iPhone Turns Five Years Old the Friday with 250 Million Units Sold, $150 Billion in Revenue

This Friday will mark the fifth anniversary of the launch of the first iPhone. The first iPhone was officially launched on June 29th, 2007. Research firms Strategy Analytics has put together some interesting statistics, noting that has shipped 250 million iPhones cumulatively worldwide, generating $150 billion in cumulative revenues.

“The iPhone portfolio has become a huge generator of cash and profit for Apple,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. “A quarter of a billion iPhones have been shipped cumulatively worldwide in the first five years since launch and Apple reaches its fifth birthday at the top of its game.”

With the iPhone sales continuing to grow, more than 100 million of those unit sales have come during this past year. The iPhone 4S has caused a significant part of the surge, with over 35 million units sold in each of the past two quarters.

Business Insider also points out that the iPhone generates more quarterly revenue than Microsoft’s entire business, generates more profit than GE, Microsoft, or Google, and has remade the technology industry with its dominating position. Wow.

Use whatever you like, but don’t deny that the iPhone didn’t revolutionize many industries.

Apple Wins U.S. Injunction Against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab

On the eve of Google I/O, a U.S. judge has issued a preliminary injunction against all sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, which gives Apple a huge advantage on its ongoing legal battle against its handset rival. Reuters reports that U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh granted Apple’s request to block sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. This decision comes after Samsung’s petition to rehear the patent case was denied. The report also says that the injunction will be effective once Apple puts up a $2.6 million bond set aside for Samsung if the sales ban is later found to have been in error.

Haha, at the bond Apple had to put down. It is like Apple said “yah, we’ve got that, let me get out my wallet” to Samsung. After all, the company does have over $100 billion in cash.

AllThingsD received a statement from Apple that reemphasized their previous claims that Samsung had copied the iPad:

“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Nope, copy-cat Samsung was not copying Apple at all. Not at all. If Microsoft was able to create its own design for the Surface, why wasn’t Samsung able to do the same for the Galaxy Tab?

Apple to Invest $1 billion in Reno, Nevada Data Center, and Other Facilities

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Apple is considering investing up to $1 billion over the next ten years to build a new data center and other facilities in the Reno, Nevada. The new data center and other facilities would be located in the Reno, Nevada area. Also, the data center would be located in unincorporated Washoe County, while a “business and purchasing center” would be located in a business park in downtown Reno. This project is codenamed “Project Jonathan”, and is said to be planned to create nearly 600 construction jobs and as many as 41 direct and 200 contractor jobs upon opening.

It is also estimated to the boost the local economy by $103 million. The report also says that this project has been in the works for years, but only recently did Apple approach local and state officials about the Sparks center earlier this year.

Currently, Apple has a major data center in Maiden, North Caroline and a much smaller one in Newark, California near the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. Apple is also investing $250 million in a new data center in Prineville, Oregon. The company has  issued a statement to AllThingsD confirming its intent for the area.


Apple Releases New Podcast App for iOS

Earlier this month, it was rumored that Apple will be launching a standalone podcast app in iOS 6. Turns out, instead of waiting for the next version of iOS, Apple has released a brand new Podcasts app on the App Store today. The app is available for free and it is designed both for the iPad and iPhone. The app requires iOS 5.1 or later. [App Store]

“Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch,” Apple’s official description reads. “Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.”

Apple has highlighted the full list of features in the Podcasts application:

  • Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app
  • Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages
  • Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more.
  • Browse by Audio or Video podcasts, or see what’s most popular in Top Charts
  • Tap subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available
  • Stream episodes or download to listen while offline
  • Skip forward and back using simple playback controls
  • Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed
  • Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages and Mail
  • Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC
  • Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices

Apple also noted that in order to  optionally sync episodes of podcasts, users must be running iTunes 10.6.3 or later on their Mac or PC. Also, streaming or downloading episodes requires Internet access over Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection.

The app is really well done and makes listening to podcasts in iOS much easier.

Apple Megastore at Grand Central Terminal Boosts Sales at Other Businesses by 7.5%

Last year, Apple opened a brand new store in New York’s Grand Central, which looks absolutely stunning. The store grand opening  brought in a huge crowd too. It was also speculated that the store is  to generate half-a-billion in sales a year. Now New York Daily News reports that the new megastore in Grand Central Terminal has helped increase sales at other businesses in the terminal. The MTA rents space to about a 100 businesses.

According to the Nancy Marshall, director of Grand Central development at the MTA, sales at nearby restaurants, stores and other outfits increased a whopping 7.5 % between December and March compared to the same time frame ending in March 2011. Retailers located in the terminal brought in $177 million in sales last year, up 2.8 % above 2010. However, officials couldn’t immediately quantify in dollars the 7.5% increase in sales after Apple’s arrival.

The rent the MTA charges and collects from business at the terminal has also seen a steady increase over the year and it is projected to reach approximately $30.3 million this year. Net income after expenses is expected to be $20.3 million this year.


Orbitz Showing More Expensive Hotels to Mac Users

The Wall Street Journal reports that the travel shopping site  Orbitz is displaying more expensive hotels to Mac users because the company found that Mac users prefer more luxurious rooms. The travel site company said that it was not showing different prices for the same room to different users, but was presenting pricier hotels more often to Mac users than those using Windows. On Orbitz’s website, users can rank hotel options by price and get the same listings no matter what platform they are using.

The report also notes that the average household income for adult owners of Macs is $98,560, according to Forrester Research, versus $74,452 for a PC owner. It also notes that some high-end hotels see bookings from Mac users hugely out of proportion with their user share on Orbitz.

Apparently, these targeting efforts are part of Orbitz’s “predictive analytics” efforts — using gathered data to offer more accurate results to shoppers in order to generate more revenue. Sounds like a great way to create a PR nightmare, though.

Apple Releases iOS 6 Beta 2 to Developers

Today, Apple has released iOS 6 beta 2 to developers, which include a few fixes related to touchscreen keyboard performance. This update comes just two weeks after iOS 6 was revealed at WWDC 2012. Earlier today, developers started to hear that  an update was available from “AppleInternal”. The “operating system 6.0″ update is a  322-megabyte download for iPhone 4S users. The build number is  “10A5338d.” This new beta release is available via software update in Settings, and now the icon with gears move when updating to a new version of the software. A video can be watched below:

The release notes say that the update fixes an issue where key clicking sounds could be skipped during fast typing. Apple also addressed an issue in which the keyboard would be wrongly positioned when switching from landscape to portrait orientation. In addition, the company reportedly fixed an issue where the iOS SpringBoard may crash during a phone call if the screen would fade to black when using the speakerphone or headphones.  The update also fixed a crash issue which would occur if a new iCloud account was created during initial setup of the iOS device.

iOS 6 beta 2 also adds the podcasts section back into the iTunes application. However, there have been rumors that suggest that Apple may introduce a podcast application when iOS 6 officially launches this fall. The new beta is compatible with the third-generation iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and fourth-generation iPod touch.



Facebook Recruits ex-Apple UI Manager for Product Design

Facebook has hired former Apple UI designer manager Chris Weeldreyer as its new product designer manager to its Menlo Park HQ, reports The Next Web. Weeldreyer joined Facebook on June 18th, four months after he left Apple. At Apple, he was in charge of designing the company’s iWeb and Numbers software. According to his LinkedIn profile, he specializes in industrial design, interaction design, and user interface design on his LinkedIn profile and also has a number of patent applications registered to the company.

Weeldreyer noted the change on both his LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. He joined Facebook just days after the departure of CTO Brett Taylor, who is going to work on startup projects. Currently, Facebook has been advertising for a new Product Design Manager on its careers website to lead a team of designers and report to the Design Director. This is probably due to the company’s heavy interest and focus on developing new products on the social network.

Recently, Apple announced that it will integrate Facebook into iOS 6, which would suggest that the relationship between the two companies is closer than ever.


Apple Ebook Price Fixing Trial Scheduled for June 3rd, 2013


A while ago, the US Justice Department had sued Apple and publishers over ebook pricing. That decision was made after a year long investigation into Apple and the publishers. Today, The Verge reports that that the US Justice Department has scheduled a trial date for June 3rd, 2013. District Judge Denise Cote chose the date and made it official at the conclusion of a hearing in New York City on Friday. This will give the both parties plenty of time to justify their case in the antitrust suite, which accuses Apple and five publishers of agreeing to raise ebook prices by switching to a debatable agency model in 2010.

Apple’s so called “agency model” allows publishers to set e-book pricing under  a “most favored nations” clause that disallows them to sell the content to other resellers at a cheaper price. This agency model is found favorable among publishers that have been hurt by the quick adoption of inexpensive e-books.

Currently, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers, and Hachette Book Group have already reached settlements with the government. This leaves Macmillan and Penguin Group to settle the charges alongside Apple. However, there is always a possibility that a settlement among both parties may happen sooner before the trial next year.


App Store Launches in 32 New Countries

During the WWDC 2012 keynote, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, announced that the App Store would be launching in 32 additional countries this month. That would bring the total number of countries the App Store is available in to 155. As revealed in the country-selection page within the iTunes Store, those 32 new markets are now available. However, Apple has yet to update its support page listing which iTunes Store content is available in which country.

Majority of the new countries are located in Apple’s  African and Asian markets, with the exception of Albania and Ukraine in Europe. The full list of new App Store countries includes: Albania, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.

During the keynote, Cook revealed that the iOS App Store had reached the 3- billion download mark with over $5 billion paid to developers. In addition, there are over 650,000 apps available, 225,000 of which are designed for iPad.