A Chinese website has published pictures that they claim reflect a working model of the sixth-generation Apple iPhone. The TGBUS website posted a series of “iPhone 5” photos that they believe are authentic.
The device in the pictures matches the hardware described in previous leaks. These photos look like they’re as close to the real thing as anything else that we’ve seen so far.
As far as their source, the Italian phone blog iPhoneItalia has discovered that these pictures are 3D renderings created and posted by a Flickr user.
Everything about these photos matches previous iPhone 5 rumors. The case is thinner than that of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. The device is also noticeably taller than the other versions - to this end, all new iPhone accessories for the iPhone 5 would have to be designed to fit a rumored 4.08 inch display. Don’t get too excited yet... as none of the dimensions can be verified from the photos.
The cases for both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are longer than the one shown in these pics - by a few millimeters in each direction beyond the wrap-around antenna. These pictures show a case that barely extends beyond the width of the antenna. There’s a smaller dock connector, a relocated audio jack, new speaker grills, a larger camera lens and an LED flash. The backside of the case shows a two-tone rear cover that appears to be aluminum and glass. The antenna matches this in color.
Grace Lei, HTC’s general counsel, said the company wants ownership of S3′s patents, in part, as a response to the 2011 U.S. International Trade Commission finding that Apple was in violation of various S3 patents (although this ruling was later overturned.) As Lei put it at the annual HTC shareholder’s meeting, “We think S3′s patent portfolio is valid and strong, and we have decided to complete the purchase of S3 after cautious assessment.” Lei also noted that S3 owns about 270 patents, including those licensed to Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.
HTC has been locked in a battle with Apple over its alleged infringement of Apple patents in its Android handsets. Apple had been able get U.S. Customs to delay shipments of the HTC One X smartphone to U.S. carriers, in effect delaying that device’s launch by two weeks.
U.S. Customs cleared the devices for shipment at the end of May. HTC is insisting that its technology does not infringe upon Apple’s patents.
The folks at iFixit got their hands on a final version of Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina Display this week, and what did they do? They tore it apart. Here are a couple of things they found:
Samsung SSD and Hynix RAM cannot be upgraded. You’ll have to decide upfront how much capacity you’ll need over the life of your MacBook Pro.
The battery is glued to the housing and the display is fused into the assembly. Replacing the battery or the display will be expensive.
Maybe the amount of power packed into the MacBook Pro will somewhat make up for this criticism. The laptop is packing 95% of juice. That’s enough for seven hours of power. Even for some of the smartphones and tablets out there that kind of battery life is a stretch.
Users of Apple’s Mac line of desktop computers are pretty disappointed by the lack of attention being given to the Mac Pro and the iMac at this week’s Worldwide Developer Conference. The Mac Pro only received a minor spec update, and it even lost its designation as “new” in the Mac Pro online store. The iMac didn’t even see as minor an update as the Mac Pro’s.
Pre-conference rumors had suggested that both the Mac Pro and the iMac were in for some big changes, including a Retina-fueled refresh.
Apple the manufacturer of iPhone 4S and iPad3 seems to be making a big effort to quiet the mob that fears for the life of their desktop computers. One concerned user emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook who responded: “Our pro customers are really important to us...don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year.”
Reports by Forbes and New York Times columnist David Pogue corroborated the news that Mac Pro and iMac updates are coming next year. The information was provided directly by an Apple spokesperson who said that new models and new designs of the Mac Pro, as well as the iMac desktop, are in the works and will likely be released in 2013.
All music stored in your Cloud Drive can now be played on both your iPhone and iPod with a dedicated app just released by Amazon. The free app allows users of iOS devices to stream or download music stored online in an Amazon Cloud account.
Cloud Player lets you manage and create playlists, and play music already stored on your mobile devices. This initial version allows you to transfer your iTunes purchases. It won’t let you buy new tunes through the app just yet.
Amazon customers get 5GB of free cloud storage and can buy additional space, including 20GB for $20/year or 50GB for $50/year. Users who buy a storage plan receive unlimited space for MP3 and AAC (.m4a) music files at no additional cost. According to Amazon, this offer is scheduled to end soon.
Google’s Android director Andy Rubin knows and he took to Twitter to brag about it. Perhaps in an effort to take some of the attention away from Apple’s WWDC this week, Rubin decided to let his Twitter followers know that are more than 900,000 activations of Android per day.
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Rubin also used his Twitter message to deny rumors that he was leaving the company for the startup CloudCar. “No plans to leave Google,” he tweeted. “Oh, and just for meme completeness—there are over 900,000 android devices activated each day :-).”
The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been an interesting one to watch. All the pre-market speculation and hype have rivaled what always ushers in a new Apple. Samsung is the leader in global smartphone sales, and, with the arrival of their Galaxy S3, they’ve proven they can create a device that is a serious Apple contender.
Let’s take an initial look at the Galaxy S3, and see if it lives up to the buzz.
The Galaxy S3 comes in two colors: marble white and “Pebble Blue” (although the blue has a distinctly blue-gray look). Its rounded-edges and HyperGlaze polycarbonate backing enhances the smooth (but not slick) feeling of having it in your hand. The Galaxy S3 is not a cheap-feeling phone. It's got a really solid Gorilla Glass 2 front, a well-packaged interior and a robust battery cover.
Samsung increased the screen size from the Galaxy S 2 ’s 4.3 to 4.8in for the S3. Its dimensions - 70 x 8.9 x 136mm - make it very slim. It weighs in at 132g, less than the Apple iPhone 4S. Compared to the weight of the One X, it’s almost identical. Overall, the S3 is nice to hold. Samsung has created a large device that doesn’t feel like one.
The display is a superb Super AMOLED with a 720x1280 resolution - identical to the HTC One X. The contrast is excellent and the screen looks very bright. Whites are more luminous. Animations look clean and crisp. You hardly notice the use of PenTile array technology.
On the downside, the auto-brightness setting makes for awkward transitions. The screen will notably dim and then brighten again despite there being no change in external lighting. The screen is readable in bright light, although not great in direct sunlight.
It’s nice to see a raised rather than recessed physical home button, though its short-and-wide, making it a bit more difficult to consistently activate. It might take some getting used to.
Sitting on either side of the home button are capacitive touch buttons for the menu and back functions. These are very sensitive. You might find yourself frequently backing out of apps by accident.
You can tell that Samsung really focused on optimizing the Galaxy S3 for performance.
The North American version of the device features a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC and 2GB of RAM. These specs ensure that the S3 will be LTE-compatible. By contrast, the international S3 has a quad-core Exynos processor and 1GB of RAM. Storage wise, there are 16GB and 32GB models available. Word has it that there’s a 64GB on its way.
It remains to be seen how performance is affected by the extra gigabyte of RAM. Samsung says that the extra memory won’t affect battery life. In a perfect world, more storage will improve app performance, load times and overall multitasking, but not draw a lot of juice.
While the Adreno 225 GPU inside the Snapdragon S4 SoC trails that of the Mali-400 that powers the international Galaxy S3’s Mali-400, CPU-based performance is still incredible. Single-threaded performance is a vast improvement over the Cortex-A9 of the quad-core Exynos 4212. The sacrifice is gaming performance.
Turn on the screen and swipe through the seven home screens. You’ll find that the swiping action is smooth in a way that no other Android handset has been able to achieve. Just looking at overall performance, Galaxy S3 is comparable to HTC One X, with the exception of a perceptible improvement to the smoothness of Android operation on the Galaxy S3.
The camera system has an 8MP rear lens as well as a front-facing camera. From a subjective viewpoint, the rear lens took some nice pictures, but that’s just an initial impression. There’s a burst mode and a “best picture” function that will nominate what the software regards as the “best shot” from a group. Video can be taken at 1080p and the macro functions were very impressive.
The Android 4.0.4 with TouchWIZ Nature UX software makes the camera easy to operate with Android. For instance, it’s very cool when you can swipe your palm over the screen to take a screenshot.
It’s too bad there isn’t a dedicated camera shutter button. Still, the interface is nicely updated and shutter performance is significantly improved.
The Snapdragon S4 SoC is a very efficient chip and based on early tests of the international version, Samsung has done a great job designing in features that maximize battery life. The Galaxy S3’s hefty 2100mAh battery is impressive. The North American Galaxy S3 should stay charged longer than the European quad-core Exynos processor, but it hasn’t lived up to the claims that it has double the life of the One X battery. In fact, we found the two to be almost identical. Take note that the Galaxy S3 has a removable battery. The HTC One X does not.
This version of S Voice is supposed to allow for greater voice control than previous iterations, but in testing, its performance was patchy. For instance, waking up the phone using spoken commands didn’t always work.
The Smart Stay function allows you to continuously read a screen without worrying about the backlight dimming. This is possible because of the impressive front camera.
A motion control feature allows you to automatically dial your contacts by raising the phone to your ear. Neither the Smart Stay nor the motion control functions were enabled by default, so you’ll have to dig through the settings on your phone.
Polaris Office is a nice feature for business users. It allows you to open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on your phone.
Well done, Samsung. Despite the company’s pre-market theme describing a design “inspired by nature”, they’ve created a functional and fun smartphone that may have attracted a long-term following.
Serious competition among smartphone makers is always good for us users. It gives us more choices. Samsung’s Galaxy S3, the HTC One X and even the HTC One S might mean you’ll have a tough time going with only one new smartphone.
It’s nice to know that regardless of carrier or network speed, all S3 models are identical on the outside. The difference is on the inside. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you might just want to wait until the Galaxy S 3’s June 20th release to make your decision.
During the keynote at the WWDC Apple showed off the next-gen MacBook Pro with Retina display and the updates for others in the Pro family. Because we know you won’t want to wait till the end for this, prices for the MacBook Pro start at $2199. It’s available immediately. Prices for the other models follow at the end.
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The most impressive thing about the new MacBook Pro is the brand new high-density display. The display has four times the number of pixels as the previous model at 220 pixels-per-inch or 5,184,000 pixels. It’s 15.4 inches across, but its pixel density is 2880 by 1800.
If that’s not enough for you, here is a summary of the features sported by the new MacBook Pro:
A 178-degree wide viewing angle that has 75 percent less reflection and 29 percent higher contrast than the previous generation
A 2.3GHz quad-core i7 processor with 8GB of RAM, a GeForce Gt 650M with 1GB of VRAM, 256GB of flash storage, and up to 16GB of 1600MHz RAM
Up to seven hours of battery life and 30 days of standby. (The battery takes up most of the interior.)
Built around flash storage, users can configure their models at up to 768GB of internal flash storage
The fastest graphics on a Mac laptop—Nvidia GeForce GT 650M
A FaceTime HD camera
Dual mics using beam-forming technology
An SD card, HDMI out, USB3/USB2 ports on either side, two Thunderbolt ports, and a headphone port
Fan blades asymmetrically spaced so that the fan noise is not a uniform sound, but more dispersed
A new, thinner MagSafe 2 power port
Glass Multi-Touch trackpad
A backlit keyboard
At 4.46 pounds, the new Pro is heavier than an Air, but comparable to the 13-inch MacBook Pros. Like the new Air, it has no optical drive. Closed, it’s about as thick as the base of the old MacBook Pro but about as thin as an Air, at 0.71 inches.
Apple has made their MacBook Pro as environmentally friendly as an electronic device can get with an Energy Star 5.2 rating. It’s arsenic-free, BFR-free and PVC-free. It’s also highly recyclable, and has mercury-free glass.
New specs for the rest of the MacBook Pro family :
Along with the MacBook Pro with Retina display, Apple revealed other news on updates to the current MacBook Pro line.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory and 500GB hard drive and starts at $1,199. With a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 750GB hard drive its prices start at $1,499.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro has a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics, and a 500GB hard drive starting at $1,799. With a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics, and a 750GB hard drive it starts at $2,199. Faster quad-core processors up to 2.7GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 1TB, up to 8GB of memory, and solid state storage up to 512GB are available options.
Apple didn’t share any news on the 17-inch MacBook Pro.
It looks like Apple is making some adjustments to its current product inventories in preparation for the upcoming launch of the 6thgeneration iPhone.
According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu in a note to investors, Apple has reduced iPhone orders by between 20% to 25% from the 35.1 million units the company shipped in the first quarter of this year. Wu now expects shipments of between 26 million and 28 million. With the estimated 8.6 million iPhones already in the pipeline, Apple will have an iPhone supply of between four and six weeks in inventory.
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According to Wu, “From our understanding, the reason for the reduction is not demand related but rather due to the upcoming 6th generation iPhone refresh likely in the September-October timeframe. It appears that APPLE is opting to be conservative with its suppliers to factor in a potential 2-quarter pause ahead of the refresh and also to manage inventory. We believe this helps explain why its June quarter guidance was somewhat more conservative.”
Wu also explained developments on the iPad front. He reported that Apple is finally increasing their new iPad build plans. Shipments of the device were previously held back due to the supply of its new Retina Display, and the situation has been “greatly improved with an additional supplier.” Wu believes that this will help Apple to better meet strong demand for its iPad3.
For the June quarter, Wu reduced his iPhone forecast from 28 million units to 27 million, and raised iPad shipment expectations from 14 million to 15 million units. Due to improved iPad profitability, Wu increased his gross margin assumption from 42.5% to 43.5% and forecasted $36.1 billion in revenue and $10.16 in EPS. He’s keeping his Buy rating on shares of Apple stock, as well as his $780 price target.
HTC and Apple are battling it out in a patent dispute. As a result, shipments of the HTC EVO 4G LTE and HTC One X smartphones have been held up by United States Customs as part of an International Trade Commission investigation.
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This action has caused Sprint to delay the launch of their EVO 4G LTE device indefinitely. AT&T is reporting that its supply of HTC One X will be taxed due to the ongoing fight between HTC and Apple. Before the phones can clear U.S. Customs, the ITC will need to determine if HTC’s latest handsets are in compliance with an earlier ruling.
A spokesman from HTC said, “The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.”
Sprint had planned a May 18th launch of the EVO 4G LTE, a customized version of the One X. It was going to be available for $199.99 on contract. AT&T launched their version of the One X earlier this month. The device now shows as out of stock on the AT&T website.