Apple Inc ▪ Today

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Apple is indeed planning to release a new version of its 21.5-inch iMac with a 4K display this fall, according to reliable sources. The current plan is to announce the refreshed version of the smaller iMac by the end of October alongside OS X El Capitan and begin shipping the product by the beginning of November. As indicated by references inside of El Capitan, the new 21.5 inch iMac’s 4K display will come with a resolution of 4096 x 2304, which is up from the current model’s screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. Faster processors and improved color saturation can also be expected. The higher-resolution screen will likely raise the price of the new iMac, much like the 5K display raised the price 27-inch iMac last fall. Apple may keep around the current 1080P models, much like the lower-resolution 27-inch iMac is still available for sale.

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Apple is making its App Store a bit more social. The company today opened up a new Twitter account dedicated to the App Store’s gaming section. The account, @AppStoreGames, is yet to be officially verified by Twitter, but it was retweeted this morning by the official and verified @AppStore account, which launched a few years ago.

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has today published a patent application from Apple for a fuel cell system designed to allow a MacBook to operate without external power “for days or even weeks.” The patent was published shortly after a British company rumored to be working with Apple managed to fit a fuel cell battery into an iPhone 6, powering it for a week at a time. We first reported on that project last summer.

While the patent refers only to a ‘portable computing device,’ both the text and diagrams specifically reference MagSafe, giving a clear indication that a MacBook is the device in question (even if Apple may be moving away from the system) …  expand full story

A report from the usually-reliable KGI has repeated many of the details from our exclusives on the iPhone 6S, but additionally offered support for an earlier rumor that the front camera will be upgraded to 5MP. Surprisingly, it also suggests that the rear camera lens may not be sapphire, as it has apparently failed drop tests.

Aside from upgrading rear camera module to 12MP, Apple will upgrade front camera module to 5MP […] The new iPhone may not be equipped with sapphire cover lens, as it still has quality issues on the drop test.

Although sapphire is much more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass, it is more brittle, and thus at greater risk of shattering when dropped.

The company also repeated its concerns that limited appeal of the new features, together with external economic factors, is likely to result in flat or negative sales growth …  expand full story

A week after IDC estimated worldwide Apple Watch Q2 sales of 3.6M units, a large Chinese app analytics company has reportedly measured more than 1M Watches in use in China. TalkingData has access to huge volumes of data as the apps it monitors include WeChat, which has more than half a billion active users, reports Business Insider …  expand full story

A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.

After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.

Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded …  expand full story

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