Apple’s motion to intervene in a patent infringement lawsuit Lodsys filed against numerous iOS developers has been dismissed by US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap, according to a report. Lodsys originally sued seven third-party iOS developers, which prompted Apple’s motion to intervene more than two years ago. Apple proposed to claim alleged infringements by iOS developers were covered under its existing license to Lodsys’s patents. Lodsys’ original claims were related to patents involving in-app purchases and “upgrade” buttons. Martha Stewart, who was just in the news recently for tweeting about her broken iPad, recently sued Lodsys after the patent troll demanded Stewart pay the holding company for each of her company’s apps. Lodsys’ case is still on track for trial. [via Ars Technica]
- September 27, 2013
Apple has hired Nike design director Ben Shaffer, according to a report. Shaffer was Studio Director of Nike’s research and development lab, and he played a key role in developing the company’s lightweight Flyknit shoe; some reports have suggested, perhaps erroneously, that he was involved in the FuelBand as well. Shaffer’s hiring and Apple’s earlier hiring of another Nike Fuel Band developer, Jay Blahnik, lends further credence to a report that the company’s rumored “iWatch” would be focused on fitness. Another report made note of Apple “aggressively” hiring for the project — a trend that appears to be continuing. [via 9to5Mac]
[Editor’s note: This report was updated after publication to reflect ambiguity over Shaffer’s role in FuelBand development.]
Major League Baseball plans to utilize Apple’s new iBeacon indoor mapping feature in its At the Ballpark app. The app will use the new iOS 7 feature in MLB stadiums. “Essentially, we want to create micro-locations within the stadiums where you can get different experiences,” said MLB iOS developer Marc Abramson. It’s possible the app could load a ticket through Passbook when a spectator approaches a stadium gate, and present a map which can show spectators to their seats.
A number of other possible features were revealed, including discounts and loyalty cards at concession stands, and historical information about the park. The New York Mets are currently testing the Bluetooth LE-powered iBeacon for in-stadium use, but Abramson said, “A lot of teams have expressed interest so far.” [via Mashable]
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart apparently invoked the wrath of Apple public relations Thursday night with a series of tweets about a shattered iPad. Stewart initially tweeted, “I just dropped my iPad on the ground and shattered two glass corners. What to do? does one call Apple to come and pick it up or do I take it?” After a few other iPad-related tweets, Stewart then tweeted, “i cannot believe that Apple Public Relations is mad at me for tweeting about my Ipad and how to get it fixed! steve jobs gave it to me!” Apparently, Apple PR contacted Stewart at some point regarding the tweets. Stewart appeared to calm down in later tweets about her iPad, and she was soon tweeting happily about upcoming pork- and potato-themed episodes of her PBS show.
The Tokyo District Court ordered Apple to pay 330 million yen (about $3.35 million) to Norihiko Saito for infringing on the Japanese inventor’s click wheel controller patent. Saito’s company applied for the patent in 1998, before Apple used a click wheel in its iPod. Saito sought 10 billion yen in damages, but received only a fraction of that amount. The inventor had previously tried three times to reach a settlement with Apple. [via Dow Jones Newswires]
Apple has released iOS 7.0.2 for all iOS devices — unlike the previous iOS 7.0.1 update, which was only for the iPhone 5c and 5s. The release fixes bugs that could allow someone to bypass the Lock Screen passcode.
Also included in the update is a Greek keyboard option for passcode entry. It’s available for download now through the Software Update screen under Settings.
- September 26, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook will meet with controversial billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Monday, according to CNBC. CNBC’s report speculates that Icahn — who made a large Apple investment in August — may consider adding to his stake in the company; he frequently takes positions in companies to force major changes in their operations and offerings to shareholders. Icahn’s stake is already believed to be worth “at least $2 billion.” Earlier this month, he said it was “a no-brainer” to add to his position.
- September 25, 2013
Apple has announced iOS 7 Tech Talks for developers. The talks will take place in San Francisco, Shanghai, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, and London. Each city will get two days of talks — one day for app developers, and the following day for game developers. The talks start in San Francisco on Oct. 8 and end in London on Dec. 18. Developers can apply now; the deadline for submissions is 10 a.m. Pacific, Friday, Sept. 27.
A court has ruled that Apple is allowed to use the iPhone trademark in Brazil. Brazilian company IGB Electronica SA previously had exclusive rights to the “IPHONE” name. Both companies can now legally use the iPhone name in Brazil, but Judge Eduardo de Brito Fernandes said Apple’s iPhone is “world renowned,” and it would be unfair to Apple to let IGB Electronica use the name without restrictions. Last year, IGB Electronica launched a “Gradiente iPhone,” which runs Android. [via AFP News]
French authorities are looking into Apple’s contracts with French carriers, according to a new report. Specifics are unclear, but the investigation is likely over concerns of anti-competitive practices. A few months ago, the country’s Competition Authority searched Apple’s French headquarters, wholesalers, and retailers. It was also reported that authorities were monitoring the App Store due to pricing changes. [via MarketWatch]
Following claims that Apple paid “a truckload of money” to delay the Android version of Plants vs. Zombies 2—a quote that was apparently accurate, spoken by an EA executive and noted by a reported—EA has issued a statement denying a “paid relationship” with Apple, stating that “a comment from an internal meeting taken out of context has created an unfortunate misunderstanding.”
Apple had said the initial claims were “not true,” after which EA said that reports of a paid relationship are “factually inaccurate.” It’s likely that Apple offered EA special promotional considerations in the App Store, including prominent placement in its promotional banners, which guaranteed EA a substantial early flow of revenue for the iOS version of the game. Plants vs. Zombies 2 was released in the U.S. App Store in August. [via PocketGamer]
AppleCare+, Apple’s two-year extended warranty and damage protection plan for certain devices, now allows users to receive iPhone, iPad, or iPod service in any country offering the service. Coverage is limited depending on which countries cover which device models. For example, the CDMA iPhone 5 can’t be replaced in Brazil, where it isn’t available. AppleCare+ for iPad, iPhone, and iPod is now available in 15 different countries. [via TechCrunch]
Apple is rumored to be working with Taiwanese computer manufacturer Quanta on a 12-inch iPad, according to a report from Taiwan. A July report noted Apple was working on tablet devices “measuring slightly less than 13 inches,” and a more recent report claimed Apple was working on a 17-watt power supply for an unknown product — possibly a larger iPad, considering the wattage. [via UDN (translated link)]
Apple is offering a $22.99 credit to customers who purchased the fifth season of Breaking Bad via the iTunes Season Pass. Customers expecting to get the full final season found the 16 episodes were split into separate “seasons” by iTunes, requiring separate purchases — the episodes were split into two parts by AMC, but they were still considered part of the same season. One man recently filed a class action lawsuit seeking $14.99 or $22.99 depending on whether viewers purchased the Season Pass in standard or high definition. Apple’s credit is enough for viewers to purchase the high definition pass.
Apple’s email reads, “We apologize for any confusion the naming of ‘Season 5’ and ‘The Final Season’ of Breaking Bad might have caused you. While the names of the seasons and episodes associated with them were not chosen by iTunes, we’d like to offer you ‘The Final Season’ on us by providing you with the iTunes code below in the amount of $22.99. This credit can also be used for any other content on the iTunes Store. Thank you for your purchase.”
Apple has pulled Apple TV Software Update 6.0, which was released last Friday. The software update — which provided support for iTunes Radio, among other enhancements — caused some Apple TVs to fail during the update process, requiring an iTunes restore. According to reports, some Apple TVs have been “bricked” (rendered inoperable) due to the update, while others were unable to download any content. Apple TV 5.3 is currently shown as the “up to date” software once more. [via 9to5Mac]
Despite concerns that Apple’s latest iPhones might not be selling as briskly as their predecessors, Apple announced this morning that the iPhone 5s and 5c have cumulatively sold nine million units over their first three days of availability—“a new record for first weekend sales,” according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. While the company does not provide per-model sales breakdowns, Apple notes that demand for the iPhone 5s specifically is in excess of initial supply; iPhone 5c inventories have apparently remained high despite an international pre-order process that began 10 days ago. The new models notably have yet to go on sale in most countries throughout the world.
Apple also said that over 200 million iOS devices are already running iOS 7, which the company describes as “the fastest software upgrade in history.” The total number of iOS devices has continued to grow radically since 2007, and Apple has reportedly projected a rough doubling each year of the iPhone install base. The nine million iPhones sold in the opening weekend nearly doubles the five million iPhone 5 units sold during their 2012 launch, while the 200 million iOS updates double the 100 million updates to iOS 6 reported one year ago yesterday.
Apple has released Apple TV Software Update 6.0, the latest feature and content update for its set-top box. The new version provides support for Apple’s new iTunes Radio streaming service, introduced in iOS 7 and iTunes 11.1 for users in the U.S., along with several other enhancement, including the ability to browse and purchase from the iTunes Store, sync Podcast stations across multiple Apple TV and iOS devices, and access videos from the new Shared Streams feature in iOS 7.
The update also lists support for AirPlay from iCloud, a new feature that will allow users to play videos from iTunes in the Cloud using an iOS device, and highlights the new content channels that were added at the end of August. Apple TV Software Update 6.0 is available now for the second- and third-generation Apple TV and can be downloaded by selecting Settings, General, Check for Updates.
As reported earlier this week, Apple has already released iOS 7.0.1 for the new iPhone 5s and 5c models that went on sale today. New iPhones appear to be shipping with iOS 7.0, and users are being immediately prompted to update to iOS 7.0.1 following the initial setup process. The update reportedly addresses issues with Touch ID on the iPhone 5s as well as making other “bug fixes and improvements” for the new devices.
Apple has indicated that it is already sold out of some iPhone 5s models, citing “incredible” demand for the new device, according to report this morning by AllThingsD. Although Apple typically does not provide specific sales information until after the initial launch weekend, it has revealed that it many iPhone 5S models are already in limited supply at some stores.
iLounge’s editors have noted that the gold iPhone 5s seems to have been in extremely limited supply in the first place, with some Apple Stores receiving few to no units in their initial shipments at all. By comparison, the space grey colour still seems to be quite widely available, as are supplies of the iPhone 5c.
iLounge and a number of readers are experiencing SIM card issues with just-delivered Verizon iPhone 5s units. Affected iPhones display a message reading, “The SIM card that you currently have inserted in this iPhone is from a carrier that is not supported under the activation policy that is currently assigned by the activation server.” The message suggests that the iPhone needs to be used with another SIM card, or unlocked by a carrier, pointing users to Apple for additional information.
Telephone calls to Apple have led to mystified AppleCare personnel, and follow-ups with Verizon have had the same results. One reader noted that the Verizon SIM card shipped with the iPhone 5s works in a Verizon iPhone 5.
Update: After seeking solutions throughout the day, a number of users have reported that performing a complete iPhone restore through iTunes may work to resolve the issue. Alternately, phones that reported SIM failures may not have been registered properly in Verizon’s system, leading users to be locked out from activating their phones. Some iPhones, including our unit, spontaneously activated roughly 12 hours after initial purchase. If you’re continuing to have issues, please let us know in the comments.