iPad refresh could include a bezel-free 10.9-inch model

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2016

Apple should update both iPad Pros next year, with analysts from the banking and financial services company Barclays calling for a brand new model to be added to the lineup. Supply chain sources Barclays recently quizzed think the new iPad Pro model will have a screen measuring 10.9 inches.

And because that tablet is expected to adopt an all-new bezel-free design, its 10.9-inch screen could be fitted inside the current 9.7-inch package. Read More

 

AirPods production said to kick off in December

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2016

A report earlier this week alleged that one of Apple’s European resellers told a customer it would receive first AirPods stock on November 17 and start selling the earphones by November 18-19.

Contradicting the story, Barclays analysts heard chatter in the Asian supply chain that mass production of the delayed accessory is scheduled to kick off in December in time for Christmas, but in limited quantities, Yahoo Finance reported Friday. Read More

 

Analysts: curved-screened iPhone 8 to come in 5″ and 5.8″ varieties with bezel-free design

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2016

After analyzing the latest chatter in Apple’s supply chain following a trip to Asia this week, Barclays Research analysts predicted the Cupertino firm will offer a next-generation ‘iPhone 8’ in 2017 in two sizes, one with a screen measuring five inches and the other featuring a 5.8-inch display.

Because the handsets will utilize curved screens, they’re expected to have a bezel-less design allowing them to increase display size while retaining the same overall size as the current 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones. Read More

 

Instagram confirms live video streaming is coming to its mobile app

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2016

According to Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom in the Financial Times newspaper this morning, the popular photo-sharing service will be gaining the ability to stream live video. “Live is really exciting for us,” Systrom said without detailing when it’ll launch in the mobile app. Russian news outlet Tjournal.ru was first to report that Instagram appears to have been testing the upcoming feature with a subset of its Russian users. Read More

 

Apple screen supplier Japan Display could receive government bailout

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2016

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple supplier Japan Display could receive a bailout of around ¥75 billion ($703 million) from the government-backed fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), which is its largest shareholder with a 36 percent share.

People familiar with the matter said that the display maker might receive new financing from INCJ through an issuance of subordinated bonds and may possibly get “additional support” from the fund. Read More

 

Ireland is cheering in favor of Apple in EU state aid tax ruling

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2016

In August, the European Commission slammed Apple with a tax bill from hell over a sweetheart deal it received from Ireland—which, in the Commission’s view, constitutes “illegal state aid”.

Dublin promptly promised to join Apple’s fight against EU and it’s put its money where its mouth is.

Michael Noonan, Finance Minister in the Irish government, said that Dublin today challenged the EU judgment by submitting an appeal to the European courts in a bid to block the decision, ArsTechnica reports. Read More

 

Apple is increasing the size of its Siri team in Cambridge, job ads reveal

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2016

About a year ago, a certain California firm quietly snapped up VocalIQ, a UK-based startup that used machine learning to build conversational virtual assistants. Subsequent reports noted that Apple kept most of the startup’s employees to work out of their unmarked Cambridge, UK office on integrating VocalIQ technology into Siri.

Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, Business Insider reports that Apple is now looking to increase the size of the Siri team in Cambridge. Read More

 

AirPods could launch next week, according to this Apple reseller

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 10, 2016

AirPods, Apple’s Bluetooth earphones featuring the company’s in-house designed W1 wireless chip, may be launching next week. That’s the gist of a new report Thursday from German blog Apfelpage.de. The publication cited Apple’s European reseller Conrad as confirming that it’ll receive stock of the delayed earphones on November 17.

Conrad will reportedly make the AirPods sellable by November 18-19. The AirPods were originally advertised with a “late October” launch date until Apple said it needed more time to work out the issues. Apple.com currently lists them tentatively as “coming soon”. Read More

 

Vine could potentially live on as Twitter reviews multiple offers from prospective suitors

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

Twitter is currently entertaining multiple purchase offers from potential Vine buyers, meaning the once very popular shortform video-sharing service could live on assuming Twitter manages to sell it, according to a new report from TechCrunch. As you know, Twitter last month announced plans to phase out the video-looping social networking app. After acquiring the startup behind the Vine app, Twitter released Vine on the App Store in January 2013. Read More

 

Apple aggressively boosting MacBook Pro orders with 15M estimated shipments in 2016

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

As the Internet keeps whining about supposed lack of features on the new MacBook Pro (let’s bring back the floppy drive, shall we?) and Apple’s master plan to make us buy more dongles, the Cupertino firm appears confident in the face of strong criticism that its latest notebook is indeed going to appeal to the general public and mainstream users.

According to supply chain chatter echoed by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Apple’s been pretty “aggressive” in placing orders for the new MacBook Pros. Read More

 

AT&T to give away Apple TV if you subscribe to at least 3 months of DirecTV Now service

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2016

Variety is reporting today that U.S. wireless carrier AT&T will incentivize customers to subscribe to its DirecTV Now Internet-based live TV service by gifting a free Apple TV to each and every customer who commits to at least three months of paid service. AT&T earlier this month announced plans to acquire the media conglomerate Time Warner for $80 billion. Read More

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 to integrate Viv personal assistant developed by Siri creators

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2016

As we reported, Samsung last month bought Viv Labs, a San Jose startup co-founded by former Siri creators who have developed a brand new Viv artificial intelligence assistant. The Galaxy maker has now confirmed to Reuters that it will be integrating Viv technology into an advanced personal digital assistant of its own.

Samsung’s Viv-based AI assistant will debut on next year’s Galaxy S8. According to The Wall Street Journal, the handset should have a dedicated button to summon the new service though the Galaxy S8 may be delayed until April following the costly Note 7 debacle rather than at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February. Read More

 

Rumor: Apple could add new Jet White finish to iPhone 7 lineup

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2016

The fairly reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara is reporting that Apple is considering adding a brand new colorway to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus lineup: Jet White. Based on purported information received from suppliers, the outlet speculates Apple may be planning to add a Jet White model to the iPhone 7 lineup, although plans could change and Apple could abandon the idea. Mac Otakara cautioned that its sources “may be unreliable.” Read More

 

KGI: no iPhone SE refresh in Spring 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2016

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting iPhone sales will drop in the first quarter of 2017 because he is not expecting a refreshed iPhone SE model that could perhaps reinvigorate demand during the slow post-holiday quarter.

Kuo’s note to investors Friday says Apple’s been putting pressure on component makers to reduce prices in order to protect its high gross margins that are the envy of the industry. Read More

 

KGI: Apple’s AR tech could end up in autonomous driving system

By Cody Lee on Nov 2, 2016

KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo issued a new research note to investors on Wednesday regarding his vision for Apple’s augmented reality efforts. In the letter, the noted analyst says that we likely won’t see these efforts for 1-2 years, but when we do they will redefine Apple’s current products and open up new categories. Read More

 

CNBC: there’s no Time Warner bid coming from Apple “at this point”

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 2, 2016

U.S. wireless carrier AT&T recently announced it had agreed to buy Time Warner in a blockbuster deal valued at more than $85 billion.

Apple reportedly approached the media giant recently about a possible deal, but the discussions were only preliminary and didn’t move forward.

With the AT&T-Time Warner merger requiring regulatory approval that could take months, things could easily change so no wonder watchers have been keeping their fingers crossed for Apple to step in and make a rival bid for Time Warner.

However, “Apple is not interested in buying Time Warner at present,” people familiar with the thinking at the company told CNBC on Wednesday. Read More

 

Next-generation MacBook Pro could adopt brighter & sharper OLED display technology

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 2, 2016

Forget about Apple’s just-refreshed MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar and Touch ID: Korean outlet ET News says the next refresh to the Pro might swap out LCD panels for the more power-efficient OLED screens not unlike AMOLED displays found on flagship Samsung smartphones and tablets.

“Apple is currently looking into ways of using OLED panels for MacBooks and testing their performance,” reads the report. In addition to power savings, an OLED screen on a future MacBook Pro could render brighter colors, provide better contrast and fast response speed whilst enabling ultra high resolutions. Read More

 

AirPods may not ship until January 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 1, 2016

After Apple shared disappointing news that the much vaunted AirPods aren’t quite ready yet and won’t meet its self-imposed late-October deadline, a new report from Chinese-language Economic Daily News re-published Tuesday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes suggests that Apple’s first-ever wireless earphones may not actually go on sale before January of next year. Read More

 

KGI: new MacBook Pros coming in 2017 with price cuts, 32GB RAM option

By Cody Lee on Oct 31, 2016

KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo says he expects 2017 to be a solid year for Apple’s MacBook Pro line. The reliable Apple analyst issued a note to investors on Monday, saying that he believes Apple will introduce price cuts for the MacBook Pro, as well as internal upgrades with support for up to 32GB of RAM.

The note comes less than a week after Apple introduced its all-new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID at a media event in Cupertino. The laptop has been met with a fair amount of criticism over its high price tag—the 13-inch model is up $500 over its predecessor—and lower-than-expected specs. Read More

 

Apple said to be considering lowering Apple Music price

By Cody Lee on Oct 31, 2016

Apple is considering a price drop for its streaming music service, reports Digital Music News. The outlet cites multiple sources claiming that if implemented, the drop could be as much as 20%, lowering individual plans to $7.99 and the family plan to $12.99. Read More