Tag Archives: Apple

Samsung Working on a Windows RT Tablet

Samsung may be working on a Windows 8 RT tablet, which will be unveiled following the launch of Windows 8 later this year. Samsung is already the largest Android tablet maker, and has hedged its bets with several platforms in the smartphone space.

It seems to be looking to do the same in tablets; hence the investment in a Windows RT tablet.

Windows RT tablets are expected to compete with the Apple iPad and other Android tablets and would be much cheaper than devices running Windows Pro. They would be powered by ARM processors, and would be much more power efficient than standard x86 tablets. Samsung’s Windows RT tablet will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors.

Microsoft recently unveiled the Surface, with two variants running Windows RT and Windows Pro. By raising the benchmark for its tablets, Microsoft may have made a wise move that would force its hardware partners to compete with each other to create better tablets that could possibly challenge the mighty Apple iPad.

The tablet space is heating up with Google launching the Nexus 7 Android tablet recently and Apple reportedly working on a cheaper iPad Mini.

If I had to bet on any single manufacturer to take on the iPad, it would be Samsung. Stay tuned; we’ll keep you updated with Samsung’s every move.

via Bloomberg

Amazon’s New Kindle Fire 2 Coming in Q3 2012?

The recently launched Google Nexus 7 has received rave reviews and is possibly the best budget Android tablet to date. It is priced at just $200, and competes directly with the Amazon Kindle Fire, which held the crown of the best budget Android tablet until a few weeks ago.

However, Amazon is currently working on the successor to the Kindle Fire, which will supposedly be able to compete with the Nexus 7 in a much better way.

Here are some interesting rumors about the Amazon Kindle Fire 2:

1. It will be thinner, lighter and faster than the original (No shit, Sherlock.)

2. It will sport a camera, and will come with a much better high resolution display, possibly 1280 x 800 pixels, same as the Nexus 7. That should give it a much higher pixel density and improve the display quality immensely.

The more interesting part about Amazon’s tablet is its digital ecosystem, which Amazon has been working hard to expand.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire 2 will compete not only with the Google Nexus 7, but also the rumored Apple iPad Mini (if it does launch), as it will be priced in the $300 range.

via AllThingsD

Galaxy Nexus Back On The Play Store With A Delivery Time Of 1-2 Weeks

Last week, Apple managed to get preliminary injunction against the sales of the Galaxy Nexus in the United States, which was later followed by the removal of the handset from sale on Google Play Store. Google and Samsung also confirmed that they are working on an OTA update to remove the universal search patent in question, on which basis Apple was granted the injunction.

Well, Google has once again re-listed the Galaxy Nexus on the Play Store with an expected delivery date of 1-2 weeks. There is no clear reason as to why Google has re-listed the handset for sale on the Play Store once again, considering Apple’s preliminary injunction is still valid. However, the court did temporarily remove the ban on the handset awaiting Apple’s response. Even if that is the case, the handset still has a delivery time of 1-2 weeks, in contrast to its immediate availability before this.

The only logical explanation here is that since the device has a delivery time of 1-2 weeks, it will be running on Jelly Bean, which does not infringes on any of the Apple’s patent(s). Whatever the case may be, the tempting price of the Galaxy Nexus along with all the attention it has been getting thanks to the Apple’s legal team is surely enough to give the handset’s sale a slight boost.

Galaxy Nexus No Longer Available In The Play Store; OTA Update Coming Soon To Remove Universal Search

Remember the preliminary injunction that Apple got against the sale of the Galaxy Nexus in the United States? Apple had appealed that the Galaxy Nexus infringes on four of its patents, and the judge agreed to it, and handed a preliminary injunction on the sale of the Galaxy Nexus in the United States on the basis of the four patent – universal search.

Well, things just went from bad to worse for Samsung as the judge has ruled out Samsung’s request to remove the ban on the sale of the handset in the U.S. Soon after this decision, the Galaxy Nexus was also taken off from sale from Google’s Play Store.

The good news is that both Samsung and Google are working hard on releasing an OTA update that will remove the universal search feature from the Galaxy Nexus. The OTA update should take only a few days before it’s ready for a roll-out. Samsung can once again file for a motion to dissolve the injunction once the OTA update is live in the United States.

What truly saddens me is that Judge Koh instead of bashing both the companies for their stupidity, is banning the sales of products left and right. She had earlier granted Apple an injunction against the sale of the Galaxy Tab in the United States. This patent war is getting out of hand, and it’s high time something is done to fix it.

Via – AllThingsD

Google Nexus 7 Sparks Off More iPad Mini Rumors

As expected, the launch of the Google Nexus 7 tablet has sparked off yet another series of rumors about a low end tablet by Apple, also known in the tech press as the iPad Mini.

There have been a lot of rumors so far about the fabled iPad Mini, which Apple will supposedly launch to reign supreme over the entire tablet market, by grabbing even the budget segment from the hands of Google’s Android.

The new rumors suggest that the iPad Mini is already in the works, and will sport a 7.85 inch Sharp IGZO display panel, which supports Retina display resolutions.

Apple will price it in the $249 to $299 range to compete with the likes of the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire. It is supposed to be unveiled later this year, but we would take this rumor with a pinch of salt.

Apple has already managed to almost perfectly optimize its production processes for the iPad. We expect it to drop prices on older iPads to target the budget market rather than launching new variants.

With each new iPad, Apple just drops the price of each older variant by $100 or more. That might be the best way to maintain a consistent experience across devices while ensuring minimum fragmentation. It also enables Apple to maintain its high margins by minimizing costs.

And rest assured, Apple will never take a hit on each unit sold, like Google or Amazon. It doesn’t need to.

via UnwiredView

Kodak Patent Auction to Provide New Ammo in Mobile Patent Wars

Kodak, the once great but now bankrupt camera giant, has stated that a U.S. bankruptcy court has approved its bid to auction off the bundle of patents it has despite efforts by the likes of Apple to derail the sale by claiming that it has rights over some of them.

“The Apple and FlashPoint claims are baseless and Kodak will still seek dismissal on summary judgment in July. Today’s ruling provides a court-approved process allowing buyers to acquire the patents free and clear of all ownership allegations, regardless of the status of the dispute with Apple and FlashPoint at the time of closing,” said Timothy Lynch, Kodak Vice President and Chief IP Officer.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy some time ago, and is hoping that a patent sale will generate a significant amount of cash. It has nearly 700 patents related to image capture, processing and transmission technologies for digital cameras and smartphones, and some other 400 patents related to image analysis and manipulation tools.

Kodak’s business was largely disrupted first by digital cameras and then smartphones, as it failed to keep up with the times.

The patent auction will close next month, and should provide enough ammo for the next round of battles in the ongoing patent wars. We expect the auctions to see interest from major technology companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Google and others.

Apple Settles Chinese iPad Trademark Dispute with Proview for $60 Million

Today, The Guangdong High People’s Court has declared an end to the legal dispute between Apple and Proview after making the news of the settlement public, the Associated Press reported. The court had announced that Apple has reached an agreement with Proview to pay $60 million for the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark. The figure being paid is much higher than the $55,000 Apple claimed to have paid for the trademark in 2009.

In late 2010, Proview  began publicly objecting to Apple’s use of the iPad name, with the situation escalating to a point where Proview demanded bans on the iPad in the country and asked for up to $2 billion in compensation.  Earlier this year,  Apple reportedly was willing to offer $16 million to settle the case. However, Proview was apparently holding out for a $400 million settlement that could save the company as it seeks to recover from bankruptcy.

$60 million may sound like a lot, and it is, but Apple should have no problem paying up due to there $100 billion+ in cash. In fact, Apple’s making $1,600 every second. See that, Appel just made another $1,600. Boom! Just like that.

Google Chrome Causing Freezing and Crashing on New Mac Notebooks

This past week,  Gizmodo has higlighted freezing and crashing issues on several of its staff’s new MacBook Air models, linking the problems to Google Chrome. When the staff switched to Apple’s Safari browser, it has eliminated all the issue.

Now, Google has issued a statement to Gizmodo acknowledging that Chrome is the reason for the issues and discussing the steps it is taking to address the issue. Temporarily, Google has disabled Chrome’s GPU acceleration while it works on deploying a permanent solution. Google has also filed a bug report with Apple as such issues should not be able to cause an entire system to freeze or crash.

“We have identified a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X. Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause of the leak.

The resource leak is causing a kernel panic on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Airs). Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics, since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior.

While the root cause of the leak is being fixed, we are temporarily disabling some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on the affected hardware via an auto-updated release that went out this afternoon (Thursday June 28). We anticipate further fixes in the coming days which will re-enable many or all of these features on this hardware.”

The issue is affecting all systems using Intel HD 4000 graphics, all of Apple’s notebook models released earlier this month may have the issue and owners of the new MacBook Pro models are indeed also reporting the issue.

Apple Gets Preliminary Injunction Against The Sale Of Galaxy Nexus In The United States

The Patent war has taken the mobile industry by a storm. Companies have started spending more money on lawyers and suing the heck out of its competitors, instead of innovating and releasing new products. Apple has been at the center of the patent war suing each and every Android OEM maker out there or any product that threatens its iDevices. Up until now, Apple had managed to get a ban on Galaxy Tab sales in some regions of the world, along with a short ban on the import of the HTC One series, including the EVO 4G LTE, in the United States.

Today, a U.S judge has granted Apple a pre-trial injunction against the sale of the Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus in the United States. This means that Samsung/Google won’t be allowed to sell the Galaxy Nexus in the United States until the trial begins sometime in late-July. Apple has alleged that Samsung has infringed on four of its patents, including Slide to unlock, word suggestions, link actions and universal search. The judge granted the pre-trial injunction against the universal search patent, which Apple states is an integral part of Siri.

The situation in the mobile industry has definitely gotten worse thanks to the patent wars, and I’m pretty sure this ban on sale of Galaxy Nexus is not going to go down well with Google and Samsung. Looks like it’s time for Google to make use of all that patents it got access to, when it purchased Motorola.

Via – Reuters

Apple Announces Retirement of Bob Mansfield, Senior VP of Hardware Engineering

Apple has announced in a press release that Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield is retiring. His role will be transitioned to Dan Riccio, Apple’s Vice President of iPad Hardware Engineering. Mansfield joined Apple in 1999 and has led Mac hardware engineering since 2005, along with iPhone, iPod, and iPad engineering since 2010. In the recent years, he has contributed to Apple’s success. He oversaw the development of the MacBook Air notebooks,  as well as recent iPhone and iPad designs. He sold off more than $70 million in Apple stock and options in the past few years.

Apple® today announced that Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, will retire and the role will be transitioned to Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of iPad Hardware Engineering, over several months. The entire hardware engineering team will continue to report to Mansfield until his departure.

“Bob has been an instrumental part of our executive team, leading the hardware engineering organization and overseeing the team that has delivered dozens of breakthrough products over the years,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are very sad to have him leave and hope he enjoys every day of his retirement.”

Dan Riccio, the executive who will be replacing Mansfield responsibilities, has been with Apple since 1998. Riccio was the the vice president of product design for 12 years before taking over the iPad division in 2010. Apple’s press release says Riccio “has been a key contributor to most of Apple’s hardware over his career.” Notice, how the company’s new senior vice president of hardware engineering is the vice president of iPad hardware engineering.

Also, in a separate announcement made today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple reported that Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Office, Betsy Rafael, will also be retiring, effective October 19.

Thank you, Bob Mansfield for taking engineering to a whole new level.

Google Releases Chrome and Google Drive app for iOS

Yesterday, Google announced that it has released a version of Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad. The app is available via the App Store for free. . Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter predicted last month that Google Chrome was coming to iOS. The Chrome browser for iOS offers an “incognito” private browsing mode as well as syncing with the desktop version of Chrome. It also offers Google’s own unique tabbed browsing interface. [Direct Link]

Apple’s App Store rules don’t allow third-party developers to offer their own rendering or JavaScript engines. This means that the iOS version of WebKit must be used by all browsers available in the App Store. But Google’s Chrome for iOS will add its own user interface over Apple’s technical browser rules. Google also released an iOS app for Google Drive.  [App Store]

So wait, you can use Google Chrome on more than 90% of existing iOS device, but only 7.1% Android devices? Who would have thought?

Apple Planning Major Overhaul of iTunes for Late 2012

Bloomberg reports that Apple is planning a major overhaul of its iTunes software. This rumored overhaul would help integrate its iCloud services and add new features for music. According to the report, Apple will embed iCloud into the iTunes Store so that users can “more seamlessly access” their digital content. It is reported that Apple has been in talks with the record labels to allow users to send songs to friends for listening.

Also, the new iTunes will include changes to how users find new content and how they access what they already own on different Apple devices. Apple is looking to improve organization of users’ content and splitting out some functions of iTunes as it did yesterday on iOS with its new Podcasts app. Hopefully, this happens so that iTunes becomes less bloated. The company is also considering including more multimedia content in the iTunes Store, requesting more photos and music videos from artists to help broaden its offerings.

The revamped iTunes is rumored to launch before the end of the year and is said to be one of the largest sets of changes since the iTunes Store’s debut in 2003.

iPhone Turns Five Years Old the Friday with 250 Million Units Sold, $150 Billion in Revenue

This Friday will mark the fifth anniversary of the launch of the first iPhone. The first iPhone was officially launched on June 29th, 2007. Research firms Strategy Analytics has put together some interesting statistics, noting that has shipped 250 million iPhones cumulatively worldwide, generating $150 billion in cumulative revenues.

“The iPhone portfolio has become a huge generator of cash and profit for Apple,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. “A quarter of a billion iPhones have been shipped cumulatively worldwide in the first five years since launch and Apple reaches its fifth birthday at the top of its game.”

With the iPhone sales continuing to grow, more than 100 million of those unit sales have come during this past year. The iPhone 4S has caused a significant part of the surge, with over 35 million units sold in each of the past two quarters.

Business Insider also points out that the iPhone generates more quarterly revenue than Microsoft’s entire business, generates more profit than GE, Microsoft, or Google, and has remade the technology industry with its dominating position. Wow.

Use whatever you like, but don’t deny that the iPhone didn’t revolutionize many industries.

Apple Wins U.S. Injunction Against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab

On the eve of Google I/O, a U.S. judge has issued a preliminary injunction against all sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, which gives Apple a huge advantage on its ongoing legal battle against its handset rival. Reuters reports that U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh granted Apple’s request to block sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. This decision comes after Samsung’s petition to rehear the patent case was denied. The report also says that the injunction will be effective once Apple puts up a $2.6 million bond set aside for Samsung if the sales ban is later found to have been in error.

Haha, at the bond Apple had to put down. It is like Apple said “yah, we’ve got that, let me get out my wallet” to Samsung. After all, the company does have over $100 billion in cash.

AllThingsD received a statement from Apple that reemphasized their previous claims that Samsung had copied the iPad:

“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Nope, copy-cat Samsung was not copying Apple at all. Not at all. If Microsoft was able to create its own design for the Surface, why wasn’t Samsung able to do the same for the Galaxy Tab?

Apple to Invest $1 billion in Reno, Nevada Data Center, and Other Facilities

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Apple is considering investing up to $1 billion over the next ten years to build a new data center and other facilities in the Reno, Nevada. The new data center and other facilities would be located in the Reno, Nevada area. Also, the data center would be located in unincorporated Washoe County, while a “business and purchasing center” would be located in a business park in downtown Reno. This project is codenamed “Project Jonathan”, and is said to be planned to create nearly 600 construction jobs and as many as 41 direct and 200 contractor jobs upon opening.

It is also estimated to the boost the local economy by $103 million. The report also says that this project has been in the works for years, but only recently did Apple approach local and state officials about the Sparks center earlier this year.

Currently, Apple has a major data center in Maiden, North Caroline and a much smaller one in Newark, California near the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. Apple is also investing $250 million in a new data center in Prineville, Oregon. The company has  issued a statement to AllThingsD confirming its intent for the area.