Apple creating a smaller version of iconic Shanghai store as promised Chinese retail expansion continues

Pudong, Shanghai, store left;

Pudong, Shanghai, store left; latest Chongqing store right

Apple is creating in Chongqing, China, what appears to be a smaller version of its iconic glass cylinder Apple Store in Shanghai. ifo Apple Store shared a series of photos as the wraps came off what is set to be Apple’s third retail store in the Chongqing region, which has a total population of more than 28 million people.

Workers dismantled the huge steel structure that has been covering the entrance for nearly the past year, revealing a 30-foot tall glass structure that will lead to the underground store. The entrance is set in a plaza and surrounded by tall buildings, a setting similar to the [Shanghai] store, but on a smaller scale.

The first Apple Store in Chongqing opened in July of last year, and a second one is under construction. More photos of the latest store can be seen below …  Read more

Popularity of the iPhone 6/Plus sees Apple make market share gains around the world – Kantar

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Worldwide smartphone sales data from Kantar shows that strong iPhone 6 sales helped Apple achieve market share gains in all but one of the nine countries surveyed. iOS increased its market share in the US, UK, China, Australia, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – with Japan the sole exception.

In the US, Apple’s share of the smartphone market jumped 4.3% year-on-year in the three months ending in November to 47.4%. No surprise that the iPhone 6 was the best-selling phone in the country, capturing 19% of all smartphone sales …  Read more

Monster files lawsuit against Beats Electronics claiming Iovine and Dre stole headphone tech

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Beats Electronics has definitely faced its share of lawsuits after being acquired by Apple, but today yet another company has announced that it’ll be taking the electronics maker to court. Rival Monster has filed a claim against Beats that alleges the latter stole its headphone tech.

The original Beats headphones were designed in conjunction with Monster, but Monster CEO Noel Lee says that Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre took what they learned from his company—and the technology that powered the headphones—then simply slapped Dre’s name on it.

You can see the full complaint below:

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Apple’s next major Mac revealed: the radically new 12-inch MacBook Air

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Apple is preparing an all-new MacBook Air for 2015 with a radically new design that jettisons standards such as full-sized USB ports, MagSafe connectors, and SD card slots in favor of a markedly thinner and lighter body with a higher-resolution display. Sources within Apple, who have used internal prototype versions of the upcoming computer, have provided in-depth details about the machine, and our exclusive artist renditions of the revamped MacBook Air provide the first close look at Apple’s first major step in mobile Mac computing since the Retina MacBook Pro launch in 2012.

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Misfit introduces Bolt, its smart light bulb w/ sleep tracking device integration

BoltWe saw Misfit introduce a unique, luxury version of its Shine fitness and sleep tracking wearable with Swarovski at CES yesterday, and today Misfit is launching Bolt—its first smart bulb. Misfit describes Bolt as ” a wirelessly connected color-changing light bulb that lets users personalize their home lighting.” Misfit points out that its Bolt connected light bulbs won’t require a hub and actually integrate with the company’s existing sleep tracking devices (Shine, Flash, Beddit) to gently wake you up with lighting during light sleep. Read more

Apple now selling SIM-free unlocked iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the US, from $649

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 10.32.05As we reported yesterday, Apple is now selling contract-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in retail stores and online. Following historic pattern, the 16 GB base model iPhone 6 costs $649 with higher tiers costing $100 extra. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $749.

Unlocked iPhones can be activated for use any carrier, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile. Apple usually launches unlocked models of their phones a couple of months after normal debut, but this year it seems slightly delayed. This may reflect continued strong demand (and hence, low supply) of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus generation. Unlocked iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ship in 3 – 5 business days. For comparison, most subsidised options ship in 1 business day.

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Belkin expanding WeMo smart home range with four new sensors, as BeeWi plans to compete

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Belkin has announced four new products for its WeMo home automation range, with a focus on home security. You won’t be able to get your hands on them for a while, though: they aren’t set to go on sale until the second half of the year.

All four new products are sensors, capable of sending alerts to the WeMo app and triggering other WeMo devices such as switches, plug sockets and lightbulbs …  Read more

Apple’s unreleased iBeacon hardware exposed in user manual published by FCC

Way back in July, Apple registered FCC certification for a new piece of iBeacon Bluetooth hardware. Naturally, 9to5Mac covered the release of wireless certification documents for the hardware. It was unclear by those filings the nature of the product, whether it was targeted at use in Apple Stores, some form of developer testing equipment or something else entirely. The product was never made publicly available for purchase, for unknown reasons.

However, time has elapsed such that the rest of Apple’s submitted documents are now available to the public. Vitally, this includes a user manual which immediately signals that this iBeacon hardware was meant for developers, presumably to test iBeacon integration in their own apps. It’s unclear, though, if this is meant to be used ‘in the wild’. Read on for an exposition on the workings of this mysterious device.

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New password-hacking tool for iCloud claims to evade Apple’s brute-force protections

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Update: We are now receiving reports that the vulnerability has been patched. People trying to use the tool are apparently now being correctly locked out from repeated password attempts.

A new tool submitted to GitHub claims to be able to perform password dictionary attacks on any iCloud account, seemingly able to evade detection from Apple’s rate-limiting security that is supposed to prevent such dictionary attacks from happening. In September, Apple reported it had closed one such hole that allowed brute-force attacks to occur.

The sourcecode for the tool has been released onto GitHub. Upon inspection, the tool is really rather crude in its complexity. It simply tries every possible word in its 500-long word-list as the password for a given iCloud account email. This means whilst it will succeed “100%” at trying 500 times over, the tool is by no means guaranteed to succeed at cracking your password.

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Apple hit with lawsuit over shrinking size of usable space in base model iPhones following larger iOS 8 updates

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Just as one judge dismissed a class action case again Apple yesterday, today Siliconbeat reports that Apple will face a new class action case claiming iOS 8 takes up too much of the iPhone’s overall storage capacity. The case was filed in a Bay Area federal court this week and claims that iOS 8 can take up as much as 23.1 percent of an iOS device’s storage depending on the model: Read more