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What matters out of Apple's record earnings, and more tech news today


Your tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Wednesday, January 29. 

1. Apple crushes it

Apple AirPods Pro iphone noise cancelling transparent audio

SoundGuys You can alternate listening modes on the AirPods Pro directly from an iPhone.

The world of Apple is doing just fine, thank you for asking. The main point to get across from Apple’s earnings release overnight is that the iPhone 11 sold bundles, and so did AirPods.

  • Apple booked $91.8 billion of revenue in the three months to the end of December.
  • 61% of that revenue was from the iPhone alone, revenue increasing by 8%.
  • Wearables beat Mac revenue, meaning AirPods + AirPods Pro + Apple Watch beat MacBook sales, even with AirPods Pro supply issues.
  • Mac sales declined 3%, Wearables up 44%.
  • Also, iPad sales fell 11%. That may be down to people waiting for the next release.

Other interesting bits:

  • No public comment on 5G rollout for iPhones or potential benefits for sales.
  • Not that Apple cares too much, with 1.5 Billion active devices worldwide.
  • CEO Tim Cook provided App Store sales data for New Year’s Day, a single day of the App Store’s existence, coming in at $386 million.
  • No numbers given for subscriber bases for Apple Arcade (Cook described uptake as “fast off the blocks”), Apple TV+ (Cook: “off to a rousing start”), or Apple News+.
  • Apple did note the new novel coronavirus as a potential issue for this financial quarter, with Cook noting the virus has already impacted Apple’s operations in China. A store has been temporarily closed, retail store hours have been reduced, travel restrictions are impacting sales, and manufacturing and supply have been hit, with facilities closed.
  • (Apple isn’t the only one; Starbucks had closed 2,000 outlets in China due to the virus.)

Sidenote:

  • It wasn’t all great news for Apple with the iPhone, thanks to one curiosity.
  • Sales in Japan, interestingly, were down about 10% for the quarter, coming after the Japanese government introduced rules to stop carriers discounting handsets, and reduce penalties for canceling contracts, to try and promote cheaper phone bills.
  • That’s the kind of thing where handsets can be had for ¥0 ($0!) upfront on 24-month contracts, if you switch carriers.
  • Apple, at the time, said this was “unfair.”
  • Japan went ahead with the rules, and iPhone sales fell.

2. Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s Clear History tool is now available to everyone (Facebook). Buuut but, as Gizmodo reports: “Facebook’s ‘Clear History’ tool doesn’t clear sh*t,” or, may I add, do much of anything for privacy. Anyway, you can use Facebook’s tool check by going to Settings > Your Facebook Information > Off-Facebook Activity, or click this link through to the non-obvious spot where it hides.


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