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 Move Mac mini Production to U.S.

Earlier this month, we reported that Apple will bring back some Mac production back to the U.S. next year. Speculation suggested that the Mac Pro would be the one that would be manufactured in the U.S due to its relatively low volume of sales.. However, now DigiTimes reports that it will be the Mac Mini that will be manufactured in the U.S and not the Mac Pro.

Apple is reportedly set to move its Mac mini production lines back to the US with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to be responsible of handling establishment, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

According to the report, Foxconn already has “about 15 operating bases” in the U.S. and the company plans on hiring workers for 2013 for new automated production lines. Should be an interesting 2013 for Apple.

Apple Will Bring Back Some Mac Production Back to U.S. in 2013

NBC reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook will announce during an interview airing on Rock Center tonight that Apple will starting producing some Mac production back to the United States.

In an exclusive interview with Brian Williams airing tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC’s “Rock Center,” Apple CEO Tim Cook announced one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the United States next year. Mac fans will have to wait to see which Mac line it will be because Apple, widely known for its secrecy, left it vague. Cook’s announcement may or may not confirm recent rumors in the blogosphere sparked by iMacs inscribed in the back with “Assembled in USA.”

“We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States,” Cook told Williams.

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Apple Considering Dropping Intel Chips in Future Macs

A new report from Bloomberg reveals that Apple is considering dropping Intel CPUs in favor of its own chip design. Last year, it was rumored that was considering switching  Intel to ARM processors in future laptops. Also, a year ago, Apple acquired Anobit, an Israeli based flash memory company for $500M.

Apple engineers have grown confident that the chip designs used for its mobile devices will one day be powerful enough to run its desktops and laptops, said three people with knowledge of the work, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans are confidential. Apple began using Intel chips for Macs in 2005.

While Apple is now committed to Intel in computers and is unlikely to switch in the next few years, some engineers say a shift to its own designs is inevitable as the features of mobile devices and PCs become more similar, two people said. Any change would be a blow to Intel, the world’s largest processor maker, which has already been hurt by a stagnating market for computers running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows software and its failure to gain a foothold in mobile gadgets.

Recently, the company moved away from third party chips to its own in-house chips for iOS devices like the A4, A5 and the just-released A6X chips. In my opinion, when this occurred, it was inevitable that Apple would replace Intel chips with their own in-house solution in Macs. It isn’t a question of when, but instead just a matter of time.

Pocket Comes to the Mac. And it’s Awesome!

Pocket is probably the best “read later” app out there. It’s also the most used app on my phone. It was formerly known as Read It Later, and was a close second to Instapaper, but the developers have really improved the experience a lot in the last few months and raised additional funding too – $5 million. All apps are free, and they plan to monetize the service by somehow tying up with content providers.

Anyway, they launched a native app for the Mac today, and I’ve been checking it out. It’s really impressive, and much better than the web interface which was pretty good too. The biggest improvement with the native app is offline access for articles, videos and all types of content.

It offers a minimal, clean interface which minimizes distractions so you can easily consume your saved content. I use it mostly to catch up on my reading, and though I would still prefer the smartphone app, the Mac app does improve the desktop experience. Pocket might also launch a Windows 8 version soon.

The features are pretty much the same as the smartphone apps.

Here’s a list of the features Pocket offers:

  • Fast, seamless syncing across all devices
  • Keyboard shortcuts for key actions
  • Tweet attributions for any items saved from Twitter
  • The ability to share to Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, Evernote and email
  • Easy organizing and super fast search features
  • New ways to save from your clipboard and via drag and drop

Highly recommended. Just love the app.

How To Update to iOS 6 From iTunes/Manually

Apple has finally released the iOS 6 update for its line-up of iDevices. The new version of iOS brings with it a new Maps app, and more than 200 new features and changes.

If you are new to the Apple world or are unsure on how to update your latest Apple iDevice to the latest version of iOS 6, here is a step-by-step guide to automatically install the update -:

How To Update to iOS 6 Through iTunes

Step 1: Connect your device to iTunes using the USB cable.

Step 2: Once iTunes has detected your device, click on the device name in the left hand menu and click on the “Check for Update” in the device description box.

Step 3: Apple will show you a popup message as seen above if an update for your device is available. Click on the “Download and Update” button.

Step 4: Apple will download the iOS 6 update and install it on your device. It is important that you DO NOT disconnect the device from the computer during the process. It is also recommended to keep your laptop plugged in to the power outlet during the process.

That’s it. The process might take around 10-30 minutes depending on how long it takes to download the update to your computer and install it. Once iOS 6 is installed, iTunes will sync your device and you can use it again.

How To Update to iOS 6 Manually

In some cases, the iTunes update process might not work for you for several reasons. In those cases, you can also update your device to iOS 6 manually. Here are the steps to manually update your device to iOS 6.

Step 1: Download the iOS 6 IPSW file for your device from here.

Step 2: Connect your device to the computer using the USB cable and wait for iTunes to detect it.

Step 3: Once your device has been detected – follow the steps given below for different OS.

  • For Windows – Hold the Shift key and then click on the “Check for Update/Update” button.
  • For Mac OS X – Hold the Option key and then click on the “Check for Update/Update” button.

Step 4: In the next dialog browse to the file that you downloaded from Step 1 and select the IPSW file.

Step 5: iTunes will now use the IPSW file and update your device to iOS 6. The process should take around 10-20 minutes.

That’s it. Your device will be updated to iOS 6 with ease. Please feel free to post your questions in the comments box below.

Production of 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro and Updated iMacs Reportedly Ramping Up

Late last month, 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. Today, Digitimes reports 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.

The report also claims that production on updated iMacs are ramping up. Digitimes also reports that Apple maybe facing difficulties with its high-end iMac models. If Apple is indeed encountering difficulties with new displays, it is unclear on how the company will handle the launch.

As for the iMac, Apple originally planned to release three new models with upgraded panels and CPUs, but due to poor yields of the panels, the mass production of the high-end model, has been postponed, without any launch schedule. The other two models – targeting the mid-range and entry-level segments – saw shipment volumes from the supply chain increase in September.

Digitimes’s track record is known to be unreliable, but it does sometimes offer correct information and guidance on other reports.

Rumor: Displays for 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Now in Production

NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim claims that a high resolution display is in production for a rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, reports CNET. The analyst cites supply chain sources and claims that the initial output values are expected to be higher than the current 15-inch version. It is also reported that the display being produced for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. That is compared to the current version’s 1,280 by 800 pixel screen.

Shim also claims that Samsung, LG Display, and Sharp are all making the new 13-inch screen to meet a high initial volume compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display’s launch in June. The analyst also pointed out that the manufacturing capabilities of the three different suppliers can factor into how many displays will be ready for assembly.

“With 15.4 it’s production of a few hundred thousand units versus one to two million for the 13.3,” he said. That 13.3-inch production began in the third quarter.

I would assume MacBook Air with Retina displays are still far away since the amount of power and internal space required is much higher than what the current design can handle. Apple has been rumored to be launching the 13-inch MacBook Pro and an iPad mini in October. In the meantime, Apple is expected to reveal the next-generation iPhone.

Apple Removes Its Stupid Mac Ads From Its Homepage

Apple is known for making some of the best and unique advertisements in the advertising/tech history, which includes its popular ”1984” and “Think Different” ads. However, Apple’s latest advertisements about the Mac have received nothing but disappointment from tech blogs and Apple fanboysall over the world.

The three commercials that have been broadcasted during the 2012 Olympics feel downright cheap and un-Apple. The ads portray an Apple Genius Bar employee helping new Mac owners with simple problems, and look downright stupid.

Now, thanks largely due to the amount of criticism these ads have got, Apple might just have got rid of them. Today, the Cupertino based company silently updated its website to remove the three new Mac ads from its homepage.

Apple is known to keep its new ads for much longer on its homepage. Considering the criticism the ads got, this should not come as a surprise.

The stupid ads can still be viewed from the TV Ads section on Apple’s website though.


Facebook Acquires Acrylic, Maker of iOS and Mac Apps

There have been so many acquisitions this week, that it’s getting hard to keep count. Oracle acquired Involver and Skire, Google acquired Sparrow, and now Facebook has acquired Acrylic Software, a Mac and iOS app development studio. Acrylic makes apps like Pulp, a news reader, and Wallet, a security app.

Facebook has acquired Acrylic primarily for its team, not for its products, which makes this a talent acquisition. Pulp and Wallet will remain available for download, but the team will stop further development on them.

Dustin MacDonald of the Acrylic team says:

“Facebook is an invaluable service that we all use daily, and a company I believe is one of the most innovative and important around today. After visiting late last year, I discovered that we shared many of the same core product design goals and principles, and it soon became obvious that it was a natural fit. Simply put, there’s an opportunity at Facebook to have a big impact in many people’s lives. More importantly, Facebook is full of extremely talented people who will be able to help realize its full potential in the years to come.”

Facebook has made a number of acquisitions in the last couple of months, most of them related in one way or another to its mobile ambitions. Notable among them are Instagram, Spool, Lightbox, etc.

Not being able to properly monetize its rapidly growing active mobile user base has been one of Facebook’s greatest shortcomings in the last couple of quarters. With these acquisitons, it might be able to finally crack that puzzle and reach that much hyped $100 billion valuation.

via Acrylic