Today in Apple history: iTunes experiments with video downloads

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Morcheeba's
Morcheeba's "The Antidote" was one of the first music videos available on iTunes.
Photo: Morcheeba

May 9: Today in Apple history: iTunes experiments with video downloads May 9, 2005: Apple quietly begins selling music videos in the iTunes Music Store.

The feature arrives with iTunes 4.8, initially offering bonus content for people purchasing albums through the store. It will take several months for Apple to start selling individual music videos, along with Pixar short films and a selection of TV shows, for $1.99 a pop.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s first watch is a freebie for upgraders

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The first Apple watch was ... well, just a watch, actually.
Apple's first watch was ... well, just a watch, actually.
Photo: Jonathan Morrison

May 2: Today in Apple history: First Apple watch is a freebie for upgraders May 2, 1995: Apple enters the wearables space with its first watch, a timepiece with no fitness-tracking tech, no on-screen notifications and a whole lot of 1990s styling.

The (real) first Apple watch comes two decades before wearables will become a thing. A regular wristwatch, the freebie gadget is available as a special mail-in offer to System 7.5 upgraders.

Today in Apple history: iTunes puts the hurt on DVDs

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iTunes movie
iTunes getting day-and-date releases for new movies was a big deal.
Photo: Apple

May 1: Today in Apple history: iTunes begins selling digital movies on same day as DVD release May 1, 2008: The iTunes Store takes a gigantic step toward cinematic relevancy, selling new movies on the day of their DVD releases for the very first time.

“We’re thrilled to bring iTunes Store customers new films for purchase day-and-date with the DVD release,” says Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes, in a press release. “We think movie fans will love being able to buy their favorites from major and independent studios.”

Movies out that week include Cloverfield, Juno, Alvin and the Chipmunks and American Gangster.

5 takeaways from Apple’s latest Mac-tastic quarter

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Mac FTW! Apple earnings Q2 2021: Sales of new M1 Macs powered Apple to yet another record-smashing quarter.
Sales of new M1 Macs powered Apple to yet another record-smashing quarter.
Photo: Wes Hicks/Unsplash CC

Apple did it again. It just announced a quarter where it didn’t just beat everyone’s expectations, it blew them away. The Mac had a phenomenal quarter, and so did iPhone and iPad.

But you don’t have to bury yourself in spreadsheets to get the lowdown on what it all means. Just read on.

Today in Apple history: Apple teams with Volkswagen for iBeetle car

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The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
Photo: Volkswagen

April 22: Today in Apple history: Apple teams with VW for the iBeetle April 22, 2013: The world gets its first Apple car. Well, kind of.

In reality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German automaker Volkswagen that offers a car “stylistically linked” to Apple. This means Apple-inspired colors, a built-in docking station for your iPhone, and a special app that lets you control the car’s features.

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App Store image
Apple's got a potentially huge new revenue stream in the works.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

Apple’s losing the battle over podcasts. Here’s how it could emerge victorious.

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Can Apple turn its Podcasts franchise around?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Is Apple finally getting serious about podcasting? With a premium podcast service reportedly in the works, and several exclusive shows already online, it looks like Apple might be ready to defend its turf when it comes to the increasingly popular medium.

It’s about time. The company that was so strongly identified with podcasts from the start is rapidly losing its dominance as competitors come on strong. Here’s how Apple could regain its podcasting edge.

Premium Podcasts+ service could debut at Tuesday’s Apple event

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Would you shell out for Podcasts+?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could debut a premium podcast service at Tuesday’s “Spring Loaded” event, according to Recode reporter Peter Kafka.

“Pretty sure Apple is prepping its own podcast plan – a paid subscription service – on Tuesday,” Kafka tweeted Sunday.

No additional details are known about the possible podcast initiative, which presumably would join paid subscription services Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Fitness+. The possibility of a paid podcasting service from Apple was rumored earlier this year.

Proposed bill would stop Apple and other tech giants from acquiring companies

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iPhone 12 Pro parts cost shockingly little
Bill would stop tech giants splashing the cash.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill Monday that would ban mergers and acquisitions by companies with market caps in excess of $100 billion. If passed, the bill could have a massive impact on technology companies, including Apple.

Apple, for the record, currently has a market cap of $2.2 trillion. Other tech giants worth upward of $100 billion include Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb and Netflix.

Apple takes its free music video channel to UK and Canada

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Apple Music TV
Now available outside the United States.
Photo: Apple

Apple Music TV, the 24-hour streaming music video channel that serves as Apple’s version of classic MTV, is now available outside the United States.

Apple launched the free music video channel stateside last October. Jump forward six months, and it can now be viewed by people in Canada and the United Kingdom. While that represents only a small fraction of the places Apple does business in, it suggests that the company is keen to roll out this service further afield.