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iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 to Use A9 and A9X Processors

In a profile of Johny Srouji, Apple's SVP of Hardware Technologies who oversees Apple's chip development, Bloomberg quietly confirmed some key processor details about Apple's upcoming devices, the iPhone 5se and the iPad Air 3. Both products will use Apple's latest chip technologies, with the iPhone 5se adopting the A9 processor from the iPhone 6s and the iPad Air 3 adopting the A9X processor first used in the iPad Pro. Early iPhone 5se rumors were offered conflicting information on the processor that would be used, with some pointing towards the A9 and others pointing towards the previous-generation A8. Later rumors have solidified around the A9, and now we've got confirmation from a reliable source. For the iPad Air 3, while the A9X seemed like a logical choice for the tablet, there was no prior rumor suggesting it was indeed the chip Apple would be using, so Bloomberg's concrete information about the chip is worth highlighting. Bloomberg's piece also further confirms Apple's planned March event, which is rumored to be taking place mid-month, on March 15. Further rumors have suggested the two devices will be released online and in retail stores just days after their unveiling, on March 18.In March, Apple intends to announce an updated iPad and smaller-screen iPhone featuring the latest A9x and A9 chips, according to a person familiar with the plans, who wasn't authorized to comment publiclyThe iPhone 5se is Apple's 4-inch iPhone, which will be sold alongside its larger-screened flagship devices. iPhone 5se rumors suggest it will look like a cross between an

Apple Developing iPhone With Extended Range Wireless Charging for as Soon as 2017

Apple is reportedly developing a wirelessly-charged iPhone for as soon as 2017, according to Bloomberg. The company is working with its partners in both the U.S. and Asia to create the technology. Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The iPhone maker is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed, they said.Current wirelessly-charged devices require users to place their phones or other devices on charging mats. In September 2012, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said that the company wasn't sure of how convenient wireless charging is as most wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into a wall. In early January, it was reported that Apple was working on wireless charging for the iPhone 7. However, that report warned that the feature could be pulled from the iPhone 7 for a future iteration of the device as Apple is working on the technology currently. Apple has held an interest in wireless charging since the first iPhone, gaining patents for wireless charging stations and wireless charging through a near field magnetic resonance, which wirelessly charges a device within a certain region. The Cupertino company has also shown an interest in WiTricity's wireless charging technology, which uses "hidden charging" technology that allows magnetic fields to wrap

Apple Working on Thinner, Brighter Displays at Secret Taiwanese Lab

Apple opened a secret laboratory in northern Taiwan earlier this year to develop thinner, lighter and brighter displays for future Apple devices, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple has also been recruiting talent from local display maker AU Optronics Corp. and Qualcomm to work at the new factory. Image via Bloomberg Apple began operating the lab this year as it aims to make products thinner, lighter, brighter and more energy-efficient. Engineers are developing more-advanced versions of the liquid-crystal displays currently used in iPhones, iPads and Mac personal computers, the people said. Apple also is keen to move to organic light-emitting diodes, which are even thinner and don’t require a backlight, they said.The facility, which was owned by Qualcomm, is still being staffed and currently has 50 employees. Apple has listed two job postings for the new Taiwan factory on its careers page. Both jobs require experience working with display technologies. Bloomberg was able to confirm that the factory is operated by Apple, noting that there was an Apple logo in the receptionist's area and that employees wore Apple ID badges. However, neither Apple nor any of the employees commented on what was being worked on inside the facility. Last week it was reported that Japan Display was planning to begin mass production of OLED displays for future iPhones in Spring 2018. The joint venture by Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba is reportedly in negotiations with Apple to secure OLED orders for future iPhones. Last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that

3D Touch in iPhone 6s is a 'Breakthrough,' Was 'Really Hard' to Make

Apple today spent about ten minutes introducing 3D Touch as one of the headline features of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but a new Bloomberg interview with company executives Jony Ive, Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller and Alan Dye reveals that Apple spent several years working on the challenging new display technology.“Ultimately, this is our focus,” says Ive, squeezing a new iPhone 6S. “This is what galvanizes our efforts right across the company.” And 3D Touch, he adds with emphasis, “is something we’ve been working on for a long time—multi, multi, multi years.”Schiller noted that, from an engineering standpoint, creating hardware that is capable of 3D Touch's functionality was "unbelievably hard," coming at a "tremendous amount of cost and investment in manufacturing" for Apple. For that reason, the company had to ensure it got the technology right. Accordingly, Apple set out to do just that.Working with Corning, Apple created pliable iPhone cover glass. Swipe it, and the phone works the way it always has. But press it, and 96 sensors embedded in the backlight of the retina display measure microscopic changes in the distance between themselves and the glass. Those measurements then get combined with signals from the touch sensor to make the motion of your finger sync with the image on screen. […] To make what is counterintuitive feel normal, each on-screen “peek” and “pop” is accompanied by a 10-millisecond or 15-millisecond haptic tap, little vibrations that say “good job” to your fingers when an action is complete. And, after a multi-year, tedious design

Apple Live TV Service Not Coming Until 2016

Bloomberg reports that Apple will be unable to deliver their rumored live TV-over-internet streaming service for the Apple TV until 2016. Content negotiations are reportedly stalling the launch of the service, which Apple had hoped to be ready for their rumored September 9th media event. The company wanted to introduce this year a live TV service delivered via the Internet, but is now aiming for 2016, said people familiar with Apple’s plans. Apparently, pricing of the new TV service is one of the main hurdles in the negotiations. Bloomberg reports that Apple wants to offer "a package of popular channels" for $40/month, a significant discount from the average cable bill. A new Apple TV set top box, however, is still said to be ready for release. The new Apple TV is rumored to have a touch-based remote control and full app store. Apple is expected to announce the new Apple TV on September 9th

Apple Expands Seattle Presence With New Lease at Two Union Square

Apple has agreed to lease office space in the Two Union Square skyscraper in downtown Seattle, according to Bloomberg. The report claims that Apple will occupy the 44th floor and half of the 45th floor in the 56-story office building, which is a roughly 30,000-square-foot space that can house 120 to 200 employees based on standard corporate leasing ratios. Seattle has become a hotbed recently for Silicon Valley companies because of its talent pool and lower cost of living compared with the San Francisco Bay Area, with Amazon, Facebook, Google and Alibaba Group among the tech giants with offices in the region. Apple opened its first engineering office in the city last year after acquiring Union Bay Networks. Apple has hired more than 9,000 employees in the last year and now has a worldwide headcount of about 115,000, according to the report. The company's existing Seattle office focuses on core infrastructure services such as iCloud, suggesting the northwestern U.S. city could serve as a hub for its rumored high-speed content delivery network for faster cloud

Apple Starts Early Production on Next-Generation iPhones With Force Touch

Apple is starting production on its next-generation iPhones, reports Bloomberg, and the new models are equipped with Force Touch capabilities. Force Touch, first introduced with the Apple Watch, is a feature that's able to distinguish between a light tap and a harder press, enabling a range of new gestures. The two new iPhones will retain the same 4.7 and 5.5-inch display sizes, with an exterior design that's largely unchanged. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested the addition of Force Touch could make the iPhone 0.2mm thicker, but it is unclear if that rumor is accurate. Apple Inc. has started early production of new iPhone models with a feature called Force Touch, which senses how hard users are pressing down on a screen, people with knowledge of the matter said. Its newest iPhones, in the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions as the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, will have a similar exterior design, the people said. Volume manufacturing is scheduled to ramp up as soon as next month, they said.Because the design of the new iPhones will remain the same, Bloomberg's sources believe final assembly will go smoothly, but caution that production volume could be impacted by the supply and yield of displays for the devices. Apple has been working to add Force Touch across its product lineup since unveiling the Apple Watch and has thus far incorporated the feature into the trackpads of the Retina MacBook and Retina MacBook Pro. Apple is expected to debut its next-generation "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" in September. Other rumors about the

Apple Rumored to Build High-Speed Network for Faster Cloud Services

Apple is building a high-speed content delivery network and plans to upgrade its data centers with more of its own equipment in an effort to better compete with Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other cloud service providers, according to Bloomberg. The improved infrastructure will enable Apple to provide faster delivery of cloud-based content and services such as iCloud, iTunes and Siri. The high-speed network may be a prerequisite for Apple's much-rumored streaming music and TV services, the first of which is expected to be announced at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference today in San Francisco. Efficient content delivery will be important for both services, especially if the company plans to fulfill its ambitious goal of signing up 100 million subscribers for Apple Music. The foundation of Apple's high-speed data network will reportedly be long-haul pipes connecting the company's data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon. Apple has also been planning ways to send data via fiber lines at hundreds of gigabits per second, as opposed to solely using off-the-shelf technology rented from third-party vendors, according to the report.“Apple wants to own pipes linking its four large U.S. data centers and Internet hubs in certain cities to ensure fast, reliable delivery of content and services. By adding capacity and increasing efficiency, it seeks to handle more traffic on its own, without renting as much server space from cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft, said people with knowledge of the plan, who asked not to be identified

FTC Also Investigating Apple's Upcoming Music Streaming Service

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Apple's efforts to set up deals with record labels as it prepares to launch its new music streaming service, a rebranded version of Beats Music, according to Bloomberg. This would make the FTC the third government body to look into the new music service after the U. S. Department of Justice and European Commission. The FTC's investigators, still in the early stages, of their inquiry, are asking whether Apple’s efforts will change the way music labels work with other streaming services, for example curtailing ad-supported music and pushing more songs into paid tiers of service at higher rates, according to one of the people.A couple days ago, a report emerged that Apple was utilizing its power within the music industry to push record labels to stop licensing freemium tiers offered by Spotify and other music services. The Cupertino company also reportedly offered to pay YouTube's licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its music on the website, which is a popular destination for music videos. The FTC is speaking to multiple record labels about Apple's practices. However, music-industry executives told Bloomberg that Apple has made no such demands. Similarly, the Department of Justice is also interviewing high-ranking music executives about Apple's practices. The European Commission is doing the same, concerned that Apple will use its size to force record labels to stop supporting freemium music tiers. Apple's Beats-based music streaming service will reportedly launch in June at WWDC, though

Samsung Confirmed to Produce A9 Chips for Apple's Next-Generation Devices

Samsung will provide Apple with A9 chips for its next-generation iPhone and other devices, reports Bloomberg, confirming a previous report in early February. Over the past couple of months there had been confusion and conflicting reports as to whether Samsung, Apple's longtime supplier and rival, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) would produce the chips. Samsung will start making Apple A9 processor chips at its Giheung plant in South Korea, the people said, asking not to be identified because the contract hasn’t been discussed publicly. Additional orders will go to Samsung’s partner Globalfoundries Inc., according to another person familiar with the arrangement.In 2013, Apple signed a chip production deal with TSMC in hopes of diversifying its supply chain resources and reducing its reliance on Samsung amid the two companies' ongoing legal disputes. It appears that Samsung's investment in manufacturing technologies won Apple over, with TSMC Chairman Morris Chang recently telling investors that the company would lose ground to Samsung in producing the most advanced chip technology possible in 2015, though he also noted the company would regain that advantage in 2016. Samsung is reportedly producing the chips with its advanced 14-nanometer process, which has outpaced TSMC's capabilities and results in smaller chips that consume less energy and provide more processing power. The Korean company is also said to be providing memory chips for Apple's next-generation devices. Thus far, little is known about what the next-generation iPhones or iPads

Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu

Just a day after Apple acquired database company FoundationDB, Bloomberg reveals Apple had previously acquired U.K.-based data analytics company Acunu. The acquisition appeared to have happened in late 2013. The purchase of the Vienna, Virginia-based software maker follows a deal for closely held Acunu Ltd., a U.K.-based data analysis company, Apple said.Acunu creates technology that provides analytics on databases, and its technology can be used in conjunction with other tools, improving their performance. Bloomberg notes the company's tools work well with free Cassandra databases, which Apple runs on several thousand computers. It's likely that the Acunu acquisition will be used for iCloud and its various services, like iTunes Radio, the upcoming reimagined Beats Music streaming service and Apple's over-the-air TV service. Acunu Chief Technology Officer Tim Moreton began working in Apple's iCloud division in December 2013, and other Acunu employees made the jump to the Cupertino company in early

ResearchKit Receives Thousands of Sign-Ups Following Launch

Less than twenty-four hours after Apple unveiled ch">ResearchKit, the open source medical framework had received thousands of sign-ups, according to Bloomberg. The report claims that Stanford University researchers awoke on Tuesday morning, the day after Apple's "Spring Forward" media event, to discover that 11,000 people signed up for MyHeart Counts, a cardiovascular disease app built using ResearchKit.“To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health. “That’s the power of the phone.”ResearchKit is an open source software framework aimed at revolutionizing medical studies by making them more readily available to millions of iPhone users worldwide. When given permission, the framework uses the iPhone's various sensors to collect user data such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use, information that Apple hopes will open up new possibilities for researchers. Apple will also enable users to answer surveys and input data directly from ResearchKit apps, although researchers caution that information collected from an iPhone user may be misleading due to various potential flaws. For starters, the report claims that iPhone users are more likely to have a graduate or doctoral degree than Android users, and the demographic differences can allegedly skew the results. “Just collecting lots of information about people -- who may or may not have a particular disease, and may or may not represent the typical

New Report Provides Look Into Apple's Secret Lab for Apple Watch Developers

Three weeks ago, it was reported that Apple was inviting developers to the company's Cupertino headquarters to receive help finalizing Apple Watch apps. A new report from Bloomberg Business provides a look into the secret lab where Apple is helping developers, offering a look at Apple's strategy for Apple Watch apps as well as the security around the project. Developers from Facebook, BMW, Starwood Hotels and others have been making multiple trips to Cupertino, with each visit requiring confidentiality. Apple, which will share more details about the gadget at a March 9 event, uses extreme measures to keep the work secret. Internet access is blocked inside the rooms, and no outside materials can be brought in to the labs with the test watches, a person who attended said. The companies, sometimes sharing a room, must bring in source code for their apps on a computer hard drive that can't leave Apple's headquarters. To prevent information from leaking out, Apple is storing the code and sending it to the companies closer to the watch's introduction date, the person said.The unreleased Apple Watch is also available for the developers to test out their apps, allowing them to check for glitches and optimize user experience for the Digital Crown and Force Touch, two of the watch's unique interface options. One of the challenges for both Apple and its developers has been to balance the apps so that they are useful but not annoying. Apple has recommended that developers be "judicious" about interrupting users with alerts that would constantly buzz or drain the battery.

Apple Delaying Production on Larger-Screened 'iPad Pro' Until September

Apple has opted to delay production on the rumored larger-screened "iPad Pro" due to issues with display panel supply, reports Bloomberg. Manufacturing on the tablet will reportedly begin in September, rather than earlier in the year.Production of the 12.9-inch-screen iPad is now scheduled to start around September because of delays involving the supply of display panels, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren't public. Apple had initially planned to begin making the larger version this quarter, people familiar those plans had said.This isn't the first time that rumors have hinted at delays for the iPad Pro. Apple was said to be targeting an early 2015 release date for the tablet last year, but those plans were reportedly put on hold. Back in October, The Wall Street Journal said that Apple had opted to delay mass production on the iPad in order to focus on iPhone 6 Plus production, and in November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said production could be delayed until Q2 2015 because of difficulties related to the production of display components. With production delayed until September, the tablet could see a release in late 2015. Rendering of the iPad Pro by Martin Hajek Apple is planning to use the "iPad Pro," as the media calls it, to boost its flagging iPad sales. The tablet is expected to measure in somewhere between 12.2 and 12.9 inches, dwarfing both the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and the 7.9-inch iPad mini 3. It may be targeted at the enterprise market, and rumors have suggested it could sport an "ultra"

Apple Aiming to Begin Electric Car Production in 2020

Apple is hoping to begin production on the car project that it is secretly developing as early as 2020, reports Bloomberg. According to the site's sources, Apple is pushing employees working on the car to have it ready to go in five years, a timeline that will eventually allow it to compete with similar electric vehicles coming out from Tesla and GM in 2017.The timeframe -- automakers typically spend five to seven years developing a car -- underscores the project's aggressive goals and could set the stage for a battle for customers with Tesla Motors Inc. and General Motors Co., both of which are targeting a 2017 release of an electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000.Apple's electric car plans first came to light last week, after The Wall Street Journal shared news of "Project Titan," an electric vehicle that hundreds of Apple employees are working on. Apple has been heavily recruiting automotive experts to join the project and plans to have a team of about 1,000 employees developing the car. Bloomberg says the team currently has about 200 members. Tesla Model X Over the course of the last few months, the company has picked up employees from companies like Tesla, Ford, GM, A123 Systems, MIT Motorsports, Ogin, Autoliv, Concept Systems, and General Dynamics. As with The Wall Street Journal's initial report, Bloomberg's report is quick to point out that that Apple could decide to delay or abandon its car project all together if the company is unhappy with its progress. Apple works on many prototype projects that

Sony Planning to Launch E-Paper Smartwatch in 2015

A new report from Bloomberg indicates Sony may be gearing up to produce a new line of smartwatches for release next year. The report states the new watch will focus on design and customization over the technological prowess of watches like the yet-to-be-released Apple Watch and Sony's own SmartWatch 3. Sony's just-released SmartWatch 3, a more traditional smartwatch The upcoming Sony device will use an e-paper display in lieu of a traditional LCD or OLED smartwatch screen and, according to Bloomberg, and the display will cover the entire surface of the watch and band.The watch’s face and wrist band will be made from a patented material that allows the entire surface area to function as a display and change its appearance, the people said, asking not to be named because it hasn’t been announced.Sony also hopes the e-paper display's outdoor friendly view-ability advantage over other display technologies will attract consumers. The device will emphasize style, according to Bloomberg's sources, rather than attempting to out-perform technological offerings in the increasingly crowded smart watch field. The watch is said to be part of Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai's recent initiative to fast-track promising products and attempt to regain the culture of innovation the company was known for in years past.“The innovation program is very important, but it will take time and require some risk-taking,” said Sadao Nagaoka, a professor at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo who studies innovation and serves as an economic adviser to Japan’s Patent Office. “It’s not that Sony ran

Apple to Collect Fee From Banks for Every Purchase Made with Apple Pay

Apple will collect a fee from banks every time consumers use the company's new Apple Pay payments solution, reports Bloomberg. Citing three individuals close to the matter, the report notes that Apple struck individual deals with each bank it has partnered with. Those banks include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and more. While that gives the tech company a share of the more than $40 billion that banks generate annually from so-called swipe fees, lenders expect to benefit as consumers spend more of their money via mobile phones and other digital devices, the person said. The sources cited did not specify the exact size of the fee, noting that it could vary or be tied to the value of the purchases made by the consumer. During its announcement today, Apple stated that Apple Pay would be enabled at over 220,000 U.S. merchants including McDonalds, Macy's, Walgreens, Nike, and more. Apple Pay will also be compatible with American Express, Mastercard, and Visa credit and debit cards. Apple Pay utilizes the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a new "Secure Element" functionality, and the NFC antenna on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in conjunction with a credit card stored on iTunes to make payments. Apple Pay will also be compatible with the Apple Watch when it launches early next

Apple Now Creating TV Ads Internally, Still Collaborating With Longtime Ad Agency

A new report by Bloomberg highlights how Apple has shifted to producing more of its recent TV ads internally as opposed to relying on its longtime ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day and its iPhone unit, Media Arts Lab. The report notes that Apple's changes came after marketing chief Phil Schiller considered ending its partnership with TBWA in January 2013, as previously shown in leaked emails during the company's second patent trial with Samsung. The relationship between the two companies had been strong for many years, as Chiat/Day and Apple famously worked on the iconic '1984' ad for the Macintosh. The effectiveness of Apple's relationship with TBWA/Chiat/Day reportedly started to weaken after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011. While the ads for Siri involving various celebrities were positively received by consumers, Apple's 'Genius' TV spots were poorly received and pulled from TV and YouTube soon after. Instead of parting ways with TBWA however, Apple began building its own ad team, notably hiring ad veteran Tyler Whisnand away from Media Arts Lab to head its creative team. Apple also hired renowned music director David Taylor and a number of other veteran advertising executives to fill out its team. Meanwhile, TBWA made changes internally, promoting James Vincent, who had a working relationship with the late Steve Jobs, to CEO while extracting him from day-to-day operations. Since then, both Apple's in-house ad team and TBWA have worked on a number of successful ads, with the former creating the initial "Your Verse" iPad TV ad that aired this past January, and

Apple's Mobile Phone Market Share in Japan Rises Above 36% in Q1 2014

Apple saw its share of the Japanese mobile phone market rise to 36.6% in the first quarter of 2014 amid surging sales on the country's largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, reports Bloomberg. The company shipped 14.43 million phones in Japan in the past fiscal year and saw its market share increase 11.1% from 25.5% in the year-ago quarter. Apple's market share in the country was followed by Sharp and Sony, which accounted for 13% and 12.3% of the market, respectively. Rival Samsung owned the sixth-biggest market share with 5.7%. The debut of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on NTT DoCoMo last Fall marked the first time that Apple's phones were offered on the carrier. Citing the absence of the iPhone, a report last July pointed to a loss of 3.2 million users for NTT DoCoMo over the last four and a half years. DoCoMo's troubles continued in September with a record loss of 66,800 subscribers, which was attributed to a lack of iPhone 5s stock. Since then however, DoCoMo has enjoyed surging sales of the iPhone, as Apple's device now accounts for more than 40% of phone sales on the network. Last October, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c also accounted for 76% of smartphone sales in Japan, marking a record high. All three major Japanese carriers including DoCoMo, SoftBank, and KDDI have been offering the iPhone 5s free on contract through special offers since its launch in

Nintendo Finally Considers Smartphone Move After Third Straight Annual Loss

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated in a press conference that the company is now considering a "new business structure" that involves smart devices, reports Bloomberg. Wii U GamePad controller The news comes as Nintendo reported a third consecutive annual loss, slashing the global sales forecast for its flagship Wii U game console from 9 million units to 2.8 million consoles. The company also scaled back its expectations for its 3DS portable game console from 18 million units to 13.5 million, with Iwata also claiming that there are no short term plans to reshuffle management."We are thinking about a new business structure," Iwata said at a press conference yesterday in Osaka, Japan. "Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone." Nintendo has faced fierce competition from mobile platforms in recent years, with App Annie recently finding that consumer spending on games for iOS and Android rose to 4x that of dedicated gaming handhelds. In 2010, Iwata reportedly told his senior executives to regard Apple and its devices as "the enemy of the future", and also stated to CVG last August that he would "never think about providing [Nintendo’s] precious resources for other platforms at all." Investors have also called for Nintendo to develop titles for iOS and other platforms in August 2011 after lower-than-expected demand for the 3DS. Alternatively, some also suggested that Nintendo should "buy its way into" the smartphone