Apple to Spend $1 Billion on TV Programming: Report

The potential move of Apple into streaming video could reshape an industry which is already feeling the impact from new players like Netflix.

While Apple has not revealed any plans publicly, a report that the iPhone maker could spend a billion dollars on its own shows suggested more disruption for a sector seeing rapid changes.

The move by deep-pocketed Apple would challenge entrenched services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime, which have been increasingly challenging the established media-entertainment world of Hollywood.

Apple declined to comment on a Wall Street journal report on its billion-dollar budget for new content.

Analysts consider original, exclusive content imperative for fielding a viable video streaming service, something that Apple has yet to do despite being early to market with an Apple TV set-top box linked to the Internet.

“If Apple wants to stay relevant they have to go into the subscription streaming space, and that means original content,” said Jackdaw Research chief analyst Jan Dawson.

Analyst Paul Verna at eMarketer said video fits nicely into Apple’s business strategy: “Content is a vital missing link that could help Apple complete a powerful ecosystem of programming, devices and services,” he said.

Global streaming television king Netflix is expected to spend about $7 billion this year on content, with slightly less than half of that money going to making its shows it can distribute how and where it wishes.

‘Kick-Ass’
Netflix recently ordered a new animated adult comedy from The Simpsons mastermind Matt Groening.

The Silicon Valley-based company is also buying comic book publisher Millarworld, creator of popular series including Kick-Ass and Kingsman.

Netflix said in a statement the deal was part of the company’s effort “to work directly with prolific and skilled creators and to acquire intellectual property and ownership of stories featuring compelling characters and timeless, interwoven fictional worlds.”

Netflix describes itself as the world’s leading internet television network, with 104 million members in more than 190 countries.

During a recent quarterly earnings call, Amazon executives once again vowed to ramp spending on original shows this year as the internet giant chases after Netflix with is Prime service.

While Amazon doesn’t reveal exact figures, its budget for shows is said to be in the billions of dollars.

Google continues to make a priority of content for YouTube, which features a subscription service along with free shared video posts.

Facebook too is rolling out a new video service offering professionally produced shows in a challenge to rivals such as YouTube, and potentially to streaming providers like Netflix.

The Facebook service called Watch will include a range of shows, from reality to comedy to live sports. Facebook has funded some of the creators to get the service going.

Apple to Spend $1 Billion on TV Programming: ReportMoney to burn
These moves comes as viewers in the US and other markets increasingly turn to on-demand internet platforms instead of “linear” television.

Hollywood powerhouse Walt Disney Company this month announced plans to launch a “multi-sport” streaming service under its ESPN brand in early 2018 and a Disney branded direct-to-consumer service in 2019.

HBO and CBS also have standalone streaming options.

Entering a market late and succeeding would be nothing new for Apple, Dawson said while discussing unconfirmed talk of the company investing in original shows.

An Apple Music service launched in a streaming radio market with dominant players, but is now second only to Spotify, the analyst noted.

Apple could get the same kind of results in streaming video, not overtaking Netflix over the short term but quickly becoming a force to be reconned with in the market, Dawson said.

While Apple has about a quarter of a trillion dollars in cash stockpiled, providing ample cash to spend on original content, such a move could distract it from the devices on which the company’s fortune rests, according to analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group.

Entertainment is also a very different industry than making iPhones, and comes with film talent to manage and other challenges likely new to Apple, Enderle said.

“Entertainment is no cheap date; it is a very hands-on business,” Enderle said.

“I think that because Apple is having so much difficulty coming up with innovation in their core area, they are starting to panic and come up with ‘Hail Mary’ passes in other areas.”

iOS 11 Beta Allows Users to Quickly Disable Touch ID Easily to Improve Privacy

User privacy is an important issue for Apple and the company has previously gone to great lengths to prove this thing. With iOS 11, the Cupertino-based company has introduced a new feature that allows users to quickly disable Touch ID by simply tapping the power button five times, in situations where they can be physically forced to unlock their device using their fingerprint.

As pointed out in a report by The Verge, some users have discovered that when you quickly tap the power button five times on a device that is currently running iOS 11 public beta, the option to call emergency call numbers is presented as usual but the system automatically disables Touch ID as well. This means that the users are required to enter the passcode before they can start using Touch ID again. It’s being called a ‘cop button’, after cases where Michigan police 3D-printed a fingerprint to get access to a locked iPhone, The Verge notes.

iOS 11 Beta Allows Users to Quickly Disable Touch ID Easily to Improve PrivacyFor better perspective, the system used to earlier disable the Touch ID temporarily when an iOS device restarted or when you didn’t place the finger correctly on the device few times consecutively. You already have the option to disable the Touch ID entirely from the system settings but doing this can make things inconvenient for the user. The new feature ensures that the Touch ID is temporarily disabled only when user decides to disable it in emergency situations. As it requires five quick taps, it is highly unlikely that users can accidentally disable the Touch ID as well.

Apple has been heavily tipped to introduce 3D facial recognition feature in its upcoming iPhone models this year and if this turns out to be true, the new feature will provide users with additional privacy even if they are physically forced by someone to unlock the device.

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Red 128GB Variant Available at a Discount on Amazon, Flipkart

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Red 128GB Variant Available at a Discount on Amazon, FlipkartiPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Red Special Edition models were announced by Apple last month, and pre-orders went live in India just last week. Now, both the iPhone 7 Red 128GB and iPhone 7 Plus Red 128GB variants are available on Amazon India and Flipkart with a flat Rs. 4,000 discount, and are priced at Rs. 66,000 and Rs. 78,000, respectively.

The 128GB iPhone 7 Red was launched with a price tag of Rs. 70,000 while the iPhone 7 Plus Red 128GB was launched at a price of Rs. 82,000. On the first day of sale, these two variants have received limited period discount. There is also an exchange offer listed on Amazon India that offers a discount of up to Rs. 8,550 depending on the unit exchanged. You can opt for either the discount on exchange or the flat Rs. 4,000 discount, but can’t avail both the offers together

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 PlusApple iPhone 7 Plus smartphone was launched in September 2016. The phone comes with a 5.50-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 401 pixels per inch. Apple iPhone 7 Plus price in India starts from Rs. 56,999.

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is powered by quad-core Apple A10 Fusion processor and it comes with 3GB of RAM. The phone packs 32GB of internal storage cannot be expanded. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus packs a 12-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 7-megapixel front shooter for selfies.

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus runs iOS 10 and is powered by a 2900mAh non removable battery. It measures 158.20 x 77.90 x 7.30 (height x width x thickness) and weigh 188.00 grams.

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is a single SIM (GSM) smartphone that accepts a Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Compass Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope and Barometer

Apple 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi 32GB Rose Gold

Image result for Apple 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi 32GB Rose Gold

The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro has the most advanced display yet, equipped with New iSight and FaceTime HD cameras. Weighing less than 1 pound and only 6.1 mm thin, you can take it wherever you go.

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro brings the breakthrough features of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to the most popular iPad size. Powered by the A9x chip and featuring the brightest, most advanced Retina display, it also has immersive four speaker audio, 12MP iSight and 5MP FaceTime HD cameras, Touch ID, and ultrafast wireless connectivity. Combined with Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard, iPad Pro becomes even more capable, portable, and versatile.

  • 9.7-inch Retina display has 2048 X 1536 resolution with 3.1 million pixels and delivers our best display technology in a thin and light design
  • Delivers 25% greater color saturation, 40% less reflectivity, and is 25% brighter than iPad Air 2
  • True Tone display adjusts intensity and color temperature to the ambient lighting for a more comfortable viewing experience
  • Most advanced chip in any iOS device, delivering performance rivaling personal computers
  • With up to 1.7 times the CPU and graphics performance of the A8X chip in iPad Air 2, the A9X chip delivers incredible responsiveness in apps and games, and still delivers 10-hour battery life
  • 12MP iSight Camera with True Tone flash captures stunning 4K video, Live Photos and up to 63MP Panoramas
  • 5MP FaceTime HD camera with Retina Flash lets you capture gorgeous selfies and clear video calls
  • 6.1 mm thin and weighs less than 1 pound
  • 802.11 ac Wi-Fi with MIMO delivers 866 Mbps throughput
  • Touch ID enabled, for a fast, easy, and secure way to unlock your iPad and log into apps using your fingerprint
  • 32 GB Memory
  • Night Shift reduces blue light emitting from the display at night, so iPad is easier on your eyes
  • Over 1 million apps designed specifically for iPad– for productivity, creativity, gaming, travel, photos and more

Apple iPad Air 2 with WiFi 64GB, Space Gray

Image result for Apple iPad Air 2 with WiFi 64GB, Space Gray

The thinnest iPad ever is also the most capable. It is loaded with advanced technologies, including the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

At just 6.1mm, the thinnest iPad ever is also the most capable. It has a re-engineered 9.7-inch Retina display, the revolutionary Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a powerful A8X chip with 64-bit architecture, a new iSight camera, an improved FaceTime HD camera, faster wireless, iOS 8, iCloud, and up to 10 hours of battery life.1 It also comes with great apps for productivity and creativity. And there are many more apps available in the App Store.

  • 9.7-inch Retina display (diagonal)
  • A8X chip
  • 8MP iSight camera
  • FaceTime HD camera
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life1
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Faster LTE2
  • Faster LTE2

1Battery life varies by use and configuration. See www.apple.com/batteries for more information.
2 Data plan required. LTE is available in select markets and through select carriers. Speeds will vary based on site conditions. For details on LTE support, contact your carrier and see www.apple.com/ipad/LTE

Apple plans to invest $500 million for new research centers in China

Apple is trying to tap into local talent by building new research centers around the world. As spotted by MacRumors, the company just announced on its Chinese website that it is going to build two new R&D centers in Shanghai and Suzhou.

This is going to be a significant investment as Apple plans to spend 3.5 billion yuan, or a little bit more than $500 million. The company already announced research centers in Beijing and Shenzhen, so there will be four centers in China in total. Apple also has teams in France, Israel, the U.K., Japan and Sweden.

Apple said that some of those engineers will work on supply chain improvements. Most of Apple’s products are manufactured in China. And some of the best electronics engineers in the world who can help you ship tens of millions of devices a year also live in China.

It could be easier to work on proprietary Chinese protocols with a local team in China as well. Apple needs to make sure that its devices work on all Chinese networks.

 So it seems logical that Apple would go beyond partnering with local firms in China by creating its own research centers. This way, Apple has a foot on the ground and gets the best of both worlds.

As a side effect, Apple shows that it is willing to invest in the Chinese economy. It’s a great way to convince the Chinese government that you deserve favors.

Apple already has many different stores in China. Apple is also the fourth smartphone maker in China behind Oppo, Huawei and Vivo. China is a key market for Apple, and today’s new research centers prove that once again.

Apple Claims iOS 10.2.1 Has Significantly Reduced Unexpected iPhone Shutdowns

Apple has claimed that iOS 10.2.1, which was released by the company last month, has significantly reduced the unexpected shutdowns that were experienced by some iPhone users. As per the company’s claims, the unexpected shutdowns have been reduced by up to 80 percent on iPhone 6s devices and by up to 70 percent on iPhone 6 models.

Apple Claims iOS 10.2.1 Has Significantly Reduced Unexpected iPhone Shutdowns

With its software update, Apple has claimed to have largely fixed the issue where the devices would shut down unexpectedly and will require charging ports to power back on, as per statement provided to TechCrunch. As per the company, over half of the active iOS devices have already upgraded to iOS 10.2.1.

“With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50 percent of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we’ve received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we’re seeing a more than 80 percent reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70 percent reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down,” Apple said in a statement to TechCrunch.

Even though the company says that the update has largely fixed the issue for most users, it has still not eliminated it altogether. This is why the company has now added the ability for the devices to restart without being connected to power after shutting down unexpectedly, as per the statement.

“It is important to note that these unexpected shutdowns are not a safety issue, but we understand it can be an inconvenience and wanted to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a customer has any issues with their device they can contact AppleCare,” the company added.

Notably, this is not the same shutdown issue that was reported by some iPhone 6s users last year when the Cupertino-based company had to offer free battery replacement program for the affected devices. Despite not completely solving the issue, the update is likely to get rid of the frustration for a majority of users that can be caused due to an unexpected shutdown of their iPhone.

Apple Unveils Top 5 Bestselling Holiday Movies of All-Time on iTunes

Apple has listed top five grossing movies of all time on iTunes in the US with Elf, starring Will Ferrell as ‘Buddy the Elf’, as the all-time best-selling holiday movie.

Apple Unveils Top 5 Bestselling Holiday Movies of All-Time on iTunesIn the list that was released on Wednesday on company’s website, 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation figures in the second place. The movie stars Chevy Chase as Clark W. Griswold.

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch, and Home Alone, starring Macaulay Culkin and directed by Chris Columbus, figure on number three and four respectively.

The Polar Express starring Tom Hanks in multiple roles is on the fifth number in the Apple’s top five grossing holiday movies on iTunes. The movie is directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Apple said that users can ask Siri – on iPhone or iPad or on Apple TV using the Siri remote – to play these holiday favourites or other popular holiday titles of this season, including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Night Before, A Christmas Story, and others. Users can also gift iTunes movies to friends and family.

Ealier this month, Apple had detailed the top apps, games, books, movies, TV shows, and songs of the year 2016, based off data from the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBooks Store. In the US, the top movie of the year was Deadpool, while the TV show was American Crime Story.

Apple Is Said to Plan Improved Cloud Services by Unifying Teams

Apple Is Said to Plan Improved Cloud Services by Unifying TeamsApple Inc. plans to unify its separate Internet services groups into a single campus to better compete with Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. in the cloud, according to people familiar with the plans.

Apple cloud services teams run by executive Eddy Cue, including Siri, Maps, iCloud, Apple Pay, Apple News and parts of iTunes and Apple Music, will move together into the company’s existing Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California, the people said. Currently, most Apple services are developed separately from each other in office parks rented out in other parts of Cupertino and Sunnyvale, California.

The current structure contributes to software bugs and slow product development, the people said. Bringing the teams together at a single, dedicated campus is designed to improve growth of the services business and fight competition from Google and Amazon, the people added. They did not want to be identified talking about private Apple plans. Apple declined to comment.

As iPhone growth slows and Apple goes behind the scenes to develop new hardware, the services business has been a bright spot. It grew almost 20 percent in the third quarter and may soon pass the Mac and iPad as Apple’s second-largest revenue source. Still, Apple’s cloud services have been criticized by users because of technical issues and a lack of new features. The company also stumbled in 2008 with MobileMe and in 2012 with Maps.

Cloud Space
Space for the cloud teams at the current headquarters will begin to open as Apple inches toward the launch of Apple Campus 2, a futuristic, spherical structure with multiple floors of open work space. Apple will begin moving employees there in 2017, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in March. Apple broke ground on the new campus in 2013, following a well-documented announcement by company co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011.

While many Apple executives want to relocate their teams to the new campus, Cue thinks unifying at the old campus is a suitable way to improve his organization, one of the people said.

A committee of Apple managers is working on the plan to reorganize Apple across its current and future locations. Recently that plan has changed, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Apple originally expected up to 13,000 employees at the new campus. Now that number will increase by thousands and Apple is adjusting internal office space accordingly, the person said.
The new building features open floor plans and few traditional offices. While some of Apple’s senior vice presidents are expected to see their offices move over to the new campus – less than a five minute drive from the current headquarters – management must be at a vice president level or above to get a formal office, one of the people said. Previous plans included office space for senior directors, who report to vice presidents.

The new campus will be made up of bench seating, long work tables, and open cubicle spaces, potentially irking employees used to quiet office environments, two people briefed on the new campus’s plans said.

Apple’s Pie
Apple is also reorganizing its cloud computing resources to bolster its services business. The company is moving its infrastructure – things like software to process Siri queries and Apple Music downloads – onto a single, Apple-made system, according to people familiar with the matter. Code-named Pie, the platform gives Apple more control and may speed up load times.

Apple has begun moving over parts of Siri, the iTunes Store, and Apple News to the new platform, one of the people said. Apple plans to move other services, including Maps, to its new system over the next few years. Apple has also developed an internal photo storage system dubbed McQueen to gradually end its reliance on Google and Amazon servers, the people said.

The company recently indicated it is taking the cloud more seriously by hiring former Time Warner Cable executive Peter Stern as a vice president leading cloud services.