Apple Unveils The 13″ MacBook Pro With Retina Display And Updated Internals

Today, Apple unveiled its refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro line-up at its event held in the California Theatre in the United States.

As rumors and leaks had suggested, the 13″ MacBook Pro now Retina display with a whopping resolution of 2560×1600, like its bigger 15″ brother.

The 13″ MBP line-up has been refreshed with Intel’s 3rd generation of Core i5 or i7 processors, along with an SSD replacing the traditional HDD for a major speed boost in day-to-day operations. The new 13″ MacBook Pro is only 0.75-inches thin and weighs only 3.5lbs, making it the lightest MacBook Pro ever. All this, while the battery life still remains at 7-hours.

The base model comes with 2.5GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB of flash storage for $1699. Interested buyers can order the new 13″ MBP withRetina Display from the Apple Store right after the event gets over.

13″ Retina MacBook Pro Specs Leak (Update: Mac Minis As Well!)

With just a few hours left for Apple’s event to start in California Theatre, the leaks regarding what Apple is going to announce is coming left, right and center. Thanks to Google Search, it is all but confirmed that Apple will unveil a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina screen.

The folks over at 9to5Mac have even got their hands on the specs of the new 13-inch MacBook Pros, which are as follows -:

  • 2.5 GHz, 128GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
  • 2.5 GHz, 256 GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
  • 2.9 GHz, 512GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM

9to5Mac suggests that the new 13″ MBPs will be available for pre-order right after the event gets over. While there is no word on the pricing, rumors suggest that the base 13″ rMBP will only cost $1199, which definitely makes them tempting.

The shift to a SSD alone should bring about a noticeable speed boost compared to the previous generation of MBPs, and along with the new Retina Display should make the new 13″ rMBPs a tempting deal.

Apple is expected to unveil a new 13-inch MacBook Pros with Retina screen, a 7-inch mini iPad, iOS 6.0.1, refreshed Mac Minis and iMacs and possibly a new new iPad with a lighting connector at its event today.

Update: Well, that was fast. 9to5Mac has managed to get the complete specs of the refreshed Mac Minis as well. There will be three variants of Mac Minis like previous year, with the third one running OS X server edition.

Below is the complete specs of the new Mac Minis -:

  • 2.5 GHz dual-core, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard drive
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard drive
  • Server: 2.3 GHz quad-core 4GB of RAM, 2TB Hard drive

Apple has made 4GB of RAM standard across the Mini, with the base model getting a 3rd gen dual-core Core i5 processor, with the top-end consumer and server models getting a 2.3GHz quad-core processor.

California Theatre Decorated for Apple’s Media Event

Last week, Apple sent out invites for a media event scheduled for next Tuesday, October 23. This time, the event will held at the California Theatre in San Jose, CA. Apple has already decorated the theatre for the upcoming event. We have some pictures below:

The media event on October 23rd will begin at 10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 PM Eastern. Apple is expected to reveal the iPad mini at this event. In addition, Apple is also said to be revealing a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at the event. Rumors have also suggested that Apple will reveal new iMac and Mac Mini models.

Apple Begins Construction of Data Center in Oregon

Today, The Oregonian reports that Apple has begun working on the first phase of its Oregon data center project by clearing land that will be the site of one of the data center’s two massive 338,000 square-foot buildings, but that will building will only be partially fitted out for the time being. The data center’s first building will consist of two “data halls.” Future plans for the site include a second building and the eventual roll out of 14 additional data halls. The company is reportedly spending $68 million for land preparation and construction.

On Apple’s environmental page, the company says, “Our newest data center, located in Prineville, Oregon, is just getting under way and will be every bit as environmentally responsible as our Maiden data center. At Prineville we have access to enough local renewable energy sources to completely meet the needs of the facility.”

Back in February, it was confirmed that Apple had acquired the 160-acre plot in Prineville, Oregon for $5.6 million. Also, earlier this year, it was reported that Apple had agreed to invest $250M for the new data center site. The company also maintains a smaller data center in Newark, California and has been building out additional capacity in Santa Clara, California near its corporate headquarters in Cupertino. Apple also recently opened another data center in Maiden, North Carolina, where the company has indicated that it plans to spend $1 billion.


Apple’s Color Labs Acquisition Includes Only Color’s Engineering Team

Yesterday, The Next Web reported that Apple was acquiring Color Labs, the video streaming service and app founded by Bill Nguyen, who was the creator of Lala Media. Lala Media was acquired by Apple in late 2008.

AllThingsD now provides clearer information regarding the situation. The report reveals that Apple is only acquiring Color’s 20-member engineering team for a relatively small sum. Apple is reportedly bringing Color’s engineers on board to work on cloud-related projects.

What’s really happening is that Color’s engineering team — about 20 people, comprising almost the entire company — is being “acqhired” by Apple at what’s being called a “nominal” price of something like $2 million to $5million, according to multiple sources familiar with both sides of the situation. To repeat, there are no “double-digit” millions involved, according to many people familiar with the deal.

Apple is not buying Color’s technology, intellectual property, domain names or liabilities. Those are being left with the company, which still has considerable cash in the bank — something like $25 million — and is going to be wound down.

Apple and Color have yet to comment on the deal.

Apple Reportedly Acquiring Color Labs

Just yesterday it was revealed that Apple has acquired Particle, a small San Francisco company specializing in web applications and marketing using HTML5. Today, The Next Web reports that Apple is also in the process of acquiring Color Labs. Even before launching last year, Color raised a $41 million round of financing. The service first started off as a photo sharing service but later pivoted into a streaming video service.

Earlier today, VentureBeat reported that the company leaders had “voted to wind down the company”, but quickly after the news broke, Color issued a brief statement claiming that it was not in the process of shutting down. Color was founded by Bill Nguyen, who was the creator of Lala Media. Lala Media was acquired by Apple in late 2008.

This report may sound crazy at first since, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Color is similar to Siri. A novel idea that needs someone bigger to take it mainstream.

Apple acquires Particle

CNET reports that late last month, Apple finalized the purchase of Particle, a small San Francisco company specializing in web applications and marketing using HTML5.

The acquisition brought over most of Particle’s employees whose LinkedIn profiles now list their occupation as “creative technologists” and one as a “user interface engineer.” The acquisition seems to be more of a group hire rather than a  move to secure IP.

Particle was founded in 2008 with the help of Justin Timberlake. How Apple plans to utilize this acquisition is not known, but the company has been emphasizing HTML5 a lot recently. Price of the acquisition has not been disclosed.

Earlier this year, Apple acquired app search company Chomp and it has shut down operations since the acquistion. Last year, Apple acquired Israeli flash memory maker Anboit which reportedly costed nearly $400M.

Apple Announces Media Event for Oct. 23

The Loop reports that Apple has just sent out invitations for a media event scheduled for next Tuesday, October 23. This time, the event will held at the California Theatre in San Jose. Apple’s media event on October 23rd will begin at 10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 PM Eastern and the tagline on the invitation reads “We’ve got a little more to show you.”

Apple is expected to reveal the iPad mini at this event. In addition, Apple is also said to be revealing a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at the event. Rumors have also suggested that Apple will reveal new iMac and Mac Mini models.


Apple Hires Former AltaVista and Amazon Search Exec for Siri Division

Last week, it was reported that Apple had hired a key chip designer from Samsung. AllThingsD reports that Apple has hired William Stasior, a search veteran from Amazon and early search engine AltaVista, to run its Siri division.

Stasior has an impressive pedigree (you can read his resume and see a really geeky binary image he posted of himself here). The MIT Ph.D. has taught here too and has done stints at Oracle, Netcentives and AltaVista. He came to Amazon in 2003 as its director of search and navigation.

He will now be in charge of Siri, which is Apple’s famous voice-activated personal-assistant program. The tech giant acquired Siri in April of 2010 to garner a big stake in voice-activated search.

Stasior previously lead Amazon’s A9 unit, the company’s worldwide search and search advertising division. Back in April 2010, Apple acquired Siri and made it a major part of iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S in October 2011.

The addition of Stasior may suggest where Siri as a product is headed and where Apple plans to take the product in the future.

Apple to Launch New Mac Mini at Next Week’s Media Event?

Rumor has it that alongside the iPad mini, Apple will reveal a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at next week’s media event. Now, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple will also announce a new version of the Mac Mini.

These new Mac minis are said to begin shipping immediately after announcement. Apple last redesigned the Mac mini with a unibody aluminum enclosure in 2010, and last updated the computer with faster processors last summer. These current Mac minis are on last-generation chipsets and lack USB 3.0, so we should be seeing those components updated in these new models.

According to the report, the Minis will come in similar configurations to current Mini models, two standard versions and a third setup that runs Mountain Lion Server. The last refresh for the Mac Mini occurred in July 2011, about 450 days ago. Sounds like next week is going to be expensive.