Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) mobile payment system, Apple Pay, is off to a tremendous start just months after launch. Numerous U.S. retailers and financial institutions have jumped onboard and Apple Pay has already gained more traction than rivals' e-wallets, including Google Wallet, which launched over three years ago. Apple is now looking for Apple Pay support across the pond.
According to The Telegraph, Apple is currently in talks with several major British banks over its "wave and pay" service. Although all the major banks realize it would be foolish not to participate, there are some points of contention in the negotiations. At least one unnamed institution is concerned with the amount of personal data Apple intends to collect.
Both AT&T and T-Mobile have negotiated a settlement with the FCC after charging customers for third-party message subscriptions. This practice is also known as "cramming," where carriers add unauthorized charges to a customer's bill for other companies. The charges are normally listed as something innocuous like a $1.99 "service fee" which causes them to go unnoticed on a customer's monthly bill. You may be entitled to a refund for bogus charges if you have ever received daily horoscopes, dieting tips, dating advise, etc. on your cell phone. Here's how to find out if you qualify for a refund from AT&T and T-Mobile:
AT&T agreed to pay $105 million to settle with the FCC. Some of this money will be refunded to customers who apply before May 1, 2015. You can visit this website and enter your email address or phone number to apply for a refund online.
Apple today updated its terms and conditions for App Store, iBooks, and iTunes purchases made in EU countries such as UK, France, Germany, etc.. The new TOS institutes a 14 day return policy on any apps, games, music or books purchased through Apple services on Mac and iOS devices.
If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code.
To meet the cancellation deadline, you must send your communication of cancellation before the 14-day period has expired.
Effects of cancellation: We will reimburse you no later than 14 days from the day on which we receive your cancellation notice. We will use the same means of payment as you used for the transaction, and you will not incur any fees for such reimbursement.
Exception to the right of cancellation: You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right.
AAPL Financial News Weekly Roundup: Demand for iPhone 6 Stronger than Ever, 2014 Stock Buybacks and More
After closing at its lowest point in months in the previous week ($106.75 on 12/16), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) share prices rallied a bit last week to close at $113.99 on the day after Christmas. The cause of the recent drop off is anyone's guess, but there are plenty of reasons to support its rally, including the continuing high demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
The current demand for Apple's flagship phones is actually stronger than ever, despite it being on the market for over three months. According to a recent survey by investment firm Piper Jaffray, 40% of 1,004 consumers said they were interested in purchasing the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. This compares to 33% in a similar survey conducted just before the iPhone 6 launch and 37% in a post-launch survey.
Action-comedy film The Interview is now available on iTunes for rental or purchase. The title, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, made headlines this year for ruffling the feathers of the North Korean leadership. The movie, which depicts a farcical assassination plot against Kim Jong-un prompted an attack on Sony Pictures' computer systems.
The data breach leaked unreleased films, internal memos and company email to the world. Threats against movie theaters curtailed the box office release of The Interview, however both official digital releases and bootlegs are now widely available. When it comes to the movie itself, iTunes users have rated the film with 4 out of 5 stars. The Interview can be rented or purchased on iTunes for $5.99 or $14.99 respectively.
With 2014 drawing to a close, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) last week released its annual top apps lists. The three categories, Top 10 Paid Apps 2014, Top 10 Free Apps 2014 and Top 10 Highest Grossing Apps 2014, were topped by Heads Up!, Facebook Messenger and Clash of Clans respectively. Nine of the top ten highest grossing apps were "freemium" games, meaning they are free but offer in-app purchases.
According to the results of a Piper Jaffray survey that were released last week, demand for the iPhone 6 is higher now than it was pre-launch. Of the 1,004 consumers surveyed in December, 40 percent indicated that they were interested in purchasing the new iPhone. A similar survey conducted pre-launch showed 33 percent interest.
First and foremost, the iPhone 6s mini is currently a rumor. According to AppleInsider, analyst Timothy Arcuri believes Apple may launch a new 4-inch iPhone alongside the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus next year. The device would be named the iPhone 6s mini, presumably to match the upcoming iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
The refresh of the smaller-screen iPhone would keep one-handed usability in the lineup, which Apple always highlighted when marketing the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c. One feature of the larger iPhones is Reachability, which uses software to make user interface elements reachable with one hand. The iPhone 5c would probably be replaced by the iPhone 6s mini next fall, but what kind of specifications can we expect on an updated 4-inch device?
The end of the year has arrived, and as usual Apple has released the top iPhone apps of 2014. Three categories include the most downloaded free apps, top paid apps, and the highest grossing apps of the past 12 months. Top billing in the free app list goes to Facebook Messenger, which separated messaging functionality from the main Facebook app. Both YouTube and Google Maps, which used to come pre-installed in earlier versions of iOS, also made the top 10 free apps.
The game Heads Up! beat out Minecraft - Pocket Edition for the top slot in paid apps. Cut the Rope 2 followed up on its predecessor with a showing in the top 10 as well. Finally, the top grossing category was lead by Clash of Clans. Like Clash of Clans, other popular titles such as Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga are free, but made the top grossing list thanks to in-app purchases. Here are the top 10 iPhone apps in each category:
Despite holiday shopping being in full swing and the high demand for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) supply appears to have caught up. According to AppleInsider, shipment time for the two devices has dropped to just one day as of last week. Additionally, the Retina 5K iMac ship time has dropped from one to two weeks to a couple of days.
Apple seeded iOS 8.2 beta 3 last Thursday. Though iOS 8.2 mostly deals with WatchKit and Apple Watch support, it also has added blood glucose tracking to the Health app. iOS 8.2 is expected to be released to the public at the same time as the Apple Watch launch, which will likely be sometime in February 2015.
Apple has seeded iOS 8.2 beta 3 a little over a week after releasing the second beta to developers. The third beta also arrives after Apple released iOS 8.1.2 to the public last week to fix a ringtone bug. While iOS 8.2 is mostly geared towards supporting Apple's WatchKit and soon to be released smartwatch, it will also reintroduce "support for blood glucose tracking through the iOS 8 Health app," according to 9to5Mac. The glucose tracking feature was disabled after some UK and Australian users reported issues while trying to manually enter the mmol/L (millimoles per liter) value used to measure blood glucose levels in some countries. The update also introduces descriptions of data points found in the Health app such as BAC, BMI and so on.
It has been a tough start for iOS 8 and the Health app. Apple had to release iOS 8.0.1 in September to fix a bug that was delaying developers from releasing HealthKit-enabled apps to the App Store. However, iOS 8.0.1 contained its own bug that caused some iPhone owners issues with their cellular data and Touch ID, prompting Apple to quickly release iOS 8.0.2 one day later.