Tag Archives: Apple

WWDC: Apple brings big updates to its four major platforms, including Siri for Mac

Apple kicked off its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) this year by introducing big updates to its four major platforms: watchOS, which powers Apple Watch; tvOS, the driver behind Apple TV; OS X, the desktop operating system running all Macs; and iOS, the mobile operating system that gives life to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. These platforms see updates on a regular basis every year, but with WWDC in town, they aim to change the game in ways in could only imagine. You may be disappointed to hear there were no hardware unveils this time around, but fret not because these software updates demoed today are worthy of their own stage. The breakdown is after the break. READ MORE WWDC: Apple brings big updates to its four major platforms, including Siri for Mac

Apple reports first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years

On April 26, Apple reported its 2016 second quarter financial results, and for the first time in 13 years, it is facing a decline in quarterly revenue. We’re so used to seeing record revenues from Tim Cook’s company, but you cannot deny that you didn’t see this coming. A quick look at the numbers will shine a light on where this inevitable slump sprouted from.

Apple posted a quarterly revenue of $50.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $10.5 billion. Compare this to one year ago, that’s down from revenue of $58 billion and net profit of $13.6 billion. Says CEO Tim Cook in a press release: “Our team executed extremely well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds. We are very happy with the continued strong growth in revenue from Services, thanks to the incredible strength of the Apple ecosystem and our growing base of over one billion active devices.”

iPhones took a hard hit this quarter, with 51.2 million units sold, compared to 61.2 million in the year-ago quarter. iPads also went on a noticeable decline, with 10.3 million units sold, compared to 12.6 million. Same story for Mac, with 4 million units sold, compared to 4.6 million. Across the board, as you can clearly see, Apple had a tough time living up to its record-breaking numbers this quarter across all three of its major product categories including phones, tablets, and computers.

Now, there is a bright spot among this dour news, and you’ll find it in a category Apple calls Other Products. Though Apple does not report units sold for iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, it does share the overall revenue those products accumulated in the quarter. Other Products amassed $2.2 million in Q2 ’16, up from Q2 ’15’s $1.7 million. In addition, and as Cook mentioned in his quote, Apple’s Internet-connected Services sector (read: iTunes & App Stores, Apple Music) is also on the rise reaching $6 million in revenue, up from the year-ago quarter’s $5 million.

Despite the optimism there, however, Apple’s stock dropped some points following news of the overall quarterly revenue decline. With Apple’s Wordwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) around the corner, here’s to hoping the tech giant (and still the world’s most valuable company) has some exciting announcements up its sleeve (iPhone 7? iOS 10? The shrouded in mystery Apple Car?) to pick up some forward momentum!

Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter of 2016, Apple CFO Luca Maestri expects revenue between $41 billion and $43 billion.

[Via Apple]

Apple announces newer, smaller iPhone & iPad, springs fresh Watch band collection

Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook led a town hall meeting packed with press to introduce new products including expected, iterative updates to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Though the presentation did not include many surprises, it was still an exciting affair, especially for those of you who are still clutching your 4-inch iPhone 5s for dear life. Looking to upgrade your iPad but the iPad Pro is too big for you to lug around town? You too will also like what you see here. Own an Apple Watch and want to spice up your band collection? Look no further. Go on, jump after the break for a full breakdown of all the major announcements coming out of Apple’s latest keynote. READ MORE Apple announces newer, smaller iPhone & iPad, springs fresh Watch band collection

Apple squeaks out record 2016 Q1 results, braces for revenue decline

On January 26, Apple reported its 2016 first quarter financial results. Apple posted a record quarterly revenue of $75.9 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18.4 billion. Compare this to one year ago, that’s up from revenue of $74.6 billion and net profit of $18 billion. Says CEO Tim Cook in a press release: “Our team delivered Apple’s biggest quarter ever, thanks to the world’s most innovative products and all-time record sales of iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV. The growth of our Services business accelerated during the quarter to produce record results, and our installed base recently crossed a major milestone of one billion active devices.”

It was another “record quarter” for Apple, but there were some startling yet inevitable declines across its product sales. Let’s break it down by product category and then discuss. Apple sold 74.8 million iPhones in the quarter (compared to 74.5 million in the year-ago quarter); 16.1 million iPads (compared to 21.4 million); and 5.3 million Macs (compared to 5.5 million). As for iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, the company stuffs these products into a single category called Other Products and does not disclose how many units of each were sold. However, what we do know is that this division accounted for $4.4 billion of Apple’s revenue this quarter (compared to 2.7 million in the year-ago quarter).

A quick look at those numbers and you’ll come to realize that Apple’s finally hitting a plateau with its innovative product lineup. The iPhone is the company’s most profitable product today, and yet its sales were up just 0.4 percent compared to last year’s first quarter results. The iPad and Macs didn’t fare so well either. Tablet sales dropped 25 percent compared to last year, and computer sales went south by 4 percent. Apple CFO Luca Maestri addresses these significant slumps when predicting 2016’s second fiscal quarter revenue to fall between $50-$53 billion; if that happens, it would mark a year-over-year decline in revenue for the company for the first time in 13 years.

It isn’t all bad news for (still) one of the most profitable companies in the world. Apple’s touting a 63 percent jump in sales in its Other Products category that now includes hot holiday gifts like the new-and-improved Apple TV and Apple Watch. In addition, its Internet-connected Services jumped 27 percent year-over-year; iTunes, the App Stores, and Apple Music helped rake in $6.1 billion in revenue this quarter.

Despite the declines due to “the overall [economic] malaise in virtually every country in the world” and in particular the economic “softness” in China, Tim Cook is bullish on Apple’s future. With an active install base of 1 billion devices (that is iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, Apple TV and Apple Watch devices that have been engaged in Apple’s services within the past 90 days) and strong customer service and retention rates that are “second to none” in the industry, Cook is unwavering in his belief that Apple will continue to grow as new hardware, software, and services will push his company into the future. It’s just a sad thought knowing that the next quarter will likely be the first one in awhile we won’t be calling a new record.

[Via Apple; Engadget 1, 2; Deadline]

iTunes shares 2015’s top-selling music, movies, TV shows, apps & more

Thanks to its undeniable ubiquity, Apple’s iTunes storefront is a great barometer of the most popular media sold in entertainment. Let’s take a look at who and what performed well in 2015…

Included in iTunes’ top-selling albums are Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Taylor Swift’s 1989, and Adele’s 25 (which came out only weeks ago!). The top-selling song of the year is Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars’ addicting “Uptown Funk.” Hanging around in the top 20 are Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen,” The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” and of course, Adele’s “Hello.” In addition to these top-selling lists, Apple likes to share hand-picked Editor Choice awards and they include: Drake (Best Artist), Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly (Best Album), The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” (Best Song), and Bryson Tiler (Best New Artist).

Top-selling movies include Star Wars: The Digital Movie CollectionBig Hero 6American SniperInside Out, and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Apple’s featured best movies include Mad Max: Fury RoadInside Out, the Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, and Dope. In TV, Game of ThronesThe Walking Dead, Downton AbbeyScandal, and The Blacklist are amongst the year’s best-selling series. Apple’s featured best TV shows include Mr. RobotFargoUnREAL, and Inside Amy Schumer.

Apple’s App Store is home to the largest library of apps in the world. The best app to help pass the time with friends, Heads Up!, keeps its crown as the top-selling paid app in 2015. Rounding out the top five paid apps: Minecraft: Pocket EditionTrivia Crack (ad free)Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, and Facetune. The top 5 best-selling free ones are always easy to nail: Trivia CrackFacebook MessengerDubsmashInstagram, and Snapchat. Don’t worry–YouTubeFacebookUber, and Crossy Road don’t trail far behind.

Calling all book readers! Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, E L James’ GreyFifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades Darker, and John Green’s Paper Towns are among the best-selling fictional novels. Top-selling non-fiction novels include Chris Kyle’s American Sniper, Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat, and Erik Larson’s Dead Wake.

Lastly, in the realm of podcasts, NPR’s Fresh Air is the most downloaded of the year. Apple named Mystery Show Best New Podcast and WTF with Marc Maron Best Classic Podcast.

Want more? Open iTunes to view all the top-selling media across Apple’s digital ecosystem.

Apple reports 2015 Q4 results: $51.5 billion revenue & $11.1 billion net profit

On October 27, Apple reported its 2015 fourth quarter financial results. Apple posted a quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and net profit of $11.1 billion. Compare this to one year ago, that’s up from revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion. Says CEO Tim Cook in a press release: “Fiscal 2015 was Apple’s most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. This continued success is the result of our commitment to making the best, most innovative products on earth, and it’s a testament to the tremendous execution by our teams. We are heading into the holidays with our strongest product lineup yet, including iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch with an expanded lineup of cases and bands, the new iPad Pro and the all-new Apple TV which begins shipping this week.”

Now let’s break it down by product category. Apple sold 48 million iPhones in the quarter (compared to 39.2 million in the year-ago quarter); 9.8 million iPads (compared to 12.3 million); and 5.7 million Macs (compared to 5.5 million). As for iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, the company stuffs these products into a single category called Other Products and unfortunately does not disclose how many units of each were sold. However, what we do know is that this division accounted for $3 billion of Apple’s revenue this quarter (compared to 1.9 million in the year-ago quarter).

Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2016, Apple CFO Luca Maestri expects revenue between $75.5 billion and $77.5 billion.

[Via Apple]

Jam-packed Apple event introduces iPad Pro, iPhone 6s & all-new Apple TV (and so much more)

Today is a HUGE day for Apple. The tech company managed to pack in so many updates across its ever-expanding product lineup. The Apple Watch, the iPad and iPhone families, and even the Apple TV all received notable boosts in functionality. There’s so much to discuss, so without further ado, let’s dive right into it. Jump after the fold for a comprehensive breakdown of the day’s events. READ MORE Jam-packed Apple event introduces iPad Pro, iPhone 6s & all-new Apple TV (and so much more)

Apple rebrands its London-based music festival, announces headliners including Pharrell & Disclosure [Update: More performers added]

Since 2007, the iTunes Music Festival has attracted many talented and hugely popular musicians to its London venue including Adele, Beck, Coldplay, Elton John, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Muse, and Paul McCartney. For its ninth outing, Apple is rebranding it to give more exposure to its recently launched streaming music service. In September, the newly christened Apple Music Festival will headline 10 artists; so far, Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Florence + The Machine, and Disclosure are confirmed to perform live.

“We wanted to do something really special for music fans this year,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services in a press release. “The Apple Music Festival is a greatest hits set of ten unbelievable nights featuring some of the best performers on the planet appearing live and interacting directly with their fans on Connect and Beats 1.”

The festival will take place over ten nights from September 19-28 at London’s Roundhouse venue; each night is dedicated to a headliner and a special opening guest. As of today, only One Direction have selected its opening act–English girl group Little Mix. Tickets will be offered for free exclusively to London residents. If you’re Stateside or anywhere else around the world for that matter, you can still watch the concerts live via Apple Music (on an iOS device), iTunes (on PC and Mac) and Apple TV. In addition, Zane Lowe and his team of DJs on Beats 1 will air coverage from the festival, and participating performers will be posting backstage content on their Apple Music Connect pages.

Apple claims that iTunes Music Festival musicians have played in front of more than half a million fans and tens of millions more online and on-demand. With the proliferation of Apple Music subscribers (who’ll continue to use the streaming service for free until Sept. 30), I’ll bet that those numbers increase exponentially this fall when the Apple Music Festival jams out across iPhones, iPads, iPods, computers, and Apple TV.

Update (9/2): Apple’s announced more headliners and openers for this month’s Apple Music Festival. English pop group Take That, “I Can’t Feel My Face” singer The Weeknd, and British electronic dance music band The Chemical Brothers are the latest headliners to join the lineup. As far as new openers are concerned, Pharrell has picked Leon Bridges to warm up his crowd, and Florence + The Machine will introduce James Bay before taking over the stage. Will update this post as more performers are added.

Apple reports 2015 Q3 results: $49.6 billion revenue & $10.7 billion net profit

On July 21, Apple reported its 2015 third quarter financial results. Apple posted a record quarterly revenue of $49.6 billion and net profit of $10.7 billion. Compare this to one year ago, that’s up from revenue of $37.4 billion and net profit of $7.7 billion. Says CEO Tim Cook: “We had an amazing quarter, with iPhone revenue up 59 percent over last year, strong sales of Mac, all-time record revenue from services, driven by the App Store, and a great start for Apple Watch. The excitement for Apple Music has been incredible, and we’re looking forward to releasing iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and watchOS 2 to customers in the fall.”

Now let’s break it down by product category. Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones in the quarter (compared to 35.2 million in the year-ago quarter); 10.9 million iPads (compared to 13.3 million); and 4.8 million Macs (compared to 4.4 million). As for iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, the company stuffs these products into a single category called Other Products and unfortunately does not disclose how many units of each were sold. However, what we do know is that this division accounted for $2.6 billion of Apple’s revenue this quarter.

Interested in how Apple Watch performed out of the gate? The company’s not sharing exact figures, but in an interview with The New York Times, Apple CFO Luca Maestri says that “the watch’s sales in its first nine weeks exceeded those of the iPhone and iPad in their first nine weeks of availability.” Also, Maestri informed Engadget during the earning call today that the watch “was responsible for “over 100 percent” of the “Other Product” category’s growth in the quarter and offset any losses from iPod and accessory sales.”

Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2015, Maestri expects revenue between $49 billion and $51 billion.

[Via Apple]

Apple splashes a new coat of paint across its iPod lineup, beefs up the aging touch

It speaks volumes about Apple’s iPod division that Tim Cook’s company decided to roll out a new version of the iPod touch in a press release as opposed to dedicated stage time to it at a public event. The ubiquitous iPhone and its tablet counterpart the iPad play music and so much more, making the iPod touch, nano, and shuffle more obsolete than ever. Still, Apple is keeping its iPod line alive with refreshed innards and a splash of new colors.

First and foremost, the new, sixth-generation iPod touch packs the same A8 processor found inside the powerful iPhone 6. This boosts the music player’s graphics performance 10x and CPU performance 6x, it brings a 64-bit architecture to the device, and it supports Metal, Apple’s technology for developers that helps them make more immersive games. Additionally, the new touch also includes the M8 motion coprocessor for enhanced fitness tracking. *Note: TechCrunch reports that the A8 processor is slightly underclocked inside the touch (1.1GHz versus the iPhone 6’s 1.39GHz), likely to conserve battery life and keep prices down.

The cameras have also been upgraded on the touch. Around the back, the iSight Camera now sports an 8-megapixel sensor (up from 5 before). It supports slo-mo video recording in 720p HD at 120 fps, burst mode, time-lapse video, and high-resolution panorama shots. The updated front-facing FaceTime HD Camera also supports burst mode, plus improved HDR, face detection, and exposure control. Elsewhere, users will notice up to 3x faster WiFi speeds thanks to 802.11ac support; Bluetooth 4.1 is also on board.

The new iPod touch, which comes preloaded with iOS 8.4 and the new Music app with access to Apple Music, starts at $199 for the 16GB model. For another 50 bucks you can get it with 32GB of memory. 64GB and 128GB models are also available at $299 and $399, respectively. The largest model is exclusive to Apple retail and online stores. The new colors match the iPhone & iPad lineups; there’s space gray, silver, and gold, for starters, plus vibrants options in pink, blue, and (PRODUCT)RED. The 16GB iPod nano ($149) and 2GB iPod shuffle ($49) also received the same coat of new colors. All iPods are available to ship today.

Enjoy ’em while they last. As the iPhone, iPad and even the new gadget on the block, the Apple Watch, continue to cannibalize the market with their never-ending feature sets, the iPod’s future remains murky.

[Via Apple]

Zane Lowe debuts Beats 1, already solidifies station as keen music discovery tool (first broadcast tracklist inside!)

Apple Music is here and Beats 1 is live! DJ host Zane Lowe kicked things off at 9am PT as promised and in case you missed the flip being switched on, you can relive the moment in the SoundCloud snippet embedded above. “We have to kick this whole thing off at some point,” he said coming out of anticipatory mood music provided by Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports. “We spent the last three months trying to build this radio station and now we can build no more. We must launch.”

The first track spun on Beats 1? That was “City” by Spring King. The Manchester band quickly flocked to Twitter to express their surprise and gratitude: “yo @zanelowe are you kidding?!!?!? you just spun our tune! you’re an absolute legend!!” Keep this in mind–it may just be the answer to a future Jeopardy question. But why start with such an obscure song? Well, that’s sort of the point of Beats 1. Lowe and company are aiming to differentiate Apple’s radio station from all the rest–instead of playing songs merely because they are popular, they spin tunes based on their personal tastes and what they think could be and should be lighting the industry on fire.

I’ve been listening into the station for the past two hours and I’m enthused to report that Lowe’s reputation from his days at BBC’s Radio 1 has followed him directly to Los Angeles, his new home for Beats 1. I’m jamming out to artists I have never heard of before, already curating a list for me to return to later. Following Spring City, Lowe celebrated AC/DC entering the world of streaming music with their classic track “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).” Later in the first hour he debuted Pharrell’s brand new song “Freedom,” a current exclusive to Apple Music and the first “world record” on Beats 1. And because he likes it so much, Lowe played it again right as it was fading out. By the end of the first hour, Lowe was introducing another never-heard-before track, a “world first” from rising R&B crooner Gallant and it’s called “Weight in Gold.” Hour 2 saw the first song to stream from Dr. Dre’s iconic rap album The Chronic, “Let Me Ride,” as well as a new song from Eminem, “Phenomenal,” from the upcoming movie Southpaw. All in all, Lowe is indeed the tastemaker that UK music fans have always touted him to be, and I can’t wait to use Beats 1 as a music discovery tool from now on.

Be sure to check out the new portal applemusic.tumblr.com to see Beats 1’s schedule for your time zone. Zane Lowe in LA, Ebro Darden in NYC, and Julie Adenuga in London host programming blocks Monday through Thursday. In addition to pumping tunes, the DJs will also air interviews exclusive to the station. Lowe confirmed today that his upcoming interview with Eminem will air tomorrow (7/1). Also, Pharrell’s radio show “Other Tone” is debuting July 5 at 3pm. Click that link to find out when more shows are launching including The Pharmacy with Dr. Dre, Elton John’s Rocket Hour, and Jaden Smith’s MSFTS FREQUENCY. Want to request a song? Call in!

Dying to know the tracks Lowe broadcasted worldwide to over 100 countries over the course of Beats 1’s first couple hours? Jump after the break. READ MORE Zane Lowe debuts Beats 1, already solidifies station as keen music discovery tool (first broadcast tracklist inside!)

Apple Music and Beats 1 launch Tuesday, here’s what you need to know

On Tuesday, June 30, Apple Music goes live and it may very well be the next evolution in the music industry like iTunes before it. With Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio breathing down Apple’s neck, the house that Steve Jobs built is ready to take on the competition with both feet in, offering up a subscription-based streaming service as well as a 24/7 global Internet radio station.

Apple unveiled Apple Music at WWDC earlier this month, and you can learn all about it there. Today I’m here to discuss what’s new before the service rolls out tomorrow morning. First let’s talk exclusives. In order to compete with the aforementioned competition, Apple is taking advantage of its artist relationships to bring special content to Apple Music that listeners won’t be able to find elsewhere. After pulling her latest album 1989 from Spotify’s library, country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift is granting Apple Music streaming rights to it. This followed, of course, Swift’s public letter to Apple regarding paying artists (both large and indie) royalties during users’ free three-month trial periods. Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue swiftly took to Twitter to announce his company’s about-face. The indie community, as well as Swift, backed Apple’s decision to pay artists before users’ subscriptions kick in and this seemingly opened the floodgates for more goodwill and exciting exclusives coming to Apple Music. Pharrell is debuting his brand new single “Freedom” exclusively on the service on Tuesday, and it will likely come packaged with a music video. Additionally, Dr. Dre’s iconic rap album The Chronic will stream digitally for the first time on Apple Music; due to a legal spat, the Beats co-founder couldn’t even get it spinning on the Beats Music service before Apple gobbled it up.

The remainder of new information surrounds Beats 1, the new global radio station powered by Apple and run by former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. He’ll be broadcasting from Los Angeles, and two other hand-picked DJs–Hot 97’s Ebro Darden and UK tastemaker Julie Adenuga–will broadcast live from New York City and London, respectively. In an interview with The New York Times, Lowe shared his aspirations for Beats 1, after the break. READ MORE Apple Music and Beats 1 launch Tuesday, here’s what you need to know