(You're reading all posts by Buster Hein) Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.
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Italian firearm maker Beretta has enlisted Apple’s new design guru, Marc Newson, to create a hunting double-barreled shotgun.
Newson has created a custom version of the classic double-barrelled 486 Parallelo shotgun for Beretta, which will be officially unveiled at an event in London on November 13th.
Ralph Nader has a message for Tim Cook: Stop listening to Carl Icahn.
In a scathing letter to Cook published in today’s Wall Street Journal, the former presidential candidate takes Apple’s CEO to task for bending to the will of billionaire investor Icahn and issuing more stock buybacks, rather than listening to its workers and addressing the horrendous working conditions at its factories in China.
Nader’s letter proposes Foxconn workers’ hours be cut to 40 a week and their pay doubled, which would only cost Apple an extra $5.4 billion annually.
Apple revolutionized the music industry with the introduction of iTunes in 2003, but even Cupertino is having trouble selling albums these days.
iTunes revenue dropped 13% over the last year reports the Wall Street Journal, marking the second straight year that Apple’s digital music sales have declined, after falling 5.7% in 2013.
Apple Pay rumors are all the rage this Fall...
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
We're one month into iPhone rumor season and even though the rumormill has been quiet about upcoming hardware this week, we've got plenty of rumors surrounding Apple Pay's future, as well as some gossip that Nike and Apple are working on making some wearable together. Step up to the crystal ball and see which of this week's juicy rumors are full of fluff.
Apple Pay rewards
The Rumor: Apple plans to launch an Apple Pay loyalty program in time for the holiday shopping season.The Verdict: Probably. Getting retailers onboard in time will be a challenge, as Apple Pay just launched last week. We've already seen hundreds of companies jump at the chance to be a part of Apple Pay, and providing a rewards program for users would be a nice plus for merchants and shoppers alike.
Nike + Apple wearables?
The Rumor: Nike and Apple are working on a stealth and stylish fitness tracker.
The Verdict: Definitely. Nike discontinued its FuelBand project and dismissed the 70-person team behind it, but they've still got a weapon no other apparel company can match: Tim Cook sits on the board. What the the next Nike fitness tracker will look like is anyone's guess, but I'd wager it'll be a much improved version of the Nike+ sensor that can be slipped into shoes and clothes.
James Bond remote for CarPlay
The Rumor: Apple is building a James Bond-like remote control for your car.
The Verdict: Maybe, but we won't see it soon. Apple patents a lot of ideas that it never uses, but having your car cabin automatically heat up when your walking to it, or locking/unlocking remotely would be handy, and probably pretty easy to integrate with CarPlay. Just don't expect to be able to drive your Hyundai with the iPhone anytime soon.
Apple Pay in my iAds
The Rumor: iAds will get Apple Pay integration soon.
The Verdict: Definitely. A tap-to-buy button embedded in mobile ads could be huge for developers looking to make more money from their apps. Apple wins by making developers richer. And users win by getting higher quality apps than whatever they got on Android.
Dropping the price for Beats
The Rumor: Beats subscription prices will be lowered to $5 a month.
The Verdict: My bank account sure hopes so, but will Apple be able to pay musicians with the smaller monthly fee? Tim Cook said iTunes users spend about $60 a year - which works out to $5 a month - so Apple might believe lowering the price would more than double subscriptions.
Apple’s sapphire ambitions with GT Advanced Technology have been a complete disaster. But even though the plan to turn Mesa, Arizona, into the Sapphire Capital of the West failed, Apple executives are still looking for a way to repurpose GT’s new factory.
The city of Mesa and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer bent over backward to bring Apple to the Grand Canyon State, but now that GTAT plans to shut down operations, Apple says it’s still committed to helping the area.
Steve Wozniak changed the world when he co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs to create the first personal computer. Now, after revolutionizing the tech world, he’s ready to impart his wisdom upon the top tech minds in Australia.
University of Technology, Sydney announced that it’s hired Woz on as an adjunct professor for the school, where he’ll start teaching in December.
Apple’s deal with sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies went sour just one year into the company’s agreement to build a sapphire factory in Mesa, but after a tense few weeks, the companies have reached a settlement that allows them to part ways.
As part of its ‘amicable’ separation from Apple, GTAT will be expected to pay back $439 million over the next four years without interest, by selling off over 2000 ASF sapphire growth systems it purchased for the Mesa factory.
Apple announced its newest lineup of iPads last week without giving a specific launch date, but if you didn’t get in on the pre-order action you can just go to your local Apple Store and pick up a new unit starting today.
Pre-orders deliveries for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 began earlier today, but Apple retail staff has informed Cult of Mac that stores should receive their first shipments this afternoon, even though most Apple Stores are still waiting for their display units.
If you’ve been happily tapping up charges with your iPhone 6 using Apple Pay, you might want to double-check your bank statement.
Some early Apple Pay users with Bank of America accounts have reported that Apple’s new tap-to-pay solution has become a huge headache by charging their accounts twice for a single purchase. Bank of America has confirmed to Cult of Mac that it is issuing refunds for duplicate Apple Pay charges.
Apple is in the market for a new sapphire supplier.
GT Advanced Technologies and Apple have reached an agreement that will see the two companies amicably parting ways, after the sapphire supplier filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month.