Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New low-cost, subscription-based personal navigation app from Garmin goes live on the App Store

There is no shortage of GPS-enabled apps on Apple’s mobile devices. Unfortunately, quality programs usually cost north of fifty bucks. For example, Garmin’s StreetPilot, an excellent navigation app for iOS gadgets, is a $60 download - you can get refurbished low-end handheld GPS devices for that sum. Figuring out the realities, Garmin released a brand new, low-cost, subscription based personal navigation iOS app, the Garmin StreetPilot onDemand.

The program works with iPhones as well as WiFi and 3G models of iPad and costs just 99 cents a month to use. It includes public transit information for 31 metropolitan areas, pretty 3D graphics, standard walking, driving and public transportation directions, spoken turb-by-turn directions and more.

You can download Garmin StreetPilot onDemand from the App Store and let iTunes charge your credit card 99 cents each month or opt for a premium subscription that comes with advanced features. More on that, plus three more screenshots below.

The premium subscription gets you voice-guided navigation with automatic off-route recalculation, real-time traffic, photoReal junction view, lane guidance, speed limits and more.

The premium upgrade costs three bucks a month, or thirty bucks annually, but they’re currently running a launch promotion where an annual premium subscription costs twenty bucks (a $10 saving), valid until September 14.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Windows Explorer 8: What happens when you can’t say no

Techcrunch points us to this amusing Microsoft blog post articulating the decision to put just about every possible item in the future Windows Explorer 8 bar.

This is clearly an example of trying to put everything somewhere with no regard for clutter or usability or design. It is hard to imagine a better example of why Apple’s ability to say no to extraneous features is better for usage.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Monday, August 29, 2011

Top execs could testify via video link as Samsung again delays tablet launch in Australia until September 30

Samsung on Monday promised to challenge Apple’s copyright infringement claims in Australia. Specifically, news agencies report, the Korean consumer electronics maker said today it “will continue to actively defend its right to launch the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia”. Reuters reports that the company confirmed plans to delay the Galaxy Tab 10.1 launch in Australia until after a court ruling in late September on its ongoing legal spat with Apple. Furthermore, Samsung will file a counterclaim with the Australian court in the coming days, seeking to invalidate Apple’s patents plus another one asserting a patent infringement on Apple’s part:

Today, Samsung informed the Federal Court of Australia it intends to file a cross claim against Apple Australia and Apple Inc regarding the invalidity of the patents previously asserted by Apple and also a cross claim against Apple regarding violation of patents held by Samsung by selling its iPhones and iPads
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, a hearing before the Australian court is due September 26 and 29 and Samsung agreed “not to sell or advertise” the tablet before September 30. The article also mentions the possibility of a high-profile testimony by both parties:

Apple and Samsung returned to court this afternoon, with Samsung agreeing not to sell or advertise the Galaxy Tab 10.1 before September 30. Apple will detail the specific patents involved in the case by this Friday and will provide a more comprehensive statement of facts by September 5. Samsung will provide points in answer by September 16, with the case going to a formal hearing on September 26 and 29. It was indicated today that top executives and inventors from both Apple and Samsung may appear in person or over video link to explain their patents.
It’s an interesting strategy on Samsung’s part…

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Apple releases iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1 to developers, features iTunes Match beta

Developers, get downloading! Apple has just begun seeding iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1 to developers, which features iTunes Match. This is the first time developers will be able to get their hands on the new cloud platform, announced by Apple at WWDC in June. The beta is available in the United States, and still has the $24.99 subscription cost with it. Apple sent the following email to developers seen after the break.

Apple warns that what is uploaded to iCloud will be deleted at the end of the beta period. Also, Apple wants to thank developers of their service with a free beta period and an additional free three months with their 12 months purchase.

For your perusal, we’ve included the release notes after the break:

iTunes match now featured in iOS 5 beta:

iTunes Match in Action via from Jeff on Vimeo.

Great video by iDownloadBlog.

Ah! The limit has been reached!

Thanks Mike, Matt!

Backup regularly and do not delete the music you add to iCloud from your computer. Apple
may periodically delete all iCloud libraries during the beta period. This will require you to scan,
match, and upload songs again. Also note that some of the features and optimizations of
iTunes Match may not be available during this beta.
About Subscribing
iTunes Match beta is available to iOS developers in the United States.
• iTunes Match beta is available as an automatically renewing 12 month subscription for
$24.99 per year. You may cancel at any time from your Account settings.
• To thank you for your participation, beta subscribers will receive the beta period and an
additional 3 months of service with their 12 month subscription.
• You can subscribe to iTunes Match using iTunes 10.5 beta on your Mac. iTunes Match is
not available with iTunes for Windows at this time. You cannot subscribe to iTunes
Match from your iOS device.
• You can access your iCloud library on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch with iOS 5 beta, or
your other computers with iTunes 10.5 beta.
• Once subscribed, you can add up to 25,000 songs to iCloud, and iTunes purchases do
not count against this limit. iTunes Match will not add your apps, books, movies, TV
shows, ringtones, and audiobooks to your iCloud library. These items can continue to be
synced to your iOS device with iTunes. iTunes LPs and iTunes Extras are also
• iTunes Match includes limits to how you may access your iCloud library:
- You can use iTunes Match on up to 10 computers and iOS devices, up to five of
which can be computers authorized with your Apple ID.
- You can only associate computers and devices with a different Apple ID once every
90 days.
Getting Started
Important: Before you get started, it is recommended you make a backup of your complete
iTunes library. You can find your iTunes library inside /Music/iTunes in your Home folder.
To subscribe to iTunes Match:
1. Install iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1 or later on your Mac.
2. Open iTunes and choose Turn On iTunes Match from the Store menu.
3. Click the Subscribe for $24.99 button and follow the onscreen instructions. Once
complete, your Music library will include songs on your computer and in iCloud.
Once iTunes has completed matching your music with the iTunes Store, you may begin
accessing your iCloud library:
• From your iOS device:
1. Tap Settings > Music > turn iTunes Match ON.
This will disable syncing music with iTunes.
2. Press the Home button and tap Music.
• From your other computers:
1. Install iTunes 10.5 beta on your other Macs
2. Open iTunes and choose Store > Sign In. Sign in using the same Apple ID you used
to subscribe to iTunes Match.
3. Choose Store > Turn On iTunes Match
4. Click the Add this Computer button
5. Once complete, your Music library will include songs on your computer and in
Known Issues
• Songs in unsupported formats will not be uploaded to iCloud at this time.
• Some songs that are available in the iTunes store may not be matched correctly.
• Some songs may match to a different version of the same song on the iTunes Store.
• You will not be able to add music to iCloud from more than one computer at a time.
• You may experience playback issues on iOS, such as slow performance, incorrect track
playing, or songs being shown as unavailable when they are available.
• Playback over cellular data connection will occur when Wi-Fi is not available, despite
this option being turned off in Settings > Store

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Comex on his new Apple gig and how much he made on the jailbreak scene

We told you last week that Nicholas Allegra (better known as Comex), founder of JailbreakMe and popular member of the jailbreaking community, would be joining Apple for an internship this week. This left many wondering whether or not he would still be contributing to future exploits.

The answer? No. He has, however, done a quick Q&A (below) to answer some of our questions and give us insight into his views on Apple and jailbreaking.

Not only will he not contribute to future jailbreaks, it looks like he won’t be sticking around at Apple long either, as he notes plans to return to college will prevent him from taking up a permanent role. Also factoring into that decision is the fact he’s “never had a job before”, which may be because he’s received over $55,000 in donations from his jailbreaking efforts. He also thinks Apple will continue to “beat the pants off its competitors”.

When asked about Apple stealing ideas from jailbroken apps and tweaks, Comex explains:

I certainly don’t mind. Jailbreak community puts an idea in front of people with a crappy implementation; Apple polishes it to the point where it can be an OS feature. I don’t know whether Apple actually pays attention to jailbreak apps, but see App Store, copy and paste, multitasking, etc…
Below are excerpts from the Q&A with Comex on Reddit (via TechCrunch):
Why an intern position though? It seems like you could carry a regular position at apple. (AstroZombie138)

Comex: I don’t know if I’d want to do that- I’ve never had a job before and I don’t know what it’s like- and I intend to go back to college soon.
Have you made any money from the [jailbreak] scene? (jamesvdm)

Comex: I’ve made a good amount of money through donations, which is mostly being used to help pay for college. JailbreakMe 2.0 was like $40,000; 3.0 was $15,000 (not quite sure why it decreased).
Are you optimistic about the future of the iOS platform? What features are you looking forward to next? (iconoclaus)

Comex: My personal opinion: it will probably continue to beat the pants off its competitors in performance for a while yet, and Apple’s “take your time but do it right” policy on features will probably continue to make it a pleasure to use. But I’m impatient: other platforms (WebOS) have a lot of fun stuff with no real equivalent in iOS.
After your internship with Apple and after iOS 5 is officially released, will you continue to support the jailbreak community by providing exploits? (nishnasty)

Comex: No. (But I’ll want to jailbreak my phone, so I hope someone finds them :p)

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

No Snow Leopard left behind: Apple allegedly bringing iCloud compatibility to OS X 10.6

Apple is said to be working on an incremental operating system update for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard that will let its users enjoy seamless integration with the iCloud service, which is scheduled to go live this Fall when iOS 5 debuts. MacRumors spotted the above notice in a developer’s .Mac preference pane in TIGER after he had upgraded his MobileMe account to iCloud:

You will no longer be able to sync with this machine because you’ve upgraded to iCloud. iCloud requires a computer running Mac OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.9 or later for Contacts, Calendars and Bookmarks.
This is actually the first mention of more detailed iCloud system requirements beyond a brief description on Apple’s iCloud page. OS X 10.6.9, of course, has yet to be released, but it’s nice seeing that Apple won’t be leaving out Snow Leopard users with its upcoming cloud service.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Browser shootout Lion Hackintosh versus Windows 7

In a comprehensive shootout by Tom’s Hardware, Safari 5.1 on Windows 7 edged other browsers in two out of three GUIMark2 Flash tests

While some folks feared the 2GB of memory requirement meant an added bloat in Mac OS X Lion, many fans were pleasantly surprised seeing their Lion system perform faster and zip through daily tasks smoother compared to their previous Leopard or Snow Leopard installations. But how does Lion fare against Windows 7 in web-based tasks, including page loading times and common technologies such as Adobe’s Flash, HTML5 web apps and WebGL-accelerated graphics?

Tom’s Hardware set out to figure out the answer to that. They put both operating systems through their paces in a series of tests run on the same hardware, so Lion was running on a PC machine rather than an Apple-branded Mac. The tests were conducted using the latest platform-specific builds of Chrome 13, Firefox 6 and Safari 5.1 for OS X Lion and Windows 7.

Overall, Chrome wins by a slim margin. However, Lion’s Safari running on a Hackintosh matched or beat the best score from Windows-based browsers in 10 out of 29 scored tests, leading author Adam Olivera to write:

On its native platform, Safari is definitely no slouch. In fact, the performance of Safari 5.1 in OS X Lion matches that of Firefox 6 in Windows 7. Mac OS X Lion is a beauty to behold, and its benefits aren’t just skin-deep. The score for Safari 5.1 on OS X is really close to Chrome 13 running on Windows 7, and it might even beat Firefox 6 for Windows. So, if you throw Safari 5.1 for OS X into the regular Windows 7 mix, Apple takes or shares second place.
Analysis tables for both Windows 7 and OS X Lion are right below the fold. Note: Benchmarks are just benchmarks and often not representative of real-world performances. One such benchmark, for example, painted Windows Phone 7′s browser as being much faster than Safari in iOS – even though the results alter drastically with Safari’s Nitro engine in the picture. With that in mind, Olivera also wrote that a Hackintosh fared better in Flash, HTML5, WebGL and page load times than Windows 7:

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

More evidence points to next generation iPhones carrying iPhone 4 sized screens

DigiTimes in a story today, which was sourced from “upstream panel suppliers”, claims that Apple’s next phone will have a slightly larger display, but not drastically. That, plus this little tidbit, confirming earlier rumors that the iPhone 4′s glass design fell out of favor with the management:

In addition, iPhone 5′s back design will be changed to a metal chassis instead of reinforced-glasses.
Specifically, the publication has shot down rumors of a much larger display on the next iPhone, instead saying that iPhone 5 “will adopt a 3.5- to 3.7-inch panel with a design to allow the bezel of the panel to become thinner and make the screen look larger”.

And if the metallic back claim is true, than the pictures of iPhone 5 LCD, digitizer screen panel and the home button leaked by could in fact be for the iPhone 4S, a minor refresh rumored to be unveiled alongside a major iPhone 5 update which we reported could be up for pre-order September 29. The site acknowledges this, having updated the story with this caveat:

After today’s report of iPhone 5 getting metallic back instead of reinforced glass, we think that these parts are for cost-effective iPhone 4S and not for upgraded model.
The LCD part is labeled as N94 “EVT1″ and dated March 3, 2011. As you may recall, 9to5Mac found references to the “N94″ in the iOS 5.0 SDK earlier this year, which we suspect could be an A5-powered next-generation iPhone. Engadget also spotted on the above images what looks like a FaceTime camera LED indicator.

There is also the elusive N97 which Engadget says already reached DVT back in June. The N97 is a smaller device with an edge-to-edge screen, according to this Wall Street Journal story. It would make sense that this could be the “new” iPhone 4 with 8GB storage. On the other hand, it is also possible that N97 is the iPhone 5, because N97 may have a Sony lens – the same company rumored to be producing eight-megapixel sensors for the iPhone 5.

Also, Apple’s software development kit for iOS devices says N94 has A5 and it would be actually cheaper for Apple to make a bunch of A5 processors rather than some A5 and A4. Plus, there is also N93, which could be a carrier variation.

EVT stands for Engineering Verification Testing, a phase before DVT (Device Verification Testing) which is one step below the actual production. The N94 marking indicates a new hardware model and the March date of Engineering Verification Testing indicates that the next iPhone is right where you’d expect it to be right now, in early manufacturing.

Other takeaways: The parts indicate the same bezel space (no edge-to-edge display design), “similar space between the screen and the home button and top ear piece”, and the regular home button. The last one pretty much dispels earlier rumors of an elongated home button that responds to touch and even stories that the next iPhone may lose the home button entirely.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Adobe unveils PDF creation app for iPhone and iPad

Adobe today released a new iOS app dubbed CreatePDF that does right what the name suggest. Using CreatePDF, one can create PDF documents from scratch, right on their iOS device, down to images, links, formatting, footnotes, drawings and more. Adobe touts “the same high-quality PDF creation as Adobe Acrobat” and you can pretty much create any PDF document you could think of as the app works in tandem with the cloud to ensure quality PDF conversion.

Upon installing, CreatePDF registers as a default app to open Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, AdobeIllustrator drawings, Photoshop images and InDesign files, in addition to Open Office and StarOffice documents and JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF and TIFF images. This lets you send the aforementioned mail attachments or documents from other apps to CreatePDF using the “Open In…” feature of iOS. CreatePDF is a universal binary that costs ten bucks over at the App Store.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New leaks hint at thinner profile, tweaked button layout and high-res camera for Apple’s next iPhone

Greek-language site published (Google translate) a set of photos claiming to represent a high-resolution camera module with LED flash, presumably for iPhone 5. The site, whose track record in the Apple reporting biz has not been fully established, claims the module on show is “quite different” compared to that on the iPhone 4. It is round, a little thinner and appears to have more megapixels, the site informs. The part is labeled 00094 C6/11291 BB.

Gadgets DNA notes these are the same parts leaked yesterday – and they do appear to be similar – but there is no way to tell that for a fact. Meanwhile, points to, a Chinese supplier of iPhone parts which lists the eight-megapixel camera module for nine bucks, which is the same asking price for the iPhone 5′s supposed front camera with cables.

Now, did discover in February that Mac OS X Lion would support Yahoo! accounts for chat, audio and video conferencing. However, you’re advised to take their report with skepticism and treat the images included here not as a definite evidence. It has become difficult to predict anything about Apple’s next handset with any degree of certainty due to a number of conflicting reports that polluted the blogosphere.

The site also leaked an audio cable which appears to confirm a little design change with the iPhone 5 buttons, included below the fold.

The below image shows the audio cable with the headphone jack, as well as connections for the mute/vibrate switch and the volume up and down buttons. Notice anything strange? The volume buttons are positioned on the right rather than on the left side. This design tweak also conflicts a previous case leak which basically indicated the next iPhone could have a ringer switch on the opposite side of the volume keys. Note it’s also possible this particular part could be for a redesigned iPod touch. Alternatively, it could as well be for a rumored smaller iPhone model, apparently code-named N97. That device is said to be smaller than the iPhone 4 while featuring an edge-to-edge display, per this Wall Street Journal story.

The latest tidbit regarding iPhone 5 parts came yesterday when DigiTimes and both chimed in with information and leaked parts which would have you believe that one or more future iPhones would have an iPhone 4-sized display and metal chassis on the back instead of the reinforced-glass. Per our report, Apple could be gearing up to launch iPhone 5 on October 7, with pre-orders beginning September 30, although that date could (and probably will) change. As for the iPhone 5′s camera, Apple is thought to have cut a deal with Sony, which will reportedly supply the company with eight-megapixel camera modules for the handset. Apple’s long-standing supplier OmniVision is also expected to provide camera parts, industry publication DigiTimes wrote back in June. Limerain first reported that Sony might supply rival Apple with cameras for iPhones, maybe even iPods, back in April of this year.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Sprint tells employees not to discuss upcoming iPhone 5 launch

While it may seem obvious, Sprint is telling its dealers not to discuss the possibility of an upcoming iPhone 5 according to SprintFeed.

If the nation’s third largest carrier wasn’t getting the iPhone, would they put in such harsh lockdown measures? Why not instruct employees to tell customers to look at a nice Blackberry or Android instead? Color us skeptical.

Earlier this month, the WSJ reported that Sprint would be getting the iPhone 5 at launch. That followed our report a month earlier that Sprint engineers were preparing for the iPhone 5. In May, an Engineering job had been advertised for an iPhone technician to work in Sprint’s HQ city, Kansas City.

T-Mobile is also likely to get access to the iPhone 5 later this year, though they already have 1 million iPhones on their network.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Steve Jobs’ biological father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, gets profiled

Abdulfattah John Jandali – Steve Jobs’ Biological Father

In the tumult following Steve Jobs’ resignation, the New York Post and others (here’s a good one translated from Arabic) have been digging up interviews with Steve Jobs’ biological father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, who is a Syrian-born Vice President of a casino in Reno, Nevada. He’s an 80-year old workaholic who is trying to avoid retirement at all costs (sounds familiar).

The Syrian immigrant says he is overcome with guilt for his treatment of Jobs and only learned recently that the child he gave up for adoption was the famous CEO. “This might sound strange, though, but I am not prepared, even if either of us was on our deathbeds, to pick up the phone to call him,” Jandali said. “Steve will have to do that, as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune,” he said. “Now I just live in hope that, before it is too late, he will reach out to me, because even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man,” he said. Jandali says although he was in love with his now ex-wife Joanne, her father was a tyrant and would not allow her to marry him since he was from Syria. Joanne then upped and moved to San Francisco to give birth to Jobs without her family or Jandali knowing. “She did not want to bring shame onto the family and thought this was the best for everyone.”
It is a pretty emotional story overall. The short of it is that they’ve never talked and, although he has sent Jobs a few emails (haven’t we all?), he’s afraid to call Jobs. Because of this, he fears they never will communicate.

It was our natural inclination to see what this guy looked like but Google images didn’t return anything. Therefore, we decided to dig a little deeper.

Without trying to offend anyone, below are some more public pictures of Jobs’ biological father we found on the net. There is definitely a resemblance!

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tim Cook gets 1,000,000 AAPL shares if he stays through 2021

As noted by MacRumors, Apple has filed a form 8-K with the SEC to announce this week’s changes to Apple’s executive board. Notably, Apple has awarded 1,000,000 stock shares to new CEO Tim Cook.

In connection with Mr. Cook’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer, the Board awarded Mr. Cook 1,000,000 restricted stock units. Fifty percent of the restricted stock units are scheduled to vest on each of August 24, 2016 and August 24, 2021, subject to Mr. Cook’s continued employment with Apple through each such date.

That comes out to around $383M at the current stock price.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Amazon prepping Android-powered tablets for “hundreds less” than Apple’s iPad

According to the New York Post (via BGR), Amazon is getting ready to launch their rumored Android-powered tablets with a price tag “hundreds less” than Apple’s current $499 base model iPad 2. “Hundreds less” sounds a lot like $299.

The devices, expected to launch sometime in October, will more than likely be the result of the entry-level tablet codenamed “Coyote” and it’s pro-model counterpart the NVIDIA T30 Kal-El powered “Hollywood”. We told you about these devices back in May, which will most likely be powered by a highly customized Amazon version of Android (bringing with it Amazon services like the Appstore, Kindle eBook store, Amazon Videos, music and possibly brought together by the Cloud Drive).

Amazon is clearly prepping a huge move into the tablet market. We reported this week that the company signed up a third touch panel supplier, and that was after recently becoming the second largest buyer of tablet-related parts – without yet having released a tablet.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

East Coast Apple Stores close while others open in Arkansas and North Carolina

Apple’s grand opening of their first store in Arkansas

Today, Apple is opening three new Apple Stores in North Carolina, Arkansas, and France.

Arkansas – The grand opening in Little Rock will mark the state’s first Store, located at The Promenade at Chenal. There are of course campers.
France – France’s new Store is located just south of Paris, at the Centre commercial rĂ©gional. This makes for the country’s ninth store, after opening a new one just last weekend.
North Carolina- The new store is located in Charlotte in the Northlake Mall, making for North Carolina’s fifth store.

While the three new Stores are opening, Apple has made the decision to shut down stores in New York including all three in Manhattan, New Jersey and Connecticut.

In other Apple Store news, we’ve heard the Hong Kong Store is going to be delayed a month into October. But don’t worry, Apple will still be unveiling new stores in order to meet their goal of opening 30 new stores by September 30th. Apple still has 14 more to go.

Check out a video of the opening in France below...

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Samsung no longer exclusive chip supplier as Apple turns elsewhere for A6 processor?

Samsung, a producer of critical parts for Apple’s gadgets, may be on the verge of suffering another financial blow from Apple. A new report alleges that the Cupertino, California-headquartered personal electronics maker began lining up alternative suppliers for the A6 chip. The in-house designed processor should debut in iPad 3 next year and eventually make its way into iPhone 6 .

Trade publication DigiTimes has it on good authority that Apple recently visited an assembly line of packaging and testing firm Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL). Based on what they saw, they concluded that officials from Apple are reportedly willing to discuss the possibility of working together on the upcoming A6 processor:

Apple recently conducted a visit to SPIL’s assembly line, and both parties discussed opportunities for cooperation, the sources revealed. SPIL stands a chance of becoming the first packaging and testing service provider designated by Apple, cutting into the supply chain of the vendor’s processor line, the sources said.
The report explains SPIL is likely to “snatch outsourcing orders” for the A6 chip. Needles to say, SPIL is denying the story, which is what companies caught up in juicy Apple rumors always do.

If true, the report would seem to corroborate whispers that Samsung is losing orders to other Asian suppliers due to its legal wranglings with Apple. We heard before that Apple began test runs of the quad-core A6 processor with TSMC (Intel wants that biz, too). The deal with TSMC is also said to involve the A5 chip, implicating that Samsung could already no longer be the exclusive manufacturer of Apple-designed silicon for iOS devices.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

iPhone ‘N94′ prototype images leak

We just posted images that allegedly show the ‘iPhone 4S’ body, an entry-level iPhone that Apple is rumored to release alongside the iPhone 5. Now, MacPost (via MacRumors) has published images of what they describe as the “iPhone 5 EVT prototype (N64) back cover”.

The report notes that we found references to the “N94″ in the iOS 5.0 SDK earlier this year, which we suspect could be an A5-powered next-gen iPhone (whether it’s the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 is still unclear). While it’s obvious this is an “early development prototype” thanks to the “’07-June-2011″ markings, we can’t help but notice it bears a striking resemblance to the iPhone 4 variant that BGR reported was being tested for T-Mobile.

The leaked images today back up rumors of an A5 processor, antenna redesign, and more than likely support for T-mobile. There is still no way of telling whether we’re looking at an upgraded iPhone 4 that will act as an entry-level model, or perhaps an iPhone 4S variant that will become the iPhone 5. However, the prototype in the image, at least, doesn’t seem to support mocks ups based on evidence from leaked case designs pointing to a more streamlined design for the next-gen iPhone.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Thursday, August 25, 2011

iPhone ’4S’ frame found, antennas differ

We initially detailled what developers were calling an iPhone 4S’ way back in April. It was essentially an iPhone 4 with an upgraded processor. Then an iPhone that was supposed to be running on T-Mobile USA’s 3G network turned up shortly thereafter with an interesting antenna design.

Today, and MacRumors stumbled upon some of what they think might be ‘iPhone 4S’ bodies. Both sides of the frame are shown above and feature a slightly different antenna design than the iPhone 4 with the only breaks being at the bottom of the phone.

Interestingly, the frame also deviates from the iPhone 4 in where the home button lies, leaving them to speculate that there might not be a home button, there could be a capacitative home button or some sort of other redesign.

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JailbreakMe founder Comex hired by Apple

Comex, the founder of JailbreakMe, has just announced on Twitter that he’ll be joining Apple as an intern next week. From the sound of his tweet, it looks like Comex will be taking a break from the jailbreak community. It’s sad to see him go, but we’re pretty sure he’ll hand over the reins of JailbreakMe to someone else. We wish him the best of luck at Apple!

Tweet 1: It’s been really, really fun, but it’s also been a while and I’ve been getting bored.
Tweet 2: So, the week after next I will be starting an internship with Apple.
Interestingly, we heard this just a few weeks ago:

Forbes concludes, Apple should be offering up an internship to Allegra.

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Competitors react to Steve Jobs’ resignation

Yesterday’s news that Steve Jobs decided to stand down as the CEO of Apple wasn’t entirely shocking to seasoned Apple watchers who knew this day would come. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, if you were willing to read early signs, such as an open-ended sick leave nearly stretching into its ninth month. Wall Street understandably sent AAPL down 4.6 percent to $358.75 in early New York trading in what one investor described as “an emotional trade in the short term” that also affected Nasdaq-100 Index and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index which both declined a fraction of a percent on the news. Meanwhile, companies Apple counts as competitors gained. Both shares of Samsung and LG Electronics, which compete fiercely with Apple on smartphones, gained 2.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, in Seoul trading.

NH Investment & Securities Co. analyst Seo Won Seok says Cook, Apple’s newly appointed CEO, “may try to improve the relationship with Samsung” or even work out a settlement of sorts. The notion has its merits as Steve Jobs was a strong advocate of intellectual property protection as Apple banned the copyist Samsung from selling smartphones and tablets in Australia, the European Union and elsewhere. Jobs exit could also turn into “lease of life” for Sony, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard, HTC and ZTE Corp – all companies under tremendous competitive pressure stemming from Apple’s successes in multiple markets. While Samsung and HTC spokespersons wouldn’t come on the news, top dogs from Sony, Nokia and ZTE would. Here’s how they complimented Jobs’ achievements…

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Apple CEO A tough act to follow

In an operational sense, today won’t be any different than yesterday at Apple. The people who help curate the email address will probably be putting in some extra hours, the work changing around the placards is probably almost done, and it appears Apple isn’t going to be doing any sort of media tours to ‘help allay investor fears’.

And they don’t need to. Nothing has really changed. I imagine bigger changes were slowly happening behind the scenes a few months ago when Operations VP (incidentally, Tim Cook’s original title) Jeff Williams was promoted to the Executive Bios page. He probably began doing the work of a traditional COO at around that point and, of course, Tim Cook has been acting as a traditional CEO on and off for years.

As Cook’s email to the troops this morning explained, Apple is not going to change – drastically, that is. As any company, Apple is always changing. But Jobs has set up an internal ‘University’ program run by a former Yale dean to make sure that his and other leaders’ values continue to be passed down to Apple’s new VPs and employees.

Steve Jobs hired dean of Yale School of Management Joel Podolny to run the Apple University, an internal group also featuring business professors and Harvard veterans that are writing a series of case studies to prepare employees for the life at Apple after Jobs. These case studies focus on Apples recent business decisions and internal culture, they are exclusive to employees and taught by top executives like Tim Cook and Ron Johnson.
As John Gruber made note, Apple the company is as meticulously designed as any Apple product:

Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself.
Apple is the most valuable tech company in the world, an accomplishment that took fourteen years of fantastic long-term decision making. That same intelligence and foresight has gone into the planning of life after Jobs roaming the hallways. Compare today’s long-prepared news on Apple’s share price (none) with that of HP’s bungled earnings news last week on their share price (–20%).

Renaissance Man
Jobs isn’t just a technologist. He built and directed Pixar into the greatest animation studio in the world ahead of anything Hollywood could produce. He changed the music industry forever.

“For a guy who never recorded a song, or signed a band, or founded a label or a music festival, Steve Jobs has probably had more of an impact on the music world than any other person in the last quarter century – and possibly since Thomas Edison.”
He might have been the best, but for all of his greatness, Steve Jobs was not a perfect leader. There have been a few flops and mistakes. Perhaps Jobs was too trusting of Google early on? Options back-dating happened under his watch. AT&T?

Obviously, the triumphs far, far outweigh the mis-steps. As you look at a 55-year-old man in the body of someone decades older, it’s hard not to imagine what a healthy Steve Jobs with twenty years left at the helm might accomplish. I wouldn’t compare the loss of Jobs’ ability to “move the world forward” to the burning of the Library of Alexandria, but it’s hard to find another such comparison that makes sense. This is the man that ushered in personal computers, then did it again with the Mac GUI, then put iOS on portable devices and ushered in the smartphone revolution that we are in the midst of right now and finally re-invented the Post-PC personal computing device. He might have even done things we don’t even recognize yet. Perhaps he’s killed office park campuses with the Mothership HQ? Maybe Apple releases a wearable device in a few months that changes watches like the iPhone changed phones?

What huge innovations will we miss decades from now?

Perhaps the knowledge of his own mortality pushed Jobs even harder. You don’t need to listen to his famous Stanford speech to understand his appreciation for the opportunity he got as a cancer survivor. He worked every day as Apple CEO, just like yesterday, his last.

So how is anyone supposed to follow Jobs, especially an Industrial Engineer out of Auburn who, comparatively, seems introverted and certainly not as innovative?

Give Cook some credit

Remember, Jobs hand-picked Tim Cook to be his successor. What greater honor could you bestow on someone? Jobs didn’t just pick him out of the air, either: they’ve been working alongside each other for over a decade. Jobs picked Cook to be VP of Operations just months after taking back the reigns at Apple in 1997-98. We’re talking 13 quality years working side by side every day here.

As we know, Jobs isn’t shy about telling people what he thinks or cutting people loose who aren’t meeting his expectations. If there were a better candidate in the world for being the COO and now CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs would have found him or her.

Cook has managed Apple’s employees, partners, vendors and everything else during its decade+ renaissance. Remember, Steve Jobs’ first round at Apple and subsequent venture at NeXT were mired in operational mis-steps. Sure, Jobs learned from his mistakes, but I think Jobs would be the first to give Tim Cook credit for turning Apple into the operations machine it is today.

But can Tim Cook live up to Steve Jobs’ leadership? Read more

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Apple begins to roll out new category home page redesigns in the App Store

As pointed out by The Next Web Apple has begun to role out a new redesign for category home pages in the App Store. The redesign follows suit with the home page of the App Store, displaying a large horizontal banner which runs through the category’s featured apps. As of now, the redesign is only appearing in the Education and Games sections.

Besides the banner, Apple has removed the section that displayed all of the category’s apps, and has replaced it with the “Staff Favorites” section. Now, the three sections for each category are: ”What’s Hot”, “New and Noteworthy”, and “Staff Favorites”.

The iPad is also seeing these updates — again for only the Education and Games section. The iPad’s “What’s Hot” section is now replaced by “Staff Favorites,” and the banner is displayed. This is most likely on its way to rolling out through the whole App Store.

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Steve Jobs bio will cover the resignation, on track for November 21 release

Authorized Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, CG-rendered

Steve Jobs’ resignation yesterday will be covered in the upcoming authorized biography by writer Walter Isaacson. Furthermore, publisher Simon & Schuster’s tells, the book is still on track for the November 21 release:

Publisher Simon & Schuster said the highly anticipated tell-all biography, written by acclaimed biographer Walter Isaacson, will include Wednesday night’s announcement from Jobs’ point of view.
The writer “speaks to Jobs regularly and is still working on the final chapter of the book”, spokeswoman for the publisher told

Amazon lists the $19.50 asking price for the hard cover version of the upcoming biography, a $13 saving over its retail price of $32.50 and just $2.5 more versus its digital-only counterpart that costs $17 in pre-order over at Apple’s iBook store. As you’d imagine, Jobs’ biography is getting scooped up like mad right now. Heck, even that fake Steve Jobs biography from China managed to sell four thousand copies at ten bucks each, and that was five days ago.

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Chrome gets Omnibar history sync, Lion multitouch gestures, and more

Several new enhancements have surfaced in the latest developer version of Google’s Chrome browser. As previously announced, the software now respects Apple’s multitouch gesturing philosophy in OS X Lion. This means you can flick your finger left or right on your Magic Mouse (or two fingers on a trackpad) to advance and go back in your history. Unfortunately, the browser won’t yet let you double-tap or pinch to smoothly zoom in and out of web pages iPhone-style, like Safari on Lion. Another nice-to-have: You can now rest assured that accidentally hitting the Command + Q combo won’t quit Chrome because a subtle overlay appears telling you to hold down the combo briefly in order to quit (see the above screenshot), which has been around for awhile since past builds.

Chrome now supports Lion’s Full-Screen feature through standard full-screen button found in the upper right corner of the window. The latest nightly build across all platforms also added Omnibar history syncing (see below), in addition to the previously available syncing of extensions, passwords, bookmarks, web apps, autofill items, browser settings and themes. A multi-profile feature has also seen some work in the visual department, even though it is not yet available in nightly Chrome builds for OS X. If you wish to try out those experimental features, we recommend installing the Google Chrome Canary build that runs without a hiccup alongside your existing stable Chrome installation.

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Foxconn: We wish “Steve Jobs well”, expect Apple to “perform well in the future”

Interesting that Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, issued a statement regarding Steve Jobs’ resignation from his CEO post at Apple. The Asian company wrote in a short email statement to Bloomberg:

Foxconn wishes Steve Jobs will get well. We think Tim Cook has shown good work as stand- in CEO during Jobs’s absences and expect Apple will perform well in the future. The relationship between Cook and Foxconn has been very close and we expect that the relationship will become even closer in future.
Asian companies are traditionally tight-lipped and shy away from commenting on their partners’ business dealings so it’s a bit surprising Foxconn would put out a statement, let alone touch on the subject of Steve Jobs well-being. On the other hand, Foxconn is Apple’s largest contract manufacturer and as such has been instrumental in ramping up manufacturing to meet the growing demand for Apple’s gadgets around the globe.

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The Woz: “Apple just needs to stay financially responsible” in the post-Jobs, post-PC world

In early reactions to Steve Jobs’ sudden CEO departure to assume the chairman role of the company’s board of directors, Steve Wozniak, the man who co-founded Apple 35 years ago in Jobs parents’ garage, initially told Bloomberg that Jobs once told him that it was his “life’s plan to bring technology to the world”. editor Gina Smith, who co-authored “iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way”, briefly interviewed Wozniak yesterday who said that “Steve needs now to just have some ‘Steve time’. He deserves it”. The Woz doesn’t think much will change in Apple’s DNA following the leadership change. He said:

You’ve got to remember. He was surrounded by great, great people at Apple … and those people are still there. I don’t think the core Apple culture will change because of (Jobs’) leaving, not for a long time. Apple is set up. It just needs to stay financially responsible.
Wozniak told The Next Web that he wasn’t close enough to the Silicon Valley luminary to “tell you what his reasons were for resigning”, adding this on Apple’s culture of secrecy:

A lot of people have been hurt by it when they’ve been affected, but I’m totally behind it. I like to have new products developed without being influenced by outsiders. It’s been one of the greatest things for Apple’s success.

Jobs, of course, is a legendary visionary and the world’s ultimate product developer whose on-hands approach to the creation of Apple’s gadgets helped a great deal turn the ailing company on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1990s into the world’s second most-valued corporation.

“Do you know how many committees we have at Apple?”, Jobs asked rhetorically Walt Mossberg during the D8 conference, before quipping, “Zero. We have no committees at Apple”. The line came in response to Mossberg’s question whether Apple taps market research in developing hit products.

Wozniak also said this about the post-PC, post-Jobs Apple:

He’s probably going to be remembered for the next 100 years as the best business leader of our time. He will watch the company for a while, hope its on such a good track. For a company as large as Apple, corporate culture doesn’t change overnight. The quality of the people doesn’t change

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Tim Cook addresses Apple troops as newly appointed CEO, says “Apple is not going to change”

If you don’t know by now, former Apple COO Tim Cook will officially be taking over the reins as Apple CEO following Steve Jobs emotional resignation yesterday. While this left some to wonder whether or not the Apple culture Jobs help create would remain, Cook has now addressed the Apple team as CEO (posted below) ensuring the company and devoted followers that the core principles of Apple will indeed stay the same. (via ArsTechnica):

Cook has considerable experience at Apple and in the technology industry as a whole. Having joined the company in 1998 (after working at IBM for 12+ years) as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations, Cook’s work ethic and dedication eventually leaked over to the Macintosh division in 2004, and ultimately landed him in a role as COO where he has been since 2007. Cook is also said to have filled in for many of the key, day-to-day tasks that Jobs (who was recently on medical leave) would have otherwise performed, giving him not only experience at Apple, but also over a years combined experience as CEO.

Tim Cook’s full address to Apple employees as CEO:


I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.

I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.

I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mossberg: Jobs intends to be involved in developing major future products and strategy, will stay active

In case you thought otherwise, the Wall St. Journal‘s Walt Mossberg says that Steve Jobs’ role at Apple will remain unchanged:

Extremely well-informed sources at Apple say he intends to remain involved in developing major future products and strategy and intends to be an active chairman of the board, even while new CEO Tim Cook runs the company day to day.
Jobs has essentially been doing this since he went on medical leave in January.

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Icon Ambulance: Google’s Vic Gundotra recalls Steve Jobs The Perfectionist

Joining other reactions on the web to Steve Jobs’ sudden resignation as the CEO of Apple yesterday, Google’s vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra recalled on Google+ a particular Sunday in January 2008 when Apple’s boss asked him to call his home. The reason? The Google logo on the iPhone:

So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow. I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?
The following day, the world’s greatest product developer followed-up with an email message with the subject “Icon Ambulance”, directing Vic to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon. MacRumors dug up the Google logo icon back from those days, shown below. Of course, Steve Jobs’ penchant for calling people in the middle of the night is legendary. Gondotra acknowledges that “it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something”. A 2004 Bloomberg interview quotes Jobs’ approach to product design and calling unexpected ad hoc meetings:

Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.
Vic, who is in charge of engineering at Google and as such had been in direct competition with Apple’s former boss on multiple fronts, has more praise for Jobs’ leadership qualities:

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Steve Jobs submits resignation as CEO of Apple, elected Chairman of the Board. Tim Cook in as CEO

This is of course a sad day and one that we’ve had in the back of our minds for years now. After founding Apple 35 years ago in his garage in Silicon Valley, and subsequently getting pushed out less than a decade later, Jobs was brought back in in 1997 when Apple was on the bring of collapse. In the 14 years since his return, Apple has turned into the most valuable company in the world by market cap. To say he’s leaving the CEO position on top wold be an understatement.

Since his third medical leave was taken in January it has seemed Jobs has been moving into a Chairman-type roll, still leading the Keynotes but giving everyone else a bigger role. As Chairman, Jobs will “continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration,” said Apple Board member Art Levinson. Tim Cook will take over as CEO as per the Apple succession plan. Jeff Williams will likely take over as COO.

In the past months, Jobs has revealed a revolutionary new headquarters for the Apple of the future. The authorized biography Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (pictured above) is due out in November.

The Resignation letter:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple”s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple”s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


From the newswires….

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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We hope a long and healthy life for Steve Jobs and his family. We hope that the company will do great thing in the future, and Steve Jobs continues to contribute to the company.

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Reactions from around the web on Jobs’ resignation

We’re picking some some of the more meaningful reactions to today’s news. It’s important to remember that Jobs isn’t gone from Apple, he’s Chairman Jobs now.

Bloomberg reports that Steve Jobs will stay on the board of Disney.

Apple’s Steve Jobs is said to be remaining on Disney’s board
The WSJ reports (they have a nice Jobs quotes as well):

People familiar with the situation have said that Mr. Jobs continues to be active at Apple and is closely involved in the company’s product strategy. Apple watchers don’t expect that to change even after Mr. Cook takes over.
Bloomberg, however, just reported that Jobs had been weak and housebound for several weeks but worked and attended today’s board meeting…

The iPhone Dev Team says “they loved the chase” referring to the ‘Cat and Mouse’ Statement Jobs made on jailbreakers a few years ago. IT is signed from jailbreakers and tinkerers everywhere. Obviously Woz and Jobs got their start this way.

Daring Fireball puts Apple, Inc into perspective as Steve Jobs’ greatest creation.

..the same things that define Apple’s products apply to Apple as a whole. The company itself is Apple-like. The same thought, care, and painstaking attention to detail that Steve Jobs brought to questions like “How should a computer work?”, “How should a phone work?”, “How should we buy music and apps in the digital age?” he also brought to the most important question: “How should a company that creates such things function?” Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself.
Woz (talking to Bloomberg): “Jobs once told him that it was his life’s plan to bring to technology to the world.” He also said the iPhone was Apple and Jobs’ greatest creation.

Harry McCracken:

Still unimaginable: that Jobs was the most important person in personal technology both in 1978 and in 2011.
Om Malik:

And then there is Steve and Apple — a leader and a company not afraid to take the long view, patiently building its way to the future it envisions for itself. Not afraid to invent the future and being wrong. And almost always willing to do one small thing — cannibalize itself. Under Steve, Apple was happy to see iPhone kill the iPod and iPad kill the Macbook. He understands, you don’t walk into the future by looking back — if you do, you trip over yourself and break your nose. Just look at Hewlett-Packard, and you know what I am talking about.
For a great background story on Tim Cook, not much is better than his Auburn commencement speech

Gizmodo: Why Steve Jobs picked the perfect time to resign

If you have or have seen something interesting to add, please do, below.

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San Francisco design shop envisions iPhone 5 with laser keyboard and holographic display CONCEPT CG

There is no shortage of iPhone 5 renderings, leaks and case designs and we posted those on a few..different..occasions. As opposed to artists’ renditions predominantly based on leaked cases and late rumors, let’s step back for a moment and think big. Courtesy of Aatma Studio, a San Francisco-based 3D animation and digital content shop, here comes a cool iPhone 5 concept they fashioned, shown above.

We absolutely love the virtual laser keyboard that can be “swapped out” of the device and perched on the desk. It is also pinch-zoomable and illumination controlled. As for the holographic display, the idea actually stems from Apple’s patent filings related to pico projection systems letting you (theoretically, of course) flick whatever’s shown on your device’s display onto the wall. Enjoying a movie projection while camping at night suddenly takes on a whole new dimensions. Wondering about that thriller-like soundtrack? It’s “Movement Proposition” by Kevin MacLeod.

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Another victim of iPad success: Amid losses, Acer says breaking even in 2011 “becomes impossible”

Acer’s seven-inch Iconia Tab A100 tablet, which hit US shores earlier this month

Sixteen months following the original iPad launch back in April 2010, the Android camp has hit unexpected roadblocks as first tablets based on Google’s software fail to impress the mass consumer or gain any meaningful traction in the marketplace. Earlier this year heads rolled at companies that couldn’t produce a viable answer to Apple’s market-defining product, while nasty quotes from competitors only served to stress their jealousy. Computer maker Acer is a typical example. Their former CEO and president Gianfranco Lanci was forced to quit his post abruptly in the wake of the iPad challenge as the company outlined reorganization plans.

Today, the Acer Group posted preliminary results and the numbers don’t look good. They suffered a quarterly operating loss of NT$7.1 billion (about $246 million) – Acer’s first-ever quarterly loss – and a 32 percent annual drop in consolidated revenues of NT$102.1 billion, or about $3.5 billion. Three hundred jobs will be cut in Europe and the company will take a $150 million hit to write off inventory and doubtful payments in Europe. Acer shares fell a whopping 65 percent this year in a broader market down 16.4 percent. Also, they have no compelling products in sight in the run-up to the holiday quarter. It gets worse, chairman JT Wang tells Guardian:

Today I have to say, trying to break even this year becomes impossible.
Why poor results? As mentioned earlier, Acer had to swallow significant costs attributed to company-wide reorganization and clearing up excessive inventory. The latter is in line with other makers reducing prices of Android tablets in order to “digest inventory overstock”. Interestingly, Acer will no longer report sell-in, which only includes shipments to the channel, and will instead switch to the sell-through model which counts actual sales to end users.

This is what the post-PC world ranking looks like today, if you count tablets as PCs
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Apple granted injunction banning Galaxy smartphones EU-wide by October 13 UPDATED 2x

Update 1: Samsung comments below the fold

Update 2: Judge declares Apple’s “slide-to-unlock” patent invalid

A Dutch court today issued an “EU-wide preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy” devices (excluding the Galaxy tablets), according to a report from FOSS Patents who just posted the official court order.

From the report:

The Rechtbank ‘s-Gravenhage (a Dutch court in the city of The Hague) today issued an EU-wide preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones — but not the Galaxy tablets — at Apple’s request. The decision follows a hearing held on August 10 and 11, 2011.
While the majority of Apple’s claims have reportedly been rejected by the court, one patent detailing swiping gestures between images in a gallery has apparently lead to the court’s ultimate decision (according to Tweaker via MacRumors). The “EU-wide” ruling will take effect October 13 and will ban Samsung subsidiaries from selling several devices including the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Ace smartphones. However, “EU-wide” in this case is not necessarily all of Europe, rather only in countries where that specific swipe gesture-related patent (image below) is valid. Foss Patents explains:

This relates to countries in which one particular European software patent (EP 2059868) is valid. (Formally it’s a “device” patent, but it doesn’t represent any innovation on the hardware side, so the nature of the invention is that of a software patent the way I define that term.) The status of that patent varies between various countries as this list shows…there are many countries in which the application wasn’t turned into a valid patent because Apple didn’t make the necessary administrative effort and pick up the related costs. Those countries in which Apple didn’t successfully pursue and complete a local registration include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Spain.
This comes on the heels of Samsung appealing a similar preliminary injunction (which has been temporarily lifted) granted by a German court halting sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the EU, claims that Apple doctored images of the Galaxy S in a Netherlands court, and some pretty crazy tactics on Samsung’s part regarding prior art arguments. We’re not sure what this means for Samsung’s upcoming line up of newly branded Galaxy devices slated to launch at IFA. We’ll keep you posted as more info becomes available.

[UPDATE 1, August 24 at 2011 8:55am PDT]

Samsung released the following statement in response to the injunction (via BBC):

“Today’s ruling is an affirmation that the Galaxy range of products is innovative and distinctive…With regard to the single infringement cited in the ruling, we will take all possible measures including legal action to ensure that there is no disruption in the availability of our Galaxy smartphones to Dutch consumers…This ruling is not expected to affect sales in other European markets…”
[UPDATE 2, August 24 at 2011 1:24pm PDT]

Another interesting bit of info (via FOSS Patents) from the court’s ruling. The Dutch judge concluded Apple’s “slide-to-unlock” patent was invalid after Samsung submitted prior art of the Neonode N1m phone running Windows CE. This is a patent that Apple is also using here in the U.S. to sue HTC and others.

The report explains:

The Dutch judge concluded that the Neonode N1m already implemented the entirety of Apple’s claimed invention with only one difference remaining: Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent also claims an unlock image that moves along with the finger as the sliding gesture is performed. But that difference didn’t convince the judge that Apple was entitled to a patent. He said that the use of an unlock image was “obvious” (in Dutch he said it was “lying on the hand” in terms of “not far to seek”).

Image from photo swipe-gesture related patent (European software patent (EP 2059868)

*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4