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Inside Apple

Inside Apple (Aug 15th, 2017)

$AAPL (3:09 p.m. EST): $161.84 (↑ 1.99%) // 90-day high: $161.81 // 90-day low: $142.27 // More info

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Google will pay Apple $3 billion to remain the iPhone's default search engine, according to Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi Jr. The number is up from $1 billion just three years ago. "Given that Google payments are nearly all profit for Apple, Google alone may account for 5 percent of Apple's total operating profits this year, and may account for 25 percent of total company OP growth over the last two years," Sacconaghi Jr. said. – CNBC

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Apple and Aetna are in talks to bring the Apple Watch to Aetna’s 23 million customers, according to CNBC. The two companies held meetings in Southern California last week. Aetna insures 23 million people and offers its Apple Watch to 50,000 employees as part of its corporate wellness program. Aetna is apparently now negotiating with Apple to offer a free or discounted Apple Watch. "This is a logical step for Apple's broader distribution of their watch, and this type of partnership has been on their radar from the beginning," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, an advisory firm that specializes in technology. – CNBC

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Despite the hoopla over the upcoming release of the Apple HomePod, only a limited number of the devices will ship this year. "Inventec Appliances will likely only ship some 500,000 units of HomePod this year, and the device's contribution to the group's revenue will be less than 1 percent," said Arthur Liao, an analyst at Taipei-based Fubon Securities. Apple hopes the $349 HomePod will compete with Amazon's Alexa and Google Home. – CNET

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Sales of Apple's MacBooks totaled 3.98 million units in the second quarter of 2017, up 17.1 percent from the prior quarter. Market research firm TrendForce said sales in the U.S. and the arrival of new product models were the main driving forces behind the second quarter shipments, with strong demand in the entire first half of 2017 exceeding market expectations. – MAC RUMORS

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A committee chaired by Communist Party members will oversee Apple's iCloud facility in China. The Guizhou government said on its website that the Apple iCloud working committee would be made up of around 10 members. "The provincial government has decided to form a development and coordination working committee to quicken the setting up of Apple's iCloud project," according to the Chinese government. China passed a new cyber security law on June 1 that imposes tougher controls over data than in Europe and the United States, including mandating that companies store all data within China and pass security reviews. Apple plans to set up its first data center the province of Guizhou to comply with tougher cyber security laws. – FORTUNE

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Google has recruited longtime Apple executive Chris Lattner to work on an artificial intelligence research project. Lattner will join Google Brain. He worked at Apple for 11 years, and is known as the creator of the Swift programming language and other developer tools. Lattner actually left Apple in January for Tesla, but left that company abruptly in June. “We built a lot of great things, but Tesla wasn't the right fit for me,” he said. Of his new position, Lattner tweeted “AI can't democratize itself (yet?) so I'll help make it more accessible to everyone!” – RECODE

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