ESPN Merges iPhone and iPad Apps Together to Deliver Unified Experience [iOS Blog]

ESPN is giving its digital platforms a makeover this week by consolidating its iPhone and iPad apps into one unified experience. The new ESPN app combines what was formerly ESPN SportsCenter for iPhone and ESPN ScoreCenter for iPad into one app that offers universal support for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app has also received a significant redesign and long-overdue support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In addition to a fresh coat of paint, the new ESPN app introduces a revamped ESPN Now that delivers up-to-the-minute sports coverage, including news, photos, videos and social media content. The app has also been updated with Cricket World Cup support, including video clips and scores, just as the international championship kicks off in Australia and New Zealand.

ESPN App [Direct Link] requires iOS 8 or later.




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Apple Begins Training U.S. Retail Store Employees for Upcoming iPhone Trade-In Program

Back in June, it was reported that Apple was getting ready to launch an iPhone trade-in program at its U.S. retail stores, partnering with recycling firm Brightstar to give customers instant credit for their old iPhones to drive upgrades to newer models. According to the report from Bloomberg, the old iPhones would be refurbished and sold in emerging markets, lowering the cost of entry in those countries while preventing cannibalization of new device sales in Apple’s established markets.

There has been little in the way of update on Apple’s plans for the program since June, but MacRumors has now received word from several sources reporting that Apple is indeed beginning to prepare its store employees for the program. Apple has reportedly sent materials to its stores to support the initiative, while the first line of store trainers will be receiving instruction about the program today. Those trainers will then begin training other store employees next week ahead of a program launch.

We have yet to hear exactly when Apple plans to officially open the program, but it seems set to arrive just as the company unveils its next generation of iPhone hardware at a media event on September 10. The new lineup is expected to include both an iPhone 5S successor to the current iPhone 5 as well as a new iPhone 5C that is said to be essentially an iPhone 5 repackaged into a plastic shell available in a variety of bright colors.




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Apple Halting Mac Component Orders Due to Overestimated Demand?

Digitimes reports that Apple has essentially halted all component orders for its Mac product lines, apparently working through significant inventories of components delivered during an aggressive ramp-up late last year that may have proven overly aggressive.

The suppliers originally expected to finish digesting their Mac inventories in April, but are now stranded waiting for further instructions from Apple.

The sources revealed that Apple’s Mac orders to the supply chain dropped to almost nothing after the Lunar New Year holidays. Apple had high hopes for its Mac product lines and placed aggressive orders at the end of 2012; however, the company is now badly affected by the decision.

The report claims that Apple generally provides shipment forecasts to its supply chain partners at the beginning of each quarter, but the company has not done so for the second quarter. The lack of information has reportedly left suppliers wondering when they will be able to resume production.

Just last week, Digitimes claimed that Apple is likely to refresh its notebook lineup at the end of the second quarter, so it seems that suppliers may need to start ramping up production for new models in the relatively near future.

Apple frequently has to juggle its supply chain as it approaches product updates, seeking to accurately estimate consumer demand in order to deplete its existing inventories just as the new models are released. But if today’s report is true, it seems that Apple may have overestimated customer demand for the early part of 2013 and is now finding itself with substantial inventories heading into its next round of product updates.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has also warned about reading too much into rumors from Apple’s supply chain, noting that its „very complex“ nature makes it difficult to accurately interpret what is actually going on from limited data points, even if that data is accurate.


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