Ed Sutherland

Inside Apple’s 2013 Annual Report: rising R&D costs, retail, ad expenses and more

Apple's annual 10-K report to the SEC always includes interesting tidbits. This year, the tech giant said it spent $4.5 billion on research and development, a move the iPhone maker describes as "critical" to remaining competitive.

The spending marks a 32 percent increase in research over fiscal 2012, when the company spent $3.4 billion.

The consumer electronics powerhouse said it employs 80,300 full-time workers, more than half in retailing. About 30 new retail locations are planned for 2014 with 20 more stores being remodeled, the company also told the government agency Wednesday. A couple more tidbits follow...

Apple’s profit eclipses Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and LG combined

What's more important, smartphones shipped or smartphone profits? That question is at the heart of a debate over competing figures used to bolster Samsung or Apple. A day after a Samsung-friendly market research firm claimed the South Korean firm shipped three times as many phones, new figures show Apple profit higher than most of its rivals combined.

Sales of 33.8 million iPhones during the last quarter earned more than the mobile units of Samsung, LG, Nokia, Huawei, Lenovo and Motorola all together, according to a Wednesday report. The report also ignited a new debate over how corporate figures can be twisted to fit any preconceived notion - such as Apple's losing battle against Android...

Sprint’s Q3 losses shrink to $398M, courtesy of iPhone

Sprint, America's third-largest wireless carrier, announced Wednesday that 1.4 million of the five million smartphones it sold during the third quarter were iPhones, of which 40 percent were to new customers.

The iPhone sales are just under the 1.5 million Apple smartphones Sprint activated during the same period in 2012.

The iPhone numbers have helped the carrier reduce the gap from a $398 million operating loss, rebounding from a $767 million loss during the same quarter in 2012. By comparison, Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest carrier, announced selling about 3.9 million iPhones during the third quarter...

Southwest Airline and Dish launch iPad 2 loan program ahead of holiday travels

Just in time for the maddening holiday travel rush, one U.S. airline has announced plans to provide flyers with a loaner iPad and satellite programming. The 'DISH Anywhere' offer by Southwest Airlines and the satellite television network is available to passenger flying between Denver, Oakland and Chicago.

The iPad 2 loaner program follows Southwest's earlier Watch on the Fly service, bringing free DISH programming to airline customers owning an iDevice...

iPhone captures one-third of smartphone market in Japan

Apple is having great success in Japan. Not only is the iPhone maker surviving one of the most competitive tech markets on the planet, but breaking sales records. The company's smartphone now has 34 percent of the country's market, new research shows.

The figure - more than double that of just months ago - shatters a sales record that's stood for ten years. Apple's success in Japan even overshadows the world's largest market, China...

Disney to unveil new cartoon spaghetti western series on tablets before cable TV

Disney is after your kids' tablets. The entertainment megalith will unveil a cartoon spaghetti western series on tablets before cable. 'Sheriff Callie West,' a female animated character (pictured top of post) the Mickey Mouse house hopes will become the next Hello Kitty merchandising bonanza, will be unveiled on the Watch Disney Junior app November 24.

The series will then appear later in 2014 on cable's Disney Junior. The move is a recognition that children increasingly are turning to the iPad and other tablets for entertainment. Both Disney and Apple have deep ties. Not only is the entertainment giant's CEO Bob Iger on Apple's board of directors, but the Steve Jobs trust has a large stake in Disney...

Samsung now selling 1 out of each 3 smartphones

Although Apple sold 33.8 million iPhones during the third quarter, up from 26.9 million a year ago, South Korean Samsung continues to dominate smartphones on a global scale. The company sold more than 88 million smartphones during the same period, comprising 33.2 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, according to one market research firm.

Despite its uptick in unit sales, Apple's share of the smartphone market for the quarter slipped to 13.4 percent, down from 15.6 percent - something that should be corrected in the fourth quarter, as sales of new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s smartphones come into full view...

iPhone 5s/5c already comprise 5.5% of all active iPhones globally

When the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were released in September, their first weekend of availability sparked a record nine million units sold. Now comes word Apple's two newest smartphones together represent 5.5 percent of active iPhones worldwide.

And despite Apple's attempts to repackage last year's iPhone 5 as this year's iPhone 5c, new research shows the year-old Apple handsets accounts for one out of every four new iPhone activations...

Wall Street expects: 33.4M iPhones, 15M iPads, 4.3M iPods, 4.6M Macs

Wall Street expects Apple to return to its usual hit parade later today, announcing record iPhone sales and perhaps giving some insight into how the tech giant's first ever introduction of two iPhones in one year performed. The iPhone maker could announce 33.4 million iPhones sold during the three-month period, a 24 percent jump from the same quarter in 2012.

Although the iPhone 5s/5c were sold for just a week during the quarter ended September 28, analysts hope to divine whether sales of the iPhone 5c are catching up to the flagship iPhone 5s and if record first weekend sales of nine million units had legs.

The Street also anticipates iPod revenue numbers, which one report suggests could sound the death note for the iconic digital music device...

Qualcomm exec’s career suffers from ‘A7 is a marketing gimmick’ comment

Qualcomm's marketing chief has been reassigned after dismissing Apple's new 64-bit A7 processor as a 'marketing gimmick.' The chipmaker's former Chief Marketing Officer has also been removed from Qualcomm's leadership page. Instead, Anand Chandrasekher was put in charge of a broadly-worded "exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives."

Earlier this month, Chandrasekher called the 64-bit A7 processor "a marketing gimmick" with zero consumer benefit. The A7 now powers Apple's new iPhone 5s and iPad Air. The comment forced Qualcomm to publicly rebuke its marketing head for essentially denying reality...

Apple’s Russia push slowed by pricey iPhones

Although Apple today launched the iPhone in an additional 35 global markets (with more to come next Friday), including Russia, its flagship iPhone 5s remains too expensive for all but the most wealthiest. The iPhone 5c, costing just $99 in subsidized markets such as the U.S., can cost nearly $800 in Russia, unsubsidized.

Apple's goal of competing globally is being hampered by pricing centered on carrier subsidies. In countries such as Russia, India and elsewhere where subsidies are not allowed, the cost of an iPhone can equal a month's salary - or more. As a result, Samsung's cheaper Android phones control most smartphone sales...

Canadian patent troll loses infringement lawsuit against Apple

Canadian-based patent troll Wi-LAN lost its bid to force Apple to license patents covering several major wireless technologies. A jury found Apple did not infringe on two Wi-LAN patents dealing with CDMA, HSPA (3G), Wi-Fi and LTE. The patent company wanted Apple to pay $248 million.

In a statement, Wi-LAN said it was disappointed with the court's decision, but feels the Marshall, Texas federal ruling will not hurt previous licensing deals now in place.

Samsung, HTC and BlackBerry are among the companies which have settled lawsuits...