Apple’s new ‘Change is in the Air’ ads show novel uses for the iPad Air 2

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Apple released a new iPad Air 2 campaign during Sunday football today showcasing various unique physical and software applications for the iPad Air 2.

Featuring the song “Who Needs You” by The Orwells [iTunes Store, YouTube], the ad is a departure from last year’s iPad Air which were focused on a single user.

iPad Air 2 isn’t just the thinnest and lightest iPad we’ve ever created. It’s the most powerful. From the studio to the classroom, the field to the garage, it’s helping people discover new and better ways to do the things they love. Imagine what you’ll do with it.

Microsite embedded below: Read more

Apple patent granted today shows dockable ‘iTime’ watch concept as well as conventional smartwatch

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A patent application filed by Apple three years ago and approved today illustrates a new twist on the iWatch concept: a sensor-packed strap acting as a dock which allows a range of interchangeable modules to be snapped into place.

9to5-image 2014-07-22 at 10.49.53 AMIt’s not anything we’re likely to see make it into production: the docking concept dates back to 2011, and was probably intended by Apple to house an iPod Nano, converting it into a smartwatch in a more sophisticated version of the watch-straps sold in Apple Stores since way back in 2010. But the patent does tell us two things …  Read more

Latest iPhone 6 concepts incorporate the more persistent rumored features

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Martin Hajek has been busy again, following his earlier iPod Nano-inspired  and schematic-prompted concepts for the iPhone 6. Commissioned by French site NWE, his latest designs incorporate the more persistent rumors: a rounded profile, power button moved from the top to the right (for easier use with a larger, near edge-to-edge screen) and rectangular volume controls …

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Latest iPhone 6 concept based on Japanese sketches looks more persuasive

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Martin Hajek has been busy this week: after iPhoneclub commissioned him to create concept images of an iPod Nano-inspired design of the iPhone 6, French site Nowhereelse asked him to use the Japanese sketches mentioned in that piece to create something far closer to the existing iPhone 5s design.

With many of our commentators criticizing the square corners of the previous concept, this latest one returns us to the rounded corners we know and love. More controversially, perhaps, we also see a return to the glass back. More images below the fold …

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This week’s iPhone 6 concepts seemingly inspired by iPod Nanos

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One of our favourite concept designers, Martin Hajek, has been busy again – this time with an iPhone 6 concept reminiscent of the iPod Nano design, commissioned by Dutch site iPhoneclub.

The iPhone 6 is widely expected to be launched in two different sizes, with Bloomberg and Nikkei specifically suggesting 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes. Hajek’s design shows the 4.7-inch model, though thinner bezels and reduced casing top and bottom mean that the exterior dimensions don’t increase too dramatically.

Three of the images contrast the new concept with the iPhone 5s, shown in the gallery below …  Read more

Analyst claims Apple ‘iWatch’ wrist-device is over a year away, explains why watch more practical than glasses

‘iWatch’ Concept (many more here)

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided seemingly accurate information about previous Apple hardware releases (timing non-withstanding), claims that Apple’s much-rumored wearable wrist device will not arrive until late 2014. The analyst pinpoints production to begin sometime in the second half of the year:

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What needs to happen for Apple to turn its watch prototypes into a product

iWatch-concept-02Rumor has it Apple is working on a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled smart watch and could even launch the device as early as the first half of this year. This is according to the latest rumor originating from supply chain sources in China. There isn’t much to back up the report’s claim that Intel is collaborating with Apple on the device (perhaps Intel has competitive mobile chips on the way? Or the whole thing might be B.S.), but there is a lot going for the prospect of an Apple smart watch in 2013.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the rumors. In December 2011, The New York Times published an article that noted a “very small group of Apple employees had been conceptualizing and even prototyping some wearable devices.” One of those ideas was apparently a “curved-glass iPod” that users would wear on their wristand control with Siri.

Evidence from patents exists as well, such as this liquid metal patent, another for a cellular antenna, and many more that mention integrating features into an iPod nano-like wristwatch form factor. Apple also recently refreshed the iPod nano lineup back to the longer, rectangle shape of previous iPods, giving it a 2.5-inch display and moving away from the small, 1.5-inch square design introduced with the sixth gen. The ability to purchase watch straps for the square, sixth-gen nano was a major feature for many customers, so the move back to a rectangle, 2.5-inch nano could indicate Apple is making room for a full-fledged nano watch in the near future.

Apple is clearly experimenting with the form factor, the question is what will it have to do to make a captivating iWatch experience and create a new product market? And is that early 2013 launch realistic?… Read more

Apple takes a cue from users, invents packaging that doubles as iPhone/iPad dock

A number of Apple patents and applications have been published today, one of which details an interesting new design for the packaging of iOS devices that would also double as a stand or dock of sorts. The patent application was originally filed in May 2011, but it was published today by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and detailed by PatentlyApple. The image above is pretty self-explanatory, showing iPod nano-like packaging with a removable lid and base that transform into a dock or stand for the device. It appears the dock would act as a permanent solution, with the image above showing room to accommodate a charging cable as well as small parts to hold the device snugly in place.

This is actually something we’ve seen before. Although many iPhone and iPad users have no problem dropping a decent amount of money on a dock, there are no shortage of users who have come up with innovative ways to turn the current iPhone and iPad packaging into a dock and or stand for free. Below is a video, courtesy of GottaBeMobile, showing an iPad mini box being transformed into a free docking station with very little effort: Read more

iFixit tears down the new 7th generation iPod nano

We got a look inside the new fifth-generation iPod touch last week thanks to our friends over at iFixit. Today, they are taking apart the seventh-generation iPod nano that Apple recently unveiled alongside the new iPod touch and iPhone 5 lineups. While it did not perform quite as poorly as the iPod touch in terms of repairability, it was still unable to outperform the 7 out of 10 repairability score given to iPhone 5. We see the usual suspects inside including flash memory from Toshiba and a TI touchscreen controller. However, a quick look at the Nano’s internals shows a few anonymous, Apple-branded chips as well:

* Toshiba THGBX2G7D2JLA01 128 Gb (16 GB) NAND flash
* Texas Instruments 343S0538 touchscreen controller
* Broadcom BCM2078KUBG Bluetooth + FM radio
* NXP Semiconductors 1609A1
* 75203 23017
* 75292 98820
* 339S0193
* Apple 338S1099
* Apple 338S1146

Thanks to many components being soldered to the logic board (battery, lightning connector, headphone jack, etc.), and a battery attached to the assembly, iFixit is giving the new Nano a 5 out of 10 for repairability. Here are some of the highlights:

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New iPod touch begins shipping to customers and showing up in Apple Retail Stores alongside iPod nanos

Apple posted a user guide for the fifth-generation iPod touch to iBooks early this morning, indicating a retail launch for the device is coming sooner rather than later. Apple promised an October timeframe for preorders of the device shipping from its Online Store, but today we get word from readers that Apple is now shipping orders of the fifth-generation iPod touch, as well as the new iPod nano, with delivery expected early next week. The shipment notice above comes from a user in the United States with an expected delivery date of Oct. 15, but international users have reported receiving notices as well. The image below shows an expected delivery date of Oct. 15 from an Australian reader, while the new iPod nano is still listed as preparing for shipment. Yesterday, Apple started shipping orders for the 30-pin to Lightning adapterThanks, Penpal1278!

It also appears that Apple started to sell the new iPod touch and iPod nano in at least some of its retail locations:

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New iPod codes and colors: 1136×640 display Touch is N78, Nano is N31, Shuffle is N12B, iPhone/iPod touch panorama mode?

Alongside the information we have already posted about the new iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle, we received possible code names for the devices. Like developer @chronic, we’re hearing that the new iPod touch has the internal codename of N78.

We also understand that the iPod nano is codenamed N31 and that the iPod shuffle is codenamed N12B. Like we posted last week, the new Shuffle and Nano will ship in 8 colors. We also understand that the new iPod touch will come in several variations, which we speculate points to colors other than black and white.

We previously reported that the new iPhone is codenamed N42. Like the new iPod touch, the new iPhone will include an 1136 x 640 Retina display, as we first reported in May.

With the iPad mini launching next month, many, including us, have wondered what would happen to the iPod touch price point. Even with an iPad mini en-route for a rumored $200-250 price point, our sources are saying that the iPod touch will stay at an entry-level price point at or around $200.

@Chronic is also saying that the new iPod touch will run a processor named S5L8942X which is similar to the AppleTV single core A5:

This processor codename seems to just be a couple of levels up over the 40X A5 processor we reported a few months ago (along with a bunch of minor specs). We assume Apple will refer to this new iPod touch processor as an A5, though.

@Chronic also tweeted that the new iPhone and iPod touch may include a new Panorama feature. Several references to Panorama were found in iOS 5 code last year, but the feature was never released. iMore recently hinted at this as well:

It’s not hard to imagine the iPhone 5 will once again include a camera demo, perhaps Phil Schiller showing off automagical new Panorama software, and other optical wonders.

We’ll surely know all tomorrow at 10AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern. We’ll have full live coverage of the announcements. Read more

iPod nano stock shortages across US retail seem to point at upcoming refresh

We reported last week that a German parts catalog ran out of current-model iPod nanos from Apple and told its customers to wait for refreshed models in late September. That is, of course, the rumored time frame of Apple’s next iPhone announcement and launch.

iPod nanos are more than overdue for a refresh and we are thinking —with Apple moving away from its 30-pin dock connector— that is at least one bit that needs an update. Other rumors pointed to Bluetooth connectivity, as it could extend the usefulness of the iPod nano greatly and make a more interesting iWatch-type product.

Today, we have seen stock shortages also hit Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Bust Buy—the four biggest electronics retailers in the United States.

Amazon is out of stock for about half of its iPod nano models:

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While Best Buy is a hit-or-miss for online deliveries, iPad nanos that are not available for delivery are still available in some stores (but are very spotty for the most part)… Read more