TAG Heuer Announces Plans for Mechanical Smartwatch

8:56 PM, Dec. 16th, 2014 · · News

TAG Heuer Carrera

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer (TAG) is getting on the smartwatch bandwagon, possibly in a big way. Part of the luxury conglomerate LVMH, TAG is working on making an Intel-powered smartwatch that also includes a mechanical movement. Bryan Chaffin argues this is the beginning of Apple Watch's effect on the luxury watch market, even if TAG's head watch person doesn't quite understand why.

Apple Wins iPod Antitrust Suit

2:38 PM, Dec. 16th, 2014 · · News

Void!

A jury took three hours to decide that Apple was not guilty of using iPod and iTunes digital rights management (DRM) restrictions to stifle competition. In a trial a decade in the making, jurors decided that changes from iTunes 6 to iTunes 7 were meaningful, and not a scheme to boost Apple's market share.

Apple Pay Supporters Grow with More Retailers and Banks On Board

10:55 AM, Dec. 16th, 2014 · · News

Apple Pay, the mobile payment system Apple introduced with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6, is quickly growing and is now compatible with cards that make up about 90 percent of credit card purchases in the United States. The list of companies and banks supporting Apple pay has continued to rise and includes Barclaycard, TD Bank North America, Albertsons, Staples, and more.

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Looks like Apple isn't having any trouble at all getting banks and retailers excited about Apple Pay.

Apple Agrees to Less from GTAT to Keep Bankruptcy Proceedings on Track

9:30 AM, Dec. 16th, 2014 · · News

Creditors involved in the GT Advanced Technologies bankruptcy proceedings are a little happier now that Apple has agreed to take less money from each sapphire furnace sold, and to give the company more rent-free time in the factory it used to make the glass. The company had been contracted to make synthetic sapphire glass for the Apple Watch and iPhone 6, but instead drove itself into a financial crisis.

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GTAT's financial implosion is a no-win scenario for Apple and the other creditors hoping to recoup some of their losses. Revising the settlement deal means Apple gets less money back than it originally planned, but it also means it'll get some of its investment back. Apple's losses are essentially exit costs to get out of its relationship with GTAT.

Appellate Judge Questions Government’s Case against Apple for iBooks

8:58 PM, Dec. 15th, 2014 · · News

Monopoly

A Judge hearing Apple's appeal in its iBooks price fixing conviction in the ebook market questioned that conviction and the very premise of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) case against the company. During a hearing on Monday, Judge Dennis Jacobs took an openly critical stance in his questioning of DOJ attorneys—one of the other two judges also appeared doubtful of the case, while the third apparently seemed to take a stance more in line with the District Court judge who convicted Apple.

Iowa Ready to turn Your iPhone into Your Driver’s License

4:56 PM, Dec. 12th, 2014 · · News

Your iPhone can already serve as your credit card, and Iowa is hoping it'll be your driver's license soon, too. The state is working on an app that shows your driver's license on screen that it hopes will be available in 2015, although privacy concerns may delay its launch.

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Digital driver's licenses on our iPhones seems like a natural next step now that Apple Pay is available. Hopefully Iowa can work out privacy concerns, and its program becomes a template for other states.

Apple Online Store Adds PayPal as Payment Option

10:02 AM, Dec. 12th, 2014 · · News

You can now buy your new Mac, iPhone, or iPad through Apple's online store with PayPal, giving shoppers yet another way to spend their money. Apple added the option Wednesday night, bringing its online store inline with the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBooks Store.

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Plenty of people like to use PayPal for online purchases, so it's nice to see the option finally show up on Apple's Web-based store.

City of Houston Allows Bitcoin ATM in Convention Center

8:45 PM, Dec. 11th, 2014 · · News

Robocoin Bitcoin ATM

The City of Houston has allowed a live Bitcoin ATM to be set up in George R. Brown Convention Center. Houston owns the building, but it is managed by Houston First, a separate corporation that runs the convention center and other Houston-owned public buildings. This marks the first Bitcoin ATM to be operated in a government-owned building.

Taiwan Supply Chain Claims Apple Watch Production Will Begin in January

7:51 PM, Dec. 11th, 2014 · · News

The Apple Watch Crystal Ball

A supply chain leak out of Taiwan is claiming that Apple and Quanta have solved yield issues that will allow Apple Watch production to ramp up starting in January. United Daily News reported that the first wave of Apple Watches will number in the 3-5 million mark, with 24 million scheduled for all of calendar 2015.

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I hope UDN has this one right. I can't wait to strap an Apple Watch onto my wrist.