2014 Stories February 9, 2015

apple_tim_cook_money-580x418

Apple reported the largest profit ever recorded by a public company in the holiday quarter, mostly driven by sales of 74 million iPhones with an average selling price of $687. According to Cannacord, this meant Apple captured 93% of handset smartphone profits. Perhaps more staggering is that it claims Apple dominated on similar levels across the entire of 2014 — with 79% of mobile device profits.

The analyst expects continued growth for the iPhone for the next few users, with an estimated 650 million iPhone users by the end of 2018.

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2014 Stories September 26, 2014

MLB At Bat app will for the first time live stream every World Series game, select Postseason games

The MLB.com At Bat app was updated today alongside a couple notable announcements including the league’s plan to live stream every World Series game and select Postseason games to all of its MLB.TV Premium subscribers through the app. The 2014 World Series is set to kick off on October 21. 

The release notes add that the app will now also offer “Live Postseason coverage for every game through the 2014 World Series” and a Postseason.TV feature with “Live companion coverage featuring up to 10 alternate camera angles for the AL Wild Card, AL Division Series and AL Championship Series (TBS broadcasts only).”

The update MLB.com At Bat app is available in the App Store now for iPhone and iPad. Regular $129 for the full year, an MLB.TV Premium subscription is available to purchase now for $3.99 for the remainder of the season, World Series, and postseason. 

What’s New in Version 7.4.2

• For the first time we will be streaming live every World Series game and select other Postseason games to all authenticated MLB.TV Premium subscribers • Live Postseason coverage for every game through the 2014 World Series • Postseason.TV: Live companion coverage featuring up to 10 alternate camera angles for the AL Wild Card, AL Division Series and AL Championship Series (TBS broadcasts only) • General performance improvements

2014 Stories June 10, 2014

soccer fever

Apple has launched a new “Soccer Fever” section on the App Store, fittingly with June 12th marking the first day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The page has four app sections, including one for “Soccer Apps” (such as the official FIFA app itself), one for featured soccer-related games, a variety of typical social apps labeled as “Share the Fever,” and a plethora of apps for exploring the country of Brazil. expand full story

2014 Stories June 6, 2014

Official FIFA iPhone/iPad app updated ahead of 2014 World Cup Brazil

The Official FIFA iPhone and iPad apps, which also happen to act as the Official FIFA World Cup app, has been updated today with a number of new features ahead of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil tournament kicking off on June 12.

The app gets a few pre-tournament features leading up to the first official World Cup match, but it will also be getting another update before then to introduce additional features. In today’s update, you’ll find a World Cup latest news section, the ability to discover info for all coaches and players across 32 teams, and a full schedule of all 64 games planned for the tournament. The update will also let you “Explore the host country Brazil and get familiar with the stadiums and cities where the action will happen.” 

In another upcoming update the app will introduce “minute-by-minute action, live from all 64 games” and other features for keeping up with the latest.

The updated Official FIFA World Cup app for iPhone and for iPad are available on the App Store now.

2014 Stories May 7, 2014

JD-Power-tablet-satisfaction-2014-01

Following its report last month on smartphone customer satisfaction in which Apple ranked first, J.D. Power is out today with its study on tablet satisfaction and is once again ranking Apple highest overall. Apple comes in first followed by Samsung, while Asus, Amazon, and Acer fall in line below the study’s average:

Apple ranks highest in overall satisfaction with a score of 830 and performs highest in all study factors except cost. Samsung ranks second with a score of 822 and achieves above-average scores in the features, styling and design, and cost factors.

J.D. Power notes that a decline in the overall price of tablets has resulted in a decline in overall satisfaction. Apple, however, avoids that by ranking highest in every category except price. The report also provided some other findings on tablet sales, purchasing habits, and brand loyalty for September 2013 to February 2014 when the study took place.  expand full story

2014 Stories May 1, 2014

IDC May 1

Research firm IDC is out today with new data on the state of the tablet and 2-in-1 market in the first quarter of 2014. As you might expect after Apple’s most recent earnings report, Q1 unit shipments of iPad were down by 3 million from 19.5 million to 16.4 million between 2013 and 2014. For its part, Apple attributes its Q1 2013 iPad sales as inflated due to demand for iPad mini in Q4 2012 being fulfilled in the following quarter when supply was less constrained.

That may be, but the iPad also saw a drop in tablet market share between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. According to IDC’s data, Apple dropped from 40.2% market share in Q1 2013 to 32.5% market share in Q1 2014 while Samsung saw unit shipments increase as well as marketshare. Despite Samsung’s gains, though, Apple still dominates the tablet market more than any other one company leading Samsung by 10 percentage points in market share. expand full story

2014 Stories April 28, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 11.23.40 AM

Update: Here are the specs…

Apple is preparing to launch a refreshed line of MacBook Air laptops as soon as tomorrow, according to multiple sources. These sources say that shipments of new MacBook Airs have begun arriving in large quantities to Apple Stores across the country. Another source adds that Apple Stores are scheduled to re-arrange the placement of Macs in stores to focus on the MacBook Air tomorrow morning…

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2014 Stories April 7, 2014

 

WWDC 2014

Apple has just sent out emails notifying entrants in the WWDC ticket lottery whether they won a chance to purchase a $1,599 ticket to the conference. Winners will be able to purchase a ticket to the event before April 14th. The conference kicks off on June 2nd and runs through the 6th.

Those who didn’t win a spot haven’t gotten any notification from the company (Update: rejection emails going out now, see below). Those unable to buy a ticket will have to settle for watching the stream of the keynote presentation and recorded videos of the sessions after they happen. If you just want to read all of the announcements early, why not check out 9to5Mac‘s roundup of what to expect this June?

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Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 1.33.33 PM

While Apple only officially announced its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week, we have been reporting all of the known information about what Apple plans to unveil at the event over the course of the past few months. Now that WWDC is official, we have compiled a roundup of everything we know about Apple’s next-generation iOS device and Mac operating systems below, and we’ve also included some new tidbits not found in our earlier reporting. You can find out what there is to know so far about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 below:

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2014 Stories March 3, 2014

Volvo shows off Apple’s CarPlay coming to XC90 SUV, says Wi-Fi connections coming soon (Video)

Following Apple’s official announcement of CarPlay this morning, Volvo has now officially announced its partnership with the company and provided some details on its first vehicles to get the feature.

Volvo Cars enhances Apple’s capabilities by linking them to a specially-developed interface that allows drivers to use voice and steering wheel controls to access Apple features and services, ensuring the entire interaction is always safe and easy to use.

CarPlay, previously known as iOS in the Car, makes features from iOS available via a vehicle’s in car touch display through a familiar iOS-like interface. Volvo announced that its all new XC90 SUV coming in 2014 will be its first with access to CarPlay.

It also sounds like Volvo will have some features exclusive to its vehicles, such as the Volvo Cars’ portrait screen that “gives users the benefit of having both Volvo Cars and Apple content co-existing simultaneously, removing the need to switch between a dedicated car and iPhone screen.” It does note, however, that the feature will initially require a connection with a Lightning cable and that Wi-Fi connections are “coming in the near future.”

“iPhone users will feel completely at home in a new Volvo. We have created a wholly-integrated user experience in our large portrait-oriented touch screen that takes the in-car mobile device experience to a new level. That, coupled with the obvious driver safety benefits of an advanced voice control system like Siri, made Apple a perfect match for Volvo,” says Håkan Samuelsson.

2014 Stories February 13, 2014

Jeff-williams-SR-letter

Alongside the release of Apple’s supplier responsibility report today highlighting working conditions within its supply chain, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams has also sent out a letter to employees. In the past, CEO Tim Cook has been known to send out an email to employees following the supplier report. In today’s letter, Williams went over some of the key points from the supplier responsibility report and noted, “to drive accountability, we are now publishing a quarterly list of the names, countries, and participation status of the smelters and refiners in our supply chain.” Williams also mentioned new education programs, the launch of the Apple Supplier Environment, Health, and Safety Academy, and more.

The full letter from Williams only accessible to employees is below: expand full story

2014 Stories January 27, 2014

cook-5c

During today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the iPhone 5c was the most popular choice among new iPhone users. However, the colorful new lower-end device did not meet the company’s expectations in sales. Despite the fact that iPhone 5s sales came in above Apple’s target, the iPhone category overall significantly missed analysts’ projected sales mark of 55 million units.

It’s likely that Apple misjudged the low-end smartphone market here, believing that users would jump at the chance for a “new” iPhone at a lower price than usual. Smartphone shoppers don’t seem to be taking the bait, instead opting for the more expensive, more “premium” 5s or going elsewhere. It’s hard to say they’re making the wrong call, considering that the iPhone 5c is actually much closer in specs to the previous generation than it is to the latest model, which seems to be more than worth its $100 premium.

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Apple Q1 2014: iPod sales decreased by more than half since last year

You might have noticed that the main text in Apple’s press release today for its Q1 2014 results didn’t mention device sales for the iPod alongside iPhones, iPads, and Macs. That might because it’s the only product line that has experienced a huge decrease in sales over the last year, which isn’t helped by the fact Apple hasn’t updated the products in over a year apart from a minor refresh. It does, however, still have to disclose units sold in its unaudited summary data that accompanies the press release. To be precise, Apple’s results show it only sold a little over 6 million iPods during the holiday quarter. That’s a decrease of 55% year over year for revenue and 52% for units when looking at the 12.7 million it sold in Q1 2013.  That’s also the biggest year over year drop ever for the iPod, which fell from 15.4m units in Q1 12 to 12.7m in Q1 13 before being cut in half this year. The iPhone, iPad, and Mac lineups, on the other hand, all experienced growth during the quarter.

During the conference call, Cook noted that they “have known for some time that iPod is a declining business” and that it would impact the overall results and guidance.

It’s not the first time Apple decided to leave out mentioning its iPod sales. It actually hasn’t done so since the year ago quarter when it announced the 12.7 million units sold for Q1 2013. Either way, the numbers will certainly have analysts questioning the future of Apple’s iPod line in the months to come. Apple announced back in May that it had sold 100 million iPod touch units since the device launched in 2007, but Apple has been selling less and less iPods each year.

Live blog: Apple’s Q1 2014 earnings call

As we mentioned earlier this month, Apple is scheduled to hold a conference call to discuss its earnings and sales figures from the previous quarter it reported today: including 51 million iPhones, 26 million iPads, and 4.8 million Macs. The company also reported $57.6 billion in revenue for the previous quarter. We’ll be listening in on the conference call and updating you on key developments as they play out, so follow along at 5pm EST.

2014 Stories January 21, 2014

Who is this guy teasing a Mac 30th anniversary Super Bowl ad?

Oh, it’s Lee Clow. Huh.

For fun, here’s Apple’s original Super Bowl ad from 1984 that kicked off the product line we all love today:

2014 Stories December 31, 2013

Image: wallsfeed.com

Image: wallsfeed.com

Tech journalists don’t often have to battle our way across hostile terrain in sub-zero temperatures, fight crocodiles with our bare hands, or abseil from helicopters to rescue hostages (though that remains my cover story for the time I broke my elbow by tripping up in an airport).

We do, however, occasionally do something almost as dangerous: make predictions about the tech future, knowing full well that our words remain forever archived on the web for people to dust off a year from now and gleefully point out just how wrong we were.

This is never more risky than in the case of Apple, a company notoriously secretive about its activities, and where there are way more false rumors than reliable ones. But hey, what’s life without a little adventure? So here are my predictions on what I think we can expect from Apple next year …  expand full story

2014 Stories December 22, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 11.45.06 AM

This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a lengthy memo to employees as a reflection of the soon-ending 2013 and the upcoming year of 2014, according to multiple sources. In the letter, Tim Cook discusses people experiencing Apple products this holiday season, the Apple products launched throughout 2013, and corporate initiatives. “This holiday season, tens of millions of people around the world, from all walks of life, are experiencing Apple products for the first time. Those moments of surprise and delight are magical, and they’re all made possible by your hard work,” Cook says in the beginning of the email.

Cook notes Apple’s new manufacturing process for the Assembled in the USA Mac Pro and calls iOS 7 an “extraordinarily ambitious project.” “We extended our lead in the smartphone market with iPhone 5s; launched iOS 7, an extraordinarily ambitious project; released OS X Mavericks for free to our customers; introduced the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display; and this week began shipping the Mac Pro from a manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas,” Cook told employees. Cook also notes his pride over Apple reaching 50 billion App Store app downloads this year. Apple reached this milestone in approximately five years…

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2014 Stories November 26, 2013

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Apple’s new senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts won’t be taking up the newly created position officially until Spring 2014, but in the meantime Ahrendts has already started the process of transitioning to a new CEO at Burberry. In a blog post on LinkedIn, Ahrendts talks in length about the following her intuition when deciding to take a new job at Apple, much like she had when first joining Burberry, and also outlines her plans for transitioning to new leadership. If you’ve ever heard Tim Cook talk about moving to Apple, ‘following instincts’ will definitely seem like a theme.

And as I look forward to what will define the next generation, I believe it is imperative that great companies add greater social value – the larger the company, the larger the obligation.

Ahrendts notes that the company has started transitioning to new leadership at Burberry in recent weeks and also describes some of her business philosophies in the process: expand full story

2014 Stories October 28, 2013

All concept visuals: martinhajek.com

All concept visuals: martinhajek.com

Having recently speculated on what Apple might have planned in the way of 4K displays, I thought I’d build on that to think about what it might have in store on the television front.

If you didn’t read my 4K piece, the tl;dr version is I think Apple will launch a 4K Thunderbolt Display in about a year’s time, once it has a new generation of MacBook Pro models able to drive one (or preferably two) at a decent frame-rate.

The question then is: what form might the long-rumored Apple Television take? After all, plug an upgraded Apple TV box into an Apple 4K display and you’d have an Apple Television right there. Why would we need anything more … ?  expand full story

2014 Stories October 7, 2013

SyrahGuide

Last week, we reported that Apple has begun development of the successor to the upcoming OS X Mavericks: OS X 10.10. We reported hearing that the future operating system is internally dubbed “Syrah” (a type of wine), and now we have received evidence of the codename. Above is a screenshot of operating systems available for installation by Apple employees internally. As you can see, “Syrah” is available as an operating system newer than Mavericks and the recently released OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5…

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2014 Stories September 6, 2013

apple-tv-deal

Apple won’t announce a new piece of Apple TV hardware next week (as had been previously rumored), but AllThingsD says that Apple will debut some new software for the existing device. Of course, an Apple TV software update is already expected, but ATD says that there could be some neat new AirPlay-related functionality:

Sources say that one new feature in the works will let people who’ve bought content from Apple play that stuff on other users’ Apple TVs, via Apple’s Airplay system. So if you’ve bought a TV show or movie from Apple’s iTunes store, you could watch it at a friend’s house, by calling it up on your iPhone, and telling your friend’s Apple TV to start streaming it.

The new Apple TV software update will also unlock iTunes Radio, the ability to setup an Apple TV over Bluetooth 4.0, and OS X Mavericks multi-display support.

We’ve heard that Apple has some Apple TV related announcements up its sleeves for the coming months, but major hardware changes aren’t expected until at least next year. Sources say that Apple has been working on ways to control the Apple TV (whether that be a full on display – or just a box) via motion…

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2014 Stories August 15, 2013

New clips from ‘Jobs’ film starring Ashton Kutcher arrive ahead of nationwide release tomorrow

A ton of new clips from the upcoming “JOBS” biopic have been coming out ahead of the film’s release, and today another clip from the movie starring Ashton Kutcher has landed online. The trailer above, titled “Start Over,” shows Kutcher as Jobs delivering an inspiring speech to Apple employees about “Why people buy Apple.” MTV also posted a new featurette for ‘Jobs’ today with commentary from director Joshua Michael Stern (below).

The clips come as JOBS is set to hit theatres nationwide tomorrow. For those holding out for a Netflix release, Open Road Films’ CEO Tom Ortenberg told Bloomberg today that Jobs would become available through the service in spring of 2014.

2014 Stories June 10, 2013

Apple’s head of iTunes Eddy Cue is live on stage during Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote presentation today and just unveiled a brand new, revamped version of Siri that includes a lot of new features on top of a redesign that fits in with the rest of the new look for iOS 7. It also announced a new service dubbed “iOS in the car” that will bring more functionality to the consoles of some vehicles through a partnership with several car manufacturers. The integration will allow you to place calls, have more control of Siri, and view maps, much of which we already revealed leading up to today’s event.

As for Siri, the app now has an all new voice and users will also have the ability to change the voice between male and female. New highly quality voices in both male and female will initially be available only in English, French, and German, but Apple plans to add more over time. That’s not all, however, Siri is also getting a bunch of new features and integration with other web services such as Wikipedia.

Eddy Cue noted during his demo of the redesigned Siri that you’ll now be able to control a lot more functions on your iPhone with Siri, such adjusting the brightness of your display, enabling Bluetooth, or playing a voice mail. The just unveiled iTunes Radio will also have Siri integration.

Microsoft is happy about Apple’s decision to include Bing web results (and not Google) in Siri for iOS 7. 

Siri will also be able to answer a lot more questions in iOS 7, which is in part thanks to the integration of new web services including Wikipedia, Twitter (to view Twitter account updates through Siri), and web search results from Bing.

The new in-car features through ‘iOS in the car’ will be arriving in vehicles from several car manufacturers in 2014.  expand full story

2014 Stories April 23, 2013

Tim Cook talks product pipeline, 5-inch iPhone, growth in China, supply chain, and more

Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently answering questions from the press following the company’s live Q2 2013 earnings call.  Here are some of the highlights:

Cook on growth in China:

We had our best quarter ever in greater China. Revenue came in at 8.8B. That’s up 11 percent y-o-y. It’s the same as Apple’s growing… iPads grew 138% y-o-y… set new records for sell through for iPhone…

Added about 8000 iPhone point of sales, plan to add more and further grow our distribution. Innovating with our online store there and adding different functionality to the store. China has an usually large number of potential first time smartphone buyers… We’ve seen a significant interest in iPhone 4 there and recently made it even more affordable to make it even more attractive to first time buyers.

Cook on competition:

“In the beginning RIM was the strongest player. Of course today our top competitor from a hardware point of view would be Samsung, and married to Google on the software side. They’re obviously tough competitors but we feel we have the best products by far… continue to feel very confident about our product pipeline. We have the best ecosystem by far. We’re going to keep augmenting it and making it better and better. I feel very good about our competitive position.”

On new product pipeline:

“I’m just saying we’ve got really great stuff coming in the fall, and across all of 2014.”

Cook on confidence level in supply chain and moving to new vendors:

“I have incredible confidence. We exited the March quarter with no shortages. The December quarter you’re referring to is the largest for Apple.. The reality is the work we do to create truly innovate products is hard… I would assure you we are working very closely with our manufacturing partners for what we feel is a very exciting roadmap.”

On a larger screen iPhone:

My view continues to be that iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry. We always strive to create the very best display for our customers. Some customers value large screen sizes. Others value other factors such as resolution, white balance, color, portability, clarity, compatibility with apps… Our competitors have made some significant trade offs in many areas in order to ship a larger display. We will not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade offs exist.

On Mac market:

The reason we were down last quarter, we were down 2%, is because the market is incredibly weak. It’s the largest decline I remember from being in this industry for a long time. It’s certainly true that some iPads cannabalized some Macs. I don’t think it was a huge number but i do think it was some… That said, i don’t think this market is a dead market or a bad market by any means… We’re going to continue to innovate in it… if anything the huge growth in tablets might end up benefiting the Mac… People may be more willing to buy a Mac… We’re going to continue making the best personal computers. Our strategy is no changing. we delivered some incredible innovation last year with the Retina Display MacBook Pro.

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