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."
With its Beats Electronics and Beats Music acquisition recently approved by the European Commission, Apple plans to further bolster its streaming radio services by purchasing the news / podcast app Swell, according to Re/code. The deal worth $30 million will nab Apple the app which carries news from NPR, ABC, ESPN, BBC, CBC, TED and more. The Swell app will also be pulled from the App Store sometime this week.
Apple bought Beats Electronics, along with the Beats Music for $3 billion back in May. Apple plans to offer Beats Music as its own separate service instead of incorporating it into its own upstart iTunes Radio. The Beats Music app is still available on the App Store for free, but it requires a $10 monthly subscription fee to access its features. iTunes Radio will remain Apple's free music streaming option through the stock Music app available on all iOS devices.
On Tuesday Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced that it will be joining technology and consulting giant, IBM, in an effort to "transform enterprise mobility." In other words, their goal is to improve and expand upon industry specific iOS applications to help companies "achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction—faster and easier than ever before." The partnership combines Apple's consumer experience, hardware and software development expertise and developer platform with IBM's big data and analytics capabilities, as well as its huge number of technology consultants and software engineers.
The enterprise will be known as "IBM MobileFirst for iOS" and, as part of the agreement, IBM will begin to sell iPads and iPhones with industry specific solutions. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, "iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today... For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity
Apple last week announced that it would begin replacing the sleep/wake button mechanism on all iPhone 5 models that were manufactured through March 2013. Customers with a faulty sleep/wake button can either bring in or mail their device to an Apple Repair Center and have it fixed free of charge in approximately 4-6 days, or trade it in for an extra $80 of in-store credit, according to 9to5Mac.
According to a retail store memo issued to employees, customers can opt to trade-in their broken iPhone 5 for $350 instead of waiting up to 6 days for it to be repaired. $350 is $80 more than the normal non-affected device trade-in value. To take advantage of the deal, your iPhone 5 must exhibit the known sleep-wake issue and have a qualifying serial number. The device must also have no other problems such as a cracked display or other damage.
Apple is celebrating Earth Day by launching a revamped reuse and recycling program for used electronics. The company is also highlighting its environmental focus in a new film titled Better. While the film mostly shows off Apple's large-scale solar arrays, the expanded recycling program continues to divert used electronics from landfills worldwide.
The recycling program is divided into two parts. The iPod and Mobile Phone Recycling Program will accept used iPods and any manufacturer's mobile phone free of charge. Bringing an iPod to any Apple store for recycling qualifies the customer for 10 percent off the purchase of a new iPod. Apple will also pay for packaging and shipping for those who mail the iPod or mobile phone out for recycling.
Apple updated its Retail Store Purchase Policy on March 12, 2014. The policy for iPhone returns now reads: "You may return your undamaged iPhone with its included accessories within 14 days of purchase for a full refund."
Customers who return their iPhone within the two-week time period will receive an exchange or full refund based on the method (cash, credit card) they used for the original transaction.
Reuters has reported that Megafon, Russia's second biggest mobile phone operator, has signed an agreement with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) guaranteeing it will purchase 750,000 iPhones over the next three years.
According to Reuters, the agreement was originally struck in January between Megafon and Apple's Russian subsidiary, though details were not released until this week. In addition to purchasing the 750,000 iPhones, Megafon committed to
comScore Inc., a leading digital measurements and analytics firm, today released its MobilLens and Mobile Metrix data for the last quarter of 2013, ending January. The data show top smartphone manufacturers, top mobile platforms, top apps and top properties.
According to comScore's data, smartphone owner ship increased by 7% during the last quarter, up to 159.8 million people. Smartphones accounted for 66.8% of all phones. Apple once again led the pack as the top smartphone OEM (original equipment manufacturer) with 41.6% of all subscribers, up 1% since October. Top Apple rival, Samsung, was second with 26.7%, and LG, Motorola and HTC were distant followers with 6.9%, 6.4% and 5.4% respectively.
Google's Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 51.7% market share, which was .5% lower than in October. Apple came in second with 41.6%, again a 1% increase. Microsoft, Blackberry and Symbian filled in the rest with 3.2%, 3.1% and
In a note to investors on Monday, Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt indicated that although Apple's dominance in the mobile phone market increased even further, taking a whopping 87.4% of the total industry profits, the growth of the market itself is markedly slowing down.
According to the report, Apple took 87.4% of the profits while Samsung claimed 32.2%. The fact that so many other vendors in the industry lost money allowed Apple and Samsung to account for over 100% of the industry's earnings in the Q4 2013. Apple and Samsung accounted for 77.8% and 26.1% of the mobile phone industry's profits in Q4 of the previous year. Although these two companies