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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature columnist and author Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. During this session, Josh dips into the status of Apple Pay and compares it with Walmart Pay. And what happened to the Apple Pay rival, CurrentC, which Walmart and other vendors had been testing? You’ll also hear Josh’s reaction to the iOS 10 beta, and what he regards as the best features. Both iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are being made available as public betas for download by Apple customers.

    You’ll also hear from commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. He’ll focus on a report that scientists are attempting to use a 3D printer to match the fingerprints of a deceased person in order to open a protected smartphone. It’s not stated whether this is an iPhone, which sets a 48-hour limit for fingerprint access before requiring a passcode. Bryan will also talk about rumors that Apple is ditching the old fashioned headphone jack on the next iPhone in place of using the Lightning port and an adapter. You’ll also hear about reports that Apple has delayed production of an Apple Car until 2021, the potential downsides of self-driving, and about a curious statement about Apple from BlackBerry CEO John S. Chen.

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    Apple’s R&D Budget Soars

    July 28th, 2016

    In past years, Apple has been criticized for spending far too little on R&D, especially when you compare it to the competition. Indeed, some companies just pour loads of money into projects that have very little potential, or just hope to throw money at insoluble problems in search of the fantasy of success. Google, for example, spends in the range of 15% of its revenue on R&D, and very little of it delivers a return as a retail product or service. Certainly there’s not a lot of revenue from Android, since it’s given away free to handset makers. I realize you can count the revenue from the Google Play app store as an indirect benefit.

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    Apple’s Financials: Is Less Really Less?

    July 27th, 2016

    Even though Apple’s long run of higher and higher sales every quarter has ended for a while, it does appear that Wall Street isn’t near as bearish about the company’s prospects as one might have expected. Now I don’t presume to understand how the market works, for I might well be a rich man today. Clearly there’s optimism about Apple’s long-term prospects, that the company isn’t on the ropes, and that there’s no prospect of red ink on the horizon.

    That doesn’t mean expectations for the last quarter were high. They couldn’t be in light of Apple’s guidance. Indeed, the company’s financials for the June quarter actually exceeded most expectations. That alone was a decent achievement overall, even if some might have hoped for better sales numbers. Total revenue came in at $42.4 billion, with a quarterly net income of $7.8 billion. The Wall Street consensus pointed to revenues of $42.2 billion.

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    The Latest Apple Car Story

    July 26th, 2016

    When you hear rumors about possible future Apple products, sometimes the source can help determine credibility. Well, at least when a source is named. So you’ll see reports about a future product from such sources as DigiTimes, a tech publication from Taiwan, and you’ll also be correctly informed that they often get things wrong.

    I suppose there is also good reason to suspect the accuracy of something that emerges from one rumor site or another without attribution, although, to be fair, at least some appear to be dedicated to providing good journalism. In other words, the rumors are vetted and rated for possible accuracy. It doesn’t stop them from publishing the rumors, but at least you might be able to apply the proper degree of skepticism.

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    Newsletter Issue #869: About the Alleged Failure of the Apple Watch

    July 25th, 2016

    Perhaps the biggest source of suspicion about the potential success of the Apple Watch is the fact that Apple won’t reveal how many have been sold. It is placed in the “Other Products” category, so its level of success has to be inferred as a percentage of total sales. It does allow for rough estimates that may not be far off the mark, but it also fuel’s the complaints that it can’t be doing so well because Apple is keeping the numbers close to its vest.

    That was a decision made early on, however, before a single unit was sold. Did Apple expect a failure out of the starting gate, or expect it would take several years to deliver meaningful results? Or maybe none of the above.

    If you can believe the estimates, however, the Apple Watch is still far and away the number one smartwatch on the planet. Well, maybe sales have declined in the last quarter compared to the competition, but that, too, is a guess. Besides, competing companies are more into shipping loads of product to present the facade of high sales, even though actual sales to real customers are far lower.

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