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Apple Set for Major iPhone Performance Boost with 2nm Chips in 2025

+ 6 other must-read tech news briefs.

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TECH BRIEF

Apple could incorporate a 2nm chip, N2, into its iPhone devices by next year, providing substantial performance improvements. TSMC, an Apple chip supplier, reportedly plans to start small-scale production of the chip this year, with mass production intensifying in 2025. The 2nm chip is targeted to debut in the iPhone 17 Pro models, and later in iPhone 18. Enabling better speed and efficiency, this step-up could make a significant difference to iPhone operations, especially amid Apple’s potential AI enhancements.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy predicts generative AI could outpace the influence of cloud technology in the tech transformation landscape. E-commerce giant Amazon plans to capitalize on this prospect by selling developers the requisite computing resources and software services. The company has confirmed expansion plans with six new datacentres planned globally. Additionally, Amazon is partnering closely with AI startups, like Anthropic. Despite developing AI tools internally, Jassy states the majority of generative AI applications will be created externally.

In an app development effort, TikTok is working on integrating AI avatars which can act as virtual influencers. The aim is to have these AI characters promote and sell products via scripted prompts from advertisers or sellers. While the AI avatars have received less attention than human influencers in trials, TikTok sees potential in their ability to augment their current content creators. Despite already experimenting with AI technology, how TikTok will balance this innovation with existing creators' brand deals is yet uncertain.

The Q4 '23 earnings season for public cloud software companies saw median stock prices falling by 5% year-to-date but indicated promising growth trends, mainly through net retention and CAC payback. AWS and Azure's Q4 revenue grew year on year, with analytical data pointing at a steady recovery trend for the software market in spite of market fluctuations. Individual companies bucked the trend with significant growth, including Palantir (+31%), AppFolio (+30%), Confluent (+26%), and Crowdstrike (+22%).

Thursday's rebound in US stocks was driven by the tech sector, with Nasdaq rising by 1.7%. Alphabet, Nvidia, and Amazon registered significant gains while Apple surged over 4% amid plans to revamp its entire Mac lineup. Despite softer producer price index data, markets are adjusting forecasts to a later Federal Reserve rate cut. JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup are set to report first-quarter earnings today.

X is removing the option for Premium users to hide their verification blue checks; a feature exploited by scammers. Display of blue checks has been optional since last summer, essentially signaling a paid-up Premium subscription under Elon Musk's ownership. The removal, affecting especially recently elevated users wishing to dodge associated stigma, does not specify an exact timeline.

Amazon's attempted acquisition of iRobot fell through because of regulatory hurdles, resulting in iRobot laying off 31% of its staff and a 75% plunge in its stock. CEO Andy Jassy criticized this move, implying a preference for Chinese competitors.

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