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iOS devices refer to any of Apple’s hardware that runs the iOS mobile operating system which include iPhones, iPads, and iPods. Historically, Apple releases a new iOS version once a year, the current version is iOS 10. Here is the complete list of iOS 10 compatible devices.

iOS Devices Stories October 12, 2012

Report: Apple to utilize TSMC’s 20nm quad-core chips for new products over next few years

Chinese Economic News Service (via MacRumors) is citing Citigroup Global Markets analyst J.T. Hsu today as claiming Apple will make the switch to TSMC’s 20nm process for quad-core processors over the next couple of years. The rumor is something we have heard several times in the past:

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. estimated Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to be the only supplier of 20nm process to Apple quad-core processors over the next one to two years, citing the company’s unmatched technological advance on 20nm process and Apple’s decision to adopt 20nm quad-core processors in its new products…Apple began verifying TSMC’s 20nm process in August this year and may begin risk production in November with the process. Volume production is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2013, raising the possibility that TSMC will hike capital expenditure to US$11-12 billion in 2013 and 2014.

According to Hsu, Apple will utilize the processors in iPad, “iTV” (Apple TV?), and MacBooks, while iPhone’s will remain with duo-core chips:

Hsu estimated Apple to design quad-core processors into iPad, iTV and even Macbook. iPhones will be still powered by duo-core processors to highlight its low power consumption merit… Apple’s contracts have been widely criticized for low margin to contract suppliers, likely the reason why TSMC has been reluctant to compete for Apple contracts. But Hsu thinks otherwise, estimating Apple’s quad-core chip, cost at around US$15, could be 10% cheaper once it is made by Taiwan’s supply chains involving TSMC, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), and Kinsus Interconnect Technology Corp.,

In August, Bloomberg reported both Apple and Qualcomm failed to obtain exclusive chip production rights from TSMC after putting up over $1 billion in bids. Samsung also recently made big investments in its new Austin, Texas plant manufacturing chips for iPhone, iPad, and other Apple products, indicating multi-year contracts are likely in place.

After allegations that Apple was copying the classic Swiss Railway clock design for its new Clocks app in iOS 6, Apple was expected to meet with Swiss Federal Railways SBB to presumably find some sort of resolution. SBB made an official announcement on its website (via TheVerge) today, claiming it has reached an agreement with Apple:

The Swiss Federal Railways SBB and Apple have reached an agreement on the use of the SBB station clock on devices like iPad and iPhone. That the two parties have governed in a license agreement.

Swiss Federal Railways is not disclosing how much the agreement is for, but it said Apple has agreed to its licensing terms for use of the Hans Hilfiker designed railway station clock design. There is also no word how this might affect Mondaine, the watchmaker that currently has rights to the design for its watch faces, but it looks like Apple won’t have an issue using the design in iOS: expand full story

While the press has not received any invites to an Apple media event, AllThingsD writer John Paczkowski is claiming today that the invite-only iPad mini event is still scheduled for this month. According to the report, the event will likely be held in Apple’s Town Hall auditorium later this month on Oct. 23:

Apple will hold a special event this month at which it will showcase a new, smaller iPad. People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called “iPad mini” on October 23 at an invitation-only event… Sources declined to specify where the event is to be held, and I’ve not been able to confirm a location.

That would put the launch just two days before Apple is set to announce its earnings for Q4, and it is only three days before Microsoft is expected to launch its new Surface tablet. It would also be a Tuesday, rather than a Wednesday, but Paczkowski seems quite confident of the date.

Well, details are slim. Sources say the iPad’s diminutive sibling will feature a 7.85-inch liquid-crystal display and a Lightning connector. It will also probably be thinner. And that’s about it… But we’ll know more soon. On October 23.

As expected, both The Loop and iMore later agreed with the date.

iOS Devices Stories October 11, 2012

A few reputable case makers have already started creating 7.85-inch iPad cases and screen protectors in anticipation of the rumored iPad mini unveiling, including Zagg and Devicewear. The rumored Oct. 10 mailing of invites to the press came and went; however, according to The Wall Street Journal, we can still expect an unveiling of the device within weeks. Other case manufactures are also now betting on an iPad mini launch, including well-known case makers Belkin, Brenthaven, and others.

The image above shows Belkin’s Screen Guard “Anti-Fingerprint” screen protector, while we see iPad mini folios in black and white in the tweet below from Brenthaven (in stock and selling from its website). XtremeGuard is also accepting pre-orders for its iPad mini screen protector.

[tweet https://twitter.com/johnhowells/status/256483391703232512]

Other manufacturers have started selling iPad mini cases through Amazon. We see Ionic’s Hybrid Leather case cover with stand in the image below, while a case from KHOMO is on the right. Most do not provide exact measurements for the cases, but Brenthaven listed outer dimensions of its case as 7.5″ W x 4.8″ H x .75″ D. There are also a number of other lower-priced products, such as this black premium leather folio from Elsse, but some appear to just be repurposed 7-inch Android tablet cases.

Apple poaches top Samsung chip designer for its staff

The Wall Street Journal reported that Samsung chip designer Jim Mergard has left the South Korean-based company to work for Apple. According to the report, Mergard’s duties before his short stint at Samsung were to lead the development of a “high-profile AMD chip that carried the code name Brazos and was designed for low-end portable computers.”

Mergard’s work at Samsung was rumored to be focused on building ARM chips for servers. It would be interesting to see Apple pick up this capacity.

Apple and Samsung have an intense rivalry in the smartphone space, but Samsung produces all of Apple’s Ax processors. Samsung opened a factory in Austin, Texas just last year that is responsible for making chips to power Apple’s iOS devices.

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