Samsung infringed four Apple patents, according to a ruling by U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender, Bloomberg reports. Among the infringements are a design patent for the front face of the iPhone, and another for touchscreen technology co-invented by Steve Jobs. The findings are subject to review by the trade commission, which should finish its investigation by Feb. 25. An import ban of certain Samsung products is a possibility.
The other two infringements from the ruling include a patent involving translucent images for applications displayed on a screen, and a patent that detects when a headset is plugged in. Wednesday’s patent news saw mixed results for Samsung, as the company won a Dutch court dispute, but was revealed to be the subject of an antitrust law investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. As Bloomberg notes, Samsung has been more successful against Apple outside of the U.S. In the U.K., Apple must run ads stating that Samsung has not copied the design of its iPad due to a recent appeal ruling.
Apple has posted detailed official dimensional drawings for the iPad mini — Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions — on its website, and has done the same for the fourth-generation iPad (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular).
All of the documents are available through Apple’s developer portal. Although they don’t reveal any new information, the measurements enable accessory designers to proceed with their new products, particularly cases that depend upon precise measurements. Apple released drawings for the iPhone 5, new iPod touch, and new iPod nano in September.
In response to early criticisms of the iPad mini’s $329 starting price tag, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller told Reuters that consumers will see the iPad mini as a premium product worthy of its price when compared to similar $199 products like Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. “The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we’ve made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices,” Schiller said. “…And now you can get a device that’s even more affordable at $329 in this great new form, and I think a lot of customers are going to be very excited about that.”
Multiple sources are reporting that some Apple retail stores are offering recent third-generation iPad customers the opportunity to exchange their device for the new fourth-generation iPad. CNET reports that some stores are allowing the exchange for customers who purchased their third-generation iPad within the past 30 days, and ZDNet reports the same thing is happening in the U.K. Both reports claim that the exchanges are being offered selectively on a store-by-store basis, so readers are encouraged to check if their local Apple stores have made the same decision. The usual return policy is 14 days.
The release of the new iPad prompted immediate concerns from customers on the matter, considering it has completely replaced the third-generation iPad, which was only released about seven months ago. Apple’s iPad support forums are full of users wondering if they can make the exchange. There has been no official word from Apple.
Apple and Samsung’s ongoing patent war has taken another two turns, as Samsung won a Dutch court decision, but is now being investigated by the Department of Justice in the U.S. Reuters reports that a Dutch court has ruled Samsung does not infringe on an Apple patent involving multi-touch: using two fingers at a time on the touch screens of some Samsung smartphones and tablets does not constitute an infringement, according to the court.
Back in the U.S., however, the Department of Justice is investigating whether Samsung violated antitrust law through possible misuse of essential wireless patents, Dow Jones reports, a detail revealed by Apple in a legal document. Although the DOJ has not commented on the investigation, a source notes the probe has been ongoing for several months. Apple maintains that some of Samsung’s standard-essential patents are being offered on unfair terms. [via CNET]
Apple announced a major new upgrade to iBooks for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch during today’s special event. The new version features an optional continuous scrolling mode for reading, sharing of information via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter and support for over 40 languages, including Korean, Chinese and Japanese, including appropriate font styles and page turning directions. iCloud integration has also been improved, effectively providing users with easier access to their iBookstore purchases in iCloud directly on their virtual bookshelf. The iBooks update is expected to be available on the App Store later today as a free download.
Updated: iBooks 3 has been released.
While Apple has kept the iPad 2 in its lineup, it has surprisingly pulled the third-generation iPad from its online store in the U.S. after today’s announcement of the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad.
The store now shows the iPad mini, iPad 2 and iPad with Retina display — however, the latter is the fourth-generation iPad, essentially replacing the third-generation iPad entirely. For the time being, Apple is selling off refurbished third-generation iPads in its refurbished section of the Apple Store; it’s unclear how and when it will discount the remaining stock of new third-generation models.
During its special event today, Apple unveiled a new version of iBooks Author, its creation tool for iBooks. The new version of iBooks Author provides a collection of new templates along with the ability to implement their own custom fonts and insert mathematical expressions directly into books. Additional new features include multitouch widgets and the ability to easily update iBooks online when new editions or content updates are released. The latest version of iBooks Author is expected to be available on the Mac App Store later today as a free download.
After months of speculation, Apple today officially announced the iPad mini, a smaller version of its iconic tablet. It starts at $329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, with a 32GB Wi-Fi model at $429, and 64GB Wi-Fi model at $529. There are also Wi-Fi + Cellular models, priced at $459, $559, and $659 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, respectively. Pre-orders start Friday, Oct. 26. The Wi-Fi version will ship Nov. 2 to a wide number of countries, and the Cellular version will ship “two weeks later” in the U.S., then the rest of the world.
The iPad mini has a 7.9” screen diagonally and a 1024x768 resolution, packing features that are equal to or better than iPad 2 in every way, according to Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller, who compared the device to 7” Android tablets such as Google’s Nexus 7, spotlighting the differences in build quality — aluminum versus plastic — and screen size. For processing and graphics, the iPad mini packs a dual-core A5 chip. It features a FaceTime HD camera on the front and a 5MP/1080p iSight camera on the back. It has an LTE option, and uses 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, plus Bluetooth 4.0. Borrowing features from the iPhone 5, the iPad mini features both the Lightning connector and nano SIM technology. As with past iPads, battery life is billed at 10 hours, and up to 9 hours of surfing the web over a cellular data network.
Primary physical benefits include a reduction in weight and size relative to the iPad 2. iPad mini weighs .68 lbs — the Cellular version weighs .69 lbs. — 53 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad, and it is 7.2 mm thick, 23 percent thinner than the fourth-generation iPad. It’s capable of being held comfortably in one hand, while the full-sized iPad requires two. The display is covered by 0.2 mm-thick glass, and the device comes in white-and-silver and black-and-slate color combinations.
Apple will release four additional Lightning adapters at or after today’s special event, 9to5Mac is reporting. Notably, the company plans to separately sell the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter and Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, for $29 each, versus the $29 total price charged for the prior iPad Camera Connection Kit with both pieces using Dock Connectors.
Also included in the planned release are a Lightning to VGA Adapter ($49), a Lightning Digital AV Adapter ($49), and a 12W USB Power Adapter ($19). The last adapter in the list, likely for the iPad, would represent an increase in wattage from 10W, making quicker charging a possibility.
Update: According to 9to5Mac, advance Apple price lists also appear to show an “iPad mini Smart Cover,” which suggests that Apple will be calling the smaller iPad “iPad mini” after all.
Apple’s special event at 1PM Eastern today will stream live on Apple TV, as indicated by a new Apple Events icon that is now appearing on the Apple TV home screen.
Apple TV users can click to watch the event, which will introduce the iPad mini and other products. Updated: The event will also stream live on Apple’s website, where it will be viewable via computers, tablets, and pocket devices.
A new story at Ars Technica details Apple’s issues with product leaks through interviews with anonymous employees. The article suggests that the majority of Apple’s leaks come from contract manufacturers and partners, even though security within Apple may be stricter than ever. Within the story, an employee deemed Apple’s security practices “outdated,” noting that they reflect a focus on training people who aren’t actually responsible for leaks. Similarly, while Apple’s overseas manufacturing methods have led to impressive results, an employee said it will continue to be hard to hide new designs because the manufacturing workers “have no vested interest in keeping it secret.”
According to the story, even Apple’s retail stores have been impacted by tighter security precautions — stores now receive OS X system updates only 12 hours before release. Stores used to receive the updates about a week ahead of launch, making it easier for employees to learn the new features.
Apple has started testing iOS 6.0.1 for release, according to a BGR report. The update should fix an issue with horizontal lines on the screen while the keyboard or an app folder is open; a problem with the camera’s flash not working; cellular data not working on some occasions; a bug allowing access to Passbook details from the Lock screen; and an issue that cancels Exchange meetings for the entire invite group. Also included in the update will be improved Wi-Fi support, and a consolidated cellular data switch for iTunes Match.
Samsung Display will terminate its existing LCD supply contract with Apple, reports The Korea Times. A senior Samsung source said the company has already reduced its LCD shipments to Apple, and will stop shipping displays entirely next year. Samsung — which no longer believes Apple is a “cash-generator” due to its rigid supply chain structure — plans on shipping more displays to its company’s own handset division, and to Amazon. This move follows a recent report that Apple plans to stop using Samsung’s technology in its devices.
Updated Oct. 23: According to CNET, Samsung is refuting The Korea Times report. A Samsung spokesman said, “Samsung Display has never tried to cut the supply for LCD panels to Apple.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s Apple special event for the iPad mini, pre-event pictures of the California Theatre in San Jose have been posted at Techie Buzz. Apple logo posters can be seen in front of the theater’s lobby.
Following our July report that Apple was working on a new full-sized iPad with improved internals and a Lightning connector, 9to5Mac is reporting that new full-sized iPad will debut alongside the iPad mini tomorrow, preserving the same prices as the third-generation iPad. Separate reports suggest that the updated iPad will have European 4G support, bolstering the UK launch of the EE LTE network, as reported by The Guardian. A leaked image of the updated iPad comes from Apple.pro, via Apple Insider.
Friday, November 2 has emerged as a likely street date for Apple’s smaller iPad, based on a number of reports. Matching an earlier prediction by Forbes that subsequently proved inaccurate regarding Apple’s iPad mini event date, TechCrunch and 9to5Mac have suggested Nov. 2 as the expected shipping date, following a report from Geeky Gadgets earlier this week. A Friday release makes sense given Apple’s normal scheduling, however, official details will be revealed at Tuesday’s special event.
Noted iPhone hacker Nicholas Allegra — otherwise known as Comex — is no longer with Apple after working as an intern at the company for about a year. He tweeted that he was “no longer associated with Apple,” following that with a tweet about how he left because he “forgot to reply to an email.” Forbes contacted Allegra, who said he forgot to reply to an email offer to continue his employment as a remote intern. He also said he plans on focusing on his studies at Brown University, and has no current plans to work on more iOS jailbreaking tools. Allegra became widely known in the hacking community as the founder of browser-based iOS jailbreak tool JailbreakMe before accepting an internship at Apple. He has suggested that contractual obligations to Apple may prevent him from continuing iOS-related jailbreaking efforts, but that he may focus his time on other devices, such as Nintendo’s Wii U, instead.
According to posts on Apple’s Support forums, iPhone 5 owners are continuing to report problems with the phone’s automatic date and time settings. The incorrect time or date will be displayed — anywhere from minutes to weeks different from the correct time and date. The bug was first reported on Apple’s forums on Sept. 24, and responses have continued up to today. Most of the reports seem to come from Verizon users.
The automatic date and time issues are somewhat reminiscent of the iPhone alarm problems users discovered on New Years’ Day 2011, which weren’t fixed right away. According to forum comments, Apple and Verizon both seem to know about the latest issue, but there’s been no official statement or fix from either company as of yet. [via AppleInsider]
Apple plans to acquire the maligned social photo network startup Color Labs, according to a report from TheNextWeb. Sources said Apple’s bid for Color was in the “high double digits” in millions, and the deal is “done,” but has yet to be contractually finalized. TNW speculates Apple may have been drawn to Color’s patents relating to GPS location, battery saving, and possibly a file format for recording HD video. This would be the second startup Apple has purchased from Color co-founder Bill Nguyen — the company purchased Lala for $80 million in December 2009.
Color drew criticism for its $41 million in funding and subsequent launch of its disappointing Color for Facebook app. However, the company’s Color - Live Video Broadcast app is currently averaging a four-star rating on iTunes.
Updated Oct. 17: AllThingsD is reporting that Apple is only acquiring Color’s engineering team — about 20 people, which is almost the whole company. According to the new report, Apple is not acquiring Color, and no “double digits” deal in the millions is involved; instead, a figure in the single-digit millions will be paid to hire the company’s personnel. Color’s technology, intellectual property, domain names, and liabilities will remain with the company, which will be “wound down.” Apple and Color declined comment. The report notes there have been many conflicting stories about the deal within the past 24 hours, likely due to “bad blood” between the many entities involved.
After a U.K. court loss to Samsung over tablet design infringement, Apple also lost its appeal of the verdict, and must now run advertisements saying Samsung has not copied its design. A judge ruled in July that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab did not infringe on the design of Apple’s iPad, and Apple was ordered to post notices in newspapers and magazines stating that Samsung didn’t copy its design. After the initial ruling, Apple received a stay on the court order, but due to the appeal ruling in Samsung’s favor, Apple must run the ads. In the original ruling, the judge said Samsung’s tablet likely wouldn’t be confused with the iPad, because the Galaxy is not as “cool.” [Via BBC News]