Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, SMS Relay & Instant Hotspot, more

iOS 8.1Just as Apple announced at its iPad & Mac event last Thursday, iOS 8.1 is now publicly available with new features including Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, and additional Continuity features. Apple Pay is available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users for making payments for purchases with the new iPhone rather than a physical credit card in supported retail stores and apps; iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users will be able to use Apple Pay within supported apps as well. In addition to iOS 8.1, Apple also released version 7.0.1 for third-generation Apple TV boxes.

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As Apple Pay launches, Eddy Cue says “a lot of work to do,” predicts slow retail take-up

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On the day that Apple Pay goes live, SVP Eddy Cue has told the WSJ that the company “has a lot of work to do” on the service, suggesting that initial take-up may be slow – with in-app purchases making up the largest share of transactions in the short-term.

We’re trying to do something that I think is a game changer and it requires a lot of people to play together. There’s a lot to do here and we have a lot of work to do, but it should be huge.

Although the list of retailers who have committed to Apple Pay looks impressive, it is far from comprehensive, with some big names missing – including the largest retailer in the US, Wal-Mart …  Read more

Analysts remain positive about AAPL following event, focused on iPhone and Apple Pay

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While the relatively modest iPad updates might have led to a flurry of ‘Apple is doomed’ reports from analysts, an early roundup by Fortune suggests that the consensus view so far remains positive. Most are rating it a buy or overweight – meaning they expect it to outperform typical stocks – with the majority setting a target price in the $112-120 range …

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GT Advanced informs over 700 Mesa, Arizona employees that they will be laid off by December 15

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Apple’s bankrupt former sapphire supplier is seeking to shut down its Mesa, Arizona plant and has informed 727 employees that they will be laid off between today and December 15th, according to AZ Central. The breakdown of the jobs being cut includes:

…524 production workers, 108 technical positions, 70 management jobs and 25 administrative jobs, according to the notice signed by Linda Luman, vice president of human resources for GT.

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Rdio announces CarPlay support, 320 kbps audio, & iPhone 6/6 Plus optimizations

Rdio today announced support for CarPlay, allowing its users to listen and control content from the subscription music service using the built-in touchscreen of CarPlay-enabled vehicles.

CarPlay Support. Control Rdio playback and navigate your favorites and playlists from the built-in display in CarPlay-enabled cars.

Vehicles with CarPlay, Apple’s new feature that brings an iOS-like experience to in-dash touchscreens connected to an iPhone, first hit the road earlier this year in pricey new Ferrari models followed by an aftermarket solution from Pioneer. The service only has a handful of app partners so far, but we noted in our recent review that not all apps are playing nice with the feature yet. Apple currently lists iHeartRadio, MLB At Bat, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, CBS Radio, and its own Podcasts and Beats Music apps as supported apps.  Read more

The latest stores and apps to accept Apple Pay (Running list)

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With Apple Pay launching on Monday with iOS 8.1 for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared an update at today’s special event with additional retailers and iOS apps that will accept Apple Pay at launch or have committed to accept Apple Pay in the future. According to Apple’s microsite for Apple Pay, the company has added 16 additional retailers and venues with plans to accept Apple Pay at launch or in the future. In addition to those retailers and venues, Apple has added 12 additional apps that plan to accept Apple Pay starting on Monday or sometime after the launch date. Read more

Internal Panera Bread memo claims Apple Pay will launch on October 20

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An internal memo sent to Panera Bread employees and acquired by 9to5Mac has revealed that Apple will launch its mobile payment platform on Monday, October 20th. Panera Bread was listed as one of the initial launch partners for Apple Pay during its introduction last month.

An online training course for employees has been published that includes instructions for the VeriFone readers, including the Apple Pay functions. Stores that don’t have the appropriate hardware to support the technology will receive further information on the 20th about how the company plans to handle payments those locations. Read more

Morgan Stanley adds AAPL to Best Ideas list for investors, citing high iPhone 6/Plus margins

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Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty has added AAPL to its Best Ideas list of investments, saying that increased margins from iPhone 6 sales see the stock “set for significant upside.”

While Credit Suisse had earlier suggested that margins on the iPhone 6 would be lower than that of the iPhone 5s and 5c, Huberty says that numerous sources are suggesting that more people this time are opting for the middle storage tier, thus pushing up both average selling price and margins …  Read more

This is how McDonald’s will take Apple Pay at the drive through

McDonalds Apple Pay

Over the weekend we detailed how Apple and retailers are preparing for Apple Pay, the iPhone 6 and Touch ID-secured mobile payment system launching as soon as this week, including the setup process through Passbook. At launch Apple Pay will be supported by a number of retailers, restaurants and more including McDonald’s which plans to even accept Apple Pay from your iPhone 6 at the drive through… Read more

GT Advanced court filings reveal $50M penalty Apple imposes for leaking product information

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Not much is known about Apple’s deals with its suppliers, but court filings by former sapphire supplier GT Advanced reveal that the contract included a $50M penalty for any leak of Apple product information, reports the Financial Times.

While the amount of the penalty clause may vary according to the size of the supplier, it seems likely that a substantial leak penalty is a standard condition of supplying product components to Apple – though the number of leaks over the iPhone 6 suggests that such penalties offer limited protection.

Contracts between Apple and its suppliers will undoubtedly be subject to strict non-disclosure agreements, but lawyers for GT Advanced are asking the court to allow details to be made public …  Read more