Apple Stuff

I don’t need one…yet.

Apple launches bigger, lighter iPhone 5

Apple unveiled the next generation of its wildly popular iPhone today, an event that will set the course for the closely watched company.

At an event in San Francisco, CEO Tim Cook showed off the first version of the iPhone 5 to a gathering of technology journalists.

Despite the name, the phone is the sixth version of the device since the smartphone was launched in 2007.

The device has a four-inch screen. The old screen was only 3.5 inches, and the company has added extra space on the home page with a fifth row for apps — older versions could only fit four.

But at 112 grams, it’s 20 per cent lighter than the last version, Cook said. And the screen will be optimized for 16:9 resolution.

As expected, the phone will feature LTE technology, a faster form of wireless technology that speeds up and strengthens cellular networks to be able to transmit more data, faster.

“LTE is the most complicated technology ever brought to this Earth,” Cook said.

The camera on the back of the iPhone 5 has the same resolution as the one on the iPhone 4S, but takes pictures faster and works better in low light, Apple said.

The front-facing camera is getting an upgrade to high-definition, letting users take advantage of the faster data networks for videoconferencing.

Cook said the company has revamped the battery, allowing users to get more use out of their phone without charging. Apple now claims users can get eight hours of browsing over Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

And the company has also overhauled its connector, the cord that has connected and charged virtually all Apple products since 2003.

“It’s time for the connector to evolve, and that’s just what we’ve done,” Apple executive Phil Schiller said.

Charting its own course makes Apple a holdout in an industry where other manufacturers have settled on a standard connector for charging and computer backups.

There will be adapters available so that the new phone will be able to connect to sound docks and other accessories designed for the old phones.

Customers in the United States, Canada and nine other countries can purchase the phone starting on Sept. 21. The cheapest 16 GB version will retail for $699; $799 for the 32GB model and $899 for the 64GB model.

The iPhone 5 is a formidable threat to BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company — once known as Canada’s high-tech heavyweight — has been working to turn around its operations as consumers switched to the iPhone and other smartphones running Google’s Android operating system.

The company’s future success rides on the unveiling of its BlackBerry 10 operating system, which has suffered two major delays that have pushed its debut into early 2013 — past the holiday shopping season that Apple has squarely in its sights.

The shares have been on a tear as expectations rose for the iPhone 5, rallying 16 per cent since Apple’s latest earnings report, in July.

As is customary for Apple, the event began with discussion about other, less high-profile news about Apple products

Apple’s core business, the personal computer, has shrunk as the company’s phones and tablets have gotten popular, but the company remains dominant, Cook said.

Apple computers currently own 26 per cent of the global market. And the company’s tablet business has grown quickly. To date, Apple has sold 84 million iPads worldwide, good enough for 62 per cent of the global market share. The company has 250,000 apps for sale in its iTunes App store.

Apple also announced an update to the iPod touch, which will also feature the bigger screen and new connection port. Apple has added Siri, the company’s voice-recognition search service, to the device.

And the ubiquitous white headphones that Apple ships with all its mobile devices got a facelift. They’re now tube-shaped —which the company says makes them better able to mold to the user’s ear — and they’re now called “earpods.”

Apple Stuff


New, faster Apple iPad expected next week

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc is hosting a media event next Wednesday, where it is expected to unveil a faster, better-equipped version of its popular iPad tablet to thwart increasing competition from deep-pocketed rivals such as Inc.

The invitation-only event will be held at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) on March 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where the company also introduced the last two generations of iPads.

Apple, which sent the invitation to reporters by email on Tuesday, did not divulge details of the event beyond saying: “We have something you really have to see. And touch.”

The invitation featured a partial picture of the touchscreen of a device resembling an iPad.

Apple launches are some of the hottest events on the tech calendar, scrutinized by fans, investors, the media and industry insiders alike.

The iPad has dominated the nascent tablet computer market, but Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which sells at half the cost, has chipped away at the lower end of the market.

The third iteration of a device that has helped put pressure on demand for traditional laptops and computers is expected to boast a faster, quad-core processor and a higher-definition screen.

Some analysts and industry experts expect 4G wireless capability, ensuring that the iPad remains current as cutting-edge broadband technology from Verizon Wireless and other carriers gains momentum. Verizon Wireless is a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc.

“The picture is zoomed in on an icon and I don’t see any pixels in that icon,” Avi Greengart, analyst at Current Analysis, said, underscoring how industry experts pick apart even Apple’s communiques for hints of what to expect.

“You don’t need exceptional foresight to guess that Apple is likely looking at a higher resolution display.”


The company’s market value has climbed steadily in past weeks, buoyed by anticipation over its latest gadget as well as by hopes that Apple will finally accede to shareholders’ demands it return some of its $98 billion war chest of cash and securities.

On Tuesday, Apple shares closed at a record high of $535.41 in heavy trading on the Nasdaq, up 1.8 percent on the day.

Apple iPad tablet sales doubled in the December quarter to 15.43 million units. The company has sold about 55 million iPads since it introduced the device in 2010.

It may be looking to “make further inroads into the general computing market” with the newest iPad, Greengart said.

Chief Executive Tim Cook has often said that he expects tablets to outsell personal computers eventually. Cook, who took the company’s helm after visionary Steve Jobs died in October, will likely lead the event, with ample help from marketing chief Phil Schiller and other executives.

With the iPad 2 starting at $499, investors will also be watching to see if Apple plans to discount it, creeping farther down the price chain and closer to the Fire, to broaden the iPad’s appeal.

Apple Stuff


Security holes discovered in iPhones, iPads
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new security hole has opened up in Apple Inc.’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, raising alarms about the susceptibility of some of the world’s hottest tech gadgets to hacker attacks.
Flaws in the software running those devices came to light after a German security agency warned that criminals could use them to steal confidential data off the devices. Apple, the world’s largest technology company by market value, said Thursday that it is working on a fix that will be distributed in an upcoming software upgrade.
With the security hole, an attacker can get malicious software onto a device by tricking its owner into clicking an infected PDF file. Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security called the flaws “critical weaknesses” in Apple’s iOS operating system.
Internet-connected mobile devices are still subject to fewer attacks than personal computer, but they could eventually prove a juicy target for hackers because they are warehouses of confidential banking, e-mail, calendar, contact and other data.
Software vulnerabilities are discovered all the time. What makes the latest discovery alarming is that the weaknesses are already being actively exploited — albeit in a consensual way.
The latest concerns were prompted by the emergence of a new version of a program to allow Apple devices to run any software and circumvent the restrictions that Apple notoriously retains over software distributed through its online store. There are security risks of doing so, but many people find it liberating to install their own software.
Although this program is something people would seek out, the weaknesses that its authors discovered could easily be used for malice, security experts say.
There is an irony in the controversy: The site distributing the program offers a fix for the problem, but to get the fix, a user has to first install the program in question. So a user must defy Apple’s restrictions to get the protection until Apple comes up with a fix of its own.
Charlie Miller, a prominent hacker of Apple products, said it likely took months to develop the program to break Apple’s restrictions, but a criminal might need only a day or two to modify it for nefarious purposes.
Apple Inc. spokeswoman Bethan Lloyd said Thursday the company is “aware of this reported issue and developing a fix.” She would not say when the update will be available.
One reason for gadget owners to take heart: Attacks on smartphones and other Internet gadgets are still relatively rare. One reason is PC-based attacks are still highly lucrative. Still, vulnerabilities such as the ones Apple is confronting show that consumers should take care of securing their mobile devices as they would their home computer.
“These things are computers — they’re just small, portable computers that happen to have a phone tacked onto them,” said Marc Fossi, manager of research and development for Symantec Security Response. “You’ve got to treat them more like a computer than a phone. You have to be aware of what’s going on with these devices.”
Apple Stuff


Is Apple Delaying the Release of iPhone 5?
Apple could be delaying the release of its unannounced generation iPhone from its typical summer debut to sometime in the fall due to the Verizon iPhone 4.
For the last four years, Apple has released a new version of the iPhone in June or July. And for the last three years, Apple has unveiled the phone at its Wordwide Developers Conference (WWDC), held sometime in June each year.
Earlier today, Apple announced the dates for the next WWDC. The announcement was unusual though. Apple’s SVP of marketing didn’t say anything about new hardware; in fact, it was all about software. ìAt this yearís conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,î he said in the company’s press release, making it sound as if a new iPhone wasn’t high on the company’s agenda for WWDC.
The Loop chimed in, claiming it has heard that WWDC will be “a software show in 2011, not a hardware event.” Adding fuel to the fire is a new report that claims Apple has yet to order components for the iPhone 5. Apple typically orders the parts for its phones six months in advance, so if this rumor is true, then Apple won’t have enough time to assemble enough iPhones for a June or July 2011 release, even if it started ordering parts tomorrow.
Instead, Apple may wait until September or October to release the iPhone 5, after its 2012 fiscal year begins. Apple’s current fiscal year ends on September 24. The upcoming smartphone is rumored to include a a bigger screen and better cameras and could feature NFC chip technology and a metal back.
The reason Apple may be waiting to launch the iPhone 5 could be the Verizon iPhone 4, which it announced in January and launched in February. The CDMA-version of the iPhone has given Apple more than 100 million potential customers, so the company could be avoiding a scenario where it shoots itself in the foot by releasing a new iPhone too early.
By delaying the iPhone 5’s launch, Apple can focus on acquiring new CDMA customers. A delayed release would also give Mas OS X Lion a more prominent role at this year’s WWDC.

Apple Stuff

Admit it, that is kind of cool!!

Britain’s royal wedding to be on iTunes
LONDON – Prince William and Kate Middleton can go straight from Westminster Abbey to your personal playlist.
Royal officials say that for the first time in history, the entire April 29 royal wedding ceremony ó including the couple’s vows ó will be released digitally within hours of the service though Britain’s Decca Records to online retailers such as iTunes.
William’s office and the record label said Wednesday an official audio recording of the event ó as a CD, vinyl or cassette ó will then hit stores on May 5.
Decca Records, which also recorded the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, says the album will be produced by multi-Grammy-nominated producer Anna Barry.
Musicians confirmed to perform at the royal wedding include the Abbey’s choir, the Chapel Royal Choir and the London Chamber Orchestra.

Apple Stuff

It was a magical time!!

Steve Jobs killed music: Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi has taken aim at Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, accusing him of “killing” the music industry with iTunes.
The rocker is saddened that children no longer enjoy the “magical” experience of buying records in a high street store because of the ease of downloading individual tracks onto an iPod.
And he lays the blame for the generational shift in music-buying at the feet of technology mogul Jobs.
Bon Jovi tells The Sunday Times Magazine, “Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it.
“God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.”

Apple Stuff

As I have said before, I love my iPad 1!!

iPad 2 sales to start with pre-dawn online orders
SAN FRANCISCO ñ Apple Inc.’s updated version of its iPad tablet computer will be available in stores Friday afternoon but those who can’t wait to say they own the gadget can beat the crowds by ordering one online before the sun rises.
The Cupertino company is opening online sales of the iPad 2 at 1 a.m. PST, hours before they will be available in stores nationwide at 5 p.m. local time.
It’s hard to predict if many enthusiasts will camp out at Apple stores to be the first to get their hands on the new iPad as they have for previous launches of Apple gadgets.
When the original version of the iPad went on sale in April, Apple said it sold more than 300,000 in the first day. It ended up selling more than 15 million in its first nine months on sale, including 7.3 million to holiday shoppers during the October-December quarter.
The new iPad model comes with several improvements over the original version but the same price tag ó $499 to $829, depending on storage space and whether they can connect to the Internet over a cellular network ó hobbling efforts by rivals at breaking Apple’s hold on the emerging market for tablet computers.
The iPad 2 looks much like the first iPad, only with a sleeker, lighter body with a curved back. Among changes is the inclusion of cameras, one on the front and one on the back.
With the original iPad, Apple proved there is a large market for a tablet that’s less than a laptop and more than a smart phone, yet performs many of the same tasks. Competitors including Dell Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have been trying to lure consumers with smaller tablets, without much success. In February, Motorola Mobility Inc.’s Xoom went on sale with a new version of Google Inc.’s Android software that was designed for tablets, not smart phones.
To underscore the importance of the iPad to Apple, company CEO Steve Jobs emerged from a medical leave earlier this month to unveil the new version to bloggers and Apple enthusiasts. Jobs, 56, announced in January that he would take a third leave of absence to focus on his health. In the last decade, he has survived a rare but curable form of pancreatic cancer and undergone a liver transplant.
After its U.S. launch Friday, the iPad 2 goes on sale March 25 in 26 other markets, including Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and other European countries.

Apple Stuff

Cool, yes…but I love my iPad 1!!

Jobs breaks from medical leave to unveil iPad 2
SAN FRANCISCO ñ Apple is back with a refined second-generation tablet computer that squeezes more power into a thinner shell while keeping prices in check. It’s a three-pronged push that should handily hold off competitors for another year.
Underscoring the tablet’s importance to Apple, CEO Steve Jobs briefly emerged from a medical leave Wednesday and made a surprising appearance to unveil the iPad 2 himself.
With the original iPad, Apple proved there is great demand for a tablet that’s less than a laptop and more than a smart phone, yet performs many of the same tasks. Dozens of copycat touch-screen devices are in the works, but so far none has broken into the mainstream consciousness the way the iPad has.
“The competition is essentially going to be picking up the crumbs that Apple decides to leave behind,” said Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Rodman & Renshaw.
He said the number of software applications ó or “apps” ó available for the iPad gives Apple a huge advantage.
“Is the tablet market anything beyond the iPad? So far the answer is no.”
Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester Research analyst, said iPads should make up at least 20 million of the 24.1 million tablet computers she expects people in the U.S. to buy this year.
Except for Jobs’ appearance, little came as a surprise after months of speculation about features and upgrades. The tablet has two cameras built in for taking photos, recording video and video chatting. The battery life will be the same as the original ó about 10 hours of usage or a month on standby.
The iPad 2 is faster than its predecessor. Ross Rubin, an analyst for the market researchers NPD Group, said that should make the iPad better for creating music, video and other content, rather than just consuming it.
The iPad 2 is also thinner ó 8.8 millimeters, or about a third of an inch, instead of the current 13.4 millimeters. It weighs just a bit less ó 1.3 pounds, compared with the original 1.5 pounds.
With a $39 accessory, people can connect the tablet to televisions, so they can watch high-definition videos on the bigger screen.
The next-generation iPads will cost the same as the originals ó $499 to $829, depending on storage space and whether they can connect to the Internet over a cellular network. Apple will add a white model to the current black. In the U.S., the iPad 2 will go on sale March 11 and work on AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.
Apple’s online store began selling the original models for $100 off, starting at $399. Refurbished versions were even lower, starting at $349.
A reporter who used a white iPad 2 immediately after the announcement found it noticeably thinner, with a more rounded back. YouTube video loaded quickly using AT&T’s data service, and “Toy Story 3” played smoothly. Given its size, the iPad 2 appeared impractical for taking lots of photos, but both cameras will help with video chats ó the front one to show the caller, and the back one to show what the caller is seeing.
The iPad 2 shared the spotlight with the man who presented it ó Jobs, who announced in January that he would take a third leave of absence to focus on his health. In the last decade, Jobs, 56, has survived a rare but curable form of pancreatic cancer and undergone a liver transplant.
Jobs, looking frail in his signature black mock turtleneck and blue jeans, was greeted with a standing ovation.
“We’ve been working on this product for a while, and I just didn’t want to miss today,” Jobs told an audience that included bloggers and Apple enthusiasts. “Thank you for having me.”
He did not address his health or say if and when he would return.
Tablet computers existed long before the iPad, but it took Apple to build a device that made sense to consumers. Apple simplified the software, designed a sleek, shiny shell and sold 15 million of the iPads in nine months.
The iPad was initially used for checking e-mail, surfing the Web and watching online video. But as the number of apps grew, the tablet made itself at home in offices, shops, restaurants and countless other settings.
Competitors including Dell Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have been trying since last year to lure consumers with smaller tablets, without much success. In February, Motorola Mobility Inc.’s Xoom went on sale with a new version of Google Inc.’s Android software that was designed for tablets, not smart phones.
For a moment, the Xoom looks promising, with a comparably sized screen, a faster processor and a few other bells and whistles the original iPad didn’t have. But the iPad 2 catches up again with dual cameras and a faster chip inside. It pulls ahead with a slimmer profile and the ever-expanding number of tablet-specific apps.
After its March 11 U.S. launch, the iPad 2 goes on sale March 25 in 26 other markets, including Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and other European countries.
Apple also introduced updates to the software that runs on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The company said the update, iOS 4.3, will work on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models, except the new version for Verizon Wireless.
Among other things, the new system turns iPhones and iPads with 3G cellular connections into personal Wi-Fi hotspots, so you can share the connection with computers or other devices ó if your wireless carrier allows it. Many charge additional fees for this service.
Apple also announced new software designed for the iPad, including a $4.99 version of iMovie for video editing and a $4.99 version of GarageBand, its music recording and editing software. GarageBand includes instruments that can be played by touching the iPad 2’s screen, and it can even sense whether you’re tapping quietly or banging on the “keys.”
The company also said Random House became the last major publisher to agree to sell its titles in Apple’s e-books store.
Shares of Apple, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., rose $2.81, or less than 1 percent, to close Wednesday at $352.12.

Apple Stuff

I still don’t see why this is a big deal!!

The Beatles rack up big sales on iTunes in first week
Forty years after breaking up, The Beatles are flexing their digital sales muscle, selling 450,000 albums and 2 million songs worldwide in their first week on iTunes, according to Apple Inc.
The 1969 classic Abbey Road, the final album recorded before the 1970 breakup, topped album sales, and George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sunwas the best-selling tune.
After years of holding out, The Beatles finally agreed to allow downloading of its catalog on iTunes beginning Nov. 16. And while most fans presumably already transferred their Fab Four CD libraries to computers and MP3 players, the first-week tally suggests a healthy surge of consumers willing to spend $12.99 and $19.99 for albums and $1.29 for tracks. The $149 Beatles Box Set, with 13 remastered studio albums and loads of video extras, is No. 10 on iTunes’ ranking of U.S. best-selling albums.
Hoopla over The Beatles’ move into digital space also drove sales of physical units. All 13 remasters enjoyed spikes and moved into Amazon’s top 100 last week, according to EMI.

Apple Stuff

To the surprise of absolutely no one!!

The Beatles storm iTunes charts
LOS ANGELES – The Beatles soared up the iTunes record charts on Tuesday, with five of their classic albums entering the U.S. Top 20 less than 24 hours after the band’s catalog was released for the first time on the world’s No.1 digital retailer.
“Abbey Road” was leading the pack on Tuesday evening, with “The White Album” and “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” also proving the most popular Beatles album downloads on Apple’s iTunes store. The special digital “Beatles Box Set”, priced at $149 was also climbing up Top 20 along with the “Blue Album” of greatest hits.
On the U.S. iTunes singles charts, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Let it Be” and “Blackbird” were among six Beatles singles moving steadily up the top 100 downloads, according to real-time data on the iTunes website.
Detailed figures on the numbers of U.S. downloads will be available next week from chart tracker Nielsen Soundscan.
Apple’s iTunes store on Tuesday released 13 of the albums made famous more than 40 years ago by the Fab Four, ending years of fruitless negotiations between Apple founder Steve Jobs, the Beatles management company Apple Corps, and record label EMI.
Paul McCartney said he it was “fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.”
Drummer Ringo Starr said he was “particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes” and John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono said it was an appropriate move in what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday year.
In London, the Official Charts Company said it was certain that “their music will make a big impact” on the official UK singles charts, starting on Sunday when weekly sales and download figures are released.
According to Apple Corps, the band had sold more than 600 million records, tapes and CDs of its 1960s songs before Tuesday’s iTunes releases.