August 31

AAPL: 112.76

-0.53
Stock Chart

New Apple TV will look similar, but thicker (image via Michael Steeber)

Although iOS devices and the App Store have transformed the handheld gaming market, the first three Apple TV generations did not attempt to challenge Microsoft’s XboxNintendo’s Wii, or Sony’s PlayStation game consoles for complete control of living room TVs. According to sources with knowledge of the product, the fourth-generation Apple TV will actively compete for TV gamers with updated hardware, software, and peripherals that will debut at Apple’s September 9 event in San Francisco.

One of the next Apple TV’s tentpole features will be near-universal Siri control, a feature hinted at in Apple’s invitation to the event. But the other will be deep support for gaming, representing Apple’s largest-ever effort to lure players from traditional consoles. In addition to the convenience of downloading games directly from the Apple TV’s built-in App Store, and controlling many of them via a new bundled remote control, Apple will also support more complex, console-style Bluetooth game controllers with the pressure-sensitive buttons and joysticks previously introduced for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches…

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Screenshot 2015-08-31 11.16.41

Apple’s summer “Apple Camp” program for students will expand to become a year-round program beginning in September, according to a message from Apple Retail head Angela Ahrendts to employees this week. Ahrendts also noted that field trips and programs for teachers will also become year-round. Here’s Ahrendts message to employees on the matter, per Apple Retail employees:

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UI concept for VR iPhone case Pinć from Cordon Labs

Apple has recently hired a lead engineer from Microsoft’s HoloLens team, leading to more speculation that it could be working on its own augmented reality project behind the scenes.

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster first spotted the change of positions for Nick Thompson, who was reportedly previously leading audio hardware engineering efforts for Microsoft’s Hololens augmented reality project: expand full story

August 30

AAPL: 113.29

0.37
Stock Chart

Rough mockup of fourth Apple TV vs. third Apple TV by Michael Steeber

With the official debut of the next-generation Apple TV less than two weeks away, sources have provided additional details on Apple’s pricing, availability, and product lineup plans for its set-top devices. According to sources, the fourth-generation Apple TV will be priced below $200, and is on track to become available in October. Apple executives are apparently still finalizing the price of the revamped living room device, but the latest options call for a starting price point of either $149 or $199, both higher than the third-generation Apple TV

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As part of a charity music event raising money for children affected by Hurricane Katrina, Apple Music rival TIDAL streamed the event live on its website. However, when Drake took the stage to perform his set, the stream was abruptly paused. A message from TIDAL said that Apple had banned Drake from allowing his performance to be broadcast online, with TIDAL saying that Apple is “interfering with artistry” and apologizing for the “big brother” influence.

TIDAL made similar claims on its Twitter feed but it turns out these claims are simply untrue. Although it is true that Apple has an exclusivity deal with Drake for his new album, the contract does not stop Drake from streaming live performances. Buzzfeed confirmed that Apple had nothing to do with the censoring of the stream.

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August 29

AAPL: 113.29

0.37
Stock Chart

August 28

AAPL: 113.29

0.37
Stock Chart

With Apple set to reveal its next set-top box on September 9th, additional details about what the device may be capable of have started to leak out of Apple. As reported in 2013, the company has been developing a new version of the Apple TV that includes motion-sensing technology to aid in controlling the interface. That rumor was bolstered by the revelation that Apple had acquired PrimeSense, the company responsible for the creation of Microsoft’s first-generation Kinect.

Now, a new report from TechCrunch has made additional claims about what could be possible with the new Apple TV, providing support to the idea that a motion-controlled UI is just around the corner.

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Apple is continuing to tweak its Apple Watch showroom experience within Apple Stores. Upon the initial rollout of the Apple Watch in April, Apple Stores installed large glass tables as a showcase for the different Apple Watch variations. Customers could test drive the Apple Watch via a demo unit connected to an iPad mini or try it on at a series of try-on stations. Following a pilot program across select Apple Stores across the world, Apple has now begun a widespread rollout of a new Apple Watch testing program called Mobile Try-On, according to Apple Retail employees.

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Tim Cook’s efforts to influence policy in Washington DC in ways that better serve Apple have been hard to miss during his tenure as CEO. Pushing the company’s strong stance on privacy has been met with great pushback from the justice department and Apple was unhappy with how the ebook pricing case against it went so it’s no surprise its lobbying efforts have climbed in recent years. Now Politico, a news site focused on politics, has dedicated a lengthy 4,000+ word profile on Tim Cook’s relationship with Washington DC over the last four years. expand full story

Screenshot 2015-08-28 09.22.31

Apple is planning to retire its long existing One to One training program within Apple Stores on September 28th, according to a memo sent this week to Apple retail employees. One to One launched in 2007 as a $99 per year subscription program where a Mac user could make appointments with a “Creative” at an Apple Store to learn more about using their Mac and creating content with either consumer or professional applications. Apple cites “fewer customers” signing up for One to One as the reason behind the service’s upcoming closure:

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Apple Music and Beats 1 lead Ian Rogers has unexpectedly left Apple two months since the Apple Music launch. Although Apple Music app has received some criticism, Rogers’ primary responsibility, Beats 1, has received much critical acclaim and has been widely praised, so it is surprising to see a resignation out of the director. The Financial Times first reported the departure, which has now been confirmed by Apple.

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August 27

AAPL: 112.92

3.23
Stock Chart

According to a new report out of market research firm StellaService, Apple’s customer service took a turn for the worse during the second quarter of 2015. The firm, who develops its data by tracking and evaluating online retailers on a daily basis, claims that Apple is now ranked 25th in terms of customer service among the companies it profiled. Retailer L.L.Bean ranked first, while Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts’ former company Burberry ranked 7th. In the “electronics/media” category, however, Apple was the only surveyed company to place.

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Artwork by shoplemonde.de

Earlier this year, reports began to suggest that Apple would launch the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in an additional color beyond the Space Gray, Silver, and Gold options that have been available in the popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s. Since then, there have been conflicting rumors regarding Apple’s color choice: some (including the Wall Street Journal) have claimed that the new iPhones would come in “pink,” while some analysts have referred to the color as “Rose Gold” (the discrepancy could be attributed to the similarity between colors). Today, our sources have confirmed that the new iPhones will actually come in a color that is unmistakably Rose Gold in both appearance and name…

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apple

Apple has just sent out official invitations to media outlets (via CNBC) for its next special event on September 9th. The tagline this year reads “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” The event will take place at 10 am PT at Bill Graham auditorium in San Francisco, California, which was rumored to be the venue ahead of the invites. Apple’s September event is set to include the next generation iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus as well as the long awaited Apple TV hardware update.

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