Apple and U2 reportedly working on ‘secret project’ to bolster music sales

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According to TIME, U2’s partnership with Apple goes far beyond a free album in your iTunes library, much to the chagrin of some users. The group are reportedly working with Apple on a ‘secret project’ to rejuvenate digital music scales.

Details, however, are thin on the ground. Bono is quoted as saying he is developing a new music format that will somehow inspire consumers to buy complete albums once more. Without more information, it’s impossible to tell whether this is a silly pipe dream or an actual possibility. In the age of streaming music, the sales potential for individually bought songs is waning.

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Apple halfway to solving regulatory holdup delaying iPhone 6 launch in China

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Reuters is reporting that Apple has now received one of the two licences needed to allow it to sell the iPhone 6 in China. There is no word yet on the second licence required before the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be launched in this hugely important market.

Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 received regulatory approval for use on domestic frequencies but still requires one more critical licence before it may be sold in the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday [...]

Apple still needs to obtain a critical network access licence for the iPhone, after which sales may begin, Xinhua said …

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Apple TV updated w/ Beats Music channel, refreshed design, Family Sharing, & iCloud Photos

Beats on Apple TV

In addition to shipping iOS 8 to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users today, Apple has released a software update to Apple TV (third-generation) users as well. As we previewed before, the new version of Apple TV’s software brings a refreshed design with thinner text and flatter icons bringing it more in line with iOS’s look and feel. The update also includes a newly added Beats Music channel for the subscription streaming music service Apple purchased earlier this year.

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Apple releases iOS 8 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

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After more than three months in beta, iOS 8 brings actionable notifications, improved group chat support, new picture and voice messaging features in Messages, Continuity and Handoff, third-party Today widgets in Notification Center, sharing extensions and much more. Apple has released iOS 8 for almost all of its devices that run iOS 7. The full list of supported devices is as follows:

  • iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad with Retina Display, iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display
  • iPod touch, fifth-generation

iOS 8 is now available as an over-the-air update or through iTunes. Go to Settings -> Software Update on your iOS device to update right now. Naturally, iOS 8 will come preinstalled on Apple’s latest iPhones, the 6 and the 6 Plus, when they are delivered later this week.

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If you have an iPhone 4s, you might want to hold back on iOS 8

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Ars Technica has done some field tests using an iPhone 4s running iOS 8. Although the operating system runs decently, there are definitely some drawbacks that might stop iPhone 4s users from hitting update right away.

As shown in the chart, the OS performs more slowly across the board when opening apps. Safari took almost twice as long to launch, when compared with iOS 7.1.2. Camera took 1.8 seconds on iOS 8 versus 1.5 on 7.1.2. Just upgrading adds an extra 3 seconds onto boot time, although that is done so infrequently on an iPhone it probably doesn’t matter. In addition to slower app loading, it’s important to note that iPhone 4s users can’t benefit from every single feature.

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Getting Ready for iOS 8: How to backup your device and set up the new iPhone & iPad OS

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With iOS 8 launching later today, it’s worth taking a look at how you should prepare your device for the new operating system. Before installing the update, it is recommended that you have a backup of your data. This how-to is going to walk you through backing up your iOS 7 device and transitioning it over to iOS 8:

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Credit Suisse estimates iPhone 6 earns lowest ever margins but predicts 14 percent revenue growth

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Credit Suisse analysts have estimated that Apple is making a smaller margin on the iPhone 6 than on any previous model – but predicts that the impact will be offset by year-on-year revenue growth of 14 percent, reports Quartz.

The iPhone 6 costs Apple $350.60 to produce, all in. Apple typically receives $599 on the retail price of $649, leaving it with $248.40 in gross profit. That’s 41.5%. Still very healthy, but not at the levels of previous models.

In contrast, the iPhone 5s left Apple with $274.30, giving it a 45.8% margin. The two-year-old iPhone 5 gave Apple $293.70 per unit, or 49% …

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The five reasons Apple never intended to use sapphire displays on the iPhone 6 – Time

sapphire

Time is reporting that, in contrast to the many rumors (and GTAT investor claims), Apple had never planned to use sapphire displays for the iPhone 6, and the company may not use it for future iPhones.

Some reports stated that up until a few weeks before the iPhone announcement, Apple was going to use sapphire but dropped it because of yield issues. This is not true. My sources tell me that sapphire was never targeted for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus and its role in future iPhones hasn’t even been decided yet.

Speculation about sapphire displays for the iPhone 6 began when Apple built a major new manufacturing facility in Arizona last November. But Time‘s Tim Bajarin says that while the scratch-resistance of the material may have made it sound superficially appealing, there were no fewer than five reasons it would not have made sense to use the material for the iPhone 6 display …

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iPhone 6 production by the numbers: 100 production lines, 200k workers, 540k phones a day

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The WSJ revealed some iPhone 6 production numbers as Foxconn struggles to meet demand from pre-orders: the company is operating around 100 production lines around the clock, has 200,000 workers dedicated to production of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – and is manufacturing 540,000 units a day.

“We have been churning out 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus and 400,000 iPhone 6 every day, the highest daily output ever, but the volume is still not enough to meet the preorders,” said a person familiar with the matter …

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Early reviews confirm the iPhone 6 Plus has the same 1GB RAM as the 4.7-inch model (Updated)

RAM

Early reviews confirm that the iPhone 6 Plus has the same 1GB RAM as the iPhone 6. It had been suggested by some that the 5.5-inch model might have a higher spec, with 2GB RAM.

They reveal that both models of the iPhone 6 have identical specs bar the display, battery and optical stabilisation in the camera of the larger model (the 4.7-inch model having only electronic stabilisation) …  Read more

Review roundup: Everyone loves the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will finally be available to the public this Friday, September 19th, but early reviews of the two new devices have gone live this evening from several publications. The iPhone 6 is the biggest iPhone yet, coming in with a 4.7-inch display, while the iPhone 6 Plus packs an even larger 5.5-inch panel. Both of the models feature “Retina HD” displays. The internals of the devices have also been upgraded to include a new second generation 64-bit A8 chip that Apple claims is 25% faster CPU-wise than ever before and 50% faster graphically.

Both models of the new iPhone went up for pre-order this past Friday and Apple says the devices set an all-time pre-order sales record. You can read our round-up of all the product reviews below:

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