Apple could confirm major iPhone milestone this week

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Apple may announce billionth iPhone sold during tomorrow's earnings call.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Nobody’s expecting big things from Apple’s quarterly earnings call this Tuesday, but it is possible that we’ll hear one incredibly significant metric announced at the event: Apple’s sale of its billionth iPhone.

While it is likely that iPhone sales will continue to decline this quarter — with 40 million likely to be reported as the number for the past three months — the billionth sales mark would serve to underline once again just what an enormous success the iPhone has been for Apple.

Wearable shipments fall as Apple Watch gets long in the tooth

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Ugreen's magnetic charging station for the Apple Watch.
When Apple Watch shipments fall, the industry feels it.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Wearable shipments fell for the first time ever last quarter, and it’s all thanks to declining interest in an aging Apple Watch. Smartwatch vendors shipped just 3.5 million units during Q2 2016, down from 5.1 million units over the same quarter last year.

iPhone shipments will get worse before they get better

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iPhone 6 Plus_7
Apple will have to wait until next year for iPhone growth to return.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is confident the iPhone will bounce back from its current slump in demand, but new forecasts suggest shipments will get worse before they get better. Researchers don’t expect growth to return until 2017 when Apple introduces bigger upgrades.

Is it time for Apple to ditch the MacBook Air? [Friday Night Fights]

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Isn't the MacBook Air too good to go?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple could be about to kill its most popular notebook. According to reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company is planning to ditch the MacBook Air and add a 13-inch MacBook to its lineup as a replacement.

FNF-bugThe original ultraportable is starting to look a little long in the tooth. Having gone without an update for over a year, it is Apple’s only laptop without a Retina display, a Force Touch trackpad, and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

But is it really time to let it go, or does it just need a refresh? Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over whether the MacBook Air has a place in Apple’s future.

Should Apple kill off iTunes music downloads? [Friday Night Fights]

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Are you ready for a world without music downloads?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iTunes music downloads still rake in millions of dollars every quarter for Apple, but they’re falling fast.

FNF-bugAccording to sources who claim to be actively working with the company, it is already mulling the idea of chopping music sales completely in as little as two years, and instead placing an even greater focus on Apple Music.

Is it a good idea for Apple to boot such a popular service in the same way it massacred floppy discs and FireWire, forcing users to stream all their music? Or should it keep iTunes alive until downloads die out naturally?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over the future of the world’s most popular music store.

Weak iPhone demand punishes Apple suppliers

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The iPhone's camera is getting a big update.
Apple isn't the only one suffering due to weak iPhone sales.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Weak demand for the iPhone is causing earnings to fall for a number of suppliers in Asia, and few of them are hopeful that the situation is going to change.

Foxconn, the biggest assembly partner for the iPhone, saw its profit fall 9.2 percent last quarter, while Pegatron’s nosedived a whopping 35.1 percent.

Apple might pull the plug on iTunes music downloads

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Apple might start signing artists to contracts, in order to compete with the likes of Spotify. Photo: iTunes/Apple
Are iTunes Store's days numbered?
Photo: Apple

Update: Apple is denying a report that it plans to stop selling downloads within the next few years. “Not true,” Apple rep Tom Neumayr told Re/code Wednesday afternoon without elaborating.

Apple is planning to give iTunes music downloads the boot in as little as two years, according to sources currently working with the company.

With sales already falling, Apple will instead focus its efforts on persuading fans to stream tracks and albums through Apple Music.

Microsoft more profitable than Apple at $1 trillion milestone

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how-microsofts-ambitious-new-lumia-950-phones-compare-to-rivals-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201510Lumia-950-XL-gallery-2-jpg-jpg
Lumia's failure hasn't hit Microsoft too hard... yet.
Photo: Microsoft

Apple may have quaffed all the champagne at the $1 trillion in revenue party before Microsoft even got its invite, but the Windows maker rocked up in a bigger limo.

Last quarter, Microsoft finally reached the major milestone that Apple celebrated back in 2015, and it currently boasts even more profit.