Apple Finally Agrees to Buy Beats Music for $3B

Several weeks of rumor, anticipation and speculation finally came to a close today when Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) formally announced in a press release that it will indeed acquire Beats Electronics, along with the Beats Music subscription service, for $3 billion.

Beats by Dr. Dre

As part of the deal, Beats co-founders, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine will join the team in Cupertino in as yet undisclosed roles. According to Iovine, "I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple... The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is

Banners Up for WWDC, Live Stream Coming Monday

Apple's next keynote event will take place on Monday, June 2 at 10am Pacific time. Expectations of what the company plans to reveal have ranged from iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 to new Macs and even an iWatch. While nothing has been confirmed, anyone looking to watch the event can see it live streaming on iOS devices, Macs and PCs.

WWDC iOS 8 keynote

Leaks of iOS 8 screen shots have pointed towards some interesting possibilities, such as a Healthbook app and a mobile version of TextEdit coming to iPhones. While the iPhone 6 is not expected to make its debut at WWDC, the device could launch as early as September, which means another keynote will be coming soon.

Foxconn to Manufacture 4.7" and 5.5" iPhone 6

With the iPhone 6 launch date approaching, likely around mid to late September, Apple is getting its supply chain in order. According to Taiwanese electronics newspaper, DigiTimes, the Cupertino giant will employ Taiwanese manufacturing company Foxconn Electronics to handle the bulk of production.

iphone 6 mockup rendering

The report says that Foxconn will be responsible for 70% of all 4.7" models in 2014 and 2015, while Pegatron Corporation, also headquartered in Taiwan, will handle the other 30%. Manufacture of 4" models (iPhone 5) will be outsourced to

iPhone 6 Backlight Panel Photos Leaked

More alleged iPhone 6 parts have surfaced on China's version of Twitter. A Weibo user posted several photos of what appears to be the next generation display backlight. According to the design of the leaked backlight matches current parts from the iPhone 5s, except for one thing.

iPhone 6 backlight leak

The ribbon cable position and connector have been updated, indicating changes to the part. While the original poster claims the backlight is indeed 4.7 inches diagonal, the origin and size of the part could not be independently confirmed. Assuming the backlight is real, production of the larger iPhone 6 handset must be in full swing.

Refunded iOS Apps No Longer Updatable

Getting a refund for an app purchase that didn't work out? If the refund is granted, don't expect support for any copies that remain installed. Until recently, App Store customers who received a refund for a particular app could still download updates and even reinstall the app

App store refunded apps

This is no longer the case, as Apple now prevents an Apple ID that has received a developer refund from receiving updates or redownloading the "returned" app. App Store refunds can easily be requested for a variety of reasons, ranging from accidental purchases to poor functionality. Once approved, the purchase price is returned to the payment method on file.

Simultaneous Talk and Data Coming to Verizon Network

Browsing the web or sending text messages while on a phone call has been a feature of GSM networks like AT&T's for some time. Now thanks to the rollout of Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Verizon customers can get into the game. Later this year, the company plans to begin offering the service for compatible devices.

Verizon LTE

The next iPhone is expected to launch with iOS 8, which will include VoLTE capabilities. Verizon has been implementing the network upgrade nationwide, which will also bring improved HD Voice quality to compatible devices. The iPhone 5 and 5s are both designed to take advantage of HD Voice, and other carriers are working on deploying the technology.

Apple Offers Free Shipping On Everything

For a limited time Apple customers can get any online purchases shipped absolutely free. The sale is running until May 29, giving shoppers a few days to pick up gifts for Dads and Grads. Normally shipping costs a few extra bucks unless the order exceeds $50.

free shipping sale

In that case, shipping is free anyway. For smaller orders or items that don't exceed the $50 threshold, now is the time to buy. Apple has run similar free shipping events in the past, usually around major shopping holidays and the like.

Apple Weekly News Roundup: NFC Chip for iPhone 6, Samsung Suit Retrial and More

This week, in a note to investors, Morgan Stanley analyst Craig Hettenbach advised that the next generation iPhone will likely be equipped with an NFC chip (Near Field Communication). This, along with other technology such as iBeacon, will facilitate mobile payments.

Apple predicted to incorporate NFC chip in iPhone 6

Apple and Samsung's patent infringement lawsuit is heading to retrial. Both companies filed for retrial on Friday, and in a second filing, Apple is seeking to have all Samsung devices in question to be banned from the U.S. market.

Ic0n1c Jailbreaks iPhone 5c Running iOS 7.1.1

While evasi0n will only jailbreak firmware up to iOS 7.0.6, others have already proven that later versions of Apple's mobile operating system can join the club. Developer ic0n1c (Stefan Esser) has worked his magic to jailbreak iOS 7.1.1 on an iPhone 5c, shown below running Cydia.

iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak i0n1c

Describing the jailbreak on Twitter, Esser explains that the process "is not based on a long vulnerability chain. It uses a single beautiful kernel bug that goes from mobile to kernel." While all of this sounds interesting, the chances of a public jailbreak being released ahead of WWDC this June are slim. Apple is expected to reveal iOS 8 at the conference, which should prompt the jailbreak community to keep new exploits close to the vest.

iMessage Bug to be Fixed in Upcoming iOS Update

Since its debut in 2011 with iOS 5, Apple's iMessage has been a convenient way to message other iOS device users (and only other iOS device users). It allows for unlimited free messaging via Wi-Fi and has additional features such as read receipts. This is all well and good unless you decide to switch to a non-iOS phone, at which point messages start getting lost in the system.

iMessage bug to be fixed

The iMessage system works by intercepting text messages, identifying the recipient (via phone number) and determining whether or not their device operates on iOS. If so, the text is re-routed through Apple's servers and sent as an MMS rather than as a standard SMS through the wireless carrier. The problem arises when someone

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