Zac Hall

@apollozac

Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google

Zac covers Apple news and product reviews for 9to5Mac, contributes to 9to5Google, and hosts the weekly 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast.

Email tips, typos, and any feedback to: zac@9to5mac.com

Tweet and follow: @apollozac

Zac Hall's Favorite Gear

May 9

AAPL: 153.99

0.98
Stock Chart

Included in Bloomberg’s coverage of the new Amazon Echo Show is a mention of the rumored Siri Speaker as well as Apple Music. Bloomberg reports that Siri Speaker has been tested in Apple employee homes for several months, echoing earlier reporting from last fall, while adding that it’s unknown if Siri Speaker will feature a display.

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Amazon’s Echo with a screen is real and it’s shipping at the end of next month. Echo Show is a $230 7-inch tablet with video playback and calling that has to stay plugged in to work.

What makes that better than an iPad or any other tablet? Amazon hopes the answer is its Alexa voice assistant. While I’m curious about a voice-activated, always-present voice assistant that anyone can access in the home, the original Amazon Echo has more appeal to me. If Siri Speaker is something we see next month at WWDC (before Echo Show ships!), I’m hoping it’s more Amazon Echo and less Echo Show…

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May 8

AAPL: 153.01

4.05
Stock Chart

Instagram has updated its mobile site with the ability to post photos without using the app, TechCrunch reports. While the move is intended to make sharing to Instagram easier in markets with slow network speeds by eliminating the need to download the Instagram app, the new feature also extends to the web version of Instagram on the iPad…

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9to5toys 

As someone who enjoys testing new gadgets, I’ve been very tempted at times to purchase and try both the Amazon Echo and Google Home voice assistant speakers. Rumors of an Apple version have convinced me to hold off, however, and it’s possible once again that we may soon see Apple’s take on the category.

Amazon Echo and Google Home both offer features that I’d like, but there are things I do with Siri on my iPhone and Apple Watch that only a Siri Speaker would offer. Here’s my Siri Speaker wishlist:

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May 5

AAPL: 148.96

2.43
Stock Chart
9to5google 

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss the state of watchOS software and disappearing Apple Watch apps, the rumored Siri Speaker possibly expected at WWDC, a wild iPhone 8 launch claim, and Apple’s latest quarterly earnings results. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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Warren Buffett isn’t shaken by Apple’s iPhone numbers from last quarter. Despite a slight dip in sales year-over-year, the billionaire investor says he believes $AAPL is priced appropriately to buy now and there are ‘a lot of people waiting’ to buy the next iPhone. Buffett’s company added 40 million AAPL shares recently and has more than a $7 billion stake in the company.

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Analysts often dream about spending Apple’s growing cash pile by listing which company’s Apple could acquire, and this week Apple’s cash reserves climbed past a quarter trillion dollars at $256.8 billion. In response, Citigroup analyst Jim Suva has listed both Netflix and Tesla as takeover targets for Apple…

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electrek 

May 4

AAPL: 146.53

-0.53
Stock Chart

Apple reported this week that it sold 8.92 million iPads in the most recent quarter which is down from 10.2 million iPads sold in the same quarter a year ago. New data from TrendForce shows that Apple is still number one among the top five tablet brands, however, as global tablet sales dropped 9.3% year-over-year. The report also believes Apple could have a positive quarter now with the newly released $329 9.7-inch iPad and a rumored high-end replacement coming soon.

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May 3

AAPL: 147.06

-0.45
Stock Chart

The ongoing dispute between Apple and Qualcomm appears to be getting uglier today as Bloomberg reports that the supplier is seeking a ban on iPhone imports in the United States. Last week Qualcomm lowered its profit forecast over Apple withholding royalty payments during the ongoing legal battle between the two companies.

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Apple announced yesterday that it sold 50.7 millions iPhones during the most recent quarter which disappointed Wall Street because it was a slight year-over-year drop instead of growth. China performance and a “pause” on iPhone sales are partly “due to the earlier and much more frequent reports about future iPhones” according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Supply chain rumors about the so-called iPhone 8 have been surfacing for over a year now — months before the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus debuted — but have they been a factor for you not buying a new iPhone recently?

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9to5toys 
2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Limited Edition
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Nearly ever automaker offers Apple’s CarPlay feature in new cars now, but it still doesn’t come standard in every make and model. Add Mitsubishi’s 2017 Limited Edition Lancer to the list of CarPlay models, however, as the company announced the new vehicle today.

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9to5google 

The Ecobee4 smart thermostat is officially available for pre-order for $249 starting today. The new Wi-Fi thermostat model works with Apple’s HomeKit feature for Siri control from Apple devices and now features built-in Alexa integration for standalone voice control. Ecobee has also unveiled its first-ever smart light switch for new features.

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May 2

AAPL: 147.51

0.93
Stock Chart

Apple has announced its latest quarter results including $52.9b in revenue with $11.03b profit from 50.7m iPhones, 8.92m iPads, and 4.19m Macs sold. In terms of new products, the quarter includes launch day sales for the cheaper $329 iPad and Product RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

FY17 Q2 results compare to the previous quarter’s $78.4 billion in revenue, $17.89 billion in profit, 78.3 million iPhones, 13 million iPads, and 5.3 million Macs. In the same quarter a year ago, Apple reported $50.6 billion in revenue, $10.5 billion in profit, 51.1 millions iPhones sold, 10.2 million iPads sold, and 4 million Macs sold.

Full press release after the break, and stick around for our earnings call live blog at the top of the hour:

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electrek 

Microsoft held a media event in New York City today focused on a new version of Windows, a new laptop line, and how it all relates to education. Windows 10 S is a streamlined version of Microsoft’s operating system geared for students and educators. The Microsoft Surface Laptop is a new line of MacBook Air-like notebooks with up to 14.5-hour battery life.

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