Apple’s Solar Farm Will Have High-efficiency Panels

A couple of weeks, it was reported that Apple had touted plans for a massive solar farm and fuel cell facility in Maiden, North Carolina. This would be right across from the company’s 500,000 square feet data center that powers iCloud. It will be the largest user-owned solar array in the United States, registering at 20 megawatts. The company also confirmed its plan for a new data center in Oregon.

Then last week, it was reported that Bloom Energy, maker of the “Bloom Box” energy server, is believed to be the supplier behind Apple’s planned 5-megawatt cell farm in North Carolina. The company also touted its solar farm across that gigantic data center.

Now, San Jose Mercury News has discovered the company’s filing, which reportedly reveals that San Jose based SunPower had won the contract for Apple’s solar farm.

The company apparently plans to self-finance the project and is aiming for at least 14 photovoltaic installations on the solar farm. According to the report, the solar farm can open as soon as October.

Apple’s iPad 3 Launch Causing Strain on Freight Shipments

iPad 3 is just around the corner and rumors are coming out like anything. Today, MacRumors reports that even though the rumors regarding iPad 3 shipments being en route have already been popping up, they are now hearing from shipping representatives at other companies who are having a hard time even getting their products shipped over to the United States from China as Apple prepares for the iPad 3 launch. This is apparently “squeezing” the air freight industry.

A shipping company told MacRumors  that last week his freight agent in China had been rushing to find space for his company’s shipments. In addition, shipping rates have increased 20% in one week due to Apple claiming available capacity at premium rates. Some shipping carriers have even said that they aren’t able to find space with its usual carrier due to Apple’s demand. It is causing them to scramble to find alternatives.

AppleInsider also reported a similar story, but it was specifically related to shipments going through DHL, one of the major international carriers sometimes used by Apple. Hmmm, I’m trying to think of the last time Android tablet shipments had the same effect on freight shipments?

Review: MOBiLe Cloth

At one point, I used to use screen protectors on all of my iOS devices, but then a few months after I discovered microfiber cloths and haven’t used a screen protector since then. Recently, I have been using the MOBiLe Cloth, which does a fantastic job at keeping your screen clean.

Mobile Cloth 2

These cleaning cloths retail from in a variety of packages ranging from $6.99 to $95.99. Since these are cleaning cloths, using them is easy. Take one out of the package, unfold it (or leave it folded), and then wipe down your touch screen device with it.

The cloths are phenomenal. Even though these are just microfiber cloths, they have got to be the best ones I have used to date. The moment you take them out of the packaging, they are ready to use and collect no extra dust! After cleaning my screen with it, the screen felt incredible and really smooth. I’m not really sure about the technology behind this cloth, but it works like magic.

According to the company, the cloth removes up to 98% of germs with no chemicals. The MOBiLE CLOTH of course is not restricted to iOS devices only. Anything, touch or non-touch screen, can be cleaned with these cloths.

MOBiLE CLOTH has reasonable prices, and is worth the purchase without a doubt. You can find them on MC’s website here.


Banner at Yerba Buena for iPad 3 Media Event Goes Up

Instead of reporting on a rumor about next week’s event, this post will consist cool pictures of the banner going up at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for Apple’s iPad 3 media event. As we know by now, they are expected to announce the iPad 3 next week. Yesterday, it was rumored that the launch in the US would occur on March 16th.

Yerba Buena Apple iPad 3 media event

Earlier this morning, the company started redecorating San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with a colorful banner featuring the company’s logo. On Friday morning, construction workers had begun covering the glass windows on the center. Apple usually hypes its product unveilings with decorations throughout the center.

Yerba Buena iPad 3 final

This year’s invitation shows a picture of an iPad with a fingertip touching the iOS Calendar application icon. The date on the calendar is Wednesday, March 7, which is when the media event will be held.

[Image credits AppleInsider and Resolve Digital developer David Jones (@d_jones)]

Apple’s App Store Reaches 25 Billion Downloads

Less than a week ago, we reported that Apple had begun the countdown towards 25 billion App Store downloads. Also, the company is offering a $10,000 gift card to the person who downloaded the 25 billionth app. Today, Apple’s App Store has reached 25 billion downloads since its launch in 2008.

25 billion App Store app downloads

The winner of the promotion is yet to be announced, and will be awarded a $10,000 gift card for the App Store, Mac App Store, or any other ITunes Store content.

Apple’s App Store took a little less than two and a half years to reach 10 billion downloads, and less than six additional months to reach 15 billion downloads. Today’s achievement would reveal that the App Store has seen its last 10 billion downloads occur over a period of just eight months. This would put Apple’s App Store pace at 15 billion downloads per year, which will continue to grow without a doubt. To put this in perspective, it took 8.5 years for the iTunes Store to reach 16 billion song downloads, while it took less than four years for the App Store to hit 25 billion app downloads. Fact: more apps have been downloaded via the App Store than the entire world population (7 billion). In addition, Apple has also paid out over $4 billion to developers. On the other hand, Google is yet to release how much they have paid out to developers.

With that being said, have 25 billion+ apps been downloaded from the Android Market? You know, because it is “winning”.

Apple Reveals Creation of 514,000 Jobs in the U.S.

In the recent years, Apple has been criticized for offshoring of product manufacturing, with a number of people wanting the company to bring more jobs to the United States. Today, the company has updated its website with a new section touting its role in directly creating or supporting more than half-million jobs in the U.S.

Apple 514k US Jobs

Apple divides the creation of 514,000 jobs down into two categories: 304,000 jobs directly tied to Apple and its business partners and another 210,000 jobs that are part of the “iOS app economy”. In the first category, the company counts 47,000 Apple employees and another estimated 257,000 employees at companies, such as Samsung, Corning, FedEx, and UPS, who are part of Apple’s supply chain and other businesses. Corning, a US-based company that specializes in glass and ceramics, manufactures majority of the glass for the iPhone. Rumors of Apple using their glass in the past have showed up, but for the first time today, the company has confirmed that they use their glass for the iPhone. Instead of including a direct count of employees at other companies, the second category  is calculated based on “employment multipliers” published by the U.S. government and applied to Apple’s domestic expenditures.

In addition, the company revealed its in-house efforts by noting that 47,000 of its 70,000 employees are located in the United States, with 7,800 U.S. jobs having been added in 2011. Over 27,000 of its U.S. employees are part of the company’s network of 246 retail stores. Apple reports that the majority of these employees are full-time workers. On the support side, Apple employs 7,7000 AppleCare Advisors in the United States. They also acknowledge that they could save 50% on call center costs by outsourcing to other countries such as India. Instead keeps the jobs in the United States in order to maintain its excellent customer service standards.

Apple also revealed some interesting stats regarding the App Economy. With over 248,000 registered iOS developers in the U.S. and over 5,000 iOS developer jobs listed on, Apple believes that the industry will continue to see growth. The company also notes that it paid out over $4 billion to developers since the App Store was launched less than four years ago, creating an entirely new industry that has seen 210,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy.

Wow, just wow.

Bloom Energy Maybe Behind Apple’s 5MW Fuel Cell Farm

Last week, it was reported that Apple had touted plans for a massive solar farm and fuel cell facility in Maiden, North Carolina. This would be right across from the company’s 500,000 square feet data center that powers iCloud. It will be the largest user-owned solar array in the United States, registering at 20 megawatts.

Today, GigaOm reports that Bloom Energy, maker of the “Bloom Box” energy server, is believed to be the supplier behind Apple’s planned 5-megawatt fuel cell farm in North Carolina. Up to 50 Bloom Boxes, each capable of supplying 100 killowatts of power, would meet Apple’s advertised 5-megawatt capacity at the new fuel cell farm.

Apple’s new fuel cell farm is believed to run on methane from organic waste, as well as oxygen. In addition, the fuel cell farm will provide more than 40 million kWh of f 24×7 baseload renewable energy annually.

The report also suggests that the company has also allegedly partnered with Bloom for “a few” fuel cells that are found on the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA.

March 16 Opening of New Houston Apple Store May Signal iPad 3 Launch

Apple is expected to announced the iPad 3 next week, but a mystery that still remains is the launch date for it. Also, the week before a major Apple event gets crazy for the rumor mill. Now, The Houston Chronicle reports that Apple’s upcoming  Highland Village retail store will be opening on Friday, March 16.

Apple Houston Highland Village Store

According to the report, the store was originally scheduled to open in January, but due to delays caused by construction, the opening was pushed back to Saturday, March 17th. However, just weeks ago the opening was moved up by a day to March 16, which leads to speculate that the company maybe looking to have the store open for an iPad 3 launch on that day.

This date would be similar to the company’s launch of the iPad 2 a year ago. Last year, Apple announced the iPad 2 on March 2nd, and the device was made available in the U.S. just over a week later, on March 11th. An international launch occurred a few weeks later, on March 25th.

Apple’s new Highland Village store is among the first of the retail stores to be based on a prototype design from the company’s s Upper West Side store in Manhattan.

This is What Apple’s New Amsterdam Retail Store Looks Like

Apple Amsterdam Store

Last week, we reported that Apple’s first Amsterdam Retail Store will open on March 3rd, which will make it the thirteenth country where Apple has retail presence. The new location in Amsterdam will be on the ground floor and lower floor of the city’s historic Hirsch Building in Leidseplein Square. Press previews for the new store occurred this morning, and a number of sources have posted photo sets of the interior of the store.

Apple Amsterdam Store Interior

One More Thing has posted an extensive gallery [Google translation] showing the gorgeous interior details Apple has used in the historic building. Also, has some additional shots [Google translation], including one of the massive Genius Bar in the store. Apple reportedly says that it is the longest in its chain of retail stores. It was reported that The Genius Bar had 20 seats for customers, but from the picture it seems there are a lot more stools than that. Wow, what a masterpiece this store is!

Apple Amsterdam Store Interior 2

Apple Amsterdam Store Genius Bar

Yesterday, Thomas Schlijper also posted a mind blowing photo of the glass staircase at Apple’s new Amsterdam retail store. Looks gorgeous, doesn’t it?

Apple Amsterdam Store Staircase

Rumor: Apple to Unveil 8GB iPad 2 Alongside iPad 3 on March 7

Oh boy, the week before a major Apple is always filled with rumors. Just a few hours ago, it was reported that Apple has stalled Apple TV shipments ahead of the iPad 3 announcement. Now, supply chain sources are claiming that Apple will unveil a cheaper 8GB iPad 2 model alongside the iPad 3 at its media event next week.

DigiTimes reports that according to sources within Apple’s “upstream supply chain,” the iPad maker will release the smaller capacity iPad 2. If this is true, then that would help the company cover a wider price range within the table market.

However, this report was unclear, since it  said Apple would release just two “iPad 3″ sizes: a 16GB and 32GB version, without explaining if and why the company would abandon its current high-capacity 64GB iPad model. DigiTimes’ rumors should always be taken with a pinch of salt.

Apple will unveil the iPad 3 next Wednesday, March 7th at 10 AM PST. You can read the five things to expect in the iPad 3 here. If you were to ask me, I think this rumor might turn out to be true. Here’s why: When Apple introduced the iPhone 4S, they also introduced an 8GB iPhone 4 for $99 instead of a 16GB. There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing a cheaper version of the iPad 2, but the only question that remains to be unanswered is the amount of GB it will have to offer.