Apple

App Store Sets New Records for Start of New Year

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) today announced that its App Store broke sales records during the first week of 2015. Details of its banner 2014 were released as well.

App Store sets sales records.

New Year's day proved to be the App Store's biggest day in its history and, with around half a billion dollars generated by app and in-app purchases, the week that followed was a record breaker as well. 2014 saw a 50% increase in app sales, which resulted in $10 billion in revenue for developers. Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, praised the developer community: "We're so proud of the creativity and innovation developers bring to the apps they create for iOS users and that the developer community has now earned over $25 billion.” $25 billion is the total revenue for developers since the App Store opened in 2008, which means the app market is growing at a tremendous rate, as last year's revenue alone represents 40% of the total.

What to Expect From Apple in 2015

2014 was a banner year for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Its stock underwent a 7-to-1 split and then reached an all time high after the launch of the iPhone 6 and its phablet counterpart, the iPhone 6 Plus. iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite arrived and the Apple Watch was announced. Carplay debuted and Apple Pay was introduced and quickly became the largest mobile payment system in the known universe (in terms of registered credit cards). The company joined forces with IBM to launch IBM Mobile First for iOS, offering solutions for enterprise customers. Beats was acquired. Stock was bought back at an unprecedented rate and, although share prices have fluctuated a bit in recent weeks, the holiday quarter could be a record breaker.

What to expect from Apple in 2015

Apple has plenty more up its sleeve for 2015; here are a few products and upgrades to look for:

Apple Watch - This is the most sure-fire item on the list. The Apple Watch has been highly anticipated since the first whispers of an "iWatch" made their way to the rumor mill. It was officially announced in September, but there still has been no official announcement of a launch date. In its official press release, Apple says it will be available in "early 2015" at an opening price of $349. Valentine's Day seems to be on a lot of radars, but whatever the case, we expect it before April.

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Apple Weekly News Roundup: Old Barn Saved on Campus 2, Streaming Music on the Rise and More

'Twas slow for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) news last week; while there were several work days, I suspect the vast majority was still in holiday mode for the last few days of 2014 and the first couple of the new year. There were still several items of note though.

Apple to save Glendenning Barn on Campus 2

Apple's acquisition of Beats was further justified when Nielsen SoundScan released its year end statistics last week. The numbers showed a big trend toward streaming audio and a drop off in music purchases. According to the data, there were 164 billion streams in 2014, compared to 106 billion in 2013, a 54% increase. Album sales dropped 9%, to 117.6 million, while song sales dropped 12%, to 1.26 billion.

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Apple Weekly News Roundup: Year's Best Apps, iPhone 6s Mini and More

With 2014 drawing to a close, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) last week released its annual top apps lists. The three categories, Top 10 Paid Apps 2014, Top 10 Free Apps 2014 and Top 10 Highest Grossing Apps 2014, were topped by Heads Up!, Facebook Messenger and Clash of Clans respectively. Nine of the top ten highest grossing apps were "freemium" games, meaning they are free but offer in-app purchases.

Apple news round up: Tim Cook named best CEO of 2014

According to the results of a Piper Jaffray survey that were released last week, demand for the iPhone 6 is higher now than it was pre-launch. Of the 1,004 consumers surveyed in December, 40 percent indicated that they were interested in purchasing the new iPhone. A similar survey conducted pre-launch showed 33 percent interest.

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Apple Weekly News Roundup: iPhone 6 Ship Times Drop, iOS 8.2 beta 3 Seeded and More

Despite holiday shopping being in full swing and the high demand for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) supply appears to have caught up. According to AppleInsider, shipment time for the two devices has dropped to just one day as of last week. Additionally, the Retina 5K iMac ship time has dropped from one to two weeks to a couple of days.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple seeded iOS 8.2 beta 3 last Thursday. Though iOS 8.2 mostly deals with WatchKit and Apple Watch support, it also has added blood glucose tracking to the Health app. iOS 8.2 is expected to be released to the public at the same time as the Apple Watch launch, which will likely be sometime in February 2015.

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Apple Wins Billion Dollar iPod Antitrust Suit

A jury on Tuesday unanimously found Apple not guilty in the decade old antitrust suit that accused Apple of creating a monopoly through iTunes updates that disallowed music purchased from competitors.

Apple wins iPod antitrust suit

At issue were iPods issued from 2006 through 2009, which the plaintiffs argued would only play music purchased on iTunes or downloaded from CDs, not music purchased from competing services. Apple argued that its updated iTunes version found on the devices aimed to increase security and create a better experience for iPod users.

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Apple Weekly News Roundup: iOS 8.1.2 Released, Tim Cook Named FT Person of the Year and More

No major news came out of Cupertino last week, but there were several noteworthy items. Topping the list was the release of iOS 8.1.2 on Tuesday, which fixed a bug that caused purchased ringtones to disappear from people's devices. Although Apple has not divulged the update's security content (if there was any), it apparently did not patch the TaiG jailbreak.

Tim Cook named Financial Times Person of the Year

A day after the 8.1.2 update, Apple released the iOS 8.2 beta 2 to developers. The update mainly pertains to the WatchKit SDK, including some new features for the API and some bug fixes.

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Apple and IBM Unveil MobileFirst for iOS Apps

Apple and IBM first joined forces in July, when they announced their partnership in an effort to "transform enterprise mobility" by building and expanding industry specific iOS applications and supporting cloud services.

Apple and IBM reveal first MobileFirst apps

Described by Bridget van Kralingen, SVP of IBM World Business Services, the collaboration "aims directly at the new quest of business—smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement, [and] combines IBM’s industry expertise and unmatched position in enterprise computing, with Apple’s legendary user experience and excellence in product design to lift the performance of a new generation of business professionals.”

Apple Weekly News Roundup: iOS 8.1.1 and WatchKit Released, Next-Gen iPhone Rumors and More

Apple officially released iOS 8.1.1 last week. The update improves performance on older hardware like the iPhone 4s and iPad 2, but it also patches some of the exploits used by Pangu's jailbreak.

iOS 8.1.1

Pangu, however, is working on an iOS 8.1.1 jailbreak, and currently has one that works on 30-pin devices (which predates the lightning connector). The team demoed it on an iPad 3.

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Apple Weekly News Roundup: Black Friday, Spy Games and More

With Black Friday just two weeks away, many retailers last week started announcing holiday shopping deals on Apple products. Walmart, Best Buy, Staples and Target, among others, will be offering discounts on select iPhone and iPad models, as well as Beats products for the biggest shopping day of the year. Aside from discounts, many of the chains will also offer rebates in the form of gift cards.

Black Friday Apple discounts

According to a Thursday report from the Wall Street Journal, the Department of Justice has had a program in place since 2007 that uses fake cell phone towers to locate people. The fake towers are actually Boeing-made devices know as "dirtboxes" that are mounted on small aircraft. By flying around and picking up a signal from the target's cell phone, the target's location can quickly be triangulated. According to the DoJ, non-target signals are "let go."

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