As Apple finally enters the on-demand music streaming market, established services are making double- and triple-digit gains in users, according to a study by Nielsen. In the last year, the fastest grower was Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio, which more than doubled its users, Nielsen said. Spotify, which launched in the U.S. in 2011, had the second-fastest growth, with a 91% user increase since April 2012.
Slacker Radio’s user base grew 84%, while Pandora’s rose 71%.
Clear Channel said in May that iHeartRadio has surpassed 30 million registered users, compared with Pandora’s 200 million registered users and 70 million active users.
Full article iHeartRadio, Spotify lead user growth as Apple unveils streaming – latimes.com.
(MacRumors) – According to a new report from Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun [Google Translation] (via AppleInsider) Sharp, one of Apple’s primary display partners, will begin manufacturing LCD panels for the iPhone 5S beginning in June at its Kameyama Plant No. 1 in Japan.
The site notes that Apple also sent orders to both Japan Display and LG Display, with mass production already under way, which confirms a report last month from The Wall Street Journal that suggested iPhone 5S production would begin in the second quarter.
Earlier this year it was believed that production of the iPhone 5S would ramp up in March to facilitate a summer release, but Apple has faced production challenges as detailed by reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in April.
According to Kuo, the work on the fingerprint sensor that is rumored to be included with the iPhone 5S has caused delays, resulting in a later-than-expected launch date.
While Kuo did not offer a specific fall release date for the iPhone 5S, he did outline three different scenarios involving a launch between September and November. Apple CEO Tim Cook also hinted at an autumn release for the iPhone 5S during Apple’s second quarter financial results call, stating that the company has a number of surprises coming during the fall and beyond.
Apple’s iPhone 5S is rumored to have the same design as the current iPhone 5 with a number of improvements including the aforementioned fingerprint sensor and a better camera.
via Sharp Slated to Begin iPhone 5S Display Production in June – Mac Rumors.
- long over due
(MacRumors) – AllThingsD reports that Google’s highly anticipated iOS Maps app is set to be released later tonight.
When Apple stopped using Google Maps in September with iOS 6, rumors immediately began that the search engine giant would release its own Maps app into the App Store. Since then, unhappy iOS users have been waiting patiently for the app, which didn’t seem like it was going to materialize, until tonight.
Google Maps for iOS will likely be a huge hit with iPhone users that have been plagued with problems using Apple’s built-in mapping solution. Apple has received significant criticism over its mapping app, most recently when motorists in Australia became lost because of a misplaced waypoint.
There’s no word on when the app will hit the App Store, but if it is in line with other releases, expect to see it around 11pm Eastern.
via Google to Release iOS Maps App Tonight – Mac Rumors.
- easy come easy go
(MacRumors) – Back in September, the Swiss Federal Railways accused Apple of copying its iconic clock design for the new Clock app for iPad included as part of iOS 6. Several weeks later, the agency announced that the dispute had been settled with Apple signing a licensing agreement for the design, although terms of the agreement were not announced.
Tages-Anzeiger now reports [Google translation] that the licensing agreement resulted in Apple making a payment of approximately 20 million Swiss francs ($21 million) to the agency. The report indicates that amount has been leaked by several sources, but the Swiss Federal Railways and Apple have refused to comment on the situation.
The report also suggests that the licensing agreement may not provide any compensation to watchmaker Mondaine, which has been the sole consumer-focused licensee of the design. Mondaine is reportedly happy that Apple has provided increased visibility for the clock design, but remains in discussions with the Swiss Federal Railways over the issue in order to ensure that it is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
via Apple Reportedly Paid $21 Million for Rights to Swiss Railways Clock Design – Mac Rumors.