Did Google Really Boast of 700,000 Apps in Play Store?

The most important part of a mobile ecosystem is the availability of apps, as it drives adoption.  A higher number of apps on a platform attracts more developers creating a self-sustainable ecosystem. Although Google and Apple are fighting a tough battle for dominance in the mobile space, Apple is still winning for many reasons.

google-play-logo

Back in September, Apple announced that their App Store had hit 700,000 apps. Now, Bloomberg has reported that Google’s Play Store is also reaching 700,000 apps, and this threatens Apple’s dominance in the mobile space. However, I am a bit skeptic about how this news is spreading like wildfire. Google may have reached 700,000 apps in its Play Store, but is there any word on that from Google? Last I checked, the Nexus 4 page says there are 675,000 apps in the Play Store.

Did Bloomberg mean to say that “675,000” is the same as “about 700,000″? Following Bloomberg, almost all top tech-blogs are reporting with certainty that Play Store has indeed reached 700,000 apps and most of them are citing Bloomberg as their source. What surprises me is that if this really is big for Play Store, why is there no word on this from Google?

I am not very pleased with the prospects of Play Store reaching 700,00 apps even if it did. Google needs to put better quality control in place for the Play Store, something that Apple has perfected over the years. Half of the apps on the Play Store are utterly useless, rigged with malware or simply copies of apps from the App Store. There are very few apps on the Play Store that would make me proud of being an Android user, and it is not getting any better. Perhaps, Google should give this number battle a backseat, and start focusing on quality instead.

Apple Announces Management Changes

Today, Apple announced some major changes to its executive team. Among the biggest changes are the immediate departure of retail chief John Browett and a 2013 exit for iOS chief Scott Forstall. In addition, Jonathan Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, and Craig Federighi also have a change in roles. The changes in roll include:

– Jonathan Ive will take leadership of Human Interface teams, in addition to his role as head on Industrial Design.

– Eddy Cue will be responsible for Siri, Maps, and online services under one unit.

– Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X.

– Bob Mansfield will lead a new “Technologies” group focused on innovation in wireless technology and semiconductors.

From Apple’s press release:

Apple® today announced executive management changes that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams. As part of these changes, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will add more responsibilities to their roles. Apple also announced that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim.

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history”

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The amazing products that we’ve introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications, could only have been created at Apple and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services.”

Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. His incredible design aesthetic has been the driving force behind the look and feel of Apple’s products for more than a decade.

Eddy Cue will take on the additional responsibility of Siri® and Maps, placing all of our online services in one group. This organization has overseen major successes such as the iTunes Store®, the App Store℠, the iBookstore℠ and iCloud®. This group has an excellent track record of building and strengthening Apple’s online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of our customers.

Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X®. Apple has the most advanced mobile and desktop operating systems, and this move brings together the OS teams to make it even easier to deliver the best technology and user experience innovations to both platforms.

Bob Mansfield will lead a new group, Technologies, which combines all of Apple’s wireless teams across the company in one organization, fostering innovation in this area at an even higher level. This organization will also include the semiconductor teams, who have ambitious plans for the future.

Additionally, John Browett is leaving Apple. A search for a new head of Retail is underway and in the interim, the Retail team will report directly to Tim Cook. Apple’s Retail organization has an incredibly strong network of leaders at the store and regional level who will continue the excellent work that has been done over the past decade to revolutionize retailing with unique, innovative services for customers.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

 

Apple Sells out of Launch Day iPad Mini Pre-order Stock

Apple sold out of its iPad mini pre-order stock this morning. On Friday, the company sold out of its white iPad mini pre-order stock within minutes, but its black models held out until today. Apple is still quoting its original “Mid November” estimate for cellular-capable models in the U.S., with other countries seeing “Late November” estimates.

The iPad mini was introduced during a special media event on October 23rd and the company began accepting pre-orders on Friday, October 26th. Apple’s iPad mini will officially launch on this Friday, November 2. Apple’s retail stores will begin sales at 8:00 AM on Friday. In addition, the new fourth-generation iPad is also launching this Friday with a similar launch schedule as the iPad mini. The new fourth-generation iPad WiFi only models will be made available this Friday while cellular-capable models will follow later.

 

iPhone 5 Releasing in India on Nov 2, Prices Revealed

Redington, one of the official distributors of Apple products in India, has revealed the prices for the next generation iPhones. As always, you will have to pay a premium if you wish to own Apple’s latest and greatest offering. The base model — iPhone 5 with 16 gigs of storage — will retail for Rs. 45500, which is a good ten thousand bucks more than what high end Android devices are selling for. However, Apple stuff in India has never been cheap, and the outrageous pricing has never been a major deterrent for true Apple fans.

iPhone5

Apple is expected to launch both white and black versions in India; however, stock will probably limited considering global demands. Higher end models with more storage will also be available in India, beginning next week. The 32 GB version will cost Rs. 52500, while the 64 GB version will cost Rs. 59500. I have always stayed away from the iPhone, as at these kind of price points I can very well get a high end gaming PC or two high-end Android smartphones. However, if you believe that there is no substitute for Apple’s exquisite sense of design or premium craftmanship, you can pre-order your device at several retailers including Infibeam.

Apple Targeting First Quarter 2013 Launch for Online Music Service

Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple may be looking to create a radio streaming service to rival current services like Pandora in an attempt to protect its position as the world’s largest music dealer. Today, Bloomberg reports that Apple is hoping to close deals for an online music service in the next few weeks, targeting a launch for the first quarter of next year.

Apple Inc. and major music labels have intensified negotiations to start an advertising-supported Internet radio service by early next year, according to people with knowledge of the talks.

Talks are centered in part around how to share ad revenue and a deal could be reached by mid-November, with Apple starting a service within the first three months of 2013, said the people, who asked not to be named because discussions are still in progress.

According to the report, executives from Vivendi, Universal, Warner, and Sony have all visited Apple’s headquarters in recent weeks to learn more about Apple’s plans. An issue in the negotiations seems to be with the advertising, with Apple seeing the service as a way to strengthen its iAd offerings music labels want a share of that ad revenue and the ability to insert their own advertising into listeners’ streams.

Pandora’s shares took a 14% nose dive today over reports that Apple may launch an internet radio service and trading was halted.

iCloud Now Has over 190 Million Users

Today, during Apple’s quarterly earnings call, the company revealed that iCloud has over 190 million users. That’s up 40 million from the 150 million users the company cited during its last earnings call in July. In April, Apple revealed that a 125 million people were using iCloud.

iCloud is a free service that stores all your content and seamlessly syncs it across all your devices. It replaced the company’s predecessor paid subscription service called MobileMe with a more seamless and free service.

Apple offers users with 5GB of free storage space on iCloud. Users who want more space can pay $20 per year for 10GB of additional storage (for a total of 15GB), $40 for 20GB and $100 for 50GB.

Apple Reports Q4 2012 Earnings of $8.2B on $36B in Revenue

Today, Apple announced financial results for the third calendar quarter and fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. Apple reported a revenue of  $36.0 billion and net quarterly profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $28.27 billion and net quarterly profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Apple also provided a guidance for this quarter of  $34 billion in revenue and earnings of $7.65 per share.

The total revenue of $156.5 billion and net profit of $41.7 billion for fiscal 2012 are both company records. In fiscal 2011, Apple earned $25.9 billion on $108.2 billion in sales.

Last quarter, Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones, up 58 percent from the year-ago quarter,  and the company sold 14.0 million iPads, up 26 percent year-over-year. Apple sold 4.9 million Macintosh computers, which is an increase of 1 percent over the year-ago quarter, as well as 5.3 million iPods, representing a 19 percent unit decline year-over-year.

Apple’s guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 is expected to be $52 billion of revenue and earnings per diluted share to be $11.75.

 

Apple Posts New ‘Colors’ TV Ad for 13″ MacBook Pro With Retina Display

Apple has posted a new television ad for the 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The ad highlights umber of different Apple apps including Mail, Final Cut Pro, Aperture, and iTunes. The new machine is aimed at “the pro in all of us.”

Introducing the new 13″ MacBook Pro.

With the stunning Retina display.

For the pro in all of us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfiJOP2uGk4&feature=player_embedded

Apple’s really good at making some great ads. This ad is just fantastic.

 

AT&T Activates 4.7 Million iPhones in Q3

Today, AT&T announced financial results for the third quarter of 2012, revealing that the carrier continues to see strong iPhone sales. AT&T revealed that the carrier activated 4.7 million iPhones during the quarter, which is an increase of one million over the previous quarter.

The 4.7 million iPhone activations represent about 77% of AT&T’s total smartphone sales of 6.1 million during the quarter. In addition, AT&T’s smartphones sales rose to 81% and the iPhone represented 62% of AT&T’s sales of all phones (smartphones and feature phones).

So much for the iPhone being “doomed.”

Certain Apple Stores Will Replace Less Than 30 Days Old iPad 3 With The Fourth-Generation One

Yesterday, Apple surprised everyone by announcing the fourth generation iPad with a much faster A6X SoC (System-on-Chip), a new Lighting port, updated LTE baseband and upgraded FaceTime HD camera. Refreshing a product within six months of its release is not something Apple is known for, and this move has clearly disappointed many existing iPad 3 owners.

If you got an iPad recently, you will certainly be feeling the burnt more. Thankfully, certain Apple stores will be replacing the iPad 3 for the fourth-generation iPad, only if the device is less than 30 days old. CNET reports that this is not a company wide policy, and so not all Apple stores will be replacing the iPad 3 for the new iPad.

Oh! and don’t think Apple will replace your third generation iPad for the new one if you give your for servicing due to some hardware fault. Apple has a big pile of refurbished iDevices, and will promptly replace your iPad with a third-gen iPad only.