Apple Pay Day: Experiences with Apple’s new payment service mostly positive

Apple Pay iOS 8.1

Apple Pay, which was unveiled to the world at the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, has officially launched in the U.S. today alongside iOS 8.1. Experiences with the service on its first day have been mixed, and notably, Eddy Cue this morning to acknowledged that in saying that Apple still has “a lot of work to do.” Some banks are requiring verification processes which are taking time, and some widespread credit card companies, like Discover, aren’t yet supported at all. But some experiences with Apple Pay have been seamless and it seems that, so far, the service is working as expected despite its slow roll-out. Read more

Live blog: Apple’s Q4 2014 earnings call

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As we mentioned last month, Apple is scheduled to host its quarterly conference call today to discuss its earnings report from the fourth quarter of its fiscal year: this includes 39 million iPhones, 12.3 million iPads, 2.6 million iPods, and 5.5 million Macs. Apple already reported today that it earned $42.1 billion in revenue during its Q4 period.

This will quarterly conference call with analysts and investors will include the opening weekend of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales which included a record 10 million sales including 4 million units sold during the first 24 hours of pre-orders. It will also be the first call since Apple previewed the Apple Watch to the public, shipped iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, and introduced new iPads and a Retina 5K iMac, although sales for those devices are not included in the previous quarter. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri will also likely mention Apple Pay, the company’s mobile payment service which launched for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users earlier today.

Investors and analysts will have an opportunity to ask Tim Cook and company questions during the earnings call and we’ll be listening to bring you coverage starting at 5pm EST/ 2pm PST. Read more

Apple announces Q4 2014 revenue of $42.1b: 39m iPhones, 12.3m iPads, 5.5m Macs

Q4

Apple today announced its Q4 2014 earnings results reporting that the company earned $42.1 billion in revenue and $8.5 billion in profit during the quarter.

“Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended September 27, 2014. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $42.1 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $37.5 billion and net profit of $7.5 billion, or $1.18 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38 percent compared to 37 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue.”

In addition to reporting its earnings, Apple has disclosed sales numbers for its main revenue generators. The company sold:

  • iPhone: 39.272 million, up 16.2%
  • iPad: 12.316 million, down 12.5%
  • Mac: 5.52 million, up 20.7%
  • iPod: 2.62 million, down 25.1%
  • iTunes: $4.208 billion, up 8.2%
  • Accessories: $1.486 billion, up 12.7%

Totals:

  • Revenue: $42.123 billion, up 12.4%
  • EPS: $1.42 per share, up 20.3%

Apple CEO Tim Cook had the following to say regarding the results:

“Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple’s strongest product lineup ever. We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015.”

Apple CFO Luca Maestri added this:

“Our strong business performance drove EPS growth of 20 percent and a record $13.3 billion in cash flow from operations in the September quarter,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We continued to execute aggressively against our capital return program, spending over $20 billion in the quarter and bringing cumulative returns to $94 billion.”

Apple’s stock price, which closed at %99.76 (up 2.14% today following the launch of Apple Pay) is up during after-hours trading as well crossing the $100 mark at certain points.

During Apple’s fourth quarter, the company shipped the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to customers and closed on its deal to acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music. During the previous earnings call with investors and analysts, Apple CFO Luca Maestri shared that the company will begin separately reporting earnings from Beats in 2015.

These numbers compare to last quarter’s results of $37.4 billion in revenue and sales of 35.2 million iPhones, 13.2 million iPads, and 4.4 million Macs. You can also compare today’s numbers to analyst expectations from before the announcement. Apple is holding a conference call today at 2 PM Pacific/5 PM Eastern time to discuss the quarter’s earnings, which we will be covering live. Cook and Maestri will likely share prepared remarks and then take a series of questions at the end from financial analysts.

For Q1 2015 Apple is providing guidance between $63.5 billion and $66.5 billion. The full Q4 earnings results release is below:

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How to set up Apple Pay (Video)

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Apple has released iOS 8.1 and with that, we have Apple Pay support. This is Apple’s new mobile payment platform that takes advantage of the NFC capabilities of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This will allow you to make purchases in stores that support Apple Pay using supported cards from a growing list of banks. Setting up Apple Pay is very simple and we’ve put together a quick tutorial to walk you through the process…

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Apple to require iOS apps and updates to use iOS 8 SDK and include 64-bit support from February 2015

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Apple has today notified developers about some upcoming rules regarding App Store submission, via its developer news portal. From 1st February 2015, newly-submitted apps and updates must be built against Apple’s iOS 8 SDK. This is not particularly surprising: Apple required similar adoption of the iOS 7 SDK last year.

In addition however, Apple will also require that all apps and updates include 64-bit support from that date too. Currently, developers can choose whether to submit only 32-bit apps or universal binaries. This will no longer be an option from February. Moving all apps to 64-bit will bring big performance and memory gains for newer devices (which include A7 or A8 SoC’s) as running the 32-bit apps necessitates loading a lot of additional resources into system memory.

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – Full comparison (Video)

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Today we’re going to be comparing Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. I realized that there are a limited range of “comparisons” that can happen between these two devices, but we’re going to touch on some of the most important factors between the two such as design, software, features, and cameras.

I’m not going to make this a battle between iOS and Android as many people have their own preferences which lead them to one platform or another. Either way, these two devices are shaping up to be the most coveted large screen smartphones of 2014 and it makes sense to compare them and help you make an informed decision…

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Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, SMS Relay & Instant Hotspot, more

iOS 8.1Just as Apple announced at its iPad & Mac event last Thursday, iOS 8.1 is now publicly available with new features including Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, and additional Continuity features. Apple Pay is available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users for making payments for purchases with the new iPhone rather than a physical credit card in supported retail stores and apps; iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users will be able to use Apple Pay within supported apps as well. In addition to iOS 8.1, Apple also released version 7.0.1 for third-generation Apple TV boxes.

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Chinese government apparently phishing iCloud account info with man-in-the-middle attack

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Although unconfirmed, GreatFire is reporting that Apple is now the subject of Chinese government hacking attempts. According to the report, the government is using the institutional firewall to redirect traffic directed at iCloud.com to a fake page that resembles the iCloud.com interface almost perfectly.

Like other phishing attacks, this page is pretending to be Apple’s portal but instead intercepts entered usernames and passwords for other means. Although some browsers in China are set up to warn users about these kind of man-in-the-middle attacks, many don’t and (assumedly) many citizens disregard the warnings as the site appears quite genuine otherwise.

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AAPL will announce record quarter, predict analysts, with earnings up 11.9%

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Analysts are predicting that Apple (AAPL) will announce record sales and earnings in today’s fiscal Q4 (calendar Q3) earnings call, reports Fortune.

I’ve got the collected fiscal Q4 estimates of 33 Apple analysts — 21 professionals and 12 amateurs. They are all to a man (and one woman) predicting record Q4 sales and earnings (up 7.1% and 11.9%, respectively).

The analysts also expect earnings per share to be up 12% year-on-year, to $1.32 …  Read more

Apple reportedly pushing to get Beats Music prices down to $5 per month

iPhone 6 Beats Music

A new report by Re/code gives some extra details about Apple’s future plans for its streaming service, Beats Music. A few weeks ago Apple was reportedly looking to push prices down, although specifics were not known at the time.

Today, Re/code says that Apple wants to cut prices in half, from $10 a month to $5 a month. This would be part of a relaunch of the Beats Music service — exactly what a ‘relaunch’ entails is not yet known. It is possible that Apple will disassociate the Beats brand from its streaming service.

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As Apple Pay launches, Eddy Cue says “a lot of work to do,” predicts slow retail take-up

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On the day that Apple Pay goes live, SVP Eddy Cue has told the WSJ that the company “has a lot of work to do” on the service, suggesting that initial take-up may be slow – with in-app purchases making up the largest share of transactions in the short-term.

We’re trying to do something that I think is a game changer and it requires a lot of people to play together. There’s a lot to do here and we have a lot of work to do, but it should be huge.

Although the list of retailers who have committed to Apple Pay looks impressive, it is far from comprehensive, with some big names missing – including the largest retailer in the US, Wal-Mart …  Read more

Dropbox app updated with iPhone 6 optimizations, Touch ID unlocking

Popular file-sharing / file-syncing app Dropbox has updated its iOS app to version 3.5 today, with some nice improvements. The app now takes advantage of all available resolution on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, rather than in a scaled iPhone 5s form. Dropbox doesn’t do anything novel with the additional space, but there is benefits to being able to see more items in a folder list at a time. The quality of file previews are also noticeably improved because of the additional screen size, with photo viewing mostly affected.

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