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App Store download revenue set to overtake amount made by entire movie industry this year

App Store downloads brought in $26.5 billion for developers in 2017, and Asymco’s Horace Dediu has unearthed some interesting stats about how that stacks up against other juggernauts of American business. If App Store downloads continue to increase at the same rate, the amount generated in 2018 will be more than the entire film industry combined, as well as more than the revenue taken in by the entire McDonald’s Corporation in 2016. In the coming year users will be spending about $100 million each day on apps, making the App Store segment of Apple’s business the equivalent of a Fortune 100 company in its own right. And these totals don’t take into account other apps offered from free by companies like Amazon and Uber that in turn are used by those companies to generate revenue. With Dediu estimating that “iOS enables about 50% to 60% of mobile economic activity,” he estimates that between economic activity and hardware sales combined, “the iOS economy cleared about $380 billion in revenues 2017” and is set to approach the $500 billion mark in the coming year.

Chinese consumer group joins others demanding information about iPhone slowdowns

Photo: Reuters

A Chinese consumer group has joined the growing list of private citizens and government entities demanding information about why and how Apple decided to slow down older iPhones without informing users, Reuters reports. Chinese state news agency Xinhua said the Shanghai Consumer Council has demanded a reply from Apple by Friday about how the company plans to rectify consumer complaints that their old iPhones became sluggish after the iOS 10.2.1 update. Apple has already lowered the price of battery replacements for users with certain iPhones and promised software changes to let users monitor the health of their batteries, but the company is still facing multiple class-action lawsuits and demands from lawmakers to provide more information about the situation.

Apple makes deal to allow tipping to resume for Chinese users of WeChat app

Photo: WeChat

Apple has reached a deal with Tencent that will soon allow the tipping feature to be turned back on in WeChat, The Wall Street Journal reports. Direct payments to content creators were disabled in WeChat and other apps last year when Apple informed the app makers that it considered the payments equivalent to in-app purchases — which means Apple would be entitled to 30 percent of the revenue being sent. The companies objected, arguing that Apple was looking to collect money for nothing since not even the app makers themselves were collecting anything from the direct payments sent from users to content creators.


Daily Deal: Spiel Bluetooth Speaker System

For Tuesday’s iLounge Deal, we’re offering the Spiel Bluetooth Speaker System for only $55 — that’s 44% off the regular price. This affordable three-piece desktop speaker set features Bluetooth connectivity so you can set up a complete surround sound experience right on your desk, although the 100W audio output also means that it’s great for larger spaces too. The contemporary design fits in just about anywhere, and an included remote control lets you adjust volume or change tracks on the connected Bluetooth device.

Get the Spiel Bluetooth Speaker System now for only $55

Review: Shinola Canfield Over-Ear Headphones

A few weeks ago, we reviewed the Shinola Canfield On-Ear Headphones and were extremely impressed with the company's high-quality debut into the headphone market. However, if you're like us, and prefer over-ear headphones to on-ear, you couldn't help but feel a little reservation. As luck would have it, Shinola sent us a sample of their Canfield Over-Ear fast enough that we can compare them side-by-side. We're happy to report that the Over-Ear has everything we liked about the On-Ear, just bigger: bigger pads, bigger drivers, bigger cushioning.


Apple took meeting with AR component suppliers during CES

In another small move adding fuel to speculation about Apple’s augmented reality glasses project, the tech giant met with suppliers that produce the underlying technology to power the devices during CES, Bloomberg reports. Apple was among several larger tech companies that had discussions with suppliers, according to people familiar with the meetings. Apple is reportedly aiming to have the technology ready by 2019 ahead of a 2020 product release, but sources have admitted that launch timeline is “very aggressive” and subject to change.

India relaxes 30-percent local sourcing rules for Apple, clearing way for Apple Stores

India has relaxed the rules that have been keeping Apple from opening Apple Stores, clearing the way for the company to expand into the country, The New York Times reports. Indian law requires that companies opening retail locations source at least 30 perfect of the materials in the product’s construction from within India, which poses a big problem for Apple since the company sources materials and assembles its products mainly from China. The new rules allow single-brand retailers “to temporarily meet the 30 percent requirement by buying goods made in India and then selling them overseas.” That would allow Apple to buy Indian made accessories like iPhone cases and sell them outside the country to offset the sales it is making on its own products within the country. After five years those rules will expire and Apple will have to meet the full sourcing requirement, but by then it should be possible for Apple to rejigger its supply chain to comply. Apple began manufacturing the iPhone SE in India last year and has been allowed to sell them online, but had still been prevented from opening retail locations because the components were brought in from outside the country.

Apple mistakenly notifies US users of Chinese data center migration

Apple sent an email notification to several users outside of China mistakenly informing them their iCloud data was being moved to a Chinese company’s servers, TechCrunch reports. Apple had previously announced its move to migrate user data in China to government-run servers to comply with local laws, but some US users reported receiving an email telling them their data was being moved to the Chinese data centers as well. Apple sent a followup to users who received the email by mistake, assuring them that “only users with their Apple ID country set to China will have their iCloud data migrated to GCBD servers.” That wording is important, since setting their Apple ID location outside of China could prevent Chinese users from having their data on state-run servers.

Daily Deal: Power Lens Qi Charging Pad

Today in iLounge Deals, you can get the Power Lens Qi Charging Pad for only $29.99 — that’s 25% off the regular price. This wireless charging pad goes beyond the usual plain “coaster-style” look with a nice design twist for photography enthusiasts; it’s made in the shape of a short-barrelled camera lens, so it will look right at home among your photography gear. It packs in ten-watt charging capabilities for maximum-speed wireless charging of an iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus, and even notifies you with a shutter click sound when it makes charging contact with your iPhone.

Get the Power Lens Qi Charging Pad now for only $29.99

Gracenote shows off app that integrates AM/FM radio with CarPlay

Gracenote has showcased a potential solution to remedy Apple’s lack of CarPlay support for local radio that also makes stations from around the US available, CNET reports. Known for creating tagging information for digital music, Gracenote has now created an app that combines local AM/FM broadcast stations alongside radio streaming options, all of which can be accessed from within CarPlay instead of leaving Apple’s user interface to manage the radio from the vehicle’s native interface. The app has an indexed list of radio stations from all over the US, sorted by genre and location for easy browsing, but the company doesn’t seem to have plans to make it available to consumers through the App Store. Instead, the company will be providing the tech to “partners,” which likely means automakers will be the ones that end up providing the solution to make radio available through CarPlay at some point.

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