Apple reportedly negotiating to cut Beats Music prices by half

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 20, 2014

As Swedish music startup Spotify announced Monday giving family members a 50 percent discount on additional accounts, Apple is reportedly pushing Beats Music, acquired as part of its $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, to cut the price of its monthly subscription by half, according to Peter Kafka of Re/code on Monday.

Beats Music, a free download for the iPhone and iPad, currently requires users to pay a subscription fee of ten bucks per month for unlimited streaming of tens of millions of songs from its catalog. Read More

 

Rumor: Apple switching to laser-cut logo with “shine at the edges” across all 2015 products

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2014

In spite of both The Wall Street Journal and Re/code’s reliable John Paczkowski cautioning against a Retina refresh for Apple’s MacBook Air at tomorrow’s event, the hit-and-miss DigiTimes on Wednesday quoted Taiwanese suppliers as saying that small-volume shipments have already begun.

More interesting than that, sources asserted that the Cupertino firm is planning a major switch to using laser cutting and some advanced embedded technologies to make the Apple logo on products “3D-like and shine at the edges”.

This is allegedly a large-scale effort as all Apple products reportedly are going to feature the new logo in 2015, ”starting with the next-generation iMac”. As a reminder, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the next iMac with a 5K Retina screen will be unveiled at tomorrow’s event, among other goodies. Read More

 

TSMC reportedly lands contract to build A8X processor for iPad Pro

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2014

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s leading independent semiconductor foundry, has landed a contract to fabricate Apple’s upcoming A8X mobile processor, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Wednesday.

The chip, which leaked on claimed photographs earlier this week, is said to feature faster graphics.

In addition to an improved GPU, it reportedly incorporates twice as much RAM as its A8 counterpart, which powers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As such, the A8X should power Apple’s rumored ‘iPad Pro’ tablet with an ultra high-resolution 12.9-inch screen. Read More

 

Apple could also launch new iPad mini and Smart Covers with new colors this Thursday

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Rumors of a third-generation iPad mini arriving in 2015 (ahead of another rumored device, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro) rather than alongside the iPad Air 2 as previously suspected may have been greatly exaggerated after all, according to the fairly accurate Japanese blog MacOtakara [Google Translate] which today asserted that the Cupertino firm is in fact going to refresh the smaller device alongside its bigger sibling at this Thursday’s press conference.

The event should unsurprisingly see the addition of new colors to Apple’s Smart Cover case lineup, said to receive a tweaked design to accommodate the changes in the iPad’s form factor. Read More

 

Clearer circuit board photo reiterates iPad Air 2 may have faster A8X chip with 2GB of RAM

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Following a blurry shot posted by Taiwanese blog Apple.club.tw this weekend that purportedly depicts a claimed iPad Air 2 logic board with a chip labeled ‘A8X’, the same source Monday republished a much clearer image. It should be music to the ears of everyone hoping Apple will bump the forthcoming iPad Air 2 to two gigabytes of RAM. The RAM module appears to be built by Elpida, one of Apple’s memory suppliers, as determined by the markings on the chip.

Doubling the amount of RAM would admittedly allow the tablet to keep more applications active and result in smoother multitasking, faster graphics and performance improvements across the board. Read More

 

Apple not going to unveil Retina MacBook Air this Thursday, reliable report claims

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Monday, Re/code’s well-informed John Paczkowski poured cold water on rumors calling for a Retina MacBook Air introduction at Apple’s upcoming media event this Thursday. The Cupertino company is not going to unveil a new MacBook Air model with a twelve-inch Retina display at the event, Paczkowski has learned from plugged-in sources.

“Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell me that the company’s latest reimagining of the ultralight laptop won’t be shown off at its Thursday event,” he said. As Paczkowski previously reported, the forthcoming press conference — which Apple teased under the ‘It’s been way too long’ tagline — should be about new iPads, OS X Yosemite and “a new hi-res iMac”. Read More

 

Apple said to remove Bose products from store shelves next week

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 10, 2014

Apple is reportedly on the verge of removing audio products and accessories by the audio equipment specialist Bose from both its store shelves in addition to the demo units as early as next week, MacRumors learned Friday from a source privy to the matter.

Although the report comes short on specifics, the decision may have something to do with Bose’s patent infringement lawsuit against Beats. As you know, Apple purchased Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion earlier this year.

The development seemingly coincides with a new agreement Bose signed with the National Football League banning its players from wearing Beats headphones while on television. Read More

 

WSJ: 12.9-inch iPad delayed to 2015, Retina MacBook Air entering production in December

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2014

Due to strong demand for the iPhone 6 Plus, which continues to exhibit a 3-4 week delay on the Online Apple Store, Taiwanese suppliers have reportedly pushed back plans to produce a rumored larger iPad with a 12.9-inch screen to 2015, according to people familiar with the matter cited by The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

The so-called iPad Pro was originally scheduled to enter mass production in December, the financial newspaper added. Moreover, mass production of a new MacBook Air model with “a higher resolution” screen should commence in December, as per WSJ’s sources. Read More

 

DigiTimes: 12″ Retina MacBook Air in limited production now

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2014

Apple’s rumored MacBook Air with a twelve-inch Retina screen has allegedly entered limited production, according to sources with Apple’s supply chain Wednesday morning who spoke to DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication.

Apple has reportedly commissioned contract manufacturer Quanta Computer to start building the ultra-thin notebook in small volumes in October, with output expected to increase gradually beginning November.

Apple is holding a media event next Thursday so a Retina MacBook Air could be on tap along with new iPads, a (possibly) refreshed Apple TV hardware and what not. Read More

 

Leaked images show off thinner iPad Air 2 design with Touch ID and no mute switch

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2014

Vietnamese blog Tinhte.vn on Wednesday leaked [Google Translate] a fresh batch of images showing off what appears to be a noticeably thinner chassis for Apple’s upcoming second-generation iPad Air tablet with Touch ID fingerprint scanning.

Curiously enough, the shots show the recessed volume buttons like on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but no mute switch on the side, in turn prompting watchers to speculate that Apple may have ditched the button due to the tablet’s thin profile.

Speaking of thinness, the unit pictured on the photos is said to measure just 7 millimeters. By comparison, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are 6.9mm and 7.1mm thin, respectively, and the iPhone 5s measures 7.6mm in depth. Read More

 

Facebook working on money transfers through Messenger app

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 6, 2014

As Apple gears up to mainstream mobile payments with the recently announced Apple Pay service launching later this month, the social networking giant Facebook is developing its own peer-to-peer payment service that should allow users of its Messenger software to transfer money between themselves, as discovered by iOS developer Andre Aude.

The solution simplifies money transfers by levering the existing Messenger infrastructure and user interface, allowing users to pay for goods directly in the chat window just like you would attach a photo or a location. Read More

 

Bloomberg: iPad Air 2 to be offered in Gold, 12.9″ ‘iPad Pro’ due next year

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2014

Apple’s second-generation iPad Air will be offered in Gold, in addition to Space Gray and Silver colorways, according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday corroborating earlier rumors. Adding a gold color option is one way to “goose sales,” according to people familiar with the plans.

The iPad Air 2 should be unveiled at a media event expected sometime in October. Bloomberg’s sources with knowledge of the situation have also added that a rumored ‘iPad Pro’ with a 12.9-inch display “won’t be introduced until next year”. Read More

 

You will use a dedicated iPhone app to put apps on and manage your Apple Watch

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2014

Rather than browse an App Store for third-party Apple Watch software on the device’s tiny Retina touchscreen, fans will be instead using a dedicated iPhone app to manage their Apple smartwatch and apps, Ariel Adams noted two days ago in his hands-on article on A Blog To Watch.

The iPhone app, he learned, will be used to download apps onto the Apple Watch, “as well as likely manage Apple Watch settings”. Read More

 

Quanta Computer to kick off mass production of Apple Watch in January 2015

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2014

As Apple shoots to bring its smartwatch to market in early-2015, news reports Tuesday asserted that the Cupertino firm has commissioned contract manufacturer Quanta Computer to start mass producing Apple Watches in January 2015, citing supply chain rumors first mentioned by Apple Daily [Google Translate] and reposted by GforGames.

Apparently Taiwan-based Quanta is the only manufacturer tasked with building the device, the story goes, contradicting earlier rumors that mentioned both Quanta and Inventec, an iPad supplier, as Apple Watch manufacturers.

The Apple Daily report gives hope that the fashionable smartwatch could hit store shelves in time for Valentine’s Day 2015. For what it’s worth, a recent article by The Information alleged that “Apple would be lucky” to ship the device by Valentine’s Day. Read More

 

Apple pushing Foxconn to hire aggressively to cope with strong iPhone 6 demand

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2014

As Apple’s recently released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus continue to face strong demand from fans around the world, the Cupertino firm has reacted by pushing its favorite contract manufacturer, Foxconn, to hire more workers to help assemble the handsets, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Tuesday.

A large-scale aggressive hiring for Foxconn facilities in Shenzhen and Zhengzhou is currently underway, with sources noting that working on assembly lines is no longer as attractive as before for workers in China. Read More

 

Samsung rumored to supply screens for iPad Air 2 and 12.9″ iPad Pro

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2014

Samsung Display, Samsung’s display unit and part of the company’s component-making arm, will supply Apple with high-resolution panels for an upcoming second-generation iPad Air and a rumored “iPad Pro”which is understood to feature a 12.9-inch screen, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Tuesday morning citing Korean-news outlet inews24.

Although the Cupertino firm’s been distancing itself from the South Korean conglomerate amid ad wars and legal spats, the Galaxy maker is still an important supplier for Apple. And with its leading position in mobile screen production, Samsung is best poised to ensure that Apple has ample supply of high-resolution panels for the iPad Air 2 and the rumored iPad Pro. Read More

 

Apple Watch is headed to Paris for Fashion Week

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2014

Apple has teamed up with Colette, the famous Parisian boutique, on a promotional event involving a “one day only experience” on September 30 from 11:00am to 7:00pm local time at the at fashion retailer’s gallery on rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, French blog Macplus reported Monday [Google Translate].

At the same time, members of the company’s industrial design team are headed to Paris Fashion Week, vaguely indicating that the company’s wearable device, the Apple Watch, could play a role at the semi-annual clothing trade show. Read More

 

iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 allegedly coming across 2015

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2014

Not one, not two, but three major updates to iOS 8 — iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 — are in tow for 2015, perhaps signaling that Apple is speeding up its iOS development process, Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac reported Monday.

This would represent a break from Apple’s practice of releasing a major new iOS version each Fall, followed-up by a substantial update early in the following year.

Gurman was able to confirm the three upcoming iOS 8 releases via “a developer of a major hardware-connected iOS application” who shared with him their analytics, in addition to traces of iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 spotted in Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com. Read More

 

Rumor: Retina iMac in late testing, could launch next month

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2014

A rumored 27-inch iMac with a Retina screen featuring a “5K” resolution of 5,120-by-2,880 pixels is reportedly in late testing stages within Apple, as first reported Monday morning by Jack March and corroborated by 9to5Mac.

The reported “5K” resolution would quadruple pixel count versus the 2,560-by-1,440 resolution panel on the current 27-inch iMac model. To drive all those pixels, Apple is said to outfit the forthcoming all-in-one desktop with AMD’s pro-grade graphics utilized on the late-2013 Mac Pro, as opposed to Nvidia GPU’s powering the current iMac lineup. Read More

 

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus said to launch in China on October 10

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2014

Hot on the heels of reports that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were nearing approval for sale in China, a new report yesterday asserted that the new handsets are now scheduled to hit store shelves in the 1.33 billion people market on Friday, October 10.

According to an internal memo obtained by TechWeb [Google Translate], Apple’s retail staff will receive their training material on October 7, giving them three days to familiarize themselves with talking points and features of Apple’s flagship phones. Read More

 
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