Apple Store promoting upcoming iTunes Festival w/ pins and wristbands, music-related events

iTunes Festival London

After bringing the iTunes Festival to the US earlier this year at Austin SXSW, Apple’s annual music event in London kicking off next week has been the focus of much of the company’s attention recently. Earlier this week, Apple’s newly acquired Beats Music began promoting the iTunes Festival with a contest within the app to attend the festival.

Apple will also use its retail stores to further promote the event with iTunes Festival Pins to be worn by retail employees to “spark conversation about the event,” according to an internal document obtained by 9to5Mac. Retail employees will also receive iTunes Festival wristbands and redemption codes for music. Select Apple Stores will also host “music-related events” with local artists, according to the document. Read more

Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media

Cotton:Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook with former VP of Worldwide Communications Katie Cotton

“Beautifully, unapologetically plastic.”

“Feature for feature, it’s identical to iPad Air in every way.”

“Just avoid holding it in that way.”

Apple’s public relations (PR) department is probably the best in the world — certainly more impressive at shaping and controlling the discussion of its products than any other technology company. Before customers get their first chance to see or touch a new Apple product, the company has carefully orchestrated almost every one of its public appearances: controlled leaks and advance briefings for favored writers, an invite-only media debut, and a special early review process for a group of pre-screened, known-positive writers. Nothing is left to chance, and in the rare case where Apple doesn’t control the initial message, it remedies that by using proxies to deliver carefully crafted, off-the-record responses.

Except for a few big exceptions, such as the memorably off-pitch quotes above, Apple’s “tell them what to believe” PR strategy has worked incredibly well for years. But it has also created tensions between the company and the people who cover it, as well as within Apple itself. The company’s long-time head of PR, Katie Cotton, left the company earlier this year as CEO Tim Cook openly sought to make a major change in the way Apple interacted with the press and its customers. As the hunt for Cotton’s replacement is still in progress, and the depth of Apple’s commitment to change remains unclear, we look today at the techniques Apple has used to quietly manipulate its coverage over the years.

You can navigate between the chapters, below:

- Part 1) Apple Events and Shredded White Booklets

- Part 2) Introducing the Teams: How PR Is Organized at 3 Infinite Loop

- Part 3) Strategies: The “Art of Deep Background” and Controlling the Press

- Part 4) The Departure of a “Tyrant”

- Part 5) Two Heads In Place Of One

- Part 6) Controversies: From Maps to Beats to Haunted Empires

- Part 7) Product Reviews, Briefings, & Reviewer’s Guides

- Part 8) Steve Jobs and the Process Behind Press Releases

- Part 9) A Friendlier, More Transparent Future?

Two months in the making, this article is the product of over a dozen interviews with journalists, bloggers, and PR professionals, including many who have worked at Apple.

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Claimed production model of iPhone 6 casing shows more subtle Space Gray antenna breaks

iphone6

French site NWE claims to have found photos of a finished production model of the casing of the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6, shown in gray.

While not revealing anything new about the overall design of the phone, it does appear to give a much clearer view of how the antenna breaks are handled, with a significantly more subtle appearance than had been suggested by some earlier leaked parts, mockups and renders – as seen in the photo below …  Read more

Hands-on with the fully reversible Lightning to USB cable from Truffol (Video)

revese

Rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to release a new version of its Lightning to USB cable that would be reversible on both ends. Initially this cable was rumored to launch with the iPhone 6, but another report claims it will launch at a later date, possibly next year.

Third-party manufacturers have already taken advantage of the hype surrounding this rumored cable and put it into production. The result is exactly what you’d expect…

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More photos of the structure Apple is building at the Flint Center ahead of iPhone event

In addition to officially announcing its special event to be held on September 9th where two new iPhones and the long rumored wearable device is expected to debut, Apple has begun to build some sort of structure at the Flint Center for Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, as noted in our previous post. Additional images of the venue and mysterious structure have been shared by The Loop which reveal more sides to the structure as you can see above…

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Apple announces special event for September 9th: ‘Wish we could say more’

Apple has just sent out press invites for its latest event, via The Loop, where the company is expected to announce the iPhone 6. The event is scheduled for 10 AM Pacific Time on September 9th. Atypically, Apple is holding the event at a new venue, the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino. This is the same venue that Apple introduced the original Mac, over 30 years ago. Apple has constructed a ‘three-story structure’ at the site, which may be used as the hands-on area after the presentation is over. Usually, Apple’s demo areas are only the size of a large room and do not span multiple floors.

Yesterday, Recode reported that Apple will also show off its new wrist wearable device (‘iWatch’) at the September 9th event. Unsurprisingly, the invite does not reveal specifics about what Apple will announce, bearing a rather bland image of the Apple logo coupled with the slogan ‘Wish we could say more’. Feel free to speculate what you think will be announced in the comments. A full screenshot of the email is after the break. Read more

Analyst & GTAT investor claims all 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models get sapphire, some 4.7-inch models

sapphire

An investment note we’ve seen from analyst and GTAT investor Matt Margolis claims that all 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 6 will come with sapphire screens, while the 4.7-inch model will get either sapphire or Gorilla Glass depending on the specification.

According to sources close to Foxconn’s manufacturing operations the iPhone 6 will come built with sapphire cover screens in both sizes. These sources have also indicated that the 4.7” Phone 6 is being assembled in two varieties, a sapphire cover screen version and a version featuring Gorilla Glass. At this point I do not know the approximate mix between the two cover screen options on the 4.7” iPhone 6. My latest check on the 5.5” iPhone 6 indicates that all units of the device are expected to come protected by a sapphire cover screen at this point …

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More iPhone 6 component photos ‘confirm’ silver, gray and gold colors, depict larger internal speaker and new vibrator design

In the latest round of iPhone 6 images, NowhereElse.fr has a new set of photos showing a selection of SIM trays, home buttons, speakers and vibrator motors. The SIM trays are once again show in the same three colors as the iPhone 5s, silver, gray and gold. It seems like the gray is of a slightly lighter shade than the Space Gray of the iPhone 5s, but the quality of the pictures makes it difficult to tell for sure. What is very noticeable is the curved edge to the SIM tray, which will make a seamless line with the iPhone 6’s curved edges, seen countless times before. The images also depict some changes to the speaker and vibrator motor of the device …

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Samsung and LG unveil more smartwatches ahead of alleged iWatch/iBand debut next month

Just a few hours after yet another report emerged claiming that Apple would be taking the wraps off of its new wearable at an event next month, both LG and Samsung have announced new wearable devices tonight.

LG has officially unveiled the G Watch R this evening, which features a 1.3-inch Plastic OLED display that is a full 360 degrees, unlike the Moto 360, which has an area of dead space at the bottom of the display. Motorola claims that the reason for the dead space on its watch is for the ambient light sensor and other display drivers. It’s unclear how LG managed to avoid having a dead area with its circular watch.

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Apple will reportedly unveil its wearable product alongside new iPhones next month

Last month Re/code’s John Paczkowski reported that Apple plans to introduce its new iPhone models at an event scheduled for next month, and today Re/code’s Paczkowski reports that Apple will also reveal its wearable product (i.e. iWatch/iBand) alongside the new iPhones:

Apple now plans to unveil a new wearable alongside the two next-generation iPhones we told you the company will debut on September 9th. [...] The new device will, predictably, make good use of Apple’s HealthKit health and fitness platform. It will also — predictably — make good use of HomeKit, the company’s new framework for controlling connected devices — though it’s not clear how broadly or in what way.

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