Apple improves iPhone X delivery dates for iPhone Upgrade Program orders impacted by financing issue


 

Apple is providing earlier iPhone X delivery dates to iPhone Upgrade Program members who experienced an apparent loan processing issue that in some cases nullified original orders, prompting customers to reorder the device but with later ship-by times.

When the iPhone X went up for sale on Friday, some iPhone Upgrade Program members were denied an early preorder due to an apparent hiccup in the loan application process handled by Apple financial partner Citizens One.

Late Saturday and early Sunday, customers affected by the financing issue saw their iPhone X delivery dates upgraded to November, or in some cases revert back to an initial promised date. The move suggests Apple is rerouting launch day supply, perhaps from a stockpile slated to reach retail stores on Nov. 3.

Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

On Friday, an unknown number of early buyers used Apple’s upgrade service to place iPhone X preorders only to be met with a message saying the loan application process was taking longer than expected.

Apple instructed customers to wait for a verification notification, which in certain cases resulted in a denial letter received hours later. As such, original orders with early November ship-by dates were nullified, prompting some to reorder on Saturday. As iPhone X supply is in high demand, those second orders came with delivery dates pushed out to December.

It appears Apple is now attempting to correct the situation. Emails sent out to those affected by the loan processing snafu on Friday noted the problem and instructed members to provide their original iPhone X order number in a reply. Customers who supplied their information were directed to follow up on their order through Apple’s Online Order Status webpage in three business days.

As of Sunday, a number of iPhone Upgrade Program subscribers are reporting upgraded delivery estimates, many of which reinstate shipping dates promised prior to the Citizens One snafu.

Apple kicked off iPhone X preorders on Friday to expectedly high demand, with launch day supply depleted within ten minutes. Shipping estimates subsequently slipped to 2 to 3 weeks, then 4 to 5 weeks until it hit the current 5 to 6 week wait time.

The first iPhone X units are scheduled to ship out to preorder customers on Nov. 3, with limited supply arriving that same day in the company’s brick-and-mortar stores.

SpaceX sets target launch dates for back-to-back flights next month – Spaceflight Now

File photo inside SpaceX’s hangar at pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX engineers are readying two Falcon 9 rockets for launches Oct. 7 and Oct. 9 from Florida and California, setting up another quick turnaround to first deploy a large TV broadcasting satellite for SES and EchoStar over the United States with a previously-flown booster, then add 10 more spacecraft to Iridium’s fleet of new-generation voice and data relay network.

First up is the Oct. 7 launch of an Airbus-built communications satellite from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for SES and EchoStar. The approximately 11,500-pound (5,200-kilogram) spacecraft will blast off aboard a reused Falcon 9 first stage during a two-hour launch window opening at 6:53 p.m. EDT (2253 GMT).

The launch was previously set for Oct. 2 but was pushed back to allow more time to complete preparations on the satellite in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The portion of the satellite owned by SES, known as SES 11, will support digital video and television services over North America, replacing C-band communications capacity currently provided the AMC 18 satellite launched in 2006. SES says the new satellite’s 24 C-band transponders will relay radio, television and video signals across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, plus Canada, Mexico and the the Caribbean.

EchoStar’s part of the satellite, which it calls EchoStar 105, includes 24 Ku-band transponders tailored for television and other telecom services for commercial clients and the U.S. government, picking up the mission of the aging AMC-15 satellite launched in 2004.

The Oct. 7 launch will mark the 42nd flight of a Falcon 9 rocket, and the third time one of SpaceX’s launchers has lifted off with a reused first stage booster. Designated as Core No. 31, the first stage set to loft the SES 11/EchoStar 105 satellite first flew in February, sending a Dragon supply ship toward the International Space Station before returning to land at Cape Canaveral.

The Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the SES 11/EchoStar 105 satellite toward an orbital perch more than 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the equator. The high-altitude target for the mission will require the first stage to descend to a landing on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean, officials said, leaving insufficient leftover fuel for maneuvers to return to Cape Canaveral.

The launch of the SES 11/EchoStar 105 satellite will closely follow a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket flight scheduled for the predawn hours of Oct. 5 from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral.

The SES 11/EchoStar 105 satellite will launch on a previously-flown Falcon 9 first stage booster, seen here landing at Cape Canaveral on Feb. 19 after a launch with a Dragon supply ship heading for the International Space Station. Credit: SpaceX

A Falcon 9 rocket with an unflown first stage could lift off from SpaceX’s West Coast launch base a day-and-a-half later with the third set of 10 new-generation spacecraft for Iridium’s network supporting global satellite phone calls, ship and aircraft tracking, and data relay services.

Liftoff of the Iridium satellites, each weighing around 1,896 pounds (860 kilograms) fully fueled, from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is targeted for 5:37 a.m. PDT (8:37 a.m. EDT; 1237 GMT) on Oct. 9, a company spokesperson said Tuesday.

The Iridium flight had previous target launch dates of Sept. 30 and Oct. 4. Iridium chief executive Matt Desch said both slips were requested by SpaceX to allow additional time for rocket processing.

Iridium has a contract for eight Falcon 9 launches to carry 75 of its satellites into low Earth orbit. Two of the missions, each with 10 satellites, blasted off successfully in January and June.

The last launch for Iridium from California on June 25 came two days after another Falcon 9 lifted off from Florida, setting a record for the quickest turnaround between two SpaceX missions.

Another batch of 10 Iridium Next spacecraft, manufactured in Arizona by Thales Alenia Space and Orbital ATK, are due to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg in late November, followed by four more launches in the first half of 2018.

Desch told Spaceflight Now earlier this month that Iridium and SpaceX are discussing launching some of the missions on previously-flown Falcon 9 rockets.

But the discussions have not closed, Desch said, and he would not rule out any of Iridium’s future launches using a previously-flown booster, beginning with the late November flight.

Iridium says it will not switch any of its launches to reused vehicles until it is satisfied with three factors: the reliability of SpaceX’s previously-flown first stages, assurance that a reused rocket flight could help launch Iridium satellites sooner, and an acceptable financial discount.

The 10 Iridium Next satellites set for launch in October have been fueled and mounted to the two-tier multi-payload dispenser before installation on top of the Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: Iridium

In response to a question on Twitter asking if Iridium was eager to take a 30 to 40 percent discount offered by SpaceX for launching on a reused booster, Desch replied: “No news, but I wish those were the discounts! I think you’re reading speculation.”

SpaceX will follow up the back-to-back missions in early October with a late October Falcon 9 launch from pad 39A in Florida. That mission will launch the Koreasat 5A communications satellite for KTsat, a South Korean company.

The company confirmed Tuesday that the Koreasat 5A mission will lift off from pad 39A, not nearby pad 40, which SpaceX is repairing after a Falcon 9 exploded there in September 2016.

It was not clear how the delay in bringing pad 40 back online will impact SpaceX’s plans to launch its huge Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time later this year. Once Falcon 9 flights move to pad 40, ground crews are expected to need around two months to outfit pad 39A’s rocket transporter and strongback tower for the mammoth new launcher, which is made of three Falcon 9 boosters bolted together to send heavier payloads into space.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

Your Google Home will now help you find dates

Dating apps have always been very hands on — full of swipes and texting — but now some of them are making the move to be hands-free.

Plenty of Fish announced on Tuesday that it’s launched an integration with Google Home, which will read your messages aloud to you and allow you to compose and send replies. The point of this, according to a statement from the company is to make “the process of sending a message easier by allowing a user to speak freely, rather than type – more in line with a natural conversation.”

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If anything involving a robot and romantically-charged messages can ever be considered natural, then sure. This moves comes on the heels of eHarmony announcing a similar partnership with the Amazon Echo last week. So why the sudden rush to add home assistant integration among these dating apps?

Well, Plenty of Fish told Mashable that it’s about starting a dialogue. They’ve positioned themselves as “the leader in conversations,” and they recently launched Spark, a feature which lets you start a chat based on a specific element of someone’s profile. They’ve seen an almost 25 percent rise in replies to messages for Android users and nearly 40 percent on iOS. This Google Home initiative is intended to build on that. 

The company’s CEO, Hesam Hosseini, explained in a statement, “We’ve found that a good conversation is the number one indicator of a great date, so both Spark and the Google Assistant integration were created to help people easily connect and get the conversation started.”

Managing your dating life while also making dinner or cleaning your house sounds like a win for the busy single person. The reality, though, is a little more complex. For one thing, you’re letting an already invasive device even deeper into a very private aspect of your life. 

Speech-to-text dictation is also still a clumsy enough affair that you may not actually save yourself any time in the end. Though it, of course, depends on your particular lifestyle. There’s also the issue that technically you’re conversing with a machine, not an actual love interest. 

Only you can decide if this integration will help you convert those matches to IRL meetups even faster, but just be careful you don’t fall in love with your Google Home or Alexa along the way.

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Apple dates macOS 10.13 High Sierra, iOS 11, and watchOS 4

Apple has officially dated the launch of its next operating system iterations: MacOS 10.13 High Sierra will now launch on September 25th, preceded by mobile-centric iOS 11 and watchOS 4 on September 19th – both of which come with next-generation hardware to boot.

The follow-up to last year’s macOS 10.12 Sierra launch, which brought with it a shift from the name OS X back to the classic macOS, macOS 10.13 High Sierra is more evolution than revolution. As well as tweaks to the included software – in particular a boost to Safari which sees it outperform rival Chrome by 80 percent for common JavaScript workloads, Apple has claimed – High Sierra includes the new Apple File System (APFS) to replace the outdated Hierarchical File System Plus (HFS+). The new standard filesystem across all Apple devices, APFS includes a range of improvements including on-the-fly compression, speed improvements, and creates hard links by default instead of copying the contents of files.

Other improvements in macOS 10.13 High Sierra include Metal 2.0, the latest version of Apple’s low-level graphics API, and support for the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) H.265 – though hardware acceleration is only available on newer Apple hardware, with older devices relying on software-driven playback even after installing the final release of High Sierra.

At the same time Apple announced launch dates for iOS 11 and watchOS 4, the former running across the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple TV families of devices and the latter running on Apple’s smartwatch range as well as driving the Touch Bar integrated into the company’s latest MacBook laptops. For iOS 11, there’s the unsurprising launch of a new iPhone: the iPhone X, which includes 64GB or 256GB of storage, a high dynamic range (HDR) 2,436 x 1,125 pixel 5.8″ display, and Apple’s latest ARM-based 64-bit A11 ‘Bionic’ processor with integrated ‘Neural Engine’ and M11 motion-sensing co-processor. For those baulking at the £1,000-plus price tag associated with the new iPhone X, though, there’s also the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which drop to lower-resolution non-HDR displays but include the same A11 processor. Apple also announced a new Apple TV boasting 4K playback capabilities.

Smartwatch fans, meanwhile, have been offered the Apple Watch Series 3 – a device which borrows a trick Chinese smartwatch companies have been using for years and embeds a SIM card directly into the device allowing it access to LTE data networks without being tethered to a smartphone. The Apple Watch Series 3 will run the new watchOS 4 as standard, of course, which will also be released onto previous Apple Watch devices.

Black Friday 2017 – Dates, Deals (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Gaming Laptops) – Everything you Need to Know

Black Friday is coming. In fact, it’s just over two months away, and we’re here to give you all the info you need to prepare. Use our handy Black Friday deals guide to ensure you get the biggest video game bargains, the cheapest PCs, the best laptops and more. If you’re eager for deals now, we’ve also got info on the best prices for PS4 consoles, the cheapest Nintendo Switch bundles, the best value laptops, and cheapest Xbox One S consoles available today.

Black Friday 2017 – When Does it Start? How Long Does it go on for?

Black Friday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving in the US. As Thanksgiving takes place on Thursday, November 23, 2017, Black Friday is Friday, November 24, 2017. While traditionally a US event, it’s well and truly made it over the UK now too.

Although the name Black Friday suggests that the event is a day long, in recent years retailers have held multi-day events with different deals being added all the time. Amazon is likely to start its Black Friday deals well in advance of November 24. Last year Amazon started listing deals from November 14. Keep track of this page for details on when the Black Friday deals start this year.

Other retails likely to take part in Black Friday 2017 including Target, Walmart, Gamestop, Best Buy, and NewEgg. We’ll round up the best deals from each of the major retailers in the US, along with deals from UK retailers like GAME, Argos, and Currys PC World.

Why is it Called Black Friday

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Black Friday has existed since the early 1960s, with the name a reference to the fact that the date marks the first day of the year that retailers are in the black (rather than being in the red). The colors are linked to how accountants record the credit side of an account in black and the debit side in red.

It’s possible that the black ink explanation isn’t the origin of the term, with some believing that the ‘black’ in question being in relation to police officers dreading the terrible traffic caused by the influx of shoppers into cities.

Whatever the reason for the name, Black Friday is now known for the large crowds of people, all desperate to grab the best deals – as you can see in the video below.

Black Friday Console Deals

Over the Black Friday deals period there are likely to be good prices on PS4 consoles, PS4 Pro consoles, Xbox One S consoles, and Nintendo Switch games and accessories.

PS4 and PS4 Pro Black Friday Deals


If you’re hoping for a PS4 Pro deal this Black Friday, you may well get lucky!

Sony went big on PS4 Black Friday deals last year, and it will likely do the same for Black Friday 2017. With The PS4 marking its fourth anniversary on the market this November, deals for the basic Slim PS4 are likely to be plentiful and offer incredible value for money thanks to bundled games.

Current best PS4 Slim Deal

On November 7 Microsoft will release the Xbox One X, its competitor to Sony’s PS4 Pro. That’s good news for anyone who’s been waiting to buy a PS4 Pro as Sony will almost certainly try to make its mid-gen upgrade console significantly cheaper. Expect some great PS4 Pro Black Friday deals, likely bundling a collection of enhanced games.

Current best PS4 Pro deal

Xbox One and Xbox One X Black Friday Deals


Xbox One S is likely to be discounted during Black Friday sales.

Xbox One S is likely to be one of the most discounted consoles during Black Friday 2017 sales. Microsoft will have recently launched the expensive Xbox One X console and will want to bolster its Xbox ecosystem numbers by making the Xbox One S a bargain that’s hard to resist. With the rise in 4K TVs (and probably numerous Black Friday 4K TV deals) the Xbox One S could be pushed as an amazing value games console and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player – something neither of Sony’s PS4 console variants offer.

Current Best Xbox One S Deals

Don’t expect any Xbox One X Black Friday deals (the console may well be sold out in the weeks following launch), but numerous Xbox One peripherals are likely to be on sale during Black Friday. The Xbox One Elite controller is a good contender for a nice Black Friday price slash, as are portable hard drives if you’re looking to bolt on some extra storage – those 4K assets in Xbox One X games aren’t small!

Nintendo Switch Black Friday 2017 Deals

Nintendo’s latest console, the Nintendo Switch is in very high demand. The handheld/home console hybrid rarely stays in stock at a retailer for long as is likely to be one of the most in-demand consoles of the holiday 2017 shopping period. With that in mind, don’t get excited over the prospect of a Black Friday 2017 Nintendo Switch bargain. You might get a couple of retailers with new stock, and perhaps some bundles, but nothing of exceptional value will be on offer.

With the Switch you won’t totally be out of luck, however, with accessories and games potentially being among Black Friday offers.

Best Current Nintendo Switch Micro SD Card Deal

Black Friday Gaming Laptop and Desktop PC Deals

If you are on the lookout for a new gaming PC or desktop, Black Friday 2017 may well be worth waiting for. It’s worth bearing in mind that many laptops that claim to be built for gaming are in fact not good enough to play the latest games well. In a laptop you should be looking for a minimum of an i5 processor accompanied by a Geforce 1050 GPU. There have already been some pretty good deals on this spec laptop (especially in the UK) so expect some even better deals on Black Friday.

Black Friday Tips and Tricks

  • Set a budget and stick to it – Easier said than done, but try to give yourself a spending allowance for the Black Friday period. It’s easier to get carried away.
  • Don’t rush in – Make sure you look around for the best deals. Check our guide to the best Black Friday deals to make sure you’re not spending money you don’t need to.
  • Figure out what you want before Black Friday starts – Maybe you want a 4K TV. Do your research about that models you’d be happy with well ahead of the sales event starting. There will likely be lots of 4K TVs on sale over the Black Friday period, but some won’t be good, especially if you plan use the set for gaming. Be aware of input lag and what 4K sets offer true HDR capability.

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