There have been plenty of rumors flying around in recent months that the MacBook Pro may soon resemble the MacBook Air, slimming down and losing bulky, traditional hard disk and optical storage. But what if the Pro lineup was simply being absorbed into a larger Air?
Electricpig is reporting that Apple may have the MacBook Pro’s neck in a noose right about now, presumably in an effort to simplify the notebook lineup and rally around the wildly popular MacBook Air, which may soon come in a 15-inch version.
“We heard word from one anonymous vendor that Apple’s likely to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air in April, effectively killing the Pro for the average consumer,” the report reveals. “This particular company is a key player in MacBook docking solutions, so they’ve got to keep abreast of the finer details of what’s coming. And what is coming? If you take our source’s word for it, a 15-inch MacBook Air with ports on both sides, no optical drive and no Ethernet cable.”
Oh my. While the time is right for Apple to ditch optical drives given the wide availability of Wi-Fi and streaming movies, Gigabit Ethernet is still a faster option than even 802.11n Wi-Fi — although we’re guessing that Cupertino might offer an Ethernet dongle the way they do for the MacBook Air. But wait — maybe Electricpig has it wrong…?
“While our source wasn’t certain that this would completely destroy the Pro (he also stated that Apple might hold on to the 17-inch model, which would make sense for the sizeable audience of professional editors out there), he was fairly sure that the shakeup will happen in April,” the report continues. “To that end, our source’s company’s got its manufacturers on standby to be able to make and ship a new product lineup inside of 90 days.”
We’re not doubting that a 15-inch MacBook Air exists in Apple’s labs, and could even be rolling off the assembly lines right about now, if that April date is to be believed. Assuming that Apple can deliver a larger, more powerful MacBook Air, it would make sense to kill off the Pro line, with the exception of the aforementioned 17-inch model aimed at hardcore road warriors. But we’ll still get a little misty-eyed about it, should it actually happen…
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In case you didn’t know, Apple is holding a media event on Tuesday, October 4 at 10am PST on their Cupertino campus. Based on the invitation send to the press and the teasing “Let’s talk iPhone” tagline, it’s pretty clear that this will be an iPhone event — but exactly which iPhone(s) they’ll be talking about is still up for debate.
The rumor mill has been churning overtime in the days and weeks prior to Apple’s latest media event, which was finally announced last week with an invitation that clearly states “Let’s talk iPhone.” That graphic has been widely dissected across the blogosphere, with many believing the Messages badge displaying the number one as evidence that Cupertino will be unveiling only a single new iPhone.
But which one will it be? We’ve been subjected to rumors about an iPhone 5 for months, including detailed mockups of what it might look like — although there is actually little evidence to support its existence. More realistically, Apple will debut a souped-up iPhone 4 the press has called “iPhone 4S,” a name which is turning up left and right in the last few days.
Most recently, Cult of Mac reports that the iPhone 4S has turned up on Vodafone Germany’s website, listed in 16GB, 32GB and — wait for it — 64GB capacities. The carrier also lists a cheaper 8GB iPhone 4 model, which many widely believe Apple will use to mop up budget customers and better fend off the Android invasion.
That report seems to jive with two others over the weekend. First, 9to5Mac discovered a reference to the iPhone 4S hidden in the latest iTunes 10.5 beta 9 released to developers on Friday, which they claim could also be evidence that the new handset will cater to both GSM (AT&T) and CDMA (Verizon, maybe Sprint) customers with a dual-mode antenna. Regional carrier Cincinnati Bell also posted a few details about the iPhone 4S — as well as an iPhone 5 with 4G HSPA+ speeds — which some clever tipsters captured before they were pulled down.
The reality is, no one really know what Apple is about to unveil on Tuesday. While the iPhone 4S appears to be the most likely candidate, the iPhone 4 is nearly a year and a half old now after Apple skipped the traditional June release date. The idea of an iPhone 4S has solid evidence in Apple’s past — namely the iPhone 3GS introduced in 2009, which was simply a souped-up version of the previous year’s iPhone 3G with a better camera, faster processor and new software.
There are a few details about the new handset that most of us are universally expecting, however — a dual-core A5 processor like the one in the iPad 2, eight megapixel rear camera, 1GB of RAM and a built-in speech-to-text “Assistant” feature which has yet to turn up in iOS 5 betas and could be exclusive to the new hardware presumed to be introduced on Tuesday.
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Are you an iPhone owner jealous of those iPod touch owners with their 64GB of storage? You may not be for long, assuming you’re in the market for the next handset Apple plans to announce on October 4. A new rumor claims the new iPhone will be available in three capacities, presumably maxing out at 64GB.
9to5Mac is reporting that the next iPhone — codenamed “N94” within Apple — has finally showed up in the company’s inventory system, which seems to indicate that it will be available in three different storage capacities. Coupled with leaked photos this year showing 64GB of storage on an iPhone prototype, the website believes that the next iPhone will come in three capacities — 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
“In all fairness, it is also plausible that the new iPhone will come in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities, but the appearance of a tweaked iPhone 4 (N90A) seems to refute that,” 9to5Mac notes. “Provided that the 8GB iPhone 4 rumor is correct, it would make little sense for Apple to produce both an 8GB iPhone 4 and an 8GB iPhone 4S. For those who have been wondering — and who isn’t? — each of these capacities will come in both black and white.”
The move would make sense, as the iPod touch has maxed out at 64GB for two generations, while the iPhone has remained with a mere 32GB ceiling. Although Apple is likely hoping that you won’t need as much storage thanks to new services such as iCloud and iTunes Match, the reality is some of us have large music libraries we would like to keep with us at all times, and coupled with tons of apps, books and other media, 32GB simply isn’t cutting it anymore.
Here’s hoping that 9to5Mac’s source, “Mr. X,” knows what he’s talking about as we head into Tuesday’s keynote on Apple’s Cupertino campus.
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(Image courtesy of 9to5Mac and Unwire.hk)
9to5mac is reporting a series of alleged changes in the next iPhone, including RAM, processor, and camera upgrades. But, it is the new Assistant software that they believe will be the key feature of the iPhone 5.
According to the report, Assistant will be based on the Siri platform, and will be the evolution of the Voice Control software that first appeared with the iPhone 3GS.
9to5 pointed out that the software was not finalized when sources provided details about Assistant, and that features could change by the time it hits the market. The features their sources described, however, are pretty sweet.
Apparently, starting the software will be the same as launching Voice Control, but it is much faster to load up and with slicker graphics. That, however, appears to be where the similarity ends.
According the report, Assistant “is literally like a personal assistant, but in your phone.” The speech interpretation is apparently so precise that you won’t have to even speak very clearly or slowly; instead you’ll just speak as you normally do, and Assistant will understand.
So what might Assistant do? Well, according to the report, the possibilities are vast. Imagine being able to speak on the fly into your iPhone to do the following:
- make appointments that load right into the iCal
- set reminders that tie into Reminders
- ask for directions and get a GPS-based response using Maps
- create and send text messages through Messages
- request specific songs to be played from iTunes
- speak back and forth with Assistant in “conversation view” to get the best results
- locate your friends using “Find my Friends”
- ask knowledge questions and get immediate answers through integration with Wolfram Alpha
- vastly improved speech-to-text using Nuance that ties into Pages as well as Messages and Mail
It looks like we’ll have to wait until the first week of October to get an official announcement about whatever it is that Apple will be launching; if these Assistant rumors ring true it looks like we could be using the iPhone 5 in completely new ways.
DIGITIMES is reporting that Apple may opt for curved glass touch screens for iOS devices in 2012. According to the report, curved glass will be very popular for a variety of devices next year, and Apple is big on the design.
So big, in fact, that Cupertino allegedly purchased glass polishing equipment for its suppliers in preparation for the production of iOS devices fitted with curved cover glass. Lens Technology and Fuji Crystal received the new equipment, and they have traditionally supplied the screens for the iPhone. G-Tech, who primarily supplies screens for the iPad, also received equipment from Apple, according to the report.
Curved glass is not new to the mobile device industry, and appears to be specifically an aesthetic development, with no clear technological advantage. Some manufacturers have claimed a stronger glass surface, but this would depend on a lot of variables. At this point, the use of curved glass by Apple would simply indicate a significant design change to iOS devices.
As most know by now, normally Apple hosts the big product reveals in San Francisco. Since this year has been unusual for the company in that we still have yet to see a new iPhone and there hasn’t been the usual music event, you can add one more to the list according to a new report. Apple may be going a bit on the lighter side for the new iPhone reveal.
San Francisco has been the location of choice for the unveiling of both the iPad and iPad 2, and of course all versions of the iPhone to date. This year though, according to AllThingsD, sources say that Apple may be thinking there’s no place like home for its next event, holding it at Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California.
Why the change of heart in location? Hard telling. Given the release date has been all over the map this year it seems (at least according to rumors), the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts may have been a bit too hard to nail down. Or perhaps it was already taken? Regardless, if the reported unveiling date of October 4 holds true, we’ll know soon enough anyway!
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(Image courtesy of techspot.com)
DIGITIMES is reporting that a defective display may disrupt initial iPhone 5 shipments. According to the report, supply chain makers have indicated that some of the touch panels made by Wintek are presenting a defect that is not obvious when the panels are made, but appears later during the assembly of the device.
According to DIGITIMES, Wintek is scheduled to produce up to 25 percent of the touch panels for the iPhone 5. Wintek replied to the report by stating only that all of its products are being delivered on schedule.
The sources indicated that Wintek is expected to be able to fix the issue quickly, and that even if the initial supply is delayed Apple still intends to ship 25-26 million units of the iPhone 5 in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Financial Post is reporting on a note to clients from J.P. Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz that claims Apple will launch two new iPhones this fall: a redesigned iPhone 5 and an “iPhone 4-plus”. According to the report, both devices will be available on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, with the iPhone 4-plus designated as an inexpensive model for the masses in the U.S., as well as China.
Moskowitz believes that the iPhone 5 will be lighter and thinner than previous generations of the iPhone, and will have a larger Retina Display, include an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, will run on either the A5 or A6 processor, will have 1GB of RAM, and will be a world phone capable of running on either GSM or CDMA. He does not expect it to be LTE capable, however.
The iPhone 4-plus, on the other hand, will be based on the current iPhone 4, but with some “minor improvements”, according to Moskowitz. He also expects the iPhone 4-plus to replace the iPhone 3GS as the entry-level iPhone, and to be targeted to one or two carriers in China.
Moskowitz goes on to advise his clients that they should expect “more positive surprises” regarding quarterly sales of the iPhone. He particularly expects “a big bang” if Apple launches both iPhones this fall, and does so with new U.S. and Chinese carriers.
Once again, the rumor surfaces of two new iPhones on all four U.S. carriers, arriving this fall. This is becoming a consistent rumor-theme from multiple sources; like you, we can’t wait to find out what the real deal will be.
9to5mac is reporting that a Sprint version of the iPad is all ready to go and just awaiting the green light from Apple. According to sources, the Sprint iPad will be released alongside the iPhone, which may or may not be the iPhone 5, and could happen as early as October 5.
The report suggests that the Sprint iPad is not related to the CDMA Verizon iPad, and could possibly be built to run on Sprint’s robust 4G WiMAX network. At least one other rumor supports the 4G iPad from Sprint.
Speculation has already been swirling that Sprint will allow unlimited data with its iPhone, which leads us to believe that it would offer a similar unlimited data plan with the iPad. On a 4G network to boot, that would be quite the launch package.
9to5mac is reporting that a Sprint version of the iPad is all ready to go and just awaiting the green light from Apple. According to sources, the Sprint iPad will be released along with the Sprint version of the iPhone, which may or may not be the iPhone 5, which could happen as early as October 5.
The report suggests that the Sprint iPad is completely separate from the CDMA Verizon iPad, and could possibly be built to run on Sprint’s robust 4G WiMAX network. At least one other rumor supports the 4G iPad from Sprint.
Speculation has already been swirling that Sprint will allow unlimited data with its iPhone; offering a similar unlimited data plan with the iPad, and on a 4G network to boot, would be quite the launch package.