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October 20th Apple Event preview

Steve Jobs will once again take to the stage tomorrow, Wednesday October 20th at the “Town Hall” on Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California to unveil a new round of products and technology previews with his infamous headline-grabbing presentation style. What will be announced? Grapevine consensus appears to have a firm grasp of the big picture, but as to the details….

With a few notable exceptions (the small number of people working on certain projects within Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion,” internal code name ‘Barolo,’ force us to sit on details of those projects until after the Event when even if those projects aren’t mentioned during the Event, they will be known to a wider group within Infinite Loop and leaks can no longer be tied so easily to our sources), what we’ve been told by some of our oldest and most reliable contacts in Cupertino comports very closely with the grapevine’s consensus of what to expect tomorrow:

*Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” as hinted by Apple’s logo for the Event:

Apple's Back to the Mac October 20th Apple Event logo

….Lion is a collection of long-standing projects, many of them held back from the Leopard and Snow Leopard development cycles because they were too ambitious and too out of sync with Apple’s priorities at the time to make the cut for those releases. Read more

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January 27th Apple Event Preview Part 1: The Tablet

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you are probably well aware that tomorrow, Wednesday January 27th, Apple is hosting one of its infamous “Events” and the centerpiece will be a tablet-like iDevice which was, coincidentally, just “confirmed” by the CEO of publisher McGraw-Hill on CNBC minutes before this post was sent to the presses.

The big questions are, what will it be like? What sort of tech specs will be under the hood? Based on years of following the Tablet’s development through our sources in Cupertino and backed up by grapevine consensus, here’s what we’re expecting at the heart of tomorrow’s announcements.

First, the bullet point tech specs:

  • 10-inch touchscreen display with one of the highest resolutions ever produced, and almost certainly in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
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It wouldn’t be January without….

….a little fireworks, Cupertino style.

In much of the media, Apple tablet rumors–and even its quarterly financial results–are showing up even more intensely than anything the company has brought to market before. Obviously, that’s saying something. But in those same media, that sentence would more commonly have ended with something more like “the run-up to the Super Bowl.” It’s little secret to most of this site’s readers that for the Mac community, the frantic run-up to an Apple Event makes the circus of a Super Bowl look like a well-mannered sit-down for British tea and crumpets.

Our January 27th Apple Event coverage starts with an overview and some analysis of the quarterly financial results that the company just announced this evening. Read more

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Will the ‘iTablet’ run iPhone OS or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard?

As “iTablet” (Macbook Touch? iPhone Cinema?) rumors have reached a fever pitch in recent days thanks to several disclosures and leaks by third parties privy to late-stage prototypes of the device, speculation has mounted as to which variant of OS X it will run — will it be an iPhone (ARM CPU, iPhone OS) or a Mac (Intel processor, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard)?

The most difficult part of answering this question, for even the most well-informed and -connected of insiders, is that Apple has explored both possibilities and has been extensively revamping countless elements of the Snow Leopard interface to make multi-touch input more practical. One way or another, Macs will eventually adopt multi-touch displays; it’s just a matter of when and what models, at what price ranges. Read more

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What’s next for iPhone & other iDevices?

There are many new features and pieces of core hardware that we expect to see in future iDevices — some of which (iPod Touch S) could be announced in a matter of weeks, others (iTablet, higher screen resolutions, 802.11N Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, etc) which we think may reach the market early next year and the truly next-generation stuff (4G cellular network chips, dual core ARM Cortex 9 processors, even more powerful GPUs, 5-megapixel camera with 1080P HD video and so on) that almost certainly won’t be announced until mid-2010.

And that’s just a short list.

But even Apple itself doesn’t necessarily know for certain whether suppliers will hit road-map targets for the components/chipsets that will bring these capabilities to the iDevice platform….nor whether the internally-developed technologies being engineered at Infinite Loop will hit their own. Read more

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WWDC Preview Part 3: iPod Touch, Other iDevices, One More Thing?

As Rumors has previously reported, we expect an entirely new family of iDevices to be shipping by the end of the summer — and although expectations for an announcement of new 2009 iPhones are running high today, the actual shipping date of those new phones is most likely at least a few (3-4?) weeks in the future.

We also believe that at least one other group of iDevices, most probably and expanded/upgraded iPod Touch lineup, will be announced today….with at least some models paralleling the feature set of the high-end 2009 iPhone, including:

*One proposed marketing name for the new iDevices was “iPhone/iPod Touch X2,” denoting the “twice as fast, twice as much, twice the features” advancements over 2007/2008 models….

*Faster CPU (~600MHz ARM Cortex A8/similar, or perhaps a slight upgrade to the existing 412MHz ARM11 in the 500-600MHz range) competitive with the Palm Pre’s 620MHz Cortex A8 chip….and faster GPU (PowerVR multi-core, 5X+ performance gain over today’s iDevices) which supports Anti-Aliasing/Anisotropic Filtering, greatly improving visual quality at the same display resolution.

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WWDC 2009 Preview Part 2: iPhone OS 3.0 & Snow Leopard

In the case of iPhone OS 3.0, we already have a fairly good idea of its feature set, performance, and reliability from the series of developer betas that have been released over the past several months. Although Apple has not yet made an official statement as to its final release date, there has been none of the hedging that we’ve seen with Snow Leopard; we wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some type of delay, or a “Final Beta” similar to Snow Leopard’s, will be announced today….but the most likely outcome is a release in the near term if not actually today.

Obviously, we’re very excited about that and we know all of you are as well. If we’re forced to wait for one more round of debugging to be carried out and for developers to test their apps against a set of new features, we’ll live…but many things about the dev process thus far, and the state of the mobile operating system itself, suggest that a release is imminent without significant further delay. Read more

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WWDC Preview Part 1: 2009 iPhones

As Rumors has previously reported, numerous indications from within the source code of iPhone OS 3.0 Beta releases….industry leaks from suppliers….and Infinite Loop itself as well as reports from reliable sources all over the planet all converge on a few relatively widespread fact-based predictions:

*At least three distinct 2009 iPhones: “3Gx2” or “3.5G” high-end model with enhanced specs & full support for AT&T’s new 7.2Mbps “Enhanced 3G” cellular data network….an entry-level model more or less the same as today’s iPhone 3G with mostly cosmetic changes and a few tweaks (possibly Bluetooth 3.0, among others), and a third “International” model designed for certain markets such as China which have unique cellular networking standards/requirements.

*Within each model family, there will be at least two pricing/value tiers based largely on storage space (but possibly also storage performance, in some cases); in approximate terms, 8GB 3G $99 — 16GB $149 (3G)/$199 (3.5G) — 32GB 3.5G $299, with a possible additional 64GB tier at $399. Read more

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iPod Touch, other 2009 iDevices to include video camera?

It is already widely believed among rumor-mongers — with very good reason, based on the extensive source reports we’ve received on this specific detail — that at a minimum, the high-end 2009 iPhone will sport a new CMOS imaging sensor (“camera”) with 3.2MP photo capabilities and video output far superior to that of current 2007/2008 iPhones which only support video functionality when Jailbroken, and even then with poor image stability/quality/framerate.

The latest wave of rumors on the grapevine take this several steps further, suggesting that at least some type of camera will be included across all 2009 iDevices including the new iPod Touch and the much-speculated-upon “fourth iDevice” (entry-level iPhone, high-end iPhone, iPod Touch, and “iTablet” or similar).

Rumors’ sources have led us to go even further out on a limb than that in our predictions: based on the latest reports to come out from under source embargo, we believe that every 2009 iDevice with a camera will have some form of video capability, and most likely will be at least 3.2 megapixels for photographs/1280×720 (720P HD) video resolution. Read more

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Multitasking for 3rd-Party Apps?

Some have speculated, based on varying degrees of “insider” information, that all iDevices (current 2007/2008 iPhones & iPod Touch models as well as upcoming 2009 iPhones, iPod Touch models and an all-new iDevice sometimes referred to as ‘iTablet,’ ‘iPad’ or ‘iPortal’ which will compete with Tablets and “Netbooks”) running iPhone OS 3.0 when it ships this summer may have more than just the “background notification” features announced at the iPhone OS 3.0 Preview Event in March.

Specifically, several rumor-mongers have suggested that certain apps — either a specified number (two [2] is the most frequently mentioned figure), or a limited range of application types which would fit certain requirements to be “pre-approved” for background-tasking capability by Apple’s AppStore managers.

Neither of these fits very well with Infinite Loop’s style, nor are they consistent in any way with the information we’ve received from our own “insider” sources. Read more

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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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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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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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