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Report: The New iPad is Packing 1GB of RAM

A5X processorApple rarely plays the specs game, particularly when it comes to its iOS devices. Sure, you’ll get a name for the processor and they’ll boast about pixels when it suits them, but talk about RAM or clock speed and there’s radio silence. However, according to one source, the iPad’s dirty little secret is its ever-increasing RAM usage.

The Verge is reporting
that “the new iPad” — you know, the one with that amazing new Retina Display — may very well be shipping with a full 1GB of RAM to assist that swanky new A5X processor with quad-core graphics and 2048×1536 screen. So what’s the big deal? It seems the iPad is doubling its RAM usage with each new model, according to sources.

“Sources have informed us that Apple’s latest has indeed received an upgrade in that area as well, and will ship with 1GB of RAM — double that of its predecessor,” the report reveals. “Cupertino has consistently tried to avoid playing the specifications game with the iPad and iPhone; the products have almost always shipped with memory and horsepower that were considered below the norm for their respective times, with the original iPad featuring just 256MB of RAM.”

256MB to 1GB of RAM in three generations is hardly a surprise, especially considering what the new iPad is capable of compared to the original model introduced in 2010. But it is a good indication that the iPad will eventually face many of the same problems that desktop computers have — as apps get larger and more capable, they’ll need a bigger pool of random access memory to swim around in.

You can bet that there will be a teardown of the new iPad on or around March 16, and then we’ll probably all know for sure what the third-generation tablet is packing.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Foxconn Factoids from ABC News’ Nightline Special Report (with Full Video!)

Foxconn packing iPhoneAs we reported on Monday, ABC News’ Nightline aired a 30-minute special report Tuesday night that put the spotlight on factory conditions at Foxconn, where many of Apple’s products are manufactured. Missed it? Read on for the highlights.

The Verge has assembled a list of key points from Tuesday night’s Nightline special report on Foxconn. ABC News anchor Bill Weir is the first journalist to be granted access to the factories where Apple’s popular devices are manufactured and assembled, which comes at a time when the spotlight is already shining on these Chinese facilities rather intently.

As it turns out, the report didn’t reveal anything truly shocking — or as The Verge editor Joshua Topolsky puts its, “there wasn’t much meat on the bones of the 30-minute report.” But that doesn’t mean the Nightline broadcast didn’t glean a few factoids about Foxconn and Apple’s relationship with the company.

For example, there are 141 different steps involved in making an iPhone, almost all of which is done by hand. Meanwhile, it takes five days and 325 hands to produce a single iPad, even though Foxconn manages to produce 300,000 iPad camera modules each day.

On the subject of the Foxconn workers, they receive .78 per hour for their work and sleep six to eight in a Foxconn-provided dorm room, which costs each worker .50 per month (yes, paid out of their salary). Foxconn workers also pay for their own food (70 cents per meal) and work in 12-hour shifts. Ready to sign up? New hires must survive three days of training and “team building exercises” first.

Last but not least, Apple’s voluntary inspections by the Fair Labor Association are costing the iPhone maker 0,000. And did you know that Foxconn executive Louis Woo would actually prefer it if Apple forced the manufacturer to pay its workers double the pay? Sounds like somebody’s making too much bank.

ABC News has posted the entire Nightline special report, which is available in all its Adobe Flash-plagued glory embedded below as well as through the ABC News app.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of The Verge; video courtesy ABC News)

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Report: Google Bypassing Safari Privacy Settings to Track Ads

Google tracking with SafariBy default, Apple’s Safari browser is set to block cookies from third parties as well as advertisers, but it a new investigation has turned up evidence that this may not be preventing Google and others from simply ignoring the setting to better track the ads they are serving up.

AppleInsider is reporting that Google “and at least three other smaller web ad networks” have found a way to circumvent the default privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal has turned up evidence that Google, Vibrant Media, Media Innovation Group and Gannett PointRoll are bypassing the privacy settings “using code that misrepresents its ads as being a user-initiated form submission.”

“Google added coding to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible form to Google,” the WSJ report reveals. “Safari would then let Google install a cookie on the phone or computer.”

Both Safari and Mobile Safari include a default setting to block cookies “from third parties and advertisers,” which Apple uses by default to prevent Google and others from leaving advertising-related cookies on a user’s system.

However, in Google’s case, “some ads placed by DoubleClick (which Google owns) made it appear to Safari that the user was purposely interacting with DoubleClick by automatically sending an invisible form,” the report explains. “Safari would thus allow DoubleClick to install a temporary cookie on the user’s computer,” which could then be used for better tracking its ad views.

The Wall Street Journal has uncovered evidence of such activity at major websites all across the internet, including Google-owned YouTube, Aol, About.com, Comcast, NYTimes.com, YellowPages.com, Match.com and Fandango, but noted “there is no indication that any of the sites knew of the code” in question.

“We were not aware of this behavior,” said Michael Balmoris, a spokesman for AT&T-owned YellowPages.com, “and we would never condone it.” For their part, Google claims that WSJ “mischaracterizes what happened and why. We used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled. It’s important to stress that these advertising cookies do not collect personal information.”

While that may be the case, an unnamed official at Apple was quoted in the report as saying “we are working to put a stop” to companies circumventing the privacy settings in Safari — and after being contacted by WSJ, Google “has also reportedly disabled the tracking code to circumvent Safari’s privacy settings,” according to AppleInsider.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of AppleInsider)

 

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Report: Mass Shipments of Intel Ivy Bridge Processors Delayed

Intel Ivy Bridge processorStill waiting for a swanky new Mac to call your very own? You may have a bit of a wait ahead of you, judging from a new report claiming that Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processors will be delayed until “after June.”

MacRumors is reporting that Intel has begun notifying its partners of a delay in “mass availability” of the forthcoming Ivy Bridge processor, which is believed to be what Apple will use in this year’s Mac systems, replacing last year’s Sandy Bridge architecture, which Intel apparently has in abundance.

“Intel recently notified its partners about plans to postpone mass shipments of its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors,” a report from DigiTimes reveals. “Despite that the company will still announce the new products and ship a small volume of the processors in early April, mass shipments are not expected to occur until after June, according to sources from notebook players.”

While its possible that Apple could have already snapped up the “small volume” of processors being shipped in early April, the rumored MacBook Pro redesign that’s pegged for early this year would likely ship in larger quantities, especially if the high-end notebook slims down like the MacBook Air, as widely anticipated.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Report: New Mac Pro Unearthed in Mac OS X 10.7.3 Beta?

Mac ProCan it really be 15 months since the Mac Pro was last updated? The familiar hulking frame is even more long in the tooth, having been largely unchanged since the Power Mac G5 was introduced in the sunny summer of 2003 — several lifetimes in computer years. While Apple remains mum on the prospect of a new Mac Pro, there’s some evidence to support that refreshed hardware is still on the boards in Cupertino.

MacRumors is reporting that a new Mac Pro model may have been outed thanks to some digging around in the latest Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta released to developers last week. According to Netkas.org, there are strings in the software which reference new video drives for a forthcoming AMD graphics card with the codename “Tahiti” — which just happens line up with a 28nm desktop graphics card that company plans to release in January, 2012.

“The new Tahiti series should end up with Radeon HD 7xxx branding and as it will come in XT and PRO flavours,” explains Fudzilla.com of the new graphics hardware. “It’s kind of safe to assume that Radeon HD 7970, codename Tahiti XT will be the fastest single chip card from AMD while the Radeon HD 7950 will be codename for the Tahiti PRO product.”

Needless to say, the Mac Pro is the sole remaining hardware in Apple’s lineup capable of even using a desktop graphics card, so the question becomes: Is there a new Mac Pro model incoming, or is Cupertino simply adding compatibility for the existing desktop?

Time will tell, but at this point Apple should really unleash completely revamped hardware or maybe put the Mac Pro out of its misery at long last…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Report: Apple Black Friday Sales Exceeded Expectations

Apple 2011 Black FridayBy all accounts, Black Friday 2011 was one of the biggest in recent memory — bad economy aside, folks came out in droves to spend, spend, spend. Judging from a source inside Apple Retail, Cupertino’s own chain of stores were not immune from the good news.

9to5Mac is reporting on Apple’s Black Friday sales, which apparently went far better than the company anticipated. According to “a source inside Apple Retail,” Apple had forecasted four times the usual sales for their one-day shopping event on Friday, but those forecasts went flying out the window by 7PM, breaking records all across the country.

“Apple Retail was forecast and broke Retail sales records all over the country today, this is from [redacted] today, the forecast today is more than 4 times what we normally do,” the inside mole reported. “We broke the forecast by 7pm.”

The source claims that having the lowest price on the iPad certainly helped reach that goal, but the MacBook Air was another product that sold “particularly strong” as well. As noted by 9to5Mac, it’s rare that Apple offers discounts of any kind, and even for their one-day Black Friday shopping event the discounts are modest, but apparently any discount is enough to encourage folks to spend.

Apple isn’t celebrating Cyber Monday today, but the company did kick off a free shipping promotion, good until December 22 for anything in the store — no worrying about hitting that minimum during the holiday season.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Report: Amazon “Kindle Fire” To Be Announced Wednesday

Amazon Kindle Fire mockupIf the rumors are to be believed, Amazon will step into the tablet fray on Wednesday with something called the “Kindle Fire” — a customized Android slate which may pose the first real threat to Apple’s dominance with the iPad, thanks to the ecosystem the e-tailer has built for apps, movies, TV shows, books and music.

TechCrunch is reporting that Amazon will use their special event on Wednesday, September 28 to reveal their long-awaited tablet called the Kindle Fire. Although CEO Jeff Bezos is expected to show off the device on stage, shipments aren’t expected to begin until the second week of November.

We can hear you now: “Another tablet claiming to dethrone the iPad?!” — and on the surface, the Kindle Fire doesn’t look like much. The seven-inch slate resembles the BlackBerry PlayBook, which is no coincidence, with TechCrunch claiming “it was designed and built by the same original design manufacturer (ODM), Quanta.”

Why on Earth would Amazon want to release their product in the shadow of a loser? “They wanted to get the Fire out there in time for this holiday season so they outsourced most of it as a shortcut,” TechCrunch explains. (It should also be noted that for all of its faults, the BlackBerry PlayBook hardware has largely been greeted with praise.)

That dubious decision aside, the otherwise ho-hum specs (customized Android 2.1 with a TI dual-core OMAP chip assumed to be clocked at 1.2GHz) hide the real value of the Kindle Fire, which is the content. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Apple has built an entire ecosystem around the same principle, and no one is as well positioned as Amazon to go head-to-head with Cupertino on that front.

On Monday, Amazon announced it had struck a streaming deal with FOX to add more content to its fledgling Amazon Instant Video service, which is free for Amazon Prime customers who pay per year for the company’s unlimited two-day shipping service. When the deal kicks in this fall, Amazon will offer more than 11,000 movies and TV shows, including the classic The Wonder Years which makes its debut on digital.

Couple Amazon Instant Video with Amazon MP3, Amazon Appstore and the already thriving Kindle service, and the Kindle Fire makes a compelling offering — especially if the e-tailer bundles a year of Amazon Prime service into the purchase price, as TechCrunch believes they will, which is predicted to fall between 0 and 0.

The only downside we can see is that the iPad isn’t likely to get that sweet Instant Video app…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of TechCrunch)

 

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Report: Manufacturers Doubt Ice Cream Sandwich Will Help Against iPad

Ice Cream Sandwich is SadDigitimes is reporting that notebook manufacturers do not believe they can compete against the Apple iPad yet, even with Google’s upcoming Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich.

According to the report, the manufacturer sources believe they may not see anything capable of competing against iOS until the Android version after Ice Cream Sandwich, or even Windows 8.

However, those same sources believe that the overall demand for tablets will drop significantly. Apparently, the iPad will follow the same spike and dip in sales as the netbook. This expectation for imminent decline in iPad sales fuels the sources’ hope for the notebook industry to return to previous heights.

So, we will keep our eyes out for that development.

 

Adrian covers daily news as well as the weekly Law & Apple column for MacLife.com. You can follow him on Twitter, if you want to.

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Report Claims Apple May Soon Allow Merging of Multiple Apple IDs

Create an Apple IDWith the newly revamped free iCloud service fast approaching its fall release, one of the warts in Apple’s otherwise beautiful system has been gaining a lot of attention in recent months: The inability to consolidate multiple Apple IDs into one, particularly for existing MobileMe users stuck with one for iTunes purchases and another for everything else.

MacRumors is reporting
that Apple may soon address what is rapidly becoming a thorny problem for many of its users on the eve of iCloud and iOS 5. Currently, Cupertino does not allow multiple Apple IDs to be merged into one account under any circumstances, a particularly baffling limitation considering that many longtime users have been stuck juggling at least two of them — especially if you’ve used iTunes from the beginning and also have a MobileMe account, for example.

While Apple does allow users to change their Apple ID, devices are locked to a single account name for 90 days, which means you can’t simply switch back and forth at will. The situation is made uglier for those of us who have been with iTunes from the beginning, prior to when email addresses and more complicated passwords were required, which is now the norm for new Apple ID accounts.

Thankfully, it appears new Apple CEO Tim Cook may be coming to the rescue. MacRumors reports at least two of its readers have emailed Cook about the dilemma and were soon contacted by someone from Apple to discuss the situation.

“She had spoken to the team responsible for Apple IDs and acknowledged that they understood the issue and that more people would run into the problem with iCloud,” the website reports. “She also repeated that there is no way yet to combine accounts but revealed they are working on it. In the meantime, she recommended picking a single account to plan on keeping indefinitely and to make all future purchases on that account.”

While it’s not a definitive answer, it’s good to hear that Apple is clearly aware of the problem and working to resolve it. Here’s hoping a solution will present itself close to the launch of iCloud this fall…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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