MacRumors


Best Buy is currently holding an Apple Shopping Event, offering significant discounts on a range of Apple products, including the iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPad Air 2, and select Mac models.

Best Buy’s best deal is on the iPad Air 2, which is available at a $75 discount, dropping the price on the entry-level 32GB WiFi-only model from $400 to $325. The higher-capacity 128GB WiFi-only model is available for $425, down from $500.

bestbuyapplesaleThere are decent discounts on some Mac models, but now is not a good time to buy a Mac because updates are likely coming before the end of the year. The 27-inch iMac with 8GB RAM and a 1TB Fusion Drive is available for $1,899, a $100 discount. Apple is also selling two models of the MacBook Air at a $100 discount, dropping the price of the 128GB model to $900 and the 256GB model to $1,100.

Deep discounts are available on some original Apple Watch models with Sport devices available at prices as low as $189 and stainless steel models available at prices as low as $249.

Customers who purchase a 64GB iPhone SE on either Verizon or Sprint will pay the price for a 16GB device thanks to a $50 discount on a monthly installment plan. For AT&T customers, Best Buy is offering a $50 Best Buy gift card with the purchase of a 64GB iPhone SE.

For the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Best Buy is dropping the price by up to $300 with the trade-in of an eligible smartphone. For the entry-level 32GB iPhone 7, that drops the price from $649.99 to $349.99. Trade-in value for devices varies by model and condition.

Best Buy is also offering a free $100 Best Buy gift card with the purchase and activation (with a monthly installment plan) of a 256GB iPhone 7 on either Verizon or Sprint.

For more discounts on Apple products, accessories, and apps, make sure to check out our full deals roundup.

tim_cook_headshot_glassesWhile on a trip that’s taken him to Shenzhen, China and Nintendo’s offices in Kyoto, Japan, Apple CEO Tim Cook today met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussing topics related to the importance of the country in Apple’s ongoing market strategy. Specifically, Cook was said to confirm that an advanced R&D center in Yokohama was on track to complete construction by December (via ).

The Yokahama facility has been two years in the making, and was originally reported to “center around health.” During the meeting, Cook said he and Abe discussed “doing great things together,” and reiterated “how important the country is to Apple.”

“We talked about the future and doing great things together. I shared with prime minister Abe our love for Japan and how important the country is to Apple,” Cook, who is currently on a tour of Asia, was quoted as saying at the prime minister’s office following their meeting.

Abe said that he hopes Apple will continue to generate relationships with other companies and manufacturers in Japan, in order to contribute to the overall technological boom in the country. On the same topic, Cook mentioned that Apple is aware of “a number of manufacturers of all sizes” that could result in a mutually beneficial partnership moving forward.

After the original announcement in 2014, Abe described the upcoming Apple facility as “among the largest in Asia,” where Apple plans to “conduct the most advanced research and development in Japan.” According to sources near the site’s development, Apple’s plans for Yokohama “are evidence the maker of the ubiquitous iPhone has plans connected to Japan that extend well beyond just end user sales.”

Apple revamped its retail stores last year by removing iPad smart signage and demoting iPod display models to side shelves, and now the company has another move up its sleeves in a push towards simplicity.

MacRumors has learned of at least two other stores in the United Kingdom where the security tethers, which activate audible alarms when disconnected, have been removed, and it appears likely the change will be phased in at other locations.

The courageous move effectively allows customers to walk into an Apple retail store, pick up an iPhone display model, and walk out with the device without paying, but Apple evidently feels the untethered experience is worth the risk.

Apple says this is to allow people to hold them properly, try cases on them and even see how they feel in your pocket. It’s a bold move, especially given the lack of visible security in the building. We couldn’t spot a single CCTV camera, although any phone taken out of the store will set off an alarm. If not returned, the phones will also be rendered unusable.

The customers who do attempt to steal iPhone display models, if not caught by security or CCTV cameras where installed, will walk away with unusable devices, as Apple will place them into Lost Mode remotely using Find My iPhone.

Apple continues to use security tethers on larger products such as MacBook and iPad display models.(Thanks, Peter!)

Sony today confirmed that it is working on creating more than five smartphone games for iOS and Android, all expected to launch before March 2018 (via ). The games will be created through Sony’s ForwardWorks subsidiary, which it formed earlier in March of this year as a way to craft “full-fledged game titles” for smartphones.

At the time of that announcement, the company hadn’t detailed the launch plan, or specified how many games it wanted to create, so today marks the first time it talks about its smartphone gaming plans since then. Known in March and reiterated today, the Sony iOS and Android games will first hit Japan and other Asian countries, with the expectation being that each game will then slowly rollout wider after the initial release.

iPhone-6s-sony-charactersDespite consistently strong sales figures for its PlayStation 4 system, the company’s aim at Japan is an attempt to battle low console sales in a country where users are more likely to spend their time picking up mobile and smartphone games rather than sit in front of a home console system.

“Japan is a market where Sony and other console makers are struggling to sell units. Sony had to react. People are consuming smartphone games like there is no tomorrow,” Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese gaming consultant and advisory group Kantan Games, told CNBC by phone.

Sony has still yet to confirm which games and franchises might receive the smartphone treatment, but any of its first party franchises published under Sony Interactive Entertainment — Uncharted, Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank, God of War — could be fair game. Although the company said that the experiences would be “full-fledged” games, it’s likely Sony will take Nintendo’s approach and optimize each for smartphones, like the latter company is doing in partnership with Apple for the endless runner Super Mario Run.

Analyst Serkan Toto mentioned that since Sony’s intellectual properties aren’t as recognizable as Nintendo’s, the company’s chance for failure might be higher.

“Sony doesn’t have the same power as the Nintendo IP. There is nothing that comes even close to Mario,” Toto said.

“If the first couple of games from that company just don’t work, I think the smartphone game business will see the same fate as the portable game business. Nobody talks about the Vita anymore,” the analyst added, referring to Sony’s PS Vita handheld console.

In the same vein of Sony’s announcement, back in May of 2015 Nintendo revealed that the company was working on 5 smartphone games, in partnership with DeNA, with an end-goal to launch all of them by March 2017. The first was the quickly abandonedMiitomo, followed this December by .

Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem were originally planned to launch this fall, but Nintendo pushed their debut back to 2017 so as not to overcrowd the end of the year and keep the spotlight on Mario. That still leaves one unannounced Nintendo mobile title to launch before the end of Nintendo’s fiscal year — March 31, 2017 — if the company is to keep to its original promise of five smartphone games by March 2017.

Apple recently updated the Apple Watch Nike+ section of its official website with a launch date two weeks from today, on Friday, October 28, for the anticipated device (via ). When announced alongside the other Apple Watch Series 2 models on September 7, Apple did not divulge a specific debut besides sometime in “late October.”

watch-october-nikeAnyone interested can pre-order the wearable in four models starting at $369 for 38mm and $399 for 42mm. Apple’s partnership with Nike aims to help runners achieve better results while wearing the Apple Watch, with an aluminum casing similar to other Sport editions and a unique perforated band that’s stretchy, light, and breathable.

The changes extend into the software of the Apple Watch Nike+ as well, as Nike has designed special software for the Nike+, which is designed to motivate runners to stay active. Nike+ Apple Watches include unique Nike-designed watch faces and complications for the Apple device that users will only be able to get when purchasing the special edition of the Apple Watch.

apple-watch-2-nike_01At its iPhone 7 event, Apple mentioned that its wireless AirPods would see a late October launch, so it’s possible the Bluetooth headphones will also launch on October 28. More anticipated is the expected debut of new MacBooks later this month, which Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed in September by reassuring fans, saying he and the company are “very committed” to the Mac line and to “stay tuned.”

Facebook yesterday announced an update to its flagship app that lets users stream video from their iOS device directly to an Apple TV.

Now, when a video is selected in the app’s news feed or from the Saved tab, a small button appears in the top right corner which, when tapped, offers to send the video to an Apple TV on the same wireless network.

If you’re streaming a Facebook Live video to your TV, you can see real-time reactions and comments on the screen, and you can join in the conversation yourself by reacting or commenting.

The new feature – which also supports Chromecast – continues to stream the video to the TV while allowing the user to browse other parts of Facebook on their iPhone or iPad.

Facebook is free download on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

mba_late_2010_iphone_4_obsoleteApple will add all iPhone 4 models, the late 2010 13-inch MacBook Air, third-generation AirPort Extreme, and mid 2009 AirPort Time Capsule to its vintage and obsolete products list starting October 31, according to Japanese website .

Apple products on the vintage and obsolete list are no longer eligible for hardware service, beyond a few exceptions. Apple defines vintage products as those that have not been manufactured for more than five years but less than seven years ago, while obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than seven years ago. Each of the products added were released between 2009 and 2010.

The report specifically pertains to Apple’s vintage and obsolete products list in Japan, but the new additions will more than likely extend to the United States, Australia, Canada, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions.

Apple already obsoleted CDMA models of the iPhone 4 around the world last month, while the late 2010 MacBook Air joins the mid 2009 iMac, 2010 Mac mini, and mid 2010 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro among Apple’s recently obsoleted notebooks.

macOS Sierra remains compatible with the late 2010 MacBook Air, while the iPhone 4 cannot be updated beyond iOS 7.1.2. Read how to identify your MacBook Air model or how to identify your iPhone model.

The current MacBook Air has not been updated in 584 days. Refreshed models with USB-C ports are expected later this month at the earliest.

As of this afternoon, Apple has started offering a SIM-free version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus from its online store in the United States, allowing customers to buy an unlocked iPhone without choosing a carrier.

SIM-free versions of the iPhone 7 Plus in all capacities list shipping estimates of three to four weeks, with the exception of the Jet Black SIM-free iPhone 7 Plus, which lists a shipping estimate of six to eight weeks.

For the iPhone 7, SIM-free models in Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, and Black feature delivery estimates of October 17 to 19, while Jet Black models ship in three to five weeks.

simfreeiphone7According to Apple, SIM-free models (A1660 and A1661) will work with any carrier and have full support for CDMA and GSM networks, much like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices available from Sprint or Verizon. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models from AT&T and T-Mobile do not support CDMA networks and are not compatible with all carriers.

SIM-free models are not yet available for in-store pickup from the online store, but should be available in the near future as supplies improve. Retail stores will also likely begin offering SIM-free models in the next few days.

SIM-free iPhones must be purchased at full price, with the iPhone 7 starting at $649 and the iPhone 7 Plus starting at $769.

cook_heroOver the past few months, Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken about augmented reality several times, giving us an idea of what Apple might be working on behind the scenes. In a new interview with , Cook hints at Apple’s approach to augmented reality, suggesting it should encourage, not replace, human contact.

“Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it’s profound. We might … have a more productive conversation, if both of us have an AR experience standing here, right? And so I think that things like these are better when they’re incorporated without becoming a barrier to our talking. … You want the technology to amplify it, not to be a barrier.”

According to Cook, there is “no substitute” for human interaction, a belief that further lends itself to the idea that Apple is exploring augmented reality experiences over virtual reality experiences. In fact, in the interview, Cook says that while VR “has some interesting applications,” he doesn’t think it’s a “broad-based technology like AR.”

Cook has made many similar comments in recent months. In July, Cook said Apple was “high on AR in the long run” and that the company continues “to invest a lot in [AR].” He said he believes augmented reality “can be huge,” and in August, he called it a “core technology.”

In September, when discussing AR/VR, he said be believes augmented reality “is the larger of the two,” because it allows people to “be very present,” engaging with one another while having other visual things to see.

According to rumors, Apple has a research team working on augmented and virtual reality, exploring the AR/VR field and investigating how the company could embrace augmented or virtual reality in the future. Apple has reportedly built prototype virtual reality headsets, but Cook’s continued comments on augmented reality indicate Apple is more heavily invested in that technology.

Apple has made several AR-related acquisitions and hires in recent months, purchasing companies like Metaio, Faceshift, and Flyby Media, and according to BuzzFeed, Apple has also recently been attending meetings with immersive content companies like Jaunt.

BuzzFeed also points out that some of Apple’s existing hardware could be part of a future “AR ecosystem,” including the iPhone 7 Plus with its dual-lens camera system, the Apple Watch with GPS and accelerometer, and the AirPods, equipped with dual accelerometers, optical sensors, microphones, and an antenna.

BMW today unveiled its 2017 BMW 5 Series Sedan, which will be one of the first cars to include wireless CarPlay support. According to press materials released today, iPhones will be able to wirelessly integrate with the BMW iDrive system, connecting to the car over Bluetooth instead of through a Lightning cable.

CarPlay is available in the BMW 5 Series Sedan too. Integrating the smartphone into the vehicle’s system environment allows the phone, together with any apps that are on it, to be operated via the screen in the car by means of the iDrive Controller or touch control. BMW is the first carmaker to integrate Apple CarPlay without any cables at all.

Wireless CarPlay functionality was first introduced by Apple in 2015 alongside iOS 9, but thus far, no in-car infotainment system has been released that fully supports the feature.

It is not clear why wireless CarPlay support has been slow to roll out, but Apple has prevented at least one company from demoing the feature. Volkswagen attempted to demo wireless CarPlay functionality in January of 2016, but Apple said no. It is not clear when Volkswagen will be releasing a vehicle with wireless CarPlay or when it will see a wider rollout to additional vehicles.

The current CarPlay setup requires users to connect an iPhone to a vehicle using a Lightning cable that plugs into a standard USB port.

The 5 Series Sedan will be available around the world starting in February of 2017.

evernoteIn an email that’s going out to Evernote users this afternoon, Evernote confirms that a serious bug caused “a small number of people” who used the Evernote Mac app to lose data.

The email says that images and other attachments can potentially be deleted when using Evernote for Mac, but text notes are safe.

We have identified a bug in some versions of Evernote for Mac that can cause images and other attachments to be deleted from a note under specific conditions. We believe you are one of a small number of people impacted by this bug. […]

The bug can occur in the version of Evernote for Mac released in September, and less frequently in versions released since June. In these versions, certain sequences of events, such as skimming quickly through a large number of notes, can cause an image or other attachments to be deleted from a note without warning. Text in notes is not affected.

Evernote recommends those who receive the email update their Mac app immediately to avoid losing data. For those who have already lost data, Evernote says that while it attempted to restore lost data, some attachments could not be automatically restored.

Lost attachments may potentially be accessible through the premium note history feature, so Evernote is providing all affected users with one year of free Evernote Premium service.

Evernote version 6.9.1 and later, available as of October 2, appear to resolve the issue, preventing further data loss. Evernote for Mac version 6.9.0 is affected, including both build 453991 (available from the Evernote website) and 454042 (available from the Mac App Store).

Earlier this year, it was reported Apple was in “advanced talks” to acquire British semiconductor designer Imagination Technologies, just one week after the chip maker announced job cuts. Apple subsequently confirmed the talks, but said it did not plan to make an offer to purchase the company at the time.

imagination-john-metcalfeNevertheless, over the past year, Apple has been recruiting talent away from the company, according to multiple LinkedIn profiles. Imagination Technologies COO John Metcalfe, for example, left the company in June and is now listed as a Senior Director at Apple, where he started in July.

Imagination Technologies engineers Dave Roberts, Jonathan Redshaw, and Benjamin Bowman are also now employed by Apple. Likewise, a fourth engineer Simon Nield joined Apple as a Design Manager just this month. A search of former Imagination Technologies employees now working at Apple yields 25 results.

Apple poaching employees from Imagination Technologies could be part of its efforts to build out an in-house graphics team.

Many of the employees continue to be based in the London, England area, although some have relocated to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. An anonymous tipster informed us that Apple has established a new team in London to work on GPUs in house, but the information remains unconfirmed.

Imagination Technologies traditionally supplies the PowerVR graphics architecture found in Apple’s range of iPhones and iPads. Apple has been a licensee and stakeholder in the company since at least 2008, and it became a key investor in mid-2009 when it raised its stake in the firm to 10 percent.

In 2014, Imagination Technologies announced an extended licensing agreement with Apple, providing the iPhone maker with access to current and future PowerVR graphics and video IP cores as part of a multi-year deal. These technologies are incorporated into Apple’s own A-series chips like the A10 Fusion in iPhone 7.

Twitter is opening up a new “Explore” tab on iOS and Android to a select group of users of its service. The new section is aimed at “content discovery” and showcases trending topics and simplified search tools in addition to “Moments,” which the tab was previously dedicated to (via ).

Moments launched a year ago this month with the purpose of showing users stories and conversations unfolding on the service in differing categories. The tab had sections like “Entertainment” and “Sports,” with individual Moments changing throughout the day as big events occurred.

“As part of our continued efforts to make it easier to find what’s happening on Twitter, we’re testing a new tab for content discovery,” the company said in a statement.

With Moments recently expanding into a customizable user feature, the company’s future goals for Explore remain uncertain. It didn’t comment on whether or not Explore would become a permanent feature for all users on iOS and Android, either.

The company has gone through a hard time over the past few months, facing its slowest revenue growth in years amid talk of rocky waters at the social network’s headquarters because of uncertainty surrounding a potential buyout by other companies.

Over the summer, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted that the service can be confusing for newcomers and even alienating to its install base of loyal users. In attempts to keep its users happy, Twitter has recently removed media attachments from the 140 character limit, and is trying to address harassment on the service with a new tweet moderation filter system.

dash-256Last week, popular API documentation browser Dash was removed from the App Store after Apple accused the app’s developer of “fraudulent conduct,” including almost 1,000 fraudulent reviews detected across two accounts and 25 apps.

The two accounts were linked together by common credit card, bank account, developer ID login, and bundle ID, according to .

Dash developer Bogdan Popescu responded with his side of the story the next day, claiming the secondary account exists because he helped a relative get started by paying for her Apple Developer Program Membership using his credit card.

What I’ve done: 3-4 years ago I helped a relative get started by paying for her Apple’s Developer Program Membership using my credit card. I also handed her test hardware that I no longer needed. From then on those accounts were linked in the eyes of Apple. Once that account was involved with review manipulation, my account was closed.

Popescu said he “was not aware” his developer account was linked to another until Apple contacted him two days after removing Dash from the App Store.

However, the developer community has presented compelling evidence suggesting otherwise — which we present as speculation.

Earlier this week, developer Steven Troughton-Smith appeared to have discovered the secondary account, belonging to Mihaela Popescu. A cached iTunes page shows a list of 19 apps belonging to this account, tied to the same com.kapeli bundle identifier, all of which have since been removed from the App Store.

mihaela-moveaddict
MacRumors forum member frumpsnake dug further and discovered some of those apps were at one time promoted on his website, including iGuard and moveAddict. Kapeli, the name of Bogdan’s company, also tweeted about moveAddict, and there is even a moveAddict press release tied to his name.

Bogdan Popescu, a Software Engineering student at Coventry University, took this as a challenge from Apple – moveAddict is the result of one month’s work.

MacRumors reader architect1337 subsequently discovered the screenshot file below, which has a date of Sunday, January 12, 2014, belongs to a user called “bogdan.”

Select the next image. We can examine the image and see the file owner is a user called ‘bogdan’. This would indicate that when these screenshots were taken, a user called ‘bogdan’ owned files on that mac and created this file on this date (creation date).

I’m sure there are circumstances where the original author gave all his old software to Mihaela and that she continued to sell and update the entry (on this site) for his (and perhaps others) software.

Apple had agreed to reinstate Dash on the App Store if Bogdan agreed to acknowledge fraudulent activity occurring between the two linked accounts, but he refused. Apple then commented on the matter publicly, at which point Bogdan disclosed a private phone call with the company, so it’s unclear if that offer still stands.

Update: Bogdan Popescu has provided his side of the story in a statement given to iMore, explaining that the secondary account belonged to his mother and that he had transferred over some apps to focus his attention on Dash.

Yesterday, a Redditor with the username Foxconninsider posted about a new Smart Keyboard claimed to be a working prototype potentially coming to both iMac and MacBook devices sometime in 2018. Created by Australian startup Sonder and displayed at an event in Tsinghua University in Beijing, the keyboard uses an e-ink display behind the keys of the board to dynamically change the input of the device to the whim of the user, which could range from different languages to social network shortcuts and emojis.

I work on Tsinghua university campus, it is like the Chinese MIT. It hosted a Foxconn event where I saw the new Macbook keyboard module design and Apple’s 2018 E Ink Magic Keyboard that’s a DFT model. (DFT is design for testing).

The startup Sonder makes a smart keyboard module, it has a new magnetic mechanical mechanism and a lit E Ink display which allows for swapping shortcuts and languages etc. I saw it swap between a few programs and languages (English, Japanese, Taiwanese layouts etc).

The Foxconn Innoconn Executive said Apple’s PBO (Procurement board office) was closing an acquisition for the startup company that is now registered in Hong Kong for a big return of investment for Foxconn International Holdings and E Ink Holdings.

Aside from the unverifiable nature of the post, the claim is questionable for a number reasons, which together originally led MacRumors to decline to cover the story despite multiple contacts from the source prior to their sharing it on Reddit.

Among the questionable aspects of the story is Foxconn’s and Sonder’s apparent willingness to confirm Sonder is in discussions with Apple about the keyboard technology. Such talks are typically covered by non-disclosure agreements which would preclude them from acknowledging the discussions.

sonder-2Regarding the technology at the center of the story, the original Redditor claimed that they “couldn’t film the macbook or magic keyboard test units at the event,” so the early demo keyboard shown in the video above represents a variation on what was seen at the event. The event’s keyboard allegedly had a single e-ink screen for every key on the MacBook, along with a backlit lighting panel. The technology would seemingly be used in future MacBooks and integrated into the iMac’s Magic Keyboard lineup.

With so many unconfirmed factors swirling around the story, it remains possible that Sonder itself is attempting to generate interest in its own upcoming Sonder Keyboard, which packs in all of the previously detailed e-ink technology, along with Mac compatibility, at $199. The company expects the keyboard to arrive sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Apple today invited journalists to London, England to preview its redesigned Regent Street store, set to open this weekend. Dozens of images have been shared on Twitter and other websites, providing us our first glimpse at the revamped location that’s been under construction for more than a year.

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was on hand to preview the new store, designed by Foster and Partners, the award-winning architecture firm behind Apple’s upcoming Campus 2 headquarters and Union Square retail location. Apple Regent Street will open its doors to the public on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. local time.

Thanks to a boost from supplying parts for the increasing demand of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has raised its forecast for 2016. Specifically, the manufacturer expects a revenue growth of between 11 and 12 percent, whereas it was previously holding out only for an increase of between 5 and 10 percent for the year (via ).

Third quarter net profit jumped 28 percent from previous quarters to $3.1 billion, which came in above analyst predictions of an approximately $2.9 billion forecast for the July-September quarter. It also set a new quarterly record for the company in the net profit category, which previously sat at $2.5 billion.

iphone7lineupOverall revenue for the quarter broke another record for the company, with revenue amounting to $8.1 billion in total, a 23 percent increase from the second quarter of 2016. In addition, the company recently said that revenue for the first nine months of 2016 jumped 7.1 percent to $21.6 billion, increasing 39 percent in September alone thanks to the launch of the iPhone 7. According to industry insiders and confirmed by teardowns of the handset, TSMC mainly supplies the iPhone 7 with its A10 chip.

TSMC’s good fortunes have also been inversely related to Samsung’s ongoing Galaxy Note 7 debacle, but executives at the Taiwan-based manufacturing company noted that it’s “too early to tell how business will play out.”

“Samsung is a very strong company,” TSMC acting spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun, told reporters at a briefing after the company met analysts. “I think the issue today is that even they (Samsung) cannot say what has caused this, so this makes everyone nervous.”

Looking at the fourth quarter, TSMC predicts revenue to remain steady at around $8 billion, but the company forecasted its results just under the $8.1 billion third quarter earnings. The numbers for the rest of 2016 didn’t factor in the potential for increased profit from users displaced because of Samsung’s scrapping of the Note 7.

“The previously anticipated inventory reduction at the end of Q4 will be mild,” co-CEO Liu said during the earnings briefing. “The end of this year will be more peaceful than in previous years. We see end-market demand is still healthy.”

While still not quite as popular as last year’s model, shipments of iPhone 7 units are expected to reach 80 to 84 million units in the second half of this year, compared to 85 to 90 million iPhone 6s devices shipped in the latter half of 2015. Samsung’s exploding Note 7 battery problem is believed to be a catalyst to a potential boost in iPhone sales, with a recent SurveyMonkey poll finding that 26 percent of Note 7 owners plan to use their refunds to switch to Apple’s flagship phone.

Samsung is offering $100 bill credit to U.S. customers caught up in its ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 recall if they’re willing to stay loyal to the brand (via ).

Samsung discontinued the Note 7 earlier this week after handsets deemed safe by the company began setting on fire just like the handsets they replaced. Samsung is now offering those who choose to exchange the phone for any other Samsung device up to $100 credit as a goodwill gesture.

galaxy-note7Those who opt to exchange the Note 7 for a full refund or for another brand of smartphone are being offered a smaller $25 credit for the hassle. Currently the goodwill credit appears to be limited to U.S customers.

Commenting in a statement on the U.S. refund and exchange program, Tim Baxter, president and COO of Samsung Electronics America, said: “We appreciate the patience of our consumers, carrier and retail partners for carrying the burden during these challenging times. We are committed to doing everything we can to make this right.”

According to a report by , Samsung still doesn’t know exactly why Note 7 smartphones have been catching fire. The company was apparently unable to replicate the problem at their labs and have so far been unable to identify the exact cause of the issue.

Samsung’s recall of the devices was made official today via the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, citing “serious fire and burn hazards” to consumers. According to the statement, Samsung has received 96 reports of batteries overheating in the U.S., including 23 new reports since the September 15 recall announcement. Samsung has also received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with Note 7 phones.

Some reports predict the recall could cost the company $17 billion. Samsung has already issued a profit warning and slashed its Q3 estimate by a third, with $2.3 billion in lost operating profits, down nearly 30 per cent from a year earlier.