Buying a new iPhone is great, but two years later you're wanting a new one and can't wait until your contract ends. Several carriers are now accommodating the desire of fanboys to constantly be upgrading to the latest and greatest by offering plans with early upgrade cycles. And the big news is that Apple is reported to begin selling phones for these plans as part of a pilot program in Apple Stores later this month.
It's quite possible that Apple itself doesn't yet know when the iPhone 6 will be announced, since there are so many factors involved in ramping up production for the huge number of devices that Apple sells.
UPDATE: It might be because of the bad press, or a change of mind, or misreading tea leaves, but Apple wants folks to know that just about everyone at Beats is being offered a spot at Apple. BUT, there are no guarantees after 3 months. So the original report, that some are being asked to stick around only until January 2015 still holds true, but Apple wants you to see it differently. So 500 Beats employees will become Apple employees... but many for just three months.
You would think a company as large as Apple could acquire a business of about 500 people for $3 billion and manage to find jobs for all of them, but alas, it isn't so. 9to5mac is reporting that as many as 200 of the employees from Beats have been let go or are being asked to stick around only until January 2015.
Apple has made some moves recently that could point to more affordable, higher capacity iPhones. First, they dropped the price delta for doubling the storage of iPod touch models. Before the move, customers had to pay $100 to go from 16GB to 32GB or from 32GB to 64GB. Now, that price difference is $50. This change was appreciated, but overdue. Considering that storage capacity prices have dropped since 2007, when the iPhone was first introduced, that $100 surcharge was out of date.
As much as Apple fans would love to see an iPhone 6 with a sapphire screen, an iWatch (also with a Sapphire screen), an Apple TV, and Touch ID in new iPad Airs and iPad minis, we may not get everything we wish for. While there has been a lot of buzz regarding those sapphire screens, which should prove harder to scratch, they may not be ready for a September announcement.
We reviewed the original Battle Fleet naval warfare strategy game back in 2012, and gave it high marks for its authentic details and realistic gameplay aspects. Now you can experience the even more immersive Battle Fleet 2 ($4.99) with 3D graphics, a new combat system and campaign modes. Get a taste with the embedded trailer or head over to the Battle Fleet home page. More details on the new version follow the break...
Holy Toledo, this is one of the coolest dang tech ideas to come round since, well, since cool tech things started coming 'round. But anyway, The Power Company has hit the Indiegogo funding goal for the amazing SMART CARD. (Although if you hurry, you can still grab a Smart Card perk pack for $39. Other pack deals include two Smart Cards and a free "Smartie" Tracker.)
Apple is expected to release products with Sapphire screens. But how it's not clear (no pun intended) if those screens will be in the iPhone 6 or an iWatch (or both.) Some clues as to how Apple could be making those screens have popped up on Gizmodo.
Apple loves rounded rectangles so much, they patented the shape. I was rearranging some of the Apple gear in my living room and it occurred to me to create a "PyraMac"—a pyramid of smaller and smaller rounded rectangles, almost like a Mayan temple (Macan Temple?) of aluminum, black, and white plastic. First, there was a recent Mac mini, then an AirPort Extreme (the size of the original Mac mini), then an Apple SuperDrive. On top of that, I placed the current Apple TV and then the previous generation iPod nano. All of these use the rounded rectangle design Apple has popularized.
Given the announced (and shipping) smartwatch products from Samsung, LG, Motorola, Pebble, and other manufacturers, and the substantial rumors around an iWatch from Apple, the question is when, not if, Apple will introduce a wearable offering. But there are some fresh reports that suggest a new twist.
Yesterday Apple forecast revenue of $37–40 billion for the September quarter. That compares to their record revenue of 37.4 billion in the just-ended June quarter. The forecast was lower than many analysts were expecting. And since everyone is expecting Apple to sell a huge number of iPhone 6 units when it launches, that forecast suggests the iPhone 6 will arrive no sooner than late September. The betting right now is on September 26 as the launch date. That would still be in September, thereby boosting revenues the last few days of the month, but not early enough to push anticipated revenue over $40 billion.
Another quarter, another solid profit reported by Apple. But it seems like investors always want more—When asked what his number (to retire) was, Josh Brolin's character in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps said, "More." In this case, the number was 35.2 million iPhones sold, which is a new record for Apple, but amazingly, expectations were higher. That number represents a 12 percent increase over the same quarter from 2013, but it's apparently not enough to make investors happy. That rate is on par with the rest of the smartphone market (understandable, because Apple is a big part of it), but much less than Windows Phone, which is growing at 28% (also understandable, because it's coming from such a small share.) Most businesses would be happy with such increases, but investors seem to have a special relationship with Apple.
If there's any doubt that the iPhone 6 is generating excitement, that's put to rest by the fact that Chinese online sellers on the Alibaba website have already begun taking preorders for the phone. What other phone would start selling even before it's announced?
MacBook owners have (usually) appreciated the glowing Apple logo on the back of their MacBooks. It's a neat touch that shows Apple's attention to detail. Now iPhone owners might see something similar when they turn their phone around. The previously etched-in Apple logo on other metal iPhones may now be replaced by a plastic opening, according to the latest spy shots from Uswitch.com.
Apple will be releasing their June quarterly earnings report tomorrow after the market closes, and will be answering questions from investors. Of course, investors are eager to know how Apple did, and expectations for this quarter are fairly high. But even more important for many is the guidance Apple will give regarding the September quarter. Wall Street always wants to know not only how Apple did, but how it expects to do in the coming quarter. And if, as everyone is expecting, Apple begins selling the iPhone 6 in September, that will certainly affect Apple's earnings forecast for the September quarter. So Apple's guidance should give a clue regarding what we'll see and when. Of course, Apple never explicitly says what's coming. If the guidance is especially high, it could mean we'll get something in addition to the iPhone 6 before the end of September.
Not all the Apple news is about sapphire screens and the pending iPhone 6. Apple is promoting their latest iTunes Festival, and this time it's based on London. You can win tickets to attend, or for the rest of us, stream the content using an iOS device, including Apple TV.
Apple's main competitor these days seems not to be other phones but rather the high expectations created by the rumor mill. I'm among those who've stoked the expectation for a sapphire display on the iPhone 6. But the latest scratch test of an alleged iPhone 6 front panel reveals that it's not pure sapphire but likely has a sapphire composite laminate on the display. As the test shows, it's definitely harder and more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass but not as hard as the pure sapphire used in the Home button. Marques Brownlee, whose earlier scratch-test video I covered in this post, explains in his newest video (embedded below) the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Minerals are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with diamond being the hardest at 10. Simply, any mineral on the scale can scratch minerals rated below it but not anything rated above it. Gorilla Glass comes in at 6.8 on the scale. Sapphire is 9. The only thing that should be able to scratch sapphire should be diamond. But in his test he shows how both garnet sandpaper (rated 7) and emery sandpaper (rated 8) can scratch the iPhone 6 front panel, suggesting it's not pure sapphire.
Two rumors courtesy of a report in Taiwan's Economic News Daily indicate that Apple is ramping up to begin production of the iPhone 6. According to the report, mass production of the 4.7-inch phone will begin this month (specifically, the third week of July), with mass production of the 5.5-inch phone expected to begin in August.
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