Apple Unveils Next Generation of iPhones
Apple's latest iPhones will come in a bevy of colors and two distinct designs, one made of plastic and the other that aims to be "the gold standard of smartphones" and reads your fingerprint.
Apple unveiled the latest iPhone models, available on Sept. 20, during an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The move comes as rival phones from Samsung and other manufacturers are challenging Apple's hold on the smartphone market.
The lower-cost iPhone 5C will be available in five colors — green, blue, yellow, pink and white. CEO Tim Cook calls it "more fun and colorful" than any other iPhone. The 5C has a 4-inch Retina display and is powered by Apple's A6 chip. It also has an 8 megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up.
The iPhone 5C will cost $99 for a 16 gigabyte model and $199 for a 32 gigabyte model with a two-year wireless contract. The phone is expected to help Apple boost sales in China and other areas where people don't have as much money to spend on new gadgets as they do in the U.S. and Europe.
The second phone, the 5S, is "the most forward-looking phone we have ever created," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple. It will come in silver, gold and "space gray" and run a new chip, the A7 that is up to twice as fast as the A6.
Schiller said the new phone can run more health and fitness applications. These apps have become increasingly popular as more people use them to track exercise routines, calorie intake and even sleep patterns.
The camera in the 5S received some major upgrades, including several automatic features designed to produce better photos. It has larger pixels, which helps capture more light. The phone also has a two-tone flash feature that is designed not to clash with the colors in the room or a person's skin color — something Schiller said has not been done on a phone before.
The camera, called iSight, has "auto image stabilization," which helps avoid blurry pictures, and a slow-motion camera for video.
The 5S also includes "Touch ID," which reads fingerprints at a "detailed level," Schiller said. He said it is "fun and easy" to teach the 5S about your fingerprint and once you do, you can just touch the home button to unlock the phone. The company said fingerprints will not be stored on its servers.
Tying the fingerprint scanner to payments could also open new revenue channels for Apple.
Both models will be on sale on Sept. 20 in the U.S., Australia, China, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and U.K. Apple said this is the first time that a new phone has been available right away in China — a sign of the growing importance of that market to the company. People will be able to order the 5C in advance on Sept. 13.
For buyers entering a two-year contract with a wireless carrier, the phone will cost $199 for 16 gigabytes of memory, $299 for 32 and $399 for 64.
Apple also said its next mobile operating system, iOS 7, will be available as a free download on Sept. 18.
Craig Federighi, head of software at Apple Inc., said at an event at the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters that "downloading iOS 7 is like getting an all new device."
The new system can be downloaded on the iPhone 4 and later models, as well as on the tablets beginning with the iPad 2.
Apple also says it expects to ship its 700 millionth iOS device next month. Apple CEO Tim Cook predicts that iOS 7 will become the most popular mobile operating system in the world.
Investors seemed unimpressed. Apple's stock price fell $3.17 to $503.10 during the event, which also featured Elvis Costello. The singer performed a new song from a record coming out next week.
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Last Update on March 06, 2015 08:26 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A survey of economists ahead of the official Labor Department employment report due out today is predicting another good month, following the best three-month burst of hiring in 17 years.
Economists in the FactSet survey have forecast a job gain of 240,000 and a drop in unemployment to a near-normal 5.6 percent from 5.7 percent. That would be evidence of a job market that continues to outshine others around the world.
A bright outlook among employers has translated into a robust average of 267,000 jobs added monthly over the past 12 months. That means there are 3.2 million more Americans earning paychecks now than at the start of 2014. That additional income, along with sharply lower gas prices, has left more Americans able to spend.
The steady hiring may also finally be forcing wages up.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department releases its February jobs report today.
Even though harsh winter weather may have discouraged some hiring, economists foresee a solid job gain of 240,000 and a drop in unemployment to a near-normal 5.6 percent.
Also this morning, the Commerce Department releases international trade data for January. And this afternoon the Federal Reserve will have January consumer credit data.
FED-BANK STRESS TESTS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- All of the nation's 31 largest banks are adequately fortified to withstand a severe U.S. and global recession and keep lending, the Federal Reserve says.
Results of the Fed's annual "stress tests" show that as a group, the 31 banks are stronger than they have been at any time since the 2008 financial crisis struck, thanks to a steadily recovering economy. The results build on positive outcomes from last year's tests.
The Fed will announce next week whether it will approve the banks' plans to issue dividends or repurchase shares.
The banks tested included JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo and Co. -- the four biggest U.S. banks by assets.
The Fed has conducted stress tests of the largest U.S. banks since 2009.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google is helping California drivers shop for car insurance as part of a new service that could foreshadow the Internet company's latest attempt to shake up a long-established industry.
The feature unveiled Thursday compares auto insurance quotes from up to 14 carriers that are participating in the comparisons. The policies can then be bought online or through an agent. Google will receive a cut from the insurance sales. The Mountain View, California, company says the size of the commissions won't influence how it ranks the price quotes.
Google Inc. plans to provide car insurance quotes in other states, too.
A Forrester Research analyst suspects Google is trying to learn more about the auto insurance industry so it can possibly begin underwriting and selling policies on its own.
FDA-ANTIBIOTICS IN MILK
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new Food and Drug Administration study shows little evidence of antibiotic contamination in milk after surveying almost 2,000 dairy farms.
The agency in 2012 took samples of raw milk on the farms and tested them for 31 drugs, almost all of them antibiotics. Results released by the agency Thursday show that less than 1 percent of the total samples evidenced illegal drug residue.
Antibiotics and other drugs can end up in milk when they are used on dairy cows to keep them healthy. Small levels of drugs are allowed in milk, but residues that go beyond certain thresholds are illegal.
The FDA said the agency will use the findings to try and reduce the drug contamination even more.
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