Faster Retina MacBook Pros w/ 16GB of RAM across the board teased by unverified Apple Store photo

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An image posted on a Chinese forum, claimed to have been taken inside of Apple’s new Paradise Walk store, indicates that Apple could be preparing to release an updated line of Retina MacBook Pros in the near-future. The image appears to be from one of Apple’s iPad Smart Signs within the store, and the sign advertises 15-inch MacBook Pros with technical specifications and features not found in the current lineup.

The first possibility is that this image is faked, but the other likely possibility is a system error on Apple’s part. There’s also room for this image to indicate an actual MacBook Pro lineup update coming in the near-future. The rumored specifications indicate that Apple will be bumping the standard 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro line from two models to three, and all will include 16GB of RAM as a standard option. Here are all the purported models:

  • 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 3.4GHz), 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 3.7GHz), 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics & NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M w/2GB Video Memory
  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 4.0GHz), 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M w/2GB Video Memory

For comparison, here is the current MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup:

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Apple Stores unify employee shirts as major customer service enhancements planned

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Apple is taking a small-step to unifying the attire of its U.S.-based Apple Store employees this upcoming week: the black shirts worn by Apple Store Business Team members for several years will be going into retirement, and all Apple Store employees will begin wearing the same, classic blue t-shirts as normally seen on the store sales floors. Is this a move from the handbook of Angela Ahrendts’ fashion background? Probably not. Sources say that the move happened in Europe a few months ago and the change-up is simply to unify the Apple Store teams as one. The business team will continue to exist in its current form (for now), so this is mostly just a visual change.

In other news, multiple sources also say that Apple is planning some significant operational changes within its stores to improve customer experience…

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NFC rumored for next iPhone for fourth year in a row, this time based on leaked circuit board

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A new iPhone is shipping in a few months, so that naturally means that there is talk of the new Apple device including NFC capabilities. This time, the claims come via website NoWhereElse.fr, which claims that the above printed circuit board is a legitimate iPhone 6 part that includes an NFC chip and an 802.11ac WiFi card among the usual other components. Why would Apple include NFC, an old technology far inferior to Bluetooth Low Energy? I’m not sure, so don’t count on it happening. You can see from the image above that the iPhone 6 part is quite similar to the current iPhone’s variant, and today’s leak does not tell us much more about what we already know is coming: a thinner, lighter device, with a larger and higher-resolution display, new sensors, and a faster processor. We’ve reported that at least the upcoming 4.7-inch model will take its bow in mid-September, while the 5.5-inch version is shipping later.

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Apple acquired BookLamp startup for $10-15 million earlier this year (Update: confirmed)

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Apple acquired a company called BookLamp earlier this year for somewhere between $10-15 million, according to information uncovered by TechCrunch.

The Idaho-based startup created what was referred to as “Pandora for books,” including a system known as the Book Genome Project that could recommend books based on analysis of the text and previous ratings of other books by users (very similar to Pandora’s Music Genome Project, which does the same thing for musical analysis).

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Bose files lawsuit against Beats Electronics over noise-cancelling technology patent

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Update: Statement from Bose regarding the complaint below the fold…

Bose has filed a legal complaint against Beats Electronics over the use of noise-cancelling technology used in their headphones, according to CNBC. Apple, of course, announced earlier this year plans to acquire the headphones maker in a $3 billion deal, which it expects to gain regulatory approval for by the end of September.

Re/code reports that Bose has filed a request with the International Trade Commission to ban the sale and import of certain Beats products. The following patents owned by Bose appear to be relevant in the complaint: Read more

iOS 8’s iPhoto to Photos app transition to ditch Journals, Books, and Slideshows

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Starting in iOS 8 beta 4, which was released this past Monday to developers, Apple has begun notifying users of the soon-to-be-defunct iPhoto for iOS to migrate their iPhoto data to the totally revamped Photos app in iOS 8, as part of Apple’s new photo strategy being rolled out this fall and early next year. While photo data can be migrated out of iPhoto, Apple warns that Journals, Slideshows and Book layouts will no longer be available going forward. Right now, Apple’s “Learn More” link appears to be dead.

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