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Tim Cook Expresses Thoughts on Equality in Auburn University Award Speech

Apple CEO Tim Cook received a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater Auburn University at a New York event on Tuesday, with a video of the speech surfacing on the college's YouTube channel today (via AllThingsD). Throughout his remarks, Cook highlighted his overall support for the progression of human equality in the United States and throughout the world. The CEO cited a section from the United Nations preamble emphasizing equality, and talked about finding a company in Apple that “deeply believed in advancing humanity through its products and through the equality of all of its employees.“ Now, much has changed since my early days at Apple, but these values, which are the very heart of our company, remain the same. These values guide us to make our products accessible for everyone...people with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged; they're frequently left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others. But Apple's engineers pushed back against this unacceptable reality; they go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness, to various muscular disorders. Cook also discussed his and Apple's support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which the CEO also championed in an op-ed written for The Wall Street Journal last month: These values have also recently guided us to support legislation that demands equality and non-discrimination for all employees, regardless

Apple Confirms Acquisition of 3D Body Sensing Firm PrimeSense

Apple has confirmed its acquisition of Israeli 3D body sensing firm PrimeSense, reports AllThingsD. The move comes after months of speculation, as Apple was first reported in July to be looking to acquire the firm behind the original 3D body sensing technology used by Microsoft for its Kinect platform. The negotiations gained notoriety again earlier this month as Apple was said to be on the verge of a deal, agreeing to purchase PrimeSense for approximately $345 million, but was held up due to a final legal issue. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the PrimeSense deal with the boilerplate comment the company typically provides when news of one of its acquisitions leaks: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” The report also notes that while PrimeSense became known for developing Microsoft's first-generation Kinect sensor, Microsoft has since deployed its own homegrown sensor technology for the current generation Kinect, which currently ships with the Xbox One. Apple has expressed interest in Kinect-like motion control of such products as appliances and vehicle instrumentation, but the main area where the company has been rumored to be using the technology is in television. Reports have indicated that Apple is looking at Kinect-like motion control for its future television set, although the project is said to be seeing continuing delays due to difficult content negotiations with Apple shifting its near-term focus to wearables such as the "iWatch.

Apple's iPad-Centric Event to Take Place on October 22

Apple will hold its much-rumored iPad event on October 22, reports AllThingsD. While the event will focus on Apple's upcoming fifth-generation iPad and iPad mini, the new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks will also be featured at the event. Though Apple has not officially announced the event, AllThingsD has a solid track record when it comes to event predictions. Rendering of the 5th-generation iPad compared to iPad 4 and iPad mini People familiar with Apple's plans tell AllThingsD that the company will hold its next invitation-only event on Tuesday October 22. The focal point of the gathering will the latest updates to the company’s iPad line, but new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks will likely get some stage time as well, I'm told.Apple's fifth-generation iPad will take on an iPad mini-style design, resulting in a thinner, lighter tablet with smaller side bezels. It's expected to feature a 64-bit A7 processor and an improved camera. Apple's iPad mini is expected to include the same 64-bit A7 chip along with a Retina display and an 8-megapixel camera. According to recent rumors, the iPad mini could be in short supply and may not see widespread availability until 2014. Update: The Loop's Jim Dalrymple has seconded the October 22 date with one of his famous "Yep" confirmations.

Apple Indeed Talking with Cable Operators About New TV Product, But Launch Not Imminent

Following up on yesterday's report suggesting that a launch of a new Apple television product may be "imminent" based on cable operators assessing infrastructure needs to support such a device, AllThingsD notes that Apple is indeed talking with cable operators but that characterizing any launch as "imminent" would be premature.For starters, Apple has already steered analysts away from the notion that it will have something to say about a TV solution soon. More important: If Apple were close to launching a new service, it would almost certainly be in touch with TV programmers about new arrangements, and we haven’t heard anything along those lines. In other words, there are still a lot of missing pieces here, and while a major cable provider running what-if scenarios on a rumored Apple product is certainly interesting, it’s not necessarily a trumpet fanfare announcing its imminent arrival.Apple continues to refer to its existing Apple TV set-top box business as a "hobby", even as sales doubled year-over-year to 5 million units in fiscal 2012. More ambitious plans for either a new set-top box supporting live television or an Internet-connected television set are reportedly being slowed by difficult content negotiations

Apple's Color Labs Acquisition Involves Only Color's Engineering Team

Late yesterday, The Next Web reported that Apple was finalizing a deal to acquire Color Labs, the video streaming service and app founded by Lala Media veteran Bill Nguyen. The report came at the end of a confusing day in which an internal memo indicated that the company was being shut down, only to have the company deny those claims. AllThingsD now provides significantly more clarity to situation, revealing that Apple is only acquiring Color's 20-member engineering team for a relatively small sum.What’s really happening is that Color’s engineering team — about 20 people, comprising almost the entire company — is being “acqhired” by Apple at what’s being called a “nominal” price of something like $2 million to $5 million, according to multiple sources familiar with both sides of the situation. To repeat, there are no “double-digit” millions involved, according to many people familiar with the deal. Apple is not buying Color’s technology, intellectual property, domain names or liabilities. Those are being left with the company, which still has considerable cash in the bank — something like $25 million — and is going to be wound down.Apple is reportedly bringing Color's engineers on board to work on cloud-related projects. The report notes that there is a significant amount of bad blood between the various parties involved at Color and even Apple, contributing to the mass confusion yesterday about what exactly is happening with Color. Apple and Color have yet to comment on the

More Claims of 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Coming at Next Week's Media Event

Following yesterday's report from 9to5Mac stating that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro would be introduced alongside the "iPad mini" at Apple's media event all but confirmed for October 23, AllThingsD now weighs in with its own sources making similar claims.The smaller iPad may be the star of Apple’s as of yet unannounced October 23rd invitation-only event, but it will have an impressive supporting cast. Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell AllThingsD that the company plans to unveil a smaller version of its MacBook Pro with Retina Display as well.The report summarizes expectations for the new machine, which include a 2560x1600 display, same thin profile as the 15-inch model, and all-flash storage. Pricing remains unknown, but if the 15-inch model is any indication consumers can expect a significant price premium for the Retina 13-inch model compared to the thicker non-Retina models that will undoubtedly remain available. AllThingsD has an excellent track record when it comes to rumors regarding Apple's media event plans, and thus it does indeed appear that Apple's media event will focus on several different products next

Apple's 'iPad Mini' Media Event Reportedly Scheduled for October 23

AllThingsD reports that Apple appears to be planning to hold a media event on Tuesday, October 23 to introduce the "iPad mini", Apple's smaller tablet device said to be carrying a display measuring 7.85 inches diagonally.As AllThingsD reported in August, Apple will hold a special event this month at which it will showcase a new, smaller iPad. People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called “iPad mini” on October 23 at an invitation-only event.That’s a Tuesday, not a Wednesday, so this is a bit of a break with recent tradition. It also happens to be just three days prior to the street date for Microsoft’s new Surface tablet. Physical mockup of rumored iPad mini design The location of the event is unconfirmed, but the report suggests that it is likely to be held at the company's Town Hall auditorium at its corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California.AllThingsD has an excellent track record regarding Apple media event rumors, giving this claim a high probability of proving true. Given past history, Apple would be expected to send out invitations early next week if the event is to be held on October 23.Update: The Loop's Jim Dalrymple weighs in, confirming the date with a

Apple Media Event All But Confirmed for September 12th, iPhone Launch Likely [Updated]

Following a report from iMore earlier today claiming that Apple will hold a media event to introduce the next-generation iPhone and the "iPad mini" on September 12 ahead of September 21 availability for the new iPhone, AllThingsD reports that it has confirmed an Apple media event will be taking place that week. While the report's sources have apparently not confirmed the topic of the event or the exact date, it certainly appears to corroborate iMore's claims.Apple hasn’t yet officially announced the fall event at which it is expected to debut the next iteration of the iPhone, but it’s definitely planning one. iMore was first to report that the company has scheduled a special event for Wednesday, September 12, and now we’ve confirmed it as well. Sources tell AllThingsD that Apple is currently planning an event for that week. And while we haven’t yet confirmed its focus, history suggests it will indeed be the new iPhone. AllThingsD has been very accurate in the past regarding Apple rumors, and has on several occasions been the first to reveal dates for Apple media events, lending significant weight to this report's support of the September 12 date from iMore. The report goes on to note that Apple's latest quarterly report has revealed a massive increase in component prepayments, signaling that the company is moving full speed ahead on preparing its supply chain for production on the next iPhone and perhaps other devices such as the iPad mini. Update: The Verge has also "confirmed" the September 12 date with its own sources.The rumor cycle this time around for the

Apple to Introduce iPad 3 in First Week of March

AllThingsD, which has an accurate track record in revealing Apple's new product media events, is reporting that Apple will hold an event to launch the iPad 3 in the first week of March.Sources say the company has chosen the first week in March to debut the successor to the iPad 2, and will do so at one of its trademark special events. The event will be held in San Francisco, presumably at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Apple’s preferred location for big announcements like these. No word yet on a street date for the iPad 3 (assuming that’s what it’s called), though my guess is retail availability will follow roughly the same schedule as that of the iPad 2: Available for purchase a week or so after the event.The report's sources also corroborate some of the basic rumors surrounding the device, claiming that it will feature a "much faster chip", improved graphics capabilities, and a high-resolution display. Last year, Apple introduced the iPad 2 with a media event on March 2, following that up with the first round of launches on March 11. Update: As he frequently does, the reliable Jim Dalrymple at The Loop corroborates AllThingsD's claim with a simple

Apple Planning 'Media-Related' Announcement in New York This Month?

AllThingsD reports that Apple is said to be planning a special event in New York for the end of this month. The event is reported to be for a "media-related announcement" and not for the iPad 3 or an Apple television set.According to sources close to the situation, Apple is planning an important — but not large-scale — event to be held in New York at the end of this month that will focus on a media-related announcement. Per the usual caveat, the tech giant is well known for moving around their public show-and-tells, so this could certainly change at any moment.As the report notes, the New York location makes it likely that the announcement has something to do with advertising or publishing. Several of Apple's media and advertising units under senior vice president Eddy Cue have significant presences in New York City, and Cue is also said to be set to play a role in the event. Apple participated in a pair of New York-based media events last year, although both of those were primarily hosted by other companies: the Verizon iPhone introduction and the launch of The Daily. The company had previously been a participant in Macworld Expo events held in New York, but that event ceased to exist a number of years ago and Apple has now pulled out of trade shows entirely. Update: The Loop's Jim Dalrymple tersely indicates that he is hearing similar

Despite Apple's Denial, iTunes Match is Streaming

Yesterday, we reported that the developer beta of Apple's iTunes Match appeared to show options for both streaming and downloading content from the cloud to a user's device. But some questions have arisen about just how the service functions, as a new report from AllThingsD shares word from an Apple spokesperson that the service is not actually a streaming one.While a video making the rounds today makes it seem as if Apple’s upcoming iTunes Match service will stream music from Apple’s servers to a user’s device, that’s not the case. An Apple spokesperson confirms that any music you want to access from your cloud-based “locker” will still need to be stored on your iPad, or iPhone, or whatever device you’re using to listen to the song.The difference appears to be one of semantics, however, with Apple's claims of the service requiring tracks to be downloaded actually related to local caching of streamed tracks. Traditional streaming services maintain constant connections, buffering only a small amount of the currently-playing track at any given time. Apple's streaming solution appears to download each track in its entirety once streaming begins. Upon tapping on the track to begin playing without initiating the full iCloud download process, the track begins playing immediately just as with other streaming services. But in reality, the full track appears to be downloaded to a local cache on the user's device, allowing for fast access to any portion of the track. Once the track has been fully played, it remains available in that cache and can be re-accessed without

Best Buy Seeing HP TouchPad Sell-Through Rate of Under 10%

Apple has continued to dominate the tablet market with the iPad despite a number of high-profile competitors having pushed out their own devices over the past year. Even as some studies have shown Android and other operating systems beginning to eat into Apple's dominant position, most of those studies have been based on shipments into the distribution channels and not sales to end users. Several reports have indicated that despite shipping hundreds of thousands or even millions of tablets, many of Apple's competitors are not seeing consumer interest in their products and thus the devices are sitting on store shelves and in warehouses and not making their way into users' hands. One of the most telling pieces of data comes in a new report from AllThingsD, which has learned that of the approximately 270,000 units of HP's highly-promoted TouchPad shipped out to Best Buy's distribution channels, only about 25,000 have been sold to customers.According to one source who’s seen internal HP reports, Best Buy has taken delivery of 270,000 TouchPads and has so far managed to sell only 25,000, or less than 10 percent of the units in its inventory. A second person who has seen Best Buy’s TouchPad sales figures confirmed the results as “consistent with what I’ve seen,” and went so far as to say that 25,000 sold might be “charitable.” This source suggested that the 25,000-unit sales number may not account for units that consumers return to stores for a refund.Best Buy is said to be so unhappy with the lack of momentum on TouchPad sales that it has asked HP to take many of the

Apple's iAd Chief Leaving for Venture Capital Firm

AllThingsD reports that Andy Miller, the former founder and CEO of Quattro Wireless who became Apple's vice president of mobile advertising and head of the iAd program with Apple's acquisition of Quattro in January 2010, is planning to leave Apple in the near future. Miller is said to be leaving to become a general partner at venture capital firm Highland Capital, which had previously funded Quattro.Sources said Miller — who sold Quattro Wireless, the mobile advertising company he co-founded in 2006, to Apple in early 2010 for $275 million — will become a general partner at Highland Capital, the Boston-based venture firm that had funded Quattro. Apple will search for a replacement for Miller, whose staff was told of the impending departure today.Apple purchased Quattro Wireless after it lost out to Google in an attempt to acquire AdMob. Apple was reportedly close to a deal with AdMob when Google swooped in with a last-minute offer to win the competition. Apple's iAd program went live in July 2010 as Apple's effort to revolutionize mobile advertising with high-quality, interactive ads for iOS devices. The effort is seen as having had only marginal success so far, however, with some advertisers turned off by high costs, Apple's demands for control over the creative process, and iOS-only availability. Apple has cut buy-in fees for advertisers several times in order to try to boost interest and fill ad slots that are growing quickly as iOS device sales continue to explode and more developers integrate iAd into their

iPhone 5 Actually Launching in October, Not September?

AllThingsD offers some disappointing news for those waiting for an iPhone 5. According to the site, Apple won't be launching the iPhone 5 in September as rumored. Instead, the iPhone 5 will launch in October, according to "a source familiar with Apple's plans".So, when can we expect the company to uncrate the iPhone 5? “October,” the source said, while declining to offer a hard launch date. Other sources said it will be later in the month rather than earlier.There are no other details about the specs, and they suggest it could end up launching late in October. AllThingsD tends to be well connected with industry sources, so there is reason to believe their rumors. It still seems possible that Apple may pre-announce the iPhone 5 for some small period. Historically, Apple has held their fall media event in

Sources Confirm Apple's Purchase of iCloud.com

Earlier this week, a source reported to GigaOM that Apple has purchased the iCloud.com domain name for the sum of $4.5 million, presumably preparing to roll out its forthcoming cloud-based music service under that name. All Things Digital now briefly notes that it has confirmed that Apple has in fact purchased the domain, although sources declined to confirm the purchase price. Apple has indeed acquired the domain name iCloud.com from Sweden-based hybrid cloud computing outfit Xcerion. Sources in position to know confirm that Apple bought the domain as GigaOm first reported Thursday, though they declined to say whether its rumored $4.5 million price tag was accurate.iCloud.com continues to redirect to the rebranded CloudMe.com service, and Whois databases continue to list Xcerion as the owner of the iCloud.com

More Details on Apple's Cloud-based Music Locker

Apple seems to be getting ready to launch their cloud-based digital music "locker" service that has been rumored for many months. But contrary to an earlier Reuters report, All Things D has heard that Apple has already come to terms with two of the four major record labels about the service, and that Apple's Eddy Cue will be in New York tomorrow to try to finalize the remaining deals. The negotiating of these deals is in contrast to Amazon's music storage service which notably launched last month without any deals in place -- a fact that the record labels were not very happy about. Apple is said to have been "very aggressive and thoughtful about it" and "It feels like they want to go pretty soon", according to an unnamed music executive. All Things D also provides some details about how the service might work from Apple: The industry executives I've talked to haven't seen Apples service themselves, but say they're aware of the broad strokes. The idea is that Apple will let users store songs theyve purchased from its iTunes store, as well as others songs stored on their hard drives, and listen to them on multiple devices.All Things D points out that having official licenses can allow Apple to store a single master copy of a song rather than storing individual copies for every user. Amazon's original argument against needing the licenses

iPhone 5 Introduction Planned for Apple's September Media Event?

With increasing rumblings that Apple is planning to release its fifth-generation iPhone sometime later than its usual June-July timeframe, including fresh analyst comments claiming that the device won't even begin production until September, All Things Digital's John Paczkowski now reports that he is hearing that Apple may use its traditional September media event to stage the introduction. As I've reported here before, Apple doesn't plan to unveil a new iPhone at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which this year will be largely software-focused. And increasingly, I'm hearing speculation about the company possibly commandeering its annual September media event to launch the device instead. Which seems plausible.While Paczkowski refers to the rumor as "speculation", his history of demonstrating solid connections providing insight into Apple's plans suggests that the idea is likely more than simple speculation. Packzowski goes on to note that the iPod line has lost a fair amount of its luster in recent years as the iPhone and now the iPad have surpassed it in consumer awareness and the company's long-running efforts to enhance the line have already come close to "perfecting" the various models, making annual incremental improvements less exciting than in past years. That decline in importance for the iPod could allow Apple to use the iPhone to spice up its fall media event while allowing it to focus its Worldwide Developer Conference in June more squarely on software and

Steve Jobs to Appear at Tomorrow's Media Event? [Updated]

Italian site setteB.IT reports [Google translation] that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to appear at tomorrow's media event widely expected to see the introduction of the next-generation iPad. Yes, all odds are against us, yet we have reassuring information. We want to tip the balance and we believe that the new iPad will debut in the hands of Steve Jobs.The source and its legitimacy are unknown, and we have a hard time believing that Jobs will distract from the focus on the iPad and other potential announcements by stepping out of his indefinite medical leave of absence to be on hand. Update: All Things Digital reports that Jobs is "definitely considering" making an appearance at the event tomorrow, most likely in a brief appearance on stage with other executives to show off the new iPad. His appearance has not, however, been confirmed. According to several sources close to the situation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs - who is on a health-related leave from the company - is definitely considering an appearance at its big iPad 2 event tomorrow. But the possibility - which would be a big sensation at the San Francisco gathering - is also just as definitely not confirmed as yet, stressed sources. If he did appear, sources said Jobs would at least make a brief appearance onstage, along with other top company execs in showing off Apple's latest version of it hugely popular tablet.

Media Event for Next-Generation iPad Set for March 2nd? [Updated]

All Things Digital reports that Apple has scheduled a media event for March 2nd where the company is expected to introduce the next-generation iPad. To those who intensely cares about this kind of stuff - which would be pretty much everyone in the tech ecosystem - Apple will hold its much-anticipated event on March 2, where the tech giant seems poised to unveil a new version of its hugely successful iPad. As in, iPad 2! Or, as BoomTown is now officially nicknaming it: iPad Too!According to the report's sources, the scheduled date is firm, and the event will take place in San Francisco. Apple has generally held its San Francisco media events at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It's not clear when Apple will begin sending out its famous invites for gathering, but I am guessing soon, in order to get the Apple faithful to the proper level of froth.Late yesterday, a rumor surfaced claiming that the second-generation iPad would not launch until June, but multiple sources have refuted that claim today. Update: Reuters has also updated its earlier story refuting claims of iPad delays to note that it is also hearing that Apple will introduce the next-generation iPad on March 2nd. One person familiar with the matter said recent speculation about a delay until June was "simply not true" as Apple is planning a launch in the same seasonal schedule as the first iPad, which went on sale in April 2010. Apple will host an event on March 2, where the company is expected to take the wraps off the newest iPad model, an individual with knowledge of the situation said. Apple