Apple Plans to Release $799 MacBook Air in Q3?

Submitted by lalit on May 7, 2012 - 6:45am.

Digitimes is reporting that Apple will release a lower price model of MacBook Air in Q3 to compete with low end Ultrabooks from other PC makers. According to Digitimes this MacBook Air will be in response to aggressive push by Intel and other PC makers to bring down the cost of Ultrabooks to $699. Monica Chen posted:

Apple is reportedly considering responding to the upcoming second-generation ultrabooks by launching a US$799 MacBook Air in the third quarter of 2012, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Although Acer has recently reduced its ultrabook shipment target, Intel continues to aggressively push ultrabooks and is aiming to have the devices priced at US$699 in the second half of the year. However, if Intel is unable to bring down ASPs to its goal, the price gap between ultrabooks and the US$799 MacBook Air may further postpone the time ultrabooks become standardized, the sources noted.

Currently, Apple's 11-inch 64GB MacBook Air is priced at US$999 with a 128GB version priced at US$1,199. The 13-inch 128GB version is priced at US$1,299 and 256GB version is US$1,599. If Apple decides to launch a US$799 MacBook Air, the sources believe the strategy will damage ultrabooks allowing Apple to continue to press its advantage.

We seriously doubt that Apple will launch a $799 MacBook Air to compete with other PC maker in a race to the bottom of profit margins. Apple has never bothered to compete in low-end market where profits are almost zero, DigiTimes was one of the publications that kept on claiming few years back that Apple will release $799 white MacBook, but Apple simply replaced the MacBook lineup with MacBook Air. We believe Apple will add more features to $999 MacBook Air (bigger storage, more RAM) rather than bring the price down, like they have been doing with other Apple products.

 

Samsung Galaxy S III First TV Commercial

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 10:25pm.

 

Although the new Galaxy S III has excellent specs, today’s Samsung launch event made it sound like boring and uninteresting. Even their press release for Galaxy S III was completely laughable. And the trend continuous with the first TV commercial for Samsung Galaxy S III, it’s a weird touchy feely ad, check it out above. Also, I seriously don’t understand what is with “Samsung Galaxy S III Designed for Humans”. Are other smartphones designed for aliens or animals? Samsung’s marketing department is destroying an excellent handset.

 

Samsung Unveils Flagship Galaxy S III Smartphone Featuring 4.8-inch Screen and Quad Core Processor

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 6:33pm.

Samsung today announced the much anticipated Galaxy S III smartphone, which they claim is designed for humans and inspired by nature (I don’t know for whom Samsung was designing their previous generation Galaxy S handsets, but this one is for us humans). Samsung’s press release aside, the new Galaxy S III does have some class leading features including 4.8-inch Super AMOLED 720p display (its still PenTile based), 8-megpiaxel back camera, 1.9-megapixel front camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Samsung has also added some innovative new features like ‘Smart stay’ and ‘S Voice’ to the new handset. The Smart stay feature detects your face, voice and motions to recognize how you are using your phone - reading an e-book or browsing the web for instance – by having the front camera identify your eyes; the phone maintains a bright display for continued viewing pleasure.

On the other hand, ‘S Voice’ is an advanced natural language user interface like Siri on iPhone that listens and responds to your words. Samsung says “In addition to allowing information search and basic device-user communication, S Voice presents powerful functions in regards to device control and commands. When your phone alarm goes off but you need a little extra rest, just tell the GALAXY S III “snooze.” You can also use S Voice to play your favorite songs, turn the volume up or down, send text messages and emails, organize your schedules, or automatically launch the camera and capture a photo.”

Other features of the new Galaxy S III are Samsung Exynos quad core processor (dual core Snapdragon S4 in US), 1GB RAM, up to 64GB storage, S Beam support, WiFi Channel Bonding, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, microSD card slot and 2,100mAh battery.

The Samsung GALAXY S III will be available from the end of May in Europe before rolling out to other markets globally. The handset will come to US by end of June and no word on pricing yet. Check the introductory video of Galaxy S III below.

 

iPhone 5 Rumors: Longer, Thinner with Metal Panel for Central Back

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 10:16am.

iLounge has a mixed record about Apple rumors, but they have been right more times than wrong about upcoming Apple product. The website now reports that the iPhone 5 won’t be teardrop-shaped as was rumored before. However, it will be longer and thinner with a bigger screen. Jeremy Horwitz posted on iLounge:

What we’ve learned: the new iPhone will indeed be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S. Approximate measurements are 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm—a 10mm jump in height, nearly 2mm reduction in thickness, and virtually identical width. According to our source, Apple will make one major change to the rear casing, adding a metal panel to the central back of the new iPhone. This panel will be flat, not curved, and metal, not ceramic. Our artist’s rendition (image above) provides a rough idea of what this change will look like; it echoes the current-generation iMac design, to be sure.

Note that the new iPhone is expected to be made partially from Gorilla Glass 2, which can be manufactured thinner with identical strength to the earlier iPhones’ Gorilla Glass, or at the same thickness with greater strength. The change in height will include a lengthening of the prior 3.5” screen to roughly 4” on the diagonal.

Apple will also introduce its new Dock Connector on the new iPhone. The new port will be a little larger than the bottom speaker or microphone hole on the iPhone 4/4S. It’s believed to have fewer pins than the prior 30-pin Dock Connector, perhaps only 16, and the shape of the hole is apparently closer to a pill shape than the prior rounded rectangle.

 

TSMC’s 28nm ARM Cortex A9 Chip Reaches 3.1GHz

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 6:10am.

TSMC today announced its 28nm high performance ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor test chip achieved 3.1GHz performance under typical conditions.

The TSMC 28nm HPM (high performance for mobile applications) process technology that achieved these results addresses applications requiring both high speed and low leakage power. TSMC says, using various design signoff conditions, ARM A9 at TSMC 28HPM delivers performance speed range from 1.5GHz to 2.0GHz, suitable for mobile computing, and up to 3.1GHz for high-performance uses.

The ARM Cortex-A9 silicon implementation and validation is part of TSMC's ongoing technology benchmarking effort to demonstrate performance, power and area (PPA) capabilities at the system-on-chip (SoC) level for each process technology node.

"At 3.1 GHz this 28HPM dual-core processor implementation is twice as fast as its counterpart at TSMC 40nm under the same operating conditions," said Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President, Research & Development. "This work demonstrates how ARM and TSMC can satisfy high performance market demands. With other implementation options, 28HPM is also highly suited for a wide range of markets that prize performance and power efficiency."

 

Samsung’s Series 9 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Revealed

Submitted by lalit on May 3, 2012 - 2:54am.

Intel hasn’t yet announced Ivy Bridge processors for Ultrabooks, but that isn’t stopping Samsung from revealing updated 15-inch Series 9 Ultrabook featuring next generation 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor. Other features of the new Series 9 Ultrabook are 15-inch SuperBright 400 nit display (1600 x 900), 8GB DDR3 RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 1.3-megapixel webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and multi-card reader. No word on price or shipping date yet, but you can get other information about the laptop on Samsung’s UK website.

 

Yamaha Unveils RX-V673 and RX-V773WA Receivers with AirPlay and 4K Video Support

Submitted by lalit on May 2, 2012 - 10:44pm.

Yamaha today unveiled new RX-V series AV receivers - the 7.2-channel RX-V773WA and RX-V673. The new receivers offer features including AirPlay compatibility with Apple iOS devices, direct connectivity to iPads, iPhones and iPods via front panel USB ports, intelligent assignable amplifiers and the company's proprietary YPAO system calibration.

"These network AV receivers represent the culmination of our RX-V series and our belief that consumers seek sophisticated high performance features with simple intuitive source connectivity and operation," said Tom Sumner, senior vice-president, Yamaha Corporation of America. "This belief was the basis for our approach to the entire RX-V series line. The RX-V773WA and RX-V673 go a step further, adding a suite of multi-zone installation and setup features usually found in higher end models at moderate price points."

The models offer 4K video pass-through from yet-to-be-introduced source components that will deliver content with four times the resolution of 1080p. Both models offer a full complement of HD Audio format decoding, including Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio.

The main difference between the two receivers is that the flagship RX-V773WA model also features an improved YPAO room calibration system, YPAO R.S.C. (Reflected Sound Control), which offers automatic multi-point room measurement to determine speaker positioning for the highest degree of sound optimization possible. The RX-V673 offers YPAO R.S.C. for automatic single-point room measurement. The RX-V773WA also has an attractive aluminum front panel that eliminates electrical interference from other components.

The RX-V773WA will be available in June for $849.95, and the RX-V673 will be available in May for $649.95. You can get more information about the two systems on Yamaha’s website.

 

RIM CEO: No Upgrade to BlackBerry 10 for BlackBerry 7 Users

Submitted by lalit on May 2, 2012 - 7:30pm.

It has been rumored for quite sometime that current BlackBerry users will not be able to upgrade their device when BlackBerry 10 OS comes later this year. And this rumor was confirmed by RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins, according to The Verge. David Pierce wrote:

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed once again this morning that the company has no upgrade path for existing BlackBerry 7 devices. In fact, the two seemed destined to co-exist: Heins spoke about the new BlackBerry 9220 (and confirmed the existence of the 9320), using their "successful launch" as an example of how RIM is still "onboarding people from featurephones to smartphones," a process that will take the next two years or so. The company seems to see BlackBerry 7 as the OS for its entry-level devices, while BlackBerry 10 will occupy the higher end of the company's range. RIM has promised to upgrade existing PlayBook hardware.

So in short, if you are planning to buy a BlackBerry handset it’s better to wait till the end of this year and see what BB 10 has to offer, rather than regret buying an out dated handset that can’t be updated with the new OS six months down the line.

 

Business Insider: Apple will Use Liquidmetal in a ‘Breakthrough Product’, But Not Anytime Soon

Submitted by lalit on May 2, 2012 - 5:36pm.

Business Insider interviewed Atakan Peker, one of the inventors of the Liquidmetal alloy, which Apple has licensed to use in electronic gadgets and is rumored to be one of the main components in upcoming iPhone 5. However, in the interview Peker says put cold water on all the Liquidmetal iPhone 5 rumors by saying that “Apple will likely spend on the order of $300 million to $500 million – and three to five years – to mature the technology before it can used in large scale.”

Here are some of the main points from Peker’s interview:

  • Liquidmetal looks great, yet is incredibly strong and durable.
  • Apple has exclusive rights to use Liquidmetal in gadgets.
  • It could be a few more years before Apple can make a Liquidmetal MacBook.
  • Apple will likely wait to use Liquidmetal in a "breakthrough product."

Atakan completed the interview by saying “I expect Liquidmetal application in two ways: First evolutionary substitution of current materials and secondly, and more importantly, in a breakthrough product made only possible by Liquidmetal technology. Apple’s exclusively licensing a new material technology (specifically for casing and enclosures) is a first in the industry. This is very exciting. Therefore, I expect Apple to use this technology in a breakthrough product. Such product will likely bring an innovative user interface and industrial design together, and will also be very difficult to copy or duplicate with other material technologies.”

 

Desktop App for Amazon Cloud Drive Now Available

Submitted by lalit on May 2, 2012 - 1:25pm.

Though Amazon started the Cloud Drive service last year, there was no desktop application for easy upload and download of content. This resulted in people using the Cloud Drive for just downloads that were automatically saved to the drive when they purchased digital content like mp3 songs or eBooks on Amazon. Well that’s changing today as Amazon has announced a desktop app for Cloud Drive that will allow easy upload and download of photos, videos, documents and other files. The application is available for Windows and Mac with following features:

  • Easily upload your photos, documents, videos and other files
  • Drag and drop files and folders to the Cloud Drive icon
  • Right-click any file or folder and send to Amazon Cloud Drive
  • Easy download of one or more files and folders from Cloud Drive
  • Uploads and downloads run in the background
  • Continue using your computer as you normally would, the app can handle restarts and lost internet connections without losing your data
  • You can pause and resume at any time

You can get more information about Amazon Cloud Drive desktop app for Windows and Mac and download it from Amazon’s website.