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Apple Initiates iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
iphone_5_black_white

Apple has begun an iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program, suggesting that a small percentage of iPhone 5 units may have a faulty battery that results in a shorter battery life. iPhone 5 devices exhibiting battery issues were sold between September of 2012 and January of 2013 and could be eligible for a battery replacement.

Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.

If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted below, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge.

Apple says the issue affects only a “limited serial number range” and iPhone 5 users can input their serial numbers on Apple’s support site to find out whether their phones need a battery replacement. Those who do have a faulty battery can get a replacement through an Apple Authorized Service Provider, an Apple Retail Store, or through Apple Technical support.

Continue Reading

Third-Party Vendor Beats Apple to Market With Reversible Lightning USB Cables

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
lightningcablereversible

Amid rumors that Apple is developing a Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector, third-party accessory vendor Truffol has begun selling a reversible USB Lightning cable on its website, beating Apple to the punch.

Priced at $9.99, the reversible cable advertised by Truffol is designed to be inserted into a USB port in either direction, a shift from a traditional USB cable that can only be inserted in one direction. While the cable is not Apple-approved and thus not Made for iPhone (MFi) certified, Truffol has told MacRumors that its cable works with both existing iOS devices and the upcoming iPhone 6. Purchasing third-party cables is not recommended by Apple, however, as they can cause damage to iOS devices.

It is not clear whether these third-party reversible USB Lightning cables were already in development ahead of the rumors suggesting Apple was developing its own reversible solution or if they were designed in response to rumors, but their sudden availability may possibly hint at the existence of an Apple-branded reversible cable. Truffol told MacRumors that it believes the idea for the third-party reversible Lightning cables originated from “insider Apple sources.”

Rumors of an Apple-branded Lightning cable Continue Reading

Buyer’s Guide: Discounts on MacBook Air, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and More [Mac Blog]

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
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This Week’s Buyer’s Guide includes deals on the MacBook Air, the Mac Pro, the Retina MacBook Pro, and several different Apple accessories.

There aren’t many deals on the iMac, the iPad, the Retina iPad mini, or the 2014 Retina MacBook Pro this week, but make sure to check back next week for new discounts because prices tend to fluctuate on a week-to-week basis.

MacBook Air

A few sites are offering deals on the 2014 MacBook Air this week, dropping the price as much as $150. The 11.6-inch 1.4Ghz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air is available from B&H Photo and Adorama for $799, down from $899.

The 13-inch 1.4Ghz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air is available for $849 from Best Buy and Amazon, a discount of $150.

Mac Pro

Stock configurations of Apple’s Mac Pro desktop computer are available at slightly discounted prices from several retailers this week. The 6-core 3.5Ghz/16GB/256GB machine can be purchased for $3,739.99 from Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H Photo, while the 4-core 3.7Ghz/12GB/256GB machine for $2,839.99 from Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H Photo.

Retina MacBook Pro

The sole deal on the 2014 Retina MacBook Pro is Continue Reading

BlackBerry Takes Advantage of iMessage Spam Reports to Tout BBM

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
bbm_ios

BlackBerry is taking advantage of reports of iMessage’s vulnerability to spam messages to tout its BlackBerry Messenger app. In a blog post, the company highlights a report from earlier this week that said iMessage users see quite a bit of spam, with accounts run by spammers responsible for more than 30 percent of all spam messages on mobile devices.

BlackBerry suggests that iMessage users switch to BBM to avoid spam and lists five reasons why BBM is superior to iMessage. According to the company, BBM is safer primarily because it does not utilize a phone number or email address and it only accepts messages from contacts.

1) BBM is architected in a way that protects our 85 million users against spammers. iMessage works off of phone number or Apple ID. Anyone who has your number or Apple ID can send you messages whether you want them to or not. With BBM, users have a lot more control due to our “invite and accept” paradigm. In other words, both parties need to be mutually committed to being contacts in order to send and receive messages.

2) BBM gives you control. There’s no spam on BBM due Continue Reading

More Supply Chain Claims of Likely Early 2015 Launch for iWatch

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
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Earlier this week, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a report claiming Apple may not launch the iWatch until 2015 due to manufacturing difficulties associated with the new device. A follow-up report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (via G 4 Games) echoes this assertion with supply chain information hinting at an early 2015 debut for Apple’s wearable device.

Anonymous supply chain sources told Economic Daily News that Apple is requesting delivery of hardware components for the iWatch as it prepares to start assembly of the wristwatch device in September. Sources claim it will take Apple several months of manufacturing refinement before it has a final product that is ready for retail shelves.

Once it hits production, iWatch yield is rumored to be lower than first predicted, with one million watches rolling off factory lines each month. Because of the lengthy and limited production process, Apple may not be able to launch the iWatch fully in 2014. Instead, the company may decide to offer the iWatch in limited quantities at the end of this year or wait until 2015 to start selling the wearable device.

While Apple tends to unveil a product and release it Continue Reading

China Telecom iPhone 6 Ad Suggests Simplified Model Lineup for Different Carrier Technologies

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
china-telecom-iphone6-ad

According to a Sina News report (via ZDNet), China Telecom this week briefly announced plans to sell an unlocked version of the iPhone 6 in order to compete with rival carriers. The Sina report sources a Weibo post from China Telecom’s Shanghai office that was posted earlier this week and later deleted.

The move suggests Apple is planning to sell a version of the iPhone 6 that will support all wireless networks in the country, including dual 4G (TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE), WCDMA, CDMA2000, GSM, and CDMA1X. This opens up LTE to China Telecom subscribers and makes the country’s number three carrier more competitive with its bigger rivals China Unicom and China Mobile.

Apple currently sells three different models each of the iPhone 5s and 5c in China in order to accommodate the different technologies used by the country’s carriers. But with updated modem and antenna technology for the iPhone 6, Apple may be able to streamline its model lineup to more efficiently support the various carrier technologies.

As part of its advertisement, China Telecom used an iPhone 6 rendering from a Behance gallery posted early last month by Tomas Moyano and Nicolas Aichino. Continue Reading

Apple Blocking ‘Secret’ in Brazilian App Store After Court Ruling [iOS Blog]

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
secret-iconB

Apple has started blocking downloads of anonymous communication app Secret [Direct Link] following a preliminary injunction that was granted recently by a Brazilian civil court judge (Via 9to5Mac). According to the injunction ruling shared by Gigaom earlier this week, Apple is required to remove the app from the Brazilian App Store and remotely delete the app from customers’ devices.

Local media noted earlier today that Secret was still listed in the Brazilian App Store, but that Apple was preventing users from installing the app on their iOS devices. The app now appears to have been removed entirely from the the Brazilian store.

Apple reportedly has not started deleting the app from user’s devices per the injunction requirements, and it is unclear whether Apple plans to comply with that portion of the order or pursue the issue further. The injunction also applies to the Android version of Secret and a similar Windows Phone Secret client titled Cryptic, but Microsoft and Google are not yet complying with the injunction terms.

The injunction stems from a civil case filed by public prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner, who took action after receiving complaints about Continue Reading

Apple Adding Samsung as RAM Supplier for iPhone 6 [iOS Blog]

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
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Samsung will reportedly supply Apple with RAM for the iPhone 6, according to a report from Digitimes. Samsung’s return to Apple’s list of RAM suppliers for the iPhone comes after it was excluded from the list in 2013, with Apple electing to partner with SK Hynix and Elpida Memory for the iPhone 5s.

The logic board of the iPhone 5s featuring 1GB of RAM

Apple made a drastic move to begin expelling Samsung from its supplier list for a number of key components, including application processors, mobile RAM, NAND flash chips and batteries, starting 2013, the sources noted.

The report adds that Elpida and SK Hynix have become unsatisfied with Apple’s buying price for the components. With Elpida and SK Hynix reluctant to increase their shipments because of the dispute, Apple has once again added Samsung into its RAM supplier list to ensure a steady launch supply for the iPhone 6. Samsung had also previously supplied RAM to Apple for the iPhone 5 in 2012.

Apple has diversified its supply chain in recent years in an attempt to reduce its reliance on its rival Samsung, however the Korean company’s reputation Continue Reading

Apple Suppliers ‘Scrambling’ to Produce Enough iPhone 6 Displays After Issues With New Backlight

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
iphone6frontpanel

Apple’s supply chain is scrambling to get enough displays ready for the iPhone 6 ahead of its launch next month, reports Reuters.

Front panel said to be from the 4.7-inch iPhone 6
The report notes that production issues were made prevalent when the backlight film for the device’s display panel had to be redesigned, halting production for two months:

Two supply chain sources said display panel production suffered a setback after the backlight that helps illuminate the screen had to be revised, putting screen assembly on hold for part of June and July. One said Apple, aiming for the thinnest phone possible, initially wanted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film, instead of the standard two layers, for the 4.7-inch screen, which went into mass production ahead of the 5.5-inch version.

After the backlight film component was revised, Apple reportedly rejected it and went back to add the second layer to the panel causing a delay. As it stands, production of the display has resumed as suppliers are attempting to work quickly to make up for lost time before the device’s launch.

Concerns over the iPhone 6′s backlight Continue Reading

iPhone 6 Information Leak Sourced from Foxconn Details Dimensions of 4.7-Inch and 5.5-Inch Versions

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
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French Apple website IGen.fr (Google Translate) has shared a variety of new details about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6, including dimensions for each model, info about the protruding camera ring on the rear of both devices, and more. The photos appear to be of internal information residing in a Foxconn factory, as the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and 4.7-inch iPhone 6 carry code names of N56 and N61, respectively.

The information states that the final version of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will measure 158 mm long, 78 mm wide, and 7.1 mm thick (7.7 with the protruding camera), weighing 184.6 grams, or 6.5 ounces. Also spotted is information for a first prototype, which retained the same length and width but was 7.0 mm thick and weighed 168.5 grams, or 5.9 ounces.

Supposed measurements of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6
Meanwhile, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is said to measure at 138 mm long, 66 mm wide, and 6.9 mm thick, as the weight of the device is not listed. For comparison, the iPhone 5s measures 123×58 and is 7.6 mm thick.

igen_iphone6_comparison_all A comparison of both the 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch model, Continue Reading

GT Advanced Reportedly Producing Between 1.3 and 2.2 Million Sapphire Displays for 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 [iOS Blog]

Posted by | August 22, 2014.
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Apple partner and sapphire glass manufacturer GT Advanced is estimated to produce anywhere from 1.35 to 2.25 million sapphire covers for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 by the end of 2014, according to a report from Digitimes Research.

GTAT started sapphire production in August 2014 and expects revenue contributions from sapphire to begin in the fourth quarter, and Apple’s fourth down payment is due in October 2014, these conditions signal that GTAT’s sapphire production will not reach a large scale by the end of 2014, Digitimes Research indicated. However, GTAT is likely to ship sapphire at a large volume beginning the first quarter of 2015.

A yield of only 1.35 to 2.25 million sapphire glass covers for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 would likely mean that Apple would delay the launch of the larger device until next year or release it in extremely limited quantities.

Such a small yield would also contrast earlier reports about the iPhone 6′s record-setting initial production run, as Apple was said to be preparing between 70 and 80 million 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 units for this year. Reports of Apple’s production issues with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6′s display and metal Continue Reading

Apple Updates iWork for iOS/Mac, iMovie With Bug Fixes and Stability Improvements [Mac Blog]

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
iwork.jpg

Apple today released a series of minor updates for its suite of iWork apps for both iOS and Mac, adding stability improvements and fixing bugs. iMovie for Mac and iOS were also given a minor update, adding iCloud compatibility improvements for iMovie Theater.

Today’s minor update for the iWork apps follows a more significant update that was first released in April, adding several new features and improvements to return functionality that was removed when the new iWork apps were introduced in first September of 2013.

Apple’s line of iWork apps are available for free to users who have recently purchased a new Mac or iOS device. The iWork apps for iOS are otherwise available for $9.99 from the App Store, while the Mac versions are available from the Mac App Store for $19.99. iMovie for iOS is available for $4.99, while iMovie for Mac is available for $14.99.

Pages for Mac – [Mac App Store]
Numbers for Mac – [Mac App Store]
Keynote for Mac [Mac App Store]
iMovie for Mac [Mac App Store]

Pages for iOS – [App Store]
Numbers for iOS – [App Continue Reading

iCloud Services Currently Down for Some Users [Mac Blog]

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
icloudoutage

It appears that many individuals are currently experiencing issues with iCloud, with several people reporting difficulties receiving/sending iCloud mail and logging into iCloud.com. Users attempting to access iCloud.com are receiving the following error message: “iCloud encountered an error while trying to connect to the server.”

Users appear to have been experiencing issues for the last half an hour or so, but Apple’s System Status page does not list any downtime and some users are still able to access the service, suggesting the outage is regional.

Over the last several months, iCloud has been down multiple times, with the longest outage happening just over a month ago. In July, a small percentage of users were unable to access iCloud Mail for approximately 27 hours.

Continue Reading

Apple in Talks With Insurance Companies Over HealthKit Partnership

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
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In addition to seeking partnerships with several different hospitals and health institutions for its HealthKit initiative, Apple is also speaking with major U.S. insurance companies like UnitedHealth and Humana.

In a report on rising medical costs and partnerships between insurance providers, corporate employers, and fitness device makers, Bloomberg suggests that Apple has spoken with insurance companies about HealthKit, but no specifics on the conversation were provided.

The focus of the piece, highlighting the insurance perks that companies can offer to employees with healthy habits, implies that Apple may be exploring partnerships that would possibly allow its collected data to be shared with insurance companies and other medical providers.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the new national health-care law, companies can spend as much as 30 percent of annual insurance premiums on rewards for healthy behavior.

Technology companies are taking note. Apple Inc., which has new health-tracking software called HealthKit that will be released this year and is said to be developing its own wearable device, has talked with UnitedHealth, the biggest U.S. insurer, and Humana, about its health initiatives, executives at the insurance providers said. The companies wouldn’t provide specifics about the conversations. Apple declined to comment.

An Continue Reading

Apple Job Postings Point Towards Continued Work on Voice Over LTE

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
volteverizon

Several new job listings suggest Apple is continuing to work on building support for Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) into its line of mobile devices. VoLTE is designed to allow carriers to send voice calls over LTE networks, right alongside data. On the consumer end, this results in higher quality voice calls and faster call connection times.

Subscribers on CDMA networks (Sprint and Verizon) will further benefit from VoLTE, as it allows the simultaneous use of data and voice, something that’s not currently possible.

First discovered by LightReading (via Gigaom) job openings at Apple include Cellular Systems Protocol Engineer and Senior Baseband Audio Engineer. The protocol engineer position requires hands-on experience with VoLTE, among other wireless technologies, while the senior position also asks for experience with the VoLTE specification. Several additional positions also ask for experience with Session Initiation Protocol, which is essential for creating a connection between devices and LTE networks.

The company is currently advertising for a cellular systems protocol engineer, calling for experience with “VoLTE” and “IMS.” Other positions are calling for experience with the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) protocol. [...]

Apple is also looking for a senior baseband engineer to work Continue Reading

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