CES 2014: Otterbox announces new ‘Symmetry’ cases for iPhone 5s and 5c

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At CES, Otterbox has unveiled its new range of iPhone cases called the ‘Symmetry’ series. According to Otterbox, these cases are a “fusion of protection and style”.

The protective cases are thin, combining two materials into a single piece. Otterbox calls the series one of the slimmest, most protective cases in its class. They have a raised edge on the front to protect the touchscreen glass and use synthetic rubber in a honeycomb coring on the back to absorb shock to defend against drop damage.

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Apple issues Preliminary Proxy Statement, urges shareholders to vote against Icahn proposal & Human Rights Board committee

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Apple today issued its Preliminary Proxy Statement via its Investor Relations website. As a publicly traded company, Apple issues this document annually, and it discusses pay packages for both executive team members and board members, company practices, and topics which shareholders will vote on at the upcoming shareholder meeting. Apple says that the next shareholder meeting will take place on February 28, 2014. Some interesting tidbits include that Apple’s board met seven times in 2013 with 75%+ attendance during each meeting. Additionally (to be voted on), a shareholder wants Apple to create a board committee related to human rights. Apple says that it is against this additional committee:

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BlackBerry implosion generating even bigger enterprise gains for iPad, says analyst

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Concerns about the future viability of Blackberry – once the default choice of mobile device for the enterprise market – have further boosted iPad penetration in businesses, according to an analyst quoted by AllThingsD.

Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair theorizes that BlackBerry’s ill-starred attempt to sell itself inflamed concerns about the future viability of the company’s platform and gave corporations good reason to migrate their employees to other devices. That opened up a significant opportunity for Apple — particularly since Android continues to struggle for gains in enterprise […]

Said Blair, “Our recent work points to tremendous momentum for iPad in the enterprise over the last few months and we believe that this may be one of the most important trends for Apple as we move into the New Year.”

Steve Jobs said shortly after the launch of the iPad that Apple didn’t need to market the device to businesses as “it’s being grabbed out of our hands, anyways” …  Read more

Apple Stores to celebrate holidays with magical front window display

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For this upcoming holiday season, Apple will be celebrating with a front Apple Store window display that several Apple Retail employees have described as spectacular. A photo of the display, sent in by a source, is above. The display highlights both the iPad Air and iPhone 5c and is made up of several LED lights shaped into snow flakes. The design is simple, but unique and impressive…

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How-to: Use iOS’s Guided Access feature

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iOS devices are built with all users in mind: they come with several accessibility features for low-vision or legally blind users, settings for hard-of-hearing or deaf users, settings for individuals who have physical and motor difficulties, and settings for individuals with learning difficulties.

In this accessibility segment, I will be discussing how to use Guided Access.

Guided Access is an accessibility feature that came out with iOS 6. Guided Access enables you to set up the iOS device so that you cannot leave apps, and you are able to control which features of the app you are allowed to use or not use. There are a lot of great benefits and applications for this (listed in no particular order):

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Apple Stores to push Macs to businesses with new Parallels/Windows 8 demos

Parallels Desktop 7 and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a MacBook Air

Apple is pushing its business-focused Apple Retail salespeople to sell Macs to businesses currently running in Windows environments, according to Apple retail employees briefed on the new initiative. Apple Retail Stores, in their business/professional sections, will now have a 27-inch iMac prepared with the Parallels Virtualization Software and Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

Select Apple Retail employees will also be trained on the Parallels and Windows software, and special Parallels demos have been created for Apple Stores. The goal of this new initiative is to push employees to be able to show businesses that currently work on Windows that all purposes of Windows could either be replaced or used (with Parallels) on a Mac computer.

For a number of years, Apple has pushed reasons how a Mac could replace a PC. This was heralded mainly via Apple’s Mac vs. PC ads. This new retail campaign, instead, focuses on the Mac operating system and Windows working together. Apple wants to leave no room for business customers to not know that they could switch to a Mac computer…

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Apple starts new campaign to push businesses to convert tools to iPad apps

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Apple has replaced its iPad in Business apps website with a new site that is much simpler and more direct. The new page highlights multiple specific use cases for which a business could use an iPad, then presents specific applications to complete those tasks. The old website was more cluttered and less specific. The iPhone version of Apple’s business apps website still showcases the older format…

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Apple promotes enterprise features on new ‘iOS 7 and business’ webpage

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Apple last night added a new webpage focusing on the enterprise features offered in iOS 7, covering everything from configuration to data security.

iOS 7 provides enhanced security, powerful new ways to configure and deploy devices at scale, and features to help businesses purchase, distribute, and manage apps with ease. Features including per app VPN, enterprise single sign on, App Store license management, and new mobile device management (MDM) configuration options are just some of the new capabilities in iOS 7 that provide more for organizations of all sizes…  Read more

Pegatron CEO says Bloomberg reporter made up report of ‘falling iPad mini demand’

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Yesterday we decided not to run with a story published by Bloomberg that Pegatron’s forecasted 25 percent to 30 percent drop for second-quarter revenue was due to “falling iPad mini demand.” It seemed a little far fetched that an Apple supplier would be giving up specific information on product demand, something we know suppliers in Apple’s circle typically remain tight-lipped on. Today CEO of Pegatron Jason Cheng has confirmed our suspicions in an email to Fortune claiming that Bloomberg reporter Tim Culpan made the iPad mini angle up.

While quoting an analyst’s expectations for iPad mini demand in Q2, Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan offered the following quote from Pegatron Chief Executive Officer Jason Cheng as proof:

A decline in revenue from the iPad Mini “is more on demand, while price has been stable. Not just tablets, also e-books and games consoles, almost every item is moving in a negative direction.”

Pegatron chief Jason Cheng says he wasn’t referring to iPad mini specifically, but rather all of its products including all tablets and game consoles, while noting that “clearly refused” to answer Culpan’s questions related to specific products. Here’s what he had to say about the Bloomberg piece: Read more

iMac $125 off sale at Best Buy pushes new iMacs down to $1175 shipped (Update: Amazon matches)

From 9to5Toys.com

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 2.31.03 PMFind the best deals/buying advice at 9to5Mac.com/products

Update: As is often the case, Amazon has matched Best Buy (which could save some tax $)

Best Buy is taking $125 off all of their stock of iMacs for two days only. New iMacs now start at $1174.99 for the 21.5-inch variety and $1674.99 for the 27-inch variety shipped or site-to-store. These iMacs with super-slim profile were released late last year with low inventory and these are the deepest discounts we’ve seen.

More specials at Best Buy’s 2-Day sale. Read more

Apple’s evolution leaves it between two camps for investors, explains low share price (AAPL)

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An insightful Reuters blog by financial journalist Felix Salmon suggests that Apple’s surprisingly low share price may be due to the evolving nature of the company leaving it between two sets of investors.

Conservative investors, who like slow-growing stocks with high dividends, are constitutionally uncomfortable with the volatility inherent in the tech world. And technology investors, who are happy taking that kind of risk, want to see substantial growth. Apple, notwithstanding the fact that it’s one of the most valuable companies in the world, is falling through the capital-markets cracks.

Apple always used to be the company which surprised and delighted investors and customers alike. Its guidance to investors was deliberately pessimistic, blowing through those figures when it reported actual revenue and earnings. It was notoriously secretive about new products, launching new ones in a playful manner with Steve Jobs’ famous ‘One more thing‘ moments… Read more