Apple and IBM first joined forces in July, when they announced their partnership in an effort to "transform enterprise mobility" by building and expanding industry specific iOS applications and supporting cloud services.
Described by Bridget van Kralingen, SVP of IBM World Business Services, the collaboration "aims directly at the new quest of business—smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement, [and] combines IBM’s industry expertise and unmatched position in enterprise computing, with Apple’s legendary user experience and excellence in product design to lift the performance of a new generation of business professionals.”
Apple officially released iOS 8.1.1 last week. The update improves performance on older hardware like the iPhone 4s and iPad 2, but it also patches some of the exploits used by Pangu's jailbreak.
Pangu, however, is working on an iOS 8.1.1 jailbreak, and currently has one that works on 30-pin devices (which predates the lightning connector). The team demoed it on an iPad 3.
With Black Friday just two weeks away, many retailers last week started announcing holiday shopping deals on Apple products. Walmart, Best Buy, Staples and Target, among others, will be offering discounts on select iPhone and iPad models, as well as Beats products for the biggest shopping day of the year. Aside from discounts, many of the chains will also offer rebates in the form of gift cards.
According to a Thursday report from the Wall Street Journal, the Department of Justice has had a program in place since 2007 that uses fake cell phone towers to locate people. The fake towers are actually Boeing-made devices know as "dirtboxes" that are mounted on small aircraft. By flying around and picking up a signal from the target's cell phone, the target's location can quickly be triangulated. According to the DoJ, non-target signals are "let go."
The biggest news of last week (well actually the previous Friday) was Pangu's release of a jailbreak for iOS 8. If you had a jailbroken iOS 7 iPhone or iPad, now you can get back all of your favorite tweaks, as it is fully integrated with Cydia as of Thursday. If you plan to jailbreak, now is the time, as Apple released iOS 8.1.1 beta on Monday, which includes a patch that blocks the jailbreak.
A mysterious Apple webcrawler was discovered last week by developer Jan Moesson. The bot can be traced back to October 15th, and it seems to only request HTML pages. Its purpose is currently unknown, but there has been speculation that it has to do with improving Spotlight.
Last Thursday, brand consulting firm Interbrand released its annual list of the world's most valuable brands, and for the second consecutive year, Apple topped it. The list valued the Apple brand at $118.9 billion, 21% more than it was valued last year. With a value of $107.4 billion, fellow tech giant Google was the only other brand to be valued over $100 billion. Coca Cola, IBM and Microsoft rounded out the top five.
Apple also received some noteworthy praise in the form of a letter from billionaire investor Carl Icahn to CEO Tim Cook. Titled "Sale: Apple Shares at Half Price," the note urges Apple to buy back more of its shares at a faster pace. Icahn believes Apple shares are currently trading at about half their value. By his estimates, Apple shares should currently be worth $203 a share.
There weren't many notable Apple headlines last week, but one that stuck out was Apple's scheduling of an October 16th media event, to be held at the company's Cupertino campus Town Hall Auditorium.
It is widely expected that the next generation iPad Air (iPad Air 2?) will be announced. It will almost certainly be powered by the A8 processor found in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and it will likely have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Rumor has it that it will also be available in gold, like the new iPhones. Apple will also introduce a 27 inch Retina display iMac, and, though there has been little talk of it, possibly the next generation iPad mini. OS X Yosemite will likely launch on that Thursday as well.
Apple suffered a pair of black eyes last week when first, "Bendgate" made its way into tech headlines, and second, when it released a problematic iOS 8 update. While neither are serious problems, negative publicity is never a good thing.
Rumors of iPhone 6's bending began to emerge last Tuesday. Anecdotal evidence suggested that keeping an iPhone 6 or, especially, an iPhone 6 Plus in a pocket (front or back) would put it at risk of bending. This is really not a surprise, considering the new handsets are 6.9 and 7.1 mm thick, as compared to the 7.6 mm iPhone 5. Also both handsets are longer than their predecessor, giving them more leverage for
Apple Weekly News Roundup: iPhone 6 Event Announced, More Security for iCloud, iWatch Details and More
Much of the news over the past week was about Apple's big event this coming Tuesday, September 9th. Apple announced on Thursday that the event would be streamed live on Apple.com. Official invitations were sent out the previous Thursday. The iPhone 6 will definitely be unveiled, and it is almost certain at this point that the company's wearable device (popularly, but unofficially, dubbed "iWatch") will make its debut as well. The event will take place at the Flint Center for Performing Arts, which has about four times the capacity of Apple's traditional venue, the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
In addition to the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and iWatch, many analysts believe the next generation iPad Air will be announced as well. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes it will debut next week and will feature an A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor and an improved camera. You also may be able to get it with a gold chassis.
Apple today published a press release addressing the massive celebrity photo leak that broke the internet over Labor Day weekend. In case you've been living under a rock, an unidentified person published private photos of several high profile celebrities, like Jennifer Lawrence, to an infamous image board that we will not name. Several reports suggested that the hacker may have acquired the images through a security flaw found in Apple's iCloud or Find My iPhone services, but today Apple confirmed that there was no breach in any of its systems. Instead Apple said the celebrities were victim of a " targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions."
"We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."