All posts in Announces

Apple Announces Dividend and Share Repurchase Program

Apple Inc. logoYou’d think after releasing the third-generation iPad, executives at Apple might get some rest over the weekend, but instead they issued a rare Sunday press release to announce a conference call to discuss its cash balance, which now amounts to nearly 0 billion.

Apple has announced plans to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program later this year, ahead of a conference call Monday morning with CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer. The news will be welcomed by investors and analysts, who have frequently been critical of the company hoarding nearly 0 billion in cash.

“Subject to declaration by the Board of Directors, the Company plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of .65 per share sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1, 2012,” the press release reads. “Additionally, the Company’s Board of Directors has authorized a billion share repurchase program commencing in the Company’s fiscal 2013, which begins on September 30, 2012. The repurchase program is expected to be executed over three years, with the primary objective of neutralizing the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchase programs.”

“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure. You’ll see more of all of these in the future,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.”

“Combining dividends, share repurchases, and cash used to net-share-settle vesting RSUs, we anticipate utilizing approximately billion of domestic cash in the first three years of our programs,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead.”

Further details of these plans are being discussed at a conference call on Monday morning, with Apple warning analysts they “will not be providing an update on the current quarter nor will any topics be discussed other than cash” — which should squash any questions about how the new iPad performed.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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It’s On! Apple Announces March 7 Media Event

Apple March 7, 2012 invitationQuestion: What’s more exciting than an Apple media event announcing a new product? Answer: The actual announcement that finally confirms said event after weeks (or even months) of rumors and speculation. For the next-generation iPad, it appears that day has arrived.

Apple has just announced a media event for next Wednesday, March 7 at 10am PST, which can only mean one thing: New iPads are right around the corner! Contrary to a tweet from CNBC, the event will not be taking place in New York City, but rather Apple’s more traditional locale, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, all the way across the country in San Francisco.

“We have something you really have to see,” Apple’s invitation teases. “And touch.”

Judging from the high-quality image seen above of a finger touching what can only be an iPad display, it seems a very good bet that the iPad 3 — or whatever Apple chooses to call its latest member of the trilogy — will be unveiled. Stay tuned!

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Apple Announces Voluntary Inspections of Foxconn, Pegatron Scratches Head

Assembling iPhonesOn Monday, Apple announced that the Fair Labor Association will begin conducting voluntary inspections of the company’s suppliers in China, specifically noting Foxconn as one of them. The news comes as a surprise to Apple supplier Pegatron, however, who claims they haven’t been informed of any such inspections.

Apple issued a press release on Monday to announce that the Fair Labor Association would begin conducting “special voluntary audits” of Apple’s final assembly suppliers in China, most notably the Foxconn factories based in Shenzhen and Chengdu which have received the bulk of the media attention on the subject.

“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”

The FLA inspections began Monday morning in Shenzhen as the facility known as Foxconn City, but if Apple intends to extend the audits to other manufacturers such as Pegatron, they apparently haven’t notified them, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday morning.

“Pegatron Corp., a maker of Apple Inc.’s iPhones, said it hasn’t been informed of any pending inspections of factory work conditions by labor groups, a day after the U.S. company said checks would start this spring,” the report reveals. “Pegatron is aware of Apple’s corporate social responsibility policies, Charles Lin, chief financial officer of the Taipei-based company, said by telephone today. The client hasn’t informed him about any upcoming audits, Lin said.”

Apple’s press release specifically notes, “similar inspections will be conducted at Quanta and Pegatron facilities later this Spring, and when completed, the FLA’s assessment will cover facilities where more than 90 percent of Apple products are assembled.”

The inspections will cover manufacturing areas, dormitories and other facilities, as well as interviews with “thousands of employees about working and living conditions including health and safety, compensation, working hours and communication with management.”

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Valve Announces Mobile Steam App for iOS and Android Devices

Valve just annouced that it’s launching a beta release of the Steam application for your iOS and Android device. The app will enable gamers to chat with their Steam friends, browse communities they’re a part of, peruse user profiles, view screenshots and user-generated content for available on Steam, and check up on the latest game-related news.

Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve, stated in the press release that the idea for the mobile app came after repeated requests from users. “Seeings which of your friends are online and playing a game, sending quick messages, looking at screenshots for an upcoming game, or catching a sale–these are all features customers have requested.” Newell added that mobile gadgets are changing the way that gamers interact with each other and that the move is part of the company’s commitment to be relevant in the mobile sphere.

 

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CES 2012: Targus Announces Pen That Wirelessly Transfers Handwriting to iPad

Students, teachers, and other professionals still expected to use a pen to take down notes: Targus is demoing the iNotebook at CES, a transcribing pen that automatically syncs your handwriting and translates it into text via an app on your iPad.

“iPads have become ubiquitous in the home, school and workplace and have transformed the way we perform even the most common task,” stated Melissa Chapman, vice president of tablet cases and accessories at Targus, in a press release. “By working with [iOS devices] on the iNotebook, we are developing a solution that simplifies the task of transferring written content into a digital format so it can easily be saved, accessed and shared.”

The iNotebook includes a rechargeable, Bluetooth-enabled writing recognition receiver, which will hook on to the iPad and work with the pen to allow transcription of handwritten notes. The pen will also include integrated stylus that lets users write directly onto the iPad.

We’ll hopefully get a chance to play with the pen for you on the CES show floor. It’ll be available in June for 9.99.

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CES 2012: Seagate Announces Thunderbolt GoFlex Adapter

Seagate announced this morning that it will be releasing a GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter for its existing GoFlex portable and desktop hard drives. The adpater will work on the GoFlex Desk External drives, as well as the GoFlex Pro Ultra-portable drives. If you own either of these, you can purchase the adapter to access the drives via the Thunderbolt port built in to your Mac.

Honestly, we’re just happy to hear that someone’s finally making hard drives at the consumer level. 8TB Raids are nice, but unless you’re a professional video or music producer, they’re not too practical.

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MacTech Announces Mammoth Event Schedule for 2012

MacTech event in progressOur pals at MacTech Magazine have just taken the wraps off their 2012 event schedule, and it’s big! How big? Let’s just say there are more events than there are months on the calendar… that kind of big! But don’t worry, the fun doesn’t kick off until the middle of February so there’s plenty of time to schedule an event near you.

MacTech Magazine has announced its event lineup for 2012, with a whopping 15 events spanning coast to coast. That’s a significant increase after only a single event in 2010 and seven events last year, including MacTech Boot Camp for small-to-medium sized business consultants, MacTech InDepth for deep dives on single topics and the three-day MacTech Conference for IT pros and developers.

“We are thrilled with the reaction from our attendees and sponsors at all of our events.  We’ve found how to build community, help people learn and network, and make for an awesome experience,” said Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of MacTech Magazine. “Next month, I’ve been publisher of MacTech for 20 years.  I have never gone into a year more excited than I am about 2012.”

The excitement launches on February 16 with a one-day MacTech Boot Camp in Phoenix, sweeping into Seattle on March 7 and then a MacTech InDepth event on Lion Server Administration in Austin on March 28. New York City will be home to a Boot Camp on April 18 followed by another Lion Server Administration event the following day before moving on to Boston May 17 and 18 with another pair of MacTech InDepth events. The events move on to Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Diego, Minneapolis, the three-day MacTech Conference in Los Angeles from October 17 to 19, San Jose and finally Miami on December 5. Whew!

Registration for all events is now open, with early bird pricing of 5 for one-day events (normally 5) and multiple event discounts are available (save per event when registering for more than one). MacTech Conference pricing matches last year: 99 for on-site registration or 9 for early birds. Get the complete list of events and registration information on the MacTech website.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Apple Announces Grand Central Store Opening on Friday, December 9

Apple Store Grand CentralIt’s not much of a surprise to Manhattanites (or the folks who have been enjoying their leaked photos for weeks), but Apple has officially announced the opening of its latest retail store location in Grand Central Station, New York City’s fifth such venue. “Just in time for the holidays,” the new location will open its doors at 10am EST this Friday, December 9.

Apple has issued a press release touting its new Apple Store Grand Central
, billed as a “one-of-a-kind Apple retail store” which “overlooks the historic Main Concourse from the East and North East balconies of the world-famous Grand Central Terminal” in Manhattan, New York. The largest store yet “in one of New York’s busiest transportation hubs,” the location includes not one but two Genius Bars for free tech support and advice.

“The store’s expert team has 315 passionate employees who deliver these and other amazing services, which have become the hallmark of Apple retail stores worldwide,” the press release explains. “Beyond the balcony overlooking the expansive Main Concourse, the Apple Store Grand Central offers rooms dedicated to some of our most popular services, including the largest area in the world dedicated to Personal Setup. In the Personal Setup room, customers who buy an iPad®, iPhone, iPod® or Mac® can get up and running before they leave the store. There’s also a room designed especially for Personal Training, where new Mac owners learn the basics or take their skills to the next level as part of Apple’s popular One to One program.”

Including the new Grand Central location, there are now 361 Apple Stores in 11 countries including the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, China, Australia and Canada. Apple Store Grand Central will open this Friday, December 9 at 10am EST and regular hours will be from 7am to 9pm EST Monday through Friday, 10am to 7pm EST Saturday and 11am to 6pm EST Sunday.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of 9to5Mac)

 

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Apple Announces 2011 Black Friday Online Shopping Event

Apple 2011 Black FridayAre you ready for Black Friday? Apple sure is, with the company announcing on Tuesday that “every gift list has its day” — and that day is this Friday, when the company’s online store offers special one-day only discounts.

Apple has announced its annual Black Friday event, billed as a “special one-day Apple shopping event” this Friday, November 25. For those in the United States, that date is better known as Black Friday, the day many retailers count on for a huge surge in sales to get their fiscal bottom line into the black for the year in the wake of Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Even though Black Friday seems to be creeping earlier and earlier with many retailers pushing the celebration back into Thanksgiving itself, Apple is sticking with tradition for its annual online event.

“Mark your calendar now, and come back to the Apple Online Store the day after Thanksgiving for the special one-day event,” the website announced on Tuesday. “You’ll discover amazing iPad, iPod, and Mac gifts for everyone on your list. Until then, browse the Apple Online Store for great ideas.”

In reality, most of the Apple Black Friday discounts are usually quite modest, but since the company rarely discounts its products to begin with, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. If you’re in the market for anything in the three product categories listed above, it’s worth dropping by the Apple Online Store on Friday to check it out!

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Apple Announces iPhone 4S First Weekend Sales of Four Million

Apple Inc. logoIf you still think the iPhone 4S is underwhelming, you may actually be alone in that opinion. Apple has just announced that the new handset racked up more than four million handsets sold in the first weekend — and they’re just getting started.

Apple issued a press release on Monday announcing that first weekend sales of the new iPhone 4S have topped four million units, only three days after its launch on October 14. Though they don’t specifically mention it, that number most certainly includes the initial one million handsets preordered in the first 24 hours on October 7 as well.

“iPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend — the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever.”

But that’s not all — Apple also announced that more than 25 million customers are now using iOS 5 in the first five days since its release, and more than 20 million have already signed up for Cupertino’s new iCloud service.

Not bad for an initial launch that only includes the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K., and the device is only going to pick up more momentum on October 28 when the iPhone 4S lands in 22 more countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Apple will continue the iPhone 4S rollout to more than 70 countries by the end of the year, its fastest to date.

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