Apple’s easy finance initiatives in India pay off as local revenue breaks a billion dollars – report

india

Times of India is reporting that Apple is expected to have hit $1B in revenue in India in the financial year ended on 31st March – up 42% year-on-year, and a tripling of revenue over the past three years. India is one of the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China) where Apple is expecting to see a large chunk of its future growth.

It had previously been reported that Apple sold half a million iPhones in the final calendar quarter of 2014, and Cybermedia Research estimates that it sold 1.3M phones in the full financial year. If true, “over $1B revenue is inevitable,” says the report …  Read more

Opinion: The pros & cons of existing streaming music services & what Apple’s needs to succeed

Beats Music iTunes Festival

Apple’s upcoming music streaming service comes at an interesting time in the industry. Jay-Z recently relaunched his own streaming music service dubbed Tidal, recruiting help from other A-list artists like Rhianna, Alicia Keys, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, and Kanye West. There are existing services from Spotify, Beats, Google, and others. All of these offerings have their own pros and cons, but I’ve used them all and none of them accomplish streaming music perfectly. Apple now has the opportunity to take the best features of each service and offer its own competitive service.

Last week, Ben Lovejoy broke down exactly what Apple’s streaming music service would need for him to stop buying music. Even without Apple’s new service, I’ve already done that. Most of my music is streamed from Spotify. Rarely do I actually buy albums on iTunes, and I almost never buy physical CDs. The problem with this approach is no streaming music service gets it 100 percent right for me.

I’m hoping that Apple incorporates the best of each existing subscription music service into its own upcoming music service. What are those key points? Let’s discuss…

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HBO NOW standalone streaming service debuts on Apple TV, iPhone & iPad with 1-month free trial

Apple TV HBO Now

HBO’s new standalone streaming service called HBO NOW has officially launched on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. HBO NOW allows subscribers to watch the premium network’s movies and TV shows online. The service is similar to Netflix as it’s delivered over a high-speed Internet connection rather than cable or satellite and doesn’t require long-term committments through contracts. Here’s how to get HBO NOW works: Read more

Apple reportedly acquired search startup Ottocat in 2013 for “Explore” tab in App Store

Apple often acquires small startup companies very quietly and without any formal announcement to bolster its own services, and a new report from TechCrunch claims that the company acquired Ottocat in late-2013. Ottocat was a startup that focused on developing a system to organize and discover apps based on increasingly specific subcategories. Apple currently uses this technology to power the “Explore” tab in the App Store, as seen above.

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Opinion: How soon is too soon for an Apple Watch 2?

Watch4

Apple’s upcoming retail overhaul for displaying the Watch

A lot of my techie friends are saying that the entry priced-Apple Watch Sport will be their pick next month, and not because of the exterior look. The theory is that Sport is the cheapest way to experience Apple’s new product category in 2015, and since the second-gen Apple Watch will inevitably be upgraded, why pay a premium this year for nicer materials such as stainless steel and sapphire glass?

Despite the Apple Watch’s desire to marry jewelry with technology, it hasn’t lost the baggage gadgets carry, namely the reality that they’ll be outdated and replaced in a relatively short period of time. If the Apple Watch evolves anything like the original iPad did when it became the iPad 2, the differences could be dramatic.

Personally, when I think about getting more perceived value out of a higher-priced stainless steel Apple Watch rather than testing the waters with the cheaper aluminum model, I’m more concerned with how soon the Apple Watch 2 will be announced rather than how much more functional the newer device could be. No matter what happens with the first-generation model, an Apple Watch 2 will come to market. How will Apple balance keeping the Apple Watch evolutionary momentum going with keeping the first-generation model “modern” for enough time to satisfy early adopters?

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Opinion: Will Apple’s streaming music service mean I finally stop buying music?

music

I was an early adopter of digital music (you hide your surprise well). I bought my first mp3 player in 1998, some three years before the first iPod. It cost a silly amount of money and stored exactly one album at a time in its 64MB (not GB) of flash memory.

Me being me, I went through a few different generations of mp3 player before Apple completely changed the game with the iPod. Ironically, by adopting a less sophisticated technology–a hard drive in place of flash memory–Apple created a far better product. One that allowed us to carry around 80 albums at a time. I bought one the day it went on sale, having by then finished ripping all my CDs to mp3.

When the 160GB iPod came out in 2007, I again bought one immediately. That was large enough to hold my entire music collection at the time. I not only carried it everywhere with me, I also plugged it into my hifi at home and to the AUX socket of my car stereo. At which point, I started wondering why I still had a wall full of CDs …  Read more

Bloomberg: Samsung to produce Apple’s A9 chip for next-gen iPhone

a9

Bloomberg reports that Samsung has signed on to provide A9 chips to Apple for the next-generation iPhone. Apple moved to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in 2013 for its processors, looking to reduce its reliance on Samsung, who is a major competitor in the smartphone space and a legal foe. With that said, it was reported last September that Samsung was still supplying 40 percent of the A8 chips found in the iPhone 6 despite Apple’s attempt to part ways.

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KGI: 4 inch iPhone ‘unlikely’ for 2015, Force Touch will work differently to MacBook and Watch

force-touch

In a new report from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, the analyst claims that a new four inch iPhone is unlikely for 2015. This contradicts some recent reports and supposed 4-inch ‘6C’ case leaks, but KGI is generally more reliable than other analysts. We would still be wary of any such predictions however, given that mass production of iPhone models will not be started for a few months giving plenty of time for Apple to change plans.

KGI also notes that whilst the next-generation 4.7 and 5.5 inch iPhones will feature pressure-sensitive Force Touch technology, it will work differently to what customers will see in the Apple Watch, new MacBook and updated 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

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Review: Griffin’s iTrip Bluetooth adds wireless iPhone music streaming to your car’s stereo

itripbluetooth-1

Twelve years have passed since Griffin released its first iTrip, a breakthrough FM transmitter that enabled iPods to send music wirelessly to car and home stereos. The original model, a glossy white housing that sat atop early iPods like a tube of Chapstick, effectively defined iPod accessories for an entire generation of early adopters. And it was fun, too: using an radio antenna and brilliant software, iTrip could flood an empty FM radio channel with iPod music, acting like a pocket-sized pirate radio station.

Everything changed when the FCC cracked down on FM transmitters, forcing reductions in broadcasting power that made iTrips (and numerous competitors) sound staticky, reducing their appeal. Around the same time, Apple and car companies transitioned to better-sounding solutions — Bluetooth and aux-in audio ports, respectively — leaving FM transmitters with fewer customers. But Griffin is rejuvenating the iTrip family with iTrip Bluetooth, aka iTrip Aux Bluetooth, which provides a different type of dead-simple wireless solution for cars. Priced at $50 but available online for $38, it has one purpose: to receive Bluetooth audio sent by your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, conveying it through an included 3.5mm audio cable to your car’s aux-in port…

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Apple camera patent would allow high-resolution photos without sacrificing image quality

camera

If you were wondering why Apple has ignored the megapixel race and stuck to a modest 8MP camera in its latest iPhones when almost every other manufacturer is cramming in as many pixels as physically possible, it’s all about image quality. While more pixels allow you to blow up photos to larger sizes, that comes at a cost. Squeezing more pixels into a tiny sensor means more noise, reducing quality, especially in low-light situations like bars and parties.

A clever patent granted today could allow future iPhones to have the best of both worlds, allowing higher-resolution photos without squeezing more pixels into the sensor …  Read more

Apple launches iPhone and iPad trade-in program in China Apple Stores

Screenshot 2015-04-01 08.36.37

Apple today officially launched a version of its Apple Store iPhone trade-in program for China, as noted on the individual store pages for China’s Apple Retail Stores.

As is the case in the United States and several other countries with Apple Stores, the program allows a user to bring in an older iPhone model and trade in that device for gift card credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone; the program will most likely not allow a customer to trade in an iPhone toward the purchase of an Apple Watch. But as contrasted with the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Italy, the new China program is limited to iPhones and iPads, and will not support non-Apple smartphones.

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