Apple has had a busy 2013. We've seen the release of the iPad Air, Retina iPad mini, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c as well as the launch of a new Mac Pro and an update to the iMac, Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. We've also seen new software from the company, including iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. Here, we recap Apple's August 2013.
Apple television in the pipeline?
August was a fairly quiet month for Apple, but not for the fans and consumers of the brand. Rumours and speculation spread extensively about Apple's plans to make a TV, following leaked concept images.
Belief in Apple's intentions to produce an 'iTV' (not to be confused with the same-name British television network) largely derive from the late CEO Steve Jobs' own words: "I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use - it would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest use interface you could imagine."
Jobs' successor as Apple CEO has also dropped hints about an iTV. In May 2013 Tim Cook said: "When you look at the TV experience it's not an experience that I think may people love, it's not an experience that you would say has been bought up to date for this decade. It's still an experience that is still too much like it was ten years ago and in many cases 20 years ago. "
Steve Jobs comes to the cinema
The Apple fan community spent much of this month in a hubbub of excitement and irritation about Jobs, the biopic of Steve Jobs that hit the cinemas midway through August. Jobs was played by Ashton Kutcher, who confessed to being "terrified" about taking on the role. This from the man who has to get up every morning and make another episode of Two and a Half Men.
Reviews were mixed. Our colleagues on Macworld.com conceded that the movie "zips along" even if, like most tech fans, they weren't entirely convinced by its accuracy or inspiration. Apple founder Steve Wozniak had previously ventured his opinion that Jobs is "crap".
Tim Cook under fire
In what would be a theme of much of the year, Apple CEO Tim Cook came in for some criticism in August - this time from Oracle boss and general yesterday's man Larry Ellison, and from (apparently) Apple's own board of directors.
Either Larry Ellison or Richard Chamberlain in The Three Musketeers - we're not sure which
Ellison - who was a close friend of Cook's predecessor Steve Jobs - said:
"[Jobs] was our Edison. He was our Picasso. He was an incredible inventor.
"We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. We saw Apple without Steve Jobs. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. Now, we're gonna see Apple without Steve Jobs."
As he spoke, he moved his hand up and down ominously to make it clear where he thought post-Jobs Apple was heading.
We felt that Ellison was talking rubbish.
Apple's board, meanwhile, reportedly expressed deep concern that the company is no longer being innovative. That's according to FOX Business News correspondent Charlie Gasparino and his "reliable sources".
Rumours about the iPad 5 and iPhone 6
August also saw mass anticipation of the soon-to-be-released iPad 5 (or, as it turned out to be named, the iPad Air), iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, stoked by leaked photos of parts and prototypes. (The leaks turned out to be largely accurate: the predictions we made in our iPhone 6 preview video and iPad 5 preview video were largely on the money - except for the iPad's name.)
During August it was widely believed that Apple would hold an event to announce the next iPhones in September; sure enough, the invites for an event on the 10th of September went out on the 3rd of September.
Tough days in court for Apple, as ebook price-fixing case continues
Apple was still reeling from July's judgement against it in the ebook case, and called the US Department of Justice's proposed measures punitive, draconian, sweeping and unprecedented.
As the court continued to discuss what actions would be taken in response to the ruling, Apple and the publishers involved in the case came in for some stiff words of their own.
"None of the publishers nor Apple have expressed any remorse [about colluding to fix electronic book prices in 2010]," said District Judge Denise Cote. "They are, in a word, unrepentant."
Legal victory over Samsung; legal defeat, too (but it's fixed by a US veto)
A happier legal outcome followed yet more courtroom jousting with old enemy Samsung.
The International Trade Commission awarded Apple an import ban on some of Samsung's older Android smartphones and tablets. Devices such as the Galaxy S 4G, Captivate and Galaxy Tab 10.1 were judged to infringe upon two of Apple's patents pertaining to scrolling and how the device reacted when headphones were connected or removed.
Shortly before this decision, the ITC had imposed an import ban on certain Apple products too, due to a patent infringement against Samsung - but that situation was saved when the Obama administration stepped in to veto the ban.
Google passes Apple on app downloads - but not cash
We've mentioned a few statistical milestones in these 'year in review' roundups, but most have run in Apple's favour. One that went the other way in August related to app downloads, where for the first time Google's Google Play download marketplace beat Apple's App Store in terms of app download numbers.
Apple still made more money from its lower number of downloads, mind you, so things aren't all bad. Sorry, did we say "more money"? We meant to say "twice as much money". In your face, Android!
'Jekyll' malware passes App Store approval process
Ahem. Sorry about that. In fact, one of the factors in our continual cheerleading of iOS over Android - Apple's superior security - took a slight knock in August, when a security team managed to get a piece of malware approved by the App Store team.
Jekyll - named after the doctor in Stevenson's personality-shifting horror - was designed to reconfigure its components post-approval and thereby create new functions. The malware's creators, who were able to monitor its progress through review, reported that it was tested for only a few seconds. Whoops.
"Our research shows that despite running inside the iOS sandbox, a Jekyll-based app can successfully perform many malicious tasks, such as posting tweets, taking photos, sending email and SMS, and even attacking other apps all without the user's knowledge," said Tielei Wang of Georgia Tech.
August did become the release for one piece of hardware however: the AirPort Extreme 802.11ac.
The new Base Station takes Wi-Fi speeds up to 1.3 Gbps, allowing users to attain three times faster Wi-Fi, and double the channel bandwidth. The router takes the form of a tall white biscuit-tin-like cylinder, and it it transmits at both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies simultaneously. Tthis is capable of providing longer-range, clearer-signal Wi-Fi in all directions.
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