Tech World’s Winners & Losers After a Wild Week of Earnings, From Amazon to Apple

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

If you had better things to do this week than sit around and track the quarterly earnings reports of tech giants, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

With heavyweights like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google all reporting this week, let’s take a look at the winners and losers:

Winner: Amazon

Amazon is not only selling an unreal amount of products — accounting for about half of all online holiday shopping — but regularly turns a profit while doing so. Amazon posted its 11th straight quarterly profit on Thursday, netting nearly $2 billion.

Also Read: Will Amazon Add Target to Its Cart in 2018?

Wall Street is ordering more shares on Friday, as the company jumped 5 percent in early trading to scrape its all-time high of about $1,464.

Now let’s all sit back and watch the remaining 20 city candidates for Amazon’s “HQ2” fall over themselves trying to woo CEO Jeff Bezos.

Loser: iPhone X

So much for the “supercycle,” or wave of phone upgrades Apple investors were banking on. Apple sold 77.3 million phones during its latest quarter — an ungodly amount of phones, to be sure, but still below Wall Street expectations of about 80 million. That also fell about a million short of its best iPhone sales quarter ever, achieved last year.

Maybe this is too harsh on Apple, but the world’s biggest company gets graded on a curve. Its tentpole iPhone X, released last October, was supposed to take the market by storm.

CEO Tim Cook touted its facial recognition technology and sleek, home button-less screen when it was first unveiled. But so far its $999 price tag has failed to drum up the support from Apple fanboys that was expected.

Also Read: iPhone Sales Disappoint as Apple Reports Meh Q1 Earnings

Winner: Apple’s Giant Stash of Cash

Here’s the thing for Apple, though: Even when things are bad, they’re still damn good. Lackluster iPhone sales were offset by an 18 percent year-over-year increase in services revenue, along with 1.3 billion devices activated within the Apple ecosystem, according to Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures.

The company’s $88.3 billion in sales was a quarterly record. And its fabled cash horde swelled to $284 billion — or $163 billion minus debt. Don’t be shocked if Apple makes more Shazam-esque acquisitions moving forward.

Also Read: Apple Will Soon Let You Disable iPhone-Slowing Battery ‘Feature’

Loser: Facebook’s News Feed

At least right now. Facebook is in the midst of overhauling its News Feed, aiming to replace viral videos with more “meaningful” interactions between family and friends. It looks like a necessity, with domestic users dropping for the first time ever — from 185 million to 184 million.

“The world is anxious and divided and that played out on Facebook… we have a responsibility to fully understand how our services are used and to do everything we can to amplify the good, and prevent the harm,” said Zuckerberg earlier this week.

The remarkable thing, though: Facebook still increased its sales 47 percent year-over-year, despite its growing pains. If it finds a better formula for News Feed, it’ll only bolster its booming ad business. Wall Street is waiting around to see the update, with shares of FB pushing to all-time highs after earnings released on Wednesday.

Also Read: What Dip? Facebook Hits All-Time Stock High Despite Losing U.S. Users

Winner: Netflix

Rather than fret about streamers sharing their login info, Netflix has instead focused on building a mountain of content to draw in new subscribers. That bet has paid off, with the streaming giant grabbing 8.33 million subscribers during the fourth quarter — lapping its previous quarterly record of 7 million.

Netflix now has more than 117 million (paying) streamers around the globe, and its stock has blitzed to a new all-time high. Remember when Blockbuster said thanks but no thanks to buying Netflix for $50 million? Oof.

Also Read: Why Amazon, Netflix Ghosted Sundance Sales After Dominating Last Year

Loser: Google 

It was a mixed bag when Google parent Alphabet reported its financials on Thursday. The company’s $32.72 billion in sales beat expectations, but its earnings were slightly off the mark.

Rising traffic acquisition costs — which jumped 33 percent year-over-year — spooked investors, with shares falling 5 percent in early trading on Friday. As mobile searches rise, Google will have to continue paying big money to keep its ad dollars flowing in.

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Maybe people are waiting for the iPhone XI.

Apple’s much-hyped slate of new smartphones — including the top-line $999 iPhone X — couldn’t propel the world’s biggest company to the “supercycle” wave of phone upgrades Wall Street was banking on. The consumer tech giant sold a whopping 77 million iPhones last quarter, Apple announced on Thursday, but still came in well below analyst estimates of roughly 80 million devices.

That figure also came up short of Apple’s record 78.3 million iPhones sold in a single quarter, which the company hit during its last holiday quarter.

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Still, Apple continued to print money during its first quarter, with its record $88.3 billion in revenue beating analyst estimates of $87.1 billion. But the underwhelming iPhone sales, coupled with middling guidance for the upcoming quarter, has Wall Street letting out a collective “meh.” Shares of Apple moved slightly up in after hours trading, hitting about $168 a share.

The iPhone X went on sale in late October, with Apple fanboys touting its home button-less screen and facial recognition technology, used for unlocking its screen. But less than three months after its release, Apple was slashing orders for its 10th anniversary iPhone on waning demand.

Also Read: Apple Invests $390 Million in Facial Recognition Tech

Apple came into the day with a market cap of more than $860 billion, but its push to becoming the first trillion dollar company looks to be taking a pit stop.

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Apple Reports Record Holiday Quarter Earnings, Revenue

Read on: Deadline.

Apple reported a record holiday quarter, buoyed by strong demand for its new generation of iPhones.
The Cupertino tech giant began shipping its anniversary edition iPhone X in November — and the company said sales of the $1,000 device exceeded expectations. The phone’s higher price tag fueled revenue for the December quarter.
” iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO…

Apple Posts Record Revenue for 2017 Holiday Quarter, Cites Strong iPhone X Sales

Read on: Variety.

Apple once again beat Wall Street expectations in announcing record quarterly results — fueled by the highest revenue from iPhone sales in its history, although it sold nearly 1 million fewer smartphones than in the year-earlier period. For the company’s fiscal first quarter of 2018 ended Dec. 30, Apple reported revenue of $88.3 billion, up […]

It turns out that people don’t really want to spend $1,000 on an iPhone

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Apple’s iPhone X is an unbelievable marvel of technology with a seemingly endless list of exciting new features and capabilities. , which is the kind of detail that overshadows literally everything else about it. Want to get on your phone by scanning your face? Well, it costs $1,000. Want to use those animated emoji…

Read more…

Apple’s Stock Sags Amid Reports Of Weaker Demand For iPhone X

Read on: Deadline.

Apple’s stock sagged today as some analysts lowered their iPhone X projections for the first quarter, citing weaker-than-expected demand for the $1,000 device during the holiday shopping season.
Chinese broker Sinolink Securities forecast shipments might be as low as 35 million — about 10 million fewer than previously estimated, Reuters reported. Analyst Zhang Bin wrote that after an initial wave of consumer enthusiasm, the device’s high price might be leading to less…

Apple Confirms Chinese Students Illegally Worked Overtime at iPhone X Factory

Read on: Variety.

High-school students hired to assemble iPhone X devices by Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn — rushing to meet holiday demand for the new smartphone — illegally worked overtime hours at a plant in China, Apple has acknowledged. According to a report Tuesday by the Financial Times, at least six students from a group of 3,000 from […]

‘I’ on iPhone Keyboard Doesn’t Work Right Now, Customers Complain

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Irritating. Irksome. Infuriating.

Maybe even: “I hate this.”

These are some of the words several iOS users couldn’t use this weekend when describing the iPhone’s inability to type a capital “I” on their keyboards. But alas, you or a friend, or someone you saw on social media likely ran into this issue.

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Hey @Apple I’d like to type the singular letter “eye” without the letter A and this god forsaken question mark in a box replacing it

— Kirbie (@kirbiejohnson) November 3, 2017

This is a hilarious iOS 11 bug

— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) November 6, 2017

The capital “I” has been replaced with an exclamation point and a question mark for users hit by the bug. Others have seen the letter replaced with “A” and a series of horizontal black lines. The switch has impacted users on iOS 10 and 11.

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Apple did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on an expected fix for the problem, but did post a brief support note on the matter this weekend. The bandaid lets users replace a capital “I” with a lowercase “i” — which will look odd, but not as odd as the bizarre exclamation point-question mark combo.

Apple’s short-term solution doesn’t seem to be working for everyone. TheWrap’s own Beatrice Verhoeven ran into the “i” problem this weekend and said the workaround did nothing.

It sounds like the fix needs a fix, too. For now, the best move is to download a third-party keyboard to your iPhone, like Google’s GBoard.

I can’t with this stupid “I” glitch on iPhone. Fix it @apple

— Beatrice Verhoeven (@bverhoev) November 6, 2017

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We’ll update you if Apple gets back with a more substantial remedy. CEO Tim Cook is probably wondering why this couldn’t have happened with the letter “x” instead, as millions of customers await their new iPhone Xs in the mail.

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Apple’s Tim Cook Says Augmented Reality Will “Change Everything”

Read on: Deadline.

Add Apple CEO Tim Cook to the list of Silicon Valley technologists who believe in the transformative power of augmented reality, saying it’s going to “change everything.”
Augmented reality — that technology that overlays virtual images and information onto the real world, like a magical television chyron — long has seemed the stuff of science fiction. But since incorporating AR into Apple’s iOS 11 mobile operating system in September, developers have released more than…

iPhone X Reviews Roundup: $1,000-Plus Smartphone Gets Overall Thumbs Up Despite Some ‘Rough Edges’

Read on: Variety.

The first reviews of the iPhone X, Apple’s priciest smartphone yet, are in — and the consensus is that it’s the best iPhone Apple has ever made, despite a few quirks that take some getting used to. A caveat: Apple gave most reviewers less than 24 hours to kick the tires on the iPhone X, […]

Apple Engineer Fired After Daughter’s iPhone X Video Goes Viral

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Bring Your Family to Work Day has cruelly backfired on one ex-Apple employee.

YouTuber Brooke Amelia Peterson posted a vlog last week with a roughly one-minute look at the iPhone X, a few days before it was released to the masses, while visiting her dad, engineer Ken Bauer, at Apple’s campus in Cupertino, Calif.

The seemingly innocent video, with Peterson walking her viewers through some of the X’s nifty new features, ended up having major repercussions, with Peterson releasing a follow-up video saying her dad had been let go by Apple over her iPhone X clip.

“I had no idea this was a violation,” said Peterson. “At the end of the day, when you work for Apple, it doesn’t matter how good of a person you are, if you break a rule, they just have no tolerance.”

Apple has a policy against filming on campus, as well as showing off unreleased products. Peterson’s initial video –which recorded private employee-only QR codes and product codenames while highlighting its features — quickly racked up views, hitting YouTube’s trending videos section.

Peterson said she complied with Apple’s request to take down the video after she was notified, but ultimately her dad was let go. She added her dad “fully apologizes” and takes “full responsibility for the one rule he broke.”

“We’re not angry, we’re not bitter,”  an emotional Peterson said. “My dad had a really great run at Apple.”

Apple did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Bauer being let go.

Peterson had concluded her cheery first video by saying, “I almost want to become an engineer so I can work at Apple.” After a tearful defense of her dad in her follow-up post, and Apple letting him go for the indiscretion, it’s hard to believe that’s still the case.

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Tepid Crowd at iPhone 8 Launch: ‘I’m Definitely Waiting for the iPhone X’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

With the morning sun beaming down on the Apple Store in downtown Santa Monica, Calif., the sparse crowd that showed up to get its hands on the freshly unveiled iPhone 8 had no reason to bring sunblock.

No line, no wait, no buzz.

The excitement that typically surrounds the release of a new iPhone was replaced with a collective “meh” on Friday.

“I wasn’t feeling [the iPhone 8],” said Michael, a 25-year-old that scoped out the device, before leaving empty handed. “By the look of it, not many people are feeling it.”

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Several of those that did grab the $699 smartphone pointed to necessity, rather than the 8’s features, as their reason for shelling out.

“My phone got stolen, that’s the only reason I got it,” said Katie, a 21-year-old from Santa Monica, to TheWrap. “It’s much harder to get back home, [and] it will cost me $200 more,” said Sergei, a tourist visiting from Russia. “I’m also going to get the ‘X.’”

The Apple Store at the 3rd Street Promenade: no pushing and shoving for the iPhone 8

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Ah, the iPhone X. Apple quickly subdued the hype for the iPhone 8 at its product launch last week, showing off the company’s new flagship device only minutes later. The 8 is undoubtedly a step forward in the iPhone’s evolution, but it mirrors the previous iterations of the device; the X, on the other hand, breaks the mold, with its wider screen, removal of the traditional “home button,” and facial-recognition software.

Many leaving the Apple Store said they’ll simply wait for the X to come out before upgrading their iPhones, without concern for its $300 price tag increase compared to the 8. In fact, only one customer said he’d deliberately chosen the 8 over the X. “I just didn’t need all the extra new features,” said Ron, a 62-year-old from Los Angeles. “I’m fine with the 8.”

The Apple Store wasn’t a ghost town, though. The next generation Apple Watch, now cellular-enabled, was clearly a hit.  “I can run with it now,” said Vince, a tech worker from Santa Monica, about the untethered Watch. “I don’t need my iPhone anymore.”

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Others echoed the same thing — and said they’d rather wait for the next iPhone instead.

“It’s my first Watch ever,” said 24-year-old local Michael, as he strapped on the device and hopped on his bike. “And I’m definitely waiting for the iPhone X.”

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iPhone 8 Reviews Roundup: Solid But Boring Sequel to Classic Smartphone

Read on: Variety.

The critics have weighed in on Apple’s new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, delivering a consensus that they’re perfectly good smartphones — but not game-changing breakthroughs. Reviewers noted that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus include two big hardware enhancements: They (finally) add wireless charging capabilities and both models include a 12-megapixel rear camera and… Read more »

iPhone 8: Black Sheep or Bargain?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

It didn’t take long for Apple CEO Tim Cook to make the iPhone 8 feel obsolete.

Only minutes after the iPhone 8 debuted at Apple’s product launch last week, the company brought out the heavy artillery in its new flagship smartphone: the iPhone X, which has a starting price of $999.

With iPhone 8 launching on Friday, it is poised to be the black sheep of the iPhone family. Customers are already setting their sights on the X coming out in November, and with good reason. But that doesn’t mean the 8 — starting at $699 and moving up to $799 for the Plus — is a total waste. To get a better idea of the two devices, let’s take a tale of the tape look at the 8 versus the X.

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Right off the bat, there’s an obvious distinction between the 8 and the X. The X is a major step forward in terms of design for Apple, stripping the phone of its ubiquitous home button, leaving it with a flush OLED display. With 8 merely updating its classic look, it’s at a disadvantage in terms of display size: 4.7 inches compared to 5.8 inches for the X. iPhone 8 also sports a lesser LCD screen in comparison to the X. Both devices have a glass back (more on this in a second). If you’re dead set on having a gold iPhone, though, the 8 is your only option.



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If you were looking for an improvement on the iPhone’s notoriously middling battery life, the iPhone 8 will keep you waiting. In fact, there’s practically no change between the 7 and the 8 in terms of battery strength. The X, on the other hand, offers a 50 percent increase on audio playback (60 hours), as well as a 50 percent increase on talk time (21 hours) compared to the 8.

The saving grace for the 8 is that it shares Apple’s new wireless charging with the X (never mind Samsung has had this for years). The glass backing mentioned above adds a slight amount of weight to the device, but allows for wireless charging. Tradeoffs.

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The 8 and X are both water and dust repellent, which is good if you’re a carpenter. More importantly — and impressively for the 8 — is they offer identical processors. Considering it’s $300 cheaper, that’s a definitely a point in the 8’s favor. The X comes with an extra gig of RAM, but each smartphone will start off at 64 GB of storage, a healthy jump from the iPhone 7. On this front, the 8 hangs tough.


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The X creates some separation here. The iPhone 8 sticks with the same 326 pixels per inch as the iPhone 7, while the X bumps up to 458 ppi — the best for an iPhone yet. It’s also the first HDR-ready iPhone. Both phones include Apple’s True Tone tech, helping with coloration and adjusting brightness. The difference in display comes into play here, too. The X’s OLED screen typically offers high resolution, but with less brightness and accurate colors.

But at its product launch last week, Apple VP Phil Schiller said that’s a non-issue with the X. “The Super Retina display overcomes all these deficiencies and lives up to all we’ve come to expect from an iPhone display,” said Schiller. Well that settles it. Even to someone like me that dropped out of AP Photography after one week, it’s clear the X is a mile ahead for photogs.

“Cool” Factor: 

Also Read: Why iPhone X Brings Back Apple’s ‘Cool Factor’

This is where the X stands out. The 8, without aesthetic changes, will follow a similar path as Apple’s recent iPhone updates: at first blush, you usually can’t tell them apart. With a larger screen and by banishing the home button, the X separates itself from the rest of the iPhone family. And the key takeaway from Apple’s product launch was the X’s facial recognition software. You won’t find this on the 8, where you’re still “stuck” with touch-screen security. That means you can never try to fool your iPhone 8 by wearing a fake beard. From a functional standpoint, it might not matter much. But to Apple fanboys that have been weened on Steve Jobs’ “think different” campaign, the 8’s relative blandness is a hindrance.

Apple showing off the iPhone X’s facial recognition software… something you won’t find on the iPhone 8

Final Verdict: 

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By launching two months before the iPhone X, the 8 will get a head start on sales; but in short order, expect it to become an afterthought to its more expensive, technically-striking sibling. For customers truly looking for a bargain, Apple has given them more options beyond the 8, with the iPhone SE going for as “low” as $349. The 8 is a move forward for the iPhone, but it’s not a game changer in the same way the X is. It’s the middle brother, and its $300 difference in price isn’t enough of a reason to pull consumer eyeballs — and dollars — away from the X.

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Can Police Force You to Open the New iPhone With Your Face?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

One of the new features of the upcoming Apple X is “Face ID” that will let you open the phone just by looking at it. The only problem? Other people could also make you open the phone by looking at it.

The age of smartphones has led to complicated legal debates about when police are allowed to search your phone. In early 2016, the FBI and Apple fought over whether Apple should help the agency access the cell phone of one of the San Bernardino killers. Apple argued that it didn’t want to create a precedent — but the FBI eventually found a way to hack into the phone without Apple’s help.

Skeptics of Face ID have called it everything from “just plain creepy to a “privacy disaster.” But it could be a godsend for the next FBI agent trying to get into a suspect’s phone: The agent could, theoretically, hold the phone up to the face of its living or even dead owner.

Also Read: ‘Black Mirror’ Proves How It Predicted New Apple iPhone X Technology

Privacy experts say that scenario should never be allowed to happen. Electronic Freedom Foundation staff attorney Sophia Cope told TheWrap there’s no question what police need to do if they want to access someone’s phone:

“They need a warrant,” she said.

Cope said that police are required to get a warrant to avoid violating the  Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable government searches and seizures.


Also Read: Watch Pricey iPhone X FaceID Fail During Live Apple Demo (Video)

But the law is unclear. A Virginia court ruled in 2014 that police can, when backed by a court order, force suspects to put their thumbs on their cell phones to open them. But the court said that compelling suspects to punch in a password or share one with police would violate the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

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The Minnesota Court of Appeals has also held that “forcing a person to place a particular finger on a phone does not trigger the Fifth Amendment because it is not testimonial,” George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr wrote recently in the Washington Post.

Because some courts have already ruled that people can be ordered by a court to to unlock their phones with their thumbprints, courts might also order people to open their smart phones by looking at them, ACLU staff attorney Brett Kaufmann told TheWrap.

Kaufman said he doesn’t “have a real strong reaction” to face recognition technology because courts are already ruling that compelling suspects to us their thumbprint readers to open their phones does not violate the Fifth Amendment.

The Supreme Court has not yet ruled on whether forcing suspects to type in a password or use a thumbprint to unlock a phone is akin to forcing them to testify against themselves and triggering their right to “take the Fifth” and refuse to unlock the phone.

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In the Minnesota case, the court ruled that requiring a suspect to press his thumb to his phone did not “disclose any knowledge he might have or to speak his guilt, and was “no more testimonial than furnishing a blood sample, providing handwriting or voice examplars, standing in a lineup, or wearing particular clothing.”

The same issue was raised in Los Angeles when federal authorities obtained a search warrant requiring people present during a court-ordered search to press their fingers and thumbs on their phones to unlock them.

“A lot of people have wondered: Is that legal? I don’t think there’s an easy answer to that,” Kerr wrote.

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Civil libertarians are encouraged by the Supreme Court’s understanding  the modern danger of allowing police free reign to snoop in cell phones. The court “is getting increasingly aware of the new technology,” Kaufman said. “A cell phone is like hauling around an entire storage facility of your personal information in your pocket.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said in his opinion in Riley: “Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans ‘the privacies of life.’”

But depending on future court rulings, those privacies could soon become as plain as the look on your face.

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There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the new iPhone X—like that big old screen!—and also plenty of reasons to be terrified by it—like the way it maps 30,000 dots onto your face to memorize your skull structure so that it can quietly sit around waiting for you to look at it and then respond with mechanical…

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Will the New Apple Watch Be a Hit? Experts Say It’s a Game Changer

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

For the Apple Watch, the third time is poised to be the charm.

Even before Apple announced its Series 3 device earlier this week, the smartwatch was already the best selling watch in the world — yes, the entire world — and increased its sales 50 percent year over year. Still, Apple has been reticent on sharing actual sales data, likely because it pales in comparison to the iPhone. Creative Strategists analyst Ben Bajarin estimated Apple sold about 2-3 million smartwatches last quarter, in comparison to more than 40 million iPhones.

That’s what makes Apple Watch Series 3 a major step forward — it’s lack of dependence on the iPhone. The new iteration, set to launch on Sept. 22, is the first model to be cell-enabled. Moving forward, Watch users won’t be tethered to their iPhones. This is something that immediately caught the eye of Apple analysts.

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“It’s huge. It’s a huge improvement,” Brian White, a tech analyst with Drexel Hamilton, told TheWrap. “People can go out on a hike, go out on the water on a lake and not have to have their phone. That’s enormous.”

The same sentiment was echoed by investment manager Ross Gerber in an interview with TheWrap.

“All of a sudden if I free myself at staring at the screen all the time, but I still have access to the information I need, I think that’s huge. I mean huge,” said Gerber.

Huge. Got that? But it’s true. The Apple Watch’s additional upgrades — a 70 percent faster processor, swimproof design, and updated operating system — are noteworthy, but ultimately wouldn’t have moved the needle much. Apple Watch would’ve remained a niche device.

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By making the smartwatch cell-enabled, Apple has given hesitant consumers a new reason to look its way. From a customer standpoint, this is what many users have been waiting for. As Apple doubles down on the Watch as a fitness device, it was imperative to free users of the need to always have their iPhone by their side if they wanted to make a call. That’s not the case anymore.

And from a business perspective, it’s a critical move for Apple as well. Since the first quarter of 2013, the iPhone has accounted for at least 50 percent of Apple’s revenue each quarter. The iPhone isn’t going away anytime soon, especially with the iPhone X on its way. But Apple, like its Watch users, is best served breaking its overwhelming dependence on the iPhone’s success. With the Series 3 able to make calls, it’s accomplishing this. At its next product launch, CEO Tim Cook might finally have the confidence to share how many Watches his company is selling.

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Why iPhone X Brings Back Apple’s ‘Cool Factor’

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The iPhone has gone stale.

That’s why Ross Gerber, President and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, told TheWrap Apple’s latest product launch — spearheaded by the new high-end $999 iPhone X — was a pivotal moment for the world’s biggest company moving forward.

“You bring back the cool factor [with iPhone X],” said Gerber. “I’m at a party, I pull it out and everyone goes ‘oh, it’s the iPhone X.’ When I first got the iPhone 1, I can’t even tell you how many people stopped me wherever I was and asked me, is that an iPhone?”

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Gerber said he’s bullish on Apple because it took worthwhile risks with its smartphone design. The iPhone X sports a larger screen, removed its trademark “home button,” and has a host of new features, like facial-recognition for unlocking. Compared to iPhone launches in recent years — which came across as mere updates to the same product — the iPhone X stands out from the pack.

“The most important thing, I think, was changing the design of the phone,” said Gerber. “Everybody walks around, whether it’s the [iPhone] 6, 7, or 8, [and] you don’t know.”

Gerber also pointed to Apple’s ARKit — enabling augmented reality developers to create AR games and apps for the iPhone — as a key differentiating factor. Another game changer for the iPhone X? Its animated emojis — allowing users to map their facial expressions onto their favorite poop or animal emoji, as Apple demonstrated yesterday.

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“It’s a gimmick, but it’s genius, too,” said Gerber. “I don’t even think we’re going to talk to each other anymore. I’m going to pick an animal, and I’m just going to talk through my animal for the rest of my life, I’ve decided.”

A longtime Apple investor, Gerber said he bought shares of the company for “the first time in while.” The iPhone X — despite its rollout being a “little bumpy” due to production holdups — coupled with its new Apple Watch and 4K Apple TV, makes him believe Apple can regain its old magic.

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Read on: The A.V. Club.

Apple’s announcement yesterday of the iPhone X heralded the start of yet another cycle in the decades-long relationship between consumers and the massive tech company. The pattern should be familiar to anyone: First, Apple reveals the new product with all its very dumb and unnecessary features. Then, everyone takes…

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