Struggling to return strong profits, Samsung slashes price of Galaxy S6 phones

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

After posting another disappointing quarterly earnings, a fifth straight profit drop, Apple’s chief rival Samsung has now slashed the retail price of Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge flagship smartphones by a hundred euro, or about $110, BetaNews learned.

The consumer electronics giant’s mobile division suffered a 37.6 percent drop in operating income during the April-June period after badly miscalculating demand for the higher-priced Galaxy S6 Edge, leaving it with unsold inventory of the regular Galaxy S6 devices. Read More

 

August Smart Lock is ready for your wrist with brand new Apple Watch app

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

The popular Smart Lock accessory by August now makes it easy to lock and unlock your door right from your wrist with a brand new Apple Watch app, announced Monday.

Available as a free update to the existing iPhone application, the WatchKit component provides an Apple Watch app and a glance which can be used to operate your August Smart Lock and view its logs, view your most recent activity, receive instant notifications and more. Read More

 

Apple to become a carrier by 2020, report claims

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

You might be able to replace your dreaded carrier with Apple by 2020 as the company is reportedly in talks to launch its own virtual network service in the United States and Europe, Business Insider reports.

A mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, leases mobile network capacity rather than own spectrum or run expensive wireless network infrastructure.

According to Business Insider’s sources in the know, carriers would auction capacity to Apple so it could run the service itself. The Cupertino firm “is privately trialling” an MVNO service in the United States, the story goes, and is negotiating with wireless carriers in Europe about bringing the service to that continent. Read More

 

Could iPhone 6s lose protruding camera after all?

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

The slightly protruding camera lens on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that Apple’s design tzar Jony Ive likened to “a really very pragmatic optimization” could become a thing of the past after next-generation iPhones arrive next month.

Monday, uSwitch published claimed CAD design renders for upcoming iPhones which were obtained from @OnLeaks. The drawings depict a little thicker next-generation ‘iPhone 6s’ than the current model, measuring 7.1mm thick versus the current iPhone 6 with a thickness of 6.9mm, without the protruding camera.

However, renderings of an ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ suggest the phone is 7.8mm thick with the camera protrusion versus the current iPhone 6 Plus that measures 7.1 mm deep. Unless erroneous, the discrepancy might hint that the protruding camera that featured on the iPhone 6 “could be missing from the iPhone 6s but will reappear on the iPhone 6s Plus,” notes the publication.

Again, the 0.5mm camera bulge is present on renderings of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s, but is nowhere to be found on technical drawings depicting the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. Read More

 

Nokia sells HERE maps division to German carmakers Audi, BMW and Daimler

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

Nokia, once the dominant force in the mobile industry, has sold off its prized HERE maps division to a German carmaker consortium comprised of Audi, BMW and Daimler, technology blog Re/code reported this morning.

The $3.07 billion transaction (2.8 billion euros) is pending regulatory approval and should be completed in the first quarter of 2016. The deal is meant to “secure the long-term availability” of HERE maps as an open platform, as per a media release.

News of the deal arrives following months of speculation that a bunch of Silicon Valley technology giants were interested in a takeover bid, including ride sharing service Uber, as well as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Baidu and others. Read More

 

iPhone 6s display assembly with claimed Force Touch sensing layer surfaces

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

A trio of claimed spyshots were published this weekend by French blog NowhereElse.fr, ostensibly offering a first look at a fully assembled ‘iPhone 6s’ display with Force Touch technology. At first look, the part appears to be virtually unchanged from the front display assembly on the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in shape, size and overall design.

Upon closer inspection, however, some differences become apparent. For instance, you’ll notice strange black dots running across the sides of a shielding which some folks say may or may not be related to Force Touch technology. Read More

 

Rumor: Siri-powered iCloud Voicemail that transcribes messages due in 2016 with iOS 10

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

A Siri-powered voicemail service for iPhones is in the works and it will transcribe your voicemail messages, if a report published Monday by Business Insider is anything to go by.

Writer James Cook claims that Apple employees are already testing an upcoming voicemail service “which uses Siri to answer your calls and transcribe voicemail messages.” Read More

 

KGI: new iMacs in the pipeline feature faster CPUs and ‘much better display quality’

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2015

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is arguably the most reliable Apple analyst out there, is out with a new analysis offering some new details regarding Apple’s upcoming refresh of the iMac lineup.

According to his note to clients, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, Apple will updated iMacs this quarter with faster processors from Intel and enhanced screen technology designed to provide a “much better display quality.” Read More

 

Reuters: Apple, BMW could resume talks over electric car partnership

By Cody Lee on Jul 31, 2015

The rumors that Apple visited a BMW plant last year to learn about auto manufacturing is true, reports Reuters. Citing sources familiar with the talks, the outlet says that Tim Cook and his senior executive team traveled to BMW’s Leipzig factory last fall, showing interest in its i3 electric car.

“Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too,” a senior BMW source said. The executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about both tooling and production. Read More

 

SwiftKey previews upcoming ‘Your Signature Emoji’ feature in iPhone app

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Have you ever wondered which emoji symbols you use the most as your unique writing style? Well, the popular smartphone keyboard, SwiftKey, is previewing a new feature called ‘Your Signature Emoji’ which was designed to help you find out precisely which emoji characters you use more than other people.

Available as a beta for SwiftKey’s iPhone users, and coming soon for everyone, this feature takes advantage of SwiftKey’s knowledge base which gets continually updated as you’re typing away. Read More

 

Create colorful keyboards that match your mood in an instant with Photokeys

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Photokeys by developer Appyfurious was released in the App Store last evening. This quite interesting application makes it easy and fun to create your own colorful keyboards in seconds, from any photo in your library.

Just take or import a picture, adjust color themes as you like and your keyboard is ready for use in any application.

If you’re unhappy with the results, refine your custom designs with manual controls to mix and match your own colors and achieve the keyboard nirvana. But wait, there’s much more to Photokeys, a 99-cent download from the App Store, than meets the eye. Read More

 

Force Touch for upcoming iPhones has entered mass production

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Both analysts and the rumor-mill agree that a screen which senses force you apply to it should be one of the marquee hardware features of Apple’s upcoming ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ smartphones. Plus, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Apple thinks Force Touch iPhones will be a huge success.

Force Touch for the upcoming iPhones entered trial production earlier this month and now Apple supplier TPK has reportedly ramped up volume manufacturing of the force sensors, according to a report Friday by DigiTimes. Read More

 

Apple Watch goes on sale in New Zealand, Russia and Turkey

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Earlier this morning at 7:01am local time, Apple’s wrist-worn device went on sale in three new markets: New Zealand, Russia and Turkey. The Apple Watch is available through the Apple Online Store in New Zealand, Russia and Turkey, in addition to select non-Apple locations.

In Turkey, for example, the device is also available via company-woned brick-and-mortar stores at the Zorlu Center and Akasya Shopping Center in Istanbul. In Russia, the Apple Watch is available for walk-in customers at iPort, Re:Store and C-store outlets. And in New Zealand, the Apple Watch can be purchased in select Apple Stores. Read More

 

Best Buy will offer Apple Watch in Canada beginning August 14

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Best Buy has not offered the Apple Watch since its April 24 debut, but now the American consumer electronics retailer is at last making room on its store shelves for Apple’s wrist-worn device.

The Wall Street Journal recently said that Best Buy will begin to offer the Apple Watch in more than a hundred U.S. retail stores, and online, on August 7.

Just a week later, the device will hit Best Buy stores in Canada, according to MobileSyrup. This will expand the device’s footprint in Canada, where it’s been available exclusively through the online and retail Apple Stores from day one. Read More

 

OneDrive for iOS brings back file downloading, adds VoiceOver and Single Sign-On improvements

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Microsoft’s excellent mobile client for its cloud-storage service, OneDrive for iOS, was updated with three new features today, among them the ability to download photos and videos to your Camera roll after a brief hiatus following the app’s recent redesign. Available free of charge in the App Store, OneDrive 5.5 for iOS also contains VoiceOver improvements for hearing-impaired users and support for Single Sign-On. Read More

 

Apple seeds OS X 10.10.5 beta 2 to developers

By Cody Lee on Jul 30, 2015

Apple on Thursday seeded the second beta of OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 to developers. The software, labeled build 14F19a, is available to all registered Mac developers in the Updates section of the Mac App Store, or as a standalone download from Apple’s dev portal.

Beta 2 of 10.10.5 comes two weeks after the first developer beta, and just a month after 10.10.4 was released to the public. It also comes on the same day as beta 2 of iOS 8.4.1, suggesting that Apple is looking to shore up its two OSes before their major fall updates. Read More

 

New Apple TV coming in September with full App Store, report says

By Cody Lee on Jul 30, 2015

We are finally going to see the long-rumored update to Apple’s set-top box this fall, reports BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski. The well-connected journalist says sources have informed him that the company plans to introduce a new Apple TV in September.

Pacszkowski says to expect a slimmer chassis and new internals, anchored around Apple’s A8 processor. He also says the remote has been “drastically improved” with a built-in touchpad for input, and there will be a native App Store and developer kit. Read More

 

Worms3 goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Jul 30, 2015

Apple has just named Team17’s “Worms3” its App of the Week for this week. This means that from now through next Thursday, you’ll be able to download the popular artillery strategy game for both iPhone and iPad for free—saving you $5.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Worms franchise, players are tasked with eliminating the opposing team(s) of worms using an assortment of weapons. There are various game modes, including an asynchronous multiplayer battle. Read More

 

Qualcomm’s new technology could allow wireless charging through the iPhone’s metal body

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 30, 2015

Apple has patented a few wireless charging methods, but thus far it’s only implemented inductive-based wireless charging on the Apple Watch. We’re still required to connect our iPhones to chargers and Apple’s top dogs have made it clear in the past that existing solutions aren’t really the right answer to wireless charging.

But a new technology that Apple supplier Qualcomm unveiled earlier this week could pave the way for wireless charging on iPhones as it allows wireless charging for devices with metal exteriors.

Not only that, but Qualcomm’s solution can simultaneously charge multiple devices with different power requirements, say your iPhone and Apple Watch. Read More

 

Samsung’s woes continue with yet another disappointing quarterly earnings

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 30, 2015

Surging iPhone demand on the high-end and plummeting sales of its feature phones that are getting squeezed out of the market by Chinese upstarts like Xiaomi are largely blamed for yet another disappointing quarterly earnings that Samsung posted Thursday.

The South Korean conglomerate reported an eight percent annual decline as profits decreased to 5.75 trillion Korean won, or approximately $4.9 billion, from 6.3 trillion won a year earlier. Analysts predicted 5.6 trillion won of net income. The results mark a fifth straight drop in quarterly earnings for the consumer electronics giant.

The bad news gets worse as Samsung’s mobile division, its bread and butter, reported a huge 37.6 percent drop in mobile operating income which fell from 4.42 trillion won in 2014 to 2.76 trillion won during the April-June period. Read More

 
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