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Reuters: Retina iPad mini may slip to 2014

Apple’s second-generation iPad mini with Retina display won’t get a wide rollout this month, and might not even launch until 2014, Reuters reports. Sources in Apple’s supply chain say the company is just now readying production for the new iPad mini. If the device actually is released this year, it may only be available in limited quantities. While the exact reasons for the delays are murky, one source said “strict power-saving requirements” postponed Apple’s certification of panel producers. Two sources claim Apple is looking to reduce costs, and the company might also release an 8GB version of the new iPad mini. An August report claimed Apple would release both the fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini this year.

Apple and others back NSA, FBI transparency bills

Apple and a number of other technology companies have signed a letter supporting a pair of bills that would clarify the companies’ abilities to publish details on the government’s demands for user information. The bills — Senator Al Franken’s S. 1452, the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013, and Representative Zoe Lofgren’s H.R. 3035, the Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013 — were introduced in August. Apple and other tech companies have been pushing for NSA transparency for some time. The Cupertino company immediately denied the NSA and FBI were mining its servers for data when the PRISM program came to light in June. [via The Verge]

Obama compares Healthcare.gov ‘glitches’ to iOS 7 launch

Obama addressed concerns over today’s full launch of Healthcare.gov by comparing its “glitches” to Apple’s iOS 7 launch. “Now, like every new law, every new product roll-out, there are going to be some glitches in the sign-up process along the way that we will fix. I’ve been saying this from the start. For example, we found out that there have been times this morning where the site’s been running more slowly than it normally will,” Obama said.

“…Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t. That’s not how we do things in America. We don’t actively root for failure. We get to work, we make things happen, we make them better, we keep going.” [via Washington Post]

MobileMe customers lose storage, iCloud affected

Apple has informed former MobileMe members via email that their 20GB iCloud storage upgrade has expired. Those users who haven’t purchased a storage plan and are still using more than 5GB of iCloud space have found that iCloud has temporarily stopped working. The service will work again once the amount of storage space used is reduced to 5GB or less, or if a larger storage plan is purchased. Apple has released a support article on the changes. Apple started notifying customers in early August that the free upgrade would expire and changes would need to be made to their iCloud storage. For more information on how to best reduce your iCloud footprint, check out this iLounge article from last week.

Apple to pay $40 to some older iPad 3G owners

A ruling has been issued in a class action lawsuit filed in 2010 against Apple and AT&T, with Apple agreeing to pay $40 to U.S. customers who bought or ordered an iPad 3G before June 7, 2010. Customers who didn’t sign up with AT&T are eligible for a $20/month discount for up to a year on the carrier’s 5GB monthly plan. The lawsuit stems from AT&T advertising an unlimited data plan for iPads, then eliminating the unlimited data plan. Reportedly, the deal will be finalized in February, when Apple will try to contact eligible customers. Due to anti-class action provisions in the AT&T contract, payouts will be limited; the AT&T discount will be offered to those who no longer own their original iPad and didn’t sign up for any AT&T data plan. [via GigaOM]

Apple motion against Lodsys dismissed

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]

Apple hires Nike design director Shaffer

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.]

MLB to use iOS 7 iBeacon mapping in stadiums

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.

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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]

Martha Stewart raises Apple’s ire with broken iPad tweets

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.

Apple to pay $3.35M in Japan for click wheel infringement

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 releases iOS 7.0.2

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.

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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.

Apple CEO Cook to meet with investor Icahn

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.

Apple announces iOS 7 Tech Talks

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.

Apple can use iPhone trademark in Brazil

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 investigating Apple carrier contracts

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]

EA claims, then denies Apple paid to delay Android PvZ 2

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+ now covers users internationally

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]

Report: Apple working with Quanta on 12-inch iPad

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 offers credit for Breaking Bad season passes

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 TV 6.0 update pulled after bricking complaints

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]

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