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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: Sprint to Get Aggressive, Launch Cheaper Plans

Sprint Logo Sprint is wasting no time mourning the demise of its rumored acquisition of T-Mobile and departure of former CEO Dan Hesse; new chief Marcelo Claure on Thursday reportedly announced service changes during a company-wide meeting.

According to LightReading, Claure will start his stint at CEO by launching new, aggressive pricing plans next week.

"We're going to change our plans to make sure they are simple and attractive and make sure every customer in America thinks twice about signing up to a competitor," Claure said during a Sprint town hall meeting.

"When you have a great network, you don't have to compete on price," the Brightstar Corp. founder added, according to LightReading. "When your network is behind, unfortunately you have to compete on value and price."

Sprint declined to comment on the report.



August 11, 2014

Apple Patent Suggests Siri-Like Virtual Assistant for OS X

Siri

It's always fun to watch people who treat Apple's Siri like a best friend. You know who we're talking about—that one friend who uses Apple's digital assistant for just about everything. Siri, set the timer for 10 minutes. Siri, what is my friend's address? Siri, read my last email. With these people, poor Siri should get paid overtime.

Or, if Apple's latest patent application results in a successful product launch, perhaps Siri should find a new job entirely. According to a report from Apple Insider, Apple has applied for a patent that covers a desktop version of a Siri-like virtual assistant.

"Methods and systems related to interfaces for interacting with a digital assistant in a desktop environment are disclosed," reads the patent application. "In some embodiments, a digital assistant is invoked on a user device by a gesture following a predetermined motion pattern on a touch-sensitive surface of the user device. In some embodiments, a user device selectively invokes a dictation mode or a command mode to process a speech input depending on whether an input focus of the user device is within a text input area displayed on the user device."

"In some embodiments, a digital assistant performs various operations in response to one or more objects being dragged and dropped onto an iconic representation of the digital assistant displayed on a graphical user interface," it continues. "In some embodiments, a digital assistant is invoked to cooperate with the user to complete a task that the user has already started on a user device."



August 5, 2014

Rumor: Apple to Unveil Next iPhones Sept. 9

Apple logo Excited to get a look at the next-generation iPhones? Word has it that Apple is planning to show them off in just a little over a month.

Re/code, which has a pretty strong track record with Apple event rumors, is reporting that the Cupertino tech giant will unveil its next iPhones on Tuesday, Sept. 9. That date would keep things consistent with last year's iPhone showcase—Apple launched its iPhone 5s and 5c on Sept. 10, 2013.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment about the Re/code report, and has made no official announcements about its next-gen smartphones.

So what can we expect on Sept. 9? The new iPhone lineup is widely expected to include two new models: a 4.7-inch handset, and a 5.5-inch version. Recent rumors indicate that production issues surrounding the phablet-sized device could delay its launch until November. Keep in mind that there were similar rumors about delays for the iPad mini with Retina display, but those were largely inaccurate.



August 4, 2014

Leak Teases White Xbox One

White Xbox OneThe Xbox One is currently only available in one color: basic, boring black. But it might soon be on sale in white, too.

According to a listing from the French retailer Micromania, the white Xbox One could make its retail debut as part of a new bundle with the platform exclusive title Sunset Overdrive. The now-removed listing indicated that the white Xbox One bundle will be priced at €399 ($535).

Microsoft last year gifted its employees with a free white-and-silver Xbox One, but the light-colored console has never been available to the general public. The news prompted plenty of requests for Microsoft to market the white version.

"Looks 10x better than black," NeoGAF user Aquavelvaman wrote at the time.

A handful of Microsoft employees (or their family and friends) decided to try and make a few extra bucks by selling their exclusive white and silver Xbox One gaming consoles. Ten white versions of the machine appeared on eBay in March for upwards of $3,500 from nine different sellers.



July 28, 2014

Rumor: Amazon to Debut Mobile Credit Card Reader in August

Square Reader Mobile payments are all the rage nowadays. At least it seems that way thanks to gadgets and services from Square, PayPal, Intuit, Google, and more.

Amazon, which recently released its own digital wallet app for Android, might soon be joining them. According to 9to5Mac, documents from Staples indicate that an "Amazon Card Reader" is being added to the company's stock alongside Paypal's "Here" mobile card reader and Staples's own mobile card reader.

According to Staples's internal system, Amazon's card reader — if it does see the light of day — should end up costing interested purchasers a mere $10. That's a smidge less than the $15 Staples wants for PayPal's Here or its own "Mobile Register" card reader.

Though there isn't a specific launch date for Amazon's alleged device, 9to5Mac reports that Staples stores have been asked to wait until at least Aug. 12 to put up any signs about Amazon's card reader. That doesn't necessarily mean that the device is for-sure launching on Aug. 12, but it — and diagrams from Staples that show exactly where the device will be located on store shelves — do seem to indicate that Amazon's credit card reader is a bit closer to reality than speculation.

While we don't have any details on just how exactly the card reader will work, we can only presume that it would somehow tie into Amazon's Mobile Wallet in some capacity — although the latter, as of this article's writing, doesn't yet support mobile payments, credit cards, or debit cards.

It's also rumored that this isn't going to be Amazon's only foray into payments. The company is allegedly also working on fingerprint-based mobile payment systems, likely akin to what Apple is simultaneously pursuing (using Touch ID) with a number of national retailers.

It remains to be seen how retailers might take to Amazon's interests in payment systems, however, given that using those might very well be helping out their direct competition in some capacity.

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July 23, 2014

Apple Patent Tips ‘iTime’ Watch

Apple iWatch patent

Apple iWatch rumors began anew this week with news that Cupertino has been granted a smartwatch-related patent for a technology it has dubbed iTime.

Drawings of the device look similar to smartwatches currently on the market, but the iTime comes with a twist: its rectangular face can be removed to operate independently of the band, which provides its own set of separate sensors.

The central iTime unit could serve as a sort of mini iPod, and in fact does resemble the 7th-gen iPod nano, storing and playing media controlled via the touch-screen display, as well as displaying information about incoming phone calls and text messages.

Apple also described the watch's "personal wireless environment," which allows for the exchange of information between nearby cellular- or Internet-connected iDevices or Mac computers. That way, wearers can receive push notifications directly on their wrist.