TIME

The Most Exciting Feature About the Next iPhone Is Unexpected

Here's what an iPhone screen made of sapphire would mean
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A huge change could be coming on Sept. 9

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Philip Elmer-DeWitt

It’s not official, but good journalists at Wired and the Financial Times reported Thursday that Apple’s next generation of consumer devices — iPhones for sure, wearable devices maybe — will come equipped with a NFC (near field communication) chip for making mobile payments.

This is big news, in part because Apple is so late to the NFC party.

The rest of the world switched to the technology years ago. Google, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, Blackberry, Visa, MasterCard. It’s the way credit cards talk to banks and retailers in most of the countries of Europe and Asia.

But not in the U.S.

That’s about to change. Visa and MasterCard have set an October 2015 deadline for U.S. retailers to switch from magnetic strips to embedded chips. If Apple wants in on the game, now’s the time.

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME Apple

Why The Bar for Apple’s Sept. 9 Event Is Incredibly High

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Can Apple make innovative new products without Steve Jobs at the helm? This event may answer that question once and for all

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Philip Elmer-DeWitt

The invitations went out at noon on Aug. 28, confirming month-old leaks, eliminating one uncertainty and giving the stock a little boost.

Now it’s up to Apple to deliver.

The bar is high — as it always is for this company — but this time Apple’s executive team may have been hoist on its own rhetoric.

In May, senior vice president Eddy Cue described what’s coming this fall as “the best product pipeline” he has seen in 25 years, words he may regret if that pipeline is found lacking.

Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook promised that Apple would break into new categories — in other words, something beyond iPhones, iPads and Macs. Pressed by the Wall Street Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayishi, Cook begged for patience in a way that only raised the bar higher:

“You want to take the time to get it right. Our objective has never been to be first. It’s to be the best. To do things really well, it takes time. You can see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn’t really deep and, as a consequence, these things don’t do very well. We don’t do very many things so we spend a lot of time on every detail and that part of Apple isn’t changing. It’s the way we’ve operated for years and it’s the way we still operate. I feel great about what we’ve got coming. Really great and it’s closer than it’s ever been.”

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME

America’s Most Deeply Indebted Generation Will Surprise You

Cash Money Dollars
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The one generation that's taken out way more debt and is reducing it at a slower pace than any other

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Chris Matthews

Millennials may owe more in student loans than any American generation, but their Generation X elders are actually the most in debt.

That’s according to a study released Wednesday by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis economists William Emmons and Bryan Noeth. The study showed that the single most indebted birth cohort in the nation are 44 year olds, who owe on average $142,077, most of that composed of mortgage debt.

This figure is actually a marked improvement, as every generation, including Generation X, has made progress paying down or discharging debt. For its part, Gen X has reduced what it owes by between 10% and 15% since 2008. But even on this score, they were beaten out by the much-maligned Millennial generation. These folks, also known as Generation Y, reduced debt even more aggressively than Gen Xers, discharging or paying down upwards of 25% of what they owed in 2008. Emmons and Noeth point out that “millennials were very young during the housing boom and presumably had more limited access to borrowing than members of Gen X.”

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME

Why Used iPhones Are Flooding the Market

Here's the reason why

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Philip Elmer-DeWitt

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The market for used iPhones is a funny thing.

It hums along steadily most of the year until, just before the launch — or, more accurately, the expected launch — of a new model, things go nuts.

This year, more than ever. A few data points:

  • According to a survey by Hanover Research, an unprecedented 48% of iPhone owners plan to trade up to whatever Apple has up its sleeve.
  • Gazelle, a leading trade-in site, saw iPhone offers peak at five per second one day last week before settling down to two per second, up 50% from last year.
  • Another site, NextWorth, saw average daily iPhone traffic jump 350% from the previous month. “That’s up from a lift of 182% last year, or almost two times the acceleration,” NextWorth’s Jeff Trachsel told Computerworld. “There’s tremendous pent-up demand for a larger iPhone.”

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME Advertising

The Truth About Controversial Underwear Ad

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Caroline Fairchild

Dear Kate, an underwear company that specializes in “leak-free lingerie,” made headlines last week for a controversial ad campaign that some say perpetuates sexism in Silicon Valley. Rather than use professional models to showcase the company’s newest product line, Dear Kate featured female tech executives wearing nothing but their underwear. In an interview with Fortune, company founder Julie Sygiel said the move was intended to empower women in tech and bring awareness to the many women who are working in the field.

Edited excerpts:

How did you come up with the idea for the campaign?

We started last November featuring women in our campaigns who we admire because of who they are and what they do, not because of what they look like. I like to look at our [campaigns] as a platform to showcase women we admire. We like to show women in our [campaigns] actually doing things, not just standing there and looking sexy.

Why use female tech founders in this campaign specifically?

When I was young and starting the business, I didn’t know a lot of women who were starting businesses and that was a challenge for me. It’s hard to see yourself succeeding if you don’t see people like you doing that. The thought behind the campaign was to bring attention to the fact that there are women in tech and they are killing it. We wanted to highlight the fact that they are there because, to some degree, the media doesn’t often feature women in tech.

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME Warren Buffett

Inside Buffett’s Bold Burger King Bet

2013 Getty Images

The burger chain is moving to Canada, by way of Omaha

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Dan Primack

Warren Buffett is finally getting into the burger business.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to help finance Burger King’s purchase of Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons.

The deal, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, was officially announced Tuesday morning. The two companies said they have agreed to merge, bringing together Burger King, which is majority-owned by Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital, and Tim Hortons, creating an $18 billion quick-serve restaurant behemoth.

The two companies said that Tim Hortons shareholders will receive C$65.50 in cash and 0.8025 shares of the new, combined company for each Tim Horton share they currently own. When the deal is closed, 3G Capital will own about 51% of the combined company.

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME Apple

Here’s Exactly Why Apple Will Make an iWatch

Apple expands China business, moving beyond big cities
Xiao qiang xg—Xiao qiang xg - Imaginechina

One very qualified observer weighs in

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

 

Ironfire Capital‘s Eric Jackson achieved an admirable density of insight Monday in an e-mail exchange with Asymco‘s Horace Dediu.

“The interview is vintage Horace,” writes Jackson. “So much to think about in so few words.”

A few excerpts:

  • On sapphire: “I expect Sapphire will become a signature feature across many products. I don’t know if they will have capacity to deploy on iPhone this year but on a watch it’s essential… It’s a significant material because it allows design freedom in new directions, especially curved (concave) touch surfaces that retain a jewel-like feel. This has Jony Ive [written] all over it.”
  • On prices: “I think Apple holds a black belt in pricing. They seem to define their position in the market by anchoring certain prices and ‘owning’ them… The average selling price (ASP) I expect to remain constant on a year-long average.”
  • On the ‘iWatch’: “I will be shocked to the core if it does not run iOS. It is my opinion that making iOS work on it is the entire reason Apple is sweating this segment. They are in it because they are trying to make a platform product with a novel user experience and all the power of an ecosystem run on a wrist.”

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME Google

Google Android in One Breathtaking Chart

Everything you need to know in one graphic

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Philip Elmer-DeWitt

OpenSignal

Android devices come in all shapes and sizes and may run any one of more than a half-dozen active versions of Google’s GOOG -0.14% operating system.

This diversity is both a blessing and a curse, as OpenSignal reports in its 2014 Android fragmentation survey.

On one hand, fragmentation gives app developers a wide audience to build for — far wider than Apple’s iOS. On the other, trying to develop an app that will run on the entire range of Android devices is a nightmare.

How fragmented has Android become? From OpenSignal’s findings:

  • 18,796 distinct Android configurations seen in 2014
  • 11,868 seen in 2013
  • 3,997 seen in 2012

For the rest of the story, please go to Fortune.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

This Is Exactly How to Make Sure Your Resume Gets Seen

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The gatekeepers between you and the job you want are often digital first, human second. Here’s how to approach both

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Anne Fisher

Dear Annie: What exactly is an applicant tracking system? I’ve applied for several job openings where my qualifications match the job descriptions for each position precisely, yet I’ve gotten called in for an interview only once (so far). A colleague at my current job told me he read somewhere that computerized applicant tracking systems reject most resumes before a human being even gets involved in the process. Is that true? If it is, how do you get past that and reach an actual person? — Left Hanging in Houston

Dear L.H.H.: An applicant tracking system (ATS), as the name implies, is how many big companies keep track of the hundreds or thousands of resumes that are constantly coming in. Designed to follow each candidate through each stage of the hiring process, from application to start date, the systems usually begin with computer software that “reads” each resume and weeds out the ones that don’t match up with specific job openings.

Unfortunately, that’s usually a lot less efficient than it sounds. That 75% rejection rate your friend cited probably came from a study by a job search services firm called Preptel (which was founded by its CEO Jon Ciampi, an alumnus of ATS maker SumTotal Systems).

The huge number of rejections is due to some, shall we say, quirks in the software that screens resumes before they arrive on a hiring manager’s desk. You could be the perfect prospect for a given job, using all the right keywords, and still be kicked aside by the system because it couldn’t quite make out parts of your resume — like work experience, for instance.

For the rest of the story, please visit Fortune.com.

TIME gratuity

And America’s Best Tippers Live In…

Dollars and cents
Finnbarr Webster / Alamy

Data from the mobile payments company Square reveal some huge regional differences in the generosity of customers

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

By Miguel Helft

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New Yorkers are stingy with their cabbies (though not quite as stingy as their neighbors in New Jersey). Indeed, New Yorkers are among the worst tippers in the country in a number of categories — but not when it comes to personal hygiene. For some reason, a visit to the barber or stylist inspires generosity in the Empire State. Folks in Seattle and Portland reserve that same kind of giving spirit, no surprise, for their baristas, and Floridians and Texas extend it to their bartenders.

The observations derive from tipping data collected for FORTUNE by Square, the San Francisco-based mobile payments company, whose smartphone and tablet credit card readers have become a feature of thousands of small businesses across the country.

Interestingly, some tipping trends are fairly uniform across the country. Beauty and personal care professionals tend to receive the biggest tips — on average closer to 20% than to 15%. Taxis and limousines skew lower, with average tips below 16% in many states. Tips at restaurant bars show the most variability, with New York fast-food joints receiving an average of 14.77% and bars and lounges in Texas getting 19.66%.

For the full list, please go to Fortune.com.

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