Category Archives: Apple Hardware

iPhone 4 now $99, iPhone 3GS free w/contract

iPhone Lineup

Credit: GDGT

Starting today, the very successful iPhone 4 is just $99 for the 8GB model, pushed out of the top spot by the new iPhone 4S.

As far as we know, the iPhone 4 will remain unchanged aside from the reduced memory and a new Apple model number for inventory purposes. Given the popularity of the iPhone 4 even when it started for $199, we expect these things to fly off the shelves in the next few months.

In addition, the nearly 3 year old iPhone 3GS is simply free if you sign a contract. Despite its age, the 3GS can run iOS 5 when it comes out October 12th, making it an excellent option for someone on a budget. Read more

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Apple iPhone 4S due out October 14th, now on Sprint too

iPhone 4S

Today during the press event at Apple’s Cupertino campus, CEO Tim Cook unveiled the next iteration of their popular iPhone platform: the iPhone 4S.

For those of you who were expecting an iPhone 5 today, you shouldn’t be disappointed. This is essentially what everyone was expecting the iPhone 5 to be: A5 processor, more ram, and a handful of new features, some exclusive to the new device. There’s no new design this time around, though.

Apple says the new iPhone 4S is 2x faster in the CPU department, with graphics performance 7x faster.

The new device also has a special antenna system designed to improve call quality by using one antenna for transmission and another for reception.

In addition the iPhone 4S is now a ‘worldphone’ and should work on pretty much any carrier* in any country, including Apple’s newest partner: Sprint. Read more

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New iPod Touch gains white model

Credit: GDGT

For the first time, the Touch is now available with a white face like the iPhone 4, previously it was only available in black.

The new model now has the same A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, along with an increase in ram memory (no word on how much, yet). ed: Apple for some reason chose not to include the A5 chip in the new Touch model, so it remains with the A4

Pricing on the white model is identical to the black version, 8GB/$199, 32GB/$299 and 64GB/$399. Read more

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Apple updates iPod Nano

iPod Nano

Though it is constantly overshadowed by its larger, iOS brothers, the iPod Nano still has a dedicated following due to it’s extremely small size.

Though the design of the device hasn’t changed much if at all, the interface is now supposed to be easier to navigate.

Apple has also added sensors built into the device for running and jogging, this essentially makes the device more usable out of the box, removing the need for users to buy a separate Nike sensor.

The multi-touch Nano has become something of a fashion item, with multiple companies now producing watch wrist bands specifically for the device, and Apple has now added new watch faces to the Nano for exactly that purpose.

The new model is available today in 7 different colors, 8GB/$129, 16GB/$149. Read more

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Apple invites press to iPhone event October 4th

This morning, Apple sent out press invites to an event scheduled for 10am Pacific time October 4th (next tuesday) on Apple’s campus in Cupertino.

As Steve Jobs is no longer the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook will lead the presentation while other Apple executives may take smaller roles on stage periodically.

For the past few years, Apple has used their annual WWDC event during the summer to announce a new iPhone model and to release the next version of iOS. Neither of those things happened this past WWDC, but iOS 5 is currently at the very end of beta testing so a release next tuesday would line up perfectly.

Apple is also rumored to be planning to release a new iPhone 5 model, containing the same A5 processor and improved graphics capabilities that debuted in the iPad 2 earlier this year, as well as a lower cost iPhone ’4s’ model. Read more

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WWDC 2011 Preview

WWDC 2011

Apple has announced the time and place for their World Wide Developers Conference this year. It will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco June 6th through June 10th.

Over 1,000 Apple engineers guide you through five exciting days of in-depth technical sessions and hands-on labs that demonstrate how to harness the incredible power of the world’s most advanced operating systems into your apps.

Apple currently lists 5 “technology tracks” that will be the theme of developer labs and sessions -

  • Application Frameworks
  • Graphics, Media, and Games
  • Developer Tools
  • Internet and Web
  • Core OS

In addition, Apple will once again be hosting the Apple Design Awards which “recognize technical excellence and outstanding achievement in iPhone, iPad, and Mac app design and development”. Read more

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Apple reveals the iPad 2

iPad 2. Credit: Engadget

iPad 2. Credit: Engadget

Today at the Yerba Buena center in San Francisco, Apple unveiled their 2nd generation tablet computer, the iPad 2.

Steve Jobs was present to demonstrate the new model, which features a much faster Apple A5 processor and a new, dramatically faster graphics coprocessor, up to “9x faster” according to Jobs.

Despite the faster processor and improved graphics performance, Apple says the battery life of the new model is the same as the old model, 10 hours.

While many hoped for a “Retina display” this time around, it was not to be. The iPad 2 has a 1024×768 IPS display, which is similar if not identical to the one in the old model.

The new iPad 2 also has dual cameras similar to the iPhone 4: one on the front face for video calling, and one on the back for taking pictures. Read more

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Is Thunderbolt the next iDevice “Dock” connection?

Thunderbolt port. Credit: Mac 4 Ever

Thunderbolt port. Credit: Mac 4 Ever

Rumors have been circulating for the last few weeks that Apple would add a Lightpeak port to the next iPad, with most people dismissing the idea as being too soon or just plain unnecessary.

However, given the newly revealed Thunderbolt connection that will debut on the next Macbook Pro, due out sometime soon, is it possible Apple plans to use it as a replacement for the Dock connector found on every iPhone and iPad?

If it sounds like overkill, consider the following:

At various times in the past and even in current iDevices, the Dock connector has been used for

  • Connecting to something via USB to sync and charge
  • Connecting to something via Firewire to sync and charge
  • Connecting peripheral USB devices using the Camera Connection kit
  • Output of composite video
  • Output of component video
  • Output of a VGA signal (using the VGA adapter for the iPad)
  • External control of music playback using the Apple Accessory Protocol
  • Connection to 3rd party peripherals
  • Output of a line level audio signal

Quite a list of jobs for a tiny connector on a portable device, no? Read more

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Next Macbook Pro to feature “Thunderbolt” port for high speed I/O

Apple’s Macbook Pro line is due for a refresh soon, particularly since the base 13″ model is still using the older Core 2 Duo processor because of chipset and GPU constraints.

Pictures have surfaced from French Mac site Mac 4 Ever showing what appears to be a Mini DisplayPort with a thunderbolt next to it:

In addition the site posted what appears to be a product package for an unreleased Macbook featuring the Thunderbolt icon, calling it “High Speed I/O”

Fscklog has also posted a shot of what appears to be the back panel of the same product packaging, again listing Thunderbolt as a High Speed I/O port:

The new 13″ Macbook Pro will use the Intel Core i5 processor along with Intel’s chipset, which means it will also have to use Intel’s integrated graphics instead of the Nvidia solution used before. Read more

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Apple schedules iPad event for March 2nd

The Loop is reporting that Apple has sent invitations out for an Apple Event next Wednesday, March 2nd:

According to the invitation received by The Loop, the event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 10:00 am. This is the same venue Apple has used to introduce a number of products in recent years.

While it’s obvious that this event is primarily about the new iPad, we’re certain that Apple will also say something about the recently unveiled subscription billing policy that many developers, publishers and tech journalists feel is going to harm the iOS ecosystem in the long run.

The iPad 2 is rumored to be a performance boosting upgrade, with more RAM and a faster ARM processor, but it’s also likely they’ll bump the flash storage capacity of each model as well, with the base model starting at 32GB. Read more

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AT&T increases data cap for tethering customers to 4GB

AT&T logo

AT&T logo

In a move that is almost certainly a response to Verizon’s data plan offerings for the iPhone, AT&T announced that as of February 13th, it would begin including an extra 2GB of data allowance per month for users who pay for the optional $20 tethering plan on top of the $25 DataPro 2GB plan.

The change allows tethering plan customers to use a total of 4GB per month regardless of which device uses that data.

Previously, AT&T’s data tethering “plan” was really more of a fee to un-cripple the tethering feature most smart phones already have, as AT&T refused to offer any additional data allowance to users paying a premium for the feature.

If you’re an AT&T iPhone owner, you’ve probably noticed that the Internet Tethering area of Settings just tells you to contact AT&T if you aren’t paying for the tethering plan. Read more

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Verizon confirms $30 unlimited data plan for iPhone

Apple Inc. Logo

In a Wall Street Journal report published early this morning, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam confirmed that when the iPhone 4 launches on Verizon’s network early next month, customers will be offered the same $30 data plan they offer for other smartphones.

Though AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans last summer ahead of the iPhone 4 launch, the carrier allowed existing customers already using the unlimited $30 per month data plan to keep using it. Many of those current AT&T customers may decide they have no reason to stick with AT&T anymore if Verizon will offer them the same unlimited data plan for the same price as a new customer.

The CDMA iPhone 4 is expected to launch on Verizon’s network February 10th, with preorders for existing Verizon customers to begin February 3rd. Read more

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Apple posts beta version of iOS for Apple TV 2

iOS Beta for Apple TV 2

iOS Beta for Apple TV 2

In addition to the iOS 4.3 builds offered to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch developers just moments ago, Apple has also seeded a new build of iOS for the Apple TV 2 hardware for the express purpose of testing AirPlay video streaming between iOS devices.

Not much else is known about what the new build contains, but expect the usual “bug fixes” etc.

Stay tuned! Read more

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Apple releases iOS 4.3 beta

iOS 4.3 beta

iOS 4.3 beta

Apple has posted beta versions of iOS 4.3 to the developer portal, just one day after Verizon’s iPhone 4 event revealed that the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 was running an unreleased 4.2.5 version of iOS.

Builds are available for the iPad, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPod Touch 3rd and 4th generation devices. Curiously, a build for the 2nd generation iPod Touch is not provided, however they may still release a public version for that model once iOS 4.3 is out of beta.

Not much is known about the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system, however rumors have been circulating since yesterday that iOS 4.3 would include the unannounced Wi-Fi internet tethering feature that Verizon demonstrated at the event yesterday. Read more

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Verizon reveals unannounced iOS feature: Wi-Fi Tethering

Personal Hotspot in iOS. Credit: Engadget

Personal Hotspot in iOS. Credit: Engadget

During the Verizon iPhone announcement earlier today, the company revealed that the CDMA iPhone 4 model would ship with “Mobile Hotspot” capability. Verizon representatives referred to this capability as an “App” that would be preloaded, however during hands on testing with the press it was discovered that the Mobile Hotspot feature is actually part of an unreleased version of iOS, referred to in the operating system as “Personal Hotspot”.

Test models being demonstrated for the press earlier today were running iOS 4.2.5; currently the newest version available for GSM iPhone models on AT&T and other carriers is 4.2.1.

Wi-Fi Tethering in iOS. Credit: Engadget

Wi-Fi Tethering in iOS. Credit: Engadget

Other screenshots posted by Engadget show the Wi-Fi tethering feature is an expansion of the existing Internet Tethering feature already available, however the current version of iOS only supports tethering over Bluetooth or USB. Read more

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