whether or not they can achieve this goal is another question, but the bigger question is whether Apple is moving fast enough on its own car project to really compete. We’ve heard very little about Apple’s project — other than it is allegedly named Project Titan and that Apple has also grabbed a number of automotive industry big wheels. We now know that Faraday Future is NOT a front for Apple’s car dreams, and that the company is out to really disrupt the automobile industry well before Apple — which apparently approved a car project in late 2014 — can get things going.

The Nikkei Asian Review is claiming that Apple has decided to cut back on production of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus citing decreased demand. Allegedly, the company will decrease production by as much as 30% for the first quarter of 2016 to eliminate inventory, but will get back into full production in the second quarter of 2016. This report cites the ever-popular “unnamed sources”, so take it with a grain of salt. Apple’s share price fell slightly today to close at $102.71 per share.

Finally, Apple is reportedly getting ready to build a second data center in Reno Nevada after requesting permission from Washoe County to build the new facility adjacent to its original data center. The existing data center is operational but apparently still under development; it will consist of 14 buildings covering 412,000 square feet when completed. The second data center will be about the same size, and both include nearby solar farms to provide power.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another edition of the AWT News Update.