Why tanking iPad sales are partly down to the iPad 2

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple TV Will Get Siri Support for Apple Music Early 2016.

The new Apple TV became available for pre-order through Apple’s online store earlier this week, but the new device will now be up for purchase in its retail stores by the end of the week.A report by Buzzfeed, including a conformation by Apple, reveals that you’ll be able to use Siri to sift through songs and albums when an update for the set-top box rolls out “at the beginning of next year.” That means that. in theory, you should be able to say something like “play the new Weezer song” and it should just… happen.

The Apple TV – which comes with Siri, an App Store and an improved remote control, will retail for US$149 (RM640) for the 32GB configuration or US$199 (RM855) for 64GB. The iPod looked like just another music player – not a product that could transform Apple’s fortunes, then a computer maker struggling with generating profit. Apple Inc reported blockbuster iPhone sales in China, suggesting that worries about the company’s growth trajectory in the world’s second-largest economy are overdone. Given the addition of Siri is, arguably, long overdue, it’s a shame music search wasn’t included from the get-go — but it’s nice to know that it is at least on its way. The stock has lost about 7 percent of its value in the past three months as investors fret that the slowing Chinese economy would derail Apple’s successful run in the country.

In the July-September period, sales of iPhones grew almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2014, even as rivals such as Samsung and LG saw slower sales. Apple’s sales in Greater China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, nearly doubled in the third quarter, accounting for nearly a quarter of the company’s total sales. “If the Chinese consumer is pulling back on spending then it seems to be either at the very high luxury end or maybe on some of the everyday non-essential items,” Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said. “I think the smartphone is increasingly viewed as an essential in China. The streaming boxes on the market right now all compete to do very few simple things: get everything you want to watch in a single place, make it all easy to search and discover, and get out of the way. Few analysts changed their price target on Apple’s stock after the results and only Pacific Crest changed its rating, upgrading the stock to “overweight” from “sector weight”, according to Thomson Reuters data.

It has virtually every streaming app save Amazon AMZN 0.81% Prime video, Siri works reasonably well and can answer a wider range of questions across services than the Fire TV 2 or Roku, and playback is super fast. At least for now, the answer is no; the three months to December are always Apple’s best, and it is forecasting revenues of about $76.5bn, a slight rise on the year before, and profits could even outdo last year’s $18bn. The company grew from 92,600 full-time equivalent employees in Sept. 2014 to 110,000 FTEs in Sept. 2015. (Last year, it said that 46,200 of those employees worked at Apple Stores, but it didn’t break out that number this year.) There is always talk about whether Apple is becoming too dependent on iPhone sales. The key challenge for a company looking for the next big thing is that “the smartphone is the most important consumer product ever,” according to Andy Hargreaves, a financial analyst at Pacific Crest.

This year, Apple felt obligated to add this warning to its disclosures: “Further, the Company generates a majority of its net sales from a single product and a decline in demand for that product could significantly impact quarterly net sales.” Apple is still indirectly in the crosshairs of the European Union’s investigations into the tax breaks Ireland offered Apple. It’s the most widely distributed consumer gadget in history, with about 2.4bn in use, viewed as essential by everyone from Wall Street bankers to refugees trying to navigate a foreign land. And about 400m of them are iPhones. “Apple will continue to be the victim of its own success,” says Geoff Blaber, vice-president of US research at industry analysts CCS Insight. “The iPhone sells for vastly more than its competitors, but it’s unlikely there will be another product that can match that for price and volume.” For now though the numbers around Apple are stunning.

Siri works to search not only in Apple’s own iTunes service, but in Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Showtime, and displays results across multiple networks — er, apps. If you can’t recall the name of the classic movie When Harry Met Sally, but can remember its stars, you can say “show me movies with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.” Siri can also do follow-up questions. Apple can be viewed as two companies: one selling iPhones, and one selling everything else – iPads, iPods, Apple Watch, iTunes downloads, apps, accessories and so on.

Video enthusiasts may complain that it doesn’t support a higher-quality video standard called ultra-high definition or 4K, as several other streaming boxes do. Daniel Tello, who follows Apple’s financials closely, points out that over the past 12 months the iPhone business grew by 52% – but everything else, rolled together, shrank by 3%. Apple Watch, which was available less than half of FY 2015 still “accounted for more than 100% of the year-over-year growth in net sales of Other Products.” A little math: Other Products grew from $8.379 billion in 2014 to $10.067 billion in 2015. It also correctly dug up TV shows based on questions like “Show me the finale of Breaking Bad.” David Pogue, Yahoo: Loads of potential—and lots of bugs.

Turns out custom-building a TV from a broad palette of apps that includes everything from pay TV channels and games to travel accommodation services and Periscope is a great way to get exactly the TV experience you want—or close to it, anyway. This was the first full year that the iPad experienced an annual drop in sales, and it seems that only growth in China iPad sales is preventing the product from a total collapse, at this point. Unless that starts growing fast, it won’t compensate for any slowdown in iPhone sales, though Colello says: “We remain optimistic that the device will take off at some point, especially as customer satisfaction metrics …are encouraging.” Influential technology companies often keep growing for a while after their influence peaks. Allowing for inflation, Microsoft was worth even more than Apple in 1999-2000; now its dominance of the PC industry counts for little because smartphones outnumber them. Similarly, the mobile business of Finland’s Nokia ruled before the arrival of the iPhone and Google’s Android; now it is a lossmaking rump inside Microsoft.

It’s that plethora of innovations and apps that leads me to conclude that the upgraded $149 box is now the best TV streaming device you can get for your money. Now with the rise of Google and Facebook, the rules of the game are changing to a software-only focus, and new technologies such as “machine learning” process huge amounts of data from users. Apple has for months been poaching employees from companies such as electric carmaker Tesla, motorbike maker Mission Motors, and battery maker 123 Systems. Sir Jony Ive, the design wizard who has put his imprint on the product’s hardware and software, implied as much in a New Yorker interview in February: “There are some shocking cars on the road,” he said. “One person’s car is another person’s scenery.” The car business is commoditised. Couldn’t Apple do that? “There would be a significant risk,” saidBlaber. “The auto space isn’t one that Apple knows.” Blaber’s words ring true and echo those of Ed Colligan, then head of the smartphone maker Palm, in November 2006.

This feature isn’t unique to Apple TV, but unlike the competition, Apple TV feeds you info without interrupting your video by sliding up results from the bottom of the screen. This screen shot made Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 shows the final score of game 1 of baseball’s World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals. Earlier this month, Tesla’s Elon Musk dismissed Apple’s plans.“Cars are very complex compared to phones of smartwatches,” he said. “You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn [which assembles the iPhone] and say: ‘Build me a car.’” Musk may have tempted history but for now, Apple will have to keep relying on the iPhone. The remote has sensors that let you navigate spaceships and swing baseball bats by moving it around. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press) You can browse home to buy through Zillow and places to stay on vacation through Airbnb.

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