AWT News Update: November 18, 2015

There's all sorts of fun Apple-related news for you today. Let's take a look:

  • Sprint rolls out LTE Plus to 77 markets, could make those iPhone 6s/6s Plus phones ultra-speedy
  • Microsoft's Bing for iPhone (at right) has also received a speed boost, often answering questions before you're done asking them
  • Apple seems to be banning non-HomeKit home automation products from the real and online Apple Stores
  • Tweetbot for Mac just got all sorts of El Capitan love
  • Goldman Sachs thinks Apple's services revenues will skyrocket

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Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for November 18, 2015. Hey, have you checked out our Apple World Today hoodies? Buy one in the next 20 days and you’ll not only stay warm, but help support our efforts at the website. 

Sprint today announced that it has rolled out its LTE Plus network to 77 markets across the United States. Using LTE Advanced technologies like carrier aggregation and beamforming, the new service is designed to deliver faster speeds and consistent service. Beamforming lets Sprint’s towers target the signal directly toward your phone, while carrier aggregation gives Sprint the capability of using multiple channels on their spectrum to allow for increased capacity and faster speeds. Sprint says that some devices — such as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — should be able to see peak speeds in excess of 100Mbps. Using three bands for service, Sprint should also have better indoor service than other carriers as it will be using the 800MHz band in addition to the 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz bands.

Microsoft really, really wants iPhone users to like it. The company today released a new version of Bing for iPhone with a redesigned home page and a focus on instant answers to search queries. The free app does a great job of trying to display the answers you want before you’re even done typing the query, so it’s likely that Microsoft is considering integrating Cortana into Bing in the future to give Siri some tough competition. 

I’m a huge fan of the internet of things and home automation, to the point that I installed a Kwikset Kevo Wireless-Enabled Deadbolt Lock on one of my doors a few years ago. Well, it appears that Apple may be trying to force manufacturers to adopt the HomeKit framework in the future, as the Kevo lock and August Smart Lock have both been pulled from Apple Stores. The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit is still in the stores, and other non-HomeKit home automation products like the Belkin WeMo Switch and Light Switch have been yanked as well. I’m all for more HomeKit devices, but wish that Apple would create one app to run them all since at the current time, each HomeKit device comes with its own app. 

Anyone out there use Tweetbot for Mac? If you do, be sure to run the update that came out today, as it finally adds split screen and fullscreen support for El Capitan to the app. The app has also been given a slight UI update in the tweet details to make it identical to Tweetbot 4 for iOS. 

Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski and her team think that you should think of Apple as a service company. The team is telling clients that they should buy shares in Apple now as they expect a price of $163 in the next 12 months. Why? Well, Jankowski believes that the company’s hardware growth will slow as the smartphone market matures, but that it will monetize services for recurring revenues. The iPhone 6s installment plans can be seen as a continuing revenue source, the upcoming TV service will be another big source, and other services such as iCloud and Apple Music are expected to grow and provide a huge pipeline of cash. How big? Apple’s revenue for 2015 is about $233 billion. By 2017, Goldman Sachs thinks the number could be at around $533 billion. The market responded happily to the news, with shares in Apple jumping about 3% today. 

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