Analysts remain positive about AAPL following event, focused on iPhone and Apple Pay

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While the relatively modest iPad updates might have led to a flurry of ‘Apple is doomed’ reports from analysts, an early roundup by Fortune suggests that the consensus view so far remains positive. Most are rating it a buy or overweight – meaning they expect it to outperform typical stocks – with the majority setting a target price in the $112-120 range …

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The latest stores and apps to accept Apple Pay (Running list)

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With Apple Pay launching on Monday with iOS 8.1 for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared an update at today’s special event with additional retailers and iOS apps that will accept Apple Pay at launch or have committed to accept Apple Pay in the future. According to Apple’s microsite for Apple Pay, the company has added 16 additional retailers and venues with plans to accept Apple Pay at launch or in the future. In addition to those retailers and venues, Apple has added 12 additional apps that plan to accept Apple Pay starting on Monday or sometime after the launch date. Read more

Internal Panera Bread memo claims Apple Pay will launch on October 20

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An internal memo sent to Panera Bread employees and acquired by 9to5Mac has revealed that Apple will launch its mobile payment platform on Monday, October 20th. Panera Bread was listed as one of the initial launch partners for Apple Pay during its introduction last month.

An online training course for employees has been published that includes instructions for the VeriFone readers, including the Apple Pay functions. Stores that don’t have the appropriate hardware to support the technology will receive further information on the 20th about how the company plans to handle payments those locations. Read more

This is how McDonald’s will take Apple Pay at the drive through

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Over the weekend we detailed how Apple and retailers are preparing for Apple Pay, the iPhone 6 and Touch ID-secured mobile payment system launching as soon as this week, including the setup process through Passbook. At launch Apple Pay will be supported by a number of retailers, restaurants and more including McDonald’s which plans to even accept Apple Pay from your iPhone 6 at the drive through… Read more

Apple Pay setup detailed & retailers begin training as service launches at Apple HQ

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The launch of Apple Pay, Apple’s NFC and Touch ID-based mobile payment solution, is upon us. Apple has begun preparing for the launch by kicking off Apple Pay training programs for its own group of retail store employees and by working with retailers to prepare for the debut later this month. The training materials, shared by a reliable source, for the Apple Pay launch at Apple retail stores have also detailed some new specifics regarding the Apple Pay setup and transaction processes both on customer iPhones and in Apple retail stores…

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Many retailers currently have no plans to implement Apple Pay, but that’s no reason to start worrying

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When announcing Apple Pay last month, Apple showed off a list of launch partners that would be putting the NFC-powered iPhone payment system to work in October, including McDonald’s, Nike, and Macy’s. However, the Daily Dot has compiled a list of businesses that don’t currently have plans to adopt Apple’s mobile payment system, and there are some notable entries on the list.

Of course, it doesn’t seem unexpected that many businesses that didn’t have early access to the hardware and software that makes up Apple Pay would be without current plans to adopt the technology. Many of the companies gave a “non-statement,” so to speak, confirming that they are considering the possibility of implementing the system in the future but don’t currently have a date set to roll it out.

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‘It’s been way too long': Apple sends out invites for Thursday, October 16th iPad & Mac event

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It’s happening: Apple has just announced a keynote address for Thursday, October 16th to take place at the Town Hall auditorium on its Infinite Loop Campus in Cupertino, California. Invitations to select members of the media and special guests indicate that the event will, as always, begin at 10 AM Pacific time/1 PM Eastern Time. News of the October 16th date broke last week. We’ll be providing full, live coverage on 9to5Mac.com of the event’s proceedings. Here’s everything we’re expecting Apple to discuss at the event:

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Apple Pay setup screen appears in modified version of iOS 8.1 beta 2

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Just in case there hadn’t already been enough evidence of Apple Pay support coming to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the iOS 8.1 update, the second beta of the operating system, which was released earlier today, contains the setup screen for the system. The change isn’t visible to most users right now, but Hamad Sood been able to make it appear:

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Apple developing iOS 8.1, 8.2, & 8.3 in shift for 2015 launches

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Starting with iOS 5 in 2011, Apple has released a major new iOS version each fall and a notable follow-up update early in the following year. For example, iOS 6 launched in September 2012 and was updated to iOS 6.1 in January, and iOS 7, which was launched in September 2013, was updated to iOS 7.1 with CarPlay and interface improvements in March 2014. But starting with the recently released iOS 8, it appears that Apple has a different development schedule for 2015 and perhaps beyond. According to sources, Apple is already hard at work on three major follow-up versions to iOS 8: iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3.

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We’ve confirmed that these major new versions are in development via two means. First, a developer of a major hardware-connected iOS application has shared with us their analytics, and this data indicates that all three versions are in testing by Apple employees in or around Cupertino, California. Second, and much closer to home, our own Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com show that iOS users are visiting our website via iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3 devices. iOS 8.1 hits to 9to5Mac.com started appearing even months before iOS 8.0 launched, but 8.2 and 8.3 visits only started picking up following iOS 8’s release in mid-September.

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While Apple works on several iOS features and enhancements over the course of several years, it typically only begins wholly testing major new releases close to the ship dates of the preceding release. Apple working on three significant follow-ups to iOS 8 is a shift from the usual development cycle, one which would normally indicate Apple to be working on just iOS 8.1 as well as iOS 9.0. It’s possible that iOS 9 is also in the works, and of course Apple is always working on nominal bug fix (x.x.1 or .2 or .3) updates, but the fact that 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 are all in simultaneous development raises some interesting possibilities:

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Hack test shows Apple improved security and reliability of (still not perfect) Touch ID sensor in iPhone 6

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You may recall that the Touch ID sensor was successfully hacked last year, using a technique where fingerprints were lifted from the phone’s casing followed by sophisticated lab techniques used to create artificial copies of the print to activate the sensor.

The bad news is that the sensor in the iPhone 6 is vulnerable to the same methods – the good news is that security researcher Marc Rogers found the iPhone 6 version to be both more secure and more reliable …  Read more

PayPal takes a swipe at Apple Pay security over iCloud celebrity photo leaks

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PayPal appears to be calling out Apple and its newly announced mobile payment service Apple Pay with an ad appearing in The New York Times print edition (via Pando Daily) indirectly reminding people of last month’s disastrous iCloud photo leak when a list of celebrities found their personal photos an intimate situations published on the web. The ad reads “We the people want our money safer than our selfies,” but PayPal isn’t without its own security issue in the past.

Apple already has over 500 million iTunes account with most having credit cards, the company says, and iCloud features like iCloud Keychain manage and utilize credit card data for auto-completing credit card information. Read more

Apple joins secure chip standards and NFC group GlobalPlatform ahead of Apple Pay release

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Ahead of Apple’s entry into the mobile payment space next month with the release of Apple Pay for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, Apple has joined the GlobalPlatform, the non-profit association focused on standards for secure chip technology across various industries, as a full member.

Existing members of GlobalPlatform include various Apple partners and competitors alike with carriers AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon being members as well as handset makers Samsung and BlackBerry. More importantly, Apple Pay partners American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are also members; Discover, which is not yet an Apple Pay partner but has said it is discussions over participation with Apple, is also a member. Read more