Today

AAPL: 112.07

-0.27
Stock Chart

A week after IDC estimated worldwide Apple Watch Q2 sales of 3.6M units, a large Chinese app analytics company has reportedly measured more than 1M Watches in use in China. TalkingData has access to huge volumes of data as the apps it monitors include WeChat, which has more than half a billion active users, reports Business Insider …  expand full story

A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.

After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.

Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded …  expand full story

Yesterday

AAPL: 112.34

4.62
Stock Chart

Apple officially confirmed its Apple Music Festival two weeks ago, announcing that the event will take place from September 19th through September 28th in London. At the time, the company announced artists such as One Direction,  Disclosure, Pharrell, and Florence + The Machine would be performing at the event. This evening, however, Apple has announced a handful of new artists for its annual festival…

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With the recent announcement of the expected iPhone 6S and Apple TV 4 event, we’ve got a lot to talk about this week. From rumors to reporting, there’s no shortage of iPhone and Apple TV details to discuss. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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Starting with the iPhone 3GS, every new iPhone has started with 16GB of storage as a base model — a capacity that has come under increasing fire as both videos and apps have grown in size. Despite new capabilities and the presence of 4K video recording in the new iPhones, sources say that the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will retain the same storage tiers as the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB. On-contract pricing will also be the same as the 2014 models: $199, $299, and $399 for the iPhone 6S, versus $299, $399, and $499 for the iPhone 6S Plus. We previously posted images of pre-production next-generation iPhone components that indicated that the 16GB option could remain.

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The fourth-generation Apple TV, set to be unveiled at an event on September 9th and released in October, will feature a mix of new and familiar hardware, according to reliable sources. While the new device will sport a much faster processor than the current Apple TV, a color-matched remote control, and a somewhat larger body, it will lack support for 4K video streaming and have the same basic ports as the third-generation model…

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Live sports on Apple TV has always been a tricky matter as networks typically keep major sporting events on tradition channels, but we’re slowly starting to see more and more major sporting events officially available on Internet streaming services. CBS Sports is making waves in this space especially as it announced this week that it will stream two regular season NFL games, four playoff games, and even Super Bowl 50 on Apple TV, iPad, and other devices this season.  expand full story

Over the weekend 9to5Mac reported that the long-awaited Apple TV 4 hardware will be priced under $200 with executives deciding between a “starting price point of either $149 or $199”, and today Buzzfeed’s
John Paczkowski has corroborated that information. Apple is said to have settled on the $149 price point for Apple TV 4, which is higher than Apple TV 2 and 3’s original $99 price point but lower than Apple TV 1’s original $299 price. Apple TV 3, which we reported will remain in the lineup, was lowered to $69 (with an even lower street price) earlier this year. expand full story

Kantar has refuted gloomy suggestions that record sales of the iPhone 6/Plus may make it tougher for Apple to persuade customers to upgrade, saying that its data “suggests Apple has ample opportunity for upgrades in Q4 2015 and 2016.”

The pessimistic view put forward in some quarters goes like this. There was a lot of pent-up demand for larger-screened iPhones. Everyone who wanted one has now bought one, so upgrade rates will now tail off significantly.

Kantar says that this view ignores the fact that people will continue to upgrade from older models. It points out that the average U.S. iPhone user upgrades every 25 months – and 31% of owners bought their current iPhone more than two years ago …  expand full story

Apple’s official list of participating banks and credit unions supporting Apple Pay has grown by more than a dozen today. This means that even more people can start using Apple Pay to pay for purchases using the iPhone 6 or Apple Watch at hundreds of thousands of participating merchants. Apple Pay also allows in-app purchases on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 in addition to iPhone 6. These are the latest banks to join the Apple Pay party: expand full story

A rough date has been set for round five of the battle over Samsung’s infringements of Apple patents in five of its products. The Recorder reports that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has said that the revised damages will be determined by a jury trial in March or April 2016.

In case you need a refresher, the story so far is this. In round 1, the first jury trial, Apple was awarded $1B in damages. In round 2, Judge Koh vacated $450M of that award and ordered a retrial to determine a revised sum. Round 3 was that jury trial, with Apple awarded a lower sum of $290M – making a revised total of $930M. In round 4, the US appeals court ruled that while Samsung did indeed copy iOS features, it should not have been penalised for copying the general look of the iPhone, and therefore the damages should be reduced. The new trial, to revise those damages, will be round 5.

Unless, that is, the Supreme Court intervenes …  expand full story

September 1

AAPL: 107.72

-5.04
Stock Chart

Luke Wood, left, pictured with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (photo: Kevin Mazur/Wire)

Beats President Luke Wood, who runs the audio products side of the business, told Mashable that the acquisition was a great fit because the company shared DNA with Apple.

We’re looking at our little audio slice of the world and trying to focus on creating a stellar product experience. I think that’s also the fundamental DNA of everything Steve wanted to accomplish at Apple. By product experience, that includes ID, design, technology, innovation, simplicity. Those are always things that have been fundamental to our DNA, too.

He said that the early days of low-quality digital music resulted in a ‘lost generation’ for premium audio, but that we now live in a very different world …  expand full story

A planning permission meeting for a new Apple Store in Memphis has seemingly revealed more information about Apple’s plans for its retail stores. According to the Apple representative, the Memphis project represents one of the first ‘next generation’ Apple Store designs that Apple is rolling out around the world, starting in the fall. The Memphis store will be part of the first rollout of the new look stores in the US.

So what does the ‘next generation’ Apple Store look like?

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Apple could be considering not just a return to glass-backed iPhones, but even replacing the aluminum backs of iMacs and monitors with glass at some stage, reveals a newly-granted patent published today. One of the illustrations appears to show an iMac-style device, while others show something looking like an iPhone (below) …  expand full story

Users of Apple Pay in the UK can now spend an extra £10 per contactless transaction, bringing the limit up to a total of £30, thanks to new contactless policy. Until today, the maximum spend on almost all Apple Pay transactions was £20. The £30 total now exceeds the average cost of a supermarket trip making it possible for UK Apple users to take advantage of Apple Pay at more places.

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