Tim Cook: Apple Watch launch not limited to US, Lisa Jackson takes over accessibility efforts

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a recent earnings call that the Apple Watch will be shipping to customers in April and now we’ve learned the launch won’t be limited to the United States.

Cook, who is touring Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Israel, apparently told managers during his visit to the flagship Apple Store in Berlin that the wrist-worn device will launch in Germany during the month of April, 9to5Mac learned. Read More


BGR: iOS 8.2 launching next Monday

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2015

Apple is shooting to release iOS 8.2 for public consumption next Monday, March 2, 2015, “or the following week at the absolute latest,” according to BGR editor Jonathan Geller who spoke to sources in the know.

March 2 is a Monday, an unusual day for an iOS software update, but so is March 9 when Apple’s “Spring Forward” media event is due, at which it’s expected to talk Apple Watch specifics.

Moreover, as many as four betas of iOS 8.3 could be issued before that software update is ready for public release, the BGR founder and editor has learned. He mentioned earlier in the month that iOS 8.2 would be arriving some time in March, but didn’t provide a timeframe. Read More


Apple’s presence in Israel growing to expand in-house chip design capabilities

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2015

Apple’s focus on designing iPhone and iPad processors in-house is reportedly expanding with news that CEO Tim Cook’s visit to Israel this week is linked to efforts to increase its own chip design prowess, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Cook earlier in the week met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and is expected to meet with former President Shimon Peres later this week. The newspaper added that Apple’ hired most of the Israeli employees of a chip-design division that Texas Instruments shut down in 2013 in Ra’anana, some 10 miles north of Tel-Aviv. Read More


You might be able to wear your Apple Watch in the shower after all

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2015

Apple has never said that its Watch would be safe to use in the shower or while swimming, but now CEO Tim Cook has ostensibly confirmed that the device can in fact be worn while taking a shower.

French blog iGen.fr reported that Tim Cook said speaking to employees at an Apple Store in Berlin today that he wears his Apple Watch everywhere, “even in the shower.” Read More


Analyst weighs on why auto industry needs Apple, Mercedes-Benz exec laughs off Project Titan

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2015

As big media rides on the ‘Apple researching an electric vehicle’ bandwagon, one analyst lays out why the Cupertino firm could ultimately become a force to be reckoned with in autonomous cars.

Commenting on an influx of stories related to Apple’s rumored Project Titan, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty explains (via Forbes) why the world’s richest, most valuable company taking on the world’s most disruptable business makes a lot of sense. Read More


Samsung reportedly supplying advanced DRAM memory for upcoming iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2015

In addition to landing a contract to build Apple’s next-generation A9 mobile processor for 2015 iPhones and iPads, Samsung is said to be supplying the Cupertino firm with its advanced DRAM memory chips to be used in next-generation iPhones, as well as LG’s upcoming G4 flagship handset.

The South Korean firm files as the world’s biggest memory chip supplier. According to a report Tuesday by The Korea Times citing two people familiar with the deal, the contract is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and last at least for a year. Read More


Rumor: Apple poaching Samsung’s semiconductor and battery experts

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 23, 2015

Apple is luring Samsung Electronics’ engineers, including chip experts who specialize ”in next-generation technology” related to signal and visual-processing management and battery technology, offering raises and competitive benefits, according to a report Monday by The Korea Times.

In addition to highly-competitive benefits and large annual paychecks, Apple is said to be luring Samsung experts by promising them greater independence, according to unnamed officials. Read More


Apple reportedly launching iOS Public Beta program next month

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 20, 2015

“Multiple people briefed on the plans” told 9to5Mac’s well-connected Mark Gurman that Apple could soon launch the first-ever public beta program for its mobile operating system in an effort to help eradicate bugs that have traditionally plagued major iOS releases, especially iOS 8.

Tim Cook & Co. are said to release upcoming iOS 8.3 code-named Stowe as a public beta through the existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, matching the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers expected to release the same week. Read More


Apple may be building a dedicated Watch booth at Parisian Galeries Lafayette

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 19, 2015

French website Mac4Ever is alleging, via MacRumors, that Apple may be building a small booth for its Watch at Galeries Lafayette, a high-end department store in Paris. Located on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, the Watch display should be located on the department store’s first floor.

Furthermore, it might expand to other stores along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, as claimed by French media outlets. Read More


Touch ID and Apple Pay could be coming to Apple notebooks and the desktop

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2015

Apple’s revisions to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks, as well as next-generation versions of the wireless $69 Magic Mouse and the multi-touch enabled $69 Magic Trackpad, could soon gain an embedded Touch ID sensor for fingerprint identification, if a rumor posted Tuesday by Taiwanese blog Apple.club.tw is anything to go by. The site is alleging that Apple wants to bring its payment service from the confines of iOS-powered mobile devices to your desktop. Read More


Apple building up to six million Watches ahead of launch

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2015

Apple has commission its suppliers to build five to six million Watch units in the first quarter of 2015, ahead of its April release, The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Tuesday.

Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc is the main assembler of the wrist-worn device. Half of the first-quarter production order is earmarked for the entry-level $349 Apple Watch Sport model, or about three million units. Read More


Another purported iPad Pro case leaks

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 16, 2015

Yesterday, French blog NowhereElse.fr pointed us to a few curious images of a purported protective case for an ‘iPad Pro,’ originated from a Chinese accessory vendor which makes iPad Air cases.

The sleek black case clearly shows cutouts for a rear-facing camera, Lightning connector, volume rocker, microphone, mute switch and power button.

However, the cutouts for stereo speakers believed to be located at the top and bottom of the device are nowhere to be seen. Big media has asserted that the oversized iPad will rock a screen measuring either 12.2 or 12.9 inches and one analyst believes the device may include an optional stylus for the creative types. Read More


Reuters: Apple’s Project Titan involves a self-driving electric car

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 14, 2015

A rumor involving an Apple-branded electric vehicle that The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal threw their weight behind just took an interesting turn with a Reuters report Saturday offering additional tidbits.

The news gathering organization learned from sources that Apple’s electric vehicle is actually an autonomous self-driving car. Apple is reportedly actually “exploring how to make an entire vehicle” rather than just designing automotive software as previously suspected. Read More


Apple supplier Avago Tech rumored to provide 3D Touch technology for iPhone 6s

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 12, 2015

A report Thursday by the The Economic Daily News claims to have identified a company that will supply Apple with a pressure-sensitive touch technology for the next iPhone. US-based Avago Tech, which lists Apple as a key customer, will be the main supplier of a 3D touch technology for an ‘iPhone 6s’ refresh, supply chain sources assert.

For what it’s worth, recent reports by Tech News Taiwan and UDN did mention that the next iPhone might adopt the Watch’s Force Touch feature that uses tiny electrodes around the display to differentiate between a light tap and a deep press. Read More


Rumors intensify that Apple indeed is building a car

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 12, 2015

Reviving an old ‘iCar’ rumor, Business Insider on Monday ran a story citing an Apple employee as saying that the Cupertino company has been in fact working on something in “vehicle development“ that will “give Tesla a run for its money.”

“Apple’s latest project is too exciting to pass up,” the source said. “I think it will change the landscape and give Tesla a run for its money.”

The following day, Bryan Chaffin, co-founder of The Mac Observer, wrote he was “certain” that Apple’s building a car after talking to sources who estimated there’s an “80 percent chance” of it working on an actual car rather than some car-related tech.

Could Apple be really building an automobile? What’s going on here? Read More


Samsung to outwit Apple with 3-sided Galaxy S6 screen and all-metal enclosure?

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 11, 2015

Bloomberg is reporting Wednesday that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 flagship smartphone, developed under the “Project Zero” codename, will come in two flavors, including a model with a display covering three sides. The other model will have a regular screen that doesn’t stretch down either side.

Sources with direct knowledge of the matter who spoke to the news organization report that both editions of the device rock 5.1-inch screens, are encased in all-metal bodies and run “Samsung’s most advanced processor chips.”

We recently reported that Samsung in a last-minute move dropped Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 810 silicon which overheated during testing. Read More


Kuo: iPhone 6s to sport much-improved Touch ID for safer Apple Pay experience

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 10, 2015

In a note to clients obtained Monday by AppleInsider, revered analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting that the next iPhone will have a much improved and more reliable Touch ID fingerprint sensor that will “offer a better and safer Apple Pay user experience by reducing reading errors.”

An analyst with KGI Securities, Kuo is plugged deeply into Apple’s supply chain and has proven reliable. Read More


New report says iOS 9 to focus on stability and performance improvements

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 9, 2015

A new report by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman alleges that iOS 9 will mark a Snow Leopard-style release, one said to pause on innovation in order to focus on stability and reliability improvements.

A “huge” focus of iOS 9 is on fixing bugs, maintaining stability and boosting performance “rather than solely focusing on delivering major new feature additions,” writes the author.

iOS 9 is reportedly codenamed Stowe after a ski resort in Vermont. Selling stability as a tentpole feature isn’t that peculiar in light of Apple’s recent software woes that have culminated with a botched iOS 8.0.1 release, a plethora of bugs and various user complaints about iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite feeling unfinished and rough around the edges. Read More


Beats Music revamp details: deep iOS integration, Android app and more

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2015

Back in September, Re/code learned that Apple was looking to unveil a reworked, re-branded Beats Music service in early February of this year, possibly even in time for the Grammy Awards.

Now 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman casts new light on Apple’s plans for Beats Music, revealing in his Wednesday morning report that a yet-to-be-named music service will be paid for, entirely Apple-designed and based on Beats’ technologies and music content. Read More


BGR: iOS 8.2 due next month, Apple Watch launch event planned

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2015

Tuesday, BGR said it’s learned from its own sources that Apple is shooting to release iOS 8.2 around March, ahead of the Apple Watch launch in April. “A trusted source” privy to Apple’s most recent roadmap told the technology blog that Apple isn’t planning to release iOS 8.2 this month.

In addition to general improvements and fixes, the headline feature of iOS 8.2 is official support for Apple’s wrist-worn device, which in all likelihood entails  a companion iPhone app for installing apps onto the Watch and managing various device settings. Read More

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