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Apple Acquires Beats Electronics

Apple is purportedly set to make its biggest acquisition in the history of the company, as The Financial Times is reporting that it is about to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. What would Apple get out of Beats Audio? Well, for starters, there's the Beats Music subscription platform, which allows customers to listen to on-demand music along with curated mood-based playlists. That would be a great complement to iTunes Radio, which doesn't allow users to put songs on repeat, and limits skip functionality. Additionally, Beats is likely most known for its iconic Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line. Apple would become owner of the audio hardware in the case of an acquisition, and could even use the Beats Audio sound profile in future iOS devices (similar to what HTC did in its phones when it was a stakeholder in Beats Audio a couple of years ago.)

Apple and Beats Electronics are both keeping silent for now, but if the deal does go through, it's large enough that an official announcement will be made by both companies.


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Tzukuri Eyewear iphone sunglasses

Sunglasses are one of the items that are easy to leave behind and lose, and Tzukuri Eyewear is looking to make that problem a thing of the past by using iBeacon technology. Imagine, if you will, a pair of shades with an iBeacon embedded into its frame that your iPhone connects to and is aware of. Since the iPhone can tell the distance of the beacon signal, you get a notification letting you know that you left your sunglasses behind. You can see just how far away from you they are as long as you are still in range of the iBeacon signal. Pretty cool, right?

The Tzukuri Eyewear models of sunglasses are made using 3D analysis so that they look good on more faces than the average pair. They have six designs in three sizes, each of which is handcrafted in Japan and incorporate high-quality anti-scratch, polarized lenses with 100% UV protection.


MacBook Air 2014

As we reported yesterday, Apple has released an updated MacBook Air lineup today. While we expected the slightly faster processors to be included, we were pleasantly surprised to see that Apple cut the price of all MacBook Air models by $100 as well. That means that the starting price of the MacBook Air is now $899.

"With MacBook Air starting at $899, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Macs have never been more popular, and today we've boosted the performance and lowered the price of MacBook Air so even more people can experience the perfect everyday notebook."

So, what's changed? Both the 11- and 13-inch models now sport a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Haswell processor and 4GB RAM. The base model configurations of each size include 128GB PCIe-based flash storage, which can be doubled to 256GB for $200. Build-to-order options allow you to add things like a 1.7GHz processor, 8GB RAM, and 512GB PCIe storage.

Additionally, the new models get better battery life for iTunes movie playback, with the 11-inch model going from 8 hours to 9 hours, and the 13-incher going from 10 hours to 12 hours.

You can pick up the new MacBook Air now.


New MacBook Air

Apple is expected to release its new line of MacBook Air notebooks as soon as tomorrow, multiple sources are reporting. The word is that shipments of the new MacBook Airs have already started arriving at Apple Stores in advance of the announcement, which will allow buyers to pick up the new models right away.

This won't be the redesigned fanless MacBook Air with 12-inch Retina display and buttonless trackpad that has been rumored for a few months. Instead, this update should bring the newer Intel Haswell processor to the Air, offering speed and battery life increases. Once we get word on an announcement, we'll let you know.

Read More | MacBook Air product page

Apple TV 20 million sales

Apple CEO announced that Apple TV sales have now surpassed 20 million during today's Q2 2014 earnings call. As such, the company recently stopped referring to the Apple TV business as a "hobby," as it's done for the past seven years or so.

"I'm feeling good about this business and where it could go," Tim Cook said, further revealing that the company stopped calling the product segment a hobby once it pulled in $1 billion in revenue in 2013. "it didn’t feel right to me to refer to something that brought in a billion dollars as a 'hobby,'"

Now, the Apple TV is an "area of intense interest"--no longer a hobby, indeed. The last major Apple TV hardware release came in 2012. Since then, the company has added many new channels of content over time. Rumors continue to persist that Apple will release a new Apple TV set-top box with expanded functionality, while others say that the company is set to reveal a full-on 4K Ultra High Definition television set of its own.

You can pick up the current Apple TV at a discount on Amazon.


iPhone 5c android switch

During today's Apple earnings call, CEO Tim Cook announced that 62% of current iPhone 4S buyers, and 60% of current iPhone 5c buyers are switching over from Android devices. The iPhone 4s is currently free with two-year contract, while the iPhone 5c is $99 (sometimes less) with the same term agreement (see our iPhone 5c review.) These numbers bring new light to the question that many ask, wondering why Apple keeps the iPhone 4s around, or why it made the iPhone 5c in the first place. They provide an inexpensive entry point with powerful hardware for users who just want to get started in the iOS ecosystem, without having to spend on a higher-priced flagship Apple device. By that tune, it would appear that the iPhone 5c is a success after all.


iPhone 5s 5c 2014 earnings

Today, Apple announced its second quarter earnings results, with revenue at $45.6 billion, beating the guidance of $42-44 billion that it previously gave, while also soundly beating analyst estimates.

How did Apple make that money? Mostly on the back of the iPhone. Device sales for Q2 2014 include 43.7 million iPhones sold, 16.3 million iPads, 3 million iPods, and 4.1 million Macs. In the same quarter last year, the iPhone sold 37.4 million, iPad 19.5 million, iPod 5.6 million, and Mac 3.9 million. The company also announced that Apple TV sales has now surpassed 20 million.

Apple isn't done yet. During today's earning call, CEO Tim Cook reiterated that Apple has new hardware categories that it's excited to reveal here in 2014. Time will tell if they'll be big enough to garner their own bulletpoint in the quarterly results in the future.


iOS 7.1.1

If you haven't yet updated, Apple released iOS 7.1.1 yesterday, focused on improving the responsiveness of Touch ID fingerprint recognition, iOS keyboard responsiveness, and Bluetooth keyboard usage as well. After installing the small 26 MB update, you should find that Touch ID is less forgetful, while the rest of the updates are fairly minor. You can head into iOS settings and check for the software update to grab it over the air now.


iPad Air 2

If today's leaked photos are to be believed, the next iPad Air will feature a front panel with an integrated display. This design change would allow for the iPad Air to be even thinner than it already is. Originally popping up on the One More Thing Web site, citing a "trusted Dutch source with connections in China." Interestingly enough, this photo come just a couple of days after the alleged leaked iPhone 6 front panel image appeared.

Of course, there's no way to confirm the validity of the photos or the parts featured in them. They could certainly be cloned parts, although One More Thing seems confident in their source, and has been correct on similar leaks in the past.


iPad mini with Retina display refurbished

For the first time, Apple is selling refurbished models of the iPad mini with Retina display. The benefit here, of course, is that buyers are now able to pay less for Apple's popular tablet, while maintaining a free 1-year of AppleCare warranty as well. For now, it's just the Wi-Fi models that are available refurbished--nothing yet for the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions.

The 16GB Retina iPad mini is $339, which is a 15% discount from the full $399 price. The 32GB version sells for $419, which is $80 less than the standard price, and the 64GB model is $509, which is a price drop of $90. For now, there are no 128GB versions of the iPad mini with Retina display available as a refurb.

These are gonna go fast, so head on over to Apple and grab a refurb iPad mini if you wanna take advantage of the deal.

Read More | Refurbished iPad mini with Retina display

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