posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Finland's Prime Minister Alexander Stubb told CNBC in an interview that Apple is to blame for the decline of the country's two primary export industries, information technology (led by Nokia) and paper. "The iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback," said Stubb in response to a question about Finland's business environment following the country's recently downgraded credit rating. While the comment certainly appears to be more of a pithy jest than an outright accusation against Apple, it does aptly describe how several of the country's major boom industries have seen their fortunes slip in the face of a changing marketplace. As noted by TechCrunch, this isn't the first time Stubb has singled out Apple in reference to his country's economic decline since he took over as Prime Minister in June of this year. Speaking in July, Stubb made a similar comment mentioning Apple. "We had two pillars we stood on: one was the IT industry, the other one was the paper industry," Stubb told Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri. "Nalle Wahlroos, president of (Swedish bank) Nordea, described it quite well when he said the iPhone knocked out Nokia and the iPad knocked out the forestry," accelerating the fall of paper demand. In the same conversation with Dagens Industri, Stubb quipped "Steve Jobs took our jobs," with the promise that "this is beginning to change." Apple may be an easy scapegoat for politicians to blame, but the Cupertino company is not responsible for Finland's struggles. While Apple did lead a revolution in the mobile phone industry with the iPhone, the Cupertino company did so by focusing on high-end handsets and not the entry-level phones that Nokia was selling by the millions. With a plethora of Android handset options at a variety of price points, Samsung instead was much a greater threat to the long-term survival of the Finnish company. Nokia has since sold its devices unit to Microsoft, tying its future to that of Windows Phone. Apple's iPad also is not to blame for the downturn in the paper industry, which has been in decline for years. The reasons for the slowdown in paper manufacturing are myriad and include the increasing use of email over traditional mail, the adoption of digital documents, and the steady decline in print magazine and newspaper subscriptions. With tablet shipments reaching only 200 million globally, the proliferation of Kindles and tablets, such as the iPad, are not yet significant enough to decimate the paper industry as Stubb implies. Ironically, Apple and other technology companies have been supporting Nokia even as its mobile phone sales decline. In 2011, Apple ended an ongoing patent battle with Nokia and has been paying the Finnish company an undisclosed amount to license cellular technology owned by the company. This intellectual property may be netting Nokia a collective $685 million per year from Apple and other technology companies. 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. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in China Top 20 Million Through Carriers and E-Commerce Site JD • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the iPad Air, MacBooks, Apple Accessories, and More • Boost Mobile to Offer iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Starting October 17 With $100 Discount • Chinese Carriers Take One Million iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in First Six Hours • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Ahead of Apple's Chinese launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus later this week, Apple today confirmed the launch of its new handset models in 36 additional countries and territories by the end of October. In its fastest rollout ever, Apple expects to launch the iPhone in 115 countries by the end of the year. The next round of launches coming this month will include countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. • Friday, October 17: China, India and Monaco • Thursday, October 23: Israel • Friday, October 24: Czech Republic, French West Indies, Greenland, Malta, Poland, Reunion Island and South Africa • Thursday, October 30: Bahrain and Kuwait • Friday, October 31: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, South Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Thailand Apple has been busy with new products this fall in a product lineup has been described by Eddy Cue as being "the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple." Apple already announced the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple watch at a press event held last month. An upcoming October event is expected to unveil new iPad models, new iMacs and possibly new Mac minis. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in China Top 20 Million Through Carriers and E-Commerce Site JD • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the iPad Air, MacBooks, Apple Accessories, and More • Boost Mobile to Offer iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Starting October 17 With $100 Discount • Chinese Carriers Take One Million iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in First Six Hours • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has begun preparing its retail employees and retail partners for the upcoming launch of its Apple Pay mobile payments service with a host of new training materials that show the feature in action, reports 9to5Mac. Users will be able to set up Apple Pay in Passbook or through the Settings app, as up to eight credit or debit cards be connected with an iTunes account or by scanning one in with the iPhone's camera. Every card connected to the service will allow users to access a number of features, including the ability to see a simple transaction list, the ability to turn on push notifications, and an area that allows quick access to a bank's phone number and an accompanying app. Passbook will also be able to automatically update an expired card with a new expiration date without the need to re-enter information. For Apple's own stores, a customer will be able to return an item simply by holding an iPhone near a payment terminal to give a list of their recent transactions. Receipts from Apple Store purchases will also not display a customer's contact information or credit card number, but will rather show just the last four digits of a device's Apple Pay ID. If Apple Pay is not working properly for an Apple Store customer, retail employees will be able to use the "Apple Pay Demo" diagnostic software that can determine whether a device is having a hardware problem or other issue. For non-hardware issues, customers will be referred to their appropriate credit card providers or banks. Apple's training materials note that its retail employee should emphasize the simplicity and security of Apple Pay to lure customers into using the service. All Apple Store employees will receive one hour of mandatory Apple Pay training this week ahead of the service's impending launch. The report also notes that Apple has already launched Apple Pay at its Caffe Macs cafeteria located in its 1 Infinite Loop headquarters. An internal memo addressed to Walgreens employees that surfaced yesterday suggested that Apple Pay may be going live next Saturday, October 18. Apple Pay will be enabled on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through an update to iOS 8. The seeded versions of iOS 8.1 to developers first revealed hidden Apple Pay settings and set up screens, which may indicate that the service might be launching alongside the update. Apple is expected to detail full launch plans for Apple Pay and iOS 8.1 at its event this Thursday, October 16. The company is also expected to announce its next-generation iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, new iMacs with at least the 27-inch version receiving a high-resolution Retina display, and perhaps even a new Mac Mini. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the iPad Air, MacBooks, Apple Accessories, and More • Boost Mobile to Offer iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Starting October 17 With $100 Discount • Chinese Carriers Take One Million iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in First Six Hours • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
An internal memo addressed to Walgreens employees designed to prepare them for the upcoming launch of Apple Pay suggests that Apple's new payments service might be going live on Saturday, October 18. A Saturday launch is unusual, but it could make sense as Apple Pay is designed for in-store shopping and a weekend debut would give customers time to try the service. It is, however, also possible that Apple Pay will go live shortly before the October 18 date, following the company's Thursday, October 16 iPad event, with support coming to Walgreens a day or two later. At its October 16 event, Apple is expected to debut a new iPad Air, Retina iMacs, and possibly a new Retina iPad mini. The event, which will also likely see Apple previewing OS X Yosemite one last time before its public debut, would also be an opportune time to divulge more information about Apple Pay and possibly even launch the payments service. As announced on September 9, popular drug store Walgreens is one of Apple's major launch partners, along with other companies like McDonalds, Macy's, Staples, and more. According to the Walgreens memo, customers who have an iPhone 6 will be able to use Apple Pay in Walgreens stores by tapping their devices "to the upper portion of the pinpad to pay for their purchase." Earlier this week, USAA assistant vice president Vikram Parekh suggested the bank would begin supporting Apple Pay on November 7, leading many to believe the service might see an official launch on that date, but it is possible that USAA and other banks may roll out support at different times following the launch of Apple Pay. Apple originally promised an October launch for Apple Pay when it unveiled the service. Apple Pay will be enabled on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices through an update to iOS 8. iOS 8.1, which has already been seeded to developers, includes hidden Apple Pay settings and set up screens. With Apple Pay set to launch on or around the time of Apple's October 16 event, that also means we should be seeing iOS 8.1 at that time as well. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the iPad Air, MacBooks, Apple Accessories, and More • Boost Mobile to Offer iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Starting October 17 With $100 Discount • Chinese Carriers Take One Million iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in First Six Hours • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple.club.tw (Google Translate) has shared new images that appear to show a variety of components from the iPad Air 2, which include pictures of the logic board, home button flex cable, front panel, and volume control flex cable. The home button flex cable appears to contain a space for a Touch ID home button, complete with the stainless steel ring. Previous reports claimed that Apple's forthcoming iPads would receive Touch ID functionality, and these newest pictures likely confirm that the feature will at least be on the iPad Air 2. Meanwhile, the logic board image also shows what may be Apple's A8 processor along with RAM chips and other components. Currently, it is unknown as to whether the A8 chip on the iPad Air 2 will be clocked at a higher speed than the A8 chips found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The logic board also appears to contain a noticeably different layout when compared to the board from last year's iPad Air. For instance, the SIM slot appears to be directly on iPad Air 2's logic board, while the component was located in a separate compartment for the iPad Air. The front panel of the iPad Air 2 contains a more prolonged connector on its side and contains cutouts for the Touch ID home button and FaceTime HD camera. While the panel doesn't appear to be notably different when compared to the front panel for the iPad Air, some reports have claimed that the iPad Air will have an integrated display to make way for a thinner profile. Lastly, the volume control flex cable shows the up and down volume buttons and what may be a microphone. With this layout, it is possible that Apple may be getting rid of the mute/screen rotation switch to further reduce the tablet's overall thickness. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 2 alongside the next-generation Retina iPad mini at a media event in Cupertino, California next Thursday, October 16. Other reports have also claimed that the company will announce updated Mac Minis and updated iMacs with at least the 27-inch model carrying a high-resolution Retina display. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the iPad Air, MacBooks, Apple Accessories, and More • Boost Mobile to Offer iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Starting October 17 With $100 Discount • Chinese Carriers Take One Million iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in First Six Hours • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has started rolling out a new iTunes Store design for OS X Yosemite testers that have iTunes 12 installed. The revamped storefront takes several design elements from the iTunes Store and App Store on iOS, adopting a cleaner, flatter look that does away with a lot of shadowing and texture that was previously seen in the design. The revamped look fits in with the design of iTunes 12, which takes on the flatter, more iOS-like look seen across OS X Yosemite. For example, the top bar of the iTunes Store that currently displays cards in a rotating carousel for featured music, movies, apps, and TV shows in their respective categories has been flattened out into a scrollable banner with the new iTunes Store design, doing away with the previous card-style layout. The slight bit of shadowing that used to highlight app icons, music icons, and categories, has been eliminated and as can be seen in the screenshot below, Apple is using a slightly lighter and larger font for menu options. The light gray background of the existing store has now been replaced with a white background. Prominent rounded menu buttons have been eliminated in favor of flat, unobtrusive buttons as can be seen with the “Download” option in the individual App Store view shown below. Individual content pages have also lost all highlight shadowing, with screenshots and app icons flat against the background of the page. Movie, TV Show, and Music pages all have the same flattened design. While main content pages now have a white background, some individual movie, app, TV show, and music pages continue to have a colored background, that also adopts all of the flat interface elements. As noted by 9to5Mac, the new design has not yet been implemented on all pages, with some, like the gift card redemption page, continuing to use older interface elements. iTunes 12 will launch alongside OS X Yosemite, which is expected to be released to the public in late October. The operating system may be shown off one last time at Apple’s October 16 iPad event ahead of its official launch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the iPad Air, MacBooks, Apple Accessories, and More • Boost Mobile to Offer iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Starting October 17 With $100 Discount • Chinese Carriers Take One Million iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in First Six Hours • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Though Apple is launching Apple Pay with a number of high-profile retail partners including Macy's, Disney, Whole Foods, Sephora, Walgreens, and Staples, among others, there's a long list of retailers who have decided not to offer Apple Pay in their stores. Walmart and Best Buy, for example, have been two high-profile companies that have vocally opted out, and The Daily Dot has compiled a list of several other retail outlets that have current no plans to support Apple Pay. Clothing store H&M said that it has no plans to accept Apple Pay at this time, as did high-end retailer Coach. A Bed, Bath & Beyond spokesperson said the company was "unable to participate," while a spokesperson for retailer Belk also said "we don't have the capability to accept Apple Pay right now," suggesting the store has not adopted payment systems with NFC capabilities. Sears, Kmart, and Publix have also said they won't be accepting Apple Pay, as has gas company BP, though BP stations may be able to accept Apple Pay in 2016.BP spokesperson Scott Dean said the company "won't be in a position to do this in 2014, but we're working with our marketers (BP gas stations are independently owned and operated) to upgrade our retail site technology progressively over the next two years and as part of those upgrades we will be setting ourselves up to be ready for mobile payments."Some fast food restaurants aren't on board yet either, including Pizza Hut and Chipotle, while others, like KFC, are "looking into the prospect of accepting Apple Pay" but have no timetable for support. It's important to note that even if a retailer does not explicitly state that it offers support for Apple Pay, the Apple Pay payments system will work in any retail store that allows contactless payments via NFC. Many modern point-of-sale (PoS) systems come with NFC capabilities, and Apple is counting on regulatory changes that will require merchants to update their payment hardware over the course of the next year. As of October 2015, merchants that do not offer support for EMV credit cards (cards that contain integrated circuits to prevent fraud) will assume responsibility for any fraudulent transactions that take place. Normally, banks assume liability, so it is in the best interest of retailers to deploy these new payment processing systems. EMV cards, or chip cards, are already used in many other countries around the world. Though many merchants will be upgrading to new payment systems, many of which offer NFC, these upgrades take time and it may be several months before retailers decide whether or not to adopt NFC to allow them to process payments through Apple Pay. The list of merchants not on board with Apple Pay is considerable, but contactless payments are growing in popularity and with the help of Apple Pay, the adoption of NFC systems may accelerate even faster. According to Apple, more than 220,000 retail stores across the United States will be able to accept Apple Pay. Apple Pay is expected to roll out in October as an update to iOS 8. iOS 8.1, with hidden Apple Pay settings, has already been seeded to developers for testing. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the iPad Air, MacBooks, Apple Accessories, and More • Boost Mobile to Offer iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Starting October 17 With $100 Discount • Chinese Carriers Take One Million iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in First Six Hours • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Yesterday, lawyers for Apple's bankrupt sapphire production partner GT Advanced Technologies notified the court that court that the company would be seeking to "wind down" operations at its sapphire production facilities in Arizona and Massachusetts, while also pursuing efforts to escape from contracts related to those operations. In a pair of filings today, GT has followed through on those plans, with one filing asking for court approval to void its contracts related to the operation, calling the terms of its contracts with Apple "oppressive and burdensome."As discussed in detail in the Supplemental First Day Declaration, the agreements imposed oppressive and burdensome terms and obligations on GTAT. The contracts and leases...provide no benefit to GTAT's estates, and GTAT's continued performance under the Agreements is no longer a viable business option. [...] GTAT has determined that the Agreements are no longer necessary for GTAT's business operations. The Agreements also are not a source of potential value for GTAT's future operations, creditors, or interest holders and constitute an unnecessary drain on GTAT's resources.GT believes it will be able to pursue further claims against Apple, but is unable to do so at this stage of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, and so has asked that the agreements be voided while maintaining its right to pursue future claims against Apple related to the agreements. GT's second filing addresses the wind down procedure for its sapphire production facilities, noting that sapphire boules currently being grown in furnaces are valued at roughly $20,000 each and take up to 30 days to grow, and thus it is in the interest of the company and its creditors to allow boules already being grown to be completed.[M]erely "pulling the plug" is not a viable option given the significant value of GTAT's equipment at these facilities (most notably, the sapphire growing furnaces) as well as the significant value of the sapphire boules that are currently being grown in the furnaces (a process that can take up to 30 days). For these reasons, GTAT has developed the Wind Down Process, which will allow GTAT to wind down its sapphire manufacturing operations in as orderly a manner as possible while preserving the value of its assets.The first stage of GT's Wind Down Process involves maintaining a crew of 75 employees to monitor ongoing sapphire growth and then remove the boules and prepare them for sale, a process expected to be completed by mid-November. The second stage, requiring 15 employees, involves the cleaning and decommissioning of the furnaces themselves to preserve their value. Finally, roughly 35 employees will be needed to "shut down and clean up" the Arizona facility, with final closure coming by December 31. Overall, GT projects that 890 employees will lose their jobs with the shutdown, with the company seeking approval to spend approximately $65,000 in incentives to ensure certain qualified employees remain with the company during the wind down process. Apple has not commented publicly on the matter beyond its initial statement expressing surprise at GT's bankruptcy filing and pledging to work to preserve jobs in the area. (Image: GT sapphire furnace) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Boost Mobile to Offer iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Starting October 17 With $100 Discount • Chinese Carriers Take One Million iPhone 6 Pre-Orders in First Six Hours • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is preparing to remove all Bose audio products, both demo and sellable, from its retail environment, according to a reliable source who spoke to MacRumors. The inventory change will begin early next week, with instructions for removal being sent to employees in the coming days. The reasons behind this removal were not disclosed, but it is very likely tied to to Apple's recent acquisition of Beats Electronics. As part of this deal, Apple obtained the popular Beats headphone division as well as the company's subscription music streaming service. With Beats now featured prominently by Apple, either Bose or Apple may have decided to end their retail relationship. Bose also has a new sponsorship deal with the National Football League that has seen the league prohibit players from wearing Beats headphones while in the presence of television cameras at practice and on game days. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick defied the ban by wearing bright pink Beats headphones at a postgame press conference last Sunday, a move that saw the league hit Kaepernick with a $10,000 fine. Apple acquired Beats Electronics earlier this year in a deal worth $3 billion. Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre reportedly have assumed senior roles within the company and are said to be working to improve Apple's influence in the music industry. This partnership may help Apple as it supposedly negotiates with music labels in order to lower the price of its Beats Music service ahead of a planned revamp rumored for February of next year. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has plans to offer a live stream of its October 16 event, according to a source that spoke to MacRumors. As with its September 9 iPhone event, Apple will likely offer a stream of the event both on its website and through a dedicated channel on the Apple TV. Invitations for the October 16 event, which will be held at the Town Hall auditorium on the company's Cupertino campus at 10:00 AM Pacific Time, went out earlier this week with the tagline "It's been way too long." At the event, Apple is expected to introduce an updated iPad Air and possibly a new Retina iPad mini, as well as updated iMacs with a 27-inch model that has a high-resolution Retina display. OS X Yosemite is also likely to be previewed one more time before its public launch, and updated Mac minis, which are rumored to be in the works, might possibly see an announcement at the event. In addition to Apple's live stream, MacRumors will be providing its own live coverage of the event, both on MacRumors.com and on the MacRumorsLive Twitter account. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's head of design Jony Ive today gave a live interview at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco. In the interview, which BusinessInsider attended, Ive gave some rare insight into the design process at Apple and some of the design choices the team made with the iPhone 6. According to Ive, he has a great design team that's quite small, numbering 16 or 17 employees. During a typical day, Ive says that designers gather around tables like those in the Apple Store to draw. The team meets three or four times a week. One of the major advantages of being part of a design team that's been together so long is that it's given them time to develop a design process. Ideas, Ive says, don't really come along until the design team has created a physical object from their drawings. "It really galvanizes and focuses our team," said Ive. When asked whether or not he had experienced a "eureka moment" in a design meeting, Ive pointed towards the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus, saying that there's a "special moment" when there's an object you can touch. He says he's surprised and thrilled every time he gets to see a new first model. On the iPhone 6's rounded edges, Ive says that Apple opted to go back to rounded edges because they were necessary to make the device feel less wide. Apple made bigger-screened prototypes years before, but they were "clunky." Ive also shared details on Steve Jobs, saying that Jobs was "the most focused person" he'd met in his life. "It's terrifying that when you really truly focus, it seems a bit illegal. You can achieve so much." Ive went on to say that focus means saying "no with every bone in your body" to something you know is a good idea, but impossible because "you're focused on something else." During audience questions, Ive also gave some interesting thoughts on Xiaomi, the Chinese manufacturer that closely copies Apple's designs. Ive says what Xiaomi is doing is theft, not flattery.There is a danger...I don't see it as flattery. I see it as theft. (Talking about copying designs in general). When you're doing something for the first time and you don't know it's going to work. I have to be honest the last thing I think is "Oh, that is flattering. All those weekends I could've been home with my family...I think it's theft and lazy. I don't think it's OK at all."The full paraphrased text of Ive's interview, where he also shares why he chose to be an industrial designer, what he thought was well designed as a kid, how he came to work at Apple, and his thoughts on Steve Jobs, can be found over at BusinessInsider. Both TechCrunch and The Verge have shared details on the interview as well. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week, Apple sapphire partner GT Advanced has asked for the court's permission to "wind down" operations at its Mesa, Arizona manufacturing plant, reports Re/code and The Wall Street Journal. GT is said to be filing motions to get expedited hearings to cease certain operations and get out of both contracts and leases connected to those operations. The facility, which was purchased and outfitted by Apple and run by GT Advanced, has operated for less than a year. Approximately 700 employees are employed at the manufacturing plant, where GT Advanced was rumored to be creating sapphire for use in Apple products like the Apple Watch and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Furnaces for sapphire production Little information about the reasoning behind GT Advanced's bankruptcy filing is available as the company has asked for a non-disclosure in its bankruptcy proceedings. GT is subjected to a confidentiality agreement with an unnamed third party (confirmed to be Apple by a courtroom reference) that has prevented it from disclosing details about the bankruptcy. The company could be fined up to $50 million per violation for breaking the agreements. GT's bankruptcy filing took both Apple and Wall Street by surprise. Apple has reportedly been working with GT Advanced to help it remain solvent and to help it receive its final $139 million payment, but it is unclear how this latest request will impact the relationship between the two companies. According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal between GT Advanced and Apple may have crumbled following the former's failure to deliver sapphire iPhone screens for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple was widely expected to use sapphire screens in at least some models, but both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus continue to feature Gorilla Glass displays. GT Advanced will again appear in court on October 15 at a hearing related to its wind-down request. Apple, for its part, has again said that it plans to focus on "preserving jobs" in Arizona and that it will "work with state and local officials" as it considers its next steps. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Earlier this month, Chinese model Liu Wen hinted that she might be involved in a fashion-oriented advertising campaign for the Apple Watch. As it turns out, Liu Wen will be featured in Vogue China's November issue, wearing the Apple Watch on the cover of the magazine. Wen appears to be wearing the 18-karat yellow gold Edition Apple Watch, which features a red Modern Buckle Band. She's also featured wearing other Apple Watch models on a spread inside the magazine. In an interview with The Business of Fashion, Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung has revealed the details behind the partnership between Vogue and Apple that led to the device being featured on the popular magazine's cover. According to Cheung, she met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and design head Jony Ive ahead of the device's September 9 unveiling. Cheung says that the duo walked her through the development of the Apple Watch, which left her "impressed by their thoughts and passion for the project." Cheung said that she thought the watches "combined technology, style, and functionality and were very modern," making them a good fit for Vogue China. Cheung believes that Cook and Ive opted to give the Apple Watch its editiorial debut in Vogue China due to China's willingness to embrace new technology."Chinese people are actually very digitally minded and we embrace new technology and digital products more easily than perhaps people elsewhere," said Ms Cheung. "We are an ancient country but at the same time a very young country when it comes to fashion and new products. We love to embrace everything that is new, modern and positive," she added. "All these convince us that the intersection of fashion and technology is a natural progression, not something alien."Apple's choice to show off the Apple Watch in Vogue China speaks to how important the country has become to the company. China marks an opportunity for significant growth for Apple and earlier this year, China's largest cell phone carrier, China Mobile, began offering the iPhone in what Tim Cook called a watershed moment. Cook visited China several times in 2013, and Apple has opened several new retail stores in the country in 2014, including locations in Wuxi, Chongqing, and Beijing. The Apple Watch marks Apple's first foray into the fashion world, and the company has been working to position it as a high-fashion accessory. In addition to getting its editorial debut in Vogue China, the Apple Watch saw its retail debut at French luxury boutique Colette in late September. Apple is likely to hold additional fashion-oriented events as the Apple Watch's early 2015 debut date approaches, aiming to promote the device as much as possible. Apple may also take a variety of approaches in its Apple Watch advertising, to reach a wide range of potential customers. June rumors suggested the Apple Watch was also being tested with multiple professional athletes that could also take part in future advertisements. The Apple Watch is expected to launch in early 2015 and the device will be available in a wide range of materials and at several different price points. On the lower end, the Sport version of the device will retail for $349, and rumors have suggested the higher-end solid gold Edition models could sell for thousands of dollars. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released a third golden master candidate of OS X Yosemite to developers, just two days after releasing the second candidate golden master and the fifth public beta. The first golden master candidate was seeded to developers on September 30. The latest Yosemite update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store and through Apple's Mac Developer Center. OS X Yosemite brings a flatter, more modern look to OS X, with an emphasis on translucency and redesigned dock, windows, and more. It also includes a multitude of new features, such as improved integration with iOS 8 through Continuity, a new "Today" view in Notification Center that offers integration with third-party apps, a retooled Spotlight search with new data sources, and several new features for apps like Mail, Safari, and Messages. Over the course of the beta testing period, each Developer Preview has added new features and refined the look and performance of OS X Yosemite, although changes have become less obvious in more recent builds as Apple begins finalizing Yosemite ahead of its public release, which is expected in late October. The current build, like the previous golden master candidate, may not be the final version of OS X Yosemite, depending on the outcome of final testing. Last year, Apple seeded multiple golden master versions of OS X Mavericks, with the final version coming a couple of days ahead of the software's public release. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been fined $10,000 for wearing Apple's Beats by Dre headphones following a ban on the brand after the NFL signed an exclusive deal with Bose. Kaepernick opted to wear bright pink Beats by Dre headphones following last Sunday's game against the Chiefs, in order to "pay homage to Breast Cancer Awareness." Kaepernick declined to say whether Beats paid his fine, saying "I'm going to let that be unanswered." Kaepernick, along with a number of other high-profile NFL players, has an endorsement deal with Beats. Last year, he starred in a popular Beats ad that depicted him tuning out the negative comments and boos of opposing fans by wearing Beats noise-canceling headphones. Bose and the NFL signed a sponsorship agreement before the season began, but last week the NFL decided to ban players from wearing Beats headphones in front of television cameras to support its sponsor. Players are not allowed to wear them when conducting interviews during training camp, during practice sessions, or on game day, from before the event until 90 minutes after play has ended. This is the second time Beats headphones have been banned from major sporting events. Earlier this year, World Cup headphone sponsor Sony banned soccer players from wearing Beats headphones within stadiums, and during the London Olympics, the International Olympic Committee ended up banning Beats headphones after a guerrilla marketing campaign because the company was not an official sponsor. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Lenovo today launched the Yoga Tablet 2, which comes equipped with either Android or Windows 8. Available in three different sizes ranging from 8 to 13 inches, the tablets are priced from $249 to $499. On the smaller end, the 8 and 10 inch tablets (Windows or Android) have a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, while the larger 13-inch Pro version (Android only) has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. The tablets come equipped with a 180-degree kickstand and the 13-inch Pro model comes equipped with a built-in pico projector that can project an image up to 50 inches on a wall as its defining feature. The tablets and two new two-in-one Yoga laptops have been created by Lenovo in conjunction with Ashton Kutcher, a "product engineer" at the company. Along with serving as one of Lenovo's product engineers, Kutcher also famously starred as Steve Jobs in "Jobs," the biographical movie directed by Joshua Michael Stern. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro image courtesy of Engadget In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Kutcher sat down to talk about the creation of the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro and give his thoughts on Apple's upcoming iPad lineup. According to Kutcher, he traveled to China to brainstorm a product consumers want. with the aim of making a "great entertainment device." For that reason, the Pro tablet comes equipped with a subwoofer and an 8-watt speaker, along with a 13-inch screen. "Because people use it in the home, we don't need to create this super portable device," Kutcher said. And with the projector, users don't need to look for an HDMI cord or use AirPlay, because there's a "built-in 50-inch screen." When asked about the upcoming iPad, Kutcher said he wasn't worried about the competition as it would be unlikely to approach the features found in the Lenovo tablet. Not at all. I'm not concerned about it in the least bit. Maybe it will be an iPhone Plus Plus. I think Apple has their fingers in a lot of things. We are really focused on this space and this product. I will be really surprised if they launch anything that approaches what we have here.While Apple is said to be working on a larger 12.9-inch iPad, its upcoming October 16 launch event will focus on new versions of its already existing tablets, the iPad Air and the Retina iPad mini. Rumors have suggested the new iPad Air will receive an updated A8 processor, an improved camera, a gold color option, a new anti-reflective screen, and possibly 2GB of RAM. Apple's 12.9-inch iPad, meanwhile, is currently on hold with production delayed until Apple can meet demand for the iPhone 6 Plus. Lenovo's smaller Android Yoga tablets are available now, while the larger projector-equipped version will launch later in October. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
U2's partnership with Apple that saw its latest album, "Songs of Innocence" distributed for free to iTunes users appears to have been a wild success, with the album reaching more than 81 million Apple customers across iTunes, iTunes Radio, and Beats Music. Eddy Cue, Apple's iTunes chief, told Billboard that the album had been downloaded in its entirety more than 26 million times since its September 9 release, and that more than 81 million customers had "experienced songs" from the album. "To help put this into perspective," [Cue] says, "prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003."During Apple's September 9 keynote event, Bono took the stage with Tim Cook to announce that the "Songs of Innocence" album would be available at no cost to 500 million iTunes customers. Apple even went so far as to push the album to iTunes accounts, causing some devices to download the album without explicit user permission. There was some backlash over the automatic downloads, prompting Apple to create a tool to allow users to remove the free U2 album. Despite the negativity over auto downloads, Apple announced that "Songs of Innocence" had been "accessed" by more than 33 million customers just under a week after it had been made available. Apple's deal with U2 and Universal Music Group is worth an estimated $100 million and is said to be part of a "long-term relationship" that will see U2 continuing to work with Apple to promote innovation in music. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's new Apple Pay payment system has been designed to be ultra secure, taking advantage of existing NFC tokenization specifications to keep user payment information safe. Apple uses tokens, or unique Device Account Numbers, to replace card numbers and transactions are verified through both one-time use security codes and Touch ID. Ahead of the launch of Apple Pay, The Daily Dot has spoken to several different banks working with Apple on the payments service, including Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, Chase, and PNC, to get their thoughts on its security. According to Navy Federal VP of credit cards Randy Hopper, the bank was "very excited" to see what Apple had developed, because it is "convenient, secure, and private." Apple's use of tokenization "addresses all points of weakness across the payment system." USAA assistant vice president Vikram Parekh, meanwhile, said that the bank is confident enough in Apple Pay to assume all liability for unauthorized or fraudulent transactions, both in retail stores and for online purchases."USAA has a zero liability policy and members are never liable for any losses related to unauthorized [or] fraudulent activity, this does not change with Apple Pay," Vikram Parekh, Assistant Vice President at USAA Bank tells the Daily Dot. "The bank has liability for any purchases made when Apple Pay is offered and used as the form of payment. This is true for both face-to-face and for "in-app" purchases," Parekh explains.Both Chase and PNC offered similar statements, suggesting banks that have partnered with Apple feel that the payments system is secure enough for them to offer consumers the same protections they get with standard credit cards. Apple Pay is "extremely secure" and "zero liability for fraudulent transactions still applies," said Chase spokesman Paul Hartwick, while Tom Trebilcock, vice president of digital at PNC Bank, pointed out that tokenization will protect consumers from "potential mass theft of credit and debit card information." Stolen credit cards and customer information have plagued millions this year, as major retailers like Target and Home Depot saw massive security breaches that compromised significant amounts of customer data."From Navy Federal's perspective we're excited about the whole tokenization process," Hopper says. "The whole process of providing a payment token as opposed to the financial account number actually reduces the risk to the system and to everyone participating in it, from the customer, to the retailer, to the payment networks, to the issuer, and to Apple."Though Apple has said that it will not be able to see transaction information, several of the bank representatives that spoke to The Daily Dot have confirmed that they will be able to tell if a transaction has taken place using Apple Pay or a standard credit card, "because of the nature of the data" given to banks in the Apple Pay system. Apple has plans to launch Apple Pay in October, through an update to iOS 8. iOS 8.1, which was seeded to developers earlier this month, already contains hidden Apple Pay setup and settings elements that will likely be unlocked before the software is released to the public. There is no word of an official release date for Apple Pay, but Chase said its customers will be able to use Apple Pay when it launches, while USAA plans to begin offering Apple Pay on November 7. PNC and Navy Federal will support Apple Pay in the fall. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
GT Advanced Technologies today appeared in a New Hampshire courtroom, asking for non-disclosure in its pending bankruptcy proceedings. According to Reuters, a lawyer for the company told the court that a confidentiality agreement prevented it from disclosing the details surrounding its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Luc Despins of Paul Hastings told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff an unspecified confidentiality agreement prevented GT from disclosing the cause of its bankruptcy, or its plan for dealing with the situation. He also acknowledged the 90 percent drop in the company’s stock price in the first three trading days of this week. GT further asked the court to seal select documents referencing a third-party, noting that the disclosure would violate existing confidentially agreements. The publication of these documents could prove costly to the sapphire maker with potential damages of $50 million per violation. GT failed to identify the third-party company, but it almost certainly is Apple, which is known for its strict confidentiality clauses. GT's lawyers also asked that the proceedings be closed to the public as part of what they agree is an "unusual (and perhaps unprecedented)" request. Lawyers from the Department of Justice denounced GT's motions, saying "the record is insufficient for the court to find what the court needs to find." GT filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, taking Apple and Wall Street by surprise. Apple reportedly was working with the company to help it remain solvent, but those efforts have failed for the time being and GT will seek to restructure its finances moving forward. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
In a letter addressed to Tim Cook today, activist investor Carl Icahn praises Apple for its innovation, while again asking the company to accelerate its stock repurchase program. Icahn previously pressured Apple to increase its stock buyback program to as much as $150 billion, but dropped that bid following Apple's decision to repurchase $14 billion shares in February of this year. Icahn continues to note that Apple is "dramatically undervalued in today’s market" with its shares trading at half of Icahn's estimated $203 value. This valuation is likely to change as Apple's new product lineup chips away at Android's market share. While we recognize and applaud the company’s previously increased share repurchase authorization, we ask you to consider our advice once again (to the benefit of all shareholders) and consider accelerating share repurchases again via a tender offer. Our valuation analysis tells us that Apple should trade at $203 per share today, and we believe the disconnect between that price and today’s price reflects an undervaluation anomaly that will soon disappear. Icahn calls Apple's new iPhone models "best in class" and applauds Apple for growing its mobile ecosystem of services that surround the handset, including Apple Pay, HealthKit, and more. Beyond simple price comparison, we see the iPhone as best in class, supported by expert reviews and by the lines of people all over the world waiting to buy it. Perhaps most importantly, we believe the iPhone will take market share because its merits are no longer viewed in isolation from the overall Apple ecosystem of products and services, which include iOS, iPad, Mac, Apps, App Store, iCloud, iTunes, and (more recently) Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Home, Health, Continuity, Beats. With the iPhone as the foundation, Apple’s ecosystem has come to play an important role in the daily life of Apple users, and while Apple continues to make impressive strides to improve it, the competition falls behind in what is arguably the most important race of this technological era.For its part, Apple has acknowledged Icahn's letter but made given indication on its plans for the future beyond its current policy of reviewing the capital return program on an annual basis.We always appreciate hearing from our shareholders. Since 2013 we've been aggressively executing the largest capital return program in corporate history. As we've said before, we will review the program annually and take into account the input from all of our shareholders.Icahn disclosed last year that his holding company had taken a large position in Apple with Icahn now owning 53 million shares of AAPL. Icahn's note follows Apple's April announcement of an increased stock repurchase program that authorizes the purchase of up to $90 billion in stock and a 7:1 stock split that was instituted in June 2014. As part of its capital return program, Apple pledged to return more than $130 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Last week, Pioneer announced that it became the first company to offer support for Apple's CarPlay vehicle integration feature in five of its 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers through a firmware update. Now, Josh Carr of technology repair firm Fix Denver (via TUAW) has put together a four-part video walkthrough of downloading, installing and using CarPlay on Pioneer's $700 AVH-4000NEX receiver, giving an overview of various apps and features. After the 200 MB firmware update is downloaded from Pioneer's website, the user is required to create a bootable USB drive for the update which can be done through Disk Utility on OS X. From there, users plug the USB drive into the powered-on receiver and scroll to the device's settings to initiate the firmware update. Carr notes that the vehicle containing the deck must be on during the process with its emergency brake enabled. CarPlay then pops up on the receiver's home screen as an option, and boots into its own interface once selected. Carr demonstrates a variety of different apps on CarPlay including Phone, Music, Spotify and Apple Maps along with how Siri integrates itself into the interface. Like on the iPhone, the Phone app contains options for Favorites, Recents, Contacts, Keypad and Visual Voicemail and uses Siri to tell the driver who is calling. The Music app contains options for iTunes Radio, Genius playlists, Artists and Now Playing, as Siri can also play a song when requested. Meanwhile, launching the Messages app allows users to compose a message and send it to a specific contact through Siri. Incoming messages can also be read back to the user, and can also be replied to. When showing the Spotify app, Carr notes that there is no way to search for songs and that its interface is generally buggy and unresponsive at this time. Apple Maps and its GPS directions appears to be as responsive as the iOS app, and also allows for routes to be read back to the user. Early reviews of CarPlay from Consumer Reports and Australian technology EFTM gave the system positive reviews, saying that it was easy and safe to use because of exceptional Siri integration. Aside from the $700 AVH-4000NEX, Pioneer is also bringing CarPlay support to the $1400 AVIC-8000NEX, the $1200 AVIC-7000NEX, the $900 AVIC-6000NEX, and the $750 AVIC-5000NEX. CarPlay is also compatible with Pioneer's new $600 AppRadio 4 smartphone receiver. CarPlay for supported Pioneer NEX in-dash systems is enabled through a free firmware update available on the manufacturer's website. The interface requires an iPhone 5 or later along with iOS 7.1 or newer. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple and its suppliers are delaying plans to mass produce the larger 12.9-inch iPad in order to deal with strong demand for the iPhone 6 Plus, reports The Wall Street Journal. Apple was originally planning to mass produce the larger tablet in December, however the company has remained unsatisfied with the production output from its suppliers for its larger iPhone. Mockup of a 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch MacBook Air “The top priority for the supply chain is to meet the overwhelming demand for the larger screen iPhones. The output of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus remains unsatisfactory,” said a person at a supplier. “It would be challenging for display makers to split resources and spend a few months to ramp up production for a new larger screen iPad now.” The report also states that Foxconn is having issues with hiring enough factory workers to assemble the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus at its factory in Zhengzhou, China, making it even more difficult to begin work on a new device. Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the 12.9-inch iPad will feature a resolution similar to the current iPad Air's 2048 x 1536 display. Suppliers are also said to be preparing for mass production of the 12-inch MacBook Air in December, which follows similar information from a report yesterday. A report from Bloomberg in August claimed that Apple would be launching the 12.9-inch iPad in early 2015 after plans for the tablet was put on hold earlier this year. However, that report also noted that the larger iPad would include a high pixel density that nears ultra high-definition quality. The larger tablet was said to be an effort to "shake up the iPad line" as sales of the iPad have been on the decline for the past two quarters. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 2 and next-generation Retina iPad mini along with new iMacs and perhaps a new Mac Mini at a special event next Thursday, October 16. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has retained its top spot as the world's most valuable company in the latest rankings from consulting firm Interbrand, reports The New York Times. With its top spot in the rankings, Apple also bested fellow technology companies Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Samsung, which came in 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th place, respectively. On September 9, 2014, Tim Cook held up a wallet and said, "Our ambition is to replace this." A bold statement to be sure—but we'd expect nothing less from Apple, #1 on the Best Global Brands list for the second year in a row. Referring to Apple Pay, a new mobile payments platform that enables consumers to pay for items with Apple devices, Cook signaled that Steve Jobs's 2001 vision of Apple becoming the "digital hub" of its consumers' lives (Macworld Expo 2001) has finally been fulfilled. In what CNNMoney.com called "one of the most ambitious product launches in its history," Apple unveiled not only Apple Pay, but also the long-anticipated Apple Watch, a wearable device that combines health and fitness monitoring with mobile computer capabilities, and launched two new iPhones that are faster and smarter than previous versions and feature larger screens. The iPhone 6 Plus, which embraces the larger-form factors, could pose a serious challenge to Samsung's GALAXY Note. Though iPhone sales were up prior to the new product launch, particularly in China where China Mobile is now signed as a carrier, the iPhone 6 Plus may further assist penetration in Asian markets where larger-screened devices are preferred. In last year's survey, Apple overtook Coca-Cola as the most valuable brand in the world after the beverage corporation spent 13 years in the top spot. Apple was valued at $118.9 billion in this year's survey, up $20.6 billion from its $98.3 billion valuation in 2013. Apple launched the larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 last month, with both devices selling a record-breaking ten million units during their first three days on sale. The company also announced its highly-anticipated Apple Watch wearable device in September, which will come in multiple screen sizes and collections when it launches next year. Apple is expected to unveil new iPads, a 27-inch iMac with Retina Display and perhaps a new Mac Mini at an event next Thursday, October 16. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Third-party Apple service provider GeekBar has shared a picture (via Weibo, Google Translate) of what is said to be a 2 GB Elpida RAM module for the iPad Air 2. The units shown appear to be similar to the 1 GB of Elpida DDR3 SDRAM found in the first-generation iPad Air, and the photo follows a report from last month which stated that the next-generation iPad Air would receive a memory upgrade to 2 GB of RAM. Apple first offered 1 GB of RAM with the iPad 3, keeping the same amount of memory in the iPad 4 and the iPad Air. It is likely that previous iPads have not seen a memory increase to keep costs low and preserve battery life, but Apple may offer 2 GB of RAM with the iPad Air 2 in order to offer optimal performance on iOS 8. Apple is also said to be working on split-screen multitasking for the iPad Air, which would require more memory than running just a single app. That report also noted that feature would allow two apps to run side-by-side in multiple sizes, and offer users the ability to drag content like text or images from one app to another. Geekbar does not have an established track record with Apple rumors, however the company's Weibo account did reveal the barometric pressure sensor that was eventually included in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 2 and next-generation Retina iPad mini at a media event next Thursday, October 16. Some reports have also claimed that the company will announce updated Mac Minis and updated iMacs with at least the 27-inch model carrying a high-resolution Retina display. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has begun emailing iCloud users who have enabled two-factor authentication on their Apple IDs, reminding them that application specific passwords will be required when trying to access iCloud data on third party apps starting tomorrow. In addition to the email reminders, Apple last week published a new support document educating users on how to use app-specific passwords. While the feature was originally intended to require the feature on October 1, it's unclear why two-factor authentication users are being reminded of it a week later. App-specific passwords are a new feature Apple introduced in mid-September, following the launch of two-factor authentication for accessing iCloud.com. The changes arrived after a hacking incident that saw the iCloud accounts of several celebrities compromised due to weak passwords. CEO Tim Cook has promised to improve iCloud security by increasing awareness around Apple's security features like two-factor authentication as well as a sending out email notifications whenever a device is restored, an account is accessed or a password change is attempted. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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