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Sonos To Get Apple Music On December 15th

If you’ve been waiting patiently for Apple Music on Sonos then your wait is over! Sonos is making good on a promise it made back in June and stated on Monday that Apple’s new streaming music service will debut on the company’s wireless speakers before the end of 2015. Apple Music will...

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Apple Prepping for Newer, Smaller iPad?

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 03-07-2012

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new iPadIt appears as if Apple’s component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet with a smaller screen than the current generation iPad. This news comes from anonymous people who are “familiar” with the situation, suggesting that a launch for the device is also in the near future.

Two of the sources stated that the tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than 8″, 1.7″ shorter then the current 9.7″ screen of the current iPad, a size that has remained unchanged since the very first model launched back in 2010. Officials at the component supplier, who spoke under anonymity, stated that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet.

Earlier in the year it was reported that Apple was testing a smaller version of the iPad but had yet to decide whether or not to proceed with production of the device. Many consumers would probably flock to a smaller iPad with a reduced price as it would allow them to have most of the benefits of the current iPad without the steep price tag.

One source stated that Apple is working with multiple screen manufacturers, including LG in South Korea and AU Optronics in Taiwan. Unfortunately (though not surprisingly), an Apple spokeswoman out of Cupertino declined to comment on any such allegations.

Analysts also believe that a smaller iPad could help Apple maintain the dominance it has on the tablet market, especially with stiff  competition coming from other manufacturers like Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, all of which having recently unveiled tablets of their own.

The iPad held a 62% share of the world-wide tablet market last year with tablet sales all around expected to increase 85% this year to a total of 126.6 million units. As the tablet market expands, the choices for consumers increase as well with more options and variations to choose from.

Google began accepting pre-orders for the Nexus 7, which is expected to sell for $199 and is in direct competition with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. In addition to that, Microsoft’s Surface tablet, which is expected to drop this fall with a 10.6″ display, is said to be the biggest new competition for the iPad.

Source: The Wall Street Journal – Apple Preps for Smaller Tablet

 

Could Microsoft’s Newly Announced Surface Tablet Finally Dethrone Apple’s iPad?

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 19-06-2012

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Microsoft Surface Tablet
Well it’s happened, Microsoft has officially pulled the curtain on its much rumored tablet. Known as the Microsoft Surface, this tablet is already being seen as an iPad killer and it doesn’t even have a confirmed release date or pricing scheme yet. What it does have, however, is a full list of specs that make it easy to compare to Apple’s tablet juggernaut iPad.
 
So here we go on a spec war between both variations of Microsoft’s Surface tablet and the most recent Apple iPad:

 

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

  • Windows 8 Pro OS
  • 10.6″ HD display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1,920 x 1,080 resolution
  • Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor
  • microSDXC, USB 3.0 and Mini DisplayPort Video ports
  • 42 watt-hour battery
  • 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variations
  • 13.5mm thick
  • 903 grams

Surface for Windows RT

  • Windows RT OS
  • 10.6″ HD display
  • Nvidia Tegra processor
  • microsSD, USB 2.0 and Micro HD Video ports
  • 31.5 watt-hour battery
  • 32GB and 64GB variations
  • 9.3mm thick
  • 676 grams

Third-Generation iPad

  • iOS 5.1.1 OS
  • 9.7″ display with 2,048 x 1,536 pixel density
  • Apple dual-core A5 ARM processor with quad-core graphics
  • Micro-SIM card tray
  • 42.5 watt-hour battery
  • 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variations
  • 9.4mm thick
  • 652 grams

Take away from the specs what you will, but one thing that the Surface tablet has over the iPad is the 3mm Touch Cover. The Touch Cover utilizes pressure-sensitive technology to sense keystrokes as gestures, allowing for faster touch typing than what is possible with an on-screen keyboard.

The Touch Cover attaches to the tablet with a built-in magnetic connector, which forms a “natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover,” Microsoft stated. In addition to that there is an option for a slightly thicker 5mm Type Cover that adds actual moving keys to give you a more traditional typing experience. Apple doesn’t have anything like that.

It is obvious that Microsoft is trying to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets with the Surface, something that Apple isn’t trying to do at all. When you boil it all down, the Touch Cover looks to be one of the best efforts to date to bridge this gap, especially when you pair it with the the high-performance Intel-based Windows * Surface tablet.

It sucks that we don’t have any information on pricing or availability yet but at least we have a confirmation of something that most people have been speculating on for the past couple of weeks. I am interested in seeing if the rumors about streaming Xbox Live is true.  If so, I will definitely be swayed in favor of the Surface whenever I decide to buy a tablet.

Source: CNET – Microsoft Surface tablet, iPad spec check

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Apple Officially Debuts the iPad 3/The New iPad

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 12-03-2012

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The New iPadIt’s official, the iPad 3 has been officially announced. Well, technically it’s called “The New iPad” but everybody is referring to it as the iPad 3 so, whatever. Regardless of whether you call it the iPad 3 or the new iPad, Apple’s latest tablet is breaking tremendous ground with its new innovations, technologies and popularity.

The iPad 3 boasts a lot of improvements and advancements over the iPad 2, one of which is an improved retina display. The iPad 3 claims to have four times as many pixels than the iPad 2 along with razor-sharp text and richer colors.

In addition to that, the new display is said to make everything look and feel more lifelike and detailed.While the actual screen isn’t any bigger, it has an increased resolution. The iPad 3 boasts a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution screen with 44% greater color saturation and an incredible 3.1 million pixels, all in the same 9.7″ screen.

The increase in graphics performance can be attributed to the iPad 3’s new dual-core A5X chip with quad-core graphics. Flash storage allows you to have instant on as well. No matter how long you need to use it, whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours, as soon as you hit the Home button or open the Smart Cover, your iPad 3 is ready to go.

With the increased graphics output, the quad-core graphics processors and the new A5X chipset, many people feared that the battery life of the iPad 3 would suffer. Quite the contrary, actually. Apple boasts that the iPad 3 still maintains a 10-hour battery life, just like the iPad 2.

The iPad 3 also comes equipped with a 5MP iSight camera, which features a backside illumination sensor capable of capturing high quality pictures no matter what your lighting situation is. The iSight camera also features autofocus, tap to focus and tap to set exposure functionality. Built-in face detection also automatically balances focus and exposure for as many as 10 individual faces.

Aside from taking crisp pictures, the iPad 3’s cameras are also capable of recording in full 1080p HD. You also get high video quality thanks to the iPad 3’s automatic video stabilization, meaning you never have to worry about remaining perfectly still for your entire video shoot.

What is probably one of the most impressive features is the iPad 3’s wireless capabilities. The new iPad incorporates cellular antennas that are capable of connecting to a larger frequency spectrum. This means that the iPad 3 is capable of connecting to WiFi as well as the 3G and 4G LTE connections provided by AT&T and Verizon.

However, lots of people are talking about the iPad 3’s Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities. This makes the iPad 3 the very first tablet in existence to incorporate Bluetooth 4.0 straight out of box, something that a lot of tech professionals are raving about.

Popularity for the device isn’t lacking either as the iPad 3 has already sold out of its first shipment with pre-orders racking up so fast that they are on a two to three week back order delay. The biggest thing I’m curious about is the name. Is it the iPad 3 or the new iPad? Apple’s website classifies it as the latter and it’s unclear what that could mean in the future.

There are currently six different versions of the iPad 3/The New iPad. You can get a 16GB, 32GB or 64GB WiFi only version for $499, $599 or $699, respectively, or a 16GB, 32GB or 64GB WiFi + 4G LTE version for $629, $729 or $829, respectively. The WiFi + 4G LTE versions, however, require a data plan from either Verizon or AT&T with prices for those plans starting at $30 per month. Both versions also come in either white or black colors.

Quad-Core 4G LTE iPad 3 Rumored to Debut Next Week at New York City Event

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 28-02-2012

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iPad 3Want some more iPad 3 rumors? Of course you do, you’re on the internet! The onslaught of iPad 3 rumors hasn’t slowed one bit but this newest one may be the best one yet. According to anonymous sources, the iPad 3 will make its official debut at an event set to take place next week, which concurs with earlier rumors of a March 7 debut.CNBC was first with the story when they noted that the sources were very brief with their information and only stated that the iPad 3 will indeed have 4G LTE and be revealed next week. There are still quite a few things being kept under wraps, however. In addition to that, the sources mentioned that the device would have a quad-core processor, not a dual-core, and that Apple is reportedly giving hands-on time with the device at a New York event.

It was originally thought that the iPad 3 would ship with Apple’s quad-core A6 processor, though more recent information suggests that Apple may still go with a dual-core processor. Other details made their way to the internet about an Apple A5X chipset, which indicates a faster dual CPU core and upgraded GPU. However, evidence of both chips have been found in iOS 5.1 beta code.

Regardless, an upgraded GPU seems perfect for powering the new Retina Display screen and for the increased resolution. Even though the iPad 3 (for some reason) is still going to be the same 9.7″ size as its predecessor, it is believed to have a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution that should allow for smoother on-screen graphics and Full HD video.

Apple, naturally, has yet to confirm any of these speculations and rumors about the iPad 3 and its debut. However, almost everything “leaked” about the device is pointing to a debut date around March 7, which is next week, so keep your fingers crossed. Whether it’s in New York or San Francisco, the iPad 3 debut is sure to blow up the tech industry.

Source: Slash Gear – Quadcore iPad 3 LTE at NYC event next week tip sources

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Apple Could Release Discounted iPad Mini in Early 2012

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 12-10-2011

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iPadWhat’s this? Apple may be working on a new tablet? And it’s not the iPad 3!? That’s right, many rumors have begun making their rounds on the internet recently that Apple may possibly be working on a brand new entry-level tablet scheduled to launch early next year.

In a note sent out to investors on Wednesday by Brian White, analyst for Ticonderoga Securities, White relayed a plethora of meetings with technology supply chain companies at a recent trade show in China earlier this week. White made a point to note a general ominous environment where most of the companies were commenting on weakening demands across the entire tech industry.

According to one representative, “The whole world is shrinking”. In addition to that, a meeting with Apple suppliers has also turned up some very interesting information according to White. In a recent posting White states, “Our research is pointing to the unveiling of  a lower priced iPad in the first few months of 2012 that is aimed at expanding the company’s market potential by tapping into a more price sensitive consumer segment.”

White went on to write, “Essentially, this ‘iPad mini’ will also fend off the recently announced Amazon Kindle Fire that addresses the low-end tablet market with a $199 price tag but could lead to bigger tablet ambitions from the online retailer in the future.”

White was quick to point out that the title of the iPad Mini refers to the lower price of the tablet and not necessarily a smaller physique. According to White, “We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high $200 range. We expect this will be followed by a much more powerful, feature rich standard-priced iPad 3 in 2012.”

Source: Fox News – Apple to Launch ‘iPad Mini’ in Early 2012?

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Apple Supposedly Looking for Second iPad 3 Supplier

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 30-07-2011

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Apple iPad 3Everybody knows that the iPad 3 is coming and Apple may be pitting suppliers against each other to assemble the next generation product. Apple is said to have awarded a contract to manufacture the iPad 3 to Taiwan-based Pegatron, according to a report from the Taiwan Economic News.

If this turns out to be true and not a rumor (yeah, cuz rumors always end up being true), then this would mean that Apple is looking to reduce its dependence on long-time partner Hon Hai as the only supplier of the award-winning tablet that is dominating the market at the moment.

Pegatron is already doing business with Apple actually. The company is responsible for building and shipping the iPhone 4 and has reportedly already landed a contract to construct the iPhone 5, whenever that may be.

Hon Hai has been the predominant supplier of the iPhone and the iPad in the past, though Apple has been looking for an additional partner to take on the production of the device. This may be due in large part to the devastating explosion that took place at Hon Hai’s Chengdu plant back in May.

Apple has faced issues with the iPad 2 as supply was unable to keep up with the increasingly overwhelming demand of the product. By branching out production of the iPad 3 to two different suppliers, the company is likely trying to avoid a similar situation with the iPad 3.

Aside from adding Pegatron to its supplier list, Apple will also keep its current supply chain intact. The report pointed to TOK Holdings providing the touch panels, Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology the battery packs, Largan Precision the camera lenses and Foxconn the outer PC housings.

Source: CNET – Apple reportedly looking at two suppliers for iPad 3


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iPad Still Dominating Tablet Sales, Though Android is Catching Up Fast

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 22-07-2011

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Apple iPad 2I don’t think this is new news to anybody out there, but Apple’s iPad was undoubtedly the indisputable world dictator in the land of technology and tablets in 2010 and still is for the first half of 2011. However, that does not mean that Apple will remain on top forever. Google’s Android platform is slowly capturing the market share from Apple like the little engine that could.

At the moment, Android is the most popular OS in the market for touch-screen smartphones and that popularity is only going in one direction, up. In addition to that, Android is also becoming increasingly popular on tablets as well, with many of the big name players (aside from Apple, of course) designing devices with the Android OS.

According to Strategy Analytics, nearly 4.6 million tablets running the Android operating system were shipped in the second quarter of 2011, a 100,000 unit increase from one year prior. During that same period, Apple managed to sell 9.3 million iPad units, nearly three times as many as the 3.3 million sold during the second quarter of 2010.

One thing to take into consideration here, however, is that there are multiple manufacturers making Android tablets and only one manufacturer making iPad tablets. Companies like Samsung and Motorola have seen success with their Galaxy Tab and Xoom tablets, respectively, while other, smaller companies, like Archos, have seen a little bit of success as well.

According to Neil Mawston, Director of Strategy Analytics, “No Android vendor yet offers a blockbuster model to rival the iPad, and demand for many vendors’ products remains patchy.” While demand may not be as high for other devices, some products, like the Galaxy Tab from Samsung, are viable opponents to the iPad, at least in my opinion.

Amazon was able to dominate the market in terms of electronic book readers and rumors are now circulating that the company is going to try its hand at tablets. With the success of the eReaders, Apple may very well find even more competition for its beloved iPad.

“If Amazon decides to enter the Android tablet category later this year,” says Nawston, “that will bring fresh excitement and buzz to the Android community, but Amazon will need to deliver a truly standout offering if it really wants to make headway against the popular iPad.”

Source: Xbit Laboratories – Tablets Powered by Google Android Grab 30% of the Market in Q2 2011 – Analysts.

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Apple’s iPad App Store Surpasses 100,000 Apps

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 01-07-2011

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Apple iPad appsI just recently wrote an article about the 25,000 app milestone of the Windows Phone Marketplace but that, it seems, pales in comparison to what Apple has to offer. According to multiple sources, Apple now has over 100,000 applications available on the iPad App Store that are specifically written for the 9.7″ display found on Apple’s touchscreen tablet.

Apple jumped the line of the six figure mark this week, a fact that was first brought to light by MacStories. This total of 100,000 applies to software written specifically for the iPad, the number does not include apps that are also available on the iPhone or iPod Touch, which also work but do not take advantage of the larger screen size.

This number was reached a mere 16 months after the device was first launched back in April of 2010. Back then, the iPad store opened with 3,000 apps and crossed the 10,000 milestone that June. If you want to view the total number of apps in the app store, all you have to do is click on the “Featured” section and select “Release Date” at the top of the screen.

As of Thursday afternoon, the App Store was shown to have a grand total of 100,159 iPad applications. Apple’s App Store for iOS devices is, at the moment, the largest of its kind. At the Wordwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Senior Vice President of iOS Software for Apple Scott Forstall revealed that there are more than 425,000 apps available in the App Store and that over 14 billion apps have been downloaded since 2008.

Apple did not publicly acknowledge this latest milestone, though the company did hold a contest to celebrate the 10 billionth download from the App Store earlier in the year. This successful App Store model was also brought to the Mac this year, and the Mac App Store will be the only place where users will be able to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Source: Apple Insider – 100,000 choices now available on Apple’s iPad App Store

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Apple Looking Into Verizon iPad 2 3G Problems

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 09-04-2011

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Verizon iPad 2So, the iPad 2 has been out for a little bit now and there are some more problems to report in on. According to Apple, the company is looking into an issue that requires some Apple iPad 2 owners with built-in Verizon 3G to reboot their device in order to enable 3G after they have turned it off.

In a statement released by a representative of Apple, Apple said that they are aware that certain iPad 2 owners with the Verizon 3G model are having connectivity problems and that they are investigating it as we speak. According to the Apple representative, the amount of customers affected by the problem is “small”.

The complaints first started mounting on an Apple Support Discussions board in the few days following the release of the Apple iPad 2. The reports noted that some users found that the software switch to turn on the 3G antenna on and off was not reactivating without first powering down the entire iPad.

Verizon’s version of the iPad 2 is the first one in the series to ship with CDMA service. Verizon’s 3G service is also offered on the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 which went on sale at Verizon earlier this year. Both devices use the same software mechanism to turn the 3G modem on and off.

Apple is planning on fixing these issues as soon as possible. The good news is that Apple is recognizing the default and is working on a solution. A software fix, most likely in the form of a downloadable patch, is expected to come very soon.

Source: CNET – Apple investigating Verizon iPad 2 3G issue

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First iPad 2 Defects Arrive as Backlight Bleeding Issues

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 12-03-2011

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Apple iPad 2Hey, everybody! The second generation of the Apple iPad came out and guess what!? It has problems….. Yes, that’s right, the newest toy from Steve Jobs and Apple has officially launched and reports are already streaming in about problems. One of the first reported problems has to do with the backlight supposedly “bleeding”. But that isn’t the only issue. Another issue being reported by users is yellow spots appearing beneath the LCD glass.

The yellow spots seem to be reminiscent of the same problems that plagued the fresh-from-the-factory iPhone 4 devices. However, that was easily resolved as soon as the bonding agent used to hold the LCD glass in place evaporated. But this article isn’t about spots, it’s about bleeding.

There appears to be some light bleeding through from the outer edges of the LCD panel on some iPad 2 devices. It is primarily noticeable when you are watching a dark scene in a movie or using an application with a black background.

There is, however, good news. This problem can easily be fixed by adjusting the brightness of your iPad 2. However, this could also make it worse depending on which way you adjust it. Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem to be so much of a major problem as it does an inconvenience or annoyance.

The iPad 2 is barely out of the womb, so to speak, and is already facing trouble. Hopefully trouble does not resume on the device considering the hype surrounding it and the intense desire by people to get their hands on one.

What do you think? Is the iPad 2 and all its glory worth the waiting in line and the price tag? Or, if you already have an iPad 2, are you experiencing any yellow spots or bleeding from the LCD glass? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Engadget – Is your iPad2 backlight bleeding?

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