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August 28, 2014

Apple Sends Invites for Sept. 9 Event

Apple Sept. 9 Invite Apple on Thursday sent out invitations for a Sept. 9 event that is expected to include the launch of new iPhones and possibly the long-rumored iWatch.

"Please join Apple on September 9 for a special event," the invite says. "Wish we could say more."

As that message suggests, few other details were made available. The event information appears atop the traditional silver Apple logo, a bit of a change from last year's colorful invite, which hinted at Apple's multi-color iPhone 5c lineup. Things kick off at 10 a.m. PT in Cupertino.

Apple is widely expected to launch its next-gen iPhones next month. Rumor has it that Cupertino will release a 4.7-inch iPhone, as well as a 5.5-inch phablet for the first time. Though Apple chief Tim Cook has expressed doubts about phablets in the past, there's no question that phones with larger screens are all the rage at the moment. In some cases, they have eaten into small tablet market share as consumers look to save money and purchase just one device.

Whether Apple is finally ready to increase its phone sizes from 3.5 and 4 inches to 4.7 and 5.5 inches will be revealed on Sept. 9.

And while Apple's September events have largely focused on the iPhone in recent years, Re/Code this week reported that the Sept. 9 event will also include the launch of a new wearable - likely the iWatch.

The site, which also correctly predicted that Apple would hold its iPhone event on Sept. 9, said that Apple's wearable will tap into its new HealthKit and HomeKit e-health and home automation efforts.

New iPads are not expected to be revealed at the Sept. 9 event. For the past two years, Apple has held separate events in October to announce refreshes to its tablet lineup.



August 27, 2014

Report: iWatch Expected at Sept. 9 iPhone Event

iWatch Concept Apple is rumored to be hosting a Sept. 9 press event to show off its new iPhones, but a new report says that the iWatch will also makes it debut next month.

According to Re/code, Apple will "unveil a new wearable" at the Sept. 9 event alongside two new iPhones, which many believe will sport 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays.

Re/code did not specify that the device is indeed the iWatch, but said that the wearable will tap into Apple HealthKit and HomeKit, the e-health and connected home offerings Apple showed off at WWDC.

Re/code was also the one to report the Sept. 9 date. The staff, which was previously at All Things D, has a good track record when it comes to rumors about Apple events, so it's likely that a wearable is indeed on the agenda.

Of course, invites have yet to go out. They typically arrive about a week ahead of event, though, so be on the lookout next week.

Rumors about the iWatch, meanwhile, have been making the rounds for about two years. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the D11 conference that wearables were "incredibly interesting," but didn't divulge Apple's plans, of course.

But the company has been snapping up executives with backgrounds in fashion, fitness gadgets, and watches - from Tag Heuer senior executive Patrick Pruniaux and Nike Fuel Band design director Ben Shaffer to retail chief Angela Ahrendts, who was previously at Burberry.



August 25, 2014

Apple Offering iPhone 5 Battery Replacements

7 Tips to Save iPhone Battery Life

Is your iPhone 5 experiencing shortness of battery life or need to be charged more frequently? It may be eligible for Apple's replacement program.

Cupertino is now offering new batteries for "a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices" purchased between September 2012 and January 2013. The replacement process began Aug. 22 in the U.S. and China; it will become available in other countries as of Aug. 29.

To find out if your phone is eligible, enter your phone's serial number on Apple's website (Settings > General > About > Serial number). If it is, you can visit an Apple retail store or contact technical support to have your battery replaced.

Your phone needs to be in working order. "If your iPhone 5 has any damage such as a cracked screen which impairs the replacement of the battery, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement," Apple said.

If you're eligible and already paid to have your battery replaced, Apple said to get in touch about a refund.



August 22, 2014

Report: Apple Display Changes Hold Up iPhone Production

Apple logo More reports of production problems with Apple's next-gen iPhone emerged this morning, with Reuters reporting that two suppliers are rushing to produce enough screens for the upcoming iPhone 6.

Production suffered a setback after the backlight that illuminates the phone's screen had to be revised, putting screen assembly on hold for part of June and July, Reuters said.

According to its sources, Cupertino wanted to slim down its smartphone by cutting the standard two layers of backlight film to only one. But the new format was not bright enough, and designers were sent back to the drawing board.

Still, it remains unclear whether the interruption will set the rest of production back, or if Apple will simply limit the number of phones initially available. According to Reuters, suppliers are working "flat-out to make up for lost time."

The news site tipped Japan Display, Sharp, and LG Display as iPhone 6 screen manufacturers. There is no word, however, whether those displays are made from the rumored sapphire glass.

Neither Apple nor those three companies immediately responded to request for comment.

Cupertino is rumored to be unveiling a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch handset during a Sept. 9 media event.

When it does make its debut, China Telecom will sell an unlocked version, ZDNet reported today.

Recently leaked photos highlight tapered edges connecting to a round rear shell—something more reminiscent of the iPod than recent iPhones. Other images suggested the 4.7-inch "iPhone 6" will run on a 1,810mAh lithium-ion polymer battery. The phablet-sized "iPhone 6L," meanwhile, will have a 2,915mAh battery.

Other rumors include a light-up logo for notifications, as well as a reversible USB plug, and only 1GB of RAM.



August 21, 2014

More ‘iPhone 6′ Photos Leaked

iPhone 6 leak Another day, another iPhone 6 rumor: The folks at Apple device customizer Feld & Volk released a photograph of what it says is Cupertino's upcoming smartphone.

Posted to Instagram on Tuesday, the shot shows tapered edges connecting to a rounded rear shell—more reminiscent of the iPod than recent iPhones. There's a Lightning connector port, 3.5mm headset jack, and speaker holes.

MacRumors secured some additional shots, which show off the phone's top, side, and display. Last week, MacRumors highlighted several other shots from Feld & Volk, which provided close-ups of the power button and mute switch, both with a silver metal finish also expected to cover the volume buttons.

iPhone 6 LeakAccording to Feld & Volk, certain components now pivot slightly on internal pins to better fit the iPhone 6's rounded edges. Even the SIM card tray comes coated in the same silver metal finish, to blend in with the rest of the device, and make you feel extra fancy when replacing the SIM.

The shots come several weeks before Apple's rumored Sept. 9 event, where the company is expected to announce its next iPhone (or iPhones).

Early this week, more leaked photos—this time from China—suggested the 4.7-inch "iPhone 6" will run on an 1,810mAh lithium-ion polymer battery. For comparison, the flagship 5s sports a 1,440mAh battery. A second report said Cupertino's phablet-sized iPhone, also referred to by Taiwanese blog Apple Daily as the "iPhone 6L," will have a 2,915mAh battery.

Other reveals tip a reversible USB plug, which, as 9to5Mac noted, would let you insert a plug in either direction. Plus, G4Games said the next-gen iPhone will only have 1GB of RAM.

New iPhone reports have been emerging for months, indicating a new, more rugged sapphire display screen and a light-up logo for notifications, among other things.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



August 18, 2014

Latest iPhone Rumors Focus on Battery Power

Apple logo With just three weeks before Apple is expected to announce its next iPhone (or iPhones), the rumor mill shows no signs of slowing down.

According to photos leaked from China, for example, the first of Cupertino's two new handsets—the 4.7-inch "iPhone 6"—will run on an 1,810mAh lithium-ion polymer battery; the iPhone 5s sports a 1,440mAh battery.

A second report, from Taiwanese blog Apple Daily, shows three components set for Apple's phablet-sized iPhone, also referred to by the blog's sources as the "iPhone 6L."

However, Apple Insider was skeptical of those rumors, saying that the photos of the display and logic board—presumably meant for a 5.5-inch handset—are nearly identical to images leaked last week in reference to the smaller iPhone.

Elements like screw bosses, circuit board anchors, and circuitry can be found in the exact locations as their little sibling, which Apple Insider said is unlikely when building different sized smartphones.

The Taiwanese blog also showed off a never-before-seen photo of a 2,915mAh battery, which could be housed inside the 5.5-inch iPhone. But Apple Insider pointed to other recent battery leaks, which suggests the leaked batteries are meant for testing purposes only, and may not end up in the final product.

Meanwhile, other leaks tip a reversible USB plug, which - as 9to5Mac noted - would let you plug it in in either direction. And G4Games says that the iPhone 6 will only have 1GB of RAM.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

New iPhone reports have been emerging for months, tipping a new, more rugged sapphire display screen, a light-up logo for notifications, and more.



August 16, 2014

Report: Apple Gambles $700M on Sapphire iPhone Display

iPhone 6 sapphire display leaks, and it’s indestructible

Every cell phone owner is familiar with the overwhelming feeling of dread when your device slips out of your hand or gets knocked off a table. Did it scratch? Can I still send Snapchats through the cracked screen?

Apple's next-generation iPhone may ease those fears. The company is rumored to be replacing its Gorilla Glass screen with a new sapphire glass display made by partner GT Advanced Technologies.

But that sort of relief doesn't come cheap. According to The Wall Street Journal, Cupertino is gambling $700 million on the harder, more flexible material.

Typically used in airplane windows and armored vehicles to protect against extreme conditions, the massively expensive sapphire is often used only sparingly—perhaps as a scratch-resistant cover for costly watches.

Apple already uses the material, according to the Journal, to cover its iPhone camera lense and fingerprint reader. But what could widespread use mean for oft-damaged screens?



August 15, 2014

Report: Apple to Store User Data on Chinese Servers

China flag Apple has reportedly moved the personal data of some of its Chinese users onto servers stored in the country.

The move is noteworthy since a number of tech companies have avoided storing data in China because of censorship and privacy concerns, Reuters said.

But Apple wants to move customers' data closer to the actual customers, in the hopes of improving the speed and reliability of its iCloud service, where folks store content like documents, photos, and emails.

To do so, it has teamed up with China Telecom, the country's third-largest wireless carrier, to keep data inside the country.

"Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously," Apple told Reuters. "We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China."

All user data is encrypted, Cupertino explained, adding that even China Telecom does not have access to content stored on its servers. An anonymous source confirmed to Reuters that Apple's encryption keys will be kept offshore and not made available to China Telecom.

"After 15 months of stringent tests and evaluation … China Telecom has become Apple's only cloud service provider in China," the company said in a statement, published by The Wall Street Journal.

Neither Apple nor China Telecom immediately responded to PCMag's request for comment.

This announcement comes after a July dispute, which began when China Central Television (CCTV) called the iOS 7 "frequent locations" function a "national security concern." Apple denied the charges, but Chinese officials later dropped 10 Apple products from its approved government procurements list.

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August 13, 2014

AT&T Offers iPhone Buyers $200 Off iPad

Apple Unveils New iPad Air, Retina iPad Mini

AT&T is offering $200 off the price of an iPad for those who are buying an iPhone 5c or 5s.

To get the deal, shoppers must sign on for AT&T Next when buying their smartphone, which lets people pay off the cost of a phone over 12 or 18 months rather than locking them into a two-year contract, potentially allowing them to upgrade to a newer smartphone faster.

If you buy a 16GB iPhone 5s, for example, you will pay $27.09 per month via AT&T Next 18 or $32.50 per month using AT&T Next 12. It's $199.99 with a two-year contract and $649.99 unlocked.

A colorful 16GB iPhone 5c will cost you $22.92 per month on AT&T Next 18 and $27.50 on AT&T Next 12. It's $99.99 with a two year-contract and $549.99 unlocked.

To get the iPad discount, however, buyers must sign on for a two-year contract for the tablet. Data plans for an AT&T tablet range from $14.99 to $50 per month, depending on how much cellular data you intend to consume.



August 12, 2014

Report: Next-Gen iPad Production Underway

Apple Unveils New iPad Air, Retina iPad Mini Apple suppliers have reportedly begun assembling new iPads, according to Bloomberg.

Citing unnamed sources, the news site reported that mass production of a new full-sized, 9.7-inch iPad is underway, and expected to debut this fall. Work on the next-generation 7.9-inch iPad mini is also in progress; the device is set to launch by the end of the year.

Neither Apple nor suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron immediately responded to requests for comment.

Both Taiwan-based factories have reportedly been on a "hiring binge," picking up hundreds of new workers every day. It remains unclear whether those folks are being contracted for the iPad or iPhone assembly line—or perhaps both. Foxconn and Pegatron purportedly began mass producing the 4.7-inch handset early this month.

Cupertino is surely hoping for a renewed interest in its slates, following two weak quarters: The manufacturer sold 13.3 million iPads during the quarter, down from 16.3 million in the months prior, and 26 million over the holidays.

A recent partnership with IBM—whereby businesses will be able to buy the iOS devices equipped with IBM-enhanced enterprise software—could help boost those numbers, Apple's Tim Cook said recently.

But don't expect to see Apple unveil iPads at next month's rumored iPhone event. In recent years, Apple has held two fall events: iPhones in September and iPads in October.

Apple held its 2013 iPad event on Oct. 22, where it revealed the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display.

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