China consumer group seeks answers from Apple about slowing iPhones

The blog Primate Labs, a company that makes an app for measuring the speed of an iPhone’s processor, published data that appeared to show slower performance in the Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models as they aged. (Reuters)
Updated 16 January 2018

China consumer group seeks answers from Apple about slowing iPhones

SHANGHAI: A Chinese consumer group has asked Apple for information about the slowing of older iPhones after operating system updates, demanding a reply before Friday, state news agency Xinhua reported.
The query from the Shanghai Consumer Council came in response to consumer feedback that old iPhones became sluggish after upgrading the software to iOS 10.2.1, it said.
In a letter to Apple on Monday, the council requested an explanation for the slow-down and information about what Apple planned to do to rectify the problem, Xinhua reported.
The California-based company acknowledged in December that iPhone software can slow down some phones with battery problems and apologized for the issue. It also cut battery replacement costs and said it would change its software to show users whether their phone batteries were working well.
The Shanghai Consumer Council, a non-government organization approved by the Chinese authorities, said it had received 2,615 complaints about Apple products and services in 2017, compared with 964 complaints in 2015.


Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres bucks retail malaise as profits surge

Updated 21 August 2019

Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres bucks retail malaise as profits surge

  • Mall operator defies online shopping pressure by lowering discounts to tenants, boosting occupancy and rental revenues

LONDON: Arabian Centres, the Saudi mall operator which went public in May, said first-quarter consolidated net profit almost trebled to SR227 million ($60.53 million) as occupancy edged higher across its shopping centers. Revenues increased by about 2.5 percent over the year to SR572.5 million.

The results helped to propel the group’s shares 3 percent higher on Tuesday.

The group said that it boosted performance by offering lower discounts to its tenants which helped to drive rental revenues. Like-for-like occupancy across all malls increased  to 93.2 percent from 92.4 percent in the year earlier period. Finance costs fell by about 65 percent from a year earlier to SR73.9 million.

FASTFACT

 

27 - Arabian Centres plans to expand its mall portfolio to 27 within four years.

Retailers across the Middle East are coming under increased pressure as more consumers shop online, while at the same time, tourists are spending less in dollar-pegged economies because their purchasing power has been cut by the strength of the greenback. Still, in Saudi Arabia, the under-served retail market is expected to receive a boost from rising investment in the entertainment sector, especially new cinemas.

“Faced with the rising challenge of online shopping, the brick-and-mortar retail segment has sought to diversify its offering to secure its customer base, providing an increased range of leisure and entertainment facilities,” said Oxford Business Group, in a report analyzing emerging trends in the Saudi retail sector.

“The reintroduction of cinemas to the Kingdom in April last year ... is expected to increase retail footfall,” it said.

Arabian Centres, majority-owned by Fawaz Alhokair Group, listed its shares on the Tadawul stock exchange in May — the first to do so in the Kingdom under Rule 144a, allowing the sale of securities, mainly to qualified institutional buyers in the US.

The group aims to expand to 27 malls within four years.