TIME Apple

These 5 Facts About Apple Will Blow Your Mind

Berlin Apple Store Opens For Business
Apple Inc. iMac computers are seen on display at the new Apple Inc. store located on Kurfurstendamm Street in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, May 3, 2013. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Even in a slow quarter the iPhone by itself generates more revenue than all of Amazon

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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.

After Apple reported its quarterly earnings Tuesday, Slate’s Jordan Weissmann offered several eye-opening comparisons. Among them:

  • If the iPhone were a company in its own right, it would be bigger than McDonald’s and Coca Cola combined.
  • The iPad generated more revenue last quarter than Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon, and Tesla combined.
  • Apple’s sales from hardware accessories is larger than Chipotle’s revenue.
  • Apple’s iTunes, software, and services businesses are bigger than eBay.
  • While sales of the old iPod line may be shrinking, it’s still 77% larger than Twitter.

LINK: If Apple Products Were Their Own Companies, They’d Be as Big as …

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at@philiped. Read his Apple AAPL coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.

TIME Tech

Apple Is Planning to Make a Huge Break With Its Past

Is Apple about to play the celebrity game at a new, all-pro level?

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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.

Steve Jobs liked to court celebrities, but he did it quietly. He might give Sean Lennon a Mac, Bob Dylan an iPod or Barack Obama an iPad, but you wouldn’t hear about it from Apple.

That may be about to change. According to Mark Gurman, a young reporter at 9to5Mac who has broken more stories about Apple’s “iWatch” that the rest of the pack combined, Apple is teaming up with a raft of sports celebrities to test — and perhaps market — what the Street and the tech press expect will be Apple’s next big thing.

Gurman mentions in particular L.A. Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant, L.A. Kings right wing Dustin Brown and a player from the Boston Red Sox to be named later. Bryant was a key spokesperson for Nike, which is winding down its FuelBand business, and he was spotted last month on Apple’s Cupertino campus, where he reportedly met with Apple design chief Jony Ive.

In a similar vein, Jimmy Iovine, the well-connected music producer who came to Apple, along with Dr. Dre, as part of the $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, spoke at an industry conference in late May about having music stars “curate” playlists on a new Apple streaming music service. Iovine knows a lot about cashing in on celebrity, something he did regularly at Beats, using exclusive tracks from the likes of Robin Thicke, Britney Spears and Wil.i.am to promote his company’s brand.

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

TIME Apple

The Apple-Amazon Fight Is Starting to Get Ugly

What Amazon's Fire Means for Apple
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils the new Fire Phone June 18, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

A curious wrinkle to a complicated, over-crowded market

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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.

Nobody in their right mind is going to swap an iPhone for an Amazon Fire — a shopping machine that calls itself a phone, as Quartz’ Dan Frommer deftly put it.

That said, the smartphone unveiled by CEO Jeff Bezos in a Seattle warehouse Wednesday is a serious device that puts the business models of two tech giants in a new light.

“Apple and Amazon are much more alike than they are different,” Asymco’s Horace Dediu wrote last summer in an essay called The Anti-Apple. They’re both in the business of “delighting customers” in controlled, predictable environments with convenience and ease of use. They both have huge customer bases (800 million for Apple, 250 million for Amazon). And now they both sell smartphones. For roughly the same price.

The main difference is that Apple’s mission, as Tim Cook never tires of saying, is to make the very best products.

Amazon’s Fire doesn’t have to be the best. It just has to be good enough. Its mission is to make impulse buying at Amazon’s growing retail empire even more friction-free. If it does that well – using a point-and-buy feature called Firefly — some portion of those 250 million customers will trade up for one.

But they won’t trade down. Compared with an iPhone, Apple loyalists sniffed Wednesday, Fire’s user interface is “a mess.” It only runs, for now, on AT&T’s network. There won’t be a flood of new apps until developers are persuaded that it’s going to take off. And because it uses a forked version of Android, it can’t run apps purchased on either Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

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

TIME Apple

Apple Slammed Amazon in the Most Covert Way Ever

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook addresses the crowd during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco
Stephen Lam—Reuters

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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.

If U.S. District Judge Denise Cote needed a reminder that she backed the bully in the 2013 e-book antitrust ruling that made her infamous on the Internet, Apple and Hachette on Tuesday engineered a doozy.

On Monday, Judge Cote received from Apple and 30 states attorneys general the terms of the deal they’ve cut – presumably a dollar amount in millions — to settle the separate civil case that rode like a room full of expensive suits on Cote’s decision. Apple has promised to take its appeal to the Supreme Court, if necessary. (See The big ‘if’ in Apple’s e-book settlement.)

A few hours after the deal was made public, a reporter with good connections with Apple PR posted a screen shot of Hachette titles being discounted on Apple’s iTunes bookstore. “Apple is happy,” Peter Kafka wrote on Re/Code, in a widely retweeted headline, “to sell you the Hachette books Amazon won’t stock.”

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

 

TIME Apple

There’s a Huge “If” in Apple’s e-Book Settlement

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook addresses the crowd during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco
Stephen Lam—Reuters

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U.S.A. v. Apple, the e-book antitrust suit that Apple lost so spectacularly last year, is back in the news.

Apple has struck a deal with the states attorneys general who had demanded hundreds of millions of dollars in damages on behalf of book buyers in the their states. By settling, the two sides avoided a jury trial that was set to begin next month.

But there’s a big “if” in the letter the parties submitted to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote Monday — along with a sealed document that outlined the terms of the deal.

No money will change hands until Apple’s appeals of Judge Cote’s controversial ruling – which it has said it will take to the Supreme Court, if necessary — is exhausted.

For the rest of the story, head to Fortune.com.

TIME Tablets

This Is What People Are Saying About Samsung’s iPad Killer

Samsung Product Announcement
Steve Sands—WireImage

Very impressive

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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.

You’ve got to give Samsung credit. They are relentless.

In six months, they’ve thrown nine different tablets at the market created by Apple’s iPad. The ninth, unveiled Thursday night at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, is called the Galaxy Tab S.

The tech press posted its reactions overnight. A sampler:

Simon Rockman, The Register: S is for SMACKDOWN. “Samsung has raised the stakes in its battle against Apple’s ever-popular iPad with its newest range of Galaxy fondleslabs, which are both bigger and have higher screen resolutions than those of its fruity rival. The new Galaxy Tab S comes in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch configurations, both of which are the thickness of a current iPad (6.6mm) and slimmer than previous Samsung slabs. The slimmest of the fondleslab lot, of course, is the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet at 6.4mm – but at this extreme it’s splitting hairs.”

Tim Moynihan, Wired: Samsung’s New Galaxy Tablets Are Razor-Thin and Razor-Sharp. “There’s no mystery as to which tablets they’re meant to compete with. In terms of weight, screen size, pixel density, and slimness, the new tablets compare favorably to Apple’s iPad Air and iPad Mini. The new tablets are also priced the same as Apple’s 16GB/Wi-Fi models of each version: $500 for the 10.5-incher and $400 for the 8.4-incher. At one pound, the larger Tab S weighs the same as the smaller-screened iPad Air, while the smaller Tab S (10 oz.) is both lighter and larger-screened than the iPad Mini (11.6 oz.).

For the rest of the reviews, got to Fortune.com.

TIME Apple

9 Awesome New Camera Features in iOS 8

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces IOS 8 in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, USA, June 2, 2014. John G. Mabanglo—EPA

A pretty good point-and-shoot camera just got better

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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.

Gathered from around the Web. Some of these improvements made it into Apple’s WWDC keynote last week. Many did not.

– Permanent backup. Every photo and video you take is stored forever in the cloud – for a price. See The great photo shoebox in the sky.
– Exposure control. Slide your finger up and down to set the exposure. See Yahoo Tech.
– Photo editing. Crop, straighten, rotate, adjust light and color in the app. See iClarified.

Click here to see the rest of the list.

TIME technology

Apple-Beats: Here’s What Analysts Are Saying

Apple Introduces iPhone 5
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

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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.

What a difference three weeks can make. Analysts who “struggled to see the rational” behind Apple’s acquisition of Beats when it was a $3.2 billion rumor now think it’s a pretty smart move. “Probably the only smart move within the last 3 years!” according to one Apple skeptic.

Below: Excerpts from the notes we’ve seen so far. More as they come in.

Katy Huberty, Morgan Stanley: Apple beats the service drum.“Subscription music service could make the deal a home run, with every 1% penetration of Apple’s 800M account base equating to $960M of revenue. Apple believes Beats offers the right strategy for streaming music as it leverages both algorithms and 200 human curators to create playlists, which differentiates it from competitors.”

Trip Chowdhry, Global Equities: A smart move from Apple, and probably the only smart move within the last 3 years! “Currently, Beats Music Streaming Service only has 250K subscribers — but with Apple’s power in distribution (iOS Devices and AppStore), subscription to Beats Music Streaming Service can easily grow to 20 million subscribers within the next 12 to 18 months.”

Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray: Thoughts on the now-confirmed Beats deal. “We believe that if successful, adding Iovine and Dr. Dre could help propel Apple into the next level in its content offering, particularly in video, which could pave the way for new products including a television. Finally, given that Beats is the largest acquisition of Apple’s history, we believe it could open the door to other larger acquisitions, potentially around Internet services outside of content.”

Daniel Ernst, Hudson Square: AAPL Beats rhythm and blues. “On balance we are not fans of the Beats acquisition, although, we do not expect a negative market reaction to the news, and we concede Apple Beats holds promise to exceed our very low expectations. As a music-focused premium hardware maker with a budding, well-curated service component, Beats does fit well with Apple, and at $2.6B, the cash deployed represents just 1.7% of the company’s 3/31/14 balance. However, in our opinion even within music, there exists more impactful targets like Sonos or Spotify and moreover so many more targets in a vast array of segments either not, or not well served by Apple today including cloud services, security, commerce/payments, television and games.”

Benedict Evans, Andreessen Horowitz: Content Is King? “Music has gone from being a key strategic lever in the tech industry to an afterthought. The same applies to movie and TV libraries — media has gone from being a choke-point to a check-box, commodity feature than every platform has to offer but where none has any particular advantage… So for a platform owner or device maker, the content you can offer is no longer a strategic asset. Content doesn’t sell devices, because they all have the same content.”

Ben Bajarin, Creative Strategies: Apple, Beats, and Content as Differentiation. “What makes Apple’s products stand out is they are differentiated by hardware and by software. Much of their software runs on no other computers than their own. What if they can bring content into this fold? What if they can acquire exclusive deals, even if exclusive for short time windows, that are only available on their hardware and through their software? Then what if they do release lower cost phones in the $350 range? If you are in China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and you are a fan of American music, movies, and even TV, would you pay $100 or $200 more for exclusive hardware, software, and content? Again, while I acknowledge the difficulty or ‘moon shot’ of this effort, content (beyond apps) is an interesting differentiator if done right.”

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