Next-Gen iPhone, iPod Touch Models to Support Faster, Low-Power 802.11n Protocol

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Date: Monday, April 6th, 2009, 10:02
Category: iPhone

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A list of wireless radio component specifications found within beta distributions of the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware offers details for a new chip enabling low power 802.11n bound for the third-generation iPod touch handset. According to AppleInsider, the chip is also likely to be en route for Apple’s upcoming iPhone models.
The version of the existing Broadcom chip that supplies WiFi and Bluetooth on existing models jumps from BCM4325 to BCM4329 in the description. The component upgrade adds new support for 802.11n features, including the ability to find and join 5GHz networks.
Current iPhone and iPod touch generations provide support for 5GHz 802.11a networks, or 2.4GHz 802.11b/g networks, pushing users who want the top speed of 802.11n (available on all MacBooks) but compatibility with 802.11b/g networks (to use the existing iPhone) to set up a 2.4GHz compatible network. That resulting push forces the wireless network to deal with interference from other networks on the often-crowded 2.4GHz band.
Apple’s latest firmware update for its AirPort base stations added support for dual-band networks, allowing both slow and fast devices to hook into 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz signals at the same time.
New support for 802.11n in the upcoming iPhone and iPod touch models would also provide the devices with additional network speed and reception range features of the significantly faster 802.11n specification as well as channel bonding (using two channels at once to double the top reception speed) and MIMO, the ability to use multiple transmit and receive antennas to improve reception speed and range.
The new device also focuses on efficient power management, with a special integrated PMU (power management unit) and a shared Bluetooth and WiFi receive signal path, which “eliminates the need for an external power splitter while maintaining excellent sensitivity for both Bluetooth and WLAN.”
The new component could dramatically speed up WiFi throughput and flexibility as AT&T and other providers also upgrade their 3G networks to take advantage of parallel improvements in mobile 3G speed capacity expected in the new iPhone.

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Equity Firm’s Report Points Toward Two Architecturally Unique iPhones in Development

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Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009, 08:53
Category: iPhone

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A report released by little-known equity research firm Lazard Capital Markets could points towards two architecturally distinct models of iPhone being developed for release this year.
“Our checks confirm that two versions of iPhones will be introduced this year,” Lazard Capital Markets semiconductors analyst Daniel Amir wrote in the opening paragraph of the report. “Production of the new phones should start at the beginning of April and will ramp in May.”
According to AppleInsider, the analyst stated that both models are likely to be introduced in June, one being a “high-end” model while the other represents a “low-end” version.
Unlike analyst reports earlier this year, which suggested Apple was developing a scaled down iPhone in addition to a new high-end model as part of a volume play, Amir said he believes the two models will target different geographical regions rather than different classes of consumers.
“We believe it is possible that the two phones will be aimed at different regions,” he wrote. “The high-end version is expected in North America and Europe, and the low-end version may be for the BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India, and China] or China only.”
Amir suggested that the high-end version will have video capability, a better camera and 32GB of storage. Tthe low-end version will include less storage, no video functions, and possibly lack Wi-Fi (a move which could potentially cater to the demands of Chinese wireless carriers).
Last fall, stories emerged that wireless carrier China Mobile had asked Apple to supply iPhone handsets with both Wi-Fi and 3G features disabled.
In addition, various code strings present in the first external beta of iPhone OS 3.0 have been titled “iPhone 2,2″ and “iPhone 3,1″. Apple makes changes to the first numeral in these kind of identifier strings to distinguish products from their predecessors or family members only when there’s a significant architectural difference between the two.
Within the report, Amir also told clients that iPhone shipments for the first calendar quarter of the year ending tomorrow could come in as high as 4 million thanks to record shipments for the month of March.
“Our checks suggest that March iPhone shipments have been much stronger than previously expected and may reach 1.5 million units, which is the highest level over the past five months,” he said. “Total iPhone shipments in [first quarter of 2009] are therefore tracking slightly higher than Street expectations of 3-3.5 million units and could reach 3.8 to 4 million units.”
The analyst then went on to suggest that second quarter shipments could surge as high as eight million units.
“April shipments, including both the current and new versions of the iPhone, could increase 40%-50% month-over-month, and be up another 20%-30% month-over-month in May,” he wrote. “Accounting for the new versions of the iPhone shipping in April, total iPhone shipments in [the second quarter] could reach 7-8 million units, which equates to approximately 3-4 times last year’s shipments during the same period.”
If you have anything to add to this, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 2 to Developer Community

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Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009, 08:13
Category: iPhone, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple officially released iPhone OS 3.0 beta to to its developer community. According to Engadget, the new beta includes push notifications and in-app purchasing, giving developers a chance to play with these features. The report also cites significant stability improvements within the new build.
While MMS and tethering are also included within beta 2, Apple has apparently asked developers not to try these features as of yet.
Per the Apple Core, Apple has also made the following changes in beta 2:

  • B2 killed a lot of the typing lag, and scrolling problems.
  • Some speed improvements.
  • Some stereo bluetooth controls are working (play and pause). Others (rewind and fast forward) are not.
  • There’s a new Store option under Settings, but it’s empty.
  • New icon in the left side of the menu bar to indicate when call forwarding has been enabled.
  • Despite Apple’s warning against MMS and tethering, they can be enabled by modifying the ipcc file (the carrier settings). They both work in b2 in the U.S. although some countries have trouble getting them to work at the same time, but they work, regardless of the firmware.
  • The exchange email bug that prevented you from syncing to your corporate email was fixed.
  • New way to open a new page in Safari: Tap and hold on a link and a menu pops up allowing you to open, open in new page or copy the link (or cancel).
  • The iPhone OS beta 2 build can be downloaded from here upon signing up for an ADC account.
    If you’ve tried the new build, please let us know what you think of it in the comments or forums.

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    iPhone OS 3.0 Beta Bricking Pirated iPhones

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    Date: Monday, March 30th, 2009, 10:56
    Category: Hack, iPhone

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    This was sort of to be expected, but it’s interesting.
    According to the Los Angeles Times, users installing a pirated version of Apple’s upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 firmware are finding their iPhone handsets effectively bricked, wherein the handset loads to the activation screen.
    At this point, they’re in trouble.
    Per the story, the version of iPhone OS 3.0 floating around the Web checks with the mother ship to make sure that the user has an active and paid up Apple Developer Connection account.
    Once in place, there’s no way to roll back to version 2 of the software.
    As mentioned on the Apple Core, a few YouTube videos have sprung up purporting to offer solutions. The first suggests that you can simply disconnect from the Internet when interfacing with iTunes to bypass the authentication process. The second video involves data files and appears far more involved.
    Fortunately, users can get their iPhone swapped out under warranty at the Apple Store, or pony up the US$100 for an ADC account in order to resolve the issue.
    If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Apple Releases Second Mac OS X 10.5.7 Beta

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    Date: Monday, March 9th, 2009, 10:09
    Category: Software

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    Apple appears to be close to getting its Mac OS X 10.5.7 maintenance update out the door as the company issued a new build of the update this weekend. According to AppleInsider, Apple released build 9J22 to third-party developers recently. The build apparently contains nearly six dozen code corrections, a barebones weight of 440 megabytes, and requests that developers focus their testing efforts on over 20 core components, including AirPort, Mail, graphics drivers, and Time Machine.
    Per sources close to the story, Apple has directed a significant focus on addressing syncing issues that have plagued many of Leopard’s standard, forward-facing apps, such as as Mail, AddressBook, and system preferences.
    Interestingly enough, Mac OS X 10.5.7 has been publicly mentioned on Apple’s online store as being a prerequisite for use with ATI’s Radeon HD 4870 Graphics Upgrade Kit for owners of previous generation Mac Pros. After the blunder was widely reported, Apple changed the page to indicate that the card required 10.5.6, which is actually the case for the recently-refreshed Mac Pro, which will ship with a custom milestone of 10.5.6 that includes the appropriate driver support.
    However, given that standalone orders for the US$349 card are not expected to ship for another five to seven weeks, its likely the original requirements on the page were accurate and that Mac OS X 10.5.7 will be released within that same time frame.
    As of Saturday, it was reported that build 9J27 had been distributed and included 10 new bug fixes targeting FileVault, Time Capsule, preference panes for Print & Fax and MobileMe, iCal sync, and more.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve had a chance to play with the 10.5.7 builds, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Apple Begins Testing Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update

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    Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 10:20
    Category: Software

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    No matter what you think of Mac OS X 10.5.6, Apple is cited as having tapped its developer community this week to begin testing its Mac OS X 10.5.7 update, a maintenance and security update to the company’s Leopard operating system with a particular focus on syncing improvements.
    According to AppleInsider, sources close to the story have stated that the update will include a plethora of bug fixes, six code corrections and currently weighs in at 440 megabytes in its simplest form.
    Apple is currently said to be focusing on syncing issues found in applications such as Mail, Address Book and system preferences. A problem with Safari not accepting certain types of cookies will also reportedly be addressed.
    Among the nearly two dozen other components receiving attention in beta of Mac OS X 10.5.7 are graphics drivers, Time Machine, printing services, screen sharing services, MobileMe syncing, AirPort services, text services, and iCal, those familiar with the software claim.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve gotten your hands on a 10.5.7 build, please let us know what you think of it in the comments or forums.

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    EMC Releases Retrospect 8 Beta 4

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    Date: Friday, February 20th, 2009, 07:47
    Category: Software

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    EMC Corporation on Friday released the fourth public beta of Restrospect 8.0 its long-standing backup and recovery software for the Mac. The new beta consists of the following new features and changes:

  • Stability has been greatly improved, and this build should feel much better.
  • Proactive Backup (old Backup Server) monitoring is now functional, and the Pause/Run/Resume buttons now work as expected.
  • Email notification is working as designed now.
  • Repair and Rebuild Catalog functionality has been added.
  • It is now possible to set a password for the Retrospect engine by going to Preferences>General and clicking the Change Server Password button. Once you set/change the password, you will need to remove the Retrospect engine from the sidebar and re-add it using the new password.
  • Partial archiving of Time Machine data has been added. Retrospect 8.0 cannot restore a functioning Time Machine volume, but it can restore files backed up from a Time Machine volume to any non-Time Machine volume.
  • Backup and restore activities can now be previewed when using the Backup and Restore Assistants.
  • The restore files and folders workflow now has an option to restore to a new folder. When choosing this option, Retrospect may incorrectly warn you on the summary page that all other files will be deleted from the destination. This is not the case.
  • Media request notifications have been improved.
  • Several bugs related to rules (selectors) have been fixed; a handful may still remain.
  • The Retrospect 8.0 beta is currently available as a 29.7 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    Retrospect 8.0 is expected to ship in the first quarter in three versions: Desktop 3-User (US$129 new or US$59 as an upgrade), Single Server (US$809 or US$539), and Multi Server (US$1,669 or US$939). Users who purchased a new Retrospect 6.1 license on or after January 14, 2008 will receive a free upgrade.
    Let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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