Significant pullbacks in some stocks' prices this year may have felt like a punch in the gut to some investors, leaving them looking for ways to help Improve returns and ultimately ease the pain during the market's next big drawdown. While there's no certain way to do this, one idea worth exploring is investing in more dividend stocks. While dividend stocks can fall the same way as shares without dividends, many of them continue paying dividends as their share prices dip. Even more, a quality dividend stock could not only refrain from lowering its quarterly dividend payout but potentially even increase it during tough times.
But what dividend stocks have the kind of staying power and strong business characteristics to continue increasing their dividends during a bear market? While there are plenty of high-quality dividend stocks, one top idea is Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Highlighting the resilience of Apple's dividend, the company hasn't skipped a quarterly payout since its dividend was initiated in 2012. Even better, Apple has increased its payout during each of the last 10 years. Indeed, the company's quarterly dividend has increased more than threefold (on a split-adjusted basis) since 2012.
More recently, Apple's dividend increases have been fairly modest, with its most exact hike only representing about a 5% increase. But this is likely due primarily to the company's preference to return more capital to shareholders indirectly via share repurchases than directly in the form of dividends. Further, Apple's exact dividend increases may have been lower in light of the uncertain macroeconomic environment. Whatever the case, investors should be pleased with Apple's long history of consistent annual dividend increases.
With a dividend yield of just 0.6%, investors are going to want more dividend growth in the coming years. While Apple's history of consistent dividend growth suggests this will happen, the company's income statement gives investors another clue: Apple's current annual dividend payments account for only a fraction of the company's annual earnings. The tech giant has a payout ratio of just 15%. A low payout ratio means Apple has plenty of room to steadily increase its dividend going forward.
Finally, it's worth noting that Apple's management team is currently prioritizing returning capital to shareholders. Apple CEO Luca Maestri reminded investors in the company's most exact earnings call that the iPhone maker's plan is to return cash aggressively enough that its total cash position equals its total debt position (cash neutral). With annualized free cash flow of over $110 billion and a net cash position of $49 billion at the end of the fiscal fourth quarter, you can imagine just how concerted the company will have to be in its efforts to return enough cash to shareholders with both repurchases and dividends to get to cash neutral over time.
Investors, therefore, shouldn't overlook Apple as a good dividend-paying stock just because it has a low dividend yield. The company's strong financials and low payout ratio position the tech company well for more of the consistent dividend growth it has delivered to investors since 2012.
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Kandji has announced several new innovations to its Device Harmony platform. These new features aim to help businesses keep their Apple devices secure and productive, making it easier for them to manage and protect their devices.
Kandji’s Device Harmony platform now includes Declarative Device Management, an industry-first for active management on supervised devices. Declarative Device Management allows businesses to apply configurations faster and receive real-time data from their devices. This update shifts the passcode policies for iOS and iPadOS so that they are applied using configuration declarations instead of legacy configuration profiles.
Kandji’s platform now also includes Lost Mode, which allows businesses to track lost iPhone and iPad devices. This feature does not require iCloud, Location Services, or any action from the device user, making it easy for businesses to locate lost devices and protect their data. Lost Mode builds on the capabilities provided by the Apple MDM framework by adding additional automations. For example, it will alert the administrator if the lost device moves more than 50 meters, and it will automatically enable Lost Mode in case of a reset.These and other features make Lost Mode a valuable addition for businesses that rely on iPhone and iPad devices.
Kandji also now offers advanced flexibility for administrators with User Attributes in Assignment Rules. This feature allows administrators to use attributes such as departments, user groups, or job titles, as defined by their IdP, to determine whether a Blueprint should be applied to a specific device. This added level of customization allows a single Blueprint to adapt to the needs of different users across an organization, reducing the number of Blueprints that need to be maintained. This can save time and effort for administrators, allowing them to focus on other tasks.
Kandji also announced several new integrations with third-party services to enhance the security and productivity of its Device Harmony platform. The first of these is Okta Device Trust integration, which is built on the Okta Identity Engine. This integration ensures that only managed devices can access Okta-secured apps, helping businesses to implement a zero-trust security model. Kandji’s integration will also feed into other Okta products, such as its passwordless authentication via FastPass.
Another new integration is Kandji Passport’s support for Google Workspace. This allows users to log in to their Mac computers using their Google Workspace credentials, streamlining the login process and providing an additional layer of security. These new integrations provide valuable new capabilities for businesses using Kandji’s Device Harmony platform.
Learn more about what’s new with Kandji in its December webinar.
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On Wednesday, Apple Inc. made an announcement that might sound minor: It will now offer end-to-end encryption for most material its users backup on its iCloud storage service.
That means only a user with an authorized device will be able to access the contents of their cloud storage, in much the same way only the holder of a private key can control a bitcoin wallet. The new feature will protect photos, notes and other files for users who choose to activate it. Email, calendar and contacts material aren’t included, however, because they need to interact with multiple services. In an announcement that also outlines impressive new high-security messaging features, Apple said encrypted iCloud storage will begin rolling out worldwide in early 2023.
This article is excerpted from The Node, CoinDesk's daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news. You can subscribe to get the full newsletter here.
This change is, in fact, a huge deal.
Apple emphasizes the benefits of the new system for defending against hackers. But the privacy implications are arguably more profound. Until now, most materials on iCloud could be accessed by Apple under duress, such as when a search warrant or other court order forced them.
Apple has tried to stand up to those demands, for instance in its inconclusive 2015 court battle with the FBI. But the new encrypted storage system will render the legal debate moot: law enforcement and intelligence agencies will not be able to subpoena or otherwise compel Apple to hand over user data, because Apple will simply not have the technological ability to comply.
That’s why governments and intelligence agencies have reportedly pressured Apple for years not to release the feature. Apple’s defiance of that pressure is admirable, and has potentially immense benefits for public perception of digital privacy.
The most influential digital hardware and software maker on the planet, in short, is making a strong stand for the idea that real digital privacy should be allowed to exist. That Apple regards this as important enough that it is pushing back against the U.S. government puts the lie to one of the most shallow and cowardly arguments against privacy: the idea that “if you haven’t done anything wrong, you shouldn’t care about privacy.” Clearly, Tim Cook disagrees.
The move towards end-to-end encryption should in turn help normalize online financial privacy, a major agenda item for the cryptocurrency industry. Crypto privacy has been under mounting attack in cases like the sanctioning of Tornado Cash.
The new Apple systems will benefit crypto more directly in two other ways. First, they will have some direct impact on the security of things like crypto keys and wallets. Whether through negligence or truly bad judgment, some crypto users have been known to store their security keys in iCloud backups. That makes them vulnerable to both hackers and, in one notorious instance, the FBI – but with Apple’s new encryption, that risk will be massively reduced.
The final notable upside for crypto is that Apple’s new system will introduce a huge new userbase to security practices and interface features also widespread in crypto. It will be the first time many users are asked to manage their own personal encryption keys, without a centralized recovery process. It’s not dissimilar to how non-custodial crypto apps and protocols require users to keep track of private keys to “be their own bank.”
Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi has called this a major responsibility, because, much as with blockchain systems, Apple won’t be able to simply reset and send a new password when a user loses theirs. Though technical details are scarce, this is likely impossible to do without effectively giving Apple a backdoor to user files.
See also: 4 Reasons Privacy Coins Haven't Taken Off | Opinion
To mitigate this downside, Apple will also introduce a process known as “social recovery” to a mass audience, according to the Washington Post. An encrypted iCloud user can name another person who will have to participate if they ever lose their encryption key. Social recovery or other “multi-signature” backup schemes are becoming more widespread in crypto as a solution to the risk of key loss.
We haven’t gotten a look at the interface or workflow yet, but you can bet Apple has designed something elegant and intuitive. Hundreds of thousands of users are about to be introduced to private key management by the most respected name in computing. From there, crypto is just a hop and a skip away.
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Apple has gone to some lengths to make it possible for iOS developers to easily make Mac apps, and a few have. Here's how to find what's available in macOS Ventura.
It is now literally one tick box in Xcode for a developer to produce a macOS version of their iOS app — if they don't mind the Mac app being rubbish. To make one that works well on the Mac, that looks good, and that serves a useful function, that takes more work.
So far it seems that it's not work that developers have raced to do. Anecdotally, it appears that iPadOS developers may be more up for it as those can be closer to the Mac in appearance, but still, it's not been gold rush.
You'll always have to make the decision over what works well for you on a Mac. To just find which iOS and iPadOS apps will physically run on macOS Ventura, there are two things you can do.
This section in the Mac App Store is not some hardwired button, it's a promotional list. So Apple could take it away, or Apple could rename it, at any time.
If it is there when you check, then what you will get for clicking on See All is a surprisingly paltry list of apps. At time of writing, it's showing around 40 titles, which do include some major ones such as LumaFusion, and Flighty.
Apple is quietly making this better and better. It used to take a preposterous 15 steps to find an iOS app and then run it on your Mac, for instance.
Then Apple made it so that this searching in the Mac App Store worked — but only for iOS and iPadOS apps that you had already bought.
Now you can search for anything at any time, and find it. Or at least, nothing from Apple or the Mac App Store stands in your way.
Instead, it's now solely whether the developers have decided to allow their iOS apps to run on the Mac. When they have, and when you've found them, you can just click on Install or Get and have them obtain to your Mac as if they were Mac apps.
Apple released 700 new price points and tools this week that will remove restrictions on what developers can charge their customers on the App Store.
After settling a class-action lawsuit last year, the smartphone company promised to bring changes to the App Store centered on boosting developer capabilities. According to Bloomberg, before Apple implemented these changes, developers were limited to 100 potential price points.
Previously, price ranges had a minimum of 49 cents for subscriptions and 99 cents for apps, while the max price an app could charge was $999.99. Under Apple's Tuesday update, the minimum price in the United States is 29 cents, with a maximum charge of $10,000.
"These newly announced tools, which will begin rolling out today and continue throughout 2023, will create even more flexibility for developers to price their products while staying approachable to the hundreds of millions of users Apple serves worldwide, and in turn help developers continue to thrive on the App Store," the company said in a press release.
APPLE'S APP STORE TO REMOVE OUTDATED APPS
Apple states that developers will be able to control the price of their products across 45 currencies across 175 storefronts. Moreover, the App Store will supply developers the option to define prices per storefront with plans to roll out this pricing system to all other apps by Spring 2023.
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The company will also allow developers to adjust prices by local territory, although the store does now allow them to change pricing based on tax and foreign currency adjustments.
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"The App Store’s commerce and payments system offers developers an ever-expanding set of capabilities and tools to grow their businesses, from frictionless checkout and transparent invoicing for users to robust marketing tools, tax and fraud services, and refund management," Apple noted.
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Apple today announced it is providing developers with an additional 700 price points for App Store apps, allowing apps to be priced as low as 29 cents, or as high as $10,000. Developers who want to price their app above $1,000 must submit a request to Apple to help prevent meaninglessly expensive apps from being released on the App Store.
In total, developers will have the ability to select from 900 price points, with the 100 highest price points available upon request only. The new price points will increase incrementally, including every 10 cents up to $10, every 50 cents between $10 and $50, and so forth. Rounded price endings will also be available (such as $0.90 or $1.00), along with prices that begin with two repeating digits (such as ₩110,000 in South Korea.)
In August 2021, Apple promised that it would expand the number of App Store price points as part of a $100 million settlement with developers.
Apple says the new price points and foreign exchange rate management option will be available for apps offering auto-renewable subscriptions starting today, and for all other apps and in-app purchases in "spring 2023."
Apple periodically updates prices in certain App Store regions based on changes in foreign exchange rates and taxes. Starting in 2023, the company says developers with paid apps and in-app purchases will be able to set local territory pricing, which will not be impacted by these automatic price adjustments from that point onwards.
Rebecca was getting ready to start her work day at Apple this June when she heard that the US Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade. The decision would trigger laws banning or restricting abortion in 13 states, including Texas, where she lived. Gutted by the news, the Austin-based corporate employee debated skipping work, but pressed ahead.
As the day unfolded, Rebecca waited for Apple’s leaders to acknowledge the impact of the court’s decision on its workforce, particularly those like her living in states that were poised to outlaw abortion. Restrictions on abortion not only limit women’s reproductive choices but also can endanger the lives of anyone who needs emergency medical treatment while pregnant. She hoped the company would also publicly condemn the Supreme Court’s decision. All she got was a mass email reminding employees that their health plan covered out-of-state travel for medical care.
For weeks afterward, Rebecca heard nothing further from Apple management—until employees started calling for answers. But when managers in Texas held “listening sessions” about abortion concerns, they were at times worryingly evasive, she and other attendees told WIRED, and said company policy forbids workers—even those fearful of anti-abortion laws—from switching to remote work or transferring to an office in another state. (Rebecca asked that her real name be withheld because she fears losing her job.)
Apple is one of several large Silicon Valley companies that have expanded in or migrated to Texas over the past few years, putting down roots on very different political terrain than that in California. Now the company and its generally progressive-leaning workforce are reckoning with the spread of tighter restrictions and outright bans on abortion.
In 2021, Texas legislators passed a law known as SB8 that effectively outlawed abortions after six weeks by encouraging residents to sue anyone who helped a person access the procedure. At the time, most Apple employees were working remotely. But by the time Roe fell, further restricting abortion access in Texas, Apple was in the middle of a contentious return-to-office campaign. Meanwhile, construction of a $1 billion campus in northwest Austin, which the company has said may eventually host 15,000 workers, continued apace. Now employees were hearing that anyone based out of the company’s Texas offices who did not want to live under the state’s laws had to choose between their reproductive rights and their job. Those unable or unwilling to leave faced a potential minefield of health care decisions.
Many people in the US faced similar or worse hurdles after Roe was overturned: The lowest-income workers experience the highest rates of unintended pregnancies, and many lack health insurance. Lots of companies in tech and other sectors have said little about the court's decision. But for some Apple employees attracted by the company’s previous outspoken support for progressive social issues such as gay and transgender rights, its silence on the issue stung.
“A lot of people join Apple because Apple tries to task itself with doing better,” Rebecca says. “The reaction, or lack of reaction, was a huge slap in the face.” Some Texas employees felt scared and adrift, unsure whether they could transfer out of the state or how reliably the travel policy would protect them. Some hesitated to even ask managers about abortion access, fearing retaliation from bosses who might support restricting access to such care.
In one Apple division, some senior managers in Texas agreed to host listening sessions for employees to air concerns. They varied in size from one-on-one meetings up to group sessions with dozens of employees, according to Rebecca and two other attendees who asked to remain anonymous and allowed WIRED to review their notes. “I think there were enough rumblings within the organization that they had to react at some point,” one employee says. “Obviously it would have been better if it was proactive.”
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