Purported photos of 5.5-inch ‘iPhone 6L’ show 2915mAh battery, wider display panel

Asia-based rumor site Apple Daily has acquired photos of what it claims are the next-generation iPhone, including the 5.5-inch model we’ve seen much less of in recent weeks. The two photos above show the larger device (with the purple interior) paired with a 4.7-inch version. The wider 5.5-inch model is to the right and the 4.7 display panel is on the left. While some may note that the part on the right does not appear much larger than the part on the left, it is possible that the image’s perspective does not highlight the size differentiation well.

The larger model, which Apple Daily claims will be called ‘iPhone 6L’ also sports a larger 2915mAh battery (seen below), compared to the 1810mAh in the 4.7-inch device and 1560 mAh in the iPhone 5s. The larger display area and form-factor allows Apple to squeeze a much larger battery pack into the phone, but it is currently unclear if this will mean stronger battery life. It’s uncertain if the larger display and more powerful chip rumored for the bigger phone will counterbalance the effects of the bigger battery pack…

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Gartner and IDC see Apple’s share of declining US PC market grow to 12.5-percent to 13.6-percent

Both IDC and Gartner are out with their reports for PC shipments in the third quarter today. While Apple is not in the top five vendors for worldwide shipments, estimates from the two firms place Apple’s share of the United States market at 12.5-percent to 13.6-percent.

According to IDC’s numbers (above), Apple captured 12.5-percent of U.S. PC shipments in the third quarter. This is up from 11.8-percent in the same quarter last year. Apple faced a year-over-year unit decline of 7 percent, but market leaders HP and Dell posted shipment declines of 18.8-percent and 16 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, shipments for the U.S. market in total were down 12.4-percent.

In comparison, the same numbers from Gartner have the total market decline at 13.8-percent. Apple hit 13.6-percent of the U.S. market, where as it had a 12.5-percent estimate for Q3 2011. Estimates from both firms put Apple’s market position firmly behind HP and Dell, despite IDC estimating fourth-place Lenovo’s growth at over 9 percent for the quarter:

Four of the top 5 vendors in the U.S. market experienced shipment declines. HP maintained the No. 1 position in the U.S. market despite a shipment decline of 19.3 percent (see Table 2). Lenovo was the only vendor among the top 5 to increase shipments. Both Acer and Toshiba shipments declined significantly due to the tough environment in the consumer market. Apple expected to have a PC shipment decline due to softness in the public market, but the company faced a slowdown in the consumer market.

New MacBook Pros will get Samsung’s fast 830 series SSD too

In January, following a meeting with Samsung Storage solutions at CES 2012, we told you that Apple’s next-gen MacBook Air would likely make the switch to the speedier 830 series SSDs from Samsung alongside an update to Ivy Bridge. This was of course before we revealed some major changes coming to Apple’s new MacBook and iMac lineups. In addition to Retina displays for almost the entire new lineup, the new ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook Pro will be getting a complete redesign, losing the optical drive, and bringing it closer to to the thin design of current Airs. Like the new MacBook Airs, we have been told that at least some of Apple’s prototype MacBook Pros have used Samsung’s 830 series SSDs…
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How to add a USB Blu-ray player to your Mac for $42

With 1080P hitting the new iPad and Apple TV last month, some of you are perhaps now looking to send your Blu-ray collection over to iOS devices.

Here is the easy part: Buy a Toshiba Lightscribe Blu-ray Player for just $42 with free shipping (via 9to5Toys). It also burns DVDs, and Lightscribe media will even do some art on the cover. Oh, and it is USB bus-powered, so it is nice and portable.

Update: There is a white version!

Toshiba advertises it as “Mac compatible,” but we all knew that the late and great Steve Jobs viewed Blu-ray as a “bag of hurt” from the “mafia.”

So, the hard part is getting Blu-rays to your Mac….

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The MacBook Air Samsung SSD is about to get twice as fast

I had a chance to meet with Samsung Storage solutions at CES 2012 this week and got the low down on its new OEM SSDs that Apple tends to buy in large numbers.  Samsung and Toshiba are the OEMs that provide the SSDs in MacBook Airs.  Samsung’s 470 OEM SSD product is noticeably faster than the Toshiba model that Apple also puts in otherwise identical MacBook Airs.  We have talked about the speed difference before and how Air-buyers often will pay a premium for the faster Samsung drives.

Well, the speed difference is about to get even more noticeable. Samsung told me that it sold out of the 470 series OEM SSDs late last year and the company only makes a much faster variety: the 830 series.

How fast is the 830 Series controller/chips?  I had a chance to speed test the popular 2.5-inch 830 model late last year when it debuted.  Typical speeds were over 400MB/s write and 500MB/s reads (below, left).  That is almost twice as fast as the current MacBook Air SSD from Samsung (below, right), which itself is significantly faster than Toshiba’s SSD.

Samsung stopped short of announcing it is shipping the 830s to Apple, but the company confirmed it ran out of 470s a while ago and all of its SSD customers were receiving the updated 830 series. Samsung also confirmed that Apple is still a customer.

Today I ventured to the Las Vegas Apple Store to check the speeds of the MacBook Airs.  I checked a new 128GB MacBook Air right out of the box which had the same “APPLE SSD SM128C” listed in System Profiler as my year-old Air.  I checked the speed and it is indeed the old disk (same as above, right), which means the new Samsung SSDs haven not hit stores —at least here anyway.

Theoretically, a few things could happen at this point…

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