Samsung unveiled their new smartwatch today that they claimed was the first capable of making and receiving phone calls without a mobile phone nearby. Samsung has been pushing hard to develop new wearable devices as it looks to counter slowing earnings in their mobile division, which has led to weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings and internal turf wars.
In one segment of our WWDC 2014 report we noted that Apple's press release stated that "Gaming on iOS takes a huge leap forward in iOS 8 with Metal, a new graphics technology that maximizes performance on the A7 chip. With its dramatic 10 times improvement in draw call speed, Metal enables leading game providers for the first time to bring console-class 3D games to mobile devices." In August it was reported that BioShock was coming to iOS and today it's now available on iTunes. Whether this new release will play at an elevated level using Apple's new Metal technology in iOS 8 later next month is unknown at this time.
According to several reports out of China late last week, a homicide case took place in Foxconn's Shenzhen Guanlan facility which makes the new iPhone 6. As we approach the iPhone 6 release date, Foxconn has implementing rigorous security inspections targeting workers who produce the iPhone 6 in order to prevent them from letting out confidential information about the new product.
Best Buy Canada has a sale on Apple's iPad Air that started last night and will last until September 4. All iPad Air models are available at $100 off which is a real incentive for students to get one now.
In May we reported on Duane Reade Inc. testing out Apple's iBeacon technology for it New York drugstore and convenient store chain. Today it's being reported that IPC Media, the publisher of magazines including Chat and Woman, will next month run the first UK-wide campaign using the Bluetooth beacon technology that Apple pioneered in its stores.
At the top of the month we posted a report titled "Apple's iPad Dominance in Education is Being Challenged by new Common Core Rules, Chromebooks and Hybrid Devices." The report covered a number of school districts that were opting for iPad alternatives like hybrid notebooks so that their students could meet the needs of the Common Core rules. Today, the L.A Times is reporting that that L.A. Unified, the second largest school system in the U.S. have officially cancelled a one billion dollar contract with Apple for iPads. The Atlantic report that we referred to in our earlier report already noted that 2,100 iPads had been cancelled, so the rumblings were already beginning to occur earlier this month.
In April we posted a report titled "Could Apple be Eying Smart Clothing as the Next Big Thing?." In that report we discussed Apple's new fashion world star power now on hand and wondered aloud if Apple could be eyeing the smart clothing market as one of the next big things. We also covered clothing like pants that could use a future glass fiber material capable of recharging your device when it's sitting in your pocket. Today, Ralf Lauren launched a new line of sports shirts that contain a series of biometric sensors that will work with an iPhone. The technology behind the new shirts is from a Canadian Company by the name of OMsignal as seen in the video above.
In mid-July we posted a report titled "Apple's iPhone 5S Crushes Samsung's S5 Globally and Takes Third Spot in China." The statistical research results were derived from a report from Counterpoint. Late on Friday Counterpoint's latest report came to light covering new statistics from China. China remains the bright spot for the entire mobile phone value chain and crux of all the growth. More specifically, Counterpoint's report focuses on China's shift to 4G LTE and presents us with the latest stats that indicate that there's currently a close three horse race in play with Apple being one of them.
A prominent Chinese website is reporting this morning that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will have a trial production of its 16nm process ahead of schedule and also accelerate the pace of capacity building, according to the sources. The company will obtain most of Apple's orders concerning the next generation A9 processor which will become the main growth force for TSMC in the future.
The Apple M7 chip (then codename Oscar) is a motion co-processor used in Apple's iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and iPad mini (2nd generation). Its function is designed to collect sensor data from integrated accelerometers, gyroscopes and compasses and offload the collecting and processing of sensor data from the main central processing unit (CPU). It was introduced in September 2013, and is used in the iPhone 5S. Today a new rumor has surfaced claiming that the iPhone 6 will pack a more powerful updated M7 chip.
It was just last week that we reported that Apple's iPhone 6 was now in the Product Validation Test stage prior to mass production. A reader commented on that aspect of the report by saying "…given the rumors of a September 9 unveiling, isn't it a bit late for the Product Validation Test stage?" I agreed with him because it was an oddity and today we've been given a partial answer to as to why that testing phase was so late in coming. We wrap up our report with several new supply-chain rumors that surfaced earlier today.
In June we reported that Apple's iPhone 5S was the number one smartphone in the world as reported by research firm Counterpoint. That particular report further noted that 3 out of the top smartphones were in the phablet category which marked a 40% increase in just the past year. That's great news as Apple is about to ride that surging wave come September and take those stats to new historical highs. Yet just as Apple is tackling that market segment that they originally missed, IDC is now reporting that the phablet market will begin to drop as 7" tablets with built-in telephony will rule the day in the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) region.
The next generation Parallels has just been launched. The Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac and Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Enterprise Edition upgrades are available today and the packaged software version will debut worldwide on August 29. Parallel notes in their promotional video that "OS X Yosemite coolness comes to Windows." The upgrade version sells for $50 and $80 for first time buyers. Their student version is only $40.