It’s official: Tim Cook named 2015 as “the year of Apple Pay.” Apple’s flagship mobile payment platform is off to a running start in the U.S., with support for an impressive number of banking partners and retail stores that’s practically growing by the day. And iPhone users are rampantly using it—Whole Foods Market has seen mobile payments increase by more than 400 percent since Apple Pay launched in October 2014.
Although the Apple Watch hasn't shipped yet and there's no guarantee that it will be a success in the marketplace, it has already won a prestigious design award. On February 27 in Munich, Germany, the Apple Watch was awarded the gold in the watches/jewelry category at the iF Design Awards 2015.
The juror's statement says it all:The idea of combining classic materials such as leather and metal with state-of-the-art technology to create a very individual fashion accessory has resulted in a delightful product offering a holistic user experience. The Apple Watch scores highly for each design detail and is an altogether extraordinary piece of design. For us, it is already an icon. — http://exhibition.ifdesign.de/entrydetails_en.html?beitrag_id=153594
Apple also picked up iF Design Awards for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6 Silicone Case, and iPhone 6 Leather Case. Overall, the company is ranked 7th in the iF
AT&T Modio LTE Case for iPad mini
So, you bought a Wi-Fi-only iPad mini, but you really regret not being able to surf the web, send pictures or emails, or make FaceTime calls when you're away from home. Never fear, on March 20 you'll be able to buy an AT&T Modio LTE case complete with a built-in hotspot that works with any generation of the iPad mini.
The Modio case was first outed at CES 2015, and it not only provides LTE connectivity to a Wi-Fi-only iPad mini but also protects the device and includes an external microSD slot for adding up to 32GB more storage.
All you'll need to do is download and install the AT&T Modio Data app. Pair your case to your iPad mini, and the app manages your connections, handles transferring content to and from the microSD storage, and monitors data usage. Here's a video from AT&T showing how it's done:
The Modio iPad mini case will cost $49.99 with a two-year data plan, and it can be added to a Mobile Share Value plan for $10 per month. It can also be purchased on a $10 per month installment plan for 20 months in addition to the cost of the data plan.
It's expected that AT&T will ship a similar case for the iPad Air and iPad Air 2 soon.
In this week’s roundup of new Mac apps, you’ll find software that helps you clean up your appointment book, manage your invoices, design your folders, and even track your time more efficiently.Calendar Cleaner 1.7.2
If your calendar is so full of color-coded appointments that it looks like a rainbow exploded inside it, MacPRO Services’s $5 Calendar Cleaner (Mac App Store Link) will help you bring some order to the chaos.
Piper-Jaffray Analyst and Apple Smart TV Fan Gene Munster
When it comes to Apple High-Definition Smart TVs, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has been consistently wrong. As a result of his cracked crystal ball, Munster has become a bit of an in-joke among Apple bloggers, although his financial analysis of Apple is often quite accurate. Today StreetInsider.com featured Munster's look at the pricing, gross margins, and sales of the various models of the Apple Watch, and his predictions bear repeating.
First, Munster believes that despite the expected Apple Watch Sport base model pricing of $349, the average selling price (ASP) of the Sport will be closer to $450 based on "potentially different case and storage options." I'm not exactly sure what he's referring to in terms of case options, as the case design -- as seen on the Apple Watch web pages -- is pretty well defined in one of two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. Likewise, there's been no word on what the storage capacity of the Apple Watch will be and if there will even be a choice of capacities.
Munster believes the mid-level Apple Watch will "start at $499-549 and likely carry an overall ASP closer to $650," while the "Apple Watch Edition will start at $4,999 and potentially have a segment ASP of closer to $7,500 factoring in higher end bands." Looking at the three watch models, Munster thinks the Sport will account for about 55% of units sold, while the Watch will account for about 45%. That leaves a very narrow amount -- close to 0% -- for the high-end Edition watches, which he predicts may sell only 10,000 units out of a total 8 million Watches sold.
That would make the luxury segment of the Apple Watch market at just 2% of the total market for Rolex watches, which Munster believes "is a reasonable potential first year size as high-end consumers with the power of the Apple brand vs. other luxury watches and the trade-off of quickly depreciating technology in an Apple Watch vs. other more traditional luxury watches that may hold value better."
One comment from Munster that I agree wholeheartedly with is that the interchangeable bands will be promoted heavily by Apple and could add anywhere from $25-50 to the average selling price of the Watch.
We'll keep this post in mind in the future as "claim chowder" to see just how right - or wrong - this one Wall Street analyst was on his Apple Watch forecasts.
The CEO of the Nissan-Renault Alliance, Carlos Ghosn, said on Monday that Apple making an electric car would be "good news for us." During a keynote address at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, Mr. Ghosn effectively said that Apple's entrance to the market would raise awareness of electric cars, something that could help propel them into the mainstream.
We have a bundle of six training courses that will teach you to protect yourself on the Internet. There's a course on Word Press security, the command line in Linux, a technical and security course on OS X, a course on white hat hacking and penetration, a course on ethical hacking, and a course on Web scraping. Through our deal, this bundle is just $49, more than 90 percent off retail.
A $1.89 million iphone accessory (via koenigsegg.com)
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At the end of 2006, the cell phone landscape was awash with devices that filled specific wants and needs. If you wanted the coolest way to make calls, you got the RAZR. If you needed to email colleagues on the go, you bought a BlackBerry. If you were constantly texting your friends during study hall, there was the Sidekick.
Some had keyboards, some flipped, some gave us access to the “baby Internet,” some had cameras. Walking into a Verizon or AT&T store was an exercise in exhaustion, with rows of phones running the gamut of designs. There were no real unifying elements, even as cellphones were clearly heading in a smarter, richer direction. No one was able to put it all together until Steve Jobs pulled the iPhone out of his pocket.
Last year at the Austin, TX-based SXSW festival, iBeacons -- those Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) beacons that broadcast their location and information -- made a very limited debut. For this year's festival, the organizers are going all-out with iBeacons and will install more than a thousand Gimbal-built beacons around the festival venues.
The official SXSW Go app for the 2015 festival has several fun features built in to take advantage of iBeacons. There's a new "Around Me" feature that will allow attendees to introduce themselves to each other with a short message. Fortunately for those introverts attending the festival, the Around Me feature is opt-in only.
Attendees will also receive messages based on their location, including alerts about who has arrived at the venue recently.
Apple uses iBeacons at Apple Stores to alert users of the Apple Store app to what's going on, provide product reviews, and pick up online orders. iBeacons require that a user have Bluetooth enabled on his or her iPhone and be running apps that react to iBeacon transmissions.
The US$415 million settlement Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe proposed in the employee anti-poaching lawsuit brought by Silicon Valley employees has a preliminary greenlight. Judge Lucy Koh chose not to deny the settlement amount and instead has scheduled a new hearing where it will likely get her official nod of approval.
The Mac Observer Spin: The companies involved in the employee anti-poaching scheme were essentially caught red-handed. It's good to see this case closing in on a real settlement so everyone who was impacted by not being able to land a better job can finally move on.