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This week on AppleInsider: Apple's record Q3, 'Apple Car' news, Back to School promo & more

Apple once again shattered corporate records in announcing its third quarter financial results, but some of the more interesting news this week percolated under the surface, hinting at long-term plans and trends.




Apple hires former Chrysler executive, stirs car rumors



On Monday it was discovered that Doug Betts —a former manufacturing and quality control executive at Chrysler —was hired by Apple earlier in the month. A now-missing LinkedIn profile identified Betts as joining Apple's "Operations" team.

The hire further fueled claims that Apple is developing a full-fledged car, whether simply an electric model or a self-driving one. The project is believed to be in the works under the codename "Titan," and pulling in talent not just from across the auto and battery industries, but other Apple divisions that are complaining about the lost manpower.

Apple online services collapse under VMA traffic on Beats 1






Several Apple online services were hit with a major outage on Tuesday. Only some users were affected, but those people lost access to things such as iTunes, the App Store, Apple Music, and even OS X's Software Update tool.

The downtime coincided with the announcement of MTV's Video Music Awards nominees on Beats 1, suggesting that Apple was unprepared for the amount of server traffic the event would generate. Beats 1 has mostly held up under demand so far, although the station was off-air for half an hour on launch day.

Apple reaps $49.6 billion in fiscal Q3






Apple reported its highest-ever June quarter revenue, totaling $49.6 billion. The figure was linked primarily to sales of 47.5 million iPhones and 4.7 million Macs, since iPad sales slipped year-over-year to 10.9 million.

During a conference call with analysts, Apple executives declined to reveal Watch sales, claiming only that they beat the first-generation iPhone and iPad launches, and actually peaked in June despite rumors of a collapse. One research firm, Canalys, estimated that Apple sold about 4.2 million Watches.

2015 Back to School promotion drops gift cards for Beats headphones






Thursday saw Apple announce a later-than-expected Back to School promotion, offering a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones with a new Mac, and the option of spending another $100 to get a wireless set. The deal is open to anyone qualifying for an Apple educational discount and ends on Sept. 18.

Traditionally the Back to School promotion has involved more versatile gift cards. Apple also previously offered a bonus with iPhone and iPad purchases, and it's unclear why Apple would de-emphasize those products.

Lowest Prices Ever on 13" MacBook Pros and iMac 5Ks






Also for the Back to School season, AppleInsider has lined up some unbeatable deals on Macs from Apple's top authorized resellers. For the next 48 hours, readers can take advantage of deals that give away Free AppleCare and instant discounts on all of Apple's standard 13" MacBook Pros configurations, or up to $200 off custom configurations. A similar offer knocks $40-$289 off all iMac 5Ks and then throws in a Free AppleTV and Free Canon PIXMA AirPrint-ready all-in-one printer (or your choice of alternative accessories).

These deals and many others are available for a limited time only. For the lowest prices anywhere on the remainder of Apple's other product lines, check out our Price Guides at prices.appleinsider.com and our Deal Tracker at deals.appleinsider.com.

AppleInsider podcast



Subjects for debate on this week's podcast included Apple's quarterlies, Apple Watch sales, the iPhone 6s, and thoughts on the newest iOS 9 beta.