Walmart puts iPhone 5c up for $1, iPhone 5s for $79 under contract
Giant retailer Walmart has lowered the cost of the 16GB iPhone 5c to a mere 97 cents as part of what appears to be an early move to clear stock ahead of the arrival of the iPhone 6, or to bring in back-to-school shoppers. The chain has also lowered the price on the 16GB iPhone 5s to $79, cut from $99 previously. Both offers require signing a new two-year contract with either AT&T, Verizon or Sprint (T-Mobile is not included in this promotion).
Releases $2.6M Apple bond covering never-enacted Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban
On Wednesday, US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on two motions in the ongoing leftover matters related to the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The first ruling denied Apple the opportunity to recover attorney's fees from Samsung related to its guilty verdict on trade dress claims, and the second returned a $2.6 million Apple bond the company had put up to enforce a sales injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was found to have copied Apple's iPad technology. No action was ever taken on the ban due to the appeals process, and both companies have since agreed to drop the injunction.
Rare part for 'phablet' iPhone emerges, but could be intended for knockoff
New photos allegedly from "deep within Apple's supply chain" have revealed what could be the backplate for the little-leaked 5.5-inch version of the "iPhone 6." The photos show the chassis of the larger "phablet" device next to the same part from the 4.7-inch version, suggesting that the models will be similar apart from sizing. It should be noted that these images could well be from Chinese knock-off devices based on rumored specs, such as the Android-based Goophone.
AutoFill, subpixel rendering, extension compatibility and more being tested
On Wednesday, Apple released two betas for its Safari web browser, as well as a new beta for OS X Server. The Safari betas, 7.1 for Mavericks and 6.2 for Lion and later, add new features to WebKit, the rendering engine at the heart of the browser. In addition, Apple has asked testers to focus on general website compatibility in light of changes in some defaults, and tie-ins to forthcoming features in OS X and iOS. The new OS X Server beta requires the latest Mavericks (10.9.4).
Dubai picked as location
The upcoming UAE Apple Store will be the "biggest Apple has ever built," according to men's luxury magazine Edgar, citing an anonymous source. The person also says that Apple has picked Dubai's Mall of the Emirates as the site for the shop, and that it was originally planned to replace a current cinema complex. Based on the timing of Apple's job listings, it's thought that the store could open in the first quarter of next year. Currently, there are no Apple Stores anywhere in the Middle East.
Blu-ray support a focus
Apple has issued minor updates to Final Cut Pro and two of its companion apps, Compressor and Motion. Final Cut has been updated to v10.1.3, primarily solving problems burning Blu-ray discs or creating a Blu-ray disk image. It also ensures that color corrections are kept when pasted between clips during Share, and that effects applied to clips in the Browser in previous versions are retained when clips are added to the timeline. Other fixes target XML round-trip imports, automatic library backups, and skimming growing files in the Browser.
Package changes developer ad ID with that of assailant with Cydia Substrate
A new piece of malware started infecting jailbroken iOS devices earlier this year. The "AdThief" or "Spad" package hijacks advertising clicks and revenue, and redirects them to the author of the package, rather than the developer who inserted the advertising in the first place. The malware is simple and low profile -- it replaces the developer's ID with the attacker's ID.
Apple, Google, Microsoft required to delete Secret from customer phones or face fines
A Brazilian judge has ordered Apple, Google, and Microsoft to remove Secret, an app used for anonymously sharing information with others, from citizen's phones. The unusual ruling requires both Apple and Google to delist Secret from the App Store and Google Play, with Microsoft ordered to do the same for the Windows Phone-equivalent Cryptic, as well as deleting it remotely from mobile devices in the country.
Apple adds Wellington, NZ and Yosemite National Park in advance of next OS X release
On Tuesday, Apple further improved its Maps application by adding Flyover and other map data for Wellington, New Zealand and -- ahead of its debut as the namesake for the next OS X upgrade -- Yosemite National Park in California. The company also added new photos of Yosemite's Half Dome mountain as wallpapers in the current developer beta, DP6, which was released on Monday. The addition of Wellington marks the third New Zealand city added to Flyover, joining Auckland and the city of Christchurch.
Compelling endorsement from Morgan Stanley may encourage buyers
Apple's stock closed on Tuesday with a new 52-week high, and at one point in the day threatened to top its all-time highest stock price (based on straight split-adjustment). It officially closed at $100.53, not far from its all-time split-adjusted high of $100.72, though it hit $100.68 in intra-day trading. The company's valuation also rose to a market cap of $602 billion.
Four-bedroom house, large lot listed for just under $4 million
Apple Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, recently featured in an Apple diversity video, has listed his four-bedroom home in Los Altos, California for sale. The 3,721-square-foot home sits on an 18,295-square-foot lot, and is being listed by Realtor Ethel Green with an asking price of $3.895 million.
Gatekeeper added to testing list
Apple has posted a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 for developers and AppleSeed participants, identified as build 13F18. Testing areas remain largely the same -- including Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt, and USB/USB smart cards -- but with the addition of Gatekeeper, Apple's app-signing security measure. "Signatures created with OS X version 10.8.5 or earlier ('v1 signatures') are obsoleted and will no longer be recognized by Gatekeeper," Apple reminds the developer audience. "To ensure your apps will run on updated versions of OS X they must be signed using the codesign tool on OS X version 10.9 or later ('v2 signatures')."
Macs for $1,019 or less
Right now at Apple's online store, find bargain prices on refurbished Macs with many priced at $1,019 or less. The refurbished 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced to $1,019, for a savings of $180. A $170 discount drops the price on the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage down to $979.
Retina MacBook Pros, 4K HDTVs and more
Amazon this week cuts the cost on the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro from $2,599 down to $2,250 with free delivery. That $350 discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this by $150. This MBP features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Elbow, David Gray, Lenny Kravitz, First Aid Kit among names
Apple has added another 21 acts to the list performing at next month's iTunes Festival in London. Some of the better-known additions include Jenny Lewis, Elbow, Paolo Nutini, David Gray, The Script, Jessie Ware, Ryan Adams, First Aid Kit, and Lenny Kravitz. Over 60 acts will be playing in total -- previously-announced performers include Beck, Pharrell Williams, Kylie Minogue, Maroon 5, and Robert Plant.
Dre takes time off new movie filming to accept CEO Tim Cook's challenge
Apple employee and Beats CEO Dr. Dre took time out from the filming of a biopic on his original band, entitled Straight Outta Compton, to answer the challenge of Apple CEO Tim Cook and get a bucket of ice water poured on his head as part of a fundraising drive by the ALS Association to fight ALS, or "Lou Gehrig's Disease." The YouTube video, posted to the Beats channel, also features director Gary Gray pouring the water.
Enterprise Signing Key, Activation Lock keys could have been compromised
An unidentified Twitter user is claiming that recent changes to Gatekeeper in OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite which has forced developers to re-sign their app credentials is actually the result of a security breach that successfully pilfered the Gatekeeper keys and possibly "many other keys for many other things," according to the user. A corraborating source was located by TUAW that has allegedly confirmed the breach and tied it to the recent alleged Activation Lock hack.
Prediction makes assumptions on launch availability, but based on supplier data
Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets, who currently forecasts sales of 56 million iPhones in the December quarter, has told investors that depending on availability and features, the next generation of iPhones could sell as many as 75 million units in the final quarter of the year, which would be an all-time record for any manufacturer, even Apple itself. By comparison, last year Apple ordered 60 million units ahead of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c debut.
First-gen iPad minis on clearance in anticipation of new models
Target stores in the US and its online store are now offering first-generation iPad minis at clearance prices, selling the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model for $199 -- a price that is lower or equal to most competing (but smaller) seven-inch tablets, such as the Kindle HDX or Google's Nexus 7. The price is $100 lower than the normal retail price in all configurations, and $20 below Apple's own price for its refurbished model. The sale also offers $50 off the price of the iPad Air in all configurations. The promotion is good for "this week only," and is based on limited amounts of stock, according to the Target website.
Focuses attention on seldom-promoted service
To promote the App Store's Newsstand section, Apple UK is now giving away five free magazine issues a day through August 22. Shoppers are limited to issues selected by Apple, however. The promotion involves single, but complete, issues of the magazines in question, in hopes of sparking subscriptions or generating more interest in e-magazines generally. The first day's group includes NME, The Economist, Focus, T3, and Glamour.
Final release date still nebulous
[Updated with notable changes] Apple is distributing its sixth betas of OS X Yosemite and Xcode 6 to developers. Changes have been largely minor and cosmetic thus far, centering around new appearances rather than fucntionality, and like previous seeds, the updates concentrate on performance and stability fixes. The last betas were released on August 4.
One of Apple's earliest efforts in current theme
Apple's "Misunderstood" iPhone ad, aired during the holidays last year, has been awarded a 2014 Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Commercial. The spot was produced with the help of TBWA/Media Arts Lab and Park Pictures, and features a boy who appears to be ignoring friends and family in favor of his iPhone, but is really shooting and editing a special video (said to be based on a true story). It beat out efforts on behalf of corporations like GE, Nike, and Budweiser.
Facility presumably meant to support iCloud in South America
Construction of a new Apple datacenter is underway on Curaçao, reports say. Curaçao is an island off the coast of Venezuela, but a constituent country of the Netherlands. The center is said to be nearly complete already; the original company behind the project went bankrupt however, forcing the Unique Infrastructure Group to take over.
Report is very questionable, claims product will be called '6L'
Taiwanese Apple blog Apple Daily has published pictures of three components it claims are parts from the oft-discussed but little-seen 5.5-inch version of the "iPhone 6." The photos show what are said to be the display, logic board and battery of the device, but at least two of the three parts are identical to the claimed 4.7-inch iPhone, casting doubt on the entire report. The battery, however, may be a genuinely new part, and is said to be nearly double in capacity compared to the current iPhone 5s battery.
Music service works its way into Apple ecosystem
Beats Music is now being promoted as one of the "Best New Apps" in the App Store, even though the title has actually been available since January and was last updated July 28th. It is also included in the Apps Made by Apple section linked at the bottom of the App Store. Earlier this week, Apple began highlighting Beats Music in the list of apps recommended to new iOS users.
housekeeping, rain damage and a new hope for an old Mac
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Forum Regular "Topaz" sparked a conversation about the best way to clear redundant files and free up hard drive space without accidentally removing essential files. Earlier this week, Administrator "ghporter" was looking for software that could detect duplicate files as he has found an excessive amount of duplicate images on his computer that he would like to remove.
Mac minis from $509
At Apple's online store this week, find bargain prices on refurbished Mac mini models. The refurbished Mac mini with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive has been cut by $90 to $509. A $120 discount is offered on the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $679.
iMacs, iPads, printers and more
At BestBuy.com this week, get the 21.5-inch iMac for $990. That's $110 off the list price of $1,100, and the lowest price we have seen by $10. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This iMac features a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple. This configuration is also available in open-box condition for $921.
Apple says it has worked to fix problems
The Fair Labor Association has published the results of 2013 audits of Shanghai and Changshu facilities run by Apple supplier Quanta, documenting numerous labor rights violations. These included illegal recruitment and underage labor practices, as well as health and safety problems. The audits were previously mentioned in Apple's 2014 Supplier Responsibility report, but the company has responded today with a new statement insisting that it was worked to improve conditions since, and that it will cut ties with firms that fail to meet FLA standards. "Our suppliers must live up to the toughest standards in the industry if they want to keep doing business with Apple," it says.
Deneve, Young Smith among entries
Apple has updated its Executive Profiles webpage to include five vice presidents added within the last year. These include Paul Deneve (pictured), in charge of "Special Projects;" Lisa Jackson, VP of Environmental Initiatives; Joel Podolny, now the full-time dean of Apple University; Johny Srouji, VP of Hardware Technologies; and lastly Denise Young Smith, the company's new human resources head. Each entry includes a short official biography and a larger portrait.
Exact location still a mystery
Apple has posted job listings for its first store in the United Arab Emirates, reports note. The company is hiring for every level of retail position, and also makes references to the Apple Store Leader Program, a 24-month initiative aimed at people that have just graduated from college or university. At the moment there are no Apple Stores anywhere in the Middle East.
Apple tries to assuage privacy concerns
Apple is now hosting Chinese iCloud content on a mainland datacenter operated by China Telecom, the company has confirmed to Reuters. Questions were raised when the city of Fuzhou posted a notice on its website confirming the transfer of content to the datacenter, but then retracted the statement. The message indicated that Apple actually began the project 15 months ago, but only finished it on August 8th.
Directors, executives accused of bringing company into legal trouble
A new lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff R. Andre Klein, is seeking damage compensation for Apple shareholders as a result of alleged misconduct by the company's directors and executives. Lawyers for Klein accuse former CEO Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook and others of "breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services." Specifically, by engaging in anti-poaching practices, Apple leaders are said to have caused the company to break antitrust laws, issue misleading proxy statements, and suppress workers' wages.
Images show alleged completed iPhone 6 with protruding rear camera lens
An assembled version of the iPhone 6 has allegedly leaked from the factory, new photographs reveal. The complete device, shown with the same back cover and marginally-protruding rear camera lens as an earlier leak, is said by sources of celebrity gossip site TMZ to be "noticeably lighter" and has a new yet unknown sensor mounted to the front of the device.
Server-quality processor arriving en masse in September with up to 18 cores
Apple's much-lauded 2013 Mac Pro redesign will celebrate its first year of shipping just after Christmas, but that anniversary might bring with it an upgraded version. Intel has announced that its successor processor to the "Romley" series used in the latest Mac Pro will arrive in quantity in September. Furthering the speculation, AMD has begun outing its successors to the W7000/W8000/W9000 FirePro graphics cards, which are roughly equivalent to the custom-made D-series used in the current Mac Pro.
Mini-movie serves as a springboard to wider exposure, celebrates landmark film
Beats Music has issued a 22-minute documentary on the making of the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. The film follows filmmaker Lee, actor Danny Aiello and designer Wynn Thomas as they tour locations in the small area of Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood where much the film is shot. The movie was originally released in 1989, and remains a powerful statement on race and co-existence, particularly in light of recent national and international tensions.
Apple looking into receipt claim, but questions raised in victim's story
An Apple customer at a store in Portland, Oregon is claiming that his receipt contained a homophobic slur. Adam Catanzarite, an LBTGQ activist and HIV prevention specialist, received a receipt for a pair of Earpods that listed his email address (which he had declined to give) as "firstname.lastname@example.org." More than a month after the incident -- and following a claim that a promised refund didn't occur -- Catanzarite published a photo of the receipt on Facebook and called for a boycott.
Last prong of three-spoke trial initial hearing held in front of skeptical judge
A nine-year-old lawsuit over Apple's digital rights management in the iTunes Music Store and on the iPod rages on. Lawyers for the complainants continue to claim that changes in iTunes blocking other companies' music stores from functioning on the iPod allowed Apple to raise prices. The $350 million lawsuit against the Cupertino manufacturer had a hearing earlier this week, following the retirement of the first judge in the case.
Company holds record for consecutive appearances
Apple has dropped from 38th to 88th place on Fortune's annual 100 Fastest-Growing Companies chart. The list includes domestic and foreign businesses that trade on US stock exchanges and have a market cap of at least $250 million. In explaining the fall, Fortune observes that while Apple's sales are high, the pace has been slowing.
Company claims confidential information was published
Apple has already met with officials from Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to complain about the announcement of the iPhone 6's certification in the country, according to local newspaper Thai Rath. Although NBTC Secretary General Takorn Tantasith only disclosed the general name of the product and two model numbers -- A1586 and A1524 -- and was allegedly following government guidelines in doing so, Apple argues that he released confidential information.
Donations going to ALS Association
[Update: Tim Cook answers challenge] Apple's worldwide marketing head, Phil Schiller, has joined in on the "ice bucket challenge" currently making the rounds on social media to raise awareness and money for combatting ALS. In a Twitter post, Schiller includes photos of himself standing on a beach and tipping a bucket of water over his head. Keeping to the rules, he challenges other people, including his wife Kim, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and fellow Boston College graduate Chris O'Donnell, currently best known for starring in NCIS: Los Angeles. Later on Thursday, Cook answered the challenge in front of a crowd of Apple employees.
Investigation showed no danger to Apple workers, but risks too great
Thanks to the work of activists in raising awareness of the potential risks of some chemicals used in the production process of its products, Apple has announced that it is now restricting suppliers from using n-hexane and benzene in the final assembly process, even though the company's own investigation showed there was no direct danger of contamination for Apple workers. Because of the potential effects, the chemicals (used mostly for cleaning) are no longer permitted.
WebKit vulnerability, memory corruption, other issues addressed
Seven potential security and stability flaws in the WebKit engine that drives Safari have been identified and fixed in a new update for the default Mac web browser, which was released on Wednesday. The patch updates the version numbers to 6.1.6 for older OS versions going back to Lion (OS X 10.7.5), and to 7.0.6 for Mavericks (10.9.4). Problems with a WebKit vulnerability that could cause crashes, alongside some memory corruption issues, prompted the update.
Focus areas remain same as second release
Apple is now seeding a third beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The software has a 13F14 build number, and focus areas identical to the previous beta. Developers are asked to test Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt support, and USB/USB smart cards.
Some laptops suffering from crashes, graphics corruptions
Apple currently has no plans to replace 2011 MacBook Pros suffering from crashes and graphics corruptions involving AMD GPUs, say AppleInsider sources linked to Apple's repair network. Lacking any official guidance, lower-level Apple workers are said to be directing customers to third-party repair outfits. Those firms are reportedly seeing a surge of broken systems, which has led to Apple escalating requests for deeper investigation, and at least some repair network managers being notified.
Selected stores could begin offering incentives as early as next week
A new report claims that a "significant number" of US Apple retail stores will begin offering carrier financing incentives from at least three of the four major carriers, beginning as soon as August 20.The financing plans, as previously reported, are offered by carrier offshoots such as Verizon's Edge or AT&T's Next, allow customers to include the cost of the iPhone itself spread out across a period of time, or what used to be called an "installment plan." The programs generally allow customers to upgrade phones more quickly than the full term of a contract.
Apple's iOS very slowly losing ground, but still overwhelmingly dominant in enterprise
A new report from Good Technology on enterprise mobile use has shown that Apple's iOS continues to be the overwhelmingly dominant choice of systems for corporate mobility, with some 88 percent of all business app activations and 90 percent of tablet activations on the platform. However, Android apps climbed to 12 percent of app activations, a gain of four percentage points from the previous quarter, while Android devices climbed to 32 percent of activations versus iOS' 67 percent.
Comic legend offered the original voice to the 'Your Verse' campaign
[Updated with addition of feature spot on the main Apple website] The death of actor and comic Robin Williams has spawned a dedicated section at the iTunes Store where fans can find various movies, specials and other performances from the widely-loved actor and comedian. Among the offerings are both videos and audio-only appearances, celebrating the diversity of his career along with a brief biographical note. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Nest CEO Tony Fadell were among the luminaries that remembered Williams in tweets on Monday.
Bugs in Yosemite
This week in the MacNN forums, members continue to discuss bugs they have found in the developer preview and beta versions of Yosemite. Today "angelmb" started a thread looking for help trying to figure out what keeps causing "Circus Ponies NoteBook" to crash, and they included a complete crash report.
iMacs from $1,050
Apple's online refurb store currently has a wide selection of refurbished iMac models. The 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive has been reduced by $250 to $1,049. A $230 discount drops the price on the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive from $1,499 down to $1,269.