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Apple’s AirPods Reportedly Sold Out Ahead of the Holiday Season

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AirPods will be difficult to find for the rest of the year. (Photo Credit: CNET).

According to various media reports, Apple’s AirPods reportedly are sold out through the holiday season, based on a scan of other top shopping sites and locations tracked on Apple’s U.S. website.

With the popularity of the AirPods, some shoppers searching for the $159 stocking stuffers are out of luck for now, and will have to wait until 2018.

The wireless earbuds purchased on Apple’s site during the holiday season won’t be delivered until early January at the soonest. The new AirPods are currently unavailable on Amazon.  They are also out of stock on the websites for Best Buy, Target, Frys or B&H.

After getting off to a difficult start, the AirPods have proven to be a hot ticket item. They were introduced in September 2016 but didn’t hit shelves until mid-December, after Apple announced the company needed more time to ship the device amid the pros and cons of early reviews. AirPods have enjoyed growing popularity in the year since.

Early shopping data from Adobe had indicated that this holiday shopping season would be big for AirPods, and top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier predicted shipments will double next year.

While accessories are still a relatively small portion of Apple’s business, the division is growing. The other products category, which includes AirPods, hit revenue of $3.23 billion in Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter, up 36 percent from a year earlier.

Mobile phone makers have put more emphasis on voice recognition this year, and have phased out 3.5-mm headphone jacks.

Bloggers across the world have weighed in on the topic. The availability of the item has not been publicly announced by Apple has of this report.

 

LeNora Millen              12-19-17

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Business

Apple Pledges $350 billion Investment in US economy Over Next Five Years

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Apple is about to give the U.S. economy a huge boost in the form of a $350 billion five-year investment. As part of that, it will commit $55 billion this year alone and plans on adding 20,000 new jobs over that time frame. Following in the footsteps of Amazon, it also plans to add a new campus somewhere in the U.S. this year.

There is a lot of news here. Let’s start with the big-picture investment of $350 billion, which Apple says does not include ongoing tax payments, the tax revenues generated from employees’ wages or the sale of Apple products.

It will, however, involve taxes on repatriation of some of Apple’s cash reserves, which are currently in the $256 billion range. It anticipates $38 billion coming from repatriation taxes, but much of it will be capital expenditures on the part of the company.

For starters, there will be $30 billion, which will help fund a number of projects, including building the aforementioned new campus. The plan is for this to initially house technical support for customers. Apple says it will announce the location of this new facility later this year, with a plan to make the building run on 100 percent renewable energy sources.

But wait, it’s not done yet. It will also invest $10 billion of that money in new data centers in the U.S., adding to the seven already in operation or planned. There is a new one coming in Iowa and they broke ground on one in Reno just today, in addition to data centers already in operation in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. (This number includes co-location facilities not owned and operated by Apple.)

Apple announced that it planned several investments that will contribute more than $350 billion to the United States economy over the next five years. (Photo/NationalTurk).

The company also plans to expand the advanced manufacturing fund it started last spring, from $1 billion to $5 billion. The idea is to bring advanced manufacturing jobs to the heartland and it is already funding projects in Kentucky and rural Texas.

Finally, Apple plans to expand its coding initiatives, helping students and teachers from K-12 and at community colleges across the country learn valuable coding skills.

While there is clearly a large public relations element to this announcement, the amount of money and investment involved from a private company here is just staggering and should help create new jobs, stimulate local economies and help educate students for the next generation of jobs. Hard not to like that.

 

Source:  Techcrunch

@LeNoraMillen      0-18-18

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Business

Amazon Reveals ‘20 Cities’ That Could Be The Home Of Its Next Headquarters

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Amazon has revealed 20 cities that could be the next home of its second North American headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

The candidates, selected out of 238 applicants, will move to the next round of Amazon’s selection process, the company said Thursday. Amazon will make a final decision on the site of its next headquarters this year.

The list of candidates includes Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Washington, DC, and Columbus, Ohio.

Amazon said it will work with each city to “dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community.”

Amazon has promised a $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 high-paying jobs to the city that wins its selection process.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan, head of public policy for Amazon. “Through this process, we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”

Here are all the potential candidates:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington DC

 

Source: Business Insider

@LeNoraMillen     01-18-18

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Lifestyle

Empowering Teens Through Smart Spending

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According to an April 2017 survey in Business Insider, teens are spending most of their money on food. Over the last several years, teens have been spending a greater share of their money on food, and less on clothing.Food now accounts for 24% of teen spending, followed by clothing (19%), cars (9%), accessories and cosmetics (9%), shoes (8%), video games (8%), and electronics (7%), according to the survey. The rest is spent on music, movie, and events.

Teens’ favorite website is Amazon, with 43% share of the market, compared to the No. 2 website, Nike, with 5% of the market.

Nike remains the top clothing brand among teens across all income levels. American Eagle, Forever 21, Lululemon, Adidas, and H&M also rank among the most popular apparel brands. Top footwear brands include Nike, Vans, Adidas, Converse, and Steve Madden

Helping teens learn to handle money can be a tricky proposition. Mistakes can quite literally be costly, but there’s really no substitute for hands-on practice when it comes to managing finances.

Children are the ultimate investment, so teach your teen to be a smart spender with these savvy tips:

Start with saving. As a first step, open a savings account for your teen and involve them in the process. Use this opportunity to teach good habits, such as putting away a percentage of every paycheck, creating an emergency fund and setting savings goals for big purchases. Visit the bank together and explore the account options. Many banks offer incentives for high-balance accounts, and while your teen likely won’t qualify, it’s a valuable lesson to see the incentives available to big savers.

Move on to basic checking. Although most banks still refer to their most accessible accounts as “checking” accounts, chances are that your teen is more likely to shop with a debit card or cash rather than checks. Still, knowing how to write a proper check is an important life skill – as are conducting debit transactions and understanding any fees associated with using the account.

Create safe zones. Even after teaching them the fundamentals, letting teens make their own purchasing decisions can be a frightening prospect. Fortunately, if you know where to look, there are options available that offer teens a customizable level of autonomy while still under the oversight of a parent. For example, Amazon introduced a way for teens ages 13-17 to shop using their own, independent login linked to a parent’s account. In addition to product recommendations, order histories and lists tailored specifically to the teen’s shopping history and interests, teens can exercise smart shopping decisions with access to customer reviews and comparison shopping tools.

Parents have the option to review and approve every purchase or set spending limits that offer teens the freedom to place orders up to a certain dollar amount on their own. In either case, parents receive notifications for every order and shipment. Find more details at Amazon.com/forteens.

Set a budget. Part of smart spending is learning to shop within your means. Whether your teen’s income is a part-time job, allowance or a combination of the two, building a budget that defines expenses and expectations are essential. Like any budget, it should include all income sources and all expenses he or she is responsible for, including auto maintenance, gasoline, insurance and beyond. Reinforce the importance of saving by including a regular savings allocation. Putting all of these numbers to paper lets your teen see clearly where the money is going and how much is left over for extracurricular spending.

Put safety nets in place. No matter how much planning is done in advance, surprise expenses will inevitably pop up. Teens can prepare for these expenses while also guarding against mistakes and the temptation to over-spend by taking advantage of special services available through banking institutions, such as setting a per-transaction or daily spending limit and investing in overdraft coverage.

Ultimately, money management skills come with time and practice. Creating a safe environment for your teen to practice these life lessons sooner rather than later can pay dividends down the road.

Source: Business Insider and Amazon

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

@LeNoraMillen     01-17-18

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