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Google Maps would need Apple approval, says Schmidt

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters that his company needs Apple’s approval before it could bring its Google Maps app back to the iPhone. “We haven’t done anything yet with Google Maps,” Schmidt said. He didn’t comment on whether or not Google has submitted an application to sell Google Maps in Apple’s app store. Apple continues to deal with criticism of iOS 6 Maps, and recent reports have stated the company is looking to hire people who have worked on Google Maps in the past. [via Bloomberg]

Thin display causing iPhone 5 supply issues

Apple’s iPhone 5 is experiencing a shortfall in supply due to its thinner, lighter touchscreen, according to a report from Bloomberg. The phone’s in-cell screen technology, which combines the display and touch sensor, is facing production constraints as manufacturers LG Display and Japan Display Inc. have struggled to meet high demand. Although Apple has also enlisted Sharp Corp. to help manufacture the displays, Sharp wasn’t able to start shipments before the iPhone 5’s launch. The report also speculates that delays from Qualcomm in making LTE chips could lead to shortages.

Reports: Apple to start iPhone 5 Personal Pickup tonight

Apple expects to launch its Personal Pickup service for iPhone 5 at 10 p.m. tonight, according to reports. Customers can purchase an iPhone 5 online, then pick up the phone the next day when an Apple retail store receives inventory. Apple stores are reportedly receiving iPhone 5s today that will be available for Personal Pickup tomorrow.

Apple’s website makes no mention of the iPhone 5 Personal Pickup option yet. As for how long the store will hold your purchased phone for pickup, reports differ: 9to5Mac reports that customers will have “upwards of two weeks” to pick up the purchased phone after its arrival, while Apple Insider claims customers only have one day to pick up a reserved phone before their money is refunded and the phone is released back into inventory.

Apple TV updated to software version 5.1

Apple has released an update for Apple TV: version 5.1 (10A406e) follows up on the March 2012 release of Apple TV software version 5.0.

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Version 5.1 adds support for Shared Photo Streams, as well as streaming audio content from the Apple TV to AirPlay speakers and AirPort Express wireless routers. A list of new features from Apple’s web site follows after the break.

Apple seeks Google mappers; Maps criticism continues

Apple’s response last week to criticism of iOS 6 Maps hasn’t slowed the flow of complaints and news about the troubled app. TechCrunch reports that Apple is now actively seeking to hire people who have worked on Google Maps. According to TechCrunch, many individuals are eager to accept, as Apple offers the chance to “build new product, instead of just doing ‘tedious updates’ on a largely complete platform.”

Meanwhile, the critiques continue. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told ZDNet Australia that he was “a little disappointed” with the app, but went on to mention that he’s not sure the problems “are that severe.” Also, a new Motorola ad has taken direct aim at Maps. As noted by Apple Insider, the ad compares a search for 315 E 15th in New York City on the Droid and the iPhone, with iOS 6 Maps showing an incorrect result.

Users hoping for an iOS return to Google Maps can look to a CNET report that a hacker has ported the app onto iOS 6. Ryan Petrich was able to get the iOS 5.1 version of Google Maps onto an iPhone 3GS running iOS 6. However, the as-yet-unavailable port is prone to crashing, and the phone must be jailbroken for the hack to work. Google has suggested that it’s working on a new app for iOS.

Foxconn iPhone 5 facility closes after brawl

  • September 24, 2012
  • Apple

A Foxconn plant in Taiyuan, China, closed after a large brawl in a company dormitory, according to Reuters. About 2,000 workers were involved in the melee. Foxconn said the fighting stemmed from a personal disagreement, but Internet posts claimed that factory guards had beaten workers.

Roughly 79,000 people are employed at the Taiyuan plant. Though Foxconn does not confirm which of its factories supply Apple, an employee told Reuters that iPhone 5 parts are made and assembled at the plant; reports suggest that aluminum backs are made there. The plant’s closure could last for two or three days, according to an employee, but no time frame has been publicly announced.

iPhone 5 cases: iSkin, Luardi, PureGear + more

Four new iSkin cases for iPhone 5 have been introduced, including the Aura ($40), a case with brushed aluminum panels and rubber side grips. The Aura also comes with a built-in, anti-glare camera ring. It is available now in six different color combinations.

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Luardi has introduced its new cases for the iPhone 5, including its Decorative Cases ($30), snap-on shells in 32 different designs, all available as of Oct. 7. Urban Armor Gear has announced six new rugged cases for the iPhone 5 — each of the six color cases have different names, including the Aviator ($35). Available for pre-order, the cases ship Oct. 5. Also, PureGear has released new cases for the iPhone 5, including the DualTek Extreme Shock Case and Shield ($40), available in six different colors.

iPhone 5 first weekend sales top 5 million

Apple announced it has sold more than five million iPhone 5s since the phone’s launch on Sept. 21. These sales figures best the iPhone 4S, which sold more than four million units during its first weekend of release. The company also announced that more than 100 million devices have updated to iOS 6.

Apple says that demand for iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply, and many pre-orders will be shipped in October, though phones remained available in many Apple Stores during the weekend. The phone is currently available in nine countries; it will become available in 22 more countries on Sept. 28, and more than 100 countries total by the end of 2012.

Report: Verizon iPhone 5 is GSM unlocked

The Verizon iPhone 5 is GSM-unlocked and has been tested successfully on the AT&T network, according to a post at iDownloadBlog, which confirmed that a phone purchased under contract from Verizon worked on the AT&T HSPA+ network. For purposes of testing, the user cut down a micro-SIM card and placed it in the iPhone 5, but nano SIMs from AT&T and T-Mobile should also work in the Verizon phone. While reports have suggested that Verizon’s CDMA/LTE iPhone 5 will not work on AT&T’s LTE network here, it’s unclear whether it will be able to work on any other LTE network outside the United States. [via 9to5Mac]

Lightning cable torn down, authentication chip spotted

A disassembled Lightning cable appears to reveal an Apple authentication chip within the cable, according to an AppleInsider report. During a teardown by a reader, a chip was found directly in the signal path of the V+ wire, a location suggesting that even seemingly simple Lightning accessories will need to contain similar chips to work with new Apple devices.

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The user who made the discovery claims that due to the authentication chips, early third-party Lightning connectors can’t possibly be functional and should be avoided for now. While it’s unclear as to whether those early connectors contain hacked authentication chips or no chips at all, exercising caution is a good idea for the time being.

Apple accused of iOS 6 clock design theft

Apple has been accused of stealing the design of its new iOS6 iPad Clock application from a famous Swiss train clock created by Hans Hilfiker, leading copyright and trademark holder Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to seek credit and/or compensation for the alleged infringements. According to Swiss newspaper Blick, SBB licensed the design to a developer in 2009, and the clock appeared in a successful iPad and iPhone app called Swiss Railway Clock. Apple then cloned the clock design for the iPad application in iOS 6.

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A photo comparison reveals the clocks to be nearly identical. Both SBB and its watch licensee Mondaine are currently contemplating legal action against Apple, though Mondaine has expressed interest in a non-legal solution that benefits all parties.

Report: Best Buy drops ball on iPhone 5 preorders

Best Buy won’t be fulfilling all iPhone 5 pre-orders at launch, according to an internal memo posted by 9to5Mac. Delivery of these unfulfilled pre-orders is now being promised as “no later than 28 days from launch,” noting that the company could not fulfill all pre-orders “based on current inventory allocation.” Customers who won’t receive their phone today were sent an email explaining the details.

iPhone 5 unboxing, comparison gallery posted

Following our longstanding tradition, iLounge has posted a complete unboxing and comparison gallery of Apple’s new iPhone 5 to Flickr. Numerous photos of the phone’s new 4” screen and aluminum enclosure are included, alongside comparison shots with earlier iPhones and its most recent predecessor, the iPhone 4S.

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Check in throughout the day for more photo updates and testing notes on Apple’s latest handset. A comprehensive review of the phone will be posted in the very near future.

Speck debuts CandyShell and other iPhone 5 cases

Speck today rolled out its line of iPhone 5 cases. The new line includes numerous new versions of Speck’s CandyShell case ($35), for which the company recently received a patent, and has previously earned numerous awards.

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Also included in the new line are the SmartFlex Card ($35), which can carry up to three cards and cash, the SmartFlex View ($35), which features a retractable stand, and multiple versions of the PixelSkin and FabShell cases (from $25-$40). With the exception of the SmartFlex View, all cases are currently available.

Apple: iOS 6 Maps will improve with use

Apple has responded to widespread criticism of its new iOS 6 Maps app, saying the company is “just getting started with it.” Spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD late yesterday, “We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get.” Muller also said Apple is working with developers to integrate existing transit apps into Maps. Though it’s only officially been out for a few days, the new Maps app has drawn plenty of ire for inaccurate directions, poor photographic renditions of some areas, and distorted 3-D in major cities.

iPhone 5 debuts to typical lines, limited stock

The iPhone 5 began its official rollout today with reports of lines of people and decent initial stock at Apple Stores around the world. As has been typical of recent iPhone releases, queues generally stretched into the hundreds of customers, though some of the first people waiting in various cities have been outed as marketers and small business people looking for media attention. Pre-orders for the new iPhone notably began one week ago, with launch day devices going out of stock within roughly one hour; subsequent shipments were projected to take two or more weeks. Apple subsequently said that first-day orders had topped two million units, doubling the company’s previous record.

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A report from iLounge’s Nick Guy notes that launch day iPhone 5 inventory may be limited at local Apple Stores due to varying supplies of iPhones in different capacities, colors, and carriers. Some models are believed not to be in stock at all, while other supplies are limited; certain low-end 16GB models are reported not to be available. Launch day stock levels at Apple’s cellular partners have traditionally been low, and may be further constrained by the ever-increasing number of carriers now demanding immediate inventory. Apple’s online store still shows three- to four-week wait times for new iPhone 5 orders placed today.

IK Multimedia debuts iRig PRE mic interface

IK Multimedia has released the iRig PRE ($40), a universal XLR microphone interface for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Users can plug any microphone with an XLR connector into the device. The iRig PRE comes with an adjustable gain control, 48-volt phantom power, and an audio output jack.

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Two free apps for the iRig PRE are available for download: iRig Recorder, for voice and field recording/editing, and VocaLive, a multi-effects processing/recording app. Power is supplied by a 9V battery, which offers 30 hours of battery life when used with dynamic microphones, and 10 hours with phantom-powered condenser studio microphones. The iRig PRE is available now.

Apple begins requiring iPhone 5 Screenshots in App Store

Apple has begun to require that all iOS developers begin including iPhone 5-optimized screenshots with their app submissions and updates that have been optimized for the new, 1136x640 display. While many apps have already received iPhone 5 updates in advance of the device’s release tomorrow, developers must also submit the appropriate screenshots for display on the App Store pages in order for their apps to be approved for sale. The new resolution requirements are 640x1136 and 640x1096 for portrait screenshots and 1136x640 and 1136x600 for landscape. [via Cult of Mac]

Bowers & Wilkins debuts A7, A5 speakers

Bowers & Wilkins has unveiled two new dedicated AirPlay speakers, the A7 and A5. The A7 ($800) comes equipped with a six-inch dedicated bass driver alongside two sets of 1” tweeters and 3” mid-range drivers, while the A5 ($500) is a smaller version of the same all-in-one design, using twin 1” tweeters and 4” full-range drivers. Both new wireless speakers feature a design similar to the company’s MM-1 speakers, though more elongated, and without separated satellites.

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As with all AirPlay speakers, a Wi-Fi network and either an iOS device or a computer running iTunes are the only things needed to use the speakers. Both models will be available in October.

Schneider-Kreuznach debuts B+W Smart-Pro Filter

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Leading camera filter maker Schneider-Kreuznach of Germany has announced the B+W Smart-Pro Filter, a circular polarizing filter made for iPhones, other smartphones, cameras or tablets with a maximum lens diameter of 8mm. The polarizing filter is held in place by a self-adhesive magnetic ring, and can reduce reflections on non-metallic surfaces, improving the clarity of water and glass, as well as enhancing the saturation of blue skies and other colors. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

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