Despite reports that NBC Universal is not involved in negotiations for Apple’s upcoming subscription TV replacement service, NBC still hopes to arrive on the Apple TV as soon as the second half of 2015, according to a source with knowledge of NBC’s digital roadmap. A recent presentation slide provided by the source shows that NBC wants to launch Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox apps during the second half of this year, following its existing apps for iOS and Android devices. NBC also would like to add new affiliate stations, Nielsen Rating integration, and support for Google’s Chromecast…
Apple’s iOS share numbers as tabulated by App Store visits are out for the first week of October and they are a “head scratcher”. iOS 8 gained only 1 point from 46% to 47% since September 21st which should have well exceeded 1% gain by the millions of new iPhone 6/Plus shipments alone – even if not one person had updated their iPhone 5/s/c. Even more confusing is that the “Earlier” category of iOS 6 and before devices actually grew in percentage from 5% to 6% over the previous two week period.
It is possible some people downgraded to iOS 7 (which was an option until just after 8.0.2 was released) while others have stayed put on their current iOS version because of a succession of errors in rolling out iOS 8. Combined with the large amount of space required to do an over the air update, it appears that iOS users have all but stopped upgrading iOS –a marked departure from years past. Read more
A new report from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo sheds some interesting light on the iWatch specifications. Kuo believes the iWatch will feature 8 GB of internal storage, with 512 MB of RAM. Naturally, these stats are lower than current iOS devices (which have upwards of 16 GB of storage and 1 GB of RAM), but still seems high for a wearable smartwatch. This may suggest the device can act more independently from an iPhone than most assume. 8 GB of storage space is quite a lot and could be used for things like caching maps, or perhaps enable offline voice recognition.
KGI also believes the iWatch will come in two sizes, with a 1.3 inch and a 1.5 inch screen. This reflects longstanding rumours that Apple is targeting two sizes, to make it appeal to both gender’s fashion preferences. Kuo seems less sure on what materials will make up the product, but ‘guesses’ aluminium based on Apple’s tendencies to use the metal across its products. There is also mention of a gold color option, which would match with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6’s gold varieties.
Ahead of Apple’s new iPhone event on September 9th, Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (that nation’s version of what we know in the U.S. as the FCC) has approved two new iPhone models for sale in the country. The approval was confirmed on Twitter by the country’s Secretary General for these matters, and a local report indicates the model numbers for two new devices: A1524 & A1586. Thailand’s Secretary General spoke about the matter in a video from earlier this week:
Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided relatively accurate information on future Apple product plans in the past (but frequent misses on timing), has issued a new report today indicating that the Apple smart watch will enter mass-production in November. Kuo’s previous estimate on production for the “iWatch” indicated that the device would enter mass-production rounds in September. “We have pushed back our estimated time of iWatch mass production from late-September to mid-/ late- November. We also lower our forecast of iWatch 2014 shipments by 40% to 3mn units,” Kuo wrote in today’s report. The analyst claims the push back is due to more complex hardware and software engineering in this first generation Apple product category.
Kuo also provides some tidbits as to what he is expecting the device to feature:
- Flexible AMOLED display
- Sapphire coated display cover
- Higher waterproof standards
- New system-on-a-chip components
Both a flexible AMOLED display and sapphire crystal display covers have been rumored in previous reports about the Apple smart watch, waterproofing technology makes sense in light of this being a fitness device that straps to a wrist, and we first reported in January that the iWatch will sport a new system on a chip to pack in numerous sensors that could track health data such as steps taken, calories burned, hydration, and sweat. The device, which will also include advanced mapping functionality per multiple sources, will integrate deeply with the iOS 8 operating system and its HealthKit software. We expect the device to be announced at a keynote address in October and launch by the 2014 holiday season.
The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that Apple will launch its iWatch in October, rather than alongside the iPhone 6 in September as has been widely expected. It’s also citing unnamed “industry sources” as saying that the watch will have a curved, OLED touchscreen and that Apple is planning on producing 3-5M units a month.
According to a parts manufacturer, it plans monthly commercial output of about 3-5 million units, which exceeds the total global sales of watch-like devices last year. This confidence is backed by its partnerships with high-profile hospitals — it has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic …
In an SEC filing today, Apple announced that Luca Maestri has officially transitioned into the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President role. His first official day on the job was yesterday, May 29th. Maestri is not yet on Apple’s executive biographies page, but an official profile will likely go live in the coming days. Apple says that Maestri’s previous job as Principle Accounting Officer will be folded into his CFO role.
Maestri, previously Corporate Controller and a Vice President at Apple, replaces long-time CFO Peter Oppenehimer. The transition was announced by Apple earlier this year. Oppenheimer will shift his remaining responsibilities to Maestri over the course of the next few months and completely retire from Apple at the end of September of this year. As part of his promotion, Maestri will now receive an annual salary of $1 million and new stock-based payment packages:
The newest reports from Taiwanese media indicate that the iPhone 6 could possibly be revealed in August, not September. According to these rumors, the smaller, 4.7-inch model could be available for purchase the same month, with the larger 5.5-inch version going on sale in September—the month in which most rumors had originally predicted the reveal.
As we’ve previously reported, the next iPhone will likely be available in two versions, each with a different size screen larger than the current 4-inch iPhone 5s. Both phones will feature sapphire displays, which Apple recently began manfucaturing in China using sapphire crystal processed at its new Mesa, AZ facility.
AAPL stock took a 1.8 percent hit in pre-market trading as China Mobile not only failed to announce its iPhone launch today as had been expected, but its chairman Xi Guohua specifically told reporters that the world’s largest carrier had no announcement to make.
While neither Apple nor China Mobile ever officially confirmed today as the launch date, the Chinese government confirmed the date as the one on which 4G service would begin, China Mobile had said it would launch “a new brand” today and the WSJ seemed confident last month that today was the day.
The deal has been a very long time in the coming, but all the pieces of the puzzle looked to have fallen into place … Read more
The Black Friday software bundles are already streaming in and this latest from Parallels promises to be popular. For the retail price of Parallels 9 alone ($79.99), you get Parallels 9 and a 6 month subscription to Parallels Access for iPad. Parallels then adds Snagit screen capture tool, CleanMyMac 2 and Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac. You also get a year of Hightail (formally Yousendit) Professional plan for sending big files via email, Boom volume booster and mSecure password manager. A fantastic deal at $79.99 (make sure to click the “Bundle and Save” link), it ends December 3.
We reviewed Parallels 9 in September (excerpted below the fold) and found it to again be the best virtualization software for Mac with speed improvements for Mavericks and Windows 8.1 along with easier setup and operation.