‘Millions’ using Beats 1 and Apple Music, says Tim Cook

22 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Has Cash Cow in iPhone Even as Phone Industry Slows.

Less than a month after the launch of streaming service Apple Music, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced that “Millions and millions of customers are already experiencing Apple Music and the number is growing substantially every day” as part of today’s poorly-received Q3 earnings report.This week, an Apple Photos user got the company to shave down a two-week wait for the delivery of prints to three days by tweeting directly at Tim Cook.One of the most remarkable numbers revealed yesterday by Apple was that revenue in Greater – the term used to describe mainland China plus Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan – more than doubled in the past year.

Charles wrote on the Post’s style blog Tuesday that he ordered a few dozen photos from Apple on July 19 and received a message saying the prints wouldn’t be delivered until July 31. So we were left with Cook hailing “a renewed sense of excitement around music, which we love and expect to continue as Apple Music gets traction with customers”. That’s why, despite Tim Cook’s many statements describing Apple Watch sales as being “fantastic”, there most likely won’t be any factual support to his statement. Cook noted on today’s earnings call that 15,000 artists are already sharing social updates including unreleased songs and videos on Apple Music’s Connect tab. Charles then tweeted: Five hours later, Charles got a call from an Apple rep claiming that Tim Cook personally asked her to call about his photo order—and bumped his order delivery date up to Wednesday, July 22.

While this makes a fun (and cocktail-party-worthy) story about “customer service at the Olympic level,” as Charles put it, it’s also a smart PR move on Apple’s behalf. I selected about 60 pictures in Apple Photos and clicked on “order prints.” I have my complaints about Apple Photos — it’s sluggish — but the ability to organize, edit and then order relatively well-priced photos within the same program is convenient. Let’s see if common folk—or at least those of us with more modest Twitter followings—have any luck getting the same attention from Cook just by calling him out on Twitter.

Now The Verge, which has been well-briefed throughout the informal investigation, reports that it has become a formal one – complete with subpoenas issued to other streaming music services. As expected, the focus appears to be the 30% cut that Apple takes of in-app subscriptions through its App Store, forcing rivals to raise their prices while barring them from promoting the cheaper subscriptions available from their websites. Apple is being mum about sales figures, but analysts are all over the ballpark in terms of sales estimates, according to a review of analysts by Fortune.

Apple sold 47.5m iPhones last quarter – up 35% – although that missed analyst forecasts of 50m sales, sending the company’s share price tumbling. The company hasn’t provided earnings guidance for the quarter but in April said it expects gross margin to range between 38.5 per cent and 39.5 per cent. Apple jump started development of it streaming service by acquiring Beats Music, a streaming service sharing a brand name with the Beats Electronics headphone business.

But apparently, he did — or at least somebody who monitors his Twitter feed did. (He has 1.32 million followers.) Tim — via Ami — wanted me to know that the estimated delivery time on Apple Photos errs on the slow side to keep from disappointing customers. Apple achieved its growth to date at a time when the Chinese economy has been performing poorly, and the percentage of the population with access to LTE networks – one of the biggest drivers of premium smartphone demand – is just 12%. Smashing through what is traditionally its slowest sales period, Apple has reported a quarterly record-high revenue of $49.6bn, beating analysts’ forecasts for the ninth consecutive quarter.

In fact, I’ll be getting mine tomorrow. “We went ahead and expedited your order,” Ami said. “Please don’t hesitate to reach back out to me if you have any questions or concerns,” she wrote via email a few minutes later. Apple’s Chinese problems are unlikely to be because of the county’s economic woes either, it is just that the market for overpriced phones in China is limited. For comparison, Apple Music’s top competitor Spotify has 75 million total listeners, breaking down to 55 million ad-supported free tier users and 20 million paying subscribers. Hundreds of millions use iTunes, so today’s report is just the first step in a long journey shifting Apple from a music download sale to a streaming subscription company.

I saw a recent study from McKenzie that’s projecting the upper middle class to grow from 14 percent to 54 percent of households over the ten year period from 2012 to 2022. But, as expected, it didn’t break out the sales of its newest product (the watch) into a separate category for the first report since its 24 April launch, instead lumping them into the “other” section of the filing it created last quarter. If that demographic expands in line with predictions – or gets anywhere close to it – you see can why Cook is so confident that China will at some stage overtake the Americas.

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Apple Says U.K. Surveillance Law Would Endanger All Customers

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Says U.K. Surveillance Law Would Endanger All Customers.

Apple Inc. outlined its opposition to a proposed U.K. surveillance law, saying threats to national security don’t justify weakening privacy and putting the data of hundreds of millions of users at risk. The world’s most valuable company is leading a Silicon Valley challenge to the proposed U.K. law, called the Investigatory Powers bill, which attempts to strengthen the capabilities of law-enforcement agencies to investigate potential crimes or terrorist attacks. Rather than protect well-meaning citizens, the bill will force tech firms to hack their own customers — and in the process break the laws of other countries, some of the companies said in filings Monday to a U.K. panel charged with reviewing the proposed legislation. The bill could also set a precedent for other governments and even repressive regimes to impose draconian requirements on tech firms concerning user data. Law enforcement agencies around the globe have stepped up their requests for greater authority in the weeks following a series of deadly terrorism attacks in Paris and San Bernardino in the United States.

The Cupertino, California-based company is particularly concerned the bill would weaken digital privacy tools such as encryption, creating vulnerabilities that will be exploited by sophisticated hackers and government spy agencies. Public officials have called for new ways to spy on terrorist groups and their communications, some of which is said to take place secretly on encrypted Internet messaging platforms. In response to the U.K. rules, other governments would probably adopt their own new laws, “paralyzing multinational corporations under the weight of what could be dozens or hundreds of contradictory country-specific laws,” Apple said. “The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers,” Apple said in an eight-page submission to the U.K. committee considering the bill. “A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys.

The U.S. technology companies have been strengthening use of encryption technology following revelations by National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden of government spying in 2013. The end-to-end encryption used by Apple and others prevents anyone but the recipient from seeing a message — it’s so strong that even Apple can’t intercept the message. Apple CEO Tim Cook has become an outspoken advocate for strong encryption technology, saying it protects personal communication, as well as health, financial and business data, for the millions of people who use iPhones and other Apple products.

Government attempts to seize customer data stored outside of the United Kingdom should be subject to strict intergovernmental processes, according to some companies. Apple said it often cooperates with the U.K. government when information is sought by law enforcement, saying it “helps catch criminals and save lives.” Still, the company said that if it was required to weaken its encryption standards, criminals and terrorists would continue using other technology available in the market. “There are hundreds of products that use encryption to protect user data, many of them open-source and beyond the regulation of any one government,” Apple said. “By mandating weakened encryption in Apple products, this bill will put law-abiding citizens at risk, not the criminals, hackers and terrorists who will continue having access to encryption.”

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