Apple patents smoke detectors in iDevices that can call 911, activate sprinklers and locate building occupants

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The Nest smoke detector may look decidedly old-fashioned if one Apple patent ever makes it into production. Apple has patented the idea of embedding smoke detectors into “electronic devices” and using those devices to provide a comprehensive response to a fire.

In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action. The electronic device may transmit alerts to nearby electronic devices and to remote electronic devices such as electronic devices at emergency services facilities. Alerts may contain maps and graphical representations of buildings in which smoke has been detected. Motion detectors and other sensors and circuitry may be used in determining whether electronic devices are being used by users and may be used in determining where the electronic devices are located. Alerts may contain information on the location of detected smoke and building occupants.

In other words, your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac could detect smoke, alert you, alert other devices within range, activate sprinklers, call emergency services and use the fact that an iDevice is moving or in use to tell fire crews where in the building you and your family members are …  Read more

Apple supplier Corning says new Gorilla Glass 4 twice as shatter-resistant in drop tests (Video)

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The GTAT mess may have forced Apple to abandon its presumed plans to replace iPhone Gorilla Glass screens with sapphire, but next year’s iPhone displays could still prove up to twice as shatter-resistant, says glass-maker Corning.

Corning said that studying hundreds of broken phone screens had revealed the unsurprising fact that shattered screens most commonly occurred in a one-meter drop onto a rough surface like concrete or asphalt. Drop tests in these conditions found that Gorilla Glass 4 survived up to 80% of such impacts – twice the record of the Gorilla Glass 3 used in current iPhones.

While there was much scientific testing behind the scenes, the videos the company used to illustrate the improved strength were rather less scientific in nature …

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10% of owners of iPhone 5 & up will buy an Apple Watch, predicts Morgan Stanley

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Morgan Stanley is predicting in an investor note that around 10% of those who own an iPhone 5 or later will buy an Apple Watch, generating first year sales of around 30M – right at the top end of the 10-30M range suggested by other analysts.

While predicting likely sales of a new product category is always a rather shaky undertaking, and sales of competitor smartwatches may not prove a reliable guide, Morgan Stanley thinks there is one clue to how well the Apple Watch might sell: the precedent set by the iPad …  Read more

Apple getting serious about iAd as it offers automated purchasing of mobile ads

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When Steve Jobs said something was going to happen, it generally did. One notable exception, though, has been Apple’s mobile advertising platform, iAd. Jobs said back in 2010 that it would grab 50% of the mobile ad market; right now, it’s sitting at just 2.6%. That may be about to change after advertising middleman Rubicon announced that automated purchasing of iAds will soon be supported …  Read more

Apple analysts: Know what’s really cool? A trillion dollar market cap

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Analysts attending the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in New York have suggested that Apple could eventually be valued at a trillion dollars.

Gains in shares of Apple Inc could take the world’s largest publicly traded company to a market capitalization of perhaps as high as $1 trillion, some of the country’s biggest investors said on Monday.

AAPL got two-thirds of the way there a few days ago, reaching $663B, since climbing further to $670B, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn suggested last month that the company should already be valued at a trillion dollars …  Read more

Korea Times claims Samsung will be lead supplier for next year’s A-series chips

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Korea Times is claiming that a deal has been struck with Apple for Samsung to supply 80% of the chips for next year’s iPhones and iPads, with TSMC picking up the balance of orders.

Samsung Electronics agreed with Apple to produce application processors (APs) from next year for iPhones and iPads, sources said Monday.

The agreement means Samsung will become a primary supplier of APs to Apple, pushing its chief Taiwanese rival TSMC back to second place. From 2016, the company will supply 80 percent of APs used in Apple devices, and TSMC the remainder.

The paper suggests that Samsung will split production of the A9 chip across its Korean and Texas plants, partnering with New York-based GlobalFoundries for additional capacity …
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Samsung’s not done with its ‘me too’ act yet: announces Continuity clone, Flow

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Not content with being a ‘fast follower’ of HealthKit and HomeKit with its Digital Health and Smart Home platforms, and iBeacon with its Proximity Service, Samsung has just announced a Continuity clone, Flow.

People today use multiple devices in their daily activities: phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, TVs, and more. But the way we work is still device-centric. We still use one application, within one device, with data that is tied to that application and device.

Samsung Flow is a platform that enables developers to create seamless transitions across devices, so that people can change devices in the midst of an activity and continue right from where they left off.

Flow is compatible with anything that works with Android’s Share feature: if content can be shared with other apps, Flow can be used to to hand it off to other devices …  Read more

Samsung going head-to-head with Apple with iBeacon rival, Proximity

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The rivalry between Apple and Samsung looks set to enter a new field as Samsung has announced a direct competitor to iBeacon, called Proximity.

Samsung Proximity is a mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with places via cutting-edge Samsung location and context-aware technology.

With Samsung Proximity, visitors are able to experience rich content related to their location, and marketers can better engage with customers for increased sales and brand awareness.

The applications Samsung describes for the service are identical to those already in use with Apple’s iBeacon partners …  Read more

KGI: iPad Pro pushed back again to Q2 2015, Q1 to see under 10M iPads shipped

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The latest report from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple will delay its expected launch of a 12.9 (or 12.2)-inch iPad ‘Pro’ as it predicts a 50% decline for iPad shipments heading into next year. Specifically, KGI thinks Apple will sell just under 10 million units in Q1 2015 following a busy holiday season in the last quarter of this year. That would be a 54.5% drop from quarter to quarter with KGI predicting 21 million iPad units sold during the Q4 2014 Holiday quarter: Read more

Benefits of Apple Pay over CurrentC to retailers highlighted as Whole Foods transactions hit 1%

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Shortly after retail chain Whole Foods announced that it had processed 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in the three weeks since the service was launched – estimated at around 1% of the company’s sales – a business author and senior Hitachi consultant has spoken about the twin attractions of Apple Pay for retailers.

Jim Maholic, author of Business Cases that Mean Business and vice president in Hitachi Consulting, said major retailers had two main reasons to favor Apple Pay over rival mobile payment service CurrentC …  Read more

Possible Apple-Alibaba partnership could lead to greatly accelerated rollout of Apple Pay in China

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The potential partnership between Apple and Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba could facilitate a far more rapid rollout of Apple Pay in the country than if Apple goes it alone, suggests a piece in the WSJ. Tim Cook first revealed that he was in talks with the company at the WSJ Digital conference last month.

One possible scenario is for Alibaba’s financial affiliate, which owns the Alipay electronic-payment business in China, to provide back-end services for Apple’s Apple Pay payment system, allowing iPhone users to pay with Apple Pay using the money from their Alipay accounts, Mr. Tsai said.

Such an arrangement would be significant for two reasons …  Read more