Report: Hon Hai source says 46 to 55-inch Apple TV set in testing, no panel supplier confirmed, 2013 launch unlikely

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Last week, a report from The Wall Street Journal claimed Apple’s much rumored HDTV set is now in the “early stages of testing” with partners Hon Hai Precision and Sharp. Today, we get more details surrounding the rumored product from the Taiwan national news agency’s English language Focus Taiwan. According to the report, citing sources close to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the supplier is testing Apple television designs, but the possibility of the product shipping in 2013 is “unlikely”:

Nevertheless, the source said it is unlikely that shipments of the appliances will begin as soon as the end of next year.

While the report from WSJ claimed Sharp was involved in the initial testing of the product with Hon Hai, Focus Taiwan’s source claimed the possibility of Sharp displaying panels for the product is “not high”:

Asked whether the new Apple TV will use display panels produced by Japan’s Sharp Corp., the source said the possibility is not high.

The source also claimed that Apple is looking at displays ranging from 46 inches to 55 inches, meaning the company likely wouldn’t rely on Sharp’s plants best suited for production of 60+ inch panels: Read more

Mobius rechargeable solar battery case for iPhone available now

Let’s not pretend that Apple isn’t thinking about Solar charging its iOS devices.  It even registered iPodsolar.com in 2007.  Until the solar iPod is released, however, there are other ways to charge your iOS device from the sun.

Etón today announced the availability of their Mobius NSP300B Rechargeable Battery Case for iPhone 4, which was originally announced this year at CES.

The admittedly stylish (for having a solar panel strapped to it, that is) case packs in an 1800 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery, high-efficiency monocrystal solar panel, and micro USB to charge the battery on cloudy days and nights. Other features include LED charge indicator lights and a stand by switch to turn off direct power transfer. In other words, hitting the stand by switch will let you to collect power without using it, allowing you to control when the case is actually powering your iPhone.

As you can see from the chart below, Etón estimates approximately 1 hour of solar charge will provide you with up to an additional 25 minutes talk time, 20 minutes of data usage (3G), 35 minutes of video playback, or 145 minutes of audio playback. In comparison, a fully charged case will provide you with an additional 5 hours talk time, 8 hours data usage and video playback, and 32 hours audio playback.

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Apple granted patents related to solar, multi-touch, and iOS devices

Apple has won 16 new patents published by the the US Patent and Trademark Office today (via PatentlyApple) that cover everything from possible methods of charging future Apple products via solar power, to key multi-touch technology and iOS camera related patents. Certainly more fuel for the ongoing patent wars between Apple and the rest of the smartphone industry.

We already know Apple is experimenting with solar power from past patents, even going as far as considering which company would produce panels for future products. We also heard reports in March of a superthin solar panel layer from French company Wysips that could be rolling out to handset manufactures within a year. Today one of the 16 newly granted patents gets us a step closer by detailing “methods and apparatuses for operating devices with solar power”.

PatentlyApple explains:

“a solar power tracking apparatus includes, but is not limited to, a voltage converter and a controller coupled to the voltage converter. The voltage converter includes an input capable of being coupled to a solar power source and an output capable of being coupled to an electronic load, such as, for example, a portable electronic device. The voltage converter is configured to monitor or detect an amount of power drawn by the electronic load at the output of the voltage converter. In response to the monitored power drawn, the controller is configured to control the voltage converter to reduce amount of power to be drawn subsequently if the monitored amount of power exceeds a predetermined threshold. As a result, the output voltage from the solar power source is maintained within a predetermined range.”

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