European Commission approves Apple’s acquisition of Beats

Iovine Cook Dr Dre Cue Beats

The European Commission has today approved Apple’s acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music. The commission said that the buyout passes merger regulations. The commission concluded that Apple and Beats’ combined marketshare in both the streaming music and headphones markets is low, so an acquisition did not materially affect competition.

In headphones, the EU says that Apple/Beats exists in a global market with numerous other brands, including Bose, Sennheiser and Sony. For streaming music, companies like Spotify and Deezer offered a similar safety buffer. As the EU commission cares only for European operations, the fact that iTunes Radio and Beats Music do not currently operate in European countries also helped the deal go through smoothly.

Read more

‘The iPhone 6 Effect’ helping boost Asian economies by as much as 8.6 percent, say analysts

components

Component orders by Apple for the iPhone 6 are a significant factor in the current thriving state of a number of Asian economies, say analysts and government officials cited by the WSJ.

Analysts expect companies from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea that supplied earlier versions of the iPhone to produce key components like displays, camera lenses and microprocessors. Already, some of those companies are announcing increased earnings or forecasts, and economists and analysts are talking about an Apple effect on whole sectors and economies …

Read more

Spurious claim Apple will release 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones separately ‘to avoid competition’

render

Supply-chain rumors are can be unreliable sources at the best of times, but never more so than when they claim to offer insight into Apple’s strategic plans. DigiTimes is claiming that Apple will be launching the 4.7- and 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 6 separately “to avoid competition between the two models.”

The different timetables have been set as Apple does not want to repeat the mistake it made in 2013 when it launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c simultaneously, said the sources.

Let’s take this one step at a time. First, what companies in the supply-chain know are how many orders have been placed with them for specific components. They don’t know what orders Apple may have placed with other suppliers for the same components, and they don’t even necessarily know in which product the parts will be used …  Read more

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