AWT News Update: January 27, 2016

Moves, updates, upgrades, and statistics. That's what we have for you on the Apple World Today News Update today!

  • A long-time Apple PR/Communications staffer may be moving to Twitter
  • Google Docs, Sheets and Slides get collaborative commenting as part of today's update
  • Intel releases specs and pricing on its new Skylake-based mobile CPUs, fueling speculation of an upgrade of the 15-inch MacBook Pro soon
  • Over 3/4 of all iOS devices are now running iOS 9
  • There's a lot of room for future sales of larger iPhones
  • Why the tablet market is shrinking

The text version of the podcast is below, or you can watch video (with a long dialogue about Starry at the beginning) right here

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 27, 2016. Our sponsor this week is 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.

You probably noticed that there was no podcast yesterday. That was due to the liveblog that we were doing during the time that the AWT News Update is usually recorded.

Recode noted today that high-profile Apple communications executive Natalie Kerris may be on the move to Twitter soon. Kerris has a lot of credibility in Silicon Valley in her position as one of the top PR and communications people at Apple, and was being considered for the position of Vice President of Communications at the company after the departure of Katie Cotton. The job ultimately went to Steve Dowling. Kerris is reportedly being considered to run Twitter’s communications unit, a critical position given the scrutiny that Twitter is under at this time.

If you use Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, be sure to update the iPhone and iPad apps as soon as possible. The apps today gained collaborative commenting, so multiple users can add comments. The feature works both on the iOS and Android versions of the apps, and lets coworkers management documents and make revisions. Adding new coworkers is as simple as typing their name in a comment to a document.

Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro might get some amazing power soon, based on a new processor price list that was posted by Intel. The semiconductor giant posted pricing and details on three new Skylake-based chips that are targeted at mobile computers; the 2.6 GHz Core 97-6770HQ, the 2.7 GHz Core i7-6870HQ, and the 2.8 GHz Core i7-6970HQ. The current MacBook Pro offers 2.2 and 2.5 GHz chips, with a 2.8 GHz CPU as a configure-to-order option. Apple is widely expected to host a press event for new products in March, so the company might consider releasing the upgraded MacBooks at that time. A lot depends on the availability of the Intel processors to Apple, as last year’s 15-inch upgrade wasn’t available until May.

The App Store measures a vital statistic for iOS developers, and that is the percentage of iOS devices that are running various versions of the mobile operating system. As of January 25, 2016, 76% of iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices were running iOS 9. About 17% are still running iOS 8, while just 7% are running earlier versions of the operating system.

Speaking of statistics, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed yesterday that about forty percent of iPhone users are now using the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus or 6s Plus. That was a fascinating statistic, since it points out that there is still a huge upgrade market for the larger and faster iPhones.

And one more stat for you. Yesterday Apple reported that 16.1 million iPads had been sold during the first fiscal quarter of 2016, less than the 18 million that Wall Street expected the company to sell. The entire tablet industry is feeling the pinch, with shipments declining from 192 million units in 2014 to 168.5 million in 2015. The market is expected to shrink even further in 2016 to about 151.8 million devices. Why? Anita Wang of TrendForce had an idea, saying “The saturation of the tablet market, the long life cycles of tablets themselves and the abundance of substitute devices were major factors that contributed to the large shipment decline. Tablets were challenged by many large and small devices during 2015, from smartphones sized 5 inches and above to 2-in-1 PCs. Their demand diminished as a result." Apple still retained the crown of the world’s biggest tablet supplier, with 29.4% of the market in 2015.

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