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.

More Claims of 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro to Be Revealed at Next Week’s Media Event

Apple is supposedly holding a media event next week. Yesterday, it was reported that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will be launched alongside the iPad mini this month. Today, AllThingsD reports with its own sources making similar claims. AllThingsD has an excellent track record when it comes to Apple rumors.

The smaller iPad may be the star of Apple’s as of yet unannounced October 23rd invitation-only event, but it will have an impressive supporting cast.

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell AllThingsD that the company plans to unveil a smaller version of its MacBook Pro with Retina Display as well.

The report provides a summary of the expectation for the new machine, which include a 2560×1600 display, same thin profile as the 15-inch model, and all-flash storage. However, pricing remains unknown. Earlier this year, Apple introduced the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro in June, but still kept the existing 15″ MacBook Pro as well. Going by this, we can expect Apple to continue the same pattern by providing two 13″ MacBook Pros — one with a Retina display and one without.

13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro to Launch Alongside iPad Mini in October

Last week, it was reported that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is reportedly still on track for a 4Q 2012 launch. Today, 9to5Mac reports that Apple will reveal the rumored 13″ Retina MacBook Pro alongside the iPad Mini later this month. 9to5Mac usually gets this information from early part numbers, suggesting that two higher priced configurations have already shown up in Apple’s systems.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro will be sold in two configurations, with differing processors and storage, and will be available for purchase soon after introduction. Like with the 15-inch MacBook Pro lines, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display will be sold (at a higher price) in addition to the current non-Retina display model.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro in June, but still kept the existing 15″ MacBook Pro as well. The recent report states that Apple will be continuing the same pattern by providing two 13″ MacBook Pros — one with a Retina display and one without. Apple is expected to the reveal the iPad mini on October 23rd.

Apple Hires Key Chip Designer from Samsung

The Wall Street Journal reports that former AMD chip designer and executive Jim Mergard has been hired at Apple. Mergard is a 16 year veteran of Advanced Micro Devices who was a vice president and chief engineer there before he left for Samsung. He is known to have played a leading role in the development of a high-profile AMD chip.

The gadget maker has hired Jim Mergard, a 16-year veteran of Advanced Micro Devices who was a vice president and chief engineer there before he left for Samsung. He is known for playing a leading role in the development of a high-profile AMD chip that carried the code name Brazos and was designed for low-end portable computers. […]

It is not clear whether Mergard will work at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters or remain in Austin, where he worked for AMD and Samsung. Apple has long operated a customer support center in the Texas capitol, but the company has had a local presence in chip design as well since its 2010 purchase of the startup Intrinsity.

The report quotes former AMD executive Patrick Moorhead as saying that Mergard has expertise in both PC chip design and system-on-a-chip design such as that used for Apple’s iOS devices. Apple uses ARM-based designs for its A-series chips that power its iOS device, and the latest A6 chip in the iPhone 5 has been reported to be Apple’s first custom design. This hire marks a significant talent win for Apple as it continues its efforts to build its own chips.

Apple Posts New iPod Television Ad: ‘Bounce’

During the September keynote, Apple previewed its ad for the new iPods. Today, Apple has posted that ad and it is called “Bounce.” The ad features the new fifth-generation iPod touch, iPod nano and shuffle and highlights the new colors offered. Willy Moon’s song “Yeah Yeah” accompanies the ad.

http://youtu.be/mrRHPf0_B3M

It is a fantastic commercial and was really fun to watch.

13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Reportedly Still on Track for 4Q 2012 Launch

Back in August, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim claimed that suppliers had begun production on 2,560 by 1,600 high resolution displays for a rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. Then in September, Digitimes reported that full production on the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is on its way with shipments from Apple’s supply chain beginning to ramp up ahead of a speculated September or October launch. Now CNET reports on comments from DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim, who says that Apple’s plans for a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro remain on track for production during this quarter. This would suggest that a launch may come in the near future.

DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim has been telling CNET for a while now that a 13.3-inch Retina version of the MacBook Pro (MBP) is slated for production in the fourth quarter. And today Shim reiterated that he sees no change in those production plans.

What’s not clear is when Apple would release the new MacBook. Shim speculates that it would happen after the iPad Mini announcement — which is expected to be released in the coming weeks — though he said he has no first-hand knowledge of this.

Shim restates that that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will carry a resolution of 2560×1600, doubling the number of pixels in each dimension over the current model. As Apple has done with the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, Apple will probably offer the new 13-inch Retina model alongside the current non-Retina model at different price points. New iMacs also said to be in the works.

WSJ: Apple orders over 10M ‘iPad minis’ for Q4

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had begun mass production of the iPad mini. The report also cited two sources which supposedly confirmed that the iPad mini will use a 7.85″ screen with a lower screen resolution than the 3rd Generation iPad. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple’s component suppliers in Asia have received orders to build more than 10 million of the so-called “iPad mini”  for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Some component suppliers to Apple in Asia say they have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets in the fourth quarter. That is roughly double the order that were placed for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter, these suppliers say.

The figure indicates that Apple believes demand for the product will be strong, despite stiff competition in the market.

It was also reported last week that Apple will send out media invitations for the iPad mini on October 10th. Given’s Apple history and if the invites are indeed sent out on October 10th, it would suggest that the event would be held in the middle of the following week.

 

Apple Marks One-Year Anniversary of Steve Jobs’ Passing Away

Can you believe it? Today marks the one year anniversary of Steve Jobs’s passing away. Apple has posted a new remembrance on its website. When visitors first access Apple.com, they are presented with a nearly two-minute photo slideshow of Jobs paired with some of his famous audio clips. The video is accompanied by Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1, which is played by American cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In fact, Steve and Yo-Yo Ma were close friends. MacStories provides a more in depth look into the music piece used. Truly fascinating. Once the video is over, the website transitions to a simple letter of remembrance from Tim Cook below the standard site navigation bar.

A message from Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us. I hope that today everyone will reflect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place.

One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple. No company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself. Our values originated from Steve and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We share the great privilege and responsibility of carrying his legacy into the future.

I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing, delivering products that our customers love and dreaming up new ones that will delight them down the road. It’s a wonderful tribute to Steve’s memory and everything he stood for.

– Tim

Thanks, Steve for changing the world and inspiring all of us to do something great.