Apple Launches USB-C Charge Cable Replacement Program for Retina MacBook

Apple today launched a worldwide replacement program for the USB-C charge cables that were shipped with the 12-inch Retina MacBook through June of 2015, as these cables can fail „due to a design issue.“

According to Apple, affected cables may cause the MacBook to not charge or to charge intermittently when it is connected to a power adapter. Cables with the issue can be identified by their labeling, which reads „Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.“ Redesigned cables have the same text, but also include a serial number.

Apple is providing new, redesigned USB-C charge cables to MacBook owners with faulty cables at no cost. In addition to cables that shipped with the MacBook, the replacement program also includes faulty cables that were sold as standalone accessories.

Customers who supplied a valid mailing address when registering their product or purchasing it through the Apple Online Store will receive their new cables automatically, while other eligible MacBook owners can contact Apple Support, find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or visit an Apple retail store to get their cables replaced. Affected USB-C charge cables can be replaced under this program until June 8, 2018.

The Retina MacBook first went on sale in April of 2015, so the problematic cables were sold for approximately two months before a redesigned version was released.

Related Roundup: Retina MacBook
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook (Don’t Buy)
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Multiple Apple Services Experiencing Widespread Outage [Updated]

Apple has updated its system status page to reflect widespread issues affecting multiple Apple products and services since approximately 7:30 PM Pacific, including the App Store, Apple TV, iBooks Store, iTunes Match, iTunes Store, Mac App Store and Radio.

Many users are also unable to fully access or use the Apple website, Apple Online Store, Apple ID, Apple Music, FaceTime, iCloud, iMessage, Mail, TestFlight and several other Apple services, suggesting possible larger server or DNS issues.

Apple’s standard response on its system status page says it is investigating and will provide a status update as more information becomes available.

Update 8:38 PM: Apple’s system status page now indicates the issues have been resolved, and users are indeed reporting Apple’s services are up and running once again.

Tags: App Store, iTunes, Apple, iMessage, iCloud, system status
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It begins! Apple Store is down ahead of today’s keynote

The Apple Online Store has gone down ahead of today’s big keynote. When it comes back up, we expect to see new iPhones, iPads, a new Apple TV, and more added to the site — but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to buy any of them today. Apple’s event kicks off at 10 a.m. PST, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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A Closer Look at Apple’s New iPod Touch Colors and Features

Apple earlier this week introduced the sixth-generation iPod touch, featuring a new A8 chip and M8 motion coprocessor, 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and Bluetooth 4.1, in six colors: blue, gold, pink, red, silver and space gray. 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models are available through the Apple Store and Apple Online Store for $199, $249, $299 and $399 respectively.

Apple’s new sixth-generation iPod touch in blue and pink
The video below submitted by MacRumors reader Jacob Zacks takes a closer look at the new iPod touch colors and features. The existing silver color from 2012 has been complimented with space gray and gold models that match the new MacBook lineup, while the new blue and pink colors are much brighter and deeper than the fifth-generation iPod touch. The sixth color is (PRODUCT)RED and remains unchanged.

iPods have declined in sales and popularity since the iPhone was released, but the portable media player still fills a niche and was long overdue for an update. The sixth-generation iPod touch’s most important new feature is the jump to an A8 chip, which delivers up to 10 times faster graphics performance and ensures the device will be capable of running iOS 9 and future software updates.

A recent benchmark test clocked the new iPod touch’s A8 chip at 1.10GHz per core, slower than the 1.39GHz per core the iPhone 6 runs at, and confirmed it has 1GB of RAM. The new iPod touch is also the first iOS device to include the Bluetooth 4.1 specification, which is more reliable and offers less interference with LTE bands, improved power management and better data transfer.

Apple’s new iPod touch no longer has a loop attachment on the back
Whether this is the last significant update to the iPod lineup remains to be seen, but for now the iPod touch lives on with a vibrant lineup of new colors and under-the-hood improvements. Apple Stores have begun receiving in-store stock of the new iPod touch this week, with Personal Pickup now available in the U.S., and all models and storage capacities currently ship within 1 business day on the Apple Online Store.



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Apple Launches Refreshed iPod Touch, Nano and Shuffle

Apple today introduced the sixth-generation iPod touch with a 64-bit A8 chip and M8 coprocessor, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and new colors, with 16GB and 64GB models costing $199 and $299 respectively and a larger 128GB model available for $399. Apple also updated the iPod shuffle and iPod nano with a matching lineup of colors, including deep blue, pink, silver, space gray, gold and red.

New iPod touch via The Loop
iPods have become an increasingly minor business for Apple over the past several years, with only 2.6 million units sold in Q4 2014, the last quarter when Apple reported iPod sales. Beyond new colors and storage capacities, Apple had last updated the iPod touch and nano in October 2012 and the iPod shuffle in September 2010.



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Apple Watch Launches in The Netherlands, Sweden and Thailand on July 17

As the Apple Watch goes on sale in Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan today, Apple has quietly announced that The Netherlands, Sweden and Thailand will begin selling the wrist-worn device on July 17. As with other countries, the Apple Watch should be available through the Apple Store, Apple Online Store and possibly select Apple Authorized Resellers.

Apple has been slowly catching up on the Apple Watch backorders dating back to the April pre-order window, with most models now shipping in 1-2 weeks or less on the Apple Online Store and in-store reservations now available. The 42mm Space Black Apple Watch with Link Bracelet remains one of the more difficult models to obtain, with an estimated 2-3 weeks delivery date on the Apple Online Store.

(Thanks to everyone that tipped this!)





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Apple Removes Original iPad Mini From Apple Online Store

Apple has quietly pulled the original iPad mini from the Apple Online Store this week and removed other references of the tablet from its website, as noted by 9to5Mac. The nearly three-year-old iPad mini was announced in October 2012 as a smaller 7.9-inch version of the iPad, but the tablet has since been succeeded by the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, the latter featuring a Retina display, Touch ID and 64-bit A7 processor.

Apple dropped the price of the first-gen A5-based iPad mini to $299 in October 2013 and further discounted the tablet to $249 in October 2014, but the device was a hard sell given the iPad mini 2 starts at $299 with newer features. The original iPad mini remains available in the refurbished section of the Apple Online Store for between $209 and $409 depending on the specific model and storage capacity.

The original iPad mini remains available in limited quantities through authorized third-party resellers such as Amazon, although likely only until leftover stock is depleted. Apple’s remaining tablet lineup for sale includes the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2, and the company is widely rumored to introduce a larger 12.9-inch „iPad Pro“ targeted at professional users later this year.





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Apple Store No Longer Sells iPhone With 2-Year Contract on AT&T

Apple overnight removed the option to purchase a new iPhone on a two-year contract with AT&T on the Apple Online Store, eliminating the ability for customers to purchase an iPhone for a subsidized price of $199 or $299 through the carrier. Apple now sells iPhones on AT&T exclusively through the AT&T Next carrier financing program, while two-year contracts remain available through Verizon and Sprint.

AT&T Next allows a customer to purchase a new iPhone for $0 down and make equal payments for 12, 18 or 24 months until the full price of the smartphone has been paid, at which point the device can be traded in for a new iPhone. The full price breakdown for each iPhone model on AT&T Next, available through both the Apple Online Store and Apple Retail Store, is listed below.

iPhone 6
– 16GB: From $21.64/month
– 64GB: From $24.97/month
– 128GB: From $28.30/month

iPhone 6 Plus
– 16GB: From $24.97/month
– 64GB: From $28.30/month
– 128GB: From $31.64/month

The shift away from two-year contracts is not specific to Apple or iPhone, but rather part of a larger move by AT&T. Droid-Life reported last month that AT&T would begin moving away from two-year contracts on June 1, although the report claims that the option will remain available through AT&T’s website, company-owned retail stores, local dealers via direct fulfillment and customer service.





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Apple Introduces New iPhone Dock With Lightning Connector for $39

Apple today started selling a new Lightning connector dock compatible with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch. The dock retails for $39 on the Apple Online Store in the United States, with an estimated shipping date of 1-3 business days as of publication time. The dock is also available in other countries, although prices vary depending on the local currency.

The long-anticipated Lightning dock arrives nearly three years after the Lightning connector made its debut on the iPhone 5 in September 2012, and succeeds the original 30-pin dock that Apple previously sold. Of course, given that Apple’s official Lightning dock is long overdue, a number of accessory makers have already released third-party docks over the past several months and years.

The new Lightning dock has a smaller form factor that no longer cradles the device, making it compatible with both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and likely other iOS devices with Lightning connectors in the future. The dock also features a 3.5mm headphone port on the rear for audio out, enabling music and podcasts from an iPhone to be played on powered speakers and stereo systems.





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