Life at Apple has been phenomenal ever since Tim Cook took over as CEO. AAPL shares are up 120 percent. 750 million iOS devices have been sold. $100 billion was returned to shareholders. And Apple just became the first $700 billion company in history.
To celebrate a successful 2014 campaign, Cook sat down with Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn today to talk about how Apple achieved its unbelievable results, as well as what other tricks the company has up its sleeves.
Here are the 12 biggest revelations from Cook’s Goldman Sachs tech conference appearance:
Nothing tops the iPhone for college students. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Going to college is supposed to be all about going to parties, drinking heavily, hooking up and maybe squeezing in a few classes if you find the time. But when it comes to college students today, it turns out what they really want most is an iPhone.
Researchers at Student Monitor asked 1,200 U.S. undergraduates last fall to choose “what’s in” among students from a list of 77 options. Not only did students rank the iPhone as more popular than coffee, texting, drinking beer and college football, but Apple’s smartphone somehow managed to top the collegiate tradition of “hooking up” to take the No. 1 spot.
The iPad didn’t do too bad in the survey either, topping Instagram, laptops and selfies. Here’s the rundown on what college students ranked as most important:
Things couldn’t be going better for Apple on the iPhone front. The company just posted the most profitable quarter ever in the history of corporations thanks to strong iPhone sales. And according to the latest report from Cannacord, Apple is basically the only company in the world making money off smartphones.
Apple accounted for 93% of smartphone profits in Q4 2014 reports Canaccord Genuity’s Mike Walkley who has also raised his target price on AAPL shares up to $145. That’s bad news for LG, Samsung, HTC and anyone else that makes smartphones, and to make it even worse, Cannacord estimates one third of all smartphone users will own an iPhone by the end of 2018.
See the full breakdown of profits per company below:
Of course, that’s not true at all. There’s statistically almost zero chance at all of you dying in a plane crash, no matter how often you fly. And now there’s an app, specifically dedicated to assuaging your fears of dying in an aircraft.
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
The Apple Watch has been the biggest rumor for years, but now that its about to launch, is Apple about to explore self-driving cars next? We've also got reports of a possible Apple Search engine, a breakthrough that could bring sapphire to the iPhone 6s, and many more mad rumors.
Which rumors are real and who’s just pretending? Step up to the crystal ball and find out.
The Verdict: Definitely. In fact, we've been hearing this same rumor for about two years now. It looks like the biggest hurdle for an Apple TV update is the company just doesn't have the relationships with content providers, like Dish and others do.
The Verdict: This is starting to sound believable. We've dismissed the idea of Apple making a stylus for years -- mostly because of one silly Steve Jobs quote -- but Apple's stylus ambitions are looking more serious after multiple patents have shown the company is at least thinking about styluses. It's still too early to tell if the 12-inch iPad Pro will come with one. If it does, Apple better pack some amazing features into it, or my pencil might steal the show.
The Verdict: Yep! Samsung made a name for itself in the smartphone world by copying Apple. With the S5 they tried to move away from their copying, but no one bought it. Looks like Samsung learned its lesson and has decided to take the hit in legal fees, and will just copy Apple to keep marketshare.
The Verdict: Too early to tell. DisplayMate just made a major breakthrough with Sapphire, turning its weakest property -- screen reflectance -- and turned it into a strength. Enhanced sapphire is now number one in scratch resistance, low reflectance and performance in high ambient light compared to Gorilla Glass. Apple's problem wasn't with sapphire glasses properties though, it was that it's really hard to produce en masse, so I'm still doubtful we'll see it in the iPhone 6s.
The Verdict: Ask again later. The most exciting rumor in months popped up this week when Apple was spotted driving around SF and NYC in vans with a funky camera array on top. Some Apple fans have said it's totally obvious that it's for Street View, but could something even crazier be afoot?
The Rumor: Apple will hold an Apple Watch event in March.
The Verdict: This sounds right, even if its coming from BGR which has a dismal track record when it comes to Apple rumors. Tim Cook already revealed that Apple Watch will ship in April, so a March event to announce pricing and pre-order dates sounds right.
The Verdict: No way! A new job posting indicates Apple wants to improve its search powers, but a full blown search engine capable of beating Google sounds way outside of Apple's realm. Maybe they're using it to improve some other features. Search is hard an Look what happened to Microsoft when it tried.
The one calendar app to rule them all. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Update: This story has been modified to more accurately describe the sync capabilities of Fantastical 2, and we’ll have a how-to up on getting Google and iOS to play nice soon.
Readdle’s calendar app, Calendars 5, brings all the natural-language and sync goodness of other high-end calendar apps, along with support for your Google or iOS calendar, to your iPhone and iPad at the same time in one $3 app. Plus? When you add an event to Calendars 5, it shows up on your Google Calendar (or iOS Calendar if you roll that way).
Two-way sync? Natural-language event creation? iOS Reminders support? Recurring events? Invitations? Apple or Google Maps integration? Works offline or online?
This is gonna be your new favorite calendar app, if it isn’t already.
The Olloclip clipped onto an iPhone 6 Plus. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Like millions of photography fans, the iPhone is my main camera. In fact, ever since my Nikon D600 took a suicidal, lens-first dive off a cliff and into a waterfall, my iPhone has become my only camera.
I’m always trying to eke out a little extra performance from my iPhone’s tiny camera sensor with new apps, tripods and lenses. Over the last three months, Cult of Mac has been testing various lenses for the iPhone 6 in a search for the best aftermarket glass. I’ve narrowed the field down to two top choices: the new Olloclip and Moment’s mountable lens system.
Unfortunately, iPhone 6 users can’t actually use both the Olloclip and Moment lenses at the same time. But if you’ve been considering getting new photo gear for your iPhone 6, we’re ready to break down the pros and cons of these aftermarket accessories.
Coming off a monster financial quarter, things are pretty good in Cupertino right now. But if Tim Cook didn’t have enough to smile about over his morning coffee, here’s one more: Apple has overtaken U.S. sales of Android devices for the first time since 2012.
According to figures pulled by market research team Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the holiday quarter was a massive one for Apple as far as market share goes — with iOS devices picking up 47.7 percent of sales, compared to Android’s 47.6 percent.
The iPhone’s processor is about to get supercharged. Photo: iFixit
ARM holdings, the company behind the mobile processor architecture that powers the iPhone and iPad, unveiled its next generation processor blueprints today that it says will increase performance three fold compared to its current designs.
The new Cortex-A72 chips aimed at smartphone and tablets will make their debut next year — just in time for the iPhone 7 — and also use 75% less power while maintaining the same level of performance as today’s ARM processors, paving the way for thinner, more powerful iPhones in the future.
Make the Notification Center your own with widgets. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Swipe down from the top of your iPhone (or iPad) screen and you’ll see the new iOS 8 Notification Center. It’s got two sections — Notifications on the right and Today on the left. Tap on the Today button and you’ll see all the new widgets arrayed in their default order.
You can add your calendar, weather, stocks and any one of hundreds of third-party app that has widget support.
The great thing is that you’re not stuck with the default order, or even the default apps — this part of Notification Center is totally customizable. Here’s how to make it your own.