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Steve Jobs Has Some Harsh Words for the Tablet PC Market

Hey, 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...

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The iPhone 5S/5C, What’s The Difference?

Posted by Erika Blasko | Posted in Device | Posted on 19-11-2013

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5cAs we all know, Apple comes out with a new upgrade or device every few months. Most people can’t keep up with the constant advances. But, recently Apple launched it’s new iPhone 5, not too long ago. Since then it’s been restyled and perfected into the most high-tech smartphone up to date.There are two types, the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C, but what’s that differences between the two? Understanding the differences in these two phones can be tricky, except the obvious difference, the new color choices of the phones. The iPhone 5C is rumored to be Apple’s “low-cost” iPhone choice for consumers.  Prices depend on how many GB you purchase. A 16GB is around $100 USD, and a 32GB is priced around $199 USD. The iPhone 5S is more expensive, ranging from $199-$399 USD when purchased with a two-year contract. The iPhone 5S also offers more storage options, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB being the largest storage capacity.
Most differences are in the phone’s hardware inside the phone. Both models are quite fast, but the iPhone 5S has a faster processor than the 5C. If you like colored phones, then the 5C is for you. The 5C uses a plastic body that comes in multiple bright color choices (blue, red, yellow, green, white), where as the 5S uses a metal body in only three colors (white, black, gold). The newest high-tech advance on the 5S is the built in fingerprint scanner on the home button on the front of the phone and the new camera features. The fingerprint ID scanner provides extra security rather than just entering a passcode to unlock your cellphone.The iPhone 5C still has two cameras, like the 5S, one on the front and one on the back. The user-facing camera on the 5C is a 1.2 megapixel camera with 720p HD video, while the back camera is a 8 megapixel camera and can take 1080p HD video recordings.

Whether you find yourself a colorful iPhone 5C user, or high-tech 5S smartphone user, both iPhone’s perform basically the same with differences in quality, how quickly information loads and different features. Overall, the iPhone 5S has been the most popular choice amongst consumers for the upcoming holiday season. Many users of the iPhone 5S report positive feedback about its performance.

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Plastic iPhone: Bonus or Bomb?

Posted by cpwilder | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad | Posted on 10-07-2013

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AppleSupposedly there is an iPhone 5S in the works that will run about $350 and is made of plastic.  One has to wonder if this is the answer to the “champagne taste vs. beer budget” dilemma for so many consumers.  Analysts are encouraging big tech firms to consider marketing more to the low-end Smartphone market in order to push sales and generate profits.  They contend that the upper-end market is already overcrowded.

It looks like, if rumors are true, Apple has taken note of the analysts’ suggestions and have been working on a plastic iPhone.  Sources behind the leaked information say the device is polycarbonate and the screen will stay at the same 4-inches as the iPhone 5.  Overall it is said to have most of the same specs and features being carried over with only a couple of minor downgrades and the outer materials to keep costs at a minimum.

Rumor has it the new unlocked iPhone 5S Light will come in a variety of bold colors to appeal to both younger and older consumers.   But the price will be the attention grabber and will undoubtedly make a huge difference when it comes to appealing to lower-end markets.

The real question is:  will mainstream markets consider $350 affordable?

Smartphones are definitely a very personal choice that put a real hit on the wallet if you choose to get the latest and greatest of features, name brand and apps.  Maybe Apple has the right idea with making a more “disposable” type phone.  Especially in the business market, providing every employee with a smartphone could have its advantages but could prove to be too expensive for some budgets, especially a small business.   An iPhone 5S Light could also be the perfect answer to all those parents who dread the phrase, “I just dropped my phone and its broken!”.

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Apple Refreshing MacBook Pro and Air

Posted by Joel Thompson | Posted in Computer | Posted on 29-04-2013

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According to Ming-Chi Kuo KGI Securities analyst, Apple’s MacBook Pro and MacBook Air will include Intel’s latest Haswell processor in its new models. The processor provides a 10 percent increase in processing speed and a 50 percent increase over the original integrated graphics chip.

Unfortunately it appears Apple will not include the expensive new  Retina display on all new models. This coming after Kuo Predicted Apple would move away from non-Retina models in 2013.

“Contrary to our previous projection, we now think Apple will continue to make the MacBook Pro alongside the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro because the 13” MacBook Pro remains the most popular product in the MacBook line. Also, there is still demand in emerging markets, where Internet penetration isn’t advanced, for optical disk drives.” Kuo said.

Both models are to be introduced at Apples Worldwide Developers Conference, and should be available for shipping shortly after.

Source MacRumors

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Apple Issues New Patent Dealing with Convertible Laptops

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 03-04-2013

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Apple OS XEven though CEO Tim Cook has shot down the idea of a convertible MacBook-iPad hybrid, that hasn’t stopped Apple from filing a patent application for that precise thing. The suggested patent, which is titled “Wireless display for electronic devices”, was just published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent describes a computer display that is able to be removed from its base, essentially referring to a convertible laptop. The main difference between this idea and the idea of other convertible laptops is the addition of wireless display technology. This means that the device could be charged wirelessly.

Apple describes it as this:

The base includes a processor, a base wireless chip and a power source. The display includes a screen for displaying a video output, a display wireless chip in communicating with the base wireless chip, and a power wireless chip in communication with with the power source. The base wireless chip transmits data from the processor to the display. Also, when the display is at least in one position with respect to the base, the power source transmits power to the power transition member of the display.

Convertible devices are nothing new, though they have failed to catch on with consumers. Tim Cook was cited mocking convertible tablets last year, stating that such a device is a “compromise to the end user.”

Cook also stated, “Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about trade-offs, and you begin to make trade-offs to the point where what you have left doesn’t please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”

It is entirely possible that Apple will never develop a device under the new patent, though it is also possible that Apple thinks it can one-up the current line of convertibles.

Apple has shown a slight interest in wireless technology since 2011. A lot of the interest involves wireless charging, like the patent the company claimed in 2011 that would allow you to wirelessly charge an iOS device by keeping it close to the computer. However, it is still unclear how Apple will, or even if it will, use this patent.

Source: CNET – Apple patent envisions wireless charging on convertible laptop

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Apple Becomes Dragon-like, Starts Hoarding Piles of Cash

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 20-03-2013

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Apple Hording Cash Like A DragonApple has the potential to end up with a mountain of cash here soon unless it starts spreading that wealth out to investors. The company raked in nearly $137 billion in cash at the end of 2012, making Apple the biggest cash-rich company outside of the banking industry. However, that number could very well increase to $170 billion.

David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, which is a major investor in Apple, recently filed a lawsuit against the Cupertino company over guidelines dealing with the issuance of preferred stock. Although Einhorn has since dropped the suit, Apple is still being asked to share more of its cash stockpile beyond the current dividends it does now.

According to researchers at Moody, which discovered how much cash Apple had, “Unless Apple changes its philosophy towards liquidity/shareholder returns by increasing its $10 billion annual common dividend, or if Apple increases its stock buyback program, we estimate Apple’s cash balances could increase by another $35 billion in 2013 and exceed $170 billion.”

Apple was quick to respond to this assessment by stating that it has been in the process of discussing ways in which to return more money to stockholder. However, the company has had nothing concrete to offer so far. Bloomberg polled a group of analysts who believe Apple may increase its dividend by 56%. That would give investors a quarterly dividend of $4.14 per share, which is a higher amount offered by a majority of the corporations on the S&P 500 that offer dividends.

Needless to say, $170 billion is quite a bit of money and, in my opinion, more than Apple needs. If there is one thing a big company like Apple doesn’t need, it’s angry investors, especially ones that are willing to sue, like Greenlight Capital. Apple has bigger things to worry about at the moment, like Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S4 smartphone and the fact that lots of Apple customers are asking for a cheaper version of the iPhone.

Source: CNET – Apple’s cash hoard could reach $170 billion by ear’s end

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New iMac for Schools Debuted by Apple

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 06-03-2013

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iMac schoolIf there’s one thing that Apple has over PC, it’s a hold on the education industry. Macs are definitely preferred by educational institutions for students and faculty, that’s no secret, and Apple has recently unveiled its newest desktop aimed at education, a new version of the company’s already low-end iMac.Unlike its traditional fashion, Apple didn’t have a huge event for the release of this device. As a matter of fact, the release of this iMac was extremely quiet and avoided almost any fanfare. That could be due to the fact that this version of the iMac has been specifically designed for use in schools and will not be available for commercial purchase.

It is still unclear as to when exactly Apple debuted this new version of the iMac on its education institution Apple store, though MacRumors believes it was very recently. The site says that this version of the device has replaced the earlier version of the iMac (which was priced at $999) that was launched over a year and a half ago.

This new version is 21.5″ and comes with a 3.3GHz Core i3 processor, 500GB of storage and 4GB of memory while custom configurations for RAM and storage upgrades are available for about $270 each. The low-end consumer iMac, in comparison, gives users nearly double the RAM and hard drive capacity.

When I said earlier that this version was for schools only, I meant it. This iMac and other products offered on the education institution Apple store can only be ordered directly by a school, unlike other Apple educational discounts. That means students and educators are unable to purchase this iMac for their own use.

The iMac is definitely good on saving space and this one has enough hardware to be useful in a school computer lab, though the extra costs for RAM and storage upgrades could get pricey. The screen is 1920 x 1080 while the iMac also comes with Intel HD Graphics 4000 all for a price of $1,099, $200 less than the regular consumer model.

If you are an Apple fan and you need a replacement model for a quick fix or a computer for classroom training then contact your Tech Travel Agent at and look into renting an Apple iMac. iMac rentals from are perfect for those situations where a temporary iMac is the perfect solution to your problem.

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Apple to Finally Begin Selling Next-Gen iMacs

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 28-11-2012

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iMacApple announced yesterday that it will soon begin selling its redesigned iMac desktop computers, making a self-set deadline to start shipping them by the end of November. These new iMacs are smaller than previous versions, coming in at 21.5″. Availability is said to be both online and in retail stores across the country, as well as with authorized resellers, for a starting price of $1,299.

The company had previously promised to deliver these new models in the beginning of November, though that obviously didn’t happen. The larger 27″ iMac, which starts at $1,799, should be available for pre-order as well, though it will not begin shipping until December.

Apple first debuted the newly designed iMacs back in October, though only said that they wouldn’t ship for weeks, giving no explanation as to why. Two days later, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the delays and said that iMac supplies would be “constrained for the full quarter in a significant way.”

The delays were definitely substantial. Since the announcement of the devices back in October, not a single one has been available for sale on Apple’s online store, with previous generations of the device being pulled from the store as well. In addition to that, the phone ordering desk for the company was also unable to take orders.

The new iMacs feture Intel’s Ivy Bridge 2.7 GHz  or 2.9 GHz quad-core Core i5 processors, 8GB of memory, 1TB hard drives and Nvidia graphics chipsets with 512MB of RAM. In addition to that, these models also opted out of optical drives and retained the previous model’s screen sizes and resolutions.

Another new feature of these iMacs is Fusion Drive, an option that combines 128GB of flash storage with a standard platter-based hard drive of between 1TB and 3TB. The hybrid drive will significantly increase speeds of some tasks, lie starting the computer and opening frequently used applications.

The new iMacs are $100 more than the previous models, with pre-configured 21.5″ models priced at $1,299 and $1,499 and pre-configured 27″ models priced at $1,799 and $1,999. It is also unclear how much the new Fusion Drive will increase the price, though the single option of 1TB for the Mac Mini runs $250.

Source: Computer World – Apple to start selling new, pricier iMacs Friday

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PC Users Fleeing Windows, Seeking Refuge with Apple

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 14-11-2012

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AppleJust like the Israelites’s mass exodus from Egypt, there seems to be a major exodus of PC users away from Windows and towards there very own Apple promised land. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years before they found their promised land, though PC users will have a significantly easier time reaching theirs.

PC sales have seen quarter after quarter of sluggish sales and have been looking for something to get out of the slump. The most recent attempt was lead by Windows 8, the newest operating system from Microsoft. However, despite adding a ton of touch features and a completely new layout, users still weren’t swayed.

As a result, the Moses of PC users (Apple in this case) has arrived to deliver PC users to a better tomorrow. According to a recent Avast survey of 135,329 U.S. Windows users, 42% of all Americans looking for a new computer have said that they plan on switching to an Apple product, suggesting that the new operating system just isn’t enough to keep people interested.

That doesn’t mean, however, that they will be switching to a Mac. About 12% of the surveyed people are considering a move to Apple’s desktop solution. Most of the other users are planning on switching to an Apple iPad, 30% to be exact, or some other iOS device.

A full 68% of users still plan on buying a Windows 8 PC, though, which suggests that at least some of the consumers in the market for an iPad also plan on purchasing a Microsoft-made computer. Regardless, those are still big numbers for Apple. Even though these figures decrease a little bit on an international scale, it still bodes well for the company.

Apple already holds the number one spot in the tablet market by a substantial margin. PC sales could, however, be bolstered by the debut of the Microsoft Surface tablet as well as a lot of other Windows 8-based tablets. That still only bodes well for the company overall, and not the company’s PC sales.

Source: Laptop – Windows Users Plan Exodus to Apple

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Nearly 35 Additional Apple Retail Stores to Open in 2013

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 31-10-2012

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Apple retail storeFresh off the release of the iPad Mini and the 4th Generation iPad, Apple has announced that it is expanding its retail empire as well. In a recent statement, the company announced that it plans to open an additional 30 to 35 retail stores during the 2013 fiscal year, which ends next September. It was also announced that about three-quarters of those stores would be located outside of the United States.

This news came along with the company’s annual report, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition to that, Apple announced that it plans to spend around $850 million on the retail expansion. It was also stated that part of that money would go to into investing in the current Apple stores that the company has.

These plans follow the same pattern of the company’s retail store rollout of 2012, which included the opening of 33 new stores. With those stores, Apples total increased to 390 stores worldwide. 28 of those 33 stores, like the 2013 expansion, were opened up outside of the Untied States. Apple opened 40 stores in the previous year and we can assume that they will do the same in 2014.

Since the departure of Retail Chief John Browett, Apple’s operations have been under closer supervision. During Browett’s employment with Apple, it was rumored that the company was making cutbacks on staffing along with in-store features, which prompted speculation that the retail efforts from Apple were not as prosperous as they once were.

In the company’s annual report, Apple stated that retail sales increased by $4.7 billion, or roughly 33%, over the previous year. This growth was speculated to be primarily because of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 along with the two new iPad models. Overall, sales made at Apple stores comprised 12% of Apple’s total sales for 2012, down from 13% the year before.

Source: CNET – Apple to open another 30 to 35 retail stores next year

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Apple Drops Java for Reasons Unknown

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 17-10-2012

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Apple and JavaApple has just announced that it is removing all old versions of Oracle’s Java software from internet browsers on its customers computers. The removal will occur as soon as the company releases its latest software update for its Mac operating system, with the process of installing the update also serving to uninstall Java.

Even though Apple has included Java with recent installations of Mac OS X, it still announced that it was removing the software on its website. Apple stated that customers will need to obtain Java directly from Oracle of they want to access web content written in the popularly used programming language. What is surprising is that neither Apple nor Oracle provided a reason as to why Java was being removed and both companies also declined to comment on the situation.

Java is a programming language that allows programmers to write a single set of code to run on virtually any type of device. It is most widely used on the internet, allowing web developers to make their sites accessible from multiple browsers running on Macs of Microsoft Windows PCs.

About two years ago both Apple and Oracle agreed that Apple would stop providing Java software to Mac users. It was decided that when Apple stopped, Oracle would be responsible for providing its software to Apple users. However, neither company provided a date for when this would happen, so it is unclear if that time has finally come or not.

What is interesting is that Apple is implementing this change in the wake of a Java security scare that had some security experts caution computer users to only use Java on an as-needed basis. The vulnerabilities in Java were discovered to be used by hackers to launch attacks and it took Oracle several days to release an update to correct those problems.

Source: Huffington Post – Apple Drops Java After Experts Warn Mac Users On Its Security

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