We've seen several examples of cases designed for the rumored 4.7-inch version of the upcoming iPhone 6, and in a new video, Unbox Therapy compares a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 case to the iPhone 5s, the Nexus 5 and the Galaxy Note 3, giving us an idea of how the iPhone 6 might look next to other large-screened devices.
The 4.7-inch case is depicted next to the 4-inch iPhone 5s, the 4.95-inch Nexus 5, and the 5.95-inch Galaxy Note 3. The case is closest in size to the Nexus 5, which gives the best representation of how a 4.7-inch iPhone may feel in the hand. The iPhone 5s looks quite a bit smaller than the case, while the Galaxy Note 3 looks significantly larger.
Along with a size comparison, the video points out some of the design features on the case, which may translate to design changes on the iPhone 6. As has been pointed out in other case and part leaks, the sleep/wake button has been moved from the top right of the device to the right side.
Rumors have suggested the sleep/wake button might be relocated in order to improve one-handed use on a larger device, and the volume buttons might be altered as well, gaining a rectangular iPad-mini-style shape rather than the existing circular buttons on the iPhone 5s.
The iPhone 6 case is also noted to be quite thin, which is in line with previous rumors about the device. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 6 could be significantly thinner than the existing 7.6mm iPhone 5s at 6.5–7.0mm and it may also have a narrower bezel.
Rendering of the iPhone 6 in both 4.7 and 5.7-inch sizes
Apple is expected to ship the iPhone 6 in two different sizes, the 4.7-inch version described in the video and also a 5.5-inch version that has reportedly seen some production delays. While the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 may make its debut as soon as September, the 5.5-inch version may not ship until 2015.
Along with a thinner profile, multiple sizes, and a narrower bezel, the iPhone 6 might include a sapphire crystal screen, an A8 processor, and camera improvements in the form of optical image stabilization.
During the question and answer portion of today's financial earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained why the company has been slow to put products out in 2014, pointing towards the company’s attention to detail and its desire to "perform at a really high level of quality" that Apple's customers expect.
Cook noted that Apple did not ship the first MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet, but he said that the company did release the first "acceptable" and "modern" smartphone, tablet, and MP3 player when it launched the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
"We care about every detail and it takes us a bit longer to do that. That's always been the case," he said. "It means more to us to get it right than to be first."
Cook pointed towards examples in the marketplace where the clear objective was to be first, possibly referring to Samsung and its poorly received Galaxy Gear smart watch. Apple customers "want great, insanely great," said Cook, and "that’s what we want to deliver."
According to Cook, Apple has many products in the pipeline that the company is excited about, but it is not yet ready to "pull the string on the curtain." He did say, however, that Apple has expanded the number of things the company is working on behind the scenes.
During today's second quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has purchased a total of 24 companies over the last 18 months, some that are known and some that remain unknown.
Just over half of Apple’s acquisitions have come to light, which means the company has purchased a number of additional companies that have not been disclosed. So far in 2014, Apple acquired SnappyLabs, a company that produced a burst-mode photo app, and Burstly, the company behind the Testflight iOS beta testing platform.
2013 saw Apple acquire several different mapping apps, including BroadMap, Embark, HopStop, Locationary, and WiFiSlam, along with other notable additions like 3D company PrimeSense and Novauris, a speech recognition company. Back in October, Tim Cook noted Apple had completed 15 strategic acquisitions in 2013, pointing towards a number of new acquisitions already in 2014.
The technology from Apple’s acquisitions will likely make its way into future products and updates. For example, all of the mapping acquisitions are expected to be put to use in iOS 8, which will see the addition of transit directions and possibly improved indoor mapping techniques.
During the call, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that investing in research and development along with hardware, software, and services were top priorities, and that the company was "on the prowl" for new companies to acquire.
During today's second quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company's new retail and online leader, Angela Ahrendts, will be joining Apple next week.
Ahrendts first resigned from British luxury fashion house Burberry in October of 2013, but was contractually obligated to stay on with the company for another six months as it transitioned to new CEO Christopher Bailey. As of April, Ahrendts fulfilled her obligations and became free to leave Burberry to join Apple.
Earlier this month, rumors suggested Ahrendts might stay on with Burberry until June in order to pick up a two million pound performance bonus, but it appears that she will not be staying with the company in order to collect the payment.
Ahrendts will join Apple as the Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, a position that has seen significant turnover over the past several years. In 2011, Ron Johnson left Apple for J.C. Penney, after building up Apple's retail presence during his 11-year tenure. Johnson was then replaced by Dixons CEO John Browett, who served less than a year at Apple. Since Browett's departure, the position has been empty.
Apple today announced financial results for the first calendar quarter and second fiscal quarter of 2014. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $45.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.2 billion, or $11.62 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $43.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter.
Gross margin for the quarter was 39.3 percent compared to 37.5 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 66 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an increased dividend payment of $3.29 per share, payable on May 15 to shareholders as of the close of trading on May 12. The company currently holds $150.6 billion in cash and marketable securities.
In addition to the increase in the dividend payment, Apple said it will dramatically increase its share repurchase authorization to $90 billion from $60 billion and will execute a 7-for-1 stock split as of June 9. The company says it expects to spend over $130 billion in cash under its capital return program by the end of 2015. Apple is now paying $11 billion per year in dividends to shareholders.
Quarterly iPhone unit sales reached 43.7 million, compared to 37.4 million in the year-ago quarter, and the company sold 16.35 million iPads, down from 19.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 4.1 million Macs compared to just under 4 million in the year-ago period.
“We’re very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market.”
Apple's guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 includes expected revenue of $36-38 billion and gross margin between 37 and 38 percent.
Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q2 2014 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.
Conference Call and Q&A Highlights are available in reverse chronological order after the jump. Continue reading →
Notable computer security researcher Kristin Paget, who worked on Apple's security team before leaving for Tesla in early 2014, has taken to her blog (via Ars Technica) to criticize Apple for fixing more than a dozen security flaws in iOS weeks after patching them in OS X.
iOS 7.1.1, released yesterday, patched multiple WebKit vulnerabilities that were initially fixed in OS X with the release of Safari 7.0.3 on April 1. The delay between fixes, says Paget, alerted hackers to serious flaws potentially exploitable on Apple's mobile operating system and then gave hackers ample time to exploit the vulnerabilities.
Is this how you do business? Drop a patch for one product that quite literally lists out, in order, the security vulnerabilities in your platform, and then fail to patch those weaknesses on your other range of products for weeks afterwards? You really don't see anything wrong with this?
Someone tell me I'm not crazy here. Apple preaches the virtues of having the same kernel (and a bunch of other operating system goop) shared between two platforms – but then only patches those platforms one at a time, leaving the entire userbase of the other platform exposed to known security vulnerabilities for weeks at a time?
Addressing Apple, Paget goes on to write that Apple needs to sit in front of a chalkboard and write out "I will not use iOS to drop 0day on OSX, nor use OSX to drop 0day on iOS."
In addition to the WebKit vulnerabilities that were patched out of sync, Apple also recently exposed a major OS X flaw when patching the same flaw in iOS. Back in February, with the release of iOS 7.0.6, a major SSL connection verification vulnerability came to light. Known as the "goto fail" bug, it left iOS and OS X users vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks where hackers could pose as a trusted website to intercept communications or acquire sensitive information.
Apple launched iOS 7.0.6 on a Friday, fixing the vulnerability on iOS but leaving OS X users vulnerable to attack until the following Tuesday, when it released OS X 10.9.2 to patch the security flaw.
Major video game retailer GameStop is making a significant push to broaden its business, expanding its retail operations with new brands and stores that will focus on Apple gear and AT&T Mobility products, reports The Star-Telegram.
While the diversification will include a move into AT&T mobile services through GameStop's acquisition of Spring Mobile, of more interest for Apple users is GameStop's plans for Simply Mac, a chain of authorized Apple resale and repair shops that focuses on smaller markets where Apple has not shown interest in opening its own stores. Founded in 2006 in Utah, Simply Mac grew to eight stores by October 2012 when GameStop acquired a 49.9 percent stake in the Apple reseller. In November 2013, GameStop exercised an option to purchase the rest of Simply Mac, which now includes 23 locations focused in the western half of the United States, and GameStop has plans for a significant expansion of the Simply Mac network.
[GameStop CEO Paul] Raines said GameStop’s confidence in rapid growth at the small chains, acquired for about $110 million last year, is buoyed by their strong ties to industry leaders AT&T and Apple.
Steve Bain and Jason Ellis, the executives who built Simply Mac and Spring Mobile, continue to run the operations for GameStop and see strong growth opportunities. After opening 23 stores this year, Bain said, the company plans to open 50 more Simply Mac stores in 2015.
While its stores are smaller and lower profile than many of Apple's retail stores, Simply Mac's push to open nearly 75 stores through the end of 2015 appears to dwarf Apple's own plans in the United States. Apple typically opens around 30 stores per year, but at this point the majority of those are outside of the United States.
The “transformation,” as CEO Paul Raines dubbed it, is intended to keep GameStop growing and leverage its expertise in store operations and buying and selling used devices. He said he envisions GameStop as a “family of specialty retailers that make your favorite technologies affordable and simple.”
As GameStop expands into the lucrative mobile phone and Apple device market, the retailer plans to downsize its video games operations by closing up to 130 of its 6,400 GameStop stores sometime this year. Though video games will remain its primary focus, GameStop CEO Rob Lloyd believes the company's new technology brands could generate up to $1 billion in revenue and contribute up to 10 percent of GameStop's revenue by 2016.
This move into Apple's retail segment comes at a time when Apple is in the middle of a retail transition. The company is awaiting the arrival of retail head Angela Ahrendts, who is completing her transitionary period at Burberry. Apple also is rumored to be working on a mobile payments system under the leadership of Jennifer Bailey, who allegedly left her executive role in online retail to spearhead this new mobile initiative.