Report: Apple to sell 30-pin adapter for new iPhone’s smaller 19-pin dock connector

According to a report from iMore’s Rene Ritchie, Apple plans to release an adapter alongside the new iPhone that will allow users to connect accessories using the old 30-pin dock connector to the device’s new 19-pin connector:

iMore reached out to the original sources that gave us the new Dock connector story way back in February just to make doubly sure — and yes, there will be an adapter for the iPhone 5’s smaller Dock connector that will let it work with many of the accessories designed for the old 30-pin Dock connector.

The report noted there is no word on whether Apple plans to include the adapter in the box with the new iPhone or make it a separate purchase. Earlier today, a report from Reuters backed up the rumors and earlier reports that Apple plans to include the smaller, 19-pin dock connector on the new iPhone expected to launch in October. iMore originally reported the new iPhone would include the smaller connector in February, and several reports since followed up with similar predictions.

In May, we posted images of the next-gen iPhone‘s metal back (above) that clearly show the smaller connector.

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‘iPhone 5′ is already for sale in China

Those in China looking to get a head start on their Fall iPhone shopping are given the opportunity by sites like TaoBao, which, according to Reuters, (and the link we dug up) are already for sale.

Apple Inc’s next-generation iPhone has not even been released yet, but opportunistic sellers on China’s largest e-commerce platform, Taobao, are already accepting pre-orders, complete with mock-up pictures and purported technical specifications.

The hotly anticipated iPhone 5 is widely expected to be released sometime between August and October this year, although Apple itself has been tight-lipped about it. Sources have said the iPhone 5 would have a bigger screen than previous models, while Taiwanese media reported the phone’s voice recognition software, Siri, would have more powerful functions.

Buying Apple devices unseen shows what kind of confidence consumers have in the products that Apple makes. Would you put money down on Apple’s next iPhone without knowing anything about it? Read more

Apple threatened with closure of Italian operations over AppleCare antitrust investigation

We have kept you updated on Apple’s warranty situation in Italy with the company forced to pay a $1.2 million fine imposed by Italian antitrust authorities after losing an appeal to the fine in March. Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato claimed Apple mislead consumers by selling its one-year AppleCare warranties without properly informing its customers of a two-year warranty mandatory by European Union law. Today, Reuters reported Apple is facing further fines and “temporary closure of its operations in Italy” if it doe not make changes to its warranty policies:

Apple Inc was threatened with the temporary closure of its operations in Italy and with further fines of up to 300,000 euros ($377,500) if it does not offer customers a free two-year warranty as demanded by Italian law… The AGCM said in its monthly bulletin that Apple was continuing to adopt unfair commercial practices in Italy and noted this could eventually lead to the closure of its Italian operations for up to 30 days.

In March, reports claimed that authorities from up to 10 other countries in the EU were considering requesting Apple make similar changes to AppleCare.

Update: Apple commented on the matter:

“We have introduced a number of measures to address the Italian competition authority concerns and we disagree with their latest complaint.”

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Apple in court: iPhone data collection, Samsung/iPad patent case, & double iTunes billing

When we reported on Apple’s courtroom woes in March, we told you lawmakers were sending letters to iOS devs (Apple included) and questioning them on their privacy policies about how apps access contact data without explicit user permission. Despite promises, Apple has yet to carry out an update requiring apps to ask for user-approval, but an earlier case over the collection of user data has been given the green light by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California. Reuters reported the lawyers representing customers in the case claimed in court today that Apple “collected data on customers’ geographical locations even after users said they didn’t want to share the information.” The judge is asking Apple to submit relevant documents to the plaintiffs by May 17.

In other courtroom news, ComputerWorld reported this week that Judge Koh ordered Apple and Samsung to “streamline” its patent claims ahead of a trial set for July 30. According to the report, the companies have already cut back the claims included in the case to 37 products, 16 patents, six trademark, five trade dress claims, and an antitrust suit, but Judge Koh said the extent of the case is “cruel and unusual punishment to a jury.” If Apple and Samsung do not agree to reduce the set of claims, the trial could be postponed until next year. The news comes after the companies agreed with Koh to have their CEOs meet for settlement talks related to the patent cases on May 21-22.

Justia.com reported this week that Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit over claims that iTunes is continually double billing a customer for downloads of a song. Apple apparently refuses to refund some customers for these double billing incidents, citing its Terms of Service. A copy of the lawsuit and more information on the class action is here.

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Google Drive goes live [Video]

After all of this time, Google has now unveiled the Google Drive. Mac Client downloadable here. (Bonus: Gmail bumped to 10GB.)

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Apple LTE chip supplier Qualcomm unable to meet demand, could push back next iPhone launch

According to a report from Reuters, Apple’s LTE chip supplier Qualcomm is having “trouble meeting demand” for smartphone chips and will continue experiencing manufacturing constraints throughout the rest of the year. Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs told analysts on a conference call yesterday, “At this stage we cannot secure enough supply to meet the increasing demand we are experiencing.”

With Apple’s next-generation iPhone expected to include LTE capabilities like the recently launched third-gen iPad, many are speculating Qualcomm’s supply issues could lead to delays. It would also make the rumored September or October unveiling and holiday launch all the more likely opposed to June. Is it possible Qualcomm’s supply constraints have anything to do with Apple buying up its capacity?

Apple recently began internally seeding prototype N96— a faster iPhone with 1GB of RAM and an A5X variant to test the performance of the new chip on iPhones.

Qualcomm’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Keitel told Reuters the constraints have lead to increased operating expenses: Read more