O'Grady's PowerPage » Apple

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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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.

Leaked photos surface of supposed T-Mobile-compatible iPhone prototype

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 25th, 2011, 07:54
Category: iPhone, Rumor

It’s the leaks that make life interesting.

A series of leaked photos of a supposed iPhone prototype indicate that Apple may be testing the smartphone on the T-Mobile USA network.

Per Boy Genius Report, a series of photos allegedly of a white iPhone prototype “with T-Mobile USA 3G bands.” The device appears to be code-named as N94, just two numbers up from the Verizon iPhone 4, which was reportedly called N92.

According to the report, the prototype runs a test version of Apple’s iOS that resembles that of another prototype discovered in a video earlier this week. The fact that the N94 device has Apple test apps scubas Radar and the company’s employee directory app may also serve to substantiate its authenticity.

The front of the prototype looks “a little different” from recent leaked photos of the retail white iPhone 4. “Specifically, the proximity sensor has changed on the retail version,” the report noted. On Friday, photos of an official retail white iPhone 4 from Vodafone U.K. emerged, though Vodafone has reportedly halted sales of the device until next week.

The lock screen of the prototype device contains the message: “Confidential and Proprietary. If Found, please contact +1 408…”, but the rest of the number has been whited out in the photos.

The report goes on to speculate that Apple is “just testing the new T-Mobile-friendly radio with its current iPhone 4 hardware, possibly in preparation for integration in a future device. It’s also entirely possible the internals on this iPhone prototype are being disguised in an iPhone 4 shell, though we doubt it.”

AT&T announced last month a US$39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile USA from parent company Deutsche Telekom. A subsequent “>FAQ from T-Mobile suggested that the carrier would hold off on offering the iPhone until at least after the acquisition is completed in “approximately 12 months”

A T-Mobile FAQ regarding last month’s announcement of AT&T’s US$39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA explained that T-Mobile does not yet carry the iPhone and will remain independent for up to a year. According to one official at the Federal Communications Commission, AT&T faces a “steep climb” ahead of it to obtain approval for the deal, which would make AT&T the largest wireless provider in the U.S by a large margin.

We’ll see how this plays out and if you have two cents to hurl in on this, please let us know in the comments.