Apple Watch, abilities will expand over time, replace car keys as well
In a new interview with the UK newspaper the Telegraph, Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed a few new tidbits about the forthcoming Apple Watch, as well as some of the larger vision behind such innovations as the watch, and Apple Pay, and Touch ID -- an all-out attempt to reduce the ephemera people need to carry with them, from wallets to car keys. In the same report, Cook also confirmed that Apple will "tweak" its retail look to accommodate Apple Watch buyers, who are likely to be even more upscale than average Apple customers.
Cisco, Citrix also banned; government cites security concerns
A weekend move by China has stricken Apple, Intel, Cisco, Citrix, and McAfee from approved vendors for governmental purchase. Ostentibly to protect national security interests, the move appears to be more about giving state run and other Chinese companies a leg up on procurements in the country, similar to regulations inside the US government that does the same.
Reason Cook is in Germany not clear, pays visit to Bild tabloid newspaper
Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday, spending a portion of his day with the editors of the German tabloid paper Bild, though the reasons for the visit were not made clear. Cook may be in Germany for a variety of reasons, ranging from meetings with EU bankers to help forge European Apple Pay agreements, to overseeing the last of the glass panels for the Apple Campus 2, or on his way to Israel to help open the new Apple R&D center there. While in Germany, he tweeted a remembrance of what would have been Steve Jobs' 60th birthday.
Current boost to stock may render estimates irrelevant even as they are published
A number of analysts revised their expectations for Apple's stock last week -- only to watch those year-end estimates melt in the face of the stock's current performance, which ended trading on Monday at yet another all-time high of $133 per share. The combination of much better-than-expected sales in the holiday quarter and the increasing interest in Apple's other initiatives -- ranging from Apple Pay to forthcoming products like the Apple Watch and a possible-but-far-off car design -- has sent the stock skyrocketing.
Sony aiming for $4.2B annual profit within three years
Sony's survival could involve Sony pulling out of more business areas, in order to concentrate on its imaging and entertainment divisions. Seemingly confirming earlier reports, CEO Kazou Hirai's new strategy will now depend on its camera sensor sales and the success of the PlayStation gaming arm to increase its operating profit 25-fold within the next three years, at a cost of minimizing its other businesses.
Company still riding streak from record iPhone, Mac sales
In what has now started to become a routine occurrence, AAPL on Friday ended the week with a new all-time record high for its stock, as well as its market capitalization. The stock closed on Friday at a price of $129.49 per share, though it is down a nickel in after-hours trading at the time of this article. The market cap for the company now stands at $754.28 billion after the stock rose 0.81 percent on the day, compared to $710 billion just 10 days ago.
CEO claims T-Mobile now third-largest US carrier
T-Mobile managed to post great results in its fourth quarter financial report, with the carrier's $101 million profit equating to 12 cents per share, reversing the 12 cents per share loss in the previous quarter. Revenues are also up 19.4-percent year-on-year, reaching $8.15 billion, with the company overall beating analyst expectations of a 5 cent EPS and revenues of $7.89 billion.
Cross-platform LoopPay PIN-based; data stored locally, not in the cloud
Samsung Electronics today confirmed that it has agreed to acquire LoopPay, the mobile wallet solutions provider that turns existing magnetic stripe readers into contactless receivers. LoopPay's technology has the potential to work in approximately 90 percent of existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals, according to Samsung research, with no investment in new infrastructure required by merchants.
First Bank, Morgan Stanley added to roster of Apple Pay banks
Apple has added 19 new banks in a February addition update. Notable additions include the Credit Union of Southern California, FirstBank, and Morgan Stanley. The new additions bring the total of banks supporting Apple's service to 84. Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed during a Goldman Sachs tech conference that over 2,000 banks and credit unions would support the service by the end of the year worldwide.
JP Morgan, Piper Jaffray, Icahn all call for higher targets in 2015
Thanks to both the recent record-shattering performance of the company as well as known forthcoming debuts, a number of analysts have recently revised their target goals for Apple stock. While pundits are clearly guessing on things like how well the Apple Watch or the next iPad revision will sell, the solid performance of the iPhone, rising Mac sales, and success of other foundational technologies give the company a likely bright future for 2015.
Analyst famous for Apple television prediction changes mind for 2015
Apple pundit and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has changed tack from his normal annual predictions of an Apple-branded television set for this year, and now believes that a refreshed Apple TV will be seen in the fall 2015 product refresh. While he still believes an Apple television is inevitable, a revamped and upgraded fourth generation Apple TV will bridge the gap between a set top, and a full set, he has told clients.
Progress made on conflict-free smelters, fallback on overtime issues
On Wednesday, Apple updated its annual Supplier Responsibility Report, and for the most part reported continued progress in its struggle to ensure that workers in its Asian factories are not suffering abuse or dangerous conditions. The biggest change in the report is that Apple has barred recruitment firms and employers from charging workers any fee to get jobs on its assembly lines. The iPhone maker also noted that it increased supplier audits by 40 percent in 2014.
Apple holds new record as first company to pass $700 billion
During Tim Cook's interview at an investor's conference today in San Francisco, Goldman Sachs President and COO Gary Cohn told Cook that his company, Apple, had become the first publicly-traded company to ever top $700 billion in market capitalization, and the stock also closed the day at a new record high of $122.02 per share. The peaks come just a under a week after the previous all-time high last Wednesday, following a record-shattering holiday quarter.
Apple CEO expected to reiterate previous statements on product pipeline
Apple CEO Tim Cook will again be a speaker at this afternoon's Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, taking place in San Francisco. Cook will be among numerous tech company speakers, including executives from Seagate, NetApp, SanDisk, AMD, ZenDesk, and Jive Software, among others. Cook will address the conference at 12:30PM PT (3:30PM ET) today, and the audio stream is being carried live by Apple on its investor web page.
Deal likely reverts to 2011 patent agreement between MS, Samsung
Microsoft and Samsung have ceased the most recent round of legal hostilities over unpaid Android patent royalties due to the Surface maker. As expected, very few details are known about the deal, with both companies identically saying little more than "Samsung and Microsoft are pleased to announce that they have ended their contract dispute in US court as well as the ICC arbitration. Terms of the agreement are confidential."
Verizon wireline operations in Florida, Texas, California being sold for $10B
Verizon is raising a large amount of cash, by selling some of its wireline operations to another company for $10.54 billion. It is not the only transaction Verizon is performing, as it is leasing the rights to some of its wireless towers to a third party, bringing in another $5 billion, with the company also announcing an accelerated share-repurchase program worth $5 billion.
Financial results slightly lower than expected, iOS 8 pinned for loss
In the quarterly conference call discussing Twitter's financial results, Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto pointed to Apple's iOS 8 rollout as the reason why the company's monthly active users figure was short by four million members, at least in part. While initially a throwaway line in the discussion, the company's CEO has clarified the remarks somewhat, and has pointed specifically to iOS Twitter integration, and features in the new Safari as specific reasons for the user drop.
Up to 1,750 RadioShack stores to be co-branded Sprint, according to filing
Electronics retailer RadioShack has applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Following a week of speculation, the troubled company filed its papers earlier today, and confirmed plans to sell off a large proportion of its stores to Sprint and Standard General, one which will provide the carrier with a considerable boost to its overall outlet count.
Company now closing in on $700 billion in value
Apple's stock closed on Wednesday at a new all-time high, closing at $119.56 for the day, breaking the record set on November 26 when it closed at $119 even. The company, now valued at $696.41 billion -- more than a third more than the next most valuable publicly-traded company -- recently reported the best all-time quarterly revenue and profit of any company ever. The latest peak comes after a spike a week ago, following the results of the quarter.
Fitness app acquisitions help bolster Under Armour platorm
Sports apparel brand Under Armour has made another set of acquisitions, buying two well-known fitness apps for over half a billion dollars. The company picked up MyFitnessPal and Endomondo, two cross-platform apps, which Under Armour will combine with its previous purchase of MapMyFitness to increase its holdings in the quantified self and fitness platform market.
Rapidweaver, Clear devs bring distraction-free writing to blog publishing
Every so often, we like to bring our readers' attention to crowdfunding efforts or projects that catch our eye and might be something you'd be interested in investing in. None of these crowdsourcing projects pay us or anything like that for the attention; we pick them based on what we think are their merits, and share them with you for your consideration for no reward, just the joy of helping cool new projects get off the ground. This week, we're looking at blogging platform Typed.
Ex-Sony development studio free to work on other platforms
Sony has sold off Sony Online Entertainment, an in-house game development studio and publisher known for Everquest, Planetside 2, and other massively multiplayer online games. The sale was confirmed today by the company and places the studio in the hands of investment management firm Columbus Nova, though as part of the transaction terms, it has to lose the Sony branding and be renamed Daybreak Game Company.
Negotiations could lead to rebranding of half Radioshack stores, shuttering of remainder
RadioShack may be preparing to close its chain of electronics stores, according to a report. The troubled retail chain, which revealed it was close to bankruptcy last month, is said to be in discussions to sell approximately half of its store leases to Sprint, shuttering the rest and effectively ending the 94-year-old company's life as a brick-and-mortar retailer.
Money will presumably finance ongoing dividends and buybacks
Apple will soon sell another $5 billion in bonds, according to the Associated Press. Earlier today, the company notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission about the sale; while the submitted documents don't mention any rates or amounts, the AP says the total will be $5 billion, and likely issued in a mix of floating-rate five-year notes and fixed-rate notes with timespans ranging from seven to 30 years. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are managing the sale.
Parent company of Tidal, WiMP agrees to $56M acquisition by rapper
Rapper Jay Z is moving into the streaming music business, by attempting to acquire the parent company of two services. A press release and local media reports claim management of Swedish company Aspiro AB has agreed to the takeover by Jay Z's own companies, with the acquisition deal said to be worth approximately 464 million krona ($56 million).
Net income of $4.76B up year-on-year, fails to meet Wall Street expectations
Google managed to bring in gross consolidated revenues of $18.1 billion for the last quarter, a year-on-year increase of 15 percent and up from the previous quarter's $16.52 billion, according to its latest financial results. Increased traffic acquisition costs (TAC) of $3.62 billion bringing the ex-TAC revenues down to $14 billion. Net income also increased to $4.76 billion from $3.38 billion the same period last year, but the search company failed to meet analyst expectations.
Sales up 15 percent to $29.3 billion, Amazon Prime boost credited
Amazon released its fourth quarter and annual numbers today, through a its investor relations site and a web cast conference call. Prime service membership was called out as a key contributing factor towards increases in Q4 and full year 2014 numbers, with new Prime membership growing slightly faster in markets outside North America.
Chip segment strong, but not enough to make up for lagging smartphone segment
Samsung released its Q4 and FY 2014 results today, and as expected, the news was not good. The past three years have resulted in growth for the company, but fiscal 2014 shows an annual earnings decline, in spite of strong performance by the company's chip division. The earnings from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices fell to 1.96 trillion Korean won ($1.8 billion), a 64.2 percent decline from the year-ago quarter. The news comes on the heels of a record-shattering report from its main rival, Apple.
Increasing figure still a fraction of cost incurred by rivals
Although the iPhone now makes up some 69 percent of Apple's revenues, it will not always do so -- and thus the company is undoubtedly working on at least one product that is destined to be the successor (in terms of revenue) to the iPhone, which itself displaced the iPod as the company's top money-maker. Barely mentioned in the conference call with analysts but noted in the breakdown of expenses, Apple has significantly increased spending on research and development (R&D).
Sony's answer to iTunes will close in February
The official PlayStation blog on Wednesday posted an announcement letting PlayStation users know about a new partnership with Spotify. The service includes existing playlists for those who already have Spotify accounts. The post also, however, contained the news that Sony's own Music Unlimited service will be discontinued in late March.
Over half a billion Facebook users access social network only through mobile devices
Facebook's latest quarterly earnings reveal the social network is in good shape and continuing to beat projections, with a lot of it down to the continued increase of mobile devices to access the service. The social network's total revenues of $3.85 billion with earnings per share of $0.54, up from the previous quarter's $3.2 billion revenue and $0.40 earnings.
Amount still more than double paid in 2013
Apple paid about A$80.3 million in taxes to the Australian government last year, despite pulling in A$6 billion in revenues in that country, according to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. While the company's actual tax bill must legally be kept confidential, an expense figure has to be produced for the sake of annual accounts. The A$80.3 million sum is over twice the A$36.4 million Apple paid in 2013, when it actually took in more revenue, A$6.1 billion.
Alibaba shares valued at $40B to be spun into own company
Yahoo's quarterly financial results reveal it has marginally missed market estimates, but it still managed to improve on the last quarter, bringing in $1.18 billion in revenue after traffic acquisition costs (TAC), with a $0.30 non-GAAP earnings per share. The company also revealed it's intentions to spin out the last of its Alibaba stake, a move designed to prevent it from paying out a large amount of tax.
Now taking two-thirds of mobile payments; cash grows despite payouts
If you are making a contactless mobile payment in the US based on a Visa, MasterCard or American Express account, odds are that you're doing it from an iPhone 6 model. During the conference call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company's Apple Pay mobile payments system -- only in its fourth month -- now accounts for more than $2 of every $3 of money paid in that manner. In addition, CFO Luca Maestri updated analysts on the still-growing (but more slowly) cash stockpile Apple has, now at $178 billion.
Analysts believe Apple outsold all others in China, sold more iPhones than US
In the midst of so much good news that came out of Apple in its fiscal Q1 report today, a significant milestore was also noted: the company said it had sold its one billionth iOS device, which it will keep for historical purposes. The device was said to be a 64GB Space Grey iPhone 6 Plus, and was part of the extraordinary 74.6 million iPhone sold worldwide in the holiday quarter. China sales played a major role as well, growing sales 157 percent from the previous quarter.
AT&T wireless subscribers increase 1.9M in fourth quarter
AT&T earned consolidated revenues of $34.4 billion in the last quarter, an improvement from last quarter's $32.9 billion, and a year-on year increase of 3.8 percent -- 4.5 percent if a loss-laden sale of its Connecticut wireline properties is taken into account. Even so, it made for a total loss of $4 billion, or $0.77 per share, something the carrier warned about last week.
Giant otherwise shows strong financial performance
Beyond its official press release, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its fiscal first quarter. The document is the only one to mention iPad sales, and reveals that shipments dropped 18 percent year-over-year to 21.42 million. Revenues for the tablet fell 22 percent to $9 billion.
Company mum on iPad results in official press release
Apple has posted the results of its first fiscal quarter for 2015, which actually ended on December 27. The company says it achieved record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion, and similarly record-setting net profits of $18 billion, or $3.06 per share. The figures compare against $57.6 billion, $13.1 billion, and $2.07 in Q1 2014; gross margins increased from 37.9 percent to 39.9 percent. Apple notes that international sales made up 65 percent of the recent quarter's revenues.
Remarkable reversal in Korean maker's fortunes benefitting Apple
On Tuesday, Apple will reveal its latest figures on its overall sales and general health, but analysts will again focus on one key segment -- Apple's best-selling device, the iPhone -- as the only metric that matters. Two key aspects of that metric, however, may have larger implications than just the quarterly revenues, or a temporary change in Apple's stock value. According to analysts, it is now likely that Apple is selling more iPhones to China now than it is in the US market (where it is market leader by a long way) -- and even more remarkably, that Apple is close to rivaling the total smartphones sales of rival Samsung.
Company is one of many under investigation for aggressive-but-legal tax avoidance
Apple paid more than twice as much in taxes in Australia for 2014 as it did in 2013, but still managed to grow profits in the country -- despite increasing scrutiny about its legal but aggressive tax avoidance techniques. According to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Apple paid AU$80.4 million in taxes for 2014 ($64 million US) compared to just AU$36.4 million (roughly $32 million US at the time) in 2013.
Coinbase Exchange looks to improve stability to cryptocurrency
Coinbase.com, an online Bitcoin wallet site founded in 2012, has announced the start of a new federally-regulated exchange for the digital currency. Coinbase Exchange is available in 24 US states, and stores the user's funds in a special, and now insured, wallet.
Surface accounts for $1.1B in revenues thanks to Surface Pro 3
Microsoft's last quarter saw the company pull in $26.47 billion in revenues, beating the previous quarter and the same quarter last year's figures by $3.27 billion and $1.95 billion respectively. The gross margin is up 1 percent year-on-year to $16.33 billion, though operating income is down 2 percent to $7.78 billion, with the diluted earnings per share at $0.71, down nine percent.
Penalties of up to $16,000 could be assessed for each call
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided that Dish Network is liable for making 57 million phone calls in flagrant violation of telemarketing laws, including calling members of the "Do Not Call" list established by the US Government. A trial has been set for July in Illinois, with penalties of up to $16,000 possible for each violation. The Department of Justice filed the complaint at the FTC's request in March 2009. The US Department of Justice, on behalf of the FTC, is jointly litigating the case with four state co-plaintiffs -- California, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina.
Nearly doubles rival Samsung's sales, equals all combined competition
Apple's share of the US mobile phone market has nearly doubled following the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 in October, a new study has revealed. The report, by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, finds that the iPhone went from 28 percent of the market in the July-to-September quarter to just over 50 percent in the final three months of the year, an improvement even over the same time the year before, when the iPhone 5s was released.
New retail head claims more than any other Apple executive
The extremely high compensation package given to Apple's new retail head -- Angela Ahrendts -- was in large part to pay for the stock she abandoned with her early departure from Burberry, Apple explains in its SEC filings. In total, she received $73.4 million last year, beating out any other executive at the company. Since May, she has accumulated roughly $70 million in Reserved Stock Units (RSUs); of this, $37 million was specifically addressed toward the lost Burberry stock, though most of the Reserved Stock Units (RSUs) are not presently sellable, and are contingent on continued employment.
Acquisition of O2 by parent company of competitor Three could cost $15.4B
Telefonica, owner of British carrier O2, and Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of competitor Three, have confirmed they are in talks over a potential acquisition, following earlier reports. The two have entered "exclusive negotiations," which could see O2 change hands for an estimated £10.25 billion ($15.4 billion) if discussions between the executive teams succeed.
J. Crew Group CEO will retire from Apple's board after 16 years
In a new filing with the SEC, Apple revealed on Thursday that CEO Tim Cook has been able to double his total compensation from that of last year, with the increase based largely on performance bonuses based on how well the company has done over the last year. In addition to $1.75 million in salary, Cook reaped $6.7 million in non-equity incentive compensation for his work. In addition, Apple disclosed in the filing that board member Millard "Mickey" Drexler will retire.
Alleged leaked document suggests Samsung considered BlackBerry purchase for months
Samsung is still interested in acquiring BlackBerry, according to rumor. A document allegedly created by investment bank Evercore Partners for Samsung seems to suggest Samsung has been mulling over a purchase of the competing smartphone producer for some time, and according to sources, is still very much interested in the prospect despite denials from both BlackBerry and Samsung.
Loss driven by pension, benefits adjustments; revenue climbs
Verizon has released its fourth quarter and annual financial report. Total operating revenues in the fourth quarter were $33.2 billion, a 6.8 percent increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2013. Full-year 2014 operating revenues were $127.1 billion, up 5.4 percent (or $6.5 billion) compared with full-year 2013. Howeveer, even given the revenue growth, the company posted a $2.1 billion loss for the quarter, cutting its annual profit to $12 billion.
Qualcomm chips dropped due to over-heating issues found in testing
A new report citing unnamed sources has claimed that Samsung will discontinue use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in the forthcoming Galaxy S6 due to quality control issues. The Snapdragon 810 reportedly overheated in testing by Samsung, prompting the switch to the company's own Exynos line of processors, which it has used for certain editions of the flagship phone in the past.