Apple sends out press invitations to iPad media event for Tuesday, October 22nd

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:14
Category: iPad, News

applelogo_silver

The invitations went out yesterday.

Per AppleInsider, members of the press have been sent invitations to a special Apple product unveiling event scheduled for next Tuesday, Oct. 22, where the company is expected to show off its latest iPad models.

The invitation reveals that the event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern.

The invitation features the top of the Apple logo, focusing on its “stem.” In the background, multiple stem shapes are scattered about in a variety of colors. The invitation teases: “We still have a lot to cover.”

Word of Apple’s Oct. 22 event first leaked to the media last week. Apple, as usual, waited until exactly one week before its event to send out official invitations.

Though the invitation doesn’t explicitly mention the iPad, it’s expected that Apple will introduce two new versions of its tablet lineup next week.

The fifth-generation full-size iPad is expected to see an overhauled design making it look more like the iPad mini. It’s likely to have thinner side bezels and a slimmer profile, allowing the device to be more portable and lightweight while retaining its 9.7-inch screen.

As for the popular iPad mini, Apple is expected to overhaul the screen to be a high-resolution Retina display, matching the pixel count found on the traditional iPad but packing those pixels into a tinier 7.9-inch display.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple calls on fashion executive Angela Ahrendts to head up retail division

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:16
Category: News, retail

Come next spring, a tough, stylish new lady from the fashion world will be running Apple’s retail division.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple finally has a new executive to run its retail division now that it has hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to fill the job. Her title will be senior vice president of retail and online stores, and she’ll start her new job in spring of 2014 after Burberry transitions Christopher Baily into the CEO role.

Angela-Ahrendts-060611

The executive position was created just for Ms. Ahrendts and will report directly to CEO Tim Cook. In a statement about the new role, Apple said,

Ahrendts will have oversight of the strategic direction, expansion and operation of both Apple retail and online stores, which have redefined the shopping experience for hundreds of millions of customers around the world.

She joined the fashion company Burberry in early 2006 and within a few months became CEO. Prior to that she served as executive vice president at Liz Clairborne.

Ms. Ahrendts has been credited with turning around Burberry’s success in the Asian market, and she will likely be tasked with improving Apple’s position in countries like China, too.

Apple’s retail division has been without a leader essentially ever since Ron Johnson left the the company to take over as the CEO of JC Penney — a gig that didn’t work out for him or the budget retailer. Mr. Johnson has been credited with building Apple’s successful retail devision and was instrumental in creating the familiar store interior design and layout.

John Browett took over as senior vice president of retail, but was quickly shown the door after cutting back on retail staff and customer service. Prior to his short stint at Apple, he was dealing with ongoing criticism for his management of the European electronics chain Dixons.

Apple was clearly working to avoid a similar mistake since it has been on the hunt for a new retail leader for about a year. Based on Ms. Ahrendts’ track record so far, Apple looks like it’s ready to ramp up its already-successful retail business even more.

Rumor: Apple to release next-gen MacBook Pro notebooks in late October, next-gen Mac Pro in mid-November

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:36
Category: Hardware, iPad, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Rumor

elretina

The upcoming MacBook Pro and Mac Pro rumors are coming in thanks to the French.

Per French web site MacG.co, Alleged availability dates for some of Apple’s anticipated upcoming products were reported on Tuesday, pegging new MacBook Pros to launch in just over a week, with the revamped Mac Pro desktop apparently set to debut in mid November.

The site has stated that the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros will be available for sale either Oct. 24 or 25. It’s expected that Apple’s new professional-grade notebooks will feature Intel’s latest-generation Haswell processors, which offer significant savings in power consumption, thus improving battery life.

As for the new Mac Pro, which Apple already gave a sneak peek at earlier this year, the site claims that the new desktop will be available for delivery on Nov. 15.

The site also claims that Apple’s fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini will go on sale either Oct. 30 or 31. It’s unclear whether that would be the date orders would begin, or if the devices would be available to physically have in hand.

The iPad dates are somewhat suspect, as Apple traditionally launches new iOS products on Fridays. For example, last year the Wi-Fi-only versions of the first-generation iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad went on sale Nov. 2, on their way to total sales of 3 million total units in the first three days of availability.

Apple is expected to announce dates for multiple new products at a media event anticipated for Oct. 22. With that date just a week away, it’s likely that invitations to members of the press will be sent out later today.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Some owners of early-2011 MacBook Pro units complaining of discrete GPU failures

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:54
Category: MacBook Pro, News

This is the kind of thing that makes you slam your head against the desk a few times.elretina

Per AppleInsider and Apple’s Support Communities forum, owners of early-2011 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros are reporting issues with the discrete AMD graphics processors in their notebooks, which in some cases results in the failure of the component, leaving an expensive logic board replacement as the only remedy.

The problem, as highlighted by conversation threads on the forum, first presents itself as a graphical glitch — or, in more serious cases, complete system lockup — when an affected MacBook Pro switches from the integrated Intel graphics chip to the discrete AMD graphics processing unit, or GPU. Reports of the issue first cropped up in February, but have become more frequent over the past month.

In 2010, Apple introduced the automatic graphics switching system, which dynamically shifts the processing load between the integrated chip and the discrete GPU based on what the user is doing. Owners of MacBook Pros built prior to 2010 have to manually select the more powerful GPU from OS X Settings, which forces the operating system to restart.

Users of affected machines report that display discoloration, banding, and image distortion are the most common visible symptoms, but many say that their computers suddenly freeze without any of the graphical warning signs. Rebooting — even several times in succession — rarely fixes the problem, and some have even tried to remedy the situation by forcing their laptop to use the integrated chip exclusively with only moderate degrees of success.

Data compiled from several Apple Support Communities threads by forum user “saramwrap” suggests that the majority of affected users are using early-2011 MacBook Pros with the AMD Radeon 6750M GPU, though failures are not limited to that chip. Those whose notebooks contain Radeon 6490M, 6750M, and 6970M GPUs are also experiencing the problem.

Apple has yet to address the fairly widespread issue, with many users reporting that the only repair option given to those without AppleCare coverage is a complete logic board replacement at a cost of US$500 or more.

Apple’s popular notebook line ran into similar troubles soon after its early 2011 hardware refresh, coming to light in another Apple support forum thread that now stretches more than 140 pages with over 2,000 replies. The issue was eventually resolved when Apple specifically targeted the problem with a special build of the OS X 10.6.7 update.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end or have any thoughts on it, please let us know what you think in the comments section.

Apple opens in-store reuse and recycling program in UK retail locations

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 14th, 2013, 05:00
Category: iPhone, News, retail

england

If you’re across the pond and looking to get something from Apple for your old iPhone, now’s your chance.

According to Pocket-lint, Apple has opened an in-store iPhone trade-in program. That means you can check your phone’s value online first then head along to an Apple Store and have it ready to trade-in, saving you money on your new handset.

“iPhones hold great value. So, Apple Retail Stores in the UK are launching a new program to assist customers who wish to bring in their previous-generation iPhone for reuse or recycling,” an Apple spokesperson has said. “In addition to helping support the environment, customers will be able to receive a credit for their returned phone that they can use toward the purchase of a new iPhone.”

So if you’re thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C now’s the time to do it without hurting your wallet too much.

If you’re over in England and have tried this program, let us know how it went in the comments.

Apple offers iTunes credit for qualifying customers who purchased iWork apps after September 1st

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 14th, 2013, 05:47
Category: News, retail, Software

If you bought Apple’s iWork apps recently, you may have a refund en route.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and 9to5Mac, Apple will be offering credits to customers who purchased these apps after September 12th of this year. When Apple first introduced the iPhone 5s and 5c on September 12, they concurrently announced that new iOS device owners would be able to download Apple’s suite of mobile iWork apps along with most iLife apps for free. Taken together, the free apps would otherwise cost US$40.


iwork-ipad-app
Apple on Friday began sending out emails to eligible consumers indicating that iOS users who purchased iWork or iLife apps as early as September 1 will be eligible for iTunes credits in the amount they paid.

The e-mail reads as follows:

“Dear iTunes Customer,

On September 10, 2013, Apple announced that iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers iOS apps are now available as a free download on the App Store for qualifying iOS 7 compatible devices activated on or after September 1, 2013.

Our records indicate that you purchased one or more of these apps on or after September 1, 2013 so we have provided you with the iTunes code below in the amount of US$5.34. This credit can be used towards the purchase of any content on the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store.

Detailed instructions for redeeming the code can be found at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1574. Code: [redacted]

Thank you and we hope you enjoy using this credit towards your next purchase on iTunes.

Regards,

iTunes Customer Support iTunes Support”

So, if you bought the iWork apps after September 1st, keep your eyes peeled for the e-mail and let us know how it went in the comments section.

Rumor: Apple to introduce all-new 12-inch MacBook, iPad with higher resolution in 2014

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 14th, 2013, 05:49
Category: iPad, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Rumor

applelogo_silver

It’s the rumor mill that keeps things interesting, especially when it comes down to new hardware.

Per AppleInsider, Apple has an all-new-design 12-inch MacBook with a high-resolution display, and a new 9.7-inch sixth-generation iPad with an even higher pixel count than the current Retina display, both in the works for 2014, according to well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, revealed on Saturday that Apple has a number of major new products in the works for next year. Most notably, the new 12-inch MacBook will feature what he said is an “ultra-slim clamshell form factor.”

He expects this new model to offer a marriage between the portability of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the greater productivity offered by the 13-inch model. The display is said to be on par with Apple’s high-resolution MacBook Pro Retina display.

According to Kuo, the new MacBook is expected to “redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air.”

Despite speculation that Apple could introduce a notebook powered by its custom A-series chips found in the iPhone and iPad, Kuo does not expect that the new 12-inch MacBook will run on an A-series chip. Instead, he has predicted that the new MacBook will feature a traditional Intel CPU.

The analyst also revealed that Apple is working on a new sixth-generation iPad with a higher pixel-per-inch count than the existing 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display. Contrary to recent rumors, he doesn’t expect Apple to launch a 12-inch iPad next year.

The sixth-generation iPad is expected to launch in late 2014, and will pack in as much as 40 percent more pixels than the current iPad’s Retina display.

Kuo has a strong track record of accurately revealing Apple’s future product plans. He was the first to reveal that Apple would retire its 17-inch MacBook Pro, he correctly forecast Apple’s entire fall 2012 product lineup, and his predictions for Apple’s 2013 launch schedule made in January have thus far proven accurate.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases MacBook Air EFI Firmware 2.7 update for mid-2013 MacBook Air notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 11th, 2013, 20:49
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

This might come in handy.

On Friday, Apple released MacBook Air EFI Firmware 2.7, a 4.6 megabyte download that offers the following fixes and changes for the mid-2013 MacBook Air notebook:
– MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update addresses an issue which may cause a black screen to appear when installing Windows 7 or Windows 8 using Boot Camp Assistant if both an external optical drive and USB thumb drive are connected to the system. This update also ensures that the system will boot by default into OS X after installation of Windows 8.

The update requires a mid-2013 MacBook Air running OS X 10.8.5 or later to install and run and can also be downloaded and installed via OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the firmware update and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Study shows Microsoft’s Windows market share falling from 90% to 33% in post-PC device world

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 11th, 2013, 06:21
Category: iPad, iPhone, News

microsoftlogo

The day you never thought would arrive may finally be here.

Of course, it still depends on how you look at the data…

According to Asymco’s Horace Dediu, over the last five years, Post-PC devices have displaced conventional Windows PCs so rapidly that Microsoft’s dominance over personal computing has plummeted from roughly 90 percent share to less than a third.

The data highlights in implosion of growth that has sapped Worldwide PC shipments starting with at the launch of Apple’s iPad in 2010.

While PC shipments have stagnated over the past five years, Apple’s sales of iPhone and iPads and the estimated shipments of Android-based devices have grown rapidly.

The personal computing industry has shifted from 92 million shipments in 2008 to today’s market of 269 million units, as the site further details in charts.

Five years ago, Windows PCs accounted for the vast majority of computing devices – around 90 percent. But after failing to materially participate in the shift to tablets and smartphones, Microsoft has been left with its OS software on less than a third of the devices companies and individuals now use.

Dediu’s figures come from Gartner’s PC and tablet shipment data. The firm, along with IDC, suddenly stopped counting certain tablets among PC sales after Apple released its iPad. Both companies have since added Microsoft’s Surface and other Windows-branded tablets to their PC numbers while relegating iPads and Android tablets into a separate “media tablet” category.

Ostensibly, this was to separate devices used only for “media consumption” from PC figures, but the firm’s PC data has always included vast numbers of PCs that have only ever been used to browse the web or check mail, and have also included low powered netbooks and other limited-duty PC devices.

In stark contrast, complete PC market data from Canalys has more clearly shown how modern tablet form factors have had a tremendous impact on the PC market, without regard for how flattering the truth is to Microsoft.

iPhone 5s handsets entering short supply stage while iPhone 5c units remain fully stocked, more readily available

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 11th, 2013, 06:38
Category: iPhone, News, retail

iphone5c

If there’s a new iPhone handset popularity contest going on, the iPhone 5s is currently the winner.

Per AppleInsider, three weeks after the latest iPhones went on sale in the U.S., availability of the iPhone 5s has actually declined while Apple prepares for greater international roll-out.

Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has been checking inventory levels of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c since they went on sale Sept. 21. In a note to investors released on Friday, he indicated that supply of the iPhone 5s went from 27 percent availability two weeks ago to 6 percent over the past week, based on a check of 60 Apple stores.

In addition, the number of stores that had at least one iPhone 5s SKU available dropped from 90 percent two weeks ago to 40 percent over the past week. Munster believes the shrinking supply is probably a result of Apple preparing for an international launch, with 51 new markets set to receive both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c by Nov. 1. Resale value of the iPhone 5s is currently 32% above market value in the U.S.

In another sign of demand, Munster has also been tracking resale value, and found that the entry-level 16-gigabyte iPhone 5s is currently selling at a 32 percent premium in the U.S.

The story is different for the iPhone 5c, which is selling at an 11 percent discount over its retail price. Munster’s checks also found that the iPhone 5c remains well-stocked, and he expects that demand for the mid-level handset is about in-line with market expectations.

In comparison, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 currently sells for a 12 percent discount in the U.S., putting it about on par with Apple’s iPhone 5c.

“We expect iPhone aftermarket prices should decrease as 5S supply catches up to demand and would consider the 5S fully stocked when the 5S is available to ship in a 24 hour lead time,” Munster wrote. Currently Apple’s online store quotes iPhone 5S October lead times in Apple’s 6 largest countries, and 24 hours for the 5C.”