Apple Starts Selling Refurbished iPhones on Its Online Store

Apple Starts Selling Refurbished iPhones on Its Online Store
Apple starts selling refurbished iPhones on US online store
Users buying these can save up to $100
These refurbed iPhones have 1 year warranty, fresh battery & exterior
Apple has started selling refurbished iPhones via its US online store starting from Tuesday. The models up for sale currently include the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, that were launched last year.

The Cupertino giant is selling refurbished iPhones for the first time on its online store, notes 9to5Mac. The company normally used refurbished units as replacements for users, or sold them via third-party resellers, the report adds.

A refurbished product is typically one that is returned by a customer after purchase because of either a manufacturing flaw, or product dissatisfaction, and is returned in accordance to Apple’s 14 day return policy. On the refurbished items page, Apple claims that all iPhones on sale are tested by the company, come with a brand new battery and outer shell, and carry a 1-year warranty just like a brand new iPhone. These products are also not locked to any telecom operator.
Traditionally, in many countries where Apple’s online store exists (it doesn’t in India yet), the company is known to have sold refurbished Macs, iPads and iPods. At the moment though, it appears that refurbished iPhones are only being sold in the US online stores, as there’s no mention of them on the online stores of other countries such as the UK, Singapore, or Hong Kong.
If you compare prices, an iPhone 6s 16GB is being sold for $449 (roughly Rs. 29,969), which makes it $100 (roughly Rs. 6,674) cheaper than a new $549 iPhone 6s 32GB. There are iPhone 6s Plus 64GB units being sold for $589 (roughly Rs. 39,314) that make them $60 cheaper than a new iPhone 6s Plus 32GB. Bear in mind that Apple discontinued 16GB and 64GB iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus variants this September after the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launch, with refreshed units now available in 32GB and 128GB capacities. Also, these prices do not factor in taxes that vary from state to state in the US. Stocks will tend to fluctuate depending upon how many returned iPhones Apple is able to salvage.

Apple’s slickest iPhone releases may additionally slip to a 3-12 months cycle

Apple would possibly prolong its large iPhone refreshes from each two years to each three years.

The agency presently issues a chief iPhone improve each other year, with a less momentous version coming inside the off yr. as an example, the iPhone five changed into observed through the more incremental iPhone 5S, and the iPhone 6 through the iPhone 6S.

A shift from that plan is “in all likelihood,” in line with Japan’s Nikkei newspaper, just because the phone marketplace itself is transferring.

Apple might ramp up to a three-12 months upgrade cycle for foremost refreshes for multiple motives, says the Nikkei. First, telephone demand is slowing. in the first quarter of the 12 months, Apple suffered its first-ever drop in cellphone sales.

second, Apple is outfitting every new iPhone with fewer enhancements. The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus presented little in the manner of new functions beyond 3D touch stress sensitivity and stay pix, which generate brief movies. reports say this 12 months’s anticipated iPhone 7 lineup will include just a few new features, which includes twin speakers and a dual camera gadget (but most effective on the iPhone 7 Plus).

Apple isn’t always the handiest victim of a sagging cellphone marketplace, where a once everyday movement of blockbuster debuts has given manner to “smartphone fatigue.” customers in developed markets have turn out to be blase over a perceived loss of exciting features in new phones and are sticking longer with the phones they already have. mobile carriers have additionally positioned the kibosh on sponsored plans, which effectively makes new cellphone fashions more high-priced.

A 3-12 months cycle for Apple could start in 2017. reviews declare that the organization is ready until subsequent 12 months, the 10th anniversary of the unique iPhone, to level a chief upgrade. The 2017 iPhone may want to switch from traditional liquid crystal display screens to OLED displays, which can be thinner, lighter and much less battery-hungry. subsequent 12 months’s telephone can also undertake an area-to-facet display and dispense with the bodily home button.

For 2016, Apple isn’t expected to top the 230 million iPhones it bought in 2015, in keeping with production schedules provided to providers, the Nikkei added. in that case, so as to be the primary time annual iPhone income failed to surpass those of the prior 12 months.

Billionaire Icahn: Undervalued Apple should trade at $240, double current value

NEW YORK: Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said on Monday Apple Inc’s stock was “still dramatically undervalued” and that it should be trading at US$240, nearly double its current price.
Icahn also used an open letter to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook to call for it to execute a much larger share buyback, returning to a longtime theme of the activist investor’s campaign for the iPhone maker to boost shareholder returns.(

Apple shares rose as much as 1.8 percent to $130.72 by midday on Monday. The stock has gained more than a quarter since October, when Icahn first said it was undervalued.

Following pressure from Icahn and other activists, Apple boosted its share repurchase program in April to $140 billion from $90 billion announced last year and raised its quarterly dividend by 11 percent to 52 cents per share.

“It is our belief that large institutional investors, Wall Street analysts and the news media alike continue to misunderstand Apple,” Icahn wrote in the letter.

Icahn, one of Apple’s top 10 investors, has long urged the world’s most valuable company to buy back more shares and boost its dividend.

The investor said in February that he owned about 53 million shares, now worth about $6.8 billion.

“Apple is poised to enter and in our view dominate two new categories (the television next year and the automobile by 2020) with a combined addressable market of $2.2 trillion, a view investors don’t appear to factor into their valuation at all,” Icahn wrote on Monday.

Apple has yet to officially acknowledge that it is developing what would likely be an electric, self-driving car.

It has also long been expected to enter the consumer television market with a more wide-ranging product than its current Apple TV box that allows users to stream programs from iTunes and other sources, but has said little about those plans. Past expectations that Apple would develop an actual television have so far been disappointed.

It is unclear how much insight Icahn has into the iPhone maker’s plans for future products. An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Icahn was not immediately available for comment by phone.- Reuters

2015 iMac release date rumours, specs, price & features: new Broadwell-powered 21in iMacs could launch soon

It’s been about 20 months since Apple last updated the non-Retina versions of the iMac (if you don’t include the new cheaper iMac which Apple introduced in June 2014 – now a year old). The big surprise was that Apple has left the non-Retina iMacs untouched, while recently adding a new, cheaper 27in Retina model to its line up. The new Retina model costs £1,599 (the same price as Apple’s top of the line non-Retina 27in iMac did previously).

Apple first released the 27in Retina 5K iMac in October 2014, alongside the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and a new Mac mini. When it launched the 27in Retina iMac cost £1,999 and offered a 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 1TB Fusion Drive and AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics. The price of this model has now been reduced by £150 to £1,849. Read our preview of the 3.3GHz Retina iMac here.

Notably absent from 2014’s upgrade cycle was the rest of the iMac range, with the four original iMacs remaining untouched since they were updated on 24 September 2013. We are still waiting for these iMacs to be updated, but new processors from Intel that could be destined for the iMacs are now shipping. We had hoped that the 21.5in iMac would get an update at WWDC on 8 June, but no update happened. Hopefully those Macs will get an update soon.

Here, we bring you everything you need to know about when Apple will upgrade the iMac range, including the new iMac’s specs, features, UK price and release date.

To discover what we think about the original Retina 5K iMac, take a look at our Retina iMac review. If you are in the market for a new Mac, read our iMac or Mac mini – Mac desktops compared and Best Mac to buy: Mac Buying Guide.

Apple has also introduced new series of 15in MacBook Pro with Retina display.

How long has it been since Apple updated the iMac?

If you ignore the £899 iMac and the Retina iMac, which were both introduced in 2014, and the recent addition of a new, cheaper, 27in Retina iMac, the last time the iMac saw a proper update was in September 2013 when Apple added the Haswell processor, new graphics, next generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options. Read our review of the 2013 iMacs. You can read all our iMac reviews here.

When will the new iMacs launch?

We think that a new iMac launch will come this summer. We had thought that they might launch at WWDC, but that event had a pro focus and the iMac wouldn’t really have been a good fit. Perhaps Apple will update the iMacs before the end of the Summer though.

New 21.5in iMac at WWDC

At the beginning of June, Intel finally announced its quad-core range of Broadwell processors – the ones we were all expecting Apple to use in the new 27in iMacs and 15in Retina MacBook Pro.

Strangely Apple chose to stick with Haswell processors when it announced a new 27in Retina iMac a couple of weeks previously, rather than use the newer Broadwell versions. Many have quesitoned why Apple didn’t just wait a few more weeks? The general consensus is that Apple has skipped Broadwell in favour of Skylake for its high end Macs. Skylake should be here before the end of the year, so we may see a pro-level iMac and MacBook update in October.

But back to the rest of the iMacs, will Apple wait until October to update the rest of the iMac range, or will it update them now with these new Broadwell processors? We think that an update could be immanent. The MacBook Air and the 13in MacBook Pro both use new Broadwell dual core processors, so surely the 21.5in iMac can accept the Broadwell treatment too.

In fact, we think that one reason why Apple rushed out the updates to the 27in Retina iMac models was so that the lack of Broadwell chip wouldn’t be so noticeable when it updates the 21.5in iMac models.

The 21.5in iMacs currently come in three configurations:

  • The entry level 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell dual-core processor
  • The 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell quad-core processor
  • And the 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell quad-core processor

Now that the Broadwell quad-core chips are finally shipping, Apple could update these Macs – as long as the launched chips aren’t intended only for mobile.

Alternatively Apple might wait until later in the year to update all the iMacs to Skylake, but the current iMacs are so old now – nearly two years – so it seems more likely that an update will happen sooner rather than later.

New 27in iMac at WWDC

Like the 21.5in models, the non-Retina 27in iMac model may also get an update this summer.

That model currently comes in the following configuration:

  • 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell quad-core processor

New cheaper Retina iMac launched, price of £1,999 model reduced

On 19 May, Apple added a new 27in Retina iMac to it’s line up. You can now purchase a 27in iMac with 5K Retina display with a 3.3GHz processor for £1,599.

This new, entry-level model comes with 3.3GHz quad core Intel Core i5 (we were presuming this was a newer Broadwell chip but it turns out that Apple is still using Haswell as the Quad-Core Broadwell still isn’t available), 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive and an AMD Radeon R9 M290 graphics card. It costs £1,599.

In adding this new 3.3GHz Retina iMac, Apple has removed the 3.4GHz non-Retina iMac from the line up, which was also priced at £1,599. Apparently, people who order the non-Retina £1,599 iMac before the recent update are receiving the new Retina version of that Mac, according to a Reddit post, via AppleInsider.

Previously the only iMac with Retina display offered a 3.5GHz processor, 8GB RAM, and a AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics card £1,999. It shipped with 1TB Fusion Drive as standard, which gave users the benefit of a faster flash drive to use alongside the hard drive.

The flagship iMac still offers a 3.5GHz quad core Intel Core i5 appears to be unchanged, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive and an AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics card. It now costs £1,849, £150 less than when it was introduced.

New 27in Retina iMac: Why didn’t Apple use the Broadwell processor?

The 27in Retina iMac models still feature Intel’s Haswell processors, rather than the newer Broadwell, suggesting Apple is skipping the much delayed Broadwell processors and waiting for Skylake.

While it’s possible Broadwell wouldn’t have made a great deal of improvement to the 2014 models, the fact that Apple has skipped that generation of chips will raise eyebrows.

Unfortunately the quad-core Broadwell chips that Apple would have required for the iMac models (and the new 15in MacBook Pro models that were also introduced) hadn’t launched at the time Apple revealed the new updated models. However, just a few weeks later Intel released the quad-core Broadwell chips everyone thought would feature in these Macs.

All eyes will be on Intel as the company gears up to release Skylake, which is what everyone is really waiting for. Hopefully it won’t take Intel another year to release Quad-core versions of Skylake – we’ve heard that the new processors could arrive before the end of the year.

New 27in Retina iMac: Build to order options

Build to order options on the Retina iMac include a 4.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, for an extra £200 (only in the top of the range model). You can also get 16GB RAM for £160, or 32GB RAM for £480 at the point of sale (it’s nigh on impossible to update RAM later on).

If you wanted to opt for a Fusion Drive instead of the standard hard drive on the entry level model it will cost you an extra £160. Bringing the price of that model to £1,759.

New 27in Retina iMac: Testing

As soon as we can get our hands on the new 27in Retina iMacs we will, and we will be rigorously testing the processor to see how the newer £1,599 iMac with Retina display compares to the previous model which had similar specs for the same price.

The newer iMac appears to have a slower clock speed than the previous £1,599 model (3.3GHz compared to 3.4GHz). We will undertake testing in our lab as soon as we get our hands on the new model.

In the meantime, is Apple also likely to skip Broadwell in the 21in iMacs? Or will Intel get its act together and produce Skylake chips that are suitable for these Macs – untouched since September 2013. Could we see Skylake iMacs in September or October?

New iMac specs: Price

Another important question is how much will the new iMacs cost if, and when, they do launch?

The current line up is priced as follows:

  • 21.5in, 1.4GHz dual-core i5, £899
  • 21.5in, 2.7GHz quad-core i5, £1,049
  • 21.5in, 2.9GHz quad-core i5, £1,049
  • 27in, 3.2 quad-core i5, £1,449
  • 27in, 3.4 quad-core i5, £1,599
  • 27in, Retina 5K display, 3.5 quad-core i5, £1,999

We expect that Apple won’t change the prices when the new models launch, although it is possible that the second generation of the Retina display iMac may come down in price, or that the other 27in iMacs may gain Retina displays and go up in price, more on that below.

Will the other Macs get a Retina display?

There are already two 27in iMacs with Retina display. It is likely that Apple will eventually role out the new display to all the iMacs, although it may be biding time while the price comes down.

We don’t think the 21in iMacs will get a Retina display any time soon, though, predominantly because adding a Retina display would make these models significantly more expensive, and we think Apple will maintain their positioning as consumer Macs with a price to match.

New iMac specs: Broadwell processor delays, Skylake latest

Everyone has been waiting for Intel’s Broadwell processor to arrive in the iMac, but the new Intel processors have been delayed to such an extent that it is thought that Apple is now waiting for their successor – Skylake – to launch.

Intel’s new generation of processors, Broadwell, faced major delays. Broadwell uses the 14nm manufacturing process and is said to consume 30% less power than its predecessor Haswell. That should be good news for battery life on the portable Macs, but also for those Macs with especially power hungry screens.

The successor to Broadwell, Skylake is on the horizon, and due to launch before the end of 2015. Skylake will also use the 14nm manufacturing process, but it will bring even greater CPU and GPU performance, along with reduced power consumption. Features of Skylake will include PCI Express 4.0 and Thunderbolt 3.0, which are likely to appear in the Macs that feature those chips.

After Skylake the next round of processors will be Cannonlake, using the 10nm process but don’t expect to see them before 2017.

New iMac specs: storage

We really hope that Apple brings flash storage to the new range of iMacs in the form of a Fusion Drive, like the one added as standard to the Retina 5K iMac.

The current iMac range is crippled somewhat by the slower hard drives that Apple uses. While a hard drive has the benefit of offering more storage – in the case of these iMacs 1TB – it is a lot slower than the flash drives used in all of Apple’s laptops. To the extent that Mac laptops with similar processors will perform better than the equivalent iMac due to the faster SSD drive.

Apple offers a Fusion Drive currently as a £200 build to order option, we think it should be offered as standard in all Apple’s desktops. Alternatively Apple could start to offer flash drives as standard.

New iMac specs: Ports & USB Type-C

Of all the features on the new MacBook, USB Type-C has probably got the most attention – due to the fact that it’s the only port on the MacBook (read why we think the new MacBook doesn’t deserve all the criticism it’s getting).

When that Mac arrived with the single USB Type-C port there was some concern that it might spell the end for Thunberbolt. Given that Apple has strongly promoted this technology, which it describes as “revolutionary I/O technology that supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data devices through a single, compact port,” the company is very unlikely to be planning to drop it, plus as you can see above, Thunderbolt 3.0 is on its way.

The current line up of iMacs features Thunderbolt 1 (with the exception of the Retina iMac which has Thunderbolt 2). Thunderbolt 1 offers 10Gbp/s. Because they weren’t updated in 2014 these iMacs didn’t gain Thunderbolt 2, which offers 20Gbp/s. When it arrives Thunderbolt 3 will offer 40Gbp/s and be able to drive two external 4K displays (or a single external 5K display).

The USB Type-C port is compatible with USB 3.1 and therefore offers 10Gbp/s (double that of USB 3), but it also allows for charging, as it is able to deliver power at up to 100 watts at 20 volts. You are able to charge the MacBook via this port.

However, as yet USB-C only features on the new MacBook. Will it make its way onto the new iMacs? It seems likely that it will, but simply as a replacement for USB 3.0, we definitely don’t expect it to replace Thunderbolt.

The current iMac line up offers the following ports and standards:

  • Headphone
  • SDXC card slot
  • Four USB 3 prots
  • Two Thunderbolt ports
  • Ethernet
  • Kensington lock slot
  • 802.11ac WiFi
  • Bluetooth 4.0

New iMac specs: Graphics card

The current line up of iMacs features the Intel HD Graphics 5000 at the entry-level and the next model up offers Intel Iris Pro Graphics. You can expect to see updates to these cards – the new MacBook Pro 13in offers Intel Iris Graphics 6100, for example, so we’d expect this to appear in the iMacs too.

The higher-end iMacs feature NVIDIA GeForce graphics – the 21.5in iMac offers a GT 750M, the entry-level 27in has a GT 755M and the top of the range (excluding the Retina model) offers a GT 775M. The GeForce 700 series have been around for some time now, first introduced back in May 2013, so they could be described as a bit long in the tooth by now. The GeForce 800 series was introduced in March 2014, so even those graphics cards are now a year old. If Apple is going to stick with NVIDIA then it looks like the GT 900 (introduced in September 2014) might fit the bill. There’s a new GT 1000 series on the horizon, but it’s not expected until 2016.

The iMac with Retina display runs an AMD Radeon R9 M290X processor, so it is feasible that Apple might switch from NVIDIA to AMD, as they have in the past. The company may even move to integrated graphics cards, which are part of the motherboard, but if Apple does this it is likely to upset a lot of pro users.

New iMac specs: Design

Could the design of the new iMacs change in the next generation? The slim unibody of the current style of iMac was introduced in November 2012, prior to that the design hadn’t really changed since 2009 when the Aluminium unibody design in 21.5in and 27in launched. Previous to that the Aluminium iMac launched in 2007 and came in 20in and 24in versions, and back in 2006 Apple launched the Intel iMac with it’s plastic finish, similar in design to the iMac G5 that launched in 2004. Two years prior to that was the lampstand-like iMac G4 in 2002, and in 1998 the original iMac launched.

That’s a change of design every two or three years, so some might think a new look iMac is due. However, we like the look of the current iMac and can’t think of any way it could change for the better, looking back at the generations of iMacs that preceded it, it does look like evolution to this point, we can’t imagine what can follow. Sure it can get thinner, but the weight and dimensions don’t really matter for a desktop machine.

Features some people would like to see probably include an extendable base to the iMac so that you can position it differently – currently it isn’t possible to raise up the iMac for a more ergonomic position. Aside from that people would probably like to see a Retina display come to the rest of the range.

Read our: 2014 iMac with Fusion Drive review and 2014 budget iMac review as well as our iMac Retina review and the review of the 2013 iMacs.

Where the heck is Apple TV?


Another Apple event, another Apple TV no-show.

Apple’s streaming-video box has gone three years without a refresh to a new generation, all while Internet-delivered TV has grown bigger and more accessible than ever. In that span of time, Apple has thrown plenty of splashy events, and each one has come and gone without Apple TV getting serious time in the spotlight. But Monday’s developer conference keynote was supposed to be different.

This year, the Cupertino, Calif.-based consumer electronics titan has been widely reported to be developing a new Apple TV box that it would launch alongside an Internet-delivered television service. In March, Apple cut the price on its current streaming-media box from $99 to $69, a classic signal that a company is clearing out old inventory ahead of a newer version coming down the pipeline.

But as the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference approached, the prospects of seeing a new streaming device at the confab dimmed. Apple couldn’t broker deals with TV programmers to stock the new service with channels in time, according to reports.

The no-show underscores the daunting challenges that even a major player like Apple faces when introducing a video service that seeks to upend the status quo. TV content providers, for instance, can hold out for better terms. Rights for the country’s hundreds of local stations aren’t as simple as sealing a deal with few parent companies.

The price cut on the Apple TV box, meanwhile, reflects more than just its pipeline plans; it’s also an acknowledgement of cheaper competitors. Google’s Chromecast dongle for online video can be purchased for $35. Most important: Even without any significant marketing, a tech refresh, or a high-profile new service, Apple TV is doing just fine on its own.

And for Apple, there’s really no rush to introduce something that’s half baked. Because Apple is Apple, it has the luxury to wait to get it right. Being late to the game has never hurt the company in the past — just look at the success of the iPod, which followed other digital music players, and the iPhone, which wasn’t close to the first smartphone on the market. But what would hurt the company is introducing something that’s not truly compelling despite having years to get it ready.

Apple declined to comment.

Content is king

For years, getting traditional TV content through the Internet remained out of reach as programmers held tight to the rights to their channels, worried that so called “over-the-top” delivery would chip away at the number of people watching through traditional distributors like cable and satellite providers. As the number of people subscribing to traditional pay-TV services began to slide regardless, networks began to loosen the reins to allow new online options like Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony PlayStation’s Vue to launch.

Sling TV is a $20-a-month online service with live television streams of more than 20 channels, with the option of bolting on extra bundles of networks for additional fees. Vue is a similar service available to people in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia that streams via PlayStation consoles; it includes more channels — upwards of 60 — but costs $50 a month.

If Sling and Vue can do it, why can’t Apple?

“Apple TV is trying to change the universe a bit,” said CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves last month at the Code Conference. Apple is reportedly trying to include local channels in its service, which complicates the negotiations. Local broadcast channels are sometimes owned and operated by their affiliated parent like CBS, ABC or NBC, but not always. It’s part of the reason Vue has rolled out in specific markets only and why Sling TV’s nationwide offering doesn’t have local channels.

Moonves was also clear about what it would take for his channels to show up on Apple’s service: “Money,” he said. [CBS is the parent company of CNET.]

That competitors like Sony, Dish, Verizon and others are all vying to lock down the licenses for programming has created a seller’s market: Rights holders are in the position to make large demands of Apple at the negotiating table, especially given the company’s financial wherewithal to pay up. The company’s stockpile of cash hit $193.5 billion at the end of March.

For Apple TV hardware, that means waiting for the service to be ready for its debut. Paul Erickson, a senior analyst with IHS, noted Apple never simply unveils a new device; rather, the company also presents an ecosystem of apps and services that make that product powerful.

The absence of a new Apple TV reflects the company is “probably waiting to present the most formidable proposition they could, that being new hardware alongside a new service,” he said.

A hobby no longer

Apple dipped its toes into the TV market in late 2006 by showing off its “iTV” box that could stream movies purchased from studios such as Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar. The company ultimately named the box Apple TV when it launched the $299 device in March 2007.

“Apple TV is like a DVD player for the 21st century — you connect it to your entertainment system just like a DVD player, but it plays digital content you get from the Internet rather than DVDs you get from a physical store,” Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO at the time, said in a press release announcing the product.

The original Apple TV box was smaller than typical DVD players at the time but bigger than its later iterations. CNET

Apple cut the price for its first Apple TV to $229 in January 2008 and introduced its second-generation device, which cost only $99, in September 2010. Its third-generation device, which added support for 1080p video, hit the market in March 2012. It’s that device, originally priced at $99, that Apple continues to sell to users.

In the early years, Apple referred to its TV box as a “hobby.” But the company has bigger ambitions in that market. Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs, published shortly after the Apple co-founder’s death in late 2011, hinted at Apple’s plans for a full-fledged Apple TV set and service.

“I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,”Jobs said in the biography. “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

Such a product has never materialized, though, and The Wall Street Journal last month reported that Apple quietly shelved plans to produce an ultra-high-definition television set more than a year ago. And now, its new Internet video streaming service and updated TV box may not arrive until next year.

Apple’s not the only company that has struggled with TV. Intel, the company that supplies the majority of the world’s chips for PCs and servers, in early 2013 talked up its efforts to build hardware and software that would let users watch live TV, recently-aired content, on-demand programming, and other shows in their homes and on mobile devices. The subscription service, dubbed OnCue, would deliver the programming over a broadband Internet connection, and it would launch by the end of 2013.

Intel had the hardware and sleek, personalized user interface all ready to go and even had the “vast majority” of big content companies on board with its plans, people familiar with the matter told CNET at the time. But the company’s new CEO, Brian Krzanich, decided to sell the business to Verizon. Verizon, the biggest wireless carrier in the US, hasn’t yet launched anything from the OnCue purchase.

But others in the market have, including Dish and Sony. And Google has revamped Android TV to make it more appealing to viewers.

Not broke? Don’t fix it

Biding time until its service is ready is manageable given Apple is also free from pressure caused by any new technical requirements, according to Erickson.

The Apple TV box’s main competitor is Roku. Sarah Tew/CNET

“We haven’t seen radical innovation in the market,” he said. Though consumers enjoy more sources of online video than ever before, their streams aren’t much more challenging technologically than they were when Apple released the last generation of box in March 2012 and later infused it with a more powerful processor in January 2013. It would be a different story if 4K video — an ultra-high-definition format that makes computers work harder — were gaining traction. But 4K remains niche.

Perhaps the greatest factor behind Apple’s lack of motivation to update its box: Apple TV is leading the market without any tinkering. In March, Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company has sold 25 million Apple TV units in the device’s lifetime, by far the greatest traction of any device in the category.

It compares with No. 2 Roku’s 10 million total sold, according to the company in September. Google hasn’t released stats for its Chromecast, but Erickson estimates an installed base of 10.5 million for the streaming dongle. And he notes that the $35 Chromecast, which allows owners to fling video they’re streaming on another device like a laptop or smartphone up on a television screen, isn’t a direct competitor with Apple TV, which is a stand-alone gadget for watching online video on TVs.

If the reports are to be believed, Apple wants the next iteration of Apple TV — both the service and box — to be something wholly different from what’s out in the market. Consumers are certainly ready, even if the broadcasters may still be hesitant.

Until the next Apple event.

Apple Music’s bit rate may be lower than Spotify’s, but it shouldn’t matter


At its Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled a streaming music service it billed as “revolutionary,” but the company was mum on the actual format Apple Music would use. Now a new report claims to have discovered the bit rate of the service.

Apple Music will stream at 256 kilobits per second (kbps), according to The Next Web. Other streaming services, including Spotify, offer streams at 320kbps (albeit only to their premium subscribers).

See also: Apple Music vs. the streaming competition

Generally, the higher the bitrate, the better the sound quality, but in this case, it’s not that simple. For its iTunes music downloads, Apple offers 256kbps tracks encoded in the AAC format. Spotify uses Ogg Vorbis and the current Apple-owned Beats Music app uses MP3s. Rdio, however, streams in AAC format at up to 320kbps.

According to most audio experts, music encoded in AAC format sounds better than both MP3 and Ogg at the same bit rate, and the files are often smaller, too. That means Apple Music could be less likely to stutter while streaming. But Apple hasn’t yet confirmed that it’s going with its usual AAC format for the new service.

We still don’t know the sound quality for Apple Music’s free offerings, which include iTunes Radio and the new live global station, Beats 1.

And whether or not the average listener can tell the difference between different kinds of audio files is up for debate. Tidal, Jay-Z’s artist-focused streaming music service, launched with a big focus on audio quality, but the service has plummeted in App Store rankings since its March debut.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment. Apple Music is set to launch June 30 as part of iOS 8.4.

Developers hack Apple Watch to run real UIKit-backed native apps

Well-known developers Steve Troughton-Smith, Saurik and Adam Bell have managed to hack the Apple Watch on watchOS 2 to run truly native apps on the device. Although Apple is advertising native apps with watchOS 2, it isn’t as ‘native’ as some developers wanted or expected. The logic code now runs on the watch, but raw access to the user interface is still not allowed on watchOS 2.

This means frameworks like UIKit cannot be used to draw truly custom UI. Instead developers must rely on the same techniques employed with current WatchKit apps that revolve around image sequences to create more interesting effects.

In the demo, video embedded below, the team managed to get a fully interactive 3D object running on the Apple Watch powered by Apple’s SceneKit framework.

Scene Kit is just used as an example here — any UI framework available to developers on iPhone and iPad would be accessible.

Jailbreak hacker Comex has previously achieved something similar on the original Watch OS although it did not seem as fully fleshed. The trio say they will release technical information on how this was achieved in the future once watchOS 2 ships.

watchOS 2 is due to be released in the fall and requires paired iPhones to update to iOS 9.

iOS 9 Aims To Replace Current App-To-App Linking Methods With A Privacy-Friendly One

Apple is hoping to lure developers away from the temptations of the URL scheme, which Twitter infamously made use of last year to track what apps are installed on your iOS device, To do that, they’ve introduced a new alternative in Universal Links, which can direct users right to the relevant content within your app, using just a standard web link preceded by either .

This alternate method has a few advantages, according to Apple, above and beyond the old way of doing things. First, it avoids the privacy issues. since use of the custom schemes doesn’t tell the originating app whether or not you have the destination app installed. It also means that links always open in the correct app, which isn’t true of URL schemes since any app can technically adopt them, resulting in conflict if more than one select the same.

Universal links also allow for a solid failure path which doesn’t result in a user encountering nothing at all when an app isn’t installed. Instead, the URL will direct them to an app’s companion website in Safari, either to the relevant content, or, so long as a developer sets one up, to a destination page that can prompt an app install.

Apple’s Universal Link features use standard http or https web links, and let you specify how much of your site can be found in your app, and what to do when content isn’t actually in your app yet (they can still find it on the web, and when you do add it, they’ll automatically be redirected to the app).

Setting up Universal Links that result in successfully routing users who click on links to your app involves some work for developers, including creating a special json file that resides on your website’s server. In iOS 9, Apple is making the process easier, too, by removing the requirement that this file be signed using an SSL certificate from an outside provider.

Apple clearly isn’t a fan of the existing way of doing things; it’s instituting a hard 50 URL scheme limit on apps submitted prior to iOS 9 that’s generated automatically though usage, after which using them will result in a failure without any indication of what’s gone wrong. The new Universal Links have a number of other benefits besides privacy, but users are probably going to be most appreciative of this change.

Apple’s latest charity auction invites you to tour its headquarters in Cupertino

Apple HQ

Apple has been a part of several fundraising auctions through Charitybuzz over the last few years, giving lunch meetings and event invites in exchange for generous donations to various non-profit efforts. The company’s latest campaign promises a bit of a golden ticket in Willy Wonka fashion as the highest bidder will be invited to tour Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino and bring 1 guest (or up to 3 kids if it’s a family visit). Just don’t expect to be allowed inside Jony Ive’s secret lab…

The tour is donated and will be lead by John Couch, Apple’s VP of Education:

“As Apple’s vice president of Education, John Couch has been responsible for driving Apple’s renewed success in the education market. […] During his current tenure at Apple, John has grown Apple’s education business to 9 billion dollars.

[…] In 1978 he was asked by Steve Jobs to join Apple as the Director of New Products.”

Apple and Charitybuzz list the estimated value of the auction at $50,000 (it’s target goal at least) with the starting bid amount placed at $5,000. Proceeds from the campaign will go toward the Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, a therapeutic horse riding school in Petaluma, California.

The charity auction will run for two weeks through June 18th at 3 PM EDT.

Apple’s most recent campaign to raise money for a good cause through Charitybuzz collected $200,000 for the RFK group as the highest bidder won lunch with Tim Cook and an invitation to a future Apple event. Apple’s Eddy Cue has also been involved in similar charity campaigns through the site.

You can place your bid to tour Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino before they open doors on Campus 2 on Charitybuzz.

Apple reportedly wants to include live local programming in TV bundle, reveal next month unlikely

Apple TV

The timing for the launch of Apple’s planned web-based TV service may depend on if and when the company can secure the rights to include content from local TV stations, Re/code reports. While Apple has been believed to be working on service that bundles access to a handful of channels delivered over the Internet, the new report claims that Apple wants to include live local programming from TV stations to both broaden the appeal of the service — especially with cord cutters — and satisfy industry executives…

Earlier this week, we reported that Apple is readying its TVKit SDK that will allow developers to create apps for the upcoming Apple TV for the first time without requiring direct cooperation from Apple. Apple TV as a platform for new apps is believed to debut alongside new Apple TV hardware for the first time in several years, including a redesigned remote control and Siri integration with the set-top box as we’ve reported.

We also mentioned in our earlier report this week that the new Apple TV hardware will likely debut without the rumored web TV service in place while earlier reports have suggested the service bundle could be announced in June ahead of a September launch.

Today’s report, however, claims that Apple’s TV service may not be ready in time for even a fall launch, and that ” industry executives” believe no deals have yet been signed, making an announcement next month unlikely. As we recently reported, the new Apple TV hardware is expected to ship with the current content model.

That current model includes local programming from certain channels like ABC in select markets for cable subscribers, but access isn’t nearly as universal as it is through traditional cable without using Apple’s box.

Apple’s WWDC kicks off next month on June 8th where the Apple TV is expected to take part of the spotlight, and we’ll have extensive coverage of the news out of the event.