Apple’s Back to School sale returns to Australia and New Zealand w/ gift card promo

AU Apple Back to Uni

Apple’s annual Back to School sale in Australia and New Zealand has gone live with a promotion for qualifying students to receive Apple Store credit with the purchase of a Mac, iPad, or iPhone. Similar to last year, the Back to School sale includes the usual education pricing on Macs and iPads, but this year Apple is including Apple Store gift cards rather than App Store gift cards like last year. Read more

The Best iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus Battery Cases

It’s a great time to buy an iPhone 6 battery case. Last year, there were zero Apple-certified options, but today, there are a handful of good to great choices at various price points. They may look similar to each other in the picture above, but the sea of black shells masks some important differences in iPhone protection, battery recharging capabilities, and pricing. Two stand out as particularly excellent options for the iPhone 6, and we also have a good pick for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Which iPhone 6 battery case should you buy? The most recent update to this piece on March 31, 2015 added new options! Read on for all the details…

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Tim Cook insists iPad prospects still rosy despite 18% drop in sales, 22% fall in revenue

ipad-sales

Apple’s press release yesterday noted “all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store,” while remaining silent on iPad sales. The reason? The slide continued last quarter, with year-on-year sales down 18%, and a reduction in average selling price meaning revenue was down 22%.

Tim Cook acknowledges that the switch to larger-screened iPhones mean the iPad is being squeezed from both sides.

There’s probably some level of cannibalization that’s going on, with the Mac on one side and the phone on the other.

It’s also undeniable that people upgrade their iPads less frequently than their iPhones–Cook putting the number at “somewhere between” the 2-year cycle of the iPhone and 5-year cycle of Mac–meaning that Apple needs to find a continual stream of customers buying an iPad for the first time …  Read more

Apple releases iOS 8.1.3 software update w/ stability improvements, reduces space required to update

iOS 8.1.3

Apple released the iOS 8.1.3 software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users today. The update is available over-the-air through the Software Update section of the Settings app. The update includes the usual bug fixes and performances improvements, and notably claims to reduce the amount of free storage required to perform the update. Read more

Anticipated iPhone numbers would see Apple threatening Samsung’s smartphone lead

samsung

If Apple does indeed report iPhone sales in line with analyst expectations of 66.5M units, the company could be closing in on the market share lead Samsung has held in the smartphone market since 2011, reports the WSJ.

Research company Canalys notes that Apple’s anticipated growth in iPhone sales coincides with a dramatic drop in sales of Samsung smartphones.

Samsung’s share has been falling, hurt by lackluster sales of its flagship models and the rise of homegrown brands in fast-growing emerging markets. In the third quarter, Samsung shipped about 78 million smartphones, about 25% share of the global market, down from 34% a year earlier, Canalys said.

While that still leaves Samsung well ahead for now, it’s a trendline which could see Apple regain the lead it once held …  Read more

Review: OtterBox’s Resurgence Power Case ruggedizes and doubles the iPhone 6’s battery

resurgence-1

The OtterBox name is synonymous with ruggedized iPhone cases, but not with battery cases — something the company worked to change with the iPhone 4/4S Defender iON Series, and the iPhone 5/5s Resurgence Power Case. iON aimed to thoroughly protect an iPhone while automating the recharge process, while Resurgence reduced the automation and protection to make daily use easier. At CES this month, OtterBox launched a new version called the Resurgence Power Case for iPhone 6 ($100), and it’s been redesigned with a collection of small but welcome tweaks.

Whether you’ll prefer Resurgence to Incipio’s excellent offGRID Express (review) depends on what you’re looking for — ruggedization or raw power for the dollar. Like many companies, OtterBox is promising to double the iPhone 6’s battery, but it also has some currently unique benefits to offer. Read on for what makes OtterBox’s latest battery case special.

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Apple now selling more iPhones in China than in US, say analysts

apple-china

Tim Cook said in October that it was “just a matter of time” before China overtook the USA as its biggest market, and it seems that time may be arriving sooner than expected – at least as far as the iPhone is concerned. The Financial Times reports that analysts expect tomorrow’s Q1 earnings call to confirm that Apple sold more iPhones in China than in the US.

Analysts at UBS estimate that China accounted for 36 per cent of iPhone shipments in the most recent quarter, compared with 24 per cent for the US. During the same period last year, 29 per cent of units were sold in the US and 22 per cent were in China, UBS said.

The view was supported by Creative Strategies, which forecast that Apple has sold around 2M more iPhones in China than in the US in the final calendar quarter of 2014 (Apple’s financial Q1) …  Read more

Korean report supports KGI prediction that Samsung will make 75% of A9 chips for next iPhone

samsung-Xian-fab.

Korean news site MK Business News (via Reuters) is reporting that Samsung will make 75% of the A9 chip for the next iPhone. This matches an earlier detailed prediction by KGI Research, which stated that the balance of the chips would be made by Global Foundry, and is in line with a statement by Samsung which last year confirmed it as a major supplier of the new chip.

The Samsung-fabbed chips will, says the report, be made in the USA …  Read more

Missouri state rep. proposes law requiring customers to show ID with Apple Pay

tim cook death stare

[Heavy sigh]

Determined to stymie the inevitable flood of fraudulent transactions using Apple Pay and other mobile wallets (/s), one Missouri lawmaker has proposed a new law that would require shoppers to pull out a photo ID and prove they truly are who they say they are before they will be allowed to continue with the process of scanning their unique fingerprint on a high-tech piece of equipment designed specifically for the purpose of verifying their identity without the need for a physical identification card.

From a local report:

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