Beats February 3

AAPL: 96.35

1.87
Stock Chart

Apple’s annual Back to School program returns in Australia and New Zealand with a promotion to receive a pair of Beats Solo2 On-Ear Headphones with qualifiying Mac purchases. Customers may also alternatively choose to receive savings on a new iPad (although there is currently an error on both sites not indicating how much can be saved). Last year’s promotion in Australia and New Zealand included an Apple Store gift card up to A$100/NZ$125, so it’s nice to see them promoting the acquired Beats brand and giving away instant credit for the headphones.

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Beats January 28

AAPL: 94.09

0.67
Stock Chart

iPhone no headphone jack

My cheap headphone jack-less iPhone mockup

While it’s widely rumored that the iPhone 7 will drop the headphone jack when it launches later this year, known Apple audio supplier Cirrus Logic may have hinted about how Apple plans to handle this transition. Speaking to analysts and investors during the company’s latest earnings call (via BI), CEO Jason Rhode made a few interesting comments about what might be planned for later this year.

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Beats January 19

AAPL: 96.66

-0.47
Stock Chart

Apple continues to talk high praise of Apple Music, most recently leaking that the service has 10 million paying subscribers, but it has remained somewhat quiet about its Beats 1 online 24/7 radio station. Beats 1 launched to much fanfare with Zane Lowe leading the effort, and while it seems to be doing decently, it isn’t a sensation in the music business yet. It’s especially timely to talk about Beats 1 now that Apple has retired the iTunes Radio ad-supported stations, leaving Beats 1 as the only way to get free streaming music from Apple. I’m intrigued by the uptake of the station — there’s a poll to find out how often you tune in below the break — as it seems Beats 1 has an awareness issue.

I tend to like the music that is played but I just forget to tune in. I think Beats 1 is good but Apple needs to support it better within iOS and iTunes to make it stickier. Here are some suggestions …

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9to5toys 

Beats January 11

AAPL: 98.53

1.57
Stock Chart

If all the recent reports turn out to be true, it looks like Apple might actually ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack for the next-generation iPhone later this year. It’s been a long-time coming, not just since Apple started preparing for the transition with audio over Lightning for headphone makers a couple years back, but also since wireless Bluetooth headphones have become good enough in recent years to replace wired solutions that rely on the 3.5mm jack we’ve used for the last century or so.

Apple is no stranger to being first to ditch old technologies while ushering in the new (think floppy drive, optical drives, and everything on the new 12-inch MacBook, as a few examples), but how do you feel about this particular transition? 

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Beats January 8

AAPL: 96.96

0.51
Stock Chart

With its resources from the 2014 acquisition of headphone maker Beats Electronics, Apple is prototyping a completely new set of Bluetooth earphones with the potential of launching the accessory alongside the iPhone 7 this fall. The new earphones are said to be completely wireless, which is to say that they do not even have a cable connecting the left and right ear pieces. Sources say that the headphones are similar in concept to the Motorola Hint headset (pictured above) and Bragi’s new Dash headphones that were shown at CES this week.

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Beats December 20, 2015

AAPL: 106.03

-2.95
Stock Chart
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