Biz Break: Apple takes center stage for the day

Top Of The Order: 

Pick An Apple, Any Apple: Usually, when Apple schedules one of its “special events”, speculation about just what the company has planned begins to be bandied about long in advance of the actual event itself. And most of the time, much of that speculation ends up being true.

In the case of the event Apple held at its Cupertino campus Monday, all of it was true.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook took the stage and from the moment he started talking, there were no real surprises: The company unveiled a new iPhone SE, a new iPad Pro and some new bands for the Apple Watch. Apple also cut the base price of the Apple Watch to $299 from $349, and also highlighted some upcoming changes to the Apple TV set-top box.

But Cook also used his platform to remind everyone about what he sees is at stake with Apple’s refusal to help the FBI crack open the iPhone that belonged to one of shooters in last fall’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

“We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and our privacy,” Cook said at the start of Apple’s event.

Middle Innings:

Do Cigars Come With Room Service?: Even though he is a U.S. citizen, President Obama certainly had no problem getting a reservation for his historic trip to Cuba this week. And pretty soon, it will be easier for the average American to get a hotel room in Havana, thanks to

The Priceline-owned said Monday it has reached an agreement to become the first online travel site in the U.S. that will let certain American travelers make hotel reservations in Cuba. Prior to’s deal, American travelers had to use travel agents to make Cuban hotel reservations . said the online service would be available “in the coming weeks.”

Bye, Bye Blackberry: There was once a time when Blackberry ruled the smartphone world. And then the iPhone happened. And then Android happened. And then Microsoft Windows Phone happened. Well, maybe that last one is still waiting to really happen, but that’s another story for another time.

But back to Blackberry. It’s no secret that Blackberry’s position in the smartphone world just isn’t what it used to be. And another sign of that reality came in the form of Facebook dropping its support for Blackberry’s mobile operating system. Facebook is following in the footsteps of its own WhatsApp messaging app, which last month said it was dropping support for Blackberry.

Blackberry users won’t be completely out of luck with regards to using Facebook on their devices, however. On March 31, Blackberry will launch its own app that will direct Blackberry users to the desktop version of Facebook.

Doctor Who, I Presume…: The BBC TV series “Doctor Who” is one of those shows that seems like it has been around for about a hundred years and had about a bazillion fans worldwide. But if you had been trying to find the show on a streaming service, which now stars the always-awesome Peter Capaldi in the title role, you were as out of luck as those Blackberry users of Facebook’s mobile app will soon be.

Fear not, Whovians (Is that what “Doctor Who” fans call themselves), because on Monday Amazon and the BBC announced a new, multi-year deal that makes Amazon Prime the exclusive online streaming site for “Doctor Who” in the U.S. The moves comes after the BBC had pulled “Doctor Who” episodes from Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu due to disagreements over programming and how streaming services are looking for more exclusive content that isn’t available over rival outlets. “Doctor Who” will make its next appearance on Amazon Prime on March 27.

Bottom Of The Lineup:

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Monday…

Movin’ On Up: Oclaro shares rose more than 6 percent, and Arista Networks, FormFactor, Fortinet and Medivation also closed with gains.

In The Red: Affymetrix had a rough day of it, as its shares fell almost 10 percent. Other losses came from RingCentral, Advanced Micro Devices, Omnicell and Rovi.

The SV150 Index of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies edged up by 0.2 percent to 1,599.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.3 percent to 4,808.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 percent to close at 17,623.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.1 percent to end the day at 2,051.

Quote Of The Day: “There are now more than 1 billion Apple devices in use around the world.” — Apple CEO Tim Cook, at Apple’s company event Monday. That’s approximately one Apple device for every seven people on Earth.

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Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the company’s product launch event Monday at Apple headquarters in Cupertino. Cook said there are 1 billion active Apple devices in the world. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)



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  • foroa

    i contacted the carrier trying to purchase the killer iphone se and the sales guy yelled at me from the top of her lung that the iphone se is not available yet, sigh… i can’t wait for the se upgrade. apparently there will be millions of android, windows, and blackberry owning guys who will jump to this $399 se, which is really a iphone 6s in different skin. gosh, i’m getting a headache just imagining how am i gonna be able to get the se upgrade when so many people will be trying get it too. do i have to sleep outside the apple store? omg.

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