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Wednesday October 29

16:23
Apple Wants to Compete with Samsung in Iran

For Apple, Iran’s 77 million people offer a particularly attractive new market. Iran’s population is relatively young, with 42% of its people under age 25. Iran also boasts a relative large middle class. And despite decades of animosity between Tehran and the West, many well-off Iranians still embrace Western brands and trends. Today, Samsung is successfully selling their mobile devices in Iran and Apple wants in on the action.

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15:26
The Classic BlackBerry Bold will be Back for Christmas

For some it's the addictive CrackBerry: BlackBerry's CEO John Chen quoted an old adage in an open letter recently saying that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." BlackBerry's CEO just announced in an interview with Walt Mossberg that they'll be bringing back the BlackBerry Bold Classic with it's small sized physical keyboard and trackpad. It'll have updated software but take on the BlackBerry Bold's look and feel. For some lawyers and politicians it's a welcomed announcement. The addictive BlackBerry was once called the CrackBerry and Kim Kardashian just happens to be one those addicts. You'll hear all about her addiction in our report.

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12:39
MCX Says Merchants Doing What's Best for Customers, B...

Following the publication of a blog post earlier today outlining some details of its upcoming CurrentC mobile payments solution and disclosure of a hack resulting in unauthorized access to users' email addresses, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) held a conference call with members of the press to further address questions and concerns. During the call, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson and COO Scott Rankin clarified that MCX merchants who choose to accept Apple Pay are not subject to fines. As stated in the blog post earlier today, merchants are also free to leave the consortium entirely at any time without penalty beyond forfeiting the time and money already invested in the effort. As a result, MCX certainly appears to be placing the blame for its member retailers' refusal to accept Apple Pay on the merchants themselves. Asked...

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12:22
HP Introduces a Mind Blowing Next-Gen Desktop for Creative...

HP is about the shake the PC world like it hasn't in years. HP introduces Sprout, a revolutionary PC that's for 3D printing. HP's video called Hands noted above captures the spirit of Apple's Think Different ad run many years ago. I think this could be something very inspiring for artists and it could truly be the beginning of a new direction for PCs. It gave me Goosebumps just thinking about where this can take us.

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11:32
GT Advanced COO Blames Apple's Strict Sapphire Contra...

GT Advanced's Chief Operating Officer Daniel Squiller yesterday filed some revised documents with the court, giving a bit more insight into what went wrong between Apple and GT Advanced that led to the latter company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Shared by Fortune, Squiller's affidavit [PDF] delves further into the contractual obligations outlined in its agreement with Apple, which led to huge losses of money as the contract was highly favorable to Apple. It was known that the terms of the contract prevented GT Advanced from selling its sapphire to customers other than Apple, but as it turns out, Apple also had a vast amount of control over GT's sapphire production. For example, GT was not able to modify equipment, specifications, or the...

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11:05
Greg Joswiak on Video: Apple Focuses on Better Experiences

During one of Re/Code's event interviews, Walt Mossberg and Ina Fried interviewed Apple's VP of iPhone marketing Greg Joswiak. Fried gave Joswiak the scenario of Android ...

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10:58
AT&T, Verizon Using 'Perma-Cookies' to Track...

Both Verizon and AT&T appear to be engaging in some unsavory customer tracking techniques, using unique identifying numbers to deliver targeted advertisements to customers in what's called "Relevant Advertising." As outlined by Wired, Verizon is altering the web traffic of its customers by inserting a Unique Identifier Header or UIDH, a temporary serial number that lets advertisers identify Verizon users on the web. According to Jacob Hoffman-Andrews of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the UIDH serves as a "perma-cookie" that can be read by any web server to "build a profile" of internet habits. Verizon users cannot turn off the UIDH, but opting out of the Relevant Mobile Advertising Program prevents the information from being used to create targeted ads. Verizon has been using Relevant Advertising techniques for two years, but the tracking has gone largely unnoticed until recently, when extra...

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10:31
Korean Report States Apple's Thrashing of Samsung on...

A new Korean report published today was refreshingly honest and rather upbeat about Apple's iPhone 6 landing in Korean stores this Friday. The report noted that "The worldwide craze over the new iPhones will hit the South Korean market on Friday when the iPhone 6 and its variant the 6 Plus go on sale here. This time, the so-called iPhone effect will have a more significant impact on the Korean smartphone market than ever before."

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09:25
Apple Disallows Previously Approved Calculator Widgets for...

Apple is forcing popular iOS calculator app PCalc to remove its Notification Center widget, which allows users to access calculator functions directly from the "Today" view of the Notification Center. According to Apple, widgets on iOS are not allowed to perform any calculations. Apple's sudden decision to disallow PCalc's previously approved widget is somewhat surprising as the app is featured in multiple places in the App Store, including a section called "Extend Your Apps" featuring apps with unique widgets, and "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," which also features a selection of Notification Center widgets. Apple has told me that Notification Center widgets on iOS cannot perform any calculations, and the current PCalc widget must be removed.— James Thomson (@jamesthomson) October 29, 2014 PCalc was one of the...

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08:33
Apple's Global iPhone Market Share Gains Begin to Sur...

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reports that their latest data covering just the first few days of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have shown ...

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08:22
European 'iWatch' Trademark Holder Plans New And...

Irish firm Probendi is seeking to capitalize on Apple's announcement of the Apple Watch earlier this year by using its existing "iWatch" trademark in Europe to launch its own smartwatch device. Probendi director Daniele Di Salvo confirmed in a recent RTE Radio interview that the company will "absolutely push ahead" with its plans to build a smartwatch device that will compete with the Apple Watch, reports news site Herald.ie. Probendi owns an iWatch trademark in Europe and has been using the iWatch name for health and safety communication software. Di Salvo acknowledges the company's existing iWatch software product, but notes that "the name is easily associated with a smartwatch" when discussing the company's future plans. It is unclear, however, how Di...

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07:43
CurrentC Alerts Users of Unauthorized Access to Email Addr...

Just hours after publishing a blog post answering some questions about its upcoming CurrentC mobile payments system and touting the security of its cloud-based storage of sensitive information, the company behind the effort, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) has alerted users of unauthorized access to their email addresses.Thank you for your interest in CurrentC. You are receiving this message because you are either a participant in our pilot program or requested information about CurrentC. Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you. Based on investigations conducted by MCX security personnel, only these e-mail addresses were involved and no other information. Details on the unauthorized access have not been disclosed, but iMore's Nick Arnott earlier this week...

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07:03
Apple SIM Included With iPad for Customer Convenience, but...

Apple had the consumer in mind when it added a multi-carrier SIM card to its new iPads, said Apple vice president of iPhone, iPod and iOS product marketing Greg Joswiak in a recent Re/code interview (via Fierce Wireless). But that motivation does not mean the Apple SIM will be making its way to the iPhone any time soon, as Joswiak noted most consumers go directly to their carriers to buy iPhones, while the iPad more often is sold through Apple's retail channels."It's about the customer experience," he said during an appearance here at Re/code's Code/Mobile conference. "We ultimately don't know who you are going to use as the carrier, [and] we want to make it as easy as possible." Joswiak said Apple has not discussed...

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06:31
Apple's Blowout Mac Sales Sends Wintel into Emergency...

In our report covering Apple's latest Financial Conference Call we noted that Apple had sold 5.5 million Macs. Cook had stated that for Macs, it was a "blowout" quarter and that "it doesn't get better than that" at 21% growth year over year. Apparently Apple's surging Mac sales and Google's Chromebook gaining ground, Microsoft has decided to go into emergency mode to protect their only stronghold remaining, Windows PCs.

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05:43
MCX Confirms Retailer Exclusivity for CurrentC Mobile Paym...

Much of the Apple news in recent days has centered around Apple Pay and what Tim Cook referred to on Monday as a "squirmish" in which several retailers backing a competing mobile payments initiative known as CurrentC have shut down NFC payment functionality in their stores to prevent customer use of Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and other similar services. Numerous sources have indicated that retailers backing CurrentC are contractually prohibited from accepting alternative forms of mobile payments, and sources told The New York Times that retailers breaking those contracts would "face steep fines." Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), the consortium of retailers backing CurrentC, has now...

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05:13
Apple's Dream of Revolutionizing TV Got the Nod from...

Earlier this month we posted a report titled "Are we on the Cusp of a Revolutionary Shift in Television?" We noted that "two possible major television properties are saying that they're getting ready to offer online programming away from the cable subscription model that's been holding back a la carte programming choices for consumers. It seems like we're on the cusp of a revolutionary shift ...

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03:29
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Boost Apple's Customer Base in Eu...

Research firm Kantar WorldPanel has released a new report (via TechCrunch) highlighting global smartphone sales over the July-September period which saw the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The report found that Apple's market share in major European markets is now higher when compared to the prior-year-period that saw the debut of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. However, Apple's share in countries like the United States and Japan were found to be lower when compared to the same timeframe last year. Our latest data covers the first few days of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus being available in Europe and it is clear that demand has been high for the eagerly awaited new models. In Great Britain, where the new iPhone models started shipping on 19 September, Apple saw its sales share up by 1.7...

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Tuesday October 28

14:46
iOS 8 Now Installed on Over Half of Active iOS Devices

After five and a half weeks of availability, Apple's iOS 8 operating system is now installed on 52 percent of iOS devices, according to new numbers posted on Apple's App Store support page for developers. iOS 8's installation numbers have increased approximately four percent over the course of the two weeks, which means adoption numbers are on the rise after several weeks of stagnation. During Apple's October 16 iPad-centric event, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that iOS 8 was installed on 48 percent of devices as of October 13, and before that, the OS was installed on 46 percent of devices on September 21. The jump in iOS 8 installation numbers follows the October 20 release of iOS 8.1,...

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11:17
Apple VP Greg Joswiak Apologizes for iOS 8.0.1 Bug, Points...

Apple's VP of iPhone marketing, Greg Joswiak, sat down for an interview with Re/code's Ina Fried and Walt Mossberg this afternoon, discussing iPhone 6 and 6 Plus supply, the flawed iOS 8.0.1 update, Apple Pay, and the Apple Watch. According to Joswiak, the major iOS 8.0.1 bug that caused many iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users to lose access to both cellular service and Touch ID was caused by the software distribution rather than a flaw in the software. "It wasn't the software itself, it was the way it was distributed, said Joswiak. "We're very sorry." The iOS 8.0.1 bug surfaced shortly after the software was first released, bricking many iPhone 6 and 6 devices. Apple pulled the update a few hours later, directed users to downgrade to iOS 8, and released iOS 8.0.2...

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09:51
Merchants Going to War with Apple Pay will Lose

During one of Bloomberg TV's latest business video reports posted yesterday, Emily Chang discussed Apple’s mobile payment technology known at Apple Pay with Piper Jaffray Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster and Bloomberg's Editor-at-Large Cory Johnson. Apple Pay, which now works at Walgreens, the number one pharmacy chain in the U.S, was purposely disconnected by a rival pharmaceutical chain store(s) CVS (and Rite Aid) which has erupted into an online war over the mobile wallet of the future.

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09:36
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Apple Over 2011 MacBook...

Back in January, we highlighted graphics issues being experienced by a number of owners of 2011 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models, with many users needing to pay for (sometimes multiple) expensive logic board replacements due to the issue. The apparent widespread nature of the issue has led to claims that it is a manufacturing defect that should be covered by Apple, with a change.org petition seeking relief from Apple now exceeding 20,000 signatures and affected users organizing in a Facebook group of over 5,000 members. We noted in August that law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP had begun researching the issue, soliciting feedback...

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09:28
FTC Sues AT&T Over 'Misleading' Unlimited Da...

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States today filed a federal court complaint against AT&T, accusing the carrier of misleading its smartphone customers by charging them for unlimited data while reducing their data speeds by up to 90 percent. According to the FTC, AT&T did not adequately explain to customers with unlimited data plans that they would be throttled if they reached a certain amount of data during a billing cycle. AT&T also did not inform customers of the throttling when they renewed their unlimited contracts. "AT&T promised its customers 'unlimited' data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "The issue here is simple: 'unlimited' means unlimited."AT&T ceased offering unlimited data plans to customers several years ago, but has allowed...

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06:52
iPad Air 2 Material Costs Hold Steady Starting at $275, bu...

As it always does with Apple's major new iOS devices, research firm IHS iSuppli has torn down the new iPad Air 2 in an attempt to estimate Apple's component costs for the device (via Re/code). According to IHS iSuppli's estimates, the 16 GB iPad Air 2 costs Apple roughly $275 to build, just one dollar more than last year's iPad Air. The report unsurprisingly points out that Apple benefits from stronger profit margins as users move to higher capacity models, with Apple paying only about $50 more for 128 GB of storage compared to the base 16 GB configuration while charging users $200 for the upgrade. Still, Apple's move to eliminate the 32 GB option and slide the 64 GB and 128 GB models down $100 has slightly eroded Apple'...

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06:21
More Details on Next Version of Office for Mac Include Pla...

Following yesterday's leak of several screenshots from the next version of Microsoft's Outlook for Mac, Chinese site cnBeta now shares much more information [Google Translate] about the upcoming version of Microsoft's productivity suite for Mac. The report shares several presentation slides outlining some of the features of the next Office for Mac, as well as a timeline showing a planned release sometime in the first half of 2015. Microsoft team members had previously suggested the suite would launch this year. The slides point to four key focus areas for Microsoft during the development cycle of the next Office for Mac,...

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05:08
Apple Revelations Point to Highest R&D Spending Since...

The Financial Times reports today that Apple’s spending on research and development leapt by a third in the past year, reaching its highest level relative to revenues since 2007, the year the iPhone was released.

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