Rumors of a 7″ iPad have been rampant for months, but this week they’ve really picked up steam as stories at the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have all but confirmed it. But despite everyone calling it “the iPad Mini”, I remain unconvinced. A 7″ iPad has never made sense to me for one reason and one reason alone: interface. (more…)
Apple Airs New iPhone 5 Commercial: “Music Every Day”
Apple Confirms WWDC Keynote on June 10
Evernote Launches Reminders
Keyboard Maestro 6.0 Adds Syncing, Browser Actions, Device Triggers, And More
TextExpander Touch 2.0 Brings Fill-In Snippets, Formatted Text To iOS
Phil Schiller just announced an updated version of the iPod nano. The new model allows users to swipe between much larger icons instead of the previous grid layout with Apple’s Multi-Touch™ user interface. Other notable features include the ability to track walks and runs using the built in Nike+ fitness app without the need for the Nike+ adapter.
Apple has also added 16 new clock faces for customers that enjoy wearing the iPod nano as a wrist watch. The clock faces have a large variety including classic analog clocks as well as Disney characters that will surely be popular among young children.
The iPod nano models:
- 8GB for $129
- 16GB for $149
The iPod touch have some exciting new software features that ship with iOS 5 including iMessage, Game Center, Notifications and Wi-Fi Syncing to iTunes.
The iPod touch now comes in a Black and White model, and it will be available starting October 12th.
- 8GB for $199
- 32GB for $299
- 64GB for $399
The iPod shuffle is also still available in a 2GB model for $49.[Apple Press Release]
As noted by AppleInsider, Apple has removed iPod click wheel games from the iTunes Store, pulling a link to the category from the App Store’s dropdown menu inside iTunes, and also removing listings for those games that users could play on a click wheel-based iPod. It’s not clear when Apple made the change exactly, but it appears to be recent. Apple updates the App Store’s homepage every week with new features, banners and links to special sections, and the removal of iPod Click Wheel Games (which had their very own category) might have been part of a weekly refresh. There were around 50 games for click wheel iPods in the iTunes Store, including classics like Vortex and Klondike, or other titles like Song Summoner by Square Enix.
Click wheel games were compatible with the iPod classic, as well as older versions of the iPod, iPod nano and iPod mini. They allowed users to control games using an iPod’s touch-sensitive click wheel, and they’re still mentioned on Apple’s iPod classic Features page. Development of click wheel games never really took off with third-party developers, as Apple didn’t make a software development kit publicly available.
The FAQ page for iPod Click Wheel Games has been marked as “archived” and “old article” by Apple on September 21, 2011. The article still reports click wheel games are available in the iTunes Store, but old direct links for such games aren’t working anymore, and games no longer appear in iTunes’ search results.
The removal of click wheel games comes amidst rumors of the discontinuation of the classic and shuffle iPod lines, quite possibly with a formal announcement as early as next week at Apple’s October 4th keynote. The iPod classic was rumored to be nearing discontinuation before, as Apple didn’t announce a refresh at last year’s music event in a clear focus on iOS devices (and the updated iPod nano). Apple’s Steve Jobs allegedly confirmed in an email to a customer that they had no intention to cease production of the iPod classic, which remains the only iPod to offer high capacity with 160 GB of storage. Speculation surrounding the iPod suggests Apple would axe the Classic to make room for a new 128 GB iPod touch, although this year’s iPod touch refresh is believed to be a minor one and there have been no signs of a 128 GB iPod touch in the past months. A 64 GB iPhone prototype surfaced earlier this year, if this can be an indication of Apple looking to bump the storage sizes of its iOS devices.
In 2010, the iPod classic was the 5th most popular MP3 player in the United States.
Apple could be about retire the iPod classic and iPod shuffle as part of a “product transition” that was hinted at by Apple in their last earnings call. The news comes from TUAW who seem reasonably confident that at some point this year Apple will axe the two devices — likely keeping the iPod nano and iPod touch, for now.
To back up their source’s information they cite a recent report from CNet in which it was noted that the iPods now only make up for 8% of Apple’s total revenue. As the above graph shows, iPod sales have also been stagnant or falling over the last few quarters and although Apple doesn’t break these figures down model by model, its believed the iPod touch is what has held iPod sales up. Interestingly the iPod’s 10 year anniversary is coming up soon on October 24th and as CNet said it would be a nice for Apple to say “It had a great run, now go buy an iPhone”.
The shuffle is basically the same form factor as the nano, minus a screen. The classic uses a platter-based hard drive, while Apple is largely transitioning to flash-based memory solutions. The shuffle’s lack of a screen has been an issue since it first appeared as a memory stick with music playback functions. If Apple killed these off, all of its iPods would have touchscreens, and something tells me it wants it that way.
Concluding their report, TUAW notes that their source is “NOT an analyst” and that Apple’s plans are to consolidate the iPod line into just the nano (which would become Apple’s lowest-end iPod) and the touch. The iPod touch would become the premium iPod, with few changes except the availability of a white version.
For months there has been discussion of a Fall media event for Apple to reveal the iPhone 5 and according to a report by Kodawarisan Apple has scheduled the event for Wednesday, September 7th. The date falls in line with previous years in which the traditional iPod event was held on September 1st in 2010 and September 9th in 2009 and 2008.
MacRumors clarified with Kodawarisan that the September 7th date was not a “product of guesswork, but came from a source in the know”. They also note that Kodawarisan has had a long history of rumors (nearly a decade) but had recently been pretty quiet – with the last “sucessful” rumor arising in 2009 in whcih they correctly predicted the Mac Mini launch date.
If this date does come true and the event includes the announcement of the iPhone 5, it would differ from reports earlier this month in which AllThingsD claimed an “October surprise” for the iPhone 5 launch.
Samsung yesterday filed a complaint to the International Trade Commission (ITC) asking for an import ban on a number of devices produced by Apple. The complaint asks for a ban on the following types of products, which translate into the iPhone, iPad and iPod:
Mobile Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Portable Music and Data Processing Devices, and Tablet Computer
The actual complaint has been marked confidential at this stage, meaning actual details of what Samsung is alleging are not yet available. Nonetheless, this latest move by Samsung is likely another defensive measure they could use when bargaining with Apple. FOSS Patents explains that the ITC is quite likely to investigate Samsung’s complaint and would come to a decision in roughly 18 months.
This complaint from Samsung is the latest to come in the legal battle between Apple and Samsung that has seen complaints filed across the world and on a number of various issues. All of which has spawned from Apple’s initial decision to sue Samsung over the “Look and Feel” of their Galaxy line of devices – which Apple has since elaborated upon.
[Via FOSS Patents]
It’s interesting to note how Apple continues to put significant effort into marketing their products to students in College – despite their success in recent years in attracting more of the mainstream community. Whether it is the continued education discounts, Back to School promotions or this refresh of the student portal, Apple sure doesn’t want to let go of the student market.
If you want to have a look for yourself at how Apple is marketing their products to students, you can jump through to the student portal or go straight to the new pages for Mac, iPad and iPhone and iPod Touch.
Apple’s ‘Back to School’ promotion is scheduled to start up again sometime very soon and if reports from today come true, the promotion could be a bit different to years past. 9to5 Mac is reporting that when a student purchases a MacBook this year, they will receive a $100 worth of iTunes credit rather than what has previously been an iPod Touch in recent years.
Launching three months before the September iPod event Apple seems to have every year, the ‘Back to School’ promotion was largely viewed as one way of clearing out iPod inventory ahead of the refresh in September. Previous rumors of this year’s promotion suggested that Apple was set to offer $200 off the price of an iPad. As always, regardless of the bonus offered during the promotion, students get an education discount on the cost of any Mac they purchase.
[Via 9to5 Mac]
Bluetooth AD2P has opened up a market of fantastic audio products that allow us to stream high quality stereo audio from our smartphones to speakers, headsets, and to car electronics. SuperTooth is just one of many companies who focus specifically on handsfree, bluetooth accessories for travel that work seamlessly with iPhones (and other smartphones of course). Straying from the tradition of car kits and speakers, SuperTooth has launched into the fray of home and portable audio with the SuperTooth Disco, a 28 Watt RMS Bluetooth AD2P speaker that can blast tunes without the need for an electrical outlet. Our full review past the break!