Apple agrees to participate in “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” program

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Apple has agreed to back a new initiative along with a host of Android manufacturers and all of the major U.S. cellular carriers that would require all smartphones manufactured after July 2015 to come with specific anti-theft features. The program is the latest attempt to prevent theft of smartphones, which some have blamed for increasing crime rates.

To this end, Apple introduced a first-of-its-kind system in iOS 7 that blocks freshly-restored iPhones from being used until the original owner logs in with the Apple ID associated with the device. Today’s agreement between the carriers and handset manufacturers essentially states that all parties will ship this exact type of system on new phones.

Specifically, the required anti-theft measures are broken into four kinds:
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Physical iPhone 6 mockups & upcoming accessories shown off at Hong Kong Electronics Fair

Following a number of leaks claiming to show prototypes, cases, and manufacturing tools for the next-generation iPhone, today yet another leak of a physical iPhone 6 mockup has popped up via Japanese blog Macotakara.jp. The site posted images from the Hong Kong Electronics Fair taking place from April 13-16 that apparently show mockups of the iPhone 6 used by case makers to create cases and accessories they plan to launch alongside the new iPhone.   Read more

Apple meeting with UK ad agencies in preparation for iTunes Radio rollout

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Apple appears to be readying for an UK iTunes Radio launch in the near future. As indicated by this tweet, Apple’s director of iAd Paul Wright has recently been visiting media marketing agencies to discuss iAd in relation to iTunes Radio.

Bloomberg said that Apple was planning to launch in the UK in ‘early 2014′ last October, but so far this has not happened several months into 2014. Although many people have seen iTunes Radio sporadically appear on their devices in recent months, it is has only officially expanded to Australia beyond the US launch alongside iOS 7.

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Opinion: Should Apple settle its Android disputes and move on?

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With Apple in the midst of its second major court battle with Samsung over alleged patent violations, and all but one of the five claims relating to Android rather than to anything Samsung-specific, it’s gotten me wondering whether further cases of this kind are truly beneficial to Apple.

I understand it emotionally, of course. It’s galling to work hard on a hugely popular hardware design or user-interface only to see someone else copy parts of it, and the desire to hit back at that is a natural one. But I’m not sure that it makes too much sense rationally …  Read more

Condé Nast’s Epicurious teams up with inMarket for in-store iBeacon experience

Today, Condé Nast’s Epicurious becomes the latest to take advantage of iBeacons in-store by teaming up with inMarket to beam location-based notifications and offers to shoppers in retail environments. I previously wrote about inMarket,  an in-store marketing platform that recently started rolling out iBeacons to retailers (mostly grocery stores), when it announced Zatarain’s would become the first consumer packaged goods brand to use the platform. The company was using inMarket’s Mobile to Mortar (M2M) platform to beam notifications and offers directly to shopper’s smartphones when in proximity of one of inMarket’s in-store iBeacons. Today the company is announcing its biggest news yet after recently expanding into New York, Boston, and Miami with the addition of Condé Nast’s Epicurious as the first major app partner to take advantage of the M2M iBeacon platform.  Read more

Samsung wanted Google to do its dirty work in attacking Apple

Image: amongtech.com

Image: amongtech.com

Another interesting revelation from the ongoing Apple vs Samsung patent trial: concerned about launching attack ads on a company that was a customer as well as a competitor, Samsung sought to persuade Google to “launch a campaign against Apple.”

The then CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America, Dale Sohn, emailed his chief marketing officer to ask:

As you have shared previously, we are unable to battle [Apple] directly in our marketing. If it continues to be Samsung’s position to avoid attacking Apple given its status as as a large customer, can we go to Google to ask them to launch a campaign against Apple based on the many better Android products available in the market for Q4?

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