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Last Build Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 03:52:35 PDT

 



Apple Shares New Series of How To Videos Focusing on iPad and iOS 11

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:52:50 PDT

Apple today uploaded several iPad Pro how to videos to its YouTube channel, focusing on new features that are coming to the iPad in iOS 11. Each video is just under a minute in length and all of the videos were made in the same style -- with two hands demonstrating new iPad functionality.

There are six how to videos in total, covering the following features: mark up with Apple Pencil, multitasking, document scanning and signing, file management, drag and drop, and the new dock.

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iOS 11 brings a ton of new features to the iPad, essentially introducing a whole new user interface, so it's no surprise that Apple has designed a series of videos to show off its capabilities. Some of these features, like the ones that require Apple Pencil, are limited to the iPad Pro, but others will be available on a wider range of iPads.

Apple's new operating system update is currently available to developers and public beta testers, but should be launching to the public soon. We expect Apple to release the update in September alongside new iPhones.

For a complete overview of what's new for the iPad in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: Apple ads

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iOS 11's SOS Feature Allows You to Temporarily Disable Touch ID and Require Passcode

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:53:36 PDT

In iOS 11, Apple has added an "Emergency SOS" feature that's designed to give users a quick and easy way to summon emergency services should the need arise. As it turns out, there's a secondary benefit to Emergency SOS - it's also a way to quickly and discretely disable Touch ID.

Emergency SOS is activated by pressing on the sleep/wake button of an iPhone five times in rapid succession. When the requisite number of presses is complete, it brings up a screen that offers buttons to power off the iPhone, bring up your Medical ID (if filled out) and make an emergency 911 call.

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Along with these options, there's also a cancel button. If you hit the sleep/wake button five times and then hit cancel, it disables Touch ID and requires a passcode before Touch ID can be re-enabled. Touch ID is also disabled if you actually make an emergency call.

This is a handy hidden feature because it allows Touch ID to be disabled discretely in situations where someone might be able to force a phone to be unlocked with a fingerprint, such as a robbery or an arrest. With Touch ID disabled in this way, there is no way to physically unlock an iPhone with a finger without the device's passcode.

It's also worth noting that there's no real way to tell that Touch ID has been disabled in this manner. Once you hit the sleep/wake button and then tap cancel, it's locked in the same way and with the same message that the iPhone uses when it's been more than 48 hours since a device was last unlocked with a fingerprint.

Apple's Emergency SOS feature will be available on all iPhones that run iOS 11. Along with disabling Touch ID, SOS can also be used to summon emergency services and alert your emergency contacts when an accident occurs.

iOS 11 is available to developers and public beta testers at the current time and will be released to the public in September alongside new iPhones.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Apple and Aetna Talked Data Privacy, Cost and More in Apple Watch Meeting

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:38:55 PDT

Apple and insurance provider Aetna met last week to discuss ways to offer discounted Apple Watch models to Aetna's 23 million subscribers, and CNBC has shared details on some of the topics that were discussed at the meeting, attended by Aetna employees, Apple executives, and health providers from major hospitals.

Aetna is aiming to determine whether the Apple Watch can be used by subscribers to improve health outcomes by encouraging them to exercise, eat better, and better manage health issues. Info on the meeting came from Mandy Bishop, an attendee who founded startup Lifely Insights. Much of the meeting consisted of feedback from Aetna employees who have been testing the Apple Watch.

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Data privacy, including who had access to what data, was a major topic of discussion, with Apple explaining that Apple Watch health data can only be shared with third-party apps and companies with express user consent.

The Apple Watch's lack of situational awareness was brought up as a pain point, such as when the device delivers a stand notification when a user is on a plane or in another environment that makes standing difficult. Cost was also a significant topic of discussion.
One theme that emerged during the event, she said, is that many of those who were enrolled in the program wanted to get healthy alongside their families. But many couldn't afford to spend upwards of $1,000 on devices for their spouses and children.

The cost issue wasn't entirely resolved, she said, but it proved to be a sticking point. It remains unclear whether Aetna will extend its discounts from employees and/or members to their family-members.
Apple and Aetna are said to be planning to implement some kind of Apple Watch program in early 2018, which would see the company offering free or discounted Apple Watches to its subscribers.

Aetna already has a program that provides a free Apple Watch to its 50,000 employees and it already subsidizes the cost for some subscribers, with data from that program being used to determine if an expansion is worth it.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tag: Aetna
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Now Selling Refurbished 2017 27-Inch iMac Models

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:56:39 PDT

Apple today updated its online store for refurbished products to add the new 27-inch iMac models that were first released in June of 2017.

This is the first time those particular machines have been available through the refurbished store since their introduction at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference. The iMacs feature Kaby Lake processors, faster SSDs, and AMD discrete graphics.

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Apple has a dozen refurbished iMac models available at the current time, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent. An entry-level model with 8GB RAM, a 1TB Fusion Drive, a 3.5GHz i5 processor, and a Radeon Pro 575 is priced at $1,699, for example, a $300 discount off the standard price.

Apple has a range of configurations available, from low-end to top-of-the-line. As with all refurbished products, stock will fluctuate regularly based on the machines Apple is getting in for repair.

All of Apple's refurbished products go through a rigorous refurbishment process before being offered for sale, which includes inspection, repairs, cleaning, and repackaging. Refurbished Macs come with a one-year warranty that can be extended with an AppleCare+ purchase. For more tips on purchasing a refurbished product, make sure to check out our guide.

Related Roundups: iMac, Apple Deals
Tag: refurbished
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)

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Apple Watch Series 3 Enters 'Final Testing Phase' Ahead of Rumored September Launch

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:33:34 PDT

Apple Watch Series 3 models have entered the "final testing phase" in the manufacturing process, with mass production set to begin soon, according to a new Chinese-language Economic Daily News report [Google Translate]. The report, citing unnamed supply chain sources, said Taiwan-based manufacturer Quanta Computer will begin shipping Apple Watch Series 3 models to Apple in the fourth quarter, lining up with the smartwatch's widely rumored September launch, alongside new iPhones and possibly a 4K-capable Apple TV. Apple Watch Series 2 models and slightly upgraded Series 1 models launched last September alongside the iPhone 7, so it's reasonable to assume that Series 3 models could launch this September as well. The original Apple Watch, now unofficially dubbed Series 0, launched in April 2015. The rest of the report cites KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently claimed Apple Watch Series 3 will be available in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + LTE models in 38mm and 42mm sizes. Kuo said the cellular-enabled model will have an embedded SIM, but it might support VoIP calling only. Apple Watch Series 3 models will also reportedly have improved performance and longer battery life, at least for the Wi-Fi-only version. What's less certain is whether the Apple Watch will be significantly redesigned for the first time since being unveiled in September 2014. Apple blogger John Gruber recently said he heard Apple Watch Series 3 models could have an all-new form factor, but he stressed that the tidbit came from an unconfirmed source who could be wrong. Kuo, meanwhile, said Apple Watch Series 3 models won't have any "obvious" form factor changes. "It could also be that both my birdie and Kuo are correct," said Gruber, in a follow-up post yesterday. "The phrase 'will not feature an obvious new form factor' leaves a lot of wiggle room with the word 'obvious'," he added. Few other details are known about the next Apple Watch at this point, and no components have leaked from the supply chain yet. Apple has filed patents for a number of ideas that could eventually be included in an Apple Watch, such as a heart rate identification system, modular bands, haptic feedback band, and a band with a built-in charger. More significant health and fitness features could be added pending further FDA approvals.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4 Tag: udn.com Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Latest Apple Park Drone Video Shows More Trees and Paved Walkway to Steve Jobs Theater

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:42:21 PDT

Matthew Roberts has shared his latest drone tour of Apple Park, providing a closer look at Apple's new headquarters as construction wraps up.

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There aren't many notable changes since the July video, but August's edition reveals further landscaping efforts, including more trees — there will be over 9,000 in total — planted within the inner circle of the main building.

Apple has also begun paving certain areas of Apple Park, including the walkway to Steve Jobs Theater. Many areas of the campus remain covered in dirt, however, so it's clear there is still a lot of landscaping work to be completed.

Some of Apple's employees have already moved into the new headquarters, while others like design chief Jony Ive and his team will follow suit later this year. The new campus will eventually house around 12,000 employees.

Apple will still use its Infinite Loop headquarters as an ancillary campus, along with a handful of other offices in the Cupertino and Sunnyvale area.


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Apple Watch Series 3 Unlikely to Support Direct Phone Calls, but VoIP Calling a Possibility

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:10:16 PDT

The third-generation Apple Watch, set to launch this fall with LTE support for the first time, is unlikely to support phone calls, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a note shared this morning. According to Kuo, while a voice service that replaces the iPhone's calling functionality is "feasible," he believes Apple must first work on improving the "user experience of data transmission." As a result, he says the Apple Watch "probably" won't support traditional phone calls "this year." The watch could, however, support VoIP services like FaceTime and Skype, as FaceTime audio calling is already supported on current Apple Watch models.This has two benefits: (1) negotiations with mobile operators will be more simple and the chances of cooperation with mobile operators will improve; and (2) 3G connectivity can be scrapped, simplifying the antenna design and facilitating internal design. However, we think there is a chance that users may use LTE Apple Watch to access VoIP services, such as FaceTime and Skype.Kuo also says that based on a lack of internal space, the LTE Apple Watch is likely to use an eSIM instead of a physical SIM slot, with the device set up to share the same phone number with an iPhone. He warns that LTE connectivity in the Apple Watch could be limited to specific countries and markets as not all mobile operators support that particular business model. Rumors have already suggested that the major carriers in the United States, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will support and sell the upcoming LTE Apple Watch. Though Apple is currently embroiled in an ongoing patent dispute with Qualcomm, Kuo believes Apple will use Qualcomm chips in the Apple Watch because Qualcomm's technology is superior to Intel's with smaller chips that consume less power. Finally, Kuo predicts Apple has no intention of developing an Android app for the Apple Watch at this time, given that it would be difficult to have the same deep integration between Apple Watch and an Android phone that's possible with the Apple Watch and iPhone. The third-generation Apple Watch is expected to be introduced in September alongside new iPhones. LTE connectivity is expected to be the main selling point for the device, and while there were some rumors pointing towards major design changes, Kuo has previously said there will be no "obvious change" to the form factor.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4 Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums [...]



iPhone 7 Remained World's Most Popular Smartphone Model in June Quarter

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:36:54 PDT

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remained the world's most popular smartphones in the second quarter, ahead of Samsung's newer Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics. Apple shipped an estimated 16.9 million iPhone 7 units and 15.1 million iPhone 7 Plus units worldwide in the quarter, which corresponds with April through June, according to the firm's latest Smartphone Model Tracker report. "iPhone 7 remains the world's most popular smartphone model overall, due to a compelling blend of user-friendly design, extensive supporting apps, and widespread retail presence for the device," said Juha Winter, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. Strategy Analytics estimates Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ shipments totaled 10.2 million and 9 million respectively in the quarter. The smartphones, released in April, were the world's third and fourth most popular during the period. "Samsung's Galaxy S8 has instantly become the world's most popular Android smartphone model, due to its attractive curved-screen design, a rich portfolio of software apps, and best-in-class retail distribution across dozens of countries," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. Rounding off the top five was Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi's budget Redmi 4A handset with an estimated 5.5 million quarterly shipments. Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones last quarter, but it doesn't break down the number on a model-by-model basis. Apple CEO Tim Cook did note the iPhone 7 remained its most popular iPhone.iPhone results were impressive, with especially strong demand at the high end of our lineup. iPhone 7 was our most popular iPhone, and sales of iPhone 7 Plus were up dramatically compared to 6s Plus in the June quarter of last year. The combined iPhone 7 and 7 Plus family was up strong double digits year over year. One decade after the initial iPhone launch, we have now passed 1.2 billion cumulative iPhones sold.Android still remains the world's most widely adopted mobile operating system by a significant margin given the hundreds of smartphone models running that platform. Android accounted for 67 percent of U.S. smartphone activations in the second quarter, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. iPhone 6s was similarly the world's most popular smartphone model last year, according to market research firm IHS Markit.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Strategy Analytics Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Sets Aside '$1 Billion War Chest' for Hollywood Programming

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 04:21:50 PDT

Apple has earmarked $1 billion to acquire and produce original television content over the next year to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The plans could see Apple procure and produce as many as 10 television shows, according to people familiar with the matter, thanks to a budget figure that is about half of what Time Warner's HBO spent on content last year and around the same amount as Amazon spent in 2013, after it announced its own move into original programming. The budget will reportedly be controlled by Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were hired by Apple in June from Sony to oversee content acquisition and video strategy. Apple also recently hired former WGN America President Matt Cherniss to oversee development of the company’s worldwide video unit. Cherniss previously worked with Erlicht and Van Amburg to bring the Sony shows "Underground" and "Outsiders" to WGN. Mr. Van Amburg and Mr. Erlicht have begun meeting with Hollywood agents and holding discussions about shows Apple could acquire, the people familiar said. Mr. Matt Cherniss has movie experience, having worked as a production executive at Warner Bros.WSJ notes that not only will Apple have a fight on its hands going up against rivals already heavily invested in original content, but it will also have to avoid jeopardizing its 15 percent cut of subscriptions from its App Store for services like Netflix and HBO GO. As for the cost of programming, this can vary widely, from more than $2 million an episode for a comedy to more than $5 million for a drama, while high-end shows such as "Game of Thrones" can cost over $10 million per episode to produce. For its video service to gain traction, Apple needs at least one hit, according to the people familiar with the plan who spoke to the newspaper. The company's initial video efforts include "Planet of the Apps", which was launched in June on Apple Music, and "Carpool Karaoke," which was launched last week. Apple has not revealed ratings for the shows but both have been criticized by reviewers. Apple is hoping its efforts in original programming will bolster the appeal of iTunes movie rentals and other offerings through the store. Last year, iTunes generated an estimated $4.1 billion in revenue, but its share of the movie rental-and-sales market has declined to less than 35 percent from 50 percent in 2012, according to the report.Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Blurry Leaked Images Depict Alleged 'Apple OLED TV' in Testing Facility [Updated]

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:18:22 PDT

Blurred images emerged online on Wednesday morning purporting to show what looks like an Apple-made standalone display in a specially prepared testing environment. The images were posted on Chinese microblogging site Weibo and later picked up by mobile leaker Benjamin Geskin and shared on Twitter. A Google translation reveals that the original Weibo post refers to the pictures as "Apple OLED TV spy photos", and claims that the display is "about 60 inches" with a narrow frame design and a metal shell. The first two photos show a closed-circuit TV screen outputting front and rear camera angles of the alleged Apple television mounted on a rotating test bed in the center of an acoustically insulated room, with connecting cables running down a table into the floor. While the original Weibo post notes that two black spots at the bottom of the screen depict a camera, these aren't visible in the photos. A third image appears to be taken from the door shown in the previous two images, while a fourth photo, below, shows what looks like the same display from a different angle, connected by orange cables to large unidentified testing equipment. It's virtually impossible to say anything definitive about the contents of the photos, and Apple is known to regularly test devices most of which never see the light of day as consumer products. As far as Apple-branded television rumors go, these had been circulating for years before a Wall Street Journal report two years ago essentially confirmed that Apple had shelved its TV set plans back in 2014. The company reportedly spent more than a decade researching the possibility of releasing an ultra high-definition television set before deciding to cancel the project because it couldn't find untapped features that would give it an edge in the television market. Apple is rumored to be working on a fifth-generation Apple TV box that's able to stream ultra high-definition 4K video and it may well launch this year, so whether or not this could see Cupertino revive its plans for an accompanying or integrated television set remains to be seen. Discounting the "60 inches" reference in the Weibo post, this leaves the possibility of an Apple-branded external computer monitor. Apple discontinued its nearly five-year-old Thunderbolt Display in 2016, but the company is said to be working on a "pro" display to accompany a future Mac Pro machine due next year. 4K and 5K LG Displays are already available from Apple, but these don't fit with Apple's usual aesthetic and have been prone to issues. Whatever the origin of these photos, it's best to take them with a grain of salt, for now at least. Update: Less blurry versions of the images were posted to our forums earlier this week, with multiple related forum accounts suspiciously created to discuss the photos before the discussion thread was deleted. Forum member brock2621 also found some suspicious artifacts in the images.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Shares New 'Carpool Karaoke' Trailer With 'Game of Thrones' Stars

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:13:43 PDT

As the second and third "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" episodes premiere on Apple Music tonight, Apple has released a new trailer for an upcoming episode that stars Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, the two actresses who play Sansa Stark and Arya Stark, respectively, in HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones."

In a play on the popular "Game of Thrones" line "Winter is Coming," Apple's newest trailer opens with the phrase "Karaoke is Coming" before depicting Turner and Williams singing along to several popular songs. The duo also stop by an HBO escape room to surprise fans.

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Turner and Williams' Carpool Karaoke episode will air on Tuesday, August 22, which is next week. Apple has also shared a new trailer for an upcoming episode that will star Ariana Grande and Seth MacFarlane, also set to debut on August 22.

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"Carpool Karaoke: The Series" debuted last week, on August 8. The first episode starred late night TV host James Corden and Will Smith. Apple this week introduced two new episodes, the first starring Alicia Keys and John Legend and the second starring Billy Eichner and Metallica.


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Apple Adds to Video Team With Hire of Former WGN America Head

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:14:52 PDT

Former president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios Matt Cherniss has jointed Apple to help oversee the development of the company's worldwide video unit, reports Variety.

Cherniss will serve under Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony executives who joined Apple earlier this year to lead Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale. Erlicht and Amburg report to senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue.

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Back in June, Cherniss stepped down from his role as president at WGN America and Tribune Studios after Tribune was acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Cherniss led WGN's own push into original content and away from re-runs, overseeing the launch of shows like "Salem," "Outsiders," "Underground," and "Manhattan," so he's well-positioned to help Apple make a deeper dive into original programming.

With the addition of Cherniss, Apple has a solid team, as its former two hires, Erlicht and Amburg, helped produce shows like "Breaking Bad," "Better Call Saul," and "The Crown."

Over the course of the last several months, Apple has been experimenting with original content as a way to promote its Apple Music service. The company has launched two shows so far, including "Planet of the Apps," a series about app developers pitching ideas to investors, and "Carpool Karaoke," a music-based show developed from the Carpool Karaoke segment on "The Late Late Show with James Corden."

Apple is said to have bigger ambitions when it comes to original content, though, with rumors suggesting the company is pursuing deals with "triple-A-list" talent to create a roster of shows on par with Netflix and Amazon.
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Intel Shares Details on Upcoming 'Ice Lake' Chips to Follow Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:00:18 PDT

As Intel prepares to unveil its 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors next week, the company has released basic information on an upcoming 10-nanometer "Ice Lake" chip, which will serve as the successor to the 14-nanometer Coffee Lake and 10-nanometer Cannon Lake chips. Details on the Ice Lake architecture, which will be made on Intel's 10nm+ process, have been shared on Intel's codename decoder. "The Ice Lake processor family is a successor to the 8th generation Intel(R) CoreTM processor family. These processors utilize Intel's industry-leading 10 nm+ process technology," reads the site. As AnandTech points out, Intel's decision to share details on Ice Lake is odd because the company has not announced or shared details on Cannon Lake, the first chips that will be built on its 10-nanometer architecture, and Intel is also referring to Ice Lake as the successor to its soon-to-be-announced 14-nanometer Coffee Lake chips, leading to confusion about its upcoming processor lineup and how Cannon Lake fits in. Intel's current Kaby Lake chips were built on a second-generation 14nm+ architecture, while Coffee Lake is a third-generation 14nm++ architecture. Both Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake are available for both desktops and laptops, but it appears the 10-nanometer Cannon Lake chips succeed Coffee Lake chips in laptops, while desktops won't see 10-nanometer architecture until the release of Ice Lake. AnandTech speculates that the chip confusion is the result of the difficulty behind developing a 10-nanometer architecture. Intel needs to perfect 10-nanometer chips for smaller processors before moving on to larger desktop processors.Simply put, the first generation of 10nm requires small processors to ensure high yields. Intel seems to be putting the smaller die sizes (i.e. anything under 15W for a laptop) into the 10nm Cannon Lake bucket, while the larger 35W+ chips will be on 14++ Coffee Lake, a tried and tested sub-node for larger CPUs. While the desktop sits on 14++ for a bit longer, it gives time for Intel to further develop their 10nm fabrication abilities, leading to their 10+ process for larger chips by working their other large chip segments (FPGA, MIC) first.Intel's 14nm++ Coffee Lake chips will be officially unveiled on August 21, and these are the chips that we are likely to see in Apple notebooks and standard iMac desktops in the coming year, but again, it's unclear how Cannon Lake fits into the lineup and whether those chips will be available for some machines in time for 2018 refreshes. As the successor to Intel's 8th-generation chips, Ice Lake is not likely to be available until late 2018 or 2019, with an exact timeline to be determined by Intel's success in improving its 10-nanometer architecture.Tag: Intel Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Stops Accepting Returns and Exchanges in Hong Kong Ahead of New iPhones

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:25:33 PDT

Apple today updated its sales policy in Hong Kong to indicate all products purchased at Apple's online and retail stores in the country on and after August 15, 2017 cannot be returned or exchanged indefinitely.

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As an exception to the rule, Apple will still honor exchanges for defective products in Hong Kong at its sole discretion.

Apple didn't provide a reason for the policy change, but it's likely a precautionary move ahead of new iPhone models expected in September. The same policy went into effect in Hong Kong on iPhone 7 launch day last year.

Hong Kong is a hotbed for black market electronics due to the lack of import taxes and duties added to foreign goods purchased, as is the case in neighboring mainland China. Scalpers often attempt to illegally smuggle new iPhones across the border to mainland China to make significant profits.

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Hong Kong scalper spotted "walking strangely" across the border into mainland China in 2015 via South China Morning Post

When the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched in Hong Kong last year, for example, the smartphones hit the black market for as much as $15,000 in Hong Kong dollars, which was slightly over $1,900 in U.S. dollars.

Apple's standard return policy in Hong Kong is already stricter than in some other countries. For volume purchases of four products or more, the return window is seven days, and there is a 25 percent restocking fee per unit.

Apple will likely revert back to its standard return policy in Hong Kong at some point, but it didn't specify when.


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Apple's Q2 2017 MacBook Sales Increase 17 Percent Over the Previous Quarter

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 04:26:05 PDT

Apple's notebook shipments totaled an estimated 3.98 million units in the second quarter of the 2017 calendar year, representing a quarter-on-quarter increase of 17.1 percent, according to new data published by market research firm TrendForce. Apple gained ground on ASUS at fifth place in the second quarter ranking, with a 0.7 percent increase over the previous quarter to leave both companies taking a 10 percent share of the market. TrendForce highlighted Apple's decision to upgrade its 12-inch MacBook as one of the reasons behind the gains. Apple trailed closely behind ASUS at fifth place in the second-quarter ranking. The updated 12-inch MacBook helped expand MacBook shipments by 17.1 percent from the first quarter to 3.98 million units. TrendForce also anticipates a double-digit sequential growth for third-quarter MacBook shipments as Apple will focus on the MacBook Pro series during the year’s second half.Global notebook shipments in the second quarter of 2017 registered a sequential quarterly increase of 5.7 percent and a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent, totaling 39.96 million units. Sales in the U.S. and the arrival of new product models were said to be the main driving forces behind the second quarter shipments, with strong demand in the entire first half of 2017 exceeding market expectations. Tapping into back-to-school sales, HP's market share increased by 8.5 percent, allowing the company to retain first place in the global shipment ranking for the fifth consecutive quarter, while Dell posted the largest sequential increase of 21.3 percent to take third place in the ranking. Lenovo meanwhile shipped just 8.05 million units in the second quarter, representing a year-on-year drop of 2.4 percent, with slowdown in the notebook market in the Asia-Pacific region said to have had an impact on the brand's performance. Acer's aggressive expansion in the Chromebook market did little to fend off rival models in the U.S., causing its notebook shipments to drop by 3.5 percent from the first quarter to 3.22 million units, with Acer remaining in sixth place in the global ranking. TrendForce noted there are worries in the market that the strong shipment result for this year's first half reflects demand pulling ahead, so shipments in the second half might be comparatively weak. Despite that, third-quarter notebook shipments are projected to increase by another 3-5 percent versus the previous quarter. Apple updated its 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro notebooks in June, introducing faster processors and improved GPUs just eight months after the machines were last refreshed. It also introduced a new low-price 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar with a 128GB SSD. No other changes were made to the MacBook Pro. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on a high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro model that will include 32GB RAM, with production on this machine to begin early in the fourth quarter of 2017. Kuo claimed the MacBook Pro will be "the most significantly redesigned product this year" with desktop-class RAM to appeal to high-end users.Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, MacBook Tag: TrendForce Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now), MacBook (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Watch 3 Won't Have 'Obvious Change' to Form Factor, LTE to Be Main Selling Point

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:46:15 PDT

The third-generation Apple Watch, expected to be introduced alongside new iPhones this fall, does not feature an obvious change to form factor, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a new note shared with investors this afternoon, Kuo says LTE connectivity will be the main selling point of the new device.

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The Apple Watch will keep the same two case sizes, 38mm and 42mm, and will be available in LTE and non-LTE versions, much like the iPad. Previous rumors have suggested the major carriers in the United States will offer add-on cellular service for the new LTE Apple Watch, and the plans may work similarly to iPad data plans.

Kuo believes shipments of the new Apple Watch models will reach 8 to 9 million units in the second half of 2017, with the LTE model to account for 35 to 40 percent of shipments. Overall, he forecasts 17.5 to 18 million units shipped in 2017, up 70 percent year-over-year.

According to Kuo, to drive major growth, Apple needs to introduce a radical form factor change, more FDA approvals supporting medical and health applications, and 5G commercialization.

Bloomberg first suggested the third-generation Apple Watch would include support for LTE in early August, allowing the wrist-worn device to be uncoupled from the iPhone for the first time.

Following Bloomberg's report, Daring Fireball's John Gruber said he had heard from a "little birdie" that the third-generation Apple Watch would feature an "all-new form factor," but he warned that the information might be inaccurate.

Based on Kuo's report and a lack of rumors hinting at major design changes, it appears we may not see significant design changes after all.


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Apple Aiming to Bring Apple Watch to 23 Million Aetna Subscribers

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:39:58 PDT

Apple and Aetna are discussing ways to offer discounted Apple Watch models to millions of consumers with Aetna insurance, reports CNBC. Citing people with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site says Apple and Aetna held discussions last week that included senior officials from Apple, Aetna, and several hospitals.

Aetna already offers a program that provides the Apple Watch at no cost to its 50,000 employees and subsidizes the cost for some subscribers, but the insurance company is said to be negotiating with Apple to offer a free or discounted Apple Watch to all Aetna members.

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Apple's Myoung Cha, who has the title "special projects, health," led the discussions, said one of the people. The move by Aetna is part of its push to increase customer interest in a healthier lifestyle and a better tracking of diet, said one of the people.
Aetna is said to be aiming to implement some kind of program early in 2018, and its goal seems to be an expansion of plans that were announced back in September. At that time, Aetna said it was planning to subsidize the cost of the Apple Watch for large employers and individual customers.

Aetna also said it would develop several iOS health initiatives with "support" from Apple, offering "deeply integrated" health apps for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to Aetna customers.

The company's plan to offer discounted or free Apple Watch models to subscribers comes as Apple is on the verge of introducing a third-generation Apple Watch. Rumors suggest the upcoming device features an LTE chip that allows it to be decoupled from the iPhone and there's also a possibility we'll see a redesign.

We expect to see the third-generation Apple Watch introduced alongside new iPhones in September.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tags: cnbc.com, Aetna
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Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of macOS High Sierra to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:03:30 PDT

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fifth beta and more than two months after introducing the new software at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference. The sixth beta of macOS High Sierra can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air using the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. Today's update brings a fix for a bug that caused apps to quit unexpectedly when printing to Canon printers, and it addresses an issue that caused QuickLook to preview things to force a MacBook Pro to switch to a discrete GPU (pertains to models that have both discrete and integrated GPUs). macOS High Sierra builds on features first introduced in macOS Sierra, focusing on new storage, video, and graphics technology. It brings a new Apple File System (APFS), High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), and an updated version of Metal with support for VR and external GPUs. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-xoG-VYFdOk" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several apps are gaining new features in macOS High Sierra. The Photos app features a new sidebar to make it easier to access editing tools and albums, and there are new filters and editing options like Curves and Selective Color. Photos also supports external editing apps like Photoshop and Pixelmator, saving changes made in those apps back to Photos, and it interfaces with new third-party printing services. Safari is gaining speed enhancements, an option to prevent autoplay videos, and a new feature that cuts down on cross-site data tracking. Siri in macOS High Sierra has expanded music capabilities and a new, more natural voice, and Spotlight supports flight status information. There are also improvements to iCloud, FaceTime, Messages, and Notes. macOS High Sierra is available for both registered developers and public beta testers and will see a few more weeks of testing ahead of its expected fall public release. For a complete overview of changes coming in macOS High Sierra, make sure to check out our dedicated macOS High Sierra roundup. Update: Apple has also made a new version of macOS High Sierra available to public beta testers. Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of iOS 11 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Too]

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:58:14 PDT

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of iOS 11 to developers for testing purposes, one week after releasing the fifth beta and more than two months after introducing the new update at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Registered developers can download the sixth beta of iOS 11 from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed. Today's beta brings a fix for an issue that caused the DirecTV app to crash on launch, but introduces a new issue that could cause Audiobus 3 to crash. Launching the App Store no longer stops other audio that's playing, several bugs with Family Sharing features have been fixed, and all phone numbers are now displayed during a multiparty conference call. There are also fixes for Notes, addressing an issue that caused the app to malfunction when restoring from a backup where the Notes app was deleted and a problem that prevented the Apple Pencil from working when an iOS device was rotated. A new known issue prevents an AT&T data plan purchased on iPad from updating the cellular data number in Settings > General > About. As for outward-facing changes, there are new icons for the App Store and Maps and the Reminders icon is now fixed with bullet points back on the left instead of the right. There's also no toggle to turn off Auto Brightness in the Display & Brightness section in this beta. Instead, the feature must be toggled off using in Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations. The app tray in Messages has also been tweaked with the aforementioned new App Store icon. iOS 11 introduces several design changes, including a customizable Control Center and a new Lock screen that's been merged with the Notification Center. Peer-to-peer Apple Pay payments are coming in the Messages app, which is also gaining a new App Drawer, and there's a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature that's meant to help drivers stay focused on the road. Siri, Photos, the Camera app, and more are also gaining new features and refinements. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oAsp2uchSJM" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ARKit for developers will bring a range of new augmented reality apps and games to iOS devices, while a Core ML SDK has the potential to let developers build smarter apps. iOS 11 is also the biggest update ever for the iPad, with a new Dock that introduces much improved multitasking, a Files app for better managing files, improved Apple Pencil support, a revamped App Switcher, and a system-wide drag and drop feature. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oxoPHwqrpJs" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> iOS 11 is available for both registered developers and public beta testers and will see few weeks of testing ahead of a prospective September release date alongside new iPhones. For complete details on all of the new features included in iOS 11, make sure to check out our extensive iOS 11 roundup. Update: The fifth public beta of iOS 11 is now available for public beta testers. Related Roundup: iOS 11 Discuss this article in our forums [...]



HomePod Supplies Limited at Launch, but Foxconn Coming on Board in 2018 to Increase Production

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:43:48 PDT

Inventec Appliances has been a rumored supplier for Apple's HomePod smart speaker since before the device was announced at WWDC in June, and now the manufacturer has indicated that supplies for HomePod might be limited at launch, in line with most Apple product launches (via Nikkei). The news came from Inventec Appliances president David Ho during a press conference today. Although his comments never specifically mentioned "HomePod," the estimated time frame given for the release of the product -- late in 2017 -- and its description as a high-profile "smart home device," suggest it to be Apple's upcoming speaker. At WWDC, Apple confirmed that the HomePod would launch sometime in December. Now, Ho has stated that the HomePod's contribution to the company's revenue for this year will be "fairly limited" -- which is expected given the device is launching so late in the year -- with optimistic improvements to profit gained from HomePod sales predicted for early 2018. One analyst speculated that the number of HomePod units shipped in December 2017 will be around 500,000. “We will finally ship the smart home device this year, but its contribution will be fairly limited and hopefully that will improve next year,” Inventec Appliances President David Ho told analysts and reporters during an earnings conference. “Inventec Appliances will likely only ship some 500,000 units of HomePod this year, and the device’s contribution to the group’s revenue will be less than 1%,” said Arthur Liao, an analyst at Taipei-based Fubon Securities. In 2018, Apple will look to open up HomePod manufacturing to more than just Inventec Appliances, according to one of Nikkei's sources, who stated that Apple is planning to add Foxconn into the HomePod supply chain next year. This will result in Inventec Appliances and Foxconn receiving a "split" of HomePod orders and boosting production for the smart home speaker, following the limited initial launch. Inventec Appliance's total smart home and connected devices shipments are expected to grow to between 70 and 75 million units by the end of 2017, but company officials didn't specifically break down the numbers related to the Apple products it makes. In addition to HomePod, Inventec Appliances also manufactures Apple's AirPods, which have been particularly difficult for many users to purchase since the wireless earphones launched last December. Earlier in August, the estimated shipping date for AirPods finally lowered to four weeks from six weeks, which had been the shipping estimate for the previous eight months.Related Roundup: HomePod Tags: Foxconn, nikkei.com Discuss this article in our forums [...]