Google discontinues Pixel 4 smartphone 9 months after release

Google discontinues the Pixel 4 smartphone just nine months after release

  • Google has confirmed the decision the same week as it announced its Pixel 4a 
  • The high-end £669 Pixel 4 may not have a place in the current economic climate
  • The Pixel 4 smartphone is still available ‘from some partners while supplies last’ 

Google has discontinued its high-end Pixel 4 smartphone just nine months after sales kicked off in October last year.

The US tech giant, which unveiled its much anticipated budget Pixel 4a this week, quietly discontinued the flagship device.  

Both the standard £669 Pixel 4 and £829 Pixel 4 XL are being killed off by the company, as first confirmed to The Verge. 

With the decision, Google has set a new marker to demonstrate the incredibly short lifespan of smartphones, which usually get a year on the market at least. 

Google didn’t disclose why Pixel 4 is being discontinued so soon, although it’s likely the introduction of new budget Pixel 4a has had an influence on the decision in an uncertain financial climate, resulting from the current pandemic. 

Google’s Pixel 4 (pictured above) was unveiled in an event in New York City in October 2019

Pixel 4 may not be a viable offering during the recession, compared to the £349 Pixel 4a, which is scheduled for release in October. 

‘Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 4 [and] 4 XL,’ a Google spokesperson said. 

‘For people who are still interested in buying Pixel 4 [and] 4 XL, the product is available from some partners while supplies last. 

‘Just like all Pixel devices, Pixel 4 will continue to get software and security updates for at least three years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US.’

Both devices are out of stock in Google’s store in the US, the Verge reports, although some variants are still available in other regions, including the UK.   

The original Pixel, Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 were on the market for around 18 months each. 

Pixel 4, which has enjoyed just half that lifespan, is being displaced by the Pixel 5, although this device isn’t due until October at the very earliest.   

A display of the new Google Pixel 4 phones during a Google product launch event. Google didn't disclose why Pixel 4 is being discontinued so soon

A display of the new Google Pixel 4 phones during a Google product launch event. Google didn’t disclose why Pixel 4 is being discontinued so soon

After entering the smartphone market in 2010 with the Nexus brand, Google kicked off the Pixel line in 2016.

Pixel 4 started sales in October 2019, packed with radar-sensing technology that can control the device remotely using hand gestures, powerful facial recognition software and improved cameras. 

The now deceased phone featured Google’s Project Solei, a chip that powers its unique radar abilities and its hand-gesture features. 

Shortly after the Pixel 4’s release, Google had to scramble to correct its facial recognition feature that allowed the device to be unlocked while users’ eyes were closed. 

Earlier this week, Google formally unveiled its much anticipated £349 Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

Pixel 4a is only available in black and will be available for pre-order in UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain on September 10 and will go on sale on October 1. 

Google has also announced that there will be a 5G version of the 4a, but it will not be released alongside the regular model. 

The budget-minded Pixel 4a is coming out four months after Apple released a discount iPhone, the second generation SE, which starts at £419. 

The low price helped spur iPhone sales at a time of soaring unemployment, as the economy plunged into a deep recession. 

GOOGLE ANNOUNCES PIXEL 4A 

Google has formally unveiled its much anticipated Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic

Google has formally unveiled its much anticipated Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic

Google has formally unveiled its much anticipated Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The internet has been awash with rumours and leaks about the mid-market device since Google’s I/O event was cancelled in May.  

And the device has now finally been revealed and closely resembles the majority of leaks.

It sees a return for the much-loved rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as well as an excellent and simple camera system, a stalwart of Pixel handsets. 

All this comes at a price of just £349/£349, undercutting the rival iPhone SE.

Google and Apple, two true juggernauts in mobile manufacturing, have both thrown their weight behind affordable handsets that are smaller and cheaper than their flagships while still being full of some high-end tech.

Despite experiencing difficulties due to the current global situation, the Pixel 4a strikes an excellent balance between affordability, performance and aesthetics. 

It is only available in black and will be available for pre-order in UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain on September 10 and will go on sale on October 1. 

Google has also announced that there will be a 5G version of the 4a, but it will not be released alongside the regular model. 

In a vague statement in a blog post, Google said: ‘This fall, we’ll have two more devices to talk about: the Pixel 4a (5G), starting at $499, and Pixel 5, both with 5G.

‘Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 will be available in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. 

‘In the coming months, we’ll share more about these devices and our approach to 5G.’

 

Google discontinues Pixel 4 smartphone 9 months after release

Google discontinues the Pixel 4 smartphone just nine months after release

  • Google has confirmed the decision the same week as it announced its Pixel 4a 
  • The high-end £669 Pixel 4 may not have a place in the current economic climate
  • The Pixel 4 smartphone is still available ‘from some partners while supplies last’ 

Google has discontinued its high-end Pixel 4 smartphone just nine months after sales kicked off in October last year.

The US tech giant, which unveiled its much anticipated budget Pixel 4a this week, quietly discontinued its flagship device.  

Both the standard £669 Pixel 4 and £829 Pixel 4 XL are being killed off by the company, as first confirmed to The Verge. 

With the decision, Google has set a new marker to demonstrate the incredibly short lifespan of smartphones, which usually get a year on the market at least. 

Google didn’t disclose why Pixel 4 is being discontinued so soon, although it’s likely the new £349 Pixel 4a has had an influence on the decision in an uncertain financial climate, resulting from the current pandemic. 

Google’s Pixel 4 (pictured above) was unveiled in an event in New York City in October 2019

‘Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 4 [and] 4 XL,’ a Google spokesperson said. 

‘For people who are still interested in buying Pixel 4 [and] 4 XL, the product is available from some partners while supplies last. 

‘Just like all Pixel devices, Pixel 4 will continue to get software and security updates for at least three years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US.’

Both devices are out of stock in Google’s store in the US, the Verge reports, although some variants are still available in other regions, including the UK.   

The original Pixel, Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 were on the market for around 18 months each. 

Pixel 4, which has enjoyed just half that lifespan, is being displaced by the Pixel 5, although this device isn’t due until October at the very earliest.   

The company's latest offering will feature motion sensor controls, facial recognition software and improved cameras, Google says.

The company’s latest offering will feature motion sensor controls, facial recognition software and improved cameras, Google says. 

After entering the smartphone market in 2010 with the Nexus brand, Google kicked off the Pixel line in 2016.

Pixel 4 started sales in October 2019, packed with radar-sensing technology that can control the device remotely using hand gestures, powerful facial recognition software and improved cameras. 

The now deceased phone featured Google’s Project Solei, a chip that powers its unique radar abilities and its hand-gesture features. 

Shortly after the Pixel 4’s release, Google had to scramble to correct its facial recognition feature that allowed the device to be unlocked while users’ eyes were closed. 

Earlier this week, Google formally unveiled its much anticipated £349 Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

Pixel 4a is only available in black and will be available for pre-order in UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain on September 10 and will go on sale on October 1. 

Google has also announced that there will be a 5G version of the 4a, but it will not be released alongside the regular model. 

The budget-minded Pixel 4a is coming out four months after Apple released a discount iPhone, the second generation SE, priced at $399. 

The low price helped spur iPhone sales at a time of soaring unemployment, as the economy plunged into a deep recession 

GOOGLE ANNOUNCES PIXEL 4A 

Google has formally unveiled its much anticipated Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic

Google has formally unveiled its much anticipated Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic

Google has formally unveiled its much anticipated Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The internet has been awash with rumours and leaks about the mid-market device since Google’s I/O event was cancelled in May.  

And the device has now finally been revealed and closely resembles the majority of leaks.

It sees a return for the much-loved rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as well as an excellent and simple camera system, a stalwart of Pixel handsets. 

All this comes at a price of just £349/£349, undercutting the rival iPhone SE.

Google and Apple, two true juggernauts in mobile manufacturing, have both thrown their weight behind affordable handsets that are smaller and cheaper than their flagships while still being full of some high-end tech.

Despite experiencing difficulties due to the current global situation, the Pixel 4a strikes an excellent balance between affordability, performance and aesthetics. 

It is only available in black and will be available for pre-order in UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain on September 10 and will go on sale on October 1. 

Google has also announced that there will be a 5G version of the 4a, but it will not be released alongside the regular model. 

In a vague statement in a blog post, Google said: ‘This fall, we’ll have two more devices to talk about: the Pixel 4a (5G), starting at $499, and Pixel 5, both with 5G.

‘Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 will be available in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. 

‘In the coming months, we’ll share more about these devices and our approach to 5G.’

 

Apple says game streaming services violate its App Store guidelines 

Apple says game streaming services like Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia won’t work on iPhones because they violate its App Store guidelines

  • Google Stadia launched in November 2019 and xCloud will launch in September 
  • Cloud services give users access to a wider range of games on mobile devices 
  • The apps violate conditions imposed on developers on the App Store by Apple

Services that let you play higher end games without having to download them such as Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia won’t work on iOS, Apple confirmed.

Apple said that these game streaming services violate the terms and conditions of the App Store as they give access to games the company can’t individually review.

The tech giant said all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines ‘intended to protect customers’ and provide a level playing field to developers.

Microsoft is expected to launch its xCloud gaming service for Android on September 15 and announced it has ended testing for the iOS version of the mobile app. 

Google-owned Stadia, which launched to the general public in November 2019, is similarly only available on Android devices. 

Microsoft is expected to launch its xCloud gaming service for Android on September 15 and announced it has ended testing for the iOS version of the mobile app

Apple said that these cloud gaming services violate the terms and conditions of the App Store as they give access to games the company can't individually review

Apple said that these cloud gaming services violate the terms and conditions of the App Store as they give access to games the company can’t individually review

These cloud gaming services, which also includes Nvidia GeForce Now, allow the user to access a wide range of games including higher end titles.

For $15 a month users will be able to pay Microsoft to access over 100 games for smartphones and tablets – but not iPhone or iPad – it is the first game streaming service with a built-in Netflix-like library.  

Providing access to titles not reviewed individually by Apple violates a core part of the App Store terms and conditions making the services impossible to operate. 

‘Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers,’ Apple said in a statement.

They said this includes submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search – something unlikely to be viable for cloud services. 

‘In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store,’ Apple said.

Microsoft told The Verge it could not find a solution that would allow it to bring its xCloud service to iOS via the App Store, blaming Apple for its rules.

The company said that Apple ‘stands alone’ in denying consumers the benefits of cloud gaming and claimed it ‘treats gaming apps differently’ to non-gaming apps.

‘All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies,’ Microsoft said in a statement.

‘We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform.’ 

Stadia and xCloud involve users paying for access to the service which they can then use to play games in the cloud – with nothing stored locally.

This means Apple has no way of knowing what games a user is buying or playing on devices and so it can’t review them – breaking a core tenant of the App Store rules.

Steam Link, produced by Valve, is available for iOS but unlike cloud gaming services it only lets you access games on your own home network.

Providing access to titles not reviewed individually by Apple violates a core part of the App Store terms and conditions making the services impossible to operate

Providing access to titles not reviewed individually by Apple violates a core part of the App Store terms and conditions making the services impossible to operate

This is allowed under the terms and conditions – which make provision for remote desktop apps – but not cloud gaming services.

One of the issues that may be stopping Apple from re-writing its terms and conditions to allow these types of apps is the potentially lost revenue.

When someone signs up for a service or buys an app from the App Store the company takes a 30 per cent cut of the sale – something that wouldn’t happen if people are using third party apps to play games.

The App Store guidelines also explicitly bar cloud gaming apps through a ‘thin client’ provision that means software can’t access games not stored on the device. 

With a market of nearly 1.5 billion users the Apple App Store is a lucrative platform the likes of Microsoft and Google are unlikely to want to ignore.

There are options open to them – such as changing the core functionality of their service that prevents users from buying games – as Valve did with Steam Link. 

New WhatsApp feature lets users fact-check viral messages

Back in 1996, Brian Acton was the 44th employee hired by Yahoo as an infrastructural engineer.

For the following nine years he worked at Yahoo and lost millions in the dot-com bubble in 2000.

According to his Twitter he was turned down for a job at Facebook in 2009 and also spent a year travelling.

In the same year he bought an iPhone and decided the App Store – which at the time had only been around for seven months – was going to rapidly expand.

Him and his colleague from Yahoo, Jan Koum, decided they wanted to create something.

Koum reputedly came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like ‘what’s up?’

WhatsApp was created by Koum and Acton in 2009 and initially cost $0.99 per year to subscribe. 

Just one week after he decided he wanted to create the app, he incorporated WhatsApp in California. 

WhatsApp’s founders made their position on advertising clear in 2012.

‘Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product,’ they said.

‘Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought.

‘When we sat down to start our own thing together three years ago we wanted to make something that wasn’t just another ad clearing house.’ 

WhatsApp which was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion (£11.4 billion) in 2014 – the largest deal in Facebook’s history. 

WhatsApps $0.99 charge to join was scrapped after the acquisition, in 2016, and Facebook has been looking for ways to monetise it since. 

After the acquisition in 2014, Koum reiterated the promise that WhatsApp would never introduce adverts: ‘You can count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.

‘There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.’ 

Koum and Acton then changed WhatsApp’s terms of service to explicitly forbid ads on the platform in 2016 – hinting that the issue of monetisation was brought about by Facebook fairly soon after the acquisition.

However, Acton left the company in 2017 and Koum in 2018 after arguments over ads and user data.

‘At the end of the day, I sold my company,’ Acton later told Forbes. ‘I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. I live with that every day.’  

Now WhatsApp is one of the biggest mobile messaging apps with 2 billion users globally.  

Acton is now believed to be worth $5.5 billion (£3.9 billion) and works at Signal Foundation, which he founded in 2018.

The aim of the non-profit organisation is ‘to develop open source privacy technology that protects free expression and enables secure global communication’.  

New WhatsApp feature lets users fact-check viral messages

Back in 1996, Brian Acton was the 44th employee hired by Yahoo as an infrastructural engineer.

For the following nine years he worked at Yahoo and lost millions in the dot-com bubble in 2000.

According to his Twitter he was turned down for a job at Facebook in 2009 and also spent a year travelling.

In the same year he bought an iPhone and decided the App Store – which at the time had only been around for seven months – was going to rapidly expand.

Him and his colleague from Yahoo, Jan Koum, decided they wanted to create something.

Koum reputedly came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like ‘what’s up?’

WhatsApp was created by Koum and Acton in 2009 and initially cost $0.99 per year to subscribe. 

Just one week after he decided he wanted to create the app, he incorporated WhatsApp in California. 

WhatsApp’s founders made their position on advertising clear in 2012.

‘Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product,’ they said.

‘Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought.

‘When we sat down to start our own thing together three years ago we wanted to make something that wasn’t just another ad clearing house.’ 

WhatsApp which was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion (£11.4 billion) in 2014 – the largest deal in Facebook’s history. 

WhatsApps $0.99 charge to join was scrapped after the acquisition, in 2016, and Facebook has been looking for ways to monetise it since. 

After the acquisition in 2014, Koum reiterated the promise that WhatsApp would never introduce adverts: ‘You can count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.

‘There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.’ 

Koum and Acton then changed WhatsApp’s terms of service to explicitly forbid ads on the platform in 2016 – hinting that the issue of monetisation was brought about by Facebook fairly soon after the acquisition.

However, Acton left the company in 2017 and Koum in 2018 after arguments over ads and user data.

‘At the end of the day, I sold my company,’ Acton later told Forbes. ‘I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. I live with that every day.’  

Now WhatsApp is one of the biggest mobile messaging apps with 2 billion users globally.  

Acton is now believed to be worth $5.5 billion (£3.9 billion) and works at Signal Foundation, which he founded in 2018.

The aim of the non-profit organisation is ‘to develop open source privacy technology that protects free expression and enables secure global communication’.  

Google finally unveils its £349 Pixel 4a

Google has formally unveiled its much anticipated Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The internet has been awash with rumours and leaks about the mid-market device since Google’s I/O event was cancelled in May.  

And the device has now finally been revealed and closely resembles the majority of leaks.

It sees a return for the much-loved rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as well as an excellent and simple camera system, a stalwart of Pixel handsets. 

All this comes at a price of just £349/£349, undercutting the rival iPhone SE.

Google and Apple, two true juggernauts in mobile manufacturing, have both thrown their weight behind affordable handsets that are smaller and cheaper than their flagships while still being full of some high-end tech.

Despite experiencing difficulties due to the current global situation, the Pixel 4a strikes an excellent balance between affordability, performance and aesthetics. 

It is only available in black and will be available for pre-order in UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain on September 10 and will go on sale on October 1. 

Google has also announced that there will be a 5G version of the 4a, but it will not be released alongside the regular model. 

In a vague statement in a blog post, Google said: ‘This fall, we’ll have two more devices to talk about: the Pixel 4a (5G), starting at $499, and Pixel 5, both with 5G.

‘Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 will be available in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. 

‘In the coming months, we’ll share more about these devices and our approach to 5G.’

Scroll down for video 

Google has formally unveiled its much anticipated Pixel 4a smartphone after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic

Pixel smartphones were first announced in 2016, succeeding the Nexus brand. With the 4a, Pixel has squeezed in an 8 megapixel front-facing camera as well as a 12MP rear camera. In comparison, the SE has a 12MP rear camera and a 7MP front-facing camera

Pixel smartphones were first announced in 2016, succeeding the Nexus brand. With the 4a, Pixel has squeezed in an 8 megapixel front-facing camera as well as a 12MP rear camera. In comparison, the SE has a 12MP rear camera and a 7MP front-facing camera

In previous years, the company has gone public with its main Pixel around October but that too could be hit by the current global crisis. 

Pixel smartphones were first announced in 2016, succeeding the Nexus brand. 

With the 4a, Pixel has squeezed in an 8 megapixel front-facing camera as well as a 12MP rear camera.

In comparison, the SE has a 12MP rear camera and a 7MP front-facing camera. 

Both companies use a single rear lens and enhance the images with software, utilising the impressive processors in both phones – the A13 bionic chip from the iPhone 11 in the SE and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 for the 4a. 

The 4a is also able to record 4K video at 30 frames per second, keeping pace with its iOS competitor.  

Other phones at a similar price-point, such as the OnePlus Nord, have taken a different tact in order to poach a share of the market, sticking more lenses and megapixels into the device and hoping quantity results in increased quality. 

However, bigger is not necessarily better, and in this instance the OnePlus Nord is beaten out by both the Apple and Google handsets. 

The 4a also has 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage, as was expected. 

Its screen is a beautiful 5.8′ OLED display that is interrupted by a subtle hole punch for its front-facing camera, the first in the range to opt for this look.  

Pixel has also opted to not make an XL version of the 4a, deciding the 5.8-inch screen was best suited to the price. 

After all, any larger and it starts looking and feeling dangerously like one of its marquee models.  

Much like Apple did with the SE, Google has gone back to a fan favourite from previous models and revived the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for its security. 

It also comes with the traditional, and increasingly out of fashion, 3.5mm headphone jack. 

While the screen, camera and accessibility reek of dependability as Google plays it safe, a host of minor features and tweaks have been made to freshen up the phone.  

These include improved integration of the Recorder app, live caption for calls and also a Titan M chip and three years of security updates. 

It also has an outstanding battery, courtesy of its 3140ma power bank which Google says lasts up to 24 hours. 

After testing the handset, this claim is accurate and, if anything, somewhat modest. Extremely heavy usage will see the phone easily last a working day on a single charge, but very modest usage and the phone will stay awake for at least 48 hours. 

The 4a screen is a beautiful 5.8' OLED display that is interrupted by a subtle hole punch for its front-facing camera, the first in the range to opt for this look

The 4a screen is a beautiful 5.8′ OLED display that is interrupted by a subtle hole punch for its front-facing camera, the first in the range to opt for this look

The 4a also has an outstanding battery, courtesy of its 3140ma power bank

The 4a also has an outstanding battery, courtesy of its 3140ma power bank which Google says lasts up to 24 hours. After testing the handset, this claim is accurate and, if anything, somewhat modest. Extremely heavy usage will see the phone easily last a working day on a single charge, but very modest usage and the phone will stay awake for at least 48 hours

And, when the battery does eventually drain, it can be filled up again in minutes with the fast-charge system. 

However, because the phone is built with a polycarbonate case and not gladd, there is no wireless charging capacity for the 4a.  

But, the most noticeable thing about this device is its familiarity. 

It doesn’t introduce game-changing technology and boggle the mind with gimmicks. Instead, it does all the basics really, really well. 

The 4a is a superb all-rounder which is hard to knock for its price.  

And it seems the market is trending in this direction, with firms focusing on mid-market handsets as consumers increasingly resent paying £1,000 for a phone. 

With the base level of tech now so high, the average consumer will see very little difference in speed or function between a flagship device and the 4a or the SE. 

Diminishing rewards at the top end of the market mean companies are having to offer a wider range that tailors to the masses and not focus on bamboozling the top one per cent of gadget-lovers. 

Google, with the 4a, is firmly atop this bracket, building a perfect phone for a time when people will not be splashing out.  

iPhone SE vs Pixel 4a  

Pixel 4a

Screen: OLED 5.8′

12MP rear camera 

8MP front camera 

6GB RAM 

128GB storage 

Processor: Qualcomm Spapdragon 730

3.5mm audio jack 

Cost: £349/$349 

Available for pre-order September 10 and on sale October 1  

 iPhone SE

 Screen: 4.7′ LCD

12MP rear camera 

7MP front camera 

Memory: 64GB, 128GB or 256GB

A13 Bionic chip 

No audio jack 

Fingerprint sensor in home button  

 Cost: From £419 (£399)

Available now  

Amazon, Apple and Facebook shares soar amid pandemic

The £170bn tech boom: Bumper figures send shares in Amazon, Apple and Facebook soaring…but Google dives

  • Huge rally saw Apple shares soar to record highs of more than $412 each
  • Bonanza on Wall Street added £5.3billion to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ personal fortune

Almost £170billion was added to the value of three American tech giants yesterday just 24 hours after the US economy recorded its biggest slump in post-war history. 

Shares in Amazon, Apple and Facebook soared as investors cheered yet another set of bumper earnings figures. 

The huge rally saw Apple shares soar to record highs of more than $412 each, with the firm overtaking state-backed oil giant Saudi Aramco to become the world’s most valuable listed company, with a market capitalisation of almost £1.4trillion. 

Riches: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez

At the same time, the bonanza on Wall Street added £5.3billion to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ personal fortune and more than £5billion to that of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. But shares in a fourth tech giant – Google owner Alphabet – tumbled after it posted the first drop in revenues in its 22-year history. 

The 5 per cent slide in shares saw around £18billion wiped off its value. 

However, Amazon added £46billion to its value, Apple gained £85billion and Facebook more than £37billion. 

The combined gains were worth more than the entire value of the UK’s biggest listed firm, the £120billion consumer goods group Unilever. 

Together, the four US tech titans had reported an astonishing £156billion in sales for the three months to June 30, even as separate data showed the wider US economy had contracted by a record 9.5 per cent in the second quarter. 

It underlined the gulf in fortunes between the companies, which have benefited from the shift towards digital services during the pandemic, and more traditional businesses which have been hammered by lockdown restrictions. 

Roger McNamee, a longtime Silicon Valley investor, said: ‘The day we found out the US economy declined more than it ever has in history, these companies recorded extraordinary growth.’ Amazon is emerging as a major winner from the coronavirus crisis, with its second quarter revenues surging 40 per cent to £68billion as people stuck indoors turned to online shopping. Profits doubled to £4billion – despite the company previously saying it wasn’t expecting fireworks because of significant costs for making its warehouses ‘Covid secure’. 

The results were even better than many Wall Street analysts had predicted, with Amazon handing a one-off £382 ‘thank you’ bonus to tens of thousands of frontline staff who worked throughout June. Sales in North America rose from £29.5billion to £42.3billion during the quarter, while international sales rose from £12.5billion to £17.3billion. 

One Wall Street analyst branded the numbers ‘simply humongous’, while another said the firm’s ‘online sales hit the roof during the pandemic lockdown’. 

And the subsequent surge in Amazon’s shares helped to further enrich Bezos, 56, who is already the world’s richest man with a fortune of more than £138billion. It was also a good day for Apple, after the iPhone maker posted a rise in sales of all of its major products from MacBook laptops to iPad tablets. The company posted revenues of £45.4billion – £3billion more than analysts had predicted. Facebook, meanwhile, also beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue, as more businesses used its digital advertising tools to take advantage of a surge in internet traffic during the pandemic. 

Total revenue at the social network rose from £12.9billion to £14.2billion, beating forecasts of £13.3billion. Daily active users also averaged 1.79billion for the period, an increase of 12 per cent compared to a year previously. 

However, Alphabet sales dropped 2 per cent to £29.1billion after big advertisers cut back spending in the face of economic uncertainty

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google add $250billion to their combined market value

America’s top four tech giants added a combined market value of $250billion on Thursday as they reported astonishing quarterly earnings just hours after their leaders were grilled in a congressional hearing about the alleged abuse of their global dominance.   

Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc – which together account for nearly a fifth of the S&P 500’s total value – each posted profits or revenue that far exceeded analysts’ expectations and caused their shares to soar even higher than they were already. 

With combined sales of $200billion from April to June, the companies proved that they are not only surviving but thriving amid shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic that have caused crushing losses over nearly all sectors of the US economy. 

It marked the first time that Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook have all posted their quarterly results at the same time – one day after each of their chief executives testified before members of the House Judiciary Committee. 

At several points during Wednesday’s hearing the executives – Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – struggled to defend themselves against scathing criticisms of their monopoly-like power and accusations of widespread anti-competitive practices from both sides of the aisle. 

After the financial reports came out hours later, many analysts agreed that the firms were smart to delay their release until after the hearing. 

America’s top four tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google parent company Alphabet added $250billion to their combined market value on Thursday

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

Google's Sundar Pichai

The companies posted their financial reports for last quarter a day after each of their CEOs testified before Congress on Wednesday. Pictured clockwise from top left: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

‘I will tell you this, it’s good that these tech giants did their hearings yesterday and not tomorrow given all these results,’ Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Bloomberg. 

Amazon won the day as it posted a record quarter with $88.9billion in sales – causing its stocks to climb up to six percent in after-hours trading.  

The e-commerce giant’s earnings per share (EPS) of $10.30 obliterated an estimate of $1.50 per share.  

The firm’s Amazon Web Service subsidiary posted gains of 29 percent with $10.81billion revenue but still fell short of growth projections, which predicted revenue of $11.01billion.  

Apple raked in $59.7billion in revenue in its third quarter, far surpassing the $52.3billion expected by analysts, with an EPS of $2.58, compared to the expected $2.07 EPS. 

The company’s stock climbed five percent in after-hours trading, passing $400-per-share for the first time.  

Amazon won the day as it posted a record quarter with $88.9billion in sales - causing its stocks to climb up to six percent in after-hours trading (file photo)

Amazon won the day as it posted a record quarter with $88.9billion in sales – causing its stocks to climb up to six percent in after-hours trading (file photo)

Apple raked in $59.7billion in revenue in its third quarter, far surpassing the $52.3billion expected by analysts (file photo)

Apple raked in $59.7billion in revenue in its third quarter, far surpassing the $52.3billion expected by analysts (file photo)

Facebook posted $18.69billion in revenue, up 11 percent from last year and above the $17.31billion expected revenue. 

The social media giant’s EPS came in at $1.80, compared with an estimate of $1.39. 

It also crushed expectations for daily and monthly active users with 1.79 billion and 2.7 billion respectively – a 12 percent increase from last year.   

Facebook’s stock jumped eight percent as a result of the second-quarter gains.  

Alphabet reported revenue of $31.6billion in the second quarter, marking the first time its reported an annual decline with a two percent drop year-over-year. 

However, the revenue and EPS of $10.13 still exceeded analysts’ estimates of $30.5billion and $8.27, respectively, and stocks remained steady in after-hours trading. 

Facebook posted $18.69billion in revenue, up 11 percent from last year and above the $17.31billion expected revenue (file photo)

Facebook posted $18.69billion in revenue, up 11 percent from last year and above the $17.31billion expected revenue (file photo)

Google's parent company Alphabet reported revenue of $31.6billion in the second quarter, exceeding analysts' estimates of $30.5billion (file photo)

Google’s parent company Alphabet reported revenue of $31.6billion in the second quarter, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $30.5billion (file photo)

Overall an index of all four companies’ stocks – dubbed FANG – is up 34 percent in 2020, while the average S&P 500 stock is still down seven percent.  

The stock rallies on Thursday likely helped to brighten the moods of the Big Four CEOs, who are licking their wounds after having been repeatedly ripped as copycats, liars, bullies, drug dealers and traitors when they appeared in front of the Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law Subcommittee for five hours the day before. 

Pichai and Zuckerberg took particularly sharp jabs from Democrats and Republicans who say Google and Facebook have crippled smaller rivals in the quest for market share – while Bezos was interrogated over Amazon’s treatment of small merchants who use its online marketplace. 

In one of the most damaging moments, lawmakers unveiled Zuckerberg’s internal emails boasting about buying competitors, saying Instagram was a threat as he plotted to purchase it, and talking about a ‘land grab’ on other competition.

Democratic Representative Joe Neguse bluntly told Zuckerberg he was running a monopoly in the tech marketplace as he read from the emails.

‘You did tell one of Facebook’s senior engineers in 2012 that you can, quote ‘Likely just buy any competitive start up, but it will be a while until we can buy Google.’ Do you recall writing that?’ Neguse asked of the Facebook co-founder.

‘Congressman, I don’t specifically, but it sounds like a joke,’ Zuckerberg said. 

On a call with investors Thursday, Zuckerberg shared frustration with demands for aggressive regulation, saying he was ‘troubled’ by calls to ‘go after’ targeted advertising online.

‘This would reduce opportunities for small businesses so much that it would probably be felt at a macroeconomic level,’ he said. ‘Is that really what policymakers want in the middle of a pandemic in recession?’

Zuckerberg also decried the July advertising boycott, which sought to pressure Facebook to take more action against hate speech.

He pushed back against the claims of the boycotters, saying there was a gulf between ‘how the vast majority of people actually experience our services and the impression you get if you’re just reading much of the commentary about Facebook’.

The company appeared unscathed by the campaign, which drew the support of major advertisers including Unilever, Starbucks Corp and Coca-Cola Co. 

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google add $250billion to their combined market value

America’s top four tech giants added a combined market value of $250billion on Thursday as they reported astonishing quarterly earnings just hours after their leaders were grilled in a congressional hearing about the alleged abuse of their global dominance.   

Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc – which together account for nearly a fifth of the S&P 500’s total value – each posted profits or revenue that far exceeded analysts’ expectations and caused their shares to soar even higher than they were already. 

With combined sales of $200billion from April to June, the companies proved that they are not only surviving but thriving amid shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic that have caused crushing losses over nearly all sectors of the US economy. 

It marked the first time that Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook have all posted their quarterly results at the same time – one day after each of their chief executives testified before members of the House Judiciary Committee. 

At several points during Wednesday’s hearing the executives – Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – struggled to defend themselves against scathing criticisms of their monopoly-like power and accusations of widespread anti-competitive practices from both sides of the aisle. 

After the financial reports came out hours later, many analysts agreed that the firms were smart to delay their release until after the hearing. 

America’s top four tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google parent company Alphabet added $250billion to their combined market value on Thursday

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

Google's Sundar Pichai

The companies posted their financial reports for last quarter a day after each of their CEOs testified before Congress on Wednesday. Pictured clockwise from top left: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

‘I will tell you this, it’s good that these tech giants did their hearings yesterday and not tomorrow given all these results,’ Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Bloomberg. 

Amazon won the day as it posted a record quarter with $88.9billion in sales – causing its stocks to climb up to six percent in after-hours trading.  

The e-commerce giant’s earnings per share (EPS) of $10.30 obliterated an estimate of $1.50 per share.  

The firm’s Amazon Web Service subsidiary posted gains of 29 percent with $10.81billion revenue but still fell short of growth projections, which predicted revenue of $11.01billion.  

Apple raked in $59.7billion in revenue in its third quarter, far surpassing the $52.3billion expected by analysts, with an EPS of $2.58, compared to the expected $2.07 EPS. 

The company’s stock climbed five percent in after-hours trading, passing $400-per-share for the first time.  

Amazon won the day as it posted a record quarter with $88.9billion in sales - causing its stocks to climb up to six percent in after-hours trading (file photo)

Amazon won the day as it posted a record quarter with $88.9billion in sales – causing its stocks to climb up to six percent in after-hours trading (file photo)

Apple raked in $59.7billion in revenue in its third quarter, far surpassing the $52.3billion expected by analysts (file photo)

Apple raked in $59.7billion in revenue in its third quarter, far surpassing the $52.3billion expected by analysts (file photo)

Facebook posted $18.69billion in revenue, up 11 percent from last year and above the $17.31billion expected revenue. 

The social media giant’s EPS came in at $1.80, compared with an estimate of $1.39. 

It also crushed expectations for daily and monthly active users with 1.79 billion and 2.7 billion respectively – a 12 percent increase from last year.   

Facebook’s stock jumped eight percent as a result of the second-quarter gains.  

Alphabet reported revenue of $31.6billion in the second quarter, marking the first time its reported an annual decline with a two percent drop year-over-year. 

However, the revenue and EPS of $10.13 still exceeded analysts’ estimates of $30.5billion and $8.27, respectively, and stocks remained steady in after-hours trading. 

Facebook posted $18.69billion in revenue, up 11 percent from last year and above the $17.31billion expected revenue (file photo)

Facebook posted $18.69billion in revenue, up 11 percent from last year and above the $17.31billion expected revenue (file photo)

Google's parent company Alphabet reported revenue of $31.6billion in the second quarter, exceeding analysts' estimates of $30.5billion (file photo)

Google’s parent company Alphabet reported revenue of $31.6billion in the second quarter, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $30.5billion (file photo)

Overall an index of all four companies’ stocks – dubbed FANG – is up 34 percent in 2020, while the average S&P 500 stock is still down seven percent.  

The stock rallies on Thursday likely helped to brighten the moods of the Big Four CEOs, who are licking their wounds after having been repeatedly ripped as copycats, liars, bullies, drug dealers and traitors when they appeared in front of the Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law Subcommittee for five hours the day before. 

Pichai and Zuckerberg took particularly sharp jabs from Democrats and Republicans who say Google and Facebook have crippled smaller rivals in the quest for market share – while Bezos was interrogated over Amazon’s treatment of small merchants who use its online marketplace. 

In one of the most damaging moments, lawmakers unveiled Zuckerberg’s internal emails boasting about buying competitors, saying Instagram was a threat as he plotted to purchase it, and talking about a ‘land grab’ on other competition.

Democratic Representative Joe Neguse bluntly told Zuckerberg he was running a monopoly in the tech marketplace as he read from the emails.

‘You did tell one of Facebook’s senior engineers in 2012 that you can, quote ‘Likely just buy any competitive start up, but it will be a while until we can buy Google.’ Do you recall writing that?’ Neguse asked of the Facebook co-founder.

‘Congressman, I don’t specifically, but it sounds like a joke,’ Zuckerberg said. 

On a call with investors Thursday, Zuckerberg shared frustration with demands for aggressive regulation, saying he was ‘troubled’ by calls to ‘go after’ targeted advertising online.

‘This would reduce opportunities for small businesses so much that it would probably be felt at a macroeconomic level,’ he said. ‘Is that really what policymakers want in the middle of a pandemic in recession?’

Zuckerberg also decried the July advertising boycott, which sought to pressure Facebook to take more action against hate speech.

He pushed back against the claims of the boycotters, saying there was a gulf between ‘how the vast majority of people actually experience our services and the impression you get if you’re just reading much of the commentary about Facebook’.

The company appeared unscathed by the campaign, which drew the support of major advertisers including Unilever, Starbucks Corp and Coca-Cola Co. 

Grandmother claims manicures saved her life after her beauty technician spotted signs of lung cancer

A grandmother claims her monthly manicures saved her life – after her nail technician spotted signs of lung cancer from her nails.

Joan Martindale, from Tutbury, Staffordshire, noticed her fingernails and toenails getting wider, bulbous and starting to curve – predominantly on her big toes – earlier this year. The symptoms are collectively known as nail clubbing. 

Despite looking on Google and discovering clubbing could be a sign of heart or lung disease, 73-year-old Joan brushed off concerns and convinced herself it wouldn’t happen to her.

Joan’s manicurist of ten years, Linda Bartram, noticed her nails ‘bent right over’ during their March 13 appointment and begged her to seek medical advice.

After undergoing tests, Joan, a retired craft shop assistant, was then stunned when doctors diagnosed her with lung cancer and she had to have a five-hour operation to remove a 4mm tumour.

Her nails (right) were had become wider, bulbous and were starting to curve. These changes are known as nail clubbing and are a sign of heart and lung problems

Grandmother Joan Martindale, 73, from Tutbury, Staffordshire, claims her monthly manicures saved her life – after her nail technician spotted signs of lung cancer from her nails. Her nails (right) were had become wider, bulbous and were starting to curve. These changes are known as nail clubbing and are a sign of heart and lung problems

Now undergoing chemotherapy, Joan is sharing her ordeal to shine a light on the symptoms and urge people to get medical help immediately.

Joan said: ‘Going for a manicure saved my life. It was incredible she could pick it up from just looking at my nails.

‘I’ve told her I shall be eternally grateful to her, when we’ve got rid of this COVID we’re going for a big slap-up meal. ‘

Joan, who kicked her 20-a-day cigarette habit and switched to vaping in 2013, said she first started experiencing unusual symptoms just after Christmas.

WHAT IS FINGER CLUBBING? 

Finger clubbing means specific changes in the shape of your fingers and fingernails. 

People with heart or lung problems sometimes have these changes.

  • Finger clubbing happens in stages, firstly the nail bed becomes soft and the skin next to the nail bed becomes shiny
  • Secondly the nails then curve more than normal when looked at from the side (this is called Scarmouth’s sign)
  • Finally the ends of the fingers may then get larger (when they are called drumstick fingers)
  • Finger clubbing is unusual. If you have it and are worried, speak to your doctor. They should send you for a chest x-ray to check your heart and lungs.
  • It’s thought to be caused by fluid collecting in the soft tissues at the ends of the fingers. This is caused by more blood flowing to the area than usual, but it’s not fully understood why this happens.   

 Source: Cancer Research UK

Her ankles and feet started to swell up, something a doctor initially believed was water retention.

Then Joan noticed her fingernails and toenails changed size and shape and remembered reading about clubbed nails and it being an indicator of a serious health condition.

Joan said: ‘The first sign was just after Christmas when my ankles and my feet started swelling.

‘I went to the doctors and they said it was water retention, they gave me some tablets but they didn’t do anything.

‘Then I noticed my toenails got wide and bulbous on my big toes. I don’t usually look on Google but I was curious and it said it could be something to do with heart or lung cancer.

‘Touch wood, for my age, the doctors have said I’m in good health so I did think ‘oh no it’s not me, I’ll wait a little bit longer’.

‘Then when I went to have my nails done in March Linda asked if I was alright.

‘I mentioned the swelling in my ankles and then she said she didn’t want to upset me, but that she thought there was something wrong with my nails and that they needed to be looked at by a doctor.’

The following Monday, March 16, Joan booked a GP’s appointment and had a chest x-ray done at Queen’s Hospital Burton in Burton-on-Trent the following day.

On Thursday, March 19, she underwent a CT scan and a fortnight later had a positron emission tomography (PET) scan at Nottingham City Hospital.

PET scans produce detailed 3-D images of the inside of the body by detecting radiation given off by a substance – known as a radio tracer – which is injected into a patient’s arm.     

Joan was told she had a tumour in the top right lobe of her lung.

Her specific diagnosis was right upper lobe squamous cell carcinoma. 

It comes under the umbrella of one of two types of lung cancer – in this case non-small-cell lung cancer, the most common form.  

On May 1 Joan underwent a gruelling five-hour operation at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester to remove the 4mm tumour.

Joan also had some lymph nodes removed to see if her cancer had spread and they fortunately came back clear.  

The grandmother-of-two is now undergoing chemotherapy to blast any remaining cancer cells.

Despite the shock diagnosis and the surgery, Joan said she feels ‘lucky’ it was caught and treated quickly, especially during lockdown.

Beauty therapist and nail technician Linda Bartram, 59, spotted Joan's changed nails

Beauty therapist and nail technician Linda Bartram, 59, spotted Joan’s changed nails

Joan said: ‘I’ve got such a positive attitude and I kept thinking “I’ve got to go through all this because I want to see my grandchildren grow up”.

‘I’ve always been an optimist and just keep thinking I’ve been so lucky for it to be diagnosed and all sorted so quickly.

‘It was a bit rough lying for five hours on my side with my arms stretched above my head, but the surgeon and the team were absolutely brilliant.

‘I’m just keeping my fingers crossed now that it’s gone away. I haven’t vaped since the operation.’

Manicure fan Joan said she may have gone to the doctor about her bent nails at some point, but concedes that due to lockdown it would have been much later.

Joan said: ‘I might have gone to the doctors without Linda telling me to but I might have left it a bit longer.

‘Then when this lockdown happened I probably would have thought I would wait.

‘It’s been strange, lockdown’s gone and past and I’ve not really noticed it because I’ve only had one free week when I haven’t been to a hospital appointment.

‘I’ve been to numerous appointments since March without any trouble, there isn’t anything to be frightened of in hospitals.

‘I’m feeling so lucky that although the COVID thing was going on I still got my operation and everything done.

‘I’ll be eternally grateful to Linda because she really gave me the nudge and told me I needed to do something about it.

Joan's manicurist of ten years, Linda Bartram, noticed her nails 'bent right over' during their March 13 appointment and begged her to seek medical advice. Pictured: One of the glamorous manicures Joan has had over the years

Joan’s manicurist of ten years, Linda Bartram, noticed her nails ‘bent right over’ during their March 13 appointment and begged her to seek medical advice. Pictured: One of the glamorous manicures Joan has had over the years

After undergoing tests, Joan, a retired craft shop assistant, was then stunned when doctors diagnosed her with lung cancer and she had to have a five-hour operation to remove a 4mm tumour

After undergoing tests, Joan, a retired craft shop assistant, was then stunned when doctors diagnosed her with lung cancer and she had to have a five-hour operation to remove a 4mm tumour

‘This symptom needs to be known about so conditions can be diagnosed early – the more people know about it the better.’

According to Cancer Research UK, finger clubbing sometimes occurs in people with heart and lung problems. 

It is unusual and people who have it should ask for a chest x-ray to check their heart and lungs.

It is thought to be caused by fluid collecting in soft tissues at the ends of fingers as a result of more blood flowing to the area than usual. 

However, experts are unsure why this happens.   

Beauty therapist and nail technician Linda said she was taken aback when she saw how Joan’s nails had changed in the course of a month.

Linda, 59, said: ‘At Joan’s previous appointment I had noticed her nails were starting to just slightly bend over.

‘On the day I mentioned it they’d bent right over. I can remember when I did anatomy and physiology nearly 20 years ago and was taught nails tell you so much.

‘I remembered it when I saw Joan’s nails and remember saying ‘I don’t want to alarm you Joan but you need to get the doctor to look at your nails’.

‘Then the ball rolled very fast, and thank goodness it did.

‘I love Joan, she’s been a client for a long time, she’s just incredible, and we’ve got a great relationship.’ 

WHAT IS LUNG CANCER?

Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. 

Around 47,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK.

There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer, but many people with the condition eventually develop symptoms including:

– a persistent cough

– coughing up blood

– persistent breathlessness

– unexplained tiredness and weight loss

– an ache or pain when breathing or coughing

You should see a GP if you have these symptoms.

Types of lung cancer 

There are two main forms of primary lung cancer. 

These are classified by the type of cells in which the cancer starts growing. 

They are:

– Non-small-cell lung cancer. The most common form, accounting for more than 87 per cent of cases. 

– It can be one of three types: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma or large-cell carcinoma.

– Small-cell lung cancer – a less common form that usually spreads faster than non-small-cell lung cancer.

– The type of lung cancer you have determines which treatments are recommended.

Who’s affected

Lung cancer mainly affects older people. It’s rare in people younger than 40. 

More than four out of 10 people diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK are aged 75 and older.

Although people who have never smoked can develop lung cancer, smoking is the most common cause (accounting for about 72 per cent of cases). 

This is because smoking involves regularly inhaling a number of different toxic substances.

Treating lung cancer

Treatment depends on the type of mutation the cancer has, how far it’s spread and how good your general health is.

If the condition is diagnosed early and the cancerous cells are confined to a small area, surgery to remove the affected area of lung may be recommended.

If surgery is unsuitable due to your general health, radiotherapy to destroy the cancerous cells may be recommended instead.

If the cancer has spread too far for surgery or radiotherapy to be effective, chemotherapy is usually used.

There are also a number of medicines known as targeted therapies. 

They target a specific change in or around the cancer cells that is helping them to grow. 

Targeted therapies cannot cure lung cancer but they can slow its spread.

Source: NHS