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A lot has been said about Apple’s various services like the iTunes and App Stores, Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apple Care and others now making more money than its Mac business. In the June quarter, for example, the Services category shot up 20 percent year-over-year, raking in nearly $6 billion in quarterly revenue and making Services the second largest part of Apple’s revenue overall.
Services allow Apple to generate a steady stream of revenue from existing devices, leading Asymco analyst Horace Dediu to estimate in an interview with The Financial Times that, including hardware and software, existing Apple customers currently spend around $1 per day.
The article takes a look at Tim Cook’s performance during his first five years as the CEO of Apple. In it, Apple analyst Horace Dediu notes the Cupertino firm is priced “like a steel company going out of business” because it’s always earned a far lower price-to-earnings ratio than other tech giants like Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon.
The Apple of today is a much different company than the Apple of 2011, he noted:
Apple is a global empire, much bigger [five years on] in terms of sales, headcount and customers. In some ways that means they may have lost that sharpness of innovation but at the same time this is not a bad place to be.
He went on to argue that Wall Street is looking at Apple all wrong.
With more than one billion unique devices in active use, small wonder that Apple’s Services category is now approaching the size of a Fortune 100 company. According to Dediu’s estimates, Apple’s customers spend around $1 per day, which encompasses spending on hardware, software and services.
“Apple will at some point in time have a billion paying customers,” he predicts. “A billion dollars a day from a billion customers is not inconceivable.”
Granted, 1+ billion active devices don’t exactly translate into one billion unique customers because some people own more than one device. Nevertheless, it is startling to realize that Apple is now approaching that inflection point where it will be in a position to monetize a billion paying customers with a range of existing services, and ones that are currently in the pipeline.
The five charts in this post provide a great overview of Cook’s first five years as the CEO of Apple through five key metrics: cumulative sales and revenues as a percentage of total sales; Apple’s vast cash holdings and return of capital; substantial workforce increase; market value; and installed user base and Services performance.
You’ve probably heard by now that today marks Cook’s fifth anniversary as the Apple CEO—he was named the CEO on August 24, 2011—which has unlocked the previously awarded stock bonuses that are currently worth more than a hundred million dollars.
Cook’s bonuses during his ten-year tenure as the CEO are tied to the company’s financial performance, including its total shareholder return relative to the S&P 500 index. Specifically, in 2011 Cook was awarded 980,000 restricted stock units as part of compensation package of more than 4.7 million shares.
The restricted stock units, some of which have vested today and the others scheduled to vest annually in the following years, are currently valued at nearly $107 million based on Apple’s Tuesday closing price of $108.85.
Source: The Financial Times
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How Fire Emblem Heroes inspired one guy to spend $900 on week 1
This week in Fire Emblem Heroes – launch week, mind you – one fellow spent a whopping $900 (or more, so he suggests) on gacha. Gacha is the monetization technique used in random-toy vending machines around the world, here used to distribute characters in Fire Emblem Heroes. While the game itself is free to play, users are encouraged to attain new characters (heroes) to use whilst playing. Gamer Kookoo22 decided that Fire Emblem Heroes was put together well enough that he’d give the gacha element a go – over, and over, and over again.
When the game begins, the user is given a number of “orbs” – which are one form of currency in the game. When the player gets 5 orbs, they’re able to trade the game to summon a new hero. Fire Emblem Heroes encourages large amounts of orbs to be spent at one time by showing 5 unopened summons at once. The first summon is 5 orbs, then each successive summon costs one fewer orb than the last.
It’s very, very easy to find one’s self wishing they had more orbs almost immediately. While there are a number of ways to earn orbs in the game, Nintendo has also made it possible to purchase orbs for real money. That’s an in-game purchase, and a very easy way to spend a whole lot of cash.
The gallery you’ll see below shows the heroes attained by one user, Kookoo22, over the course of the first week this game’s been active. Believe it or not, $900 does not necessarily get the user all 89 unique characters (different rarities, names, etcetera). UPDATE: After spending a total of $1050, Kookoo22 suggests he’s still missing 7 characters.
Kookoo22 suggested on Reddit that they are both a Chemical Analyst and a Software Developer, meaning it’s possible they’re making a decent amount of cash – but it’s not as if they have unending piles of cash. Asked what he did to become a Chemical Analyst slash Software Developer, Kookoo22 listed the following:
• Bachelor’s in Biochem – 4 years
• Master’s in Analytical Chem – 2 years
• Self taught programmer
• May go back for Ph.D. at some point
“I highly recommend for everyone to learn how to program,” said Kookoo22. “It will open up doors and give you an edge against peers in your same field that do not know how to do it.”
Using this amount of money on a game that’s been released only days before might be an indicator of a gambling addiction. It might also be that this user really, really loves the Fire Emblem game series. Asked about his love of the game and gaming in general, Kookoo22 said, “yeah, I have pretty much everything I could want gaming-wise, it’s really the only thing I spend extra money on.”
SEE ALSO: Fire Emblem Heroes Tier List
When asked whether he spent the same amount of cash on other games, Kookoo22 replied: “I’m a big spender in Guild Wars 2, I dropped a lot into Mass Effect 3 multiplayer when it first came out, if the multiplayer in Andromeda is good, I will probably do the same.”
“Outside of that, I used to play alot of TCGs and miniature table top games,” said Kookoo22, “and competitive arcade games like Initial D and Wangan Midnight, but arcades died and I moved away from my local gaming scene and never found another one, so everything went digital.”
Kookoo22 was also pressed further about what he likes about Fire Emblem specifically. “You go through life and you are the main character in your mind, but everyone else out there also have their own stories where they are the main character and they are just as valuable as a person as you,” said Kookoo22. “I think the Fire Emblem games highlight that by showing that each person is unique and even though they are characters in the main story, they have their own interesting stories too and they are valuable.”
Much of the Intel Developer Forum’s first day was spent talking about Ivy Bridge, Intel’s next generation CPU built on the upcoming 22nm tri-gate process technology. Normally, Ivy Bridge would be the “tick” in Intel’s “tick-tock” model of processor product development. The “tick” refers to moving to a new, higher density process technology. When Intel does that, the first CPU product it builds on the new manufacturing process, is usually a tweaked and enhanced version of an existing CPU architecture. The “tock” is when Intel, now comfortable with a new process, designs a new architecture, then builds it on the now familiar process.
On the x86 CPU side, Intel pretty much did just that with Ivy Bridge. There will be some performance improvements over the existing Sandy Bridge architecture, but those will be incremental. Power efficiency is likely to be substantially better, however.
Much of the emphasis on Ivy Bridge is in power efficiency. The CPU will enable DDR I/O power gating, configurable TDP (thermal design power) and power-aware interrupt pairing. Configurable TDP is interesting in that current Intel CPUs offer a single thermal design power point. Configurable TDP will allow system makers to design a single CPU into a variety of form factors, including cases that may offer limited cooling, without sacrificing base level performance. In addition, Ivy Bridge will support DDR3L, the new low voltage DDR3 standard running at 1.35v.
Intel is improving overclocking capabilities, increasing the maximum multiplier ratio support from 57 to 63. Another interesting change is dynamic overclocking, letting users change clock speed through software without rebooting the system.
Intel also added a new digital random number generator that’s supposedly much more robust and and much speedier than current methods. Also added is Supervisor Mode Execution Protection, a hardware technique to prevent malware from jumping across hardware security levels inside the CPU.
Intel Senior Fellow and graphics architect Tom Piazza discussed the new graphics core at some length. The key factors to the design include adding significant geometry and tessellation horsepower to fully support DX11. The core is highly scalable, with functional “slices” and “slice commons” able to be built for different CPU product needs. Instead of the two variants you see today for Intel HD Graphics, you may see a number of different versions.
Overall, Piazza estimates double the overall throughput of the core, compared to Sandy Bridge GPUs, but some areas may see even greater performance increases, while achieving the goal of greater power efficiency. Will an integrated GPU from Intel finally get some respect from gamers? Only time will tell.The Intel Showcase and the X79 Factor
Intel always has a trade show in miniature at IDF, mostly highlighting partner products using Intel technology. While Ivy Bridge is interesting, it’s a few months out. Most of the actual product attention is on Sandy Bridge Extreme, which will be a new high end CPU from Intel replacing the current Gulftown six core processors, like the Core i7 990X. Sandy Bridge Extreme will ship late in 2011.
Sandy Bridge Extreme, often abbreviated SBe, will require a new chipset and socket. The socket, dubbed LGA2011, will replace the aging LGA1366. The chipset is the X79 chipset. SBe and the chipset together will support four channels of DDR3 memory. Let’s look at a few X79 boards.
Stay tuned for more Intel Developer Forum coverage.
Watchsmith is a useful new app from developer David Smith (best known for his sleep-tracking Apple Watch software, called Sleep++) that lets you customize more than three-dozen dynamic watch complications which can change throughout the day. Given Apple doesn’t permit third-party watch faces, it’s the closest thing to being able to create your own watch faces.
The sophisticated, powerful software makes it a cinch to customize your complications. You get a wide collection of highly customizable, polished complications to boot, ranging in function from date, time and calendar to weather, tides, activity, astronomy and beyond.
You can even use time zones and your battery status in the Watchsmith complication. Each complication can be adjusted precisely to best fit your desired function and appearance.
As noted in the MacStories review of Watchsmith by Ryan Christoffel, several stock Apple Watch faces already offer significant room for customization.
The Infograph face, for example, contains eight different complication slots; if a rich array of third-party complications were available, you could build a highly customized watch face using the existing faces provided by Apple.
As you may have suspected, Watchsmith exists to provide rich set of complications.
The app offers 37 types of complications, each adaptable to different watch faces and complication slots, and all fully customizable so they can look exactly the way you prefer. Additionally, Watchsmith offers scheduling functionality to cause different complications to appear on your Watch at different times throughout the day.
Scheduling is where Watchsmith truly shines.
Its ability to change the complication every hour (up to 24 times per day) lets you assign different complications to specific hours of the day, with rules you define. As an example, one time slot may show the weather first thing in the morning. Then as you start your work, it could show your calendar before switching to your Activity ring progress as you wrap up your day.
Zac Hall, 9to5Mac:
This schedule works really well for my weekday routine. If I wake up before sunrise, I can know when it’s safe to go for an outdoor run. When I’m waking up my kids at the usual time, I can know how to dress them for the day.
When work begins, I can see how many appointments I have on the calendar and see how soon until the next one starts on the schedule. The time-zone complication is most useful on Thursdays when I record 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast in central time with my colleague Benjamin Mayo in the UK.
After work hours, I can glance at my activity data and know how much movement is required to meet my fitness goals. I don’t mind seeing this throughout the day, but it always starts at zero, and you often can’t act on the exercise goal until after-work hours.
While the Siri watch face provides relevant data throughout the day, its algorithm isn’t predictable so you never quite know what you’re gonna get, and when. With Watchsmith, you choose which piece of information is displayed on your watch face, and precisely when.
It offers plenty of utility for free. If you’d like to unlock all of its capabilities and customization options, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription at $2 per month or $20 per year.
Watchsmith is free to download from the App Store.
Last Updated on June 29, 2023
Amazon is returning with Prime Day deals starting July 11-12, 2023, and they are teasing several great tablet deals that will be available starting today. Early Prime Day deals have begun to roll out, and if you are in the market for a new iPad, stay tuned.
IPad devices rarely get deep discounts, but this year’s Prime Day shows some of the lowest pricing on tablets by Apple. The latest deal dropped for Early Prime Day discounts is a discount of 17% off the Apple iPad 9th generation 10.2 inch Tablet in the 256 GB model. With this discount, you can save $80 on the price of this tablet.
The iPad 9 features a retina display and massive onboard storage with a battery life that can last the average user an entire day. Released in 2023, this is still a modern and well-rated iPad.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes this deal so competitive.
Apple iPad (9th Generation)
$50 off @ Amazon
*Prices are subject to change. PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
A13 Bionic Chip: The A13 bionic chip is a 6-core processor featured on many top Apple devices, including the iPhone 11, Ipad 9th generations, and more. With a max clock rate of 2.65 Ghz, this chip offers excellent performance for various apps.
Massive storage: This sale option includes a 256 GB storage drive with cloud storage available. You can use the iPad for any creative work or store large media and streaming files to watch on the go.
Retina display: the iPad 9th generation features a 10.2-inch retina display with an impressive 2160×1620 resolution. Enjoy the best look for your HDR streaming films, applications, and creativity apps. Using true tone and vivid color technology, the tablet adjusts to lighting conditions for vibrant colors at any angle.
Excellent cameras: With the 8mp rear wide camera featuring 43mp panorama mode and 12 MP ultra-wide camera with 122° field of view, you can capture and create like a pro. Whether you want to upgrade your meetings and Facetime or get the perfect shot on vacation, Apple gives you the tools on this device.What we think
It’s rare to find a modern iPad for under $450 with this kind of storage. With this edition of the Ipad, you should have no problem using the full suite of Apple tools or enjoy this as an entertainment tablet. The Retina display and high-quality camera make this a dream tablet for creators. This early Prime Day deal is one of the better finds on iPad tablets.
If you have been seeking an Apple iPad, this is an excellent deal on a powerful tablet just a few years old. Check it out before it’s gone at $399.
Apple iPad (9th Generation)
$50 off @ Amazon
*Prices are subject to change. PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
The Apple Watch is widely considered to be the best-looking and most functional smartwatch on the market today, but it’s very much a part of the tightly-knit Apple ecosystem. Is it possible to use an Apple Watch without an iPhone?
First, let’s be clear about what we mean by using an Apple watch “without” an iPhone. One interpretation of this is using an Apple Watch with a non-iOS phone. I wrote an article about this here, but the short answer is no.
The next interpretation is whether you can use your Apple watch away from your iPhone. The answer to this is yes, Apple Watch will continue to work just fine if you leave your iPhone somewhere and walk away. The watch has its own hardware and is actually a fully-fledged smart device in its own right. At least from a hardware point of view.
Which brings us to the third interpretation. The one that’s most likely why you’d ask this question. Can you use an Apple Watch as an independent device, without an iPhone or any sort of companion device? The answer to this is no. At least right now. However, there’s a little more meat to this third interpretation than just a plain answer can provide.You need an iPhone to set up your Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is designed as a companion device for the iPhone. Not for iOS, but the iPhone specifically. So you can’t use its app on an iPad, Apple TV, or iPod touch. The Apple Watch set up process depends on an iPhone, so there’s no way of getting around this.The cellular Apple Watch is the most independent model
All Apple Watch models have wireless communication ability. Usually it will get the information it needs from your iPhone via Bluetooth. Which is very power-efficient and will produce the best battery life for your watch. If your phone isn’t available, it can fall back to WiFi, which means you need to be in range of a known network.
Cellular versions of the Apple Watch can operate in this mode wherever you have signal from your carrier. Which means, while it isn’t independent, the cellular model is the most independent version of the watch at the time of writing.What you can do with no iPhone but with internet
Assuming your watch has an internet connection but isn’t connected to your iPhone, there are still quite a few things you can do with it:
Internet-based audio apps
Use any apps that need an internet connectionWhat you can do with no iPhone and no internet
When it’s just you and your Watch, there are still some things you can do despite having no connection to the outside world:
Using downloaded audio content
Photos and other content synced from your phone
Time-related stuff like alarms and the stopwatch (obviously!)
Health apps for heart rate, activity, etc.
So with no external connection, the Apple Watch still makes for a decent fitness tracker and music player, but not much else.A more independent future?
The Apple Watch has some truly powerful hardware inside it for a smartwatch. Its design, material options and overall package make it interesting to a wide range of people. Many of whom may not be iPhone aficionados. Right now Apple clearly sees their Watch as a companion device, not a standalone product.
However, the same was true for the iPad when it first launched. Most people may not remember this, but you had to connect the iPad to either a Mac or PC to even get it going. These days Apple is marketing the iPad as the only computer you’ll ever need. Maybe one day they’ll feel the same about their sought-after wearable.
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