AWT News Update: January 10, 2017

Happy Tuesday! We have a few stories for today's Apple World Today News Update:

  • The ESPN and WatchESPN apps have adopted Apple's Single Sign-On feature, meaning you can sign in once to use the apps with your cable or satellite TV subscription
  • AT&T & Verizon are both making moves to make those grandfathered unlimited data plans a thing of the past
  • Three weeks to go until Apple's Q1 2017 Earnings Call. We look at Foxconn's results to see how Apple may fare for the year-end quarter

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Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 10, 2017.

Sports fans who use the ESPN and WatchESPN apps on iOS have a reason to be happy today. No, we’re not talking about the fact that Alabama lost yesterday; instead, it’s the fact that both of the apps now work with Apple’s Single Sign-on feature. You can authenticate your TV provider (cable or satellite), then access paid video content in ESPN’s apps without having to sign into both of them. iCloud Keychain allows that to work across all of your connected iCloud devices, so it should work with your Apple TV as well. The update also supports Chromecasting from iOS devices for the ESPN app, so you can control video from your iPad or iPhone when it’s being streamed to a Chromecast-connected TV. ESPN for iOS also adds video docking to allow users to watch any video while using the rest of the app, an enhanced golf leaderboard, and a new Australia Edition.

People who have grandfathered unlimited data contracts from their mobile data provider are not going to be happy in 2017. Two of the biggest carriers — AT&T and Verizon — have both announced that they’ll be making moves designed to make life miserable for those data hogs are who are paying a few measly bucks for truly unlimited data. Verizon will be asking customers who use more than 200 gigabytes of bandwidth per month to change to a plan with a data cap. What happens if you don’t want to change to a capped plan? You’ll have your wireless service disconnected. AT&T is just making their grandfathered unlimited data plans more expensive, raising the rate from $35 per month to $40. Just last year, AT&T raised the rate from $30 to $35.

Apple will release its earnings report for its first fiscal quarter of 2017 — that’s the quarter ending December 31, 2016 — on January 31st. That’s always cause for Wall Street analysts to begin voicing their concerns about how the company is doing financially, and after a report from Apple supplier Foxconn, they’re probably all going to expect the worst. Why? Well, Foxconn reported its first-ever decline in sales since going public in 1991. Allegedly, this was due to a slowdown in iPhone demand last year thanks to the iPhone 6s. In December, though, Foxconn’s revenues grew 9.76 percent year-over-year, allegedly tied to “relatively robust demand” for the iPhone 7 Plus. It’s beginning to appear that the cut in iPhone 7 orders recently reported is for the 4.7-inch model, which is made by Pegatron. That company had a drop in revenues of 27.4 percent year over year in December. If that’s the case, the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus with its dual-lens camera may save the day for Apple when that next earnings call happens. We’ll all find out soon enough.

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

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