Apple releases iOS 7.1.2 with iBeacon, Mail attachment, third-party accessory fixes & Apple TV OS 6.2

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Apple has released iOS 7.1.2 to end users today over-the-air with the following changes:

• Improves iBeacon connectivity and stability
• Fixes a bug with data transfer for some 3rd party accessories, including bar code scanners
• Corrects an issue with data protection class of Mail attachments

The update is available over-the-air or via iTunes for the latest iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. The fix for Mail addresses a well-publicized security problem regarding attachments. Apple has also released OS X 10.9.4 with various bug fixes and security enhancements.

The build number is 11D257 and it comes in at approximately 30 MB over-the-air on the iPad and 32 MB on the iPhone. The update is approximately 1.4GB for a complete download via iTunes.

In addition, Apple has released Apple TV software version 6.2 (build number 11D257c) without any major changes. The update addresses stability and performance issues:

  • Includes general performance and stability improvements.

Apple buys “Beats by Dr. Dre” for $3.2 billion!

The Financial Times newspaper yesterday reported that Apple is in the final stages of negotiating a $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, a startup behind the recently unveiled Beats Music streaming service and the maker of premium headphones and assorted audio accessories.

Dr. Dre, who co-founded Beats, has now seemingly jumped the gun on announcing the deal in a video published on Facebook, which has now been deleted because Apple – as I’m sure you know by now – is not fond of leaks…

He all but confirmed – drunkenly, it would seem – Apple’s rumored Beats buy in a video Tyrese Gibson – R&B singer-songwriter, actor and Dre’s “homie” – posted on his Facebook page.

The short clip showing Dre boasting about being “the first billionaire in hip-hop” has since been removed from Facebook.

“I’m the first billionaire in hip hop right here from the mothafucking West Cost,” he proclaims in an NSFW clip.

Here’s a YouTube version.

Take Dre’s claim with a pinch of salt as he was “drunk off of Heinekens”.

If the deal come through, Dr. Dre will take home nearly $1 billion. As Forbes points out:

Dre’s stake in Beats currently stands at somewhere around 20-25 percent. Capital gains taxes could take a bite out of his big payday, likely leaving him with a net worth in the neighborhood of $800 million.

It’s not quite enough to land on the Forbes 400, but it would easily make him hip-hop’s richest man, topping current champion Diddy by $100 million.

That Dre, 49, would all but confirm the Beats buy could be a PR move though I doubt the famous hip hop artist needs to piggy-back on Apple’s popularity – the man is an institution himself.

Beats was founded in 2006 by music producer Jimmy Iovine (pictured above) and hip-hop star Dr. Dre. Beats Audio technology can currently be found in select HTC handsets and on certain Hewlett-Packard notebooks.

Iovine also co-founded Interscope Records in the early 90′s, which later became part of the Universal Music Group. The New York Post claimed yesterday that the music mogul would be joining Apple as a special adviser to CEO Tim Cook on “creative matters.”

Last year, the music exec gave Walt Mossberg a nice history lesson on the rise and fall of the music industry, you can watch the entire AllThingsD interview here or check out highlights in the YouTube clip below.

According to the official website, Beats Electronics comprises the Beats by Dr. Dre family of premium consumer headphones, earphones and speakers as well as patented Beats Audio software technology and streaming music subscription service Beats Music.

And here’a short clip showing Steve Jobs and Dr. Dre talking about the iPod and iTunes in a video chat at Apple’s keynote almost a decade ago.

The Santa Monica, California headquartered Beats is going to pull in about $1 in revenue this year. That said, paying three times the revenue for a headphone company isn’t all that bad, according to Peter Kafka of Re/code.

Others don’t share his enthusiasm.

Jay Yarow of Business Insider, for example, cites a couple reasons why the deal “goes against the soul of Apple”.

What’s your read of the situation?

And what is Tim Cook thinking here?

Help us read his mind!

 

Apple stock crosses $600 per share for the first time since 2012!

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Investors are liking Apple’s direction lately, pushing the stock to $600 per share for the first time since 2012. Shares of AAPL closed at $600.96 each on Monday, a nice hike up from the under $400 price the stock was sitting at in April 2013.

Apple’s shares were up more than $8 for the day to reach the 52 week high, bringing the Cupertino-based company’s market capitalization to a hefty $517.65 billion.

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It’s not new products that have pushed Apple’s stock higher – we haven’t seen the promised new product category yet – but rather continued successful quarterly performance, an increased stock buyback, and a 7-for-1 stock split that is set to take place in June.

“We’re confident in Apple’s future and see tremendous value in Apple’s stock, so we’re continuing to allocate the majority of our program to share repurchases,” Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said in April on the company’s latest earnings call. ”We’re also happy to be increasing our dividend for the second time in less than two years.”

The increased buyback was announced in April, when Apple detailed it has raised its share repurchase authorization to $90 billion from the $60 billion level announced last year. Apple expects to utilize a total of over $130 billion of cash under the expanded program by the end of calendar 2015.

The seven-for-one stock split also impressed investors, as each Apple shareholder of record at the close of business on June 2, 2014 will receive six additional shares for every share held on the record date, and trading will begin on a split-adjusted basis on June 9.

Apple’s all-time high was reached in September 2012 when shares crossed $700 for a short period, before tumbling back down.

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