Alleged iPhone 7 part has 3.5mm headphone jack we thought would be going away

By Christian Zibreg on May 3, 2016

An image of a purported component for Apple’s unannounced next-generation iPhone has leaked out yesterday courtesy of French blog NowhereElse.fr and—surprise, surprise—it depicts a 3.5mm headphone jack. Remember, the rumor-mill has been cognizant for months that the century-old analog audio jack will be removed from an ‘iPhone 7’ in favor of Lightning-powered or wireless headphones.

The image appears to show a Lightning cable assembly, supposedly for an iPhone device, and it looks a tad different compared to the same part found in the current-generation iPhone 6s. Read More

 

One of the most reliable Apple analysts doesn’t see “many attractive selling points for iPhone 7”

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 25, 2016

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has arguably the strongest track record among his peers when it comes to anticipating unreleased Apple products. That being said, his most recent research note that he issued to clients last evening is something of a surprise to ardent Apple watchers.

In it, the revered analyst pours cold water on various iPhone 7 expectations, stating he doesn’t see “many attractive selling points” for the upcoming handset. A copy of Kuo’s note to clients was obtained by AppleInsider.

As a matter of fact, Kuo believes Apple will be the only top-five smartphone vendor to see its shipments decline this year before they rebound in 2018, in time for a rumored monster iPhone 8 refresh. Read More

 

WSJ: Apple Watch 2 will have cellular connectivity

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 25, 2016

In its report Monday which details the first full year of Apple Watch sales, the Wall Street Journal newspaper has revealed a previously unknown tidbit pertaining to a second-generation Apple Watch. According to the publication’s sources, the Apple Watch 2 will feature cellular-network connectivity and a faster processor.

Although the Apple Watch can connect to Wi-Fi networks you have previously joined on your iPhone, the Cupertino company is reportedly aware that its wearable device suffers from limited usefulness because it cannot connect to cellular networks on its own and requires an iPhone for network connectivity if there are no known Wi-Fi networks around. Read More

 

New rumor out of China claims that iPhone 7 sports a touch-sensitive Home button

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 25, 2016

According to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes this morning, latest reports out of China claim an ‘iPhone 7’ will get rid of the physical Home button in favor of its digital, touch-sensitive counterpart, theoretically permitting Apple to engineer an iPhone with the completely flush front surface.

Additionally, these reports have reaffirmed previous rumors that the handset will be water and dust-proof.

Another interesting piece of information we haven’t heard before: Apple might also introduce a brand new matte black color for the iPhone 7’s chassis. The Cupertino firm’s reportedly just completed the third test phase of the new handset, which should launch this fall unless it adjusts the iPhone’s upgrade cycle. Read More

 

Insiders blame iCloud technical issues on ‘open conflict’ between Siri and cloud teams at Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2016

A report Thursday published by the former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin’s outlet, The Information, paints a gloomy picture for Apple’s efforts to move its cloud services 100 percent in-house. That process has been slowed by “political infighting” as the company’s iCloud and Siri engineering teams are now “in open conflict”.

The infighting is so bad, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, that at least one key employee has already departed, “with more expected soon,” reads the full report behind a paywall. Read More

 

Qualcomm is “assuming” that Apple will give LTE modem orders for iPhone 7 to rival Intel

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2016

Shares of Qualcomm have dropped two percent after CEO Steve Mollenkopf told analysts on an earnings call Wednesday that it may lose some of its “biggest customers” as they are going with a “second source,” Bloomberg reported.

The fabless chip maker’s been Apple’s exclusive supplier of LTE modems for over three years now.

That’s about to change soon: Mollenkopf is now “assuming” that a major customer will give orders to a rival, indicating a potential loss of business for the company. Analysts said they think the customer is Apple and the rival is Intel. Read More

 

German carmakers Daimler and BMW won’t be collaborating with Apple on electric car project

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 20, 2016

German newspaper Handelsblatt is reporting that German carmakers Daimler and BMW won’t be collaborating with Apple on its rumored electric car, code-named Project Titan.

According to sources in the know, talks with Daimler and BMW over a cooperation deal on an electric car have ended. The talks with BMW collapsed last yea.

Those with Daimler have ended more recently, reportedly over the key questions like would lead the project and which company would have ownership of the data. Neither of the three companies would even confirm that negotiations had taken place. Read More

 

Samsung to re-enter Apple’s supply chain for NAND flash memory chips in 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 20, 2016

Following a five-year hiatus, Apple’s frenemy Samsung is set to supply NAND flash memory chips to Apple for its devices beginning with 2017, ETNews reported Wednesday. NAND flash memory is extensively used across Apple’s many products, including the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac notebooks.

Apple dropped Samsung as a NAND flash supplier following the iPhone 5 introduction in 2012 because the South Korean conglomerate was stuck with ball grid array (BGA) packaging and refused to invest in land grid array (LGA) package contacts that allow the flash memory chips to sit flush with the printed circuit board and were required to comply with Apple’s electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding requirements. Read More

 

Apple Maps web app may be in the works

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 19, 2016

Latest checks indicate that Apple is getting ready to make the Maps service available to everyone on the web through a desktop web application which will permit you to embed an Apple Maps view into your own webpage, blog and more.

Look no further than Apple’s own WWDC 2016 webpage, which appears to take advantage of what seems to be an interactive, embedded Maps view. This is the first time Apple has used an embeddable Maps view on the web. Read More

 

Apple rumored to be running a secret vehicle research and development lab in Germany

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 18, 2016

Influential German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung this morning ran a story on Apple’s rumored electric car, code-named Project Titan, claiming that the iPhone maker is running a secret vehicle research and development lab in the heart of Berlin.

Apple’s 15-20 person “top class” team at the site is mostly comprised of engineers hired away from several German car manufacturers, who are described as “progressive thinkers” in their respective fields. The report adds that Apple is said to be planning to use Austria-based automotive contract manufacturer Magna to build its electric vehicle. Read More

 

Ultra-thin MacBooks with metal injection mold-made hinges due in second half of 2016?

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2016

Apple is expected to revamp the rest of its notebook lineup around ultra-thin MacBook models later this summer, which poses questions regarding the future of the existing MacBook Air lineup as Apple’s thinnest notebooks. In a new report Friday, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes cited local component makers as saying that they are starting to see increasing competition for related component orders ahead of a rumored launch of “new ultra-thin MacBooks in the second half of 2016.” Read More

 

Apple’s allegedly brokered $2.6 billion deal with Samsung to supply OLED panels for iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2016

Apple has reportedly brokered a deal with its South Korean frenemy Samsung, worth an estimated $2.59 billion, to supply OLED panels for future iPhones, scheduled to ship in 2017. Citing sources familiar with Samsung’s plans, The Korea Herald reported Friday that Samsung’s mobile display making arm, Samsung Display, will manufacture about hundred million OLED panels annually, measuring 5.5 inches diagonally, starting next year. Read More

 

Apple close to signing footballer Raheem Sterling as its global ambassador ahead of Euro 2016

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 14, 2016

Apple is allegedly “close to agreeing a deal” to have Premier League Manchester City F.C. and England national football team’s Raheem Sterling become a global ambassador for the global Apple brand, British tabloid The Sun reported Thursday.

Apple wants Sterling to help launch its Euro 2016 promotional campaign and will be paying him a reported £250,000 per year, or about $355,000 per year, to act as its brand ambassador. Read More

 

Samsung and other suppliers secure orders for second-generation Apple Watch parts

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 14, 2016

According to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, which knows this stuff inside out, Apple’s Asian suppliers are now starting to receive orders for the components that will be used in a second-generation Apple Watch.

Samsung, along with other overseas manufacturers like Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, have reportedly secured component orders for the Apple Watch 2, which one analyst believes could be up to forty percent thinner and debut at Apple’s annual developers conference this summer. Read More

 

Reliable Japanese blog reaffirms Smart Connector, no headphone jack and other iPhone 7 rumors

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 13, 2016

Mac Otakara, a fairly reliable Japanese-language blog, learned from its own sources this morning that the rumors pertaining to some of the more controversial iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus features are in fact true. No headphone jack? You bet! That CAD design rendering supposedly sourced from Apple manufacturer Catcher Technology which gave us a closer look at a trio of suspicious-looking dots on the back of the phone? Yup, that’s a Smart Connector! Wait, what? Read More

 

DigiTimes: Apple turns to established Chinese server vendor to bolster iCloud infrastructure

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 11, 2016

Apple has reportedly started buying servers from a government-backed Chinese firm, called Inspur, to use in its data centers, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported this morning. Apple’s never confirmed nor denied industry speculation that much of its iCloud data centers run on Amazon’s Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure platforms.

That being said, Apple’s reportedly embarked on a project to migrate iCloud services to its own data centers in order to satisfy increasing demand for iOS devices, reduce expenses and further reduce any possibility of attacks on the iCloud platform. Read More

 

Panama Papers leak suggests iPhone manufacturer Foxconn may have evaded $22 billion in taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2016

A whopping 11.5 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, so-called Panama Papers leak, reportedly suggest that the world’s top contract fabricator Foxconn, which assembles iPhones and many other consumer electronics products for other tech firms, may have evaded taxes worth up to a massive $22.86 billion via investments in Panama’s offshore companies.

Foxconn vehemently denied its involvement in the Panama Papers scandal. In an eyebrow-raising move, the Taiwanese firm then dropped veiled threat it might resort to suing news publications that make up such rumors, according to DigiTimes on Friday. Read More

 

Guy who predicted iRing motion controller calls for 40% thinner Apple Watch 2 due at WWDC

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2016

Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White, who is currently touring component makers in China, wrote in a note to clients Friday, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, that Apple will unveil a forty percent thinner second-generation Apple Watch at WWDC this summer, its annual pilgrimage for developers.

“We walked away with the sense that the Apple Watch refresh will not occur in September with the iPhone 7,” reads White’s analysis.

Instead, it’s “more likely” to occur within the next 2-3 months and “thus we believe an unveiling at WWDC in June makes sense”. Oh, and they also “believe” that the Apple Watch 2 “could be” twenty to as much as forty percent thinner than the current one.

It certainly doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the next Apple Watch is going to be thinner than the first model. Read More

 

Google is considering making Apple’s Swift a “first class” language for Android

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2016

Google is considering making Apple’s Swift a “first class” language for Android development, The Next Web learned from unnamed sources. Facebook and Uber are also said to potentially make Swift “more central” to their operations.

Representatives for Google, Facebook and Uber were recently at a meeting in London to discus Swift possibilities. Swift couldn’t have received a bigger endorsement than that, which is saying a lot about Apple’s effort to produce a modern programming language not only for iOS and OS X development, but for the web as well. Read More

 

Facebook planning to add customer service chatbots and live chat to Messenger

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2016

Facebook is working hard to turn its Messenger app into a platform for doing all sorts of useful things beyond mere message exchange between friends.

According to a report Friday by TechCrunch, the company is planning on enabling developers to add customer service chatbots and live chat functionality to Messenger and has already introduced Live Chat APIs for Messenger.

A presentation give to select Messenger chatbot developers mentions something called “Structure Messages”, which are basically automated responses that may include a title, image, a description, a URL and calls to action such as visiting a website, viewing an e-commerce order or making a restaurant reservation. Read More

 
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