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Jake Smith

October 25, 2012

Apple announced its fiscal Q4 earnings this afternoon. The company is reporting $36 billion in revenue, $8.2 billion net profit, or $8.67 per diluted share. As for device sales during the quarter, the folks in Cupertino cranked out 26.9 million iPhones, 14 million iPads (up 25 percent y/o/y), 4.9 million Macs (up 1 percent y/o/y), and 5.3 million iPods (down 19 percent y/o/y).

Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer shared their thoughts on the company’s performance:

“We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.”

“We’re pleased to have generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2013, we expect revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75.”

For the holiday quarter, Apple is expecting revenue of $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75. Holiday shoppers picking up the iPad mini, iPod touches, etc., will fuel the quarter.

Apple announced it would continue with its plan to award a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of the company’s common stock—as previously explained by the company. The dividend is payable “on November 15, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 12, 2012.”

Cook and company will hold their conference call at 5 p.m. EST to discuss numbers, iPhone 5, and more. Follow along on our live blog for the latest.

Press release below:

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Apple is set to discuss its Q4 2012 earnings on a conference call at 5PM EST. We’ll be following along below, where Tim Cook and co. are expected to talk numbers, iPhone 5 sales, overall company momentum, and more about the iPad Mini, among other topics. The call starts at 2 PM PST /5 PM EST. Apple will throw up the numbers at 4:30 after the market closes. Additionally, we will be covering all the announcements from the financial results call on 9to5Mac.com’s earnings hub. Apple also has an audio stream of the call available on its website. Update: the call has concluded, check out the archive below.

Archived below:

October 24, 2012

Full iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad schematics, blueprints now on file

Just as it did for the iPhone 5, fifth-gen iPod touch, and seventh-gen iPod nano, Apple posted schematics for the new iPad mini and fourth-gen iPad that were announced yesterday. Both devices, of which, will be available to customers Nov. 2. The blueprints released this evening are certainly useful for manufacturers in the accessory game or just for the curious in general. There is not much in the way of new information, but they give us a detailed look at the unreleased products. What we really cannot wait for is iFixit’s teardown. In the mean time, check out the schematics above and below.

Thanks to Jared and everyone who sent this in!

Yesterday, the nation’s third-largest carrier, Sprint, announced the iPad and iPad mini are hitting its 4G network in mid-November. To compliment the launch, Sprint announced updated data plans this evening that will be available to customers with tablets on the network beginning Nov. 11. Sprint will make the data plans available contract free, and they will start at $14.99 for 300MB of data, $34.99 for 3GB of data, $49.99 for 6GB of data, and $79.99 for 12GB of data for new customers. However, existing Sprint customers get a nice break and can add a tablet to their plan for $10 per month for 100MB or $15 per month for 1GB. Sprint said its new data plans offer “20 percent more data than Verizon or AT&T for the same price”— even though its coverage map is smaller. The carriers add that for a limited time there is no activation fee for a new tablet.

Press release below:

October 23, 2012

Here’s what early reviews of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet are saying

Early reviews for Microsoft’s new Surface tablet have been released this evening, giving us a look at the company’s supposed “saving grace.” According to the pundits who got their hands on it early, things aren’t looking too good for Microsoft. Many are complaining about a lack of apps, awkwardness of the Windows 8 RT operating system, and a buggy platform. It sounds like the iPad will remain unchallenged by Microsoft…for now.


The Verge:

It does the job of a tablet and the job of a laptop half as well as other devices on the market, and it often makes that job harder, not easier. Instead of being a no-compromise device, it often feels like a more-compromise one. 

There may be a time in the future when all the bugs have been fixed, the third-party app support has arrived, and some very smart engineers in Redmond have ironed out the physical kinks in this type of product which prevent it from being all that it can be. But that time isn’t right now — and unfortunately for Microsoft, the clock is ticking.


The Surface is full of potential, but until its software performance and apps are as strong as its hardware, I, unfortunately, will still drag both a laptop and an iPad through security.


My 48-year-old eyeballs have no trouble telling the difference between iPad Retina text and the Surface’s ClearType — but overall, the Surface’s screen is one of the best I’ve seen on a tablet.

The screen, incidentally, is 16:9, an aspect ratio designed with Windows 8′s panoramic interface in mind. It lets you see more apps without panning, and is well suited to the feature that allows you to snap a widget-like version of one app on the side of the primary program you’re using. Microsoft thinks Surface buyers will use the tablet mostly in landscape mode; it works in portrait orientation too, although the aspect ratio leaves it looking like a small-but-tall magazine.


In the end though, this is nothing more than Microsoft’s tablet. And a buggy, at times broken one, at that, whose “ecosystem” feels more like a tundra. There’s no Twitter or Facebook app, and the most popular 3rd party client breaks often. The Kindle app is completely unusable. There’s no image editing software. A People app is supposed to give you all the social media access you’d ever need, but It’s impossible to write on someone’s Facebook wall through the People app, Surface’s social hub; the only workaround is to load Internet Explorer. Blech. Something as simple as loading a video requires a jumbled process of USB importing, dipping in and out of the stripped-down desktop mode, opening a Video app, importing, going back into the Video app, and then playing. What.

As promised by Apple during its media event this afternoon, iBooks 3.0 is now available for users to download from the iTunes App Store. Haven’t heard? The updated app offers better integration with iCloud, and it now shows purchased books across your iTunes account on one shelf for more seamless reading. Furthermore, the folks in Cupertino have added a new scroll theme that allows users to “scroll vertically through books with the flick of a finger”—infinite scrolling. It’s a feature iPad mini users are sure to love.

Competing with a similar Kindle feature, Apple also made its iBooks platform a bit more social with this update. Users can now share their favorite quote over Facebook and Twitter—a much-requested feature among the more hardcore readers.

Lastly, in the 3.0 update, iBooks grabbed 40 more languages, including: Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. You can grab the update right on your iOS device from the App Store. For you book junkies, Apple also updated its iBooks Author software with new features this afternoon.

Full feature list below:

For those who purchased the third-generation iPad recently, and found themselves dumbfounded when the fourth-generation iPad was announced this afternoon, we have good news: CNET reported that local Apple Stores might replace a third-generation iPads with the new fourth-generation if it was purchased within the last 30 days. It is up to local Apple Stores to make the call if a customer can exchange or not. When speaking to a manager of an Apple Store, it was explained that the policy is on a store-to-store basis.

The manager at the Stockton Street store in San Francisco explained that “this specific store” would allow purchasers of the third-generation iPad to exchange their device for the fourth-generation iPad if purchased within the last 30 days. She emphasized that, unless the recently-purchased iPad showed serious signs of wear-and-tear, the usual 14-day return policy would be waived.

“And what about other stores?” You’ll have to call and find out. She explained, “We can’t speak to other stores’ policies — this is something our store has decided to do.”

The fourth-generation iPad, starting at $499, offers faster performance than the third-generation with a dual-core A6X processor and quad-core graphics. It also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera, expanded LTE chipset, front-facing camera with FaceTime and 720p video capture, ultrafast two-times Wi-Fi, and Lightening connector.

Call your local Apple Store to check—usually stores are pretty flexible. Let us know how it goes.

Additional specs below:

Apple makes discontinued third-generation iPad refurbished models available, starting at $379

Thanks to the new fourth-generation iPad unveiled this afternoon, the third-generation iPad that launched in the spring has been discontinued. Consequently, the third-generation iPad is now available on Apple’s refurbished store. Prospective customers can find the base 16GB model listed for only $379 in the refurbished store, while the 32GB and 64GB models are also for $469 and $549 (respectively).

The new iPad suddenly isn’t new anymore.

(via The Verge)

As we highlighted earlier when Apple announced the news, the nation’s third-largest carrier Sprint will add the new fourth-generation iPad and new iPad mini to its list of 4G-enabled devices. Sprint confirmed the news in a press release this afternoon, as seen after the break.

Sprint was left out when the third-generation iPad was announced last spring, due to its 4G network not being available until this summer. The iPhone 5, released in September, was the first 4G device from Apple available on Sprint’s network.

The iPad mini Wi-Fi model will be available for pre-order Oct. 26 and shipping Nov. 2. There has not been any word on the release date of the LTE models, but they’re priced at $459, $559, and $659 for 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage capacities (respectively). It should only be a few weeks after. Catch up on more iPad Mini news here.

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Apple is holding a media event at 10 a.m. PST today to unveil the new iPad mini, iTunes 11, and new Macs. For those looking to tune in to the event (we are sure that’s all of you), Apple just confirmed that it would live stream today’s happenings to the Apple TV. 9to5mac readers have noticed a new “Apple Event” icon on the home screen of their Apple TVs that launches a player for when things go down in a few hours.


It is not clear if a live stream will also be available on Apple’s website as it has in year’s past or if there will be a mobile solution to also join the viewing party. Here is a direct link that may work during the event (we’ll keep you posted). October 2010’s “Back to the Mac” event was the last time Apple streamed an event onto its website.

Use this URL to find the most up to date streaming links.

9to5mac will provide complete event coverage throughout the day. Stay tuned for the latest updates. 

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October 19, 2012

Several reporting iPad mini will ship and hit stores Nov. 2

We still cannot confirm, but we heard whispers of a Nov. 2 iPad mini release date. This is based on several retail scheduling anomalies. As the announcement of the iPad mini approaches, TechCrunch, iMoreiFun, and Geeky Gadgets additionally claim Nov. 2 is when the 7.85-inch device will hit stores and ship to customers who pre-ordered. Geeky Gadgets reported:

Our source, who is someone close to a major UK retailer, and has been reliable in the past, has told us that Apple will start selling the new iPad Mini on Friday the 2nd of November, the device will be available in the US And UK on this date, possibly some other countries as well.

That would mean just a week and a half passing, if released on Nov. 2, after the announcement. Since it is close to the holiday season, a quick release may make sense.

[tweet https://twitter.com/9to5mac/status/258552702538240000]

Apple is holding a press event Oct. 23 to announce the iPad mini, 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, refreshed iMac (Retina unlikely), and Mac mini. More details as we get them.

October 18, 2012

Prominent iOS hacker Comex no longer working at Apple after communications breakdown

Famed iOS hacker Comex tweeted today that his internship at Apple has ceased. “So… no point in delaying,” he said to 195,000 followers. “As of last week, after about a year, I’m no longer associated with Apple.” Comex, whose real name Nicholas Allegra, explained to Forbes that his employment at Apple was terminated for not responding to an email. Forbes Andy Greenberg wrote:

When I followed up with Allegra in a phone call, he explained that the email he forgot to answer was an offer to continue his employment at Apple as a remote intern. At Apple, apparently, offer letters are taken rather seriously, and Allegra soon learned that his had been rescinded. “I wasn’t too happy about it, but it didn’t seem like I was able to fix it,” he says. “So that’s what it is.”  

Before joining Apple as an intern over a year ago, Comex’s hacking work most notably included JailbreakMe. It is a popular tool to jailbreak iOS devices through an exploit within Safari. He also developed another popular jailbreak tool called “Spirit”.

Verizon has reported its Q3 2012 earnings this morning with “a third consecutive quarter of double-digit percentage growth.” The nation’s second-largest carrier claims it experienced $29 billion in total operating revenue (3.9-percent gain over last year) and sold 6.8 million smartphones in total for the third quarter. Of the 6.8 million, Verizon reported selling 3.1 million iPhones. Just over one-fifth (or roughly 651,000) of those were the iPhone 5 that saw supply constraints. To compare, during Q2, Verizon sold 2.7 million iPhones.

The carrier also shed more light on its aggressive LTE rollout across the country. Its LTE service is now available to 250 million people in 419 markets across the United States. Furthermore, on the company’s earnings call, CFO Fran Shammo reiterated that its new Share Everything data plan has been “successful and well-received.”

You can find the press release below for specifics:  expand full story

Apple and Samsung’s legal fight continued on the world stage this morning, where the Britain Court of Appeal upheld a previous ruling that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab does not infringe on the iPad’s patents because it is not “as cool.” Reuters reported that after losing the appeal this morning, Apple has been instructed by the court to apologize to Samsung by running ads on its website and in newspapers saying Samsung did not infringe on patents in at least Arial 14 font.

As we all know, other courts around the world have ruled otherwise. On the ruling, Samsung gave the boilerplate: “We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners.” A California court ruled this summer that Samsung owes $1 billion to Apple. Additionally, some of Samsung’s devices could be in jeopardy from being on the market.

Today’s ruling in Europe prohibits any other legal course regarding tablets and the iPad specifically. While the Court of Appeal denied Apple’s appeal today, the company can still appeal with the Supreme Court. The global legal battle is far form over, as it continues in roughly a dozen countries, with more trials scheduled for 2014.  expand full story

October 17, 2012

Earlier this month, iLounge and Macotakara reported that Apple made several changes to its MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) policy that tightens control over manufacturers producing accessories. In its report, iLounge included word about a seminar in China where Apple plans discuss its policy change with manufacturers—talking specifically about Apple’s new Lightning technology. Today, thanks to a report by TechCrunch and a picture of the seminar’s program provided to us by a tipster (as seen above), we have learned more about the seminar. The conference will be held in Shenzhen, China from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9 to talk about the new standards.

With the new standards, Apple will have a strict control over the supply of Lightning pins that help power the Lightning connectors that MFi partners could build. Apple will only supply the pins to partners that the company has vetted to make sure its standards are met. Previous teardowns have already shown that what Apple has with its Lightning cables is not ordinary dumb cable technology.

As you can see in the program, Apple has a lot on the docket for those who attend. It will give manufacturers an insight into Apple Retail, how to design Lightning accessories, and the changes within the MFi program. Apple’s engineers will also assist with Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth. Once Apple has approved a company, it will sell them the Lightning pins in volume. According to TechCrunch, the pricing is “very fair when you consider the advance technology.”

Last year, at its MFi program that took place Dec. 7 to Dec. 9, Apple told developers to get busy building next-generation iOS accessories compatible with Airplay and support Bluetooth 4.0. As we now know, Apple has rolled out Bluetooth 4.0 to most of its devices and wants to make Airplay a standard for audio and video consumption.

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October 16, 2012

Apple has reportedly acquired HTML 5 design firm Particle for the talent

According to CNET, Apple has acquired HTML 5/web-app design firm Particle for an undisclosed amount. Particle has had big-name clients, such as Google, Sony, Motorola, and even Apple, over the years. The acquisition is said to be for the sole purpose of acquiring talent —or an “acqui-hire,” as one might call it—to boost Apple’s current services. CNET provided the specifics:

The deal went through late last month, though not all its less than a dozen employees stayed on to work at Apple. Those who did are listed as “creative technologists” as well as one “user interface engineer,” according to their public LinkedIn profiles.

Here is the firm’s website talking about past work for Apple:

Particle brings positive and energetic relationships with Google and the Chrome team specifically, as well as great Apple relationships and execution experience around iAds, iTunes Extras, and Apple.com. We have participated in and piloted much of the technology which will display the next generation of advertising and deliver media content for the next decade.

The iCloud web-interface is one area where the Particle team might focus in particular.

Apple to start using Panny displays in its devices?

According to a new report from Japanese paper Diamond Online, Apple may be on the way to using Panasonic’s LCDs for its devices. Panasonic has reportedly dropped out of the TV-set LCD business, and it wants to move to making LCDs for smaller devices like tablets, handsets, laptops, desktops, and more. It has provided “sample high resolution LCD panels for Apple,” and Apple is said to “be satisfied with the samples.”

Panasonic will begin work on the smaller LCDs at its Himeji factory, an eco-friendly factory founded in 2010. The plant aims to “reduce energy use in production.” There are no details if an agreement has been signed between Apple and Panasonic or when that might be.

In the past, Apple has used Samsung, LG, and Sharp for high-resolution panels. However, in recent reports, many have said that Apple is reducing component orders from Samsung due to the two companies’ ongoing patent disputes that have been playing out worldwide.

Apple may be looking for new display partners so it can avoid running into production hiccups when a new product is launched. Part of the iPhone 5 delay for many customers could be contributed to manufacturing difficulties at Sharp and others. More partners means more production.

Apple SVP Phil Schiller on iPod Touch ambient light sensor omission: It is too thin

GigaOm found yesterday that the new fifth-generation iPod touch is without a light sensor, prohibiting the device from auto-setting the brightness. Raghid Harake, a curious customer turned concerned, emailed Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller (via iDownloadBlog) to find out why. Schiller, known for responding to emails, allegedly said the device is “too thin” at .24-inches. Just how thin:

The thickest point on the fifth-generation iPod touch is 6.13mm, while the fourh-generation is 7.12mm at its thickest point.

October 14, 2012

Microsoft launching ‘unlimited’ Xbox Music tomorrow with an iOS app coming later

Microsoft announced this evening its new music service, called “Xbox Music”, that aims to compete with iTunes, Spotify and RDIO. The service is set to launch tomorrow for the Xbox 360 and Oct. 26 for Windows 8 (coming pre-installed) and Windows Phone 8 devices. The service will also launch as an iOS app shortly after, GigaOm noted:

But the biggest story to me is that Xbox Music will embrace Android and iOS. Jerry Johnson, general manager of Xbox Music, wasn’t able to tell me exactly when the apps for those two platforms are going to come out, but the sense that I took away from the briefing was that his team is working on making it happen sooner rather than later. Xbox Music on Android and iOS will look very much like Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8, which itself in many ways follows the style formerly known as Metro.

Microsoft’s service will be for limited hours of free streaming after six months, so Spotify might not need to worry just yet.

There is no word on what pricing iOS users will see, but Microsoft said it will offer a free ad-support version for Windows 8 device owners and a $10 ad-free plan for those wanting an ad-free experience.

More details are at TechCrunch.

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