iOS Devices ▪ July 9

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Apple today uploaded a pair of new ads to YouTube. The first ad, entitled “Hardware & Software,” showcases the fact that Apple is responsible for both major aspects of the iPhone, making for a more seamless and stable experience. The obvious goal here is to advertise the fact that with an Android device, you get hardware made by a manufacturer and software made by Google.

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T-Mobile’s mission to change the entire U.S. wireless industry took another step forward this morning. In an Uncarrier Amped move dubbed ‘Mobile without Borders‘, T-Mobile announced that it will offer its American customers free telephone call roaming to and from Mexico and Canada. For the first time, it will also include free 4G LTE data. Postpaid, prepaid and business customers will be able to make use of it from Wednesday, July 15th. It’s a killer move, and effectively erases the virtual borders between the U.S. and its neighboring countries.

Unlike the current Simple Global feature, when a T-Mo subscriber crosses the Mexican or Canadian borders, they won’t be reduced down to EDGE speeds. They retain 4G LTE connectivity seamlessly, providing there is LTE coverage in that area. T-Mo partnered with carriers in those two countries to pull this move off. There’s only one small asterisk — the feature is being offered in specific cities within Canada and Mexico — as discussed below…

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Apple alerted developers to some App Store price adjustments earlier in the week and the alternative price tier details have now been posted. Apple has added other alternative price tiers in the past, but what’s interesting with these changes in particular is is that they are specifically targeted at offering really low price options for apps in a select few countries.

The new tiers enable developers to set prices for their apps way below the usual $0.99 price floor in India,  Russia, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey. (Special pricing for China has existed for some time.)

For example, using the ‘Alternative Price Tier A’ means that apps are priced at 10 Indian Rupees. This is equivalent to about 16 cents in USD. Before the addition, the lowest price developers could charge in India was 60 rupees, which is about 96 cents.

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iOS Devices ▪ July 8

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Following reports that said Apple had begun manufacturing the next-generation iPhone in late June, a new report by the Wall Street Journal is oloorroborating the story. It says that Apple is asking suppliers to produce a record number of ‘iPhone 6S’ units for the upcoming fall launch, topping 90 million units by the end of the year. Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the equivalent quarter in 2014, spurred by the success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The report also matches previous rumors that the new iPhone will feature Force Touch, which 9to5Mac extensively covered back in May. The iPhone 6S is expected to look almost identical to the iPhone 6 with improvements focusing on the camera, new pressure sensitivity screens and internal component improvements.

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Using data by Mixpanel, Apple Music seems to be quickly driving adoption of Apple’s latest iteration of its operating system, iOS 8.4. The chart shows that, in just one week, iOS 8.4 usage now makes up more than 40% of all iOS device usage. This is a rather staggering rate of uptake for a point-release. Clearly, the interest and advertisement around Apple Music is having an effect on update rates. Obviously, this only tracks OS adoption and says nothing about how well Apple Music itself is being received.

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