Report claims Swatch and Timex partnering up on iWatch, but don’t count on it (Update: Swatch denies)

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 4.20.34 PM

Swatch’s design style clearly reflects Apple’s clean, uncluttered aesthetic

Update: Swatch has denied the claim, in a statement to Reuters.

A new rumor that popped up today from VentureBeat claims that Apple is working with Swatch and Timex to create different styles of its upcoming iWatch. The rumor puts Apple’s wearable plans in-line with Google’s: the Mountain View company makes the Android Wear software that powers hardware from a variety of vendors.

While it’s true that Swatch teamed up with Microsoft to create an ill-fated smart watch in 2004, it doesn’t seem likely that Apple is poised to join forces with any third party to create its own entry to this market. Here’s why…

Read more

Apple reportedly discussing mobile wallet plans with credit card companies, may launch with iPhone 6

touchid

The Information has a new report out discussing Apple’s progress on a mobile wallet payments service. The post echoes reporting by 9to5Mac earlier in the year.

The report says the service may launch this fall, enabling iPhone users to pay for goods with their devices in retail outlets. Apple has apparently discussed the plans with credit card institutions, according to the report, as a user’s banking information “would essentially be uploaded to the wallet”. Apparently, Visa is already onboard with the project.

Read more

Apple ‘tentatively’ plans mid-September iPhone event as iOS 8 nears completion

iPhone 6

Apple is gearing up for its first major hardware and software launches of 2014. The Cupertino-based company is “tentatively” planning a keynote address in mid-September to announce the iPhone 6 and provide final details on iOS 8, according to sources briefed on the plans.

These people say that the second and third weeks of September are the mostly likely weeks for the event to be held, but they add that manufacturing uncertainties could alter the event’s timeframe. A decision has not been finalized, and sources made it clear that the plans are in flux.

The event will showcase at least the new iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen, the sources say, but a final decision on debuting the larger, 5.5-inch “phablet” model at the event has not been made. The 4.7-inch variant of the new phone is farther along in both internal testing and manufacturing preparation, the sources added.

Read more

Opinion: Will the iPad be left behind in the shift to larger iPhones?

main

With Apple reporting lower-than-expected iPad sales for the second quarter in a row, it’s likely that Tim Cook will be once again be called on to reassure investors that the decline in year-on-year sales won’t continue indefinitely.

Cook has been very bullish on the iPad, despite the numbers, pointing especially to growing sales in the education sector and the opportunity for tablet growth in enterprise.

The penetration in business is low, it’s only 20 percent. If you looked at the penetration of notebooks in business it would be over 60 percent. We think there is a substantial upside in business.”

I think he’s right, especially with the IBM partnership. I mentioned in my opinion piece then that increasing penetration in enterprise could also help drive consumer migration from Android, as it gives people exposure to iOS devices. But the impact this has could well be offset by the iPhone 6 …  Read more

First look at Fleksy’s upcoming keyboard launching alongside iOS 8

In addition to launching a redesigned version on Android, Fleksy today has given us a first look at its upcoming keyboard offering for Apple’s iOS 8. iOS 8 launches this fall with several new iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch features, including the ability for developers to launch custom system-wide keyboards. Fleksy previously announced that it is working on a keyboard for iOS 8 and has opened up signups for a beta, but today the company provided us with the first images and some new details…

Read more

Apple patent granted today shows dockable ‘iTime’ watch concept as well as conventional smartwatch

itime

A patent application filed by Apple three years ago and approved today illustrates a new twist on the iWatch concept: a sensor-packed strap acting as a dock which allows a range of interchangeable modules to be snapped into place.

9to5-image 2014-07-22 at 10.49.53 AMIt’s not anything we’re likely to see make it into production: the docking concept dates back to 2011, and was probably intended by Apple to house an iPod Nano, converting it into a smartwatch in a more sophisticated version of the watch-straps sold in Apple Stores since way back in 2010. But the patent does tell us two things …  Read more

Here’s what analysts expect Apple to announce today: revenue up 8.5 percent, earnings up 18 percent

aapl

With Fortune having now filled in the blanks in its analyst roundup, above are the final numbers Wall Street expects Apple to announce at around 1.30pm PT/4.30pm ET this afternoon.

With all 34 analysts having revealed their predictions, the consensus view is for year-on-year revenue to have grown by 8.5 percent, with earnings up 18.1 percent …  Read more

WSJ: Apple prepares record number of 80 million 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones for production

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has told its suppliers to prepare to build a record number of next-gen iPhones. According to the Journal, Apple is looking to produce 70-80 million units by December 30th. As reported earlier this month, both the 4.7-inch and the larger 5.5-inch models of the upcoming iPhone are expected to enter mass production in the coming weeks.

This is a big jump from the previous iPhone models. Last year the company only ordered 50-60 million of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Manufacturing parter Foxconn recently hired as many as 100,000 new workers to help meet the increased demand, and even ordered a custom line of robotic equipment to facilitate the production of iPhone 6.

Read more

Apple seeds iOS 8 beta 4 to developers with redesigned Control Center, Health improvements, more

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 9.56.02 AM

Apple today released iOS 8 beta 4 to developers. It is now available via Software Update in Settings for those running earlier betas of iOS 8 on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The new update likely brings further design enhancements and bug fixes. iOS 8 comes out this fall and adds new features like health tracking, improved messaging, more efficient email management, and bolstered photo editing. We’ll be updating this post (below) as we discover new changes, and you can send us what you find to tips@9to5mac.com.

Read more

Will Apple also update the next iPads with rounded edges? (Poll)

ipad-new

One of our favorite designers of Apple concepts, Martin Hajek, has put together this visual showing how a new iPad mini design might compare with the existing one if it were based on the design of the iPhone 6.

The existing design, top, has the familiar flat front and tapered, chamfered edge. The bottom one, Hajek’s concept, has the rounded edge now familiar from countless iPhone 6 renders, mockups and purported leaked parts

Read more

Apple will beat its own top-end guidance when it announces Q3 results tomorrow, say analysts

aapl

Fortune ran its usual poll of more than two dozen analysts, with the consensus view echoing earlier predictions that Apple will beat its revenue guidance of $36-38B by reporting $38.4B for its fiscal Q3 (calendar Q2). Gross margin is also expected to exceed Apple’s guidance of 37-38 percent, at 38.1 percent. This follows forecasts that iPhone sales would climb 15 percent year-on-year, while iPad sales will be flat.

Business Insider reports that Wall Street is once again expecting significant growth from AAPL.

46 Apple analysts rate the stock a buy, 13 call it a hold, and only 4 thinks it’s a sell. Citigroup, which was bearish on the stock, changed its analyst coverage and rated the stock a new “buy.” JMP securities upgraded the stock to outperform Monday morning. Other analysts have raised their price target …

Read more

EU accuses Apple of dragging its feet on protections for ‘misleading’ IAP-driven free apps

screen-shot-2014-06-02-at-11-14-24-am

The European Commission has complained that Apple is taking too long to implement protections for freemium games in the App Store, reports BBC News. The Commission has decreed that both Apple and Google, the two biggest app store vendors, must make the “true cost of apps” clear before purchase. However, officials are upset that Apple has not yet committed to any such measures.

“Regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorisation,” the Commission said in a statement.

“Apple has proposed to address those concerns. However, no firm commitment and no timing have been provided for the implementation of such possible future changes.

Read more