Apple’s Next iPhone Not Expected to Support NFC

Rumors are in full swing for the next generation iPhone as the revelation for it comes closer. A couple of reports now suggest that the Apple’s next generation iPhone is unlikely to support near-field communication technology (NFC).

This week, AnandTech took a closer look at rumors surrounding Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone. Since the new handset is expected to include a metal backside, they concluded that NFC is unlikely to appear in Apple’s next handset.

Given the primarily metal backside of the new iPhone, it’s highly unlikely that NFC is in the cards for this generation. In fact, given the very little space at top and bottom dedicated to those glass RF windows, you can almost entirely rule it out.

The well connected Apple journalist Jim Dalrymple of The Loop has also shared his thoughts via a simple “Yep” confirming that AnandTech was correct in its conclusion. I’m not surprised by this. After Passbook’s and EasyPay’s introduction, why would anyone think the next iPhone would have NFC? Companies tried to educate consumers about NFC and it didn’t work. Not to mention the implementation of NFC is also horrible.

Apple is expected to reveal the next generation iPhone on September 12th.

Apple Retail’s Emphasis on Profits Continues

Earlier this month, MacRumors pointed out that several changes at Apple retail stores were occurring. Among those changes it was reported that employees were being laid off or seeing recent promotions being revoked. Some part time employees were also seeing their hours reduced significantly, in some cases to report. The report was then followed by an acknowledgement from Apple that the company had “messed up” in adjusting its staffing formulas for its retail stores.

Now, ifoAppleStore takes a more in depth look at the situation. The report ties in changes in the philosophy of Apple’s retail experience since the passing of Steve Jobs and the new operational focus of Apple CEO Tim Cook and new retail chief John Browett. Under the operational focus of Jobs and Johnson, the vision of Apple Stores were focused on consumer satisfaction. Now, it seems that Apple has turned into a more numbers-focused perspective for its retail operations.

The report also claims that Cook hired Browett because of his focus on “traditional concepts of retailing” that prioritize revenues and profits as the key performance metrics. It seems that Browett is screwing up the retail experience and unfortunately, it seems Cook maybe behind it too. Apple Retail has been known to prioritize customer experience over profits so all of this is very surprising to me. You would think a company that has $100B+ wouldn’t need resort to such measures. I would understand this decision if Apple was in need of money.

But in 2009, Jobs took six months of medical leave and put Tim Cook in charge of the company, including the retail stores. Cook is primarily an “operations guy,” sources explain, and his natural focus is revenues and profits, not customers. While Jobs was away, Cook and chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer began to confront Johnson on his customer-centric retail philosophy—both felt the stores didn’t generate enough revenues to justify operating expenses.

In addition, it seems that an Apple Retail employee’s performance is also being based on new metrics too. I hope they don’t take the path many retailers take for measuring their employees.  In fact, I have also heard from sources that these changes are indeed happening.

“Contract sales of iPhones are now used to measure individual performance, and also now appear on store performance charts.”

It still surprises me that the company that has the world’s best retail experience chose the guy from one of the worst in Europe! You won’t see the effect of these changes in Apple Retail in the short term. However, in the long term, it will. By then, it will be too late.

 

Craig Federighi and Dan Riccio Promoted to Senior Vice President, Bob Mansfield to Remain at Apple

Last month, Apple had announced in a press release that the company’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield is retiring. Today, Apple has announced that engineering vice presidents Craig Federighi and Dan Riccio will be joining the company’s senior executive team, They both will receive promotions to the Senior Vice President level.

As senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering, Federighi will continue to be responsible for the development of Mac OS X and Apple’s common operating system engineering teams. Federighi worked at NeXT, followed by Apple, and then spent a decade at Ariba where he held several roles including vice president of Internet Services and chief technology officer. He returned to Apple in 2009 to lead Mac OS X engineering. Federighi holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Riccio, as senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, will lead the Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod engineering teams. He has been instrumental in all of Apple’s iPad products since the first generation iPad. Riccio joined Apple in 1998 as vice president of Product Design and has been a key contributor to most of Apple’s hardware over his career. Dan earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1986.

With the new promotions, both engineering vice presidents will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook and will serve on the company’s executive management team. As senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering, Federighi is responsible for Mac OS X development. Riccio, as senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, will handle the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod engineering teams.

In addition, Apple has also announced that Bob Mansfield will continue to work with the company on new products and will report directly to CEO Tim Cook.

Samsung Sends Internal Memo to Employees After Losing to Apple

After Samsung lost to Apple, Samsung sent an internal memo to employees and said it was “disappointed” to have been found guilty of patent infringement. The memo also says that it is “regrettable” that the court’s decision caused concern among our employees, as well as our loyal customers.” Last Friday, Apple was awarded $1.05B by a jury that found Samsung had committed patent infringement.

The memo also states that a final ruling from the judge still remains. Samsung will probably appeal the decision during the appeals process. In addition, the memo also states that the company will continue to fight Apple. On the other hand, Apple said that the case was about “much more than patents or money” in an internal memo. For Apple, the case was about values.

“History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation,” the memo reads.

Oh, shut up, Samsung. When have they ever innovated? I think by innovation they meant blatantly copying Apple, right?

Rumor: Displays for 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Now in Production

NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim claims that a high resolution display is in production for a rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, reports CNET. The analyst cites supply chain sources and claims that the initial output values are expected to be higher than the current 15-inch version. It is also reported that the display being produced for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. That is compared to the current version’s 1,280 by 800 pixel screen.

Shim also claims that Samsung, LG Display, and Sharp are all making the new 13-inch screen to meet a high initial volume compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display’s launch in June. The analyst also pointed out that the manufacturing capabilities of the three different suppliers can factor into how many displays will be ready for assembly.

“With 15.4 it’s production of a few hundred thousand units versus one to two million for the 13.3,” he said. That 13.3-inch production began in the third quarter.

I would assume MacBook Air with Retina displays are still far away since the amount of power and internal space required is much higher than what the current design can handle. Apple has been rumored to be launching the 13-inch MacBook Pro and an iPad mini in October. In the meantime, Apple is expected to reveal the next-generation iPhone.

Apple CEO Tim Cook After Lawsuit Victory: “It’s about values.”

After Apple’s massive victory, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an internal memo to Apple employees regarding the favorable ruling received against Samsung. The Apple vs. Samsung jury found Samsung guilty of infringing many of Apple’s design patents and awarded damages of more than $1 billion to Apple.

In the memo, Cook said that the lawsuit was leveled “reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying [Apple’s] work.” In 2010, Apple presented evidence to Samsung, which outlined the various patents thought to be infringed by Samsung. The email was republished by 9to5Mac.

Today was an important day for Apple and for innovators everywhere.

Many of you have been closely following the trial against Samsung in San Jose for the past few weeks. We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the jury who invested their time in listening to our story. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than we knew.

The jury has now spoken. We applaud them for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.

I am very proud of the work that each of you do.

Today, values have won and I hope the whole world listens.

Tim

Tim Cook also noted Apple’s principles, and pointed out that the lawsuit was less about money and patents than it was about values. He concluded by thanking his employees and announced that  “Today, values have won and I hope the whole world listens.”

 

Samsung Found Guilty of Patent Infringement, Apple Awarded More than $1 Billion in Damages

After three days of careful discussion, the jury finally reached a unanimous verdict in the Apple vs. Samsung trial. The verdict largely went in favor of Apple, ruling that Samsung had indeed infringed on both Apple patents and trade dress for the iPhone. However, the jury was in favor of Samsung regarding its tablets. That to me was surprising because the Galaxy Tab 10 looks awfully similar to the iPad’s design. The jury concluded that Samsung owes Apple $1.05 billion in damages for infringing on Apple’s intellectual property. Samsung has also been awarded no damages. Ouch!

After the verdict was revealed, Apple’s stock price rose to an all-time high, more than $675 per share, in after hours. In fact, exactly one year ago today, Steve Jobs resigned as CEO. Today, Samsung owes over $1B to Apple. Well done, Tim Cook! Epic day for Apple indeed. Also, does the quote “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” – Steve Jobs ring a bell?

The three week trial consisted of testimony and evidence from both sides. A 9-person jury was asked to fill out a 20-page jury form with more than 700 questions across 33 groups. They were required to make a unanimous decision on each question and reports suggested that a verdict wasn’t expected until at least next week. MacRumors has a fantastic overview of the patents that were under question during the trial.

People have shown concerns of this decision harming innovation, but I disagree. No, this verdict does not harm innovation. From now on, new types of innovation will occur, which is an excellent thing. It is much needed. Don’t feel sorry for Samsung. They stole years of hard work and there’s a price to be paid for that.

Eddy Cue Suggests Apple Television Unlikely Without Content Deals

Rumors regarding Apple entering the television market have been around for some time. Today, Fortune highlights a new analyst report published by Pacific Crest’s Andy Hargreaves. This report was written after a meeting on Wednesday with Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

Hargreaves’s analysis of the meeting was that Apple’s television would be “extremely unlikely” in the near term. His report would backup the recent claim that Apple was in talks with cable providers to potentially build a set-top box that would handle live TV programming. It has also been said that Apple has yet to strike a deal with any cable operators possibly due to reluctance on the part of content providers.

Relative to the television market, Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services, reiterated the company’s mantra that it will enter markets where it feels it can create great customer experiences and address key problems. The key problems in the television market are the poor quality of the user interface and the forced bundling of pay TV content, in our view. While Apple could almost certainly create a better user interface, Mr. Cue’s commentary suggested that this would be an incomplete solution from Apple’s perspective unless it could deliver content in a way that is different from the current multichannel pay TV model.

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt notes that SEC rules prohibits sharing insider information that might have material affect on the company’s stock, which means that Hargreaves’ report is just that. His report talks about Apple delivering a “great customer experience and addressing key problems.”

Apple Releases OS X 10.8.1

Today, Apple released OS X 10.8.1. OS X 10.8.1, which is the first maintenance update to OS X Mountain Lion. The update is available via Apple’s site or via the Software Update feature which now directs users to the Mac App Store for updates. This update to OS X is also very iOS-like. I just love the consistency here. OS X 10.8.1 fixes issues with Migration Assistant, Exchange, and iMessage issues. If your Mac is running OS X Mountain Lion, you will definitely want to update.

This update includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability and compatibility of your Mac, including fixes that:

– Resolve an issue that may cause Migration Assistant to unexpectedly quit
– Improve compatibility when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server in Mail
– Address an issue playing audio through a Thunderbolt display
– Resolve an issue that could prevent iMessages from being sent
– Address an issue that could cause the system to become unresponsive when using Pinyin input
– Resolve an issue when connecting to SMB servers with long names
– Address a issue that may prevent Safari from launching when using a Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC) file
– Improve 802.1X authentication with Active Directory credentials.

The update is Build 12B19, up two build numbers from last Friday’s developer seed. OS X 10.8.1 is 24.2 MB download via Apple’s website. However, when download through the App Store, the update is just 7.8 MB. It seems that Apple has finally begun delta updates for OS X. Delta updates were first introduced in iOS 5 last year.

Two Separate Apple Media Events for New iPhone and iPad Mini?

Rumors up to this point have pointed towards an iPad mini and next generation iPhone revelation at the same time. However, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber makes a strong case for why Apple would hold two separate events. He suggests that since the iPhone is Apple’s single most important product, it would be unlikely that Apple would share the spotlight with another product. Gruber’s points are very valid and makes an excellent point. His theory of two events is that one will be for the iPhone and iOS 6 and then hold a second “iTunes” event to talk about the smaller iPad, new iPods, and possibly the rumored iTunes 11 update. Last year’s iPhone 4S event was nearly 100 minutes long covering iOS 5 and the revelation of a new iPhone.

Famous Apple journalist Jim Dalrymple also hints at two separate events. He is known for his “yep” confirmations to Apple rumors and has posted a message suggesting that Apple will hold two separate media events this fall for the new iPhone and iPad mini.

It was previously been confirmed from many sources that Apple will hold a media event on September 12th to announce a new product, which is presumed to be the next-generation iPhone and an iPad. However, Dalrymple’s track record makes it seem possible that the new iPhone will be revealed first and a smaller iPad later in the fall during a separate event.