February 23, 2014
Our busy look back focuses on the first-ever iTunes Festival in the United States, the voluntary recall of the Fitbit Force, and much more.
Apple is hoarding sapphire glass for somethingWe learned this week that Apple may have enough sapphire glass to produce 4.5-inch displays for the next three years. This news came from Mark Shuttleworth, the chief executive officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu OS. Canonical, according to the CEO, was planning to release a 4.5-inch Ubuntu Edge handset, which would feature a sapphire glass display. “Apple just snapped up the entire 3-year supply of the same sapphire display we wanted for the Edge,” he said. As Joe White reported, "The comment from Canonical does stand in opposition with a report we shared yesterday, however. As we explained, the Taiwan-based Economic Daily News recently argued that Apple is indeed planning two larger handsets for late 2014, but claimed that only the bigger 5.7-inch model would benefit from a sapphire glass display." No one but Apple knows which story is true, of course. When added to previous reports suggesting the “iWatch” will also feature a sapphire glass display, one thing is certain. Apple will be releasing plenty of iOS devices in the coming years which feature the material.
The "Amazon TV" Is ComingWe learned that Roku and the Apple TV are about to get some serious competition, as Amazon is likely to launch its very own set-top box in March that will offer streaming Internet video. The so-called “Amazon TV” is will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, and no doubt allow users to access the company’s Video on Demand store. It should also come with its own app store so that content from other providers is also available to stream. The biggest question: What will this mean to the next-generation Apple TV? Perhaps nothing -- if Apple takes the advice of ReadWrite’s Dave Smith and makes the Apple TV something closer to Netflix. As Smith explained, and we noted:
Imagine this: For $10-12 a month, your Apple TV gives you total access to the entire iTunes Store. You get all the new movies and TV shows right after they air, and you can watch them as many times as you want. No more rental rules and restrictions. You still have the option to purchase these titles and keep them in your personal iTunes library, but your monthly fee just lets you stream those titles whenever you want.Sounds good to me. What say you?