Tag - Promotion
In a bid to boost the discoverability of new apps, Apple announced earlier that it would launch a test program for Search Ads, a forthcoming feature to the App Store that offers -- for the first time -- paid promotions on one of Apple's storefronts. Previously, Apple staffers have picked items to received promoted status at will, resisting efforts at putting advertising in the search results for fear that big players would dominate and further obscure up-and-coming, smaller, and new releases.
AT&T is developing special "iPhone 7" promotions that it plans to announce in time for the expected September launch of the next-generation smartphone flagship from Apple, according to Nomura Securites analyst Jeffrey Kvaal. AT&T's total annual subscriber churn is currently running at 1.42 percent. This is a figure that AT&T is hoping to minimize, by trying to retain subscribers who could potentially leave the network for another when the next iPhone launches, while also attracting new subscribers to its network.
Chase's online bank Chime has announced support for Apple Pay through its own issued cards, a day ahead of a new promotion from Chase that will see cardholders eligible for a free iTunes download of Eric Clapton's newest album I Still Do, including a bonus track. Chime is similar to other online banks like Ally and Simple, with no physical branches. Deposits are handled through automatic deposit programs or by taking a photograph of a check, and payments are done through issued cards, the bank's own app, and virtual wallets like Apple Pay.
According to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple has awarded newly-named Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji was awarded just over 90,000 restricted stock units (RSUs) as a promotion bonus, currently valued at $9.8 million (based on the stock price of AAPL at the time of writing). In addition, Srouji -- a new name to the executive team, but previously the leader of the chip-development effort that led to Apple's in-house processors -- also has common stock holdings valued currently at around $11 million.
On the heels of a new promotion from Mastercard that allows Apple Pay users to ride free on the London Underground, Visa Europe is kicking off a two-month ad campaign that intends to show users why using Apple Pay in the UK is safer, faster, and easier than the current EMV (chip and PIN) card-based payment system. Titled "Anticipation," the first ad very elegantly communicates the ease, speed and yes, thrill of using Apple Pay.
For a limited time, new iPhone buyers can receive a $50 discount on the Apple Watch Sport or regular models at select stores. The company is trying to incentivize buyers into picking up both devices at the same time with the small price break, though the fact that the promotional offer is only available for a limited time and only in a handful of stores in the Bay Area in California and in Boston, Massachusetts suggests that the program is a pilot for a possible national sale in time for the holidays.
[Updated with new comments, details] T-Mobile is taking on Apple's new iPhone Upgrade Program by offering an extra option within its own Jump program specifically for the iPhone 6s's launch. CEO John Legere announced via a series of posts on Twitter that the carrier would be providing its customers with an iPhone 6s via its Jump On Demand upgrade scheme for either $5, $10, or $15 per month, depending on the model of phone being traded in by the subscriber.
This week, the usual suspects -- MacNN Editor Charles Martin, Managing Editor Mike Wuerthele, and staff writer Malcolm Owen -- deliver a lighter, shorter, 47-minute summer episode that tries to accentuate the positive, and make lemonade out of lemons. Having spent last episode complaining about iTunes 12.2, the iOS Music app, and (as required by law) Microsoft's Windows 10, this episode focuses on the new Back to School promo from Apple, what can be done to make iTunes better, how to make an OS X home server, how Windows 10 is working out, and Microsoft's new iOS-to-Windows initiative. Show notes after the jump.
Traditionally, Apple launches a Back To School promotion in the first week of July (or first week in January for Australia and New Zealand) that offers extra incentives, such as iTunes Gift Cards, on top of the usual educational discounts on hardware ranging from Macs to iPods. The program has not appeared this year, with no reply from Apple to inquiries about the state of the promotion -- but a weekly video to Apple Store staff from retail chief Dame Angela Ahrendts hints that a rethink on the Back To School idea is coming.
Apple Japan will begin its traditional promotion for Japanese retail buyers, known as Fukubukuro or "Lucky Bags," starting on January 2, the company has announced. The promotion involves customers buying one of several "grab bag" gift boxes for a set price -- last year it was about 36,000 yen, or roughly $300 in current US dollars -- that could contain very valuable gifts, and usually at least top the value of the list price. Some of the boxes contained iPads or MacBook Airs, for example.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE