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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 September 19, 2014 07:27 GMT
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) -- Scottish voters have rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core.
The decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to the British political establishment. Scots voted 55 percent to 45 percent against independence in a vote that saw an unprecedented turnout.
A majority of voters did not embrace Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's impassioned plea to launch a new state, choosing instead the security offered by remaining in the United Kingdom.
Salmond conceded defeat, saying "we know it is a majority for the No campaign" and called on Scots to accept the results of the vote.
Salmond had argued that Scots could go it alone because of its extensive oil reserves and high levels of ingenuity and education. He said Scotland would flourish on its own, free of interference from any London-based government.
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government today will report on state unemployment rates for August. Nationally in August, U.S. employers added just 142,000 jobs, well below the average of the previous 12 months.
Also today, the Conference Board will issue its August index of leading economic indicators, which is designed to predict the economy's future health. In July, the index posted its sharpest advance in four months, indicating that the economy was gaining traction headed into the second half of the year.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba priced its initial public offering of stock at $68 per share on Thursday, the top end of the expected range. It is expected to start trading Friday under the ticker "BABA" on the NYSE. The IPO values Alibaba at $167.6 billion. That's bigger than the current market value of Amazon, Cisco, and eBay.
15-year-old Alibaba's Taobao, TMall and other platforms account for some 80 percent of Chinese online commerce.
The fundraising target could be up to $25 billion handily eclipsing the $16 billion Facebook raised in 2012, the most for a technology IPO. It also tops the all-time IPO fundraising record of $22.1 billion set by the Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. in 2010, according to the research firm Dealogic.
NEW YORK (AP) -- German business software maker SAP says it will buy travel and expense management software company Concur Technologies for $129 per share, or about $7.36 billion.
That's a premium of 19.7 percent to Concur's closing price on Thursday.
SAP AG values the deal at $8.3 billion and says the acquisition should close in the fourth quarter of 2014 or the first quarter of 2015.
SAP says Concur has 25 million users in 150 countries. The Bellevue, Washington company's revenue rose 29 percent to $178.4 million in its latest fiscal quarter. SAP had about $5.6 billion in revenue in its latest fiscal period.
Shares of Concur Technologies Inc. closed at $107.80 Thursday. The stock is up 4.5 percent in 2014 but has fallen from a high of $130.39.
SAMSUNG-NOTE 4 PHONE
NEW YORK (AP) -- Samsung says U.S. wireless carriers will start taking orders for its large-screen Galaxy Note 4 smartphone on the same day larger iPhones go on sale.
The Note 4 will be available on Oct. 17. Orders will be taken beginning Friday. It has a screen measuring 5.7 inches diagonally, slightly larger than the 5.5 inches on Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus. The regular iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen.
Unlike the iPhone, Samsung's Note phones come with a stylus for note taking. The Note runs Google's Android system and has Samsung-produced extras such as the ability to show multiple apps on the same screen at once.
Samsung also is making the Galaxy Note Edge with a side screen to display weather information, clocks and other information. The company hasn't provided details about U.S. availability.
UNDATED (AP) -- JetBlue CEO Dave Barger will step down in February and be replaced by the airline's president, Robin Hayes.
New York-based JetBlue Airways Corp. announced the move Thursday.
Speculation about changing CEOs has swirled around JetBlue for several months. Wall Street analysts have expressed hope that a new CEO might take steps to increase revenue, such as adding a fee for the first checked bag. Hayes is declining to say whether he will do that.
Barger will leave when his contract expires, and Hayes will take over on Feb. 16.
GULF OIL SPILL-TRANSOCEAN
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a federal safety board's right to investigate the role of Transocean Deepwater Drilling Corp. in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling for BP PLC. The company had challenged the authority of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to do the investigation.
In a 2-1 decision Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the board could investigate.
The safety board's investigation had continued during the appeal. In June, the board issued a report citing multiple failures and improper testing of the rig's blowout preventer as factors in the accident, and found fault with BP and Transocean.
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