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Updated: 21 min 42 sec ago
Apple Introduces 15-inch MacBook Pro with Force Touch Trackpad and New $1999 iMac with Retina 5K Display
Apple today updated the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage, longer battery life, and faster discrete graphics. Apple also introduced a new $1,999 configuration of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display featuring a 14.7 million pixel display, quad-core processors, and AMD graphics, and lowered the price of the top-end iMac to $2,299. “The response to the new MacBook and updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been amazing, and today we are thrilled to bring the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage, and longer battery life to the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers love the groundbreaking iMac with Retina 5K display, and now with a new lower starting price, even more people can experience the best desktop we’ve ever made.”
Apple today announced an expansion of its renewable energy and environmental protection initiatives in China, including a new multiyear project with World Wildlife Fund to significantly increase responsibly managed forests across China. The new program aims to protect as much as 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests that provide fiber for pulp, paper, and wood products. “Forests, like energy, can be renewable resources,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives. “We believe we can run on naturally renewable resources and ensure that we protect — and create — as much sustainable working forest as needed to produce the virgin paper in our product packaging.” Apple also announced its intent to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China.
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 second quarter ended March 28. The company posted quarterly revenue of $58 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $45.6 billion and net profit of $10.2 billion, or $1.66 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.8 percent compared to 39.3 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 69 percent of the quarter’s revenue. “We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac, and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.”
Apple today announced that its board of directors has authorized an increase of more than 50 percent to the company’s program to return capital to shareholders. Under the expanded program, Apple plans to utilize a cumulative total of $200 billion of cash by the end of March 2017. As part of the revised program, the board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $140 billion from the $90 billion level announced last year. In addition, the company expects to continue to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units. The board has also approved an increase of 11 percent to the company’s quarterly dividend, and has declared a dividend of $0.52 per share, payable on May 14, 2015, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 11. “We believe Apple has a bright future ahead, and the unprecedented size of our capital return program reflects that strong confidence,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “While most of our program will focus on buying back shares, we know that the dividend is very important to many of our investors, so we’re raising it for the third time in less than three years.”
Apple today announced it will hold its 26th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) June 8 through June 12 at San Francisco’s Moscone West, with more sessions than ever before streamed live to developers worldwide. WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions, over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs, and the Apple Design Awards. “The App Store ignited an app ecosystem that is simply amazing, forever changing the lives of customers and creating millions of jobs worldwide,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We’ve got incredible new technologies for iOS and OS X to share with developers at WWDC and around the world, and can’t wait to see the next generation of apps they create.”
Apple today announced that ResearchKit, a software framework designed for medical and health research, is now available. Medical researchers will be able to use ResearchKit to develop their own apps, and developers can also contribute new research modules to the open source framework. “We are delighted and encouraged by the response to ResearchKit from the medical and research community and the participants contributing to medical research. Studies that historically attracted a few hundred participants are now attracting participants in the tens of thousands,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “Medical researchers all over the world are actively exploring how ResearchKit can help them study even more diseases, and we believe the impact on global understanding of health and wellness will be profound.”
Apple has updated Final Cut Pro X, Motion, and Compressor with new features for motion graphics and key enhancements to accelerate video editing, packaging, and delivery. Final Cut Pro 10.2 introduces stunning 3D titles that are easy to use, improved masking for color grading and effects, native support for more camera formats, and GPU-accelerated RED RAW processing. Motion 5.2 extends the power of 3D titles with the ability to create custom materials and environments and instantly publish them to Final Cut Pro X. Compressor 4.2 makes it easy to package a movie for sale on the iTunes Store. “From Hollywood blockbuster directors to first-time movie makers, Final Cut Pro X is changing the way we edit movies today,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
Apple today announced that Apple Watch will be available April 24 to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the U.S. Apple Watch brings an entirely new way to receive information at a glance and interact with the world through third-party apps designed specifically for the wrist. “Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before.”
Apple today unveiled the all-new MacBook, a thinner and lighter line of notebooks available in gold, silver, and space gray aluminum finishes. MacBook features a 12-inch Retina display; a full-size keyboard; the all-new Force Touch trackpad; a compact USB-C port for data transfer, video out, and charging in a single connector; and a new battery designed to deliver all-day life. “Apple has reinvented the notebook with the new MacBook, and at just 2 pounds and 13.1 millimeters, it’s the thinnest and lightest Mac ever,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Every component of the MacBook reveals a new innovation. From its fanless design, ultrathin Retina display, and full-size keyboard that’s 34 percent thinner, to its all-new Force Touch trackpad, versatile USB-C port, and breakthrough terraced battery design, the new MacBook is the future of the notebook.”
Apple has updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air. “Today, the popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Air all received significant upgrades,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest processors, more powerful graphics, faster flash, longer battery life, and the all-new Force Touch trackpad. We’re also bringing the latest processors and graphics and faster Thunderbolt 2 to the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, as well as up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.”
Apple today announced ResearchKit, an open-source software framework designed for medical and health research that can help doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps. World-class research institutions have already developed apps with ResearchKit for studies on asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. “iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before.”
Apple and HBO today announced HBO NOW is premiering next month, making an HBO subscription available directly to Apple customers for the first time ever. iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV users can purchase HBO NOW directly in-app as a standalone service to watch HBO’s original programming, Hollywood hit movies, documentaries, sports, and comedy specials for $14.99 a month. “HBO NOW offers a new generation of HBO fans many of the best TV programs in the world without a cable or satellite subscription,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Now, with the same simplicity as buying an app, customers can subscribe to HBO NOW and instantly start viewing their favorite HBO programs as they air — this is huge.”
After researching several workflows, directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra decided to edit “Focus” — a major new Warner Bros. film starring Will Smith — entirely in Final Cut Pro X. The results were even better than they’d expected. Final Cut Pro X helped them deliver the movie on time and under budget, and it played and looked just as they’d envisioned it. “I’ve cut on all the other systems, and I can easily say I’m three times faster on Final Cut Pro X,” says Ficarra.