Sydney ▪ September 19, 2014

Apple’s leadership is out in full force today for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch across the globe.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been spotted at the company’s local Apple Store in Palo Alto, California, to be a part of the crowd and watch the new iPhone debut. Cook reportedly joked with the crowd saying he got the new iPhone several months ago. As evident by Twitter, the Apple CEO has shared in the excitement by taking selfies with the crowd.

On the other side of the world, Apple’s recently appointed SVP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts helped kick off the new iPhones launch in Sydney, Australia, where the iPhone went on sale at 8 am local time several hours ago.

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Sydney ▪ October 11, 2012

With Apple’s $356 million purchase of mobile security firm AuthenTec, for its nearly 200 patents covering fingerprint and sensor technologies, there has been a lot of talk about how Apple might integrate the technology into future devices. Adding to the rumors are recent reports that Apple signed a deal with Sydney, Australia-based Microlatch to develop NFC apps using its fingerprint authentication tech. Today, we get a look at some possible areas Apple might be exploring with the technology thanks to a patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and detailed by Patently Apple.

As highlighted in the image above, Apple’s patent covers a hidden color-matched or transparent “window”—next to the iPhone’s home button in this case—that could reveal “components by causing the electronic window to change opacity, allowing the components to suddenly appear as from out of nowhere.” In other words, Apple could build a biometric sensor or camera into a device’s bezel but have it remain invisible to the user—at least when not in use. One embodiment of the invention described using fingerprint tech during the unlocking process (pictured right):

In Apple’s patent FIGS. 12 and 13 shown below we see a biometric sensor in context with a fingerprint reader which is initially concealed behind a closed window on an iPhone. Upon the iPhone’s activation in a locked state, a lock screen 160 may be displayed requesting a user to slide a finger across the display to unlock the device. The electronic device may request user authentication to access the handheld device. The device may then display an instruction screen requesting that a user provide biometric data via their fingerprint which will be read by the fingerprint reader.

The patent also covers similar methods using face recognition and eye recognition rather than fingerprint sensors; the invention would also not be limited to unlocking devices. The patent continued by describing e-commerce and wallet applications, which would line up with the earlier reports regarding Microlatch: expand full story

Sydney ▪ August 27, 2012

Sydney ▪ August 23, 2012

Sydney ▪ July 2, 2012

Sydney ▪ April 26, 2012

UPDATE:  Samsung just officially denied any involvement with the “Wake Up” protest held outside of an Australian Apple Store earlier this week. According to SlashGear, the company stepped forth Friday and denied any ties to the affair: ”Samsung Electronics Australia has nothing to do with the ‘Wake-Up Campaign’.” Read more at 9to5Mac.

Samsung reportedly hired marketing agency Tongue to lead an advertising campaign for its upcoming Galaxy S III launch, and its first demonstration occurred at an Apple Store in Australia earlier this week, but the event resembled more of a protest or call to arms, rather than a promotional stunt.

A mysterious black bus donning the phrase “WAKE UP,” coupled with hordes of chanters waving coordinating signs in the air, roamed through the streets of Sydney on April 22. The show paraded in front of George Street’s Apple store and left the entire city in confusion.

According to Australian website mUmBRELLA, the staged fuss also boasted a series of billboards posted around the area, as well as “WAKE UP” written on the bottom of Bondi Ice Bergs’ pool, and an equally-mystifying website at wake-up-australia.com.au. The URL is registered to ad agency New Dialogue, which underwent rebranding and now goes by the name “Tongue.”

The website allegedly counts down the Galaxy S III launch, but it is set to end at 3 p.m. May 6. The highly anticipated Android-powered smartphone is the primary rival to Apple’s iPhone, and it is unveiling May 3 in London, so circulating rumors indicate the “WAKE UP” countdown is actually the device’s landing date for Australian markets.

Samsung previously hosted a teaser website at tgeltaayehxnx.com, which is anagram for “the new galaxy,” that also contained a countdown. It redirected users to thenextgalaxy.com when the clock ran out last Monday. Samsung embedded a video on the subsequent page that promised its next Galaxy device will “stand out from everyone else” while depicting a slew of sheep in a field for the closing frame. The imagery and language is a definite jab at iPhone users, who are often mocked as “iSheep,” over speculation that they blindly follow Apple.

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