Author Archives: Mike Beasley

New rumor claims Apple will launch three iPhone models this year, including 4-inch iPhone 6C

iPhone_6c_front_green_compare iPhone_6c_back_green_compare

A sketchy new rumor from the sometimes-unreliable Digitimes claims that Apple will be releasing three new iPhone models this year. While many Apple watchers are expecting to see the release of two new “S” models—the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus—the new report also says the company will release a third model this year.

We’ve previously heard rumors that the “C” iPhone lineup would be disappearing after the launch of the iPhone 6. However, Digitimes claims that Apple will be debuting an “iPhone 6C” later this year that will sport a 4-inch display like that of the iPhone 5 and 5s. It’s possible that this is related to the rumors of a pink iPhone launching with the next refresh.

The display panels for all three models will be sourced from Japan Display and LG Display, with the Plus and “C” screens also going into production at Sharp. The displays will be made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass, indicating that Apple may have given up on its attempts at sapphire smartphone displays for now. Based on previous reports, these displays are also believed to support Apple’s new Force Touch technology.

The larger phones are expected to ship with Apple’s Samsung-made A9 processor, but the iPhone 6C will reportedly stick with the current A8 chip. Some analysts claim that Apple will also stick with an 8 MP camera for this hardware update.

Digitimes says that all three phones will ship with Touch ID sensors and NFC support for Apple Pay, but doesn’t mention any other possible differences. On the current-generation devices, the main differentiating factors are software changes, which allow the iPhone 6 Plus to take advantage of its larger display when in landscape mode. The only hardware difference between the two is the inclusion of optical image stabilization on the Plus.

On the software front, Apple is working on a massive stability release that will squash bugs, fix problems, and optimize performance. That will reportedly ship as iOS 9 on these new iPhones.

As for the source of the rumor, Digitimes isn’t exactly known for its spot-on reports (though there have been a few solid ones in the past), so it’s probably a good idea to keep that in mind when considering these types of claims.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: iPhone 6c, iphone 6s, iphone 6s plus

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Apple to expand iPhone trade-in program to China next week, Foxconn to resell devices on secondary markets

iphone-6-plus

Apple will begin rolling out an iPhone trade-in program in China in the near future. The option may become available in stores as soon as March 31st, allowing Chinese users to take advantage of the program that has helped boost iPhone sales in several countries already, including the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Chinese retail employees will determine the condition of the phone being traded in, and offer Apple Store credit to customers, Bloomberg reports. Devices that are traded in will be sold to Foxconn by Apple. The manufacturing partner will then make any necessary repairs and resell them through its own online outlets:

Under the China program, retail staff at Apple outlets will assess an iPhone’s condition before offering store credit for those originally bought in Greater China, the person said. Foxconn will buy the phone directly without Apple ever taking ownership, according to the person. Foxconn will repair the devices if needed and then sell them through its e-commerce sites eFeihu and FLNet, and through Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Taobao online store, one person said. Foxconn also is in talks to sell the iPhones through physical stores and may take the trade-in program online in the future, the person said.

While Apple is soon launching an Android trade-in program that lets users switching from competing handsets earn money toward their new iPhone by handing over their old device, the China trade-in offer will apply to iPhones only for the time being.

Following China, only a few major markets with Apple Stores,  such as Turkey and Brazil, will be left without in-house iPhone trade-in options. Apple’s new retail chief has been focusing on improving the company’s presence in China, with several new Apple Stores opening within the country in recent months.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Retail, china, iPhone, trade-in

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Apple to expand iPhone trade-in program to China next week, Foxconn to resell devices on secondary markets

iphone-6-plus

Apple will begin rolling out an iPhone trade-in program in China in the near future. The option may become available in stores as soon as March 31st, allowing Chinese users to take advantage of the program that has helped boost iPhone sales in several countries already, including the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Chinese retail employees will determine the condition of the phone being traded in, and offer Apple Store credit to customers, Bloomberg reports. Devices that are traded in will be sold to Foxconn by Apple. The manufacturing partner will then make any necessary repairs and resell them through its own online outlets:

Under the China program, retail staff at Apple outlets will assess an iPhone’s condition before offering store credit for those originally bought in Greater China, the person said. Foxconn will buy the phone directly without Apple ever taking ownership, according to the person. Foxconn will repair the devices if needed and then sell them through its e-commerce sites eFeihu and FLNet, and through Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Taobao online store, one person said. Foxconn also is in talks to sell the iPhones through physical stores and may take the trade-in program online in the future, the person said.

While Apple is soon launching an Android trade-in program that lets users switching from competing handsets earn money toward their new iPhone by handing over their old device, the China trade-in offer will apply to iPhones only for the time being.

Following China, only a few major markets with Apple Stores,  such as Turkey and Brazil, will be left without in-house iPhone trade-in options. Apple’s new retail chief has been focusing on improving the company’s presence in China, with several new Apple Stores opening within the country in recent months.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Retail, china, iPhone, trade-in

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Apple seeds second public build of iOS 8.3 beta, fourth beta for developers

iOS 8.3 beta 4 (developers)

Apple has just seeded the latest beta of iOS 8.3 to its public beta users. The first beta was sent out just under two weeks ago. The build is also available over-the-air to developers, making it the fourth beta for those users. It’s also available on the iOS developer center.

Along with the new iOS beta comes a new Xcode beta. The Xcode 6.3 beta comes with a build number of 6D554n and includes support for Swift 1.2. A beta update for the third-generation Apple TV has also been pushed out.

The final version of the mobile OS is expected to bring more diverse emoji, new Siri languages and voice improvements, the ability to place speakerphone calls from Siri, and many bug fixes.

Wireless CarPlay is also expected to debut with the update. However, the CarPlay settings menu has disappeared in beta 4.

A recently discovered change in the software will allow users to download free apps and music without entering a password. That feature was nonfunctional in the previous beta, and it seems that’s still the case in the latest build.

photo library

The new build removes the “Beta” label from the iCloud Photo Library option, now promoting it as a full feature. This has changed in previous betas, so it’s possible it could go back to being a beta before the operating system is released.

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Apple has also renamed the new “filtered messages” section of the Messages application to “unknown senders.” The section collects messages sent from iMessage addresses that aren’t in your contacts. SMS messages from unknown contacts will still be included with iMessages from your friends.


Filed under: iOS Tagged: Developer Preview, iOS 8.3, public beta

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Apple launches new website to provide free Apple Pay decals to businesses, publishes payment mark guidelines

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Apple has launched a new website today that allows business owners to order Apple Pay decal packs for their stores. Each of these packs includes two glass decals in different sizes, two register decals (also in different sizes), and a tool for affixing the ads to the appropriate surfaces.

Businesses can order up to five of these packs (for a total of twenty decals) absolutely free of charge, but those who need more than five will need to call Apple to place an order.

Earlier this month Apple made the Apple Pay logo available for download and provided a PDF explaining its guidelines for using the payment mark. In its guideline document, Apple specifies that the Apple Pay logo should be placed ahead of similar marks for other payment services like MasterCard and Visa.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 5.36.12 PM

There are also rules for sizing the icon for physical signs, mobile and desktop websites, and emails. The guidelines document and a vector version of the payment mark are available for download from the Apple Pay web page.

Earlier this month Apple also published an Apple Pay FAQ page, and AppleCare started handling support for businesses that accept the mobile payment service.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple pay

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Are Apple Watch orders being slashed as reported by Taiwan media?

apple-watch

Apple has allegedly slashed its initial order of Apple Watches in half, cutting the number of units from around 3 million to just 1.5 million, a new report out of Taiwan claims. As has previously been the case with Apple device launches, supplies of the new wearable are expected to be constrained due to manufacturing difficulties.

The problem seems to stem from Apple’s decision to switch to a new type of display for the watch. Those new AMOLED panels are being manufactured by LG, but the company is having trouble producing enough to keep up with demand. LG was originally expected to produce 5 million panels per month.

But maybe Apple isn’t cutting its supply. Maybe something else is afoot…

This report should be taken with a hefty (and potentially unhealthy) serving of salt. The original source of the story—the Economic Daily News—doesn’t have quite the shining track record that some other publications enjoy, and has previously made some pretty interesting (and dubious) claims about Apple’s manufacturing process.

Tim Cook is a supply chain guru. It makes sense that he would plan for contingencies like this, likely by ensuring other manufacturers could pick up the slack if necessary. While the initial order for LG parts may have been cut to account for low yield, Apple may be relying on another manufacturer (Samsung? Sharp? Others?) to produce displays to meet that 3 million unit order.

That being said, with so many people clamoring to get their hands on Apple’s first wearable, shoppers may want to plan for the possibility of limited availability regardless of how many devices the company is able to crank out.

Via


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch, Taiwan

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Apple discontinues Boot Camp support for Windows 7 on latest MacBook models

Windows 8 Parallels

Apple’s latest MacBook Pro and the upcoming MacBook will not support running Windows 7 through Boot Camp according to a support document for the software. Starting on the newest machines, users will need to upgrade to Windows 8 or later in order to take advantage of the Mac’s dual-boot capabilities.

Of course, for users who still rely on Windows 7, there are solutions that allow you to run the operating system on your Mac. Both Parallels Desktop 10 and VMWare Fusion 7 Pro support versions of Windows back to XP and feature an integrated experience designed for the latest version of OS X.

Microsoft recently announced that it would be taking a page from Apple’s playbook and allowing existing Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to the upcoming Windows 10 for free, giving those stuck on older versions a chance to update to a Boot Camp-compatible system.


Filed under: Mac Tagged: Boot Camp, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Windows

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