Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time Apple recaps all its great progresses and amazing feats of the past 12 months across many different (and not-so-different) areas of the tech industry, trying hard to downplay any commercial failures, growth stalls or outright stagnations making analysts and investors anxious.
Underwhelming iPhone and especially Apple Watch sales scores? You just wait for the holiday season tally. Slow Apple Pay adoption? Why not focus on the respectable number of US retailers that already support the iOS-enabled digital wallet service? Spotify still outgrowing Apple Music? Perhaps, but there’s room for everyone.
Besides, we all know Cupertino likes hefty profit margins more than rapid expansion to the masses, and as long as rumored Apple Music subscription price cuts don’t materialize, recent growth rates will do. There are now apparently over 20 million paying users, up from 17 mil back in September, which by no means signals doom and gloom.
Then again, Spotify did jump from 28 to 40 million subscribers in around nine months, and that’s arguably a superior hike pace.
Meanwhile, Apple Pay has officially spread the contactless love from a measly 4 to 35 percent of all US retailers in two years, heading for clothing giant Gap sometime in 2017 to further boost a partner portfolio covering 4 million physical stores nationwide. Not too shabby, but let’s not forget arch-rival Samsung Pay works at magnetic-only terminals in addition to NFC-based points of sale.
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