AAPL Financial News Weekly Roundup: Q3 Earnings Expected to be Strong, iPhone 6 Production to Begin and More
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) closed at $94.43 with a volume of just under 50 million shares, which is about average in recent weeks. As of this writing, AAPL is trading at $94.66, which doesn't seem too exciting considering the company is widely expected to post strong numbers when it releases its Q3 earnings after today's closing bell. The iPhone largely drove sales in the first half of 2014 and, according to Bidness Etc., third quarter sales will be strong as well, with analysts expecting 35.88 million units sold. This will miss second quarter sales of 43.72 million units, but it was expected that customers would hold off buying new iPhones this quarter, with the iPhone 6 launch just around the corner.
In other news, we recently reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook was looking for new members for Apple's Board of Directors. This past week, on Thursday, Apple announced that Susan L. Wagner, founding partner and director of BlackRock, has been elected to Apple's board of directors. She will replace Bill Campbell, the board’s
It looks like Apple is preparing for its largest iPhone launch yet. The company told suppliers it is planning to build 70-80 million next-generation devices by December 30, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is a large increase from the 50-60 million iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s units Apple ordered last year. Apple is predicting that iOS users will be drawn to the new larger sized iPhone models, and hopes for an increase in sales after a disappointing performance by the iPhone 5c.
There have also been rumors that the 5.5-inch model is suffering from manufacturer delays and that it will be pushed back until 2015. Even the WSJ noted that display makers "are struggling to improve the production of the larger 5.5-inch screens".
"The production is complicated because the displays are using in-cell technology, which allows the screens to be thinner and lighter by integrating touch sensors into the liquid crystal display and making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer," explained the WSJ.
Some people may find Bio Inc. - Biomedical Simulator a bit controversial, but is there really any difference between blowing up your opponent in a first person shooter, or killing someone slowly by infecting them with horrible diseases? If you're easily offended or "triggered" then this is not the mobile app for you. The goal of the game is to kill innocent people by making them sick and it is a lot of fun!
Bio Inc. is a simulation title where your skills at resource management games will help you succeed. The game play is simple, you just tap viruses to earn points to spend on three categories: Diseases, Risk Factors and Recovery. Like in any resource management game, you must spend your Bio Points wisely. Concentrating all your points on one part of the body, like the circulatory system, will only send your victim to the doctor so he can be cured. You want to take your time and shut down all of the person's systems at once , ultimately creating a lethal and incurable illness that doctors won't be able to stop.
Apple today seeded iOS 8 beta 4 to developers. The update brings the usual bug fixes, a few UI tweaks and the addition of Apple's Tips app. The new stock app currently offers six tips with tutorials, but Apple promises it will be updated with more tips each week.
The Tips app includes tutorials like, how to quickly respond to a notification, how to enable the "Hey, Siri" option, and how to send a spoken message. According to iDownloadblog, there is also an option to "Like" individual tips, but it "apparently doesn't do anything". You can also share you favorite tips on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook.
Acute is a jailbreak tweak that makes it possible to add new voice commands to iOS devices. Not only does this jailbreak tweak come with its own set of built-in commands, new phrases can be assigned to any Activator action. This means users can tell their devices to do just about anything.
Once installed, the listening mode of Acute must be configured to an Activator action. Peforming this action (such as a right-swipe on the status bar) will invoke Acute, displaying a waveform icon in the status bar once loaded. When the tweak is listening, commands can be issued.
Springtomize 3 has been fully updated for iOS 7.1.x compatibility, which is good news for users jailbreaking with Pangu. The super-tweak from developer Filippo Bigarella provides incredible levels of control for those looking to customize the look and feel of iOS on their devices.
Several bug fixes relating to the tweak's performance on iOS 7.1 and later have been addressed. This includes various items not hiding properly in recent firmware, and other display issues. The most interesting part is a new feature, the addition of an option for dark folder backgrounds.
Keyboard shortcuts are a useful part of iOS, helping to speed up commonly typed phrases and words. TapTheAt is a jailbreak tweak that complements this functionality, providing an exclusive shortcut for entering one's email address. Besides saving time, this free tweak's simplicity is appealing.
Once installed, navigating to Settings -> TapTheAt provides a toggle to enable or disable the tweak. When enabled, whatever address is plugged into the email field will automatically populate when the @ symbol gets a long press.
The iOS jailbreak world was rocked this week by news that the popular Cydia repository BigBoss has been hacked. Not only this, but the person or group responsible posted the entire contents of the repo online, including paid tweaks. The stunt by Kim Jong-Cracks comes hot on the heels of an essay by Saurik, the creator of Cydia titled Competition vs. Community.
Plastering their "rip" of the BigBoss repo with hash tags such as WhichSideAreYouOn and SupportTheCompetition, the group appears to be arguing for alternatives to Cydia by distributing the hard work of developers' efforts for free. Not only is this a blatant act of piracy, but it's possible these cracked tweaks will be exploited by others to distribute malware or otherwise compromise security.
Released two weeks ago, 2K Games' Civilization Revolution 2 only has a two star rating on the App Store. This is sad because Civ Rev is one of the few games with a $14.99 premium price tag. 2K had the chance to strike a blow to the popular freemium model plaguing the App Store by releasing a great game for the iPad, but instead they delivered a buggy, lackluster effort not worth the high price, according to fans.
Fans of the Civilization franchise claim Revolution is more of a remake than a sequel. Players have complained that the game seems "lazy" and that there are only a handful of new units. Some also say that the new 3D graphics add nothing of value and even slow the game down in some cases. Fans are also unhappy about the games new "buggy" interface, lack of a multiplayer option and other basic control issues like not being able to zoom out of maps. Hopefully the game is not so bad that 2K can't fix it with a future update.
According to Taiwan's Economic Daily News, Apple's supply partner, Foxconn, is ramping up to start mass production of the 4.7 inch model of the iPhone 6 next week.
As part of its preparation, the article says that Foxconn will be hiring 100,000 new employees to help meet the overwhelming demand for the new handset. That's what the translated title of the report says anyway. In the text it says the manufacturer will be hiring 10 new people. Curiously, the 100,000 in the title and the 10 in the text are derived from the same characters, so I think there is a failure in the translation. 100,000 seems a little high, but plausible, while obviously 10 is nothing to write about. Not to be outdone, parts supplier Pegatron will be hiring half