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.

 

Jul 06

According to 9-5 mac website, Apple appears to be planning to enable its Apple Pay iPhone mobile payments service in the UK on July 14th, according to sources at multiple retailers. Apple has informed some Apple Retail employees in the UK that Apple Pay support will go live on that Tuesday, while an internal memos for supermarket Waitrose plus an additional retail partner indicate the same date.

applepay2 applepay

Apple will also begin training its local staff on supporting Apple Pay on July 12th. Apple has begun enabling its mobile point of sale systems in England-based stores to take NFC payments and has been preparing materials to promote the Apple Pay launch in stores. It is plausible that different stores will have different launch dates, but the presence of the same, at least tentative, date makes July 14th a very possible widespread start date.

Announced for July at the June Worldwide Developers Conference, the U.K.’s Apple Pay launch will mark Apple’s first expansion of the service outside of the United States. Like in the U.S., a PIN won’t be required for usage, but the launch will include a £20 cap per transaction, as also noted on the above memo sent to us and posted across the web. However, a source tells us that U.K. systems will be updated in the fall to process higher values. Apple is also currently working on bringing the service to Canada later this year in addition to China and South Korea in the future.

Looking forward to checking out local Waitrose on Bastile day, perfect execuse to pick up some wine and cheese.

Sep 15

Apple Announces Record Pre-orders for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Top Four Million in First 24 Hours

iPhone6CUPERTINO, California—September 15, 2014—Apple® today announced a record number of first day pre-orders of iPhone® 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, with over four million in the first 24 hours. Demand for the new iPhones exceeds the initial pre-order supply and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October. Additional supply of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available to walk-in customers on Friday, September 19 at 8:00 a.m. local time at Apple retail stores. Customers are encouraged to arrive early or order online from the Apple Online Store(www.apple.com) to pickup in-store or receive an estimated delivery date. Both models will also be available on Friday from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can’t wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday.”

iphone6-
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK beginning this Friday, September 19 and in more than 20 additional countries beginning on Friday, September 26 including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

How much is this worth?

The plus is sold out for a month so lets say this represents 75% of sales volumes. If we assume that half the people pick the lowest priced, lowest RAM iPhone 6 and 6+ and 25% each select the next two memory options we come out with an average selling price of $799. With 4 million handsets that generates $3.2 billion.

Read full release on Apple website.

Sep 12

iPhone pre ordering is today. However earlier this morning the demand crashed Apple UK, O2 and EE sites as buyers swamped the websites.

At the 10 AM EE is still down and 02 is far too slow to use.

02 crash

On the Apple UK site you can pre order the iPhone 6 and 6 plus in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models for £529, £619 and £699, respectively, with Apple selling the handset in silver, gold and “space grey” colour options. At the time of writing, the 64GB model’s shipping has slipped to “7 to 10 days” in silver, while the rest are all shipping next week, on 19 September.

The iPhone 6 Plus is, unsurprisingly, more expensive, priced at £619, £699 and £789 for the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models, respectively. This has clearly been the most popular handset, as all 64GB and 128GB models are showing “3 to 4 weeks” delivery times.

appel financeApple also kindly offer finance. For example as £699 iPhone 6+ with 64GB costs £33.53 over 24 months. That’s at a rather steep 15% APR.

With the EE and O2 websites currently unavailable, and Three yet to kick off its pre-orders – saying they will go live this afternoon – it’s unclear how much they are asking for the two new iPhones.

vodafone pricingWith its website still up and running, Vodafone’s pricing is not a mystery. It is offering the 16GB iPhone 6 for free from £48.50 per month, or on a cheaper £38.50 per month tariff if you cough up £99 for the handset. If you’re after the 64GB model, the cheapest contract comes in at £53.50 with a £29 upfront cost, or a £109 upfront cost if you want the 128GB model. As you would expect, the iPhone 6 Plus is even more expensive.

At present, Vodafone is still promising to ship out orders on 19 September, but this likely will change as demand ramps.

Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets were announced on Tuesday at Apple’s launch event. Ful l report to come soon.

iphone6p-gray-select-2014_GEO_GBThe two iPhones have 4.7in and 5.5in Retina HD sceeens, respectively, with 38 percent and 138 percent more pixels the iPhone 5S.

Beyond their screens, the Apple’s two new iPhones have similar specifications. You’ll find Apple’s new A8 chip under the bonnets of the smartphones, along with an NFC chip enabling buyers to make use of the Apple Pay service, which will come to the UK next year according to the Enquirer.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also feature 8MP rear-facing cameras, with the larger model boasting optical image stablisation, support for 150Mbps LTE speeds and a built-in TouchID sensor.

The smaller iPhone 6 model measures 6.9mm thick and promises 14 hours of talk time, with the iPhone 6 Plus a slightly chunkier 7.1mm thick and offering 24 hours of talk time.

 

Nov 12

iPad Mini Retina shipping

The latest iPad, the retina mini is now available from Apple stores. With the two retina display units, the original Mini and the iPad 2, or as we like to call it iPad classic, Apple now offer units from £249 to £739 depending on specifications, memory capacity and cellular options.

As Tim Cook mentioned it could be an iPad Christmas, actually he said holidays as the Politically correct Americans call Christmas the Holidays.

Talking of Christmas how are the current delivery times?

  • iPad Air: 5-7 days.
  • iPad2: in Stock 24 hours
  • iPad Mini Retina: 1GB and 32GB Wi-Fi in Stock. Larger Wi-Fi – and Cellular 5-7 days
  • iPAD mini: in stock 24 hours

Or in short old models in stock and new versions a week away.

All available from directly from Apple or from Taybridge Consulting:

iPad Airair iPad 22 iPad mini with Retina displaymini r iPad minimini
Wi-Fi

16GB £399

32GB £479

64GB £559

128GB £639

Wi-Fi + Cellular

16GB £499

32GB £579

64GB £659

128GB £739

 

Wi-Fi

16GB £329

Wi-Fi + 3G

16GB £429

 

Wi-Fi

16GB £319

32GB £399

64GB £479

128GB £559

Wi-Fi + Cellular

16GB £419

32GB £499

64GB £579

128GB £659

 

Wi-Fi

16GB £249

Wi-Fi + Cellular

16GB £349

 

Height:
240 mm (9.4 inches)
Width:
169.5 mm (6.6 inches)
Depth:
7.5 mm (0.29 inches)
Weight (Wi-Fi):
469 g (1 pound)
Weight (Wi-Fi + Cellular):
478 g (1.05 pounds)
Height:
241.2 mm (9.5 inches)
Width:
185.7 mm (7.31 inches)
Depth:
8.8 mm (0.34 inches)
Weight (Wi-Fi):
601 g (1.33 pounds)
Weight (Wi-Fi + Cellular):
613 g (1.35 pounds)
Height:
200 mm (7.87 inches)
Width:
134.7 mm (5.31 inches)
Depth:
7.5 mm (0.29 inches)
Weight (Wi‑Fi):
331 g (0.73 pounds)
Weight (Wi-Fi + Cellular):
341 g (0.75 pounds)
Height:
200 mm (7.87 inches)
Width:
134.7 mm (5.3 inches)
Depth:
7.2 mm (0.28 inches)
Weight (Wi‑Fi):
308 g (0.68 pounds)
Weight (Wi‑Fi + Cellular):
312 g (0.69 pounds)

 

Mar 24

Telecom Networks have raised fears that the subsidies Apple demands they give the iPhone and iPad are distorting the market

A number of reports are surfacing on the great EC taking pots shots Apple. Some say they could do with a cash injection from a wealthy American tech firm. This hot on the heels of removing a large chunk of change from Microsoft. This report is taken from the Telegraph.

Although no formal complaints have been made to the European Commission, informally several telecoms operators have raised possible issues with anticompetitive behaviour from Apple. The claims centre both on the demands Apple makes for marketing from operators and over subsidies it requires for its iPad and iPhone devices.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, several networks complained that companies from Apple to the BBC used their 3G and 4G networks to deliver content, but had not had to share the burden of investing in them. The complaints to the European Commission underscore the broader battle between the telecoms industry and content providers, such as Apple and Google, which provide such new digital services that run over telecoms systems.

A Commission spokesman on Friday said that the EU competition regulators had been informed about concerns over the world’s most valuable technology company and its distribution practices for iPhone and iPad.

“There have been no formal complaints, though,” Antoine Colombani told a regular Commission briefing.

“Generally, we are actively monitoring developments in this market. We will, of course, intervene if there are indications of anticompetitive behaviour to the detriment of consumers.”

Three people familiar with the matter said that several telecoms companies had aired their grievances to the Commission.

Their concerns focused on the commercial terms in contracts with Apple, said one of the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

“Apple insists on a certain level of subsidies and marketing for the iPhone,” said the source, who declined to identify the companies that had approached the Commission. Apple’s iPhone accounts for half of its revenue.

A second source said that the companies expressed their concerns to the Commission late last year.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said: “Our contracts fully comply with local laws wherever we do business, including the EU.”

It is not the first time Apple has come under the scrutiny of the EU antitrust regulators. The company was the target of an investigation nearly three years ago over its iPhone business practices.

It subsequently allowed cross-border repair services and eased restrictions on applications for the iPhone, which resulted in the Commission dropping its investigation.

Read more at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/9948527/EU-to-monitor-Apple.html

Feb 24

Netflix – making Internet only TV

Just how big is Netflix? This Sunday’s Telegraph has an in depth article about the House of Cards and its impact on TV in general. As a Netflix subscriber from its launch in Silicon Valley many years ago as a DVD by post service, we have watched and invested in Netflix.

House of Cards

House_of_Cards from NetflixWith a cast including Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and Kate Mara, a huge budget and a commitment to 26 episodes, the series would seem to have everything in its favour. Except for one thing – it’s not on television.

House of Cards was the first major original commission for internet-only TV and film service Netflix. With Spacey taking the role made famous by Ian Richardson, it was a test case for whether the internet really was revolutionising the television business in the way that many claim.

Rather than making viewers wait a week for each episode, the whole first series was to be released in one go to subscribers. The series wasn’t competing against whatever happened to be on at a given time – it was up against the whole back catalogue of films and TV on the service. Viewers could make their own entire schedule.

Since its release at the beginning of February, the show has been praised to the skies by critics. Accompanied by a glamorous West End launch and a huge marketing campaign, it’s got more buzz than any other show around. But how many people are actually watching it? And how big is internet TV?

From the Telegraph

“I am proud to say the show is doing excessively well,” says Yellin, Netflix’s vice-president of product innovation. But even though Netflix has more data on its viewers than any traditional service, he’s not giving much away. “It’s better than our wildest dreams,” he says. “People are watching it in droves and it’s the number one Netflix show on streaming in the UK and around the world right now.”

That means Netflix’s 33m members around the world like it, but it doesn’t reveal if the service is growing faster than it was before, or if the investment in the show and others like it justifies the sapping effect on the company’s profits.

Yellin argues that doesn’t really matter, because the service, which is available on computers, phones, tablets and the latest televisions, is not beholden to advertisers. It’s funded solely by subscriptions, which in the UK cost £5.99 per month.

“I have been a film geek my whole life – I was the freaky kid that found out about weekly box office details,” says Yellin. “And it’s kind of depressing to me that people care about those numbers or how many dollars it’s making. What they should care about is:
‘Is this good for me?’ ”

So Netflix is not only disrupting how television works, it is also disrupting how programmes are judged. Where UK broadcaster BSkyB balances the desires of its subscribers and advertisers, Netflix is beholden solely to subscribers’ judgment.

So that meeting with Fincher a year ago was not about how to appeal to vital test audiences, it was rather about how to convince Netflix’s own subscribers to watch the show.

“I was telling him what we were doing to promote his show with our users,” says Yellin.

“I told him what we do about personalising the service for each user and I asked him for a favour. We don’t just want the usual long and short trailer, I said. Instead, I want six trailers to address all the kinds of facets House of Cards has so each can go to a different audience. He cut six different trailers and we had a team trying to match them to the different types of Netflix users.”

Now when a viewer finishes watching one show, they’re shown a tailored commercial to promote House of Cards. Thanks to
all the data Netflix has at its disposal, Yellin will know if the plan works by the summer.

Gathering that level of information and understanding will be key to Netflix’s continued success. Yellin says the site has already stopped collecting some data because it was actually quite trivial.

“We realised age and gender didn’t matter. We downgraded the value of what users tell us they like, and star ratings, because just press play once on something and we learn more about you. How fast you watch something, how fast you watch one series relative to another, these are much more indicative.”

The site will also soon introduce multiple personalised accounts, so a family can have different, tailored suggestions for each member. As Netflix discovers more about its members, the idea is that it will be able to develop its portfolio. Currently it offers a mixture of films that are at least a year old, TV series and some new programmes such as House of Cards.

“I see our selection as a function of where we are in the ecosystem,” says Yellin. “Would we like to offer newer movies? As we grow we’ll be able to go to the studios and write bigger cheques and they’ll license us new films.”

How the service evolves, however, remains a work in progress.

house of cards - Internet TV

“We’re supporting originals and trying to get very creative with that,” says Yellin. “The pressure is not to get caught on the vestiges of what the world was like. It’s so easy to get caught: this is what you’re supposed to do when a new show comes out. If you were going to make entertainment the way it would be when a consumer controls it, what would you do? Tabula rasa.”

For now, says Yellin, that certainly doesn’t mean introducing advertis-ing simply to get revenue and write those bigger cheques.

“I don’t want our members to mix the service they’re paying for with advertising,” he says. “Some subscription services have advertising but I think that’s absurd.

“We pride ourselves on not having advertisers. I don’t know what’s going to happen five or 10 years from now but there are no near-term plans for advertising.”

So without advertising, Netflix must rely on quality programming and natural expansion to increase its budgets. It has already commissioned another major original, the horror Hemlock Grove, and has said it will develop more new series. Viewers watch those series, the data says, on a host of devices.

Although the latest research in the UK says Britons watch just three minutes of TV per day on tablets and phones, Yellin says their use among Netflix subscribers “is exploding”.

The service has always gone for a strategy it calls “device ubiquity”. That was originally a plan to be available on any device a potential customer might have, from a mobile phone to a smart TV.

“What we’re seeing now, though, is each consumer has multiple devices,” says Yellin. “So people might start watching something on their computer and then switch to a tablet.” Netflix automatically means they can pick up exactly where they left off.

As more devices emerge, Yellin says he will focus on voice control for TV, so users will be able to ask to watch something. Where some TV manufacturers are betting on gesture controls, where a camera senses a wave of the hand to change channels, Yellin is dismissive. “Who wants to do aerobics while they’re watching TV?” he asks.

“I’ve played with Siri, though,” he says of Apple’s voice assistant. “I’m sure it’s gonna get a lot better. The only case for use at the moment is entertaining my kids. It’s not there yet. But we’re playing with a talking interface and it’s done well. We’ll launch something in the near future. Siri needs to cope with the whole universe but all we need to cope with is what movie you’re going to watch next, so we have an advantage.”

And that kind of innovation is key to Netflix. The site can discern what people like, and it can give them technology to lower the barriers to finding it thanks to the internet. “We have Silicon Valley roots and a big LA office,” claims Yellin. “We are a wonderful convergence of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. That’s what allows us to make great content.”

That does not mean, however, Yellin has worked out what the internet will do to TV. He doesn’t even know if Netflix will maintain its policy of releasing its own series all in one go.

“The cynical view is you need to string viewers along. But we’re making a compact with them. We don’t want to make people suspicious of our intentions. But we do know one thing, and that is that we don’t know. We’re all inventing this together.”

Jan 02

It look as if the Apple iPad Mini is eclipsing the Retina iPad, according to NPD DisplaySearch.

ipad-mini image care of intomobileApple had originally expected to sell 6 million iPad Minis in 2012. But that’s turning out to be a laughably low forecast, according to DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh.

Now, Apple is asking display panel makers to “ship more than 12 million” iPad Mini displays in the fourth quarter, Hsieh said in a research note.

“The iPad Mini apparently is selling better” than the new iPad 4, Hsieh said in response to an e-mail query. “It seems people especially like the size…[it’s] lighter, slimmer and easier to carry.”

And that’s despite having a relatively low-resolution non-Retina display and older silicon than the iPad 4. So, it appears that price, starting at £269, and the chic, lightweight design are driving demand.

And in 2013, the iPad Mini could account for half of all iPad shipments, which DisplaySearch says should reach 100 million.

“In 2013, it is likely that Apple will adjust its product portfolio to meet the strong demand for the iPad Mini. We believe that Apple is targeting total iPad shipments of 100 million in 2013, half accounted for by the iPad Mini,” Hsieh wrote.

The iPad Mini’s 7.85-inch display is being made by AUO and LG Display, which have struggled mightily to keep up with demand. If Apple wants to meet demand in 2013 for the Mini things will have to change.

“If the iPad Mini volume is anything near 50 million units, Apple will need to find other panel suppliers in addition to AUO and LG Display,” Hsieh said.

Jan 14

A new report from ComScore shows that Nokia still has a commanding share of the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) Smart Phone market.

During the 3 month average ending November 2011, nearly 30 million smartphone owners used Nokia devices, making it the top smartphone manufacturer in the EU5.  Nokia was the leading with a 29.7 percent of all smartphones in use, but  saw a decline of 17 percentage points in their market share over the last year.

Apple accounted for 20 percent of the smartphone device market share making it the second most popular model. Amongst the top 5, Samsung was the fastest growing smartphone handset manufacturer, increasing their market share by 9.5 percentage points to 17.5 percent in November 2011.

RIM is still struggling to remain relevant.

Judging by observations on the Tube and British Rail – iPhone continues to be the leader in London.

EU Smart Phone Market Share - Euro iPhone News

Jan 10

At long last Netflix lands in the UK. The US market leader today launches in the UK with a streaming only service for a cost of six quid a month. This is interesting as Netflix have a huge US following with close to 20 million subscribers of DVD by Post and On-Line. As more subscribers opt for the on-line only option this lets Netflix expand internationally without the pre-requisites for DVD stock and facilities.

So for£5.99 a month you can sign up. To get the best experience you need a device to power the image to the TV: xbox, wii and some DVD players plus your PC or Apple TV.

You can sign up for a free trail at Netflix.

Review at BBC read here 

 

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