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Steve Jobs Planned to Work on Apple TV Set After Stepping Down as Apple CEO

When Steve Jobs stepped down from his position as Apple CEO on August 24, 2011 due to illness, he didn't intend to leave the company. Instead Jobs told Recode's Walt Mossberg he planned work on an Apple-branded television set to re-invent the television industry. Recode today shared a full recounting of Jobs' conversation with Mossberg, which took place on the same day that Jobs left the company. The two discussed his plans for television experience that would be "fantastic." "He was going to still be involved. Their press release made some vague nod toward that. But he wanted me to know that he was going to be involved in big strategic things, and also that he was going to reserve one particular thing for himself." "I said, 'well, what's that?'" "He said, 'Well, it's television ... I think we figured out a way to do it, and it's going to be fantastic. I want you to come out, in a few months, and I want to show it to you.'"According to Mossberg, Jobs didn't share in-depth information about his television ambitions, offering no details on hardware or programming, but Mossberg believes he was talking about a full integrated television set and software experience. Mossberg says Jobs was "really excited" about the project and he came away with the sense that Jobs was going to "reinvent the whole TV set" at the conclusion of the conversation. Unfortunately, Jobs didn't get a chance to further pursue the television project because he passed away from pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011, less than two months after stepping down as CEO. Jobs famously made

Apple Working on Digital Television Guide for Apple TV

Apple is working with television content providers and video companies to create a universal digital TV guide for the Apple TV and iOS devices, reports Recode. Apple's goal is to help users discover all of the different television channels that are available through dedicated apps from companies like HBO, Netflix, and ESPN without the need to open up each app. The digital TV guide would also include a feature allowing users to play TV shows and movies with one click. Last year, after Apple shelved its plans for a streaming television service, it shifted its strategy to the tvOS App Store, positioning it as a way for content providers to share their own content on Apple's platform. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that he believes the future of TV is apps.Industry sources say Apple's plans are an outgrowth of the TV service it wanted to launch last year. The difference is that in 2015, Apple wanted to sell TV programming directly to consumers, and provide them with a new interface that would make it easy find the stuff they paid for. Now Apple is just working on the interface. It is letting programmers, distributors and customers work out the money part among themselves.According to Recode, the single sign-on feature that's bundled into tvOS 10 is the first part of Apple's TV guide plan. Single sign-on will allow customers with a cable subscription to sign into the Apple TV once and access all of the apps that are available through cable authentication. Apple already has access to information about the television content within apps to power Siri's

Apple Pay to Work With Mobile Websites Later This Year

Apple is planning to expand Apple Pay to allow iOS users to make purchases from websites later this year, reports Re/code. With the change, Apple Pay will be available to customers who visit websites and make purchases using the Safari browser on iPads and iPhones. Currently, Apple Pay can be used to make purchases in brick and mortar stores and in third-party apps that support the service. Expanding Apple Pay to the Safari browser will alleviate the need for customers to download a store's app to make a payment with Apple Pay, resulting in a payment service that is more convenient and more closely resembles services like PayPal. Apple is also said to be considering making Apple Pay available on Macs, but it is not clear how that would work without a fingerprint sensor.The service will be available to shoppers using the Safari browser on models of iPhones and iPads that possess Apple's TouchID fingerprint technology, these people said. Apple has also considered making the service available on Apple laptops and desktops, too, though it's not clear if the company will launch that capability.As when using Apple Pay to make a payment in an app, customers who make a purchase from mobile Safari will be able to do so without entering an address or a payment method, as that information is provided by Apple Pay and authenticated through a fingerprint. Apple is said to be telling partner websites that the new Apple Pay feature will be available before the holiday shopping season, and Re/code believes an announcement could potentially happen at this year's Worldwide

Apple Working to Create its Own Cloud Storage Infrastructure

Apple is working on building its own cloud infrastructure to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, according to information shared by Re/code and VentureBeat. A project called "McQueen" is underway at Apple, with a team of employees working to create an in-house cloud storage system.According to a source familiar with the matter, Apple already has a team working on this; it's known internally as "McQueen," as in Steve. It's unclear if that project will materialize or when. But a source tells Re/code that the codename refers to Apple's intent, sometime in the next few years, to break its reliance on all three outside cloud providers in favor of its own soup-to-nuts infrastructure.According to VentureBeat, Apple is unhappy with AWS's inability to quickly load photos and videos onto iOS devices, something its own cloud system could fix. Apple executives reportedly believe that creating a full cloud infrastructure could pay for itself within three years. Estimates suggest Apple spends upwards of $1 billion on cloud services each year.Project McQueen kicked off after a conversation between a Microsoft employee and an Apple employee, the source said. Azure won't be able to handle the growth of Apple's workloads in the future, meaning Apple would have to pay much more in order to help Microsoft cover the cost of expanding Azure's data center infrastructure, the Microsoft person told the Apple person.Apple is already investing significant money into building new data centers around the world and is said to be

Apple's Media Event to Be Held March 21, Not March 15

Re/code reports that the much anticipated Apple Media event will actually fall during the week of March 21st, not on March 15th, as originally rumored. Or to put it another way, it’s not going to be on March 15, the time frame that other outlets previously reported, according to several sources. It is not clear if the event was moved or if this was the same timing as Apple had always planned.Curiously, the delayed date was first floated by Korean site Underkg earlier this week.The event, previously known to take place in March 15th, is pushed back a week to March 22nd if our source is correct. Apple allegedly have sent notifications to leave the schedule available from the 21st to 23rd, making us guess that the event will occur a week after the original known date.The date change had been largely ignored at the time due to the unproven source of the rumor, but it appears that Re/code has confirmed the new date according to "several sources". Besides the 4-inch iPhone SE, Apple is also expected to introduce a new 9.7" iPad (possibly dubbed as the iPad Pro), and new Apple Watch bands. Update: According to BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski, Apple's media event will take place on Monday, March 21, likely at Apple's Town Hall in Cupertino. The event will be held one day before Apple is scheduled to stand off against the FBI in

Apple's TV Plans Fell Apart Over Content Owners' Resistance to Skinny Bundles

Following comments made by CBS CEO Les Moonves on the state of Apple's rumored television service, news leaked confirming Apple has put plans for such a service on hold for the time being due to difficulties securing content deals. While Bloomberg spoke to a source that chalked the failed negotiations up to media companies demanding more money than Apple wanted to charge for the service, Re/code's Peter Kafka has added some additional context, pointing towards a reluctance to unbundle channels as another factor that killed the service. Apple was hoping to offer a limited bundle of approximately 25 channels at a price of $30 to $40 per month, but even early on, there was pushback from content providers who wanted Apple to offer all of their content rather than just a few select channels. A rumor in April concerning negotiations between Disney and Apple suggested Disney was pushing Apple to include most of its content, including ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and more, while Apple wanted to offer just a few of Disney's channels. According to Kafka, the situation with Disney happened with other content providers, many of whom did not want to offer just a small selection of channels from their content catalogs.Apple's beef with the TV Industrial Complex is a bit more nuanced. It's also a significant one: If Apple gets its way, TV will undergo a significant change, just like the music business did when Apple launched its iTunes store in 2003. [...] If Apple gets its way, it means the traditional pay TV package, which averages

Apple Executive Jeff Williams to Speak at Code Conference in Late May

Apple's Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams will speak at the annual Code Conference, held this May 26-28 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, reports Re/code. Williams joined Apple in 1998 and leads a team responsible for the company's supply chain management, and during the past two years has also overseen development of the Apple Watch and health initiatives such as ResearchKit. Apple executives Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi spoke at the inaugural Code Conference last year, with Cue discussing how today's TV experience "sucks" and is a complicated problem to solve. Code Conference is a successor to the D: All Things Digital Conference that Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, among other Apple executives, have participated in the past before Dow Jones closed technology website AllThingsD and replaced it with WSJD. Williams will participate in Code Conference just over one month after the Apple Watch launch, which some customers believe has not gone as smoothly as past product releases due to, among other reasons, limited supply and no in-store availability. Much of the criticism has been directed towards Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts, although Williams is directly in charge of Apple Watch development and manages the worldwide supply chain. His interview at Code Conference may offer more details about the launch. Other notable Code Conference speakers announced include GM CEO Mary Barra, Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and editor-in-chief Ben Smith, Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, Reddit interim CEO Ellen

Apple Looking for TV Networks to Bear Streaming Costs for Upcoming TV Service

For its upcoming streaming TV service, Apple is asking its content partners to take on the job of streaming television shows and movies to its customers, reports Re/code. Rather than hosting streaming content itself, Apple is requesting that its partners build out the necessary infrastructure and take on the related costs.Apple is asking TV networks to handle the responsibility and cost of the streaming infrastructure associated with its Web video service, industry executives say. That issue is one of many unresolved questions about the proposed service, which Apple would like to launch next fall but can't until it lines up programming deals.Negotiations for the streaming service are reportedly being conducted by iTunes chief Eddy Cue, who has told networks and potential partners that Apple wants to concentrate on software and hardware, areas where it excels, while leaving infrastructure concerns in the hands of people who are better suited to handle it. According to Re/code, the request isn't unusual because content that users stream from existing Apple TV channels and iOS apps is handled by the networks that provide the content, through partnerships with content delivery networks like EdgeCast. Though streaming services aren't overly expensive, at approximately 5 cents per hour per stream, the idea of dealing with the demand of an Apple television service available to millions has "given executives pause." In addition to leaving infrastructure concerns to those with more experience, a source that spoke to Re/code believes that it's also possible Apple is hoping

Apple in Talks With Content Providers for Web-Based TV Service

Rumors about Apple's television plans have died down in recent months as no new product has appeared, but the company hasn't given up on TV. According to industry executives that spoke to Re/code, Apple is in talks with television programmers over deals that would see the company offering a web-based TV service. Such a service would potentially allow Apple to deliver customized television packages that would be streamed over the Internet, providing access to a bundle of channels from participating content providers. The service would not include a full lineup of channels like traditional cable, but it would offer a range of content delivered by Apple with its own interface on devices like the Apple TV. The theory is that Apple would put together bundles of programming -- but not the entire TV lineup that pay TV providers generally offer -- and sell it directly to consumers, over the Web. That means Apple wouldn't be reinventing the way TV works today, but offering its own version of it, with its own interface and user experience.Apple is reportedly far enough along in the development of such a service that it has been showing potential programming partners demos, but talks remain in the early stages -- pricing and a potential release timeline are unknown. Apple originally had very ambitious plans for revamping television, which included a desire to create a subscription television service that would replace existing cable subscription packages, but was unable to move forward with that idea due to pushback from content providers. After a string of failed

Samsung Eyeing LoopPay as Partner for Mobile Payment System to Rival Apple Pay

Samsung may be developing a mobile payment system to rival Apple Pay, reports Re/code. The Korean handset manufacturer reportedly is negotiating with payments startup LoopPay about the system, which it plans to debut it in 2015. The combined Samsung and LoopPay system would allow customers to wave their Samsung phones at payment terminals instead of swiping credit cards or paying with cash or check. Samsung could leverage NFC in its phones and use that standard to wirelessly process payments. A partnership with LoopPay could expand the service to a variety of new and old payment terminals. The LoopPay technology mimics a card swipe by recording payment information from a card's magnetic strip and transmitting those details to a retail card reader. Since LoopPay does not require NFC or any other wireless standard, the LoopPay system can be used at most payment terminals capable of swiping credit cards. Similar to Apple Pay, the Samsung system also may adopt tokenization to secure the transaction and may include fingerprint recognition technology, which Samsung has included on its latest Galaxy S5 smartphone. Apple Pay rolled out in October of this year and interest in the service has remained strong. A recent expansion added banks such as TD Bank and retailers such as Staples. With this latest boost in adoption, Apple Pay now supports cards representing about 90 percent of U.S. credit card purchases by volume.

Apple Pushing for $5 Beats Music Subscriptions as Spotify Debuts Discounted Family Plan

As previously reported, Apple plans to relaunch its recently acquired Beats Music subscription early next year and hopes to offer the service with with a lowered monthly cost. According to new "industry scuttlebut" relayed to Re/code, Apple is pushing music labels to cut streaming music subscription prices in half to $5 per month.The logic of Apple’s argument, relayed by people who’ve heard the pitch secondhand: Apple’s best iTunes buyers spend about $60 a year on downloaded music — $5 a month. So if subscription services dropped that low, any download buyers that switched over to the streaming model would generate just as much revenue for the music labels. And, more important, the market of potential subscribers would get much larger.Any reduction offered to Apple would be available to other services, making it less likely music industry executives would approve of a 50 percent discount. Re/code notes Apple will more likely meet the music labels in the middle with a monthly fee in the range of $7-8. While Apple negotiates the terms for its Beats Music streaming service, rival Spotify is upping the ante with a new Spotify Family plan. Similar to Rdio's Unlimited Family plan, Spotify Family allows a premium subscriber to add up to four additional members for $4.99/month each, a 50 percent discount off the regular $9.99 individual premium plan. Spotify announced the family plans today and will roll then out globally in the coming

No Retina MacBook Air Introduction Planned for Apple's October 16 Media Event

With rumors of a new 12-inch Retina MacBook Air circulating in recent months and the latest reports suggesting small-scale production has already begun, many have been wondering about Apple's plans for introducing the product. According to a new report from Re/code, the Retina MacBook Air will not be unveiled at this Thursday's media event. Apple may well have a new MacBook Air with Retina Display in the pipeline, but it’s not going to unveil it this week. Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell me that the company’s latest reimagining of the ultralight laptop won’t be shown off at its Thursday event.In line with previous rumors, the report claims Thursday's event will focus on new iPads, Retina iMacs, and OS X Yosemite. One source has also claimed updated Mac minis could appear at the event, but there has been little additional chatter about the possibility. Apple's media event kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Thursday, and MacRumors will have full live coverage of the proceedings. There are likely to be additional leaks and rumors in the final lead-up to the event, so stay tuned as Apple prepares to finalize its product lineup for the holiday shopping

Apple Hires Longtime Technology Journalist Anand Lal Shimpi

After announcing his departure from AnandTech, veteran technology journalist Anand Lal Shimpi will join Apple in an undisclosed role, reports Re/code. A representative for Apple confirmed that Shimpi would be joining the company, but also declined to provide any further details. Image credit: Anandtech Shimpi launched AnandTech in 1997 and established the website's reputation around in-depth analysis and reviews on a number of topics from the world of technology, including posts on Apple's line of desktops, notebooks, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and accessories. In his farewell post on AnandTech published yesterday, Shimpi stated that he "won't stay idle forever" and added that there are "a bunch of challenges out

Apple Close to Acquiring Radio Streaming Service Swell for $30 Million

Apple is close to acquiring talk radio curation service Swell for about $30 million, reports Re/code. Swell's iOS app launched last year and allows users to listen to streaming audio from iTunes, NPR, ABC, ESPN and others through a design that emphasizes simplicity. As a part of the acquisition, Swell will shut down its iOS app this week as its CEO Ram Ramkumar and other members of its development team will join Apple. Apple will likely look to use Swell's technology to improve its own Podcasts app, which holds a 1.5 star rating and has been widely criticized for performance issues. Users of Podcasts also experienced an outage last month, as the app constantly crashed upon opening. Swell's iOS app Apple's purchase of Swell follows the acquisition of "Pandora for Books" startup BookLamp in April for a reported sum between $10 million and $15 million, as the company also acquired Beats Electronics this past May for $3 billion. It was revealed in the company's Q3 2014 results earnings call that it had acquired 29 companies since beginning of 2013, with 5 coming from beginning of March quarter, not including Beats. Update 7/29 12 PM PT: Apple has confirmed its acquisition of Swell in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.

Eddy Cue: Steve Jobs Would Be 'Extremely Proud' of Apple's Current and Future Products

Apple's SVP of Internet Services Eddy Cue and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine spoke on the impact of Steve Jobs on Apple during an interview with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher yesterday at the Re/code Code Conference. While the pair noted that a transition was inevitable after Jobs' death, both spoke on Apple's commitment to quality and putting together an exceptional executive team. When asked about the late-cofounder, Cue noted that Jobs wanted to "create a culture that was going to last longer than he was going to be CEO." Cue also maintained that the company's values remain in strong attention to every detail and putting product quality first, all while "doing a few things and doing them really great." Cue was also asked if Apple had to go through a "reset" period when Jobs passed away three years ago and his current feelings on the company: I never felt like we had a reset. I feel like we have an amazing executive team, many of us who have been there for a long time, working together as a team, building those products whether it's hardware, software, services, completely integrated. Look, Steve was a great friend, a great mentor, I miss him, you can't say it doesn't mean anything from that standpoint; but when I look at what he set up at Apple and what we're doing, I think he'd be extremely proud of the all the work we're doing today and the products we're building, and I think we're continuing a lot of the legacy he built. Iovine also commented on the former CEO, praising Apple's executive team and stating that

iTunes Hits New Milestones, Will Help Leverage Growth of Beats' 250,000 Subscriber Base

Speaking at today's Re/code Code Conference, Apple's SVP of internet services Eddy Cue and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine shared some new numbers on iTunes and Beats Music in the wake of today's acquisition. Apple internet chief Eddy Cue (left) and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine (right) Cue mentioned that the iTunes Store and iTunes Radio hit new milestones, with the former selling its 35 billionth song and the latter now including over 40 million listeners around the world. Speaking on the newly formed relationship between Apple and Beats, Cue noted that Apple's great rapport with artists, data on listening habits, and 800 million iTunes accounts with credit cards attached contributes a great deal. "We think all of those things, when you put them all together, it's on steroids with us together," he expressed. Meanwhile, Iovine announced that Beats Music, currently limited to the U.S., now has 250,000 subscribers since it launched three months ago. A report earlier this month pegged the service's subscriber base at just 110,000 during the month of March, illustrating how the service has grown since then. By contrast, rival music streaming service Spotify reported earlier this month that it has 10 million paying subscribers worldwide. Iovine added that Beats made a mistake by not offering in-app purchases from the start, and stated that 5 million people have "visited" the service since it launched. After today's announcement, the Beats Music iOS app was updated with an extended 14-day trial period and a price drop to its yearly subscription to $100 from

Virgin Atlantic to Integrate iBeacon Technology Into London's Heathrow Airport

Virgin Atlantic is reportedly gearing up to integrate Apple's iBeacon technology into London's Heathrow Airport, according to Re/code. The airliner will be using beacons sourced from startup Estimote, as the transmitters will be deployed near businesses and terminals to notify users of promotional deals and areas of interest. An Estimote Beacon In one use case, passengers would receive an offer on their phone for no-fee currency exchange as they near that place of business. The program, which will utilize Apple’s iBeacon technology and the Passbook iOS app, follows a trial in which airline employees donned Google Glass as they greeted first-class passengers upon entering the airport. First introduced during Apple's 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference, iBeacons enable iOS devices to wirelessly communicate with physical beacons through Bluetooth, as the transmitters are able to deliver specific information to apps when a user is nearby. iBeacon technology has also been utilized in a number of unique ways since the end of 2013. Shopping app Shopkick and Macy's teamed up to integrate the technology into stores to aide consumers, while Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have used iBeacons to provide enhanced in-stadium experiences. Apple has even implemented iBeacons into its own retail stores to provide customers with product information and deals, while a London-based cafe and the Consumer Electronics Show have also featured the

Apple Mulled Acquisition Offer for Square, but Deal Looks Unlikely for Now

With a goal to overhaul the online payments industry and a new revolving credit facility worth $200 million, analysts and technology pundits are wondering where Square is headed next. At least one theory proposed by Re/code explores the possibility of an Apple acquisition. Both Apple and Google have been rumored to be in talks with Square in the past year about a possible acquisition, but no firm offers have been made. Square is not actively trying to sell the company, but insider sources claims it would entertain a premium offer, unless it was from Google. Either way, a sale to Google would disappoint [founder and CEO Jack] Dorsey, according to multiple people familiar with his thinking. For one, he was reportedly put off by Google after being involved in acquisition talks between his former company, Twitter, and the search giant. He also believes, sources said, that his company’s design aesthetic and values match up much more closely with Apple than Google. Square has close ties to Apple, with its hardware chief Jesse Dorogusker leaving his position as director of engineering for iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories at Apple to join the mobile payments startup. A Square acquisition would be beneficial for both Apple and Square, claims Re/code. Square's future would be secured by Apple's cash reserves and its favorable position in retail, while Apple would be able to use Square's payment expertise to jumpstart any plans it has for a mobile payment system. Apple, though, may be ready to enable online purchases via an iPhone, but it likely is not ready for the robust