As part of Apple's Spring Forward event, the company announced a major price cut for Apple TV. After announcing that the brand new standalone streaming service, HBO Now, will launch exclusively on Apple devices this April, Tim Cook then followed up by letting the audience know that the Apple TV would be receiving a 30% price cut. The Apple TV now costs just $69, down from $99 previously. This is the same Apple TV that Apple has been selling for a few years, so no hardware changes here just yet--but it's good to see the price drop nonetheless. You can pick up an Apple TV at the new price right now.
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Apple kicked off its Spring Forward event this morning with a big announcement. HBO CEO Richard Plepler took the stage to announce that the new HBO standalone subscription service, HBO Now, will launch exclusively on Apple devices. The service will cost $14.99 per month, and includes the full HBO catalog of content. This is basically HBO Go, but without the need of a traditional HBO cable subscription in order to use it. HBO Now launches in April, and the first month will be free.
Apple has sent out invitations to selected press for a special event that it's calling "Spring Forward" that takes place on Monday, March 8, 2015 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California at 10:00am. While the company hasn't stated any sort of agenda or product focus for the event, it's obvious to anyone paying attention that this will be the place where the company will detail the Apple Watch in full, ahead of the April release of the timepiece. We expect that we will finally get a solid release date, possible pre-order date, and the information that everyone is waiting for--the price of all of the various Apple Watch lines (Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition) and the models within.
Of course, Apple can also use this platform to reveal any number of other things, including that new 12-inch Retina MacBook Air that's been running the rumor mill for the better part of 6 months now, but we won't be holding our breath for that one. We'll have all the news right here as it happens from Apple's Spring Forward event, which is just 10 days away.
During this morning’s Apple iPad Event, the company announced that its game-changing mobile payment service, Apple Pay, will launch on Monday, October 20th. Since being announced during last month’s iPhone event, Apple has signed up an additional 500 banks and financial institutions as well as a multitude of additional retail stores. The service will work with VISA, MAsterCard, and American Express at the start. Apple Pay is compatible with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and will be enabled by the iOS 8.1 update. The service takes advantage of Touch ID and NFC to make mobile payments both secure and and quick.
While Microsoft was busy introducing Windows 10 to the world, Apple released the first OS X Yosemite golden master candidate. Developers and beta testers were seeded with the update today through the Mac App Store, and the golden master designation means that the company is confident that this could be the exact same version that it ships to the general public when Yosemite is released later this fall, barring any last-minute bugs (hence the word “candidate.”) OS X Yosemite was originally introduced back in June during the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, where it was shown to have a radical redesign from the current OS X Mavericks, along with much tighter optional integration with iOS 8.
It’s rumored that Apple will ship OS X 10.10 Yosemite next month, alongside an update to the Mac lineup that would include the first iMac with Retina display at 5K resolution.
Today, Microsoft officially announced the next version of Windows: Windows 10. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. The currently-available version of Windows is 8.1, which means that Microsoft has inexplicably decided to forego version 9 altogether. Rumors that the next version would be called Windows TH, Windows One, or Windows 9 have now been dashed—Windows 10 is the future of Microsoft’s desktop operating system. It’s also still technically the 9th release of Windows.
At an unveiling event earlier today, the company called Windows 10 the “most comprehensive platform ever,” as it will run on all displays, from 4-inches and up. That means Windows 10 will run on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, servers, and high definition television screens. “Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time," said Microsoft's Terry Myerson. "Windows 10 will run on the broadest types of devices ever."
Optimists will say that Microsoft is listening to all of the negative backlash that was met with the release of Windows 8, taking in that feedback, and reverting a bunch of changes to give customers what they want. Others will point out that Windows 10 looks like a mashup of the beloved Windows 7 and the polarizing Windows 8, with a bunch of Mac OS X features (like Expose and Mission Control) thrown in, and is an obvious step backwards. We see both sides of the argument, but it’s also very early to tell, as Windows 10 won’t ship until late 2015.
If you were curious just how well Apple would do with selling larger iPhones, it turns out that the answer is, better than ever. The company has announced that it sold over 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones in the first weekend of sales. This would include the previously announced 4 million pre-orders of the device that were sold in the first 24 hours of availability. This makes it the best-selling smartphone launch of all time, beating the record of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c last year, which sold 9 million units in the first weekend. Also impressive?? Last year the iPhone 5s launched on day one in China, while this year China isn't included in the sales figures due to a delayed launch.
Due to the massive demand, it may be tough finding an iPhone 6 Plus, as supply of this model is constrained, with the Apple Store showing a 3-4 week backorder on the 5.5-inch device.
Tim Cook, Apple CEO, shared this statement:
“Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”
In three days the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus go on sales in 20 additional countries. You can pick up the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus from Apple.
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We've received a few emails over the last few days from readers asking about switching to AT&T Next so that they can get the new iPhone 6 on Friday for no money down. AT&T has been notifying some customers who are mid-contract that they can switch to a Next plan at no charge, doing away with contracts going forward. Of course, there are those who are still under AT&T's grandfathered "unlimited" data plan, but others simply want to know if programs like AT&T Next and Verizon Edge are worth it, or if they're rip-offs. The thing is, early upgrade plans like Next and Edge basically allow you to divorce the act of owning and paying for a phone, from paying for cellular service. If you play your cards right, you'll actually come out ahead financially, and you'll be able to upgrade to a new device whenever you want. Let's walk through a scenario of buying a phone with AT&T Next.
All currently available mainstream plans feature two components: a data charge, and a line charge. We will ignore the data charge aspect from here on out, because it's the same regardless of what plan you choose.
AT&T Next offers you a lower monthly line charge ($15 less for data plans under 10GB, $25 less for 10GB and over) in exchange for them not giving you a large subsidy when you buy your phone. Next plans never involve a contract, and you can get out of them at any time, penalty free, by paying off the balance you owe on your phone.
Microsoft has started sending out invitation to select press to its Windows 9 reveal event that will take place in San Francisco, California on September 30th. Microsoft execs Joe Belfiore and Terry Myerson will both be on hand to talk about “what’s next for Windows and the enterprise.” At the end of the event, we expect the company to release a Windows 9 Technical Preview that will allow developers and enterprise users to take the new software for a test drive to get apps updated and deployment scenarios tested. New features for Windows 9 include Cortana integration, virtual desktops, a new Start menu, Notification Center, and a refreshed UI that will see flatter icons (similar to Apple’s OS X Yosemite.)
Silencing critics who said it was late to the party with larger smartphones, Apple announced that it sold over 4 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units in the first 24 hours of pre-order availability. Apple hasn’t specified how many people pre-ordered the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 versus the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus (and we don’t expect them to, as evidenced by iPod and iPad sales numbers never being broken down by model,) but it is clear to see that many people didn’t just want a bigger phone—they wanted a bigger iPhone.
The 4 million figured is mind-blowing, as it equates to about 166,667 iPhone 6 smartphones sold per hour. To put it into even clearer context, prior to the iPhone 6, the biggest pre-order period for Apple was last year’s iPhone 5s and 5c, which saw “just” 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours. A year later, Apple doubled that number with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. With the iPhone 5s and 5c, Apple later announced that is sold 9 million units in the first three days. It will be interesting to see what the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus end up selling in the first weekend of availability in comparison.
Since the devices went on pre-order, the iPhone 6 is now sold out, showing a 7-10 day backorder. Meanwhile, the larger iPhone 6 Plus is showing a 3-4 week wait. If you want to get your hands on either of these new Apple smartphones sooner, you’ll need to wait in line at an Apple Store or carrier store and hope there’s enough stock this Friday morning.
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