Apple iPad mini and iPad Coming To China On January 20th

Today, Apple announced that it will be bringing the fourth generation iPad and the iPad mini to China beginning from Friday, January 18th.

The iPad mini sports a 7.85-inch screen, a dual-core A5 chip, and a 5MP camera. Its bigger brother, the fourth generation iPad, sports a 9.7-inch Retina Display, 1GB of RAM, and a very powerful A6X SoC. Both the tablets will come with iOS6 pre-loaded, which Apple dubs as the most advanced version of iOS yet.

The iPad mini with Wi-Fi and Cellular model will set buyers back by US $459 for the 16GB model, and US $559 for the 32GB model. The 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi and Cellular radio is priced at roughly US $629, while the 32GB variant costs US $729.

The iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad will be available at Apple’s online store and retail stores, along with certain authorized resellers from this Friday in China.

Ashton Kutcher Movie ‘jOBS’ to Be Released in April

Today, Open Road Films and Five Star Feature films announced that agreements for distribution have been made for the Steve Jobs biopic “jOBS’, reports Deadline. The movie will be released in April of this year.

The film features Ashton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and is said to feature the 30 years of Jobs’s life.

Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matthew Whitely, shot by Oscar- winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter and produced by Mark Hulme, jOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2000. jOBS plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs’ life. The filmmakers were granted unprecedented access during shooting to the historic garage in Palo Alto, that served as the birthplace to Apple Inc. jOBS stars Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine. Inferno Entertainment is handling international sales on jOBS.

‘jOBS’ will premier at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah later this month.

Apple May Not Acquire Waze After All

Yesterday, we reported that Apple may acquire Waze, the popular social turn-by-turn navigation company. According to the report, Apple was willing to offer approximately $400 million plus an additional $100 million in incentives. However, Waze was more interested in a deal closer to $750 million.

Today, TechCrunch’s MG Siegler reports that there is actually no deal happening.

And while Mike Butcher also claimed multiple sources in his original post, you’ll note that he was quick to qualify the information as a “rumor” (or in British parlance — Mike is English — a “rumour”). Because that’s exactly what it was. This isn’t a rumor (of a non-deal). There is no deal is happening. At least not now or anytime soon.

Siegler also said that Apple and Waze have in fact probably had low-level conversations about a closer partnership given that Apple already uses Waze’s data in iOS 6 Maps.

Apple May Acquire Waze

The release of iOS 6 Maps caused hoopla for Apple and since then, the company has been trying to improve its maps app as quickly as possible. Today, TechCrunch reports that Apple may be interested in acquiring Waze, the popular social turn-by-turn navigation company. The application is available on iOS for free and is marketed by the company  as a “fun, community-based traffic & navigation app.” It claims that more than 30 million people are using the service.

Because Waze maps are built on the location of moving cars, it’s far more accurate than check-in apps. Outside of Google’s project to map cities with Streetview cars – something which has taken years to complete – and the real-world mapping undertaken by volunteers on the Open Streetmaps open source project, there has been little to match Waze’s approach. Waze turned mapping into not only a game, but also a way for drivers to be social, reporting road obstacles, traffic and police traps. It is properly useful.

It would also cost Apple northwards of $500M+ to buy Foursquare (which has raised $71 million is known to be raising another round), and gain, what? The location of restaurants, bars and airports? Given Waze has raised $67 million, Apple could acquire far better mapping data and a real driving app.

Waze also allows users to share real-time information on traffic congestion, gas prices, accidents, speed traps and checkpoints, and more. Some data is automatically reported by simply having the iPhone application open while driving.

Both companies declined to comment on the rumor. I believe, if Apple acquires Waze, it will be significant gain for the company because of the mapping data Waze has to offer.

Judge Dismisses Apple Trademark Claims Against Amazon’s Appstore

Back in 2011, Apple sued Amazon regarding the latter company’s new “Appstore” for Android devices, claiming the ‘app store’ name was trademarked by Apple and would cause confusion among consumers. Apple claimed that Amazon’s app store would harm Apple’s reputation. Last year, a judge wasn’t fully convinced regarding Apple’s claims, saying Apple had not demonstrated “real evidence of actual confusion” between the various “app stores”, and suggested that Apple was “not likely to prevail” in the case.

Today, Amazon has succeeded in having Apple’s lawsuit over its “App Store” trademark thrown out, reports Bloomberg. Microsoft also took on Apple, arguing that the “App Store” trademark is no less generic than “Windows.”

Apple Reportedly Strikes Deal with Broadcom to Add 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi to 2013 Macs

TheNextWeb reports that Apple has struck a deal with wireless chip firm Broadcom. If true, this deal will allow Apple to add high-speed 802.11ac 5G “Gigabit Wi-Fi” technology to the company’s Mac lineup later this year.

While it’s believed that Apple’s 2013 Mac lineup will feature the same designs as their late-2012 counterparts, they are set to include a range of updated internal features and hardware. We’ve learned about one such chipset change – the inclusion of 802.11ac networking – providing Apple’s updated Mac range with super-fast WiFi connectivity.

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans have told The Next Web that Apple has struck a deal with chip maker Broadcom to outfit its new Macs with 802.11ac chips.

The report also notes that 802.11ac will triple the speeds offered with the current 802.11n standard. This new antenna could support up to 450 Mbps on one antenna and up to 1.3 Gbps when used with three antennas as on Apple’s latest Macs.

According to our sources, the WiFi chip isn’t currently available and is still in development. As for availability, we have been told that if work goes according to schedule, they should be part of the new line of Mac computers. There is no word on whether Apple will introduce similar chipsets in the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Time Capsule or other products.

Back in 1999, Apple was among the first companies to bring Wi-Fi to the masses when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs revealed a wireless iBook notebook onstage as his trademark “one more thing” at the July Macworld Expo.

Apple to Announce 1Q 2013 Earnings on January 23

Today, Apple announced on its investor relations page to note that it will announce its earnings for the first fiscal quarter (fourth calendar quarter) of 2013 on Wednesday, January 23rd at 2:00 p.m. Pacific/5:00 p.m. Eastern. A live audio stream of the call will be available here.

The earnings call is expected to cover results for the holiday seasons as well as performance numbers for the iPad mini.

Apple Promotes ‘Do Not Disturb’ in TV Ad

Today, Apple posted a new television ad featuring iOS’s “Do Not Disturb” feature. Professional tennis players Serena and Venus Williams are shown playing ping-pong against the narrator in a dream:

Ever had a really cool dream? I’m having one right now. I don’t want to be disturbed. And I won’t because before I went to sleep, I set this. Now my iPhone knows not to ring unless its important. Cause disturbing this would just be… Wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLJN_d2sVjk&feature=player_embedded

In my opinion, the ad is alright and Apple can do much better. Ironically, as MacRumors notes the ad was released on the same day that a bug in the scheduled Do Not Disturb feature prevented it from turning off on many iPhones.

Hackulous Shuts Down

iDownloadBlog reports that popular  iOS pirated app community Hackulous has announced that it is shutting down. This means that the Installous jailbreak tool used to install pirated apps on iOS devices will no longer be available. A statement from Hackulous reads:

We are very sad to announce that Hackulous is shutting down. After many years, our community has become stagnant and our forums are a bit of a ghost town. It has become difficult to keep them online and well-moderated, despite the devotion of our staff. We’re incredibly thankful for the support we’ve had over the years and hope that new, greater communities blossom out of our absence.

The report also observes that other piracy tools, both existing and new, will probably rise in popularity due to the removal of Installous. Piracy continues to be a major issue for many iOS app developers, as there have been many incidents of piracy causing developers to remove their apps from the App Store. Good riddance.

Hackulous Shuts Down Due To Stagnant Community

iOS users who pirate apps, here is some bad news for you. Hackulous is shutting down! Hackulous has acted as a gateway for all jailbroken iOS devices to install pirated apps on their devices using Installous or AppSync.

The reason behind the shut down according to the Hackulous team is the lack of activity on their forums. Below is their official statement -:

Goodnight, sweet prince.

We are very sad to announce that Hackulous is shutting down. After many years, our community has become stagnant and our forums are a bit of a ghost town. It has become difficult to keep them online and well-moderated, despite the devotion of our staff. We’re incredibly thankful for the support we’ve had over the years and hope that new, greater communities blossom out of our absence.

With lots of love,
Hackulous Team

While the death of Hackulous does not mean that iOS piracy is dead, it will definitely help in reducing piracy. Keep in mind that Hackulous itself did not host pirated iOS apps. Instead, it had in its repos two of the most popular and easiest way of installing pirated apps on iOS – Installous and AppSync. Since Hackulous repo is already down, there is no way to install Installous or AppSync for now.

It is just a matter of time and some work from developers before Installous or AppSync once again make an appearance on jailbroken iOS devices.