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Beats 1 Radio appears to be down for many (Update: back up after 30+ mins)

Update: after about 35 minutes, it appears that the Beats 1 stream is back online. The outage may have been caused by an Amazon Web services outage on the East Coast of the US. 

beats off

Many readers are reporting Beats1 Radio is offline with error -12880 on iOS and just a spin on iTunes for Mac. As per usual, Apple’s System status page shows no outage but currently we aren’t able to find anyone able to get online.

Screenshot 2015-06-30 20.58.11

iTunes is showing the below error:

Screenshot 2015-06-30 20.49.25


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Seth Weintraub

July 1st

Apple

Mac

Fitbits are outselling Apple Watches … for now

Fitbit-apple-watch-slice

Bloomberg uses Slice Intelligence data to show that Fitbit is actually still doing well as Apple Watch orders begin to level off from launch day highs. In fact, the data from Slice, however accurate that is, shows that Fitbits are actually outselling Apple Watches.

But it is hard to compare the two: Apple’s costs $350-$400 to start, where Fitbits start at around $55 and only go up to $250.

But the same could even be said for $99 Pebble watches really. Or Android Watches which often start below $99 for certain models.

The flip side however is that people who have an Apple Watch aren’t in the market for a Fitbit, but Fitbit users are prime market for the Apple Watch.

According to Slice, less than 5 percent of people who bought a Fitbit since the end of 2013 have also purchased an Apple Watch. About 11 percent of people who bought an Apple Watch had purchased a Fitbit product over that period.

Also, Apple’s distribution of the Apple Watch hasn’t really even started yet. There’s no Apple Watch at Target, Walmart, Best Buy or any of the big retail chains. In fact, Apple can barely keep up with demand within its own stores.

Apple Watches will also drop in price as new models come out, bringing the price of base models more in line with the competition. It is certainly hard to imagine how Fitbit will keep up as more and more of its market is subsumed by the Apple Watch and its ecosystem, and Fitbit doesn’t appear to want to play nice with Apple. With the fitness tracker maker entering the true smartwatch territory with its $250 Surge, Apple last year returned the favor by removing Fitbit products from its stores.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple watch, Fitbit, Market share

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Seth Weintraub

June 29th

Apple

Mac

Toys: iPhone 5 refurb + 1 Year Unlimited Talk/Text, 500MB LTE/m: $300 shipped (CA Tax Only)

47a9f03abf75cc717251b46436a4f921dab4532b main hero image

9to5Toys Specials now has the iPhone 5 (recertified) with one year of Unlimited Talk-and-Text from FreedomPop for $299.99 with free shipping. The deal combines a great phone with generous network service.

With most tier 1 mobile services charging $100/month or more, this is clearly a no brainer as a second iPhone, an iPhone for the parents/grandparents or kids. Or perhaps you need a “burner iPhone for nefarious purposes. No judgement here. Or maybe you are a developer that needs another phone to try out your apps on? Whatever the reason, it is the equivalent of $25 a month with a free iPhone and it is on Sprint’s MVNO LTE network for better or worse. If you use up the 500MB of data, you can buy more cheaply or just use Wifi. Talk and texting are unlimited.

Plus, it is an iPhone 5 – the one you can actually use in one hand.

  • Unlimited talking and texting, plus 500MB LTE data per month for 1 year – worth $131.88
  • 1 year of Premier Service Bundle – worth $360
  • No contracts or early termination fees
  • Sleek, durable design
  • Free international calling
  • Dependable performance

The deal takes 73% off the regular price of this matchup.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: deal, FreedomPop, iPhone, LTE (telecommunication), LTE iPhone, Mobile virtual network operator, Sprint

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Seth Weintraub

June 20th

Apple

Mac

Ultimate Ears Roll is a tough, wearable speaker that hangs, swims and sounds great

 

UE-Roll
Over the weekend I got my hands on the new Ultimate Ears Roll Bluetooth speaker –a durable and waterproof frisbee of a device that pumps the beats like its UE Mini Boom cousin.

First up: It sounds really good with significant bass emerging from that thin profile.. Not quite as good as $200+ portable speakers like the Bose Soundlink Mini or even the full-sized UE MegaBoom but plenty good to fill up a room or for a few people to rock out with some background music on the beach for a volleyball game. If you find yourself in a quiet spot the sound really comes through clean even though the device lends itself to the great outdoors.  It connects to Apple devices – even the Apple Watch – through a typical Bluetooth connection but Logitech offers some features via the iOS or Android app that debuted with the Megaboom.   With the app, you can set an alarm, pair speakers for stereo or do Sonos-like arrays in every room, check battery status and more with updates promised for later this year…

Key Details:

  • UE Roll is a frisbee shaped Bluetooth speaker meant for play
  • Somewhere between my tested 5 hours fo battery and the claimed 9 hour of battery can be expected
  • Great sound, great build quality
  • Apps and 66ft range are big differentiators here
  • $99 shipped starting later this month, pre-order here

The standout feature here is the housing. It is made from a rubber-like substance on the back and a fabric color, (7 patterns to choose from) and is IPX7 (1M underwater) waterproofing which “seals” the deal. I tried dunking it, throwing it and even rolling it down a hill. The sound never stopped coming, though it did sound muffled underwater. UE notes that it can actually go 66 feet from the host device, twice as far as normal Bluetooth speakers thanks to some antenna circuitry/wizardry. It also includes a bungie cable  for attaching it to your person, or, as my son, did put it on a bike.

Downsides are few but just like the Megaboom is it a bit of a hassle to plug in with the microUSB port being very recessed. It charges in an hour or two and the battery claims 9 hours of life. In my short time with this speaker I can tell you those battery estimates are a bit optimistic and folks should probably expect closer to 5-6 hours, especially if the music is turned up high. Another quibble is the volume buttons – they are huge, spanning the whole front of the speaker but you’ll have to train your aim for center because only a small part of the buttons work.

Overall, the UE Roll is a winner. I love that you can throw it in a bag for the weekend without having to bring a charger or a box to keep it from becoming crushed. I love that you can leave it outside in the rain or keep it near a pool without having to worry about it getting wet, stepped on, or hurt in any way.  I also love that this is wearable anywhere from the shower to a camping trip or a bike ride right out of the box.

We’ll have more on this speaker in an upcoming roundup.

Manufacturer:
Ultimate Ears (Logitech)
Price:
$99
Compatibility:
iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple Watch, All MacBooks, any Bluetooth Android or PC

 


Filed under: AAPL Company, Reviews Tagged: Bluetooth Speaker, review, roll, UE

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Seth Weintraub

June 16th

Apple

Mac

Apple releases new PowerBeats2 Wireless headphone colors aimed at Apple Watch Sport users

PowerBeats2-wireless-applewatch

image credit: Ben Thomas

Apple quietly updated its Powerbeats2 headphones to match Apple Watch Sport colors this week signalling a new move to focus audio accessories to the Apple Watch ecosystem. The new colors, which match the Apple Watch Sport Band colors of Blue, Black, Green, Pink and (updated) White, are available in Apple Stores but haven’t arrived at other retail locations yet.

Powerbeats2-apple-store

The Apple Watch can store and play 2GB of music without a tethered iPhone wirelessly via Bluetooth 4 and with watchOS 2 will get access to many more audio applications. It wouldn’t be out of character for Apple to release over the ear Beats headphones in matching colors or even PowerBeats Wireless to match the more expensive stainless steel Apple Watch.

The new Powerbeats2 headphones will of course work with all Apple and other Bluetooth 4 devices even though they appear to be focused on the growing Apple Watch market.

Apple Powerbeats2 Wireless earphones still come in their original, dare I say, dated colors for $199 ($189 Amazon, $160 Ebay) but the original White version has been moved from the old lineup the the new lineup. Original URBeats Wired headphones can be found for as little as $45 via 9to5Toys.com

(Via Benjamin Thomas)

 


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple watch, Beats, Bluetooth, Bluetooth 4, Powerbeats 2 Wireless, powerbeats2

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Seth Weintraub

June 14th

Apple

Mac

‘Code Like a Girl’ is an inspiring look at 5 young women and their WWDC experience

This video is so well done, it is almost like Apple made/coordinated it themselves.


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Seth Weintraub

June 14th

Apple

Mac

‘Code Like a Girl’ is an inspiring look at 5 young women and their WWDC experience

This video is so well done, it is almost like Apple made/coordinated it themselves.


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Seth Weintraub

June 14th

Apple

Mac

Apple SVP Retail/Online Angela Ahrendts opens stunning Upper East Side Apple Store [Gallery]

As previously reported, the Upper East Side New York Apple Store opened today and Apple’s head of retail was on hand for the occasion.  Angela Ahrendts tweeted from the event (above) and took photos with visitors (below). The store is at  940 Madison Avenue on the corner of 74th St, a block from Central Park.

apple-store-ues

We noted previously that the almost 100-year old building that Apple restored used to be a bank which included a vault that Apple turned into a VIP room for Apple Watch Edition try ons. The VIP space includes a large TV/Display, couches and other niceties (more images below).

Instagram Photo

In addition, the decor and showcasing is unique to this location with a new kind of recessed showcase, large chandeliers and black and white artwork.

The new store will help alleviate some of the traffic that the Fifth Avenue Store loses while it relocates to the smaller FAO Schwarz location for upgrades. Not everyone is happy with the store opening. Local residents have complained that it will bring throngs of shoppers to this somewhat quiet (by Manhattan standards) upscale neighborhood. Apple has promised to open later and close earlier than other nearby stores in order to appease the neighbors.

Many more images below:


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Angela Ahrendts, Apple Inc, Apple Store, Fifth Avenue, iPhone, New York, New York City, UES, Upper East Side

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Seth Weintraub

June 14th

Apple

Mac

KGI: Top 11 new iPhone features for 2015 include Rose Gold option, Force Touch, 12MP Camera, 2GB RAM, more

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

A special Top 11 list today from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on the next iPhone (6s? 7?) that will be released later this year. Counting down:

  1. Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enrich user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market
  2. Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model
  3. There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose-gold Apple Watch Edition
  4. The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12MP
  5. One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality
  6. The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted
  7. The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes
  8. If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens
  9. The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay
  10. Gesture control support
  11. It’s expected that mass production will start in mid-to-late August. Total shipments will be 80-90mn in 2015, with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.

Some thoughts:

It is interesting that drop tests are what’s limiting sapphire and not GT Advanced production issues we saw last year. Also, Force Touch and gesture support would need to be an OS level upgrade. Will Apple reveal these features (on purpose or accidentally) with iOS 9 in June or wait for a point upgrade in the September timeframe when iPhone and eventually iPad hardware is expected.

As for Rose Gold, it will be interesting to see if Apple is bringing its “Edition” high end line to iPhones along with its premium prices. I hope not.

The 2GB of RAM is a given because the iPad Air 2 had 2GB of RAM. DDR4 is fast. Samsung and LG both released smartphones with amazing cameras this year already. It will be interesting to see how Apple’s 12MP version compares.

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

Artwork by shoplemonde.de

We’re still a long way away but it seems like we may have an interesting September.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Inc, Gold, iPhone, iphone 6s, iPhone 7, KGI, Ming-Chi Kuo

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Seth Weintraub

May 12th

Apple

Mac

PSA: Best Buy has limited stock of 12″ Retina MacBooks shipping now while other retailers discount pre-orders

Apple-store-macbook-shipping

Apple still shows a 3-5 week wait on the new Retina 12-inch MacBook across the board but one US retailer has them in stock and shipping in certain configurations. Best Buy, who also offers a $50 off coupon for people with access to an .edu email address offers the base model MacBook in both Silver and Space Gray for delivery May 18th.

Macbook-shipping-discount macbook shipping discount

Other US retailers don’t have them in stock but offer discounts and state tax advantages:

As for Apple, we’ve reported that its official stores are now receiving limited SKUs ahead of widespread, global availability at the end of May.


Filed under: Mac Tagged: 12-inch MacBook, Best Buy, MacBook

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Seth Weintraub

May 11th

Apple

Mac
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