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Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, MacBook Air, iMac, Apple Accessories, and More
The Christmas holiday is less than a week away, and while deals have tapered off a bit this week, there are still a few discounts to be had on the iMac, MacBook Air,
Mac Pro, Retina MacBook Pro, and older iPads. There's also one last deal on the iPad Air 2 that drops the price quite a bit.

We've also got discounts on some great potential gifts, including personalized iPhone cases from Casetify, wireless headphones from Jaybird, the popular Pencil stylus from FiftyThree, and more in this week's Buyer's Guide deals post.

iPad Air 2


If you're in need of an iPad Air 2 and didn't take advantage of the deals offered around Black Friday, there's one last discount available this week. Target is offering 15 percent off the iPad Air 2 in all colors and capacities through its Cartwheel app.

ipadair2c
That drops the price of the entry-level Wi-Fi only model to $424, down from $499. The discount will only be available on Friday and Saturday, and only in Target stores.

iPhone


Walmart is continuing its $50 off deal on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, dropping the price of the 16GB iPhone 6 to $129, down from the previous $179 price tag, and it's also offering the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus for $229, down from $279. The iPhone 5s is on sale at Walmart as well, now available for $49 instead of $79.

iphone6-stock-photo
A two-year contract is required to get the discounted price, and Walmart also offers a trade-in program to drop the pricing even lower. Deals are available in-store only and will last through February.

Retina MacBook Pro


MacMall is selling the 2013 2.6GHz/16GB/1TB Retina MacBook Pro priced at $2,599.99, down from the regular price of $3,199, a $600 discount. Several 2014 Retina MacBook Pro models are also discounted at various retailers, as seen below:

macbook_pro_13_15_late_2013
- 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB (B&H Photo) - $1,349, $100 off
- 13-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) - $1,599, $200 off
- 15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB (B&H Photo) - $1,699, $200 off
- 15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (B&H Photo) - $2,199, $300 off

Mac Pro


- 4-core 3.7GHz/12GB/256GB (B&H Photo) - $2,599, $400 off
- 6-core 3.5GHz/16GB/256GB (B&H Photo) (Adorama) - $3,499, $500 off

iMac


- 21.5-inch 2.9GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1349, $150 off
- 27-inch 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,629.99, $170 off
- 27-inch 2.4GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H) - $1,799.99, $200 off
- 27-inch Retina 3.5GHz/8GB/1TB (B&H Photo) - $2,299, $200 off

retina-imac-27

MacBook Air


- 11.6-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $799, $100 off
- 11.6-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Best Buy) - $899, $200 off
- 13.3-inch 1.4Ghz/4GB/128GB (B&H Photo) - $899, $100 off

macbook_air_yosemite_roundup

Original iPad Air


Best Buy is offering discounts of $50 (Wi-Fi) to $100 (Cellular) offall of its original iPad Air stock, dropping the price of the 16GB entry-level Wi-Fi only model to $349.99 and the 16GB entry-level Cellular model to $379.99.

iPad mini 2


Best Buy is also offering discounts of $50 off all Wi-Fi iPad mini 2 models and $100 off all Cellular models. The iPad mini 2 can be a particularly good deal compared to the iPad mini 3, as the only difference is Touch ID.

retina_ipad_mini_colors_front_back
With the discount, the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini 2 is available for $249.99 and the entry-level 16GB Cellular model is available for $279.99.

Apple Accessories


Casetify is offering a 20 percent discounton all of its products, plus free shipping with the code CHEERS20. The site specializes in custom cases for the iPhone, which make great gifts, and it also sells a range of iPhone gadgets. The deal will last through 12/25.

casetify
For those of you with an older iPhone, Groupon is selling Star Wars cases for the iPhone 4/4s/5/5s for $7.99, down from $19.99. A refurbished Jawbone Mini Jambox speaker can be purchased from Groupon for $59.99, a savings of $59, and the site is also offering the Jawbone UP for $59.99, a $70 savings.

starwars
A refurbished 4,000mAh Mophie portable battery charger is available from Groupon for $29.99, down from $79.95. Beats by Dre Pro Over-Ear headphones are available for $299 from Groupon, down from $399. StackSocial is selling the Rocketcases Afterburner iPhone 6/6 Plus battery case (non-MFi Certified) for $40/$46, a savings of 33 percent.

batterycase
The now-discontinued Beats Beatbox Portable Speaker can be purchased for $249.99 from Best Buy, a savings of $150. Garmin's Heads-Up Plus Display Navigation System can be purchased for $74.99 from Groupon, a savings of $86.

beatsspeaker
Amazon is selling the Jawbone UP24 for $70, $20 off the standard price. The site is also offering the Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for $10 off, dropping the price to $39.95 for the graphite model and $49.95 for the walnut version.

pencil
Jaybird is offering 25 percent offits entire stock of wireless headphones with the code JBHOLIDAYS, and throwing in complimentary 2 day shipping that guarantees delivery in time for Christmas. This deal is good today only.

jaybird
MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.


CalDigit's Thunderbolt Station 2 Launches in January With $170 Pre-Order Pricing
CalDigit today announced that the follow-up to its popular original Thunderbolt Station, the Thunderbolt Station 2, is now available for pre-order with an expected ship date of January 26, 2015.

The new dock will retail for $199.99, but CalDigit is offering a limited pre-order price of $169.99 that runs all the way up to the day before release, January 25. The new station keeps the same functionality of connecting multiple devices with one Thunderbolt cable, but updates it with new Thunderbolt 2 and dual eSATA 6G ports. The Thunderbolt Station 2 also allows users a vertical orientation option the original lacked.

Thunderbolt Station
The Thunderbolt Station 2 also comes with HDMI, three USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, audio in/out ports, the ability to connect high-resolution 4K displays to its HDMI port, and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.
The Thunderbolt™ Station 2 allows users to connect all their devices through a single Thunderbolt™ cable. Featuring dual Thunderbolt™ 2 ports for integrating a 4K workflow, the Thunderbolt™ Station 2 allows users to connect a high-resolution 4K monitor to the HDMI port. This is ideal for professional users who need to connect modern 4K displays to their computers.

“The power of Thunderbolt™ 2 allows the Thunderbolt™ Station 2 to be the central hub of modern 4K workflows. Not only can users connect a 4K monitor, they can also daisy-chain 4K capable devices such as Thunderbolt™ storage for the ultimate 4K workflows”, said Kosta Panagos, Director of Marketing at CalDigit.
The release of the Thunderbolt Station 2 sees CalDigit joining several other dock manufacturers such as Elgato and OWC who have recently caught up to the Thunderbolt 2 standard ports, which were introduced on Macs beginning late last year.

The Thunderbolt Station 2 can be pre-ordered from the CalDigit official website for $169.99 until January 25, 2015, after which it will retail for $199.99.


'Watch ABC' Apple TV App Updated with Full Episodes for All Users
watchabcABC has updated its Watch ABC Apple TV app to allow all Apple TV users to watch full episodes of ABC shows a week after they air without having to verify their TV provider. Previously, users had to sign in via their TV provider to watch any full episodes.
All Apple TV viewers can now access full episodes a week after they air. Like WATCH ABC for mobile devices and desktop, viewers can now watch such shows as ScandalHow to Get Away With MurderModern Familyblack-ishOnce Upon A Time and Castle, among others, a week after they air.  Sign in is required for ABC's live network feed and its most current episodes
However, users are only allowed to watch the five TV show episodes prior to the most current one. Users who sign in to the app with their TV provider gain the ability to watch full episodes of the last five episodes of any TV show the day after they air and live TV.

The app was also updated with a brand new look and a continuous play mode that automatically starts the next episode for the viewer, similar to the system Netflix uses in its apps.


Djay for Mac Goes Pro With Spotify Integration, Revamped Interface, and More Powerful Features
Algoriddim has long been known for its popular DJ app djay, which began life on the Mac before moving to the iPad, iPhone and most recently Android, with the various versions winning a number of awards and contributing to making djay the world's best-selling DJ app with over 15 million downloads.

With djay having proven popular among both amateur and professional DJs, users have been asking for more from the software, and Algoriddim is delivering that today with the release of djay Pro for Mac. Going well beyond the previous version of djay for Mac, djay Pro takes advantage of Apple's latest hardware and software improvements to support 64-bit processing, 60 frames-per-second graphics rendering, up to four decks, seamless integration with dozens of MIDI controllers, and a variety of audio effects.


On the library side, djay Pro offers an all-new music library with inline search, instant preview, and song recommendations powered by The Echo Nest, as well as easy integration of iTunes libraries and, for the first time on desktop, Spotify playlists. Users can easily drag and drop tracks from iTunes and Spotify libraries, not only from within djay Pro but also from iTunes and Spotify Mac apps.

djay_pro_turntables
Turntable view

In our testing, djay Pro performed extremely well, with high-quality turntable and waveform graphics making for a pleasing user experience. And while djay Pro adds a number of new effects and other tools compared to the previous version, the app's thoughtful and intuitive layout makes it easy both for experts to dive right in and for beginners to keep things simple at first before growing into djay Pro's full capabilities.

A customizable layout allows users to choose from several modes dividing the app window between music library/queueing and the turntables or waveforms, and the library portion of the window can be easily toggled between light and dark views to match user preference for various environments. Users of both Mac and iOS versions of djay will also find their cue points, beat grid edits, meta data synced between the apps via iCloud.

djay_pro_waveforms
Horizontal waveform view with four decks

All of the new features included in djay Pro do come at a price, however, with Algoriddim electing to offer the new app at an introductory price of $49.99 and an eventual regular price of $79.99, a significant increase over the $19.99 standard pricing of the previous version. But with djay Pro aimed in large part at serious DJs looking for the most powerful tools for Mac, Algoriddim believes djay Pro still offers a very solid value compared to traditional DJ setups.

The base package includes a set of five "Essentials" audio effects such as Echo and Flanger, and a one-time $9.99 in-app purchase adds 34 more effects from Sugar Bytes for use across all of the user's Mac and iOS versions of djay.

djay Pro is launching today via the Mac App Store [Direct Link] and replaces the original version of djay for Mac, which will no longer be available. djay Pro requires a minimum of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and a Spotify Premium subscription is required to access the Spotify catalog from within the app. A free seven-day trial of Spotify Premium is available for djay Pro users to test out the service and integration.


Apple Seeds Safari 8.0.3, 7.1.3, and 6.2.3 to Developers
safariiconApple today seeded a new Safari 8.0.3 beta for developers running OS X Yosemite, along with a Safari 7.1.3 beta for Mavericks and a Safari 6.2.3 beta for Mountain Lion.

Registered Mac developers can download the new Safari builds through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store or through the Mac Dev Center. In the release notes for the new betas, Apple asks developers to focus on features like Extensions, Password AutoFill, HTML5 video playback, notifications, and more.
Focus Areas
Please focus testing on the following areas:

- General website compatibility
- Extension compatibility
- Password AutoFill
- HTML5 video playback on popular video sites
- Using the Web Inspector to debug websites
- Reading List read/unread state
- Editing bookmarks in the Favorites Bar and Bookmarks Sidebar
- Website notifications
In addition to the forthcoming Safari update, Apple is also working on another general OS X Yosemite update, OS X 10.10.2, which saw its second beta seeded to developers last Friday.


Gene Munster Still Believes in the Apple Television Set, Thinks 2016 Launch Likely
After numerous failed attempts at predicting Apple's first foray into television sets, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has not yet given up hope that the company will deliver. During an interview at Business Insider's 2014 Ignition Conference earlier this month, Munster made yet another prediction on the rumored Apple technology, citing a two-year wait for Apple's own television set.

Munster regarded this year's prediction as an "annual penance" for being consistently incorrect in guessing the release date for Apple's rumored television set. Instead of the usual one-year prediction Munster has been throwing out the past few years, the analyst looked into the past to further support his two-year suggestion for Apple's next big product.

Screenshot (38)
"Apple takes a long time in-between products. If we look back over the last decade, it's 3-6 years between major products. And so, ultimately the Watch is what hit this year, they're gonna refine that next year along with payments. And then that probably gets us into 2016 as more of a time frame for the actual television."
Though it may seem a bit behind the game for Apple to launch a television set when connected TVs are already becoming ubiquitous and prices continue to decline, Munster looks at the lack of innovation and the true potential of Apple entering the market as significant positives for the company.

"So far the connected TV market really hasn't done much, they sell a lot of units but people don't really use the connected TV part unless they're accessing Netflix. So the concept of what the opportunity can really hold around connected TVs hasn't even been tapped, so they haven't missed out on anything."
Business Insider went on to ask Munster about the potential market gains Apple would see if they entered into the television set space. Munster addressed the current plateauing market of around 220 million TVs sold every year, hypothesizing that if Apple captured 10 percent of that market (Apple currently has 20 percent of the smartphone market) it could possibly sell around 22 million TV sets per year. Munster thinks that that market size is "big enough that it could be a 5 or 10 percent addition to the overall size of Apple."

Finally, Munster addressed the price of the possible Apple TV set, thinking it could run around $1,500, or "about double a comparable sized TV." Rumors began swirling around an Apple TV set a few years ago, particularly after Steve Jobs himself hinted at a breakthrough in his authorized biography published shortly after his death in late 2011. Rumors have been mostly quiet in recent months, however, as attention has turned away from a TV set or even a revamped set-top box and toward the imminent launch of the Apple Watch.


BBC One Documentary to Profile Working Conditions in Apple's Supply Chain
BBC One later this week is airing a documentary, Apple's Broken Promises, that profiles factory conditions for overseas workers who are producing components and assembling the company's iPhone 6. Richard Bilton and his team at current affairs program Panorama went undercover to examine Chinese factory life and mining conditions in Indonesia.

apples-broken-promises-bbc-one
Apple is the most valuable brand on the planet, making products that everyone wants - but how are its workers treated when the world isn't looking? Panorama goes undercover in China to show what life is like for the workers making the iPhone 6. And it's not just the factories. Reporter Richard Bilton travels to Indonesia to find children working in some of the most dangerous mines in the world. But is the tin they dig out by hand finding its way into Apple's products?
The hour-long documentary is slated to air on BBC One at 9:00 PM UK time on December 18. It will be available online for UK viewers shortly after the documentary airs later this week, and may at some point air globally on BBC World News.

This isn't the first time Apple's supply chain factories have been profiled by a major media outlet. ABC's Nightline visited Foxconn's factories in 2012 with the permission of Apple, which provided an inside look at its iPad and iPhone production line. The report documented the long shifts and low wages paid to the workers but also pointed out that Apple was being responsive to concerns that its workers were being treated unfairly.

The Nightline profile was a response to an earlier and overwhelmingly negative report by The New York Times that uncovered the poor working conditions at Apple's Chinese supplier facilities.


Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina MacBook Pro, iPhones, iPad Air 2, Apple Accessories, and More
With the December holidays approaching, retailers are beginning to offer significant discounts off of their products in an attempt to lure shoppers into stores. Walmart has kicked off an ongoing discount on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and MacMall is selling a high-end Retina MacBook Pro for an ultra low price.

We've also got deals on the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, and discounts on several Apple accessories in this week's Buyer's Guide deals post.

iPhone


Walmart kicked off some new $50 off deals on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus today, which will last through February. A two-year contract is required to get the discounted price, and Walmart also offers a trade-in program to drop the pricing even lower. Deals are available in-store only.

Walmart is selling the 16GB iPhone 6 for $129, down from the previous $179 price tag, and it's also offering the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus for $229, down from $279.

iphone_6_plus_6_side_by
The iPhone 5s is on sale at Walmart as well, now available for $49 instead of $79.

Retina MacBook Pro


MacMall is taking pre-orders for the 2013 2.6GHz/16GB/1TB Retina MacBook Pro priced at $2,599.99, down from the regular price of $3,199, a $600 discount. Several 2014 Retina MacBook Pro models are also discounted at various retailers, as seen below:

- 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,399, $100 off
- 13-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) - $1,599, $200 off
- 15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,699, $200 off
- 15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $2,199, $300 off

macbook_pro_13_15_late_2013

Mac Pro


- 6-core 3.5GHz/16GB/256GB (B&H) (Adorama) - $3,499, $500 off

iMac


- 21.5-inch 2.9GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) - $1349, $150 off
- 27-inch 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H) - $1,649.99, $150 off
- 27-inch 2.4GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H) - $1,799.99, $200 off

imac_yosemite_roundup_header

MacBook Air


- 11.6-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $799, $100 off
- 11.6-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (B&H Photo) (Adorama) - $999, $100 off
- 13.3-inch 1.4Ghz/4GB/128GB (Best Buy) - $899, $100 off

macbook_air_yosemite_roundup

iPad Air 2


Best Buy is offering $50 off its entire selection of iPad Air 2 models, including both Wi-Fi and Cellular in all colors and capacities. The prices aren't quite as good as the deals the company offered on Black Friday, but the pricing is better than Apple's.

ipadair2c
With the price drop, the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 is available for $449.99 instead of $499, and the entry-level cellular model is available for $579.99 instead of $629.

iPad mini 3


Best Buy is also offering $50 to $100 off its entire stock of iPad mini 3 models, offering deals that are nearly as good as the discounts the retailer offered on Black Friday.

ipadmini3
The entry-level Wi-Fi only 16GB iPad mini 3 is available for $349.99 instead of $399, and the deals are even better on the higher-capacity models. The 128GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini 3, for example, is available for $499 instead of $599.

Original iPad Air


Best Buy is offering modest discounts of $30 to $60 off some remaining higher-capacity original iPad Air models, dropping the prices below similar iPad Air 2 models.

- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (AT&T) - $597.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) - $597.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) - $597.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) - $566.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) - $787.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) - $787.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) - $787.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) - $787.99

iPad mini 2


Best Buy is also offering discounts of $30 to $60 off some remaining higher-capacity iPad mini 2 models, dropping the prices below similar iPad mini 3 models. The iPad mini 2 can be a particularly good deal compared to the iPad mini 3, as the only difference is Touch ID.

- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Silver 64GB - $395.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Space Gray 64GB - $395.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Silver 128GB - $494.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Space Gray 128GB - $494.99

- iPad mini 2 Cellular AT&T Silver 64GB - $476.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular AT&T Space Gray 64GB - $502.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Silver 64GB - $476.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Space Gray 64GB - $502.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular AT&T Space Gray 128GB - $629.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Silver 128GB - $629.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Space Gray 128GB - $597.99

Apple Accessories


PayPal Digital Gifts on eBay is selling a $100 iTunes card for $80 for a limited time.

itunesgiftcards
The Spigen iPhone 6 CS Slim Armor Bundle is available for $34.99 (down from $85) from StackSocial. A refurbished 4,000mAh Mophie portable battery charger is available from groupon for $29.99, down from $79.95.

spigen
Best Buy is selling the Pebble Smart Watch for $79.99, $20 off its standard $99 price. Best Buy is also selling the AirPlay iHome Speaker System for $99.99, $200 off its regular $299 price. Select Beats headphones purchases at Best Buy totaling $398 or more are eligible for a $50 Best Buy gift card.

ihomespeaker
Beats by Dre Pro Over-Ear headphones are available for $299 from Groupon, down from $399. Groupon is also selling Printerpix custom cases for iPhone 5s/6/6 Plus for $7.99, down from the $19.99 to $29.99 regular price.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.



Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C81f to Developers
Apple today seeded the third beta of OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite to developers, just over two weeks after seeing the second 10.10.2 beta and over a month after releasing OS X 10.10.1 to the public.

The new beta, build 14C81f, is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store and through the Mac Dev Center.

14c81f
Like OS X 10.10.1, as a minor update, OS X 10.10.2 is likely to bring bug fixes and performance improvements to the operating system. OS X 10.10.1 introduced several reliability enhancements, including improvements to Wi-Fi, but many users have still been reporting issues with Wi-Fi stability in Yosemite.

In the release notes for the third 10.10.2 beta, Apple asks developers to focus on Wi-Fi, indicating the update may fix some of the lingering Wi-Fi problems. Apple also asks developers to focus on Mail and VoiceOver.


Working Apple-1 Computer Sold by Steve Jobs Fetches $365,000 at Auction
A rare fully functional Apple-1 Personal Computer sold for $365,000 at an auction in New York today, reports Reuters. The computer, which Steve Jobs originally sold out of his parents' garage in 1976 for $600, was expected to sell for much more, with initial estimates placing its value at $400,000 to $600,000.

In 1999, the machine auctioned off today was purchased by Bruce Waldack, an entrepreneur who had funds after selling his company, DigitalNation. Following his death in 2007, the Apple-1 went on to be auctioned at a storage facility in Virginia, where Robert Luther purchased it, along with the original buyer's canceled check from 1976.

ricketts_apple_1
The Apple-1 was sold alongside that canceled check, which was made out to Apple Computer from Charles Ricketts, who labeled it "Purchased July 1976 from Steve Jobs in his parents' garage in Los Altos." A second accompanying check for $193 was labeled "Software NA Programmed by Steve Jobs August 1976."

An expert tested the Apple-1 to ensure that it was fully operational and able to run the standard original software program, Microsoft BASIC, along with an original Apple-1 Star Trek game.

Other working Apple-1 computers have sold for far more in the past. Recently, the Henry Ford Museum paid $905,000 for an original Apple-1, and in 2013, an auction that included a working Apple-1 and a letter written by Steve Jobs went for $671,400. Less than 50 Apple-1 computers are believed to be in existence today, of the few hundred that were originally constructed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.


OWC Announces First 1TB and 2TB SSD Upgrades for 2013 Mac Pro
Other World Computing (OWC) today announced new 1TB and 2TB Aura SSD upgrades designed for the Mac Pro, offering Mac Pro owners a way to upgrade the storage in their machines without needing to purchase upgrades directly from Apple.

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Apple's 1TB upgrade option costs $800 over the base 256GB SSD option, and while OWC's 1TB upgrade option is priced slightly higher at $899, it gives users an option to convert their existing SSD into an external USB 3.0 drive.

Apple offers a maximum of 1TB of storage, so OWC's 2TB solution, priced at $1,479, is a good solution for users who are looking for additional storage for their Mac Pros. The 2TB option also comes with a kit for converting an existing SSD into an external USB 3.0 drive.

The kits, which are available for pre-order, come equipped with the tools needed for a do-it-yourself storage upgrade, a step-by-step installation video, and tech support provided by OWC. The kits are expected to ship in two to three weeks.


Average Mac User Faced Nine Malware Threats Last Year, but OS X Remains Minor Target
Apple's OS X faced an increasing number of malicious attacks in the past year with antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab noting roughly 3.7 million infection attempts blocked by its software, the firm reports in its 2014 Security Bulletin (via The Telegraph). The annual report quantifies malicious activity by analyzing attacks blocked by Kaspersky's anti-malware products.

According to the 2014 report, the average Mac user faced nine threats in the past year. The study tracked nearly 1500 new malware programs targeting OS X over the past year, 200 more than in the previous year. More than half of the detected malicious threats were AdWare modules that add links to default browser bookmark lists, change the default browser search engine, and insert advertising links in order to generate ad revenue.

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Other more serious but less prevalent threats include a Trojan keylogger, a screenshot capture program, and the Wirelurker malware that attempts to steal data from iOS devices connected to a Mac. Though increasing, the number of malicious programs on OS X is lower than what is recorded on competing platforms such as Windows. Overall, Kaspersky Lab says its software blocked over six billion malware installation attempts over the past year, meaning that OS X remains a tiny fraction of devices being targeted.

As an antivirus vendor, Kaspersky Lab naturally has a vested interest in convincing customers to adopt its products, but it also puts the company in a good position to monitor threats and collect data from those using its tools.


LastPass Debuts 'Auto-Password Change' Feature for Easy Password Changes
Following in the footsteps of Dashlane, popular password management app LastPass has also debuted a new "Auto-Password Change" feature that is designed to let users enable a setting for automatic password changes.

Introduced last week to the company's Pre-Build Team, the new Auto-Password Change in LastPass is now available for all beta users in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox at no charge.

According to LastPass, Auto-Password Change has been developed to help its users initiate frequent password changes following major security incidents like Heartbleed, an OpenSSL vulnerability that left hundreds of thousands of machines open to malcious attacks.

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We're excited to announce that the Auto-Password Change feature we released to our Pre-Build Team last week is now available for all users in beta. LastPass can now change passwords for you, automatically. We're releasing this feature for free to all our users, on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox (starting with version 3.1.70).

Maintaining your privacy and security is our top priority. That's why we're doing this differently. We've implemented this feature to make password changes locally on your machine, ensuring we stay true to our mission and never have access to your data. All of your sensitive information is encrypted on your computer before syncing, and your encryption key is never shared with LastPass.
Auto-Password Change supports 75 popular websites, like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest, and Dropbox. In LastPass, users can turn on the feature by clicking "Edit" for a supported site and then clicking on "Change Password Automatically."

After choosing the password update option, LastPass will open a new tab, log into the site and create a new password, updating the information both on the site and within LastPass.

Earlier today, competing password management app Dashlane unveiled a similar "Password Changer" feature, which also allows users to implement easy password changes. Dashlane's new password changing functionality is somewhat more comprehensive than LastPass's password-by-password solution, as it can allow users to change all of their passwords with a single click.

LastPass is available for free on iOS and Mac with ads, but a $12 per year subscription gets rid of the ads, adds priority tech support, and multi-factor authentication. The browser extension can be downloaded from the LastPass website while the iOS app can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]


Jeff Daniels in Talks to Play Former Apple CEO John Sculley in Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs Movie
Following a few weeks of turmoil that saw Sony passing on Aaron Sorkin's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic and Universal quickly picking it up, The Wrap reports Jeff Daniels is being eyed to play former Apple CEO John Sculley in the film.

The Wrap claims "multiple individuals familiar with the Universal project" have said Daniels is being eyed for the Danny Boyle-directed movie, and "while Daniels does not have an official offer yet, one is expected to materialize soon, as he's considered Boyle's top choice for the key supporting role."

If it comes to fruition, it would be a reunion of sorts for Daniels and scribe Aaron Sorkin, both wrapping up The Newsroom's final season airing now on HBO.

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Image via The Wrap

Previously it was announced, following Christian Bale dropping out of the film, that Michael Fassbender is confirmed to star as Steve Jobs in the film alongside Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak.

Though Natalie Portman was previously close to supposedly being cast in the film, she recently passed on the project.

Sorkin has been very forthright about the project and the planned structure of the movie, stating that the entire movie "is going to be three scenes, and take place in real-time." Each of the three scenes will take place backstage at the launch of three major product introductions by Jobs. The film is based on Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography released back in 2011.


Dashlane Introduces 'Password Changer', Allowing Users to Change Multiple Passwords With One Click
The popular subscription-based password management service Dashlane is today introducing a new feature called Password Changer that will let users change all of their passwords with a single click (via The Verge).

The new feature will work with two-factor authentication enabled accounts and be available to work with over seventy websites at launch. Password Changer is fueled by Dashlane's acquisition of PassOmatic, a New York startup that developed the core technology running the new feature.

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Password Changer will be beta-tested by a small audience (with a planned wide release soon) on the desktop versions of Dashlane for PC and Mac, and the company states that it is working on bringing it to mobile.

The update brings a large, green "change all passwords" button that, when clicked, prompts the user through changing all existing passwords with new unique, randomly generated ones. Accounts with two-factor authentication enabled will require the user to input the answer to a security question or a code.


Future updates promise users the ability to set certain accounts to automatically shuffle through new passwords at pre-set intervals. Dashlane hopes the new measures the company is taking to protect users' private information will give their customers ease of mind in the midst of recenthacking scandals over the past year.

Dashlane is free to use on a single device, but syncing and transferring between multiple devices costs $39.99 per year. The app can be downloaded for free from the Mac App Store [Direct Link] and App Store [Direct Link]. Users wanting to access the Password Changer feature ahead of the wide launch can sign up for the Password Changer beta now.


Apple Planning New Retail Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Apple may finally be opening its first Apple Store location in Brooklyn, according to The New York Post. Information gained from brokerage community sources reveals that Apple has signed a long-term lease for a 20,000 square-foot store at 247 Bedford Avenue at the corner of North 3rd Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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Rendering of renovated 247 Bedford prior to Apple commitment (via The Real Deal)

The New York Post states that the new Apple Store will be a two-story brick structure and "is getting a whole new look, featuring dramatic, arched windows." The project will reportedly be completed in April of 2015. There was no confirmation yet on when Apple will move in to begin renovation, or how much it will pay for the location.

Apple already has a handful of retail stores in New York City, including Fifth Avenue, SoHo, Upper West Side, Grand Central, and West 14th Street. Rumors of a Brooklyn/Williamsburg store have circulated for years, with various reports citing a number of possible locations.


Former Apple Manager Sentenced to One Year in Prison, $4.5 Million Fine in Leaked Secrets Case
Former Apple Global Supply Manager Paul Devine will face a year in prison and a hefty $4.5 million fine for leaking secrets of the company to various accessory manufacturers in exchange for kickbacks, reports Associated Press.

The sentencing comes over three years after Devine pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy in relation to the leaking of Apple secrets. At the time, Devine faced a possible twenty-year sentencing over the fraud and money laundering counts.

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(Image via 9to5Mac)

Devine was Apple's Global Supply Manager for five years, from 2005 through his arrest in August of 2010. The specifics of why Devine received a far shorter sentence than the possible twenty years he originally faced and the basis of the $4.5 million fine are unclear, as Devine's kickback amount was previously estimated at roughly $1 million.

One of the confirmed companies Devine received kickbacks from was Kaedar Electronics, which was a subsidiary of long-time Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron. Kaedar supplied Apple with iPod packing boxes starting in 2005, and admitted to paying kickbacks to an intermediary company between 2005 and 2008 in exchange for confidential Apple information that assisted certain contract negotiations with the company.


Buyer's Guide: Deals on MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, iPads, Apple Accessories, and More
Now that Black Friday has ended, a lot of the more impressive deals have ended, but retailers are continuing to offer lingering discounts on a few products, including the 11-inch MacBook Air, 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, and remaining stock of now-discontinued high-capacity iPad Air and iPad mini 2 models.

In addition, we've also got some deals on software like CleanMyMac 2 and discounts on several Apple accessories in this week's Buyer's Guide discount post.

MacBook Air


- 11.6-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $799, $100 off
- 11.6-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (B&H Photo) (Adorama) - $999, $100 off
- 13.3-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Best Buy) - $999.99, $199 off

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Retina MacBook Pro


- 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,349, $150 off
- 13-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) - $1,599, $200 off
- 15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,699, $200 off
- 15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $2,199, $300 off

macbook_pro_13_15_late_2013

Mac Pro


- 4-core 3.7GHz/12GB/256GB (B&H) - $2,599, $400 off
- 6-core 3.5GHz/16GB/256GB + free Apple Care (Adorama) - $3,499, $500 off

Original iPad Air


Best Buy is offering modest discounts of $30 to $60 off some remaining higher-capacity original iPad Air models, dropping the prices well below similar iPad Air 2 models.

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- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (AT&T) - $597.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) - $597.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) - $597.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) - $566.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) - $787.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) - $787.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) - $787.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) - $787.99

iPad mini 2


Best Buy is also offering discounts of $30 to $60 off some remaining higher-capacity iPad mini 2 models, dropping the prices well similar below iPad mini 3 models. The iPad mini 2 is a particularly good deal compared to the iPad mini 3, as the only difference is Touch ID.

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- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Silver 64GB - $395.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Space Gray 64GB - $395.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Silver 128GB - $494.99
- iPad mini 2 WiFi-only Space Gray 128GB - $494.99

- iPad mini 2 Cellular AT&T Silver 64GB - $476.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular AT&T Space Gray 64GB - $502.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Silver 64GB - $476.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Space Gray 64GB - $502.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular AT&T Space Gray 128GB - $629.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Silver 128GB - $629.99
- iPad mini 2 Cellular Verizon Space Gray 128GB - $597.99

Apple Accessories


Target is offering a $40 Target gift card with the purchase of Beats Drenched HD headphones for $169. At Best Buy, if you buy one iTunes gift card, you can get 20 percent off a second gift card.

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The Cobra iRAD 500 iRader Detection System can be purchased from Groupon for $39.99, $60 off its regular price. Woot is selling the Sony RDP-XF300IPN Bluetooth Dock for $139.99, a 44 percent discount and $10 off Amazon's price.

Groupon is selling the Beats by Dre Solo2 headphones for $159.99, a $40 discount. Apple Smart Covers for the iPad mini are available for $15.99 to $24.99 at Best Buy, down from $39.99.

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Software


MacRumors has teamed up with Macpaw to offer MacRumors readers a 50 percent discount on all Macpaw software including CleanMyMac 2 and Gemini, which finds duplicate files. The deal will last through December 12.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.


Apple Begins Hiring for First Belgian Retail Store in Brussels
After years of speculation, Apple may be preparing to open its first retail store in Belgium in the city of Brussels, reports Belgian blog Apple Nieuws Vlaanderen. Apple yesterday posted six job listings for vacant positions in the upcoming Brussels location.

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Details on the store and its location were not provided in the listing, but the store is believed to be planned on the Guldenvlieslaan in a new complex which is currently under construction. The building is expected to be completed in 2015, with Apple as a possible launch retailer. Future Belgian Apple stores are expected for Ghent and Antwerp following the Brussels opening.

Apple is continuing to expand its retail operations under the leadership of Angela Ahrendts, opening stores both domestically and internationally. The company opened its first stores in Turkey earlier this year and has also been hiring for stores in the United Arab Emirates


Apple Tentatively Approves Plans to Expand Reseller Network in India with 500 New Stores
Apple will expand its retail operations in India with 500 new stores that see the company's reseller network moving into smaller towns and cities, according to a new report from The Times of India (via iPhone Hacks). The new locations will be done in collaboration with longtime distribution partners Redington and Ingram, and the stores themselves are said to be "smaller in size" and could range from 300-600 square feet. Apple is said to be in favor of adopting a franchise model for these stores, and is expected to increase spending for direct advertising in India.

istore_hyderabad_india
"All this will change now. The company is finalizing plans to become a serious player in India, which is being seen as a strategic and one of the most promising markets globally," a top company source told TOI.

Sources said the company feels that there is "very high" potential for its products, including in smaller towns and cities like Amritsar, Pathankot, Moga, Coimbatore, Trichy, Nagpur and Nasik. Currently, the company is big in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai. "We are amazed at the purchasing power in smaller towns. The primary objective is to give a better and proper experience with adequate product demonstration," another source added.
Plans for the expansion have been tentatively approved by Apple and are expected to be fully defined soon. Previously, a report last October shared similar information about the company's plans in India, although that report said that the company would build 100 exclusive standalone stores under the franchise model in smaller markets. That move was expected to be finished by the end of the fiscal year, however it appears that the company is finally gearing up to approve new reseller outlets in the region. While the company ships to India, Apple notably does not have any Apple Retail Stores of its own in the country. Sales of phones in India are dominated by rival Samsung, although iPhone sales did increase by 400% year-on-year in 2013.



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