Just over a month ago, Horace Dediu of Asymco penned an article entitled ‘Does S stand for Spring’ in which he hypothesised that perhaps Apple might be moving to a biannual (twice-yearly) release cycle for the iPhone and iPad. Over the past month I’ve gone back to read Dediu’s hypothesis as news articles and analyst opinions surfaced and I did some analysis of Apple myself. It’s got to the point that I really think Dediu’s hypothesis has got real potential to become reality. So I decided to take some time to present Dediu’s evidence in a slightly different way, elaborating on some of his evidence and hopefully add to the discussion. But if you haven’t read the Asymco article yet, I’d highly recommend you do so before proceeding:
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Next week’s iPhone event on October 4th is still somewhat of a mystery, with rumors going round and round in circles as to whether Apple will launch a brand new iPhone 5, a slightly upgraded iPhone “4S” or perhaps both. 9to5 Mac claims to have some information on new products that have turned up inside Apple’s internal inventory system. According to their source, there are now three new iPod touch models under the codename N81A, which 9to5 Mac speculates could represent a white variation of the device.
Since there are only new three iPod touch models - at this time – it’s likely that the black models won’t be updated. This also likely means the storage capacities will stay at their current 8GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities.
What has also appeared is two new iPhone SKUs that are marked as tweaked iPhone 4s. Codenamed N90A (the current iPhone 4 is N90), this could represent a new 8GB version. In previous iOS SDK releases there has been reference to an iPhone with the codename of N94, this has not yet appeared in the inventory. As noted below such a codename would be given to a device with vastly different features and large improvements – rather than just a new white version or a new storage capacity model.
It is very possible that the two SKUs mean black and white models, but that is unconfirmed. We don’t think Apple’s next-generation iPhone – coming next week- would be labeled as an N90A – as it includes major internal hardware upgrades that would typically constitute a new codename.
If you’d like a recap of all the iPhone 5 rumor shenanigans that have occurred over this past year, be sure to have a read of our recap of the more reputable rumors that have been shared around.
[Via 9to5 Mac]
MacRumors decided to do some digging after a report in the Wall Street Journal last week claimed that Apple was experimenting with “a new way of charging” for the 2012 iPhone and found something interesting. Initially, many had suggested that the WSJ report could refer to something as obvious as induction charging, which was featured in the Palm Pre. Whilst induction charging is ‘new’ in that it doesn’t require a cable, it still requires the device to be placed on a charging mat.
However, after a bit of research, MacRumors found WiTricity – a company developing a far more ambitious form of wireless charging. Founded in 2007 and based on the research done at MIT, it is undertaking work to enable power to be transferred over fairly significant distances compared to induction charging (at this stage they have reached a few meters).
The magnetic fields of two properly designed devices with closely matched resonant frequencies can couple into a single continuous magnetic field. Prof. Soljačić’s team showed how to use this phenomenon to enable the transfer of power from one device to the other at high efficiency and over a distance range that is useful for real-world applications
MacRumors uncovered WiTricity because Apple has an international patent application (Wireless power utilization in a local computing environment) that makes specific mention of the technology and research done by the MIT researchers in their original paper:
Apple describes a scenario where your iMac could be the source of this resonance power to provide a virtual charging area in front of your computer. Keyboards, mice and even mobile electronic devices like the iPhone or iPad could be charged simply by being in a 1 meter proximity to your computer
It should be made clear that Apple (and other technology companies) apply for hundreds of patents and whilst this is an interesting discovery when coupled with the WSJ report, it does not confirm the implementation of the WiTricity technology in a future iPhone. That said, jump the break for an interesting TED talk by WiTricity CEO, which includes a demo using a (slightly hacked) iPhone and some other devices being powered by WiTricity technology.
Apple’s cloud ambitions have been resurfacing over the last week with several rumours surrounding Apple’s reported purchase of icloud.com and now references to a service called “Castle” in Lion. Trusted Apple blogger, MG Siegler, tonight weighed into all the speculation, endorsing previous speculation by TUAW that “Castle” refers to Apple’s internal nickname of their new cloud services.
The discovery in Lion by Consomac.fr last week found references files that cited an “upgrade from MobileMe to Castle”. Siegler provides some more information in that the internal codename had originally been “Newcastle” but was recently shortened to “Castle”. Furthermore, as far as he is aware, the official shipping name may not yet be decided and “Castle” is still being used internally. The recent speculation over the icloud.com domain may just be one of the potential names for Apple’s cloud service.
On the rumours that AppleInsider reported on Friday, Siegler is reasonably confident that Apple is testing their cloud service internally with new versions of iOS and OS X but with the “Castle” codename rather than iCloud that AppleInsider reported. The cloud service being developed is highly likely to be revealed at this years WWDC, just five weeks away now, whether it be called iCloud (Siegler believes it to be a frontrunner for the name) or something else.
When I think about the iPod nano, I think of it being that tall and slender iPod one shoves into an armband before jamming out to a Nike + tune on their thirty minute run. When I think about the iPod nano, I think of the FM radio and iTunes tagging capabilities. I think of the genius playlists and its subtle curves. Though the iPod nano does have a camera, it never struck me as something I’d want to have for that device.