Apple late yesterday signed a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest cell phone carrier. The deal has been rumored for months. The carrier has about 760 million customers – more than AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile combined. China Mobile iPhone activations are expected to raise apple’s income by at least 5% in 2014.
As China Mobile begins to release 4G to its customers it will now be able to sell 4G enabled iPhones at its stores.
While the iPhone is popular in China, it is an expensive, premium phone. As a result, many lower-income individuals may not have the opportunity to purchase the phone.
As Apple ventures into new areas, one might ask, “where next?” Only time can tell…
It’s been a slow week for rumors (and a busy one for holiday shoppers), so I decided to compile everything into one article.
Apple recently released the first beta of OS X 10.9.2 to developers. The update includes various bug fixes and other minor enhancements, but most notably now includes FaceTime Audio, a service introduced in iOS 7.
FaceTime Audio is available currently only on iDevices, but will soon include Macs. Apple is likely to release 10.9.2 (to the public) sometime next year.
On other Mac news, Apple’s Mac Pro, radically redesigned and re-envisioned, saw preorders on Thursday and is now shipping in February. Wow. You probably have a better shot of getting your hands on one at your local Apple Store.
Furthermore, iTunes Connect, the developer portal, will not be accessible to developers for over a week. This means that App Pricing, Stats, and app uploads will not be available. While this doesn’t officially affect customers, you won’t have any updates or price changes during this time.
Apple today announced that it will offer the Mac Pro, announced at WWDC in June, for $2,999 (baseline model) starting tomorrow. While this may be a steep price point, Apple does not target most customers with this device. As the name implies, the Mac Pro is a professional device and is intended to be used by pros (i.e. developers, photographers, videographers, etc.).
The new Mac packs a punch with all SSD, new processors, and an incredible design – one that’s a leap back to the “classical” design days of Apple in 2001-2004.
iBeacon. The name speaks for itself (as does practically every other i product). With the release of iOS 7, Apple introduced a new feature in it’s API to developers. “iBeacon” allows users to receive notifications on their iDevice when they approach a location specific place and have the notification disappear when they leave. Sounds cool? Well, it could have serious applications and the possibilities are endless.
Most recently, rumors pointed to Apple integrating it in their own stores. A few days later, the rumors were confirmed and Apple indeed integrated iBeacons into its stores.
So what exactly are these iBeacons? Spam machines? Well, partially. I happened to test out the iBeacons when purchasing a new computer at the Apple Store yesterday (oh, and I saw the code class Apple has been promoting). First off, you have to have the Apple Store App installed. Once you have the app installed, you’ll be prompted to enable the notificatoins. If you have in-store iBeacon notifications enabled, you’ll receive info when you walk towards a specific section. I walked towards the iPhone table and was presented with a notification (see below). Not bad, but not great. I was unimpressed with the overall usage – I didn’t get notifications for the iPad or Mac sections (not sure why).
iBeacons do have potential. A lot of it, in fact. But they need to be utilized to their potential. Can’t wait to see what Apple does in the future.
Apple today announced its Black Friday deals – the one time per year the Company offers discounts. This year, however, Apple is taking a more unusual path. With the purchase of an iPad, iPod, Mac, or other accessory/device, you’ll receive an Apple Store gift card towards your next purchase. Apple’s gift cards vary in price – up to $200 depending on what product you purchase.
Images Credit: Apple
If this doesn’t sound overly appealing to you, then fear not! Retailers like Best Buy and B&H are offering great discounts. Let’s take the base MacBook Air for example. If you were to buy an 11 inch MacBook Air with 128GB of SSD storage from Apple, then you’d get a gift card worth $150. Now if you were to purchase the same laptop from Amazon.com, you’ll pay $874.00. B&H is currently sold out of the 11 inch model but Best Buy is offering $150 off the laptop — you won’t receive a gift card. Additionally, Best Buy does offer $200 off the base iMac while Apple is offering a $150 gift card. If you’ve been meaning to grab a gorgeous MacBook Pro with Retina Display, then this is the day. B&H is offering the laptop for $1649 — a $450 discount. They are also offering up to $300 off the 27 inch iMac.
Apple is giving $50-$75 gift cards with the purchase of an iPad. Best Buy, however, is offering $50-$70 off iPads. The old iPad 2, released in 2011 but still sold by Apple, can be purchased for $299.99 from Best Buy — a $100 discount. Nearly all models, either brought from the Apple Online Store or Best Buy’s website include free shipping.
So what’s the best deal? Well, you’ll have to make that decision for yourself. However, know this: Apple never offers deals – with the exception of Black Friday (Apple offers education discounts, but those discounts are much less than the deals offered today). So if you wait, don’t expect another discount until Black Friday 2014.
Apple has begun to tease its Black Friday deals in an email sent to customers today. The event will be offered online and in Apple retail stores this Friday. Apple rarely, if ever, offers discounts on any of its products with the exception of Black Friday.
Prices have yet to be announced, but they’re likely to be the same as last year: $100-200 off Macs (depending on the model), about $50 off an iPad, etc. We will bring you updated prices when we learn more.
Is it a good time to buy an Apple product? You decide! Let us know in the poll below.
Apple today finally released an iPad version of its popular Apple Store app. The Apple Store app had long been an iPhone-only app, making many wonder if Apple would ever release an iPad version. iPhone user Saint0327 reviewed the last iPhone version with a mere one star writing “Hey Apple, there’s a new device called the iPad.” Many other users have also voiced their concern about the current iPhone version.
The iPad version, however, is not a universal app and is separate from the iPhone version. The new app sports a design in-line with iOS 7.
Apple yesterday updated its Find my Friends app for iOS 7. This marks the last major Apple app to be updated with the new design changes in iOS 7. iOS 7 debuted in mid-September and Apple issued subsequent updates for its iOS apps.
Only iTunes Connect, the developer portal, is missing an iOS 7 update (this is not a consumer app).
Find my Friends now sports a completely new and redesigned interface. Let us know what you think of the new UI in the comments below!
Apple today released iOS 7.1 to developers, the first major upgrade to iOS. iOS 7.1 provides many minor changes and much needed bug fixes. 7.1 features various minor changes such as a new Yahoo! logo in notification center, dark keyboard option, bold text, and a new flash indicator.
iOS 7.1 will likely be released next year (as with previous versions of iOS — 5.1 and 6.1). As with any beta, there are still many bugs. Apple also seeded Xcode 5.1 and a new Apple TV update.