4 Recent Apple Rumors: From Genius Bar Changes to RAM Upgrades

Source: Apple.com

Source: Apple.com

Once again, it’s time to take a look at the biggest rumors and unconfirmed stories that emerged about Apple over this past week. From Genius Bar makeovers to mobile device RAM upgrades, here are four of the latest Apple rumors.

Genius Bar changes on the way

While the Genius Bars in Apple’s retail stores are currently being repurposed to accommodate the additional holiday season shopping traffic, there may be even bigger and more long-lasting changes on the way. According to 9to5Mac’s insider sources, Apple may soon be implementing changes to its in-store service areas known as Genius Bars. Although it’s not clear exactly what these changes will be yet, 9to5Mac’s sources mentioned that some new Apple Stores have eliminated “Genius Bar-specific signage” as well as “monitors displaying tips.”

The rumored Genius Bar makeover may be part of senior vice president of retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts’s plan for a complete overhaul of the Apple Store consumer experience. Ahrendts joined Apple earlier this year after serving as CEO of iconic British luxury fashion house Burberry for nearly eight years where she was widely credited for revitalizing the brand. Earlier this month, 9to5Mac cited insider sources who claimed Apple was recruiting retail employees with “a fashion or luxury background.” It’s unclear whether these employees are being hired just to handle the sales of the upcoming Apple Watch or if the recruits represent Apple’s new approach to its retail operations.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Bose to take on Beats Music

Last week, the Tech Cheat Sheet reported that Bose audio products were reappearing in Apple’s online and physical retail stores after being pulled in October. While Apple never provided a reason for the temporary Bose product ban, it was widely believed to be related to a patent-infringement lawsuit that Bose filed against Beats Electronics earlier this year. It may have also been related to a recent NFL crackdown on non-Bose brand headphones that resulted in San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick getting fined $10,000 for wearing a pair of Beats headphones during an interview in October, as reported by ESPN.

Now it appears that Bose is working on a new service that may reignite the feud between these two premium headphone brand rivals. According to a job posting at ZipRecruiter that was first spotted by HypeBot, Bose is looking to hire a “Senior User Experience Designer” who will “lead design and prototyping of our next generation streaming music platform and ecosystem of products.”

The launch of a Bose music streaming service would create yet another area of competition between Bose and Apple since the Cupertino-based company now owns the subscription Beats Music service along with the Beats Electronics’ premium headphones business. While it remains to be seen if Bose’s move will result in another ban from Apple’s retail stores, there is no question that the competition between Bose and Beats is heating up.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

More iPhone and iPad RAM in 2015

Two of Apple’s next-generation flagship products may be getting a RAM upgrade in 2015. According to a Taiwanese news report spotted by Apple Toolbox, Apple may be increasing the amount of RAM that it uses in its next iPhone and iPad models. The product teardowns performed by researchers at repair firm iFixit revealed that the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus each has 1GB of RAM, while the iPad Air 2 has 2GB of RAM. Per the Taiwanese sources cited by Apple Toolbox, the amount of RAM in each of the next-generation products will be doubled, giving the iPhone 6S (or iPhone 7) 2GB of RAM and the iPad Air 3 4GB of RAM.

It should be noted that Apple’s mobile devices tend to feature less RAM than many other comparable Android-based devices. On the other hand, since Apple’s software is so tightly integrated with its hardware, its devices tend to manage its memory resources more efficiently than many Android-based devices.

Apple Pay

Source: Apple.com

Global expansion of Apple Pay in the works

Apple’s recently activated mobile payments service may soon be rolling out in several other markets around the world. According to a job posting spotted by iClarified, the California-based company is forming an Apple Pay team in London that will be responsible for bringing the mobile payments service to markets across Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa (EMEIA).

While the job posting has since been removed from Apple’s website, iClarified was able to get a copy of the job description before it disappeared. “Apple Pay is a new and exciting area in Apple that is set to expand across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa,” read Apple’s job posting. “Apple Pay will change the way consumers pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into their iPhone 6 or Apple Watch to pay in an easy, secure, and private way. The new London-based Apple Pay team will work to drive the roll-out of this technology across EMEIA by working with a variety of internal and external partners, including teams in the US where the product will first launch and the EMEIA organisation, as well as Issuers, payment networks and merchants across Europe.”

While Apple clearly has plans to bring the service to markets around the world, it’s not clear when this expansion would be implemented. Apple Pay has been steadily growing in popularity with U.S.-based consumers and merchants ever since it was activated on October 20. Apple recently told The New York Times that its mobile payments service is now supported by “cards that represent about 90 percent of the credit card purchase volume in the United States.”

That’s all for this week’s Apple rumors! Be sure to check back regularly with the Tech Cheat Sheet to get all the latest Apple news.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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