Apple announces replacement program for 3TB hard drives in some iMac models

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Apple today announced a replacement program for the 3TB hard drive included in some 27-inch iMac models due to a concern that some of the components “may fail under certain conditions.” Apple doesn’t mention a specific product number, but notes that affected machines would have been sold between December 2012 and September 2013, which would apply to Apple’s late 2012 iMac model. Read more

Apple quietly pulls original iPad mini from web site and Apple Store

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Last week, above. Today, below.

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The original iPad mini has quietly disappeared from Apple’s web site, and is no longer available to purchase new from the Apple Store. Introduced in October 2012, the first iPad mini established the industrial design that was subsequently used in the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, as well as the larger but otherwise nearly identical iPad Air and iPad Air 2. Apple notably continued to sell the 16GB iPad mini as an entry-level model alongside two of its sequels, dropping its price to $299 in October 2013, then $249 in October 2014. In recent months, falling street prices for other models made the classic mini a tougher sell.

Apple’s discontinuation of the iPad mini leaves the remaining iPads as a completely 64-bit family, all using either A7 or A8X processors rather than the iPad mini’s aging A5. It also means that all remaining iPads have Retina displays and unified Wi-Fi + Cellular models. Refurbished iPad minis continue to be available from the Apple Store, and start at $209; new iPad minis will continue to be available at third-party resellers such as Amazon until they run out of stock.

Per 9to5Toys, Groupon currently has original iPads for $180 ‘New’ and Walmart offers them at a $50 discount over yesterday’s price. Meanwhile Best Buy’s CowBoom has used models for $115.

Thanks Michiel! Read more

Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman rants at Apple Music free trial, says pressured by Apple [Updated]

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Update: As we suspected, this appears to be a misunderstanding on Newcombe’s part. An Apple spokesperson told Rolling Stone that it is not threatening to remove music from its iTunes store if artists don’t agree to it’s streaming terms.

Anton Newcombe, frontman for Brian Jonestown Massacre, has posted a series of tweets attacking the fact that Apple is paying nothing to artists for streaming their music on Apple Music during the three-month free trial. His tweets claim that Apple told him that his music would be pulled from iTunes if he didn’t agree to the company’s terms for the streaming service.

The fact that Newcombe references a fake Twitter account in one of the tweets suggests that he may not have done due diligence on whatever was actually said to him. A misunderstanding may be more likely than a genuine threat to remove music from iTunes – especially as we already know that Apple won’t be streaming the entire iTunes library.

However, his comments that “the biggest company on earth wants to use my work to make money for 3 months and pay me nothing” andApple has more cash reserves than all of these nations yet they want to use my work for free” do reflect views expressed elsewhere in the music industry …  Read more

Developers currently unable to submit Watch apps due to App Store approval bug (update: fixed!)

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Update: The problem should now be resolved. Watch apps should upload as normal once again.

Developers are flocking to Apple’s developer forums today as the iTunes Connect submissions process is currently experiencing a glitch which makes it impossible for developers to submit apps that include Apple Watch extensions.

Rather than continuing submission process as normal, the system is incorrectly flagging up misuse of an Apple private framework called SockPuppetGizmo. Naturally, this is causing frustration in the developer community at the moment because it prevents apps from being submitted to the App Store.

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Apple Watch 2: Apple plans FaceTime camera, iPhone-free Wi-Fi, $1000+ models, similar battery

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Two months after the initial launch of the Apple Watch, and only a day following the device’s debut at Apple Stores, sources have revealed Apple’s considerations for the 2016 release of a second-generation model. According to multiple sources familiar with Apple’s plans, the Apple Watch 2 is planned to gain a video camera, a new wireless system for greater iPhone independence, and new premium-priced models. Interestingly, it will also feature similar battery life to its predecessor…

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Latest Slice estimates put U.S. Apple Watch sales at 2.8M as IHS analysis says $49 band costs Apple $2

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Slice Intelligence, which tracks online orders by scanning the email inboxes of more than 2M panel members, estimates that Apple has sold 2.79M Apple Watches in the USA, reports Reuters. The estimate does not include sales in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong or Japan.

Slice last month reported that around 1.5M U.S. orders were placed on the first day of pre-orders, with sales tailing off rapidly after this. KGI is estimating worldwide sales of 5-6M Watches in Q3, 20-30% down on earlier estimates.

Sales are likely to be boosted by the availability of in-store pickup as of this week, with global sales set to grow significantly following a launch in a second wave of countries later this month. Apple has not released any numbers, simply saying that it was “thrilled” by the popularity of the Watch …  Read more

Samsung asking US appeals court to reconsider last month’s ruling to uphold damages

Men pose with Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4 smartphones in photo illustration in Zenica

Mercury News reports that Samsung has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider the U.S Federal Circuit Court’s decision to uphold damages from Samsung to Apple over the company copying the iPhone. Samsung is asking that the Court of Appeals and a 12 judge roster to rehear its case, claiming that the 3 judge setup used earlier this year failed to adequately rule on the case.

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Report: Apple plans July retail revamp with new accessory displays, fewer but higher-quality items

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Apple is reportedly gearing up for retail changes next month that will introduce new accessory displays and reduce the quantity of third-party products. The report from Macotakara points to new accessory displays at Apple’s recently opened Upper East Side store (pictured above) and the store’s revamped design, noting that Apple plans to revamp the accessories at other stores in a “premium” manner starting next month. Part of the redesigned stores will include new accessory displays and packaging, according to the report: Read more

Apple takes $20 off its new wireless Beats Powerbeats2 in Apple Watch colors

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Earlier this week we noted that Apple has refreshed the Beats by Dre wireless Beats Powerbeats 2 earbuds with new colors aimed at Apple Watch Sport users. Today, Apple has updated its Beats headphones website to promote the new line of headphones along with a new price: $179, which is $20 less than the previous price at $199.

With its onboard storage for music and Bluetooth connection, Apple is promoting these headphones as a way to tap into listening to music with the Apple Watch without the need of a connected iPhone. Even with the ties to Apple and the new Apple Watch-centric marketing campaign, the new earphones will still work with other Bluetooth media players.

We noted earlier today on 9to5Toys that some retailers are offering as much as $50 off of the wireless headphones, and Amazon is selling the accessory at various discounted prices ranging from $169 to $189.

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Bigger, stronger iPhone could add Force Touch and battery life, eliminate #bendgate and camera bump

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A new report today adds to a recent note from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claiming an upcoming next-gen iPhone could include stronger aluminum adopted from the Apple Watch and potentially increase slightly in size to accommodate new components. Macotakara details the report noting that the next iPhone would be approximately 0.15mm longer and 0.2mm thicker, which isn’t much, but that could offer hints at what other changes Apple will make in the process… Read more