iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Pre-Orders Could Start September 9th

Over the weekend well-known mobile phone leaker Evan Blass predicted that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus would release the week of September 12. A short time later, he predicted that it should launch on Friday, September 16. Today, Blass has followed up and reported that pre-orders would take place on Friday, September 9. Apple typically announces the newest iPhone a couple days before pre-orders start. With September 5 being Labor Day, it's likely Tuesday, September 6 would be the day of Apple's iPhone 7 event. The dates roughly line up with Apple's usual pattern for iPhone releases. Last year, Apple announced the iPhone on September 9, started pre-orders on September 12 and released it on September 25. Blass is well known for leaking details and images from Android smartphones well before official confirmations. A couple days before predicting the release week of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, he revealed that the codenames for Apple's new smartphones are "Sonora" and "Dos Palos." Confirmed: Pre-orders start on the 9th. You can extrapolate the launch event date from there. https://t.co/gwoPzIM1dI— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 28, 2016 This year's iPhone models are not expected to feature significant design changes aside from the loss of the headphone jack. Instead, Apple is said to be introducing major new features for the 10th anniversary iPhone 8. The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 is expected to get an improved camera and optimal image stabilization while the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus may gain a dual-lens camera system and 3 GB of RAM. Other rumored features for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus include a faster TSMC-made A10 processor, repositioned antenna bands, faster LTE and Wi-Fi, a slightly larger battery, and a minimum 32 GB of base storage.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Evan Blass Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 27 July 2016 | 11:21 pm

Apple Has Sold 1 Billion iPhones

Apple today announced that it recently sold its one-billionth iPhone, marking a major milestone for the company. CEO Tim Cook shared the news with employees at a staff meeting this morning, as noted in a news story published by Apple. In a statement, Cook called the iPhone one of the most successful, world-changing products in history, echoing similar sentiments from yesterday's earnings call where he said believes the iPhone is becoming a device that people can't live without. Tim Cook holds the billionth iPhone sold"iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history. It's become more than a constant companion. iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day," said Cook. "Last week we passed another major milestone when we sold the billionth iPhone. We never set out to make the most, but we've always set out to make the best products that make a difference. Thank you to everyone at Apple for helping change the world every day."Apple first introduced the iPhone in 2007, and since then, the company has gone on to release nine generations, each with major improvements, revisions, and new features. While iPhone sales have been down for the last two quarters, the 1 billion milestone highlights what a successful product it is. The iPhone has long been Apple's most important device, responsible for a majority of the revenue that the company brings in. Next year, Apple will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and the company has something big planned. Rumors suggest the 2017 iPhone will introduce some of the most significant design changes we've seen, with an all glass body and an edge-to-edge display with an integrated camera and Touch ID sensor. Other prospective features include wireless charging, biometric additions like iris or facial scanning, and a faster A11 chip.Tag: Tim Cook Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 27 July 2016 | 3:34 pm

Apple Partners With Parkopedia to Bring In-Depth Parking Data to Apple Maps

Parking service company Parkopedia today announced that it will begin to provide its enhanced and detailed parking information services directly within Apple Maps. With the partnership between the two companies, that means iOS users will be able to visit Apple Maps to discover more than 40 million parking spots in 75 countries across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The integration of Parkopedia into Apple Maps actually began in March inside of the United States, but today marks the official worldwide launch of the new resource. With the parking company's "rich information," Apple Maps users will be able to search for parking garages and lots, while reading about their location, payment type, number of spaces, and more. Future updates will allow users to filter search results, in order to discover the cheapest lots first, for example. While reading through some Parkopedia information for a parking lot in Apple Maps, users will be able to follow a link to reserve a spot, although that process takes them out of Maps to complete the payment process on the Parkopedia website or within the company's iOS app [Direct Link]. "More detailed information" will also be available outside of Apple Maps and in Parkopedia itself, including pricing, user reviews, special offers and real-time space availability. "We're excited to deliver detailed information on more than 40 million parking spaces in 75 countries to Apple Maps customers. This is a very important milestone for Parkopedia. Our combined footprint in the consumer and automotive space is huge and this opens the doors to delivering a world of innovative solutions," stated Parkopedia's Head of Marketing, Christina Onesirosan Martinez. Apple Maps has been receiving steady updates to help bolster its navigation and research abilities for users visiting new cities, or simply trying to find new venues in their hometown. Among these changes coming in iOS 10 are new parked car notifications, which reminds users where they left their car -- especially when parking in large garages or lots -- with the help of a simple geo-locked icon within Apple Maps. Combined with Parkopedia's information catalog, this could help Apple get a leg up on its rivals in the GPS map app space.Tags: Apple Maps, Parkopedia Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 27 July 2016 | 10:57 am

MacBook Air With USB-C Again Rumored, Launch Timeframe Unclear

Last month, Japanese blog Mac Otakara reported that Apple plans to announce new MacBook Air models featuring USB-C ports based on the Thunderbolt 3 protocol by the end of June, and begin shipping the notebooks to retailers in August. It is now seven weeks later, however, and the rumor has yet to materialize. But if a new report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes is to believed, Apple still has plans to release a new MacBook Air with USB-C ports after all. The report does not provide a launch timeframe for the updated notebooks, but the secondary rumor suggests Mac Otakara may have been off on timing only.Currently, Apple has decided to adopt the USB Type-C interface for its MacBook Air, while Asustek Computer and Hewlett-Packard (HP) are upgrading one of their notebooks' regular USB port to the Type-C. Lenovo, Acer and Dell are still evaluating the option.DigiTimes previously reported that Apple will begin shipping new "ultra-thin" 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks at the end of the second quarter, which ended in late June. The report said the new MacBooks would "share a design similar to the existing 12-inch MacBook" and be "thinner than [the] existing MacBook Air." DigiTimes also previously reported that Apple plans to release new ultra-thin MacBooks with metal injection molded hinges in the second half of 2016. The website is not always an accurate source of Apple's upcoming product plans, but it has well-connected supply chain sources that have proven reliable at times in the past. Apple's entire Mac lineup, beyond the 2016 12-inch MacBook, has stagnated. Apple has not released a new MacBook Air in over 500 days, beyond a minor 8GB RAM bump for 13-inch models in April. Some believe the MacBook Air's days are numbered, but perhaps the notebook will live on until Apple can sell the 12-inch MacBook from $999. Alternatively, it is possible that DigiTimes is misinterpreting a thinner MacBook Pro with USB-C ports as a MacBook Air. If a new MacBook Air is incoming, a late-year launch is most probable. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple will launch three new MacBook models by year's end: a thin and light 13-inch MacBook in the June-September quarter, and two thinner and lighter 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models in the September-December quarter. Related Roundup: MacBook Air Tags: digitimes.com, USB-C Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 27 July 2016 | 10:01 am

Australian Banks Challenge Apple Over Mobile Payment App Restrictions

Three of Australia's biggest banks have lodged a joint application with anti-trust regulators to negotiate with Apple over gaining access to the NFC-based mobile payment hardware in its smartphones (via Reuters). Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac have so far resisted signing deals to use the company's Apple Pay mobile payment system, because they want their customers to be able to use digital wallets they have already financed and developed. However, none of the banks want to be accused of violating anti-competition law by negotiating deals, which is where the application comes in. If the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) lets the banks collectively negotiate with Apple under the terms of the application, it would enable them to undertake "a limited form of boycott" in which they would all agree not to negotiate with Apple individually while the talks take place. Apple currently only allows its own mobile payment system to access the NFC-hardware in its iPhone devices, which banks argue is an anti-competitive restriction that hampers consumer choice. "This is about providing Australians with real choice and better outcomes," said Lance Blockley, a senior advisor at Novantas who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald on behalf of the banks. "If successful, the application would have tremendous benefits for the entire Australian mobile payments landscape including for public transport fares, airlines, ticketing, store loyalty and rewards programs and many more applications yet to be developed." Apple Pay launched in Australia in November, but has since been slow to roll out in the country. The delay was thought to be down to issues Apple was experiencing negotiating fees with the nation's largest banking institutes. Three months ago it added Apple Pay support for credit and debit cards from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (aka ANZ), the only bank in Australia's "Big Four" that played no part in the latest application. Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tag: Australia Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 27 July 2016 | 5:39 am

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Augmented Reality: 'We Continue to Invest a Lot in This'

Apple CEO Tim Cook today told investors that Apple is continuing to invest in augmented reality, and that the company is "high on AR in the long run." Cook's comments came after he was questioned about Pokémon Go, the hit augmented reality game developed by Niantic Labs, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company. Cook, who continually referred to "Pokémon" as "Pokemans," said Pokémon Go is a "testament to what happens to innovative apps," giving the App Store credit for empowering developers to "press a button" and "offer a product around the world." He went on to say that augmented reality offers a great commercial opportunity and great opportunities for consumers. AR can be really great. We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We're high on AR in the long run and we think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity. The number one thing is to make sure that our products work well with other developer's products like Pokémon, and that's why you see so many iPhones in the wild chasing Pokemans.Cook went on to say that he believes augmented reality "can be huge." "We'll see whether it's the next platform," he said. "Regardless, it will be huge." In the past, rumors have suggested Apple has a secret research team working on augmented reality and virtual reality, exploring the AR/VR field and investigating how the company could embrace augmented or virtual reality in the future. Apple has also made a number of augmented reality acquisitions, purchasing companies like Metaio, Faceshift, and Flyby Media. How Apple might incorporate augmented reality into its products remains a mystery, but there are applications related to Maps and Photos that could be on the horizon. Earlier this year, Cook made similar comments about virtual reality, calling it more than just a niche product. "It's really cool and it has some interesting applications," he said.Related Roundup: Apple VR Project Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 26 July 2016 | 5:43 pm

Tim Cook 'Optimistic' About iPhone 7 Sales, Sees 'Signs That are Positive'

During today's third quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors that he's "very optimistic" about prospective iPhone sales this fall, despite rumors suggesting the device will introduce only minor changes. In response to a question about speculation that iPhone upgrade rates will be low in 2016 based on circulating rumors that the iPhone 7 will mark only a modest update to the iPhone 6s, Cook said he sees "so many signs that are positive" that point towards solid sales numbers. A mockup of the iPhone 7I don't want to talk about new phones that aren't announced. That aside, what we have seen -- in past tense or in current tense -- on the upgrade rate is that the iPhone upgrade rate for the iPhone 6s is similar to the iPhone 5s. [...] The iPhone 6 was significantly higher than that and it likely accelerated upgrades that would have been in the current year ahead of those. So what the future holds, we'll see, but I'm very optimistic about the future because I see so many signs that are positive. As for the signs in question, Cook pointed towards an install base that has gotten "incredibly large," a switcher rate that continues to grow, a smartphone penetration rate that's only at 42 percent, changes coming in iOS 10, and the growing importance of the smartphone itself as it becomes "even more instrumental and important to people's lives." On that last point, Cook said he expects AI to play a major role in turning the iPhone into an essential device that people can't live without. "As the iPhone becomes more and more your assistant, you're not going to leave without it," he said. "I see all of those things as vectors that are incredibly positive," he continued. According to Cook, Apple will excel at AI because of the company's focus on user experience, which will drive people to adopt Apple devices. Apple is continually working to improve its virtual assistant Siri, and Cook's comments hint at Apple's continued focus on the service.As the smartphone itself becomes more essential to customers' day-to-day lives, we think people will put more and more focus on what they're buying. The thing Apple does best is providing a killer user experience that's integrated across the entire product line, and that becomes more important and really plays to our advantage. I think the deployment of AI technology is something we will excel at because of our focus on user experience. So I like that.Apple will unveil its next-generation iPhone 7 this fall, likely in September. While the device is expected to have a design similar to the design of the iPhone 6s, it will feature camera improvements, a better processor, improved water resistance, no headphone jack, and more.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 26 July 2016 | 5:24 pm

Apple Reports Q3 2016 Earnings of $7.8B on $42.4B in Revenue

Apple today announced financial results for the third fiscal quarter (second calendar quarter) of 2016. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $42.4 billion and net quarterly profit of $7.8 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $49.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. As expected, the results represent the second consecutive year-over-year declines in quarterly revenue and iPhone sales. Gross margin for the quarter was 38 percent compared to 39.7 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 63 percent of revenue. Apple also declared a quarterly dividend payment of $0.57 per share, payable on August 11 to shareholders of record as of August 8. The company currently holds $231.5 billion in cash and marketable securities, partially offset by $68.9 billion in long-term debt. Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones during the quarter, down from 47.5 million a year earlier, while Mac sales were 4.25 million units, down from from 4.8 million units in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales were also down once again, falling to 9.95 million from 10.9 million.“We are pleased to report third quarter results that reflect stronger customer demand and business performance than we anticipated at the start of the quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We had a very successful launch of iPhone SE and we’re thrilled by customers’ and developers’ response to software and services we previewed at WWDC in June.”Apple's guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 includes expected revenue of $45.5–47.5 billion and gross margin between 37.5 and 38 percent. Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q3 2016 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights. Conference Call and Q&A Highlights are available in reverse chronological order after the jump. 3:02 pm: Apple's earnings call has concluded. 3:02 pm: Cook: We think of the new Apple TV as the foundation for what we can do in the space. I don't want to be more precise than that. Don't look at what's there today and think we've done what we want to do. We've built a foundation that we think we can do something bigger off of. 3:01 pm: Question asked about Apple TV and the broader streaming TV/content ecosystem. 3:01 pm: Maestri: iPhone SE has downward impact on iPhone ASP of course. Slightly dilutes company margins, but impact is not particularly large. 2:59 pm: Maestri: iPhone SE is doing exactly what it intended. We are seeing a higher rate of new-to-iPhone customers, which is obviously very important to us, as we bring new people into the iOS ecosystem. We see a higher rate of previous iPhone owners who really prefer the 4-inch phone factor. We have not seen clear evidence of cannibalization from iPhone 6s/6s Plus. What is much more relevant to us is the opportunity to bring more people into the iOS ecosystem. 2:57 pm: Cook: R&D growth rates are still very large on a year-over-year basis. Products that are in R&D … there is quite a bit of investment in products and services that are not currently shipping or derivations of what is currently shipping. I don't want to talk about the exact split of it, but you can look at the growth rate and conclude there is a lot we're doing beyond current products. 2:56 pm: Q: From an R&D growth perspective, how much is related to existing products and services versus what is coming next? 2:55 pm: (Side note: Cook actually called them Pokémans). 2:54 pm: Cook asked about Pokémon GO, says it is a testament to what can come from innovative apps. He says that AR can be really great. Apple continues to invest a lot in AR for the long run. Great things for customers. Great commercial opportunity. The number one thing is to make sure our products work well with other developers' kind of products like Pokémon. 2:52 pm: Cook: Apple's revenue tends to peak following product launches in China. There's a higher high and a lower low in China compared to other markets. What we are doing is innovating like crazy and delivering our best smartphone to our customers there. If we do a really good job of that, which we will, I'm confident we will do well there. 2:51 pm: Cook: iTunes Movies and iBooks Store shutdowns in China are not a revenue-related matter, as they were earning less than $1 million in revenue when operational in China. Apple is working very closely with government agencies to make those services available in China again in the future. Apple is optimistic. 2:50 pm: Q: Tim, can you give us your perspective on getting services back up running in China and regaining market share in the country? 2:50 pm: Cook: iPhone demand is made up of upgraders, switchers, and new-to-smartphone customers. Smartphone penetration is 42% at end of quarter, quite of bit of room there. Mostly in emerging markets. Apple has had reasonable business success in emerging markets. On switcher side, we really like what we're seeing. As the iPhone becomes more essential to customers' day-to-day lives, we think people will put more and more focus on what they're buying. The thing that Apple does best is provide a killer user experience that is integrated across the line. I also think the deployment of AI technology is something we will excel at because of our focus on user experience. So, I like that. From an upgrade point of view, there are plusses and minuses as I see it. A plus is that more and more people have already joined upgrade programs. Some of these programs, such as ours, replace the smartphone every single year. Some carriers have similar programs where the iPhone is changed up every year -- some others are 18, 24, or 30 months. Today, there are obviously a lot more people on those programs than ever before. The minus side is that … the lack of a subsidy can be a shock for people, particularly in the U.S., who were used to paying $199 before and now pay full price with a reduced cost of service. 2:46 pm: Q: How is the iPhone Upgrade Program doing? Is Apple thinking about ways to sell the iPhone and more of its products on a monthly type subscription basis, perhaps in a bundled basis? 2:44 pm: Maestri answering question related to sell-through/channel inventory reductions: "Apple reduced channel inventory on not only iPhone, but many other products … Even with sell-through adjustments, guidance for Q4 is still in line with the past." 2:41 pm: Cook questioned about the future, and the iPhone 7 being only an incremental upgrade, and refuses to comment on iPhones that have not been announced. He instead reiterates about the large number of switchers and new platform updates coming in the fall like iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. Cook also really likes what he has seen with the iPhone SE, says the cheaper phone is opening doors to customers Apple wasn't reaching before. Also satisfies customers who were looking for a refreshed 4-inch smartphone. 2:38 pm: Maestri talks about how Apple is dealing with a stronger U.S. dollar environment, and hedges appropriately. Apple feels that its gross margin of 37.5 to 38 percent gross margin, despite these FX headwinds, speaks favorably to the company's hard work recently. 2:37 pm: Q: Luca, as it relates to gross margin, the guidance is very similar to the past 5 years for June vs. September quarters … But there is something else/an added factor impacting the guidance? 2:35 pm: Cook: We're really proud of the developer community. Developers are earning a lot more money writing for iOS than for other platforms. We now have over 2 million apps in the App Store and we are more focused these days on discovery and other things to bring more great apps to the service. There are so many out there. Apple TV, CarPlay, HomeKit, and other services are providing users with a seamless experience. 2:34 pm: Q: I wanted to ask you about your platform strategy… 2:33 pm: Cook: We are not going to get into products or product transitions. We did see encouraging signs from last quarter, with double-digit growth in markets like Japan, Brazil, Russia, and Canada. We're also very happy with our switcher rate -- the highest ever we've ever recorded. Highest absolute number of switchers ever over the past 9 months. We think services will continue to grow very briskly. 2:32 pm: Q: What can you tell us about the timing of the new iPhone model? Where is the strength coming from in the September quarter? 2:31 pm: Cook: On the commodities side, and for the September quarter, we see NAND being pretty much in balance, while DRAM and LCDs and other commodities remain in an oversupply situation. Overall commodity prices we expect to decline. 2:30 pm: Maestri: Flat to slightly down sequentially. On the positive side, we will have leverage, as we are guiding towards a sequential increase in revenue. We expect to have a positive mix as we get into the September quarter. 2:30 pm: Q: Luca, can you talk about gross margins? Commodity pricing? 2:29 pm: Cook: We're constantly looking on the outside for great talent and great intellectual property. We have been buying companies on average every 3 to 4 weeks. We continue to do that. We think we've made some really great choices there. In terms of the investment in Didi, it was an unusual investment in that, you know, we don't have a long history of doing a lot of these, but we've done these. We invested in ARM. From a Didi point of view, we see it as (1) as great financial investment, (2) strategic things the companies can partner on over time, and (3) Apple can learn a lot more about the Chinese market through Didi. 2:28 pm: Q: Tim, can you talk about your thoughts on investments? You made the Didi investment this quarter. Acquisitions. Where are you putting your investment dollars from an acquisition/equity standpoint? 2:27 pm: Q&A session beginning. 2:26 pm: Maestri: Apple expects revenue to be between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion in Q4 2016, compared to $51.5 billion in Q4 2015. 2:25 pm: Maestri: Apple returned $13 billion to shareholders last quarter. 2:25 pm: Maestri: Apple has $231.5 billion in cash plus marketable securities. $1.4 billion decrease. 2:23 pm: Maestri: Among U.S. consumers planning to purchase a tablet in the next 6 months, 63% plan to purchase an iPad. iPad Pro is the top device that those customers intend to purchase. 2:22 pm: Maestri: We faced a very difficult quarter with Macs compared to the year-ago quarter, when we launched a new MacBook Pro and iMac. 2:20 pm: Maestri: Services now account for 11% of Apple's overall revenue, up from 8% in the year-ago period. 2:20 pm: Maestri: We set a new record for customers transacting on the iTunes Store. Average amount spent per customer was the highest ever measured. 2:19 pm: Maestri: iPhone continues to show momentum in business market. 75% of prospective corporate buyers intend to buy iPhone in September quarter. 2:19 pm: Maestri: iPhone SE rollout concurrent with iPhone channel inventory reduction resulted in lower iPhone ASP of $595. Apple expects iPhone ASP to improve in Q4 2016. 2:18 pm: Maestri: $10.6 billion cash flow. iPhone channel inventory reduced by 4 million units. Sell-through down by 8%. 2:17 pm: Apple CFO Luca Maestri is now talking. 2:17 pm: Cook says Apple has incredible products in the pipeline and is very bullish about the company's future. 2:16 pm: Cook: 3 out of 4 contactless payments made with Apple Pay. More than 11 million contactless locations/points of sale in all participating Apple Pay countries. Apple Pay is now live in 9 markets, including 6 out of Apple's top 10 markets. 2:13 pm: Cook: We have focused our AI efforts on features that best enhance the customer experience. For example, machine learning enables Siri to learn words and the intent behind them, and can then deliver smarter, more accurate responses. 2:13 pm: Cook is reflecting on new features that customers can look forward to this fall with iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10, such as improvements to Siri, Messages, and Continuity. 2:11 pm: Cook: India is one of our fastest growing markets. iPhone sales in India up 51% year-over-year in the first three quarters of this year. Cook confirms Apple's plans to open retail stores in the country in the future. 2:10 pm: Cook talks about currency headwinds affecting revenue earnings in Greater China region, such as the stronger Hong Kong dollar. 2:09 pm: Cook: iPhone install base in China has grown by 34% over the past year. 2:08 pm: Cook reflects on Apple Watch's top customer satisfaction rating among smartwatches awarded by JD Power. He does not comment on any specific sales. 2:07 pm: Cook: Our survey shows that half of iPad Pro purchasers are buying them for work. Ultimate upgrade for existing iPad users. Ultimate replacement device for customers switching from PCs. 2:07 pm: Cook: We expect our services category to be the size of a Fortune 100 company by next year. 2:06 pm: Cook: App Store revenue up 37% to an all-time high. 2:06 pm: Cook: Switchers from Android and other platforms accounted for the highest percentage of iPhone buyers than ever before. 2:05 pm: Cook: iPhone SE is popular in both developed and emerging markets. Sales to new-to-iPhone customers are greater than in previous years. 2:05 pm: Cook says iPhone SE demand outstripped supply through the entire June quarter. 2:04 pm: Apple reduced channel inventory by $3.6 billion. Sell-through was markedly greater than sell-in. 2:04 pm: Cook says that today's report reflects several encouraging signs that Apple did not expect even 90 days ago. 2:02 pm: Apple CEO Tim Cook will speak first, followed by CFO Luca Maestri. 2:02 pm: Apple's earning call is beginning. 1:47 pm: iPhone average selling price (ASP) declined to $595 from $642 last quarter, due in large part to the iPhone SE. On the flip side, iPad ASP rose to $490 from $430 due to the higher priced 9.7-inch iPad Pro compared to the previous iPad Air 2.Tag: earnings Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 26 July 2016 | 3:39 pm

iPhone 7 May Include Flush '3D Touch' Home Button

Apple's iPhone 7 may not include a physical home button, instead adopting a touch-sensitive "3D Touch" home button, reports Mac Otakara [Google Translate]. Such a home button would be flush with the body of the iPhone and would not actually depress when a finger is placed on it. Instead, when a user presses on the home button, haptic feedback will mimic a press, much like the Force Touch trackpad on Apple's most recent MacBooks. Through haptic feedback, iPhone users will feel the sensation of pressing on a button even though there's no actual button to press. Mac Otakara's report refers back to an April home button rumor from Stormmedia and confirms its veracity, citing unspecified supply chain sources and saying there's a "high possibility" the rumor is accurate. We've heard the same home button rumor from DigiTimes and analysts at Cowen and Company. While none of these sources have track records accurate enough to unquestioningly say the rumor is true, the fact that it's a rumor we've heard multiple times now suggests it could be accurate. A flush home button, when combined with rumors of improved waterproofing and the removal of the headphone jack, makes some sense. Without a physical button, there would be no way for water to get into the internals of the phone around the button, and it would also potentially improve the reliability of the Touch ID system. Based on leaked part images and dummies, the removal of the home button will not drastically change the look of the iPhone 7. Should Apple remove the physical home button in favor of a Force Touch or 3D Touch home button in the iPhone 7, the company will be one step closer to eliminating the home button entirely, something that's rumored for the 2017 iPhone.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: macotakara.jp Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 26 July 2016 | 3:22 pm

Apple Buys Unscripted TV Series 'Carpool Karaoke' to Promote Apple Music

Apple has purchased an unscripted television series based on the highly popular "Carpool Karaoke" segment from "The Late Late Show With James Corden," reports Variety. The upcoming television show will be distributed via Apple Music and is said to be seen as a way to "drive online activity" for the streaming music service. It is not clear how closely the "Carpool Karaoke" show Apple has purchased will mirror the segment popularized by Corden. On The Late Late Show, Corden drives around and sings hit songs with celebrities and public figures that have included Michelle Obama, Selena Gomez, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Demi Lovato, Gwen Stefani, and more. Apple has licensed 16 episodes of the show from CBS TV Studios, which will be executive produced by Corden and Ben Winston. According to Variety, the Carpool Karaoke show sparked a bidding war between multiple cable and subscription video outlets due to its success on The Late Late Show. Apple's Eddy Cue called the upcoming show the "perfect fit" for the Apple Music service."We love music, and 'Carpool Karaoke' celebrates it in a fun and unique way that is a hit with audiences of all ages," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services. "It's a perfect fit for Apple Music -- bringing subscribers exclusive access to their favorite artists and celebrities who come along for the ride."Apple has been making its first steps into original television programming as a way to promote its growing services segment. In addition to Carpool Karaoke, Apple is also working on "Vital Signs," a dark semi-autobiographical drama starring Dr. Dre, which will also be used to promote Apple Music. "Planet of the Apps," another TV show in the works, will serve to promote the App Store with stories about apps and the developers who make them. In a recent interview, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue said Apple is "not trying to create original TV shows" to become a Netflix or Amazon Video competitor, but will "help" producers on projects that are designed to promote its existing products.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Tags: Apple Music, variety.com Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 26 July 2016 | 2:57 pm

Second-Generation Apple Watch Expected This Fall

Apple is planning to unveil the second-generation Apple Watch in September or October, according to a new report from DigiTimes citing supply chain sources in a wider piece on weakening demand for tablets and wearables. Component makers and Apple suppliers are said to be seeing "rather conservative orders" for the new Apple Watch despite its upcoming release date, information that directly conflicts with a June DigiTimes report that pointed towards "higher-than-expected" orders. Given the confusion over the second-generation Apple Watch in the supply chain, DigiTimes' information does not offer a clear picture of the demand Apple expects to see for the device. Rumors suggest the second-generation Apple Watch will see under-the-hood spec improvements and perhaps some minor form factor tweaks, but major changes to the device are not expected to be unveiled this year. Improved battery life, a faster processor, and built-in cellular capabilities are all features we could see in a new Apple Watch. While we can't glean anything about supply from DigiTimes, the September or October timeframe is in line with past rumors. Previous information suggests Apple is perhaps planning to unveil a new Apple Watch alongside new iPhones, and new iPhone models are typically announced in September. According to a recent rumor, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be released on Friday, September 16, and if that's the correct launch date for the iPhone 7, we can likely expect to see the Apple Watch released on the same day. With a September 16 launch date, an unveiling event could potentially take place during the week of September 5th.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2, watchOS 3 Tag: digitimes.com Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 26 July 2016 | 12:31 pm

What to Expect From Apple's Third Quarter Earnings Results Today

Apple today will release its fiscal third quarter earnings results, reflecting a three-month period that ended in late June, and the consensus among analysts is that the company will report a second consecutive decline in iPhone sales and overall revenue. That same scenario played out last quarter for the first time since 2003. In fact, some analysts have forecasted that iPhone sales may be as low as 38 million to 40 million units, a decline of up to 20 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. If the estimates prove to be accurate, it would mark Apple's worst quarter of iPhone growth ever in the smartphone's nine-year history. Apple itself provided guidance of between $41 billion and $43 billion in revenue, which would be up to 18 percent lower than the $49.6 billion in revenue it posted in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street expects revenue to be around the $42.1 billion mark, with earnings of $1.39 a share -- one analyst has EPS as low as $1.35. iPhone accounts for around two-thirds of Apple's revenue, and an even greater portion of its profits, so the device's recent slide is concerning for investors -- reflected in the price of Apple shares, down around 21 percent from a 52-week high of $123.91. The good news for Apple is that many analysts believe it will "bottom out" in the June quarter and return to iPhone and revenue growth by the 2017 fiscal year. But, until then, the bleeding is expected to continue. iPad sales are forecasted to decline for a tenth consecutive quarter, while market research firm IDC's estimated Apple Watch sales of 1.6 million in the June quarter would be 55 percent lower than the year-ago launch quarter. Mac sales are also projected to decline by up to 10 percent as buyers await a 2016 MacBook Pro and other new models. As emphasized by Apple CEO Tim Cook, the recent decline in Apple's hardware sales has been offset by growth in the company's expanding services category, including the likes of Apple Music, Apple Pay, AppleCare, and licensing. That trend looks set to continue, as Above Avalon analyst Neil Cybart forecasts service revenue was $6.1 billion in the June quarter for 20 percent year-over-year growth. Beyond the third quarter, attention has turned to tempered expectations surrounding the upcoming iPhone 7. The consensus among analysts is that a perceived lack of new features coming to the next-generation smartphone could result in a "mega upgrade cycle" for the so-called iPhone 8 rumored for 2017. Next year's model is already rumored to feature a new design with an OLED display and glass casing. Apple will publish its third quarter earnings report at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time (4:30 p.m. Eastern Time), and we will share the results shortly thereafter. MacRumors will then provide live coverage of the ensuing conference call with Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time).Tags: earnings, AAPL Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 26 July 2016 | 10:08 am

New U.S. Guidelines Could Halt Use of SMS for Two-Factor Authentication

The US National Institute for Standards and Technology has released a new draft of its Digital Authentication Guideline, which sets the rules that all authentication software eventually follows. In the document, NIST deprecates the implementation of SMS as a method with which users validate a second level of security on various accounts, "no longer" allowing its use in future guidelines as it is considered not secure enough (via TechCrunch). Two-factor authentication via SMS (left) and an alternative trusted iOS device (right) Setting up two-factor authentication through text messages is one of the most popular ways users add another layer of security onto an account, on top of a basic password, including those for Apple's own software, like Apple ID and iCloud. Other than SMS, Apple allows users to implement two-factor authentication through a simple push notification sent to another "trusted device," or a phone call. If the out of band verification is to be made using a SMS message on a public mobile telephone network, the verifier SHALL verify that the pre-registered telephone number being used is actually associated with a mobile network and not with a VoIP (or other software-based) service. It then sends the SMS message to the pre-registered telephone number. Changing the pre-registered telephone number SHALL NOT be possible without two-factor authentication at the time of the change. OOB using SMS is deprecated, and will no longer be allowed in future releases of this guidance. The new guidelines also make a point for companies to ensure that two-factor authentication notifications aren't going through a VoIP service, which could be easily compromised. NIST also includes "limited use" of biometrics as a way for users to gain access to their second layer of authentication, meaning Apple could pivot to Touch ID as an alternative if SMS support for the security feature officially comes to an end.Tag: Two-Factor Authentication Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 26 July 2016 | 8:14 am

Safari in iOS 10 Offers Improved Animated GIF Viewing and Stops Noisy Autoplay Videos

In iOS 10, Apple plans to make some changes to the way videos are handled, putting a stop to irritating autoplay videos and offering improvements to animated GIFs. The changes will come in the form of updated policies for "video" elements, as outlined today by Apple software engineer Jer Noble on the Webkit blog As iOS 8 and iOS 9 users know, an animated GIF encoded using "video" tags requires users to tap on the GIF to play it as a video would play, creating a frustrating user experience. When viewing such a GIF, it's currently necessary to load the image, tap it to play, and wait for it to be displayed full screen. In iOS 10, the user experience is being simplified. Going forward, Webkit will allow videos with no audio element or a muted audio element to honor autoplay attributes, so GIFs and videos in this format will no longer require a tap to play automatically. Videos that use the "video playsinline" element will also be able to play inline without the need to enter fullscreen mode. At the same time, videos that do have an audio element will be automatically paused and will require a user gesture to play, cutting down on irritating advertisements and other spam-type videos. Autoplay video elements will play only when on screen and will pause whenever they are not visible, which will help to preserve battery life.Starting in iOS 10, WebKit relaxes its inline and autoplay policies to make these presentations possible, but still keeps in mind sites' bandwidth and users' batteries. [...] We believe that these new policies really make video a much more useful tool for designing modern, compelling websites without taxing users bandwidth or batteries.GIFs that use the video element have smaller file sizes and thus use less bandwidth and less energy, making them an appealing alternative to the GIF format. Displaying GIFs this way is growing in popularity, and iOS users will no longer have a subpar viewing GIF experience on popular sites like Imgur. The full Webkit video policies and use case examples are available through the Webkit blog post. The changes to Safari will be implemented as part of iOS 10, currently available to developers and public beta testers. iOS 10 will see a release this fall, likely alongside new iOS devices.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Tag: Safari Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 25 July 2016 | 4:37 pm

iPhone Rumored to Include Iris Scanning Capabilities Starting in 2018

Apple is working on iPhones with iris scanning capabilities that could debut in 2018, reports DigiTimes in a wider piece about increasing interest in advanced biometric functionality in smartphones. Iris scanning would potentially be used in place of Touch ID as a way to verify a user's identity, performing functions like making payments and unlocking an iOS device. Each person's iris, or the circular colored muscle of the eye, contains a complex and random pattern that is unique to each individual. An iris recognition machine at the Schiphol Airport Apple has been rumored to be looking into iris scanning in the past and it is a technology that is gaining interest in the smartphone arena. Samsung is said to be planning to debut its iris recognition technology as soon as next month with the introduction of the Galaxy Note 7. Current iris scanning implementations have some notable benefits over Touch ID, including no need for direct contact to unlock a device and faster unlock speeds, but there are also drawbacks such as poor functionality in low lighting and issues with performance following alcohol consumption and eye surgery. DigiTimes is not always a reliable source of information, so the rumor should be viewed with some skepticism until confirmed, but KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also believes Apple is planning on introducing new biometric features in a future iPhone, which could include either facial or iris scanning. Kuo's rumor pertained to the 2017 iPhone, but it's always possible such an advanced feature won't be ready to debut until a later date. There are no rumors about the 2018 iPhone as of yet, but it will follow the 2017 iPhone, which is rumored to feature radical design changes in the form of an edge-to-edge OLED display with no home button and a camera and Touch ID sensor that are integrated into the screen. Wireless charging, a faster A11 processor, and a fully glass body like the iPhone 4 are also possibilities for the device and will likely also be seen in the follow-up 2018 iPhone.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 25 July 2016 | 11:55 am

Apple Appoints Bob Mansfield to Oversee Electric Vehicle Team

Apple has appointed former longtime executive Bob Mansfield, who last served as Senior Vice President of Technologies at the company, to oversee development of its widely rumored electric vehicle, according to The Wall Street Journal. All senior managers on the project now report to him. Apple announced that Mansfield was retiring in June 2012, but a few months later said he would remain with the company as an advisor. He last worked on Apple's "Special Projects" team, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook, and has made regular appearances on campus despite stepping down from day-to-day work four years ago.Until recently, Mr. Mansfield—who, along with design chief Jony Ive, was one of the few executives to appear in Apple’s carefully-crafted product announcement videos—had all but retreated from the company aside from the occasional visit, these people said. Earlier this month, employees at Apple noticed in the company directory that all the senior managers on the car project were now reporting to Mr. Mansfield, they said.Apple has reportedly recruited hundreds of engineers from the likes of Tesla, Ford, GM, and elsewhere to work on the so-called Apple Car, codenamed "Project Titan" internally. The electric vehicle could be street-ready between 2019 and 2021 according to various reports, with R&D based in Sunnyvale, California. Many question marks remain about the extent of the vehicle's design, autonomous capabilities, and other features. Mansfield joined Apple in 1999 and has been instrumental in the company's recent success, overseeing the development of past MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad designs. Under the Special Projects team, he also played a role behind the Apple Watch. His decision to remain at Apple in 2012 was influenced by both a generous compensation package and former iOS chief Scott Forstall's departure.Mansfield is highly-regarded and many at Apple believe that if anyone can help bring the car to market, it's him. https://t.co/PMNQqmhsPY— Daisuke Wakabayashi (@daiwaka) July 25, 2016Project Titan as a whole was previously under Dan Riccio, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, according to Rene Ritchie. Steve Zadesky, who held a senior role at Apple related to the electric vehicle project since 2014, left the company earlier this year for personal reasons. Zadesky reported to Riccio until his departure, as the leader of one of multiple teams working on the electric vehicle.Related Roundup: Apple Car Tag: Bob Mansfield Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 25 July 2016 | 10:06 am

Apple Stock Forecasted to Rise as Lifetime iPhone Sales Reach 1 Billion

Apple will report its fiscal third quarter earnings results tomorrow, and both the company and analysts project a year-over-year decline in iPhone sales and overall revenue for a second consecutive quarter. Apple expects third quarter revenue of between $41 billion and $43 billion, which would be up to 18 percent lower than the $49.6 billion in revenue it posted in the year-ago quarter. The consensus among analysts is around $42.1 billion in revenue, which is essentially the midpoint of Apple's guidance. Analysts estimate that Apple sold at least another 40 million iPhones during the June quarter, raising lifetime sales of the smartphone to some 987 million. Applying that sales rate to July -- just over 13 million iPhones per month -- it is likely that Apple will have sold its billionth iPhone between now and the end of this month. The milestone comes at a time when iPhone sales are on the decline for the first time since the smartphone launched in 2007, an arguably inevitable lull following the smash-hit success of the larger-screened iPhone 6 series. The decline has affected Apple shares, which are down around 21 percent from a 52-week high of $123.91. Nevertheless, many Wall Street firms expect iPhone growth to resume in 2017. The good news could extend to Apple's stock, as The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that its "shares have been punished more than enough" and are due for a rally. It said the decline in iPhone sales "appears priced in."Still, Apple has been punished more than enough. The iPhone slump appears priced in. And while the next iPhone, expected later this year, likely won’t be a significant upgrade, there is optimism that sales growth will soon bounce back. Analysts forecast iPhone unit sales will rise 5% for fiscal 2017, which ends next September.After briefly touching the $100 mark last week for the first time since early June, Apple shares are currently trading around the $98 mark, a price that some analysts feel undervalues the company. Apple analyst Brian White of Drexel Hamilton reiterated his "buy" rating for AAPL today, based on a projected price target of $185. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich also issued a "buy" rating today with a 12-month price target of $115. Apple is expected to introduce a wide range of new products in the second half of 2016 that could further raise its stock price, including the iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2, and long-awaited 2016 MacBook Pro. Apple's third quarter earnings results will be released at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time, followed by a conference call with CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the news. Update: BGC analyst Collin Gillis has, to the contrary, downgraded AAPL to a "sell" with a lower price target of $85. Apple shares are down nearly 1 percent in intraday trading, now hovering closer to the $97 mark. Tag: AAPL Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 25 July 2016 | 9:09 am

First Alleged Leaked Images of 12.9-inch 'iPad Pro 2' Surface

Amidst the recent flurry of videos and images of iPhone 7 mockups coming out of China, one pair of pictures that emerged over the weekend claims to offer evidence of Apple's successor to the first iteration 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Sent in to AppleInsider and said to originate from a Chinese supplier, the combined image below shows a device identified with model number MH1C2CD/F, which has yet to be assigned to an iPad by Apple so far. While the identifier proves little, the nomenclature is in line with Apple's existing numbering convention for its iPad Pro range, and Apple is due to refresh its largest tablet this fall. AppleInsider notes that the device's screen shows a 12GB capacity, which is just enough for installing an OS and apps for internal testing and debugging, suggesting the device could be a pre-production model or prototype. Based on previous updates to the company's tablet range, customers can expect a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro to feature a faster A10X processor and a better camera, with a good chance it will inherit the True Tone display seen in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. 3D Touch is also a possibility, although Apple would need to have overcome the challenges involved in porting the technology to a larger screen. Apple is also expected to launch thinner and lighter MacBook Pro models this fall, with some rumors suggesting a dynamic OLED touch panel could feature as part of a planned redesign. Related Roundup: iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 25 July 2016 | 5:23 am

CarPlay Now Available in All 2017 Ford Vehicles Equipped With SYNC 3

Ford has announced that its SYNC 3 infotainment system, which includes CarPlay and Android Auto, is now available across its entire 2017 lineup of cars, SUVs, light trucks, and electric vehicles in the United States. The expansion brings CarPlay to already-released 2017 models such as the Fusion, Mustang, and Explorer, while other models like the 2017 F-150, Focus, Edge, and Super Duty will arrive at U.S. dealerships later this year. Ford confirmed in January that it would be adding CarPlay and Android Auto to all of its 2017 vehicles in North America equipped with BlackBerry's QNX-based SYNC 3 platform, starting with the 2017 Escape in May. Ford has also added Spotify, Pandora, Ford PASS, AccuWeather, and AAA member services to SYNC AppLink. In December, Ford retroactively added Siri Eyes Free support to 5 million 2011-2016 vehicles through a SYNC 3.8 software update. The automaker says more than 15 million SYNC-equipped vehicles are on the road worldwide today, although that figure likely includes older SYNC platforms incompatible with CarPlay and Android Auto. Ford is also adding CarPlay and Android Auto to its 2016 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3 this year. CarPlay brings Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, Podcasts, and a number of third-party apps, such as Spotify, to a vehicle's dashboard. Apple's in-car software platform can be controlled with Siri and your vehicle's built-in controls for convenient access to common iPhone features. It is compatible with iPhone 5 and later models. CarPlay widely launched in the second half of 2015, and the rollout has extended to several large automakers this year, including Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep; BMW and Nissan; and Hyundai and Kia. CarPlay is now available in over 100 new 2016 and 2017 models, while two notable holdouts include Toyota and Mazda.Related Roundup: CarPlay Tags: Android Auto, Ford, Ford SYNC Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 25 July 2016 | 12:43 am

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Launch Predicted to Be Week of September 12th [Updated]

Well-known mobile phone leaker Evan Blass has this morning predicted which week of September that Apple will announce the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Blass, who has accurately leaked images and details about unreleased smartphones on Twitter (@evleaks) in the past, tweeted today simply "iPhone 2016 release: week of September 12th." Blass is better known for leaking Android-based smartphone details ahead of their official confirmation, but his prediction for the iPhone 7's launch falls in line with Apple's typical September iPhone announcements – the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launched on September 9th, 2015 – making it a pretty safe bet. iPhone 2016 release: week of September 12th.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 23, 2016 Blass's prediction follows a tweet by the blogger four days earlier in which he claimed the internal codenames for Apple's upcoming iPhones are "Sonora" and "Dos Palos", without specifying which is which (both are names of cities in California, though the former could refer to the Mexican state). Apple's codenames for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were "N71" and "N66", respectively. This year's iterations of Apple's flagship smartphones are widely expected not to feature major design changes aside from the removal of the headphone jack, as the company is said to be deviating from its standard tick-tock upgrade cycle in order to introduce major new features in next year's 10th anniversary "iPhone 8" which take time to develop. This year the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 is expected to get an improved camera and optical image stabilization, while the larger 5.5-inch model is thought to be gaining a dual-lens camera and 3GB of RAM. Other rumored features of this year's iPhones include a faster TSMC-made Apple A10 processor, repositioned antenna bands, faster LTE and Wi-Fi, a slightly larger battery, and a minimum 32GB of base storage. A larger 256GB model may also be available. Update: Blass has since posted a follow-up tweet which notes that he was referring to the iPhone 7's retail release, and offered the more specific date of Friday, September 16. Just to clarify, this refers to the retail release, not the launch event. To be even more specific, it should happen on Friday, Sept. 16th.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 23, 2016 Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Evan Blass Discuss this article in our forums

Posted by on 23 July 2016 | 6:30 am