Strategy Analytics: iPhone market share climbed from 8.2% to 10.9% year-on-year

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Strategy Analytics has issued its latest estimates of global mobile phone shipments, and reports that Apple’s market share climbed from 8.2% in Q2 2014 to 10.9% in the same quarter this year. Apple revealed in its latest quarterly earnings that it saw iPhone sales climb 35% year-on-year to 47M units.

The research firm said that Apple’s dramatic growth in iPhone shipments contrasted strongly with an overall industry growth rate of just 2% …  Read more

Opinion: iTunes is now so clunky the only safe solution is to nuke it from orbit

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I’ve complained before about the massive missed opportunity of Apple failing to properly integrate both owned and streamed music within iTunes. I got over that enough to use and enjoy Apple Music, and I’m confident I’ll be continuing my subscription once Apple starts charging my card, despite the raw deal we get on pricing in the UK.

But I also agreed with Variety that Apple needed to adopt the same approach for OS X as it does for iOS, splitting out the various iTunes functions into separate apps. Having now been using version 12.2 of iTunes for a month, I’m escalating this from a moderate whinge to a full-scale rant. The time has come for Apple to finally rid us of this creaking, bloated disaster of an app, and start afresh …  Read more

T-Mobile adds free Apple Music cellular streaming, offers free next-gen iPhone upgrades to iPhone 6 buyers

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Summer for T-Mobile this year has meant announcing a series of promotions and plans dubbed #UncarrierAmped. Today, the company launched the latest, and last of these moves. This time it’s all about Apple. John Legere announced in a blog post that the company is adding Apple Music to its Music Freedom free music streaming service and is going to offer this year’s — as yet unreleased — iPhone to anyone buying an iPhone 6 over the next couple of months. Read more

Sources at major labels say Apple Music hit over 10M subscribers in first month

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Music site Hits Daily Double cites “inside sources at some of the major labels” as stating that Apple Music signed up more than 10M subscribers in the first four weeks, saying the number was shared with them by Apple.

The site says both Apple and the labels were surprised by the speed of adoption, noting that streaming figures for some tracks – which include “a couple of cutting-edge hip-hop titles” – are on a par with Spotify, which has around 75M subscribers …  Read more

New Pad & Quill Apple Watch bands turn Sport into classy for $86

Apple-watch-pad-quill-bandsPad and Quill, one of our favorite Apple accessory makers, today introduced a set of Apple Watch bands with their trademark quality leather and stitching combined with two options of metal: Stainless Steel and Polished Black. At $86 (save 5% w/code 5forSUMMER), this turns an Apple Watch Sport into something you can wear with business casual to formal attire. Paired with a standard Apple Watch, it adds more color options to your Stainless Steel arsenal.

Not just any leather, but the luxury full grain leather used to craft all of Pad & Quill’s handmade goods. So we turned to Victorio, a 4th generation italian leather tannery artisan. His tannery uses  legendary soft-tumbled method to transform full grain American steer hides into a luxury leather watch band that will hug your wrist with pliable comfort, while being as rugged and durable as your active life demands.

We’ll have a review in the next week or so but if you can’t wait, you can order yours in 38mm or 42mm today for delivery starting in mid August. Check out our hands-on impressions with each of Pad and Quill’s full lineup of Apple Watch accessories in the meantime. Read more

Apple increasing R&D spending by $1.5B as it cuts capital expenditure

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An SEC filing by Apple shows that the company plans to increase this year’s spend on product development by $1.5B, reaching a total of $5.9B by the end of September, reports Business Insider. At the same time, Apple is cutting its forecast capital expenditure by $1B, which the company told the WSJ was due to efficiency savings.

A company spokeswoman said Apple lowered the forecast because it was able to spend more efficiently for tooling equipment and facilities. “There are no changes in our product plans,” she said.

Apple explores a great many potential new product ideas, and the increased spend on product development could conceivably indicate that the company is choosing to invest more heavily in one of these, BI speculating that it may be the long-rumored Apple car …  Read more

Apple’s tough security requirements for Bluetooth LE are delaying HomeKit roll-out, say manufacturers

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If you were wondering why manufacturers seemed to be rather slow in launching HomeKit-compatible devices, it may all be down to Apple’s stringent security requirements. Forbes reports that manufacturers are finding it hard to incorporate the extremely secure encryption standards demanded by Apple in order to achieve MFi certification for their products.

Apple is requiring device makers using both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to use complicated encryption with 3072-bit keys, as well as the super secure Curve25519, which is an elliptic curve used for digital signatures and exchanging encrypted keys.

While mains-powered WiFi kit is coping, the processing workload in battery-powered Bluetooth LE devices is leading to extremely slow response times, say manufacturers …  Read more

Tim Cook believes China will be Apple’s biggest market – and it’s not hard to see why

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One of the most remarkable numbers revealed yesterday by Apple was that revenue in Greater China – the term used to describe mainland China plus Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan – more than doubled in the past year. Year-on-year revenue in the region more than doubled, compared to Apple’s already impressive worldwide growth of 33% …  Read more

Fortune: AAPL earnings likely to beat analyst expectations for 9th straight quarter

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With Apple due to report its fiscal Q3 (calendar Q2) earnings later todayFortune notes that the company has beaten Wall Street expectations for eight straight quarters – and strong iPhone sales mean that today’s earnings report is likely to make it nine.

iPhone sales typically drop in June as consumers hear more rumors about the next model and many decide to wait. But with Q3 sales estimated at close to 50M phones, representing a massive 40% year-on-year increase, that would put Apple’s revenue well in excess of the company’s own guidance of $47B and above the Wall Street consensus estimate of $49.5B …  Read more

Large tech companies side with Samsung in its appeal against award for infringing Apple’s patents

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In the latest news in the patent case that feels like it will never end, a number of tech giants have taken Samsung’s side in its appeal against the damages it was ordered to pay for infringing Apple’s patents.

It’s almost three years since Apple was awarded $1B in damages after a jury found that Samsung infringed five of its patents. $450M of that award was later vacated and a retrial ordered to determine a revised sum, with Apple awarded a lower sum of $290M – for a revised total of $930M. The US appeals court later ruled that while Samsung did indeed copy iOS features, it should not have been penalised for copying the general look of the iPhone. The court now needs to once again revise the amount awarded.

The amount awarded in part reflected the profits Samsung was deemed to have made by infringing the patents, and it is this aspect that Google, Facebook, Dell, HP, eBay and other tech companies say is unreasonable …  Read more

Analyst estimates for Apple Watch sales all over the place, ranging from 3-6 million units

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Since its launch, Apple Watch sales estimates have either shown it as doing incredibly well, or that it’s doomed to failure. Tim Cook hasn’t announced any figures yet, and may not even report them during tomorrow’s quarterly earnings call. But that won’t stop analysts guessing. If recent “estimates” are anything to go by, the financial wizards in charge of looking in to these numbers have no idea what’s going on. Estimates are all over the place… Read more

Dozens of popular apps found ‘vulnerable to password cracking’

Image: n3rdabl3.co.uk

Image: n3rdabl3.co.uk

Popular iOS and Android apps from companies like Walmart, ESPN, Slack and SoundCloud have been found vulnerable to password cracking, according to a recent report from AppBugs. The security firm found that dozens of the most popular apps are lacking, in that they allow you to make any number of attempts to login without restriction. These clearly opens up a gap for attackers who have the means to guess those passwords and gain access to your accounts.

The most secure apps will force you to reset your password if you don’t enter it correctly, or they’ll lock you out after you’ve made a certain number of attempts.

AppBugs tested the most popular apps to see how they stacked up. It checked 100 popular apps which support password-protected web accounts and limited themselves to apps which had been downloaded at least 1 million times. Of those 100 apps, 53 were found to have the vulnerability.

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