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?



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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.




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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.






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iPad 2 flying off the shelves in the Netherlands, sold out in the Hague

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This above is one of Europe’s oldest shopping streets in the Hague, Netherlands. Just look at those crowds – queuing is hardly possible. Rough estimate: About 200 people. Our reader Olaf noticed that iPad 2 was sold out at all Apple resellers in the Hague minutes before 5pm local time. Apple doesn’t operate its own stores in the country, leaving would-be iPad 2 buyers in the Netherland’s third largest city empty-handed.

Not that we haven’t been expecting this. Continuous iPad shortages around the world and Apple’s preference towards stocking own retail stores first come at the expense of authorized resellers. “As expected, no sales person could shine a light on how many they received in stock earlier today”, Olaf said. Another 9to5Mac fan, Eric, snapped a cool photo depicting launch atmosphere and equally impressive iPad 2 lines in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s included right below the fold.

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Take the iPad 2 into the bathtub, there are no liquid contact indicators (LCIs)

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Apple has already relaxed its water damage policies on iOS devices, but we’ve been told by an Apple Genius that the iPad 2 has no Liquid Contact Indicators (LCIs), meaning that Apple has no way to know* if your iPad has been dropped in the water – if you bring it in for repairs.

One reason is that the LCIs may not have been all that reliable in telling of water damage. Some customers had reported false positives, especially in humid climates…or winter. One woman is even suing over the matter.

Another is that Apple has changed its headphone plug design – where the indicators traditionally lived – with a new pin design. Perhaps the LCI’s were a design tradeoff?





via iFixit

Perhaps not, because the LCIs were also removed from the 30-pin plugs as well.

Whatever the reason, Apple’s message is clear. Go ahead and bring the iPad with you into the Bathtub!*

Details from Apple Genius DB below:

iPad 1:

Liquid Contact Indicators

The iPad warranty excludes coverage for damage caused by liquid. To help determine if an iPad has been in contact with liquid, two liquid contact indicators (LCIs) are installed on the iPad at the following locations: • At the bottom of the headphone jack• In the 30-pin connector port (requires holding the product at a 45 degree angle to view)Use a lighted otoscope to look into the headphone jack and 30-pin connector slot for activated LCIs. They turn red on contact with liquid.
*iPad 2

check sim card tray for corrosion


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Seven months after being announced, RIM’s PlayBook gets official, runs Android apps

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OK, just kidding. But the Playbook just got priced. And it runs Android Apps.

Research In Motion announced the BlackBery PlayBook tablet with great fanfare seven months ago. Company executives have been mum on its exact pricing all this time, except vague hints that the gizmo will price-match Apple’s tablet. With the beefier iPad 2 now making rounds at the same starting price of $499 and with Samsung’s rival Galaxy Tab adjusting itself to the pricing pressure from Cupertino, RIM has officially joined the fray by price-matching the iPad.

The PlayBook costs $499/$599/$699 for the 16/32/64GB WiFi model, the same as iPad 2. Best Buy is now taking pre-orders for the device as we speak.




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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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