AWT News Update: February 1, 2016

It's a slow, sleepy and snowy February day with just a little news about Apple today:

  • Don't look now, but Alphabet is about to take over Apple's spot as the world's most valuable company
  • The NHL 7.0 app for iOS is out now (and on Apple TV, too), and it's AWESOME!
  • Just one model of the iPad -- the iPad Pro -- sold more units in the holiday quarter than all models of the Microsoft Surface
  • The FCC has granted approval for Verizon and Qualcomm to begin testing of LTE-U

The text of this podcast can be found below, and video is here

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for February 1, 2016. Our sponsor this past week has been younity, a powerful cross-platform personal cloud solution for Mac, PC and iOS. Check it out on the AWT website today, or click the link found in today’s show notes.

For a short period today, Alphabet — not Apple — was the world’s most valuable company. Alphabet is Google’s parent company and will be announcing its first financial earnings report today. As a result, its share price surged giving the company a market valuation of $533.4 billion, which was greater than Apple’s $532.7 billion at the same time. Although Alphabet’s share price dropped after that point in time, it’s expected that Alphabet will move into first place tomorrow since the company may announce revenue growth of 15% with a 20% increase in earnings per share. Apple, of course, is expecting a decline in iPhone sales next quarter and that, coupled with significant currency exchange pressure brought on by a strong U.S. dollar, is causing Apple’s share price to drop.

Hockey fans can rejoice today, as the National Hockey League has revamped its iOS application with amazing features. NHL 7.0 for iOS gains support for iOS features like picture-in-picture mode on compatible iPads, and offers HD live video streaming at 60 frames per second on the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus. The app also lets viewers subscribe to NHL Premium for just $2.99 per month, with extended highlight packages for every game and the ability to stream the final minutes of every live out-of-market game. There’s closed captioning for live video in case you want to watch a game while you’re working late, and a searchable video library. The app was built by MLB Advanced Media, which also handles streaming video services for HBO NOW, WWE, and of course Major League Baseball. The app is available for free in the App Store, and can also be downloaded to the Apple TV by searching for NHL on the tvOS app store.

You might have seen this statistic hidden in the article earlier today about IDC’s tablet industry roundup for the holiday quarter, but if you didn’t, here it is: The iPad Pro outsold the entire Microsoft Surface line during the quarter, with just over 2 million iPad Pros getting into the hands of users and only 1.6 million Surface devices being sold during the same time. The majority of those Surface devices were the Surface Pro model, not the less expensive Surface 3, so it’s obvious that buyers are more interested in performance of their detachable devices than worried about price.

The US Federal Communications Commission has approved additional testing of the next generation cellular technology called LTE-U, which is controversial because it operates over the same radio frequency bands as Wi-Fi routers. Qualcomm and Verizon will be doing the testing at two Verizon facilities, and believe that LTE-U is more efficient than regular LTE and won’t interfere with existing Wi-Fi systems. If the testing shows that interference is not a problem, it’s likely that the new technology would begin rolling out late next year or more likely in 2018.

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