Apple Watch 2nd Gen Coming in Q2 2016

Submitted by lalit on November 13, 2015 - 1:12pm.

According to China’s United Daily News, Quanta Chairman Barry Lam has revealed that second generation Apple Watch will be launched in second quarter of 2016. Quanta has been Apple’s manufacturing partner for the first generation watch that was launched in April this year.

Lam brought this up during Quanta’s earning call revealing that the company is expanding its capacity to assemble new products in 2016. Investors believe that majority of this new capacity will be used for next generation Apple Watch.

Rumors are second generation Apple Watch will have a more powerful processor, bigger battery and improved screen for better outdoor visibility.


Nest Announces Weave - New Communication Protocols For Smart Devices

Submitted by lalit on October 1, 2015 - 1:45pm.

Nest today announced new communication protocols for smart devices called Weave. The company said that when they started Nest five years ago, they realized that none of the communication protocols worked for them, so they ended up inviting their own set of protocols called Nest Weave. Nest says that they have been using the Weave protocols for years and next year they will open it up to everyone who wants to make a connected home product.

According to Nest, Weave lets devices talk directly to each other and to Nest. And because it’s reliable, compact and secure, it works great for all kinds of products – like a lightbulb that needs to turn on and off without any lag time, or a door lock that runs on battery power, or a security system that needs to work even if Wi-Fi goes down.

Lock maker Yale will be on of the first company to launch a product using the Weave technology. Nest says, “They’ve been making locks since 1843. But they knew they wanted to make a new kind of connected lock. That’s why they came to Nest. Using Nest Weave, our cloud services and app, they built the first lock that lets you check if the door is open, see who came and went, and create passcodes for family members and guests from the Nest app.”

The new connected lock will be called Linus and the video below shows how it works. Smart home devices based on Nest Weave protocol should come to the market by next year.



OS X El Capitan Available as a Free Download on September 30th

Submitted by lalit on September 30, 2015 - 12:32am.

After announcing record 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales on the launch weekend yesterday, Apple today announced that their next generation desktop operating system OS X El Capitan will be available on Wednesday, September 30 as a free update for Mac users. According to Apple, El Capitan builds on the groundbreaking features and beautiful design of OS X Yosemite, refining the Mac experience with updates to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and performance improvements to make everyday activities — like launching and switching apps, opening PDFs and accessing email — faster and more responsive.

“People love using their Macs, and one of the biggest reasons is the power and ease-of-use of OS X,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference. Feedback from our OS X beta program has been incredibly positive and we think customers are going to love their Macs even more with El Capitan.”

The new OS X El Capitan will be available on September 30th on Mac App Store as a free upgrade for Mac users. El Capitan supports all Macs introduced in 2009 and later, and some models introduced in 2007 and 2008.


Apple Introduces The New iPod touch with A8 Processor and New Colors for nano and shuffle

Submitted by lalit on July 15, 2015 - 1:22pm.

Almost three years after introducing iPod touch with A5 processor in 2012, Apple has finally launched the new iPod touch featuring the same A8 processor found in iPhone 6. The new processor brings the M8 motion coprocessor for better fitness tracking and 10 times faster graphics for more impressive gaming experience. Other new features on the iPod touch are 8-megapixel iSight camera, improved FaceTime HD camera and support for newly launched Apple Music service.

"iPod touch gives customers around the world access to Apple Music, the App Store and iOS, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, starting at just $199,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone, iPod and iOS Product Marketing. “With big advancements like the A8 chip and the 8 megapixel iSight camera, customers can experience next-level gameplay, take even more beautiful photos and enjoy their favorite music, TV shows and movies.”

Along with the new iPod touch, Apple also updated the iPod nano and shuffle. However, the updates to both the iPods are mostly cosmetic with few hardware changes. The iPod shuffle get the new VoiceOver feature that tells you information about songs and playlists. And the iPod nano get an improved UI. Both the iPods are available in blue, pink, silver, space grey and gold colors. Priced $49.00 for 2GB iPod shuffle and $149.00 for 16GB iPod nano.

The new iPod touch is also available in blue, pink, silver, space grey and gold colors, priced $199 for 16GB, $249 for 32GB and $299 for 64GB. And for the first time, iPod touch is available in a 128GB model for $399 through Apple Retail Stores and Apple Online Store.


Some Thoughts on Apple Watch Pricing

Submitted by lalit on March 9, 2015 - 8:59am.

It’s never a good idea to say John Gruber is wrong, he is Master Yoda of Apple news/rumors. However, I think he is way off base with his Apple Watch price guesses. Gruber posted on Saturday his final guesses as follows:

  • Apple Watch Sport (all colors, with Sport Band): $349/399
  • Apple Watch, steel, Sport Band: $749/799
  • Apple Watch, steel, Classic Buckle: $849/899
  • Apple Watch, steel, Milanese Loop: $949/999
  • Apple Watch, steel, Modern Buckle (38mm only): $1199
  • Apple Watch, steel, Leather Loop (42mm only): $1299
  • Apple Watch, steel, Link Bracelet: $1499/1599
  • Apple Watch, space black steel, Link Bracelet: $1899/1999
  • Apple Watch Edition, Sport Band: $7499/7999
  • Apple Watch Edition, Modern Buckle (38mm only): $9999
  • Apple Watch Edition, Classic Buckle (42mm only): $10,999

 I think that the prices will be way less than Gruber’s guesses (except for the Apple Watch Sport). The reason for such high prices given by Gruber and everyone else is that Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition are luxury items and luxury watches cost few thousand dollars specially the gold ones.

From what I have seen of Apple, the company has always strived to bring top tier products within reach of common people. I think Apple is one of the few companies that makes a Bimmer and sales it for the price of Honda Accord. For example, iPhone 4 that was launched in June 2010 was made of glass and stainless steel, which made it look and feel like the most luxurious phone on the market. However, Apple priced the iPhone 4 $500 rather than pricing it few thousand dollars like a Vertu phone (which looked nowhere as good as iPhone 4).

Same goes for every Apple product consider iMac, MacBooks, iPads or even the iPods. The level of fit and finish that Apple brings to its products has never been less than luxurious. Apple products have always been affordable luxury and the same will continue with the upcoming Apple Watch.

So what are my guesses for Apple Watch pricing - We all know Apple Watch Sport will be $349, Apple Watch (Steel) will start at about $500 and none will cost more than $1200, and Apple Watch Edition will range between $2000 to $3000.


Who Wants Snail-Paced Google Fiber, When US Internet is Launching 10Gbps Service

Submitted by lalit on December 25, 2014 - 2:24pm.

US Internet - a Minnetonka firm will be rolling out ultrafast internet service for 30,000 households west of Interstate 35W in Minneapolis. The firm is already offering 1Gbps fiber-optic service to these households and will bring 10 Gbps Internet service in the summer of 2015. The service will be 400 times faster than the average speed of 25 Mbps offered by Comcast. The firm claims that the service will be among the fastest Internet service available today.

“The fastest Internet in the world is going to be here in Minneapolis starting this afternoon,” said Joe Caldwell, co-CEO of US Internet. “We’re talking about a game-changing speed.”

However, the service won’t be cheap, it will cost $400 per month for 10 Gbps service, but a cheaper $65 per month plan will also be available for 1 Gbps service. If you can live with Google Fiber like Internet speed, after knowing that your neighbor might have ultrafast 10Gbps Internet service.

[Via Star Tribune]



Rumor: Apple to Partner with Foxconn For Sapphire iPhone Screen

Submitted by lalit on December 24, 2014 - 5:35pm.

Foxconn has been Apple’s iPhone manufacturing partner since the beginning and after failed attempts at manufacturing sapphire iPhone screens with GTA, Apple is planning to partner up with Foxconn to manufacture sapphire screens, according to Cult of Mac.

Cult of Mac wrote, “While Foxconn has no actual experience growing sapphire, it is reportedly very interested in the material, and has been actively pursuing various sapphire related patents over the past several years. Foxconn’s array of sapphire patents include LCD displays with sapphire, protective sapphire covers, methods of sapphire growth, as well as a laser process to cut sapphire substrates to eliminate the need for grinding and polishing.”

For manufacturing sapphire iPhone screens for next generation iPhones, Apple will need around 3,000 - 165kg sapphire boule producing furnaces or 2,000 - 262kg sapphire boule producing furnaces and Foxconn’s involvement could help fund such a big endeavor.

[Via Cult of Mac]




Samsung Introduces 4GB LPDDR4 Mobile DRAM

Submitted by lalit on December 24, 2014 - 2:39pm.

Samsung has started mass production of industry’s first 8 gigabit (Gb) low power double data rate 4 (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM, which is based on leading edge 20-nanometer process technology. Samsung says that the new 8Gb ultra-fast mobile memory will open doors to the era of 4GB mobile DRAM for smartphones.

“By initiating production of the 20nm 8Gb LPDDR4, which is even faster than the DRAM for PCs and servers and consumes much less energy, we are contributing to the timely launch of UHD, large-screen flagship mobile devices,” said Joo Sun Choi, Executive Vice President of Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “As this major advancement in mobile memory demonstrates, we will continue to closely collaborate with global mobile device manufacturers to optimize DRAM solutions, making them suitable for next-generation mobile OS environments.”

Compared to current generation 20nm 4Gb LPDDR3 DRAM the new 8Gb LPDDR4 DRAM will offer twice the performance, while decreasing power consumption by 40 percent for a 2GB package.

Due to an I/O data rate of up to 3,200 megabits per second (Mbps), which is two times faster than a typical DDR3 DRAM used in PCs, the new 8Gb LPDDR4 can support UHD video recording and playback and continuous shooting of high-resolution images with over 20 megapixels.

Samsung started providing 2GB LPDDR4 and 3GB LPDDR4 DRAM packages this month based on 8Gb and 6Gb LPDDR4 dies, respectively, and will provide 4GB LPDDR4 packages in early 2015.

[Via Samsung]

Completely Redesigned MacBook Air Slated for Production in Q1 2015

Submitted by lalit on December 22, 2014 - 4:35pm.

We already know Apple is working on a completely new design for MacBook Air that will feature ultra high resolution 12-inch screen and a new chassis. The new design will reduce the overall thickness and weight of the new laptop. It was previously rumored that Apple will launch the new laptop by end of 2014, but delays in launch of Intel’s next generation Broadwell processors resulted in postponement of the launch.

However, DigiTimes is now reporting that Apple will start mass production of the redesigned 12-inch MacBook Air in first quarter of 2015, as yield of the new Intel processor and the new chassis have gradually improved. DigiTimes posted:

Following a pilot production at the end of 2014, Apple's new 12-inch MacBook Air is expected to enter mass production in the first quarter of 2015, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. And with the Apple Watch also beginning production at about the same time, Apple's supply chain players have started accelerating their supplies of related components.

Also analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has suggested that the next generation MacBook Air will feature a 12-inch screen, which will be a new form factor for Apple as current MacBook Air have 11-inch and 13-inch screens. The analyst also believes that Apple will use a click-less trackpad to decrease overall thinness of the laptop.

Even though it has been reported for quite sometime that Apple will use a 12-inch screen in next generation MacBook Air, our sources say that the screen size will be near 13-inch mark - 12.7 to 12.9 inch.

[Via DigiTimes]


Apple Watch Launch After March 20th

Submitted by lalit on November 4, 2014 - 9:04pm.

Apple announced the new Apple Watch in September and CEO Tim Cook said that the watch will ship in early 2015. However, it looks like the promise of early 2015 shipping date will not be fulfilled. As Apple’s Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts told retail employees in a video message that Apple Watch launch is scheduled to occur in the “spring”.

9to5mac is reporting that in a video message Ahrendts stated, “we’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring.”

Until now it was believed that Apple will launch the Watch in first quarter of 2015, but with this statement from Apple’s SVP it looks almost impossible that we will see the watch before end of first quarter.

Spring starts on March 20th and ends on June 20th, which would mean that the Apple Watch will be released somewhere in April to end of May timeframe and not early 2015.