Hands-On With Apple’s New (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7

Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus went on sale online and in retail stores around the world today, and after a short wait in line, we managed to get our hands on one of the new devices.

Made from a matte red aluminum, the red iPhone 7 is super pigmented and bright in real life, but aside from its snazzy new casing, it's identical to existing devices. Check out the video below for our detailed look at Apple's first red iPhone.


The new red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can be purchased from the online Apple Store and in retail locations, where supplies seem to be plentiful. There were lines at many stores around the country, however, so it could potentially sell out.

Prices for the red iPhone 7 start at $749, with the device available in 128 and 256GB capacities. Pricing for the red iPhone 7 Plus starts at $869.

The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are available in the United States and dozens of other countries today, and by the end of March, the device will be available in more than 40 countries and regions.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Colony Organizer and Leather Sleeve From Quell & Company

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Quell & Company to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Colony Organizer and a Leather Sleeve for their iOS and Mac devices.

The Colony Organizer, priced at $60, is essentially a charging dock for your iPhone and iPad, designed to securely and stylishly hold your devices while they charge. Made from Maple or Walnut wood, the Colony Organizer can hold up to four devices and two charging cables between its series of pegs, keeping them neatly stored away on a desk or surface while charging.


Charging cords (not included) run up through a center cutout in the organizer, and a felt base protects your devices from any scratches or damage. Micro suction pads on the base ensure that it's stable, so it's not going to fall over or slip off of your desk even when loaded with iPhones and iPads. It's compatible with the iPhone 5 and later, all Lightning-based iPads, the 12-inch MacBook, and the Apple Watch.


Quell & Company's Leather Sleeve, priced at $95, is designed to work with the 12-inch MacBook or any 9.7-inch iPad, including Apple's newly released $329 model. The Leather Sleeve, as the name suggests, is made from a high quality black leather lined with felt.


It features a zippered main pocket that fits your Apple device, along with three front pockets that can be used for other accessories like the Apple Pencil, charging cables, and even an iPhone.


Quell & Company is offering a Colony Organizer and a Leather Sleeve to three MacRumors readers, who will be able to pick the color (organizer) and size (sleeve) of their choosing. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (March 24) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on March 31. The winners will be chosen randomly on March 31 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Along with the giveaway, Quell & Company is offering an exclusive 20 percent discount on all of its products for MacRumors readers. To get the discount, enter the code "macrumors" when checking out on the site. The discount will be available for one week.


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Apple Releases Revised Version of iTunes 12.6, Eliminates Strange ‘Profile Page’ Toggle

Apple today released a revised version of iTunes 12.6, which appears to eliminate a hidden option that may have accidentally been built into the software release.

Shortly after the original release of iTunes 12.6 on Tuesday, a reddit user discovered a "Show on Profile Page" toggle on a Playlist edit page.


The toggle didn't appear to do anything because there's currently no individual profile page feature in iTunes, and now the non-functional feature has been eliminated from the 12.6 iTunes release, suggesting it was added by mistake and could be destined for some kind of future iTunes profile addition.

It is entirely unclear what a Profile Page might entail, but reddit users speculated that it could be for a future social network or a Spotify-style searchable playlist database.

The new iTunes 12.6 update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free. It includes a "Rent once, watch anywhere" feature that lets iTunes users watch iTunes movie rentals across all devices with the as-of-yet unreleased iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2 updates.

Prior to the iTunes 12.6 update, iTunes movies could only be watched on a single device at a time. A movie rented on a Mac transferred to an iPhone would remove the movie from the Mac's iTunes Library, while a movie rented on an iOS device or Apple TV could not previously be transferred to other devices.

We don't yet know when the iTunes 12.6 update will become functional, as it is reliant on iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2, but those who are running the betas can use the cross-rental feature. The iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2 software updates could come at any time.
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T-Mobile Rolls Out Tools to Help Customers Avoid Scam Phone Calls

T-Mobile today announced the launch of two new anti-scam features designed to cut down on scam phone calls, Scam ID and Scam Block.

Scam ID, as the name suggests, alerts customers when an incoming call is coming from a phone number known to be associated with a scam. Scam Block goes one step further, automatically blocking any calls identified as scams by Scam ID.

"Every year, three out of four people in the US get at least one scam call--and fraudsters cheat consumers out of more than half a billion dollars per year! It's insane - so we had to do something to protect our customers!" said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "So the T-Mobile team designed a brilliant set of patent-pending technologies -- then built them directly into our network, so there's nothing customers have to do. No hoops to jump through, no app to download. Like most T-Mobile technologies, it just works."
Scam ID is powered by a global database that contains "tens of thousands" of known scammer numbers. T-Mobile updates the database in near real-time by analyzing every call that comes into its network with "behavioral heuristics" and "intelligent scam pattern detection." Every call is analyzed to identify and block scammers.

Both Scam ID and Scam Block are available on all devices on T-Mobile's network and will be included at no cost. The features are rolling out to customers starting today, and will be available to T-Mobile ONE customers first.

New T-Mobile ONE customers will automatically get Scam ID beginning on April 5, while other T-Mobile postpaid customers can enable the feature on that date by dialing #ONI# (#664#). To turn on Scam Block, customers can dial dial #ONB# (#662#).

T-Mobile warns that enabling Scam Block could potentially cause customers not to receive legitimate calls, so caution should be used before turning it on. Once enabled, it can be turned off by dialing #OFB# (#632#).

Tag: T-Mobile

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Nintendo Prefers Super Mario Run Pay-Once Model, Calls Freemium Structure of Fire Emblem Heroes an ‘Outlier’

As Nintendo keeps launching new properties onto smartphones, the company has taken different strategies in regards to each app's payment model, including free-to-play (Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes) and pay-once-and-play (Super Mario Run). According to a senior official at the company, Nintendo actually "prefers" the Super Mario Run model over Fire Emblem Heroes, despite the more lucrative future that Fire Emblem Heroes' in-app purchases have in store for Nintendo (via Nikkei).

According to Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, Super Mario Run's revenue "did not meet" the company's expectations. Ahead of the game's release, it was reported that Nintendo was eyeing a pay-once model so that parents could download Super Mario Run for their kids without the added anxiety of in-app purchases appearing later in their iTunes purchase history.


It appears that the gaming company still intends for most of its future apps to follow in Super Mario Run's footsteps and not those of Fire Emblem Heroes, with a senior company official referring to Heroes as "an outlier" in the grand scheme of Nintendo's mobile strategy.
Yet [Super Mario Run] was less of a moneymaker for Nintendo than might have been expected, due to the pay-once-and-play model. Revenue from the game "did not meet our expectations," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said.

Even so, Nintendo has no intention of switching focus to freemium games. "'Heroes' is an outlier," a senior company official said. "We honestly prefer the 'Super Mario Run' model."
The company is believed to care more about expanding the reach of its intellectual properties to a wider audience and "aims to do more with its smartphone games than make money." Another goal for Nintendo is to mine the potential synergy future apps could have with the new Switch console, where players pick up the app to get hooked, and are convinced to further explore -- and spend more money -- on a larger version of the game.

According to Nikkei, the long-term success of Super Mario Run will be measured in how well it turns new Nintendo fans into console players and buyers: "The game's true value will be measured by how much it expands the ranks of Nintendo fans and helps sales of the Switch."

Last year, Isao Moriyasu -- Chief Executive of DeNA, Nintendo's mobile app developer partner -- said that the next two Nintendo apps would be "free-to-start apps," referring to Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing, which was recently delayed. Super Mario Run is technically free-to-start as well, allowing players to mess around with a few story levels and modes before asking for the monetary investment to unlock the full game. This week, that free section was expanded slightly in the game's version 2.0 update.

Players can purchase game-boosting "Orbs" in Fire Emblem Heroes

In terms of payment models, the distinction between Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run is clear, and it appears that Nintendo intends to keep focused on higher-priced gaming apps instead of the more popular freemium model. Looking towards the future, we still only know that Animal Crossing is set to appear next on mobile devices, likely sometime later this year. Unfortunately, today's news muddies the waters regarding that game's payment strategy, since it's now unclear whether it will lean towards Fire Emblem Heroes' freemium model, as Moriyasu said, or be part of Nintendo's preference for a pay-once option.

Super Mario Run launched in December and saw massive launch day download numbers, but the app has since dwindled down the Top Grossing charts for the Games section of the iOS App Store, amid users raising uncertainties over its $9.99 price tag and always-online requirements. At the time of writing, Super Mario Run is the 117th game on the Top Grossing Games list, while Fire Emblem Heroes sits at the 48th spot.


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New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order

Apple has just begun accepting orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad and (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on its online store in the United States and dozens of other countries and regions around the world. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are also available for in-store pickup at select Apple Stores starting today.


The new 9.7-inch iPad is equipped with a faster Apple A9 chip and brighter Retina display compared to the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. It is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down.

The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2.

The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, making it the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold. Apple also offers a 128GB model with Wi-Fi for $429, while cellular-capable 32GB and 128GB models are available for $459 and $559 respectively in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.

The new 9.7-inch iPad is now available to order on Apple's website in dozens of countries around the world. The first online orders are estimated for delivery between March 31 and April 5 in the United States.

Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad will be available to purchase at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores starting next week in more than 20 countries, such as the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.


Apple's special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are also now available to order on Apple's website in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for $749/$849 and $869/$969 respectively. Initial orders are slated for delivery on Tuesday, March 28 in the United States.

(PRODUCT)RED iPhones have a vibrant red finish complemented by a silver Apple logo and white front bezels. Apple said the models are in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), which gives customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund in support of HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.


The special edition iPhone joins the current (PRODUCT)RED lineup, which is available to purchase year-round, including the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

(PRODUCT)RED iPhones are available starting today at many Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores in the United States and dozens of other countries. Apple said the new models will begin shipping to customers by the end of March in the United States and more than 40 countries and regions.

Related Roundups: iPad, iPhone 7
Tags: (PRODUCT)RED, Apple retail
Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution)

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Casetify Debuts Red iPhone 7 Case Collection

Casetify, a site that specializes in custom designed iPhone and iPad cases, today debuted a collection of shine-through design cases especially curated for Apple's special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which also debuts on Friday.

In total, 60 different designs make up the collection, which includes repeating pattern designs, favorite quotes, and vector graphics, among other illustrations. Individual cases cost $40 each for both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch handset sizes.


The cases are made in a soft polycarbonate (TPU) Classic Grip, which safeguards the phone from any accidental drops. The matte, soft-touch frame enables a soft grip, while the semi-transparent back exposes the anodized aluminum red finish of Apple's new iPhone colorway.

Using the site's design feature, or the company's mobile app, users also have the ability to create their own see-through designs, by adding photos from their computers, Instagram, or Facebook to personalize their case.

Tag: Casetify

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Twitter Considering Paid Subscription Tier for Professional Users on TweetDeck at $20/Month

Twitter is said to be "considering" whether to implement an all-new paid subscription tier that would be introduced in a premium package for TweetDeck, Twitter's popular desktop client, and be aimed directly at professionals (via Reuters). If enacted, this would be the first time Twitter charges users for any part of its social media services, which began eleven years ago in March of 2006.

A mockup of what the premium TweetDeck subscription service could look like

Twitter is looking at providing a professional experience for people on TweetDeck that would pack in advance tools and features not found anywhere else on the service. The premium package would cost $19.99 per month, be accessible on both desktop and mobile, and include the following features:

- Exclusive news/alerts summaries personalized for you
- Content management tools like bookmarks, to-do lists, and 'save for later'
- Cross posting to other social media platforms
- Advanced custom trend analysis and alerting tools
- Exclusive content on social media best practices and strategy
- Enhanced tools for managing and creating custom audience lists (e.g., by interest, customer, or region, etc.)
- Exclusive priority customer support
- The ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts
- Advanced publishing features (e.g., scheduling, collaboration, drafting, etc.)
- Advanced tools for sorting or filtering searches
- An ad-free experience
- Analysis tools for understanding topics or conversations on Twitter
- Ability to access this experience on both desktop and mobile devices
- Ability to securely manage the account across multiple team members
- Twitter customization such as color themes and layouts
- Access to pre-populated lists of users and influencers by interest topic (e.g., industry or subject experts)
- Additional account activity details (e.g., influence scores, account unfollows, or ability to see who is looking at your profile page)
- Ability to import user lists from outside sources
- Advanced analytics on my own content performance

The news was shared by The New York Times affiliated journalist Andrew Tavani, and in addition to the detailed list of features, he tweeted out an overall summary of what the service is said to encompass. With the premium additions, Twitter is aiming to help journalists, marketers, and other such professionals "get even more out of Twitter."
"Twitter is considering offering a more advanced TweetDeck experience, with more powerful tools to help marketers, journalists, professionals, and others in our community find out what is happening in the world quicker, to gain more insights, and see the broadest range of what people are saying on Twitter. Whether you use Twitter for work or just want to be more informed on the latest news, sports, entertainment, political viewpoints, and information in today's world, this more advanced TweetDeck experience will be designed to help you get even more out of Twitter.

This premium tool set will provide valuable viewing, posting, and signaling tools like alerts, trends and activity analysis, advanced analytics, and composing and posting tools all in one customizable dashboard.

It will be designed to make it easier than ever to keep up with multiple interests, grow your audience, and see even more great content and information in real-time. It would also offer extra features such as advanced audience insight and analytics, tools to monitor multiple timelines from multiple accounts and from multiple devices, including mobile, all in an ad-free experience.
Twitter confirmed that it is conducting a survey "to access the interest" in this premium version of the service, so no official decision has been made as of yet. It should also be pointed out that the company's wording strictly stuck to the added value proposition for "professionals," with no apparent intention to make a monthly subscription version of Twitter for its casual users.

In the past few years, Twitter has struggled to convince users to stay with the service, as well as faced difficulties in enticing new users to adopt Twitter over its competitors like Snapchat and Facebook. Changes to the service have done some good in improving certain annoyances users had with it -- like removing handles and media attachments from the character count limit and improving anti-harassment tools -- but Twitter has seen little growth from these initiatives. Twitter's total worldwide users currently sit at 319 million, compared to Facebook's 1.86 billion.


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Small Sample of iCloud Credentials Provided By Hackers Are Valid, But Questions Remain

On Wednesday we reported that Apple had become the target of a ransom threat, with hackers claiming to have access to more than 600 million iCloud accounts. A group known as the "Turkish Crime Family" said they would reset and wipe the accounts unless Apple paid them $150,000 in Bitcoin by April 7.

Apple responded to the threat by stating that there had not been any breach of its systems, and that if hackers did have access to iCloud accounts then it could only be because of compromised third-party services.


Yesterday, ZDNet said it had received a set of 54 account credentials from the hacker group for "verification" and subsequently reported that all of the accounts were valid, based on a check using Apple's online password reset function.

The accounts include @icloud.com addresses dating back to 2011, as well as legacy @me.com and @mac.com domains from as early as 2000. The list of credentials is said to contain email addresses and plain-text passwords separated by a colon. According to Troy Hunt, data breach expert and owner of notification site Have I Been Pwned, this would suggest the data could have been aggregated from various sources.

ZDNet worked to contact each account holder via iMessage to confirm their password, and found that many of the accounts are no longer registered with Apple's messaging platform. However, of those that could be contacted, 10 people – all based in the U.K. – confirmed that the passwords were accurate, and they have changed them as a result.

When pressed about the original source of the data, the hackers claimed that it was "handled in groups" without explaining how or why. The hackers also refused to hand over a U.S.-based sample of accounts.

All of the people with compromised accounts said that until now, they had never changed their iCloud passwords before. One person said that the password he confirmed with ZDNet was no longer in use as of about two years ago, which narrows down the possible date of a breach or multiple breaches to somewhere between 2011 and 2015.

Most of the people confirmed that they used their iCloud email address and password on other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. However, three people said that their iCloud email address and password were unique to iCloud, and were not used on any other site. Also, two people claimed someone had tried to reset their iCloud passwords in the past day.

It's unclear if the sample provided is representative of the wider pool of credentials the hackers claim to have, but based on its communications with the group, ZDNet suspects that its members are "naïve and inexperienced" and primarily seeking publicity.

Given that Apple has denied a breach, the account information may have been obtained from a major hacking incident, such as the one that befell Yahoo. iCloud users who have the same username and password that was used for both a hacked site and for iCloud should change their passwords immediately.

Anyone else concerned about the hacking claims should change their password and consider using two-factor authentication to secure their Apple ID credentials. Apple has said that it is "actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved".

Tag: iCloud

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Apple Store Down in Advance of (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Launch at 08:01 PDT

Apple took down its online store early this morning as the company prepares to launch its special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in more than 40 countries around the world.


Internet users attempting to access the store section of the site are being met with the familiar "We've got something special in store for you" placeholder, accompanied by a relaunch time of 8:01 a.m. PDT, which is when Apple previously said it would officially be launching the new red colorway iPhone.

PRODUCT(RED) models will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for the same $749/$849 and $869/$969 prices as the equivalent iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models in standard colors. The anodized aluminum's vibrant red finish has a white Apple logo and white front bezels.

It's unlikely that the message relates to anything other than last minute changes to the iPhone 7 online ordering process, but we'll keep readers updated as soon as we learn more.

(Thanks, Andrea!)

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: (PRODUCT)RED

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