iPhone 6 Plus said to be accounting for 60% of iPhone 6 shipments

By Cody Lee on Oct 3, 2014

Sales of the iPhone 6 Plus are exceeding initial expectations, according to a new report from Digitimes. Citing sources with knowledge of part shipments to Apple manufacturers, the outlet says the 6 Plus is expected to account for 60% of total iPhone 6 shipments.

Apparently, Foxconn has been tasked with handling the bulk of production for the iPhone 6 Plus, and Pegatron has the iPhone 6. Digitimes says that part shipments to both suppliers were similar in early September, but have tipped in Foxconn’s favor as of late. Read More

 

Apple in talks with record labels to lower Beats Music fees

By Cody Lee on Oct 2, 2014

Apple is working to bring down the fees associated with Beats Music, reports Recode. The site says the company is speaking with major record labels about a new set of rights and features it would like to include in a revamped version of the streaming music service for less than $10 per month.

Discussions are in their early stages, as Apple isn’t launching the overhauled Beats Music service until next year, but some critics wonder just how successful the firm will be in convincing folks in the music industry to agree to a price cut on a product they never wanted to exist in the first place. Read More

 

Leonardo DiCaprio out, director Danny Boyle in for Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic

By Cody Lee on Oct 2, 2014

Oscar-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio has withdrawn from negotiations to play Steve Jobs in Sony’s upcoming movie on the Apple founder, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actor was slated to begin work on the film after wrapping up The Revenant, but he has instead decided to take an extended hiatus.

With DiCaprio out, a number of other high profile names have come back into the mix. THR says that top talent including Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper are all on Sony’s wish list, but it adds that Affleck seems unlikely given he just signed on to a film with a similar production schedule.

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Apple Pay reportedly launching alongside iOS 8.1 on October 20

By Cody Lee on Oct 1, 2014

Apple is planning to debut Apple Pay on the third Monday of the month, reports Bank Innovation. The outlet claims that according to “multiple sources close to Apple,” the mobile payment service is scheduled to launch on October 20, alongside iOS 8.1.

On Monday, Apple released the first beta of iOS 8.1 to developers, and hidden settings pertaining to Apple Pay were discovered within the firmware. Bank Innovation says it has learned that this code is there so Apple can test Apple Pay prior to launch. Read More

 

PayPal’s deal with Samsung ruined its chances of being an Apple Pay partner

By Cody Lee on Sep 30, 2014

Talks between Apple and PayPal regarding Apple Pay partnership soured following PayPal’s deal with Samsung, reports Bank Innovation. The outlet says that the two sides began negotiations early on in Apple Pay’s development, but when PayPal partnered with Samsung for Galaxy S5 payments, Apple backed out.

According to the report, PayPal’s now-former president David Marcus was categorically against the Samsung deal, knowing that it would jeopardize PayPal’s relationship with Apple. But apparently eBay CEO John Donahoe didn’t agree with the executive, and essentially forced the company into the partnership. Read More

 

Former Apple retail boss Ron Johnson starting high-end delivery service for gadgets

By Jake Smith on Sep 23, 2014

Ron Johnson, former Apple retail boss who left in 2011, is working to start a high-end, on-demand delivery service for gadgets and is hiring some former Apple employees to help, The Information reports. The move to found a new company follows Johnson’s failed stint at JC Penney as CEO, when he was fired after not turning around the struggling retail giant. Read More

 

Apple rumored to unveil rebranded Beats Music service in February

By Cody Lee on Sep 23, 2014

Following up on yesterday’s news that Apple is looking to sunset the Beats Music brand, Recode reports today that Apple has picked a timeframe for when it wants to unveil the new service. The site says it hopes to make the introduction sometime in early February, possibly time to the Grammy Awards.

Recode’s John Paczkowski hedges on the claim, calling it “a guess backed up by some industry scuttlebutt,” but given his track record in predicting Apple’s plans, we’d be crazy not to pay attention. The one thing he hasn’t heard, however, is what the company plans on calling the new subscription service. Read More

 

Report claims iPad Air 2 to launch in October, new iPad mini in early 2015

By Cody Lee on Sep 22, 2014

Apple is planning to unveil a new iPad Air next month, according to a new report from the Commercial Times. The Taiwanese news outlet says that the refreshed tablet is entering mass production this month, and will be ready to ship by mid-October.

Interestingly enough, the site claims that the next iPad mini may not launch alongside the new Air. Instead, it says the second-gen Retina iPad mini could be delayed until early 2015, meaning it could land around the same time as the rumored iPad Pro. Read More

 

Apple said to be working with GT Advanced on “super sapphire” screens

By Cody Lee on Sep 22, 2014

Apple and GT are continuing their work to strengthen sapphire, according to a new report from Wall Street Forensics. The site says the pair are hoping to reduce the material’s “fundamental flaw of cracking,” as well as improve its reflective properties.

On September 18th, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that covers new processes to both aid in the strengthening of sapphire, and cut manufacturing costs—a major point of contention with sapphire critics. Read More

 

Gold ‘Edition’ Apple Watch could cost as much as $1,200

By Cody Lee on Sep 12, 2014

The high-end version of the new Apple Watch could cost over $1,000, according to TechCrunch. The website has spoken to experts within the jewelry industry who say that if the 18-karat gold ‘Edition’ version of the Watch is actually made of gold, it could sell for as much as $1,200.

It’s not clear if the entire case is made of gold, or the device is just gold-plated, but TC’s contacts say it’s more likely the former. For one, an all-gold case matches up with the size and weight provided for the watch, and two, gold-plating doesn’t really live up to Apple’s design standards. Read More

 

Apple will reportedly get a 0.15% cut of all Apple Pay transactions

By Cody Lee on Sep 12, 2014

Apple has negotiated a never-before-seen deal for its new mobile payment system, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Citing sources familiar with the terms of the agreement, the outlet says that the Cupertino firm stands to make 15 cents of every $100 spent (or 0.15%) using Apple Pay.

We knew that Apple stood to make a lot of money from its new Pay service, but this is the first time we’re hearing hard numbers. “It’s unprecedented,” says Dickson Chu, former engineer at PayPal and Google Wallet. “It’s somewhat surprising that Apple was able to negotiate something Google couldn’t.” Read More

 

Reuters: future Apple Watch versions to offer richer health features

By Cody Lee on Sep 11, 2014

Future versions of the Apple Watch will focus more on health-related tracking, reports Reuters this afternoon. Citing people familiar with the company’s project, the outlet says that it plans to include “richer health features and additional sensors” in later generation models.

This would certainly appease those in the healthcare industry, and fitness junkies, who expected Apple to unveil a smartwatch earlier this week with groundbreaking health features. Instead, it merely tracks your heart rate, and movements via an iPhone’s Wi-Fi and GPS. Read More

 

Apple to use new Reservation Pass service for retail iPhone 6 launch

By Cody Lee on Sep 10, 2014

Apple is looking to utilize a new reservation system for customers lined up outside of its retail stores for the iPhone 6, reports 9to5Mac. According to the site, the company has been handing out training materials to employees for the new system, which is called “Reservation Pass.”

Reservation Pass is described as a virtual queue of sorts, allowing Apple employees to manage crowds and stockpiles more efficiently on hectic launch days. The system tracks customer line position, and syncs with a store’s inventory to make sure there are enough devices in stock. Read More

 

Rumor: Apple planning to acquire social network Path

By Jake Smith on Sep 9, 2014

Apple is close to announcing an acquisition of the social network Path, according to a report from PandoDaily, in an attempt to bolster its social offerings. According to a lone-source said to be placed within Apple’s engineering team: “It’s almost done, if not signed already, but it’s essentially a done deal.” Read More

 

Square and PayPal said to be working with Apple on mobile payments

By Cody Lee on Sep 9, 2014

In a last-minute scoop, Bank Innovation reports that it has learned that both Square and PayPal have been working with Apple on its mobile payment solution. Sources tell the site that both companies have been aware of Apple’s so-called ‘iWallet’ payments initiative for a while now, and are updating their services to support it. Read More

 

NYT: U2 to play role in tomorrow’s Apple event

By Cody Lee on Sep 8, 2014

It sounds like U2 is going to be involved in tomorrow’s festivities after all. Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times is reporting this evening that the popular rock band will be performing at Apple’s iPhone 6 event tomorrow, and even says that it will reveal an integration with Apple’s products that is connected to its next album. Read More

 

Apple said to be working on rewards program for mobile payment service

By Cody Lee on Sep 8, 2014

Apple is working on a rewards program for its upcoming mobile payment service, according to a new report from Bank Innovation. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the site says the company has been talking with the InterContinental Hotels Group (Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza, etc.) about a possible loyalty partnership.

Additionally, the outlet points out that Apple has recently posted a job opening for a Senior World Wide Partner Marketing Manager. While the title seems ambiguous, the person in this position would be tasked with creating training materials for external partners with the purpose of aiding customer adoption of “new features.” Read More

 

Apple said to use tokenization tech to secure mobile payments

By Cody Lee on Sep 7, 2014

Bank Innovation is out with a new report this evening, claiming that Apple will be utilizing tokenization technology in conjunction with NFC in its upcoming mobile payment service. Token tech is a favorite amongst financial institutions, as it’s considered to be extremely secure.

How it works is that instead of transmitting account and credit card numbers, tokenization sends complex codes over the air between devices. These codes are only used one time, so even if they are intercepted by a third-party with the intent of fraud, they would be of no use. Read More

 

New report says iWatch will feature third-party app support

By Cody Lee on Sep 6, 2014

9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman is out with a new scoop this evening regarding Apple’s incoming wearable. Citing sources familiar with the project, the well-connected blogger reports that the so-called iWatch will feature support for third-party applications.

In fact, Gurman says that the device will come equipped with an App Store, and apparently a handful of developers have already received a pre-release of the SDK (developer tools). This group includes major social networks, and service companies. Read More

 

Purported working iPhone 6 appears in photos and videos, hints at mobile payment feature

By Sébastien Page on Sep 6, 2014

A new video and several photos of a purported working iPhone 6 have surfaced on Weibo today. The photos and video show what’s believed to be an authentic 4.7 inch iPhone 6, sporting a new wallpaper as well as a new Passbook icon. Even though it is hard to confirm the authenticity of this device, it does seem to show some hints of legitimacy. Read More