Daily Archives: May 23, 2008

188 mysterious ocean containers from China…3G iPhones or rubber doo doo?

Apple takes delivery of 188 mysterious ocean containers

DC34A52F-A1F1-4764-A68F-1C001F914DA3.jpgHere’s an intriguing report from ImportGenius, a search engine that gathers “competitive intelligence” by monitoring U.S. Customs records of shipments delivered to American ports.

Searching records for shipments to Apple (AAPL), employees at the Scottsdale, Ariz., company reported on Friday that they’ve spotted a “major spike” since mid March in ocean containers marked by Apple with a mysterious new label: “electric computers”

“They have never before reported this product on their customs declarations,” says ImportGenius managing director Ryan Peterson, who notes that there has been no corresponding falloff during this period of shipments labeled “desktop computers” or any of the other labels Apple usually uses.

“The fact that they are importing millions of units, combined with dwindling stocks of the first generation of iPhones,” persuades Peterson that these “electric computers” are, in fact, the 3G iPhones Apple is expected to release in a matter of weeks.

He makes a strong case, citing records of a total of 188 ocean containers shipped to Apple from two trusted Asian suppliers, Hon Hai Precision Corp. and Quanta Computer.

For example, on March 19 Apple took delivery from Quanta of 20 containers of merchandise, described on the Bills of Lading as “electric computers.”

“The initial shipments were followed,” according to ImportGenius.com, “on March 27, April 28, May 6 and May 17 with an additional 44 containers—each containing an estimated 40,000 units of the new phone. The sixteen containers imported by Apple Inc. itself—as opposed to the Quanta subsidiary—were delivered on March 19 and 27 to the Jonestown, Pa. facilities of Ingram Micro, Apple’s U.S. distribution partner.”

You can read the rest of the report here. It’s quite impressive in its specificity. It notes, for example, that “Bill of Lading # HLCUSHA0803FTFR8, arrived at the port of New York on the Vessel NYK Delphinus on May 17th.” That shipment contained 504 cartons, weighing 7140 kg, of the vaguely described “electric computer.”

“Knowledge is power,” declares ImportGenius’ promotional material. “Whether you are looking to keep tabs on your competitors with Supply Spy, identify suppliers with ImportScan our easy to use online software makes it easy. You get access to records on nearly every container that entered the United States from 2006 to the present.”

(Via FORTUNE: Apple 2.0.)


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Tablet Mac coming this fall? maybe? really? no…yes! well…..

Tablet Mac to arrive fall 2008?

612EDFEF-590D-44B3-AA23-363D327AC0D7.jpgA very interesting read from The Apple Core
Jason D. O’Grady & David Morgenstern:

A little birdy tells me that Apple will announce a 12 or 13-inch tablet in the fall of this year. Most likely in the September or October time frame. It will run the full Mac OS X and have a slot loading SuperDrive, an “iPhone-type” GPS chip and an Intel Core Duo processor, presumably Intel’s Atom.

Whether it’ll be a based on the iPhone or MacBook form-factor remains to be seen. You’ll recall that Intel Germany CEO Hannes Schwaderer spilled the beans that an “iPhone” that will be using Intel’s new Atom processor after which he was quickly corrected by Apple. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire indeed.

This particular birdy has been reliable in the past so I’m optimistic about the rumor, but as always, nothing’s for sure. Apple’s had tablet Macs in the labs for years but hasn’t decided to make one a real product, until now.

I’m excited as hell about an Apple tablet and think that it would be a great accessory/vertical market Mac, i.e. a perfect second Mac that you can commute with or take to meetings, classes etc. A tablet would be ideal for consuming Web-based content like RSS feed, Web pages, email, etc. The larger screen area will improve data input, providing more on-screen real estate for an iPhone-like virtual keyboard, as will haptic feedback. The new Apple tablet would also mark the return of handwriting recognition to the Mac for the first time since the Newton was killed on February 27, 1998 after Jobs returned to Apple.

A tablet isn’t ideal for composing long emails or writing a book, although you could. However it could easily be paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and/or a voice recognition application like MacSpeech’s Dictate.

Update: Apple trivia buffs will recall that the “Print Recognizer” part of the Newton 2.1 handwriting recognition has been in Mac OS X since 10.2 (”Jaguar”). It can be used with graphics tablets to input handwritten text anywhere there was an insertion point on the screen. Apple’s Inkwell technology appears in the System Preferences whenever a tablet is plugged in and is used today in the ModBook tablet from Axiotron.

Update 2: At the All Things Digital conference in 2004, Steve Jobs made reference to a new “Apple PDA” (likely a successor to the Newton) which the company had developed but had decided not to bring to market. Was he referring to iPhone or perhaps a tablet?

(Via The Apple Core.)

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HTC Touch Dual in Best Buy stores this weekend

HTC Touch Dual in Best Buy stores this weekend


HTC Touch Dual

(Credit: HTC)

While you’re out buying goods for your Memorial Day barbecue, why not swing by Best Buy and pick up a HTC Touch Dual? Yes, the Touch Dual will be available in stores and online starting this weekend for a nice chunk of change–$549 …

(Via Crave.)

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Mini Amp for your iPod…goes to 11

Mini Amp iPod/Computer Speaker: No Guitar Required


I can’t play the guitar worth a damn, but when it comes to firing up this mini amp, no instrument is required. Just hook up your MP3 player and you are good to go (it also doubles as a computer speaker). Features working treble and bass knobs and a 5-watt output.

Product Page (£20 or around $40)

(Via Nerd Approved.)

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What to expect from Steve Jobs on June 9

What to expect from Steve Jobs on June 9

67CE4F91-663E-41A2-B82A-DC9073D58BAC.jpgThursday was a red-letter day for 3G iPhone rumors. On Wall St., the “rumor of a rumor” of an iPhone delay was enough to drive Apple (AAPL) share prices down 5 points in midafternoon trading. Meanwhile, a dozen subway stops to the north, a line 60 customers deep had formed spontaneously outside the company’s flagship Fifth Ave. store. According to Engadget, at least some of the people in the queue thought the new iPhone had already arrived.

So it was refreshing to receive a note to clients from Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster on Friday morning with some sensible advice about what to expect when Steve Jobs takes the stage at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference on June 9. According to Munster, look for:

  • A new iPhone. Like every Apple analyst on record, he believes Jobs will take this opportunity to unveil an iPhone. But following up on a May 20 note in which Munster cautioned investors to keep their expectations in check, he believes the new device will be almost identical to the current model, with the exception of a 3G chipset to allow faster downloads. iPhones in new shapes and sizes, he expects, won’t come before January ‘09.
  • A new OS. With the new iPhone will come a new operating system — OS X iPhone — that will open the device up to enterprise software and to all the 3rd party apps that have been under development since March.
  • Focus on integration. Munster expects Jobs to spend a lot of time highlighting Apple’s “unique value proposition” of having Macs and iPhones running on the same operating system platform. “With control over the hardware and the software, Apple offers a uniquely integrated ecosystem of [consumer electronics] devices, which we believe is driving Mac sales, and vice versa.”
  • New MacBooks. Given that it’s been two years since the MacBook was introduced and that the MacBook Pro is essentially the same design as the PowerBook G4 that came out 5.5 years ago, Munster believes there’s a 60% chance Jobs will introduce redesigned notebooks on June 9 and an 80% chance they will come this summer — in time for the back-to-school sales rush.

So when should iPhone buyers queue up? Like Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz, Munster believes that Apple is planning a worldwide release of the new phones in mid-June — not, as previously speculated, June 27 (opening day of Pixar’s Wall-E and the anniversary, almost to the day, of the first iPhone’s release).

But unlike Gizmodo, Munster gives a good business reason for Jobs to push up the date of release. In a note to clients dated May 16 he points out that a mid-June shipment — one month after the original iPhone was listed as unavailable on its Web site — would allow Apple to book the initial surge of 3G iPhones in the June quarter, making up for all the iPhone sales the company lost in May.

(Via FORTUNE: Apple 2.0.)

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Griffin iTrip AutoPilot FM Transmitter

Griffin iTrip AutoPilot FM Transmitter


Griffin has released its iTrip AutoPilot FM transmitter, giving yet another option to frequent travelers who wish to broadcast music wirelessly to the vehicle’s stereo system, and it is compatible not only with the iPod but the iPhone as well. It will feature SmartScan technology that automatically finds the best frequencies to transmit to in order for you to enjoy the highest level quality of audio possible. As for its SmartSound feature, you will benefit from a claimed “optimum sound clarity”. Folks waiting for this Griffin offering will have to wait until this fall as it comes slapped with a price tag no higher than $100.

(Via Ubergizmo.)

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Customize your apps toolbars

Mac 101: Customize your application toolbars


Many switchers to Mac OS X have the same question: “how can I customize my application toolbars?” While this is fairly straightforward in Windows, Mac OS X makes it much easier. Just open the customization menu by right-clicking (if you have a one-button mouse you can control + click) on the toolbar, then select “Customize…”

When you do this, you are presented with a dialog box that “rolls down” to display all of the items that you can add. Just drag the ones you want to the toolbar. If you find you don’t want a certain toolbar item, just open the customize panel again and drag the item off the menu bar.

(Via (TUAW).)

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Twitter widget!

A Twitter widget!

3163119C-7FAF-4481-BDC2-AF4ECB39F96E.jpgI am using Twitter more and more and it is great on my iPhone, but using the website is not as great. I now finally found a widget that makes this so much better. It retrieves the feed and it lets you quickly update your Twitter account. You can get the widget called Twitterlex here on MacUpdate.”

(Via tips4mac.)

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Apple to be hub of the digital home by 2013

Apple to be hub of the digital home by 2013
Very interesting read from Macworld:

DA013264-0202-4BCC-A547-DDF8D1699EE9.jpgThe next five years are going to be very interesting for Apple if a new report from market research firm Forrester is correct. The company predicts that Apple will rule the digital home by 2013.

Using Apple’s history over the past eight years when the company remade itself from a computer maker to a leader in consumer devices and the digital music market, Forrester said the precedent has been set for radical change over the next five years.

Forrester analysts J.P. Gownder and James McQuivey predict that Apple will offer eight key products and services to connect PCs and digital content to the TV-stereo infrastructure in consumers’ homes. The strategy will include launching new products and re-engineering some existing services.

For instance, the report says that Apple will re-engineer the Apple Store and expand into in-home installation services to deliver a fully integrated digital experience. The analysts also expect Apple to release a home server that won’t contain the word “server” and release a remote that controls music from all of a users devices, including iPods, home stereo and computers.

Networked enabled digital frames and clock radios that stream images and tunes from the aforementioned server are also on the list. Finally, Forrester expects Apple TV to move to Apple HDTV.

What Apple won’t be
Now that we know what the analysts believe Apple will be in five years, the question becomes, what won’t Apple be in five years.

Well, Forrester says Apple won’t become a pure media company, meaning that it won’t make its own content. Apple will also not become a consumer electronics giant, nor will it become an enterprise IT firm.

As good as Apple is at making software, the report says Apple will not be a software-only company. But that doesn’t mean it will become only a hardware company either, because according to the report, it won’t.

Power in its products
The report notes that Apple exerts disproportionate thought leadership in computing, given its penetration of the consumer market. The company has managed to do the same thing in the MP3 player market with the release of the iPod and subsequent updates that keep it out of reach of the competition.

The success of the iTunes Store in selling music and video has propelled it to becoming the number one music retailer in the U.S. And then there is the iPhone — perhaps one of the most popular products the company has on the market today.

Including all of Apple’s products and Pixar movies, Forrester estimates that approximately 40 percent of the U.S. population has consumed one of the companies products.

Whether Forresters predictions come true or not, it will definitely be fun to watch Apple over the next few years.”

(Via macworld .)

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everything you need to know – iPhone 2.0

SHIFT: iPhone 2.0 — everything you need to know

A great read from DVICE:

62B4C8FB-9509-4D27-8A20-8588649FF1CA.jpgMy friend Seiji compared his initial reaction to his iPhone to having a new girlfriend — he couldn’t keep his hands off of it. But in the first flush of any rose-colored relationship, we tend to overlook our paramour’s flaws. He snorts when he laughs. She doesn’t get Monty Python. He won’t let you tie him up. As time scrubs the blush off the rose, these flaws magnify. In the case of a human relationship, you have three choices: accept your partner for all his (or her) flaws, dump him, or try to convince him you’ll immediately cease whipping upon hearing the safe word.

Fortunately, in the tech world, there’s a fourth choice: upgrade. In the case of the iPhone, all evidence points to that choice becoming a reality soon. The new, spiffy iPhone is sure to offer plenty of new features to make you fall in love all over again. To find out what kind of sexy curves iPhone 2.0 will throw at us, follow the Continue link.

Before we get to the what, here’s the when. Steve Jobs will address a sold out Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, June 9, at 10 a.m., at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, focusing on the next generations of the Mac Leopard OS (v10.5.3) and the iPhone software 2.0. Expect Jobs to then reveal the 3G iPhone.

AT&T sent a memo to its employees denying vacations between June 15 and July 12 to enable full staffing for an “exciting Summer Promotional Launch.” AT&T employees got a similar memo last year prior to the original launch on the last Friday in June, the 29th. The last Friday in June this year is the 27th, so…

But, there have been reports that the 3G iPhone would be available in Spain on June 18. It’s hard to believe Spanish consumers will get the 3G iPhone before the U.S., so perhaps 3G Day will be even sooner.

What It Will Have

First, an 3G HSPA network connection — 7.2Mbps speed, which is roughly twice as fast as EV-DO and around 10 times the top speed of EDGE, which is what the current iPhone rides on. AT&T’s 7.2Mbps HSPA network is available in 270 markets, and should be in 350 by the end of the year. Plus, AT&T has announced plans to nearly triple its HSPA network speed next year.

Next, we get iPhone software 2.0. Other cellphones enable some third-party application downloads, but none will compare to the flood of inventive applications being cooked up even as we blog. Once downloaded, you’ll be able to add a direct access icon on iPhone’s home screen. We could see hundreds of third party apps by Christmas, all vetted by Apple and all listed on and accessible from Apple’s Web site (as opposed to the unofficial stuff for hacked iPhones that’s been circulating since last summer).

What It Might Have

This is all we know for sure. What follows is a collection of what I consider to be the most reliable Web rumors. As such, each should be taken with a boulder of salt. As such, mentally put the word “reportedly” after every “will.”

  • Switchable 3G: That fast Net connection will most certainly tax the new iPhone’s battery. To save watts, a settings toggle will enable you to turn off 3G access, a feature we’ve never seen in any 3G phone from any carrier. 
  • Thinner, Lighter: iPhone 2.0 will chuck its sturdy aluminum-magnesium shell for a lighter plastic enclosure. This will reduce iPhone’s heft by as much as two ounces from its current 4.8-ounce weight. The new enclosure could further flatten the new iPhone by 2.5mm. Lighter is good, but plastic could make the iPhone feel cheap and more breakable.
  • HSPA iTunes Downloads: Apple is talking to major labels about allowing consumers to download tracks using the AT&T network rather than limiting iTunes access to Wi-Fi, but the labels want more money per track.
  • Real GPS: This would supplement the network-assisted location software iPhone currently uses. This would allow third-party development of voice-assisted turn-by-turn directions.
  • Normal, Non-recessed Headphone Jack: ‘Nuff said.
  • Contact Search, iCal Invite Folder: Both of these will be part of improvements in iPhone’s Address Book and iCal compatibility.
  • Background Application Support: Third-party apps will run in the background, although it’s hard to say how this will manifest itself since we don’t know what cool apps may be coming.
  • Web Image Save: You’ll be able to save Web images from Safari to iPhone’s photo album.
What It Probably Won’t Have

What we’d like but haven’t heard about is improvements to the iPhone keyboard, the one factor that keeps heavy e-mail users and texters away. What we’d like is a horizontal keypad for e-mail and text mode — in fact, while we’re on it, I’d like to be able to read e-mail widescreen — and haptic feedback (where you feel a slight vibration when you touch a screen). Apple is reportedly in discussions with a company called Immersion for vibration response, but it’s unlikely to appear in the upcoming model.

What It Will Cost, Hold

As to the most important data: price and memory. Fortune Magazine reported pricing on the 3G iPhones would be $399 and $499 with a $200 subsidy offered only through AT&T stores, which means you’ll be able to get an iPhone for $199 with a two-year deal. As to capacity, Fortune reported 8GB and 16GB models, same as the current iPhone. We’re of course hoping the rumors of 16GB and 32GB models are true.

Why Do We Care So Much?

While expending all this rumor-collecting energy, a rhetorical question floated into my frontal lobe: Why am I and the rest of the blogosphere so excited about this next-gen iPhone? There are a lot of exciting post-iPhone phones — the LG Voyager, the Samsung Instinct, the HTC Touch Diamond, the BlackBerry Bold, for instance — many of which out-iPhone the iPhone in terms of capabilities. What is it about this particular phgone that sends chills up and down my spine?

(Via DVICE.)

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