Apple launches new ‘Soccer Fever’ App Store section prior to FIFA World Cup

soccer fever

Apple has launched a new “Soccer Fever” section on the App Store, fittingly with June 12th marking the first day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The page has four app sections, including one for “Soccer Apps” (such as the official FIFA app itself), one for featured soccer-related games, a variety of typical social apps labeled as “Share the Fever,” and a plethora of apps for exploring the country of Brazil. Read more

iPad stays on top in JD Power’s latest survey thanks to cheap Android tablets

JD-Power-tablet-satisfaction-2014-01

Following its report last month on smartphone customer satisfaction in which Apple ranked first, J.D. Power is out today with its study on tablet satisfaction and is once again ranking Apple highest overall. Apple comes in first followed by Samsung, while Asus, Amazon, and Acer fall in line below the study’s average:

Apple ranks highest in overall satisfaction with a score of 830 and performs highest in all study factors except cost. Samsung ranks second with a score of 822 and achieves above-average scores in the features, styling and design, and cost factors.

J.D. Power notes that a decline in the overall price of tablets has resulted in a decline in overall satisfaction. Apple, however, avoids that by ranking highest in every category except price. The report also provided some other findings on tablet sales, purchasing habits, and brand loyalty for September 2013 to February 2014 when the study took place.  Read more

Apple’s iPad maintains a narrowing lead, still almost a third of all tablets sold

IDC May 1

Research firm IDC is out today with new data on the state of the tablet and 2-in-1 market in the first quarter of 2014. As you might expect after Apple’s most recent earnings report, Q1 unit shipments of iPad were down by 3 million from 19.5 million to 16.4 million between 2013 and 2014. For its part, Apple attributes its Q1 2013 iPad sales as inflated due to demand for iPad mini in Q4 2012 being fulfilled in the following quarter when supply was less constrained.

That may be, but the iPad also saw a drop in tablet market share between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. According to IDC’s data, Apple dropped from 40.2% market share in Q1 2013 to 32.5% market share in Q1 2014 while Samsung saw unit shipments increase as well as marketshare. Despite Samsung’s gains, though, Apple still dominates the tablet market more than any other one company leading Samsung by 10 percentage points in market share. Read more

New MacBook Airs likely launching tomorrow

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 11.23.40 AM

Update: Here are the specs…

Apple is preparing to launch a refreshed line of MacBook Air laptops as soon as tomorrow, according to multiple sources. These sources say that shipments of new MacBook Airs have begun arriving in large quantities to Apple Stores across the country. Another source adds that Apple Stores are scheduled to re-arrange the placement of Macs in stores to focus on the MacBook Air tomorrow morning…

Read more

Apple notifies winners in the WWDC ticket lottery, offers a chance to buy a ticket until April 14

 

WWDC 2014

Apple has just sent out emails notifying entrants in the WWDC ticket lottery whether they won a chance to purchase a $1,599 ticket to the conference. Winners will be able to purchase a ticket to the event before April 14th. The conference kicks off on June 2nd and runs through the 6th.

Those who didn’t win a spot haven’t gotten any notification from the company (Update: rejection emails going out now, see below). Those unable to buy a ticket will have to settle for watching the stream of the keynote presentation and recorded videos of the sessions after they happen. If you just want to read all of the announcements early, why not check out 9to5Mac‘s roundup of what to expect this June?

Read more

Everything to know about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 (Roundup + New Details)

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 1.33.33 PM

While Apple only officially announced its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week, we have been reporting all of the known information about what Apple plans to unveil at the event over the course of the past few months. Now that WWDC is official, we have compiled a roundup of everything we know about Apple’s next-generation iOS device and Mac operating systems below, and we’ve also included some new tidbits not found in our earlier reporting. You can find out what there is to know so far about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 below:

Read more

Apple SVP Jeff Williams sends letter to employees following supplier responsibility report

Jeff-williams-SR-letter

Alongside the release of Apple’s supplier responsibility report today highlighting working conditions within its supply chain, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams has also sent out a letter to employees. In the past, CEO Tim Cook has been known to send out an email to employees following the supplier report. In today’s letter, Williams went over some of the key points from the supplier responsibility report and noted, “to drive accountability, we are now publishing a quarterly list of the names, countries, and participation status of the smelters and refiners in our supply chain.” Williams also mentioned new education programs, the launch of the Apple Supplier Environment, Health, and Safety Academy, and more.

The full letter from Williams only accessible to employees is below: Read more

Tim Cook: iPhone 5c popular among first-time iPhone buyers, but not as popular as expected

cook-5c

During today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the iPhone 5c was the most popular choice among new iPhone users. However, the colorful new lower-end device did not meet the company’s expectations in sales. Despite the fact that iPhone 5s sales came in above Apple’s target, the iPhone category overall significantly missed analysts’ projected sales mark of 55 million units.

It’s likely that Apple misjudged the low-end smartphone market here, believing that users would jump at the chance for a “new” iPhone at a lower price than usual. Smartphone shoppers don’t seem to be taking the bait, instead opting for the more expensive, more “premium” 5s or going elsewhere. It’s hard to say they’re making the wrong call, considering that the iPhone 5c is actually much closer in specs to the previous generation than it is to the latest model, which seems to be more than worth its $100 premium.

Read more

Opinion: What might we expect from Apple in 2014?

Image: wallsfeed.com

Image: wallsfeed.com

Tech journalists don’t often have to battle our way across hostile terrain in sub-zero temperatures, fight crocodiles with our bare hands, or abseil from helicopters to rescue hostages (though that remains my cover story for the time I broke my elbow by tripping up in an airport).

We do, however, occasionally do something almost as dangerous: make predictions about the tech future, knowing full well that our words remain forever archived on the web for people to dust off a year from now and gleefully point out just how wrong we were.

This is never more risky than in the case of Apple, a company notoriously secretive about its activities, and where there are way more false rumors than reliable ones. But hey, what’s life without a little adventure? So here are my predictions on what I think we can expect from Apple next year …  Read more

Tim Cook tells employees Apple has ‘big plans’ for 2014 that ‘customers are going to love’

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 11.45.06 AM

This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a lengthy memo to employees as a reflection of the soon-ending 2013 and the upcoming year of 2014, according to multiple sources. In the letter, Tim Cook discusses people experiencing Apple products this holiday season, the Apple products launched throughout 2013, and corporate initiatives. “This holiday season, tens of millions of people around the world, from all walks of life, are experiencing Apple products for the first time. Those moments of surprise and delight are magical, and they’re all made possible by your hard work,” Cook says in the beginning of the email.

Cook notes Apple’s new manufacturing process for the Assembled in the USA Mac Pro and calls iOS 7 an “extraordinarily ambitious project.” “We extended our lead in the smartphone market with iPhone 5s; launched iOS 7, an extraordinarily ambitious project; released OS X Mavericks for free to our customers; introduced the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display; and this week began shipping the Mac Pro from a manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas,” Cook told employees. Cook also notes his pride over Apple reaching 50 billion App Store app downloads this year. Apple reached this milestone in approximately five years…

Read more

Apple’s new retail boss Angela Ahrendts lays out transition philosophy, follows her instincts

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Apple’s new senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts won’t be taking up the newly created position officially until Spring 2014, but in the meantime Ahrendts has already started the process of transitioning to a new CEO at Burberry. In a blog post on LinkedIn, Ahrendts talks in length about the following her intuition when deciding to take a new job at Apple, much like she had when first joining Burberry, and also outlines her plans for transitioning to new leadership. If you’ve ever heard Tim Cook talk about moving to Apple, ‘following instincts’ will definitely seem like a theme.

And as I look forward to what will define the next generation, I believe it is imperative that great companies add greater social value – the larger the company, the larger the obligation.

Ahrendts notes that the company has started transitioning to new leadership at Burberry in recent weeks and also describes some of her business philosophies in the process: Read more

Opinion: What can we expect from the elusive Apple Television?

All concept visuals: martinhajek.com

All concept visuals: martinhajek.com

Having recently speculated on what Apple might have planned in the way of 4K displays, I thought I’d build on that to think about what it might have in store on the television front.

If you didn’t read my 4K piece, the tl;dr version is I think Apple will launch a 4K Thunderbolt Display in about a year’s time, once it has a new generation of MacBook Pro models able to drive one (or preferably two) at a decent frame-rate.

The question then is: what form might the long-rumored Apple Television take? After all, plug an upgraded Apple TV box into an Apple 4K display and you’d have an Apple Television right there. Why would we need anything more … ?  Read more