Apple News May Expand Ways Publishers Can Sell Ads, Enable Micropayments

Apple News attracts millions of monthly readers on iPhone and iPad, but some publishers have been reluctant to adopt the platform due to limited revenue and hassles placing ads alongside content. Fortunately for publishers, that could soon change.

Ad Age reports that Apple eventually plans to allow publishers to use the ad tech they already employ on their sites, such as Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers, to deliver third-party ads in the Apple News app.

The report, citing multiple unnamed publishers, claims Apple also plans to enable micropayment options so people can access articles “for cents at a time,” but no specific details were provided.

The changes, which reportedly remain at least a few months away from being implemented, could lead to increased revenue for publishers, who in turn may find participating in Apple News to be more worthwhile.

Apple recently updated its Advertising Guide for Apple News to indicate that third-party ad tags can be used to serve third-party Standard, Double, Large, MREC, Interstitial, IAB 300×250, and IAB 728×90 ads on iOS 10.3 and above.

Apple Asks US Supreme Court to Rule Against Samsung Over Patents

Apple Asks US Supreme Court to Rule Against Samsung Over PatentsApple Inc on Friday asked the US Supreme Court to clear the way for the iPhone maker to secure hundreds of millions in damages from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in a case over smartphone design patents.

The world’s top smartphone rivals have been feuding over patents since 2011, when Apple sued Samsung in a northern California court alleging infringement of the iPhone’s patents, designs and trademarked appearance.

In its legal brief on Friday, Apple said Samsung had not provided evidence to support its argument that design patent damages should be decided on one component of a smartphone, rather than the entire product. Apple said there was no need for the Supreme Court to send the case back to a lower court for further proceedings.

A Samsung representative declined to immediately provide comment. The South Korean company has said that a ruling for Apple would diminish innovation and negatively impact the economy.

Following a 2012 jury trial, Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $930 million. Samsung has been trying to reduce that figure ever since.

Its efforts were partially rewarded in May 2015, when the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the damages on trademark liability. The appeals court, however, upheld Samsung’s infringement of the iPhone’s patents, including those related to the designs of the iPhone’s rounded-corner front face, bezel and colorful grid of icons.

That brought Samsung’s exposure down to $548 million, of which $399 million involves design patents. Additional damages, based on five other phone models, could also be awarded depending on the outcome of appeals.

Samsung asked the Supreme Court to review the case, calling the damages awarded excessive. In March, the justices agreed to look into whether courts should award in damages the total profits from a product that infringes a design patent, if the patent applies only to a component of the product.

In a filing last month, the US Department of Justice said the case should be sent back to a lower court.

But Apple said Congress has been clear on the issue of design patent damages, and there was no reason the Supreme Court should allow Samsung to make additional arguments.

Apple Considering Tidal Music Purchase: Report

Apple Considering Tidal Music Purchase: ReportApple is exploring the purchase of rival music streaming service Tidal, which is run by rap star Jay-Z, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The paper said Apple is interested in using the company to beef-up its own year-old steaming serviceApple Music.

Talks between the companies are ongoing and might not result in a tie-up, the Journal said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Executives at Tidal have not spoken with Apple about being acquired, the Journal reported, quoting a Tidal spokesperson.

Apple declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Tidal soared in popularity early this year after Beyonce released her latest album “Lemonade” exclusively on the service, although it was also broadcast in a film version on HBO and quickly made available on iTunes.

Tidal, which had a mixed reception after its relaunch last year, has heavily promoted exclusives, such as albums by Rihanna and Kanye West.

The company has been trying to seize some of the fast-growing streaming market from Spotify, which focuses on wide and easy access rather than exclusives.

Tidal subscriptions cost $10 or $20 monthly, depending on whether a user wants high-fidelity sound.

Jay-Z bought Tidal from Europe-based Aspiro early last year in a deal valued at slightly more than $56 million (roughly Rs. 376 crores).

Apple Fires Back at Spotify Over Music Streaming Claims

Apple Fires Back at Spotify Over Music Streaming ClaimsApple Inc fought back on Friday against Spotify’s claims that the US tech giant had hampered competition in music streaming by rejecting an update to the Swedish service’s iPhone app.

The two companies have gone head to head in the battle for music streaming customers since Apple Music was launched in more than 100 countries last year.

Apple’s entry into the field sparked concerns from music streaming companies such as Spotify, which have argued that the 30 percent cut Apple takes of subscriptions in its App Store give its own service an unfair advantage. Spotify General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez reiterated those concerns in a letter to Apple first reported on Thursday as he protested the rejection of the latest version of the Spotify app.

But Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell countered that the company deserves a cut of transactions in the App Store for its work operating the marketplace, according to a copy of a letter to Gutierrez seen by Reuters. Sewell insisted that Apple was treating Spotify as it would any other app maker, in keeping with antitrust law.

“We understand that you want special treatment and protections from competition, but we simply will not do that because we firmly adhere to the principle of treating all developers fairly and equitably,” Sewell wrote.

Gutierrez claimed Apple’s rejection of Spotify’s app raised “serious concerns” under competition law in the United States and Europe and the move was causing “grave harm to Spotify and its customers,” according to technology publication Recode.

A Spotify spokeswoman confirmed the accuracy of the report. A spokesman for Apple declined to comment.

Launched a decade ago, Spotify is the world’s biggest paid music streaming service with about 30 million paying users in 59 markets while Apple Music has some 13 million.

Companies such as Spotify have sought to sidestep Apple’s App Store cut by encouraging consumers to sign up for their services online. Apple forbids developers from promoting alternative payment methods within their apps.

In late May, Spotify submitted a version of its app that removed the in-app purchase feature, which triggers Apple’s cut, and included an account sign-up feature that violated Apple’s rules, Sewell wrote. Apple rejected the app and asked Spotify to submit again, but the new version had the same problems, Sewell said.

Music streaming is a crowded field. Alphabet’s Google Music and YouTube also compete with Spotify and Apple Music to attract users prepared to pay for music, as does Pandora Media Inc and rapper Jay Z’s Tidal.

Apple Sued Over Obscure Film by China’s Media Regulator: Court

Apple Sued Over Obscure Film by China's Media Regulator: CourtApple is being sued by China’s media regulator over rights to an obscure patriotic film, a Beijing court said Thursday, in the latest legal battle for the US tech giant in one of its crucial overseas markets.

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) claims that Apple has violated its exclusive online broadcast rights to the 1994 movie “Xuebo Dixiao” – whose title roughly translates to “Blood-Splatter our Strong Enemies” – by allowing viewers to access the film on the “Youku HD” app downloadable via the company’s online store.

SAPPRFT has filed suit against both Apple and the Chinese video streaming platform Youku, according to a statement posted on the official website of the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court, where the case has been received.

SAPPRFT believed the violation had cost the organization “huge economic losses”, the court statement said.

The little-known movie in question tells the tale of a young patriotic Chinese doctor who fights against Japanese occupying forces in the 1930s to open a hospital.

SAPPRFT has demanded that the two defendants immediately stop streaming the film, and together pay CNY 50,000 ($7,500 or roughly Rs. 5 lakhs) in damages, as well as approximately $3,000 (roughly Rs. 2 lakhs) in accrued legal fees, according to the court statement.

The case was “currently under further investigation”, it added.

Youku Tudou, known as China’s YouTube, was acquired last year by tech giant Alibaba for an estimated $4.8 billion (roughly Rs. 32,372 crores).

China is an increasingly important market for Apple as it deals with a slowdown in global smartphone sales.

The suit is the latest in a series of legal hurdles for the company in the world’s second-largest economy.

In mid-May, a court ruled that Apple had violated design patents of Chinese maker Shenzhen Baili for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and would be barred from selling those models. Their sale has yet to be curtailed in China pending Apple’s appeal of the decision.

Last month, the company also lost a suit against a small maker of “iphone”-branded leather goods, with a Beijing court ruling that Chinese manufacturer Xintong Tiandi had not violated trademark law when using the word on wallets, handbags and phone cases.

US Man Claims Apple Owes Him a Fortune for iPhone Idea

US Man Claims Apple Owes Him a Fortune for iPhone IdeaA Florida man who claims Apple made a killing with his iPhone idea is suing the technology giant seeking billions of dollars.

A lawsuit filed in a federal court in Florida this week by Thomas Ross argued that Apple “hijacked and exploited” a design he came up with in 1992 for an “electronic reading device.”

He is demanding damages of no less than $11 billion (roughly Rs. 74,177 crores) and another $10 billion (roughly Rs. 67,435 crores) in restitution, as well as at least 1.5 percent of Apple’s worldwide gross sales going forward “as a reasonable royalty,” according to the complaint.

Ross, who is representing himself in the suit, outlined his vision in several diagrams. He used the drawings in a patent application that the US Patent and Trade Office declared abandoned in 1995 for failure to pay required fees.

Last year Ross copyrighted his concept drawings, and his lawsuit contends that Apple products and packaging violate that copyright and his intellectual property.

In court paperwork, Ross accused Apple of adopting a culture of “dumpster diving” instead of creating its own ideas and argued that the invention pictured in his abandoned patent application was “sucked into” the company’s product line in a move he equated with identity theft.

Apple launched the iPod MP3 player in 2001, and the first iPhone was introduced six years later.

Ross said in the filing that Apple did not comply with a cease-and-desist order he sent the company.

Apple did not reply to an AFP request for comment, but the California company was quoted in media reports as saying that the suit is without merit.

Apple Watch 2017 to Sport Micro-LED Display, Sharp to Provide iPhone Oled Display: Reports

Apple Watch 2017 to Sport Micro-LED Display, Sharp to Provide iPhone Oled Display: ReportsApple is currently making headlines for its upcoming iPhone 7, but the company must be working on other products in its portfolio. A fresh round of leaks gives us more details on the company’s efforts with the Apple Watch, and the rumoured integrated GPU display. There’s also new a report that claims that Apple plans to rope in a third company to manufacture its Oled displays for its next year’s iPhone.

Beginning with the Apple Watch, the Cupertino giant may be switching from LCD displays to Micro-LED displays for its 2017 iteration. Apple will reportedly not follow the same iPhone path for its smartwatch, and switch to the rumoured Oled displays. Instead, the company will opt for Micro-LED displays on the 2017 Apple Watch (claims Digitimes). Micro LED is equipped with better colour gamuts and brightness levels, when compared to LCD. It even uses less battery than LCD (hence more battery life on the Apple Watch), and can even be much thinner as it doesn’t require backlighting.

It is worth noting, that Apple had acquired LuxVue Technology in 2014, a company that specialised in Micro-LED displays. It appears that Apple is looking to put that acquisition to some use in its Apple Watch next year.

Furthermore, the company is apparently not giving up on its display business just yet. While theThunderbolt Display has been officially discontinued, BuzzFeed reporter John Paczkowski citing people familiar with the matter claims that Apple is working on a new display with an integrated GPU, as was previously rumoured. The display is said to sport a 5K (5120×2880 pixels) resolution, and is expected to be called the ‘Apple 5K Display’.

Lastly, the iPhone this year is expected to come with minimum design changes, with Apple stocking the big changes for the iPhone’s 10-year anniversary next year. One of the big rumoured features for next year’s iPhone is expected to be the switch to Oled displays. Now, Nikkei reports that Apple will rope in a third manufacturer to meet the demands of Oled displays for its iPhone. Alongside LG and Samsung, Foxconn-acquired Sharp will also be manufacturing the Oled displays for Apple.

“Sharp currently supplies display panels to Apple, but it does not own Oled technology yet. Foxconn has said it will invest 200 billion yen to help Sharp develop the technology,” the report reads.

(Also see: iPhone 7 Release Date, Specifications, and All Other Rumours)

The iPhone 7 this year is expected to be unveiled in September. Rumours claim that Apple is releasingthree variants, and the larger iPhone 7 Plus will come with a dual camera setup, 3GB RAM, and a possible Smart Connector at the back.

Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt Displays

Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt DisplaysApple has been reportedly working on a refreshed Thunderbolt Display, and is expected to release it sometime this year. Now, however, Apple has issued a statement saying the current Thunderbolt Display will only be available till stock lasts, but it won’t replenish stocks. In other words, Apple is discontinuing the Thunderbolt Display.

The Cupertino giant says that it will sell the Thunderbolt Display through its retail stores, official retailers, and its online store till stocks last. After which, it won’t refill the stock. This either means that Apple is killing off Thunderbolt display altogether, or coming out with new 5K displays. The new displays will get a fresh name, presumably, and many are rooting for it to be called ‘Apple 5K Display’.

“We’re discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It will be available through, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users,” said an Apple spokesperson in a statement given to TechCrunch.

The new displays are expected to come with integrated GPU and a screen resolution of 5120×2880 pixels. Rumours claims that Apple has decided to integrate a GPU into the display to make it future ready. The integrated GPU will help the new Thunderbolt Display maintain compatibility with future Macs, and will also reduce the need of high resolution displays to be powered by high-performance computers featuring top-end GPUs.

In any case, the possibility that Apple might just have killed off the entire product line cannot be ruled out either. The new displays were expected to be announced at WWDC, but that evidently didn’t happen either.

Apple Watch 2 to Launch Alongside iPhone 7 in September: Report

Apple Watch 2 to Launch Alongside iPhone 7 in September: ReportApple is expected to launch the iPhone 7 in September this yr. New reports have surfaced claiming that the Apple Watch 2 may also see a release along the flagship telephone.

The Cupertino massive is pushing its suppliers to mass produce Apple Watch, and the cargo is expected in the 1/3 zone. Digitimes cites supply chain assets, and reveals that as many as a million Apple Watch smartwatches are predicted to be shipped in the 1/3 zone.

Shipments of chips and components for the second one-technology Apple Watch are set to begin within the third zone. Orders for the imminent Apple Watch were better-than-predicted. Judging from the orders, the sources anticipated that about two million gadgets of the brand new Apple Watch might be shipped monthly, the record said.

Past reviews indicated that the Apple Watch 2 can be launched in the course of WWDC, but that failed to occur. If this record is proper, then the subsequent-generation Apple Watch will see an unveil along the iPhone 7. The quantity of shipments ordered also shows that Apple is having a bet massive on the subsequent-era Apple Watch 2.

Rumours propose that Apple Watch 2 won’t trade much in layout, however could be at least 20 to 40 percent thinner than its predecessor. Apple can be seeking to improve the battery lifestyles at the Apple Watch 2, visible by means of many to be a large drawback in its current imparting inside the marketplace. The smartwatch is likewise expected to support cell connectivity. But, it’s miles well worth noting that every one of those are simply speculations, and should be interested by a pinch of salt.

The iPhone 7 has also been subjected to many leaks, and is expected to recreation a design just like the iPhone 6s. The antenna bands may also shift to the edges, and the bigger variation can also embed 3GB of RAM to accommodate the rumoured twin digital camera setup. There are also speculations of a clever Connector, however reviews approximately which can be conflicting.

Apple Makes Secure HTTPS Connections a Mandate for iOS Apps

Apple Makes Secure HTTPS Connections a Mandate for iOS AppsApple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is underway, and a recent security presentation at the event has revealed that app developers will need to switch to App Transport Security (ATS) by January 1, 2017.

This will force apps to connect over HTTPS servers instead of HTTP, when transferring data online, and use the TLS v1.2 standard. HTTPS connections are secure, and are typically used by banks, email, and social media websites to keep user data secure through encryption.

However, many apps still use the HTTP connection on mobile to send information, which can include sensitive information. Apple first introduced ATS with iOS 9. However, app developers have the ability to switch it off, and let HTTP connection prevail. At its WWDC presentation, Apple announced that ATS is now mandatory, and introduced the deadline for all apps to make the switch. New app developers for iOS will have to implement this security feature to gain entry into the App Store.

The feature is particularly important for banking, email, and messaging apps where sensitive information may be sent to the Web. Having a secure Internet protocol is essential, and Apple is making sure its users’ data will be protected.

At WWDC 2016, Apple has announced software upgrades for macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and iOS. The iOS 10 brings in a lot of new features to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The notification design has changed, and tweaks to the Photos, Music, and Maps app have been introduced. The iMessages app particularly has gotten a major revamp with new features that make it more social-friendly, along with an app drawer for third-party integration.