Meanwhile, in Cupertino

A daily curated collection of links about Apple and surrounding technologies

“MacBook Stealth”

9to5Mac's Mark Gurman:

Apple is preparing an all-new MacBook Air for 2015 with a radically new design that jettisons standards such as full-sized USB ports, MagSafe connectors, and SD card slots in favor of a markedly thinner and lighter body with a higher-resolution display. Sources within Apple, who have used internal prototype versions of the upcoming computer, have provided in-depth details about the machine, and our exclusive artist renditions of the revamped MacBook Air provide the first close look at Apple’s first major step in mobile Mac computing since the Retina MacBook Pro launch in 2012.

Apple’s next major Mac revealed: the radically new 12-inch MacBook Air | 9to5Mac

As rendered on 9to5Mac, this new MacBook Air would sport just two ports, a headphone jack and USB Type-C port. No SD, no Thunderbolt, no MagSafe even, you know, because we all hate how thick the current MacBook Air is.

Apple Pay

The list of card issuers and supported banks continues to grow for Apple's fledgling payment system which makes the lack of supported retailers in your small town all the more annoying (I swear I'm not projecting here).

68%

The percentage of users now using iOS 8.

Market Share

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are making an impact in the latest global market share numbers (and this is pre-holiday):

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months ending November 2014, shows that the impact of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch continued in the run up to Christmas with iOS growing its market share in all surveyed countries except for Japan where performance in 2013 had been boosted by the addition of NTT DoCoMo as a carrier partner. “While remaining the dominant global OS, Android’s market share dropped in most European markets and in the US where the decline was the first since September 2013”, said Carolina Milanesi, Chief of Research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “A decline in Android market share does not necessarily translate into bad news for all the ecosystem’s players. The choice of brands and devices within the ecosystem empowers consumers to drive different fortunes for the players in it”, added Milanesi. In the three months ending November, Samsung particularly felt the pressure and saw its market share decline across Europe and in the US.

Apple market share grows across Europe, US and China | Kantar Worldpanel

Monster sues Beats

Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine started “Beats by Dr. Dre” in 2006 and introduced the first headphones in 2008 together with Monster. Three years later, just months before the partnership was set to expire, Beats used a sham transaction to abscond with Monster’s technology underlying the headphones, as well as its distribution chain, according to a complaint filed today in state court in Redwood City, California.

The lawsuit was filed by Noel Lee, manager of Monster, who started by experimenting with construction and materials of cables to improve audio sound quality. Lee worked closely to build “Beats by Dr. Dre” and Beats orchestrated a fraudulent “change of control” after HTC Corp. (2498) took a 51 percent stake in the company, according to the complaint, which also names HTC as a defendant. After severing ties with Monster, Beats sold the brand to Apple, Lee said.

Apple’s Beats Called Technology Pirate in Monster Lawsuit | Bloomberg

Beats headphones using Monster "technology” finally explains why they're 3x more expensive than they should be.