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MyApple Magazine Issue No. 2 is now available for free

24 min 1 sec ago

It’s the beginning of December, and Issue #2 of MyApple Magazine is now available for your reading pleasure.

We’re extremely proud of the variety of articles in this month’s issue, which include:

  • A piece by Dave Caolo on the invisible factors that enhance your productivity;
  • Dennis Sellers’ review of the 27-inch Retina 5K iMac;
  • An introductory editorial by Krystian Kozerawski and Steve Sande;
  • Krystian’s look at the fourth-generation Apple TV and some of the best games for the device;
  • A historical bit by Krystian about growing up with computers… behind the Iron Curtain;
  • Michal Maslowski discussing why you need a gamepad for the Apple TV, and a review by Steve of a Bluetooth gamepad from Satechi;
  • Steve’s views on why the iPad Pro might very well portend the beginning of the end for traditional laptop computers;
  • Max Pijanowski wonders why Apple is singled out for criticism of human rights violations for those who build its products;
  • A review of the recent “Steve Jobs” movie by Krystian, along with some thoughts on why it failed at the box office;
  • Dennis’s look at the magical new accessories from Apple;
  • A detailed review of the new iPad mini 4 by Jacek Zieba;
  • The BrydgeMini Bluetooth Keyboard for the iPad mini gets a review by Steve, who also takes us behind the scenes of a mobile operating system that was ahead of its time — Magic Cap;
  • And an amazing achievement — a comparison of the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 5s cameras (with photos!) by Kinga Zielinska.

It’s all for your reading pleasure, and all for free. You can support our work on Patreon (which would make us very happy!). Be sure to sign up to be the first to be notified of the arrival of every issue at

Link for Downloads:

Can the Pro model turn around iPad sales? Two research groups have differing predictions

1 hour 3 min ago

Worldwide tablet shipments will reach 211.3 million units in 2015, down -8.1% from 2014, according to new data from IDC. However, the research group expects the iPad Pro, which it considered a “detachable” device, to turn around Apple’s tablet sales.

The forecast from the research group follows three consecutive quarters of declining worldwide tablet shipments in 2015. Despite the challenges facing the overall market, IDC expects detachable tablets will continue to represent a growing portion of total shipments.

"We're witnessing a real market transition as end users shift their demand towards detachables and more broadly towards a productivity-based value proposition," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, Tablets, IDC. "The proliferation of detachable offerings from hardware vendors continues to help drive this switch. We're starting to see the impact of competition within this space as the major platform vendors – Apple, Google and Microsoft – now have physical product offerings.”

The transition to detachable tablets also ushers in two other key trends: the growth of Windows and a turnaround for Apple's iPad device line, according to Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, IDC. 

"Though early reviews for the iPad Pro have been mixed, we believe the Pro to be the only reason for Apple to gain tablet market share in the coming years as they target select enterprise and prosumer audiences,” he added. “At the same time we expect Windows-based devices – slates and detachables combined – to more than double its market share by 2019, driven by a combination of traditional PC original equipment manufacturers, as well as more household smartphone vendors.”

A report by TrendForce echoes IDC’s report to some extent, although it doesn’t think the iPad Pro can turn things around significantly. The research group says that demand for tablets has become soft as these devices are still mainly limited to Internet browsing and entertainment in terms of functionality. 

With no novel features that can pique consumers’ interests, small tablets are increasingly being replaced by smartphones, which continues to grow in size. For these reasons, TrendForce has lowered its tablet shipment forecast for 2015 to 163.4 million units, representing a year-on-year decline of 14.9 percent.

“Business products such as Apple’s iPad Pro have high unit prices, so they will not be able to offset the decline in small tablet shipments even if they do become a market success,” analyst Anita Wang said. “The latest tablets from Microsoft and Apple clearly compete against notebooks, but they are limited to the business/professional market segment. It will be difficult for large tablets to replace notebooks in short term because the former are priced too high, whereas low-priced notebooks are plentiful.”

TrendForce’s estimation indicates that a total of 153.4 million tablets will be shipped in 2016, down 6.1 percent year-over-year.

Future iOS docks could have a retractable connector

2 hours 11 min ago

Future docks for iPhones and iPads could have a retractable project. Apple has bee granted a patent (number 9,201,453) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a “self-retracting connector for docking device.”

Docking stations that can include a durable, movable plug connector are provided. For example, the plug connector can rotate and retract into or extend out of an opening of the docking station housing, thereby reducing the likelihood of breakage caused by misuse. A pivoting retraction mechanism can be rotatably coupled to the plug connector to allow the plug connector to be movable.

According to the patent, the retraction mechanism can be a compliant mechanism that is formed from a single piece of material. The plug connector can be biased in a first position by a biasing element that also returns the plug connector to the first position after moving. The opening in the docking station that accommodates the plug connector's full range of motion may only be slightly larger than the plug connector.

Docks are necessary devices. However, Apple says that connectors can be weak points, especially when devices become large and additional stresses are placed on the connector. The connector may also provide most of the support for the device, which means they can be damaged by misuse, e.g. being pulled in an improper direction. 

Some docks include a rotating connector that rotates instead of breaking when stresses are applied to the connector. However, in order to accommodate rotating connectors, such docks often include a “large, unsightly” opening through which the connector or other unsightly features for accommodating the rotating connector may extend, according to Apple.

What’s more, many docking stations with rotating connectors still have room for improvement in terms of manufacturability and convenience in disconnecting from corresponding portable electronic devices. Apple thinks it can do better.

Apple’s adaptive projector patent mentions smart glasses and 3D input interfaces

2 hours 20 min ago

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,201,501) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for an “adaptive projector” that could be incorporated in, or used by, Mac OS X and iOS devices, as well as Apple-developed smartglasses. It could enable adaptive reality (AR) augmentation and 3D input interfaces.

Apple’s invention could be used for virtual reality apps, gaming, and interacting with OS X, iOS, and tvOS devices. According to the patent, the apparatus for processing data includes a projector that’s configured to project content onto at least a part of a scene. A processor is configured to detect a location of an eye of a person in the scene and to control the projector so as to reduce an intensity of the projected content in an area of the eye.

FIG. 1 is a schematic pictorial illustration of an interactive three-dimensional video display system.

In the patent filing, Apple says that natural user interfaces are gaining momentum in the entertainment and computer industry. For example, gesture controls are supplementing or replacing “more conventional and less natural” interfaces such as keyboard and mouse, game controller, and remote control. The user interactions, however, continue to relate largely to the computer monitor, limiting applicability and ease of use of such interfaces, according to Apple. Some of the gesture controls rely on optical 3D mapping. 

Apple wants to provide an improved content projection device that’s “aware” of objects in its field of view, recognizing such objects that are suitable for content project. The projection device could do this by adapting to the geometry and character of the objects by controlling scale, distortion, focus of the projected content, and varying the projected content itself. 


FIG. 6 illustrates an interactive three-dimensional video display system that includes a wearable monitor.

The projection device may also adapt the projected content according to the relationship of the viewer to the projected content. The 2D/3D input device used to analyze the geometry for projection could also be used to interact with the projected content, according to Apple. 

Of course, Apple files for, and is granted, lots of patents. Many of them never reach fruition.

NetMarketShare: OS X and iOS marketshare both dip in November

2 hours 43 min ago

According to the latest market share survey from NetMarketShare (, the market share for Mac OS X and iOS both dipped in November.

According to the report, among desktop operating systems, Mac OS X had 6.99 percent of the global market share in November compared to eight percent percent in October (that’s global market share; in the US it’s over 14%). Eight percent was an an all-time high by NetMarketShare’s measurements. Windows remains dominant with 91.39 percent as of November. That's up from 90.42 percent in October.

iOS had 40.82 percent of the mobile operating system market share in November, down from 41.55 percent in October. This compares to 52.14 percent for Android, 2.60 percent for Windows Phone, and 1.71 percent for Java ME. The all-time high for iOS was in July 2012 with 65.94 percent.

NetMarketShares’ monthly surveys don’t measure market share in terms of computer systems sold. Instead they sample data from visitors to some 40,000 web sites operated by their clients. And note that NetMarketShare’s numbers don’t equate to sales.

Wristly study: the Apple Watch has a 97 percent satisfaction rating

2 hours 55 min ago

Wristly — the “the independent voice of Apple Watch” — has published its first annual “State of the Apple Watch” report — which you can download here —  of Apple Watch users. The report, based on 2,000-plus Wristly panelists — find a 97 percent satisfaction rating for the Apple smartwatch.

When it comes to the Apple Watch delivering on its fitness tracking capabilities, Apple appears to have done a good job. Nearly 70 percent of the Wristly panel are checking their Activity rings more often than they expected and reporting how their behaviors are changing as a result.

Not only are panel users tracking their fitness closely, but Wristly found that they’re checking their watch faces not only for the time (48 percent) but also for complications (47 percent) more often than they expected. However, one area where usage hasn’t taken off is with the Watch’s new Digital Touch capabilities of sending heartbeats, taps and sketches. 

“While a compelling feature on paper and of the top marketing claims highlighted above, Apple faces a ‘chicken and egg’ problem of requiring both the sender and receiver of a Digital Touch communication to own an Apple Watch,” writes the Wristly gang.

Apple sued for patent infringement involving digital media transfer protocols

3 hours 8 min ago

Another day, another lawsuit. A company called Papst is suing Apple for patent infringement. If I’m counting correctly, this is the 11th lawsuit (two involving Wi-Fi Assist and two involving Shanda Games) filed against Apple this year.

As reported by AppleInsider, Papst Licensing, German patent holdings firm, has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging that Apple violates four of its patents that deal with digital media transfer protocols. As a patent monetization entity (some folks call such entities “patent trolls”), Papst is assigned intellectual property and enforces it, in court if necessary, as patent holder. 

On Nov. 30, it was reported that Deric White, 68, of Long is suing Apple for “wiping away his life” when he took his iPhone 5 to an Apple Store for repair — and didn’t back up his data.

Last month Apple was hit with a second class action lawsuit claiming that the company failed to properly warn users that the new Wi-Fi Assist feature in iOS 9 will use data from their cellular plan. It was the second lawsuit of its kind this year.

In September plaintiffs William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips sued Apple alleging that because of costs related to Wi-Fi Assist, the "overall amount in controversy exceeds" $5 million. Plaintiff William B. Cottrell has sued for basically the same thing in a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. 

A new class action lawsuit in July accused Apple of breaching contract by failing to provide new — or "equivalent to new" — devices when offering up replacement hardware under AppleCare+ warranties.

Probendi, an Irish software development studio, has filed an urgent procedure with a court in Milan protesting Apple’s use of the term "iWatch" in its ads.

In July Apple was sued by Shanghai Shulong Computer Technology (the parent company of Shanda Games) for alleged copyright infringement of The King Of Adventure, a mobile game sold in the Apple App Store. In June Shanda Games sued Apple, Huawei, and Beijing Zhuoyi Xunchuang Technology for unfair competition.

Comarco Wireless Technologies is suing Apple for patent infringement, claiming that the Cupertino, California-based company’s iPhone/iPad chargers infringe on its own patents. And battery manufacturerA123 Systems is suing the Cupertino, California-based company for “poaching employees."

WaterField Designs' Victor Wallet handsome, but too darn thin

3 hours 24 min ago

WaterField Design describes its Victor Wallet as "dime-thin" and designed for the "on-the-go, efficient, digitally-minded professional." It's not actually dime thin (more like two dimes sitting atop each other) and it's only convenient for those pros who don't have a lot of "stuff" to stuff into it. 

The slim leather wallet has space for bills and slots for cards. All are held in place via a stretchy nylon strap. The problem is that the Victor Wallet can't hold too many bills and cards comfortably. Plus, any items that you place inside it (i.e, not in the slots) tend to fall out when you remove the nylon strap.

However, that nylon strap doesn't make the Victor Wallet more difficult for pickpockets to lift from your pocket as it tends to cling to the fabric of your pants, shirt, jacket, etc. Also, it's hand-made and very handsome.

For those who only have a few items to store, the WaterField Design wallet may be appealing. However, for those of us who need to store money, credit cards, store cards, business cards, etc., it's just too darn skinny.

The Victor Wallet is available in black or brown leather. It costs USS$29 and can be purchased at WaterField Designs' online store.

How to pair your Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro

3 hours 54 min ago

So you’ve finally gotten your hands on a $99 Apple Pencil to use with your iPad Pro. How do you “pair” the two? It’s easy breezy.

The first time you use your Apple Pencil, take off its cap and plug it into the Lightning connector on your iPad Pro. When you see the Pair button, tap it.

If you turn off Bluetooth—for example, if you turn on airplane mode—you'll need to turn on Bluetooth and pair your Apple Pencil again.

You can also plug the Apple Pencil into the super-sized iPad for charging. For a quick charge, plug the writing device into the Lightning connector on your iPad Pro. If the battery runs out, you can just charge it from your iPad Pro for 15 seconds and get 30 minutes of use.

You can also plug into a USB port with the Apple Pencil Charging Adapter and a Lightning to USB cable. To see how much charge your Apple Pencil has left, check the Today view in Notifications on your iPad Pro.

IN1 is a handy combination iPhone case and Swiss Army Knife

4 hours 24 min ago

I've lamented more than once that there's nothing new under the sun when it comes to iPhone cases. I stand corrected. The IN1 Multi-Tool Utility Case is certainly different than anything I've ever tested before. 

Think of it as a combination iPhone case and Swiss Army Knife. Built for the iPhone 6/6s Plus, it sports grooves in a variety of small tools can be removed and reinserted. They include two precision screwdrivers (one flat-head and one phillips), two ball point pens (one with blue ink, one with red), a nail file, a pair of tweezers, a plastic toothpick, and a set of scissors.

I said the tools were small; tiny is probably a better adjective. You can't, for example, repair your lawnmower with the screwdrivers. However, they're perfect for working on eyeglasses. You can't (easily) cut open an UPS box with the teeny scissors; but they're fine for opening a bag of M&Ms.

You can't pen the next great American novel with the pens; you can jot down a quick note, though. You can't … well, you get the idea. Oh yes, the IN1 also has a kickstand that folds out so that you can sit your Apple smartphone at an angle.

What's more, the IN1 case is also TSA compliant due to its lack of a truly sharp blade. Which means that you can make it through the check-through line at the airport even though you're packing tools in your iPhone case. 

The IN1 is available in white, black, blue, yellow, purple, pink and clear for US$39.95. If I have one gripe with the case, it's that the kickstand was difficult to pop out. Otherwise, this is an iPhone case that all we wanna-be MacGyvers must have.

Notable apps and app updates for November 30, 2015

Mon, 2015-11-30 15:32

On a regular basis, Apple World Today posts a list of notable new apps or app updates that have been released. They may not necessarily be new, but they're popular and deserve mention. Here are today's picks for Mac OS X, iOS, and tvOS.

Mac OS X Apps/Updates

ZoomingCube Interactive has introduced Orb 1.0 for Mac OS X. It’s a $5 drag and drop, radial contextual menu that allows you to open files with various applications without having to drag them all the way to your Dock. 

Orb features a special Preview that displays an enlarged preview of image at the center of the menu. A Direction Sensing feature allows default application to be placed in the direction of gesture.

Orb integrates itself with Finder on Mac OS X. It’s compatible with OS X 10.7 and higher, However, although it’s compatible with El Capitan, it requires disabling SIP (System Integrity Protection) in order to function.

Appocto has introduced Censorate for Mac OS X. It allows you to pixelate, blur or hide sensitive or unwanted areas in images. 

Censorate is designed for users who who frequently post on social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Censorate is compatible with OS X Yosemite and El Capitan. It sells for $4.99 and is available from Appocto online.

Times for Fun has upgraded fgrab, its screen recorder for the Mac, to version 1.5. It’s been partially rewritten for OS X 10.10 Yosemite and 10.11 El Capitan.

With fgrab, capture any action on your screen and save it as a screen movie. After recording you can immediately play it back without an export procedure. fgrab is available from Times for Fun for approximately $20.

Zevrix Solutions has unveiled Instant Backup 1.8, a compatibility update to its solution to manually back up selected data to FTP and locally. The new version is compatible with Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

Instant Backup can be purchased from the Zevrix website for $9.95. A demo is available for download. Instant Backup requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.

Whetstone Apps has introduced DayMap 2.1.1 an update to visually oriented organizer app. It offers a way of organizing and scheduling projects and tasks in a visually intuitive Project Outliner and Weekly or Monthly Scheduler.

In version 2.1.1, each occurrence of a recurring task can be sorted in the the Calendar view independently. A graying out scheduled icon appears when a task is completed. And the Hide Completed slider now affects the Calendar view as well as the Outline view.

DayMap 2.1.1 requires OS X Yosemite or El Capitan. It costs and can be purchased at the Mac App Store under the Productivity category.

iOS Apps/Updates

Absolutist has announced Hidden Objects: Twilight Town 1.4.31, a mystery adventure quest. The game combines hidden object, puzzle and strategy gameplay. Twilight Town is free, but does offer in-app purchases.

Gamelarious has released Videocraft 4.0, an update to their complete multi-track video editor, photo story and movie maker app. The $1.99 tool includes features to combine video clips and photos with songs, sound effects, voice recordings, images, and text. Version 4.0 brings 1080p HD support, Ken Burns effects, stop motion video support, and more.

Aditon has floated out Bubble Struggle: Adventures 1.55, an update to their bubble-popping game. In the game, you pop bubbles in over 70 levels. Version 1.55 introduces new levels, as well as a new “staying alive” mode and more. Bubble Struggle is free, but does offer in-app purchases.

tvOS Apps/Updates

Apimac has announced Timer TV, a free timer app that lets you set a — as you might guess from the name — timer on the Apple TV.  You can choose from three pre-set themes: Steel, a professional theme for the workplace and education; Energy, a theme for physical activity; and Snow, a theme for contemporary contexts.

Inateck Aries In-ear Noise Isolating Headphones are a great stocking-stuffer idea

Mon, 2015-11-30 14:30

Inateck aries headphones. photo ©2015, steven sande.

During 2015, I've had the pleasure of trying out a number of headphones and earphones from various manufacturers. One company that has surprised me consistently with its well-made and inexpensive products is Inateck. Previously I looked at their BH1001 Wireless Sport Headset and Lacerta In-Ear Headphones, and today we'll look at a third product, the Inateck Aries BH1101 In-ear Noise Isolating Headphones (US$19.99, Amazon Affiliate Link).


The design of the Aries headphones is quite different than that of the Lacerta headphones. The cables are plastic-coated with a material that gives them the appearance of braided metal, while the earbuds feature a bronze metallic finish with a real wood accent. The plug end of the headphones features a knurled grip that makes pulling the plug easy.

On the right cable is a microphone for use with an iPhone; there's one big button on it that I'll describe a bit more in the second part of this review. As with all of the Inateck headphones, the company includes a small Neoprene zippered carry bag for the headphones, an adapter for plugging the 'phones into an airplane audio jack, a clip to attach the microphone to clothing, and two more sets of silicone ear buds.


I was fortunate that the default mid-sized ear buds worked just perfectly so I didn't have to change them out, but from my experience with the Lacerta headphones that's something that is very easy to do.

As with the other headphones, I listened to a variety of tunes through the headphones just to get a feel for the range and sound quality of them. And as usual, this incredibly inexpensive headphone surprised me with excellent sound quality. Across the range from barely audible highs to booming bass, the Aries headphones delivered good sound.

Your mileage may vary, of course, as no two people hear the same thing in exactly the same way. But if you’re looking for a good backup pair of earbuds without spending an arm and a leg, the Aries can fill that role just fine.

The aries mic and button. photo ©2015 steven sande.

With the Aries, you’ll need to use the iPhone’s volume controls to make sounds louder or quieter as the button only pauses and plays music with a press, or invokes Siri with a long press. There is no toggle for volume.


As with most of the Inateck products reviewed on Apple World Today this year, I found the Aries headphones to be a tremendous bargain and well-equipped at the low price. My only qualm is the lack of a volume toggle, but if you usually adjust volume from your iPhone anyway, that shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★

AWT News Update: November 30, 2015

Mon, 2015-11-30 13:30

Aaron Sorkin. Photo by iDominick on Flickr, CC-BY-SA_2.0

On this last day of November, we have some fascinating news bits that should make your day:

  • Advertisers, sponsors - we're now listed on Cast.Market. Sponsor the podcast for a song!
  • A new address system pinpoints any of the 57 trillion 3 square meter spots on earth with three short words
  • JCPenney is beta-testing Apple Pay in Texas, and will roll out nationwide next year
  • The Aaron Sorkin script for Steve Jobs is available for your downloading pleasure
  • Apple spent much less than its competitors on R&D, but there may be a reason...

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Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is a very short AWT News Update for November 30, 2015. A quick note for potential advertisers or sponsors; you can now buy a sponsorship for this podcast through Cast.Market. Click the link for details.

People who live in shantytowns in some of the largest cities of the world have a lot of problems, but not having an address is probably one of the greatest. It’s a situation that makes it impossible for anyone to send a package directly to a person in one of these places, and even worse, it’s very difficult for first responders to make it directly to a location where there’s a fire, public safety or health emergency. Well, a new app called What3Words makes it simple for any 3 meter square area to have a unique address by assigning a name made up of three words in the local language to each one of those 57 trillion spots on the surface of the earth. For example, Apple’s headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA has the rather kinky sounding address of whips.bride.bounty while the Apple Campus 2 shows up at Steve Jobs’ childhood home? It’s at margin.gear.civic. While this system won’t do much good in locations where there’s a well-designed infrastructure and address system in place, it’s perfect for rural locations and those crowded favelas in Rio. Expect to hear more about What3Words in the future, and enjoy adding What3Words addresses to your favorite wilderness spots.

One longtime retailer that’s fighting to retain relevance in today’s world is JCPenney, and it looks like they’re going to add their store credit cards to Apple Pay in the near future. The company is testing those cards with Apple Pay at one location in the Dallas-Fort Worth Texas area, and it’s expected that Apple Pay will roll out nationwide at JCPenney in the spring of 2016.

If you’re like me, you probably haven’t seen the movie Steve Jobs, written by screenplay wizard Aaron Sorkin. Well, you don’t have to see the movie now, because Universal Pictures has released the shooting script to the movie in PDF format. We have a link to the script in the show notes in case you’d like to re-film the movie with your iPhone 6s Plus in 4K, edit it in iMovie on your iPad Pro, and share it with the rest of the world. More people may actually see your version than saw the movie directed by Danny Boyle with Michael Fassbender as Jobs.

Bloomberg did a look at research & development spending by large American tech companies and found that Apple spent just 3.5% of its 2015 revenues — about $8.1 billion — on R&D. That’s quite a bit less than what other companies are spending. Qualcomm spent 22 percent on R&D, Facebook about 21 percent. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, spent 15 percent on research in many areas. Bloomberg quoted Ram Mudambi of Temple University as saying that company is able to stretch its R&D budget by relying more heavily on suppliers, who are encouraged through the lure Apple contracts to provide the company with their best technology. Apple spent a reported $11.2 billion on capital equipment expenses like its new headquarters in Cupertino and manufacturing tools for its suppliers, and that number is expected to grow in the future.

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.

Public beta of Apple Music on Sonos coming December 15

Mon, 2015-11-30 12:26

Apple and Sonos have announced that Apple Music will be available in public beta on Sonos starting Dec. 15. Listeners will have the ability to stream all their favorite aspects of Apple Music, including For You, New, Radio, and My Music, through Sonos smart speakers in any room of their homes.

The public beta allows many features of Apple Music to be controlled by the Sonos app on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and Android phone, and played in any or multiple rooms in the home. General availability will start in early 2016. 

Apple offers (Product)Red versions of its leather iPhone cases

Mon, 2015-11-30 11:27

Apple is now offering its leather cases for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in (Product)Red flavors. 

A portion of the proceeds goes to the Global Fund, a global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The 6s leather case costs $45, and the 6s Plus version is priced at $49.

Also, Apple is preparing for its annual World Aids Day campaign and has partnered with popular iOS app developer Supercell for a (SUPERCELL)RED promotion that will see the developer offering a special in-game decorative item for purchase. All proceeds will go towards the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Analyst thinks Apple’s Black Friday was its best ever

Mon, 2015-11-30 11:19

Apple apparently registered the strongest Friday sales in its entire history on Black Friday (Nov. 27), says Global Equities' Trip Chowdhry. He attributes this to the company's "strategic shift in selling."

Chowdhry says that, in a short time, Apple has quadrupled its expert salesforce. These Apple experts are now available at many more locations, who have the same expertise that one would find at the Apple Store.

“This year, Apple decided not to provide any Holiday promotions on its own Apple Stores; but let the various retailers create their own promotions and sales, Chowdhry told clients in a note. “Apple would match any Apple product price, up to 10% of the competing price, at its Apple Stores.”

As for specific products, he writes that the iPhone and Apple Watch were the most popular overall, with deals spurring sales. Chowdhry added that the iPad Air 2 is the hottest gift item for kids eight years and older, and the iPad mini for kids younger than eight years.

Apple sued for ‘wiping away a man’s life’ in repairing his non-backed-up iPhone

Mon, 2015-11-30 11:02

Another day, another lawsuit. Deric White, 68, of London is suing Apple for “wiping away his life” when he took his iPhone 5 to an Apple Store for repair — and didn’t back up his data. If I’m counting correctly, this is the tenth lawsuit (two involving Wi-Fi Assist and two involving Shanda Games) filed against Apple this year.

White told The Sun that Apple owes him £5,000 (just over $7,500) due to the lose of his photos and contacts. He claims Apple didn’t ask him if his data was backed up before repairing it. Apple tells The Sun it isn’t taking any responsibility at this stage, and says White, “has not demonstrated how he suffered any loss."

Last month Apple was hit with a second class action lawsuit claiming that the company failed to properly warn users that the new Wi-Fi Assist feature in iOS 9 will use data from their cellular plan. It was the second lawsuit of its kind this year.

In September plaintiffs William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips sued Apple alleging that because of costs related to Wi-Fi Assist, the "overall amount in controversy exceeds" $5 million. Plaintiff William B. Cottrell has sued for basically the same thing in a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. 

A new class action lawsuit in July accused Apple of breaching contract by failing to provide new — or "equivalent to new" — devices when offering up replacement hardware under AppleCare+ warranties.

Probendi, an Irish software development studio, has filed an urgent procedure with a court in Milan protesting Apple’s use of the term "iWatch" in its ads.

In July Apple was sued by Shanghai Shulong Computer Technology (the parent company of Shanda Games) for alleged copyright infringement of The King Of Adventure, a mobile game sold in the Apple App Store. In June Shanda Games sued Apple, Huawei, and Beijing Zhuoyi Xunchuang Technology for unfair competition.

Comarco Wireless Technologies is suing Apple for patent infringement, claiming that the Cupertino, California-based company’s iPhone/iPad chargers infringe on its own patents. And battery manufacturerA123 Systems is suing the Cupertino, California-based company for “poaching employees."

Chipworks finds 12-cluster GPU, dual-core CPU in the iPad Pro A9X

Mon, 2015-11-30 10:30

Chipworks scan of the A9X SoC, via The Motley Fool

Like spring follows winter, an X-ray of the latest Apple system-on-chip from Chipworks always seems to follow the teardown of the latest devices by iFixit. Chipworks shared its latest X-ray with The Motley Fool, and found that the A9X features a dual-core CPU and a 12 GPU clusters.

The SoC that Chipworks scanned was found to have been built by TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), although its unknown if that company is a sole-source supplier for the A9X. 

What makes the GPU design so fascinating is that Apple uses the Imagination Technologies Series 7XT GPU, and that graphics partner only offers its technology in clusters of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 16. That means that the A9X features a semi-custom design for Apple. The A9X features 4GB of RAM, double the amount found on both the iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6s. There's a new storage controller that accelerates both read and write speeds, and The Motley Fool's Ashraf Eassa speculates that the A9X has a memory interface that's twice as wide as well. That allows the A9X to do away with the 8MB of on-die cache memory that is included on the A9.


Apple Watch sales could total 12 million for 2015

Mon, 2015-11-30 09:45

On the all-important Black Friday shopping day on November 27, analyst Daniel Ives of FBR & Co. checked with a number of Apple retail stores and based on his estimates, Ives believes that Apple could end up selling 6 million Apple Watches in the quarter ending December 31, 2015.

Ives had previously estimated that Apple had already sold 6 million Watches this year, which would bring the total sold in 2015 to 12 million. Apple doesn't release sales figures for the Watch, but has repeatedly noted that sales are growing. A look at financial filings by Apple demonstrated that the devices have contributed $1.7 billion in sales in the first five months of existence, and Apple noted in July that the Watch had sold more units in the first nine weeks of life than the iPad sold in its first 80 days -- that number is around 3 million.

Ives thinks that wearable devices are a potentially $20 billion-plus opportunity for Apple over the next three years, and FBR maintained its "outperform" rating on AAPL as a result.

Your iPhone 7 may come without a 3.5mm headphone jack

Mon, 2015-11-30 09:00

Rumors can be fun, and sometimes a little disconcerting to people who have Apple products or peripherals that can be affected by a decision made by the company. The latest rumor from Japanese website Mac Otakara says that Apple has plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 (or whatever the next-gen iPhone is called) and instead use an all-in-one Lightning connector for audio output.

The report cites a reliable source, and says that the company is considering releasing Lightning-equipped EarPods at the same time. Some manufacturers are already selling Lightning-equipped headphones, like the Philips Fidelio M2L, so it's not a stretch that they're getting ready for Apple going all-in on Lightning as the one connector for charging, data and audio.

As a result of switching to the Lightning port for audio output, new iPhone and iPod touch models could be even thinner than they are right now, and Mac Otakara's report says that the iPhone 7 could be a full millimeter thinner than the existing 7.1mm iPhone 6s. 

For those of you who own expensive headphones that use the standard 3.5mm jack, don't be too concerned -- the same rumor says that the connector will come with a digital-to-audio converter for backwards compatibility with wired headphones so that only an inexpensive 3.5mm to Lightning adapter would be required for continued use.

What do you think about the rumor? To us, it makes sense that Apple would want to go all-in on a single port device like it did with the 12-inch MacBook. Leave your comments below.