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Apple News: iPhone 6 Launch Dates, iWatch Patents, And Where To Find Those MacBook Stickers

Jul 28 2014, 12:57am CDT | by , in News | Apple

Apple News: iPhone 6 Launch Dates, iWatch Patents, And Where To Find Those MacBook Stickers
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Apple News: iPhone 6 Launch Dates, iWatch Patents, And Where To Find Those MacBook Stickers

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop covers Apple’s Fall launch events, mobile payments in the next iPhone, a potential iWatch patent, thoughts from the Q3 2014 earnings call, potential security holes in iOS 6, OSX 10.10 previews, and the new stickers advert from Tim Cook and his team.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many things that have happened around Apple over the last seven days.

iPhones in September, iPads in October, Wearables and Phablets Are ‘Up In The Air’

With a nod to ‘sources briefed on the plans’, Marc Gurman notes down the potential dates in his calendar for the two big Apple events at the end of summer. First up, the second or third week of September is marked down as the launch date for the iPhone event. The common thinking is that Apple’s primary iPhone at the event will be the 4.7 inch screened model, with a decision on the 5.5 inch phablet handset being made closer to the time.

The second event will be the traditional iPad event in October, with a modest updated to the iPad range, but potentially focusing more on Apple’s wearable device or devices.

Will There Be Credit Card And Mobile Payment Facilities In The Next iPhone?

The Information’s Amir Efrati talks about the potential for the iPhone to be used as a mobile wallet device with native hardware and software. Mobile payment is an area ripe for innovation, and Apple already has an extensive collection of verified iTunes users and their credit card details which could be used to populate an opt-in payments system. The infrastructure would need support from credit card processing companies, so any discussions Tim Cook is having with the payment industry should be noted and taken seriously.

Whether there is enough momentum inside Apple and in third parties to push a mobile wallet out with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 for the end of the year remains to be seen, but it is a tech space I expect Apple to approach in the future (maybe once Apple TV gets a relaunch?).

More Thoughts On The iWatch Through Apple Patents

Apple was granted a patent this week (#8787006) for “[a] wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor”, which shows a wrist strap containing electronic assemblies and a docking cradle, and allows a mobile electronic device to be docked. The wristband would have the options for a number of sensors for tracking movement and heart rate, an antenna, a GPS receiver, and a haptic device (vibration alert).

This patent was filed three years ago and does not necessarily represent the current thinking about a smart wearable inside Cupertino (I can easily see the older square iPod Nano being the mobile electronic device), but it does show that Apple has been thinking about wearables for some time, fitness was part of the brief, and they’ve been patenting as many ideas as they can.

Apple Shows Solid Earnings Call Thanks To iPhone Sales

Lots of talk around Apple’s Q3 2104 earnings call this week. Forbes’ Mark Rogowsky covered the call and the results:

…the company reporting $37.4 billion in revenues and a $1.28 per share in earnings. The top line (up 6%) was just a bit below the consensus forecast, which was looking for at least $38 billion — the high end of Apple’s guidance from last quarter. The keys to the quarter on the positive side were solid but unspectacular iPhone sales. Apple notched 35.2 million sales there (13% higher than a year ago), below the 36 million analysts were expecting. And iPads continued to struggle, delivering just 13.3 million units against 14.6 million last year (down 9%).

iPad Sales Are Weaker Than Expected, Could This Be One Reason For The IBM Deal?

The iPad sales numbers are worth talking about, because it is still a relatively new market where there are may factors that could be at play. Longer product replacement cycles more akin to laptops than smartphones could be one answer, the other is that the market is not growing as fast as previous areas of consumer electronics.

It’s certainly something Apple is aware of (Apple’s internal estimates were lower than those from Wall Street), and the company is taking proactive action. I’ve had a look at last week’s IBM deal through the iPad sales prism here on Forbes:

That gap is the enterprise market. While Apple has had some success in getting their hardware into the Fortune 500 list of companies (and others), it appears that they needed more firepower to have a significant impact on the volume of Apple devices within these companies. Not just a handful of test devices, or a small team who insisted, but company-wide roll outs, fully integrated with the IT department, and all the associated unit sales (and service care contracts that go alongside that).

Could they build up that expertise on their own in Cupertino? More than likely, but that would take time, and time is apparently not something that Tim Cook is happy to give to the iPad team. Hence the drafting of IBM from the bench into Apple’s formidable sales team.

Security Holes Or Diagnostic Capabilities?

Apple has published a note about the diagnostic capabilities in iOS that have been heavily discussed this week in regards to a ‘back-door’ into a user’s handset. Ars Technica has a good summary of the issues, and what many believe are shortcomings in three of the capabilities. Apple’s note puts their side of the argument forward:

Each of these diagnostic capabilities requires the user to have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer. Any data transmitted between the iOS device and trusted computer is encrypted with keys not shared with Apple. For users who have enabled iTunes Wi-Fi Sync on a trusted computer, these services may also be accessed wirelessly by that computer.

An Extensive Preview Of OSX 10.10 Yosemite

As the public beta for OSX 1010 Yosemite opens (through the OSX Beta Program), Zack Whittaker has taken an extensive look into the features and functionality offered by the preview of Yosemite over on ZDNet. Taking in many of the new features, including the UI changes and transparency options, updates to Spotlight, and the Continuity feature to share information and functionality with other Apple devices:

You’ll be connected wherever you are — so long as you have your trusty iPhone with you. You’ll be more productive with better search, features, notifications, customizable sidebar widgets, and apps that don’t look like they were designed by a five-year-old. The interface is nicer, and easier on the eye. You’ll be able to reply to your friends, family, colleagues and co-workers regardless of platform, because text messages can be sent through your desktop.

Do think carefully before installing this beta. While it’s stable enough for a beta, it’s not yet reliable enough in a consumer environment.

I’ve Got A Sticker, And I’m Not Afraid To Use It

By now you’ve likely seen Apple’s new advert for the MacBook. Called ‘Stickers’, there’s a lot to take in. The first is that you never see the screen or the MacBook in action, it’s all about the fashion of the device. It’s also, as Matthew Panzarino notes, one of the first instances of Apple using a scuffed product in an advert.

Thankfully 9to5 Mac has answered the biggest question the advert brings up… where can you buy one of the many sticker designs in the thirty-second spot?

After all, it’s all about thinking differently.

Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, and don’t forget this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is coming soon!

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