iOS Devices ▪ May 22, 2011

An Apple Store Manager relayed to us that the new iPad 2 displays are able to turn into “normal iPads” with a few swipes in secret combination.  To find out if true, I went to the Soho store and tried it out.  Yep, it works.  The button still doesn’t work so it is easy to get yourself stuck – like in Email Setup below:

I’m not going to post the gesture combination unless it hits the web but it does exist and Store managers know it.

Anyway, the moral of the story: Those are normal iPad 2s under the glass, even though they have different part numbers. expand full story

First of all, we’d like to thank all of the Apple Store employees who have been sending in tips over the past week on the new Store stuff.  Thank you and we hope to continue to hear from you guys (and gals!).  We’re hearing there is more to come

We’re pasting without (much) editing some of the different tips we’ve gotten below:

  1. As noted, the home button does not work when Smart Sign app is running so it cannot be exited. The only way to get the home button to work again is to reset the iPad using the home and lock buttons.
  2. The Apple Store App will be updated tomorrow, and will be available world wide. It will support CTO orders, and should also be available as an iPad optimised app.
  3. The Display iPads have a different model number than current iPad 2s.  There has been some concern about the cameras: Is Apple watching us from HQ?  Listening?  Customers?  Also, we’ve been told there is a bunch of security stuff on the new iPads.  If they leave the Store they keep calling home with their Wifi coordinates.
  4. Apple is giving the old Pioneer tvs to one lucky Apple Employee per store. We had just upgraded all of them to new Sonys
  5. The iPads are charged using a kind of tape, which goes from the cable which enters the plastic casing, to the dock connector (you can hardly see it!). This charges the iPad and alarms it – if it is removed, the alarm will sound.
  6. There was some speculation about how the iPads are powered in the new display. They are connected via ribbon cables that hook into the dock connector. All the cables are custom made for each iPad, and also power the product they are advertising. All the content on the iPads is loaded from a server, nothing is stored locally except the custom application. The home buttons are disabled. We load them up, provision them to be signage iPads, boot the application, tell the iPad where in the store it’s located and that’s it. Apple can change prices and info live across all of retail
  7. We have one of the smaller stores in the market and we received 100 iPad 2’s for the smart signs. The app that runs the information disables the home button on the iPad (obviously) and the image is all encompassing. If products move tables we won’t necessarily have to move smart signs just tell the iPads to display different product information. There is a specially designed flat ribbon cable that powers the iPad, no inductive charging or anything like that.
  1. Pasted below is a close up of the back of the acrylic enclosure

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iOS Devices ▪ May 21, 2011

Square Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey just tweeted an interesting little clue for perhaps Square’s big Monday announcement. Apple started selling Square readers in its stores last month.

Here’s our “educated” guess: Apple employees are going to be using Square credit card readers on their new iPad Apple Store 2.0 devices.  See how it all comes together?

Perhaps it is bigger, though?  Did Apple buy Square?  Probably not.

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iOS Devices ▪ May 20, 2011

Asian carrier China Telecom has approached Apple with an idea of bringing a CDMA version of the iconic handset to its 103 million subscribers. Apple, of course, is currently dealing with China Unicom only. That company commands a whopping 886 million users in the 1.4 billion people market. China Telecom’s chairman Wang Xiaochu told Reuters:

We’re not denying that we’re in touch with iPhone (Apple), but I cannot comment on the progress.

The state-owned carrier, the smallest of China’s three major wireless operators, sees a window of opportunity opening as Apple’s exclusive agreement with Unicom is set to expire later this year.

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iOS Devices ▪ May 19, 2011

Apple’s lawyers called and told us to take down the screenshots.

We’ve gotten our hands on the internal Apple RetailMe iPads and have been rifling through the interesting new features that debuted for Retail employees on Monday.  First is obviously the Daily Download, which is a well-produced internal Daily ‘newspaper for employees’.  It is incredibly stylish, functional and much better than the previous web-based version.  We have many more screenshots below.

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Bloomberg this evening reports that Apple and Sony have come to terms on a streaming music licensing deal, leaving the largest label, Universal, as the only one of the big four labels not to (yet) sign with Apple.  Earlier this year and again this week, it was reported that EMI signed with Apple.

A licensing deal will allow Apple to more efficiently store music in the Cloud (it can store top songs only once rather than once for every user library that contains the song like Google).  Apple could announce a product as early as WWDC or at a more traditional music event, like the one Apple usually introduces iPods at in the Fall.

Bloomberg also noted that Apple would need to reach agreements with music publishers, which control different rights than the labels. expand full story

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