EU orders Apple to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 30, 2016

At a press conference Tuesday, the European Commission’s competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager announced that the European Union has ordered the government of Ireland to collect up to €13 billion, or about $14.5 billion, in back taxes from Apple. The sum represents Europe’s largest tax penalty and a significant increase over the 1 billion figure floated around ahead of the ruling.

Apple will appeal the decision. Read More

 

Bloomberg: new Macs and 5K monitor could debut as early as October

By Cody Lee on Aug 29, 2016

Apple is working on several upgrades to its Mac product line, reports Bloomberg. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, the outlet says the refreshed hardware includes new versions of the iMac, MacBook Air, and the oft-rumored MacBook Pro.

Also in the pipeline is a new 5K standalone monitor. Apple, of course, discontinued its Thunderbolt Display earlier this year, after years without an update. This time around, Bloomberg says the Cupertino firm is collaborating with LG to build its monitor. Read More

 

European Commission to reportedly rule against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal with Ireland

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

According to a 130-page judgment seen by The Financial Times, the European Commission (EC) is set to rule Tuesday against Apple’s sweetheart tax deal it struck with the government of Ireland back in 1999.

The Commission is reportedly set to demand that Ireland recoup over 1 billion euros in back taxes from the iPhone maker, or circa $1.12 billion.

“Apple will on Tuesday be hit with Europe’s largest tax penalty after Brussels ruled that the company received illegal state aid from Ireland,” warns the financial newspaper. Read More

 

Claimed iPhone 7 specs detail screen resolutions, cameras, chips, batteries & more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

Alleged specifications of Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus refresh were leaked this morning on the Chinese social network Weibo by an unknown source. The document appears to detail several technical aspects of the forthcoming devices, including display resolutions, next-generation cameras, chips, batteries and other features. Read More

 

Amazon to take aim at Apple with $9.99 a month music service, due in September

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

Amazon already has a music store, but its catalog of songs is limited and streaming is only available to those subscribed to the company’s $99 per year Prime service. As Re/code said, the online retail giant has also considered a bargain-priced music service that would only work on Echo hardware and be priced at $4 to $5 per month.

Monday, The Financial Times newspaper reported that Amazon has a third offering in the works, a $9.99 per month music-streaming service that would offer the full catalogue of songs that Spotify and Apple offer. Read More

 

Apple Watch 2 could offer a few hours of additional run time via a stronger 334 mAh battery

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 28, 2016

Prolific leakster @The_Malignant today republished a pair of claimed images of a purported battery pack believed to have been designed for a 42mm second-generation Apple Watch. Originally posted by an unnamed source on the Chinese social network Weibo, the tiny battery shows an increased capacity of 334 mAh. By comparison, the original Apple Watch is outfitted with a 245 mAh battery (42mm version) so it’s entirely conceivable that the Apple Watch 2 could offer a few hours of additional battery life—assuming the leaked photo is genuine. Read More

 

Universal wasn’t joking: Lady GaGa’s upcoming new album won’t be an Apple Music-exclusive

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2016

As you know, the major record label Universal Music Group is apparently done with streaming exclusives on Apple Music, Spotify and other services. Sources who spoke with HITS Daily Double caution that the repercussions stemming from the music industry’s disdain for exclusives have forced Universal’s label Interscope to release Lady GaGa’s fifth studio album on a non-exclusive basis.

Now even the album’s dance floor anthem, titled “Perfect Illusion,” would launch as an Apple Music exclusive in light of the industry kerfuffle over digital exclusives—despite the fact that a deal had been in place between Apple, Lady Gaga and Interscope. Read More

 

Sketchy leak reaffirms 32GB/256GB iPhone 7, no 16GB tier

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2016

A sketchy order assembly sheet leaked out by Twitter account @The_Malignant reaffirms many of the previously talked-about features that should come to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come this fall, including a 256-gigabyte capacity model and the lack of the widely criticized 16-gigabyte tier. First spotted by AppleInsider, note that the sheet doesn’t bear any clear designation identifying Apple as the client. Read More

 

YouTube’s new Backstage section will let you share photos, polls, text & more with subscribers

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2016

Just as we’re processing today’s news regarding an upcoming video-sharing app from Apple, a new report claims Google is set to enhance YouTube’s social experience in the fall by unveiling a new Backstage section in the mobile app and on the web.

According to VentureBeat, Backstage will let YouTube users share not just videos, but also photos, polls, links, text posts and more with their subscribers. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Apple developing a new iPhone video-sharing app & deeper social ties in iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 25, 2016

Bloomberg reported Thursday that Apple has been developing a brand new Snapchat-style video editing and sharing application that could launch in 2017 as a standalone download, as well as testing deeper social ties across iOS as part of a newly directed focus to integrate more social networking features within its mobile products. These moves are said to be a response to the success of social services like Facebook and Snapchat, according to people familiar with Apple’s strategy. Read More

 

Major record label reportedly bans “exclusive” deals with Apple Music and other services

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 24, 2016

Apple’s practice of locking down long-term exclusive deals with artists has reportedly drawn ire from Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s biggest major label. Frank Ocean’s recent exclusive deal with Apple was a wakeup call for the industry, with UMG set to curtail its practice of supplying Apple Music and other services with longterm exclusives.

“It’s our job to make sure that there’s not just one winner in music streaming,” a source told BuzzFeed News. Read More

 

Report: Deutsche Telekom to lure customers with 6 months of Apple Music for free

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 24, 2016

German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom is reportedly planning to lure prospective customers into the fold by enticing them with six free months of Apple Music, about a $60 value.

German-language blog iPhone-ticker.de reported Wednesday that Deutsche Telekom is set to announce the offer at IFA in Berlin, Europe’s largest consumer electronics show that runs September 2-7. Read More

 

Obviously fake iPhone 6SE packaging photos are circulating around the Internet

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 24, 2016

Some reputable outlets are running supposed photographs of the supposed packaging for Apple’s supposed ‘iPhone 6SE’ smartphone—despite the fact that the images have been identified as poorly faked Photoshop mockups. The understandable excitement around those obviously doctored shots stems from a very sketchy post by German blog Apfelpage.de.

Earlier in the summer, that outlet made unsubstantiated claims that Apple might market the iPhone 7 under the ‘iPhone 6SE’ moniker or perhaps release an updated iPhone SE with iPhone 6-style design, neither of which makes any sense to me. Read More

 

Facebook testing autoplaying videos with sound

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2016

What could be worse than those pesky autoplaying videos on Facebook? Autoplaying videos that begin playing audio automatically as you scroll past them in your News Feed, but of course! And that’s precisely what Facebook is currently experimenting with, according to Mashable.

At the moment, the company is currently testing two methods of getting users to watch video with sound: one involving autoplaying videos with sound and the other with an Unmute button on the lower right corner of such videos. Read More

 

Amazon wants to create a $5 per month music service just for Echo owners

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2016

Owners of the Echo wireless speaker with built-in Alexa assistant may soon be treated to Amazon’s new music-subscription service that charges half as much as competing offerings from Spotify, Apple, Google and others. The bargain-priced music service should cost between $4 and $5 per month, Re/Code reports, and would only work on Echo hardware. Read More

 

Apple taps Primax Electronics for some of dual-lens camera modules for iPhone 7 Plus line

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2016

Citing a report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, Asian trade publication DigiTimes reported this morning that Taiwanese supplier Primax Electronics will manufacture some of the dual-lens camera modules for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 Plus flagship smartphone model.

The supplier recently increased its camera module capacity by ten percent, boosting output to twelve million CMOS units per month, of which seventy percent are thirteen-megapixel models that the iPhone 7 Plus might use. Read More

 

How to use Night Mode in the official Twitter app

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

Available on Android since early-summer, Twitter’s Night Mode option has now expanded to its free mobile app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, the company said Monday. If you constantly check Twitter at night or scan your timeline before nap time, this option may help you have a good night’s sleep as Night Mode enables a darker appearance that’s much more appropriate for using Twitter at night. Read More

 

Nikkei: three new iPhones in 2017, including premium model with curved AMOLED screen

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

As you may have probably heard by now, Apple is expected to save its most significant smartphone overhaul—which many rumors said would include a wraparound screen based on advanced organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display technology—for the Tenth Anniversary iPhone next year.

Japanese outlet Nikkei said today that Apple will position an AMOLED iPhone as a new premium choice. The device should come with a screen possibly measuring more than 5.5 inches diagonally. Moreover, existing 4.7 and 5.5-inch models will be updated next year, too, but are expected to retain flat screens like existing iPhones. Read More

 

Apple Store updates: design changes, new & renamed positions + ambitious retail credo

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

During an all-hands meeting held with retail employees this weekend, Apple’s retail boss Angela Ahrendts discussed changes coming to its brick-and-mortar locations while revealing an updated corporate credo that all retail employees are expected to follow.

She also announced three new retail positions—Pro, Creative Pro and Technical Expert—renamed a few existing ones and shared tidbits on Jony Ive-approved store design and layout, as first discovered by MacRumors. Read More

 

Taiwanese pop idol claims he’s been photographed using dual-lens 5.5″ iPhone 7 Plus

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

Taiwanese pop singer, actor and race car driver Jimmy Lin is certainly no stranger to publicity stunts involving Apple leaks. In September 2012, for instance, Chinese social media lit up as he posted photos of himself using a then-unreleased iPhone 5.

Now, the attention-seeking star is back at it: he appears to have been photographed while using a dual-lens iPhone 7 Plus handset in Rose Gold. Read More