Look closely at Apple’s quarterly results, combine them with analysis from Strategy Analytics, and you’ll find that Apple and Samsung are basically tied for the title of world’s largest smartphone makers in Q4 2014. “Both Apple and Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones during the three-month period of October through December”, writes MacRumors, but the difference is that while Samsung reported a 27% quarterly decline in profits, Apple posted its biggest quarter yet. In other news, Apple’s R&D expenditure has risen 42% year-on-year, now sitting at just under $2 billion per quarter.
Apple’s financial results for the previous quarter were released, and in case you haven’t already heard, Apple just set the record for the most quarterly profit by any company, ever. Revenue was $74.6 billion with $18 billion profit, and the company also sold 74.5 million iPhones, 21.4 million iPads, and 5.5 million Macs. The full press release is on the Apple website, but Ars Technica reports the numbers are all well into the green — with the exception of iPads, who saw their sharpest year-on-year decline. For the record, TechCrunch says that’s $8.3 million dollars in profit per hour, every hour of every day for the past 90 days.
Update Tuesday strikes again, with Apple releasing both iOS 8.1.3 and OS X 10.10.2 overnight. The iOS update contains the usual generic bug fixes, security, and performance improvements, but also claims to reduce the storage capacity required for future software updates and a few other insignificant issues. For its part, the Yosemite update comes with security fixes and is Apple’s second shot at fixing Wi-Fi issues in its latest version of OS X, as well as adding the ability to browse iCloud Drive from within Time Machine.
Thanks to a Chinese Apple news and rumour site and republished by 9to5Mac, we now have photos of what’s claimed to be the display assembly of the 12-inch MacBook Air. As far as part leaks go, this one isn’t giving much away — the display itself is said to have a Retina-class resolution, although no pixel count has been observed or detailed. There’s also no evidence of the bottom half of the computer, but there are photos of the display assembly being compared to a current iPad Air.
Sources speaking to 9to5Mac have revealed the battery life of the Apple Watch. A powerful processor and high-quality display for Apple’s wearable contribute to significant battery drain, which leads to lower than expected battery life. While no concrete numbers are known, early estimates put the battery life at around 2.5 to 4 hours of app use, with around 2-3 days of standby/low power time.
If the analysts are correct, Apple could see record-breaking Mac and iPhone sales in the holiday quarter. According to Morgan-Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, iPhone sales could reach as high as 69 million units sold, with Macs at an impressive 5.8 million units. Both estimates are above similar estimates from other analysts, but we’ll have to wait until next week to see what the actual numbers are.
The latest regarding Apple’s larger iPad is that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the 12-inch tablet will be available with a stylus. Before you get all “if you see a stylus, they blew it” on me, he says the stylus will still be an optional accessory, just like those Apple Smart Covers you can get. But more importantly, if rumours of a stylus pan out to be true, it may mean the larger iPad is targeted a different market — one that’s more into Surfaces, if you get my meaning.
Apple’s decision to ship iBooks as a default app in iOS 8 caused controversy, according to MacRumors, because users can’t delete the default apps that come on an iPhone. But the numbers speak for themselves: the iBooks platform has added one million new users per week since the introduction of iOS 8, most likely as a result of the change. Users are looking at the app without even visiting the App Store, and while iBooks served as a useful introduction to App Store mechanics for new iPhone and iPad users once upon a time, more users are using iBooks to read content as a result of including it by default in iOS 8.
Another day, another app added to the Apple TV. But unlike almost every other app so far, this time around the app is actually relevant to Australians. The launch of the official Cricket Australia app for Apple TV gives Apple TV owners access to a library of HD cricket videos including archival and behind-the-scenes footage, as well as cricket skills tutorials. Those looking for live matches will still need to look elsewhere, however, as Channel Nine holds the rights to those — according to one spokesperson, bringing live matches to streaming platforms like the Apple TV is just something they haven’t considered.