Apple Has 4 Million Users Beta Testing its Software

Apple has been allowing developers and members of the public to test beta versions of new iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS releases for quite some time now, and during today's earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook provided insight into just how many people try out new software ahead when it's officially released.

At the current time, Apple has "over 4 million users" participating in its OS beta programs, according to Cook.


Public beta testers have access to iOS 12, macOS Mojave, and tvOS 12, three operating system updates that will be rolling out this fall after an extended beta testing period, while developers have access to iOS 12, macOS Mojave, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5. watchOS 5, a new software update for the Apple Watch, is limited to developers because it's not possible to downgrade the software on an Apple Watch.

Public beta testers and developers are tasked with testing Apple's software to help the company suss out bugs and improve features ahead of a public launch.

Apple did not break out how many users participate in each of its beta programs, nor what percentage of those users are developers or public beta testers, but it's probably safe to say that iOS gets the lion's share of interest.

Despite Apple's robust beta testing process, there are still major bugs that slip through on occasion, but Apple offers frequent fixes and updates for all of its operating systems.


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Huawei Surpasses Apple to Become #2 Worldwide Smartphone Vendor in Q2 2018

With 54.2 million smartphones shipped in the second calendar quarter of 2018, Chinese smartphone company Huawei has surpassed Apple to become the number two worldwide smartphone vendor, according to new data shared today by IDC.

During the quarter, which includes data from April to June, Apple shipped 41.3 million iPhones worldwide, a number that it shared earlier today with its earnings release for its third fiscal quarter. In the year-ago quarter, Apple shipped 41 million iPhones, marking just a small increase in shipments this year.


According to IDC, Apple's share of the smartphone market for the quarter was 12.1 percent, compared to Huawei's 15.8 percent. Huawei saw 41 percent year-over-year growth in market share with an increase of 15.7 million smartphones shipped in Q2 2018 compared to Q2 2017.


Samsung continues to be the number one smartphone vendor with 71.5 million smartphones shipped and 20.9 percent of the market, with Xiaomi and OPPO trailing after Apple and Huawei with 31.9 and 29.4 million smartphones shipped, respectively. Canalys, Strategy Analytics, and IHS Market have also published data agreeing with IDC's assessment of the smartphone market.

In total, IDC says there were 342 million smartphones shipped during the second quarter of 2018, a 1.8 percent decline from the 348.2 million smartphones shipped during the second quarter of 2017.


While Apple's iPhone shipments were largely stagnant year-over-year, the higher average selling price it achieved with the iPhone X resulted in an impressive 20 percent increase in revenue and iPhone earnings of nearly $30 billion.

IDC's numbers look only at total number of smartphones shipped, with Huawei seeing major growth in the $600 to $800 segment thanks to the P20 and P20 Pro series.

We are likely to see shifts in these smartphone vendor rankings over the course of the next few quarters as this is Apple's weakest quarter. At this point, Apple's flagship iPhones are several months old, which always results in a slowdown in sales. After new devices are released in the fall, Apple will see much stronger shipment numbers during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2018 and first fiscal quarter of 2019.
Apple dropped to the third spot for the first time despite its second quarter growth. Apple shipped 41.3 million iPhones, representing modest growth of 0.7% over the 41.0 million units shipped last year. The iPhone continued to perform well at the high end as the iPhone X remains a top seller in many markets. Apple will look to regain control of the market this fall with the expected launch of three next generations of iPhone models. The new models are rumored to bring different screens sizes, price points, increased performance, and new features to the table when they arrive next quarter.
Rumors suggest Apple plans to better compete in the mid-priced smartphone market in late 2018 and 2019 with a lower-priced 6.1-inch feature-rich iPhone that offers Face ID, an edge-to-edge display, and the same fast processor as the company's more expensive OLED models.


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Five iOS Apps Worth Checking Out – July 2018

On our MacRumors YouTube channel, we have a bi-monthly video series that's designed to highlight new, interesting, and useful iOS apps that we think are worth downloading and checking out.

There are so many apps in the iOS App Store that it can be hard to find new content, and it's also easy to overlook great apps that are a bit older. Our app lists include both new and old apps that we recommend and have personally tested out.

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Our picks this month are game heavy, with two games that we've enjoyed featured. We've also included a list-making app that was recently updated with some fresh design elements, an app for tracking shows you want to watch, and a simple but useful app that stitches screenshots together.

  1. Watchlist ($1.99) - There are a lot of options for TV shows and movies these days, and it can be difficult to remember everything that you want to watch. With Watchlist, when you see a trailer for a movie or show you might like or get a recommendation from a friend, you can add it into the app so you never lose track of great content you want to see. You can also see the availability of TV shows and movies on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and iTunes.


  2. Bring! (Free) - Bring is a shopping list app that's been around for about a year, but it recently got some useful design tweaks in the form of a new quick access toolbar. Bring is a simple, visual based shopping list that's also collaborative so everyone in the household can add items that are needed. You can add product photos to make sure you purchase the correct brands, and there are options to make lists for different occasions and places, like work and home.


  3. Tailor (Free) - Tailor is an app that's designed to stitch together your screenshots, useful if you want to share a Messages conversation, an email, app data, or anything else you might need to take multiple screenshots of to capture in its entirety. Tailor is free to use, but it's ad supported with an option to pay $2.99 to remove the ads.


  4. Hello Neighbor (Free to try) - Hello Neighbor is a creepy stealth horror game where you're tasked with sneaking into your weird neighbor's house to figure out what's going on in his basement. You need to sneak in and solve puzzles without getting caught, because your neighbor doesn't take kindly to intruders. This is a popular game that's been available on PCs and consoles but recently made its way to mobile. It's free to download and try, but you need to pay $14.99 to unlock the full game.


  5. Westworld (Free) - Westworld is a world-building game that's based on the popular TV show "Westworld." If you've played Fallout Shelter, the gameplay is pretty similar -- so similar in fact, that Bethesda has sued Warner Bros for copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. Even though it's like Fallout Shelter, there are some differences and despite the legal woes, it's an entertaining game, especially for Westworld fans. It's free, but there are in-app purchases for content add-ons and in-app currency.
Have a favorite iOS app? Let us know down in the comments. We're always looking for new iOS app ideas for this video series, and we'll check out all of your recommendations. You can also check out our recommendations from previous months here, and don't miss our similar Mac app series featuring some great Mac apps.


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Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘The Smartphone Market is Very Healthy’

During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2018, Apple CEO Tim Cook was questioned about the health of the smartphone market and the impact the company's choice to offer low-cost battery replacements might have on replacement cycles.

In response, Cook said that he believes the smartphone market is "very healthy. "It's the best market to be in for someone in the business that we're in," said Cook. "Whether it grows one percent or two percent or five percent or six percent or 10 percent or shrinks one or two percent, it's a great market because it's just huge."


iPhone revenue, Cook pointed out, was up 20 percent during the quarter compared to the third quarter of 2017, and Apple has seen mid-single digit growth averages on a weekly sales basis and double-digit growth on an ASP basis. Apple sold a total of 41.3 million iPhones during the quarter, bringing in revenue of nearly $30 billion. The iPhone X continued to be the most popular iPhone during the quarter.

Cook said that he does believe replacement cycles are lengthening, and he says the "major catalyst" for that has been the fact that subsidized plans have become a much smaller percentage of total sales around the world. Apple's goal is to make great products to encourage customers to purchase new devices.
I think for us, the thing we always have to do is come out with a really great, innovative product. I think iPhone X shows that when you deliver that, there's enough people out there that will like that, and it can be a really great business.
In a separate response given to a question about Apple's focus on the home, Cook shared additional comments about the importance of smartphones. "The smartphone has become the repository that goes across the whole of your life, not something meant for a portion of it," he said. He went on to explain that Apple is focused on a number of areas with its product lineup -- home, work, the time between, health, and more. "We're focused on all of those things."

In terms of the battery replacement program that has seen Apple offering $29 iPhone battery replacements since the beginning of the year, Cook reiterated a statement he made back in February during an earlier earnings call. Apple, he said, has never done an internal analysis on how many people bought a battery compared to purchasing a new phone because it wasn't a factor in the decision.

"It was never about that for us," said Cook. "It was about doing something great for the user. Treat users and customers well and you have a good business over time. That's how we look at that."

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Caution)

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Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tariffs: ‘We’re Hoping Calm Heads Prevail’

Apple CEO Tim Cook this afternoon spoke about the tariffs the United States has imposed on goods imported from China, and how Apple might be impacted.

Cook said that while Apple believes the trade agreements the United States has with other major economies are in need of modernization, the company does not think that tariffs are the right approach. "We're sort of encouraging dialogue and so forth," said Cook.


Apple CEO Tim Cook with Donald Trump at the Executive Tech Summit at Trump Tower in December 2016

In terms of the three tariffs that have already been put in place that impact steel, aluminum, and $50B worth of additional goods from China, none of Apple's products have been directly impacted.

A fourth tariff that includes goods valued up to $200B is out for public comment, and Apple says it is evaluating the tariff and will be sharing its views on it with the administration before the end of the comment period.

Cook said that examining tariffs is a "tedious process" because there are factors to consider that include not only revenue, but also purchases being made through other companies unrelated to revenue, such as data centers. Apple plans to share its results at a later date.

According to Cook, the risk associated with a macroeconomic issue like an economic slowdown or currency fluctuation is difficult to quantify, and that's not something Apple is trying to do. Cook said that Apple is "optimistic" that the tariff issue will get sorted out. "There's an inescapability of mutuality between the United States and China," said Cook. "Each country can only prosper if the other does... and the world needs the U.S. to and China to prosper."

Cook said that while he can't predict the future, he's "optimistic" that the countries will get through this. "We're hoping that calm heads prevail," said Cook.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Apple’s Services Revenue Up 31% Year-Over-Year in 3Q 2018, Company is ‘Thrilled’ About Upcoming Services Pipeline

Apple's services category continues to see rapid growth, further cementing its position as an important revenue driver for Apple.

During the third fiscal quarter of 2018, Apple's services revenue brought in $9.55 billion in revenue, up 31 percent from the $7.27 billion in revenue services earned in the third quarter of 2017.

The services category includes iTunes, the App Store, the Mac App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and AppleCare.


According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple "feels great" about the momentum in its services business, and the company saw double digit growth in its active services installed base. This quarter's growth was driven by strong performance in a number of area.

Subscriptions from Apple and third parties have surpassed $300 million, an increase of 60 percent year over year. Cook called the revenue from subscriptions "significant" and an "increasing portion of services."

There are now nearly 30,000 apps that offer subscriptions, a number that continues to see strong growth.

Cook said that App Store revenue, which set a new June quarter revenue, had exceeded Apple's "wildest expectations." Customers around the world are visiting the App Store more often and downloading more apps than ever before. Citing third-party research, Cook said pointed out that the iOS App Store saw twice the revenue of Google Play.

Apple has seen rapid growth in revenue from App Store search ads, with a recent update expanding search ads to Japan, South Korea, France, Germany.

Apple Music grew by more than 50 percent year-over-year (with Cook again reiterating the 50M subscriber number from May), and AppleCare grew at its highest rate in 18 quarters. Apple's cloud services revenue was up 50 percent year over year, and communications services, including FaceTime and Messages, are hitting all time usage highs. Siri requests have exceeded 100 billion, and articles read on Apple News have doubled year over year.

Apple in 2017 set itself a goal to double its services revenue to $14 billion per quarter by 2020, and the company is well on its way to reaching that goal.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty predicted that over the course of the next five years, services revenue growth will contribute more than 50 percent of Apple's total revenue growth.

Huberty estimated that services revenue is at $30 per device, with just 18 percent of Apple's total device install base subscribing to paid services, leaving plenty of room for growth in the coming years.

Apple is working on bolstering its services category, with rumors suggesting that a new TV streaming service for its original TV shows is in the works, along with a magazine subscription service based on its April Texture acquisition.

In response to a question about Apple's future services plans, Cook said that Apple is "thrilled" with its upcoming product pipeline and the new services that are included with it, hinting at that rumored TV service. Cook explained that Apple has hired two TV executives (Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg) to work on a project that Apple is not ready to discuss. Cook said that Apple is expecting dramatic changes to the content industry and is happy to have something in the works.

"We're not really ready to share all the details of it yet, but I couldn't be more excited about what's going on there. We've got great talent in that area that we've sourced from different places and feel really good about what we will eventually offer."

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

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Apple Pay Coming to Germany, Also Set to Launch at CVS and 7-11 Later This Year

During today's earnings call for the third quarter of 2018, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple plans to bring Apple Pay to Germany later this year.

Apple Pay support in Germany has been rumored for some time now as Apple has been working to establish deals over fees and other factors with German banks.


Apple did not provide details on exactly when Apple Pay will launch in Germany, but it could come potentially with the debut of iOS 12 in September.

In addition to announcing Apple Pay's upcoming German launch, Cook also said that Apple Pay will be rolling out at CVS drug stores and 7-11 convenience stores in the United States later in the year.

There were upwards of 1 billion Apple Pay transactions in the third quarter of 2018, triple the amount from the year ago with growth accelerating from the March quarter. Cook said that in Q3 2018, there were more Apple Pay transactions than Square transactions, and more mobile transactions than PayPal.

Apple Pay is now available in more than 20 countries, including United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong, France, Russia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, UAE, Brazil, Ukraine, Norway, and Poland.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Apple’s Wearable Category Sees 60% Growth Year-Over-Year, With Revenue Exceeding $10B Over Last Four Quarters

Apple's "Other Products" category, which includes AirPods, Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPod touch, HomePod, Beats products, and Apple-branded and third-party accessories brought in $3.74 billion in revenue during the third quarter of 2018, up an impressive 37 percent percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

Apple does not break down the specific sales numbers of products in the "Other" category, which makes it difficult to determine specific sales numbers for products like the HomePod, AirPods, and the Apple Watch, but Apple CEO Tim Cook this afternoon provided some insight into Apple's wearable business.


Revenue from wearables, which includes the Apple Watch and AirPods, saw 60 percent growth year over year, according to Cook. Wearables revenue also exceeded $10 billion over the course of the last four quarters.

Apple Watch had a record-breaking June quarter with revenue growth in the mid 40 percent range. The Apple Watch's record-breaking June quarter comes just weeks ahead of when Apple is expected to introduce a whole new model, with a larger display, better heart rate tracking, and other improved features as outlined in our Apple Watch roundup.

Cook didn't go into details on the AirPods, but he said Apple is "thrilled" to see so many customers using AirPods. "It reminds me of the early days of the iPod," he said. "When I saw those white earbuds everywhere I went."

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5, AirPods

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Apple Reports 3Q 2018 Results: $11.5B Profit on $53.3B Revenue and 41.3M iPhones

Apple today announced financial results for the third fiscal quarter of 2018, which corresponds to the second calendar quarter of the year. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $53.3 billion and net quarterly profit of $11.5 billion, or $2.34 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $45.4 billion and net quarterly profit of $8.7 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Gross margin for the quarter was 38.3 percent compared to 38.5 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 60 percent of revenue. Apple also declared a quarterly dividend payment of $0.73 per share, payable on August 16 to shareholders of record as of August 13.


Apple sold 41.3 million iPhones during the quarter, up slightly from 41.0 million a year earlier, while Mac sales fell to 3.72 million units from 4.29 million units in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales rose slightly to 11.55 million from 11.42 million.
“We’re thrilled to report Apple’s best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our Q3 results were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, Services and Wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline.”
Apple's guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 includes expected revenue of $60–62 billion and gross margin between 38 and 38.5 percent.


Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q3 2018 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.

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Apple’s Upcoming 6.5-Inch OLED ‘iPhone X Plus’ to Support iPad-Style Landscape Mode

Rumors have suggested Apple's upcoming 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, which can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus" device, will feature a screen resolution of 2688 x 1242 with somewhere around 450 pixels per inch. Comparatively, the current 5.8-inch iPhone X features a screen resolution of 2436 x 1125, and the second-generation device is expected to use the same display.

As with Apple's plus-sized iPhones, the extra screen real estate of the larger 6.5-inch device will enable an iPad-style landscape mode that offers up more available information in apps like Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Stocks when viewed in landscape orientation.


This has been confirmed in data gathered by Brazilian site iHelpBR from the most recent beta versions of iOS 12 and Xcode. The site forced the iOS Simulator tool to run at a resolution of 2688 x 1242 with a PPI of 458 and found that many native apps have been adapted with landscape mode features appropriate for a larger device.

In screenshots, the Contacts and Calendar apps, for example, both feature iPad-style layouts that are currently used in plus-sized devices like the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 8 Plus.


This suggests that Apple plans to treat the "iPhone X Plus" as it does the other larger-screened Plus devices, taking full advantage of the extra display area, and it also confirms that the upcoming device is likely to use the rumored 2688 x 1242 resolution.

Apple first introduced the new landscape mode features in iOS 8 alongside the release of the iPhone 6 Plus, the first larger-screened Plus sized device that Apple launched. Since then, the feature has been limited to the larger iPhone models.

Though the iPhone X's 5.8-inch display is bigger diagonally than the 5.5-inch display of the iPhone 8 Plus and prior plus-sized iPhones, it did not adopt the iPad-like landscape mode features.

Related Roundups: 2018 iPhones, iOS 12

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