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Apple Daily: Apple’s Q3 Earnings Report; Beats 1 Traffic Affects Apple Services

The numbers are in for the iPhone, iPad, the Mac, and yes, the Apple Watch from Apple’s quarterly earnings call, and while those numbers are impressive, Wall Street doesn’t seem too happy. In other news, Apple’s planned announcement of the MTV Video Music Award nominees apparently crashed Beats 1 this morning, along with most of Apple’s other online services.

Apple Reveals Q3 2015 Sales in Quarterly Earnings Call

Apple held its quarterly earnings call today, and as you might have expected, the company’s sitting on a massive pile of cash. Indeed, the Cupertino company made .7 billion in operating profit during the last quarter, which means the company now has 2 billion in cash to draw from. Apple had already broken records with last quarter’s report of 4 billion, and it’s worth noting that it achieved this new record even after giving back billion to shareholders in dividends.

As expected, the iPhone did quite well during the quarter. All total, Apple sold 47.5 million units of the popular smartphone, representing a 35 percent increase from the same time last year. That’s down a bit from the jaw-dropping 74.5 billion iPhones Apple sold in Q1 and the 61 million it sold in Q2, but it’s still an impressive figure to achieve in what is typically the slowest period for iPhone sales.

The App Store had its best quarter ever, and Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that it saw a 24 percent increase in revenue and a 19 percent growth in the number of transacting customers. Mac sales were up, too, as Apple sold 4.8 million units during the last quarter, a jump up from the 4.4 million sold in the year-ago quarter. As expected, the iPad continued its slow, sad decline with just 10.9 million sold compared to the 13.3 million sold at this point last year.

Tim Cook also revealed some information about sales for the Apple Watch, although (as expected) he didn’t mention specific numbers. Still, he did claim that it “exceeded expectations” even with the constrained supplies and that “We feel really great about how we did.”

In fact, according to Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri, the Apple Watch sold more units in its first nine weeks than the iPhone and iPad sold during the same timeframe after their initial release. The original iPhone saw around 1 million units sold in the month after its release, and the iPad saw 3 million sold during the same span of time. Notably, Maestri also claimed that June was the best month for Apple Watch sales, countering earlier market speculation that Apple Watch sales declined sharply during that period.

All this talk of record-breaking quarters might sound impressive, but it apparently didn’t impress Wall Street investors. As of the time of writing, Apple stock had plummeted by 6.76 percent in after-hours trading.


Beats 1 Traffic Seemingly Crashes Many Apple Services

There’s been no official response from Apple itself, but it seems as though the rush of listeners trying to learn the VMA nominees on Beats 1 this morning caused a massive outage affecting multiple Apple services. Apple and MTV had planned to announce this year’s nominees on Beats 1 exclusively, but MTV ended up simply announcing the nominees on its Twitter account at the scheduled time. At least they were good sports about it, as the feed is full of references that suggest that nothing is amiss at all (e.g., “Who’s listening to @Beats1 on @AppleMusic for more nominees?”).

Apple may not have said anything about the event aside from a System Status message that “Users are experiencing a problem with the services listed above,” but the evidence seems strong. The System Status page itself claims that the problems happened right before 10:00 a.m. EST, which is precisely when MTV had announced the nominations were going to take place.

Files stored in iCloud apparently weren’t affected, but almost everything else — from Apple Music (and Beats 1) and both App Stores to Apple TV and iBooks — was down for the count.

If the traffic really was the culprit, it should serve as a wake-up call for Apple. First, it shows that the company’s push for exclusive announcements and interviews for Beats 1 can, in fact, draw massive traffic. Secondly, though, it shows that Apple needs to be better prepared if it intends to make similar announcements in the future. When the VMA announcements can take down an entertainment powerhouse like iTunes, it just looks bad.

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


Apple Daily: Apple Earnings Report w/ Apple Watch Date, iOS Patch 8.1.3

It’s quarterly report day at Apple, which means it’s time once again for us to drop our jaws at the record amounts of cash Apple is raking in. (And while they were at it, they dropped some info on the Apple Watch’s release date!)) If you’re still bummed out about some lingering bugs in iOS, never fear — there’s a patch for that.

Apple Reports Yet Another Record-Smashing Quarter

Apple released its quarterly earnings report for the first fiscal quarter of 2015 this afternoon, and true to recent fashion, the event was full of all kinds of smashed records and big numbers. In a single quarter, Apple sold a breathtaking 74.5 million iPhones and it generated a near-unimaginable billion in profits.

Total revenue for the quarter reached .6 billion, which equates into .06 per diluted share. The massive push associated with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus amounted to a 46 percent increase in year-over-year sales, and Mac sales reached an all-time high of 5.52 million units, representing a 14 percent year-over-year sales increase.

Alas, the iPad continued its slow decline with 21.4 million sales, falling down 18 percent from the previous year’s Q1 report. But on the bright side for Apple, iTunes, the App Store, and other staples of the company’s “Services” category brought in a record .8 billion.

The call was also notable in that Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives took the time to relay some other impressive figures, such as how Apple’s sold more than one billion total iOS devices to date. In addition, Cook dispelled the long-standing rumor that the Apple Watch would debut in March; instead, he says, it’s set to ship in April.

In related news, earlier in the day analyst firm Canalys revealed that the popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus helped make Apple the brand with the most smartphone shipments to China. That not only puts the Cupertino company ahead of homegrown competitors like Xiaomi and Huawei, but also ahead of longtime Korean rival Samsung.

Apple Releases Bug-Fixing Update for iOS

Apple today released iOS 8.1.3, which contains a number of important bug fixes, including a particularly nasty remedy for a bug that kept many users from entering their Apple ID passwords for Messages and FaceTime. In addition, the patch reportedly fixes the issue that was preventing multitasking gestures from working on the iPad, and another that prevented Spotlight from listing results from apps.

Elsewhere, the patch lessens the space needed to install an iOS update, and you can also access new “configuration options for education standardized testing.” Unfortunately, as noted by MacRumors, the patch apparently doesn’t fix the “GMT bug,” which has caused calendar syncing issues for some users by inaccurately listing times.

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


Morning Report: Apple Russia Inflates Prices, CarPlay Trademark, Get a Surface?

MacBook Air vs. Surface Pro 3

We’re sad, too: It’s our last Morning Report for 2014, but our Tuesday edition has the details on how much Russians will now pay for an iPhone 6 after the value of the ruble sagged last week, a patent filing for “Works with Apple CarPlay,” and a new strategy for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 hits the web. We’ll be back with our next report on January 5th, so click ahead, then go enjoy the holidays!

Russian Apple Online Store Returns with Inflated Local Prices

Last week, Apple chose to yank its Russian online store offline in the wake of a sudden 19 percent decline in interest rates that caused the country’s currency to deteriorate as much as 70 percent against the dollar. Bloomberg reported Monday that Apple has once again resumed online sales in Russia, but customers there will be paying a lot more than they did just a few days ago.

The most glaring example of the inflated price tag is the 16GB iPhone 6, which now costs 53,990 rubles (6), a 35 percent increase from 39,990 rubles prior to the December 16 shutdown. And Apple isn’t alone: The report notes that other global brands including Samsung and Cartier have also raised prices accordingly in Russia.

It’s not just hardware that’s being affected by the ruble’s decline. Shortly after taking the online store offline last week, Apple also increased the internal exchange rate used on the Russian version of the App Store, which nearly doubled the price of the least expensive titles from 33 to 62 rubles as a result.

Trademark Application Reveals “Works with Apple CarPlay”

Patently Apple today reported that Apple is apparently laying the groundwork for European third-party accessory makers to jack into CarPlay, the version of iOS that works with many 2015 model automobiles, as well as aftermarket systems from Alpine and Pioneer. Similar to the Made for iPhone (MFi) program, Works with Apple CarPlay appears to be a trademarked badge of honor for future accessories or services compatible with the automobile version of the software.

The report also notes Apple filed for a Chinese trademark on their Apple Pay logo on December 20, moving the iPhone maker another step closer to rolling out the mobile payment system in that country.

Microsoft Launches Website for MacBook Defectors

It’s starting to feel like the “Get a Mac” days in reverse: Over the pre-Christmas weekend, Microsoft launched a new “Making the Switch: MacBook to Surface Pro 3″ section on its website, with easy access to helpful tips on getting started with Windows, moving content from the Mac, and how to use an iPhone, iCloud, and iTunes with Microsoft’s tablet.

“Whether you’re considering Surface Pro 3 or have recently purchased one, we want to say thank you!” the website reads. “We designed Surface Pro 3 to make you more productive in every aspect of your digital work and life. We’re truly humbled you’re here, and we’re excited to see what you do with your new Surface.”

The website section also addresses some potentially thorny topics such as FaceTime and iMessage (solution: use Skype instead), ratcheting up Redmond’s recent promotional assault against Apple notebooks with a volley of television commercials. Can “Get a Surface” be far behind…?

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



Morning Report: 12-inch MacBook Air Rumor, Disney World Adds Apple Pay

Apple Pay at Walt Disney World

Rub the sleep out of your eyes — the Christmas break is fast approaching, but the tech news never stops! Our Monday Morning Report has the details on a new 12-inch MacBook Air said to finally be entering production as early as next month, Apple Pay arriving at Walt Disney World this week, and the latest Hollywood starlet vying for a role in the Steve Jobs biopic. You can’t read about it if you don’t click forward!

12-inch MacBook Air Reportedly Entering Production in Q1 2015

If you’ve always felt like an 11-inch MacBook Air display was a little too small and 13-inch was simply too big, Apple may soon hit the sweet spot at last. DigiTimes today reported that Cupertino is expected to “enter mass production” on a 12-inch MacBook Air sometime during the first three months of next year, following what was apparently a successful pilot production prior to the close of 2014.

“Apple’s new MacBook Air features Intel’s Broadwell processors and a new chassis design to reduce the device’s overall thickness and weight, but the start of mass production has been hampered by low yield rates,” unnamed sources within Apple’s upstream supply chain told DigiTimes. “As the yield issue is gradually being resolved, mass production is expected to come in the first quarter of 2015.”

Quanta Computer is expected to manufacture the 12-inch MacBook Air, which is expected to be targeted more to the “high-end market segment.” The same sources also reconfirmed that Apple Watch manufacturing will also kick off sometime during the first quarter of 2015, which is the only vague launch date Apple has confirmed to date.

Walt Disney World Firing Up Apple Pay on Christmas Eve

Spending your Christmas at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida this year? According to WDWMagic.com, you’ll be able to breeze your way through the park and resort without ever having to take a credit card out of your wallet, thanks to Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus being enabled at “most stores, quick service restaurants, bars, and ticket sales booths.”

Walt Disney World previously announced Apple Pay support would arrive “before Christmas,” with the Mouse House squeaking the service in just under the wire on Christmas Eve, December 24. Portable payment terminals such as those as table service restaurants won’t be added at this time, and those traveling to Disneyland in Anaheim, California will have to wait until next year to use Apple Pay.

Kate Winslet Latest Starlet in Talks for Jobs Biopic

Hollywood has faced quite a few speed bumps on the way to putting Walter Isaacson’s biography on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs up on the big screen, but the road to production finally seems to be getting smoother. Variety reported Friday that Titanic star Kate Winslet is the latest Oscar-winning actress “in negotiations” for the lead female role in Universal Pictures’ biopic. Starring Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen as co-founder Steve Wozniak, the big-budget film version is written by Aaron Sorkin and is being directed by Danny Boyle. The Newsroom star Jeff Daniels is also eyeing a potential role as former Apple president John Scully, although it’s unclear at this writing which role Winslet may be in talks for.

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

(Image courtesy of WDWInfo.com)


Morning Report: iPhone 6 Now Ships in a Day, FlowVella, Apple TV ABC Update


Our Friday Morning Report has some very good news for iPhone 6 shoppers in need of a last-minute holiday gift, as shipping estimates for all but the 128GB models finally improve to a single business day. We’re also spreading joy for fans of the Flowboard presentation software, and cord-cutters with an Apple TV can now watch full episodes of ABC shows without a cable subscription. Wrap up the work week on a high note by clicking ahead!

Apple Now Ships Most iPhone 6 Models in 1 Business Day

If you’re in the market for an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, the Apple Online Store may very well look like Santa Claus right now — assuming you want 16GB or 64GB, that is. According to MacRumors, shipment times for all carriers and colors have improved to just a single business day in the U.S. online store, with the larger capacity 128GB model the only one still languishing behind with a three-to-five day shipping estimate.

Americans aren’t the only ones to enjoy the shorter wait times, with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, and other countries also showing a big improvement over estimates from earlier this month. Sadly, that won’t help your decision as to which model to buy, but it will get your choice in your hands that much sooner.

Flowboard Rebrands as FlowVella, Debuts Mac Presentation App

The folks at Flowboard announced a complete rebranding Thursday, with the company’s flagship presentation software now known as FlowVella. The change has been coordinated alongside the launch of FlowVella for Mac at the discounted price of just .99 (down from .99), which adds new presenter notes with display, auto play/advance features, PowerPoint import, Retina Display support, and the ability to import PSD files as flattened images.

A free iPad edition of FlowVella also benefits from the rebranding, and both versions have the ability to upgrade to monthly or annual Premium subscriptions, which now accommodate larger file sizes, adds additional templates and a password protection option, and the ability to track presentation views; FlowVella Education for iPad is also available is also available as a paid option for teachers and students. Existing customers only need to download the rebranded apps and log in to get started.

Last but not least, FlowVella is introducing a new product called iPad App Builder, which allows presentations to be transformed into standalone iPad apps, complete with custom branding. FlowVella’s first customer for this new service is Seattle’s EMP Museum, which has used the product to launch two new exhibits.

Apple TV WATCH ABC Channel Offers Cable-Free Full Episodes

ABC announced that Apple TV owners are being treated to the sam special benefit already enjoyed by iOS users: The ability to watch full episodes of the network’s television shows from the WATCH ABC channel without the need to sign in with a cable or satellite subscription.

Sure, it’s a baby step closer to the cord-cutting many of us dream of, and you’ll still need to link up with your provider in order to watch live TV streams, but chances are many readers will be unaffected by that requirement anyway, given that live video is only available in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco.

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



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