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July 2013

Apple's iWallet Edges Closer to Reality with Admission by ISIS

1. iWallet Related Report
In November 2012 we posted an in-depth report introducing ISIS, an e-wallet service project developed by AT&T, Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless. For the last nine months the ISIS venture has tested their system out at more than 4,000 locations in Austin Texas. They're now preparing to take the system live nationally this fall. According to a new report, the mobile payment system that works primarily with NFC technology will also work with Apple's iPhone.

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Even the Indian Government is getting into the App Store Craze

PA - Title Bar - News
The App Store opened on July 10, 2008 via an update to iTunes. On July 11, the iPhone 3G was launched and came pre-loaded with iOS 2.0.1 with App Store support and zipping through to the present, Apple recently celebrated their new 50 billionth app download record. To capture the buzz about the App Store, Apple originally created an ad back in 2009 coining the phrase "There's an App for That," and even filed a trademark for it in that same year. Now even the Indian Government is getting into the App Store craze.

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Will Apple Finally Get China Mobile on Board this Year?

PA - Title Bar - News
On Sunday we posted a special report titled "The Perfect Storm: All Eyes are on Apple's Strategy for China covering current trends and possible moves to unfold later this year. Apple has been in secret talks with China Mobile for the past four years and in January China Mobile admitted to a confidentiality agreement with Apple which was the first sign that a plan could be in place for the iPhone to debut on their network within the next year. Now Cook is back in China making new headlines.

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Apple Granted 16 Patents Covering a Mystery Handheld Device, an iPhone Feature, Luminance & Chrominance Sensors, More

PA - Title Bar Granted Patents
On a slow summer day, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 16 newly granted patents for Apple covering such things as a mystery handheld device designed by the late Steve Jobs along with others related to the iPhone, iPhone camera and more.

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A New China Labor Watch Report Confirms Plastic iPhone

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Buried within a new scathing report on labor conditions found at Apple iPhone supplier plants, we find two references about Apple's entry-level mid-range iPhone. The report states that "Pegatron (Shanghai) Ltd Co. is part of the Pegatron Group, which was a subsidiary of Pegatron Group until 2010. Pegatron primarily assembles cell phones and tablet PCs for Apple. Its assembled products include iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, and low-priced plastic iPhones."

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First-Time Smartphone Buyers in the UK Drive Apple's iPhone Sales Surge While Verizon Wins Top iPhone Carrier in the US

PA - Title Bar - Statistics
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to June 2013, show Apple's iOS has surged 5.2 percentage points to 30.5% of the British smartphone market, driven by first-time smartphone buyers opting for the iPhone 4.

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Apple Likely to Have Pinch to Zoom Patent Reversed on Appeal

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Today, Network World decided to run a headline that reads "US patent office rejects claims of Apple 'pinch to zoom' patent." Of course that's only true in part, as Apple has 60 days to appeal the ruling. Is this a case of Déjà vu? Yes, more than likely.

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A Scathing Report from China Labor Watch Claims that Apple Supplier Pegatron Violates Labor Rights to Gain Contracts

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Today, China Labor Watch (CLW) published an investigative report detailing the labor violations of three factories of Pegatron Group, a major supplier to Apple. In 2013, Apple has increased its orders to these factories, which have benefitted from and relied upon labor violations to increase their competitive edge. In a CLW video provided for in our report, you'll hear the claim that one of the plants violating China's labor laws is a plant now making Apple's new mid-level iPhone. Report Updated July 30, 2013.

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The Perfect Storm: All Eyes are on Apple's Strategy for China

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During Apple's F3Q 2013 Conference call on Tuesday Tim Cook tried to explain away Apple's decline in China this past quarter as being attributed to Hong Kong being "an international shopping haven." That was the only reasoning given for a 20% decline in iPhone sales in Hong Kong. Cook later resigned to saying that he wouldn't get discouraged over a 90-day cycle that could have economic factors and other things in it. For being a statistics man, his response was a little vague if not odd.

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This Week's rumored iPhone Lite Photos were Ridiculous

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While Patently Apple does post some reports based on rumors emanating from Taiwan and Chinese supply chain sources, we shy away from the bizarre, the truly unbelievable or the ridiculous. Yet some sites don't mind stepping over the line and this week's rumored iPhone lite photos were clear proof of that. The rumored photos were simply over the top stupid. To some, they were just insulting.

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Apple Has Advanced Voice Recognition Team Hidden in Boston

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In May, Nuance CEO Paul Ricci confirmed in an interview with Walt Mossberg that their technology was in fact behind Apple's Siri (See the 6:28 mark of this video interview). Whether that admission violated their contract with Apple isn't known. But what we can confirm, is that Apple now has a new advanced voice recognition team set up in Boston. Whether this is a move to break away from their reliance on Nuance in the future is unknown at this time.

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Apple's iPhone Market Share Slips Again despite Good Quarter

PA - Title Bar - Statistics
According to the IDC's latest report, Apple posted its second-lowest year-over-year iPhone growth rate in almost four years as some buyers presumably held off on iPhone purchases in advance of an expected next-generation device launch this fall. Nonetheless, the 31.2 million iPhones Apple shipped last quarter was impressive as its flagship iPhone 5 model, which has been in the market for three quarters, was faced with additional global competition in the form of Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC's critically-acclaimed One models.

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Apple Invents New Carousel Styled Safari UI for Tabbed Browsing

1. Cover - Apple Safari Invention of Carousel UI for Tabbed Browser review
On July 25, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new feature coming to Safari that advances the nature of tabbed browsing. When you have a sea of open tabs before you, it's difficult if not impossible to find that one tab that you want to access quickly. Apple introduces a new Carousel concept to advance tab browsing and eliminate that problem. Today's report concludes with the listing of a few other minor patent applications that were published today by USPTO that some of you might find interesting.

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Apple Invents Charging Techniques for Solid State Batteries

1. Cover - Apple Invents charging techniques for Solid State Batteries
On July 25, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals charging techniques for Solid State batteries. Solid State batteries fall into low-power density and high-energy density categories. On the latter side of the equation, Toyota is working on a Solid State battery for 2020 vehicles that will deliver 3 to 4 times battery life. Obviously Apple is interested in the low-power side of Solid State batteries for iDevices and likely future wearable computers. According to Wikipedia, Solid Sated batteries "are easy to miniaturize and can be constructed in thin film form," which would be great in context with bendable devices and those with flexible displays. They also eliminate the problem of electrolyte leakage found in traditional batteries. This kind of batteries also tends to have very long shelf lives and usually don't have any abrupt changes in performance with temperature, such as might be associated with electrolyte freezing or boiling. At the end of the day, we'd like to see battery life extended for iDevices in the 3 to 4 times range like the goal Toyota is aiming for. Now that would be great news.

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Apple Invents Methods of Forming 3D Structure with Liquid Metal

1. Cover - Apple patent - methods of forming 3D structures
On July 25, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals methods for forming three-dimensional structures which may be configured to provide desirable characteristics with respect to light, sound, and fluid travel therethrough. Further, the three-dimensional structures may be configured to define desired stiffness, weight, and/or flexibility within a device. The three-dimensional structures may be employed in embodiments including heat sinks, housings, speaker or vent covers, springs, etc. Apple's patent FIG. 5 noted in our cover graphic illustrates an example embodiment of a three-dimensional structure that includes connecting members defining a box structure. Hidden within Apple's patent is the fact that it relates to liquid metal applications.

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MacBook Sales may Decline in Q3 but for Good Reason

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A new report out this morning states that an estimated four million MacBooks will be shipped in the third quarter of 2013, increasing over 10% on quarter, but significantly decreasing from previous years, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Yet the report doesn't acknowledge the bigger context. 

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Apple Experiencing Problems with Unstable Fingerprint Sensors

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In April we reported that Apple was having trouble trying to find a coating material that wouldn't interfere with their upcoming iPhone fingerprint sensor. The glitch was serious enough that it could cause the technology to be delayed. A new report out today claims that the problems could be deeper in nature.

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Apple decides on new Touch Technology for Next iPad while the new iPad mini remains in a State of Flux

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While Apple's next-generation 9.7-inch iPad is expected to continue with the same Retina quality display, the new model will have a slimmer bezel design and use GF2 touch screen technology, which is technically double-sided ITO film. The switch in screen technology will make the iPad thinner and lighter.

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Apple's Financials Come in Flat but iPhone Sales Still Impress

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Apple's results for its fiscal third quarter came in with revenue of $35.3 billion and quarterly net profit of $6.9 billion, or $7.47 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $35 billion and net profit of $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.9 percent compared to 42.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 57 percent of the quarter's revenue.

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In June, Apple's iPad Web Traffic Lead Leaps to Over 84%

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In May we reported that Apple's iPad lead in web traffic had increased to an all-year high of 82.4%. Today, Chitika's newly published tablet web traffic statistics for June have Apple leaping to 84.3% despite Samsung launching their new Galaxy Tablets products in May.

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Apple Granted 49 Patents Covering Lightning, Mac mini, Cameras plus an Interesting Euro Patent with an iPhone Camera Shift

1. Cover - Apple granted 49 Patents Today, July 23, 2013
It's a huge day for Apple in respect to newly granted patents. The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 49 granted patents for Apple this morning. The patents cover a wide array of technologies such as Apple's lightning connector, the Mac mini, five camera patents and a few patents relating to the iPhone. We also provide you with two graphics from a recent European patent filing that illustrates the iPhone's face camera positioned in a new location. We close out our report illustrating five design patent wins for Apple and a full accounting of the patents that we didn't cover in today's report.

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Apple Drops AUO for iPad Mini 2 & Adds Low Energy Displays

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According to a new report today, Apple has dropped AUO, a Taiwanese display supplier, from its list of suppliers for IPad mini 2. AUO had supplied LCD for iPad mini along with LG Display and Sharp, but could not secure orders from Apple since it had failed to develop a high penetration LCD for iPad Mini 2.

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Apple Files for Logic Remote Logo Trademark

PA Trademarks
On July 22, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark filing for the Logic Remote logo. Logic Remote was released on July 16 and available at the App Store for free. Logic Remote is an iPad companion app for Logic Pro X on the Mac. Designed to take full advantage of Multi-Touch on iPad, Logic Remote offers new ways to record, mix, and even perform instruments in Logic Pro X from anywhere in the room, turning your iPad into a keyboard, drum pad, guitar fretboard, mixing board, or transport control.

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The Rumors Return: Apple Considers Larger Displays for 2014 iDevices

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple and its Asian suppliers are testing larger screens for iPhones and tablets. In recent months, Apple has reportedly asked for prototype smartphone screens larger than 4 inches and has also asked for screen designs for a new tablet device measuring slightly less than 13 inches diagonally. However, this type of iPhone rumor has been around for a while. In early June Reuters reported on iPhones in the 4.7 to 5.7 inch size.

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Samsung to Debut Smart Watch Prior to iPhone Event

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The latest trend to beat Apple to the punch on any single technology relating to smartphones or tablets prior to Apple's classic iPhone Event held every September is gaining another entrant, Samsung.

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