iRadio is a go as Apple reportedly signs deal with Sony

Earlier this year, we discovered buttons in iOS 6 that seem to imply that users will be able to purchase the songs that they listen to via Apple’s upcoming radio service.

Earlier this year, we discovered buttons in iOS 6 that seem to imply that users will be able to purchase the songs that they listen to via Apple’s upcoming radio service.

AllThingsD reports that Apple has secured a deal with Sony to launch its long rumored iRadio service. You may recall Sony was the last major record label to secure as Apple had already signed deals with both Warner and Universal. We expect to see iRadio previewed at WWDC which kicks off Monday.

Sony Music has signed on to Apple’s forthcoming iRadio service, according to a person familiar with negotiations between the two companies.

WSJ previously reported that Apple will pay Warner 10% of ad revenue, which is about twice as much as Pandora contributes. Apple’s own iAd service is set to refocus its attention on supporting the music streaming service with audio ads for the first time since its launch.

Peter Kafka goes on to report that it’s possible that Sony/ATV, its publishing wing, may not have officially inked its deal with Apple:

It’s still possible that Apple may have hurdles to clear. As of earlier this week, the company had yet to sign up Sony/ATV, Sony’s music publishing arm.

But the gaps between Sony/ATV and Apple were supposedly smaller than the ones between Sony Music and Apple were looking at a few days ago.

While Apple’s iRadio service should be announced on Monday, it is possible it won’t be available for end users until later this year when iOS 7 completes development. Similarly, the iCloud-based iTunes Match service was announced with the preview of iOS 5 and made available to members of Apple’s iOS Developer Program in June 2011, but saw a delayed launch following iOS 5’s release in October later that year.

Tune in Monday at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST for our live coverage of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference where we’ll be on location. In the mean time, you can check out our comprehensive preview of what we expect to see at WWDC. Read more

‘August’ iPhone-connected digital door lock system announced for $199, designed by Jawbone’s Yves Behar

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At the D11 Conference, Jason Johnson and Yves Bahar have unveiled a new digital lock system for home doors called “August.” The iPhone app allows users to send virtual keys to doors to other users. The system installs as a deadbolt with two screws into modern doors. The company says that installation is seamless…

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Tim Cook: We have no religious issue with doing Android apps, but we won’t do Chat heads on iOS

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Tim Cook noted during his interview at the D11 conference tonight that “Apple has no religious issue porting an iOS app to Android,” but was careful to point out that they would only do so “if it made sense.”

When asked about Facebook’s Android home screen replacement and whether such access would ever be available to developers on Apple’s platform, Cook noted that there are plans to allow deeper access to iOS, but such changes will only be allowed if they don’t impact the customer’s experience. Kara Swisher specifically asked about the possibility of Chat Heads becoming part of iOS, but Cook was quick to shoot the idea down: Read more

Video from Tim Cook’s AllThings D11 interview: One iPhone, market share and discussing wearables

In the first videos from Tim Cook’s D11 interview tonight, the CEO discusses wearables and his view on Google Glass not having mainstream appeal, Android market share, and why Apple still only makes one iPhone. Cook also announced 13 million Apple TVs sold to date, hinted at game changing products in the pipeline, and confirmed a Jony Ive designed iOS 7 is on the way.

Head past the break for more video clips from the D11 conference tonight and over to our live blog for a recap of the entire Tim Cook interview.
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Tim Cook can’t see Google Glass having mainstream appeal, thinks the wrist is interesting for wearables

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Live on stage during his interview at the AllThingsD D11 Conference tonight, Tim Cook has for the first time talked at length about his view on wearable technologies as competitors like Google and others push ahead with Glass and other wearable projects. While noting that broad range appeal with a product like Google Glass is “tough to see,” Cook said he thinks “the wrist is interesting” while calling the form factor “somewhat natural” compared to head mounted products.

Nike Fuel Band well made for the fitness category. Works well with iOS. The ones that do more than one thing aren’t great. They won’t convince a kid who has never worn glasses, a band, or a watch to wear one. There are lots of things to solve in this area, ripe for excitement. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this (won’t respond to Walt asking if Apple will). I see this as a very key branch of the tree… referring to the post-PC era.

Cook did note that “people want wearables to be light, unobtrusive, reflect their fashion/style” and that it would take some convincing to show people ‘why it’s worth wearing them':

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When PCs become trucks: IDC projects 2015 as Tablet/PC inflection point

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Market research firm IDC released new data today forecasting that tablet sales will grow “58.7% year-over-year in 2013 reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year.”

With the PC market on track to see negative growth for the second year in a row, IDC predicts we’ll see more tablet shipments than portable computer shipments this year. More importantly, IDC predicts that 2015 will mark the first year tablets will outsell both notebook and desktop computers.

While Apple has been at the forefront of the tablet revolution, the current market expansion has been increasingly fueled by low-cost Android devices. In 2013, the worldwide average selling price (ASP) for tablets is expected to decline -10.8% to $381. In comparison, the ASP of a PC in 2013 is nearly double that at $635. IDC expects tablet prices to decline further, which will allow vendors to deliver a viable computing experience into the hands of many more people at price points the PC industry has strived to meet for years.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook being interviewed tonight at D11 Conference, we’ll be there live

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As announced in April, Apple CEO Tim Cook will be returning to the stage for an interview with AllThingsD‘s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the D11 conference. The event begins today, and the interview of Tim Cook starts at 6PM Pacific/ 9PM Eastern time. We will be at the event live and we’ll be providing full coverage during the interview.

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Covering the Apple Exec Shakeup: Mansfield lured back by Forstall departure, Ive will clean UI, eliminate skeuomorphic design

Since Apple announced late last month that longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall and newly appointed head of retail John Browett would soon leave the company, there has been much talk about CEO Tim Cook’s direction at the executive level going forward.

The departure of Forstall saw bigger responsibilities and new roles given to executives Craig Federighi, Bob Mansfield, and Jony Ive, leading to rumors Forstall didn’t see eye to eye with the other executives. Bob Mansfield’s return after announcing retirement is also interesting, as it is something new sources said was directly influenced by Forstall leaving. Some even said Forstall’s refusal to sign the Maps apology lead to Cook’s decision. There are a few in-depth reports today, with many citing people close to the company, speculating on what these changes might actually mean for the company and for iOS in the months and years to come.

AllThingsD is out with a new report, claiming Mansfield’s return might have been directly influenced by Forstall’s departure:

All Things D:

Sources said that Mansfield was actually very serious about retiring, which makes his quick return to Apple all the more curious… As one source close to the company told AllThingsD, “The timing of Bob’s return is notcoincidental.” To begin, Mansfield was not a fan of Forstall’s confrontational management style, and sources said he generally tried to avoid the iOS exec.

“It wasn’t a him-or-me situation,” one source said of Mansfield’s return and Forstall’s ouster. “But, put it this way, I think Bob was much more willing to commit to two more years once he knew Scott was on his way out.”

Many of the reports speculated Jony Ive’s new role picking up Forstall’s Human Interface responsibilities would lead to major changes in iOS’ visual design:

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Best Buy selling almost as many iPhones as Apple… with four times as many stores

A new report from AllThingsD citied a study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners that gives a breakdown of iPhone percentages sold through each retailer, including Apple and the carriers. The survey targeted iPhone buyers over a three-month period from December 2011 to February 2012 and found approximately 76 percent of iPhones were sold through brick-and-mortar stores. The other 24 percent of iPhones were purchased online. Those numbers obviously shift with a high number of preorders during product launches. The report noted the iPhone 4S’ s launch saw 67 percent sales conducted online, while only 33 percent were in-store.

The full breakdown for each retailer (in the United States) not surprisingly shows the carriers clearly dominate iPhone sales: AT&T captured 32 percent, Verizon came in at 30 percent, and Sprint with 7 percent. AllThingsD said Best Buy came out on top among retailers—other than Apple and the carriers—with 13 percent of sales compared to Apple’s 15 percent. Reports are quick to mention Best Buy is selling almost as many iPhones as Apple, but it is worth noting Best Buy has four times as many stores…

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