Apple's R&D spending shoots up 42% year-over-year, hit new $1.9B record in Q1

Jan 29, 2015 - 1:16 PM - by sparkyscott21

The location of Apple's forthcoming Cambridge R&D center in the U.K.

Apple does not appear to be resting on its laurels despite record sales of its iPhone and Mac, as the company spent nearly $2 billion on research and development in the first fiscal quarter of 2015, an increase of more than 40 percent over the year-ago figure.

The $1.9 billion outlay is $215 million more than Apple spent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 and $565 million more than the spend in the first quarter of that year. As has become its custom, Apple's most recent 10-K attributed the increase broadly to "an increase in headcount and related expenses, including share-based compensation costs, and machinery and equipment to support expanded R&D activities."

Apple's overall R&D spend continues to lag behind many of its competitors, but the company has long espoused a "focused" strategy, rejecting the correlation between spending large sums on research and the production of innovative products.

"The Company continues to believe that focused investments in R&D are critical to its future growth and competitive position in the marketplace and are directly related to timely development of new and enhanced products that are central to the Company's core business strategy," the filing reads. "As such, the Company expects to make further investments in R&D to remain competitive."

Unlike many other tech firms, Apple does not publicly reveal any information about its research activities, aside from the filing of patent applications. The R&D operation also suffers from few leaks relative to the company's supply chain, though some information has come to light in recent months.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed last month that Apple would build a "cutting-edge" research facility in Japan, though it has still not been formally announced. A second location is slated to come online in Camrbidge, U.K. and will join other known operations in Shanghai, Tel Aviv, and Cupertino.



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iTunes Connect bug logs developers into random Apple account, displays wrong apps

Jan 29, 2015 - 1:11 PM - by sparkyscott21

Many developers logging into Apple's iTunes Connect portal on Thursday found themselves presented with a a peculiar and potentially crucial error: The site is displaying the username, company, and apps of someone who is not them.

After logging into the iTunes Connect website, many developers found that the login credentials displayed were for someone else. When browsing to the "My Apps" section, developers were also shown applications that are not theirs.

AppleInsider was able to verify the error with a developer who logged in, only to see the information for a random person who works for the Sherwin-Williams Company.

The applications displayed when logged in were for an entirely different company, Kelly Services, Inc., suggesting that the username may not be associated with the apps displayed.

After logging out and attempting to log back in, the developer was presented with a message saying that iTunes Connect is not available.

The bug first appearing Thursday morning appears to be widespread, as a number of developers took to Twitter to show how the glitch was affecting them. For example, Paul Haddad of Tapbot, maker of Tweetbot, logged in to see a series of H&R Block tax applications, and received numerous responses from other developers experiencing similar issues.

The error allowed developers to see private email addresses and other details of people they were logged in as, presenting the issue as a major security concern. It's unclear whether the login error allowed developers to actually make changes to others' accounts.

iTunes Connect is the gateway developers use to make their applications available for sale on the iOS and Mac App Stores.



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Apple announces 1 billion iOS devices sold

Jan 28, 2015 - 1:16 PM - by sparkyscott21

Today during Apple’s Q1 earnings call with investors, CEO Tim Cook announced that the company sold its billionth iOS device back in November.

Cook noted that the billionth device was a 64GB iPhone 6 Plus and that the company is keeping it at its headquarters in honor of the milestone.

The news comes as Apple beats expectations and reports record smartphone sales today with 74.4 million iPhone units sold during the holiday quarter.



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Apple Store employees to get updated attire, go 'back to blue' starting Feb. 2

Jan 28, 2015 - 1:03 PM - by sparkyscott21

Starting Feb. 2, customers walking into an Apple Store may notice something a little different as employees are expected to wear newly designed crew neck or polo shirts in a familiar shade of blue, but with repositioned and resized white Apple logos.

The new shirt choices, shown above in a company email obtained by AppleInsider, appear to be the next step in Apple SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts' plan to clean up Apple Store operations.

The updated attire is not surprising considering Ahrendts' deep roots in the fashion industry. The retail chief, who oversees both physical and digital Apple Store operations, vacated her position as Burberry CEO last year for the chance to work with Apple.

Under the new policy, presented as "Back to Blue...But All New," employees can wear either a crew neck or polo shirt, both the same shade of dark blue. The styles come in long and short sleeve variations, though employees will be given one short sleeve version of each to start.

According to the email, Apple's new shirts are made of "finer cotton" for a more comfortable fit and use 10 percent recycled materials. The Apple logo will be smaller compared to current the design and is "centered over the heart."

Employees will be able to layer white long sleeved shirts underneath the new blues, but a decision has not been made regarding outerwear like jackets and fleece, clothing many workers view as a necessity for working in Apple's air conditioned stores.



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Happy birthday: The iPad turns five today

Jan 27, 2015 - 1:13 PM - by sparkyscott21

They grow up so fast!

Five years ago today, on January 27 2010, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco — giving the world its first glimpse of the so-called “Jesus tablet.”

Although not Apple’s first venture into the tablet market (that would be 1993’s Newton MessagePad 100), the iPad was the first tablet Apple had released while Jobs was running the show. And, boy, was it great!

When looking at the iPad, at first the temptation was to think of it as a giant iPhone. That’s not the case, however. In reality, Apple began work on its tablet before its now-iconic smartphone. For Jobs, the idea went back to 2002 and a conversation he had with a boastful Microsoft engineer, who bragged about a stylus-based tablet computer. A patent application from Apple followed in March 2004, with Jobs and Jony Ive as two of the inventors named.

Things have come a long way since then, but it’s worth re-watching Jobs’ original iPad introduction — just for a reminder of how much Apple’s revolutionary device has meant in the half-decade since.

Check out the video after the jump:



  2 Replies

Apple Pay coming to 200,000 vending machines, kiosks, paid parking & other self-serve

Jan 27, 2015 - 12:55 PM - by sparkyscott21

While individual retailers have been announcing support for Apple Pay as more NFC terminals enable the service, it’s still hit and miss on vending machines and other self-serve, unattended hardware. USA Technologies today announced it’s bringing support to around 200,000 of these self-serve payment terminals that its customers use for everything from coffee brewers to vending machines, kiosks, laundry equipment and pay parking terminals.

“Our customers are excited to accept Apple Pay at the self-serve locations they operate,” said Stephen P. Herbert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of USA Technologies. “We anticipate that the millions of consumers who frequent these locations will appreciate the convenience and security of using Apple Pay for their everyday purchases, and we believe that Apple Pay will help to drive additional sales for our customers. USA Technologies has always sought to provide convenience, security and an easy way to pay for consumers who are less and less likely to carry cash.”

The company offers a suite of services for companies looking to deploy self-serve, cashless terminals. A few example it lists as current markets include vending machines, pay laundry machines, kiosks, amusement parks and arcades, car washes, and transit services.

USA Technologies says it has deals with big brands like Starbucks and also many smaller mom and pop shops, so you can expect Apple Pay to work at many more self-serve locations starting today.

Others have made similar announcements recently with Chevron announcing plans to bring Apple Pay directly to payment terminals at its gas pumps.

Western Union also announced the roll out of Apple’s new payment service today as Apple earlier this month added support for additional banks and card issuers.



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