iPhone Sales Flat 2nd Half of year; Apple’s Car Project-Huge; Facebook Plan to Meld Messenger, WhatsApp, & Instagram; Dropbox Buying HelloSign; Amazon Prime-5X Movies As Netflix

Well-known and generally accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says don’t write off iPhones yet. 9to5ma.com says Kuo sees sales growth to be mostly flat in the back half of 2019, instead of tanking as some in the market have worried. Kuo correctly predicted the weakness in the holiday quarter, but now says the ‘worst is soon over.’ The analyst predicts that iPhone shipments after March will be higher than the market expects, maybe reaching 180 million units by the end of the year.

It’s been thought that Apple had around 1,000 engineers working at their Project Titan…variously talked about as working on software and hardware for self-driving cars or even about building the mythic Apple self-driving car. According to businessinsider.com, Apple laid off or reassigned 200 employees from the division this past week. Now, thanks to a legal case, we know that this is a tiny number, and that Project Titan is…well, more titanic…than generally thought. In the case of an employee arrested by the FBI, it turns out that 2,700 people had access to Project Titan databases, and that 5,000 were ‘disclosed’ on the project…meaning they had official Apple permission to know about it. Most of the workers, btw, were reassigned and not laid off…which sounds like they had just completed the part of the task they were needed for with the self-driving project.

Facebook is apparently planning to meld the back ends of Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram…allowing users of the 3 services to message each other. Theverge.com reports that Facebook is already at work tying the back ends of the services together…and adding end-to-end encryption to all. The rub is, for Facebook, you are required to give actual contact info when you join. WhatsApp, for example, has just required a phone number or email. It may be a boon for Facebook and advertisers, and make things easy to message across platform, but you can expect anonymous users of WhatsApp to bail for other platforms.

Dropbox is picking up HelloSign for $230 million, getting set to take on the likes of DocuSign and Adobe. According to geekwire.com, Dropbox says since the workforce is becoming more decentralized, the ability to collaborate and share documents over distance will make the service a plus for the primarily file storage and sharing company. HelloSign claims over 80,000 customers. It is expected that HelloSign will cut it’s partnerships with DocuSign and Adobe when the deal is closed.

If it’s quantity you prefer over quality…don’t ignore Amazon Prime Video. Bgr.com says Prime has a library of 17,461 movies. Netflix, on the other hand has a movie library of 3839, with Hulu featuring only 2336. If it’s new or well-reviewed movies though, Netflix buries the competition. Netflix has 592 Certified Fresh movies (according to Rotten Tomatoes), while Prime Video has just 232…9 more than Hulu. This could all change in a couple years, with so many studios getting ready to launch their own streaming services, but for now…if its quantity…hit Amazon. For quality, stick with Netflix.

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