Tim Cook’s compensation not spared as Apple misses performance goals

New Product Announcements At The Apple Inc. Spring Forward Event As a result of Apple’s performance based executive compensation packages, CEO Tim Cook and other leaders within the company will be taking pay cuts. Apple missed internal revenue and operating income targets for 2016 by 3.7 and 0.5 percent respectively, resulting in a 15 percent cut for the CEO. Apple is reporting annual sales of $215.6 billion and operating income of $60 billion for… Read More

Russia Forces Apple to Remove LinkedIn From Russian App Store

linkedinRussian authorities have required Apple and Google to remove the LinkedIn app from the App Store and Google Play in Russia, reports The New York Times. The move comes a couple weeks after Russia blocked LinkedIn’s website.


The demand by Russian authorities to remove LinkedIn in Apple and Google app stores comes weeks after a court blocked the professional networking service for flouting local laws that require internet firms to store data on Russian citizens within the nation’s borders.

Apple confirmed to The New York Times that it was asked to remove the app from the App Store about a month ago. The app, however, had already stopped functioning once LinkedIn’s website was blocked in the country. LinkedIn, which has several million users in Russia, said it was “disappointed” by the news.

The service was blocked in Russia because a court ruled in November that the company broke local laws that require Internet firms to store servers holding information on Russian accounts within the country. The New York Times notes that most American companies operate in Russia while violating the law, making the blocking of LinkedIn a rare occurrence.

In late December, China required Apple to remove all apps from The New York Times for being in “violation of local regulations.” The New York Times’ website has been blocked in China since 2012. Countries like China, Russia and Turkey have blocked direct access to websites for years, but pressuring tech companies like Apple to also remove apps is a more recent trend, according to The New York Times.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Verizon Eliminates Two-Year Contracts for Smartphone Upgrades

Starting today, Verizon will no longer be allowing customers who are upgrading their smartphones to purchase a two-year contract, effectively eliminating two-year contracts for all new and existing users.

While Verizon did away with two-year contracts for new customers back in August of 2015, existing customers were able to re-purchase two-year contracts when upgrading their smartphones. That option is no longer available, and customers will be transitioned to device payment plans as their contracts expire.

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Two-year contract upgrade options are no longer available at Verizon stores and have been eliminated at partner stores, including Apple retail stores.

Customers who are currently on a two-year contract will need to purchase a phone outright or choose a device payment plan when their contracts expire and they need to upgrade their phones. A device upgrade fee will be required as well.

Verizon device payment plans for the iPhone 7 start at $27.08 per month, while plans for the iPhone 7 Plus start at $32.08 per month. Verizon offers a range of data plans, from 2GB for $35 per month to 24GB for $110 per month, with a $20 access fee for smartphones.

Verizon’s move to fully eliminate two-year contracts comes on the heels of T-Mobile’s “Un-carrier Next” announcement, which will see T-Mobile offering a single $70 per month unlimited plan with no additional fees.
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New York Times App Removed From App Store in China

nytimesappFollowing a request from Chinese authorities, Apple in late December removed all apps from The New York Times from the App Store in China, The New York Times shared today.

According to Apple, the company was forced to remove both the English-language and Chinese-language news apps after being informed they were in “violation of local regulations.”

“We have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations,” Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman, said of the Times apps. “As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store. When this situation changes, the App Store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China.”

News apps from other publications such as The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal remain in the Chinese App Store. The New York Times app was likely removed due to a long-standing ban in China – the site has been blocked since 2012.

Apple has not provided specific information on the local regulations the apps violated, and The New York Times has asked Apple to reconsider its decision.

“The request by the Chinese authorities to remove our apps is part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage by The New York Times of that country, coverage which is no different from the journalism we do about every other country in the world,” Ms. Murphy said in a statement.

The New York Times believes the request may have been made under Provisions on the Administration of Internet Application Informations Services regulations introduced in June of 2016. Those regulations prevent apps from publishing prohibited information and “endangering national security, disrupting social order and violating the legitimate rights and interests of others.”

Apple has faced censoring in China multiple times in the past, most notably being forced to shut down iTunes Movies and the iBooks Store following the release of controversial independent movie Ten Years.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Apple Shares New ‘Best of 2016’ Video

Apple today added a new video to its YouTube channel, highlighting some of the best apps, songs, movies, TV shows, books, and podcasts released during 2016.

The video focuses on all of Apple’s editorial picks for top content, which were first announced in early December, along with some new additions. Content depicted in short clips is organized into categories like “We Celebrate,” “What Mattered Most,” and “The Most Fun,” with a full list available below.



Music:
Drake – Hotline, The Chainsmokers – Don’t Let Me Down, David Bowie – Blackstar, Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better, Maren Morris – My Church

Beats 1: Chance The Rapper – No Problem, Lady Gaga – A-Yo, J Balvin – Safari, Christine And The Queens – Tilted

Movies: La La Land, Moonlight, Deadpool, Sausage Party, American Honey, Kubo and the Two Strings, Sing Street

TV Shows: Steven Universe, This is Us, Atlanta

Podcast: Heavyweight

Apps: Severed, Prisma SketchBook Motion

Books: Yaa Gyasi – Homegoing, Matthew Desmond – Evicted, Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run, Meredith Russo – If I Was Your Girl, Michael Chabon – Moonglow

Apple’s full list of the best Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, and Books of 2016 can be found in our dedicated Best Of post. We also did a separate post listing all of Apple’s top App Store picks for the year.
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Apple Announces Chinese New Year Event Featuring Free Beats Solo3 Headphones With Mac or iPhone Purchase

Apple today announced an upcoming one-day sale in celebration of Chinese New Year, where the company will provide free Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones in red to all customers who purchase a select Mac or iPhone in various countries around the world.

The sale will kick off on January 6 at 8:00 a.m. local time and will be available in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. A Chinese New Year announcement is available in Malaysia, but the country is not included in the free headphone offer.

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To get the free Beats headphones, customers in eligible countries will need to purchase an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Pro, but the late 2016 MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar is excluded from the sale. Eligible iPhones include the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus.

Apple’s sale announcement is accompanied by a New Year’s gift guide featuring a range of New Year’s-themed products in red and gold, including a lion dance LionBot kit, a limited edition DJI Phantom 4 drone, and a Chinese New Year iPhone 7 case from Tech21.

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Last year, Apple celebrated Chinese New Year by introducing two exclusive Apple Watch Sport models featuring (PRODUCT)RED Sport Bands.
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What Do You Want to See From Apple in 2017?

We’ve covered what we expect to see from Apple in 2017 based on the rumors that are circulating so far in our recent What to Expect post.

On the horizon are a new iPhone 8 with a radically redesigned body and an edge-to-edge display, a revamped iPad Pro also potentially with an edge-to-edge display, long-awaited iMac updates, and new software, but there’s always the chance there’s a wildcard update or new product in the works that will surprise us all.

A redesigned Apple TV, a new home hub, and augmented reality smart glasses are all products that are rumored to be in the works with no prospective release date. We want to hear from the MacRumors community — what are you expecting or hoping to see Apple release in 2017?

2017

Are there specific features you’re hoping Apple will implement in iOS 11, tvOS 11, watchOS 4, or macOS 10.13? Popular wishlist items from last year included a dark mode for iOS, home screen widgets, and a customizable control center.

Let us know what you want to see in the comments, and make sure to check our our What to Expect post for the latest rumors. Apple’s plans for 2017 will likely become more clear in the early months of the year, and as always, we’ll be covering all of the rumors in-depth here at MacRumors.

The MacRumors forums are also always a rich resource for talking about upcoming products and rumors, and with the biggest iPhone change in years set to happen in 2017, our forums are the place to be for lively discussions.

We’d also like to thank all of our readers and our forum members for making MacRumors the absolute best source for Mac news and advice on the web. We wouldn’t be here without you, and we look forward to another rumor-packed year.
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The iPhone 7 may not be selling as well as Apple hoped

Traditionally, new iPhones sell pretty well in their first few months — often outperforming the previous model's sales during the same quarter. That might not be the case with Apple's latest handset: according to Nikkei, sluggish sales are forcing t…