O'Grady's PowerPage » Finance

Apple reports falling iTunes Music Store numbers in SEC filing

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, 11:48
Category: Finance, iTunes Music Store, News, Software

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iTunes Music Store downloads are falling.

And the numbers aren’t pretty.

According to VentureBeat, in a securities filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple reported declining iTunes Music Store numbers.

“Growth in net sales from the iTunes Store was driven by increases in revenue from app sales reflecting continued growth in the installed base of iOS devices and the expanded offerings of iOS Apps and related in-App purchases,” the company wrote. “This was partially offset by a decline in sales of digital music.”

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New York City considering Apple Pay, Bitcoin as options for parking ticket payment

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 16:02
Category: Finance, iOS, News, Uncategorized

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You might just be able to pay your parking tickets in New York City with Apple Pay in the new year.

In an effort to reboot an old and obtuse parking ticket payments system, the city of New York is investigating alternative forms of payment, including mobile transactions powered by services like Apple Pay and PayPal.

Per AppleInsider and MarketWatch, the city’s finance department is looking to upgrade its parking ticket platform, which currently handles some US$600 million annually from about 10 million issued tickets.

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Rumor: Apple Pay to launch in UK in first half of 2015

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 29th, 2014, 11:14
Category: Finance, iOS, News, retail

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Apple Pay may be coming to the old empire before too long.

Per 9to5Mac and the Telegraph, sources involved in talks taking place between Apple and “Britain’s top banks” have stated that the service is expected to launch in the UK in the first half of 2015.

A job listing revealed earlier in the month that Apple had a London-based team working on rolling out the service across Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.

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Citigroup raises Instagram valuation from $16 billion to $35 billion

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 22nd, 2014, 08:22
Category: Finance, News, Software

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You may not think Instagram is the best use of your time, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an extremely strong market value.

Per TechCrunch, Citigroup raised the valuation of Instagram this morning from US$19 billion to US$35 billion.

The photo-sharing network recently announced it had surpassed 300 million active users, and has taken steps toward cleaning up spam accounts, as well as adding new filters and features in an update this week.

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Robinhood financial tool launches, offers zero commission trading for iOS

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 12th, 2014, 11:52
Category: Finance, iOS, News, Software

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You may love the stock market or hate it, but it’s out there and it’s worth tapping into.

And if you’ve got a handy iOS app to help you do it, so much the better.

The Robinhood app has surfaced for iOS, complete with zero commission for U.S. listed securities.

The app is designed to be intuitive to anyone who uses it. Drag your finger across interactive graphs to view historical share prices. Swipe left and right between stocks in your watchlist. Quickly tell when the markets are open and closed with simple color schemes. When you’re ready to purchase a stock, just swipe up to buy.

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Rumor: Apple beginning to court enterprise markets via dedicated sales team

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:12
Category: Finance, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Rumor

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Remember how Apple seemed like a second class citizen in the business and enterprise world?

That might be about to change.

According to Reuters, Apple is embarking on its most aggressive expansion yet onto corporate turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup and working in concert with a dozen or so developers, two sources familiar with its plans say.

Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth – highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters – by expanding its footprint in the workplace.

Three months after unveiling a partnership with IBM to develop apps for corporate clients and sell them on devices, the iPhone maker’s plans to challenge sector leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle and SAP are starting to take shape.

Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard’s and Dell’s dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP’s command of work applications. Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung’s or Google’s own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications.

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Apple making progress in forming alliance between Apple Pay and Alibab’s Alipay in Chinese marketplace

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 10:58
Category: Finance, News, retail

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While Apple may be spinning its wheels arguing with MCX and getting Apple Pay supported by assorted U.S. retailers stuck in their MCX/CurrentC contracts, it seems to be doing ok opening Apple Pay up in the Asian marketplace.

According to AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, after officials from both Apple and Alibaba publicly expressed interest in forging a possible mobile payment deal, Alibaba confirmed on Tuesday that it is currently in negotiations to bring Apple Pay to China.

A potential deal between Apple Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay would focus exclusively on the Chinese market, where Alibaba is the dominant online retailer, vice chairman Joseph Tsai told The Wall Street Journal. He said that while the company is “positive” about the ongoing talks, details must still be worked out before an agreement can be reached.

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Apple Pay fans tears down CurrentC’s App Store rating, MCX suggests possible switch to NFC technology

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 30th, 2014, 11:53
Category: Finance, iOS, News, Software

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The most recent volley in the NFC payment war between Apple Pay and the MCX consortium’s CurrentC mobile payment service has been fired.

And it has a lot to do with app reviews.

Per 9to5Mac, a number of users have expressed their displeasure with the CurrentC app, at the time of writing, the app having accumulated 2,856 1-star reviews against a total of just 30 reviews giving it 2 stars or more …

The movement to boycott merchants who are members of the MCX consortium also seems to be growing in popularity, gaining a Boycott MCX website with a full list of members. When you click on the name of a consortium member (CVS Pharmacy in the example shown below), a list of competing stores who accept or plan to accept Apple Pay is displayed.

Having been criticized for its clunky use of QR codes, MCX said yesterday that CurrentC may “pivot to NFC over time.” The company had earlier said that it was “entirely possible” that it would do a U-turn on its current exclusivity requirement and allow merchants to accept both CurrentC and Apple Pay at some point in the future, though no certainty or timeframe was offered.

MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson also expanded on yesterday’s less than convincing assurances about data security, saying that the recent hack “does not impact the rollout of CurrentC at all” – that the company expected attacks and will “deal with them.”

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Hours after citing capable security, CurrentC announces unauthorized access of users’ email accounts

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 16:35
Category: Finance, iOS, News, security, Uncategorized

currentc

Hubris, anyone?

Just hours after publishing a blog post answering some questions about its upcoming CurrentC mobile payments system and touting the security of its cloud-based storage of sensitive information, the company behind the effort, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) has alerted users of unauthorized access to their email addresses.

Per MacRumors, the company released the following statement:

Thank you for your interest in CurrentC. You are receiving this message because you are either a participant in our pilot program or requested information about CurrentC. Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you. Based on investigations conducted by MCX security personnel, only these e-mail addresses were involved and no other information.

Details on the unauthorized access have not been disclosed, but reporter Nick Arnott of iMore took some time earlier this week took a look at some of the personal information being collected by MCX and CurrentC and noted that he could ping CurrentC’s systems to look for valid registered email addresses on the system. While he did not find valid addresses, the system appeared capable of returning a substantial amount of personal information about such accounts.

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IHS iSuppli completes iPad Air 2 teardown, estimates slightly higher manufacturing and component costs

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014, 15:21
Category: Finance, Hardware, iPad

As is customary, the new iPad Air has been torn down to get an approximate fix on his much its component pieces retailed for.

The answer for the iPad Air 2 is about US$275.

Per MacRumors and Re/code, research firm IHS iSuppli has torn down the new iPad Air 2 in an attempt to estimate Apple’s component costs for the device. According to IHS iSuppli’s estimates, the 16 GB iPad Air 2 costs Apple roughly US$275 to build, just one dollar more than last year’s iPad Air.

The report unsurprisingly points out that Apple benefits from stronger profit margins as users move to higher capacity models, with Apple paying only about US$50 more for 128 GB of storage compared to the base 16 GB configuration while charging users US$200 for the upgrade. Still, Apple’s move to eliminate the 32 GB option and slide the 64 GB and 128 GB models down US$100 has slightly eroded Apple’s profit margins at the top end.

The latest report from the research firm IHS, shows that the base model of the iPad Air 2, the 16-GB Wi-Fi version, which sells for a price of US$499, costs $275 to build, exactly one dollar higher than the previous base model. The top-end model, the 128-GB LTE version costs which sells for US$829, costs US$358 to manufacture.

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