Apple’s Russian withdrawal | Financial Times

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Big Tech’s restrictions on online content to combat disinformation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been followed by a ban on new devices on which to view it, in the form of Apple halting sales of its products in Russia.

Customers are now unable to make purchases from the Russian version of Apple’s online store, which shows products including the latest iPhones as “currently unavailable.” reports Tim Bradshaw. The world’s most valuable company said it stopped exporting products to Russia last week.

It said it would also block access to state media Russia Today and Sputnik from the iPhone’s app store outside the country. Facebook, YouTube and TikTok had already blocked them in Europe. Google has removed state-owned Russian media from its news search results.

Apple also followed Google Maps in disabling live traffic updates in its maps app in Ukraine, which some feared could pose a risk to civilians by highlighting congested areas.

Last week, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted a letter to Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, urging him to stop “supplying Apple services and products” to Russia to ease resistance under to mobilize the Russian youth.

Apple’s business will not be greatly affected by the loss of Russian sales — the iPhone had a market share of about 15 percent of around 32 million devices sold there last year, according to Counterpoint Research. This suggests that Russians buy about 2 percent of the more than 220 million iPhones sold worldwide each year. App store spending in Russia accounted for less than 1 percent of Apple’s global services revenue, according to Sensor Tower.

But it’s clear that Apple risked reputational damage if it didn’t follow other brands. Automaker Ford told its Russian joint venture partner on Tuesday that it was suspending operations in the region until further notice, while sports outfitter Nike paused orders through its website and mobile app in the country, saying it was no longer making deliveries can guarantee.

in a (n email to employees, Cook wrote that Apple is “united in our commitment to each other, to our users, and to being a force for good in the world.”

The Internet of (Five) Things

1. Ford is stepping up electrical plans
Ford announced plans to do so Increase electric sales targets on Wednesday, adding that the battery vehicle and engine business will be split into separate entities. By 2026, a third of total sales are expected to be electric, rising to half by the end of the decade.

2. Palantir helps reduce the NHS backlog
Palantir, the controversial data analytics group best known for its links to the defense and security industries, is rolling out software across the UK NHS to help reduce the backlog of 6 million patients awaiting elective care. reports Madhumita Murgia.

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3. Netflix buys game studio
Netflix stepped in to buy Next Games, the Finnish developer behind mobile games based on his hit show stranger things, expanding Silicon Valley’s foray into video games. The California-based streaming service will pay 65 million euros in cash.

4. Ericsson’s Iraq crisis deepens
The Swedish telecommunications equipment maker said the US Department of Justice had informed it of disclosures about its internal investigation in Iraq “insufficient” ahead of a $1 billion settlement in 2019 over corruption.

5. Will Japan bet on eSports?
Gambling in Japan is only legal for a select group of activities. But a debate about esports comes from technology and the pandemic conspiring to transform the way entertainment is consumed. writes Leo Lewis from Tokyo.

Tech Tools – MatePad Paper by Huawei

With Huawei’s handsets hampered by US sanctions and the resulting lack of sustained Android support, the Chinese company has switched course to a range of non-smartphone products featured this week Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The most striking announcement, although the technology is hardly new, was the MatePad paper. It’s a 10.3-inch tablet with an e-ink screen whose textured surface can be written on with Huawei’s M-Pencil. It costs 499 euros, including case and stylus.

There was also a high-end laptop in the form of the MateBook X Pro. It features thin lines, a vibrant 14.2-inch touchscreen, an HD camera, six speakers and an 11th Gen i7 Intel processor for €1,899. Then the MateBook E has Huawei’s first OLED display on a laptop. Starting at €649, it has a 12.6-inch touchscreen, is just 8mm thick and comes with a stylus.

The €2,199 MateStation X, a 28-inch touchscreen all-in-one PC; the PixLab X1 laser printer for €329; and €149 Sound Joy wireless speakers were the other main announcements.

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