Tech Industry January 21

AAPL: 96.30

-0.49
Stock Chart

According to data from Counterpoint Research, iPhone sales in India are booming. Apple reportedly shipped 800,000 units in the December quarter to the country, up from 500,000 a year ago. Apple has been aggressively promoting their phones with substantial discounts to sustain sales, given high prices for iPhone 6s in India (via Economic Times).

Even with price cuts, that 800,000 number is composed of older iPhone models too. The report indicates that iPhone 5s was responsible for 30% of the sales numbers. About half of the 800k number are made up of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

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Tech Industry January 20

AAPL: 96.79

0.13
Stock Chart

Siri percolated throughout all of Apple’s platforms in 2015. It started with iPhone in 2011, iPad in 2012, debuted on Apple Watch in early 2015 and Apple TV with the new model a few months ago. It’s quickly becoming a premier feature on these platforms, with live-as-you-speak transcription and radically new features like ‘Remind me about this’ contextual tasks when inside apps. Except for one platform of course. Mac OS X has been ignored and left abandoned with regards to true voice searching and Siri. It’s 2016, and I want Apple to bring Siri to the Mac.

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The iRig Keys Mini is an electronic MIDI music keyboard that connects to iPhone and iPad with a Lightning cable. Although it isn’t regularly advertised, iPhones and iPads have had great support for MIDI input instruments and other devices for a long time. Since iOS 4 in fact, Apple gave the developers the ability to interact with MIDI peripherals. Simultaneously, the App Store has bloomed a wide ecosystem of sophisticated music creation and audio production apps. This makes for a perfect storm of capability and functionality: not only are MIDI accessories possible, they can really be used to make music on iPhone and iPad.

Read on for my full review of the iRig Keys Mini piano keyboard for iOS ($79.99).

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9to5toys 

Rumors of Apple Car (codename ‘Project Titan’) continue to swirl and there’s plenty time left for Apple to solidify or change its plans, given the expected launch of the new automobile is still five years away. However, that isn’t stopping car company executives weighing in on the rumors. Whilst GM execs diss the idea of Apple investing in an electric car as a ‘gigantic money pit’, an executive from Ford seems enthused by the prospect. In an interview with Trusted Reviews,  Don Butler, Executive Director for Ford Connected Vehicles, said that they welcome competition and thinks technology companies can pull it off.

“We welcome others joining. We welcome the activity that’s in the space. We think it’s exciting. It’s actually changed that we are embracing,” said Butler, speaking to TrustedReviews at the CES 2016 tradeshow in Las Vegas. “So I think Apple can do it. I think Google can do it.”

Watch the full interview in the video after the break …

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Tech Industry January 19

AAPL: 96.66

-0.47
Stock Chart

It’s easy to miss out on sports entertainment when you cut the cord and just rely on Apple TV, but ESPN president John Skipper tells The Wall Street Journal that may change in 2016. When asked about the potential streaming network Apple reportedly hopes to offer on its set-top box, the ESPN exec says that Apple has been “frustrated” with the process of building a service but that ESPN has been in past talks and continues to work with the company:

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Apple continues to talk high praise of Apple Music, most recently leaking that the service has 10 million paying subscribers, but it has remained somewhat quiet about its Beats 1 online 24/7 radio station. Beats 1 launched to much fanfare with Zane Lowe leading the effort, and while it seems to be doing decently, it isn’t a sensation in the music business yet. It’s especially timely to talk about Beats 1 now that Apple has retired the iTunes Radio ad-supported stations, leaving Beats 1 as the only way to get free streaming music from Apple. I’m intrigued by the uptake of the station — there’s a poll to find out how often you tune in below the break — as it seems Beats 1 has an awareness issue.

I tend to like the music that is played but I just forget to tune in. I think Beats 1 is good but Apple needs to support it better within iOS and iTunes to make it stickier. Here are some suggestions …

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