Apple doesn’t want you weighing things with your iPhone just yet

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple beats earnings estimates, issues healthy forecast.

In an interesting post on Medium, developer Ryan McLeod explains how he and his friends built a digital scale app for the new iPhones by taking advantage of Apple’s new pressure sensitivity feature, 3D Touch. SAN FRANCISCO — Apple painted a rosy picture for its new iPhones as it reported quarterly results on Tuesday, but investors were more focused on the company’s next test: topping last year’s record holiday sales.San Francisco: Apple Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, boosted by iPhone sales, and issued an outlook that Wall Street interpreted as a sign of solid demand for its latest iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models. The company only uses 3D Touch for a few functions — adjusting how quickly you scrub through music and video, for example, or quickly accessing app shortcuts from the home screen — but McLeod says he was inspired by all the “creative workarounds” on the App Store to hijack it for something else.

The firm is likely to be chuffed with the 48.05 million smartphone sales, but the figure comes in slightly below analyst expectations of 48.5 million. Shares of the world’s most profitable company initially rose 3% in extended trade after Apple beat Wall Street’s sales and profit forecasts, but the gains largely evaporated later. The world’s largest company by market value said on Tuesday that it sold about 48.05 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, slightly below analysts’ average forecast of 48.72 million, according to a poll by Fortune magazine. Apple’s net income rose to $11.12 billion, or $1.96 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 26, up from $8.47 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier. Then there was the problem of getting the screen to recognize touch input.”We needed an object that was conductive, had finger-like capacitance, formed a single finger-like touch point, was a household item, and could hold items to be weighed,” writes McLeod.

Consumer demand for smartphones is slowing worldwide, according to independent researchers, who say the combined sales of all brands are slowing because most people in developed nations already own a smartphone. In an interview with Reuters, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said Apple was seeing no signs of a slowdown in that market, despite some economic turmoil. “We continue to have wonderful success there,” he said, adding that Apple now has 25 stores in the country and is opening a new one roughly every month.

Analyst Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies said as the Chinese market matures, it is beginning to show spikes around the holidays and slumps before the release of a new phone, as in the US market. Users could balance objects on the spoon and get, well, not a completely accurate reading (and nothing heavier than the maximum weight of 385 grams), but something that was far better than no scale at all. Analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research said Apple’s guidance for the current quarter suggested the company can top its success last year. “It suggests that they are definitely up to the task,” she said. It could be that Apple is worried that people will break their screens if they use them as scales (although this wouldn’t explain the availability of joke apps) or that it thinks such an app would be used for weighing drugs (a possibility, although most drug dealers would probably prefer a $20 digital scale that’s actually accurate).

Apple will no doubt hope that the forthcoming iPad Pro, expected to go on sale on 6 November, will boost sales of its tablet devices during the holiday quarter. Those factors should drive iPhone sales beyond the next quarter, Cook said, in response to analysts who suggested demand may still slow after December. Apple’s shares, which fell steeply in mid-August as concerns about the company’s business in China hit fever pitch, were trading at $114.95 after the bell. The other answer is that Apple simply doesn’t know what it thinks about digital scale apps yet and so is defaulting to “no.” The idea is popular, though. Apple typically didn’t give any specifics when it comes to Apple Watch sales, but noted that revenue from ‘other products’, which includes the Watch, Apple TV and Beats, came in at $3.05bn.

The company reported $12.5 billion in revenue from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, representing 24 percent of Apple’s total sales and a 99 percent increase in last year’s revenue from the region despite other indicators that China’s overall economy is slowing. While smartphone sales are slowing globally, Apple has strengthened the iPhone’s appeal to upscale buyers by offering premium features like better cameras and faster processors, said Gartner analyst Brian Blau.

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