AWT News Update: November 2, 2016

Whoops. Due to a scheduling mixup yesterday, we missed an episode of the AWT News Update. We're back today with four stories from the world of tech and Apple:

  • Eddy Cue of Apple will be keynote speaker at the 2017 Code Media conference; anyone who would like to send me can send me an email...
  • Apple Pay in Russia is now supported by nine more financial institutions
  • Fitbit's fortunes dive as Apple Watch and other smart devices have an impact
  • A strange bug is afflicting Apple TV second- and third- generation devices

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for November 2, 2016. We missed yesterday’s podcast due to a scheduling conflict — sorry about that!

Apple’s senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, will be the keynote speaker at the 2017 Code Media conference on February 13th and 14th in Laguna Niguel, California. Cue is to be joined on stage by Ben Silverman of Propagate, the studio that is working with Apple on Planet of the Apps. That show follows developers working on iOS apps, and has some big celebrity names as executive producers — Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the frontman of the Black Eyed Peas, will-i-am. It’s likely that the rest of the Apple media empire will be discussed as well, since Cue is the person in charge of iTunes, Apple Music and more. A standard ticket for the event is $3,000, so hopefully your boss will send you.

Live in a country where they still don’t have Apple Pay? If that’s a really big point of contention for you, move to Russia, where Apple has just expanded Apple Pay with nine more financial institutions. Previously, there were only two financial partners in the country - MasterCard and Sberbank. Now Tinkoff Bank, Bank Saint Petersburg, Raiffeisenbank, Yandex.Money, Alfa-Bank, MTS Bank, VTB 24, Rocketbank and MDM Bank have joined the Apple Pay club. Some rather big retail outlets in the country have also jumped on to accept Apple Pay, although places like Burger King will come online in the future.

It used to be that the only wearable fitness device on the block was Fitbit, and the company’s fortunes soared as more and more people found out how handy it was to have a wearable device that could track their activity and send it to a smartphone. Well, Apple and other smartwatch makers appear to be having an impact, as Fitbit’s revenue forecast for the holiday-shopping quarter was well below what analysts had estimated. Fitbit’s guidance for the quarter shows revenues of $725 to $750 million, while analysts expected $985.1 million. Shares in the company have fallen about 13.5% since Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Nike+.

Some owners of second- and third-generation AppleTV boxes have been experiencing an odd bug the last few days. Their devices are no longer displaying channel options, only showing Computers, Music and Settings, with all other Apple TV channels like Netflix and Hulu disappearing. While not all Apple TV 2 and 3 devices are affected, the problem seems to be getting more widespread. Apple’s aware of the problem and says that there will be a software update to fix it in the near future. This issue is not affecting any of the latest 4th generation Apple TVs.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.