Swiss watchmakers have been tripping over themselves to dismiss the Apple Watch as a threat, but TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver has come out with what I think is one of the fairer assessments of Apple’s debut wearable device to date. His take? That the Apple Watch is hella bad news if you’re a low-priced […]
(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)
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Apple Watch is ‘phenomenal’ but not a threat, says TAG Heuer CEO
A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that Apple was entitled to an injunction on multiple Samsung products that a lower court ruled to be infringing on the iPhone maker’s patented technologies in an early 2014 trial.
As noted by Bloomberg, the ruling sets an important precedent, since it could have an impact on how damages are awarded in future trials involving patented inventions from large technology companies such as Apple, Samsung and Google.
The decision could have far-reaching consequences in how disputes are resolved when it comes to complex devices. The ability to block use of an invention is a powerful tool that increases the price tag when negotiating settlements.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington echoed that in its ruling:
“The right to exclude competitors from using one’s property rights is important,” the Federal Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision. “And the right to maintain exclusivity – a hallmark and crucial guarantee of patent rights deriving from the Constitution itself -— is likewise important.”
In May 2014, a jury in the lower court Apple vs. Samsung trial found that Samsung willfully infringed on three of the five patents involved in the lawsuit, related to technologies including slide to unlock and data syncing. Samsung was ordered to pay Apple a settlement of $119.6 million.
Samsung informed the appeals court in March that only one of its products currently for sale infringes upon a single Apple patent, so any potential injunction would not have much of an impact on the South Korean company’s bottom line. Nevertheless, Samsung is in the process of appealing the lower court decision before the U.S. Federal Circuit.
Appeals Court Rules Apple Was Entitled to Sales Ban on Samsung Products in Earlier Trial
Apple design chief Jony Ive and Hermès artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal about how the Apple Watch Hermès came to be.
Interestingly, the two companies began collaborating on the premium Apple Watch last year, several months before the wrist-worn device was released.
“It’s something highly unusual for Apple to do—to talk about an unannounced project,” said Mr. Ive, 48 years old. They decided to partner over lunch in Paris, where Hermès is based, last October.
Jony Ive believes that, while the Apple Watch Hermès was the most expensive product introduced at Apple’s media event earlier this week, the premium watch does not make Apple an „exclusive“ company. He later compared the Apple Watch Hermès to the Apple Watch Sport, stating that the same amount of time and effort went into designing both models.
“We don’t think in those terms,” Mr. Ive said in an interview Wednesday, after the Apple Watch Hermès was unveiled. “I’m not comfortable with words like exclusive.” […]
“Look at this next to one of the sport collection,” he says, referring to the $349 rubber-bracelet version that accounts for the majority of watch sales to date, according to people familiar with the matter. “There’s not one that had more care invested in its designing or making.”
Nevertheless, Apple’s partnership with luxury goods maker Hermès is further evidence the Apple Watch is being positioned to both the high-end technology and fashion industries. The returns could be lucrative, with the Apple Watch Hermès lineup ranging in price from $1,100 to $1,500.
Apple Watch Hermès watches feature leather straps handmade in France, with ten different models to choose from in Single Tour, Double Tour and Cuff designs. The collection will be available for purchase in October at select Apple Store and Hermès locations in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Toronto.
Jony Ive Says Apple Watch Hermès Doesn’t Make Apple ‘Exclusive’
Finnish game developer Rovio today confirmed that its 2009 game Angry Birds is getting a direct sequel, Angry Birds 2, and fans will be able to play it starting July 30. The company released some promo artwork for the game that promises fans of the series a „bigger, badder, birdier“ game than the original.
Far from the second game in the series, counting spin-offs like Bad Piggies and Angry Birds Stella, there have been a total of fifteen games using the Angry Birds license in some way. Most were thematic spins on the original game’s bird-launching mechanics like Angry Birds Star Wars, but over the years Rovio expanded by creating Angry Birds GO! and Angry Birds Epic, which introduced players to kart racing and turn-based strategy mechanics, respectively.
Back in December 2009, when we were just a small games studio, we released our 52nd game featuring colorful birds, green pigs, a slingshot and a super catchy theme tune. Fast forward to 2015 and that game, Angry Birds, has taken the world by storm.
With 3 billion game downloads, millions of fans across the globe, multiple mashups and spin-offs, collaborations with A-list celebrities and much more, we’re really proud that Angry Birds is the mother of all mobile game apps. And now we’re proud to announce the mother of all sequels – Angry Birds 2!
The Angry Birds developer saw its first major profit decline in 2014, thanks to big new players in the mobile game landscape like Candy Crush, and a general sense of fatigue from gamers regarding the franchise. Nevertheless, Rovio is backing its flagship series more than ever with the announcement of a proper sequel and the planned release of an animated feature-length Angry Birds film next summer. The company promises that more details are to come on July 28, a few days before the game’s official launch.
Rovio Announces ‘Angry Birds 2’ Launching July 30
Apple has an ambitious goal to sign up 100 million subscribers for its upcoming streaming music service known as Apple Music, according to The Associated Press. A subscriber base that large would trump competing services such as Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and others, which had a collective 41 million paid U.S. subscribers in 2014 per the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
Apple Music is widely expected to be a rebranded and improved version of Beats Music, which the Cupertino-based company acquired for $3 billion last year alongside the Beats Electronics headphones and speakers division. The much-rumored streaming service will reportedly cost $10 per month, with a three-month free trial period, and focus on exclusive content and human curated playlists.
Beats Music had 303,000 U.S. subscribers as of December, trailing market leader Spotify’s 4.7 million U.S. subscribers by a significant margin. Nevertheless, Apple previously said it has over 800 million users with iTunes accounts to its advantage and will reportedly present those users with the option to purchase an Apple Music subscription instead when downloading songs and albums through the iTunes Store.
Apple is expected to unveil its new streaming music service at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference today in San Francisco. During the opening keynote at 10 AM Pacific, CEO Tim Cook and other executives should reveal several details about the service alongside other announcements about iOS 9, OS X 10.11, Apple Pay and more. MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the event as it unfolds.
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Apple Targeting 100 Million Subscribers for Streaming Music Service
Apple on Friday updated its online store with instructions on how to purchase the Apple Watch, reiterating that the wrist-worn device can be ordered online or reserved for in-store pickup. The new section appears to confirm that Apple Watch in-store reservations will be available beginning April 10, allowing customers to reserve a specific Apple Watch for pickup at an Apple Store beginning April 24.
The wording and timing of the new section suggests that Apple Watch in-store reservations will be available April 10, a move that would generate more foot traffic in Apple Stores on Apple Watch launch day. Nevertheless, there remains a slim possibility that reservations will begin on April 24. Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment, although we will update this post if we receive clarification.
Last week, Apple Store training documents obtained by MacRumors indicated that Apple will not allow walk-in purchases for the Apple Watch upon launch, meaning that reserving the wrist-worn device for pickup at a specified date and time will be required initially. Walk-in customers can join the queue for a try-on appointment, after which they can order the Apple Watch online or make a reservation for in-store pickup.
Apple Watch pre-orders kick off at 12:01 AM Pacific on April 10 in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom. Apple has added „Guided Tour“ videos to its website that outline various functions of the Apple Watch, while we’ve prepared detailed guides on how to pre-order the Apple Watch and what to expect at a try-on appointment.
Apple Watch In-Store Reservations Available Beginning April 10
ASUS posted a flowchart in a tweet which highlights how expensive the gold Apple Watch is in comparison to their own ZenWatch, and suggests that if you still want to buy it then you might be crazy. Read more…
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Shots fired: ASUS says people who want to buy the gold Apple Watch are out of their minds
MacBook Air and 13″ Retina MacBook Pro shipping times have slipped on the Apple Online Store from „in stock“ to „1 business day“ ahead of Apple’s upcoming „Spring Forward“ media event on Monday. Earlier this week, we reported that a MacBook Air refresh with the latest Intel Broadwell processors and Intel HD 6000 graphics appears imminent, and it is plausible that Apple also updates the MacBook Pro with similar hardware.
The shipping dates have slipped across North America, with the Apple Online Store in the United States, Canada and Mexico showing the longer „1 business day“ estimate. A spot check of the United Kingdom and Australia online storefronts still shows regular shipping times. In-store availability of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in the also appears unaffected in the United States based on Apple Stores in New York and California.
Intel’s Broadwell processors are available for all MacBook Air models and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, although more powerful chips for the 15-inch MacBook Pro are not expected until later this year. Nevertheless, Apple may choose to focus its March 9 media event solely on the Apple Watch and could hold off on refreshing its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineups until a later date.
MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro Shipping Times Slip Ahead of Monday’s Media Event
Apple will launch a revamped streaming music service in June at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, according to 9to5Mac and TechCrunch. The report claims the new Beats-based service will debut at Apple’s WWDC keynote, likely during the week of June 8, as opposed to an announcement taking place at the upcoming „Spring Forward“ media event on March 9.
„Apple currently plans to launch the new music service as part of an iOS 8.4 upgrade for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch following WWDC, but a final decision has not yet been made. It’s possible that the service will be bundled into iOS 9 this fall, which is expected to have a significant focus on bug fixes and stability improvements.“
As detailed last month, the purported streaming music service is expected to cost up to $7.99 per month, a few dollars cheaper than Apple-owned Beats Music and competitors such as Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music. The service will be deeply integrated into iTunes on Mac and the stock Music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and apps will also be available for Apple TV and Android.
Apple is developing its first in-house Android application for the upcoming streaming music service, one of the rarer times that the iPhone maker offers cross-platform support for its products and services. Nevertheless, as the release of iTunes for Windows in the early 2000s helped drive sales of the iPod, expanding beyond the iPhone, iPad and Mac will provide Apple with a much larger pool of potential subscribers in the competitive streaming music market.
Apple is also reportedly wrapping up development of its next-generation Apple TV set-top box that could ship with an improved, tactile remote control and all-new operating system bundled with an App Store. Apple allegedly planned to release a new Apple TV as soon as this month, but the release may be delayed until later this year or beyond until Apple reaches agreements with more content providers like HBO Now.
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Apple to Unveil Revamped Streaming Music Service at WWDC
Microsoft is apparently working on a new ‘People Sense’ app for Windows Phone which will allow users to interact with each other maximizing the potential social features of Windows Phones. Read more…
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Leaked video shows off a hidden ‘People Sense’ app for Windows Phone