Staples starts pushing iPads and iPod via company’s online storefront

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Date: Monday, September 30th, 2013, 07:22
Category: iPad, iPod, News, retail

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This came a little earlier than expected.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, only seven months after Staples became an authorized reseller of Mac and iOS accessories, the office supply giant is now selling both iPads and iPods via its online store.

The splash page for Staples.com advertises the iPad and iPad Mini while also indicating that the items are eligible for free shipping and 5 percent back in rewards points.

As it stands now, iPads and iPods via Staples are only available online, but that may soon change if online sales of Apple’s popular tablet prove to be successful.

With over 2,000 brick-and-mortar stores across 26 countries, getting the iPad into Staples retail stores would certainly help Apple sell more iPads.

If you’ve seen Staples having begun to sell iPads and iPods in a brick and mortar fashion in your area, please let us know in the comments section.

Apple to issue $40 compensation checks to owners of certain iPad 3G units following AT&T class action suit over unlimited data plans

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Date: Monday, September 30th, 2013, 07:57
Category: iPad, Legal, News

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If you own a cellular-enabled iPad, You might be getting a check in the mail in the near future.

Per Law360, a US district court judge in San Jose approved a proposed settlement between Apple and wireless carrier AT&T on Thursday, according to Law360. Under the proposed plan, Apple will pay US$40 to everyone in the United States who bought or ordered a 3G-enabled iPad on or before June 7, 2010.

Additionally, cellular-enabled iPad owners who did not sign up with AT&T will get a US$20 per month discount on the telecom’s 5GB per month plan for up to a year.

The class action suit is looking to rectify an issue iPad buyers faced after purchasing the tablet. Some customers may have based their decision to buy at least in part on the promise of unlimited data through AT&T, which was the first U.S. carrier to offer the iPad with cellular capabilities. In a somewhat controversial move, the telecom nixed unlimited plans in 2010 in favor of a tiered model, citing bandwidth constraints.

At the time, data was capped at 2GB per month, but subscribers can now go as high as 5GB per month, which includes tethering to other devices. As a consolation to frustrated users, AT&T allows those unlimited data plans to continue their service as long as there is no break in payments. Device tethering is not offered for grandfathered all-you-can-eat plans and once a subscriber switches to a tiered option, they cannot return to unlimited.

The deal is subject to final approval, which is expected in February of 2014. At that point, Apple will begin contacting all eligible customers to inform them of their pending settlement check.

Those who no longer own their original iPad will still be eligible for the deal as long as they didn’t sign on to an AT&T data plan with that device, due to a no-class action clause in the carrier’s contracts.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Chipworks continues examination of A7 processor, finds new architecture, quad-core GPU

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Date: Monday, September 30th, 2013, 07:57
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

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There’s some cool stuff going on with the iPhone 5s’ new A7 processor.

Per an analysis published by Chipworks, the A7 contains assorted changes from the previous A6 processor, including the addition of a mysterious SRAM cell never seen in A-series silicon.

Continuing its comprehensive investigation of the new A7 SoC, which on Tuesday confirmed a 28nm manufacturing process, silicon experts at Chipworks are digging deeper into the processor’s major structures and overall design.

The firm notes in the report that the latest findings are currently just “best guesses,” as circuit extraction testing has not yet been performed to yield conclusive data.

Taking the caveat into consideration, one of the more interesting findings would be the “secure enclave” used for Touch ID fingerprint data storage that Apple discussed during the iPhone 5s reveal earlier this month.

Chipworks was unable to identify a given area it had noted, but guesses that a new SRAM cell located above the GPUs is a prime suspect as the rather large storage space is a new addition to the A-series lineup. Extrapolating the size of the memory block and comparing it with metrics of known technology, the firm estimates the SRAM module to have a density of about 3MB.

Moving to the CPU, the A7’s dual-core unit and accompanying memory, estimated at 1MB for L2 cache and 256KB for L1, takes up about 17 percent of the die area. Located across from the CPU setup is a quad-core GPU with shared logic, which accounts for 22 percent of on-die space.

A side-by-side comparison of the A7 and last year’s A6 show the chips’ CPUs do not share the same layout. The new A7 appears to be closer to a conventional automated design, which would be a departure from Apple’s most recent custom-architected A-series SoCs.

Aside from the above discoveries, the rest of the A7’s design appears to be carried over from the A6. Of note, the USB, LCD and camera interfaces are identical to those found in Apple’s A5, A6 and A6X chips.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox updated to 2.4.0

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Date: Monday, September 30th, 2013, 06:28
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update.

On Friday, Dropbox released version 2.4.0 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 32.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
– Screenshot to Dropbox.

– Move to Dropbox.

– Import from iPhoto.

– OS X 10.9 Mavericks support!

– Much faster upload/download speeds for large files.

Dropbox 2.4.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new beta and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.