Apple is not just a company concerned with boosting its profits, it's also interested in image and -- as its latest pledge shows -- the environment. Today Apple announces that it is setting its sights high when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of its operations. The ultimate goal is to switch worldwide operations to 100 percent renewable energy sources.
The company is teaming up with World Wildlife Fund to protect areas of responsibly managed woodland, and is also investing in renewable energy projects in China. Investments are also being made in solar energy projects that will produce more than enough electricity to power Apple's entire collection of Chinese offices and stores.
China's smartphone market has declined year-over-year for the first time in six years, according to a new report from IDC. In the first quarter of the year, shipments decreased by 4.3 percent compared to the same period from 2014, with the likes of Samsung and Lenovo posting huge drops.
Apple leads the pack in China, shipping 14.5 million iPhones in Q1 2015, 62.1 percent more than a year ago. Meanwhile, rival Samsung, which comes in fourth place, saw shipments of just 9.6 million units, a whopping 53 percent lower compared to Q1 2014.
Can you trust the Apple Watch heart rate sensor? Well, it’s pretty darn accurate it seems, going by some testing performed by a Wisconsin-based engineer who's into Mac and iPhone development.
That would be Brad Larson, who tested the Apple Watch on a run alongside the Mio Alpha. Slashgear spotted Larson’s experiment and the resulting graph on Twitter (see above), with the engineer tweeting: "Extracted the raw Apple Watch HealthKit heartrate samples after a run and compared it to an HR monitor I had on".
Alongside Euro-zone cell phone data, U.S. first-quarter 2015 phablet shipments are out from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Depending on how the numbers are cut, fanboys can rally for their platform.
Spurred by iPhone 6 Plus, iOS showed strong performance, representing 44 percent of phablet sales. However, the number of iOS smartphone switchers from Android fell -- to 11.4 percent from 14.6 percent year over year -- supporting early anecdotal evidence that existing Apple customers are the most-likely 6 Plus buyers. Also confirming: Android smartphone conversions from iOS fell from 9.8 percent to 5.9 percent.
Apple's latest iPhones continue to be in high-demand in Europe half a year after their launch, leading up to a market share boost on the old continent according to a new report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. And it is happening at the expense of Android, which, while still the most-popular smartphone operating system in Europe, is seeing part of its local users fleeing to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
In Q1 2015, iPhones claimed 20.3 percent of the European smartphone market, a 1.8 percentage points increase over Q1 2014. During the first quarter of the year, 32.4 percent of new customers were Android defectors.
It's been a little while since orders opened for the Apple Watch -- even if anyone who placed an order has quite a wait on their hands -- and now developers are being given the chance to create third-party bands. Apple has produced some detailed guidelines that reveal precisely what is expected of third-party accessories.
For the moment, Apple is only talking about bands, and no mention has yet been made of other third-party accessories such as chargers. Even if you're not a developer thinking of cashing in on the popularity of the Apple Watch, the incredibly detailed design drawings that are provided make for fascinating viewing.
Gartner predicts that currency devaluation will compel major computer manufacturers to reverse a longstanding trend. "PC vendors selling to Europe and Japan, where local currencies have fallen up to 20 percent since the start of 2015, have little choice than to raise prices to preserve profits" -- by as much as 10 percent, Ranjit Atwal, Gartner Research director, says in a statement earlier today.
Higher prices mean more consumers will do with leaner configurations, and many businesses will push back upgrades. All the while, PC makers will give customers less for more money. Atwal anticipates fewer features in new computers in affected markets and increased sales emphasis in "regions least affected by these currency effects".
Samsung is down but not out in the global smartphone shipments battle with top rival Apple. That is the conclusion from analysts at Juniper Research, which like Strategy Analytics released first quarter 2015 data today. Juniper sees sharp rebound from Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which "reception" is stronger than their predecessors.
Quarter-on-quarter, Samsung smartphone shipments -- 82 million units -- rose by 23 percent but fell 29 percent year over year. By comparison, annually, Apple shipments soared by 40 percent, to 61 million, largely lifted by China. The country's importance to the fruit-logo company cannot be overemphasized for either manufacturer. But Apple reaped the big crop, with shipments up 71 percent that generated $16.8 billion in revenue.
Something interesting happened in the last quarter of 2014: Apple tied with Samsung on smartphone shipments. Both players moved 74.5 million units, reaching this figure from two opposite directions. The Cupertino, Calif.-based vendor saw its iPhone shipments increase by a whopping 46.07 percent year-over-year, while its South Korean rival dealt with a 13.37 percent decline.
But, luckily for Samsung, things changed in the first quarter of 2015. According to Strategy Analytics, its smartphone shipments reached 83.2 million units, while Apple's iPhones shipped in just 61.2 million units. And just like that, Samsung is, once again, back at the top. However, it is not yet in tip-top form.
If there be ghosts, Tim Cook should expect sleepless nights ahead. Surely Steve Jobs can't stand to be so overshadowed by his successor, who takes Apple where the cofounder couldn't: Massive earnings and margins. Today, after the closing bell, the company reported yet another ridiculously blow-out quarter, largely lifted by iPhone. If the smartphone market ever collapses, Apple Armageddon will follow. In the present, momentum is unstoppable.
Some perspective: Apple's net income was more than two-and-half times Microsoft's during the same time period (calendar Q1 2015) -- and 3.8 times that of Google. To reiterate, those comparisons are put-in-the-bank profits, not revenues. By the numbers: $58 billion in sales, $13.6 billion net income, and $2.33 earnings per share. Wall Street consensus was $56 billion revenue and $2.16 EPS. Year over year, revenue rose 26.6 percent and net sales by 33 percent.
Saturday afternoon, new Apple Watch owner Ken Lecomte posted a frightening photo to Google+: His device with shattered screen. The spider-spray pattern is eerily familiar -- one seen so many times -- like an iPhone clumsily dropped to floor or pavement. The fruit-logo company boasts about the gadget being a wrist computer, but should it be as easily breakable as the other that customers carry?
We wanted to find out. BetaNews proactively contacted Lecomte for his full story and additional photos, which in part authenticate the breakage. His claim is serious: That the strap came undone as he pulled hands from pocket, flinging the smartwatch to destruction. BetaNews takes allegations like this seriously, which is why rather than repost or reshare his photo, as others have done, we contacted the alleged victim, who wants to prevent others from meeting the same fate. His local Apple Store quoted $229 to fix the $349 Sport watch.
Every week the technology world holds its breath with anticipation as the latest tech giants make new strides into the mobile payments sector. After years of low consumer take-up of services like Google Wallet and Square, the launch of Apple Pay last year was hailed as a pivotal moment, signaling the time when mobile payments would finally go mainstream.
With mega players like Facebook and Microsoft now joining the peer-to-peer money sending and digital payments fray, even sceptics are wondering if 2015 might truly be "The Year of Mobile Payments". Yet what many don’t realize is that these services are already lagging 10 years behind. The rest of the world is paying attention to a different mobile payments phenomenon -- one that’s been taking place thousands of miles away. Last month, global telecoms body GSMA revealed that the number of active users of Mobile Money -- a service which enables users to send and receive money from basic mobile phones without requiring a bank account or payment card -- had doubled from 2013 to reach 103 million globally.
Today we closed our poll asking readers if they would purchase the first fruit from the field tended by Tim Cook. Apple Watch marks the era of new gadgetry developed on the CEO's, er, watch. Sales started today, which effectively meant preordering two weeks ago. All three models are sold out from the company's online store, which lists ship dates as "June" for orders placed April 24.
Are you one of the lucky Apple Watch buyers? That's assuming you feel lucky. Two-thousand forty-nine people responded to our poll, with a stunning (and, honestly, unbelievable) 42 percent planning to buy the gadget. Really? Someone wants this gadget.
Everyone, it seems, is jumping on the Apple watch bandwagon today with new apps, but one of the more interesting developments comes from enterprise security specialist MicroStrategy.
It's launched a version of its Usher platform allowing the Apple Watch to be used as a secure digital key, enabling wearers to log into business systems, unlock devices, validate personal identity, and open physical doors with a simple gesture or tap.
It is no secret that Nokia is pondering the sale of its HERE division. The Finnish company wants to focus on the telecommunications market, and HERE, which offers location services, mapping and navigation software, seems to be nothing but extra weight to lug around. Seeing as a sale is inevitable, the question is, who is going to buy it?
A rumor that's floating around now suggests that Nokia has pitched the sale of HERE to Apple, among other companies. The Cupertino, Calif.-based corporation would certainly stand to benefit from acquiring the technology that powers HERE, as its own attempt at offering navigation software to iOS users has not gone particularly well. Such a purchase, while extremely interesting for Apple, would have deep implications for HERE's current clients, which will most certainly not be favored by it. Here's what it could entail.