Thoughts on 80% of Apple Watch owners using Apple Pay

Apple-Payapplewatch

Last month, Wristly, an independent Apple Watch research platform, published stats that show the wearable’s payment service seems to be gaining momentum as about 80% of users are now regularly using Apple Pay for making purchases. Besides the Apple Watch, Apple Pay can be used by consumers to pay for items in retail shops using their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3.

Wristly’s data comes from a controlled group of 1,000 people that they surveyed. Apart from the discovery that 800 of the 1,000 people are using their Apple Watches on a regular basis (as often as once a week), it was also determined that these people are showing now choosing stores that allow shoppers to pay with Apple Pay rather than ones that don’t.

One of the reasons given by Wristly as to why more users are adapting to this kind of payment is because it is much more convenient than credit cards, which people need to take out from their wallet every time they need to pay. The same goes for the iPhones, which also needed to be removed from ones pocket. About 42% of the respondents say that being able to pay with a watch is a “magical” experience.

When the Apple Watch came out, many were skeptical that it wouldn’t see the same adoption rate as smartphones, particularly because the former is more of a luxury than the latter. Smartphones can now do almost anything, besides basic functions such as calling and texting, its easy to forget how much we can do with our smartphones (I use my smartphone for writing, financing, photography,  shopping, listening to and making music, managing tasks, and gaming among other things). In fact, Gaming Realms, the company behind the massively successful entertainment site Spin Genie, implies that mobile sales will continue to soar and beat its sales from 2014. Historically, the smartwatches that came out prior to the Apple Watch on the other hand, provided fairly limited advances compared to their mobile counterparts. Much like the iPad, I feel that one of the reasons behind the success of Apple Watch is how it is letting users do magical things they previously couldn’t with other devices, such as paying without removing anything from their pockets with just a tap, or track health related activities throughout the day.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 30th August 2015

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 30th August 2015

An Overlooked Solution To iPhone Battery Drains and Crashes

Philips Announces New Hue Wireless Dimming Kit

Instagram Adds Support for Portrait and Landscape Modes

Wish List: Granular Apple Watch notifications – Six Colors

Apple Invites Media to September 9 Event: ‘Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint’ – MacRumors

Finding iPad’s Future – Above Avalon

The State of Dictation on the Mac – MacSparks

Apple Is About To Lay Down Its TV Cards – TechCrunch

We analyzed a month of Beats 1 tracks to figure out Apple’s taste in music – Quartz

Beats 1 Lead Executive Ian Rogers Leaves Apple – MacRumors

 

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Instagram Adds Support for Portrait and Landscape Modes

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For the longest time, I have struggled with being limited to a square aspect ratio on Instagram and after years and years spent figuring out how to creatively overcome this limitation, it seems that Instagram has finally listened. Earlier today, Instagram announced that it will now allow users to post photos and videos in both portrait and landscape modes. This move comes after the company discovered that almost one in five posts aren’t in the square format.

It hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end.

Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way.

What I am curious to know is whether there is a minimum width or height required.

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Philips Announces New Hue Wireless Dimming Kit

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Earlier today, Philips announced that they are expanding their line-up of Hue lights, by adding the new Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit and Philips Hue white bulb to the existing line-up.

The kit works out of the box (requires no installation), integrates easily with existing Hue products, allowing users to adjust the brightness of up to 10 bulbs. The kit which is aggressively priced at $39.99, includes a white bulb and a battery operated portable switch, which integrates seamlessly with Hue bulbs, allowing users to dim multiple bulbs remotely. The kit will go on sale in North America this September.

I am extremely excited about the home automation market (valued at $58 Bn by 2020), and lighting is definitely one of the biggest segments within the overall home automation ecosystem. Unfortunately, the Hue line-up isn’t as easily available in retail outlets here in India as it is in the U.S. – something I hope they change soon

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An Overlooked Solution To iPhone Battery Drains and Crashes

iPhone battery drains and springboard crashes are a drag, especially when this happens on a new device. Things get worse if you are like me – a power user who spends a lot of time on their iPhone and uses it almost like a primary device. These drains can have many reasons reasons, like:

  • Corrupt iCloud settings
  • Application synchronization caused errors
  • Mail settings draining the battery
  • Application conflicts

Often, finding out the exact cause of problems can mean an unnecessary visit to the Genius bar, where Apple itself will confirm that you will need to perform a clean install. Avoiding this is quite simple – when you get a new phone, or you experience a bigger conflict, just start your iPhone from scratch.

Setting up an iPhone from scratch used to be a big pain. But things have gotten better lately, the useful thing to remember when you go about it, is to store all your important apps locally on iTunes. Every time I need to refresh an iPhone, I perform a clean install, and avoid restoring it from a backup. Backup files have been proven to carry corruption over time, and this causes problems in the long run, specifically the battery drains, and sometimes blue screens of death carry over as well.

What To Do First When You Perform A Fresh Install?

After a restore the device forgets all your settings and messages. I prefer to focus on getting Dropbox installed first, so I can sync my 1Password database, as well as the backups for Launch Center Pro and Drafts. Once these two apps are on my system, my primary focus is to get my remaining user interface up and running. After this, I install Omnifocus and Evernote, which define my “Digital Mind”. Both the apps only need a login, and will pick up from where you left off. Probably the biggest pain of restoring an iPhone is re-syncing Evernote’s database, especially if it is big. After this point I can be 80% functional on my iPhone, and my re-installation lasts as long as I am syncing these two apps.

How Long Does It Really Take To Perform A Fresh Install of iOS?

I believe that a fresh install of iPhone has come down from 10–12 hours worth of setup (3–4 years ago), down to 3–3.5 hours. The main reasons for this “almost” frictionless experience are:

  • iCloud’s ability to sync Contacts automatically
  • The ability to “Match” your music using iTunes Match or Apple Music
  • Ability to access your entire photo library through the Photos app and
  • Ability to manually sync apps through iTunes (30–45 minutes, depending on the number of apps you have)
  • Ability to log-in and pick things right up from where you left them (depending on the number of your apps it will take between 30 to 120 minutes)

I think that as time has gone by, Apple has proven that we are moving towards a device agnostic world. The next step in the future will be simply logging in to your interface, and having instantaneous access to your entire library of documents, apps, music, videos, and photos. Keeping this huge data set consistent across the devices is what constitutes a good ecosystem.

In the end, I feel more comfortable setting up my iPhones from scratch every time I buy a new one, as it gives me an opportunity to reconsider all my needs and applications, and helps me perform a “spring cleaning” of the device.

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Why Apple Music Touching 11 Million Users is a Big Deal

Apple Music

In an interview with USA Today, Eddy Cue (Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services) revealed that Apple Music currently has 11 million users taking advantage of their initial three-month trial period. Out of these 11 million, 2 million users are taking advantage of the family plan.

This number is extremely impressive when you consider that it took Spotify considerably longer (2 years) to touch a similar (10 million non-paying) subscriber-base. Apple’s feat becomes even more impressive if we assume that around half of these 11 million users that are currently trying out Apple Music eventually become paid subscribers, which would mean that Apple Music would achieve a paid subscriber-base of 5.5 million users in just 4 months (a feat that Spotify took 4 years to achieve).

I think the overall pessimistic and dismissive outlook towards Apple Music has been unwarranted and whether people want to accept it or not, Apple Music is off to a brilliant start.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 26th July 2015

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 26th July 2015

Overview of Apple’s Q3 2015 Results

Apple Prevents App Store Reviews From Users on iOS 9 Betas – MacStories

Apple Backs Federal Non-Discrimination LGBT Equality Act of 2015 – MacRumors

‘It’s Tim’: What Apple’s CEO told analysts – Six Colors

The 5 biggest takeaways of Apple’s Q3 2015 quarterly earnings – MacWorld

HOME SCREENS: MATT ALEXANDER – MacSparky

Half-Assed – Furbo

Apple Launches ‘Why There’s Nothing Quite Like iPhone’ Web Campaign – MacRumors

 

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Overview of Apple’s Q3 2015 Results

Apple has just published their Q3 2015 financial results. These results are of special significance as they are the first quarterly results reported by Apple post the release of the Apple Watch. The company sold sold 10.9 million iPads, 47.5 million iPhones, and 4.8 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion and touching revenues of $49.6 billion.

Graphical Overview

Apple Q3 Revenue and Profit

 

Apple Q3 Revenue by product comparison 14vs15

 

Apple Q3 2015 revenue by product Apple Q3 Revenue by operating segment

Key Numbers

  • Revenues up 33%, fastest growth rate in over three years
  • Earnings per share up 45%
  • iPhone sales grew 35%, 3x the growth registered by the overall smartphone market
  • iPhone revenue up 59%
  • Among iPhone owners planning to purchase a new phone, 86% plan to purchase another iPhone. That compares to 50% repurchase intent for the next highest brand measured
  • The Mac segment registered a unit growth of 9% in a market that IDC estimates contracted by 12%
  • App Store produced its best quarter ever, with revenue growing 24%
  • Greater China registered a revenue growth of 112% and iPhone unit growth of 87%
  • Mac sales grew 33% in Greater china during the last year
  • Market research from Wristly measured a 97% customer satisfaction rate for Apple Watch
  • 94% of Apple Watch owners wear and use it regularly, if not every day
  • 8500 third-party apps available for Apple Watch
  • Over 15,000 artists have signed up to post on Connect
  • On track for Apple Pay acceptance at over 1.5 million U.S. locations by the end of 2015
  • In terms of regional trends for the iPhone – Western Europe grew 30% versus a market of 7% (4 times growth), Japan grew over five times market, we doubled in Korea versus a market that was shrinking, and India we grew at 93%, this is on top of the Greater China numbers that we’ve already covered that grew 87% in a quarter versus a market of 5%
  • 27% of the installed base of customers prior to the launch of 6 and 6 Plus have now upgraded

My Thoughts

Role of Emerging Markets in Apple’s Future

The most evident trend that emerges from Apple’s Q3 financial results is the significance of emerging markets for Apple in the coming years. For the first time ever, Greater China’s contribution to Apple’s overall revenue (27%) accounted for more than all of Europe (21%). It’s also worth noting that China and India have shown the highest growth rate for Apple’s largest product segment (the iPhone). Apple saw its iPhone business grow by an unprecedented 93% in India and 87% in China.

iPad sales continue to dip while Mac shows industry defying growth

Q3 2015 marks another quarter where Apple saw its iPad sales decline. The segment saw a decline of 16.6% YoY. I think its well established that this decline is due to the irregular iPad upgrade cycle. Its clear that this is a concern for Apple and the amount of iPad related changes Apple introduced in iOS 9 is a clear indicative of the impact of this decline. Luckily for Apple, the decline it is seeing in its iPad segment is offset by success in its Mac segment which registered a YoY growth of 8.8%, which is definitely an impressive feat when you consider the fact that IDC estimated the overall PC industry to be declining at a rate of 12%. Cook said that the growth it is seeing in this segment was fueled by a strong Mac product portfolio which recently saw the addition of the new Macbook.

Apple Watch

Since Apple didn’t report its Apple Watch sales figures due to competitive reasons and the fact that Cook advised not to reverse engineer the revenue for Apple Watch by attributing the growth in the “Others” segment to Apple Watch sales, it is a bit difficult to accurately talk about exactly how much revenue the Apple Watch brought in for Apple during Q3 2015.

That being said, one can ascertain that the revenue is definitely over $1Bn (but probably less than 1.5Bn), considering Cook’s hint that the Apple Watch contributed more to the “Others’ category than one might assume. This means the Apple Watch brought in revenue substantially more than the $5Mn the iPhone brought in during its first quarter, and in the range of the amount the iPad brought in (which raked in $2 Bn in its first two quarters).

One thing is clear, the Apple Watch probably is witnessing the best adoption rate of any recent Apple product and considering that it has only launched in just over a dozen countries, I am certain that we will see a huge boost in Apple’s overall revenue in the coming quarters.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 20th July 2015

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 20th July 2015

Apple Pay Launches in the UK

Apple Refreshes iPod Line-up

Apple Posts New iPhone Advert: “Amazing Apps” – MacStories

Wish List: Deeper folders in iCloud Drive application folders – Six Colors

A Watch, Water and Workouts – Furbo

APPLE VS. THE PC INDUSTRY – Daring Fireball

Hands on with Photos for Mac 1.1 – Six Colors

Apple Posts Four New Apple Watch Commercials – MacStories

The iPod touch Is The New Point-And-Shoot – TechCrunch

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Apple Refreshes iPod Line-up

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Earlier today Apple updated its iPod lineup, including the iPod Touch, iPod Nano, and the iPod Shuffle. Apple has updated the iPod Touch with a 4-inch display, 64-bit A8 chip and M8 motion coprocessor, 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and new colors: blue, pink, silver, space gray, gold and red. Apple has also updated the iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle, however these have only received a slight cosmetic tweak in the form of new colors.

I have been using the iPhone 6 ever since its launched, and although I like the slimmer form-factor, I am not necessarily a fan of the larger screen. The fact that Apple has been able to put the same (or at the very least comparable) internals from the 4.7″ iPhone 6 into a 4″ iPod Nano makes me feel like there still might be hope for an updated 4″ iPhone in the coming months.

The iPod Touch starts from $199, while the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle will start from $149 and $49 respectively. The entire lineup is available for purchase as of now on Apple’s online store as well in retail locations.

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