AWT News Update: November 6, 2015

Lots of fun Apple news for a Slow News Friday®:

  • The Apple TV is now the leader in the streaming TV hardware market
  • Rumors -- could Faraday Future actually be Apple, Inc?
  • Instagram testing 3D Touch-able ads

Readers! Get your text below. Video buffs! Watch the video here.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for November 6, 2015. Our sponsor this week is Bushel, providing inexpensive and comprehensive mobile device management that’s easy to use. Find out more about Bushel today by checking out the website link in the show notes.

Slice Intelligence is reporting that Apple now has 31 percent of the streaming TV hardware market. That’s larger than Amazon’s Fire TV, which has a 28 percent share, Roku with a 25 percent share, and Chromecast with about 16 percent. The group found that Apple TV buyers are 90 percent male and mostly between the ages of 35 and 44. Slice noticed that most buyers had not purchased another TV streaming device in the past two years, meaning that many of the users were waiting for Apple to release the new device. Early adopters are obviously the folks who are grabbing up the new Apple TV at this early date, since Slice noticed that users who purchased the Apple TV were five times more likely to also purchase an Apple Watch. Maybe it’s time for Apple to do a discounted bundle on Apple TVs and Watches? Australia ran an interesting story today about a company that might just be a front for Apple’s car efforts. The company is called Faraday Future, which began operations in an old Nissan research facility in 2014. The company has over 400 employees so far, with a goal of 500 by the end of the year. The company has hired the former vehicle and and chassis engineer for the Tesla Model S, the head designer of the BMW i8, a former Ferrari interior designer, and a SpaceX batter specialist. That former Tesla employee is Nick Sampson, who is acting as the spokesman for the company and recently told the media that the company will launch a new electric car in 2017. The company plans to invest $1 billion in a manufacturing facility in California, Nevada, Georgia or Louisiana, and has shown renderings of a plant covered with solar panels and surrounded by wind turbines. However, the company won’t disclose who the CEO of Faraday Future is, nor will it say where the large amounts of capital are coming from. That’s where the Apple speculation comes in; that Faraday could be a dummy company started by Apple to hide its car plans. This could also explain Apple’s recent plans to build a 4.15 million square foot office campus in north San Jose, California. Many pundits have wondered why the company would need so much office space in the future when the huge Cupertino Campus 2 isn’t even occupied yet. Of course, we won’t know for sure until someone in charge makes a proper press announcement, but it’s sure interesting speculation.

Here’s an interesting use for the 3D Touch feature of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — advertising. Instagram is apparently testing in-app ads that let customers use 3D Touch to select between alternative product options. Instagram is also looking at Apple Pay integration that would let consumers purchase directly from an ad without entering more information or being sent to a website.

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