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Apple developing its own graphics technology for iPhones, iPads and watches

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Apple
Customers and employees are shown through Apple's Australian flagship store in Sydney, September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed

San Francisco, April 4, 2017: Apple is developing its own graphics technology for iPhones, iPads and watches and will soon stop using PowerVR graphics processors made by British chip designer Imagination Technologies, Apple’s largest customer.

In a statement issued late on Monday, Imagination said that Apple has notified them that it will no longer use the Group’s intellectual property in its new products in 15 months to two years time.

The development led to shares in Imagination Tech crashing more than 70 per cent. The company was valued at more than $2.5 billion in 2012.

Apple has used Imagination’s technology and intellectual property for many years. It has formed the basis of Graphics Processor Units (GPUs) in Apple’s phones, tablets, iPods, TVs and watches.

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“Apple has asserted that it has been working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products and will be reducing its future reliance on Imagination’s technology,” the British firm said in a statement.

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The development is bad news for Imagination, which gets about half of its revenue from Apple. It will stop receiving royalties on iPhone and iPad devices soon, media reports said.

“Apple has not presented any evidence to substantiate its assertion that it will no longer require Imagination’s technology, without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property, and confidential information. This evidence has been requested by Imagination but Apple has declined to provide it,” the statement further added.

Imagination thinks it would be extremely challenging to design a brand new GPU architecture from basics without infringing its intellectual property rights, accordingly, Imagination does not accept Apple’s assertions.

“Apple’s notification has led Imagination to discuss with Apple potential alternative commercial arrangements for the current license and royalty agreement,” the company said. (IANS)

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Over 300 iPhone X stolen near San Francisco Apple Store

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Iphone X
Over 300 iPhone X stolen near San Francisco Apple Store

San Francisco, Nov 2,2017: How to get an iPhone X, which is reportedly facing a huge supply gap, without getting into a beeline? Well, you steal it before it enters the store.

This is what happened in San Francisco, where thieves stole more than 300 iPhone X devices worth over $370,000 (Dh 1,359,010).

According to a report by CNET on Thursday, the three thieves stole Apple’s new smartphones from a UPS truck parked outside a San Francisco Apple Store.

The truck was delivering 313 of Apple iPhone X devices that costs $999 a piece (for 64GB varient), the report cited the police as saying.

In India, iPhone X will be available in stores from Friday at a starting price of Rs 89,000 (64GB).

People could find their iPhones with Apple’s “Find My iPhone” and remote lockout features which caused a drop in stolen devices. So thieves are getting iPhones before these services are set up.

Meanwhile, US-based package delivery company UPS said it was working with the law enforcement investigating the theft.(IANS)

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World Get Ready! iPhone ‘X’, iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3 are Finally Here! Apple Products’ Launch on the 10th Anniversary of iPhone Live Updates

The event was hosted for the first time at the opulent Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California

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iPhone 'X'
The Apple launch event celebrating the 10th anniversary of iPhone. IANS

San Francisco, September 13, 2017 : Living up to the hype it generated on the 10th anniversary of iPhone, Apple on Tuesday unveiled iPhone ‘X’ with facial recognition system, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, new Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K.

The device can be pre-ordered from October 27 will be available from November 3 for Rs 89,000 in India.

Hosting the event for the first time at the opulent Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, the tech giant introduced iPhone ‘X’ – an ultra-premium model.

iPhone ‘X’ sports a unique “FaceID” facial recognition system to unlock the device. Just look at your phone to unlock it. The feature is enabled by a ‘True Depth’ camera system in the A11 neural engine.

iPhone 'X'
Apple iPhone ‘X’ mockup. Wikimedia

Wearing a hat, glasses or new hairstyle will not fool the FaceID system that also works with Apple Pay.

The device with 2046 X 1125 resolution supports HDR in Dolby Vision, HDR10 and True Tone and comes in Space Grey and Silver colours with ‘Super Retina’ display.

Users can tap on the screen to wake up iPhone X that has 12MP dual-camera system with deeper pixels and dual optical image stablisation at the rear. iPhone ‘X’ does wireless charging via Qi technology.

The iPhone 8 features a new 6-core A11 Bionic processor which is 70 per cent faster than the previous A10.

Apple also introduced Animoji where users can animate an emoji and share it on social media.

Apple also showcased a charging mat called ‘AirPower’ that charges iPhone, Watch and AirPods. The mat would be available from next year.

The tech giant also introduced iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (in Silver, Space Grey and Rose Gold colours) that house wireless charging technology with an improved retina displays.

iPhone 8 64GB price costs Rs 64,000 while 256GB variant will be available for Rs 77,000.

iPhone 8 Plus starts at Rs 73,000 for 64GB. The 256GB variant will cost Indian users Rs 86,000. People can pre-order the devices from September 15 and the phones will be available from September 29.

The iPhone 8 features a new 6-core A11 Bionic processor which is 70 per cent faster than the previous A10.

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus – both still have home button intact — feature new sensors. The lenses feature f1.8 and f2.8 apertures (which is brighter than the 7 Plus telephoto) in the iPhone 8 Plus.

According to Philip W. Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, the iPhone 8 cameras and the A11 Bionic chip have been calibrated for Augmented Reality (AR).

Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, unveiled Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity built in.

Apple Watch Series 3 will cost Rs 29,900 with cellular connectivity. Series 1 is now priced at 21,900.

“You can keep the same number as your iPhone to make and receive calls. Maps will work on Series 3. Location will switch over to your watch automatically,” Williams told the gathering.

Apple Music will come to Apple Watch, allowing you to stream directly 40 million songs. Ask Siri to find your favourite track.

“With 50 per cent year-on-year growth, Apple Watch is the number one watch brand in the world, eclipsing Rolex, with 97 per cent customer satisfaction,” CEO Tim Cook announced.

Cook also introduced the new Apple TV 4K, designed to deliver a stunning cinematic experience at home.

iPhone 'X'
Apple CEO Time Cook. Wikimedia

With support for both 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR), Apple TV 4K features unbelievably sharp, crisp images.

With Apple TV 4K, viewers can enjoy a growing selection of 4K HDR movies on iTunes.

“Bring the magic of the cinema straight to your living room with the new Apple TV 4K,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services.

Netflix and Amazon Prime 4K videos are coming to Apple TV as well.

Apple TV 4K starts Rs 15,900 for 32GB or Rs 17,900 for 64GB, joining Apple TV (4th generation) 32GB at Rs 12,900, available through select Apple Authorised Resellers.

Customers will be able to order both Apple TV 4K models beginning September 15, with availability beginning September 22 in the US and 21 additional countries and regions, and worldwide soon after.

Earlier, dedicating the theatre to Jobs “because we loved him and because he loved days like this,” Cook said: “Jobs’ vision and passion lives here on Apple Park and everywhere around us”. (IANS)

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Apple is soon coming up with a Video Streaming service like Netflix

Netflix launched its groundbreaking video streaming service in 2007

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Apple
Apple losing out AI race to Google, Amazon: Report
  • Netflix beat Apple to the punch with its groundbreaking video streaming service
  • Follow-on rivals of Netflix- and Hulu also boast of popular video streaming services
  • Apple has periodically upgraded its Apple TV, which isn’t a television, just a video streaming player that connects to TVs

San Francisco, USA, September 9, 2017: Television is one of the few screens that has Apple hasn’t conquered, but that may soon change. The world’s richest company appears ready to aim for its own Emmy-worthy programming along the lines of HBO’s Game of Thrones and Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Apple lured longtime TV executives Jaime Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg away from Sony Corp. in June and has given them $1 billion to spend on original shows during the next year, according to a Wall Street Journal report quoting unnamed people.

The programming would be available only on a subscription channel, most likely bundled with the company’s existing Apple Music streaming service. Apple declined to comment.

While $1 billion is a lot of money, it’s a drop in the bucket for Apple and its $262 billion cash hoard. But it’s still enough to vault Apple into the top tier of tech-industry outsiders producing their own slates of television shows.

iTunes came first

Hollywood has long shuddered at the thought of Apple training its sights on TV the way it once did on the music business.

Almost 15 years ago, Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs convinced record labels to let the company sell digital music on its iTunes store for 99 cents a single, a deal the music industry was happy to take in the face of growing music piracy enabled by Napster. Over time, though, Apple’s dominance in digital music chafed music executives, who saw the company siphoning off a chunk of their profits.

Movies and television have proven much harder for Apple to crack. The company’s interest in transforming television has been an open secret for years, but Hollywood has so far spurned Apple’s efforts to make itself an indispensable digital middle man for video.

In a way, Netflix beat Apple to the punch with its groundbreaking video streaming service. Launched in 2007, that service pioneered “binge watching” of entire TV seasons on any device with an internet connection. That gave new life to existing shows such as Breaking Bad, whose creator credits Netflix with its survival, and spawned the creation of other series tailor-made for bingeing.

Netflix also helped unleash a crescendo of creativity in Hollywood. Follow-on rivals Amazon and Hulu also boast popular video streaming services, and mainstream broadcasters such as CBS and Walt Disney Co. — the owner of ABC and ESPN, among other networks — are also jumping in.

Pressure to act

All of that has increased the pressure on Apple to step up its game in TV — not least because the increasing popularity of streaming is hurting its business of renting and selling video from iTunes.

Apple “doesn’t want to be left behind,” said Debby Ruth, senior vice president of consumer research firm Magid. “This is a way for them to put a stake in the ground.”

This year, the company released its first two original series, Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, on its Apple Music service, which has 27 million subscribers. But neither show has generated much buzz or critical acclaim.

The recent hiring of Erlicht and Van Amburg signaled Apple’s intent to make a bigger splash. The executives have helped orchestrate several TV hits, including AMC’s Breaking Bad, and more recently branched out into video streaming with The Crown, which landed on Netflix last year and is up for 13 Emmy nominations in this Sunday’s ceremony.

Apple also has a not-so-secret weapon: hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads already in the hands of faithful fans. It could easily transform those into a marketing platform to lure users to its TV service.

But the company has a steep hill to climb.

Bigger players

Netflix has more than 100 million worldwide subscribers and a video library that will add 1,000 hours of original programming this year alone. And HBO has become the Emmys’ pacesetter since branching into original programming 20 years ago.

Both companies vastly outspend Apple’s reported $1 billion production budget. HBO spends about $2 billion annually on its programming, which garnered 111 nominations in this year’s Emmy Awards, more than any other network. Netflix, which boasts the second most Emmy nominations with 91, expects to spend $6 billion on programming this year.

Apple is still experimenting in TV, said Gene Munster, a longtime Apple watcher and managing partner with the research and venture capital firm Loup Ventures.

“In five years, I bet Apple will either be investing $10 billion a year in content or zero,” said Munster. “It’s going to be one or the other.”

Jobs’ legacy

Jobs discussed his ambitions to shake up TV with his biographer, Walter Isaacson, shortly before his death in 2011.

 “He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: Make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote.

 

But no Apple television ever materialized. Instead, Apple has periodically upgraded its Apple TV, which isn’t a television, just a video streaming player that connects to TVs. That device has been losing market share to other streaming players made by Roku, Amazon, and Google, according to the research firm Park Associates.

Building a successful programming lineup could give Apple more leverage to license shows from other Hollywood production houses. It might even embolden the company to finally release its own streaming TV set.

Apple will presumably also want to emulate Netflix’s ability to exploit usage data to determine what it thinks audiences want to watch. Netflix’s data analysis has helped it attract 25.5 million more subscribers in the U.S. alone since the February 2013 debut of its first original series, House of Cards.

But if Apple decides it needs a little more help in video streaming, Munster thinks there’s a 1-in-3 chance that it will buy Netflix to instantly gain the cachet and expertise in TV programming that it craves. (VOA)