Possible Apple-Alibaba partnership could lead to greatly accelerated rollout of Apple Pay in China

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The potential partnership between Apple and Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba could facilitate a far more rapid rollout of Apple Pay in the country than if Apple goes it alone, suggests a piece in the WSJ. Tim Cook first revealed that he was in talks with the company at the WSJ Digital conference last month.

One possible scenario is for Alibaba’s financial affiliate, which owns the Alipay electronic-payment business in China, to provide back-end services for Apple’s Apple Pay payment system, allowing iPhone users to pay with Apple Pay using the money from their Alipay accounts, Mr. Tsai said.

Such an arrangement would be significant for two reasons …  Read more

Details on Apple’s enterprise push with IBM emerge as company courts app developers & clients

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A new report from Reuters citing sources at Apple familiar with the company’s plans for future corporate offerings has unveiled new details on the Cupertino corporation’s efforts to recruit business clients and software developers. According to these sources, Apple is currently courting companies such as Citigroup, ServiceMax, and PlanGrid (among others) to augment its current IBM enterprise agreement.

The exact nature of the proposed partnerships between these companies hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the general idea is similar to the IBM arrangement. ServiceMax, a company that creates solutions for managing field technicians, and PlanGrid, which allows construction workers to share blueprints with each other, will both agree to roll out Apple hardware with custom software to their clients.

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WSJ shares full video of Tim Cook’s interview on Apple Pay, Apple Watch, TV and more

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The Wall Street Journal has posted the full-length video of its recent interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, in which he discusses about a wide range of topics including the Apple Watch, Apple Pay, doing a TV the right way and more. The roughly half-hour interview took place at the WSJ.D Live global technology conference in October. Read more

Apple assembler Pegatron reportedly ramping up iPhone 6 production, adding iPhone 6 Plus to meet demand

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Although the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launched almost two months ago, availability for Apple’s flagship smartphones can still be hit or miss even from Apple’s own stores. Recent waves of international launches certainly haven’t helped supply meet demand, but Nikkei Asian Review reports that electronics manufacturer Pegatron is expanding production capacity to handle strong global demand for the iPhone 6. Read more

iPhone 6 & 6 Plus increase iOS enterprise share at the expense of Android

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Good Technology is out with its latest report examining share of mobile platforms in the enterprise and in it noted that iOS was able to grow its market share following the introduction of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The increase from 67% last quarter to 69% during Q3 isn’t a huge one, but it’s notable given it comes at the expense of Android OS just over a month into sales of the new Apple devices. Read more

Apple looking to tap academic research expertise as it opens office in Cambridge, England

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Apple is opening its first office in Cambridge, England, close to the city’s world-famous university, according to a report in Business Weekly.

The Californian-based business is believed to have identified 90 Hills Road for its Cambridge city centre offices and R & D function. With Grade A office space at a premium in Cambridge, the US giant would probably start with around 20 staff but have capacity to gear up to as many as 40 in that space.

The offices overlook the Cambridge University botanical gardens …  Read more

Apple blurs lines between online and retail stores with revamped product support service

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With new Senior Vice President of Retail Angela Ahrendts in charge of operations, Apple is further blurring the lines between its online and physical retail store services. We reported earlier this year on Ahrendts’s plans to more seamlessly integrate both paths of Apple retail, and now the Cupertino-based company is rolling out a revamped Genius Bar and product support reservation system.

The new system eliminates the pre-existing separation between getting support for Apple products online and in-store. Previously, users could use Apple’s online support panel to receive phone, chat, or forums-based support. The creation of Genius Bar in-store appointments was handled via a separate system…

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Upcoming Bluetooth Apple-branded Beats Solo2 headphones revealed by FCC

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Apple and its Beats by Dre group seem to be close to announcing a new pair of headphones: a Bluetooth version of their popular Solo2 headphones. Earlier this year, Beats launched the Solo2 wired earphones as a cheaper alternative to the Studio cans. Today, a wireless version has been revealed thanks to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) testing department.

As can be seen in the image above from today’s FCC filing, the design of the wireless model is akin to the wired model. The only difference appears to be the Bluetooth connectivity. The documents specify that Bluetooth 4.0 Low-Energy technology is utilized.

Interestingly, these documents indicate that these headphones are Apple-branded:

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GT Advanced claims Apple used ‘bait-and-switch strategy’ and said to ‘put on your big boy pants and accept the agreement’

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Following a court order that documents be unsealed regarding the ill-fated partnership between Apple and sapphire crystal glass maker GT Advanced, a number of interesting anecdotes surrounding the tumultuous relationship have been exposed. In an unedited affidavit, GT Advanced COO Daniel Squiller claimed that Apple used a classic “bait-and-switch” strategy to secure its deal with the now-bankrupt supplier. Read more

Nest Mobile iOS app pulled from App Store following crashing issue

Nest Mobile

Update: Looks resolved…

The official Nest Mobile app for iPhone and iPad appears to have been removed from the App Store for the time being following complaints from users that the latest version of the app crashes at launch. The Nest Mobile app is used to remotely interface with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector from the iPhone and iPad.

Nest has acknowledged the issue via Twitter with a message regarding the software bug: “We’re currently investigating an issue causing the Nest iOS app version 4.4.0 to quit unexpectedly. We’ll provide a status update shortly.” Nest founder and CEO (and former Apple exec) Tony Fadell also acknowledged the issue on Twitter offering an apology to a user.

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