Tablet event next month, launch in March?

The Financial Times today rehashed most of the WSJ piece from yesterday on Apple taking on the cable companies with possible streaming agreements from ABC and CBS.  They took it one step further by saying that the tablet, which was mentioned in the WSJ piece, is coming VERY soon:

“Apple is preparing an announcement next month that many anticipate will be the official unveiling of its tablet, but the company has so far declined to confirm the existence of the device. Wall Street analysts expect mass production of an Apple tablet to begin as early as February.”

Remember, however, that the FT said in July that the Apple Tablet was coming before Christmas and that it would be part of Cocktail (iTunes LP).

BBC plan for TV online sees an Apple TV set-top box for IPTV

Rest assured: TV broadcasters are serious about taking themselves online: YouTube now offers TV shows through its service; Apple is speaking to the networks with a view to offering TV subscription shows streamed over the internet via iTunes; and the BBC has received approval for its plan to create a platform for Internet TV broadcasting.

This could be a blow to cable and satellite TV companies by making much of the content they keep behind their paid-for wall more easily available through other media. Increasingly, it

Video: How Apple's 3D display patents could impact across industry

There was lots of excitement when

Hurry up and download an NES emulator that slipped into the App Store

Update: It has been pulled, you’ll have to jailbreak to get an NES emulator now.

We’re not sure how this one slipped through, but Nescaline, a Nintendo Entertainment System emulator is in the App Store as we speak.  Yes, Apple has prohibited emulators in the past as a security measure although it did eventually approve a Commodore64 emulator.  Nescaline comes with five homebrew apps but allows you to download NES.roms from the Internet by providing a URL.  We’re sure no one will upload any pirated ROMs.

Doesn’t sound very Appley does it?  We don’t expect this one to last 24 hours in the App Store.  Get it at the App Store now ($6.99)

The developer is Jonathan Zdziarski, who besides being the last guy in the phone book is also the author of O’Reilly’s iPhone forensics.  From the developer:

Kick it old school with home-brew games written for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Nescaline allows you to play public domain NES games, five of which are included, or use Nescaline’s download feature to add games to your library from any remote URL.

- Multitouch support; use the directional pad and A+B or many other combinations together.
- Works with many zapper-enabled games. Simply touch the screen where you want to shoot.
- Save-state allows you to save games in progress and later restore them to the state they were in when you left the game.
- Supports both landscape and portrait mode, in both full screen or original resolution
- Enter Game Genie codes to enable cheats for your favorite games.
- Alternate frame skip, palette, and advanced settings.

Nescaline works well with many freely available home-brew and public domain games, but is not guaranteed to work with all of them. Author does not condone the piracy of commercial games.

For optimal performance, an iPhone 3Gs is recommended, but not required.

NOTE: Nescaline is in no way affiliated with Nintendo of America or its affiliates. Nescaline does not contain any intellectual property or copyrighted material owned by Nintendo of America or its affiliates.


Apple prepares to sign Disney and CBS to stream shows over the Internet (Tablet in March)

It looks like AppleTV might soon (within a year) have a purpose.  That Apple TV subscription service we heard about earlier this year looks like it may soon have two signups….and they are HUGE.

According to the Wall (Street Journal)

CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co. are considering participating in Apple Inc.’s plan to offer television subscriptions over the Internet, according to people familiar with the matter, as Apple prepares a potential new competitor to cable and satellite TV.

Boom!  Certainly Jobs’ position on Disney’s Board is helping to move Disney (ABC) to Apple’s platform.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if that his personal sale of Pixar to Disney was what gave Apple its chance as a Internet Network?  

The WSJ mentions that CBS doesn’t have an interest in Hulu (like the other 3 majors) and also doesn’t have a big stake in cable networks so they’d be a natural choice as well.

As always, the devil is in the details:

In at least some versions of the proposal, Apple would pay media companies about $2 to $4 a month per subscriber for a broadcast network like CBS or ABC, and about $1 to $2 a month per subscriber for a basic-cable network, people familiar with the proposals said. Those amounts are in some cases much higher than media companies receive from traditional distributors. The question is whether selling fewer networks at higher prices is better business. Apple’s TV proposal may be changing as the company woos networks, according to people familiar with the matter. An initial version of the proposal had envisioned selling access to advertising-free shows from a bundle of top cable and broadcast networks

Will Apple and Microsoft join together to fight Google?

Even a year ago, most would have scoffed at the idea of Apple having to partner with Microsoft to fight off Google.  Google and Apple even shared two Directors, including Google CEO, Eric Schmidt.  Microsoft, on the other hand, has been Apple’s traditional rival since Windows was released two decades ago.

What a difference a year makes.  As RWW and PCWorld point out, the idea isn’t as far fetched now.  Apple and Google are no longer friendly, no longer share directors and most importantly now compete in key areas.  Apple’s most important product for the future is the iPhone platform and Microsoft is hardly competing in this area.  Google, on the other hand, seems to be the up and coming threat to Apple’s iPhone.

This rivalry has been getting nasty lately with Google swopping in and picking up Admob before Apple could buy it, then Apple buying Lala after Google started making bids.   Before that, Apple turned down Latitude and Google Voice (and Navigation?) on the iPhone.  Google has started to release its products on Android first, if not on Android-only.  Apple bought Placebase this year, according to some, to replace Google Maps on its iPhone platform.

Google also has a new laptop OS on the way that will run a WebKit based Chrome browser which could compete with OSX/Safari.  They also have free office apps which compete with Apple’s paid-for platform.  Speaking of paid services, Google offers a free alternative to Apple’s MobileMe.   Microsoft also competes in these fields but it might make sense for the two giants to fend off the up-and-comer at some point.

Microsoft and Apple already have done work on the iPhone to support Exchange, while Google Apps is more difficult to get working natively on the iPhone.

Would it surprise anyone to see Apple offer Bing as a search alternative in Safari?  How about Microsoft building iPhone versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint?  That’s only the beginning.

If Google continues to encroach on the two giants’ main revenue generators, I’d expect to see much more ‘cooperation between Cupertino and Redmond.

Apple releases a firmware update for 27-inch iMac flickering issues

Hopefully this fixes some of those issues we’ve been hearing about on 27-inch iMacs.  The firmware update, or specifically the issue it fixes, might have been resposible for Apple’s delaying the the delivery for the larger iMacs to after Christmas.  According to Apple, the 683K file “updates the graphics firmware on ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards to address issues that may cause image corruption or display flickering.”  What do you think?

Tapulous claims near $1 million/month Apple iPhone turnover

iPhone app developer, Tapulous, says sales of its software have approached $1 million per month, evidence that the App Store has driven success toward new start-ups in the mobile space.

The company claims its game, Tap Tap Revenge, has been installed over 20 million times with over 600 million games played in total. ComScore this year claimed the game had been installed by one-third of iPhone and iPod touch customers.

Buoyed by this success, Tapulous now expects to surf the coming wave of popularity for mobile apps, predicting competitors won