Apple Watch predicted to take 55% of the 2015 global smartwatch market with 15.4M units shipped

Apple Watch shipments Strategy Analytics

Research firm Strategy Analytics released its latest report today forecasting global Apple Watch sales and smartwatch marketshare for 2015. The firm’s predictions put Apple’s anticipated global smartwatch marketshare at more than half with 54.8% reached in 2015. Notably, that forecasted percentage is versus all other smartwatches combined competing with the Apple Watch.

While the report predicts that Apple will take the overwhelming majority of smartwatch sales this year, it predicts a relatively conservative number of units shipped globally in 2015 at 15.4 million. That forecast still beats the collective “other” group with a 12.7 million units shipped globally predicted.

To be clear, the firm is predicting that the as-of-yet unreleased Apple Watch will outsell the existing smartwatch market in 2015…

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BMW denies Apple Car collaboration, but report hints i3 electric car could get Apple OS

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BMW has denied a report in the German car magazine that it is developing or building a car for Apple, but not responded to a claim suggesting that Apple may be developing an ‘operating system’ for its i3 electric car.

Auto Motor Sport claimed that Apple was in discussion with BMW about the possibility of developing an electric car based on the BMW i3, following numerous reports that the Cupertino company plans to develop an Apple Car. However, Reuters reported shortly afterwards that BMW had denied this.

German carmaker BMW said on Thursday its talks with technology giant Apple did not involve developing or building a car, denying a German magazine report.

BMW did confirm that it was holding “regular talks” with Apple on “topics like connected vehicles,” offering no comment on the idea that Apple may be working on an ‘operating system’ for the car …  Read more

WSJ footnote suggests 12-inch MacBook Air could be announced by Apple as early as Monday

Render: Martin Hajek (based on our reporting)

Render: Martin Hajek (based on our reporting)

Tucked away at the bottom of the WSJ’s report on the often-postponed iPad Pro was a single sentence that, if correct, suggests that Apple could announce the 12-inch MacBook Air as early as Monday.

While suppliers are gearing up to ship the new 12-inch MacBook Air in large quantities in the second quarter, Apple’s launch schedule remains unclear, the people said.

WWDC traditionally has been the end of Q2, so unless Apple plans another event specifically for the new model (not impossible but I’d think not), the most likely time to announce it would be during Monday’s Spring Forward event, expected to major on the Apple Watch. Since this is a new product, not an upgrade of a current product, Apple could use some ramping time between the announcement and the actual launch.

We’d caution however that supply chain sources, which is apparently the kind the WSJ is using, often guess early when it comes to shipping times.

We exclusively revealed details of the radical new MacBook back in January. Sources described a markedly thinner and lighter machine squeezing a 12-inch higher resolution screen into a casing narrower than the current 11-inch MacBook Air. The machine is also said to take a minimalist approach to ports–likely even just a single USB C port for both power and data–and to be available in iOS device colors as well as plain anodized aluminum. Read more

Apple releases first OS X 10.10.3 Public Beta with new Photos app

Apple today released the first Public Beta of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.3. The new release includes the iCloud-based Photos application for the Mac, new Emojis across the system, and simpler login to Google accounts for profiles with two-factor authentication enabled. This beta is labeled as build 14D87, which is the same as the second 10.10.3 beta for developers, which was released a week ago. The Public Beta is available in the Mac App Store Software Update tab for registered beta users. Apple plans to release the first Public Beta of iOS 8.3 in mid-March, according to sources. Thanks, DJ!

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Tim Cook talks Snowden, Apple Car and Steve Jobs as the best teacher he’s ever had

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Tim Cook appears to be using his international tour, which so far includes Israel, Germany and the UK, to push a second product every bit as hard as the Apple Watch: privacy. In an interview with the German newspaper BILD posted yesterday (paywall), Cook went as far as to praise Edward Snowden for his role in prompting discussion of the issue.

If Snowden did anything for us at all, then it was to get us to talk more about these things. [Apple’s] values have always been the same.

The comments follow a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at which data privacy was reportedly a key topic. Cook also told the Telegraph last week that “none of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information.” Cook has in the past resisted FBI pressure to compromise its strong encryption, and was the only tech CEO to attend a recent White House cybersecurity summit.

In the BILD interview, Cook reiterated Apple’s stance on privacy, and also said that as Apple had grown larger, it had taken deliberate decisions to be less secretive about some aspects of its business …  Read more

Apple adds vehicles to its list of company activities in Swiss legal filing

apple-car

Apple has officially added vehicles to the corporate documents describing the company’s activities, at least in Switzerland. The company’s lawyers added the following paragraph, reports Swiss site ApfelBlog.

Vehicles; Apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water; electronic hardware components for motor vehicles, rail cars and locomotives, ships and aircraft; Anti-theft devices; Theft alarms for vehicles; Bicycles; Golf carts; Wheelchairs; Air pumps; Motorcycles; Aftermarket parts (after-market parts) and accessories for the aforesaid goods.

It’s common to add catch-all terminology to company activities, so nothing should be read into the inclusion of ships and aircraft, though we’re sure there will be a breathless headline somewhere soon about an Apple plane …  Read more

Apple Watch ‘pop up’ stores prognosticated for Paris, London and SXSW

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Over the past week, we’ve heard rumors that Apple planned “pop up” stores for displaying the new Apple Watch inside high end stores in both Paris Galeries Lafayette and London Selfridges (pictured above). Now the Austin Statesman notes that Apple has participated in SXSW in a number of ways over the past few years and it would almost be surprising if the Apple Watch wasn’t displayed in some capacity to the international SXSW Interactive audience there. Apple set up a pop-up shop for the iPad 2 during its spring launch in 2011 (pictured right).

inside-apple-pop-up-austinApple has used the festival in the past to showcase a new product (like the iPad 2) or to promote its services (like the iTunes Music Festival last year). SXSW Interactive is the perfect audience of early adopters for a product like the Apple Watch and it wouldn’t be surprising if the company offered a preview of the device there.

SXSW is an annual Music/Film/Interactive conference that runs March 13th-22nd this year, the week following the March 9th event and before the Apple Watch goes on sale in April. One SXSW event Apple Watch enthusiasts may want to check out: Wearables and the Happiness Quotient.

A possible counter-argument to an Apple Watch presence that Apple has focused on Fashion audiences and not Tech audiences for the Apple Watch launch.

Apple also plans another showcase of the Apple watch outside of the Yerba Buena Center where it will hold its Spring Forward event on March 9th.

Tim Cook: Apple Watch will replace car keyfobs, reward exercise, filter messages

tim-cook-apple-watch

In an interview with the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, Tim Cook said that while people might see limited reasons to want an Apple Watch today, they will soon find lots of other uses for it. The interview took place during a London stop in Cook’s international tour.

This will be just like the iPhone: people wanted it and bought for a particular reason, perhaps for browsing, but then found out that they loved it for all sorts of other reasons.

One of those reasons, he said, would be to replace your car keyfob …  Read more

Ericsson asks ITC to block iPhones from U.S. market in patent negotiating tactic

iphones

Ericsson, an early pioneer in cellphone technology, has upped the ante in a patent dispute with Apple by asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the import of iPhones into the country.

Ericsson owns patents to a number of fundamental technologies used in all cellphones, including LTE, and Apple had been paying royalties for these up until mid-January when the license fell due for renewal, reports Bloomberg …  Read more

Apple’s growing presence in Israel geared to chip design, suggests WSJ

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The WSJ is suggesting that Apple’s growing presence in Israel is focused on expanding the company’s chip design capabilities, reporting that it has hired most of the local employees of a chip design company shut down by Texas Instruments and is advertising new positions in silicon and semiconductor design.

“Apple’s Israeli acquisitions and its expanding local workforce show that the company is becoming more and more independent on the chip level, where it once had to rely on external suppliers,” said Shlomo Gradman, chairman of the Israeli Semiconductor Club.

While the report contains more speculation than hard fact, we noted yesterday that Tim Cook–who is currently visiting the country–is accompanied by Johny Srouji, whose bio on the Apple website says that he “leads all custom silicon architecture and development” …

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Tim Cook: Apple Watch will be showerproof, Apple Pay goal for Europe is “end of the year”

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French site iGen is reporting that Tim Cook told an employee in the Kurfürstendamm Apple Store in Berlin that he wears his Apple Watch all the time–”even in the shower.” While Apple has previously mentioned water-resistance, and stated that the S1 innards are “completely encapsulated in resin,” this is the first time we’ve had a specific indication on what that means in practice.

In line with expectations that the watch will only have one day of battery-life, Cook confirmed that he removes it every night to charge …  Read more