Deals: Apple’s premium 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for $1,799 ($400 off); $130 off 512GB 10.5″ iPad Pro w/ LTE; iMac for $999

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Today only, save $ 400 on an upgraded Late 2016 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2.9GHz, 16GB, 512GB) at Woot on Amazon. Apple’s 512GB 10.5" iPad Pro with cellular capability is also $ 130 off, while 2017 iMac HDs are $ 100 off with no tax in most states.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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Deals: Apple’s 12″ MacBook from $1,099; $200 off premium 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro; 27″ iMac 5K for $1,688

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

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Monday morning deals have arrived with triple digit discounts on current MacBooks, MacBook Pros and iMacs. Prices start at $ 1,099 for the 12" models (up to $ 380 off), while an upgraded 13" Touch Bar MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is $ 1,999 after a $ 200 cash discount. Many models also qualify for no interest financing.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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Spotify cracks down on free users that steal Premium service

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Spotify may have 159 million active users, but only 71 million of those are paid subscribers. It makes sense that the company would want to maximize the number of paying customers, especially in light of the company's recent moves to go public. Now,…
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Apple reportedly making premium over-ear, noise-canceling headphones

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In a move that some might call unsurprising, Apple is reportedly planning to add a premium pair of over-ear, noise-canceling headphones to its audio lineup. But development struggles may delay their appearance from this year to next year. The report from Bloomberg corroborates and expands upon an earlier claim by reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

According to the Bloomberg report, Apple intends the new headphones to compete with Bose’s popular noise-canceling QuietComfort headphones, as well as its own Beats Studio models. Development “has been on and off over the past year,” similar to the HomePod, which went through multiple redesigns before release. As a result, Apple could redesign the headphones again or scrap them, the report claims.

It’s not immediately obvious why developing a new pair of over-ear headphones would be challenging for Apple. Having acquired Beats Electronics nearly four years ago, the company already offers the popular Beats Studio Wireless over-ear headphones, which have been updated under Apple’s watch with charging and wireless improvements. One might gather that Apple is undertaking a considerable rethinking of Beats Studio, which has faced some criticism for a bass-heavy skew and mediocre audio performance for the price — though both comments were also made in reviews of Apple’s just-released HomePod speaker.

The challenge could be cosmetic. Kuo’s report claimed that the headphones would have an “all-new design,” which Apple might endeavor to make as iconic as its earphones. There could also be issues integrating new sonic components.

Bloomberg suggests that Apple hopes to target the high end of the headphone market, including seamless wireless pairing similar to the AirPods earphones, plus noise-canceling features. The AirPods have been an unexpected hit, aiding growth of Apple’s Other Products category and reportedly spurring Apple to develop annual sequels with iterative improvements. Bloomberg speculates that pricing for the new model will be in the same range as the $ 350 Beats and Bose models, though Sennheiser offers models as high as $ 500.

Apple – VentureBeat

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Spotify takes down Spotify Dogfood, an app designed to get premium features for free

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Back in July of last year, linuxct on XDA released ‘Spotify Dogfood,’ a set of patches to the Spotify APK that removes ads from the free Spotify subscription. The app previously offered more premium functionality, but other functionality was removed about a month ago. It was fairly popular for a while, but Spotify caught wind of the project, and has just taken down the GitHub repository and download links with DMCA claims.

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Spotify takes down Spotify Dogfood, an app designed to get premium features for free was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Spotify files to go public with 159 million active users, 71 million premium subscribers

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Popular music streaming service and Apple Music competitor Spotify announced plans to go public on Wednesday, though the company has already been trading on private markets at an estimated valuation of $ 23 billion.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Spotify Officially Files for IPO With 71 Million Premium Subscribers and 146 Million Monthly Active Users

Spotify today filed to go public and plans to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the name SPOT, reports CNBC. Shares of the company have privately traded as high as $132.50, giving the company a valuation of ~$23 billion based on ordinary shares traded in private transactions.

According to Spotify’s filing with the SEC, the streaming music service boasts 159 million monthly active users and 71 million premium subscribers as of December 31, 2017, which Spotify claims is “nearly double the scale” of its closest competitor, Apple Music.

As of the last update at the beginning of February, Apple Music boasted 36 million paying subscribers.

Spotify says its number of premium subscribers has grown 46 percent year over year, and its monthly active users has grown 29 percent year over year. The company earned $2.37 billion in 2015, $3.6 billion in 2016, and $4.99 billion in 2017, but posted a loss of $1.5 billion in 2017.

Spotify also says it is able to draw consumers because it provides “unique data” for a differentiated and personalized experience.

Many music services have large catalogs, but we believe Spotify is differentiated from other services because we provide Users with a more personalized experience, driven by powerful music search and discovery engines. We have a large and growing base of Users that are highly engaged on Spotify, which enables us to continuously learn about their listening behaviors throughout the day.

We use this information to create a more personalized and engaging experience for each incremental visit to our platform. We believe this personalized experience is a key competitive advantage as Users are more likely to engage with a platform that reflects their real-time moods and activities and captures a unique understanding of moments in their lives.

Going forward, Spotify plans to grow its business by heavily investing in research and development, further penetrating into existing markets, entering new geographies, continuing to invest in its advertising business, and expanding non-music content.

Spotify is going public through a direct listing, which means the company did not hire an underwriter and thus there is no set opening price for Spotify shares.

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BlackBerry Ghost leaks out as premium, bezel-free Android phone

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It looks like another BlackBerry device is on the way.

A new image of a device codenamed the BlackBerry “Ghost” has leaked out. According to Evan Blass, this device is a “bezel-less, premium Android handset”. The phone will allegedly be made by Optiemus Infracom, a company that licenses BlackBerry’s software and brand, and will be sold in India.

This BlackBerry “Ghost” looks to the latest full-touch BlackBerry-branded Android phone, following devices like the BlackBerry Motion and BlackBerry Aurora. Little is known about its specs, but the fact that Blass describes it as “premium” suggests that it could be a higher-end phone.

Would you be interested in a premium, full-touch BlackBerry phone with Android? – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

BlackBerry Ghost, a bezel-less premium Android phone, headed to India

BlackBerry is working on a new premium Android smartphone called Ghost, which will be coming to India soon, according to a tweet by Evan Blass (evleaks). BlackBerry Ghost The device is touted to be “bezel-less”, although we are not sure if that means it will have no bezels like the iPhone X or something more similar to other recent Android phones. We also don’t know anything else about this device, except that it will be a “premium” device and most definitely will be in black. What we know is that it will be designed and manufactured by Optiemus Infracom, one of the three… – Latest articles

Top insider reveals Apple may release its own premium over-ear headphones later this year

Apple Headphones

When you think about high-end audio products, Apple isn’t exactly a company that springs to mind. And with good reason, sound quality on Apple products has always been serviceable but never good enough to engender interest among true audiophiles.

Apple, though, seems poised on changing that. Most recently, Apple released the HomePod, a smart speaker that has been widely praised for delivering incredible sound quality, even garnering accolades from audiophiles who tend to spend hundreds if not thousands on high-end audio equipment. And now comes word via reputed analyst Ming Chi-Kuo that Apple is developing a pair of high-end headphones that may hit store shelves as early as this year. What’s more, the headphones will reportedly be Apple-branded and will not fall under the Beats umbrella.

Originally posted by MacRumors, Kuo relays that Apple’s new headphones will feature an over-the-ear design and will be pricier than Apple’s AirPods.

Kuo’s note reads in part:

Apple to have own-brand, high-end over-ear headphones with all-new design; to be as convenient as AirPods with better sound quality; shipments to begin 4Q18F at earliest…

We believe that after AirPods and HomePod, Apple’s next addition will be high-end over-ear headphones, making its acoustic accessory lineup more complete.

While there’s no telling what type of design Apple is working on, it will be interesting to see what Apple has in store given the audio quality Apple delivered with the HomePod and the wireless features it introduced on the AirPods. While Apple would ideally like to get these rumored headphones out before the busy 2018 holiday shopping season, it’s worth noting that Apple’s two previous audio products — the aforementioned HomePod and AirPods — were both subject to significant delays.

Apple – BGR