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
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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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
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 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
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
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
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
TechCrunch is out with a late report this evening regarding Apple’s supply chain movements ahead of next week’s iPhone event. The outlet claims that it has once again taken over a majority of the shipping space out of China, likely to help move its new handsets.
In fact, Apple’s shipping volume is apparently so high right now, that it’s begun displacing shipments from other manufacturers. TC’s Matthew Panzarino says that shippers, such as FedEx and UPS, are so booked up, it’s causing delays for other major device makers. Read More
Recode reports that Apple has signed on the country’s two largest pharmacy chains—CVS and Walgreens—to participate in its new mobile payment service. The company is expected to unveil the service, alongside two new iPhones, at a media event in Cupertino next week.
This is a big deal for a few reasons. For one, CVS and Walgreens have a combined total of over 15,000 retail locations, giving Apple’s new payment service a significant initial footprint. And two, due to the nature of their business, they tend to see a high rate of transactions. Read More
The Information is out with a new scoop this afternoon, offering up some last-minute details on the so-called iWatch. Most of the report corroborates previous chatter, regarding what the device will look like and do, but it does bring a new topic to light: battery life.
According to the site’s Jessica Lessin, people with knowledge of the project have set low expectations for the iWatch’s battery life. These sources say that the uptime on the wearable will be “disappointing,” although Lessin does say that Apple could be sandbagging. Read More
Bank Innovation shares some new details on Apple’s mobile payments project this afternoon, reporting the company has managed to negotiate deals for lower credit card transaction fees with several banking institutions. This includes JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Capital One, and Bank of America.
Citing sources familiar with the negotiations, the site says that the banks have all agreed to give Apple a flat transaction rate for both in-store and online purchases, which is fairly uncommon in the industry. They will also apparently give the Cupertino firm a 10% discount on all of its processing fees. Read More
Some interesting rumors began bouncing around the tech world earlier today regarding popular Irish rock band U2 and Apple’s big media event next week. The chatter has ranged from the iPhone 6 coming preloaded with the band’s new album, to it performing live after the keynote.
Much of the speculation seems to stem from U2’s secret video shoot in Dublin last week. According to The Sunday Times, the group closed down Samuel Beckett Bridge for the recording and placed black sheets around the set to prevent the public from seeing what they were shooting. Read More