Apple returned to its old forecast-busting ways on Wednesday, reporting better-than-expected revenue and iPhone growth. Even though iPad sales underwhelmed, Wall Street cheered the second-quarter results with an 8 per cent spike in after-hours trading. Apple also added $30bn in new dividends and share buybacks to its existing $100bn capital return programme, alongside a seven-for-one stock split.
Tim Bradshaw and Sarah Mishkin bring live commentary from Apple’s conference call and reactions from the market.
A cheeky Apple advertisement appeared in several newspapers on Tuesday. Above a vast array of solar panels, it read: “There are some ideas we want every company to copy.”
The ad ran not only during Apple’s latest bout of patent litigation against Samsung, which continues in a San Jose courtroom, but on Earth Day, an annual reminder of our environmental responsibilities.
Apple used Earth Day to launch a new video ad, ‘Better’, narrated by chief executive Tim Cook himself, and a new portion of its website dedicated to its green achievements. These include powering its data centres with 100 per cent renewable energy, as well as 120 of its retail stores.
But perhaps more remarkable is that Mr Cook let Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental initiatives, give an open and sometimes unscripted talk at Stanford University on Tuesday night. Read more
Lytro caused a lot of excitement among photography enthusiasts when it launched in 2011. Billed as the third evolution of the camera after film and digital, Lytro’s unique “light-field” sensor allowed snappers to “shoot first, focus later”, as well as other “computational photography” tricks such as shifting perspective or add 3D elements to an image after the photo is taken.
However, the Silicon Valley start-up’s first camera was aimed not at hardcore photographers, but at a mass market. The $500, flashlight-shaped device was described by the FT’s Chris Nuttall as “an amusement for now”, due to issues such as a small screen/viewfinder and counter-intuitive controls, even if he predicted the underlying technology was “likely to change photography radically in the long run”.
Three years and one CEO change later, Lytro is back with a new device, the Illum. It is aimed more directly at those snap-happy early adopters, professionals and “aspiring amateurs” who were most enthusiastic about its technology in the first place but perhaps found version one fell short of their hopes. Read more
In the canon of Apple top executive departures following the death of Steve Jobs, the retirement of numbers guy Peter Oppenheimer should give the least cause for concern. Read more
Here’s Apple’s play in the world of cars, and it’s called, er, CarPlay. Read more
Friday’s Personal Tech column reviewed the Narrative Clip, a small wearable camera that takes a photo every 30 seconds. Although it is a well-made product, I encountered some difficulties with the privacy aspects of wearing such a device, and felt that the images it produced were not worth the social awkwardness that it created.
Narrative’s co-founders are a thoughtful bunch and Oskar Kalmaru, the start-up’s chief marketing officer, sent the FT these comments in response: Read more
Apple doesn’t do down-market.
We’ve always known this about the premium device maker, but its first quarter results hammered home how this is becoming a problem for the iPhone creator. Read more
Are phablets more phabtastic now that Apple appears to be showing an interest?
The signs are that a product of unwieldy phone size and ugly monicker is winning at least some admirers. Read more
The internet search startup, which went on to resemble a media company with its content services, is becoming all about the hardware these days. Read more
The verdict is in and it’s unanimous. The best gadget of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show 2014 is not a curved television, a health-tracking wristband, a Bluetooth speaker or a connected car; in fact, it’s not even a finished product. Yet the latest prototype of the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset has so excited attendees that tech blogs the Verge and Engadget – not to mention this FT reporter – have named it their “best in show”. Read more
Monday was all about the big technology companies planting their flags in the areas believed to have a mainstream impact in 2014 – but it was telling that their choices of which segment to claim leadership in was rather varied: Read more
A new year brings a new perspective on Apple, with Wells Fargo analysts sensing a power shift for the iPhone maker and downgrading it from “Outperform” to “Market Perform”.
The stagecoach sages are turning bearish on worries that gross margins will come under pressure later this year with the iPhone 6, which would require new, more expensive components if the historic trend of a fresh design being introduced is repeated. Read more
Here’s the perfect Christmas present for the ultimate Apple fan – the Cupertino, California company has just announced a computer featuring perhaps its most striking design to date is available to order from tomorrow. Read more
As Japan strives to remain at the technological forefront, why is it that its companies are so averse to the idea of merging? Too many make the same thing yet do not get around to pooling their resources. The FT’s Special Report on Japan’s technology and innovation investigates this phenomenon, while looking at some of the latest in Japanese design, writes Peter Chapman. Read more
Apple, the world’s largest public company by market capitalisation, has a problem. The lawyer appointed to ensure it is not price-fixing e-book sales is just too expensive.
The iPhone and iPad maker complained to the New York court this week that Michael Bromwich’s $1,100 an hour fee is “excessive” and he has not justified it as either “reasonable” or customary”. Read more
Industry watchers scrutinise Apple announcements as hard as a customer might look at its high-resolution Retina displays, trying to see the individual pixels that are supposed to be indistinguishable to the human eye.
Thus, this morning’s announcement – that the iPad mini with its own new Retina display is now on sale – will be subject to the usual intense analysis. Read more