Sprint ‘iPhone for Life’ & ‘Easy Pay’ leasing/financing options coming to Apple Retail Stores

With the introduction of new iPhone financing options from wireless carriers, Apple has steadily been adding support in its stores for the latest payment options allowing customers to get an iPhone without paying the full price or even the $199 and up contract price.

Apple already supports financing plans from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile either online, in its retail stores, or both, and 9to5Mac has learned that Apple is preparing to soon offer Sprint’s iPhone financing and leasing plans as well with support rolling out at some stores as soon as today. Read more

Apple releases iOS 8.2 beta 2 for developers

iOS 8.2 beta 2Apple has just released the second beta of iOS 8.2 to developers, for testing, as an over-the-air update.  The beta can also be downloaded from Apple’s developer site. iOS 8.2 includes WatchKit, so developers can create apps and Glances for Apple Watch. You can read about how such apps work with our previous coverage of the WatchKit APIs. Apple released the first beta of iOS 8.2 a few weeks ago.

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Apple & IBM announce first batch of MobileFirst iOS apps for enterprise

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Following an announcement earlier this year that Apple was teaming up with IBM to deliver a number of enterprise solutions, today Apple has officially announced the first wave of iOS apps being released through the partnership. As part of IBM’s “MobileFirst for iOS,” Apple and IBM today announced 10 new apps designed specifically for businesses including banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and for governments and airlines.

“This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, and we can’t wait to see the exciting new ways organizations will put iOS devices to work,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done.”

The apps launching today through the partnership include Plan Flight and Passenger+ for the travel industry, Advise & Grow and Trusted Advice for the banking and financial industries, Retention (insurance), Case Advice and Incident Aware for government, Sales Assist and Pick & Pack for retail, and Expert Tech for telecommunications industries. Apple notes that the apps offer customizable experiences and are “managed and upgraded via cloud services from IBM specifically for iOS devices.”

In addition to the new apps, which Apple described in more detail in its press release below, Apple noted other services that will go hand-in-hand with the apps. Those include integration with IBM’s Mobile Platform and Enterprise solutions as well as AppleCare for the Enterprise, Apple’s new business specific tech support service introduced as part of the IBM deal.

Apple’s full press release is below:

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iPod Classics are hot gift item as surprise holiday demand pushes prices through the roof

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Apple kept making the iPod Classic for much longer than many expected, but when it finally called time over lack of components there were still plenty of people who wanted one. The Guardian reports that some iPod Classics are now selling for up to four times the original price.

Versions of the 160GB Classic – which can hold around 40,000 songs – are being sold as new via Amazon for up to £670. More than 3,000 of the models – the seventh, final version came out in 2010 – have been sold on eBay since the Classic was retired in October, most for between £350 and £500. Even refurbished older models now cost far more than the £229 for which the later generations retailed.

While The Guardian was looking at UK prices, the same phenomenon can be seen in the US on Amazon and eBay …  Read more

Apple fighting media requests to air Steve Jobs deposition from iPod antitrust suit

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As we noted earlier today, several media outlets have filed a motion that would allow them to air the videotaped deposition of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that was played for jurors in the ongoing iPod antitrust lawsuit. Now the Verge reports that Apple is fighting back against the motion, with the company’s lawyers accusing the media of wanting to see “a dead man.”

As Apple attorney Jonathan Sherman put it:

The marginal value of seeing him again, in his black turtleneck — this time very sick — is small. What they want is a dead man, and they want to show him to the rest of the world, because it’s a judicial record.

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Tim Cook met w/ Rev. Jesse Jackson ahead of income/diversity protest outside Apple HQ this week

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USA Today reports that civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson met with Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday ahead of a rally scheduled for Thursday outside Apple’s headquarters to raise awareness for a growing income gap and diversity issues in Silicon Valley. Apple also issued a statement and said Cook’s meeting with Jackson was “productive” and that it remains “deeply committed to diversity” and human rights issues: Read more

Did Apple drop Google Maps for good? Apple Maps now rolling out on iCloud.com

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Apple appears to have finally dropped Google Maps from iCloud.com, replacing it with its own in-house maps almost two years after removing Google Maps from iOS and most of its other products. Apple started slowly rolling out the feature to its iCloud beta site for select users earlier this year before pulling it, but it now seems to have replaced Google for all users of iCloud.com’s Find My iPhone feature (pictured above). Read more

Confirmed: Bose speakers returning to Apple Stores after removal earlier this year

Bose Apple Store

It looks like Apple will indeed be cashing in on Bose speakers and headphones sales in time for the remainder of the holiday shopping season. Yesterday rumors surfaced that Apple was readying its retail stores to carry Bose products once again, and today 9to5Mac has confirmed that Bose products, including the very popular SoundLink III/ Mini Bluetooth speakers, will once again be sold by Apple alongside its Beats-branded speakers and headphones that it acquired for $3 billion earlier this year… Read more

Apple TV adds revamped YouTube app (with ads), new channels from DailyMotion, UFC and more

Apple TV is receiving a flurry of new channels today. Most prominently is a brand new YouTube app, to bring the client up-to-date with some of the other platforms. The new app reflects the design of other set-top box clients, with easier access to subscriptions and search functions. For the security conscious, the YouTube app now uses OAuth to login rather than naive password entry (by visiting youtube.com/activate)

Unfortunately, this YouTube update also means that Apple TV users will start seeing ads for the first time on the platform. Naturally, some users will be disappointed by this addition — it is not possible to opt out of the update.

Aside from YouTube, Apple TV is also getting four entirely new channels from various providers. Rolling out today are channels for Conde Nast’s ‘The Scene’, ‘Fusion’, Dailymotion (a video upload site from France) and UFC for premium subscription fighting and martial arts content.

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Brooklyn finally getting an Apple Store, expected to open in April 2015

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After many years of speculation, the NY Post reports that Brooklyn is finally getting its first Apple Store, expected to open in April of next year. The above render shows what the building is expected to look like once renovations are complete.

The tech-products powerhouse has signed a long-term lease for a 20,000-square-foot store at 247 Bedford Ave. at the corner of North 3rd Street, brokerage community sources definitively revealed.

This will make the opening around five years since then Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz made a video plea direct to Steve Jobs …  Read more

Apple and Amazon refuse to make full federal workforce diversity data public

From Apple's diversity microsite

From Apple’s diversity microsite

Although Apple published its own employee diversity report back in August, USA Today reports that the company has refused to make public the full data from its federal diversity filing. While companies are required to file this information annually in a form known as EEO-1, they are not legally obliged to make the data public.

Facebook, eBay, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn are among the technology companies that have made public their EEO-1s […]

Chief among the companies that decided not to disclose their EEO-1s were Microsoft, Twitter, Apple and Amazon.

When USA Today pressed the matter, Twitter released its filing and Microsoft agreed to do so by the end of the month, but Apple and Amazon did not respond …  Read more