Apple drops refurbished iPads to $299

From 9to5toys.com:

The Apple Store dropped its price on the factory-refurbished, 1st-generation Apple iPad 16GB Wi-Fi (pictured), model no. MB292LL/A, to $299 with free shipping. That’s $30 under our June mention and is $184 under the lowest total price we could find for a new one. (It’s also the lowest we’ve ever seen for any iPad.) This 0.5″-thick tablet weighs 1.5 lbs. and features an Apple A4 1GHz processor, 9.7″ 1024×768 LCD touchscreen display, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, accelerometer, compass, up to 10 hours of battery life, and more.

Also available is the factory-refurbished, 1st-generation Apple iPad 32GB Wi-Fi, model no. MB293LL/A, for $399. That’s another price-low, this time by $121. Both units carry a 1-year Apple warranty, the same as new units.

We also briefly saw a 32GB iPad for $299 at Cowboom this morning. Does all of this have anything to do with the TouchPad $99 nuttieness from the weekend? Unlikely.

Update: 16GB just went out of stock. Cowboom has 32GB for $299 on and off.
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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

iFixit tears down Thunderbolt cable, reveals active parts

As with just about any new Apple product release, iFixit has torn apart the Thunderbolt cable. Why a boring cable?  iFixit has revealed that the new Thunderbolt cable actually has active chips inside, making transfers  faster.

We found two Gennum GN2033 chips in the connector, one on each side. They were flanked by other, much smaller chips that surely added to the cable’s cost: two chips labeled S6A 1JG on one side, and chips labeled 1102F SS8370 and 131 3S on the other. Of course, there were tons of little resistors (providing impedance as needed) all around the larger chips.

Thunderbolt’s release on MacBook Pros and iMacs should be followed by new Macs coming soon. Inside the cable chip housing below Read more

Apple starts pushing back iPad launches?

People awaiting iPads in the Czech Republic were told they’d be in the first group of countries (outside the US) to get an iPad on March 25th.

We’re not sure why but the Czech Republic iPad website now shows they just got pushed back a month. (for those not in the know, Dubna=April).

Update: Apple has removed (not corrected) the launch date.

Update 2: Apple has finally got its Czech translator on the ball – says Brezna (March) now

Could be some issues with equipment and government specific to Czech Republic, a translation error or could be supply constraints like last year.

Time to hit eBay?

(Thanks Pavel!) Read more

iPad 2 weight savings: 75 percent is glass/LCD

The iPhone repair experts at iFixyouri have determined that most of the weight savings in the iPad 2 – a fifth of a pound, is in the LCD and Glass assembly.

Here’s a breakdown weights of the Wifi iPads:

iPad 1 – 712.60g
iPad 2 – 600.60g (iPad 2 – 112g lighter)

If we break that down even further, the iPad 1 LCD/Glass is almost half the weight of the original iPad.

iPad 1 front half(LCD & Glass assembly) – 347.90g
iPad 1 back half – 364.70g

However, breaking down the iPad 2, we find a much lighter glass assembly accounts for most of the weight loss.  The glass we found out last night is 27% thinner than the original iPad. Eliminating the frame that the glass sits on, using thinner LCD and thinner glass, Apple saved 84.7g. That makes up for 75% of the weight reduction.

iPad 2 front half(LCD & Glass) – 263.20g
iPad 2 back half – 337.40g

Apple was able to shave almost 30 grams off of the rest of the device, and with a slightly bigger battery, that is significant.  But the lightness you feel is mostly the glass weight savings.

Our report on the iPad 2 glass from over a month ago first detailed Apple’s effort to save weight in the LCD/Glass assembly.

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