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 05, 2015 18:48 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since May, though the level of applications remains at a level consistent with steady hiring.
The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 10,250 to 304,750, a six-week high.
The number of applications tends to reflect the pace of U.S. layoffs. The four-week average has remained near or below 300,000 since September, a historically low level that typically signals healthy job gains.
There are some signs that heavy snow and unseasonably cold weather have played a role in increasing the number of layoffs. Several states said two weeks ago that applications had risen because of bad weather.
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The Commerce Department says that productivity declined at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, weaker than the 1.8 percent drop that was estimated a month ago. Labor costs rose at a 4.1 percent rate, faster than the 2.7 percent increase first estimated.
Weaker productivity and higher labor costs could spell inflation troubles for the economy. But analysts say that the changes in the fourth quarter are temporary and not an indication that inflation is about to be a problem.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories fell again in January but a key investment category showed a gain.
The Commerce Department says orders to factories edged down 0.2 percent in January following declines of 3.5 percent in December and 1.7 percent in November.
In an encouraging sign, orders in a category viewed as a proxy for business investment showed an increase of 0.5 percent in January following declines of 0.5 percent in both December and November.
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Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the national average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.75 percent from 3.80 percent last week.
The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with homeowners who refinance, fell to 3.03 percent from 3.07 percent last week.
A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.28 percent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.32 percent. Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve in October ended its monthly bond purchases, which were meant to hold down long-term rates.
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Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a statement Thursday the $225 million settlement over refinery sites in Linden and Bayonne is separate from Exxon Mobil's obligation to clean up the sites.
The settlement has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers who note that the state initially sought $8.9 billion in damages. A judge found the company liable but no damage amount had been determined.
Last month the two sides told the judge to delay his ruling because a settlement was imminent.
The case was brought in 2004 and charged that Exxon's petroleum refining plants contaminated the land and water.
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Seventy-five scientists from around the globe on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama saying the use of the guns, which create canonlike air blasts underwater, represents a "significant threat to marine life throughout the region."
The air blasts fire every 10-12 seconds for weeks or months at a time, which can harm marine mammals that rely on hearing to survive.
Nine permits are before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which must also be approved by NOAA Fisheries before being finalized.
The government says no seismic applications will be approved without measures meant to mitigate harm to marine life.
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