Today in Apple history: Apple buys ‘iPhone’ web domain

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iPhone SE 7
Do you remember when you first heard the name iPhone?
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

December 14: Today in Apple history: Apple buys 'iPhone' web domain December 14, 1999: Apple acquires the domain name www.iphone.org, prompting years of speculation that Cupertino is considering building a cellphone.

While the news generates interest, some take it as a warning sign. Apple only recently abandoned the kind of non-computer projects like games consoles, PDAs and digital cameras that proved to be dead ends earlier in the decade.

An Apple phone could never be a thing, right?

Today in Apple history: Apple strikes deal with toymaking giant to produce Pippin

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How quickly we forget Apple's biggest flops.
The Pippin wasn't the savior Apple was hoping for.
Photo: All About Apple

December 13: Today in Apple history: Apple licenses Mac tech to Bandai, Japan's largest toymaker, for new Pippin videogame console December 13, 1994: Apple strikes a deal with Bandai, Japan’s largest toymaker, to license Mac technology for the creation of a new videogame console.

Based on the PowerPC 603 CPU and running a stripped-down CD-ROM-based version of Mac OS, the resulting games machine is called the Pippin. Unfortunately, it’s a sales disaster.

Apple Music subscribers get holiday discount on HomePod

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I sent the HomePod back, so I will keep using the single photo I took until somebody stops me.
The HomePod could be yours for a bit less this festive season.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple is offering promo codes to Apple Music customers, giving them money off the HomePod smart speaker in time for the holidays.

So far, users in the U.K. have reported receiving the offer for 50 British pounds ($63) off the full price of a HomePod. The offer runs through December 16, giving would-be purchasers until the end of the week to take advantage. It’s not clear how many markets Apple will offer the discount in.

Apple hopes big discounts will boost slowing iPhone sales

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Apple
Apple is changing up its sales strategy.
Photo: Apple

Apple is resorting to very un-Apple marketing strategies to try and bolster sales of this year’s new iPhones, a report claims.

These strategies include discount promotions via “generous” device buyback terms. The company is even moving marketing staff from other projects to try and come up with ways to move the iPhone XR and XS off the shelves. This could be proof positive that the new iPhones haven’t been selling as expected.

Apple Pay goes live in Belgium and Kazakhstan

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Apple Pay
Belgium will be the 30th market to get Apple Pay.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Pay has gone live in Belgium. It is supported by BNP Paribas, Belgium’s most popular major bank, and its brands Fintro and Hello Bank. Online services and apps such as Deliveroo, Taxi.eu and Booking.com also accept Apple Pay.

Apple’s contactless payment system has also apparently gone live in Kazakhstan. The two countries are the 30th and 31st to offer Apple Pay.

Tim Cook starts his morning reading comments from Apple customers

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Tim Cook with a 2018 WWDC scholarship winner.
Apple’s CEO pays attention to what people outside the company are saying about its products.
Screencap: Apple

If you’ve ever wondered if anyone at Apple ever sees the online comments people post about iPhone, Mac, etc., you can rest easy: No less a person than CEO Tim Cook reads them every day.

And you might be surprised at how much time he spends doing so.

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App Store monopoly lawsuit might make Supreme Court. This is the latest chapter in a long-running case involving Apple.
This is the latest chapter in a long-running case involving Apple.
Photo: Supermac1961/Flickr CC

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 begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes 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. With limited offers from distributors, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.

Why creative pros can’t rely on iPad Pro [Opinion]

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Is the 2018 iPad Pro or a MacBook a better option for you?
Futurists claim the iPad has already eliminated the need for a Mac. Realists say nah.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Since the new iPad Pro’s launch, debate about the powerful devices has become increasingly polarized into two opposing camps: futurists and realists.

The futurists argue that the iPad is the future computing. Apple’s tablet has eliminated the need for laptops, they say, and anyone who claims they can’t manage their workflows on iOS is living in the past (and should just get with the program).

The realists, on the other hand, retort that while the iPad may be cool, it remains limited by iOS in a lot of very important ways. Those limitations mean it is currently impossible to use the iPad as a primary workstation for pros.

So, who is right?