Best Apple analyst posts AAPL Q1-Q2 estimates: Macs shine, iPads disappoint, iPhone has peaked, 3.8M Watches

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KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the few analysts we feel credible, has his Apple numbers ready for Q1 2015. The analyst projects iPhone, iPad, and Mac shipments to be 58.2 million, 10.1 million, and 4.5 million respectively. He also estimates that Apple Watch shipments are currently at 631,000 units.

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Review: Misfit’s Bolt LED bulb promises iPhone and wearable control of color-shifting lights

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Two of the hottest product categories at this year’s CES were home automation and wearables, which Apple is now tackling with HomeKit and the Apple Watch. As has historically been the case, the price premiums Apple has set for its products have left plenty of room for more affordable alternatives. Misfit, a company co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley, is now competing in both categories: the just-released Bolt Wireless LED Smart Light Bulb ($50) joins a small collection of Bluetooth-controlled lights, while its late 2014 wearable fitness and sleep tracker Flash ($33-$50) is in the process of being upgraded to control Bolt.

Misfit’s pitch for Bolt is interesting. It’s billing the color-shifting bulb as producing “gallery-quality light,” and focusing its new Misfit Home app for iOS on creating “Lightscapes” — lighting scenarios including neutral bright white, warm sunrises and sunsets, candlelight, forest and volcanic tones, amongst other “scenes” where the color is set but the brightness is adjustable. When Bolt works, it’s a wonderful source of light, but as is common these days, some post-release tweaks will be needed to exploit its full potential…

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Users discover stainless steel Apple Watch scratches easily, the $5 fix is even easier (Video)

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Now that the stainless steel Apple Watch is becoming widely available, owners are beginning to post photos showing their shiny steel Watches have already developed scratches on the casing. Since Apple’s videos touted its steel as specially cold-forged to achieve superior hardness, people have been surprised to discover that the finish is easily scratched – many comparing it to the back of an iPod. While this isn’t shocking for 316L stainless steel, it is concerning to customers who just spent $549 or more on the mid-range Apple Watch. But don’t panic! As I’ll explain below, you can easily fix the scratches yourself for around $5…

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Consumer Reports initial tests unable to scratch Apple Watch sapphire, find heart-rate sensors accurate

I can’t remember if we’re still mad at Consumer Reports for Antennagate but they seem to be doing a thorough job at testing the Apple Watch as evidenced in the video below. Notable from their Day 1 tests is that the Apple Watch Sport screen does scratch but only after going pretty far down the Moh’s hardness scale (7-rated) into the unlikely to ever happen category.

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The Sapphire Apple Watch however wouldn’t scratch under any circumstances, though it doesn’t appear that Consumer Reports had a diamond pick to test it against. Regardless, for intents and purposes, you likely will never see a scratch on the face of the Apple Watch (the back is a different matter)… Read more

Apple Watch vs Apple Watch Sport: Unboxing and full comparison (Video)

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If you’re still debating on which Apple Watch model to order, we may have a bit of help/advice to offer. Apple Watch Sport is the cheapest option to go for, but what exactly will you be missing over one that’s more expensive? Well, we took the plunge, picked up a few of them, and put together a helpful comparison video between these models…

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First 12″ MacBook 1.3GHz benchmarks: top model rivals 1.4GHz iMac, 2014 MacBook Air

Following Apple’s shipments of the first 1.3GHz versions of the 12″ MacBook this week, benchmarks have started to appear online for the new Intel Core M-5Y71 machine. Geekbench 3 shows the following results for each model, which vary based on the testing mode (32/64-bit) and number of processor cores used (single or multiple cores).

MacBook 1.1GHz

  • 32-Bit: Single-Core Average 2212, Multi-Core Average 4070
  • 64-Bit: Single-Core Average 2428, Multi-Core Average 4592

MacBook 1.2GHz

  • 32-Bit: Single-Core Average 2348, Multi-Core Average 4603
  • 64-Bit: Single-Core Average 2579, Multi-Core Average 5185

MacBook 1.3GHz

  • 32-Bit: Single-Core* 2271, Multi-Core* 4841
  • 64-Bit: Single-Core Average 2816, Multi-Core Average 5596

The 1.3GHz MacBook’s 64-bit scores represent 16%-22% improvements over the 1.1GHz model, and 8%-9% gains over the 1.2GHz model. Note that only one test result has been published so far for the 1.3GHz MacBook in 32-bit mode, which is why its single-core numbers look lower than expected compared with the other models’ averages. More details are below…

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Review: ChargeTech’s ChargeAll Portable Power Outlet lets any MacBook (or other Apple device) refuel on the road

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The first time I found an AC wall outlet under my seat on an airplane, I realized that I could use my MacBook Pro with its wall charger for hours, even if I’d partially discharged the battery before boarding. Later, when I rode a bus with an AC outlet onboard, the freedom to enjoy my laptop for hours made the long trip feel brief. But I’ve had far more trips without AC outlets than with them, and there have been plenty of times when my MacBook could really have used a recharge mid-trip.

That’s why I’m genuinely excited about ChargeTech’s ChargeAll Portable Power Outlet ($150-$200), which primarily exists to give you access to an AC outlet literally anywhere you might be — something that I can’t believe has taken so long to become available. There are two versions, one with 12,000mAh of power, and the other with 18,000mAh of power, either with enough energy to keep your MacBook going for hours on the road. Both units have the overcharge and short circuit protection you’d expect from a surge board — the difference is that you can toss them into a bag or a car…

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Apple Watch survives remarkably well in kitchen torture test until…

The Apple Watch Sport’s Ion X glass has been put through a torture scratch test and we’ve seen it survive 15 minutes under water but now that Apple Watches are being shipped en masse, we’re going to see many full-on torture tests.  The first such test is from Cnet which takes it through some (admittedly unlikely) kitchen destruction scenarios.

The Apple Watch and its white band survived admirably through the gauntlet but you could tell this video was going to end with a broken watch and it finally broke when smashed with a iron skillet. OK, sure. Broken-apple-watch-shattered-gass

I don’t know about you guys but this test gives me a lot of confidence in the Apple Watch, particularly the drops, band stain resistance and waterproofing. Even this broken glass might be easily repairable as shown by iFixit yesterday. 

Apple Watch Sport unboxing and size comparison (Video)

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Apple Watch has undoubtedly been a long time in the making, but it’s finally here. Today we’re taking a look at the Sport models to see exactly what you get for between $349 to $399. Apple’s strategy for rolling out this product line hasn’t been favored by everyone, but if you were one of the lucky people to place a preorder two weeks ago, here’s what you can expect…

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Jony Ive & Marc Newson discuss the design, usability, & materials of Apple Watch (Video)

As the Apple Watch arrives in the hands of customers, Vogue has shared a video interview with Jony Ive and Marc Newson, in which the two discuss the design process of the device. Ive and designer Newson both discuss the reasons that customers may purchase the Apple Watch, as well as their own opinions on the design and the choices that went into the design process. The interview, conducted by Suzy Menkes, was held at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence, Italy.

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