Report: Seth Rogen will play Steve Wozniak in upcoming Steve Jobs film

Variety reports that actor Seth Rogen has been cast to play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic from Sony:

Seth Rogen has been set to star as Steve Wozniak opposite Christian Bale in Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic.

We learned earlier this month that Christian Bale, who starred in the recent Batman trilogy, will portray Steve Jobs in the Aaron Sorkin directed film. Sorkin later confirmed the report adding that Christian Bale didn’t have to audition for the role in the film.

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Apple’s market-leading tablet share falls to 22% against growing cheap media consumption options

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Worldwide unit shipments for the top 5 tablet plus 2-in-1 device vendors over last five quarters

New data from IDC tracking worldwide tablet shipments shows that Apple has maintained its lead during the third quarter despite “a decline in overall iPad shipment volume in 3Q14.” Specifically, Apple grabbed 22.8% of the market with 12.3 million shipments during the quarter compared to 14.1 million units and 29.2% share in the year ago quarter. That compares to Samsung at 18.3% of the market and 9.9 million units shipped up from 19.3% and 9.3 million units shipped in the third quarter last year: Read more

Apple reportedly in ‘preliminary contact’ with distributors to bring iPhone to Iran

iphone6

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is in early talks with “Iranian distributors” to bring the iPhone to Iran:

Apple Inc. is in preliminary contact with Iranian distributors about a possible entry into the country should Western sanctions ease sufficiently, people familiar with the matter said.

The report notes that financial and banking sanctions as well as political tension has thus far prevented companies like Apple from conducting business in Iran, but points to a policy change in May that lifted the ban on sales of “consumer communications technologies” in the country. The report goes on the claim that “senior Apple executives” have already met with “potential Iranian distributors” at Apple’s regional headquarters in London. Read more

GT Advanced COO discusses Apple’s sapphire fallout, here are the interesting bits

Mesa-Arizona

While lawyers for bankrupt sapphire supplier GT Advanced confirmed previously that it had reached an agreement to repay Apple approximately $439 million, many details regarding what exactly went wrong in the partnership had not been disclosed publicly. Today we get what might be the clearest explanation yet of what happened between the two companies leading up to GTAT filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.  In a declaration filed by COO of GT Advanced Daniel Squiller with the courts yesterday (via Fortune), the company outlines previously sealed info regarding its deal with Apple and terms of the deal that lead to GT’s bankruptcy filing.

When GTAT initially entered into negotiations to sell sapphire furnaces to Apple, it had no sense that, having borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for the components of more than 2,036 sapphire furnaces, it would end up being unable to meet its cost and production targets for reasons that it believes were beyond its control as well as unforeseen difficulties in scaling its technology to 262kg boules to meet evolving product specifications.

While noting that the deal was “an ambitious transaction for the production of sapphire in quantities, size and quality never before achieved,” the document reveals a number of strict terms Apple imposed in the deal that the company describes as limiting its ability to achieve Apple’s requirements for sapphire production. Here’s a few of the more interesting bits: Read more

The Apple Watch may not be here yet, but the 3rd-party stands keep coming

composure

We may need to wait a while until we get our hands on the Apple Watch, the company still saying only “early 2015,” but that hasn’t stopped third-party companies getting their charging stands ready – and so far, they’re all looking good.

After last month’s ‘$60-80′ Dodocase stand, Rest has announced pre-orders for the $79 Composure Dock. Both products have taken the same approach of supplying a stand with a slot into which you insert the Apple MagSafe charger that will be supplied with the watch …  Read more

Apple faces class-action lawsuit over 2011 MacBook Pro GPU issues

2011 MacBook Pro

Following a petition with thousands of signatures related to GPU complaints, Apple has been named a defendant in a new class-action lawsuit filed against the Cupertino-based company in the United States District Court for Northern California over system failures and graphical issues affecting 2011 MacBook Pros.

The class-action lawsuit was filed by Kentucky-based law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason on behalf of plaintiffs Zachary Book, Donald Cowart, and John Manners, a trio of individuals that accuse Apple of failing to rectify the graphical issues that have affected both 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2011. Read more

Live blog: The latest news from Apple CEO Tim Cook’s WSJ interview

Mark Gurman | 20:56 More: 

Mark Gurman | 20:56 Tim Cook says he is meeting with Alibaba executives later this week about a potential tie-up for AliPay and Apple Pay. Biggest news of the night from a financial perspective. 

Mark Gurman | 20:53 More on Classic going away: it wasn’t worth updating it. 

Mark Gurman | 20:52 Cook on cheaper iPhones: 

Mark Gurman | 20:51 Tim Cook on why the iPod classic was discontinued: 

Mark Gurman | 20:50 On to questions!

Mark Gurman | 20:48

Mark Gurman | 20:47 Cook explaining iOS security: Apple unable to give up FaceTime and iMessage records. The usuals. 

Mark Gurman | 20:41 More at 11…. 

Mark Gurman | 20:41 On Buybacks:

Mark Gurman | 20:37

Mark Gurman | 20:37 Cook on Mac vs. Windows. OUCH! 

“Would you rather own the Macintosh business or any of the Windows OEMs?” — Tim Cook

Mark Gurman | 20:37 Cook on iOS vs. Android:

Mark Gurman | 20:34

Mark Gurman | 20:34 Cook repeating his comments from 2011, 2012, and 2013 about TV:

“What we’ll do I don’t want to be so clear on,” Cook says. “But it’s an area of a lot of interest. And I’m optimistic … that there can be something great done in the space.”

Mark Gurman | 20:31 Some more lack of clarity from Tim Cook on Apple Watch battery life 

Mark Gurman | 20:31

Mark Gurman | 20:30 Wow! 

Mark Gurman | 20:30 Cook on his own personal life:

Mark Gurman | 20:29 Huge activation numbers for Apple Pay:

Mark Gurman | 20:29 More on Apple Pay:

Mark Gurman | 20:28 Cook on Apple Pay situation:

Mark Gurman | 20:28 More on Apple Watch:

Mark Gurman | 20:27 Another photo:

Screenshot 2014-10-27 23.26.55

Mark Gurman | 20:26 Cook on the Watch:

Mark Gurman | 20:25 Cook says Apple’s services division makes Apple ~18 billion dollars per year. 

Mark Gurman | 20:25 And more on Macs:

Mark Gurman | 20:25 Cook on PCs:

Mark Gurman | 20:24 The Verge has a pic:

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Mark Gurman | 20:23 Cook on iPhone: 

Mark Gurman | 20:11 Interesting: 

Mark Gurman | 19:25 ~ Half hour to go 

Seth Weintraub | 18:55 More Hugo+Tim

Seth Weintraub | 18:53

Tim Cook next to (TOUCHING!) Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra

Mark Gurman | 18:53 Is that an Android phone? 

tim-cook-the-d11-interview

Cook’s previous wide-ranging interview

Following the announcement of a record earnings results, the debut of a pair of new iPhones, the launch of Apple, the introduction of new iPads, and the unveiling of the upcoming Apple Watch, Apple CEO Tim Cook is taking the stage in California at the Wall Street Journal’s inaugural WSJ.D Live conference. Cook could drop some juicy details behind Apple’s latest products and about Apple’s future, and we’ll be using this live blog post to share the latest details from the interview. You can find all tonight’s action below and follow us for more updates on Twitter:

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Apple responds to CVS & Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay for CurrentC

apple-pay

Apple has provided the following statement to Business Insider when asked about CVS and Rite Aid both blocking Apple Pay at their checkout terminals:

The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.

Earlier today CVS confirmed in a statement to CNBC that it will not be accepting Apple Pay after users previously reported being able to the chain’s NFC terminals: Read more

Apple profiles its effort in Obama’s ConnectED education program: 114 schools receiving Macs, iPads, & Apple TVs

Apple ConnectED

The White House shared earlier this year that Apple is a participant in President Obama’s ConnectED education program focused on bringing Internet access and technology to schools in need, and today Apple has provided a micro site profiling its effort in the program.

While it was already known that Apple has pledged $100 million to provide iPads, MacBooks, and other products toward the program for schools across the United States, Apple has shared that Apple ConnectED grants are being received by a total of 114 different schools across the country with these schools spread out across 29 states. Apple added that “92% of students from our partner schools are of Hispanic, Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, or Asian heritage.” Read more

Fitbit moves from fitness band to true smartwatch territory with $250 Fitbit Surge

fitbit

With Apple Watch official and expected early next year, it’s likely too little, too late for Fitbit, but the company is finally moving beyond simple fitness bands to a fully-featured smartwatch in the form of the $250 Fitbit Surge.

The Surge is the company’s first device to display text messages on-screen, as well as the ability to control music on your iPhone. The move may explain rumored Apple plans to remove Fitbit from its stores (something which hasn’t yet happened), though these may also reflect the lack of Health app integration …  Read more

CVS and Rite Aid Apple Pay blockade official as iOS and Android users unite in rare showing to fight NFC ban

apple-pay

The NYT reports that Rite Aid has joined CVS in disabling Apple Pay as a payment method in its stores. Like CVS, Rite Aid is a member of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium promoting a rival mobile payment service, CurrentC.

Consumers are responding by threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay, with more than 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic. Android users are joining in, as disabling NFC also blocks alternative mobile payment services offered by higher-end Android handsets …  Read more

Preorders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus top 100,000 in South Korea, ‘outpacing’ Galaxy Note 4 on Samsung’s home turf

note-4-and-iphone-6-plus

The WSJ is reporting that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus went on preorder in South Korea on Friday, following their official launch this Friday, October 31st, as part of the next wave of iPhone rollouts. Analyst estimates show that presales for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus topped 100,000 units. By comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 recorded a third of that number (around 30,000) in preorders in a similar timeframe when it launched in September.

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