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Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts is leaving the company

She will be replaced by a 30-year Apple veteran.

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Apple Deirdre O'Brien at Apple-Park

Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts will leave the company in April for “new personal and professional pursuits,” says Apple. Ahrendts led Apple’s retail and online stores for the past five years, with 35 online stores and 506 retail stores on five continents.

Filling in Angela Ahrendts’ place at Apple is Deirdre O’Brien, a long-time Apple veteran with 30 years of Apple experience. She will be taking on new responsibilities for Apple’s retail and online stores in an expanded dual role as Senior Vice President of Retail + People, while continuing to lead the People team and all People-related operations.

“At Apple, we believe our soul is our people, and Deirdre understands the qualities and strengths of our team better than anyone,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “For more than three decades, she has helped keep Apple focused on serving customers and enriching lives. She’s an exceptional leader and she’s been a vital partner to our retail teams around the world since the very beginning. I am thrilled to work alongside Deirdre in her new role, and I know our 70,000 retail employees will be, too.”

O’Brien said, “It is the opportunity of a lifetime to work with, and learn from, such a talented, diverse and imaginative team. I am looking forward to this journey, and to continuing the important work of the People team in supporting all of Apple’s amazing employees.”

“The last five years have been the most stimulating, challenging and fulfilling of my career. Through the teams’ collective efforts, Retail has never been stronger or better positioned to make an even greater contribution for Apple,” said Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of Retail. “I feel there is no better time to pass the baton to Deirdre, one of Apple’s strongest executives. I look forward to watching how this amazing team, under her leadership, will continue to change the world one person and one community at a time.”

Apple has already updated its executive leadership page with O’Brien’s new position as Senior Vice President of Retail + People. Ahrendts will stay at Apple until April, according to the comapny.

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Xiaomi unveils the Mi 9 flagship

First flagship of 2019.

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Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi has announced the 2019 flagship Mi 9 today. The handset is first in line to be this year’s premium android flagship phone, with specs that could rival last year’s Huawei offering.

The Mi 9 raises the bar for this year’s upcoming Android phones in terms of specs. The 6.39-inch FHD phone is powered by Qualcomm’s first 7nm Snapdragon 855 processor, coupled with either 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM — that’s absolutely on your preference. Fueling the device is a 3,300mAh battery with Qualcomm’s Quick Charging technology; that’s 27W for wired charging, and 20W for wireless. There’s also an under-the-display fingerprint sensor to use.

Interestingly, the Chinese smartphone maker has made noticeable improvements on the camera front. The Mi 9 carries along a triple-camera setup on the back, and a ‘Dot Drop’ look on the front. On offer is a 48-megapixel camera sensor on the rear, but there’s a catch! It uses Sony IMX586 sensor, which will render the photos you take with a 0.8-micron pixel size at 48 megapixels, and will be a bit noisy. The best you can get from this lens is at 12 megapixels with a 1.6-micron pixel size. DxOMark score for the Mi 9 is 107 points, for the record.

Pricing starts at 2,999 RMB ($446) for the base 6GB/128GB variant, and goes up to 3,999 RMB ($595) for 12GB/256GB configuration. There’s also a middle-tier that will cost you 3,299 RMB ($490) for 8GB/128GB. Availability of the Mi 9 remains in China for now. Given the history Xiaomi has with product launches, International release should take some time.

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Apple’s latest iPhone ad is Bokeh​’d

Did you bokeh my child?

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iPhone Ad Depth Control Bokeh

Apple has posted a new iPhone ad that shows off Portrait Mode Depth Control in action. The ad highlights how you can bokeh and unbokeh photos shot on iPhone even after you’ve captured them.

After a long time, we have seen Apple coming up with such a hilarious ad. In the clip, two parents are having an uncomfortable talk over the use of bokeh in their children’s photo. One blames the other of ignoring Jacob (her child), referring to the blurred effect which we all know as bokeh. You can watch the iPhone ad in full length below.

Depth Control on iPhone XS and iPhone XR lets you adjust the bokeh effect on backgrounds before or after you shoot. So you can turn a cute portrait of two kids into a stunning portrait of one kid.

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Apple acquires digital marketing startup DataTiger

With iPhone sales coming lower than expected, this might actually help.

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DataTiger

Apple has acquired digital marketing startup DataTiger, reports Bloomberg. The report cites a regulatory filing from December that quotes Apple as the controlling body for Operatedata Ltd., the legal name of DataTiger.

DataTiger’s CEO Philip Mohr writes “we’re re-thinking the whole marketing experience,” on LinkedIn.

DataTiger is a set of tools that enables you to build marketing software that puts your data to work. Using DataTiger is the fastest and easiest way to increase retention & monetisation. With our platform you can individually optimize the marketing flows for your customers in real-time across all channels.

DataTiger can be used as an online tool, importing your data and set up user flows in minutes, with all of your data living in the cloud – or it can be fully customized in-house, building your own marketing solution via our APIs + open-source front-end components.

Founded in 2017, DataTiger is relatively a small company, with 2-10 employees, headquartered in the UK. Apple hasn’t disclosed financial terms of the deal yet, however, it should be considered as a small-scale acquistion.

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