Jun 07

 

What is WWDC 2016?

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is the company’s annual bunfight for software developers and other partners. Over the last few years it has become a much more public facing event in recent years, acting as a springboard for Apple to show off all of its latest software.

This year, expect updates on the iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS, as well as news on Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Apple Music.

When is it?

WWDC officially lasts from Monday June 13 to Friday June 17, but most of the news will be packed into a keynote speech from Apple’s top brass on Monday at 10am Pacific time (that’s 6pm UK time). The event is being held in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, for which tickets are in high demand and priced at $1,599. Luckily, you can watch it online.

How do I watch it?

Apple will be live streaming the presentation here, or through the WWDC iOS app. If you have an Apple TV then you can watch via that.

What can I expect?

WWDC is all about software, tending to focus on new versions of iOS and Mac OS X. But as Apple’s product line-up has grown, it will have more to talk about.

This year, we can expect to hear about watchOS and tvOS, the software for the Apple Watch and Apple TV, as well as Apple Music, Siri and possibly Apple Pay.

Apple sent out invitations to the media last week, although the notoriously cryptic clues were missing.

wwdc invite

iOS: Apple will lift the lid on iOS 10 before it is released alongside the next iPhone in September. Details are thin on the ground, but a design refresh could be announced: the last major graphical overhaul was in 2013’s iOS 7.

Notifications, which have had various changes in recent versions, could also be improved, according to Apple blog 9to5Mac. Tim Cook has also hinted that users may finally be able to delete Apple’s stock apps.

Mac OS X: Apple’s yearly updates to Mac OS X, each of which come with a California-influenced name like “Yosemite” “Mavericks” and “El Capitan”, have gradually improved integration between the computer software and iOS. This year we could see a big change, with the software finally getting Siri.

watchOS: The Apple Watch, released last year, is not quite the overwhelming success that might have been hoped for. Users have complained that apps are slow and too tethered to the iPhone. WatchOS 3 is likely to be previewed at WWDC. Although we don’t know much, stability and speed are two things that developers will want to know about.

Apple Music: Apple’s Spotify rival has more than 13 million paying subscribers less than a year after it launched, but it hasn’t been without its problems.

Users have complained of a clunky interface, not to mention having their entire music libraries deleted, and the “Connect” social network feels underused. Apple is reportedly preparing a big redesign of the software for WWDC.

Siri: As well as coming to Mac OS, Siri is also likely to get a major upgrade, becoming open to more app developers. For example, this might allow the iPhone’s voice recognition to control other music apps or messaging services, or to order an Uber.

What about hardware?

It’s pretty certain that we’re not going to see an iPhone 7 or new iPad at WWDC. In fact, reports suggest that all hardware is off the table. That’s despite it being a while since we’ve had a new MacBook Pro and emerging rumours about an Amazon Echo or the new Google home unit styled device.

Revealed next week

We will know all the answers this time next week. Stay tuned.

Mar 18

At an event scheduled for Monday Apple is expected to launch a much rumoured 4-inch diagonal iPhone.

The new iPhone will most likely feature upgraded internals, such as the camera and processor from the latest generation iPhone 6s.

The new iPhone will provide an affordable, entry-level alternative to the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7 to launch in September.

At a special event set for Monday, Apple s expected to introduce a smaller iPhone SE with a 4-inch diagonal screen. Rumours vary as to the specific specs for the new phone, but there is a broad agreement it is intended to be a more affordable iPhone that will replace the aging iPhone 5s.

Said to be called the “iPhone 5se” or simply the “iPhone SE,” the new device is modelled after the iPhone 5s. The name is meant to denote its position as a second-generation upgraded version of the iPhone 5s. Earlier rumours about the 4-inch iPhone said it could be similar to the iPhone 5c, leading the media to refer to 4-inch device as the “iPhone 6c” over the past year, but that name was later abandoned in favour of iPhone 5se or iPhone SE. iPhone 6c, iPhone 5se, and iPhone SE rumours refer to the same 4-inch device Apple is developing.

Rumours suggest the iPhone 5se will be the close in size and shape to the iPhone 5s, with the same general dimensions. It will include a display that curves slightly at the edges, but the curve is said to be less dramatic than the curved display on Apple’s newest devices.

When taking into account all of the different rumours we’ve heard, the iPhone 5se may be on par with Apple’s larger-screened devices when it comes to performance, but it’s not going to share all of the same features as Apple’s flagship devices. Internally, the iPhone 5se is likely to have the same A9 processor used in the iPhone 6s, but it may be limited to 1GB RAM and it may only come in 16 and 64GB capacities, with no 128GB option.

If this expectation proves accurate, the little iPhone will mark a dramatic shift in Apple’s product strategy. For the first time ever, Apple will have designed an all-new iPhone that is deliberately not the best it can make, but rather a lower-cost alternative to its best.

iphones iphone_screen_sizes

 

Source: MacRumors

Good, Better, Best

Alert readers, recalling the bright coloured iPhone 5c, may take issue with the last sentence above. I would contend the iPhone 5c was not really an all-new phone, but merely the internals of the iPhone 5 repackaged with a less expensive plastic case. The 5c was a half-hearted attempt at an affordable iPhone that didn’t do particularly well in the marketplace.

Rumour mills such as AppleInsider and MacRumors seem to agree the new phone will have a metal case, even if it’s not clear what the case will look like. Most concept drawings show the case as a sort of melding of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s, as shown above.

Most of the rumours have also converged to the SE having most of the features of the 6s: the Apple A9 SOC, the 12 Mpixel camera with 4K video capability, NFC and Touch ID for Apple Pay. Lacking only 3D Touch, the little iPhone is expected to be as powerful as the 6s.

This may be at odds with the expectation the phone will be priced similarly to the current iPhone 5s, which sells from £379 contract-free. If Apple really is positioning the SE as the 5s replacement, there may need to be some compromises: use of the A8 SOC rather than the A9, an 8 Mpixel camera rather than 12 Mpixel.

Even with the more premium baseline, the SE fits in with a Good, Better, Best product strategy once the iPhone 7/7 Plus is introduced in September. The iPhone 6/6 Plus will be retired, leaving the 6s/6s Plus to fill the Better slot. Apple needed something to fill the Good slot.

Why not the iPhone 6? I think because Apple realized that there was a market for the smaller 4-inch diagonal iPhone that it couldn’t fill with the 5s. Also, there wouldn’t be enough cost savings with the iPhone 6, so there would be little spread in prices among the three generations.

Big change

Most importantly, Apple is moving away from using previous generations of iPhones to fill the Good and Better slots. Most consumer product companies pursue a Good, Better, Best strategy, notably in the automotive industry. In cars, Good is entry-level and sub-compact. Good naturally tends to be smaller in order to save materials costs as well as some manufacturing cost.

This logic applies to the SE as well. The 4-inch screen from the 5s would be by far the least expensive screen since it benefits from being both smaller and the most mature from a manufacturing learning curve standpoint. A smaller screen also means a smaller battery and less powerful graphics requirement. Here, the A9 graphics is a total overkill for the SE, so we may see some modification of the GPU in the A9 for the SE, or use of a previous gen SOC. Car makers don’t put their most powerful V8 engines in subcompacts.

Designing an iPhone specifically to be low cost represents a huge break with the tradition laid down during the Jobs era of building the “best iPhone.” The often-repeated mantra “we only want to build the best iPhone” always struck me as peculiarly inconsistent. Apple didn’t shrink from offering its other products at a variety of price points and in a variety of form factors. One could see the Good, Better, Best strategy repeated in Macs and iPod, and even in iPad.

All will be revealed

On Monday we will know how accurate the rumours are and firm up the price and availability. Plus we will learn what ever else Apple plan to announce – Mini iPad Pro, new watch….

Mar 14

Apple has sent invites out for the March 21 event, where we expect the iPhone SE, the iPad Air 3 and new Apple Watch bands. ‘Let us loop you in’ to the latest rumours, and everything you need to know about the iPhone SE launch event.

apple_march_event_invitation

For those in the UK – Thats 6PM next Monday.

What to expect?

The invitation image, reproduced above, contains the cryptic phrase ‘Let us loop you in’, beneath a heavily zoomed-in view of the Apple logo picked out in what appear to be the four iPhone colours: silver, gold, Space Grey and rose gold; the jury’s out on whether this should lead us to expect new iPhones (such as the iPhone SE, most obviously), new iPads or MacBooks to become available in the iPhone colour palette, or a combination of these things. We’d be surprised if the word ‘loop’ doesn’t refer to new Apple Watch announcements, but this might just be new watch bands.

If rumours are to believed, Apple will unveil two highly anticipated new products: the iPhone 6c and iPad Air 3, along with a few new Apple Watch accessories. Here’s what we know so far.

At the end of January, rumours about a March event flooded the web after months of much quieter speculation, with the consensus suggesting that the week of 14 March was the one to mark in your diaries – more specifically, 15 March 2016. However, only weeks before the reported event was due to take place, Buzzfeed reported that the event had been pushed back by a week, and will now take place on Monday 21 March 2016.

Anonymous sources have reportedly told 9To5Mac that the iPad Air 3 is the most likely new product coming at the March event. Apple surprised us by skipping an October event this year, which traditionally sees updates to the iPad range. Instead, Apple unveiled the all-new iPad Pro and a new iPad mini 4 at its busy event in September alongside the new iPhones.

That means the iPad Air is overdue an update, so a March event to unveil the new model seems likely.

Plus, the 4in iPhone 6c, which rumours now suggest will in fact be called the iPhone SE, could make an appearance too. The fabled 4in iPhone is said to boast an iPhone 5-esque design with curved edges, and may feature Touch ID an A8 processor according to rumours.

Additionally, though, we could see the introduction of new Apple Watch bands to coincide with the original launch event, which took place in March 2015.

Apple has held other events in March over the years, including the launch of the Apple Watch and MacBook in 2015 and the launch of the iPad 3 back in 2012.

Apple will broadcast the event live on Apple.com and Apple TV.

Nov 10

Apple has confirmed that the iPad Pro will be available to order online on Wednesday 11 November. Prices start at £679, (32Gb with wi-fi) confirming that the UK pricing list we saw last week was correct. See our iPad Pro UK price section below for the numbers.

Tim Cook visited the Covent Garden Apple store and was interview by the Telegraph as he prepared to launch the iPad Pro.

Apple iPad Pro

 

“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”, asks Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, who has just flown into Britain for the launch of the iPad Pro. Cook, whose spotless tailored suit and red poppy belies the fact that he spent the night in a plane, is clearly in ebullient mood. Wall Street and the City are obsessed with the iPhone, the company’s dominant product, but Apple appears quietly confident that its new tablet and TV device are going to help power the company’s continuing growth.

“Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones,” Cook argues in his distinctly Southern accent (he was born in Alabama). He highlights two other markets for his 12.9 inch devices, which go on sale online on Wednesday. The first are creatives: “if you sketch then it’s unbelievable..you don’t want to use a pad anymore,” Cook says.

The second is music and movie consumers: the sound system and speakers are so powerful that the iPad appears to pulsate in one’s hands when one plays a video.

Some consumers use the iPad mini to read in bed, he says, finding it more relaxing than using a phone and the busyness that goes with it. That won’t change, he believes. “But I think it clearly created some cannibalisation – which we knew would occur – but we don’t really spend any time worrying about that, because as long as we cannibalise [ourselves], it’s fine,” Cook laughs.

“We don’t want to put the watch through the FDA process, [but] I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it” comments Tim Cook.

iPad Pro UK price

The iPad Pro will be available in just three storage configurations, confirming the pre-launch rumour that the 16GB option has been killed off. Your only options are 32GB or 128GB (if you want the Wi-Fi model) or 128GB (if you want it with cellular connectivity).

We now have official word from Apple on UK pricing for the iPad Pro. (including VAT)

  • iPad Pro Wi-Fi (32GB): £679
  • iPad Pro Wi-Fi (128GB): £799
  • iPad Pro Wi-Fi + cellular (128GB): £899

Available in Silver, Gold and Space Grey:

iPad Pro

Specs

12.9″ Retina Display

2732*20148 Pixels

A9X Apple Chip – 64 bit

M9 motion coprocessor

8MP iSign camera

10 Hour battery life

iPad Pro layout

Options

Smart Keyboard – US Price $169 – UK Price £139.00

For many, a keyboard remains a convenient way to get work done or get thoughts down. The new Smart Keyboard completely reimagines this centuries-old invention to add even more flexibility to iPad Pro. With new technologies that free you from switches, plugs and even pairing, the Smart Keyboard is the perfect blend of full-size utility and outstanding portability.

Apple Pencil – US Price $99 – UK Price £79.00

Apple Pencil expands the power of iPad Pro and opens up new creative possibilities. It’s sensitive to pressure and tilt so you can easily vary line weight, create subtle shading, and produce a wide range of artistic effects — just like with a conventional pencil, but with pixel-perfect precision.

 

Oct 15

Apple just revamped the iMac line with a new 21.5″ iMac with a 4K high deff monitor.

new apple iiMacs

The idea behind iMac has never wavered: to craft the ultimate desktop experience. The best display, paired with high-performance processors, graphics and storage — all within an incredibly thin, seamless enclosure. And that commitment continues with the all-new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display. Like the revolutionary 27-inch 5K model, it delivers such spectacular image quality that everything else around you seems to disappear. Adding up to the most immersive iMac experience yet — and another big, beautiful step forward.

The larger 27″ gets a refresh with enhanced CPU and graphics cards. Also launched are new keyboard, mouse and trackpad.

new apple input devicesUK pricing starts at £899 for 1.6GHz Intel I5 with 8GB RAM and 1TB disk: £1,049 for faster 2.8GHz Intel I5 with same storage with 1920*1080 21’5″ display. The 4K retina model starts at £1,199 with a 3.1GHz I5 and 4096 by 2304 display. The 27″ with Retina starts at £1,449.

 

Sep 29

Apple confirms that the next release of the Mac Operating System OSX – El Capitan will be available from September 30th.

“People love using their Macs, and one of the biggest reasons is the power and ease-of-use of OS X,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference. Feedback from our OS X beta program has been incredibly positive and we think customers are going to love their Macs even more with El Capitan.”

El Capitan OSXTuesday’s press release (see below) indicates that OS X El Capitan is on schedule to meet its previously announced Sept. 30 launch date. The company did hit a last-minute snag earlier this month that delayed watchOS 2 for a few days, though iOS 9 also arrived on schedule.

El Capitan supports all Macs introduced in 2009 or later, and some models introduced in 2007 and 2008.

To hype the launch, Apple is focusing on refinements to the Mac experience, and improvements to system performance.

Specifically, refinements have been made with regards to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search. Performance improvements include also make activities like launching and switching apps, opening PDFs and accessing email faster and more responsive.

New features in El Capitan include Split View, an enhanced Mission Control, a cursor spotting feature, better fullscreen view in Mail, an improved Notes app, the ability to quickly spot and mute tabs in Safari, and other general refinements and tweaks.

With multiple monitors on a MAC Pro the Cirson Finder will be a neat feature.

Continue reading »

Sep 28

This morning Apple announced that sales of the latest iPhone are massive with 13 million units sold in their first three days of availability.

iPhone6s-Hand-SafariQuickAction-PR-PRINT
That’s a substantial number by anyone measure and substantially more than last years 10 million number in the same launch weekend. The Ss are off to a cracking start. See full Apple announcement below.

“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said. “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”

The company noted that sales completed by Saturday, Sept. 26 will be included in Apple’s 2015 fourth fiscal quarter results. Beginning on Sunday, Sept. 27, completed sales will be included in Apple’s 2016 first fiscal quarter results.

With 13 million units sold in three days, Apple easily trounced last year’s record of 10 million units sold in the launch weekend for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But this year’s roll-out had one key advantage over last year’s: China.

iPhone sales continue to post tremendous growth in China, and Apple capitalised on this by making the country one of the initial launch territories. The device also debuted in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the Staes and of course the UK.

Apple had already signaled last week that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were off to a record breaking start in terms of preorders, on pace to eclipse last year’s record. Sales of 13 million units are likely to please Wall Street, where investors had expressed concern that this year’s “S” upgrade cycle might not appeal to consumers. Though it has an appearance largely identical to last year’s model, the new iPhone 6s series boasts a number of under-the-hood improvements, most notably a new pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display, and accompanying Taptic Engine for haptic feedback and a different feeling vibration motor. Apple has also increased the rear camera to 12 megapixels, added a new Retina flash for selfies taken with the forward facing camera, and greatly improved speed and performance, thanks to a new A9 processor with 2 gigabytes of RAM.

The iPhone 6s has the same 4.7-inch display as last year’s iPhone 6, while the larger iPhone 6s Plus remains at 5.5 inches. Both models are available in a new rose gold color option, joining space gray, silver, and gold.

iPhones 6s

Apple Announces Record iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus Sales

iPhone Available in 40 Additional Countries Beginning Friday, October 9
CUPERTINO, California — September 28, 2015 — Apple® today announced it has sold more than 13 million new iPhone® 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models, a new record, just three days after launch.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in more than 40 additional countries beginning October 9 including Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Taiwan. The new iPhones will be available in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus bring a powerful new dimension to iPhone’s revolutionary Multi-Touch™ interface with 3D Touch, which senses how deeply you press the display, letting you do essential things more quickly and simply. The new iPhones introduce Live Photos, which bring still images to life, transforming instants frozen in time into unforgettable living memories. Live Photos, 3D Touch, 12-megapixel iSight® camera, 5-megapixel FaceTime® HD camera with Retina® Flash and more are powered by the Apple-designed A9 chip, the most advanced chip ever in a smartphone, delivering faster performance and great battery life. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are designed with the strongest glass on any smartphone and 7000 series aluminum, the same alloy used in the aerospace industry, in gorgeous metallic finishes that now include rose gold.

iOS 9, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, brings more intelligence to iPhone with proactive assistance, powerful search and improved Siri features, all while protecting users’ privacy. Built-in apps become more powerful with a redesigned Notes app, detailed transit information in Maps*, and an all-new News app for the best news reading experience on any mobile device. The foundation of iOS is even stronger with software updates that require less space to install and advanced security features to further protect your devices.

Customers are encouraged to check the Apple Store® app or Apple.com to receive updates on availability and estimated delivery dates. Every customer who buys an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus at an Apple Retail Store will be offered free Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPhone by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store℠ and more, so they’ll be up and running with their new iPhone before they leave the store. Customers can also learn more about iOS 9 and their new device through free workshops at all Apple retail stores worldwide. In the US, the new iPhones are also available through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and additional carriers, and select Apple Authorized Resellers including Best Buy, Target and Walmart.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will roll out worldwide to more than 40 additional countries and territories beginning October 9 including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan. On October 10, countries include Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in India, Malaysia and Turkey on Friday, October 16 and in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

Sales completed by Saturday, September 26 will be included in Apple’s 2015 fourth fiscal quarter results, and sales completed on Sunday, September 27 will be included in Apple’s 2016 first fiscal quarter results.

Sep 08

With one day to go before the latest iPhone announcement, expected to be the 6S and 6S Plus we have some interesting date on the current state of the existing market.

There are many rumours that Apple with kill of the small screen size iPhone as well as the brightly coloured 5c options.

iphone usage

 

 

The data shows that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus between them account for a full 40% of all iPhones in use, with the iPhone 5s trailing behind at 23.7%.

The same data also backs reports that the iPhone 5c is being discontinued, showing that it accounts for just 8.5% of active iPhones, putting it below the iPhone 4S.

The domination of the iPhone 6/Plus is no surprise, following a succession of record sales since its launch a year ago, but while 5c sales were expected to be relatively low, they appear to have been worse than expected. Localytics based its data on monitoring apps running on more than 100M iPhones during August.

The poor showing of the 5c casts further doubt onto its rumoured replacement, the 6c. While sources confirm that Apple has been working on a new 4-inch device, we’re not expecting to see it tomorrow. Some rumours suggested Apple was planning a later launch, in November, while KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has said we probably won’t see it until next year.

Given the apparent lack of interest in the 5c, you have to wonder whether launching a 6c makes sense at all – this year or next. Perhaps abandoning the plastic casing in favor of metal, simply using the size and specs to distinguish it, could give it a future? This is what Martin Hajek has shown in his latest concept images below, the iPhone 6c depicted as simply a smaller version of the 6S.

iphone6s

 

 

 

 

Sep 02

The Siri focused invites are out and that means it’s new iPhone time.

Our thoughts on what to expect this time next week.

apple invite sept 9 2015

 

Intrestingly Apple are hosting this event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. This is a far larger venue than usual. Significant? Who knows?

What we do know is that Apple will show the new and greatest iPhones, expected to be called the 6S and 6 Plus S. We can also expect to learn more on release details of iOS 9 for mobile anb the latets OS X EL Capaitan. These were shown at WWDC in June so we know the overview of these upgrades. Expect an update on Siri and most likely an updated Apple TV.

iPHONE 6S ROUNDUP

  • iOS 9 expected to support Force Touch, just in time for iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s base model to have 16GB of storage
  • 12MP camera, 4K video recording, possible OLED display
  • Same as iPhone 6 on the outside, faster LTE chip inside

What else have we learnt from the rumor mill?

From the various blogs and rumor mills, it’s clear we can expect three new things. The first is a vastly similar if not identical design as its predecessor, but with a few minor modifications. The shell is said to be slightly thicker, making it more rigid, helping to avoid a repeat of the so-called “Bend-gate” issue from last year. The thicker shell may also house an improved, longer-lasting battery. But what’s more likely is that Apple will bring its Force Touch technology from the new MacBook to the new iPhone. That would bring pressure sensitivity to the device, opening up a whole range of possibilities for developers.

We’re also expecting an improved 12-megapixel camera — a significant bump on the current models — allowing for super high-resolution 4K video recording. It’s also likely that we will see a beefed-up A9 processor alongside more memory, making the smartphone faster and more responsive.

While it’s reported that Apple will drop the cheaper “C” phone model, the iPhone will still come in two sizes: the regular 4.7-inch iPhone 6S, and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus.

iOS9 – The iPhone magic source

iPhone line upAlong with the new iPhone, the company’s mobile operating system iOS 9 is also expected to land at the event. The software, first announced at Apple’s developer conference in June, comes with a familiar look and feel, but with a wealth of new features.

We’ll see an “intelligence” update to Siri, which will expand its search results and answers, add support for more in-built apps, and offer third-party support.

And there’s more. Mac users will see a desktop refresh with OS X 10.11 El Capitan, the operating system that lands with the company’s line-up of desktop and notebooks.

The focus of the updated software is to squeeze out more of what you already have, like better performance, and faster speeds — in some cases as much as four-fold. That’s done by bringing Metal, the core graphics technology used in newer iPhones and iPads, to the Mac, offering a welcome boost to app rendering performance. And, there are other updates, such as Split View (which to many Windows 7 and later users will be reminiscent of Snap), and smarter Spotlight search, among other features.

And, for the wearable crowd, expect the anticipated update to Apple Watch to land at the event, which comes with new watch faces and greater customization.

Apple TV Refresh or Game Console?

Numerous reports have pointed to a long-awaited refresh of the platform. Almost everything there was to leak has leaked — at least, so we think.

With the new hardware and software, Apple is said to want to “actively complete” with gaming consoles, putting the pintsized box in the big-wig league of consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation. The box is also slated to include Siri, pushing the device to the same realm as competitors like Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire Stick.

The software and hardware improvements may open the platform up to App Store additions in the coming months. We may also see the launch of a cable-cutter friendly Apple-branded television streaming service down the line, potentially rivaling services like HBO and Netflix.

How much will it cost? Some are saying as much as $199, more than double the price of the device now.

Will there be a “Just One More Thing” moment?

Apple has, at least in the past couple of years, pushed out a small yet generous “one more thing” to take away from the presentation.

Some have read into the size of the auditorium booked by Apple: is it a hint that we may see something significantly larger, like a car? Project Titan lives, but it may be a while until we see it.

All will be revealed this time next week. The pitch will be live on Apple you can see and hear it live.

Jul 24

Apple Watch sales numbers are shrouded in mystery, as Apple has not released definitive sales numbers. A few weeks ago a lone report suggested the sales had dropped off a cliff. A story by MarketWatch columnist Brett Arends with the blaring headline “Apple Watch Sales Plunge 90%” epitomizes this attitude. There was a nugget of truth behind Arends’ headline — a sales estimate from Slice Intelligence — but it was ripped out of context in order to mislead reader. The Slice report was not covered in full and only represented sales on-line and ignored the transition to Apple selling in store.

apple-watch_large

In this week earning report Apple provided no concrete data points, sticking with its rationale that such data would be useful for competitors. Apple did say that sales beat its internal expectations, while noting there were supply constraints throughout the quarter as it ramped up production. Apple Watch wasn’t even available at Apple Retail Stores until mid-June. Tim Cook did directly dismiss those reports that sales had fallen since launch. Apple Watch had the highest sales in June, completely undermining Slice Intelligence’s dubious findings.

Since the earnings report a number of more established research firms have updated their sales forecast for the Apple Watch. The Strategy Analytics estimate shows the Apple watch Capture 75% of the global smart watch market during the launch quarter while Samsung grabbed 7% market share.

Strategy Analytics suggest Apple sold 4 million watches during the second quarter with Samsung selling less than 400,000 in the same period.

Other analysts have adjusted their own apple watch sales with the consensus standing 2.2million to 3 million units sold. These numbers imply that the Strategy Analytics estimate is towards the top end of range. However they do always imply Apple watch has become the dominant market leader.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “We estimate Apple Watch shipped 4.0 million units and captured a dominant 75 percent smartwatch marketshare worldwide in Q2 2015. Apple Watch launched in sixteen major countries and saw decent take-up from iPhone loyalists in the United States and elsewhere. Apple Watch has clearly raised the bar for the global smartwatch industry. The ball is now in the court of rivals, like Samsung, to respond.”

With the launch of the Apple Watch the global smart watch market has expanded significantly with an estimated market growth of over 400%.  Strategy Analytics report that Smartwatch shipments were higher this quarter  than the whole of 2014,  when Samsung topped the market  with a commanding 74% of global market share.

Samsung and Apple combined now account for eight and 10 Smart watches sold leaving other manufacturers combined with 900,000 smart watches of which Pebble is a leading contender.

The smartwatch race has similarities with the smart phone race in the apple and Samsung are the two dominant players and the remainder take the crumbs from the table.

During the earnings release conference call Tim Cook said Apple what sales of Apple Watch exceeded expectations but did not specify actual sales numbers.  His only concrete comment was the apple what sales during the first nine weeks on availability higher than sales of the original iPad and iPhone Windows Devices were first available for sale.

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