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Refreshed Mac lineup announced at Apple Keynote

While October 23, 2012 may be most remembered as the day the iPad mini was officially announced, it was also an important day for Mac users. Apple announced at the keynote a refresh of much of the Mac computer line, including a revamped Mac mini, a new 13 in. MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and a...

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Apple’s MacBook Air Leads 18% Increase To Mac Sales

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Apple News And Rumors, Computer | Posted on 07-08-2014

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Back in June Apple announced that it sold 4.4 million Macs during the month, the most ever for that quarter of the year. In addition to that, the company also announced that those figures also showed a year-over-year growth rate that the rest of the industry hasn’t seen since 2010. Apple sold 18% more Macs in the quarter than the same quarter the previous year with revenue from the oldest line of Macs contributing 15% of the company’s $37.4 billion in total sales.

According to a statement from Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil, “I was pleasantly surprised by the Mac numbers. The rumors of the death of the personal computer are, of course, highly exaggerated.” When Chief of Research and Head of U.S. Business for Kantar WorldPanel Comtech Carolina Milanesi was asked for her reaction, she stated, “No, I’m not surprised by the Mac numbers. The PC business is almost all mid- and low-end, and that’s not where Apple plays, so they’ll continue to outperform.”

The sales of Apple’s Macs came in significantly higher than the predictions of nearly every single Wall Street analyst polled by Fortune. Apple beat the 3.9 million average of nearly three-dozen analysts by 12% . None of the 34 financial experts surveyed by Fortune had placed a bet higher than what Apple had recorded. “We had a record June quarter for the Mac, and demand has been very strong for our portables in particular,” stated CEO of Apple Time Cook.

In addition to that, Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri praised the fact that Apple was able to beat the PC industry average in 32 of the last 33 quarters. The one quarter in the last eight years that Apple failed to match or beat the average was Q4 od 2012, which was caused by a production fiasco which left the company without iMacs to sell for several months.

Research firm IDC stated that global PC shipments for the June quarter, with a majority of them running Windows OS, fell to 2% with Gartner noting that the shipments fell flat compared to last year. Gartner’s Van Baker believes the increase in sales was caused by the MacBook Air, the company’s thinnest and lightest notebook. Baker stated, “The MacBook Air is still a very strong product and people like it a lot. It puts them in a good position for continued growth.”

Gotheil and Baker both believe that Apple benefited from the minor bounce back in the overall PC business from the previous quarter, though for different reasons. Gotheil believes that users with aging PCs running Windows (likely ones bought around 2008-2009) picked a Mac as a replacement/upgrade whereas Barker believes there is a different reason for the spike.

“Some of these Macs, I think, went to people who had bought a tablet thinking that it would be a replacement PC,” said Baker. “But then those consumers said, ‘Tablets are nice and I like tablets, but a notebook is still a better idea.’ In the developed economies, that’s a dynamic that is operating.”

In addition to that, all three analysts noted that one potential reason for the increase in sales was the price drop that Apple instituted for the MacBook Air line back in April. Apple decreased prices of all four stock model MacBook Airs by $100 and, for the first time, offered a sub-$900 Air, selling the 11″ 128GB Air for $899 to consumers and $849 to college students and parents of students. Gotheil added, “The MacBook Air is a more attractive choice with those price cuts, and it’s a pretty robust notebook.”

Apple Introduces iOS 8

Posted by Erika Blasko | Posted in Apple News And Rumors | Posted on 08-07-2014

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ios8-1Recently, Apple has unveiled one of the biggest releases since the launch of the app store, iOS 8. It provides Apple users with more iCloud storage for photos, improved keystroke entry, improved message content and many more updated features. iOS 8 will deliver a much simpler and faster user friendly experience. With the iCloud photo library, iOS 8 allows users to enjoy photos and videos more easily across devices. It also includes predictive typing for Apple’s “QuickType” keyboard.
In iOS 8 the iCloud and photos app will give you access to all of your photos and videos anywhere. Photos are more easy to find and are completely organized across any of your enabled devices. The Photos app can automatically edit any photo with inhaled smart editing tools.
Sending and receiving messages become more immersive with the ability to communicate with one swipe, and ‘tap to talk’ allows you to record your voice for sharing videos and photos within messages. You can also choose to share your current location in messaging.
iOS 8 also introduces Family Sharing, which makes it easier to share purchases, photos, etc, all in the same household. Family members can view each other’s iTunes, iBooks or app store purchases and parents can create Apple IDs for children, which includes ‘ask to buy,’ which requires parental permission for any purchases. Family Sharing automatically keeps everyone fully connected by creating an option for locating family members and their devices.

Additional features include:

•More complex design enhancements

•Quick access to contacts

•Ability to quickly switch back and forth between your inbox and drafts

The iOS 8 software and SDK are available now for iOS developer program members only at developer.apple.com, but iOS 8 will not be available to the public until the upcoming fall. It will be a free software update for any Apple device.

Potential Processing Power Upgrades Coming To iMac, Retina Display Still In Question

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Apple News And Rumors, Computer, News | Posted on 11-06-2014

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Apple logoRumors have been circulating recently of Apple revamping a lot of its hardware, namely with the iMac and MacBook devices. These rumors aren’t surprising due to the fact that Apple is pretty consistent in its timeframe of upgrades, so much so that you can practically set your watch by it. But one interesting bit of information that is making its rounds is the fact that Apple could be looking into boosting the processor speed of the next version of iMacs.

As far as looks go, the iMac has stayed pretty consistent since its last redesign in 2012, instead focusing on minor upgrades in processing power that have benefited the device a good deal. It is still up in the air as to when exactly Apple may do a physical redesign again to the already impressively slim all-in-one but a lot of users are keeping their fingers crossed for other enhancements, most notably a higher screen resolution thanks to a Retina display.

However, French blog site MacGeneration recently debuted a report that suggests that Apple is planning on refreshing the iMac lineup as early as next week with speed upgrades. MacGenerations talked about all four iterations of the iMac and the potential upgrades that could be coming to each one.

The $1,499 21.5″ 2.9 GHz iMac could see CPU speeds increase 0.1 GHz to 3.0 while the Turbo Boost feature, which manages individual cores of the processor automatically for increased efficiency in both power and performance, would increase to 3.7 GHz from 3.6. The $1,299 21.5″ 2.7 GHz iMac wouldn’t receive any upgrades at all, at least as far as MacGenerations is concerned.

The $1,799 27″ 3.2 GHz iMac would see processing speeds increase 0.1 GHz as well to 3.3 accompanied with the Turbo Speed increase from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz. The final version of iMac, the $1,999 27″ 3.4 GHz model, would also see a 0.1 GHz increase to 3.5 with the Turbo Speed performance increasing from 3.8 GHz to 3.9 GHz.

However, all of these speed increases are for the basic models. For a small price increase users are already able to increase both processing speed and Turbo Boost when configuring their device. If these reports hold true then it appears as if some Apple fans will be disappointed as no Retina display has been announced for any of the iMac variations.

Rumors of Apple bringing the Retina display to the iMac have been circulating for some time now. Apple released a 5120 x 2880 wallpaper image a year ago that hinted at the Retina display was coming to the iMac as well as Apple’s external models. The MacBook Pro lineup has had Retina displays for quite awhile now, as has the iPhone and iPad, but Apple has yet to bring it to the iMac or the MacBook Air, which is frustrating potential customers.

There is one solitary clue, however, that alludes to this year being the year of the Retina iMac. Code has been discovered in the beta of Apple’s recently-announced OS X 10.10 Yosemite operating system that points to higher-resolution settings for an unknown computer that could very well be the iMac.

Unfortunately for us that is all purely speculative hearsay and nothing has been set in stone. Not everyone is in favor of the iMac getting the Retina display, however. Customers seem to be a little divided on the topic with some thinking that a Retina display on the iMac is awesome while others believe it to be a bit too much. What about you? Are you eager to see the iMac come out with a beautiful Retina display?

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A 12″ Macbook Air Is Coming Along With A Low Cost iMac!

Posted by Michael Luciano | Posted in Apple News And Rumors, Computer, News | Posted on 16-04-2014

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It’s hard to hear the name “Apple” and then place the word next to the term “affordable”. This isn’t to bash on Apple, but as the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for”, right? Apple provides excellent products, usually all are very high-end. However, with high-end products come high-end prices. The iMac and even the Macbook aren’t considered the most affordable of tech devices, but they are always seen as some of the best tech you can get your hands on. You would think that with all of the competitors out there offering lower costs, and most succeeding at emulating what Apple can do, they would try to compete themselves and offer lower prices on some of their tech. Well thankfully, that looks to be in some of Apple’s plans this year.

Apple’s product road map for the year of 2014 has pointed out some interesting things. First and foremost in a new ultra slim 12″ Macbook Air. The map revealed more on the iWatch, and new sizes in iPhones, but more so revealed a new low cost iMac as well.

The new Macbook Air seems to be the thing that most everyone is concerned with, in terms of new laptops coming out later this year. The new Air is expects to do away with the two different sizes which its predecessor had. The new Air is rumored to be 12″ instead of offering an 11″ or 13″ model this time around. According to Ming Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities representative who is quite psychic when it comes to Apple rumors, the 12″ model is thought to be a fusion of the two previous Air models. The 12″ model will still offer the portability of the 11″ model while maintaining the efficiency and productivity of the 13″ model as well. Kuo has also predicted that the new Air model will be host to an ultra high definition display as well. It’s rumored that it will, in fact, be a retina display model to match that of the Retina Macbook Pro model. Yet another rumor of the new Macbook Air is that it will actually (somehow) be thinner and lighter than the preceding model was/is. It seems next to impossible to make this happen, but there are a few speculated specs that show how this could be possible.

As with any laptop, there are a few things that must be included within the casing to make it work. However, there is one thing that you may think would be needed in a high end laptop that the new Air will not include: a fan. This will no doubt make the laptop slimmer, but hopefully the notebook will be able to retain high power output without needing to be cooled down by a fan. There is said to also be a buttonless trackpad. The trackpad will now be responsive to pressure instead of the clicking of buttons.

Kuo again talked of the lower cost iMac expected to come out later this year. Obviously no one knows how “low-priced” it will be, but on the roadmap for Apple, it looks to come out halfway through the second quarter of 2014. The new iMac has been lowered in cost to compete with other companies that offer lower prices (funny how I mentioned that same thing at the beginning of this article). The new Macbook Air, however, isn’t expected to be out until late, possibly the end of this year.

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Apple Opens First Physical Store In South America To Thousands Of Supporters

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Apple News And Rumors, News | Posted on 17-02-2014

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Whether you are crazy about Apple’s products or not I think there is one thing we can all agree on and that’s the fact that Apple’s physical stores are pretty cool. Not only are they bright, inviting and slightly futuristic looking but they also allow you to literally pick up and play with every single device that Apple currently has on the market. Plus they also allow you to bring in your Apple products for repair, allowing you to get them fixed by true Apple professionals.

So that is why it is no surprise that over a thousand people showed up to the grand opening of the very first Apple store in South America. Over 1,700 people came to the Village Mall in Rio de Janeiro’s famous Barra de Tijuca neighborhood this past weekend to check out Apple’s first physical venture in the country.

You would have thought it was Black Friday in Rio as potential customers started standing in line on Friday. Around 163 people stayed overnight for a chance to be one of the very first customers through the doors when they opened on Saturday morning.

According to the local Brazilian newspaper the Globe, Apple had anticipated as many as 1,500 people to attend the store’s grand opening with the company being more than overjoyed when that number was easily surpassed by the eager Apple junkies. Apple’s own CEO Tim Cook even took to Apple’s Twitter feed to show his appreciation for the country’s support and to those who visited, which is the first time Cook has done something like this for a store opening.

The picture (seen below) was accompanied by the text “‘Obrigado’ to everyone who visited our new store in Rio de Janeiro today and to our terrific customers across Brazil!” For those of you who don’t speak the language, “Obrigado” is Portuguese for “thank you”.

South American Apple Store

South America, with special attention on Brazil, is becoming a very important market for Apple as the company seeks to expand beyond traditional markets in the United States and Western Europe. Brazil is home to a very large population that has a fast-growing economy along with an expanding middle class.

While the out pour of support for this Apple store in Brazil is definitely a great start for Apple in the country, the company still has some hurdles to overcome. Brazil has some of the highest import taxes around, meaning Apple’s products almost twice as much as they do in the United States. Apple has, however, started manufacturing some devices in Brazil, perhaps as a way make some products more affordable for Brazilian natives.

The future for Apple in Brazil is still unclear, though if this showing of support for the first retail store in the country is any inclination then Apple could very well have stepped into a very lucrative market. The next best thing for Apple to do now is to find a way to make products cheaper, or at least comparable, for South American consumers.

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