- August 14, 2012
According to a report from a German website, Deutsch Telekom will begin to offer preorder tickets for the next-generation iPhone today. The tickets will guarantee access to the new device on the day of release, without having to stand in line, a process the carrier used last year during the iPhone 4S launch. [via 9to5 Mac]
Following rumors that Apple plans to incorporate thinner touchscreens in upcoming devices, the company was awarded a patent today for in-cell screen technology. Unlike traditional touchscreens that place touch-sensitive elements between two pieces of glass, this method incorporates touch sensors directly into the LCD, reducing thickness while improving the screen’s appearance. [via AppleInsider]
The Palo Alto home of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was burglarized on July 17, according to a just-discovered police report. Kariem McFarlin of Alameda, CA is alleged to have stolen over $60,000 worth of “computers and personal items,” which would raise questions regarding potential exploitation of the legendarily secretive Jobs’ personal files. According to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Tom Flattery, however, the robbery “was totally random.” [via 9to5 Mac]
- September 7, 2011
iCloud Communications, which filed a lawsuit against Apple only days after the company announced its iCloud service, has dropped the suit and changed its name. According to Cnet, the company appears to have also changed its name to Clear Digital Communications; although a representative for the company apparently answered the phone “iCloud Communications” when called, before admitting that he didn’t know what the company was now called.
A graduate student has reworked iTunes’ Software License Agreement for his master’s thesis. The Daily reports that Gregg Bernstein, a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, teamed with University of Georgia law professor Robert Bartlett to parse the 4,137-word document to a more digestible 381 words, and then broke it into sections, and adopted a set display type for headlines and section starts. The result is imminently more readable and understandable; Berstein said he has contacted Apple’s legal department about doing usability research, but has yet to hear back. [via TUAW]
In an unusual turn of events, Apple’s Find My iPhone service has been used to located the wreckage of a plane crash. Citing a reader email, 9to5Mac reports that the family of one of the victims of the accident, which occurred in Chile near the island of Robinson Crusoe, were able to login and isolate the coordinates of the last known whereabouts of the plane, which were then passed on to the Navy who are using it to coordinate rescue efforts.
In celebration of 2011’s Fashion’s Night Out, Gin Lane Media, in cooperation with Stylelist.com and Saks Fifth Avenue, has created an interactive storefront display at Saks’ flagship location using a total of 64 iPad 2s. The iPads display Stylelist-branded imagery, live-streaming content from the redesigned website, Twitter updates, and user-submitted photos. The display will run through September 19 and is flanked on either side by two windows of nine 27-inch Apple Cinema Displays. To view pictures of the display, continue reading.
- June 30, 2011
A pair of developers in San Francisco is seeking funding for the Air Guitar Move, a new accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch. The accessory, available for a pledge of $39 or more, will connect via the 30-pin port and will use motion sensing technology to integrate with an app and enable the user to “play” guitar, with the device serving as the guitar neck. The Air Guitar Move’s Kickstarter project has surpassed its funding goal, but is still accepting pledges until July 10.
Designer and engineer Tim Gushue is seeking funding for the InfiniteLoop and miniLoop, new stands designed to work with the iPad/tablets and iPhone/smartphones, respectively. Measuring four feet in length, the InfiniteLoop is able to coil into a small circle, and expands to form a curved stand, with a front “foot” providing support for the bottom of the iPad, while suction cups and or side clips help to hold the device in place. The miniLoop is a two-foot version of the same concept, with a single suction cup cap and clip. Pledges of $19 or more serve as a pre-order for the miniLoop, pledges of $35 or more do the same for the InfiniteLoop, and pledges of $75 or more are good for both. The project has met its funding goal, and production is expected to begin in August.
Who Phoned Home is now offering a TARDIS case for the iPhone 4. Inspired by the show Doctor Who, the case offers full access to all ports and controls, and is made on demand using rapid prototyping technology. It is available in blue, black, and gray, and sells for $40.
Loop Attachment has debuted its Loop Nano watchband for the sixth-generation iPod nano. Made from silicone, the Loop features a stainless steel buckle, a slot for the nano’s clip to ensure a secure fit, and open access to all ports and controls. The Loop Nano is available now in a variety of colors and sells for $20.
- June 8, 2011
Code found in the beta version of iOS 5 points to two future iPad 3 models. TUAW reports that declarations have been found in the iOS system files that reference “iPad3,1” and “iPad3,2.” The report suggests that since there are only two models mentioned, and not three as for the iPad 2, that the 3G/4G version of the iPad 3 may be compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks. Notably, no mention of a fifth-generation iPod touch was found.
According to the latest data from IHS iSuppli, Apple became the world’s largest buyer of semiconductors among OEMs, purchasing $17.5 billion in semiconductors, up 79.6 percent from its $9.7 billion expenditure in 2009. The company surpassed HP and Samsung electronics to hold the first place spot in 2010, both of which were ahead of Apple in 2009. The report projects Apple to spend even more on semiconductors in 2011.
Terry Gou, Chairman of Hon Hai, Foxconn Technology Group’s flagship entity, recently made comments on the difficulty and rewards of working with Apple. Speaking at the company’s annual shareholders meeting, Gou said that steps to more efficiently make Apple products such as the iPad would start to pay off in the second half of this year, Bloomberg reports. Classifying Apple’s devices as “very difficult to make,” Gou said that the company is continuously learning ways to make the products more efficiently, and in turn generate more profit for itself. “We’ve helped Apple make a lot of money,” Gou said. “If our customers make money, then we can also make money. I most fear customers that don’t make money.”
At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple this week announced the winners of its 2011 Apple Design Awards. Among the Student winners were Grades 2 from Tapity, Pennant by Vargatron, and Pulse News Reader by Alphonso Labs, while iPhone winners included Cut the Rope by Chillingo, Golfscape GPS Rangefinder by Shotzoom, and Infinity Blade by Chair Entertainment. Finally, in the iPad category, the winners were Osmos by Hemisphere Games, Our Choice by Push Pop Press, and Djay by algoriddim. [via TUAW]
- June 2, 2011
Apple has signed Universal Music Group to a cloud music licensing agreement, giving it deals with all four of the major record labels, according to a new report. Citing sources with knowledge of the talks, Cnet reports that Apple has also reached agreements with some of the large music publishers. While Apple is expected to announce the service during its WWDC keynote address on Monday, the streaming service will not be made immediately available, the report notes, but will be offered “soon.”
Continuing its preparations for its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that kicks off Monday, Apple has posted banners inside Moscone West depicting the icon it will use for its iCloud service. The icon, which appears on a banner proclaiming that Mac OS X Lion + iOS 5 + iCloud = WWDC and was captured by AppleInsider, appears to be highly similar to the existing “cloud” element of its MobileMe logo.
Apple retail stores are receiving new Visual Merchandising packages with instructions not to open the materials until Tuesday, 9 to 5 Mac reports. What exact service or product the materials are for is unknown, but they are likely tied to some announcement or announcements to be made during the company’s keynote address on Monday.
The Beatles’ three Anthology albums are set to make their exclusive digital debut on the iTunes Store June 14. All three volumes are currently available for pre-order in most areas as iTunes LP offerings, being sold for $30 a piece, or in a digital set for $80; an Anthology Highlights collection of 23 tracks is also being offered for $13. All three Anthology albums have been digitally remastered; individual tracks will be priced at $1.29 each. [via MDN]
- May 24, 2011
iPad assembler Foxconn has closed all of its workshops that handle polishing for electronic parts in the wake of an explosion at an iPad 2 production facility that killed three employees. The Wall Street Journal reports that the explosion is being linked to combustible aluminum dust, created during a polishing process for the iPad’s case. “The workshops could be back online as soon as they pass the test,” said a Foxconn spokesman, who added that the tests would take at least two days. It is unclear when the damaged facility might be able to reopen.
In an interview with AllThingsD, France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard made several comments related to Apple and the iPhone, which the company sells under its Orange brand in 15 countries. “They just created smartphones with the iPhone,” Richard said. “Everybody should be grateful to them to have put such a product in our market.” Richard described his company’s cooperation with Apple on a new smaller SIM standard as compromise meant to appease Apple’s request for smaller components without going to a software SIM solution, which Richard said would make it “very difficult for a telco or carrier to manage the customer relationship.” He also described the next iPhone as “smaller and thinner,” and said he thinks the iPad is “very well ahead of the competition in terms of tablets.”
Apple has acquired 200 patents from Freescale Semiconductor. Patently-O reports that while the reciept of the patents was not recorded until May 18, 2011, the assignment date is listed as April 11, 2011; neither it is clear whether Apple obtained full title to the patents and whether it purchased the rights or obtained them through some other type of transaction. Freescale began as a division of Motorola in 1949, but was spun-off by the company in 2003; the patents in question are said to relate to hardware for computers and wireless devices.
Samsung has been ordered to hand over five newly- or un-released products in its ongoing legal battle with Apple. Courthouse News Service reports that Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung has 30 days to hand over product samples, packaging, and package inserts to the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and Droid Charge. “Apple has demonstrated good cause for some, limited expedited discovery,” said Koh. “While Apple has not yet filed a motion for preliminary injunction, courts have found that expedited discovery may be justified to allow a plaintiff to determine whether to seek an early injunction.” Apple sued Samsung in April claiming intellectual property infringement; the company countersued Apple later that month. [via Crave]
- May 18, 2011
Apple is set to exhibit for the first time at BookExpo America, the largest trade book fair in the United States. PaidContent reports that Apple’s booth is in a “prime” location near the booths of Scholastic, Random House, Disney Book Group, and Macmillan; Apple iBookstore employee Scott Simpson will represent the company. Update: Following the publication of the PaidContent story, a spokesperson for the BEA contacted the publication to clarify that Apple will not be “exhibiting,” but will instead be meeting with publishers in a private room at the venue.
Two Apple displays were recipients of Gold awards from the Society for Information Display, according to Electronista. As part of the group’s Display of the Year Awards, the iPhone 4’s Retina Display was awarded a Gold Display of the Year prize for its various technical advancements, while the iPad’s display also won a Gold award for Display Application of the Year, for its IPS technology, accurate colors, and application inside a thin tablet.
Apple’s retail store plans for this weekend stretch beyond the United States, according to a new report. Citing an Australian “tipster,” 9 to 5 Mac reports that all Apple retail stores in that country will undergo visual merchandising from 6pm to 6 am on Sunday the 22nd, with a sheet raised during that time to prevent anyone from seeing inside, with an all-hands meeting to begin directly afterwards. The report goes on to state that the phrase “Apple Store 2.0” is being mentioned in relation to the company’s plans.
Apple is being called back to Washington, D.C., to discuss mobile privacy issues. AllThingsD reports that the hearing—separate from the one held last week—is entitled Consumer Privacy and Protection in the Mobile Marketplace, and is slated to be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. before the Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance subcommittee. Expected to appear is Apple government affairs VP Catherine Novelli, as well as representatives from Google and Facebook, along with representatives of the Federal Trade Commission, Common Sense Media and the Association for Competitive Technology.
- May 16, 2011
New evidence of a deal between Nuance Communications and Apple has been found in the developer preview of Mac OS X Lion. According to Netputing, Lion contains a number of new voices that are also present in Nuance’s Vocalizer application. The report notes that the voices are not yet usable, as an error message appears when trying to install them. A pair of reports from last week indicated that Apple had entered into an agreement with Nuance to run and build upon its voice recognition software at its new data center in North Carolina, potentially utilizing the technology to deliver new features for iOS 5. [via Cult of Mac]
Guinness World Records has released its 2011 Gamer’s Edition, in which it names the iPhone 4 the “Fastest-Selling Portable Gaming System,” with sales of 1.5 million units on the first day. The book also touts the Apple App Store as the “Most Popular Applicaiton Marketplace,” the “Largest Downloadable Video Game Store,” and the “Largest Launch Line-up of Any Gaming System.” Other records were given out for “Most Popular iPhone Game Series” (Tap Tap Revenge), “Fastest-Selling iPhone/iPod Strategy Game” (Plants vs. Zombies), and “Top Paid-For App Store Game in Most Countries” (Angry Birds).
Apple is set to launch Reading List, a new feature for Safari, in Mac OS X Lion, according to a 9 to 5 Mac report. The feature, which functions much like the popular service Instapaper, was believed to be for desktop browsing only, but the report states that the feature will in fact sync with iOS Safari. The Reading List currently shows up following a MobileMe or physical iTunes Bookmarks sync as a folder named com.Apple.ReadingList inside the iOS Safari Bookmarks list.
Seagate has introduced its new GoFlex Satellite portable external hard drive. Designed with iOS users in mind, the 500GB drive features built-in Wi-Fi, allowing it to share its contents with up to three devices at a time via a web browser or the free GoFlex Media app. Other features include an internal rechargeable battery with up to five hours of battery life, USB 3.0 connectivity, and optional FireWire 800 or powered eSATA interfaces. Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite portable external hard drive is available for pre-order and sells for $200.
- May 12, 2011
Apple has launched its 100th iAd campaign, according to The Loop. The report states that the 100th campaign, from real estate firm Coldwell Banker, began in late March and has performed well thus far, garnering tap rates five times higher than a normal online banner and an average of 11 pages viewed per visit. As noted in the report, iAd is now live in seven countries; Apple recently lowered the initial buy-in for iAds from $1 million to $500,000, allowing companies with smaller budgets to join the program.
Citing new data from Context, Cult of Mac reports that the 64GB iPad 2 with 3G is the most popular iPad 2 model in Western Europe. According to the report, the higest-end iPad 2 represented 33 percent of all sales tracked; when combined with sales of the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 —the least expensive model available—they accounted for more than half of all iPad 2 sales in the region.
Sales of digital music helped drive overall U.S. music sales up 1.6 percent thus far in 2011, according to new data from the Nielsen Company. Through May 8, digital album and track purchases were up 16.8 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, year-over-year, as digital retailers received more than half of all music transactions. Catalog album sales are also up 5.4 percent in 2011, in part due to The Beatles’ catalog being available on iTunes; interestingly, vinyl sales are up 37 percent year-over-year, despite accounting for just 1.2 percent of all physical sales.
BeamItDown Software has announced that it will no longer be supporting its iOS eBook reading solution iFlowReader and will be shutting down on May 31. According to a lengthy post on the iFlowReader website, the company explains that “Apple has made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device. We cannot survive selling books at a loss and so we are forced to go out of business. We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game.”
- May 9, 2011
Fortune Magazine has posted a lengthy, multi-page article concerning Apple in its May, 23 2011 issue. The article discusses Apple’s internal structure as it relates to the company’s performance, internal projects designed to help guide the company after Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ eventual departure, and a particularly colorful internal meeting on Apple’s campus after the rocky launch of MobileMe. A brief portion of the article, which contains some NSFW language, is available online; the full article is available in the full print issue, or in the iPad version, which sells for $5.
KT in South Korea has debuted its new WKF-B2500 WiMax sleeve for the iPhone 4. The B2500 provides the iPhone 4 with a fourth-generation WiMax wireless connection, and also offers an internal 1500mAh battery, and open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, save for the Dock Connector. According to Akihabara News, the sleeve sells for 128,000 Won, or roughly $118.
CleanerGear has introduced the Squeegit, a new cleaning tool for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and other touchscreen devices. The Squeegit is a squeegee-like cleaning tool with a built-in reservoir and sprayer for the included CleanAid cleaning solution, letting users spray down and wipe off their displays without the need to carry around two separate items. The Squeegit is available now and sells for $15.
Designer Seth Quest is now accepting pre-orders for the new Hanfree iPad stand. Available with either a hardwood alder or plastic base, the Hanfree consists of a base, a pivoting stainless steel neck, and an iPad case with an integrated ball and socket joint for 360-degree rotation on the end of the neck. The Hanfree has reached its funding goal on Kickstarter and will retail for $80; those who pledge now can get the plastic version for $50, or the limited edition alder version for $200.
- April 28, 2011
Three employees of Apple assembler Foxconn have been arrested in relation to early leaks of the iPad 2’s design. DigiTimes reports that the three employees were arrested on December 26, 2010 and were charged on March 23 for violating company trade secrets; the three reportedly leaked the design to outside accessory companies in China, allowing them to begin producing cases for the iPad 2 prior to its public unveiling.
Apple was a main subject of the season 15 premiere of the animated series South Park, which aired last night. In the episode, entitled “HUMANCENTiPad,” Kyle failed to read the terms and conditions of the latest iTunes update, thus allowing Apple to track his location and subjecting himself to a human experiment meant to become Apple’s latest product. The full episode is available for viewing online at southparkstudios.com; some of the material may be objectionable to some readers.
Apple is in the process of testing iOS 5 with third-party applications, according to a new report. Citing the logs of WhereTo developer FutureTap, the new OS is being tested by both Apple and AT&T, on both the iPhone 4 and first-generation iPad. Apple is widely expected to preview iOS 5 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Momentum from the launch of the Verizon iPhone allowed Apple to gain on Android in U.S. smartphone sales for the first time since Q209, according to the latest data from NPD’s “Mobile Phone Track” service. As reprinted by MacDailyNews, Apple’s iOS accounted for 28 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales in Q1 2011, up nine percent from the prior quarter, while Android’s share of sales dropped three percentage points to 50 percent. Overall, Q1 2011 marked the first time a majority—54 percent—of new mobile handsets sold in the U.S. were smartphones.
- April 27, 2011
iOS continues to lead in platform interest among mobile developers, according to the latest data from Appcelerator/IDC. The Appcelerator-IDC Q2 2011 Mobile Developer Survey Report, taken April 11-13 among 2,760 developers, shows that 91 percent of developers say they are “very interested” in iPhone development, while 86 percent are similarly interested in developing for the iPad. These numbers compare favorably to the 85 percent interest in Android phones and 71 percent in Android tablets, both of which fell from the previous survey primarily due to concerns over device fragmentation. [via MDN]
Sony has announced that it plans to release two tablet devices based on Android 3.0 Honeycomb with which it plans to compete with the iPad, reports Reuters. The two tablets, codenamed the S1 and S2, offer a 9.4-inch screen and curved design or dual 5.5-inch displays in clamshell design, respectively, and will feature Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity, as well as support for Sony’ PlaystationSuite Android gaming service. Pricing and release information was not revealed.
Sony has started sending out emails to customers of its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, admitting that a recent, extended service outage was due to a catastrophic data breach that left users’ personal information exposed. “We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network,” the company said. It continued, stating that breach included “name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID” information, and that “while there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility.” The service remains down as of this post.
Walker Digital, founder of the travel site Priceline.com, has filed a second lawsuit against Apple and other companies, alleging patent infringement related to a system that provides supplemental information for video programs. According to AppleInsider, Apple was included in the suit not due to its own applications, but for making available on the App Store allegedly infringing apps from other named companies like The Walt Disney Company, The Weather Channel, The Nielsen Company, Digimarc Corporation, and TV Aura Mobile. Walker Digital’s first suits named Apple along with more than 100 other major technology companies, claiming patent infringement related to technologies it claims to have invented in the 1990s.
- April 19, 2011
Apple has revamped its former Support Discussions section, renaming it Apple Support Communities. The new support section divides the discussion and question threads into “communities” based on certain products, offers the ability to track community activity via email or RSS, the ability to “Like” posts, the ability to see correct and/or helpful answers without needing to dig through an entire thread, and more. The new section can be accessed by visiting discussions.apple.com.
Apple has added Chimei Innolux, an affiliate of the Foxconn Technology Group, as a third supplier for touchscreen sensors for the iPad 2, according to a new report. Citing two people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Innolux will begin supplying the components next month, joining TPK Holdings and Wintek, who will remain Apple’s key suppliers for the sensors. Notably, Foxconn is also the assembler of both the iPad and iPhone.
Former Apple iPhone Game Technologies team member Graeme Devine has made several comments regarding the state of iOS gaming. Speaking in an interview with Business Insider, Devine said with a chuckle that he “can’t talk so much” about Apple’s future plans, but said that Apple is serious about gaming on iOS. “Apple is clearly focused on gaming. A lot of people say Apple doesn’t get gaming, but Apple has probably the most popular gaming device on the planet right now, and that doesn’t happen by accident,” said Devine. “Apple is intensely focused on gaming and intensely aware of it. Every ad for the iPod Touch only shows games; no running music.” Devine, who left the company in December 2010 to start his own studio, added that it “would be crazy cool” if Apple decided to expand the Apple TV’s reach into the gaming segment.
Apple is cracking down on applications using pay-per-install marketing campaigns, according to a new report. Citing Tapjoy, developers of a number of such apps, GigaOM reports that a number of developers have recently seen their apps rejected because they were running incentivized app installs, in which developers pay to have their app installed in other apps, including offering virtual currency in exchange for app downloads. Tapjoy speculates that Apple may be using section 3.10 of the developer program agreement to justify the rejections; the section states, “[d]evelopers who attempt to manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews, or any other inappropriate methods will be removed from the iOS Developer Program.”
- April 13, 2011
Research firm Gartner has released its latest forecasts for tablet sales through 2015, which predict that Apple will still hold a 47.1 percent of the market in 2015, on sales of over 135 million iPads. “Seeing the response from both consumers and enterprises to the iPad, many vendors are trying to compete by first delivering on hardware and then trying to leverage the platform ecosystem,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “Many, however, are making the same mistake that was made in the first response wave to the iPhone, as they are prioritizing hardware features over applications, services and overall user experience. Tablets will be much more dependent on the latter than smartphones have been, and the sooner vendors realize that the better chance they have to compete head-to-head with Apple.”
Apple has won a preliminary round in its ongoing lawsuit against companies manufacturing and/or selling unauthorized accessories for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Ars Technica reports that U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel has denied a request from four of the companies to have the case dismissed on procedural grounds, ordering the suit to proceed. Apple sued Eforcity Corporation, Accstation, Itrimming, Everydaysource, United Integral, Crazyondigital, and Boxware Corporation last July, claiming that the companies violated as many as 10 of Apple’s patents and additional trademarks by selling unauthorized electronic accessories, including chargers, speakers, and cables. “Many are of inferior quality and reliability, raising significant concerns over compatibility with and damage to Apple’s products,” the company said at the time.
Boy Genius Report, citing an Apple source, has claimed that iOS 4.3.2 is due in “the next week or so,” and will deal with several issues, namely problems experienced by Verizon iPad 2 owners unable to connect to 3G, FaceTime issues, and security fixes. While BGR’s record on predicting Apple iOS update releases is mixed, Apple has confirmed that it is aware of the Verizon iPad 2 troubles, saying, “We are aware that a small number of iPad 2 customers have experienced connectivity issues with the Verizon 3G network and we are investigating it.”
According to In The Plex, a new book about Google penned by technology writer Steven Levy, Apple hid the development of the iPad from then-current Apple Board member and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. As reported by the Daily Mail, the book claims that Apple CEO Steve Jobs was so enraged after seeing iPhone features such as pinch-and-zoom being implemented in Android after a visit to Google’s Mountain View campus that he hid the iPad’s development from Schmidt. Schmidt resigned from Apple’s Board of Directors in August 2009; the iPad was unveiled roughly six months later.
- April 4, 2011
Apple has once again lowered its shipment wait times on new iPad 2 units ordered from its online store. A quick check of the U.S. store shows a 2-3 week wait for all new models, down from 3-4 weeks; the same estimated shipment times are given on Apple’s international stores, as well, according to Mac Rumors.
An Apple patent application covering an electronic document authoring system has suggested the company plans to release a version of its iWeb website building application for the iPad. In the patent, pointed out by Patently Apple, Apple lists iWeb in a list of productivity apps that have been designed to work with gestures and touchscreen displays such as the iPad, alongside existing applications Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.
AT&T has quietly raised its early upgrade pricing on the iPhone, according to a new report. Citing an image of an internal AT&T memo, Android Central reports that the company is adding $50 to its early upgrade pricing for iPhone, bringing the 8GB iPhone 3GS to $299, the 16GB iPhone 4 to $449, and the 32GB iPhone 4 to $549.
Nature’s Eye Studios has discovered how to enable display mirroring on the first-generation iPad. According to a blog post on the company’s website, the hack requires that the iPad be running iOS 4.3 or later and be jailbroken; users then need only make a simple change in a .plist file, save, and restart the device.
- March 31, 2011
Apple has reached a deal with AU Optronics for the latter to supply large amounts of flat panel displays for the iPad 2, according to a new report. Without citing any sources, the Economic Daily News reports that Apple offered three to four times the going rate for the displays, but has managed to secure half of the company’s fifth-generation plant’s capacity, and due to Apple’s rigorous quality demands, the yield rate is only expected to reach 60-70 percent.
Samsung is set to hire 300 engineers and technicians as part of a $3.6 billion expansion of its Austin, TX plant. According to the EE Times, the decision to expand the plant, which previously only made NAND flash memory chips, was made last year. The plant will now also produce logic devices as well, with Apple said to be the primary customer, suggesting that the plant may house production facilities for future versions of Apple’s mobile processors. [via MDN]
Apple is among a group of companies named in a lawsuit by H-W Technology. H-W is claiming that Apple, along with a host of other companies that includes Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, RIM, Samsung, and Verizon, infringes on a patent entitled “Internet Protocol (IP) Phone with Search and Advertising Capability,” which the company claims covers smartphones. H-W is seeking a permanent injunction against the companies, as well as damages.
Allison Johnson, Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing communications, is leaving the company, according to a new report. Citing several unnamed sources, AllThingsD reports that Johnson will be leaving her post sometime during the summer to co-found a new marketing and communications firm with former Facebook PR executive Brandee Barker. Johnson has held her position at Apple since 2005, and previously worked for HP.
- March 29, 2011
Record labels are looking to dedicated iPad apps to expand on the concept of the album, according to a new report. The New York Times reports that Universal recently teamed with a video company to create iPad versions of films about classic albums, with social networking features, while EMI recently released an iPad version of the album Until One by dance group Swedish House Mafia, which for $9.99 includes the album as well as documentary videos, a photo gallery, and writings from the band, all laid out like a coffee table book.
An obscure Japanese chemicals maker is to blame for tight supplies of lithium ion batteries, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The report states that Apple recently called Kureha Corp. to discuss the problem; Kureha enjoys a 70% global market share for a crucial polymer used in lithium ion batteries, but only produces the substance at its factory located in Iwaki, which it was forced to close down following the recent earthquake. The company’s CEO said the situation would accelerate its plans to move more production overseas; it is unsure when the factory will reopen.
William Tang is now accepting Kickstarter pledges for his new Hinge stand for the iPad and iPad 2 (Pictured). Available in two versions—the Classic, made from sustainably harvested birch and leather, and the Crystalline, made from polypropylene—the Hinge sports a simple design that relies on a single hinge and two arms, and can be repositioned to provide a variety of viewing angles. Pledges begin at $25.
Element case has announced a new version of its Joule stand compatible with the iPad 2. Dubbed the Joule Chroma, the new stand mirrors that of the company’s original Joule stand, but offers compatibility with both iPad models, and is available in six anodized colors for $150.
- March 28, 2011
Apple is now accepting online reservations for next-day, in-store iPad 2 pickup in Australia. MacStories reports that customers can only reserve an iPad 2 if their selected Apple retail store has them in stock. Interested customers can access the reservation system via Apple’s retail site.
Apple has reportedly blocked access to the Cydia jailbreak app store on its retail store networks. The iPhone Download Blog reports that if a user attempts to load the Cydia store while on one of Apple’s free wi-fi networks, they will be redirected to Apple’s website instead.
Apple has removed all external liquid contact indicators (LCI) on the iPad 2, according to a new report. 9to5Mac claims that Apple’s Genius database now lists checking the SIM card tray (if present) for corrosion as the only way to externally check for damage caused by liquid. iFixit’s teardown of the iPad 2’s headphone jack showed no LCIs present, as they were in the first-generation design; the first-generation iPad also had LCIs in the 30-pin connector port, whereas the iPad 2 appears to have none.
Some iPhone users in the U.K. are reporting that a glitch in iOS caused their alarms to malfunction. BBC News reports that the problem is related to the clocks going forward for British Summer Time, and left some users’ alarms coming one hour late, one hour early, or not sounding at all. The report notes that the glitch appears to have affected non-recurring alarms set within the iPhone’s calendar application, rather than its dedicated alarm clock.
- March 14, 2011
Aging rocker Jon Bon Jovi has accused Apple CEO Steve Jobs of ‘killing’ the music business. Speaking in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, he said, “Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it. God, it was a magical, magical time.” He added, “I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.”
Update: We’ve penned an Open Letter to Jon Bon Jovi on the topic, which is generating substantial reader interest.
Apple will not be including Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the next iPhone, according to a new report. Citing sources at several large UK mobile operators, the Independent reports that Apple has disclosed in meetings that it will not offer NFC in its next iPhone. “The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry,” said one source. Apple is reportedly working on incorporating NFC technologies into future iPad and iPhone models, including creating accessories that use NFC to offer additional functionality, and a NFC-based payment system.
Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller has confirmed that the white iPhone 4 is on track for a spring release. In reply to a customer inquiry, Schiller wrote on Twitter, “The white iPhone will be available this spring (and it is a beauty!).” Curiously, Schiller didn’t specify that he was speaking about the iPhone 4, but Apple has previously stated a spring release date for the long-delayed model.
Apple is now accepting monetary donations via iTunes for the American Red Cross to benefit Japan earthquake and tsunami victims. Donation buttons are available on a dedicated page in $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 amounts; as with past iTunes donation drives, 100% of the donation will go to the Red Cross to support disaster relief efforts, specifically to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Notably, because iTunes does not sharing user information with the organization, the Red Cross will be unable to further acknowledge any donations made, and an email receipt will serve as the only record of the donation. Apple has also posted a direct link to the iTunes donation page on its company homepage at apple.com.
A number of iPad 2 owners are reporting problems with backlight light leakage. The issue, when present, is most noticeable in a dark room with the iPad 2’s brightness turned up and a black or similarly dark image on the screen, however, it can be noticed under other circumstances, as well. One report claimed that the issue is similar to past yellow tinting issues, related to a bonding agent not having dried yet; should that be the case, the problems will likely dissipate over a few days of use, but if not, repair or replacement may be necessary. [via Engadget]
The iPad 2 is selling well on the gray market in China, according to a M.I.C. Gadget report. According to the report, a Hong Kong retailer named Mr. Lo received 200 pre-orders for the device prior to its launch, and had eight couriers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles working to get his customers the device by March 13. Prices range from HKD$7,980—roughly $1,025—for a black 16GB Wi-Fi model to HKD$11,880 (~$1,525) for a black 64GB 3G model; white units carry a HKD$1,500-$2,000 premium. The retailer was also offering Smart Covers and the Apple Digital AV Adapter, with prices set between HKD$580 for the adapter to HKD$1,280—or over $160—for a leather smart cover. The report notes that most of the 60 units that arrived yesterday were 64GB 3G models, as most customers are more concerned with having one than with the capacity, and the higher-end models allow the retailer to make more profit.
IHS iSuppli has completed its teardown analysis of the iPad 2, claiming that the 32GB GSM model carries a bill of materials (BOM) cost of $326.6, while the 32GB CDMA model has a BOM of $323.25. As reported by DigiTimes, the company claims that the cost of the device’s touchscreen has shot up since the introduction of the original model, with the display and touch screen subsystem accounting for $127 of the device’s BOM cost, compared to the initial $95 estimate for the original iPad. Other major components, such as the NAND Flash memory, battery, and A5 processor, are estimated to cost $65.7 (in the 32GB model), $25, and $14, respectively, with the latter cost expected to go down over the course of the year as Apple ramps up production.
Lead designer at Mozilla Labs Kevin Fox has suggested that the iPad 2’s headphone port, which is set on a steep curve, could actually be the first of a new kind of headphone jack from the company. Citing an Apple patent application from September 2010, Fox argues that the port’s slim design suggests that it may be one of the “pogo pin” jacks described in the application. Named after the pogo stick, the jack described in the patent employs retractable Pogo pins to conserve space, and replaces the traditional, larger “cantilever beam” design. [via Gizmodo]