Apple reportedly in ‘preliminary contact’ with distributors to bring iPhone to Iran

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is in early talks with “Iranian distributors” to bring the iPhone to Iran:

Apple Inc. is in preliminary contact with Iranian distributors about a possible entry into the country should Western sanctions ease sufficiently, people familiar with the matter said.

The report notes that financial and banking sanctions as well as political tension has thus far prevented companies like Apple from conducting business in Iran, but points to a policy change in May that lifted the ban on sales of “consumer communications technologies” in the country. The report goes on the claim that “senior Apple executives” have already met with “potential Iranian distributors” at Apple’s regional headquarters in London. Read more

Live blog: The latest news from Apple CEO Tim Cook’s WSJ interview

Mark Gurman | 20:56 More: 

Mark Gurman | 20:56 Tim Cook says he is meeting with Alibaba executives later this week about a potential tie-up for AliPay and Apple Pay. Biggest news of the night from a financial perspective. 

Mark Gurman | 20:53 More on Classic going away: it wasn’t worth updating it. 

Mark Gurman | 20:52 Cook on cheaper iPhones: 

Mark Gurman | 20:51 Tim Cook on why the iPod classic was discontinued: 

Mark Gurman | 20:50 On to questions!

Mark Gurman | 20:48

Mark Gurman | 20:47 Cook explaining iOS security: Apple unable to give up FaceTime and iMessage records. The usuals. 

Mark Gurman | 20:41 More at 11…. 

Mark Gurman | 20:41 On Buybacks:

Mark Gurman | 20:37

Mark Gurman | 20:37 Cook on Mac vs. Windows. OUCH! 

“Would you rather own the Macintosh business or any of the Windows OEMs?” — Tim Cook

Mark Gurman | 20:37 Cook on iOS vs. Android:

Mark Gurman | 20:34

Mark Gurman | 20:34 Cook repeating his comments from 2011, 2012, and 2013 about TV:

“What we’ll do I don’t want to be so clear on,” Cook says. “But it’s an area of a lot of interest. And I’m optimistic … that there can be something great done in the space.”

Mark Gurman | 20:31 Some more lack of clarity from Tim Cook on Apple Watch battery life 

Mark Gurman | 20:31

Mark Gurman | 20:30 Wow! 

Mark Gurman | 20:30 Cook on his own personal life:

Mark Gurman | 20:29 Huge activation numbers for Apple Pay:

Mark Gurman | 20:29 More on Apple Pay:

Mark Gurman | 20:28 Cook on Apple Pay situation:

Mark Gurman | 20:28 More on Apple Watch:

Mark Gurman | 20:27 Another photo:

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Mark Gurman | 20:26 Cook on the Watch:

Mark Gurman | 20:25 Cook says Apple’s services division makes Apple ~18 billion dollars per year. 

Mark Gurman | 20:25 And more on Macs:

Mark Gurman | 20:25 Cook on PCs:

Mark Gurman | 20:24 The Verge has a pic:

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Mark Gurman | 20:23 Cook on iPhone: 

Mark Gurman | 20:11 Interesting: 

Mark Gurman | 19:25 ~ Half hour to go 

Seth Weintraub | 18:55 More Hugo+Tim

Seth Weintraub | 18:53

Tim Cook next to (TOUCHING!) Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra

Mark Gurman | 18:53 Is that an Android phone? 

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Cook’s previous wide-ranging interview

Following the announcement of a record earnings results, the debut of a pair of new iPhones, the launch of Apple, the introduction of new iPads, and the unveiling of the upcoming Apple Watch, Apple CEO Tim Cook is taking the stage in California at the Wall Street Journal’s inaugural WSJ.D Live conference. Cook could drop some juicy details behind Apple’s latest products and about Apple’s future, and we’ll be using this live blog post to share the latest details from the interview. You can find all tonight’s action below and follow us for more updates on Twitter:

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Foxconn hoping to make future iPhone screens, get more of the Apple pie

File photo of employees working inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua

iPhone assembler Foxconn is apparently hoping to move beyond its relatively low-margin work into more profitable high-end component manufacturing in order to take a bigger slice of revenue from Apple, reports the WSJ.

Apple Inc.’s major assembler Foxconn is in preliminary discussions with a provincial government in northern China for an investment in a new factory that would make high-end screens for iPhones and other mobile devices, people familiar with the talks say.

Foxconn already manufactures some iPhone components, but currently only low-margin ones like metal casings and cables …  Read more

iPhone 6 production by the numbers: 100 production lines, 200k workers, 540k phones a day

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The WSJ revealed some iPhone 6 production numbers as Foxconn struggles to meet demand from pre-orders: the company is operating around 100 production lines around the clock, has 200,000 workers dedicated to production of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – and is manufacturing 540,000 units a day.

“We have been churning out 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus and 400,000 iPhone 6 every day, the highest daily output ever, but the volume is still not enough to meet the preorders,” said a person familiar with the matter …

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Analyst & GTAT investor claims all 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models get sapphire, some 4.7-inch models

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An investment note we’ve seen from analyst and GTAT investor Matt Margolis claims that all 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 6 will come with sapphire screens, while the 4.7-inch model will get either sapphire or Gorilla Glass depending on the specification.

According to sources close to Foxconn’s manufacturing operations the iPhone 6 will come built with sapphire cover screens in both sizes. These sources have also indicated that the 4.7” Phone 6 is being assembled in two varieties, a sapphire cover screen version and a version featuring Gorilla Glass. At this point I do not know the approximate mix between the two cover screen options on the 4.7” iPhone 6. My latest check on the 5.5” iPhone 6 indicates that all units of the device are expected to come protected by a sapphire cover screen at this point …

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TSMC expected to begin 16nm volume production for Apple’s A9 chip in early 2015

We’re still just over two weeks away from the anticipated iPhone 6 event reportedly scheduled for September 9th where Apple is expected to debut the next generation of iPhone hardware including a more powerful, efficient A8 system-on-a-chip.

Worry not, though, about the next, next generation iPhone rumors, Apple watchers, as a report from Chinese publication Economic Daily News (via Digitimes) shares that TSMC, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, plans to “advance volume production on its 16nm process” during the beginning of 2015 “with monthly output of 50,000 wafers” to deliver Apple’s A9 system-on-a-chip. Read more

WSJ says Apple considering using sapphire displays in “more-expensive” iPhone models

A new report filed by The Wall Street Journal today is the latest to claim that Apple’s next generation of iPhones will sport sapphire displays. In addition to commentary from analysts over how the more expensive material could impact costs for Apple, the WSJ report includes the following tidbit:

Apple is considering using sapphire screens in more-expensive models of the two new, larger iPhones it plans to debut this fall, if it can get enough of the material, people familiar with the matter say.

Two things are notable in mention above. First, the WSJ mentions “two new, larger iPhones” as reports continue to describe both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model to be introduced with the latter size possibly available after the former. Next, the WSJ describes sapphire displays as possibly only being available on “more-expensive models” of the new iPhones.

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Samsung’s SoC profits down as Apple chooses TSMC for A8, although rumor says it will produce processors for iPhone 7

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Samsung has been having some issues lately, reporting falling profits in the most recent quarter. Although most of this is due to shrinking growth in phone sales, where Apple continues to dominate in terms of profit share, Apple has also affected Samsung’s income from its microprocessor production business. With TSMC having exclusivity over Apple’s A8 production, to be used in the upcoming iPhone 6, Samsung’s outlook for ‘logic chips’ is also gloomy, as The Wall Street Journal highlights in a new report.

Samsung executives admitted on a recent conference call that the outlook isn’t so bright for this business.

“Sales and profitability from System LSI (logic chip business) worsened as demand from main customers continued to decline,” Robert Yi, Samsung’s head of investor relations said last week. His comments confirmed, albeit indirectly, how Apple’s gradual shift away from Samsung as a customer of microprocessors was eating into its profits.

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Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers to also lead iTunes Radio at Apple, according to report

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ian Rogers, the head of Beats Music, will now also lead iTunes Radio following the Apple acquisition. Apple wants to increase collaboration between both Beats Music and iTunes Radio by having both streaming services led by Rogers. Up to now, iTunes Radio has been headed by Jeff Robin’s team, best known for creating the software that became iTunes.

The Journal says that Rogers’ leadership will increase ‘cohesion’ between the services, which currently offer a lot of app in their end-user experiences. It is still unclear whether Apple has plans to consolidate the brands.

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TSMC shipping Apple’s SoC’s for the first time with iPhone 6 says report, will use 20nm process

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Up to this year, all of Apple’s SoC’s have been manufactured by Samsung.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has finally escaped Samsung’s grasp of iOS device CPU production. Although Samsung lost exclusivity last year, there was still doubts that TSMC would be able to follow through with their contract. According to this report, the manufacturer has succeeded and started shipping next-generation microprocessors for Apple’s devices (likely adorned with the ‘A8′ nomenclature) in the second quarter.

This marks a significant point in the production of the iPhone, finally allowing Apple to distance itself from Samsung in such a key area of its devices. The A8 chips use 20-nanometer production processes, according to the report. This compares favorably to the 28-nanometer process used for the A7, which should give better power efficiency and performance per watt. 9to5Mac previously reported that the A8 would focus on significant efficiency enhancements, rather than raw compute performance.

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Tim Cook and Eddy Cue once again appear at Sun Valley media conference (Photos)

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As expected due to their appearances on the guest list, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue are in attendance at this week’s Sun Valley media conference in Idaho. The WSJ’s Doug MacMillan shared the above photo of Cook walking around the Sun Valley resort. The Information’s Jessica Lessin spotted Cue, and the executive provided a witty response to Lessin’s question about TV deals:

Cue and Cook both attended the conference last year, and Cook attended as the sole Apple representative the previous year. Several Apple partners, including board member and Disney CEO Bob Iger, are also attending the event. Cook and Cue’s attendance comes in the months following the Cupertino-company’s blockbuster deal to acquire Beats, and perhaps the duo have plans to create new deals at this conference.

More photos of Cook at the conference below:

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Tim Cook ‘actively’ seeking to add new directors to Board

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The Wall Street Journal today published a brief profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook as the Cupertino-based company continues to be shaped in the image of Cook rather than co-founder Steve Jobs. The profile has some interested tidbits, but it is otherwise light on new information aside from information regarding Cook’s plan for the Apple Board of Directors. According to the report, Cook is “actively” looking to add fresh faces to the Board:

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