Rumor: A9 processor production underway, Samsung could handle 100% of orders

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Date: Friday, December 12th, 2014, 13:52
Category: Hardware, Processors, Rumor, Uncategorized

a9processor

Despite years of legal acrimony between Apple and Samsung, there’s still money to be made in processor manufacturing.

Per 9to5Mac and Korea’s Electronic Times, industry insiders have stated that Samsung Electronics began production of Apple’s A9 in the Austin plant in the US using the 14nm FinFET technology. Samsung has production lines capable of FinFET process production in Austin, US and Giheung, Korea, but began to produce A9 only in Austin as it is in the initial stage.

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Rumor: 12-2-inch “iPad Air Plus” could feature A9 processor, launch between April and June of 2015

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Date: Monday, December 1st, 2014, 09:51
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

ipadair2display

It’s a rumor at this point, but an interesting one.

Per MacRumors, Japanese magazine Mac Fan has published some possible schematics depicting the design of the larger-screened “iPad Pro” or “iPad Air Plus” in its January issue, which have been shared by Mac Otakara along with some information about the upcoming device.

The schematics suggest the tablet will include a 12.2-inch LCD display, and it points towards dimensions of 305.31mm x 220.8mm x 7mm, or 12 inches x 8.7 inches x 0.28 inches, which is in line with previous rumors about the larger tablet. Many rumors have suggested a size of 12.9-inches for the larger tablet, but this is the second report from Mac Otakara that has suggested the device will have a 12.2-inch display.

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Rumor: Apple to incorporate dual-lens system into next-gen iPhone camera

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Date: Wednesday, November 19th, 2014, 09:21
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

dualcameralens

Where its successor to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cameras are concerned, Apple may have just entered the megapixel arms race.

Per AppleInsider and Daring Fireball, host John Gruber revealed that “a birdie of a birdie” told him Apple is working on a two-lens system for incorporation in the next-generation iPhone.

“The specific thing I heard is that next year’s camera might be the biggest camera jump ever,” Gruber said. “I don’t even know what sense this makes, but I’ve heard that it’s some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR quality imagery.”

The notion of using multi-lens imaging systems to make up for a smartphone’s small form factor is a relatively recent development. In March, HTC unveiled the One M8 with a so-called “Duo camera” setup, which uses a secondary imaging sensor for depth data.

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Rumor: Department of Justice combining fixed-engine planes, fake cell towers to spy on cell phone users

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Date: Friday, November 14th, 2014, 11:22
Category: iPhone, Legal, Rumor, Uncategorized

dirtbox

Well, you’re going to have to snoop on cell phones SOMEHOW, and the Department of Justice thinks a small, fixed-wing Cessna is the way to do it.

Per AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, a supposed secret spy program equips small aircraft with a device dubbed a “dirtbox,” which pulls data from mobile phones by masquerading as a cell tower. The project aims to identify criminals through their devices, but the wide net also snares cellphones used by the general public.

Purportedly operated by the U.S. Marshals Service’s Technical Operations Group, the dirtboxes are manufactured by Digital Receiver Technology, a subsidiary of Boeing, and installed on fixed-wing craft like those built by Cessna. The two-foot-square devices identify themselves as legitimate cell towers with the strong signals, tricking mobile phones into reporting IMSI information.

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Rumor: Chipmakers gearing up production of Apple Watch components for possible early 2015 launch

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:59
Category: Hardware, Rumor, wireless

applewatch

Apple may have begun ramping up production of the Apple Watch for release in the relatively near future.

Per 9to5Mac and DigiTimes, while Apple has yet to provide a specific launch date for the Apple Watch, leaving its early 2015 timeframe and internal memo revealing a spring launch after Chinese New Year as the only information to go by in terms of a release date, chipmakers in Apple’s overseas supply chain are reportedly gearing up to begin production of the Apple Watch. The report, citing industry sources, claims that between 30 to 40 million units of the upcoming wearable device have been ordered.

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Rumor: Apple beginning to court enterprise markets via dedicated sales team

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:12
Category: Finance, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Rumor

applelogo1

Remember how Apple seemed like a second class citizen in the business and enterprise world?

That might be about to change.

According to Reuters, Apple is embarking on its most aggressive expansion yet onto corporate turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup and working in concert with a dozen or so developers, two sources familiar with its plans say.

Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth – highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters – by expanding its footprint in the workplace.

Three months after unveiling a partnership with IBM to develop apps for corporate clients and sell them on devices, the iPhone maker’s plans to challenge sector leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle and SAP are starting to take shape.

Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard’s and Dell’s dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP’s command of work applications. Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung’s or Google’s own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications.

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Rumor: Walmart opting for CurrentC system over Apple Pay due to high credit card transaction fees

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Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014, 11:48
Category: retail, Rumor, Software

applepayicon

This is where things could get a bit sticky.

In the current battle between Apple Pay and MCX’s CurrentC system, retailer Walmart has opted against supporting Apple Pay in its stores. A new report offers a big reason why: high credit card transaction fees.

According to 9to5 Mac and Re/code, a current report reveals that the fees merchants are required to pay banks when a credit card is swiped in their stores is too high. Meanwhile, MCX’s CurrentC has payment options that carry lower fees than credit card purchases.
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Rumor: Apple Watch steel model to begin at $500, gold model to retail between $4,000 and $5,000

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Date: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 10:00
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Wearables

Apple is far from releasing its price points for its upcoming watch, but the rumors as to the cost are starting to pour in.

Per 9to5Mac, French website iGen.fr, reported on Tuesday that the steel Apple Watch will start at US$500 alongside a gold model that will retail for between US$4,000 and US$5,000. Apple previously claimed at its September event that the Apple Watch would start at US$349, but did not disclose further pricing information.

The report claims that the stainless steel Apple Watch in polished steel or black will cost US$500, while the gold Apple Watch Edition will be the more expensive version at between US$4,000 and US$5,000. That price range would be nearly half the estimated US$10,000 price that some other reports have suggested.

In terms of a launch date, the report claims that the Apple Watch will launch in time for Valentine’s Day, but that was the most specific date given. An internal memo from Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was recently published in which she wrote that the Apple Watch will launch in the “Spring” following the Chinese New Year.

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Rumor: Apple to discontinue iPad mini in favor of larger 12-inch “iPad Pro” model

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Date: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, 10:00
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

It’s just a rumor, but it’s got some decent sources behind it.

Per AppleInsider and Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, a rumor out of East Asia on Monday claims Apple is looking to wind down iPad mini production in favor of a 12-inch tablet, a response to flagging sales and growing consumer interest in larger-screened devices.

Citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, the Economic Daily News reports the company is looking to discontinue iPad mini sales when the tablet lineup is refreshed next year and will instead concentrate on production of a new 12-inch format being called “iPad Pro.”

The shift in tablet strategy is said to be in reply to a shifting smartphone market, which has seen consumers gravitate toward devices with screens larger than 5 inches when measured diagonally. Apple itself has seen unexpectedly high demand for the new 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the company’s first “phablet” handset.

Also cited as a catalyst for change is increasingly aggressive competition in the tablet sector, with competitors like Samsung slowly nibbling away at Apple’s dominant marketshare. For the most recent fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, Apple moved 12.3 million iPads, down 17 percent from 14.1 million year-over-year.

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Apple retail exec Ahrendts indicates “spring” launch date for Apple Watch

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Date: Monday, November 3rd, 2014, 11:16
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Wearables

The latest word is that the Apple Watch will launch next spring.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts, stated the device’s release timeframe to retail employees in a video message, a transcript of which was provided by a source. While explaining that employees need to conserve energy for upcoming shopping seasons, Ahrendts stated, “we’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring:”

Up until this point, Apple has consistently said that the Apple Watch will ship in “early 2015,” without specifying a day or month. The broad window was announced at the Apple Watch’s unveil in September, is stated on Apple’s website, and was reiterated by Apple executives last month. Sources indicated in September that Apple would struggle to hit a Valentine’s Day release, which now appears to be even more unlikely. Spring begins on March 20th and lasts until June. If Apple considers late March to be “early 2015,” there may have actually been no change in plans. However, Ahrendts clearly states the launch is after the Chinese New Year (February 19th), so it appears the launch will miss Valentine’s Day regardless.

Last year, a report indicated that Apple planned to ship the wearable in fall 2014, but engineering difficulties delayed the launch to 2015. Subsequent reports confirmed that battery issues were partially to blame for Watch delays, and sources tell us that Apple is still working out kinks in the device’s battery system. Tim Cook has noted that Apple intends for the first-generation model to last all day and be charged each night. While Apple has reportedly hit that particular goal, the company is still working to speed up the amount of time it takes the inductive MagSafe charging system to fully juice up the product.

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