Price cuts, podcasts and teens' love

Apple-Spotify war gets another front / Apple leads in

Greetings! Coming right up, the most interesting stuff about Apple in the past week. — Please forward this email to anyone you think might find it interesting.

Savings season

  • iPhones are now ~6% cheaper in China after the company cut prices for many of its products following a drop in sales tax in the country from 16 to 13%. — This is the second price cut for the iPhone in China this year.

  • iPhone XR in India is now 25% cheaper with a cashback program. The 64 GB version goes from 77,000 (~$1,100) to 59,000 rupees ($850). Steep.

  • HomePod is 15% off: The worldwide price of the smart speaker is now $50/€50/£40 lower. — In recent survey, over 50% customers expressed interest in a "smaller, cheaper" version.

  • Apple Music is now 15% cheaper in India.

Apple hires worldwide top A.I. researcher from Google

Ian Goodfellow joined Apple's Special Projects Group as a director of machine learning in March. Goodfellow will serve under John Giannandrea (also from Google).

He is considered the "father" of the generative adversarial networks, or GANs, a powerful method that allows computers to learn by themselves in improved, if not yet fully understood, ways.

Apple Music overtakes Spotify in paid subs in the U.S.

The WSJ cites "according to people familiar with the matter". Apple Music now leads the U.S. —the largest paid music streaming market— by 28 million to 26 million, and with a higher growth rate.

Globally, the numbers look like this:

Spotify makes gains in podcasting

Apple still leads worldwide, but the Swedish company is chipping away Apple's dominant position in podcasting. In many countries and regions, more people listen to podcasts in Spotify than in Apple's ecosystem.

Apple leads email readership

According to data from Litmus, Apple's iOS Mail app is responsible for 37% of all the emails read in the world. The Mac app adds another 8%. 

Take the data with a grain of salt, as many companies set strong rules that prevent tracking. In business, web-based and Windows apps are paramount.

U.S. teens love their iPhones (Chapter MCCXIII)

According to a new Piper Jaffray poll of 8,000 American high school students: 83% have an iPhone ("the highest percentage we have seen in our survey"), while only 9% use Android phones.

Sadly, the survey doesn't disclose models. The poll is skewed, obviously to richer kids. It's not totally unrealistic, but it's not a good representation of the general public.

Tim Cook acquires acquirer

Adrian Perica, head of M&A, will report directly to Tim Cook, but without a SVP title. Until now he was in the financial branch lead by CFO Luca Maestri. He was "instrumental" in the Didi Chuxing and Beats deals. — Will Apple ramp up the acquisitions?

2019-2020 iPhone rumour mill starts grinding

  • TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the new models will have significantly more battery capacity: "10%-15%, 20%-25%, and 0%-5%" compared to the current models.

  • Kuo also talks about two-way wireless charging feature. 

  • For 2020, LCD could be gone from the line-up with OLED taking over all the models, according to Digitimes, with slightly bigger screens.

  • UBS analyst adds to the consensus that Apple may not be able to ship a 5G iPhone in 2020. — To be fair, 2020 is maybe too soon for 5G to be an important factor, but could drive renewals anyway.

More from the orchard


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