Expectations are high as Apple prepares for its biggest event since the launch of the iPad four years ago. At the Flint Center in its Cupertino backyard, Apple is expected to unveil not just new iPhones but a push into payments and wearable devices. Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters bring live updates from the event, with input and insights from other FT reporters around the world.
Will the expected launch of a new iPhone later today – and perhaps an “iWatch” – give a boost to Apple’s share price or trigger a decline? Read more
Which is better value: Netflix or the BBC?
Some TV viewers – especially younger ones – seem to think the answer is Netflix. It has cool new shows, including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. And a subscription costs UK viewers roughly half as much as the BBC – £6.99 a month, compared to the BBC’s licence fee, which works out at £12 a month.
But the BBC wants to knock down the Netflix-mania, at least when it comes to drama. Read more
Paypal will soon start to enable merchants on its payments processing network to accept bitcoin, a sign of the growing acceptance and maturation of the volatile digital currency sometimes derided as magic internet money.
Apple has sent invites out to members of the media for a September 9 launch event at which it is expected to unveil new iPhones and potentially a new wearable device.
The looming launch of what pundits have dubbed the iWatch will make this Apple’s most closely watched event since Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in 2010. Read more
The clock’s ticking on the launch of Apple’s “iWatch” – expected on September 9 – and its Korean rivals are coming out ahead of time with their latest takes on wearable technology. Read more
The Kickstarter community has funded many innovations in the past few years.
The Pebble smartwatch raised $10.3m in 2012, shooting the starting gun on the wearables trend that Apple is about to leap into. The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset raised $2.4m, only to be acquired by Facebook for $2bn two years later. SmartThings raised $1.2m for its first connected-home kit before being snapped up by Samsung. New ideas like Hello’s Sense sleep-monitoring device just keep coming.
But one crowd-funded gadget this week emerged to trump them all. After two years at the top, Pebble has lost its crown as the most-funded Kickstarter of all time. And it has lost it to… a freezer box. Read more
If you thought flying a Flappy Bird was fiendish, just wait until you try swooping Swing Copters. So say new addicts of the latest free app from cult Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, who this week overcame his famous revulsion at his previous creation to release what looks like another hit.
Droves of instant Swing Copters devotees took to Twitter Friday to bemoan how guiding the propeller-headed hero through a landscape of deadly swinging obstacles was even closer to impossible than navigating Flappy Bird’s famously exasperating arrays of killer pipes. Read more
Rocket Internet, the Berlin-based investor in e-commerce companies, is continuing to expand its roster of stakeholders, as its valuation grows past €4bn ahead of an expected IPO later this year. Read more
Lower prices and upgrades by businesses have lifted the global notebook PC market out of a seven-quarter slump. Read more
By Jonathan Soble and Lindsay Whipp
OK, so you know selfies are a thing – who doesn’t? But what about encasing that selfie-taking mobile phone in a case shaped like a Chanel perfume bottle?
Meet the Smelfie (Perfume + Selfie) – a thing, apparently, among women in China. And it hasn’t escaped the notice of product designers at Sony. Read more
By Matthew Garrahan, FT global media editor
Thomas Lesinski, the former head of digital production at Paramount Pictures, has launched a new company to produce content for television and online channels, striking a deal with Legendary Entertainment, which will have first option to release its programming. Read more
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is among the new investors in Lookout, a San Francisco-based mobile security company that just pulled in the largest fundraising by a cyber security company so far this year.
As Amazon promised to be “relentless” in its pursuit of selling everything, Bezos appears to being equally eager to make personal investments in almost every industry. Here are some – but not all – of the investments he has made through his vehicle Bezos Expeditions.
Media: Bezos’ most high profile recent investment was his purchase of the Washington Post, the DC-based newspaper renowned for its role in breaking the news of the Watergate scandal. But he has fingers in other media pies too: in 2013, he took a stake in Business Insider, the loud mouthed financial news site fond of slideshows, and back in 2008 he invested in Twitter, the social media site beloved by journalists. He also has investments in Vessel, a video platform, and Next Door, a social network for neighbours. Read more
Venezuela might have the mannequins with the world’s biggest breasts, but Britain now has the most tech-savvy models gracing its store windows and shop floors.
This week three UK retailers launched the world’s first mannequins embedded with so-called iBeacons – little Bluetooth transmitters that can send alerts to smartphones in the vicinity, offering details about the clothes such as how to buy them online and where to find them in store. Read more
The start-ups that took on the taxi industry are eyeing a new target: public transport.
The past 24 hours have seen Uber, Lyft and Sidecar all launch a new twist on their popular ride-sharing model: carpooling. The three San Francisco companies are letting some customers opt to share a ride with a perfect stranger going along the same route at the same time, for up to half the price of a solo journey. Read more
Just four years old, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has shot up sales rankings to become the top smartphone seller in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, according to data by Canalys, the technology research company.
In a report released this week the company said Xiaomi’s shipments in China grew 240 percent year on year, to 15.1m in the second quarter, write Charles Clover. Read more
This is the launch of the century in Chinese video gaming terms. Read more
Fuseproject, the San Francisco design agency led by Yves Béhar, has agreed to sell a majority stake to China’s fast-growing marketing group BlueFocus.
Mr Béhar – whose designs can be seen in products from Jawbone, Puma and One Laptop Per Child – sat down with the FT to talk about the deal, the company he founded in 1999 and what happens next. The transcript has been edited for length. Read more