September Stories August 15, 2015

applesis

Apple and Best Buy have agreed to begin selling both the standard AppleCare protection plan for Macs and the more premium AppleCare+ for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch through Best Buy stores, according to sources. The plans call for Best Buy to begin offering the AppleCare plans in its stores at checkout around the week of September 14th, just ahead of the iPhone 6S launch. This will mark a notable expansion of the Apple and Best Buy relationship, and Best Buy will become one of the only retailers, aside from select U.S. carriers, to offer AppleCare outside of an Apple Store.

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September Stories August 10, 2015

forcetouch

While Force Touch on the Apple Watch allowed Apple to add an additional layer of buttons to a small display, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus screens don’t lack for either real estate or buttons. So why would Force Touch be desirable on larger displays? Following up on our May report that Force Touch is coming to Apple’s next iPhones, sources who have used the iPhone 6S have provided new details on how Force Touch works and feels under iOS.

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September Stories March 17, 2015

9to5NBC

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

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September Stories October 6, 2014

App-store-ios-8-marketshare

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. expand full story

September Stories September 4, 2014

iwatch-concept-future-08

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.

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September Stories September 1, 2014

UK carrier O2 teases new iPhone with funny newspaper ad

Major United Kingdom-based carrier O2 is teasing the upcoming iPhone 6 launch(es) with a humorous newspaper ad today. The ad is fairly self-explanatory. But to fill in the blanks, the new iPhone will debut at the September 9th Apple event and at least some models will likely become available on September 19th. The bigger, 5.5-inch phone is seeing some delays, and that model possibly won’t hit the streets until later in the month or even October. As for the name, the general consensus is either “iPhone 6” or “iPhone Air.” Thanks to The Verge‘s Tom Warren for bringing the ad to our attention.

September Stories August 26, 2014

apple-tv

Shortly after adding 19 more acts to the line-up for the iTunes Festival running in London throughout September, Apple has now pushed the iTunes Festival channel to Apple TV, ready for live HD streaming once the show begins …  expand full story

September Stories August 13, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 9.46.23 AM

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:

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September Stories August 5, 2014

Tim-Cook-WWDC-02

Lining up with our earlier report, Apple has reportedly scheduled a media event for Tuesday, September 9, which we can only assume will be the unveiling of its new iPhone lineup expected this fall.  expand full story

September Stories August 1, 2014

Apple formally takes ownership of 13 percent of Beats from Vivendi/Universal Music Group

Apple’s $3B acquisition of Beats was never going to be completed overnight, and it’s only today that Apple actually completed its purchase of the 13 percent of the company that was owned by Vivendi/Universal Music Group, the world’s largest record label.

In a one-sentence press release, Vivendi announced that the sale of its shares had been completed for a total of $404M. It was expected that Apple would have acquired all of the Beats shares by the end of September, but based on the formal welcome message, it appears this may complete the sale.

While Wall Street may have been unimpressed by the acquisition, Tim Cook described it as an exciting new chapter in Apple’s history, and Eddy Cue said that the deal would help music grow again.

Apple is in the process of determining which Beats staff will join Apple, and which positions will be eliminated.

September Stories July 10, 2014

One of many iWatch concepts.

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.

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September Stories June 6, 2014

iwatch-concept-03

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 …

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September Stories May 30, 2014

luca-maestri

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:

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September Stories May 14, 2014

September Apple Retail holiday restrictions make August launch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 even more unlikely

German site ifun is reporting that local Apple Store staff have been banned from taking any leave in September, the usual month for the launch of a new iPhone. No restrictions have been reported for August.

This would seem to scupper the unlikely but persistent rumors that have been circulating of the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 being launched in August, with the 5.5-inch model following in September. Delays to the 5.5-inch model were said to be due to unspecified manufacturing difficulties.

A split launch always seemed unlikely for a variety of reasons, not least the logistical hassles of a launch at peak vacation time, requiring leave blackouts for two months rather than one. Sales figures would also be complicated by a two-phase launch, and would potentially provide competitors with data on the relative popularity of the two models. Apple has always only reported iPhone sales in aggregate, rather than breaking out numbers for specific models.

We’ve seen a range of schematics, renders and mockups of the rumored design of the iPhone 6, all suggesting an iPod touch-like design with a slim form factor and rounded edges.

The site ifun also reports that the Apple Store in Hannover, expected to open shortly, has been delayed until the fall by mold growth found in the building. Construction work had required the temporary closure of the Mobilcom store next door, which has now re-opened, suggesting a pause in work on the Apple Store.

September Stories May 8, 2014

apple-iphone-6-concept

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.

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September Stories December 18, 2013

chinamobile

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 …  expand full story

September Stories November 20, 2013

Parallels-9-bundle

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.

Today’s earlier Black Friday software bundles from Adobe and Stack Socialexpand full story

September Stories September 5, 2013

20111201.01.iPhone5docomo

Japan’s largest mobile carrier, DoCoMo, will finally begin selling the iPhone this fall, according to Nikkei. Apple and DoCoMo reportedly recently came to an agreement, and reports regarding the discussions emerged late last month.

With Apple announcing two new iPhones next week, it is likely that DoCoMo will carry the new devices. Apple will be announcing a successor to the iPhone 5 (the iPhone 5S) as well as a lower-cost, plastic backed iPhone 5 geared towards emerging markets. 

Earlier today, chatter increased regarding other next-generation iPhone launches in China, including debuts on China Telecom and China Mobile

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Samsung is so far the only company to announce an LTE-A compatible phone

Samsung is so far the only company to announce an LTE-A compatible phone

A statement by Deutsche Telekom is adding to speculation that at least the European model of the iPhone 5S may support the high-speed LTE-A standard (also known as LTE+). The prospect of the 5S supporting the faster version of LTE had first been suggested back in July.

In announcing that the carrier will be launching its high-speed LTE-A data service this month, offering speeds of up to 150MBit/s, the company said:

Samsung will offer an updated version of the Galaxy S4 with LTE +. Appropriate devices from other manufacturers will follow the end of September.

Given the timing, some are suggesting that one of the ‘other manufacturers’ may be Apple …  expand full story

September Stories September 4, 2013

telus-iphone-5-disc

A new leaked doc from Canadian carrier Telus (via MobileSyrup) shows that the carrier has plans to discontinue the iPhone 5 on September 28 just days after the next-generation iPhones are rumored to launch. Although it would lend weight to the theory that Apple could get rid of the iPhone 5 since the rumored iPhone 5S and especially the lower cost iPhone 5C are so close internally to the current device, the doc only shows that the 32GB and 64GB models will be discontinued, which might be a clue the 16GB iPhone 5 will stick around as an entry level model.

Keeping the 16GB iPhone 5 seems to line up with what we’ve been hearing at Verizon and adds even more weight to the theory that Apple will keep the iPhone 5 around as a lower cost option perhaps in between the 5S and the 5C in much the same way that the last-gen iPhone 4S currently occupies the $99/plan spot in Apple’s lineup.

On the other hand, often-accurate KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo said earlier this month that he thinks Apple will stop selling the iPhone 5 at the end of Q3 2013 and continuing selling the iPhone 4S until the end of the year.

Apple yesterday sent out invites to the September 10th event and is expected to start selling the iPhone 5S and 5C starting around the 20th of September.

vodafone_inventory

Update: Similar chatter is coming out of Vodafone Germany, indicating that the 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 and 16GB iPhone 4S will soon be discontinued. expand full story

September Stories August 28, 2013

This morning, news is circulating regarding claims of a September iPad launch, gold iPhone 5S scratch tests, Apple products being allowed to be imported into Iran, and Apple potentially disrupting the way that mobile carriers work. Let’s take a look at each of these claims…

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September Stories August 15, 2013

Xi-Guohua-china-mobile-iphone

China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua

China Mobile, the world’s largest Telecom with close to 700M subscribers, reported mixed earnings today on slow growth of its smartphone business relative to its competitors which both carry the iPhone. Chairman Xi Guohua noted this and said that talks with Apple on carrying the iPhone were progressing.

“Both sides sounded keen (during recent talks),” Xi told a news conference after announcing the company’s first-half results.

“Good progress was made in preparing for the commercialization of TD-LTE,” Xi said, referring to 4G “long-term evolution” network technology that may support newer iPhone models.

Dow Jones’ Paul Mozur noted the remaining issues to be worked out:

Working out the hurdles and signing up the world’s largest telecom would obviously be a big win for Apple and CEO Tim Cook, who would probably love to announce the carrier relationship at the upcoming September 10th iPhone event in San Francisco.   expand full story

September Stories July 15, 2013

Apple fingerprint sensor patent

<a href="http://9to5mac.com/2013/06/21/apple-patent-application-describes-fingerprint-sensor-tech-rumored-for-iphone-5s/">Apple fingerprint sensor patent</a>

Digitimes, which is notorious for its mixed track record, is out with a new report claiming that initial shipments of Apple’s next-generation iPhone will be in tight supply. The reason being low yield rates for the production of the sensor for the device’s rumored fingerprint scanning technology. That’s in addition to some chips required to power the new iPhone’s LCD.

Poor yields of fingerprint-recognition chips and LCD driver ICs will likely force Apple to reduce first-quarter shipments of the rumored iPhone 5S, which is slated for launch in September 2013, according to industry sources. Volume production of fingerprint-recognition and LCD driver chips for the iPhone 5S should have started at the end of June or early in July, but issues related to yield rates will delay commercial production of the two chips to the end of July, therefore affecting the initial supply of the iPhone 5S, the sources explained.

Furthermore, the site says that production of said device’s sensors should have begun late last month or earlier this month, but production won’t actually begin until later this month. This in turn will affect initial shipments of the new iPhone come September. Digitimes says this will result in 3 million delayed units…

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September Stories November 29, 2012

Apple releases update 5.1.1 (10A831) for second and third gen Apple TVs

After releasing update 5.1 for second- and third-gem Apple TVs back in September, Apple rolled out 5.1.1 today to Apple TV owners following the public launch of iTunes 11.The 5.1 update includes Shared Photo Streams, AirPlay, iTunes account switching, and more, so we aren’t expecting to discover much in today’s update.

From Apple:

Apple TV Software Update 5.1.1

iTunes Up Next Adds support for Up Next with iTunes 11 or iTunes Match. See upcoming songs when playing music on your Apple TV. Add new songs and edit what’s queued with your Remote or with the Remote app.
Stability and performance Includes performance and stability improvements with the iTunes Store, AirPlay, Netflix, iTunes Match, and wired Ethernet connections.

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