Monthly Archives: April 2009

Apple reportedly in talks with Verizon, Sprint over 2010 iPhones & 4G

Despite recent comments (both public and private) by Apple to the effect that the company intends to stay focused on GSM cellular network technology — rather than CDMA, Verizon’s technology of choice — for a number of reasons, notably international adoption of GSM over the alternatives….a towering new tidal wave of rumors on this subject were sparked over the weekend by USA Today.

A solution to the problem of CDMA (EVDO for 3G data) versus GSM would be a jump straight to “4G” technology, something that Infinite Loop is reportedly working on quite aggressively for its 2010 iDevices (not just iPhone!) which will include cellular data-network connectivity. It would also open the door for Apple to also work with the #3 network behind AT&T and Verizon: Sprint, the most aggressive adopters of 4G to date. Read more

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Impressive Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” build 10A335 seeded

Despite being a mere 21 builds apart from the previous seed, 10A314, released earlier this month….the latest Snow Leopard seed (simultaneously released in both Standard and Server versions) has definitely taken a big step forward in many areas.

Several elements of the full internal Mac OS X 10.6 code tree, such as the “Marble” interface revamp and overhauled Finder as well as the entire PowerPC version of the operating system, continue to be withheld from the developer builds — but even absent those more visible features, Snow Leopard is truly beginning to shine and show full potential with the advent of 10A335.

Performance is a notable area of big improvement since build 314 was released at the beginning of April; already stunningly fast, sources confirm that 335 removes a significant amount of debug code which always bogs down developmental versions of OS X as compared to their final-release counterparts. Read more

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Mac OS X 10.5.7 build 9J56 seeded to developers with Bluetooth 3.0

Despite the previous build of Mac OS X 10.5.7 code-name “Juno” appearing nearly ready for release within days (it’s now been over a week), Apple has delivered a new seed — build 9J56 — to developers, and it looks like a little bit of work still remains before we’ll see 10.5.7 in Software Update.

From Apple’s build notes on 9J56, the following headline changes were highlighted for developers to test against:

  • Fixed an issue when a process is killed or crashes while using AFP
  • Bluetooth compatibility and stability fixes
  • Crash reports missing application’s short version info fix
  • Crash log file missing machine’s name fix
  • Fixed an issue with Personal File Sharing where an AFP volume was not a valid Time Machine backup disk

Although these seem relatively minor, set against the full “Juno” project changelist which is nearly 200 items long at this point (and doesn’t include subtle tweaks of relatively little interest to third party developers for whom the change logs are written)….of particular note is the focus on Bluetooth in this build. Read more

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Apple announces $1.33/share Q2 profit, shatters Wall Street estimates

As nearly everyone notes right from the start when they begin to dig into the numbers that Infinite Loop has disclosed, the company’s profits — up 15% overall — have been driven primarily by strong sales & margins in the iPhone sector of its business.

That is to be expected, and will continue to be the case; however, in about seven weeks’ time (WWDC, June 8-12th) we are increasingly confident that more than just new iPhones & iPods will be announced. Whether the new iDevice(s) will be Apple’s answer to the netbook, the “iTablet,” or both in one device…whether they will be marketed as a Mac, given an i-Name, or one of each….these are the questions that we’ll be digging into over the coming days. Read more

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Apple to announce Q2 financial results today

In a highly anticipated announcement & analyst/investor conference call later this afternoon, Apple Inc. will disclose their second quarter financial numbers and answer long-standing questions about the performance of the company’s business under the most challenging (external/marketplace) conditions in the company’s history even as it offers its strongest line-up of products in that history.

AT&T has already posted their Q2 results, and among other interesting tidbits we’ll dig into later on, announced that they have activated 1.6 Million iPhones in the just-completed quarter; this dovetails closely with the grapevine’s expectations and strengthens our confidence in the “insider” picture we’ve been given regarding sales numbers across all of Apple’s product lines.

Overall, we’ve been led to expect by many reliable sources and industry power players, analysts & so on that this quarter’s AAPL financial results will out-perform the vast majority of standing Wall Street estimates. Read more

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Third “iPhone OS” 3 beta seeded to developers

Apple on Wednesday seeded a third beta of iPhone OS 3.0 to developers with numerous unannounced/under-the-hood changes (which we will be detailing in coming days) as well as a handful of specific improvements developers have been asked to test.

Among the officially disclosed changes are:

*Overall performance improvements (removal of debug code, re-writing of several key system routines which have been identified as sluggish since firmware 2.0, some even going back to 1.x….also, a lot of attention has been paid to app launch times and fine-grained optimization of the graphics system which is most noticeable in visually intensive games or apps with very active visual interface behavior).

*MMS multimedia messaging now works properly on a range of foreign (mostly European and Middle Eastern) networks and is fully compatible with the alternative “carrier bundles” used by some service providers overseas. Read more

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Mac OS X 10.5.7 release imminent

With the latest series of seeds — no less than three in the past week, culminating in yesterday’s distribution of build 9J50, and with one more possible prior to release — numerous indications have been given that the approximately 450-megabyte update package (or ~780MB “Combo Update”) will be hitting Software Update within the next week or so….possibly as soon as Friday.

Next Monday (4/20) has been mentioned as a possible release date by two separate sources familiar with Mac OS X & “iPhone OS” development at Infinite Loop, but according to these sources — who are generally quite reliable — the timing is now entirely dependent on how long it takes to quash current bugs as well as what if any new ones are submitted by developers in the interim. Read more

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Supplier orders already in for over four million new 2009 iPhones?!

A recent China Commercial Times report on Apple’s next generation iPhones includes the suggestion that an order is already in for more than four million units(!). But how does this report fit into the overall picture of the 2009 iDevices — and what do experienced rumor-mongers say about the other details in the CCT article?

Although the number — four million units — is consistent with previous insider reports, very little else about the China Times’ reporting makes very much sense according to anyone that Rumors has spoken to.

Whether “insiders” or simply fellow rumor-mongers playing the great game of Grapevine Telephone, based on first-hand knowledge, internal documents or just deductive reasoning consensus based on publicly available information…..a very consistent tone of doubt and contradiction has emerged about several things in the CT/CCT article. Read more

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Next-gen iDevice picture coming together

Already, the grapevine has sussed out a tremendous number of details about the four (planned, if not necessarily all shipped at the same time this summer) new iDevices:

*A huge order of NAND Flash memory storage chips, the same (but of higher density & performance — even lower power draw, in most cases) used in current iDevices for data storage, has been placed by Apple with several suppliers including Samsung. That in and of itself isn’t news….Apple has become a key buyer of these chips. What’s news is that the order is so incredibly massive that it will strain the market and might even make it challenging for the entire market for this class of Flash memory to become “constrained.” It could even have a significant effect on the market pricing of these chips going forward. Read more

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Apple to announce its quarterly financials in just over two weeks

With both the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas (Sunday the 19th) and Apple’s second quarter financial results announcement/conference call (Wednesday the 22nd) coming up in about two weeks’ time, excitement and speculation are running high over what might be unveiled this month.

Many have already catalogued what we can probably expect to *not* see/hear during the course of these events — news of Steve Jobs, any new Macs (or iDevices for that matter, most likely), or major strategic shifts.

But most of those reports are based on basic logical reasoning, public information, historical trends/behavior patterns and simple speculation….not hard evidence or “insider information” of any sort.

At the upcoming NAB conference, we expect several significant new software announcements including major new versions (or at least previews of summer releases) of its major video/animation apps such as Motion, Compressor and Final Cut as well as the very significant possibility of two entirely new video production related Pro applications which we are in the process of seeking to bring out from under source embargo so we can speak about them in more detail soon…. Read more

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