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10 key takeaways from Apple’s expectation-crushing earnings call

Photo: Apple

Record iPhone sales keep Apple’s money machine humming. Photo: Apple

Apple surpassed analysts’ expectations with $42.1 billion in revenue in the back-to-school season, buoyed by unprecedented iPhone sales and surprisingly strong demand for Macs.

While breaking down the Q4 2014 numbers during today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri offered insights into the company’s Q4 performance in China, the struggling iPad and hints of new product categories coming down the pipeline.

Here are the biggest takeaways.

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Liveblog: Get fixated on Apple’s new iPads with Cult of Mac

Tim Cook shows off the growing family of Apple products. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook shows off the growing family of Apple products. Photo: Apple

It’s been way too long since Apple showered us with new products like the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch, but Tim Cook and his crew are ready to go in for round two at a town hall keynote today at Apple HQ. New iPads, a Retina iMac and OS X Yosemite are rumored to be on the menu, but will Apple have one more surprise waiting for us?

Apple’s holiday lineup will be revealed in just a few short hours, and we’ll be here liveblogging all the details as the event unfolds. So bookmark this page, and come back at 10 a.m. Pacific for what will most likely be Apple’s last major announcements of 2014.

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The YouTube musician who made Steve Jobs dance with glee

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Jonathan Mann turns his fascination with Apple into catchy pop songs. Photo: Funcrunch Photo/Flickr

Steve Jobs wasn’t in the habit of dancing at Apple events. But in 2010, prior to a press conference where he addressed concerns about the new iPhone’s antenna, a song lampooning the controversy got Jobs dancing in the wings before he faced off with journalists.

The song in question, which played on a big screen to kick off the event, was the work of YouTube musician and Apple fan Jonathan Mann, who has spent the past five years composing a new song each day and posting it online.

“I heard later on from an Apple PR person that Steve Jobs was bopping along in the wings as the song was playing” at the Antennagate press conference, says Mann, speaking with Cult of Mac. “It was a surreal moment in my life.”

Antennagate went away, but Mann became the go-to guy for jingles about all things Cupertino. To date he has written 38 songs about Apple, touching  on everything from Craig Federighi’s WWDC performance to the unveiling of the Apple Watch. His clever ideas and quick turnaround times have turned him into YouTube’s premier Apple songsmith.

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6 ways Apple could make the iPhone better than big

6 ways Apple could make the iPhone better than big

The iPhone 6 received rave reviews when Apple unveiled it at the Flint Center last month, but not many people have been eager to talk about it’s shortcomings, until now.

In today’s Cult of Mac video we breakdown the biggest disappointments iPhone 6 users have griped about since the device went on sale two weeks ago. What should Apple improve to make the phone better? Find out what the next generation iPhone still needs and more in this informative video.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV to catch all our latest videos.

Banned iPads, bending iPhones and the rest of this week’s hottest Apple news

Banned iPads, bending iPhones and the rest of this week’s hottest Apple news

Although the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus chalked up record-breaking sales, Apple’s week has been far from a celebration. A YouTube video showing the iPhone 6 Plus bending under seemingly normal amounts of pressure sent the Internet to crazyville, and Bendgate was born.

Watch Cult of Mac’s news roundup to see the latest regarding the Bendgate frenzy, why some iPads are being banned, and how one person surprised the world with her iPhone 6 impressions more than others.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

Watch Apple’s massive cash hoard pile up in real time

appleprofit

Apple’s massive pile of cash is about to get even bigger this weekend as the the iPhone 6 triggers an avalanche of new upgrades after shattering Apple’s record for pre-orders in a 24 hour period.

Now you can watch Apple’s wealth grow dollar by dollar in real-time, thanks to U.K.-based payments company WorlPayZinc, which built an interactive graph to show how much money the world’s top tech companies are making in real-time. Apple is by far the most profitable company, as it rakes in nearly $51,000 every 8 seconds.

Check out the interactive graph below:

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U2 plays it safe with solidly crafted Songs of Innocence

Screen grab from iTunes/Apple

Screen grab from iTunes/Apple

As Bono came in chanting and The Edge power-chorded his guitar for the radio-friendly chorus of “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” today, we hoped for a revitalized big-arena rock band performance from the biggest Irish rock band of all time.

What we got was the boys miming a well-rehearsed, highly-produced single that sounds like anything but The Ramones. Bono sings, “I was young/Not dumb/Just wishing to be blinded/By you/Brand new/We were pilgrims on our way” and, frankly, we wish they were young again. We wanted to be blinded by rockstars, but we really only got an ad for Apple.

At first listen, Songs of Innocence is a musically safe choice, a collection of songs that will sound just fine in the background as you wait in line for your first latte of the day at Starbucks. This isn’t the same band that had us thrilling to “In the Name of Love,” or “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” let alone snake-dancing to the mysterious syncopations of “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” or the gospel-tinged “One.”

The new album is being pitched by the band as intensely personal, but it comes off as more craftsmanship than artistry. It’s not all bad, and chances are U2 super-fans would have bought it even if it weren’t free, but the music lovers in us were a little disappointed.

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Celebrity nudes, iPhone 6 event details and the rest of this week’s hottest Apple news

Celebrity nudes, iPhone 6 event details and the rest of this week’s hottest Apple news

Trusting the Internet can be one of the silliest things you can do, especially when it comes to private matters. While what you do within the comfort of your own circle deserves to stay within its parameters, sometimes things don’t play that way.

Some celebrities found that out the hard way this week when their “personal” photos were hacked from their iCloud accounts and leaked online. With the world frantically sharing the photos left and right, this has turned all eyes toward Apple and the security of its cloud operation.

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6 things the iPhone 6 needs to take it over the top

6 things the iPhone 6 needs to take it over the top

Though the iPhone 5s has been very successful, its minor updates from the iPhone 5 have left me wanting more. In fact, I’ve created quite the wish list for the next-generation iPhone.

We’ll know soon enough exactly what the next version of this revolutionary smartphone will look like: Apple recently confirmed a press event for September 9. In today’s video, I’ll show you my top six wishes for the iPhone 6 — and look at just how close some of these could be to coming true, according to all the latest leaks and rumors.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

Why Windows 9 could give OS X Yosemite a run for its money

Why Windows 9 could give OS X Yosemite a run for its money

For decades Mac and the PC have been at each other’s throats, competing for that No. 1 spot in the computing world. Vitriolic ad campaigns and entire product launches aimed at decimating Windows or OS X have firmly established a war that somehow hasn’t ended even in the post-PC era.

With Apple’s release of OS X Yosemite sitting just around the corner, the time for Microsoft to answer with Windows 9 is nearly here. In today’s video, we go into everything we know about OS X Yosemite and what we think we know about Windows 9 so far. We break down all the new features, design elements and more to help you start forming your opinion about which OS is best.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.