Rumor: New MacBook Pro Model Refresh Seems Imminent, Best Buy SKU System Drops Current Models

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Date: Tuesday, February 9th, 2010, 05:24
Category: MacBook Pro, Rumor

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The folks at Best Buy may be letting on more than they intended.

Per MacRumors, the SKUs (stock keeping unit numbers) for Apple’s current MacBook Pro notebooks appear to have been deleted from the store’s database system. When that happens, no additional orders can be placed for the deleted item(s), and it’s a pretty safe bet that something new is right around the corner.

With this in mind, it may be likely that Apple is getting set to release a new line of MacBook Pro notebooks, the current rumor mill pointing towards something equipped with Intel’s Core i5 line of processors.

If you’ve seen anything from your end, please let us know and we’ll have more on this as it comes in.

Rumor: Fourth-Generation iPhone to be Slightly Taller Than Current Models

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Date: Tuesday, February 9th, 2010, 04:08
Category: iPhone, Rumor

Recently, the cool cats at iResQ leaked photos of what they claim are parts from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4G, which is anticipated to be released this summer. Per MacRumors, the iResQ pictures focus on a screen that is apparently 1/4″ taller than current models. The site also notes that the screen is glued to the digitizer, which would make screen repair of the next-generation device more costly than 3G and 3GS models.

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The images also point out that the part has a reflective, mirror-like surface right above the earpiece. It’s generally thought that this is where a proximity sensor would be located, which also happens to be a different location than previous models. Although iResQ has been around for a while, it’s difficult to determine if this is a production part or just a prototype.

Feel free to hurl your two cents in and let us know what you think.

Rumor: AT&T Apparently Outbid Verizon for iPad Data Plan

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Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2010, 07:25
Category: iPad, Rumor

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While many were surprised to see AT&T offer a pay-as-you-go option for the recently-released iPad, others were shocked to see a lack of a Verizon option.

Per FoxNews.com, AT&T apparently offered a better price on a no-contract plan that sealed the deal.

According to the article, reporter Clayton Morris stated that both companies are “still talking,” despite the fact that Apple went out of its way to defend AT&T last week, and also introduced the wireless carrier as the sole 3G partner for the iPad in the U.S.

Last week, when Apple introduced the iPad, it also announced no-contract data plans from AT&T, running US$15 per month for 250MB of data, or US$30 per month for unlimited access. The plans will also offer free access to AT&T’s nationwide hotspots. Typically, cell phone companies charge US$60 per month for their mobile data-only plans.

As a contract-free purchase, users can buy a 3G-enabled version of the iPad starting at US$629. The AT&T network access can be purchased and later canceled at any time directly from the iPad. Though the device ships unlocked, due to hardware limitations it will only have access to AT&T’s 3G data network in the U.S.

Prior to last week’s iPad unveiling, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook defended AT&T in his company’s quarterly earnings conference call. He called AT&T a “great partner,” and said most customers have had a positive experience with the carrier.

Rumor: Apple Selects New Manufacturer for Fourth-Generation iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010, 06:37
Category: iPhone, News, Rumor

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Along with Apple’s long-standing partnership with manufacturer Foxconn, Asus subsidiary Pegatron Technology will reportedly manufacture Apple’s next-generation iPhone.

Per Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, Pegatron Technology has been selected by Apple for OEM production of the next-gen iPhone, expected to debut this summer. Pegatron will join Foxconn in manufacturing the handsets, industry sources reportedly said.

Although Pegatron officially declined to comment, the report noted that the company expects its handset shipments to “grow substantially in 2010″. The company currently produces LCD TVs and handsets, and is due to produce Microsoft’s Project Natal motion controller sensor for the Xbox 360 this year.

Pegatron was previously connected to the iPhone last fall and a report alleged that the company would build a new hybrid, world mode handset that would allow calls on both CDMA and GSM networks, granting access to Verizon Wireless in the U.S. Apple’s current iPhone manufacturer is Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., better known by its trade name of Foxconn.

Rumor: iPhone OS 3.2 to Feature Video Calling, File Download and Multitasking Support

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 2010, 05:27
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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iPhone OS 3.2 is currently in development and may in fact sport some really cool new features.

Per Engadget, a series of “extremely trusted sources” have stated that iPhone OS 3.2 contains rudimentary support for video calling.

Engadget’s sources said there are hooks to accept and decline a video conference, flip a video feed (a factor that could suggest a front-facing camera on future iPhone modens) and the ability to run a video call in either full screen mode or in just a portion of the screen, which could be indicative of some basic form of multitasking.

The article also cites that “iPhone OS 3.2 supports file downloads and local storage in the browser, which means you’ll be able to pull files off the web and use them in other apps, and there’s at least the beginnings of SMS support buried within the code.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think (or are hoping for) in the comments.

Rumor: Foxconn Prepping WAPI iPhone for Chinese Marketplace

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Date: Friday, January 29th, 2010, 08:12
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Long-time component supplier and Apple partner Foxconn is reportedly preparing a WAPI-based iPhone handset that will be distributed to China Unicom. Per Cloned in China, WAPI is the local wireless standard that is compatible with Wi-Fi, unlike the current iPhone version which omits the Wi-Fi functionality due to government regulations.

The lack of Wi-Fi has been considered a significant factor in the modest sales numbers following the iPhone launch in China. China Unicom reportedly sold only 300,000 iPhones by the end of 2009, moving only 5,000 handsets sold during the launch weekend.

Instead of buying the official Chinese version of the iPhone, which begins around US$1,025, many customers instead opted to import a standard iPhone from another country and unlock the device upon arrival.

Final pricing and launch information for the WAPI iPhone remains unknown.

Rumor: AT&T Exclusive iPhone Deal Could End Wednesday

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Date: Monday, January 25th, 2010, 05:15
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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AT&T’s exclusive contract with the iPhone (read: license to essentially print money) could end on Wednesday. Per Electronista, a purported contact within the carrier says exclusivity should end along with the January 27th date. The tipster doesn’t say who would join AT&T in supporting the iPhone, albeit Verizon has often been cited as the most likely pick, in part for the large subscriber base as well as the frequently cited network strength.

While evidence have yet to be provided, possible signs of this have shown up in the following leaked screen capture:

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A contract found by web site HotHardware has cited a strategy that AT&T strategy that the company has indirectly confirmed itself. The company would “compensate” for losing sole rights to the iPhone by carrying smartphones on platforms it has previously ignored. The carrier has already said it would offer several new smartphones in the first half of the year that include five Android devices as well as Palm’s webOS phones, most likely GSM versions of the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus. It’s also been noted anecdotally that AT&T has lately deemphasized its exclusivity and has instead focused on attacking Verizon.

Per the contact, AT&T has been mentioned as being internally frustrated with the reputation it has garnered through its network problems and may actually be willing to end exclusivity simply to offload the more publicly hostile customers to Verizon. It’s been hinted that some of the complaints may stem from the iPhone having a less than ideal transition from 3G to GSM when 3G isn’t ideal. Nearly all of AT&T’s upgrade efforts in recent months have focused on adding either 850MHz 3G or improving 3G capacity behind the scenes.

Once again, all should be revealed at the media event on Wednesday.

Rumor: Apple Could Release Verizon iPhone at Jan. 27th Media Event, Additional Tablet Specs Emerge

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Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2010, 05:03
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

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Albeit a new generation iPhone isn’t expected until June, Apple could use its January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena to announce a Verizon handset next week.

Per AppleInsider, Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek has stated that he expects Apple to announce a Verizon iPhone as well as introduce iPhone OS 4.0. The Verizon iPhone could fall under the category of Steve Jobs’ “One More Thing…” used at the end of his product announcement speeches.

Misek said he believes tiered data plans are imminent with most wireless carriers in the U.S., but his checks with industry sources indicate that a Verizon-capable iPhone would still carry an unlimited data plan. He also said that the new handset will run on both CDMA and GSM networks.

“Together with our semi-conductor partners, we have ascertained that there is a reasonable chance the Asian supply chain is prepping for mass production of a new iPhone in March, for availability in late Q2, likely June,” he said.

In addition, he predicted the new handset will have different pricing than Apple’s current model. However, he said, sources have not provided any details on prices.

Misek also stated that he expects Apple to release an LTE-capable “4GS” iPhone in June 2011.

Per Apple’s long-anticipated tablet, analyst Ashok Humar of Northeast Securities has stated that he believes the tablet will be available in a subsidized model through Verizon at launch.

Kumar has offered his thoughts as to the tablet’s specs, which he believes will be manufactured by Samsung and will be based on the Cortex-A8 ARM architecture, rather than the new Cortex-A9, with a speed of about 1GHz.

As for a Verizon-compatible iPhone, Kumar disagrees with Misek that the handset would be a world phone capable of both CDMA and GSM networks. Kumar has stated that dual-mode chips from Qualcomm will not likely see enough availability for a June iPhone launch. Instead, Kumar expects a separate CDMA-only phone to be introduced in 2010, alongside the existing GSM-only models.

Six days and we’ll see what’s what, homegeese. Six days.

Rumor: Additional Tablet Supplier/Content Details Surface

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Date: Wednesday, January 20th, 2010, 07:38
Category: Rumor

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With January 27th and Apple’s expected tablet release date approaching, the rumors are flying in interesting new directions.

First, sources close to Time Inc. have informed MediaMemo that “Apple has only recently started” sharing details about its forthcoming device, and even those discussions have minimal details. Most of the talks between Time and Apple reportedly took place within the last few weeks.

As a result, Time Inc. isn’t expected to have anything to present at next week’s tablet unveiling. The source was quoted as stating that Time remains “intensely interested” in the device.

“But for now, Time Inc. executives are thinking about this stuff in a bit of vacuum, because they don’t know exactly what Steve Jobs has up his sleeve,” the report said. “Tease that out a bit and you can tell the story of most media companies: They’re excited to start taking advantage of the tablet–as soon as they find out what it is, exactly.”

In December, Time Inc. released a video demonstrating how users might read Sports Illustrated on a tablet-like device. Some members of the press were also allowed to test working demos of the concept.

In an interesting development, a new note Wednesday from UBS Investment Research cited industry checks in forecasting that the Apple tablet will be powered by a processor designed by P.A. Semi and built by Samsung. Analyst Maynard Um said it would likely be a complex system on a chip design.

Per AppleInsider, Um pegged Hon Hai Precision Co. as the manufacturer for the tablet, and said LG Display will likely supply most of the screens, with AUO being a second source.

Other parts noted by UBS were:

- Connectors from Chen Uei and Hon Hai.
- Wintek, Sintek and TPK as touch suppliers.
- Batteries from Simplo and Dynapack.
- NAND flash memory from Samsung.
- Broadcom to provide a “combo” chip for connectivity.

The note said the tablet is expected to hit the market at some point in the first half of 2010.

“Key will be timing and price points, in order to asses how material it could be for suppliers,” Um wrote. “In addition, how convincing the device will be could generate debate as per whether the tablet device category could be revived and help overall demand.”

Apple purchased chip designer P.A. Semi for US$278 million in 2008. The company specialized in sophisticated low-power designs.

Finally, Publishers Marketplace has said that “secret” negotiations are taking place between Apple and “nearly all (and most likely all) of the six largest trade publishers” in the U.S. The talks are reportedly underway in New York as Apple preps to unveil its tablet next week.

Those involved said that it’s possible a deal may not be reached in time for the January 27th event. It also noted that publishers could be “seeking greater control over pricing and supply of digital material.”

The rumors follow a report from earlier this week that Apple was in talks with publisher HarperCollins to sell e-books on the tablet, with a business model that would follow that of the existing App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. Typical bestseller releases could cost about US$9.99, and Apple would give publishers 70% of the revenue, while keeping a 30% share for itself.

It’s speculation at this point, but it’ll be resolved in a week over at the Yerba Buena.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments.

Rumor: Apple to Release iPhone OS 4.0 at Jan. 27th Media Event, Details Leaked

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Date: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 09:08
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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You’ve got to admit, it’s the rumors that make life interesting.

Boy Genius Report has reportedly received information from a source close to the story claiming iPhone OS 4.0 will be introduced at Apple’s press event next week at the Yerba Buena on January 27th. Per the source, iPhone OS 4.0 will be limited to the iPhone 3G and 3GS (presumably including at least more recent iPod touch models and omitting the original iPhone) and will incorporate solutions for multitasking by running applications in the background and a revamped user interface for easier navigation.

Other changes will include the following:

- There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide.

- “A few new ways” to run applications in the background — multitasking.

- Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient.

- The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date. Everyone is “really excited.”

- A brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.

The ability to run iPhone applications in the background has been near the top of many users’ wish lists, but Apple has yet to implement full backgrounding and multitasking due to its effect on performance and battery life, instead opting to deploy push notifications as a means for closed applications to serve data to users.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments.