Apple's App Store hit 50 billion downloads a couple of hours ago, and the one lucky user who happened to download the 50 billionth app will be receiving a $10,000 gift card for the App Store. If you happened to be one of the 50 people who downloaded something right after the winner, you'll be getting a $500 gift card as well.
Somebody just paid $610,000 for a coffee date, and it wasn't in Seattle. That's right, the bidding just ended for the Tim Cook charity coffee chat for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights that we reported on back in April (at the time, we thought $210,000 was impressive), which means the lucky winner gets the rare opportunity to spend 30 minutes to an hour swapping ideas or jokes with the famed Apple CEO in Cupertino. Or, you know, just staring in silence and making Cook uncomfortable.
If you life webcomics then have we got a news item for you. And if you're a big fan of streaming movies and YouTube, your life is about to get better, but if you're looking to upgrade to Windows 8, you may have to wait a little on your iTunes. That and more in this week's hot topics.
Apple broke its way into the top 10 of the Fortune 500 list of top American revenue earners for the first time today, making an impressive leap from No. 17 to No. 6 since last year's rankings. Fortune also lists it as the second most profitable company in the United States after Exxon Mobil. This can only be good news for Apple in the wake of recent concerns about its falling stock prices and its shaky hold on the smartphone and tablet markets, and it stands as a stark reminder of the tech giant's potential for growth in spite of increasingly grim projections.
Internet analytics company comScore released their smartphone market share report for Q1 2013 this morning, revealing that Apple (as a manufacturer) now commands almost 40 percent of the U.S. smartphone market. The only other competitor to report an increase was Samsung, whose numbers inched up by a mere 0.7 percent from the last quarter to 21.7 percent. Competitors HTC, Motorola, and LG all saw their numbers go down for the same quarter.
Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire whom some of you may recall from his jaw-dropping 10-fold return on his investment into Facebook last year, recently announced to Bloomberg that he'd invested as much as $100 million into Apple stock in the belief that it will return to the highs of September 2012 or beyond. That's an impressive gamble. Apple's stock has dropped by close to 40 percent since then due to concerns about competition from Samsung and sluggish sales.
Nearly four months into 2013, Apple finally designed something new and interesting. And as usual, people can't stop staring at it. The Worldwide Developers Conference logo isn't usually something to get too excited about, but this year is a little different. Not only has WWDC become Apple's biggest event of the year, in all likelihood, this year's keynote is going to bring the first bona fide update to Apple.com since last October.
How'd you like to meet Apple CEO Tim Cook? It'll cost you a heck of a lot more than a MacBook Pro. Yesterday the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights posted an auction on Charity Buzz for a one hour-long chat over coffee with Cook, and by Thursday afternoon the 58 bids were sitting at $210,000. And you thought Starbucks was expensive.
Apple released its fiscal earnings for its second quarter today, announcing revenues that exceeded projections while also announcing its first profit decline since 2003. The revenue numbers were solid, with Apple reporting revenue of $43.6 billion and a quarterly net profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per diluted share. That’s well ahead of the estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters prior to the meeting, who had predicted profits of $9.98 a share.
The iPad and iPhone have changed the games industry in more than a few ways, but the ubiquitousness of touch controls is probably the iOS platform's biggest contribution to modern game hardware. And while there's plenty to love about screen-taps and accelerometer controlled tilt, some games just play better with a controller. According to one report, it sounds like Apple may have finally given in to the idea.