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iPod sales flat
Apple's iPod sales were relatively flat year-over-year, showing 5 percent unit shipment growth but significant 17 percent revenue growth in the fiscal first quarter. 22,121,000 iPods representing $3,997,000,000 were sold in the quarter, compared to 21,066,000 units representing $3,427,000,000 in the year-ago-quarter. The higher revenue is likely due to a richer product mix caused by the sale of more iPod nanos and iPod Touch units and less iPod Shuffles. Other music related services generated $808 million in revenue vs. $601 million in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, 2,315,000 iPhones were sold in the quarter, representing $241 million in revenue -- a 107 percent sequential increase in units compared to the the fiscal fourth quarter of 2007.
Apple Stores set record
Apple's first-quarter financial results revealed record retail revenue of $1.7 billion for a whopping 53 percent growth over the year-ago quarter. "We opened six other new stores during the quarter, ending with 204 stores," said Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer. "With an average of 201 stores open during the quarter, average revenue per store was $8.5 million compared to $6.6 million in the year-ago quarter." The stores sold a record 504,000 Macs, representing a 64 percent year-over-year growth. The company also said that it added more than 10 million visitors over the year-ago quarter.
Leopard earns Apple $170m
Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system, which launched on October 26th of last year, earned the company $170 million during its first quarter of availability. Those earnings compare to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger's launch in late April of 2005, which earned the company roughly $100 million during its first quarter on the market. "We're extremely pleased with the very successful launch of Leopard on October 26th, and the response from both customers and reviewers have been terrific," said Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer.
Apple's record iPod sales
Apple today reported its latest financial results, revealing a record 22.1 million iPod sales over a three-month period. Busy holiday shoppers snapped up the company's portable players in droves, leading to a quarter that surpasses the record level iPod sales reported a year ago. "According to the latest data from NPD, iPod share of the U.S. market for MP3 players in the December quarter was consistent with the year-ago quarter," Oppenheimer said. The average selling price at $181 of the iPod was bolstered by the introduction of the iPod touch and revenue was up 17 percent year-over-year, the highest revenue growth rate in the last year. The company said that there may have been some cannibalization by the iPhone in the US, but that there was no evidence of such in Europe.
Apple shares plummet
Apple's shares plummeted in after-hours trading today, nearly $19 per share or just over 12 percent to stand at $136.82 as of 5:35PM ET. Shares had already lost about 3.5 percent during normal trading hours on volume of about 85 million. That means Apple's shares are off more than 30 percent from their 52-week high of $202 reached in late December, 2007. Propelling the earnings decline was Apple's earning forecast. For its second quarter, Apple expects earnings of about 94 cents per share on about $6.8 billion in revenue. Analysts expected earnings of $1.09 per share on revenue of $6.98 billion. This despite the fact that Apple is predicting a 29 percent increase in revenue year-over-year, while last march revenue grew only 21 percent.
'True' hackers after Macs?
The issue of malware on Macs finally became serious in late 2007, says a report by the security vendor Sophos. Although Macs have been targeted before, Sophos argues that it is only recently that hackers have deliberately exploited problems with Macs in order to steal money. One of the main examples given is the OSX/RSPlug trojan, which Sophos notes was planted on websites in order to phish for financial information. Macs that visited the sites would receive the OSX/RSPlug-Gen file, specifically engineered for the Mac OS platform. Notably, the same vector was used to deliver the Zlobar-Fam trojan to Windows PCs, making for an effectively cross-platform incarnation of malware.
You Control 1.6 on Leopard
You Software today unveiled You Control 1.6, an update to its menu creation utility, adding compatibility for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, as well as a number of enhancements based around Leopard technologies. You Control can now interface with Leopard's new iCal format, allowing users to view their appointments and other iCal data. Performance with all of the components has been improved for both Leopard and Tiger users, allowing for quick access to weather, address, and system information. New users can purchase You Control for $30 from You Software; existing users can upgrade for no additional charge.
Apple's record earnings
Apple today reported record breaking earnings that soared above all previous quarterly results, marking the best three-month period for the Cupertino-based company since its inception in 1976. "We're thrilled to report our best quarter ever, with the highest revenue and earnings in Apple's history," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We have an incredibly strong new product pipeline for 2008, starting with MacBook Air, Mac Pro and iTunes Movie Rentals in the first two weeks."
Mac sales surge 44%
Apple on Tuesday posted a 58 percent increase in profits for its December quarter, shipping more than 2.3 million Macs and, coincidently, nearly the same number of iPhones. Surprisingly, the company reported sequential decrease in the number of CPU units in the Americas -- down 13 percent from the education-heavy September quarter; however, the company recorded a dramatic 47 percent increase in Mac revenue for the Americas, indicating that the average sales price of each Mac increased significantly from the September quarter (year-over-year average Mac sales price was down a bit, as units increased by 35% and revenue lagged with a 22% increase).
Fujitsu F705i phone
Fujitsu has announced a new phone for the Japanese market, the F705i. The device's primary claim to fame is its waterproofing, which protects it from events such as rain or falling into a bathtub; it is safe at depths of up to 3.3 feet, where it can last as long as 30 minutes. The phone is also said to be the thinnest such phone in the world, measuring only half an inch thick when closed.
It does have other features however, such as a 2.7-inch QVGA LCD, a microSD slot, and a 1.3-megapixel camera. It runs on NTT DoCoMo's 3G FOMA network, and the back of the phone has a sub-surface LED display, able to display various words and characters. It should be carried by NTT starting today. [via Impress Watch]
Canon EOS-3D Leak
Canon is gearing up for a digital SLR camera that will slot in between the entry-level professional 5D and the top-tier 1D Mark III, according to a detailed new rumor. The reported tip supplied to CG would have the camera, possibly called the EOS-3D, just enter into full-frame category with a 15.1-megapixel sensor, lower than the 21 megapixels of the 1D; it would also be smaller than the pro camera and shoot bursts at a slower frame rate. However, the DSLR would also match most of the image quality features, including 14-bit color processing, a 3-inch screen, and a similarly complex autofocus system.
Apple posts $1.58b profit
Apple on Tuesday posted revenue of $9.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.58 billion, or $1.76 per diluted share for its fiscal 2008 first quarter ended December 29, 2007. The Company said that the results compare to revenue of $7.1 billion and net quarterly profit of $1 billion, or $1.14 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had forecast Apple to earn $1.62 a share on revenue of $9.47 billion. Gross margin was 34.7 percent, up from 31.2 percent in the year-ago quarter, while international sales accounted for 45 percent of the quarter's revenue. Apple shipped 2,319,000 Macs, representing 44 percent unit growth and 47 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. The Company also said it sold 22,121,000 iPods during the quarter, representing five percent unit growth and 17 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone sales were 2,315,000.
Comcast TiVo DVR Official
Comcast today took the wraps off of its long-anticipated DVR with TiVo service, giving users the custom interface normally reserved for TiVo boxes to digital video recorders provided for Comcast's cable TV network. The extension allows users to not only search for, record, and play shows with the TiVo front end (including HD shows) but also to use it for Comcast-specific functions. Through a technology dubbed tru2way, subscribers can search for movies on demand through the same interface as for regular programming. TV shows will also play uninterrupted while users check the schedule.
Lotus Notes for iPhone
IBM is still preparing the launch of a Lotus Notes web client for the iPhone and iPod touch, reports say. Some media outlets speculated that it might be released shortly, as a result of a recent demonstration; although the Associated Press wrote that an announcement would be made at this week's Lotusphere conference, IBM now claims that the client is "not something that [is] ready to go out and market or launch." Lotus Notes is a long-standing collaborative suite which integrates e-mail, calendars and other workgroup applications.
HardCase for MacBook Air
WaterField Designs of San Francisco has announced plans to ship its new custom-fitted HardCase for Apple's new MacBook Air as well as the MacBook Pro and MacBook. The new HardCase is constructed of smooth leather and ballistic nylon, offering protection in a classic and minimal design. Customizable options allow Apple notebook owners to personalize the case to taste, with pre-orders priced from $230-$250. WaterField's new case is slated for shipment starting February 10th.
Cognito has released a new version of MoneyWorks Datacentre, the enterprise version of the MoneyWorks family of accounting products, which includes a plug-in for Mac OS X Leopard's Quick Look feature and allows Apple's iPhone and iPod touch to communicate directly with MoneyWorks files. A Quick Look preview can be generated automatically whenever a MoneyWorks accounting file is saved, allowing the user to subsequently see a snapshot of the financials directly in the Finder in Mac OS X. As the preview is generated by a MoneyWorks report, the user can customize the information that is shown.
BlackBerry v4.5 Coming
An upcoming update to the BlackBerry line's OS will bring changes that put on a par or potentially exceed other smartphones, Research in Motion has announced today. Through a combination of BlackBerry version 4.5 for the phones and updates to BlackBerry Enterprise Server, the update will give options previously reserved to devices such as the iPhone or to devices running Microsoft's Windows Mobile. E-mail on the phone will now support full HTML web code as well as rich text, similar to the Apple device. Any supporting devices will also be able to edit Excel, PowerPoint, and Word documents on the phone itself without having to resort to a third-party tool, RIM adds.
IK ships StompIO
After numerous delays, IK Multimedia has at last begun shipping the StompIO, a combination USB floor controller and audio interface for guitars. The unit is designed to mimic traditional floor controllers, and once set up, can thus be used without touching a computer. The unit specifically functions with IK's AmpliTube-based software, which lets users replicate numerous amps, mics, stomps, cabinets and rack effects on the fly.
LogMeIn Rescue Mac support
LogMeIn today unveiled remote Mac support for LogMeIn Rescue, its software-as-a-service that provides users with on-demand remote access and control to remotely diagnose, repair, and manage computers as well as smartphones. The latest release allows administrators to quickly and securely access Macs to resolve end-user or remote application issues. LogMeIn is priced from $100 per month per technician seat, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
3GPP Finalizes LTE Spec
The specifications for the upcoming fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) have been finalized, the wireless standards group 3GPP says. In its final form, the 4G cellular technology will use the same basic multiple-in, multiple-out antenna concept as 802.11n Wi-Fi to greatly improve the bandwidth over today's 3G technology. By piecing together multiple signals the technology can achieve as much as 326 megabits per second in downloads on a 20MHz slice of the wireless spectrum; uploads peak at 86MHz, says the standards body. The finished version of LTE also cuts latency down to 10 milliseconds between the tower and the user, allowing relatively time-sensitive activities such as video calls or games.
Blu-ray HW Dominates HDDVD
Sales of Blu-ray devices soared in the immediate wake of Warner Bros' Blu-ray decision, say new findings published by the research group NPD. Although sales of devices that can play the two formats were virtually even in the first week of January, with Blu-ray only just holding the lead over HD DVD at 51.1 percent, the results are said to have tilted dramatically in Blu-ray's favor in the week afterwards. Just over 92.5 percent of buyers chose a device with the format while less than 7.5 continued to buy HD DVD equipment, the study notes.
Radeon HD 3870 X2 delayed
AMD has delayed the official launch of the Radeon HD 3870 X2, reports indicate. The card was to have had its non-disclosure agreement lifted today, but AMD has decided to postpone the launch, on the basis that new drivers are in development. Anonymous sources suggest that this will also allow AMD to debut the card alongside the 3450 and 3650, making for greater publicity as all of the devices' benchmarks are exposed at the same time.
The Sims Castaway Stories
Aspyr Media, Inc. announced today that it will publish The Sims Castaway Stories for Mac, the third release in the product line The Sims Stories. Licensed by Electronic Arts and under development by Aspyr Studios, The Sims Castaway Stories is expected to hit stores for Mac in early 2008: "This time your Sims have washed up on a tropical island! Help them make a new life in an unexplored paradise in this easy-to-play, laptop-friendly version of The Sims. The Sims Castaway Stories features two great ways to play. In the new and engaging directed Story mode, fulfill goals as you explore the island, build a shelter, learn to find food, and make your Sims' lives as fun and comfortable as possible. You even unlock rewards along the way as you achieve set goals."
Zumobi on Win Mobile
The Zumobi team announced on Tuesday that its interface would come preloaded with Windows Mobile, making it the primary means of accessing widgets for the cellphone OS. The software will continue to center on a "tile" interface that lets users check out news feeds, media clips, and other short-form content simply by selecting visual icons; the software is meant as an alternative to web browsers and other sometimes cumbersome means of getting the same information, Zumobi says. The code should also take advantage of many smartphones' use of 3G to continually update tiles in the background and eliminate the wait times associated with visiting a website.
Shuffle-like Apple remote
Apple today won six new patents published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, one of which depicts a remote control that closely resembles its current-generation iPod shuffle portable music player. The remote control features a belt clip built into the backing, and clearly defines a circular feature which could be a click-wheel on the front side. Apple does not describe the function of the remote, but offers a picture with the device attached via a cable to another device.
White PS3 at FCC
A white PlayStation 3 has passed through testing at the Federal Communications Commission, filings show. The special version of Sony's game console does not have a release date, but devices approved by the FCC typically ship to the United States -- if they ship -- within a few months, as they already have a completed design. Specifically, the model from the FCC is a variant of the current $400, 40GB PS3, though Sony could easily decide to apply the color to the $500 80GB console, since the FCC's stamp is only needed for changes in wireless technology.
Optus aims for iPhone
Cellular carrier Optus is trying to negotiate exclusive rights to Apple's iPhone in Australia, according to a report from theage.com.au, and is in talks with Apple over phone volumes as well as marketing terms and business model partnerships. Advanced Info Service (AIS) is Thailand's largest cellular carrier, and is collaborating with Singapore Telecom (SingTel) as well as Optus -- which is a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel -- to launch the iPhone throughout the region.
V. Voicemail suit settled
One of Apple's co-defendants in a lawsuit has settled its case, according to an announcement. SimulScribe has reportedly settled with Klausner Technologies, a company that accused it -- along with Apple, AT&T, Comcast and Cablevision -- of breaking patents relating to visual voicemail, a technology which allows users to selectively pick which messages to listen to instead of hearing them all at once. The terms of the settlement involve SimulScribe licensing Klausner's patents, joining the ranks of other companies such as AOL and Vonage.
HTC Touch Sells 2m
About 2 million of HTC's Touch smartphone sold during its time on the market in 2007, the company announced today. The touchscreen device achieved the figure after beginning sales first in Europe and expanding later to North America during the fall. These sales were some of the strongest yet for any individual phone from the line and pushed sales up to 11.8 million total, according to HTC. The year's past results represent a 12 percent increase over the year before.
MacBook Air unboxing
Photos have surfaced of Apple's new MacBook Air, depicting the new device as it was unboxed alongside separate photos of the new Time Capsule and optional MacBook Air optical drive. The notebook ships in a black box with simplistic packaging, and includes adaptors for connecting the MacBook Air to external DVI or VGA monitors.
AmTech: Strong Dec. profit
Due to be released later today, Apple's December quarter results should be extremely strong, says analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. While Apple is conservatively predicting $9.2 billion in revenue with an earnings per share (EPS) of $1.42, AmTech is predicting much better figures at $9.4 billion and $1.63. Wu notes that consensus views are even more optimistic, rated at $9.47 billion and $1.62.
Yahoo Job Cut Claims
Early search engine pioneer Yahoo could cut "hundreds" of jobs within the next two weeks, says a claimed insider to the plans. Though hoping to dampen outside rumors that Yahoo could cut as many as 2,000 jobs, the alleged source notes that a significant amount of cuts are still expected in an attempt to refocus the company, which has steadily lost ground to Google. Most of these will be in fringe areas outside of Yahoo's new focus on its main website, ads. and opening its pages to development, according to the tip.
Hitachi BD Vidcam Update
Just months after the fall release of the first-ever Blu-ray camcorder, Hitachi on Tuesday is updating the camera as well as a slew of more conventional models, beginning with versions for its home country of Japan. The DZ-BD9H doubles the storage of the earlier BD7H by offering a 60GB hard drive along with the Blu-ray recorder. This allows up to nine hours of AVCHD footage at a full 1080 resolution, the company says. As before, owners can record directly to either drive and transfer video stored on the hard disk to a mini BD-R disc for a permanent copy. The new model also has a 10 percent sharper image and a 2.7-inch preview LCD which is 40 percent brighter than for the outgoing model.
Piper: Low iPod shipments
iPod shipments for the December quarter may be significantly below expectations, according to analysts Gene Munster and Michael Olson of the research firm Piper Jaffray. The prediction is based on a combination of figures collected from NPD, and the typical breakdown of iPod sales in the quarter for the past three years -- 12 percent in October, 24 percent in November, and 64 percent in December. October and November sales are said to be at least partly influenced by the regular introduction of new iPods, in this case the Touch, Classic and 3G Nano.
Olympus SP-570 UZ
In a lone addition to its ultra-zoom cameras, Olympus this morning revealed the SP-570 UZ. Oriented as a 'prosumer' camera, the body sits between compact cameras and entry digital SLRs but revolves around a built-in lens stronger than many of those from either class. At 20X zoom, the lens can capture very long-range telephoto shots courtesy of a 520mm-equivalent focal length; but with a wide angle, it can also shoot with a 26mm length that allows the camera to shoot macro images of subjects as close as 0.39 inches away. With newer image processing, it also shoots as quickly as 13.5 frames per second by dropping from its native 10.1 megapixels to 3.
Olympus FE and Stylus 2008
Olympus today began the run-up to next week's PMA photography expo with several updates to its Stylus and FE point-and-shoot cameras. Headlining the charge, the Stylus 1030 SW (shown) is billed as the toughest compact camera in the world: a new design can take a drop from as high as 6.6 feet while also proofing the camera against dust, temperatures as low as 14F, and water up to depths of 33 feet. The camera can also shoot 10.1 megapixel images with a 3.6X wide-angle zoom and with face detection and ISO-based blur compensation. It accepts either xD or microSD cards and begins shipping in March for $400.
Apple adds pink iPod nano
Apple has updated the Apple Store with a new color of the iPod nano. The 8GB player is now shipping in pink, making for a total of six available colors, including black, green, cyan, silver and red. In keeping with its siblings, the pink Nano costs $199; the 4GB player continues to only be available in silver for $149. The release of the pink Nano follows brief downtime for the US Apple Store, even though it appears that just the one item was added. The inclusion of the Nano in a new gift graphic may, however, suggest that Apple has timed the new color's introduction to coincide with sales for Valentine's Day.
Nokia 2600c and 1209
Nokia this morning brought out two phones tailored to Africa, India, and other regions that are still relatively new to cellphones but still want the same level of design as anywhere else. The 2600 classic (pictured at top) offers swappable covers and also a few features that are rarely available in the class, including MP3 ringtone support, a VGA camera, and bundled earbuds for listening to the phone's FM radio. It comes with a black or silver main body and should be available before the end of March in the developing world for about $94 before including taxes or carrier discounts.
Apple's Q1 2008 results
Apple on Tuesday will release its Q1 fiscal results, which are expected to show better-than-anticipated numbers, mainly due to strong Mac sales. Despite a steady tumble in share price starting in early January, analysts are predicting that Apple could be worth close to $600 per share within 18 months. In addition to strong machine sales, the optimistic outlook is fueled by Apple's desire to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008, as well as the prospect of an iPhone "nano".
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