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Apple

WWDC 2021

Apple hosted its World Wide Developer’s Conference (day 1) today. As much as I think a career in coding would have been good for me, I really only dabble as an amateur programmer. Nevertheless I love the keynote.

Here’s the summary video from Day 1:

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Apple finance

Apple Earnings Call Q2 2021

Apple released it’s second quarter earnings today and blew out even the most exuberant expectations with revenue reaching a record $89.6 billion, up 54 percent year over year. The results were fabulous across the board.

iPhone $47,938 million (up 66%)
Mac $9,102 million (up 70%)
iPad $7,807 million (up 79%)
Wearables, Home and Accessories $7,836 million (up 25%)
Services $16,901 million (up 27%)
Total Net Sales $89,584 million (up 54%)

What a great quarter. Particularly iPad and Mac were very, very strong. Just look at Mac alone — the last three quarters have each returned record earnings. Sales looking forward are predicted to be supply constrained rather than demand constrained.

More details of their earnings can be found in Apple’s Fiscal Year 2021 Second Quarter Consolidated Financial Statement.

Check out the charts at Six Colors.

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Apple finance

Apple Earnings Q1 – 2021

Apple released their first quarter earnings today and it was great news for the Cupertino lifestyle company1.

The company posted all time record revenue of $111.4 billion, up 21% year-over-year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.68, up 35%.

Net sales by category in the three months ending December 26, 2020 compared with the three months ending on December 28, 2019:

  • iPhone $ 65 597 000 up $9 640 000 (17% growth year over year with an all-time high of 1 billion devices activated)
  • Mac $8 675 000 up $1 515 000 (Up 21% compared to last year)
  • iPad $8 435 000 up $2 458 000 (Surveys measure iPad users with 94% satisfaction)
  • Wearables, Home and Accessories $12 971 000 up $2 961 000 (75% of customers this quarter are new)
  • Services $15 761 000 up $3 046 000 (New services are all helping this category)
  • Total Net sales $111 439 000 — Up $19 620 000

This is fantastic news for shareholders. Apple continues to show strong growth in all of it’s categories. The details of their earnings can be found in their First Quarter Results.

Update: As always Jason Snell has the graphs.

1. Poor Intel

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Apple article

Apple Considers Paid Subscription Podcasts?

A slew of recent articles1 claim that Apple is creating a new paid subscription service providing premium podcasts. According to these reports, Apple thinks they need to start shelling out cash for big name podcasts in order to compete with Amazon and Spotify. This is the same Spotify that was recently downgraded from neutral to sell by financial group Citi because Spotify hasn’t seen the kind of returns they would like on the hundreds of millions they spent locking down premium podcast providers such as Gimlet Media, Joe Rogan, and others.

From fortune.com:

Apple has been the dominant distributor of podcasts in the U.S. for more than a decade, offering the programs for free. […] But the company now faces significant competition from two of its biggest rivals: Spotify and Amazon.com Inc.

So let me get this straight, Apple has been offering podcasts for free for almost 20 years and NOW they suddenly face significant competition to their FREE offering?

It’s not crazy that Apple may feel they are leaving money on the table. It’s not uncommon for Apple to discuss ways it could improve growth and it makes sense to explore the idea of bringing in top tier podcasts as an additional draw to Apple Music, but Apple does not care one iota about Spotify’s attempt to monetize podcasts. If anything they chalk it up as a win when people use their hardware more often regardless of the service they are using.

From The Information:

“Apple—long considered the sleeping giant in the podcast space—is waking up. The company, which runs the most widely used podcasting app in the industry, is discussing launching a new subscription service that would charge people to listen to podcasts, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Apple has plenty of “discussions” about all kinds of ideas. Don’t go to print until at least there is a hint that they’ve decided on something.

Here’s my Claim Chowder: There will be no premium podcast subscription service from Apple. If there is any truth to these rumours, it’s about Apple giving a little more love to their Podcast app (which has also been rumoured). If Apple were to offer “high quality”, “paid” podcasts, it will be tied into users’ existing subscriptions to Apple Music.

Update: They did it. Apple is now offering subscription podcasts. What I didn’t understand when I called down the idea was that they wouldn’t pay upfront for finished shows or personalities but would facilitate podcasts adding a subscription and then take a cut of the proceeds.

1. Apple Is Ready to Invest in Its Own Original Podcasts, Apple Developing Podcast Subscription Service to Better Compete With Spotify, Apple Plans Podcasting Subscription Service in Threat to Spotify, Apple Mulls Podcast Subscription Push Amid Spotify’s Land Grab.

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Apple design

Apple’s New Map, Expansion #10 Canada

I’ve been loving the level of detail in the new Apple Maps rollout and have been waiting for THIS particular update since I first learned that Apple was making these updates. Justin O’Beirne has been documenting the changes from old to new and I particularly love that street view (or as Apple calls it Look Around) has come to Lethbridge.

If you haven’t tried Apple Maps lately because you had a bad taste in your mouth when Google Maps used to be far superior, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s got so much better and with the new maps rolling out, it’s now visually so much nicer to look at too.

If you’re a maps person, don’t miss Justin’s other documentation of Apple Maps updates.

(via Daring Fireball)

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Apple

One More Thing…

Yesterday, Apple held their third major event this fall and it’s the one I’ve been waiting for to FINALLY upgrade Andrea’s eight year old computer. If you haven’t been paying attention, the biggest thing about these new MacBooks is that they are running on Apple Silicon, which reports indicate are both faster and more power efficient than almost every other chip on the market by a huge margin. The M1 chip announced at this event outperforms every Mac ever made in single-core performance.1

The M1 appears to be a reworking of the A14 Bionic and is included in the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13″, and Mac Mini. We decided to go with the MacBook Air because the drawbacks appear to be slim compared with the MacBook Pro. Sure there is no fan which might mean some thermal throttling if things get too hot and no Touch Bar but for the price difference, I think it’s worth it. It ships in 1 to 2 weeks and I think it’s safe to say I’m even more excited than she is. I’m holding out for the MacBook Pro 16″ with Apple Silicon which, Apple says, will arrive within the next two years.

1. Not including truly industry level performance from discrete GPUs on Mac Pros.

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Apple

Apple Q4 2020 Results

The quick take-away from Apple’s Q4 earrings is: record Mac revenue while iPhone revenue is down 20%.

Jason Snell:

Despite the tough iPhone quarter, revenue was a record for the company’s fourth fiscal quarter, at $64.7B. iPhone revenue was $26.8B, down 20% year over year. Mac revenue was $9B, up 29%. iPad revenue was $6.8B, up 46%. Services revenue was $14.5B, up 16%. And Wearables revenue was $7.9B, up 20.8%.

Obviously the huge wave of workers staying home to work during the pandemic has been a boon to Apple’s bottom line. It’s also so interesting to see the huge growth in Apple services — 14 and a half billion is significant by any metric.

John Gruber:

Lastly, it shows how diversified Apple’s financials are getting that iPhone revenue could be down 20 percent year-over-year but the company had record revenue for the quarter overall. A few years ago that was unimaginable.

Check out the charts at Six Colors.

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Apple

Apple Special Event “Hi, Speed”

Today Apple announced four new phones: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max and a new HomePad Mini.

Updates to iPhone are incremental in nature and can be expected yearly with each new iteration being only slightly faster, more efficient, and more capable. This year’s new set of phones are no exception. Unless you call 50% faster “only slightly”, which is one reason why the title of today’s event is, “Hi, Speed”.

Here are some highlights from today’s event.

iPhone 12

All four versions of the new iPhones contain Apple’s proprietary A14 chip. With circuitry separated by a mere 5 nanometers and 11.8 billion transistors, the performance and efficiency of this chip is the fastest cpu in any smart phone. The only chip even close is last year’s A13 chip.

iPhone 12 Pro back camera

The main reason to want such crazy fast speed is machine learning. It’s the key to computational photography and in turn that’s what makes such great photos from iPhone 12 possible. The iPhone 11 Pro has eight dedicated machine learning cores and this year that number grows to 16. Apple’s new flagship phones are now capable of 11 trillion operations per second up from last year’s paltry 6 trillion.

A14 Bionic is the first 5-nanometer chip in the industry, with advanced components literally atoms wide. Forty percent more transistors rev up speeds while increasing efficiency for great battery life. And a new ISP powers Dolby Vision recording — something no pro movie camera, let alone any other phone, can do.

Also interesting is the inclusion of MagSafe technology for phone charging and accessories. No more worrying about whether your phone is placed on its wireless charging pad correctly because the magnet will straighten itself. I’m also intrigued by the idea of paring down to just the leather wallet attachment shown below with built-in magnetic action.

iPhone 12 MagSafe and wallet

HomePad Mini
Apple HomePod Mini stock photo

It’s been long speculated that Apple needed a HomePod Mini in order to compete in the smart speaker market against lower cost smart speakers from Google and Amazon. It remains to be seen how the sound quality of the HomePod mini stands up to the original but I’ve always wanted to add a second HomePod for the bedroom where the heavy bass isn’t so important, so I’m tempted.

And, as for rumours that the free year of Apple TV+, is going away, it appears to still be on offer that, “For a limited time, eligible customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free and three months of Apple Arcade for free.”

Here’s Apple’s 51 Second summary of the event:

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Apple

Apple Sets All Time Third Quarter Revenue Record

During Apple’s most recent earnings report call, Tim Cook seemed almost embarrassed to announce that Apple had such record revenue during a worldwide pandemic. But as a shareholder I can’t say I’m disappointed. I’m also excited that they’re once again splitting the stock, this time four to one.

From Apple:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2020 third quarter ended June 27, 2020. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $59.7 billion, an increase of 11 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.58, up 18 percent. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

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Apple

iPhone SE 2020

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today announced the second-generation iPhone SE, a powerful new iPhone featuring a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, paired with Touch ID for industry-leading security. iPhone SE comes in a compact design, reinvented from the inside out, and is the most affordable iPhone. The new iPhone SE is powered by the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone, to handle the most demanding tasks. iPhone SE also features the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone, which unlocks the benefits of computational photography including Portrait mode, and is designed to withstand the elements with dust and water resistance.

iPhone SE comes in three beautiful colors — black, white and (PRODUCT)RED — and will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, April 17, starting at just $399 (US) [$599 CAD].

“The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price; the new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way — including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos — while still being very affordable,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Except this new iPhone SE doesn’t “improve” on small size when the form factor has moved away from the original 4″ size of the original.

I’m guessing the reason for the larger size is that just as the original SE used the form factor and internal layout of the iPhone 5, the 2020 iteration will do the same with an iPhone 8 layout. There is no ready to implement layout of internal components that includes iPhone XS camera, the iPhone 11 Pro CPU and the battery size of the iPhone 8 (which may be required for that high end A13 Bionic processor… I don’t know) that would fit in the original iPhone SE shell.

Michael Tsai:

“So, this is a better, cheaper iPhone 8, but unlike the original SE it seems unlikely to inspire down-switchers. The wildcard is that, if we all end up wearing face masks for an extended time, Touch ID could end up being more important than any new feature in the forthcoming iPhone 12.”