Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Apple’s first Russian store to open near Kremlin by late 2011?

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After McDonalds, Coca Cola and other top American brands that operate in Russia, the once mighty superpower will get its first Apple retail store by the end of this year. IfoAppleStore.com, the site that follows Apple’s retail efforts, reports that the company’s top retail brass flew to Moscow to negotiate a lease inside the trade gallery of the reconstructed Hotel Moskva, pictured above.



It’s just steps away from Red Square, the Kremlin and other landmarks in the city. The retail facilities inside the hotel, depicted in the renderings at the bottom, are scheduled to open doors to shoppers “by late 2011 or early 2012″, the site explains:


Senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson and vice president of real estate Bob Bridger visited Moscow at the end of March and toured the three-level retail space in the future Four Seasons Hotel. The two were seen examining a 16,000 square-foot, two-level space as a possible Apple store. At the time, no lease had been signed, but a decision could be made soon, sources say.


It would be the second big retail opening for Apple in former communist empires following a recent high-profile opening of the Altmarkt-Galerie store in Dresden, Germany, the fifth Apple store in the country. Steve Jobs greeted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during his Silicon Valley tour earlier this year.

Medvedev visited Apple’s headquarters and chatted with Jobs who gave him an iPhone 4 (locked to the AT&T network). But why retail store in Russia, you ask. Huge fossil fuel reserves and oil production have helped Russia rebuild its economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The 142 million people country is today the home to tycoons and a booming higher class with the money to spend on luxury items and the latest gadgets. Apple’s iPhone was a sought-after item on the Russian gray market and is still in high demand following the deals Apple struck with local carriers. iPad, of course, is the latest thing there, just like in pretty much any country in the world.






*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Cisco to shutter Flip camera business as smartphones with 720p video recording prevail

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Cisco is shuttering its Flip camera business and axing 550 jobs, says Reuters:

Cisco Systems Inc will shut down its Flip video camera business in an overhaul of its troubled consumer products business, following chief John Chambers’ recent admission that the company had lost its way.
Ouch! Remember when the previous-generation iPod nano was supposed to kill the Flip with its back-facing camera? That didn’t come to be. Here’s what happened instead…




Everyone got a smartphone with 720p video recording. Plus, FaceTime… Yes, video enthusiasts will always opt for standalone camcorders, but the majority of regular consumers don’t need a Flip because they can shoot kitten videos in 720p using a smartphone. The best camera is the one that’s always on you, someone said. Let’s not forget video editing phone apps and social sharing capabilities – something dedicated camcorders can’t do. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for the Flip. I’m afraid the same thing could happen to other gadgets (hint: standalone GPS navigational devices) as smartphones increasingly pack in functionalities that go far beyond our preconceived notions.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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NAB 2011 is here, no word on Final Cut Pro 8 yet…

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Word on the street is that there will be some big announcements this evening. If you didn’t catch it this morning, we’re pretty hopeful to have some Final Cut Pro 8 news soon.


*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Apple building super datacenters all over the world to support a new video gadget, says analyst

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An aerial view of the new Apple datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina, which doubled in size. More super datacenters are due across the US and Europe, an analyst says.

More and more analysts are calling for an Apple-branded television set that should wow us with a big, beautiful display (Retina, anyone?), built-in Apple TV and DVR capabilities, live programming and television channels via iTunes, 1080p iOS gaming via the App Store and what not. In addition to Piper Jaffray’s resident Apple analyst Gene Munster and Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, brokerage firm Jefferies & Co. is out with their prediction of a new video gadget from Apple in 2012 or 2013 and a companion cloud service stemming from an alleged array of super datacenters:

Jefferies & Co. believes Apple Inc. is about to launch a new video-focused cloud-based service. The brokerage continues to believe that the assault on the living room likely means the introduction of another Apple appliance or device.
According to analyst Peter Misek, a Netflix-like $10 a month video subscription could boost Apple’s projected fiscal 2012 revenues from $118 billion all the way up to the $150-$171 billion range. He reminded Apple’s North Carolina datacenter (which cannot be seen on Google Maps) doubled in size and speculated that Apple could be building more of these in the US and Europe as we speak. We also know Apple ordered 12 million Gigabytes of storage. The gist? Apple could be building a cloud-based 21st century broadcasting network:

Misek believes Apple will launch a new far reaching cloudbased service that is more than just a music or content locker and focused on video. Misek believes this service will allow Apple to maintain higher than expected average selling prices for longer than he and the Street think. It is also likely to lead more people to buy Apple devices, in Misek’s view.
I’m confused. I thought Apple already has a “video-focused cloud-based service.” Apple’s been doing iTunes movie and television show downloads and rentals for ages. About that so-called iTV…




Sure, a TV set with a shiny Apple logo could become popular with the faithful, but people outside the Apple fold may see little incentive to upgrade their existing television experience. Most have already transitioned to high-definition television, mind you. Besides, it isn’t an appliance you would upgrade every 2-3 years. Plus, it’s a cutthroat business with razor sharp margins.

Apple would either have to make up for a low average selling price with high volume of sales. Should they keep their fat margins, sales would be limited to early adopters and television enthusiasts due to high price, which in itself is a very nascent market.

On the other hand, television and game consoles are the only two high volume consumer electronics markets left for Apple to conquer. Plus, the analyst says that big media removing television channels from iPad apps could be an indicative of these companies “negotiating some sort of deal with Apple”.

In my personal opinion, Apple would never bother commit its resources to build a questionable product and risk a flop after a string of hit products? Unless, of course, this mysterious device will revolutionize television in the same way the iPhone and iPad have become blockbuster releases. Meet us in comments.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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CutYourSim claims permanent iPhone unlock solution without jailbreaking

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CutYourSim, a company that makes SIM cutters, is out with a service they claim permanently unlocks your GSM iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G – without the need for jailbreaking. It’s an “official iPhone unlock”, they explain, and will carry on forever. This lets you unlock your device for use with any carrier and update it to the latest iOS firmware and baseband without waiting for an unauthorized unlock to be released:

The unlock will work with any iPhone version, and any baseband version, no need to worry about updating to the latest version anymore.
The iPhone Dev-team seem to be endorsing this solution. It doesn’t come cheap and will set you back $169 per device. Best of all, the company says, the procedure won’t void your warranty. How’s that possible? MacStories.net offers one possible explanation. Read on…




The site speculates that CutYourSim must have found a way to access Apple’s database that holds unique IMEI numbers. It’s highly unlikely they hacked Apple’s own database, but they could have accessed it from a carrier’s online backend, the author explains.

From there, it’s a simple matter of whitelisting your device’s IMEI, which removes the lock on your device. If that’s the case, something tells me Apple will soon ask its carriers to tighten their online security in order to prevent unauthorized IMEI whitelisting. They might also send their legal sharks after CutYourSim.





*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Mobee debuts inductive charger for the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad

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Mac fans needn’t look with envy at their Palm Pre-owning friends who get to charge their phones wirelessly, using the TouchStone inductive charger. Thanks to accessory maker Mobee, it is now possible to wirelessly charge – well, not your iPhone, but an Apple Wireless Keyboard or a Magic Trackpad. Conveniently dubbed the Magic Bar, it works by replacing a pair of AA batteries on your keyboard or a trackpad with a battery cylinder. Read on…




Whenever your keyboard or trackpad needs more juice, just slide the protruding part into the provided charging dock. The base station plugs into any USB port so you don’t need an external power supply. It’s not quite as wireless charging as Palm’s TouchStone inductive charger, but it’s close enough and it gets the job done.

The accessory looks stylish and just gorgeous, matching the keyboard and the trackpad with its aluminum design. Plus, it’s a greener way to use your keyboard and trackpad as it helps reduce the number of used batteries that end up in landfills.

The Magic Bar goes on sale by the end of June, with pre-orders beginning May 15. The accessory comes with one battery cylinder, and costs $59.90. Too much? Mobee says the Magic Bar becomes cost effective after one year of home usage and six months of office usage. Mobee is also behind Magic Charger, an inductive charger for the Magic Mouse.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Mobee we would love to give this item a proper and full review, if possible please send us a sample for review.

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Pieceable allows you to embed apps into web pages

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Techcrunch reports on an interesting new technology by a company called Pieceable. The idea is simple and is similar to what Amazon is doing with Android Apps. Developers upload their apps to Piecable and Piecable creates an embeddable Flash application that runs the app. It sends back embeddable code at three different price tiers for developers to embed in their web pages. For the most part, the applications seem to work pretty well.

Obviously, if you don’t have Flash, you aren’t going to see these. Interesting concept with big potential ramifications. For instance, these iOS Apps work on Android devices…


*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Apple part suppliers: iPad 3 not in 2011 pipeline

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Digitimes reports that although rumors have claimed that Apple is preparing an iPad 3 for launch during fall 2011, Chinese part suppliers are calling the rumors false. Apple’s part suppliers have reportedly yet to receive orders for third-generation iPad components, and Apple coupled with the fact that Apple just released the iPad 2, these suppliers feel the rumors lack merit.

Sources from touch panel makers pointed out that Apple recently released its latest tablet PC plan and is asking the panel makers to provide products that are capable to support higher image quality than the current iPad 2 and Apple may even choose AMOLED panel or panel that support Full HD standard to accomplish the plan. However, since the project is still at the initial planning stage, the actual products are unlikely to appear in 2011.
The Chinese sources state that if a new iPad does happen to arrive during fall 2011 that it will be a minimal upgrade; perhaps a new version that “supports different communication format.” We are not entirely sure what to make of this new “communication format,” but we have heard that Verizon and Apple are toying around with LTE. Perhaps a 4G/LTE iPad for the holidays?

Another common rumor has been a future iPad with an AMOLED display and the report is pouring some cold water on that as well, saying this would be a great risk due to competitors holding the major it of AMOLED part supplies.

Some sources pointed out that since AMOLED technologies are still mostly controlled by Korea-based Samsung Electronics, while Apple has competition with Samsung over tablet PC sales, if Apple is adopting AMOLED panel into its device, Apple would be facing a great risk having the key technologies being held by its competitors.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Amazon: Look at ads and we’ll knock $25 off the Kindle

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Amazon will knock $25 off the price of the Kindle to watch ads.

You agree to use sponsored screensavers and ads at the bottom of the home screen and Amazon gives you $25. I’m convinced a Kindle will eventually be free.

It is really too bad that there aren’t any jailbreak efforts going on around the Kindle community.

Details down below:

Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers
New, Lower Price
When you buy Kindle with Special Offers, you are getting the same bestselling Kindle for $25 less—only $114. Special offers and sponsored screensavers display on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen—they don’t interrupt reading.
Special Offers
You’ll receive special offers directly on your Kindle. Examples include:

$10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card
$6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68)
$1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums)
$10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop
Sponsored Screensavers
Our goal is to display sponsored screensavers that you want to see. That’s why we’ve created a free Kindle app and website (coming soon) called AdMash. Anyone who’s interested can download AdMash and help pick future screensavers. Two prospective screensavers show up side-by-side, and you pick the one you find most attractive. The ones preferred most by customers qualify to become sponsored screensavers.

You can also set your personal Kindle Screensaver Preferences to give us hints on the style and types of sponsored screensavers you’d like to see on your Kindle. For example, you can indicate that you’d like to see more or fewer screensavers that include elements such as landscapes and scenery, architecture, travel images, photography, and illustrations. Together, AdMash voting and Kindle Screensaver Preferences help us select the most attractive and engaging sponsored screensavers to display on your Kindle.




*thanks 9to5Mac*

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