Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated he is open to working with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and its billionaire founder Jack Ma, who expressed an interest in partnering with the iPhone maker in mobile payments.
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday met in Beijing with Ma Kai, China's vice premier, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, and "exchanged views on protection of users' information." The meeting came just days after a report emerged that indicated Chinese-based hackers had attacked users of Apple's iCloud cloud storage service in the country.
Apple put a major new focus on how it safeguards its users' private information and launched a website to keep its customers better informed of how their data is stored and protected. Meanwhile, amid concerns that its new iPhones and forthcoming Apple Watch wearable device will be collecting reams of health data, the company reportedly sent emissaries to quell concerns in Congress.
Apple said it took a record 4 million preorders for its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the first 24 hours of availability, which started last Friday. The company did not say how many preorders it took during the first weekend of preorder sales; retail sales for the phones start Sept. 19.
Apple ramped up its R&D spending over the past few years, and a number of products the company is working on are so secret they have not even generated whispers and gossip among the public, according to CEO Tim Cook.
Apple's much-rumored smart watch is expected to be released in the fourth quarter and will be highly tied to health monitoring, according to a New York Times report.
During its annual developer's conference, Apple took the wraps off the newest version of its tablet and smartphone operating system, iOS 8. The platform includes a number of new functions and features for iPad and iPhone users, and a wide range of new services and tools for iOS app developers. Specifically, Apple announced iOS 8 will allow applications to interact with each other, a feature that has long been available to Android app developers and long sought after by iOS app developers.
Apple confirmed it will buy Beats Electronics for around $3 billion, acquiring a maker of premium headphones with a fledgling streaming music service but also getting cachet and connections to the music industry.
Apple is in the process of finalizing a $3.2 billion deal for Beats Electronics, in what would be its biggest deal ever, according to multiple reports. The overriding question analysts have at this point is: Why? The answer is not entirely clear, but Apple could be inking the deal to get access not only to Beats' sleek headphones but also its fledgling streaming music service on the cheap.
Apple CEO Tim Cook continued to play coy about future new product categories the company might be breaking into later this year. He also indicated he thinks the mobile payments market hasn't been "figured out" yet.