Thursday, March 24, 2011

Standing in line tomorrow? Here’s what to know about international iPad 2 pricing

Our friends over at the Italian blog have compiled a handy iPad 2 pricing matrix ahead of the international expansion tomorrow. Actually, due to time zones iPad 2 just launched in New Zealand and Australia (it’s Friday there). If domestic launch is anything to go by, patience of Apple’s loyalists overseas will be put to test as the company’s struggle to meet demand continues.

A glance at the online Apple store in New Zealand and Australia shows a 2-3 weeks shipping estimate. The US online Apple store also has shortened estimates for new orders to 3-4 weeks, down from a 4-5 weeks estimate. We bet international delays are possible because supplies are likely to get more constrained. Like in the US, in some territories abroad the gizmo costs the same in local currency compared to the last year’s model.

Today, US shipping estimates for iPad 2 improved to 3-4 weeks

European prices wary and in most cases begin at €479 for the entry-level 16GB WiFi model, topping out at €799 for the flagship 64GB WiFi+3G model. In some countries iPad 2 costs less than the first-generation model. These include UK, Australia, New Zealand and Germany, among others.

Apple will charge our British friends £399/£479/£559 for the 16/32/64 GB WiFi iPad 2 and a hundred British pounds more for their 3G GSM counterparts. Those price points include VAT and are £55 lower compared to the original iPad which debuted in the country at £429 for the 16GB WiFi-only model. Polyurethane and leather Smart Covers for iPad 2 will set UK buyers back £35 and £59, respectively.

Our friends in Canada can visit Best Buy stores to buy an iPad 2 tomorrow at 10am. Recommended retails prices are as follows, in Canadian dollars:

iPad 2 16GB WiFi = $519
iPad 2 32GB WiFi = $619
iPad 2 64GB WiFi = $719
iPad 2 16GB WiFi + 3G = $649
iPad 2 32GB WiFi + 3G = $749
iPad 2 64GB WiFi + 3G = $849

Meanwhile, Geeky Gadgdets and our own tipsters chimed in with information that T-Mobile UK will begin selling iPad 2 tomorrow from 5pm. The orders will be taken at the online T-Mobile store and via the phone. Existing T-Mobile customers can get the beloved gadget in exchange for £199 with a 24-month data agreement starting from £25 a month. New customers will pay £229 plus a 24-month data contract (£27 a month). The offer allegedly applies only to the 16GB WiFi+3G model and prices exclude VAT. Data package is capped to 1GB per month plus an extra 1GB of usage between 12am and 10am.

Apple on Monday confirmed iPad 2 launch on March 25, 2011 in 25 countries: UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The company has disappointed its loyal fans in Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore, saying they won’t be getting their hands on the new tablet before April, alongside other countries not included in the first wave.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Motorola’s plan B: Own web-based smartphone OS created by former Apple and Adobe talent

Once partners, soon frenemies? Droid X launch (left to right): Android’s Andy Rubin, Verizon’s John Stratton, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Motorola’s Sanjay Jha and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen

Motorola’s role in helping put Google’s mobile operating system on the map with Droid-branded smartphones cannot be underestimated. Even though Android has revitalized their phone business, it is now a risk factor for Motorola Mobility, formerly the mobile devices division of Motorola Inc. The company is reportedly developing its own smartphone software to reduce dependency on a single supplier.

They apparently hired a number of former Apple and Adobe engineers with experience in the mobile market, a source “familiar with the matter” told InformationWeek. This includes Apple’s former head of rich media and applications group Gilles Drieu and former manager of JavaScript development Benoit Marchant. Motorola did not deny such plans beyond re-affirming its Android focus. Jonathan Goldberg, a Deutsche Bank analyst:

I know they’re working on it I think the company recognizes that they need to differentiate and they need options, just in case. Nobody wants to rely on a single supplier.
This is interesting on many levels.

A much bigger hint than these hires, as our reader noted in comments, is Motorola’s $20 million acquisition of Y Combinator startup 280 North last August. Several former engineers worked there, helping develop a JavaScript language and framework similar to Objective-C and Cocoa used for Mac development. As a result, Motorola could find itself in a position to provide developer tools for easy porting of iOS apps to Motorola’s rumored new platform.

Their mobile operating system would be the third major mobile operating system to favor web-based development over native programs which are traditionally limited to underlying platforms. Palm’s webOS started the trend. Research In Motion confirmed its QNX-powered BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will focus on HTML5 apps and last year RIM said it would replace BlackBerry OS with QNX, the software platform they acquired from Harman International a year ago for an undisclosed amount.

At some point smartphones and mobile browsers will be good enough to run HTML5 apps so you won’t notice the difference compared to native experiences. The power of web apps that are written once and work across different platforms is not to be underestimated.

All those 99-cent IM apps, social clients and many, many other programs on the App Store will soon compete with equally flashy HTML5 apps, available free and supported with advertising.

UPDATE: Motorola’s written in and said: ”Motorola Mobility remains committed the Android operating system. We have hired employees with HTML skills to enable the best browsing experience to consumers and our strategic focus on the Android platform has not changed.”

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Netflix offers refund for outage

Netflix today offered a refund to all of its users affected by the outtage yesterday which was unfortunately timed well with Apple’s AppleTV 4.2.1 update.

This reminds me of T-Mobile’s great mobile service (a few years ago anyway). Before, I got my iPhone 1, I had a Sidekick on T-Mobile. When there was an outage, they’d refund a part of my bill – usually small but it was nice and sort of made up for the short time I had to spend on the phone with them. Now if AT&T screws up my bill, I have to spend an hour on the phone with 3 different people that don’t know what they are doing. Instead of a refund, I get to do it again the next month when it is screwed up again./rant

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com
- Posted using my iPhone 4

10.6.7 has new AMD video card support, perhaps for new iMacs

Tony at TonyMacx86 wrote in to tell us that Apple has included native graphics acceleration for some AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5xxx and 6xxx cards in the Mac OS X 10.6.7 Update for early 2011 MacBook Pro (Sandy Bridge).

The following graphics cards appear to be natively supported:

ATI Radeon HD 5630 Device ID 0x68D8
ATI Radeon HD 5630 Device ID 0x68D9
ATI Radeon HD 5670 Device ID 0x68D8
ATI Radeon HD 5730 Device ID 0x68D8
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Device ID 0x68B8
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Device ID 0×6899
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Device ID 0×6898

AMD Radeon HD 6850 Device ID 0×6739
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Device ID 0×6738
AMD Radeon HD 6970 Device ID 0×6718

Why is Apple supporting all of these generic/PC graphics cards? Perhaps some (but certainly not all?) of those video cards above will be included in upcoming iMacs. But it is likely bigger than that. Tony thinks that Apple may just have started to support native, off the shelf PC video cards.

“This means full QE/CI without Chameleon’s GraphicsEnabler or any enabler kexts such as ATY_init.” Could this mean the end of the Mac-only graphics card? Could Apple be opening up the platform more? What happens to NVIDIA? Why support for cards that aren’t in Macs yet?
This is certainly big news for those in the Hackintosh community. The 10.6.7 update also introduced a Sandy Bridge Kernel but takes steps to try to confirm that you are on a new MacBook Pro.

Speaking of which, if you are considering putting together a Hackintosh, TonyMacx86 is the beginning middle and end of where you should start.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com
- Posted using my iPhone 4