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New Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Commercial Attacks Apple for iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung has introduced a new ad for its upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4, talking about how the company first introduced the Galaxy Note series in 2011 and popularized the “phablet” form factor while calling out Apple for making the similarly sized iPhone 6 Plus three years later.

The ad begins recounting the history of the Galaxy Note before talking about some of the features of the device, like multi-window multitasking and its S-Pen stylus. The ad then shows articles from online publications criticizing Samsung for releasing the original Galaxy Note due to the device’s large size before showing articles praising Apple for releasing the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

Finally, the ad shows select tweets from users criticizing Apple for releasing the iPhone 6 Plus three years after Samsung started the Galaxy Note line of devices. The commercial ends with the release date for the new device.

Samsung has continually created advertising going after Apple, its products and its fan base, famously depicting people ogling the Samsung Galaxy S2 while waiting in line outside an Apple Store for the newest iPhone mode. More recently, Samsung published a series of web ads poking fun at Apple’s September 9 special events and rolled out a “Wall Huggers” ad campaign that pokes fun at the iPhone’s battery life.

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iPhone 6 Begins Shipping to Customers for Sept 19th Delivery

Apple begin accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 6 on Friday, September 12th. The first of those orders are beginning to ship to customers. Verizon sent notices to customers today with tracking numbers for their early orders.

iphone-6-shipments
Despite the early shipping, FedEx will hold shipments for simultaneous delivery on launch day — Friday, September 19th. Despite the coordinated effort, some new iPhones may slip through and arrive a day early or so.

Readers on our forums are tracking their shipments and order status in various threads:

The “I just bought/ordered/shipped/received my new iPhone 6/6 Plus” thread
iPhone 6 & 6 Plus Sprint Pre-Order Thread!
T-Mobile.com preorder thread
ATT Pre-order status
VZW Order Status Thread
UK iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Thread

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Shipping Estimates for iPhone 6 Pre-Orders Slipping to 7-10 Days

Pre-order supplies of the iPhone 6 in the United States have dwindled significantly since pre-orders kicked off last night, with most models of the device now displaying shipping estimates of 7 to 10 days. The new shipping estimates mean customers who place an order now will likely be receiving their phones in October rather than September.

While there are still a some AT&T and Verizon iPhone 6 models available in space gray and gold, silver models for most carriers have now sold out. T-Mobile continues to have some availability in gold, with space gray models carrying shipping estimates of 7 to 10 days.

Though it has taken nearly a day for Apple to run out of most iPhone 6 models available to ship on 9/19, supplies of the larger iPhone 6 Plus were much more limited. Apple’s online store was down until just before 3 AM PT, at which point almost all iPhone 6 Plus models were showing shipping estimates of 7 to 10 days before slipping to 3 to 4 weeks just hours later.

Supplies are similarly limited in other countries where pre-orders were accepted, with the U.K. and Germany seeing iPhone 6 shipping estimates ranging from 7 to 10 days or 3 to 4 weeks based on model. New orders of the iPhone 6 Plus in those countries have shipping estimates of 3 to 4 weeks for all models.

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According to Apple, response to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was “incredible,” with the company setting a new record for overnight pre-orders despite pre-order hiccups.

Though customers will no longer be able to pre-order most models of the iPhone 6 or a 6 Plus from Apple’s site for delivery on 9/19, Apple will have launch day supplies at its retail stores on that date. Oftentimes, people wait in line for hours in an attempt to get a device from a retail store.

Supply of the iPhone 6 Plus seems to be similar to supply of the gold iPhone 5s last year, which became almost instantly unavailable. Unlike last year, however, there were few reports available on supply quantities.

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Apple, Square Acquisition Talks Went South Over $3B Offer

393788_largerEarlier this year, Apple and Square were rumored to be in talks over a possible acquisition, but no deal materialized. According to a new report from TechCrunch, talks between the two companies failed over purchase price.

Apple is said to have wanted to purchase Square for approximately $3 billion, an offer that Square felt was too low given its valuation at the time.

Separately, TechCrunch has heard that Square and Apple were in acquisition talks, but that Square walked away. Apple wanted the company to come aboard, but the discussed price was a sticking point: Apple wanted to buy Square for around $3 billion, one source said. Square, valued at the time at a firm 66 percent delta to that price point, declined to accept. Apple also showed Square a raft of hardware that would compete with Square’s point-of-sale tools, said the same source.

Earlier rumors suggested that the disconnect between Square’s robust offline payment solution and Apple’s simpler plan to enable payments via iPhone were another reason why talks eventually came to an end. Square has recently raised $100 million in capital, putting its valuation at $6 billion.

Apple on Tuesday revealed its long-rumored mobile payment solution, Apple Pay. Apple Pay is designed to allow iPhone users to make NFC payments using credit cards stored in Passbook, which are then authorized with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Apple has reached deals with credit card companies, credit issuers, and retailers, and has plans to launch Apple Pay in October.

According to Apple, the program will work with over 220,000 U.S. retail stores, including Walgreens, Duane Reade, Macy’s, Nike, Bloomingdales, Staples, Subway, McDonalds, and more.

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High-End 18-Karat Gold Apple Watch Could Cost Up to $1,200

The Edition version of Apple’s 18-karat gold Apple Watch could cost around $1,200, reports TechCrunch. The site consulted with “jewelers familiar with the material” Apple uses for the Apple Watch Edition, basing an estimate on the size and weight of the device.

edition118-karat yellow gold Apple Watch Edition with Red Modern Buckle band

Chad Rickicki, a watch expert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said that a case the size and shape of the Apple Watch in 18 carat gold would cost about $600 to make. The rest — the electronics and markup could double that price.

That doesn’t mean that all of the Apple Watches will rest in the rarified air of haute horlogerie. The lower end sport versions will start at $349 and presumably the standard versions, simply called Apple Watch, will receive a premium over that. The Edition watches, however, are expensive because gold is expensive, even at 18K and intermixed with Apple’s alloys.

Any predictions on possible cost for the gold Apple Watch at this point are fairly rough estimates, as the exact dimensions of the device remain unknown. It is also unclear whether the Apple Watch is gold plated or solid gold alloy.

According to Apple’s site, the 18-karat gold used in the Apple Watch Edition has been crafted by the company’s metallurgists to be “twice as hard as standard gold.” It also comes with a polished sapphire crystal display and rumors have suggested the gold watches will come in special boxes that can also be used for charging.

Early iWatch rumors from KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested the wearable device would come in an array of colors and styles, with some of them costing several thousand dollars. Depending on the pricing of the Edition watches, Kuo’s prediction may not be far off.

While Apple is aiming for the luxury market with the Apple Watch Edition line, the company is also planning to offer the Apple Watch in several other lower-priced configurations. The Apple Watch Sport, for example, does away with sapphire in favor of an Ion-X glass display and a lightweight aluminum casing, making it much more affordable. According to Apple, its line of watches will start at $349 and will begin shipping in early 2015.

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Tim Cook Speaks on Steve Jobs, Apple’s Interest in TV, and Beats Acquisition in New Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with Charlie Rose in a two-part interview, and the first segment is airing today. In a series of video clips, Tim Cook talks about Steve Jobs, Apple’s Beats Electronics acquisition, the Apple TV, and Apple’s plans for the future.

In the first clip, Cook again comments on Steve Jobs’ ongoing influence at Apple, saying Jobs is in his heart and deep in Apple’s DNA. “His spirit will always be the foundation of the company,” says Cook. Cook also gives one other interesting tidbit about Jobs — his fourth floor office has remained untouched since his passing.

In a second clip, Cook says the hardest decisions Apple makes “are all the things not to work on.” When asked if television is one of those areas, Cook said that TV is an area that Apple “continues to have great interest in.” He went on to say that TV is one of those things “stuck back in the 70s,” and he admits that with 20 million users, the Apple TV has “far exceeded the hobby label.” Cook didn’t divulge any details on the future of the Apple TV however, stating just that it’s an area that Apple continues to look at.

In the third and final clip, Cook spoke on Apple’s decision to buy Beats, reiterating many of the reasons behind the acquisition. “Jimmy and Dre are off the charts creative geniuses,” said Cook, pointing towards Iovine’s knowledge of the music industry and Dre’s connection to artists. He also said that Beats Music’s human curation was a major factor in the acquisition.

Tim Cook’s full Charlie Rose interview will air later tonight on PBS, with the second part of the interview airing on Monday night.

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Apple Pay Details: Apple Gets .0015% Cut of Purchases, Higher Rates for Bluetooth Payments

Apple’s ambitious new mobile payment initiative, Apple Pay, was announced on Tuesday during the company’s iPhone event. Many questions still linger about the service, but information is beginning to trickle out from various sources as retailers, banks, and credit card companies prepare for the service’s October launch.

According to a new report from The Financial Times, Apple stands to make quite a bit of money from its payments service. Banks and payment networks will be forking over .0015 percent of each purchase to Apple, which equates to 15 cents out of a $100 purchase.

They are also paying hard cash for the privilege of being involved: 15 cents of a $100 purchase will go to the iPhone maker, according to two people familiar with the terms of the agreement, which are not public. That is an unprecedented deal, giving Apple a share of the payments’ economics that rivals such as Google do not get for their services.

According to bank executives, Apple was able to negotiate with so many partners and receive choice deals because the industry didn’t see anything threatening in Apple Pay. One executive suggested that Apple’s payment model continued to put banks “at the centre of payments.” Apple may also have been able to negotiate better deals due to the tight security it has in place for Apple Pay. Payments will be made via NFC with a one-time token, and also secured with a Touch ID fingerprint.

Additional details about Apple Pay’s security have been unveiled by MasterCard executive Jorn Lambert, who spoke to Bank Innovation, explaining how each transaction will be secured.

Along with the cryptogram generated between a standard debit or credit card and a point of sale terminal, Apple Pay takes advantage of a token system that encrypts every step of the payment process. Tokenization is already built into the standard NFC specification, so what Apple is really doing is utilizing existing technology and further securing it with its own Touch ID fingerprint authorization system.

applepay
Every card added to Apple Pay (and located in Passbook) is assigned a token, which Apple calls a Dynamic Account Number. Each Dynamic Account Number is stored in the secure element of the iPhone and accompanied by a unique cryptogram for each transaction.

[Touch ID] authentication prompts the “secure element” to send the token and cryptogram to the merchant. The network decrypts the cryptogram and determines whether it is authentic or not. If it is deemed authentic, the network will pass it along to the issuer (i.e. the bank), which then decrypts the token. In other words, every party to the transaction decrypts something.

Once the issuer decrypts the token and determines that it is authentic, the issuer/bank authorizes the transaction. Money is then credited to the merchant and marked as an amount owed by the cardholder.

The token system essentially provides an extra layer of security to payments made through NFC, which, as mentioned earlier, allows merchants to pay a lower “card present” rate for NFC purchases. Merchants still pay the higher “card-not-present” rate when payments are made over Bluetooth LE rather than NFC, however, or when a purchase is made in-app using Apple Pay.

According to Lambert, Apple is not handling tokenization, instead leaving it up to credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. He describes Apple’s role as a “channel and not a party,” and Apple itself has confirmed that it won’t store any information about transactions conducted by customers.

Apple has plans to roll out Apple Pay beginning in October, and promises the program will work with more than 220,000 U.S. retailers including Walgreens, Macy’s, Nike, Bloomingdales, and more. Some stores like Walmart and Best Buy claim to have “opted out” of Apple Pay, but users should be able to make payments via the service at any location that has an NFC-capable point of sale system.

Many retailers are currently in the process of updating their point-of-sale hardware, as an upcoming change will see merchants that do not support EMV credit cards being liable for fraudulent, lost, and stolen cards. EMV credit cards, also known as “chip cards,” include integrated circuits to authenticate debit and credit card purchases. The updated point of sale systems with EMV card support being adopted by retailers also generally include NFC, which means Apple Pay may work even at stores that have not specifically chosen to support the service.

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Apple Pushes iCloud Photo Library Back to Beta as SMS Continuity Delayed to October

Though iCloud Photo Library was available during the iOS 8 beta testing period, Apple appears to have demoted it to beta status and removed it from the iOS 8 golden master, the software that will be distributed to the public next week.

Apple has also stripped mentions of iCloud Photo Library from its iCloud preview page, where it used to be prominently featured at the top of the site. Apple’s preview page now focuses on iCloud Drive, the new iCloud storage plans, Family Sharing, and iCloud Photo Sharing, with iCloud Photo Library getting no mention at all.

icloudphotolibrary
It is unclear why Apple has demoted iCloud Photo Library back to beta status and removed it from the golden master, but it is possible that the company has decided to push it back in light of the negative press iCloud has received in recent weeks due to the celebrity photo leak.

Along with iCloud Photo Library, it appears that Apple has also decided to delay the SMS Relay feature of Continuity until October as well (via iLounge). According to Apple’s iOS 8 press release from Tuesday, SMS Continuity will be added to iOS 8 in October, while iCloud Photo Library will be available as a beta during that same month.

Touted as one of the major features of iOS 8/OS X Yosemite, SMS Continuity lets Macs and iOS like iPads receive SMS text messages and phone calls through the iPhone.

Though it will be missing a few features, Apple has plans to release iOS 8 to the public on Wednesday, September 17, two days ahead of the September 19 release date of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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Buyer’s Guide: Deals on 2014 Retina MacBook Pro, Bolt Battery Charger, Dragon Dictate 4, and More

This week’s Buyer’s Guide has deals on the 2013/2014 Retina MacBook Pro, the 2013 MacBook Air, the Mac Pro, and several Apple accessories.

The deals on Macs aren’t as significant as they have been in past weeks, and with Apple’s back to school program over, prospective buyers may have to do some shopping around to get a good discount. Best Buy, however, is continuing to offer EDU customers $100 off all MacBooks and the iMac plus $50 off the iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina display.

Retina MacBook Pro

There are a few deals 2014 Retina MacBook Pro this week, including the 13-inch 2.6Ghz/8GB/256GB model, which available for $1,379 from Adorama and B&H Photo. The high-end 2.6Ghz/8GB/512GB 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is on sale for $1,699.99 from Best Buy, Amazon, Adorama, B&H, and MacMall, a savings of $100.

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There are also some deals on remaining 2013 Retina MacBook Pros. The 2.6Ghz/8GB/512GB 13-inch model is available for $1,549 from Adorama and B&H Photo. The 2.0Ghz/8GB/256GB 15-inch model is available for $1,599 Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo. The 2.0Ghz/16GB/512GB 15-inch model is available for $2,199 from Amazon, Adorama, and B&H Photo.

The non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro is also on sale for $999 from Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo.

Mac Pro

Stock configurations of Apple’s Mac Pro desktop computer are available at slightly discounted prices from several retailers this week. The 6-core 3.5Ghz/16GB/256GB machine can be purchased for $3,739.99 from Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo, while the 4-core 3.7Ghz/12GB/256GB machine for $2,839.99 from Best Buy, Adorama, and B&H Photo.

B&H and Adorama, as always, are a good choice for buyers who live outside of New York and New Jersey, as the sites only charge sales tax in those states.

MacBook Air

B&H Photo is continuing to offer rock bottom prices on remaining inventory of the 2013 MacBook Air. The 1.3Ghz/4GB/128GB 11-inch MacBook Air is available for $779, while the 1.3Ghz/4GB/256GB 11-inch MacBook Air is available for $889 and the 1.3Ghz/4GB/256GB 13-inch MacBook Air is available for $999.

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Apple Accessories

Fluxmob, which makes the small Bolt battery backup and wall charger accessories, is having a site-wide sale offering 20 percent off of products until 9/30 with the coupon code FALL20.

boltcharger
The Speck CandyShell case for the iPhone 5/5s is available from Groupon for $17.99, down from $34.95. Groupon is also offering the Mophie Juice Pack Helium Rechargeable 1,500 mAh battery case for the iPhone 5/5s for $49.99, a discount of $30.

The Apple Leather Smart Case for the iPad Air is available for $30 from DailySteals, a discount of $49. The LifeProof nüüd iPad Case for iPad 2/3/4 is on sale for $59 from Living Social. MegaMacs is offering Microsoft Office 2011 Home & Business Edition for Mac (product key, no discs) for $114, a savings of $60.

leathersmartcover
TextExpander 4 for Mac is available for $16.99 from StackSocial, a discount of $18 off of the regular $34.99 price. StackSocial is also offering Dragon Dictate Mac 4 for $99, a savings of $50.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

‘Incredible’ Response to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as Apple Sets Overnight Pre-Order Sales Record

Despite some significant hurdles that saw the U.S. Apple Online store remaining down until almost 3 AM Pacific Time and issues with ordering in the Apple Store app, it appears that Apple has set a new record for iPhone orders with last night’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders.

An Apple representative who spoke to Re/code mentioned that a new record had been set, but did not comment on the number of devices that were sold.

An Apple representative said that the overnight sales of the new iPhones set a record, though Apple did not say how many have been sold.

“Response to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been incredible with a record number of preorders overnight,” Apple told Re/code.

Apple’s statement follows a similar comment from AT&T executive Ralph de la Vega, who said “It’s amazing to see the volume” in reference to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus orders. De la Vega went on to say that demand for the phones is “better” than last year and the year prior.

iphone_6_iphone_6_plus
At the beginning of the pre-order period last night, users were having trouble getting devices ordered due to continual errors in the Apple Store app and issues with carrier websites. Apple’s own online store didn’t come up until after 2:45 AM Pacific Time, nearly three hours after pre-orders were available in the Apple Store.

Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus was in short supply and shipping estimates slipped to 7 to 10 days for all models before the online store was even up, shortly after slipping further to 3 to 4 weeks. The company does, however, appear to have ample supply of the iPhone 6 as many models continue to be available for delivery on 9/19.

Prospective buyers iPhone 6 Plus buyers who missed preorders can still potentially pick up a device on September 19 by waiting in line at an Apple Store.

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U2 Manager Discusses $100M ‘Songs of Innocence’ Marketing Deal and Future Plans With Apple

As part of its iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcement, Apple featured U2’s latest “Songs of Innocence” album, making it the company’s biggest album release ever by providing the title to 500 million iTunes customers for free. The album and its lead single “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” are the cornerstone of an upcoming marketing campaign by Apple that is worth an estimated $100 million, although the deal has received some criticism from users who do not wish to have the album added to their iTunes accounts and in some cases automatically downloaded to their devices.

But the deal is a significant one by any measure, and Billboard Magazine sat down with U2’s new manager Guy Oseary to talk about the deal and the band’s future plans with the Cupertino company.

cook_u2
In the Billboard interview, Oseary shot down criticism that the deal was disruptive to the music industry and detrimental to other artists, arguing that the release is a “big concept” and should serve to inspire other musicians to innovate in their own way.

Well first of all, when music becomes a piece of the conversation at an Apple event, that’s always a good thing. Two is, the power of music and the fact that it can actually be shared with 7 percent of the planet in one push of a button. That’s a pretty big concept. Any sort of innovation may inspire other people to do things that are innovative. We may see someone sitting with another manager, or another band going, “Hey, what can we do that’s interesting maybe with our lyrics or our videos or something interactive with the ticketing to our shows?”

Oseary also confirmed that the Apple-U2 deal is a “long-term relationship”, with the parties working together to promote innovation in music.

We’re working on other things as well with Apple that have to do with how music is heard and innovation, with [iTunes VP of content] Robert Kondrk leading that charge. There’s a lot of things still to come that are really interesting. The band really wants people to engage with albums, they want them to support the art form of artwork and lyrics and video content and just get into their music in a much different way than an MP3 file.

Focusing on the deal itself, Oseary stopped short of confirming that Jimmy Iovine played a role in negotiating the deal, saying only that the Beats co-founder and now Apple employee has long been “a source of support and guidance” for the band. Given Apple’s long-standing interest in music and its dominant position that has been threatened in recent years by subscription services, Iovine has been viewed as a key reason for the Apple-Beats deal for his extensive relationships within the music industry.

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Walmart and Best Buy Opt Out of ‘Apple Pay’ as Apple Leverages Required Point-of-Sale Upgrades

apple_watch_apple_payAt its “Apple Pay” introduction earlier this week, Apple outlined a host of partners for the mobile payments initiative, ranging from credit card companies to the banks that issue the cards to retailers representing over 220,000 retail locations in the United States. Questions have remained, however, about how willing other retailers will be to sign on to the program and how quickly those that do will be able to get up and running.

In the wake of Apple’s announcement, several major retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy were in fact quick to state that they do not plan to support Apple Pay, as noted by The Wall Street Journal

Best Buy and Wal-Mart are instead backing a retailer-owned mobile technology group called Merchant Customer Exchange, which also counts Target Corp. among its members.

MCX’s payment service requires only a software download and can be used on existing iPhones and Android devices, whereas Apple’s is only for the latest generation handset.

For those retailers considering joining Apple Pay, however, it appears that Apple has timed its rollout perfectly. As highlighted by Pando Daily, Apple is taking advantage of regulatory changes that essentially require merchants to deploy new payment hardware in their retail stores over the coming year. This mass upgrade by over nine million merchants is the result of an updated credit card liability policy adopted by major credit card companies.

As of October 2015, any merchants that do not support EMV credit cards – smart cards with integrated circuits that enable point of sale authentication and help prevent fraud – will be liable for the fraudulent use of counterfeit, lost, and stolen cards. [...]

These EMV cards and the resulting transactions are far more difficult to counterfeit than what Americans consider “standard” credit cards. While EMV is the norm around the world, only about 14 percent of US merchants support this technology today and very few consumers own credit cards incorporating these chips.

As a result of this change in credit card liability, merchants are upgrading their payment processing hardware to support EMV credit cards and other payment technology. With Apple now on board with NFC, a greater number of merchants who are in the middle of this decision-making process may choose NFC-capable POS hardware so they can process payments via Apple Pay.

Apple’s new Apple Pay service takes advantage of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, stored credit cards, and a secure NFC connection to authorize payments at retailers’ physical stores and in compatible apps. Both the iPhone 6 handset lineup and the Apple Watch will support the wireless payment method.

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