Category Archives: iphone

Foxconn hoping to make future iPhone screens, get more of the Apple pie

File photo of employees working inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua

iPhone assembler Foxconn is apparently hoping to move beyond its relatively low-margin work into more profitable high-end component manufacturing in order to take a bigger slice of revenue from Apple, reports the WSJ.

Apple Inc.’s major assembler Foxconn is in preliminary discussions with a provincial government in northern China for an investment in a new factory that would make high-end screens for iPhones and other mobile devices, people familiar with the talks say.

Foxconn already manufactures some iPhone components, but currently only low-margin ones like metal casings and cables … 

Sharp, Japan Display, LG and Samsung have been Apple’s main display suppliers in recent years.

“Foxconn hopes to capture the growing demand for high-resolution, energy-efficient displays and supply Apple and other smartphone makers in the next few years,” said a person familiar with the situation.

The report cautions that Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou is known for talking-up the company’s prospects, and that it is “unclear” whether Apple has been consulted on the idea. Tim Cook visited one of the company’s factories during his current visit to China, but there has been no indication of any talks on the topic.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, china, Foxconn, iPad, iPhone, iPhone 6, japan display, lg, Samsung, Sharp, Terry Gou, Wall Street Journal

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Apple to grow retail stores in China from 15 to 40 within two years, says Cook

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shanghai-apple-store

Tim Cook noted during Monday’s earnings call that Apple was “investing like crazy” in China, but he took the opportunity of his current visit to the country to put a specific number on the company’s retail expansion plans: it will open 25 new Apple Stores in Greater China within the next two years. Greater China includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Speaking to local media, Cook also said that China would in time become Apple’s biggest market, reports the WSJ … 

The paper was able to confirm with Apple that Cook said:

In the future China will become Apple’s biggest revenue contributor. It’s just a matter of time.

Bloomberg noted that Apple’s Q4 results show that Greater China currently makes up 14% of Apple’s revenues. Chief financial officer Luca Maestri described demand from China as “off the charts” and Cook described the country as “an enormous market where there are more people graduating into the middle class than any nation on Earth in history.”

Cook’s visit to China began with a meeting with the country’s vice premier to discuss information security after the recent icloud.com phishing attack which was reported to have been orchestrated by the Chinese government. He followed this with a visit to an iPhone factory, which he described as “an early highlight” of the trip.

The Apple CEO is due to attend meetings at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, where he is a member of the advisory board for the School of Economics and Management. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, also in China at present, has recently joined the same board and is likely to be attending some of the same meetings. Cook also indicated that he may be meeting with local firms Baidu and Alibaba during his trip.

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Apple China, Apple retail stores, Apple Store, Apple Stores, Beijing, china, Cook, Greater China, Hong Kong, iPhone, retail stores, Tim Cook, Tsinghua University

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Apple to grow retail stores in China from 15 to 40 within two years, says Cook

shanghai-apple-store

Tim Cook noted during Monday’s earnings call that Apple was “investing like crazy” in China, but he took the opportunity of his current visit to the country to put a specific number on the company’s retail expansion plans: it will open 25 new Apple Stores in Greater China within the next two years. Greater China includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Speaking to local media, Cook also said that China would in time become Apple’s biggest market, reports the WSJ … 

The paper was able to confirm with Apple that Cook said:

In the future China will become Apple’s biggest revenue contributor. It’s just a matter of time.

Bloomberg noted that Apple’s Q4 results show that Greater China currently makes up 14% of Apple’s revenues. Chief financial officer Luca Maestri described demand from China as “off the charts” and Cook described the country as “an enormous market where there are more people graduating into the middle class than any nation on Earth in history.”

Cook’s visit to China began with a meeting with the country’s vice premier to discuss information security after the recent icloud.com phishing attack which was reported to have been orchestrated by the Chinese government. He followed this with a visit to an iPhone factory, which he described as “an early highlight” of the trip.

The Apple CEO is due to attend meetings at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, where he is a member of the advisory board for the School of Economics and Management. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, also in China at present, has recently joined the same board and is likely to be attending some of the same meetings. Cook also indicated that he may be meeting with local firms Baidu and Alibaba during his trip.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Apple China, Apple retail stores, Apple Store, Apple Stores, Beijing, china, Cook, Greater China, Hong Kong, iPhone, retail stores, Tim Cook, Tsinghua University

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Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

Mail for Inbox

Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform (Think Paper for Facebook?). Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

For those that have a love-hate relationship with email, which is probably just about everyone, Inbox has a more organized and intuitive user interface for achieving the elusive “Inbox Zero.” Inbox enables users to add their own reminders to the top of the inbox, can snooze away messages to be shown again at a later time and highlights important parts of emails like YouTube videos, PDFs and Microsoft Office documents, flight statuses and package deliveries.

The main Inbox view provides an overall look at your emails categorized into bundles including travel, purchases, finance, social, updates, forums and promos. If you use tabs on the desktop version of Gmail, then this will be a familiar experience. There are also unbundled sections for low priority or for any custom inboxes that you may have created. Overall, the organizational functionality of Inbox is fantastic.

Gmail for Inbox Done Snoozed

There are two additional views for “Snoozed” and “Done.” The former houses all of your emails until a specific date and time that you choose for the message to return to your main inbox, so that you can have a cleaner look at the emails that matter to you most straight after opening the app. All emails placed in Done are also removed from the main inbox, although they do not return at a later date unless you tap the pin icon.

Overall, Inbox is essentially a marriage between Gmail and Google Now. This is email built for the modern day person, the individual that wants to be able to organize and manage his or her inbox on the fly as efficiently as possible. Inbox for iPhone has a sleek design that mirrors Material Design on Android, and we’ll be sure to share a more in-depth look at the app in the near future.

InboxForums InboxUpdates InboxSocial InboxFinance InboxPurchases InboxTravel InboxLowPriority InboxReminders
Filed under: Apps, iOS Tagged: Android, app, First Impressions, gallery, Gmail, Google, hands-on, Inbox for Gmail, Inbox Zero, iOS, iPhone, Microsoft Office, review, screenshots, YouTube

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Modernizing the home screen: How iOS could take cues from the design of the Apple Watch

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At Apple’s special press event this past September, we witnessed the introduction of several new user interface paradigms, in the form of Apple Watch. Perhaps one of the most interesting was Apple Watch’s entirely new home screen. This is the first departure from the same basic concept of the home screen that Apple demoed in January of 2007 when it debuted the iPhone OS.

Apple clearly thinks that Apple Watch is the future of the company, but is the Apple Watch home screen the future of the iOS home screen? Let’s take a look at how we arrived at where we are today.

iPhones

History

To understand why Apple designed the home screen the way they did, you have to remember what iOS was like in 2007. Apple was only shipping devices with 3.5-inch, non-retina displays, and third party apps were still nowhere to be found. With every year that passed, both the devices and the software that ran on them matured, adding new features along the way. In 2010, the iPad was added to the mix, and the home screen simply scaled up to follow. The same year, the retina display was introduced, and the home screen was given the 2x treatment.

In 2012, the iPhone 5 brought a 4-inch display, and the home screen just added another row. The same happened this year with the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 Plus scales up the home screen even more.

Here we are in 2014, and the iOS home screen is essentially the same as it was in 2007. Plenty of arguments have been made that the home screen looks “dated” or needs certain features, but I’m proposing not change for the sake of change, but change that unifies, modernizes, and redefines the home screen as we know it. What would happen if the Apple Watch home screen came to the iPhone?

Apple Watch

One Fluid System

Moving the Apple Watch home screen to the iPhone breaks down barriers that have been part of the system since day one. Gone are the concepts of home screen pages and the dock, replaced with one large, fluid grid of apps. The app grid not only looks more modern with its round icons, but it scales perfectly to any size display, all the way from the smallest Apple Watch to the 9.7” iPad, without looking crammed or too spread out at any size.

ZoomLevels

Navigation

At the center of Apple Watch’s home screen is the clock, the anchor point for the device. Similarly, at the center of the iPhone’s new home screen would be Spotlight, a central search repository for quick access to applications, web searches, music, contacts, and more. This central point is where you return to every time you exit an app or unlock your device.

You might not find yourself needing to launch apps from Spotlight anymore, however. With the new home screen layout, all of your apps are always close by, no longer stranded pages and pages away from screen one. In fact, with this new layout, you can adjust the content density of the home screen just by pinching in and out, moving the entire seamless honeycomb of apps with you. Pinch out to see a bird’s eye view of all of your apps. Zoom in as close as you want to see app icons and titles up close. This is great for those with poor eyesight. It also eliminates the need for a zoomed home screen option, a feature introduced with iOS 8 on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

FolderComp

Arranging apps as you see fit and moving them into folders is just as easy as before. Pressing and holding down on an app invokes the familiar “wiggle” mode, and you can move apps anywhere you want in the grid, without the frustration of apps flipping back and forth between rows and pages inadvertently when trying to position the app in a folder on the end of a row or page, an annoyance we’ve all experienced.

The organization and navigation of folders is largely unchanged from the current home screen layout, but gains all the benefits of the new app grid. Each folder is still a portal into another grid of apps, but without pages. The icon preview for a folder shows the innermost circle of 7 apps, and tapping on the folder expands it, where you can swipe around to access all of your apps.

Reachability

Reachability

As part of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch last month, Apple introduced a new feature called Reachability, designed to make using the new iPhones with one hand easier. Double touch the home button and all of your home screen icons or app content slides down. This feels pretty crude to me, an admission that iOS wasn’t really designed to run on phones of this size. The new home screen layout would solve the problem of home screen reachability entirely. If an app is out of reach, just drag the grid down so you can reach it, and tap. The advantage of a continuous grid like this is that you can swipe in any direction, instead of just left to right like is possible today.

The current layout of the iOS home screen places application priority at the top and bottom of the display. When adding applications to a home screen, they fall into line one by one starting at the top left corner. This top row is now the hardest place to reach on new iPhones. The new home screen layout moves the highest application priority to the center of the display, the most natural area to interact with.

As you can see in the photo above, Reachability on the iPhone 6 Plus moves the top row of icons to roughly the center of the display, in line with the logical center of the new home screen layout. This is perhaps the most compelling part of a redesigned home screen. Designing with multiple display sizes in mind removes the need for awkward workarounds like Reachability.

IconsRound

Iconography 

You might be wondering how developers would tackle the problem of round app icons. Would everyone need to redraw all of their icons? Not quite. I took a sampling of some stock iOS icons above and cropped them to a circle.

The results are pretty conclusive. Icons designed with the iOS 7 icon grid in mind fit almost perfectly when cropped to a circle. It’s only icons with detail close to the edges that run into problems, like Passbook and Reminders. As you’ll notice in the other screenshots across this article, many third-party apps also fit well right out of the gate.

It’s also important to keep in mind the Apple Watch. Any apps designed for the Watch’s UI require round icons. Therefore, it would be in developers best interests to create one icon that would work well across both Apple Watch and iPhone.

With Apple Watch, Apple has created an entirely new, modern home screen that is not only more intuitive, it’s more flexible and adaptive as well. Only time will tell if this design trickles down to the iPhone, but the benefits it brings make it a strong contender for a new face of iOS.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, iOS Tagged: Apple watch, design, grid, home screen, iOS, iPhone, redesign, Spotlight

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Tim Cook meets with Chinese vice premier in Beijing following iCloud phishing attack

tim-cook-china

Two days after evidence emerged of a phishing attack on iCloud, allegedly due to the Chinese government firewall redirecting traffic to a fake login page, the Chinese state news agency Xinhuanet is reporting a meeting in Beijing between Tim Cook and Chinese vice premier Ma Kai.

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday exchanged views on protection of users’ information during their meeting in Zhongnanhai, the central authority’s seat. They also exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in information and communication fields.

The Chinese government censors access to the Internet by deploying a country-wide firewall which blocks certain sites and which can redirect traffic from sites the government dislikes to officially-sanctioned ones …

While Apple did not specifically acknowledge claims that it was the government firewall which redirected icloud.com traffic to a fake website, the company posted a support document in which it said it was “aware of intermittent organized network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information.”

The conversation between the two would doubtless have been couched in the most polite of diplomatic terms, but would still have made very interesting listening …

Cook last month reiterated the company’s commitment to user privacy and security following leaks of nude photos of celebrities, some of which appeared to have been obtained from iCloud. A combination of phishing emails and weak security questions were the attack methods used. Apple reintroduced two-factor authentication for iCloud.com in response, with app-specific passwords also required from the beginning of this month.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Apple China, Beijing, china, Chinese government, icloud, iCloud phishing, iPhone, phishing, Tim Cook, Zhongnanhai

For more news on AAPL Company, Apple, and iPhone continue reading at 9to5Mac.

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Tim Cook meets with Chinese vice premier in Beijing following iCloud phishing attack

tim-cook-china

Two days after evidence emerged of a phishing attack on iCloud, allegedly due to the Chinese government firewall redirecting traffic to a fake login page, the Chinese state news agency Xinhuanet is reporting a meeting in Beijing between Tim Cook and Chinese vice premier Ma Kai.

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday exchanged views on protection of users’ information during their meeting in Zhongnanhai, the central authority’s seat. They also exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in information and communication fields.

The Chinese government censors access to the Internet by deploying a country-wide firewall which blocks certain sites and which can redirect traffic from sites the government dislikes to officially-sanctioned ones …

While Apple did not specifically acknowledge claims that it was the government firewall which redirected icloud.com traffic to a fake website, the company posted a support document in which it said it was “aware of intermittent organized network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information.”

The conversation between the two would doubtless have been couched in the most polite of diplomatic terms, but would still have made very interesting listening …

Cook last month reiterated the company’s commitment to user privacy and security following leaks of nude photos of celebrities, some of which appeared to have been obtained from iCloud. A combination of phishing emails and weak security questions were the attack methods used. Apple reintroduced two-factor authentication for iCloud.com in response, with app-specific passwords also required from the beginning of this month.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Apple China, Beijing, china, Chinese government, icloud, iCloud phishing, iPhone, phishing, Tim Cook, Zhongnanhai

For more news on AAPL Company, Apple, and iPhone continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Tim Cook meets with Chinese vice premier in Beijing following iCloud phishing attack" with our community.