Beaconic announces availability of first Retail iBeacon Kits for Europe

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We’ve seen Apple’s new iBeacon technology in use at several retail stores and events here in North America— Apple Stores, Macy’s, CES, MLB— but adoption of the new Bluetooth low power technology has been slower overseas. Beaconic aims to change that with a new iBeacon Retail Kit that will make it easier for businesses in Europe to deploy the technology. The concept of iBeacons is simple: As you walk around retail stores or other locations, your iOS device will communicate with iBeacons in proximity and display notifications, promotions, payment options, or other info setup by whoever deployed the nearby beacons. Beaconic’s new Retail Kit will make it easier for small businesses to get setup and track usage, and its software is available in several languages: Read more

Apple Online Store back online, revamped Mac Pro now available, shipping Dec. 30th

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During this year’s WWDC keynote address, Apple surprised pro users with a look at a completely redesigned version of the Mac Pro, a machine many thought had long been abandoned by the company. At the time, the only availability information that was available was an ambiguous “shipping by December,” though Apple recently gave a more specific release date: today.

After about an hour of downtime, the Apple Online Store has come back up with the option to order the latest-generation Mac Pro. The quad-core model starts at $2,999, with a 6-core model available starting at $3,999.

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Paper by FiftyThree app now lets you create & order customized Moleskine books

Paper by FiftyThree, the popular sketching and illustration app, today announced that it has teamed up with Moleskine to offer its users the ability to create and order customized 15-page Moleskin books directly from the app. The partnership with Moleskine means you’ll get a quality, hand-assembled 15-page foldout book on sustainable matte paper, but it also means you’ll have to hand over $40 USD in the process: Read more

Apple squeezes suppliers, cuts costs by nearly 50 percent

A report from Digitimes claims that, although touch panel orders from the iPhone and iPad 2 have increased significantly for the third quarter, Apple is allegedly placing orders at nearly half the cost of previous shipments. This leads us to believe they are either trying to reduce BOM (and increase margins) at the expense of suppliers, or they’re prepping for the usual price cuts in the wake of new product releases (iPhone 5, we’re looking at you).

The report notes:

Wintek has received touch sensor orders from Apple at prices nearly 50% lower than the ones previously offered by the client. The impact of Wintek’s low-margins is expected to ripple out to other downstream players

The move is expected to result in lower than usual profit-margins for the supplier and also affect other suppliers down the chain. The report is also quick to point out that “Wintek has previously rejected low-margin orders from Apple”.  We’ll keep you posted as more becomes available.