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FTC Also Investigating Apple's Upcoming Music Streami...

Today, 03:55 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Apple's efforts to set up deals with record labels as it prepares to launch its new music streaming service, a rebranded version of Beats Music, according to Bloomberg. This would make the FTC the third government body to look into the new music service after the U. S. Department of Justice and European Commission.

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The FTC's investigators, still in the early stages, of their inquiry, are asking whether Apple’s efforts will change the way music labels work with other streaming services, for example curtailing ad-supported music and pushing more songs into paid tiers of service at higher rates, according to one of the people.
A couple days ago, a report emerged that Apple was utilizing its power within the music industry to push record labels to stop licensing freemium tiers offered by Spotify and other music services. The Cupertino company also reportedly offered to pay YouTube's licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its music on the website, which is a popular destination for music videos.

The FTC is speaking to multiple record labels about Apple's practices. However, music-industry executives told Bloomberg that Apple has made no such demands. Similarly, the Department of Justice is also interviewing high-ranking music executives about Apple's practices. The European Commission is doing the same, concerned that Apple will use its size to force record labels to stop supporting freemium music tiers.

Apple's Beats-based music streaming service will reportedly launch in June at WWDC, though the company is still finalizing several streaming deals. It will reportedly be deeply integrated into iTunes for Mac and the stock music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch while apps will also be available for Apple TV and Android, and Apple is aiming to offer exclusive content in the hopes of drawing people from other services. Last month, the company seeded iOS 8.4 beta to developers with a redesigned Music app featuring a new MiniPlayer, a redesigned look for "Now Playing", and more.mf.gif


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Apple again said to be under federal investigation over u...

Today, 01:54 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Following a report yesterday claiming that Apple was being investigated by the Department of Justice over anti-competitive practices surrounding the launch of its rebranded Beats streaming music service, Bloomberg this evening now corroborates that report. Bloomberg says that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Apple is using its large iTunes store to put rival streaming music services like Spotify at a disadvantage.

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FTC officials have reportedly been in contact with at least one record label regarding Apple’s practices. Some of the concerns allegedly surround Apple’s negotiations with artists for exclusive rights to content. The FTC investigation is centered around the question of whether Apple’s efforts will change how music labels behave with other streaming music services. One example of this would be labels reducing the music available to ad-supported services in favor of Apple’s paid tiers.

Music industry executives, however, say that Apple has not placed any sort of demands on the labels, according to the report.

The FTC investigation, which is still in the early stages, is asking whether Apple’s efforts will change the way music labels work with other streaming services, for example curtailing ad-supported music and pushing more songs into paid tiers of service at higher rates, according to one of the people.

Apple hasn’t made such demands on the labels, according to the music-industry executives.

Earlier this year it was reported that Jimmy Iovine, who is working on Apple’s rebranded streaming music service, tried to lure key artists away from Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service. Apple, of course, is no stranger to federal investigation, with the company being found guilty of anti-competitive practices in a long-running ebook case last year, eventually settling the case for $450M.

Apple is expected to relaunch Beats Music at WWDC in June, despite contrary reports, and integrate it into a redesigned Music application. The company is reportedly aiming at a $7.99/month price point.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Beats, FTC, investigation, streaming service 378402 378402 378402 378402 378402 378402 378402 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Even replacement Apple Watches come in nice boxes, no straps

Yesterday, 10:39 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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Last month we showed you what exactly Apple would cover under warranty for Apple Watch customers and now images of the replacement box for the device have emerged. As shown in the images above, Apple does not want Apple Watch straps shipped during the warranty process and requires only the device itself.

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The images, posted to Twitter by Max Weisel, show the Apple Watch in a nice white box with Watch branding. It’s essentially a smaller version of the box that the Apple Watch comes in at the time of purchase.

Apple has said that for issues such as debris under the display, condensation in the heart rate sensor windows, and back cover repairs, it will give you a replacement unit for free, assuming you are still in complimentary one year of hardware repair coverage window. More details on what is and isn’t covered by warranty are available here. Apple has also warned that you should expect discoloration and deformation of Apple Watch bands over time, which could relate to the fact that it does not want users to ship bands with faulty Apple Watch units during the exchange process.

A video unboxing of the Apple Watch replacement box can be seen below:

Incase you were curious what the Apple watch replacement box looks like: http://t.co/16PHsoWH6x
Max Weisel (@mxweas) May 05, 2015


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple, Apple watch, images, pictures, warranty, Watch 378395 378395 378395 378395 378395 378395 378395 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Conan O’Brien shows us how to fix Apple Watch’s tattoo pr...

Yesterday, 10:26 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple Watch has a known issue where it doesn’t exactly play nice with tattoos. For some wearers with dark wrist tattoos the device can’t detect if you have a pulse, but according to Conan O’Brien, it’s not really glitch ifmf.gif


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Apple wants to dissect your genes with the iPhone

Yesterday, 10:07 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
The next big feature for the iPhone might involve a lot of spitting. Apple is planning to launch new Research Kit studies at WWDC in June that will focus on DNA studies, according to a new report, claiming Apple ismf.gif


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Patents suggest Apple TV wand full of Cupertino magic

Yesterday, 10:03 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
The high-tech “magic wand”-style controller rumored to ship with the refreshed Apple TV this summer may be the culmination of close to a decade’s R&D on the part of Apple. Is this the “simplest user interface you could imagine” that Steve Jobsmf.gif


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Home Depot flipping switch back on for Apple Pay

Yesterday, 09:50 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
After confirming that its terminals aren’t currently working with Apple Pay, Home Depot has said it plans to fully support Apple’s mobile payments service after its systems have been upgraded. Shoppers began to voice complaints after the retail giant’s NFCmf.gif


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OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTune...

Yesterday, 09:27 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
itunesicon.jpgSoftware maker OpenTV has filed a patent lawsuit against Apple based on accusations that several of the company's products and services, including iTunes, infringe upon five of its patents related to streaming digital video. The civil suit was filed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court, and OpenTV is seeking undiclosed compensation for the alleged patent infringement, according to Re/code.
"OpenTV alleges that Apple’s iTunes software for downloading or streaming rented movies violates its patents for securely delivering media to consumer devices. The suit claims that other companies, including Apple rival Google, Cisco Systems and Disney, have licensed its technology."
In late February, a Tyler, Texas district court ordered Apple to pay $532.9 million to patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC in a separate iTunes-related lawsuit for infringing upon the Texas-based company's patents related to digital rights management, data storage and managing access through payment systems. Apple argued that Smartflash was exploiting the patent system and vowed to appeal the decision.

OpenTV was an early provider of interactive TV software used in millions of TV set-top boxes, according to the report, and the wholly owned subsidiary of The Kudelski Group now creates software for on-demand video services and digital video recorders. OpenTV's patents belong to a portfolio of more than 4,400 pending and issued patents related to the secure delivery of media.mf.gif


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OpenTV files patent infringement suit against Apple over...

Yesterday, 09:21 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Apple is facing a lawsuit from OpenTV, a company that creates interactive television technology, over five patents the latter claims the Cupertino company violated in the iTunes software. The protected technology in question relates to how Apple streams movies from its servers to end users.

The suit claims this technology was legally licensed to other companies, including Microsoft and Google, but not Apple. OpenTV was named as a party in a separate lawsuit against Apple earlier this year. That suit dealt with video playback technology in iOS and OS X and other products, including iTunes and iAds.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Lawsuit, opentv, Patent 378382 378382 378382 378382 378382 378382 378382 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

Continue reading more about AAPL Company, Patent, and Lawsuit at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "OpenTV files patent infringement suit against Apple over streaming video tech" with our community.

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Home Depot to Begin Supporting Apple Pay Following Retail...

Yesterday, 09:19 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
homedepot.jpgHome Depot plans to officially support Apple Pay in its home improvement stores following a retail system upgrade, reports Bloomberg. Though there's no timeline on when Apple Pay support will be introduced in Home Depot stores, a spokesperson said the payment service would be available after a revamp to the company's point-of-sale machines.

News of Home Depot's plans to support Apple Pay come following earlier reports suggesting the retailer was shutting off Apple Pay access in its stores. Home Depot has NFC-based terminals in its stores allowing for unofficial use of Apple Pay, but as of this morning, a customer discovered he could no longer use Apple Pay at Home Depot.

Contacting customer support resulted in a message stating that while Apple Pay was not supported in Home Depot stores, PayPal was, hinting that Home Depot may be choosing to promote PayPal over Apple Pay, but as it turns out, that's not the case. According to Bloomberg, Home Depot's NFC checkout terminals have been disabled as the company works on upgrading its point-of-sale system.

Many Home Depot stores continue to support checkout through Apple Pay using NFC payment terminals at this time, but access may be shut off in the coming weeks until Apple Pay officially launches at the retail chain. Home Depot will likely support Apple Pay both in its retail stores and through its iOS app.

With 2,000 stores across the United States, Home Depot will be the largest retailer to offer Apple Pay.mf.gif


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