Apple to Charge $69 to Replace a Lost or Broken AirPod – Mac Rumors

On its iPhone Service Pricing page, Apple recently updated its repair and replacement costs for AirPods, which went on sale earlier this week.

Apple doesn’t appear to be offering AppleCare+ for AirPods, instead providing a standard one-year warranty that’s available on all Apple products. If the AirPods need service during that one year period, all work will be covered for free.

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After the one-year warranty has expired, Apple will charge a $69 fee for out-of-warranty service repairs. Battery service for AirPods that lose battery capacity is free during the one-year warranty period or $49 out of warranty.

If you lose or damage one of the AirPods or the charging case, Apple will charge $69 for a replacement, regardless of whether or not the AirPods are still under warranty. The pricing in Apple’s support document is U.S. pricing, and will vary based on country.

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AirPods first went on sale Tuesday morning with shipment dates as early as December 21, but supplies were quickly exhausted. Within an hour, delivery estimates slipped to December 29, and shortly after that, fell again to four weeks.

AirPods orders placed today in the United States will not ship out for six weeks, arriving to customers towards the end of January. Apple is expected to start offering AirPods in stores starting next week, so customers who did not get a chance to pre-order may still be able to get a set of AirPods.

Apple has said stores will be receiving “regular AirPods shipments,” but supplies are likely to be tight as demand is high. Priced at $159, AirPods are wire-free Bluetooth-equipped headphones that are able to provide up to five hours of music playback. AirPods use a new Apple-designed W1 chip to quickly switch between devices, and include features like touch-based controls and Siri. AirPods charge via an included charging case and a Lightning cable.

Audio glitches keep Apple from shipping AirPods

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People griped when Apple launched the iPhone 7 without an earphone jack and asked the world to get excited about AirPods, the company’s cordless earphones designed for the brave new “wireless future.”

Apparently, cutting the cord hasn’t been so easy for Apple, either.

The AirPods, skewered on social media within seconds of being introduced at Apple’s product launch in September, remain in a holding pattern because of audio glitches — and could miss the crucial 2016 holiday shopping season entirely.

The AirPods, which look like the regular earbuds that come with iPhones and iPods except without a cord, were scheduled to sell in October. But according to an unnamed source quoted in a Wall Street Journal article, Apple is having problems getting sound to hit the twin earpieces at the same time.

Most wireless earphones and earbuds receive a Bluetooth signal in one earpiece and then transmit it to the other. Apple, however, designed AirPods for each earpiece to receive independent signals from iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs, the report said.

The source also said Apple wants to resolve how to respond to customers when an AirPod battery dies or when a user loses one earpiece.

The possibility of an AirPod popping out of a user’s ear became a huge source of criticism on social media, especially with Apple setting the price for the wireless earphones at $159 on its website (which now lists the product as “currently unavailable.”)

The best parody of the AirPods was on the Conan show on TBS, which made a spoof commercial of silhouetted dancers moving to music on a mobile device, with the white AirPods the only visible detail. This was a re-creation of a popular ad Apple made for the iPod in the early 2000s, but in the Conan version, the AirPods fall out of the ears of the dancers.

The Conan video, below, has racked up more than 1.6 million views on YouTube.

Safety tests of 400 fake Apple chargers bought online reveal that 99% are dangerous | 9to5Mac

A large-scale test of 400 fake Apple chargers bought online from eight different countries – including the USA – found that a staggering 99% failed safety tests.

The BBC reports that the tests were commissioned by UK consumer protection body Chartered Trading Standards Institute, which found that of the 400 chargers purchased online, just three had sufficient insulation to protect against electric shocks in the most basic safety test performed. The CTSI urged consumers to buy only from reputable suppliers …

Leon Livermore, Chartered Trading Standards Institute chief executive, said: “Only buy second-hand electrical goods that have been tested and only buy online electrical goods from trusted suppliers. It might cost a few pounds more but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one.”

The institute provided four pieces of advice when checking a new charger.

  • Plug pins – Plug the charger into a socket, but don’t switch it on or connect to a device. If the charger does not fit easily, the pins may be the wrong size. There should be at least 9.5mm (0.3in) between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger
  • Markings – Look for a manufacturers’ brand name or logo, model and batch number. Check for the “CE” safety mark, but be aware it can be easily forged [FCC and UL in the US]
  • Warnings and instructions – User instructions should include conditions and limitations of use, how to operate the charger safely, basic electric safety guidance and details of safe disposal
  • Damage – Never use a charger that has a frayed cable or other visible damage

However, some counterfeit chargers have fake markings and safety leaflets.

Apple recently carried out its own tests on chargers sold on Amazon as ‘genuine’ Apple kit, finding that almost 90% of them were counterfeit. Amazon has since established a new Brand Registry program requiring sellers to obtain permission from brand owners before branded products can be offered for sale.

Apple Testing More Than 10 Prototype iPhone Models, Including One With Curved OLED Display

iphone-7-front-backMultiple sources have claimed Apple will launch its first iPhone with a curved OLED display next year, and now The Wall Street Journal has thrown its weight behind those rumors.

The report claims an OLED version could be introduced as one of several new iPhone models unveiled next year, but it would have a higher price tag than current iPhone models.

OLED displays are thinner, lighter, and allow for flexible designs, but they are up to $50 more expensive to produce than traditional LCD displays, according to analysts cited.

OLED displays can also be more energy efficient, as unlike LCD displays, they do not require a backlight to illuminate the screen. When displaying black pixels, OLED displays are completely off, which could preserve battery life.

Apple is said to have more than 10 different iPhone prototypes under development, so it may decide not to launch a version with an OLED display next year, according to the report. Previous reports said Apple will also launch new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with traditional LCD displays next year.

Apple will likely tap Samsung as its primary OLED display supplier, but it wants LG Display, Japan Display, and Sharp to ramp up production for 2018, the report added, corroborating information heard previously. Sharp President and CEO Tai Jeng-wu confirmed Apple’s plans to switch to OLED technology last month.

Video roundup: Hands-on with Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Apple finally unveiled its new MacBook lineup earlier today and as usual, members of the press in attendance of the keynote were able to go hands-on with the new products as soon as Tim Cook exited the stage. Videos have gradually been emerging from the hands-on area, and we’ve rounded them up below…

Laptop Magazine’s Mark Spoonauer went hands-on with both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar. Spoonauer showed off the Touch Bar’s ability to change depending on what app is open, as well as the default function row icons. Additionally, the design and size of both the 13-inch and 15-inch models are shown off, as well.

Finally, Touch ID functionality is also demonstrated. Touch ID, of course, will allow for the MacBook Pro to be unlocked more easily, as well as for Apple Pay purchases to be completed without the need for authentication with another device.

Engadget also took a look at the 2016 MacBook Pro, noting of the new slimmer design, as well as the USB-C ports, Touch Bar, Touch ID, and much more. The Touch Bar is showcased in use with Safari, with bookmarks and other quick links intelligently appearing.

Next up is SlashGear, who spent some time with Apple’s new laptops, as well. The blog again highlights the Touch Bar and its intelligent app switching, specifically in iMessage and its ability to show emoji and Tapback options. The video also shows the ability to customize the icons that appear in the Touch Bar.

The general consensus from early hands-on seems to be that Apple has a solid update on its hands with the new MacBook Pros. The design, while similar to the previous generation, is slimmer and lighter, making it easier to carry around for extended periods of time. Additionally, the Touch Bar seems to work very well and is incredibly quick to update as you move around various apps and interfaces. It’s also nice to see that the Touch Bar is customizable to the degree that it is, and open to third-party developers.

View a few more hands-on videos with the new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros below, as well as one video with Apple’s new TV app for Apple TV.

Everything Apple Announced at Today’s ‘Hello Again’ Mac Event in Under Four Minutes

Apple hosted its “Hello Again” Mac event this morning, where it debuted a newly redesigned MacBook Pro with an integrated “Touch Bar” panel that supports multi-touch and a range of gestures to unlock new capabilities in apps.

Much of the event was actually spent covering existing features, demoing the Touch Bar, and highlighting Apple TV capabilities, allowing us to condense the full 82 minute presentation into four minutes. If you missed Apple’s keynote, our recap is a great way to get caught up without having to invest an hour and a half.

Apple’s new MacBook Pro models feature a thinner, lighter body, better battery life, upgraded processors, improved displays, and the aforementioned Touch Bar, but all that innovation comes at a price, which has many customers disappointed. Apple is charging $1,799 in the United States for the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro model with a Touch Bar, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro models start at $2,399.

While the MacBook Pro was the main highlight of the event, Apple also introduced a new Accessibility site, 4K and 5K monitors from LG, a new Apple TV app that serves as a TV guide to help users find what to watch.

You’ll get ‘keyed up’ over this Apple computer jewelry

Stacey Peterson has a key to each Apple fan's heart.

If you like how your Mac keyboard feels to the touch, you may like the way some of the keys look and feel as wearable art.

Pennsylvania artist Stacey Peterson salvages the keys and even the power button to make necklaces, cufflinks, and other wearable keyboard pieces that she sells to eager Apple fans on her Etsy site. In most cases, the key or power button engages in that satisfying click.

While Apple continues to produce desirable electronic devices, other support industries have emerged to provide cases, sleeves, and peripheral hardware accessories. Like the T-shirt or toymakers who celebrate Apple culture, Peterson is part of a cottage industry that engages the Apple fan’s emotional motherboard, the circuits that spark that loyalty, nostalgia and a sense of coolness.

Apple key history

Steve Jobs was concerned over having too many Apple logos.

“I have made a few PC pieces, but most people want Mac keys in their jewelry,” says Peterson, who learned her craft at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Georgia. “I’ve made at least 1,000 pieces and I’ve sold almost 800.”Peterson, who works by the name Sta-C, makes beautiful classic jewelry with gemstones and metals, like sterling silver, preferring to use methods rooted in pre-industrialized times. One of four owners of an art gallery in Elkton, Md., her “Keyed Up” jewelry is sold exclusively on Etsy.

Peterson works from “pockets of chaos” in her home, careful to keep unrelated materials separated. The discarded keyboards she finds on eBay and other sources stack neatly.

She is trying to collect as many keyboards with the old command key with the Apple logo. The amateur Apple folklorist understands the complicated history of the old Apple key.

Designers wanted to use the logo to make it easy for users to remember key commands, but Steve Jobs that the company was in danger of overusing the logo.

“There are too many Apples on the screen,” Jobs said in 1983. “It’s ridiculous. We’re taking the Apple logo in vain. We’ve got to stop doing that.”

So designers came up with a Swedish-style floral emblem for the command key. The Apple returned to the command key after Jobs’ departure from Apple in 1986. The Apple logo disappears and the word “command” appears on the key in 2007.

“I am trying to scoop up as many as I can find,” Peterson says.

Clicks with geek personality

If she can find the keys, especially the circular power key with the surrounding metal intact, she can make the keys on her jewelry click.

Peterson’s made her first computer-key jewelry when her daughter was in junior high and she requested a piece be made for a friend, using her old PC laptop. Her daughter just recently graduated from college and is now a computer programmer.

Apple keys for house and car keys.

She has been selling the “Keyed Up” line on Etsy, since 2009. Apple keys can be found on necklaces, earrings, cufflinks, rings and keychains, on which she is starting to use more of the alphabet.

“I love it when customers give me feedback on how they love what I’ve made,” she says. “It’s really a personality statement you make when you wear keyboard jewelry.”