Spotify looking to lower its revenue share with music labels

By Cody Lee on Aug 23, 2016

Spotify is out of contract with all three major music companies, and according to Music Business Worldwide, the renegotiations aren’t going well. Citing sources familiar with the talks, the outlet says the sticking point is revenue share.

With Spotify preparing for an IPO, the labels see this as a great opportunity to get the streaming company to raise its revenue split from around 55% to 58%, which is what Apple Music pays. Spotify, however, wants to lower the amount. Read More


Apple: ConnectED program now reaches over 32,000 students

By Cody Lee on Aug 10, 2016

Apple on Wednesday announced that its ConnectED efforts now reach over 32,000 students. In a note on its website, the company said that as of the start of the 2016 school year, there are 32,145 students at underserved public schools in the US that are learning on iPad through the program. Read More


In July, App Store hit highest-ever monthly billings and money paid to developers

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2016

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook himself, the App Store has set a new record in July with highest-ever monthly billings and money paid to developers. Developers have now earned over $50 billion from sales of their apps since the App Store’s debut in the summer of 2008—and that’s after the company’s standard thirty percent cut on all App Store proceeds.

The CEO took to Twitter to congratulate developers on their “success and such inspired creativity”. Read More


Judge voids $625 million verdict against Apple in VirnetX patent spat

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 1, 2016

In February 2016, a federal jury ordered that Apple pay $625 million to VirnetX Holding Corp after being found guilty of willfully infringing on technologies found in VirnetX’s patents related to virtual private networking protocols. Friday, the judge voided that ruling after determining that the case should be revisited, CNBC reports. VirnetX alleges that its patented technology is used in FaceTime and iMessage on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. Read More


Samsung enjoys its most profitable quarter in two years thanks to strong Galaxy S7 sales

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2016

Samsung this morning announced results for the second calendar quarter ended June 30, and the numbers are encouraging despite global smartphone sales cooling down. The South Korean conglomerate’s mobile division reported “substantial earnings improvement” buoyed by strong sales of its flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge flagship smartphones.

The data is newsworthy given strong competition Samsung has been facing on the low-end from Chinese rivals like Xiaomi and Huawei and on the high-end from Apple’s iPhone. This is the best earning result Samsung has posted in two years, by the way. Read More


15 interesting points from Apple’s Q3 2016 earnings call

By Cody Lee on Jul 26, 2016

Apple announced the financial results for its fiscal third quarter of 2016 this afternoon, and although they beat Wall Street estimates, the numbers are pretty rough. iPhone sales are down 7 million units, and revenue is down $7 billion from the year-ago quarter.

Following the release of its earnings, CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri hopped on a conference call to talk about Apple’s performance over the last few months, and offer up some insights into its future. Here are your 15 most interesting points from that call. Read More


Apple’s Q3 2016 earnings: 40.4M iPhones, 10M iPads, $42.4B revenue

By Cody Lee on Jul 26, 2016

Apple on Tuesday released its earnings report for the third [fiscal] quarter of 2016. The Cupertino company exceeded expectations, selling 40.4 million iPhones, 10 million iPads and earning $42.4 billion in revenue. The numbers are still down year-over-year, however, with 47.5 million iPhones and nearly $50 billion in revenue in Q3 2015. Read More


Ahead of June quarter earnings, Apple’s stock passes $100 for the first time in six weeks

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2016

Shares of Apple have passed the psychological important barrier of a hundred bucks per share ahead of the company’s ahead June quarter earnings report, which is scheduled to take place next Tuesday, July 26. This marks the first time Apple’s stock price broke the $100 mark in six weeks after the stock plunged below $90 following weaker-than-expected iPhone sales, CNBC tweeted this morning. Read More


TSMC’s Q3 revenue expected to climb to a record high on strong iPhone 7 A10 chip orders

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 11, 2016

Citing market forecasts quoted by the Commercial Times newspaper, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Monday that shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) could hit record levels thanks to orders for the Apple-designed ‘A10’ system-on-a-chip, the engine that will drive the next iPhone and iPad. TSMC just posted strong numbers for the second financial quarter. Read More


Verizon launches new wireless plans with higher prices and more data

By Cody Lee on Jul 6, 2016

Verizon on Wednesday announced a new wireless plan platform and several new features for its customers. The new plan is more expensive, but it includes at least 30% more data than the previous offering, as well as new stuff like Carryover Data and Safety Mode.

It looks like they’re calling it simply the new Verizon Plan, and it comes in 5 flavors: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and XX-Large. The Small option costs $35 per month for 2GB (previously $30/month for 1GB), and the XXL gives you 24GB for $110 per month. Read More


Apple helps raise over $8M for World Wildlife Fund

By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2016

Apple on Friday announced that its Apps for Earth campaign has generated more than $8 million in total proceeds. For 10 days in April, the iPhone maker worked with 24 developers to publish interactive and educational content to the App Store, with the proceeds going exclusively to the World Wildlife Fund. Read More


Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is concerned about Apple’s prospects in China

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 9, 2016

Activist investor Carl Icahn earlier this year sold his position in Apple, but that doesn’t mean he no longer thinks Apple is a lucrative stock to invest in. Quite the contrary, he’s made several billion dollars on Apple!

That being said, he would invest back in the Cupertino firm were it not for Apple’s prospects in China, which he doesn’t feel secure about although he’s adamant that CEO Tim Cook is “doing a good job”. Read More


Viber gains iCloud backup, support for sending money, animated GIFs and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 6, 2016

Messaging service Viber this morning pushed a new update to its App Store app, adding several new long overdue features. For starters, iPhone users can now back up and restore their chat history through iCloud, making keeping their conversations after an iOS restore possible.

The application now has a brand new native watchOS 2 app for your wrist with canned responses on your Apple Watch. Other new features in this edition of Viber include support for sending and receiving animated GIF images, sending money from within the app and low-rate Viber Out calling plans via a redesigned screen. Read More


Apple invests $1 billion in Chinese ride sharing service Didi Chuxing

By Cody Lee on May 12, 2016

Apple on Thursday announced that it has invested $1 billion in Chinese Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, reports Reuters. Speaking with the outlet, Tim Cook said the venture will help his company “better understand the critical Chinese market.”

The move comes amidst slumping iPhone sales, which has driven Apple’s stock price down to $90 per share, and other struggles in China. Last month, the State Administration shut down the iBooks Store and iTunes Movie sales in the country. Read More


Your old iPod could net you up to $20,000

By Cody Lee on May 11, 2016

Old iPods have apparently become the latest craze in the world of collectables. As noted by The Guardian, various Apple-branded MP3 players from the early 2000s are going for insane prices on eBay right now, depending of course on the model and condition.

For example, a factory-sealed third-generation iPod shuffle is listed on the auction site at $999.95, and it has 10 watchers. A fourth-generation U2 edition iPod is priced at just under $7,000. And a new-in-box second-generation iPod classic? A staggering $20,000. Read More


Tim Cook’s charity lunch auction raises $515K for human rights

By Cody Lee on May 5, 2016

Tim Cook’s annual CharityBuzz auction ended this afternoon, with the winning bid raising $515,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. The winner of the auction will get a one-hour lunch date with Tim Cook at Apple headquarters, as well as tickets to an upcoming Apple keynote event.

There were over 40 bids in the auction, with the high bid nearly doubling over the last 24 hours. The lunch date is valid for up to two people, and will be scheduled at an agreed upon date, based on availability. Obviously the guests will be subject to security screenings, but don’t worry, the cost of the meal is included. Read More


Tim Cook tells CNBC Apple has ‘great innovation in the pipeline’

By Cody Lee on May 2, 2016

Tim Cook on Monday appeared on CNBC’s ‘Mad Money’ to talk with host Jim Cramer about Apple’s recent earnings report. The iPhone maker announced weaker-than-expected Q2 sales last week, and its stock has since dropped more than 10 points.

While the interview is transparently a PR move to let Wall Street know that Apple is still on the right path, Cook did offer up some interesting comments about the future of his company. Naturally, we’ve highlighted some of our favorites for you below. Read More


FBI paid more than $1.3 million for San Bernardino iPhone hack

By Cody Lee on Apr 21, 2016

FBI Director James Comey said on Thursday that the agency paid more to break into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone than he’ll make in the remaining 7+ years of his tenure. Reuters crunched the numbers, and that suggests that the FBI paid more than $1.3 million for the hack.

That seems like a lot of money for a tool that doesn’t work on the iPhone 5s or newer, but  speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in London today, the Director said that he believes it was worth it. And of course the FBI will be able to use the tool in other case involving older iPhones. Read More


Apple shifting some of its iCloud services to Google’s Cloud Platform

By Cody Lee on Mar 16, 2016

Apple has signed a deal with Google to use the search giant’s Cloud Platform for some of its iCloud services, reports CRN. The site says that the two firms inked the deal late last year, and it’s believed to be worth somewhere between $400-$600 million.

This is a major coup for Google’s enterprise cloud business, and its newly appointed chief Diane Greene. Although Apple has not publicly discussed its cloud backends, it’s been reported that the iPhone maker spends $1 billion per year on Amazon’s AWS. Read More


Apple’s $120 million patent victory against Samsung overturned

By Cody Lee on Feb 26, 2016

An appeals court on Friday ruled that Samsung won’t have to pay Apple $119.6 million for infringing its patents, reports Bloomberg. The court found two of Apple’s patents, including one for its slide-to-unlock feature, to be invalid and a third wasn’t infringed.

Today’s ruling overturns a verdict reached by a California jury in May 2014, which found Samsung devices to infringe on Apple’s patents. It also upholds a decision to make Apple pay Samsung $158,400 in damages for infringing on its video compression patent. Read More

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