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OWC Shares Mid-2014 Retina MacBook Pro Unboxing, SSD Tests

Following this morning's release of Retina MacBook Pros with improved Haswell processors, OWC has procured both the entry-level 13-inch and and the entry-level 15-inch 2014 Retina MacBook Pro and provided a gallery of unboxing photos featuring the new devices.

As expected, the packaging on the updated versions is the same as previous-generation Retina MacBook Pros. The site did a quick teardown as well, revealing the internals of the new machines, which also appear unchanged.

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Internal view of the mid-2014 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

OWC also conducted some speed tests on the solid state drives of the two machines, testing the 128 GB drive of the entry-level 13-inch version and the 256 GB drive of the entry-level 15-inch model using QuickBench 4.0.

The 15-inch machine (equipped with a Samsung SSD) saw random read/write speeds much higher than that of the 13-inch version, averaging in at 194 MB/s for random reads and 322 MB/s for random writes and 262/245 MB/s for sequential read/writes.

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The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, meanwhile, saw average random read/write speeds of 165/131 MB/s and average sequential read/write speeds of 263/244 MB/s with its Marvell-controlled SanDisk SSD.

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Launched earlier today, the new Retina MacBook Pros feature upgraded Haswell processors, more standard RAM for entry-level machines (8 GB for the 13-inch model, 16 GB for the 15-inch model) and a $100 price cut for the high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The refreshed Retina MacBook Pros are available at Apple retail stores and in its online store.

For the full array of unboxing and teardown images, make sure to check out OWC's blog post.

Thieves Target Durham, North Carolina Apple Store in Smash-and-Grab Robbery

Thieves last night stole an unknown number of MacBooks in a smash-and-grab theft at the Apple Store located in the Southpoint Mall in Durham, North Carolina. The MacBook units reportedly were display models situated in the front section of the store.

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The Apple Store is part of The Streets at Southpoint, a shopping destination that includes both an indoor mall and an outdoor shopping pavilion. The Apple store is located in an outdoor section of the complex, making it an easier target for an overnight theft. The store is currently closed following the break-in.

Smash-and-grab robberies are not uncommon at Apple retail stores, which often are built with glass panels to showcase the interior of the store. In December of last year, the new Haarlem store was the target of a smash-and-grab robbery shortly after it opened. Only a small amount of merchandise was stolen in that break-in.

New SSD-Equipped Drobo Mini Boosts Speed of Drobo's Portable Storage Lineup

Connected Data today launched an updated version of its Drobo Mini that includes Solid State Disk (SSD) drives (Via ZDNet). The new model offers an 80 percent performance improvement over a similar Drobo Mini equipped only with hard disk drives.

The new Drobo Mini with SSDs is a portable storage solution designed for photographers, videographers and other on-the-go media professionals who require fast drive performance they can fit in their bag.
"The core benefits that any user receives when using a Drobo are still tremendous value. Being able to start with the capacity you need today and growing over time; simplicity to deploy, use and manage is key – no need to be a storage expert," writes Joe Disher, senior director of product marketing for Connected Data. "Adding the SSDs to our portable Drobo provides tremendous performance as well as the reliability and redundancy needed for filmmakers that don’t have time to have lost data."
Internally, the Mini includes four 2.5-inch drive bays with an optional mSATA Accelerator bay. You can buy the Mini pre-equipped with SSDs or supply your own drives for a custom configuration. The Mini features both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports that support read speeds of 300MB/sec and write speeds of 225MB/sec.

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The Drobo Mini with SSD is available today in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities. Prices start at $1,199 for the 1TB model and climb to $1,799 for the 2TB and $2,999 for the 4TB option. A $449 option with no drives is also available.

European Commission Approves Apple's $3 Billion Acquisition of Beats

The European Commission has approved Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music (Via Engadget). The Commission concluded that merger posed no threat to competition as "the combined market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low."

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In its decision, the Commission noted that the Apple and Beats merger would not negatively effect either the headphone or the streaming music market in the European Union.
"The Commission concluded that the combination of the two businesses did not raise competition concerns because the combined market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low. In addition, Apple and Beats Electronics are not close competitors because the headphones they sell differ markedly in functionality and design. Moreover, even after the transaction, a large number of global competitors such as Bose, Sennheiser and Sony would remain. The Commission also examined the transaction's likely effects on the distribution of digital music to consumers. Both Apple and Beats Music are active in this field. Apple offers a music downloading service through iTunes and Beats Music offers a music streaming service, although it is currently not available in the EEA. The Commission concluded that Apple faces several competitors in the EEA such as Spotify and Deezer, making it implausible that the acquisition of a smaller streaming service that is not active in the EEA would lead to anticompetitive effects."
Now that the EU has given its approval, the next hurdle for the acquisition is the United States with regulators also examining the deal and determining whether there are any anti-competitive concerns. Barring any unforeseen issues, Apple expects the $3 billion transaction to close this quarter (Q4 2014).

Apple Stores to Adjust Genius Bar Appointments, Set to Train Employees on New Initiative

Apple is planning to make a number of changes at its retail stores ahead of the upcoming holiday season, which include adjustments to Genius Bar appointments and training for its employees on a new initiative, according to 9to5Mac.

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The report notes that Apple will do away with the suggested 15 minute time limit for Genius Bar appointments in favor of a system that allows customers to book sessions with time limits based on how many issues they have. A few Apple Retail Stores have already started training for the new measures, as a full rollout of the new policy is expected to take place in the near future.

The company will also reportedly be training its employees on a significant new initiative from Sunday, August 10 to Thursday, August 28, which may pertain to in-store iPhone activations. During the aforementioned time period, Genius Bar employees will receive three hours of training while sales employees will receive five hours of training.

Lastly, Apple will be standardizing its attire for all of its U.S. retail employees, as those on the Apple Store Business Team will switch from their black polo shirts to the blue T-shirts worn by other retail employees.

Buyer's Guide: Discounts on MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, AppleCare, and Apple Accessories

This week's Buyer's Guide includes deals on the MacBook Air, the Retina MacBook Pro, and AppleCare, as well as an array of Apple-related accessories that are currently on sale.

MacBook Air

Apple's MacBook Air is currently available for up to $150 off at Best Buy, with Adorama, Amazon, and B&H Photo offering similar deals on some models.

The entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air with 128 GB of storage can be purchased for $799 from Best Buy, Adorama, or B&H Photo. The higher-end 11-inch MacBook Air with increased storage is available for $949 from Best Buy and Amazon.

The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Air with 128 GB of storage is available for $849 from Best Buy and the higher-end model with more storage can be purchased for $1,099 from Best Buy, Adorama, or B&H Photo.

Best Buy's MacBook Air discount is only available until July 26, but it can be combined with the site's educational deal that offers $100 off all Macs, making it a solid choice for students. Buying from Adorama and B&H Photo gives the benefit of no sales tax in many states, as these two stores only charge tax in New York/New Jersey and New York, respectively.

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Retina MacBook Pro

Apple's Retina MacBook Pro has seen ongoing discounts for the past several weeks, with many of the price cuts, in the range of $100 to $150 off, still available this week.

The lower-end 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage is $1,199 at Adorama and B&H Photo. The lower-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage is $1,829.99 at Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo, while the higher-end model with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage is $2,449 at Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo.

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iMac

The end of July has brought some of the best iMac deals we've seen this month, with Best Buy offering the new low-cost 21.5-inch iMac for $949.99, a savings of $150. Best Buy is also offering the 21.5-inch 2.7GHz iMac for $1,149, while Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo are offering the 21.5-inch 2.9GHz iMac for $1,349.99.

As for the 27-inch iMac, the 3.2GHz version is on sale for $1,649.99 at Best Buy and the 3.4GHz version is on sale for $1,849.99 at Best Buy and B&H Photo.

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iPad

Best Buy is offering a discount on all of its 16GB fourth-generation iPads, both Wi-Fi and cellular, selling them for $329.99, a discount of $70.

AppleCare

Like last week, B&H Photo is offering several discounts on AppleCare. The AppleCare Protection Plan for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the 15-inch MacBook Pro is available for $244, $105 off Apple's regular price.

The AppleCare Protection Plan for the MacBook Air and the 13-inch Retina Macbook Pro is available for $174, $75 off Apple's regular price.

The AppleCare Protection Plan for the Mac Pro is available for $174, $75 off Apple's regular price, while the AppleCare Protection Plan for the iMac is available for $129, $40 off Apple's regular price.

Apple-Related Accessories

Best Buy is offering the Jawbone UP24 for $99.99, a discount of $50 off the regular price. Best Buy is also offering $100 iTunes gift cards for $85 and the site has refurbished AirPort Extreme Wireless Base Stations on sale for $120, a discount of $80.

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The Mophie Juice Pack Helium rechargeable battery case for the iPhone 5/5s is available for $59.99 from Groupon, a savings of $20. Groupon also has a solid deal on a dual stylus/pen from Belkin, offering it for $9.99, a savings of $25.

Daily Steals has Apple EarPods on sale for $15, and the site is offering Apple's Lightning to 30-pin adapter for $15. Finally, Griffin has a sitewide sale going on, offering 25 percent off all products with the code GT25. The deal is only good today.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

Apple Seeds New Builds of Safari 7.1 and Safari 6.2 to Developers

safari.jpg Apple has seeded developers with new versions of Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for OS X Mountain Lion as works continues on OS X Yosemite. In its release notes for both betas, Apple is asking developers to test AutoFill for passwords and credit cards as well as general website compatibility and extension compatibility.
Focus Areas
- Please focus testing on the following areas:
- Please test password and credit card AutoFill.
- Please test general website compatibility.
- Please test extension compatibility.
Apple also once again touts support for WebGL, which was included in prior seeds and allows users to view 3D content without the use of plug-ins. Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for for OS X Mountain Lion are expected to be released in the near future. Meanwhile, the company's public beta for OS X Yosemite launches tomorrow, July 24.

Apple to Open New Wuxi, China Retail Store on August 2

Apple has announced on its official Chinese website that it will open its new retail store in Wuxi, China at Wuxi Hang Lung Plaza, which is about an hour's train ride from Shanghai, on Saturday, August 2 at 10 AM.

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Photo of Wuxi, China retail store before opening.

Last week, Apple announced that its new Chongqing store is set to open this Saturday, July 26. New Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts plans to have a focus on furthering Apple's business in China, expecting to oversee the opening of 20 stores in the country through 2016.

The moves are a part of Apple's larger effort to grow its presence in China, as the company started partnering with the country's biggest carrier China Mobile late last year and became China's fifth-largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2013. Apple is also working hard to attract Chinese app developers to iOS. Thanks Jacob!

Apple's EFI Firmware 2.9 Update for 2011 MacBook Airs Appears Buggy, Some Users Unable to Install

Apple's recent EFI Firmware 2.9 update for 2011 MacBook Air models appears to be causing trouble for several MacBook Air users, according to a thread on the Apple Support Communities.

Released on July 15 to fix sleep/wake issues and a bug that caused fans to run at full speed after waking from sleep, the EFI update has caused some MacBook Air machines to shut down completely for several hours and on other machines, the update is still listed in the App Store after being installed.

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Multiple users have said their machines turned off and did not reboot for several hours after attempting to install the update, while others have been unable to install the update at all. Some users have also reported completely bricked machines even after several hours.

One user attempted to install the update multiple times with no luck, while another user took his machine to the Apple Store where employees were also unable to get the update to install.
I had the same issue. The machine simply shuts off and doesn't restart so the firmware update is never applied. The power button stopped working and the machine would not turn on at all. So I took it the the Apple Store and they cracked it open to do a physical SMC reset.

It booted up fine after that. We tried the install again and no dice. Same thing happened. This time the guy at the Genius Bar did some kind of "soft" SMC reset. He pressed SHIFT+FN+CONTROL+POWER at the same time (the first 3 keys are in the lower left corner) ... held it for a few seconds and let them go. When he pressed the Power button after that the machine booted up fine. Still didn't apply the firmware update though. The guy at the Genius Bar said he would report this issue to Engineering to alert them to the problem with the update.
It is not clear if the issue is widespread or limited to just a 2011 MacBook Air users, but as none of the affected users in the thread have discovered a solution, those who have not yet attempted to install the 2.9 update might wait to wait for an official fix from Apple.

FXNOW Channel With Simpsons World Content Coming to Apple TV

appletv.pngThe Apple TV may gain a new FXNOW channel that includes Simpsons World content, according to TV writer Jason Lynch who tweeted the news yesterday (via iLounge). Lynch said the FXNOW channel will come to the Apple TV, Roku, and other devices within the next 12 months.

FXNOW is the on-demand portion of the FX, FXX, and FXM television channels, all of which are owned by the Fox Entertainment Group. The FXNOW Apple TV channel will reportedly include content from The Simpsons, branded Simpsons World, which offers all 552 episodes of The Simpsons along with additional content. Simpsons World, debuting in October, will allow fans to search for and watch any episode or clip of The Simpsons on demand on FXNOW.

According to reports, Simpsons World will also allow users to create playlists of episodes and share favorite scenes, features that will likely make their way to the Apple TV version of the channel. FXNOW with Simpsons World currently requires cable authentication and is limited to FXX subscribers, and the Apple TV version will require a cable subscription as well.

Currently, supported cable providers for the existing FXNOW channel include AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, and Time-Warner. Simpsons World access will also be available through the FXNOW app for the iPad.

Netflix for Apple TV Gains 'Up Next' Feature for Automatic Episode Playback

Netflix for the Apple TV was updated today to add a new "Up Next" feature, which lets users automatically select the next episode of a television show for playback. While easy playback of the next episode in a series has been long available on the web and in the Netflix app for iOS devices, it's been noticeably missing from the Apple TV.

Prior to today's update, Apple TV users were forced to return to the main series menu to initiate the playback of the next episode of a television show, a task that required several extra button clicks. As of today, episodes in a series will play automatically, requiring far less interaction with the Apple TV remote.

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"Play Next Episode" on the Apple TV works similarly to the same feature on iOS devices and on the web, playing the next episode in a series automatically after a short countdown timer. It appears that the countdown timer is only available after a user initiates the "Play Next Episode" feature manually for the first time.

Netflix's new Apple TV feature comes as the company announces its Q2 financial results, with a total 50.05 million subscribers, up from 37.56 million in Q2 2013. Netflix saw $1.34 billion in total revenue during the quarter, with net income of $71 million.

Apple to Open New Retail Store in Chongqing, China on July 26

Apple has announced on its official Chinese website (via 9to5Mac) that it will be opening a new retail store at the Paradise Walk Mall in the Chinese city of Chongqing on Saturday, July 26th, at 10 AM.

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Last Wednesday, Apple put up a colorful banner over the store's exterior, signaling that the store would be opening shortly. The store will be Apple's eleventh in the country, joining four stores each in Shanghai and Beijing, one in Chengdu, and another in Shenzhen.

Apple has made efforts towards growing its presence in China over the past few years, most notably partnering with the country's biggest carrier China Mobile late last year in addition to opening new retail stores. Apple also became China's fifth-largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2013, accounting for 7% of market share in the country.

Buyer's Guide: Discounts on MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, AppleCare, and More

There are some solid deals on Apple's Retina MacBook Pro this week, as well as some decent deals on the iMac, the MacBook Air, and AppleCare.

Retina MacBook Pro

Like last week, multiple retailers are offering $100 to $150 off most Retina MacBook Pro models. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage is $1,199 at Adorama and B&H Photo. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is $1,399 at Adorama and B&H Photo. The lower-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage is $1,849.99 at Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo, while the higher-end model with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage is $2,449 at Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo.

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iMac

There are some small discounts on the iMac this week, with both Adorama and B&H Photo offering the 21.5-inch iMac with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive for $1,349, a savings of $150 off the standard price. Adorama and B&H are also offering the 27-inch 3.2GHz iMac with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive for $1,679.99 and the two sites also have the higher-end 27-inch 3.4Ghz iMac for $1,879.99 (B&H, Adorama).

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MacBook Air

There aren't many MacBook Air deals this week, but both Adorama and B&H Photo are offering the 13-inch model with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for $1,099.99, a savings of $100.

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Buying from Adorama and B&H Photo gives the benefit of no sales tax in many states, as these two stores only charge tax in New York/New Jersey and New York, respectively.

AppleCare

B&H Photo is offering several discounts on AppleCare this week. The AppleCare Protection Plan for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the 15-inch MacBook Pro is available for $244, $105 off Apple's regular price.

The AppleCare Protection Plan for the MacBook Air and the 13-inch Retina Macbook Pro is available for $174, $75 off Apple's regular price.

The AppleCare Protection Plan for the Mac Pro is available for $174, $75 off Apple's regular price, while the AppleCare Protection Plan for the iMac is available for $129, $40 off Apple's regular price.

Before making a purchase of a Mac or iOS device, make sure to consult our Buyer's Guide to find out if it's a good time to buy. For example, because the MacBook Air was updated in April, the Buyer's Guide indicates that now is a good time to purchase.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

Photos of Construction Material Hint at Scale of Apple's Spaceship Campus

Construction at Apple's "Spaceship" Campus has been progressing at a rapid pace in the past few months, as the company most recently began putting up the outer walls and laying roadwork. Now, iFun.de (Google Translate) shares new photos of the steel and glass material that will be used for the campus' facade, which are being provided by German company Josef Gartner GmbH.

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Construction material for Apple's Spaceship Campus tested by Josef Gartner

The images show the steel and glass components being tested by Josef Gartner outside of its premises, and could hint at the scale of Apple's new Campus 2 building upon completion. The building will have a circular, multi-story structure surrounded by greenery, additional buildings, performance stages, a fountain, and more.

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A concept image of what the front of Apple's Spaceship Campus will look like

Apple's Campus 2 project will be constructed in two phases, with the first phase finishing up by 2016 and including a 2.8 million square-foot ring-shaped central building, an underground parking facility, a 100,000 square foot fitness center, and a 120,000 square foot auditorium. Meanwhile, the second phase of construction will take place after 2016 and include an additional 600,000 square feet of office, research and development buildings as well as an additional parking structure with 1,740 spaces.

Upcoming Apple Store in Hanover, Germany Likely Opening in September

Apple's upcoming retail store in Hanover, Germany may finally open in late September, reports developer Florian Schimanke (Google Translate, via iFun.de) citing sources close to Apple's retail team in the region. The report notes that Apple has had to fix a number of problems with the building to be used for the store, including physical defects, mold, and ventilation issues.

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Apple's upcoming retail store in Hanover, Germany covered by barricades

According to iFun, it is also possible that the store could open to the public on September 19, which has been rumored to be the launch date for the iPhone 6. Apple originally put up its traditional black barricades for the location back in April 2013, as images showing progress on the store surfaced this past March. The layout of the Hanover store will also be similar to the Apple Store Opéra in Paris, France, which has become known as one of the company's most visually appealing locations.

During its financial results conference call for the third quarter of 2013, Apple announced that it would be building over 30 new stores in fiscal 2014, with 2/3 of those stores being built outside of the United States. Some of those openings have included the Apple Store Zorlu Center in Turkey, the Apple Store VillageMall in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the Apple Store Kurfürstendamm, Berlin, Germany.

iCloud Mail Outage Hits Small Number of Users for 17 Hours and Counting

Users experiencing difficulties accessing their iCloud Mail are not alone, as Apple is currently reporting an outage affecting the ability to receive mail through the service (via Business Insider).

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While the issue affects only 0.1% of users, it is notable that it has persisted for approximately 17 hours now, having begun at roughly 1:30 PM Pacific Time yesterday.

Apple has not yet provided an estimate of when the problem will be resolved.

Update: After approximately 27 hours, Apple reports the issue is now resolved.

Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, iPad, Apple Accessories, and More

There are some good deals on Apple-related accessories this week, as well as some decent discounts on the Retina MacBook Pro and an iPad deal from Target that includes free gift cards.

Retina MacBook Pro

Like last week, several retailers are offering $100 to $150 off most Retina MacBook Pro models. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage is $1,199 at Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is $1,399 at Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo. The lower-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage is $1,849.99 at Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo, while the higher-end model with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage is $2,449 at Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo.

Buying from Adorama and B&H Photo gives the benefit of no sales tax in many states, as these two stores only charge tax in New York/New Jersey and New York, respectively.

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iMac

There aren't many deals on the iMac this week, but both Adorama and B&H Photo are offering the 21.5-inch iMac with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive for $1,349, a savings of $150 off the standard price.

MacBook Air

Apple's 11.6-inch MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is available for $999 from Adorama, a savings of $100. The 13-inch MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of storage can be purchased at $1,099.99, a $100 savings, from Adorama or B&H Photo.

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iPads and iPhones

Target is currently offering a $100 Target gift card for customers who purchase an iPad Air or a Retina iPad mini (WiFi or WiFi + Cellular) in any capacity. Though Target is charging full price at $499 and $399, respectively, the gift card is a good deal for regular Target customers.

Target is also offering a $20 Target gift card with the purchase of a 16GB iPhone 5s or 5c. The iPhone 5c is available from Target for $30 and the iPhone 5s is $100. Target's deals last through July 12.

Accessories

Jawbone's Jambox speaker can be purchased via Groupon for $89, a discount of $21, while Meh.com is offering the JBL OnBeat Micro Speaker dock for $15. The Apple TV is available for $89 through Best Buy, a $10 discount.

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Apps

This week marks the sixth anniversary of the App Store, and several developers are offering sales on their apps. Popular games like Threesand Monument Valley are available at low prices, so make sure to check out our anniversary post to get a look at all the deals.

Before making a purchase of a Mac or iOS device, make sure to consult our Buyer's Guide to find out if it's a good time to buy. For example, because the MacBook Air was updated in April, the Buyer's Guide indicates that now is a good time to purchase.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

Apple Joins White House 'SupplierPay' Program to Speed Payments for Small Businesses [Updated]

Apple, Coca-Cola and other high-profile companies across various sectors have agreed to participate in SupplierPay, a new White House initiative designed to accelerate payments for smaller firms in the company's supply chain. President Barack Obama is expected to announce the program and early adopters later today, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The program will "strengthen small businesses by increasing their working capital, so they can grow their businesses and hire more workers," the White House said in a statement.
SupplierPay is the private sector counterpart of the government's existing QuickPay program that pays small business contractors before larger ones. Under QuickPay, businesses typically receive payment within two weeks of a completed project or service.

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Apple in recent years has focused on supply chain issues, working to curb excessive overtime, underage workers and harsh working conditions in its supplier factories. The Cupertino company requires its suppliers to meet a code of conduct, routinely monitors its contract manufacturers for compliance with these fair labor practices and issues an annual Supplier Responsibility report to document its progress.

Update 5:00 PM PT: Following a meeting with President Obama, Apple Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams gave a statement noting that Apple spent more than $3 billion with over 7,000 suppliers running small businesses in 2013 using SupplierPay.

Companies involved with the SupplierPay project included Metal Impact, a company that manufactures the Mac Pro's enclosure. The Mac Pro has been highlighted by Apple as a product line assembled in the United States.

Apple Seeds New Versions of Safari for Mavericks and Mountain Lion to Developers

safarilogoApple today seeded developers with new versions of Safari for OS X Mavericks (Safari 7.1) and OS X Mountain Lion (Safari 6.2) to parallel continued work on OS X Yosemite. In particular, Apple is asking developers to test general website and extension compatibility for several reasons.
Please test general website compatibility.
- Subpixel rendering is now on by default for all web content. Web sites or in-app web views with extremely tight design constraints may render differently.
- CSS object model getters will return fractional double values based on subpixel layout and rendering metrics instead of rounded integral values.

Please test extension compatibility.
Apple also documents several new WebKit features included in the new versions of Safari including support for WebGL, which allows users to view 3D content without plug-ins. WebGL has been present in Safari for OS X for several years, but is disabled by default. It's clear, however, that Apple is looking to take WebGL mainstream, pushing development on OS X Safari and bringing it to Safari for iOS later this year with iOS 8.

Update: Many non-developers are reporting that the Safari 7.1 beta is even showing up for them in the Mac App Store update section.

Apple Forcing Users to Upgrade to Latest Adobe Flash Plug-In Due to Security Issues

new_flashlogo_3Apple today posted an updated support document noting that it is now blocking older version of the Adobe's Flash Player plug-in due to a major security issue present in older versions.

In a posting to its security mailing list, Apple notes that users must upgrade to the latest 14.0.0.145 version of Flash Player if possible. For those users running systems incompatible with Flash Player 14, Adobe has made available a 13.0.0.231 update that addresses the security issues.
APPLE-SA-2014-07-10-1 OS X: Flash Player plug-in blocked

Due to security issues in older versions, Apple has updated the web plug-in blocking mechanism to disable all versions prior to Flash Player 14.0.0.145 and 13.0.0.231.
The high-priority update was released by Adobe on Tuesday to fix an issue disclosed in a proof-of-concept exploit by Google engineer Michele Spagnuolo. A number of major sites including Google, YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr were vulnerable to the issue, although they quickly addressed the issue on their ends. With Adobe's update to Flash Player itself, users will no longer be vulnerable as long as they update their plug-ins, a move Apple is now strongly encouraging by blocking all older versions of the plug-in.