Posts tagged with "apple"

Apple Launches 2014 Back To School Promotion

Apple has launched its annual Back To School promotion today, giving qualifying education customers extra credit when buying a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. As in previous years, Apple's promotion allows customers to receive $100 of extra credit when purchasing a Mac, and $50 when buying an iPhone or iPad. Apple is giving away Apple Store Gift Cards, which can be used for Apple Store purchases (unlike iTunes gift cards for digital purchases given away in previous years).

The 2014 Back To School promotion runs until September 9 and qualifying customers in the US include "faculty, staff, students, and parents" of any public or private K12 and higher education institution. Apple published a PDF document on its website with further details on eligible customers and products available in the promotion.

For more details on gift cards and educational pricing, you can check out Apple's official page for Back To School 2014. The promotion is live today in the US and international markets including Canada, the UK, and several European countries.


Apple Announces Q3 2014 Conference Call for July 22

Apple’s third quarter earnings report and conference call will take place on July 22nd, 2014, according to an Investor Relations update on Apple’s website first noted by setteBIT. Apple will provide a live audio webcast of the call.

Apple plans to conduct a conference call to discuss financial results of its third fiscal quarter on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET.

In the second quarter of 2014, Apple posted revenue of $45.6 billion and sold 16.4 million iPads, 43.7 million iPhones, and 4.1 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion.

For Q3 2014, Apple set its guidance at revenue between $36 billion and $38 billion, with gross margin between 37 percent and 38 percent. Apple didn’t release major new products since their Q2 earnings call, but updated its MacBook Air line with faster processors and announced its acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music for a total of $3 billion. The company also recently introduced a new entry-level iMac and upgraded its low-end iPod touch, but, more notably, held its annual WWDC in San Francisco where they announced iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and a variety of new technologies that will launch this Fall. Apple is rumored to introduce new versions of the iPhone, iPad, as well as a wearable device later this year.

In the year-ago quarter, Apple posted revenue of $35.3 billion. The company sold 14.6 million iPads, 31.2 million iPhones, and 3.8 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $6.9 billion.

We will provide live updates from the conference call on our site’s homepage on July 22nd starting at 2 PM PT.



The Apple QuickTake 100 Turns 20

Stewart Wolpin, writing at Mashable:

Back in Apple's dark ages — during Steve Jobs' interregnum in the mid-1990s — the company experimented with some strange products. Everyone remembers the ill-fated Newton PDA, for instance, which was considered ahead of its time. Less memorable was the QuickTake 100, the first mass market color consumer digital camera.

First unveiled at the Tokyo MacWorld Expo on February 17, 1994, the QuickTake 100 went on sale 20 years ago from yesterday — June 20, 1994. It was priced at $749 and initiated the age of consumer digital photography.

The Apple QuickTake 100 was one of the first digital cameras, a market that, in a curious turn of events, has shrunk because of smartphones.

See also: Shrine of Apple's QuickTake 100 page (and video embedded below).

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Starting Anew

Angela Ahrendts, Apple's SVP of Retail, in a post published on LinkedIn:

Also, trust your instincts and emotions. Let them guide you in every situation; they will not fail you. Never will your objectivity be as clear or your instincts sharper than in the first 30-90 days. Cherish this time and fight the urge to overthink. Real human dialogue and interaction where you can feel and be felt will be invaluable as your vision, enabled by your instincts, becomes clearer. In honor of the great American poet Maya Angelou, always remember, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I would argue this is even more important in the early days.

It's strange (and great) to see an Apple executive sharing this kind of thoughts publicly. The post is beautifully written, especially the last few paragraphs.

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Essential

The iPhone is good at many trivial tasks such as playing games and watching videos, but this week I experienced firsthand how much its portability and apps matter when dealing with an emergency situation.

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Jony Ive on Apple’s Design Process

Brian X. Chen interviews Apple's Jony Ive for The New York Times:

Often when I talk about what I do, making isn’t just this inevitable function tacked on at the end. The way we make our products is certainly equally as demanding and requires so much definition. I design and make. I can’t separate those two.

This is part of Steve’s legacy. Deep in the culture of Apple is this sense and understanding of design, developing and making. Form and the material and process – they are beautifully intertwined – completely connected. Unless we understand a certain material — metal or resin and plastic — understanding the processes that turn it from ore, for example – we can never develop and define form that’s appropriate.

Bits from this interview were used in a Tim Cook profile published last week.

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Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine Speak at Code Conference, A Brief Recap

Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine. Photo via Re/code

Following the news that Apple was acquiring Beats yesterday, Eddy Cue from Apple and Jimmy Iovine from Beats spoke to Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the inaugural Code Conference. We’ve run through the liveblogs from Re/code and The Verge and highlighted some interesting moments of the discussion below. If you’re interested, I’d recommend reading the full liveblogs yourself and keep an eye out for the full video of the interview (which we’ll link to once posted by the Re/code team).

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Apple Acquires Beats: News Recap

Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, and Eddy Cue.

Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, and Eddy Cue.

Following speculation surfaced over the past few weeks, Apple today confirmed the acquisition of Beats Music, a music streaming service that launched in January, and headphone-maker Beats Electronics, co-founded by music industry executive Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre. Beats represents Apple’s biggest acquisition to date: Apple is spending a total of $3 billion to acquire Beats, which will continue to be a separate brand.

In a press release, CEO Tim Cook stressed the importance of music as a cultural tenet of Apple:

“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”

In the same press release, Apple’s Eddy Cue remarked Beats’ focus on music products and noted how the Beats Music subscription service will be added to Apple’s music lineup, which consists of iTunes Radio, iTunes Match, and the iTunes Store. The Beats Music app for iOS was updated earlier today with a lower-priced annual subscription and an extended free trial; Apple has confirmed that they will keep developing Beats Music apps for other platforms, which at the moment include Android and Windows Phone.

The Beats Music team will be joining Apple and report to Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.

Beats Music launched earlier this year featuring a selection of human-curated playlists handpicked by an editorial team of music experts, such as former Pitchfork editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoef and top radio programmer Julie Pilat. In their press release, Apple included a mention of Beats Music’s unique offerings:

Beats Music is a subscription streaming music service that focuses on providing a personalized music experience for each user through a unique blend of digital innovation and musical passion. Programmed by a trusted team of well-respected music experts with over 300 years of experience across all genres, Beats Music delivers the right music for any situation, any time, and any preference, personalized to your tastes. The result is an artist-friendly digital music service that does more than simply offer access to music, but one that establishes an emotional connection to it as well.

The sentiment was echoed by Tim Cook, who wrote about how Beats Music, of all modern music streaming services, was the first one to “get it right” in a company memo published by 9to5Mac:

Beats Music was built with deep respect for both artists and fans. We think it’s the first subscription service to really get it right. Both Apple and Beats believe that a great music service requires a strong editorial and curation team, and we will continue to expand what we do in those areas. The addition of Beats will make our incredible iTunes lineup even better, extending the emotional connection our customers have with music.

In Apple’s current plans, the company will keep the Beats brand separate and sell its popular premium headphones (widely regarded as modern fashion accessories) and music streaming service. In Cook’s words, as reported by The New York Times, the Beats team is “really unique”; he added that the deal – which should close by the end of the fiscal year – was a “no-brainer”.

Beats’ deal with Apple will sever a partnership between the audio company and HP, which integrated Beats branding and software in some of their products. As reported by CNET:

A company spokesman said in an email that HP is allowed to continue developing products with new Beats Audio technologies through 2014. But it’s allowed to continue selling devices with the Beats Audio logo and technology through 2015. HP says it’s planning an aggressive lineup of new products that includes the Beats branding through 2014. These products will have the full Beats Audio experience, the company says. Currently, Beats technology is included in about 15 percent to 20 percent of devices sold by HP.

Another partnership that will terminate after Apple’s acquisition will be the one with Ammunition, the design firm behind popular Beats Electronics products such as Beats Pill and Beats Studio. In a blog post, Ammunition founder Robert Brunner writes:

Over the next few months, the design for Beats will transition away from Ammunition. It’s tough to step down as Chief Designer for a brand I take so much pride in, but it certainly makes it easier knowing we are handing the reigns over to one of the world’s most successful design teams.

Design and engineering of Beats hardware products (headphones and speakers) will fall under the leadership of Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President Worldwide Marketing. According to The Wall Street Journal, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre won’t get any special title at Apple, simply going by “Jimmy and Dre”.

Apple’s Eddy Cue and Beats’ Jimmy Iovine will appear on stage at the Code Conference later today, set for 8 PM PT.