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Apple News: The Beat Goes On

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The rumored purchase of Beats by Apple has caused a fair amount of headshaking, but it makes a lot of sense. Sure, at $3.2 billion, it would be one of the larger purchases by Apple, but it's a smart move. Purchasing of Beats would give Apple several advantages, overnight. First, street credibility. With every iPhone and iPod, Apple gives away a pair of cheap earbuds. Sure, they were enhanced recently, but still there's no prestige in those nondescript white EarPods. Beats, however, made it cool to spend $300 on a pair of headphones. And their "b" logo is everywhere, even on smartphones and laptops.



Rumor: iPhone 6 May Include Near Field Communication (NFC) Chip

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Brightwire, a global investment newswire, reported last week that the iPhone 6 will likely include a Near Field Communcation (NFC) chip, a chief purpose of which is using one's phone to complete point-of-sale transactions. You simply tap the NFC terminal at the checkout counter to make a purchase. According to the report, which is based on "a source close to the matter," the impetus for this move appears to be a deal Apple has made with China UnionPay, which Brightwire describes as "the only domestic bank card organization and interbank network in China." In short, if you want to sell lots of iPhones in China, and if the only bank card company wants NFC, then Apple does NFC. The two companies are also reportedly working together on a mobile payment system for use in Apple Stores in China.



Reuters Reports iPhone 6 Coming in August, "Phablet" in September

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Reuters reported today that the much-anticipated 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be coming in August — a month earlier than everyone has been expecting. And the report said that the larger 5.5-inch device will make its appearance in September. This too diverges from earlier rumors, which have stated that it wouldn't arrive until the end of 2014. The source of the Reuters report was media reports in Taiwan, which were based on unidentified sources in Apple's supply chain.



Apple Set to Keep Your Heads Ringing with Acquisition of Beats Electronics

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At this very moment Apple is rumored to be involved in active talks to buy Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics. At over 3 billion dollars, this would be Apple’s biggest acquisition ever, far surpassing the $429 million Apple spent in 1996 to buy NeXT, its largest purchase to date.



Apple News: Sir Jony Ive Knighted in the UK, Now Honored in the US

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Sir Jony Ive, already a British Knight, is now being honored stateside for his work on design, or at least he will be on October 30th. The New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has always had an affinity for Apple's designs, so it's only fair that the head of design at Apple get his due from the San Francisco MoMA.



Apple News: Laying Down the Law on Customer Information

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Whatever your feelings on government wiretapping, it is no surprise, now, that technology firms are cooperating with the government. But Apple has just shed some light on the process thanks to a web page that details their terms for cooperating with U.S. Law Enforcement. While lengthy, the document itself is, ironically, far shorter than the iTunes Terms of Service agreement that most users gloss over on their way to downloading apps and music.



Apple News: iPad Still Champion According to JD Power

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Apple's iPad may have reinvented the tablet computer years ago, but they haven't rested on those laurels. The iPad continues to rank highest in every category tracked by JD Power in their 2014 U.S Tablet Satisfaction Study, except of course, price. To be fair to Samsung, Amazon, and Asus, the margin of victory (0.8%) is quite small, but a win is a win!



Apple Is Number 2 in Online Sales, Just Behind Amazon

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According to the Wall Street Journal Apple has gained the number two spot in online retail sales revenue, passing Staples to come in just behind Amazon. Considering Amazon makes all of their money online, and Apple has an impressive retail channel as well, and sells through other businesses (including Staples, Amazon, and BestBuy), this accomplishment is even more impressive. Recently, Apple has offered trade-in incentives as part of their effort to bring in more direct iPhone business, at the expense of wireless carriers and other retailers. Clearly, this is paying off.



Apple News: Taking Stock of Apple Shares

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Apple has made dramatic moves in the post-Steve Jobs era to shore up their position on Wall Street. For the first time, Tim Cook issued dividends to shareholders, making Apple stock an even better investment. Apple believed in their own stock, perhaps more than investors, and began a significant buy-back campaign, to own more of their own destiny. And more recently, they announced a stock split that will see the average share at a much more attainable sub-$100 price compared to flirting with $600 pershare.



Apple News: Samsung Trial Over? Not So fast!

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In the seemingly never-ending patent infringement case between Apple and Samsung, it looked like the end was in sight. Apple and Samsung were each awarded damages, although Apple's reward was orders of magnitude more than Samsung's. The jury awarded Apple over $120 million and Samsung over $150,000. So that's the end of it, right? Nope. According to Bloomerg, Samsung wants to pay less (or not at all) and is appealing the decision.



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