12-inch Retina MacBook production starts in December, 12.9-inch iPad production delayed to 2015

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple had wanted to start mass production of a new larger iPad in December 2014. However, Apple has apparently sent instructions to suppliers to hold on this product. This is because suppliers are still struggling to meet iPhone 6 Plus demand. The Journal reports that iPhone 6 Plus production is “unsatisfactory”.

“The top priority for the supply chain is to meet the overwhelming demand for the larger screen iPhones. The output of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus remains unsatisfactory,” said a person at a supplier. “It would be challenging for display makers to split resources and spend a few months to ramp up production for a new larger screen iPad now.”

Seemingly, display makers cannot deal with a new larger iPad on top of the iPhone 6 Plus supply requirements. However, it does appear that suppliers are readying production of the widely-rumored 12 inch Retina MacBook (Air?), with the report saying that this product will enter production in December. If true, it is possible that if Apple may unveil the laptop at its event on October 16th, it won’t be made available for sale for several months yet.

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‘It’s been way too long': Apple sends out invites for Thursday, October 16th iPad & Mac event

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It’s happening: Apple has just announced a keynote address for Thursday, October 16th to take place at the Town Hall auditorium on its Infinite Loop Campus in Cupertino, California. Invitations to select members of the media and special guests indicate that the event will, as always, begin at 10 AM Pacific time/1 PM Eastern Time. News of the October 16th date broke last week. We’ll be providing full, live coverage on 9to5Mac.com of the event’s proceedings. Here’s everything we’re expecting Apple to discuss at the event:

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Apple says GTAT bankruptcy was a ‘surprising decision’ and will ‘focus on preserving jobs’

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Apple has now officially commented on the startling announcement that sapphire supplier GTAT will file for bankruptcy. Like most observers, Apple was “surprised” by the move. Apple told the Wall Street Journal:

In its first comments since GT’s Chapter 11 filing Monday, Apple said, “We are focused on preserving jobs in Arizona following GT’s surprising decision and we will continue to work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps.”

Wall Street Journal sources indicate that GTAT was forced into financial distress because Apple withheld the final tranche payment of its contract, totally $139 million. Apparently, the sapphire supplier did not meet the agreed terms so Apple exerted its contractual right to withdraw. From the statement, it seems that Apple did not expect the consequential ramification of bankruptcy, however.

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Vietnamese blog leaks iPad Air 2 pictures showing thinner chassis, Touch ID, missing mute switch

Vietnamese blog Tinhte.vn has pictures claiming to show the design of the new iPad Air, likely a dummy unit which acts as a reasonable portrayal of the device’s characteristics. Shown in white, the device is reportedley only 7 mm thin. This is almost the same depth as Apple’s latest iPhones, which measure 6.9 mm and 7.1 mm thin. As such, it also features the same recessed volume button style as the iPhone 6.

The leaks show the next generation iPad to be mostly identical to the current iPad Air, but with some notable changes. Aside from thinness, the iPad now features a ‘glass’ (likely sapphire) Touch ID home button to match previous rumors. Interestingly, the side shots of the device appear to lack a mute switch.

The blog speculates this was for space-saving reasons, meaning the mute switch (which can also be a rotation lock) was sacrificed in order for Apple to attain the desired thinness. Video below.

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Ex-Microsoft exec Ray Ozzie creates messaging iPhone app to ‘revolutionize’ voice calling

Ray Ozzie, who used to be Microsoft’s Chief Technical Officer and Chief Software Architect, has come out with a new app for the iPhone. In an extensive profile, Steven Levy explains the premise behind the app, dubbed Talko. You can read the full overview on Medium. The app has been in development for more than two years.

A new take on phone calls, the app shows if your recipient is currently walking or driving — giving a hint at attentiveness of the speaker before the conversation even begins. It’s a nice use of the Apple M7 and M8 coprocessors. Any voice communication is archived into the growing thread … to organize a conversation like any other modern chat app really. Talko seems best as an app for modern meetings, like a conference call replacement, although Ozzie insists it can be used beyond business.

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With stronger than expected demand for iPhone 6 Plus, Apple reportedly shifting some production away from iPhone 6

 

 

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Following some statistical analysis from yesterday that indicated the iPhone 6 usage ratio was beginning to favor iPhone 6 Plus, Digitimes now reports that Apple is following through on market shifts with production schedule adjustments.

Digitimes says that with iPhone 6 Plus exceeding expectations, Apple has asked the supply chain to move some production away from its 4.7 inch phone. This will mean that shipments for iPhone 6 will fall by 3-4 million units to accommodate the change in production lines.

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Sketchy rumor suggests Apple will converge a refrigerator and a toaster, 12.9 inch iPad will run both iOS and OS X

 

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A new rumor from Digitimes makes the bold claim that Apple is working on an ‘iPad’ (tablet device) that runs both Mac OS X and iOS. This is sourced as ‘according to rumors in the upstream supply chain’, so read with skepticism. Supply chain analysis can often be incorrect about Apple’s future software plans.

The report says that two versions of a 12.9 inch iPad are in development. One of which is the more typical larger iPad that has been rumored for a while now, but the other is a multifunction device that can run both OS X and iOS. Digitimes notes that it does not know whether both devices will actually enter mass production for public release. It indicates the larger iPad is currently headed for an early 2015 debut. Frankly, a 2-in-1 device seems unlikely.

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Apple sapphire crystal supplier GT Advanced files for bankruptcy

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Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced Tech has today released a statement announcing that it is filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. Filing for Chapter 11 means the company will be able to continue normal operations until it can resolve issues with creditors. As of September 28th, GTAT had $85 million in cash.

What implications this has on Apple’s upcoming Watch wearable, which uses a sapphire screen cover for both Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition models, is currently unclear. Apple also uses sapphire from GTAT in its iPhone lineup, for the camera cover and the Touch ID sensor.

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Facebook Messenger may soon let you pay your friends, code leaks reveal

A modified version of the Facebook Messenger has revealed that person-to-person payment interfaces and other elements are already integrated into the app. The discovery was made by iOS developer Andre Aude.

Just like sending a message or sending a photo, Facebook’s payments implementation is integrated into the chat window. The idea being, that if you talk to a friend about getting coffee, you can pay your half of the bill in the same place. A history of payments appears in the settings pages.

Facebook has not confirmed that the feature is coming any time soon. Zuckerberg has floated the idea of Facebook tying mobile payments before, but warned it was a long way off.

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