Apple Inc Stories February 19

AAPL: 96.04

-0.22
Stock Chart

Update: Apple has since informed us that the comment by a local representative was not an official statement and has been mistranslated from the Chinese by Caixan. The correct information is that the ability to add cards was being made available on a rolling basis throughout the day. 

With many Chinese iPhone owners reporting they they are unable to register for Apple Pay, an Apple spokesman representative has said the issues are due to too many people trying to sign-up a planned gradual rollout throughout the day. Mashable reports that 38 million bank cards had been linked to Apple Pay by 5pm on launch day, 10M of them registered within the first hour.

Chinese site Caixin cited one example.

“It kept telling me the phone ‘cannot connect to Apple Pay’ or the verification for the card is not available when I was linking a bankcard,” said Duan Ge, a 31-year-old employee of a film production company. Duan said he managed to link his debit card after about 30 minutes of trying, but later when he tried to register another credit card, he “could not even open the app.”

Some had feared that Apple might face an uphill battle in persuading Chinese nationals to use the service, for two reasons …

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Apple Inc Stories February 18

AAPL: 96.26

-1.86
Stock Chart

Bloomberg profile of Apple’s ‘chief chipmaker’ – SVP of hardware technologies Johny Srouji – talks about how the iPad Pro was launched behind schedule, and almost ended up being less powerful than the iPhone 6s.

The original plan was to introduce the iPad Pro with Apple’s tablet chip, the A8X, the same processor that powered the iPad Air 2, introduced in 2014. But delaying until fall meant that the Pro would make its debut alongside the iPhone 6s, which was going to use a newer, faster phone chip called the A9 […]

The iPad Pro would look feeble next to the iPhone 6s. So Srouji put his engineers on a crash program to move up the rollout of a new tablet processor, the A9X, by half a year.

While the piece predictably doesn’t reveal much we didn’t already know, it does contain one surprising fun fact about the original iPhone …

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Civil rights organizations have expressed strong support for Apple’s resistance to a court order instructing it to create special firmware that would allow the FBI to break into an iPhone – with tech companies doing the same, albeit in a weaker fashion.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) posted a statement in which it said that it applauded Apple for standing up for the rights of its customers, and would be making its views known to the court.

Essentially, the government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone. And once that master key is created, we’re certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security […]

EFF applauds Apple for standing up for real security and the rights of its customers. We have been fighting to protect encryption, and stop backdoors, for over 20 years. That’s why EFF plans to file an amicus brief in support of Apple’s position.

The Verge notes similar support from both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Amnesty International …

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9to5toys 

Apple Inc Stories February 16

AAPL: 96.64

2.65
Stock Chart

Update: The WSJ reports that Apple’s target is to raise $12B, “on the higher side of investor expectations.”

An SEC filing reported by ZeroHedge reveals that Apple has announced plans for a series of new bond issues to raise money for further stock buybacks and dividend payments in what could be a 10-part deal.

General corporate purposes, including repurchases of Apple’s common stock and payment of dividends under the company’s program to return capital to shareholders, funding for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and repayment of debt.

MarketWatch adds that the notes will offer floating-rates maturing in 2018 and 2019, and fixed-rates maturing at a range of dates from 2018 all the way through to 2046. Apple has not yet revealed either the rates to be offered or the total sum it plans to raise, but previous issuances suggest we can expect the amount Apple is borrowing to be substantial …

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Apple Inc Stories February 15

AAPL: 93.99

0.29
Stock Chart

No one will be surprised to hear that I greatly prefer Apple’s platform to those of competitors. I’ve often argued that if you want a single ecosystem where everything Just Works across devices, Apple still has a significant lead, even if other platforms are gaining ground.

But that doesn’t mean I think Apple’s own platform is perfect. There are reliability issues that mean the platform doesn’t always live up to that Just Works ideal, and there are annoyingly persistent bugs which the company doesn’t seem in any hurry to fix.

In a podcast interview on Friday, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi argued that while all software has bugs, the sheer number of users means that complaints are “amplified,” making them appear more prevalent than they are in reality. There may be some truth in this – at least on the iOS side – but I’d argue that Apple allows known bugs to persist through too many platform and app releases …

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Apple Inc Stories February 12

AAPL: 93.99

0.29
Stock Chart

Apple is currently on target to start selling its next iPhone and iPad models the same week that the new products are introduced in March. Apple is currently planning to introduce a new 4-inch iPhone dubbed the “iPhone 5se” and a new iPad Air at an event on Tuesday, March 15th, then put the products up for sale online and in retail stores as early as Friday, March 18th, according to sources. Apple is unlikely to offer pre-orders for the new devices, according to sources who cautioned that the plans could still change.

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