Consumer Electronics

Tim Bradshaw

Apple is a company that thrives on surprises to promote its products. But it is actually a creature of habit, especially when it comes to launching its flagship device, the iPhone.

So when Apple deviates from the well-established patterns of years gone by, as it did on Monday, it stands out – raising questions from analysts about why. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Apple Unveils New Versions Of iPhone 6, Apple TV

Apple took over one of the largest venues in San Francisco for the launch of its latest iPhone on Wednesday.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, climbed on the stage of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to unveil an updated iPhone 6S with enhanced touchscreen capabilities, a better camera and a new “rose gold” finish. The new smartphone was upstaged by the long-awaited overhaul of Apple TV, with Siri voice control, a new remote and a full App Store, bringing iOS games to the living room for the first time. New Apple Watch features and a supersized iPad Pro made appearances too. Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters covered the event. 

Tim Bradshaw


Apple more than doubled its sales in China to nudge third-quarter revenues and earnings just ahead of market forecasts. But a shortfall in iPhone sales compared with Wall Street’s forecasts caused the stock to tumble by as much as 8 per cent after-hours on Tuesday. Revenues for the three months ending in June were up 33 per cent to $49.6bn with earnings up 45 per cent to $1.85 – the ninth consecutive quarter that Apple has beaten earnings forecasts. Sales of the iPhone rose 35 per cent to 47.5m units, below the 49m Wall Street was looking for, while Chinese revenues jumped 112 per cent to $13.2bn. Tim Bradshaw brings live reaction to Apple’s earnings and updates from its earnings call with chief executive Tim Cook.

Tim Bradshaw

It’s Apple turn to court the app makers, after Google and Microsoft held their developer conferences in recent weeks. This year’s Worldwide Developer Conference is expected to see the unveiling of Apple Music, its new subscription streaming service, following last year’s $3bn acquisition of Beats. There will also be changes to Watchkit, to improve apps for the Apple Watch, and potentially updates to Carplay, Homekit and its TV platform, alongside the usual annual refresh of iOS and Mac OSX.
Tim Bradshaw, Richard Waters and Matt Garrahan will provide live updates from the WWDC keynote at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. 

Tim Bradshaw

Apple sold 270,000 iPhones in just over a day when its breakthrough smartphone made its debut back in 2007. Then in 2010, the original iPad sold and delivered 300,000 tablets in its first 24 hours.

Now there are signs that the Apple Watch, released last weekend, may have topped them both. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Apple’s stock price grazed its all-time high on Monday morning as investors anticipated another record-breaking quarter for the iPhone maker. As well as another big quarter for the iPhone, many analysts expect that Apple Watch has already shipped more than the 300,000 iPads that were sold on its first day back in 2010.

Here are four things to look out for when Apple reports after the markets close on Monday evening: Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The first wave of Apple Watch reviews are out and their conclusion is mixed. While there is consensus that Apple has made the best smartwatch out there, many see niggles that make it equally clear this is still very much a “version one” product.

That chimes with my experience trying the device at its two launch events. But after reading all the reviews, two unexpected observations stood out. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer  © Facebook

When will the consumer version of the much-anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset ship? With competition looming from Sony PlayStation’s Project Morpheus and the Vive headset announced by Valve and HTC a month ago, Oculus’ early lead in VR suddenly looks like it could be under threat.

After launching two prototype headsets for developers and an “innovator edition” of its Samsung Gear mobile VR device, executives at Facebook-owned Oculus have been tight-lipped about when consumers will be able to buy the PC-based Rift.

But at the F8 developer event in San Francisco, one Facebook executive’s lips were a somewhat looser. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

After its original unveiling in September, the Apple Watch is nearly out. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, is expected to take to the stage at the Yerba Buena centre in San Francisco to detail new features, apps, pricing and its retail strategy. Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters bring live updates when the show begins at 10am PST (5pm GMT).


Better known for slick and glossy ads, LG Electronics on Monday uploaded 9 minutes of grainy footage to YouTube showing one of its top executives innocently looking at a washing machine.

The bizarre move was the latest salvo in the decidedly un-high tech washing machine wars. Tech may be an industry famed for its multi-billion-dollar patent lawsuits and occasional (careful) corporate espionage, but South Korea’s two tech wunderkinds are clashing over claims of old-fashioned vandalising a very domestic appliance. Read more

Cheap remote-controlled quadcopters from Syma and Hubsan bring aerial photography within reach of a much bigger audience.  Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Expectations are high for Apple as it publishes its first-quarter earnings, with analysts forecasting that it sold more than 65m iPhones in the three months to December. With the impact of China looming large but the iPad still looking weak, Tim Bradshaw and Sarah Mishkin bring the news, live updates and analyst reaction from San Francisco.  

“Cardboard” is a funny thing to call a teleportation machine. But when paired with a smartphone and a willing suspension of disbelief, Google’s low-cost design for a virtual reality headset becomes just that. Read more

Richard Waters

You’re standing on the surface of Mars. You look down and marvel at the detail, then up to the horizon, following the ridge of mountains around to your left. You jump: the Mars Rover is right behind your left shoulder, taller than you are, one of its cameras slanted to the side and looking like a pet robot waiting for an order.

This isn’t some gamer version of Mars. It’s the real thing. Every rock, in clear 3D. In front of you stands the bronze avatar of a scientist ready to talk about the experiments you’re going to perform.

Microsoft has lacked the “wow” factor for some time. It’s been left to Google, Apple and Facebook, with its acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus, to set the standards in technical daring and creative ambition.

Not any more. With HoloLens, the “mixed reality” headset it unveiled on Wednesday, Microsoft is suddenly a contender in one of the most exciting races in the tech world: to mix the real and virtual worlds in ways that transform both.

 Read more

The Washington Post’s new tablet app

  © Washington Post

Amazon wants to deliver your newspaper.

The Washington Post launched a new app on Thursday, initially available exclusively on Amazon’s Fire tablets, that gives readers two daily editions – morning and evening – plus breaking news updates in between.

It is the first collaboration between the companies since the Post was bought last year by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive. An ereader version of the paper is already available on Kindle devices. Read more

Can two devices sort out web-enabled domestic chaos? Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Samsung has unveiled a prototype of a new kind of 360-degree camera that could help virtual reality move beyond its current gaming niche.

“Project Beyond” is an ambitious concept that looks a little like it belongs on top of a Google Street View car. Sixteen small cameras point out from a frisbee-sized disk, with another on the top. It can capture 3D, 360-degree video that can be streamed live to a VR headset, allowing the wearer to look around as if they were standing wherever the camera is placed. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

As Apple readies its Watch, Jawbone is aiming for “the other wrist” with the latest update to its Up fitness tracker.

Rather than challenge the iPhone maker’s forthcoming smartwatch head on, Jawbone’s new Up3 wristband is smaller than its predecessor, packed with more sensors including heart-rate and skin temperature detectors, and costs almost half the price of Apple Watch. Read more

By Helen Barrett

Before setting up her high-tech fine jewellery company, Kate Unsworth interviewed 350 women about their hyperconnected lives. She discovered an insight that seems to contradict received wisdom about what consumers want from wearable technology.

“This segment of the market wanted to find a way to disconnect – but they needed to be contactable at the same time,” she says.

As the luxury industry rushes to embrace wearable technology, many brands are seeking to emulate smart watches like the Apple Watch, which are chock-full of functions to immerse their wearers further into the digital world. But Ms Unsworth believes consumers want less information, not more. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The Silicon Valley crowd loves Nest’s $250 thermostats and $99 smoke alarms. But while its $3.2bn acquisition by Google confirmed Nest as a defining company of the smart home, for many its designer appliances might seem a little on the pricey side.

Enter Leeo, a new smart-home company that wants to be the Nest for the rest of us. Read more