Apple Just Announced Another Serious Milestone, Plus John Deere Makes A $5 Billion Purchase

by 11 months ago

morning brew

Enjoy your June 2nd hand-crafted Brew!


“It feels good for about 10 seconds and then we move on“ –– Mark LaNeve, Ford VP of Sales on topping rival GM in May vehicle sales. Quite the line Mark––that’s why context matters, folks.

Market Snapshot

Tim’s Straight Cookin

App developers everywhere are dancing like the iTunes silhouettes of the early 2000’s. The reason? Apple (+0.27%) just announced a serious milestone: it’s paid out $70 billion to app developers since the App Store’s inception in 2008.

But it took some work to get there

The app store opened with well under 1,000 apps. But its path to 2.2 million today took some Jobs-esque “creative exercises”. No, not like that.

Apple introduced key strategies like speeding up app approval from two weeks to two days (in 2015) and launching App Store search ads (in 2016), which led to a 33% app increase within one year.

Wait, it gets better.

Apple itself has generated approximately $13 billion in app store revenue since the beginning of 2016 (it gets a 30% cut, remember), a number that is 75% of what the tech giant brought in from 2008 to 2015, combined.

Know what’s scary?

The app store accounts for less than 5% of Apple’s revenue, a very small piece of a $216 billion pie.

And the stock price shows, having risen 70% since May of last year.

But, all of the excitement and innovation seems to be just beginning (finally).

You have WWDC set for next week, where product announcements could include the Mac, iPad, and a Siri-based competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Investors are also salivating at the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, a device jam-packed with new features and a price tag of up to $1,000––now, that’s one recipe for success.

Oh yeah, did we mention Apple’s sitting on a cash pile of $248 billion? Tim Cook’s chillin like

Git ‘er Done

John Deere (+0.08%), strapped up its blue overalls, hocked a fat ‘ole loogie into a steel bucket and got down to business Thursday, purchasing German road construction firm, Wirtgen Group, for a cool $4.88 billion.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Over the last three years, weak harvests and falling agricultural commodity prices have eaten away at the company’s bottom line
  • That’s significant because 70% of Deere & Co’s operations focus on turf and agriculture
  • The good news? Wirtgen’s network and construction business is not just the lifeline it wanted, but the lifeline it needed

Fow now, John Deere’s brushing off that faint echo of Bill Engvall whispering in its ear… “Here’s your sign.”

“I’m Not Kool Enough :(”

Microsoft-owned Skype has begun rolling out its largest upgrade since introducing video chat in 2006.

After its $8.5 billion acquisition in 2011, the company has struggled, as more socially attuned messaging services like Snapchat and Whatsapp have picked up steam.

But, Skype isn’t giving up. Oh, no.

It’s ready to send those VC-backed schoolyard bullies a message.

With 300 million monthly users in its back pocket, Skype is focusing on messaging, staying mobile-centric and showering customers with “innovative” features.


The all-in-one messenger app now includes disappearing photos (hey Snap), Emojis and GIF’s via chat (what’s up Messenger), as well as photo sharing and effects over video (howdy Hangouts).

Bold strategy, Cotton.

Puff, Puff, Pass.

“Aye bro, you hear about that High Times story?”

“They like sold a 60% stake in their company to Oreva Capital for $42 mill or some sh** like that.”

“Aren’t they the number one weed brand in the world aside from our boy Snoop right?”

**pause to look at each other**


Or at least, we think it went something like that. It’s important to realize the $70 million marijuana magazine was able to grow this big through 20 million unique visitors a day and 236,000 print subscribers.

And let’s not forget about the High Times-hosted Cannabis Cup––it’s basically the CES Conference for stoners.

Even better? The new board thinks it can be an even bigger “hit” as newer marijuana media sites are charging users up to $60 per year.

What Else Is Happening…

  • Audi (+0.38%) is set to recall 25,000 Audi A8’s after the German government detected an illicit software that cheats emissions standards.
  • Industrial gas mega-giant, Linde Group (+1.82%), just got the thumbs up from its board to follow through with a whopping $73 billion merger with U.S. peer, Praxair (+1.35%).
  • Walmart (+1.54%) looks to have its employees make deliveries on their way home from work.
  • Meal delivery service, Blue Apron, is coming right to your door as the next big consumer IPO.

Economic Calendar

The Breakroom

Interview Question of the Day

You are given 8 identical looking balls. One of them is heavier than the rest of the 7 (all the others weigh exactly the same). You are provided with a simple mechanical balance scale. How can you find the heavier ball by using the scale only twice?

(Give up?)

Guess That Company

My first location opened in Atlanta, GA in 1967. Fast forward 50 years and you can now walk into any of my 2,000+ restaurants. But don’t even bother trying on Sunday.

I’ve sold over 3 billion sandwiches and haven’t changed my recipe once. In fact, I sell 282 million sandwiches annually, enough to almost cover the earth’s circumference.

I generate more revenue per restaurant than any other fast food chain in the US and brought in a whopping $8 billion in sales for 2016. So come on over for a bite, and make sure to ask for my secret menu.


Stat of the Day

$1 Million.

That’s how much money Uber was burning through each week to make UberPool a reality, when it first tested the ridesharing feature in San Francisco.

Initially, only 7.9% of customers used the service until Uber was forced to drive down the cost with its own cash. So next time you wonder why your UberPool’s so much cheaper, this just might be the reason. Cheap prices ain’t cheap.

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