Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Apple to Partner with American Express – Payment System

Apple, according to some sources is said to have reached a deal to partner with American Express and has come in agreement with them to work together on its latest iPhone payment system and American Express seems to be one of the many partners.

Apple will have to sign up before the launch of its new payment plan which is reported to be announced at the September 9 product event. It was earlier reported that Apple had been in negotiations with Visa which was said to leverage the forthcoming iPhone 6 and a few days back, a logic board leak reported the NFC, near field communications chip, planned for the iPhone 6 which will presumably play a very important role in enabling the functions of mobile payments.

Apple’s new payments system is planned to enable iPhone 6 users to utilise their phones instead of the credit cards, debit cards or cash in order to pay for goods in stores. The consumers could present their phones at the counter at the time of checkout of partnering retailers and transmit payment information to complete the transaction though it is not known which retailers have signed on to accept such type of payments.

Approval from Credit Card Network/Bank

Apple had held discussions with several credit card networks in the lead up to the announcement, regarding the new payment product according to sources. The Information, the news site, had earlier reported that Visa had also agreed to partner with Apple.

The representatives of both Apple as well as American Express refrained from making any comments with regards to this issue. The introduction of the iPhone payment product will end a lot of speculation for Apple, about when it would take advantage of its huge file of hundreds of millions of credit cards from iTunes as well as App Store customers in order to create their own mobile wallet.

According to sources it is said that Apple would need the approval from the credit card network or the bank which issues an Apple customer’s card for the card to get approved for mobile payments.

Secured iPhone Payment System 

Since consumers have accepted mobile wallets from Google and consortium of wireless carriers, industry analyst, executive are of the belief that Apple are capable of making it work.

According to industry sources, Apple is of the belief that its iPhone payment system would be as least secured as the traditional payment cards and sources believe that the iPhone Touch ID fingerprint scanner would play a role somewhere in the system which could be either at launch or in the near future. Apple need not re-invest here since many U.S. stores have now started accepting NFC enabled Amex, Visa Paywave, Google Wallet/Mastercard Paypass and several other forms of electronic forms of payment including the typical credit card swipe.

Having an extensive database of credit card numbers which are linked to iTunes Stores account together with updated security technology like the Touch ID built in the iPhone; Apple is firmly positioned to leverage these assets for the adoption of mobile payment. Though efforts would be needed of partnerships with credit card processors and retailers, this seems to be falling into place prior to the next weeks’ media event.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Apple Granted Patent – Iconic Cube Design-NYC

Apple Store
According to reports by 9to5Mac, Apple has now been granted a U.S. patent for its iconic cube design, its New York flagship and the patent is for the design of above ground glass cube of 32 foot tall element of Apple‘s Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan.

This self-supporting glass cube is totally without any structural steel wherein a 2011 redesign of the cube had brought down the number of glass panels from 90 to just 13. This iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store glass cube, had been designed in segments by co-founder Steve Jobs, and is currently a patented ornamental building design which was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and was officially granted recently, representing the latest design of the 32 foot cube using few panes of glass to achieve a clearer aesthetic.

The simple look was the outcome of the redesign which was completed in late 2011. Being personally designed by Steve Jobs, it is one of the most photographed landmarks in the city where the former CEO had paid for the project and was also the owner of the structure. The patent application, was granted to Apple on August 26, which had been listed as being filed in October 2012 and would last for 14 years

Steve Jobs – Original Design and Manufacture of the Store

Apple Store
Steve Jobs who had spearheaded the original design as well as the manufacture of this store has been listed among the inventors on the filing of the patent. Apple’s Fifth Avenue Store as research published in 2010 indicated that it is the fifth most photographed location in New York which is behind the Empire State Building, Times Square, the Rockefeller Centre and Grand Central Station.

The glass used is very much glass. It was informed that in January, one of the cube’s glass panels had shattered while clean-up crews had accidentally hit it with a snow blower. Patenting design of its stores is not unusual according to 9to5Mac reports, for Apple, since the company had been granted a patent for the cylindrical exterior of its Shanghai Store in 2012.

New Company - Microsoft’s First Retail Store 

Jobs has been given the credits for being one of the seven inventors of the structure and is joined by former retail chief Ron Johnson while the other inventors are Karl Backus, Peter Bohlin, Benjamin L. Fay, Robert Bridger, and James O’Callaghan. The all glass design has now inspired other project from
Apple which includes the mega store that opened in 2010 in Shanghai and similar to the Fifth Avenue store, it has its entrance as a staircase which is enclosed in glass while the one in China is cylindrical glass tower with a glowing white Apple logo floating within which is much like the glass cube in New York.

The company has also trademarked the design of the retail stores which includes the glass panel fronts as well as recessed lighting. Apple is also likely to have new company very soon on Fifth Avenue as it is rumoured that Microsoft is also in talks to open up its first retail store in New York City and would be located at 677 Fifth Avenue near 53rd Street which is in the vicinity of Apple’s store.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

iPhone 6 Coming in Gold, Silver and Grey Colours

iPhone 6
Apple’s iPhone 6 in Three Shades –Gold/Silver/Grey

A French website, NowhereElse has recently posted images of the leaked iPhone 6’s Sim card trays indicating that the model would be available in gold, silver and grey. The images uploaded by Steve Hemmerstoffer, editor of French Apple fansite portrayed the three trays which currently featured on the iPhone 5s.

The French website also had images of internal components of the iPhone 6 indicating trays, speakers, home buttons as well as vibrator motors besides pictures of the SIM card trays which was not surprising since the iPhone 5s is already available in the same three shades though the grey colour has a somewhat darker shade than the iPhone 5s, according to 9to5Mac report.

Besides posting images, the site has also confirmed the release date and has added that Apple’s new phone would also have 128GB of internal storage and the report seems to be coming from the most trusted and loyal Chinese sources who is known to have an exceptional track record of disclosing features of Apple’s products much prior to its launch.

According to 9to5Mac, alongside the SIM trays, besides the home buttons and vibrate motor, speakers are also photographed wherein the internal speaker appears to be much larger than the components used in the earlier iPhone.

Internal Speaker Larger with Sound Quality/Louder Volume

iPhone 6  sim trays
Besides, the internal speaker being larger in size is not the only factor determining the sound of speaker but there is a possibility indicating that the iPhone 6 will be offering sound quality or a louder volume and according to the last image, the design of the vibrator motor too has changed significantly. Though it is likely that the effect on the end user has not changed, the change was essential to accommodate the new internal layout of the phone.

The site had posted images which according to Mr Hemmerstoffer claimed to be promotional artwork for the new flagship model with the date of September 9 and according to news reports, the Californian Company is likely to unveil the next iPhone on this date together with the rumoured iWatch. Mr Hemmerstoffer alleged that the artwork had been handed to him by his loyal and most trusted Chinese sources who had given a familiar piece of artwork to him prior to the launch conference of the iPhone 5s.

Yellow Metal – Important Role in Smartphones

iPhone 6
In the updated round of iPhones 6 images, besides the new set of photos portraying the SIM trays et all, what is very noticeable is the curved edge to the SIM tray, which makes a seamless line with the iPhone 6’s curved edges seen several time earlier and the images depicts some changes to the speaker as well as vibrator motor of the device.

Going by the success of gold iPhone 5s, users prefer the gold colour and few know that most smartphones utilise gold in their internal components. Moreover, the yellow metal’s strong conductive properties and malleability are the cause which has an important role in smartphones.

Apple is likely to announce the new 4.7 inch iPhone at a press event in September which would be going on sale a few weeks thereafter. Rumours are on that the 5.5 inch variant of iPhone 6 would also be released though the timeline for the same is not known with several supply sources posing delays.

Friday, August 29, 2014

iPhone Apps Initiating Forced To Place Expensive Calls

iPhone 5
Privacy has been the top most reason that encourages anyone to invest in a smart phone. If you have been in a delusion that you are safe and spying is limited to another area, then beware. iPhone one of the largest selling smart phones seems to have hit a roadblock in form of forced call through their certain apps. This vulnerability can force the apps to place expensive calls or facetime calls.

Usually in any phone and even iPhone, tapping any number will give a pop screen prompting whether you want to make call or not. According to one of the developers, there is serious risk in apps which don’t ask for permission about the same at first. Due to the security lapse, your phone might be forced to make calls just by clicking of links; this will potentially connect your phone to expensive numbers without any prior warning.

Developer Andrei Neculaesei from Copenhagen Company was able to demonstrate the complete process and the security lapse in certain iOS apps. This has proven to work as many apps like Facebook messenger, Google+ and Gmail don’t give any pop-up when a consumer’s taps on any phone number embedded in the site.

“Hello Pretty” tactic 

Andrei stated that he used a very sneaky JavaScript to enable the links in a website, which clicks on by own. When these sites were accessed through various apps apart from Safari, an automatic call was initiated. Apart from incurring money loss, the user might end up communicating to the attackers through live video. This was called Hello Pretty.

Facetime has been facing a lot of problem as the calls are getting initiated by accessing any site through their app. These calls are almost instant. Just image a simple situation, you have just clicked on some link and without you being aware, an automatic calls is placed to an expensive number, where your attacker will be able to save all the details including your looks.

Even though Andrei was able to highlight some of the apps that have got affected by this issue, the entire blame can’t be placed on Apple, as there are apps which have been made available through different developers. Some of developers have not configured their apps to give a pop up with any specific information.

There are many giant names in these developers like Facebook and Google, who have chosen not to use this feature but the growing security issue might prompt them to incorporate these features.

Current update 

Due to the ongoing security issue, Facebook has already started working to get this issue fixed atleast in their apps. There are still many more apps still vulnerable to this issue.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Apple’s Largest iPad – 12.9 Inch

Apple’s Largest iPad – 12.9 Inch
Apple Inc.’s suppliers are gearing to manufacture one of the company’s largest iPad, boosting the screen size and the production is scheduled to begin by the first quarter of next year. The new iPad would have the screen size measuring 12.9 inch diagonally, making it the biggest product in the range though Apple currently has been producing iPads with 9.7 and 7.9 inch displays, respectively.

The tech giant has been working with suppliers for a year in order to develop an updated range of larger touch screen devices, according to some sources. The latest versions of the iPad mini and the updated version of the 9.7 inch iPad would be released at the time of Christmas as reported by Bloomberg.

Apple is keen on revamping its product range after its announcement of mixed third quarter results in July wherein the company had sold 13.3m iPads during the three months to June 28, which was down by 9.2pc the same period of last year and short of the 14.4m that analysts had expected. iPhone sales had missed market predictions of 36m though the sales had rose to 13pc to 35.3m that period.

Improvement on the iPad Line

Apple managed to bringup total sales of $35.33bn, which was up by $300 m though its profit fell by 22pc to $6.9bn. Apple shares, recently crossed the $100 level as investors had renewed hopes on the upcoming products after the announcement of Tim Cook, Chief executive, who had stated that the company was set to have a busy end to the year. Sales of tablets which were the second biggest product of revenue for Apple had declined consecutively for two quarters due to lack of new models and consumers had turned to smartphone with bigger screens.

Apple chief executive, Tim Cook is working on ways to improve on the iPad line and its supplier have started manufacture of updated 9.7 inch screen iPad as well as set to enter production of the new version of the iPad mini wherein these devices would be made available later this year. The company is planning an event on September 9 to debut its new bigger display iPhones which went into mass production this July, reported by Bloomberg News.

Potential Customers for Larger Screen iPads - Businesses

Most of the potential customers for larger screen iPads are business men who could use the device for more tasks of a laptop computer.

Apple had unveiled a partnership in July, with International Business Machines Corp: wherein Cook stated that part of the pacts rationale was in selling to corporations so that they could be a catalyst for the growth of future iPad.

An analyst at researcher, Jitesh Urbani, had stated that while tablets sales growth had slowed down, he projected that businesses, schools as well as governments would be buyers of the devices and those groups accounted for 16 percent of the tablet sales in the second quarter which according to his estimate was up from 13 percent a year earlier. Urbani, in his interview, had stated that they would be expecting larger tablets to perform better in the enterprise market.