AWT News Update: November 14, 2016

Cartoon Via China Daily

Cartoon Via China Daily

A couple of news items for today, as well as an explanation of why the AWT News Update will be published irregularly during the next month:

  • A Chinese state-run newspaper warns that if a trade war with the US is begun, it will take measures against the iPhone
  • Samsung purchases speaker and car infotainment system manufacturer Harman, picking up some plum brands in a quest to compete with CarPlay
  • AWT editor/publisher Steve Sande will be traveling and may not be able to publish the AWT News Update every weekday

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for November 14, 2016.

The Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times has threatened that if the incoming Trump administration starts a trade war, the government will take countermeasures against Apple’s iPhone, Boeing airplanes, and the US auto industry. "China will take a tit-for-tat approach then. A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US." On the other hand, President-Elect Trump has already spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping today, with the two leaders planning to meet “at an early date”. Apparently the Chinese are concerned about campaign threats made by Trump to have the treasury secretary label China a currency manipulator and have the trade representative to China bring trade cases against China addressing unfair subsidy behavior. Will it happen? Who knows. A lot of candidates say things during campaigns that sound good, but are never followed up after the election.

Samsung has been unsuccessfully trying to compete with Apple’s CarPlay platform for a while. Apple has CarPlay partnerships with 40 different car makers and is in negotiations with more, while Samsung has been a no-show in the automotive infotainment market. Now comes word that Samsung has purchased Harman for $8 billion, with about 65% of that company’s 2016 sales coming from its automotive division. Harman brands include AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Bang & Olufsen, Bowers & Wilkins, Lexicon, Mark Levinson and Reve. Many of those brands already produce products that work with Apple AirPlay and CarPlay, and by picking up Harman, Samsung suddenly has a big reach in a market that it has been left out of up until now. Harman will remain as an independent company after the buyout, but Samsung plans to incorporate its technology into Harman brand systems for consumer and professional audio systems and Internet connected devices as well. The buyout should be completed by mid-2017.

Just a word of warning to listeners of the AWT News Update. During the next month, I will be traveling overseas and the podcast will be recorded and uploaded whenever possible. However, there may be days when it is impossible to publish the podcast, so please understand that there’s a very good chance that you won’t be getting five podcasts a week. We’ll be back to a normal schedule in mid-December.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.