MacBook Pro with Retina display: Problems in every dimension

MacBook-Problems-In-Every-Dimension

When Apple unveiled its first Retina MacBook Pro with the 15.4-inch model in June, it came with an all-new, slimmed down design, all-flash architecture, and its flagship Retina display with over 5 million pixels. Apple has built its reputation on quality, craftsmanship, and customer/user experience, but that hasn’t been the case with its latest lineup of MacBooks. What many consumers don’t know is that buying a new Retina MacBook means taking your chances with possibly receiving a unit that is subject to display defects, battery, graphics, and fan-related issues among other major stability problems. These widespread issues have received limited coverage in the press and many consumers claim Apple is failing to sufficiently address the problems by not informing consumers and employees.

Leading the reports of problems is one that causes burn-in or ghosting on the device’s display. The result is a support thread with over 364,769 views and, most recently, a class-action lawsuit in California that alleged Apple is failing to inform consumers of the issue. Users experiencing the problem eventually realized the source of the issue was with LG, one of Apple’s display suppliers for the new Retina MacBooks. Unfortunately, models with Samsung displays aren’t totally free from a myriad of other significant issues.

Apple described the image-retention problems on this user’s display as normal after two visits. The display was eventually replaced with a Samsung but continues to experience other display related problems. 

Problems at the Apple Store

Finally, after 4 LG screened rMBPs I give up!

The problems are severe enough that it’s affecting the buying experience for consumers, driving customers to opt for other devices, and forced me personally to stop recommending the machine. Not only is Apple not addressing the issues publicly, Apple retail employees and 9to5Mac readers confirmed Apple is failing to properly inform retail and repair staff of the problems… Read more

Google’s launches Android holiday lineup: LG Nexus 4, Samsung Nexus 10, $299 4G 32GB Nexus 7

Google is making some big product announcements today, despite having to cancel its event due to Hurricane Sandy. Among the announcements: a new Nexus smartphone from LG, a Samsung-built Nexus 10 tablet, and updates to Google’s 7-inch Nexus 7 lineup.

LG Nexus 4: Google is launching the much-rumored LG Nexus 4 on Nov. 13 starting at $299. Much of the specs were confirmed previously, but Google has interestingly decided to not offer an LTE-capable model of the device. It is, however, including a wireless charging dock. T-Mobile is Google’s premier launch partner for the Nexus 4. Full specs on 9to5Google.

Samsung Nexus 10: Clearly, Google’s iPad competitor, its new 10-inch offering, is a Samsung-built tablet that packs in iPad-like specs starting at $399. The Verge said its 10-inch 2,560-by-1,600-pixel resolution (same as 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro) display is “on par with the iPad’s Retina display, with sharp text, excellent color fidelity, and great viewing angles.” Full specs and more here.

Nexus 7: Google has also confirmed today that its 7-inch Nexus 7 lineup is being refreshed. Google’s iPad mini competitor will now start at $199 for 16GB, and it will offer a 32GB model for $249. Those are both Wi-Fi-only, but Google will also offer an HSPA+ 32GB model for $300, $30 less than Apple’s entry-level iPad mini. The 8GB model is gone. That 32GB HSPA+ Nexus 7 is going up the bigger iPad mini that starts at $329.

Head over to 9to5Google.com for more coverage of Google’s leaked product announcements. Oh, and Microsoft is launching Windows Phone 8 as well.

Report: Korean carriers in talks with Apple over LTE-equipped next-gen iPhone

While most are expecting Apple to include the rumored LTE connectivity in the upcoming next-gen iPhone, we get word from Korea Times today that Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT have revealed they are currently in talks with Apple to carry a new iPhone on their LTE networks:

SK Telecom and KT are in talks to offer long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity on Apple’s next handset, tentatively named the iPhone 5, officials from the companies said Wednesday…The two local telecom companies are authorized Korean partners to sell the American firm’s i-branded devices here. The smallest carrier LG Uplus is unable to sell Apple’s products as it doesn’t own a suitable frequency.

According to an official at KT, which is home to roughly 1.4 million users compared to SK Telecom’s 4 million LTE subscribers, the carrier is in talks “with Apple to persuade the latter to support KT’s 1.8-gigahertz frequency in Korea for the upcoming iPhone.” Although it’s unclear exactly what type of negotiations might be taking place, we know the current third-gen LTE iPad supports only AT&T, Verizon, and a few Canadian carriers on 700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequency bands. If the talks are indeed to discuss launching an LTE iPhone with support for the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, it’s importnat to note that many other markets also operate over those bands including Australia and parts of Europe.
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comScore: Android and iOS grab 80 percent US marketshare, Apple passes Motorola

Following Nielsen’s latest survey that showed over 90 percent of United States smartphone buyers are choosing iOS or Android, research firm comScore today released its data of the top smartphone platforms and OEMs in the U.S. The survey included more than 30,000 people over a three-month period ending February 2012. It found Android was up 17 percentage points from a year ago with 50.1-percent of the U.S. smartphone market. In comparison, Apple’s 30.2-percent accounted for an increase of 5 percentage points from the same period a year ago.

According to comScore, Google passed the 50 percent milestone for the first time during February 2012. The numbers represent a 3.2-percentage point increase over previous three-month period for Google, and a 1.5-percentage point increase for Apple.

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Samsung says iTV cannot compete because TV is about picture quality

With Apple and Samsung caught up in ongoing patent disputes worldwide for various smartphone and tablet devices, the proposition of an Apple-branded HDTV would have Samsung once again defending its market share from Apple. This time it is in the living room—a market Samsung largely dominates. However, if you ask Samsung’s AV Product Manager Chris Moseley, Apple is not ready to compete with his company’s experience as a TV manufacturer, specifically when it comes to picture quality. Moseley talked to Pocket-lint in Prague at a Samsung press event:

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Rumor: LG and Samsung to supply iPad 3 displays as Sharp fails to meet Apple’s approval process

Following reports this morning from Macotakara that claimed Sharp would be supplying display panels for a next-generation iPad, a conflicting report from Korean publication Electronic Times Internet News (via PatentlyApple) claimed Sharp “failed to pass Apple’s approval process for mass production.” The report also claimed Samsung and LG already kicked production for iPad 3 panels into full capacity as of the beginning of this year:

It has been confirmed that Samsung Electronics and LG Display will supply LCD panels for Apple’s iPad 3, which is scheduled to be unveiled as early as in Q1 this year. Sharp was originally known to be developing display panels, but reportedly failed in initial supply.

According to the report, Apple is planning on placing orders for 65 million LCD panels for iPad 3 during 2012. It also claimed Samsung and LG would be supplying 5 million displays in the first quarter to meet demand for the device’s launch. Although there is obviously no way to verify this, and the publication does not exactly have a track record for breaking Apple news, the report does mention the same XQGA (2048×1536) display as Macotakara’s. The report cited only an “industry source.”
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Broadcom launches next-gen 5G Wi-Fi chips with gigabit ethernet speed and increased range

Broadcom Corporation is a global innovator for wired and wireless communications, and today the company announced its first family of 802.11ac chips designed for a broad range of product segments.

The chips, also called “5G Wi-Fi” by Broadcom, do not correlate with 3G and 4G cellphone networks. The BCM4360, BCM4352, BCM43526 and BCM43516 chips improve Wi-Fi’s range and are significantly more efficient. Perhaps, the most tantalizing aspect is that the 5GHz-based technology has speeds beyond 1Gbps and is currently in the high-end range of consumer Ethernet.

Apple currently uses Broadcom Wi-Fi Chips in its Mac line and in its iOS devices, including iPad and iPods.  The latest MacBook Airs have the Broadcom BCM4322 Intensi-fi® Single-Chip 802.11n Wi-Fi Transceiver.  Maybe we will see something a little faster later this year…

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LG announces 55-inch OLED HDTV, looks good enough for an Apple Television

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Various reports throughout the year claimed LG is providing the television behind the Apple HDTV.  However, nothing conclusive has surfaced.

As far as the big display makers are concerned, Apple’s relationship with LG is probably the strongest.  LG makes iPod Touch and iPhone Retina Displays, some iPad displays, and Apple secured a $500 million dollar investment in LG displays in 2009. The net investment was a temporary exclusive on panels for the 27-inch display that Apple’s iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays now use. Sony also makes OLEDs, but it does not have a strong relationship with Apple – at least as far as displays are concerned. The other big OLED maker is Samsung, and it is currently tangled with Apple in patent disputes.

With that said, look at the things that will be shown at the Consumer Electronic show. They have a 4 mm bezel -that is half the thickness of an iPhone 4S- and weighs in at a paltry 16.5-pounds. In addition, things like “1,000 times faster than LED/LCD displays” and “infinite contrast ratio” makes this sound like one of the best displays of 2012.

(Full sized images and the press release are below.):

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Japanese Report: Smart Cover will continue to work for thicker, next gen iPad with retina display

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According to Macotakara, the next generation iPad will be thicker and therefore won’t be compatible with all current iPad 2 cases.  That however won’t affect Apple’s Smart Covers which only cover the front.  They believe that the front screen will be the same as the other iPads, with the same types of corners and bezel as well.

We don’t know what that image is up there but Macotakara seems to imply it is a case for the new iPad. Update: The case is for the original iPad 3G according to its seller.  Read more

Apple turns to Samsung amid iPad 2 display issues with LG

Digitimes is reporting Apple has turned to manufacturers other than LG Display (specifically Samsung and Chimei Innolux) due to issues with the 9.7-inch panel they’ve been producing for the iPad 2. Apparently LGD was not only unable to meet its July orders by approximately 1 million units, but also failed to meet Apple’s requirements in impact tests.

Due to the manufacturing issues with LGD, Digitimes reports they have now turned to alternate supplier (and rivals in the tablet market) Samsung. However, this may be only a temporary solution to the supply problems, as the report is quick to point out Samsung is directly competing with the iPad 2 with their Galaxy Tab 10.1 (the same device Apple just received a preliminary injunction for to halt sales in the EU).

According to the report:

“Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has head-on competition with the Apple iPad 2 in the end market. This would prevent Apple from sourcing more panels from Samsung.”

This might be an indication that Apple is focused on transitioning away from Android-related manufactures, if for no other reason, simply to avoid having to rely on their competition to supply vital components. Doesn’t look like LG’s  $500 million display deal with Apple will be getting extended anytime soon, and a recent lawsuit launched against Apple (linked back to LG) certainly doesn’t help either.
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Florida company sues Apple over LG “fast boot” patent

More patent fun today as a small Florida company that may or may not be an LG spinoff called OSS systems sues Apple according to Patently Apple.  The Patent was originally filed by LG in 1999 and describes…

“A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.”

As far as Android competitors go, LG and Apple have a pretty cordial relationship  having signed a $500 million display deal a few years ago.  Displays in Apple’s popular devices, from 27-inch iMacs to retina iPhones are made by LG. LG could have spun the patent off as its own company, in an attempt to avoid locking horns with Apple in the courts.  Apple has been suing what seems like every other Android manufacturer over patent disputes. Read more

Apple looking at 55-inch LG OLED displays for late 2012 Apple Television?

Smarthouse has a particularly bad reputation when it comes to Apple rumors, especially when they involve OLEDs.  But we’ll bite on their latest because it is so tantalizing.

There is also speculation that Apple has held discussions with LG Display the Company that makes display screens for MAC products, about the possibility of getting access to a new 55 LG OLED panel that will be used in a new Apple TV that will be capable of delivering music, Video & TV shows over an IP network.

On Friday LG said that they will launch a limited production OLED TV late in 2012.

There are no shortage of people advocating for an integrated Apple television, but certainly the leader is Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster who expects one next year.

As far as the big display makers are concerned, Apple’s relationship with LG is probably the strongest.  LG makes iPod Touch and iPhone Retina Displays and Apple secured a $500 million dollar investment in LG displays in 2009.  The net of that was a temporary exclusive on the panels for the 27-inch display that Apple’s iMacs and now Thunderbolt Displays now use.  Sony makes OLEDs as well but doesn’t have a strong relationship with Apple, at least as far as displays are concerned.  The other big OLED maker is Samsung, who is now tangled with Apple in patent disputes.

If Apple does do a TV, it will likely have some sort of game-changer tech innovation that Apple could exclusively own for a period of time.  A 55-inch OLED would probably qualify even though yields will be low and prices will be astronomical during the ramp up.

We’re still not convinced, however. Read more