Category Archives: General

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Apple Officially Welcomes Beats As Deal Closes

Apple on Friday officially welcomed Beats Electronics to its big Cupertino family, publishing a new splash page dedicated to the headphone maker.

Today we are excited to officially welcome Beats Music and Beats Electronics to the Apple family. Music has always held a special place in our hearts, and we’re thrilled to join forces with a group of people who love it as much as we do. Beats cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have created beautiful products that have helped millions of people deepen their connection to music. We’re delighted to be working with the team to elevate that experience even further.

And we can’t wait to hear what’s next.

The update follows the official closing of the US$3 billion acquisition this week, as U.S. regulators gave the deal the green light, following the European Commission’s approval last week. The U.S. regulatory approval was confirmed by Apple according to a 9to5Mac report.

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Apple Confirms Acquisition of Radio App Swell

Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple was in the midst of acquiring radio app Swell for a sum of US$30 million. The deal has now been confirmed by Wall Street Journal reporter Daisuke Wakabayashi, who has apparently received Apple’s standard statement for acquisition of smaller companies.

Apple confirms Swell deal w: we buy “smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Swell Radio was a mobile streaming application that worked in a similar fashion to music streaming service Pandora, learning users’ listening preferences and curating personalised streams based on various available podcasts and shows.

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European Commission Clears Apple’s US$3 Billion Acquisition of Beats

As noted by Engadget, the European Commission today gave Apple’s US$3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics the green light, clearing one of the regulatory hurdles the tech giant faces in its bid to close the mammoth transaction.

The EU commission ruled that the merger “did not raise concerns because the combined (headphone) market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low.” That might sound like an odd thing to say about Apple, but the EU pointed out that after buying Beats, it would still have Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and other competitors in the sector. As a result, Apple/Beats would be far from a headphone monopoly, which was the EU’s main concern.

Apple announced the acquisition back in May, with CEO Tim Cook stating that the deal was not about “what the two companies are doing today”, but rather, about what the synergies generated between the two can “produce for the future”.

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Apple to Acquire Radio App Swell for US$30 Million

Apple is close to acquiring radio app Swell Radio for US$30 million, according to a report by Re/Code.

Apple is close to buying the Pandora-for-talk-radio app Swell, according to multiple sources. The deal is worth about $30 million, these sources say.

Swell Radio is a mobile streaming application that works in a similar fashion to music streaming service Pandora, learning users’ listening preferences and curating personalised streams based on various available podcasts and shows.

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Bose Sues Beats Over Infringement of Noise Cancellation Patent

Consumer electronics giant Bose has filed a lawsuit against Beats Electronics, alleging infringement of its patents related to noise-cancelling headphones, reports TechCrunch.

Bose alleges that Beats has infringed on 50 years’ worth of research, development and engineering of noise cancelling tech, and that its current lineup of these devices incorporates “at least 36 U.S. patents and applications,” broken down into 22 granted patents and 14 applications currently undergoing review. Beats products named as having infringed upon Bose’s IP include the Beats Studio line, which include the new Studio Wireless Bluetooth headphones.

The news, which was first broken by CNBC’s Josh Lipton, comes shortly after Apple’s US$3 billion acquisition of Beats in May. Bose’s full complaint is listed on Priorsmart and cites Beats Electronics and Beats Electronics International as defendants in the case.

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iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton

Spike in Apple’s Quarterly Spending Hints At Major Upcoming Product Launches

Apple’s recent Q-10 filing reveals a significant increase in manufacturing and component purchases – a sign that the company could be gearing up for major product launches, according to a report on Friday by Appleinsider.

Via Appleinsider

The document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week discloses that Apple’s commitments for third-party manufacturing and components grew 22 percent quarter over quarter to $15.4 billion at the end of June. The increase was highlighted on Friday by analyst Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley, who noted that the off-balance sheet commitments are a sign of “major product ramps” in the coming months.

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Apple’s Mobile Payment Service Could Be Launching This Fall

Apple is reportedly accelerating development of a mobile payment system, or an ‘e-wallet’, and could launch it as early as ‘this fall’ alongside the iPhone 6, according to tech site The Information.

Conversations between Apple and payments-industry companies have heated up in recent months, with several people briefed on the talks saying that Apple executives have discussed launching a mobile “wallet” as soon as this fall for people to use their iPhones to pay for goods in physical stores.

According to the report, which cites sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans, the tech giant’s system would revolve around a “secured element” within phones whereby users’ financial credentials would be stored.

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Apple Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit Over Alleged Labor Violations

Shortly after Apple announced its fiscal third-quarter results earlier this week, TechCrunch reported that the company had been hit with a class-action lawsuit in California over alleged labor violations affecting more than 20,000 employees.

The company is being sued in a class-action suit over a series of alleged violations of the California Labor Code, including the “timely” granting of meal and rest breaks as well as final paychecks. The case potentially affects some 20,000 current and former Apple employees in the state, the plaintiffs say.

According to the tech site, the lawsuit was first filed in 2011 by four Apple employees and was only certified as class-action on Wednesday.  The development widened the pool of plaintiffs significantly, with latest estimates pegging it at over 20,000.

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Tim Cook: Apple Completed 29 Acquisitions in Past Nine Months

During its fiscal third-quarter conference call this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company had completed 29 acquisitions in the past nine months, not including the widely-reported mammoth acquisition of Beats Electronics.

In line with Apple’s penchant for secrecy when it comes to acquisitions, Cook did not provide any details of the 29 companies, though several names have been reported in the past months, including micro-LED startup LuxVue and social search startup Spotsetter.

But, of course, the Beats buy easily eclipses any of these acquisitions, with its US$3 billion price tag making it the most expensive in Apple’s history.

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File photo of Apple logo inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo

Apple’s Third Quarter Results Fueled by Strong iPhone Sales

Apple this week announced its financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal year 2014.

The Company posted quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $35.3 billion and net profit of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 59 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The revenue figure of US$37.4 billion, although representing a 6% increase from the year-ago quarter, fell short of market expectations of US$37.9 billion. The company did, however, beat street estimates of 38 percent for gross margin and US$1.23 for earnings per diluted share.

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