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Apple Daily: Cook Remembers Jobs; 2014 iOS Sales; Samsung iPhone Memory

Apple fans are once again remembering the life and times of Steve Jobs today on what would have been the 60th birthday of the legendary co-founder. In our Tuesday edition of Apple Daily, we’ll find out how current CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that date, along with news that Samsung may still be in the iPhone memory game, the latest Apple acquisition, and how much of the smartphone market iOS and Android have gobbled up to date.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Commemorates Steve Jobs’s 60th Birthday

It’s been just over four years since the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, but his predecessor certainly hasn’t forgotten the influential legacy of the man who brought him into the Cupertino fold. On Tuesday morning, current CEO Tim Cook started his day with a tweet acknowledging Jobs’ birthday on February 24.

Steve Jobs holds Apple

“Remembering Steve, who would have turned 60 today,” Cook wrote, capped off by a quote from his former mentor: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Although Cook’s influence has changed many things at Apple over the last four years, there’s little doubt that the executive team and the iPhone maker’s global workforce continue to live by those words. (For more Steve Jobs quotes, click here.)

Next-Gen iPhone Will Mostly Use Samsung Memory Chips

The Korea Times reported late Monday that Samsung Electronics appears to still be very much in the Apple manufacturing game, despite rumors of an icier relationship between the two patent foes. An unnamed industry official claims Samsung will provide “at least half” of the DRAM chips needed for this year’s presumed iPhone 6S, and the door appears to be open for Apple to increase that amount, should it become necessary. Samsung will also reportedly provide mobile processors for the same device, which is widely expected to arrive this fall.

Samsung mobile memory chips

Apple Acquires Audio Plug-In Developer Camel Audio

Apple’s music-centric software GarageBand and Logic Pro X could become a lot more powerful in the future, thanks to Cupertino’s acquisition of music software plug-in maker Camel Audio. According to The Loop, the creators of Alchemy quietly closed their doors back on January 8, removing all products for purchase and limiting email and download support for previous purchases.

Camel Audio - Alchemy

As noted by MacRumors, Camel Audio’s corporate registry now points to Apple’s London address at 100 New Bridge Street, while the company’s only director is listed as Heather Joy Morrison, one of Cupertino’s fleet of attorneys. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition to The Loop in their typically standard way: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

iOS, Android Now Dominate 96.3 Percent of Smartphone Market

Poor Microsoft and BlackBerry: The latest quarterly smartphone data from IDC is now available, and it shows Apple and Google absolutely dominating the worldwide market with 96.3 percent of shipments made during the fourth quarter of last year, a slight increase from 95.6 percent during the same quarter in 2013.

iPhone hovers over Earth

Unfortunately, Android accounted for 76.6 percent of all smartphones sold, but considering how few iPhone models Apple actually has in the lineup, 19.7 percent is nothing to sneeze at — especially when it coincides with 46.1 percent year-over-year growth. (By comparison, Windows Phone holds a meager 2.8 percent share, while BlackBerry slipped into near-total irrelevance with 0.4 percent. Ouch!)

IDC released its calendar year 2014 data as well, painting very much the same picture, with iOS and Android again responsible for a whopping 96.3 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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Apple Daily: iPhones Overtake Android, Mystery Apple Car, Jobs Biopic Release Date

Tim Cook and friends are no doubt celebrating over the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel, which states that iPhones have taken a greater share of the U.S. smartphone market than Android phones for the first time since 2012. Elsewhere, there’s a strange car leased to Apple that’s prowling the streets in and around San Francisco, and Universal Pictures finally announces a release day for Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic.

Apple (Slightly) Overtakes Android’s U.S. Smartphone Market Share

The list of statistics showing just how awesome Apple’s October to December 2014 quarter was continues to grow, and here’s perhaps the best one so far. According to Kantar Worldpanel (via TechCrunch), Apple’s massively successful quarter allowed iPhones to take a greater share of the U.S. smartphone market than Android-based devices for the first time since 2012.

Mind you, it’s by a tiny, tiny margin. Based on Kantar’s data, iPhones accounted for 47.7 percent of the U.S. smartphone market while Android-based phones accounted for (get this) 47.6 percent. Windows Phone took up most of the rest of the slack with 3.8 percent. 

“While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever,” said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market.”

 

Apple Testing ‘Mysterious’ Camera-Equipped Car in Bay Area

Apple has a modified Dodge Caravan running around the San Francisco Bay area, and no one’s really sure what it’s for. San Francisco’s KPIX caught sight of the vehicle and its white contraption on top that sports 12 cameras, and later confirmed via California’s DMV that the humble vehicle was, in fact, leased to our favorite Cupertino company.

The most obvious response seems to be that the white device is an imaging tool that could be used for an Apple version of Google’s Street View, although the fact that most of the cameras point downward has prompted some more outlandish suggestions.

Via Claycord

According to technology analyst Robe Enderle, we may be seeing a self-driving car designed by Apple. The Claycord blog, which has some of the best pictures of the Caravan, also supports the theory, claiming that it looks extremely similar to an (alleged) self-driving car seen in Brooklyn last September.

Sounds cool, but there are some problems with the theory — the most notable being that Apple simply hasn’t received the permits necessary to test self-driving units. Also, Enderle’s dismissal of the vehicle as a “street view” device hinges on his assertion that 12 cameras is “too many cameras,” even though Google’s apparatus for Street View actually has 15 (via AppleInsider).

 

Universal Pictures Reveals Release Date for Steve Jobs Biopic

According to an announcement via CNBC’s Twitter account, Danny Boyle’s upcoming biopic based on key moments in the list of Steve Jobs will hit theaters on October 9 of this year. The film stars Michael Fassbender in the role of Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen in the role of Steve Wozniak. Key scenes are currently being shot in the Silicon Valley area.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: Apple Watch Changing Apple Stores, Photos from Jobs Biopic, GT Advanced Facility

The official release of Danny Boyle’s upcoming Steve Jobs biopic is still many months away, but new photos allow us to see how well Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen fill their new roles. In addition, Apple’s making some key changes to its retail stores in order to accommodate the Apple Watch, and it looks like Apple’s planning on living up to its promises regarding its old sapphire crystal facility in Arizona.

Photos Show Fassbender and Rogen as Jobs and Wozniak

Mere days after Universal Pictures released the final cast list for Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic, The Daily Mail already has photos showing Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen in their respective roles of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The shots show Fassbender sporting Jobs’ longish cut from the early ’80s (and reinforce the perception that he looks almost nothing like Jobs), and Seth Rogen looking like, well, Seth Rogen.

Among the news that came out of the big Sony hack is the revelation that Boyle believes Fassbender has the acting chops to pull off the role despite his unfamiliarity compared to early Jobs candidates like Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale. Here’s to hoping his performance onscreen dispels most of the current doubts.

Filming for the biopic is currently taking place at multiple locations from Apple’s history, such as the legendary garage where Wozniak and Jobs built the first Apple computers and Cupertino’s Flint Center, where Jobs unveiled the first Mac back in 1984.

 

Apple to House Gold Apple Watches in On-Site Safes After Hours

The Apple Watch apparently won’t just change Apple’s product line; it’ll change part of the Apple retail store experience as well. Over the weekend 9to5Mac revealed via unidentified sources that Apple is planning on outfitting its stores with safes in order to house the pricey gold “Edition” versions of its upcoming Apple Watch after hours, thus taking cues from traditional jewelry stores.

In addition, Apple is reportedly planning on bringing weight scales to each store, which will allow employees to weigh the gold Apple Watches in the event of a return or replacement to ensure that the original gold band hasn’t been switched out with cheaper materials.

On a lighter note, the fancy new jewelry store trappings extend even to the clothes the employees wear in the store. Starting today, employees will be seen wearing either the familiar crew necks or a new blue polo variant, which brings some elegance in accordance with the company’s new luxurious offerings.

 

Apple to Turn Former GTAT Sapphire Facility into Green Data Center

True to its word, Apple is repurposing the giant facility in Mesa, Arizona that once housed its failed venture into sapphire crystal with GT Advanced Technologies. According to a report from the Associated Press, the Cupertino company will pump billion more dollars over the next 10 years into the location, which will now serve as a green “global command” data center employing 150 people full-time.

Apple already has four other data centers based in the U.S., but the former sapphire crystal plant will emerge as the one ring that binds them all together. A statement from Apple confirms that it will be “powered by 100 percent renewable energy, much of which will come from a new local solar farm.”

Construction is expected to begin sometime later next year. Why the delay? For the time being, the facility is still stuffed with all those sapphire crystal furnaces, which are currently being liquidated in accordance with GT Advanced’s bankruptcy.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: Apple’s Historic Profits, YouTube Dumps Flash, Jobs Biopic Casting

According to Standard and Poor’s, Apple made history yesterday when it released its quarterly earnings report as all those iPhone sales resulted in the most profitable quarter in history. Elsewhere, YouTube finally gives in and goes full HTML5, and Universal Pictures releases the final cast list for the Steve Jobs biopic.

Apple Just Had the Most Profitable Quarter in History

According to credit ratings leader Standard & Poor’s, the big numbers cited in Apple’s quarterly earnings report yesterday weren’t just a big deal by Apple standards. By S&P’s reckoning, Apple’s net profit of billion means it had the most profitable quarter in history, and by such a wide margin that the Cupertino company’s record is well ahead of ExxonMobil’s .9 billion reported in 2012.

As 9to5Mac notes, people all across the Internet have been trying to put these numbers in perspective. A Reddit user going by the name of Cal00 points out that Apple made more from its iPhone sales than Microsoft and Google made from their entire product lines. TechCrunch calculated that Apple made a profit of .3 million per hour.

As expected, Apple’s massive success during the quarter springs mainly from the sale of 74.5 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units, each featuring the larger screens that users had been wanting for years.

 

YouTube Dumps Flash in Favor of HTML5

In the early years of the iPhone, you didn’t have to pay much attention to know that Steve Jobs had some serious issues with Flash, and that he steadfastedly refused to allow it on the newborn iOS. In 2010, he even wrote a well-known memo about it. At the time, many people called Jobs and Apple stubborn, if not backwards. But yesterday YouTube made the jump from Flash to Jobs’s beloved HTML5, proving once again that the Apple co-founder’s ideas were ahead of their time, not behind them.

From now on, YouTube will start playing videos with HTML5 regardless of whether you have Flash installed or not. The key advantage of HTML5 is that you can play it on almost any system, while Flash requires a plugin made for the specific operating system it’s running on. In its announcement, Google acknowledged Apple’s contributions to the dominance of HTML5 in a statement to VentureBeat:

“These advancements have benefited not just YouTube’s community, but the entire industry,” said YouTube. “Other content providers like Netflix and Vimeo, as well as companies like Microsoft and Apple have embraced HTML5 and been key contributors to its success.”

 

Universal Pictures Releases Cast List for Steve Jobs Biopic

Today Universal Pictures announced the cast list for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic directed by Danny Boyle, putting an end to scores of rumors that have popped up over the past few months as the project lost and gained both actors and directors. Most of the casting decisions were more or less common knowledge as of yesterday, but there are still some surprises in store (via Cult of Mac). For instance, we finally know which part Kate Winslet is playing.

Above: Michael Fassbender 

Michael Fassbender of X-Men: Days of Future Past fame will play Steve Jobs, while Seth Rogen will play Steve Wozniak. Michael Stuhlbarg of Boardwalk Empire will portray Andy Hertzfeld, Jeff Daniels took the role of Apple CEO John Sculley, and Adam Shapiro will be Avie Tevanian. Kate Winslet will play Mac marketing chief Joanna Hoffman (a key figure in promoting the first Mac), and the relatively unknown Sarah Snook will play PR personality Andrea Cunningham. Three actresses — Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, and Perla Haney-Jardine — will play Jobs’s daughter Lisa as she ages from 5 to 19.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Apple Daily: iPad Pro Stylus, Steve Jobs Biopic Production, MLK Day

Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have liked it, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple plans to release its 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a optional stylus. In other news, production has at last started on Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic, judging from the film crews outside Jobs’ boyhood home, and Apple paid homage to Martin Luther King, Jr. on its homepage today.

Rumor: Apple May Release iPad Pro with Optional Stylus

Famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is back with another one of his predictions for Apple’s future, and this time he states that the Cupertino company will most likely release an optional stylus when (and of course, if) it releases the long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Steve Jobs was famously critical of using a stylus during his 2007 iPhone announcement, but Kuo seems to think it might find a better market with Apple’s supposed ginormous tablet.

Optional is the key word here, as Kuo believes it’ll drive up the cost of the tablet itself too high if it came with all purchases.

“We don’t think all users will need a stylus initially,” Kuo said in his letter to investors, according to MacRumors. “Coupled with its unfavorable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it. We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received.”

Kuo believes the iPad Pro and its associated stylus should appear sometime in the second or third quarter of this year.

Production on Steve Jobs Biopic Starts in Los Altos

After all those months of rumors and cast and director changes, the new Steve Jobs biopic has at last commenced production at Steve Jobs’ boybood home in Los Altos, California. Currently crews are just setting up, according to CNET, but the actual filming should be begin on Friday afternoon.

Specifically, the team is currently in the process of making the garage look like it might have looked back in 1976 when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs were putting together the Apple I (although Wozniak says the garage story is a bit of a myth).

The film will star Michael Fassbender in the role of Jobs, while Seth Rogen will play the part of Steve Wozniak and Jeff Daniels will portray early Apple CEO John Sculley. Kate Winslet will also star in an unknown role.

You can check out a full gallery of the production photos at CNET.

Apple Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States, and to commemorate the event, Apple has updated its homepage to feature Dr. King with a full-page memorial. The page features a photo of King delivering one of his speeches, and is accompanied by the words: “Today we reflect on the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the work that continues in service of the broader concerns of humanity.”

Earlier today, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the federal holiday on Twitter, saying “Honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” with a link to Apple’s homepage. 9to5Mac reports that Apple is using the holiday to encourage its own employees to volunteer, and apparently the Cupertino company is donating “an additional for every voluntary hour worked by employees” as a part of its gift matching program.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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