August 19

AAPL: 109.36

0.28
Stock Chart

Zac made the point yesterday that just because the iPhone 7 is sounding like a second S-year model, that doesn’t mean that mass-market buyers – ‘normals’ – won’t be wowed by it. Apple has an enviable ability to take relatively mainstream features and make them sound magical, and a report by French site NWE seems to make one rumored feature sound more likely.

While the dual-camera system slated for the larger iPhone 7 Plus is an obvious talking point, it’s also been suggested that the smaller model may get the optical image stabilisation (OIS) currently limited to the iPhone 6/6s Plus.

A claimed photo of the camera module for the 4.7-inch iPhone has four slots around it, similar to those found in the 6/6s Plus, but not in the standard model. These would appear to be for the tiny motors needed to move the lens in an OIS system …

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Apple has a fierce reputation for driving a hard bargain with its component suppliers, using its size and status to demand ultra-competitive pricing. But according to Digitimes, suppliers in Taiwan are starting to resist demands for ever-greater discounts.

Apple is said to have asked downstream part and component suppliers […] to reduce their quotes for iPhone 7 devices by as much as 20% even though order volumes for new phones are reportedly 30% lower than those placed a year earlier. Major downstream suppliers, notably Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and associated companies under the Foxconn Group, have replied Apple that they could not be able to accept orders without reasonable profits at this time.

The two sides each appear to be bringing persuasive arguments to the table …

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You’re officially the person with everything if you’re seriously planning to lay out $249 on a levitating Apple Watch charger – though Kickstarter backers can get one for slightly less at $199, or $159 if you’re very quick.

Since the Apple Watch itself charges inductively, the designers of the LIFT charger decided to take things one step further by using magnets to suspend the charger above its powered base, allowing it to float freely in mid air …

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9to5toys 

The Australian banks have been denied permission to act as a monopolistic cartel in the country, preventing them from negotiating collectively with Apple over Apple Pay terms for the time being as reported by Reuters. Australian banks are resisting adoption of Apple’s mobile payment solution (available in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s), referring to hefty fees and loss of customer control.

Apple says that the banks are being anti-competitive by blocking the introduction of innovative payment technologies like Apple Pay. The banks want to force Apple to open up the NFC chip to third-party developers, which Apple says would cripple the security standards of its platform.

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August 18

AAPL: 109.08

-0.14
Stock Chart

In what appears to be a supplement to his upcoming “Boys Don’t Cry” album, Frank Ocean today has released a new visual album “Endless” exclusively to Apple Music. It was originally reported that “Boys Don’t Cry” would drop two weeks ago on Apple Music, but as has been the case many times throughout the wait for the album, it didn’t actually release. Instead, we have a visual album.

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