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Apple’s data center chief passes away

  • November 30, 2010
  • Apple

Olivier Sanche, Apple’s Director of Global Data Center Operations, passed away last week after suffering a heart attack, according to a new report. Citing Tweets and blog postings from some of Sanche’s friends, Data Center Knowledge reports that Sanche joined Apple in August 2009, and oversaw the preparations for the company’s new $1 billion data center in North Carolina. Prior to Apple, Sanche headed data center teams at AT&T, Telecity Group and eBay; for the latter, he oversaw the design and construction of eBay’s “Topaz” data center in Utah, which recently received LEED Gold certification for its sustainable construction. “Olivier loved being at Apple as he could do things he could get done nowhere else,” friend Dave Ohara wrote. “He had vision, passion, and drive to do the right thing, especially for the environment.”

Apple adds lawyers ahead of patent legal battles

  • November 29, 2010
  • Apple

Apple has added to its legal team ahead of key legal battles with rival companies Nokia, HTC, and Motorola. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Apple and Nokia are squaring off before the International Trade Commission this week, with each side alleging intellectual property violations. “These are very well-known, deep-pocketed, high-end manufacturers,” said Lyle Vander Schaaf, an attorney at Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione in Washington, who handles cases before the ITC. “Usually you have one 800-pound gorilla going after a new entrant. Here you’ve got 800-pound gorillas fighting each other.” According to the report, Apple has been the most-sued technology company since 2008, and has hired some of the country’s top patent lawyers as outside counsel, with experience representing companies such as Creative Technology, Broadcom, and Merck & Co. Apple also added an in-house attorney to its ranks this year, hiring former Sun Microsystems head of IP counsel Noreen Krall; Krall now focuses on intellectual property litigation for Apple.

Apple purchases former HP campus in Cupertino

  • November 29, 2010
  • Apple

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Apple has confirmed the purchase of a 98-acre site near its existing headquarters in Cupertino, CA. The site has served as a longtime campus for rival tech company Hewlett-Packard, and sits across the street from a 50-acre site that Apple acquired in 2006 and had previously announced as the location for a planned second campus. “We now occupy 57 buildings in Cupertino and our campus is bursting at the seams,” Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told the San Jose Mercury News. “These offices will give us more space for our employees as we continue to grow.” Apple and HP declined to give the sale price or any specifics of the transaction, although local real estate experts suggest the asking price may have been $300 million or more.

Apple offers ‘Cyber Monday’ discounts

Apple is offering discounts on a select group of accessories for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod in celebration of “Cyber Monday,” the online counterpart to Black Friday. The discounts include $40 off the Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox speaker, $20 off Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD Headphones, $4 off the Twelve South Compass Portable Stand for iPad, and $13 off an iPhone-friendly Cole Haan Zip Wallet. These and the other discounts are available today only on Apple’s online store.

News Corp. to announce iPad newspaper at Apple event?

A pair of new reports suggest that News Corp, headed by Rupert Murdoch, will announce a new tablet-based newspaper at an upcoming Apple event. The Guardian reports that the new paper, called the Daily, is a collaboration between Apple and News Corp and has been under development in New York for several months. The report goes on to state that the paper will cost 99 cents per week, and will be able to be delivered automatically to an iPad using a new subscription plan from Apple.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball, in linking to the aforementioned report, suggests that the initiative will launch with a press event, with Murdoch—and possibly other newspaper and magazine executives—joining Steve Jobs on stage. In addition, Gruber states that he’d heard December 9th as possible date for the event, but notes that this is a Thursday, an unusual day for Apple to hold a press event. Gruber goes on to state that based on information from sources outside Apple, the event will not be for a central “iNews” or “Newsstand” app from Apple, but will instead be for a new recurring subscription billing option for apps, paid through the user’s iTunes account. He also states that the News Corp developers working on the new Daily app have been given “preliminary documentation on the new subscription billing APIs from Apple.”

Apple to hold special Black Friday shopping event

  • November 23, 2010
  • Apple

Apple has begun emailing past customers of its retail and online stores, notifying them of a special one-day Apple shopping event this Friday, November 26. According to the notice, Apple’s retail stores will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, while customers visiting the online store will have all day to place an order. In the past, Apple has offered modest sales on select products during such events; last year, it offered a discount of $101 on all MacBook Pro laptop computers as well as $31 discount on 32GB iPod touch models.

Second-gen Apple TV updated to 4.1

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Apple has released a software update for the second-generation Apple TV bringing the device’s software up to version 4.1. Notably, the update includes support for AirPlay streaming from a device running iOS 4.2 or from a Mac or PC running iTunes 10 to the Apple TV. In addition, it adds support for VoiceOver spoken menus; the feature can be turned on via a setting in the Accessibility menu, and reads both the names of menu items and metadata, including episode descriptions of TV shows. Apple TV software 4.1 is available now via the Update Software menu item in the device’s General settings menu.

Apple releases iOS 4.2 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

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As expected, Apple has released iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The anticipated update, announced during Apple’s September iPod event, brings iOS 4 features such as multitasking and folders to the iPad for the first time, while also adding new features like AirPlay wireless media streaming and AirPrint wireless printing to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Notably, the software update requires iTunes 10.1, and is available now for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch via the Update feature in iTunes.

iOS 4.2 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch coming later today

Apple has announced that it will release iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch later today. Announced during Apple’s September media event, the update will bring previously iPhone- and iPod touch-exclusive features like multitasking and a unified Mail inbox to the iPad, and will also add new features like AirPlay streaming and AirPrint wireless printing to all three devices. Apple is expected to release iOS 4.2 around 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Apple seeds iOS 4.2.1 GM amid reports of VoIP bug

Apple has seeded a new Gold Master version of iOS 4.2, labeled iOS 4.2.1, to developers. Unlike the secondary GM seed of iOS 4.2 released exclusively for the iPad, this new build is available for all capable devices, including the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch. While it is unclear whether Apple now plans to skip a general release of iOS 4.2 and go directly to iOS 4.2.1, an email from Toktumi, makers of the Line2 VoIP application, suggests a communications bug may have led Apple to release the new build. According to the email, reprinted by Mac Rumors, the GM version of iOS 4.2 contained a “severe” bug that caused any VoIP app running in the background to continuously ring after receiving an incoming call, even after the call is answered. The email states that Apple Developer Support is aware of the bug; it is unknown whether iOS 4.2.1 includes a fix for the issue. iOS 4.2.1 GM is available as a download for paid iOS developers from Apple’s iOS Dev Center.

Apple to launch iAd in Europe in December

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Apple has announced that it will launch its iAd mobile advertising network in the UK and France this December, with Germany to follow in February. According to the release, the European iAd launch will see new ads from L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever, Citi, Evian, LG Display, AB InBev, Turkish Airlines and Absolute Radio. Apple claims that iAd has signed on over half of the top 25 leading US national advertisers in just four months, with a projected 21 percent share of US mobile display advertising revenue for 2010 according to research firm IDC. Also mentioned in the release is a seemingly new iAd website, advertising.apple.com.

“We’re thrilled to add leading global brands to the iAd Network in Europe and create even more great opportunities for developers,” said Andy Miller, Apple’s vice president of iAd. “In just four months, we’ve doubled the number of advertisers on the network and thousands of developers now have a valuable new source of revenue.”

“As the world leader in the beauty business, L’Oréal aims to create the most meaningful connections between its brands and its customers, so iAd was a natural choice,” said Marc Menesguen, L’Oréal’s Head of strategic marketing. “We’re thrilled by the quality, the interactivity and the depth of iAd’s user experience, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to reach and serve the most engaged and discerning customers at the digital forefront of beauty, hence our choice of Lancôme to lead our iAd campaign.”

Dr. Ronald Sugar joins Apple’s Board of Directors

  • November 17, 2010
  • Apple

Apple has announced that Dr. Ronald D. Sugar, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation, has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors. According to the release, Dr. Sugar served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Northrop Grumman Corporation from 2003 until his retirement in 2010, and has also held executive positions at Litton Industries and TRW Inc., where he served as chief financial officer. In his role with Apple, Dr. Sugar will serve as the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee.

“Ron is an engineer at heart, who then became a very successful business leader. We are very excited to welcome him to Apple’s Board,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “In addition to having been the CEO of a high-tech Fortune 100 company, Ron has a Ph.D. in engineering and has been involved in the development of some very sophisticated technology.”

“I have always had enormous admiration for the people of Apple,” said Sugar. “It is a special privilege to serve on the board of such an amazing company.”

The Beatles an iTunes exclusive into next year

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Apple has secured exclusive digital rights for The Beatles’ catalog into next year, according to AllThingsD. EMI spokesman Dylan Jones told the publication that Apple has exclusive digital rights for The Beatles “into 2011,” and noted that the exclusive does not expire at the first of the year. Jones added that the exclusivity period does have a set expiration date, but did not share when that might be. In addition, Jones was vague when asked whether The Beatles would be available from other digital outlets such as Amazon and various subscription services, saying only “[t]hat’s a question, isn’t it.”

The Beatles catalog now available on iTunes

As expected, Apple today announced the immediate availability of The Beatles’ entire back catalog on the iTunes Store. All of the Fab Four’s remastered albums are available for purchase individually in iTunes LP format, priced at $12.99 for standard length albums and $19.99 for double-length offerings; also available is the The Beatles Box Set ($149), which contains remastered versions of all the band’s studio albums in iTunes LP format, as well Past Masters Vols. 1 & 2, a series of Mini Documentaries, and a film of the band’s performance at the Washington Coliseum from 1964, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert in its entirety. Notably, the concert film will be available for fans to stream and view from iTunes for free for the remainder of this calendar year. All of the band’s singles are offered for $1.29 a song. In conjunction with the release, Apple will be running a series of five TV advertisements, featuring clips of the band’s arrival in America, and the songs “All You Need Is Love,” “Let It Be,” “Yesterday,” and “Here Comes The Sun,” respectively, all of which are available for viewing on the band’s iTunes landing page.

Report: Apple to announce The Beatles on iTunes

Apple is preparing to announce the arrival of The Beatles’ catalog on the iTunes Store tomorrow morning, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has been in talks with the representatives of the band, as well as EMI, the band’s label, as recently as last week, but that Apple could change its plans at the last minute. The report notes that an agreement would represent a watershed event in a decades-old relationship that has seen lawsuits filed against both parties, beginning in 1978 with a dispute over the “Apple” brand that wasn’t fully resolved until early 2007.

Apple to announce iAds for Europe

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Apple is expected to announce the first brands to use iAds in Europe later this week, according to a new report. The Financial Times reports that Apple has twice delayed the launch of its iAd mobile advertising platform in Europe, and has in some cases been willing to discuss taking less than its $1 million minimum spend in order to attract better brands as advertisers. “Apple is in a weaker position than you’d think,” said one media agency’s digital leader. According to the report, early partners for the European launch could include L’Oréal, Renault and Nestlé, with two or three campaigns running in early December, and more planned for 2011. Last week, Apple announced a partnership with marketing firm The Dentsu Group to expand Apple’s iAd mobile advertising platform to Japan early next year; no such partnership for Europe is mentioned in the report.

Apple teases iTunes announcement, coming tomorrow at 10 am ET/7 am PT

Apple has posted a large image on its homepage, teasing an upcoming announcement regarding iTunes. The graphic reads, “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget,” and instructs users to check back tomorrow “for an exciting announcement from iTunes.” Underneath the text is a series of clocks, used to indicate the timing of the announcement—7:00 a.m. in California, 10:00 a.m. in New York, 3:00 p.m. in London, and Midnight in Tokyo—which suggests that the announcement will be of an international nature instead of being limited to just one country.

Apple adds Ping functionality to iPad

Apple has added the ability for iPad users to access their Ping accounts via the iTunes app. The Ping tab allows users to view their activity feed, followers, profile, and a separate section dedicated to concerts, including local shows, artists on tour, and links to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.com. Ping went live on Apple’s other iOS 4 devices in early September. [via 9 to 5 Mac]

Apple releases updated iOS 4.2 GM for iPad

Apple has released a revised version of its iOS 4.2 Gold Master for iPad, amid reports that the software’s launch was pushed back due to a bug. Citing a number of different recent articles, Mac Rumors reports that Apple has posted Build 8C134b of the software on the iOS Dev Center, a newer version than Build 8C134 which was seeded to developers on November 1. According to the report, rumors had indicated that there were Wi-Fi connectivity issues in the initial GM build of iOS 4.2 for iPad, forcing Apple to push back its internal schedule for the software’s release from this week to at least next week, and possibly as late as November 24, as reported by The Telegraph. Apple has said only that iOS 4.2 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch would be released in November.

Apple releases iTunes 10.1 with iOS 4.2, AirPlay support

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Apple has released iTunes 10.1, the latest version of its digital media management software. As expected, iTunes 10.1 brings with it compatibility with iPod touches, iPhones, and iPads running iOS 4.2, the ability to use AirPlay to stream videos from iTunes to the second-generation Apple TV, and a variety of other stability and performance improvements. Notably, there is no sign yet of iOS 4.2’s release, nor of the Apple TV or Remote app updates expected to arrive with the updated software. iTunes 10.1 is available now via Apple’s Software Update utility or as a direct download from apple.com/itunes.

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