WSJ: Apple developing person-to-person mobile payment service that could launch in 2016

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2015

According to The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Apple is in talks with banks in the United States on a brand new person-to-person mobile payment service that would be rival to PayPal’s Venmo platform and could launch as soon as 2016.

According to people familiar with the ongoing talks, it’s unknown at this stage whether any of the banks have cut a deal with the iPhone maker and how the rumored service would tie into the banking industry’s existing infrastructure. Read More


WSJ: Apple speeds up electric car project, now targeting 2019 as a prospective shipping date

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 21, 2015

Apple’s rumored electric project, code-named Project Titan, has sped up development as the Cupertino company now targets 2019 as a prospective shipping date, The Wall Street Journal said Monday.

In fact, Apple has internally designating the rumored electric vehicle as a “committed project” after it spent more than a year investigating the feasibility of an Apple-branded car, including meetings with two groups of government officials in California. Read More


Jony Ive talks Hermès Apple Watch partnership in new interview

By Cody Lee on Sep 11, 2015

In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, Apple design chief Jony Ive reveals that the company spoke to Hermès regarding a possible Apple Watch partnership before the product was announced to the public last fall. “It’s something highly unusual for Apple to do—to talk about an unannounced project,” he explained.

For those who missed the news on Wednesday, Apple unveiled an all new Hermès edition of the Apple Watch that starts at $1,100. The device features custom watch faces, and a Hermès leather band that’s available in multiple colors and three different styles: double tour, single tour and cuff. Read More


Apple designer Marc Newson criticizes auto industry over lack of progress

By Cody Lee on Aug 13, 2015

An interview with the world renown designer and recent Apple-hire Marc Newson popped up in The Wall Street Journal yesterday, covering a wide range of topics. The discussion yielded a number of interesting tidbits, including Newson’s thoughts on automotive design.

When asked what his design pet-peeve is, News responds unapologetically “the automotive industry.” He goes on to elaborate, “there were moments when cars somehow encapsulated everything that was good about progress. But right now we’re at the bottom of a trough.” Read More


Apple believes new iPhones with Force Touch are going to be massively successful

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2015

According to a report Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal newspaper, Apple is putting high hopes into a forthcoming mid-cycle “S”-upgrade to the present-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones.

The company apparently believes that an ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ which, among other things, sport new color options and Force Touch technology for sensing deep presses on the screen, should prove massively popular as it reportedly ordered its suppliers to build a record 90 million units this year. Read More


WSJ: Apple’s $10 per month on-demand music streaming service launching at WWDC next week

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 1, 2015

Contradicting a February 2015 report which asserted that Beats Music would get folded into a new on-demand streaming music subscription service, The Wall Street Journal said Monday that Beats Music will be maintained as a standalone service once Apple launches its new music $10 per month offering at WWDC next week.

Apple, the world’s leading music retailer, is apparently “prepared to cannibalize its download business in favor of streaming.” As part of an all-in bet, Apple may prompt people “who download a $10 album to instead subscribe to the streaming service for $10 a month.”

The new “set of music services” will cost $10 per month, like Spotify, and is said to include “augmented Internet radio” with DJs. Read More


WSJ: slow Apple Watch rollout due to faulty Taptic Engine

By Cody Lee on Apr 29, 2015

Faulty Taptic Engines may be behind the extremely limited availability of the Apple Watch, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the publication says that after mass production of the Engines began in February, quality testing found some of them to be unreliable.

The component, which Apple uses in its Watch to produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist, is made by two suppliers: AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. and Nidec Corp. Apparently some of AAC’s Taptic Engines were found to break down overtime, so Apple has moved a majority of its production over to Nidec. Read More


EU rules e-books can’t be subject to lower taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2015

The top court of the European Union has determined that e-books shouldn’t be treated like their printed counterparts when it comes to taxes and therefore should be subject to higher tax rates, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“But the European Commission signaled it may change the rules next year to allow for equal taxation of books in any form,” reads the report. Read More


Apple’s presence in Israel growing to expand in-house chip design capabilities

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2015

Apple’s focus on designing iPhone and iPad processors in-house is reportedly expanding with news that CEO Tim Cook’s visit to Israel this week is linked to efforts to increase its own chip design prowess, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Cook earlier in the week met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and is expected to meet with former President Shimon Peres later this week. The newspaper added that Apple’ hired most of the Israeli employees of a chip-design division that Texas Instruments shut down in 2013 in Ra’anana, some 10 miles north of Tel-Aviv. Read More


Apple building up to six million Watches ahead of launch

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2015

Apple has commission its suppliers to build five to six million Watch units in the first quarter of 2015, ahead of its April release, The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Tuesday.

Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc is the main assembler of the wrist-worn device. Half of the first-quarter production order is earmarked for the entry-level $349 Apple Watch Sport model, or about three million units. Read More


Alibaba CEO on why a deal with Apple would help Apple Pay take off in China

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2014

Following its report last week alleging that Apple and Alibaba are currently ironing out specifics of an upcoming Apple Pay partnership in China, The Wall Street Journal on Monday published an interview with Alibaba CEO Jack Ma who explained why such a deal would be hugely beneficial to the iPhone maker.

Long story short, the Apple-Alibaba deal would help avoid any regulatory scrutiny that Apple would be subjected to as a new financial player in China. Read More


WSJ: Apple and Alibaba ironing out specifics of Apple Pay partnership

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2014

Following reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook during last month’s visit to China discussed a rumored mobile payments partnership with UnionPay, The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday that the Cupertino firm met with Alibaba’s Jack Ma to reportedly iron out an Apple Pay alliance with the popular Chinese e-commerce company.

This could give Apple Pay a major boost in the 1.4 billion people country. Alibaba, founded in 1999, is the world’s largest online marketplace and has a commanding 80 percent market share in the country.

The company raised a whopping $231 billion during its initial public offering. Cook at the WSJ Digital conference last month hinted (the full uncut interview now available) that his company was in talks with Alibaba regarding partnering on Apple Pay. Read More


The Wall Street Journal posts full video of Tim Cook interview

By Cody Lee on Nov 10, 2014

In October, Apple CEO Tim Cook participated in an interesting on-stage interview at The Wall Street Journal’s inaugural WSJ.D Live conference. During the 30-minute discussion, Cook talked about several topics including Apple Pay, Apple Watch and more.

Of course, Cook has done a handful of high profile interviews in recent months, but he does divulge some new details regarding Apple and its products during this talk. We covered some of the highlights here, but now you can watch the whole thing on video. Read More


Jony Ive: creating Apple Watch posed more challenges than iPhone development

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 31, 2014

Creating the Apple Watch, Apple’s first new category device since Steve Jobs’s passing in late 2011, posed more challenges than iPhone development due to social expectations around wearing a pocket computer on one’s wrist, Apple’s design tzar Jony Ive told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Ive and his team are largely responsible for the look and feel of Apple’s hardware over the past two decades, and since 2011 have been tasked with stewardship of the software and all design across the company.

Here are a few soundbites from the interview. Read More


Tim Cook talks Apple Watch battery, Apple Pay numbers and more in WSJ interview

By Cody Lee on Oct 28, 2014

Tim Cook took the stage earlier tonight at the Wall Street Journal’s inaugural WSJ.D Live conference at the Montage resort in Laguna Beach, California. The CEO participated in a lengthy interview, as well as a Q&A session, which produced some pretty interesting tidbits regarding Apple and its products.

Of course, given that Cook has done a handful of high profile interviews in recent months, you’ve probably heard some of the stuff mentioned at tonight’s event. However, he does offer up some new information regarding Apple Watch battery life, why the iPod classic was discontinued, and other morsels. Read More


New report suggests Apple-GT Advanced deal fell apart over iPhone 6 displays

By Cody Lee on Oct 9, 2014

The deal between Apple and GT Advanced, which involved the former giving the latter a near-$600 million loan, fell apart over iPhone 6 displays, reports The Wall Street Journal. The outlet says Apple expected GT to produce sapphire for the displays of its new handsets, but it either wasn’t tough enough or the yield was too low.

GT Advanced made the surprise announcement on Monday that it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and it had its first hearing this afternoon. We expected the proceeding to offer a better explanation of what happened, but GT was granted a secrecy motion that closed the hearing and sealed all documents. Read More


WSJ: 12.9-inch iPad delayed to 2015, Retina MacBook Air entering production in December

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2014

Due to strong demand for the iPhone 6 Plus, which continues to exhibit a 3-4 week delay on the Online Apple Store, Taiwanese suppliers have reportedly pushed back plans to produce a rumored larger iPad with a 12.9-inch screen to 2015, according to people familiar with the matter cited by The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

The so-called iPad Pro was originally scheduled to enter mass production in December, the financial newspaper added. Moreover, mass production of a new MacBook Air model with “a higher resolution” screen should commence in December, as per WSJ’s sources. Read More


Apple ‘surprised’ by GT Advanced bankruptcy filing, company spokesperson says

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2014

In its first public comment Wednesday following a totally unepxected bankruptcy filing of its supplier GT Advanced Technology earlier this week, Apple now says it was taken aback by such turn of events while confirming its priority going forward will be preserving jobs at the Mesa, Arizona plant that GT had agreed to run on Apple’s behalf.

Company spokesman Chris Gaither said in a written statement to Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and other major outlets that “we are focussed on preserving jobs in Arizona following GT’s surprising decision and we will continue to work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps”. Read More


Tim Cook speaks out on recent iCloud hacks, promises new security measures

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2014

Tim Cook sat down with The Wall Street Journal today, but not to talk about how excited Apple is about next week’s iPhone event. Instead, the CEO answered questions regarding the recent iCloud scandal, which led to the posting of dozens of nude celebrity photos earlier this week.

Apple has already released a statement on the matter, claiming that iCloud and its subsequent services had not been breached. Cook reiterated those claims today, and added that the Cupertino company plans to rollout a number of new security features to make its devices more safe.

Read More


WSJ: NFC-enabled iWatch has ‘a role in mobile payments’, features curved OLED screen

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Adding up to the ongoing conversation about Apple’s purported wearable project dubbed by the media the ‘iWatch’, The Wall Street Journal affirmed Thursday that the fashionable gizmo will connect to the upcoming iPhone 6 via NFC and come in two sizes to appeal to both gender’s preferences.

NFC stands for Near-Field Communication, which is a short-range wireless technology required for the handset’s rumored mobile payment functionality.

In their write-up behind the paywall, reporters Lorrraine Luk, Daisuke Wakabayashi and Greg Bensinger quote people familiar with the matter as saying that both iWatch sizes feature a curved organic light-emitting diode screen, or OLED.

There will be sensors to track and monitor health and fitness data, as expected. According to the Journal, Apple’s use of NFC technology on the iWatch signals that it “sees a role for the device in digital payments”. Read More

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