Last Build Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:07:03 PST
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:57:09 PSTReleased this morning, iOS 10.3 is the third major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Its main feature is a new "Find My AirPods" mode for locating lost AirPods, but the update also includes many other smaller changes and feature tweaks. There's a new profile option in the Settings app, iCloud usage is broken down more clearly, SiriKit has been updated to include bill paying functionality, and there's a new file system implemented when first installing iOS 10.3. Check out the video below for a quick rundown on all the new features introduced in iOS 10.3, and make sure to read the rest of the post for even more detail. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UUfWvlDTDWw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> App animation - Apple has tweaked the animation for opening and closing apps very slightly. As they open, apps now have more rounded edges, a difference that's noticeable on apps that open slowly. Old animation on left, new animation on right Apple ID Settings profile - There's a new "Apple ID" profile option that's displayed at the top of the Settings app. It shows all Apple ID info, including all devices you're signed into, and it has links to iCloud, iTunes & App Store, and Family Sharing. All of these options used to be listed under an "iCloud" setting. iCloud storage breakdown - In the iCloud section of the new Apple ID Settings feature, there's a visual breakdown of how iCloud storage space is being used. It's more immediately clear how much space photos or iCloud backups are using. Tapping on the new storage option opens the standard iCloud management options. This section also lists all apps that use iCloud and includes the settings for Keychain, Find My iPhone, and iCloud Backup. Find My AirPods - Find My AirPods is a new option available in the "Find My iPhone" app. It keeps track of the last known location where AirPods were connected to an iOS device over Bluetooth, making a misplaced AirPod easier to find. It also allows users to play a sound to locate a lost AirPod. It does not work when the AirPods are in the case and its functionality is somewhat limited because AirPods have no connection of their own. SiriKit - SiriKit, the iOS 10 feature that lets third-party apps access Siri, is being updated with new features that will let Siri be used to pay bills, check on the status of payments, and schedule future rides from services like Uber. CarPlay - CarPlay has been updated with shortcuts for launching the most recently used apps and the location of EV charging stations. Maps - In the Maps app, there's now an option to 3D Touch on the weather icon to see a weather forecast and other weather-related details for your current location. HomeKit - HomeKit has gained support for programmable light switches. Apple File System - When installing iOS 10.3, the iPhone's file system will be updated to use Apple File System (APFS). Apple recommends making a backup before downloading the new update. Announced at WWDC last year, APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and includes features like strong encryption, space sharing, copy-on write metadata, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, and more. App icons (developer) - Developers will be able to update the icons for their apps at any time, with an update no longer required to push out new icon artwork. Analytics - The "Diagnostics and Usage" option in the Privacy section of the Settings app has been renamed to "Analytics" in iOS 10.3. It continues to allow users to decide whether or not to send usage information to Apple to help the company improve its services. There's also a new "Share iCloud Analytics" section that allows analytics of usage and data from an iCloud account. Apple uses differential privacy to protect user information. iPad keyboard - Hidden in iOS 10.3 is a setting for a one-handed floating iPad keyboard layout that can be used on a 9.7-inch or smaller iPad. The feature, discovered by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, is not currently available. iOS 10.3 is curren[...]
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 11:27:12 PST(image) Apple hasn't released the first watchOS 3.2 beta to developers as of yet, but the company has shared release notes highlighting the new features that will be introduced in the update.
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:49:16 PSTApple's AirPods are wire-free, which makes them convenient to use, but it's also caused some concern from users who are afraid to lose their $159 earphones. In its latest beta, Apple has introduced a new feature to assuage customer fears - Find My AirPods.
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:06:43 PSTApple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update to developers, more than one month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.2 and four months since the debut of the new macOS Sierra operating system. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 one day after Apple released macOS Sierra 10.12.3.
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:01:45 PSTApple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to developers, marking the third major update to the iOS 10 operating system that was released in September. The first iOS 10.3 beta comes more than a month after the release of iOS 10.2.
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:22:39 PSTA collection of the world's top-selling smartphone makers, including Apple, Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Xiaomi, are all planning to double down on artificial intelligence features on handsets launching this year, and beyond. According to industry sources (via DigiTimes), the companies are hoping an improvement to AI assistant capabilities will "ramp up market shares in 2017." For Apple, that means the company is gearing up to add in an "enhanced Siri" to next-generation iPhone devices, although it's unclear whether that means the upcoming 2017 iPhone 8, or another model launching after this year. It's not specified what exactly an enhanced version of Siri will be able to accomplish, but an overall improvement to voice recognition and better contextual understanding of user requests might be part of the update. DigiTimes' report specifically references Apple's acquisition of machine learning and AI startup Turi last August as a way that the company intends to bolster Siri's reliability with consumers, "as well as the market share" over other AI assistants like Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Assistant. Smartphone vendors, including Apple, Samsung Electronics, Huawei, LG Electronics and Xiaomi Technology, are likely to introduce models featuring AI (artificial intelligence) applications as a means to ramp up market shares in 2017, according to industry sources. Apple acquired Australia-based machine learning startup Turi in August 2016, aiming to further strengthen the functionality, as well as the market share, of its Siri intelligent personal assistant. Meanwhile, market sources have also indicated that Apple's next-generation iPhone devices are likely to come with enhanced Siri. In terms of competition, Huawei -- as the third-largest smartphone maker in the world -- is reportedly ready to battle Apple and Samsung, with AI as a leading feature. Huawei recently launched the Mate 9 in the United States with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant pre-installed, giving users an easier way to navigate the smartphone, and representing its first move in the fight to overcome Apple and Samsung in the AI space. Google last year launched its Google Pixel smartphone with Google Assistant, and other smartphone vendors have already been looked at to promote adoption of the Assistant, including Xiaomi. In a comparison video that pitted Siri against Google Assistant, YouTuber Marques Brownlee ultimately discovered that while Siri gave him more information, Google Assistant was the more personable and enjoyable AI experience. Samsung is believed to be launching the Galaxy S8 sometime in Spring 2017 as an attempt to put the Note7 in the past for good, and the new smartphone is currently rumored to include an AI assistant named Bixby, "which is likely to become a main feature of Samsung's next-generation flagship model," according to industry sources. LG is said to be in talks with both Google and Amazon to leverage each company's voice assistant in LG products, including the addition of Alexa into a collection of LG home appliances, as well as its upcoming smartphone the LG G6. AI assistants have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and Apple has only gained competition in the space as Siri remained largely unchanged over the past few iOS updates. The company is rumored to be launching an Echo-like speaker as well, which would place Siri as a constant present in the user's home and include the ability to play music, get news headlines, and more, without needing to interact with their iPhone. In response, last year it was reported that Amazon is working on an updated Echo with a 7-inch touchscreen to "fend off competition" from Apple and Google Home.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Siri, artificial intelligence Discuss this article in our forums [...]
Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:52:07 PSTFor all of its devices that use communications technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC, Apple has to submit them to the United States Federal Communications Commission for approval, and the filings, though restricted, occasionally give hints as to what Apple is working on.
Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:08:39 PSTOver the course of the last year, there has been ongoing speculation that wireless charging company Energous has inked a deal with Apple and could potentially provide wireless charging technology for the upcoming iPhone 8. While Energous CEO Steve Rizzone has continually hinted that his company has established an agreement with "one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world," leading people to believe the partner is Apple, a new investor's note from Copperfield Research outlines why Apple has no plans to use Energous' WattUp radio frequency-based wireless charging solution. Copperfield Research examined multiple inductive charging patent applications filed by Apple starting in 2013, which now number more than a dozen, suggesting the patents are a clear indication of Apple's desire to pursue its own in-house inductive charging solutions for future products. Inductive charging, widely used today, relies on magnetic coils to provide power rather than radio waves. An image from an Apple patent covering inductive charging The patents by themselves are not a clear indication of Apple's plans, but in one patent filed in 2011, Apple makes its feelings on radio frequency-based charging clear, calling it "very inefficient," "not practical," and potentially hazardous. In the interest of full disclosure, however, the patent was filed before any prospective relationship with Energous.However, this type of radiative transfer is very inefficient because only a tiny portion of the supplied or radiated power, namely, that portion in the direction of, and overlapping with, the receiver is picked up. The vast majority of the power is radiated away in all the other directions and lost in free space. Such inefficient power transfer may be acceptable for data transmission, but is not practical for transferring useful amounts of electrical energy for the purpose of doing work, such as for charging electrical devices. [...] In addition, such schemes may pose hazards to objects or people that cross or intersect the beam when modest to high amounts of power are being transmitted.Furthermore, Copperfield Research suggests both rumored design decisions and recent news that Apple has partnered with Lite-On Semiconductor for wireless charging bridge rectifiers are indications of Apple's plan to use inductive charging. Bridge rectifiers, explains Copperfield Research, are used to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), a component needed for inductive charging and one that would not be necessary should Apple be relying on an all-in-one module from Energous. Apple's rumored decision to use a glass body also reportedly points towards inductive charging. A glass body would not be required for RF-based wireless charging technology, but is needed for an inductive charging solution.Adding further credence to Apple's inductive charging roadmap are the consistent leaks from Asian sources that the next iPhone will feature glass casing. Inductive charging does not penetrate aluminum cases effectively, which is the material for the current iPhone casing. One reason Samsung adopted plastic material for its cases is to improve the performance of wireless charging. A major misperception among tech blogs and WATT investors is that Apple's switch to a glass casing somehow confirms the inclusion of WATT's charging technology. This is ridiculous. The efficacy of RF wireless charging (WATT's technology) is not affected by aluminum or plastic cases.Many of Apple's inductive charging patents outline the improvements Apple has made in the field over the course of the last few years and give hints as to how wireless charging could work if Apple is indeed developing an in-house inductive charging solution for the iPhone 8. Patents point towards multiple objects that could provide power, such as a table top with a charging coil bu[...]
Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:09:10 PSTApple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.3, the third update to the macOS Sierra operating system that launched on September 20. macOS Sierra 10.12.3 comes over a month after the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.2, and has been in testing since December 14.
The macOS Sierra 10.12.3 Update improves the stability and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.macOS Sierra 10.12.3 will likely soon be followed by another update, as Apple has been committed to regularly making updates to the operating system since its September release.
- Improves automatic graphics switching on MacBook Pro (15-inch, October 2016).
- Resolves graphics issues while encoding Adobe Premiere Pro projects on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13- and 15-inch, October 2016).
- Fixes an issue that prevented the searching of scanned PDF documents in Preview.
- Resolves a compatibility issue with PDF documents that are exported with encryption enabled.
- Fixes an issue that prevented some third-party applications from correctly importing images from digital cameras.
Enterprise content: Resolves an issue were network or cached user accounts (such as Active Directory accounts) using the maxFailedLoginAttempts password policy were becoming disabled.
Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:56:47 PSTApple today released iOS 10.2.1 to the public following several weeks of testing. iOS 10.2.1 also comes more than a month after the release of iOS 10.2, the second major update to the iOS 10 operating system.
Mon, 23 Jan 2017 02:26:59 PSTSamsung held a press conference on Monday in which it revealed the results of its internal investigation into why some of its Galaxy Note7 handsets set on fire. Last week, leaked reports confirmed the battery was to blame, but Samsung took pains today to explain the thoroughness of its investigation, which involved over 700 engineers and data gathered from testing 200,000 phones and 30,000 Note7 batteries. In addition to enlisting the help of two independent testing labs, the Korean company built a large-scale test facility to automate different charging and discharging scenarios, which was able to replicate the failures of consumer handsets. Absolutely everything was examined, said Samsung, from hardware and software design, to manufacturing and logistics. Samsung's Note7 test facility. Samsung said that two separate flaws were to blame for some batteries setting on fire in both original and replacement phones. The original Note7 battery had a design flaw in the top-right corner that was liable to short-circuit, while the batteries in replacement units were prone to combustion because of a welding defect. Some handsets were also missing insulation tape. For those interested, the company also released an infographic explaining the findings in more detail. Going forward, Samsung said it was introducing an 8-point Battery Safety Check that includes additional inspection and testing. The firm also said it was improving training for all battery handlers across its assembly and shipping chains. In addition, it explained that more space would be allowed around the batteries in its handsets to protect them from impact-related failures, and said it would take steps to improve its battery diagnostic and controller software. “I [hope] this serves as an opportunity to improve safety of lithium-ion not only for Samsung but for the entire industry,” Samsung mobile head DJ Koh told Recode, adding that Samsung takes responsibility for all components of the phone, including batteries made by other Samsung subsidiaries and those bought from outside companies.Samsung confirmed that the changes would arrive in the forthcoming Galaxy S8, but told reporters not to expect its mid-cycle phone to make its usual appearance at the Mobile World Congress, held annually in February. No timeframe was given for the launch of the S8, suggesting Samsung is being careful not to put itself under undue pressure for its comeback after last year's Note7 debacle, which was said to be a result of the company trying to beat Apple's iPhone 7 to market.Tags: Samsung, Galaxy Note 7 Discuss this article in our forums [...]
Mon, 23 Jan 2017 01:12:43 PSTYahoo is under investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission over its failure to disclose its massive data breaches sooner, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Sun, 22 Jan 2017 16:11:49 PSTTaiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is considering a $7 billion joint investment with Apple to establish a display manufacturing facility in the United States, it was reported on Sunday. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, journalists who attended Foxconn's annual end-of-year party quoted chairman Terry Gou as saying that Apple is seeking to invest with the firm in a U.S. facility, which will eventually create 30,000 to 50,000 jobs. The increase in demand for larger display panels makes local production a better solution than shipping from China to the U.S. market, Gou told reporters. In addition to the proposed display facility, Gou said Foxconn plans a new molding facility in the U.S., with the state of Pennsylvania earmarked as a possible location following investment discussions with local officials. Gou also said that Smart Technologies, a Foxconn-controlled interactive display startup based in Canada, may move south of the border, after U.S. President Donald Trump signaled a possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. According to reports, Gou said that the rise of U.S. protectionism was an inevitable consequence of the Trump administration, but questioned whether American consumers would be willing to pay significantly more for products as a result. "In the future they may be paying some $500 more for U.S. products, but those do not necessarily work better than a $300 phone," he said, after urging U.S. authorities to provide concessions on land and electricity to facilitate Foxconn's manufacturing operations. "Yes, we will continue to add to our investments in China," Gou told reporters. "China is the world's biggest market, and why should we turn down the biggest market?"Foxconn's facility in Zhengzhou, China, produces over 100 million iPhones every year. Taking into account production from Taiwan and Hong Kong, China was responsible for more than 19 percent of Apple's global revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016. Rising tension between the U.S. and China could benefit Gou, say people familiar with the tycoon's style. "Foxconn is known to leverage different provinces and countries against each other for better terms," an industry source said, suggesting Gou could pit both countries against each other as both sides courted new investments from the company. Earlier this week it was reported that Foxconn was planning a new facility next to Apple's forthcoming research and development center in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. "Foxconn will not leave. Foxconn will stay in China," Gou told reporters in Guangzhou, when asked whether he plans to move existing manufacturing sites to the United States. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: Foxconn Discuss this article in our forums [...]
Sat, 21 Jan 2017 05:27:26 PSTNoted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research report today in which he outlined further expectations for Apple's 2017 iPhone, including new biometric identification technology as well as the necessity of a new design to provide better structural support for a flexible OLED display with 3D Touch capability. Apple may switch to a film sensor from the current FPCB sensor in order to provide better 3D Touch user experience, as a film sensor offers higher sensitivity. Also, we expect the new OLED iPhone will come with a flexible OLED panel. To avoid deforming the form factor of the flexible OLED panel from touch operation pressure, a metal structural part will be placed under the film sensor to provide more robust structural support.Kuo also believes Apple is developing a new Touch ID technology for its next iPhone "to complement its full-screen (zero bezel) form factor design and to enhance transactions security". According to Kuo, the existing "under glass" design of fingerprint recognition doesn't meet the requirements of full-screen form factor designs, therefore an "under panel" placement is required. As a result, Kuo says Apple aims to switch from the current capacitive-type to an optical-type system. Despite the technology still being in the early stages of development and the fact that OLED panel makers will have to provide bespoke designs for the system to work, Kuo believes Apple has the bargaining power to request the customizations. Notably, Kuo believes the fingerprint recognition system will "ultimately be replaced by a facial recognition system" for enhanced security. "However, if the technical challenges cannot be overcome, we believe a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition is another possible solution." Judging by the bio-recognition patents that Apple has applied for, we believe it is leaning toward facial recognition technology rather than iris recognition. However, we note that the technical challenges of facial recognition include: (1) algorithms; (2) hardware design; and (3) the build-out of a database for verification and authentication, which could be time consuming. As such, before Apple can fully replace the fingerprint system with facial recognition, a combination of the two steps of bio-recognition could be a valid solution for enhancing transactions security. Assuming the technological challenges are not too great and adoption this year isn't too soon, Kuo suggests Apple's new system will usher in a "paradigm shift" for the application of biometric identification in smartphones. Kuo's latest report builds on previous predictions regarding this year's "10th anniversary" iPhone, which is expected to feature a radical redesign with an embedded home button in an edge-to-edge display, a glass body, and potentially wireless charging. Previous rumors suggesting the iPhone 8 could include advanced biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning have pointed to the possibility that they could also power augmented reality camera functions.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo Discuss this article in our forums [...]
Sat, 21 Jan 2017 03:50:58 PSTFollowing news yesterday that Apple has filed suit against LTE modem supplier Qualcomm for engaging in anticompetitive licensing practices, the chipmaker hit back on Sunday by calling Apple's claims "baseless" and accusing it of "encouraging regulatory attacks".
"While we are still in the process of reviewing the complaint in detail, it is quite clear that Apple's claims are baseless. Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program. Apple has been actively encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm's business in various jurisdictions around the world, as reflected in the recent KFTC decision and FTC complaint, by misrepresenting facts and withholding information. We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple's practices and a robust examination of the merits," said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel, Qualcomm Incorporated.Qualcomm was the sole supplier of LTE modems used in iPhones up until 2016, when Intel also began providing the component with the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple claims Qualcomm forced it to use the LTE chips and pay back a percentage of the selling price of the phone in return for access to its patents.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:48:28 PSTGroup FaceTime calls will be a new feature introduced in iOS 11, according to an unverified rumor shared by Israeli site The Verifier. Citing "several people familiar with iOS development," the site says group FaceTime calls are being worked on by Apple's iOS 11 team, with some of the work taking place in Israel.
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:12:28 PSTFollowing an FTC complaint alleging Qualcomm engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices, Apple has filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming the company has charged unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with." According to a statement Apple shared with several news sites, Qualcomm "reinforces its dominance" through exclusionary tactics and high patent licensing fees. Apple's full statement is below:"For many years Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with. The more Apple innovates with unique features such as TouchID, advanced displays, and cameras, to name just a few, the more money Qualcomm collects for no reason and the more expensive it becomes for Apple to fund these innovations. Qualcomm built its business on older, legacy, standards but reinforces its dominance through exclusionary tactics and excessive royalties. Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined. To protect this business scheme Qualcomm has taken increasingly radical steps, most recently withholding nearly $1B in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them. Apple believes deeply in innovation and we have always been willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for patents we use. We are extremely disappointed in the way Qualcomm is conducting its business with us and unfortunately after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty we have no choice left but to turn to the courts."In the lawsuit, filed in a federal district court in the Southern District of California, Apple accuses Qualcomm of using its position as the supplier of a key iPhone component to drive up patent licensing fees. Qualcomm supplies the LTE modems used in Apple's line of iPhones, and up until 2016, the company was Apple's sole supplier. The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus use modems from both Qualcomm and Intel. Qualcomm reportedly forced Apple to use its LTE chips exclusively in iOS devices and pay a percentage of the total average selling price of an iPhone for access to Qualcomm patents. Qualcomm is supposed to provide Apple with quarterly rebates, but has failed to do so for the past year because of Apple's participation in an antitrust investigation against Qualcomm in South Korea. That investigation led to an $850+ million fine against Qualcomm for anticompetitive licensing practices. Apple is seeking $1 billion in rebate payments that have been withheld. Earlier this week, the United States Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm that focused in part on Apple and Qualcomm's licensing deals. According to the FTC, Qualcomm imposes "onerous and anticompetitive supply and licensing terms" on its smartphone partners by abusing its patent portfolio. Qualcomm has said it has "grave concerns" about the lack of evidence supporting the FTC's allegations and has promised to defend itself in federal court.Tags: lawsuit, Qualcomm Discuss this article in our forums [...]
Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:26:10 PSTApple CEO Tim Cook sold 30,000 shares of Apple stock this week, valued at $3.6 million based on the company's stock price of $120 at the time of the transactions, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission disclosure. The shares were sold as scheduled pursuant to Cook's predetermined trading plan. Cook retains 1,009,809 company shares worth over $121 million based on Apple's current stock price following the sale. A recent SEC filing revealed Cook was paid $8.7 million in 2016, which is $1.5 million less than he was paid in 2015. The decrease stems from Apple failing to meet its own target performance goals for both net sales and operating income in 2016, resulting in senior executives receiving only 89.5% of their cash incentives. However, upon reaching his fifth anniversary as Apple CEO last year, Cook cashed in nearly $137 million in previously-awarded stock bonuses tied to both his tenure and Apple's performance under his leadership. Accordingly, after bonuses, Cook actually earned roughly $145 million last year, his biggest payout yet. Yesterday, Apple analyst Neil Cybart opined that Cook and his inner circle are "doing what needs to be done in order to maintain Apple's relevancy," but he noted "there is room for improvement." He called out sporadic Mac and iPad updates, and slow progress with Siri, as two blemishes among others in its product strategy.In attempt to add a bit of relative context to this subjective grading: • Product Strategy: A- • Product Pipeline/R&D: A • Operations: B- • Marketing/Storytelling: C+ • Culture: B+ • Public Face: A+ • Financials: BIn related shareholder news, the world's largest asset manager BlackRock has increased its stake in Apple and now holds 6.1% of outstanding shares in the company, up from 5.7% a year ago. Its 322,683,504 shares are valued at over $38.7 billion based on Apple's current stock price.Tags: Tim Cook, AAPL, SEC, Above Avalon Discuss this article in our forums [...]
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:04:35 PSTSimply Mac, a well-known Apple Authorized Reseller and Service Provider owned by GameStop, is shutting down a number of its brick and mortar stores across the United States. Locations in North Carolina, North Dakota, Montana, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Utah, Idaho, Maryland, South Dakota, and more, are closing this week. Image via the Billings Gazette Notices at some of the locations have suggested Simply Mac is being shut down because Apple is ending its agreement with the retail chain, and several local newspapers are reporting the same news, but on Twitter, Simply Mac says that is not true. A notice sent out by the West Acres Mall in Fargo, North Dakota:We wanted to reach out to you with news of another change at West Acres. As of today, Simply Mac has closed. Simply Mac opened at West Acres in August 2014 and we've enjoyed having them as part of the West Acres family. The closure is due to the Apple Corporation ending its national agreement with Simply Mac to sell them Apple product, making it impossible for them to continue. They will be onsite for a few days to help with customers who have repaired items to pick up.A GameStop spokesperson who spoke to the Midland-Reporter Telegram in Texas and the Billings Gazette in Montana said the closure of the Simply Mac store in that location was done as part of a business transformation plan that involves closing non-productive store locations."As GameStop announced in its holiday sales release, the company continues to focus on the execution of our business transformation plan, which includes growing our non-gaming businesses and right-sizing our global store portfolio across all our retail brands. This involves evaluating and closing non-productive locations. The closure of this Simply Mac store is part of that strategy."It is not clear why there is mixed information being shared about the store closures, but it appears that only a select number of stores are being shuttered at this time. We've reached out to GameStop for a full list of the locations that are disappearing. The closure of several Simply Mac stores comes as GameStop faces flagging sales. Earlier this month, GameStop announced that its holiday sales fell 16.4 percent compared to 2015.Tags: Apple retail, Simply Mac Discuss this article in our forums [...]
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:32:33 PSTApple's new line of iPad models might not launch "until the second half of 2017," according to sources in the upstream supply chain speaking with DigiTimes. The new 9.7-inch iPad is predicted to enter mass production sometime in Q1 2017, while the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad models will begin production in Q2 of this year. All of the new iPads are described as still being in the "planning" phase. Although it was expected for Apple to announce and launch the new iPads during the Spring, the new report claims that "these tablets may not be announced or even released" until sometime in the second half of 2017. In December, "lower-than-expected" yield rates for the 10-nanometer manufacturing process was rumored to be a potential factor in a delayed launch for the new iPads. Apple reportedly is planning three new tablets for 2017, a 9.7-inch iPad with a friendly price range, a 10.5-inch iPad, and an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The products are still in planning, with the 9.7-inch model expected to enter mass production in the first quarter, and the other two in the second, according to sources from the related upstream supply chain. However, these tablets may not be announced or even released in the market until the second half of 2017, the sources said. In DigiTimes' report, the sources mentioned a 10.5-inch iPad, which is a size that was recently well-explained by Studio Neat designer Dan Provost as a logical choice for the middle-tier iPad. While multiple rumors placed the new iPad -- believed to be an iPad Pro -- somewhere in the 10-inch range, everything from a 10.1-inch to a 10.9-inch model has been reported. According to the supply chain sources, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a contender to replace the price tier of the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro, while the new 9.7-inch version will be introduced at an even lower cost to become an entry-level device, "mainly targeting the education sector." As previously reported, DigiTimes' sources today reiterated that the higher-end 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models will include an A10X processor. No mention was made of the 9.7-inch model and its processor, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last year predicted that the "low-cost" iPad would likely adopt a lower-end A9X processor. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is being positioned as a flagship model of the iPad line, believed to feature an edge-to-edge display without a home button, but retain a small portion of the top bezel in order to provide space for the front-facing FaceTime camera.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tag: digitimes.com Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums [...]