Late-week reports from the Asian supply chain continue to suggest that Apple’s next-generation iPhone has begun to roll off of assembly lines, with some indications that the forthcoming device will sport a nearly identical outward appearance with slightly tweaked internals.
Primary Apple contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron have begun receiving shipments of components for the so-called “iPhone 6s” from suppliers and sub-assemblers, according to Digitimes. The publication believes that Apple will begin selling the new iPhone in September, and could move up to 50 million of them before the end of this year.
To cope with what is expected to be record demand for Apple’s latest handset, many suppliers are rumored to have beefed up manufacturing capabilities at Apple’s request.
Relatively little is known about the “iPhone 6s,” but it is will likely bear an upgraded A-series processor and could ship with 2 gigabytes of RAM after being stuck at 1 gigabyte for 3 generations. A camera update is also a possibility, as is the addition of pressure-sensing Force Touch capabilities.
Apple could also move to an updated NXP-sourced NFC chip, photos sourced by 9to5Mac suggest, as well as a new Qualcomm modem that would enable faster LTE connections. Externally, the phone is expected to maintain the same industrial design as the iPhone 6, but might add a new rose gold color option.
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Apple is rumored to offer its next-generation iPhone in a new rose gold color option, which has led to forgeries in the Far East attempting to imagine what the color might look like on a so-called “iPhone 6s.”
In a post to Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, discovered on Friday by AppleInsider, a user shared the above pictures of an iPhone rear shell that has been painted a rose gold hue. While the part has been presented as a possible “iPhone 6s” component, the design of the shell is identical to the current-generation iPhone 6, meaning the image is faked.
While the “iPhone 6s” series is expected to feature a largely identical design to the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, new parts leaks out of the Far East have shown tweaked internal layouts for presumably upgraded components, as Apple has historically done with its “s” handset models. The new leaks come not coincidentally as rumors out of the supply chain have suggested production of the next-generation iPhones has begun.
Rumors have suggested that Apple plans to make the ‘iPhone 6s’ available in rose gold, joining the current lineup of white, space gray, and a more traditional shade of gold.
Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities was first to report in May that Apple plans to add a new rose gold color option with this year’s new models. And so while the above image is simply a painted iPhone 6 component, it does offer an idea of what a new rose gold “iPhone 6s” might look like.
Kuo also indicated that the next iPhone will feature 2 gigabytes of RAM, as well as a higher quality 12-megapixel camera. The new iPhones are also expected to support Force Touch input, currently found on the Apple Watch and latest MacBooks.
The new color option would presumably bring Apple’s total number up to four, joining the existing gold, space grey, and silver.
Apple first introduced the “gold” color with the iPhone 5s beginning in 2013. However, iPhone models to date have not been made of actual gold, unlike the luxury Apple Watch Edition which is made of 18-karat gold and starts at $10,000.
When he revealed Apple’s plans for a rose gold “iPhone 6s,” Kuo did not indicate whether the device would be made of actual gold like the high-end Apple Watch, or if it will simply resemble the color found on the Apple Watch Edition.
Other changes to the new handset are said to include a new design with different casing materials and a restructured internal design, addressing the supposed bending issues that affected the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Fake iPhone colors and customizations like the one above are, of course, nothing new, especially in China. Below are a few other iPhone modifications spotted on Sina Weibo by AppleInsider.
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On its website Apple describes Apple Music and iTunes Match as “independent but complementary,” but in fact the services are closely connected through a third feature: iCloud Music Library.
Effectively, iCloud Music Library — turned on via settings in iTunes 12.2 or iOS 8.4 — incorporates iTunes Match, which makes a person’s local iTunes library (including playlists) available for remote streaming or download whether the songs were bought from the iTunes Store, ripped from a CD, or otherwise imported.
If Match can’t find a song on Apple servers, it simply uploads a user’s copy wholesale, and downloads it the same way. Matched songs, however, are downloaded as 256 kilobit-per-second AAC files without copy protection (better known as DRM).
iTunes 12.2 for Windows
The same functions are available to Apple Music subscribers, but go a step further. For them iCloud Music Library is needed to add on-demand tracks to an iTunes library, and/or to save them for offline listening. Without Apple Music the feature can still make files accessible across devices, but only iTunes purchases.
An important distinction from iTunes Match is that any tracks matched by Apple Music do get DRM if users download them on another device, or the originals are deleted from a person’s iTunes library. This is a consequence of Apple technology meant to ensure that once a person cancels the service, they can’t keep all the tracks they saved for offline listening but never originally owned.
People can however subscribe to both Apple Music and iTunes Match, in which case matched files will always be DRM-free.
Apple Music is the more expensive option of the two, costing $9.99 a month for an individual listener, or $14.99 a month with a six-person family plan. iTunes Match by contrast is only $24.99 per year, but of course omits Apple Music’s on-demand catalog.
Both services support mirroring personal libraries up to 25,000 songs, not including iTunes purchases. By the time iOS 9 is released in the fall, that limit will grow to 100,000.
Why some users may want to leave iCloud Music Library turned off
At the moment iCloud Music Library is potentially dangerous to turn on. Users have complained about it creating duplicates, assigning inaccurate metadata and artwork, and/or restoring previously-deleted music.
For people with large, carefully-tagged iTunes libraries, this can create chaos and undo years of work. In our own experiences, we’ve also run into some major issues in enabling the feature.
More seriously the option is in some cases not only deleting playlists, but causing the files in them to disappear. There are some workarounds to salvage a library, but it’s unwise to try the feature without having a separate music backup in the event of disaster.
Ultimately, Apple Music still works without iCloud Music Library. It’s not as convenient, but it’s up to subscribers to judge whether the risk is worth it, or wait until the kinks are worked out.
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This week’s all-new AppleInsider podcast features Neil Hughes and Shane Cole as we discuss the Apple Music launch, Beats 1 going live, and leaked new iPod colors. Shane and Neil have a word to say on cloud services and the small storage of the entry-level iPhone, and we briefly reminisce about our first iPhones from 8 years ago.
- Apple Music subscription service launches
- Beats 1 radio station goes live
- New iPod colors leak
- Listener questions
- The new trailer for Aaron Sorkin’s “Steve Jobs” movie
- The iPhone turns 8 years old
- Apple loses $450 million appeal of the e-books antitrust case
The show is available on iTunes and your favorite podcast apps by searching for “AppleInsider.” Click here to listen, subscribe, and don’t forget to rate our show.
You can also listen to it embedded via SoundCloud below:
Show note links:
- Apple Music service goes live with redesigned app, out now in iOS 8.4
- First Look: Apple’s Revamped Music App in iOS 8.4
- Apple’s 24-hour Beats 1 radio station goes live in 100 countries with Spring King, Beck, Jamie xx
- Beats 1 to feature celebrity shows hosted by Elton John, Drake, Pharrell, Dr. Dre more
- Apple leaks new gold, deep blue and hot pink iPod colors in iTunes 12.2
- Full trailer for ‘Steve Jobs’ film shows Apple co-founder’s successes and struggles
- As Apple’s iPhone turns 8, Force Touch and Touch ID are ready for the future
- Apple loses final e-books antitrust appeal, will pay $450M settlement
We’d appreciate your feedback and comments, as well as any questions that we can answer on future episodes. Send your responses to the AppleInsider podcast at email@example.com and follow or tweet at us @appleinsider.
Finally, anyone interested in sponsoring the show can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Apple’s second-generation Watch is unlikely to see any external changes, a Thursday morning report from South Korea suggests, with the company instead focusing on tightening up internal components in order to fit a larger battery. [Updated]
Apple is reportedly working with South Korean firms LG and Samsung to produce thinner OLED displays for its Watch revamp — in contravention of previous indications — which would allow the device to accommodate a more capacious battery. The rumor is circulating among suppliers in LG and Samsung’s native South Korea and was first noted by GforGames.
The external design of the so-called “Apple Watch 2″ is expected to remain largely unaltered. No other internal component changes have been rumored, though one unlikely report did suggest that Apple may choose to add a FaceTime camera for video calling purposes.
There is no word on when Apple may choose to release a hardware revision, as the Watch continues to roll out around the world. The wearable launched in Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan on June 26, and will come to The Netherlands, Sweden, and Thailand on July 17.
While a timeline for release of second-generation Watch hardware is still unclear, Apple is moving ahead with plans for watchOS 2. Unveiled at last month’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the Apple Watch’s first major software update will include a number of new features including support for native apps and a new “nightstand” mode.
Update: The rumor also suggested that the new Watch will improve outdoor visibility, dealing with a complaint about the first-generation device, particularly for sapphire models.
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Apple treats “likes” in Apple Music in a very narrow manner — mostly as a way of tailoring the “For You” recommendations in the service, along with the help of things like personal library data, a report revealed on Thursday.
Tapping or clicking a heart button when playing content in Apple Music in fact only affects For You, and will not skew the content of the service’s built-in radio stations, Apple said to Jim Dalrymple of The Loop. Those stations are noted to be curated entirely by Apple editors.
Significantly, the For You section is also influenced by additions to a listener’s personal library, and any time a track is listened to in full. The company is reportedly ignoring skips, since a person might feel like hearing a song one day but not another.
To further refine For You suggestions, the iOS version of the feature lets users tap and hold on an album and pick “I Don’t Like This Suggestion.”
When a person creates a custom Apple Music Radio station, on iOS, the heart icon turns into a star. Tapping offers the choice of asking for more or less of the same, and will indeed adjust station content, much like Pandora or Apple Music’s predecessor, iTunes Radio.
Apple’s system is not dissimilar from some other streaming services, but the company’s use of personal library data to generate recommendations isn’t universal, and some services do take skips into account. Apple Music’s chief competition, Spotify, depends mostly on past listening habits and the artists a person chooses to follow.
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