Apple CEO Tim Cook: iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Demand 'Far Outstripping' Supply

Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the balance between supply and demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus during today's earnings call, stating that demand is far outstripping supply despite a satisfactory production ramp-up. Cook noted that available data makes it unclear as to when supply will catch up with demand, and that the company was "not close" to having a balance between supply and demand at the end of Q4 2014. Supplies for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have remained tight since the launch of both devices last month, as new iPhone 6 orders still show a shipping estimate of 7-10 business days while the iPhone 6 Plus is still showing a shipping delay of 3-4 weeks. It is worth noting that the iPhone 6 has been mostly available at Apple's own stores and other retail locations, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a constrained supply in-store. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple delayed plans to mass produce the larger 12.9-inch iPad in order to shift its resources towards the iPhone 6 Plus as it has remained unsatisfied with the production output from its suppliers for its larger iPhone. A report from earlier this month also stated that the company is shifting its production balance towards the iPhone 6 Plus which may gradually improve its supplies of the larger phone. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Sells Record-Breaking 5.5 Million Macs in Q4 2014 • iTunes by the Numbers: $4.6B Revenue for Q4, $18B Total Revenue in 2014, 85B App Store Downloads • Apple Sells 12.3 Million iPads in Q4 2014, Sales Down for Third Quarter in a Row • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' iOS App With Apple Pay Support • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 5:29 pm

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Apple's 'Creative Engine' Has Never Been Stronger

During today's fiscal fourth quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that "obviously" the company is working on new products, but that he was going to keep things in the "cone of silence."I'm not sure what to say. I'm not going to give any hints. We look at a lot of different things and we're fortunate to have a lot of creative people here that want to change the world and have a lot of great ideas.Cook went on to say that Apple's "creative engine" had never been stronger and the company had never been more passionate, as evidenced with Apple's recent launches of Apple Pay and Apple Watch. Apple Pay, said Cook, is "classic Apple," with the company taking something old and outdated and focusing on making something "very elegant." Cook also extolled the virtues of Continuity, which allows Macs and iOS 8 devices to integrate in new and innovative ways. "Use your imagination and think about where Continuity goes," said Cook. He went on to say that it would be "incredibly important" going forward for customers. Cook said that Apple's investors should look at what Apple's done and what it has delivered, along with the skills of the company. Apple is the "only company on the planet" that has the ability to integrate hardware and software at a "world class level" according to Cook, but the company always has "more ideas than resources" to deal with. He also said as a personal investor, he "feels great" about products that are coming up in 2015. While Cook declined to mention what products Apple might be working on, rumors have suggested the company has several new devices in the works that could significantly boost future sales, including a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air and a 12.9-inch iPad, dubbed the "iPad Pro" by the media. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Sells Record-Breaking 5.5 Million Macs in Q4 2014 • iTunes by the Numbers: $4.6B Revenue for Q4, $18B Total Revenue in 2014, 85B App Store Downloads • Apple Sells 12.3 Million iPads in Q4 2014, Sales Down for Third Quarter in a Row • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' iOS App With Apple Pay Support • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 5:12 pm

Apple Acquired 20 Companies Across 2014, 7 In Fiscal Fourth Quarter

During today's fourth quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple purchased 20 companies over the course of 2014, including seven companies during the fiscal fourth quarter. Of the 20 companies purchased, some remain known, but many remain unknown. Apple's biggest purchase of fiscal 2014 was Beats Electronics, which the company bought for $3 billion in May. With the acquisition, it gained Beats popular line of headphones, the Beats Music music service, and it took on Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, aka Andre Young, as executives. Other recent known acquisitions in fiscal 2014 include iPad-publishing platform Prss, book recommendation platform BookLamp, radio streaming app Swell, social recommendation service Spotsetter, and low-power display company LuxVue. Last quarter, Apple announced that it had acquired 30 companies thus far in fiscal 2014, which brings the total number of acquisitions since last October up to approximately 37. While some of those acquisitions were known, many of Apple's acquisitions were kept quiet, going under the radar. The technology from Apple's acquisitions will undoubtedly make its way into future products and updates, and details on its acquisitions may become apparent over time. Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple was "on the prowl" for additional companies to acquire and that Apple is always looking at acquisition space to avoid letting "money burn a hole in our pocket." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iTunes by the Numbers: $4.6B Revenue for Q4, $18B Total Revenue in 2014, 85B App Store Downloads • Apple Sells 12.3 Million iPads in Q4 2014, Sales Down for Third Quarter in a Row • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' iOS App With Apple Pay Support • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 4:35 pm

Apple Reports Q4 2014 Year-End Results: $8.5 Billion Profit on $42.1 Billion in Revenue [Call Concluded]

Apple today announced financial results for the third calendar quarter and fourth fiscal quarter of 2014. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $42.1 billion and net quarterly profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $37.5 billion and net quarterly profit of $7.5 billion, or $1.01 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin for the quarter was 38 percent compared to 37 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 60 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an upcoming dividend payment of $0.47 per share, payable on November 13 to shareholders of record as of November 10. The company currently holds $155.2 billion in cash and marketable securities. For the full fiscal year, Apple generated $182.8 billion in sales, a new record for the firm, with $38.5 billion in net income. In fiscal 2013, Apple made $35 billion on $170.9 billion in sales. In 2014, Apple sold 18.9 million Macs and just shy of 14.4 million iPods, its lowest total for that category since 2004. It sold a record 169.2 million iPhones on the year, up 150 million from 2012, and the company has now sold more than 590 million smartphones in total. It sold 68 million iPads in 2014 and the company has now sold 237.2 million tablets."Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple’s strongest product lineup ever. We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015.”Apple's guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 includes expected revenue of $63.5-66.5 billion and gross margin between 37.5 and 38.5 percent. Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q4 2014 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights. Archive of Live Updates in Reverse Chronological Order 3:02 pm The call is now concluded. 3:02 pm A: For iPHone I have it by model from June quarter. As I mentioned before, the highest percentage is the 4s buyer in China, over 80% were buying first iPhone. For 5s in China, 50% were. I think what that says, those numbers are so high, 50-80, my gut tells me a great percentage of 6 and 6 Plus buyers will be new to iPhone. 3:01 pm Q: 50-70% in top six countries were new buyers, wondered if you could give that same range for iPhones? Broadly speaking, how does that number change your guess as you look over the next couple quarters? 3:00 pm Strength of a market, I look at unit sell-through. To share with you, Greater China, unit sell through despite no launch was up 32% year over year. Market was projected by IDC to only grow 13%. Incredibly great about that. Macs were up 54% year over year. That is against the IDC estimate of market contraction in China of 7%. Those are our two stalwarts that are really driving results. Underlying results look different from reported results because of channel inventory kind of differences. App Store doing great, growth there is phenomenal, iPad contracted some during the quarter but for the year we did grow, up 9% year over year for full year. I see lots of positives, as you know China is on early stages of 4G rollout, this weekend we launched it with China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. First time we've launched new iPhone with all three carriers and done at early stages of 4G rollout. Subsidies, regulatory pressures on subsidies, we've seen that. However, only 20% of iPhones that we've been selling in china have had a traditional subsidy applied to it. Vast majority don't. Will it make a difference with that 20%? I don't know yet. Intuitively, you'd think it would but it's at least a percentage of a 20% instead of a percentage of 100%. When I look at China, I see an enormous market where there are more people graduating into the middle class than any nation on earth in history. Incredible market where people want the latest technology and products that we're providing. We're investing like crazy in the market, we're more than doubling our stors. Will be close to 40 stores, now covering 350 cities on online store. Revenue more than double the previous year. Chinese developers have created 150,000 apps on App Store. I see lots of very positive vectors there and I couldn't be more excited. 2:57 pm A: Look at Greater China Q4 of 2014 vs 2013, obvious difference is we launched 5s in Q4 of 13 and this year we didn't have new product launch, launching in Q1 of 15. Second thing that's not as apparent, last year we increased channel inventory by 1.3 million. This year we decreased it slightly. Compounded effect of no launch and a huge change in channel inventory on YoY basis. 2:56 pm Q: China? Numbers weren't as good as the rest of the company this quarter, presumable the iPhone. Last few weeks, and December quarter? Related to political backdrop including carriers mandated not to spend same level of subsidies. Any of that impacting your opportunities broadly and specifically for iPhones as it relates to subsidy levels? 2:55 pm A: You know what our product cadence is. Holiday season is a period where we have significant product events. We're not providing any guidance for March, keep in mind if you're trying to extrapolate into the future, there are so many factors that affect Gross Margin, transition costs, product mix, foreign exchange, commodity markets. 2:55 pm Q: Typical transition costs with new products you're rolling out, do those start to ease in the March quarter, and would that have a positive impact on margin in March vs December. 2:54 pm A: For Apple as an investor, I would hope that people would look at what we've done and what we've delivered. Power and strength of product line that we've announced and maybe more importantly than all the stuff you can see, look at the skills in the company. Only company on the planet that has ability to integrate hardware and software at a world class level. That allow Apple to play in so many areas. Which one to say no to and which to say yes to? One of focus. Not ones of "do we have any great ideas?" Always have more ideas than resources to deal with. I would look at that. Look at what we talked bout last week. Continuity. Use your imagination and think about where that goes, no other company can do this. Apple's the only one. For customers living in an environment where they're using multiple devices, skills, capabilities, passion of the company, creative engine has never been stronger. You can see that, Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Apple Pay is classic Apple, taking something that is incredibly old, outdated, klugey, everybody focused on everything else, we're focused on making something very elegant. Look at those things, as an investor I feel great. As a personal investor I feel great. 2:52 pm Q: In terms of last year, had high expectations. Think about Apple as product cycle story. How do you think about the story broadly in 2015? 2:52 pm A: Incredibly optimistic about the future. Announced two new categories in last 60 days with Apple Pay and Apple Watch. Obviously working on other things as well, to the degree that I can keep that in the cone of silence, I'm going to do it. Not sure what to say. Not going to give any hints or anything, we look at a lot of different things. Lot of creative people here that want to change the world and have a lot of great ideas. 2:51 pm Q: You put out a lot of products, everybody gives credit for great new products. Everybody talks about what's next. You said recently that you're working on products that people didn't even speculate on yet, that's pretty hard with Apple given how many people watch your company and watch it. Elaborate on that in terms of your excitement about new products. How do you feel about the future? 2:50 pm A: Said nothing about expectation for product, didn't form based on expectations. Looked at current revenue and decided that would lump everything that wasn't a Mac or iPad or Service or iPhone in one category. In future, might decide different. For now, in Q1, we're not shipping Apple Watches. So it seems appropriate to start it that way. Also, to be also straight, I'm not very anxious to report a lot of numbers on Apple Watch and giving a lot of detail on it. Our competitors are looking for it. Aggregating it is helpful from that point of view as well. 2:49 pm Q: What should we make out with new segments, with Apple Watch in the other category. Seems like such substantial new category, could maybe sell tens of millions of units. Lumped in other with iPods and other things, does that say something about your expectations for that product? Do you think you'll break it out after a little while. 2:48 pm Judge it as you will. 2:48 pm More important than selling is changing the way people work. Catalysts going forward, obvious cannibalization things that are occurring. Some people look at Mac and iPad and decided on Mac. Don't have research to demonstrate that but I'm sure of that looking at the numbers. I'm fine with that. Some will look at iPhone and iPad and decide to get an iPhone. I'm fine with that. Over long arc of time, iPad has a great future. How individual 90 day clicks work out, I don't know. Very bullish on where we can take iPad over time and so we're continuing to invest in the product pipeline, continuing to invest in distribution. Look at how we did in emerging markets and BRIC countries, up 20% for full year of 2014. These numbers are impressive, BRIC countries are growing as a percentage of our total as are developing markets. Looks different geography to geography. 2:47 pm People always respond for us doing great products and we feel really great about what we introduced last week. The deeper the apps go in the Enterprise, the more it opens up avenues in Enterprise. That's a key part of the IBM partnership. 2:46 pm Real data: Top 6 revenue countries, in country that sold the lowest percentage of iPads to people who had never bought an iPad before, that number is 50%. Range goes from 50-70. When I look at first-time buyer rate in that area, saturated... that's not a saturated market. Never have first time buyer rates at 50-70%. People hold on to their iPads longer than they do a phone. Because we've only been in this business four years, we don't know what upgrade cycle will be for people. Difficult thing to call. 2:45 pm For iPad, if I take a step back on iPad, I know that there's a lot of negative commentary in the markets on this, I have a little different perspective on it. If you step back, we've sold 240 million in 4 years. Twice the number of iPhones we sold. in Fiscal 13 we sold 71 million, but only down 4% on sell-in, took down channel inventory so sell through is a little better. Speed bump, not a huge issue. That said, we want to grow. We don't like negative numbers. So, looking further in the data, I know there's a popular view that the market is saturated. We don't see that. I look at our data deeply and the last market research data is from June quarter. 2:44 pm A: Mac, just a blow-away quarter. Our best ever, it will result in our highest market share since 1995. Stunning. Back to school season voted and Mac won, carried the day. Really proud of that, proud of the Mac team. Clear that all the work that we've put into our notebooks on the hardware and software side is resonating with our customers. Go out to college campuses, you'd see a lot of Mac notebooks. Feels fantastic, up 21% in a market that's shrinking, it doesn't get better than that. 2:43 pm Q: Strength in Mac, weakness in iPad. What's the message? Does that affect your view of doing a convertible type product? Very focused products but maybe something in between that can be successful. 2:42 pm A: Not a lot of color I can give that is terribly accurate, so we're selling everything we make. Our current sell-through is our current supply. In long arc of time, once there's enough supply to meet demand, that mix might look differently. It is clear, I think, that we will see a difference by geography in terms of preference. We thought that going into launch. No data would suggest that that isn't the case. That's about all I can say at this point. 2:42 pm Q: Is there more color you can give us to the mix of the iPhone to 6 to 6 Plus? We see 2.5:1 in the US, is there any color you can give us? 2:41 pm The way I look at those, on a forward basis, what I would expect (though we don't give guidance on this kind of stuff), I see a fairly large opportunity in people buying their first iPhone ever. This opportunity increases not decreases with iPhone 6. Upgrade market for people that were waiting for iPhone 6 or 6 Plus as we can see from our order backlog, that number is huge. I would expect that to go on for some period of time because you have people that time out of contracts at different time. Not everybody does that at launch. I see both the first time buyer being a great opportunity, and the upgrade... some of the first time buyers are people who have never had a smartphone and some are switchers from Android. Right now all of those look very good to us but we're in the early going and we're selling everything we're making. It's going to take some period of time before we have a better handle on what those numbers will look like. Never felt so great after a launch before. Maybe that's the best way to summarize it. 2:39 pm A: Difficult to answer. If you look at some of our top countries, and how they did in mid-year of selling a customer the first iPhone they'd ever bought, you'd see in countries like China, over 80% of people we were selling 4s to were buying first iPhone ever. In US, it was over 60%. Those kind of give you goalposts of large countries in terms of first time ownership at our entry level. Step across and look at 5s, that time the top-end phone, in China, still almost half were buying their first iPhone. A quarter of the US population buying a 5s were the first ones. 2:38 pm Q: Qualitatively, could you help us understand what you think the mix of repeat buyers is for iPhone 6 over next year vs first-time iPhone customers? Question in that is, do you believe that because the iPhone is so compelling that the traditional replacement cycle might be accelerated? If that's ultimately the case, do you in the future run reversion back to elongating back to that replacement cycle in future generations? 2:37 pm A: On sequential basis ASP for iPhone was up $42, reason for increase was higher mix of new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Partial offset in quarter from transition costs that we incurred when we move to a new product. Going forward, obviously the percentage of new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will increase sequentially as we get full quarter available to us. Correct that iPhone 6 Plus is supply constrained. 2:36 pm Q: Pretty robust sequential increase in ASP on the iPhone. Understand if that was higher mix of new phones than you typically see in September quarter or was it really a function of the new phones having a richer ASP? If we look forward to fiscal Q1, last year had a substantial ASP increase. Should we be expecting a similar increase this quarter given widespread belief that availability on the 6 Plus has been more constrained and we could see higher percentage of 6 Plus next quarter? 2:35 pm At this point, we're selling everything we make. It's difficult to say that we've estimated well on the SKU mix between the 6 and the 6 Plus. From everything we can tell, we've done a pretty good job on that. But, I stop short of saying there's no issue at all. It's hard to tell when you're at a point where you're selling everything you're making -- it's a good problem to have. 2:34 pm We price our products in a way that is in general reflective of pricing here in the US and its a pricing that we want to keep in place for a reasonable period of time. Do not like to make sudden changes to our pricing. 2:34 pm A: I said that the headwinds from FX are gonna be significant. I would tell you that they're most significant when you look at YoY than from sequential. Dollar has been strengthening for quite a while especially vs Yen or Canadian Dollar. It's a significant headwind and that's why we wanted to call it out. 2:33 pm Q: Quantify currency headwinds on gross margin? A big focus on currency across tech. Should we expect price harmonization if the dollar remains strong? 2:33 pm Very unusual to see every country having a marked improvement over the previous year and that's what we're seeing on iPhone. Couldn't be happier with how demand looks. Nancy's comment says we do not envision getting into extra inventory into the channel that we believe is needed when you think about the long food chains in these emerging markets. Distribution channels are not as efficient. That's the purpose of that comment. 2:32 pm A: Ramp itself is going great. Fastest ever in our history. Couldn't be happier with it. That said, Today, demand is far outstripping supply. Unclear looking at the data when supply will catch up with demand. Don't want to leave you with a view that we know that we're going to get to a balance on both new products this quarter .I don't know that at this point. Very difficult to gauge demand without first finding the balance. As of today, certainly as of the end of the quarter, we're not nearly balanced. Not close. Not on the same planet. That said, I'm really confident the supply is going to be great, and that's why you see incredibly strong guidance from $63.5 to $66.5. Very difficult to gauge true demand. 2:30 pm Q: Current supply constraints for iPhone, you'll reach supply/demand balance by end of quarter? What are bottlenecks for supply on iPhone? 2:30 pm A: Puts and takes of margin. On positive, we are pleased with launch of new phones. Demand is phenomenal. Favorable impact from iPhone mix. Also getting some leverage from the higher revenues that we guided to. Continue to see fairly favorable commodity environment. On negative, talked about FX. We launched a lot of new products and got transition costs as we move from current to new products. Tends to be a headwind. Every time we launch new products, we make them better .Cost structure tends to go up. Good track record of taking those cost structures down over time. Take positives and negatives, that is what the guidance that we just provided. 2:29 pm Q: Could you comment on how we should think about GM outside of FX? It's still early but how should we think about gross margin in iPhone 6 family vs iPhone 5s. Is this a normal cycle in expected cost improvements? 2:28 pm A: Hedging program and strength of dollar towards the end of the quarter didn't impact Q4. Is becoming a significant headwind in Q1 YoY and Sequential. We have reflected the new FX situation at current levels into our guidance for revenue and gross margin. A fact of life, if the US dollar strengthens, that creates a headwind for us in revenue and margin for business outside the US. We have a comprehensive hedging program in place that mitigates the impact of foreign exchange. These hedges get rolled off and replaced by new hedges, protection that you get is temporary. Guidance that we provided full reflects the current FX situation. 2:27 pm Q: How did you determine margin including US Dollar exchange rates? 2:26 pm Those are private. As Nancy was saying, We'll be reporting Apple Pay in the services line item on the data sheet. Incredible service that is the most customer centric. 2:26 pm Ease of use, security and privacy. We will sell more devices because we think it's a killer feature. Better than reaching into pocketbook and find card that you're looking for. Do not charge the customer for the benefit. Do not charge the merchant for the benefit. Commercial terms between Apple and the issuing banks. We're not disclosing what they are. 2:25 pm Wanted to focus on security and privacy. Huge issues with security of traditional credit card system. Many people that have entered mobile payments are doing so in a way that they want to monetize the data that they collect from the customers. We think that customers in general do not want this. They want to keep their data private. 2:24 pm A: What we wanted to achieve was to have an incredible consumer experience. Focused very much on making it elegant and simple, hopefully your trials have proven that. I used it over the weekend and it worked fantastically. 2:24 pm Q: Apple Pay, used this afternoon and where it was rolled out it worked pretty well. Provide color on business model on Apple Pay, is it over time becoming a standalone business like iTunes or more a way to sell incremental products? 2:23 pm Size, complexity of our channels, 5-7 week average range for iPhone and iPad is more appropriate and that will be our target range going forward. Given backlog for new products, we expect to exit the December quarter in old 4-6 week target range. 2:23 pm Distribution channels have evolved and expanded in last couple of years. Today iPhone is sold in 200,000 locations around the world. iPad sold in more than 100,000. Revenue from emerging markets has increased significantly. Channel inventory in those markets tend to be much longer. 2:22 pm Also reclassify historical results to be consistent with these new groupings. 2:22 pm Q1 2015: Product reporting categories: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Services, and Other Products. 2:22 pm New Reporting Category called Other Products: Everything we report in Accessories category including Beats, Apple TV, peripherals and accessories, adding iPod and Apple Watch in this line item. 2:21 pm Making changes to product summary reporting: Reporting iPhone, iPad and Mac as separate line items. Also a category that we refer to as services: Everything we report under iTunes, Software and Services, Licensing, Apps. Also include Apple Pay. 2:21 pm Reporting changes: To better serve customers and optimize results, collaborating across direct and indirect channels. Beginning in Q1 2015, including results in retail stores in the geographic census where stores are located. Consistent with way executive team measures the business. Reportable segments: Americas, Europe, Greater China, Japan, Asia-Pacific. Retail no longer classified as a segment. 2:20 pm Board declares dividend of $0.47. 2:20 pm Outlook: Expect revenue to be between $63.5 and $66.5 billion, vs $57.6 billion year ago. Double-digit revenue increase despite significant foreign exchange headwinds. GM between 37.5 and 38.5%, OpEx between $5.4 and $5.5 billion. Tax rate to be 26.5%. 2:19 pm Review capital allocation regularly. Solicited feedback in the past, will continue to do so. Will report on conclusion in time-frame similar to last year. 2:18 pm $155.2 billion in cash and marketable securities. Down $9.3 billion. Executing capital return program, total spend of $20 billion in Sept quarter. Spent $9 billion in share repurchase, $8 billion in open market, $2.8 billion in dividends, $300 million for vesting employee RSU's. $94 billion of $130 billion capital return, $68 billion in share repurchases with five quarters remaining. 2:17 pm Retail stores generated $5.1 billion, up 15% YoY, new September quarter record. 10 new stores, remodels of 3 stores. 437 stores, 41% of which are outside the U.S. Total of 25 new stores in 2015, three-quarters will be outside the US, plan to remodel 5 stores. Average revenue per store was $11.9 million vs $10.9 million year ago. 102 million visitors. 18,000 visitors per store per week. 2:17 pm 22% growth in registered app developers, approaching 10 million. Strong interest in Enterprise, with developers up 30% YoY. 2:16 pm iTunes Store recorded all-time record billings, up 22% year over year. Tremendous growth in App Store. 2:15 pm Apple working with 50 companies to become foundation clients and become mobile-first companies in their industries. 2:14 pm iPad, sold 12.3 million vs 14.1 million last year. Anticipation of new product announcement, reduced iPad channel inventory by 500,000 from end of June quarter. Left in target range of channel inventory on look-back basis. Strong results in Japan with iPad sales up 46% YoY. 2:14 pm Gained market share for 33 of last 34 quarters. Mac inventory slightly below 4-5 week target range. 2:13 pm Strong demand for portables, double digit mac growth across most markets. Strong performance in emerging markets with Mac sales up 40+ percent. 2:13 pm 5.5 million Macs, up almost 1 million from last year. 21% growth from last year and an all-time quarterly record. 2:12 pm Enterprise markets remains strong. IDC says iPhone has 69% share of US commercial smartphone market, also ChangeWave of corporate IT buyers, among those planning to purchase smartphones in December Quarter, 75% plan to purchase iPhones. 2:12 pm Channel inventory up just 1 million units, less than 3.3 million unit increase from year ago. Very strong demand for new iPhones, below our target range of 4-6 weeks for channel inventory. 2:11 pm 39.3 million iPhones, up 5.5 million from last year, 16% growth. Underlying demand was stronger with sell through growth of 26%. iPhone sales grew across developed and emerging market. US up 17%, Western Europe up 20%. Latin America and Middle East with sales up 50%, central and eastern Europe more than doubled. 2:11 pm Generated record revenue, up 12% year over year. Results exceeded guidance range thanks to better than expected sales for iPhones and Macs across all segments. 38% gross margin at high end of guidance range. Operating was $11.2 billion, 25% of revenue. $8.5 billion in revenue, diluted EPS of $1.42. 20% YoY increase. Cash flow from operations was strong, $13.3 billion, a new Q4 record. 2:10 pm Thank all of our customers, employees, developers and business partners for making 2014 our best year yet. Thank shareholders for their continued support. Excited about road ahead. 2:09 pm Incredibly proud of all of our work to protect the environment, to improve working conditions. 2:09 pm Substantial investments in Apple's future while returning cash to shareholders. Executed aggressively against share repurchase program, spending $17 billion in September quarter alone, $45 billion in last year. 2:09 pm 20 acquisitions in 2014, 7 alone in September quarter. Wonderful plans coming for Beats that will be shared in the future. 2:09 pm Solutions will be ready next month across 6 sectors: Banking, Government, Insurance, Retail, Travel and Transportation and Telecommunications 2:08 pm Partnership aims to redefine the way work gets done. Spark true mobile-led business change. 2:08 pm Investing in developing markets where revenue approached $50 billion, up 16% and twice the rate of growth of the company overall. Landmark partnership with IBM. 2:07 pm Big investments in our business and expanded global footprint. 437 retail stores. 2:07 pm Record-breaking Fiscal 2014. Last 4 quarters, products and services have generated $183 billion in revenue, up $12 billion. 243 million iOS devices, 19 million Macs. Revenue from iTunes reached $18 billion, more than annual sales of 2/3 of companies in Fortune 500. $6.45 earnings per share, up 14% from last year, new record. 2:07 pm Record for App Store. Grew 36% over last year, cumulative App downloads have topped 85 billion. 2:06 pm Significant backlog for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. All-time quarterly Mac sales record, thanks in particular to strong performance of portables. Contraction of global PC market this year, highest quarterly market share since 1995. 2:06 pm Strong demand for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and previous models, revenue growth of 21% year over year on iPhone in September. 26% growth in global unit sell through. 2:05 pm Very strong earnings per share growth of 20% 2:05 pm Strong results for Apple's fourth fiscal corner. Growth far exceeded Apple's expectations. 2:05 pm Strong encryption and strict policies that govern how data is handled. 2:05 pm New product introductions represent years of work across multiple departments at Apple. 2:04 pm Apple Watch coming in early calendar 2015, more details coming as we get closer to launch. 2:03 pm On track to be in more than 115 countries by the end of December. 2:03 pm iPhone demand is markedly higher in every single country. 2:03 pm Tim Cook: "Exciting and very busy time."Going over launch of recent products including iPhone. "Demand is staggering." 2:01 pm The call is beginning now. 2:00 pm The earnings call will begin momentarily. 1:42 pm The earnings call will begin in approximately 20 minutes. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' iOS App With Apple Pay Support • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 3:40 pm

Apple Pay With iPhone 6 Demoed in McDonald's Purchase

With Apple Pay enabled through an update to iOS 8.1 earlier today, users are now able to use Apple's payments service in a variety of retail locations. Apple's Apple Pay launch partner McDonald's is one location that's already accepting Apple Pay payments, as demoed in the video below. Making an Apple Pay purchase is so simple that giving a food order becomes the most lengthy part of the ordering process. As seen in the video created by YouTube user John Ross, McDonald's payment systems are set up to accept contactless payments. Ross, who is using an iPhone 6 with iOS 8.1 installed, makes his order and then his credit card (stored within Passbook) opens automatically as he nears the payment terminal. While holding a finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, he holds his phone near the point-of-sale system to make the payment for the food. It takes a couple of tries as the cashier appears to forget to press a button, but once a payment is ready to be accepted, it took only seconds for Ross to make the payment. After the payment was accepted by McDonald's, the Passbook screen displayed a check mark and there was a confirmation beep to let Ross know his payment had gone through. The transaction data was also displayed directly on the Passbook screen after payment was made. During the transaction, at no point did the cashier see Ross's card or his name, and his card number (replaced with a unique Device Account Number in Passbook) was not stored by McDonald's, keeping the transaction completely private. Apple Pay is limited to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in retail locations as it requires the NFC chip built into those devices to function. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus along with the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 will be able to make purchases in participating apps, however, and when it is released, the Apple Watch will be able to be used in retail stores to make Apple Pay payments. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' iOS App With Apple Pay Support • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 2:38 pm

Apple to Continue Offering Public Beta Versions of OS X Software

With the release of Yosemite, Apple introduced a public beta test for the first time, allowing more than a million consumers to sign up for and participate in the Yosemite beta. In past years, beta testing new Mac software has been left up to developers and a select number of Apple Seed members. It appears that Apple found Yosemite's public beta testing to be successful, as the company today sent out an email that suggests it will continue to offer public beta tests for OS X software in the future. In an email that thanks Yosemite testers, Apple says that members of the OS X Beta Program will continue to be offered beta versions of OS X software updates. Thanks for participating in the OS X Yosemite Beta Program. As you know, OS X Yosemite brings an elegant redesign, continuity features for using your Mac, iPhone, and iPad together, and major enhancements to the apps you use every day. And it's now available for free from the Mac App Store. Please install the release version of OS X Yosemite. As a member of the OS X Beta Program, you will continue to be offered beta versions of OS X software updates on any Mac that you installed the beta on. However, if you prefer to stop receiving beta updates, please click here.Over the course of the beta testing period, Apple seeded six separate public betas to beta testers. While public beta testers received fewer updates than developers early on, towards the end of the beta testing period, updates became more frequent and the final beta that was sent out mirrored the third golden master sent to developers. It is unclear if Apple will seed minor OS X updates to the beta testing public, or if the next major public beta test will come in 2015 with the release of the next-generation OS X 10.11 Mac operating system. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' iOS App With Apple Pay Support • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 1:46 pm

List of Stores and Apps That Accept Apple Pay Payments

While Apple Pay will work in any store that accepts contactless payments, Apple has partnered up with several retailers for the launch of Apple Pay, to ensure the mobile payment service will work smoothly in those locations. In retail stores, only iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users can take advantage of Apple Pay, as payments require NFC. Retail partners that will begin accepting Apple Pay payments today or in the immediate future include Aeropostale, Babies R Us, BJ's Wholesale Club, Bloomingdales, Champs, Chevron, DuaneReade, Foot Locker (including Lady Footlocker, Run by Footlocker, Kids Footlocker, and House of Hoops), FootAction, Macy's Nike, Office Depot, Petco (and Unleashed), Radioshack, Six:02, Sports Authority, Texaco, Toys R Us, Walgreens, and of course, Apple's own retail stores. Fast food locations now accepting Apple Pay include McDonald's, Subway, and Panera Bread, while grocery stores accepting the payments service include Wegmans and Whole Foods Market. Apple Pay can also be used within apps on devices that support Touch ID, which includes the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple's upcoming iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2. Apple's iPhone 5s does not appear to be compatible according to the Apple Pay website, even though it has Touch ID. Over the weekend, Apple's iTunes chief Eddy Cue said that he expects most initial Apple Pay transactions to take place within apps. Apple's app launch partners, which will begin accepting Apple Pay payments through app updates going out today, include AirBnB, Chairish, Disney Store, Fancy, Groupon, Hotel Tonight, Houzz, Instacart, Lyft, MLB.com, OpenTable, Panera Bread, Spring, Staples, Target, Tickets.com, and Uber. Apple's own Apple Store app now accepts Apple Pay payments as well. Apple Pay updates for the above listed apps should be trickling out beginning today now that Apple Pay is live. Bank apps are also being updated with Apple Pay support, and Capital One and Navy Federal Credit Union have already launched apps with Apple Pay updates. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' iOS App With Apple Pay Support • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 1:30 pm

How to Set Up Apple Pay and Add Credit Cards

Now that iOS 8.1 has been released to the public, we're getting our first look at what Apple Pay looks like on the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple Pay isn't immediately obvious when iOS 8.1 is installed -- users will need to open up Settings or Passbook to see various Apple Pay features. The initial setup for Apple Pay can be done through Passbook. Tapping the "+" icon in Passbook will allow users to add a card. If a card is already associated with an iTunes account, users can tap choose to use that card, or enter another one using the camera. The camera roll will capture a card number, expiration date, and user's name, requiring the security code on the card to verify the number with the bank. The verification process takes just a few seconds for most cards that are currently working with Apple Pay, after which the card can immediately be used for purchases. Some cards require additional verification steps, such as phone calls and emails. All cards stored in Passbook will be stacked on top of each other in Passbook's traditional style, with tap pulling a specific card to the forefront of the app. Apple Pay's neatest features are buried in the Settings menu, located under the new "Passbook and Apple Pay" section. Each credit card listed added to Passbook is listed here, along with Transaction Defaults like billing address, shipping address, email, and phone number. Tapping on one of the cards provides specific information about the card, allowing users to see the last digits of the card number, the last digits of the Device Account Number that replaces the card number in transactions, and it also provides contact information for the bank behind the card, as well as an app download. Each card also includes a list of recent transactions that have been made, and with some cards, transactions made in stores that don't support Apple Pay will be listed right alongside Apple Pay transactions. This settings area is also where a card can be removed from Apple Pay. After being set up, Apple Pay can be used within stores and within participating apps to make purchases with a single touch. When in a store, making a purchase is as simple as holding an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus near a contactless payment terminal with a finger on Touch ID, can be seen in the demo video below from The Verge. According to Apple, Apple Pay will work with more than 200,000 stores that support contactless payments, and it has partnered with several retailers like Walgreens, Macy's, and Whole Foods to ensure support in those locations. Apple Pay also works for purchases made in participating apps like Uber, Starbucks, and Apple's own Apple Store app. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' iOS App With Apple Pay Support • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 1:12 pm

Apple Releases iOS 8.1 With Apple Pay Support, SMS Relay, Camera Roll, and More

Apple today released iOS 8.1, its first major update to iOS 8. First seeded to developers at the end of September, iOS 8.1 brings quite a few significant features to the operating system. The update activates Apple Pay, enables Yosemite users to access Continuity features like SMS relay and Instant Hotspot, offers all iOS 8 users access to iCloud Photo Library, fixes several bugs, and more. iOS 8.1, build 12B410 for iPads and 12B411 for iPhones, is available immediately as an over-the-air download and after updating, it will allow iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners to access Apple Pay, Apple's new payment service. With Apple Pay, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be used to make payments in both retail stores that support NFC and participating apps. Apple has also released Apple TV software 7.0.1. Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (U.S. only) Photos include new features, improvements, and fixes -Adds iCloud Photo Library as a beta service - Adds Camera Roll album in Photos app and My Photo Stream album when iCloud Photo Library is not enabled - Provides alerts when running low on space before capturing Time Lapse videos Messages includes new features, improvements and fixes - Adds the ability for iPhone users to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages on from their iPad and Mac - Resolves an issue where search would sometimes not display results - Fixes a bug that caused read messages not to be marked as read - Fixes issues with group messaging Resolves issues with Wi-Fi performance that could occur when connected to some base stations Fixes an issue that could prevent connections to Bluetooth hands-free devices Fixes bugs that could cause screen rotation to stop working Fixes an issue in Safari where videos would sometimes not play Adds an option to select between 2G, 3G, or LTE networks for cellular data Fixes an issue in Safari where videos would sometimes not play Adds AirDrop support for Passbook passes Adds an option to enable Dictation in Settings for Keyboards, Separate from Siri Enables HealthKit apps to access data in the background Accessibility improvements and fixes - Fixes an issue that prevented Guided Access from working properly - Fixes a bug where VoiceOver would not work with 3rd party keyboards - Improves stability and audio quality when using MFi Hearing Aids with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus - Fixes an issue with VoiceOver where tone dialing would get stuck on tone until dialing another number - Improves reliability when using handwriting, Bluetooth keyboards, and Braille displays with VoiceOver Fixes an issue that was preventing the use of OS X Caching Server for iOS updatesAlso included in iOS 8.1 is support for SMS relay, a Continuity feature designed to allow Macs (running Yosemite) and iOS devices like iPads to receive SMS messages routed through a user's iPhone. Instant Hotspot is also enabled through the iOS 8.1 update, letting Mac users remotely activate the Personal Hotspot capabilities of an iPhone when two devices are near each other. Along with those major features, iOS 8.1 reinstates the Camera Roll, which was removed with iOS 8, and it gives all iOS 8 users access to iCloud Photo Library, Apple's new cloud-based photo storage solution. The removal of the Camera Roll turned out to be a controversial decision, with Apple opting to re-add it after iOS users asked for the feature to be returned. iOS 8 has not been Apple's smoothest software release, with users encountering quite a few bugs in the operating system. While multiple issues were fixed with iOS 8.0.2, released in late September, iOS 8.1 fixes several other bugs, including a problem that caused some iOS 8 users to have trouble pairing their phones with their Bluetooth devices. According to release notes, iOS 8.1 also fixes several other complaints users have had about iOS 8, including problems connecting to Wi-Fi and issues with screen rotation. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 11:56 am

Apple's New Retina iMacs Offer Slight Performance Boost Over Non-Retina iMacs

Apple's new Retina iMacs, released last Thursday, have been showing up in Geekbench benchmarks, giving us a look at how the new machine's performance compares to the non-Retina iMacs released in 2013 and still being sold. A Geekbench 3 result for the base 3.5GHz Core i5 Retina iMac has been shared by John Poole of Primate Labs, displaying just slight performance increases over the 3.4GHz Core i5 model used in the late 2013 iMac. The 4.0GHz Core i7 Retina iMac has yet to be benchmarked, but should see performance that exceeds that of existing Core i7 iMacs due to its faster processor. In both single-core and multi-core performance, the new Retina iMac offered moderately faster speeds, which is unsurprising as the machines continue to use Haswell processors that have been clocked slightly higher. More significant performance boosts in the iMac won't be seen until 2015, when Intel's Broadwell chips become available. Compared to the 2013 Mac Pro lineup, the Retina iMac offers faster single-core performance, but all 2013 Mac Pro models beat out the iMac when it comes to multi-core performance. Results for the Core i7 iMacs are expected to be similar, but according to Poole, the higher-end Retina iMac may be faster than the 4-core Mac Pro. Though the new iMac continues to use Haswell processors, its claim to fame is its Retina 5K display, which has an impressive resolution of 5120 x 2880, and its reasonable price, which starts at just $2,499. Apple's new Retina iMacs are available for purchase from the online Apple Store, with new orders shipping out in 5 to 7 days. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 11:42 am

Apple Pushing for $5 Beats Music Subscriptions as Spotify Debuts Discounted Family Plan

As previously reported, Apple plans to relaunch its recently acquired Beats Music subscription early next year and hopes to offer the service with with a lowered monthly cost. According to new "industry scuttlebut" relayed to Re/code, Apple is pushing music labels to cut streaming music subscription prices in half to $5 per month. The logic of Apple’s argument, relayed by people who’ve heard the pitch secondhand: Apple’s best iTunes buyers spend about $60 a year on downloaded music — $5 a month. So if subscription services dropped that low, any download buyers that switched over to the streaming model would generate just as much revenue for the music labels. And, more important, the market of potential subscribers would get much larger. Any reduction offered to Apple would be available to other services, making it less likely music industry executives would approve of a 50 percent discount. Re/code notes Apple will more likely meet the music labels in the middle with a monthly fee in the range of $7-8. While Apple negotiates the terms for its Beats Music streaming service, rival Spotify is upping the ante with a new Spotify Family plan. Similar to Rdio's Unlimited Family plan, Spotify Family allows a premium subscriber to add up to four additional members for $4.99/month each, a 50 percent discount off the regular $9.99 individual premium plan. Spotify announced the family plans today and will roll then out globally in the coming weeks. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 8:25 am

Apple Expecting In-App Purchases to Make Up Most of Early Apple Pay Activity

Ahead of the launch of Apple Pay tomorrow, The Wall Street Journal has posted an overview of the mobile payments service with some insight from Apple about what it expects from it over the coming months. Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue stated that he expects the biggest share of early Apple Pay transactions to be made up by in-app purchases. With Apple Pay, users will be able to simply use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on a device to complete a purchase for an item or service in an app. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor will also still continue to work for purchasing apps from the App Store. Cue also spoke on how the company sees its roll-out of the service: "We’re trying to do something that I think is a game changer and it requires a lot of people to play together,” said Eddy Cue , Apple’s senior vice president in charge of Internet software and services, in an interview. “There’s a lot to do here and we have a lot of work to do, but it should be huge." While the company's mobile payments solution will also allow shoppers to physically buy items in-store using their iPhones, many of Apple's partners have yet to receive the payment terminals needed to process transactions. However, Apple expects many merchants to upgrade their terminals in the next year which will help the service. Apple Pay will not be compatible with corporate credit cards, prepaid cards, or even store cards like Macy's popular credit card offering. Macy's spokesman Jim Sluzewski stated that he expects Apple to add support for the Macy's card eventually. The article also notes that Apple Pay on the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will only be compatible with in-app purchases and cannot be used to purchase items in-store. This is likely due to their lack of an near-field communication (NFC) antenna, which is what the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus use to interact with compatible payment terminals. The Apple Watch will have an NFC chip when it launches early next year and will allow users to make in-store Apple Pay transactions. A report from Digiday also claims that Apple will integrate Apple Pay with its iAd business, citing sources familiar with the matter. The move would allow advertisers to embed a "tap-to-buy" button in their mobile ads, and would be similar to what Facebook and Twitter did for their services earlier this year. Apple is also said to be working in iAd's new retargeting feature with Apple Pay, which would allow retailers to push targeted ads with buy buttons to users. Apple is expected to integrate Apple Pay with iAd by the end of this year. Apple Pay will be launching tomorrow, October 20 alongside iOS 8.1 and will be compatible with credit cards and debit cards from major payment networks including American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. Several banks including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Capital One and more are also listed as partners. In-store payments with Apple Pay will require the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and will also be supported by the Apple Watch when it launches in early 2015. All three aforementioned devices plus the iPhone 5s, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 will be able to make online purchases with Apple Pay. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant

Posted by on 20 October 2014 | 1:57 am

Late 2014 Mac Mini Benchmarks Indicate Decreased Multi-Core Performance

The newly refreshed Mac mini is seeing improved single-core performance over the previous models, but decreased multi-core performance, according to a newly released GeekBench benchmark. John Poole of Primate Labs says that the upper tier Late 2012 Mac minis, which had quad-core Ivy Bridge processors, saw better multi-core performance than the new Late 2014 models, which have dual-core Haswell processors. Unlike single-core performance multi-core performance has decreased significantly. The "Good" model (which has a dual-core processor in both lineups) is down 7%. The other models (which have a dual-core processor in the "Late 2014" lineup but a quad-core processor in the "Late 2012" lineup) is down from 70% to 80%.Poole notes that Apple may have switched to dual-core processors in some Late 2014 Mac minis because Haswell dual-core processors use one socket to connect the logic board and processor while Haswell quad-core processors use different sockets. This would mean Apple would have to design and build two separate logic boards specifically for the Mac mini, while other Macs use the same logic boards across its individual line. This trade-off didn't exist with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors because both of its dual-core and quad-core processors used the same socket. Another option, according to Poole, is that Apple could have went quad-core across its new Mac mini line, but it would have made it difficult for Apple to hit the $499 price point. Despite the decreased quad-core performance, the single-core performance of the new Mac mini is in line with other Macs' performance jumps from Ivy Bridge to Haswell. Base configurations for the Mac mini are currently available for purchase on Apple's online store with pricing starting at $499 and will ship in one to three days. Custom configurations ship within three to five days. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant

Posted by on 19 October 2014 | 1:58 pm

New 2014 Mac Mini Has Soldered RAM, Not User Replaceable

After going more than two years without an update, Apple's Mac mini was refreshed yesterday, adding Haswell processors, Intel HD 5000/Iris graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and PCI-based flash storage options for the higher-end models. Unfortunately, the upgrade was disappointing to some Mac mini fans as Apple stopped offering a build-to-order quad-core processor upgrade and dual-drive storage options that exceed 1TB. Many have speculated that the Mac mini also includes soldered RAM, which has now been confirmed by Macminicolo's Brian Stucki. According to Stucki, the RAM in the Mac mini is "not user accessible," which means those who purchase Mac minis are limited to 16GB of RAM that must be upgraded when purchasing the machine from Apple. All three Mac mini models can be upgraded to a maximum of 16GB of RAM, with the upgrade priced at $300 for the base model and $200 for the mid and high-end models. While the RAM is not upgradeable, Stucki says that it is possible to replace or upgrade the hard drive, but doing so may void the warranty. Apple's new Mac mini starts at $499 and comes in three separate base configurations. On the low end, the Mac mini ships with a 1.4Ghz dual-core Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and Intel HD Graphics 5000. At the middle tier, the Mac mini comes with a 2.6Ghz dual-core Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive, and Intel Iris Graphics. At the high end, the Mac mini ships with a 2.8Ghz dual-core Core i5, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB Fusion Drive, and Intel Iris Graphics. Base configurations of the Mac mini are currently available for purchase from the online Apple Store and will ship in one to three days. Custom configurations ship within three to five days. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 7:46 pm

iFixit Tears Down New Retina iMac, Internal Layout Largely the Same as Prior Generation

Though the new iMac with 5K Retina display was just released yesterday, iFixit has already acquired and disassembled one of the new machines, giving us a look at what's underneath the iMac's ultra thin display. Apple's newest iMac continues to use many of the same design elements from previous iMacs, including an easily accessible RAM upgrade slot on the back of the device. With the RAM slot, users will be able to install their own RAM modules with little trouble. The 5K display, which has a resolution of 5120 x 2880, was manufactured by LG Display, the same supply partner that has manufactured iMac displays for Apple in the past. Aside from the display, iFixit found that the Retina iMac internals look much like the internals of the 2013 iMac, with the sole difference being a wider display data cable. Along with an AMD Radeon M290X GPU and i5-4690 processor from Intel, the iMac contains SK Hynix 256 MB GDDR5 SGRAM. It uses the same SanDisk PCIe SSD as the late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro, with Marvell Controller, and it uses the same AirPort/Bluetooth card that was used in the 2013 27-inch iMac. The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display earned a repairability score of 5 out of 10, the same score earned by the 2013 27-inch iMac. iFixit pointed out that the RAM, hard drive, and CPU are user replaceable with some adhesive cutting, but removing the glass and LCD panel from the machine remains a difficult task for all those but the most dedicated do-it-yourselfers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • OWC Announces RAM Upgrade Kits for New Retina iMac, Up to 32GB for $399 • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 7:17 pm

OS X Yosemite: An In-Depth Look at Markup and Mail Drop in the Mail App

OS X Yosemite has brought some major changes to Apple's Mail app, and those changes aren't limited to a simple visual overhaul. Mail may have a new look, but it also has several new features like Mail Drop and Markup. With Markup, you can annotate images and PDFs from directly within the Mail app. For example, when composing an email message and attaching a PDF, it's possible to use various tools to add signatures, emphasis, and more. The same is possible with an image -- simply attach a file in a message that's being composed and right click on it, selecting Markup. Markup has a set of tools at the top that allow users to create shapes, write text words, and insert signatures. There are different brushes that can be used, along with a color palette and various font options. Users can enter various shapes, such as stars, circles, squares, speech bubbles and more, and there's a magnifying glass that will magnify sections of text or photos. A crop tool also allows for simple image edits, and there's a pen tool for free-handed writing or drawing. Markup's neatest feature is a signature tool that lets users insert a signature using the trackpad of a MacBook or a camera. With the trackpad, clicking begin and then signing a name with a finger on the trackpad will create a signature that's automatically entered into a document. There's also an option that allows users to write a signature on a white piece of paper and use a Mac's FaceTime camera to import it into the document. It's a little bit finicky getting the camera to recognize the signature, but once it's lined up properly, the feature works well. Along with Markup, Mail has a new feature called Mail Drop that lets users send large file attachments of up to 5GB using iCloud. Composing an email message and attaching a file that would normally be too large to send will prompt Mail to ask a user if they would like to use Mail Drop to deliver the message. When the Mail Drop option is selected, the person receiving the email will receive the file attachment as normal if they're using Mail, while non-Mail users will receive a message with a download link that allows them to download the file directly from iCloud. Files are stored in iCloud for several days before being deleted. MacRumors did not experience any issues getting Mail Drop to function with files ranging in size from 10MB to over 1GB, but some users on the Apple Support forums have been having trouble with the feature. Because Mail Drop works based on a sender's file size limits rather than a receiver's, users have run into an issue where they can send a file that is below their own maximum file size threshold, but above a receiver's file size limits. For example, sending a 10MB message from an email account that has a 30MB file size limit to an email account that has a 6MB file size limit will not activate Mail Drop and turn the file into a clickable link that can be downloaded from iCloud. Therefore, the person sending the message will get a bounce back reply that the user can't accept a message of that size, even if the receiver also has Mail Drop. According to Apple, Mail Drop can only be used to send files that "exceed the maximum size allowed by the provider of your email account," which means there is no way for a user to select a custom file size threshold to activate Mail Drop to avoid the above situation. It is not clear if Apple has plans to implement manual size controls for Mail Drop, but for the time being, it appears that Mail Drop may not be useful for all users in certain situations. Released to the public yesterday, OS X Yosemite can be downloaded from the Mac App Store at no cost. It runs on all machines that were capable of running OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Mavericks, and it requires 8GB of storage space and 2GB of RAM. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option • Apple Updates iWork for iOS and Mac with Yosemite and Continuity Support

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 5:33 pm

A List of OS X Yosemite Apps With Notification Center Widgets, Share Support, and More

Yesterday, Apple launched OS X Yosemite which brought a complete redesign to the OS and a number of features like Continuity, an enhanced Notification Center with widget support, iCloud Drive, and more. A number of developers have updated their apps to take advantage of those new features, and we've rounded up some of the most notable apps for Yosemite below. 1Password ($34.99 for a limited time, usually $49.99) [Direct Link] Popular password manager 1Password has received a number of new features that integrate with OS X Yosemite including support for Dark Mode, iCloud Drive compatibility for enhanced syncing between devices, and Wi-Fi sync which now works with attachments. The 1Password mini menubar attachment has also been refined, bringing faster access and new shortcuts. Coinverter (Free public beta) [Direct Link] Daft Logic Studio brings its iOS currency converter to the Mac with a flat look that is in line with the rest of OS X Yosemite and a Notification Center widget that can display multiple conversions at once. The full version of Coinverter for Mac will launch soon, and interested users can participate in a free public beta. Wunderlist (Free) [Direct Link] To-do app Wunderlist for Mac has received an update to 3.1.0 and brings a number of new features for OS Yosemite, including a custom Today widget in the Notification Center, a custom Share extension that works in Safari, and full Handoff support which allows users to edit lists between devices. The app has also received a redesign that allows for quicker access to list elements. Pocket (Free) [Direct Link] Read-it-later service Pocket has received an update that now features its own share extension that allows users to save content in a number of apps, and a new design that gives a flat look. The service has also now integrated some of its premium features like full text search and suggested tags, along with a number of improvements like a dark mode for reading. Deliveries ($4.99) [Direct Link] Developer Junecloud has launched a Mac version of its popular Delivery Status touch app, and features its own Notification Center widget that allows users to track their packages along with the ability to share a shipment over email, iMessage, or AirDrop. PCalc ($9.99) [Direct Link] Advanced calculator PCalc is now compatible with OS X Yosemite and includes its own Notification Center Widget to perform calculations, Handoff support, and the ability to import custom calculator layouts created on iOS via iCloud. The newest version of the app also includes new themes, preferences, bug fixes, and more. Monity ($0.99 until October 19) [Direct Link] Monity is a system monitoring widget made for OS X Yosemite which can be accessed in the Today view inside of Notification Center. The widget can monitor a number of OS X statistics including system uptime, app processes, memory usage, battery life, network activity, and more. CloudApp (Free) [Direct Link] File and screenshot sharing app CloudApp has received a new update for OS X Yosemite which allows users to record their screen at 60 frames a second and a share extension that allows users to share content from their Mac to the service. CloudApp also supports Dark Mode and contains a number of performance improvements. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option • Apple Updates iWork for iOS and Mac with Yosemite and Continuity Support

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 4:51 pm

Retina 5K iMac Will Not Act as External Display, Standalone Apple 5K Display Unlikely Soon

At Apple's introduction of the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display, Phil Schiller noted that the machine's $2499 starting price compares favorably with some of the higher-end 4K displays on the market today for closer to $3000, leading some to wonder whether it would be feasible to use the iMac as an external display for something like a Mac Pro. For a number of years, iMacs have supported a feature known as target display mode, which allows them to serve as external displays for other computers, but as pointed out by TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino yesterday, the new Retina 5K iMac does not support this mode. The probable reason for this is also likely the reason why Apple did not announce a standalone Retina Thunderbolt Display yesterday: bandwidth limitations. The current DisplayPort 1.2 specification used over Thunderbolt 2 on Apple's latest Macs simply isn't capable of handling the bandwidth necessary for 5K video over a single cable. As a result, no current Mac, including the Mac Pro and Retina MacBook Pro models that do support 4K displays, can currently drive a 5K external display. Technically, Apple could allow another Mac to output video at a lower resolution and have the Retina iMac scale the content up to fit its display, but this would not be ideal and Apple has apparently elected not to support it as an option. As noted by Marco Arment, simple plug-and-play support for 5K external displays over a single cable will need the new DisplayPort 1.3 standard, but that won't be an option until Intel's Skylake platform, the successor to the upcoming Broadwell family, is launched.Doing it right will require waiting until DisplayPort 1.3 in Thunderbolt 3 on Broadwell’s successor, Skylake, which isn’t supposed to come out for at least another year — and Intel is even worse at estimating ship dates than I am, so it’s likely to be longer. [...] I’d estimate — granted, I’m wrong a lot — that Apple won’t ship a standalone 5K display until at least 2016, and it won’t work with any of today’s Macs, including the 2013 Mac Pro.Arment points out that Dell's upcoming 5K display uses dual DisplayPort 1.2 cables for connectivity but that no current Macs appear to support the setup and even if they did performance would likely not be ideal. Another potential product on the horizon is a Retina 21.5-inch iMac likely at 3840 x 2160 pixels, although it is unclear when Apple plans to launch such a machine. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts a second half of 2015 launch for the machine in a similar pattern to that seen with the MacBook Pro, where the larger 15-inch model received a Retina display option a number of months before the 13-inch model followed suit. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • List of Cases Available for Apple's New iPad Air 2 • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option • Apple Updates iWork for iOS and Mac with Yosemite and Continuity Support

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 3:51 pm

OS X Yosemite Launch Brings Fully Functional iCloud Drive to Mac and iOS

With yesterday's launch of OS X Yosemite, Apple's iCloud Drive file storage system is now functional across the company's products. Many users were frustrated following the launch of iOS 8 last month by the incompatibility between the new iCloud Drive system used with that operating system and the previous Documents in the Cloud system used on OS X Mavericks. The difference in launch dates between iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite temporarily left some users unable to sync their documents between devices if they elected to upgrade to iCloud Drive on their iOS devices. That issue is now fixed with OS X Yosemite launching to the public, and Craig Federighi gave a very brief walkthrough of the feature at yesterday's media event, outlining how Mac and iOS apps can automatically generate their own folders for file storage accessible across devices and platforms. iCloud Drive can also be used in a similar manner to Dropbox, Box, and other cloud storage services in that any type of file can simply be dragged and dropped into the iCloud Drive folder on Mac or iCloud.com and be synced across devices. Access is a bit more limited on iOS where there is no iCloud Drive app allowing access to all files, but the service still allows users of iCloud Drive-enabled apps to view and save files related to that app that are stored and synced with iCloud Drive. Apple's iWork updates yesterday extend compatibility beyond the core OS X and iOS apps, and APIs are available to allow third-party developers to offer iCloud Drive support for their apps. iCloud Drive taps into users' general iCloud storage allotments, with all users receiving 5 GB of space free of charge. But with iOS device backups and the upcoming iCloud Photo Library potentially requiring significant amounts of space, many users will find themselves looking to upgrade to paid storage tiers, which begin at $0.99 per month for 20 GB of space and go up to $19.99 per month for 1 TB. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option • Apple Updates iWork for iOS and Mac with Yosemite and Continuity Support • Apple Releases iTunes 12.0.1 Alongside OS X Yosemite

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 1:49 pm

What's Coming in iOS 8.1: Apple Pay, SMS Relay, Instant Hotspot, Camera Roll, and More

During yesterday's iPad-centric media event, Apple executives announced that the first major update to iOS 8, iOS 8.1, would be released to the public on Monday, October 20. First seeded to developers at the end of September, iOS 8.1 promises to bring a quite a few significant features to the operating system, offering new services and finally allowing Yosemite users to access the full functionality of Continuity. While some major Continuity features like Handoff and Phone calls on the Mac are working for users who have both an iOS 8 device and a Mac running OS X Yosemite, other features, like SMS relay and Instant Hotspot will not be available until Monday, when iOS 8.1 is released. With SMS relay, both Macs (running Yosemite) and iOS devices like iPads are able to receive SMS messages that have been routed through a user's iPhone. Currently, while iPads and Macs can receive iMessages, SMS messages are limited to iPhones. When SMS relay is functional, an SMS message that has been received will be forwarded to iPads and Macs, and users will be able to answer all of their messages on any device. It's also possible to start SMS-based conversations directly on a Mac or iPad. Instant Hotspot is another facet of Continuity that will be enabled with iOS 8.1. This feature lets a Mac remotely activate the Personal Hotspot capabilities of an iPhone when the two devices are near each other. The Mac can automatically detect an iPhone with Hotspot and users can connect to a Hotspot via the Mac's Wi-Fi menu without needing to remove the iPhone from their pocket. While these two Continuity features were originally slated to launch alongside iOS 8, Apple added a small footnote to its iOS 8 press release suggesting the features were unfinished and would come with the iOS 8.1 update. iOS 8.1 will enable Apple Pay, a major new service and Apple's first foray into mobile payments. When Apple Pay becomes available on October 20, hundreds of retailers will be prepared to start taking payments using the service, and numerous banks will be on board. With Apple Pay, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users can make purchases solely via their iPhone at any store that accepts contactless payments. Along with Apple Pay and Continuity features, iOS 8.1 will bring several other minor changes as well, as detailed during Thursday's event. Many users were unhappy with the disappearance of the Camera Roll, which Apple announced will be reinstated in iOS 8.1, and beta iCloud Photo Library access will be provided to all iOS 8.1 users. iCloud Photo Library is designed to store all of a user's photos and videos, making them accessible on all of their iOS devices. iCloud Photo Library is tied to a user's iCloud account, using the storage space of their iCloud plans. With iCloud Photo Library, photos are kept in the cloud with a smaller version available on iOS devices, taking up less storage space. iCloud Photo Library will also tie in to the upcoming Photos app for the Mac, but until that is available, iCloud Photo Library will only be available on iOS devices. Finally, iOS 8.1 may bring several bug fixes, including a fix for an ongoing Bluetooth issue that has caused some iOS 8 users to have trouble pairing their phones with their Bluetooth devices. Apple has not provided a time for the release of iOS 8.1, stating only that it plans to release the software on Monday. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option • Apple Updates iWork for iOS and Mac with Yosemite and Continuity Support • Apple Releases iTunes 12.0.1 Alongside OS X Yosemite

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 1:08 pm

iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 Now Available for Pre-Order

Apple has begun accepting online pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 in the United States and several other countries around the world. Rumors have suggested that initial supplies of the iPad Air 2 might be somewhat constrained, so prospective buyers should make their purchases as soon as possible. All models are currently showing shipping estimates of 2-4 business days in the U.S. store. AT&T is also accepting pre-orders on cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 with shipping estimates of 6-10 business days. Announced on October 16, Apple’s second-generation iPad Air offers several significant improvements over the original iPad Air, including a thinner design, an A8X chip, Touch ID, 802.11ac, support for LTE Advanced, an improved 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture, and an anti-reflective screen coating that cuts down on glare. The iPad mini 3 offers the same internals as the iPad mini 2 (aka the iPad mini with Retina display), but it does come with Touch ID and a new gold color option. Available in white/silver, white/gold, and black/space gray, the iPad Air 2 is available in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations, with the Wi-Fi only models priced at $499, $599, and $699, respectively. Wi-Fi + Cellular models carry a $130 premium over Wi-Fi models and are priced at $629/$729/$829 for 16/64/128GB capacities. The iPad mini 3 is also available in white/silver, white/gold, and black/space gray, and it also comes in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations. The corresponding Wi-Fi only models are priced at $399, $499, and $599, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced at $529, $629, and $729 for 16, 64, and 128GB configurations. Both models can be pre-ordered immediately from Apple's online store. The company has not yet provided information on when the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 will be available in stores, giving an availability date of "later next week." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus See Low-Key Launch in China as Uber Delivers Phones in Shanghai • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option • Apple Updates iWork for iOS and Mac with Yosemite and Continuity Support • Apple Releases iTunes 12.0.1 Alongside OS X Yosemite

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 10:06 am

Apple Store Down Ahead of iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 Pre-Orders

Apple has taken its online store down to prepare for the launch of iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 pre-orders. When Apple announced the two new tablets, it said pre-orders would be available starting on October 17, although the company did not specify when exactly pre-orders would start. Given the short amount of time between the announcement of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 and the start of pre-orders, it is unclear whether other retailers and carriers will be prepared to offer iPad pre-orders. Apple's iPad Air 2, which includes several upgrades like Touch ID, an A8X chip, an improved camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an anti-reflective screen, is available in 16, 64, and 128GB capacities. Pricing in the United States starts at $499 for the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model and goes as high as $849 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model. The iPad mini 3, which has been updated with Touch ID and a new gold color option, is also available in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations. Pricing for the iPad mini 3 begins at $399 for the Wi-Fi only 16GB model and goes as high as $729 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model. Apple has not announced when the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 will be in stores or when the two tablets will begin shipping out to customers, giving only an availability date of "later next week." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Belkin Announces Keyboard Cases and Folio Covers for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Apple Updates iLife Apps and Aperture for Yosemite • Adobe Releases Plugin to Help Aperture Users Transition to Lightroom • GT Advanced to Eliminate 727 Jobs at Mesa, Arizona Plant • Apple Stops Selling Mac Mini With OS X Server, No Longer Offers 2TB Storage Option • Apple Updates iWork for iOS and Mac with Yosemite and Continuity Support • Apple Releases iTunes 12.0.1 Alongside OS X Yosemite • Pixelmator Launching Full-Fledged Image Editing App for iPad Later This Year

Posted by on 17 October 2014 | 6:13 am

First Hands-On Impressions of 27-Inch Retina iMac: Sharp Image Quality, Great Viewing Angles

After today's media event that saw the introduction of new iPads and new Macs, members of the press were invited to experience all of Apple's new products. Several sites have posted first impressions of Apple's 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display, which we've summarized to give users an overview of the company's newest desktop and its ultra high-resolution screen. Engadget says that the new 27-inch iMac has a "stunning display" with great viewing angles, and was left impressed with the all-in-one's image quality even at a resolution of 5120 x 2880. Brightness is said to be "level throughout" with no bleeding. The website also praised the extra screen real-estate that the new 27-inch Retina iMac will allow for video editing. TechCrunch says that the iMac's display shows "full resolution photos with zoomed crops that look better than most originals coming out of the camera" and credits Apple for fitting such a panel into the same tapered design. The screen is noted as being a "huge step up" from the one found on the Retina MacBook Pro. Overall, the new 27-inch iMac is described to be "the future of desktop computing" and is even said to be right up there with Apple's Mac Pro in terms of choices for power users. Ars Technica praises the new 27-inch iMac's color, contrast, and viewing angles, and thinks that the faster Radeon M290X or M295X GPUs with 2GB and 4GB of RAM respectively are solid upgrades over the Nvidia GeForce GT 700M GPUs found in Apple's non-Retina iMacs. However, the website did take issue with the desktop's price for what it offers internally: The only thing we can really complain about based on our hands-on time is the price, which isn’t bad for what you’re getting but is still objectively pretty high. We’re glad to see Fusion Drives become standard (something we’d honestly like to see on every iMac and Mac Mini Apple ships), but 8GB of RAM seems a little low for a power-user-focused, $2500 computer. And the big drawback of all-in-one computers still applies—the machine’s internals are going to feel their age much faster than the display itself will. Finally, The Verge calls the desktop's new 5K display "incredible" with a crisp, sharp and accurate picture despite it being a bit reflective. The website notes that it initially worried about performance issues with the iMac now powering an ultra high-resolution screen, but a demonstration proved that performance "doesn't seem to be an issue." The new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display is shipping today. The base model starts at $2,499 and comes with a 3.5 GHz quad-core Intel i5 processor, AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB Fusion Drive. Build-to-order configurations can also be outfitted with a 4.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and AMD Radeon R9 M295X graphics processor. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pixelmator Launching Full-Fledged Image Editing App for iPad Later This Year • Apple Debuts New Smart Covers and Smart Cases for iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 • Apple to Bring Back Camera Roll in iOS 8.1 • Apple Will Release WatchKit in November for Developers • Apple October 2014 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream [Video Posted] • Apple Sapphire Supplier GT Advanced Technologies Removed From NASDAQ Exchange • Apple Temporarily Removing Blood Glucose Tracking from Health App After Reported Issues • Facebook's 'Safety Check' Allows Users to Notify Others of Safety During Disasters

Posted by on 16 October 2014 | 4:28 pm

OS X Yosemite Hits the Mac App Store, Available Immediately as a Free Download

Following today's media event that saw Apple introduce new iPads and a new Retina iMac, Apple released OS X Yosemite to the public, after several months of beta testing. OS X Yosemite is available from the Mac App Store as a free download for all eligible Macs. [Direct Link] First introduced at WWDC in June, OS X Yosemite will do for the Mac what iOS 7 did for iOS devices. The new operating system introduces redesign that focuses on a flatter, more modern look that emphasizes translucency, smarter controls, and streamlined toolbars. OS X Yosemite doesn't just bring a fantastic new look to the Mac, it also includes several major features introduce unprecedented levels of integration between iOS and OS X. With Continuity features like Handoff, for example, users can begin a task on one device and finish it on another with a seamless transition. SMS relay features, meanwhile, will let Mac users answer calls from their iOS devices. Other improvements include a "Today" view in Notification Center that integrates with third-party apps and an improved Spotlight search that pulls data from new sources. Several core apps have been updated with new features, with Safari gaining a revamped look and Mail gaining tools like Mail Drop, for handling large attachments, and Markup, for annotating images right within email messages. Macs will need 2GB of RAM to run Yosemite, along with 8GB of storage. Snow Leopard must be installed for Mac App Store access, but the Yosemite software itself is available as a free download, much like Mavericks was last year. Update: Many users are seeing a "Temporarily Unavailable" error when attempting to download Yosemite as it just hit the App Store, but it should be available shortly. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pixelmator Launching Full-Fledged Image Editing App for iPad Later This Year • Apple Debuts New Smart Covers and Smart Cases for iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 • Apple to Bring Back Camera Roll in iOS 8.1 • Apple Will Release WatchKit in November for Developers • Apple October 2014 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream [Video Posted] • Apple Sapphire Supplier GT Advanced Technologies Removed From NASDAQ Exchange • Apple Temporarily Removing Blood Glucose Tracking from Health App After Reported Issues • Facebook's 'Safety Check' Allows Users to Notify Others of Safety During Disasters

Posted by on 16 October 2014 | 4:07 pm

First Hands-On Impressions of New iPad Air 2: Ultra-Thin, Improved Display, Better Camera

After Apple introduced the new iPad Air 2 at its media event today, members of the press were invited to go hands-on with the new tablet. Several sites have now begun publishing their hands-on first impressions of the iPad Air 2, which we've gathered up below to provide an overall impression of the new device. Image courtesy of Gizmodo TechCrunch says that although the iPad Air 2's resolution is the same as the iPad Air, the display looks better than the previous models. By combining screen components, Apple has made "things look a lot more touchable". The effect is similar to that of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which makes the display seem like a "high resolution mock-up, rather than an actual display you can interact with and change." Image courtesy of The Verge Gizmodo notes that Apple shaving off .04 pounds and 1.4 mm from iPad Air makes the iPad Air 2 feel lighter than the smaller iPad mini 3 even though it's a quarter of a pound heavier than Apple's new 7.9-inch tablet. Not only is it way, way thinner than the smaller iPad mini 3 — and this will sound crazy — but it feels lighter too. Even though it's nearly a quarter of a pound heavier, the 6.1mm-thin chassis is so thin and easy to lift with a single hand that it makes the mini seem downright fat by comparison. I feel like I could hold it over my head in bed without any worry of smacking myself. Not something I can say about any other 10-inch tablet.The Verge has similar thoughts on the iPad Air 2's thinness, saying it feels like "there's almost nothing left to take away" and that holding the device is like "you're holding a screen and nothing more." The Verge also noted that the new 8 MP camera is much improved over the iPad Air. One thing is that is definitively better is the new camera, which is now 8 megapixels; it's a lot faster and shots seemed a lot clearer, at least in Apple's hectic demo room. Apple made a big deal out of this camera and the interesting apps people are building for the iPad that use the camera; we've fought it for years but tablet photography seems to be a thing now.TechCrunch shares similar sentiments about the iPad Air 2's camera, noting that the camera improvements are good enough to make some consider the tablet as a worthy camera choice. The Verge also points out that the lack of a mute switch next to the volume rocker feels like a "casualty of thinness", and that although users can mute the device by holding down the volume-down button or lock the orientation in Control Center, the lack of the mute switch makes both things less convenient. Pre-orders for the new iPad Air 2 begin tomorrow, October 17, and will begin shipping next week. Prices for the iPad Air 2 begin at $499 for 16 GB with Wi-Fi. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pixelmator Launching Full-Fledged Image Editing App for iPad Later This Year • Apple Debuts New Smart Covers and Smart Cases for iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 • Apple to Bring Back Camera Roll in iOS 8.1 • Apple Will Release WatchKit in November for Developers • Apple October 2014 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream [Video Posted] • Apple Sapphire Supplier GT Advanced Technologies Removed From NASDAQ Exchange • Apple Temporarily Removing Blood Glucose Tracking from Health App After Reported Issues • Facebook's 'Safety Check' Allows Users to Notify Others of Safety During Disasters

Posted by on 16 October 2014 | 3:29 pm