We’re just one week into 2015, and already the App Store is setting new sales records. Apple today announced that during the first week of January alone, customers around the world spent almost half a billion dollars on apps and in-app purchases, with New Year’s Day 2015 the single biggest day in App Store sales history.
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Apple was forced by major record labels to implement digital rights management technology in iTunes, according to testimony in an ongoing class-action lawsuit that accuses Cupertino of stifling competition with competing music services.
Apple contemplated licensing its DRM, called FairPlay, to other companies, “but we couldn’t find a way to do that and have it work reliably,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services.
Although tech watchers have known about Apple Pay for some time now, for a large percentage of the general public the concept of NFC transactions is still new — and potentially scary.
Hoping to change that perception, Eddy Cue made an appearance on KTLA’s Tech Report yesterday, where he took host Rich DeMuro on a “shopping spree” to show off Apple’s “new way to pay.”
Want to see one of Apple’s top executives buy oatmeal and Frozen toys using his iPhone? Well, now you can.
Apple will be holding on to its top executives until at least 2019, if the granting of new stock options by the Apple board has anything to do with it.
Angela Ahrendts, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, CFO Luca Maestri, VP of hardware engineering Daniel Riccio, lawyer Bruce Sewell and COO Jeffrey Williams all received stock grants potentially valued at a total of $27 million, based on the high closing price of AAPL stock Thursday.
Going, going, gone...
The $100,000 iPhone 6 prototype is just the latest in a long string of one-of-a-kind Apple auctions over the years. Check out our gallery for 10 of the other most memorable, once-in-a-lifetime Apple lots ever to go under the hammer.
Photo: Adam Rosen
Apple's original rainbow office signs
Want to pretend you're an Apple employee from the dark days before Steve Jobs made his return? These styrofoam and fiberglass signs hung from the east-facing side of Infinite Loop’s Building 3 between 1993 and 1997. They went under the hammer at British auction house Bonhams earlier this year, ultimately fetching $35,000.
Broken stair from an Apple Store
This broken step didn't come from just any Apple Store, mind you. The cracked glass step came from the spiral staircase in Apple’s iconic 5th Avenue store in New York City.
Sold in 2010 by former store employee Mark Burstiner for $9,950, the step was reportedly cracked by a customer’s Snapple bottle.
Photo: Mark Burstiner
The best Apple Store shirt ever
When your name is the oh-so-ironic Sam Sung, it's quite frankly amazing you were ever allowed in for an Apple Store interview to begin with.
Sung was, however, and when he finally left the job earlier this year, he auctioned off his work shirt, badge and business card to raise money for charity. The eBay auction ended at $2,653.
Photo: Sam Sung
Coffee with an Apple exec
If you’re an Apple fan (and who reading this isn’t?), there are few conversations that would be better than sitting down with one of the company’s top execs to quiz them over all things Cupertino.
That was the rationale behind a 2013 auction to raise money for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The prize? A cup of coffee with Tim Cook at 1 Infinite Loop. The eye-watering (iWatering?) price tag: $610,000.
Even at that price he’s not going to tell you what the iPhone 7 looks like, or if Jony Ive is working on an aluminum hover board, but it would still be the conversation of a lifetime. If you’re feeling a bit cash-strapped, you could try lunch with Mr. Fix-It Eddy Cue. A related auction went for "just" $10,000.
An early memo written by Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was never short of opinions. What made this particular note a bit less common, however, is that it was written by a 19-year-old Jobs during his stint at Atari, suggesting changes to the company's World Cup Soccer arcade game.
It was stamped with Jobs' home address in Los Altos, California, and a Buddhist mantra translating as, "Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha."
Rare portrait-mode Mac prototype
It's only made from painted foam, but this portrait-mode Macintosh LC from 1989 is a piece of alternate-universe Apple history that never was. It could've been yours for just $2,250.
Apple's founding documents
Apple memorabilia doesn't come much better than this: the original three-page document founding Apple Computer Co. as a company. It was signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, the unlucky investor who sold his 10 percent stake in Apple for $800.
This auction lot went for a massive $1.6 million.
Bill Clinton's iPod
Back in 2009, the 42nd president auctioned off a signed (PRODUCT) RED iPod as a show of his support for the fight against AIDS.
A few of the songs it contained? Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," Carly Simon's "I Get Along Without You Very Well" and Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." The winning bidder even got a $25 iTunes voucher thrown in.
Photo: Tonic Auctions
Gene Roddenberry's Macintosh
Given that devices such as the iPhone and Apple Watch have brought sci-fi concepts like the tricorder and communicator to life, it's no wonder that the creator of Star Trek would be a Mac owner.
Back in 2009, Roddenberry's upgraded Mac 128K was auctioned off as part of a Hollywood memorabilia show. The asking price was between $800 and $1,200.
Photo: Profiles in History
One-of-a-kind red Mac Pro
Jony Ive and BFF/new Apple employee Marc Newson paired up to create a series of one-off items for Bono’s Project (RED) charity auction. Alongside drool-worthy products like a Leica M and ultra-minimalist aluminum desk was this red Mac Pro.
It wound up selling for a massive $1.5 million, along with a pair of rose gold EarPods -- although not to Tony Fadell, as was originally reported.
Photo: Project (RED)
Apple today officially welcomed Beats Music and Beats Electronics to its family, along with Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, following its $3 billion takeover back in May.
“Music has always held a special place in our hearts, and we’re thrilled to join forces with a group of people who love it as much as we do,” reads an announcement on Apple.com, while those buying products from the Beats website will now be routed through the Apple Store.
Eddy Cue thinks 2014 will be the best product pipeline Apple’s had in 25 years, and according to the company’s latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Cupertino is certainly pouring enough money into R&D to back him up.
Apple increased spending in research and development 36 percent year-over-year in Q3, with an extra $425 million being funneled into R&D in the last quarter alone.
Apple today announced the eighth annual iTunes Festival in London with a whole bunch of massive acts already confirmed. Those lucky enough to bag tickets will see the likes of Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5, Kylie, Sam Smith, and Blondie.
Apple’s Tim Cook and Eddy Cue were invited yet again this year to the illustrious business conference put on by Allen & Company in Sun Valley, Idaho. Today they were spotted walking around and talking to reporters.
The tech and media world’s elites gather in the resort town of Sun Valley annually to discuss potential partnerships and deals behind closed doors. Think of it like a social mixer on steroids for the world’s most powerful business moguls. Everyone from Rupert Murdoch to the CEOs of Comcast and AT&T attend.
While casually strolling through the mountain resort today, both Cook and Cue fielded questions from eager journalists looking to get a juicy quote or scoop.
When it comes to all the elite conferences Silicon Valley is so well known for, Apple executives rarely make appearances. Apple’s shortlist includes the annual Code Conference and Allen & Co.’s business conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. The second kicks off next week.
Like last year, Tim Cook and Eddy Cue have been invited to hobnob with the tech and media world’s most powerful players. Both execs attended last year, and if they choose to do so again this year, there will undoubtedly be many interesting conversions had behind closed doors with competitors and potential partners.