Apple iPhone Forum

by Maura at Jan 22, 2017
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Apple suing Qualcomm for 1 billion dollars.JPG

iDownload Blog reports that Apple has announced that it is suing Qualcomm, the company that makes iPhone modems and owns lots of wireless patents, for $1 billion. The move comes “after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty,” said Apple in a statement.

Apple alleges in the lawsuit that Qualcomm withheld almost $1 billion in payments to Apple as a way of punishing Apple for cooperating with the Korea Fair Trade Commission, which has just issued Qualcomm with an $850 million fine due to its patent licensing activities.

Apple says that Qualcomm charged royalties for technology that “they have nothing to do with.” Apple also accused Qualcomm of using exclusionary tactics to increase its dominance in the industry. Apple and Samsung devices made up almost half of Qualcomm’s $23.5 billion revenue in its most recent fiscal year.

Qualcomm has responded to Apple’s charges by saying that they are groundless, and that Apple has “misrepresented facts.”

Sources: Apple sues Qualcomm over withholding $1B as ransom in Korean legal investigation
by Maura at Jan 22, 2017
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Group FaceTime calling rumoured for iOS 11.JPG

9to5 Mac reports on what it is calling a “sketchy” rumour that group video FaceTime calling will be coming in iOS 11, which is due to launch later in the year. The rumour comes from a technology blog in Israel called The Verifier.

According to “several people familiar with iOS development process (partly developed in Israel),” Messages on iOS will be updated with the ability to start a group FaceTime call with up to five participants at a time.

Currently its only possible for two people to participate in FaceTime video calls, and it has been this way ever since FaceTime launch in 2010. However, group FaceTiming was actually featured in the famous Apple-themed episode of ABC sitcom Modern Family in 2015, entitled “Connection Lost,” which was shot entirely on the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2.

If the rumour turns out to be true, we can expect to hear more about this when iOS 11 is unveiled (most likely) at this year’s WWDC in early June.

Modern Family image: Twentieth Century Fox Television via Recode

Sources: Sketchy rumor claims iOS 11 will bring long overdue group FaceTime calling

ABC's 'Modern Family' Shot an Entire Episode Using Only Apple's iPhone and iPad
by Maura at Jan 22, 2017
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iPhone 8 rumoured to feature two step touch id and facial recognition.JPG

MacRumors reports that well-respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a research report in which he has some very interesting information to impart about the forthcoming iPhone 8.

Kuo says that the phone will have a flexible OLED panel, and underneath that, a film sensor, which is more sensitive and provides a better 3D Touch user experience than the current FPCB sensor. And in order to prevent the flexible OLED panel form factor being deformed by touch pressure, the film sensor will be bolstered with a metal structure underneath.

Further, Kuo says that Apple is currently developing a new Touch ID technology for the iPhone 8 in order to “complement its full-screen (zero bezel) form factor design,” as well as improving security for transactions. Kuo added that the current “under glass” fingerprint recognition design is not suitable for the new full-screen form factor, so that will be replaced by an “under panel.”

This change will also see Apple switching to a new optical-type system from the current capacitive-type system, according to Kuo.

And finally, Kuo also thinks that the iPhone fingerprint recognition system will be usurped by a facial recognition system, but “if the technical challenges cannot be overcome, we believe a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition is another possible solution.”

Concept iPhone 8 image: Imram Taylor with ConceptsiPhone/Ran Avni.

Source: Apple Exploring Two-Step Touch ID and Facial Recognition System for iPhone 8
by Maura at Jan 20, 2017
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Yu Gi Oh duel links out now.JPG

Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links has finally arrived in the App Store today following its launch in Japan last November, where it has seen more than 13 million downloads and topped the Free App charts.

Based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, Dual Links gives players the chance to construct the ultimate Deck from more than 700 authentic Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and then take on opponents all over the world in real-time PvP Duels, summoning monsters and playing spells and traps to defeat rivals.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! series is based on the manga Yu-Gi-Oh! by Kazuki Takahashi, which first appeared in the Shonen Jump magazine in 1996, as well as the fifth version of the Yu-Gi-Oh! animated series. Konami released the first console Yu-Gi-Oh! game in 1998.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game is still the Number 1 trading card game in the world, with more than 25 billion cards sold.

Click here to download for free: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links on the App Store

Source: Konami
by Maura at Jan 20, 2017
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Fire Emblem Heroes.JPG

AppleInsider reports that Nintendo has just announced a mobile Fire Emblem game, which will be coming soon to iOS. This is the second of Nintendo’s five promised mobile games, with the first being Super Mario Run, which fared well initially, but has also had its fair share of criticism, in particular due to the controversial pricing structure.

The mobile-exclusive game is called Fire Emblem: Heroes, and will launch first on Android on February 2, with no iOS date set yet.

Heroes features the series’ classic anime style, with tactical role-playing character-collection gameplay with the player taking on the role of a powerful summoner. The storyline centers around two rival factions who are trying to win control of a mythical realm.

Characters available to summon include those from previous Fire Emblem games, as well as new characters exclusive to Heroes. Other familiar features that fans can expect to see in the new game include the sword/lance/axe attribute, triangle weapon strategy system.

This really does look very promising, and just the sort of game that Nintendo should be releasing on mobile, let’s hope they get the pricing right this time.

Source: Nintendo says Fire Emblem mobile game 'coming soon' to iOS
by Maura at Jan 19, 2017
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Lite On Semi to supply fast wireless charging components for iPhone 8.JPG

iDownload Blog reports that according to an article in the Commercial Times, via DigiTimes, Lite-On Semi has signed a component deal to supply Apple with various parts required for fast wireless charging on iPhone 8.

The source says that Lite-On Semi, which is based in Taiwan, has been contracted to manufacture GPP bridge rectifiers to help reduce thermal issue and improve the efficiency of wireless power transmission in the next iPhone.

The report also says that Lite-On Semi has managed to secure 50% of the orders for GPP bridge rectifiers for wireless charging in the iPhone 8. It’s not yet known who will be responsible for the other 50%.

As iDownload Blog notes, Apple is expected to bypass the wireless charging device used for smartphones that currently have that feature, the charging mat, and go straight for distance wireless charging, possibly based on technology developed by Energous, with whom Apple is thought to be partnered.

Source: Lite-On Semi rumored to supply fast wireless charging components for iPhone 8
by Maura at Jan 18, 2017
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Flagship iPhone 8 to have wraparound 5.8 inch OLED screen.JPG

AppleInsider has an exclusive today on a new note to investors issued by Cowen and Company’s Timothy Arcuri in which he writes about Apple’s forthcoming new “feature-rich launch” of three new iPhone models, which is expected towards the end of 2017.

In particular, Arcuri talked about what he referred to as “iPhone X”, which is the flagship, 5.8-inch model with a “wraparound” display with a “fixed flex” screen similar to that used in some of the latest Samsung phones, including the recalled Galaxy Note 7.

Arcuri also says that the iPhone X will have facial and gesture recognition capabilities thanks to a laser sensor, as well as an infrared sensor adjacent to the front-facing camera, and wireless charging.

Arcuri also contradicts recent rumours from other sources by saying that the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models may well have OLED screens, rather than just the flagship model. However, this would very much depend on whether or not Samsung will be able to produce enough OLED displays to fulfill all of Apple’s requirements.

While this might fly in the face of other recent rumours stating that only the high-end model of the three will have an OLED disply, it could explain other recent reports stating that Apple’s rivals are concerned about a shortage of OLED displays if Apple wants to use so many of them.

iPhone 8 concept picture: iMore

Source: New supply chain reports lend weight to 'wraparound' 5.8-inch 'iPhone 8' with embedded sensors
by Maura at Jan 18, 2017
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Apple stocks rise to 14 month high.JPG

iDownload Blog reports on great news for Apple today, with Apple shares hitting $119.95 in intraday trading, which is the highest Apple stock price since the end of 2015.

This is a great turnaround from the 52-week low of $89.47 back in May 2016, and particularly good news following a period of what analyst Brian White referred to as “a never ending waterfall of ‘gloom and doom’” reporting about Apple in recent months, thanks to the company reporting three consecutive quarters of revenue decline, as well as the first-ever drop in iPhone sales.

While Apple stock has been steadily rising since its low last year, it’s not known what exactly led to today’s impressive figures, with some saying that it could be a result of a note distributed to clients today by Cowen and Company’s Timothy Arcuri, where he said that the iPhone 8 may well have a type of facial or gesture recognition feature when it’s released this year.

Source: Apple stock hits 14-month high, its highest price since 2015
by Maura at Jan 17, 2017
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UK App Store prices increase.JPG

AppleInsider reports that App Store prices have risen in several territories around the world, primarily due to currency fluctuations.

First off we have the UK, where prices of apps and in-app purchases have increased by around 25%. This means that a Tier 1 app previously costing £0.79 will now cost £0.99. The price hike was first reported on by The Guardian, after Apple sent a note to App Store developers informing them of the price rise. The price rise, which is double the price hike imposed by Apple in January 2016 in the UK App Store, has been blamed on the effect that Brexit has had on the pound in the UK.

“Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business,” said Apple in a statement on the matter. “These factors vary from region to region and over time.”

Elsewhere, App Store prices in India have also risen thanks to a 14% service tax rate and new 0.5 percent fees that the Indian government introduced last December. Prices have also increased in Romania and Russia, with both of those increases said to be due to tax rate increases and new sales taxes.

Source: Apple App Store prices increase 25% in UK, as result of 'Brexit' exchange rate drop
by Maura at Jan 17, 2017
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Apple Music execs talk expansion into TV and movie original content.JPG

It seems that Apple is intent on taking Apple Music in new and exciting directions, with MacRumors reporting today on a new interview from Complex with Apple Music executives Larry Jackson, Bozoma Saint John, and Zane Lowe in which they set out Apple Music’s ambitious expansion plans.

“Every day something is changing or moving or evolving for people who love music and entertainment,” said Lowe. “We’re all still working it out, and even when you don’t have the answer, it’s still a privilege to be in the conversation.”

Saint John added that Apple Music is a “living, breathing brand.” She went on to say that Apple is “developing something very special.”

And while the trio don’t mention any specific plans in the interview for Apple Music’s expansion into other areas of entertainment, clearly something big is on the cards, with other recent reports stating that Apple Music will soon be creating its own movies and TV shows in similar fashion to Netflix.

Sources: Apple's Bozoma Saint John on Apple Music: 'We're Developing Something Very Special'

Apple's Stream Team: Zane Lowe, Bozoma Saint John And Larry Jackson Are Taking Music To The Future