Analyst: Apple earnings will grow 25-30% per year
Apple's earnings will grow 25-30% per year through 2015 thanks mainly to the iPhone's addressable subscriber base, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told clients in a note today -- as reported by "Fortune" (http://macte.ch/KnfI8).
He thinks most folks are underestimating the company's opportunity to grow its mobile business over the next five years. Munster expects the iPhone, which represents 39% of Apple's revenues today, to at least keep pace with the smartphone's current growth rate of 35% per year and sell 200 million units in 2015. That implies that more than 40% of Apple's revenue stream will grow at the rate of 35% per year from 2013 to 2015.
The analyst expects the iPad to grow faster than the iPhone, and the Mac and iPod to grow more slowly. "The net is we believe a sustainable 25-30% growth rate in earnings could be achievable through 2015," he told clients.
Major overhaul of Final Cut Pro coming this spring?
A group of video editors were on the Apple campus in Cupertino, California, recently in order to preview the new version of Final Cut Pro, reports "TechCrunch" (http://macte.ch/L99tT), quoting unnamed sources.
Purportedly, the next version of the professional video editing software will be “the biggest overhaul to Final Cut Pro since the original version was created over 10 years ago." One of the "TechCrunch" sources described the new release as encompassing everything from low level architectural changes to a complete redesign of the user interface.
Early reports from people who have demo’d the new Final Cut Pro say that the changes are “dramatic and ambitious” and should alleviate concerns that Apple has shifted its video editing focus from the professional to the consumer space, shutting down work on FCP, adds "TechCrunch."
Apple plans on releasing the new product this spring, perhaps in a launch coinciding with the National Association of Broadcasters conference, the article...
Apple planning Joint Venture retail service?
The "Boy Genius Report" site is reporting (http://macte.ch/VObNm) that Apple is planning a new, retail-based service being called Joint Venture. First rumored back in March of last year, Joint Venture is an extension of Apple’s current Genius Bar services aimed at small businesses and prosumers, says "BGR."
Subscribers of the new service will be able to speak with a store-based Apple technician over the phone for one-on-one consultation and troubleshooting, or they can request an on-site visit, the article addsd. Currently, Apple’s Geniuses are not allowed to provide support remotely via the phone or in-person outside of Apple’s retail locations.
"BGR" says an unnamed source has confirmed that Apple will reveal these plans to retail employees this Sunday, explaining how to properly position, explain, and sell the new offering.
FileMaker Developer Conference 2011 features over 60 sessions
FileMaker, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, has announced schedule highlights for the FileMaker Developer Conference 2011, the largest annual gathering of worldwide FileMaker independent and corporate database developers, trainers and users. It will be held Aug. 2-5, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, San Diego.
Attendees will save up to US$300 off the full conference registration price, paying $1,295 (or US$1,949 for the Gold Conference registration package, which includes pre-conference and FileMaker Training Series sessions, as well as the FileMaker Developer Conference), by taking advantage of the limited-time “early bird” discount, available until June 17. Attendees will receive complimentary copies of FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced and FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad.
Conference goers will learn how to build more professional databases, extend solutions to the web and deploy custom solutions for the iPhone and iPad. In addition to increasing their technical expertise,...
New desktop audio player delivers hi-res playback
Audiofile Engineering has launched Fidelia (http://audiofile-engineering.com/fidelia/), an US$19.99 "premium desktop music player" created exclusively for Mac OS X and designed to offer "rich high-fidelity playback for music lovers of any taste or technical background."
It has support for numerous high-resolution file formats and an interface that honors the classic stereo amplifiers of decades past. Also, Fidelia integrates with users' existing iTunes libraries, says Matthew Foust, founding partner of Audiofile Engineering.
"Just as high-definition video technology has changed the way people experience movies and television, high-resolution audio formats like FLAC and Apple Lossless give consumers access to superior levels of sound quality," he adds. "Fidelia is designed as an elegant, approachable way for casual and studious listeners alike to embrace these higher sonic standards. The MP3 format may have revolutionized the music industry, but there are higher-quality formats that...
Southwest Airlines teaming up with iTunes (sorta)
Southwest Airlines has launched InAirtainment as a website that sells music, TV shows and movies through Apple's iTunes Store, reports "Variety" (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118032639).
Southwest said it receives a small percentage of the sales generated by each download. Apple's iTunes Affiliates program typically pays a 5% commission for revenue generated by links to the iTunes store from websites and emails. Southwest's site launched by offering a playlist of 20 free songs from artists "about to fly" in their music careers, says "Variety."
"We want our customers to be able to find all their travel needs at Southwest.com and a big part of traveling is loading up on songs, movies, and all the television you've missed during the week," Southwest spokesperson Whitney Eichinger told "Variety." "Our new InAirtainment page allows customers an easy in to iTunes and we offer special deals to customers booking through our site like the 20 free songs we are offering with the...
Freshcode releases Bodega 1.4 with enhanced app updating
Freshcode, a Macintosh publisher and developer, has released Bodega 1.4, an update to its Mac software discovery and download application.
Bodega provides "corner store" access to the latest apps for the Macintosh directly from the Mac desktop. Version 1.4 includes an enhanced app updater feature, along with across-the-board feature and performance enhancements.
The Bodega app updater actually looks for and provides updates for all apps installed on the user's hard drive. It doesn't matter whether applications were downloaded from, or purchased through, Bodega; so long as the applications on the user's hard drive are Sparkle-enhanced, Bodega will keep on eye out for updates issued by the developer. When found, Bodega lets the user know an update exists, and will even download and install it for them.
Bodega requires Mac OS X 10.5 or greater. The Bodega 1.4 update is free to all Bodega users and available via Bodega's "Check for Updates" feature. For complete information on Bodega and...
ForeUI for Mac OS X updated to version 2.67
Easynth has released version 2.67 of its ForeUI prototyping tool (http://www.foreui.com/). The upgrade allows you to add a comment on any entity in the action editor.
ForeUI is a tool to create static or interactive prototypes for websites/software in your mind. Your prototype will be skinnable, and you can change its style from "hand drawing" to "wire frame,"
and to native OS styles. The behavior of prototypes can be defined with flow charts to handle specific events.
The prototype can be exported to wireframe images, PDF documents or DHTML simulation. The created prototypes will be useful for idea sharing, design review, feedback collection or usability testing etc.
ForeUI requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. It's Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. The cost is US$99 per user for a lifetime usage license.
File Multi-Tool 5 hits the Mac App Store
Publicspace.net has announced that File Multi Tool 5, a Mac App Store exclusive version of its A Better Finder Attributes product, is now available.
File Multi Tool 5 is a file tweaking tool for Mac OS X. It combines the features of "Photo Date Changer" and "File Date Changer 5" and adds a few tricks of its own.
Just like Photo Date Changer, File Multi Tool 5 allows you to manipulate JPEG EXIF timestamps at will by setting them to specific times or batch adjusting them by adding and removing time. It also allows you to synchronize the file creation and modification dates with the shooting dates of JPEG EXIF, as well as a wide variety of RAW formats, so that files sort properly in the Finder and other systems.
Just like File Date Changer 5, File Multi Tool 5 gives you total control over file creation and modification dates, setting them to specific times and dates, adding or removing time or simply removing them altogether. File Multi Tool 5 is available exclusively on the Mac App...
TextExpander update adds new HTML/CSS snippet group
SmileOnMyMac (http://www.smileonmymac.com) has updated TextExpander, a Mac OS X utility that lets users define abbreviations for frequently-used text strings and images, to version 3.2.4. The update adds a new HTML/CSS predefined snippet group that takes advantage of the fill-in snippet format, which handles input of multiple variables.
When one of the new HTML/CSS fill-in snippets is triggered, the user can manually enter the attributes of HTML tags and CSS definitions, such as width, height, and URL. Fill-in snippets were first introduced in TextExpander 3.
The regular cost of TextExpander is US$34.95 for a single user license or $44.95 for a five-pack family license. A 30-day fully-functioning demo of TextExpander can be downloaded at the SmileOnMyMac web site. Upgrades to TextExpander 3.x from earlier versions costs $15.
Version 3.2.4 is a free update for registered users of version 3.x. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
Sick Chinese workers ask Apple for help
Chinese workers injured while making touchscreens for mobile devices, including iPhones, have written to Apple asking it to do more to help them, reports the BBC (http://macte.ch/Ka0io).
Some 137 workers suffered adverse health effects following exposure to a chemical, known as n-hexane. They claim that the Taiwanese factory owner has not given them enough compensation. Apple has commented on the matter.
Intel to debut Light Peak on Thursday?
Intel plans to roll out Light Peak, a high-speed connection technology that Apple is also likely to adopt, says "CNET" (http://macte.ch/iP2Uy), quoting an unnamed "industry source familiar with the details of the event."
Intel released a statement to the media today saying that on Thursday in San Francisco it will "host a...press briefing to discuss a new technology that is about to appear on the market." "Maybe not coincidentally, Apple is expected to roll out new MacBook Pros -- and possibly other products -- on Thursday, notes "CNET."
Intel has said in the past that the first products using Light Peak should appear in the first half of 2011. When Intel initially demonstrated Light Peak at its developer conference in 2009 it used a machine running Apple's Mac OS X.
Light Peak paves the way for a new generation of extreme computer input and output (I/O) performance, delivering 10Gb/s of bandwidth, with the potential ability to scale to 100Gbs over the next decade, according to David...
MacTech Labs releases study of top games under virtualization
MacTech Labs, part of "MacTech Magazine" (http://www.mactech.com), has released its latest testing results of its study of gaming under virtualization.
MacTech's goal was to see how well Windows games played under Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac, and give customers advance information on what the experience they can expect. MacTech has released the results including video captures of each game, playability scores, and frames per second.
Testing specifically focused on how well the game performed and playability, rather than an evaluation of each game itself. Games were selected based on whether they were Windows-only, their popularity, and rankings from top gaming sites, and are a good representation of the questions MacTech receives about Windows gaming on the Mac. The tests were performed on MacBook Pros running Windows 7.
"MacTech Labs has been doing product evaluations and testing for more than 20 years," says said Neil Ticktin, publisher/editor-in-chief, "MacTech Magazine." "Our...
Apple makes list of world's most innovative companies
"Technology Review" has announced the 2011 TR50, the second annual list of the world’s most innovative technology companies. Not surprisingly, Apple is on the list.
In selecting the TR50, the editors of "Technology Review" look for companies that are setting the agenda in an increasingly important market, on the verge of disrupting an established market, or creating an entirely new market. Spanning energy, computing, the Web, biomedicine, and materials, the companies on the list are using their inventions to reshape their industries and to transform how we live.
“The TR50 companies are leaders,” says Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief and publisher of "Technology Review." “They are setting the agenda in their markets and prompting other companies to follow them.”
"Technology Review" says the rest of the consumer electronics industry is scrambling to catch up to the iPad and that the iPhone still sets the standard for smart phones, even if its market share slips. The mag ads that the...
'All Things D': iPad 2 to debut March 2
According to a plethora of online reports, the iPad 2 is due in March, or else it's delayed until June. Now, in an exclusive "All Things D" (http://macte.ch/Sqe60), quoting "several sources close to the situation," Apple will announce the second gen tablet on March 2.
Analysts expect the iPad 2 to be thinner than its predecessor and feature an improved display, as well as front-facing camera and Facetime video chat support, the article adds. And some reports suggest it will be powered by one of Qualcomm’s multimode chips and will run on both GSM and CDMA-based networks around the world.
Apple planning special media event this week?
Apple has asked its retail employees to sign non-disclosure agreements ahead of an all-hands meeting likely to be held later this week, and potentially foreshadowing a forthcoming media event, "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) reports, quoting "people familiar with the company's retail plans."
Employees on Monday were asked to sign non-disclosure forms. Those who did not sign are said to be excluded from the next employee meeting, expected to be held in the next week, says "AppleInsider."
So what would the media event entail? Most likely new MacBook Pros.
Another possibility is the iPad 2, though I don't think that's going to be announced until March with an April or May ship date. Also, "Bloomberg Businessweek" says sources tell them the iPad 2 may not ship until June.
Pundit Robert X. Cringely thinks it could see the unveiling of Macs with Light Peak technology. I'm dubious, but if it does, the event would see both MacBook Pros and iMacs with Light Peak released.
Analyst: Macs to see 22% sales increase for March quarter
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, eyeing info from research firm NPD, thinks January sales of Apple’s Macs will be roughly in line with his 22% increase for the entire March quarter. He tells clients in a note -- as reported by "Barron's (http://macte.ch/3Y19X) -- that he thinks NPD will report a 5% to 10% decline in January iPod sales, in line with his 6% decline for the quarter.
Munster says that Apple retail store staff are directing customers more and more to the MacBook Air, and that the device holds the "pride of place" (the “front left table") on the retail store floor. The analyst thinks the the Air has been a strong seller and likely the driver of January results, though he’s not sure if the sales level is sufficient for Air to actually show up in the data as a percentage of total Mac sales.
Additionally, Munster cautions that reports of Apple introducing refreshed MacBook laptops, perhaps in March, could make the quarter “backend-loaded." That would mean a slight bump up...
iTunes may get higher quality song files
Apple and other digital music retailers are in discussions with record labels to improve the quality of the song files they sell, reports "CNN" (http://macte.ch/yHNoQ), quoting "executives involved in the talks." This means that online music stores could offer songs that sound truer to their original recordings, though perhaps at a premium price.
Professional music producers generally capture studio recordings in a 24-bit, high-fidelity audio format. Before the originals, or "masters," are pressed onto CDs or distributed to digital sellers like iTunes, they're downgraded to 16-bit files. From there, the audio can be compressed further in order to minimize the time the music will take to download or to allow it to be streamed on-the-fly over the Internet.
Most Macs can play 24-bit sound, and the iTunes program is capable of handling such files. But most portable electronics, and many computers, don't support 24-bit audio. "CNN" notes that Apple would have to revamp future versions of...
Analyst: iPad crimping notebook sales growth
Global notebook shipment growth probably won't top 15% year-on-year and is, in fact, expected to reach only 12% since buyers from the enterprise market are increasingly fond of tablets such as the iPad and are considering replacing their existing notebooks with such a device instead of a new notebook, according to Joanne Chie, senior analyst at Digitimes Research (http://www.digitimes.com).
As more tablet computers begin showing up in the second half of 2011, their sales impact on the notebook industry will only expand further. This will most likely cause global netbook shipments in 2011 to reach only 24.23 million units, while forcing the notebook industry to enter the initial phase of maturity, Chien adds.
iPad 2, iPhone 5 both delayed?
The iPad 2 may be pushed back to June and the iPhone 5 to September, according to sources such as "Fortune" (http://macte.ch/qmBMQ), "Bloomberg" (http://macte.ch/AvenW), "Reuters" (http://macte.ch/VLJdD) and "Business Insider" (http://macte.ch/Q8HMF).
The new version of the iPad that was widely expected to be unveiled in April may be delayed until June, per analysts from Taipei-based Yuanta Securities. Why? "Production bottlenecks" at Hon Hai's Foxconn factories.
FBR Capital's Craig Berger to the effect that the launch of the next iPhone may be pushed back from June or July to September. According to Berger, various casing and touchscreen suppliers are still ramping up, some chip vendors have not yet received their orders, and plans for "other sockets like the image sensor" are still in flux.
In other iPhone news, "DigiTImes" (http://macte.ch/zHNkj) is reporting that Wintek looks to be the sole touch panel supply for the white iPhone s. In fact, the company may replace TPK Touch...
Jobs purportedly weighs in on digital subscription controversy
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly weighed in on the iOS in-app subscriptions controversy with one of his terse e-mails. Responding to an iOS developer's inquiry, Jobs purportedly said apps such as Dropbox, Evernote, Salesforce and other similar software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps would not be required to use Apple's new in-app subscription service, according to "MacRumors" (http://www.macrumors.com).
"We created subscriptions for publishing apps, not SaaS apps," Jobs reportedly said in the e-mail.
Jobs' note comes soon after Readability -- an online service that allows you to save the text of articles for later reading offline -- complained in a blog post that Apple rejected its iOS app for failing to use the new in-app subscription service. Readability charges a recurring membership fee for its service and then distributes 70 percent of its profits to writers.
"PC World" (http://macte.ch/YKLFD) says Apple appears to be drawing a distinct line between apps that deliver content to iOS...
Apple plans new Los Angeles retail store
Apple will push its Los Angeles region retail presence further north later this year, into the Santa Clarita valley’s Valencia Town Center shopping mall, reports "ifo AppleStore" (http://macte.ch/COqXM). The store will probably open in mid-September, the article adds.
The mall is along Interstate 5 about 35 miles north of LA, and about 20 miles from the nearest existing store in Northridge. As part of the Westfield group of malls, it underwent a $140 million renovation last year, resulting in 40 new open-air spaces, notes "ifo AppleStore."
Twelve South ships BookArc for MacBook Air
Twelve South is shipping the US$39.99 BookArc for MacBook Air. Designed exclusively for MacBook Air (late 2010 models), the latest BookArc firmly grips the thin MacBook Air and includes built-in cable management to keep desktop and power cables in place.
Like previous versions of the BookArc, the MacBook Air model is fashioned from heavy gauge steel. One addition is built-in cable management. Since MacBook Air has inputs on both sides, the BookArc cable housing routes power, external display, USB and other cables behind the MacBook for a clean workspace.
For those who use MacBook Air with an external display, a key benefit for BookArc is the performance boost it gives your Mac, according to the folks at TwelveSouth. If you connect MacBook Air to an external monitor and leave the MacBook open, video memory is split between the two displays. When working with MacBook Air in the closed position, resting in BookArc, 100% of the video memory is dedicated to powering the external monitor...
OWC announces 12TB RAID storage drive
Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) has announced the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 hardware RAID storage drive with 12TB of storage/backup in a desktop-sized brushed aluminum enclosure.
Featuring four 3TB hard drives in four hot swappable drive bays, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 12TB RAID storage drive offers the flexibility of a “quad interface” of FireWire® 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA; four selectable Hardware RAID settings of 0, 1, 5, 10; and 300MB/s data transfer rates for high speed, plug and play storage and redundancy for Macs and PCs.
Designed for 24/7 enterprise-class capacity-optimized applications, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 offers two million MTBF, nearly double the MTBF of consumer class drives. It's pre-configured in Hardware RAID 5 mode to provide data redundancy for uninterrupted access and protection against data loss.
The drive can also be automatically configured to use the other hardware RAID settings: 0, 1, or 10, as well as a Span (NRAID...
Monotype Imaging introduces Camphor typeface family
Monotype Imaging Holdings has added the 12-font Camphor typeface family to the company's Monotype collection. The new additions are now available from Monotype Imaging's Fonts.com, Linotype.com and ITCFonts.com stores. In addition, Camphor Web fonts are available from Fonts.com Web Fonts for website design.
"Camphor is a sturdy, hard-working yet elegant design," says Allan Haley, director of words and letters at Monotype Imaging. "It's space economical and suitable for a wide range of applications, from branding and advertising to signage and content. Camphor is a perfect addition to our Monotype collection, home to ageless classics such as the Gill Sans® face, a design Nick Job researched when he created Camphor."
The complete Camphor family features 12 typefaces. Each of the six weights, which range from thin to heavy, have a companion italic. The family is available as a suite of OpenType Pro fonts, which allow for the automatic insertion of small caps, ligatures and alternate...
Clever & Son ship WiFi2HiFi 1.0
Clever & Son AG have announced WiFi2HiFi 1.0 for iOS devices (http://www.wifi2hifi.com/). You can use WiFi2HiFi to turn your iPhone into a wireless audio receiver for your stereo system or sound-dock.
Combined with the free desktop app WiFi2HiFi Station you can listen to whatever audio program is playing on your computer. WiFi2HiFi Station acts like an additional audio output on the computer, allowing it to provide streaming support for audio programs on the Mac and PC.
Stumbling prone cables connecting the computer and the hi-fi will be superfluous, says Cliever & Son CEO Tobias Gemperli. Any web radio or song on the hard disc can be enjoyed from the comfort of the couch, he adds. WiFi2HiFi Station acts like an additional audio output on the computer, allowing it to provide streaming support for all popular audio programs on the Mac and PC.
Any audio program from music players to streaming media can be played. WiFi2HiFi Station automatically detects when an iPhone is in the...
Woz: Fusion-io to go public
Privately-owned server flash card vendor Fusion-io is planning to go public, according to its chief scientist, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, as reported by "The Register" (http://macte.ch/f2xv6).
Fusion-io's ioMemory technology adds flash chips to a PCIe card that becomes an intermediate tier of memory between a server's DRAM and its hard drives, accelerating server applications through changing disk I/Os into much faster flash I/Os. The company's products are used by server vendors Dell, HP and IBM, and customers such as Facebook, MySpace and Zappos.
Analysts: two million AT&T subscribers will switch to...
According to a "Fortune" report, analysts predict that at least two million AT&T subscribers over the next year will switch carriers now that the iPhone is available on Verizon.
In fact, "Fortune" is offering a guide to how phone companies transfer a customer's cell phone number from one carrier to another. You can find it at http://macte.ch/4Pwp7 .
Pragmatic Studio planning more iOS programming courses
The Pragmatic Studio has announced their spring and summer schedule for their iPhone/iPad Programming courses: April 18-21 in Denver, Colorado, and July 18-21 in Reston, Virginia.
In this four-day, hands-on training course you'll learn how to use the latest version of the iOS software development kit. Reserve your seat by March 17 to save $400 on early registration. For more info go to http://pragmaticstudio.com/ .
Report: personal computer market mounting a strong comeback
The personal computer market is mounting a strong comeback this year, according to the latest data (http://macte.ch/EIjAf) from The Bedford Report (http://www.bedfordreport.com).
While high unemployment has harmed consumer spending in North America, demand for computers in emerging markets is growing at a rapid rate. In India for example, desktops reported 14% increase year-on-year, while the sales of notebook computers grew at 49% in the fourth quarter.
The Bedford Report says Apple leads the mobile computer market at the moment with 10.2 million units shipped, giving it a 17.2% market share. The company is also gaining market share in Mac unit sales. In the company's fourth quarter Apple sold more than four million Macs.
Also "shares of Apple have recovered nicely after being smashed following the news of CEO Steve Jobs’ leave of absence," says The Beford Report. "Steve Jobs is an industry legend. His brush with liver disease in 2008-2009, which required a sabbatical from the...
MacBook Pro refresh coming this week? (updated)
Apple is getting ready to debut five upgraded versions of its MacBook Pro notebook line, according to various reports around the Web. And some of the rumors say the updated laptops will use Light Peak technology (http://macte.ch/lAfKn).
"PC World" (http://macte.ch/pxkeT) says the new MacBook Pros are thinner, lighter, have zippy new Intel processors (Core i5s and i7s) and better screens. Those "zippy" processors are expected to be Sandy Bridge chips.
"DigiTimes" (http://macte.ch/uhQ9B) says the revamped MacBook Pros will feature a slight change in chassis design and an upgrade to the new Lion operating system, which should help Apple's notebook shipments grow 30-40% on year in 2011. I beg to differ, but there's no way the new laptops will ship any time this spring with Mac OS X Lion, as that upgrade of the operating system isn't due to prowl until summer.
"AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) says placeholder SKUs [stock keeping units] for new Apple-branded computers...
Mac's 'Secure Empty Trash' function ineffective...
SSDs, Mac OS X and data security don’t mix. Not only does the standard file delete not delete files, but even the Mac’s “Secure Erase Trash” function leaves two-thirds of a file recoverable, according to "ZDNet" (http://macte.ch/k97Rw).
Hard drives associate a physical location with each logical block address (LBA). SSDs don’t, and therein lies the rub. If the LBA is written to, the existing data at that LBA can be presumed to have been overwritten.
But on flash-based SSDs, the firmware that makes flash look like a disk -- the flash translation layer (FTL) -- is constantly changing the physical address of the data," says "ZDNet." When the OS issues an overwrite, the FTL overwrites only the most recent location the data -- leaving older locations untouched.
This is a problem for all file systems, but according to a paper presented at FAST ‘11 last week, Mac OS 10.6 Secure Erase Trash command did an especially poor job, the article adds.
iPad price cuts could hint at upcoming iPad 2
Both T-Mobile and Orange have dropped their iPad pricing, suggesting that the iPad 2 arrive in a matter of weeks, says "Tech Radar" (http://macte.ch/7bcOe).
Previously, Orange was offering the iPad WiFi + 3G at £199.99 upfront on a £25 per month contract to existing customers and at £229.99 for new customers on a £27 per month contract. T-Mobile is only offering the discount to existing customers on a 24-month £25 tariff.
Apple planning retail store in Anchorage, Alaska
Apple has confirmed last month’s tip of a future retail store at the Fifth Avenue Mall in Anchorage (Alaska) by posting job listings for the location, according ot "ifoAppleStore" (http://macte.ch/JLCGD).
It would be the furthest-north store in the chain, at 61° north latitude, just 320 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the article adds. According to the original tip, the fit-out is underway inside the former Eddie Bauer space on the second level of the downtown mall. Based on construction schedules, the store will open in September.
Blockbuster initiates process to sell the company
Facing rising pressure from digital services such as iTunes and online services such as Netflix, Blockbuster (http://www.blockbuster.com) has initiated a process to sell the company, which it believes represents the best means of maximizing value for Blockbuster’s stakeholders.
In conjunction with this process, Blockbuster has entered into an asset purchase agreement with a “stalking horse” bidder, Cobalt Video Holdco, a limited liability company formed by funds managed by Monarch Alternative Capital, Owl Creek Asset Management, Stonehill Capital Management and Värde Partners, each of which is a secured noteholder of the company.
In addition, Blockbuster has filed a motion seeking authorization from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to conduct an auction process for the company. Blockbuster expects that its U.S. operations, including a majority of its stores, DVD vending kiosks, by-mail and digital businesses, will continue to serve customers in the...
Apple to use Light Peak soon under a different name?
An announcement from Apple is expected soon about Light Peak, a new high-speed connection technology, a source told "CNET" ((http://macte.ch/qw3Ve) reports, quoting an unnamed source.
Whether the new connector tech will be part of an upcoming MacBook Pro update (rumored to happen Feb. 24) or announced in another context "is not clear," the article says. "CNET" thinks Apple will use Light Peak soon, but probably use another name for it. Intel has said in the past that the first products using Light Peak should appear in the first half of 2011. When Intel initially demonstrated Light Peak at its developer conference in 2009 it used a machine running Apple's Mac OS X.
Light Peak paves the way for a new generation of extreme computer input and output (I/O) performance, delivering 10Gb/s of bandwidth, with the potential ability to scale to 100Gbs over the next decade, according to David Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager, Intel Architecture Group. At 10Gb/second, a...
Europe favors iOS devices over competition
According to new data from the StatCounter (http://gs.statcounter.com) research group -- as noted by "Reg Hardware" (http://macte.ch/SnjWM) -- Europe as a whole clearly favors iOS devices over competing devices.
The iOS market share has run between 50% and 45% between January 2010 and January 2011, which is well ahead of nearest rivals Symbian, BlackBerry and Android, the article adds. While Apple's share is trending downward, it's a very slow decline.
In the UK, Apple and Research in Motion are the two key smartphone players, oscillating about a line at 42%, says "Reg Hardware." Android usage is growing there, as well, but it's still below 15%.
"Crucially, the strength that Android is showing in the US, is not yet a factor in the UK and Europe," says "Reg Hardware." "That may change over the coming year, but the Google OS is going to have to gain a lot of support if it's to mount a serious challenge to Apple and BlackBerry here, and against Apple in the wider continent."
Shareholder group demands Apple CEO succession plan
With Apple CEO Steve Jobs on another medical leave, a shareholder group has formally demanded that Apple provide more details about its CEO succession planning.
Sponsored by the Central Laborer’s Pension Fund in Jacksonville, Ill., the shareholder resolution calls on Apple’s board to adopt and disclose a written “succession planning policy.” Under such a policy, the board would review its succession plan each year, maintain an emergency succession plan and “identify and develop internal candidates," reports "MarketWatch" (http://macte.ch/2Jcbp).
Apple is against the measure, saying it has already abides by many of the proposed policies. The company further argues and that going public with its “confidential objectives and plans” isn’t in shareholders’ best interest.
Store News hits the Mac App Store
Independent software developer Christian Kienle has introduced Store News 1.0 (http://store-news-app.com/), his free application for Mac OS X, now available in the Mac App Store.
Store News offers a way of finding out the best deals in the Mac App Store. It shows categories of apps that are totally free and apps that still cost a little bit of money.
Users may share what they've found via Twitter. Store News requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later and can be found in the Productivity category.
Choice group says Apple overcharges Australian iTunes customers
Australian consumer advocate Choice has blasted Apple for overcharging Australian consumers compared to the US in the iTunes Store, "but the blame could lie with the Australian music industry," says "SmartHouse" (http://macte.ch/2xa59).
The article says Australian blogger Graham Spencer found that iTunes customers in Australia pay up to 69% more for some songs than in the US. This was followed up by Choice spokesperson Christopher Zinn who has criticized the likes of Apple and Sony for lacking global price parity.
Apple uses an exchange rate that's not directly linked to world exchange rate fluctuations, so an Australian currency appreciation hasn't shifted iTunes prices in favour of Australian consumers, says "SmartHouse." (Sony offers a ‘Music Unlimited' music subscription service that costs Australians three dollars more a month than in the US).
Apple says the diversity of global prices is due to individual content agreements with each country, rendering exchange rates irrelevant...
Softmatic PhotoStamp now a Mac App Store exclusive
Softmatic has announced PhotoStamp 3.0 (http://www.softmatic.com), which is now a Mac App Store exclusive. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher and can be found in the Photography category. The price for an individual license has been slashed from US$29.95 to $9.99.
The app offers batch stamping, batch resizing and automatic thumbnail generation. PhotoStamp features a five-step process to batch-stamp digital photos. It stamps text, copyright signs and notices, images, Exif data, dates and more. PhotoStamp reads virtually any image format, including raw formats, and outputs watermarked images as JPEG, TIFF, PNG and more.
The "Assistant"-style concept of PhotoStamp is designed to make it easy to use. Source images are simply dragged over the drop target in the first pane of the main window. These can be individual files or complete folders.
In the second step any of the predefined watermark designs can be applied to the images. Text watermarks can contain static text but also dynamic...
Akvis ArtWork 5.0. now sports watercolor effect
Akvis has released ArtWork 5.0, an update of the tool for transforming photos into paintings using various techniques.
ArtWork is available in plug-in and standalone versions for Mac and Windows systems. Version 5.0 introduces the watercolor style. Photos can now be converted to an image in the airy, light style of watercolor paintings.
Also new to Artwork 5.0 are the post processing tools Smudge and Blur, which are available under the Business and Deluxe licenses. These tools help to improve the results made in the oil and watercolor styles. Additionally, thanks to the new Animated Processsing feature, you can observe the photo-to-painting conversion in real time.
Each painting style in ArtWork includes presets. Version 5.0 adds new presets for the oil, comics, and pen & ink styles. The new watercolor style comes with six presets.
Akvis ArtWork is available as a stand-alone application, as well as a plug-in to a photo editor.
ArtWork runs on Mac OS X 10.4 and higher and...
Four more cities announced for MacTech Boot Camp 2011
On the heels of the success of MacTech Conference in November, and a sell-out MacTech Boot Camp in San Francisco in January, MacTech has announced today four more MacTech Boot Camps in 2011.
Each of these one-day events cater to those who support the home user, and small business market. MacTech Boot Camp is a single-track, hotel-based seminar specifically geared to serve the needs of consultants and techs wanting to serve their clients better. MacTech Boot Camp will be held in the cities of Dallas, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago.
"Last month, MacTech Boot Camp San Francisco 2011 sold out. We know that many consultants and techs in the market focus on serving the home and small business communities. We've designed the MacTech Boot Camp curriculum just for them," says Neil Ticktin, editor-in-chief/publisher, MacTech Magazine. "If you're already serving the home and small business Mac users, or want to be, MacTech Boot Camp expert-taught sessions will help you to learn best...
Apple nearing a deal for China Telecom to carry the iPhone?
Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White has told clients in a note -- as reported by "Barron's (http://macte.ch/DSTMR) -- that Apple s getting closer to closing a deal for the iPhone with China Telecom.
He cites material on NetEase’s web site,stating that a branch of China Telecom is accepting pre-orders for the CDMA version of the iPhone 4, and that terms of a deal between the two companies are being worked on. The relationship between Apple and China Telecom is clearly moving in the right direction, and "we believe that a deal will eventually be announced this year," says the analyst.
White believes all three Chinese cellular carriers are competing to carry the phone. (China Unicom (CHU) already carries the iPhone.) This “would ultimately open the door for the iPhone to tap into China’s 842 million wireless subscribers,” he tells clients, noting thatChina Telecom, in particular, has 90.5 million subscribers, versus 167 million for China Unicom and 584 million for China Mobile.
'NYT': no iPhone mini coming
Forget the rumored iPhone mini/nano reports that have been floating around the web this week. "The New York Times" (http://macte.ch/TfiKu) says Apple isn't planning on making a smaller iPhone, but is planning to make a less expensive version -- and one that works with voice commands.
Quoting "people briefed on Apple’s plans who requested anonymity because the plans are confidential," the article says Apple won't not make a smaller iPhone because: 1) a smaller device would not necessarily be much cheaper to make 2) it would be more difficult to operate, and 3) a phone with a smaller screen would force many developers to rewrite their apps.
The "Times" says ass part of its effort to find new customers for the iPhone, Apple plans to make it easier to operate the device through voice commands, removing an obstacle for people who do not like using a virtual keyboard. The company is also purportedly considering changing internal components of the device to bring costs down.
Apple to open Shanghai store this summer
Apple will open its fifth retail store in Shanghai this summer, according to Ron Johnson, senior vice president of retail operations at Apple -- as reported by the "People's Daily Online" (http://macte.ch/Up8Xp).
The other four stores include two in Beijing and one in Shanghai and Hong Kong, respectively. Apple now has 323 retail stores worldwide and 87 out of them are outside the U.S. The four stores in China have both the largest flow of customers and the highest revenue in the world, according to the "People's Daily Online."
Antitrust enforcers eyeing Apple's digital subscription...
U.S. antitrust enforcers have begun looking at the terms Apple has set this week for media companies who want to sell their content on its iPad and other devices, says the "Wall Street Journal" (http://macte.ch/cKco3), quoting "people familiar with the matter."
The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission's interest in Apple's new subscription service is at a preliminary stage, and might not develop into either a formal investigation or any action against the company, the article adds. However, it comes as Apple has attracted growing antitrust scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe.
A spokeswoman for the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, told the "WSJ" that the commission was aware of the new subscription service and was "carefully monitoring the situation." The Justice Department and the FTC are both interested in examining whether Apple is running afoul of U.S. antitrust laws by funneling media companies' customers into the payment system for its iTunes store...
MyService offers MacBook 480GB SSD upgrade
MyService (http://www.myservice.com) has announced a new 512GB solid state drive upgrade for the MacBook. These new SSD drives by OWC are the biggest SSD drives available for the Apple laptop.
The upgrade service includes the new drive, round trip shipping, professional installation and data transfer. Most drive upgrades are completed the same day. After the service is complete, your Mac is cleaned, tested and returned back to you along with your old drive.
In addition to the 512GB drives, MyService also offers a line of OWC Mercury Pro SSD drives ranging from 120GB to 480GB in stock. All drives feature a three-year warranty. Since MyService is an Apple Authorized Service Provider, the 480GB SSD upgrade will not void your Apple warranty.
QuickerTek introduces the Little Black Box USB Batter
QuickerTek has introduced the US$29.99 Little Black Box (http://www.quickertek.com/products/ipad_charge_monitor_usb.php), their new USB battery pack that allows you to use any AA battery to charge or power Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or virtually any USB powered device.
The Little Black Box is compact so you can take it on an airplane, camping or road trips. That means you can use Alkaline, Carbon, Ni Metal Hydride or NiZinc rechargeable AA batteries as long as all four AA batteries are the same kind and brand. The internal circuitry compensates for different battery voltages to supply the correct voltage for USB compatibility.
QuickerTek says its test studies show that the best batteries to use are the rechargeable NiZinc batteries, they are the highest capacity (mAhr). The Little Black Box has a one-year parts and labor warranty.
Winter Wolves releases dating sims game
Winter Wolves, in collaboration with Christine Love, has released Love & Order (http://www.winterwolves.com/loveandorder.htm), a dating sim game. It costs US$19.99 and runs on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux systems.
Here's how the game is described: "Take on the role of Dana Larose, a young woman starting her career as a secretary in the Crown Attorney's office. The office is both overworked and understaffed, so you'll have to work out whose projects you help with accordingly. Will you be able to unravel the mystery being covered up, balance the stress of juggling overtime for everyone, and still manage to find love...?
"The game features beautiful manga artwork, captivating gameplay and a relaxing soundtrack. In the classic tradition of dating sims, you can pursue four characters, three men and one woman. The game is completely family friendly and easy to pick up and play.
Beside working in the office, completing several tasks for the various characters, you'll also be able to...