12.9” almost UHD resolution iPad Pro Retina displays already in production by “1st tier supplier in Korea”
Nov19

12.9” almost UHD resolution iPad Pro Retina displays already in production by “1st tier supplier in Korea”

It’s no secret today that Apple is coming out with 12.9” iPad Pro early next year. There were too many rumors from too many sources since we first told you about the maxi iPad back in May, for it to be just a vaporware. Now Korea Times reports that Apple’s first tier supplier in Korea [ed. LG, most likely] has already started the production of 12.9” Retina displays for iPad Pro for early 2014 release. According to KT source: “The 12.9-inch iPad will have improved picture quality. As the Apple partner intends to boost its lineup for displays that have almost ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, the upcoming iPad will provide very clear quality similar to that of UHD.” It is interesting that most of the big tablet launches haven’t crossed the 11” threshold so far. 2014, though, is shaping up to be the year of big slate with Apple, Samsung and LG getting ready to release devices with 12” and bigger displays. I guess next year would be even less fun than 2013 for most laptop...

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Nokia Music may stay with Nokia after MSFT deal. Available on Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac via HTML 5 app
Nov18

Nokia Music may stay with Nokia after MSFT deal. Available on Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac via HTML 5 app

Nokia mobile phone unit may soon be sold to Microsoft, but that does not mean Nokia services that are now available exclusively on Lumia Windows Phones will end up in Redmond. We already knew that Maps are staying in Finland. Now it seems that Nokia Music may be staying in Espoo with the company too, and may soon go multi-platform. Chinese site  CTech got their hands on some development screenshots for Music Service update, and it seems that it will soon be available on Android, iOS, Windows PCs and Macs via an HTML5   app. HTML 5 is a bit disappointing, and will limit the overall app functionality. HTML5 Nokia Maps didn’t fare too well on Android and iOS. But, hey, it’s just a start. And when Nokia finally sells its smartphone division to Microsoft, it will have the resources and all the incentives to make native Maps and Music apps for Android and iOS, as quickly as they can. Of course, Nokia Music HTML 5 app might just be part of the work music team has been doing before Microsoft deal was announced, and might be killed if it’s part of the transaction. But let’s hope this is not the case. Via CTech...

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To boost iPhone 5C and 4S sales in India Apple may soon start an old smartphone trade-in program
Nov18

To boost iPhone 5C and 4S sales in India Apple may soon start an old smartphone trade-in program

Apple is taking another shot at boosting iPhone market share in India with a new smartphone trade-in program. They’ve been trying to improve their Indian fortunes by offering no interest loans on new iPhone purchases since early 2013. And it helped some, with the first batch of iPhone 5S selling out in days after launch. However, the sales of the cheaper iPhone 5C hasn’t fared too well in India, just like everywhere else. The problem is – iPhone 5C, or even iPhone 4S for that matter,  are too expensive for customers in emerging markets, especially when they can get top of the line Android phone for much better price. According to India Today, Apple has found a way to lower iPhone 5C and 4S prices in India,  without actually doing the price cuts.  By offering old smartphone trade-in program against new iPhone 5C or 4S purchases. You will soon be able get up to 13K rupee ($208) discount for an iPhone 5C or 4S, if you bring your old smartphone. The phones eligible for the discount include: BlackBerry Z10, Q10, iPhone 4 8GB, 16GB, Nokia Lumia 925, HTC Desire 500, Desire 600, One Mini, One Dual SIM, Samsung Galaxy Mega (5.8 and 6.3 inch both), S4 Mini, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, Note 3 and Sony’s  Xperia C, Xperia ZR, Xperia Z, Xperia Z1 and Xperia Ultra. Merchants participating in the program will get 2000 Rs commission per device, while customers can now pay 28 900 Rs ($463)  instead of 41 900 Rs ($671) for iPhone 5C 16GB, and 18 500 Rs ($296) instead of 31 500 Rs ($504) for iPhone 4S. Which does not sound like a very good deal if you are trading in your brand new Xperia Ultra, Z1 or Galaxy S4. But might be an interesting option if you are looking for an upgrade to Blackberry Z10, Xperia C, Galaxy S3 or HTC Desire...

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Could your iPhone send GPS data even when it’s off? Yep. Apple started toying with the idea last year
Nov13

Could your iPhone send GPS data even when it’s off? Yep. Apple started toying with the idea last year

Can your iPhone transmit your location data even if it is switched off? This not an idle question. Washington Post recently claimed that NSA has been collecting location data from powered down phones for almost a decade now. And when British watchdog Privacy International checked with the cellphone makers if such thing is possible, Nokia and Samsung kind of denied it, many others, including Apple, didn’t reply, and Ericsson said that it is possible if you’ll infect the phone with the right malware. So what about your iPhone? Well, it does not do anything like that today. But Apple started toying with the idea to enable its smartphones to send the location data even when they are powered down, last year. The technology and why Apple is thinking about it is described in their patent application called Apparatus and method for determining a wireless devices location after shutdown. Don’t worry, Tim Cook didn’t sell out to the NSA. There actually is a very good reason for your powered down iPhone to sometimes wake-up and check-in. And the reason is – possible loss or theft. Apple already provides iPhone locating service today. But it only works when your device is powered on. What if the thief switches it off as soon as he gets away? You are out of luck. So Apple had an idea. They designed a system that periodically and quietly powers up your switched off iPhone, and sends its location data  to servers in Cupertino. It does not always do that, and has to be actively enabled and configured by you. Also, you can disable the check-in system simply by entering a security code when you are switching off your device. If the code is correct – your iPhone stays off no matter what. But if it’s the wrong one, or someone doesn’t know they have to enter the code – periodic and silent wake-ups and check-ins start. Furthermore, your iPhone can quietly snap and send in a picture or two of its surroundings as well. Sounds like a pretty useful feature to me. Unfortunately, due to all this Snowden hoopla, it’ll probably remain in some unreleased version of iOS for...

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Apple will launch 1.7” iWatch for men and 1.3” iWatch for women next year
Nov13

Apple will launch 1.7” iWatch for men and 1.3” iWatch for women next year

Several weeks ago we’ve heard that Apple is experimenting with several iWatch display sizes. Now it seems that this may be more than experiment. Apple may have already decided to launch two wearable devices next year – 1.7” iWatch for men and 1.3” iWatch for women. These news come from Display Search analyst David Hsieh, who has a pretty good track record in predicting upcoming Apple products. See, for example, his predictions about iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPad 3 refresh in August 2012. Splitting the new device into two distinct, gender based offerings at launch, may be a pretty big departure from how Apple usually does things. But wearables is a completely new category which may require an original approach. And it certainly makes a lot of sense. Contrary to the electronic gadgets, there is usually a very distinct differences between traditional men’s and women’s watches. And one of the biggest differences is size. If Apple decides to launch separate iWatch models for men and women, it will simply be following the lessons learned during the centuries of traditional watchmaking. Via: Korea...

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iPad mini with Retina display now available through Apple’s online store
Nov12

iPad mini with Retina display now available through Apple’s online store

When Apple announced iPad mini with Retina display, they didn’t provide the date when it will become available. A lot of blog posts have been written since then, speculating when that will happen and why the launch mini was delayed. Well, it seems that iPad mini with retina display wasn’t delayed too long. It is now available through Apple’s online store, starting at $399 for 16GB model. Apple shows iPad Mini with Retina display delivery times of 1 to 3 days, which means that overall mini inventory situation may not be as bad as rumored before. But if you have your heart set on one, you should probably hurry to place an order, because inventories and short delivery times may not last...

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Next iPhones will get 4.7” and 5.5” curved displays. Pressure sensing 3D UI in the works too
Nov11

Next iPhones will get 4.7” and 5.5” curved displays. Pressure sensing 3D UI in the works too

The need for Apple to move away from one new smartphone a year, one major update every two years business model for iPhone, was obvious last year already. By then Apple has almost tapped out the natural iPhone growth avenues, and its growth rate based on the old business model had nowhere else to go but down. And this is exactly what happened in 2013. Still, the momentum built-up over the years, was enough to carry them through 2013 with no major changes. And Apple still had two huge operators to add to its distribution list – Japan’s NTT Docomo and China Mobile. Which they did this year, reducing the iPhone growth decline at least for a short while. But things should change in 2014, and Apple spent all of 2013 preparing for that. Instead of focusing on radically new iPhone and iPad designs, they’ve spent this year building foundations for the changes to come in 2014. Completely redesigning iOS 7 to accommodate new device sizes and form factors, adding 64bit CPU support for next generation computing functions, aligning iPad branding to add 12.9” iPad Pro to 8” Mini and 10’” Air. And preparing for the launch of new iPhones with much bigger screens. Bloomberg reports that new iPhones in 2014 will have a major redesign, and will come equipped with 4.7” and 5.5” curved displays. Which will significantly expand Apple’s smartphone line-up and will finally allow them to catch up with the trend of ever bigger screen devices, so prominent in Android world. For the more distant future, it seems that Apple is working on some major changes to its multi-touch interface, and plans to add the third navigation dimension to it. This should be achieved by adding pressure sensors to the touchscreens, to distinguish between light and harder touches. The mention of this technology has been popping-up in Apple patent applications for years, and is still at least few years away from commercial use. For now, the ways Apple intends to use the pressure sensors in future iPhones, is just a speculation. But the 3D parallax effects in iOS 7 wallpapers, and Amazon’s work on faux-3D UI in its upcoming smartphone might give you some...

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Retina iPad Mini delayed due to LCD burn-ins at Sharp and LG. Apple is talking to Samsung to fix things
Nov08

Retina iPad Mini delayed due to LCD burn-ins at Sharp and LG. Apple is talking to Samsung to fix things

When Apple announced iPad Mini with Retina display, they didn’t provide its release date. Which was very unusual for  Steve Jobs’s company. But there was a very good reason for that. Apple simply can not make enough iPad Minis with Retina display. And why is that? Because of the displays, of course. Turns out, the screens with the pixel density Apple requires for Retina iPad Mini, are not so easy to come by.  They’ve been talking to 4 potential suppliers: Taiwan’s  AUO, Samsung, LG and Sharp. AUO wasn’t ready to compete in the big leagues, and Samsung, well it’s Sammy – and you know how Apple loves to have them as a key supplier. Only now, they may not have a choice. There are some technological issues in mass producing that sized tablet Retina displays, only Samsung was able to solve. For more details check out these a-Si and LTPS display tech descriptions. What matters in the end, is that neither of Apple’s chosen iPad Mini Retina display suppliers  (LG, Sharp) was able to solve manufacturing yield issues, to deliver enough displays for this tablet. The problem is with something called “LCD burn-in” nobody can see, but which still falls below Apple’s standards. So now, Retina iPad Mini is delayed, and Apple is hard at work renegotiating display supply terms with Samsung. Which is the only company in the World that can supply Apple with enough Retina Mini displays to satisfy the demand. Unfortunately, after being kicked-out as a potential display supplier early this year,  Samsung will be ready to deliver enough Mini Retina screens only sometime early next year. Before that – expect weeks of waiting time for Retina iPad Mini, or be ready to hugely overpay in grey market. IPad Mini production volumes will meet its demand next January, at best. Source:...

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China Mobile officially starts selling first 4G phones while iPhone 5S/5C gets hacked to run on TD-LTE
Nov06

China Mobile officially starts selling first 4G phones while iPhone 5S/5C gets hacked to run on TD-LTE

While the licenses for the commercial TD-LTE services are still few days or weeks away, China Mobile has officially started the sales of its first 4G smartphones today. On a very limited basis, through the 10 retail stores of its Beijing affiliate, China Mobile is now offering Samsung Galaxy Note II and Sony M35t (known Xperia SP elsewhere) contract free, and with a number of 2 year 4G LTE contracts. Unsubsidized China Mobile LTE Galaxy Note 2 goes for 4999 Yuan ($820), while Sony M35t will set you back 2999 Yuan ($491), while 4G contract plans range from 18 to 328 Yuan a month. Since this is not an official launch, the phone selection is very limited, and iPhone 5S/5c didn’t make the cut. But with 4G TD-LTE handsets now on sale, the launch of China Mobile commercial 4G services, with iPhone 5S as a hero device, can not be too far away. A number of Chinese sites now report that according to sources from Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the date when the 4G licenses will be issued has now been set. Though they don’t know what it is. Meanwhile, if you are in China and want to try 4G LTE, you can opt for iPhone 5S/Cs smuggled in from Hong-Kong. It seems that some enterprising Chinese hackers managed to break the 4G restrictions, and after applying a patch you can use the new iPhones on China Mobile’s experimental 4G networks in Guangzhou and Beijing. Sources: Sina.com,...

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LG is nearing a deal with Apple to supply flexible OLED displays for iWatch 2014 launch
Oct29

LG is nearing a deal with Apple to supply flexible OLED displays for iWatch 2014 launch

According to Korea Herald, LG is nearing the deal with Apple to supply flexible OLED displays for its long rumored iWatch. During earnings conference call yesterday, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook mentioned that they will soon be competing in a product categories they never competed before. Which all but confirms Apple is getting ready to release a new kind of device – a TV offering, iWatch, or both. Of which the smart watch/wearable device is most likely. LG won’t be the sole or even the main provider of flexible displays for iWatch. According to earlier rumors, Apple has been working with Taiwan’s RiTDisplay since this spring, and has chosen them as the main supplier with LG Display acting as a second source. Apple may have also talked to Samsung about sourcing iWatch displays from them. But the talks fell through, though which party was at fault is not clear. It might have been Samsung’s wish to keep its most advanced display technology in-house, to differentiate their own products. Or it might have been Apple’s reluctance to provide even more visibility into its product pipeline to a competitor that has perfected the rapid copying of successful products into an art form. Apple  is currently experimenting with 1.4”, 1.5” and 1.6” flexible display iWatch prototypes, and should launch one of them sometime next...

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