Late yesterday the Patent Office in China granted Apple a series of five design patents covering two distinct products. The first design patent category covers Apple's iPhone 5C cases and the second category covers Apple's Touch ID setup process with fingerprint transition illustrations.
Believe it or not, China's influential state broadcaster on Friday called a location-tracking function offered by Apple's iPhone a "national security concern," in the latest sign of a backlash in the country against U.S. technology firms. Apparently turning off the iPhone's location services is just too difficult for those that want to use propaganda against Apple. You have to wonder if the government didn't give CCTV a little nudge to air such nonsense.
Yesterday Taiwan's Business Weekly reported that Apple's iPhone 6 will save Taiwan, not only its lifeless technology industry, but also save the Taiwan stock market because of the orders for the iPhone 6 and its various components. Their forecast for Apple's iPhone 6 is estimated as 68 million units in the first round of orders which is about a 50% leap over orders for the iPhone 5. Today, there's more news out of Taiwan describing the impact that the production of the iPhone 6 is having on component suppliers.
In addition to our main patent reports that were posted earlier today, there were a few others of interest that caught our eye. Two relate to new wireless authentication methods that will allow users to join public networks quicker or on the fly with the other designed to allow an iPhone to quickly mate with other devices like accessories or a car dock. The third patent concerns Apple's standing patent application regarding an iPhone with a wrap-around display.
Less than a week after Apple settled charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission that it failed to provide adequate disclosures for in-app transactions in iOS, the company's top legal executive urged the FTC to investigate Google for similar issues in Android. Report Updated 10:30AM PST: The FTC's next target is Amazon
In May 2013 Patently Apple reported on TSMC being chosen by Apple for their 2014 iPhone processors. That news came from DigiTimes that many think never gets anything right. The news progressed in September 2013 when we were informed that TSMC was on track with Apple's 20nm A8 Processor and then in December we learned that TSMC was actually ramping up their supply of the 20nm chips for Apple. And finally in March of this year we learned that TSMC was ahead of schedule for Apple's A8 production. So it isn't a surprise to learn today that TSMC began shipping processors to Apple in Q2. However, what may be new is that Apple appears to have abandoned their relationship with Samsung as a supplier for chips and displays.
Patently Apple was first to report that Apple's distinctive design and layout was granted a registered trademark by the US Patent and Trademark Office back on January 24, 2013. In general the designing of Apple Stores was a noted passion of the late CEO Steve Jobs as was noted in the biography written by Walter Issacson. In fact all of chapter twenty-nine is dedicated to the history of the new Apple Stores. Recently Apple opened a new Store in Istanbul Turkey and they'll be opening their fourth Apple Store in Switzerland this Saturday. Today the Wall Street Journal notes that Apple has secured an EU Trademark for Store layouts.
In a new Gartner report recently published they noted that tablet sales could slowdown in 2014 due to tablets moving into a mature market phase. Tablet sales being sluggish is something that Samsung also noted in their latest financial report that we covered on Tuesday. Today, Apple is going all out with a very aggressive new ad campaign offering current iPad owners the ability to trade in their old iPad for a new one and get up to $240 back in credit for their current iPad. Can you resist such an offer?
On July 10, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals Apple's intent to reduce the number of openings at the bottom of an iPhone. The focus of this invention is to reinvent the audio jack port so that when a user isn't using the audio jack port, audio can be sent through that same port instead of a dedicated speaker. The new combination port may support a lightning connector.
On July 10, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an invention related to a next generation of sapphire cover glass. The glass could be used as both a front and/or back cover for future iDevices such as an iPhone and/or iPad. A sapphire back side cover glass could be used on an iPad as was revealed in one of Apple's latest granted patents regarding fused glass housings. The Indicia, which may include Apple's logo, device serial number and so forth won't be imprinted on the sapphire glass but rather embedded in between two layers of sapphire glass via means of a new ion implantation methodology. The indicia can also be color controlled so as to stand out correctly on the surface of a particular iDevice. In addition, there were two supporting patent applications worth noting that cover residual compression stress and sapphire cover glass that could extend to the sides, top and bottom of an iDevice. This would translate to an entire housing created with sapphire cover glass.
In January we reported that Kwon Oh-hyeon, vice-chairman and CEO, Samsung Electronics, stated during an analyst meeting that they "would lead innovation by introducing the 'foldable' display in 2015." On Tuesday, after Samsung reported bad quarterly financials due to slumping smartphone sales for the second quarter this year, the US Patent Office revealed a new design patent win relating to a future smartphone with multiple displays. When Samsung introduced their first series of phablets it took Apple by surprise and helped Samsung's sales. Is their next move to introduce a smartphone with multiple-displays in 2015? Only time will tell.
The School District of Beloit will begin phasing out SMART Boards in favor of Apple TVs to make the latest technologies available in the classroom. In a unanimous vote the Board approved the purchase of 60 Apple TV systems at its Tuesday evening special meeting.
In yesterday's report titled "Samsung Profits Plummet 24% on Slow Smartphone Sales" we noted that Samsung stated that a market slowdown and heightened competition had resulted in a build-up of unsold smartphones in China and Europe. Due to the result of Samsung's Galaxy S5 inventory, we learn today that Taiwan's component makers now claiming that Samsung has drastically cut back on S5 component orders. In additon, Samsung's earnings shock has brought out the knives from thier local critics that angrily take a few stabs as Samsung's conceit and blind management.
Apple unveiled the initial build of its latest desktop operating system at the company's worldwide developer conference (WWDC) in early June 2014. With a bevy of new features, including a tighter integration with other Apple devices and services, on top of some user interface changes, many considered Yosemite to represent a dramatic change for Apple in the desktop arena. Subsequent developer interest seems to have been equally striking, as initial adoption figures of the OS beta version in North America have significantly outpaced those of its predecessor, OS X Mavericks.
Apple fans in Switzerland will soon have their fourth Apple retail store. It was first reported on by MacPrime back in May 2013 that Apple had begun looking to fulfill job openings for their new upcoming store. It's being reported today that the new Apple Store will open this coming Saturday.