Tag Archives: touch

Apple buys second ARM chip design firm, Intrinsity

Readers who have their ears to the grapevine will remember the excitement over Apple’s acquisition two years ago of PA Semi, which led directly to the production of its first in-house ARM CPU, the 1GHz A4 which is at the heart of every iPad.

Now, indications are that Apple has made a second acquisition to bolster its in-house ARM SoC development efforts: Intrinsity, formerly a close partner of major ARM manufacturer Samsung. What does this mean for the future of Apple’s iDevice hardware?

Among many other specialties in ARM SoC design, Intrinsity is well known for its engineering talents in the area of power efficiency optimization. Particularly for ultra-compact iDevices, power efficiency doesn’t just mean long battery life….it means that faster, more powerful ARM chips with higher clock speeds can be packed into the same package. 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 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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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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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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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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iDevice OS 2.2.1 points to “iPhone 2,1” product

According to numerous readers and grapevine-lurkers who’ve looked under the hood of the new 2.2.1 iPhone OS firmware, it contains multiple references to a new iPhone — version “2,1” in the terminology used by Apple in all its operating system/firmware variants — better known to some as the “iPhone Pro.”

Given how soon a new iPhone would have to be introduced for it to make any sense at all to include references & support code inside as minor and early-in-year of a release as 2.2.1….we don’t think that this is a replacement for the 3G model. Rather, it is a complementary model intended to broaden the range of options that iPhone adopters have when they decide to purchase one.

Since the 8GB 3G is already as low as $199, we think that this “iPhone 2.1” (not to be confused with the “2.5G” 1.0 or “3G” 2.0) will instead be a high-end model similar to the iPhone Pro we’ve reported on previously, with some or all of these enhanced features:

*Major overhaul/upgrade of the ARM based system mainboard which handles almost everything but the functions dedicated to the “iPod” and “Phone-Modem” chips which are unto themselves nearly complete system boards….those chips will most likely remain unchanged, but the ARM based mainboard will most likely be upgraded to something similar to, or faster than, the ARM Cortex A8 used in the Palm Pre. Read more

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