First acknowledgement of deal between Apple and world's largest carrier
A website owned by a subsidiary of China Mobile has begun taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, the first time any site affiliated with China's (and the world's) largest carrier has done so. The move signals a formal deal between Apple and the carrier, which has taken some six years to put together -- and marks the opportunity of a lifetime for Apple to make more serious inroads in China's expanding smartphone market.
Four-inch display, 5MP camera with flash, autofocus on Firefox OS smartphone
LG has launched its first Firefox OS smartphone, with the mobile device going on sale in Brazil starting today. The entry-level LG Fireweb running the fledgling open operating system touts a four-inch, 480x320-resolution display, and though it goes on sale after the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open, the Fireweb offers a few marginal improvements.
Majority of BBM downloads on iOS, users still waiting for access
BlackBerry Messenger has been downloaded more than 10 million times in its first 24 hours of availability. The app for Android and iOS, free on both platforms, is said by the company to be the top free app in more than 75 countries, including the US, UK, and Canada, which BlackBerry calls one of the "best single-day openings for a mobile app to date."
Plans scale up to 4.5GB for $40
T-Mobile is now available as default carrier on LTE models of the new iPad Air and iPad mini, according to Apple's website. In an unexpected move, the carrier is offering 200MB of monthly data for free; the next cheapest plan is Sprint's $15 tier, which includes 1GB. AT&T only offers 250MB for $15, and Verizon charges $20 for 1GB.
Should improve performance, add Mavericks support
Apple has started seeding a beta of iTunes 11.1.2 to employees, a leak indicates. The update will add full compatibility with OS X Mavericks, as well as Arabic and Hebrew language support. For all users, the code should boost performance and stability.
Apple Online Store down for scheduled maintenance until 4AM ET
The online store from Apple has been listed on the company's System Status page as down for planned maintenance from approximately midnight Wednesday (eastern time) to 4AM ET. The downtime occurred just after a three-hour partial iCloud.com outage in which users could access most services, but the web Calendar and Reminders applications were nonfunctional. Most iCloud disruptions are brief and only affect a small portion of users, but both of the recent downtimes affected all users.
New Mac Pro, Mavericks may also be unveiled
Sources with knowledge of Apple's plans have revealed that the company will soon send out press invitations for an event introducing the latest iPad models on Tuesday, October 22. The event is likely to be held at Apple's Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino, given the short notice for the event, and will highlight the both the full-size iPad and iPad mini. Also planned for the event, according to the reports, will be the formal debut of the new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks.
Results will include first 10 days of new iPhone sales
Apple has scheduled an unusual Monday conference call with analysts to discuss its fiscal fourth-quarter (July-September) results on October 28 at 2PM PT, just after markets close. The results will include the first 10 days of sales from Apple's iPhone refresh, supplementing the debut weekend numbers of over nine million handsets sold by the company. The iPhone's launch and early sellout prompted the company to issue a rare restatement of guidance, with Apple now expected to see near $37 billion in revenue for the quarter.
Company's new iCloud Keychain to be included in final release
After first releasing a build of the next major version of OS X exclusively to AppleSeed members that had dropped the words "Developer Preview" from the title, very late Thursday Apple sent developers the same build -- now labelled the "Golden Master" of Mavericks. Barring the discovery of any serious flaws, the version seeded tonight will be the final that is distributed to the public when OS X Mavericks (10.9) is formally released -- though the company has not yet announced a date.
Company will notify users if affected, recommends changing passwords
Adobe has notified users through a post on its company blog that has been hacked, detecting a number of "sophisticated attacks" on its network that accessed Adobe products' source code as well as some user account information for roughly three million users. The company says that credit and debit card numbers stolen in the attack were encrypted, and that it believes any decrypted payment information was not copied or removed.
Says problem is not widespread, but will soon issue patch to correct it
Following widespread reports of iMessage issues for some users who have upgraded to iOS 7, the company on Tuesday said it was aware of the problem and working on a fix. The official statement from the company says the problem is affecting "a fraction of a percent" of users, but with Apple's enormous mobile userbase, this amounts to millions of people even if Apple's accounting is accurate. The problem seems most likely to strike those who upgraded after the first updates.
Each city to see separate app, game development talks
Originally teased earlier this year, Apple has today formally announced its 2013 series of Tech Talks, themed around iOS 7. The events start in San Francisco on October 8th, and will come to a close in London on December 18th. Other destination cities in the interim will include New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Berlin.
iOS 7 activations break 200 million
Apple achieved over nine million in combined iPhone 5s and 5c sales this launch weekend, according to an official statement. The figure tops the five million iPhone 5 units Apple achieved last year, and handily shattered even optimistic analyst estimates, causing an upward spike in the stock price. Apple hasn't broken down sales figures between the 5s and 5c, but it's generally believed that the 5s sold up to three times as many units, since it's Apple's flagship product and the 5c is effectively an iPhone 5 with a new plastic back and modest improvements.
Upgrading spike doubled some ISP traffic; 12 percent worldwide Internet usage jump
ISPs monitoring traffic spikes noticed a huge one just minutes after the official release of iOS 7, with reports from some providers that data usage doubled compared to normal levels. Late on Friday, the new iOS version overtook iOS 6 as the most popular, less than 48 hours after the upgrade first became available. Analytics company Mixpanel estimates that more than 130 million users had updated their devices within the first 10 hours of availability, out of a potential iOS 7-eligible base of 415 million.
Carriers receiving only 'Space Gray' model; gold buyers pointed to Apple
Sales of the iPhone have begun in eastern Australia, with customers lining up to be among the first in the world to buy one of the new iPhone models at retail. As expected, interest is high in the new iPhone 5s -- however, our reporter in line in Penrith (a city not far from Sydney) reports that while stores have "plenty" of the silver and "Space Gray" models on hand, the prized "gold" model is in short supply, with the Penrith Apple Store having 50 or fewer units on hand, while well over 200 potential customers lined up prior to opening.
iPhone 5s, 5c expected to get special update
As planned, Apple has released iOS 7 via iTunes and as an over-the-air update. The firmware gives iOS a radically new look, and adds numerous features, such as Control Center, AirDrop, Activation Lock, iTunes Radio, and a new multitasking motif. To install the OS, people must be using at least an iPhone 4, iPad 2, or fifth-generation iPod touch.
New release brings new game, new look to iCloud web portal
In the early hours of what promises to be a big day, Apple on Wednesday updated the look of its iCloud.com portal and the web app versions of Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminders and Find My iPhone to utilize the new iOS 7 style, hours ahead of the update's formal launch. Users who sign in will also be greeted by beta releases of Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iCloud, being finalized for full release later this year. Finally, the highly-anticipated Infinity Blade III has turned up on the App Store ahead of the new iOS upgrade.
New Safari 6.1 beta has also been released for Lion, Mountain Lion
[Update: more details added, including iTunes 11.1] A day early, Apple has seeded another "Developer Preview" of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, two weeks after the previous release. Registered developers can obtain the new version by signing into the Mac App Store with their developer account Apple IDs. In addition, Apple released a new Safari 6.1 beta for Lion and Mountain Lion, as well as an updated build of iTunes 11.1. Mavericks DP7 also continues to list iCloud Keychain as an area for testing, with several bugs still existing in its implementation. Current speculation has Mavericks on track to be released alongside updated Mac models sometime in mid to late October.
New model will be the exclusive camera documenting runway showcase
[Updated with promotional video] Luxury outerwear designer and historic fashion house Burberry will be using the new iPhone 5s exclusively to document in HD video and still images its Spring/Summer 2014 fashion show in London next week, according to an announcement from both Apple and the clothier. The designer will get early access to the iPhone 5s, which is not expected to formally debut until September 20, for its September 16 women's wear show -- which will be streamed live from London's Hyde Park on the Burberry website. The entire show will be captured using the iPhone 5s' advanced camera.
Presentation covers updates, iOS 7, iPhones, iWork and iLife in 85 minutes
[Update: Keynote now available on iTunes, videos from the keynote now on YouTube] The video of this morning's Cupertino presentation of the iPhone 5s and 5c has been made available, along with the videos shown within the presentation, on Apple's website and through Apple TV. The 85 minute talk showcases the new Stanford Apple Store, the introduction of iOS 7, the debut of the iPhone 5c and high-end 5s, the iTunes Festival, a look at the new camera and photos app in the 5s, new cases and docks, and a surprise concert by Elvis Costello, among other highlights.
Touch ID sensor brings fingerprint recognition to iPhone
During Apple's omnibus iPhone and iOS 7 announcement today, Apple officially revealed the iPhone 5s. The device boasts Apple's new 64-bit A7 processor, and is constructed of "high-grade aluminum" with chamfered edges, now being offered in three colors: silver, gold, and a new "Space Gray" color. Also added to the phone are a new motion-sensing chip, as well as a greatly improved camera and flash system.
Prices to start at $99
Today Apple officially announced the iPhone 5C, a new mid-tier model. The device uses a seamless plastic back shell, available in green, yellow, blue, white, and pink colors. Apple is also touting a reinforced steel structure, along with a 4-inch Retina display, an 8-megapixel iSight camera, an A6 processor, and a FaceTime HD front camera. The phone supports LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
On track to 'become the world's most popular mobile operating system'
Apple's head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, demonstrated the new iOS 7 today as part of the company's iPhone rollout. In addition to showing off features previously seen at the Worldwide Developers Conference (including parallax wallpaper, full-size photo viewing and organization, an easier-to-reach Command Center, revamped search and improved Siri functionality), the audience was treated to a number of new ringtones not previously announced. The company also introduced new camera software, Touch ID compatibility, and the fitness-oriented CoreMotion API.
Security feature will be left out of cheaper iPhone 5C, paper says
On the eve of Apple's announcement of new iPhones, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the long-rumored home button fingerprint scanner will become a feature of the iPhone 5S, the company's next model of premium smartphone. The fingerprint sensor will likely be used in addition to standard security measures such as PIN numbers or passcodes, but add a significant extra layer of security which could push e-commerce, banking and other high-security applications forward, in addition to making iPhones less valuable to thieves.
Kuo says Apple unlikely to go beyond five inches
If Apple is indeed working on larger-screened iPhones for release in the next year or so, the Cupertino company is unlikely to roll out anything with a display larger than five inches. This according to well-connected analyst Ming-hi Kuo, who explained in a note that any larger-screened iPhone will probably launch with a 4.5 to five-inch display. The reason: Apple's "unwavering principle of one-hand use."
Third party will monitor compliance
(Updated with DoJ statement) Apple has been hit with a permanent injunction in the e-book price-fixing case pursued by the Department of Justice. As previously noted, the company will be restricted from signing agreements with five major book publishers that could artificially inflate or reduce e-book retail prices. A third party will be tasked with directly monitoring compliance for two years, while the final judgment will expire after five years.
Possibility of new Apple TV model coming this fall, following rash of updates
Apple has recently given its "hobby" Apple TV set-top box a rash of updates, adding new channels and planning on adding built-in iTunes direct purchasing to the small unit. Similarly, the box's popularity has risen steadily over the last year, with Apple CEO Tim Cook telling a conference in May that the company had sold 13 million of the devices, "about half in just the last year." Now Apple has taken delivery of 40 metric tons of "set top boxes" from a previously-unknown Chinese supplier that could herald an updated device coming soon.
Expected to feature iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C
As anticipated, Apple has sent out invitations for a press event to be held September 10th at the company's Cupertino headquarters. The event will start at 10AM Pacific time, but beyond that, no other details have been revealed. "This should brighten everyone's day," the invitation's slogan reads.
Keeping Java up-to-date can help avoid inconvenience
Will not interfere in Apple deals with movies, TV, music however
Judge Denise Cote, who presided over the e-book price-fixing trial between Apple and the US Department of Justice, has softened or eliminated a number of restrictions recommended by the DOJ since it emerged victorious in the trial; however, she said in a hearing on Tuesday that she does plan to require Apple to hire an external monitor whose job would be to review the company's internal antitrust compliance program.
OS X Mavericks launch predicted to be separate
Apple is planning to hold an iPhone-related press event on September 10th, sources say. The people haven't revealed any other details about the event, but AllThingsD suggests that OS X Mavericks -- which is almost complete, and due this fall -- won't be getting a formal launch at the same time. There also haven't been any hints that the iWatch or a TV set will make a debut.
Would've given Apple time to appeal DoJ penalties
Judge Denise Cote has denied an Apple request to temporarily stay her ruling stemming from a trial over e-book price fixing, the Associated Press reports. Had the stay gone through, it would've given Apple time to appeal settlement terms proposed by the US Department of Justice. In July, Cote found that Apple had conspired with five major book publishers -- Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster -- to artificially inflate e-book prices and undermine Amazon, which in 2009 was selling Kindle titles at a standard price of just $10.
Representatives from tech firms and civil liberties groups come together
One of the "fathers of the Internet," Vint Cerf -- along with a cadre of representatives from tech companies, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and AT&T chief Randall Stephenson -- met with President Obama on Thursday in a closed-door meeting about government surveillance. This follows a similar meeting earlier in the week that included tech-industry lobbyists and civil liberties groups, including the ACLU and Electronic Privacy Information Center. The meetings are part of an effort by the administration to promote discussion and information about government surveillance programs.
Last-minute ruling is the first ITC reversal since 1987
US Trade Representative Michael Froman, on behalf of the Obama administration, has decided to invoke a Presidential veto of the recent ITC ruling against Apple that would have resulting in a sales ban on GSM iPhone 4 devices (and other models no longer being actively sold). The ruling, in which the ITC reversed its own prior judgements on whether a Standards Essential Patent (SEP) that is under dispute should ever qualify for a sales injunction, was widely criticized even by Apple's competitors as a poor decision that overstepped the ITC's boundaries.
Promotion is in addition to $200 off retail price of Retina MBPs
Best Buy has launched a brief promotion on top of an ongoing promotion, making for a great opportunity for some buyers. In addition to discounting current Retina MacBook Pros by $200 off list price, the company will also give buyers of those MacBooks a free, third-generation Apple TV. In addition, verifiable students at recognized educational institutions can get another $100 discount on the Retina MacBook Pros, totalling a $300 discount along with the free Apple TV. The offer makes the pricing the lowest currently available when the value of the $99 Apple TV is included.
Ongoing commitment to improvements going global
Continuing the company's commitment to make its own Maps program the equal or better of any other, Apple has posted over three dozen new job postings on its website seeking "ground truth" verification and software engineering specialists for locations all over the world. The expansion follows hiring for "ground truth" staff back in February to help the company make its maps of rural Australia more accurate. Apple also recently acquired two mapping companies -- Locationary, which specialized in business listings, and HopStop for transit data.
Hacking attack has prompted changes, systems will be rolled out soon
MacNN has received reports that iTunes Connect, a crucial part of Apple's crippled Developer channel, is now online after an unprecedented week of closure following a hacker attack by a security researcher that exposed some data. While the attacker, Ibrahim Balic, has claimed he was just doing "security research," the company shut the system down and said it has been "working around the clock" to overhaul developer systems, update server software and rebuild the entire database to close vulnerabilities. Apple has launched a new "system status" page for the Developer Center.
30-year-old Chinese man was able to call for help, now in coma
Another report of an accidental electrocution has surfaced in China, this time a 30-year-old man named Wu Jian Tong who was stricken when plugging in an iPhone 4 using an unapproved third-party charger. The man survived the ordeal but has been comatose for the past 10 days. He was not breathing when paramedics arrived and was revived using CPR. Authorities believe his coma is due to severe oxygen deprivation to the brain. Earlier this week, a 23-year-old former air stewardess was killed when she allegedly answered a call on her iPhone using what is believed to be a non-Apple charger.
Suggests potential expansion for Maps alongside Locationary
On the same day it became public that Apple had purchased business-listing and information service Locationary, it has been confirmed that the iPhone maker has also acquired public transit navigation service HopStop. The most likely plan for the service is to fold it into Maps, Apple's own in-house GPS and mapping program. Apple's decision to forego transit directions when it launched its own Maps app was a major point of criticism from early users, and a selling point that kept many using Google's Maps application once it returned to iOS.
Web version brings iWork to PC, may be free of charge
MacNN readers and staffers have reported receiving invitations from Apple to try out the iWork for iCloud beta, and may expand the program to all those with an iCloud account. The online version of the three iWork apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- is not believed to be intended to replace the local Mac and iOS versions, but instead complement them with a way to use the programs from any online device -- including, for the first time, Windows computers. Our reviews of the apps found them to be superb implementations of the latest web technologies.
Some Haswell MacBook Air owners reporting 'spotty' connections
Late on Thursday, Apple issued an update for owners of the 2013 model MacBook Airs which corrects a issue that affected some users but was not widespread: intermittent loss of Wi-Fi connectivity. The update also fixes a glitch with Adobe Photoshop that can cause occasional screen flickering, as well as a problem that causes audio playback to fluctuate while viewing videos. The MacBook Air (Mid 2013) Software Update 1.0, as it is called, can be downloaded from Apple's support pages and weighs in at 3.35MB. It has not yet shown up in Software Update.
Back-to-school sale knocks $200 off for everyone else
Hot on the heels of its discounts on the current-generation Haswell MacBook Airs, big-box retailer Best Buy is cutting prices on current 13-inch MacBook Pro models by $200 as part of a back-to-school sale. The deal gets even sweeter for students who have a school email address ending in ".edu" -- mostly college students -- who register on Best Buy's Student Deals site: they will receive a coupon for a further $100 off the price, bringing total possible savings to $300. The $100 offer also extends to iMacs, which are not currently discounted.
Unusual Thursday closing brings greater back-to-school emphasis
The online Apple Store went offline worldwide for almost five hours beginning just after midnight (ET) on Friday until nearly 5AM ET. The long downtime, just slightly above average for a significant store downtime event, is sometimes indicative of a product refresh or addition, though in this case it appears to have been for minor site update to emphasize the current "Back to School" gift card and accessories promotion. No new or refreshed product turned up, though the last time the store was down for such an xtended period was for five hours on June 10, adding the latest MacBook Air models.
Players can save big on Mac, PC and old-school RPG games galore
Gaming download merchant Steam has kicked off its Summer Sale, which runs from today through July 22 and offers up to 90 percent off on a changed-daily array of its popular Mac and PC titles. Users can vote for games to be included in a "flash sale" for an eight-hour period as well. In a separate offer, the Humble Bundle group have devoted their weekly sale to the old-school RPG works of Spiderweb Software, makers of titles such as Avernum and Avadon. The Humble Bundle is a pay-what-you-want offer, and includes 15 Spiderweb titles along with bonus game art and hint books.
Says entry-level models, competition would be 'swept away' by injunction
Apple has filed a request with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) for a stay on an import ban against older models of iPhones and iPads pending an appeal pending in a federal court. The sales injunction, which affects GMS versions of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 with cellular option, may go into effect in as little as a month if the 60-day Presidential Review on ITC sales bans lapses without action. The injunction was a surprising move on the part of the full commission, which had preliminarily found in Apple's favor in a case over 3G patents owned by Samsung.
Savings of up to $20 on selection of top-notch iOS apps
[Update: dedicated section showcasing free apps has been added] The fifth anniversary of the iOS App Store is just days away, but Apple is apparently preparing a gift for its users: a number of top apps that normally sell for $1 up to $20 have been reduced to free, including the $20 Traktor DJ for iPad, the $7 Infinity Blade II, the $5 Barefoot World Atlas, the $4 multiplayer Badland (which just won an Apple Design Award last month) and the $5 Day One journal/diary app, along with a few others. There is no indication how long the sale will last, but on Monday Apple added a dedicated section highlighting the anniversary celebration to its iOS App Store.
Will take over as main supplier from Samsung with 20nm A-series chips
The Wall Street Journal says it has confirmed with an executive for the company that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will become the lead supplier of Apple's in-house-designed A-series processors in a ramp-up beginning in 2014 with 20nm system-on-chip (SoC) processors, confirming Electronista's report from DigiTimes that appeared earlier this week. The company, which has been an Apple supplier for years, is said to have recently overcome some technical obstacles to increase its output to the speed, power and quality standards required by the iPhone maker.
Follow brief outage for iCloud affecting 1.5 percent of customers
For about an hour and 20 minutes earlier today, some 20 percent of users trying to access the iTunes Store and associated services such as the App Store and iBookstore were blocked from doing so due to a service outage, Apple reports. According to its Services Status page, the problem began at 7:25PT and lasted until 8:45PT this evening. Earlier in the day, a small (1.5) percentage of users were hit with a brief iCloud outage that lasted about 45 minutes in the late afternoon, Pacific Time.
Nine other stores, residences in the area also affected
Heavy rains hitting the Bellevue, WA area (near Redmond) have flooded a number of stores at the Bellevue Square mall, including the local Apple Store. Video and tweets from customers who were inside the store at the time reported that water began rushing in from one of the walls, spreading over the floor during a day of heavy rains. The store was evacuated with no injuries, though it is unclear how much damage was suffered by equipment in the store. Nine other stores at the mall and some residences in the area were also hit by flooding.
Sets up BB10-esque 'platform within a platform' for business users
BlackBerry is now allowing users of iOS and Android devices to sign up for a "trial" of its Secure Work Space app, a program drawn from a feature on its own BlackBerry 10 devices that lets users set up a "partition" for business use that is entirely separated from personal data -- a solution that lets administrators police business material on the phone without having full access or control of the users' personal "side." Built into the app is integrated email, calendar and contacts, along with a secure HTML5 browser and secured Documents To Go version.