‘The iPhone 6 Effect’ helping boost Asian economies by as much as 8.6 percent, say analysts

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Component orders by Apple for the iPhone 6 are a significant factor in the current thriving state of a number of Asian economies, say analysts and government officials cited by the WSJ.

Analysts expect companies from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea that supplied earlier versions of the iPhone to produce key components like displays, camera lenses and microprocessors. Already, some of those companies are announcing increased earnings or forecasts, and economists and analysts are talking about an Apple effect on whole sectors and economies …

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Spurious claim Apple will release 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones separately ‘to avoid competition’

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Supply-chain rumors are can be unreliable sources at the best of times, but never more so than when they claim to offer insight into Apple’s strategic plans. DigiTimes is claiming that Apple will be launching the 4.7- and 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 6 separately “to avoid competition between the two models.”

The different timetables have been set as Apple does not want to repeat the mistake it made in 2013 when it launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c simultaneously, said the sources.

Let’s take this one step at a time. First, what companies in the supply-chain know are how many orders have been placed with them for specific components. They don’t know what orders Apple may have placed with other suppliers for the same components, and they don’t even necessarily know in which product the parts will be used …  Read more

Apple seeds Safari 7.1 and 6.2 beta 2 to developers, asks developers to test password and credit card autofill

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Earlier this month Apple seeded the first beta versions of Safari 7.1 (for Mavericks) and 6.2 (for Mountain Lion) to developers. Tonight a second beta has been published. Interestingly, aside from the focus areas outlined with the previous beta, Apple is also requesting that developers taking this beta for a spin try out the password and credit card auto-fill feature.

The 7.1 and 6.2 updates are expected to be the last big updates to those specific versions of Apple’s browser before the release of OS X Yosemite, which ships with Safari 8. The 7.1/6.2 update features big changes to the WebKit engine and extensions systems built into Safari. You can find the full seed notes for this beta below:

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Apple announces August 2nd opening of Wuxi, China retail store

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Apple has officially announced plans to open its new Wuxi, China retail store on August 2nd, according to a listing on the company’s website.

The new establishment, which will be the 12th official Apple retail store in the country, will be located in the Center 66 Mall (pictured above). However, there don’t seem to be any photos of Apple’s new space available just yet, as the company still undoubtedly has some work to do before it’s ready for the public eye.

The Wuxi store, like the Chongqing store opening next week, is a continuation of Apple’s plan to increase its presence in China over the course of 2014 and 2015 under the guidance of new VP of Retail Angela Ahrednts.

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Report claims Swatch and Timex partnering up on iWatch, but don’t count on it

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Swatch’s design style clearly reflects Apple’s clean, uncluttered aesthetic

A new rumor that popped up today from VentureBeat claims that Apple is working with Swatch and Timex to create different styles of its upcoming iWatch. The rumor puts Apple’s wearable plans in-line with Google’s: the Mountain View company makes the Android Wear software that powers hardware from a variety of vendors.

While it’s true that Swatch teamed up with Microsoft to create an ill-fated smart watch in 2004, it doesn’t seem likely that Apple is poised to join forces with any third party to create its own entry to this market. Here’s why…

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Review: Gravitas from Henge Docks is a premium dock that ‘stays put’…almost (Video)

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I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t sell a premium dock for iOS devices. There’s such an attention to detail when it comes to product design at Apple, yet they continue to sell a dinky plastic dock for select devices. I’ve never been a fan of these plastic docks and have been in search of something with a little more class for a while now.

Recently, I came across Gravitas from Henge Docks. This is a weighted dock crafted from zinc alloy that has interchangeable inserts for all of my iOS devices. It’s also advertised as having the ability to “stay put” when undocking your device thanks to the hefty 2.5lbs of weight it’s packing. This is definitely one of the best docks I’ve used, but it does have a few shortcomings…

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Apple reportedly discussing mobile wallet plans with credit card companies, may launch with iPhone 6

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The Information has a new report out discussing Apple’s progress on a mobile wallet payments service. The post echoes reporting by 9to5Mac earlier in the year.

The report says the service may launch this fall, enabling iPhone users to pay for goods with their devices in retail outlets. Apple has apparently discussed the plans with credit card institutions, according to the report, as a user’s banking information “would essentially be uploaded to the wallet”. Apparently, Visa is already onboard with the project.

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OS X Yosemite planned for late Oct. as Apple preps 4K desktop & 12-inch Retina MacBook

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While iOS 8 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is set for a September launch, Apple is planning to bring its next-generation Mac software, OS X Yosemite, into the wild a month later, in October, according to several sources. Apple plans to continue releasing OS X Yosemite Developer Previews every two to three weeks until a final Developer Preview is seeded on September 29th, according to the people. Apple is then expected to finish up work on Yosemite in early October and release a golden master build around October 10th, the sources said. Apple is also finishing up preparations to release a version of OS X Yosemite beta tomorrow to the first one million people who signed up for the public beta.

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Apple ‘tentatively’ plans mid-September iPhone event as iOS 8 nears completion

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Apple is gearing up for its first major hardware and software launches of 2014. The Cupertino-based company is “tentatively” planning a keynote address in mid-September to announce the iPhone 6 and provide final details on iOS 8, according to sources briefed on the plans.

These people say that the second and third weeks of September are the mostly likely weeks for the event to be held, but they add that manufacturing uncertainties could alter the event’s timeframe. A decision has not been finalized, and sources made it clear that the plans are in flux.

The event will showcase at least the new iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen, the sources say, but a final decision on debuting the larger, 5.5-inch “phablet” model at the event has not been made. The 4.7-inch variant of the new phone is farther along in both internal testing and manufacturing preparation, the sources added.

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Opinion: Will the iPad be left behind in the shift to larger iPhones?

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With Apple reporting lower-than-expected iPad sales for the second quarter in a row, it’s likely that Tim Cook will be once again be called on to reassure investors that the decline in year-on-year sales won’t continue indefinitely.

Cook has been very bullish on the iPad, despite the numbers, pointing especially to growing sales in the education sector and the opportunity for tablet growth in enterprise.

The penetration in business is low, it’s only 20 percent. If you looked at the penetration of notebooks in business it would be over 60 percent. We think there is a substantial upside in business.”

I think he’s right, especially with the IBM partnership. I mentioned in my opinion piece then that increasing penetration in enterprise could also help drive consumer migration from Android, as it gives people exposure to iOS devices. But the impact this has could well be offset by the iPhone 6 …  Read more

Hands-on: Fantastical 2.1 for iPhone & iPad adds snooze, invitation/birthday notifications, keyboard shortcuts, more

We’ve already taken a close look at Fantastical 2 for iPhone and Fantastical 2 for iPad, and today Flexibits is releasing Fantastical 2.1 for both platforms with a list of new features and discounting Fantastical for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Among the list of changes include new snooze functionality, event invitation notifications and badges, notifications for upcoming birthdays, external keyboard shortcut support, and more. Below we’ll take a look at each new feature added to Fantastical for iPhone and iPad… Read more

Apple releasing OS X Yosemite public preview tomorrow for free Beta Program members

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As we reported earlier this week, Apple has shared that it will open the public beta version of OS X Yosemite tomorrow, July 24th, for users wanting to preview the upcoming version of the Mac operating system ahead of its release targeted for this fall. Users can sign up to be an OS X Beta Program member on Apple’s Beta Program site.

Apple says the OS X Yosemite beta will be updated less frequently for the OS X Beta Program than the version via the OS X Developer Program, but users running the public beta of OS X Yosemite will be able to install the final release of OS X Yosemite over the beta version when it’s readied for release in the fall. The beta version available to OS X Beta Program members will also allow users to easily submit feedback for issues with the Mac operating system ahead of its official public debut. Read more