Clear Geographic Split Shows iPhone 6 Plus Especially Popular With Asian Customers

Nov 20, 2014 - 4:02 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple's iPhone 6 continues to outsell the iPhone 6 Plus around the world, but the larger-sized phone is proving to be a significant hit in some markets, reports AppLovin in its latest November 2014 report.

According to AppLovin's analytics data, the iPhone 6 outsold the 6 Plus in an 80/20 ratio overall in the first 45 days of availability. While Europe, North America and Australia roughly follow this global sales distribution or lean slightly more heavily toward the iPhone 6, the trend changes in Asia, where the iPhone 6 Plus typically accounts for 35 percent or more of iPhone sales.

South Korea, home to rivals Samsung and LG, is the only Asian country studied with an iPhone 6 Plus adoption rate below 35 percent. The country has a lower 71/29 split, perhaps related to competition from Samsung's Galaxy Series and LG's G3 phone in the large-screen market or simply due to customer preference for other reasons.

The split between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may still be artificially constrained due to continuing shortages of the larger iPhone 6 Plus, but AppLovin's data offers an interesting glimpse of screen size preferences around the world. The ratio also varies significantly by data source, with a recent survey putting the U.S. ratio at 3:1 in favor of the iPhone 6 over the first four weeks of availability while AppLovin's data points to a 4:1 split.

As discussed by Apple's iPhone marketing chief Greg Joswiak at the Code Conference last month, the true ratio of demand won't be known until supply shortages are alleviated, but he did acknowledge that the ratio varies from country to country with Asian customers typically proving more likely to prefer larger screens, an observation supported by AppLovin's data.



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Apple reportedly opens new development office in Lund, Sweden

Nov 20, 2014 - 1:12 PM - by sparkyscott21

Following news of a few new office openings outside of Cupertino lately, Apple has reportedly moved into office space in Lund, Sweden recently as well. The report comes from news agency Rapidus, which confirmed with the building’s owner that Apple is indeed moving in.

“Anna Stenkil, from the property owner Vasakronan, confirms that Apple has moved in.

− It’s true that they are working here. I cannot tell you anything else, she says to Rapidus.”

The report claims a “development unit” from Apple moved in a few weeks ago and that currently the company has space for around 10 employees at the location.

While it’s unclear exactly what Apple will use the new space for, Rapidus notes that Swedish face recognition company Polar Rose and image analysis firm AlgoTrim are both based nearby. Apple acquired AlgoTrim in August 2013 and Polar Rose back in 2010, so it’s a possibility the new office will be housing talent from those acquisitions based in Sweden. Rapidus previously reported accurate news related to Apple including being the original source of the AlgoTrim acquisition last year.

The news follows Apple opening a new engineering office in Seattle alongside the acquisition of Union Bay Networks. Another report from earlier this month claimed Apple was opening a new office in Cambridge in order to tap academic research expertise, while Apple also has a research center in Israel that was opened following its purchase of Anobit in 2011.

Apple has traditionally kept most of its engineering teams at its home base in Cupertino where it’s currently building its new campus that will house around 12,000 employees by the end of 2016. It does, however, appear to be open to more of a satellite model for offices as it continues to grow and acquire more talent from around the globe.



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Apple patents smoke detectors in iDevices that can call 911, activate sprinklers more

Nov 20, 2014 - 1:10 PM - by sparkyscott21

The Nest smoke detector may look decidedly old-fashioned if one Apple patent ever makes it into production. Apple has patented the idea of embedding smoke detectors into “electronic devices” and using those devices to provide a comprehensive response to a fire.

In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action. The electronic device may transmit alerts to nearby electronic devices and to remote electronic devices such as electronic devices at emergency services facilities. Alerts may contain maps and graphical representations of buildings in which smoke has been detected. Motion detectors and other sensors and circuitry may be used in determining whether electronic devices are being used by users and may be used in determining where the electronic devices are located. Alerts may contain information on the location of detected smoke and building occupants.

In other words, your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac could detect smoke, alert you, alert other devices within range, activate sprinklers, call emergency services and use the fact that an iDevice is moving or in use to tell fire crews where in the building you and your family members are …

The patent drawings show a laptop, tablet, phone and watch, suggesting that Apple is exploring the idea of embedding the smoke detectors into its full product range.

Illustrations of alerts sent to emergency responders show both text alerts and visual images which would display the location of both smoke and known building occupants.

As ever, Apple’s policy of saying ‘no’ a thousand times for every ‘yes’ means that most of the things it patents never see the light of day, but this is one concept we’re hoping is sitting on Tim Cook’s desk right now.



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Foxconn investing $2.6B into new display factory that will exclusively supply Apple

Nov 20, 2014 - 1:05 PM - by sparkyscott21

Foxconn's Innolux will build a new $2.6 billion sixth-generation plant in Southern Taiwan to supply displays exclusively to Apple, after the iPhone maker made an "urgent" request, it was announced on Thursday.

The new plant from Foxconn-owned Innolux Corp. will begin mass production of panels exclusively for Apple by the end of 2015, according to a representative for the company who spoke with Bloomberg. Equipment installation is reportedly set to begin next month after Innolux received "an urgent request for exclusive capacity," the report said.

Foxconn Technology Group expects to spend $2.6 billion over the next two years on the factory, which will employ some 2,300 people at the Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan.

Little else about the arrangement, including display types or even what devices Foxconn might be building screens for, is known. But in recent years, reports have claimed that Innolux Corp. has been gradually squeezing out longtime LCD supplier Samsung from Apple's supply chain.

Earlier this year, it was said that Apple tapped Innolux to supply the 4.7-inch Retina displays used in Apple's current iPhone 6. Other rumored LCD suppliers are LG Display and Japan Display.

Innolux is Taiwan's largest maker of LCD screens, and Apple uses LCD technology on most of its products, including the iPhone, iPad, its MacBooks and the iMac.

In a new direction, the company will use power sipping AMOLED technology for its upcoming Apple Watch, but those tiny wrist-worn displays are expected to cost considerably more per pixel than the LCD screens used on other Apple devices.



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Apple reportedly bundling Beats Music with iOS next year

Nov 19, 2014 - 1:14 PM - by sparkyscott21

According to a new report from the Financial Times, Apple is expected to bundle the Beats Music streaming service with an upcoming version of iOS sometime next year.

Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming.

The report comes amid rumors that Apple is planning to rebrand the Beats Music subscription service for a potential relaunch around February.

Apple, of course, acquired the Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre-founded subscription music service alongside the Beats headphones and speaker line earlier this year as part of a $3 billion acquisition.
Since the acquisition officially closed at the end of July, Apple has since promoted the Beats Music app for iPhone and iPad on the App Store through a prompt for new customers alongside its collection of other apps.

The Beats Music service has also been made available as a pre-installed channel on Apple TV since mid-September.

Recent reports has claimed that Apple is negotiating with music labels to cut streaming music fees as it actively works to lower the subscription cost to $5/month from it’s current $10/month rate.

The Financial Times report adds the the bundled version of the Beats Music will likely exist under the iTunes brand.



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Apple to repurpose Mesa, Ariz. sapphire plant after GT Advanced vacates

Nov 19, 2014 - 1:01 PM - by sparkyscott21

Adding background to Apple's vow to keep as many jobs as possible at its Mesa, Ariz., sapphire plant leased to GT Advanced, a new report says the facility will be repurposed, suggesting some current employees may be able to continue work at the location.

Since Apple sapphire partner GT Advanced filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, there has been no clear sign as to what Apple plans to do with its Mesa, Ariz., plant or its local staff once current operations cease.

On Tuesday, Mesa City manager Christopher Brady shed some light on the matter, at least as it pertains to the 1.3 million-square-foot structure, reports Bloomberg.

"They've indicated their commitment to us: They want to repurpose that building and use it again," Brady said about Apple's plans.

Built off of a former solar panel factory, Apple's Mesa plant was announced last year by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who touted Apple's presence as a major economic driver for the state. The company finished the build this summer, complete with renewable energy power supply agreements and its own eco-friendly power station.

AppleInsider reported in March that Apple was planning to expand beyond the existing structure and into an adjacent building and plot of land, though plans have expectedly been put on hold. The area is ripe for investment, however, especially given the up to 70 percent property tax break allowed thanks to its designation as a foreign trade zone.

Mesa Mayor John Giles also voiced support for Apple's continued interest in Arizona, saying he plans to visit the company's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., in the near future.

"Apple could've invested in a facility literally anywhere in the world," Mayor Giles said. "There's a reason they came here, and none of those reasons have changed."

Apple leased the facility to GT Advanced as part of a $578 million contract for sapphire material manufacturing. The deal went sour after GT was unable to meet what it characterized as "oppressive and burdensome" demands.

Shortly after its bankruptcy announcement, GT said it would axe more than 700 jobs from the Mesa project. Apple subsequently issued a public statement saying it is "focused on preserving jobs in Arizona following GT's surprising decision" and plans to "work with state and local officials" during the transition period. So far, there have been no official notices as to how Apple intends to handle the situation.



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