AWT News Update: May 6, 2015

Today's Apple News:

  • The iPhone 6 Plus is dominating the US market for phablets, while iPhones make up the majority of phones sold by three carriers
  • Lunch with Tim Cook sells for $200,000 in a charity auction
  • American Federation of the Blind will honor Apple with the Helen Keller Achievement Award
  •'s guide on using iPad apps to help with Acquired Communication Disorders is now in its third installment. 

The full text version of the podcast script is available below.

Text Version

Steve Sande here from Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for May 6, 2015. Many thanks to our sponsor this week, Rage Software, developers of EverWeb — a powerful website development tool for Mac. Take advantage of a 20% off special offer for Apple World Today readers by clicking here.

The iPhone 6 Plus is generally thought of not as a smartphone, but as a phablet. Kantar Worldpanel classifies a phablet as any phone with a screen that’s larger than 5.5 inches diagonally, and sales numbers analyzed by the company show that the iPhone 6 Plus had 44% of the market for phablets in the US in the first quarter of 2015. Phablets are doing well in the US, with the oversized phones making up 21% of all uUS phone sales during that quarter. Kantar Worldpanel had other good news for Apple today, noting that iPhones dominated AT&T, Verizon and Sprint with 59%, 43% and 50% of all smartphone sales respectively. And would you believe that 64% of all American iPhone owners are already using an iPhone 5 or newer? That’s great news for Apple, since those phones are compatible with the Apple Watch.

A few weeks ago we told you about a charity auction for lunch with Tim Cook benefiting the Robert R. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. That auction has now concluded, and the high bid for a one-hour lunch with Tim was $200,000. That’s down from the $330,000 raised last year, and less than a third of the $610,000 raised in 2013. The winner also gets a pair of VIP tickets to one of Apple’s upcoming keynotes, so they might take advantage of that during next month’s WWDC 2015 keynote.

And now for two Accessible Apple updates from our accessibility editor, Alex Jurgensen:

The American Foundation of the Blind announced today that it will be honoring Apple with the Helen Keller Achievement Award. The award is presented to “individuals and companies for their success in improving quality of life for people with vision loss either through groundbreaking innovation or inspirational achievement that changes perceptions about what it means to be visually impaired," according to AFB President & CEO Carl R. Augusto. Apple will receive the award alongside three other recipients: actor Charlie Cox, musician and recording engineer Ward Marston, and Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. The award will be presented at an AFB gala in New York City on June 18th. has posted the third installment of its guide for using iPad apps to help with Acquired Communication Disorders (ACD). Individuals with ACDs, also known as Aphasia, can have cognitive or communication challenges. Possible causes of the disorder include Parkinson’s, Traumatic Brain Injury and Muscular Sclerosis, among others. The guide has many useful tips and tricks for creating the optimal iPad setup from an ACD perspective and explains the benefits of using iOS apps. The guide can be found here.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another AWT News Update.