AWT News Update: August 1, 2017

We have just two stories today; one that's quite alarming and another that is entirely upbeat!

  • Russia joins China in banning virtual private networks
  • Apple's Q3 FY 2017 financial results are in, and they beat all expectations. Hear just how good things went in the quarter ending July 1, 2017

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for August 1st, 2017. 

Yesterday we noted that China had banned VPNs (virtual private network) apps that could be used to circumvent the so-called “Great Firewall of China”, a government-run system used to keep citizens from being able to access sites that are critical of the Chinese government and its policies. Well, Russia seems to be thinking it’s back in the old Soviet Union days, with Russian President Vladimir Putin signing a law that would ban VPNs in Russia starting on November 1st. There are a lot of reasons that these governments — one a federal constitutional republic that is really some what of a thinly disguised socialist state and the other (China) a socialist republic run by the Communist Party of China — want to ban VPNs. First, by removing a way for people to surf the web anonymously, these nations can track anyone looking for information about the free world, supporting human rights groups, discussing reform, and so on. Second, it makes it difficult for people in China to access news sites that aren’t run by the state, making a free and open media impossible. It’s a sad and alarming trend, one we hope doesn’t spread to more countries.

Today was Apple’s Financial Call for the third fiscal quarter ending July 1, 2017 and the company’s share price traded at a record high $159.82 per share in after-hours trading. Why? Well, the company’s earnings beat all expectations again. The company hit quarterly revenues of $45.4 billion, up from $42.4 billion for the same quarter in 2016. Earnings per diluted share were $1.67 per share, up from $1.42 in the year-ago quarter. The company recorded unit and revenue growth in all product categories during the quarter. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, iPhone sales were up 2% with revenue up 3%. iPad sales were up a whopping 15% over last year, with revenues climbing just 2%. That seems to indicate that sales of the new lower-priced standard iPad are robust. Mac unit sales were up just 1% over the year-ago quarter, but revenues were up 7%. That seems to reflect strong sales of the new, more expensive MacBook Pros that shipped in the quarter. But once again, services and other products seemed to really shine. Services, which includes digital content, Apple Care, Apple Pay, licensing and other services, showed a 22% increase in revenue over the year-ago quarter. Other products include Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, iPod, and Apple-branded and third-party accessories. Revenues for Other products were up 23% over the year-ago quarter. The company is expecting revenues of between $49 billion and $52 billion for the fiscal 2017 fourth quarter that will end on September 30, 2017. For those who mistakenly believe that corporations don’t pay enough in terms of taxes, Apple expects its tax rate to be 25.5 percent for that quarter. Apple will pay a cash dividend of $0.63 per share on August 17 2017 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 14, 2017.

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