Apple Apparently Delaying iPod Fire Incident Report

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Date: Thursday, July 23rd, 2009, 04:45
Category: iPod, News

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When one of your best selling products sort of starts catching fire, you might be hesitant to investigate it.

According to KIRO 7, a Seattle-based reporter says that Apple actively prevented her and others from learning the true scope of the safety hazard.

KIRO 7′s Amy Clancy claims that her seven-month search for data was repeatedly frustrated as Apple asked for Consumer Product Safety Commission reports to be exempted from the Freedom of Information Act, hiding them from public view.

The investigation began in November after one iPod shuffle owner was burned when the battery ignited during a run, burning her where the iPod was clipped on. The victim, Jamie Balderas, said she contacted Apple and provided photos as evidence but was purportedly dismissed by an AppleCare agent as encountering an “isolated incident” and that access to proof of previous incidents wasn’t an option. The mother of a child given a mild burn also says Apple phone representatives didn’t appear responsive to the problem.

Clancy searched on her own but submitted the FIA request after discovering the already widespread reports of iPod battery fires, which among other responses had prompted a Japanese government investigation.

When she finally received the requested information, Clancy was surprised at just how long Apple and the CPSC had been aware of problems: fires had been reported as long ago as 2005 and have been noted periodically ever since. The 800-page report had even already pinpointed the lithium-ion battery packs as the likely causes because of their occasional tendency to overheat, but despite the evidence, hadn’t led to a mandatory recall. Commission officials had determined that the the scarcity of incidents (just a handful compared to the 175 million iPods sold at the time) had made the risk of any injury, let alone any serious injuries, “very low.”

It also believed that newer batteries weren’t shown to be vulnerable to the same sort of overheating.

In the past, Apple began a voluntary replacement program last year for owners of first-generation iPod nanos, some of whose batteries were known to be defective, it hasn’t given recourse to owners of other iPod models affected by the problem, whether Balderas or a Cincinnati woman who just in March sued Apple for negligence in the wake of a second-generation iPod touch fire exhibiting similar symptoms.

Early Predictions Arrive for Apple Q3 Earnings

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 20th, 2009, 04:30
Category: News

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Apple’s Q3 numbers come out tomorrow and per CNET, while results have been both eventful and mixed, analysts are expecting more positive than negative numbers when it’s said and done.

During the quarter, which ended June 30, the company released the third-generation iPhone, the iPhone 3GS, which can be regarded as a success, though its Mac and iPod divisions may not see identical results.

Throughout the quarter, Apple did pay a nod to consumers’ tight budgets, lowering prices on its Mac notebook lineup although keeping other prices about the same.

Analysts are expecting revenues for the quarter between US$7.88 billion and US$8.44 billion, and earnings per share between US$1.02 and US$1.31. Apple itself, which always gives guidance on the low side, is anticipating revenue between US7.7 billion and US$7.9 billion and earnings per share between 95 cents and a dollar.

Over the quarter, Apple’s stock jumped 21.4%, rising to US$147.52, since its last earnings report in late April. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who stood in for CEO Steve Jobs, has received high marks for keeping the company running smoothly in its leader’s absence. Jobs has been back at work, at least part-time, since the end of June.

Apple announced that the company had sold 1 million iPhones worldwide in the first weekend the 3GS was on the market, and AT&T said the first day the phone was available marked the best sales day in the carrier’s history. Analytical firm Piper Jaffray jumped in on this, specifically stating that it anticipates total iPhones sold for the quarter will be 5 million.

Mac revenue will show if price cuts are helping. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says Apple sold 2.2 million Macs during the quarter, and says it is getting a boost from the price cuts it applied when it upgraded its entire aluminum MacBook line to MacBook Pros. Per recent counts from IDC, which only tracks Apple’s sales in the U.S., showed that Mac shipments dipped more than 12% during this quarter while the entire PC industry was down 3.1% worldwide.

For those wanting a cool new item, the iPods’ annual tuneup is expected in September, when it has taken place the past few years. Where the iPod business has also been slowing down a bit, Piper Jaffray predicts sales to be down 7% from a year ago, though Apple has been increasingly focused on its iPod Touch, which has access to the popular App Store and is expected to get a reboot in September similar to the iPhone 3GS.

Apple also continues to put away cash during the quarter. As Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech pointed out, Apple added US$800 million in cash during the last quarter, bringing its total to US$28.9 billion. Only Cisco’s US$29 billion in cash is better among technology companies.

Stay tuned for full Q3 coverage tomorrow and let us know what’s on your mind via the comments!

Apple Releases Apple TV 2.4 Firmware

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 05:52
Category: Apple TV, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released version 2.4 of its firmware for the Apple TV set top box. The new firmware, which can be downloaded via Apple TV’s Software Update feature, boasts the following fixes and changes:

  • Remote app directional control: Control your Apple TV with simple finger gestures via the Remote app. This feature requires Remote 1.3 running on an iPhone or iPod touch with iPhone OS 3.0.
  • Flickr Search: Search Flickr photo tags to find recently updated photos of interest. Save searches to quickly find new photos or use as a screen saver for Apple TV.
  • New view options: View movies By Genre, By Movie, or Unwatched. View TV Shows and Podcasts By Date, By Show, or Unwatched.
  • Updated transport and chapter modes: During video playback, click right or left to fast forward or rewind. Additional clicks increase the speed. Click down to show chapter markers.

If you’ve downloaded the new firmware and tested it out, let us know how it works in the fabulous and rebuilt and functional comments section!!!

Next-Gen iPod Artist’s Rendition Released, Unit May Include Onboard Camera

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, 09:50
Category: iPod, iPod Nano, Rumor

Additional rumors have been flying about Apple’s plans to add an iPhone-like camera to its next generation iPods.
Per iLounge, the following is an artist’s rendition of what the 5th-generation iPod nano may look like:


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At first glance, the imaginary next-gen iPod looks pretty much the same as its predecessor, except for the wider screen ratio that stretches to 1.5:1 from 1:33:1.
The unit’s Click Wheel is slightly smaller and positioned a bit lower on the nano’s body, and a digital camera is placed at a seemingly awkward spot on the nano’s backside.
Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available and let us know what you’d like to see on a next-generation iPod.

Elgato Releases Elgato Video Capture for Mac, iPhone and iPod

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 8th, 2009, 14:26
Category: Accessory, Software

Accessory provider Elgato Systems announced the release of Elgato Video Capture, a hardware/software combination device for transferring analog video, including footage on VHS video tape, to a Mac, iPhone and iPod.
According to Macworld UK, the device connects VCRs, set top boxes, camcorders, DVD players, and other analog video sources, anything that uses composite RCA or S-Video outputs, to the Mac via a USB 2.0 interface.
The unit also ships with a SCART video adapter to allow RCA or S-Video devices to be connected.


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Elgato’s included software offers a simple tool to trim the beginning and end of the captured video as well as export tools to send the video to iTunes, QuickTime, YouTube or iMovie for final editing.
Generated files can then be synced with video capable iPods, iPhones and Apple TV and can be edited in iMovie ’09 without re-encoding.
The Video Capture unit automatically detects NTSC, SECAM, PAL, and PAL/60 video formats for universal compatibility.
Elgato Video Capture requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later, QuickTime 7.6 or later and iTunes 8.1 or later. The unit retails for £89.95 (US$136.45) and will be available from Apple retail stores and other Mac resellers.

Apple Announces Q2 Financial Results, Reports US$1.21 Billion Profit

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Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009, 07:19
Category: Finance

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Amidst strong iPhone and iPod sales, Apple Inc. reported a US$1.21 billion profit for its second quarter despite Mac sales being down 3% for the quarter compared to last year.
“We are extremely pleased to report the best non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings in our history,” Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO said during the conference call announcing the results.
According to Macworld, Apple posted a total revenue of US$8.16 billion, its best non-holiday quarter to date. The quarter’s revenue and profit was higher than the $7.51 billion revenue and $1.05 billion profit posted during the same quarter last year.
During the quarter, Apple sold 2,216,000 Macs with notebook sales comprising 63% of this at 1,398,000 units and desktop Macs accounting for the remaining 818,000 units.
When asked about Apple’s plans for releasing a netbook, Apple executive Tim Cook said, “If we find a way that we can deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, then we will do that–we have some interesting ideas in this space.” Cook said that netbooks currently have cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, and very small screens, “not something that we would put the Mac brand on, quite frankly.” He added that people who want a small computer that does browsing and e-mail might want to buy an iPod touch or an iPhone.
iPod sales reached 11,013,000, a 3% gain over the same quarter last year. Apple said its U.S. market share for digital music players is more than 70%, based on data from market-reseach firm NPD. The iPod also grew in worldwide markets, with healthy unit sales growth in the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and China.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Review: TechRestore

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Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 09:10
Category: Review

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By Robert Kaneko
This review is going to be slightly different for me. Instead of reviewing a product, I am looking at a service. I think that’s important to note, since any time you are looking at a service, there is a very human element to the experience.
TechRestore is a company that specializes in repairs for mobile electronic devices. They do more than that, but my impression is that their primary focus is repairing items like iPods, iPhones, gaming devices and laptops. They are also an advertiser here on the PowerPage. In fact, that’s how I found them, and I’m glad I did.
My ten-year-old son is a gadget junkie. He loves cell phones, Nintendos, laptops and other electronic devices. When I bought an iPod Touch, he couldn’t get enough of the experience. He saved for almost a year, and when the iPod Touch 2nd generation was released, he bought one for himself. That was about three months ago and he’s spent almost every day since playing with it. Interestingly, he has yet to put any music on it. He uses it to surf the Internet, handle his email and watch YouTube videos. Last week, he downloaded Text Free and my SMS inbox has never been the same. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
About three weeks ago, my son’s iPod Touch went swimming. It was a devastating moment in our house. I tried the trick of putting the iPod in a bag of dry rice. I do think that helped to leech the water out of the unit, but it wouldn’t recover. After a fair amount of research, we decided to look into the possibility of repairing the existing unit instead of buying a new one.
Enter TechRestore.
Being a long-time reader of the Powerpage, I’ve seen the banner ads for TechRestore for years. As with most ads on most sites, I’ve pretty much ignored them. This time I didn’t. The PowerPage got a click-through from me and I got sent to Tech Restore’s web site.
Click the jump for the full review…

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Apple Announces iPhone OS 3.0 Firmware, Points Out New Features to Come

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Date: Tuesday, March 17th, 2009, 12:22
Category: iPhone

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Apple held its long-awaited iPhone OS 3.0 announcement today in front of a crowd of developers and invited media. The announcement mentioned prominent new changes including the addition of push notification, which Apple stated as requiring an overhaul of its servers to accommodate. Upon delivery, push notification can deliver signals such as sounds and text alerts to Apple, which can then push the data to the iPhones.
According to MacNN, Apple has also expanded the business models offered by the App Store and, allowing users to purchase additional content within an application provided that users have already signed in via their iTunes account. From here, users can purchase items such as books, regional content or extra game levels.
Apple then cited that the inclusion of approximately 1,000 new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) will grant developers access to features such as iPod libraries, embedded e-mail, audio/video streaming and Google Maps integration. Core Location should also enable turn-by-turn navigation, allowing practical driving applications.
Company representatives also stated that iPhone OS 3.0 will support all standard Bluetooth protocols, including Bonjour, allowing iPhones to be able to use features such as automatic device detection as well as peer-to-peer gaming sessions that would locate possible opponents to play against within a given area. Third-party sccessory makers have also been given direct hardware control with the new firmware, permitting functions such as tuning an FM transmitter from the iPhone interface.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Rumor: O2 May Drop iPhone 3G Prices in May Prior to Release of New Model

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Date: Friday, March 13th, 2009, 08:27
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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UK phone carrier O2 may drop prices on Apple’s iPhone 3G handset come May according to Mobile, a regional technology-centered magazine. The publication cites exclusive information, pointing to the device becoming free with £35 or £45 per month subscriptions. The 8GB iPhone is currently available for free with £45 and £75 plans, while the 16GB model is free only at the £75 level.
The purpose of such a move is thought to be aimed at clearing inventory space ahead of a new generation of iPhone, which is generally expected to be released in June or July in the same manner as the first and second generations of the handset’s hardware. Mobile sources also claim that Apple is in negotiations with O2 rival Orange, which may finally result in a second official carrier for the UK.
Additional information on a new generation of iPhone hardware is expected on March 17th, when Apple will preview its iPhone OS 3.0 firmware at a press event in Cupertino. Potential features may include true background processesing, vector-based GPS positioning, and possibly tethering or MMS messaging.
Some analysts and sources have speculated that Apple may intend to release a cheaper companion iPhone, serving a role similar to the iPod nano in comparison to the iPod classic.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and please let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Review: Ted Baker Six Pack

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Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:25
Category: Review

By Robert Kaneko
Today’s mobile community is in desperate need of portable power. As our iPods and iPhones gain functionality, they also eat through their built-in batteries. My 8GB first-generation iPod touch will last for a full day if I’m just using it to listen to music. However, if I start playing games, surfing the Internet, checking email, watching video and doing all the other things I bought the Touch for, my battery life plummets. It’s not a big stretch for me to use up the internal battery within two or three hours. Enter the Ted Baker Six Pack.
Contrary to what the name might imply, the Ted Baker Six Pack is not a strange new beverage. It is a portable external battery that will power and charge just about any small mobile device you can think of. In fact, if you are familiar with the Proporta Mobile Device Charger, the Ted Baker Six Pack is the same product in prettier packaging.
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