Apple posts $7.31 billion profit for third quarter

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Date: Tuesday, July 19th, 2011, 13:44
Category: Finance, News

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A combination of record iPhone and iPad sales combined with continued growth of its Mac business pushed Apple to reported sales of US$28.57 billion and net profit of US$7.31 billion for the three-month period ended June 25, 2011.

Per Macworld, the sales and profit figures—both quarterly records—increased last year’s third-quarter performance by 82 percent and 125 percent, respectively. Apple reported earnings of US$7.79 per share, which beat analyst estimates of $5.85. Analysts had also been looking for Apple to reach US$24.92 billion in sales for the quarter—a figure the company topped by nearly US$4 billion.

“We are extremely pleased with the momentum of our business,” chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer told analysts during a conference call to discuss the earnings report on Tuesday. Oppenheimer noted that during its 2011 fiscal year, Apple has recorded US$35 billion in year-over-year revenue growth and US$9.5 billion in year-over-year earnings growth—increases of 78 percent and 99 percent, respectively.

Apple says it sold 20.34 million iPhones during the just-completed quarter, a 142 percent increase from the phones it sold during the same period last year. That’s also the most phones Apple has ever sold during a quarter, topping the 18.65 million mark set just three months ago.

The iPhone racked up strong sales despite Apple skipping its customary summer introduction of a new model, after releasing the iPhone 4 in the summer of 2010 and the iPhone 3GS the summer before that. The last new iPhone released by Apple was a CDMA version of the smartphone compatible with Verizon’s wireless network; that model came out in February. The long-awaited white version of the iPhone also shipped in April.

Apple sold 9.25 million iPads during the third quarter, the first full quarter of sales for the iPad 2, which arrived in March. Apple says its iPad sales topped last year’s figures by 183 percent. It also set a new record for quarterly iPad sales, besting the previous mark of 7.3 million during the 2010 holiday shopping season.

Mac sales rose 14 percent from last year, with Apple selling 3.95 million computers. That’s a record for the third quarter, Oppenheimer said. Growth of Mac sales also outpaced market-research firm IDC’s forecasted PC market growth by more than four times, Apple pointed out.

The quarter saw Apple introduce new iMacs with quad-core processors, improved graphics, and Thunderbolt connectivity. All told, Apple sold 1.15 million desktops, accounting for about 30 percent of the Macs sold during the quater. The company sold 2.79 million portable Macs during the quarter, with the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air driving those sales, according to Oppenheimer.

iPod sales continued to decline from the heights of previous years. Apple says it sold 7.54 million iPods, a 20 percent drop from last year, though Oppenheimer said that was above the company’s expectations. The iPod touch accounts for about half of all iPods sold, according to Apple’s figures.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

VirtualBox updated to 4.1.0

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Date: Tuesday, July 19th, 2011, 05:07
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.1.0. The new version, a 82.8 megabyte download, sports the following list of fixes and changes:

- Support for cloning of VMs (bug #5853, see the manual for more information): full clones can be created through the GUI and VBoxManage, linked clones only through VBoxManage.

- GUI: enhanced wizard for creating new virtual disks.

- GUI: new wizard for copying virtual disks.

- GUI: keep the aspect ratio in scale mode (Windows and OSX hosts only; bug #7822).

- VMM: raised the memory limit for 64-bit hosts to 1TB.

- Experimental support for PCI passthrough for Linux hosts, see the manual for more information.

- Windows guests: Experimental WDDM graphics driver, supporting Windows Aero (bug #4607) and providing
- Direct3D support using a cleaner approach (no need to install the guest drivers in Safe Mode anymore).

- Guest Additions: status of modules and features can now be queried separately by the frontends.

- Networking: new network attachment mode “Generic Driver”, which offers an open plugin architecture for arbitrary and separately distributable virtual network implementations.

- Host-only Networking: fixed host crash in kernels prior to 2.6.29.

- New Networking Mode UDP Tunnel: allows to interconnect VMs running on different hosts easily and transparently, see the manual for more information.

- Experimental support for SATA hard disk hotplugging available with VBoxManage.

- Solaris hosts: New Crossbow based bridged networking driver for Solaris 11 build 159 and above.

VirtualBox 4.1.0 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know.

Rumor: Apple slated to release Mac OS X 10.7, next-gen MacBook Air on Wednesday

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Date: Tuesday, July 19th, 2011, 05:49
Category: MacBook Air, Rumor, Software

It’s the rumor mill that keeps life interesting…

Per AppleInsider, Apple could launch both its Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and its widely anticipated Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Air notebooks on Wednesday.

According to sources with proven track records, the new product launches are set to occur later this week. Specifically, one person said the products would be released on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

The latest details align with what rumors that have been circulating this month, when it reported that new MacBook Air models with backlit keyboards and Thunderbolt ports would launch the week of July 21.

Those details were reaffirmed late last week in a separate report that corroborated other details, including the fact that Apple is expected to do away with the entry-level 64GB solid-state flash hard drive option. Instead, the new MacBook Airs are expected to have a minimum of 128GB in capacity.

The new notebooks, according to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, are also expected to come with 4GB of RAM as the standard. That extra memory will allow the systems to better run Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple’s next-generation operating system, also said to become available this week.

Apple has been holding off on the introduction of new Mac hardware until it finally releases Lion. Apple has not offered a specific launch date for the operating system, only promising that it will become available on the Mac App Store for US$29.99 at some point in July.

A few weeks ago, Apple began undertaking preparatory measures to unveil Lion. While it was initially believed that the operating system could have gone on sale as soon as last week, there have been rumors of last-minute holdups associated with the logistics and infrastructure related to Apple’s switch to a digital distribution method through the Mac App Store.

The Golden Master of Lion was seeded to developers on July 1. The term “Golden Master” means that the software is viewed as a final build that will be identical to the software released to the general public.

While Lion and the new MacBook Air models are said to be set to launch this week, there has been no specific indication given regarding any other hardware. However, Apple provided its own evidence of a forthcoming refresh to its LED Cinema Display last week, when it posted images on its site showing a Thunderbolt-equipped display with the new part number “MC914.”

Supply of Apple’s white MacBook has also been severely constrained since late June, suggesting a change to the product could be forthcoming. Since then, there has been no indication of an imminent hardware refresh.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Copies of Mac OS X 10.7 begin arriving at Apple Store locations

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Date: Tuesday, July 19th, 2011, 03:40
Category: Rumor, Software

You’ve waited a while and it’s almost here.

Per MacRumors, hard disk drives bearing the Golden Master version of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion have arrived at Apple’s retail stores ahead of an imminent launch, according to a new report.

The site wrote on Monday it had confirmed that Apple retail stores “have begun receiving final copies” of Lion. The company has reportedly shipped the OS on hard drives intended for store demo computers.

The “Golden Master” build of Lion was first seeded to developers on July 1. Lion, which contains hundreds of new features, will be the first OS X release to be distributed through the Mac App Store, where it will sell for US$29.99.

Sources also indicated that Apple will release Lion alongside new Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Airs as early as Wednesday. According to one person familiar with the matter, the products will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday.

Apple began retail preparations for Mac OS X Lion earlier this month. Though various reports had suggested that Lion would arrive last week, rumors then emerged that last minute issues with the upgrade had pushed it back to the week of July 21.

In addition to high-speed Thunderbolt ports, the new MacBook Air models are expected to include Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and minimum RAM and SSD specs of 4GB and 128GB respectively.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

CrossOver updated to 10.1.0

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Date: Monday, July 18th, 2011, 14:55
Category: News, Software

CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 10.1.0. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Fixed several known issues with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

- Don’t move cursor on display mode change, start up, or quit.

- Simplify user interactions when Quartz-WM is missing.

- Fixed check printing in Quicken 2011.

CrossOver 10.1.0 retails for US$69.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 and or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

Google works around Maps bug, quietly reposts fixed travel/arrival times

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Date: Monday, July 18th, 2011, 06:24
Category: iOS, News, Software

Well, this was a little awkward.

Per PC World, Google has removed a service that predicted travel times with traffic from the browser-based version of Google Maps.

Google Community Manager Daniel Mabasa announced the change in the Google help forum in response to a question from a user who noticed that ETA with traffic had disappeared from Google Maps.

“…We have decided that our information systems behind this feature were not as good as they could be,” Mabasa said. “Therefore, we have taken this offline and are currently working to come up with a better, more accurate solution.”

Apparently the “information systems behind” the feature weren’t bad enough to remove the service from mobile. Google Maps for Android and iOS both still predict travel times with traffic.

Oddly enough, Google Maps’ Navigation Android App was recently updated to help steer users clear of traffic jams. The data reportedly comes from others who are using Google Maps on their smartphones.

In a 2009 blog post, Google stated that a phone with an active Google Maps App “sends anonymous bits of data back to Google describing how fast you’re moving. When we combine your speed with the speed of other phones on the road, across thousands of phones moving around a city at any given time, we can get a pretty good picture of live traffic conditions. We continuously combine this data and send it back to you for free in the Google Maps traffic layers.”

Unfortunately, this doesn’t go all the way and tell you when you’ll get to where you’re going…

Which is kind of the other piece of the puzzle.

Intel looking into bug in SSD 320 drive, offering replacement units

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Date: Monday, July 18th, 2011, 06:48
Category: hard drive, News

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Nothing’s perfect all the time.

Per Macworld, Intel is investigating a potential bug that may be causing SSD 320 solid-state drives to fail. The company is offering replacement drives to affected customers until the issue is resolved, a customer service representative said.

Over in Intel’s forums, users are complaining about SSD 320 drives crashing due to power issues, causing data loss. In some instances the storage capacity on the drive is being reported as only 8MB after the crash.

“We are investigating the issue,” Intel spokesman Daniel Snyder said via email. “Any customer with concerns should call Intel customer support.”

An Intel technical support representative said that until the issue is resolved, affected customers will be sent a replacement drive. Intel’s customer support contacts are listed on its website. The company also offers live chat support.

The SSD 320 was released in March and is being used in both Macs and PCs computers. The drive, which has received positive reviews, is offered with capacities ranging from 40GB to 600GB.

Intel has had issues with SSDs crashing in the past. In 2009 it pulled a firmware upgrade for its X25-M consumer SSDs the day after users complained about the software crashing drives.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know.

iPad 2 ship times drop to 1-3 days

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Date: Monday, July 18th, 2011, 06:54
Category: iPad, News

After more than fourth months on the market, Apple’s iPad 2 appears to have nearly caught up with the staggering demand for the product, as estimated shipping times on the company’s U.S. online store have improved to just one to three business days.

Per Electronista, Apple reached near immediate availability for all models of its popular touchscreen tablet on Saturday. The lead times are an improvement upon last week’s drop to three to five days.

Shortly after the device’s launch in March, Apple was quoting shipping estimates of over a month. In April, the iPad 2 began shipping within one to two weeks, with Apple holding that timeframe steady until early July.

Analysts have viewed the improvements to availability as evidence that Apple has overcome supply constraints, rather than viewing the news as indicating slackening demand for the device. J.P. Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz believes the resulting increase in iPad sales should help allay investor concerns that have contributed to recent volatility in shares of Apple.

Despite the fact that Apple sold “every iPad [it] could make,” analysts were disappointed in April when the company announced sales of just 4.69 million units last quarter. Wall Street had expected sales of 6.2 million.

“Demand has been staggering, and I’m not going to predict when supply and demand will come into balance, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said during the earnings call, adding that the iPad 2 is “the mother of all backlogs.”

Apple releases iOS 4.3.4 update, addresses PDF security issues

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Date: Friday, July 15th, 2011, 10:54
Category: iOS, News, Software

On Friday, Apple released iOS 4.3.4, the latest incarnation of its iOS operating system for its iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. The updates, which somewhat function as a response to the German government’s regarding PDF-related security vulnerabilities in MobileSafari fix the same three vulnerabilities, the patch arriving in two versions, thanks to the different flavors of the iPhone 4. iOS 4.3.4 applies to the iPad and iPad 2, the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch, the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4 (GSM model); users of the CDMA model of the iPhone 4 instead get iOS 4.2.9.

Per Macworld, the issues addressed in the updates include the aforementioned PDF problem within Apple’s CoreGraphics framework, which exploits FreeType’s TrueType and Type 1 fonts to execute malicious code, and a conversion problem within the IOMobileFrameBuffer framework, which could allow code to inadvertently gain system privileges by posing as the user.

These updates can be snagged by plugging in your respective iOS device and checking for updates in iTunes.

If you’ve tried the updates and noticed any differences, please let us know in the comments.

Elgato releases EyeTV 3.5.3 update

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Date: Friday, July 15th, 2011, 06:21
Category: News, Software

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On Friday, Elgato Systems released version 3.5.3 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.

The new version, a 130.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

- TIvizen now features a Home Network Mode option to integrate into your existing Wi-Fi network. Use Tivizen in your existing Wi-Fi network rather than using the hotspot that Tivizen creates on its own. This enables you to stay connected to the Internet and watch TV at the same time. If you are on the road, and Tivizen does not find any of the stored home networks, it will switch into the regular hotspot mode. When you return home and switch on Tivizen, it will automatically join the last used home network.

- In USB Mode, you can connect Tivizen to a Mac or a PC and use it as a coventional USB TV tuner. Tivizen’s Wi-Fi network capability remains available when not connected via USB. When enabling either Home Network or USB mode, Tivizen will update its firmware. Follow the instructions on screen, then wait about 30 seconds until the Tivizen hardware has restarted. See below for further details. 


Bug Fixes:
- A problem with Cinergy Piranha hardware has been resolved.

- EyeTV now properly scans for the BBC HD transponder on DVB-S2.

- Improved UI, stability and overall performance After installing this update, please open the new software, then unplug and replug your device.

EyeTV 3.5.3 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$39.95.