Russia's second largest carrier Megafon said its iPhone agreement with Apple requires it to sell 750,000 iPhones over three years and spend $28 million on marketing and promotion through 2016.
The terms of the agreement were spelled out in the carrier's 2013 financial report, which was released this week and reported by Reuters.
The details illuminate the type of agreements Apple makes with carriers. By specifying aggressive minimum sales and incorporating co-marketing budgets, Apple aligns carrier's goals with its own.
Reuters cited Sergei Libin, an analyst at Raiffeisen Research, as describing Megafon's minimum iPhone sales volume as "reasonable," adding that "I would not say it could sell much more than this."
Megafon stopped carrying Apple's iPhone in 2009 over a dispute regarding sales guarantees, but after four years it decided to return in January. Third place Russian carrier Vimpelcom similarly signed a deal with Apple last fall.
Apple's iPhone currently holds a 9 percent unit share of the overall smartphone market in Russia, but commands 20 percent of the industry's $5 billion in annual revenues, Reuters noted.
New Apple promotions from Walmart and Target may be enticing enough for holdouts to finally upgrade to the newest iPhone and iPad.
Walmart is getting aggressive and beating out Best Buy’s current $50 discount on iPhone 5s by dropping the price all the way down to $119, according to CNN Money. This is one of the lowest prices we have ever seen for Apple’s flagship smartphone. You can push the price even lower by trading in your old gadgets (smartphones, video games, tablets, more) for Walmart gift cards. The colorful iPhone 5c will be slashed to just $29. Both deals are for the 16GB models on a 2-year contract. Best Buy’s promotion is slightly better for our loyal readers who locked in their free $50 gift card from the electronics retailer.
Starting this Sunday, Target is guaranteeing a gift card of at least $150 for iPad 2 (or newer) trade-ins (via TechnoBuffalo). A quick comparison of other trade-in specialists like Gazelle show that $150 for a ‘good’ condition iPad 2 is slightly above market value. In addition to the inflated trade-in value, Target will also give you an extra $30 gift card if you purchase a new iPad from them. That means you can turn your outdated iPad 2 into a Retina iPad mini for just $220 out of pocket or less if your trade is worth more than the minimum amount. Target is also boosting used smartphone trade-ins by $50 when you purchase a new iPhone 5s/5c with a 2-year agreement.
Shares of Pixelworks surged more than 30 percent in premarket trading on Thursday, after the company revealed that Apple represented more than 10 percent of its revenue in 2013.
It's unknown exactly what Apple has purchased from Pixelworks, but the company makes video and pixel processing semiconductors and software, benefitting from high-resolution screens like Apple's Retina displays. Pixelworks says it delivers its technology as IP cores, semiconductors, software and custom ASIC solutions, allowing its customers to "deliver the highest video quality in a multitude of applications and form factors."
The target market for Pixelworks includes tablets, smartphones, and ultraportable notebooks — all markets where Apple competes — as well as large flat panel displays and digital projection systems.
Pixelworks' sales to Apple were disclosed on Wednesday in an official filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which was discovered by Mark Gomes of PTT Research. It marks the first time that a relationship between the two companies has been confirmed.
In addition to Apple, Pixelworks also revealed that NEC and Hitachi are a major customer, each also representing more than 10 percent of revenue. Past major customers to Pixelworks include Panasonic and Seiko Epson.
In all, revenue attributable to Pixelworks' top five customers in 2013, including Apple, Hitachi and NEC, represented 57 percent of the company's revenue in 2013.
Once again, Apple is back to giving away free music through an iTunes promotion within its Apple Store app for U.S. customers. The new giveaway highlights three artists with “new tracks helping to define this year’s musical landscape.” Specifically, the app features tracks from Master Blaster Sound System, Bad Suns, and Kris Bowers. It’s worth checking out if you’re into discovering new music, but Amazon has some more traditional artists like George Strait, The Beach Boys, and Dean Martin in its Icon Series music giveaway over at 9to5Toys. Check below for how to grab the free tracks from iTunes.
While Apple did release a dedicated Apple Store app for iPad last November, it has yet to include any promotion or giveaway within that app. You will want to be sure you’re using the standard Apple Store app for iPhone (and yes, you can run it on iPad to redeem the promotional content).
The first view of the app features a list view of categories and featured sections, and U.S. customers should find Apple’s free music promotion toward the bottom of the list. Redeeming the tracks provides you with an offer code and sends you over to iTunes on your iOS device, and the tracks will then download for your consumption.
Previously, Apple has featured free content including Tetris, a fitness app, and more in its retail shopping app. We originally reported Apple’s plans to begin giving away content to Apple Store app users to promote the shopping experience last July.
A new patent, published Thursday, describes a method for carrying out wireless pairing and communication between Apple devices using biometric data.
The patent was filed August 31, 2012, and features several possible implementations of the technology, designed to increase security on Apple products.
In the patent’s primary implementation, a user would be able to access files stored on specific devices, such as an iMac or iPad, only after first authenticating their identity using multiple biometric inputs.
These include areas Apple is already known to be working in, but also hint at other security measures the company might implement in future devices.
While fingerprint scanners like Touch ID have been in place since the launch of the iPhone 5s in September 2013, the patent describes asking users to submit palm prints, face-recognition, retina scans, and voice signatures before being allowed access to their data. Although some of these areas have been previously explored by third-party apps, they have not previously been implemented by Apple.
The patent additionally describes how users could have the option of assigning different security levels to parts of their data — so that certain files or areas would need more authorization (say, face recognition, retina scan, and voice signature) before allowing access. Although this would be time consuming for the user, it would also present the most secure method possible of ensuring security is maintained.
The Wireless Pairing and Communication Between Devices Using Biometric Data patent names Chang Zhang and Qing Liu as its inventors.
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