Apple iPhone X pricing starts at a hefty £999 in the UK

Apple today announced the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, but it was the iPhone X that stole the show. In fact, it’s enough of a departure from recent models that Apple skipped the 9 and went straight to 10. The iPhone X includes unique features such as a nigh bezel-free Super Retina Display and Face ID unlocking and authentication system. All these new tricks make for a pretty expensive device, though, with the smaller 64GB model retailing for £999. The version with 256GB of storage will sell for £1149, and both models will be available to pre-order on October 27th, with the official launch pencilled in for November 3rd.

So far we’ve heard from Vodafone, EE and Three, which all say they’ll be stocking the device, though it’s going to be such a high-profile launch you’ll inevitably have your choice of practically any carrier. No word on contract pricing yet — we’ll likely have to wait until October 27th for the full skinny — but Apple’s site states the iPhone X will be available on two-year plans starting at £47.95 per month.

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Apple adds a mail-in option to its iPhone Upgrade Program

Apple is adding a mail-in option to its iPhone Upgrade Program, making it easier to ditch your suddenly-outdated iPhone 7 Plus after tomorrow’s 10th-anniversary iPhone showcase. First spotted by techdude13 on the MacRumors forums, the page for Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program now lists mail-in trade-in kits as an option. If you decide to have a new iPhone shipped directly to your door, Apple will also send along a package with a pre-paid shipping label so you can return that old hunk of junk.

That’s right, this eliminates the need to actually visit an Apple Store to upgrade your iPhone.

The new program should be a relief for plenty of Upgrade Program customers. Previously, anyone looking to get the latest model had to schedule an appointment at an Apple Store — where stock had a habit of quickly running out.

Apple unveiled the iPhone Upgrade Program in 2015, allowing customers to purchase the latest iPhone every year directly from the mothership, without going through their individual carriers.

The iPhone turns 10 in 2017, and this week we took a trip down memory lane to dissect the specs of each model. Tomorrow, Apple is expected to reveal the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X.

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Source: Apple

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Leaked Apple warranty guide shows what it will and won’t repair

It’s pretty tough for individuals and even third-party shops to repair Apple products, and often hard to predict whether Apple itself will repair, decline to fix or replace a busted iPhone. However, Business Insider has unearthed a 22-page “Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide,” or VMI, that shows what qualifies as an “eligible repair.” It’s reportedly used to conduct a physical damage inspection and assess cost, “basically half the training for iPhone techs,” an anonymous Genius told BI.

Image obtained by Business Insider

Most of the guidance is common-sense, but some things stand out. If a tech spots a dead pixel, for instance, he’s not obligated to fix it unless the customer asks — an arguably shady practice. Apple also has a detailed procedure to check for water or liquid damage, something that’s not very surprising if you own an model prior to the water-resistant iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.

It’s also interesting that Apple will repair, under warranty, a single hairline crack to the front glass, provided that it’s not “accompanied by enclosure damage in the proximity of the crack,” the VMI states. Apple will fix screen damage beyond that out of warranty for a $ 129 or $ 149 fee, depending on the model, and AppleCare covers it for a fixed $ 29 charge.

On the other hand, Apple will shun if you have a bad accident or try to repair the device yourself. In those cases, it’s looking for “intentional tampering or damage,” “disassembled unit or missing parts,” non-Apple batteries and “catastrophic damage.”

Apple has been recalcitrant in the past to even acknowledge product problems, but is arguably improving in that area. It might have changed its tune after the infamous iPhone 6 “touch disease,” dented its quality-control reputation and resulted in lawsuits. In recent months, Apple quietly extended the warranty on first-gen Watch models, for instance, and has been replacing iPad 4s with newer iPad Air 2 models.

As BI points out, the VMI is just a guide, and Apple techs will occasionally make exceptions. “There are always those one-off issues that the phone is technically not covered under warranty but we swap the phone anyway under warranty,” one said.

Source: Business Insider

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Apple removes apps from Iran following US sanctions

Apple has been cracking down on Iranian apps over the last few weeks, removing those that offer food delivery, shopping and ride-hailing services, among others from its App Stores. Due to US sanctions on Iran, companies like Apple are limited in the sorts of business they can do in the country, which is why the iPhone isn’t legally sold in Iran and why there’s no Iranian App Store.

Earlier this year, when Apple told Iranian developers to take down payment options in their apps in order to make sure no Iranian money fell into Apple’s hands, most Iranian apps switched over to an Iran-based online payment system. But developers of apps like Iran’s Uber-like Snapp, which was taken down this week, were recently sent a message from Apple saying, “Under the U.S. sanctions regulations, the App Store cannot host, distribute or do business with apps or developers connected to certain U.S. embargoed countries.”

Some developers have taken to Twitter to respond to removals, with one creating the hashtag #StopRemovingIranianApps. Google hasn’t begun to take down Iranian apps from its Play store. In regards to Apple, Iran’s telecommunications minister said on Twitter that the country would “legally pursue the omission of apps.”

Source: New York Times

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Apple might announce a 4K TV box at next month’s iPhone event

Apple is unveiling another new product with its latest iPhones and Apple Watches in September, according to Bloomberg. Cupertino is reportedly announcing its 4K- and HDR-capable Apple TV, as well. If you’ll recall, the publication reported earlier this year that the tech titan has updated its TV streaming box with the capability to stream in 4K resolution and to play more color-rich HDR videos. Since the upgraded box is expected to stream bigger files with a higher resolution, it will come with a faster processor. Obviously, you’ll need to pair it with a TV that’s also capable of playing 4K HDR content to bring out its full potential.

Despite the new capabilities and faster processor, Apple’s engineers were apparently unhappy with the incremental upgrade. They originally set out to build a cord-cutting device with the first Apple TV, but the company failed to forge partnerships to make that vision a reality. It’s unclear if the tech giant is still pursuing deals with broadcast networks, but Bloomberg says it’s talking to streaming services like Netflix about providing more 4K videos.

Apple is reportedly talking to film studios about selling 4K movies through iTunes, as well, and an iTunes UK transaction back in July marking a film as “4K, HDR” suggests negotiations are going smoothly. We’ll probably also see some original 4K shows in the future, considering the tech giant has already set aside $ 1 billion for original programming. In addition, both the old and upcoming TV boxes will be able to access Amazon Prime Video later this year.

According to the Bloomberg piece, Apple is seeking to “revive its video ambitions” with the upgraded device, as the original one hasn’t been doing as well as Roku, Chromecast and the Fire TV. It even made a few hires for that particular purpose over the past few months, including Timothy Twerdhal, the former Fire TV chief who’s now in charge of the Apple TV division. Unfortunately, we still don’t know how much the new streaming box will set you back, but it’s almost September anyway — you won’t have to wait too long to find out.

Source: Bloomberg

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Apple joins Instagram just to show off iPhone photos

Back in 2015, Apple wanted to show off the camera chops of its then-flagship iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones, so it decided to tell the world the old fashioned way. A new ad campaign plastered gorgeous photos of natural and human beauty up on posters and in television commercials, all with the subtle tagline at the bottom: Shot on iPhone 6. Now, three years later, Apple has made a permanent showcase for pics taken with its smartphones…on Instagram.


A look through the lens of iPhone users around the world. Tag #ShotoniPhone to take part. – Words and images by @koci, @itsreuben, @danilo, @_xst, @subwayhands, @marcelonava, @brockdavis, @lanadeathray, @thesdcowgirl, @inomad, @_yaisyusman_, @dawn_denfeld, @pauloctavious, @jeremysnell, @laurazazanis, @ryanpernofski, @abstractconformity, @mirafilm, @joez19, @daniil, @oli_op, @fotombo, @j9ryl, @tertiusalio, @maggiefortsonphoto, @trevorpaulhus, @rodrigomartinezfotos, @louiegraphy, @vmiura, @lfleischer, @vasjenkatro, @stevenxuex, @ianteraoka, @easonhsiung, @omidscheybani, @tamon_, @jaywilliamsphotography, @holephoto, @bigheadtaco, @mamacaxx

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Not that Apple’s a stranger to the platform’s usefulness, since it’s had an account dedicated to its Music service for awhile now, with matching ones on Twitter and Facebook. As Adweek points out, the company saw the value of having a presence on all three social media platforms for its audio subscription service, but is infamously miserly with any other social promotion (though they have main profiles on Twitter and Facebook, both are blank).

But for whatever reason, Apple’s chosen now to showcase photos taken from its smartphones. So far, eight mini-collections of photos have been posted with attribution to the photographers.

Source: Apple (Instagram account)

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The next Apple Watch might not need an iPhone for data

Well, Apple Watch fans have more to look forward to than just a new operating system. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple will release a version of its Watch with cellular network support built-in by year’s end, relieving users of the need to carry their iPhones around. Three words: it’s about time.

Rumors of a cellular Apple Watch are nothing new, and the whole concept should sound very familiar by now. After all, Samsung and LG have had LTE-enabled smartwatches for years, and the latter developed one such wearable to help launch Android Wear 2.0 earlier this year. While it’s not yet clear what Apple plans to let people do with these mobile data connections, it’s likely that users will be able to send messages and make phone and FaceTime Audio calls without being tethered to an iPhone.

Interestingly, Intel is said to be providing the modem for the new Apple Watch, which isn’t a huge surprise — Apple tapped the chipmaker for modems used in certain versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Given the Watch’s small size, Apple and Intel may opt to use a digital “eSIM” rather than a traditional plastic SIM card as well. That could signal a similar decision for future iPhones, which would have potentially huge ramifications for how such smartphones (and their data plans) are sold.

If nothing else, though, use of an eSIM would likely preserve the Apple Watch’s compact footprint. Consider LG’s flagship Watch Sport: it was the more powerful of the two smartwatches that debuted alongside Android Wear 2.0, and the space required to fit a physical SIM card inside helped make it big and somewhat unwieldy. That’s not really Apple’s style, especially since the company’s new Watch is said to benefit from an all-new form factor.

If true, Apple’s next step in wearables may be an iterative one. Still, if the company’s most recent earnings release is any indication, demand for the Watch is still going strong. According to CEO Cook, Watch sales grew 50 percent year over year — seriously, Tim, would some hard numbers now and then really kill you?

Source: Bloomberg

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Apple iPad sales grow year-over-year for the first time since 2013

This time of year isn’t usually great for Apple’s hardware sales, but the company’s newly released Q3 earnings has at least one pleasant surprise. In addition to raking in $ 45.4 billion in revenue over the past three months, Apple also said it sold 41 million iPhones and 11.4 million iPads. That works out to tepid growth of 1.5 percent for iPhones over last year, but the iPads? We’re looking at a jump of nearly 15 percent since last August. This also marks the first time iPad sales have grown year-over-year since the halcyon days of 2013. (Yes, Apple’s fiscal Q1 2014 earnings showed a yearly lift in iPad sales, thanks to all the iPads sold during the 2013 holiday season.)

That iPhone sales basically stayed flat is little surprise — Tim Cook himself said last quarter that incessant reports about new models stymied sales, and we’re now about a month away from new iPhone announcements. Meanwhile, iPads — and the tablet market in general — have been looking anemic at best for a while now. This quarter’s notable lift is thanks to the launch of multiple new models this year, from a pair of new iPad Pros to a low-cost, $ 329 model meant to help new customers and upgraders with old ‘Pads experience what new versions of iOS can offer. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t mention whether this surge in tablet sales was mainly attributable to those beautiful new Pros or its rock-solid cheap tablet.

Mac sales, meanwhile, remained essentially flat with just about 4.3 million units sold. People clearly weren’t too thrilled about the refreshed machines Apple showed off at WWDC, but the big stuff hasn’t arrived yet. We’ll see what happens when that sleek new iMac Pro goes on sale later this year.

The seasonality of Apple’s fortunes is well understood — Q3 is generally pretty quiet as people gear up for the announcement of new products in September. (The financial party really kicks into high gear in Q1, when Apple the results of its typically-bonkers holiday sales period.) Since lulls like this are relatively easy to foresee, Apple has to be proud that its service revenue — the money it makes off things off iTunes and App Store purchases, Apple Music subs, iCloud and more — is also up. Altogether, those purchases add up to $ 7.26 billion, up 22 percent since this time last year. Apple CFO Luca Maestri specifically pointed to Apple Music and iCloud storage as two areas that saw notably strong growth.

And then there’s all those other products, like AirPods, Watches and more, that Apple handily lumps into a single category called “Other Products.” This time, the company reported $ 2.75 billion in revenue, which is up a whole lot from last year but not so much from last quarter. The year-over-year jump is to be expected since Apple’s surprisingly popular AirPods weren’t available until the winter of 2016; the very slight decline since last quarter could mean people aren’t buying AirPods quite as rapaciously as before, or that Apple is (still) having trouble producing in large enough quantities.

CEO Cook did, however, point out that Watch sales were up 50 percent year-over-year. Sadly, Apple is still more than happy to avoid breaking down revenue into slices for its wearables and accessories, so it’s hard to say for sure which products contributed most to this segment’s growth.

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Judge rules lawsuit claiming Apple broke FaceTime can proceed

Apple was hit with a lawsuit earlier this year that claims the company purposefully broke FaceTime on iOS 6 in order to push people to upgrade to iOS 7. And as of late last week, Apple failed to get the suit dismissed as District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that iPhone 4 and 4S users can pursue claims against Apple.

The whole situation is a result of Apple wanting to reduce the cost of using third-party servers to manage FaceTime calls. Doing so was costing the company millions of dollars per month in fees, so with iOS 7, Apple changed the way FaceTime functioned so that the third-party servers weren’t used as often. However, users of iPhone 4s and 4Ss were still using iOS 6 so, allegedly, Apple let a security certificate lapse in order to break FaceTime for iOS 6 and force customers to upgrade their operating systems.

In its attempt to get rid of the lawsuit, Apple claimed that users didn’t suffer economic loss because FaceTime is free. But in her decision, Koh said, “Plaintiffs paid for their iPhones, and FaceTime is a ‘feature’ of the iPhone and thus a component of the iPhone’s cost. Indeed, Apple advertised FaceTime as “one more thing that makes an iPhone an iPhone.”

Apple also tried to argue that iPhone users weren’t entitled to FaceTime service saying that the Plaintiffs “have no right to uninterrupted, continuous, or error-free” FaceTime. To which, Judge Koh responded, “Plaintiffs do not allege that FaceTime operation was interrupted, or that it contained errors. Rather Plaintiffs allege that Apple in effect made FaceTime unavailable to owners of iPhone 4 and 4S devices…The unavailability of FaceTime is different from ‘interruptions’ or ‘errors’ in FaceTime.”

The plaintiffs are seeking both loss and punitive damages in amounts that will be determined at trial.

Via: Reuters

Source: District Court Decision

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Apple and Cochlear team up on made-for-iPhone hearing implant

We’ve known that Apple has an interest in iOS-based hearing aids for some time, as they’ve worked with various manufacturers to bring these devices to the market. Now, Cochlear has teamed up with Apple to make the first cochlear implant sound processor that is specifically made for the iPhone. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, which promises to be both the smallest and lightest behind-the-ear device of its kind that’s currently available, was approved by the FDA back in June.

The Nucleus 7 works natively with the iPhone. Users can go to the Accessibility settings of their device (locating in “Settings” then “General”) and pair it the same way you do a Bluetooth device. After that, the volume control on the iPhone will control the implant’s settings. You can do even more by downloading the Nucleus Smart App, including location tracking to figure out the last place the Nucleus 7 was connected (handy for lost devices).

Cochlear also is selling the Made for iPhone Bimodal Solution, which consists of a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other ear. This allows for synced streaming into both ears from your compatible iOS device — you just need one of Cochlear’s ReSound hearing aids.

Interested consumers have to wait until September 2017 for the Nucleus 7, and it will only be available in the US and Canada. If you have a Nucleus CI24RE, CI500 or a Profile Series implant, then you’ll be eligible for an upgrade starting in October. Tech advances and partnerships such as this are always welcome news. With over 360 million people worldwide suffering from serious hearing loss, it’s nice to see companies working together to make a positive impact on their lives.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Cochlear

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