Thursday, May 10, 2018

Apple paves the way

for breakthrough carbon-free aluminum smelting method.

Aluminum is a key material in many of Apple’s most popular products, and for more than 130 years, it’s been produced the same way. But that’s about to change.

Aluminum giants Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto Aluminum today announced a joint venture to commercialize patented technology that eliminates direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process, a key step in aluminum production. This is a revolutionary advancement in the manufacturing of one of the world’s most widely used metals.

As part of Apple’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its products through innovation, the company helped accelerate the development of this technology. And Apple has partnered with both aluminum companies, and the Governments of Canada and Quebec, to collectively invest a combined $144 million to future research and development.

“Apple is committed to advancing technologies that are good for the planet and help protect it for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are proud to be part of this ambitious new project, and look forward to one day being able to use aluminum produced without direct greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of our products.”

Aluminum has been mass produced the same way since 1886, when it was pioneered by Alcoa’s founder, Charles Hall. The process involves applying a strong electrical current to alumina, which removes oxygen. Both Hall’s original experiments and today’s largest smelters use a carbon material that burns during the process, producing greenhouse gases.

Alcoa had designed a completely new process that replaces that carbon with an advanced conductive material, and instead of carbon dioxide, it releases oxygen.

If fully developed and implemented, this new method has the potential to eliminate direct greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process around the world, strengthening the closely integrated Canada-United States aluminum and manufacturing industries.

Today’s news follows Apple’s announcement last month that all of its facilities are now powered with 100 percent clean energy and 23 of its suppliers have committed to do the same. Additionally, as part of the company’s goal to eventually make all of its products from recycled or renewable materials, it debuted Daisy, a robot that can more efficiently disassemble iPhones to recover valuable parts for future high tech recycling.

Read the entire news release  > HERE.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Apple Reports Second Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2018 second quarter ended March 31, 2018. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $61.1 billion, an increase of 16 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.73, up 30 percent. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

“We’re thrilled to report our best March quarter ever, with strong revenue growth in iPhone, Services and Wearables,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter. We also grew revenue in all of our geographic segments, with over 20% growth in Greater China and Japan.”

“Our business performed extremely well during the March quarter, as we grew earnings per share by 30 percent and generated over $15 billion in operating cash flow,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “With the greater flexibility we now have from access to our global cash, we can more efficiently invest in our US operations and work toward a more optimal capital structure. Given our confidence in Apple’s future, we are very happy to announce that our Board has approved a new $100 billion share repurchase authorization and a 16 percent increase in our quarterly dividend.”

The Company will complete the execution of the previous $210 billion share repurchase authorization during the third fiscal quarter.

Reflecting the approved increase, the Board has declared a cash dividend of $0.73 per share of Apple’s common stock payable on May 17, 2018 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 14, 2018.

The Company also expects to continue to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.

From the inception of its capital return program in August 2012 through March 2018, Apple has returned $275 billion to shareholders, including $200 billion in share repurchases. The management team and the Board will continue to review each element of the capital return program regularly and plan to provide an update on the program on an annual basis.

Credit: apple.com

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New 9.7-inch iPad With Apple Pencil Support

Featuring Even Greater Performance and
Designed for Powerful AR Apps, Starting at $329

Apple today updated its most popular iPad with support for Apple Pencil plus even greater performance, starting at $329. The new 9.7-inch iPad and Apple Pencil give users the ability to be even more creative and productive, from sketching ideas and jotting down handwritten notes to marking up screenshots.

The new iPad is more versatile and capable than ever, features a large Retina display, the A10 Fusion chip and advanced sensors that help deliver immersive augmented reality, and provides unmatched portability, ease of use and all-day battery life.

The new iPad features the Apple-designed A10 Fusion chip with 64‑bit desktop-class architecture, delivering 40 percent faster CPU and 50 percent faster graphics performance for seamless multitasking and graphics-intensive apps.

The front- and rear-facing cameras offer exceptional low-light performance and HD video recording for document scanning, moviemaking and FaceTime calls.

Read the entire news release  > HERE.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Apple Only Streams 4K Movies, No Downloads

People wanting to upgrade their desktop iTunes movie purchases to 4K are out of luck. Apple is only streaming video in that resolution, not offering downloads, according to an official support document.

"You can download a local copy of an HD movie, and you might be able to download HDR and Dolby Vision versions, but you can't download a 4K version," Apple says (HERE). The same webpage recommends at least 25 megabits per second of bandwidth for 4K streaming, and notes that falling below this may automatically switch users to 1080p or lower.

It's possible to stream locally-imported 4K video from one Mac to another via iTunes, AppleInsider can confirm if properly encoded with a tool like Handbrake. So, the Apple TV and iTunes itself is capable of performing the feat.

The situation is likely because of deals negotiated with most major Hollywood studios, which mean that people buying iTunes titles get 4K on the Apple TV at no extra cost. Limiting the extra resolution to streaming could be a way of deterring piracy, and/or keeping Blu-ray disc sales alive.

Additionally, the Apple TV won't stream YouTube videos in 4K, and is currently missing support for Dolby Atmos surround sound, though that is said to be arriving at some point later in a software update.

credit: appleinsider.com
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