Partnership agreement shines light on little-known chapter
A 1978 legal agreement between two college buddies -- Steve Jobs, who was already involved at the time with Apple Computer, and Robert Friedland, who went on to become a mining tycoon and billionaire -- setting up partnership for an investment business has fetched $40,000 at auction. The eight-page legal document, creating a "place of business" in McMinnville, Oregon for dealing with real estate investments, bears the signatures of both men.
Already-approved games available now for first time in the two regions
On Thursday, Apple notified developers that the iOS App Store in Costa Rica and Qatar has finally opened a Games category, making the dedicated section available in the two different countries for the first time. "All apps in the Games category that are cleared for sale [in the two regions] will be automatically available," Apple said in its email. Developers should check territory availability settings if they do not see an approved game available on either of the two stores.
Apple's Remote app sees update, adds iTunes Radio support
On Thursday, Apple updated its remote-control app for Mac or PC iTunes control, called Remote, to version 4.1 (free). The only listed improvement is a significant one: the ability to control iTunes Radio as well as music library, Apple TV and other playback. Apple had previously updated the app to the iOS 7 last month. The free app now handles both user-created and pre-programmed iTunes Radio stations, a service that is available currently only to US account holders.
Microsoft sees big increase in activations, but percentage still tiny
A new study by Microsoft Exchange services firm Intermedia has shown that Apple devices being activated on its Microsoft Exchange-based network accounted for 76 percent of all small- and medium-business (SMB) activations across 2013 -- some 190,000 iPhones and iPads in total. This was more than six times the 29,000 activations seen with Samsung Android devices, providing some insight into a continuing trend in business that favors Apple products.
Current and projected future sales paint rosy picture for Apple
Surging on the strength of its new models, Apple's premium iPhone 5s and mid-range iPhone 5c continued to dominate sales with all the major US wireless carriers, with only Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 positioned as a challenger. US sales data also showed an unsurprising dominance by the iPad in tablet sales, with a new study suggesting that 72 percent of future tablet buyers plan on getting an iPad.
Excessive overtime remains unresolved
A report issued by the advocacy group Fair Labor Association has praised Foxconn for continuing to improve working conditions. An audit reportedly found that three of Foxconn's factories in Longhua, Chengdu and Guanlan, each tasked with assembling iPhones and other Apple devices, have satisfied nearly all of the goals that were outlined last year in a reform plan.
Medical experts sent to investigate
Apple has rejected claims that an underage worker's death at a Pegatron factory was due to poor working conditions. The Cupertino-based company reportedly sent its own team of medical investigators to the factory, which is said to assemble the iPhone 5c, however the experts agreed with Pegatron's assertion that the assembly line environment was not a contributing factor in the pneumonia death.
Chance to pre-order new iPhones on China Mobile may be just hours away
An official China Mobile page which lets Beijing-based users make reservations for its new "4G" LTE service features a graphic of the iPhone 5s and (on a different page) a jewel-encrusted golden apple -- which both confirms that the world's largest cellular carrier will be including the iPhone at long last, and hints that pre-orders for it could begin as early as late Thursday. China Mobile is the last of China's major cellular providers to carry the iPhone, the result of nearly six years of negotiations.
Messaging technology at core of trial found to be not infringed by Apple
Samsung's tales of woe against Apple in court continue -- this time in its South Korean home. Samsung has lost an attempt to ban assorted iPhone and iPad models in South Korea, as the presiding judge dismissed a lawsuit that had Samsung claiming patent infringement against the Cupertino manufacturer.
Discount applies to 16GB models only, requires two-year contract
In a move likely designed to compete with T-Mobile's recent discounting of iPhone down payments, US retail giant Walmart will cut its up-front price for the 16GB models of the iPhone 5s and 5c by $72 when purchased with a two-year contract from either AT&T or Verizon. The promotion, which begins Friday December 13, coincides with the launch of Walmart's contract-free iPhone sales with service through Straight Talk or NET10 Wireless.
Massive sales surge comes ahead of deal with giant China Mobile
Even before an expected debut on the world's largest cellular provider, China Mobile, is announced, Apple's new iPhone models have led to a surprising surge in Chinese sales, vaulting the company from sixth place in marketshare to third place since it debuted its latest models. The popularity of the iPhone 5s and 5c have been such that the company tripled its marketshare in a single month, according to a report from market researchers Counterpoint.
Ive-created items sold to Nest creator for $1.4 million
Tony Fadell, one of the creators of the iPod and the founder of Nest, appears to have been the individual who purchased special edition gold Apple EarPods and a red Mac Pro at an auction at Sotheby's. This according to photographer Kevin Abosch, who tweeted images of Fadell with the auctioned items on Wednesday. All told, the two one-of-a-kind Apple products are believed to have cost Fadell around $1.4 million.
Apple TV gets wave of new content
The Apple TV set-top device got a wave of new content on Wednesday, with Bloomberg TV making its debut on the Apple streaming device, alongside a number of other new channels. As well as the new Bloomberg app, Apple TV owners will now have access to Crackle, Watch ABC, and KORTV. The apps should be available now via a background update.
Worker found to be underage, overworked
Chinese supplier Pegatron is facing renewed criticism following a spate of employee deaths associated with its iPhone 5c production factory. In a particularly disturbing example, 15-year-old Shi Zhaokun succumbed to pneumonia after working nearly 280 hours in his first month at the plant, in apparent violation of local labor regulations and Apple's supplier code of conduct, according to a New York Times report.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Intel and Qualcomm ranked higher
Workplace-ranking website Glassdoor.com has unveiled its annual "Best Places to Work" looking ahead to 2014, and Apple remains well inside the top 50, but dropped a spot from its 2013 ranking of 34th among companies with 1,000 or more employees. The point score, however, only dropped one-tenth of a point in the "Satisfaction" category, scoring a 3.8 out of five in the new poll. The rating comes from employee's own anonymous ratings of the company over the past 12 months.
Google wins on 'most improved,' Siri gains upper hand on OS commands
An annual shootout between Google's Google Now and Apple's Siri voice-assisted virtual assitants conducted by Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has resulted in a virtual tie, with both services receiving the same overall grade. Siri barely edged out Google Now by virtual of its better integration with OS commands -- an advantage that comes with the program's deep OS integration -- but both programs got the same overall grade (C+) and percentage of questions correct (79 percent).
Brings 2013 store total to 448, 30 more planned for 2014
What are probably the last two Apple Store openings for 2013 will take place this Saturday, December 14 with openings of the expanded and remodelled Stonestown store in San Francisco, and an all-new store in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Stonestown location has more than doubled its original square footage by moving to a location near the original store, which opened in 2004. The Düsseldorf store is said to be located in the upscale Kö-Bogen mall in the Königsallee shopping district.
Supply now caught up with demand in stores, online
Just in time for the holiday rush, Apple's online store has moved the popular iPhone 5s -- even in the coveted gold color option -- to a shipping estimate of 24 hours, the best time the sought-after premiere model has ever seen. Since its debut in September, the iPhone 5s has seen constraints on availability, causing a worldwide frenzy for the advanced smartphone in the first days of its debut. Retail partners, online resellers and Apple itself appear to have overcome supply issues for all configurations.
MacBook Pro, iPad Air and more
On sale at BestBuy.com is the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro which has been reduced from $1,199 down to $999. That $200 discount makes this the best price we've seen on this Mac model by about $50. Free shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This MBP features a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. A one-year limited warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
MacBook Air from $849
Today at Apple's online store, save up to 27 percent off refurbished MacBook Air models. The 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced to $849. A $170 discount is offered on the 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage from June 2013, now priced at $929.
restoring lost mail messages in Mavericks
It has been rather quiet this week in the MacNN forums, however there are still unresolved issues plaguing many users. Yesterday, one Forum Regular realized that a bunch of emails that had been stored on iCloud have gone missing. After using Time Machine they discovered a claimed 500GB of lost messages, but they are unable to restore them. One frustrated forum-goer turned to the forums looking for help with ongoing DropBox issues.
New version adds tighter OS X integration, Mavericks support
ProgeCAD has unveiled the new version of iCADMac 2014, an AutoCAD alternative tailored to OS X users. The software provides full compatibility with DWG files -- the CAD standard format recognized officially worldwide -- as well as a vast range of tools and features to enhance 2D design and 3D modeling. Additionally, drawings created with iCADMac can be visualised and edited on iOS devices in both the DWG and PDF file formats.
Updated DataMan Pro offers improved Smart Forecast, usage prediction
DataMan Pro, a data usage app for iOS, has released an updated version today. Version 8.3 of the app learns its user's usage trends, and can notify users how much they can use each day without surpassing a user-defined data cap. The new version also features an improved Smart Forecast, allowing users receive notifications on their usage based on trended information.
Hire hints at further push into streaming audio
Apple has reportedly poached an advertising executive, Michael Pallad, from Cumulus Media, unnamed sources have told Ad Age. After serving as executive VP of sales at the second-largest owner of FM radio stations, Pallad now is said to be tasked with overseeing international ad sales for Apple's iTunes Radio service.
Patent hints at curved device development
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple patent protection for a manufacturing process that focuses on curved touchscreens. Patent No. 8,603,574, spotted by AppleInsider, describes a fabrication method that attempts to minimize a curved touchscreen's substrate and film thickness without distorting or damaging the integrated components.
Buyers prefer iPhone 5s over 5c by 3-to-1 margin, but both doing well
Confirming widely-held beliefs that the iPhone 5s is outselling the iPhone 5c -- but upending the conventional wisdom that the iPhone 5c isn't doing as well as the iPhone 5 did a year ago -- the latest numbers from mobile analytics company MixPanel show a healthy and growing market for both models, though the iPhone 5s is the more popular -- and, roughly three months after introduction, now accounts for 10 percent of all iPhones.
Traditional freebies from App Store vary by region
Apple has again launched its "12 Days of Gifts" app to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, but this year it is including the US for the first time. The app, which celebrates the period between Christmas and the traditional date of the baptism of Christ, will make available to iOS users a free download (an app, movie rental, e-book or song) each day beginning December 26 and running to the 6th of January. It was previously called "12 Days of Christmas," but has seen a name change this year.
Allows more than 25,000 songs to be stored, streamed in virtual 'music locker'
The iTunes Match service, a yearly-subscription service from Apple that allows users to store and stream more than 25,000 songs from their own library (regardless of original source) has arrived in four new Nordic countries. Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden now have access to the service, which costs 249 Krona (between $38-45 US depending on the country) or €25 ($34.40) in Finland. All four countries also gain iTunes in the Cloud, which allows re-downloading of any iTunes Store purchases.
Said to be more involved philanthropically as well
Former iOS chief Scott Forstall has been spending the past year mostly travelling and advising new startup companies, according to a report from the new subscription news website The Information. He has reportedly also become more active in philanthropy, donating to causes that support education and human rights as well as the fight against poverty. Forstall has kept an uncharacteristically low profile since being dismissed from Apple by CEO Tim Cook a year ago.
Rayman Origins to be released for Mac on December 12, 2013
Game and software maker Feral Interactive today announced that Rayman Origins will be released for Mac on Thursday, December 12. Rayman Origins has gamers play the role of Rayman, whose goal is to defend his homeland from a Livid Dead army throughout 60 levels. Players can jump, swim, sprint and hover in various environments, wielding a variety of fighting tactics.
Apple's new iPhone finally catches up to demand
Apple appears to have finally caught up to demand for its iPhone 5s, as nearly all models of the device are now available in Apple's US retail stores. This according to a new report from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster -- who surveyed 60 Apple retail locations -- and found that those stores had full availability of all color and capacity variations on each of the major carriers. Additional research done by others appears to support Munster's assertion.
Agents infiltrate World of Warcraft
Eight tech giants, including industry competitors Apple, Google and Microsoft, have joined forces to demand reforms to the US government's surveillance tactics. In an open letter sent to President Barack Obama and members of Congress, the companies argue that current surveillance practices, as detailed in ongoing leaks from former National Security Agency staffer Edward Snowden, have created an imbalance "too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual-rights that are enshrined in our Constitution."
iPad Air, Retina mini hit Indian market
Apple has launched the iPad mini with Retina display and the iPad Air in the Indian market. The new iOS tablets went on sale in the world's second-most populous country late last week, and they remain at a premium price point in a country with only gradually increasing purchasing power. The premium tablets -- part of a line that has consistently proved the world's best-selling slates -- are a continuation of Apple's efforts to carve out a space for itself in the Indian market, where its products are often much desired but typically out of the reach of many consumers.
South African leader and pioneer honored echoing 'Think Different' campaign
Late on Friday, Apple changed its website home page with a picture honoring former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95. The move comes after CEO Tim Cook posted a tweet quoting Mandela, who was revered worldwide for his political suffrage and leadership of the anti-apartheid movement that eventually overthrew the government and replaced it with a truly representational democracy, of which Mandela himself was the first leader.
Older models being traded in hints at strong wave of new-model upgraders
Online trade-in site Gazelle has reported that iPad trade-ins for cash jumped 175 percent over normal on the weekend of Black Friday, a certain indicator that Apple CEO Tim Cook's prediction that it would be an "iPad Christmas" is likely to come true. The Apple tablet, which continues to dominate the category three and a half years after its introduction, has also topped holiday wish list compilations and has seen some constrained supplies of the two latest models, particularly the Retina iPad mini.
One of several annual 'gifts' Apple gives retail and other workers
Again this holiday season, Apple has indicated it will be offering its retail and other workers steep discounts on selected accessories, in addition to a modest break on the price of iTunes Gift Cards. The company annually changes up its holiday-season offers to employees, but usually reveals price breaks on certain store items on top of the normal discount employees routinely receive on hardware and software purchases. Discounts can be as high as 65 percent off the retail price on third-party items sold at Apple Stores.
Call appointment of personal friend as antitrust monitor 'flatly unconstitutional'
In a new editorial that could have been written by Apple's legal team in a candid moment, the Wall Street Journal rakes Apple e-book trial judge over the coals for both recent and previous missteps, from "essentially [ruling] before hearing the evidence" to appointing a personal friend with no experience in antitrust issues (and requiring an $1,000-per-hour assistant) as an inquisitor who believes his job is to "investigate Apple all over again" in an unconstitutional manner.
Mac mini arrays used for iOS app testing, general computing
Social media giant Facebook isn't generally known for its Apple technology use, but a new report suggests that it may have thousands of Mac minis in its data centers. According to ex-Apple engineer and current Facebook employee Christian Legnitto, the Facebook data centers in Prineville, OR and Forest City, NC both have "racks and racks" loaded with the diminutive computer performing "hundreds of thousands of tests every couple of hours" on iOS software in development.
Ultra high-resolution Sharp displays show up in Apple online stores
A number of Apple's online stores have begun selling 4K monitors made by Sharp, it was revealed on Friday. A 32-inch version of Sharp's PN-K321 monitor showed up at Apple's UK online store recently, retailing for £3,499. The move likely signals the impending availability of Apple's new, redesigned Mac Pro.
Reminders behaving weirdly
This week in the MacNN forums, one Grizzled Veteran was looking for answers after they discovered that they were having problems with the Reminders program. A solution to this problem has yet to be found. "How does one overcome an Apple ID issue?" asks Junior Member "porrid" after they discovered that they are unable to sign into their account.
iMac and Mac Pro
At Apple's online store today, save on refurbished desktop models like the iMac and Mac Pro. The 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive has been cut by $250 down to $1,049. A $270 discount lowers the cost of the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive down to $1,229.
Carrier maintains position despite rumors of imminent launch
The world's biggest cellphone carrier, China Mobile, says it is still discussing an iPhone deal with Apple, according to a Reuters report. "We are still negotiating with Apple, but for now we have nothing new to announce," comments Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal claimed that a deal had been signed, supporting rumors that Mobile might start selling iPhones as soon as December 18th.
Apple dropped $60 million fighting Samsung in US
Apple's ongoing patent infringement actions against Samsung have cost the iPhone maker more than $60 million in legal fees, it was revealed on Thursday. Reuters reported on a new legal filing from Apple that pointed to the total cost Apple has paid to its U.S.-based legal team in order to pursue litigation against the South Korean tech giant. The figure, while sizable, is dwarfed by the potential damages payout Apple may receive for its initial victories, which amount to roughly $900 million.
Month-to-month growth well above average
Apple's November sales may have grown by 19 to 20 percent month-over-month in November, according to an estimate by Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. The figure is based on White's "Apple Barometer," which tracks the performance of Taiwanese suppliers known to depend on Apple as a major client. "With approximately 97% of the sales now accounted for in our Apple Barometer, we estimate sales in November rose by approximately 19-20% M/M and well above the November average of up 6% over the past eight years," the analyst writes in a new investor memo. "As such, we believe this November will prove to be the strongest in the history of our Apple Barometer."
Tech already supported in Apple Store iPhone app
Apple is today deploying iBeacons at all 254 of its US retail stores, according to the Associated Press. At the Fifth Avenue store in New York City alone, the company has 20 iBeacons; some of these are reportedly just iPhones and iPads, but, like regular iBeacons, can communicate with a visitor's iPhone as they walk around the store. To receive notifications a person needs to have Bluetooth enabled, and the latest version of the Apple Store iPhone app, which must be allowed access to location data and push notifications.
Production finally catching up with demand in time for holidays
At one of the best possible times, Apple's production of the iPhone 5s appears to be catching up with demand, allowing worldwide online Apple Stores to offer the highly-prized smartphone -- even in the prized gold color -- with a shipping estimate of just 1-3 days for all carriers and capacities, the first time this has happened since its debut in September. The 64-bit smartphone, which has seen delays so severe that on occasion Apple's website offered no specific timetable for delivery, is now much more widely available.
Android, iOS, Windows all gain share at BlackBerry's expense
Apple's share of the smartphone market in the US continues to grow slowly, though chief rival Samsung is growing at a faster rate but still has a long way to go to catch up. Android sales combined continue to dominate, but have seen very slow or flat growth in recent months -- however, in the latest three-month ComScore MobiLens survey, the platform managed twice the growth rate of iOS. Windows Phone also gained share, with all three platforms benefitting from BlackBerry's continuing fall.
Agreement would increase iPad sales opportunities, lift Apple revenues
Assuming that the latest iPhones (and possibly iPads) debut in China and on China Mobile as expected on December 18, Apple will have just two weeks of sales there to record before the close of the company's fiscal Q1 for 2014. In a testament the sheer scale of both China's overall economy and China Mobile's subscriber base are, those few days might be enough to materially affect Apple's overall earnings for the period, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
Three months in, almost all users on iOS 7 or iOS 6
A new report posted by Apple itself on its iOS developer portal says that, less than three months after its debut, iOS 7 is now on 74 percent of all the company's mobile devices -- an astonishing adoption rate unrivalled in the industry. Users still on iOS 6 make up about 22 percent of the base, meaning 96 percent of iOS users are running OS versions no more than a year old. By comparison, only around half of Android users are on a 4.x version (first released in mid-2012), with only 1.1 percent on the latest iteration.
Judge agrees to no ex parte meetings, reiterates procedures
In response to complaints from Apple about the court-ordered monitor the company is saddled with as a result of its e-book case, Judge Denise Cote in an order filed on December 2 agreed to change one policy associated with the monitor, and reminded Apple of the procedure for objecting to specific actions or other problems with the monitor. Apple has charged that the monitor is unqualified, overpaid, extortionist, disruptive, exceeding his authority and that the judge had provided for off-the-record, secret meetings with him.