CNET Stories April 25, 2015

The Apple Watch Sport’s Ion X glass has been put through a torture scratch test and we’ve seen it survive 15 minutes under water but now that Apple Watches are being shipped en masse, we’re going to see many full-on torture tests.  The first such test is from Cnet which takes it through some (admittedly unlikely) kitchen destruction scenarios.

The Apple Watch and its white band survived admirably through the gauntlet but you could tell this video was going to end with a broken watch and it finally broke when smashed with a iron skillet. OK, sure. Broken-apple-watch-shattered-gass

I don’t know about you guys but this test gives me a lot of confidence in the Apple Watch, particularly the drops, band stain resistance and waterproofing. Even this broken glass might be easily repairable as shown by iFixit yesterday. 

CNET Stories June 4, 2014

Future Macs could lose the cables as Intel demos next-generation wireless charging, docking & displays

If you’re like me and love technology but hate the rats nest of cables it requires, we could be in for some good news. Intel has demonstrated a system that could be incorporated into future computers that allows wireless connectivity for power, displays, and connection to accessories like external drives.

Wireless charging is nothing new, of course, but existing systems are something of a mess. They rely on inductive charging, which is ultra-short range and only suited to low-power devices like smartphones, and there are several competing and incompatible systems in use.

The new system demo’d by Intel uses magnetic resonance charging, which can cope with the power demands of laptops, and works through up to two inches of wood – meaning that the charging plate can be hidden out of sight under a desk. The same charging plate can also charge multiple devices simultaneously, so a single installation under your desk could potentially power your Mac, iPad, iPhone and wireless headset.

For wireless connection to displays and accessories, Intel uses the Wireless Gigabit Alliance system WiGig, which allows speeds of up to 7Gbps over a distance of a few feet – good enough for a completely wireless desk, and rendering my home-brewed iDesk redundant.

The technology will be supported by Skylake, a chip that is currently two generations down the road, and likely to first appear in laptops in 2016. Apple has not yet signed-up, but Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Logitech, Panasonic and Toshiba are all on board, so it is likely just a matter of time.

(Via CNET)

CNET Stories March 28, 2014

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CNET is reporting that Roku CEO Anthony Wood described Apple TV as an ‘iPad accessory’ at Re/code’s Code/Media conference. Until recently, even Apple characterised the product as a ‘hobby’. The Apple TV box has not changed much since its major revamp in 2010. More controversially, Wood followed up by claiming that the Apple TV actually loses money for Apple – which would immediately seem strange since Rokus have similar hardware and cost less.

“Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad. They lose money, which is unusual for Apple,” he said Thursday, speaking at the Recode conference here. “If you’re losing money, why would you want to sell more?”

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CNET Stories March 14, 2014

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<a href="http://www.pwn2own.com/photo-gallery/#prettyPhoto[]/13/">Pwn2Own</a>

As usual, the annual Pwn2Own contest featured many hackers targeting the latest operating systems and browsers from the major vendors, including Apple. Threatpost reports that the “Keen Team” focused Safari on Thursday and exploited it with relative ease.

The team took home a $40,000 bounty for their efforts on Safari, as well as a share in a $75,000 prize for co-engineering a zero-day Flash exploit. They say they will donate some of their winnings towards charities representing missing Malaysian Airplane passengers.

The group say that for Safari, they used two different exploit vectors. One vulnerability was a heap overflow in WebKit that enabled arbitrary code execution. The team then used this opening to use another exploit to bypass the application sandbox and run code as if it was user privileged.

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CNET Stories March 13, 2014

Get into AAPL in April, suggests analyst, anticipating soft Q2 numbers before new products kick in

Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair has suggested that Apple’s share price could be temporarily depressed by disappointing Q2 results in March before climbing by as much as 20 percent in response to new products in the fall, reports Barrons.

This gap between what is actually happening at Apple and investor sentiment is providing an opportunity for investors. We believe this opportunity should be taken advantage of before Apple’s next array of products hit the market, though the best time to own the stock may be in April after we get the March quarter/June guide behind us.

Blair cites several factors for expecting the stock to take a hit in March when Apple reports its earnings for its Q2 fiscal year (Q1 calendar year). Among them are the general slowdown in the saturated high-end smartphone market, continued soft demand for the iPhone 5c, overly-optimistic market forecasts for China Mobile sales and a reduction in the number of people upgrading their iPhone as they wait for the rumored larger-screen phone(s) in the fall.

The longer-term outlook is, however, excellent, believes Blair. He expects Touch ID to be rolled out across all iPhones and iPads in readiness for the launch of a mobile payment solution, and he thinks the expected larger iPhone 6 will sell well, especially in Asia.

In terms of completely new products, Blair is predicting the launch of the iWatch in September and a 12-inch display device he expects to see unveiled at WWDC, whether it is the much-rumored iPad Pro or a new 12-inch MacBook Air.

As ever, make your own decisions where investments are concerned …

Via CNET

CNET Stories February 27, 2014

Photo: Business Insider

Photo: Business Insider

If you based your assessment of Apple’s future prospects on analyst reports and polls, you’d be upping your medication today while reading three separate sets of numbers.

Fortune reports that Apple tops the ‘most admired companies‘ list for the seventh time in a row, with Amazon and Google the runners-up. The charts are based on polling directors, executives and analysts in the USA’s largest companies.

The same source cites a Morgan Stanley investment note showing that the 30 largest institutional investors, who between them hold at least 30 percent of the shares on the market, have been selling AAPL, with their holdings at a record low …  expand full story

CNET Stories February 12, 2014

Original Lisa mouse used by Steve Jobs dug up from buried time capsule [Video]

A Lisa mouse used by Steve Jobs to give a presentation at the Aspen International Design Conference in 1983 and then buried in a time capsule has been dug up, reports CNET.

The capsule was originally due to be unearthed in 2000, but landscaping work meant that conference organisers lost track of its position and had to call in help from the National Geographic Channel show Diggers to locate it.

The capsule was retrieved back in September, but the video has just been made available.

CNET Stories February 4, 2014

iWatch could be worth as much as iPhone & iPad first-year sales combined, says Morgan Stanley

Estimating the revenue value of a product whose price is unknown and whose existence hasn’t even been confirmed is probably about as tenuous as it gets, but Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty reckons that the iWatch could generate $17.5 billion in the first twelve months.

To put that into perspective, the iPhone generated $2.5B and the iPad $12B in their respective first 12 months of sales … 

CNET Stories December 19, 2013

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We’re pretty selective in the Apple patent applications we cover here, simply because Apple patents all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons, and for every one of them that makes it into an Apple product, there are hundreds of others that never will. But this is one we think might.

The core concept is nothing new: layered maps. The existing Apple Maps app already allows us to choose between standard mapping, satellite view or both, and Google Maps on the web allows us to switch on or off layers like traffic, weather, public transit lines and so on. But what the Apple patent application describes would, if you’ll excuse the pun, take this idea to a whole new level …  expand full story

CNET Stories December 11, 2013

unlocked

AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson told investors yesterday that with smartphone penetration approaching 90 percent, the existing business model – where carriers sell highly-subsidized smartphones to drive demand – will have to change.

When you’re growing the business initially, you have to do aggressive device subsidies to get people on the network. But as you approach 90 percent penetration, you move into maintenance mode. That means more device upgrades. And the model has to change. You can’t afford to subsidize devices like that.

Many U.S. iPhone buyers don’t realise the true cost of their handsets, as carrier subsidies mean they typically pay no more than $200. The full retail cost of those handsets, however, ranges from $549 for a 16GB iPhone 5c to $849 for a 64GB iPhone 5s. The balance is paid by the carrier, then clawed back through the contract payments …  expand full story

CNET Stories November 21, 2013

Anticipated Retina iPad Mini shortages take effect as carrier dates slip

Analyst predictions that the Retina iPad Mini would be in short supply in the run-up to the holidays appear to be confirmed by slipping dates for the cellular models at carriers, reports CNET.

Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all back-ordered on the cellular version of the Mini Retina, with Verizon’s date now slipping to December 2.

Last week, Verizon had been saying November 25. And the carrier isn’t saying when the device may arrive in stores, according to a company spokesperson. T-Mobile is now showing the Mini Retina back-ordered 6-8 weeks. AT&T is saying 21-28 days for orders to ship.

Apple made store purchase of the new iPad Mini exclusive to personal pickup, though availability of cellular models currently looks very poor. Apple is currently quoting availability of 5-10 days for all four major US carriers for iPad Minis ordered from its own website.

The Retina iPad Mini was well-received in reviews and is expected to be a popular holiday gift.

CNET Stories November 15, 2013

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Phil Schiller’s real testimony in the Apple v. Samsung damages trial will come later today, but he put the importance of the iPhone into perspective in his opening remarks yesterday by stating that Apple “bet the company” on it (via CNET).

There were huge risks [with the first iPhone]. We had a saying inside the company that it was a ‘bet-the-company’ product […] We were starting to do well again in iPod […] Then here we’re going to invest all these resources, financial as well as people, in creating this product …  expand full story

CNET Stories November 13, 2013

apple-v-samsung

After a judge in March invalidated almost half of the $1B verdict Apple won in its patent infringement case against Samsung in August of 2012, another trial would have to take place to determine how much Samsung would actually owe. It still owes Apple the other approximately $600 million in damages pending an appeal, but today the two companies are in court for a retrial to determine how much of the other roughly $400 million in damages Samsung will be responsible for. CNET reports that Apple’s attorney today told the court it wants $380 million in damages from Samsung, slightly less than the original $410 million in vacated damages:

“We will hear a lot from Samsung, saying no one would have purchased Apple products,” McElhinny said. “But in its heart, Samsung knew it was a two-horse race.”

He pointed to an internal Samsung document as “conclusive evidence Apple lost sales because of Samsung.”

“In a fair fight, that money should have gone to Apple,” McElhinny said.

The $380 million number comes from Apple’s calculations of around $114 million in lost profits, $231 in Samsung’s profits, and $35 million in royalties. Apple says Samsung made around $3.5 billion revenue selling 10.7 million infringing devices. expand full story

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …  expand full story

rmini

If you’re planning to give anyone a Retina iPad Mini as a holiday gift, it might be advisable to buy it sooner rather than later. Retina iPad Mini supplies are expected to remain constrained for the rest of the year, with two analysts both estimating production at around two million units. This is a very small number in what is likely to be a quarter with high demand.

kgi

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo and IHS iSuppli’s Rhoda Alexander had both previously said they expected supply to be very tight, but this is the first time we’ve had sight of KGI’s estimates of the numbers.

We maintain our iPad mini R shipments forecast of around 2.2mn units for 4Q13. Considering production yield improvement at the supply chain, we forecast shipments will grow 102% QoQ in 1Q14 to 4.5mn units.

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CNET Stories November 1, 2013

New report reiterates iPad mini screen supply shortages at Sharp and LG, Samsung brought onboard to aid production

According to a DisplaySearch analyst report published in the Nikkei, via CNET, both LG and Sharp are having trouble ramping production of the iPad mini’s 7.9inch Retina display.

The report states that Sharp is struggling to produce any level of output at all. This corroborates with a Digitimes report from earlier this week. Apparently, Sharp’s Oxide TFT process is to blame for the low yield rates.

CNET Stories October 24, 2013

Latest Mavericks Safari browser safer as Flash finally gets sandboxed

Safari 7, introduced with OS X Mavericks, is now better protected against malware and poorly-written Flash code as Flash is finally sandboxed.

Sandboxing means that OS X restricts what the code can do, stopping a badly-written app from crashing the entire browser and preventing malware from getting access to any other part of your Mac. Flash has been sandboxed for some time in Chrome, Firefox and even Internet Explorer.

In an Adobe blog post, Platform Security Strategist Peleus Uhley wrote:

For the technically minded, this means that there is a specific com.macromedia.Flash Player.plugin.sb file defining the security permissions for Flash Player when it runs within the sandboxed plugin process. As you might expect, Flash Player’s capabilities to read and write files will be limited to only those locations it needs to function properly. The sandbox also limits Flash Player’s local connections to device resources and inter-process communication (IPC) channels. Finally, the sandbox limits Flash Player’s networking privileges to prevent unnecessary connection capabilities.

Safari users on OS X Mavericks can view Flash Player content while benefiting from these added security protections. We’d like to thank the Apple security team for working with us to deliver this solution.

Via CNET

CNET Stories October 8, 2013

Japan’s DoCoMo feeling the pain as iPhone 5s buyers flock to competitors

Japan’s DoCoMo, a carrier which was late to adopt the iPhone, lost more than 66,000 subscribers last month through a combination of having limited stocks of the iPhone 5s, and competitor carriers offering better deals. CNET alerted us to the number in a Nikkei report yesterday.

The iPhone has been reshaping Japan’s telecommunications market — one of the largest in the world — as it gains in popularity. DoCoMo’s problem is that it was late to the Apple phone game: the 5S and 5C are its first phone products from Apple.

Both Softbank and KDDI are offering incentives for upgrades to the 5s, and likely have better availability due to their long-established relationships with Apple. With DoCoMo also on board, the iPhone is expected to become the market leader in Japan.

CNET Stories October 3, 2013

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Adobe is currently testing a new presentation app for the iPad similar in purpose to PowerPoint and Keynote, via CNET. The project is currently called Ginger. Although details are sparse, it seems to be focused on the creation of sales pitches and what Adobe calls “explainer videos”. Adobe has said that the app is in the beta stage of development, but is yet to confirm whether the app will ever be publicly released.

On Ginger’s minisite, there are a few demos of what the app could create. One example presentation is embedded below …

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CNET Stories September 24, 2013

Fixing a Jumbo Jet? There’s now an iPad app for that …

With iPads already in use on airline flight-decks and cabins, aircraft mechanics will soon be able to use them when carrying out maintenance on Boeing aircraft, reports CNET.

The aviation giant, which makes planes like the 747, 787 Dreamliner, 777, and 737, said that maintenance technicians will be able to use the apps for instant access to airplane manuals, part numbers and inventory, maintenance history, and more. The company said that will help the airlines resolve mechanical issues faster, leading to reduced flight delays and lower costs.

The apps have been trialled with several airlines over the course of a year, and are due to be officially launched this week.

In related news, we reported back in March that the FAA was expected to approve iPads and other electronic equipment to be used in Flightsafe mode throughout a flight (including take-off and landing). It’s now been confirmed that the FAA will be issuing this approval on Friday, though it won’t come into effect until sometime next year.

CNET Stories September 12, 2013

docomo

Photo: mashable.com

Apple is expected to become the market leader in Japan, with the iPhone 5s and 5c forecast to make up 40 percent of all new contracts on Japan’s DoCoMo carrier, reports Nikkei (via CNET).

The 40 percent figure is believed to be the quota that Apple and DoCoMo agreed on, the report said […] This development marks a tectonic shift in DoCoMo’s strategy and the Japanese phone market in general. Domestic phone suppliers like Sharp and Fujitsu are expected to suffer as a result …  expand full story

CNET Stories January 26, 2013

[ooyala code=”oyc2pyODoRwFrEbQpIdJqY2z14LwI5pk”]

Ashton Kutcher called the starring role scary and seemed to have an appropriate amount of reverence for the subject matter. However, reviewers seemed to have mixed feelings at best about the movie.

TNW’s Matthew Panzarino liked the movie and called it entertaining but inaccurate:

But, overall, jOBS works. The lead actors are likable and appear to have put serious effort into getting the spirit of the characters right. The film looks (mostly) good aside from some of what could likely be ascribed to budgetary constraints. And though the director is a tad indulgent here and there, it doesn’t take away from the overall feeling of ‘decent’ that I came away with.

This isn’t going to be the canonical Steve Jobs biography movie. Honestly, Jobs was such a complex individual that I can’t see one ever being made. But, as an impressionist portrait of a specific period in his life, it’s successful. Don’t go into it looking for complete verisimilitude or whip-crack dialog and you should like it just fine.

CNET’s Casey Newton, who was allowed to review this movie, didn’t like it:

My primary disappointment was in how shallow the film felt, given the extensive historical record. In the early days Jobs’ co-workers had to wrestle with a man who smelled bad, who cried often, who yelled constantly, who missed deadlines, who overspent his budget by millions. He did it in service of products we love and use daily, and yet his obsessions took a toll on those around him. It also inspired others to do the best work of their lives, pushing themselves further than they ever imagined they can go. There is great drama to be found in all that, but it is not to be found in the saccharine “jOBS.”

USA Today relayed some weirdness before the shooting:

Kutcher says that he started a fruit-only diet to prepare to play the Apple co-founder for the biopic Jobs, which premiered Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival.

The diet, which the film claims Jobs adhered to, ended up sending Kutcher to the hospital with pancreas problems.

“First of all, the fruitarian diet can lead to like severe issues,” Kutcher said after the film’s screening. “I went to the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was like doubled over in pain.

“My pancreas levels were completely out of whack,” Kutcher added. “It was really terrifying … considering everything.[Jobs died as the result of Pancreatic Cancer]”

More review snippets follow:

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CNET Stories November 19, 2012

A flurry of users on Twitter and CNET report that the newest Mac Mini released last month is unable to update to the latest version of OS X Mountain Lion, 10.8.2. The update is unavailable through the App Store’s Software Update feature after Apple pulled it for an unknown reason on Friday. Additionally, users received an error when trying to install the update manually through the manual installer made available by Apple. OS X displays an error message of  “Error: OS X Update can’t be installed on this disk. This volume does not meet the requirements for this update.” Customers on the Apple Support Communities also voiced their concern.

The cause of the error is unclear, but what is clear is that for some reason a special version of OS X 10.8.2 is required for the Mac Mini (like the one that was pulled on Friday). Apple doesn’t explain why a special version is needed—perhaps it boils down to the new Fusion Drive that is also set to ship with the new iMac later this month—or why it pulled the update from the App Store on Friday. The best option for 2012 Mac Mini owners now is to stick it out on 10.8.1, because as Twitter user Gerald explained it, the update still didn’t work “after 5 hours and 4 reinstalls.”

There is no word on when the new version of OS X 10.8.2 will be released for Mac Mini owners or if they’ll have to stick it out until 10.8.3. We reported on Friday that Apple will soon release a build of 10.8.3 to early testers soon, and the Cupertino, Calif.-based company will provide new information about the 10.8.3 build during the week of Nov. 26.

Update: Additionally, we learned the update has also been pulled for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and latest iMac…suffering the same issue as the Mac Mini.

Update 2: Apple has released a supplemental update to address the issue.

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CNET Stories November 1, 2012

AT&T and T-Mobile begin initiative to discourage theft by merging databases of stolen devices

AT&T and T-Mobile recently announced they would start to share a combined database of stolen mobile devices that aspires to discourage theft and shield customers.

All the major carriers, through their wireless association CTIA and the Federal Communications Commission, first revealed plans in April to merge their respective databases, but AT&T and T-Mobile were the first to do so yesterday.

CNET specifically elaborated on how the joint database works:

The database went live yesterday, and allows either AT&T or T-Mobile to block a device from being used on either network. In order to do that, the companies ban a device’s IMEI number — a unique identifier that tells networks what the device is and who owns it — and effectively stop it from being able to place calls.

In the past, stolen smartphones were blocked by eliminating the use of a SIM card. However, in the GSM world, a phone can be used with any SIM card. So, if a thief stole a device and popped in a new SIM card, it would still work. By targeting the IMEI number, that’s no longer the case.

Sprint and Verizon are expected join the initiative by November 2013.

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