Posts with tag apple
Warner Music agreement close
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s almost here – Apple is apparently just days away from signing an agreement with the world’s largest music publisher, Universal Music, on the rights necessary for Apple to launch its long expected new music streaming service, which many have taken to calling “iRadio”. The service is said to have been the reason behind Apple’s purchase of a similar service, Rdio, over a year ago.
Of course, Apple needs a couple more major players on board before they could ideally launch such a service. Universal Music is large, but a service that only includes Universal is a service that might not necessarily be worth using. Luckily for Apple, The Verge is reporting that Warner Bros. Music is right behind Universal Music on a potential pending agreement. Other music publishers are reportedly not quite there yet.
Apple hopes that their new “iRadio” music streaming service will have a halo effect on iTunes Music Store sales. Purchasing individual copies of music files has fallen somewhat out of favor in recent months and years, with consumers rapidly switching to streaming services – such as Pandora and Spotify – to satisfy their music listening needs. Pandora and Spotify both offer high quality music free to consumers with commercials and the caveat that they do not actually own the music, but merely stream them.
Apple will reportedly be paying royalties similar to those paid by Pandora for the right to stream music. It is not yet clear if Apple plans on allowing users to play individual albums and tracks at will similar to Pandora, or if music will be chosen via their “Genius” recommendation system and played at random with no playlist organization capabilities.
Source: The Verge
Windows 8 has worsened the problem, not helped
The PC industry, as many are more than likely aware at this point, has had somewhat of a bumpy time these days. The problem is that people just aren’t buying that many PCs anymore. Sales of PCs for virtually every OEM – Dell, HP, Toshiba, Asus, and even Apple’s Mac line of computers – has hit somewhat of a brick wall. Many, including the aforementioned OEMs (well, besides Apple) had hoped that Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system would be the cure to the problem. Unfortunately for everyone involved in this nastiness, research firm IDC has revealed their latest numbers on the matter revealing that 2013 has thus far been the worst year for the PC industry, with the sale of PCs significantly decreasing since last quarter by a whopping 13.9%. The market on the whole has decreased 12.7% on a year-to-year basis.
There are a few caveats. Tablet computers are making up more and more of the market, and the IDC does not include sales of tablet computers in their research. Now that tablets are the only form factor that has been selling with a positive slope quarter after quarter, we agree with The Verge in that IDC should probably begin factoring these computers into the mix. Apple’s iPad, Google’s Nexus line, Amazon’s Kindle line, and Samsung’s Galaxy line are all driving forces in the computing market today.
Starts at $1,529 while supplies last
Those in the know have always recognized that the refurb section of Apple’s online Apple Store has always been a jackpot for those looking to save a couple of pennies (or Benjamins) on a recent generation Apple product. The problem is, some products take their sweet time to arrive, and availability is often unstable and limited when they do. Take the current generation 27-inch iMac, which Apple has just today put up for sale on their refurb store for an easier-to-swallow price of $1,529. For those not keeping track, that’s $270 off the current price of a new 27-inch iMac.
Apple’s official refurb products are thoroughly tested for defects and have had their enclosures replaced, meaning that the only thing that has actually ever been “used” about these is the internals, which are guaranteed to work as expected. Unfortunately Apple doesn’t sell refurb products at their brick and mortar locations, so if you’re looking to penny pinch you’ll need to shop online – but it’s well worth the wait in shipping times to save such a large sum of money.
The stars are aligning at long last
Poor Apple Pro users. Apple had once been the king of the professional (and prosumer) space, offering faster desktops than the competition at a price that was largely validated by the sheer oomph their machines would provide. These were the days of Apple’s fabled (and lustworthy) PowerMac line, the days when Apple would constantly out-innovate the competition with such feats as the truly lustworthy PowerMac G5 Quad, which set the stage for quad core computing throughout the entire industry.
Those days have certainly changed, haven’t they? Apple’s Mac Pro line of computers haven’t seen a significant update since 2010; to this day they’re still using Intel’s “Bloomfield” and “Gulftown” line of processors; horribly dated chips that are significantly slower than what’s found in Apple’s consumer minded iMac. However, at long last, we’re seeing signs at the end of the tunnel – the latest rumors are indicating that Apple will finally be releasing a “Mac Pro replacement” within the next month.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had previously mentioned that Apple would be updating their professional line of computers in 2013, so this certainly seems more than plausible. It remains unclear as to whether Apple will be merely updating the internals of the Mac Pro desktop but leaving the design the case, if they’ll change the machine’s enclosure but continue to use the Mac Pro name, or change everything including the name all at once – however if I were getting paid to guess (which I’m not), I would definitely put my money on a significant redesign of the enclosure at the least.
Apple has recently been unable to sell the current line of Mac Pro computers in much of Europe due to new regulatory standards in the countries.
For but a cool Benjamin
As promised, T-Mobile has today begun accepting pre-orders for their specially reworked iPhone 5 today. T-Mobile’s version has been re-engineered slightly to allow the phone to take full advantage of both the network’s 4G LTE networks as well as AWS 3G bands, though owners of an AT&T iPhone 5 can get in on T-Mobile’s LTE with a little Cydia tweak we noted the other day.
T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 costs $99 upfront, $100 less than the upfront cost of the phone on any of the three other major carriers. However it’s worth remembering that T-Mobile is doing things a little differently these days – as announced at their Uncarrier Event, T-Mobile is essentially subsidizing the price of the phones via a traditional loan that customers have to pay back over a 20 month period. After the 20 month payback period has been completed, $20 will be reduced from your monthly bill.
T-Mobile is the last of the four major carriers to begin carrying the iPhone. AT&T began carrying the device in 2007, Verizon in January 2011, and Sprint in October of 2011.
$2 billion could feed a lot of mouths
Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that Apple’s famous Campus 2 project, which gained fame and attention when announced due to its peculiar “spaceship” like shape and devotion to green materials, has fallen a year behind schedule and $2 billion over budget due to what can only be described as bad management.
Apple has reportedly been looking to cut $1 billion in costs off of the project before beginning construction, however the article reports that the price hike is due to the sometimes ridiculous demands of former CEO Steve Jobs, who insisted that every nook and cranny of the project be cared for in a level of detail unheard of in the entirety of modern architecture.
The true expense of the campus lies not in green tech, though, as much as the materials—as well as what product designers call “fit and finish.” As with Apple’s products, Jobs wanted no seam, gap, or paintbrush stroke showing; every wall, floor, and even ceiling is to be polished to a supernatural smoothness. All of the interior wood was to be harvested from a specific species of maple, and only the finer-quality “heartwood” at the center of the trees would be used, says one person briefed on the plan last year.
It’s unclear whether now CEO Tim Cook will remain as devoted to Steve Jobs’s vision as the man himself would have been given the quickly escalating cost of the project. Though it would make plenty of sense both financially and in the interest of time to reduce the ridiculous level of fit and finish, any detraction from the original vision could be seen as a sign that Tim Cook is not as devoted to a premium product or brand as Steve Jobs, something that would be slaughtered in the media at the moment given the company’s unprecedented level of negative attention in the media.
The differences are settled
Back in December last year, we reported on how Apple was blocking Skydrive for iOS updates until Microsoft complied with new app policies – that is, no apps may offer links to purchase content from outside the app, and that Apple must take a 30% cut of all sales. Microsoft was complying with the first of these two rules but would not comply with the 30% rule, so Apple blocked Skydrive for iOS updates until they complied.
Today, Skydrive for iOS 3.0 has been released. According to The Verge, the two came to an agreement and so the matter was settled. We’re not sure what the agreement was, but it has allowed Skydrive for iOS to continue to update once again.
Skydrive for iOS 3.0 brings a refreshed UI, as well as support for the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. It is available to download through the App Store right now.
iPad media event potentially scheduled for April
Good news to those who have been eagerly sitting on their behinds, waiting for the day we get some real meaty, juicy rumors as to what Apple’s 2013 plans are – finally, after one of the longest droughts in trustworthy Apple news in as long as I can remember, multiple sources are indicating that Apple will indeed be launching their next generation iPhone (presumably to be called the iPhone 5S) this summer, potentially giving those who purchased last year’s iPhone 5 upgrade-envy a couple of months early.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple will be putting the 2013 iPhone into production this quarter, leaving things wide open for a “sumer 2013″ release. WSJ’s sources indicates that the iPhone will maintain a similar “size and shape” to the current generation iPhone 5, lending credibility to the suggestion that this year’s update will be in the same vein as 2009′s iPhone 3GS and 2011′s iPhone 4S.
Other sources are indicating that Apple is planning on actually launching the 2013 iPhone in August at the latest, but is eagerly gunning for a release in July. Chances are slim to none that Apple will be ready to unveil the 2013 iPhone at WWDC in June – rather, they will more than likely take that opportunity to focus on iOS 7, which is said to be a “significant update” to iOS 7. Popular Apple pundit John Gruber today posted on Daring Fireball that engineers have been pulled from the development team of Apple’s next major version of OS X (10.9) to work on getting iOS 7 ready for prime time.
Apple has also been said to be eagerly getting ready for a potential media event in April to launch their next generation iPad, what could be called the “iPad 5″. It is important to note however that Apple has by no means made established, even internally, that this event will happen as they hoped in April – everything has yet to be scheduled.
New policy clarifies some key points
Apple has recently been hammered by the Chinese media in what looks to be a Government coordinated attempt to criticize the company’s warranty policies as of late, claiming that their policies are “unfair” to Chinese citizens. Notably, the key sticking point here appears to be in response to how Apple treats repairs of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S in the country. In the United States, most defective units are treated by simply giving the consumer a new phone under warranty, whereas due to the supply chain’s location in China, most repairs can be done to the consumer’s original phone in the country without a need for replacing the entire device. The issue there is that Apple only offers a 90-day warranty on replacement part, while Chinese law mandates a one-year minimum warranty on all electronics sold from within the country.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has finally responded to the media blitz today, apologizing to Chinese customers and acting by making changes to the company’s warranty in the country. The changes reportedly include better training the company’s line of “Genius” technicians, and rewording portions of the policy for clarity’s sake.
This isn’t the first time Apple’s CEO has had to apologize to the general public in a general letter – the public outcry following the release of iOS 6′s Apple Maps led the CEO to write a formal apology as well, with Tim Cook promising continued improvements to the service.
Get blazing LTE on the newest network around
Apple and T-Mobile may be publicly saying you’ll need to buy a new version of the iPhone 5 hardware if you want to hop on T-Mobile’s new LTE network, but hold your horses and read this – the enterprising folks at Leimobile.com have apparently managed to get the old AT&T version of the iPhone 5 up and running on T-Mobile’s LTE network with a simple carrier update, and has posted some easy to follow intructions to help you get started.
The tweak of course requires that you own a jailbroken iPhone 5 – stock users won’t be able to get in on this sort of unofficial, unsanctioned, and potentially dangerous fun. It’s also worth reiterating that this will only work on AT&T’s iPhone 5, also known as A1428. If you bought your iPhone through one of the other guys, you’re out of luck.
Be however warned, T-Mobile iPhone users – this hack won’t allow you to piggyback on everything T-Mobile now has to offer, as no firmware or carrier patch in the world will bring you the new model iPhone 5′s support for T-Mobile’s AWS bands. This means that you’ll get 4G LTE speeds where available, or the significantly slower 2G “EDGE” speeds elsewhere – for the in-between, you’ll still need to buy yourself some new hardware.
For crystal clear sound and speedy data
Good news, fans of T-Mobile – as we know more about the carrier’s version of the iPhone 5, the sweeter the pot gets – T-Mobile CEO John Legere has just confirmed that their version of the iPhone 5 will support a few bands that other carriers’ versions don’t, including 1,700MHz and 2,100MHz AWS bands. For those who don’t know exactly what thing means, to put it simply you’ll be getting the best possible service and data speeds that T-Mobile’s infrastructure has to offer.
T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 will also reportedly natively support HD voice, a feature that Sprint versions of the iPhones are currently forced to do without.
Update 03/26/13 @ 3:32 PM EST: Engadget has just received confirmation from an Apple representative that T-Mobile’s iPhone 5′s ability support AWS band is not something that can be added to existing AT&T devices with an iOS software update – rather, T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 is a totally unique version of AT&T’s model of the iPhone 5, known as A1428.
Apple has also announced that pre-orders for the unlocked version of T-Mobile’s newly tweaked iPhone 5 will begin at 12:01 AM PST on April 12th.