posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
60 Minutes has shared a preview of Tim Cook's latest interview with journalist Charlie Rose, in which the Apple CEO emphatically counters the idea that Apple has created elaborate schemes to pay little or no U.S. corporate taxes on its overseas revenue. JUST IN: Apple CEO tells "60 Minutes" that the notion of the tech giant avoiding taxes is "total political crap". https://t.co/yGoxhM29fZ— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) December 18, 2015Cook described the tax avoidance accusations as "total political crap," and deflected blame on the U.S. tax code for being far outdated. He added that repatriating the money in the U.S. is not "a reasonable thing to do" due to high corporate tax rates.Rose: You also have more money overseas probably than any other American company. […] Why don’t you bring that home? Cook: “It would cost me 40% to bring it home, and I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do. This is a tax code that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.” Rose: Here’s what they concluded: “Apple is engaged in a sophisticated scheme to pay little or no corporate taxes on $74 billion in revenue held overseas.” Cook: “That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe."Apple's tax policies have been closely investigated over the past few years in Europe. Earlier this year, for example, Italian regulators accused Apple of booking profits generated in the country through an Irish subsidiary in an effort to lower its taxable income base and save nearly 900 million euros from 2008 through 2013. The investigation was completed in March 2015. The European Commission began an investigation of Apple's tax policies in June 2014, and the Brussels-based executive body formally accused the company of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland in September 2014. The commission has since requested more information from Apple, likely delaying a decision in the tax probe until at least after the Irish elections in early 2016. Apple is said to utilize multiple foreign subsidiaries in Ireland to move around overseas money, which Cook says accounts for two-thirds of Apple's revenue, without being subject to high corporate tax rates in the U.S. and elsewhere. Apple has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and Ireland vows to take the European Commission to court over any negative ruling. Cook's wide-ranging interview will also touch upon encryption technology and manufacturing products in China. In the same episode, Rose will also offer a rare inside look at Jony Ive's "secret design studio" at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California. 60 Minutes airs on CBS this Sunday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and 7 p.m. Pacific Time. 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.Tags: Tim Cook, CBS, corporate tax, Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes Discuss this article in our forums

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Target is in early stages of developing its own mobile wallet solution that could launch as early as next year, according to Reuters. The fourth-largest U.S. retailer is leaning towards using QR code technology for the payments app, rather than NFC, enabling customers to purchase goods by scanning a code at checkout akin to Walmart Pay announced last week. Target is working on a mobile wallet for use at checkout (Image: MADELINECOYNE) The retailer reportedly plans to integrate the mobile wallet into its existing app available on iOS and Android, and will directly link customers' credit cards for payments. The wallet will likely support both Target's Red store credit and debit cards and ones from other issuers. Target does not currently accept any mobile wallets in it stores, but does support Apple Pay in its iPhone and iPad app. Target's plans to launch its own mobile wallet raise questions about its commitment to rival payment platforms. A company spokesperson confirmed that Target remains an active member of the Merchant Customer Exchange, a consortium of retailers developing the payments system CurrentC, and the retailer is also exploring additional mobile wallet solutions, according to the report. Target CEO Brian Cornell said in May that the retailer is "open-minded" about supporting Apple Pay or other payment services after upgrading its point-of-sale systems with chip-and-PIN card support, but the company has not announced any specific plans since. A few other MCX retailers including Best Buy and Rite Aid have already reversed course and started accepting Apple Pay this year.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tags: MCX, CurrentC, Target Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple today was hit by a class action lawsuit from iPhone 5 and 5s users on AT&T's network. The lawsuit alleges that the Cupertino company knowingly concealed a defect in the iPhone 5 and 5s that caused the devices to use LTE data even when connected to a Wi-Fi network. In September 2012, some iPhone 5 users noticed the bug after finding that they were going through more data than usual. Shortly after the issue came to light, Apple and Verizon issued a fix for the bug, with Verizon confirming that users affected by the bug would not be charged for their data use. However, according to an investigation by law firm Hagens Berman, Apple and AT&T never issued a fix nor did they acknowledge the defect. The firm and plaintiff Thomas Palmer believe that Apple should not have kept the fix from AT&T customers, and that the company failed to address the issue even as it released iOS 7 and the iPhone 5s. We believe Apple should not have withheld this repair for AT&T Wireless subscribers for any period of time. By withholding this information and repair, consumers were unaware of the defect and were left to sort out high cellular data charges with their wireless carriers.Specifically, the law firm says the defect occurred when a user streamed "high volumes of data" for 10 to 20 minutes. In this case, the GPU would take over all video decompression, decoding and presentation to the display. Because of this, the CPU was not needed and would go to "sleep" to conserve battery life. When the CPU went to sleep, the defect caused both the iPhone 5 and 5s to switch from streaming data via Wi-Fi to LTE.Tag: iPhone 5 Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple doesn't often let outsiders into its secret design lab headed up by Jony Ive, but the company invited journalist Charlie Rose to tour the facility earlier this year. Footage from that trip is set to air this Sunday, December 20, on popular show 60 Minutes. .@CharlieRose goes inside Jonathan Ive’s secret design studio at Apple headquarters, Sunday on @60Minutes pic.twitter.com/q1V6rI5yKi— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) December 17, 2015 Teasers for the episode were revealed in a tweet from the 60 Minutes Twitter account this evening, depicting Charlie Rose alongside Jony Ive. The episode will also include a discussion with retail head Angela Ahrendts about Apple's "store of the future" and the company's retail plans. .@CharlieRose gets a first look at Apple’s store of the future, Sunday on @60Minutes pic.twitter.com/BdjygqqIdc— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) December 17, 2015 Charlie Rose has done notable interviews with Apple executives in the past, including Jony Ive and Marc Newson in 2013 and Tim Cook in 2014.Tag: Charlie Rose Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple today announced a new partnership with China UnionPay, which will see Apple Pay expanding to China in early 2016. Through the partnership, China UnionPay cardholders will be able to use their bank cards with Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad (within apps). "Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China's leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience."Apple Pay in the country will work with the China UnionPay Quickpass, an existing contactless payment service. Customers will be able to hold an iPhone or Apple Watch near a UnionPay QuickPass-enabled point-of-sale terminal to make a payment at participating stores. Reaching a deal to bring Apple Pay to China has been a priority for Apple, given China's increasing importance to the company. A partnership between Apple and China UnionPay was first hinted at in February, when the first iOS 8.3 beta introduced support for the China UnionPay network. Talks reportedly stalled later that month, but in the weeks ahead of today's announcement, rumors pointing towards a deal picked up. A recent rumor has suggested Apple is aiming to launch Apple Pay in China before February 8, 2016, which marks the start of Chinese New Year. According to Apple's press release, the service will be available following "relevant tests and certification" required by Chinese regulators.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tag: China UnionPay Discuss this article in our forums

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The United States Federal Communications Commission yesterday sent letters to T-Mobile, AT&T, and Comcast questioning the companies about mobile services that allow customers to access certain content without paying for the data usage, reports Bloomberg. While the FCC has been careful to note the inquiry is "not an investigation" and designed to help the FCC "stay informed as to what the practices are," there have been some questions about whether such services violate net neutrality rules. Under scrutiny is T-Mobile's Binge On program, which allows customers to stream 480p video that doesn't count against a data cap, AT&T's Sponsored Data program that lets AT&T customers view sponsored content for free, and Comcast's Stream TV, a video service that does not count against data caps in areas where data caps are imposed. Ars Technica has uploaded a copy of the letters that were sent to the three companies. Back in February, the FCC voted in favor of new net neutrality rules preventing Internet providers from blocking or throttling web traffic or offering prioritized service for payment, but it has not specifically addressed these "zero-rating" data exemption programs. Last month, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said the organization would keep an eye on T-Mobile's Binge On service, but praised it as being both "highly innovative and highly competitive." In a statement, a T-Mobile spokesperson said the company is "looking forward" to talking with the FCC, and believes Binge On is "absolutely in line with net-neutrality rules." Comcast expressed a similar sentiment, stating it looks forward "to participating in the FCC's fact-gathering process relating to industry practices." An AT&T spokesperson said AT&T is committed to "innovation without permission" and expressed hope the FCC is too. The FCC has requested "relevant technical and business" representatives from T-Mobile, AT&T, and Comcast be made available for discussions by January 15. 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.Tags: T-Mobile, FCC, AT&T, Comcast Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 9.2.1 update to its public beta testers, with the software being made available just a day after the first developer beta of iOS 9.2.1 launched. The iOS 9.2.1 beta comes a week and a half after the public release of iOS 9.2, the second major update to iOS 9. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 9.2.1 update over-the-air after installing the proper certificates. Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate on the company's beta testing website, which gives users access to both iOS and OS X betas. The first developer beta of iOS 9.2.1 revealed no significant outward-facing changes, suggesting iOS 9.2.1 is a minor update that will focus on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes to address issues discovered since the release of iOS 9.2.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tag: iOS 9.2.1 Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple has announced an executive shakeup today that sees Jeff Williams promoted to Chief Operating Officer and marketing chief Phil Schiller taking over App Store leadership across all Apple platforms. Williams, who joined Apple in 1998 as head of worldwide procurement, becomes Apple's fourth C-level executive alongside CEO Tim Cook, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri and Chief Design Officer Jony Ive. As vice president of operations since 2004, his responsibilities included overseeing Apple's supply chain, service and support, and the company's social responsibility initiatives protecting its employees worldwide. He also continues to supervise development of the Apple Watch and ResearchKit. Cook called Williams "hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with."“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team. As we come to the end of the year, we’re recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with, and Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year.”Apple's COO position had been vacant since Cook was named CEO in August 2011. Schiller's expanded role will be focused on strategies to extend Apple's ecosystem across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, alongside his traditional marketing responsibilities. App Store leadership previously belonged to Apple services chief Eddy Cue, who continues to oversee the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Maps, iAd, iCloud and iWork apps.Cook continued, “In addition, Phil is taking on new responsibilities for advancing our ecosystem, led by the App Store, which has grown from a single, groundbreaking iOS store into four powerful platforms and an increasingly important part of our business. And I’m incredibly happy to welcome Tor Myhren, who will bring his creative talents to our advertising and marcom functions.”Apple also announced that Johny Srouji is joining the company's executive team as Senior Vice President for Hardware Technologies, and that Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren will join Apple in the first calendar quarter of 2016 as Vice President of Marketing Communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Srouji joined Apple in 2008 to lead development of the A4 chip, and now oversees the company's silicon and hardware technologies, including batteries, application processors, storage controllers, sensors silicon, display silicon and other chipsets across Apple's entire product line. He previously worked at Intel and IBM in the areas of processor development and design. Myhren will be responsible for Apple's advertising and marketing communication efforts across a range of creative disciplines, including video, motion graphics, interactive web design, packaging and retail store displays. The experienced advertising executive will succeed Hiroki Asai, who is retiring after 18 years in graphic design and marketing communications roles at Apple. The leadership changes are reflected on Apple's executive profiles page.Tags: Jeff Williams, Phil Schiller, Johny Srouji Discuss this article in our forums

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The NFL has solicited Apple and other digital companies, including Amazon, Google and Yahoo, about streaming the full "Thursday Night Football" schedule online on a non-exclusive basis next season, according to SportsBusiness Daily. The league also sent bidding proposals to CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and Turner Sports for traditional TV rights to the "Thursday Night Football" package, which is currently split between CBS and the NFL Network for the ongoing 2015 season.The league’s initial plan would have the digital streams serve as a simulcast of the television production -- with the same ads and in-game production features. […] It is not clear how much the league is expecting to make from the streaming rights, but several sources said the digital streams would not diminish the TV rights fee, especially if the digital streams carried the same advertising.While there is no certainty that Apple is interested in the NFL's digital rights, online streaming is inevitably the future of sports broadcasting as more cable subscribers cut the cord. NFL offers a live streaming app Game Pass, but it does not include "Thursday Night Football" and its selection of games is limited compared to rival platforms such as MLB At Bat, NBA League Pass and NHL GameCenter. Yahoo could be a frontrunner to secure the digital rights, having paid an estimated $15 million to exclusively live stream a 2015 regular season game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars at London's Wembley Stadium. Yahoo said it saw 33.6M streams of the game and up to 15.2M unique viewers tuned in to the live stream on the web, tablets and smartphones. CBS currently produces all sixteen "Thursday Night Football" games, anchored by sportscasters Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, as part of its estimated $300 million NFL deal. NFL Network simulcasts the games and carries eight games exclusively as part of its current partnership with CBS, which began in the 2014 season. Most games kick off at 8:25 p.m. Eastern Time.Tags: NFL, Thursday Night Football Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple's streaming music service Apple Music will have 8 million subscribers by the time 2015 comes to a close, according to music business analyst Mark Mulligan (via Music Business Worldwide). Mulligan also forecast that Apple Music should hit 20 million total users by around this time next year, ultimately making it the second most popular streaming music service behind Spotify. “Apple might not have found the subscription market quite the plain sailing it had anticipated but it has still managed to establish itself as the second player with astounding pace. Its platform and marketing assets are well known, but its clear commitment to making Apple Music work have surprised some." As Mulligan pointed out, however, the exact numbers in his prediction can vary as we head into the new year. With Apple Music's three-month free trial that could have led to some accidental paid subscribers and Spotify Premium's $1 a month three-month trial system, the analyst stated that there are enough "wildcards" in the equation to unbalance his prediction. If the analyst's estimation of 8 million Apple Music subscribers by the New Year becomes true, that would be about 1.5 million growth during the fall, after Tim Cook confirmed the service had 6.5 million in October. Normally $10/month, Mulligan believes if Apple has trouble with getting subscribers to stick around, they could return to convincing record labels in lowering that monthly cost. “If Apple finds growth tough going, expect it to throw everything it has got at getting the labels to agree to lower price point products so it can open up large chunks of the iTunes music customer base.” In the meantime, Apple is pushing Apple Music onto more supported third-party products, including a beta for Sonos speakers that brought support for the streaming music service onto the speakers for the first time. The Cupertino company is also still dealing in exclusives, recently announcing a project with Taylor Swift that will include a made-for-Apple Music concert film debuting on the service this Sunday, December 20. Recently, Apple began rewarding its retail workers with gifts for the holidays, which included a free nine-month subscription to Apple Music.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.3 El Capitan update to developers for testing purposes, just over one week after releasing the second OS X El Capitan update, OS X 10.11.2. OS X 10.11.2 was a minor update that introduced several bug fixes and performance improvements for Wi-Fi connectivity, Handoff, and Airdrop. The new OS X 10.11.3 beta, build 15D9c, can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center. It is not known what improvements the third update to OS X El Capitan will bring, but like prior updates, it's likely to focus on security enhancements, performance improvements, and bug fixes to address issues have been discovered since the release of OS X 10.11.2. We'll update this post with any changes that are discovered in the beta.Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan Tag: OS X 10.11.3 Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 9.2.1 update to developers for testing purposes, just over a week after the public release of iOS 9.2. iOS 9.2, the second major update to iOS 9, introduced a very long list of bug fixes, along with feature improvements to Apple Music, News, Mail, iBooks, and more. The iOS 9.2.1 beta is available for download immediately from the Apple Developer Center, and a public beta will likely be available in the near future. We don't know what changes iOS 9.2.1 will bring to iOS 9, but as a minor .1 update, it's likely to focus on performance improvements and fixes for bugs that have been discovered since the release of iOS 9.2. We will update this post with any changes that are discovered in the latest beta.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tag: iOS 9.2.1 Discuss this article in our forums

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Taiwanese website DigiTimes has published a new report corroborating rumors that Apple is developing flexible OLED technology for future devices, including iPhones and iPads, at its newly discovered factory in northern Taiwan. The report, citing sources within the Taiwanese supply chain, claims Apple has recruited a team of R&D engineers from local companies including AU Optronics and Qualcomm subsidiary SolLink, echoing a Bloomberg report from earlier this week. Last month, Japanese website Nikkei reported that Apple plans to switch to OLED displays for iPhones starting in 2018. The report said LG Display and Samsung Electronics will likely share a large portion of the OLED panel production, with LG already planning capacity upgrades for high-volume organic light-emitting diode production. Apple's current LCD supplier Japan Display is also reportedly in negotiations with Apple about securing OLED orders for future iPhones, in an effort to compete with LG and Samsung. The joint venture between Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba reportedly plans to begin mass production of OLED panels in early 2018. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will continue using TFT-LCD display technology for iPhones for at least the next three years, lining up with the 2018 timeframe claimed by other reports. Kuo also said Apple manufacturer Foxconn is preparing to invest in advanced TFT-LCD production lines for mass production in 2018. While multiple reports suggest Apple is moving towards OLED displays for iPhones, including DigiTimes, the Taiwanese website shared a second report claiming Apple may focus on micro-LED technology at its secretive Taiwanese factory. The report does not specify if the technology would be used for iPhones or other future devices.Micro-LED displays eliminate the need for backlighting unlike traditional LCDs, and allow for improved color gamut in addition to higher resolution. However, the technology suffers from low yields when used in a TFT manufacturing process and therefore is difficult to mass produce. […] However, it is still too early to know whether Apple plans to use micro-LED displays for existing or new applications. Apple is showing signs of moving toward OLED for most of its small- to medium-size products as early as 2017-2018 based on emerging developments in the display industry.Apple acquired micro-LED display maker LuxVue Technology in 2014. Back in December of 2013, LuxVue raised $25.2 million in funding to pursue the display technology, and the company also filed several patents on micro-LEDs. At the time, one of LuxVue's investors said the company had "a technical breakthrough in displays." OLED displays generally have brighter colors and deeper blacks, and no backlight increases power efficiency, but the panels can also have shorter lifespans and higher manufacturing costs compared to LCD technology. Apple has reportedly been "consulting with display makers" about OLED technology to eliminate potential drawbacks. Samsung's flagship lineup of Galaxy smartphones have long used AMOLED displays, but iPhones have stuck to various LCD technologies since the original model launched in 2007. The first and only Apple product to feature OLED display technology is the Apple Watch, but the 1.5-inch to 1.7-inch screen is only a fraction of the size of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.Tags: digitimes.com, OLED, Micro-LED, LuxVue Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Google today released its annual "Year in Search" results, highlighting popular and trending searches in 2015. Apple-related search terms continued to rank highly in the consumer tech category, with iPhone 6s taking the top spot and Samsung Galaxy S6, Apple Watch, iPad Pro and LG G4 rounding off the top five globally. Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy J5, HTC's One M9, Huawei's Nexus 6P and Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 were also among the top ten Google searches in the consumer tech category this year. No technology-related terms made it into Google's top ten searches overall in 2015. In Google's 2014 Year in Search, a number of Apple-related search terms similarly ranked highly among the most trending searches in the Consumer Electronics category, with "iPhone 6" taking #1, "Apple Watch" taking #8, and "iPad Air" taking #10. Flappy Bird also ranked #6 in Google's top 10 overall trending searches in 2014.Tag: Google Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple is working on next-generation pressure-sensing display technology that will work on screen sizes as large as the iPad Pro, reports AppleInsider citing a source with knowledge of Apple's plans. The new display technology is said to be in development, but it won't be finished in time for inclusion in the third-generation iPad Air or the next-generation iPhone. According to a source familiar with the matter, Apple is unable to scale existing 3D Touch technology to accommodate larger displays like the 9.7-inch panels used in the iPad Air line. The source, who has in the past provided accurate information about Apple's future plans, said the company is working on a comparable technology for integration in both iPhones and iPads, potentially offering support for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple's largest iOS device.AppleInsider's information comes following a similar report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the next iPad Air, set to be released in the first half of 2016, will not include 3D Touch because of production issues. Kuo also said the upcoming iPhone 7, coming in the fall of 2016, will continue to use 3D Touch technology that's similar in structure to the 3D Touch in the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Positioned as one of the flagship features of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, 3D Touch adds new pressure-based gestures to iOS devices. Apple has called 3D Touch "the future of multi-touch," so it's a logical assumption that the company is working on expanding pressure sensitive touch gestures to its entire iOS lineup. Taken in tandem, Kuo's statements along with AppleInsider's rumor suggest 3D Touch or a comparable technology will not be available on iPhones and iPads until after the fall of 2016, perhaps pointing towards a 2017 debut for the feature.Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2 Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now), iPad Air (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a research note obtained by MacRumors that predicts the iPad Air 3 will be released in the first half of 2016 and is unlikely to adopt 3D Touch because of production issues within Apple's supply chain. Kuo also believes the iPhone 7's pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display will have "similar technology and structure" as the iPhone 6s. The report confirms the iPhone 7 will be released in 2016, likely around Apple's usual September timeframe. Apple introduced the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in September with 3D Touch as a headline new feature. The pressure-sensing technology enables iPhone users to perform additional "Peek" and "Pop" gestures to access Quick Action shortcut menus or preview content within apps. 3D Touch also enables iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users to press the left side of the Home screen to switch to multitasking view, press lightly for finer lines or more deeply for thicker ones in Notes, swipe left to delete an email or swipe right to mark it as unread in Mail and more. Related Roundup: iPhone 7 (2016) Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo, 3D Touch Discuss this article in our forums

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A public beta of Apple Music on Sonos is now available, allowing those who own Sonos wireless speakers to use them with Apple's streaming music service for the first time since it launched in June. The companion Sonos Controller app for iPhone and iPad was updated today with beta support for Apple Music, providing you with access to your streaming music library and playlists for playback in multiple rooms. Sonos has posted step-by-step instructions on how to join the Apple Music beta program on its website:How to join the beta program: 1. Open the Sonos app 2. Tap “Settings” then “Advanced Settings” 3. Tap “Beta Program” 4. Tap “Join the Beta Program” 5. Update your Sonos system* 6. Add Apple Music from the “Add Music Services” menu *“Update Now” prompt may take up to 15 minutes to appear. Tap “Online Updates” in the Settings menu to update immediately.Sonos users can stream songs from For You, New, Radio and My Music through Sonos apps on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Windows PC. The beta will be limited in some areas compared to the final version slated for release in early 2016.Tags: Apple Music, Sonos Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple opened a secret laboratory in northern Taiwan earlier this year to develop thinner, lighter and brighter displays for future Apple devices, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple has also been recruiting talent from local display maker AU Optronics Corp. and Qualcomm to work at the new factory. Image via BloombergApple began operating the lab this year as it aims to make products thinner, lighter, brighter and more energy-efficient. Engineers are developing more-advanced versions of the liquid-crystal displays currently used in iPhones, iPads and Mac personal computers, the people said. Apple also is keen to move to organic light-emitting diodes, which are even thinner and don’t require a backlight, they said.The facility, which was owned by Qualcomm, is still being staffed and currently has 50 employees. Apple has listed two job postings for the new Taiwan factory on its careers page. Both jobs require experience working with display technologies. Bloomberg was able to confirm that the factory is operated by Apple, noting that there was an Apple logo in the receptionist's area and that employees wore Apple ID badges. However, neither Apple nor any of the employees commented on what was being worked on inside the facility. Last week it was reported that Japan Display was planning to begin mass production of OLED displays for future iPhones in Spring 2018. The joint venture by Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba is reportedly in negotiations with Apple to secure OLED orders for future iPhones. Last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple would not switch to OLED displays for the next three years while Nikkei reported that the Cupertino company planned to make the switch in Spring 2018. Apple supplier Foxconn is preparing to invest in advanced TFT-LCD production lines in China for mass production in 2018. Apple currently uses TFT-LCD displays in its iPhones. The move would allow Apple to reduce its reliance on suppliers like Sharp, LG, Samsung and Japan Display. Apple has a long history of researching and designing its own components in-house and then outsourcing the manufacturing to suppliers like Foxconn.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Tags: bloomberg.com, OLED, Display Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple has purchased additional real estate in North San Jose, this time snapping up a 70,000 square foot building at 3725 N. First Street, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Apple paid $18.2 million for the building, which formerly served as a manufacturing facility for Maxim Integrated Products, a semiconductor company. It is not known what Apple will do with the building, but a description of the real estate listing suggests it could be used for manufacturing or research and development. Analysts the Silicon Valley Business Journal spoke with believe it's likely to be used as research space for prototyping given its small size, and Apple said in a statement it is expanding into San Jose with office space and research and development facilities. Asked for comment, Apple provided an emailed statement that reads: "As we continue to grow, we're planning to build R&D facilities and some additional office space in San Jose. The property isn't far from the future home of our new campus and we're looking forward to expanding our presence in the Bay Area."In recent months, Apple has been purchasing large swathes of land around the Bay Area, primarily in North San Jose. Apple purchased a 296,000 square foot research and development building in May, it leased a 43-acre development site in August, and it leased a 202,000 square-foot office building in October. Much of the property may be turned into a massive 4.15 million square foot campus, according to talks Apple has had with San Jose city officials. Apple has also purchased a 770,000 square foot campus in Sunnyvale and it has leased 76,000 square feet of office space in the popular South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood in San Francisco.Tag: Apple real estate Discuss this article in our forums

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CarPlay made its wider debut in a range of 2016 vehicles from over a dozen U.S. carmakers this month, including General Motors, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and others, and Apple's in-dash software appears to be paying early dividends for at least one of those major auto manufacturers. General Motors said it has "anecdotal evidence" that CarPlay, available in over two dozen 2016 Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC models, is helping sell new vehicles to customers, according to The Wall Street Journal. A pair of GM dealers confirmed CarPlay is "helping to close the deal" on purchases.GM officials say they have anecdotal evidence of an impact, and agree the offering has been well-received. Phil Abram, executive director of connectivity an infotainment at GM, said customers have been asking for the feature for years and the company plans to expand it to as many more models as soon as possible. […] "We've had people coming in because they've heard about it, and once they see it, they really do like it because it mirrors the look and feel of the devices they use," said Chris Hemmersmeier, chief executive of a chain of Jerry Seiner Dealerships in Salt Lake City, Utah. "It's helping to close the deal once they see it."GM experienced sales growth during October and November, but the spurt cannot decisively be attributed to CarPlay. At the very least, GM's early adoption of CarPlay is helping draw some customers away from automakers that have yet to commit to the software platform, including the world's best-selling automaker Toyota.Gavin McGrath, the general manager of Pat McGrath Chevyland in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been advertising CarPlay availability and it has drawn in customers. "It certainly has helped us," he said. "The biggest thing that it has brought to the retail front is…navigation is going to cost $900 [to] $1,000 [as an option]. Here you have Apple CarPlay, and boom your nav is there. That has already helped us close deals."Chevrolet supports CarPlay on all vehicles with 7-inch or 8-inch MyLink screens, including the 2016 Camaro, Colorado, Corvette Z06, Corvette Stingray, Cruze, Impala, Malibu, Silverado 1500, Silverado 2500HD, Silverado 3500HD, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt. Our list of 2016 U.S. CarPlay vehicles covers Buick, Cadillac and GMC models. Related Roundup: CarPlay Tag: General Motors Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple last week provided all of its employees with urBeats earphones from the Beats by Dr. Dre product lineup as part of an annual holiday gift, and today iTunes chief Eddy Cue told Apple employees they would also receive a free nine-month subscription to Apple Music. Cue shared the news in a video message that went out to employees this morning. Employees will receive an Apple Music promo code later this month, which will allow them to activate their free subscriptions. Valued at $90, the Apple Music subscription paired with the urBeats headphones makes Apple's 2015 gift to its employees one of the most generous the company has offered in recent years. Apple's holiday gifts go out to all of its employees around the world, encompassing Cupertino, satellite offices, and each of its retail locations. In addition to being a nice perk for employees, offering an Apple Music subscription to all of its employees will have benefits for Apple, as it will allow retail workers to familiarize themselves with the service so they can better explain and recommend it to customers.Tags: Apple Music, Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Samsung today asked the United States Supreme Court to hear its latest appeal in its ongoing patent battle with Apple, reports Re/code. In August, following a rejection from the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Samsung said it would take its case to the Supreme Court by November, and it has now followed through with those plans. In its appeal, which also includes a wider criticism on patent law, Samsung says the jury was not provided with enough information to understand the patents, a problem it says afflicts many design patent cases. "Samsung is escalating this case because it believes that the way the laws were interpreted is not in line with modern times," it said in a statement. "If the current legal precedent stands, it could diminish innovation, stifle competition, pave the way for design patent troll litigation and negatively impact the economy and consumers."Samsung has already agreed to pay a $548 million settlement to Apple, with the full sum expected to be paid by today, but should the Supreme Court rule in Samsung's favor, there is a clause that would require Apple to pay back the money. Apple and Samsung have been battling over patent infringement issues since 2012, when a jury ruled Samsung willfully violated multiple Apple patents, resulting in $1 billion in damages. Since then, Samsung has been fighting the ruling. Over the course of several appeals and a partial retrial, Samsung has gotten the damages reduced to the $548 million total. Samsung's appeal to the Supreme Court is a last ditch effort. Should the Supreme Court refuse to hear its appeal or rule in Apple's favor, Samsung will not be able to recoup the $548 million it is paying to Apple. Samsung could have some difficulty convincing the Supreme Court to look at its case, as the court is notoriously selective about the cases it agrees to hear.Tag: Samsung Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In November, Microsoft made the controversial decision to reduce its unlimited OneDrive storage to 1TB for Office 365 Home, Personal and University subscribers early next year. OneDrive's free storage will also be reduced from 15GB to 5GB, and the 15GB camera roll bonus will be discontinued. Microsoft's decision was poorly received by OneDrive customers, who created an online petition called "give us back our storage" with over 70,000 votes. The backlash has prompted the company to apologize and introduce a new offer for OneDrive customers to keep their 15GB free storage and 15GB camera roll bonus. Microsoft Group Program Manager Douglas Pearce (via The Verge):In November we made a business decision to reduce storage limits for OneDrive. Since then, we’ve heard clearly from our Windows and OneDrive fans about the frustration and disappointment we have caused. We realize the announcement came across as blaming customers for using our product. For this, we are truly sorry and would like to apologize to the community. […] In addition, for our biggest fans who have been loyal advocates for OneDrive, we are adding a new offer that lets you keep your existing 15 GB of free storage when the changes happen next year. If you also have the 15 GB camera roll bonus, you’ll be able to keep that as well. From now until the end of January, you can sign up to keep your storage at the link below.OneDrive users who sign up by January 31, 2016 will be able to keep their 15GB of free storage and 15GB camera roll bonus, even after Microsoft reduces its free storage tier to 5GB next year. OneDrive customers using more than 5GB of free storage will also receive a free Office 365 Personal subscription with 1TB storage for 12 months. Microsoft is not backing down from its larger plans to discontinue unlimited storage, a decision it made because a small number of users exceeded 75 TB storage, or 14,000 times the average, by "backing up multiple PCs and and storing entire movie collections and DVR recordings." The changes take place in early 2016.Tags: Microsoft, OneDrive Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Samsung's flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge due early next year will feature a pressure-sensitive display that functions similarly to 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, according to The Wall Street Journal. The next-generation Android-based smartphones will reportedly also feature high-speed USB-C ports that provide up to a full day's charge in under 30 minutes, and improved cameras that are optimized for low-light photography. The report claims the Galaxy S7 will look similar to the Galaxy S6, but the rear-facing camera is said to be flush with the back of the device. The handset may also feature a retina scanner for new biometric features involving a user's eyes. The Wall Street Journal says the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will launch in the U.S. in March, possibly around the time Apple introduces the so-called "iPhone 6c" and next-generation Apple Watch. Samsung is expected to announce the new devices around the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona in late February. Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge would compete with the rumored "iPhone 7," which could ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector alongside a faster A10 chip, new Intel LTE modem and possibly thinner design. Apple's next flagship smartphones will likely be released next September.Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The BBC today launched its BBC iPlayer app for the new Apple TV in the United Kingdom, bringing the popular streaming service from the UK's public broadcaster to Apple's set-top box for the first time. iPlayer had been a notable omission on earlier boxes, but with the new Apple TV supporting a full App Store for third-party apps, there has been increasing demand for the BBC to bring its service to the platform. Well well. Nice Sunday evening surprise. BBC iPlayer now on the new Apple TV. Boo ya! #bbcrocks #finally #appletv pic.twitter.com/7gdfwtrTtl— Paul Dunlop (@pauldunlop) December 13, 2015 Following Apple's unveiling of the new Apple TV at Apple's "Hey Siri" media event, the BBC indicated it had "no plans" at that time to bring iPlayer to the Apple TV, but by the time the new box launched in late October, the broadcaster had changed course and announced iPlayer would be made available "in the coming months."Related Roundup: Apple TV Tag: BBC iPlayer Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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