The inclusion of the paid-for Beats service in an iOS software update, which would instantly make it available on millions of iPhones and iPads, could happen as early as March, the daily reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
The move will mark the company’s first big push into subscription music, at a time when downloads from its iTunes are in decline, the paper said.
The service, which is likely to be rebranded under the iTunes label, will compete with music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Soundcloud.
Google Inc said last week that YouTube is rolling out a long-awaited paid monthly music subscription service called YouTube Music Key.
Apple, which bought music streaming and audio equipment company Beats in May for $3 billion, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The end-to-end encryption comes thanks to a collaboration between WhatsApp and Open Whisper Systems, an open-source development company focused on secure communications.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has more than 600 million users who log in monthly, making Open Whisper’s encryption deployment the largest ever in the area of end-to-end encrypted communication, Open Whisper said.
The encryption is on by default. It’s only available for Android right now, though the companies are working to roll out support for other platforms.
End-to-end encryption has gained attention following the disclosures about government surveillance last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Meanwhile, the flood of cyber attacks targeting retailers and Internet companies alike have highlighted the need for better data security.
Edward Snowden himself has called end-to-end encryption the best possible form of encryption, because it keeps people’s data encrypted even while it’s on company servers. The data, in theory, can only be decrypted on people’s personal devices. That means outside groups must target individuals’ machines if they want to access the data.
Some other mainstream services like Google have released products to facilitate end-to-end encryption. And along with Apple, Google’s also working to make encryption the default on smartphones.
But end-to-end encryption still is primarily offered by lesser known companies that don’t rely on people’s data for advertising.
WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption uses Whisper’s TextSecure protocol, which encrypts text messages over the air and on people’s phones.
WhatsApp declined to comment further on the encryption deployment.
Films bought on Vudu will be integrated with the Disney Movies Anywhere service starting on Tuesday, Jamie Voris, Disney Studios’ chief technology officer, said at an event where the company highlighted mobile initiatives.
Disney is building the service as studios try to steer movie fans to digital purchases while sales of DVDs decline.
The media company launched Disney Movies Anywhere in February with Apple Inc’s iTunes, and this month partnered with the Google Play online store. Customers can buy more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies through those retailers and watch them on a variety of Internet-connected TVs, computers and mobile devices.
The addition of Vudu comes on the same day that Disney releases a sing-along version of animated blockbuster “Frozen” and digital versions of the Marvel hit “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Sony Network Entertainment International LLC, a unit of Sony Corp of America, rolled out a new cloud-based TV service, PlayStation Vue, expected to be commercially launched during the first quarter of 2015.
The web-based television service allows users to access live TV and on-demand content without a cable or satellite service, the company said.
The service offers catch-up and on-demand TV. It makes the past three days of popular programming available without the need to schedule recordings, the company said.
During the invite-only beta, PlayStation Vue will initially offer around 75 channels per market from major programmers, such as CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom.
PlayStation Vue will begin an invite-only beta preview during November for select PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 owners, with a phased rollout starting in New York followed by Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, the company said.
The service will also be available on iPad shortly thereafter, and later on to more Sony and non-Sony devices.
The tool, which allows former owners to disable iMessage even after they’ve disposed of their iPhones, was the first self-service option Apple has offered.
Because iMessage is enabled by default — and is the standard texting service for iOS-to-iOS communication — iPhone owners who had changed smartphones and kept their numbers were not getting texts from other iPhone owners. Apple, unaware that the user had deserted iOS for a rival smartphone ecosystem, was still routing iOS-originating texts to the recipient’s now-unused Message app.
Some called it “iMessage purgatory,” while others referred to it as the “iMessage black hole.”
The problem had existed since 2011, when Apple introduced iMessage and the companion Message app, and was partly technical: Texts sent between iOS devices via iMessage don’t transit a carrier’s SMS (short message service) network, but instead are sent over the Internet.
iMessage’s inability to reroute texts from iOS users — and since 2012′s OS X Mountain Lion, from Mac owners as well — prompted at least one federal lawsuit.
The new tool aims to solve the purgatory problem by letting former iPhone owners, even if they have disposed of the device, route texts to non-Apple smartphones. After entering the phone number for the Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone device, the user must enter the confirmation code sent to the smartphone into the Web form.
Apple Inc is embarking on its most aggressive push yet onto enterprise IT turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup Inc and working in concert with a dozen or so developers, two sources familiar with its plans say.
Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth – highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters – by expanding its footprint in the workplace.
Three months after unveiling a partnership with IBM to develop apps for corporate clients and sell them on devices, the iPhone maker’s plans to challenge sector leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell Inc , Oracle and SAP are starting to take shape.
Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard’s and Dell’s dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP’s command of work applications. Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung’s or Google’s own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications.
Apps developers and other sources familiar with Apple’s plans who could not speak publicly provided additional details on how the iPhone maker is working behind the scenes.
The iPhone maker has worked closely with a group of startups, including ServiceMax and PlanGrid, that already specialize in selling apps to corporate America. The two people familiar with the plans, but who could not speak publicly about them, say Apple is already in talks with other mobile enterprise developers to bring them into a more formal partnership.
The iPhone maker may be trying to replicate the model that served the iPhone well: hook the client on the software and content, then keep them coming back for the hardware, which is what drives the lions’ share of Apple’s bottom line.
On Friday, Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPad were ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on the App Store free download list.
Two days earlier, those same apps were ranked Nos. 14, 39 and 44 in the U.S., according to AppAnnie, a company that tracks app store market data for developers. Distimo, which AppAnnie acquired in May but still maintains its own listings, pegged Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iPad at Nos. 12, 39 and 48 on the same day, Wednesday, Nov. 5.
The rankings surge was triggered by announcements by Microsoft that it was moving the boundary line between free and paid on the Office for iPad apps. Previously, consumers without an Office 365 subscription could use the Office for iPad apps only to view documents. Under the new rules, consumers may now also create and edit documents, although features Microsoft labeled “advanced editing,” as well as the unlimited OneDrive storage space, remained available only to Office 365 customers.
Businesses must still pay if their employees want to use Office for iPad, Office on iPhones and Android smartphones, and almost certainly Office on Android tablets when that ships early next year.
Office apps on the iPhone also pushed to near the top of the App Store chart on Friday: Word was No. 1, Excel No. 4 and PowerPoint No. 8. Those apps were new, so no direct comparisons were possible.
The iPhone trio had been spun off Microsoft’s earlier app, Office Mobile, which debuted in mid-2013. Initially tied to Office 365 — as was the iPad – the link was broken in March when Microsoft allowed consumers to download and use all Office Mobile features free of charge on their iPhones.
The teaser promises a smartphone for everyone, the most popular way to position a budget device. The teaser doesn’t offer many details beyond the Nov. 11 launch and an image of what looks like an orange smartphone with a front-facing camera, a feature missing from other low-cost Lumias. Rumored specifications include a 5-in. screen and a 5-megapixel camera.
The screen will not only be bigger but also better than the 4-in. screen on the Lumia 530. However, not too much can be expected of a 5-inch screen with a resolution of 960 by 540 pixels. Another must-have is 1GB of RAM, which would be an improvement over the 512MB in the Lumia 530 and Lumia 630.
Because growth is mainly in the low end of the market, continuing to push into that segment makes sense for Microsoft. This year it has already shipped the Lumia 530 and Lumia 630, and set up partnerships with Indian smartphone manufacturers Micromax and Karbonn.
But success won’t come easily for the company as competition is getting increasingly heated. For example, Google has launched the Android One program to make it easier for vendors to develop smartphones with a $100 price tag. Samsung Electronics is also poised to focus more on cheaper smartphones to boost its ailing fortunes.
The third quarter saw Microsoft’s and Windows Phone’s share of the global smartphone OS market drop from 4.1 percent to 3.3 percent year-on-year, according to Strategy Analytics. Shipments grew by 200,000 units to 10.5 million, which wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with overall market growth of almost 27 percent.
The two firms, which have been competing in the cloud storage and file sync market — Dropbox’s bread and butter, a feature rather than a business for Microsoft — will now team up, first on tablets and smartphones, then next year online.
Some analysts called it advantage Microsoft in the partnership, but still thought Dropbox got an important win. “What Dropbox gets out of this is survival,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analysts at Moor Insights & Strategy.
Microsoft will revamp its Office mobile apps — Excel, PowerPoint and Word on the iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones — in the coming weeks so that users can connect to their Dropbox accounts from within those apps. In 2015, Microsoft will add the same capability to the Office Online apps, the Web-based versions of its primary applications.
Meanwhile, Dropbox will modify its mobile app — available now for Android and iOS — so that Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents stored on its service can be opened using the Office apps. Dropbox also said it would create a native Windows Phone app, something it’s declined to do previously, that would offer the same connectivity to Office.
“That [commitment to a Windows Phone app] shouldn’t be undersold,” said Wes Miller of Directions on Microsoft. “That’s a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’”
In the first half of 2015, Dropbox’s Web-based interface will tie into the Office Online apps.
Both Microsoft and Dropbox touted the partnership, with the latter contending “an even more seamless experience on all platforms” would be the result.
Up Move, which comes with an LED display to view the number of steps and time taken, will be available at $50, and UP3 will be available at $180, the San Francisco-based company said.
UP3, a wrist band equipped with sensors on the strap, keeps track of the physical activity and heart rate as well as provides recommendations on daily lifestyle using UP App.
Up Move, which is powered by MotionX technology, connects wirelessly with Jawbone’s UP App via bluetooth.
While Up Move is ready for pre-order from Wednesday, UP3 will be available later this year, the company said.
Jawbone unveiled its software named UP in September, that can incorporate health and fitness data from any gadget, from Apple Inc’s iPhone to Google Inc’s android wear device.
Some analysts had predicted Sprint would fall to fourth place behind T-Mobile, which has 53 million wireless customers, due to Sprint’s losses of postpaid phone subscribers. Those customers pay monthly bills after using a wireless service, as opposed to paying in advance.
In the company’s earnings call late Monday, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure announced a loss of 500,000 postpaid phone connections during the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That’s down from a loss of 620,000 in the second quarter and 693,000 in the first quarter. For the first nine months of the year, Sprint has lost about 1.8 million postpaid customers.
Still, Claure said that Sprint has worked to stabilize is subscriber base with new family service plans and special pricing for the iPhone 6, which he said has been the best iPhone launch by Sprint ever. He cited record sales, but did not disclose any numbers.
“I have now completed 85 days [as CEO], and couldn’t be more excited about the progress made in those short weeks…,” Claure said. “We have started a transformation, while the company faces headwinds. ”
The biggest determining factor in a carrier’s success is postpaid phone customer growth, Claure noted.
Sprint’s wireless customer base includes 29.9 million postpaid connections (for all devices, not just smartphones); 15.1 million prepaid connections; and another 9.9 million connections made from Sprint affiliates, wholesale customers and devices of various types.
In contrast, T-Mobile said last week it had added 2.3 million subscribers in the same quarter, giving it 52.89 million customers.
With the benefit of wholesale and affiliate connections, “we still have the third most [connections],” Sprint spokesman Scott Sloat noted in an email.
Remaining in third place gives Sprint bragging rights, but it wasn’t something anyone at Sprint highlighted, given T-Mobile’s strong surge in recent quarters and Sprint’s problems.
Despite the overall third quarter customer losses, both September and October saw year-over-year improvements — the first such improvements in 2014, Claure said.
Apple’s iPad finished in second place in the latest satisfaction survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, with a score of 824 out of a possible 1,000. For the first time, Amazon took first place, scoring 827.
Samsung came in at 821 for third, while Asus and Acer filled out the first five, but those stragglers’ scores were under the category average.
J.D. Power’s satisfaction score included five separate measurements for performance, ease of operation, features, styling and design, and cost, with each accounting for different percentages of the final number. Performance, for example, counted as 28% of the total; cost for 11%.
Apple received high scores in performance and styling and design, while Amazon performed best in ease of operation and cost, said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power.
“Within the tablet segment, there’s a balance of cost and value, and for this period, Amazon was at the equilibrium,” said Parsons. “For the money, [Amazon tablets] do what buyers need them to do. And the Mayday feature really helped them in ease of operation.”
Mayday is a feature on Amazon’s higher-end tablets that lets customers video chat with support representatives using the device.
Parsons called out Amazon’s Fire HDX, which launched in October 2013 in a 7-in. size and a month later in an 8.9-in. format, for driving the brand’s scores. Amazon now sells the 7-in. Fire HDX for $179; the 8.9-in. model starts at $379. “The new Fire HDX did really, really well” in the survey, Parsons noted.
J.D. Power polled nearly 2,700 U.S. tablet owners who had had their current devices for less than a year. The survey period ran from March to August.
The last time J.D. Power published tablet customer satisfaction scores, Amazon placed fourth. Its jump to first was a small surprise, said Parsons. “I figured [Amazon's] scores would improve, but I didn’t think they’d take the top spot,” he admitted.
Price is increasingly important to satisfaction, said Parson, as costs fall and capabilities climb across the board, making it more difficult for premium-priced tablets like Apple’s iPad, to retain their polled positions. On average, tablet customers now spend $345 on their tablets, $48 less than in April 2013, a decline of 12%.
The banks would be major competitors to handset makers Apple and Google because unlike others pushing mobile wallet technology, such as mobile phone carriers and retailers, they already have an intimate relationship with consumers and know their spending habits.
“Banks all around the world are working on this right now,” said James Anderson, senior vice president for mobile and emerging payments at MasterCard.
Anderson didn’t name any of the banks, but said MasterCard is already in conversations with them on how to add mobile payment capability to the existing apps that millions of consumers already have on their phones.
The most likely way will be through a technology called host card emulation, that was introduced in Android 4.4 “KitKat” and allows software apps to emulate the secure element chip found on some bank cards and the iPhone 6. Using software means wider compatibility with phones than if a dedicated chip was required.
The mobile payments market had been relatively quiet until recently. Google Wallet and Softcard, a competitor backed by cellular carriers, were in the market but consumer awareness and interest appeared to be low.
That changed with the launch of Apple Pay on Oct. 20. A million cards were activated in the first three days of use and early adopters have praised its ease of use: users just need to hold their thumb over the iPhone 6 fingerprint reader and bring the device near a terminal for payment to be made.
As a result, competitors are planning their attack. Next year CurrentC, backed by some of the biggest retailers in the U.S., will launch and companies like PayPal are also hoping to expand their footprint in stores.
But an app from a bank might have an edge because it removes a potential hurdle to adoption: unease among consumers that at a third-party is getting access to details of purchases they make.
Apple has stressed that it doesn’t see any of the purchases made by its users but Google’s system is set up so that all payments run through the company’s servers — giving the company an additional layer of information into the lives of its users.
A bank already has access to this information because of its nature and is presumably trusted by its customers. If a customer has a banking app on their phone, it would suggest they also have faith in the bank’s online security system.
That accounts for 16 percent of all transactions at its coffee shops and, the company says, meant it transacted 90 percent of all of mobile payments in the entire U.S. in 2013.
The company’s slice of the national mobile payments market is sure to dip in the years ahead as other retailers start catching up to Starbucks, in part thanks to the recent launch of Apple Pay, but Starbucks says it sees no slow down in consumer adoption of its mobile payments technology.
Starbucks has integrated payments into its its own app, which allows customers to keep a prepaid Starbucks card on their phone, enabled with automatic refills when it gets low on cash, and keep a list of favorite drinks to make ordering easier.
Starbucks has apps for both Apple iOS and Android devices. On iOS, the prepaid Starbucks card is integrated with the phone’s Passbook digital wallet app.
“What you’re going to see in the years ahead will be a rapid acceleration in mobile device purchases and a continued significant migration away from bricks-and-mortar commerce,” said Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, in a conference call with investors.
Schultz said mobile users represented “a huge prize” for retailers and financial services companies and that’s why there is so much interest in the sector.
“That’s why every tech and financial service company in the world is today chasing the mobile payment opportunity,” he said. But he said that while Starbucks doesn’t have the hardware and software expertise of competitors, it has managed to do something that its competitors, so far, haven’t: change consumer behavior.
“We’ve accomplished this by integrating the convenience of mobile payment to a compelling and enjoyable program that gives our customers rewards,” he said.
According to Techeye, IDC said that the worldwide tablet market grew by 11.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014 and shipments totalled 53.8 million units.
Sales were boosted by the “back to school” season and the fact that Americans wanted to them.
It is not clear where this boost is happening. Apple is still the leader in tablets, but is continuing to see a decline in its sales. It shipped 12.3 million units in the third quarter, while Samsung shipped 9.9 million units and despite being second has an 18.3 percent market share. Asus displaced Lenovo from number three.
Asus, followed by Lenovo and in number five position is RCA, which got to its worldwide position by shipping 2.6 million tablets in the USA.
It would be a risky company which based its views entirely on what happens in the US. Everyone in Europe knows that if there is something crazy or strange happening in the world it will always be happening in the US. Our bet is that phones are getting bigger and are making tablets pretty useless.