Tim Cook meets with Chinese vice premier in Beijing following iCloud phishing attack

tim-cook-china

Two days after evidence emerged of a phishing attack on iCloud, allegedly due to the Chinese government firewall redirecting traffic to a fake login page, the Chinese state news agency Xinhuanet is reporting a meeting in Beijing between Tim Cook and Chinese vice premier Ma Kai.

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday exchanged views on protection of users’ information during their meeting in Zhongnanhai, the central authority’s seat. They also exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in information and communication fields.

The Chinese government censors access to the Internet by deploying a country-wide firewall which blocks certain sites and which can redirect traffic from sites the government dislikes to officially-sanctioned ones …
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“iPad has a great future,” said Cook: long-term more important than “90-day clicks”

ipad

While yesterday’s iPad numbers don’t look great – down 12.5% year-on-year, the third successive quarter in which sales have fallen – Tim Cook remains upbeat about the product, stating that it “has a great future” and that its long-term prospects are more important than “individual 90-day clicks.”

Quartz‘s Dan Frommer pulled together some of the things Cook has to say about the device, and while you’d clearly expect Apple’s CEO to put the best possible spin on things, he makes some reasonable arguments …  Read more

Tim Cook praises Apple’s growth and new products in letter to employees

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Following today’s release of Apple’s quarterly earnings report, Tim Cook has sent a letter to employees praising the company’s growth and the dedication of Apple employees to the development of new iPhones, iPads, and Retina iMac. Cook calls the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch the “most successful” in the history of the device.

Cook also talks about the Apple Pay launch and reiterates the points made during today’s earnings call, saying that the purpose of introducing a payment system was to ensure that customers have a “simple, secure and private way to pay.” He also commends the software development teams on the consistent cross-platform experience introduced in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

Cook closes by saying that he will be traveling to Beijing to talk to employees in a meeting that will be recorded and posted the company’s internal website. Employees from across Apple will be able to submit questions beforehand to be asked during the Q&A session.

You can read the full letter below:

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

apple-q4

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 Campus 2 Drone video update

It appears that most of the foundation is laid now in an update from a video taken by a drone two weeks ago.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called Apple’s Campus 2 the ‘Greenest in the World’. The controversial structure which will house 12,000 staff in 2.8M square feet on 176 acres and is estimated to be completed in 2016. Interestingly, even though Apple is covering the construction site with a high green wall, it is updating the 3D flyover of the location in Apple Maps somewhat frequently. The latest looks like it was taken earlier this summer.

An official updated aerial shot from Apple was also posted on the City of Cupertino’s website:

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You can follow the progress in our Campus 2 story line here. We’re going to try to get a new video every few weeks so stay tuned.

 

The latest stores and apps to accept Apple Pay (Running list)

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With Apple Pay launching on Monday with iOS 8.1 for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared an update at today’s special event with additional retailers and iOS apps that will accept Apple Pay at launch or have committed to accept Apple Pay in the future. According to Apple’s microsite for Apple Pay, the company has added 16 additional retailers and venues with plans to accept Apple Pay at launch or in the future. In addition to those retailers and venues, Apple has added 12 additional apps that plan to accept Apple Pay starting on Monday or sometime after the launch date. Read more

Second Apple Store in Turkey appears to be nearing completion

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Apple’s second retail store in Turkey appears to be finally nearing completion, as Apple branding has been added to the black cladding on the storefront in photos posted by Apple Toolbox as the company confirmed its plans to open the store.

Apple opened its first store in the country back in April, on the European side of the city, first announced during a meeting between Tim Cook and President Abdullah Gül. Istanbul straddles the European and Asian continents, and the second store is located in the Asian side, in a shopping mall called Akasya …  Read more

Carl Icahn forecasts UltraHD Apple TV set in FY 2016

Apple TV products

Included in activist shareholder and investor Carl Icahn’s open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting an increased stock buyback from the company is somewhat of a prediction about when Apple might release an actual Apple TV set, not just an updated set-top box. Icahn sees fiscal year 2016 as an opportunity for Apple to enter the home television market citing an upgrade cycle due to UltraHD displays.

As we highlighted in our previous letter, we believe UltraHD’s (ultra-high-definition television) superior picture quality in comparison to regular HD will drive a major TV replacement cycle as the price gap between them narrows. It should also be noted that Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, has referenced UltraHD as a major catalyst for Netflix going forward, and while this is true for Netflix, we believe it is also true for Apple. Against the backdrop of this replacement cycle, FY 2016 represents an opportune time to introduce an UltraHD TV set.

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Majority of Apple Campus 2 foundation laid according to latest drone video

Apple-campus-2-drone-video

Apple’s Campus 2 project continues to make strides with the latest drone video (below) showing the majority of the foundation completed on the massive structure, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the ‘Greenest in the World’.  You can see the front 2/3rds of the structure is now cemented in with the rear third still dirt and subterranean walls also built along the sides.

The controversial structure which will house 12,000 staff in 2.8M square feet on 176 acres and is estimated to be completed in 2016. Interestingly, even though Apple is covering the construction site with a high green wall, it is updating the 3D flyover of the location in Apple Maps somewhat frequently. The latest looks like it was taken earlier this summer.

You can follow the progress in our Campus 2 story line here.

Thanks Tony! Read more

Apple names Steve Dowling as interim PR head following Katie Cotton’s retirement

Tim Cook recently visited Palo Alto Apple Store alongside Steve Dowling

Tim Cook recently visited Palo Alto Apple Store alongside Steve Dowling

Re/code reports today that Apple has chosen longtime Apple PR deputy Steve Dowling to lead Apple’s public relations efforts as interim PR chief. The report notes that Dowling’s role as head of Apple PR is not yet permanent as Apple continues to look for candidates outside of the company.

Sources close to Apple tell Code/red that Dowling was tapped as interim head of public relations last week by CEO Tim Cook. […] Dowling’s appointment has been framed to employees as an interim one and I’m told Apple will continue to evaluate worthy outside candidates if one should pop up. That said, the fact that Cook has officially put Dowling at the top of Apple’s PR organization suggests he could remain there.

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