Apple to Announce Q3 2014 Earnings on July 22

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Apple updated its investor relations page today to note that it will announce its earnings for the third fiscal quarter (second calendar quarter) of 2014 on Tuesday, July 22. The earnings release typically occurs just after 4:30 PM Eastern Time following the close of regular stock trading, and the conference call is scheduled to follow at 5:00 PM Eastern / 2:00 PM Pacific.

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MacRumors will provide running coverage of the earnings release and conference call.

The release will provide a look at sales of the iPad Air and the Retina iPad mini during their third quarter of availability, as well as iPhone 5s and 5c sales through the first half of 2014. Apple reported iPhone sales of 37.4 million during the second quarter of 2014, along with 19.5 million iPads and just under four million Macs.

Apple is said to have many projects on the horizon, including the iWatch, the iPhone 6, a revamped Apple TV and a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air, but the new products are unlikely to be discussed during the call.

In its fiscal second-quarter earnings call, Apple guided expected revenue of $33.5 to $35.5 billion and gross margin between 36 and 37 percent.



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Apple Expanding Two-Step Verification to iCloud.com

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Apple appears to be testing its two-factor authentication system on some iCloud.com accounts, asking for a verification code before allowing users with two-factor verification enabled to access various iCloud.com apps.

First noticed by AppleInsider, the two-factor verification system for iCloud.com requires users to enter a verification code sent via SMS or to a trusted iOS device before the iCloud.com versions of Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote can be used.

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Previously, accessing these apps only required an Apple ID password, but now “Find My iPhone” is the only app that remains accessible without a two-factor verification code.

Originally implemented back in March of 2013, two-factor verification is an opt-in system designed to increase Apple ID account security by requiring identity verification before allowing users to make account changes or purchase content on new devices. It replaces standard security questions with a security code delivered to a “trusted” device.

At this time, it is unknown if Apple is simply testing the feature with some users or working on a wider rollout for all iCloud.com users with two-factor verification enabled.



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Apple to Launch Annual ‘Back to School’ Promotion Tomorrow

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Apple is gearing up to begin its annual “Back to School” promotion in the United States and other countries on Tuesday, July 1, offering iTunes Store/App Store gift cards to students that purchase a Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

According to a source who spoke to MacRumors, Apple’s 2014 Back to School promotion will be similar to the 2013 promotion, providing students with a $100 App Store gift card for the purchase of a new Mac or a $50 App Store gift card with the purchase of an iPad or iPhone.

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In the past, all iPhones, iPads, and Macs have been eligible for the promotion, with the exception of the Mac mini. The 2013 promotion was available in the following countries, with varying gift card amounts, and the 2014 promotion is likely to be similar: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.

Apple is expected to decorate its retail stores with new window displays overnight, adjusting signage and other aspects of store layouts, and Apple has indeed scheduled an overnight refresh of its store visuals tonight, as reported by 9to5Mac earlier this month.

Apple’s Back to School promotion is held at different times throughout the year in different countries to correspond to various educational calendars, but the summer program is typically the company’s largest as it encompasses the United States, Canada, and Europe.



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Possible 4.7-Inch iPhone 6 Front Panel Compared to iPhone 5s

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

As we creep closer to the fall release date of the iPhone 6, component leaks are becoming more frequent. While we originally saw the alleged front panel of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 back in April, 9to5Mac has shared additional photos of the component.

Depicted in both black and white, the front panel in the photos features a slight gloss and somewhat tapered edges, lending credence to both rumors and mockups that have suggested the iPhone 6 will have rounded iPod touch-style corners.

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The two front panels in the photos appear to have varying locations for the device’s front camera, and it is unknown why there is a difference between the parts. The white front panel camera hole appears to be centered above the earpiece as it is in the iPhone 5s, with a sensor to the left, but the black front panel’s front-facing camera hole is to the left of the earpiece as it was in the iPhone 4.

The front panel was also compared to the front panel of the iPhone 5s, showing the size differences between the two devices.

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In addition to these photos of the 4.7-inch iPhone’s front panel, we have also seen images that depict manufacturing molds, backlight panels, and rear shells, but the latter component may not be from the actual iPhone 6 as a new rumor from Japanese site Nikkei has suggested the finished device may not have the thick antenna breaks that have been depicted on mockups thus far.

Though only the 4.7-inch iPhone front panel has been seen, Apple is expected to be releasing the iPhone 6 in a larger 5.5-inch size as well. It is unknown at this point if the larger iPhone 6 will be released at the same time, as there have been some conflicting reports on its potential launch due to production issues. The most recent rumors indicate a simultaneous release, however.

Both versions of Apple’s iPhone 6 are expected to be thinner and lighter than the existing iPhone 5s, with an A8 processor and various camera improvements. Rumors have suggested the larger iPhone will be positioned as the premium version, offering features like optical image stabilization, a higher storage capacity, and a $100 price increase over the 4.7-inch version.



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Apple Releases OS X 10.9.4 With Wi-Fi Fixes, Wake From Sleep Improvements, Safari 7.0.5

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Apple today released OS X 10.9.4 after just a month of testing and a month and a half after the release of OS X 10.9.3. The last 10.9.4 developer beta, build 13E25, was released last week.

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The update, which is recommended for all Mavericks users, improves reliability of wake from sleep and fixes an issue that prevented some Macs from automatically connecting to known Wi-Fi networks. Today’s update also includes Safari 7.0.5.

OS X 10.9.4 can be downloaded through the software update function in the MAc App Store.



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Apple Releases iOS 7.1.2 With Mail Fixes, iBeacon Improvements

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Apple today released iOS 7.1.2 to the public, more than two months after releasing iOS 7.1.1. iOS 7.1.2 is a minor update that focuses primarily on bug fixes and security improvements, repairing an email attachment encryption issue and fixing a bug with data transfer for third-party accessories. The update also includes improvements to iBeacon.

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– Improves iBeacon connectivity and stability
– Fixes a bug with data transfer for some 3rd party accessories, including bar code scanners
– Corrects an issue with data protection class of Mail attachments

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://ift.tt/uSAiKb

Apple first began working on iOS 7.1.2 shortly after the release of iOS 7.1.1, sending the update to carrier partners for approval last week.

The iOS 7.1.2 update can be downloaded via the software update tool in the Settings app on iOS devices.



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New Backlight Enables iPhone 6’s Thin Design, May Cause Production Challenges

June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Leaked images, mockups and schematics suggest the iPhone 6 will be Apple’s thinnest iPhone model to date, with a side profile approaching that of the 6.1 mm iPod touch. A new report from Chinese media sources (Via GforGames) suggests Apple may face yield issues with the next generation iPhone due to its decision to minimize the size of the handset.

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According to supply chain sources who spoke anonymously to China Times, Apple may use only one brightness enhancement film (BEF) in its LCD display as a space-saving measure. Current generation iPhone displays are supplied by Minebea and use two layers in order to improve readability in these backlit displays.

This change to a single layer technology may cause yield issues as the one layer has to be of a higher quality in order to take the place of two. To meet demand for this new part, Apple allegedly is looking to OMRON and Radiant as suppliers to supplement the projected output from Minebea.

Despite an earlier rumor that Apple was considering adopting “touch on display” technology for future iPhone models, this latest report claims Apple will continue to use the current in-cell display for its upcoming iPhone 6. Sources also claim the main suppliers for the iPhone will remain LG, JDI and Sharp, which was rumored to have been dropped from Apple’s iPhone 6 supplier chain. According a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, Apple was said to be replacing Sharp with Innolux due to “Moire” issues with Sharp’s early sample panels.

Though it won’t comment on its role in future Apple products, Sharp did confirm it is betting big on Apple with an entire plant dedicated to producing displays for the Cupertino company, said Sharp Senior Executive Norikazu Hoshi in an interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei (via CNET). Similar to other companies that supply Apple, Sharp faces some risk in this strategy with large swings in monthly production due to Apple’s once-a-year product refresh cycle.

The No. 1 plant’s output goes to just one company (Apple). If you look at just this plant, it certainly presents a high level of volatility risk. But if we make LCD panels for smartphones in large quantities at the No. 2 plant, we can absorb the impact even when the No. 1 plant is not doing so well.

Sharp, Minebea and other Apple suppliers are gearing up for the expected mass production of the iPhone 6 which is rumored to begin in July. The iPhone 6 is expected to launch in September and may be available in both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch version.



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