O'Grady's PowerPage » Apple

Rumor: Apple to debut Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt-equipped iMac on Tuesday, May 3rd

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Date: Monday, May 2nd, 2011, 07:42
Category: iMac, Rumor

It’s the rumors that make life interesting.

Per AppleInsider, sources close to the story have stated that Apple will be adopting Intel’s newest family of Core processors and integrating a Sandy Bridge architecture into its iMac line as early as next week.

More specifically, Apple is said to be en route to introduce the new models on Tuesday, May 3, swapping out the systems’ first-gen Core i processors and mini Display ports for second-generation Core i chips and the company’s new high-speed Thunderbolt port. However, rumors that 2011 would see changes to the iMacs’ display panel size (1, 2) and the inclusion of 6000-series AMD Radeon HD chips, could not be confirmed with any degree of certainty.

In the days leading up to major product launches, Apple routinely makes certain requests of its various operating segments to assure the rollout goes as smoothly as possible. This week saw several of those measures put into place, according to those same people, who’ve continually provided accurate information when it comes the Mac maker’s future plans.

In addition, people familiar with the Cupertino-based company’s retail operations confirmed to AppleInsider that a “visual night” is similarly slated for the early morning hours of May 3rd. “So it is highly likely that whatever new product that is going to be refreshed or introduced will be done on [that day],” one of those people said.

These visual nights see several Apple retail employees in each location work throughout the evening and early a.m. hours, making significant modifications to the product layouts on the showroom floors, often removing previous generation products in favor of newly introduced models.

For Apple, next week’s launch will mark the first time the company has refreshed its flagship desktop line in over 9 months. It also comes at a crucial time for the iMac — and Mac desktops in general — which are rapidly approaching an all-time low when it comes to their share of the Mac’s product mix.

As Apple slowly transitions into a full-fledge mobile company, desktops have seen their share of Mac shipments slip into a slow but inevitable decline, falling from more than 50% of the company’s Mac product shipments in the first quarter of 2006 to just 26% of the total units Mac units shipped during the second fiscal quarter of 2011 (see graph below).

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and an iMac running Sandy Bridge with a Thunderbolt port, you’ve got to admit that sounds nifty…

Rumor: Apple purchases iCloud.com domain name for $4.5 million

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Date: Friday, April 29th, 2011, 05:37
Category: iTunes, iTunes Music Store, Rumor

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Moving away from the white iPhone 4 for a moment, Apple is said to have indeed bought the iCloud.com domain for its forthcoming cloud-based iTunes music streaming service, though the rumored US$4.5 million purchase price remains unconfirmed.

Citing his own sources, John Paczkowski of Digital Daily reported Friday that Apple did purchase the iCloud.com domain from Swedish cloud computing company Xcerion. Those sources declined, however, to say whether the rumored US$4.5 million purchase price was accurate.

The report corroborates a rumor from earlier this week in which it was stated that Apple had acquired the domain, likely revealing the name of the company’s forthcoming cloud computing service. The Whois database still lists Xcerion as the owner of iCloud, but the company recently rebranded its service as CloudMe.

Still a mystery is exactly what Apple has planned for the domain. The company already has a name for its current cloud computing efforts: MobileMe.

Back in February, it was reported that Apple is working on a major revamp of its MobileMe service, and is considering making the US$99-per-year product free. The report also said that Apple will offer a digital “locker” that will allow users to store and remotely access personal content, like photos, music and videos.

More recently, Apple is said to have “completed” work on a new music streaming service that it has been pitching to music executives. And one of the four major record labels, Warner Music, is said to have signed a deal with Apple over the service, though the specifics of how it might work remain unknown.

Set to open this spring, a new Apple data center in Maiden, N.C., will support both the iTunes and MobileMe services, which has led to speculation that the US$1 billion facility could be an integral part of Apple’s anticipated cloud services. The 500,000 square-foot data center is five times larger than the company’s current data center in Newark, Calif.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

White iPhone 4 0.2 millimeters thicker than black model, may have difficulty fitting in some cases

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Date: Friday, April 29th, 2011, 04:48
Category: iPhone, News

Initial reports suggest that the long-delayed white iPhone 4 is 0.2mm thicker than its black counterpart and may not fit all cases. Per TiPb, early adopters of Apple’s recently released white iPhone 4 reported noticing an apparent difference in thickness between the black iPhone 4 and the white version, the web site conducted measurements of the two devices. The report found that the white iPhone 4 is roughly 0.2mm thicker than the black model.

Apple lists the depth of both the white iPhone 4 and the black iPhone 4 as 9.3mm, or 0.37 inch. Tests of various cases found that most cases were unaffected by the difference, though a few “were just a tad tight.”

The exact cause of the increase in thickness on the white iPhone 4 remains unclear, though some have speculated that a new paint mix and UV protection contribute to the difference. It was reported earlier this year that Apple had partnered with a Japanese company to develop a new paint material for the white iPhone 4.

In an interview earlier this week, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller explained that a number of reasons, including the need for more protection from ultraviolet rays from the sun, contributed to the 10-month delay.

Analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities sees Apple selling between 1 to 1.5 million units of the white iPhone 4 each in the June and September quarters.

If you’ve snagged a white iPhone 4 and had any difficulty fitting it with a current iPhone 4 case, let us know.

Apple explains white iPhone 4 delay, cites paint thickness difficulties

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 28th, 2011, 04:58
Category: iPhone, News

Ok, the white iPhone 4 was delayed for 9 months and now you’re possibly standing in line at an Apple Store holding a cruel, edged medieval weapon while hoping to snag yours.

There’s a reason why all this happened.

Per All Things Digital, the white iPhone 4 was delayed for nine months because of a lack of UV protection, according to Apple.

Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller went on record to state that similar to humans, especially those with fair skin, white iPhones need protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

“It was challenging. It’s not as simple as making something white. There’s a lot more that goes into both the material science of it–how it holds up over time, but also in how it all works with the sensors,” Schiller said.

The mention of the sensors also suggests that the camera was particularly problematic. Steve Wozniak speculated back in January that the camera could have been the major issue.

He said that if the white paint on the glass back of the iPhone 4 wasn’t thick enough, it could let too much light into the camera’s sensor when photographs were taken with the flash. Judging by Schiller’s comments, it seems as if sunlight was also enough to spoil photographs taken on the white iPhone 4 before the problem was resolved.

The white iPhone 4 has gone on sale in the UK and 27 other countries today, nine months after it was initially supposed to launch.

Apple, resellers release white iPhone 4, offer unit for sale on web site stores

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 28th, 2011, 04:30
Category: iPhone, News

Hours after the white iPhone 4 went on sale internationally, the long-awaited handset is now available through the U.S. Apple Store, as well as AT&T and Verizon’s websites. As mentioned earlier, the unit should be available at Apple’s brick-and-mortar stores when they open later today. Per The Unofficial Apple Website, Apple’s front and iPhone pages has yet to be updated with the now-available status of the phone, but will most likely mirror the “finally” ads that are appearing on AT&T and Verizon’s sites.

If you’re waiting in line, it might help to bring the following along for a respectable place in the white iPhone 4 (or any) line…

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use it, just brandish it.

Apple to launch white iPhone 4 in U.S., other countries on April 28th

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Date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, 05:40
Category: iPhone, News

This just in from the horse’s mouth: Apple will release the white iPhone 4 model on Thursday, April 28th.

Per Apple’s PR announcement, the white iPhone 4 will finally debut in stores worldwide on Thursday, April 28. For those of us in the United States, that includes Apple’s online and retail stores, AT&T and Verizon Wireless as well as the usual Apple Authorized Resellers.

“The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it’s beautiful,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we’ve worked to get every detail right.”

The other nations receiving the white iPhone 4 will be Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK, with “many more countries around the world” also promised “soon.”

So…what’s a 10 month wait between friends?

Apple may incorporate Sharp’s next-gen p-Si LCDs in iPhone 6, see a launch next spring

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Date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, 04:13
Category: iPhone, News

It never hurts to plan ahead.

Apple has reportedly selected Sharp to create next-generation low-temperature poly-silicon LCD displays, which will allow a thinner and lighter design for the anticipated sixth-generation iPhone in 2012.

Per Japanese newspaper Nikkan, Sharp will begin manufacturing of the displays in the spring of next year. The company is said to have already begun preparing equipment at its Kameyama Plant No. 1, which is primarily used for building LCD TVs.

The liquid crystal display on the anticipated “iPhone 6″ is said to feature “low-temperature poly-silicon” technology, a next-generation display format that allows for thinner and lighter screens that consume less power than traditional LCD screens.

In a “p-Si LCD,” the thin film transistor, or TFT, of the screen is made of polycristalline silicon. With this method, the display drivers can be mounted directly onto the glass substrate, shrinking the TFT section and allowing for a thinner LCD display.

This technology has allowed companies to create “system on glass” devices, in which the optical sensors, signal processing circuits and other components are located directly on the glass substrate. This negates the need for additional components in a device like an iPhone, saving space within the device and even improving battery life with increased efficiency.

Other advantages of a p-Si display are said to be a higher aperture ratio, which allow for more vivid images onscreen, and enhanced durability, with the amount of connecting pins reduced.

The display of the iPhone 4 is a major selling point of the device, with the high-density 326ppi screen dubbed a “Retina Display” by Apple. Apple also pushed the in-plane switching screen of the iPad last year, a feature that allows enhanced viewing angles, and one that returned again for the new iPad 2.

The rumors of a p-Si LCD would suggest that Apple is not considering organic LED displays, an alternative low-power technology that has been pushed in iPhone-competing devices like the Samsung Galaxy S. Numerous rumors have suggested that Apple has shown interest on OLED, but the iPhone maker has not utilized the technology in any of its devices.

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

Apple releases iPhoto 9.1.2 update

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Date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2011, 04:46
Category: News, Software

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Apple on Tuesday released iPhoto 9.1.2, the latest version of its image organization and editing application. The update, a 106 megabyte download which can be be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Addresses an issue that prevented the Zoom slider from being accessible in Magnify (1-Up) view.

- Fixes an issue where Toolbars were not auto-hiding in Full Screen view.

- Search field now correctly performs an “includes” search when searching by text string.

iPhoto 9.1.2 retails for US$49 as part of iLife ’11 and requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know.

Rumor: Apple to redesign case for next-gen MacBook Pro

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Date: Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, 05:09
Category: MacBook Pro, Rumor

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While the latest refresh of MacBook Pros are just two months old, rumors of the next update have already begun, with a new report claiming that the next model will feature a newly redesigned case construction.

Per MacRumors, an article citing “reliable confirmation” reported Monday on an alleged plans for a new case design in the next MacBook Pro update. However, the report offers no details on what changes Apple could make to the unibody construction of the current aluminum MacBook Pros.

The article cites a rumor from February which stated that the newly redesigned MacBook Pro notebooks would arrive next year. The rumored all-new design was said to already be in development at Quanta in Taiwan.

The last major update to the look of the MacBook Pro line came in 2008, when Apple updated the line with unibody construction. The unibody MacBook Pros are machined from a single block of aluminum, allowing Apple to create a strong, single-piece shell.

Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro line of products earlier this year, adding Intel’s latest-generation Sandy Bridge processors, as well as the new high-speed Thunderbolt data connection port. But the external design of the new notebooks was largely unchanged from their predecessors.

Additional rumors surfaced in February that Apple plans to transition its notebooks in the next 12 to 18 months and add features from its hot-selling thin-and-light MacBook Air notebooks. Major changes to the MacBook Air including instant-on, standard flash solid-state drives, slimmer enclosures, and the omission of optical drives are expected to become more prevalent in the design of many Mac notebooks planned for introduction in the future.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Hard Drive Firmware Update 1.0 for Mid-2010 iMacs

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Date: Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, 04:37
Category: iMac, News

Late Monday, Apple released its Hard Drive Firmware Update 1.0 for the 21.5″ and 27″ mid-2010 iMac desktops. The update, an 819 kilobyte download, fixes a hard drive issue that may prevent some iMac (21.5-inch and 27-inch, Mid 2010) systems from booting properly.

Users will need an Intel-based iMac running Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later to install and run the update.

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