Apple so rattled by ‘Next Big Thing’ ads, it almost changed ad agency, claims Samsung

Apple senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller was so concerned about Samsung’s Next Big Thing ad campaign, in which the company poked fun at Apple customers, that he emailed Tim Cook to suggest a change of ad agency to fight back – according to a claim by Samsung lawyer Jon Quinn.

The Verge reports that Quinn made the claim in his opening arguments in the patent trial in which Apple is accusing Samsung of violating five of its iOS-related patents.

Quinn says Schiller became “obsessed” with the campaign, writing CEO Tim Cook to suggest the company look into using another ad agency instead of its mainstay TBWA\CHIAT\DAY. That even led to Apple board discussions over the issue, Quinn added …

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This is the room where the iPhone was born

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Ahead of the latest Apple-Samsung trial, Apple is sharing some of the details regarding the creation of the iPhone with the WSJ. As an aside, Apple also shared a shot of the secret windowless room where the original iPhone meetings took place. The nondescript room is where most of the design decisions for the original iPhone’s software were made and is called “hallowed ground” to Greg Christie, who designs the software interface for products and one of the first members recruited to work on the device in 2004.

It doesn’t mean that the windowless room, lit by fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling, looked like anything special. Christie recalled the walls had signs of water damage from a flood in an adjacent bathroom. A few images covered the walls including one of Apple’s “Think Different” posters of famous graphic designer Paul Rand and another of a large chicken running around without its head.

Inspiration comes in many forms.

Apple may be sharing this information to drum up public support before the trial. Or, perhaps more likely, Apple knows this information will come out in the trial and wants to “own” the story beforehand.

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Wall Street Journal corroborates new Apple TV incoming, but says content plans have been scaled back

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The Wall Street Journal has published a report that largely corroborates what Bloomberg said earlier; a new Apple TV is under development with Apple currently in negotiation stages for content deals, with at least Time Warner Cable. However, the Wall Street Journal adds some new information about what these talks entail.

Initially, it appears that Apple wanted an independent Apple TV product to offer TV shows and films exclusively over the Internet. However, now it appears that Apple is scaling back some of its ambition due to resistance from content companies.

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Tim Cook discusses Google selling Motorola, says iPhone hasn’t hit a ceiling, and more from full WSJ interview

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After posting excerpts last night, in which Tim Cook announced Apple’s share buyback of $14 billion in the last two weeks, The Wall Street Journal has now published the full interview with Apple’s CEO.

The interview repeats many of the comments Cook has made to investors in the past, reaffirming that new product categories under development, but does contain some new, interesting tidbits. For instance, Wakabayashi asked Cook about Google’s disposal of Motorola. Cook says he “wasn’t surprised” that Google sold it off, saying that software and hardware integration is what makes Apple unique as a company.

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AAPL stock more than 3 percent up on China Mobile news

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After the fall in Apple’s stock value when the China Mobile failed to materialise as expected on 18th December, yesterday’s news that the deal had finally been concluded sent the stock shooting back up again, having climbed more than 3 percent at the time of writing (it was up 4% in pre-market trading but has settled).

With the WSJ having reported that 18th December was the day, the market was clearly jittery when nothing materialized. Everything had appeared to be in place: regulatory approval, Apple putting the handsets on sale in China on the opening weekend, China Mobile posters, a pre-order website, in-store displays – and 4G service up-and-running on schedule …  Read more

12.9-inch iPad rumor is back with launch date, early launch for larger size iPhone included

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Mockups: T3

Rumors of a larger iPad have been bouncing around since May (complete with the world’s silliest name). They gained credibility (minus the name) when reported by the WSJ in July, and our poll certainly suggests there would be demand for it, with 24 percent of 9to5Mac readers declaring that they love the idea. There have, however, so far been few supporting specifics.

Digitimes is not always the most credible of sources, but it is today suggesting that the 12.9-inch iPad will be manufactured by Quanta Computer, launched in October and targeted at the education market, citing its usual anonymous “supply chain sources” …  Read more