2017 iPhone Model to Sport 5.8-Inch AMOLED Displays Made by Samsung: Report

Apple’s next iPhone is nearly a year away, but leaks have started to pick up pace. The Cupertino giant is expected to bring significant changes to mark the ten-year anniversary of the iPhone, and initial reports indicate that three variants are in the offing. A fresh leak hints that Apple has exclusively partnered with Samsung to make 5.8-inch AMOLED displays for its next year’s premium model.

2017 iPhone Model to Sport 5.8-Inch AMOLED Displays Made by Samsung: ReportDigiTimes reports that Samsung Display will exclusively manufacture displays for the third and larger premium variant. The 5.8-inch AMOLED displays will initially be produced in minimal quantities starting March, and production will be ramped up post May-June. The report cites people familiar with the matter in the Taiwan-based supply chain to state that, at most, 20 million units will be produced by Samsung per month.

The report also claims that the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone models won’t switch to OLED displays just yet, and stay on TFT-LCD, but 2018 could speak a different story. According to the source, global shipments of the AMOLED variant are estimated to be at 60-70 million units in 2017. While this report claims that the third variant will be larger, another report indicates that a 5-inch premium variant is in the offing. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, however, backs the 5.8-inch rumour. In any case, all of the rumours are still in their nascent stages, and it’s too early to take them seriously. For now, iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 are all rumoured to be launched next year.

The iPhone 8 is expected to have an all glass body, ditching the metal back and edges seen currently. It is said to be devoid of a Home Button, with the display supporting fingerprint reading and 3D Touch. It is expected to sport advanced wireless charging that will not require the user to place the device on a charging station or even very close to it. It is also tipped to come with an iris scanner and support 3D photography.

Facebook Plans New Data Centre in Growing Irish Cloud Hub

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Facebook plans to open a new data centre in Ireland, the social network said on Monday, becoming the latest technology giant to set up an energy efficient centre in Ireland’s recovering economy.

Facebook said it had applied for planning permission to build the centre, which, after Sweden, is its second in Europe for housing computers that run cloud computing services, where users store data on secure servers instead of their own network or computer.

Ireland is fast becoming a cloud hub helped by its temperate climate and the presence of many of the biggest Internet companies, which have been attracted by the country’s low corporate tax rate.

Apple in February that it would spend EUR 1.7 billion on two new data centres in Ireland and Denmark, its largest investment in Europe.

Google and Microsoft also have opened Irish date centres in recent years.

Microsoft is currently fighting a legal battle with the US government over its demand that the software company turn over customer data stored in its Irish data centre.

Earlier this month, Facebook announced the opening of a new artificial intelligence lab in Paris to expand a push to make its online social network smarter and more profitable.

The new Paris AI lab – the third after two it operates in the United States – has six researchers at work and will more than double that number by the end of the year, executives from the US-based company said. The recruits will come from France’s top public and private technological institutions.

Apple TV expected to get revamped remote control

 

A long-awaited update Apple is said to have in the works for Apple TV will also reportedly include a revamped remote control.

A new model of the set-top streaming box due later this year will come with a new remote that will feature a touch pad for navigating the interface, an unidentified Apple employee told The New York Times. The new remote will also include two physical buttons — like the current model — and be slightly thicker than the current model, the Times’ source said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The debut of a new remote would complement a slew of Apple TV announcements Apple is expected to make at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. In addition to introducing a new Apple TV streaming box, Apple is expected to unveil a software development kit that will allow developers to bring apps to the set-top box, Buzzfeedreported in March. The update would deliver an App Store to the Apple TV, similar to the App Store on iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad.

A touch pad would be a significant addition to Apple TV’s remote control, which has gone largely unchanged as the streaming box has changed in recent years. Unveiled in 2007, the original device was designed to bring iTunes content to a customer’s television and was followed by subsequent versions that stripped away the need for onboard storage and focused solely on streaming content to the television.

Apple hasn’t updated its streaming device since 2012, but at an event in March, the company announced it had reduced the price of the Apple TV to $69 from its previous $99 price tag. Apple also touted that it has sold 25 million Apple TV units since the product’s inception in 2007.

Apple is also said to be working with television networks to launch a service later this year that would let users stream programming from a range of providers, including ABC, CBS and Fox. The service would be available on Apple’s iOS devices and the Apple TV. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)

Apple has hinted for quite some time that it’s working on a more complete, over-the-top video streaming service. However, there have been no signs such a product is close to ready, which largely has been attributed to difficulties securing content deals at reasonable rates.

 

 

A long-awaited update Apple is said to have in the works for Apple TV will also reportedly include a revamped remote control.

A new model of the set-top streaming box due later this year will come with a new remote that will feature a touch pad for navigating the interface, an unidentified Apple employee told The New York Times. The new remote will also include two physical buttons — like the current model — and be slightly thicker than the current model, the Times’ source said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The debut of a new remote would complement a slew of Apple TV announcements Apple is expected to make at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. In addition to introducing a new Apple TV streaming box, Apple is expected to unveil a software development kit that will allow developers to bring apps to the set-top box, Buzzfeedreported in March. The update would deliver an App Store to the Apple TV, similar to the App Store on iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad.

A touch pad would be a significant addition to Apple TV’s remote control, which has gone largely unchanged as the streaming box has changed in recent years. Unveiled in 2007, the original device was designed to bring iTunes content to a customer’s television and was followed by subsequent versions that stripped away the need for onboard storage and focused solely on streaming content to the television.

Apple hasn’t updated its streaming device since 2012, but at an event in March, the company announced it had reduced the price of the Apple TV to $69 from its previous $99 price tag. Apple also touted that it has sold 25 million Apple TV units since the product’s inception in 2007.

Apple is also said to be working with television networks to launch a service later this year that would let users stream programming from a range of providers, including ABC, CBS and Fox. The service would be available on Apple’s iOS devices and the Apple TV. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)

Apple has hinted for quite some time that it’s working on a more complete, over-the-top video streaming service. However, there have been no signs such a product is close to ready, which largely has been attributed to difficulties securing content deals at reasonable rates.

Apple Pay to accept Discover cards this fall

Discover credit card holders will be able to tap into Apple Pay later this year.

Starting this fall, Apple Pay users in the US will be able to add their Discover cards to Apple’s mobile payments system to buy items at supported stores and other sellers, Discover announced Monday. Apple Pay already accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express, so Apple will have a lock on all four major credit cards in the US.

A spokesman for Discover told CNET that he couldn’t be any more specific on timing beyond this fall but added that the company is starting the task of integrating Apple Pay now.

Unveiled in October, Apple Pay enables owners of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch to pay for items on the go via a wireless technology known as NFC (near-field communication). Owners of the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 can also tap into Apple Pay but only to pay for apps. Apple has been striving to expand support for Apple Pay in the US among merchants and credit card issuers. Discover has around 61 million cardholders, so the new deal opens up access to a large number of potential Apple Pay users.

Apple Pay is one of several bids to change the way that people purchase goods and services. Wallet-less purchasing has yet to catch on, but the power of the Apple brand gives Apple Pay the potential to succeed.

The more challenging task for Apple is drumming up support among retailers. Apple Pay is currently accepted at 67 US retail chains with 14 more coming. But those are just a fraction of all the retailers in the country. And not every individual store at a supported retailer can handle Apple Pay. In order to accept an Apple Pay payment, a store’s point-of-sale system must be equipped with the necessary NFC technology.

At the same time, Apple Pay faces potential competition from similar services offered by other companies. Samsung’s new Samsung Pay feature is available on the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Google has unveiled a mobile payments service called Android Pay. PayPal plans to buy Paydiant, a startup firm that helps companies build mobile payments options. And a group of retailers known as the Merchant Customer Exchange is trying to challenge Apple Pay with its own service known as CurrentC.

Apple is also trying to expand Apple Pay internationally to such countries as Canada and China. But cutting such deals is proving a challenge as local banks are balking at the transaction fees that Apple wants to charge.

Adding your Discover card to your supported iPhone or iPad will work the same way as it does with other credit cards. You enter your credit card number and related information by either scanning the card or typing in the data manually. But the actual card number and security code are not stored on your phone or tablet. Instead, a unqiue Device Account Number is generated with a one-time code to secure your transaction.

“As the mobile payments landscape matures, Discover remains committed to giving card members secure options for using their cards and mobile devices,” Diane Offereins, Discover’s president of payment services, said in a statement.

Discover card holders who use Apple Pay can still take advantage of their current benefits, according to Discover. Those include the 5 percent cash-back bonus and a tool that lets you put a halt to new purchases and other transactions yourself if you ever lose your card.

Apple Pay will also accept Discover debit cards. Such cards are linked with checking accounts held at banks that partner with Discover just as Visa and MasterCard work with certain banks to offer debit cards.

 

Apple Watch Pre-Orders Reflect Strong Early Demand

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Customers preordering Apple Inc’s smartwatch will have to wait at least a month for delivery, a sign of strong early demand for company chief Tim Cook’s first new major product.

People flocked to Apple’s stores around the world to get a close-up look at the Apple Watch, the tech company’s foray into the personal luxury goods market, with Apple predicting demand would exceed supply at product launch.

Cook, interviewed on cable television channel CNBC, said initial orders were “great” for the device, available for preorder online and to try out in stores by appointment, but not to take home.

“We view this as an indication of solid demand paired with very limited supply,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients. “We continue to expect modest sales in the June quarter as demand ramps over time.”

A key factor in the watch’s success will be demand once an initial wave of interest from Apple enthusiasts subsides.

The watch goes on sale officially on April 24, online and through appointments in shops, including trendy fashion boutiques in Paris, London and Tokyo, part of Apple’s strategy of positioning the wearable computer as a must-have accessory.

But soon after online preorders opened on Friday, Apple’s website listed shipping times in June for some models of the watch and four to six weeks for others.

There was immediately brisk bidding on eBay for confirmed orders for watches, with hundreds of sellers looking to make a few hundred or even thousand dollars by passing on their watches, once received.

Testing Apple’s mastery of consumer trends, the watch is an untried concept for the Cupertino, California-based company. It straddles a technology market accustomed to rapid obsolescence and luxury goods whose appeal lies in their enduring value.

The Apple Watch sport starts at $349 while the standard version comes in at $549 in the United States. High-end “Edition” watches with 18-karat gold alloys are priced from $10,000 and go as high as $17,000.

At a San Francisco Apple store, dozens of customers crowded around newly installed wooden cabinets, snapping pictures of the gadgets on display under glass. Apple employees, admittedly still unfamiliar with the watches’ finer points, guided customers through features like text messaging, maps and fitness tracking.

Mixed reviews
At Apple’s flagship store in New York, Jack Weber, who was visiting from Charlottesville, Virginia, said he would give his wife a top-of-the-line “Edition” as a 50th-anniversary gift.

“What more perfect wedding present could there be than this watch?” he said.

Long wait times will likely stimulate more demand for the watch – which allows users to check email, listen to music and make phone calls when paired with an iPhone – with little risk of losing impatient customers, said JMP analyst Alex Gauna.

“You would want to catch up by the holiday season,” Gauna said. “But based on what’s out there in Android land, I don’t think there’s an extreme risk in near term of losing customers who must have a smartwatch and will go to some alternative.”

Android is Google’s mobile operating system used on many smartwatches.

Reviewers this week praised the watch as “beautiful” and “stylish” but gave it poor marks for relatively low battery life and slow-loading apps.

Sales estimates for 2015 vary widely. Piper Jaffray predicts 8 million units and Global Securities Research forecasts 40 million. By comparison, Apple sold nearly 200 million iPhones last year.

Apple’s watch is widely expected to outsell those by Samsung, Sony Corp and Fitbit. It will likely account for 55 percent of global smartwatch shipments this year, according to Societe Generale.

“Apple will outsell its wearable rivals by a very wide margin but it will do this on the power of its brand and its design alone,” independent technology analyst Richard Windsor said.

Apple Urged by IT Minister to Set Up R&D Facility in India

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Hoping to rope in another big multinational technology company in the country in a big way, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday urged Apple to open a research and development (R&D) facility in India.

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The minister on Friday met Apple’s Head Compliance EMEIA region John Reynolds in New Delhi.

“Apple is an effective brand in India and personally I requested them to consider opening a good R&D centre in India,” Prasad said after the meeting.

He said the meeting with Reynolds was positive and Prasad will be visiting Apple’s facility in Silicon Valley next month.

The minister felt a R&D centre by Apple in the country would help the tech giant in getting good business propositions in other parts of Asia also.

The minister mentioned that in financial year 2013-14, Apple sold their products worth $730 million (roughly Rs. 4545 crores) in India.

Apple in Talks With Musicians for Exclusive Streaming Deals

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Apple Inc has approached more than a dozen musicians, including British band Florence and the Machine, in an effort to sign exclusive deals for some of their music to be streamed on Beats, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

News Update : Iphone 7 specification. Read it here.

The company is in talks with Florence and the Machine to give Apple limited streaming rights to a track from their album set to be released in June, Bloomberg said.

Apple has also approached Taylor Swift and others about partnerships, the report said.

Apple declined to comment.

Beats Music will be re-launched in coming months. There will be a $9.99-a-month subscription for individuals and a family plan for $14.99, according to sources, Bloomberg said.

Music streaming service Tidal, launched last month by rapper Jay Z, is also trying to convince artists to sign exclusive deals for their content, to fend off competition from services such as Spotify and Google Inc’s YouTube.

Apple bought audio equipment and music streaming company Beats for about $3 billion in May 2014, hoping to catch up in fast-growing music streaming industry.