Why massive Apple TV+ budget is a genius strategy

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CEO Tim Cook before a picture of actors, directors, and producers of Apple TV+ original shows.
Spending big on star power for Apple TV+ is really smart.
Photo: Apple

On the surface, Cupertino’s decision to spend massive piles of money on its upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service seems crazy.

Is this a company with too much money being suckered? Is it a huge display of hubris (as some say of Apple Park)? Or is it, just possibly, a clever strategy that could win Apple the streaming war?

Here’s why I think that third answer is the correct one. Dig a little deeper, and Apple’s spending spree looks nothing short of brilliant.

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission investigates Apple again

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Apple Japan required carriers to subsidize iPhone
Apple is accused of abusing its power with suppliers.
Photo: Apple

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is investigating Apple’s tactics for selling iPhones in the country.

The Japanese FTC thinks Apple might have abused its power by pressuring Japanese suppliers into unfavorable deals. Questionable methods allegedly include providing free technology and expertise to Apple affiliates, stopping them from selling to other companies, and making them shoulder costs for unforeseen problems.

Today in Apple history: Beginning of the end for clone Macs

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Power Computing clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
Clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
Photo: Antnik

August 5: Today in Apple history: Beginning of the end for Power Computing Mac clones August 5, 1997: Apple gets into a standoff with Power Computing, a maker of Macintosh clones. It marks the beginning of the end for Apple’s mid-’90s strategy of licensing the Mac operating system.

“If the [Mac] platform goes closed, it is over,” predicts Power Computing CEO Joel J. Kocher of Apple’s strategy. “[It’s] total destruction. The kiss of death.” Of course, things don’t turn out exactly like that…

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs acknowledges MobileMe failure

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MobileMepic
MobileMe was the failed precursor to iCloud.
Photo: Apple

August 4: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs acknowledges MobileMe failure August 4, 2008: Steve Jobs owns up to mistakes in launching MobileMe, spinning Apple’s bungled cloud service rollout as a learning opportunity.

“It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store,” Jobs writes in an email to Apple employees. “We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.”

Today in Apple history: World’s first iPad newspaper starts to crumble

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The Daily iPad newspaper was a great, but ultimately failed, experiment.
The Daily was a great, but ultimately failed, experiment.
Photo: The Daily

July 31: Today in Apple history: The Daily, the world's first iPad newspaper, starts to crumble July 31, 2012: The Daily, the world’s first iPad-only newspaper, lays off almost a third of its staff, signaling the demise of a bold publishing experiment.

The deep cuts — The Daily fired 50 of its 170 employees — affect mainly sports and editorial page staffers, although some production and design employees get the ax, too. The ominous move comes as News Corp places the iPad app “on watch” due to disappointing readership numbers.

Apple Music may reduce free trial to just one month

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A new ad for Apple Music shows a one-month free trial.
Apple's new banner ad.
Photo: Apple

Right from the start, Apple Music offered a three-month trial to new users to try and get them to subscribe. In some cases, this even extended all the way up to a six-month free trial before users would have to pay a dime.

Apple may be shifting away from this strategy, though. A new banner ad on Apple’s website mentions a one-month tryout period for the streaming music service.

4 reasons iPhone 11 might cost less than iPhone XS [Opinion]

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The camera bump is about to get bumpier in the iPhone XI.
A lower launch price for the iPhone 11 and 11 Max is possible.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

There are solid reasons to be optimistic that Apple will actually drop the price of the flagship 2019 iPhone models. Recent moves by the company signal a willingness to lower the cost of its other computers, and information leaking out about the replacement for the iPhone XS series indicates that it will be cheaper to make.

Most importantly, the company needs to respond to the plethora of evidence that it charges more than most people are willing to pay for even high-end handsets.

Today in Apple history: Apple reclaims top spot in education

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On this day in 1998, the world says
The easy-to-use iMac spurred Apple's return to dominance in schools.
Photo: Apple

July 9: Today in Apple history: Apple reclaims top spot in education July 9, 2001: Apple is named the No. 1 computer manufacturer in the education market, with twice as many machines in schools as runner-up Dell Computer.

It’s a big turnaround from a couple years earlier, when Dell overtook Apple and Steve Jobs was accused of abandoning this important market.

Today in Apple history: After a horrible quarter, Gil Amelio gets the boot

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Bringing on Gil Amelio was viewed as a big coup for the Apple board.
This was the end of Amelio's 500 days running Apple.
Photo: Apple

July 6: Today in Apple history: After a horrible quarter, Apple CEO Gil Amelio is fired July 6, 1997: Following a massive quarterly loss for Apple, board member Edgar S. Woolard Jr. calls CEO Gil Amelio and informs him that he needs to step down. “You’ve done a lot to help the company, but the sales haven’t rebounded,” Woolard says.

Steve Jobs denies being responsible for Amelio’s ouster. However, the move results in him becoming Apple CEO for the first time. Now it’s time for a real turnaround!

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iPad
The iPad got developers excited from day one!
Photo: Apple