May 27 2010

Predictions for Apple’s WWDC

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is quickly approaching and, as usual, the tech blogosphere abounds with rumors about what Apple will introduce this year. Last year, Wired accurately predicted some major introductions Apple made at WWDC and it has predictions again for this year. Only time will tell if the predictions prove to be accurate.

It’s safe to assume that Apple will introduce its next major iPhone at WWDC. Thanks to some careless Apple employees, the public knows the next iPhone looks like, but we don’t know what it actually can do, as none of the prototypes found were shown doing anything. The 4G iPhone is going to have a front-facing camera, which could be its single major feature.

iPhone OS 4 will also probably be announced. It’s been talked about already, but will probably will be explained in detail at WWDC. From what has already been revealed about the next iPhone OS, it sounds like it will be amazing.

Unfortunately, there will not be a Verizon iPhone, at least not at this WWDC. We’ll have to wait longer for that. And Steve Ballmer will not be at WWDC, contrary to a rumor that circulated the Internet today.

Via Wired.com, image via Wired.com.

Apr 22 2010

Apple Buyout of ARM Just a Rumor

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A rumor originated in London this week concerning the possibility of Apple buying chip designer ARM. Such a move would be messy, pricey, and unpopular and has since been confirmed as just a rumor, as the two companies are not engaged in talks with each other.

Such an acquisition would probably cause some regulatory scrutiny. Though ARM is a small company, it licenses technology to many chipmakers such as Texas Instruments, Samsung, and Nvidia. Furthermore, if Apple owned ARM, many people would question the independence of ARM, no matter how many times Apple emphasized independence.

The acquisition would also be very expensive for Apple. Apple has about $40 billion right now, but ARM would cost up to $8 billion, which certainly is not cheap. It would be foolish for Apple to buy the company when it could just license the technology instead.

Via CNET, image via ARM.

Apr 21 2010

Apple Wants Device Returned

Remember that mysterious device, found on the floor of a bar, that was allegedly the next iPhone? I initially dismissed the idea that it was the next iPhone, but now the plot thickens because according to tech blog Gizmodo, Apple wants the device returned.

Gizmodo said that it bought the device for $5,000 from a source who found it. Gizmodo then proceeded to thoroughly about the device in a post that received 5 million hits. On Tuesday Gizmodo posted a letter to Brian Lam, Gizmodo’s editorial director, from Bruce Sewell, general counsel for Apple. The letter was a formal request for Gizmodo to return the device to Apple.

According to Gizmodo, the device was left at the bar by Gray Powell, an Apple employee who was celebrating his birthday there. Gizmodo has posted a reply to Apple’s letter, agreeing to return the device. Apple’s insistence at having the device returned raises the question: is it the real thing?

Via Philadelphia Inquirer, image via Engadget.

Apr 19 2010

Apple Files Patent for Digital Tickets

Details have been released about a potential upcoming Apple invention: digital tickets for concerts and events. The patent was filed back in September 2008 and reveals a system that would allow iPhone and iPod Touch users to swipe their device to gain entry to a concert or event.

The system also involves getting extra goodies from “an online digital content service”—i.e., iTunes. The technology would be based on near-field communications for data transfer, which Apple’s hardware is currently not able to handle. Interestingly enough, near-field communications was also referenced in a separate patent that Apple filed in August 2009 for peer-to-peer payments, which could suggest that the company has an interest in developing it further.

The whole thing sounds very interesting, though I am not sure I understand entirely how it works. I do not doubt that Apple will come up with some innovative way to utilize this new technology.

Via Engadget, image via Patently Apple.

Apr 18 2010

iPhone 4G Found in a Bar?

The latest, slightly ridiculous Apple rumor concerns the upcoming 4G iPhone, which is expected to be released as early as this June (AT&T has allegedly barred employees from taking vacations this June, so maybe something big is going to happen).

Images that are allegedly of the upcoming iPhone surfaced on the Internet today, acquired in very strange circumstances. A 4G iPhone was allegedly found on the floor of a San Jose bar in an iPhone 3G case. The device in question has a front-facing camera, 80 GB of storage, and an OS that is definitely different from the current iPhone OS.

However, some blogs are asserting that the phone in question is actually a Japanese counterfeit of the iPhone, which I think is very plausible. It seems very unlikely to me that a company as secretive as Apple would let an iPhone 4G anywhere near a bar (or any other public place, for that matter).

Via CNET, image via Engadget.

Apr 17 2010

Rumor: Apple May Adopt AMD Chips

Apple began to make the transition to Intel chips a little over four years ago, changing from the PowerPC processors to Intel x86 processors. This was one of the best moves Apple has ever made, as it greatly improved Apple computers. Though there were inconveniences at first with certain software only running on the old PowerPC processors and not on the new Intel processors (or vice versa), by and large these problems have been solved.

According to the latest Apple rumor, Apple may be considering switching over to processors made by an Intel competitor, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Apple does use AMD chips right now as graphics processors, but the rumor refers to chips that would replace the Intel microprocessors.

Apple has allegedly been dissatisfied with Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors because these processors require the use of Intel chipsets instead of Nvidia chipsets that previous models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro contained.

Via CNET, image via AMD.

Apr 13 2010

Rumor: Adobe May Sue Apple

There are lots of exciting and interesting Apple rumors circulating on the Internet now. One of them turned out to be true—it remains to be seen if this latest one will also prove to be true.

The latest Apple rumor concerns a lawsuit that will allegedly be filed by Adobe against Apple. Adobe has been less than pleased with Apple in recent months. Apple has refused to support Adobe Flash on its mobile devices for some time now and the latest conflict between the two companies has arisen over Apple’s recent update to its iPhone SDK agreement. The update bans cross-compilers, which Adobe was planning to utilize in its app. Adobe is annoyed and is allegedly going to file a lawsuit against Apple “within a few weeks.”

Analysts believe that Apple has restricted developers to prevent a repeat of problems that were encountered with Mac OS X, in which a lot of Adobe and Microsoft software had to be rewritten to work on Intel processors.

Via Electronista.

Apr 11 2010

Rumor: New MacBook Pros Will Be Arriving Soon

This is nothing but a rumor right now, but, like the majority of Apple rumors, is very exciting. Apple is allegedly getting ready to update its MacBook Pro line of laptops. The new MacBook Pros will have the latest Intel processors, the mobile Core i5 and/or Core i7. Other laptop makers—HP, Toshiba, Dell, and Sony—have already moved to using these new chips.

The speculation seems legitimate because blogs are citing new part numbers that have been independently confirmed as real. The new part numbers could also indicate that the update will happen in the near future. The updates will be for 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, according to some blogs.

Also, Best Buy is showing certain 15.4-inch MacBook Pros to be out of stock, both online and in their stores. It remains to be seen if this is indicative of an imminent update.

Via CNET, image via Apple.

Mar 11 2010

Rumors About Apple’s iPhone OS 4.0 Abound

Even though the next iPhone OS update probably won’t be released for several months, the tech blogosphere is already speculating about what new features the iPhone OS 4.0 will contain. Apple is, of course, very tight-lipped about the whole thing, so all of the following is simply speculation.

The feature that seems to be the most desired is multitasking. Currently, only one app at a time can run on the iPhone. For example, you cannot listen to your Pandora radio app in the background while you surf the Internet with your Safari app (however, you could listen to music through the iPod function on the iPhone). Other smartphones have supported multitasking for some time now, so this is the next logical update for the iPhone.

Video calling is another feature that users want. Again, many other smartphones have a front-facing video camera that allows for video calls. Though video calling has not really gained much popularity with smartphone users, Apple may try to change this by offering it as a new feature.

Finally, many users want a better camera with a flash on the iPhone. Although the iPhone 3G S has a better camera than the iPhone 3G (3.2 MP vs. 2 MP, respectively), it is difficult to take decent photos with an iPhone in anything but the brightest light, so a flash would be a welcome addition.

Of course, Apple is so good at keeping secrets that we won’t find out anything until the next OS is released, so all we can do now is speculate.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

Mar 2 2010

Rumor: iPad May Be Delayed

This will come as disappointing news to those who are eagerly awaiting the iPad. Analysts are speculating that Apple may be delaying the iPad’s launch, or limiting the iPad to the United States only. March is here already and Apple has not released any information about a specific release date or pre-order options, which has led analysts to say that the iPad may not be available until April.

The cause of production delay is allegedly the iPad’s manufacturer, where there is supposedly a manufacturing bottleneck that will limit the number of iPads initially sold to about 300,000.

Right now, all of this is simply a rumor from an analyst whose predictions in the past have not always been correct. Apple has not said anything about a delay or manufacturing problems.

Some readers commenting on websites concerning the iPad have suggested that Apple is delaying the iPad on purpose to create more hype. After Steve Jobs announced the iPad back in January, there was widespread disappointment concerning its features.

Via The Money Times, image via Apple.

Feb 28 2010

Apple May Lower iPhone Prices

According to an analyst at Morgan Stanley, Apple could lower the price of its next iPhone. Though the iPhone has been and remains very popular, Apple faces a lot of competition from other companies like Google, Microsoft, and Research in Motion, and must price its products accordingly.

The analyst said she expects Apple to release a new, cheaper iPhone in June of this year. The iPhone 3G S currently sells for $199 and up, and the iPhone 3G for $99 and up.

Microsoft has announced its new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, which is due to be released by the end of this year. If it proves successful and popular, this could pose a threat to Apple. Apple has seen huge success with its App Store, which is predicted to have 300,00 apps by the end of 2011. In a controversial move recently, Apple banned many apps from the App Store for being too explicit.

Via eWeek, image via Apple.

Feb 22 2010

Apple A4 Chip Could be a $1 Billion Investment

A report in The New York Times has estimated that Apple’s new A4 chip was a $1 billion investment for the company. The report was profiling the rise of competitors to Intel such as Apple, Nvidia, and Qualcomm.

Intel has been trying to get companies to use its Atom processor for mobile devices, but Atom chips cost more and use more power than competing ARM chips, like Apple’s A4. The upcoming iPad will contain a 1 GHz Apple A4 processor. New laptops from HP and Lenovo will also contain ARM chips.

Apple first invested in chip-making when it bought P.A. Semi for $278 million. Of course, if the A4 really did cost $1 billion to build, then Apple’s investment went beyond the buying of P.A. Semi.

Apple has claimed that its chip is extremely power-efficient and will give users 10 hours of battery life on the iPad and up to a month on standby. Apple’s claims about battery life are always exaggerated, in my experience, so I would not expect the iPad to have that kind of battery life.

Via AppleInsider, image via AppleInsider.

Feb 21 2010

iPad Pre-Orders May Start This Week

According to the latest rumors, Apple may be letting customers pre-order the iPad as early as this Thursday, February 25. The device itself will not be available for another month, but the Wi-Fi-only versions could be available for pre-order. The 3G versions are supposed to be released in mid-April, and no one knows when they will be available for pre-order.

If the rumor proves to be correct, users will be able to order the 16 GB model for $500, the 32 GB model for $600, or the 64 GB model for $700. These models will not have 3G connectivity on them. The 3G versions are each $130 more expensive, respectively.

The iPad is designed to be Apple’s answer to netbooks. It is for users who want a device that is more than a smartphone and more portable than a laptop. It will run apps on the iPhone OS.

Via Brighthand, image via Apple.

Feb 21 2010

Rumor: Apple to Bring Video Chat to iPhone, iPad

Probably one of the most popular requests for new features on the iPhone or iPad from Apple customers would be video chat. According to the latest rumors (Apple has not confirmed any of this), there may be possible video support coming in the future to the iPhone and iPad.

The SDK contains icons that seem to accept video chat, or decline and/or end it. The code also contains evidence of possible video chat features in the form of certain strings of code.

Of course, this makes one wonder about the effect video chat would have on the AT&T network. AT&T’s 3G network is already strained due to the iPhone, and it will probably only get worse once the iPad is released. Will it be able to handle the extra strain of video chat? Or will Apple be forced to switch to a different service provider for its devices?

Via Coated, image via Coated.

Jan 27 2010

McGraw-Hill CEO Speaks Freely About Apple Tablet

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With tomorrow being heralded across the blogosphere as one of the most momentous potential product announcements of all time, a bit of a surprise occurred during a CNBC interview. The surprise was not so much what was being revealed as it was who was the one revealing it. Howard McGraw III, CEO of the famous textbook maker and financial company McGraw-Hill, confirmed everyone’s assumptions about tomorrow’s announcement while being interviewed by CNBC’s Erin Burnett:

Yes, they’ll make their announcement tomorrow on this one [tablet]. We have worked with Apple for quite a while. And the Tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system and so it will be transferable.

This essentially seems to be a guarantee that the Apple Tablet will be similar to a larger iPod touch. Also he stated McGraw-Hill has big plans to send its library over to whatever app store would come with the tablet. Now all that is left to do is wait for Jobs to deliver the final announcement tomorrow.

Via Gizmodo, image via Slashgear

Jan 27 2010

Apple to Announce Tablet

According to the CEO of McGraw-Hill, Apple is going to announce its tablet, the subject of innumerable rumors these past few months, on Wednesday of this week. Apple itself is always quite tight-lipped about upcoming products and has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the tablet. Apple has allegedly been in talks with McGraw-Hill and other publishing companies.

In an interview with CNBC, the CEO said that Apple would “make their announcement tomorrow”—that is, January 27. He also said that the tablet will be based on the iPhone’s operating system and will be “just really terrific.”

The tablet has been highly anticipated and Apple’s event should prove to be interesting.

Via PC World, image via The Apple Collection.

Jan 25 2010

Apple Allegedly in Talks with McGraw-Hill, Others

According to some sources, Apple has had talks with McGraw-Hill, Hearst Corp., and Hachette Book Group about potential content for the Apple tablet. The talks with Hearst were focused on offering magazine content on the tablet,  and the talks with McGraw-Hill were geared towards offering electronic textbooks on the tablet, according to anonymous sources. Another anonymous source said that the talks with Hachette involved discussion about e-books.

The tablet, which is to be announced this week, is expected to have e-reader capabilities and therefore offer competition to Amazon’s Kindle. McGraw-Hill, Hearst, and Hachette have all declined to officially comment about the alleged talks, but an official at the publisher John Wiley & Sons has said that his company did hold talks with Apple. He declined to comment specifically about the tablet.

Apple has been interested in educational content for some time now. Apple products are very popular at universities, and Apple has offered education discounts to students and faculty for years.

Via BusinessWeek, image via Coated.

Jan 21 2010

Is Verizon Ready for the Apple Tablet?

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Nothing definite about Apple’s upcoming device is known yet due to Apple’s secrecy about the project. Apple has thus far neither confirmed nor denied any rumors, at least not explicitly. The latest question being asked about the tablet is whether it will be able to connect to cellular networks, and if these networks are ready for a possible influx of data from the tablet.

The iPhone, which uses AT&T’s network, demonstrates how the popularity of one device can burden a cellular network. The AT&T network has been burdened by the iPhone, and the iPhone probably does not transmit as much data as a tablet could.

The tablet is expected to have WiFi capabilities, which will ease the burden on a cellular network. Letting the tablet work at WiFi hotspots could redirect a lot of traffic. Also, the tablet is less likely to be as popular as the iPhone because of its higher price.

Verizon says that its network is more dependable than AT&T’s. This remains to be seen, especially since Verizon does not have a device comparable to the iPhone on its network.

Via The Wall Street Journal, image via Verizon.

Jan 19 2010

Apple May Release Touchscreen iMac

The latest Apple rumor may go unnoticed for a little while due to the anticipation surrounding a potential Apple tablet. Why? This rumor involves another new Apple product with a touchscreen: this time, an iMac.

The touchscreen iMac will supposedly have a 22-inch screen, be released later this year, and be manufactured by Quanta, a Taiwan-based company. This rumor does not seem too unlikely, due to the fact that Apple has been incorporating new touch-based features into many of their recent products, with great success. The iPhone, iPod Touch, MacBooks and MacBook Pros, and the Magic Mouse all have various touch features that consumers seem to love.

It is really anyone’s guess what a touchscreen iMac would look like. It could look similar to the current iMacs, but it certainly would not be out of the question for Apple to design something new and radical.

Apple is not the only company introducing products with touchscreens. Many other companies, such as HP and Lenovo, are  using touchscreens more and more in their products.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

Jan 19 2010

New York Times May Partner with Apple

  • Posted by in Apple
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A mere nine days remain until Apple’s special event on January 27, when Apple is expected to launch its much-anticipated tablet. Naturally, rumors about the tablet are spreading like wildfire.

One of the latest rumors says that The New York Times will soon offer some sort of subscription service for its website and plans partner with Apple to offer content Apple tablet users. There is speculation that The New York Times is planning to offer a subscription plan for their website. Readers would have access to a certain number of articles for free before being asked to pay for further access. A source has said that the newspaper will strike a deal with Apple and provide content to tablet users.

The New York Times has not confirmed or denied these rumors. However, the rumors sound very probable to me, because the Times has done stuff like this before and newspapers in general have not been doing well since the Internet has become popular for reading the news.

Via ITProPortal, image via SlashGear.

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