SXSW plans largest iBeacon deployment yet to let attendees meet up & find events via mobile app

 

South by Southwest (SXSW) just launched its official mobile app ahead of the festival and alongside it announced plans for the world’s largest deployment of iBeacons to offer mobile app features triggered by the Bluetooth beacons. In total, more than 1000+ beacons will be deployed to pull it all off. SXSW thinks the features will “fundamentally change attendee’s experiences” by letting mobile app users network and navigate the event. Read more

Apple Watch ‘pop up’ stores prognosticated for Paris, London and SXSW

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Over the past week, we’ve heard rumors that Apple planned “pop up” stores for displaying the new Apple Watch inside high end stores in both Paris Galeries Lafayette and London Selfridges (pictured above). Now the Austin Statesman notes that Apple has participated in SXSW in a number of ways over the past few years and it would almost be surprising if the Apple Watch wasn’t displayed in some capacity to the international SXSW Interactive audience there. Apple set up a pop-up shop for the iPad 2 during its spring launch in 2011 (pictured right).

inside-apple-pop-up-austinApple has used the festival in the past to showcase a new product (like the iPad 2) or to promote its services (like the iTunes Music Festival last year). SXSW Interactive is the perfect audience of early adopters for a product like the Apple Watch and it wouldn’t be surprising if the company offered a preview of the device there.

SXSW is an annual Music/Film/Interactive conference that runs March 13th-22nd this year, the week following the March 9th event and before the Apple Watch goes on sale in April. One SXSW event Apple Watch enthusiasts may want to check out: Wearables and the Happiness Quotient.

A possible counter-argument to an Apple Watch presence that Apple has focused on Fashion audiences and not Tech audiences for the Apple Watch launch.

Apple also plans another showcase of the Apple watch outside of the Yerba Buena Center where it will hold its Spring Forward event on March 9th.

Apple Stores to act more like jewelry stores for upcoming gold Apple Watch

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Apple is preparing to take some pages out of the traditional jewelry store playbook. For the upcoming 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, Apple is planning several new features for its retail stores to support the device. As we reported several months ago, Apple is planning on allowing customers to actually try on the watches and test out different band styles inside of stores. With the high-expected price tag of the gold watch models, Apple will also step up its security features for stores…

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Korean report supports KGI prediction that Samsung will make 75% of A9 chips for next iPhone

samsung-Xian-fab.

Korean news site MK Business News (via Reuters) is reporting that Samsung will make 75% of the A9 chip for the next iPhone. This matches an earlier detailed prediction by KGI Research, which stated that the balance of the chips would be made by Global Foundry, and is in line with a statement by Samsung which last year confirmed it as a major supplier of the new chip.

The Samsung-fabbed chips will, says the report, be made in the USA …  Read more

Production of next year’s A9 chip reportedly underway, Samsung may take 100% of orders

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Production by Samsung of the A9 chip destined for next year’s iPhones and iPads is underway, according to a report in Korea’s Electronic Times.

According to industry insiders on December 11, Samsung Electronics began production of Apple’s A9 in the Austin plant in the US using the 14nm FinFET technology. Samsung has production lines capable of FinFET process production in Austin, US and Giheung, Korea, but began to produce A9 only in Austin as it is in the initial stage.

It had been reported back in July that Samsung had received some orders for the chips, which the company effectively confirmed in October when the president of the company’s chip-making division said that profits would improve once it began supplying its latest-generation chips to Apple …

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Trouble in Austin: Apple repeats last year’s iMac holiday shortage with the Mac Pro

Bbx2BNlIIAAiqJJ.jpg-largeThe December supply of Mac Pros?

The new Mac Pro is an awesome machine for those with several thousand dollars to spend on a computer and a need for all the power that comes with that thermal core, but managing to get one is going to be difficult for the next few months even if you have the credit card ready. Yesterday, Apple announced that the Mac Pro would go on sale today, December 19th. The store went live last night with the Mac Pro shipping the very last non-holi-day of 2013, December 30th.

As we noted earlier today, Apple’s customers in its home state of California awoke to Mac Pros being quoted to ship in February. But it gets worse…

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Wild Speculation: Why a $2B AMD purchase would be a puzzle piece fit for Apple

Things aren’t looking good for chipmaker AMD…Following another round of layoffs totaling about 15 percent of its employees last month, Reuters reported today that AMD is looking for an investor to sell its Texas campus in order to raise up to $200 million in cash in a multi-year lease back deal. AMD’s cash dropped from $279 million to $1.48 billion in the third quarter, and today the company sits at a market cap of $1.40 billion.

Despite not being the “main option,” with the restructuring and the company’s financial issues, Reuters’ sources claimed an outright sale of the company isn’t out of the question. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard chatter of an AMD takeover. However, with the company sitting at a market cap of $1.40 billion and rumors of Bob Mansfield’s new Technologies group possibly transitioning away from Intel processors, we can’t help but imagine a few things Apple would stand to gain from the purchase…

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Apple continues $304M Austin, Texas campus expansion with land purchase

Last time we checked Apple’s plans to bring 3,600 jobs to Austin, Texas with a $304 million investment and the construction of a new campus, the company received approval on the last of several major incentives from city officials. The approval officially initiated an Economic Development Agreement between Apple and the city, but the project was still not 100 percent confirmed.

Reports originally said Apple would build the new campus on 38 acres at West Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive, and today’s report from AustinBusinessJournal confirmed Apple recently purchased land near the address:

Records at the Travis County Clerk’s Office show that McShane Development Co. LLC, through its Riata Vista LP entity, sold three tracts of land to Apple on June 20. The exhibits indicate that the land is in the Milwood Section 20 subdivision near Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive.

The report did not offer any information about how much Apple paid for the land, but the purchase is a good indication Apple is going ahead with its new Austin campus. According to AustinBusinessJournal, McShane CEO James McShane released a press release yesterday on its new vice president who helped make the deal with Apple:

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Austin’s revised incentive deal imposes hiring guidelines on Apple (Update: Travis County approves incentive)

Update: A report from KVUE is claiming Travis County Commissioners approved the revised incentive deal at this afternoon’s meeting:

The last piece in the puzzle to one company’s effort to expand in Austin fell into place Tuesday afternoon… Travis County Commissioners approved an incentive deal for Apple on Tuesday. The deal has been on the table for a while.

The last time we reported on Apple’s ongoing negotiations with Austin officials to build a $304 million campus and bring over 3,600 new jobs to the city, reports claimed Apple was growing frustrated with delays in approving incentives from local Travis County. Travis would provide Apple with roughly $6.4 million of the total $36 million in incentives included in the deal, but the vote to approve the incentive was delayed due to “weak points” in the contract. According to a new report from Statesman, the Commissioners Court could approve a revised version of the incentive. However, the new deal would impose strict hiring guidelines on Apple:
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Apple frustrated with Austin incentive delays, new campus plans remain ‘in peril’

The last we heard, Apple’s plan to build a new $304 million campus and add up to 3,600 new jobs in Austin, Texas was all but a done deal with city officials last month after they approved an $8.6 million incentive to be handed out over 10 years. At the time, Apple was still waiting on additional incentives from Travis County officials, but today local reports from Statesman claimed Apple is growing frustrated with delays. Senior Vice President for Economic Development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Dave Porter said Apple’s deal to move into Austin is “in peril”:

“This deal is not done. It remains in peril. And Apple is frustrated… We were disappointed (the deal) wasn’t finalized this past Tuesday, but we were hopeful this next Tuesday that Apple and the county can complete the negotiation process and have that behind us… We remain hopeful that will take place and there will be a positive vote on Tuesday.”

In total, Apple would receive roughly $36 million over 10 to 15 years as part of the deal. Approximately $6.4 million is supposed to come from Travis County. The report explained the reasons behind the County delaying approval of the incentive:
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Austin cements itself as Apple’s ‘second city’ with approval of $8.6M incentive

We reported earlier this month that Apple was waiting on city officials from Austin, Texas to decide whether to offer the company an $8.6 million incentive over 10 years as part of Apple’s proposal to invest $304 million in a new campus. The Texas Enterprise Fund is already kicking in $21 million over 10 years as part of the deal, and last night the City Council unanimously approved the $8.6 million in incentives. According to a report from KXAN, this will initiate “the negotiation and execution of an Economic Development Agreement with APPLE INC,” but Travis County officials are still weighing the decision to offer Apple an additional $6 million in real estate related incentives…
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Apple waiting on city incentives for $304M Austin campus expansion, considering Phoenix instead

Earlier this month, we told you Gov. Rick Perry announced plans to double the size of Apple’s workforce in Austin, Texas with an investment of $304 million that would add up to 3,600 jobs. Apple will receive $21 million in incentives over 10 years through the Texas Enterprise Fund as part of the deal. According several reports from KVUE News and Austin news website Statesman, Apple representatives met with Austin City Council officials today for a formal proposal.

The plan would see Apple building up to 1 million square feet of new office space taking up approximately 38 acres at West Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive. As we reported before, the new jobs would mostly be administrative positions. As part of the deal, we also learned that City Council would offer Apple an extra $8.6 million over the 10-year period, but Apple is still apparently waiting for the City of Austin to come to a decision on whether to offer an incentive.

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