Death of Steve Jobs prompted Samsung’s U-turn on Apple attack ads

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We learned yesterday from patent trial evidence that Samsung was worried about running ads that directly attacked Apple, wanting Google to do it for them. We now know that it was the death of Steve Jobs which prompted Samsung’s change of mind, running the Next Big Thing ads which directly mocked Apple customers.

An email trail shows that Samsung America’s VP of U.S. sales Mike Pennington cynically described the death of Jobs as “the best opportunity” to run the campaign, as consumers might be worried about Apple’s future product innovations following the death of its famous co-founder.

Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone …

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Alleged iPhone 6 cases reflect rumored design changes, repositioned power button

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We’re still months away from Apple’s expected announcement of the iPhone 6, but ambitious manufactures are already designing accessories based on current rumors. Additional silicon cases rumored to fit the iPhone 6 were recently published on NoWhereElse and provide a closer look at some of the device’s possible design changes.

The case pictured above has slightly rounded edges, similar to the 5th generation iPod touch or iPhone 5c, and are consistent with previous rumors. As we’ve seen in recent accessory leaks, the case also features a repositioned power button and thin oblong volume buttons similar to an iPod touch. It has also been rumored that Apple’s iPhone 6 will feature a larger 4.7-inch display.

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8 GB iPhone 5c now available in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Ireland and several others

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After a brief period of downtime, the Apple Store website around the world has now gone back up. Aside from a bit of Mother’s Day promotional advertising, there is no change to most regions. For some countries, however, Apple has now made the 8 GB iPhone 5c introduced last month available for sale. The device is now available in the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, and other regions.

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Apple agrees to participate in “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” program

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Apple has agreed to back a new initiative along with a host of Android manufacturers and all of the major U.S. cellular carriers that would require all smartphones manufactured after July 2015 to come with specific anti-theft features. The program is the latest attempt to prevent theft of smartphones, which some have blamed for increasing crime rates.

To this end, Apple introduced a first-of-its-kind system in iOS 7 that blocks freshly-restored iPhones from being used until the original owner logs in with the Apple ID associated with the device. Today’s agreement between the carriers and handset manufacturers essentially states that all parties will ship this exact type of system on new phones.

Specifically, the required anti-theft measures are broken into four kinds:
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Physical iPhone 6 mockups & upcoming accessories shown off at Hong Kong Electronics Fair

Following a number of leaks claiming to show prototypes, cases, and manufacturing tools for the next-generation iPhone, today yet another leak of a physical iPhone 6 mockup has popped up via Japanese blog Macotakara.jp. The site posted images from the Hong Kong Electronics Fair taking place from April 13-16 that apparently show mockups of the iPhone 6 used by case makers to create cases and accessories they plan to launch alongside the new iPhone.   Read more

Apple meeting with UK ad agencies in preparation for iTunes Radio rollout

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Apple appears to be readying for an UK iTunes Radio launch in the near future. As indicated by this tweet, Apple’s director of iAd Paul Wright has recently been visiting media marketing agencies to discuss iAd in relation to iTunes Radio.

Bloomberg said that Apple was planning to launch in the UK in ‘early 2014′ last October, but so far this has not happened several months into 2014. Although many people have seen iTunes Radio sporadically appear on their devices in recent months, it is has only officially expanded to Australia beyond the US launch alongside iOS 7.

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A&E and History Channel add live TV stream in iOS apps

A&E Networks has just updated iOS apps for two of its most popular TV channels, A&E and History, with the ability to watch live TV on both iPhone and iPad. The apps, which previously provided full episodes and clips on-demand to users in the US, will now provide a live stream of what’s playing on the TV channels. The live TV feature, however, will require a cable subscription.  Read more

Opinion: Should Apple settle its Android disputes and move on?

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With Apple in the midst of its second major court battle with Samsung over alleged patent violations, and all but one of the five claims relating to Android rather than to anything Samsung-specific, it’s gotten me wondering whether further cases of this kind are truly beneficial to Apple.

I understand it emotionally, of course. It’s galling to work hard on a hugely popular hardware design or user-interface only to see someone else copy parts of it, and the desire to hit back at that is a natural one. But I’m not sure that it makes too much sense rationally …  Read more

Pioneer says CarPlay firmware update for existing 2014 in-dash systems coming this summer

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Following reports yesterday that car electronics manufacturer Alpine was planning to launch aftermarket CarPlay units in the fall, Pioneer issued a press release today confirming a firmware update for existing in-dash systems. Pioneer will be bringing Apple’s new CarPlay system to existing vehicles using the company’s five 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers this summer through a firmware update.

Utilizing large, in-dash Pioneer LCD displays, CarPlay featuring Siri® voice control, gives iPhone users the features while allowing them to stay focused on the road. With CarPlay, consumers with iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 can use Siri to make and receive calls, compose and respond to text messages, use Apple Maps for navigation and listen to their music, podcasts and iTunes RadioSM. For more information about CarPlay, visit www.apple.com/ios/carplay.

As for what vehicles and in-dash systems it will support, it sounds like it will be limited to 2014 editions of the in-dash receivers mentioned above. For the US, those include the following: Read more

Condé Nast’s Epicurious teams up with inMarket for in-store iBeacon experience

Today, Condé Nast’s Epicurious becomes the latest to take advantage of iBeacons in-store by teaming up with inMarket to beam location-based notifications and offers to shoppers in retail environments. I previously wrote about inMarket,  an in-store marketing platform that recently started rolling out iBeacons to retailers (mostly grocery stores), when it announced Zatarain’s would become the first consumer packaged goods brand to use the platform. The company was using inMarket’s Mobile to Mortar (M2M) platform to beam notifications and offers directly to shopper’s smartphones when in proximity of one of inMarket’s in-store iBeacons. Today the company is announcing its biggest news yet after recently expanding into New York, Boston, and Miami with the addition of Condé Nast’s Epicurious as the first major app partner to take advantage of the M2M iBeacon platform.  Read more

Samsung wanted Google to do its dirty work in attacking Apple

Image: amongtech.com

Image: amongtech.com

Another interesting revelation from the ongoing Apple vs Samsung patent trial: concerned about launching attack ads on a company that was a customer as well as a competitor, Samsung sought to persuade Google to “launch a campaign against Apple.”

The then CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America, Dale Sohn, emailed his chief marketing officer to ask:

As you have shared previously, we are unable to battle [Apple] directly in our marketing. If it continues to be Samsung’s position to avoid attacking Apple given its status as as a large customer, can we go to Google to ask them to launch a campaign against Apple based on the many better Android products available in the market for Q4?

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Sketchy photo of an iPhone 6 front panel appears on Chinese forum (Update: additional photos)

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A picture claiming to be of an “iPhone 6″ front panel has surfaced on a Chinese forum after being posted without context on Weibo. Details surrounding the image are not clear, but the forum poster claims that it originates from within an iPhone ‘factory’. The image was first found by iphon.fr.

Compared to the iPhone 5s, as shown above, the screen size is noticeably larger. It appears to feature a screen approximately 4.7 inches diagonally, as previously rumored.

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