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Apple Daily: iOS 9 and OS X Rumor; Apple Watch Demand; Apple Expanding

In today’s Apple Daily, a respected analyst claims that the demand for Apple Watch is already dwindling, Apple reportedly plans to expand its “San Francisco” font to iOS and OS X, and the company is attempting to grab more office space in Silicon Valley even as construction on its “spaceship” campus chugs along.

Apple May Bring ‘San Francisco’ Font to iOS and OS X

Like the Apple Watch’s “San Francisco” font? If not, you’d probably better learn to like it, as insider sources who reportedly spoke with 9to5Mac claim that the new typeface is probably coming to iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. Apple currently uses the similar, slim Helvetica Neue, which has been around since the launch of iOS 7 and OS X Yosemite.

Apple developed the San Francisco font specifically for legibility, as Helvetica Neue poses problems once it’s shrunk down to a display as small as the Apple Watch’s. San Francisco is supposed to retain its legibility regardless of the how big or small it is, but 9to5 Mac claims that some Apple developers aren’t too fond of the font, as it allegedly doesn’t look as appealing on non-Retina screens.

There’s an aura of truth about the report, as Apple has already revealed hints of this shift when it designed the new 12-inch MacBook with a San Francisco keyboard. Even so, the sources also reportedly claim that we might not even see the shift this year, and, indeed, that Apple might abandon its plans for such a massive shift all together.

 

Apple Attempting to Expand Office Space into San Jose

You’d think that all that room in the new “spaceship” campus enough, but a new report from the Silicon Valley Business Journal (via Cult of Mac) claims that Apple is attempting to grab more office space in nearby San Jose. The Cupertino company reportedly isn’t having an easy time of it, however, as it’s facing competition from Tesla Motors, which is attempting to secure more office space from the same area.

The leasing battle is reportedly centered on a 300,000-square-foot building on Orchard Parkway owned by Ellis Partners and the Coleman Highline development near Mineta San Jose International Airport. The latter development alone could bring more than 1.5 million square feet of office space for Apple’s needs.

Apple, having taken over the vast majority of office space in Cupertino, has already had to expand into offices in nearby Santa Clara and Sunnyvale over the last few years.

 

Apple Watch Demand Slowing Down, Analyst Says

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another letter to his investors, and this time the respected analyst claims that the demand for the Apple Watch is already slowing down. Many current estimates peg the Apple Watch as selling around 20 to 30 million units in the 2015 fiscal year, but Kuo claims (via MacRumors) that actual number might end up being as low as 15 million. For the third quarter alone, Kuo chopped his shipping estimates for the third quarter by 20 to 30 percent.

Kuo is known for basing a lot of his reports on insider sources, but this latest letter was based on a survey from KGI Securities. Even so, the survey produced some fascinating results. The larger 42mm models seem to represent over 80 percent of the devices ordered, for instance.

“We have learned that 42mm Apple Watch accounts for 60-70 percent of production. However, the shipping times of 38mm models are generally earlier than those of 42mm,” Kuo says in the letter. “We believe this is because demand for 38mm watches is significantly below that of 42mm ones. We estimate that 42mm models account for over 80 percent of sales. Assuming that 42mm and 38mm watches are mainly purchased by men and women respectively, the Apple Watch has attracted mostly men.”

Kuo sees potential for the new device, but believes that sales are currently hampered by the absence of must-have apps, worse-than-desired battery life, and the device’s reliance on connection to the iPhone for many features.

 

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

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Morning Report: 12-inch MacBook Air Rumor, Disney World Adds Apple Pay

Apple Pay at Walt Disney World

Rub the sleep out of your eyes — the Christmas break is fast approaching, but the tech news never stops! Our Monday Morning Report has the details on a new 12-inch MacBook Air said to finally be entering production as early as next month, Apple Pay arriving at Walt Disney World this week, and the latest Hollywood starlet vying for a role in the Steve Jobs biopic. You can’t read about it if you don’t click forward!

12-inch MacBook Air Reportedly Entering Production in Q1 2015

If you’ve always felt like an 11-inch MacBook Air display was a little too small and 13-inch was simply too big, Apple may soon hit the sweet spot at last. DigiTimes today reported that Cupertino is expected to “enter mass production” on a 12-inch MacBook Air sometime during the first three months of next year, following what was apparently a successful pilot production prior to the close of 2014.

“Apple’s new MacBook Air features Intel’s Broadwell processors and a new chassis design to reduce the device’s overall thickness and weight, but the start of mass production has been hampered by low yield rates,” unnamed sources within Apple’s upstream supply chain told DigiTimes. “As the yield issue is gradually being resolved, mass production is expected to come in the first quarter of 2015.”

Quanta Computer is expected to manufacture the 12-inch MacBook Air, which is expected to be targeted more to the “high-end market segment.” The same sources also reconfirmed that Apple Watch manufacturing will also kick off sometime during the first quarter of 2015, which is the only vague launch date Apple has confirmed to date.

Walt Disney World Firing Up Apple Pay on Christmas Eve

Spending your Christmas at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida this year? According to WDWMagic.com, you’ll be able to breeze your way through the park and resort without ever having to take a credit card out of your wallet, thanks to Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus being enabled at “most stores, quick service restaurants, bars, and ticket sales booths.”

Walt Disney World previously announced Apple Pay support would arrive “before Christmas,” with the Mouse House squeaking the service in just under the wire on Christmas Eve, December 24. Portable payment terminals such as those as table service restaurants won’t be added at this time, and those traveling to Disneyland in Anaheim, California will have to wait until next year to use Apple Pay.

Kate Winslet Latest Starlet in Talks for Jobs Biopic

Hollywood has faced quite a few speed bumps on the way to putting Walter Isaacson’s biography on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs up on the big screen, but the road to production finally seems to be getting smoother. Variety reported Friday that Titanic star Kate Winslet is the latest Oscar-winning actress “in negotiations” for the lead female role in Universal Pictures’ biopic. Starring Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen as co-founder Steve Wozniak, the big-budget film version is written by Aaron Sorkin and is being directed by Danny Boyle. The Newsroom star Jeff Daniels is also eyeing a potential role as former Apple president John Scully, although it’s unclear at this writing which role Winslet may be in talks for.

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

(Image courtesy of WDWInfo.com)

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Rumor: Next iPhone Might Feature a Glasses-Free 3D Display

Taiwan’s Economic Daily News has been on a roll with sketchy news lately. Just this Monday the site claimed that Apple is ditching the iPad mini forever in favor of the still-rumored “iPad Pro,” and now it’s claiming that Apple is on the verge of designing an iPhone with a glasses-free 3D display. It’s a tough sell, especially since the recent resurgence of enthusiasm for 3D technology already appears to be on the wane.

But maybe, just maybe, Apple could be the company to (once again) push other manufacturers in that direction. The report claims that Apple can’t achieve the effect with its current screen technology, and thus it’s allegedly already reaching out to touchscreen maker TPK to help make a new “naked eye 3D screen.” TPK is reportedly already in the process of raising .63 billion yuan ( billion) for the project, which will mark the first step toward a wider3D “hardware and software ecosystem.”

Source: Wallpapers Wide

Don’t laugh so soon; it’s not as far-fetched as it initially sounds. Apple won a patent pertaining to stereoscopic displays back in 2010, and before that the Cupertino company patented a “Hyper Reality” display that repositions objects on the screen depending on how a user moves his or her head.

More directly, back in November of last year we reported that Apple had acquired Israel’s PrimeSense, the chipmaker responsible for the 3D sensors in Microsoft’s first Kinect for its Xbox 360 gaming system. Thus far, however, the only evidence we’ve seen of Apple dabbling in 3D displays consists of the parallax background for iOS, which earned a conflicted reception at best.

The rumor may thus amount to little more than idle speculation, but the components are certainly already available for Apple to make such an unexpected move.

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

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Rumor: New Mac Pro Will Be “Something Really Different”

Remember the days when Apple used to tell us to “Think Different”? Apparently they’re taking that notion to heart again for the new Mac Pros expected to appear at WWDC next week. As reported by MacRumors, Mac Pro project manager Douglas Brooks informed RedUser.net forum member Andrew Baird to expect “something really different” with the new units.

Baird received the call from Brooks a few months ago after he’d written an e-mail to Apple CEO Tim Cook regarding the lack of new professional towers from Apple, citing his desire for additional support for graphics cards and expanded memory slots. Brooks’ response was decidedly enthusiastic. “You are going to be really glad that you waited [to buy a new tower],” Brooks said. “We are doing something really different here and I think you’re going to be very excited when you see what we’ve been up to. I can’t wait to show this off.”

Source: RedUser.Net

Right now, there’s little in the way of clues to clarify what “something really different” might mean, especially since Baird didn’t learn anything specific from Brooks’ reply. There’s even a slight possibility that plans have changed. Baird received his call months ago, and the recent updates to MacPros have seemed half-hearted at best, although Tim Cook did confirm to a fan after last year’s WWDC that we’d see new Mac Pros in 2013. In February, a French reseller was reported to have learned that new Mac Pros would appear this year.

MacRumors indicated that there may be some truth to the claim, after all. Lou Bourella, an administrator for the 20,932 user-strong Facebook group “We Want a New Macpro,” announced that he’d heard that the new Mac Pros would rely heavily on Thunderbolt and have support for dual CPUs, but would lack the internal expandability that seemed so important to Baird. In addition, the new Mac Pros, according to Bourella, won’t support FireWire or optical drives. 

Considering Intel’s timely announcement of the release of their new “Haswell” processors on Monday, there’s also a strong chance that the new Mac Pros will contain them, allowing for faster speeds and better graphical performance.

A call to Apple for comment was not returned as of press time.

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

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Rumor: Apple May Work with Samsung for Thin Glass Production, After All

Well, that didn’t last long. Just a few weeks after Apple reiterated that it wouldn’t be working with chief competitor Samsung for thin glass for use in iPhones and iPads, South Korea’s ET News passed along the rumor that Apple’s currently working with the South Korean tech giant once again. And so far, this doesn’t look like a temporary make-up. In the words of ET News, at least, the relationship’s now so strong that it’s almost single-handedly responsible for turning around a recent downturn in the Korean thin glass market. 

Strange bedfellows, indeed. In the early days of smartphone development, Apple and Samsung worked closely together to produce glass for the new iPhones and iPads. These days, though, Apple and Samsung are practically mortal rivals–together, they’re responsible for the lion’s share of smartphones on the market–and even now, as reported by Bloomberg, they’re locked in a bitter clash over patents. Fearful that too many design ideas have been making their way over to Samsung as a result of the collaboration, Apple’s slowly been attempting to cut itself free of its former supplier. It also goes both ways. As Wired reported in October, Samsung themselves chose to stop supplying LCD displays to Apple because of Apple’s “stiffer supply-chain management structure.”

Unfortunately, as Apple Insider points out, Samsung simply has too many thin glass vendors available to it for Apple to ignore it, which may be the root of this rumored new collaboration. What’s more, it also appears that they’re one of the few suppliers who can keep up with Apple’s production demands. When Apple recently tried to ditch Samsung for Taiwan’s AU Optronics, for instance, they discovered that AU couldn’t keep up with Apple’s schedule.

Not only do we not yet know if there’s any truth to the rumor; we also don’t know if it’s just a quick-fix so Apple can meet the deadlines for its iPad and iPhone releases scheduled for this year. If it is, it’s good news for South Korea’s thin glass industry, at least: according to ET News, sales of thin glass are up 134 percent from 2011, when “the thin glass process was introduced in full force.”

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

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