More next gen iPod Touch images

The iPod Touch leaks are in full effect right now.  Here’s anther round of "next gen iPod touch leaks" from the Corvino and Rich Blog (Satelite radio show).  These look somewhat similar to the one we’d posted earlier today.  We are starting to feel like the September event might not be very surprise-y.  Many more picts below.

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Are leaked hardware photos a new advertising medium? 

Update: Engadget says these are faker than this morning’s but a closer look makes them look a little less so.

Better quality fakes here

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Apple, Nvidia, Intel: Happy families?

Apple seems set to use a new Nvidia chip inside future Macs, but there’s a sticking point – Intel has launched a lawsuit against the graphics chip maker to prevent manufacture of the very GPU’s Apple’s seemingly intending to use. Meanwhile, in the background, Apple’s PA Semi team are quietly developing new processor platforms for Apple devices…

Sounds like a soap opera? It’s not. Here’s the deal:

- Digitimes informs us Nvidia plans to launch new chipsets for Intel-based notebooks in the first quarter next year, the MCP89 and MCP99 chipsets. These chipsets are expected to sell to at least one major computer maker, Apple, the report explains.

- Reports from China (and we confess to becoming a little less credulous to such reports every day) claim Apple will use both Nvidia chipsets in future Macs, replacing the current GeForce 9400M (aka MCP79) with the all-new MCP89 chipset. Conflicting reports say the MCP89 will be used inside Core2 laptops, while the MCP99 grabs some desktop action.

- Factoid: the MCP89 will support a faster system bus and faster DDR memory, which, in conjunction with Snow Leopard, should usher in yet more performance gains on future Macs.

- In the way: These new Nvidia chipsets incorporate a built-in Intel-based memory controller. The two companies have some deals in place that let Nvidia build chipsets that support Intel processors, but Intel earlier this year launched a lawsuit agains Nvidia, saying this deal doesn’t extend to inclusion of integrated memory controllers.

- An Intel statement on the above: “Intel has filed suit against Nvidia seeking a declaratory judgment over rights associated with two agreements between the companies. The suit seeks to have the court declare that Nvidia is not licensed to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has integrated memory controller functionality, such as Intel’s Nehalem microprocessors and that Nvidia has breached the agreement with Intel by falsely claiming that it is licensed. Intel has been in discussions with Nvidia for more than a year attempting to resolve the matter but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. As a result Intel is asking the court to resolve this dispute.”

- Nvidia may be on thin ice. While Apple CEO, Steve Jobs has in the past said his company hopes to continue working with Intel for “many years”, strong speculation last month suggested the company may not feel quite as much love for Nvidia. A report claimed negotiations between the two firms for use of Nvidia chipsets on Mac motherboards had come to a halt. This generated speculation Apple may use Intel or AMD GPU’s, or even field new graphics processors developed in-house. Apple has been hiring former AMD staffers extensively in recent months.

- Tensions between Nvidia and Apple may reflect the former firm’s problems with GPUs as installed in MacBook Pros last year, problems which saw Apple offer an unprecedented three year free replacement to MacBook Pro owners in the event their GPU developed a fault.

So, summing up, Apple’s future Macs may, or may not, include Nvidia’s newly-developed chpsets, and Intel may, or may not, pursue its existing litigation against Nvidia.

Would it be better if Apple developed its own GPU’s in-house? We can’t say, but we do suspect Apple’s engineering teams will be learning quite a lot as they work to develop the Open CL standard

Gaming gets serious as iPhone drives industry investment, change

All change in the games industry where the iPhone gold rush is generating serious deals and forcing major strategic change.

There’s big prizes at stake. Most smartphone users (62 percent) download one to five applications per month, while iPhone users are far more active, with 82 percent downloading apps, according to Goldman Sachs. iPhone users, more than those on any other platform, are keen on games, the analysts confirmed.

There’s cash in the iPhone attic: Overall downloads from all app stores will reach 6.67 billion applications by 2014, up from two billion this year, Vikrant Gandhi, analyst at market research firm Frost & Sullivan, told internetnews.com.

Games have become the dominant category on the App Store, with analysts predicting Apple will grab 10 per cent of the handheld games market by the end of the year.

This developing competition for a slice of Apple’s growing market is in the spotlight again today, with comments from Namco, where recently hired ex-Apple veteran, Jonathan Kromrey has taken charge of a new dedicated Apple device development team.

He explains: “I bought a group of people with me from Apple". And Namco seems prepared to make major investment in Apple’s platforms, “We are evaluating partnerships with other developers,” he said.

Confirming just how seriously developers see iPhone development, he says, “My charge is to make games that are the best for the iPod touch and iPhone. There is a gold rush to do Apps for the App store and Namco is at the forefront of that movement."

On future games developments, he admits Namco’s working on a back catalogue of Japanese games along with some new ones, and the company will bring Tekken to iPhone if it can figure out effective game-play.

“No matter the game, what’s most important is that the player feels this real sense of immersion, of tangibility, so they’re no longer playing a game on the device, they’re in the poker room or at the fighting tournament.”

It’s not just Namco, Sega recently began canvassing iPhone gamers to find out which old Sega classics should be given the iPhone treatment.

And it’s not just games developers. There’s serious VC investments being slammed down as Wall Street considers all the estimates and follows the money.

- Backflip Studios, the indie developer behind the popular Paper Toss game for the iPhone, has raised $145,000 in funding, it announced this month.

- Z2Live has just raised a total $4 million in finance to develop the first multiplayer game platform for the iPhone and other platforms.

With the focus on Apple, we’re unsurprised at recent rumours from Sony, which claim that company plans to match App Store prices on games sold through its revitalised PlayStation Network (PSN), where games will cost between 1-5 Euros, rumour claims.

Like Microsoft, RIM and others, Sony has begun actively sourcing iPhone developers to bring existing titles to PSN.

What’s next? We think Apple may eventually extend its growing presence in mobile gaming to attempt a grab at the console market, with the possible introduction of a Pro games store at the App Store, selling titles in higher resolution for playback on larger-screened Apple devices.

Snapped: Fresh iPod touch with camera pics emerge, prices, too…

Here we go again, as the rumour-mill gathers ever more strength and reports claiming Apple will unveil its latest range of iPods in early September, perhaps during the week beginning September 7, the latest batch of iPod touch with camera pictures/mock-ups have emerged.

This latest trio of purported images have leaked out of those ever-busy Chinese forums. Meanwhile, (fresh off his geek fight with Giz editor Brian Lam) Daring Fireball last night spat out what author John Gruber hears are the price points for the new iPods: 16/32/64 GB for $199/299/399, he claims.

Allegedly, these images depict a prototype (albeit somewhat scratched, hmm..) of the future model of the device, which is also expected to be able to capture video, edit video and share video assets using services such as Mobile Me and YouTube (as the iPhone does at this point).

With the iPod touch already a major contender in the handheld gaming segment, it should be interesting to watch its future land-grab at the low end digital camera/video camera markets.

We guess success will depend on just how high a resolution camera the future product will offer, and what the market decides is the minimum necessary for casual – but effective – photography. Another image after the jump. Via: Techticker.

What do you think – real or fake?

Update: So far the consensus is pretty much in the fake category, two good reasons so far:

1/ Look at the Dock – there’s reflections, which aren’t in the current OS.

2/ That poor iPod touch is pretty scratched?

Once bankrupt Psystar forces Phil Schiller, others in deposition as clone case continues

Hopefully none too frazzled following his recent spate of letter-writing, Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, will be required to offer his deposition in the ongoing Apple versus upstart unlicensed clone maker, Psystar, case.

Schiller is just one of several high level Apple employees who Psystar’s “people” will be taking depositions from as they attempt to defend themself against an Apple legal action. Apple has accused Psystar of violating the Mac OS X licensing agreement and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by installing the operating system on PCs.

“We are pleased to announce that an agreement with Apple’s counsel was reached earlier this month and we now have the final list of their deponents for our proposed topics with respect to this litigation. For the past week and for the following ten days we will be doing depositions of some of Apple’s highest level people," Psystar explained.

"After numerous depositions of Psystar employees and associates the shoe is finally on the other foot, oh the joy! We’re taking the top ten most highly moderated questions for each person to be asked at their depositions."

The deposition list reportedly also includes the following individuals: John Wright, OS X Senior Software Manager, Kevin Van Vechten, OS X, Software Engineering Manager, Mike Culbert, Mac Hardware, Senior Director, Simon Patience, OS X, Head of Core OS, Mark Donnelly, Apple VP Finance and Worldwide Business management and others.

Despite the requirement to attend a deposition, Apple legal continues to fight, most recently accusing Psystar of destroying evidence. Groklaw reports Apple’s filing states: “Defendant, Psystar Corporation, has destroyed relevant evidence that it was legally required to preserve. Specifically, Psystar has overwritten — i.e., erased — infringing versions of the software code used on computers sold to its customers.”

“Apple goes on to state that it "contends and can prove" that Psystar violated the DMCA and infringed copyrights "by modifying Apple’s Mac OS X software" and then installing it on non-Apple computers. When Apple deposed the Psystar CEO, Rodolfo Pedraza, it says, it did so to find out what method the company used to circumvent Apple’s "technological protection measures", and that’s how it found out about the erasures of prior versions of Psystar’s software. This happened just before Psystar filed for bankruptcy,” writes Groklaw.

One thing’s for sure, whatever the outcome of the Psystar trials, the clone maker has successfully managed to consume a chunk of high level Apple executive time.

China Unicom now denies $1.5b Apple iPhone deal

China Unicom this morning denied earlier reports it has purchased five million iPhone’s at a cost of near $1.5 billion.

The China Business News claimed Apple had reached a deal with China Unicom to sell the iPhones, now, once again, China Unicom denies a deal is on the table.

“Talks between us and Apple have been going on for some time, but no agreement has been reached yet," said Unicom spokesman Yi Difei as reported by The Street. "There are all kinds of possibilities.There is no particular timetable for the talks."

The previous report, he said, “is not true”.

Despite a recent visit to China Unicom by a high-level team led by Apple’s Greg Joswiak, Apple spokeswoman in Beijing, Tiffany Yang, said she had no information about an iPhone agreement in China.

It now seems it’s going to be a while until Apple and China Unicom break this deadlock, understood to involve revenue sharing agreements and an understanding of who will run the App Store in the country. Despite this, a deal with China Unicom has been an on/off expectation for months.

We liked Google Voice too, but not this much

Fanboys might want to avert your eyes.  We didn’t get a good look at the shooter (Eric Schmidt?) but we have a feeling his actions arn’t going to be appreciated around these parts.  The good news is that you now know not to put your iPhone up against a 9mm handgun…if that was ever a consideration.

via Gizmodo

 

It is too bad too, he seemed like a pretty quick typist on the virtual keyboard.

Apple's board to meet to decide Eric Schmidt's replacement

According to the WSJ, Apple’s board will meet next Tuesday to decide who will replace outgoing Eric Schmidt.  Dr. Schmidt, who had been an Apple board member since 2006, left Apple’s board late last month, citing a conflict as Apple’s and Google’s businesses increasingly overlap. 

Apple’s board meets four times a year and includes Chief Executive Steve Jobs, Intuit Chairman Bill Campbell, former Vice President Al Gore, Avon Products CEO Andrea Jung, former Chrysler finance chief Jerome York, Genentech Chairman (and Google board member) Arthur Levinson, and J. Crew CEO Millard Drexler.

Apple’s bylaws stipulate its board can have five to nine members; its board has stayed more or less constant at seven to eight members.  The WSJ says that the new board member will be watched as the current board "has been criticized by investors and corporate governance experts for its lack of independence from Mr. Jobs."

They remind us that Tim Cook could be considered for a board seat.  We had a poll a few months ago on whether or not Eric Schmidt should stay on.  You voted 3:1 that he should.  We had another poll last week on who should replace Schmidt.   We’re bringing it back (below).

 

Debbie Downer Dalrymple: No Tablet until 2010

Jim Dalrymple, former Macworld Editor at Large and current CNET contributer says he’s heard that there will be no tablet at the September event.  The event will be typical music and iPods only.  The iTablet, according to him, won’t be revealed until 2010.

Very reliable sources familiar with the product have said speculation of the tablet being introduced during the September event are flat out wrong. The Apple tablet, they said, would not see the light of day until the first part of 2010.

Though Dalrymple seems pretty sure of himself, the beard has its doubts.

 

 

September 8-11th: Apple Event. Steve's return to the stage?

Update: d’oh! Labor day is Monday and Kafka said "week of" September 7th

AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka is quoting some Industry Execs  saying that the week of September 7th will be the big day…or as they put it: One of Apple’s Famed Keynote Events.  Monday is Labor day in the US but September 9th…09/09/09 seems like a better fit to us though we’ve heard nothing specific.

Multiple music industry sources say Apple executives have told them the company is planning one of its famed keynote events for the week of Sept. 7.

The Internet is abuzz right now with speculation.  The timing makes sense as the past four iPod events have been in early September (to get those back to school kids in a lather) but Monday would be unusual for Apple as they often go with Tuesday affairs.

Thoughts?