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Apple Daily: Q2 2015 Earnings; Best Buy Accepts Apple Pay; Low Watch Shipments

In today’s Apple Daily, Apple’s latest quarterly earnings shows that it made a large pile of money again. In other news, Best Buy has agreed to start accepting Apple Pay in spite of its obligations to rival payment service CurrentC, and only around 22 percent of Apple Watch preorders may have made their way onto the wrists of customers this weekend.

Apple Announces Q2 2015 Earnings

Apple’s financial results for the second fiscal and first calendar quarter are in, and in case you were wondering — yes, everyone’s favorite Cupertino company brought in a boatload of money. All total, the company brought in billion in revenue for the quarter and .6 billion of that was profit. Last year at this time, the company “only” brought in .6 billion in revenue, and its net quarterly profit reached only .2 billion. International sales accounted for a whopping 69 percent of the company’s revenue.

All this is especially good news for shareholders, as Apple also took the opportunity to announce that it’s expanding its share repurchase authorization from billion to 0 billion, and the company expects that it’ll return over 0 billion to shareholders by March 2017. To date, Apple has returned 2 billion to its shareholders.

Such massive numbers were built on the sales of 61.2 million iPhones, a significant boost from the 43.7 million sold during the same quarter last year. Mac sales remained strong, with 4.56 million units going out into the world compared to 4.1 million from the year before. The iPad, meanwhile, sold 12.6 million.

“We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac, and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.”

Best Buy Begins Accepting Apple Pay

It’s been about half a year, but you might recall that many retailers who were members of the MCX consoortium that was trying to push its own form of mobile payments (dubbed CurrentC) withdrew support for Apple Pay almost as soon as it launched. During today’s earnings call, however, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that MCX member Best Buy would start accepting Apple Pay on its app today. Sometime later in the year, you’ll also be able to use it in the store itself. Best Buy later confirmed the news in a tweet.

Yet that doesn’t mean that Best Buy plans to break with both CurrentC and MCX — according to a spokesperson from the company, Best Buy will “remain invested in MCX.” Now, however, Apple Pay will be offered alongside the rival payment system, and that can’t be good news for CurrentC. Apple device owners will now have a choice of which service they use upon entering the store, and considering the ease and security of using Apple Pay, there’s almost doubt as to which service they’ll choose.

Only 22 Percent of Apple Watch Preorders May Have Shipped Last Weekend

We’ve known for a while that the Apple Watch had a bumpy start thanks to all the day-one sellouts back on April 10, but new (and somewhat speculative) data from Slice Intelligence suggest it may be even bumpier than previously thought. Based on Slice’s estimation, only around 22 percent (or 376,000 units) of preorders were delivered over the weekend, and there are perhaps as many as 547,000 Apple Watch preorders waiting to go out between today and June 11.

Slice Intelligence obtains its data by studying the receipts from around 2 million customers who reportedly agreed to have such data tracked. The firm has recorded 10,774 transactions for the Apple Watch to date, a number which (to Slice) translates into around 1.7 million Apple Watches sold in the U.S. so far.

Apple CFO Luca Maestri is very much aware of the frustration, and in an interview with Bloomberg News following today’s earning’s call, he stated that the company is working “very, very hard” to keep up with the demand. Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the shortages during today’s earnings call as well.

“Right now, demand is greater than supply, so we’re working hard to remedy that,” Cook said. “We were able to ship more watches during this past weekend than we had anticipated.”

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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The Week’s 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, April 25


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Apple Daily: Apple Watch Essentially Waterproof, Contains Unused Blood Oxygen Monitor

At last, after years of speculation that Apple was designing a smartwatch of its own, the device is at last here and on our wrists. And now that we can get a better look at the device, details previously undisclosed by Apple are starting to emerge. In today’s Apple Daily, for instance, we learn that the Apple Watch is effectively waterproof, and that the highly anticipated wearable has an unactivated device installed for measuring your blood oxygen.

Apple Watch Subjected to Extreme Water Tests, Comes Out Unscathed

While most new Apple Watch owners were busy loading their devices with new apps this morning, the folks over at Australia’s FoneFox were busy dunking it in buckets of water and taking showers with it. And good thing, too. Thanks to their efforts, we know that all that talk about the Apple Watch being merely “water resistant” rather than waterproof was largely legal-safe downplaying of the device’s true potential.

FoneFox conducted the experiments with a 38mm Apple Watch Sport, which easily survived the first tests that include light splashing and a five-minute simulated showers with both soap and water. Seemingly miraculously, the device emerged with “absolutely no issues whatsoever.”

Naturally, that meant it was time to up the ante on the punishment meted out on the new wearable by leaving it submerged in a bucket of water for five minutes. Yep, it came out fine. After that, the team at FoneFox took a swim with the device on for 15 minutes, after which the swimmer emerged to find it worked as well as it had when they’d first handled it this morning. The only complication was some poor responsiveness on the part of the touchscreen when the device was underwater. All things considered, the device passed the tests perfectly.

It’s worth noting that, despite the official claims of the device being merely “water resistant,” Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed that he’d worn the Apple Watch in a shower as early as February without adverse effects.

Apple Watch Contains Inactive Blood Oxygen Monitor

The Apple Watch’s surprising degree of “water resistance” isn’t the only aspect of the Apple Watch that Apple’s being humble about. As discovered by iFixit in its teardown, the device also has a sensor that’s capable of measuring your blood oxygen, but Apple currently has it deactivated. So far, the Apple Watch only uses it to monitor your heart rate.

“Apple’s heart rate monitor is actually a plethysmograph — it looks and acts like a pulse oximeter,” iFixit says in its video.

It’s not exactly a groundbreaking feature; after all, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and other smartphones from the Korean company already have a similar monitor installed. Much like Samsung’s, Apple’s sensor calculating the amount of oxygen in your blood by determining how much infrared light it absorbs.

Current speculation about why the monitor is switched off runs the gamut from concerns about the sensors being too inaccurate (as per a Wall Street Journal report from February) to Apple’s possible wariness about drawing too much attention from the FDA. Considering the way the device’s capabilities might have been scaled back from the initial rumors, it’s almost certainly the latter.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: Apple Watch App Store, User Guides Go Live; iPod Refresh This Fall?

Raise your hand if you’re excited about Apple Watch! Okay, the couple of you in the back who didn’t raise your hands, stick around, because this edition of Apple Daily has some non-Watch news as well. But if you’re not excited, you probably should be, because new Apple product-category launches don’t happen too often! Let’s dispense with the tomfoolery and jump right in.

Apple Watch User Guide, App Store Now Available

Prospective Apple Watch buyers have had months to pore over every excruciating bit of minutiae about the smartwatch, but should there remain any nagging questions about the device on the eve of preorders arriving in the hands of customers Friday, there’s now a user guide with all the answers.

Apple Watch User Guide

On Thursday, Apple published the official Apple Watch User Guide on its website, which breaks down into 22 categories covering every aspect of the wearable device one might expect. With sections entitled Get Started, Basics, Watch Faces, Notifications, Glances, Timekeeping, Messages, Digital Touch, Mail, Phone Calls, and Calendars and Reminders, among others, the manual should give anxious watch buyers plenty to study in the hours that remain before the devices are delivered tomorrow.

Apple has also hung the open sign outside the Apple Watch App Store, a specialized version of the existing iOS App Store focused on Watch-compatible titles that actually lives inside the Apple Watch app introduced with iOS 8.2. As previewed by Buzzfeed earlier today, the store’s virtual shelves are stocked with more than 3,000 apps, including all the usual suspects like Twitter, Instapaper, and The New York Times being singled out for special attention.

Apple Watch App Store

Apple Watch owners will also be able to use the existing App Store on their iPhone or from a Mac or Windows PC, with compatible product listings now showing watch screenshots below the usual iPhone screenshots, and a special “Offers Apple Watch App for iPhone” indicator under the title, making it easier for apps that feature support for the device to stand out from those that do not.

Initial Apple Watch preorders are expected to begin arriving on Friday, but apparently the device will not actually be available to purchase for customers walking into an Apple retail store — a departure from the usual long lines and circus atmosphere that has greeted every new iPhone and iPad released since 2007.

Report: iPod Could Live to Fight Another Day

AppleInsider today reported that Apple hasn’t quite forgotten about the iPod, the media player that helped pave the way for Cupertino to become more than just a computer manufacturer. According to an unidentified source, the product line will apparently see at least one more refresh later this year, with an emphasis on the iPod touch in particular, which may or may not retain the current four-inch form factor.

iPod touch

The iPod lineup has remained the same since late 2012, but the report specifically cites the processor, storage capacity, and camera as specific areas Apple may address in an effort to boost interest in its once-mighty media player.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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Apple Daily: Earlier Apple Watches Shipments; Drowned Apple Products

In today’s Apple Daily, some Apple Watches that were sold after the April 10 morning sellout are reportedly going out much sooner than expected. In other news, you can apparently replace your Apple Watch’s band without replacing the entire watch, and a jilted lover from Japan dumps her ex-boyfriend’s entire Apple collection in the tub.

Some Apple Watch Orders Shipping Much Sooner Than Expected

The Apple Watch‘s quick sellout might have been great news for Apple, but it must have been crushing for enthusiastic early (but not early enough) adopters who discovered that they’d have to wait at least four to six weeks for the device instead of picking it up on release day. Today, however, Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed‘s John Paczkowski that many post-sellout buyers would, in fact, get their devices much sooner. Indeed, as of this morning, customers all over the Internet with listed shipping times of four to six weeks saw that their orders were now “Preparing for Shipment” just a few days ahead of the device’s official launch.

“We’re happy to be updating many customers today with the news that their Apple Watch will arrive sooner than expected,” said an Apple spokeswoman to BuzzFeed news. “Our team is working to fill orders as quickly as possible based on the available supply and the order in which they were received. We know many customers are still facing long lead times and we appreciate their patience.”

That means that while meany customers may get their Apple Watches sooner than they were expecting, they might still have to wait a few days after the initial orders start arriving on April 24. Preorders for the device began on April 10, but it sold out in less than six hours after it became available at 12:01 a.m.

 

Apple Allowing Customers to Replace Bands without Full Returns

A recently discovered “internal employee training document” from Apple (via MacRumors) indicates that you won’t have to return your entire Apple Watch if you’re merely disappointed with the band’s size, color, or style. Instead, you can replace the band itself (although this doesn’t apply to the super-pricey Apple Watch Edition). The move is apparently focused on both convenience and swiftness, as merely replacing the band will keep customers from having to set-up and sync and entirely new watch.

Some rules apply, naturally. The band replacement service is only available within the 14-day return period, and the watch needs to have been purchased on Apple’s Online Store, the Apple Store App, or an official Apple Watch kiosk. (Warranty considerations mean that you can’t swap them out like this if you bought your watch at one of the high-end retailers around the world carrying the Apple Watch, such as the Dover Street Market in London.)

In addition, the new band must “must be within the same collection as the watch and must be an available band option for that watch face.” And if you’re doing a little bit of third-party dealing, you can’t use the service if you’re “using band swaps as a way to configure a sellable product for a customer.”

The document also states that you’ll have to include your watch band if you want a full return for your Apple Watch within the 14-day return period, and you won’t be able to get a refund at all if you only purchased the bands (and not the Apple Watch itself).

 

Jilted Lover Drowns Ex’s Apple Products in Bathtub

As a closer, here are two photos from a supposedly jilted ex-girlfriend from Japan who knows how to hit an Apple lover where it hurts. Twitter user @foolishnessfly2 found out that her former boyfriend had cheated on her, and so she dumped his entire Apple collection into a bathtub that was completely filled with water.

There’s at least several thousand dollars’ worth of damage in the photo, as the tub appears to include two iPhones, two MacBooks, and an iPad at the very least. In another photo, she dunked an entire iMac into the soapy water. Since waterproofing devices currently isn’t one of Apple’s strong points, it’s probably safe to say that trying to save the devices is a lost cause. Still, could be a good time to try the rice trick.

As of the time of writing, the photos had been retweeted more than 17,000 times.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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