02-19-2017  10:54 am      •     

CUPERTINO, California (AP) -- Apple Inc. is updating its iMac desktop computer line and introducing a mouse that responds to the touch of fingers instead of using buttons or scroll wheels.
The updated iMacs have bigger screens -- 21.5 inches (54 centimeters) and 27 inches (68 centimeters), compared with existing models' 20 inches and 24 inches. They also have speedier processors and better graphics. The least expensive model costs $1,199, the same as the past generation, but the top-of-the-line iMac is now $200 cheaper, at $1,999.
The wireless Magic Mouse, as Apple calls it, will come included. It lets people manipulate what they see on the screen by pinching, swiping and using other gestures. It's similar to the control mechanism made popular on the screen of the iPhone.

Apple Sees 47 Percent Profit Increase

Wall Street knew Apple Inc.'s results for the most recent quarter would blow past the company's conservative guidance, but investors clearly weren't prepared for the 47 percent jump in profit that Apple delivered.
Shares leaped 5.4 percent Tuesday on news that Apple sold more iPhone and Mac computers than ever.
Apple's financial report, released after the markets closed Monday, "reinforces my view that Apple is hands down the best technology company on the planet," said Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall.
Apple unveiled a faster iPhone in June and cut the price of the previous generation of the phone to $99. Those moves boosted iPhone sales from July through September to 7.4 million devices, half a million more than in the same period of 2008, despite shortages of the newest iPhones that persisted through the quarter.
Apple weathered the economic meltdown better than other computer companies, giving it a running start when PC sales grew in the quarter. Apple had also updated its Mac operating system and refreshed its MacBook Pro line. Apple sold 3.1 million Macs, a 19 percent rise from the same period a year ago.
As Apple's iPhone, which has iPod features built in, has grown in popularity, Apple's regular iPod music player business has suffered. The company sold 10.2 million iPods in the quarter, 8 percent fewer than last year, even though Apple unveiled a new iPod Nano with a video camera in September.
But even with the number of iPods dropping, iPod revenue rose in the quarter. That means people are trading up, Marshall said _ buying a Nano to replace a Shuffle, or an iPod Touch to replace a Nano. Revenue for the iPod Touch, which is like an iPhone without the phone, doubled from a year ago.
Apple is rumored to be working on a tablet-style computer that's a cross between a laptop and an iPhone or iPod Touch, but the company is notoriously secretive about new products. On a conference call, Apple executives boasted vaguely about the company's "amazing" future offerings and dropped a tantalizing indication of something new for holiday shopping.
Apple typically spends more on air freight in the current quarter in order to make sure stores are stocked with iPods and other gadgets for the holidays, but this year, the increase is more than usual.
"I'm sorry I can't be specific on the product, but it's, it's, it's an abnormal sequential increase," Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, said in response to a question from an analyst.
Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., said it earned $1.7 billion, or $1.82 per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 26. Revenue jumped 25 percent to $9.9 billion.
For all of fiscal 2009, Apple said its profit rose 18 percent to $5.7 billion, or $5.36 per share. Revenue climbed 13 percent to $36.5 billion.
For the current quarter, Apple said it expects to earn $1.70 to $1.78 per share, well below the $1.91 that analysts were expecting, though the company traditionally gives extremely conservative guidance. Apple predicted revenue of $11.3 billion to $11.6 billion, while analysts are looking for $11.4 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Wall Street shrugged off the profit guidance and sent the company's shares surging in extended trading Monday, past the all-time high of $202.96, reached Dec. 27, 2007. In Tuesday morning trading the shares were up $10.20 at $200.06.
Investors are anticipating even more growth for the iPhone. Apple is set to officially begin selling iPhones in China on Oct. 30 and plans to launch in South Korea during this quarter as well.
But Apple could hit snags in those countries in the first few months. The company struggled to supply enough of the newest iPhone 3GS to store shelves around the world over the summer. Cook said most of the shortages had eased, but he added that he wishes more iPhones were ready for the China launch.

 


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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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