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Apple Scores Huge China Mobile Deal
December 06, 2013
Apple and China Mobile reportedly have cut a deal that will bring the iPhone to China's largest mobile carrier. The official announcement of China Mobile's iPhone rollout is expected on Dec. 18, when the carrier plans to raise the curtain on its new 4G network. "The reason this deal is important is it adds seven Verizons to Apple's available market," said Carl Howe, research director for the Yankee Group.
Topsy Buy Gives Apple Mountains of Twitter Data
December 03, 2013
Apple reportedly has acquired Topsy in order to gain more access to real-time consumer information. Topsy provides Twitter data for business clients, helping them to gauge consumer sentiment, find influential social media voices, and measure overall exposure on any topic that's been mentioned in a tweet. Earlier this year, Topsy debuted a search engine designed to parse tweets.
Apple Gets Into the 3D Sensor Game
November 18, 2013
Apple may have a new tool in its armory, reportedly having acquired PrimeSense, which makes chips for 3D machine vision and gesture-based technology. Apple is said to have paid $345 million for the company. Reports vary as to whether the deal is done or will close by the end of this week. PrimeSense is perhaps best known as the company behind the technology that enabled Microsoft's Xbox Kinect.
Apple to Put Down Roots in Arizona
November 06, 2013
Arizona this week welcomed Apple with open arms. The company will be opening a manufacturing facility there as it ramps up U.S. operations. The new plant will house production of sapphire materials as part of a $578 million deal between Apple and mineral crystal company GT Advanced Technologies. Apple uses the sapphire materials in some of its consumer devices.
Apple Lifts Veil of Secrecy in Transparency Report
November 06, 2013
Apple has published its first transparency report, highlighting the number of government requests it has received for customer data. However, government regulations prevented it from disclosing specific numbers of U.S. law enforcement requests. Facebook, Yahoo and Google issued similar transparency reports soon after they were implicated in the initial wave of NSA surveillance allegations.
iTunes Radio Could Take the Sting Out of Apple's Limp Quarter
October 29, 2013
Apple on Monday announced its fourth-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2013, including revenue of $37.5 billion and a net profit of $7.5 billion, or $8.26 per diluted share. In the year-ago quarter, the corresponding figures were revenue of $36 billion and net profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share. Apple this week also revealed that it sold 33.8 million iPhones.
Ahrendts Pick Bodes Well for a Fresh Apple Store Experience
October 17, 2013
I never would have imagined that I would jump on the bandwagon for the CEO of a British luxury fashion company, but here I am preparing to gush over Angela Ahrendts, who will take over Apple's retail store operations in early 2014. Apple CEO Tim Cook made the announcement Monday, and the first thing that came to mind was that the massively male executive team at Apple was finally choosing a woman.
Apple's Oct. 22 Invites Kick Rumor Mill Into High Gear
October 16, 2013
Apple on Tuesday sent out invitations to an undisclosed event to be held Oct. 22 in San Francisco, fueling fresh speculation about the company's planned product launches. It's widely expected that Apple will unveil new versions of the iPad and iPad mini. "The most solid rumors are that we'll see a 9.7-inch fifth-generation iPad," suggested Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research.
Job Ad Triggers Heated Apple-China Mobile Speculation
October 11, 2013
More evidence that Apple is moving toward cutting a deal with China's largest mobile carrier appeared Wednesday on an Apple website. An employment notice for an engineer with extensive knowledge of China Mobile's homebrew mobile technologies was spotted on Apple's China website. The Beijing-based engineer reportedly would support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones.
Apple Slams Samsung's Benchmarking 'Shenanigans'
October 02, 2013
The ongoing battle between Apple and Samsung may be more commonly fought in the courtroom than on social media, but Apple on Tuesday apparently made an exception following the publication of a report suggesting that Samsung may be artificially boosting the benchmark scores of its new Galaxy Note 3. "Shenanigans" tweeted Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing.
Apple's Blowout Launch Weekend Wasn't About the Phones
September 26, 2013
After Apple topped analyst expectations by selling more than 9 million iPhones in its opening launch weekend, it didn't take long for the Apple haters and naysayers to scramble for some negative spin: iPhone buyers are just cult fanatics, destined to buy the latest incremental update again and again until the rest of the world wakes up and realizes that Apple is just another fading tech company.
Apple's Cold and Blustery Crossroads
September 19, 2013
What we're seeing from Apple right now -- and how consumers respond -- will determine the company's future and shape our love for its products. It all hinges on the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Hyperbole? No way. Come on, you might be thinking, aren't the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c just incremental updates? How can you turn a mild evolutionary release into something so important?
Apple and the Shifting Sands of 'Cool'
September 18, 2013
Katy Perry's new song "Roar" is a hit, and so is her video, which has drawn in an impressive 70 million or so viewers. Those viewers have watched Perry cavorting about with the latest from Nokia -- the Lumia -- and not, it must be noted, something from Apple's product line. Is that significant? Well, it resonates when considered against a larger theme.
iPhone Reveal Sends Apple Stock Reeling
September 11, 2013
Shares of Apple dropped more than 5 percent on Wednesday morning following the widely anticipated unveiling of the company's two new iPhone models the day before. Representing the steepest drop in the stock since April, the tumble was accompanied by a newly lowered "neutral" rating by Credit Suisse, UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The stock also fell an additional 2 percent on Tuesday.
Apple's Big Rollout: Yawns Today, Brawn Tomorrow?
September 11, 2013
Onward and upward, or so the executive suite at Apple is clearly hoping. Tuesday's rollout of the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s -- and their related features and design quirks -- came as little surprise to company watchers as Apple's product pipeline has long been prone to leaks and speculation.
Hold the iPhone - Apple TV May Get Update as Well
September 06, 2013
Sept. 10 has already been the focus of frenzied attention among those anticipating the next iPhone, but in the last few days another rumor has popped up as well. Specifically, Apple might also use its widely hyped event to announce an update to its Apple TV set-top box product, the rumors suggest. It all started when Apple received a shipment called "Set Top Box with Communication Function" last month.
Apple's Shrewdly Radical iPhone Trade-In Program
September 05, 2013
Apple's new iPhone trade-in program has the potential to radically amp up Apple's control of its iPhone customer base and even has the potential to change how iPhones are sold. On the surface, it's just a play for customer convenience, a move to get a customer to walk back into a retail store and buy something. Fair enough. Definitely smart.
The Waxing of Apple While Windows Wanes
September 04, 2013
Just who killed the PC, anyway? For if it's not dead yet, it surely will be in a few years -- at least according to IDC, which now projects that worldwide PC shipments will fall by 9.7 percent this year, representing the largest market contraction on record. The market is expected to decline through 2014. Then, in 2015, IDC projects it will shift into single-digit modest growth.
Ramping Up Retail in the Run-Up to Release Season
August 28, 2013
Apple's retail operations can be counted among Steve Jobs' "babies"; the stores' slick design and sales techniques are legendary in the industry for their per-square-footage sales. In 2012, Apple retail store sales outpaced Tiffany's by 40 percent. Apple is in no danger of following in the footsteps of, say, J.C. Penney or Sears, but its retail operations have shown some worrisome signs of decay.
Rumors Running Wild as Sept. 10 Draws Near
August 23, 2013
Apple fans are gearing up for the Big Event on Sept. 10 and -- drumroll, please! -- the introduction of its next iPhone. By now company watchers have agreed that the following is the likely go-to-market blueprint for Apple this time around: The company is introducing two devices -- one with its usual high-end features, sleek design and iterative upgrades; the other, a cheaper device.
A Year Later, Apple's Secret Supply Chain Seems Reined in With Cheesecloth
August 22, 2013
I'm trying to stay excited about Apple's Sept. 10 iPhone-revealing media ceremony, but instead I'm settling into the notion that we'll have a gold iPhone and a bunch of plastic entry iPhone models in vague fugly colors. I should have been more worried when Apple's master of design, Jony Ive, showed off iOS 7 with a palette of pastels at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year.
Is There Gold in Them Thar Cupertino Hills?
August 21, 2013
"They just gotta have that gold," warbled Jose Feliciano in the theme song to the 1969 movie Mckenna's Gold, but those very same lyrics might well be the theme for recent media coverage of the forthcoming line of iPhones. Speculation is rife that Apple will include a gold-colored iPhone, or at least one with champagne-colored trim, among its new lineup.
Icahn vs. Apple: When Did Extortion Become Legal?
August 19, 2013
What Carl Icahn has been doing with Dell -- and now with Apple -- is kind of like a protection racket. These were popular in the 1920s -- you paid the crime syndicate a fee if you wanted to say in business. I'm wondering if Icahn has found a legal way to extort money from companies in trouble. Icahn not only doesn't provide value for the "help" he gives -- he actually drains the firm's resources.
Icahn Salivates Over Apple's Cash Trove
August 16, 2013
Apple shareholders rejoiced when noted corporate raider Carl Icahn tweeted that he'd taken a large position in the company and said it was undervalued. Its shares closed at $497.91 on Thursday, down 59 cents from Wednesday's close. However, that was up 96 cents from Thursday's opening price. Trading was volatile on Thursday, with prices climbing above $500 at least once.

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