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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
May 5, 2024
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Tech Talk is a weekly digest by Boardroom’s Michelai Graham that breaks down the latest news from the world’s biggest tech companies and the future of industry-shaping trends like AI.

TikTok has its hands full right now. In addition to rallying creators for an impending legal battle with the US government, the popular social media app is also preparing for the Met Gala on Monday. I’m so ready to judge everything on the Met steps from my couch with sweats on.

A peek into today’s edition: 

  • Big Tech earnings update
  • Tech Talk Reviews: Beats Solo 4
  • TikTok and UMG ink new licensing deal

Big Tech, Big Money: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, & Meta Post Earnings

We’re in the thick of Big Tech earnings season once again, with AI chipmakers like Arm and Nvidia expected to post earnings reports later this month.

Artificial intelligence, advertising, and cloud computing seem to be the common themes across earnings calls in recent weeks. Let’s take a look at some of the key revenue highlights and updated financial outlooks from Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Meta. I also included some important things to watch for the next earnings round.


  • Apple announced its largest share buyback ever, $110 billion, to make up for a 10% drop in iPhone sales in the past year. Overall, Apple generated $90.8 billion in revenue last quarter. The company’s board also approved a dividend of 25 cents per share. The report drove a big bump for the tech giant on Friday, as it posted its biggest day for trading since 2022.
  • The company generated $45.96 billion in iPhone revenue in its most recent quarter, which is slightly under the $46 billion that analysts projected. Apple Watch and AirPods sales were also down 10% year over year to $7.9 billion.
  • What to watch: Apple didn’t provide formal financial guidance, but the company did say it expects to see a significant uptick in iPad sales after this current quarter. We haven’t seen formal revenue numbers on Vision Pro sales, but I think those will come soon.


  • Amazon’s net income tripled to $10.4 billion in Q1, driving positive profit for the company. The Big Tech giant generated $143.3 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 13% year over year.
  • Amazon’s advertising and Amazon Web Services divisions shined the most, with $11.8 billion and $25 billion in revenue, respectively. That’s a 24% uptick for the company’s advertising sector and a 17% surge for AWS.
  • What to watch: Amazon is on pace to hit $100 billion in annual cloud computing sales for the first time ever.


  • Microsoft’s revenue was $61.9 billion, up 17% from this time last year. The company reported 31% growth in revenue from its Azure Cloud sector, 7% of which came from AI-related offerings.
  • Microsoft’s gaming revenue is up, thanks to Activision Blizzard, which included a 62% uptick in revenue from Xbox content and services. This revenue is grouped into Microsoft’s More Personal Computing division, which generated $15.6 billion in revenue alone.
  • What to watch: Microsoft projects it will generate $64 billion in revenue in its next quarter. The Big Tech giant is also aggressively investing in AI and cloud infrastructure across foreign regions. Most recently, Microsoft announced a $2.2 billion investment in Malaysia after cutting checks to do the same thing in Japan and Abu Dhabi.


  • Google‘s parent company posted better-than-expected earnings for Q1, bumping its shares up as much as 14% and posting its biggest stock spike since July 2015. The Big Tech giant generated $80.5 billion in revenue, up 15% from the previous year, marking its fastest growth rate since early 2022. Google Cloud generated $9.57 billion in revenue, outpacing projections of $9.35 billion.
  • Alphabet’s board approved its first dividend of 20 cents per share and announced the company will be repurchasing $70 billion in stock.
  • What to watch: Alphabet is spending a lot on AI, but the company may continue to earn a lot of cash back from its booming advertising business in future quarters. Elsewhere, Google‘s antitrust trial concluded this week in DC, which could impact how its search engine operates.


  • Meta’s stock was down as much as 16% after CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors that it may take several years for the company to generate profit from its expensive push into generative AI. Still, Meta generated $36.5 billion in revenue last quarter, which was up 27% year over year.
  • Threads now has more than 150 million monthly users, but Meta still hasn’t plugged advertising efforts into the platform. Zuckerberg said the company will focus on monetization once the app shows sufficient growth.
  • What to watch: Meta projects its Q2 revenue will be between $36 and $39 billion, though capital expenditures are expected to reach as much as $40 billion this year. Meta previously forecasted it would spend between $30 to $37 million, but AI boosted that.

Tech Talk Reviews: Beats Solo 4

This week, Beats unveiled the fourth generation of its Solo wireless headphones and new earbuds. Solo 4 comes seven years after its predecessor was released. I’ve spent the week testing the new headphones after not using my Beats Solo 3s for more than six months. Check out my latest review.

  • Universal Music Group and TikTok are back together after a brutal three-month breakup. The pair reached a new licensing agreement that will bring music from UMG artists, songwriters, and labels back to the short-form video app.
  • Amazon-backed Anthropic is taking its conversational AI chatbot Claude mobile with its first iOS app. The launch of the free iPhone app comes as the generative AI company also announced its first enterprise offering, dubbed Team, that leverages AI for tasks like admin and billing management, document processing, and more.
  • Meta is boosting creators on its platforms with some recent updates. Instagram announced a new algorithm this week that will prioritize original content over accounts with large followings and those that repurpose content. The Big Tech giant is also offering monetary incentives to influencers who post on Threads and drive engagement.
  • The University of Pennsylvania announced a new Master of Science in AI, which will be offered through its School of Engineering and Applied Science, the first degree of its kind from an Ivy League. The news comes two months after Penn introduced a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Artificial Intelligence degree.
  • Amazon announced the general availability of Amazon Q, its generative AI assistant for businesses and developers looking to accelerate software development and leverage internal data. Employees can also use the platform to gather business results, review company policies, and more.
  • There has been a lot of good and bad buzz around media companies working with Big Tech. First, Axel Springer and Microsoft announced an expanded partnership that spans advertising, AI, content, and cloud computing, while OpenAI inked a strategic partnership with the Financial Times that includes content use. Elsewhere, eight Alden Global Capital-owned US newspapers, including the New York Daily News and Chicago Tribune, are suing Microsoft and OpenAI for copyright infringement.

This new music video is being reported as the first of its kind to be produced through OpenAI‘s generative text-to-video platform, Sora. This particular example gave me a bit of a headache, but I’m going to bet that we’ll see a slew of major artists release AI-generated music videos by the end of the year.