Mac Headlines

Apple’s Share of Smartphone Industry Profit Rises to 92%, Despite iPhone Representing Less Than 20% of Sales

July 13th, 2015 by AppleInsider

A new report out over the weekend by Canaccord Genuity estimates that Apple has recorded a 92 percent share of the world's entire smartphone market in the first quarter of 2015, which is up from 65 percent a year earlier. The company managed to do so on less than 20 percent of actual smartphone sales, which the Wall Street Journal accounts to the company's "ability to command much higher prices for its phones."

Behind Apple was Samsung with a total of 15 percent of the smartphone market, with the two combining to tally up for more than 100 percent of the industry's profits, "because other makers broke even or lost money, in Canaccord’s calculations." In the early days of the iPhone, Canaccord estimates that Nokia was holding two-thirds of the smartphone industry's profits, but by 2012, Apple and Samsung shared the industry's profits at a nearly exact 50/50 split.

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“The dominance of Apple is something that is very hard to overcome,” said Denny Strigl, former chief operating officer of Verizon Communications Inc. “Apple has to stumble somehow or another, and I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Canaccord contributes Apple's bigger-than-ever market dominance to a combination of increased iPhone sales and higher prices for the bigger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus released last year. A year before, an iPhone sold at an average of $624 -- compared to $185 for Android-running smartphones -- according to data collected by Strategy Analytics. By the end of 2015's first quarter, Apple had sold 43 percent more iPhones than the year before and at a higher price of about $659 thanks to the bigger screened models.

Apple's dominance doesn't seem to be slowing down as we move closer to the launch of the next generation of iPhone, with the company reportedly ordering a record-breaking amount of units for the so-called "iPhone 6s" launch later this year. Its rivals won't be threatening to take any of its market share at the moment, either, with companies like HTC and Samsung reporting quarterly losses and "disappointing profits" and Microsoft just last week laying off 7,800 employees, primarily in its smartphone business.









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12.9-Inch ‘iPad Pro’ Rumored to Launch After Mid-November as Foxconn Prepares Components

July 13th, 2015 by AppleInsider

The oft-rumored 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" is expected to launch after mid-November as overseas manufacturer Foxconn prepares to start supplying components for the large-sized tablet in late September, according to the sometimes-reliable Taiwanese blog DigiTimes. Apple reportedly remains cautious about placing orders for the "iPad Pro" from suppliers due to declining iPad sales and weakening demand in the overall tablet market.

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12.9-inch "iPad Pro" dummy model originally shared in February 2015

DigiTimes has a hit-and-miss track record reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, so this latest rumor should be treated with a proverbial grain of salt. Nevertheless, the rumor is consistent with previous reports that widely expect the "iPad Pro" to launch in the second half of this year. Apple has also historically announced new iPad models in October, which lines up with a launch around mid-November.

A related DigiTimes report claims that China-based white-box tablet makers are preparing to capitalize on the "iPad Pro" launch and seasonal shopping trends by releasing tablets in the 10-inch to 15-inch throughout the second half of 2015. The tablet makers are said to be sourcing components from Taiwan-based touch controller IC makers including ITE Tech, Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) and ILi Technology (Ilitek).









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Apple Watch Sales Estimated at 3 Million Through First 3 Months

July 13th, 2015 by AppleInsider

Apple Watch online sales in the United States are estimated to have totaled 3,039,353 at an average price of $505 through July 10, exactly three months after Apple began accepting pre-orders for the wrist-worn device, according to the latest data from market research firm Slice Intelligence obtained exclusively by MacRumors.

The entry-level Apple Watch Sport has been the most popular model among early adopters by almost a two-to-one margin, with an estimated 1,950,909 units sold at an average price of $381 since April 10. Meanwhile, stainless steel Apple Watch sales are estimated at 1,086,569 units to date, at an average price of $695.

Apple Watch Sales 3 Months Slice
Apple has also sold 1,875 Apple Watch Edition models to date, at an average price of $13,700, according to Slice Intelligence. The 18-karat gold Apple Watch models, seen on the wrists of celebrities such as Beyonce, Drake, Kanye West, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams, cost between $10,000 and $17,000 in the U.S.

Slice Intelligence's data does not include Apple Watch sales in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, nor does it account for walk-in purchases made through the Apple Store.

A Recap of Slice Intelligence's Previous Estimates

Last week, Slice Intelligence released new data that showed Apple Watch online sales in the U.S. steadily declined throughout June. Specifically, the survey revealed that Apple Watch sales in the U.S. remained consistent at around 20,000 per day in May before dropping to less than 10,000 per day last month.

The research firm previously estimated that Apple received 1 million Apple Watch pre-orders at launch, averaged 30,000 Apple Watch sales per day in late May and had topped 2.8 million total Apple Watch sales as of mid June. It also found that around 17% of online shoppers buy at least one extra band for the Apple Watch.

A Closer Look at Slice Intelligence's Methodology

Given that Apple has not publicly disclosed any official Apple Watch sales figures, and will be grouping the wrist-worn device under its "Other Products" category in quarterly earnings reports, the accuracy and methodology behind the Slice Intelligence data has been called into question -- so we went looking for answers.

MacRumors spoke with Slice Intelligence's Chief Data Officer Kanishka Agarwal and VP of Marketing and PR Jaimee Minney to learn more about Slice Intelligence's methodology. The details below should provide a better understanding of how its Apple Watch sales estimates were calculated over the past three months.

Slice Intelligence tracks e-receipts from 2.5 million online shoppers in the U.S., which it claims is the largest panel anywhere, that sign up for the company's value-added services such as Slice and Unroll.me. Slice, for example, is a free app for tracking packages, receipts, price drops, product recall alerts and more.

The research firm had a sample size of about 22,000 Apple Watch customers among its panel of 2.5 million online shoppers in the U.S. through July 10, more than double the sample size of about 9,000 shoppers it had when it estimated Apple Watch pre-orders reached nearly 1 million on launch day in the U.S. on April 10.

Slice Intelligence also offers an API for developers to provide users with their purchase history and can aggregate e-receipt data through some of these third-party apps and services. The research firm claims to be the only one to provide direct measurement of all digital commerce activity and customer loyalty.

Slice Intelligence says it is "very confident" that its Apple Watch sales estimates are within proximity to what Apple has actually sold, noting that its data is measured against third-party sources such as Amazon and the U.S. Department of Commerce with between 97% and 99% accuracy. Slice and Apple have not been in contact.

The research firm claims to have a diversified pool of consumers that is highly representative of the online shopping population and balanced to eliminate biases. Agarwal says that his firm's panel lines up nicely with the overall market and is supplemented by detailed competitive insight and data from clients.

Apple's Q3 FY 2015 results are scheduled to be released on July 21 at 2:00 PM Pacific.









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Apple Gives iCloud Customers in Greece 30 Extra Days of Storage Amid Fiscal Crisis

July 11th, 2015 by AppleInsider

icloud_icon_blueDue to capital controls in Greece that prevent residents from making payments abroad due to the country's ongoing financial crisis, many Greek customers have been unable to make purchases through online services such as iTunes and Paypal. The emergency measure has created a problem for iCloud users in Greece, who have been unable to renew their premium storage plan subscriptions since late June.

Bloomberg News shared Apple's email received by its Athens-based staff earlier this week:
“On June 30, we tried to charge your account for your iCloud space of 20GB, but there is a problem with your payment details,” said one e-mail received by Bloomberg News staff based in Athens. “If we don’t manage to renew your subscription, your account will be downgraded to the free 5GB space program.” The user has a standing monthly payment for a 0.99-euro-cent ($1.11) payment for the storage service.
Fortunately, Apple has now sent an email to iCloud customers in Greece (via iPhoneHellas) to inform them that their iCloud storage plans have been extended by an extra 30 days at no additional cost. Apple will not attempt to charge iCloud customers in Greece until 30 days after their original renewal date, which buys some much-needed time for Greek customers while the country attempts to sort out its financial situation.
Dear iCloud customer,

To prevent interruption in your iCloud service during the current fiscal crisis, and to make sure you have access to your content, we’ve extended your iCloud storage plan for an extra 30 days at no additional cost.

We won’t attempt to charge you for your plan until 30 days after your original renewal date. If we are unable to renew your plan, you may need to reduce the amount of iCloud storage you use.

The iCloud Team
Greek customers can also use an iTunes gift card to renew their iCloud storage plans in the meantime.









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FTC Looking Into App Store Rules Regarding Subscription Services

July 11th, 2015 by AppleInsider

appstoreOn Wednesday, Spotify sent emails to subscribers asking them to cancel their App Store subscriptions to the service to resubscribe on the web to avoid a $3 surcharge because of Apple's App Store policies. The Federal Trade Commission is now looking into Apple's policies, which include a 30 percent fee that it collects on all app and subscription revenue routed through the App Store, reports Reuters.
U.S. government antitrust regulators are looking into claims about whether Apple's treatment of rival streaming music apps is illegal under antitrust law, according to three industry sources.
The antitrust concerns stem from certain App Store restrictions placed on streaming companies, which include a prohibition that the company is on other platforms, a ban on advertising how users can subscribe on a company's website and the ban on links to the company's website. While users can still subscribe to the service of their choice outside of the App Store, avoiding the 30 percent fee for the respective companies, sources tell Reuters that many users do not realize its an option.

That 30 percent fee reduces margins for those streaming companies in an industry with already thin margins and makes it difficult for them to compete, Deezer CEO Tyler Goldman tells the news organization. The news also comes after the FTC and other government bodies began looking into Apple's efforts to set up deals with music labels.

While the FTC is looking into the App Store rules, there's no guarantee they launch a formal investigation as antitrust lawyers that spoke to Reuters were split on whether Apple is breaking the law. This isn't the first time Apple has gotten in trouble for its 30 percent subscription cut, as it landed in hot water with the Department of Justice during the e-book price fixing case. In June, it was reported that Apple was considering changing the 30 percent cut for media apps like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and more.









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Apple May Be Producing Exclusive Apple Music Content In-House

July 11th, 2015 by AppleInsider

Earlier today Apple Music exclusively debuted a new music video from Drake, titled "Energy" from his latest album "If You're Reading This It's Too Late". Previously, Apple has exclusively debuted the music videos for Pharrell's "Freedom" and Eminem's "Phenomenal". These music videos may be developed in-house at Apple, reports Pitchfork.

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The launch of Apple Music hasn't only included a new radio station, social network, and streaming service. Apple have also started creating their own original content. The company made Drake's amazing "Energy" video in-house, as well as Pharrell's "Freedom" and Eminem's "Phenomenal". Next up: M.I.A.'s "Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than a Border", coming to Apple Music on Monday, July 13.
In addition to M.I.A.'s forthcoming music video, Pitchfork, which is an Apple Music Curation Partner, says rumors indicate that Apple Music has projects in the works with artists like Purity Ring, Diddy and James Bay. However, M.I.A.'s music video has been in the works since before May, when the artist insinuated that her label was holding up her "Matahdatah" music video because of potential controversy around its cultural appropriation of African culture.

Pitchfork claims that when they reached out to Larry Jackson, Apple Music's head of content, for comment he responded with a tweet consisting of a dig at Spotify CEO Daniel Elk's "Oh ok" tweet when Apple Music was announced in addition to the hashtags "Content", "Curation", "Culture" and a link to Drake's music video on Apple Music.

Apple has been trying to secure exclusive content for its new streaming service in an effort to lure customers away from rival services like Spotify and Tidal. That effort continues with Drake, who today announced he'll have a radio show on Beats 1 that'll start on Saturday, July 11 at 6 PM EST.









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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Think Tank Photo Backpack That’ll Hold Your MacBook and Camera Gear

July 10th, 2015 by AppleInsider

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Think Tank Photo to give away an Urban Approach 15 Mirrorless Backpack that's designed to hold an iPad, a laptop, camera gear, and tons more. Think Tank Photo is actually a site that specializes in photography gear, so this is a giveaway oriented at those of you who need to lug around a camera, a MacBook, and all the relevant accessories.

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Think Tank Photo sells a whole range of backpacks and messenger bags that can accommodate cameras and equipment of different sizes. The Urban Approach 15 Mirrorless Backpack is specifically designed for mirrorless cameras like the Sony a7r or the Olympus OM-D line.

It comes with a bunch of customizable compartments to hold your camera and lenses, with removable foam dividers so it can also be used to store other gear. There's a dedicated zipper pocket in the back that can hold an iPad and a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro or smaller. As you can see in the photos, it's able to hold multiple cameras with lenses attached plus extra lenses.

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The fabric is water-resistant thanks to a water repellant coating, and it's made of ballistic nylon with leather accents for maximum durability. There's a holder for a tripod and a pass-through handle so it can be attached to luggage when traveling. It includes several internal organizer pockets for cables, memory cards, and batteries, there's a lockable zipper to prevent theft, and a rain cover.

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To enter to win the Urban Approach 15 Mirrorless Backpack from Think Tank Photo, use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter your email address. Your email address will not be given to any third party and is used solely for contact purposes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This contest will run from today (July 10) at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time through 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time on July 17. The winner will be chosen randomly on July 3 and will be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address or a new winner will be chosen.









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Barclays Anticipating ‘Imminent’ Support for Apple Pay in United Kingdom

July 10th, 2015 by AppleInsider

MacRumors has learned that a high-level executive at Barclays, one of the largest banks in the United Kingdom, anticipates "imminent" support of Apple Pay in the country. Apple Pay in the U.K. is expected to go live on Tuesday, although it remains unclear if Barclays will be a first wave launch partner because of its delayed negotiations with Apple about the mobile payments service.

Barclays Apple Pay UK
Apple confirmed at WWDC last month that Apple Pay will be available in the U.K. in July, but stopped short of providing a specific launch date. Recently released employee training documents have suggested the launch could come next week, on July 14, and some Santander customers were able to add their cards to Passbook for use with Apple Pay and make purchases ahead of that date.

Barclays was notably absent from Apple's list of banks that will support Apple Pay in the U.K. at launch or soon after, which presently includes HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, M&S Bank, MBNA, NatWest, Nationwide, Santander, TSB and Ulster Bank. The bank's subsidiary Barclaycard has offered an Apple Rewards Visa Card for several years.

Barclaycard recently expanded its "bPay" lineup of wearable solutions for contactless payments to include a wristband, key fob and sticker, leading to speculation that Barclays may be electing to use its own mobile payments services as opposed to Apple Pay, similar to how some retailers maintained exclusivity to the CurrentC platform last year. Today's confirmation, however, indicates otherwise.









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Buyer’s Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Apple Accessories, and More

July 10th, 2015 by AppleInsider

Heading towards the middle of the month and following the Fourth of July, deals are mediocre, so if you're in search of an iPad or a Mac, you might want to hold off for better sales. That said, there are a few select deals that are worth checking out this week, including a sale on the new 2015 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air and some discounts on older MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro models.

As we first mentioned last week, there's a new feature in the Buyer's Guide, which will let you know when a product is available at the lowest price we've seen. Look for the products that are tagged with "Lowest Price Ever" to see some of the best discounts available.

We've rounded up deals on quite a few Apple accessories, including an exclusive discount on AppleCare with an iPad purchased from MacMall. As always, we've also included a great list of apps and games that are on sale this week.

iPad Air 2


B&H Photo is offering a small discount on most of its iPad Air 2 models, dropping prices by $30 to $50. With the discount, 64GB model Wi-Fi only model in Space Gray is priced at $564 and the 128GB model in Gold is priced at $659. Prices vary somewhat by model, but there are slight discounts to be had on all of the site's iPads.

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iPad Air


Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H Photo have deep discounts on some remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad Air models, as listed below.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Apple Releases Supplemental Update for OS X El Capitan Beta to Address App Crashes

July 10th, 2015 by Eric Slivka

Apple today released an OS X El Capitan Beta Supplemental Update, with the release notes indicating it "fixes an issue that may cause some 32-bit apps to quit unexpectedly."

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The update is appearing for users on both the third developer beta, which was seeded on Wednesday, and the public beta released yesterday.

With the start of public beta testing, a wider audience now has access to OS X El Capitan, which is planned for a full public release in the fall, presumably around the October timeframe Apple has used for OS X updates the past several years.









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