Posts with #mac news tag

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 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 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 17 2017

Apple's supposed "biggest bottleneck" in preparing to mass produce the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display remains integrating Touch ID underneath the display glass, according to a research note from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri obtained by MacRumors. 

Apple is Struggling to Integrate Touch ID Under the iPhone 8's Display

Arcuri, citing his own "field work" within the supply chain, said the current yield of Apple's in-house AuthenTec-based fingerprint sensor solution is low, while noting that Apple seems unwilling to use an outside solution at this time. If Apple cannot resolve these yield issues, he sees three different scenarios: 

• Apple removes Touch ID from the 5.8-inch iPhone entirely and relies solely on facial/iris recognition. Arcuri said this is unlikely, as it's not secure enough, risky, and would potentially create issues with Apple Pay. 

• Apple puts Touch ID on the back of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but in a different place than the one on the Galaxy S8, which can be hard to reach. Arcuri said this would not be a user-friendly or optimal solution to say the least. 

• Apple delays production of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but still announces the device in early September alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.

Arcuri said Apple is aiming to finalize its fingerprint sensor specification by May, but if its in-house AuthenTec-based solution is not feasible due to yield issues, mass production of the tentatively named "iPhone 8" could be delayed until September, compared to its usual late July to August timeframe. 

Arcuri still expects Apple to announce the 5.8-inch iPhone alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models in September, but supplies may be extremely limited or unavailable whatsoever until later in the year. That timeline echoes recent predictions from Apple analyst Brian White and investment bank Barclays. 

It's also a scenario that has occurred with nearly every previous iPhone launch. Last year, the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black was a highly popular model among customers, and shipping estimates for online orders quickly slipped to several weeks out. It wasn't until around November that it became more widely available. 

The device, which has also been called the iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, is expected to feature a new glass and stainless steel design, wireless charging, longer battery life, a new front-facing camera with 3D sensing capabilities, and improved water resistance. It also won't have a physical Home button. 

Touch ID-related yield issues may be the reason why 5.8-inch iPhone components and schematics have yet to leak from the supply chain. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus parts began to leak around March last year. 

Cowen and Company maintains an "outperform" rating for AAPL with a $155 price target.

Article Source: Apple is Struggling to Integrate Touch ID Under the iPhone 8's Display

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Published on April 17 2017

All three of Apple's rumored 2017 iPhone models will likely have 3GB of RAM, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri. 

All Three 2017 iPhones Predicted to Have 3GB of RAM and Lightning Connectors With Faster Charging

An excerpt from Arcuri's late March research note, obtained by MacRumors:

In terms of memory/storage configuration, all three models will likely adopt 3GB RAM; the 4.7”/5.5” will likely have the same storage options as the current iPhone 7/7+ in 32/128/256GB while the 5.8” model looks to be only offered in two memory configurations: 64GB and 256GB. Finally, the 5.8” model will likely have extended battery life with two packs of batteries.

Arcuri's research contradicts Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, which recently said that only the next 5.5-inch iPhone and Apple's rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display will have 3GB of RAM. TrendForce said the next 4.7-inch iPhone will continue to have 2GB of RAM like the iPhone 7. 

Apple already includes 3GB of RAM in the iPhone 7 Plus, so the 4.7-inch iPhone would be the only model with increased RAM. 

If the prediction is accurate, it's welcomed news for customers that plan on purchasing the next 4.7-inch iPhone, rather than spending upwards of $200 more on the so-called "iPhone 8" with an edge-to-edge OLED display. 

Increased RAM means an iPhone can store more data in memory. If you have dozens of tabs open in Safari on an older iPhone, for example, you may notice that some of the tabs refresh when you revisit them. But with increased RAM, the likelihood of Safari reloading a website you previously loaded is lower. 

All Three 2017 iPhones Predicted to Have 3GB of RAM and Lightning Connectors With Faster Charging

Arcuri also corroborated KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in saying that all three 2017 iPhone models will continue to have Lightning connectors with USB Type-C Power Delivery for faster charging. 

Cowen's research is based on his own checks of Apple's supply chain, so his prediction lends credence to the already-reliable Kuo. 

The Wall Street Journal previously said the "iPhone 8" will have "a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector." But the report did not provide any additional details, and it appears the Lightning connector will live on.

Article Source: All Three 2017 iPhones Predicted to Have 3GB of RAM and Lightning Connectors With Faster Charging

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Published on April 17 2017

Apple's iOS has dropped to its lowest share of the smartphone market in urban China since July 2014, according to new data collected and shared by Kantar Worldpanel. Today's report specifically details smartphone shares around the world for the three months ending in February 2017. In total, devices running iOS dropped 8.9 percentage points from the same year-ago quarter, receding from 22.1 percent of the China market to 13.2 percent. 

Apple rival Android remains the dominant force in China at 86.4 percent of the smartphone market in the country, growing 9.3 percentage points year-over-year. Although the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remained the top selling devices in China, Apple has trouble competing with local vendors -- like Oppo and Vivo -- who produce cheaper smartphones at a massive rate that are far easier to obtain by the Chinese consumer.

iOS Drops to Lowest Share of China Smartphone Market in Nearly Three Years
"In the three-month period ending February 2017, iOS accounted for 13.2% of smartphone sales in urban China, a decline of 8.9 percentage points from 22.1% a year earlier. This marks iOS’ lowest share since the three-month period ending July 2014," reported Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. "That said, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remained the top selling devices in the region, accounting for 8% of smartphone sales. By comparison, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus accounted for 14% of smartphone sales in the three months ending February 2016."

Not much has changed for either iOS or Android in the United States since Kantar's last report, although the latter OS has continued to see a decline in market share throughout December, January, and February. Android has dropped three percentage points when compared to the same year-ago quarter, now accounting for 55.9 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, while iOS has grown by 3.7 percentage points year-over-year to take 42 percent of the market in the U.S. 

As in China, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remained the top-selling smartphones in the U.S., which the devices have been since Kantar's report on the three months ending November 2016. Kantar's analysts cited hope that Google Pixel "might soften the drop in Android sales" that happen annually around every iPhone launch -- and which dropped even more dramatically last year because of the Note7 -- but the Pixel doesn't appear to have picked up the slack for the Android market in the U.S. 

In terms of overall growth, iOS saw its biggest percentage point increase in the quarter happen in Great Britain, growing 4.5 percentage points year-over-year. In most of Europe's big five markets -- Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain -- Apple has done well to boost sales of iOS devices, with France housing the biggest growth for the Apple operating system over the holidays. Outliers still remain, like Spain's 1.7 percentage point dip in today's report. 

Kantar's report also looked forward to the rest of 2017, admitting that the three months ending in February is a "challenging time" to report on due to its awkward middle ground proximity between the holiday season last year, and upcoming announcements at events like WWDC in the summer. 

“The February period is always a challenging time to report on consumer behaviour and plans, since many people put purchases on hold following the holidays, waiting for the latest phone announcements from Mobile World Congress,” Guenveur said. “The much-anticipated March 29 announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S8, combined with the somewhat unexpected launch of the (PRODUCT) RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the capacity upgrade to iPhone SE a week before that, may mean that the remainder of Q1 and Q2 could yield some interesting, even unpredictable, shifts in the market.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook has remained vocal in his optimism about the company's presence -- and future -- in China, mentioning in an earnings call last year that, "We may not have the wind at our backs that we once did, but it's more stable than the common view of it." More recently, Cook went into even more detail about Apple's China plans, stating that, "We're not just someone who's here to access the market," and that the company intends to bolster its presence in the country through providing jobs and improving people's standard of living.

Article Source: iOS Drops to Lowest Share of China Smartphone Mark

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