posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
For all of its devices that use communications technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC, Apple has to submit them to the United States Federal Communications Commission for approval, and the filings, though restricted, occasionally give hints as to what Apple is working on. In early January, Apple sought approval for an unnamed "Wireless Device" that features support for NFC and Bluetooth. With a model number of A1846, the device appears to be an iteration of a similar Wireless Device that was submitted for regulatory approval back in September. That device shared the same design but had a model number of A1844. The A1846 model number is not similar to existing Apple products, unveiling no information. There are no photos of the device itself, but a regulatory label that was on the original A1844 device pictured pointed towards slightly curved edges and two included torx screws. Apple appears to have updated the imagery in the second A1846 submission to give fewer hints on its design. When the original "Wireless Device" was uncovered, there was some speculation that it could perhaps be a new Apple TV, but given the design of the product and the prominent FCC labeling, it's much more likely that this is a behind-the-scenes object that will not see a public release. Regulatory information is etched directly on the back plate of the device along with a wiring guide, details that are not included on consumer-facing products. It's possible that the device in question is something that's used in retail Apple stores, such as a product display unit or iBeacon-based equipment used to communicate with customer iOS devices. Given Apple's secrecy and its request for the FCC to keep all images, descriptions, diagrams, and antenna locations for the device hidden from the public, we won't know more about the device until it's released, and if it is indeed a non-consumer-facing product as we suspect, we may never figure out what it is.Tag: FCC Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Over the course of the last year, there has been ongoing speculation that wireless charging company Energous has inked a deal with Apple and could potentially provide wireless charging technology for the upcoming iPhone 8. While Energous CEO Steve Rizzone has continually hinted that his company has established an agreement with "one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world," leading people to believe the partner is Apple, a new investor's note from Copperfield Research outlines why Apple has no plans to use Energous' WattUp radio frequency-based wireless charging solution. Copperfield Research examined multiple inductive charging patent applications filed by Apple starting in 2013, which now number more than a dozen, suggesting the patents are a clear indication of Apple's desire to pursue its own in-house inductive charging solutions for future products. Inductive charging, widely used today, relies on magnetic coils to provide power rather than radio waves. An image from an Apple patent covering inductive charging The patents by themselves are not a clear indication of Apple's plans, but in one patent filed in 2011, Apple makes its feelings on radio frequency-based charging clear, calling it "very inefficient," "not practical," and potentially hazardous. In the interest of full disclosure, however, the patent was filed before any prospective relationship with Energous.However, this type of radiative transfer is very inefficient because only a tiny portion of the supplied or radiated power, namely, that portion in the direction of, and overlapping with, the receiver is picked up. The vast majority of the power is radiated away in all the other directions and lost in free space. Such inefficient power transfer may be acceptable for data transmission, but is not practical for transferring useful amounts of electrical energy for the purpose of doing work, such as for charging electrical devices. [...] In addition, such schemes may pose hazards to objects or people that cross or intersect the beam when modest to high amounts of power are being transmitted.Furthermore, Copperfield Research suggests both rumored design decisions and recent news that Apple has partnered with Lite-On Semiconductor for wireless charging bridge rectifiers are indications of Apple's plan to use inductive charging. Bridge rectifiers, explains Copperfield Research, are used to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), a component needed for inductive charging and one that would not be necessary should Apple be relying on an all-in-one module from Energous. Apple's rumored decision to use a glass body also reportedly points towards inductive charging. A glass body would not be required for RF-based wireless charging technology, but is needed for an inductive charging solution.Adding further credence to Apple's inductive charging roadmap are the consistent leaks from Asian sources that the next iPhone will feature glass casing. Inductive charging does not penetrate aluminum cases effectively, which is the material for the current iPhone casing. One reason Samsung adopted plastic material for its cases is to improve the performance of wireless charging. A major misperception among tech blogs and WATT investors is that Apple's switch to a glass casing somehow confirms the inclusion of WATT's charging technology. This is ridiculous. The efficacy of RF wireless charging (WATT's technology) is not affected by aluminum or plastic cases.Many of Apple's inductive charging patents outline the improvements Apple has made in the field over the course of the last few years and give hints as to how wireless charging could work if Apple is indeed developing an in-house inductive charging solution for the iPhone 8. Patents point towards multiple objects that could provide power, such as a table top with a charging coil built in, a desktop charging station, or even a desktop or notebook computer, which could be used to provide power to an iPhone or iPad. Devices could even share power between one another, suggesting a fully charged iPad could charge an iPhone, or vice versa. An image from an Apple patent covering inductive charging Copperfield Research does believe that Apple had a partnership with Energous that gave the Cupertino-based company a way to research radio frequency-based charging without shelling out cash, but concludes that there is an "overwhelmingly conclusive mosaic" suggesting Apple will use in-house inductive charging for the iPhone 8. Copperfield Research is made up of an anonymous group of researchers that have shorted Watt's stock and may not be entirely impartial, but the evidence they have presented makes a compelling argument for the use of an in-house inductive charging solution rather than a partnership with Energous.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: wireless charging, Energous Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.3, the third update to the macOS Sierra operating system that launched on September 20. macOS Sierra 10.12.3 comes over a month after the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.2, and has been in testing since December 14. macOS Sierra 10.12.3 is a free update for all customers who are running macOS Sierra. The update can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store. No specific changes, bug fixes, or feature additions were discovered during the beta testing process, and Apple only said the update "improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac." Apple's release notes paint a more complete picture, stating that the update improves graphics switching for the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, fixes issues with Adobe Premiere, and includes important fixes for Preview. The macOS Sierra 10.12.3 Update improves the stability and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users. This update: - Improves automatic graphics switching on MacBook Pro (15-inch, October 2016). - Resolves graphics issues while encoding Adobe Premiere Pro projects on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13- and 15-inch, October 2016). - Fixes an issue that prevented the searching of scanned PDF documents in Preview. - Resolves a compatibility issue with PDF documents that are exported with encryption enabled. - Fixes an issue that prevented some third-party applications from correctly importing images from digital cameras. Enterprise content: Resolves an issue were network or cached user accounts (such as Active Directory accounts) using the maxFailedLoginAttempts password policy were becoming disabled.macOS Sierra 10.12.3 will likely soon be followed by another update, as Apple has been committed to regularly making updates to the operating system since its September release. Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released iOS 10.2.1 to the public following several weeks of testing. iOS 10.2.1 also comes more than a month after the release of iOS 10.2, the second major update to the iOS 10 operating system. iOS 10.2.1 is a free over-the-air update available to all iOS 10 users. It can also be downloaded and installed on iOS devices using iTunes on a Mac or PC. No outward-facing changes or new features were discovered during the beta testing process, suggesting the update focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements. The iOS 10.2.1 update will soon be followed by a new iOS 10.3 beta, if rumors are correct. The first iOS 10.3 beta, with a new "Theatre Mode" was rumored to be coming out on January 10, but has not yet appeared. Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Samsung held a press conference on Monday in which it revealed the results of its internal investigation into why some of its Galaxy Note7 handsets set on fire. Last week, leaked reports confirmed the battery was to blame, but Samsung took pains today to explain the thoroughness of its investigation, which involved over 700 engineers and data gathered from testing 200,000 phones and 30,000 Note7 batteries. In addition to enlisting the help of two independent testing labs, the Korean company built a large-scale test facility to automate different charging and discharging scenarios, which was able to replicate the failures of consumer handsets. Absolutely everything was examined, said Samsung, from hardware and software design, to manufacturing and logistics. Samsung's Note7 test facility. Samsung said that two separate flaws were to blame for some batteries setting on fire in both original and replacement phones. The original Note7 battery had a design flaw in the top-right corner that was liable to short-circuit, while the batteries in replacement units were prone to combustion because of a welding defect. Some handsets were also missing insulation tape. For those interested, the company also released an infographic explaining the findings in more detail. Going forward, Samsung said it was introducing an 8-point Battery Safety Check that includes additional inspection and testing. The firm also said it was improving training for all battery handlers across its assembly and shipping chains. In addition, it explained that more space would be allowed around the batteries in its handsets to protect them from impact-related failures, and said it would take steps to improve its battery diagnostic and controller software. “I [hope] this serves as an opportunity to improve safety of lithium-ion not only for Samsung but for the entire industry,” Samsung mobile head DJ Koh told Recode, adding that Samsung takes responsibility for all components of the phone, including batteries made by other Samsung subsidiaries and those bought from outside companies.Samsung confirmed that the changes would arrive in the forthcoming Galaxy S8, but told reporters not to expect its mid-cycle phone to make its usual appearance at the Mobile World Congress, held annually in February. No timeframe was given for the launch of the S8, suggesting Samsung is being careful not to put itself under undue pressure for its comeback after last year's Note7 debacle, which was said to be a result of the company trying to beat Apple's iPhone 7 to market.Tags: Samsung, Galaxy Note 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Yahoo is under investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission over its failure to disclose its massive data breaches sooner, according to The Wall Street Journal. In September 2016, the internet company revealed that an unidentified hacker had stolen the personal data of "at least" 500 million users. Then last month, the internet company admitted that over one billion Yahoo user accounts had been compromised in a hack dating back to August 2013. Information stolen included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, hashed passwords, security questions and answers. According to today's report, the SEC is investigating why Yahoo waited years before disclosing the massive data breach, despite the fact that some staff had known about the incident since at least 2014. The SEC has requested documents from Yahoo relating to the hacks in order to decide whether the internet giant could have reported the breach to investors sooner. Yahoo is currently negotiating a takeover bid by Verizon, who is reportedly seeking a $1 billion discount off an original $4.8 billion buyout agreement because of the hacking revelations. It's unclear what impact the SEC investigation will have on the deal, but Yahoo's share price had already fallen following the news.Tag: Yahoo Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is considering a $7 billion joint investment with Apple to establish a display manufacturing facility in the United States, it was reported on Sunday. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, journalists who attended Foxconn's annual end-of-year party quoted chairman Terry Gou as saying that Apple is seeking to invest with the firm in a U.S. facility, which will eventually create 30,000 to 50,000 jobs. The increase in demand for larger display panels makes local production a better solution than shipping from China to the U.S. market, Gou told reporters. In addition to the proposed display facility, Gou said Foxconn plans a new molding facility in the U.S., with the state of Pennsylvania earmarked as a possible location following investment discussions with local officials. Gou also said that Smart Technologies, a Foxconn-controlled interactive display startup based in Canada, may move south of the border, after U.S. President Donald Trump signaled a possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. According to reports, Gou said that the rise of U.S. protectionism was an inevitable consequence of the Trump administration, but questioned whether American consumers would be willing to pay significantly more for products as a result. "In the future they may be paying some $500 more for U.S. products, but those do not necessarily work better than a $300 phone," he said, after urging U.S. authorities to provide concessions on land and electricity to facilitate Foxconn's manufacturing operations. "Yes, we will continue to add to our investments in China," Gou told reporters. "China is the world's biggest market, and why should we turn down the biggest market?"Foxconn's facility in Zhengzhou, China, produces over 100 million iPhones every year. Taking into account production from Taiwan and Hong Kong, China was responsible for more than 19 percent of Apple's global revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016. Rising tension between the U.S. and China could benefit Gou, say people familiar with the tycoon's style. "Foxconn is known to leverage different provinces and countries against each other for better terms," an industry source said, suggesting Gou could pit both countries against each other as both sides courted new investments from the company. Earlier this week it was reported that Foxconn was planning a new facility next to Apple's forthcoming research and development center in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. "Foxconn will not leave. Foxconn will stay in China," Gou told reporters in Guangzhou, when asked whether he plans to move existing manufacturing sites to the United States. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: Foxconn Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research report today in which he outlined further expectations for Apple's 2017 iPhone, including new biometric identification technology as well as the necessity of a new design to provide better structural support for a flexible OLED display with 3D Touch capability. Apple may switch to a film sensor from the current FPCB sensor in order to provide better 3D Touch user experience, as a film sensor offers higher sensitivity. Also, we expect the new OLED iPhone will come with a flexible OLED panel. To avoid deforming the form factor of the flexible OLED panel from touch operation pressure, a metal structural part will be placed under the film sensor to provide more robust structural support.Kuo also believes Apple is developing a new Touch ID technology for its next iPhone "to complement its full-screen (zero bezel) form factor design and to enhance transactions security". According to Kuo, the existing "under glass" design of fingerprint recognition doesn't meet the requirements of full-screen form factor designs, therefore an "under panel" placement is required. As a result, Kuo says Apple aims to switch from the current capacitive-type to an optical-type system. Despite the technology still being in the early stages of development and the fact that OLED panel makers will have to provide bespoke designs for the system to work, Kuo believes Apple has the bargaining power to request the customizations. Notably, Kuo believes the fingerprint recognition system will "ultimately be replaced by a facial recognition system" for enhanced security. "However, if the technical challenges cannot be overcome, we believe a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition is another possible solution." Judging by the bio-recognition patents that Apple has applied for, we believe it is leaning toward facial recognition technology rather than iris recognition. However, we note that the technical challenges of facial recognition include: (1) algorithms; (2) hardware design; and (3) the build-out of a database for verification and authentication, which could be time consuming. As such, before Apple can fully replace the fingerprint system with facial recognition, a combination of the two steps of bio-recognition could be a valid solution for enhancing transactions security. Assuming the technological challenges are not too great and adoption this year isn't too soon, Kuo suggests Apple's new system will usher in a "paradigm shift" for the application of biometric identification in smartphones. Kuo's latest report builds on previous predictions regarding this year's "10th anniversary" iPhone, which is expected to feature a radical redesign with an embedded home button in an edge-to-edge display, a glass body, and potentially wireless charging. Previous rumors suggesting the iPhone 8 could include advanced biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning have pointed to the possibility that they could also power augmented reality camera functions.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Following news yesterday that Apple has filed suit against LTE modem supplier Qualcomm for engaging in anticompetitive licensing practices, the chipmaker hit back on Sunday by calling Apple's claims "baseless" and accusing it of "encouraging regulatory attacks". Apple shared a statement with several news sites on Friday announcing the lawsuit, which argued that Qualcomm used its position as the sole supplier of a key iPhone component to drive up patent licensing fees. This morning Qualcomm responded in a statement on its website in which it claimed that Apple "intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations". "While we are still in the process of reviewing the complaint in detail, it is quite clear that Apple's claims are baseless. Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program. Apple has been actively encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm's business in various jurisdictions around the world, as reflected in the recent KFTC decision and FTC complaint, by misrepresenting facts and withholding information. We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple's practices and a robust examination of the merits," said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel, Qualcomm Incorporated.Qualcomm was the sole supplier of LTE modems used in iPhones up until 2016, when Intel also began providing the component with the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple claims Qualcomm forced it to use the LTE chips and pay back a percentage of the selling price of the phone in return for access to its patents. Apple wants $1 billion in rebate payments, which were withheld by Qualcomm after Apple became involved in an antitrust investigation against the company in South Korea.Tags: lawsuit, Qualcomm Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Group FaceTime calls will be a new feature introduced in iOS 11, according to an unverified rumor shared by Israeli site The Verifier. Citing "several people familiar with iOS development," the site says group FaceTime calls are being worked on by Apple's iOS 11 team, with some of the work taking place in Israel. Said to be a "social" update that focuses on iMessage and FaceTime development, iOS 11 will reportedly let users start multi-person calls through a group conversation in iMessage. Up to five people at once will be able to participate in a call. The Verifier is not a site with an established track record for accurate rumors, so it is not clear how reliable this information is. We've heard few details on iOS 11 at this point in time, so the rumor should be viewed with skepticism until backed up by a secondary source. The site also says that Apple could choose not to release group FaceTime calls in iOS 11, instead saving the feature for a future update. Group FaceTime calls have been a long-desired feature on iOS and Mac devices, and would go a long way towards bringing FaceTime more in line with Microsoft's Skype software, which allows several people to communicate with one another through video chats. iOS 11 will likely be released alongside new iPhones in the fall of 2017, but we expect to see a preview of the new software at the Worldwide Developers Conference, likely to be held in June of 2017.Tags: FaceTime, iOS 11 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Following an FTC complaint alleging Qualcomm engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices, Apple has filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming the company has charged unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with." According to a statement Apple shared with several news sites, Qualcomm "reinforces its dominance" through exclusionary tactics and high patent licensing fees. Apple's full statement is below:"For many years Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with. The more Apple innovates with unique features such as TouchID, advanced displays, and cameras, to name just a few, the more money Qualcomm collects for no reason and the more expensive it becomes for Apple to fund these innovations. Qualcomm built its business on older, legacy, standards but reinforces its dominance through exclusionary tactics and excessive royalties. Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined. To protect this business scheme Qualcomm has taken increasingly radical steps, most recently withholding nearly $1B in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them. Apple believes deeply in innovation and we have always been willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for patents we use. We are extremely disappointed in the way Qualcomm is conducting its business with us and unfortunately after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty we have no choice left but to turn to the courts."In the lawsuit, filed in a federal district court in the Southern District of California, Apple accuses Qualcomm of using its position as the supplier of a key iPhone component to drive up patent licensing fees. Qualcomm supplies the LTE modems used in Apple's line of iPhones, and up until 2016, the company was Apple's sole supplier. The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus use modems from both Qualcomm and Intel. Qualcomm reportedly forced Apple to use its LTE chips exclusively in iOS devices and pay a percentage of the total average selling price of an iPhone for access to Qualcomm patents. Qualcomm is supposed to provide Apple with quarterly rebates, but has failed to do so for the past year because of Apple's participation in an antitrust investigation against Qualcomm in South Korea. That investigation led to an $850+ million fine against Qualcomm for anticompetitive licensing practices. Apple is seeking $1 billion in rebate payments that have been withheld. Earlier this week, the United States Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm that focused in part on Apple and Qualcomm's licensing deals. According to the FTC, Qualcomm imposes "onerous and anticompetitive supply and licensing terms" on its smartphone partners by abusing its patent portfolio. Qualcomm has said it has "grave concerns" about the lack of evidence supporting the FTC's allegations and has promised to defend itself in federal court.Tags: lawsuit, Qualcomm Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook sold 30,000 shares of Apple stock this week, valued at $3.6 million based on the company's stock price of $120 at the time of the transactions, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission disclosure. The shares were sold as scheduled pursuant to Cook's predetermined trading plan. Cook retains 1,009,809 company shares worth over $121 million based on Apple's current stock price following the sale. A recent SEC filing revealed Cook was paid $8.7 million in 2016, which is $1.5 million less than he was paid in 2015. The decrease stems from Apple failing to meet its own target performance goals for both net sales and operating income in 2016, resulting in senior executives receiving only 89.5% of their cash incentives. However, upon reaching his fifth anniversary as Apple CEO last year, Cook cashed in nearly $137 million in previously-awarded stock bonuses tied to both his tenure and Apple's performance under his leadership. Accordingly, after bonuses, Cook actually earned roughly $145 million last year, his biggest payout yet. Yesterday, Apple analyst Neil Cybart opined that Cook and his inner circle are "doing what needs to be done in order to maintain Apple's relevancy," but he noted "there is room for improvement." He called out sporadic Mac and iPad updates, and slow progress with Siri, as two blemishes among others in its product strategy.In attempt to add a bit of relative context to this subjective grading: • Product Strategy: A- • Product Pipeline/R&D: A • Operations: B- • Marketing/Storytelling: C+ • Culture: B+ • Public Face: A+ • Financials: BIn related shareholder news, the world's largest asset manager BlackRock has increased its stake in Apple and now holds 6.1% of outstanding shares in the company, up from 5.7% a year ago. Its 322,683,504 shares are valued at over $38.7 billion based on Apple's current stock price.Tags: Tim Cook, AAPL, SEC, Above Avalon Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Simply Mac, a well-known Apple Authorized Reseller and Service Provider owned by GameStop, is shutting down a number of its brick and mortar stores across the United States. Locations in North Carolina, North Dakota, Montana, Texas, Illinois, and more, are closing this week. Image via the Billings Gazette Notices at some of the locations have suggested Simply Mac is being shut down because Apple is ending its agreement with the retail chain, and several local newspapers are reporting the same news, but on Twitter, Simply Mac says that is not true. A notice sent out by the West Acres Mall in Fargo, North Dakota:We wanted to reach out to you with news of another change at West Acres. As of today, Simply Mac has closed. Simply Mac opened at West Acres in August 2014 and we've enjoyed having them as part of the West Acres family. The closure is due to the Apple Corporation ending its national agreement with Simply Mac to sell them Apple product, making it impossible for them to continue. They will be onsite for a few days to help with customers who have repaired items to pick up.A GameStop spokesperson who spoke to the Midland-Reporter Telegram in Texas and the Billings Gazette in Montana said the closure of the Simply Mac store in that location was done as part of a business transformation plan that involves closing non-productive store locations."As GameStop announced in its holiday sales release, the company continues to focus on the execution of our business transformation plan, which includes growing our non-gaming businesses and right-sizing our global store portfolio across all our retail brands. This involves evaluating and closing non-productive locations. The closure of this Simply Mac store is part of that strategy."It is not clear why there is mixed information being shared about the store closures, but it appears that only a select number of stores are being shuttered at this time. We've reached out to GameStop for a full list of the locations that are disappearing. The closure of several Simply Mac stores comes as GameStop faces flagging sales. Earlier this month, GameStop announced that its holiday sales fell 16.4 percent compared to 2015.Tags: Apple retail, Simply Mac Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's new line of iPad models might not launch "until the second half of 2017," according to sources in the upstream supply chain speaking with DigiTimes. The new 9.7-inch iPad is predicted to enter mass production sometime in Q1 2017, while the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad models will begin production in Q2 of this year. All of the new iPads are described as still being in the "planning" phase. Although it was expected for Apple to announce and launch the new iPads during the Spring, the new report claims that "these tablets may not be announced or even released" until sometime in the second half of 2017. In December, "lower-than-expected" yield rates for the 10-nanometer manufacturing process was rumored to be a potential factor in a delayed launch for the new iPads. Apple reportedly is planning three new tablets for 2017, a 9.7-inch iPad with a friendly price range, a 10.5-inch iPad, and an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The products are still in planning, with the 9.7-inch model expected to enter mass production in the first quarter, and the other two in the second, according to sources from the related upstream supply chain. However, these tablets may not be announced or even released in the market until the second half of 2017, the sources said. In DigiTimes' report, the sources mentioned a 10.5-inch iPad, which is a size that was recently well-explained by Studio Neat designer Dan Provost as a logical choice for the middle-tier iPad. While multiple rumors placed the new iPad -- believed to be an iPad Pro -- somewhere in the 10-inch range, everything from a 10.1-inch to a 10.9-inch model has been reported. According to the supply chain sources, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a contender to replace the price tier of the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro, while the new 9.7-inch version will be introduced at an even lower cost to become an entry-level device, "mainly targeting the education sector." As previously reported, DigiTimes' sources today reiterated that the higher-end 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models will include an A10X processor. No mention was made of the 9.7-inch model and its processor, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last year predicted that the "low-cost" iPad would likely adopt a lower-end A9X processor. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is being positioned as a flagship model of the iPad line, believed to feature an edge-to-edge display without a home button, but retain a small portion of the top bezel in order to provide space for the front-facing FaceTime camera.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tag: digitimes.com Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple could be planning to introduce a second-generation Apple Pencil this year, according to rumors out of the Asian supply chain. The new Apple Pencil could be unveiled at an event rumored to take place in March, where it would be shown off alongside the next-generation iPad Pro. Prospective features for a second-generation Apple Pencil aren't known, but a previous report from Bloomberg has suggested Apple is considering new iPad features that would let the Apple Pencil to work in a larger range of apps, a function that could be introduced with the new accessory through software updates. There's also been some speculation that Apple could build in features outlined in a several patents, including new antenna technology and a magnet that would allow the Apple Pencil to attach to an iPad's body when not in use. We don't have any concrete detail on the features that could potentially be included in a second-generation Apple Pencil, but given the major changes expected to be introduced to the iPad Pro lineup, it makes some sense for Apple to unveil an updated pencil accessory. Rumors suggest Apple will introduce a new iPad Pro model somewhere around 10 inches with an almost bezel-free design. Though it will feature a larger display, it's said to be the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Features like Touch ID would reportedly be built into the display, much like the rumored iPhone 8, and it is expected to include faster display technology and an upgraded A10X processor.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tags: feng.com, Apple Pencil Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The next-generation iPhone 8, set to debut this September, could include facial or gesture recognition technology, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri (via AppleInsider). The facial recognition capabilities could be powered by a laser sensor and an infrared sensor located near the front-facing camera. We've previously heard rumors suggesting the iPhone 8 could include advanced biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning, both from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chu Kuo and from details sourced from the Asian supply chain. With facial recognition, Apple could replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone or augment its functionality with a two-factor verification system for sensitive information. In this scenario, unlocking the iPhone would require users to scan their faces, something that would increase security on iOS devices. Facial recognition could also power other features on the phone, like augmented reality camera functions, and while gesture recognition is a new rumor, it could allow users to control their devices with simple gestures for doing things like turning volume up or down. Capabilities like gesture control and facial recognition are also some of the first steps towards a rich augmented reality experience, something Apple is rumored to be working on. Arcuri also reiterates several rumors we've previously heard. He believes Apple will launch a total of three iPhones, the standard 4.7 and 5.5-inch models and a new higher-end 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display. The 5.8-inch iPhone, he says, will feature a wraparound display and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that is located under the glass, a technology Apple has been pursuing for some time. Wireless charging, a much-rumored and highly desired feature, is also expected. Today's report from Timothy Arcuri covers many rumors that have been circulating for a few months, which is similar to much of the information that comes from the analyst. Cowen and Company has something of a mixed track record, but accurately predicted some iPhone 7 features.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Timothy Arcuri, Cowen and Company Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced major updates for music creation software GarageBand and professional editing software Logic Pro X, introducing a number of new features for its music-related apps. GarageBand version 2.2 for iOS devices includes the Alchemy creative synthesizer that was added to Logic Pro X in 2015, along with a new sound browser to make it easier for users to find instruments and specific sounds. Alchemy includes more than 150 Apple-designed patches from a variety of genres ranging from EDM and Hip Hop to Rock and Pop. Using Alchemy's Transform Pad, GarageBand users can now create "expressive synth performances." A redesigned Audio Recorder lets users add one-tap vocal effects to recordings and use features like pitch correction, distortion, and delay, while an interactive graphic Visual EQ and other advanced audio processing tools have been added for professional users. Logic Pro X for Mac has been updated to version 10.3, introducing new features, a refreshed interface, and Touch Bar support, allowing the Touch Bar on the 2016 MacBook Pro to be used for music editing. The Touch Bar features quick access to navigation tools and Smart Controls, plus it can be used for playing and recording instruments using a piano keyboard or drum pads. A new Track Alternatives feature lets users create and switch between different playlists of regions and edits, and Selection-based Processing lets users apply Logic or third-party plug-ins onto one or more audio region. With iOS integration, Logic Pro X users can also add new tracks to Logic sessions from their iPhone or their iPad when away from their Mac, and a new share option lets users upload GarageBand-compatible versions of Logic projects to iCloud that can be opened on iOS devices. New recordings can be added via GarageBand on an iOS device and then synced back to Logic Pro X when the project is opened on a Mac."Music has always been part of Apple's DNA, and we are excited to deliver yet another fun and powerful update to our music creation apps, GarageBand for iOS and Logic Pro X," said Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of Applications Product Marketing. "These updates bring a wide range of new and highly requested features to both hobbyists and the community of pro musicians and audio engineers who rely on our software and hardware to create amazing music."GarageBand for iOS is provided for free to customers who purchase a new iOS device, but it's also available from the iOS App Store for $4.99. [Direct Link] GarageBand is provided for free to customers who purchase a new Mac, but can also be purchased from the Mac App Store for $4.99. [Direct Link] Logic Pro X is available for purchase from the Mac App Store for $199.99. [Direct Link]Tags: Logic Pro X, GarageBand Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's stock price is currently hovering around the $120 mark in intraday trading, its highest level since late 2015. The stock has been steadily climbing in value since dropping to a 52-week low of $89.47 in May 2016. 2016 marked Apple's first year-over-year decline in revenue since 2003, and first drop in iPhone sales ever, but its stock price appears to have mostly weathered the storm. Since bottoming out, Apple has introduced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, long-awaited new MacBook Pro models, Apple Watch Series 2, and AirPods. This year, Apple is rumored to introduce at least one majorly redesigned iPhone, a trio of iPads, and new Macs, including an updated iMac with the option for AMD graphics, new 12-inch MacBook models with Kaby Lake processors and up to 16GB of RAM, and a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Kaby Lake and 32GB of RAM. Last month, Apple analyst Brian White said he "continues to believe Apple is one of the most underappreciated stocks in the world," partly due to "a never ending waterfall of 'gloom and doom' media reports" surrounding the company.Tag: AAPL Discuss this article in our forums

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California resident Julio Ceja is seeking a class action lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of placing profit before consumer safety by choosing not to implement a lock-out mechanism that would disable an iPhone's functionality when being used behind the wheel by an engaged driver. Ceja demands that Apple halt the sale of all iPhones in California until a lock-out mechanism is implemented. He also demands that Apple release a software update that adds a lock-out mechanism to all iPhones already in the hands of consumers. He is not seeking further damages beyond legal fees and costs. The complaint, filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, asserts that Apple's willful decision not to implement a lock-out mechanism on iPhones, chiefly to prevent texting and driving, constitutes "unfair business acts and practices" under California's Unfair Competition Law. A jury trial has been demanded. Ceja asserts that Apple's "enormous market share" means that it is the "largest contributor" to texting and driving, while noting it is "downright shocking" that smartphone companies like Apple "do nothing to help shield the public at large from the dangers associated with the use of their phones." "If texting and driving is a vessel of trouble, Apple is the captain of the ship," the complaint alleges. The complaint claims that Apple recognized the dangers of texting and driving, and the important role it should play in stopping it, in its lock-out mechanism patent filed in 2008 and published in 2014. The patent notes that "texting while driving has become a major concern of parents, law enforcement, and the general public," and further claims that "texting while driving has become so widespread it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the practice." The patent describes one method where a motion analyzer would detect whether a handheld device is in motion beyond a certain speed. A scenery analyzer would be able to determine whether the holder of the handheld device is located within a safe operating area of a vehicle. Otherwise, the device could be disabled. In other embodiments, a vehicle or car key could transmit a signal that disables functionality of the handheld device while it is being operated. To a lesser degree, a vehicle could also transmit a signal that merely sends the device a notification stating that functionality should be disabled. In November, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommended smartphone makers develop a "Driver Mode", a simplified interface that would prevent access to non-driving-related tasks such as text messaging, social media, and viewing images and video unrelated to driving. The complaint comes less than one month after a Texas family sued Apple for failing to enable said lock-out mechanisms to prevent distracted driving. On Christmas Eve in 2014, the family's vehicle was struck by a distracted driver who admitted to using FaceTime while driving. The accident caused one fatality. Apple has faced other similar lawsuits in the past. In response to a Texas lawsuit filed in 2015, Apple indicated the responsibility is on the driver to avoid distractions in a statement provided to The New York Times:"We discourage anyone from allowing their iPhone to distract them by typing, reading or interacting with the display while driving," Apple said. "For those customers who do not wish to turn off their iPhones or switch into Airplane Mode while driving to avoid distractions, we recommend the easy-to-use Do Not Disturb and Silent Mode features."Ceja himself was rear ended by a driver who was texting behind the wheel. Whether this latest complaint has merit will be up to the court to decide. Apple has yet to publicly comment on the matter.Tags: lawsuit, distracted driving Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier this month, Swift creator Chris Lattner announced he will be stepping down as director of Apple's Development Tools department to lead Tesla's Autopilot engineering team as VP of Autopilot Software. Lattner did not explain the reason for the move, but he later denied a report claiming he "felt constrained" due to Apple's culture of secrecy. So, we decided to reach out to him to learn about his true motivations. As it turns out, Lattner told MacRumors the answer is actually very simple: he is ready to move on to something new.I've been writing code for more than 30 years, and 16 of those years have been in the developer tools space. I love it, but I am ready to move on to something else. Autopilot is clearly incredibly important to the world because of its ability to save people's lives (and increase convenience). It is also a very, very hard technology problem and my experience building large scale software and team building is useful. Of course, I’ve also been a huge Tesla fan for some time.He added it was "a very difficult decision," but noted the opportunity to work with Tesla's Autopilot team was "irresistible."This was a very difficult decision, because I care deeply about the technology and people at Apple and because I could see myself staying there for many more years. In the end though, the opportunity to dive into a completely new area and work with the amazing Tesla Autopilot team was irresistible.At Tesla, Lattner will help the company achieve one of its biggest goals: fully self-driving vehicles. As of October 2016, Tesla said all vehicles produced in its factory, including the Model 3, have the hardware needed for "full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver," and it's now only a matter of time before the technology is enabled. Tesla:All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go. If you don’t say anything, the car will look at your calendar and take you there as the assumed destination or just home if nothing is on the calendar. Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigate urban streets (even without lane markings), manage complex intersections with traffic lights, stop signs and roundabouts, and handle densely packed freeways with cars moving at high speed. When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you.Tesla Autopilot is semi-autonomous in its current state for tasks such as steering and parking. Tesla's second-generation hardware suite has eight cameras that provide 360 degrees of visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve ultrasonic sensors and a forward-facing radar allow for detection of objects, even through heavy rain, fog, dust, and the car ahead. Tesla remains committed to enabling full self-driving capabilities by the end of the year, but the process of gaining regulatory approval, which Tesla said may vary widely by jurisdiction, will presumably be a long and challenging process. Once approved, however, the technology will truly change cars forever, and it's easy to imagine why Lattner would want to be part of that change. At Apple, he led a group of about 200 people responsible for Swift, Xcode, Swift Playgrounds, Instruments, CPU and GPU compilers, and low-level tools, among other things. These tools are used both within Apple and by third-party developers targeting the iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS software platforms. Lattner was hired at Apple in 2005 to bring his LLVM Compiler Infrastructure to production quality for use in its products. He then started working on the Swift programming language in 2010, and it became a key focus of the Development Tools team in 2013. Swift was ultimately introduced at WWDC 2014. Swift now has a large community of developers contributing to it since it became open source in late 2015, so Lattner is in a good position to pursue a new opportunity without jeopardizing future development of the language. His duties will shift to Ted Kremenek, who had already been overseeing Swift for some time. Lattner said Ted has been "one of the quiet but incredible masterminds" behind Swift, which has an "incredible future ahead of it." Tags: Swift, Tesla Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The United States Federal Trade Commission today filed a complaint against Qualcomm, accusing the company of violating the FTC Act by using anticompetitive tactics to remain the dominant supplier of baseband processors (aka LTE chips) for smartphones. According to the FTC, Qualcomm uses its position and its portfolio of patents to impose "onerous and anticompetitive supply and licensing terms on cell phone manufacturers," negatively impacting its competitors. The complaint specifically addresses a deal with Apple in which Qualcomm required Apple to exclusively use its modems from 2011 to 2016 in exchange for lower patent royalties.Qualcomm precluded Apple from sourcing baseband processors from Qualcomm's competitors from 2011 to 2016. Qualcomm recognized that any competitor that won Apple's business would become stronger, and used exclusivity to prevent Apple from working with and improving the effectiveness of Qualcomm's competitors.Up until 2016, Apple only used Qualcomm modems in its line of iPhones, deviating from the norm with the iPhone 7. Both Intel and Qualcomm modems were adopted for the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, leading to some compatibility and performance discrepancies. Qualcomm is also accused of refusing to license its standard-essential patents to competing suppliers and implementing a "no license, no chips" tax policy where it supplies its baseband processors only when manufacturers agree to Qualcomm's preferred licensing terms, causing smartphone makers to pay higher royalties to Qualcomm when a competitor's modem chips are used. The FTC has asked the court to order Qualcomm to put a stop to its anticompetitive conduct and take action to "restore competitive conditions." Update: According to Qualcomm, the FTC's complaint is based on "flawed legal theory, a lack of economic support and significant misconceptions about the mobile technology industry." Qualcomm says it has never withheld or threatened to withhold chip supply to obtain unfair licensing terms. "This is an extremely disappointing decision to rush to file a complaint on the eve of Chairwoman Ramirez's departure and the transition to a new Administration, which reflects a sharp break from FTC practice," said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel, Qualcomm Incorporated. "In our recent discussions with the FTC, it became apparent that it still lacked basic information about the industry and was instead relying on inaccurate information and presumptions. In fact, Qualcomm was still receiving requests for information from the agency that would be necessary to an informed view of the facts when it became apparent that the FTC was driving to file a complaint before the transition to the new Administration. We have grave concerns about the two Commissioners' decision to bring this case despite a lack of evidence supporting the allegations and theories in the complaint. We look forward to defending our business in federal court, where we are confident we will prevail on the merits."Tags: FTC, Qualcomm Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Though Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 has been discontinued for several months because of battery issues, there are still "thousands" of Verizon customers who are continuing to use the devices against the company's advice. To put a stop to the rogue Note 7 users, Verizon tells Fortune that it's prepared to take more extreme steps to disable the devices. Verizon has already issued a carrier update that stops the Galaxy Note 7 from working, but some customers have been able to avoid installing it. Verizon plans to make it so calls placed on remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices will only connect to the company's customer service representatives, with the exception of 911 calls. Verizon is also considering charging customers who continue to use the Note 7 for the full retail price of the device, as it has sent out refunds."In spite of our best efforts, there are still customers using the recalled phones who have not returned or exchanged their Note 7 to the point of purchase," a Verizon spokeswoman tells Fortune. "The recalled Note 7s pose a safety risk to our customers and those around them."Verizon customers who return a Note 7 device to the company continue to be eligible for a $100 bill credit and no upgrade fee as an incentive to choose a new smartphone. Samsung has not officially announced the results of an internal investigation it conducted on the Galaxy Note 7, but company sources yesterday told Reuters that Samsung has concluded the battery was the reason behind the fires. Samsung was able to replicate the fires during its investigation, though the cause was not able to be explained by hardware design or software. Samsung's official results will be shared on January 23, and the company is also expected to share details on measures it will take to prevent similar battery issues in the future.Tags: Samsung, Verizon Discuss this article in our forums

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AT&T yesterday announced that its 2G wireless network was officially shut down on January 1, 2017, following four years of planning for its discontinuation. As The Verge points out, the end of the 2G network means the original first-generation iPhone (also known as the iPhone 2G) will no longer receive cellular service from the AT&T network, effectively shutting it down. Few people appear to have been using the original iPhone as there were no complaints from iPhone owners two weeks ago when the network was shuttered, but going forward, customers who keep the device as part of a collection will only be able to use it on WiFi. Originally released in June of 2007 and discontinued in 2008, the first iPhone was made obsolete by Apple back in 2013, and it has not received software updates since the 2009 release of iPhone OS 3, later renamed iOS 3. While the end of the 2G network seems to have had little impact on iPhone owners, it did manage to cause significant issues for the San Francisco Muni bus and train system. NextMuni, used to predict arrival times of buses and trains, ran on AT&T's 2G network. Muni vehicles without upgraded systems installed don't show up on NextMuni, a problem that the San Francisco transit agency believes could take weeks to solve. According to AT&T, shutting down its 2G network frees up valuable spectrum for future network technologies, including 5G. AT&T says the spectrum will be repurposed for LTE.Tag: AT&T Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple Music executives Larry Jackson, Bozoma Saint John, and Zane Lowe sat down for an interview with Complex, where they discussed Apple Music's performance over the last eighteen months and where the streaming service is going to go in the future. According to the trio, Apple Music has evolved and is continuing to evolve, with Apple now focusing heavily on pop culture and expanding beyond music into TV and movies. Image via Complex "Every day something is changing or moving or evolving for people who love music and entertainment," said Lowe. "We're all still working it out, and even when you don't have the answer, it's still a privilege to be in the conversation." Saint John, meanwhile, described Apple Music as a "living, breathing brand." When discussing the topic of the music industry, Saint John went on to share what she hopes Apple Music will look like five or 10 years in the future. According to Saint John, Apple is "developing something very special."We're developing something very special and we just want people to pay attention to it. My five-year vision is that I want every single person on the planet to be engaged on Apple Music. I truly believe we've created something very, very special. I don't think anyone else can do this. I will scream from the mountain top until everyone knows. Can I add one thing, too? This is a love fest right now, but I also feel like our conflict makes us better, too. There's plenty of times where I have screamed at Larry. And though he has not screamed back, I have felt his frustration.As we've learned over the last few months, Apple is making a serious push into original television programming to better compete with other music services like Spotify and Pandora. Apple is already working on two Apple Music-related shows, a documentary called "Vital Signs" starring Dr. Dre and a reality television show based on the "Carpool Karaoke" spot made famous by "Late Late Show" host James Corden. More original, scripted television shows, even those unrelated to the music industry, will follow, and movies could be on the horizon as well. Please enable Javascript to watch this video For more details on Apple Music, make sure to check out the full interview over at Complex.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple may be preparing to launch an iPhone 6 battery exchange program for undisclosed reasons, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. It is unclear if the iPhone 6 program would be related to Apple's existing iPhone 6s battery replacement program. Apple launched that program in November after it determined that a "very small number of iPhone 6s devices may unexpectedly shut down" due to a manufacturing issue. A number of iPhone 6s users said their devices typically shut down with around 30% battery life remaining. Apple noted the shutdowns are not a safety issue, but rather a feature designed to protect the iPhone's internal components from low voltage. However, affected batteries still need to be replaced. Apple also has an iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program, which it launched in August 2014 after it determined that a "very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently," so an iPhone 6 program would not be unprecedented. Mac Otakara accurately leaked several iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus features, including the removal of the headphone jack, but some of its rumors, such as a new Jet White color, have yet to materialize or proven incorrect.Tag: macotakara.jp Discuss this article in our forums

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