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The United States of Amazon

Amazon’s significant expansion into yet another market — this time, grocery stores — dominated many of my conversations last week. Clearly, Amazon warned us. I’ve been here before — back in the 1990s, when Amazon was just books, I was running the company’s e-commerce unit. I got into an argument with one of the analysts focused on Amazon, who believed the company wouldn’t go beyond books.

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Apple Centers Health Data Strategy on iPhone

Apple quietly has been strategizing to expand its growing healthcare business to include the management of digital health records, with the iPhone operating as a central data hub. Apple reportedly has been in talks with numerous health industry groups that are involved in setting standards for the storage and sharing of electronic medical records, in a way that would give consumers more control.

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The Art of Manipulation and Misdirection

Last week, I listened to an economist talk about Apple’s complaints that Qualcomm had charged Apple too much for access to patents. What was fascinating was that Apple had folks focused on the 5 percent Qualcomm had charged it instead of on the massive profit that Apple made on each phone. The price of the iPhone 8 likely will be well over $1,000 — but it could cost well under $500 to build.

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Cook Gives Up a Few Crumbs of Apple Auto Info

News about Apple’s plans for the automotive market have been dripping slowly from the company for months, and CEO Tim Cook this week released a few more drops from the faucet. Apple’s auto efforts are zeroing in on autonomous systems, he said. Self-driving is a core technology that Apple considers very important to its auto plans, but it’s very challenging from an AI perspective, Cook noted.

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Gadget Ogling: Apple at Home

The battle for your home just got a little more intense as Apple pulled back the curtain on HomePod, its smart speaker that seeks to hold dominion over your home empire and all the gadgets that reside within. HomePod holds a 4-inch woofer and seven tweeters, and it has six microphones to pick up your voice commands for Siri, wherever you happen to be in the room.

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Hearing Crickets at Apple’s WWDC and a Pin Drop in the Senate

The two mammoth events last week were the Apple WWDC keynote and ex-FBI chief James Comey’s appearance at a Senate committee hearing. Now I’m sure a lot of folks didn’t have the time to watch both events — and particularly for the Comey event, I’m sure the coverage has the right and the left believing very different realities. Apple is becoming more and more like a typical tech firm.

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