Monday December 9, 2013 12:17 pm PST by Juli Clover
Apple has recently expanded iTunes Match availability to several Nordic countries, according to both reports on Twitter and tip from a MacRumors reader.
iTunes users in Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden now have access to the service, which has a yearly price of 249 kr in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway and €24.99 in Finland. In comparison, iTunes Match is $24.99 in the United States and £21.99 in the U.K.
First introduced in late 2011, iTunes Match allows iTunes users to match their existing iTunes libraries with high quality versions of songs from Apple's iCloud. After matching, content is available in iCloud and can be accessed from any device.
Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have also gained access to purchased music in iTunes in the Cloud, allowing previously acquired music to be downloaded on all devices.
With the introduction of iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud for music to additional countries today, only a few countries where Apple sells music are lacking iTunes Match or iTunes in the Cloud functionality. In Romania, Apple sells music but does not offer iTunes in the Cloud or iTunes Match, while customers in Japan can purchase music and download it via iTunes in the Cloud but cannot access iTunes Match.
All other countries where Apple sells music via iTunes now have access to both iTunes in the Cloud for music and iTunes Match. Subscribers in countries where iTunes Match is available can sign up for the service within iTunes. [Direct Link]
Monday December 9, 2013 7:01 am PST by Eric Slivka
Apple today announced that it will be participating in the "Hour of Code" initiative this Wednesday by offering free workshops in its U.S. stores introducing students to computer programming. Apple is setting aside the 5:00-6:00 PM hour at all of its retail stores for its workshops, and reservations are required.
The broader initiative is sponsored by the non-profit Code.org with the backing of a wide variety of political, corporate, and personal supporters. The goal of the campaign is to introduce 10 million students to computer programming, with the ultimate goal of every student learning a basic level of programming.
Learn about the campaign to get students involved in a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn the basics of programming. Visit code.org or attend a special Hour of Code workshop at any U.S. Apple Retail Store on December 11, 5 p.m.
Monday December 9, 2013 6:38 am PST by Eric Slivka
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster today issued a new research report claiming that supplies of the iPhone 5s in Apple's U.S. retail stores have reached "100% availability", showing that his survey of 60 locations revealed full availability of all color/capacity/carrier combinations.
Based on our own check of 120 stores, supplies are just slightly short of 100%, as we were able to find several locations lacking stock of a few combinations. The most frequently out of stock models were T-Mobile devices, which still posted 98.6% availability according to our survey. AT&T and Verizon each saw only two specific model/location combinations out of stock for 99.8% availability, while we found all Sprint models in stock at all surveyed stores.
Late last week, shipping estimates for the iPhone 5s on Apple's online stores improved to 1-3 business days, further signifying that Apple has essentially reached a balance of supply and demand. Only unlocked SIM-free models remain somewhat constrained following their appearance in the U.S. late last month, with new orders being quoted shipping estimates of 5-7 business days.
Monday December 9, 2013 4:59 am PST by Richard Padilla
China Mobile has stated that it will begin taking preorders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c this coming Thursday, December 12 on its website and at some of its locations in Shanghai, reports The Wall Street Journal. The move was revealed through a screenshot of a section on the company's website that invited customers to pre-order the iPhone 5s and other smartphones with a "4G is here" slogan, with the information being followed up by a customer service representative.
“Customers can begin to preorder for our new 4G services from Dec. 12 through the company’s website and some dedicated branches in Shanghai. But we will only start providing commercial 4G services after Dec. 18,” the customer services operator said.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal also reported that Apple and China Mobile finally reached a deal that would allow the iPhone to be sold on the world's biggest mobile carrier, with a China Mobile spokesperson later telling Reuters that the two companies were still “negotiating“. Apple and China Mobile have been in talks for several years, and CEO Tim Cook traveled to China to meet with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua back in July where the two made headway on a potential deal.
News of a finalized deal has been expected since September, as the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c were the first iPhones supporting China Mobile's TD-LTE standard. Apple also received the final license it needed to operate on China Mobile’s wireless standard back in September following the launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Sunday December 8, 2013 11:51 pm PST by Richard Padilla
Apple, along with seven other U.S. technology companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, have published an open letter urging President Barack Obama and members of Congress to reform government surveillance tactics, reports The Wall Street Journal. The letter, which can be found on a website endorsed by the tech companies, will also appear in full-page ads in the Monday editions of several publications such as The New York Times and the Washington Post.
Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,
We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.
For our part, we are focused on keeping user’s data secure — deploying the latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance on our networks and by pushing back on government requests to ensure that they are legal and reasonable in scope.
We urge the US to take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight. To see the full set of principles we support, visit ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com
The various tech companies have also published a set of principles that they believe governments should follow, including the limitation of government authority to collect users' information, oversight and accountability, transparency about demands, respect for the free flow of information, and the avoidance of conflicts among governments.
Concerns about government use of user data collecting began ramping up in June, when a U.S. government program named PRISM was revealed to be giving the U.S. National Security Agency direct access to user data on corporate servers across a wide spectrum of Internet companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.
In response, Apple published a statement of "Commitment to Customer Privacy" denying its participation in the NSA's program and teamed up with a number of tech companies to request greater NSA surveillance transparency, allowing it to provide customers with regular reports on security related requests. Last month, Apple also published a report outlining statistics on government and law enforcement requests it received from January to the end of June.
Apple and other companies also met with President Obama in August to discuss privacy issues and government surveillance. Recently, Apple and 30 other technology corporations signed a letter urging the U.S. Congress to pass the Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013 and the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013, which would result in increased surveillance disclosures and would give technology companies the right to publish detailed statistics on demands for user data.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the comment thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All MacRumors forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Saturday December 7, 2013 11:24 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple's U.S. App Store has reached one million live apps, according to data from app discovery platform Appsfire. Our own app discovery site AppShopper lists the same one million milestone, with a total of 1,006,557 apps available for download at the time of writing.
While Apple noted that it had a million apps in its worldwide catalog back in October, this marks the first time that various app platforms have seen the U.S. numbers climb above one million.
Apple has approved a total of approximately 1,439,451 apps since the App Store opened in 2008 and over the course of the year, has been creeping towards the million milestone. Of the 1 million apps available for download, more than half a million are available for Apple's iPad, and over 900,000 are available for the iPhone. The company has now paid out more than $13 billion to App Store developers.
In May of 2013, Apple hit 50 billion worldwide app downloads, which it celebrated with a promotion for a $10,000 gift card for the person who downloaded the 50 billionth app. Currently, those numbers have climbed to 60 billion downloads, putting Apple well on its way towards its 100 billion download
Friday December 6, 2013 8:59 pm PST by Husain Sumra
Apple has removed all product placements on its homepage tonight and has instead replaced them with an image of Nelson Mandela, honoring the late South African president's life a day after he passed at the age of 95.
Apple executives had previously commented on Mandela's death on Twitter, with SVP Phil Schiller tweeting a quote from Mandela. CEO Tim Cook also tweeted a quote, but offered thoughts on the passing of Mandela as well:
Amazing human being. Champion of freedom and human dignity. He set an example for all of the world. RIP Nelson Mandela. We miss you already.
This is one of the few times Apple has honored someone's life on its homepage, with the others being people such as Rosa Parks, board member Jerry York and Steve Jobs.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Friday December 6, 2013 2:21 pm PST by Juli Clover
In its European Apple Online Stores, Apple has begun offering a 32-inch Sharp "4K" Ultra HD LED monitor. Retailing for £3,499.00 or approximately $5,700, the monitor has been available in the U.K. and other European countries since on or before November 30.
The 32-inch IGZO display, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2160, is not available in the United States and it is not clear why Apple has decided to offer it solely in Europe for the time being.
With its 32-inch class (31.5-inch diagonal) screen size, 3840 x 2160 high definition resolution and energy efficient edge-lit LED backlight, the Sharp PN-K321 monitor is ideal for professional applications where it's essential to view detailed information displayed with precision. This super-high resolution display allows you to view the content of four full HD screens on a single seamless display. It also features IGZO* technology, which supports increased pixel transparency and reduced current leakage, thereby making the monitor more energy efficient.
Sharp's LED display offers a 1.07 billion color palette, an 800:1 contrast ratio, and 350cd/m2 brightness. While it does come with DisplayPort support, it does not come with a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter and will require users to purchase a third party adapter.
The appearance of the Sharp display in Apple's Online Store comes amid rumors that Apple is preparing its own 4K displays. Earlier this month, new display panels with DisplayPort appeared from AUO, sparking speculation that they could be used by Apple for a future 4K Thunderbolt display.
Friday December 6, 2013 12:36 pm PST by Eric Slivka
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have only been out for a few months, but attention is already turning to Apple's plans for the next generation of iPhone, likely to appear in late 2014. Rumors have indicated that a larger, perhaps curved, display may be one of the key features of the next iPhone, which is generally being referred to as the "iPhone 6" by the rumor community.
Rumors about the iPhone 6 and a potential successor to the iPhone 5c will undoubtedly escalate in the coming months, so MacRumors has put together a new iPhone 6 roundup to help readers stay on top of the latest reports.
As with our other roundups, the goal of our iPhone 6 roundup is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for Apple's next iPhone at any given time. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and our roundup will be updated regularly to reflect the latest rumors.
All of our roundups continue to be accessible through a dedicated index page showing a full list of our available roundups ordered by most recently updated, as well as directly through the "Roundups" tab in the navigation bar on all MacRumors
Friday December 6, 2013 11:49 am PST by Jordan Golson
Following the second victory in its long-running patent lawsuit with Samsung, Apple has filed a motion asking the judge to order Samsung to pay nearly $16 million in legal fees (via Dan Levine).
Apple says that its lawsuit with Samsung is "an exceptional case" and that there was overwhelming evidence that "Samsung deliberately copied every aspect of Apple's revolutionary iPhone product". After juries awarded Apple $930 million in damages, the company argues that it "should not be forced to bear the full expense of prosecuting its claims".
In its filing, Apple says it expects to pay more than $60 million to Morrison & Foerster, its outside counsel, over the course of the case through the end of the retrial. However, that $60 million calculation, and Apple's motion request, are calculated only for "timekeepers who billed more than $100,000 for work on Apple's claims against Samsung". Further, Apple is only requesting reimbursement for one-third of its calculated billings, or $16 million.
By seeking only one-third of its fees from timekeepers who billed more than $100,000, Apple ensures that it is not recovering fees for its unsuccessful claims concerning the unregistered combination iPhone trade dress or for tablet design. First, the only differences between the unregistered iPhone 3G trade dress on which Apple did prevail and the combination iPhone trade dress is that the latter lacks two of the iPhone 3G trade dress elements (a metallic bezel around the flat clear surface and a row of small dots on the display screen) and also covers “neutral (black or white)
Friday December 6, 2013 9:14 am PST by Eric Slivka
Earlier today, Apple launched its "iBeacon" initiative in its U.S. retail stores, allowing users of the company's iPhone app to opt in to receiving location-specific notifications and access to other information while browsing in the stores.
Following the announcement of the new system, ISI analyst Brian Marshall headed over to Apple's Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan for a first-hand look, and he came away with a "mixed-to-slightly negative" impression, failing to meet his expectations.
While the system conveniently notified Marshall while he was browsing accessories that he could use the EasyPay self-checkout feature of the iPhone app to automatically charge products up to $200 to his iTunes Store account, Marshall criticized several other aspects of Apple's iBeacon implementation.
We believe iBeacon will become an attractive marketing/sales tool over time, but were somewhat disappointed by the lack of functionality and customer experience on Day 1. Just as the company did with point-of-sale (PoS) purchase systems using iPhone/iPad in the past, AAPL will likely use its own stores to showcase the benefits/possibilities of the new technology going forward.
Among Marshall's specific complaints:
- Multiple identical notifications: When browsing iPhones in the store, a notification popped up offering to check upgrade eligibility. After checking his upgrade and trade-in situation, Marshall returned to browsing iPhones and a few minutes later the same upgrade notification popped up on his iPhone.
- Incomplete coverage: Marshall received no notifications for iPad or Mac
Friday December 6, 2013 7:28 am PST by Eric Slivka
In a new research note published today, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White shares data from his "Apple Barometer" for the month of November, with strong increases hinting that Apple will see blockbuster performance for the holiday quarter. White's metric, which tracks performance of Taiwanese suppliers known to be heavily reliant on Apple, has seen record performances for both October and November.
With approximately 97% of the sales now accounted for in our Apple Barometer, we estimate sales in November rose by approximately 19-20% M/M and well above the November average of up 6% over the past eight years. As such, we believe this November will prove to be the strongest in the history of our Apple Barometer. [...]
Given the combination of a record October performance and our expectation of record growth in November, our Apple Barometer is on track to report stronger-than- average seasonality in 4Q:13. If we assume an average MoM sales decline of 10% in December, we estimate our Apple Barometer will grow sales by 28% QoQ in 4Q:13, or more than double the average increase of 13% over the past eight years.
White attributes the strong performance by Apple's supply chain to robust demand for Apple products such as the new iPhone and iPad models, with an iPhone production boost to support a launch on China Mobile in the coming weeks perhaps also contributing.
Investor confidence in Apple is also increasing as the company appears poised for a strong holiday quarter. After falling significantly from late 2012 through the early part of this year, Apple's stock has been
Friday December 6, 2013 4:43 am PST by Richard Padilla
An image of what might be a MFi (Made for iPhone) controller from computer peripheral manufacturer Razer has been leaked on Twitter by @evleaks, who has been known to provide reliable images in the past.
The enclosure controller, reportedly named the Razer Kazuyo, appears to wrap around the iPhone, adding face buttons, shoulder buttons, and a directional pad on either side of the phone. This layout is similar to other iOS game controllers such as the Logitech Powershell and the MOGA Ace Power, which were both released in last month. Unlike both controllers however, the Razer Kazuyo includes the ability to tilt the iPhone up, allowing for better viewing angles and easier access.
It is not known when exactly the Razer Kazuyo will be released, but it is likely that it will be compatible with a growing list of iOS games upon availability. Currently, games such as Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8: Airborne, and Bastion offer controller support, with additional developers pledging to build controller support into their apps now that controller hardware is available to consumers.
Friday December 6, 2013 3:15 am PST by Richard Padilla
The Associated Press is reporting that Apple will be launching iBeacon technology in its 254 U.S. retail stores today, with Apple quietly launching an over-the-air update to its Apple Store app to support iBeacon receivers in its retail locations. The official move follows a report last month stating that iBeacon integration in Apple Stores would be enabled through an Apple Store app update, with the app now prompting users about receiving in-store notifications once opened.
The Apple Store app also gives examples of what notifications can be pushed to the devices of in-store customers through the use of iBeacons, such as messages about picking up online orders and store events.
Apple reportedly demonstrated the use of iBeacon systems to the Associated Press in its Fifth Avenue store this week prior to its official rollout today:
The company demonstrated the technology to The Associated Press this week at its busy, 24-hour Fifth Avenue store in New York City. At this particular store, Apple has installed about 20 iBeacon transmitters, some of which are simply iPhones and iPads, which come with the capability as part of the iOS 7 mobile software released in September. The transmitters use Bluetooth wireless technology to sense your exact location. That's not possible with GPS, which don't work well indoors and aren't good at distinguishing between locations that are just a few feet apart.
First introduced at WWDC, iBeacon microlocation APIs are designed to access location data through the Bluetooth Low Energy profile on iOS devices, interacting with physical
Thursday December 5, 2013 8:43 pm PST by Juli Clover
Apple is continuing to see improved iPhone 5s supplies ahead of the holidays, with shipping estimates from the online Apple Store now ranging from one to three days for all carriers, colors, and capacities in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. The GSM-compatible SIM-free iPhone still has a shipping estimate of 1–2 weeks.
Following the launch of the iPhone 5s, supplies were significantly constrained, especially for silver and gold models. Shipping estimates slipped to 7 to 10 days just hours after the phone was released and then slipped further to two to three weeks for an extended period of time.
Just over two weeks ago, shipping estimates were at three to five days in North America and Asia Pacific, while European and Middle Eastern Apple Stores still listed shipping estimates of one to two weeks.
According to reports, Apple has significantly ramped up its iPhone 5s production over the course of the last month while cutting back on iPhone 5c production, which has resulted in improved supplies in time for the Christmas holiday.
In-store supplies of the iPhone 5s have also become far more plentiful, with all colors and capacities of the phone available for immediate pickup in many brick and mortar Apple Stores across the United States.
Earlier this week, Apple released shipping deadlines to ensure customers receive gifts by December 24. According to the guidelines, the iPhone 5s must be ordered by midnight December 12 to arrive ahead of
Thursday December 5, 2013 4:14 pm PST by Jordan Golson
After less than three months on the market, iOS 7 is installed on some 74 percent of devices connecting to the App Store, according to a chart posted on Apple's App Store support page for developers.
The company puts iOS 6 adoption at 22 percent, and older OS versions at just 4 percent. The data from Apple is likely the most accurate adoption data we will see and is the most relevant for developers as its taken directly from the App Store.
Chitika reported numbers nearly identical to Apple's earlier this week, showing 74.1 percent of devices using iOS 7. For its part, Mixpanel's OS adoption data, which records information from apps that use its analytics SDK, measured iOS 7 adoption at 78 percent as of December 1, with iOS 6 usage at just under 19 percent.
For comparison, as noted by TechCrunch, the latest version of Android -- KitKat -- only reports a 1.1 percent adoption
Thursday December 5, 2013 3:48 pm PST by Juli Clover
Construction on Apple's Campus 2 project is underway, with the company continuing its demolition of existing buildings on the site. Demolition began soon after Apple obtained its ancillary permits following an initial unanimous October approval of the project from the Cupertino City Council.
Road work and construction signs surround the area where demolition has begun, with a clear view of the demolished buildings available from the nearby highway. Apple has also constructed a large wall around the construction area to avoid impacting nearby businesses and residents. Large bulldozers and other equipment are within the campus area, clearing debris, and several sidewalk areas have been closed.
Visible demolition is taking place on the parcel of land that Apple purchased back in 2006, while the HP campus itself remains hidden behind walls and the tree line. The 50-acre prior purchase will make up the southern half of the campus that will house a massive parking structure while the main "Spaceship" building will be located in the northern portion of the property.
Apple received final approval for its Apple Campus 2 project back in November, and following a unanimous vote, Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney told the company to "go for it."
Following the demolition of the existing buildings, phase 1 of the Apple Campus 2 construction will include the famous 2.8 million square foot ring-shaped main building with an underground parking facility capable of accommodating approximately 2,400 cars.
A 100,000 square foot fitness center and a 120,000 square foot
Thursday December 5, 2013 2:29 pm PST by Jordan Golson
comScore today released the results of its monthly rolling survey of U.S. mobile phone users for the August-September 2013 period, showing that Apple's smartphone market share rose to 40.6 percent, compared to Android's 51.8 percent over the same period.
For handset manufacturers, Apple was in first place by a wide margin, with second place Samsung holding 25.4 percent of the market.
149.2 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (62.5 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in October, up 4.1 percent since July. Apple ranked as the top OEM with 40.6 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up 0.2 percentage points from July). Samsung ranked second with 25.4 percent market share (up 1.3 percentage points), while Motorola made the leap to third with 7 percent (up 0.1 percentage points). HTC and LG followed with 6.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
Collectively, Apple and Google control 92.2 percent of the market, with BlackBerry and Symbian losing share, while Microsoft's Windows Phone platform gained slightly.
comScore's data tracks installed user base rather than new handset sales, which means it is more reflective of real-world usage but slower to respond to shifting market trends than some other
Thursday December 5, 2013 10:10 am PST by Juli Clover
Some iTunes and App Store users are currently unable to log into their accounts using their Apple IDs, receiving a the following error when attempting to sign in: "FATAL::Unable to process your request. Please try again."
The problem, which seems to have originated last night, is ongoing according to a thread on Apple's online Support Communities and multiple users on MacRumors' forums. The error occurs on both mobile devices and Macs and according to user reports, it is affecting the App Store, the Mac App Store, the iTunes Store, and the iBookstore.
Apple’s System Status page has thus far not reported any issues, but according to one MacRumors reader who contacted AppleCare, there have been ongoing problems with Apple ID logins. Yesterday, some users were also getting a different error: "This Apple ID cannot be used for the iTunes Store. Please enter another Apple ID."
The multipage thread on Apple’s support forums suggests that the issue is fairly widespread and there appears to be no fix available at this time. Multiple users have reported the issue to Apple and the company appears to be aware of the problem.
Update: A number of users are reporting that the issue has been fixed and their accounts are now working normally
Thursday December 5, 2013 7:19 am PST by Eric Slivka
With just a few weeks left in 2013, Apple's stock has finally rebounded to set a new 52-week high of $575.14 earlier today, although it has since pulled back by a few dollars. Apple's stock price peaked at just over $700 back in September 2012 before beginning a slide that took the price to under $400 by mid-April of this year.
Apple's march back to yearly highs began in late June and has been a fairly steady climb since that time, although the last two weeks have been particularly good for the company's stock with a roughly 10% increase over that time as investors have been buoyed by new product releases and optimism surrounding Apple's Black Friday weekend sales.
The company's stock price has undoubtedly also been boosted by a stock buyback program that has seen Apple take roughly 5% of its shares off of the market since late 2012. Some argue that Apple should be doing even more to repurchase its stock, believing it to remain undervalued and thus a cheap investment for the company. Just yesterday, activist investor Carl Icahn, who holds roughly $2.5 billion in Apple stock, announced that he has filed paperwork requesting that shareholders be included in an advisory vote encouraging the company to increase its buyback plan by an additional $50
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