posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
In December, Samsung asked the United States Supreme Court to hear a final appeal in its ongoing patent battle with Apple, which would potentially nullify a $548 million settlement awarded to Apple. In a lengthy document filed with the court this afternoon (via Foss Patents), Apple urges the Supreme Court to deny Samsung's request, accusing the company of raising issues that do not "deserve review" in an effort to prolong court proceedings. Samsung has claimed that the jury did not adequately understand the patents in question because members weren't provided with enough explanation by the court. The South Korean company has also suggested the case has wider implications that could encourage design patent trolls, an assertion Apple refers to as a "doomsday warning" based on "extreme hypotheticals."Samsung's effort to make this case seem certworthy depends on a made-up narrative in which Samsung, not Apple, is the innovator, despite the overwhelming evidence that Samsung copied the iPhone's innovative design. [...] Once Samsung's diversions are swept aside as they should be, the actual issues it presents do not deserve review. The decisions below broke no new legal ground; they simply applied the statute and well-settled law to the extraordinary record of infringement and copying in this case.Apple goes on to say that Samsung has had its day in court and while the litigation is "high-profile," it is "legally unexceptional" and Samsung has not presented a legitimate reason as to why the court should prolong it. While Apple doesn't feel Samsung's case is worth the Supreme Court's attention, Facebook, Google, and other technology companies have all urged the court to take on Samsung's appeal to overturn the ruling in Apple's favor. A major concern is the amount that Samsung was forced to pay for its design patent infringement -- nearly $400 million -- and the implication it has for similar disputes in the future. Samsung has already paid the agreed upon $548 million settlement to Apple, but should the Supreme Court take on the case and rule in Samsung's favor, Apple would be required to pay back the money. Samsung's Supreme Court appeal was a last ditch effort, and should the Supreme Court refuse to hear the case, Samsung will not be able to recoup its money, putting an end to a patent battle that's been going on since 2012.Tags: Samsung, patents Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Universal search, which allows users to find content across multiple apps and services using text or Siri voice search, is one of the most useful features on the new fourth-generation Apple TV. At launch, universal search worked with iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime, but Apple promised to expand the feature to include additional content sources over time. Apple has made good on that promise. As of today, searching for content on the Apple TV will encompass the aforementioned apps along with FOX NOW, FXNOW, and National Geographic. Apple also expanded universal search to include PBS and PBS Kids in January. Apple maintains a full list of apps that are included in the Apple TV's universal search feature in a dedicated support document. The new channels aren't listed yet, but should be added to the document in the near future. Universal search across iTunes, HBO GO, HBO NOW, Hulu, Netflix, PBS, PBS Kids, Showtime, Showtime Anytime, FOX NOW, FXNOW, and NAT GEO is limited to Apple TV users who are located in the United States. Content from these apps will be displayed when a user asks Siri to find a movie or television show or conducts a text-based search. In Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK, universal search only encompasses movies and TV shows on iTunes and Netflix, and with all other countries, search is only available for movies in iTunes. Apple plans to continue opening up its universal search API to additional apps going forward.Related Roundup: Apple TV Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Following Apple's first quarter earnings report, Apple executives hosted a Town Hall meeting with Apple employees to answer questions and to divulge a few details about the company's future plans. 9to5Mac has shared highlights of what was covered at the event. While much of what was said was reiterating information that was shared during the earnings call, there are a few tidbits worth noting. When it comes to the iPhone and the rumor that Apple has perhaps reached "peak iPhone," Cook said the device is the "greatest business of the future" with growth potential in key emerging markets like India and China. He said Apple does not need to launch a less expensive device with pared-down features to entice buyers in these markets, as research suggests people will spend more for a better experience. These comments relate directly to the upcoming "iPhone 5se," which some rumors have suggested will be positioned as a less powerful, lower-end device, though not a cheap one by general smartphone standards. On the Apple TV and tvOS, Cook said the two products point towards a "bright" future for Apple, but he didn't mention how Apple might expand its presence in the living room going forward. tvOS is Apple's way of giving content providers the tools to offer streaming television solutions to customers after having failed to launch its own streaming service due to difficulties with negotiations. The most recent TV-related rumors suggest Apple is exploring the possibility of original content, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon. Cook also reportedly expressed excitement over future products coming from the company's software, services, and hardware divisions. In the next few months, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, new bands for the Apple Watch, and perhaps new Retina MacBooks and Retina MacBook Pros. Later in the year, Apple is also expected to introduce the highly-anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. He also teased "far off" hardware products coming beyond 2016, perhaps hinting at the company's work on the Apple Car or its exploration of virtual and augmented reality. Recent rumors suggest Apple is prototyping virtual reality headsets similar to the Oculus Rift. The last bit of interesting information was on Apple Campus 2, the company's second "spaceship" campus that's under development in Cupertino. Construction appears to be on track to be finished at the end of 2016, as Cook says the first employees will move into the campus by the end of January 2017. He also said the new underground auditorium will allow Apple to hold events on its grounds instead of at venues in San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area. The meeting also included more mundane information on upcoming time-off benefits for Apple employees, flagging iPad sales, new solutions for retaining employee talent, and Apple's supply chain, which can be read at 9to5Mac.Tag: Tim Cook Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
The latest data from Mixpanel shows that approximately 32.22% of active iPhone users still have a 4-inch screen. That is the same screen size as the so-called "iPhone 5se" that Apple is expected to announce at its rumored March 15 event. Apple has released three iPhone models with 4-inch screens since 2013, including the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s, and some customers still feel these smartphones have the best screen size for pocketability and one-handed usage. Apple's newest 4-inch smartphone, the iPhone 5s, represented just under 20 percent of current iPhones in use, trailed by the iPhone 5 at 7.53 percent and the plastic-backed iPhone 5c at 5.66 percent. The numbers fluctuate slightly in real time. In the company's latest earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that 60 percent of older-generation iPhone users have yet to upgrade to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus. Right now, customers that want a 4-inch iPhone have to settle for the over two-year-old iPhone 5s's outdated tech specs, and the smartphone also lacks many new features such as Apple Pay, 3D Touch, and Live Photos. For that reason, the "iPhone 5se" with a rumored 4-inch screen, Apple's newest A9 chip, Live Photos, and purported price of around $500 may prove to be a more popular option among prospective iPhone buyers.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect that many users may be unable to access, purchase, or update apps on the App Store on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Multiple other iCloud services are or were also experiencing downtime, including the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, iCloud Drive, and iWork for iCloud. The issues began shortly before 7:00 a.m. Pacific and appear to be widespread, affecting customers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere, according to social media posts. Apple TV services and Apple's Volume Purchase Program are also affected by the service issues. This article will be updated as the status of Apple's services changes.Tags: App Store, iTunes, iCloud, downtime, system status Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Apple Pay is now available at more than 2 million retail locations, with merchants such as Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A and Au Bon Pain set to accept the system in stores imminently, reports The Business Times. Online clothing retailer Zappos.com also added Apple Pay to its iPhone and iPad apps on Tuesday, following a number of requests from customers to use the feature. The announcement by Apple comes alongside news that the mobile payment service exceeded the company's goal to make it available at 1.5 million locations by the end of 2015. In-app purchases using the service also more than doubled in the last six months of 2015 compared with the first half, says the company. Despite the upbeat announcement, Apple still has work to convince U.S. customers to use Apple Pay at retail stores. According to a survey by consumer researcher Pymnts and InfoScout, 16.6 percent of people who own newer iPhones tried Apple Pay in October, an increase from 9 percent in November 2014. Apple Pay is set to expand to China early this year, making it the fifth country to adopt the payments service since its U.S. launch in October 2014. The service expanded to the United Kingdom in July 2015, followed by Australia and Canada last November in partnership with American Express. Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain are also expected to gain support later this year.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Apple was today found guilty of willfully infringing on four patents in an ongoing dispute with VirnetX and has been ordered to pay $625 million in damages, reports CNBC. The patents in question relate to virtual private networking (VPN) protocols and in today's ruling, the jury decided that Apple's FaceTime and iMessages service, along with the iOS devices that support those services, infringe on VirnetX's intellectual property. The patent dispute between Apple and VirnetX dates back to 2010, with a jury intially awarding VirnetX $368 million in 2012 after Apple was found guilty of infringing on VirnetX patents. That decision was thrown out in September of 2014 after the damages were found to have been incorrectly calculated, but a damages retrial that started last week led to the decision handed down this afternoon. VirnetX originally requested $532 million in damages, an amount that was inflated to $625 million taking into account the willful infringement ruling and royalties. Ahead of the jury's decision, Apple filed a request asking U.S District Judge Robert Schroeder to declare a mistrial, accusing VirnetX of misleading and confusing the jury during its closing arguments. Schroeder has not yet made a ruling on the request. Tag: VirnetX Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Sony, the manufacturer behind many the camera sensors used in Apple's iOS devices, recently confirmed that its dual-lens camera platform will be featured in devices from "major smartphone players" in 2016. The information was shared by Sony CFO Kenchiro Yoshida during the company's recent Q3 2015 earnings call and was highlighted by Xperiablog. Sony's camera technology is used by a wide range of smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, and Yoshida declined to name specific companies that would take advantage of Sony's dual-lens camera platform. Dual-lens technology has previously been used in smartphones such as the HTC M8, but it may soon become a more popular option following rumors that Apple plans to incorporate a dual-lens system into its iPhone 7 Plus. iPhone 7 mockup with dual-lens camera system (Image: Computer Bild) Apple is said to be planning to use dual-lens technology it acquired from Israeli camera company LinX in the iPhone 7 Plus, but Apple may still be incorporating Sony sensor components into its camera module. Apple is also said to be testing dual-lens camera samples from a range of manufacturers in Taiwan, Japan, and China. According to Yoshida, dual-lens camera systems will be coming from multiple major smartphone manufacturers this year, but because of slowdowns in the high-end smartphone market could impact production, 2017 will be the year when the dual lens camera platform really takes off.Well, for next year, our so-called dual lens - dual camera platform will be launched by, we believe, from major smartphone players. However, as I said previously, recently, our smartphone market is growing and particularly, our high-end smartphone market is now slowing down. So, that may impact the demand or production schedule of dual camera smartphones by the major smartphone manufacturers. So, we believe the real start, the takeoff of smartphone with dual lens camera will be in the year of 2017."Rumors have suggested Apple is planning to incorporate a dual lens camera system into the iPhone 7 Plus to differentiate it from the iPhone 7, which will continue to offer a more traditional single-lens camera. Should Apple follow through with its plans, its first dual-lens system will debut towards the end of 2016, likely in September. The launch of the iPhone 7 is still multiple months away, but details about the new device have been steadily trickling out. Yesterday, MacRumors shared information on the device's design, which is expected to be similar to the iPhone 6s design but with a flush rear camera and no antenna bands across the back. Other rumors suggest it will have improved water resistance and no headphone jack.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Square has announced that its new NFC reader that enables small businesses to accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other contactless payments can now be purchased from Apple online or in stores for $49. The reader is compatible with NFC-equipped smartphones, including the iPhone 6 or newer, and contactless Chip-and-PIN debit and credit cards based on technologies like American Express ExpressPay, MasterCard PayPass, and Visa payWave. The small square-shaped reader functions like other NFC-enabled payment terminals, allowing users to wave an iPhone, paired Apple Watch, or contactless Chip-and-PIN card near the reader for a few seconds to complete a purchase. Apple Pay is accepted at more than 1 million locations in the U.S., but its early rollout has mostly been limited to larger franchises. Square's new NFC reader, and similar products, will help expand Apple Pay to smaller businesses across the country.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tags: NFC, Square Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Apple acquired firmware security company LegbaCore in November 2015, according to security researcher Trammell Hudson, who revealed the acquisition in his presentation at the 32C3 conference in December. LegbaCore's goal, according to founder Xeno Kovah, is "to help build systems that are as secure as we know how to make." In November, Kovah and fellow LegbaCore founder Corey Kallenberg revealed that they had joined Apple as full-time employees. Just a couple days before that, LegbaCore's website announced that it would "not be accepting any new customer engagements", noting that the website would remain up "to serve as a reference for LegbaCore's past work." LegbaCore had collaborated with Hudson on Thunderstrike 2, the first firmware worm to affect Mac computers. The malware is impossible to remove, resistant to both firmware and software updates. LegbaCore and Hudson had alerted Apple to Thunderstrike 2's vulnerabilities and Apple began work on fixes, issuing one in June 2015. On Twitter, Kovah said that Apple began discussions with LegbaCore after the consultancy's presentation in summer 2015. It soon became clear to Kovah and Kallenberg that Apple had "some *very* interesting and highly impactful work" that the two could participate in. They were eventually convinced to wind down LegbaCore's existing contracts and begin work at Apple. What did Apple hire us to do? We can’t say. :) Well, we can probably say something like “low level security” (I don’t know our job titles)— Xeno Kovah (@XenoKovah) November 10, 2015 While LegbaCore is a security consultancy firm that doesn't own any specific technology, it's likely Apple will use Kovah and Kellenberg's talent and knowledge to help improve firmware and software security in future iterations of Apple's various hardware and software products. LegbaCore's work includes research on Thunderstrike 2, "dead code" for BIOS attacks and more. (Thanks, Jost!)Tags: security, acquisitions Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iPhone 7 isn't expected to launch until the usual September timeframe, but we're starting to get our first hints of what we might be able to expect for the new device. According to a source who has provided reliable information in the past, the iPhone 7 body will appear very similar to the design used for the iPhone 6 and 6s, with two significant exceptions. The first involves the rear camera, which protrudes slightly on the iPhone 6 and 6s. On the iPhone 7, the camera is said to sit flush with the rear casing, enabled by a thinner camera module. Recent rumors have indicated Apple is considering equipping the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens rear camera, but the smaller iPhone 7 is expected to include a more traditional camera. Mockup of iPhone 7 case showing flush rear camera and no antenna bands across rear The other significant change with the body of the iPhone 7 is the removal of antenna bands across the rear, allowing for a cleaner all-metal look on the back. Antenna bands at the sides and around the top and bottom edges are said to remain, however. Our source has been unable to confirm whether the device as a whole will be thinner than the iPhone 6 and 6s, although any thickness reductions would be expected to be slight, and many users (particularly those who use their devices without cases) will likely find the flush rear camera to be a significant improvement even if other dimensions remain the same.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's next media event, where it is rumored to announce updates across three product categories, is tentatively planned for Tuesday, March 15, according to 9to5Mac. The date could change over the next six weeks.As the scheduled event is still a month-and-a-half away, the date could conceivably still shift or turn into an online announcement. The media event would be Apple’s first since September, and much like the fall event, is planned to touch on three major product categories for the company.At the media event, its first since September, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives are expected to introduce the new 4-inch "iPhone 5se" and iPad Air 3, alongside minor Apple Watch updates, including new bands. Apple's new 4-inch iPhone is rumored to feature an A9 chip with M9 motion coprocessor, 1,624 mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.2, Apple Pay, VoLTE, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and 16GB and 64GB storage models, but 3D Touch appears unlikely. The so-called "iPhone 5se" will reportedly ship in late March or early April, and will likely replace the iPhone 5s. Apple's smartphone lineup come September is expected to be the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 5se. Details surrounding the iPad Air 3 are less clear, but leaked design drawings and aftermarket cases suggest the new 9.7-inch tablet could have a rear-facing LED camera flash, Smart Connector, and four speakers like the iPad Pro. Taiwanese website DigiTimes also said the iPad Air 3 will have a high-resolution 4K display and up to 4GB of RAM, but the report is questionable due to the publication's mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans. Last, earlier rumors suggested an "Apple Watch 2" could debut around March, but the wrist-worn device will likely only receive minor updates, including new bands and possibly a FaceTime camera, at next month's purported media event.Related Roundups: iPad Air 3, Apple Watch, watchOS 2, iPhone 5se (2016), iPhone 6c Buyer's Guide: iPad Air (Don't Buy), Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Taiwan-based Largan Technology as well as Japan- and China-based camera lens makers have sent dual-lens camera test samples to Apple for potential inclusion in its next-generation iPhone, according to sources from the upstream supply chain (via DigiTimes). The same source notes that Largan currently supplies over 60 percent of Apple's smartphone cameras, leading some market analysts to believe Apple is seeking dual-camera products from other makers to lower potential risks. iPhone 7 mockup with dual-lens camera system (Image: Computer Bild) Taiwan-based website DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but its sources within the upstream supply chain have proven reliable in the past. The report also follows predictions by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that two 5.5-inch versions of the "iPhone 7 Plus" are in development, one with a single iSight rear-facing camera and another boasting a dual-camera design. The rumored iPhone 7 Plus model with a dual-lens camera system would take advantage of imaging algorithms that Apple acquired through its purchase of Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging last year. Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tags: cameras, digitimes.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Google's parent company, Alphabet, is encroaching on Apple's status as the most valuable company in the world, reports CNN. While Apple is currently on top, a surge in Alphabet shares today gave it a market valuation of $533.4 billion, briefly surpassing Apple's valuation of $532.7 billion on a 1 percent stock drop. Alphabet shares dropped shortly after, leaving Apple at a higher valuation, but the numbers could shift again tomorrow following Alphabet's first financial earnings report this afternoon. Alphabet is expected to announce overall revenue growth of close to 15 percent with a 20 percent increase in earnings per share. Over the course of the last several months, Apple shares have fallen steadily, dropping its peak valuation of $740 billion to ~$540 billion. Despite record earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2016, with revenue of $75.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $18.4 billion, Apple has not bounced back from rumors that the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s are not selling well and concerns that the company has reached "peak iPhone" with no replacement product on the horizon. Apple is in for a rough second quarter as the company is expected to announce its first ever decline in iPhone sales and its first year-over-year revenue drop in thirteen years. Currency headwinds caused by a strong U.S. dollar are costing Apple a significant percent of its earnings compared to the year-ago quarter.Tags: Google, Stock, Alphabet Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's "spaceship" second campus is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2016, and with 10 months to go, construction is progressing rapidly on both the main ring-shaped building and several auxiliary buildings, including the underground auditorium, the visitor's center, and the Tantau addition, where research and development will take place. Drone pilot Duncan Sinfield has shared a February campus update with MacRumors, giving us one of our closest looks yet at the ongoing construction and progress that's been made since our last update in January. Starting last month, the window panels that make up the unique curved glass exterior began going up, and with additional panels added this month, there's a clear look at what the completed building will look like. With much of the exterior nearing completion, cranes are now lifting parts of the roof into place on the main building, and the roof for the underground auditorium will soon be attached. A solar array has also been affixed to one of the two parking structures. When finished, Apple's second campus will include the 2.8 million square foot ring-shaped main building, several parking structures, a 100,000 square foot fitness center, a 120,000 square foot auditorium, and a dedicated visitor's center, all surrounded by lush green landscaping. Construction on the campus is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2016.Tag: Apple Campus 2 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
A new drawing of the unannounced iPad Air 3 highlights the dimensions of the device, with the potential for the third generation iPad Air to have similar dimensions as the iPad Air 2 (via Engadget). According to the image, the iPad Air 3 will be 6.15 mm thick and 169.6 mm wide, meaning the new tablet would end up about 0.05 mm thicker and 0.1 mm wider than the iPad Air 2. Since the dimensions are so close to one another, and factoring in the possibility for rounding and measurement errors, it's a good possibility that the iPad Air 3 will be around the same size as the second generation iPad Air tablet. Image via Engadget Today's drawing also supports previous rumors surrounding the iPad Air 3's potential features, including a four-speaker design to boost audio quality in the same vein as the iPad Pro. A Smart Connector port can be seen on the side of the device, which would give the new iPad support for accessories like a Smart Keyboard. Previous case leaks and rumors for the iPad Air 3 have been less consistent on the inclusion of a Smart Connector, with some showing a cutout for the accessory port and some not. The sketch also supports the rumored addition of a rear-facing LED flash onto the iPad line, which would make the iPad Air 3 the first of Apple's tablets to get the feature. At the company's September event last year, only the iPad mini received a refresh, along with the debut of the iPad Pro. Due to its elongated lifespan, the iPad Air has been rumored to get its own update during the first half of 2016, potentially at a March media event.Related Roundup: iPad Air 3 Tag: engadget.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
The latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker show that Apple remains the largest vendor in a declining tablet market, shipping 16.1 million iPads in the fourth calendar quarter of 2015. While the iPad continues to be the best-selling tablet, its worldwide market share remains only 24.5 percent despite the all-new iPad Pro launching in early November. iPad shipments declined 24.8 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, when they totaled 21.4 million for 28.1 percent market share. The stagnant iPad sales during the holiday shopping season may be more attributable to the lack of an iPad Air refresh in 2015, however, as the iPad Pro outsold Microsoft Surface tablets in its debut quarter in what IDC describes as a "successful" launch. "Despite lukewarm reviews, the iPad Pro was the clear winner this season as it was the top selling detachable, surpassing notable entries from Microsoft and other PC vendors," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst with IDC. "It's also important to note that the transition towards detachable tablets has presented positive opportunities for both Apple and Microsoft. However, Google's recent foray into this space has been rather lackluster as the Android platform will require a lot more refinement to achieve any measurable success.Samsung continued to be the second largest tablet vendor with 9 million tablets shipped in the fourth quarter for 13.7 percent market share, an 18.1 percent year-over-year unit decline. Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei rounded off the top five, with 5.2 million, 3.2 million, and 2.2 million global tablet shipments in the fourth quarter respectively. All other tablet vendors had a combined 45.8 percent market share. iPad sales have declined for eight consecutive quarters year-over-year due to, among other reasons, longer tablet refresh cycles compared to smartphones. Apple is rumored to introduce a new iPad Air 3 at a March media event, which could help combat the decline alongside the iPad Pro and iPad mini 4, but most of those sales will fall within the second calendar quarter of 2016. Overall tablet shipments in 2015 totaled 206.8 million, down 10.1 percent from 230.1 million in 2014.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tags: IDC, Microsoft Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple yesterday relaunched its "Shot on iPhone" advertising campaign, showcasing a selection of impressive still photos taken using its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s handsets. According to TIME, the new ad campaign comprises 53 images from 41 amateur and professional photographers from around the world. Each photo shot on Apple's flagship phones is set to appear on billboards across 85 cities in 26 countries. Shot on the iPhone 6s Plus and processed with VSCOcam (Photo: Erin Brooks) The move follows last year's "Shot on iPhone 6" photography campaign, which featured a selection of filtered and unfiltered still images sourced from social media feeds. That campaign began with a gallery of photos on Apple's homepage, before rolling out across print media, transit station posters and billboards worldwide. While the 2015 ads featured a range of photographic subjects from landscapes to extreme close-ups, this year Apple has chosen to focus on portraits. One of the photographers featured in the latest campaign is Erin Brooks, whose portrait of her three-year-old daughter (above) shot on an iPhone 6s Plus was posted on Instagram and picked by Apple. Brooks told TIME:I honestly couldn’t believe that they contacted me. Photography for me, has been a huge creative outlet. It has taught me so many things about telling a story with an image, capturing someone’s personality, and it helped me move out of my postpartum depression… Taking photos of my daughters, and their blossoming connection of sisterhood, helped me get well. I started to notice the pure beauty of my life, and connect with it, and with them, on an even deeper level.The iPhone marketing push comes just weeks after Apple reintroduced its global "Start Something New" campaign, which features an online gallery of creative work made by artists using Apple products and apps.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Last week, a design drawing surfaced claiming to show an iPad Air 3 with a few differences compared to the current iPad Air 2, most notably a stereo four-speaker design similar to the iPad Pro and an apparent LED flash located below the rear camera. The design drawing likely came from a third-party manufacturer, and these companies apparently now feel comfortable enough to begin producing cases based on the design, as seen through Chinese site Alibaba's 1688.com business portal (via Nowhereelse.fr). The new low-cost cases currently selling at around $3–4 each in quantities of 500 or more and even cheaper for greater quantities match the earlier design drawing, including two slots on each of the top and bottom edges to accommodate the device's speakers, and a teardrop cutout on the rear to fit the camera with an LED flash below. At least one of the cases appears to have a cutout along the left side that matches the shape and location of the Smart Connector used to dock and power accessories such as keyboards on the iPad Pro. A Smart Connector was not observed in the design drawing from last week and does not appear to be included on the other case being offered for sale. Other features appear identical to the iPad Air 2, including a decently large cutout high on the right edge of the device for the volume buttons, and small holes on the right edge and next to the rear camera for microphones. Additional cutouts for the headphone jack and power button on top and the Lightning port on the bottom are also present. Apple opted not to update the iPad Air lineup last September when it debuted the iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro, and a new iPad Air 3 has been rumored for release during the first half of this year, most likely at a March media event.Related Roundup: iPad Air 3 Tag: case leak Buyer's Guide: iPad Air (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has expanded its research efforts in virtual and augmented reality, building out a large team that is experimenting with headsets and other technologies, reports Financial Times in a detailed post on the company's virtual reality work that covers recent hires and acquisitions. Hundreds of employees are part of a "secret research unit" exploring AR and VR, with the team consisting of experts hired through acquisitions and poached from Microsoft and Lytro, the company that developed the Immerge, a Light Field power camera able to blend live action and computer graphics for a live action VR experience. Apple has also hired Doug Bowman, said to be one of the leading virtual reality experts in the United States. In addition to recent AR/VR-related acquisitions Metaio, Faceshift, and Emotient, Apple has also just purchased Flyby Media, a startup that worked on augmented reality technologies. Flyby Media created an app that worked with Google's "Project Tango" smartphone with 3D sensors, allowing messages to be attached to real world objects that were then viewable by one of Google's devices. Most notably, Apple's AR/VR team is said to have built prototype virtual reality headsets that are similar to the Oculus Rift and the Hololens from Microsoft. Multiple prototypes of "possible headset configurations" have been created in recent months, with Apple's interest reportedly inspired by the Oculus Rift. It is not clear if and when Apple's work on a headset prototype will make it past the development stage into an actual product, and the company often secretly works on technologies that never see the light of day. The scope of what Apple is building is also unknown, but Financial Times says that the company's work could potentially be useful for the Apple Car project. Apple has had a team working on virtual and augmented reality technologies since at least early 2015, when rumors suggested there were a small number of employees investigating how Apple could incorporate the technologies into its products. Apple's interest in virtual reality dates back much further, however, and Apple has filed multiple patents over the years, for products like video goggles, motion-sensing 3D virtual interfaces for iOS devices, and 3D "hyper reality" displays. Apple CEO Tim Cook was recently questioned on whether he believed virtual reality could go mainstream. He explained that he does not see virtual reality as a niche product, describing it as "really cool" with "some interesting applications."Tags: augmented reality, ft.com, Apple acquisition, virtual reality Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has met with TV producers and Hollywood studios about developing original TV shows to offer exclusively to its iTunes customers, according to TheStreet. The article comes by way of independent contributor Ronald Grover, a longtime entertainment business journalist who has previously covered the media and entertainment industry for Reuters and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The original content could spearhead Apple's plans to launch its oft-rumored streaming TV service, which has reportedly been placed on hold due to the iPhone maker's difficulties in securing content deals with owners like CBS, ABC, Fox, Disney, and Viacom. The report, citing sources with knowledge of the matter, claims Apple could announce a cable-like offering alongside the iPhone 7 in September.The Cupertino-based tech giant began sounding out Hollywood's creative community late last year, but has yet to sign any agreements, according to two people with knowledge of the overtures. One plan is to have deals in place so Apple can announce exclusive content as part of a cable-like offering in September, when it is expected to unveil its iPhone 7, said one of the people.The original TV shows would presumably be available for rent or purchase on iTunes, or through a subscription-based service like Netflix that would provide on-demand access to unlimited programming for a set monthly cost. Apple's streaming TV service has been rumored to cost between $30 and $40 per month, but that price was contingent upon a "skinny bundle" of TV channels rather than original programming. Apple's discussions with Hollywood executives are being led by iTunes chief Eddy Cue, and Robert Kondrk, vice-president of iTunes content, according to the report. In a recent interview, Cue said customers should be "able to buy whatever they want, however they want," and he used the App Store as an example of how Apple provides users with multiple ways to purchase content. Earlier this month, it was reported that Apple has shown interest in acquiring Time Warner assets, which include CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA TV, Cartoon Network, its Warner Bros. movies division, and more. Gaining exclusive rights to the popular HBO series Game of Thrones would certainly give Apple a head start on its streaming TV service, along with Silicon Valley and other original programming. Netflix, which collaborates with Hollywood on exclusive TV shows like Daredevil, House of Cards, Jessica Jones, and Orange is the New Black, has proven that original programming can be highly popular among consumers. Apple adopting a similar strategy could help bolster its own streaming TV service, which may be accessible on the web and devices like the Apple TV, Mac, iPad, and iPhone.Tags: Eddy Cue, iTunes, thestreet.com, streaming TV service Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today officially ended free streaming of its iTunes Radio channels worldwide, incorporating the catalogue of stations into its subscription-based Apple Music service. The change follows Apple's announcement earlier this month that its free radio-listening feature would be discontinued at the end of January but would remain available to Apple Music subscribers. As of this morning, iOS Music app users who tap on a radio station are bounced to a screen prompting them to join Apple's premium streaming music service. Likewise, iTunes users on a Mac who attempt to access the stations or create their own are met with a dialog window asking them to "Get on Our Wavelength" and join Apple Music. Users with an iTunes Match subscription are also no longer able to access the stations. However, Apple's Beats 1 radio channel remains available to iTunes users worldwide as a free listening option. Apple had quietly continued to offer ad-supported iTunes Radio stations in the United States and Australia even after the launch of Apple Music on June 30, 2015. However, after the company's decision to wind down its mobile iAd platform, the feature was already being limited in other regions to those who pay for Apple's streaming music service. iTunes Radio was originally released with iTunes 11.1 and iOS 7 as a free ad-supported service, offering music discovery through featured and genre stations provided by Apple or through the creation of new stations based on a specific artist or song. Tags: iTunes Radio, Apple Music, iAd Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is reportedly developing a wirelessly-charged iPhone for as soon as 2017, according to Bloomberg. The company is working with its partners in both the U.S. and Asia to create the technology. Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The iPhone maker is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed, they said.Current wirelessly-charged devices require users to place their phones or other devices on charging mats. In September 2012, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said that the company wasn't sure of how convenient wireless charging is as most wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into a wall. In early January, it was reported that Apple was working on wireless charging for the iPhone 7. However, that report warned that the feature could be pulled from the iPhone 7 for a future iteration of the device as Apple is working on the technology currently. Apple has held an interest in wireless charging since the first iPhone, gaining patents for wireless charging stations and wireless charging through a near field magnetic resonance, which wirelessly charges a device within a certain region. The Cupertino company has also shown an interest in WiTricity's wireless charging technology, which uses "hidden charging" technology that allows magnetic fields to wrap around barriers. This allows users to place their charging pads wherever they want. Last November it was reported that the iPhone 7 would see the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack for an all-in-one Lightning connector that allows users to both power their device and plug in headphones. While the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack would mean that Apple would be able to make the iPhone thinner, it would not allow users to listen to headphones and charge their phone at the same time. A proprietary wireless charging solution from Apple in future iPhones with all-in-one Lightning connectors would likely allow for that.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Tags: wireless charging, bloomberg.com Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Bank of America and Wells Fargo are working on implementing Apple Pay into their ATMs, reports TechCrunch, citing a source with knowledge of the project. Both companies are said to have engineers working on the technology that would likely allow Apple Pay to be used at an ATM in place of a physical debit card. When questioned about the possibility of Apple Pay at ATMs, Wells Fargo head of ATMs Jonathan Velline suggested the information was accurate and that Wells Fargo was working on adding support for mobile wallets that would meet all of its customers needs.Wells Fargo's head of ATMs Jonathan Velline implied Apple Pay would come to its ATMs. He confirmed that "We've been working on the technology that allows us to hook to digital wallets, leveraging NFC on mobile phones to replace the card at the transaction at the ATM. Right now the wallet that we support is Android Pay." [...] "But we're also looking at lots of different mobile wallets and evaluating which ones are going to be appropriate for our customers. We'll likely add more mobile wallets throughout the year."Bank of America was less forthcoming about its plans, but told TechCrunch the company is developing a cardless ATM solution that would let customers use NFC technology on their smartphones to authenticate and complete transactions at Bank of America ATMs. The company would not confirm which phones it will work with. Bank of America plans to begin rolling out its cardless ATM solution starting in late February at ATMs in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Charlotte, New York, and Boston before a wider rollout set to take place in mid-2016. Wells Fargo did not provide information on when it plans to implement its NFC-based card replacement feature. Apple Pay at ATMs would be a big win for Apple, given their prevalence across the United States. Wells Fargo has more than 12,800 ATMs, while Bank of America has more than 16,000.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tags: Bank of America, Wells Fargo Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has purchased education-technology startup LearnSprout, reports Bloomberg. LearnSprout is a company that develops software for schools and teachers to track student performance and other metrics. Apple will likely use its technology to build out its classroom tools to encourage schools to adopt iPads and other Apple products. Apple confirmed the acquisition with the standard statement it gives on purchases: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." According to its website, LearnSprout software is already used in more than 2,500 schools across the United States. It aggregates all student grades across the school, letting teachers and administrators hone in on students that may need more help. LearnSprout aims to allow schools to analyze collected data, discovering trends on attendance, college readiness, student health, and more. To combat waning iPad sales, Apple has been making an effort to make the tablet more appealing to educational customers. In iOS 9.3, Apple is introducing a wealth of new education-oriented tools, including shared iPads for students, a dedicated Classroom app that allows teachers to guide students through app-based lessons, an Apple School Manager for easily managing student accounts and courses, and new Apple ID creation and management options for schools.Tags: education, Apple acquisition, LearnSprout Discuss this article in our forums

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