New images of Apple retail promotion materials have confirmed that the company will be officially launching the third-generation iPad on Friday, March 16 at 8:00 a.m. local time. 9to5Mac, which posted the image, claims it came from a “friend in retail” and will be used out front of an Apple retail store prior to the launch. As noted in the report, a prior rumor claiming that Apple’s new store in Houston would open at 8:00 a.m. on the 16th suggested that Apple would be launching the iPad at that time, but no further confirmation was available at that time.
A purported third-generation iPad unit has been unboxed and subsequently benchmarked by Thailand-based Tinhte.vn. As shown in the unboxing photos (Translated Link), the third-gen iPad box will feature a metallic iCloud stamp on the bottom, with the normal capacity and wireless network markings on the back—in this case, 16GB and 4G—and multiple markings that show it to be model number A1430. Otherwise, the device’s packaging appears to be quite similar to that of the iPad 2, including the same accessories inside the package. As for the benchmarks (Translated Link), the site found the third-gen iPad to deliver a Geekbench Score of 756, with a processor speed of 1 GHz—same as the iPad 2—but 1GB of RAM, or twice that of the prior unit. The unboxing video appears in embedded form below.
During its negotiations late last year, Motorola Mobility attempted to win a wide-reaching patent license from Apple in return for access to Motorola’s SEPs (standards-essential patents). Citing the European Commission’s clearance decision on Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports that the negotiations in question took place in November 2011, and resulted in Apple declining to send a representative who could negotiate a settlement to a December court hearing in Munich.
The portion of the European Commission document in question reads: “For instance, according to Apple, Motorola Mobility has insisted that Apple cross-licenses its full non-SEP portfolio in exchange for Motorola Mobility’s SEPs. Apple also argues that its refusal to accede to this demand led Motorola Mobility to sue Apple in an attempt to exclude Apple’s products from the market. On the terms of Apple’s own argument, Motorola Mobility’s allegedly anti-competitive behaviour in this regard well precedes the merger at issue in the present decision.” Mueller suggests that Apple’s reluctance to provide access to its full patent portfolio will continue to be the key issue in negotiations between the two sides.
IK Multimedia has released DJ Rig for the iPhone and iPod touch, a new pro-quality DJ mixing app designed to complement the company’s iRig Mix mobile mixer. Debuted at CES 2012, DJ Rig provides a full-featured double-deck DJ mixing app for the iPhone and iPod touch that allows users to instantly play and mix songs from the device’s music library. Features include automatic tempo sync and beat matching, sample-based pads and performance recording and a comprehensive set of high-quality DJ effects.
DJ Mix is designed to provide an intuitive and flexible mixing solution for both the professional and novice DJ alike with a collection of easily accessible creative tools and synchronization of beats between songs to allow quick mixing at the tap of a button. Users can also add real-time effects with an XY touch interface and take advantage of the built-in sampler to quickly capture source audio for instant playback and looping. A unique X-Sync function also allows users to sync music from an external source in addition to the music on their iOS device when used in conjunction with the iRig Mix portable mixer, automatically matching tempo and providing seamless transitions. Mixes can also be recorded and exported via iTunes File Sharing. DJ Rig requires iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $2. The basic app includes six DJ effects and eight built-in sound banks along with one adjustable queue point. A Pro Bundle is available via in-app purchase for $5 which adds six additional effects, seven extra sound banks, three more cue points and a digital deck interface.
Apple has been sued over its allegedly misleading commercials for the iPhone 4S. The Wall Street Journal reports that in the class action complaint, filed in US District Court in San Jose, Brooklyn native Frank M. Fazio claims that Apple’s commercials—which show Siri finding guitar chords, making appointments, and more—are misleading, as the real-life performance of Siri falls short. Fazio claims that Siri often does not understand what he is saying, or that she responds with the wrong answer; the complaint states that Siri is “at best, a work-in-progress.” The suit is seeking unspecified damages.
Apple senior vice president of Industrial Design Jony Ive has given a rare interview to the London Evening Standard in which he makes several interesting statements regarding the strengths of Apple’s long-tenured, multidisciplinary design team and the difference between Apple’s approach to design and those of competitors. “The way we work at Apple is that the complexity of these products really makes it critical to work collaboratively, with different areas of expertise. I think that’s one of the things about my job I enjoy the most,” Ive said, responding to a question about his small team. “I work with silicon designers, electronic and mechanical engineers, and I think you would struggle to determine who does what when we get together. We’re located together, we share the same goal, have exactly the same preoccupation with making great products.”
“One of the other things that enables this is that we’ve been doing this together for many years - there is a collective confidence when you are facing a seemingly insurmoutable challenge, and there were multiple times on the iPhone or iPad where we have to think ‘will this work’ we simply didn’t have points of reference,” he continued. “For as long as we’ve been doing this, I am still surprised how difficult it is to do this, but you know exactly when you’re there - it can be the smallest shift, and suddenly transforms the object, without any contrivance.” Finally, discussing consumers’ care for design, Ive said, “One of the things we’ve really learnt over the last 20 years is that while people would often struggle to articulate why they like something - as consumers we are incredibly discerning, we sense where has been great care in the design, and when there is cynicism and greed.”
Path has released an update to its iOS social sharing application adding integration with the Nike+GPS app, a new music matching feature and several other improvements. With Path 2.1 users of the Nike+ GPS app can now automatically journal all of their runs in their Path simply by connecting the two apps. A note will be added to the user’s Path when starting a run to allow friends to comment or cheer and when the run is finished, a map will be added showing the user’s route.
Path 2.1 also incorporates a new Music Match feature that allows users to share songs they’re listening to using their device’s microphone to identify what’s currently playing rather than having to enter the name of the song. Additional improvements inlaced the ability to adjust the camera’s focus and exposure points separately when taking photos and the addition of a new comic book effect camera lens for iPhone 4S users. The update also adds several other smaller UI and filter improvements and bug fixes. Path 2.1 requires iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download. Nike+ GPS 3.4 or later is also required to post runs to Path.
The Rockstar Consortium, a patent group co-owned by Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony, has announced that the US Department of Justice waiting period for review of its proposed acquisition of a substantial majority of the former Nortel Networks patent portfolio has expired. The expiration clears the way for Rockstar to close the deal, giving Apple and its partners access to roughly 4,000 patent assets “spanning wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, Internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patents.” Rockstar won an auction for the patents last summer with a bid of $4.5 billion, $2.6 billion of which was provided by Apple.
In a statement released to USA Today over the weekend, Apple confirmed that it has sold out of all third-generation iPad pre-order stock available for delivery on launch day. “Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased,” Apple said in the statement. “Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date.” On Friday, shipping times for new pre-orders slipped from March 16 to March 19, and Apple’s online store in the US now lists all new orders as shipping in 2-3 weeks. Apple will officially launch the third-generation iPad on March 16.
It appears as though Apple has sold through its launch day allotment of the third-generation iPad on its online store. A quick check of the Apple Store in the U.S. shows that every color and capacity of third-generation iPad is now listed as shipping “by March 19”, as compared to the prior message which indicated the device would be delivered on March 16. As reported earlier today, Apple has started to email some customers in the UK to tell them that their orders—originally quoted with the March 16 delivery date—would not arrive until March 20 or 21.
Apple has started to email some customers who ordered their third-generation iPad units on Wednesday, informing them that shipments of their devices will be delayed. Quoting multiple reader reports, MacRumors explains that at least one of these customers was initially quoted delivery on March 16, with others quoted a window of March 16-19. Apple has now pushed back delivery for these customers to March 20 or 21. “Despite our best efforts and those of our shipping partners to get your order to you on time, we want to inform you that [your iPad] will not arrive on its originally scheduled delivery date”, one of the notification emails reads. “Your new delivery date is 20/03/2012.” Apple will officially launch the third-generation iPad in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia on March 16.
As announced last month, China Telecom launched the iPhone 4S on its network in mainland China today. According to an M.I.C. Gadget report, the carrier has taken over 200,000 pre-orders for the device, with orders in Beijing and Shanghai topping 10,000 and 20,000 units, respectively. While China Telecom operates a CDMA network similar to the ones operated by Verizon and Sprint in the U.S., it is passing out micro UIM cards—similar to GSM SIM cards, but developed for CDMA handsets—that are required to activate the phone. China Telecom is the third-largest mobile carrier in China with a reported subscriber base of roughly 130 million subscribers.
Despite the official launch being a full week away, the first third-generation iPad pre-orders have started to ship from Apple’s assembly partner Foxconn. 9to5Mac’s Seth Weintraub reports that one of his pre-orders—a 16GB Wi-Fi unit with engraving—has shipped from Chengdu in Western China. As noted in the report, Chengdu was the site of an explosion at an iPad 2 production line run by Foxconn. The shipment notification, as well as the tracking information, for the package indicates that it will be delivered on March 16, suggesting that unlike some past Apple launches, pre-order customers won’t be receiving their units prior to the official launch.
RadioShack has announced that it is now taking pre-orders for the third-generation iPad. In order to facilitate the pre-orders, the retailer is requiring pre-order customers to buy a $50 RadioShack gift card, which can then be used towards the final purchase. Customers will also be able to use the company’s Trade & Save program to receive up to $350 for an iPad 2 or $175 for an original iPad in working condition. RadioShack will start selling the third-generation iPad on launch day, Friday, March 16.
There’s been a crazy quantity of news over the last day—new iPad and Apple TV hardware, new iOS and iTunes software, a new iPhoto app for iOS, and updates to virtually every major Apple-developed app in the App Store. Here’s an index to all of the major stories we’ve posted so that you can see what’s what, easily.
The Third-Generation iPad: Apple unveiled the third-generation iPad, dropping its recent numbering scheme in favor of calling it “the new iPad.” It features a Retina Display with over 3 million pixels, a new 5MP rear camera, support for some 4G LTE networks, and a body that’s slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2’s, but is otherwise cosmetically virtually identical. After the announcement, we discovered that the new iPad’s battery was much larger, Bluetooth 4 was added, and AirPlay was still locked at 720p from the super high-res device.
Click on the title of this article for many more links to our coverage.
Apple has revealed the data plans and pricing for the third-generation iPad with 4G. Both AT&T and Verizon offer three monthly plans each, but the plans vary in pricing and data allotment. AT&T offers 250MB of data per month for $15, 3GB for $30, and 5GB for $50, while Verizon offers 1GB of monthly data for $20, 2GB for $30, and 5GB for $50—the lone parallel between the two providers. Notably, 9to5Mac reports that Verizon’s plans include support for the mobile hotspot feature, while AT&T will not offer the feature at launch, but is “working with Apple to enable this feature in the future”.
Announced yesterday, Apple’s move to include Movies in its iTunes in the Cloud service means that you can re-download previously purchased movies from the Purchases section of the iTunes Store, and stream those films directly from the Apple TV — unless that film is from NBC Universal or Fox. AllThingsD reports that both studios are left out of the service for the time being due to a conflicting contractual obligation to HBO that gives the pay-TV channel exclusive windows. The report claims that the conflict will likely be solved in short order, however, as HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson suggests: “With every technological enhancement, we have always been able to find common ground with our studio partners, and we’re sure that will be the result here.”
The United States Justice Department has warned Apple and five of the largest U.S. publishers that it plans to file an anti-trust suit against them. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that the suit will accuse Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan, and HarperCollins of colluding to raise the price of electronic books. Several of the parties have held talks to settle the case and prevent a court battle, according to the report, and such a settlement could lead to cheaper e-book pricing. Not every publisher is in settlement discussions, however. The companies are also being investigated by the European Union over the same alleged offense.
Shortly following yesterday’s announcement of the third-generation iPad and third-generation Apple TV, the US Federal Communications Commission approved both products for sale. The listing for the third-generation Apple TV includes both exterior and interior photos, while the third-generation iPad receives three separate listings—one for Wi-Fi models, one for AT&T 4G models, and one for Verizon 4G models—all of which offer comparatively little in the way of new information. All four listings can be accessed via the links above.
Following the announcement of the third-generation iPad, Apple has dropped its pricing on refurbished iPad 2 units. Refurbished 16GB Wi-Fi units are now only $349, with 32GB and 64GB models selling for $449 and $549, respectively; Wi-Fi + 3G models sell for a $120 premium. In addition, the company also still offers refurbished first-generation iPads, with pricing set at $399 for a 32GB model or a 16GB 3G model and $499 for 64GB units.