O'Grady's PowerPage » Apple

Rumor: Apple to drop Nvidia Kepler GPUs for low and mid-range 2012 MacBook Pro notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 13th, 2012, 09:53
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Rumor


Whatever you were expecting the graphics card to be on the next-generation MacBook Pro, Apple might have something else in mind.

Per SemiAccurate, Apple’s next-generation low- and mid-range MacBook Pro models will not feature dedicated graphics cards, and will instead rely on Intel’s integrated Ivy Bridge graphics due to production issues with Nvidia.

Apple has dropped Nvidia’s next-generation Kepler graphics cards from a “large number” of its upcoming notebooks according to the report filed on Tuesday. The change has allegedly prompted Apple to adopt Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs that have higher shader counts, in order to offset some of the lost graphics processing power.

The change was reportedly made because Nvidia “can’t supply enough small GPUs” to Apple and other PC makers. That’s left Apple in a position where its next-generation low- and mid-range MacBook models “are not going to have a GPU, only a GT2 Ivy Bridge,” the report said.

“Nvidia can’t supply, so Apple threw them out on their proverbial magical experience,” it continued. “This doesn’t mean Nvidia is completely out at Apple, the Intel GPUs are too awful to satisfy the higher end laptops, so there will need to be something in those. What that something is, we don’t definitively know yet, but the possibilities are vanishingly small.”

The rumored issues apparently stem from the fact that Nvidia has struggled with its 28-nanometer manufacturing process for its next-generation graphics processors, code-named “Kepler.” As a result, some mid-range MacBooks will feature dedicated Nvidia GPUs, and some won’t, Tuesday’s report claimed.

The same site first reported last November that Apple would switch back to Nvidia GPUs for its 2012 MacBook models. Higher end 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros launched early last year relied solely on AMD graphics, while the entry-level 13-inch model features integrated Intel graphics.

Apple’s next-generation MacBook Pros are expected to feature a radically redesigned exterior, borrowing features from the company’s popular ultraportable MacBook Air. They are expected to be based on Intel’s forthcoming Ivy Bridge chip architecture.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

First iPad 3 unboxing video goes live

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 13th, 2012, 07:15
Category: iPad, News

If you were waiting for the very first iPad 3 unboxing video, this is it.

Surprisingly, the video hails from Vietnam, where users got their hands on an LTE-capable model days ahead of Friday’s official launch.

The new video comes from Tinh.te (via Google Translate), which noted there are not many differences in the design of Apple’s new iPad from the iPad 2. It said the new iPad is still a “very solid machine like the iPad 2, but is somewhat heavier and thicker.”

The main difference was said to be the new 3.1-million pixel Retina display, which boasts a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel resolution. They noted that full-HD 1080p videos played back “smooth” on the new device, powered by an A5X chip with a quad-core graphics processor.

In the video, which is narrated in Vietnamese, it is shown that the new iPad is a 16-gigabyte model with 4G LTE cellular connectivity. The design of the box is similar to previous iPad packaging, with the iPad on top and the AC adapter, charging cable and instruction manual hidden underneath.

Take a gander and, as always, let us know what you think in the comments:

Apple preps Mac OS X 10.7.4 betas for external developer testing

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 13th, 2012, 06:59
Category: News, Software

Operating system updates, they’re a good thing.

Per AppleInsider, Apple is apparently wrapping up work on its next performance and maintenance update for the Lion operating system, as OS X 10.7.4 will soon make its way to developers for testing.

Sources familiar with the software update say that a pre-release build of Mac OS X 10.7.4 will be released to a limited number of developers within days. A wider release to all members of the Apple Developer Connection is likely to take place by week’s end.

Exactly what enhancements or fixes will be contained in the OS X 10.7.4 update remain unknown. Apple typically releases a number of beta builds to developers for testing before an update to OS X is released to the public.

The previously unannounced update to Lion was mistakenly referenced last week on Apple’s official website, following the launch of iPhoto for iOS. The official site noted that the software was compatible with the latest version of iPhoto for Mac, which it said required a system running OS X 10.7.4 or later.

The last update to Lion, OS X 10.7.3, was released to the public in early February. It mainly addressed bugs, but brought a handful of new features like support for new languages, Wi-Fi connectivity fixes and Windows file sharing compatibility.

The forthcoming OS X 10.7.4 is likely to be one of the last updates to Lion before its follow-up, Mountain Lion, becomes publicly available. OS X 10.8 is scheduled to launch this summer on the Mac App Store packing over 100 new features, including Messages, Notes, Reminders, Game Center, Twitter integration, Notification Center, and AirPlay Mirroring.

As always, stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rare Apple WALT prototype goes for $8,000 on eBay

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 12th, 2012, 07:41
Category: Hardware, News

It’s somewhere between nostalgia and awesome and it just went for US8,000 on eBay yesterday.

Per the cool cats at The Verge, a user posted an auction for an Apple WALT (Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone), a device introduced at Macworld Boston in 1993.

WALT, like Newton, also had a touchscreen, a stylus, and handwriting recognition. It was designed to be a companion to a home landline phone, and was designed in cooperation with BellSouth. Built into WALT were services like an address book, fax, caller ID, custom ringtones, and online banking. To interact with all of these services, users worked with a customized version of System 6 with a HyperCard GUI in place of the Finder.

According to the seller’s description, “Back in 2008 PC World published a list of the “Top 15 Vaporware Products of All Time”. The W.A.LT. was #1.” While WALT was ogled by the public at Macworld Boston 1993, the device never went into production. This prototype, complete with a full printed user manual (so much for ease of use), was being sold by eBay user russel400.

Cool stuff, even though the eBay description does mention that you’ll need to solder a few connections to get the unit working again.

Besides, what else were you going to do with that US$8,000?

Apple secures 200,000 preorders for iPhone 4S China Unicom launch

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 12th, 2012, 07:43
Category: iPhone, News

After a long, drawn-out effort to get the iPhone 4S in Chinese stores, the handset is almost there.

The iPhone 4S had a strong debut on another major carrier Friday, as 200,000 preorders were made ahead of Apple’s launch on the China Telecom network.

The iPhone 4S is now available for use on China Telecom’s network, and is on sale at the carrier’s 2,850 retail outlets across China. Ahead of Friday’s launch, the carrier took more than 200,000 preorders for the iPhone 4S, according to MIC Gadget.

Preorders for the iPhone 4S on China Telecom have only been available for a week, as the carrier began taking orders on March 2. Orders from Beijing alone were said to have topped 10,000, while another 20,000 were purchased by customers in Shanghai.

China Telecom officials reportedly said that demand for the iPhone 4S at launch has been greater than they anticipated. A ceremony to commemorate the launch was held on Thursday in Shanghai.

Apple and China Telecom announced in February that the iPhone 4S would be coming to China’s third-largest wireless operator on March 9. As of last November, China Telecom had a total of 117 million subscribers, 28 million of which made use of the company’s high-speed 3G service.

If you’re traveling/based over in China and can offer any feedback about the iPhone 4S launch on China Unicom, please let us know in the comments.

The carrier is offering the 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S for free to customers who sign a two-year contract with a monthly plan starting at 389RMB (US$62 U.S.), which is slightly more than competing carrier China Unicom’s 386RMB plan. However, the China Telecom service offers more data and voice minutes, but fewer text messages, when compared to its rival.

One analysis has projected that the addition of China Telecom as an official Apple partner will add sales of between 3 million and 5 million iPhones. But the nation’s largest carrier, China Mobile, does not yet offer Apple’s iPhone, though there are more than 15 million unlocked handsets on its network.

If you’re traveling/based over in China and can offer any feedback about the iPhone 4S launch on China Unicom, please let us know in the comments.

Apple sells out of iPad 3 online preorder stock, retail units should still be available for Friday launch

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 12th, 2012, 07:31
Category: iPad, News, retail

It might just be a long iPad 3 launch day line this year.

Per AppleInsider, Less than two days after Apple’s new iPad was unveiled, the company has sold out of launch-day preorders in its online store, as new orders are now advertised to ship by March 19.

Customers who order a third-generation iPad now from Apple’s online store will not receive it until after next Friday’s launch date. The March 19 shipping date now applies to all models, capacities and colors sold in the U.S.

Of course, while launch-day supplies are no longer available at Apple’s online store, those who wait in line at the company’s retail outlets will still have a chance to get an iPad on March 16. In addition, Apple’s retail partners, including Best Buy and others, will have stock on launch day.

The first sign that demand for the new iPad was outstripping supply came on Thursday, when shipping estimates for the white 4G LTE model compatible with AT&T’s network were the first to have estimated shipping dates of March 19. The first models to sell out for launch day delivery were the 16- and 64-gigabyte capacities.

But now, all 16-, 32- and 64-gigabyte models, Wi-Fi-only or 4G LTE, and in black and white are all scheduled to ship three days after the official iPad launch.

Next Friday’s iPad launch will be the largest debut yet for the company, as the touchscreen tablet will go on sale in 10 countries. They are the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia.

As for the 16-gigabyte iPad 2, available in both white and black with Wi-Fi-only connectivity or 3G compatibility, new orders are advertised to ship in one to three business days. The Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 will remain available in a 16-gigabyte capacity as the new low-end model, for US$399, while a 3G variant will cost US$529.

Those who were among the first to preorder the third-generation iPad have already begun receiving notifications that their order has shipped from China. However, the iPads are not scheduled to actually be delivered until next Friday, which is the product’s official launch day.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

iPad 3 units begin to ship from western China

Posted by:
Date: Friday, March 9th, 2012, 07:31
Category: iPad, News

Even though the delivery dates for some of the third-generation iPad models may have slipped to March 19th, there’s still some good news to be had. Per 9to5Mac, the first shipment notifications this week of ‘new iPads’ departing out of Chengdu in Western China. Chengdu, you’ll recall, was the site of a deadly Foxconn explosion on an iPad 2 assembly line last summer.

If you’ve received a shipment notification email from Apple regarding your iPad 3, please let us know.

Rumor: Apple reportedly shopping around for Apple HDTV prototype parts

Posted by:
Date: Friday, March 9th, 2012, 07:10
Category: Hardware, Rumor


When you go looking for components, people tend to notice.

Per AppleInsider, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster told investors on Tuesday that he had recently spoken to a “major TV component supplier” about Apple’s rumored plans to release a connected HDTV. Sources within the supplier reportedly told him that Apple had contacted “regarding various capabilities of their television display components.”

Munster said he viewed the news as “continued evidence that Apple is exploring production of a television.” Prior evidence that the analyst claims to have gathered surrounding an Apple television includes January 2011 meetings in Asia that suggested Apple was investing in manufacturing facilities for LCD displays as large as 50 inches and a September 2011 meeting with a “contact close to an Asian supplier” who claimed prototypes of an Apple set are in the works.

The firm believes Apple could be ready to release a television as early as late 2012, though Munster noted that “the timeline and stope of a revamped content solution is more uncertain.” Various reports have suggested that Apple has run up against resistance from movie and TV studios that are believed to be hesitant to license their content for an Apple television.

The analyst went on to speculate on several possibilities that Apple could make use of to address the content issue. For instance, Apple could simply enable the television to manage pre-existing live TV service from a unified interface, or it could make use of network programming and web-based video services such as Netflix and Hulu. Finally, Munster suggested that Apple could look to offer monthly subscriptions “on an a-la-carte basis” for live TV packages from content providers, but he noted that this is likely the “most challenging scenario” because of existing licensing arrangements.

A separate report claimed late last year that one of Apple’s most-desired features for an Apple television set is customized channel lineups. That report also noted that licensing for such a service would be “obviously much more complicated” than current offerings.

Piper Jaffray projects that Apple could sell 1.4 million of the 106 million internet-connected televisions estimated to be sold this year. The investment bank tentatively estimates that revenues from the device could reach US$2.5 billion in 2012, $4.0 billion in 2013 and US$6.0 billion in 2014.

Munster concluded his note by pointing out that Apple only enters mature markets in order to reinvent them. As such, he does not see Apple entering the TV market without a “revamped TV content solution.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Opinion: Apple’s online store goes down like a sack of potatoes…so what’s the next step?

Posted by:
Date: Friday, March 9th, 2012, 07:39
Category: Opinion, The Apple Core

If you have a good thing that people want, there’s going to be demand.

As such, during the next several hours after Apple’s launch of the third-generation iPad, the company’s online store suffered a catastrophic failure as a result of the impending traffic and transactions that came to its door.

As always, PowerPage head honcho Jason O’Grady had a few opinions to vent about the situation over at the Apple Core. The key point: under Steve Jobs, this wouldn’t have happened, especially to the most valuable technology company in the world.

Click the link, take a gander and have a killer Friday, you guys!

Apple releases iBooks 2.1, Find My iPhone 1.4 updates

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2012, 10:07
Category: News, Software

If you blinked yesterday, you might have missed some of the updates from the Cupertino Mothership.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple, released version 2.1 of its iBooks application. The new version functions as a redesign to support the new iPad Retina Display and adds a feature that lets page numbers correspond to the printed editions. This only works on some titles, but obviously the feature will be spreading to more and publications.

Users can now search for a page number and jump to it with a single tap and you can use your finger as a highlighter when swiping over text.

The update requires iOS 4.2 or later to install and run.

The company also released version 1.4 of its Find My iPhone utility. The changes are mainly to support the iPad Retina Display, and there are the usual bug fixes and stability enhancements. Find my iPhone has rescued many a lost iPhone and iPad, so if you’re not signed up, it’s free to do so.

The update requires iOS 3.1.3 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new versions and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.