Rumor: Foxconn Prepping WAPI iPhone for Chinese Marketplace

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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.

Rumor: Apple Holding Talks with HarperCollins Over Potential Tablet Content

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Date: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 06:50
Category: Rumor

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I’d like to think that the upcoming Apple tablet could save both the publishing and journalism industries as well as paint your house on the weekend if need be.

Per the Wall Street Journal, Apple and publisher HarperCollins are reportedly conducting talks over possible e-book offerings for Apple’s new tablet device, with pricing that would follow the current App Store model.

The deal could offer enhanced e-books containing video, author interviews, and social-networking applications. These releases could command a higher price than the current e-book standard of US$9.99 for a typical bestseller.

It is unknown as of now if the e-books would be offered though the existing iTunes store or if a specialized e-book storefront would be created.

“Amazon created the e-book market by making the US$9.99 price for best sellers an integral part of its introduction of the Kindle e-book reader in November 2007,” the report said. “But the Kindle lacks color and video capabilities, two elements that are likely to be crucial to the future of enhanced e-books.

“Amazon could be shut out of enhanced e-books until the Kindle offers those features. The standard Kindle costs US$259, however, while analysts expect Apple’s tablet to cost about US$1,000.”

Back in early December, it was reported that Apple was offering publishers a deal that would allow them to release their content on other online stores, such as Amazon’s Kindle or the forthcoming multi-publisher digital storefront that would offer content from Conde Nast, Hearst, News Corp., Time, and Meredith for use on portable digital devices. It was reported then that Apple was planning on splitting the revenue 30/70 (Apple/publisher), compared to the 50/50 split offered by Amazon for publishing to its Kindle e-reader.

Apple is expected to announce a long-awaited tablet device at its upcoming January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena in San Francisco. Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: iPhone Developer Hints at “Imminent” iPhone OS 4.0 Release

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 18th, 2010, 05:15
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Additional evidence of iPhone OS 4.0′s release being just on the horizon emerged Friday when Rick Broid of CNET’s iPhone Atlas stated that he received an e-mail from a “prominent app developer” regarding an update to the iPhone operating system. “Just wanted to give you a heads up that we’ve submitted an updated app for the new iPhone OS 4.0 software,” the e-mail allegedly said. Additional details on the supposed software were not given.

Earlier this month, it was alleged that Apple’s rumored January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena could include the introduction of iPhone OS 4.0. One report claimed the new software developer kit includes a “simulator” that makes it easy for developers to adapt to different screen resolutions.

Apple is widely expected to introduce its long-rumored tablet device at the event. This week, one rumor claimed that Apple has not issued any updates for the iPhone in some time because the next version has many tablet-related references that the company did not want to leak in advance of its planned unveiling.

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

Rumor: Apple Apparently Purchases All 10.1″ LCD, OLED Screens for Near Future

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Date: Tuesday, January 12th, 2010, 06:36
Category: Rumor

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With only 15 days remaining until Apple’s January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena in San Francisco and the tablet rumor’s a’flyin’, an asian component supplier has stated that Apple has puchased all 10.1″ multi-touch LCD and OLED display panels for the near future.

Per TG Daily, an anonymous designer has confirmed that the 10.1″ screen size is currently unavailable, as Apple has supposedly ordered so many screens that the parts cannot be purchased by anyone else.

“We were designing a product for a customer and we needed 10-inch screens,” the source allegedly said, “but we’ve been trying for months and can’t get one from any of the Asian suppliers.”

OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, deliver color pictures without the need for a backlight. They consume less energy and provide a superior picture. Such screens have been a popular choice for Apple competitors of late, with Microsoft using one for its Zune HD, and Google for its Nexus One smartphone.

Although the technology is superior, it’s also expensive. In November, one report suggested an OLED-based Apple tablet would cost between US$1,500 and US$1,700 to build based on current prices. It was then predicted an OLED tablet would cost about US$2,000.

However, the still-unannounced Apple tablet is widely expected to have a final price of less than US$1,000. Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray believes Apple could sell 1.4 million devices at an average selling price of US$600.

In December, analyst Yair Reiner with Oppenheimer specifically disputed the claims of an OLED screen. He said checks within Apple’s supply chain have said the device will use a 10.1″ multi-touch display using LTPS LCD technology (the same technology as seen on the iPhone). Reiner then went on to state that he expects an average selling price of US$1,000.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and feel free, as always, to hurl your two cents in on this.

Rumor: Apple Could Launch Next-Gen iPhone in May, Not June/July

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 12th, 2010, 04:16
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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It came from the rumor mill, so it must be true.

Per iPhon.fr, a group of “mobile operators” are citing that Apple is planning to release its next-generation iPhone in May this year as opposed to the June/July release dates that have historically been used in the past.

While this is still a rumor, the article itself was penned by the magazine’s editor in chief, a move which places a fair amount of credibility on the line. Within the article, a source is cited as claiming the early release move would help compete against tech giant Google, which recently released its Nexus One handset.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you have to say.

Rumor: Apple Tablet to Feature Web Cam, 3G Access

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 11th, 2010, 06:09
Category: Rumor

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The nice thing about rumors and leaks: sometimes they’re true.

Per French web site Nowhereelse.fr, an executive with wireless operator France Telecom suggested in an interview Monday that Apple will soon release a tablet equipped with a Web cam, and Orange customers across Europe will be able to use the device.

Stephane Richard simply answered “oui” to a couple of questions Monday about a tablet with a Web cam. When asked if Orange customers will be able to use Apple’s tablet, he said, in French, “of course.”

Richard did not volunteer the information, but rather responded by saying yes to a series of tablet-related questions from journalist Jean-Pierre Elkabbach.

The transcription of the questions went as follows:

Elkabbach: According to weekly Le Point, in a couple of days Apple will be launching its tablet computer…
Richard: Yes.
Elkabbach: …equipped with a webcam.
Richard: Yes.
Elkabbach: Are Orange customers going to be able to enjoy it?
Richard: Of course!

Orange is primarily based in Europe and Africa. It is the fifth largest wireless carrier in the world, with more than 189 million customers.

Apple is expected to announce the long-awaited tablet device on January 27th at its media event at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco, California. Current speculation has the unit shipping in March.