Thursday, March 31, 2011

AT&T CEO says T-Mobile deal will boost iPhone service, chances for world peace

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Good ol’ AT&T has got their PR machine in high gear today. CEO Randall Stephenson told Businessweek that the T-Mobile deal would instantly bring more bandwidth to users in constrained cities:

“This transaction is very instrumental” in improving network service, said Stephenson at the event. “Virtually on the day you close the deal, getting a 30 percent lift in capacity in New York City: that’s a significant improvement in call quality and data throughput.”
Other things that would have helped: Adding capacity at the same rate you were adding customers.




It isn’t like iPhones will suddenly be able to use T-Mobile’s 3G network radios.


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JBL wows with “conversation-starting” iPad speaker dock

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JBL, an American audio electronics company, is drumming up the OnBeat, an awesome-looking $150 iPad speaker dock that also works with the iPhone, iPod touch or other audio sources hooked up via a 3.5 millimeter auxiliary hack. It comes with a standard 30-pin dock connector allowing you to charge and sync your iOS device, even when the system itself is off.

There’s also a USB connection for desktop iTunes, an IR remote and an AC power supply. Another nice-to-have: A built-in composite video output that sends video from your iOS gadget to an a TV set or a compatible external display. The perks don’t stop here, quite the contrary. Read on for more juicy details and beautiful shots right after the break.




It’s got dual Phoenix full-range transducers with computer-optimized DSP equalization for a “richly detailed 360-degree soundstage”. The speakers are integrated into an awesome-looking flower iMac-like base. “It’s as sculptural as it is conversation-starting,” a blurb says. A clever dock connector design lets you rotate your docked device in full 360-degree freedom, for portrait or landscape viewing and everything in between. The OnBeat system can be yours in exchange for a cool $150 beginning next month.










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Amazon: Kindle subscribers can read NYTimes.com for free

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The New York Times has raised a pay wall yesterday. From now on, you must choose between three subscription models ($15/$25/$35 every four weeks) to access online articles at NYTimes.com. As you know, everyone can read up to twenty articles each month for free and home delivery subscribers get to enjoy unlimited access to online articles on NYTimes.com and via smartphone and tablet apps.

In addition to those deals, Amazon partnered with the paper and announced yesterday that subscribers to the Kindle version of The New York Times will get free and unrestricted access to all online articles at the NYTimes.com site. Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s VP of Kindle content:

Given The Times’ transition to a digital subscription model, we’re excited to be able to offer Kindle subscribers online access to all the digital content available at NYTimes.com at no additional cost.
You’ll receive an email notice when the offer goes live. The New York Times is the bestselling newspaper in the Kindle Store, Amazon tells us. This interesting proposition was obviously conceived as another reason to buy the Kindle hardware. If last couple of week are an indication, Amazon sure knows how to keep themselves in the news.


First they made a splash by launching the Android Appstore for Android despite lawsuit from Apple over the use of App Store trademark, then turned heads with the new Test Drive feature that lets you sample Android apps in a browser and yesterday they beat Apple and Google with a cloud locker for music, movies and other document types.



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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nokia files second ITC complaint, says Apple infringes 7 new patents in all products (tablets included)

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Not content with the ruling last Friday by the International Trade Commision that freed Apple of any wrong-doing in alleged patent infringement, the Espoo, Finland-based cellphone giant has filed a new complaint with the ITC. This time, they’ve broadened the scope to include new patents not previously mentioned, alleging that Apple is infringing intellectual property in virtually all Nokia products. In a statement issued via Thomson Reuters One, Nokia mentions seven new patents used in virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, tablets and computers:

The seven Nokia patents in the new complaint relate to Nokia’s pioneering innovations that are now being used by Apple to create key features in its products in the areas of multi-tasking operating systems, data synchronization, positioning, call quality and the use of Bluetooth accessories.
The two ITC complaints and patent cases filed in the US, Germany, UK and the Netherlands bring the number of Nokia patents Apple’s been alledgely infringing to 46, many of which “filed more than 10 years before Apple made its first iPhone,” according to Nokia’s IP chief Paul Melin. He didn’t stop there, though.


“Apple must stop building its products using Nokia’s proprietary innovation,” he added. Curious that Nokia is only now making a lot of noise when the iPhone accounts for half the smartphone market’s profits. Why didn’t they sue when the original iPhone came out? Back then, Nokia executives were full of it, ridiculing Apple’s handset and boasting how they ship more phones a day than iPhones in a quarter.


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Sprint officially opposing AT&T/T-Mobile deal, urges government to intervene

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Following last Monday’s news of AT&T’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA that sent Sprint Nextel’s stock down 15 percent, the carrier is now officially opposing the deal which is pending federal review by the FCC and Department of Justice, which could take at least a year. A statement Sprint put out yesterday mentions duopoly and voices concerns for consumers and competition, urging the government “to block this anti-competitive acquisition”.

A duopoly created would threaten Sprint’s existence, the statement argues. Revenue-wise, the combined company would be three times the size of Sprint, it reads. Sprint warns the transaction “will likely spark a host of hearings in the US Congress,” adding:

AT&T and Verizon are already by far the largest wireless providers. If approved, the proposed acquisition would create a combined company that would be almost three times the size of Sprint in terms of wireless revenue and would entrench AT&T’s and Verizon’s duopoly control over the wireless market. The wireless industry moving forward would be dominated overwhelmingly by two vertically integrated companies with unprecedented control over the U.S. wireless post-paid market, as well as the availability and price of key inputs, such as backhaul and access needed by other wireless companies to compete.

Sprint is the third largest wireless carrier in the country, behind AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Interestingly how those super-profitable carriers that rake in billions of dollars raise their head when their interests are jeopardized, but keep mum when consumers are really being taken advantage of with pricey tariffs and fine print.


Above image: Flickr user “forklift”

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Apple is facing iPod battery shortages due to quake in Japan

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For a company of Apple’s stature that relies on awide array of Asian suppliers to ship millions of gadgets to the market every month, I’ve always felt even the smallest disruption in supply chain could spell trouble. The March 11 disaster that struck Japan has affected a lot of firms that make electronics components like memory chips and touch panels.

Apple reduces risks by working with multiple suppliers, but it still depends on the weakest supplier. According to the Wall Street Journal, shortages of lithium-ion batteries for iPods are ahead because Kureha, a polymer provider for lithium-ion batteries, had to reduce output of this chemical after shutting its Japan plant, writes author Mariko Sanchanta:

“A representative from Apple Inc. recently called Kureha Corp.’s offices in the U.S. The problem: Apple was facing tight supplies of lithium-ion batteries used in its popular iPods, and they traced the supply bottleneck to the relatively obscure Japanese chemicals maker.”

It’s entirely possible this hiccup might provoke an alarming scarcity of iPod batteries that could lead to product shortages in stores. It’s affecting other mobile products that use lithium-ion batteries, including iPhones. Supply issues, natural disasters and political unrest are all cited as substantial risk factors in Apple’s filings with the Security and Exchange Commission. Good thing they’ve got operations wizard Timothy Cook on board.

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he brought Timothy Cook who reduced Apple’s inventory from months to weeks, even days. Prior to joining Apple, this spreadsheet wizard had served as Compaq’s vice president of corporate materials responsible for procuring and managing all of their product inventory.

Apple’s move to the just-in-time supply chain provided a much-needed financial relief, increased efficiency and product profitability and consequentially improved their bottom line. It also exposed Apple to supplier issues. Strong demand for products like iPhone 4 and iPad 2 – the tablet still lists a 2-3 week wait time for online orders – isn’t exactly helping either, although I bet many competitors would kill for such worries.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Siri search intelligence allegedly “a big part of iOS 5″

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With the news that Apple’s already sold-out summer developer conference is a software-related show focused on Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 (which apparently won’t be ready for prime time until Fall), TechCrunch chimed in with new purported details regarding the next major version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Author MG Siegler re-iterated claims that WWDC will only see a preview of iOS 5 come June 6, with the final code slated for a Fall launch. Then he added:

A year ago, Apple bought Siri, a virtual personal assistant startup that had released a very cool iPhone app. The Siri team and technology are now said to be a big part of iOS 5. The use of Siri’s artificial intelligence and assistance technology is said to be deeply integrated into the OS for all the different services offered. And the team is now putting the finishing touches on the elements that will be demoed at WWDC, we hear. This tech may also be opened to developers for use in third-party apps — though that information isn’t quite as concrete.
Watchful readers will remember this being a long-standing rumor…
We imagine Siri search intelligence will augment Apple’s own mapping technology which in itself stems from acquisitions of mapping startups Placebase in the summer of 2009 and Poly9 in January of last year. Since then, a lot of clues have surfaced pointing at an Apple-branded mapping service, the latest being several new job openings seeking engineers to “radically improve” iOS mapping and location services. Apple is thought to be pursuing such a service in order to reduce its dependency on Google’s mapping data and services in iOS gadgets.


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Apple to open giant Apple store in Jerusalem (Updated: No, iDigital)

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Update: We’ve recieved reports from a number of Israeli readers who told us it is the local Apple reseller outfit iDigital that is opening a huge store.

According to the Jerusalem Post Apple is looking to open a 5000 square-meter store (that’s 54K square feet! – which seems unlikely) in Jerusalem, Israel. The report claims this store will house the “Apple Digital Library,” and if anyone knows what that is feel free to let us know. Apple is yet to house an official store in the state of Israel and the reason for the location being Jerusalem is for “symbolic reasons.”

The directors of Apple in Israel recently toured the site and reportedly said they wanted to bring the country’s largest Apple store to Jerusalem for symbolic reasons. According to city planners, the area at the western entrance to the city will become the hi-tech economic center of Jerusalem due to the high-speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train and the light rail, both of which have stops there.
We’re not sure how Apple could manage to fit such a large store in such a small area 5000sq. meters= 53,000 square feet which would make it among the world’s biggest), maybe the report has some facts mixed up. Either way, the more Apple Stores, the merrier.


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Apple, please borrow Amazon’s virtual interface idea

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Amazon’s online bazaar for Android software opened for business a week ago and today a useful new feature went live. The call it Test Drive and it lets you sample apps before buying – in your desktop browser. No such thing exists neither on Google’s own Android Market nor Apple’s App Store. It works like magic, really. You just visit the Amazon Appstore on your desktop, select an app and hit the “Test Drive now” button.

Up pops a new window that’s basically a full-fledged Android operating system virtualized in the cloud. You can test the chosen app here, but also use the virtual machine to browser the web using Android’s virtual browser, listen to music, browse image galleries and more. It’s a stunning example of the cloud power leveraging Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud technology, the online retailer explains:

Clicking the “Test drive now” button launches a copy of this app on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides on-demand compute capacity in the cloud for developers. When you click on the simulated phone using your mouse, we send those inputs over the Internet to the app running on Amazon EC2 – just like your mobile device would send a finger tap to the app. Our servers then send the video and audio output from the app back to your computer. All this happens in real time, allowing you to explore the features of the app as if it were running on your mobile device.
I’m inclined to believe Apple is already hard at work on copying this neat feat, though more likely as part of iTunes rather than in Flash…


In addition to this Amazon-specific try-before-you-buy feature, Google’s Android Market gained last year a cool option to beam purchased apps to all your authorized devices with a click of the mouse. Apple has neither, for now. The rumor mill is sending mixed signals about an alleged cloud iTunes service.

App Store items are now visible on the web and there’s nothing technically precluding Apple from adding a cloud-based iPhone Simulator layer to try our apps in a browser. Speculating further, should they utilize an OnLive-like interactive video streaming, we might be able to test drive even high-quality games in real-time.




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WWDC 2011 is sold out

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Well, that didn’t take long. Apple has just sold out of WWDC 2011 tickets.



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We wanted to go however we couldn't find a combination of flight/hotel at a decent price before all of the tickets where sold out.. If anyone who purchased a ticket and can't go or would like to donate a ticket please contact us asap...


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Amazon’s cloud player launches for web and Android

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Amazon announced its Cloud Player today.



Here are the details: you get 5GB free and if you buy some music on Amazon, you get another 15GB free for a total of 20GB. You can upload your music to the Cloud right now. The service doesn’t work on iOS but does work on Mac.

This might carry us over until iOS5 is announced, anyway. Interestingly, Amazon is also offering to store Documents, Pictures and Videos in that 20GB as well.

Amazon has had their S3 Cloud infrastructure going for awhile, now we’ll get to see how strong it really is with the influx of music users.

Full version below:


How to Get Started with Cloud Drive and Cloud Player
Step 1. Add music to Cloud Drive

Purchase a song or album from the Amazon MP3 Store and click the Save to Amazon Cloud Drive button when your purchase is complete. Your purchase will be saved for free.
Step 2. Play your music in Cloud Player for Web

Click the Launch Amazon Cloud Player button to start listening to your purchase. Add more music from your library by clicking the Upload to Cloud Drive button from the Cloud Player screen. Start with 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage. Upgrade to 20 GB with an MP3 album purchase (see details). Use Cloud Player to browse and search your library, create playlists, and download to your computer.
Step 3. Enjoy your music on the go with Cloud Player for Android

Install the Amazon MP3 for Android app to use Cloud Player on your Android device. Shop the full Amazon MP3 store, save your purchases to Cloud Drive, stream your Cloud Player library, and download to your device right from your Android phone or tablet.



What is the cloud?The cloud is a term used to describe the Internet. Amazon Cloud Drive is your hard drive in the cloud. Securely store your music, videos, photos, and documents online and access them from anywhere. All you need is a web browser to upload, download, and access your files from any computer. Back up your files to ensure that your music, photos, and personal documents are available to you wherever you go. Learn more about Cloud Drive.
Who can access Cloud Player?If you are an existing Amazon customer with a valid billing address in the United States, you have access to Cloud Player. All you need to do is accept the Cloud Player Terms of Use to start using your Cloud Player account. See how to access Cloud Player.
Who can access Cloud Drive?If you are an existing Amazon customer, you have access to 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage. All you need to do is accept the Cloud Drive Terms of Use to start using your Cloud Drive account. Learn more about Cloud Drive.
Will all of my previous Amazon MP3 purchases already be in Cloud Drive?No, but you can save all new Amazon MP3 purchases directly to Cloud Drive for free. Start with 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage which can be used to upload your existing music library, as well as videos, documents, and other digital files. Read about how to upload music.
Will I be charged for using Cloud Player or Cloud Drive?Cloud Player is a free web and Android application. All customers start with 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage and you can upgrade to 20 GB of Cloud Drive storage with an MP3 album purchase (learn more about this offer). All new Amazon MP3 purchases saved to Cloud Drive do not count against your storage quota. Amazon also offers a variety of Cloud Drive storage plans to meet all of your data storage needs. Find out about Cloud Drive storage plans.
Can I upload music from my phone?Uploading music from your mobile device is not possible at this time, but you can upload music from your PC or Mac.See how to upload music.
How do I know how much Cloud Drive storage I’ve used?When you are in Cloud Player, you can see how much storage you’ve used by looking at the top left corner of the player screen under the Upload to your Cloud Drive button. View your storage usage and manage your files.


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iPad 2 arrives to 500 RadioShack stores tomorrow (update: confirmed)

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iPad 2 could arrive to RadioShack tomorrow, March 29, 2011, a tipster told MacRumors. The source indicated that all 500 RadioShack nationwide retail spots will carry the tablet and provided a blurry but otherwise genuine-looking notice stating:

We are thrilled that iPad 2 will be available at 500 RadioShack locations across the country starting March 29! Details have been sent to these stores.
If true, this will help a bit alleviate strong demand seen in Apple stores across the country and expand the iPad’s distribution footprint that now includes Apple’s, AT&T’s and Verizon’s online and retail stores, in addition to third-party retailers like WalMart and Best Buy. Just don’t count on that 3-4 week wait for online orders to drop as a result.

Update:

Rumors flew around this morning claiming that RadioShack will begin selling the iPad 2 as soon as tomorrow. Since then, we’ve been able to confirm this to be true. RadioShack has already thrown up a hidden webpage for the iPad 2 in addition to a store locator for participating locations.




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Apple could sell 100 million iPhone 5s, historic data suggests

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If past iPhone sales are anything to go by, Apple is set to move a whooping hundred million iPhone 5 units. In other words, a fifth-generation iPhone will match sales of all previous models combined, helping Apple maintain a healthy 20+ percent market share in smartphones. The assumption is based on the above chart from Asymco that outlines monthly sales for all four iPhone models, approximated based on actual quarterly sales divided over the months according to the number of days available. So far, each iPhone generation doubles on the previous.



We also know that iPhone demand usually outstrips supply because Apple is selling these things as fast as they can make them. That being said, one only needs to look at historic sales data to “build up a model of production ramps and look for patterns of growth.” This leads us to the following conclusion…


Based on that data, we can approximate that iPhone 5 could sell about a hundred million units before it’s succeeded by a sixth-generation model. That’s just an assumption, of course, albeit a valid one because it stems from reasonably accurate predictions based on past sales data. Asymco summs it up best:

You don’t begin by asking how many will sell. You begin by asking how many can they make.
They also mention a prediction calling for half a billion new smartphone users buying smartphones in the next two years. Another interesting tidbit: Assuming the iPhone 4 sells for at least one or more quarter, it should move between 60 to 65 million units in total.



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iPhone 5: launches in Q1?

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The iPhone 5 puzzle has received a few new pieces and they both point to the product launch not taking place at this year’s WWDC. Jim Dalrymple – usually accurate – from The Loop claims that no hardware will be unveiled at the World Wide Developers Conference: no iPhones, no iPads, no Macs. But how could Apple kill their annual summer iPhone launch pattern?

Apple’s apparent focus on software in its WWDC announcement backs up what my own sources are saying about the annual conference. That is, expect a software show in 2011, not a hardware event.
Apple typically sticks to patterns such as new iPods every September, new iPhones in June, now new iPads in March, and major Mac upgrades around October. This year is already different. Based on Apple’s WWDC press release and rumors from last week, Apple won’t be holding their annual March-April iOS preview event. The WWDC invite clearly says Apple will preview the next version of iOS.

At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.
Apple even introduced a new Verizon iPhone 4 in January of this year and it only launched last month (February). Apple is also expected to release a white version of the iPhone 4 next month. These two iPhone 4 upgrades seem to allow Apple to push back the launch of their next-generation handset. Afterall, how could they release updated iPhone 4s in February and April then a whole new device in June? Apple on releasing a new iPhone in June after releasing the Verizon iPhone: “we’re not stupid.”

If it’s not coming at WWDC when will it? The usually well-sourced Macotakara.jp claims that the iPhone 5 is yet to hit the full production stage and says that the iPhone 5 will go into mass production late in Apple Q4 for an early Apple Q1 2012 launch.

According to Chinese sources, had been rumored to be announced for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 iPhone 5, it does not begin to manufacture the parts, the launch seems to be lost in fiscal 2012.
This would be around a year after the Verizon iPhone 4 launch, creating a new pattern for iPhone launches. The site reiterates earlier claims of a new, aluminum enclosure which is possibly taking longer to produce. A chinese site recently claimed the new iPhone would go into production in Q3 of this year – backing up an iPhone-less WWDC.



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Barron’s names Steve Jobs the world’s best CEO

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Barron has profiled the world’s greatest CEOs, thirty of them to be precise, and found out what their perks at Fortune have known all along, that Steve Jobs is the world’s greatest corporate leader. The 56-year-old co-founder and leader of Apple won the accolade for turning the California-based computer maker into a global consumer electronics powerhouse which sold over a hundred million iPhones since its introduction.

They also noted Apple’s most recent successes with the iPad and the soaring stock that gained 72.6 percent in past twelve months. Eighteen corporate leaders on the list are Americans, including the likes of Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Interestingly, HP’s Mark Hurd, Cisco’s John Chambers and RIM’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis didn’t make it this year. Here’s the complete list, in no particular order, thanks to Setteb.it, plus a video at the bottom:




Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway)
Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase)
Larry Ellison (Oracle)
Larry Fink (BlackRock)
Reed Hastings (Netflix)
Steve Jobs (Apple)
Patrick Kron (Alstom)
Ma Huateng (Tencent)
Fujio Mitarai (Canon)
Alan Mullaly (Ford)
Gordon Nixon (Royal Bank of Canada)
Michael O’Leary (Ryanair)
Sam Palmisano (IBM)
Bruce Rockowitz (Li & Fung)
Peter Sands (Standard Chartered)
Jim Sinegal (Costco Wholesale)
Jim Skinner (McDonald’s)
Fred Smith (FedEx)
Tim Solso (Cummins)
Rex Tillerson (Exxon Mobil)
Miles White (Abbott Laboratories)
New entries
Carlos Brito (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
Warren East (ARM)
Marius Kloppers (BHP Billiton)
Peter Löscher (Siemens)
David Novak (Yum! Brands)
Joe Tucci (EMC)
Dieter Zetsche (Daimler)
Steve Wynn (Wynn Resorts)



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WWDC 2011 June 6-10: “we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS”

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Apple has just announced that this year’s World Wide Developers Conference will take place at the Moscone West Center in San Francisco, CA. This year’s event will be special as it will be the unveiling of Apple’s next major iOS version and that place in which Mac OS X 10.7′s final touches and technical details will be revealed. Apple’s announcment today confirms that iOS is in fact not being previewed at an event in April, for example. and will only be previewed in June. This lends credence to a fall launch for the new mobile operating system from Apple.

Apple’s Phil Schiller:

At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.
The conference itself will be home to over 100 technical sessions and 1000 Apple engineers will be on staff to assist developers with their coding needs. Here are the specifics from Apple:

more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of technology-specific topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and Mac OS technologies;
over 1,000 Apple engineers providing developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques, and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and Mac OS technologies in their apps;
the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iPad®, iPhone® and Mac developers from around the world; and
Apple Design Awards which recognize iPad, iPhone and Mac apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.
Tickets cost $1599 and the full press release is after the break.

CUPERTINO, California—March 28, 2011—Apple® today announced that it will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) June 6 through June 10 at San Francisco’s Moscone West. At this year’s five-day conference Apple will unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS®, including exciting demonstrations of the new kinds of apps that developers can build using Apple’s advanced frameworks and more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers.

“At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.”

Mobile developers will be able to explore the latest innovations and capabilities of iOS and learn how to greatly enhance the functionality, performance and design of their apps. Mac® developers will see and learn how to develop world-class Mac OS X Lion applications using its latest technologies and capabilities. Developers can even bring their code to the labs and work with Apple engineers, applying development techniques and best-practices to enhance their apps.

Activities at Apple’s WWDC 2011 include:

more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of technology-specific topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and Mac OS technologies;
over 1,000 Apple engineers providing developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques, and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and Mac OS technologies in their apps;
the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iPad®, iPhone® and Mac developers from around the world; and
Apple Design Awards which recognize iPad, iPhone and Mac apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.
Go to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2011 website (developer.apple.com/wwdc) to purchase tickets, as well as for updates and more information.



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Sunday, March 27, 2011

iOS 5 pushed to the fall: major revamp, cloud-based, WWDC preview?

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Written by Ghazy (A New member to the Limerain team)


Instead of keeping to the last 3 years of tradition and showing off iOS 5 at an April preview event and releasing it with iPhone 5 this June, could Apple instead preview it at WWDC and only release it this fall? That’s the rumor TechCrunch’s MG Siegler has posted tonight:
  • iOS 5 will launch in the fall and will be a major revamp of the OS.
  • It could well be previewed at WWDC, it just won’t be released then.
  • The iOS 5 launch is also likely to coincide with the release of a new type of iPad, which we previously reported on.
  • The new iOS will be heavily built around the cloud, and we could see several new services launch from Apple that take advantage of this.
  • Yes, one of those is very likely a “music locker” service. There is also a fall launch aim for this, during Apple’s annual music-themed event.
  • But much of the cloud stuff will first be talked about at WWDC, Apple’s developer event which will take place in June.
  • One of the new cloud service elements is likely a location service that focuses on finding friends and family members.
  • As we said yesterday, OS X Lion is still on pace for a summer release — some of the new cloud components are likely to be baked into it as well.
While anything is possible, this doesn’t sound very much like Apple. Release numbers are marketing driven, not engineering driven (which is why internal release numbers aren’t always the same as external, like Windows 7 actually being Windows 6.1 and Apple TV 4.2.1 actually being Apple TV 4.3.1).
Competition is heating up with Google still iterating Android at a breakneck pace, webOS hitting 2.x and 3.0 this year, and the first BlackBerry QNX-based device shipping next month. Apple going 18 months between iOS refreshes would be perceived as falling behind.
Sure Apple will want to have quite a few “tent pole” features to tout for iOS 5 to be certain, but if any one of them — even cloud connectivity — isn’t ready for the spring there’s nothing to stop Apple from rolling out a less ambitious iOS 5 in April anyway. Remember, there were rumors iPad 2 would be delayed and it wasn’t (it just didn’t get a Retina Display.)
(And yes, that does mean that, just like there are rumors of an iPad 3 coming this fall with Retina Display, there may well be iOS 5.1 (or, hey, iOS 6!) rumors for the fall as well.)
So what do you think? Will Apple make us wait an extra 3 months for iOS 5?

*thaks tipb*


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AMD throws down the gauntlet to Nvidia on graphics speed claims

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As Apple transitions its line from NVIDIA graphics cards to AMD (and opens up the OS to much more variety), we’re noting some stong words coming out of each camp on who makes the fastest graphics card in the world. On the 8th of this month, AMD announced it had released the fastest Graphics card on the market, the AMD Radeon HD 6990.

NVIDIA fired back this week and said they had the fastest Graphics card. No it is getting real.

Dave Erskine, Senior Public Relations Manager for Graphics Desktop at AMD just fired this off:

We combed through their announcement to understand how it was that such a claim could be made and why there was no substantiation based on industry-standard benchmarks, similar to what AMD did with industry benchmark 3DMark 11, the latest DirectX® 11 benchmark from FutureMark.
So now I issue a challenge to our competitor: prove it, don’t just say it. Show us the substantiation. Because as it stands today, leading reviewers agree with us here, here, here, and here that the AMD Radeon HD 6990 sits on the top as the world’s fastest graphics card.
It should be noted that Direct X isn’t going to have much bearing on Mac users, but it is informative and entertaining nonetheless to see these two industry titans slug it out.

It may also explain why Apple moved from NVIDIA to AMD.

NVIDIA has had some build issues that cause recalls of its portable line which may have also soured Apple to NVIDIA products. They also build a Tegra 2 processor which powers most of the Android phones and tablets that challenge Apple’s iOS for portable supremacy.


*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

ITC: Apple did not violate five Nokia patents mentioned in lawsuit

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Nokia sued Apple in May 2010, claiming the company infringed five of Nokia’s patents. The patents cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption and are infringed by all Apple iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Nokia alleged. Nokia’s statment in May 2010 about the lawsuit:

Nokia has been the leading developer of many key technologies in mobile devices” said Paul Melin, General Manager, Patent Licensing at Nokia. “We have taken this step to protect the results of our pioneering development and to put an end to continued unlawful use of Nokia’s innovation.
Now, Reuters reports that the International Trade Commision has ruled that Apple in fact did not violate any of Nokia’s patents. Take that, Nokia!

A judge at the International Trade Commission, which hears many patent cases, said that Apple did not violate the Nokia patents.
Who’s next?



*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Earth hour 2011, the planet would thank you for turning of the lights.

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Written by Ghazy (A New member to the Limerain team)

Now it has become a international event, Earth hour 2011 is now here. From 8.30 pm ( local time) to 9.30 pm .Earth Hour encourages us to turn off the lights in order to help and/or show your support of our lovely planet.


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- Posted using my iPhone 4

iPad 2 cheapest for U.S. buyers ($499), priciest for Denmark ($702)

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With the iPad 2′s launch in 25 more countries yesterday, Reuters calculated the price of the device across Europe in comparison to the United States. The device starts at $499 in the United States for the 16 GB model and with taxes in the U.S., the device has an average total price of $547.

This compares to Europe in which most iPad 2-selling nations use the Euro as their form of currency. The iPad 2 starts at 479 euros in Europe and that converts to $678. Britain, in particular, is a little cheaper with their iPad 2 sales starting at 399 pounds, which converts to $642.

Notably, the iPad 2 starts at a converted $702 in Denmark. The iPad 2, before taxes, is over $200 cheaper in the United States than in Denmark. That’s still better than the thousands of dollars that people in some of the Asian countries are paying.



*thanks 9to5Mac*

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iTunes, Songs for Japan

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Songs for Japan is a 38 track, iTunes special collection of tracks from the world’s top recording artists for $10. All proceeds go to the Red Cross in Japan. Again, you can also donate directly to the Red Cross using iTunes as well.



*thanks 9to5Mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Friday, March 25, 2011

Analysts see Apple-branded television set in 2012 that does games, DVR, FaceTime and more

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I know what you’re thinking – analysts, right? While it’s true many “analysts” can’t tell their arse from their elbow, some predictions are worth observing. Katy Huberty with Morgan Stanley is again risking her credibility by re-iterating that Apple will take on television market with a new product category expected in the 2012-2013 time frame. She code-named it a Smart TV, a full-fledged networked television with the shiny Apple logo on it. Checks with Asian component suppliers suggest Apple is developing a Smart TV prototype, says her Friday note to clients.

She’s calling for an intelligent set converging regular TV features with DVR capabilities, gaming and – why not – FaceTime video calling. In other words, an oversized iPad for your living room. Her wish list echoes that of Gene Munster who opined numerous times how Apple is best poised to take the emerging connected television market by surprise with an Apple-branded HDTV set. Billions are potentially up for grabs in this market, Huberty warns.


If Apple captures just one percent share of the television market by 2013, it can expect $4 billion of additional revenues, Huberty wrote. It’s not immediately clear how Apple might innovate and how exactly the company expects to price-match inexpensive TV sets from Samsung and LG, especially given Apple buys its flat panels from these rivals. Maybe a Retina Display Smart TV would do the trick?



*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
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Apple looking to “radically improve” iOS maps and location services

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Apple, in late 2009, acquired a mapping company called PlaceBase and since then many rumors have said that Apple is working to revamp their built-in maps application. Rumors have covered a redesigned iOS application all the way to Apple creating their own maps database – with PlaceBase’s data – to replace Google’s backend currently used in iOS maps.

Now, Apple has filed a new job opportunity for an iOS Maps application developer. Apple wants the candidates to work on a team that will “radically improve” maps and location services within their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system.

The Maps team is looking for an exceptional developer to join us in our mission to radically improve how people interact with maps and location-based services.
Apple also wants the candidates to have “excellent skills in object-oriented software design and programming” and they will be “collaborating closely with Apple’s peerless human interface team to add new and innovative features.” Additionally, the candidates should have “experience at the application and user interface level” and “experience with the iOS SDK and Cocoa programming.”

From that description, it seems that this person will be “radically improving” the entire maps application, not specifically the backend. We speculate that Apple would not revamp their whole maps app if they are not going to give it a whole new backend.

In iOS 5, Apple is expected to introduce a new “Find my Friends” map-based social network, so perhaps this team will be involved in implementing this as well. Apple has not really updated their built-in maps application since an iOS 1.x update.




*thanks 9to5Mac*

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iPad fans form the lines the world over as Apple pushes back shipping estimates (update:video)

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iPad 2 line in Gothenburg, Sweden. Thanks, Emil!

Long lines abound as Apple’s iPad 2 went on sale today in 25 overseas markets. Not all queues stretch around city blocks but many do, like the line outside Apple’s flagship store in London’s Covent Garden. There’s even a blog dedicated to iPad 2 queues in UK. Media reports describe the excitement and buzz factor – even with traditionally more reserved Europeans. Malls and plazas with Apple Store lines look the same the world over. iPad 2 is priced the same like the first-generation model, but in some countries it’s actually cheaper than iPad 1, including UK, Germany and Australia.

Analysts will be running their spreadsheets like crazy for rabid fans appear genuinely interested in getting their hands on the legendary device. Apart from tons of free coverage and steady cash flow, global iPad 2 launch is the ultimate test for Apple’s supply chain. Many are concerned that the crisis in Japan and the ensuing component shortages could hurt Apple’s well-oiled production machine that’s often the envy of the entire industry. Strong international demand and constrained supplies have prompted Apple to tweak shipping estimates for online orders today.




iPad 2 line in Hungary. More at Szifon.com, the biggest Hungarian iPhone blog

With international launch in full swing, many Apple stores list shipping estimates of 3-4 weeks, an increase over 2-3 weeks yesterday. This includes the online Apple store in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, UK and many other countries. In the US, online orders now show a 3-4 week wait, down from 4-5 weeks yesterday. This gives some hope Apple has gotten its act together at last. Send us your line images and tell us about your country’s iPad 2 launch experience in comments.






*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
- Posted using my iPhone 4