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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iPad Pro Coming this Week?

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When is the iPad Pro launching? The word from retailer Sam’s Club is that the device will start shipping on November 13th, with pre-orders starting right now. However, we have previously heard that the Pro will be landing in Apple Store fronts online and bricks and mortar in November 11th. It could be that the device comes to Apple first and then retailers later.

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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iOS 9 on 66 per cent of all compatible iPhones and iPads

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Numbers announced by Apple today show that adoption to iOS 9, including the newly launched iOS 9.1 is going swimmingly, with some 66 per cent of all compatible iPhone and iPads now running the software. iOS 9 is the latest full build release of Cupertino’s mobile platform, and it seems as though customers are eager to get it.

Indeed, over the last few days’ adoption levels have soared by 9 per cent as Apple said at the beginning of the month that levels were at 57 per cent. More people are getting new iPhones over the holiday season, so expect the percentage to rise considerably to almost full capacity over the next couple of month.

Android fans applaud Google when a new build reaches 25 per cent over a year life cycle, but Apple is the real king when it comes to getting sweeping adoption levels.

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Apple Working on iPhone 6c for 2016 Launch

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Apple has had a busy couple of months, rolling out a number of new products, including two news iPhones and two new iPads. However, at the iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus launch event, one variant of the all-conquering smartphone was not unveiled. We are talking about the iPhone 6c, which was widely tipped to land at the event as a replacement for the iPhone 5c.

A new report suggests today that Apple is still interested in the handset and that it will replace the plastic construction of the iPhone 5c in favor of the company’s familiar aluminum. The report says that the iPhone 6c will launch in 2016, likely in the fall when Cupertino raises the curtain on the iPhone 7.

However, we are not so sure. The problem is, the only thing that differentiated the iPhone 5c from the iPhone 5 (which it effectively replaced) was that it was plastic. If Apple debuts a metal c class smartphone then what is to differentiate it from just being an iPhone 6? We think the company is more likely to just use its outgoing flagship as its tier down smartphone.

However, there is the chance that the company is working on a smartphone that will feature a 4-inch screen, a form factor that Apple is still interested in. We do expect that handset at some point, whether it will be called the iPhone 6c is another matter.

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Apple iOS 9.2 Beta Profile Open to Everyone

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The Public Beta of iOS 9.2 has been made available to everyone by Apple, or at least those who have a compatible iPhone that is. The days of betas being solely for developers has long gone, and if you so choose you can check out build 9.2 of Apple’s iOS platform, although it is worth remembering that this is not the finished and polished version that will be rolled out over the air in the coming weeks.

If you have the beta profile on your handset then you should be seeing a prompt to download the software right now. This bug fixing beta is mainly focused on improving the Safari View Controller, but we image some more features will be added between now and roll out of the finished software.

As for the stable release of iOS 9.2, Apple has not said when that will happen, but we are willing to stake that it will happen sometime during November.

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Apple Continues to Target Android

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Apple continues to sell huge amounts of iPhones, despite missing optimistic analyst prediction the company is thriving and making vastly more money than any other mobile brand. CEO Tim Cook was in good mood after Cupertino’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings call, saying the company is taking the fight to Android and starting to make serious headway in China.

Cook claimed that a massive 30% of all iPhone sales in the last quarter came from consumers who were switching to Apple’s iOS from Android. He also said that the iPhone will continue to grow in terms of sales, with two thirds of iPhone owners still owning a model that is two generations old, meaning consumers will be upgrading to the newer handsets soon.

Apple has made massive gains in China, where the company made its debut just two years ago. Cook said that sales in China have increased in the country by 99% in the last year, making Apple the second most successful manufacturer in China, beating even Samsung and taking out Xiaomi for one quarter at least.

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Apple Wows with iPhone During Third Quarter, iPad Slumps Further

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It seems as though Apple is having a typical “s” year. When the company launches an iPhone with an s at the end of the title there is usually a levelling out of sales, which in turn usually leads to plenty of doom mongering that Apple has topped out. It is happening again as Apple released its third quarter financials that showed that iPhone sales fell below analyst expectations.

There are a few things to consider. Firstly, analysts have been going bold with iPhone predictions since Apple toppled all records just under a year ago, and while sales this three month period did miss expectations, sales are still up on last year. So, has Apple finally hit the ceiling, have iPhone sales topped out?

Of course that is a possibility, but we have been saying for some time that after that record busting fourth quarter last year that the only way was down. We will see how well Apple performs over the Holiday Season this year and indeed how the company performs when the iPhone 7 is released next fall. All we know is, those predicting this is the first step in Cupertino’s ultimate demise will be left wanting… it isn’t happening.

On the numbers, Apple shifted 48.04 million iPhones through the period ending September 30, which is vastly higher than the 39.27 million iPhones sold through Q3 of 2014. It is worth noting that this is Apple’s quietest period traditionally as consumers await the launch of a new iPhone. That the company can shift tens of millions of units that are coming to the end of their cycle as a flagship is impressive and something no other company can do. That does not please analysts, and probably not investors in the short term, as Wall Street predicted sales of 48.72 million units to be sold.

While the iPhone will continue to defy analysts in the future, the iPad is apparently on a downward spiral that seems irreversible, unless the iPad Pro and Apple’s deal with IBM perform miracles… unlikely. The slate is still the best selling on the market, but like the wider tablet sector it is on the decline as consumers simply do not upgrade these products in the way they do smartphones.

That very problems was something the PC had to contend with and why the computing market is a mere shell of what it used to be. The iPad dropped another 20% in sales, but that bad news hardly stopped Apple from raking in cash, the beauty of high margins.

The company continues to make profit like no other mobile brand, posting income of $11.12 billion over the third quarter (which, incidentally, was Apple’s fiscal Q4), up from $8.47 billion last year. Overall revenue sat at $51.50 billion, a 22% increase.

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