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Apple World Today News Update: February 26, 2018

Better late than never is our motto for this Monday evening. Today’s late Apple World Today News Update podcast was postponed a bit, but now we’re here with three short news stories to keep you informed and entertained:

  • The HomePod smart speaker apparently saw higher day one pre-orders than any other premium smart speaker
  • Apple’s newest iPhone video ads are targeted squarely at users of Android devices, touting the ease of use, security, environmental friendliness and outstanding support versus Android
  • Apple’s share price is near record territory again, and a NYU professor thinks that the company is “the best value play” of the top four large tech firms

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Monday, February 26, 2018. 

Have you been wondering how Apple’s HomePod smart speaker is doing in the marketplace? NPD Group shared data that shows that first day pre-orders for the HomePod were higher than day one pre-orders for a number of other smart speakers including the Sonos One and Google Home Max. In fact, the HomePod beat all other smart speaker first day pre-order numbers with the exception of one device — the inexpensive Amazon Echo Dot. Sadly, NPD Group didn’t provide data on how many HomePod pre-orders were made, so it really doesn’t tell us how many were sold. Most likely, we’ll have to wait until the next earnings call — which will most likely happen in April — to get an idea of how many have been sold, simply by seeing how Apple’s secretive “other” earnings category does. Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster thinks that 7 million HomePods will sell in 2018, for a total global market share of 12 percent. 

Apple has released some new iPhone ads, which are a bit unusual in that they’re targeted at people thinking about switching from Android to the iPhone platform. The first video — oddly formatted in a vertical portrait format — is called “Ease”, and shows potential switchers just how easy it is to move content from their Android device to an iPhone using the Move to iOS app. A second video titled “Safe” talks about how secure iOS devices are compared to their Android counterparts, highlighting how frequently iOS updates to ensure a secure computing environment. Next, an ad that’s in the usual landscape video format touts Apple’s commitment to the environment, while the fourth describes the various support options available to iPhone users — Phone support, online support, and Apple retail stores. The videos, which are available on YouTube, direct viewers to Apple’s Switch website to answer questions about features that make the iPhone different from Android devices. 

Remember when Apple’s share price took a major hit last month? Well, don’t look now but the share price is almost back in record territory, closing today at 178.97. And one analyst took a look at the big four tech firms —- Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook — and sees nothing but blue skies ahead for Apple. New York University’s Swath Damodaran was on CNBC, and said that “Apple is the best value play” of those four tech behemoths. “It is a cash machine. I have never seen a company generate as much cash as Apple has over the last six or seven years.” Damodaran believes that these large tech firms are becoming monolithic in the business world, saying that “I think they are pricing these companies  for global domination. I think that these companies, if you look at them on a year to year basis, seem to get stronger as they get larger.”

That’s all the news for today – join me tomorrow afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!