CEO Lei believes Xiaomi can make the jump from third place, trades jabs with Apple
Last week, Xiaomi CEO Jun Lei said that he expects the smartphone manufacturer to take the number one sales spot in the next decade. Lei had a chance to emphasize his belief at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen China, taking to a panel to accentuate the company's growth in smart devices. To do so, the Chinese company will need to overtake the number one and two companies Samsung and Apple, something that Apple Senior Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs Bruce Sewell believes won't be so "easy."
Many more merchants, banks planning to add support in coming weeks, months
In addition to today's announcement by Square that it will bring support for Apple Pay to its app and systems early next year, a number of other merchants have also unveiled Apple Pay support or are planning to soon. Venues that utilize Tickets.com as their online ticket provider, for example, have now adopted support for Apple's iPhone 6-centric payment method, and some apps will soon be offering an Apple Pay option for online purchases.
Home IP surveillance camera Spotcam launches
Cloud-based video system Spotcam, has announced the debut of its home surveillance system with remote access. Featuring a Wi-Fi-enabled camera with two-way audio, users can view live or recorded footage of their home or office to ensure that all is secure while away. The Spotcam system is accompanied by a free 24-hour loop of stored footage, aiming to provide an affordable alternative to more elaborate security systems. Spotcam's camera features 720p resolution and a 110-degree wide angle lens, with proficiency in low-light conditions as well as night vision capacity. Spotcam can be set up on both Android and iOS devices, with purchase of the camera system priced at $150 through Amazon. For larger footage storage, pricing begins at $4 per month for access to a three-day duration.
Judge Denise Cote approves 'unusual' settlement offer
[Updated with additional background information, details on "escape clause"] Federal court Judge Denise Cote has approved Apple's $450 million e-book suit settlement offer with US states. The agreement, proposed in June, will settle allegations made in 33 states and territories, with $400 million potentially reaching customers affected by the "price fixing conspiracy." The agreements only settles the states' complaints, with the publishers' settlements remaining discrete. However, Apple may have an ace up its sleeve on the deal -- in the form of a "vindication" clause.
Evernote for OS X releases updates for Yosemite
Evernote has released a major update for its OS X app, bringing support for Yosemite. Over-all performance speed has been improved, introducing a redesigned interface with a lighter color theme, and new icons. Users now have more control over tables they create, with new color and style customizations available. Notes can be searched for via OS X's Spotlight function, and sending notes to others can now be done while remaining in the app. Many bug fixes and crashing issues have also been resolved in the latest app iteration. Evernote is free to download, with premium subscriptions available.
Workaround: Use Firefox or Chrome, switch Safari ID to other browser
Users are starting to chime in on Google and Apple's support forums about a sudden incompatibility with video hosting service YouTube. Some users of OS X 10.10.1 are complaining that YouTube videos with leading advertisements either fail to load, play a discordant sound with no video, or crash Safari itself. Firefox and Chrome are not affected by whatever is causing the problem.
Siri fails and iOS 8.1.1 comments
This week in the MacNN forums, members share amusing tales of times that Siri has failed them, providing examples of how Siri doesn't always understand what is really going on. Comments are piling up faster than the snow in Buffalo about the latest update to iOS 8, with some saying it made things better while others aren't so sure it has helped much at all.
bargain priced Macs from $769
At Apple's online store today, find low prices on a selection of refurbished Mac models. The refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of PCIe-based flash storage is now $769, after a $130 discount. Priced at $849, after a $150 discount, is the refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.
iPads, storage and more
At BestBuy.com this week, find low prices on previous-generation iPad Air configurations. The iPad Air with Wi-Fi and 64GB of storage has seen an $85 price break, dropping the cost from an already-reduced $500 down to $415. That makes this around $85 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iPad features a 9.5-inch multi-touch display with a A7 processor, 1.2MP front-facing camera, 5.0MP rear-facing camera, built-in Wi-Fi, and 64GB of storage space. It is backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.
French, Japanese among new translations
The iCloud edition of iWork has received a number of updates, primarily the addition of new languages. Pages is now usable in Arabic, Hebrew, French, German, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and simplified Chinese; Arabic and Hebrew are bidirectional. Keynote and Numbers, meanwhile, have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and simplified Chinese.
Strength of iPhone 6 demand, Apple Watch predictions to fuel growth, analysts say
Two leading investment and analysis firms have joined with others in raising AAPL target prices recently, in part because the stock has already outperformed most expectations on its most recent bull run. Longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray has raised his target from $120 to $135 on the strength of iPhone 6 demand, while Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her view to $126 per share from the previous $115, which the stock has already surpassed. The two join a growing list of AAPL bulls.
New tactic addresses complaints of silent disabling of outdated versions
Apple is trying a different tack in the struggle to keep Macs secure by encouraging users to either disable the Flash browser plug-in outright, or to keep up-to-date with the latest version, which routinely fixes serious security issues found in the multi-platform media player. The latest maneuver by the iPhone maker, which debuted today, is a direct pop-up prompt to update to the latest version when users visit a page that requires Flash Player. The dialogue box takes users directly to Adobe's own page for updating Flash.
Larger iPhone 6 Plus at 16GB now listing 7-10 day shipping for US models
The US online Apple Store has recently revised the wait time for an online-ordered iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, just in time for the holiday buying season. The units are still very constrained, but are slowly catching up with demand, based on changes to ship times on Apple's website. The two higher-end iPhone 6 models now have a US ship time of seven to 10 days, while the 16GB model now has a five-to-seven day wait time. The larger iPhone 6 Plus has dropped to a seven-to-10 day shipping window for the 16GB model, but still has longer times on larger-capacity units.
First beta comes with known problem, but no focus areas for testing
Just days after issuing the OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update that has reportedly fixed a raft of Wi-Fi and Mail issues (but not all of them), the company has seeded the first beta of 10.10.2 for developer. The new build, 14C68k, is now available through the Yosemite Software Update mechanism or Apple's developer portal. The release notes for the beta curiously do not mention any focus areas, but do warn testers of a known flaw in opening documents from iCloud Drive.
Exclusive client believed to be Apple
Foxconn's display unit, Innolux, will be spending about NT$80 billion ($2.6 billion US) during the next two years on a new Taiwanese factory meant to supply an exclusive but unnamed client, says Innolux PR representative Sophia Cheng. The statement was in reference to comments made by Innolux President Wang Jyh-chau at a press conference earlier today. Although Cheng says she isn't aware if such a deal has been signed, the client is elsewhere believed to be Apple, one of Foxconn's biggest contracts and possibly one of the few that could justify such an expenditure or demand such secrecy.
'Development unit' has space for 10 workers
Apple has moved into a new office in Lund, Sweden, property firm Vasakronan has confirmed. News agency Rapidus describes Apple's presence there as a "development unit" that moved in a few weeks ago. The office is said to have space for just 10 or so workers, but it may be significant thanks to the local firms Apple has acquired in the past few years.
New entities handling submissions of bulk location data
Apple has added 10 new companies to the list of those providing it with data for iOS and OS X Maps, reports say. The parties are mentioned in a new email to businesses, asking about submitting bulk location information. The added firms include DAC Group, Location3 Media, Marquette Group, Placeable, PositionTech, SIM Partners, SinglePlatform, UBL, Yext, and Yodle. Apple asks for bulk content to be submitted to one of the entities on its partner list, rather than directly.
Settlement should cover other companies such as Time Warner, Suddenlink
Cisco is said to be preparing to pay a $188 million pre-tax charge to settle a lawsuit brought against it by Rockstar, the Apple-led patent holding firm born out of the remains of Nortel Networks. The company recent mentioned a $188 million payout in an earnings call. The connection to the settlement can be made, as Cisco has asked the judge in the lawsuit to stay litigation because it has signed a "term sheet" with Rockstar.
Lack of production experience, ineffective leadership to blame for bust-up, Apple says
More details on the collapse of the GT Advanced Technologies deal with Apple were made available today, as sources have reported that a letter sent by Apple to other creditors in the GT Advanced bankruptcy case reveals more details on why the partnership collapsed. Included in the letter were pictures of defective sapphire boules produced by GT Advanced, pointed to by Apple as the main reason the company went under -- it contracted to produce high-quality boules of the material, but simply couldn't produce enough usable product.
Note-holders want settlement hearing postponed, access to internal documents
[Update: Judge has delayed settlement hearing until December 10] Other creditors left holding the bag after the surprise bankruptcy of GT Advanced Technologies are crying foul over the proposed settlement between Apple and the sapphire-making company, which is due to be ruled on at a hearing next week. Note-holders such as Aristeia Capital have complained to the court that charges from GT Advanced executives that claim a "bait and switch" arrangement from Apple that forced the company into bankruptcy require investigation, and "call into question the adequacy" of the proposed settlement.
Outsourcing firm handled Apple tech support
A Bangalore, India-based company -- InfoSys -- is losing two key executives due to a scandal involving overbilling Apple, reports say. InfoSys is known to provide outsourced tech support services for Apple. The Economic Times of India says that InfoSys has fired the CFO of its business process outsourcing unit, Abraham Mathews, for violating the company's code of conduct. CEO Gautam Thakkar has reportedly resigned on "moral grounds," and will depart on November 30.
Should bring iAd in line with other mobile ad platforms
Apple is partnering with a company called Rubicon Project on bringing "programmatic" -- also known as automated -- options to iAd, according to a now-pulled (but still cached) press release. In it, Rubicon says that advertisers wanting iAd spots will be able to place them through Rubicon's automation platform, rather than having to negotiate directly with iAd's sales team. This should not only speed up the process, but potentially enable bidding on placements in apps via auctions.
Griffin Technology releases two new tablet stands composed of reclaimed railroad steel
Griffin Technology has partnered with Rail Yard Studios, offering the release of two new tablet stands made of railroad steel. Made of reclaimed rail stock installed on the original Louisville and Nashville Railroad between 1906 and 1908, the Rail Slice Tablet Stand and Rail Artifact Stand are built to hold a full or mini-sized tablet in both landscape and portrait orientation.
Some current employees may be able to continue working in revamped facility
The sapphire manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona owned by Apple but currently occupied by the now-bankrupt GT Advanced Technologies will eventually be re-purposed by the iPhone maker, according to a report from Mesa City Manager Chris Brady. This could allow some employees, who are looking at possible layoffs as early as this month, to continue working at the facility. Currently, GT Advanced is being allowed to remain in the facility rent-free through the remainder of the year in order to wind down operations.
Pre-ordering breakfast, early Xmas shopping included in 'magical' checkout experiences
Rich DeMuro, a tech reporter for Los Angeles TV station KTLA, met up with Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue for a televised segment that aired Monday night, showing the two men shopping around town for various items and paying for them with Apple Pay. The spree, which took place in Santa Monica, included pre-ordering and paying for breakfast from Panera Bread using the app before the men even arrived at the restaurant, and later buying items from various retailers, including the Apple Store.
Device might allegedly reach 'DSLR-quality imagery'
The next-generation iPhone may represent Apple's "biggest camera jump ever," says Daring Fireball's John Gruber. In a recent podcast episode, Gruber explains that "a birdie of a birdie" tells him that the camera will adopt a "kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR-quality imagery." That could imply a camera similar to the one in the HTC One M8, which uses an extra lens to provide more image data and enable post-processed focus shifts.
private browsing, custom colors and more
Yesterday, when trying to figure out how to set up Safari's private browsing feature in Yosemite, Mac Elite "jeff k" turned to the MacNN Forums looking for some help. Earlier today, forum-goers assisted "Ralph Tomaccio" with trying to change the color of the text under a folder icon on their desktop on Yosemite.
iMac and Mac Pro
Right now at Apple's online store, find price cuts on refurbished Apple desktop models with prices starting as low as $929. The refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has been slashed to $929. A $310 discount is offered on the 27-inch iMac with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $1,489.
MacBook Air, Apple TV, AirPort Extreme
Today's deal of the day from MacMall.com is on the 13.3-inch MacBook Air, which has been reduced from $999 down to $899. That $100 discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this configuration by about $50. This MacBook Air features a 1.4GHz Intel (Haswell) dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. It is backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.
8.2 release enables testing of Apple Watch apps
Apple is now seeding two important releases to developers, beginning with the first iOS 8.2 beta. The only mentioned addition is support for the Apple Watch, granting Watch apps the ability to access data from a paired iPhone. "You can also enhance your Watch app by providing two optional Apple Watch interfaces that give users timely, high-value information: A Glance provides a screenful of meaningful information related to a Watch app," Apple's release notes read. "As its name implies, a Glance displays information that users can absorb instantly, without interaction; in fact, tapping a Glance on Apple Watch launches your Watch app.
Second pager-related suit in two months
Apple has been ordered to pay a Texas firm, Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, $23.6 million for illegally using pager patents in its products. A federal jury in Marshall, Texas has ruled that six patents owned by MTel are still valid, and were infringed by products including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and the AirPort router line. The patents were originally issued in the mid- to late-1990s, and are either recently expired or set to expire soon.
Patch solved issues for some, not nearly all
Apple's latest patch to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, version 10.10.1, has brought along fixes for Wi-Fi and Mail issues for some users. The Apple support threads regarding the matter, however, suggest that not all users are getting relief. While the update has helped some, users are still reporting frequent disconnects and very slow speeds through Wi-Fi, even after the patch.
Ecobee3 gains shelf space alongside Honeywell smart thermostat
Starting on Monday, Apple Stores are now carrying at least one rival to Google-owned Nest's self-titled smart Learning Thermostat. The Ecobee3 offers an advantage over the Nest in terms of multi-room support, utilizing sensors that can be bought separately to bring more intelligent energy management to the full home rather than relying on a single point of reference. Like Nest and Honeywell's rival entry, the smart device can be managed through a smartphone app from anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. The Ecobee3 sells for the same price as the Nest, $250.
Analyst firm believes Apple will sell 20 million units in first full year
The Apple Watch is not yet out, and is expected to entirely miss the holiday buying season this year -- and may not even hit the alleged internal goal of coming out before Valentine's Day -- but is still expected to sell some 20 million units in its first year, according to analyst Amit Darayanani of RBC Capital Markets. The firm raised its target price on AAPL from its current $115 a share -- a goal likely to be accomplished before the year's end -- to $120. Darayanani predicts the average selling price of the Apple Watch range will be about $520.
First conference for Apple consultants to take place May 2015 in New Orleans
The first Aces Conference - an independent event for Apple consultants -- is set to be held May 20-21. Located in New Orleans, the inaugural Aces Conference will focus on offering attendees support and information regarding improving a consulting businesses. Some of the speakers confirmed include Victor Agreda Jr. of TUAW.com, and keynote speakers Jeff Gamet of Mac Observer and Jason Womack of GetMomentum.com.
Shenzhen conference gathered HomeKit, iOS accessory manufacturers
On the heels of reports that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips that feature Apple's HomeKit API already embedded in them are now arriving to accessory makers, Apple announced during its "Made For i" (MFi) developer conference in China that manufacturers can now submit product plans for HomeKit-based products to the iPhone maker for approval, making it possible that the first group of such devices could arrive before the end of the holiday buying season. Apple's MFi certification would be the last step for devices before hitting the market.
Sophisticated malware used forged enterprise provisioning to enter iOS through OS X
Apple's iOS, when un-jailbroken, is so resistant to malware that three Chinese suspects had to come up with an exceedingly clever method of delivering the "WireLurker" threat to the company's mobile devices. On Monday, Chinese officials announced they had arrested the three suspects, and shut down the servers hosting the malware. The threat was never widespread because of the elaborate nature of the scheme and its China-only focus, but it was one of the few malwares able to get onto un-jailbroken iOS devices.
Appears unconnected to OS X, iOS updates
[Updated with status information] Some people are encountering problems with Apple's iMessage system, according to complaints on social networks such as Twitter. Affected users will find messages taking a long time to send, if they go out at all. Apple's system status page doesn't currently display any warnings.
Yosemite update fixes serious Wi-Fi issues
Apple has released simultaneous updates for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. OS X 10.10.1 for Mac copes mainly with significant bugs, such as a glitch with Wi-Fi that would cause a system to repeatedly disconnect. It also solves problems with sending Mail messages, displayed updates at the Mac App Store, Mac minis not waking from sleep, and disappearing items like Actions, sharing services, and Notification Center widgets.
Current production thought to be handled mostly by TSMC
Samsung has signed a deal to become the "primary supplier" of Apple's A-series processors starting in 2015, claims the Korea Times. Last year, TSMC is believed to have taken over the majority of production, possibly around 60 percent. Under the new scheme, Samsung is expected to churn out chips at its Austin, Texas plant -- the original home of the A series -- and at another facility in New York. Samsung's share of the work is forecast to grow to 80 percent by 2016.
Clerks expected to ditch lanyards
Apple is planning some minor changes at its retail stores in preparation for the holiday season, sources say. One of these includes dressing clerks in red holiday shirts. A permanent adjustment, though, will involve removing neck lanyards from the standard uniform; to compensate for the lack of ID, clerks will reportedly be asked to introduce themselves more often.
Shipping times extend by days, weeks for affected shoppers
Some people who ordered the Retina iMac in the past few weeks have been receiving emails from Apple, claiming an "unexpected delay" in shipping. In one example, a buyer says they placed an online order on October 31, and were initially quoted a delivery window between November 14 and the 19th. A delay notice has shifted that window to between the 28th and December 2.
May significantly expand store's reach
Apple's Chinese App Store is now accepting payments via China UnionPay, the only native bank card organization, and the country's most popular. In an announcement, Apple notes that UnionPay has issued more than 4.5 billion cards worldwide. "The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most-requested features from our customers in China," reads a prepared statement from Apple's Senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue. "China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we're providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one tap."
Release of new OmniGraffle 6.1 includes Yosemite update, new tool options
The Omni Group has released its latest version of OmniGraffle, a graphic document editing app for OS X. Allowing users to create graphic documents efficiently, lines stay connected to shapes even when they're moved in the new version, while style and organization tools finish off a diagram that is simplistic or technically in-depth. OmniGraffle 6.1 offers a new user interface, as well as the ability to detach inspectors into their own floating panels. New fill effects, stroke and shadow types, and support for the Visio 2013 format are all included. Requiring OS X Yosemite to run, OmniGraffle is priced at $100.
Walgreens, others say Apple payment system is now most popular NFC payment method
Just a month after its debut, Apple Pay appears to be dominating NFC payment systems where it is available, according to reports, with the public quickly accepting the new checkout method due to its ease of use and speed. McDonald's recently noted that 50 percent of its contactless payments are now coming from Apple Pay, while Walgreens reports similar figures -- saying that the number of mobile transactions it has processed since Apple Pay's debut has doubled.
Apple sells 5K Retina Display, includes powerful iMac computer for free
Apple has been adding Retina displays to its mobile product range over the past few years, but desktop users have missed out -- until now. Apple's new iMac with Retina 5K display has landed, with four times the pixel density of previous models - taking its total pixel count to an incredible 14.7 million pixels. But it is much more than just a pretty face: behind the stunning new Retina display, it packs a one-two punch of up to a 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 display and AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of DDR5 VRAM. We've been using it for the past week, and have some first impressions ahead of our full review.
Bulk data collection has cost industry foreign contracts, compromise user privacy
A new bill in the US Senate is being rushed through in an attempt to curtail NSA spying on Americans, and make federal agency requests for data more transparent ahead of the January takeover of the body by Republicans. The bill, known as the USA Freedom Act (S. 2685), has won the backing of the Consumer Electronics Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Internet Association and many of the major tech firms. Apple, Microsoft, Google and others, as members of the CEA, are pushing the Senate to pass the bill.
Record falls even taking into account split, buyback programs
Apple on Friday ended the week with a new all-time record high for its stock, even taking into account the huge swing in the number of outstanding shares, which has changed significantly in the past two years. Last reaching its peak in September of 2012, the company has now broken its record for both its stock price and its highest-ever market capitalization, which now stands at $669.65 billion, with the stock still rising in after-hours trading from its Friday close of $114.18 per share.
Fixes Swift, Interface Builder, other components
Apple is now seeding a gold master version of Xcode 6.1.1 to developers, listed as build 6A2006. The update is a relatively minor one, dealing with bugfixes for Xcode Server, Interface Builder, and handling of Apple's Swift programming language. It can be downloaded through the official OS X developer portal.
Handful of grocery chains supporting platform so far
Winn-Dixie and sibling grocery chain Bi-Lo have started accepting Apple Pay, accounts say. Both are based in the southeastern US, in states such as Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. There are over 500 Winn-Dixie outlets, and more than 800 Bi-Lo locations. With the new additions, there are still only five grocery chains in the US that support Apple Pay; the others include Meijer, Wegmans, and Whole Foods.