App Store Tops 40 Billion Downloads with Almost Half in 2012

Apple has announced that customers have downloaded over 40 billion apps — nearly 20 billion in 2012 alone. The App Store has over 500 million active accounts and had a record-breaking December with over two billion downloads during the month. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, says, “It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community.” Developers have created over 775,000 apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and have been paid over $7 billion by Apple.

iPhone 5 First Weekend Sales in China Top Two Million

Apple today announced it has sold over two million of its new
iPhone 5 in China, just three days after its launch on December 14. “Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. iPhone 5 will be available in more than 100 countries by the end of December, making it the fastest iPhone rollout ever.

iPhone 5 is Time Magazine’s ‘Gadget of the Year’

Time Magazine has named iPhone 5 its Gadget of the Year for 2012. The device is “one of the most artfully polished gadgets anyone’s ever built,” says Time’s Harry McCracken. He highlights the new thinner design and the camera’s “particularly well-done panorama mode.” McCracken concludes, “[W]hen it comes to melding hardware, software and services so tightly that the seams fade away, Apple still has no peer.” The
MacBook Pro with Retina display also made it onto the list at number six.

Apple iMac Review: A Reason to Get a Desktop Computer

Reviewing the new iMac on ABC News, Joanna Stern says the desktop has “as much sex appeal” as iPad and iPhone. “Even if you aren’t a tech enthusiast,” Stern writes, “this is a machine — or perhaps sculpture — you can admire.” Stern says the improved display’s sharpness makes looking at photos and video “an immersive experience,” and she praises the iMac’s enhanced computing power, including Fusion Drive. “Apple has built the system with the most powerful desktop parts around,” she says.

PC Mag: iMac is Editor’s Choice

PC Mag has added Apple’s new iMac to its Editor’s Choice list for high-end all-in-one desktops. Reviewer Brian Westover says the iMac is “faster and more responsive, offering larger, smarter storage.” He put the iMac through its paces with a number of media and processing tests and found that it led competitors by a healthy margin. He concludes, “With its beautiful design and quality fabrication, the iMac 27-inch is the best all-in-one desktop we’ve ever seen.”

Apple Puts Eye into iDevices

Reporting in the Sydney Morning Herald, Garry Barker describes how Apple accessibility technology has enabled disabled users to thrive both personally and professionally. Barker tells the story of David Woodbridge, a technology manager for a large non-profit who has been blind since childhood. Woodbridge uses VoiceOver and other assistive technologies in Apple’s iOS devices daily. “With VoiceOver I can support not only myself but also my boys and my wife,” said Woodbridge. “For example, if my wife gets an SMS when she is driving I can call up VoiceOver on her iPhone to read the message to her and we can reply using Siri, which is one of the great iOS developments, getting better all the time.”

NFL Playbooks: There’s an App for That

Katie Linendoll of ESPN.com reports that across the NFL teams “are trading in their 500-page printed playbooks for iPad.” Linendoll notes that iPad and an app called PlayerLync have revolutionized how the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, and San Diego Chargers share plays and distribute practice and game film among coaches and players. “It changes the way you prepare,” says Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme. “You can come off the practice field, get in the cold tub and watch film in the cold tub on your iPad.”

Innovative Education in China with Mac

In a country where education has emphasized test taking and memorization, RDFZ XISHAN, an experimental middle school in Beijing, is the first school in China to participate in a Mac one-to-one program, which provides each student with a MacBook Pro. The program has transformed learning at the school into a collaborative and engaging experience — without sacrificing test scores. Says school principal Shu Dajun: “It’s no longer simply the teacher teaching and students studying. Everyone is equal in the creating and sharing of knowledge.”

Apple Sells Three Million iPads in Three Days

Apple today announced it has sold three million iPads in just three days since the launch of its new iPad mini and fourth-generation
iPad — double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million Wi-Fi-only third-generation iPad models. The Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of both iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad will ship in a few weeks in the U.S. and in many more countries later this year.

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter ended September 29, 2012. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $36.0 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $28.3 billion and net profit of $6.6 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. “We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac, and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.”