- December 1, 2005
IDG World Expo today announced that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will once again deliver the opening keynote address at next month’s Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The event is being held at the Moscone Convention Center January 9-13, 2006. The keynote will begin at 9:00 a.m. PT on Tuesday, January 10, 2006.
- November 21, 2005
Apple will once again this year host an after-Thanksgiving sale at its online and brick-and-mortar stores. The one-day event, which Apple is calling “The feast after the feast,” will take place on Friday, November 25. “Come back to the Apple Store on the day after Thanksgiving for a special one-day-only holiday shopping event,” reads a note on Apple’s website. “You’ll find dozens of great gift ideas for everyone on your list, and you’ll get free shipping on all items.” Last year’s sale saw $20 price reductions on iPods, as well as discounts on iPod accessories, iMacs, digital cameras and more.
- November 4, 2005
Lugz Footwear said late Friday that it has sent a cease and desist letter to both Apple and its adverstising agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, over the similarities between a Lugz TV commercial from 2002 and Apple’s new iPod + iTunes spot featuring rapper Eminem.
As previously reported, Apple’s new ad is strikingly similar to the three year old Lugz commercial, with both featuring an urban background in red, orange and yellow hues with a hip-hop soundtrack and black silhouette dancers.
“If you look at these spots, common sense would tell you that there’s a problem here,” Larry Schwartz, executive vice president and a principal of Lugz parent company JSSI, said in a statement. “The Apple commercial uses the most powerful elements of our campaign, making the ads disturbingly similar. We are prepared to vigorously pursue all legal remedies in order to protect our rights.”
- October 27, 2005
Makers of MP3 players are facing a shortage of 1GB flash memory chips, and at least one blames Apple and Samsung for the less than ample supply that the rest of the industry is fighting for.
“One of the key challenges we face in our MP3 business is an industry-wide shortage of 1GB flash memory,” said Creative president Craig McHugh. “Industry demand for high-capacity flash memory currently outstrips supply and this will impact availability of our 1GB flash MP3 players for the holiday quarter. The shortage of flash memory, according to industry analyst speculation, is primarily a result of a special deal that Apple has secured from a key supplier for the holiday season.”
It has been reported that Samsung is selling the majority of its flash memory supply to Apple at below market cost for use in the iPod nano and iPod shuffle.
Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo said the deal is putting pressure on many smaller companies. “The MP3 market is now consolidating, but there is a shortage [of flash memory] because of the special deal we talked about,” said Sim. “The low-end [manufacturers] went out of business in the last few months because it’s very hard to face this pressure. If Creative is losing money then it’s very difficult for other companies to really fight in this battle.”
Sim said he doesn’t expect the deal to last long. “I don’t think the vendor [Samsung] is benefiting on it, so it’s really a one-sided deal,” he said. “I don’t think anybody else out there can get [similar terms]. That’s not the way the industry practices.”
- October 17, 2005
After briefly appearing online last week following Apple’s special event, the new iPod + iTunes commercial featuring rap music superstar Eminem is now back on the company’s website for viewing. There have also been reader reports that the 30-second spot began airing on TV over the weekend.
The ad, which was first shown by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during the event in San Jose, is a new 3D version of Apple’s well-known silhouette ads featuring the rapper singing his hit single “Lose Yourself” along with dancers and the new fifth-generation iPod.
The commercial came as somewhat of a surprise given the history between Apple and Eminem. The rapper’s music publisher, Eight Mile Style, filed a lawsuit against Apple in early 2004, claiming the iPod maker used “Lose Yourself” in a commercial for the iTunes Music Store without permission. The dispute was settled in May of this year, with Apple agreeing to pay Eminem and Eight Mile Style an undisclosed sum.
The disappearance of the commercial from Apple’s website without explanation sparked a bit of controversy online. Bloggers have speculated that Apple had pulled the ad because of its similarity to a three year old Lugz shoe commercial [video, screenshot comparison]. Others assumed that the ad was pulled because of a last minute demand from Eminem’s camp. Currently, no explanation has been given.
- October 17, 2005
Talks between Samsung and Apple on a possible joint investment to produce NAND flash memory chips have been dropped. “We had had some talks with Apple earlier this year but it did not work out due to differences over terms,” a Samsung spokesman told Reuters on Monday, adding they had dropped the joint investment talks “at a very early stage.” Apple is reportedly in talks currently with another company for joint flash chip output.
The Korea Economic Daily reported over the weekend that Apple had pulled out of the joint $3.8 billion investment plan due to “deepening anti-Samsung sentiment among some South Korean politicians and civic groups.” The Korean Fair Trade Commission Chairman recently stated that Samsung could be investigated for reports of the company selling flash memory to Apple at below-market prices. Last week, Samsung was found guilty in the U.S. of price-fixing.
- October 16, 2005
The October 24th edition of Time magazine features a cover story on Apple and how the company is different from others when it comes to designing new products. While Apple CEO Steve Jobs is featured on the cover holding the new fifth-generation iPod, most of the article is devoted to analyzing the design process at Apple. The cover story contains some choice quotes from a number of Apple executives, including Jobs, Jonathan Ive and Tony Fadell. A paid subscription is required to read the full article.
Time’s Lev Grossman says that there are two things going on inside Apple—collaboration and control. When it comes to a new product, it’s a joint effort—the company does not pass a product down the line, from team to team. “There aren’t discrete, sequential development stages,” explains Grossman. “Instead, it’s simultaneous and organic. Products get worked on in parallel by all departments at once—design, hardware, software—in endless rounds of interdisciplinary design reviews.”
Jobs compares Apple’s design process to other companies. “You know how you see a show car,” Jobs says, “and it’s really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory! What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, ‘Nah, we can’t do that. That’s impossible.’ And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, ‘We can’t build that!’ And it gets a lot worse.”
Time’s Grossman describes the “control” of Jobs: “Sure, Jobs is perfectly pleasant to be around. And he pays attention to what you’re saying, but if he disagrees with it… he’ll come storming back and hammer at you until you change your mind or at least shut up… In other words, Jobs is into control. In itself, that is of no real importance, except that in a lot of ways, Apple is an expression of Jobs’ personal ethos.”
Finally, Jobs talks of the new iPod’s potential. “There is no market today for portable video,” he says. “We’re going to sell millions of these to people who want to play their music, and video is going to come along for the ride. Anyone who wants to put out video content will put it out for this. And we’ll find out what happens.”
- October 11, 2005
Reporting record fourth quarter and year-end financial results on Tuesday, Apple announced that it shipped more than 6.4 million iPods during the quarter, the 10th consecutive quarter of record iPod sales.
Apple’s net profit for the quarter was $430 million, or 50 cents per share, on $3.68 billion in revenue—the highest quarterly earnings and revenue in the company’s history. These results compare to a profit of $106 million and revenue of $2.35 billion last year. For fiscal 2005, Apple had a net profit of $1.335 billion on revenue of $13.93 billion, representing the highest annual net profit and revenue in the company’s history.
With today’s report of Apple shipping 6,451,000 iPods during the quarter—about 300,000 more than last quarter and approximately 4.4 million more than a year ago—the total number of iPods sold now stands at over 26 million.
In an SEC filing, Apple said all iPod models accounted for more than $1.212 billion in revenue during the quarter, an increase of 126 percent compared to last year. Apple’s “Other Music Products
- October 10, 2005
Following complaints from Korean digital music player makers, Samsung and Apple could be facing an antitrust probe over NAND flash memory chip pricing. Samsung is said to have sold its flash chips to Apple for the iPod nano at below-market prices, crippling makers of iPod competitors who cannot now build comparable devices at the same price points.
“Speaking at a local radio talk show, FTC Chairman Kang Chul-kyu said questions about Samsung and Apple engaging in unfair trading could be investigated by the antitrust body,” reports Asia’s Yonhap News. “The issue of whether Samsung provided cheap flash memory chips for use in Apple’s latest MP3 music player was raised earlier this week during a parliamentary audit on the FTC. Rep. Kim Hyun-mi claimed that Samsung sold its NAND chips for US$54, or roughly 50 per cent of market prices.”
- September 29, 2005
Motorola CEO Ed Zander added to the ongoing speculation of Apple’s intent to create its own mobile phone with comments today to CNET News.com. “We know that they are going to build a smart phone—it’s only a matter of time,” he said after his presentation today at Technology Review’s Emerging Technologies Conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Also, as a Motorola representative did earlier this week, Zander downplayed his comments about the iPod nano, claiming they were “taken completely out of context. We have a great relationship with Apple. I’ve known Steve Jobs for 15 years. Sure, there is some tension there. We have the Rokr, and they have the Nano. They are a competitor as well as a partner.”
- September 5, 2005
Contrary to earlier reports, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will not be delivering a keynote presentation at Apple Expo in Paris this month. The show’s organizers updated the Apple Expo website today with a brief message saying that there would be no keynote at the event. Apple confirmed the news, but said Jobs and other Apple executives would be at the event to host a Q&A session for media.
“While this year’s Apple Expo will not feature a formal keynote presentation, members of Apple’s executive team will be hosting a Q&A session for members of the media on the opening day and will be at Apple Expo throughout the week,” an Apple spokesperson told iLounge.
As previously reported, Apple Expo takes place September 20th through the 24th. There has been much speculation that Apple would unveil new products at the event. With no keynote, it is unlikely that the company will make any introductions at Apple Expo this year, and puts even more significance on Wednesday’s special event in San Francisco.
- July 19, 2005
Target has introduced a new iPod case as part of the branded products in its Red Hot Shop. The Cosmic Flowers iPod case is made from white patent-PVC and features black and white “swirling psychedelic flowers” with a red Target bullseye logo. It fits fourth-generation iPods, and offers a clear screen protector, a red patent-PVC wristlet strap, and a clasp to clip the case onto a belt loop or bag. Target said the new iPod case would ship later this month for $14.
“Play it safe, if you must,” says Target. “Put your iPod in a case that’s the equivalent of slacks. Jingle your change. You’re responsible. You’re established. But your bumpin’ tracks and rebellion bass really deserve more attitude than that. Something unique, expressive. And that’s exactly where this beauty enters into it.”
- May 10, 2005
The Detroit News reports that the record label of Eminem has agreed to an undisclosed financial settlement in its lawsuit over the use of one of the rapper’s songs in an Apple ad that appeared on MTV. “The parties were able to reach an amicable resolution,” said Howard Hertz, lawyer for Eight Mile Style and Eminem.
The commercial for the iTunes Music Store featured a young boy singing Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and aired on MTV beginning in July 2003. In February 2004, Eight Mile Style filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Apple, MTV and others claiming that Apple used the hit song without permission. Eminem’s lawyers said at the time that “even if he were interested in endorsing a product, any endorsement deal would require a significant amount of money, possibly in excess of $10 million.”
- April 21, 2005
At Apple’s annual shareholders meeting Thursday, chief executive Steve Jobs defended his company’s environmental efforts after being questioned about recycling policies.
While activists picketed outside Apple headquarters, Jobs said inside that the company takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and noted that the company accepted more than 1,500 tons of old products in 2004 through its recycling program.
The activists — including one who dressed up as an iPod with the words “My trendy toy turned toxic trash today” — focused on the iPod and the device’s hard-to-replace battery. “Most consumers are just going to throw it away and get a new one,” said Sheila Davis, director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.
Jobs said that consumers often throw old batteries away, and pointed out that tens of thousands of iPod owners have already gotten their batteries replaced through Apple’s $99 program and that the company properly disposes of the old ones.
Jobs also admitted that the iPod contains a small amount of lead, but that much more is found in other computer and conusmer electronics products including cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors.
- April 13, 2005
Reporting its fiscal 2005 second quarter financial results on Wednesday, Apple announced that it shipped more than 5.3 million iPods during the quarter — about 700,000 more than it shipped in the brisk holiday quarter and about 4.5 million more than it did in the year-ago quarter. The total number of iPods sold now stands at over 15 million.
Apple’s net profit for the quarter was $290 million, or 34 cents per share, on $3.24 billion in revenue. These results compare to a profit of $46 million, or 6 cents a share, last year.
“We are delighted to report a record second quarter for Apple in both revenue and earnings,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “Apple is firing on all cylinders and we have some incredible new products in the pipeline for the coming year, starting with Mac OS X Tiger later this month.”
Apple said its music products accounted for 38 percent of its total revenue for the quarter. All iPod models brought in more than $1.014 billion in revenue for Apple during the quarter, an increase of 284 percent in revenue. Apple’s “Other Music Products” category, which includes the iTunes Music Store, iPod related services and accessories, accounted for $216 million of the quarter’s revenue, a 260 percent increase year-over-year.
- March 15, 2005
Apple’s Steve Jobs again received a salary of $1 in 2004, according to an annual proxy statement filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jobs also did not receive stock options or restricted stock from Apple last year. “For years, Jobs, who co-founded Cupertino, California-based Apple, has taken a salary of $1,” reports Reuters. “In March 2003, Jobs voluntarily canceled all of his outstanding options, excluding those granted to him in his capacity as director.” Jobs is Apple’s second-largest shareholder, with more than 10 million shares, or 1.23 percent of the company’s outstanding share count, according to Marketwatch.
- March 11, 2005
“I am currently working on a project for Apple.
We are looking to speak with people who have come to Mac through owning an iPod. These are people who have been or currently are PC users; they own an iPod and love it so much that they’ve bought a Mac.
Specifically we are looking for people between the ages of 14-35…young professionals, parents, students/etc…approachable, real people. I would like to speak with anyone who fits this description.”
- March 5, 2005
Apple has recently been confronted by two companies that say Apple is infringing on their patents with its popular iTunes and iPod products.
A Hong Kong-based company called Pat-rights claims its holds a patent on the digital rights management (DRM) process that Apple uses in the iTunes Music Store and iPod. The company is demanding 12 percent of Apple’s gross revenue from iTunes and iPods. Pat-rights said it will file a lawsuit on March 21 if the company and Apple do not reach an agreement before then.
Meanwhile, Illinois-based Advanced Audio Devices, has reportedly sued Apple, claiming that the company’s iPod violates one of its patents. A Chicago Tribune article is scant on details, but the paper does say that Advanced Audio told Apple in December that the iPod infringed on its “Music Jukebox” patent. Apple “ignored [Advanced Audio’s] attempt to seek a business resolution,” the federal suit said.
- February 14, 2005
A French consumer group has sued Apple and Sony, claiming their online music stores violate European anti-trust laws. The Register reports: “Like California resident Thomas Slattery, who filed a similar complaint against Apple in January, Paris-based UFC-Que Choisir claims that Apple’s iTunes Music Store and Sony’s Connect service are anti-competitive because they only work with the companies’ own music players.”
“Apple can also argue that the French government’s anti-trust watchdog has already ruled that it has a right to maintain a proprietary link between its music store and the iPod. Last November, the watchdog dismissed an attempt by Virgin’s French retail subsidiary, VirginMega, to force Apple to license the Mac maker’s FairPlay DRM technology, which would be essential to allow any third-party device to play iTMS-downloaded songs.”
- February 11, 2005
Apple on Friday announced that its board of directors has approved a two-for-one stock split that will increase the number of authorized common shares to 1.8 billion from 900 million. Apple said that each shareholder at the close of business on Feb. 18, 2005 will receive one additional share of stock for every share they own. Trading will begin on a split-adjusted basis on Feb. 28, 2005.
Shares of Apple have nearly quadrupled in value over the last year on the success of the iPod. Last month, the company easily beat analysts’ expectations with its first quarter financial results. Apple posted a net profit of $295 million, or 70 cents a share, compared to income of $63 million, or 17 cents per share, in the prior year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had expected the company to earn 49 cents a share.
Apple stock closed Thursday’s session down 38 cents at $78.36. It reached a 52-week high of $81.99 on Wednesday.