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Apple to Add Support for Subscription Content in Apple News App

Apple is planning to add subscription content from publishers with paywalls to its Apple News app, reports Reuters. This will allow sites that require subscriptions or memberships to view content to have more control over who reads their articles, but it will also introduce barriers for readers. All content on Apple News is available for free with the existing model, but with support for subscriptions, publishers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal could limit the number of free articles Apple News users can access before requiring them to subscribe. With no support for subscription content, publishers are limited on how they can make money through Apple News. Existing subscriber-only sites currently share their articles for free or offer only an excerpt, directing readers to a website to read the full content. Publishers are said to be unhappy with the information Apple provides them about readers, so this paywall compromise could soothe relationships and give publishers new ways to gain potential subscribers."Ensuring subscription mechanisms in our off-platform distribution partnerships is critical," said Katie Vanneck-Smith, chief customer officer of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones is working with Apple and others to take advantage of new platforms, she added. She declined to comment on the specifics of conversations with Apple.Apple's decision to allow subscription content in the Apple News app may not be popular with Apple News readers, but it's a feature that will allow Apple to differentiate itself from other news

Electric Motorcycle Startup Mission Motors Ceases Operations After Losing Talent to Apple

Electric motorcycle startup Mission Motors has ceased operations after losing some of its key talent to competitors such as Apple, and failing to develop a viable business model, according to Reuters."Mission had a great group of engineers, specifically electric drive expertise," [former CEO Derek] Kaufman said. "Apple knew that - they wanted it, and they went and got it."The report claims about six engineers from the San Francisco-based startup were recruited by Apple since last autumn, and the company's assets are now controlled by its largest investor Infield Capital. Mission Motorcycles, a related company created to sell the electric motorcycles, is reportedly in the process of filing for bankruptcy. Apple never attempted to acquire Mission Motors outright, according to Kaufman, instead drawing from its pool of specialized engineers working on electric drive systems and battery algorithms for charging and cooling. Mission Motors was founded in 2007 with ambitions to create a world-class electric motorcycle, and it launched an early prototype in 2013 to positive reviews. The company was reportedly often cash strapped, however, and some investors backed out as engineers left for competitors. Mission Motors never released an electric motorcycle for sale to consumers. Apple has been rumored to be working on an electric vehicle, codenamed "Project Titan," for several months, with its secretive automotive team reportedly including former employees from Tesla, Ford, GM, A123 Systems, Samsung and other competitors. Earlier this year, it reached a settlement with

Apple Making Big Hiring Push in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Apple is stepping up its efforts to recruit employees focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning, reports Reuters. The report suggests Apple is looking to challenge Google's lead in features such as Google Now that learn to anticipate smartphone users' needs, something Apple is starting to address in iOS 9 with its new "Proactive" feature.As part of its push, the company is currently trying to hire at least 86 more employees with expertise in the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning, according to a recent analysis of Apple job postings. The company has also stepped up its courtship of machine-learning PhD's, joining Google, Amazon, Facebook and others in a fierce contest, leading academics say.Apple's machine learning efforts are in large part built with Siri in mind, and Siri should play an important role in this Wednesday's media event, as indicated by the event invitation's tagline.Many of the currently posted positions are slated for software efforts, from building on Siri’s smarts to the burgeoning search features in iOS. The company is also hiring machine learning experts for divisions such as product marketing and retail, suggesting a broad-based effort to capitalize on data.Reuters notes that Apple faces a challenge with machine learning due to its focus on privacy and reluctance to tap into all possible data sources. For example, with the Proactive features of iOS 9, Apple is primarily keeping all of the data and analysis on the user's phone, enhancing privacy but limiting some of what can be learned from data passed to the

Apple Sells Over 1 Million Apple Watches in China, Increases 'iPhone 6s' Orders Ahead of Launch

Apple is believed to have sold over over 1.07 million Apple Watches in China, according to data analysis company TalkingData (via Business Insider). The company uses a monitoring platform supported by over 80,000 mobile apps -- including the country's most popular app WeChat, with over 1 billion registered users -- to receive its data. Many remain curious as to how many Apple Watches the company has sold specifically, but Apple continues to remain firm on not assigning a tangible number to the sales figures of its new wearable device. After a few weeks of speculation, in July CEO Tim Cook gave the closest hint to the success of the Apple Watch, stating that its sales had "exceeded expectations" at the company. Also of note today is a new report from Japan Display Inc. CEO Mitsuru Homma, who stated that the display manufacturer's "biggest client" is ramping up orders ahead of an upcoming launch for the unnamed company's newest smartphone (via Reuters). JPI has been known to work with Apple in the past, and was reported earlier in the year to be seeking a partnership with the Cupertino company in becoming its go-to manufacturer for iPhone screens with a $1.7 billion display plant. Mitsuru Homma, who was appointed CEO in June, said weakness in China's smartphone market, the world's biggest, amid that country's broader economic slowdown was not affecting the orders for display screens it was getting from its top client. "They're coming to us with more orders, saying 'give us more, give us more'. They keep increasing," he told Reuters in an interview. Homma fielded

Apple Hiring Autonomous Vehicle Experts, Including Tesla Engineer Now Working on 'Special Projects'

Apple recently hired a senior engineer from Tesla Motors, presumably to work on its secret car project. As highlighted by Reuters, former Tesla Motors Autopilot Firmware Manager Jamie Carlson's LinkedIn page says he now works at Apple on "Special Projects." His profile doesn't go into detail on what he did for Tesla, but he was working on the company's autonomous vehicle firmware project and could be taking on a similar automotive firmware role at Apple. Reuters also points out several other previously unknown hires with similar expertise in autonomous driving, including Megan McClain, a former Volkswagen engineer, Vinay Palakkode, a graduate researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, and Xianqiao Tong, who developed driver assistance systems for NVIDIA. On their respecitve LinkedIn pages, McClain is listed as a Mechanical Design Engineer, Palakkode is listed as an engineer working within Apple's Special Projects Group, and Tong is listed as an R&D engineer. Last fall, Apple also hired Sanjai Massey, a Ford engineer who worked on connected and autonomous vehicles, Stefan Weber, a Bosch engineer who worked on driver assistance systems, and Lech Szumilas, a Delphi research scientist with former expertise in autonomous vehicles. Rumors have thus far disagreed over whether Apple's secret car project includes self-driving technology, but it's possible the company is exploring multiple avenues of development as the project is still in its early stages. A previous report from Reuters citing a source within the automotive industry suggested Apple was working on a

Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant

Foreign display manufacturer Japan Display Inc. (JDI) is seeking to be Apple's next go-to source for iPhone screens in the future, according to someone "familiar with the matter" (via The Wall Street Journal). With the increase in profit overseas, especially following Apple's attempt at a bigger presence in places like China over the past few months, the source reported that JDI is hoping Apple takes much of the cost for the proposed plant's investment. As pointed out by Reuters, JDI is aiming for the plant to be operable by next year, and hopes Apple itself would pay much of the predicted 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion) cost of the project. “We are reviewing various considerations to strengthen our business competitiveness, including new factories, but we haven’t made any decision yet,” Japan Display said in a statement Friday. Apple declined to comment. The unnamed source continued to describe the plant's possible location, stating that Ishikawa, in central Japan, is "most likely" the site for the manufacturing plant. JDI runs a plant southeast of Tokyo, in Mobara, "which makes 50,000 of the 1.5 by 1.85 metre sheets a month for iPhone 6 screens and other uses." According to the source, the new plant would have a "greater capacity" than even JDI's Mobara facility. JDI, formed from the troubled display portions of Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp, and Hitachi Ltd, has already seen a resurgence of profit after two consecutive quarter losses thanks to increasing demand from Apple-related devices. Now it wants a bigger contract with the Cupertino-based company - and its record-

Apple's Automobile Project Said to Include Self-Driving Cars

Following up on yesterday's series of reports about a "top-secret research team" at Apple working on an electric car, Reuters now weighs in with its own source claiming the project involves a self-driving electric car.Technology giant Apple is learning how to make a self-driving electric car and is talking to experts at carmakers and automotive suppliers, an automotive source familiar with the talks said on Saturday. The Cupertino, California-based maker of phones, computers and watches is exploring how to make an entire vehicle, not just designing automotive software or individual components, the source said. "They don't appear to want a lot of help from carmakers," the source, who declined to be named, said.The source's of claim of self-driving capabilities for the vehicle directly contradicts yesterday's Wall Street Journal report, which specifically stated a self-driving car was not part of the effort. Reuters' source is from the automotive industry rather than at Apple directly, so it is unclear how complete the source's information is. Apple would not be the only major technology company working on self-driving cars, as Google has been working on such a project for a number of years and has made significant progress in the area. Major car manufacturers are also working hard on technology that would make their cars at least somewhat autonomous. Google's prototype self-driving car Yesterday's report from The Wall Street Journal provided a fair bit of detail on Apple's efforts, noting that Tim Cook approved the project last year. Former Ford engineer

14 Major U.S. Hospitals Now Using HealthKit as Apple Adds Health Industry Advisors

Fourteen major U.S. hospitals have rolled out their own trials of Apple's HealthKit tool, with the pilot program earning praise among doctors for its ease of use and advanced tracking of various health metrics, reports Reuters. According to the news agency, eight hospitals trying out HealthKit are on the U.S. News & World Report's Honor Roll which ranks the best hospitals, with the program seeing more of a positive reaction versus health tracking programs by Google and Samsung. Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans has been working with Apple and Epic Systems, Ochsner's medical records vendor, to roll out a pilot program for high-risk patients. The team is already tracking several hundred patients who are struggling to control their blood pressure. The devices measure blood pressure and other statistics and send it to Apple phones and tablets. "If we had more data, like daily weights, we could give the patient a call before they need to be hospitalized," said Chief Clinical Transformation Officer Dr. Richard Milani. Apple said that over 600 developers are integrating HealthKit into their health and fitness apps. The company has also hired Rana and John Halamaka, who act as two informal industry advisors that focus on health data privacy and industry introduction. Last September, it was reported that Duke University and Stanford University Hospital had begun trials with HealthKit, with representatives from both hospitals speaking highly about the program's convenience for patients and doctors. Apple introduced HealthKit alongside the new Health app in iOS 8 as

Samsung to Produce Majority of Apple's A9 Chips for Next-Generation iPhone

Samsung will be the main supplier of Apple's upcoming A9 chip that will power the next-generation iPhone, reports South Korean newspaper Maeil Business (via Reuters). The newspaper notes that Samsung will supply around 75% of chips for the next iPhone, and that the processors will be produced at the company's factory in Austin, Texas. Apple's A8 chip Last month, a report from Korea's ET News said that Samsung had begun work on the processor in Texas. Previous reports noted that Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) would be producing the A9 chip, although Samsung was chosen to be the primary supplier in a deal that was said to be worth billions. BusinessKorea reported last month that Apple would be relying more heavily on Samsung for iPhone 6 and Apple Watch components including RAM, NAND flash storage, and batteries. Apple's A9 chip is expected to power the iPhone 6s and presumably the next-generation iPad Air and iPad mini. Apple is also expected to launch a larger-screened iPad Pro at some point this year, although that device has been rumored to utilize Apple's A8X processor.

California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple

U.S. District Judge William Alsup this week dismissed a lawsuit filed against Apple over allegedly defective Apple notebooks, reports Reuters. Filed on behalf of Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles with class action status, the suit accused Apple of deliberately selling notebooks with logic boards the company knew were faulty. The plaintiffs claim Apple in May 2010 stated selling defective MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air notebooks with logic boards that failed within two years. Apple was accused of misrepresenting the faulty notebooks by advertising them as "state of the art" and the "most advanced" notebooks on the market. According to the suit, Tim Cook allegedly was made aware of the logic board issue in 2011 but did nothing to remedy the issue. In his dismissal of the suit, Alsup said the plaintiffs failed to show that Apple's notebooks were of a substandard quality, noting that both plaintiffs were able to use their computers for a reasonable amount of time. "Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively." Alsup also refuted the plaintiffs' claim that Apple misrepresented its products. Following this dismissal, the plaintiffs have until January 22 to amend their lawsuit. Apple is facing another MacBook-related lawsuit that accuses the company of selling MacBook Pro models with defective graphics cards. This second suit is the result

Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook

Apple will open 25 new Apple Stores in China over the next two years, according to CEO Tim Cook who spoke to Chinese news outlet Sina (via Reuters). The news comes as Cook was reported yesterday to be meeting with China's Vice Minister Ma Kai to discuss the security of user data. The CEO also tweeted a picture of himself in Zhengzhou, where he visited a Foxconn assembly factory. The Apple Store at the Hong Kong Plaza in Shanghai Apple opened its first location in China in 2008 with a store in Beijing, and has since built a number of other stores in other major areas like Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Chongqing. The company has also greatly expanded its presence in the region throughout the past few years, striking a deal with the country's biggest carrier China Mobile and meeting with government officials to discuss market growth. Later this week, Cook will reportedly attend meetings at Beijing's Tsinghua University, where he is a part of the advisory board to the university's School of Economics and Management. The CEO is said also to be meeting with Chinese firms Baidu and Alibaba over the next week to discuss

Apple CEO Tim Cook Meets with Top Chinese Official After iCloud Login Harvesting Claims

Apple CEO Tim Cook met with a top Chinese government official in Beijing Wednesday to discuss the security of user data, reports Reuters. The meeting comes after web censorship blog Great Fire claimed earlier this week that hackers worked with Chinese authorities to harvest Apple ID information from Chinese users visiting iCloud.com. Yesterday, Apple issued a statement acknowledging the attacks on its servers and launched a new browser security guide on its website. The guide stressed the importance of digital certificates, asking users to check for any certificate warnings in their browser and ensure that they are connected to iCloud.com versus a malicious third-party website that resembles the service's homepage. China has become an increasingly important market for Apple, as the company now has eleven retail stores in the country and sells the iPhone on all three major wireless carriers. Apple also launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China last Friday following a week of successful pre-orders. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Apple Receives One Out of Two Licenses Needed to Begin iPhone 6 Sales in China

Apple has received one out of the two regulatory licenses it needs to sell the iPhone 6 in China, reports state-run news agency Xinhua (via Reuters). The handset is currently being reviewed by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which also examined the the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c before its launch in China last year. According to the news agency, Apple now needs a critical network access license before it can begin selling the device. The news follows a report yesterday which stated that the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China may be pushed back to 2015 due to the need for regulatory licenses. Currently, it is unclear as to whether Apple will secure the licenses in time for a late 2014 launch, although talks are said to be ongoing. A delayed launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China would hinder Apple's presence in the country, which has been expanding rapidly throughout the past few years. Apple began iPhone sales on China Mobile last year, which is the country's biggest wireless service provider and the last major carrier in the region to partner with the company. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated in January that he was "incredibly optimistic" about partnering with the carrier, stating that it would allow the company to sell the iPhone in 3,000 more locations and advertise to its over 760 million

Apple Inviting 'Top Fashion Editors and Bloggers' to September 9 Media Event

Apple has extended invites for its upcoming September 9 media event to "top fashion editors and bloggers", reports Reuters. The news comes as the company is expected to unveil its first wearable device at the event, which has been frequently referred to as the iWatch. Apple is forging closer ties to the fashion world as it plots its foray into the fertile field of wearable technology, trying to win over a critical crowd that may prove crucial to the success of consumer gadgets worn around the body. Previous reports have suggested that the iWatch will be a "fashionable device", coming in a number of different materials and having a variety of band and face options. Other rumors have suggested that the device may also come in a number of screen sizes , and feature a curved, flexible display along with biometric sensors to track health-related metrics. The report also states that Apple held a private, "first-of-its-kind event" last month at an Apple Store in New York to show a variety of fashion and retail apps to a group of style editors. Multiple fashion editors also told Reuters that the company has held other separate events in New York City for members of the fashion industry to review new products and meet the team behind them. Apple has also hired a number of fashion industry experts in the past year, which include former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve who works on "special projects" and directly reports to CEO Tim Cook. Last October, the company also hired former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, who is currently Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and

Apple Suppliers 'Scrambling' to Produce Enough iPhone 6 Displays After Issues With New Backlight

Apple's supply chain is scrambling to get enough displays ready for the iPhone 6 ahead of its launch next month, reports Reuters. Front panel said to be from the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 The report notes that production issues were made prevalent when the backlight film for the device's display panel had to be redesigned, halting production for two months: Two supply chain sources said display panel production suffered a setback after the backlight that helps illuminate the screen had to be revised, putting screen assembly on hold for part of June and July. One said Apple, aiming for the thinnest phone possible, initially wanted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film, instead of the standard two layers, for the 4.7-inch screen, which went into mass production ahead of the 5.5-inch version. After the backlight film component was revised, Apple reportedly rejected it and went back to add the second layer to the panel causing a delay. As it stands, production of the display has resumed as suppliers are attempting to work quickly to make up for lost time before the device's launch. Concerns over the iPhone 6's backlight design surfaced last month from supply chain, which also suggested that Apple's desire to use only one backlight film to minimize the size of the handset would cause production delays. Current generation iPhone displays are supplied by Minebea and use two layers in order to improve readability in these backlit displays. In a single layer setup for the device's display, one layer has to be of a very high quality to take the place of the

Apple In Talks to Roll Out HealthKit to Medical Professionals Across U.S.

Apple is preparing to roll out its Healthkit development tools to health professionals across the U.S., and has been discussions with health providers at Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, John Hopkins, and Allscripts to use the new system, reports Reuters. Apple is said to be pushing Healthkit and its Health app as being an all-in-one solution for medical professionals to store patient data like blood pressure, pulse, and weight. Apple is also hoping that physicians will use the available data to improve diagnostics and treatment decisions. The company is also looking to partner with electronic health records provider Epic Systems to integrate its software and services. The article notes that Apple is likely to face challenges in the mobile health data field due to privacy and regulatory requirements. Apple's Health app and Healthkit development tools were originally introduced at this year's WWDC conference this past July. The Health app allows users to keep track and input several different health metrics measured by various devices, and can also allow an at-a-glance view of overall health with the aggregated data. The HealthKit tool for developers can be incorporated into health and fitness apps to access health data stored within the health app. Both Health and HealthKit will be shipping as a part of Apple's new iOS 8 mobile operating system this

Swatch Denies Report It Is Working With Apple on iWatch Wearable

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group today denied a recent report that it was working with Apple to develop a smartwatch product, reports Reuters. VentureBeat first reported this joint venture, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of Apple's plans. A spokeswoman for Swatch told Reuters that the Apple rumor was "unfounded," adding that Swatch's only relationship with mobile phone manufacturers, including Apple, is as a supplier of internal electronic circuitry and other smaller components. Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek reiterated in an interview with Reuters that "he was not interested in teaming up with a tech group to develop a smartwatch." The original VentureBeat rumor claimed Swatch and possibly Timex would build a smartwatch based on Apple's iWatch specifications. These third-party manufacturers would release their watches alongside Apple's own iWatch, providing "a family of smart watches to suit all tastes "from geek to chic." This type of agreement would be unusual for Swatch, whose CEO has publicly expressed skepticism about the future success of the iWatch, saying he doesn't believe "it's the next revolution." Earlier reports also indicate that Apple is working alone on the iWatch, hiring a variety of medical, fitness and fashion experts to help develop the wearable product. Apple is rumored to unveil its wearable device later this year with reports indicating it will be available in different materials and at various price points in order to appeal to a range of consumers. The smartband may have a fitness focus with sensors that measure vitals

Apple's App Store Guidelines Now Allow for 'Approved' Virtual Currencies in Apps

Apple has updated its App Store review guidelines to allow for "approved" virtual currencies in apps, paving the way for new types of currencies to be traded and maintained on iOS devices, reports Reuters. 11.17 Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions. The move is interesting given Apple's past tendencies to remove and deny apps that promote virtual currencies, namely those having to do with the popular Bitcoin currency. Last year, Apple notably required the developers behind private messaging app Gliph to remove the app's Bitcoin sending capabilities, or face deletion from the App Store. Apple's actions on Gliph also shed light on the company's overall relationship with Bitcoin apps. It was reported that Apple had told a number of developers behind Bitcoin-related apps that their apps contained content "that is not legal in all the locations in which the app is available," and were non-compliant with Apple's policies. However, with Apple's new App Store guidelines on the matter, it is now possible that apps like Gliph could indefinitely allow for virtual currencies like Bitcoin to be traded. While it is ultimately up to Apple as what is allowed in its apps, the company's updated policy marks a completely new position on the issue of virtual

Intel CEO 'Guarantees' Broadwell Chips by This Holiday Season

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has stated that Intel's next-generation Broadwell processors will launch during this holiday season, reports Reuters (via MacG). "I can guarantee for holiday, and not at the last second of holiday," Krzanich said in an interview. "Back to school - that's a tight one. Back to school you have to really have it on-shelf in July, August. That's going to be tough." Originally expected to launch in Q3 2014, Krzanich noted that new manufacturing technologies are responsible for the delays surrounding Broadwell, but maintained that Intel is now on schedule to ship its new chips to manufacturers later this year. The statement comes after a leaked Intel roadmap surfaced this past February, which appeared to show an uncertain timetable for Apple's 2014 Mac updates. A leaked Intel roadmap for 28-watt chips appropriate for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro With Intel's Broadwell chips launching near the end of this year however, it is possible that Apple could either choose to wait until next year to integrate Broadwell chips into the Retina MacBook Pro or launch updated models with slightly faster Haswell chips. Apple updated its standard models of the MacBook Air last month with a faster 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor while cutting the price by $100. It is also possible that Intel's new Broadwell chips could be used in the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air, which may coexist alongside or replace the current MacBook Air line. However, it is uncertain which specific chips Apple would use for the new notebook, as prior reports have pointed to the

Report Claims Apple Will Launch 4.7-Inch iPhone 6 in August, Larger Model in September

A new report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News (via Reuters) claims that Apple will unveil and launch the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in August, with a larger 5.5-inch or 5.6-inch model to be released in September. The report also notes that Apple will produce 80 million iPhone 6 units this year, with Apple suppliers Foxconn and Largan Precision aiding with assembly and camera module production, respectively. An August launch of the iPhone 6 would be a different strategy for Apple, as the company has launched the past three versions of the iPhone in September or October. The news also contrasts prior reports claiming that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will launch in September, with the 5.5-inch version not launching until later this year or early 2015 due to issues with the device's battery life and display technology. In addition to a larger screen, Apple's next-generation iPhone is expected to include a thinner profile, a faster A8 processor, and an improved camera. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also claimed last month that Apple is negotiating with carriers to raise the price of the iPhone 6 by