Will the iPhone 6 include a reversible USB cable? Recent Apple patent makes it possible.

Reversible USB

The iPhone 6’s packaging might not only include a redesigned smartphone, but a redesigned USB to Lightning cable. While it’s unlikely that Apple will yet-again change the Lightning port introduced with the 2012 iPhone 5 anytime in the near future, a redesigned version of the USB plug could be ready for this fall. Sketchy photos of a reversible USB cable first surfaced on the web last week, and Sonny Dickson yesterday shared another shot of the cables via Twitter.

Like the Lightning connector, the benefit of a reversible USB connector is that it can be inserted into a USB port in either direction. This makes it easier to insert the connector in darkly lit or hard to reach places (like behind a desk). Due to uncertain sourcing, the first batch of photos did not seem completely believable, but digging a little deeper into the situation reveals that Apple readying a reversible USB iPhone cable is a real possibility…

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Apple wins 2014 ‘Outstanding Commercial’ Emmy Award for ‘Misunderstood’ holiday ad

Here’s some good news for Apple amid several months of controversy surrounding the Cupertino-company’s marketing efforts: Apples’ 2013 Holiday season television commercial “Misunderstood” has won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for most “outstanding commercial” in 2014. The award was announced on the Emmy’s winners list last night, and the Creative Arts Emmy Awards are presented for “guest performers on television dramas and comedy series, as well as the many talented artists and craftspeople behind the scenes to create television excellence.” The main, televised Emmy Awards ceremony takes place on August 25th…

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Deep iPad discounts at Staples and Target: $199 16GB Minis ($100 off), Airs $130 off AC(starting at $369)

From 9to5Toys.com:

9to5-image 2014-08-17 at 7.28.11 AM

Confirming our report from earlier this month, Target has revived its $199 iPad mini sale (Direct Link) this morning. At the time of posting it’s available both online at Target.com and at Target retail locations. That’s even $30 less than the retail price of top Android tablets Nexus 7 or Kindle HDX.

We’ve been told by a Target rep that quantities are limited and as such we highly recommend picking one up today. This deal is $100 better than retail and $20 less than Apple charges for a refurbished model. The non-Retina iPad mini features a 7.9-inch LED-backlit display, 10-hour battery life, and dual-core A5 chip.

Seperately, Staples is offering all WiFi-enabled iPad Airs (Space Gray or Silver) for $30 off (Direct link). Coupon code 79449 drops them another $100 yielding $369/$469/$569 on 16/32/64GB Wifi models.

As we’ve said before, these deals often sell out quick so if you are going to make a move, do so quickly.

Also, Apple is widely expected to update its iPads again in October but these prices are at or below what we expect current models to drop to so you are getting Apple’s holiday prices today. Read more

Now even more shots of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6’s 1810mAh battery have leaked

Yesterday, we reported on purported photos of the larger, 5.5-inch iPhone 6’s 2915mAh battery pack among other parts, and today, new clear shots of the 4.7-inch models have leaked. Photos of the smaller next-generation iPhone’s 1810mAh battery first hit the web in July, and these new photos add weight to the previous photos being legitimate. For comparison, the iPhone 5s’s battery is 1560mAh, but because of the higher-res screen on the iPhone 6, it’s possible that the bigger battery pack could be offset but the additional pixel pushing. Besides a bigger battery, the new iPhones will likely include sharper displays, faster A8 processors, new sensors, and improved cameras. The new devices will debut at an event on September 9th and begin shipping around a week-and-a-half later. Another shot of the 4.7-inch model’s battery is below:

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Apple bolstering ‘Report A Problem’ Maps options in iOS 8

Apple has shown a renewed focus on Maps with iOS 8. Although headline features like transit did not show at WWDC, recent iOS 8 betas are bringing improvements to the ‘Report A Problem’ features. The frequency at which these updates are passed through has also improved dramatically in the past couple of months.

Apple has added a new explicit ‘follow-up by email’ option at the end of the Report A Problem form. This means Apple is now actively looking to get additional information about map queries from customers via email.

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Purported photos of 5.5-inch ‘iPhone 6L’ show 2915mAh battery, wider display panel

Asia-based rumor site Apple Daily has acquired photos of what it claims are the next-generation iPhone, including the 5.5-inch model we’ve seen much less of in recent weeks. The two photos above show the larger device (with the purple interior) paired with a 4.7-inch version. The wider 5.5-inch model is to the right and the 4.7 display panel is on the left. While some may note that the part on the right does not appear much larger than the part on the left, it is possible that the image’s perspective does not highlight the size differentiation well.

The larger model, which Apple Daily claims will be called ‘iPhone 6L’ also sports a larger 2915mAh battery (seen below), compared to the 1810mAh in the 4.7-inch device and 1560 mAh in the iPhone 5s. The larger display area and form-factor allows Apple to squeeze a much larger battery pack into the phone, but it is currently unclear if this will mean stronger battery life. It’s uncertain if the larger display and more powerful chip rumored for the bigger phone will counterbalance the effects of the bigger battery pack…

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Fair Labor Association publishes data from audits of two Apple suppliers, Apple responds

tim-cook-foxconn-plant

The Fair Labor Association, the group that has been performing independent assessments of Apple’s supplier facilities since 2012, today published findings from audits of Apple suppliers it carried out last year after. The reports include assessments of two Apple facilities in Shanghai and Changshu, China (here and here) that belong to Apple’s partner Quanta and also highlight a number of infractions that range from illegal recruitment policies to health and safety concerns and violations of laws related to underage employees working overtime.

The audits were previously included in Apple’s 2014 Responsibility Report with the company saying today that it has worked to improve the work conditions at the Quanta factories since. These are of course isolated events at just two of Apple’s suppliers, and Apple makes it clear in a statement (via TechCrunch) that it will cut ties with companies that don’t meet the FLA’s strict guidelines: Our suppliers must live up to the toughest standards in the industry if they want to keep doing business with Apple. Read more

Apple adds key Vice Presidents, more diversity to executive leadership page

Screenshot 2014-08-15 09.19.03

Apple today has expanded its Executive Leadership Team to include notable Apple Vice Presidents. The team shown on Apple’s official PR Bios website now includes Vice President of Special Projects Paul Deneve, Vice President of of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson, Vice President and Dean of Apple University Joel Podolny, Vice President of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji, and Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources Denise Young Smith.

Interestingly, each of these positions is fairly new to Apple: Deneve joined from Yves Saint Laurent last year, Lisa Jackson moved over from the EPA last year, Joel Podolny went full-time on Apple University earlier this year, Young Smith was promoted to head of HR earlier this year, and Srouji became head of Hardware Technologies upon Bob Mansfield’s (second) role reduction last year

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Review: OtterBox Resurgence iPhone 5/5s power case is tough in more ways than one

OtterBox Resurgence

Earlier this summer, OtterBox announced their first entry into the smartphone battery charging case arena with the Resurgence series for iPhone 5 and 5s. The OtterBox Resurgence is a high-speed charging iPhone case with a 2,000 mAh battery and “military spec. drop protection”, according to OtterBox. Naturally, being an OtterBox case, the Resurgence focuses heavily on protection and durability, but it also boasts a few interesting battery features as well including high-speed and auto-stop charging. Below I’ll unpack how the OtterBox Resurgence case for iPhone measures up as a battery charging case against similar offerings from Mophie and the like… Read more

Hiring underway for first Apple Store(s) in the oil-rich nations of the Middle East

dubai-30

If you look at map of Apple Store locations around the world, there’s one very obvious wealthy area of the world without a single store: the oil-rich nations of the Middle East. This now looks set to change, as ifoAppleStore spotted Apple job listings for the United Arab Emirates for the complete range of retail store positions.

The job listings appeared yesterday, and include the full range of store positions from Store and Market Leader, Manager, Expert, Creative and Specialist. The listings also include the Apple Store Leader Program, a 24-month development program for those who have just graduated from higher education …

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Apple shareholders file lawsuit over anti-poaching agreements, claim gross mismanagement and more

Photo: mashable.com

Photo: mashable.com

Apple shareholders are the latest to jump into the fray of a lawsuit against Apple over its anti-poaching agreements with a number of other tech companies. As we’ve previously reported, Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, and a laundry list of other companies allegedly created illegal pacts to avoid hiring each others’ engineers, allowing each employer to keep its wages low without running the risk of a competitor snatching up its competition with a better deal.

Now, a little over a week after a class action settlement was rejected by the court for being too low, Apple shareholder R. Andre Klein has filed a derivitive complaint on behalf of all Apple shareholders (embedded below) accusing the company of “breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets, and breach of the duty of honest services.”

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