Competitors expected to miss deadlines as Apple floods Chinese shipping channels with iPhone 6

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Earlier this year we reported that Apple had ordered a record number of iPhone 6 units for the upcoming launch of the next-gen device. According to TechCrunch, the number of devices being shipped from China is so high that Apple is actually causing shipping delays for other companies.

Just how bad are the delays? According to a source from one unnamed electronics manufacturer, some companies have been told they’ll miss their shipping deadlines because a certain high-priority customer has essentially taken over the shipping channels.

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CVS and Walgreens reportedly on board with Apple’s mobile payment plans

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Apple has reportedly been working with several national retailers about supporting its mobile payment system, and now a new report suggests that two pharmacy chains, CVS and Walgreens, have agreed to join up with Apple to roll the system out in their stores. The system is expected to be built into the iPhone 6 when it launches later this month.

Re/code notes that while Apple and Walgreens decided not to comment on the matter, CVS apparently issued a bit of a rebuttal, indicating that the company had no idea what type of payment system Cupertino was working on and had no way of knowing if they’d be able to support it.

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Famous designer Marc Newson (and close friend of Jony Ive) joining Apple’s design team

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Marc Newson has joined Apple’s design team under Jony Ive, according to a new report which was confirmed by Apple. The duo have previously worked together to create such products as a special edition red Mac Pro and a similar Lieca M camera, so it’s no surprise to see Newson officially join forces with his good friend at Cupertino. As quoted by Vanity Fair:

“Marc is without question one of the most influential designers of this generation,” Ive said in a statement provided to VF Daily. “He is extraordinarily talented. We are particularly excited to formalize our collaboration as we enjoy working together so much and have found our partnership so effective.”

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Report claims Apple is setting low expectations for iWatch battery life

Concept: jivaldi.com

Concept: jivaldi.com

A new report from The Information claims sources that have spoke with Apple employees say the company is setting low expectations for its upcoming wearable’s battery life. Little details have leaked out regarding specific specs or the design of the device, but today’s report from The Information claims battery life could be one area the iWatch disappoints: Read more

TestFlight appears in App Store as Apple readies launch of its beta testing service

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TestFlight is now appearing in the App Store, ahead of an expected launch later this month. The service will allow developers to easily share betas of upcoming apps with public testers. It was discovered Apple had bought TestFlight earlier this year and the company subsequently announced the integration of the service into its developer portal at WWDC.

Before Apple’s acquisition, TestFlight was not in the App Store itself as it violated app review guidelines. Being part of the App Store makes it much more accessible to the general public and should incentivize more beta testers to participate in general.

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Dell announces 27-inch 5120×2880 display, a perfect panel for a future Retina iMac

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Dell has just announced a brand-new 27inch external display with an insane resolution of 5120×2880. Pixel counts of this magnitude were thought to be several months out, stretching into mid 2015, so Dell’s abrupt announcement has come as a bit of surprise. In summary, the 27-inch panel has 14 million pixels across its surface, resulting in a PPI of 218. This is the same density as a 15inch Retina MacBook Pro, but obviously much much larger.

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The monitor is expected to be available by the end of the year.

What’s notable about this resolution is it shows that a Retina iMac is now very feasible. 5120×2880 is exactly double 2560×1440, the resolution of the current 27 inch iMac, in each dimension.

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Tim Cook addresses iCloud photos hacking, says major security improvements coming soon

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally taken the iCloud leaked photos situation into his own hands. Cook today sat down with The Wall Street Journal for an interview regarding the breach, and the Apple executive shared details on key security improvements coming soon to iCloud. Cook first addressed what happened, confirming our own theories.

In his first interview on the subject, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said celebrities’ iCloud accounts were compromised when hackers correctly answered security questions to obtain their passwords, or when they were victimized by a phishing scam to obtain user IDs and passwords. He said none of the Apple IDs and passwords leaked from the company’s servers…When I step back from this terrible scenario that happened and say what more could we have done, I think about the awareness piece,” he said. “I think we have a responsibility to ratchet that up. That’s not really an engineering thing.

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Apple’s digital stores face second outage this week across all platforms (update: resolved)

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Earlier this week, iOS users discovered that the App Store was experiencing some technical issues that caused every item for sale to become unavailable. Now, only two days later, the company’s status page indicates that the App Store on Mac and iOS, iBooks Store, and various iTunes services such as the music store and Radio, are all suffering from even more downtime.

According to the status page, the issues first cropped up around 4:30 PM and have persisted for about three hours so far. A notice on the page states that only “some users” are having difficulty accessing the store, but there’s no mention of exactly how many users could be impacted.

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Apple Store app redesigned, gains upcoming events feature, synchronized shopping

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Ahead of its major media event next week, Apple has issued a significant update to its Apple Store shopping iOS app. The first addition is a complete redesign for the iPhone and iPod touch application’s interface. The new design is more in-line with the recently released iPad variant. Speaking of the iPad version, the tablet-optimized layout is now a universal bundle (single download) with the iPhone/iPod touch version, and it has also gained support for making Apple Store One to One reservations. The app also has a new Stores section to search for upcoming events at local Apple Stores. There is also a new icon. Perhaps the most significant new feature is support for synchronizing shopping between iOS devices and desktop computers. For example, you can start shopping on your Mac and continue via the app on your iPhone. Apple (rightfully so) doesn’t want to a miss a single iPhone 6 or iWatch/iBand sale.

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Apple reportedly negotiated transaction fee discounts w/ major banks ahead of mobile payment system

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Financial site Bank Innovation reports that Apple has negotiated lower transaction fees with American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase ahead of the debut of its mobile payment system expected to be announced alongside the new iPhone models next week. The report notes that the banks were likely willing to lower rates to ensure participation and due to Apple’s security measures including the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor.

The first thing Apple has done is convince these four FIs to consider transactions from Apple’s upcoming payments venture — said to launch with its forthcoming iPhone 6 introduction — as “card present” transactions, which carry a lower discount rate than “card not present” transactions, because of lower fraud risk.

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NYT: iWatch to feature flexible display panel, wireless charging, iPhone 6 to have ‘one handed mode’

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The New York Times is weighing in on Apple’s imminent iPhone event, corroborating past information as well as adding some new tidbits about Apple’s newest iPhones (the ‘iPhone 6′) and its brand new wearable (dubbed ‘iWatch’).

Most interestingly, it says that the iWatch will feature a flexible display. Assumedly, this will allow the product to morph to fit comfortably on user’s arms. KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple’s use of a flexible panel in July. The screen is protected by sapphire glass. As 9to5Mac has reported countless times, the device will feature health and fitness tracking capabilities, for things like footsteps and heart rate. The report claims Apple has “put an enormous amount of time and money” to make the sensors track “much more accurately than existing fitness devices”.

In terms of software, the device will rely on HealthKit for health tracking and Handoff, one of Apple’s iOS 8 continuity features, to seamlessly share content between devices. Handoff could be used for sharing SMS texts between the phone and the watch, for instance. 9to5Mac discussed how Handoff might interact with Apple’s wearable a couple of months ago.

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