By Cody Lee on Dec 19, 2014
Apple was the biggest buyback spender among the S&P 500 this year, according to MarketWatch. Citing data from FactSet, the outlet reports the iPhone-maker has bought back more than $56 billion worth of shares from stockholders in 2014.
That’s a staggering amount, especially when you consider that the company that came in second place among buyback spenders in 2014, IBM, only spent $19.2 billion. Apple spent almost that much ($18.6 billion) during its first quarter this year. Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 16, 2014
Apple has halted all online sales in Russia this morning, due to “extreme” fluctuations in the country’s ruble currency, reports Bloomberg. Spokesman Alan Hely told the outlet that the company has decided to shutter the store while it “reviews pricing,” and it “apologizes to customers for any inconvenience.”
The Russian economy has been in trouble for months, but things have gotten significantly worse in recent days due in large part to the falling price of oil and economic sanctions. The ruble has plummeted a staggering 19% within the last 24 hours—the worst single day drop for the currency in the last 16 years. Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 5, 2014
In addition to the now-iconic “spaceship” building, Apple’s upcoming Campus 2 will also feature a state-of-the-art auditorium and fitness center. And according to building permits recently obtained by BuildZoom, the Cupertino firm is spending a fortune on the two spaces.
The permits show that the 120,000 square foot auditorium where Apple will hold future press events is being constructed by BNBT Builders, and is costing the company around $161 million. Additionally, the 100,000 square foot fitness center is costing them $74 million. Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 21, 2014
Chase is launching a new promotion to entice its cardholders to try out Apple Pay. As noted by MacRumors, the bank is notifying customers that they’re giving away free iTunes music this weekend to anyone who adds their card to Apple’s payment service.
From November 21 to 23, those who add their Chase Visa card to Apple Pay will receive early access to David Guetta’s new album “Listen.” Once verified that their card has been added, users will receive an iTunes redemption code via the Chase mobile app. Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 18, 2014
Snapchat updated its iOS client today, bringing the app to version 8. The update activates the company’s new ‘Snapcash’ money transfer service, which it announced yesterday, that allows users to quickly send money to one another by simply sending a message.
Snapcash is a collaborative project between Snapchat and Square, built using the SquareCash concept. SquareCash allows users to send money via email, text message and Bluetooth with little friction, so it’s not hard to see how they made the jump to Snapchat. Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 15, 2014
The New York Times reported on Friday that Apple Pay now accounts for 50% of the tap-to-pay transactions at all of McDonald’s 14,000 US stores. Additionally, the outlet claims that Walgreens’ mobile payments at its 8,000+ stores have doubled since the service launched.
The figures were nestled in a broader piece regarding Apple’s role in mainstreaming mobile payments. Google Wallet and Softcard—backed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon—both say that Apple Pay has been a huge tailwind, as they’ve seen an increase in usage since it debuted. Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 15, 2014
Winn-Dixie and BI-LO, two major grocery store chains in the southeastern region of the US, are now accepting Apple Pay. MacRumors reports that it was told the companies would begin processing AP payments next week, but the system seems to have already gone live in many stores.
This is a significant coup for Apple, who has been seeing pushback from high profile retailers in recent weeks regarding Apple Pay. Winn-Dixie and BI-LO have over 1,300 locations between them, which are spread throughout North and South Carolina, Georgia and surrounding states. Read More
By Sébastien Page on Oct 28, 2014
An excellent read by Jeff Sommer for the New York Times about the financial impact of the iPhone on the global economy.
“The iPhone is having a measurable impact,” said Michael Feroli, the chief United States economist for JPMorgan Chase. “It’s a little gadget, but it costs a lot and it seems that everybody has one. When you do the multiplication, it’s going to matter.” He estimates that iPhone sales are adding one-quarter to one-third of a percentage point to the annualized growth rate of the gross domestic product.
If you want to learn more about the economic ramifications of the iPhone, I recommend you read the whole piece. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 27, 2014
In an effort to encourage users to try out Apple Pay, Wells Fargo has launched a program that offers $20 to card holders who use the service. The rules are simple: make an Apple Pay purchase with your Wells Fargo Credit Card by November 30, 2014, and you’ll earn a $20 statement credit.
The bank published the details of the promotion on its website early Monday, along with other Apple Pay information. Wells Fargo says that Apple Pay purchases are covered under its Zero Liability fraud protection service, and are also compatible with its popular loyalty rewards program. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 21, 2014
GT Advanced and Apple have reached a settlement that will allow the two companies to part ways amicably, reports The Wall Street Journal. Under the terms of the deal, GT will be paying Apple back for its $439 million loan by selling off its 2,000+ furnaces.
The news surfaced during GT Advanced’s bankruptcy hearing this afternoon—two weeks ago, the sapphire-maker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Low cash flow was cited as a reason for the filing, but few details are known about the circumstances. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 21, 2014
Apple is hoping to launch its rumored Apple Pay loyalty rewards program in time for the holiday season, reports Bank Innovation. The program was initially thought to be part of Apple Pay 2.0, expected in the fall of 2015, but new reports claim Apple pushed up the time table.
How the program will work is still unknown, but Bank Innovation says it will likely utilize Apple’s iBeacon tech. It offers an example that includes the Apple Pay user receiving a push notification while in a clothing store that reads: “hey if you buy this now, you can get this for free.” Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 20, 2014
Apple announced its financial results for Q4 2014 this afternoon, and for the most part it beat the Street’s expectations. The company sold 39.3 million iPhones and pulled in $42.1 billion in revenue during the three month period, and iPad sales fell short at just 12.3 million.
We’re just finishing up the conference call, where Tim Cook, CFO Luca Maestri and other members of the executive team have discussed Apple’s performance, and offered some insight into its future. As usual, we’ve rounded up the to 15 most interesting points for you below. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 20, 2014
Apple has posted its [fiscal] fourth quarter earnings report this afternoon, announcing that it has sold 39.3 million iPhones and 12.3 million iPads. The numbers are just about as expected, with iPhones coming in a little higher than anticipated, and iPads coming in quite a bit lower.
It’s been a significant quarter for Apple in terms of announcements, as it unveiled two new iPhones, Apple Pay and Apple Watch. It’s worth noting, however, that neither Apple Pay nor Watch were available in September, and the new iPhones were only on sale for the last 10 days. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 8, 2014
The US government has just handed AT&T a significant fine for allowing third party companies to stealthily tack on their charges to customer phone bills for things like spam SMS text messages. The announcement was made on Wednesday in a joint press conference by the FCC and FTC, who say this is the largest “cramming” settlement in history.
In total, AT&T will pay out $105 million to settle the case—$80 million is earmarked for the FTC, which it will use to set up a reimbursement program, $5 million will go to the FCC, and $20 million will go to individual states. Additionally, the carrier has been ordered to begin proactively informing subscribers if extra fees are going on their accounts. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 7, 2014
Apple withheld its final payment of $139 million it was due to make to GT Advanced, reports The Wall Street Journal, ahead of its decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It’s not known why the company withheld the money, but it’s been speculated GT was not able to meet sapphire yield requirements outlined in its deal.
That deal involved Apple loaning GT Advanced a total of $578 million to help get a large sapphire factory in Arizona up and running. The two companies announced the partnership last fall, which many believed would result in the production of a large amount of sapphire display covers earmarked for Apple’s newest iPhone models. Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 12, 2014
The high-end version of the new Apple Watch could cost over $1,000, according to TechCrunch. The website has spoken to experts within the jewelry industry who say that if the 18-karat gold ‘Edition’ version of the Watch is actually made of gold, it could sell for as much as $1,200.
It’s not clear if the entire case is made of gold, or the device is just gold-plated, but TC’s contacts say it’s more likely the former. For one, an all-gold case matches up with the size and weight provided for the watch, and two, gold-plating doesn’t really live up to Apple’s design standards. Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 12, 2014
Apple has negotiated a never-before-seen deal for its new mobile payment system, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Citing sources familiar with the terms of the agreement, the outlet says that the Cupertino firm stands to make 15 cents of every $100 spent (or 0.15%) using Apple Pay.
We knew that Apple stood to make a lot of money from its new Pay service, but this is the first time we’re hearing hard numbers. “It’s unprecedented,” says Dickson Chu, former engineer at PayPal and Google Wallet. “It’s somewhat surprising that Apple was able to negotiate something Google couldn’t.” Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 3, 2014
Shares of Apple dropped 4% today, closing this afternoon at $98.94. That’s the stock’s worst percentage slump since late January, and its worst value since it began its march towards its highest price ever in early August.
The news comes amidst the recent iCloud scandal, in which Apple’s cloud security was blamed for the leaking of several revealing celebrity photos, and ahead of the company’s highly anticipated iPhone event next week. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 28, 2014
Apple this morning sent out invitations for a media event on September 9th, where the company is expected to unveil the iPhone 6 and a new wearable device. We’ve heard conflicting theories on whether or not we’ll see one or two new handsets on stage, but a new report out this afternoon suggests the former.
According to website GforGames, “informed sources” are telling Chinese media outlets that only the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 will make an appearance at the event, alongside a new 5s model with 8GB of storage. Apparently the larger 5.5-inch iPhone will make its debut later this year in limited quantities. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 26, 2014
Square has released a big update for its Cash app this afternoon, bringing it to version 2.0. The app, first released in October of last year, facilitates the quick transfer of money from one user to another via e-mail, and today’s update makes the process even faster.
The UI for sending and contact screens has been optimized in Square Cash 2.0, making it easier to send money, and you can also now add notes to your payments. But perhaps the biggest addition in today’s update is the ability to send cash to anyone via text message. Read More