5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Nov. 3

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Qualcomm, which faces the prospect of losing Apple as a customer for its modem chips amid litigation between the two companies.

Also making the list this week are CACI, for losing out on several big-ticket government contracts; Google, for a glitch in its Google Docs cloud system; Oracle, for a scary vulnerability in its Identity Manager software; and an Apple store in San Francisco that's missing some of its Apple iPhone X inventory.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves – or just had good luck – check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Apple Reportedly Designing iPhones and iPads Without Qualcomm Chips

Amidst a deteriorating relationship between Apple and modem chip manufacturer Qualcomm came a report this week that Apple is developing next-generation iPhones and iPads without Qualcomm chips.

That's bad news for Qualcomm, which reported a significant decline in third-quarter sales and earnings in July when Apple and its contract manufacturers withheld royalty payments because of ongoing litigation between the companies.

This week The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is designing iPhone and iPads for 2018 that would drop Qualcomm components. The story said Apple is considering building the devices using only modem chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek.

The relationship between Apple and Qualcomm had become increasingly contentious, starting earlier this year when Apple filed a $1 billion lawsuit charging that Qualcomm was demanding unfair licensing royalties and later stopped making payments to the company. Qualcomm counter-sued and has sought to block the manufacture and sale of iPhones in China.

Qualcomm's week did not end any better with reports on Friday that the company might be the target of an unsolicited takeover bid by Broadcom.

CACI Stock Tumbles After Several Contract Bids Misfire

Intelligence and defense IT contractor CACI didn't win as many high-value U.S. government contracts in its fiscal 2018 first quarter as anticipated, the company said this week, dealing a blow to the company's 30 to 50 percent contract capture rate.

During the company's earnings call Thursday CEO Ken Ashbury said that while some contract opportunities remain in the pipeline, the company failed to snare several $500 million-plus contracts.

CACI's stock plunged more than 12 percent from its $142.15 per share close Wednesday to nearly $131 per share Thursday morning and has hovered near $130 per share since.

Google Scrambles To Fix Docs Problem, Answer Questions About Content Monitoring

Google scrambled this week to fix a system glitch that locked some people out of their Google Docs documents on Tuesday, telling users they had violated terms of service or their content had been flagged as "inappropriate" and could not be shared.

The problem was resolved after several hours. The New York Times story covering the issue quoted a Google spokesman as blaming a "code push" that caused a small percentage of Google Docs to be incorrectly flagged as abusive, which led to the users being blocked.

However, the incident illustrated how much Google systems are monitoring online content using machine learning and artificial intelligence technology – to detect abuse and protect users, the company says. As the Times story said, it was a stark reminder that not much is truly private in the cloud.

Oracle Patches Significant Bug In Identity Manager

Also in the "scramble to fix a glitch" department, Oracle this week pushed out an emergency update for a bug in Oracle Identity Manager that scored a 10.0 – the highest severity – on the CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) scale.

The vulnerability enables an attacker to remotely take over the software without the need for authentication, according to a story on ThreatPost.com

"Due to the severity of this vulnerability, Oracle strongly recommends that customers apply the updates provided by this Security Alert without delay," Oracle said in its own advisory, calling the bug "easily exploitable."

Thieves Make Off With More Than 300 iPhone X Smartphones In San Francisco

Some people just can't wait in line.

It's a rough week for the Apple Store at the Stonestown Galleria mall in San Francisco where thieves stole more than 300 Apple iPhone X smartphones from a UPS truck parked outside.

The stolen phones, which retail for $999 each, had a value of $370,000, according to reports on CNET, SFGate, and other news sites.

News reports say three men wearing hoodies and driving a white Dodge van broke into the UPS truck while it was parked outside of the mall before noon on Wednesday.

The theft came just before the iPhone X went on sale today at Apple stores, where consumers lined up to buy the new iPhone. There have been questions whether Apple stores have enough iPhone X inventory to meet demand – a dilemma the managers of the Stonestown Galleria Apple store are now facing head-on.