Today’s the day: Apple is holding its “Spring Forward” event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. This article contains the latest updates from the event in live blog style; all of our detailed individual stories from the event are now summarized at this link. The event officially began at 10 AM Pacific/ 1PM Eastern time, and our live coverage is below.
Apple is working to step up the secrecy surrounding future iPhone and iPad models by targeting a frequent source of leaks: third-party accessory makers. 9to5Mac has learned that in fall 2014, just before the iPhone 6 launched, Apple demanded that a number of leading accessory makers sign agreements barring them from seeking out information about future Apple devices, according to four sources with first-hand knowledge of the matter.
On one hand, the agreement dangled the loss of “future business opportunities that Apple and/or its affiliates may present to you” as a potential consequence of violating or not signing the agreement. On the other hand, signing and following it could lead to months-long delays in making accessories like cases available, during the time of year when those cases were most needed and demanded by customers. Read more
Near the end of each year Apple thanks its employees for their hard work with a nice souvenir. This year some employees are being given a black Incase backpack featuring a bright white Apple logo.
At least one employee has already put the gift up on eBay with a starting bid of $49.99 and a Buy It Now of $99.99. From the images we’ve received, it appears that the bag is a customized version of the Incase Staple Backpack. In past years, Apple employees have received blankets, sweatshirts, and water bottles.
The bags were accompanied by this letter:
Apple has updated its online store to start accepting PayPal as a payment method in both the United States and United Kingdom. PayPal was already an option for those who shopped through the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore, but this is the first time the company has offered it through the Apple Online Store.
Earier this year Bose and Apple had a bit of a falling out when the former decided to block NFL players from wearing Beats headphones while on camera, then fined players who violated the rule. Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine said at the time that the ban actually served Beats by providing a bit of free publicity.
Apple apparently didn’t agree, and retaliated by pulling all Bose products from its store shelves in October. Around that time the two companies were also duking it out in a patent lawsuit, though they eventually decided to settle.
As it continues to expand its global reach through its retail stores, Apple has begun recruiting for Apple Store-specific positions in Brussels through job listings posted online. As MacGeneration points out, the upcoming Apple Store opening in the capital city will mark Apple’s first retail location in Belgium. Read more
Like it did last year, Apple’s participation in this year’s Worlds AIDS Day will include changing the iconic glowing white Apple logo that hangs outside its retail stores to red in order to raise awareness for the fight against AIDS. The new red Apple signage is already up at Apple’s Australian stores (pictured above) as we roll into Dec. 1 local time. Read more
If you’re a retailer, you have two options when it comes to deploying Bluetooth beacons. You can deploy the hardware yourself and build an accompanying mobile app for the experience, or you can open the experience to existing apps that users already have on their device using a beacon network. Some retailers have decided they want to own the experience and have everything go through their own mobile app, but new data suggests that might not be the way to go. Read more
For Black Friday, Apple has refreshed the frontpage of its online store with a rather-drastic redesign. Each product category now dominates the webpage, with full-bleed images of their main product lines. The new iPad updates get the top spot, but interestingly Apple TV and Beats headphones also get prime placement. In fact, the product images for Beats accessories are so large, it only takes four images to dominate the screen.
The strap-line ‘From one gift come many’ headlines the page, which also links up with Apple’s upcoming retail store holiday changes. The same tagline will soon be featured in Apple Store windows around the world, highlighting the wide scope of the iPhone and iPad, as shown below.
The NYT reports that Rite Aid has joined CVS in disabling Apple Pay as a payment method in its stores. Like CVS, Rite Aid is a member of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium promoting a rival mobile payment service, CurrentC.
Consumers are responding by threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay, with more than 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic. Android users are joining in, as disabling NFC also blocks alternative mobile payment services offered by higher-end Android handsets … Read more