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:
Rumor 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 wrists and 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
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
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
* 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:
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 adapter. Thanks, Penpal1278!
It also appears that Apple started to sell the new iPod touch and iPod nano in at least some of its retail locations:
Loving the new iPod touch, especially the red one. Unbelievably slim! http://t.co/XBeM88nc—
Richard Lai (@richardlai) October 09, 2012
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.
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:
oh wait, another thing worth mentioning: the new iPod touch / N78AP runs on an S5L8942X, NOT an S5L8950X.
— Will Strafach (@chronic) September 11, 2012
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