Apple Bites and Other News


Apple Inc. news bites when talking with media outlets or other mass communicators are usually succinct, so the announcement that iPod Touch has an up-grade, a lower price, new colors and another camera is no surprise. For someone on a budget that might be just the ticket. Paying $200 dollars for an iPod Touch is a bargain, no doubt there will be a small spike in sales, especially with the added colors. The price drop is most likely due to fading sales as Apple’s other product lines become more attractive, interactive and fun to play with, watch and listen to.

Maybe there is more to the iPod Touch than meets the eye. Keeping the iPod Touch in the Apple line up may be a strategy to keep the whole family hooked in to Apple’s products. This device is definitely for the younger set, those who play mobile games for instance, who do not have phones yet and listen to a lot of music. It could be a plan to re-establish ownership of digital music, or as Apple seeks to integrate all of its products more, it may be an attempt to smooth a transition to work with the supposed iWatch.

Other bites of the Apple to know about in the news. iPhoto and Aperture are out, but Lightroom has been beefed up, and moved to Creative Cloud Photography with its latest make-over. Winston Hendrickson stated Adobe will assist users of both iPhoto and Aperture to migrate to the other work flows of web, desktop and other devices. Adobe is looking for ways for those who still use Aperture to import libraries to Lightroom, but didn’t expand on any details.

Another bite of Apple news is Walmart’s announcement of a price slash on iPhone 5s 16GB available on a two-year contract for $99, dropped from $149, and the 16GB iPhone 5c is reduced from $49 down to $29. This change is only available through their stores. Details of other high-capacity models, like the 32GB iPhone 5s and 5c models has not been announced, though more news is expected. The reason for Walmart’s move is unclear, it may be the company is attempting to position itself better before the announcement of the next-generation of Apple’s iPhone 6 line up later this year.

On the car front, Audi is getting into the front seat with Apple’s iPhone CarPlay system. Until recently it was not known Audi had a relationship with Apple. It is integrating plug-in platforms for Apple and Google users, adding CarPlay and Android Auto to future releases. Audi owners will be able to choose either platform at anytime.

According to Audi board member Prof. Ulrich Hackenberg, future customers will have the ability to use functions on smartphones via operating systems in Audi vehicles. Automobile companies like Audi are working to increase market share as people demand creative ways to use their smartphones.Apple

Apple, for its part, revealed CarPlay at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference and a spectrum of partners from Kia to Ferrari. The Geneva Motor Show gave the feature a push into the spotlight as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Ferrari unveiled the new system in their line-ups.

Some smartphone users prefer T-Mobile as a carrier and they have announced that Apple retail stores have made that transition easier. Pre-paid customers who purchase and activate an iPhone at an Apple Store receive a $50 discount by adding $50 or $70 worth of service to their cards. An iTunes gift card worth $50 will be available to those who choose the more popular postpaid plan.

T-Mobile has taken a bite of Apple with one other plan, its news announcement of a “test drive” offering. Consumers can receive a free iPhone 5s on the T-Mobile network for one week, Apple’s iTunes Radio streaming services will be included as an incentive in the carrier’s “Music Freedom” campaign.

By Andy Towle

Apple Insider
Wall Street Journal

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