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Will Apple’s New 2017 iPhone Have Biggest Changes Yet?

  Apple’s new Plus-sized iPhone next year may come with different features according to latest rumors out of Asia. Previous rumors claimed apple may name its next phone the “iPhone X” due to it being the 10th anniversary of the device, however others claim it will simply be dubbed...

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Investigation Finds 22 Additional Fake Apple Stores in China

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 12-08-2011

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fake Apple storeIn an ongoing investigation, even more local Chinese retailers have been found to be selling Apple computers and products under the Apple name, without the permission of Apple itself.

Reuters has reported that 22 more unauthorized Apple retailers have been identified by Chinese authorities in Kunming, located in the southwest region of China. As a result of the bust, the retailers have been forced to discontinue the use of any Apple branding in their stores, mimicking a similar effort that started earlier this week in Beijing.

These crackdowns come a little less than a month after a high-profile blog post on the phony shops, which featured a lookalike shop in Kunming, which led to the closing of two stores in the area. A Reuters story a few days later noted that the same investigation that led to those closures also found out that all of the five Apple stores in the area were selling Apple-made products purchased from third-party authorized resellers.

A report from China Day earlier in the week stated that officials in Beijing have taken steps to keep fake Apple retail stores in the area from duping customers, forcing them to cover up any Apple branding from the front of their stores.

While Apple has yet to comment on the fake stores, Reuters noted that the investigation that led to the identification of the 22 stores originated from Apple China targeting the stores for unfair competition and trademark violations.

Apple filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the U.S. a couple of weeks ago which suggests that the company has been busy on a similar effort here in the states. The suit, which was filed in New York, takes aim at three companies and 52 individuals.

Source: CNET – Report: 22 more fake Apple stores found in China

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Apple’s WWDC Sells Out

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 30-03-2011

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Apple WWDC 2011So Apple’s annual developers conference is coming up, but don’t bother looking up tickets because Apple sold out of them on Monday. Yeah, they sold out already, and in record time nonetheless. With fast ticket sellouts come quick scalpers and that is definitely the story here. Many people are scalping tickets to the event on sites such as eBay and Craigslist with prices reaching as high as $4,599, which is nearly triple the sticker price of $1,599.

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) runs from June 6th to June 10th, 2011  and was sold out as of Monday, March 28th, 2011 in less than 12 hours which was dramatically faster than last year when it took a lousy eight days to sell out. 2009 wasn’t even close when it took almost a month to sell out. Tickets for this year’s WWDC were priced at $1,599, the same as they were for the 2010 edition.

Apple allows developers to buy multiple tickets with extra activation codes in order to hand them out to colleagues. However, some of these developers are taking advantage of the sellout and are selling their extra tickets at extremely high prices. The ticket with the highest bid that I have seen so far stood at $3,000.

A pair of tickets seen on the New York and San Francisco editions of Craigslist have been priced at $2,400 and $2,500. A seller in California had priced his extra ticket at $2,000 and increased the price by $500 a few hours later.

According to Rohit Sethi, the man in California selling the ticket, “I can deal for $2,500 only and by bank transfer. If you have any friends in the bay area, I can give them the code in person and they can activate on the spot too for authenticity by giving money in person.”

The only people allowed to attend the event are Apple-registered developers but the entry bar is low. Programmers only have to pay $99 for a one-year membership to Apple’s developer program and that’s it, there are no other eligibility requirements.

One good thing, for developers that is, is that Apple does not explicitly restrict the resale of WWDC tickets. Apple has not immediately replied to questions about their resale policy or whether or not they will take any action against people who resell WWDC tickets.

Scott Schwarzhoff, Vice President of Marketing for Appcelerator, the company known best for their multi-platform Titanium development tool, was not surprised about how fast the tickets for the event sold out. According to him, “The message from Jobs at the launch of the iPad 2, that this is the ‘post-PC world’ is hitting home. If you want to be part of that post-PC world, as a developer you need a ticket, and that ticket is WWDC.”

Schwarzhoff also argued that even though the iPod and iPhone have been successes for Apple, the iPad is the first device that has really grabbed the attention of business software developers. “You’re seeing demand from the more traditional IT and computing industry because of the iPad,” said Schwarzhoff. “The iPad is affecting areas that previously weren’t affected by a pure consumer device.”

It has already been noted that this year’s conference is expected to focus primarily on software as opposed to hardware and that the iPhone 5 will most likely not be in attendance. This intrigues me. With one of the most anticipated devices since the iPad 2 not coming out at the conference it surprises me that the conference sold out so fast.

But if you want a ticket to the show, you had better hit up eBay or Craigslist, and you must also be ready to part with about $2,000 to $3,000 at least.

Source: ComputerWorld – Apple’s WWDC sells out; scalpers price tickets up to $4,600

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Steve Jobs Has Some Harsh Words for the Tablet PC Market

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 03-03-2011

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Steve JobsHey, does anybody remember the tablet PC? Yeah, you remember, the device that had the ability to seamlessly transform from a fully portable tablet into a highly functioning desktop PC. Well, as cool an idea as it sounded like, the device became a relatively obscure PC product category that was pretty much passed over by consumers. Well, the hits don’t stop there because CEO of Apple Steve Jobs had a few “interesting” words to say about the product.

What is surprising is that while there is a long history of the device and this category, there is not a concrete definition on what exactly this device is. I guess the best definition you can muster up would come from looking at hybrids of the device like the EliteBook 2570p from HP or the Lifebook T900 Tablet PC from Fujitsu, which cost $1,599 and $1,899 respectively.

The tablet PC has been a lackluster attempt, especially if you compare it to Apple’s tablet juggernaut known as the iPad. Apple’s attempt to fuse a laptop with a tablet is clearly one of the most popular pieces of technology to hit the market in the last five years, and the introduction of the iPad 2 yesterday is only going to make the device more popular.

Jobs made it a point to tell the crowd at the iPad 2 press event yesterday just how crappy tablet PCs are and how awesome his iPad 2 is. According to Jobs’ statement, “We sold almost 15 million iPads in 2010. And remember that’s just nine months. That’s April through September. That’s more than every tablet PC ever sold. The tablet PC crashed and burned. The modern tablet PC is the iPad.”

Obviously Jobs is going to think that his product is the best, but he does have a point. The Windows interface that you maneuvered via a stylus never quite caught fire, not to mention the fact that the Windows 7 tablet interface is not as user-friendly as Apple’s iPad UI.

Apple isn’t the only company that is hitting the tablet PC with a few shots. The demise of the tablet PC market will come swiftly as PC makers like ASUS, Dell, HP and others do their part in expanding the tablet market with such devices as the HP TouchPad and the Dell Streak.

Source: cnet – Apple’s Jobs: The Tablet PC ‘crashed and burned’

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Macworld 2011 Shines Despite Apple’s Absence

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 02-02-2011

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Macworld 2011At this year’s Mac Expo there was a lot to enjoy including iPhone cases encrusted with crystals and iPad apps for star-gazing. However, everything seemed to be muted considering the fact that the patriarch of all of these products was absent at the annual gathering of Apple enthusiasts.

The crowd was down to 25,000 from the 40,000 to 50,000 people that are usually there when Apple itself is heavily involved and the company’s CEO Steve Jobs stars in presentations that include unveiling new devices like the iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple pulled out of the show in 2010 but engineers from the company still make pilgrimages to Macworld in order to see what entrepreneurs and fans are making of their products.

According to Anna-Marie Pardini, who is in charge of maintaining the relationship between HP and Apple, “The energy is still really high. The nature of the show has definitely changed. Eleven years ago there were no iTunes, no iPhone and, until recently, there was no iPad.”  Pardini went on to say, “You’ve seen Apple expanding and changing markets and changing the way we do things. It is like never stepping into the same river twice.”

The expo floor had anything and everything from data storage devices and computer security services to applications for playing or working on Apple devices. SouthernStars.com showed off something known as Sky Safari software which essentially turns your iPad into a “window into the night sky.” A newly launched Sky Wire cable allows people to use their iPhone to command telescopes to automatically find celestial objects.

There were a whole slew of iPhone cases which included one coated in Swarvoski crystals glued on by hand in tiger, parrot, skull, frog and other patterns with prices ranging from $300 to $350. A rhinestone covered Luxmo iPhone case was also on display, priced at $75. According to David Fung of Luxmo, “Apple people enjoy making a statement.”

US+U claimed to have the most functional iPad case that included a cuff on the back as a handle allowing you to hold your iPad single-handedly in a fashion similar to a paint palette. A Waterproof Dry Case was created to vacuum seal smartphones in plastic while at the same time allowing users to plug in headsets and listen to music.

“You could be in a sandstorm or out in the water and not have to worry about it,” Jordan Messick of Dry Corp told AFP. “If nothing else survives, at least your iPhone is going to.”

A Boom application which pumped up sound coming from Macintosh or iPad speakers was among ten products awarded “Best of Macworld” honors. Another winner was Ten One Design, a startup that invented Fling joysticks which stick onto iPad faces in order to provide video game console controls.

A lot of great products were on display at Macworld but the overall feel of the show was seriously dampened with the absence of Apple and Steve Jobs. With Jobs’  health issues and no new products from Apple it’s unclear when Apple may return.

Source: Canada.com

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Apple’s Jailbreak Detection Disabled

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Device | Posted on 15-12-2010

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Jailbreak iPhoneAccording to an insider report, Apple has apparently, and quietly, disabled their jailbreak detection API through the iOS 4.2 software less than six months after introducing it.

The report comes from Network World, who says that the API, which came out in June as a part of an MDM (mobile device management) bundle for iOS 4.0, has officially been disabled in iOS 4.2. Apple is free to do what they want, but this turn of events has left vendors asking why?

The API had allowed third-party mobile device management applications to check for unauthorized modifications to the system files, according to John Cox. Third-party mobile device management vendors had created their own utilities that allowed them to check for jailbreaks. However, Apple’s jailbreak detection API granted mobile device management applications direct access to iOS system information.

According to Sybase Vice President of Engineering Joe Owen, “We used it when it was available, but as an adjunct. I’m not sure what motivated their removing that…..I’ve not had anyone (at enterprise customer sites) talk to me about this API being present or being removed.”

Even though jailbreaking an Apple device voids its warranty completely, the U.S. Government just recently legalized the process through a bunch of exemptions to preexisting laws that used to forbid it.

Apple, on the other hand, has refused to play along with the hackers. As vulnerabilities are discovered and explored by hackers throughout the world, Apple is furiously rushing to patch the problems all while the hackers are moving on to the next flaw to exploit.

Back in August, some hackers released a high publicity browser-based  jailbreak for the iPhone 4. This drew a lot of attention to a glaring security flaw that could have exposed a lot of users to malicious software just by visiting the website.

Security Consultant Jeremy Allen told John Cox of Network World, “Whatever Apple adds in the OS to detect the jailbreak, if it is to be queried from the iOS kernel, it must be accessible and have the ability to be changed. Meaning, if it is going to be a useful detection method it can also be circumvented. It is a fairly intractable problem to solve 100%.”

It is no surprise that the use of jailbreaking to pirate App Store software is a major concern for Apple and its developers. Apple’s relationship with carriers is also at stake here, carriers who often sell iPhones locked to their networks.

In the United States the iPhone is only available through AT&T, for now, with Verizon expected to be selling the device early next year.

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First Retail Store from Apple Considered Pilgrimage for Fans

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 10-12-2010

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Apple's First Retail StoreWhen Apple opened their very first retail store in Glendale, California, nobody believed that it would attain the cult status that it has. Passionate fans of Apple have consider it a pilgrimage to travel to the store solely for the reason that it is Apple Store #1.

The Apple Store located in the Glendale Galleria was actually opened at the exact same time as another Apple Store in Virginia though the California store is listed in the Apple books as the first store. What is considered an unassuming and uncool location still attracts large attention from Mac fans.

According to author Sarah McBride, “Some visitors return home and brag online about purchasing gear at the Glendale branch, part of a vigorous game of one-upsmanship about the number and quality of the Apple Stores they have visited.”

McBride went on to say that “To find the Glendale store, customers navigate past a crowded food court, ascend your average, everyday escalator and look for the familiar silver Apple hidden among stores like a discount men’s suit shop and a teen-fashion retailer.”

The contrast between Apple’s first Glendale store and their new megastore in Shanghai is intense with the Shanghai store containing a massive cylindrical glass entrance which houses stairs that take customers  below ground into the store. Another contrast is the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan which is Apple’s most profitable store.

Employees of Apple’s retail stores often ask for transfers to the store in Glendale due to the incredible popularity and distinction of the store. Customers of the Glendale store also remark about how the employees there seem more knowledgeable about Apple and its products.

The first Apple Retail Stores opened on May 19, 2001 in McLean, Virginia at the Tyson’s Corner Mall and in Glendale, California at the Glendale Galleria. The retail stores for Apple have become an important part of the growth of the Mac as Apple reports about every quarter that nearly half of the Macs sold in retail stores are to customers who have never owned one before.

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Apple Sues Sanho Over MagSafe Power Cords

Posted by jlong | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, iPad | Posted on 28-09-2010

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To say that Apple is protective of their products would be an understatement.  Throughout the years Apple has been very secretive with their products and very reluctant to let third party accessory makers in on the action. Apple has no problem taking companies who they feel have infringed on their copyrights to court, and their latest victim is Sanho Corporations, makers of the incredibly popular HyperMac batteries. MacBook users have always been fans of the HyperMac batteries because of their ability to extend battery life anywhere from dozens to hundreds of hours. Is this convenience about to end?

While Apple is not happy with Sanho overall, their biggest problem is the use by Sanho of Apple’s trademark MagSafe power connector. The MagSafe power connector has been around since the introduction of the MacBook back in 2006 and has never been licensed out to third party accessory makers in all of that time. The MagSafe power connector is essentially like any other power cord except that it connects to the laptop through a magnet. By using magnets instead of fasteners, Apple guarantees that if the MagSafe cord is tugged on or tripped over it will release without harming the computer. Since it was clearly against the law to produce their own MagSafe connectors, Sanho took another approach and instead repurposed pre-existing MagSafe connectors.  When Sanho says repurpose, what they really mean is that they buy used MagSafe power cords and splice the connector onto their HyperMac batteries. For quite awhile this ingenious tactic kept Sanho flying well under Apple’s radar, but when Apple discovered what Sanho was really doing, they were quite upset.

Apple is also suing Sanho over their use of the 30-pin dock connector which Apple uses on a wide range of their products, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and various other iPods. While the 30-pin connector is licensed out to some third party accessory makers, Sanho is not one of them.

It is clear that Apple is probably in the right for this case, at least in a legal sense, but they may have a difficult time nailing Sanho for the use of their MagSafe connector. Since Sanho purchases used MagSafe power cords for their products, the power cords may be protected under the doctrine of first sale, meaning that since the product in question is used that Apple cannot protest it being sold. Either way the court case goes, it would be unfortunate to lose HyperMac batteries overall. They are incredibly useful devices that can power a MacBook for a whole day or charge an iPhone over long trips. It may be in Apple’s best interest to leave well enough alone in this case, but with a court track record like Apple has it is unlikely the monster of a company will back down.

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Will Holiday iPad Sales be Limited by LCD Supply Shortage?

Posted by dsnedigar | Posted in Computer, Device | Posted on 23-07-2010

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LG LogoThe holiday shopping season will be upon us before you know it…and many have visions of apples –  not sugar plums – dancing in their heads…as in Apple’s iPad. But iPads are currently in short supply or sold out just about everywhere and Apple claims they are selling them just as fast as they can make them. Now comes word that the supply of the wildly popular tablet may not get better anytime soon because of a parts shortage.

According the the Wall Street Journal, sales of the iPad are only being limited by production issues specific to the supply of it’s LCD display. South Korean LCD-maker LG has acknowledged the problem and hopes to have supplies ramped up by the 2nd quarter of 2011. On Thursday, LG Chief Executive Kwon Young-soo said:

“Apple is ordering more and more displays but it isn’t something we can be able to respond quickly. I am not sure whether we can be able to meet orders from other companies for similar products, but we will be able to supply the displays without fail…by the second quarter of next year.”

Apple revealed during their earnings call this week that they’ve sold over 3.3 million iPads since it’s April launch, and plan to have it available in 19 countries by the end of the month. That kind of consumer demand doesn’t bode well for supplies of the highly sought-after tablet for the upcoming holiday season, which promises to see competition from both Android and Windows 7-powered tablets, and has already seen aggressive pricing competition from Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-readers.

LG says it will be investing $512 million to build new production facilities in order to meet increasing demands for the screens. But that plant won’t be operational until the 4th quarter of 2011. LG hopes that a recent fall in demand for LCD TV screens will allow them to cut production to those lines this fall in order to increase production of the highly-demanded smaller screens.

With more and more of these smaller, high-resolution screens being used in all walks of consumer electronics from cell phones to handheld games to cameras and picture frames, the demand isn’t going to soften anytime soon. But screen supply issues aren’t unique or limited to LG. Verizon has also recently attributed supply problems with it’s Droid Incredible smartphone to screen supply issues with Samsung.

So if an iPad is on your holiday gift or wish-list, you might want to get in line now.

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Time Capsules Recalled

Posted by seander70 | Posted in Device | Posted on 15-07-2010

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 Time Capsules Recalled

If you use an Apple Time Capsule wireless backup device, you may need to pay attention.   The company is currently recalling a number of them, offering to repair or replace them, or in the event that you already had yours repaired, they may issue a refund. 

Any Time Capsule purchased between February, 2008 and June, 2008, with serial numbers between XX807XXXXXX and XX814XXXXXX, could be affected.  You can find the serial number on the bottom of your Time Capsule.            

According to Apple, the power may not come on at all or may shut down unexpectedly.  A quick trip to Apple’s support site forums shows that several customers have been complaining.  Here’s an example of one user’s complaint:

“My Time Capsule was running just fine, then spontaneously just powered off by itself. All the other devices in the power strip were fine and I tried switching outlets, plugging it directly into the wall, and unplugging the TC and plugging the power cord back in. The network port lights in the back …, the network lights came on for a split second. I’m guessing that there’s a power connection fried”

 

For more information on the recall, including how to proceed if you think you received one of the faulty devices, visit support.apple.com.

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