Today in Apple history: Apple signs damaging deal with Microsoft

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
One of the most damaging deals in Apple history.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

November 21: Today in Apple history: Apple signs Microsoft deal November 21, 1985: Following Steve Jobs’ departure, Apple comes close to signing its own death warrant by licensing the Macintosh’s look and feel to Microsoft.

The deal, between Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple CEO John Sculley, comes hot on the heels of the Windows operating system’s release. The pact gives Microsoft a “non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nontransferable license to use [parts of the Mac technology] in present and future software programs, and to license them to and through third parties for use in their software programs.”

Oh, boy!

Apple forced to pull Skype from Chinese App Store

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Skype for Web
Skype is the latest app to run into problems in China.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

AT&T’s merger with Time Warner hits major roadblock

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AT&T logo
U.S. government says AT&T/Time Warner merger would hurt customers
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

The U.S. Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit to block a planned AT&T and Time Warner deal — marking the first time in several decades the government has tried to block a merger between two companies that don’t directly compete with each other.

The AT&T chief says the suit, “defies logic and is unprecedented,” but the Justice Department claims that AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid to buy Time Warner would mean higher fees and fewer choices for customers.

Rare working Apple Lisa-1 sells for $50,000

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auction
This Apple Lisa-1 cost $10,000 in 1983 and sold this year at auction for $50,000.
Photo: Auction Team Breker

If you feel foolish for having spent $10,000 for an Apple Lisa-1 computer in 1983, you hopefully kept it.

A working model recently sold for more than $50,000 at auction.

One of Apple’s biggest commercial failures is now one of the most coveted pieces of vintage tech. The steep price, clunky performance, and unreliable Twiggy floppy disks led to poor sales. Apple made improvements and dropped the price on the Lisa-2, but the launch of the Apple MacIntosh pretty much ended Lisa’s life.

iPhone X goes super-tiny in new concept designs

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iPhone XS
Which iPhone would you choose?
Photo: Curved

Tiny iPhones could make a big comeback in the near future if Apple ever decides to bring the iPhone X display to an iPhone SE-sized device.

It’s only a matter of time before the edge-to-edge display of the iPhone X makes its way to all of Apple’s other iPhones and based on some new concept mockups, we can’t wait to see it on the smaller iPhone SE body.

Prepare to drool:

I made my own smart HomePod speaker, and it’s awesome

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iPod Hi-Fi
The iPod Hi-Fi has aged well. Initially a dud, it's now a collectors' piece. And it sounds great.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Last week’s crushing news that Apple’s HomePod won’t be available for Christmas was a blow to some.

But I shrugged it off.

That’s because I made my own HomePod smart speaker. It cost me about $60 and sounds absolutely great.

How a dev’s lies caused a panic on eve of Apple Watch debut

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apple watch
Belle Gibson was profiled on many TV shows, largely thanks to Apple's promotion.
Photo: Sunrise

Apple found itself in an awkward situation prior to the launch of the Apple Watch, when one of its star developers was exposed as a fraud who had lied about her health condition to become famous.

An article published in the Australian newspaper The Age reveals just how close Apple was to wellness blogger and developer Belle Gibson — and how the company was ultimately forced to make the call to drop her just before its important Apple Watch went on sale in 2015, after the true story came out.

Today in Apple history: iTunes bags its first exclusive movie

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The producers of Purple Violets took a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
The producers of Purple Violets take a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
Photo: Wild Ocean Films

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution November 20, 2007: Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on iTunes.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. Having received limited offers from distributors, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.