Verizon and Sprint to pay $158 million in bill cramming settlement

By Cody Lee on May 12, 2015

The FCC announced on Tuesday that Verizon and Sprint have agreed to pay $158 million to settle their bill cramming investigations with the Commission. Verizon Wireless will pay $90 million and Sprint Corporation will pay $68 million, and much of that will go to consumer refunds.

“For too long, consumers have been charged on their phone bills for things they did not buy,” said the oft-outspoken FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “We call these fraudulent charges ‘cramming,’ and with today’s agreements we are calling them history for Verizon and Sprint customers.” Read More

 

Apple announces 7-part bond sale to finance its capital return program expansion

By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2015

During a conference call discussing its fiscal 2015 second-quarter results, Tim Cook & Co. also announced expanding their already massive capital return program to a whooping $200 billion through March of 2017 to “reflect strong confidence in what lies ahead for Apple.”

A filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission posted today on Apple’s Investor website casts more light on the initiative, confirming the company will fund this expansion through a new seven-part bond to raise the funds. Read More

 

Apple’s Angela Ahrendts was highest-paid female executive in the US last year

By Cody Lee on May 5, 2015

Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s recently-hired senior vice president of retail and online stores, was the highest-paid female executive in the United States last year. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Ahrendts was awarded $82.6 million in 2014, including a sign-on bonus and a make-whole grant for money she left on the table at Burberry.

Coming in second on the list was Oracle’s Safra Catz, who raked in $71.2 million in fiscal 2014 for her role as chief financial officer and co-CEO. Rounding out the top 3 highest paid female executives was Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer who, at 39-years-old, was the highest-paid female chief executive last year, with a salary of $59.1 million. Read More

 

38mm Apple Watch Sport component costs estimated to begin at $81.20

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 30, 2015

Based on the initial Apple Watch teardown analysis conducted by hardware experts at iFixit, Chipworks and ABI, research firm IHS Technology has now estimated the cost of components — so-called bill of material — that go into building each 38mm aluminum Apple Watch Sport at $81.20.

The figure excludes other significant costs associated with assembly, packaging, delivery, logistics, overhead, marketing, sales, licensing, advertising and other related expenses.

For clarity, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on an earnings call earlier this week that component cost breakdowns around Apple products are inaccurate and “much different than the reality.” Read More

 

EU probe of Irish tax policy could have ‘material’ impact on Apple

By Cody Lee on Apr 29, 2015

The European Commission’s investigation into Ireland’s tax deals for multinational corporations could have a “material” impact on Apple, the company said in a 10Q filing to the S&E Commissions this week. If it’s determined that Dublin’s tax policies represented unfair state aid, the Cupertino firm could suffer significant losses. Read More

 

Samsung’s Q1 profits drop 39%, but company sees redemption in Galaxy S6 line

By Sébastien Page on Apr 29, 2015

Samsung reported its financial results for Q1 yesterday, and the numbers aren’t great. The company reported net profits of 4.63 trillion won (about $4.35 billion), representing a 39% drop from the year ago quarter. Read More

 

15 interesting points from Apple’s Q2 2015 earnings call

By Cody Lee on Apr 27, 2015

Apple announced its financial results for its fiscal second quarter of 2015 this afternoon, and the numbers are impressive. The company sold 61.2 million iPhones and earned $58 billion in revenue, breaking March quarter records and beating Wall Street expectations.

We just finished up the conference call, where Tim Cook and other executives team discussed Apple’s performance over the three-month period, and offered up some insights into its future. And as usual, we’ve rounded up the 15 most interesting points from the call below. Read More

 

Apple’s Q2 2015 earnings: 61.2M iPhones, 12.62M iPads, $58.01B revenue

By Cody Lee on Apr 27, 2015

Apple has posted its [fiscal] second quarter earnings report for 2015 this afternoon, and they are impressive. The Cupertino company beat Wall Street estimates, recording $58.01 billion in revenue on the back of strong iPhone sales.

More than 61 million iPhones were purchased during the usually-slow, post-holiday second quarter. That’s over 4 million above analyst estimates, and it looks like the handset did particularly well in China—up 72% year-over-year. Read More

 

Apple preparing initial batch of Apple Watches for shipment

By Cody Lee on Apr 20, 2015

Apple on Monday began notifying pre-order customers that it is preparing their Apple Watch orders for shipment. Multiple members of the iDB team saw the status of their Watch orders change from ‘Processing Items’ to ‘Preparing for Shipment’ this afternoon.

Apple also began charging customer credit cards for their orders on Monday, something that it typically doesn’t do for new products until they are ready to be shipped. Combined, these signs bode well for Apple’s ability to get Watches out to customers this week. Read More

 

LAUSD asking Apple for multimillion-dollar refund for failed iPad program

By Cody Lee on Apr 16, 2015

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) told Apple on Wednesday that it will not spend another dollar on the Pearson software installed on its iPads, reports local public radio station KPCC. Additionally, the school district is seeking a multimillion-dollar refund from the Cupertino giant for its failed technology initiative to put a tablet in the hands of each of its 650,000 students. Read More

 

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge costs more to build than iPhone 6

By Sébastien Page on Apr 14, 2015

Samsung is taking another hit in the battle for profit and market share, with a bill of materials for the new Galaxy S6 Edge pegged at about $290 for the 64GB version, as reported by Recode. For comparison, the more expensive iPhone 6 Plus money can buy only costs Apple $263 to build. Of course, this doesn’t take into account cost of R&D, marketing, etc, but it still paints a dark picture for Samsung who’s had a few rough quarters due to its mobile division bleeding profits. Spending more to build a device that will be sold for less doesn’t seem like the best idea either. Read More

 

Apple has spent $38 million on Apple Watch ads since March

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2015

Apple has spent $38 million on its “Watch Reimagined” television campaign, according to US ad-tracking firm iSpot.tv. Reuters points to the report, and notes that the company spent just under $42 million on TV ads for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus over the past 5 months.

iSpot.tv says that there has been more than 300 airings of the Apple Watch commercial within the last month, almost half of which have been in primetime spots. The ad played during the NCAA Championship game, AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and other hit TV shows. Read More

 

Apple to announce Q2 2015 earnings on April 27

By Cody Lee on Mar 30, 2015

Apple just confirmed via its Investor Relations portal that it will be announcing the financial results for its second fiscal quarter of 2015 on Monday, April 27. As usual, the company will be hosting a live conference call to discussing its earnings, beginning at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET.

While Q2 is typically an uneventful quarter for Apple this one should prove quite interesting. Industry watchers are anxious to see how it follows up its record-breaking holiday quarter, and the firm is sure to share initial thoughts and feedback regarding the just-launched Apple Watch. Read More

 

Facebook Messenger gains new peer-to-peer payments feature

By Cody Lee on Mar 17, 2015

Facebook announced on Tuesday that US-based Messenger users will be able to use the app to send money to their Friends. The process, similar to Square’s ‘Cash,’ involves linking a debit card to the service, which you can use to send money just as easily as a photo or text.

Users who have received the update will notice that the Facebook Messenger app now includes a small “$” icon above the keyboard, next to photo and sticker icons. Tapping this opens a payments screen where users can enter in the amount they wish to send to the recipient. Read More

 

Tim Cook calls into CNBC’s ‘Mad Money’, talks ResearchKit, Apple Pay and more

By Cody Lee on Mar 12, 2015

It seemed like just another episode of Mad Money, CNBC’s polarizing financial TV show, until host Jim Cramer took a call from “Tim in California.” As you’ve probably guessed by now, it was Apple CEO Tim Cook on the line, prompting cheers from a surprised studio.

Cook began the call by congratulating Cramer on “10 great years of Mad Money,” but it was clear he had other things to talk about. The first thing was ResearchKit, Apple’s medical research app platform it unveiled on Monday, which as already had over 10,000 signups. Read More

 

Apple Watch: you can rent it before you buy it

By Cody Lee on Mar 11, 2015

If you find Apple Watch’s $349 price tag a bit on the expensive side, you may be happy to know that you’ll be able to take it for a test drive for far less than that. Gadget rental startup Lumoid says that it plans to rent out the Watch for $45/week, once it launches next month.

Lumoid, which already rents out FitBits and similar devices, says the $45 will get you the Sports version of Apple Watch, and $25 of that will go towards the purchase price if you decide to buy it. The firm will also offer the Steel version for $55, but will not carry Edition models. Read More

 

These are the most expensive Apple Watches you can buy

By Cody Lee on Mar 9, 2015

Apple’s online store has come back up, offering new details regarding the Apple Watch and its various pricing tiers. We found out during this morning’s event that the 18K gold Edition model will begin at $10,000, but we thought it’d be interesting to see how expensive the line goes, so we’ve put together a roundup of all 8 Edition models. Read More

 

Judge approves $415M payout in Apple, Google anti-poaching suit

By Cody Lee on Mar 4, 2015

US District Judge Lucy Koh granted preliminary approval on Wednesday for a settlement between Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel and their former employees. The payout is said to be worth around $415 million, and would effectively end the long-running anti-poaching lawsuit. Read More

 

Chase says it’s activated over 1 million Apple Pay accounts

By Cody Lee on Feb 24, 2015

Chase Bank has provisioned over one million wallets with Apple Pay since the service launched in October 2014. As noted by AppleInsider, the company made the announcement during an investors conference call on Tuesday.

“We continue to see good growth in the number of consumers that are provisioning Chase cards in their Apple Pay wallet,” said Chase’s Eileen Serra. “And as more merchants adopt, I would expect to see more traction here, as well.” Read More

 

While Apple is reaching new heights, Samsung is hitting new lows

By Sébastien Page on Jan 29, 2015

Apple and Samsung might be sharing the crown for top smartphone maker, with both companies reportedly shipping 74.5 million units in the last quarter, there are still wide discrepancies between the financials of the two giants. While Apple is reaching new heights following the record-smashing financial results for the last quarter it reported on Tuesday, Samsung is reaching new lows as its mobile division is crumbling to turn a profit, a situation that is the result of two very different strategies. Read More

 
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