Apple unveils new, slimmer iMac: 21.5-inch and 27-inch models

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller is now live on stage at the company’s special media event in California, and he just showcased a refreshed, slimmer, and sleeker iMac.

“It is the most beautiful iMac we have ever made,” announced Schiller. “There’s an entire computer in there [...] it’s hard to believe there is even a display in here.”

The new eighth model is beautifully thin, but it still touts the iconic iMac shape. Schiller further discussed the iMac’s striking 5mm edge, as well, noting Apple used a “friction stir welding” technique to create the new desktop that apparently boasts less reflection than older displays.

Schiller also mentioned a new “Fusion Drive” option that is a combination of storage and software. It provides a 128GB SDD and 1TB or 3TB HDD melded into a single volume for faster read-and-writes and better performance. Go to 9to5Mac’s full coverage of the Fusion Drive for more details.

More iMac specs:

  • Two sizes: 21.5-inch and 27 inch
  • Edge-to-edge glass—5mm thinner display, 80 percent thinner than previous generation, extends entire length, super strong and nearly seamless, LED-backlit display with IPS technology
  • Removed 2mm air gap, lamintated display directly to glass, 45 percent thinner
  • Anti-reflective coating, plasma deposition—apply coating down to nanometer thickness, 75 percent less reflection than previous generation
  • FaceTime HD camera, dual mics, stereo sound system
  • Sheds up to 8 lbs
  • Audio: stereo speakers, dual microphones, and headphone port
  • Connections: SDXC card slot, Four USB 3 ports, Two Thunderbolt ports, Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI, 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
  • Wireless: 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking —IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible; Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
  • OS X:  Mountain Lion

More specs for each model and images are below.

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Apple unveils 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display starting at $1,699, ships today

We had many of the details for the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro ahead of today’s unveiling, but Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller just confirmed the device’s specs and pricing. As we told you earlier, the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro comes in two base configurations (with a third 2.9GHz dual-core i7 upgrade option available) and gets many of the enhancements that the 15-inch version received. Schiller noted that the device is 20 percent thinner than the previous generation 13-inch MacBook, and it includes a 2,560-by1,600 Retina display with 29 percent higher color contrast and 75 percent reduced reflection.

Apple also announced that the device would start at $1,699 for the base configuration, and it will start shipping today. Apple also showed a second configuration would be offered for $1,999. Both options below are configurable to a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7.

  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache
  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache

Some of the device’s specs—that Apple is now listing on its website— are below: Read more

Fix dings/dents/scratches on your iPhone 5 with this $99 original rear panel replacement

One of the biggest controversies surrounding the launch of the iPhone 5 has been the light scratching and chipping that some users have reported witnessing on the device’s coated aluminium backside. Apple’s Marketing Senior Vice President Phil Schiller called the scratching “normal” for aluminium products, as scratching on the coated surface reveals the natural silver color underneath making it more noticeable to users than an all-glass design. There have even been reports that quality control issues related to the scratching have lead to shortages and troubles in Apple’s supply chain.

While Apple is standing behind the design for the most part (they will swap your iPhone 5 for a new one if it’s scratched out of the box), there is another solution on the market for your scratched iPhone 5. iPhone5mod, the same people behind one of the first Lightning connector docks on the market, is today releasing rear panel replacements that it claimed are 100 percent original.

The standalone rear case is apparently “the same thing you are seeing and touching in your iPhone 5 right now.” It would not be all that shocking considering China-based iPhone5mod also claimed to have “original Lightning controller chips from Apple’s supplier” for its iPhone 5 dock.

The replacement part is available for $99 now in both black and white from iPhone5mod.com. Apple has been quick to issue takedown notices for the company’s products in the past, so there is a possibility these won’t last long.

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Phil Schiller: App Store is more democratic than traditional retail, Passbook is not a direct payment service

In a recent story about growing concerns among app developers who want better ways to promote their apps in the App Store, The Wall Street Journal published quotes from an interview with Apple’s Vice President for Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller about the “tremendous amount” of work Apple does to help new apps get discovered. Schiller also talked about how things will improve with the redesigned App Store, Facebook integration, and new user tracking tools for developers in iOS 6:
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Apple: App Store has over half a million apps, Mac App Store passes 100 million downloads

Apple just issued a press release announcing that its App Store mobile bazaar now carries over half a million apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Additionally, customers have downloaded apps from the Mac App Store over a hundred million times. The App Store has passed over eighteen billion downloads since its inception and continues to clock more than a billion downloads a month.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed to The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple that Mac App Store downloads don’t include Lion, updates or downloads to other Macs. Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the October 4 iPhone 4S introduction that they were approaching 60 million Mac users worldwide and that Mac OS X Lion had been download from the Mac App Store over six million times. The press release quotes Apple’s head of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller:

In just three years the App Store changed how people get mobile apps, and now the Mac App Store is changing the traditional PC software industry. With more than 100 million downloads in less than a year, the Mac App Store is the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world.

The statement also features quotes from Autodesk and Pixelmator, developers who saw tremendous success with their iOS and Mac offerings. AutoCAD in late-August 2011 made its Mac App Store debut, along with companion iOS apps on the App Store such as the free AutoCAD WS app for iPad and iPhone or sketchbook for iPhone, a pro-grade paint and drawing app that recently raked in fourteen million dollars, or about $9.8 million after Apple’s customary thirty percent cut.

Pixelmator, a popular image editing program, was recently updated to version 2.0. This nifty Photoshop alternative is being exclusively distributed on the Mac App Store and in no time proved one of the most popular downloads on the store. The success has prompted Apple to name Pixelmator  the Mac App of the Year in the iTunes Rewind 2011 charts released last week.

As for Adobe, they released Photoshop Elements Editor 1 and Adobe Premiere Elements 10 on the Mac App Store, the Carousel image management app for the Mac and iOS devices and promised to deliver a range of iPad apps soon. Microsoft, the world’s leading software maker, is rumored to bring Office to iOS. Full release below the fold.

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See if you can guess (by smile) which of these Apple Execs just got a $60 million bonus

A few Apple execs have been departing over the past few weeks which might lead some to believe that Apple could have a talent retention problem in the wake of the recent leadership transition.

Perhaps hoping to put that kind of talk to rest, Apple just dropped fat bonus stock on their heavy hitters according to SEC filings.  With Apple’s stock riding at 400-ish per share, the below bonus shares are certainly a great incentive to stay – worth $60 million/each at today’s value.

Bruce Sewell – 150,000 shares, 50 percent vest on June 21, 2013, 100 percent on March 21, 2016
Jeffrey Williams — 150,000 shares, 50 percent on June 21, 2013, 100 percent on March 21, 2016
Philip Schiller — 150,000 shares, 50 percent on June 21, 2013, 100 percent on March 21, 2016
Peter Oppenheimer –150,000 shares, 50 percent on June 21, 2013, 100 percent on March 21, 2016
Robert Mansfield — 150,000 shares, 50 percent on June 21, 2013, 100 percent on March 21, 2016
Scott Forstall — 150,000 shares, 50 percent on June 21, 2013, 100 percent on March 21, 2016
Eddy Cue — 100,000 shares, 25 percent vest September 21, 2014, 100 percent September 21, 2016.

Strangely, there is no mention of Jonathan Ive who could be considered “on a different level” since Steve Jobs made him untouchable (though there have been rumors that he may want to retire).  Perhaps that’s why he’s the only guy without a big fat smile, above. (Ha, actually Apple isn’t required to file bonus paperwork with the SEC for Ive -

…Jonathan Ive, the company’s senior vice president for industrial design, whose position at the company does not trigger S.E.C. rules requiring public disclosure of stock awards.

- Because his role isn’t important to Apple’s well being?!)

CEO Tim Cook already has a huge bonus package (1 million shares) if he sticks around to 2021. Read more

Apple announces sales of four million iPhone 4S units, more than double the iPhone 4 launch

Apple announced sales of four million iPhone 4S units in the three days after its launch on October 14. In addition, the company said, more than 25 million customers have already upgraded to the new iOS 5 software in the first five days of its release and more than 20 million customers have signed up for iCloud: Apple’s marketing honcho Phil Schiller was quoted in a statement:

iPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend—the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days. iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever.

In 2010, Apple announced 1.7 million sales of iPhone 4 during the launch weekend. The company reported 600,000 pre-orders for iPhone 4 in the first 24 hours, which included orders placed with overseas carriers.

Following the iPhone 4S release last week, carrier AT&T announced pre-orders of 200,000 units in the first twelve hours, calling it “the most successful iPhone launch we’ve ever had”. Apple then confirmed one million iPhone 4S pre-orders in 24 hours, surpassing the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by iPhone 4. Sprint announced its best sales day ever…at noon Central Time.

It should be noted that the iPhone 4S is the first iPhone to launch simultaneously on three carriers in the United States, available for the first time on the Sprint network – which together with Verizon, certainly helped sales numbers. Apple also added Australia and Canada to the five launch countries it had for the iPhone 4: US, Japan, UK, Germany and France.

Pre-orders went fast and the handset actually pretty quickly sold out across all carriers following the launch.

Full release below the break:

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Early iPhone 4S gets delivered to Germany, parts shown in Italy

Ah, to be European with an overzealous package fulfillment service (DHL). Deliveries have already started including one of many Macerkopf readers:

Update: In an email, iPhone Italia said they ‘disassembled’ the iPhone 4S but from the site, it appears only to be spare parts.

iPhoneitalia has taken it upon themselves to compare iPhone 4S parts with the iPhone 4.

In the old camera was attached to the solenoid lenses and the whole group moved to focus the image, in this new camera is outside the solenoid, and moves only slowly, so we think this is also an effect on the improved shooting speed. The CCD is unchanged in size.

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Here’s the initial observations (machine translated):

The ‘Touch LCD and have remained virtually unchanged, the only differences are:
1) screw placement, which is changed according to the new shell with antenna diversity;
2) the patina around the proximity sensor is now placed in a slightly different way, to solve definitely the problem with the sensor that some users complain. Also now more visible is the area of ​​the light sensor, presumably to make it more sensitive.
As for the back of iPhone 4S:
1) The hook at the top near the camera was the first time plastic metal;
2) The glass in front of the camera’s flash is smooth, while the first had ridges that were used to spread the light, but that created problems of reflections;
3) the back is more shielded than before.

Slightly bigger battery (5.25 -> 5.3 Whr or 1420 mAh or 1430 mAh) detailled below:

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We’ve got the internal docs that Apple employees use to explain iCloud and iOS 5

Last week, we detailed the internal docs Apple uses to tell its employees how to sell the iPhone 4S, the new iPods and the new Cards app. Today a tipster added to the trove two more internal docs. iCloud and iOS 5 First looks. These are the cheat sheets that Apple employees use to sell customers these products. Both below:

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