For fifth year running, Apple logos turn red to help fight HIV and AIDS
Following on the heels of yesterday's release of a (PRODUCT) Red leather case for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and a new game promotion to raise money for the Global Fund, a number of Apple's flagship retail stores have again turned the normally-white Apple logo to red in honor of World Aids Day today. Apple has contributed some $100 million to the Global Fund since 2006, nearly a third of all company-based donations the Fund has received.
Accounts for 78.3 percent of mobile e-commerce, 40 percent of all online sales
Two studies from Custora and Adobe have confirmed that Apple's iOS platform again dominated US mobile e-commerce sales from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, although the total percentage was down slightly from last year. Black Friday sales from mobile devices accounted for a total of nearly 40 percent this year, jumping to 39.3 percent, up five percent. Mobile sales for the entire long weekend made up nearly 32 percent of online orders.
Report claims Apple likely to move to OLED for mobile devices in coming years
Apple may switch away from LCD for its iPhone displays, in favor of organic LED (OLED) panels in the future, according to a report. It is claimed Apple is considering the move in display technology starting in 2018, but while this may give potential display panel suppliers like LG and Samsung time to fine tune their manufacturing processes to cope, there is the suggestion that LCD may still end up being used in a proportion of iPhones made in that year.
First carrier attack of T-Mobile Un-Carrier Unwrapped campaign targets Sprint
T-Mobile is offering Sprint customers an extra $200 on their account if they switch carriers. The second "gift" announcement in the Un-Carrier Unwrapped campaign, T-Mobile claims it will provide a credit of $200 per line switched over to a Simple Choice postpaid plan from any Sprint number, including prepaid and postpaid plans, as well as those on Boost and Virgin Mobile, with the limited-time promotion starting from tomorrow.
The iPad Pro is the future of mobile computing -- get used to it
It surprises me that a lot of people have been quick to highlight what they think are apparently major shortcomings with the iPad Pro, seemingly writing it off before most of them have even seen one in person. While it may or may not be another hit product from Apple, there are a couple of aspects about it that have been widely misunderstood. One centers around the question of whether or not it is a genuine notebook replacement, and the other centers around its "inability" to run full desktop versions of apps, like Adobe Photoshop, for example. Have people learnt nothing from Apple's recent history?
Hand-crafted with rich Corinthian voices for extreme effect
Episode 42 is, first and foremost, a gorgeous-sounding episode. It features Mike and Charles, a good connection, and a fair amount to talk about even in a slow news week. As is the norm with these two, they wander around to various topics, but among the things that are for sure discussed in the repairability (or rather, the lack of it) in the Apple Pencil (and whether anyone should care), what's up with MacUpdate.com, and more.
Optional additional installs, app discovery at forefront of changes
Recent changes in selected downloads at aggregate file site MacUpdate.com have caused some consternation among long-time users, including some optional offers for other programs that appear while users are installing an update. Though the optional installs (including a SearchAssist browser toolbar and alleged "clean-up" program MacBooster) are marked with clear "skip" or "install" buttons, many of MacUpdate's users are concerned about the safety or usefulness of the offers. MacNN spoke with the founder of the site to get the story straight from the source.
Two different approaches to future-proofing the future
Microsoft, always that great predictor of the future, seems to have decided that mobile and desktop devices should, must, and will converge into one Windows-shaped thing at some point in the future. Apple, particularly its CEO Tim Cook, is so far denying any such seismic shift will happen with its mobile and desktop OSes, and all the company is looking for is love for Apple devices. This may seem like one of the bigger philosophical arguments of our unenlightened age -- but there is another way to look at the debate.
Nearly one in three Americans owns an iPhone, study finds
A new study (PDF) by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) claims that as of the end of September, more than 101 million iPhones were in use in the United States, a ratio approaching one iPhone for every three Americans. The study further found that of that number, 62 million units -- were recent models from either this year or last. The majority, 58 million, are 2014's iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, with only four million of the latest model sold in the US in the first weekend of availability before the end of the September quarter.
Apple nearing half Samsung shipments as Android leader stumbles
The latest report by analyst firm Gartner shows Apple's iOS platform increasing its worldwide share to 13.1 percent in the September quarter, an increase in percentage points of 0.6 year-over-year, while Samsung's larger share slipped 0.2 points to 23.7 percent. Though the Android platform as a whole continues to be dominant worldwide -- growing 1.4 percent over the past year to 84.7 percent share -- the rise is seen as having mostly come from Windows Phone losses.
Samsung plummets to 11 percent as all other manufacturers continue losses
In the latest report from Canaccord Genuity, Apple is now taking 94 percent of profits in the smartphone sector, with archrival Samsung gaining only 11 percent of the profits (numbers add up to more than 100 due to accounting for losses by the other manufacturers). Although actual final sales to consumers of smartphones are difficult to judge from companies other than Apple, shipments in the September quarter totalled more than 320 million units, of which just 14.5 percent were iPhones.
Canadian banks expected to follow suit by end of year
Following up on an earlier story, card issuer and financial services giant American Express has confirmed that it will launch Apple Pay support for its cards in Canada tomorrow. The move, an end-run around "dragging" Canadian banks, will bring official compatibility to Amex-issued cards in the country. Apple Pay already works widely in Canada, due to more than 70 percent of merchants having NFC-compatible contactless card readers at POS terminals, but was limited to cards issued by US financial institutions until now.
Move satisfies rule that foreign phones must have percentage of domestic parts
The government of Indonesia has approved an Apple proposal to build a research and development facility in the country, a move that will allow Apple to comply with a government rule that at least 30 percent of components in foreign-made smartphones must be produced within the country. The government allows companies to interpret "components" as either hardware, software, or development, allowing Apple a way to obey the law without having to alter the iPhones.
Johann Jungwrith leaves Apple for Volkswagen after just over a year of service
A former executive from Mercedes has left Apple after just over one year of service, to join car producer Volkswagen. Johann Jungwrith, previously the research and development head for Mercedes in the United States, left his post as Director of Mac Systems Engineering at Apple for the role leading Volkswagen AG's new Digitalization Strategy Department, with the change in employment said to have taken place earlier this month.
We also return to normal and rant about Star Trek among other things
The MacNN Podcast road trip continues, with host and Editor Charles Martin bringing the discussion to you live from Pine Mountain, Georgia. Joining him is Malcolm Owen in Wales and William Gallagher in Birmingham (but on his way to Paris), so the gallivanting continues unabated (but this week with much better sound). On the 40th episode, we talk about changes -- from El Capitan to Star Trek -- and some of the Mac apps we can't live without, as well as a discussion on how to determine if its time to replace -- or just repair -- your older Mac. All this plus "App of the Week" in just a hair over 60 minutes.
Study to use data to correlate late-term pregnancy loss to placenta health
The Yale School of Medicine has launched its second ResearchKit-based study app, this time using volunteer data to prove a relationship between undersized placenta and late-term pregnancy loss. With the larger study, doctors are hoping that estimated placental volume (EPV) will become an easier and more reliable measure to predict, and eventually prevent, fetal loss -- an issue that affects 30,000 women in the US each year. If the correlation is established, EPV could become a part of routine prenatal care.
New series follows decades of Trek boosting new services
It is a decade since Star Trek was last on TV, but it's now coming back with a brand-new series which will air starting in January of 2017. What's caused debate, and even consternation, about the news is that after its pilot episode, the show will be made available exclusively on CBS All Access. That's broadcaster CBS's digital subscription service, and the announcement surprised many. However, it shouldn't have been such a shock -- because almost every Star Trek has boldly gone where no show has gone before in terms of using new ways to reach audiences.
Development agreement between Apple, San Jose may be finalized this month
Apple is planning to create a facility larger in size than the famous Cupertino "Spaceship" campus, this time in San Jose, a report claims. The city's management is said to be collaborating with Apple on a development agreement for a new campus, one which would provide Apple with a campus of up to 4.15 million square feet, using a combination of closely-located plots of land leased and acquired by the company.
Sapphire furnace auction proposal needs approval from bankruptcy court
GT Advanced has made an agreement with Apple over a proposed settlement for how the company will pay off its $439 million debt. The settlement will potentially allow the sapphire glass producer to free itself from the massive debt, by holding an auction later this month and selling off its sapphire glass production equipment, among other items going up for sale.
Amazon constructs physical book store in Seattle
Amazon has opened up its first physical book store today, in what can be best described as an unusual decision by the primarily-digital online retailer. It has built its brick-and-mortar store in University Village, Seattle, where it will provide real copies of books to customers, alongside gadgets including the Fire TV, Echo, Kindle eBook readers, and the Fire tablet range, with Amazon using its digital strength for stock selection.
Financial Innovation Now group to attempt policy change in Washington DC
Technology industry leaders Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit and PayPal today announced the formation of Financial Innovation Now. The new Washington DC lobbyist super-group is a coalition that will promote tech-company friendly policies to help foster greater innovation in financial services, as well as claiming to assist consumers in the transition to new payment services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet.
King acquisition a significant boost to Activision's mobile efforts
Activision Blizzard has unexpectedly announced it has purchased the studio behind major mobile titles, including the Candy Crush franchise and Bubble Witch Saga. The purchase of the British-based King Digital Entertainment will cost Activision $5.9 billion, the $18 per share purchase price representing a 20-percent premium over the developer's closing share price on October 30, but will ultimately help boost its mobile gaming efforts.
Through fire and flames, we delivered the podcast anyhow
After an attack of the Halloween gremlins in staffers' hardware, Episode 39 is ready for your listening pleasure! Mike bowed out, as his hardware ate itself, but join an especially acoustically-challenged and gallivanting Charles, with amazingly stable and problem-free cohort Malcolm, as they chat for a bit over an hour about Apple's fight against extracting data from a suspect's phone, the new Apple TV, and Amazon's purge of the Chromecast and Apple TV from its shelves.
Break-up of HP aims to make companies more competitive
Hewlett-Packard has split up into two separate companies, dividing itself into firms aimed at two different markets, just as it advised last year. One, HP Inc, will be a consumer-focused company offering PCs, printers, and other devices for home use, while the other half will become Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) will deal with business customers, with the change aiming to make the two companies smaller and more nimble, and in theory more competitive.
Says original judge, appeals court erred in framework used to determine guilt
Following on from its petition for certiorari (request for judicial review), Apple has formally requested that the US Supreme Court overturn the appellate court decision that found the appeals court mostly in agreement with Judge Denise Cote's original finding that Apple had conspired with publishers to raise the price of e-books in an effort the iPhone maker (and the publishers) have repeatedly said was intended to open the market to competition and diversify the number of publishers by making the industry viable.
Abigail Brody joins Huawei, heads up 80-designer UI team
Chinese smartphone producer Huawei has appointed a former creative director at Apple to improve the software used on its devices. Abigail Brody has become the chief user experience designer at the manufacturer, in command of a team of 80 user interface designers charged with "developing creative UI design experiences and the look and feel" for Huawei's devices, as well as establishing a user experience research and design studio in the San Francisco area.
Roaming charges in EU will be capped from April 2016
The European Union's crusade against roaming charges has received crucial support from the European Parliament, after being given the all-clear, at the same time as new net neutrality measures. Proposals to scrap roaming charges completely across the continent have been approved by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a vote, and though they won't be removed completely until mid-2017, consumers in the region can expect to start feeling the effects of changes in the law from April next year.
Macs hit all-time sales record of 5.7 million, Apple Watch growing
In today's quarterly results call for the company's fiscal fourth quarter, Apple revealed it had sold 48 million iPhones, a record for Q4. Strong sales in China and other developing regions helped boost the numbers, along with a short period of availability of the company's newest iPhones, the 6s and 6s Plus. Macs also set an all-time sales record of 5.7million units sold. The Mac figure was all the more remarkable given that the PC industry in general has seen an 11 percent decline.
Sets new record for fourth-quarter sales of iPhones, Watch, Macs
Apple revenues rose 25 percent year-over-year to $51.5 billion in its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended in September with just a week or so of availability for its latest iPhones, the company has announced. Profits were up 30 percent to $11.1 billion, while earnings per share climbed from $1.42 to $1.96, a 38 percent increase. The results beat consensus analyst estimates of $51.11 billion in revenue. International sales jumped to 62 percent of revenue, fueled by strong growth in China.
Controversial parallel between phone unlock and lethal injection made
The judge at the head of the iPhone unlocking controversy court hearings has upped the ante somewhat. In arguments Monday, Judge James Orenstein said that forcing Apple to extract data from a suspect's iPhone 5s would be tantamount to forcing a pharmaceutical company to provide drugs for executions against company mandate.
Consensus aiming to top upper end of Apple's guidance
A new forecast from analysts and a late prediction from investment firm Cowen and Company have combined to move the needle slightly upwards in terms of the optimism of guesses on Apple's earnings for its fiscal Q4 quarter, which will be reported later today (MacNN will, of course, have live coverage). Compared to a recent polling of analysts by Fortune magazine, the new consensus rises just over the top of Apple's guidance, now at $51 billion in revenue.
Samsung falls as local manufacturers compete with Apple
Hours before Apple reveals is fiscal Q4 quarterly results, Counterpoint Research has revealed a new study showing that Apple has retaken the top spot in China's smartphone market, selling seven million units last month to take the title back for the first time since February, and outpacing its previous top monthly sales by more than three million units. Chinese manufacturers Huawei and Xiaomi will keep pressure on, however, though Samsung's presence in the market has plummeted.
Subscribers of TWC Internet in New York may be first to try Internet TV service
Time Warner Cable is preparing to test an Internet-only television service starting from next week, according to a report. The cable provider is said to be working on a version of TWC TV, its existing online streaming app for cable TV subscribers, that could be used by users of its Internet-only connections, potentially allowing customers to watch TV without being locked into a longer contract period nor having a standard cable set-top box at their home.
We've survived to week two! Join us for chats about Star Wars, Destiny, more
If its Sunday morning, that means its time for MacNN Off Topic, our weekly brief look at things nerdy that captivated our attention for the week while scrounging for material on our regular beat. Sometimes what we talk about on this 'cast is work related, sometimes not. For this week, we've got a nice even spread of both!
Defendant, iPhone model named in federal counter-filing
A federal filing has shed some light on the court matter involving Apple's unwillingness to unlock an iPhone 5s owner's phone running iOS 7. The filing, made yesterday, points out the suspect's name, as well as device type, and notes that Apple has had no problem unlocking devices with court order in the past. Additionally, the US attorneys claim that Apple has no legal standing to decline the search warrant on the basis of tarnishing the brand of the company.
Player alleged wheel spin game mechanic an illegal gambling apparatus
A US judge has shot down an attempt at a class action suit against the Machine Zone, the makers of widely publicized mobile title Game of War. US District Judge James Bredar ruled that a "slot machine" mechanic, potentially fed by in-app purchase of game currency, was not an illegally operated online casino, and rebuked the attorneys filing the suit for a "hodgepodge of hollow claims lacking allegations of real-world harms or injuries."
Rare quarterly profit beats Wall Street, stock price boosted by results
Amazon yesterday announced financial results for its third quarter that ended on September 30. Net sales increased 23% to $25.4 billion in the third quarter, compared with $20.6 billion in third quarter 2014. On the strength of that, and the massive growth from cloud service sales, the company posted a net income of $79 million, compared with net loss of $437 million in the third quarter of 2014.
Revenue down 12 percent from year-ago-quarter
Microsoft posted its first quarter earnings for fiscal year 2016 yesterday evening, and surpassed its own expectations, as well as those of analysts. The company posted $20.4 billion in revenue, down 12 percent year over year. Expected contraction in the company's Productivity and Personal Computing departments were offset by growth in cloud services, as expected. Operating income came in at $5.8 billion, with a net income of $4.6 billion.
Report claims Comcast told Verizon it intends to resell wireless service
Comcast subscribers may find their service will extend away from their home network, with a report claiming the cable company is looking to move into providing cellular services to its users. It is alleged Comcast has advised Verizon it will be reselling part of the carrier's wireless service to its customers under a 2012 spectrum deal, with the supposed new service potentially being offered to Comcast customers by this time next year.
Predictions of nearly 49 million units ahead of Christmas buying season
Apple will announce its fiscal Q4 results for the quarter that ended on September 30 this coming Tuesday, October 27, and ahead of that Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt has again rounded up some Wall Street and independent analysts and collected their respective guesses on how many iPhones Apple sold -- for most analysts, nearly the only Apple sales number that matters. The result is that the pundits believe Apple will have yet another record quarter, with sales up 24 percent year-over-year.
Group calls on Apple to push Pegatron for more, lasting improvements
International labor condition monitors China Labor Watch has concluded an undercover investigation at Apple supplier Pegatron. As part of its exposé, the advocacy group claims that 58 percent of the workers at the plant were required to work more than 60 hours a week, in violation of Apple's guidelines for suppliers. Additionally, it purports that living conditions in every respect have deteriorated, with pervasive mold, and mass infestations bedbugs posing massive problems for workers.
Friend and family tracker now available on iCloud.com for greater access
Apple on Wednesday added its selective friends-and-family tracking service Find My Friends to its iCloud.com site, letting users sign in on any Internet-connected device to locate friends or loved ones who have the app on their mobile devices and have agreed to have their location revealed to the user. Participants can opt to change status at any time or enable (or disable) the tracking for select periods, such as when a family is visiting a theme park and wants to each go their separate ways.
Offering also gives subscribers exclusive video content
Alphabet's streaming video service YouTube has taken the wraps off of an ad-free subscription service. The service, dubbed YouTube Red is debuting on October 28, and will charge users $10 per month if subscribed to through the YouTube website for and some exclusive subscriber only shows in addition to no advertisements. Users subscribing to the service through an iOS app must pay $13 per month, presumably to offset Apple's share of purchases through the App Store.
DisneyLife to offer videos, books, music, expansion into Europe planned
Disney is going to launch a subscription service in the United Kingdom next month, providing users with a variety of content across the media company's properties. Said to be called DisneyLife, the service will cost subscribers £10 ($15.50) per month, though unlike purely streaming services such as Netflix, it will offer access to books and music alongside streaming movies and TV shows from the Disney catalog via its apps.
Multiple suitors arose for company, WD offer led pack
Western Digital and SanDisk today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Western Digital will acquire all of the outstanding shares of SanDisk for a combination of cash and stock. The offer values SanDisk common stock at $86.50 per share or a total equity value of approximately $19 billion.
Mapping vehicles acquired by Uber from Microsoft in June
Uber is working to improve the routes taken by its drivers, by mapping the roads itself with its own fleet of vehicles. The ride-sharing company has confirmed it has its own Street View-style mapping vehicles traveling the roads and taking its own imaging data, following a photographic leak of the vehicle on Facebook, with the suggestion it is using the data generated to replace the Google Maps-derived data it currently relies on.
CEO announces membership in group aiming to help China go green
In an interview on stage the Wall Street Journal's WSJD Live conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple Music currently has 6.5 million paid subscribers, with another 8.5 million currently enjoying their three-month free trial. He also noted that the new-generation Apple TV would go on sale on Monday, October 26, with shipments beginning this Friday. While interviewer and WSJ Editor Gerard Baker was unable to get any information on future projects out of Cook, they did cover a number of other topics.
This episode dedicated to the memory of Gary Allen and ifoAppleStore
Yet again, time to set aside an hour and check out the latest episode of The MacNN Podcast, where we geek out about new shiny things from Apple and wonder about the old shiny things, and lament the shiny things that aren't here anymore. From the sadness of saying goodbye to a serious Apple fan to the joy of watching those hilarious new PC commercials, Charles and Mike (and special guest stars William and Malcolm from One More Thing) debrief you on the week in tech.
Report claims 1,000 Intel employees working on iPhone modem project
The next iPhone may contain a few components sourced from Intel, replacing some components traditionally sourced from Qualcomm, according to a report. The chip producer is allegedly working on producing a version of its 7360 LTE modem specifically for use in next year's iPhone refresh, with the view to producing both the modem and a new Apple System on Chip (SoC) if Apple approves of Intel's communications chip work.
It's easy to criticize the new massive ad campaign -- but it shouldn't be
From rumor to fact in 48 hours. The big PC powerhouses Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Lenovo, and HP have launched a new program, reminding web surfers and cable watchers about all the things that computers can do. We have two difficulties about criticizing the new "PC Does What" ad campaign: where to begin and how long have you got? There is not one single chance that you saw this and didn't wonder how in the world it ever came into anyone's head, let alone the world.