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What if Apple Holds a Launch Event and Nobody Cares?
August 12, 2013
Sept. 10 reportedly is the day Apple will unveil its latest iPhone. Although there have been some apparently well-founded leaks, Apple has not confirmed anything. It hasn't said whether it will be launching an iPhone 5S or a 5C, as rumored. It has not even confirmed the Sept. 10 launch date. Despite the radio silence on Apple's part, there's been no shortage of speculation.
Desperately Seeking Innovation
August 07, 2013
Apple may have won the battle, but it is in danger of losing the war. The battle was last Saturday's veto by the Obama administration of the International Trade Commission's decision to ban certain Apple products that it found to have infringed Samsung's patents. As for the war, that would be Apple's long struggle to preserve its reputation for delivering startling innovation.
Apple Takes Charge of 3rd-Party Charger Problem With Special Offer
August 06, 2013
Owners of idevices who are using third-party USB power adapters can now trade them in for Apple adapters for only $10 or the equivalent in local currency -- almost half off the retail price. Users can get one adapter for each device they own, up to Oct. 18. The offer follows reports from China that at least one person died from electrocution when using a third-party USB power adapter on an iPhone.
Bad Apple: China Investigating Alleged Supplier Pollution
August 05, 2013
In what amounts to a serious environmental breach or a continuation of China's anti-Apple PR blitz -- or both -- Chinese regulators are scrutinizing a pair of Apple suppliers in China over pollution allegations. The factories in question, located in Kunshan, an electronics manufacturing hotbed about 40 miles west of Shanghai, are reportedly dumping large amounts of heavy metals into local rivers.
The Technology Mysteries of 2013
August 05, 2013
There are a number of interesting mysteries in the technology world. Somehow someone in China was killed by an iPhone, and someone made up a nasty story about Lenovo and the Chinese government and got folks to pick it up during the U.S. NSA scandal. One of the most powerful and highly paid people in Apple quietly stepped down last month, possibly to lead a search for the next iPod.
Apple May Have a Rainbow of Retina-Display Minis Under Wraps
August 02, 2013
The next iPad mini, expected to debut in the December quarter, may have a high-resolution display and come in an assortment of colors other than black and white. The switch to Apple's famous Retina screen would bring the next-gen mini in line with the company's other iOS products -- and this isn't the first hint that Apple may be adding more color to its iOS line.
The iPhone 5C Is Shaping Up to Be the Scariest Product Apple Ever Created
August 01, 2013
As I follow the rumor mill surrounding the fabled low-cost iPhone, aka "cheap iPhone," and more recently, "iPhone 5C," I'm starting to get worried. What's wrong with me? Isn't an inexpensive iPhone important to help Apple fight freaky robot things threatening to take over the world? There's nothing out-of-the-ordinary wrong with me, but there's a problem with the iPhone 5C.
iOS 7 May Bring Fingerprint Scanning to the Mainstream
July 31, 2013
The next iPhone will likely have a fingerprint scanning feature through iOS 7, iOS developer Hamza Sood has tweeted. Fingerprint scanning "adds another factor to the authentication process ... [which is] a net good thing" because this makes accounts more secure, said Tom Kemp, CEO of Centrify. "This is, of course, assuming the scanning technology works."
Apple Hit With 2 Shameful Allegations
July 29, 2013
Pegatron, which is reportedly making a new, less-costly plastic iPhone, has become the latest Apple supplier to be accused of labor violations, in a report published by China Labor Watch on Monday. Pegatron has denied the allegations, and both it and Apple have announced they will investigate the claims. "CLW has uncovered myriad violations," maintained CLW Executive Director Li Qiang.
Australia May Tweak Copyright Laws to Knock Down IT Prices
July 29, 2013
Australia has recommended changes to copyright law that would allow Aussie citizens cheaper access to IT hardware, software and digital downloads after a parliamentary inquiry found no good reason for prices to be so high Down Under. The inquiry sought to unearth why IT prices were so much higher in Australia than elsewhere. The probe kicked off last year.
Chromecast: Big Threats Come in Small Packages?
July 26, 2013
Google shook up the streaming video world Wednesday when it introduced a $35 HDMI dongle that allows content to be airmailed from a smartphone, tablet or laptop to a TV. Called "Chromecast," the unit is already being hailed as a potential streaming set-top box killer. "It could make the set-top box obsolete," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. "It makes the set-top box redundant."
The Case for a Bigger, Badder iPad
July 25, 2013
I'm wondering if we're not heading toward a larger iPad. First, Mac sales were down a bit last quarter. No big deal -- there haven't been any major upgrades, and the MacBook Air upgrade came late in June. Sold well, apparently. While Apple's Mac sales haven't been slipping and sliding like PC sales, clearly an awful lot of traditional computing has shifted to smartphones and tablets.
Apple Searches Haystack for Product to Move the Needle
July 24, 2013
Apple's upcoming new products will be the key to the company's emergence from its current doldrums, CEO Tim Cook told analysts during its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday. Asked by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster if there were any product categories big enough to move the growth needle for Apple, Cook responded: "We'll see, Gene. We're working up some stuff that we're really proud of."
Security Breach Knocks Apple for an Infinite Loop
July 22, 2013
Three days after Apple took down its developer website claiming it was performing unscheduled maintenance, the company emailed devs admitting the site had been hacked and some data may have been stolen. It also posted a message on the site stating that some developers' names, mailing addresses and email addresses may have been exposed, but that sensitive information could not be accessed.
Apple Taps Locationary to Get Maps in the Right Place
July 19, 2013
After suffering considerable backlash for the mapping technology it included in iOS 6, Apple has now brought in some expert help. Specifically, it has acquired Locationary, a startup that takes a crowdsourcing approach to map data. Locationary's Saturn technology uses Big Data to fill in the blanks in maps. In this case, the Big Data in question is provided by users.
Notes From the iPhone Rumor Trail
July 19, 2013
As rumors swirl about the next iPhone, the current models of Apple's popular smartphone may be selling better than expected. Sales of the iPhone for the quarter that ended June 30 will beat Wall Street expectations, according to a report released Wednesday by Morgan Stanley. Some 29 million to 32 million units were sold during the period, 10-20 percent better than the 26.5 million units expected.
AT&T's Tricky Plan Won't Tempt iPhone Fans
July 18, 2013
AT&T's new smartphone service plan is misguided and dumb, at least for iPhone owners. Still, I'm quite pleased to see AT&T's plan. Let me explain. Anything that decouples the cost of an iPhone from a long-term contract and service plan is good for the industry. Consumers need to know that smartphones don't cost $199. They also need to know that there's more than one viable business model.
Will Ad-Skipping Win Hearts for Apple TV?
July 17, 2013
Apple reportedly is planning to set up a premium version of a service on Apple TV that would let subscribers skip ads. The company apparently plans to compensate content providers for lost ad revenue. This might complicate Apple's long-drawn-out negotiations with content providers. "I'm not sure what the business sense of this is at all," said Michael McGuire, VP of research at Gartner.
Apple's E-Book Story Still Largely Unwrit
July 12, 2013
A federal court's ruling that Apple violated antitrust laws when it worked with the publishing industry to manipulate the price of e-books probably won't benefit consumers much. "I don't think we're going to see prices come down immediately as a result of this," said Yasha Heidari, managing partner at the Heidari Power Law Group. "What I do think you will see is some bona fide competition."
Blinding Light and Deep Dark Evil: Apple's App Store After 5 Years
July 11, 2013
The iTunes App Store is one of the most transformative Apple innovations ever, perhaps the most important to the world, and yet, despite its shiny bright flickering light of goodness, it's freakin' evil. I've been reflecting on the 5th anniversary of the App Store, and in some ways, I'm blinded by the staggering numbers and pure joy certain apps have brought to my life.

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