Apple’s MobileMe service has been down for the past few hours, with the system status page indicating that email, web apps and Find My iPhone are affected by the outage. Email is not working right now for 25% of users, with the number having been as high as 75% earlier today, according to a report by MacRumors.
Although issues with MobileMe services are not uncommon, widespread outages like this are rare. The problems that do occasionally crop up usually only affect a tiny percentage of users and largely go unnoticed. Apple is preparing to launch its iCloud service as a replacement for MobileMe very soon and this may perhaps be related to that, but we have no way to be sure.
Say what you will about the iPhone 5 rumour mill but it never is uninteresting. After having gone back and forth over how many models of iPhone Apple is releasing on Tuesday, the appearance of cases for a teardrop-shaped iPhone 5 in AT&T retail stores may mean that the company is planning on releasing two new handsets after all.
We received word yesterday of an iPhone 4S having surfaced in Apple’s inventory and an iPhone 5 showed up on China Unicom’s website, advertised as supporting the speedier HSPA+ network. MacRumors now reports that an AT&T retail employee sent them pictures (shown below) of thinner, teardrop-shaped silicone cases showing up in the company’s stores.
Collating the various rumours we have heard so far, the common thread seems to be that Apple is planning to release a low-cost iPhone 4-lookalike, the iPhone 4S, and the new flagship model, a slimmer and MacBook Air-like iPhone 5. Although none of this is written in stone, where there’s smoke there’s fire, and we’d be very surprised if Apple only introduced a single new iPhone come Tuesday.
Have you gotten a little confused with the timeline of all of the iPhone 5 rumors? You’re not the only one. The folks over at All Area Codes put together this walking history of all of the iPhone rumors since October of 2010. Do you remember all of these? We’ve got a few days left, I’m sure people will be able to squeak out a few more.
Apple iPad manufacturer Foxconn has been negotiating a deal to produce $12 billion worth of Apple’s tablets in its new facility in Brazil, but now that deal is in doubt, reports Reuters.
The proposal was originally announced in April by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and was taken a great sign for the economic ties that Brazil has been nurturing with Asia.
Now the deal is reportedly in doubt because negotiations over tax breaks and Brazil’s infrastructure issues, including its lack of skilled labor to produce the devices. Foxconn was expected to begin production of the devices for July, but was then delayed until November. Officials involved in the negotiations are now saying that it is unlikely that it will ever happen.
Foxconn has reportedly been making “crazy demands” for tax breaks and special treatment, said an official. “The talks have been very difficult, and the project for a Brazilian iPad is in doubt.”
Foxconn has also been trying to get priority treatment at Brazilian customs, which has a reputation for being slow.
Brazil is currently in the throes of expanding its infrastructure and undertaking building projects to prep for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, which have been contributing to its strain.
Among the problems plaguing the project are higher than average taxes and poor infrastructure. These issues are common to many developing countries, especially in Latin America. There is also doubt when it comes to funding as local publications have reported that the BNDES state development bank was planning on withdrawing its crucial funding for the project.
At this point other options are being considered, like scaling back the operation to a more achievable scale or producing the parts elsewhere and just assembling them in Brazil.
Remember Psystar? They’re a company that, back in 2008, began selling clones of Mac computers with copies of OS X installed on them. Essentially they were PC’s that were built with special hardware that was compatible with Apple’s OS.
The company was eventually banned from selling its ‘OpenMac’ computers, which were powered by retail copies of OS X.
Just yesterday, Judge Mary Schroeder, of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Psystar’s clones do violate Apple copyrights and that the ban will be upheld, reports Cnet.
Apple had filed suit on Psystar in July of 2008 for infringing on its Mac OS X software licensing agreements and that Psystar’s use of OS X on these cloned computers constituted ”direct and contributory copyright infringement, trademark and trade dress infringement, and violation of state and common law unfair competition laws,” as well as the DMCA.
Psystar’s appeal centered on the fact that Apple was abusing its copyright by forcing OS X to be limited to only its own machines. It looks like that argument wasn’t quite able to hold water in this case.
Apple continues its march to cease selling any software in boxes at all with a move to cease shipping software to educational resellers on school campuses, reports ZDnet. This decision shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone that has been following the release of OS X Lion or, previously, the Mac App Store.
Apple has been working on getting its software delivery system converted to software only since the introduction of the Mac App Store and took a huge leap forward when it shifted to a digital-only distribution for its release of OS X Lion.
Now, a letter sent to a ‘major academic institution’ informed them that Apple would no longer be selling them boxed software with a ‘limited exception’.
Apple confirmed today that, with limited exception, they will cease to ship boxed software to campus resellers. This includes Mac OS X Snow Leopard , iLife, iWork, Apple Remote Desktop, and Aperture, among others.
We have a limited supply of copies of each in stock in the store, so consider this a “last call” for anyone who would like a hard copy before they are gone. Particularly anyone who would like to get Snow Leopard, as we just received our final shipment of that version of the OS.
The only products that will remain as boxed software offerings are Logic Express and Logic Studio.
Honestly, university customers are the most likely to have access to an internet connection and therefore shouldn’t be inconvenienced too much by this. If millions of people could buy Lion from the MAS, why not iLife or Aperture?
It is looking more likely by the day that one of the devices that will be revealed at Apple’s Oct. 4 iPhone event will be called ‘iPhone 4S’. The device has been added to Apple’s inventory system and a label has appeared on a Chinese forum that details a 16GB iPhone 4S, reports 9to5Mac.
Yesterday evidence of iPhone 4 models bearing an N90A code name had appeared, adding to the rumors that one of the device we will see next week is a tweaked version of the current iPhone 4, which bore the code name N90. Now, the N94 device, which features Apple’s next-gen A5 processor, has appeared in the Apple system.
The N94 iPhone is definitely a physical product as it has been assigned an ID of BCG-E2430A by the FCC. This is the first reported appearance of this N94 device in Apple’s inventory however.
There is also a label for the iPhone 4S in a 16GB capacity and the white color that surfaced yesterday. This label has a model number of MD239F/A. This model number is similar in progression to most Apple models.
If you accept the label as a legitimate item, which is obviously up in the air as the provenance is unknown, it also adds one more interesting tidbit. On the right side of the label you will see that it records both the IMEI and MEID numbers. These are unique numbers that are used to identify a phone on a network.
The interesting bit is that IMEI numbers are used exclusively on GSM networks like AT&T or Orange, while MEID numbers are used on CDMA networks like Verizon or Sprint. This would appear to indicate that the iPhone 4S packs a radio that is capable of working on both networks and that either network could be used with the phone.
If two separate devices were going to be released, both with the same radio but only active for one network or the other, you wouldn’t need both ID numbers. This should mean that you’ll be able to buy any iPhone and use it on either network. Of course, carrier subsidy and locking will have a dampener on this effect in backwards countries like the US.
As we get closer to the event I’m sure we’ll be seeing more tidbits like this show up, but for now it looks like we are more likely to see an ‘iPhone 4S’ than not.
Apple rumors are an interesting breed. No other company garners the same level of speculation and anticipation that Apple receives.
The rumor mill is always churning, especially leading up to a major Apple announcement, and sometimes rumors fly so fast that it can be hard to make sense of it all. In case you were wondering, this clever infographic shows how the typical Apple rumor forms over time.
Good work, PCMag. That’s about all there is to it.
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Apple is working on a new type of drive that combines the best aspects of both traditional platter-based and flash storage. According to a recent patent published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Apple has some innovate ideas up its sleeve for a SSD/HDD combo drive.
From Patently Apple:
“On September 29, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a next generation Hybrid Drive that includes both a hard drive and Flash. Intel will be pushing their Smart Response hybrid drive systems for consumer systems in 2012 and Apple’s patent would indicate that they intend to have their own solution for future hardware. Uniquely Apple’s twist to this drive is that it will handle different types of storage media based on an environmental state of the hybrid drive. If the drive undergoes temperature, vibration or acceleration variances that could cause the hard drive to temporarily fail, the system would save the volatile data to the Flash drive.”
If the system detects a possible compromise on the HDD part of the drive, data will be automatically reallocated to the SSD (kind of like how RAID technology works now, only smarter). Platter drives are much more susceptible to physical shocks, magnetization and extreme temperatures, so a modern SSD would offer an added layer of assurance and speed to the whole process.
Apple’s upcoming drives will be very smart and efficient. Being able to predict harmful circumstances will result in less drive failure and better performance overall.
Intel’s Smart Response hybrid drives will hopefully push Apple to get these new drives out on the market sooner rather than later. As SSDs go down in price, it will become financially easier to implement larger amounts of flash storage.
Be on the look out for these hybrid drives from Apple in 2012.
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Following the news that Disney is introducing a series of iPad games that interact with physical toys, Lego is also introducing its next generation of games with the “Life of George” iPhone app.
The game consists of classic Lego bricks, a free iPhone app, and a mat that basically acts as a green screen. The player tries to create the image shown on the iPhone app in Legos on the mat before time runs out.
Once the player is done creating said Lego structure, a picture is taken of the mat with the iPhone or iPod touch. The App Store app will then calculate the score based on the player’s speed and accuracy.
Here’s a video of the game in action:
The Life of George app consists of 12 levels and 10 Lego models that can be played in single or multiplayer mode. “My Life” mode even allows the player to come up with original Lego creations that can be stored in the app’s virtual scrapbook.
Lego was looking for, “a fun way to combine both physical and virtual play into one product,” according to Macworld. The game will be sold in the US only, and the Life of George will hit shelves and the App Store on October 1st. The physical set will cost $23, while the iPhone app will be available for free.
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