Hello folks! Welcome to another edition of the Week in Review. The week was a little short here is the US. due to Independence Day so there is not too much news. Let's dive in.
Is Apple replacing Nuance with in house team?
All signs point to yes. Nuance is the speech recognition software that powers Siri and voice dictation in iOS. There have been rumors for years that Apple has been building it's own voice recognition team but they have gained some steam this year. Apple has been on a hiring spree, bringing in managers and researchers to work on improving speech recognition.
I think Siri does a decent job at picking up what I say. However, there are times when Siri fails to work and that drives me crazy. I also am annoyed that the speech to text conversion doesn't happen on device. Your voice gets sent to a data center, converted, then returned to your device. Google Now does the conversion live on the device and thats a plus. Hopefully, this will happen soon.
Annual "Back to School" promotion begins
Every year Apple runs a back to school promotion. They used to give out Apple Store gift cards with the purchase of a new Mac. A few years ago, they changed their program. Now a new Mac will net you $100 in iTunes credit and an iPhone or iPod touch will net you $50 in iTunes credit. You will need to be a college or university student, a parent of a qualifying student to be eligible. The promotion runs through September 6.
Apple & Samsung can't leave each other
Recent rumors have Samsung as the leader in manufacturing Apple's future processor, the A9. The rumor is Samsung has received an order for 14nm processors that are set to begin production next year.
Apple Care+ purchase window expanded
Following a rumor from a few weeks ago, Apple has expanded the window to cover AppleCare+ from 30 days to 60 days. The plan is $100 and extends your warranty to 2 years and provides you with accidental damage coverage. You are still required to pay a deductible for each claim.
9 new CarPlay partners announced
Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Mazda will be joint a growing list of auto manufacturers to incorporate the CarPlay feature into their future vehicles.
The more the merrier. I wish more aftermarket radio manufactures would announce CarPlay support. There are millions of older vehicles on the road already and a new car is not in the budget for a lot of their owners. Aftermarket radios however, could be in the budget.
iPhone 5 trade in value cut
Apple has cut the maximum trade in value for iPhone 5 from $270 to $225. That,s a $40 price drop. Similarly, Gazelle is also offering $225 for a 64GB, unlocked, iPhone 5 in flawless condition.
You may be able to get more on ebay/Craigslist but the convenience factor is hard to overcome.
iOS gains marketshare
A new comScore report has iOS increasing slightly in the US while Microsoft/Android stayed flat and Blackberry/Symbian declined. The increase in only %0.6, but it's still an increase in a very competitive market. The report also has Apple as the top phone manufacturer with Samsung coming in second.
Apple makes another big hire for iWatch team
CNBC is reporting that Apple has hired VP of Global sales and retail from luxury watch brand TAG Heuer, Patrick Pruniaux. Pruniaux will likely report to Phil Schiller as he is SVP of Marketing for Apple.
I think this is big for Apple. Bringing in someone from a luxury watch brand to market and promote their upcoming watch is a very "smart" move.
iWatch to feature voice messaging?
UBS analyst met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and send a note to investors:
"When we visited with Tim Cook, he said that walking down streets in China, one sees people speaking into their phones sending voice rather than text messages. Porting this capability to the watch makes sense as it is easier to send a voice message from a device already on the wrist than pulling out a phone"
The iWatch is expected to run a version of iOS 8 and launch in the fall.
Talking into your watch is definitely Dick Tracy. It makes me want this thing even more now.
iPhone 5S most popular phone in the world
A new report from ABI Research is out showing iPhone 5S is the number one phone sold worldwide. Variants of the Samsung S3 & S4 make up 2, 3, 4 and iPhone 4S is number 5.
Apple posts "Pride" video