Apple is set to unveil iOS 7 today, and 9to5Mac has posted a mockup of Apple’s new OS released with additional details before its official debut. iOS 7 reportedly uses a thinner font throughout the Home Screens. Apple has replaced the carrier signal bars with five white or gray dots. App icons have also changed in various ways — for instance, Camera is now gray with the image of a camera, as opposed to a lens. The Photos, Game Center and Safari icons have changed, while Mail, Music, App Store, and iTunes Store icons apparently look like flatter versions of the previous icons.
There are also apparently two color schemes for many of the apps — a “black” color scheme and “white” scheme. It’s unknown what role these schemes will play, but black and white iPhones could have their own color schemes, or the phone might change color schemes based on time or the amount of ambient light. Maps will reportedly add walking directions, and as was previously reported, AirDrop sharing will be available.
Apple will be running live video of its keynote event today, both on its website, and via an “Apple Events” channel on Apple TV. Starting at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EST, viewers will be able to tune in and watch as the company is expected to introduce iOS 7, iRadio, as well as new Macs, and an update to OS X.
The Apple Events channel reappeared on Apple TVs overnight, and currently provides access to past keynote addresses. iLounge will provide coverage of the event and Apple’s new product announcements.
An Anandtech report claims Apple isn’t throttling iPhone or iPad cellular data through carrier bundles, directly refuting a recent claim from developer Joseph Brown. While Brown claims cellular data speeds for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are throttled through coding, Anandtech’s Brian Klug writes that “Apple doesn’t limit cellular data throughput on its devices — there’s both no incentive for them to do so, and any traffic management is better off done in the packet core of the respective network operator rather than on devices.” Klug offers a detailed technical explanation explaining his stance. Brown is standing by his own claims, as he has tweeted.
Sony Music has agreed to terms with Apple on the company’s iRadio service, making an iRadio debut at next week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference likely. A report notes that Apple has now agreements with “all three major music labels,” although the company was previously reported to be working to sign four major music labels. The seemingly forgotten major label is BMG Rights Management — the status of BMG’s negotiations with Apple is unknown at this point. It’s also unknown if those negotiations will affect a WWDC debut. Sony/ATV, Sony’s separate publishing arm, also apparently has yet to sign with Apple at this point. [via AllThingsD]
A Washington Post report claiming the National Security Agency and FBI are accessing the servers of Apple and eight other companies has been denied by Apple. The program is code-named PRISM — launched in 2007, it is claimed to let the NSA directly collect data from Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, and Youtube. It is unknown whether the program involves direct cooperation with these companies, or relies upon indirect monitoring of their servers using surveillance tactics.
For its part, Apple has denied knowledge of PRISM. “We have never heard of PRISM,” said Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple. “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.” Other companies have also denied the report, using similar language. The Post claims the program focuses on “foreign communications traffic.”
In an effort to sell more iPhone 5s, Apple will start an in-store iPhone trade-in program this month, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple is running the program in conjunction with mobile phone distributor Brightstar Corp. According to the report, “Used iPhones collected in the U.S. will only be resold in emerging markets, where Apple’s share is lower and demand for cheap devices is greater.” By doing this, sales of the used devices won’t chip away at Apple’s iPhone 5 sales. Apple has not publicly announced any trade-in plan, and it’s unclear whether the company’s buy-back prices will be competitive with existing third-party vendors.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that he and San Francisco District Attorney George Gasćon will be questioning Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft officials about why the companies haven’t taken more steps to combat theft. Schneiderman recently sent letters to Tim Cook and other CEOs expressing his concerns with the theft of electronic devices, including the iPhone. Gasćon has previously sought ways to combat theft through technology. Both men have pushed companies to install technologies that would make a stolen device inoperable, thus eliminating the black market. The summit will take place on June 13 in New York City.
Following the release of hacked carrier files for Apple’s latest iPhone and iPads, developer Joseph Brown has written a blog post claiming that Apple is reducing the peak cellular data speeds of iPhones and iPads through coding. Notably, Brown writes that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint devices are all throttled in some way, but T-Mobile devices are not. Brown suggests that AT&T limits HSPA+ and LTE to below their peak speeds, while Verizon permanently throttles LTE, both Verizon and Sprint throttle down 3G, and signal issues for T-Mobile and AT&T are caused by band preferences set by Apple. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple’s upcoming iRadio music streaming service will feature virtual radio stations akin to Pandora’s, according to a new report, but will differ in selling “highly targeted” interstitial audio ads and onscreen ads using the iOS iAds service. Advertisers will be able to target users based on location, as well as entertainment tastes, due to Apple’s collection of user data from the device and iTunes account. These ads would conceivably be more pricey and desirable than Pandora ads, which can’t target users as specifically, relying on only several comparatively basic pieces of information. Selling ads and songs through iTunes will reportedly enable Apple to offer the service for free to iOS users, though it’s unknown if there will be a subscription-based alternative without ads. If the report is accurate, iRadio will notably not include on-demand song selection, which Spotify offers to mobile users who pay a monthly fee. [via Ad Age]
Apple has released iTunes 11.0.4, which “fixes a problem that may cause iTunes to quit if you switch between wired and wireless syncing.” Also, an issue that forced users to repeatedly login to the iTunes Store is resolved. The update is available through the Mac App Store, and will soon be offered through the iTunes download page as well.
Apple has reportedly applied to register a trademark for “iWatch” in Russia, according to Russian news service Izvestia.ru (translated link), which notes that the trademark application specifically contemplates timepieces and computers/computer peripherals. The report also claims that the “iWatch” name was first registered in Jamaica by Apple last December. Despite efforts to verify these alleged trademark applications, we were unable to confirm the details in either Russia or Jamaica; Apple might have initiated the international trademarking process in one of these countries specifically because their databases are considerably more difficult to search than their American or European counterparts. [via Apple Insider]
The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that Apple violated a Samsung standards-essential patent, and now faces an import ban on the AT&T iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the first- and second-generation 3G iPad. Apple plans to appeal the decision. “We are disappointed that the Commission has overturned an earlier ruling and we plan to appeal,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told AllThingsD. “Today’s decision has no impact on the availability of Apple products in the United States. Samsung is using a strategy which has been rejected by courts and regulators around the world. They’ve admitted that it’s against the interests of consumers in Europe and elsewhere, yet here in the United States Samsung continues to try to block the sale of Apple products by using patents they agreed to license to anyone for a reasonable fee.”
Apple was issued a patent for a near field communications system allowing two devices to transfer data. The patent contemplates that tapping two devices together will transfer selected data—a concept similar to existing Samsung phones with the S Beam feature, as well as other NFC-capable devices. It’s unclear how the patent will impact non-Apple products already including the same functionality.
In Apple’s version, any NFC-enabled devices can be used, with one example detailing files transferred between an iPhone and a Mac. Both device-to-device functionality and peer-to-peer use are detailed within the patent. [via Apple Insider]
Accused of conspiring with publishers to fix e-book prices, Apple claimed in its opening court statement that the government is trying to “reverse engineer a conspiracy from a market effect.” The case is a “sinister inference,” said Apple attorney Orin Snyder, maintaining that the company did not conspire with any publishers, and that “every single indicator of market health improved after Apple entered the e-book market.” Snyder also expressed concern over recent comments from presiding U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote, who suggested that the government would likely be able to prove a conspiracy was in place. [via All Things D]
The U.S. Department of Justice has released its opening statements against Apple in the e-book pricing conspiracy case, which began in court today. Apple participated in a conspiracy with publishers to raise e-book prices, the DOJ claims. Over 80 slides are included, such as Apple’s emails to publishers, in which the DOJ attempts to illustrate how the company allegedly initiated the conspiracy. The publishers have all settled out of court, but Apple has denied any wrongdoing, despite emails that appear to suggest a deliberate coordinated effort to increase prices in the iBookstore. [via CNET]
Apple has started to replace iPhone 5 screens at its retail stores, according to a new report. A new display replacement costs $149, enabling users to avoid replacing the entire iPhone, and AppleCare+ isn’t necessary to use the service. A prior report noted that display repairs would be ready in-house by June. The same report said Apple stores should be able to repair cameras, sleep/wake buttons, and logic boards by July. [via MacRumors]
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in April, and as noted by MacRumors, the school recently posted clips of Cook’s appearance on YouTube. Cook — who earned his MBA from Duke — speaks about leadership and collaboration, among other topics. The key points Cook made were:
* Hiring Apple employees: Cook said that Apple looks to hire people who “aren’t bureaucrats,” “don’t care who gets credit,” are “wicked smart,” “appreciate different points of view,” and “care enough that they have an idea at 11 at night and they want to call and talk to you about it” because they know that collaborating will move the idea forward. Cook noted that virtually no one can take a great idea from concept to reality alone, and that at Apple, the intersection of hardware, software, and services makes collaboration necessary.
* Focusing on three things: Cook apparently advises leaders, in Steve Jobs fashion, to focus on three things in order to succeed. He explained that his three focuses at Apple are on working with brilliant “people,” creating a heavily product-focused “strategy,” and “executing like crazy,” suggesting that getting those things right makes almost everything else work properly.
* Following rules: A student asked Cook when it’s okay to break the rules, particularly given what professors have been teaching them. In all seriousness, Cook responded, “I think you should rarely follow the rules. You should write the rules.” Following someone else’s formula will make you at best the same as your rivals, he suggested, so “if you want to excel, you can’t do that.” A good education helps you learn broad concepts, how to learn more, and how to work with people who may possess different viewpoints, things that will lead to success.
Apple is attempting to complete all necessary licensing deals for the music streaming service iRadio before next week, so the company can unveil it at its Worldwide Developers Conference. According to a report, Apple has agreed with Universal on music rights, but not publishing. The company apparently agreed to terms with Warner Music Group over the weekend, but it’s still discussing deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV. This new report doesn’t have any information on Apple’s negotiations with BMG Rights Management, but as recently as a few weeks ago, a deal was not believed to be in place with BMG. If Apple isn’t able to complete the deals by next week, it’s unclear when the service may be introduced. [via The New York Times]
Apple is reportedly testing versions of iOS 7 with AirDrop, the Mac’s Wi-Fi file sharing tool, which lets users exchange files between devices more easily than sending e-mails or using Messages. According to a report, AirDrop may be integrated into the iOS sharing menu, and could work between two iOS devices, or between a Mac and an iOS device. Like the reported Flickr and Vimeo integration in iOS 7, there’s a possibility AirDrop will not make it to the newest version of iOS. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple has raised its prices for the iPad and iPod in Japan in response to a weaker yen, according to a report. For instance, the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad now sells for 49,800 yen ($493), an increase of about $70. The iPod shuffle increased roughly the equivalent of $6. “We made some pricing adjustments due to changes in foreign exchange rates,” Apple spokesman Takashi Takabayashi said. [via Bloomberg]