Apple users send 200,000 iMessages every second

Since being introduced back in 2011, iMessage has gone on to become a monster hit for Apple as a communication tool. How popular is it? According to Eddy Cue, iOS users cumulatively send up to 200,000 per second: a number which adds up to a whopping 63 quadrillion messages per year. “The scale for this […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple users send 200,000 iMessages every second

Apple Launches USB-C Charge Cable Replacement Program for Retina MacBook

Apple today launched a worldwide replacement program for the USB-C charge cables that were shipped with the 12-inch Retina MacBook through June of 2015, as these cables can fail „due to a design issue.“

According to Apple, affected cables may cause the MacBook to not charge or to charge intermittently when it is connected to a power adapter. Cables with the issue can be identified by their labeling, which reads „Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.“ Redesigned cables have the same text, but also include a serial number.

Apple is providing new, redesigned USB-C charge cables to MacBook owners with faulty cables at no cost. In addition to cables that shipped with the MacBook, the replacement program also includes faulty cables that were sold as standalone accessories.

Customers who supplied a valid mailing address when registering their product or purchasing it through the Apple Online Store will receive their new cables automatically, while other eligible MacBook owners can contact Apple Support, find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or visit an Apple retail store to get their cables replaced. Affected USB-C charge cables can be replaced under this program until June 8, 2018.

The Retina MacBook first went on sale in April of 2015, so the problematic cables were sold for approximately two months before a redesigned version was released.

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Apple Launches USB-C Charge Cable Replacement Program for Retina MacBook

Glitch Caused Apple to Underestimate Apple News Traffic

Publishers who have been offering their content on Apple News have been receiving incorrect usage statistics from Apple due to an internal glitch that caused the company to miscalculate the number of people using the service, Eddy Cue told The Wall Street Journal in a statement this evening.

According to Cue, Apple has been underestimating the number of readers using the News app since it launched alongside iOS 9 in September. The problem went under the radar because Apple was busy working on improving other aspects of the service. Apple doesn’t know how exactly many people are using the News app, but the company is working to fix the problem.

„We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality,“ [Cue] said. „We don’t know what the right number is,“ but he added that it was better to undercount than overcount traffic.

In October, during Apple’s fourth quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple News had approximately 40 million users, but he did not specify whether that number represented people who use the Apple News app on a regular basis or if it was a number reflecting the number of people who accessed the app at one point or another. Cue echoed that number in his comments to The Wall Street Journal, but it is not clear if that is an accurate figure given Apple’s current inability to calculate exact usage.

Despite not knowing how many people are using Apple News at the current time, Cue says that Apple News usage has „scaled very fast,“ and that the company is happy with the Apple News product’s progress thus far. After launching in the United States in September, Apple News expanded to the U.K. and Australia in October with the launch of iOS 9.1.

As The Wall Street Journal points out, accurate readership numbers are important to publishers because the figures impact advertising. Publishers who share content on Apple News are able to keep 100 percent of proceeds from ads sold on their own, or 70 percent from ads sold through the Apple iAd service. According to Cue, iAd has been popular enough with publishers that Apple will be expanding the platform with a self-service ad-buying feature in the next two months.

Apple has partnered more than a hundred publications for Apple News, including The New York Times, CNN, ESPN, The Atlantic, The Daily Mail, Slate, and more. MacRumors is also on Apple News and can be subscribed to by clicking this link on an iOS device.

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Glitch Caused Apple to Underestimate Apple News Traffic

Apple CEO Tim Cook Earned $10.3M in Fiscal 2015, Up From $9.2M in 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s compensation for fiscal 2015 was $10,281,327, according to a newly released SEC filing. That breaks down to a salary of $2 million, non-equity incentive compensation of $8 million, and other compensation of $280k. Cook earned approximately $1 million more than he did in fiscal 2014, when he brought in $9.2 million.

Last year, with stock awards and hiring bonuses, Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts earned $73 million, but in 2015, her compensation was $25.8 million, in line with other Apple executives, all of whom received $20 million in stock awards and $4 million in non-equity incentive compensation in addition to their $1 million salaries.

Senior executives Bruce Sewell, Dan Riccio, Eddy Cue, and Luca Maestri all earned more than $25 million in 2015, numbers that do not include restricted stock units that vested in 2015. Over the course of the year, Tim Cook received 560,000 shares of stock worth over $57 million, Angela Ahrendts received 391,634 shares worth $50 million. Eddy Cue, Dan Riccio, Bruce Sewell, and Luca Maestri also had shares worth between $11 million and $38 million vest.

Under the guidance of Tim Cook, Apple had another record year, generating $233.7 billion in sales, an increase of 28 percent over 2014 and a new high for the company. Earnings per diluted share were at $9.22, up 43 percent from 2014. According to its October forecast, Apple expects to continue its record earnings streak into 2016, with projected revenue between $75.5 and $77.5 billion for the first quarter of 2016.

Apple will announce its earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2015 on Tuesday, January 26. MacRumors will provide live coverage of both the earnings release and the conference call.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook Earned $10.3M in Fiscal 2015, Up From $9.2M in 2014

Twitter Considers Boosting Tweet Length Limits as High as 10,000 Characters

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last night hinted at an incoming change to the 140-character limit for which the social network has been known over the past decade. Dorsey mentioned that the limit has „become a beautiful constraint“ over the years, but the company is aware of certain workarounds its fans are going through to break away from the rule.

He points towards a possibility in the near future for the site to support full-bodied text tweets that are searchable and can be highlighted by users without a strict 140-character restriction. Back in August, Twitter removed the same limit from its private messaging system, and a month later new rumors about the possibility for the same move for traditional tweets began circling.

„At its core Twitter is public messaging. A simple way to say something, to anyone, that everyone in the world can see instantly. We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it.

Instead, what if that text…was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power. What makes Twitter, Twitter is its fast, public, live conversational nature. We will always work to to strengthen that. And by focusing on conversation and messaging, the majority of tweets will always be short and sweet and conversational!“

According to people familiar with Twitter’s plans, speaking with Re/code, the project is referred to as „Beyond 140“ and has a tentative launch window around the end of Q1 2016. Numbers that have been considered internally by the team range from 5,000 to 10,000 character limits, the latter of which would fall alongside the same restriction placed inside of private messages on the site.

The sources point to expandable actions for the new tweets that would keep timelines as tight and orderly as they appear with the current limit, but include an expandable prompt that would then showcase the tweet’s full text when clicked. Recently, Twitter updated its site to allow full images to appear without being cut off, and changed the favoriting star to a heart.

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Twitter Considers Boosting Tweet Length Limits as High as 10,000 Characters

Apple Offering Free Next Day Delivery On December 23

For procrastinators and last minute shoppers, Apple is planning to offer free next day delivery on December 23rd, ensuring Apple products and accessories will arrive in time for the upcoming Christmas holiday. According to Apple’s website, customers who place an order for an in-stock item by 2:00 p.m. on 12/23 will be eligible for free next day delivery.

In-store pickup orders made two hours before closing on 12/24 will also be available in any Apple retail location. Holiday hours for each retail store are available using Apple’s store locator tool.

Apple already offers free next day shipping on the iPhone, but other products like iPads, Apple Watches, Macs, and accessories are delivered using two day shipping. Products ordered ahead of 12/23 will deliver on time using the standard two day shipping that Apple provides.

As a reminder, Apple’s annual extended return policy is now in effect on the Apple Online Store and in retail locations in the United States, Canada, and many other countries. Most products and accessories purchased between November 1 and December 25 are eligible for return until January 8, 2016, extending the typical 14-day return policy. In some European countries, return dates are extended until January 20, 2016.
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Apple Offering Free Next Day Delivery On December 23

Apple Pay Coming to China Through Partnership With China UnionPay

Apple today announced a new partnership with China UnionPay, which will see Apple Pay expanding to China in early 2016. Through the partnership, China UnionPay cardholders will be able to use their bank cards with Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad (within apps).

„Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad,“ said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. „China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China’s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience.“

Apple Pay in the country will work with the China UnionPay Quickpass, an existing contactless payment service. Customers will be able to hold an iPhone or Apple Watch near a UnionPay QuickPass-enabled point-of-sale terminal to make a payment at participating stores.

Reaching a deal to bring Apple Pay to China has been a priority for Apple, given China’s increasing importance to the company. A partnership between Apple and China UnionPay was first hinted at in February, when the first iOS 8.3 beta introduced support for the China UnionPay network. Talks reportedly stalled later that month, but in the weeks ahead of today’s announcement, rumors pointing towards a deal picked up.

A recent rumor has suggested Apple is aiming to launch Apple Pay in China before February 8, 2016, which marks the start of Chinese New Year. According to Apple’s press release, the service will be available following „relevant tests and certification“ required by Chinese regulators.

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Apple Pay Coming to China Through Partnership With China UnionPay