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February 26, 2013

Apple’s stock share price has risen today, after being down this morning, due to a rumor of an imminent stock split announcement. SeekingAlpha points to a tweet from The Street’s Doug Kass that seems to be the original source of the rumor. Apple’s next shareholder meeting will be held tomorrow, and this is where the announcement is rumored to take place.

We’d caution that this is just a rumor (if reliable, why didn’t he post it on the Street.com?)at this point and Kass’s past hits include things such as:

“I am also hearing that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has already begun low-level discussions with several Apple board members regarding his role as a possible temporary replacement to Steve Jobs should the options-backdating issues intensify at legal levels.”

Also Kass has a big personal interest in AAPL’s share price: expand full story

February 25, 2013

February 11, 2013

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Based on Apple’s surprise release of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in February 2012, many are expecting Apple to unveil OS X 10.9 within the next few weeks. Last year, we reported that early builds of Apple’s next Mac operating system include Siri and Maps integration. Additionally, last year, we noted that we began seeing visits to 9to5mac.com from OS X 10.9 computers. With 10.9 expected to arrive in the near future, we have decided to share some interesting tidbits from 9to5mac.com analytics over the last month…

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 6.53.17 PM

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January 28, 2013

Over the past few months, multiple rumors have pointed to Apple’s fifth-generation iPad being in development with a design akin to the recently launched iPad mini. That design would likely feature the black & slate/white & silver design language, thinner casing, chamfered edges, and a smaller overall footprint. Today, we received an unverified image from a purported China-based iPad accessories maker, an industry that seems to frequently tip off Apple’s future product designs, of the back plate for the next iPad.

iPad5-2

While we cannot confirm that the above image is legitimate, it does provide a solid representation of what Apple’s next iPad will likely look like. We were told this is a prototype back piece for the fifth-generation iPad with a 9.7-inch display. We were also told that the casing is almost as thin as the iPad mini’s back (pictured to the right). As you can see at the top of the purported iPad 5 backplate, this casing would likely be for an LTE model – as the black antenna cut implies.

More photos and information after the break:

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January 16, 2013

Apple adds compelling new financing options for China online store customers

As noted by StreetInsider, Apple has added compelling new financing options for its customers in China via its official online store.

Apple has teamed up with China-based China Merchants Bank to create the new offers. Now, customers in China can pay for Apple product purchases (that cost between 30 and 30,000 Yuan) in installments of 1(?!), 3 ,6, 12, 18, or 24 months.

For the financing plans that are up to a year long (the first four plans listed), the customer will not be charged any interest. This is through January 23rd, according to Bloomberg. The 18 month plan has an interest rate of 6.5%, while the two year plan comes in at 8.5% interest.

China is a growingly important market for Apple, and this move will give Apple an even bigger push to China-based consumers. For example, Apple is still yet to make a deal with China’s largest carrier, China Mobile. China Mobile has a user base of 700 million users. If Apple gets 10% of China Mobile’s market, that is 70 million in $650 iPhones. That equals around $45 billion in revenue alone.

January 9, 2013

Kickstarter roundup: Crono mail app, iPen 2, Radius iPhone case, Trygger camera clip

Over the past week, a few notable Kickstarter projects crossed our inbox, and we’ve rounded up some of them below.

Crono Mail app:

Crono is yet another shot at reinventing and refocusing what the email expierience should be on an iOS device. Currently shown as iPad-exclusive, Crono appears to be a fresh take on email with an easy to use interface that features large tiles and a focus on the emails that are most important to the user.

iPen 2 stylus system:

The iPen 2 is a pressure-sensitive display stylus system for the Mac and the iPad. The iPen 2 video above explains more, but, notably, the system is built with the actual stylus device and a hardware element on your Mac’s display or a hardware case on your iPad.

December 28, 2012

2012 was an incredibly prolific year for Apple in terms of products and company-related changes including being the first year without Steve Jobs at the helm. In line with Apple’s big year, 2012 was also a significant year for 9to5Mac’s leadership in digging up information on Apple products. As we close this year and transition into 2013, we have compiled our most important and popular stories of 2012…

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December 20, 2012

Apple, Google mentioned as potential buyers of home automation company R2 Studios

The Wall Street Journal reports that home automation company R2 studios is in acquisition talks with Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

The company was founded by Blake Krikorian. He is known for creating Sling Media, the company behind the popular Slingbox product and service.

R2 Studios is yet to release much publicly, but does have an Android app to control elements of the home such as lighting and heating systems.

The talks are reportedly preliminary in some cases. Notably, former Apple executive Tony Fadell has moved into the home automation space with his digital Nest thermostat company.

December 11, 2012

Apple pushing Congress for more smartphone airwaves

Apple, along with a group of other technology companies that includes Samsung, Nokia, Intel and RIM, is pushing congress for more technology product airwaves, according to The Hill. Amidst the recent Fiscal Cliff talks, the technology firms say that talks over auctioning off new spectrums for airwaves is “relevant.”

The companies urged the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate technology committees to look into auctioning some of the spectrum currently used by federal agencies. “Now is the time to ensure the incentive auctions are as robust and successful as possible at liberating spectrum. We should also turn our collective attention on ways to reap the economic benefits of underutilized federal spectrum assets,” they wrote.

(Image: GigaOM)

December 10, 2012

Business Insider summarizes comments from Jeffries analyst Peter Misek who claims that Apple will release a new iPhone in June. Misek claims that this new iPhone will be an “S” upgrade, calling it the “iPhone 5S.” Misek says that it will feature such hardware updates as an improved camera and NFC.

Like the fifth-generation iPod touch, he also claims that it will ship in multiple color options (6-8 different colors). Additionally, he says improved battery life will be in the mix.

Misek is not the first to claim that a new iPhone will launch sooner than Apple’s typical one year iPhone upgrade cycle. Reports out of Asia have already claimed that Apple is gearing up for pre-production of an “iPhone 5S” product.

Misek also claims that the new iPhone 5S’s screen will be “SuperHD” (whatever that means) which does not make much sense to us given Apple’s major iPhone display upgrades for the current generation and fourth generation iPhones.

Misek also says that Apple has multiple iPhone 6 prototypes floating around:

Several iPhone 6 prototypes appear to be floating around. The model with a 4.8″ screen is the most interesting. It has a Retina+ IGZO screen, a new A7 quad-core processor variant, and a new form factor with no home button. Full gesture control is also possibly included.

As we usually are with analyst reports, we are looking at this with much skepticism. Earlier today, Jeffries lowered its $900 Apple stock forecast to $800.

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November 30, 2012

A developer of iTunes 11’s neat new camera-based iTunes Store gift card redemption feature has profiled the feature. The feature, which we noted yesterday, allows a user to take a photo of the back of an iTunes Store gift card, rather than type in multiple digits, through iTunes in order to credit their account.

While the feature is seamless and simple to the user, the developer notes the complexity of the development of the tool:

A very sophisticated set of image processing and computer vision algorithms extracts the 16-digit code from the iTunes Card and converts it into a string in few milliseconds. Core Animation, Accelerate, Core Graphics, GCD, AVFoundation and other frameworks were combined together to meet some very strict performance and usability requirements.

More importantly, the feature was designed to make it easier for the visually impaired to redeem iTunes cards: expand full story

November 29, 2012

We’re getting word that Apple has begun seeding select AppleCare representatives with “PRERELEASE” builds of the upcoming iTunes 11 app. It is unclear if these builds point to a release today, as the WSJ predicted, and if they are the final versions. Either way, with AppleCare employees getting their hands on the new app, we’re expecting a launch soon.

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November 26, 2012

November 16, 2012

Apple to begin outside testing of OS X 10.8.3 soon after Thanksgiving holiday

Late last month, Apple informed its outside OS X software testing group, known as AppleSeed, that a build of OS X 10.8.3 would be coming their way shortly. Today, Apple informed the same people that its previous note about 10.8.3 was sent prematurely.

The invites were sent out a little too early. We are working hard to provide you with a seed build soon, but we wanted to let you know that you have not missed any seed announcements.  Please enjoy the USA Thanksgiving holiday!  The seed team will be enjoying a break as well.  Look for more information about the 10.8.3 seed during the week of November 26th!

Apple says new information about the 10.8.3 build will be available during the week of November 26th. Apple typically releases AppleSeed builds simultaneously with a release to registered OS X developers.

Apple says Messages beta program for OS X Lion to end December 14th

Apple emailed users of the Messages beta on OS X Lion tonight that the beta program will end on December 14th.

The Messages Beta program for Lion will end on Friday, December 14, 2012. We hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to preview Messages.  If you’d like to continue using Messages, upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store. Messages is one of many great new apps and features built right into OS X Mountain Lion. Learn More.  Thank you for your participation in the Messages Beta program.

Messages is included with the purchase of OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store. With Mountain Lion, Messages replaces OS X’s former iChat application and integrates the OS with Apple’s iMessage messaging service.

Samsung files court request to see details of Apple and HTC patent settlement

CNET reports that Samsung has filed a request to the courts to receive details on Apple and HTC’s recent patent lawsuit settlement. As announced by Apple, the settlement with HTC secures a licensing deal for patents for the next 10 years. The deal also means that every lawsuit between Apple and HTC, related to patents, worldwide, has been dropped. Samsung’s interest stems from its loss in the California court against Apple this summer:

Samsung says it wants to see what patents were covered as part of the agreement since there may be some overlap with the ones used in the case between it and Apple, including the ‘381 and ‘915 patents, which cover “bounce back” and scrolling and zooming, respectively.

Robert Becher, an attorney representing Samsung, also noted that Samsung is interested to see whether or not Apple licensed certain “unique” patents that it is yet to license in the past. (Image via DigitalTrends)

October 26, 2012

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It appears those who ordered the LTE iPad minis late last night in the U.S. will start receiving theirs about Nov. 23, according to what we heard from a number of early buyers. Orders placed overseas are generally less specific. Apple notes only LTE models will ship “mid-November” in its advertising:

Nov. 23 is Black Friday, for those who keep track of such things.

[tweet https://twitter.com/nmartin33/status/261811451830870018]

[tweet https://twitter.com/jprepp/status/261809497146793985]

For some who choose expedited shipping, we’re hearing some reports of November 21st:

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October 23, 2012

Last Minute: iPad sizes, Mini cases and video of prototype

We’re getting close to today’s event and we have a few last minute tidbits:

Unsurprisingly, the regular iPads will continue to come in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB varieties. Thanks, Apple!

Also, we just got our first iPad Mini case (it came yesterday—thanks, Dad!)

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Finally…we got a video below the fold of a prototype Mini being turned on, or so iPhone5parts says (Thanks,Bark!):

Photo of iPad 2 Smart Cover. There are no photos of the iPad Mini version yet. 

Apple will sell what it is calling the “iPad Mini Smart Cover” in red, dark gray, light gray, pink, green, and blue. This is according to reliable sources. These covers are actually called “iPad Mini Smart Covers,” so it may be safe to assume that the smaller iPad is, in fact, called the iPad mini.

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