5 key things to watch for in Apple’s most boring earnings report of 2019

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Earnings call
This might be a dull earnings call.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The most yawn-inducing Apple earnings call of the year is just days away, and Wall Street is eagerly anticipating the results — though maybe for reasons you wouldn’t expect.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri are scheduled to hop on the phone with investors at 2 p.m. Pacific next Tuesday for Apple’s Q3 2019 earnings call. Even though Apple doesn’t reveal quarterly sales for iPhones anymore, there are a lot of metrics to look for that could clue us in on how well or poorly the company is performing lately.

Keep an ear out for these five things during Apple’s July 30 earnings call.

iOS 12.4 brings Apple News improvements, iPhone migration and more

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iOS 12
This could be the last update for iOS 12
Photo: Apple

The long wait for iOS 12.4 is finally over after Apple made the software update available to all iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners this morning.

In what will likely be the last major upgrade for iOS 12, the iOS 12.4 update brings a number of big improvements, including the ability to directly transfer data from an old iPhone to a new one. There are also tons of bug fixes and other changes, but the most notable thing about iOS 12.4 might be what it’s missing: Apple Card.

Big changes might come to struggling Apple News+

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Apple News
Apple News+ revenues fail to impress publishers.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is already having to consider some major changes to its new Apple News+ service just three months after it launched earlier this year.

The subscription news service was supposed to be a boon for publishers and bring in a ton of extra cash, but a new report claims most publishers are only seeing a fraction of the revenue Apple promised.

U.S. iPhone user base is growing at its slowest rate ever

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iPhone sales
Critics say Apple needs to build more affordable iPhones.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s iPhone sales in the U.S. are starting to flatline, according to data from the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Growth of the iPhone install base in the U.S. has been on a downward trend for years now, but CIRP’s latest report reveals that growth was at its slowest rate ever during the first quarter of 2019.

Heads up: Bills for Apple News+ trial subscriptions going out soon

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apple news plus
Apple News+ is about to send out its first monthly bills. It’s time to decide how much you like access to 300 magazines and more.
Photo: Apple

Everyone who signed up for a free trial of Apple News+ right after it was unveiled is about to get charged for their first month. While there’s a lot to like in this digital magazine/newspaper subscription service, anyone who’s not interested should get out before they get their first bill.

Fortunately, iOS makes this a snap.

How to get Apple News outside the U.S.

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Who doesn’t want to read all the most important news of the day?
Who doesn’t want to read all the most important news of the day?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This post could more correctly be titled “How to get Apple News outside Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S.” Those are still the only places that Apple News is available, almost four years after the service’s launch in September 2015.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to get the app even if you don’t live in one of those countries. Here’s how.

Inside Apple’s failed negotiations with NYT and WaPo

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Apple News+
Some aren't happy with Apple's tactics.
Photo: Apple

Apple put a ton of pressure on The New York Times and Washington Post to join Apple News+ before the new service was unveiled at a media event last week.

Details have surfaced of Apple’s negotiations with the two major publishers, revealing Apple media boss Eddy Cue was adamant about getting the two papers on board. Both companies declined Apple’s offer, but the New York Times’ COO hinted that the newspaper of record could possibly join the service in the future.

Apple News+ could be another nail in magazine publishers’ coffin

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apple news plus
Apple News+ may not be quite the savior some are hoping for.
Photo: Apple

Apple News+ was advertised as Apple’s love letter to print journalism. However, according to a new report, it could turn out to be just another nail in its coffin.

In an article for Monday Note, Frederic Filloux runs some numbers on Apple News. By his calculations, the service could cut revenue in half for publishers — and mean that magazines must double their readers simply to equal current figures.