AirPods could someday replace your Apple Watch

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airpods
Ear-worn devices like these AirPods could become the most-used type of wearable.
Photo: Ste Smith/ Cult of Mac

Smart watches are currently the most popular form of wearable, but ear-worn devices are expected to replace them in the coming years. The changeover will take place as AirPods and similar products gain additional features that people now get from Apple Watch and iPhone.

In less than five years, so-called “hearables” could outsell every other type of  wearable by a wide margin.

iPhone XS first week sales solidly outpace iPhone 8

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iPhone XS box gold
People around the world snapped up the iPhone XS models more quickly than they did the iPhone 8 series last year.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS and XS Max debuted last month, and some versions sold out almost immediately. But that doesn’t automatically mean they’re a huge hit. Still there’s new evideance that sales are strong.

Drawing on data compiled from over 1 million mobile apps, an analyst says that, during the first week they were available, Apple’s XS series outsold last year’s iPhone 8 and 8 Plus by 45 percent.

iPhone XS Max vastly outsells smaller XS

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iPhone Xs
The iPhone XS Max is Apple's best selling model by a wide margin.
Photo: Apple

When it comes to iPhones, it appears bigger is much better. The iPhone XS series debuted on Friday, and a respected analyst reports the larger of the two is selling far, far better than its smaller sibling.

The analyst also reports that the new Apple Watch Series 4 is selling better than he expected.

Small phone screens go the way of the dodo

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iphone screen2
In just a few years this 4.7-inch iPhone screen will be considered tiny.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 8 display is 4.7 inches. Over the next few years, phone screen sizes are expected to grow to the point that only a tiny fraction will be that small.

Fortunately, it appears Apple is keeping up with the trend. In fact, it could be argued that the iPhone started it.

Apple Pay usage grows strongly outside the U.S.

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Apple Pay iPhone
The number of Apple Pay users almost equals the entire population of the US. But most users live somewhere else.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Most people are still leery about giving up their wallet. Only a small percentage of smartphone owners use their mobile to make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores.  But attitudes are starting to change.

As a result, Apple Pay is growing strongly. Surprisingly, most of that growth is outside of the U.S.

Apple App Store revenue almost double that of Google Play

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iPhone App Store
Apple's redesign of the App Store with iOS 11 probably helped increase software downloads and revenue.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

In the battle of the mobile software stores, Apple has a huge lead. Consumers spending in the iOS App Store during the first half of this year was almost double that of rival Google Play.

But there’s good news for both companies, as each experienced solid year-over-year growth. 

Apple Watch spanks the Swiss watch industry for real

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Apple Watch Series 3
There's Apple Watch and then everyone else.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch is absolutely dominating the traditional Swiss watch industry.

The latest reports on Apple Watch sales figures were released today and even though Apple hasn’t put out its own official numbers, it looks like Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry combined during the last quarter of 2017.

Here’s why iPhone sales slowdown may be good for Apple

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
Do falling iPhone sales mean growing iPhone 8 excitement?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple reported weaker-than-expected iPhone sales during its earnings call yesterday. However, not every Apple watcher is convinced that’s bad news for the company.

In a note to clients, Mizuho Securities analysts Abhey Lamba and Parthiv Varadarajan suggest that the “pause” in sales is less likely to be about people losing interest in the iPhone — and more related to massive excitement over the forthcoming iPhone 8.

Analysts Predict Apple Sold A Record 55.3 Million iPhones Last Quarter

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Apple will hold its quarterly earnings call next Monday, which means analysts are beginning to weigh in on how many iPhones Apple sold during the holiday quarter. Although Apple’s new sales with China Mobile didn’t make it into the quarter, Apple still had a ton of pent up demand to go along with a set of new phones, plus its was the holidays. All those conditions should make for a perfect storm of sales, and so far top analysts are predicting Apple sold a record-shattering 55.3 million iPhones.