iPhone to Be Available at 2,000 Retail Locations Upon Release

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Date: Friday, May 18th, 2007, 14:46
Category: News

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With the launch of the iPhone less than a month away, Bear Sterns analyst Andy Neff has returned after a sit-down meeting with Apple executives Ron Johnson (the head of the retail division) and Tom Boger (the Director of the Mac Product Division) with news that the handset will be available in about 2,000 stores come the launch.
According to MacNN, the iPhone will be sold exclusively in Apple’s and AT&T‘s retail locations. This breaks down to approximately 160 Apple Store locations and 1,840 AT&T wireless shops.
“Apple affirmed its goal of June release for iPhone and expressed confidence in meeting its target of 10 million unit shipments in 2008 given iPhone’s superior user experience, which Apple referred to as ‘transformational,’” wrote Neff.
Neff added that for international store openings, the iPhone would first appear in regions with a high Apple installed base such as the United Kingdom and Japan and expand from there.
We’ll post more information on this as soon as it becomes available, but if you see or hear something cool from an Apple Store or AT&T location in the next few weeks, let us know.

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Apple Files Patent for Thinner, Stronger Notebook Design

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Date: Friday, May 18th, 2007, 11:12
Category: News

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A December, 2006 patent submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a view of what Apple may have in mind for its future notebooks.
While the trend has historically been to make laptops lighter, companies know this is a trade off in terms of durability.
“Unfortunately, increased weight may lead to user dissatisfaction, and bowing may damage the internal parts of the portable computer,” the company wrote in the filing, as covered on AppleInsider.
Additionally, an increased need to electromagnetic shielding has also made designs that much bulkier. In the patent, Apple proposes the idea of an enclosure using at least two uniqe parts to form a single composite structure held together with structural glue as well as the idea of a two-part enclosure being electrically bonded together to form a conductive surface that would both shield the device as well as allow electricity to pass through it. This technique, if viable, would allow manufacturers to build small enclosures around tightly spaced sets of components as opposed to using pre-formed casings or heavy fasteners to perform the same task.
According to an example given within the patent, the glue used to join two components could shift between two states; a liquid state to create a bond and a solid state to hold the structure together. This would allow for multiple parts to be placed in desired positions throughout the device.
For the aforementioned electrical bond, the patent describes a system in which a conductive bridge is electrically bonded to a segment of the conductive layer and to a portion of the laptop’s top plate. The conductive bridge would act as a singular electrical structure and allow current to pass through it while acting as a shield.
The patent is currently credited to Michael Kriege, Dan Hong, John DiFonzo, Stephen Zadesky, David Lynch, David Lundgren, and Nick Merz.

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NitroAV Releases Professional ExpressCard Interface Adapter

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Date: Friday, May 18th, 2007, 08:30
Category: News

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On Thursday, NitroAV announced that it had released its two-port NitroAV eSATA II 3Gb/s Professional ExpressCard Interface Adapter.
The adapter uses the MacBook Pro’s ExpressCard slot and features a pair of SATA II ports. Users can hot-swap drives through the adapter as well as use 54 mm card slots with the device according to The Mac Observer.
Full Mac OS X drivers for the card can be found over at siliconimage.com and the adapter, which retails for US$69.95 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to function.
The adapter is immediately available for shipping.

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iPhone Earns FCC Approval

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Date: Friday, May 18th, 2007, 07:13
Category: News

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On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission approved Apple’s long-awaited iPhone combination phone and music player. The device will hit store shelves next month.
“The iPhone has passed its required FCC certification milestones and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned,” said Natalie Kerris, Director of Apple Music PR.
According to Macworld News, the iPhone will support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi protocols and operate in the 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz frequency bands. The unit has currently been approved to operate on EDGE networks, despite the fact that several cell phone operators have upgraded their networks to operate at 500 Kb/s, a speed which is more than twice as fast as the EDGE protocol.
The FCC also released documents which Apple wished kept private (see Jason O’Grady’s Apple Core blog for further information on which materials were requested to be held back).
Keeping in synch with recent announcements and offers, AT&T will initially be the exclusive provider for the iPhone. The carrier permitted employees testing the iPhone to take the units outside of their offices according to an anonymous source within the company. The source has stated that the device’s features are being activated individually and so far, users are unable to play music watch videos or use the device’s visual voicemail feature.
Stay tuned for additional details as they surface.

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Garmin Loader Beta Hits for Macs

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 12:36
Category: News

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Almost 18 months after its initial promise, Garmin has finally released a beta version of its navigation loader software Mac OS X. The software, known as a POI loader, allows users to load MapSource data to the device via your Mac as well as install waypoint and trip planning programs as well.
For additional details, check out the Apple Core blog and if you’ve seen similar navigation applications that have proven useful for the Mac, let us know.

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Amazon Drops Prices on Current and Older MacBooks

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 12:06
Category: News

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On Thursday, Amazon.com announced that it had lowered prices for both its older model MacBook laptops as well as the recently released units.
According to MacNN, the new prices are as follows:
-White 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 120 GB hard drive: US$1,200 after a US$100 rebate;
-Black 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive: US$1,400 after a US$100 rebate;
-White 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM, 80 GB hard drive: US$1,000 after a US$100 rebate;
-Black 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of memory, 120GB hard drive: US$1,250;
-White 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 512 MB of RAM, 60 GB hard drive: US$920 after a US$75 rebate.
The company is currently also offering one and two gigabyte RAM upgrades for Apple’s 2GHz MacBook model priced at US$50 and US$100, respectively.
Granted, this isn’t handing the MacBook away for free, but that’s a pretty good price where RAM is concerned and if you’re thinking of picking one up, a rebate never hurts.
Of course, sometimes if you wait a few weeks, sometimes they throw in a free printer.
And a pony.

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OWC Now Offering MacBook, MacBook Pro Memory Upgrade Kits

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 08:32
Category: News

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On Wednesday, Other World Computing announced that its one, two and three gigabyte RAM modules for MacBook laptops had become available and were immediately shipping.
The modules are priced competitively against Apple’s factory upgrade option, wherein upgrading from one gigabyte of RAM to two gigabyes would run US$175, Other World Computing cites that their upgrade option can be had for US$99.97.
For a three gigabyte RAM upgrade, users can expect to pay US$177.99 for a two gigabyte chip and a one gigabyte chip. According to The Mac Observer, the chip also meets the specification for the current Intel-based iMacs and can be used in these machines.
The company also currently offers a US$20 rebate on RAM that’s been traded in and ships a free online video installation guide to help the users upgrade their machines. A lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty is also offered for the RAM upgrade.

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Apple Files Anti-Theft Patent for Its Devices

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 08:24
Category: News

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In March of 2004, Apple submitted a patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a technique that would hopefully better guard its devices. The patent, credited to company storage chief Paul Wahrenberg, centers around an “acceleration-based theft detection system”, the device sensing its own motion and determining what’s happening from there.
And now, the interesting part. The patent filed describes how in many cases the theft of a device will introduce certain movement cues that aren’t experienced in everyday use. Rapid sustained movement qualifies as one of them, whereas according an accidental bump or drop would fit into the criteria of everyday use.
According to AppleInsider, a device could theoretically distinguish between a person stealing it and its legitimate user through the implementation of an accelerometer and the right software. Once a certain speed, position or vibational condition had been reached, the software could send a signal to the rest of the system, triggering an alarm or require a password to return to normal. Another section of the patent describes how the software could customize individual alarm settings to their specifications.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Skype 2.6 for Mac Released

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 13:24
Category: News

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On Wednesday, Skype released the final build of Skype 2.6, its Voice over Internet Protocol software for the Mac. The new version, which is available as a free 30.4 megabyte download, includes a new call-transfer feature currently unavailable on its Windows client as well as stability fixes, a public chat feature and a chat typing indicator within its instant message component to allow users to see when the other person is typing a message.
According to MacNN, Skype 2.6 also features support for DTMF tones for automatic answering services which are available during Skype-to-Skype calls. The update also improves how event reminders are handled and users can make calls to standard land lines and cell phones via the program’s Skype In and Skype Out services.
Skype requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have something to say about it, let us know.

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Amazon to Offer DRM-Free Digital Music

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Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2007, 13:02
Category: News

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On Wednesday, Amazon.com announced that it plans to launch a DRM-free online music store later this year. The site would sell audio content in a straight MP3 format without any Digital Rights Management protection constraints built into the files sold according to Macworld News.
This news follows announcements by EMI and Apple in April that the companies would be selling online music content free of Digital Rights Management code. Amazon’s tactic would allow the songs and albums sold through its music store to be played by almost any device that could read and play the MP3 file format. Purchased songs could also be stored to an iPod or other digital music player as well as burned to CD-ROM.

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