Apple’s lucky bag returns

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Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

luckybag.gifLast year the Apple store Shinsaibashi in Japan sold a limited amount of “lucky bags” – essentially a grab bag of Apple goodies, including an iPod nano and a limited edition t-shirt. The catch is that you don’t know what’s inside. The lucky bags are back again this year in limited quantities, but the difference is that you can also get them online. Sorry kids, like many cool things, they’re only available in Japan…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Patent application revelations II

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Date: Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 11:52
Category: The Apple Core

iphone-patent-4.pngIn yesterday’s installment I covered some of the revelations found in Apple’s United States Patent Application #20060268528 for a “handheld computing device includes an enclosure having structural walls formed from a ceramic material that is radio-transparent.”
Some of the more interesting parts of Apple’s patent application discuss a seamless one-piece iPod enclosure constructed from radio transparent ceramics and internal rails that serve as a guide for positioning and supporting the internal components.
Today I’ll discuss some of the other interesting aspects of United States Patent Application #20060268528 as they are likely to be a prelude of things to come from Apple.
Dive into the world of multiple input devices, dedicated power and new battery technology on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Patent application reveals much about iPod/iPhone

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Date: Tuesday, December 5th, 2006, 09:25
Category: The Apple Core

Yesterday I posted a note about Apple’s United States Patent Application #20060268528 for a “handheld computing device includes an enclosure having structural walls formed from a ceramic material that is radio-transparent.”
The details of the patent (USPTO, text, PDF) are extremely revealing about where Apple is headed with the future of iPod and iPhone – if you read between the lines a little bit. Keep in mind that Apple (and most tech companies) keep their patent applications intentionally vague.
Dive into the world of seamless enclosures, extruded tubes, internal rails and radio transparent ceramics on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: iPhone patent revealed

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Date: Monday, December 4th, 2006, 10:19
Category: The Apple Core

iphone-patent-pic.pngOn November 30, 2006 Apple filed what appears to be a patent for the iPhone, a mobile phone/iPod hybrid that has been rumored to be in development for over three years. In United States Patent Application #20060268528 Apple refers to the device as:

A handheld computing device is disclosed. The handheld computing device includes an enclosure having structural walls formed from a ceramic material that is radio-transparent.

It’s pretty interesting that Apple is building the iPhone enclosure from ceramic material (which they call Zirconia in the patent) for “radio transparency.” The change from aluminum and/or plastic (like the iPod) may allow Apple to make the iPhone’s antenna internal, much like PalmOne did with the newish Treo 680.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: Hollywood wants to change iPod DRM

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Date: Friday, December 1st, 2006, 09:28
Category: The Apple Core

Hot on the heels of Microsoft’s deal with Universal Music (a unit of Vivendi) to pay a US$1 royalty on every Zune player sold in exchange for licensing its recordings for Microsoft’s new digital music service, Hollywood now wants in on the action.
Why in the world would Microsoft agree to such a dangerous precedent? The obvious reason is that MS needed to get access to the Universal catalog. My favorite (and more dastardly) reason comes from Macalope who claims that Microsoft did it “to try to screw up Apple’s business model.”
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Special edition Beatles iPod could be in the wings

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Date: Thursday, November 30th, 2006, 10:14
Category: iPod

beatles-ipod-nano-red.pngOn Monday Fortune magazine reported that Apple is negotiating with The Beatles to distribute their music online via an exclusive arrangement with the iTunes store. The deal would be a coup considering that The Beatles have yet to license their music to be sold online and they are one of the last major holdouts that people mention when criticizing online music sales.
The buzz began in April 2006 when Apple Corps Ltd. (The Beatles record label) head Neil Aspinall mentioned that they were re-mastering the entire Beatles catalog…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Holiday Shopping: Speck Products 20 Percent off

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Date: Tuesday, November 28th, 2006, 09:32
Category: Accessory

speck-holiday-special.jpg
Speck Products is offering 20 percent off in their Friends and Family Holiday Special. Speck makes a number of great cases and accessories for the iPod, MacBook Pro and mobile phones. Just enter this promo code at checkout: SpeckFF06.
Do you have a holiday discount to share? Get in touch.

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Apple Shares Close at New High of $88.60

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Date: Monday, November 27th, 2006, 08:38
Category: Uncategorized

Shares of Apple Computer, Inc. closed at an all time high last Tuesday, rising $2.13 or two percent to close at $88.60 per share.
Investors seemed responsive to recent analyst predictions that 14 million iPods will be sold within the current fiscal quarter. Speculation has also risen about an upcoming Apple cell phone, nicknamed the “iPhone”, which could be on the horizon.
Shaw Wu of American Technology research commented that while the “iPhone” is a favorite topic of analysts, bloggers and Apple fans alike, it would still be in the development phase. A clear release, or even an announcement date, would be impossible to predict, according to analytical firm MarketWatch.
Apple’s current stock price stands at $92.75 in Monday pre-market trading according to Yahoo Finance and can be easily tracked via Stimpsoft’s free AAPL Stock Dock program.

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The Apple Core: What iPhone has going for it

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Date: Friday, November 17th, 2006, 09:44
Category: The Apple Core

iphone_037.jpgYesterday I took a shot at the iPhone for being long on compromises and short on utility and your comments were tremendous. Today I want to take a look at some of the positive aspects and potential of the iPhone.
No carrier baggage
One of the single best potential features of the iPhone is that won’t be tied to a specific mobile phone carrier. One of the commenters yesterday said it best:

Even the best and most popular phones on the US market are always a political compromise between makers and carriers. Everyone pulls in their direction; carriers want features that will squeeze more money (sending pictures and videos; text messaging, etc); makers want more and more features, so that they can charge more. Ordinary users are ignored.

Locked phones are heavily subsidized by the carrier so that they can be sold for almost nothing – with a two year contract and significant early termination fee. The best part of a carrier-free (also called “unlocked”) mobile phone is that Apple doesn’t have to cripple its features because the greedy carriers want to charge for every picture, text and ring tone.
A perfect example of this is how Verizon Wireless forces handset manufacturers to disable all but the Bluetooth headset profile. Another example of carrier compromise is the Motorola ROKR’s artificial 100 song limitation and inability to purchase and download tracks from iTunes Over The Air (OTA). Hopefully Apple’s carrier divorce will mean that the iPhone has features that users want, like BT syncing.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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The Apple Core: I don’t want an iPhone

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Date: Thursday, November 16th, 2006, 12:05
Category: The Apple Core

iphone-concept.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve been inundated with speculation and rumor about Apple’s iPhone. Am I the only one that doesn’t want one?
AppleInsider reports that Foxconn Electronics (a.k.a. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd.) has received an order from Apple for 12M iPhone handsets, that it will ship unlocked, equipped with a 2MP camera and even that iPhone could add 22% to Apple’s earnings for 2007.
My problem is that I don’t really want an iPod/phone hybrid because I’m more of a smartphone guy myself.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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