Apple appears to have more-or-less officially gone with China Unicom as its exclusive iPhone wireless carrier and according to an article in International Business Times, the carrier has purchased five million WCDMA iPhones without Wi-Fi from Apple at a price of 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion).
China Unicom is slated to begin selling the 3G phones in September at company stalls in Carrefour stores, as well as at several large China Unicom retail outlets. The phones are expected to sell for 2,400 yuan (US$352 as of this writing) for an 8GB model and 4,800 yuan (US$704) for a 16GB iPhone. It’s estimated that Apple’s profit from each sale is about 1,100 yuan (US$161).
The carrier currently faces stiff competition from black market iPhones, which are selling for as low as 400 yuan (US$59) and the article notes that Apple made large concessions to China Unicom in order to enter the massive Chinese market. To give some scale to the size of this sale, Apple reported during the 3Q 2009 conference call with Wall Street analysts that they had sold a total of 5.2 million iPhones in the last quarter.
On Wednesday, software company Delicious Monster released version 2.2 of the shareware favorite, Delicious Library. Delicious Monster allows Macs with webcams to scan the bar codes of any book, movie, music CD or video game, then creates an archive based on background information from the Internet. Additional features help keep the library organized and reseller’s tools allow for items to be quickly posted for sale online.
The new version, a 15.8 megabyte download, incorporates significant fixes and changes, the full list of which can be found here.
Delicious Library 2.2 retails for US$40 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.4.1 of Cocktail (Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.
The new version, a 1.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
* Addresses compatibility issues with Firefox 3.5.x and Flock 2.5.x web browsers
* Added clearing of the latest variants of the RSPlug (Jahlav) trojan horse
* Added Mac OS X 10.5.8 compatibility
* Other minor bug fixes and improvements.
* Updated Automator actions.
Cocktail 4.4.1 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.
Following up on a rumor from a few weeks ago, Apple has quietly restored the antiglare upgrade option for its 15″ MacBook Pro notebook line. Per AppleInsider, the change is a slight reversal from two years ago when the company began transitioning its entire Mac product line away from matte displays to the highly-reflective option that was the only offering on the 15″ MacBook Pro lineup. The change is available as a US$50 add-on.
Previously, only the 17-inch MacBook Pro offered the US$50 antiglare option. Tuesday’s change brings the features to the 15″ line, though the 13″ Pro model remains glossy-only.
The transition towards glossy displays appears to have been sparked by the original iPhone, whose glass touchscreen and black border resonated well with customers. The reception was favorable enough that Apple, in a bid to push the envelope and standardize materials across its product families, gave similar treatment to its iMac line a few months later.
That October, Apple announced that its new line of unibody notebooks would also forgo matte displays for glossy ones, with the exception of a US$50 antiglare option on the pricey 17-inch MacBook Pro. These new displays “provide crisp images and vivid colors which are ideal for viewing photos and movies,” Apple said, “and the edge-to-edge cover glass creates a smooth, seamless surface.”
The move was met with indifference from some users while others threw their arms up in panic, horrified at the glare now present on their high-end notebooks.
Whatever the case, Apple seems to have appreciated the concern, as it did with the outrage over the brief absence of FireWire on its 13″ notebook offerings. Apple has apparently been following the numerous petitions and online threads dedicated to the display matter and quietly reversed itself where possible.
In spite of recent drama between Google and Apple, Google Voice will soon be available for the iPhone, though as a web-based application according to the New York Times.
The all-things-phone-management application (which was widely speculated to have been rejected for threatening AT&T profits on calling plans) will be rewritten as a stylized Web site that offers everything the rejected app would have.
It’s currently unclear as to whether Apple would reject a repurposed Google Voice app, though considering that Apple’s recent decision to reject the app managed to draw attention from a wide range of people, including some at the FCC, the company probably thought it best to allow a Google Voice variant slide.
Web-based apps can be bookmarked on the iPhone interface and appear like an app purchased from the App Store.
A text-heavy version of Google Voice can currently be tested on your iPhone by pointing Safari to google.com/voice/m.
A new report suggests that the next version of Apple’s iTunes could carry support for Blu-ray discs, visual management and rearrangement capabilities for App Store software, and integration with social media Web sites.
According to Boy Genius Report, a “pretty reliable source” revealed new features on Saturday that could be anticipated with the release of iTunes 9.
Citing a “pretty reliable source,” The Boy Genius Report revealed Saturday what could become new features in an anticipated upcoming new release of Apple’s digital media software.
“One of the new additions to iTunes is said to include Blu-ray support,” the report states. “Something else that will most likely make a bunch of people happy is that we’ve been told iTunes 9 will finally include the ability to visually organize and arrange your iPhone and iPod touch applications. Something that wasn’t so clearly described was some kind of Twitter/Facebook/Last.fm integration. Maybe broadcasting what song you’re playing to your friends?”
Sources have recently suggested that two compelling new features would come with Apple’s newest iMacs, leading some to speculate that official Blu-ray support from the company could be coming in the near future. One of those features is said to have long been on the wish-lists of many Mac users while the other is expected to cater to the semi-professional audio/video crowd.
The source for The Boy Genius Report reportedly didn’t provide a time frame for the new iteration of iTunes, but one might assume that Apple could make an announcement at its annual iPod event in September.
If the Blu-ray rumors pan out, it would be a major turnaround for Apple. Less than a year ago, Chief Executive Steve Jobs went as far as to call the technology “a bag of hurt.”
Apple may be working on a fix for a MacBook Pro issue in which owners have complained of annoying hard drive beeps and clicks from their notebooks.
According to AppleInsider, an Apple Discussions Board thread containing hundreds of posts features users complaining that their 7,200RPM hard drives will randomly click and beep, and some have experienced slower access times. The issue appears to have grown since it was first reported in January.
In recent days, numerous users have posted in the thread on the Apple Support forums, stating they were told on the phone by AppleCare representatives that the company is working on a fix. On Friday, user jgcamil wrote that he was told by Level 2 support that Apple is “highly” aware of the issue and it is one of the company’s “highest priorities.” But, he was also told he would have to “live with” the issue until an update is made available.
One AppleInsider reader whose MacBook Pro beeps occasionally said he’s frustrated that Apple has remained quiet on his costly investment. He said after researching the problem, he believes it’s caused by the original firmware for the hard drive.
“The crazy thing is that you can read comments about AppleCare Engineers stance on this issue: ‘Its normal behavior,’ (and) ‘Apple´s Working on a fix,’” he told AppleInsider. “Also, some of them are recommending doing a complete reinstall, when this issue is factory related.”
Users have also uploaded videos documenting the issue, including the one below:
If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know.
Users hoping that the arrival of Windows 7 will lessen the power drain on Apple’s MacBook Pro notebook may have some hard news to face up to, as CNET’s Eric Lai discovered for a recent article he wrote. Running Windows 7 in Boot Camp caused one CNET reviewer’s battery life to fall by more than two-thirds.
In addition to this, virtualization software such as VMware Fusion suffer from the same complaints. Some blame Apple’s Boot Camp drivers (the last ones were released in April 2008) while others blame Windows’ bloated codebase. With Apple and Microsoft both trying to avoid responsibility for improving the experience, Windows 7′s reported improvements in power management will be moot for MacBook Pro users for a while.
If you’ve tested the Windows 7 beta on your MacBook and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.
Along with yesterday’s release of the long-awaited Mac OS X 10.5.8 update, Apple also released four security updates for users of OS X 10.4.
According to Macworld, the updates for the PowerPC version of Tiger, the Intel version of Tiger, the PowerPC version of Tiger Server, and the Universal version of Tiger Server address security issues that could have cause applications to quit unexpectedly or arbitrarily execute code. Those issues include decompressing maliciously crafted data, viewing a maliciously crafted image with an embedded ColorSync profile, viewing a maliciously crafted OpenEXR, or processing a maliciously crafted PNG image. The update also addressed a format string issue in Login Window that could lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.
The updates can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.4.11 to install and run.
Late Wednesday, Apple released Mac OS X 10.5.8, the latest version of the Mac OS X operating system. The new version, which varies in size per its download, offers the following fixes and changes:
* Upgrades Safari to version 4.0.2.
* Improves the accuracy of full history search in Safari 4.
* Resolves an issue in which certain resolutions might not appear in the Display pane in System Preferences.
* Dragging an Aperture image into Automator now invokes an Aperture action instead of incorrectly invoking an iPhoto action.
* Resolves an issue that could prevent importing of large photo and movie files from digital cameras.
* Improves overall Bluetooth reliability with external devices, USB webcams and printers.
* Addresses an issue that could cause extended startup times.
* Improves iCal reliability with MobileMe Sync and CalDav.
* Addresses data reliability issues with iDisk and MobileMe.
* Improves overall reliability with AFP.
* Improves overall reliability with Managed Client.
* Improves compatibility and reliability for joining AirPort networks.
* Improves Sync Service reliability.
* Includes additional RAW image support for several third-party cameras.
* Improves compatibility with some external USB hard drives.
* Includes latest security fixes.
The Mac OS X 10.5.7 update is available via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature and is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Leopard. A combo updater, weighing in at a hefty 759 MB download, is also available for those upgrading from versions of Mac OS X 10.5.
If you’ve installed Mac OS X 10.5.8 and have any feedback to offer about it, let us know in the comments!
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