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Apple TV Gains New FXNOW Channel

Apple today added the FXNOW channel to the Apple TV, providing users with content from the FXNOW network. Previously rumored in July, the new FXNOW channel is the on-demand portion of the FX, FXX, and FXM television channels, all of which are owned by the Fox Entertainment Group.

Rumors suggested the FXNOW Apple TV channel would include content from The Simpsons, branded Simpsons World, which includes all 552 episodes of The Simpsons. Early reports on the channel suggested users would be able to create playlists of episodes and share favorite scenes. Currently, however, the channel offers a variety of content from FX, including episodes of The Strain and Sons of Anarchy.

Like many cable-based channels on the Apple TV, much of the FXNOW content require cable authentication. Supported cable providers for the FXNOW channel include AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, and

iPhone 6 Component Costs Estimated to Begin at $200, Samsung Supplying Some A8 Chips

As it routinely does for new devices, IHS iSuppli has taken apart the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in an effort to estimate Apple's costs for the components included in the new devices, sharing the results with Re/code. According to IHS iSuppli's teardowns, parts and labor costs for the iPhone 6 are estimated to begin at $200 for the 16 GB iPhone 6 model, giving Apple a roughly 69 percent gross profit margin on the devices.

That number of course does not take into account an array of other costs, from research and development to software to marketing and distribution, but it does offer an interesting glimpse at what goes into an iPhone.
The margins are in line with more recent iPhone models but higher than the earliest ones. The gross margin on the iPhone 5, released in 2012, and the iPhone 5s, released last year, were about 69 percent, teardown studies at the time of their release showed. On the lower-priced iPhone 5c, also released in 2012, the gross margin was closer to 68 percent. By comparison, the gross margin on the very first iPhone, released in 2007, was closer to 55 percent.
Apple does earn slightly higher margins on higher-capacity iPhone 6 models, as the 128 GB of storage is estimated to cost $47 more than the base 16 GB storage while the device retails for $200 more.

The iPhone 6 Plus is also a higher-margin item for Apple, with IHS iSuppli estimating the device costs just $16 more to produce than the corresponding iPhone 6 models, with roughly half of that difference coming from the display and the remainder presumably related to the rear camera module with

iOS 8.0.1 to Address Bugs With Phone, Keyboard, Videos in Safari, and More

Earlier this month, it was reported that Apple was preparing to seed carrier partners with iOS 8.0.1 even before the media event officially announcing launch dates for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Details on the update were unknown at the time, but we noted that we'd seen a significant uptick in activity from devices running iOS 8.0.1 in recent weeks.

Web traffic from devices running iOS 8.0.1 on Apple's networks peaked around the time of Apple's media event before tailing off a bit, but Apple does indeed appear to have provided the update to carrier partners and MacRumors has received word from a source that the updates addresses several bugs present in the iOS 8 golden master version released to the public last week. Among the issues:

- Phone: Addresses bugs with call forwarding and freezing when accessing visual voicemail
- Keyboard: Fixes an issue with keypad not appearing to enter iCloud Keychain verification codes
- Safari: Fixes a problem with videos occasionally not playing
- Sharing: Fixes AirDrop support for Passbook passes
- VPN: Addresses an issue with installing VPN profiles

Beyond the documented fixes, iOS 8.0.1 will undoubtedly fix a number of other early users have been experiencing although it will likely still be several more minor updates before most of them can be addressed. A release date for iOS 8.0.1 is not yet known, but it could appear fairly soon given that it is already in the hands of partners for testing and

Some iPhone 6 Plus Owners Accidentally Bending Their iPhones in Pockets

As highlighted in a few reports shared in the MacRumors forums, a small but growing number of iPhone 6 Plus owners have reportedly bent their phones after carrying the devices in their pockets just days after launch. In one instance, a new iPhone 6 Plus was bent during a day of dancing, dining, and driving to a wedding.

Photo by hanzoh
Yesterday, I left at 10am with the iPhone in my left FRONT pocket of my suit pants. I drove 4 hours to a wedding, which also involved a lot of sitting during dinner etc but also 2-3 hours of dancing. I left at 2am and went to bed, driving home 4 hours back.

So in total, the 6 Plus was about 18 hours in my pocket while sitting mostly.

As I lay it on the coffee table and sat down on the couch to relax from the drive (yes, sitting again ), I saw the reflection of the window in the iPhones slightly distorted.
This potential for bending is of course not unique to the iPhone 6 Plus, with reports of bent iPhone 5 and 5s handsets surfacing in the past few years. As iPhones get thinner and larger, however, storage of the handset in a pocket becomes riskier. Unlike smaller phones that can slide out of the way, pressure points from sitting or bending now have greater potential to cause the longer iPhone to flex in a way that will damage the device.

Photo by DevinPitcher
To prevent bending, iPhone 6 Plus owners may want to remove their iPhones from their pockets before sitting or bending. If a pocket is unavoidable, then customers may want to place their device in a roomier pocket that allows the device to slide out the way. A rigid case

Apple's App Store Usage Numbers Suggest 46% Adoption Rate for iOS 8

Roughly a week after its initial release, iOS 8 is now installed on 46% of devices connected to the App Store, according to the latest numbers posted on Apple's App Store developer support page (via iClarified). The numbers also indicate that 49% of users are using iOS 7 while 5% of users are on older versions of iOS.

Earlier this month, Apple's analytics indicated that 92% of devices connected to the App Store were using iOS 7, while 7% were using iOS 6 and 1% were on earlier versions of the mobile operating system. In December 2013, iOS 7 usage was at 74 percent, which jumped to 78 percent later that month. In late January, iOS 7 usage was at 80% and then scaled to 85% in March.

iOS 8 was released last Tuesday and brought several new features like Continuity, third-party keyboards, interactive notifications and more. However, a number of users have experienced a variety of problems with the operating system's initial release, including irregular battery drain, slow Wi-Fi, app crashes, and

Apple Debuts New Ads 'Huge' and 'Cameras' Starring Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake

Apple today debuted two brand new ads called "Huge" and "Cameras", focusing on the larger sizes of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and all of the new features of the highly praised new camera in both devices. Both ads once again feature Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake having some banter.

The first ad, "Huge", has Fallon and Timberlake talking about how big the new phones are. While Fallon points out "huge" new features like the Health app while Timberlake repeatedly points out how the phones are literally "huge".


The second ad, "Cameras", has the duo talking about the camera features like time lapse, 240 frames per second slow-motion video and image stabilization for video while using their voices to vocally represent what each app does.


The ads are the third and fourth in a new series of ads starring Fallon and Timberlake. Earlier today, Apple announced that the company sold 10 million iPhone 6 models over the

iPad Air 2 Rumored to Launch in October, Updated Retina iPad Mini May Come Later

Apple has plans to introduce the next-generation iPad Air in October, according to Taiwan's Commercial Times [Google Translate]. The site says the updated tablet will enter production in September, shipping next month.

Commercial Times also suggests that the next-generation Retina iPad mini might not launch alongside the iPad Air, coming instead in early 2015, with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to follow in the second quarter of 2015.

Physical mockup of the second-generation iPad Air
While the rumor suggesting the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be coming in the second quarter of 2015 is in line with previous rumors, there has been no prior indication that second-generation iPad Air and the next-generation Retina iPad mini will see separate launch timelines.

Previous rumors have indicated that both the Retina iPad mini and the iPad Air 2 will be introduced simultaneously at an event in October. Recently, a rumor suggested the two tablets could be introduced at an October 21 media event, but that prediction was quickly shot down by The Loop's Jim Dalrymple. Dalrymple did not, however, rule out an event at another date in October, so an October unveil of the two tablets remains likely. According to recent report from Bloomberg, the iPad Air 2 is in production and the Retina iPad mini 2 is entering production soon.

Both the next-generation iPad Air and Retina iPad mini are expected to gain updated A8 processors, camera improvements, and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor first introduced with the iPhone 5s. Apple's iPad Air 2 may also gain an anti-reflective screen coating and it

iOS 8 Users Seeing Issues With Battery Drain, Slow Wi-Fi

Released last week, iOS 8 is Apple's latest operating system update, bringing several new features like Continuity, third-party keyboards, Notification Center Widgets, and more. As with any new iOS update, users have been reporting several bugs in the operating system, with some of the more prevalent complaints pointing towards slow Wi-Fi speeds and problems with battery life.

As outlined by PCMag, iOS 8 users on the Apple support forums have been complaining about Wi-Fi problems in a thread that now spans multiple pages, an issue that was confirmed by the site's own testing. It appears, based on complaints, that multiple devices may be affected by a Wi-Fi bug, including the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPad Air, the Retina iPad mini, and more.
I also got an iPhone 6 on Friday, and noticed some sluggishness when connected to my home Wi-Fi network in New York. Twitter and Instagram photos took forever to appear, and opening a news story in Safari was hanging. I did a speed test using the Ookla app and got an abysmal 0.01 Mbps download and 1.05 Mbps upload. Minutes later, another test jumped up to 4.75 Mbps download and 0.24 upload, but a third test was again at 0.02 Mbps download and 0.76 upload.
Some users reportedly had luck fixing the problem by disabling Wi-Fi Networking under Privacy --> Location Services --> System Services.

Significant battery drain appears to be another complaint that's popping up frequently on the Apple Support forums, with users complaining of their batteries draining much faster than usual. According to one user, his

Apple Reportedly Planning to Shut Down Beats Music [Update: Not True]

Apple is planning to discontinue Beats Music, the streaming music service that it acquired as part of an acquisition of Beats Electronics back in May. According to TechCrunch, multiple sources that include "several prominent employees at Apple and Beats" have confirmed that Apple is shutting down the music service.
Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes. It's not clear when exactly Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre's music service will be shut down or what Apple will do with streaming, but every source with knowledge of the situation that we talked to agreed Apple plans to sunset the Beats Music brand.
Apple first acquired Beats Music in May, and at the time, announced plans to leave the music service untouched. There were no plans to integrate Beats Music into iTunes, with the company suggesting that it would remain as a standalone service.

TechCrunch suggests that the fact that Beats Music did not come pre-loaded onto the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus serves as a "red flag" that the music service is on its way out. The site also pointed towards an Apple Watch demo that included an "unannounced music app with a blue play button that instantly started playing songs when tapped during a demo," but that icon appears to correspond to the Remote app and not a new music app.

Apple shutting down Beats Music is unusual news given the efforts that the company has gone to in order to promote it in recent weeks, adding it to the list of "Apps Made by Apple" and recommending the app to new iOS users. If Apple plans

New Reversible USB Type-C Standard Gains Support for DisplayPort Video

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) today announced a DisplayPort Alternate Mode for the upcoming USB Type-C connector standard, which will let USB-Type C connectors and cables deliver DisplayPort signals.

As noted by AnandTech, DisplayPort technology built into USB Type-C has the potential to connect monitors, cables, docking stations, and more. With the ability to support displays and carry video data via USB, USB Type-C could potentially serve as the next Thunderbolt connector, powering 4K and higher resolution displays.

The DisplayPort Alt Mode repurposes some or all of the four existing SuperSpeed USB lanes to deliver full DisplayPort performance, and uses other signaling available in the USB Type-C connector for DisplayPort's AUX channel and HPD (Hot Plug Detection) function. This enables computers, tablets, smartphones, displays, and docking stations to implement the new USB Type-C connector at both ends while using the DisplayPort Standard over USB Type-C to transmit high-resolution A/V along with USB data and power.
Finalized in August, the USB Type-C connector specifications are much improved over previous USB generations. The slim connector is entirely reversible, making it easier to plug in, and due to its thin design, it's suitable for both mobile device and larger computers. It's also certified for USB 3.1 data rates of up to 10 Gbps and can deliver a maximum of 100W of power.

With an alternate DisplayPort mode and four lanes of signaling, one USB Type-C cable could be used to provide power to a device while also driving a connected

iPhone 6 Plus Display Judged 'Best Smartphone LCD Ever Tested', iPhone 6 Also Solid

DisplayMate, which routinely performs thorough testing of display quality on a variety of electronics, has released its iPhone 6 Display Technology Shoot-Out, taking a look at the performance of Apple's latest handsets using new "Retina HD" technology. While DisplayMate's Ray Soneira has not shied away from criticizing Apple's displays on some recent devices, he found the iPhone 6 Plus to have the "best performing Smartphone LCD display that we have ever tested" while the iPhone 6 also scored well in testing.

While the "best ever" designation includes the caveat of applying to LED displays and DisplayMate continues to rate the OLED display from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as the best overall smartphone display, the gains seen in the iPhone 6 and particularly the iPhone 6 Plus are impressive.
Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the iPhone 6 Plus is the Best performing Smartphone LCD display that we have ever tested. It delivers uniformly consistent all around Top Tier display performance. The iPhone 6 Plus is only the second Smartphone display (LCD or OLED) to ever get all Green (Very Good to Excellent) Ratings in all test and measurement categories (except for Brightness variation with Viewing Angle, which is the case for all LCDs) since we started the Display Technology Shoot-Out article series in 2006, an impressive achievement for a display. The iPhone 6 Plus has raised the bar for top LCD display performance up by a notch.
In particular, the iPhone 6 Plus display sets new records among LCD displays for peak brightness, low reflectance, and several

Apple's Ultra-Slim 12-Inch Notebook Rumored to Gain USB Type C and Fanless Internals

Following a previous report claiming Apple's much-rumored 12" ultra-slim notebook is planned to arrive in silver, gold, and space gray color options, Jack March has issued a follow-up report sharing additional details on the machine.

According to March's report, which MacRumors believes to be based on legitimate information, the new notebook has a much thinner design that appears to sacrifice many of the usual ports seen on Apple's current notebooks and may adopt the new reversible USB Type C connector that has seen its specifications recently finalized.
A source familiar with Apple’s plans describes the 12 inch Macbook Air as having a noticeably thinner design, the source wouldn’t give dimensions however noted that the thinner design may sacrifice the standard USB port and Apple will move to the reversible USB Type C with this product, It is assumed Apple will include an adapter in the box for backwards compatibility.
Interestingly, the report raises some questions about charging on the notebook, indicating that the usual MagSafe port has been removed in favor of a new, unspecified charging method.

In line with previous rumors, the machine is reportedly fanless, suggesting it will adopt an ultra low-power processor such as the Broadwell-Y Core M processors recently announced by Intel. The body of the new notebook is also said to be narrower than the current MacBook Air, with narrower display bezels and a keyboard stretching right to the edges of the machine. Finally, the speakers are said to be located above the keyboard with visible grilles, unlike the MacBook Air