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Mar 23
Analyst predicts Apple branded HDTV within four years

The Sellers Research Firm (that's me) is still dubious that Apple will release its own line of TV sets. But Piper Jaffray Gene Munster thinks that's exactly what will happen in the next 2-4 years.

In a note to clients he predicts that Apple will offer an US$2,000 Internet- and content-connected TV. As reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com), Munster said he thinks Apple will combine hardware, software and content into a HDTV. When combined with a potential iTunes TV subscription plan priced between US$50 and $90 per month, users would no longer have a need for their monthly cable bill, he added.

Munster thinks an Apple-branded HDTV would "move the needle" for the market, with the hardware maker delivering a product that would serve as the replacement for an entire entertainment center, beyond just the display, notes "AppleInsider." In addition, the established iPhone and...

| Read more »
Mar 23
comScore: awareness of the iPad high right out of the...

comScore (http://www.comscore.com), which measures the digital world, has released the results of a survey of 2,176 Internet users regarding their awareness, attitudes and opinions of the Apple iPad and other e-readers/tablet devices.

Results were analyzed across age and gender profiles, as well as the “iOwners” consumer segment, defined as those owning either an iPhone or iPod touch.

“The tablet and e-reader market is developing at a breakneck pace right now, and Apple’s entry into the market is sure to accelerate mainstream consumer adoption,” says Serge Matta,
comScore executive vice president. “These devices have the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the way consumers currently access digital content. While only time will tell exactly how consumer behavior will change, our research suggests that not only will a variety of markets be impacted by the introduction of these devices...

| Read more »
Mar 23
Apple patents range from display technologies to text...

Four new Apple patents have popped up at the US Patent & Trademark Office. Here's a summary of each.

Patent number 7,683,983 is for a display that emits circularly-polarized light for portable devices. One embodiment of the present invention provides a display that emits circularly-polarized light. This display includes a display mechanism that emits linearly-polarized light and a layer placed in the path of the linearly-polarized light. The layer receives the linearly-polarized light on one surface, converts the linearly-polarized light to circularly-polarized light, and then emits the circularly-polarized light from another surface. By emitting circularly-polarized light, the display reduces the perceived distortion found at some angles when the display is viewed through a linearly-polarizing filter. The inventors are John Z. Zhong, Wei Chen, Cheg Chen, Victor H.E. Yin and Shawn R. Gettemy.

Patent number 7,683,888 is for a...

| Read more »
Mar 23
Apple patent looks for improved ways to cool Macs by...

A new Apple patent (number 7,684,192) at the US Patent & Trademark Office shows that the company is investigating improved ways to cool Mac Pros and other computers.

The patent is for an apparatus for the air cooling of an electronic device. A contoured panel channels a flow of air within the housing of an electronic device so as to channel the flow of air more directly over heat producing elements such as the microprocessor and peripheral cards. A sensor can also be employed to determine whether the panel is present and properly placed. If not, measures can be taken to reduce the heat generated by the heat producing elements. For example, a warning can be displayed, or the microprocessor can be instructed to enter sleep mode. The inventors are Steven Holmes and Douglas L. Heirich.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "As electronic devices increase in processing power and speed, their processors generate more and more heat, thus exacerbating...

| Read more »
Mar 23
Could Apple patent hint at monitor for the iPad?

An Apple patent (number 7,684,185) that first appeared in 2006 has re-appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. It's for an integrated monitor and docking station. And you have to wonder if it hints at a future iteration of the iPad.

After all, the patent is for a portable computer -- and said portable computer doesn't appear to be an iPod or anything currently available. The docking station includes a display and a housing configured to hold the display in a manner that exposes a viewing surface of the display to view. The housing defines a docking area configured to receive a portable computer. The docking area is at least partly obscured by the display when viewed from the viewing surface side of the display at an angle substantially orthogonal to the viewing surface.

Traditionally a portable computer docking station requires a separate external monitor to be connected (e.g., by cable) to the docking station when a display other than the integrated...

| Read more »
Mar 23
Coming later this year (hopefully): Wi-Fi Direct...

Coming later this year or perhaps in early 2011: Wi-Fi devices that will be able to connect in a new way that makes it more simple and convenient than ever to do things like print, share and display.

Ad hoc wireless networking has always been more difficult than it should be. Plus, it maxes out at 11 mbps. Wi-Fi Direct will connect at existing Wi-Fi speeds of up to 250 mbps. And Wi-Fi Direct devices will also be able to broadcast their availability and seek out other Wi-Fi Direct devices.

As noted by "PC World" (http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/173699/wifi_direct_could_b...), with Wi-Fi Direct only one of the devices needs to be compliant with Wi-Fi Direct to establish the peer-to-peer connection. So, for example, a Wi-Fi Direct-...

| Read more »
Mar 22
Canalys: iPhone to have 21.3% of smartphone US market...

Smart phone shipments in North America totaled 47.2 million units in 2009, an increase of 27% over the volume seen in 2008, helped by a strong fourth quarter. Apple is expected to sell 13.8 million iPhones in 2010 for a market share of 21.3%.

The smartphone growth is forecast to accelerate to 38% in 2010, bringing total shipments in the region to 65.1 million units, according to Canalys (http://www.canalys.com). The research group thinks RIM will retain its leadership position in the North American market in 2010, with Apple in second place by operating system (OS) vendor share. Both vendors will grow their annual shipment volumes in the region, by 21% and 27% respectively.

In 2009, RIM held a 49% market share in North America, with Apple at 23%, though they will each lose a modest portion of their share this year as the total market grows at a quicker pace. RIM will remain strong in the corporate...

| Read more »
Mar 22
Analyst: Apple stores in China could help drive...

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty tells clients in a research note that China represents Apple’s next major geographic growth opportunity, and that Apple's plan to open 25 retail stores in China, announced during its shareholders meeting in February, could help drive Apple's share price  — in her "bull case" scenario -- as high as US$435 within a year.

As reported by "Fortune" (http://macosg.me/2/0m), Huberty expounds a positive correlation between Apple store expansion and the increase in Mac market share. Correlation does not mean causation, of course, but the trends do seem clear, notes "Fortune."

Apple opened 123 stores in the U.S. between Sept. 2003 and Sept. 2009 while the Mac's domestic market share grew from just over 3% to as high as 9% (before dipping below 8% last summer).

| Read more »
Mar 22
Consumers want both pay TV and Over-the-Top video

Now, Apple, you know I'm not going to quit hounding you until you move the Apple TV out of the "hobby" category. Anyway, here's some new research for you to consider.

Consumers want their Internet TV, according to market research firm In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com). Already, based on In-Stat’s new multi-client research, 26% of U.S. consumer respondents report viewing Internet TV more than once per week. However, rather than a substitute for traditional pay TV services, consumers want Over-the-Top (OTT) Internet video to compliment traditional TV offerings.

“Consumers want the best of both worlds: pay TV and OTT Video,” says Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst. “Nearly 40% of consumer broadband household respondents want a combination of linear and on-demand TV, and nearly three quarters want to acquire all their video content from their pay TV operator.”

The recent research also found:

° ...

| Read more »
Mar 19
Apple firing on all cylinders to line up iPad content

Things are busy, busy, busy as the April 3 date for the iPad to go on sale. Apple is working to drum up lots of content for the new device in a variety of areas.

Games are the predominant type of app being tested on the iPad, making up 44% of the total, according to info from Flurry Analytics. Entertainment apps -- including videos -- come in second with 14%. Social networking programs made up 7% of the total, followed by sports, travel, lifestyle, and utilities.

Apple is also reportedly working hard to get TV shows on the iPad. "The Wall Street Journal" (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870352320457512986226470419...) says Apple has put its magazine, newspaper and textbook projects "on backburner" as it concentrates on cutting media content deals in the weeks before the iPad's...

| Read more »
Mar 19
Chrome TV may put the hurt on the Apple TV

The time is fast approaching -- heck, it's almost here -- when Apple is going to have to "fish or cut bait" as we say in the South when it comes to the company's "hobby," the Apple TV.

According to the "New York Times" (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/technology/18webtv.html?partner=rss&em...), Google and Intel have teamed with Sony to develop a platform called Google TV to bring the web into the living room through a new generation of televisions and set-top boxes. And if you don't think that will be a threat to the Apple TV, think again.

According to the "Times," the move is an effort by Google and Intel to extend their dominance of computing to television, an arena where they have little sway. For Sony, which has struggled to retain a pricing and technological advantage in the...

| Read more »
Mar 18
iGroups coming to the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad?

Coming next to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad may be a component called iGroups. According to a new Apple patent (number 20100070758) at the US Patent & Trademark Office, Apple is working on group formation using anonymous broadcast information.

The invention involves a number of devices co-located at a geographic location can broadcast and receive tokens. Tokens can be exchanged using a communication link having limited communication range. Tokens that are received by a device can be stored locally on the device and/or transmitted to a trusted service operating remotely on a network. In some implementations, the tokens can be stored with corresponding timestamps to assist a trusted service in matching or otherwise correlating the tokens with other tokens provided by other devices. The trusted service can perform an analysis on the tokens and timestamps to identify devices that were co-located at the geographic location at or around a contact time which can be defined...

| Read more »
Mar 18
Cable and satellite TV providers may have reason to...

If Apple does indeed plan an iTunes subscription service -- and gets around to taking the Apple TV seriously -- these steps could pose a serious threat to the cable and satellite TV industries.

The hype of the digital conversion has long passed; however nine months after the long-awaited, frequently talked about digital transition, sales of over-the-air antennas continue to climb, reflecting not only the continued growth of over-the-air television, but a trend developing among the American people, according to Antennas Direct. As an US antenna manufacturer, it's not exactly an unbiased company, but makes some interesting points in a new report.

“From current economic conditions, increases in cable and satellite TV rates to the expansion of over-the air channels and new technologies, there is a bright future for digital television,” says Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct. He believes the facts are hard to ignore and says that over-the-air television is a...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Ad may hint at upcoming MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac...

Apple's ads on the Australian publication, "PC Authority" (http://www.pcauthority.com/au/), may have leaked info on upcoming MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs and Mac Pros.

Apple's online Australian store lists the lowest priced versions of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Pro at A$1,599, A$1,999 and A$3,599, respectively. However, an ad at "PC Authority" shows price jumps of A$300, A$400 and A$900, respectively.

"Then again, considering the expectation that the mobile computers will get Core i7 CPUs while the Mac Pro will get all dressed up with Core i7-980X regalia, this development is perhaps not all that surprising," says "engadget" (http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/17/...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Apple removes protective screens from Apple stores?

Apple has banned protective screen film from its retail and online stores, according to the "iLounge" web site (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/apple-bans-protective-scr...), which says this will affect both cases and individual film packages beginning in May.

In communications with vendors that have been ongoing for “some time now,” according to one company, Apple has said that it will remove both film-only solutions from its stores, as well as any case or other accessory that includes film protection as part of its package, such as cases that include film screen protectors. According to sources, the ban will impact all forms of screen film, including completely clear film, anti-glare film, and mirrored film, regardless of whether the purpose...

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Mar 17
Analyst: iMac to account for 25% of worldwide desktop...

Caris & Company analyst Robert Cihra says growth in the overall personal computer market for 2010 is trending upwards of 15 to 20%, fueled by greater than 90% growth in combined sales of netbooks and notebooks. However, it's the iMac that will account for 25% of worldwide desktop growth, he says.

In a note to clients -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) -- Cihra said desktop sales are showing signs of life for the first time in 24 months, given strong performance of the iMac line that could boost year-over-year shipments by approximately 3%, compared to last year's 12% slippage.

"We continue to model note/netbook accounting for greater than 90% of PC unit growth in 2010, but with desktops at least now looking like they’ve stopped eroding and can resume at least some low single-digit recovery after 2 years of decline, driven by emerging markets, corporate...

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Mar 17
Study: mobile apps will outsell CDs by 2012

The global mobile apps economy is set to be worth $17.5billion by 2012, according to an independent report commissioned by GetJar (http://www.getjar.com/), the world’s second largest app store.

Mobile app downloads across all types of handset are also expected to increase from over seven billion downloads in 2009 to almost 50 billion in 2012 -- a year-on-year growth rate of 92%.
This would mean that the value of apps sold would be greater than the value of CDs sold in 2012 ($13.83 billion).

To understand the potential of the “global mobile apps economy,” GetJar commissioned independent consulting firm Chetan Sharma Consulting to lift the lid on the rapidly expanding global apps market. The aim of the project was to analyze the potential and real value of the mobile apps market worldwide, using first hand data.

It is clear that by 2012, off-deck paid-for apps will be the biggest revenue...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Some feel Apple may become the new 'evil empire...

Some pundits have said that Apple is in danger of becoming the next Microsoft -- as in "evil empire" Microsoft. I personally don’t think that’s going to happen, but find the possibility fascinating. I never would have believed anyone would have asked it when I begin my Mac journalism career almost 20 years ago doing reviews for the late, lamented "MacSense" site.

At the time, Apple was always -- ALWAYS -- described in the press as “beleaguered” or “troubled.” Many pundits didn’t think the company would last -- and it was, indeed, usually bleeding money. Then the stars aligned, Steve Jobs returned and you know the rest of the story. The iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, now the iPad.

The Mac still has a much smaller percentage of the computer market than Windows (though that number is growing), Apple is now THE tech company, known for its inventive products, great marketing and ultra cool factor. So I guess it's inevitable that some feel Apple's on the verge of becoming the...

| Read more »
Mar 17
I'm not a fan of big government, but our '...

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission delivered the National Broadband Plan (http://www.broadband.gov/) to Congress. I wasn't a big fan of the bazillion dollar US stimulus package, nor am I a fan of big government, but our nation's "digital divide" must be addressed.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law on February 17, 2009. The Broadband Initiatives funded in the Act are intended to accelerate broadband deployment across the United States. The Recovery Act authorizes the FCC to create a National Broadband Plan, that “shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal.”

We're the only industrialized nation without a national policy to promote universal, high-speed Internet access. Part of the National Broadband Plan looks to free an...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Yankee Group: mobile app demand is soaring

Smartphone users are downloading increasing numbers of apps, and more of the apps they download come at a price. The result is a supercharged mobile app gold rush that’s shattering Yankee Group’s (http://www.yankeegroup.com) previous revenue estimates and reaching a whopping US$11 billion by 2014.

In the new report, “The Mobile App Gold Rush Speeds Up,” the research group sees several factors -- increased smartphone shipments, more app stores and more expensive apps -- combining to nearly double forecasted mobile app revenue, from $537 million to $1.6 billion in 2010 alone. While most app developers and store owners will garner a share of the riches, users of Apple’s iPhone and AT&T’s network download the most apps and generate the most revenue.

“Apple’s innovative one-click technology and AT&T’s exclusive deal for the iPhone put them ahead for now,” says Carl Howe, director at Yankee...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Apple granted patents for Aperture tool, computer...

Apple has won patents from the US Patent & Trademark Office for the Aperture tool for straightening digital images and for a computer housing design that displays the illuminated Apple logo. Aperture is the company's software for pro and semi-pro photographers.

Patent number 7679625 is for a digital image straightening tool. Per the patent, as the user operates the straighten control, the rotational orientation of a selected image is changed. According to one embodiment, a grid is superimposed over the image while the straighten control is being operated, to assist the user in selecting the proper rotational orientation. In addition, after a rotational adjustment, the image is automatically cropped to ensure that the orientation of the peripheral shape of the image remains unchanged. The inventors are Joshua D. Fagans, Jeffrey L. Robbin, Timothy B. Martin and Timothy E. Wasko.

Patent number 7,679,894 is for a display housing for a computing device. An improved...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Some feel Apple may become the new 'evil empire...

Some pundits have said that Apple is in danger of becoming the next Microsoft -- as in "evil empire" Microsoft. I personally don’t think that’s going to happen, but find the possibility fascinating.

In fact, I never would have believed anyone would have even posited the scenario when I begin my Mac journalism career almost 20 years ago doing reviews for the late, lamented "MacSense" site. At the time, Apple was always -- ALWAYS -- described in the press as “beleaguered” or “troubled.” Many pundits didn’t think the company would last -- and it was, indeed, often bleeding money. Then the stars aligned, Steve Jobs returned and you know the rest of the story. The iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, now the iPad.

The Mac still has a much smaller percentage of the computer market than Windows (though that number is growing), Apple is now THE tech company, known for its inventive products, great marketing and ultra cool factor. So I guess it's inevitable that some feel Apple's on...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Donovan's Views: more Jonathan Schwartz...

By Gaurang Donovan

The former Sun Microsystems former Vice-President (five various positions), Chief Operating Officer, President, and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Schwartz, wrote on his "What I Couldn't Say" blog (http://jonathanischwartz.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/good-artists-copy-grea...) last week about a 2003 threat of future legal action that he claims Steve Jobs made to his office in a telephone call while raising the idea  that the graphical effects of a Sun prototype Linux desktop may be violating Apple's intellectual property (if Sun commercialised that prototype). 

Schwartz wrote his reply was simple and left Steve Jobs silent without a response. The reply mentioned how he had been watching a recent presentation of Jobs and how Apple's newly released Keynote ...

| Read more »
Mar 15
Analyst: Mac, iPod sales looking to beat the Street...

In a note to clients today, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects Mac sales for the current fiscal quarter to beat the Street's estimates and anticipates iPod sales will meet those estimates. He bases his prognosis on data from the NPA research group.

Munster says that NPD retail data points to sales of 2.8 to 2.9 million Mac units sold for the March quarter. The Street estimate is 2.7. Munster is forecasting Mac unit growth of 26 to 315 year-over-year.

The analyst adds that NPD data points to sales of nine to 10 million iPods for the March quarter., compared to a Street consensus of under nine million. He's predicting a 7% percent increase in year-over-year sales.

| Read more »
Mar 15
New Apple prototype scientist to work on wearable...

In January, Apple hired Richard DeVaul as a senior prototype scientist, apparently to work on wearable computers.

Previously, DeVaul was the founder and president of AWare Technologies, a company that now makes Activity AWareness products and core technology. However, it was formed in 2004 as a contract research company focused on ambulatory monitoring for soldiers and athletes. The company successfully executed SBIR Phase II and STTR contracts with the US Army, and participated in the DARPA ASSIST BAA as part of the IBM/MIT/Georgia Tech team. In addition, AWare has provided athletic motion analysis services to Olympic sport organizations.

A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), DeVaul has also served as a research assistant at MIT. orked with Professor Alex "Sandy" Pentland as part of the Human Dyanmics group at the MIT Media Lab. Ph.D. dissertation on "The Memory Glasses," a heads-up display  that focused on the problems associated with wearable...

| Read more »
 
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