Bloomberg reiterates new Apple TV incoming, April introduction and Christmas launch

apple-tv-deal

Following our reports in recent months that Apple was looking to introduce a revamped Apple TV set-top box sometime around the month of March, Bloomberg is out with its own report today confirming much of what we’ve already reported. The report claims Apple is currently planning to launch the new Apple TV set-top box as early as April:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box as early as April and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc. and other potential partners to add video content, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

In January we reported that Apple was working testing the new box that could include a revamped operating system and possibly app and game support for sometime in the first half of 2014. We also reported that Apple was testing upgraded hardware that included built-in AirPort Express 802.11ac router functionality and versions that include a built-in TV tuner to control existing cable boxes. Most recently we reported that code in recent builds of iOS 7 point to refreshed hardware, at least internally. Bloomberg today confirmed a couple of the same details including a new interface for navigating content. It also said the hardware will include a faster processor.

Bloomberg adds that a launch of the product is currently planned for Christmas but that might change if Apple isn’t able to nail down deals with content partners in time. Content from Time Warner has been rumored to be arriving soon for quite a while now, but negotiations are still ongoing according to Bloomberg’s report from today.

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Analysts estimate iPad sales up 10 percent year-on-year, to 25M last quarter

ipads

A couple of days after Fortune did its roundup of analyst estimates of iPhone sales, it has now done the same for the iPad, with the average forecast coming out at 25M sales in the final quarter of last year (Apple fiscal Q1) – up 10 percent from the previous year.

iPads were a more challenging market to forecast, observes Fortune‘s Philip Elmer-Dewitt:

The iPad Air didn’t ship until Nov. 1, missing one third of the quarter; the new iPad Mini (with Retina display) showed up 12 days later and was in short supply all the way through Christmas …  Read more

Apple airs touching holiday commercial featuring the iPhone 5s and AirPlay

As is tradition, Apple is airing a new holiday commercial this evening, this time highlighting the iPhone 5s, its movie making capabilities, and AirPlay with the Apple TV. The ad is set to the tune of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. As you may recall, last year Apple highlighted the iPad and FaceTime, with an ad set to “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. In 2011, Apple featured Siri and the then-new iPhone 4S.

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Bestselling iTunes Albums of 2012 for $6.99, sixth 12 Days of Christmas gift, Vimeo, SlingPlayer Mobile, more

From 9to5toys:

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 10.59.14 AM

As a special offer to close out the year, Apple is offering the bestselling albums of 2012 on iTunes for $6.99. The promotion is running from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3 only and includes some pretty nice offerings for you hip music listeners in the crowd:

12 Days of Christmas Day 6:

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App Store on Christmas Day 2012 saw downloads increase 87 percent, revenue rose 70 percent

holiday app store

As users powered on their new iOS devices and received iTunes gift cards on Christmas day, a strong surge of app downloads obviously followed. According to analytic firm Distimo, App Store downloads increased a whopping 87 percent on Christmas Day, compared to the rest of December 2012. With the increased downloads, revenue consequently rose 70 percent. Interestingly, the iPad and iPad mini seemed to be the most popular iOS gift given, as downloads and revenues rose by 140 percent and 83 percent, respectively.

Distmo also looked at the most downloaded applications from the App Store on Christmas day. They included Google’s standalone YouTube app and the recently released Apple Maps alternative Google Maps at the top. Other top downloads, excluding Apple’s in-house apps like iWork, included: ElfYourself by OfficeMax, Where’s My Holiday?, and Skype for iPad. The numbers that will give us a real look at how iOS device sales were during the Christmas quarter will be during Apple’s January earnings call with investors, where record sales are expected.

Competitor Amazon, who doesn’t like to give hard numbers, detailed some of its shopping statistics for the holiday season. The Seattle-based online retailer said that Christmas day brought the busiest day ever for digital downloads of movies, TV shows, apps, and more. The Angry Bird fans were also busy with purchases, as Angry Birds plush toys would stack up to 285 times the height of the world’s tallest tree in California. Research firm Flurry also detailed that Christmas 2012 saw the highest amount of activated gadgets than any other day in history.

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WordPress, Tumblr, Angry Birds Seasons, Notability, Starbucks, deals, more

App & Updates Dec 3

WordPress version 3.3: The WordPress iOS app gets an update today that brings audio feedback with new sound effect options for “refreshing, swiping, and more” accessible from Settings. The app has also been updated with optimizations for iPad mini, support for self-signed certificates, and fixes for over 20 bugs:

★ Sound effects: get audio feedback when refreshing, swiping, and more. You can turn off Sounds easily in Settings.
• Works great on the iPad Mini.
• Added support for self-signed certificates.
• Over 20 bugs and crashes fixed.

Angry Birds Seasons version 3.1.0: Over the weekend Rovio updated its Angry Birds Seasons apps with new content for Winter. Included is 25 winter levels (one each day) and “three secret levels for some special wintry treats.” HD iPad version available here.

It’s a snowy winter night, the northern lights are ablaze, and it seems like peace on earth… until the bad piggies show up! The Angry Birds didn’t realize that they’re walking in a winter wonderham!

Tumblr version 3.2.2: The Tumblr iPhone app gets a few features today include a new blog lookup feature to find blogs by username, and a panorama view when tapping photos:

• New blog lookup feature! Go to your Account screen and tap “Find blogs” to search by username.
• New panorama view! Just tap the photo to get a closeup.
• Bug fixes, including one that made it difficult for some users to launch the app.

Starbucks 2.5.2:

* iPhone 5 Support
* Multiple Bug fixes
* Added back sound when stars drop in cup – now an option to turn on or off

Notability version 4.42: A big update goes to the popular note taking, handwriting, and PDF annotation app that brings iOS 6 support, the ability to import .doc, .ppt, and .xls files as PDFs with Google Drive, localizations, and much more: Read more