Apple’s iTunes Division Now Nearly Half the Size of Google’s Search Business [Mac Blog]

Apple’s quarterly earnings may be stagnant, but at least one division within the company is showing extraordinary growth. As noted by Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, Apple’s iTunes/Software/Services division grew by 34 percent year-over-year after taking into account the 70% Apple pays to developers for App Store purchases.

Dediu estimates that Apple’s gross revenues from the iTunes/Software/Services group are almost $7 billion per quarter, with a total of $23.5 billion for 2013. This includes growth categories such as third-party content (+46.6 percent), Services (+37 percent) and apps, which grew 105 percent year-over-year. This division is remarkable when compared to rival Google and other Fortune 500 companies.

asymco_google_itunes

Click for larger

Although iTunes/Software/Services are not usually included in a “sum-of-the-parts” total contributing to Apple’s overall enterprise value, the scale of volume and value of transactions is becoming harder to ignore.

To illustrate this, I plotted the history of gross iTunes revenues vs. Google’s search business.

On a yearly basis iTunes/Software/Services is nearly half of Google’s core business and growing slightly faster.

The iTunes “empire” of content and services would be ranked as number 130 in the Fortune 500 ranking of companies (slightly below Alcoa and above Eli Lilly).

Despite reporting its highest revenue ever and its best quarterly sales for the iPhone, iPad and Mac, Apple is still under fire for not being a growth company. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tim Cook argued that Apple is still growing, just at a slower rate, and said the company has significant opportunities in both existing and new product categories.

New Two-Story Shanghai Apple Retail Store Opens Saturday at the IAPM Mall [Mac Blog]

iPAM_apple_retail

Apple’s latest retail store, a two-story location in the new IAPM mall in Shanghai, will open on Saturday October 26.

The gigantic six-story mall occupies 1.3 million square feet and includes an IMAX theater, a high-end grocery store, late night hours — the Apple Store will be open until 11 PM daily — and a number of international retailers including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and many more.

Apple already has several retail stores in Shanghai, including a stunning store first opened in the Pudong district in 2010, another on Shanghai’s famous Nanjing Road that opened 2011, and a third located in Shanghai’s Hong Kong Plaza.

Apple announced yesterday that the new iPad Air would launch in China day-and-date with the rest of the world, the first time China will not have to wait for a new iPad.

(Image courtesy @reportfromchina)

Firefox 19 for Mac Now Available for Download [Mac Blog]

firefox

Firefox 19 is slated to be launched on Tuesday, but as noted by The Next Web, the latest version is already available for download from Mozilla’s servers. The U.S. version of Firefox 19 for the Mac can be found in the aforementioned folder by accessing the Mac directory and then selecting “en-US.”

Most notably, this update includes a built-in PDF viewer, making former PDF viewing plug-ins obsolete. The viewer was built using HTML5 and will provide a quicker, more secure way to read PDFs in the browser.

Firefox 19, which comes more than a month after Firefox 18, also includes remote debugging, bug fixes, and CSS improvements. While the official release notes have yet to be posted, the beta notes are available:

-Built-in PDF viewer
-Canvas elements can export their content as an image blob using canvas.toBlob()
-Startup performance improvements (bugs 715402 and 756313)
-Debugger now supports pausing on exceptions and hiding non-enumerable properties
-Remote Web Console is available for connecting to Firefox on Android or Firefox OS (experimental, set devtools.debugger.remote-enabled to true)
-There is now a Browser Debugger available for add-on and browser developers (experimental, set devtools.chrome.enabled to true)
-Web Console CSS links now open in the Style Editor
-CSS @page is now supported
-CSS viewport-percentage length units implemented (vh, vw, vmin and vmax)
-CSS text-transform now supports full-width
-Starting Firefox with -private flag incorrectly claims you are not in Private Browsing mode (802274)

The official launch of Firefox 19 will take place tomorrow, on February 19. The updated version of the browser will be available for download from the Mozilla website.

Update: The FTP link has been removed. Firefox 19 is now officially available from the Mozilla website.

Apple Relocating Tokyo HQ to Roppongi Hills [Mac Blog]

Apple is to move its Tokyo HQ from the Shinjuku district to a $2.2 billion development in the more central area of Roppongi Hills, reports Bloomberg.

Apple is said to be planning to take one or two floors of the 54-story building, which is home to Goldman Sachs and Barclays. Roppongi Hills is one of Japan’s largest integrated property developments, the complex including a Grand Hyatt hotel, art museum, movie theatre, private club and apartments.

“Rents of large office buildings in central Tokyo peaked in the second quarter of 2008 and have fallen 40 percent from the peak,” Kayoko Hirao, the head of Japan research at DTZ Research in Tokyo, said in a phone interview today. “It is a good time to consider an office relocation to the central business area and it should be a good chance for Apple. The office rental market will recover this year.”

Apple is terminating the lease of its current Tokyo Opera City Tower offices as of June, and is said to be moving into its new HQ as early as April.

Apple Launches ‘Get Stuff Done’ Promotion for Mac App Store [Mac Blog]

Apple today began a new ‘Get Stuff Done’ promotional sale, offering discounts on several popular productivity apps.

The sale, which will take place over three weeks, features three categories: Prioritize, Organize, and Utilize. This week’s category is Prioritize, and features list making apps like Clear and Things at a deep discount. Here’s a full list along with prices:

-Clear: $6.99 down from $9.99 [Direct Link]
-Things: $24.99 down from $49.99 [Direct Link]
-2Do: $14.99 down from $29.99 [Direct Link]
-Due: $4.99 down from $9.99 [Direct Link]
-Todo: $6.99 down from $14.99 [Direct Link]
-TaskPaper: $11.99 down from $24.99 [Direct Link]
-The Hit List: $24.99 down from $49.99 [Direct Link]
-BreakTime: $2.99 down from $4.99 [Direct Link]

The sale on these apps will last from January 24 to January 31. Next week, Apple will feature a new set of apps for sale.

Apple Seeds First Beta of OS X 10.8.3 to Developers [Mac Blog]

Fresh off its Thanksgiving holiday, Apple today seeded developers with the first test build of OS X 10.8.3.

The first beta of OS X 10.8.3 arrives as Build 12D32, and users are required to install the OS X Software Update Seed Configuration Utility in order to upgrade to the build.

Areas of focus for testing include AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, and Graphics Drivers.

Apple Updates Aperture and iPhoto With Lengthy Changelogs [Mac Blog]

Apple has updated its prosumer photo editing/management software Aperture, bringing it to version 3.4.2. The company has also released a new version of iPhoto, version 9.4.2. Both updates are available via the Mac App Store or Software Update.

What’s New in Aperture 3.4.2

Photos received via My Photo Stream or shared streams can now be added directly to other shared streams
Multiple email addresses can now be copied and pasted in the “Shared with” field for shared streams
When more than five subscribers “Like” a photo in a shared stream, all their names are now displayed correctly
The Info panel for a shared stream now includes an Unsubscribe button
The status line in the toolstrip now displays the number of new photos added to a shared stream
Faces are now properly detected on photos imported into a library from a shared stream
Adjusted photos added to shared streams are now published with EXIF metadata properly preserved
Addresses the reliability of Shared Photo Streams when switching between iPhoto and Aperture with the same library
Custom keyboard shortcuts are now properly preserved when upgrading from earlier versions of Aperture
Double-clicking a photo in Viewer-Only mode now correctly toggles to the Browser view
Addresses a problem that could prevent the Viewer from displaying images with correct color after Auto White Balance and Auto Enhance are applied
Addresses an issue that could cause JPEGs exported with a custom ICC profile to render incorrectly
A dialog now displays progress when deleting large numbers of photos using the Empty Aperture Trash command
Fixes a problem that could cause duplicate detection on import to fail when the “Auto-Split Projects” option is enabled
RAW files are no longer displayed in the Import window when the “JPEG files only” option is enabled
Key photos made from panoramic images are now displayed at high resolution
Addresses a problem that could cause the Info panel in the Inspector to display the wrong metadata view
Fixes an issue that could prevent Microsoft Outlook from being used to email photos from within Aperture
Improves stability when working with AVCHD video files
Fixes a problem with using the Zoom navigator on a second display
Addresses issues that could cause web journals to export incorrectly
Includes stability improvements

What’s New in iPhoto 9.4.2

Photos now can be added to shared streams or My Photo Stream by dragging them to “Photo Stream” in the source list
Multiple email addresses can now be copied and pasted in the “Shared with” field for shared streams
When more than five subscribers “Like” a photo in a shared stream, their names are now displayed correctly
Contextual menu now includes an Import command to import all the photos contained in a shared photo stream
Addresses the reliability of Shared Photo Streams when switching between iPhoto and Aperture with the same library
Fixes an issue that could prevent Microsoft Outlook from being used to email photos from within iPhoto
Updated national holidays are available for use in printed photo calendars
Includes stability improvements

Aperture is available for $79.99 on the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

iPhoto is available for $14.99 on the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

MacHeist 4 Bundle Offers 15 Apps for $29 [Mac Blog]

macheist

MacHeist has launched their fourth application bundle, combining fifteen apps with a retail value of $539 (if certain sales targets are reached), for $29. MacHeist typically assembles these bundles with a wide variety of apps, including both games and productivity programs.

This year’s bundle includes:

- Bejeweled 3
- Scrivener
- Courier
- PDF Signer
- Artboard
- Jurassic Park
- Sam and Max
- Strong Bad
- Radium
- DiskTools Pro
- Evernote (With 15 months of Evernote Premium included)
- HDRtist
- Firetask*
- BioShock 2*
- Painter Lite*

The last three apps will be unlocked once certain sales targets are reached. Further, 25% of each purchase goes to one of 10 charities that the purchaser can choose from.