Sprint’s new ‘iPhone for Life’ plan coming Nov. 14 w/ yearly upgrades, starts at $80/month

After last month announcing its $70/month iPhone for Life plan that allows users to “rent” an iPhone and upgrade every two years, today Sprint announced that it will be launching a new 12-month lease option starting Nov. 14. That means that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users signing up for the iPhone for Life Plan will now be able to upgrade every year, and the old 24-month plan will become available for the iPhone 5S. Read more

Foxconn hoping to make future iPhone screens, get more of the Apple pie

File photo of employees working inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua

iPhone assembler Foxconn is apparently hoping to move beyond its relatively low-margin work into more profitable high-end component manufacturing in order to take a bigger slice of revenue from Apple, reports the WSJ.

Apple Inc.’s major assembler Foxconn is in preliminary discussions with a provincial government in northern China for an investment in a new factory that would make high-end screens for iPhones and other mobile devices, people familiar with the talks say.

Foxconn already manufactures some iPhone components, but currently only low-margin ones like metal casings and cables …  Read more

Triple-core iPad Air 2 pegged as 55% faster than any other iOS device, Retina 5K iMac top score beats low-end Pro

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Geekbench results for the iMac with Retina 5K Display have hit the web and show that when it comes to 64-bit processing, the 4.0 GHz model of the new all-in-one comes out ahead of the lowest-end (3.7 GHz) Mac Pro. Of course, the rest of the Mac Pro family handily beats the iMac in the same category.

The extra power is almost certainly dedicating to keeping things running smoothly on the impressive new 5K display.

Meanwhile, on the mobile, new benchmarks for the iPad Air 2 have revealed…

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

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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 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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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

Analysts remain positive about AAPL following event, focused on iPhone and Apple Pay

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While the relatively modest iPad updates might have led to a flurry of ‘Apple is doomed’ reports from analysts, an early roundup by Fortune suggests that the consensus view so far remains positive. Most are rating it a buy or overweight – meaning they expect it to outperform typical stocks – with the majority setting a target price in the $112-120 range …

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