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Report: LG and Samsung to supply Apple with OLED screens for the iPhone

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Report-LG-and-Samsung-to-supply-Apple-with-OLED-screens-for-the-iPhone_id77012

According to a report published today in Korea, LG and Samsung's display units are about to sign an agreement with Apple to provide the iPhone manufacturer with OLED screens. Both already are responsible for the OLED displays used on the Apple Watch, although LG could end up as the sole supplier of the screen for the sequel to the timepiece expected out next year.

LG will repurpose existing production lines to produce its share of the OLED iPhone displays, which saves it money. The company will be employing a sixth generation production technique that has yet to be tested. As a result, yields are unknown. Speculation has Samsung receiving 30% fewer orders for the OLED glass than LG receives. Those familiar with the talks say that Apple drove a hard bargain, getting Samsung to agree to a single-digit margin for its OLED screens.


According to KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a remarkable track record with his Apple forecasts, the first AMOLED screened iPhone will roll off the assembly line in 2019. The analyst says that Apple's partners have just made new investments in LCD screens, money that they would not have spent if Apple was about to switch from LCD to OLED before 2019. Other analysts see Apple making the switch in 2018.
 

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Apple's Safari browser is crashing on iPhones and Macs worldwide

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/27/10839758/apple-safari-crash-search-suggestions

Apple's Safari browser appears to be experiencing issues worldwide this morning. Searching from the address bar in both iOS and OS X is causing the browser to crash in some instances. The Verge has confirmed the problem on several of our own iOS devices and at least one OS X machine.


Steven Troughton-Smith, an iOS developer, notes that the problems are related to Safari's search suggestions feature. Simply disabling this feature will stop Safari crashing, or using the private mode option in the browser as a temporary workaround. Not everyone is affected, and this could be because some have the search suggestions cached locally or they're still able to reach Apple's servers thanks to a DNS cache. The Verge has reached out to Apple for comment on the problems, and we'll update you accordingly.

Apple's latest software issue comes just a couple of months after Mac users were forced to reinstall software from the App Store following a security glitch. An expired security certificate used by Apple to verify apps forced a number of Mac users to reinstall certain pieces of software after the company attempted to move from the older SHA-1 standard, to the newer, more secure, SHA-2. Some apps in the App Store did not support the SHA-2 standard, resulting in the forced reinstall.
 

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More than half of iPhone users haven’t upgraded to a 6 or 6S yet

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/26/10836782/apple-iphone-6-6s-upgrade-rate

To Apple enthusiasts, it's hard to imagine that someone might go more than a year or two without upgrading to the latest and greatest iPhone.

With new plans from AT&T, Verizon, and Apple itself that make it easy (if perhaps not cost-effective) to trade in your iPhone for a new model every year, many gadget lovers are well-equipped to always have the newest iPhone. But many, many people — a majority of iPhone owners, in fact — do not upgrade every year, or even every 15 months, according to data released by Apple CEO Tim Cook on this quarter's conference call.


In fact, only 40 percent of iPhone users who — deep breath for caveat — owned an iPhone the day before the iPhone 6 was released in September 2014, have upgraded to one of the new, larger screened phones: either the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, or 6s Plus. That means 3 in 5 iPhone owners in September 2014 have yet to upgrade to new phones.

And it's been a very slow climb. A year ago, after the first quarter of iPhone 6 availability, barely 15 percent of iPhone owners had upgraded, and that's in a quarter where Apple sold nearly 75 million iPhones. See this chart:

So, if you read an article that says Apple's sales have flatlined (Apple sold roughly 75 million iPhones in both the December 2014 and 2015 quarters), just remember: there are millions of people still using the iPhone 4 or 5 who might be upgrading to Cupertino's newest phone in the next year or two. And that's a lot of phones.
 

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The only reason I bought my iPhone 6 was my Virgin Mobile iPhone 5s went for a swim in the washing machine and VM would not replace it for $99 (I had purchased AppleCare+) and Apple didn't have VM iPhone 5s in 64 GB at that time. Otherwise, I was happy with my 5s.

Of course, now I have the iPhone 6 and I'll never go back! But I'm in no hurry to migrate to the 6s. We'll see about the 7, and if I do, my son will get my iPhone 6 handed down to him (as he got my old iPhone 5 from my wife when I got her an iPhone 5s for Christmas over a year ago.)

I think iPhones are to the point where you are able to get four years of use out of the hardware.
 

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So could we see releases of products from Apple twice a year instead of once per year but for the different product lines? I am waiting for the larger/wide slap wrist watch with bendable screen that will replace the phone. From that you could have an optional eye piece of some sorts running from the processor of the iwatchphone for augmented vision. That's the future.
 

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Apple ordered to pay $625 million in FaceTime patent lawsuit

Not surprised here it is Apple

http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/03/apple-to-pay-virnetx-in-lawsuit/

VirnetX has been a thorn in Apple's side (and a good chunk of the tech industry) for the better part of this decade. It first sued Apple in 2010 over the alleged use of virtual private network (VPN) patents in FaceTime video chats, and has been successful enough in court to wring hundreds of millions of dollars out of the folks in Cupertino. And today, it's striking again: a court has ordered Apple to pay $625 million dollars for purportedly using VirnetX's security tech in both FaceTime and iMessage. That's actually more than the $532 million VirnetX had wanted, and a huge windfall for a company that has little business outside of lawsuits (aka apatent troll).

Apple tells Engadget that it's going to appeal. It's "surprised and disappointed" by the decision, especially since it notes that the four patents at stake have been declared invalid. It also maintains that it "independently designed the technology over many years."

Not that the company is going to be sweating bullets if the verdict sticks, mind you. As of the fourth quarter, Apple has a whopping $216 billion in the bank -- it could pay VirnetX without so much as sneezing. Instead, it's more likely interested in discouraging other would-be profiteers that might be tempted to file lawsuits of their own.

Update: The law firm representing VirnetX has issued its own statement, with attorney Jason Cassady saying "The jury saw what we have been saying all along: Apple has been infringing VirnetX's patented technology for years."
 

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'Error 53' threatens to brick your iPhone 6 without warning

http://www.neowin.net/news/039error-53039-threatens-to-brick-your-iphone-6-without-warning

An update on Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 9, has been the cause of recent permanent breakdown of many iPhone handsets around the world.

A large number of people who have installed the latest software update for the OS have been welcomed with 'Error 53,' which reportedly kills an iPhone 6 for good, with no way to reset or recover. The issue is reportedly rooted in the handset's home button. If the said button, which has Touch ID recognition built-in, has been modified or repaired by a "non-official" Apple company or individual, the error message will show up bricking a user's phone for good. Owners who merely dropped their phone and had a portion of the phone damaged, and then tried to upgrade to iOS 9 without having it properly repaired were also affected.

With the error message displayed, a user can do nothing to save the phone. The error message will persist, and all the data that was on the phone will not be retrievable anymore.

Apple was reportedly aware of the problem, but has taken no steps towards fixing the problem or warning users about the roadblock when updating their phone's software.

One of the people who were affected, Antonio Olmos, a freelance photographer on assignment for The Guardian, had his phone repaired in a local shop while covering an event in Macedonia. When prompted with the update, he accepted, but realized after that the phone has been bricked, with the 'Error 53' message showing up.

When he took it to an Apple Store, he was informed that there was nothing that can be done. Olmos finally resorted to buying a replacement device, which set him back £270.

The issue seems to not be an isolated case, as doing a search online will return results of many similar cases. Issues of how a phone was merely dropped can be found, as well as having the home button repaired by a non-Apple technician. All the cases resulted to "Error 53," leading users to a dead end for their iPhones.

According to Kyle Wiens from iFixit, a company specializing in tech repair, the problem occurs when the third-party technician modifies the components of the home button. Upon the software update, the system checks if all the phone's parts are still intact. If not, it will simply lock the user out of the phone.

Wiens, in an interview with The Guardian, is exploring the idea that the error message could be a deliberate move. "All along, Apple’s view is that it does not want third parties carrying out repairs to its products, and this looks like an obvious extension of that,” he said.

An Apple spokesperson has opened up to The Guardian about the issue. She said:

“We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated. This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure. Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.”

Lastly, she stated that 'Error 53' is caused by a pairing failure within the touch ID, which is due to invalid components used for the handset. She advises users who encounter such an error when upgrading to just contact Apple to have the device checked up.

Source: The Guardian
 

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Apple will reportedly release new iPhone and iPad Air 3 on March 18th

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/12/10980904/apple-iphone-5se-ipad-air-3-release-date-march-18

Apple's planning to release the upcoming iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 on March 18th, according to 9to5Mac. If accurate, that would come just three days after the rumored March 15th press event — also still unconfirmed — so Apple may skip preorders entirely for the new products. The iPhone 5se is said to feature a 4-inch display and a physical design that resembles the outgoing iPhone 5S, but with faster internals that put it on par with the iPhone 6, NFC for Apple Pay, and Live Photos support. The iPad 3, meanwhile, is likely to see upgrades across the line and may also support iPad Pro accessories like the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.

But again, such a quick sprint to retail availability is unusual for new iPhones. Apple immediately releases many types of products — Macs, Apple Watch and iPhone accessories, etc. — but typically iOS hardware sees a longer window between announcement and launch. Even if preorders aren't offered, it's still possible that Apple will let customers place web orders for in-store pickup once both items go on sale, along with new Apple Watch bands also expected to debut next month.
 

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First known OS X ransomware spotted in Mac torrenting app

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/6/11170214/first-known-os-x-ransomware-spotted-in-mac-torrenting-app

Users of BitTorrent client app Transmission became the first reported victims of Mac ransomware this week. People who downloaded infected versions of the app also received "KeRanger" malware, 9to5Mac says, nefarious software that would encrypt a user's hard drive three days after being installed and demand payment to unlock the data.

Ransomware has hit headlines in recent months — one LA hospital had to pay $17,000 to an unknown group to regain control of its computer systems in February — but Transmission's infection marks the first time a fully functional form of this specific type of malware has been reported on OS X. Palo Alto Networks notes only one other piece of ransomware for Apple's OS, an unfinished bit of software known as FileCoder, spotted by Kaspersky Labs in 2014 and never widely deployed.


Apple moved swiftly to control the ransomware after it was first informed about the issue on March 4th, revoking the certificate it uses, and making it so the infected app will no longer install. The Transmission Project, which makes the open-source app, has also released a new, clean version of its software, and has recommended users upgrade as soon as possible. In the meantime, for those unlucky enough to be hit by a world-first, security experts suggest restoring a Mac system backup from before you were infected.

 

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Plot twist: Apple reportedly moves big part of iCloud into Google's datacenters

http://www.neowin.net/news/plot-twist-apple-reportedly-moves-big-part-of-icloud-into-googles-datacenters

In what may be superficially viewed as a very surprising and strange situation, Apple is reported to be in the process of moving a major part of iCloud onto Google’s datacenters. That’s after the company partially ditches Amazon’s Web Services in favor of Alphabet’s Cloud Platform.

The original report comes from CRN, quoting people familiar with the matter, who mention that Apple had begun moving away from AWS and towards Google. The latter is seen as a new comer in the cloud platform market, where it sits on a distant third position in terms of market share.

The cloud market is currently dominated by Amazon, so Google is very much the underdog in this race. As such the company is aggressively pricing its products and services, and leveraging its datacenters’ speed - exactly the type of advantage that may have won Apple over to Google’s side.

While seemingly strange that the two companies, which are bitter rivals in the mobile world, may end up being each other’s customers, this sort of situation actually happens a lot in the world of technology. For example, Apple is also Microsoft’s customer using at least part of its Azure cloud services, and the company hasn’t actually moved away from Amazon completely, still relying on AWS, albeit to a much smaller degree.

There’s no real clear picture of why Apple may have made this partial switch to Google, and there may never be. Neither Google nor Amazon nor Microsoft have ever disclosed such business arrangements nor confirmed that Apple is their customer – though this information occasionally comes out in legal filings and other documents.

It’s true, @iCloud to be partially powered by @googlecloud. But will take a year & unlikely to be profitable. @awscloud lost $ from iCloud.

— Amir Efrati (@amir) March 16, 2016
One thing’s for certain though: Google is desperately trying to bring big names to its Cloud Platform. Recently, Spotify jumped on board and now with the addition of Apple, Google is proving it does have the chops to compete in this field.

That being said, it’s unlikely the company will see any big financial advantage from this move. Meanwhile, Amazon will likely go on doing business as usual without feeling any ill-effects from Apple’s departure. According to Gartner’s estimates, AWS has more cloud capacity in use than its next 14 competitors combined, so it’s going to take a lot more than Apple leaving to topple Amazon.

Source: CRN
 

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Apple Pay has a Siri problem

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/20/11264676/apple-pay-siri-problem

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"Apple pie?" The woman at the McDonald's drive-through window was confused when I asked if I could use Apple Pay. "No, Apple Pay," I said. "How many?" she asked, still thinking I was asking for an apple pie.

To clear things up, I showed her my iPhone with the image of a credit card on its screen, and she nodded. But then she asked me to hand her my phone to use on the payment terminal inside — a big no-no in Apple Pay rules. As I explained that I'd need to use my fingerprint to pay and therefore couldn't hand her my phone, a manager appeared at the window. She told her employee to hold a clunky payment machine out the window for me. Yet, even then, it took two attempts to actually work.


This happened on March 18, 2016, nearly a year and a half after Apple Pay's debut, when I first tested it and ran into a similar issue. Back then, another McDonald's employee flat-out refused to let me use Apple Pay, though it was technically working.

's not just McDonald's. I also have trouble at Pret A Manger, the trendy fast-food spots that are popular in cities. The Pret below my office in Washington, DC, has at least eight cash registers, but from what I've experienced, most of them aren't set up for Apple Pay. If I buy something at one of the wrong registers, the cashier must log out of it and log on at the right register before re-entering my purchase so I can use Apple Pay. This has happened at least a dozen times.

A colleague of mine finds that he can't consistently use Apple Pay in New York City cabs, which are supposed to accept Apple Pay.

When a tool like Apple Pay works, it's like magic. You lift your phone, use fingerprint recognition to confirm the purchase, and walk away. The Wallet app in iOS shows you a list of your recent transactions, and adding credit cards is a simple process. But if Apple Pay fails enough times or isn't accepted at enough places, people forget it exists or think it's not worth trying to use. It's a lot like Siri in that way: too many failed attempts and you'll never open it again — at least not on purpose.

Issues at stores like Pret A Manger don't have to do with Apple Pay directly, and could be caused by any number of merchant issues, from broken terminals to software updates. For example, if a store was updating its payment terminals and getting new software, new EMV (the Europay, Mastercard, and Visa chip-based debit and credit transactions) capabilities and contactless (Apple Pay, Android Pay) capabilities, one of these three could be delayed waiting for the other two updates.
 

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Apple introduces the long anticipated 4" iPhone SE

http://www.neowin.net/news/apple-introduces-the-long-anticipated-4-iphone-se

Rumors of a new 4" iPhone have stretched back for a full year, originally stating that the device would launch alongside the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Today, that rumor becomes a reality.

The rumored 4" device was originally known as the iPhone 6C, then the iPhone 5SE, and finally, theiPhone SE, standing for Special Edition. As with the iPhone 5C, the rumors were that this was finally Apple's entry into the low end market. Also similar to the iPhone 5C rumors is that this theory was entirely incorrect.

iPhone SE will use an A9 chipset, which is the same as the iPhone 6S, promising twice the performance as the iPhone 5S and three times the GPU performance.

The camera is also delivering the same 12 MP rear camera as the iPhone 6S. Since it's paired with an A9, it contains the same features, including Live Photos and 4K video.

It also contains the same front camera, which allows for the screen to be lit up with a flash. The device will start at $399 for the 16 GB model and $499 for the 64 GB model, making it cheaper than theiPhone 5S. It will be available March 31.
 

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Apple Watch now $299, available with new bands

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/21/11261140/apple-watch-update-announced

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Apple has slashed the price of the Apple Watch to $299, the company announced during its event today. It's kind of surprising that Apple would cut the price of a new device a year after launch without introducing a new model, but the Apple Watch has been on sale at Target and Best Buy at that price for some time, so Apple essentially playing catch up.

The company also showed off a slew of new bands for the Apple Watch, a new space black version of the milanese loop, which leaked back in January, new colors for the sport and leather bands, and a new woven nylon band. The new nylon band features a "four layer construction" and will come in multiple colors.


According to Apple, a third of Apple Watch users routinely switch out their bands, so it makes sense that Apple would continue to introduce more options. This collection of new bands is being dubbed the "spring lineup" by Apple, which could mean we'll be getting new bands on a more routine basis moving forward.
 

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iPhone SE announced: iPhone 6S specs, iPhone 5S size, $399 price

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/21/11254078/apple-iphone-se-announced-size-price-release-date

Apple has just announced the iPhone SE, a new 4-inch smartphone that offers a smaller and cheaper option to the company's flagship iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. It's like a mix between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 generations of devices, taking the size and design of one and the latest specs and capabilities of the other. Apple calls the iPhone SE "the most powerful 4-inch smartphone ever."

At the heart of the iPhone SE is the 64-bit Apple A9 processor together with the embedded M9 motion co-processor, the same as the iPhone 6S. That means it can play games just as brilliantly as Apple's current flagship, plus it supports hands-free "Hey Siri" prompting. The camera is also carried over from the 6S, it's the same 12-megapixel iSight camera with a dual-tone flash and the ability to shoot Live Photos and 4K video.


Compared to the iPhone 5S that precedes the new SE at the 4-inch size, Apple's new smartphone has faster LTE, faster Wi-Fi (802.11ac), better battery life, new microphones, and the significant addition of Apple Pay support. Having sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, Apple clearly considers this an important market that it needed to address with its latest specs and capabilities and that's what the iPhone SE aims to achieve.

"Many, many customers have asked for this," said Apple CEO Tim Cook during Apple's launch event. "And I think they're going to love it."
 

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New iPad Pro announced: $599, 9.7-inch display, weighs less than one pound

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/21/11256118/apple-new-ipad-price-specs-release-date

Apple has just announced a new iPad Pro, a smaller version of its iPad Pro tablet released last year. The new iPad Pro has a 9.7-inch display and weighs less than one pound. The new Pro is the same size as the iPad Air 2, which Apple says is the most popular size of iPad use.

The display on the new iPad Pro is said to be 40 percent less reflective than the iPad Air 2's screen, and Apple claims that it has the lowest reflectivity of any tablet screen. Apple also claims that the 9.7-inch display is the brightest tablet screen on the market. It also features a new technology called "True Tone Display", which measures the color temperature of ambient light and adjusts the display to match. The Pro also takes advantage of iOS 9.3's new blue-light reduction feature for late-night use.

Aside from the display, the new iPad Pro is very similar to the larger model: it's powered by the A9X processor and has a similar four-speaker system. Apple says it's twice as loud as the Air 2. Apple is selling a smaller version of the Smart Keyboard for the down-sized Pro, and the new tablet is compatible with the Pencil stylus introduced last year. Other accessories include a new Lightning-powered SD card reader and USB camera adapter.

For pictures, the new iPad Pro steps up to a 12-megapixel rear camera, complete with focus pixels, dual-tone flash, and Live Photos. For selfies, the Pro offers the screen flash introduced on the iPhone last year.

The new iPad Pro will be available in four colors — space grey, silver, gold, and rose gold — and three size capacties, ranging from 32GB on up to 256GB. The 32GB model will cost $599, while a 128GB version will be available for $749 and the 256GB top of the line for $899. All of those prices are for Wi-Fi-only models; LTE options generally cost $130 more. Apple says preorders will start on March 24th, with availability set for March 31st.
 

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iOS 9.3 will be available today with new Night Shift feature

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/21/11260536/apple-ios-9-update-announced-release-date-features

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Apple's latest iOS 9.3 update will be available today. While it's only a minor release, it does have a surprising amount of features for iPads and iPhones. The biggest addition is a new Night Shift mode that shifts the color temperature of the display based on the time and location of your device. It's very similar to the popular F.lux tool, and it works by reducing the amount of blue light emitting from the screen. It's believed that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can make it harder to sleep, so you can automatically schedule Night Shift to turn on in the evenings.

ADDING MULTI-USER SUPPORT


Alongside Night Shift, Apple is also improving the security of its Notes app and adding some multi-user support for iOS. Notes can now be password protected and unlocked using Touch ID, a useful addition if you have bank account details you want to protect with an extra layer of security. The first signs of multi-user support for iOS are also present, allowing students with iPads to share the devices easily.
 

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