WSJ: Samsung moving up Galaxy Note 5 launch to August to beat iPhone hype

By Cody Lee on Jul 10, 2015

Samsung is moving up its Galaxy Note 5 launch to August this year in hopes of beating the new iPhone hype in September, reports The Wall Street Journal. Until now, the South Korean company has leveraged the annual IFA Berlin conference to debut the big-screened handset.

Citing a source familiar with the matter, The Journal says the move is part of a bid to give the Note some breathing room before mid-September, when Apple typically unveils its new iPhones—a product that often dominates both the news cycle and consumer attention for weeks. Read More


Bloomberg: Apple begins production on new iPhones with Force Touch

By Cody Lee on Jun 26, 2015

Apple has begun early production of new iPhone models with a feature called Force Touch, Bloomberg reports. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the outlet says that volume manufacturing is expected to ramp up as soon as next month.

Force Touch was first introduced in the Apple Watch last fall, and it enables a device to sense how hard users press down on its screen. The technology has since made its way into the MacBook, and has long been rumored for the next iPhone. Read More


iPhone 6s rumors: supplier hints at 7000 Series aluminum body, TSMC building A9 chips

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 11, 2015

A new rumor from Asia suggests that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of the world’s largest semiconductor foundries, is ready to kick off mass production of Apple’s in-house designed ‘A9’ mobile processor for the new iPhones, tentatively called an ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’.

At the same time, another rumor from Apple’s supply chain has reaffirmed that 2015 iPhones will have a chassis made from 7000 Series aluminum, a custom alloy the Cupertino firm originally developed for the Apple Watch Sport. Read More


New ‘Apple Music’ streaming service to feature three-month free trial

By Cody Lee on Jun 5, 2015

Apple’s upcoming streaming music service will offer a lengthy free trial period to new users, according to the Financial Times. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, the outlet says that ‘Apple Music’ will be free for the first 3 months.

Apple hopes the extended trial period will give users plenty of time to immerse themselves in the service, making it harder to cancel. For comparison, Spotify currently offers a 30-day free trial, and Rdio’s Unlimited trial period lasts just 2 days. Read More


Apple looking to change 70/30 iTunes revenue split for media services

By Cody Lee on Jun 5, 2015

Apple is planning a departure from the long-standing 70/30 iTunes pricing arrangement it has with digital media companies, reports the Financial Times. According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple is discussing new commercial terms with a number of players in the video, music and news subscription space.

The split, which doles out 70% of app and media sales to content owners/creators and 30% to Apple for hosting and distribution, has been around since the iTunes Store first launched in 2003. Apple hopes the change can improve its relationships with media firms, and reassure regulators that it’s not abusing its power. Read More


NYT: no new Apple TV at WWDC

By Cody Lee on Jun 3, 2015

Apple has apparently decided to postpone the announcement of a new Apple TV at WWDC next week, according to The New York Times. In a sweeping report on what to expect from the annual developer’s conference, the publication says the highly anticipated refresh of Apple’s set-top box is no longer in the cards for Monday’s keynote. Read More


Apple not expected to unveil rumored TV service at WWDC

By Cody Lee on Jun 1, 2015

Apple won’t be announcing a new subscription TV service at WWDC next week, reports Recode. According to its sources, the Cupertino company has told network executives the unveiling will be postponed until the proper licensing deals are in place.

The holdup seems to be with negotiations over financial terms and new tech that would be required for broadcasters to deliver local programming. Apple is hoping that offering local stations will differentiate its service from Dish’s Sling and others. Read More


Jeff Williams: the car is the ultimate mobile device

By Cody Lee on May 27, 2015

In addition to Apple Watch talk, Jeff Williams made some other interesting comments at the Code Conference on Wednesday. During his interview with Recode, Apple’s SVP of Operations seemingly confirmed the company’s rumored interest in cars.

“The car is the ultimate mobile device,” Williams nonchalantly noted, in response to a question regarding what the Cupertino firm will do with its staggering cash hoard beyond returning money to investors. “We are exploring a lot of different markets.” Read More


CBS will ‘probably’ sign up for Apple’s TV service

By Cody Lee on May 27, 2015

CBS CEO Les Moonves says his network will “probably” sign a deal with Apple for its upcoming streaming TV service. Speaking at the Code Conference on Wednesday, Moonves told Recode’s Kara Swisher that he met with Apple’s Eddy Cue last week to discuss the service.

“The talks are still early, but we’re very excited about it,” he told Swisher. The executive went on to say that he believes the age of the 200-channel universe is slowly dying, and if companies like Apple are going to offer trim 15-20 channel packages, CBS has to be included. Read More


Apple Stores expected to begin carrying Apple Watch bands this week

By Cody Lee on May 20, 2015

You may soon be able to pickup new Apple Watch bands in-store, according to 9to5Mac. Citing an internal memo sent out to employees, the outlet reports that Apple Stores will soon start carrying limited quantities of bands for the just-released wearable.

Before you get too excited, the message indicates that a majority of the stock will be made up of Sport bands. Also, it sounds like much of the inventory is reserved for customers looking to swap their pre-bundled bands, and replacing worn out demo bands. Read More


WSJ: Apple shelved plans to make a 4K TV set last year

By Cody Lee on May 18, 2015

Apple quietly shelved plans to make an ultra-HD TV set with video calling and other features last year, reports the Wall Street Journal. The report follows an open letter to Tim Cook from activist investor Carl Ichan, published earlier today, which pointed to Apple releasing a 4K TV set in 2016.

Apparently, Apple was working on a full-blown television, and had been researching the project for nearly a decade. But Apple executives didn’t feel like the product or its feature set was compelling enough to enter the cutthroat market, which offers small margins to even the largest competitors. Read More


Rdio to launch new ‘Select’ streaming music tier for $3.99 per month

By Cody Lee on May 13, 2015

Rdio is planning to launch a new budget tier for its streaming music service soon, BuzzFeed reported on Wednesday. CEO Anthony Bay tells the publication that they are calling the new tier ‘Rdio Select,’ and it will give users limited access to the streaming service for just $3.99 per month.

“We’ve all been flying airplanes that had business class only,” Bay quips. “There is no coach.” The $4 tier will include two components: the first is a Pandora-like streaming radio offering without ads and unlimited skips, and the second is on-demand music with a daily allowance of 25 songs. Read More


Apple working with researchers to build ResearchKit apps for gathering DNA data

By Cody Lee on May 5, 2015

Apple is collaborating with US researchers to launch apps that would allow iPhone owners to get their DNA tested, according to a new report from MIT’s Technology Review. The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps researchers gather data.

If true, Apple would join a growing battle for genetic information. Everyone from Google, to the government, to top universities are spending millions of dollars to amass large databases of DNA info in an effort to uncover clues that would help identify causes and possible cures for diseases. Read More


Apple still missing key licensing deals ahead of rumored Beats Music relaunch

By Cody Lee on May 5, 2015

Apple is really cutting it close if it wants to relaunch Beats Music at its developer conference next month. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, Billboard reports that it is still missing a number of key licensing deals it would need to secure to unveil a new streaming music service.

“A June launch is still attainable,” one source tells Billboard. “If any company can do it, they can.” However, another source at a major record label tells the publication that there is no way Apple will be able to pull off a June launch for the new service, saying simply that “the deals aren’t done.” Read More


New Apple TV to feature redesigned remote with touchpad

By Cody Lee on May 4, 2015

Apple is going to unveil a new set-top box in June with a redesigned remote control, according to The New York Times. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the publication says the new remote will feature a touchpad for scrolling, at least two physical buttons, and it will be thicker in size than the current aluminum Apple TV remote.

We’ve heard multiple reports now indicating that Apple is planning to release new TV-related hardware this summer. The device is expected to be introduced at the World Wide Developers Conference with an updated, slimmer design, the faster A8 chip, and an increase in storage to house an upgraded OS and App Store downloads. Read More


Hands-on video compares size of alleged iPad Pro cases with iPad Air 2

By Cody Lee on May 1, 2015

Popular YouTube channel Unbox Therapy on Friday posted a hands-on video with 2 alleged iPad Pro cases, comparing them in size and design with the iPad Air 2. The clip gives you a good idea of how much bigger the rumored 12-inch iPad would be than the current 9.7-inch model.

Additionally, the cases add weight to the accuracy of previous industrial renderings and case leaks. Despite the fact that they come from different manufacturers, and are made up of different materials, they’re identical to both each other and many past cases in terms of size and features. Read More


Rumored iPad Pro appears in new rendering

By Cody Lee on May 1, 2015

The long-rumored “iPad Pro” surfaced in a new industrial rendering on Friday, further fueling speculation that Apple is working on a larger 12-inch tablet. French blog shares the image, calling the device the ‘iPad Air Plus’ and saying that the sketch is dated December 2014.

The alleged rendering offers up dimensions for the Pro tablet, measuring 305.70mm long x 222.60mm wide x 7.20mm deep. Converted to inches, that’s about 12 x 8.7 x 0.30. These numbers line up with those seen in previous renderings of the device, which is expected to have a 12.9″ display. Read More


Apple TV shipping estimates slip to 1-2 weeks ahead of rumored WWDC refresh

By Cody Lee on Apr 30, 2015

Shipping estimates for the Apple TV slipped to 1-2 weeks on the US Apple Online Store today, further fueling rumors that Apple is getting ready to refresh the device. In March, BuzzFeed reported that the company is planning to unveil a new, slimmer set-top box at WWDC in June.

It’s worth noting that some users have reported that the device is showing “in stock” for them online today, but at Check Out many are still seeing later ship times. Regardless, the fluctuation in available stock is consistent with inventory behavior of past Apple products ahead of refreshes. Read More


Time Warner CEO ‘pretty confident’ Apple is launching a TV service

By Cody Lee on Apr 29, 2015

Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes is “pretty confident” Apple is working on a subscription TV service. ABC’s Jon Erlichman reports on Medium today that during Time Warner’s quarterly earnings call, the CEO said that the Cupertino firm is “very forward thinking” on the future of television.

Bewkes’ comments are interesting because Apple and Time Warner recently partnered up to launch ‘HBO Now’ on Apple TV, and rumors have been bouncing around for years that the two were looking to do TV together. In July 2013, Bloomberg reported they were “close” to reaching a deal. Read More


Apple approaching Taylor Swift and other artists for deals to promote Beats Music

By Cody Lee on Apr 10, 2015

Apple has asked Taylor Swift and more than a dozen other artists for exclusive deals to promote its incoming revamped Beats Music service, reports Bloomberg. The company hopes that such deals, particularly with Swift—who has pulled her music from other services—will help attract new users in the increasingly crowded streaming music space.

The move is similar to that of Tidal, the Jay-Z-owned cloud music service that launched earlier this month, and could be the start of a new trend in the space. Artists have long been fed-up with tech firms like Spotify, Pandora and others who pay them the minimum royalty rate, and seem to finally be ready to take matters into their own hands. Read More