Bruce Willis Not Considering Lawsuit Against Apple Over iTunes Store Music Transferability

Over the weekend, reports from  The Sun and the Daily Mail claimed that actor Bruce Willis was considering taking legal action against Apple. The legal action was supposedly was regarding a transferability of iTunes Store music purchases. According to the report, Willis wanted his daughters to be able to inherit his iTunes music upon his death, but Apple’s terms prohibit any transfer of ownership.

Willis was apparently upset when he learned that he doesn’t own the tracks he buys online, but instead is borrowing them under a license, which was said to have led him to consider a lawsuit against Apple. Willis was originally said to be considered supporting ongoing legal action in five U.S. states, in which users are hoping to expand their rights with respect to digital music.

However, after the story began gaining attention, the actor’s wife, Emma Hemming-Willis, denied the rumor via Twitter. “It’s not a true story,” she said.

Apple’s OS X Passes Windows Vista in Worldwide Usage

A new report about desktop operating shares from analytics firm Net Applications reveals that Microsoft’s Windows Vista fell in August to 6.15 percent of traced web usage. During the same time period, Apple’s latest operating system, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion increased to 1.34 percent of all tracked web usage.

For the first time ever, Apple’s OS X operating system dethroned Microsoft’s Windows Vista. Also, for the first time, Windows 7 has passed Windows XP to become the world’s largest operating system.

Apple’s most popular Mac continues to be OS X 10.7 Lion. OS X Lion 10.7 represents 2.29 percent of computers tracked on the web. Snow Leopard accounted for 2.23 percent of usage and Leopard accounted for 0.65 percent. The total share of OS X was 6.51 percent, which beat the 6.15 percent held by Windows Vista. In addition, Apple’s OS X 10.4 Tiger, which first launched in April of 2005 represent 0.15% of operating systems seen online.

Apple’s share of devices is of course much higher when the iPhone and iPad are included. Net Applications found that the iPad represented for 3.37 percent of web traffic, while the iPhone was 2.42 percent. The smallest share listed in the report was Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which accounted for 0.04 percent of devices.




Apple to Introduce Redesigned Headphones for New iPhone?

Vietnamese website (via MacRumors) has published a video and high quality images of what it claims to be redesigned headphones for the new iPhone which is expected to be revealed soon. The site claims that the in-ear headphones came from a Vietnamese Foxconn plant as cable labeling reads “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in Vietnam.” However, since the validity of the claims can’t be verified, the site says that the build quality of the part has them convinced it is a legitimate Apple product.

The “leaked” in-ear headphones seems to be a significant change from the current earphone models from Apple. This new design seems to feature a teardrop shape and is supposedly more comfortable than the previous set supplied with the iPhone.

Apple is widely expected to announce the next-generation iPhone on September 12th.


Apple Launches New App and iTunes Content Infringement Tools

Today, TheNextWeb reports that Apple has improved several forms and tools on its site that developers or content producers can use to submit copyright claims for their new apps or content. The form to submit disputes based on apps is a brand new one.

In addition, Apple has introduced a new form called the “iTunes Content Dispute” tool that is for claims related to apps. Apple seems to be trying to make it easier for any claim of infringement by copycat apps to be submitted by developers. Copycat apps in the App Store have been an issue for a while now so it is good to see Apple doing something about it. The new form can be found here and states the following:

If you believe that an application available in the App Store violates your intellectual property rights, you can use this form to submit a claim to the App Store Legal Team.

Apps on the App Store are made available by third party providers. Once you have identified the app and described the alleged infringement on the following pages, we will respond via email with a reference number and will put you in direct contact with the provider of the disputed app. Any further contact with the App Store Legal team should be made via email and should include the reference number in the subject line.

After a claim is submitted, developers must enter their contact information. Apple then contacts both parties so that they can work together to resolve the dispute.

Apple has also updated the standard iTunes copyright infringement. The updated version offers much more clarity and detail and this is the tool for all other types of content that aren’t apps.


Next-Generation iPhone to Use A6 Chip?

As the next-generation iPhone revelation comes closer, rumors are all over the place. Today, a new photo shows a new system on a chip for Apple’s next iPhone labeled “A6″. The latest part leak was posted online by Sonny Dickson. Dickson claims that this chip will indeed be included in the next iPhone. If true, the naming of the chip suggests that the new processor would be a significant upgrade. Currently, the iPhone 4S uses an A5 chip and an A5X chip in the third-generation iPad.

In the recent weeks, several photos of the device’s logic board have leaked. However, due to the low quality of the photos or the presence of a covering on the part have left the identities of the chips on the part unknown. Apple is expected to reveal the next generation iPhone on September 12th.


Apple to Update AirPlay to Allow Wireless Streaming Without Wi-Fi?

The Telegraph reports that Apple is planning to announce an improvement for its AirPlay audio and video streaming technology during its widely rumored September 12th event. The September 12th event is rumored to be for the revelation of the next generation iPhone. According to people with familiar matter, the so called “AirPlay Direct” tech will require only an iOS device and compatible audio equipment for music streaming. The new AirPlay technology would not need the current need of a W-Fi network to stream music.

Sources familiar with the iPhone-maker’s plans said that Apple wants to improve the AirPlay wireless music streaming technology, which currently requires Airplay speakers and a WiFi network. The new version will require just speakers or a hifi and an iDevice; the iPhone, iPod or iPad would form its own network to allow a direct connection and music playback.

Though details remain vague, it is assumed that AirPlay Direct will create an ad hoc connection with support audio units. Apple’s AirPlay technology allows users to easily stream audio and video using the company’s own encoding tools. Yesterday, it was also reported that the next generation iPhone is not expected to support NFC.

The Telegraph also expects Apple to promote AirPlay Direct as a replacement to the hardware connection on many iPhone/iPod docks. This would allow playback of music wirelessly from device to receiver.

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?