Published on May 13 2017

Apple plans to bring its iTunes app to the Windows 10 Store, Microsoft announced today at its Build developer event. iTunes, is, of course, already available on the Windows platform, but adding it to the Windows Store will make it easier for Windows users to find the software. 

Gaining iTunes for the Windows Store is a win for Microsoft, as the Windows store is currently lacking many key apps like Google's Chrome browser and Spotify. Microsoft has strict app requirements that some companies aren't able to work with. 

Apple to Start Offering iTunes on the Windows Store

The addition of iTunes could potentially drive more customers to use the Windows 10 Store, with iTunes said to be one of the apps that Windows users search for most often. 

According to Microsoft, iTunes will be added to the Windows Store by the end of this year.

Article Source: Apple to Start Offering iTunes on the Windows Store

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Published on May 13 2017

The Apple Watch's built-in heart rate monitor is 97 percent accurate when detecting the most common form of an abnormal heart rhythm when paired with an algorithm to sort through the data, according to a new study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco and the team behind the Cardiogram app (via TechCrunch). 

There were 6,158 participants in the study, all of whom used the Cardiogram app on the Apple Watch to monitor their heart rate. Most were known to have normal EKG readings, but 200 suffer from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (an occasional irregular heartbeat). 

Apple Watch Able to Detect Abnormal Heart Rhythm With 97% Accuracy

Data from these participants, along with data taken from normal Cardiogram users, was used to build a neural network that could recognize the abnormal heart rhythms solely from data collected by the Apple Watch. As of today, Cardiogram says its algorithm can almost always successfully determine when a patient is in atrial fibrillation.

In order to validate the model, we obtained gold-standard labels of atrial fibrillation from cardioversions. In a cardioversion, a patient experiencing atrial fibrillation is converted back to normal sinus rhythm, either chemically or with a shock to the heart. 51 patients at UCSF agreed to wear an Apple Watch during their cardioversion. 

We obtained heart rate samples before the procedure, when the patient was in atrial fibrillation, and after, when patient's heart was restored to a normal rhythm. On this validation set, our model performed with an AUC of 0.97, beating existing methods.

Cardiogram is a startup that's aiming to garner more information from the data collected by the Apple Watch. The study, which Cardiogram has raised funding for, started in March of 2016 and will continue as UCSF and Cardiogram work to refine the neural network and detect other conditions beyond atrial fibrillation. 

Cardiogram plans to put in additional work before using its algorithm to start notifying Cardiogram users of arrhythmias. The company needs to conduct further testing to make sure the algorithm works in a variety of conditions and it needs to work on scaling it so it can be used continuously by all Cardiogram users. 

The Cardiogram app can be downloaded from the App Store for free.

Article Source: Apple Watch Able to Detect Abnormal Heart Rhythm With 97% Accuracy

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Published on May 13 2017

Apple plans to make a major Apple TV announcement at WWDC that should delight Amazon Prime subscribers - the addition of an Amazon Prime Video app for the Apple TV.

The news comes courtesy of BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski, who often accurately shares details on Apple's plans ahead of events. According to Paczkowski, sources of Apple's plans say the company will announce an Amazon Prime Video app during its keynote event. 

There are tentative plans for the app to go live in the summer, but its official release date could change.

Apple to Announce Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV at WWDC

With Amazon Prime Video on the Apple TV, Amazon also plans to resume offering the Apple TV through Amazon.com. Amazon stopped offering the Apple TV and the Google Chromecast in 2015, citing Amazon Prime Video incompatibility as the reason why. It is not known when the Apple TV will return to the Amazon website. 

News of a potential deal between Apple and Amazon that would see the app made available on the Apple TV first surfaced last week. At the time, Apple and Amazon were said to be close to an agreement, and now an agreement has been reached. 

Amazon Prime Video is one of the only major streaming video services that is currently absent from the Apple TV, and Apple TV owners have long wanted to see the Prime Video app on Apple's device.

Article Source: Apple to Announce Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV at WWDC

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Published on May 13 2017

Apple's so-called "iPhone 8" with an OLED display and wireless charging is widely expected to cost in the neighborhood of $1,000 in the United States, and Wall Street analysts continue to guess just how much it'll sell for. 

iPhone 8 Predicted to Cost $999 For 128GB And $1,099 For 256GB, With No 32GB Model

The latest prediction comes from Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski, who today said she expects the rumored high-end iPhone to be available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for $999 and $1,099 respectively. Unlike the iPhone 7, she doesn't believe the iPhone 8 will be available in 32GB. 

An excerpt from her research note distributed today:

Relative to the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus, we estimate the new features and higher commodity prices to increase the bill of materials by over $70, which we expect Apple to offset via a $130 price increase, resulting in a starting price of $999 for the 128GB capacity and $1,099 for the 256GB capacity (we don’t expect the iPhone 8 to come in 32GB).

Apple's most expensive smartphone to date is the iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB of storage, which retails for $969 in the United States. 

UBS analyst Steven Milunovich shared entirely different pricing expectations last month, so it's clear that analysts are simply guesstimating. He thinks the iPhone 8 will come in 64GB and 256GB storage capacities for $850-$900 and $950-$1,000 respectively. His research note didn't mention 32GB or 128GB models. 

The takeaway here is that the iPhone 8 will likely be very expensive. The device's exact price tag is likely privy only to Apple at this point, however, so treat any estimate with a healthy dose of skepticism for now. 

Goldman Sachs raised its 12-month price target for Apple's stock to $170, up from $164, based on strong iPhone 8 expectations.

Article Source: iPhone 8 Predicted to Cost $999 For 128GB And $1,099 For 256GB, With No 32GB Model

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Published on May 13 2017

Samsung already confirmed that a refurbished version of the Galaxy Note 7 will return to stores this year in certain markets, without specifying a firm release date or pricing for the handset. A new report from Korea indicates that the launch is now imminent, and the phone is expected to be priced about 50% cheaper than the original.

Citing a report in Chosun Ilbo, The Investor says the phone will be released in Korea as soon as this month.

Samsung recently gained approval from the FCC in the United States and plans to soon apply for safety certification with the local regulator, the National Radio Research Agency. The approval process takes up to a month which means the phone could be in stores in early June at the soonest.

In a comment, Samsung confirmed the Galaxy Note 7R — that’s the name for the safe Galaxy Note 7 version — will launch before the Galaxy Note 8 debuts. “We have not yet decided on the phone’s launch schedule,” a Samsung official said. “We plan to launch the phone before the Galaxy Note 8 that comes out later this year.”

Leaked information indicates the Galaxy Note 7R will sport a smaller 3,200 mAh battery and run Android 7.1.1 out of the box. Comparatively, the original handset had a 3,500 mAh battery pack and launched with Android 6.0.1 on board.

While Samsung seems ready to unleash the Galaxy Note 7R in its home market, it’s unknown at this time which other markets will receive the handset, or if it’s heading to the US or not. What we do know is that Samsung has around 3 million Galaxy Note 7 units in its warehouses that need to be disposed of one way or another.

Article Source: The new Galaxy Note 7 that won’t explode launches soon for about half the price

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Published on May 4 2017

Apple did not expect so many people to choose the iPhone 7 Plus over the iPhone 7, according to statements made by Apple CEO Tim Cook during today's second quarter earnings call. 

"One of the things we didn't get right was the mix between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus," said Cook. "Demand was much stronger towards the iPhone 7 Plus than we expected." Apple's misestimation of the popularity of the iPhone 7 Plus led to some shortages of the bigger-screened device during the December quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'Demand Was Stronger Towards iPhone 7 Plus Than We Expected'

Apple sold the highest number of Plus models in the first half of fiscal 2017 than ever before, higher than the iPhone 6 and 6s lineups. Cook says it took Apple a while to "bring the iPhone 7 Plus into balance," something that occurred early in the second quarter. 

According to Cook, Apple learns from its mistakes. "Every time we launch something, we learn something, and we brush up our models and apply everything we learn for next time," he said.

Article Source: Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'Demand Was Stronger Towards iPhone 7 Plus Than We Expected'

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Published on May 3 2017

Apple today announced financial results for the second fiscal quarter of 2017, which corresponds to the first calendar quarter of the year. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $52.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $11.0 billion, or $2.10 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $50.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.5 billion, or $1.90 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. 

Gross margin for the quarter was 38.9 percent compared to 39.4 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 65 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an increased quarterly dividend payment of $0.63 per share, up from $0.57. The dividend is payable on May 18 to shareholders of record as of May 15. 

In addition to the increase in the dividend payment, Apple says it will once again expand its share repurchase authorization by an additional $50 billion and the company says it expects to spend a total $300 billion in cash under its overall capital return program by the end of March 2019. 

Apple Reports 2Q 2017 Results: $11B Profit on $52.9B Revenue, 50.8M iPhones

Apple sold 50.8 million iPhones during the quarter, down slightly from 51.1 million a year earlier, while Mac sales rose slightly to 4.20 million units from 4.03 million units in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales continued to decline, falling to 8.92 million from 10.25 million.

“We are proud to report a strong March quarter, with revenue growth accelerating from the December quarter and continued robust demand for iPhone 7 Plus,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve seen great customer response to both models of the new iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition and we’re thrilled with the strong momentum of our Services business, with our highest revenue ever for a 13-week quarter. Looking ahead, we are excited to welcome attendees from around the world to our annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month in San Jose.”

Apple's guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 includes expected revenue of $43.5–45.5 billion and gross margin between 37.5 and 38.5 percent. 

Apple Reports 2Q 2017 Results: $11B Profit on $52.9B Revenue, 50.8M iPhones

Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q2 2017 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights. 

Article Source: Apple Reports 2Q 2017 Results: $11B Profit on $52.9B Revenue, 50.8M iPhones

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Published on May 3 2017

Samsung CONFIRMS Galaxy Note 8 Release For 2H 2017

We knew it was coming, but it’s always good to hear it direct from the horse’s mouth

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will get a release later on in 2017. We all know this. But Samsung has now confirmed this is actually the case; and this is odd because normally handset-makers seldom utter anything about new handsets before they’re official.

But then Samsung has a lot of achievements to unlock in 2017. For starters, it has to beat Apple’s iPhone 8; second, make up for last year’s Note 7; and, finally, it needs to reassert itself as the de facto king of the phone space.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 launch went swimmingly; reviews were extremely positive, our’s included, and analysts expect Samsung to sell a record number of Galaxy S8 units in 2017/18.

The company, however, is keen to do the same with its Galaxy Note 8 handset as well – this is likely why it is already talking-up the handset in official press releases.

“As for the year ahead,” said Samsung in a press release, “Samsung anticipates market demand in smartphones to slightly increase with solid replacement demand growth in the mid- to high-end segment.”

It added: “However, competition is expected to intensify with newly launched smartphones in the market. The company will aim to improve performance YoY by maximizing sales of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and successfully launching a new flagship smartphone in the second half. In addition, the company will maintain profitability in the mid- to low-end segment.”

The “new flagship smartphone”, in case you were wondering, is the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung acknowledged the handset earlier on in 2017 as well, saying it was working on making the Galaxy Note 8 a safer, more innovative release than its predecessor.

Normally, Samsung’s Note releases tend to be more exciting than its Galaxy S one’s. And this year’s Galaxy Note 8 seems certain to carry on that tradition. Expect massive specs, a new design and likely some of the best imaging ever from its new camera tech.

Article Source: Samsung CONFIRMS Galaxy Note 8 Release For 2H 2017

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Published on April 27 2017

A Chinese tech blog bucked the iPhone rumor trend today by claiming it had received insider information from the Apple supply chain that Apple will release two iPhone models this year rather than the expected three. 

Micgadget.com posted the rumor in the early hours of Tuesday, citing "some [of] our friends from Foxconn" who apparently "confirmed" that Hon Hai had received an order for two models, corresponding to two versions of Apple's radically redesigned OLED iPhone, the so-called "iPhone 8". 

Questionable Rumor Claims Apple Will Debut Two iPhones This Year, Not Three
Rumors say that Apple will release two iPhone 7S and one iPhone 8 (or iPhone Edition) models. Today we can tell you, that it's not true. This fall we can see only two models with new technology. Very interesting that rumors leaked new iPhone 8 and big iPhone 8 Plus will have similar dual cameras.

It's highly unusual for a supply chain rumor to go against the prevailing assumption this late into the iPhone cycle, and Micgadget.com has a mixed history of releasing information on Apple's plans. The site has also been pushing the idea that Apple will release an additional "iPhone 8 Plus" since at least February with little evidence to back up the claim, so we're covering this rumor merely to highlight our current doubts regarding its veracity. 

For some time now, analyst expectations and supply chain hints have indicated that Apple will break away from its annual tradition of launching two models of iPhone and will instead reveal a radically overhauled smartphone in addition to its usual "S" refresh model updates. 

The rumor trail began all the way back in March of 2016, when noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo laid out his expectations that Apple would launch 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones alongside a standout "premium" OLED model, because of supply constraints on AMOLED technology. Multiple reports have since corroborated this scenario, with Apple said to be aiming for a more complete transition to Samsung-made OLED displays in 2018 when supplies become more available. 

Indeed, it's possible Micgadget.com is misinterpreting information from its purported Foxconn source for precisely this reason. Multiple reports suggest Apple will debut its redesigned OLED iPhone in September, but it could still face severe supply shortages until perhaps as late as October or November. Therefore, while orders for Apple's two LCD-based iPhones may have been cemented in good time for the usual August-September ramp-up in production, orders for an "iPhone 8" at the supply chain level may have still not been pegged down. 

Apart from an edge-to-edge OLED display in a typical-sized 4.7-inch casing, the "iPhone 8" is expected to include wireless charging, no physical Home button, and perhaps 3D facial recognition and/or iris scanning. In addition, rumors suggest that Touch ID could be embedded in or under a True Tone display, or could possibly be relocated to the rear of the device if Apple can't perfect the under-screen technology in time.

Article Source: Questionable Rumor Claims Apple Will Debut Two iPhones This Year, Not Three

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Published on April 27 2017

Chinese Smartphone Makers Are Catching Up With Apple

Of the 3 billion people in the world who actively use smartphones and tablets in the world today, more than a third are using a product made by Apple. That won’t come as a huge surprise to most, but what’s intriguing about the future is how the top five Chinese smartphone vendors by active users are catching up.

 

In aggregate, they make up 30.2% of actively used mobile devices in the world today, versus Apple’s 34.8%, according to a fourth quarter report on the global mobile industry from market intelligence firm Newzoo.

The China growth story is happening in apps too. China has already overtaken the U.S. (as of 2015) in how much money its consumers spend on apps. In 2016, Chinese consumers spent $11.9 billion on apps, versus $9.4 billion in the U.S. and that number will probably continue to diverge as, Newzoo says.

 

According to its research, five smartphone makers from China are among the top 10 vendors by active users globally. They include Huawei at number 3 with 5.4% of global market share, Xiaomi with its Mi series of smartphone and tablets, Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo.

Samsung is in second place globally with 23.5% of global active mobile users.

Newzoo’s report, which was released in late 2016 but highlighted by chart-maker Statista on Wednesday, said that by the end of last year some 31% of the globe population would be active smartphone users.

 

Nearly half of those users, or 49%, are in Asia Pacific. The lowest smartphone penetration is in the Middle East and Africa, where just 19% of the population actively use smartphones.

 

Article Source: Chinese Smartphone Makers Are Catching Up With Apple

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