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Apple posts $7.31 billion profit for third quarter

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


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


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.

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


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


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.

Apple launches App Store Volume Purchase Program for businesses

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Date: Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 14:43
Category: iOS, News, retail

While iOS from the App Store have proven to be supremely useful, they can prove to be an expensive habit when purchased en masse.

Per Macworld, Apple has announced the App Store Volume Purchase for Business Program, which offers to businesses the same capabilities that the company made available to educational institutions last year.

With the Volume Purchase Program you create a single Apple ID that is specifically used to manage purchases for your organization. Using that account—which needs to be linked to a corporate credit card or purchasing card—organizations can search for apps and then purchase them in bulk. (There’s no discount for purchasing in bulk, however; the prices remain the same as they are in the App Store.)

Once the purchases have been made, Apple issues the company a list of redemption codes for the app. Whoever is managing app distribution for the company can email those codes to employees, allowing them to download the app just by following a link on their Mac, PC, or iOS device. The management interface is updated as users redeem the apps, keeping track of which codes are still available, as well as retaining a full purchase history.

In addition to purchasing apps available on the App Store, the Volume Purchase Program also lets you buy custom business-to-business (B2B) apps that third parties develop for your company. These are distinct from apps that might be developed within a company and distributed to employees, in that they are required to be paid apps (costing at least US$10) and are developed out of house. The app developer, who needs to be a member of the iOS Developer program, also needs to authorize purchasers to allow them to buy the apps, at which point the process is virtually identical to buying apps in bulk from the store.

Both cases allow organizations to use third-party Mobile Device Management (MDM) programs to distribute and manage redemption codes for apps.

To be eligible for the Volume Purchase Program, your organization must have a Dun & Bradstreet (D-U-N-S) number, a valid business address, and business contact information. Though the program is not yet in operation, Apple says that it’s coming soon and that a full guide on volume purchasing is available at Apple’s website.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Series of UK employment ads may point towards mid-August iPhone 5 launch

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 04:26
Category: iPhone, News

A series of job postings for a number of seasonal iPhone sales staff in the U.K. this summer appear to suggest a mid-August launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone.

Per CNET UK, the ads were discovered on the U.K. employment site Reed.

“Our client, Apple, one of the largest consumer electronic hardware and software companies in the world are seeking full-time iPhone Sales Staff for an exciting project to work 5 days a week (Tuesday-Saturday) for the period 16th August – 29th October within key retail stores,” the posting reads.

According to the listing, only applicants willing to commit “to the period of the campaign” will be considered.

Given the proscribed seasonality for the new employees, the sales staff appear to be extra help brought on to handle an influx of customers during the launch of Apple’s so-called iPhone 5. Though the listing by no means serves as concrete evidence of mid-August launch, it does indicate that, at least in the U.K. retail preparations for the new device are ramping up through the summer and into the fall.

Successful candidates would attend a “4 day training event” in London from August 9 to 12. The job pays £75 per day and involves working to “generate and grow iPhone sales and ensure sales targets are met” while providing a “first class customer service experience.”

Gekko, the recruiter who posted the listings, boasts several years of experience working with Apple. The company’s website boasts of a “Most Innovative Campaign” award for a staffing campaign for Apple that brought in “nearly £2 million in hardware sales alone.”

The mid-August timeframe would line up with indications from suppliers on Wednesday that Apple’s next iPhone will launch in the third quarter of calendar 2011. Bloomberg reported last month that the next iPhone will go on sale in September and feature an A5 processor and an 8-megapixel camera.

According to recent reports, Apple plans to build 25 million units of the next iPhone by the end of this year. The device is expected to be thinner and lighter than its predecessor and sport wireless baseband chips from Qualcomm. It should also be noted that some analysts expect the next-generation iPhone to arrive in late September or possibly as late as the fourth quarter of this year.

Earlier this month, component suppliers claimed Pegatron had been contracted to produce 15 million units of the new handset. However, a new report on Wednesday suggested Pegatron’s share of next-gen iPhone production may be closer to 10 million as rival manufacturer Foxconn has exerted efforts to protect its orders.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.