Did Apple mess up with the Retina iPad mini?

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 08:46
Category: Benchmark, Consumer Electronics, Features, Hardware, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, Opinion, The Apple Core

ret-ipad-mini-fanToday I broke down and bought one of the new Retina iPad minis. That is one of the dilemmas of living in a city with multiple, easy to get to Apple Stores. I’ve been watching the local stores’ inventories fluctuate using the Apple-Tracker web site, and noticed that there were several of the model I wanted in stock, so I ordered one for Personal Pickup and had it by this afternoon, which was rather impulsive considering I hadn’t spent any time with an iPad mini. One of the key factors of getting a new iPad was to upgrade to a Retina display, since I do a lot of reading on the iPad. Comparing some my iBooks between my iPad 2 and the iPad mini, there is a noticeable difference in the text, but so far I haven’t noticed the same difference in other graphics.

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Retina iPad mini retail sales limited to Personal Pickup

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Date: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013, 08:46
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Hardware, iPad mini, News, Retail Store

ret-ipad-mini-adAfter this morning’s excitement following the release of the Retina iPad mini, I found myself in downtown San Francisco today and thought I’d swing by the Apple Store to see how crazy the new mini’s sales were. When I got there, it was strangely quiet, “quiet” being a relative term when used to describe the Union Square store which is almost always full of tourists, business travelers, and just about anyone else you can think of.

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Late Night Bulletin: Apple may release iPad mini with Retina display tomorrow

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Date: Monday, November 11th, 2013, 23:01
Category: Announcement, Hardware, iPad mini, Rumor

apple-store-down questionWith the release of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and the iPad Air out of the way, people can focus on the next big thing; the new iPad mini. Many sources have been suggesting a November 21st release for the smaller tablet or a possible delay of another week to hit the stores on Black Friday, but now some info has come to light that may suggest that we will see our new little friend tomorrow morning. Yes, that’s right, TOMORROW MORNING! Earlier today, MacRumors posted an image of a tweet from user @puntomacrd which showed the date November 12, 2013 for the new iPad mini’s debut on Apple’s own service provider web portal. (more…)

Apple will be offering in-store iPhone display replacements

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Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013, 10:54
Category: Announcement, Apple, AppleCare, Hardware, iPhone, Retail Store

AppleGeniusBarAccording to MacRumors, Apple is rolling out a repair policy for iPhone 5S and 5C display replacements and other repairs, where they will be done within the store’s own repair facilities, rather than replacing the entire phone. This is part of a move by Apple to reduce repair costs on new iPhones. This may reduce costs for Apple, but not so much for iPhone owners. Currently, without an AppleCare plan for your iPhone, you can get the screen replaced for $150. With AppleCare, a replacement will run you $80. (more…)

iPad Air hits the stores

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 1st, 2013, 05:51
Category: Announcement, Apple, Hardware, iPad Air, Retail Store

ipad-air-header-2-640x480_previewIt’s November 1st, and that means new hardware, if you’re an iPad fan. The iPad Air, announced recently in Apple’s October 22nd event, hit the online stores early this morning, and are no doubt hitting Apple’s retail shelves to be available when the stores open today. Prices in the United States start at $499 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air. You can read more details about the worldwide availability, price information, and other retailers at MacRumors’ site.

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Intel, partners looking to manufacture 64-bit mobile processors

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Date: Thursday, October 31st, 2013, 10:30
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

Never doubt the power of the mobile processor business.Intel-logo

According to Forbes, at the ARM developers conference today, Intel partner Altera announced that the world’s largest semiconductor company will fabricate its ARM 64-bit chips starting next year. The announcement sent shockwaves through the technology industry as Intel is desperately trying to break ARM’s supremacy in the mobile market. Unlike Intel, ARM Holdings of the U.K. doesn’t manufacture chips but its designs are licensed and used worldwide in the mobile industry.

“It’s huge. Imagine ARM’s most powerful and technologically advanced 64-bit processor built on Intel’s leading-edge fabs. A duo that will be hard to beat,” explains Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

But this is just the beginning of a much larger endeavor for the chip giant as Intel is even willing to compete with semiconductor foundry leader TSMC for the business of its fiercest rivals, like Nvidia or Qualcomm.

“Intel will build Apple’s, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or the Nvidia Tegra for the right price. Now, the question is, are they ready to pay that premium [to ARM] and feed their direct competitor? But that would actually make business sense for everyone,” adds Brookwood.

With Intel ready to open up its leading-edge factories to whomever is willing to pay a premium, chip prices could actually come down, with the other foundries (TSMC, UMC, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, IBM or SMIC) feeling the pressure to compete.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple confirms manufacturing issue that could shorten battery life in some iPhone 5s units

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:58
Category: battery, Hardware, iPhone

eliphone5s

If your iPhone 5s’ battery seems a bit wonky, there’s a valid reason for it.

Per 9to5Mac and The New York Times, Apple has confirmed that a “very limited” number of iPhone 5s units could experience shortened battery life as the result of a manufacturing problem.

“We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life,” said Teresa Brewer, an Apple spokeswoman. “We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone.”

The exact number of affected units is not clear, but the statement is said to imply that the number is in the few thousands range. Apple sold 9 million iPhones total over its opening weekend. The article notes that a manufacturing problem does not equal a defective battery, so it is unclear what the actual source of the issue is.

Affected users can expect to be contacted by Apple soon and will be issued a replacement phone.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: LG closer to becoming iWatch component supplier, Samsung apparently shut out of consideration

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Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, 10:45
Category: Hardware, Rumor

applelogo

The iWatch rumors continue, this time focusing on component suppliers.

Per AppleInsider and the Korea Herald, one report claiming LG Display is closing in on a deal to supply a portion of the device’s flexible OLED screens, while longtime supply partner Samsung will be shut out of the project.

Citing an “expert,” The Korea Herald on Tuesday reported that LG is close to furthering its partnership with Apple, and may soon ink a deal to provide screens for the Cupertino company’s much rumored “iWatch.”

“LG Display has been in talks over flexible organic light-emitting diode panels for quite a while and it looks like it will be sealing the deal with Apple,” the anonymous source said.

Currently, LG supplies Apple with LCD panels for the iPad, MacBook and iMac product lineups.

Along with LG, Taiwan’s RiTDisplay is also rumored to be a main contender for Apple’s purported wearable device. In May, a report claimed Apple was looking into the firm’s 1.5-inch one-glass touchscreen technology, which would allow the iWatch to be as thin and light as possible.

Notably absent from the list of possible suppliers is Samsung. According to the publication’s sources, Apple recently met with the Korean tech giant to discuss the matter, but discussions fell flat. Samsung is currently marketing its own smart watch in the Galaxy Gear, which has seen negative reviews from critics and high return rates from consumers.

Apple has yet to use OLEDs in any of its consumer products, but the power-sipping tech is a good fit for small portables like a smart watch. The iWatch rumor has been circulating for some time, and is continually on the verge of “launching soon.” The most recent chatter points to a 2014 unveiling, but hard evidence supporting a near-future debut has yet to surface.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

iFixit completes teardowns of late-2013 MacBook Pro notebooks, finds significant changes

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Date: Friday, October 25th, 2013, 10:56
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

elretina2

The new late-2013 MacBook Pro teardown is complete.

And iFixit found some pretty nifty stuff in there.

Per AppleInsider and iFixit, the company has completed full teardowns of the 13-inch version of Apple’s latest Retina MacBook Pro lineup as well as the 15-inch version. The 13-inch version apparently benefited the most from Haswell’s focus on power efficiency, reducing the number of fans in the clamshell casing from two to one, according to iFixit. The reduction is likely one of the primary reasons Apple was able to shrink the smaller notebook’s vertical cross-section to match its larger sibling’s 0.71 inch thin profile.

Both the 13- and 15-inch variants sport a new, streamlined heatsink which combines the thermal pads for the CPU and GPU. Previously, each chip – in models with discrete GPUs — had its own thermal pad, and the two were connected to the fans via heat pipes.

The repair site also noted that the headphone jack is now soldered directly onto the logic board, rather than connected via a ribbon cable or wire. Since the headphone jack is one of the few parts in the laptops that is subjected to repeated wear and tension, it makes replacing the port expensive.

In addition to the structural changes, both units feature faster PCIe-based storage, which comes in the form of a replaceable daughtercard. The laptops’ other elements, including the display construction and battery placement, remain largely the same.

If you’ve gotten your hands on the new notebook or have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple unveils new Mac Pro units, announces December ship date

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 10:34
Category: Hardware, Mac Pro, News

el2013macpro

Apple’s new Mac Pro desktop has been revealed.

And it’s kinda pricey.

Per AppleInsider, Apple took the wraps off the last unannounced details on its upcoming Mac Pro desktop, namely price and release date at yesterday’s press event, with the professional-grade machine set to debut in December with a starting price of US$2,999.

The new Mac Pro is one-eighth the volume of the previous Mac Pro. It features Xeon E5 processors of up to 12 cores, as well as AMD FirePro graphics.

It also sports next-generation flash with a PCIe controller with up to 1.2GB/s reads, 1.0GB/s writes, and up to 1-terabyte capacity. Thunderbolt connectivity offers 20Gb/s throughput.

The new Mac Pro can drive up to three 4K displays with HDMI 1.4 support.

A new integrated motion controller also illuminates the input-output on the back when the device is moved.

A revamped version of Final Cut Pro X has also been developed by Apple, designed to take advantage of the horsepower of the new Mac Pro. As part of Tuesday’s presentation, quotes from audio and video professionals praising the device were shared after they had time to sample the hardware pre-release.

The base model of Apple’s next-generation desktop features a 3.7-gigzhertz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12 gigabytes of RAM, dual FirePro D300 GPUs with 2 gigabytes of video RAM each, and a 256 gigabyte solid state drive.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.