Showing posts with label apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apple. Show all posts

Monday, 26 October 2015

Nasdaq may see record with Apple earnings

The Nasdaq 100 index, dominated by U.S. technology stocks, may set a record high next week, helped by good earnings from Apple Inc expected on Tuesday.

Technology shares led the U.S. stock market's recovery this week from its worst correction in four years in August, thanks to gains in Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft, after the three companies reported better-than-expected earnings results.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.9 percent to 17,646.70, the S&P 500 index recovered another 1.1 percent to 2,075.15, and the Nasdaq Composite closed the week up 2.27 percent at 5,031.86.

Shares across Asia, Europe and the Americas all climbed, boosted by Thursday's message from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi that he was ready to increase the ECB's bond buying program, and by an interest rate cut by China's central bank.

Factors this coming week that may provide further support for U.S. stocks include a Federal Reserve policy meeting, which is not expected to raise interest rates yet, a report on U.S. third-quarter economic growth, and earnings from Apple.

The Nasdaq 100 index, including Apple, is just 1.5 percent below its year high and 4.0 percent from its record high back in March 2000.

Intel and Microsoft have seen their stocks recover more than 30 percent each since Aug. 25, while Amazon and Facebook rose 28 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

But the 'underperformer' among these companies has been Apple, up only 14.8 percent from its Aug. 25 close, less than the Nasdaq 100's 15.1 percent gain in that time.

In contrast to Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon, Apple shares did not post record or multi-year highs this week, even though it rose 7.2 percent, the largest weekly gain in a year.

On Tuesday, though, Apple is expected to report $51.1 billion in revenue, a 21.3 percent increase compared to the same quarter of last year. Earnings are seen at $1.879 per share.

"The bar has been raised a bit on its earnings report from where it was a week ago. The price action is telling you there's more optimism built into it," said Michael James, managing director of equities trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Options market action shows traders expect Apple shares to move roughly 5.0 percent by the end of next week. The average move for the stock the day after its report in the last eight quarters was 4.4 percent, up or down.

"Will an above-estimates from Apple and raised guidance help? Sure it will. But we could still get there without that happening," said James of the possibility of the Nasdaq 100 hitting a record.

"The power of the moves in some of these large cap tech stocks has been breathtaking," he said.

Chip makers were also among the top five percentage gainers in the Nasdaq 100 since the index closed at its 2015 low on Aug. 25, with SanDisk topping the list with a 70 percent jump on the back of a takeover bid from Western Digital.

The overwhelming leadership from established technology companies is a positive for this market move higher, according to Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

"The last time the Nasdaq 100 was the market leader a lot of it was speculative investments, but these (tech) companies actually return money to shareholders," she said.

"Tech deserves the leadership; the stock market is rewarding growth."

BIOTECH THE FLIP SIDE TO TECH STOCK LEADERSHIP

While technology stocks have led the market recovery, biotech stocks have been a drag on performance.

The Nasdaq Biotech Index is down 3.5 percent from its Aug. 25 close, and more than 20 percent below its year high. The three index components with the largest declines in market capitalization in the last eight weeks are Mylan, Illumina and Biogen.

"There has been a major rotation out of healthcare and into tech and it has continued after the recent earnings reports," said Wedbush's James, referring to strong results from Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet.

Biotech stocks were shaken in September when U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton first tweeted concerns about drug prices and the selling spread to other areas of the healthcare sector. Investors have been dumping shares of everything from hospitals to traditional pharmaceutical companies and insurers in recent weeks.

Since peaking in July, the Nasdaq Biotech Index has fallen 23 percent, the broad S&P Health Care Index has lost 12 percent and the S&P 500 Health Care Facilities index is down 31 percent.

Fund managers now say they expect regulatory threats on drug prices, disappointing earnings, higher interest rates that could hurt heavily indebted hospitals, and the loss of the initial Obamacare boost to business to all weigh on health sector stocks this year.
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Thursday, 6 August 2015

ITUNES IS ILLEGAL UNDER UK COPYRIGHT LAW

Apple’s iTunes installer offers ripping advice
The High Court recently overturned private copying exceptions introduced last year by the UK Government, once again outlawing the habits of millions of citizens. The Intellectual Property Office today explains that ripping a CD in iTunes is no longer permitted, and neither is backing up your computer if it contains copyrighted content.

uk-flagLate last year the UK Government legalized copying for private use, a practice which many citizens already believed to be legal.

The UK Intellectual Property Office noted that the changes were “in the best interest” of consumers and that they would bring copyright law into the 21st century.

However, the new regulation was short-lived. Fearing a loss of income several music groups objected at the High Court, which subsequently agreed that the new legislation is unlawful.

As a result the changes were overturned last month and the previous limitations were reinstated. To find out what the public can and can’t do under the law, TF reached out to the UK Intellectual Property Office, which provided some very clear answers.

“It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder – this includes format shifting from one medium to another,” a spokesperson informed us.

The IPO specifically notes that copying a CD to an MP3 player is not permitted. This means that iTunes’ popular ripping feature, which Apple actively promotes during the software’s installation, is illegal.

Also, under the current law iTunes is actively facilitating copyright infringement by promoting their CD-ripping functionality. This means that the company could face significant claims for damages.

Apple’s iTunes installer offers ripping advice

iTunespromo
There is more though, as the law affects much more than just ripping CDs. Simply copying a song in an automated computer backup or storing a copy on a private cloud hosting service is also against the law.

“…it includes creating back-ups without permission from the copyright holder as this necessarily involves an act of copying,” we were informed by the Government spokesperson.

Strictly speaking this means that UK citizens are not allowed to make a backup of their computer. After all, pretty much every computer contains copyrighted media. Needless to say, this turns almost the entire country into ‘outlaws’.

The Government is not happy with the High Court decision but it hasn’t decided whether it will propose revised private copying exceptions in the future. Copyright holders previously suggested allowing private copying in exchange for a tax on blank CDs and hard drives.

“As this is a complex area of law, the Government is carefully considering the implications of the ruling and the available options, before deciding any future course of action.”

As reassurance, the Government notes that that people shouldn’t be too concerned because copyright holders are not known to come after people who make a backup of their computers.

“The Government is not aware of any cases of copyright holders having prosecuted individuals for format shifting music solely for their own personal use,” the IPO spokesperson says.

However, copyright holders can take people to court over both CD-ripping and computer backups, if they want to.

Source TorrentFreak
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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Exclusive Insider Story: Iphone 6s has 3 design changes compared to Iphone 6 - Here Are the 3 Main Changes

Apple is widely expected to launch two new iPhone 6s versions this fall that’ll be very similar to their predecessors when it comes to overall design. However, a well-connected insider who has been accurate with early details about previous iPhone releases says the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus won’t be exact replicas of previous models, and we should expect several key changes

For starters, the new iPhone 6s will come with Force Touch-ready displays, meaning that an extra layer of sensors have to be placed on the display so the devices can tell the difference between standard and firm touches. KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo says the new phones will be 0.2mm thicker than the iPhone 6 because of that Force Touch display, according to Japanese Apple fan blog Macotakara.

Additionally, the iPhone 6s will be slightly taller (by about 0.15mm) and wider than the iPhone 6.

When it comes to color options, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will also be slightly different from their predecessors. The gold iPhone 6s will be closer to yellow gold, while space gray will be darker than it is on the iPhone 6. Apple also plans a rose gold iPhone 6s this year, Kuo said.


Finally, the analyst also said that the new iPhones will be made of 7000 Series aluminum, just like the Apple Watch Sport. Previous reports have also suggested that Apple wants to prevent any new “Bendgate” problems by strengthening the aluminum used for the iPhone’s case. Most recently, an Apple supplier hinted that it might be working on 7000 Series aluminum parts for the company.

Source Macotakara
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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Apple in talks with musicians for exclusive streaming deals: Bloomberg


Apple Inc has approached more than a dozen musicians, including British band Florence and the Machine, in an effort to sign exclusive deals for some of their music to be streamed on Beats, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company is in talks with Florence and the Machine to give Apple limited streaming rights to a track from their album set to be released in June, Bloomberg said.

Apple has also approached Taylor Swift and others about partnerships, the report said.

Apple declined to comment.

Beats Music will be re-launched in coming months. There will be a $9.99-a-month subscription for individuals and a family plan for $14.99, according to sources, Bloomberg said.

Music streaming service Tidal, launched last month by rapper Jay Z, is also trying to convince artists to sign exclusive deals for their content, to fend off competition from services such as Spotify and Google Inc's YouTube.

Apple bought audio equipment and music streaming company Beats for about $3 billion in May 2014, hoping to catch up in fast-growing music streaming industry.

Source Reuters
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Backlogged orders as shoppers get close-up look at Apple Watch

Customers preordering Apple Inc's smartwatch on Friday will have to wait at least a month for delivery, a sign of strong early demand for company chief Tim Cook's first new major product.

People flocked to Apple's stores around the world to get a close-up look at the Apple Watch, the tech company's foray into the personal luxury goods market, with Apple predicting demand would exceed supply at product launch.

Cook, interviewed on cable television channel CNBC, said initial orders were "great" for the device, available for preorder online and to try out in stores by appointment, but not to take home.

"We view this as an indication of solid demand paired with very limited supply," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients. "We continue to expect modest sales in the June quarter as demand ramps over time."

A key factor in the watch's success will be demand once an initial wave of interest from Apple enthusiasts subsides.

The watch goes on sale officially on April 24, online and through appointments in shops, including trendy fashion boutiques in Paris, London and Tokyo, part of Apple's strategy of positioning the wearable computer as a must-have accessory.

But soon after online preorders opened on Friday, Apple's website listed shipping times in June for some models of the watch and four to six weeks for others.

There was immediately brisk bidding on eBay for confirmed orders for watches, with hundreds of sellers looking to make a few hundred or even thousand dollars by passing on their watches, once received.

Testing Apple's mastery of consumer trends, the watch is an untried concept for the Cupertino, California-based company. It straddles a technology market accustomed to rapid obsolescence and luxury goods whose appeal lies in their enduring value.

The Apple Watch sport starts at $349 while the standard version comes in at $549 in the United States. High-end "Edition" watches with 18-karat gold alloys are priced from $10,000 and go as high as $17,000.

At a San Francisco Apple store, dozens of customers crowded around newly installed wooden cabinets, snapping pictures of the gadgets on display under glass. Apple employees, admittedly still unfamiliar with the watches' finer points, guided customers through features like text messaging, maps and fitness tracking.

MIXED REVIEWS

At Apple's flagship store in New York, Jack Weber, who was visiting from Charlottesville, Virginia, said he would give his wife a top-of-the-line "Edition" as a 50th-anniversary gift.

"What more perfect wedding present could there be than this watch?" he said.

Long wait times will likely stimulate more demand for the watch - which allows users to check email, listen to music and make phone calls when paired with an iPhone - with little risk of losing impatient customers, said JMP analyst Alex Gauna.

"You would want to catch up by the holiday season," Gauna said. "But based on what's out there in Android land, I don't think there's an extreme risk in near term of losing customers who must have a smartwatch and will go to some alternative."

Android is Google's mobile operating system used on many smartwatches.

Reviewers this week praised the watch as "beautiful" and "stylish" but gave it poor marks for relatively low battery life and slow-loading apps.

Sales estimates for 2015 vary widely. Piper Jaffray predicts 8 million units and Global Securities Research forecasts 40 million. By comparison, Apple sold nearly 200 million iPhones last year.

Apple's watch is widely expected to outsell those by Samsung, Sony Corp and Fitbit. It will likely account for 55 percent of global smartwatch shipments this year, according to Societe Generale.

"Apple will outsell its wearable rivals by a very wide margin but it will do this on the power of its brand and its design alone," independent technology analyst Richard Windsor said.

Apple shares closed 0.43 percent higher at $127.10 on Nasdaq.

Source Reuters
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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Swiss launch of Apple Watch hit by patent issue: TV

Apple watches are displayed following an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015.
Apple is not able to launch its new smartwatch in Switzerland until at least the end of this year because of an intellectual property rights issue, Swiss broadcaster RTS reported on its website.
The U.S. tech giant cannot use the image of an apple nor the word "apple" to launch its watch within Switzerland, the home of luxury watches, because of a patent from 1985, RTS reported, citing a document from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.
The document, reprinted on the RTS website, was published by trade magazine Business Montres & Joaillerie, RTS said.
 
The patent is set to finish on Dec. 5 of this year. It currently belongs to William Longe, who owns watch brand Leonard that first filed the patent.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property could not immediately be reached outside of normal business hours.
The Apple Watch, the firm's first new device since Tim Cook became CEO, will be available in stores in nine countries on April 24.

The world's largest watchmaker Swatch unveiled its riposte to Apple's smartwatch last month, announcing a plan to put cheap programmable chips in watches that will let wearers from China to Chicago make payments with a swipe of the wrist.
Source Reuters
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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Will Apple launch a new online TV service?

It seems that the technology giant is ready to start a new service of online television.

Apple logo reflected in human eye
Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) much-hinted-at TV service may soon become a reality as the iPhone maker is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and be available across all devices powered by Apple's iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes, the newspaper said.

Apple has been talking to Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), CBS Corp (CBS.N), and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) and other media companies to offer a "skinny" bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, leaving out the many smaller networks in the standard cable TV package, the Journal said.

Apple, which is aiming to price the new service at about $30 to $40 a month, plans to announce the service in June and launch it in September, the newspaper said. (on.wsj.com/1GOgcrv)

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the company does not comment on rumor and speculation. Fox and CBS declined to comment.

Several media companies are considering joining streaming-only services, or launching their own like HBO and CBS, to attract young people who do not subscribe to traditional pay TV packages. But programmers also fear the packages could become so popular that they undercut current, more profitable deals with cable companies.

In January, Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) unveiled its long-anticipated video streaming service, named Sling TV, targeted at younger consumers who shun pricey cable and satellite subscriptions.

Dish's $20 a month service, the first from a distributor, will be available through Internet-connected devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Google Nexus Player for TVs, tablets, computers and smartphones and will include TV programming from ABC, ESPN and Maker Studios, Time Warner's (TWX.N) TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, and Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel.

Others like Sony (6758.T) are also rolling out competing services.

Apple is not in talks with NBCUniversal, owner of the NBC broadcast network and cable channels like USA and Bravo, because of a falling-out between Apple and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), the Journal said.

Apple and Comcast were in early-stage discussions last year to offer a streaming-television service that would allow Apple set-top boxes to bypass congestion on the web.

Source Reuters
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Friday, 6 February 2015

Technology Giants :- Apple's health technology ensures early command over top hospitals

A general view of an Apple store in the Manhattan borough of New York September 7, 2014, ahead of the expected release of iPhone 6 and other products this week.
Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) healthcare technology is spreading quickly among major U.S. hospitals, showing early promise as a way for doctors to monitor patients remotely and lower costs.

Fourteen of 23 top hospitals contacted by Reuters said they have rolled out a pilot program of Apple's HealthKit service - which acts as a repository for patient-generated health information like blood pressure, weight or heart rate - or are in talks to do so.

The pilots aim to help physicians monitor patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension. Apple rivals Google Inc (GOOGL.O) and Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), which have released similar services, are only just starting to reach out to hospitals and other medical partners.

Such systems hold the promise of allowing doctors to watch for early signs of trouble and intervene before a medical problem becomes acute. That could help hospitals avoid repeat admissions, for which they are penalized under new U.S. government guidelines, all at a relatively low cost.

The U.S. healthcare market is $3 trillion, and researcher IDC Health Insights predicts that 70 percent of healthcare organizations worldwide will invest by 2018 in technology including apps, wearables, remote monitoring and virtual care.

Those trying out Apple's service included at least eight of the 17 hospitals on one list ranking the best hospitals, the U.S. News & World Report's Honor Roll. Google and Samsung had started discussions with just a few of these hospitals.

Apple's HealthKit works by gathering data from sources such as glucose measurement tools, food and exercise-tracking apps and Wi-fi connected scales. The company's Apple Watch, due for release in April, promises to add to the range of possible data, which with patients' consent can be sent to an electronic medical record for doctors to view.

"TIMING RIGHT"

Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans has been working with Apple and Epic Systems, Ochsner's medical records vendor, to roll out a pilot program for high-risk patients. The team is already tracking several hundred patients who are struggling to control their blood pressure. The devices measure blood pressure and other statistics and send it to Apple phones and tablets.

"If we had more data, like daily weights, we could give the patient a call before they need to be hospitalized," said Chief Clinical Transformation Officer Dr. Richard Milani.

Sumit Rana, chief technology officer at Epic Systems, said the timing was right for mobile health tech to take off.

"We didn't have smartphones ten years ago; or an explosion of new sensors and devices," Rana said.

Apple has said that over 600 developers are integrating HealthKit into their health and fitness apps.

Many of the hospitals told Reuters they were eager to try pilots of the Google Fit service, since Google's Android software powers most smartphones. Google said it has several developer partners on board for Fit, which connects to apps and devices, but did not comment on its outreach to hospitals.

Samsung said it is working with Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital to develop mobile health technology. The firm also has a relationship with the University of California's San Francisco Medical Center.

Apple's move into mobile health tech comes as the Affordable Care Act and other healthcare reform efforts aim to provide incentives for doctors to keep patients healthy. The aim is to move away from the "fee for service" model, which has tended to reward doctors for pricey procedures rather than for outcomes.

Still, hospitals must decide whether the difficulty of sorting through a deluge of patient-generated data of varying quality is worth the investment.

"This is a whole new data source that we don't understand the integrity of yet," said William Hanson, chief medical information officer at the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

FIRST STEPS

Apple has recruited informal industry advisors, including Rana and John Halamka, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, to discuss health data privacy and for introductions to the industry.

The company said it had an "incredible team" of experts in health and fitness and was talking to medical institutions, healthcare and industry experts on ways to deliver its services.

A few hospitals are also exploring how to manage the data that is flowing in from health and fitness-concerned patients, whom many in Silicon Valley refer to as the "worried well."

Beth Israel's Halamka said that many of the 250,000 patients in his system had data from sources such as Jawbone's Up activity tracker and wirelessly connected scales.

"Can I interface to every possible device that every patient uses? No. But Apple can,” he said.

Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles is developing visual dashboards to present patient-generated data to doctors in an easy-to-digest manner.

Experts say that there will eventually be a need for common standards to ensure that data can be gathered from both Apple's system and its competitors.

"How do we get Apple to work with Samsung? I think it will be a problem eventually," said Brian Carter, a director focused on personal and population health at Cerner, an electronic medical record vendor that is integrated with HealthKit.

Source Reuters
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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro vs MacBook Air : battle to be seen

If a tech company makes an ad and doesn't troll Apple, does the ad even exist at all?

Lenovo challenges Apple to a dance-off in a new ad pitting its Yoga 3 Pro laptop against the MacBook Air. Microsoft took similar swipes at Apple with a series of ads for its Surface Pro 3 tablet/computer in August.

The Lenovo clip first takes on the laptops' thickness (the Yoga 3 Pro measures 13mm, versus the MacBook Air, which measures 17mm). It also points out Yoga 3 Pro's touch screen by showing a finger hopelessly pressing against a MacBook Air screen.

The remainder of the ad plays up the Lenovo laptop's signature hinging feature (the screen and keyboard can bend back) that allows it to enter a "tent" mode and a "tablet" mode when the hinge is bent completely back. The joke is that the MacBook Air is too stiff to keep up with the Yoga 3 Pro, which can contort into different modes of display.

    The ad fails to mention that the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro starts at $1,300

The ad fails to mention that the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro starts at $1,300, quite a higher price point than the MacBook Air, which has a lowest sticker price of $899.

The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro started shipping preorders in late October, and is available in three colors: silver, gold and orange. The computer runs Windows 8.1.

Source MASHABLE
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tim Cook talks Apple Pay pushback, Alibaba deal, death of iPod Classic

Apple CEO Tim Cook in Montgomery, Alabama on October 27, 2014. Cook spoke at the Wall Street Journal tech conference Monday night.
LAGUNA BEACH — Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an unusually candid interview Monday night — in which he struck back at companies leaving the Apple Pay system, teased a possible partnership with Alibaba, and revealed why Apple killed the iPod Classic.

Speaking at the WSJ.D conference in Laguna Beach, California, Cook called Apple Pay a tremendous success even in its first week, and revealed that there had been 1 million credit cards activated on the system in its first 72 hours. "That's more than all the other guys combined," Cook enthused, touting his early lead over similar payment systems such as Google Wallet. "And we're only just getting started. I'm already getting flooded with emails from customers."

As for the fact that CVS and Rite Aid just blocked Apple Pay? Cook dismissed that as business maneuvering. "It's a skirmish," he said. "Over the long arc of time, retailers will step back and say, no other system is more secure." He added pointedly: "you're only relevant as a retailer if your customers love you." (CVS and Rite Aid are working on their own system, to be launched in 2015 and called Current C.)

"We’re not collecting your data," Cook added. "We’re not Big Brother. There's no other mobile payment system where you can say it’s easier than the credit card." Indeed, Cook had to change his own credit cards twice last year because of various security issues, he revealed. "It's a pain in the butt. You forget to change [the card] on one or two on websites, people don’t think you pay your bills any more."

That "long arc of time" was something Cook frequently invoked — such as when discussing iPhone sales, which he suggested would constitute roughly 50% of the business for the foreseeable future. Also happening in the long arc of time is a possible relationship between Apple Pay and Alibaba's AliPay, a popular payment system in China.

"We're going to talk about getting married later this week," Cook said of Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, who'd said much the same thing during his preceding talk. "We love to partner with people who are wicked smart."

See also: Blocking Apple Pay Is a Stupid Move for Retailers

On the Apple Watch, Cook clarified a question that had been bothering some — when he said at its launch that you'd have to charge it every day, did he mean during the day or once at night? "People going to charge it overnight, we think," Cook said, although he pointed out there wasn't a lot of data to go on yet. "There’s a scenario where you use it less and charge less frequently, certainly."

When an audience member complained that he was about to buy a 160 GB iPod Classic when Apple discontinued the device a few months ago, Cook shrugged: "We couldn’t get the parts any more, not anywhere on Earth," he insisted. "It wasn’t a matter of me swinging the ax, saying 'what can I kill today'.

"The engineering work was massive, and the number of people who wanted it very small. I felt there were reasonable alternatives.

Source Mashable
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Friday, 24 October 2014

Apple CEO says had 'very open' privacy talks in China: Xinhua

Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures as he speaks at Tsinghua University in Beijing October 23, 2014.
Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook was quoted on Friday as saying he had "very open" talks on privacy and security with a senior Chinese official, days after a web monitoring group linked the government to a hack into Apple's iCloud service in China.

Cook's remarks, made in an interview to the official Xinhua news agency, were his first public comments since meeting Vice Premier Ma Kai in Beijing on Wednesday.

Cook's China visit has been overshadowed by a report by web monitoring group Greatfire.org, which alleged the Chinese government was involved in a sophisticated and widespread hacking attack on Apple users in China.



The government has strongly refuted the allegations, saying it has been a victim of hacker attacks itself.

The Xinhua interview made no mention of the attack. Asked about the Greatfire report, Apple has said it is "aware of intermittent organized network attacks" without giving details.

In the interview, Cook said one of Apple's priorities for China was to introduce the newly launched Apple Pay mobile payments service, and that he was still seeking to understand the steps needed to do so.

"China is a really key market for us," Cook told Xinhua. "Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list."

Chinese media had reported last month that Apple was close to a deal with China's Unionpay card network to launch Apple Pay in the world's most populous country.

Cook, on a four day trip to China, attended a meeting of the advisory board of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management on Friday. He had also toured a factory of supplier Hon Hai Precision Industries in central China.

Source Reuters
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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

More Than Half of Apple Users Haven't Downloaded iOS 8 Yet



Holding off on downloading iOS 8? You’re not the only one.

Less than half of Apple users have installed the latest operating systems, according to Apple’s own

The update has been live for about 20 days, first available Sept. 17. The percentage of people using iOS 8 is the same as those still using iOS 7 — 47%.


Over the same time period, nearly 70% of Apple users had already made the jump to iOS 7 when it was first launched, according to Information Week

. But iOS 8 installation rates remain stagnant, increasing in users just 1% since Sept. 21.

iOS 8

Image: Apple

The 47% number doesn’t seem so low when compared to adoption rates for KitKat, Android’s latest operating system, the software of choice for only about 25% of overall Android users, according to Android’s metrics. But the history of Apple’s success in this department is hard to ignore.

    It’s tough to identify the cause behind the decreased interest in iOS 8, but there are a few obvious potential reasons.

It’s tough to identify the cause behind the decreased interest in iOS 8, but there are a few obvious potential reasons. You can find workarounds to the massive amount of space needed for the iOS 8 download, but many were turned off by the 5GB required for installation.

There was also the problematic (to put it charitably) rollout of iOS 8.0.1, which caused service and Touch ID issues for many Apple users. So much so, in fact, that Apple pulled the download and publicly apologized. It later released iOS 8.0.2 to fix the errors.

That’s not to mention the complaints of depleted battery life and other kinks in the new operating system.

But really, you just need to search "iOS 8" on Twitter to see how unpopular it truly is.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

source Mashable
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Google Employs Camel to Take Liwa Desert Street View Imagery

LIWA DESERT
We've seen Google place its Trekker — a special type of camera for taking 360-degree visuals — on a car, bicycle or even a snowmobile.

But to take Street View imagery of the Liwa Desert in the United Arab Emirates, Google placed the Trekker on a camel, which the company claims was a way to minimize the disruption of the desert environment.



You can check out the resulting imagery — which includes 82-131-foot-tall dunes, and the largest oasis in the Arabian peninsula — here.

You can also check a video showing how the imagery was produced, above. It's short but sweet, given it's one of the rare YouTube videos available in 4K resolution.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

sOURCE mASHABLE
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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The iPhone 6 'Hairgate' Is Not a Thing

First there was Bendgate. Then Gapgate. And now, the latest "gate" to attack smartphones — particularly the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus? Hairgate.

Apparently, some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners are getting strands of hair caught between the screen and the aluminum frame of the iPhone. And thus, Hairgate.

My own hair is quite long and I haven't had any strands get caught within the frame of my iPhone 6. Still, we wanted to put Hairgate to the test. You know, for science.

At least in our experiences, Hairgate is a bust. Don't worry. We're sure another smartphone crisis will present itself soon. Maybe even tomorrow.

But some people still insist that their hairs are getting caught, so lets see Apple's reaction.

Source Mashable
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Shattered Dream: Apple Supplier Declares Bankruptcy After iPhone 6 Snub

The iPhone 6 is displayed on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif.


An Apple supplier that has partnered with the company on a sapphire glass plant in Arizona filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after its sapphire crystal wasn't used for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screens.

GT Advanced Technology's glass is expected to be used in two of the three versions of Apple Watch and it is continuing to operate. However, the company's stock price has fallen more than 95% over the past month.

See also: Why Apple Didn't Usher in the Era of the Sapphire Crystal Display Screen

The company's stock was trading at $0.80 Monday afternoon. It had been trading at almost $20 in July largely on the expectation that GT's glass would be used in the iPhone 6.

Apple and GT announced plans to build a component manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona, last November. Apple pledged to provide GT with a prepayment of about $578 million, which GT would pay back over a five-year period, starting in 2015.

Though Apple used sapphire crystal for the fingerprint sensors in its iPhone 5S, the company declined to say which Apple products would use sapphire glass made by GT. When Apple announced its two new iPhone 6 models in September, some fans were disappointed upon learning they sported Gorilla Glass rather than sapphire crystal, as had been rumored. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, sapphire crystal rates a 9 out of 10, versus 6.8 for Gorilla Glass 3. (Diamond rates a 10.)

    It's not clear why Apple opted not to use sapphire crystal for the screens of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

It's not clear why Apple opted not to use sapphire crystal for the screens of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Neil Alford, a minerals expert and professor at Imperial College, told Mashable that Apple may not have been confident that GT could produce sapphire crystal on a large scale.

Though the apparent snub has wreaked havoc on GT's fortunes in the short term, Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer of GT, touted the company's "strong and fundamentally sound underlying business," in a written statement.

"Today's filing does not mean we are going out of business," he added. "Rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet."

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Source Mashable
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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Apple Is Gathering Celebrity Login Info for iCloud Hack Investigation

Apple is working with the celebrities who were affected by an alleged iCloud hack that may have led to several nude photos going public.


Apple is working directly with celebrities and their publicists to investigate the alleged iCloud hack that may have played a large part in a large cache of nude photographs being released online. Part of that investigation involves obtaining Apple account login information of the people affected, Mashable has learned.

It's not known exactly why Apple needs its users' login information, but presumably it gives them a level of access into a user's account records that they otherwise wouldn't be able to obtain, at least not easily. The company does say that password information stored in iCloud is encrypted and can't be read by Apple.

Apple's internal investigation may shine some light on how nude photos of dozens of celebrities were gathered and then released over the weekend. While some have pointed to a potential vulnerability in iCloud security (which has reportedly been patched), there are indications, including the age of some of the photos, that the cache was part of a larger, more complicated effort.

At the same time, the FBI is looking into the iCloud hack, although it stopped short of saying it was opening a full investigation. The incident also raises unsettling questions about the general state of security for cloud storage services, which are now a major part of both personal services and business workflow.

Lance Ulanoff contributed to this report.

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Topics: apple, Apps and Software, hacking, iCloud, Tech

Source Mashable
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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Apple Invites Are Out: New iPhones Coming Sept. 9



Just as expected, Apple sent out invitations on Thursday to an event for what's expected to be its big iPhone event of the year.

The invitation, which coyly says "wish we could say more," revealed that the "exclusive event" will be held on Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PT. It will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, which is Apple's hometown and just two miles from its headquarters.

It's also the same location where Apple debuted the Macintosh computer in 1984, 30 years ago this year. Perhaps the Flight Center was chosen as a way to mark that groundbreaking product with a new one: the iWatch, which is also rumored to make an appearance.


It's expected that Apple will launch the iPhone 6 in what is believed to be two sizes, a 4.7-inch model and a larger version at 5.5 inches, possibly called the iPhone 6L.

The price tag for the new iPhones may be a bit higher than before, thanks to a sapphire screen (instead of a glass one) that's typically used in luxury watches. The inclusion of a sapphire screen will make it much more difficult to scratch.

Apple Invite

Image: Apple

Apple previously announced some of the core features coming to iOS 8, which will launch with the iPhone 6. The updates include new keyboards for typing, a battery usage indicator so you know which apps are the most draining, camera features like time-lapse capture for video, interactive notifications, TouchID for apps and a greater focus on health and smart home automation. Also on deck: a smarter Siri.

Apple is also rumored to introduce a reversible Lightning cable for the iPhone 6 that allows you to plug it into USB ports from either end, with no "right" or "wrong" side. The existing Lightning connector can plug into an iPhone or iPad in any way, but the latest design will bring the orientation flexibility to both ends of the cable.

But don't expect new iPad models to debut at the event. It's believed that the company — which reportedly working on an iPad significantly larger (12.9 inches) than its existing models, the 9.7-inch iPad and the 7.9-inch iPad mini — will hold an iPad-specific event in October.

For a full look at the Apple rumor mill, check out Mashable's coverage below:

Report: iWatch to Launch With New iPhone in September

Report: Apple to Launch Huge 12.9-Inch iPad Next Year

Rumor: Apple's Big-Screen iPhone Will Be Called the iPhone 6L

Report: New iPhone to Have Sapphire Screen, Higher Price

iPhone 6 May Include a Lightning Cable With Reversible USB Plug

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Topics: apple, Gadgets, iwatch, Tech
Source Mashable
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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Apple addresses labor violations at Quanta Chinese factories after 2013 audit

The Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo June 26, 2014.
Apple Inc has worked with supplier Quanta over the past year to improve working conditions after a 2013 audit, published on Friday, uncovered a profusion of violations, including excessive overtime and health hazards.

The report provides a snapshot of working conditions at two Chinese factories in August of 2013. Independent labor monitoring organization OpenView Service conducted the assessment of the two facilities in Shanghai and Changshu, with accreditation from the Fair Labor Association, an organization of mostly corporate members, including Apple and Nike Inc.

"Excessive overtime is not in anyone’s best interest, and we will continue to work closely with Quanta and our other suppliers to prevent it," Apple said in a statement issued in response to the report. "This year, through the end of July, Quanta has averaged 86 percent compliance with our 60-hour workweek."

Apple and its main assembler, Foxxconn, came under fire in 2010 when reports surfaced of worker suicides and unfair labor conditions. In 2012, Apple became the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association and began speaking more openly about its efforts to improve suppliers' practices.

WORKING CONDITIONS

OpenView's assessors, who spent four and five days at each of the factories last year, listed a number of instances of non-compliance with the FLA's code of conduct.

The report found that both factories fell short of local requirements for indoor air quality testing, and that 80 percent of workers interviewed in Shanghai claimed to have been charged a hiring fee by a broker or agent. Moreover, workers were not paid due wages for sick leave, and during the busiest periods of the year, facilities regularly exceeded legal limits on working hours.

In addition, over 100 Changshu workers age 16 and 17 said they had worked overtime. But those young workers were transferred from Apple's production lines by the end of July 2013, the report said.

Apple stressed that it routinely conducts its own audits and has taken steps to fix myriad problems in close collaboration with its suppliers.

In the past year, it said, "we have worked closely with Quanta to drive meaningful improvements in areas identified by both the FLA and Apple."

The iPhone maker also said it conducted four follow-up inspections, as well as the annual audits of both facilities.

Under Chief Executive Tim Cook and Vice President for Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson, Apple has taken steps to improve transparency regarding its environmental and supply chain efforts.
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Friday, 15 August 2014

Even a Knife Can't Scratch This 'iPhone 6' Display

A video purporting to show Apple's upcoming 4.7-inch iPhone 6's new display demonstrates how even a sharp knife can't scratch its surface.

YouTube user Marques Brownlee says he has gotten his hands on the super-durable sapphire crystal display and demonstrated just how much of a beating it can take. In addition to a knife, he scrapes keys on the glass surface display and not a single mark is left behind.

See also: Apple's New Hire Suggests More Than One iWatch Is in the Works

"This isn't a mockup," Brownlee said.

    "This is an actual, straight-off-the-assembly-line iPhone 6 part from Apple."

"This is an actual, straight-off-the-assembly-line iPhone 6 part from Apple."

Brownlee thanks Sonny Dickson, who has a long history in obtaining iPhone parts ahead of launches, for obtaining the display.

Unlike Gorilla Glass, the protecting layer on the iPhone 5S, sapphire crystal is paper thin (the actual thickness of paper) and can endure intense pressure. Apple already uses sapphire crystal for its iPhone 5S camera, and the material is often found in high-end watches as well as some other camera lenses.

The video also shows how bendable the display is; Brownlee uses his shoe to try to bend and break the surface.

This not only means next-generation iPhones could be unscratchable, but users may not need a screen protector anymore, either.
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Report: New iPhone to Have Sapphire Screen, Higher Price

An Apple logo is seen on the back on a smartphone on August 6, 2014 in London, England.


Apple's upcoming iPhone — or iPhones — will have a sapphire screen instead of a glass one, and it will likely come with a higher price tag than its predecessor, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sapphire, which is used in luxury watches, is harder and more scratch-resistant than glass, but is also more expensive, which could reflect on the price of the device.

The WSJ quotes Yole Développement's senior analyst Eric Virey, who claims that the production price of a screen made of Gorilla Glass — the material used in iPhone 5s and many other high-end smartphones — is $3, while a sapphire screen could cost $16.

According to the report, Apple is considering using sapphire for both its upcoming iPhone models, at least the high-end versions, if it can produce enough screens.

And that might not be an easy task, given that Apple typically sells around 50 million iPhones in its first fiscal year quarter. According to Virey, Apple and GT's new manufacturing facility in Mesa, Ariz., will produce twice as much sapphire as all the other manufacturers put together. Mass production should begin this month.

None of this has been officially confirmed by Apple, which is widely expected to launch new iPhone product(s) in September.

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Topics: apple, iPhone, iPhone 6, Tech
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