Apple Offers Free Content To Drive Hardware Sales

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Apple Store App Begins Offering Free Content (9 to 5 Mac)

Apple recently updated its Apple Store app (see image right). With the update, the app will now offer either an application, an iTunes download, or an iBook for free each week. The Apple Store app was designed primarily to sell physical items, or for a consumer to arrange in-store genius bar appointments. Pumping free content is a new way to draw more users to the Apple Store app, which CEO Tim Cook hopes will ultimately drive increased hardware sales at physical Apple Stores. Sales at Apple’s retail shops have tailed off recently. Read >

Can HTC Turn Things Around? (Benedict Evans)
Here’s a handy chart showing that HTC monthly sales have steadily declined since March 2011. Can the HTC One Max, pictured here in a leaked photo, turn sales around? Read >

Apple’s Passbook Ecosystem: How Retailers, Sports Teams, And Brands Have Made It Work for Them (BI Intelligence)

Apple’s attempt at a virtual wallet is gaining some traction. One-fifth of iPhone users already access Passbook to download coupons, loyalty cards, event tickets, and other “passes.” In this new report from BI Intelligence, we take a look at trends and numbers behind Apple’s Passbook ecosystem. Read >

More Than 40% Of Android Devices Run Jelly Bean (The Next Web)

Updated Android fragmentation numbers from July show that Jelly Bean (Android 4.1-4.2) is being run on 40% of Android devices. It’s the first time that Jelly Bean, the newest version of the Android OS, is being run on the greatest share of devices. Fragmentation still abounds on the platform though — only 6.5% of devices run the newer 4.2 version. The newest Jelly Bean version 4.3 is only on just-launched devices like the new Nexus 7 tablet. Read >

Tencent Goes After The Money With WeChat (The Next Web)
Chinese Internet giant Tencent has added in-app purchases — including mobile payments to friends — in an effort to monetise its world-popular WeChat messaging service. Read >

Google’s City Experts Program Wants To Lure Top Yelpers (The Verge)

City Experts is a new program by Google that will reward frequent reviewers of local restaurants, bars, and businesses within Google Maps. This comes on the heels of the Google Maps app redesign, which includes an enhanced reviews section. Read >

Google Can Help You Find Your Lost Phone (All Things Digital)

Google introduced Android Device Manager, an app designed to help users locate their misplaced handset. It has several different features, including setting the phone’s ringer to maximum volume, a real-time device tracker within a map, and the ability to wipe your phone completely if it is stolen. Read >

Ubuntu Edge: Crowdfunding a Super-Smartphone (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Businessweek surveys the process behind garnering enough crowdsourced funding for a pioneering project like the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. The device has been touted as a smartphone that can mimic the functions of a desktop computer. Read >

Former Facebook CTO And Google Maps Creator Launches New Startup (Business Insider)
Bret Taylor and former Googler Kevin Gibbs have revealed Quip, a collaborative word processing service for mobile devices. Read >

Facebook Engineering Manager Joins Square (AllFacebook)
Rong Yan, who worked on Facebook’s ad engineering team for the past four years, has joined mobile payments service Square as its new data science lead. Read >

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