European Commission approves Apple’s acquisition of Beats

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The European Commission has today approved Apple’s acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music. The commission said that the buyout passes merger regulations. The commission concluded that Apple and Beats’ combined marketshare in both the streaming music and headphones markets is low, so an acquisition did not materially affect competition.

In headphones, the EU says that Apple/Beats exists in a global market with numerous other brands, including Bose, Sennheiser and Sony. For streaming music, companies like Spotify and Deezer offered a similar safety buffer. As the EU commission cares only for European operations, the fact that iTunes Radio and Beats Music do not currently operate in European countries also helped the deal go through smoothly.

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Sketchy rumor of 13MP camera in iPhone 6, as earlier battery power rumor backed by claimed photo

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GforGames is citing a Chinese web forum for a rumor that the iPhone 6 camera will get a bump from 8MP to 13MP as Apple switches to to an improved version of the Sony Exmor sensor. The Sony Exmor IMX220 is a larger 1/2.3-inch sensor that can support up to 20MP, but Apple is said to be planning to use it in its 13MP incarnation.

While a Chinese web forum is generally as unreliable a source as you can get, GoforGames claims that this one has a good track-record with Sony-related rumors …  Read more

World Cup players not allowed to wear Beats in stadium during games due to FIFA/Sony deal

Despite having what some consider the best ad celebrating the World Cup this year, Beats headphones cannot be worn by players in the stadium during the games or media events according to Reuters. The rule is implemented by FIFA, the international governing body over the sport, due to a licensing agreement with Sony which obviously competes with Beats in the headphones space. Despite the apparent ban this year, Beats has still been able to leverage the World Cup as an opportunity to pick up some product endorsements… Read more

Sony expands camera operations to likely supply Apple with front-facing iPhone cameras

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Sony is positioned to dramatically increase its sales of CMOS cameras to Apple for use in an unreleased iPhone, Nikkei Asian Review reports. Sony already supplies most of the rear-facing iSight cameras shipping on iPhones today, and as the report suggests, negotiations between Sony and Apple to double the amount of CMOS sensors supplied points to Sony also providing the sensor for the front-facing iPhone camera… Read more

The backstory: Sony’s 2001 offer from Steve Jobs to run Mac OS on Vaio laptops [Updated]

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Update: the rumor was true, Sony confirmed that it is selling its PC business and the VAIO brand to Japan Industrial Partners, with the deal set to complete by the end of March.

Former Sony President Kunitake Ando says that Sony turned down an offer from Steve Jobs back in 2001 to allow it to run Mac OS on Vaio laptops, several years after the original Mac clone program ended in 1998.

Speaking to freelance writer Nobuyuki Hayashi, Ando described the moment Steve Jobs met senior Sony execs to make the offer.

Most of Sony’s executives spent their winter vacation in Hawaii and play golf after celebrating the new year. In one of those new year golf competitions back in 2001, ” Steve Jobs and another Apple executive were waiting for us at the end of golf course holding VAIO running Mac OS”

But there is an interesting Backstory told through Quora by the wife of an ex-Apple Engineer working on the Marklar project…  Read more

Opinion: What are Apple’s plans for 4K displays?

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There was one notable omission from Apple’s recent flurry of new product announcements: a 4K display. It will launch one in time, of course – and I’ll come to that shortly. But in the meantime, there’s the question of how it demonstrates one of the key capabilities of the new Mac Pro.

Sure, they could hook it up to multiple Thunderbolt Displays, but that’s not the same: Apple made a point when launching the machine of pointing out that it could drive three simultaneous 4K displays. That’s a capability you’d imagine it would want to at least show off in-store, and perhaps even offer for sale …

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