OS X Yosemite & iOS 8 @ WWDC

Apple’s annual WWDC is always feature packed.  This year’s emphasis was on software (as with last year) and we saw major upgrades to both iOS and OS X.

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Apple showed off iOS 8, the next generation of iOS at the conference which sports loads of new features such as a health app, user profiles, a better photos app, updated messages app, and more.  Spotlight has been completely redesigned and iCloud now comes with iCloud Drive, a competitor to others such as DropBox and Google Drive.

OS X Yosemite also saw its debut with a completely redesigned interface similar to that of iOS 7.

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As with last year’s iOS 7, the radical new design of Yosemite takes some time to get used to.  It’s certainly a stark new overhaul and might be a but of adjustment to long-time mac users (look at Finder)!  Every element of Yosemite has been redesigned with the new look and it’s quite impressive.  The new feel conveys a sense of depth and content. Notification center on the mac has also been redesigned and completely revamped.

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We’ll have more on each individual feature of iOS and OS X in the coming days.   Stay tuned!

 

Rumor: Apple to Acquire Beats music for $3.2 Billion

In a surprising turn of events, the Cupertino giant is said to be finalizing talks with popular headphone maker Beats Music. The deal, if it closes, is said to be at $3.2 Billion.

Beats music, which has grown in popularity since it’s 2008 luanch, debuted a streaming service (via iOS app) in the past weeks.

Apple, a company not known to make large acquisitions (its largest being that of PrimeSense for $350 Million), is said to be finishing the agreement between the two companies. Under the direction of legendary CEO Steve Jobs, Apple was shy to make acquisitions; Jobs declared acquisitions as a “failure to innovate.” Clearly, CEO Tim Cook doesn’t feel that way. Asked about the possibility of a major acquisition at a stockholders meeting, Cook responded saying Apple would make the move if it was right. It’s quite clear that behind those closed doors, a culture change is gradually occurring at the Cupertino company.

Beats Music founder somewhat confirmed this yesterday. We’ll have more details as we discover more.

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Earth Day, OS X Beta, and More

It’s been a busy (earth) day for Apple.  

The company today celebrated Earth Day with banners promoting its efforts to help save the environment.  Apple touts its eco-friendly footprint with the tagline”there are some ideas we want every company to copy.”  The phrase is clearly a jab at Samsung, Apple’s greatest rival and a known copycat.Image

The company also extended it’s iPhone buy back program to iPads as well, allowing customers to sell back old iPads to Apple.  Apple updated it’s logo for Earth Day with a green leaf and reports indicate that Apple Stores around the world have done so as well.

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In a surprising turn of events, Apple will now allow non-developers to receive free OS X betas.  Previously, only registered developers had access to pre-release OS X software.  This leads us to wonder if Apple will offer OS X 10.10 (expected to be revealed at WWDC in June) to the public as a pre-release.  

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Lastly, the company released iOS 7.1.1 with bug fixes and Touch ID improvements.  Apple also updated it’s App Store rules and updated the store with minor enhancements in iOS 7.1.1.

Wow, busy day!

Apple: Weekly Loop

In the past week, Apple discontinued the legacy iPad 2, which had for over two years been a “cheaper” alternative to the full priced $499 iPad Air.

Yesterday, 9to5Mac reported that some users running iOS 7.1 saw “related searches” when users searched the app store.

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In other news, social tycoon Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that his company would purchase virtual-reality maker Occulus for approximately $2 Billion. This news comes just a few weeks after the company announced a $21 Billion acquisition of the popular smartphone app WhatsApp. The question, remains – how much money does Facebook really have?

iOS 7.1 Released: Overview

Apple officially released iOS 7.1 this week. Why should you update? Well, to top it off, iOS 7.1 is a HUGE improvements for performance. Users of older devices (i.e. the iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPad Mini 1). Along with significant performance improvements, 7.1 packs new design tweaks, CarPlay, better Touch ID for the iPhone 5s, and many minor tweaks. Overall, it’s an excellent upgrade and well worth the time. Get it today from the settings app!

Check out DetroitBORG’s awesome video above for a complete description of iOS 7.1.

Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp for $19 Billion

Update:Facebook and WhatsApp both released statements confirming this.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today announced that his company would purchase the popular messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp reportedly has over 500 million users and nearly all of the Spanish population on its service. Previously, WhatsApp declined acquisitions.

Zuckerberg claims that this acquisition will lead towards another “billion” users. Facebook alone has over 1 Billion active users while it’s Instagram subdivision sports over 100 Million users.

This latest deal comes less than a week after Viber, the popular social network and texting app, was acquired by a Chinese company for $900 Million. Facebook is also placed bids for Snapchat, the popular disappearing messaging app, for a reported $3 billion. Snapchat, however, declined. In May 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram $1 billion. Google acquired the social mapping network Waze for $1 Billion in 2013. Additionally, Yahoo! Purchased Tumblr in 2013 for $1.1 Billion. That’s a lot of social networks purchased!!

What’s next

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Notes from Apple Quarterly Earnings

Notes from Apple’s Quarterly Earnings

20131022-162209.jpg– 4.8 Million Macs Sold in Fiscal Quarter One
– 80% of all iOS users are now on iOS 7, making it the most popular mobile OS in the world.
– Apple remembered Mac’s 30 Year Anniversary last week
– $4.4 Billion made from iTunes
– iTunes hit new records
– App Sore passed 65 Billion Downloads
– 130,000 Chinese Apps
– $7 Billion from Apple Stores (Record)
– 4 New Stores Opened
– 166 Stores OutSide USA
– Average Revenue was $16.7 Million/store
– iBeacons Rolled Out in Quarter One
– Apple has $158.8 Billion in Cash

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Apple Reports Quarterly Earnings

Apple today announced its quarterly earnings.   The conference call officially begins at 5:00 EST/2:00 PST.  Listen live here.  We will bring you updated news as time progresses.  The company had a record breaking quarter.

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Quarter 1 accounts for the holiday season, the most important quarter of the year.  Apple also reached a multi year deal with China Mobile in late 2013.

Apple’s Quarterly Earnings

iPhone and iPad Sales Drive Record Revenue and Operating Profit

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 first quarter ended December 28, 2013. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $57.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, or $14.50 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $54.5 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 37.9 percent compared to 38.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

“We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better.”

The Company sold 51 million iPhones, an all-time quarterly record, compared to 47.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 26 million iPads during the quarter, also an all-time quarterly record, compared to 22.9 million in the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 4.8 million Macs, compared to 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Apple’s Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $3.05 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on February 13, 2014, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 10, 2014.

“We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, Software and Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better.”

“We generated $22.7 billion in cash flow from operations and returned an additional $7.7 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the December quarter, bringing cumulative payments under our capital return program to over $43 billion,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2014 second quarter:

• revenue between $42 billion and $44 billion

• gross margin between 37 percent and 38 percent

• operating expenses between $4.3 billion and $4.4 billion

• other income/(expense) of $200 million

• tax rate of 26.2 percent

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q1 2014 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PST on January 27, 2014 at www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/earningsq114. This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.