posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, released yesterday, feature a bright red aluminum casing that many are a fan of. Unfortunately, it comes equipped with a white front plate, much like the Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold iPhones, something that's been a point of criticism for people who think it would have looked better with a black front plate. YouTuber Danny Winget recently tore apart a red iPhone 7 Plus and replaced its logic board and front plate with parts taken from a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus, giving us a glimpse at what an actual (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus with a black front would have looked like. Winget had to replace not only the front plate but also the logic board because if he swapped just the front portion of the device, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor would have been rendered unusable. Apple ties the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to an iPhone's logic board and disables it for security reasons if any of the parts are swapped out. Therefore, most of the internal structure of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone had to be replaced with parts from the Jet Black iPhone. Purchasing an entire Jet Black iPhone 7 or 7 Plus for the purpose of creating a hybrid red/black iPhone 7 is probably out of the question for most people, but it's an interesting proof of concept. This method essentially ruins the Jet Black iPhone 7 involved, making it a rather pricy project, and it destroys the waterproofing seal on the red iPhone. It's also worth noting that this is a highly complicated process that essentially requires tearing apart two iPhones, melding them together, and hoping nothing goes wrong, something that the average person won't want to attempt. For a closer look at the Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone, make sure to check out our hands-on video. Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus went on sale online and in retail stores around the world today, and after a short wait in line, we managed to get our hands on one of the new devices. Made from a matte red aluminum, the red iPhone 7 is super pigmented and bright in real life, but aside from its snazzy new casing, it's identical to existing devices. Check out the video below for our detailed look at Apple's first red iPhone. The new red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can be purchased from the online Apple Store and in retail locations, where supplies seem to be plentiful. There were lines at many stores around the country, however, so it could potentially sell out. Prices for the red iPhone 7 start at $749, with the device available in 128 and 256GB capacities. Pricing for the red iPhone 7 Plus starts at $869. The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are available in the United States and dozens of other countries today, and by the end of March, the device will be available in more than 40 countries and regions.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile today announced the launch of two new anti-scam features designed to cut down on scam phone calls, Scam ID and Scam Block. Scam ID, as the name suggests, alerts customers when an incoming call is coming from a phone number known to be associated with a scam. Scam Block goes one step further, automatically blocking any calls identified as scams by Scam ID. "Every year, three out of four people in the US get at least one scam call--and fraudsters cheat consumers out of more than half a billion dollars per year! It's insane - so we had to do something to protect our customers!" said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "So the T-Mobile team designed a brilliant set of patent-pending technologies -- then built them directly into our network, so there's nothing customers have to do. No hoops to jump through, no app to download. Like most T-Mobile technologies, it just works."Scam ID is powered by a global database that contains "tens of thousands" of known scammer numbers. T-Mobile updates the database in near real-time by analyzing every call that comes into its network with "behavioral heuristics" and "intelligent scam pattern detection." Every call is analyzed to identify and block scammers. Both Scam ID and Scam Block are available on all devices on T-Mobile's network and will be included at no cost. The features are rolling out to customers starting today, and will be available to T-Mobile ONE customers first. New T-Mobile ONE customers will automatically get Scam ID beginning on April 5, while other T-Mobile postpaid customers can enable the feature on that date by dialing #ONI# (#664#). To turn on Scam Block, customers can dial dial #ONB# (#662#). T-Mobile warns that enabling Scam Block could potentially cause customers not to receive legitimate calls, so caution should be used before turning it on. Once enabled, it can be turned off by dialing #OFB# (#632#).Tag: T-Mobile Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has just begun accepting orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad and (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on its online store in the United States and dozens of other countries and regions around the world. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are also available for in-store pickup at select Apple Stores starting today. The new 9.7-inch iPad is equipped with a faster Apple A9 chip and brighter Retina display compared to the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. It is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down. The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2. The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, making it the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold. Apple also offers a 128GB model with Wi-Fi for $429, while cellular-capable 32GB and 128GB models are available for $459 and $559 respectively in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. The tablet is now available to order on Apple's website in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Turkey, and other countries will follow in April. Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad will be available to purchase in Apple Retail Stores, through select carriers, and at Apple Authorized Resellers starting next week in the United States and more than 20 other countries. The first online orders are estimated for delivery between March 31 and April 5. Apple's special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are also now available to order on Apple's website in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for $749/$849 and $869/$969 respectively. Initial orders are slated for delivery on Tuesday, March 28 in the United States. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones have a vibrant red finish complemented by a silver Apple logo and white front bezels. Apple said the models are in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), which gives customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund in support of HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. If you want a red iPhone today, try your local Apple Store. It’s in stock right now around the world. pic.twitter.com/hJt8o5sXF7— Joe Rossignol (@rsgnl) March 24, 2017 The special edition iPhone joins the current (PRODUCT)RED lineup, which is available to purchase year-round, including the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The new (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are available as early as today at many Apple Retail Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores. Apple said the new models will begin shipping to customers by the end of March in the United States and more than 40 countries and regions around the world.Related Roundups: iPad, iPhone 7 Tags: (PRODUCT)RED, Apple retail Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple took down its online store early this morning as the company prepares to launch its special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in more than 40 countries around the world. Internet users attempting to access the store section of the U.S. site are being met with the familiar "We've got something special in store for you" placeholder, accompanied by a relaunch time of 8:01 a.m. Pacific Time, which is when Apple previously said it would officially be launching the new red colorway iPhone. Apple is also launching a new lower priced 9.7-inch iPad, new Apple Watch bands, iPhone cases in new colors, and new storage tiers for the iPhone SE and the iPad mini 4. Apple is also due to discontinue the iPad mini 2. The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for the same $749/$849 and $869/$969 prices as the equivalent iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models in standard colors. The anodized aluminum's vibrant red finish has a white Apple logo and white front bezels. It's very unlikely that the message relates to anything other than updates to the online ordering process to reflect the new products, but we'll keep readers updated as soon as we learn more. (Thanks, Andrea!)Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: (PRODUCT)RED Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
In response to a series of CIA documents leaked this morning that outline exploits the government used to gain access to Macs and iOS devices, Apple gave a statement to TechCrunch claiming that the documents are old and that the vulnerabilities outlined in the leak have long since been patched. Apple says the iPhone vulnerability only affected the iPhone 3G and was fixed in 2009, while all Mac vulnerabilities were fixed in Macs launched after 2013. We have preliminarily assessed the Wikileaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released. Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged Mac vulnerabilities were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013. We have not negotiated with Wikileaks for any information. We have given them instructions to submit any information they wish through our normal process under our standard terms. Thus far, we have not received any information from them that isn't in the public domain. We are tireless defenders of our users' security and privacy, but we do not condone theft or coordinate with those that threaten to harm our users.The new documents, part of an ongoing "Vault 7" leak focusing on the United States Central Intelligence Agency, were released by WikiLeaks this morning. Codenamed "Dark Matter," the documents primarily covered techniques for exploiting and accessing Macs through a peripheral device like a USB stick. An iPhone exploit, called "Night Skies 1.2," was also featured, adding to the range of "Year Zero" iPhone exploits that were shared by WikiLeaks last week. All of the Dark Matter and Year Zero documents can be found on WikiLeaks. Additional Apple-related hacks and exploits may surface as the Vault 7 series continues, and it will take time for security analysts and experts to determine the impact of the leaks. While Apple says all of the exploits have been patched, its results are preliminary. Should any remaining exploits be unaddressed, Apple will undoubtedly fix them quickly. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: WikiLeaks Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's widely rumored high-end iPhone with a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display will launch in September, although the majority of stock may not be available until later in the fourth quarter, according to the latest research from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh The prediction suggests that Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone, which has been variously dubbed the iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, will still be available in limited quantities in September. However, shipping estimates could slip to several weeks out just minutes after pre-orders begin. An excerpt from the Barclays research note obtained by MacRumors:Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs. We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4.Barclays contradicts a recent report that claimed the 5.8-inch iPhone will be announced alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, or the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but might not go on sale until much later. By the sounds of it, availability of Apple's first iPhone with an OLED display could be similar to the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black, which was virtually nowhere to be found through the holiday shopping season last year. When an Apple Store or reseller happened to get a few Jet Black models in stock, they sold out almost instantly. The analysts, citing information from Apple's supply chain following a trip to Asia earlier this month, also reiterated their expectations for the 5.8-inch iPhone, corroborating many predictions already made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at revealing Apple's plans. Barclays said the phone will feature a 5.8-inch display with 5.15 inches of usable screen, as Kuo said. It expects Touch ID to be embedded in the display, and the remaining space could be for virtual buttons. It believes the device will have wireless charging, but without charging accessories in the box. It said the 5.8-inch iPhone's stacked logic board design will provide more space for a larger battery and other components, as Kuo previously said. Other features Barclays expects include a front-facing 3D sensor module, the same dual camera setup as the iPhone 7 Plus, and a film-based Force Touch solution.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: Barclays Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
WikiLeaks today continued its "Vault 7" series by leaking details concerning CIA-related programs that were built with the intent to infest iMac and MacBook devices. Today's "Dark Matter" installation of Vault 7 follows a few weeks after WikiLeaks debuted "Year Zero," which focused on exploits that the CIA created for iOS devices. In a response the same day that Year Zero came out, Apple said that many of the vulnerabilities in the leak were already patched. Now, WikiLeaks is shedding light on Mac-related vulnerabilities and infestation programs, which the leakers claim "persists even if the operating system is re-installed." The project in question, created and spearheaded by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch, is called the "Sonic Screwdriver" and represents a mechanism that can deploy code from a peripheral device -- a USB stick, or the "screwdriver" -- while a Mac is booting up. According to WikiLeaks, this allows an attacker "to boot its attack software" even if the Mac has a password enabled on sign-up. In the report, it's said that the CIA's own Sonic Screwdriver has been stored safely on a modified firmware version of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. Besides the Doctor Who-referencing exploit, Dark Matter points towards yet another bounty of CIA programs aimed at gathering information, infesting, or somehow crippling a Mac device. "DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants. Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStake" are also included in this release. While the DerStake1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0. Dark Matter isn't exclusively Mac focused, however, and includes a few new iPhone exploits in the round-up as well. One is called "NightSkies 1.2" and is described as a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the iPhone that is designed to be physically installed on an iPhone directly within its manufacturing facility. This conspiracy-leaning exploit is said to date back to 2008 -- one year after the first iPhone debuted -- and suggests, according to WikiLeaks, that "the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008." While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise. The full list of the new Dark Matter documents can be found on WikiLeaks, and we're likely to see more Apple-related WikiLeaks as the Vault 7 series continues. As it was with Year Zero, it'll still take some time for security analysts and experts to determine the full impact of today's leaks. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: WikiLeaks Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
In response to a ransom threat in which hackers are claiming to have access to more than 600 million iCloud accounts, Apple told Fortune there have been no breaches of its systems. Instead, if the hackers do have access to iCloud accounts, Apple suggests previously compromised third-party services are at fault. From an Apple spokesperson:There have not been any breaches in any of Apple's systems including iCloud and Apple ID," the spokesperson said. "The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.Apple's response follows a report from Motherboard that suggests a group of hackers known as the "Turkish Crime Family" have claimed to have access to hundreds of millions of iCloud accounts. The Turkish Crime Family has threatened to reset the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victims' Apple devices if Apple does not pay $150,000 in Bitcoin or Ethereum by April 7. If Apple does not pay in three days, the group plans to increase the amount of money it is asking for. Originally the group was believed to have access to 300 million icloud.com, me.com, and mac.com email addresses, but that number later jumped to 627 million due to additional hackers allegedly stepping forward to provide account credentials. The hackers say at least 220 million of the login credentials are verified to work and do not have two-factor authentication enabled. With Apple denying a breach, the iCloud account information has likely been obtained from major hacking incidents that have affected companies like Yahoo. iCloud users who have the same username and password that was used for both a hacked site and for iCloud should change their passwords immediately. The Apple spokesperson also told Fortune the company is "actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved," but did not outline what specific steps are being taken to monitor the situation beyond "standard procedure." Apple recommends that all iCloud users choose strong passwords, use different passwords for different sites, and turn on two-factor authentication to protect their accounts.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has acquired well-known and popular automation app Workflow, reports TechCrunch. The deal was reportedly finalized today for an unspecified sum. Workflow, first released in 2014, is an automation tool that can essentially do anything. It allows users to create a variety of workflows to accomplish tasks like creating GIFs from a series of photos, pulling images from a web page, translating an article, posting photos to multiple social networks at once, calculating a tip, and tons more. It is equipped with a built-in Gallery, which allows people to quickly find and use a wide range of automation tasks, and it can be used to create custom automations. Apple is purchasing the Workflow app and the Workflow team, including Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, and Nick Frey will be joining the company."We are thrilled to be joining Apple," said Weinstein in a statement. "We've worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kickstarting our company as students attending WWDC to developing and launching Workflow and seeing its amazing success on the App Store. We can't wait to take our work to the next level at Apple and contribute to products that touch people across the world.Apple confirmed the acquisition of Workflow, which notably received an Apple Design Award in 2015 for its excellent accessibility features, likely one of the reasons behind the purchase. Typically apps acquired from Apple disappear from the App Store, but Workflow will remain available and will be made free starting later today. The Gallery will continue to be updated on a regular basis, as will app integrations. Beyond the app, it is not clear what Apple will do with Workflow in the future, and whether it will be built into future versions of iOS and macOS, but it is definitely a possibility. TechCrunch speculates that it could be used alongside Siri in the future, or perhaps be the backbone of powerful automation tools for the iPad. Tags: Apple acquisition, Workflow Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple yesterday announced the newest addition to its iPad lineup, somewhat confusingly called the "iPad" and known officially as the "5th-generation iPad," following in the footsteps of the fourth-generation model that was released before the iPad Air. Designed to replace the iPad Air, the iPad comes with a tantalizingly low price tag: $329. It is Apple's most affordable tablet to date and it's a competitive price point that will allow the iPad to better compete with lower-priced Android offerings. What do you get for $329? As it turns out, quite a lot. The iPad is a little bit iPhone 6s, a little bit iPad Air, and a little bit iPad Air 2. In a nutshell, compared to the iPad Air 2, the iPad has a brighter display and a faster A9 processor (first introduced in the iPhone 6s). Other internal hardware seems to be very similar to what's included in the iPad Air 2, with the exception of the display and the casing. Camera, battery life, Wi-Fi, LTE, and other sensors are all nearly the same. The iPad does not include a laminated display, and is thus thicker, much like the original iPad Air. It measures in at 7.5mm thick, compared to the 6.1mm iPad Air 2. The thickness and accompanying weight discrepancy is noticeable and the one downside between the new iPad and its predecessor. Compared to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the new iPad is, of course, significantly inferior, which is why it's priced at $329 and not $599. It does not support the Apple Pencil or the Smart Keyboard (no Smart Connector), and it lacks many of the display improvements, including True Tone color shifting and wide color gamut. The iPad has a slower processor than the iPad Pro, an inferior camera (8-megapixel vs. 12-megapixel rear and 1.2-megapixel vs. 5-megapixel front), two speakers instead of four, a slower LTE modem, and of course, since the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the same size as the iPad Air 2, the iPad is noticeably thicker and heavier. If you're looking for top of the line hardware and accessory support, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the tablet to buy, but if you don't need the bells and whistles, the iPad is a steal at its price point. Performance wise, it's going to run all the latest games and apps, it'll take decent pictures, it still has a high-quality Retina display, and it features a 10 hour battery life, so it will hold up for several years, especially when doing basic tasks like web browsing and emailing. Click for larger version For those looking for a bit more, Apple is rumored to be planning to introduce an updated ~10-inch iPad Pro model that's going to replace the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The ~10-inch model is said to have smaller bezels and perhaps an edge-to-edge display, allowing it to feature a bigger screen in a 9.7-inch-sized body. That tablet was originally rumored to be coming in the spring, but now it's looking like we won't see it until later in the year. Based on rumors, it may be worth the wait for those willing to shell out more money for the best technology. Apple plans to start selling the new iPad on Friday, March 24. The entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only model will be priced at $329, and a 128GB model is available for $429. Wi-Fi + Cellular models are available at a $130 premium, so $459 for 32GB and $559 for 128GB. For more details on Apple's new iPad, make sure to check out our official iPad roundup. And for details on the upcoming iPad Pro updates, check out our iPad Pro roundup.Related Roundups: iPad, iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution), 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
With the news earlier today that Apple has ditched the PRODUCT(RED) branding for the red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in China, MacRumors reached out to CEO Tim Cook to find out if any of the proceeds on sales in the country would still be donated to charity in the fight against HIV/AIDS. MacRumors' question: We noticed the (PRODUCT)RED branding is missing from the new red iPhone 7 on the China Apple website. Will you be donating any of the proceeds from the phone's China sales to the HIV/AIDs cause anyway? Tim Cook's response: We donate to the Global Fund on every iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus we sell in every country in the world. Since the omission of the branding came to light, there's been some speculation that recent changes in Chinese law prevent not-for-profit organizations from being involved in commercial advertising. Whatever the truth of the matter, it appears Apple will be upholding its (PRODUCT)RED charitable donations commitment with or without said branding. Apple's special edition red iPhone 7 models, due to be launched on Friday in more than 40 countries, are the first iPhones to join Apple's (PRODUCT)RED line-up. Apple said the new handset color was in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and the charity (RED), offering customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund and "bring the world a step closer to an AIDS-free generation". Other Apple products in the (PRODUCT)RED range that are available all year round include the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tags: China, Tim Cook, (PRODUCT)RED Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
iPhone was the world's most popular smartphone last year, in terms of global shipments, according to research firm IHS Markit. iPhone 6s took the top spot as the most-shipped smartphone in the world in 2016, trailed by the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus, based on research from IHS Markit's Smartphone Shipment Database, which tracks quarterly shipment data for more than 350 smartphone models. Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge took the fifth spot, followed by the low-cost Galaxy J3 and several other Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S7. Notably absent was the Galaxy Note7, which was recalled last year due to safety concerns after some units were found to have defective batteries. Apple's lead over Samsung is impressive given that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were launched in March 2016, around six months prior to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. The mid-range Galaxy J3, Galaxy J5, and Galaxy J7 also preceded the latest iPhone models when they launched in April 2016. The above chart makes it hard to determine exactly how many shipments each smartphone model had last year, but it looks like the iPhone 6s had somewhere around 60 million shipments, while the Galaxy S7 edge and other Samsung smartphones are around the 25 million mark. iPhone 6s Plus is mistakenly labeled twice. IHS Markit did not immediately respond to a request for exact shipment figures, but this article will be updated accordingly when we hear back. Oppo's A53, a popular smartphone in markets such as China and India, was the only smartphone not manufactured by Apple or Samsung to make the list. Huawei, the world's third largest smartphone maker after Samsung and Apple, did not have any of the top ten smartphones shipped last year, IHS said. Apple's iPhone 6s was similarly declared the world's most-shipped smartphone in the second quarter of 2016 by research firm Strategy Analytics, ahead of the iPhone 7, and if IHS Markit's data is accurate, then Apple's last-generation smartphone remained most popular through to the end of last year. It is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. Apple does not break out iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis in its quarterly earnings results.Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 Tag: IHS Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa are being put through their paces in a "tech incubator" hotel chain, in order to determine which voice assistant brings more to the table for guests wanting to order room service, control lights, change TV channels, adjust the temperature, and more (via Bloomberg). The main incubator for the test is happening in Aloft Hotels, which are owned by Marriott. The Aloft Hotel in Boston is using Amazon Echo devices and a collection of iPhones and iPads to gather information on which voice assistant will ultimately best serve guests in the long run. Marriott hasn't divulged information on who might be the winner as of yet, but the company did say that it expects to decide if it will expand the test to more chains besides Aloft Hotels "as early as mid-year." Marriott expects to decide whether to adopt the technology for one or more of its chains as early as mid-year, potentially boosting sales for the device of choice. More important, it will increase the winning company’s exposure in the market for voice-activated devices, which are gaining more mainstream traction. “Those two players are in the game right now,” said Toni Stoeckl, who oversees the Aloft, Element, AC and Moxy chains as global brand leader for lifestyle brands at Marriott. There are almost 130 Aloft hotels in the U.S., and more than 100 additional ones planned. Carolina Milanesi, a market analyst with Creative Strategies, compared the introduction of voice assistants into hotel rooms to when the hospitality industry began putting iPhone docking stations into rooms so guests could easily charge their phone and listen to their own music. Still, personalization with the voice assistants remains a key question for the new tests. As of now it's unclear whether guests will be able to somehow access their own accounts to use Alexa and Siri, or be treated with a "standard set of skills relevant to a hotel stay," concerning news reports, weather forecasts, and other default commands that might be easier for guests unfamiliar with voice assistant technology. In regards to the overall voice assistant battle over hotel rooms, Alexa currently appears to be winning. Amazon's assistant and its connected speaker system Echo are now helping out guests in hotels like the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, with Alexa devices installed in 10 of 1,002 rooms and plans to add around 100 more as early as next month. On an even bigger scale, the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas plans to equip all 4,748 rooms with an Echo speaker by this summer. Although most users agree Siri is inferior to other assistants from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, Apple isn't out of the running yet in the battle to win hotel rooms, and Siri's advantageous support of multiple languages could give it a leg up over its competition with international travelers. According to Toni Stoeckl, Marriott's global brand leader, the company is searching for which voice assistant can become the "ideal solution" and ultimately turn into "a global platform" with Siri or Alexa installed at multiple of its locations around the world. Stoeckl said that the company should have an indicator of where it's headed by the end of 2017, so "the race is still on." Marriott’s Stoeckl said his company is “looking for the ideal solution to make this a global platform.” Aloft hotels act as a “tech incubator” for new concepts, and a successful test may determine whether digital assistants -- and which ones -- are installed at other Marriott chains, he said. Of course that means that neither assistant could win, but the company said it will continue to test both out in its Aloft Hotels, and even plans to add more "concierge-like" services in the future, which hint that more personalized experiences are likely to be introduced. These include the ability to connect with a guest's personal smartphone to fuel actions like setting an automatic wake-up temperature or creating an activation time to open the room's drapes. Voice assistants continue to be a dominant factor in the smartphone and tablet market, and thanks to devices like the Echo speaker, they're expanding into unique product categories as well. Reports have been scarce lately, but last year Apple was said to be "pressing ahead" into prototype testing for its own standalone Siri speaker. The Cupertino company is also believed to be working on "enhanced Siri" capabilities that should beef up the assistant's presence on iOS devices, likely to begin with this year's "iPhone 8."Tags: Siri, Amazon, Amazon Echo, Alexa Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Early this morning, Apple unveiled new Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, which feature a vibrant red aluminum finish paired with a silver Apple logo and white front bezels. While the new red iPhone models won't be available for purchase until Friday, March 24, tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee got his hands on one of the new devices early, and has shown it off in the first (PRODUCT)RED iPhone unboxing video. The (PRODUCT)RED iPhone ships in a box decorated with red text and a red iPhone, and inside, there's a (PRODUCT)RED insert alongside the regular manuals. Aside from that, the packaging is the same as other iPhone models with a charging cable and Lightning EarPods. Brownlee's first reaction to the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone was "Wow, this thing is really red and really good looking." He goes on to say that it's as "ridiculously good as you think," and calls it the most photogenic iPhone he's seen in a long time. According to Brownlee, in person, the device has an almost satin finish that is super saturated, and because it's not as dark as the Matte and Jet Black iPhones, it isn't as prone to showing fingerprints. Brownlee is not a fan of the white front of the device (he calls it "goofy") and says he'd prefer it with a black front. Apple release the Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to celebrate more than 10 years of partnership with the (RED) charity. All (PRODUCT)RED purchases let customers contribute to the Global Fund to join the fight against HIV and AIDS. Over the course of its 10 year partnership with (RED), Apple has been responsible for donating more than $130 million and is the largest corporate donor to the Global Fund. The new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone models are available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities, priced at $749/$849 for the iPhone 7 and $869/$969 for the iPhone 7 Plus. As mentioned above, the new devices will go on sale on Friday in more than 40 countries around the world.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Apple didn't hold an official event to make major announcements this week, but there was a mini press release extravaganza that saw the company introduce new hardware products, a new app, and improvements to existing devices. A new 9.7-inch iPad debuted with an impressively low $329 price point, and there's now a red aluminum iPhone 7. New Apple Watch bands are out, there are iPhone cases in new colors, Apple is about to release an app for making videos, and the iPhone SE and the iPad mini 4 got new minimum storage tiers and pricing drops. We've recapped everything Apple announced today in the video below, and we've rounded up all of our new product coverage. - Apple Debuts New 9.7-Inch iPad With A9 Chip to Replace iPad Air 2, Starting at $329 - iPad Mini 4 With 128GB of Storage Now Starts at $399 as 32GB Model Discontinued - Apple Unveils Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus - Apple Announces Video Creation iOS App 'Clips' - Apple Doubles iPhone SE Storage to 32GB and 128GB - Apple Watch Gets New Striped Woven Nylon, Classic Buckle, and Standalone Nike Sport Bands - Apple Launches New Silicone and Leather iPhone 7 Case Colors - Apple Discontinues iPad Mini 2 - Swift Playgrounds Now Available in Five Additional Languages While we saw new devices today, there's still quite a bit on the horizon. The much-rumored ~10-inch iPad with a revamped design has yet to make an appearance, and we're still awaiting a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, too, along with Kaby Lake Macs and the highly anticipated iPhone 8. With no event coming up in the near future, we may be waiting until June's Worldwide Developers Conference or the fall to see many of these new releases but make sure to keep an eye on MacRumors for the latest rumors on Apple's launch plans.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced a new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition on its online store, following a scheduled "maintenance" break this morning. The new color option is described as a vibrant red aluminum finish in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), which Apple says give customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund and "bring the world a step closer to an AIDS-free generation". “Since we began working with (RED) 10 years ago, our customers have made a significant impact in fighting the spread of AIDS through the purchase of our products, from the original iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition all the way to today's lineup of Beats products and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "The introduction of this special edition iPhone in a gorgeous red finish is our biggest (PRODUCT)RED offering to date in celebration of our partnership with (RED), and we can’t wait to get it into customers' hands."The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at $749 and from Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). The special edition iPhone joins the current (PRODUCT)RED lineup, which is available to purchase year-round, including the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo 3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The new red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus model will be available to order online worldwide and in stores beginning Friday, March 24.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today introduced a new lower cost 9.7-inch iPad that starts at $329 for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and $459 for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. “iPad is the world’s most popular tablet. Customers love the large, 9.7-inch display for everything from watching TV and movies, to surfing the web, making FaceTime calls, and enjoying photos, and now it is even more affordable,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “New customers and anyone looking to upgrade will love this new iPad for use at home, in school, and for work, with its gorgeous Retina display, our powerful A9 chip, and access to the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for it.” iPad is available to order beginning Friday, March 24, from Apple.com and starts delivering to customers and arriving next week in Apple Stores, through select carriers and Apple Authorized Resellers (prices may vary) in the US and more than 20 countries and regions, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Turkey and other countries and regions will follow in April. Brazil, Taiwan and other countries and regions will follow in May.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that the iPad mini 4 now offers more capacity for the same price. The 128GB model with Wi-Fi now starts at $399, which was previously the price for the 32GB model with Wi-Fi, which has been discontinued. A cellular model with 128GB of storage is also available for $529. Japanese website Mac Otakara had claimed that Apple would release a 7.9-inch iPad Pro, but other analysts had disagreed, and it turns out the rumor was indeed incorrect, at least for now. Apple has also introduced a new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad and discontinued the iPad mini 2 as part of its tablet lineup refresh. The newly priced iPad mini 4 is available now on Apple.com in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray with next-day shipping. Related Roundup: iPad mini 4 (2015) Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's online store has been taken offline for a scheduled "maintenance" break between midnight and 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time. The extended downtime is fueling hopes that fresh hardware will be available when the store is brought back online, as has been the case many times in the past. Apple traditionally invites the media to Special Events to unveil new products, but it does not have one planned for today. Accordingly, any additions or changes to Apple's online store today are likely to be minor, and a press release would be an appropriate medium for sharing the announcements. Lending credence to this theory is that 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time happens to be exactly when Apple typically distributes press releases. Rumors suggest Apple is planning updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, a 128GB iPhone SE, a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and new Apple Watch bands, all of which could be minor enough to simply be added to Apple's online store and announced with press releases. Less likely to be announced today is a rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro sporting slimmer bezels that allow for an edge-to-edge display, which seems too significant to be unveiled without an Apple event. If so, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro could be introduced at an upcoming Spring event, WWDC 2017, or possibly even later. One rumor said Apple would host an event in March, but that appears increasingly unlikely at this point. Apple has yet to invite the media to said event, and there are only ten days remaining in the month. A subsequent report said Apple will host an event in April, coinciding with the opening of its new Apple Park campus. Apple's online store has gone down roughly six hours before many of its recent Special Events, while today's maintenance break is scheduled to last five and a half hours. Apple said its online store will be "updated" during this time, suggesting that at least something new might be coming today. So-called "maintenance" really could just be maintenance, but the classic "We've got something in store for you" placeholder notice on the sites suggests something more. We'll know for sure in just a matter of hours, so keep checking back.Tag: Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's upcoming 2017 iPhone will feature a design that's similar to the original iPhone, according to industry analysts who spoke to Korean site ETNews [Google Translate]. The site says the iPhone will use a "water drop design" that's an homage to the original iPhone, with a rear curve that is both gentler and rounder than existing metal case edges. Apple is said to be using a three-dimensional glass material on the back of the iPhone 8 to make it more closely resemble the deeper curves on the case of the original iPhone. It would, of course, be much larger than the first iPhone, with rumors suggesting a 5.8-inch display, and it would undoubtedly be much thinner. The "3D glass case" is said to "make curves" around the top, bottom, left, and right edges of the iPhone, moving away from the less curved, flat back design that was introduced with the iPhone 4 and has been used in every iPhone up to the iPhone 7. Apple used a curved aluminum and plastic design for the original iPhone and plastic alone for the iPhone 3G. Shape wise, the iPhone 8 is said to resemble the first iPhone, but it will use all glass, similar in design to the plastic used in the second iPhone. While an original iPhone-style curved back is rumored to be included, ETNews agrees with existing display information and suggests the OLED screen of the iPhone 8 will be "relatively flat." It will not feature a dramatically curved edge like the Samsung Galaxy line. There have been several mixed rumors about the curve of the iPhone 8's display due to difficulty interpreting details about what constitutes a curve, but information seems to be aggregating around a 2.5D design that features a similar curve to the existing iPhone 7. We expect the display, which is said to be edge-to-edge with no side bezels, to curve just slightly downward at the edges much like the cover glass of the iPhone 7. Little has been said about the rear design of the 2017 iPhone, so there is no information to back up the claims shared by ETNews as of yet. Rumors do, however, suggest that it will indeed use an all-glass body, with Apple planning to move away from aluminum. There has also been speculation that the 2017 iPhone will be celebrated and introduced as a 10th anniversary device, and in that light, an homage to the original iPhone makes some sense, but these design rumors should be viewed with some skepticism until confirmed by additional sources.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: etnews.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the eighth beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update to developers and public beta testers, four days after seeding the seventh macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta and two months after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.3. The eighth macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta is available for download through the Apple Developer Center or the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store for those who have previously installed a beta. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS's Night Shift mode to the Mac for the first time. First introduced on iOS devices with iOS 9.3, Night Shift is designed to gradually shift the display of a device from blue to yellow, cutting down on exposure to blue light. Blue light is said to disrupt the circadian rhythm and is believed to interrupt sleeping patterns. Night Shift can be activated through the Displays section of System Preferences, where a setting to have it come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise is available. Night Shift can also be toggled on manually through the Notification Center or via Siri. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The 10.12.4 update focuses mainly on Night Shift, but also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket scores for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and iCloud Analytics options. Few outward-facing changes have been discovered in macOS Sierra 10.12.4 outside of the first beta, as Apple has been working on bug fixes and improvements ahead of a public release. With the eighth beta out and the short interval since the last seed, we are getting closer to the end of the beta testing period and are likely to see a public release soon.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has updated its System Status page to indicate that its online store will be "updated and unavailable" due to "maintenance" tomorrow, Tuesday, March 21, between 3:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The timing of the downtime will naturally stir speculation given that Apple is rumored to launch new products as early as this week. Moreover, Apple commonly issues press releases at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, which is exactly when the so-called "maintenance" update is scheduled to be completed. Last week, a well-known research firm that requested confidentiality told us that, based on their own sources, it expects Apple to announce new products later this month, most likely during this week. The research firm did not say which products it expects, or the manner in which they will be announced. The research firm did not disclose which products it expects Apple to announce, but rumors have widely suggested at least a trio of new iPad Pro models will be unveiled as early as this month, including an all-new 10.5-inch model with slimmer bezels and updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions. Given that it is already March 20, and that Apple usually invites the media to its launch events at least 10 days beforehand, an update to its online store accompanied by a press release is likely at this point if new products are imminent. Japanese blog Mac Otakara said Apple will host a March event to debut its new iPad Pro lineup, a larger iPhone SE model with 128GB storage, new Apple Watch bands, and a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but this rumor is looking increasingly unlikely with only 11 days remaining in March. Apple recently redesigned its System Status page to provide more granular details about the status of its services, so there is no precedence for it foreshadowing new product announcements this way. In saying that, it is certainly possible that the downtime will indeed be related to maintenance and nothing else. (Thanks, Nathan!)Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tags: system status, Apple retail Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
It's been known that Apple has people working on augmented reality initiatives for future devices, which range from the technology's inclusion in a future version of the iPhone to separate "mixed reality" glasses. Today, a Bloomberg report has gathered all of the speculation surrounding Apple and AR together, while also providing some insight into a few lesser-known areas of Apple's AR project. Apple's augmented reality team is said to combine "the strengths of its hardware and software veterans," along with new additions within the company, according to people familiar with Apple's plans. The team is run by Mike Rockwell, who came from Dolby, and also consists of Yury Petrov (formerly of Oculus), Avi Barzeev (formerly of HoloLens), Cody White (formerly of Amazon's VR project "Lumberyard"), Tomlinson Holman (formerly of Lucasfilm), and more. A concept image of what AR on future iPhones could look like. The total scope of Apple's AR team is rounded out by many camera and optical lens engineers, as well as "people with experience in sourcing the raw materials for the glasses." Apple has even included talent from 3D animation company Weta Digital, which worked on films like Avatar and The Lord of the Rings. This team of individuals, along with AR advocate Tim Cook, see the new technology as a way for Apple "to dominate the next generation of gadgetry and keep people wedded to its ecosystem." Apple has built a team combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal strategy. Run by a former Dolby Laboratories executive, the group includes engineers who worked on the Oculus and HoloLens virtual reality headsets sold by Facebook and Microsoft as well as digital-effects wizards from Hollywood. Apple has also acquired several small firms with knowledge of AR hardware, 3D gaming and virtual reality software. The separate glasses are said to still be "a ways off," but AR integrated iPhone devices could show up much sooner, said the inside sources. Bloomberg compared the AR glasses to the Apple Watch, mentioning that the technology would come with its own OS and likely be tethered to an iPhone to send images and content to the user while consuming a lot of power, forcing Apple to find a battery life solution that would fit in the wearable's small frame. In addition to battery problems, Apple will have to find a way to convince users to wear the glasses in the first place. Explanations regarding the usefulness of AR on an iPhone remain scarce, but some feature details were also provided by Bloomberg today. The camera-specific abilities include ways for users to change the depth of an entire photo, or the depth of a specific object in the photo. In the past, Apple has cited interest in such technology, filing a patent for a digital camera with a refocusable imaging mode adapter that could be included in an iPhone. Former CEO Steve Jobs even met with a company, Lytro, who created the first light field camera. Hundreds of engineers are now devoted to the cause, including some on the iPhone camera team who are working on AR-related features for the iPhone, according to one of the people. One of the features Apple is exploring is the ability to take a picture and then change the depth of the photograph or the depth of specific objects in the picture later; another would isolate an object in the image, such as a person's head, and allow it to be tilted 180 degrees. A different feature in development would use augmented reality to place virtual effects and objects on a person, much the way Snapchat works. Apple is believed to be working on virtual reality technology, in addition to its interest in augmented reality, but with the success of apps like Pokémon Go the rumor cycle has taken to suggest that the company is betting more on AR. It's still unclear when a product including either piece of technology might launch. Recent concept images of the "iPhone 8" have taken a crack at visualizing AR features on an Apple smartphone, baking in "enhanced Siri" abilities and augmented reality directly into the user interface. Although many companies continue to invest time and money into both AR and VR, data collected by a number of market research firms late last year suggested that sales for such devices were weakening amid consumer apathy, grown out of a lack of interesting content and expensive prices. Related Roundup: Apple VR Project Tag: bloomberg.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Fresh leaks of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 have revealed that the de facto "iPhone 8" rival will come in three colors and cost upwards of 799 euros ($859) when it goes on sale next month in Europe. Serial mobile leaker Evan Blass revealed the news in a Sunday tweet, which included an official press image of Samsung's new flagship phone in colors described as Black Sky, Orchid Grey, and Arctic Silver. Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus (top to bottom) in black sky, orchid grey and arctic silver (left to right) pic.twitter.com/ISo7W10sYV— Evan Blass (@evleaks) 19 March 2017 A second tweet offered the pricing details, with the 5.8-inch S8 starting at 799 euros and the 6.2-inch S8 Plus going for 899 euros ($967). Blass also revealed the prices of a handful of accessories set to launch with the phone, including a DeX docking station (150 euros/$161), a new GearVR headset (129 euros/$138), and a Gear 360 camera (229 euros/$246). While direct currency conversions are no guarantee of actual prices outside of Europe, the phones still look likely to undercut Apple's upcoming 5.8-inch OLED iPhone by some margin. Tentatively dubbed "iPhone 8" by media outlets, the tenth anniversary edition model could cost upwards of $1,000, according to one report claiming knowledge of Apple's plans. The premium tier device is expected to feature a radical redesign with a virtual home button and some form of wireless charging, launching alongside more typical "S" cycle iPhone models to succeed the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Samsung's S8 will feature iris scanning and facial recognition technology in addition to fingerprint recognition, with a new virtual assistant called "Bixby" also to debut. The Korean company will launch its new phones at an event on March 29, with the devices said to ship to consumers on April 21. Apple's 2017 iPhones are expected to launch in the fall.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S8, Samsung Gear Discuss this article in our forums

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