AWT News Update: November 30, 2015

On this last day of November, we have some fascinating news bits that should make your day:

  • Advertisers, sponsors - we're now listed on Cast.Market. Sponsor the podcast for a song!
  • A new address system pinpoints any of the 57 trillion 3 square meter spots on earth with three short words
  • JCPenney is beta-testing Apple Pay in Texas, and will roll out nationwide next year
  • The Aaron Sorkin script for Steve Jobs is available for your downloading pleasure
  • Apple spent much less than its competitors on R&D, but there may be a reason...

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Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is a very short AWT News Update for November 30, 2015. A quick note for potential advertisers or sponsors; you can now buy a sponsorship for this podcast through Cast.Market. Click the link for details.

People who live in shantytowns in some of the largest cities of the world have a lot of problems, but not having an address is probably one of the greatest. It’s a situation that makes it impossible for anyone to send a package directly to a person in one of these places, and even worse, it’s very difficult for first responders to make it directly to a location where there’s a fire, public safety or health emergency. Well, a new app called What3Words makes it simple for any 3 meter square area to have a unique address by assigning a name made up of three words in the local language to each one of those 57 trillion spots on the surface of the earth. For example, Apple’s headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA has the rather kinky sounding address of whips.bride.bounty while the Apple Campus 2 shows up at Steve Jobs’ childhood home? It’s at margin.gear.civic. While this system won’t do much good in locations where there’s a well-designed infrastructure and address system in place, it’s perfect for rural locations and those crowded favelas in Rio. Expect to hear more about What3Words in the future, and enjoy adding What3Words addresses to your favorite wilderness spots.

One longtime retailer that’s fighting to retain relevance in today’s world is JCPenney, and it looks like they’re going to add their store credit cards to Apple Pay in the near future. The company is testing those cards with Apple Pay at one location in the Dallas-Fort Worth Texas area, and it’s expected that Apple Pay will roll out nationwide at JCPenney in the spring of 2016.

If you’re like me, you probably haven’t seen the movie Steve Jobs, written by screenplay wizard Aaron Sorkin. Well, you don’t have to see the movie now, because Universal Pictures has released the shooting script to the movie in PDF format. We have a link to the script in the show notes in case you’d like to re-film the movie with your iPhone 6s Plus in 4K, edit it in iMovie on your iPad Pro, and share it with the rest of the world. More people may actually see your version than saw the movie directed by Danny Boyle with Michael Fassbender as Jobs.

Bloomberg did a look at research & development spending by large American tech companies and found that Apple spent just 3.5% of its 2015 revenues — about $8.1 billion — on R&D. That’s quite a bit less than what other companies are spending. Qualcomm spent 22 percent on R&D, Facebook about 21 percent. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, spent 15 percent on research in many areas. Bloomberg quoted Ram Mudambi of Temple University as saying that company is able to stretch its R&D budget by relying more heavily on suppliers, who are encouraged through the lure Apple contracts to provide the company with their best technology. Apple spent a reported $11.2 billion on capital equipment expenses like its new headquarters in Cupertino and manufacturing tools for its suppliers, and that number is expected to grow in the future.

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.