Monday December 16, 2013 1:06 pm PST by Juli Clover
Apple's iAd team will be focusing heavily on monetizing iTunes Radio through advertising sales in the new year, reports Adweek. Apple's SVP of Internet software and services Eddy Cue reportedly told iAd staff that iTunes Radio ads, rather than app ads, are the new top priority.
Indeed, there is a new focus within the company’s advertising unit, and the mantra came direct from Eddy Cue, Apple's head of software. In a staff meeting before the holidays, Cue indicated that iTunes Radio is the top priority, and app ads are not.
"The message that came across was basically if you’re not working on iTunes Radio, you're irrelevant," an Apple insider said.
To facilitate ad sales, Apple also plans to build a real-time bidding exchange to automate sales, selling individual ad impressions one at a time rather than in bulk. With such a system, which emulates a stock exchange, iAds could ultimately become more affordable and more widely available to various advertisers, and it also allows for very specific targeting.
A source familiar with iAds said Apple has kept its real-time initiative under close wraps and is "not casting a wide net." That may be because the company is figuring out how to gradually transition from earlier aggressive sales efforts that had iAd prices starting at $1 million a pop. "It's a rare advertiser that is going to be willing to pay those rates,” said the source.
iTunes Radio became a new focus for the iAd team ahead of the music service's September launch, with iAd engineers and sales personnel working to secure deals with major advertisers to support iTunes
Monday December 16, 2013 11:02 am PST by Juli Clover
Pegatron, the factory that produces Apple's iPhone 5c, has implemented facial recognition technology to pre-screen potential employees ahead of hiring in order to prevent the company from hiring underage workers, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Underage workers pose a serious threat to Apple suppliers as Apple has a strict policy against the hiring of workers under 16, China's legal working age. Earlier this year, Apple dropped Pingzhou Electronics as a supplier after multiple violations for hiring underage employees.
To screen for underage workers, Pegatron, which implemented the technology earlier this year, reportedly checks government-issued IDs for authenticity, with the faces matched to their ID photos using facial recognition. This is designed to prevent employees from using fake IDs or IDs borrowed from other people.
Last week, a 15-year-old Pegatron factory worker, Shi Zhaokun, died of pneumonia, bringing underage labor violations into the spotlight once again. The employee reportedly used a fake ID to acquire the job, and according to Pegatron, though he too went through the same security checks, he used a fake ID with his actual photo to bypass the facial recognition system.
In theory, these measures should keep out underage workers, as they should catch people using fake or borrowed IDs. In Mr. Shi's case, he was able to obtain a government-issued ID card that included his photo but another person's identifying information, the company said.
Apple, which voluntarily joined the Fair Labor Association (FLA) back in 2012, sent a team of doctors to
In a press release today, Apple said the album is the fastest selling ever on the iTunes Store, moving 828,773 units worldwide in its first three days of availability. The album sold 617,213 copies in the U.S., and went to number one on the iTunes chart in 104 countries.
The self-titled, BEYONCÉ, is the fifth solo studio album from Beyoncé, which was made available exclusively worldwide on the iTunes Store on December 13 by Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records. The self-titled set is the artist’s first visual album. BEYONCÉ is infused with 14 new songs and 17 visually stunning, provocative videos shot around the world from Houston to New York City to Paris, and Sydney to Rio de Janeiro, all before the album’s release. The album represents Beyoncé’s biggest sales week ever.
The iTunes Store is the world’s most popular music store with a catalog of over 26 million songs and is available in 119 countries. The iTunes Store is the best way for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod®, Mac® and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. All music on the iTunes Store comes in iTunes Plus®, Apple’s DRM-free format with high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings.
The album is currently featured in every slot on the promotion carousel at the top of the iTunes Store. It is dubbed a "visual album" because each song has an accompanying music
Monday December 16, 2013 6:59 am PST by Richard Padilla
68% of Americans are expected to own an iPhone when the smartphone market reaches its saturation point in 2017, according to new research done by Asymco analyst Horace Dediu. Citing a parallel between the growth of the smartphone market and the growth of the iPhone over the years, Dediu predicts that both will continue to grow alongside each other as the smartphone market hits a saturation point at 90% in February 2017 with a predicted 180 million U.S. iPhone owners by that time, giving Apple a 68% market share.
If we believe that the iPhone can be modeled behaviorally then it may be possible to forecast its growth. One can simply draw a line extending the existing red segment above and read the F/(1-F) figure at any point in time. Solving for F results in a measure of penetration and hence number of users (if population is known.)
An alternative is to use the following formula derived from the linear interpolation of the two measured market shares. iPhone market share is y/(1+y) where y=0.21x and x = F/(1-F) and F is the expected market penetration of smartphones.
So if F = 91%, x = 10, y = 2.11 and therefore the iPhone market share = 68%.
We also know from the plot of the market that F = .91 is reached around February 2017. So we can suggest that at 90% penetration (approximately saturation) the iPhone will have 68% market share of users in the US. Forecasting the addressable market (US population aged older than 13) at about 266 million that implies 180 million US users of the iPhone by early 2017.
As Forbes points out, the idea of smartphones being used
Saturday December 14, 2013 11:47 pm PST by Richard Padilla
Apple CEO Tim Cook received a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater Auburn University at a New York event on Tuesday, with a video of the speech surfacing on the college's YouTube channel today (via AllThingsD).
Throughout his remarks, Cook highlighted his overall support for the progression of human equality in the United States and throughout the world. The CEO cited a section from the United Nations preamble emphasizing equality, and talked about finding a company in Apple that “deeply believed in advancing humanity through its products and through the equality of all of its employees.“
Now, much has changed since my early days at Apple, but these values, which are the very heart of our company, remain the same. These values guide us to make our products accessible for everyone...people with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged; they're frequently left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others. But Apple's engineers pushed back against this unacceptable reality; they go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness, to various muscular disorders.
Saturday December 14, 2013 9:14 pm PST by Eric Slivka
Back in June, just days after Apple teased the new Mac Pro at its Worldwide Developers Conference, a Geekbench result appeared for a version of the machine using Intel's 12-core Xeon E5-2697 v2 Ivy Bridge-E processor running at 2.7 GHz. Entries for 8-core and 6-core models followed in September and November respectively, but with those benchmarks coming under Geekbench 3 and the original 12-core model having been tested under Geekbench 2, the results were not directly comparable.
Still, John Poole of Primate Labs, the company behind Geekbench, outlined the likely processor performance options under Geekbench 3 for the new Mac Pro based on the tested Mac Pro machines where available and filling in the gaps with data from Windows machines running the same processors destined for the Mac Pro.
Now, with the Mac Pro launch likely very near, new sets of benchmarks from the 12-core Mac Pro running Geekbench 3 have surfaced, offering a better look at the performance of the high-end custom configuration. MacRumors and Poole both believe the results to be legitimate.
Three sets of Geekbench results have been posted, two run in 32-bit mode and a third in 64-bit mode. Averages for the two 32-bit runs (1, 2) yield scores of 2909 for single-core testing and 29721 for multi-core testing, fairly close to Poole's predictions based on results from Windows machines running the same chip.
As predicted, the single-core score for the high-end Mac Pro is actually lower than seen with the other new Mac Pro models due to the lower maximum clock speed of the 12-core chip, but
Friday December 13, 2013 9:31 pm PST by Eric Slivka
With potential customers of the new Mac Pro eagerly awaiting any sign of a more concrete launch date than the "December" timeframe announced by Apple at its October media event, increased activity from Apple's business team members suggests that a launch may indeed be very near.
While Apple has publicly remained silent on pricing for various Mac Pro configurations beyond the $2999/$3999 stock models in shown in its U.S. online store, members of the company's business sales team have on occasion been offering pricing quotes on build-to-order configurations upon request.
One Canadian forum member at FCP.coposted late last month that he had been quoted $9700 for a maxed-out Mac Pro with 1 TB flash storage, 64 GB of RAM, dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics, and a 12-core processor. Given Apple's current currency conversions, U.S. pricing should fall in the range of $9400-$9500, although that quote almost certainly incorporates a small discount made available to certain business customers. A somewhat lower-specced model with 512 GB of flash storage and an 8-core processor was quoted at $7700 Canadian.
But while Apple business team members have had some access to the full price list for the new Mac Pro for at least several weeks, team members appear to have become more proactive over the past several days, contacting business customers who had previously expressed interest in the new Mac Pro to offer them price quotes ahead of the official launch.
One MacRumors forum member yesterday posted a price quote he received from an Apple business sales representative for a
Friday December 13, 2013 4:17 pm PST by Juli Clover
As the holidays approach, Apple's Retina iPad mini supplies have begun to improve, alleviating the supply constraints the product has faced since its quiet November 12 launch.
In the Online Apple Store, Retina iPad mini shipping estimates for all models and capacities, including cellular models, have decreased to 1 to 3 days in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Asia Pacific. The Retina iPad mini continues to ship within 3 to 5 days in European countries.
The new shipping estimates are a significant improvement from shipping estimates in late November, which slipped to 5 to 10 days for multiple weeks before improving to 3 to 5 days earlier this week.
Issues with display yields were reportedly behind Apple's supply shortages, and as a result of the constrained supplies, Apple launched the Retina iPad mini in the middle of the night, offering the tablet solely via its online store and through Personal Pickup. It wasn't until 10 days after launch that Apple began allowing walk-in sales of the Retina mini. Cellular models have been the most constrained, with multiple carriers experiencing back orders on cellular Retina iPad minis in November.
Just a few weeks ago, a report suggested Apple had solved its production problems, allowing it to build up some supplies for the holiday shopping season. Along with shorter shipping estimates, in-store supplies of the Retina iPad mini appear to have improved slightly as well, with several colors and capacities available for immediate pickup in quite a few Apple Stores around the country.
Friday December 13, 2013 1:27 pm PST by Juli Clover
Sprint is preparing a possible bid for T-Mobile US, reports The Wall Street Journal. If permitted by antitrust regulators, a potential merger between the two companies would result in just three major carriers in the United States.
Depending on the stake that Sprint attempts to buy, the deal could be worth more than $20 billion. While Sprint is still looking into regulatory concerns, a bid could potentially come as early as the first half of 2014.
Sprint hasn't yet decided whether to move ahead with a bid. Going forward despite regulators' concerns would be highly risky. Any pursuit of a bid by Sprint could be aimed at testing antitrust officials' reaction to a deal, and a bad reaction could put an end to the effort.
Currently, T-Mobile US, which operates under the T-Mobile, MetroPCS and GoSmart brands, is the fourth largest carrier in the United States with 45 million customers, while Sprint is the third largest carrier with 54 million customers. Combined, the two companies would be come close to reaching the subscriber numbers of the larger carriers in the U.S., Verizon and AT&T, at 119 million and 108 million customers each, respectively.
Sprint and T-Mobile have each struggled to keep up with competitors like Verizon and AT&T, which have been able to implement much larger LTE networks. A merger between the two companies would likely see significant service improvements for customers, due to a larger network infrastructure and the means to make additional spectrum purchases.
Both Sprint and T-Mobile offer perks unavailable on other networks, such as T-Mobile's
Friday December 13, 2013 10:16 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 7.1 to registered developers for testing purposes, following the release of the first iOS 7.1 beta back in mid-November. The update has a build number of 11D5115d and is available via an over-the-air update or through Apple's developer center website.
Release notes from the first iOS 7.1 beta indicated that the update fixes network connection issues in addition to other bugs. The beta also included a new Yahoo logo, extra burst mode uploading options for the camera, and an option for a "dark keyboard" in the Accessibility section.
According to the iOS 7.1 beta 2 release notes, this update fixes several bugs, including one that caused all tones to sound like the default. The settings for Touch ID and Passcodes have also been moved from General settings to the main settings menu and Calendar has a new list view toggle.
While the "dark keyboard" option appears to have been removed from accessibility options, there's a new "Button Shapes" option that can be turned on to indicate where tappable areas are located. Animations appear to be faster in iOS 7.1 beta 2 and Control Center has gained a new bounce animation and music labels that show the audio source.
Apple has also seeded a new version of the Apple TV beta software, along with Xcode 5.1 Developer Preview 2.
Update: As noted by 9to5Mac, iOS 7.1 may add support for iOS in the Car, which is designed to provide enhanced iOS integration in compatible automobiles. In the second beta, iOS 7.1 includes a "Car Display" toggle in the Restrictions Settings panel, along
The carrier's relatively small store at the Link City shopping mall in Shenzhen is covered in Apple promotional signage, including wall-mounted banners and a large scrolling digital ribbon sign advertising discounted pricing on the new iPhones, extra free-standing signage, and even a flatscreen television replaying video of Apple's iPhone 5s/5c introduction from September.
Not only were there Apple advertisements all over the place, but even Phil Schiller was present, his A7 chip announcement playing on a flatscreen TV. A majority of the ad and display space in the store had been dedicated to Apple. If this is any indication, China Mobile is planning to aggressively promote their new Apple partnership in the hopes of blunting any advances from China Unicom and Telecom.
One of the store's two display tables is entirely devoted to Apple products, with iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad, and iPad mini units on display for customers to try out, extra iPhone 5c samples showing the various color options, and a China Mobile salesperson staffing the table at a large iMac.
The China Mobile iPhone launch comes just as market research firm Counterpoint Research revealed a significant jump in Apple's smartphone market share in China in October, with Apple leaping from sixth place to third with over 10% of the market on the strength of the iPhone 5s and 5c launches.
Friday December 13, 2013 7:06 am PST by Richard Padilla
According to Chinese site C Technology [Google Translate, via GForGames], Apple is planning to release its long-rumored iWatch alongside the next iPhone in October 2014, with the company having tested two iWatch prototypes. However, the report also states that Apple has not decided on the final screen size of the device, with the prototype units being powered by a 100 mAh battery. The iWatch is also said to include wireless charging capabilities which will allow the device to charge from up to a meter away.
The report questions the reported inclusion of a 100 mAh battery, noting that it seems far too small to allow for significant battery life. Samsung's Galaxy Gear watch contains a 315 mAh battery and has received criticism over poor battery life.
Sixth-generation iPod nano with watch face Battery life has previously been reported as being an issue for Apple, with iWatch prototypes lasting only 1-2 days on a charge and the company hoping to find ways to extend that to 4-5 days. C Technology notes that wireless charging would be one way to reduce the burden of frequent charges, but it is unclear exactly how it would be implemented by Apple. A 100 mAh battery in the iWatch would roughly match the 105 mAh battery seen in the sixth-generation iPod nano that was designed in part to be able to be used as a watch.
In contrast, a report last month from Digitimes stated that the iWatch would be released in Q2 2014, with component makers having started pilot production for the device. The report also stated that low part yields have pushed back mass production of the
Thursday December 12, 2013 2:40 pm PST by Juli Clover
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Thursday that it will consider banning cellular phone calls on planes if the FCC gives airlines the go-ahead to install equipment to support cellular service on flights.
According to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who spoke to Politico, the department will seek to determine whether in-flight calls are fair to consumers.
"We believe USDOT's role, as part of our Aviation Consumer Protection Authority, is to determine if allowing these calls is fair to consumers. USDOT will now begin a process that will look at the possibility of banning these in-flight calls," Foxx said in a statement emailed to POLITICO. "As part of that process, USDOT will give stakeholders and the public significant opportunity to comment."
Foxx's statement was made shortly before the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve a proposal to invite comment on the potential change to its rules. The FCC first announced that it was considering allowing airplane passengers to use mobile phones on flights to make voice calls and use cellular data back in November.
The FCC is currently investigating the safety of allowing cell phone service on planes, and with a potential in-flight call ban from the Department of Transportation, a situation could arise where customers are permitted to use cellular data in-flight for texting and web browsing but are banned from making voice calls.
"Over the past few weeks, we have heard of concerns raised by airlines, travelers, flight attendants, members of Congress and others who are
Thursday December 12, 2013 11:59 am PST by Jordan Golson
The five major U.S. carriers have come to an agreement with the FCC over a set of voluntary industry principles to make it easier for wireless customers to unlock their devices and switch from carrier to carrier if they wish. The CTIA -- the industry trade group representing AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon in the matter -- says it will recommend the principles be added to the group's "Consumer Code for Wireless Service" and the carriers will commit to implement them within 12 months.
- Disclosure: Each carrier will post on its website its clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on postpaid and prepaid mobile wireless device unlocking.
- Postpaid Unlocking Policy: Carriers, upon request, will unlock mobile wireless devices or provide the necessary information to unlock their devices for their customers and former customers in good standing and individual owners of eligible devices after the fulfillment of the applicable postpaid service contract, device financing plan or payment of an applicable early termination fee.
- Prepaid Unlocking Policy: Carriers, upon request, will unlock prepaid mobile wireless devices no later than one year after initial activation, consistent with reasonable time, payment or usage requirements.
- Notice: Carriers that lock devices will clearly notify customers that their devices are eligible for unlocking at the time when their devices are eligible for unlocking or automatically unlock devices remotely when devices are eligible for unlocking, without additional fee. Carriers reserve
Thursday December 12, 2013 11:38 am PST by Jordan Golson
The iPhone was the top-selling smartphone at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile for September, October and November of this year, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley (via AppleInsider). We previously covered Walkley's September numbers.
The iPhone 5s, which came out in the second half of September, has proved extremely popular with customers and has only recently gotten close to a supply/demand balance.
Before the iPhone 5s and 5c's release, Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Sony, and Motorola all had handsets enjoying top-three sales at at least one of America's big four carriers. Apple's September announcement pushed all but Samsung out of the picture and relegated the South Korean conglomerate's Galaxy S4 to the runner-up position across the board.
Apple has maintained a significant edge outside of the U.S. as well, even before the long-anticipated launch of the company's devices on China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier. The iPhone 5s was "by far the top selling smartphone...at most channels where the smartphone launched globally," Walkley notes.
Samsung's Galaxy S 4, the iPhone's chief competitor, now holds second place across all carriers with the iPhone 5c coming in third. Closer to the launch of the 5c and 5s, the 5c held second place at AT&T and Sprint.
Last year, the numbers were similar, although with different phone models. NPD claimed the iPhone 5 was the best-selling model of Q4 2012, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S III, and then the iPhone 4s and iPhone 4
Thursday December 12, 2013 10:50 am PST by Juli Clover
The Fair Labor Association has published a final status report on the working conditions at Apple supplier Foxconn, finding that Foxconn successfully reduced working hours to comply with the Fair Labor Association's standard 60 hour work week, but failed to meet the Chinese legal limit of 49 hours per week and at times, exceeded the legal limit of 36 hours of overtime per month.
Today's report follows an initial audit that took place in February of 2012 and a later agreement in March where Foxconn agreed to examine worker pay and implement stricter control over working hours while also improving working conditions.
Over the course of 2013, the Fair Labor Association visited three Foxconn facilities in Longhua, Guanlan, and Chengdu, with Foxconn providing full cooperation and unrestricted access to both facilities and workers during the verification process. Along with improving working hours, Foxconn also made moves to install additional exits and bathroom facilities.
FLA assessors verified that workers at the Longhua and Chengdu facilities worked no more than 60 hours every week between March and October; the same was true in the Guanlan facility with the exception of seven weeks during this period when working hours exceeded 60 hours. The assessment found that between March and October 2013, on average more than half of the workforce had worked beyond the Chinese legal limit of 36 overtime hours per month in all three facilities.
FLA assessors found that no interns had been engaged at any of the three facilities since the January 2013 verification visits and
Thursday December 12, 2013 7:08 am PST by Eric Slivka
Fleksy today announced that its predictive touch keyboard is now available for iOS developers to incorporate into their apps through an SDK, allowing developers to replace the default iOS keyboard with Fleksy's popular alternative keyboard.
Fleksy's keyboard includes a number of features including sophisticated prediction and autocorrection, as well as swipe-based functions such as space and delete. The Verge has more on the launch:
Bringing Fleksy to other iOS apps is not without its challenges. Unlike Android, which is open to all sorts of third-party keyboard creations, Apple gives you its keyboard and nothing else. Developers can build their own special keyboards on an app-by-app basis, though it's uncommon. Google's done that with a handful of its iOS apps, while Wolfram Alpha's special search app keyboard takes up nearly the entire screen with custom buttons. Although it was rumored Apple was considering opening up to third-party keyboard makers, ultimately it didn't. But it did throw developers a bone by simplifying its software tools, says Fleksy founder Ioannis Verdelis.
"With every new version of iOS the work required on our part to build a keyboard SDK has reduced significantly," he says. "We're [now] doing stuff on iOS that integrates the keyboard deeper than it's ever been integrated."
Fleksy's iOS SDK initiative launches today with four apps:
- BlindSquare: Combines location and FourSquare information to assist visually impaired users in their daily lives [Direct Link]
Thursday December 12, 2013 4:26 am PST by Richard Padilla
A judge representing the Seoul Central District Court in South Korea has dismissed a Samsung lawsuit stating that Apple had infringed on three of the company's patents, removing the opportunity for Samsung to receive monetary benefits and impose a sales ban on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, reports Reuters. The verdict comes after a August 2012 ruling by a South Korean court declaring that Samsung and Apple had violated each others patents, ultimately resulting in the sales ban of some older products from both companies in South Korea.
A judge at the Seoul Central District Court said Apple products such as the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad2 did not violate Samsung patents on short message display methods and messaging grouping features.
The court ruled against a sale ban on the products and threw out Samsung's claim for 100 million won ($95,100) in damages.
"We are glad the Korean court joined others around the world in standing up for real innovation and rejecting Samsung's ridiculous claims," Apple Korea spokesman Steve Park said.
In the same ruling, the court also fined Samsung 25 million won (approximately $23,800) for violating the "rubber banding" patent that enables a visual effect when scrolling through a page on a touch-screen device.
Last year, Samsung was ordered to pay Apple a total of $1.05 billion after a U.S. jury found the South Korean company guilty of willfully violating multiple Apple patents. Back in March, Judge Lucy Koh struck $450 million from the $1 billion awarded to Samsung after deciding the jury may have miscalculated the damages due to
Wednesday December 11, 2013 3:15 pm PST by Juli Clover
In June, Apple filed a new patent application [PDF] with the European Patent Office describing a system using an in-car accessory with an iOS device to set up geofences to activate various vehicle functions as a user approaches a vehicle.
According to the 15-claim application, which specifically describes "Accessory control with geo-fencing", the accessory (which may or may not be built-in to the car itself) would transmit a signal to a linked mobile device, allowing the device to monitor the location of a vehicle. When the mobile device (and the user) are close enough to the car, the mobile device would transmit a second signal to the accessory within the car, allowing it to trigger functions like door unlocking, defrosting, heating, trunk opening, seat warming, and more.
The first signal can identify a current or future location of the vehicle. The mobile phone can generate one or more virtual geofences based at least in part on the location of the vehicle as determined from the first signal. For example, a geofence can be defined as a circular boundary centered on the vehicle's location, the radius being equal to a pre-defined distance. The mobile phone can repeatedly estimate its own location.
Upon detecting that the mobile phone has crossed a geofence (e.g., generally or in a particular direction), the mobile phone can generate and transmit a second signal to the vehicle. The accessory can control or coordinate control of one or more vehicle functions in response to receipt of the second signal.
Apple notes that geofences can be made in shapes that parallel
Wednesday December 11, 2013 11:41 am PST by Jordan Golson
Earlier this year, Apple design chief Jony Ive and designer Marc Newson created a number of one-of-a-kind items to be sold at a Sotheby's charity auction to benefit Product (RED). Two items in particular were Apple related, a pair of solid gold Apple EarPods and a new Mac Pro with a special red finish.
According to a pair of tweets by photographer Kevin Abosch, Tony Fadell -- one of the creators of the iPod and the founder of Nest, the company behind the Nest Thermostat and Protect smoke detector -- may have purchased both the Mac Pro and the EarPods at the auction.
The Mac Pro sold for $977,000 while the solid gold EarPods sold for $461,000. Other items sold at the auction included a Steinway & Sons grand piano that sold for $1,925,000 and a magnum of Dom Perignon 1966 with a custom red label that sold for $93,750.
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