Apple announces iPhone 6, 6 Plus handsets, offers September 19th release date

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Date: Tuesday, September 9th, 2014, 15:05
Category: iPhone, News

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets have been announced over at Apple’s media event.

And you could have one within your paws come the 19th.

Per Mac|Life, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil W. Schiller introduced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which will be available for preorder on September 12th, with in-store availability coming September 19th.

In addition to a Retina Display HD and A8 processor, Schiller outlined a new addition to the iPhone 6′s M8 coprocessor lineup with a new barometer sensor, which measures relative elevation from air pressure — perfect for capturing footsteps moving up or down stairs, for example.

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Wireless has also been further improved on iPhone 6, with a new, advanced 150Mbps LTE that takes advantage of 20 different LTE bands — more than any other smartphone, according to Apple. Cupertino is now working with 200 LTE carriers around the globe, with support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi calling as well.

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Rumor: Apple to release both 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch iPhone 6 handsets on Friday, September 19th

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Date: Monday, September 8th, 2014, 16:50
Category: Hardware, iPhone, retail, Rumor

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While no one knows exactly what Apple will announce at its media event tomorrow, the Europeans seem to have a few decent guesses. Per MacRumors, French web site iGen.fr claims Apple may begin selling both of its iPhone 6 models at the same time. According to the report, which is based on the same source who accurately predicted previous Apple product launches, the two models would go on sale starting Friday, September 19th. That has been the most widely expected date for the first wave of launches given Apple’s previous announcement and launch patterns.

Perhaps in line with a lack of significant leaks of parts for the larger model, a separate source indicates that the 4.7-inch model is likely to be available in higher quantities than the 5.5-inch model. Similar rumors have also been heard via a reliable source, who has indicated that two different iPhone models are incoming with the larger model shipping at only half the rates of the smaller one.

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Leaked component image bolsters rumors of redesigned True Tone flash for iPhone 6

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Date: Wednesday, August 27th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

A leaked image could possibly confirm rumors of a redesigned “True Tone’ flash unit for the iPhone 6 handset’s camera.

Per AppleInsider, Chinese smartphone repair company ElekWorld posted pictures of newly stocked parts, including purported “iPhone 6″ power flex cables with round multi-colored flash assemblies.

The cables, which are now available in both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variations, feature what appears to be a dual-LED flash assembly with “cool” and “warm” tints, a hallmark of Apple’s branded True Tone technology.

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Further, the round flash lines up with a series of purportedly leaked iPhone 6 rear shells, each featuring a round hole for the rear camera’s flash unit. It was previously speculated that the circular opening was merely a placeholder for what would ultimately house the familiar pill-shaped port seen in the iPhone 5s.

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Photos of purported iPhone 6 rear shell surface

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Date: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014, 09:13
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Pictures, Rumor

The leaked iPhone 6 part photos continue to come in.

Per MacRumors, images of the iPhone 6′s rear shell have been let into the wild by part leaker Sonny Dickson. The part shown in the photos also appears identical to the rear shell shared by luxury modified iPhone vendor Feld & Volk, hinting that this may be a legitimate component.

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Apple blocks older Flash plug-in version if Safari, pushes users to adopt new, more secure, version

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Date: Friday, July 11th, 2014, 11:51
Category: News, security, Software

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You may not like doing it, but you’re going to have to snag the newest version of Adobe’s Flash Player plug-in.

Per AppleInsider, Apple late Thursday issued a security message saying it has blocked old versions of Adobe’s Flash Player plug-in for Safari, citing a recent flaw that could potentially allow hackers to harvest browser data like cookies.

Users with out of date plug-ins will be met with a message saying, “Blocked plug-in,” “Flash Security Alert” or “Flash out-of-date” when attempting to access Flash content in Safari. Clicking on the alert takes users to Adobe’s Flash installer page, where the latest version of the plug-in can be downloaded and installed.

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Netflix to abandon Silverlight for OS X Yosemite, go with Media Source Extensions for video streaming on the Mac

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Date: Wednesday, June 4th, 2014, 11:34
Category: News, Software

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Maybe it wasn’t meant to be between Netflix and Silverlight.

According to the cool cats at The Mac Observer, Netflix is finally moving away from Microsoft’s Silverlight for video streaming on the Mac, at least for OS X Yosemite users. The company said it is instead relying on a feature called Media Source Extensions which will give subscribers 1080p quality video without taxing your Mac’s CPU or battery.

Currently, Netflix streaming on the Mac requires Silverlight, which is a multimedia playback and streaming extension from Microsoft. Much like Adobe’s Flash, Silverlight is proprietary and requires users to install extra software on their Mac. In OS X Yosemite, however, no extra software is needed because all the pieces are already in place to support HTML5 video.

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iPhone 6 leaked photo shows slight redesign, changes

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Date: Friday, May 30th, 2014, 10:06
Category: iPhone, News, Pictures

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There’s been a bevy of iPhone 6 dummy photographs out now demonstrating what the next-fen handset will look like. Per Boy Genius Report, Macfixit Australia may have gotten the highest quality image to date.

The site, which said it received the image from a contact in China and has posted an image of an iPhone 6 casing, which appears to be made out of metal and includes rounded corners, rounded edges, slim volume keys and two distinct antenna breaks on the top and bottom.

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Critical update for Flash released

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Date: Thursday, February 6th, 2014, 09:56
Category: Hack, Mac, Malware, News, security, Software, Windows

adobe-flash-playerEarlier it was Java, now it has been discovered that Adobe’s Flash software also has a vulnerability that gives complete control over compromised systems to hackers. This vulnerability, fixed in the just released version 12.0.0.44, affects Adobe Flash Player 12.0.0.43 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh and Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.335 and earlier versions for Linux, although Linux was listed as having a lower priority rating. Adobe has detailed the problem in a security bulletin. All users are recommended to update Flash on their computers, as well as Google’s Chrome browser which has it’s own Flash component. The version of Chrome that includes this fix is 32.0.1700.107 and should update this automatically, but you may have to restart the browser for the correct version to register in the “About Google Chrome” window. If you want to check which version you are running before going through the update process, you can go to this page on Adobe’s site. You can download OS specific installers from here. Windows users who browse the Web with anything other than Internet Explorer will need to apply two Flash updates, one for IE and one for any alternative browsers (Firefox, Opera, e.g.). Both updaters can be found on the download page. On a Mac, if you already have Flash installed, you can also go to the Flash Player settings in System Preferences and click on the Check for Updates button in the Advanced tab. Our friends at Kaspersky Labs make another appearance in the Acknowledgements of the security bulletin where Adobe thanks them for discovering the vulnerability;

“Adobe would like to thank the following individuals for reporting the relevant issues and for working with Adobe to help protect our customers:

Alexander Polyakov and Anton Ivanov of Kaspersky Labs (CVE-2014-0497)”

So if you’ve got the time now, and you probably should make the time, get those updaters downloaded and installed. Almost makes you want to remove both Java and Flash doesn’t it?

Apple releases updated MacBook Pro notebooks, offers $200 drop from previous price points

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:59
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

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If you were hoping for a cool new Apple notebook from today’s media event, this might be it.

Per Mac|Life, Apple VP of Marketing Phil Schiller announced significant updates for the 13- and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros. Schiller announced that the 13-inch version is now both thinner and lighter, clocking in at 3.46 pounds and .71 inches thin.

The new notebooks also feature a Haswell chip, Iris graphics, all of which makes it up to 90 percent faster. All total, that deliver nine hours of battery life, enough, Schiller said, to watch Christopher Nolan’s entire Dark Knight saga in one go. But with all those improvements, Schiller had some other good news. The new MacBook Pro will sell for US$1,299, marking US$200 drop from before, and it’s even shipping today.

Schiller then moved on to discuss the 15-inch version, which has 2.4GHz Core i5, 4GB ram and a 128GB SSD, which is also shipping today. The new unit includes Crystalwell chip with Iris Pro graphics with the option to add a GeForce 750M. Additional specs include around 8 hours of battery life, PCIe Flash, 802.11ac, and Thunderbolt 2. The 15-inch unit also saw a price decrease–it now sells for US$1,999, down from US$2,199, and is also shipping today.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

iSuppli runs numbers, finds $199, $183 build costs for iPhone 5s, 5c handsets

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Date: Wednesday, September 25th, 2013, 07:47
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

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If you’re wondering how much Apple’s new iPhone handsets cost to manufacture, they’ve got a number.

Per AllThingsD, a forthcoming IHS iSuppli report posits that Apple spends at least US$191 on components to build a 16GB model of the iPhone 5s and between US$167 and US$176 for a low-end iPhone 5c. Those prices are just a few dollars lower than what Apple spent in order to build the iPhone 5 according to iSuppli’s year-ago report on that device. The firm adds another US$8 in assembly costs for the iPhone 5s, while iPhone 5c assembly tacks on another US$7 to assemble, giving full construction estimates of US$199 for the 5s and between US$173 and US$183 for the 5c.

The iPhone 5, released in 2012, cost Apple about US$205 to produce and sold for between US$649 and US$849 off-contract. Apple saves about US$13 to produce the new high-end iPhone, even considering its beefed up processor and biometric sensor, and Apple sells it for the same price point.

Memory capacity plays a part in the price of an iPhone, with the jump from a 16GB module to a 64GB module adding US$19 to the component cost, plus another US$8 in assembly.

The display components are among the biggest cost contributors for the device, though, amounting to US$41 out of the component cost. IHS believes that Apple’s displays came from a number of vendors, including Sharp, Japan Display Inc., and LG Display.

The use of a polycarbonate shell for the iPhone 5c helps Apple drop the component cost of what is essentially an iPhone 5 even further. Whereas the iPhone 5 was machined from a single piece of aluminum in a costly process, Apple spends only US$173 to build a 16GB iPhone 5 model and US$183 to build the 64GB model.

IHS’ look at the new iPhones seems to agree with some observers’ opinion that the iPhone 5s, despite the addition of a number of technologies, is more of an incremental progression over its predecessor.

“I would say that they’re almost the same phone,” said IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler, “except for that the 5s has the fingerprint sensor, the A7 processor and some newer memory chips that consume less power. Beyond that, they’re basically the same.”

The lower production cost per unit could work in Apple’s favor going forward. The Cupertino company recently revised its guidance for the September quarter after selling more than nine million new iPhone units in the launch weekend. Part of that guidance revision was to orient investors to look toward the upper range of its previous estimate, possibly due to the improved margins on its hot-selling new devices.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.