200MHz faster i7 chips, 16GB RAM standard, Iris Pro graphics among improvements
A sign spotted by a Mac user at the new Paradise Walk Apple Store in Chongqing , China may have leaked the changes coming to the next lineup of 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, with the most dramatic being the bump up to 16GB of RAM as standard on all models, even the low-end unit. Assuming the sign is correct, all three models of Retina MacBook Pro will bump around 200MHz in speed, with the line jumping to 2.2GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz, respectively. It is assumed that the RAM in the Retina models remains non-upgradeable.
Application for 'foldable pouch mobile cradle' uses art from Apple's Smart Cover
A new patent application from Samsung has surfaced, in which the company is seeking to claim a patent on a new type of sleeve for tablets. While that would not be cause for concern in most cases, some of the art in the application makes a direct call to a familiar cover for Apple's iPads. In the filing, Samsung - which has been repeatedly accused by Apple and others of "slavishly copying" the iPhone maker -- introduces prior art in the form of Apple's Smart Cover.
Stats double literally overnight to 0.57 percent of all Mac web traffic
Though the increase is insignificant in the larger picture of overall global Mac web traffic, new numbers from GoSquared suggest that the release yesterday of the Yosemite (OS X 10.10) public beta, limited to a pool of one million Apple ID holders already running Mavericks, doubled the number of people using the forthcoming new update on the web literally overnight. According to GoSquared's live analytics page, use of Yosemite jumped from 0.26 percent on Thursday to 0.57 percent on Friday.
Boise-based company dubbed 'the Pandora of books' sold for $10-15 million
On Friday, Apple revealed that it had purchased book analytics and discovery company BookLamp for an undisclosed sum, though TechCrunch estimated the sale between $10-15 million. While it acknowledged the deal, the iPhone maker's only comment on the deal was its standard "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans" line. The company is likely to use BookLamp technology in its iBookstore to help readers discover new content.
Total of $28B spent in fiscal 2014, average price $85 per share
Regulatory have revealed that Apple spent another $5 billion during the June quarter as part of its share-repurchase program to retire an additional 58 million shares of stock at an average (split-adjusted) price of $85.23 per share, still well below the current trading average, and about the same price per share as well CEO Tim Cook first announced the buyback plan just over two years ago. The recent expenditure is less aggressive than seen in quarters where the share price was lower, signalling reduced buyback activity.
Why isn't anyone so excited about Yosemite?
This week in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "PeterParker" asks "Why isn't anyone excited about Yosemite?", to which a variety of answers ranging from "I'm ecstatic" to "Yosemite is...eh" have been provided. Dedicated MacNNer "gregfripp" is trying to fix something in his dock, but is unable to do so, and has turned to the forums looking for advice.
budget priced Macs from $719
Today Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished Mac models on sale, starting as low as $719. The refurbished 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 by $130 to $719. A $150 discount drops the price on the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, OS X Server, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives down to $849.
$300 off 15.4-inch rMBP
This week at B&H.com, save $300 on the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro which has been cut from $3,099 down to $2,799. That discount makes this nearly $160 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Included is a free copy of either Parallels Desktop 9 or LoJack. This MBP features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell) processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Apple now on the hook in another patent infringement case
In a court filing discovered today, Bose is suing Beats over noise cancellation headphone technology. Bose claims that Beats has knowingly infringed on 50 years of "signficant investment in the research, development, engineering, and design" on the technology, with the Beats lineup for sale now using "36 US patents and applications" that Bose now owns or has filed for.
App to be discontinued
Beginning with iOS 8 beta 4, Apple is warning owners of iPhoto for iOS that some features may not make the transition to its replacement, at least at first. Much as with iPhoto on the Mac, users will eventually be migrated over to an all-new, native Photos app, a huge overhaul of the existing iOS Photos app. When trying to run iPhoto in the current beta of iOS 8, an error message now appears stating that iPhoto isn't supported; instead, people are offered the choice to migrate data to Photos, with the exception of "layouts and text added to Books, Journals and Slideshows."
Company ramps up ahead of fall launches
Data from Apple's 10-Q filing with the SEC indicates that Apple spent $15.4 billion on manufacturing and components during the June quarter, a 22 percent increase quarter-over-quarter, notes Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. Apple put another $5.6 billion towards other commitments including advertising, R&D, Internet/telecommunications, and product tooling/manufacturing equipment. Combined the company's commitments totaled $21 billion, a 36 percent increase quarter-over-quarter, and 46 percent year-over year. The former is said to be the highest sequential growth for any Apple Q3 since the build up to the iPhone's launch in the summer of 2007.
Black facade appears in middle of mall
Apple is building its first-ever "open-air" provisional store in Switzerland, a local report says. Macprime notes that as far back as March, it learned that the Glattzentrum Apple Store in Wallisellen, just outside of Zurich, is expanding into a neighboring space formerly occupied by Läderach. Within the past several days though, an area in front of the shop -- but separate -- has been surrounded with a black facade, and even a curtain so that people wandering Glattzentrum's upper floor can't see in.
Apple pushes iTunes 12 beta as optional update for OS X Yosemite beta
Apple is pushing OS X Yosemite public beta users access to the new iTunes 12 beta. Developers were granted access to the iTunes 12 beta earlier in this week, and similarly OS X Yosemite public beta users will receive a notification via the Mac App Store software update function to install the optional update. iTunes 12 comes with a redesigned interface along with new features. Like the OS X Yosemite beta, the software is not finalized for release and may not alway work as expected, but gives Mac users an opportunity to provide Apple with feedback ahead of its official introduction.
Doesn't like possibility Apple will pay nothing if found innocent on appeal
In an unsurprising move, US District Court Judge Denise Cote hinted that she may overrule a settlement worked out between Apple and the attorneys general of 33 states and territories along with consumer groups over e-book pricing, expressing "concern" that one of the terms of the deal allows Apple to pay little or nothing if they are ultimately found innocent on appeal. She also objected to another agreed-upon aspect that allowed Apple to pay no interest on the monetary damages while the appeal was in process.
If legitimate, would be first tangible evidence of 5.5-inch model
A new set of pictures from a Taiwanese enthusiast site could provide the first evidence of the existence of a 5.5-inch iPhone if legitimate. The images, showing flex cables for the volume-mute button as well as the wake-sleep control, also include an unknown longer flex cable previously unseen in an iPhone model, as well as a set of micro-SIM trays. All are said to be for a 5.5-inch iPhone which has been long-rumored, but to date little credible evidence exists for its production.
iTunes and App Store difficulties already resolved
[Updated with spreading service issues] Apple online services have been affected by a pair of problems on Thursday, the company's system status page indicates. Still ongoing is a glitch with iCloud Mail, resulting in "slower than normal response" for some users. Trouble appears to have begun shortly after 2PM Eastern.
Accessible only to Beta Program participants
As promised earlier this week, Apple has begun seeding the first public beta of OS X Yosemite. Access is limited to the first million people entered into the OS X Beta Program. That requires having both an Apple ID and a Mac running OS X Mavericks.
Apple, Samsung give up share to Lenovo, ASUS, others
Although Apple's iPad is still the leading tablet globally, the company is continuing to lose marketshare, according to new IDC shipment data. Year-over-year, Apple's June-quarter tablet share fell from 33 to 26.9 percent, based on shipments of 13.3 million iPads this quarter versus 14.6 million in Q2 2013. The company's next closest competitor, Samsung, saw its share slip from 18.8 percent to 17.2.
Announcement follows quickly after Chongqing
Apple will open its next Chinese store in the city of Wuxi on August 2nd, at 10AM, according to an official listing. The outlet will be based at the Wuxi Hang Lung Plaza, and operate from 10AM to 10PM every day. Wuxi is on the east coast in the cluster of cities near Shanghai, which already has several Apple Stores.
Says it only supplies some components to mobile phone makers
Swatch has quickly denied a report that it's working with Apple on iWatch-related projects, according to Reuters. A spokeswoman for the company claims that the report is unfounded, and that the only involvement Swatch has with phone makers is supplying various components, such as integrated circuits. Apple's iWatch is expected to ship in the fall.
AutoFill, compatibility main areas of testing focus
Apple is distributing new developer betas of Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for OS X Mountain Lion. In release notes for both, the company is asking developers to test AutoFill, extension compatibility, and "general website compatibility." The updates' main feature though will be WebGL, making it possible to run 3D content without third-party plugins.
Collaboration, if true, could bring diversity of styles and models
Though Swatch is perhaps best-known these days for pooh-poohing the idea that Apple's forthcoming "iWatch" health device would "be a revolution," a new rumor from anonymous sources claims that the Swiss watchmaker may be among other watch firms working with Apple to bring the "iWatch" technologies to a wide range of co-branded devices for different markets. While such collaborations would be unusual for Apple normally, the company has been opening itself up to more partnerships lately.
Expects 'busy fall' with new iPhone, long-awaited 'iWatch' debuts
Despite some disappointments in Apple's latest quarterly earnings report, analysts appear to be satisfied that the company's overall financial picture is in order, particularly on the strength of rising margins and strong developing market sales. The stock closed up $2.47 on Tuesday (an increase of 2.61 percent) to close at $97.19, not far from its 52-week high. On Tuesday, RBC Capital Markets raised its year-end target price to $110, joining Barclays and Morgan Stanley in predicting the company would hit an all-time high this year.
May build on iBeacons, Passbook, Touch ID and partners to create truly seamless, secure system
A new report is claiming that Apple is accelerating its plans for a grand "digital wallet" mobile payments system, which could even be ready to debut in the same time frame as the expected "iPhone 6." The company is said to be in talks with Visa to create a partnership agreement that would allow consumers to pay for goods and services using only their iPhone, leveraging the "secure enclave" portion of the A7 chip and Touch ID to create what would be expected to be a seamless mobile payment system.
Griffin Technology's Survivor Slim rugged iPad Air case now available
Griffin Technology has announced the release of a new rugged case for use with iPad Air. The Survivor Slim aims to deliver protection for all conditions, featuring a shatter-resistant shell and silicone bumper for absorbing the shock of a drop. Its accompanying screen shield prevents scratches and smudges, and the flexible button covers deflect dust, dirt, and rain from entering vulnerable places on the tablet.
4K tech could come to iMac or new monitor
OS X Yosemite -- which is going into public beta tomorrow -- should eventually ship in late October, sources claim. The present plan is reportedly to keep releasing new developer betas every two to three weeks through September 29th. Work should then shift to a gold master build, due October 10th. Final details, including a launch date, may be announced at Apple's October media event.
Amount up $425M year-over-year
Apple's spending on research and development jumped 36 percent year-over-year in the June quarter to $1.6 billion, according to the company's latest 8-K filing with the SEC. That brings the company's R&D totals for fiscal 2014 so far to $4.36 billion, 32 percent more than it spent during the same timeframe in 2013. The pacing of R&D has also accelerated throughout 2014.
5.5-inch iPhone might wait until later showcase
Apple is "tentatively" scheduling a press event for mid-September to reveal the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and final launch details of iOS 8, sources say. The people add that the second and third weeks of September are the most likely target, but that uncertainties about manufacturing timetables are a factor. The 5.5-inch iPhone may also be shown at the event, but that has likewise yet to be decided.
Developer betas to get more regular updates
The first public beta of OS X Yosemite will be made available on Thursday, July 24, Apple has revealed in a meeting with The Loop's Jim Dalrymple. The public release will be the same code seeded to developers on Monday. To get it, people must sign up for the OS X Beta Program, which is limited to the first million participants.
Tools intended strictly for diagnostics, file capture, company says
In another step to address concerns of possible backdoors in iOS, Apple has published a newdocument explaining what three services are intended to do. The first, com.apple.mobile.pcapd, is said to support "diagnostic packet capture from an iOS device to a trusted computer," something useful for "troubleshooting and diagnosing issues with apps on the device as well as enterprise VPN connections." Another, com.apple.mobile.file_relay, "supports limited copying of diagnostic data from a device."
Most remain undisclosed, but details on Beats buyout rationale emerge
Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed during Tuesday's conference call with analysts that Apple had acquired 30 companies and/or their talent over the course of the past nine months, back to the beginning of the fiscal year which began last October. Of these, less than half have been publicly revealed -- though a few of the higher-profile buyouts, such as the record-setting Beats Electronics and Music deal, have made headlines. On the topic of the latter company, Cook shared a bit more detail on the thinking behind it.
Can sometimes fail to install, leaving computer unusable
A firmware update, issued on Monday for "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models running OS X 10.9.2 and later, apparently has a bug in either the code or the downloaded file, which is causing reports of system crashes and occasionally a failure to install properly, leaving MBA owners unable to boot the machine. The purpose of the firmware update was to correct two "wake from sleep" issues that affected only "mid-2011" MBAs running 10.9.2 or later. Some users have found that an SMC reset can restore the units to functional status.
Colorful iPhone model continues to be among best-selling smartphones
One of the most surprising things analysts heard on Tuesday in Apple's quarterly earnings conference call that was low on surprises was that year-over-year growth of the iPhone 5c is strong -- so strong, in fact, that its share gain outpaced that of its previous-year rival in the mid-tier "slot" in Apple's lineup, the iPhone 4S, at the same point in the previous cycle. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts that it even outpaced the growth rate of the iPhone 5s vs the iPhone 5, and the 4S versus the iPhone 4, each in their respective tiers.
Retail employees complain of violations of break and meal times, final paychecks
While Apple wrestles with a lawsuit alleging an improper "gentleman's agreement" that prevented it and other tech firms from "poaching" their most valuable employees, the company has now been named in another legal action that concerns itself with labor violations for its retail and corporate operations workers. The new lawsuit, granted class certification on Monday, charges Apple with mismanaging and providing inadequate breaks and meal times, as well as being slow on issuing final paychecks.
Larger markets waiting on next iPad, sales in developing markets are way up
For the second time in as many quarters, Tim Cook has had to explain away drops in iPad sales. Last quarter, the iPad saw a 16 percent drop from the year-ago quarter, but Cook detailed a credible explanation that channel inventory from the holiday season had overstuffed retailers and that the drop was actually only three percent because of that, which fell within normal ranges. This time, iPad sales were down about 9.2 percent, which Cook largely blamed on anticipation for the next iPad coming this fall.
iPod continues terminal decline
In addition to its official announcement, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown of its fiscal Q3 results. "Greater China" -- including Taiwan and Hong Kong -- continued to lead the charge regionally, with its revenue increasing 28 percent year-over-year to $5.935 billion. Europe and Asia-Pacific each advanced 6 percent, to $8.091 billion and $2.161 billion, respectively. Apple's most important market, the Americas, rose 1 percent to $14.577 billion. Global retail numbers were up 1 percent to $4.104 billion.
iPhone and Mac units rise, iPad takes a hit
Apple revenues rose 6 percent year-over-year to $37.43 billion in its third fiscal quarter, which ended in June, the company has announced. Profits were up 12.3 percent to $7.75 billion, while earnings per share climbed from $1.07 to $1.28 when adjusted for the recent 7-to-1 stock split. Gross margin increased from 36.9 percent to 39.4 percent.
Mac Pro for consumers?
Today in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "PeterParker" was asking fellow forum-goers if they thought that Apple would ever create a Mac Pro in the sub-2K price range for people who aren't quite "pros" who want that style of desktop. Today, Forum Regular "Nassifer" was trying to determine why their notebook was so slow after doing a complete restore to 10.9.4, and turned to the forums looking for advice.
iMacs from $1,099
Apple's online store this week has a variety of refurbished iMac models on sale, starting as low as $1,099 for the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. A $270 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 $1,529.
11.6-inch MacBook Air cut to $950
This week, BestBuy.com is offering sale prices on a variety of Mac models, one being the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which has seen a $150 discount from $1,099 down to $949. That discount makes this the best price currently available on this Mac model by $50. Free US shipping is included, and sales tax applies for residents of most states. This MBA features a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Says meeting involved company's product creation process
In a new TV interview, LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant confirms that he did recently meet with Apple design head Jonathan Ive. Talking with Bloomberg, though, Bryant makes no mention of the iWatch or other future Apple products. Instead he says that he has been talking to leaders across industries to learn more about the product creation process, since he is moving into business as he comes to the end of his basketball career.
Suggests basic and rejected iWatch capabilities
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a comprehensive patent titled Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor, which describes a number of the ideas the company has since integrated into its upcoming iWatch. The concept watch -- in diagrams referred to as the "iTime" -- would, for instance, be able to connect to devices like iPhones, iPads, and desktops. An unusual suggestion though is that it might be dependent on a special wristband, equipped with technologies such as accelerometers, GPS, haptic feedback, biometric sensors, and/or wireless receivers.
Offbeat ad shows human affection for MacBooks, 'the notebook people love'
An new ad by Apple that debuted on Monday takes something of a different approach than the company's recent iPhone and iPad commercials -- both in that it features a Mac (in this case the MacBook Air) and that shows off clearly-used equipment featuring user's methods of customizing their Air models mostly through the use of stickers, giving the ad its name. Using a stop-motion approach, dozens of customized MBAs are shown at one point even "playing" a game of Space Invaders on the lid.
May enable collection of private data by Apple, governments
[Updated with rebuttal from Apple] Apple's iOS platform contains several backdoors that may allow for Apple and/or governments to collect private data, according to a forensic scientist, Jonathan Zdziarski. Presenting at the recent Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference, Zdziarski said that that there are several conspicuous design gaps -- and some deliberately-included forensic services -- that make it possible to extract data using forensic tools. The services have names such as "lockdownd," "pcapd," and "mobile.file_relay."
Compares to 50-60 million units ordered for iPhone 5s/5c launch last year
A new report citing unnamed sources "familiar with the matter" claims that Apple has put in orders for its largest-ever initial iPhone run, asking suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron to produce between 70 million and 80 million units for the devices' debut in the fall through the end of the year. Claiming that the order includes both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models (though the latter has yet to reveal solid evidence of actually existing), the new upcoming production run compares to the 50-60 million units ordered for the iPhone 5s and 5c last year.
Netflix updates Apple TV channel, adds 'Post-Play' feature
Television and movie streaming service Netflix is updating its integrated app for Apple TV. Its popular web and iPad feature "Post-Play" has been brought to the Apple TV, allowing users a brief countdown once a show's credits begin rolling, followed by automatic playing of the next episode in a series - unless otherwise interrupted. AppleInsider has speculated that though the Post-Play feature was found on multiple Apple TV units during testing, it is likely that the update has yet to be fully released to all customers.
Fixes an issue that caused fans to ramp up, also cures wake-from-sleep issues
On Monday, Apple posted an EFI update specifically aimed at the mid-2011 model MacBook Airs that are running OS X 10.9.2 (Mavericks) or later. The update addresses two wake-from-sleep issues: one in which the computer would take longer than expected to wake from sleep, and the other (more rare) issue of cooling fans ramping up to full speed on waking from sleep. Owners must meet both conditions (mid-2011 MBA, and running Mavericks 10.9.2 or later) for the update to apply.
Will delete photos, videos stored in iCloud Photo Library, email attachments, more
Apple has informed developers testing both of the forthcoming Apple platform releases, iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, that it will again delete content stored on the CloudKit database serving both platforms tomorrow, July 22. Although details were not listed this time, the effect is expected to be the same as the previous "wipe" of the database, which took place on July 7. Anyone testing the iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library or Mail Drop attachment features will see their cloud-stored data destroyed.
OS X gets iTunes 12, iOS 8 gets new Tips app
(Updated with other beta releases, more Yosemite changes) Apple is now seeding its fourth betas of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to developers. Perhaps the most significant change is in the latter, which includes the first beta of iTunes 12. The updated media player uses a flatter, streamlined design more in keeping with Yosemite, and is the first version to support Family Sharing, something also present in iOS 8. While Yosemite is still only accessible to developers, sources claim that the first public beta could go live later this month, after Apple has put more polish on it.
Amateurs more optimistic than professionals
In tomorrow's results call, Apple may beat official revenue guidance for its fiscal third quarter, according to a consensus forecast compiled by Fortune. The magazine polled over two dozen analysts, and came up with a consensus of $38.4 billion, topping the $36-38 billion Apple predicted when revealing its Q2 results. The poll group was split between 15 professionals and 12 amateurs, of which the latter are said to be the most optimistic.