Tech Digest daily roundup: Apple’s British sales bounce back to record £1.5bn


Apple’s UK sales have bounced back
to a record £1.5bn amid strong demand for its top-of-the-range iPhones. The company’s UK retail arm, which includes its British bricks-and-mortar stores, reported a 61pc surge in revenues in the 12 months ending in September 2022. The uptick represented a sharp recovery after sales fell during the pandemic. Revenue dropped from £1.4bn in 2019 to £971m by 2021. However, Apple rode a wave of consumer spending that followed the end of lockdowns as interest rates remained low for a period and people spent built-up pandemic savings. Telegraph 

More than a quarter of UK adults have used generative artificial intelligence such as chatbots, according to survey showing that 4 million people have also used it for work. Generative AI, which refers to AI tools that produce convincing text or images in response to human prompts, has gripped the public imagination since the launch of ChatGPT in November. The rate of adoption of the latest generation of AI systems exceeds that of voice-assisted speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa, according to accounting group Deloitte, which published the survey. The Guardian 

Apple has released the public beta of iOS 17, allowing people to try out its latest iPhone update. It has also made trial versions of the new updates for the iPad, Mac, Apple TV and Watch all available to the public. But they come with a warning: in return for getting access early, users take the risk that there might be bugs or stability issues in the latest update. They are also set to change more often than usual, as Apple works towards making the software available to everyone in a full version in autumn. Independent 

School-leavers are choosing computing courses in record numbers, according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). This year’s application data showed 18-year-olds were increasingly inspired to study computing “thanks to the rise of digital and AI”, UCAS chief executive Clare Marchant said. Applications to study computing were up almost 10% compared to 2022. However, it was only the seventh most popular area of higher education study. BBC 

The new Tesla 2023.20 update brings one of the most required new features, or, rather fixes, that Tesla drivers have been demanding for ages, namely direct windshield wiper speed control from the steering wheel. Elon Musk recently inferred that the erratic Tesla wipers behavior that can send them wiping vigorously on a sunny day while driving on Autopilot because a bug squashed on the windshield, or get them tricked by bright lights at night, could be due to deficiencies in the camera software. 

The US competition watchdog has launched an investigation into the creator of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun an examination into the ChatGPT maker, OpenAI, seeking to find out what the company’s data privacy rules are and what action it takes to stop its technology from giving wrong information. It will look at whether there have been any harms posed by ChatGPT responding with false answers to users’ questions. Sky News 

The U.K. competition regulator on Friday said it is extending the deadline for its review of Microsoft’s takeover of video game publisher of Activision Blizzard by six weeks. The extension will give the watchdog more time to review proposals by the two parties to resolve its concerns after it paused a campaign to block the deal. “The Inquiry Group has decided to extend by six weeks … as it considers that there are special reasons to do so. The revised period will therefore end on 29 August 2023,” the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Friday. CNBC

Chris Price
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