Is Apple Prepping a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone?

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Apple is fully expected to launch a smaller (iPhone Se) this month, but what about the company’s upcoming flagships that will launch at the end of year? The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus should be a near total overhaul of the current iPhone 6 range, and that could mean an even larger screen for the Plus, according to some reports.

Digitimes (up and down on reliable content) says that Apple is working on an iPhone model that will sport a 5.8-inch OLED screen. Considering the iPhone Plus is the company’s large screen driver, we expect that any such 5.8-inch handset would be the iPhone 7 Plus.

However, while that would be the logical thinking, Digitimes stresses that Apple is not ready to launch an OLED packing smartphone just yet and one will not show up until at least 2017. Some analysts predict it will be longer than that, pegging 2019 as the earliest for an iPhone with a large OLED panel.

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Apple Is Working On VR

Apple diversityWe think of Apple like this. It is not the innovative company some would have you believe, instead Apple enters an existing but nascent market and makes defining products within it. That’s pretty admirable in itself, think how the iPod, iPhone, and iPad impacted their respective markets and you get the picture. Apple is now looking to do the same with virtual reality.

Cupertino will certainly not be the first when it finally dips its toes in the VR market, but one way to show it still has the mojo that many think has gone is to define this growing tech niche. Oculus has already laid a major claim to having the defining VR product of the first generation, but Apple will look to be the defining company in taking VR to the masses.

We will see, but at the moment Apple is even playing catchup to mobile rivals Sony, Samsung, HTC, and Google, who all have excellent VR headsets of varying price tags (ahem, Google Cardboard). Cupertino is ok with this latecomer stance and has actually been working on its own VR project for some time, likely to be a VR headset.

Cupertino has been snapping up its fair share of companies in the virtual and augmented reality field, including the recent $6 million acquisition of emotion tracking software startup Emotient. Apple also apparently has a secret team numbering in hundreds that is working on the VR headset, while recently the company employed Doug Bowman, someone who is a noted expert in the virtual and augmented reality industry.

To add some more fuel to the fire, Apple CEO Tim Cook seems extra enthused (Cook is rarely someone who gets publically enthused about a niche), stating during the company’s Q4 earnings call this week:

“In terms of VR, I don’t think it’s a niche. It’s really cool and has some interesting applications,” Cook said when asked about virtual reality technology.

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Hermes Apple Watch Available on Apple Online Store

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The Hermes Apple Watch is something of an exclusive variant of the company’s first ever wearable. So exclusive in fact that it has only been available through some high end boutique shops, but that is about to change. Cupertino is now selling the Hermes Apple Watch Edition through its online Apple Store, meaning you can get the smartwatch from your own home.

As you may know, the Hermes Apple Watch is hardly affordable, the “Single Tour” Hermes will set you back $1100, the “Double Tour” comes in at $1250, and the highest end model, the “Cuff” costs $1500 and is only available in the largest 42mm size.

However, it is an interesting prospect because it gives those who want something better than the standard models a high end Apple Watch without have to spend $10,000 or more for the Apple Watch Edition. As for specs, there is no difference between the Hermes and the standard basic entry level Apple Watch.

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Apple iPhone 6s Plus was the best performing smartphone of 2015

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How the taste of irony must taste sweet for iPhone fans this morning. The iPhone 6s Plus has been named by benchmark software AnTuTu as the best performing smartphone it tested throughout 2015, beating all of its Android competitors by a fairly huge margin.

Of course, many reading these pages will know that a criticism often levelled at Apple’s smartphones by Android fans is that the iPhone cannot compete with Android flagships in terms of raw performance. A comparison of specs between an Android flagship and the iPhone 6s Plus is usually used to try to embarrass owners of the iPhone.

It is an easy bat to hit with as on paper the 6s Plus does seem weedy. Apple A9, a chipset that integrates a 1.84GHz dual-core Twister CPU and a PowerVR GT7600 GPU, paired with 2GB of RAM. Huawei’s Mate 8, the second best device of last year boasts blistering specs that read as 4GB of RAM and a Kirin 950 SoC with four Cortex A72 CPU cores clocked at 2.3GHz, four Cortex-A53 CPU cores clocked at 1.8GHz, and a Mali Mali-T880 MP4 GPU.

Both also sport 1080p screens so the drain in that respect is the same, so how then does the apparently under-spec’d iPhone 6s Plus get a AnTuTu score of 132,620 while the Mate 8 92,746? It’s simple, specs are not everything and the overall package and software are! As for the rest of the list, it is largely made up of devices powered by Samsung’s admittedly good Exynos 7420.

So Apple fans, when your Android rival says that the specs of the iPhone 6s Plus are poor, this should give them plenty of food for thought.

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Apple Dominates Enterprise Activations in Q3

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Apple is continuing to make significant strides in the enterprise market and through the third quarter of this year (June 1 to September 30) the company was responsible for 66% of all enterprise devices activated. The company’s iOS platform, which includes iPhones and iPads, led the way in the market and rose 2% compared to the 64% enterprise activations in the second quarters.

Interestingly Apple made the most headway in the tablet market, with the company’s iPad accounting for 71% of all enterprise slates activated in Q3. That is stark contrast to the consumer side of the iPad business, which has been in decline for over a year, mirroring a general market trend for all tablets. Apple CEO Tim Cook has long argued that the iPad would recover based on enterprise and it does seem the future of the tablet lies more aligned with business.

Certainly Apple putting out the iPad Pro this month further suggests that, while last year’s link with IBM will have wider implications in the enterprise sector the more the two companies work together. Compared to Android Apple is leading the way, Google’s platform was responsible for 31% of devices activated in the third quarter, while its tablet activations slipped to 21% from 25% in the second quarter.

Apple fans waiting to gloat that the company may be raising the stakes on enterprise giants BlackBerry and Microsoft should think again. Those two companies hold vast positions in other areas away from hardware, with both companies thriving in terms of software coverage and in BlackBerry’s case security.

Source: MobileBurn

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Apple Dominating Mobile Profits (95% of all Money)

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When you look at smartphone sales charts you will see Samsung leading Apple at the top of the market by a significant margin, while the result is even more emphatic if you compare Android sales to those of iOS. However, in terms of making cold hard cash (which of course is the reason why all companies are in the industry) Apple is simply unstoppable.

Research from Canaccord Genuity revealed that Apple brought in 94% of all profit generated in the mobile industry through the third quarter of 2015. While this could be described as one piece of research, it is representative of market research as a whole that has shown Apple to be raking in around 90% of mobile profits all year.

It is a truly staggering number and up from 85% last year, which shows Apple has been dominating the market for a long time and is actually increasing margins. It is mind boggling when one considering that the company is responsible for around 15% of mobile sales on a global level but makes virtually all of the money.

This is precisely the reason why we say Android’s market dominance is of little concern to Apple as long as the company’s sales impress. They do impress and often grow, so in this market Apple has carved a unique space for itself and in terms of making money the company is cleaning up.

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Apple Creating PayPal Rival?

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Last year Apple put itself into the finance sector with Apple Pay, the company’s mobile payment system that has been well received by consumers. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Cupertino has wider aspirations and is going to launch a rival to PayPal during 2016.

The outlet says that Apple is meeting with financial heavyweights JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Capital One Financial and U.S. Bancorp with a view to starting a PayPal rival. Of course, Apple would be getting into this market late and eBay owned PayPal already dominates the space, with other rivals like Google also in place.

Whether Apple can make a major impact remains to be seen, but the company is adept at entering spaces and revamping them, so if any company can then Apple can.

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Firefox Browser now on iOS

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Firefox is of course one of the leading browsers in the desktop space and Mozilla’s service has been available on Google’s Android for a long time. Apple’s iOS counterparts are different however and only recently has the browser been in beta for. After some wrangling with Apple, Mozilla has now launched the full Firefox app for iOS.

Mozilla has been locked from building Firefox for iOS because the company uses its own Gecko engine while Apple demands browser providers use its WebKit engine. Clearly, rather than missing out on iOS and its millions of users, Mozilla decided to cave in and release Firefox on WebKit.
The browser is available in the App Store now.

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iPad Pro is Launched in United States

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Apple’s giant iPad Pro is now available to buy the United States. The 12.9-inch slate is Apple’s most decked out tablet and is the company’s take on a true PC alternative. Launched two months ago, the iPad Pro is now available in a number of configuration and with optional accessories such as the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.

As part of the roll out, Apple is saying that it will throw in a free engraving. Considering the size of the Pro, you could have a mini essay etched onto the back, but instead Apple allows just a brief message that will sit above the company’s logo.

There are two variants of the iPad Pro, a 16GB Wi-Fi version and a 128GB cellular LTE model, the former will cost $799 and the latter the $1,079. There is also a Wi-Fi 128GB version that will cost $949, but if you want to get the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil you will have to fork out $169 and $99 respectively.

The iPad Pro may spell trouble for the humble old small laptop, including Apple’s own MacBook Air, especially for those who only do minimal casual computing. It will also help Apple’s aspirations in enterprise and with the deal with IBM in place expect Cupertino to really drive this product to companies around the world.

This is probably the most decked out product Apple has ever made, at least in the mobile space. The Pro comes with a massive (it really looks huge) 12.9-inch Retina Display packing screen that sports a higher resolution than the MacBook Air Retina. Under the hood there is an A9X processor that is 1.8 times faster than the A8 found in the iPad Air 2. Apple says the result is the iPad Pro being faster than 80% of the portable laptops on the market and graphically better than 90%.

You may remember back in the day that Steve Jobs was pretty adamant that Apple wouldn’t ever make a stylus, so what do we make of the Apple Pencil? Well, firstly it is not a stylus says Apple, much the same way as Samsung’s S Pen is not a stylus. Ok, we get it, the Apple Pencil is much more functional and in the coming days we will be doing an extensive post on the Pencil, which brings a host of functionality to the Pro that pushes it past any other tablet on the market.

The peripherals do not end with the Apple Pencil as the company also launched a SmartCover Keyboard that connects to the device via three magnetic dots. This further adds to the enterprise leanings of the iPad Pro for those who want to type physically.

As you can probably guess, the iPad Pro is very expensive, insanely so probably. The standard entry level Wi-Fi model with 32GB of storage will cost a huge $799, while a 128GB storage comes in at $949, and the flagship 128GB LTE version is a dizzying $1079. Factor in the $99 price of the Apple Pencil, and frankly crazy $169 you need to pay for the keyboard then you have a very expensive product indeed. Of course, Apple can get away with these kinds of margins, but this is certainly not a casual purchase.

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Tim Cook: Wearable with FDA Approval a Possibility

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While the Apple Watch has been a huge success and has become comfortably the most popular smartwatch on the market, it does have limitations. For example, it was not the game changer we thought it would be from a tech perspective and devices like the Microsoft Band have more robust health features.

Apple is not discarding health though and in fact CEO Tim Cook says the company is still very interested in developing a wearable that delivers true healthcare potential. Speaking to the Telegraph while visiting the Covent Garden Apple Store in London, Cook said that the company wanted to make a product that had full FDA approval, although it would probably not be a smartwatch.

“We don’t want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it—maybe an app, maybe something else,” Tim Cook said in the interview for the Telegraph.

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