December 28, 2005 @ 7:54 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware)
Intel to design the next-gen PowerMac’s motherboard?

According to AppleInsider, Apple will outsource the design of the Intel-based PowerMac architecture to Intel.

The site also draws a roadmap for Apple’s transition to the Intel platform. It is claimed that during the first four months of 2006, the Powerbook, the iBook, the iMac and the Mac mini will all get Intel processors, while the Intel-based PowerMac will be made available in the third quarter of 2006.

That would mean that Steve Jobs lied about the Intel transition’s roadmap when he announced that Apple was switching to the Intel architecture, earlier this year. The official roadmap starts in mid 2006 and lasts about three years while rumours suggest that the transition will start early 2006 and will be almost finnished by the year end.

December 24, 2005 @ 11:20 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (macosXrumors)
Happy Christmas!

The MacosXrumors team wishes you a happy Christmas and happy holidays. The three coming weeks are probably going to be very active so stay tuned as we’ll be updating the site regularly.

December 23, 2005 @ 9:44 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software)
Apple offers free videos on iTunes

Apple has made available through its iTunes Music Store a couple of free to download video clips:

- Saturday Night Live Short - Lazy Sunday
- Sci Fi Inside: Battlestar Galactica

They respectively last 2′31″ and 21″03′ and they’re available for free on the U.S. iTunes store.

It’s the first time Apple offers free videos for download on iTunes. Some video clips are sometimes bundled with albums though.

December 22, 2005 @ 1:33 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Mac OS X, Software)
Apple updates Soundtrack Pro

Along with the update for Aperture, Apple has also released an update for Soundtrack Pro to version 1.0.2. The update which waights 41.6MB has the following description:

About this update
Soundtrack Pro Update (version 1.0.2) gives audio and video professionals a powerful way to edit and design sound.

Soundtrack Pro waveform editor includes innovative action layering and intelligent repair and restoration functions that let you accurately manipulate audio while retaining total creative flexibility. And, with support for video formats up to HD resolutions, full multitrack editing and mixing, over 50 professional effects plug-ins, and thousands of included Apple Loops, precise audio control has never been so intuitive.

This update is not for the version of Soundtrack that ships with Final Cut Pro, which is alrady numbered 1.2. More information about this update can be found here.

@ 12:40 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Mac OS X, Software, Hardware)
Apple updates Aperture

Apple has released an update for Aperture to version 1.0.1 through the Software Update utility and its web site. The update offers the following changes and improvements:

Aperture 1.0.1 Update addresses a number of issues related to reliability and performance. It also delivers improved image export quality and metadata handling. Among the key areas addressed are:

White balance adjustment accuracy and performance
Image export quality
Book and print ordering reliability
Auto-stacking performance
Custom paper size handling
This update is recommended for all Aperture users.

December 19, 2005 @ 6:39 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Events)
A 1GB iPod nano?

AppleInsider posts additional information about potential announcements for MacWorld SF. The site claims Apple is shipping no less than 100 000 iPod nanos every day and is preparing to release a 1GB model.

The 1GB model could be priced $149, resulting in a drop price on the iPod shuffle product line as well. The iPod shuffle 512MB could be priced as low as $79.99 by early January according to the report.

Research reports show that it’s possible for Apple to offer such pricing and could be even very profitable for the company, considering that a 2GB iPod nano sale brings more money to Apple than a 4GB one.

What’s certain is that if these rumours are true, Apple will put even entry-level rivals definitely out of competition.

@ 6:33 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Events)
Powerbooks EOL’d? (UPDATE)

A reader of the French site MacGeneration also pointed out that the Powerbook 15″ is now considered as being in EOL status on some Fnac stores in Belgium. The EOL status is also reflected for both the 12 inch and the 15 inch models on the Fnac Belgium online store.

Although this is not a very reliable way to predict new product announcements, we can say it’s a sign that Apple might be preparing to release a new line of Powerbooks as well early next year.

As reported earlier today, many rumours and analysts are suggesting Apple will update at least its entry-evel laptops (iBooks) during MacWorld SF.

UPDATE: MacBidouille now reports that the iBook 12″ is also EOL’d in the French retailer’s online store.

@ 5:12 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Events)
Intel-based iBooks, Mac minis and new iPod shuffles at MacWorld?

It looks like big announcements are coming for MacWorld SF 2006 as rumour sites and analysts start to publish their speculations on the products that will be released by Apple during the annual event that takes place on January the 9th 2006.

Tapei Times claims that Apple will release lightweight iBooks. The new iBooks are said to weight only 1.5Kg instead of 2.2Kg for the 12 inch model and less than 2Kg instead of 2.6Kg for the 14″ inch one.

ThinkSecret also predicts the release of new iBooks along with Mac minis. Both line-ups will be based on the Intel Yonah dual core processor that will be branded Centrino Duo according to the site.

It is also confimed by ThinkSecret that Apple will release new iPod shuffles. This has already been predicted by many analysts and sounds quite obvious, considering Apple hasn’t updated this product line since their first release last year (only pricing slightly dropped).

Additionnally AppleInsider reports that the iPod shuffle is otally out of stock in its 1GB version which could mean the product would not be available until January.

December 16, 2005 @ 8:36 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Mac OS X, Software)
Mac OS X 10.4.4 8G22

AppleInsider and ThinkSecret report that another build of Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.4, numbered 8G22, has been seeded to developers this week.

This update will bring more than one hundred bug fixes to Apple’s operating system and should be released very soon, according to both sites.

According to ThinkSecret, an OpenGL bug is currently the only major issue that remains on the 8G22 build.

@ 10:16 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware, Strategy)
Briefly: Intel’s Napa, more iPod applications, Google and iTunes

Here is a catch-up with the latest news and rumours of the week.

Intel has revealed some details on its next generation of mobile processors called Napa earlier this week. This new processor architecture aims more than 60% of performance gain over current Pentium Ms while using less power. It is very likely that Apple’s first Intel-based laptops use this architecture.

AppleInsider points out some job postings suggesting that Apple could be working on additionnal software for its iPod. This software should be available on both Mac and Windows platforms according to the job offer’s required skills.

As CNET reports, this week, Google added to its search engine the possibility to find music that may be purchased from several online music stores including Apple’s iTunes and Real Networks’ Rhapsody.

December 14, 2005 @ 11:40 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware)
Apple to release its own iPod accessories

According to AppleInsider, Apple is going to release its own set of music accessories to enhance the iPod experience in January. They will be called iPod companions rather than iPod accessories though.

The author claims, among these accessories will be an iPod boombox with two boombox kind speakers, an iPod dock. It may be capable of streaming audio and storing music it in a hard-drive.

December 12, 2005 @ 6:11 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware)
Next iBook to get 13.3″ screen?

According to a ThinkSecret report, Apple’s next iBook may have a 13.3″ inch wide display.

The new screen of the iBook will have a WXGA resolution of 1280x720 pixels or about 15% more pixels than the current iBook.

The site claims that the current 12″ iBook could remain alive but the 12″ Powerbook’s days are counted.

In a report we published back in October 2004, anonymous sources had told MacosXrumors that the 12″ Powerbook would disappear and would be replaced by a 13.3″ laptop with higher resolutions. At that time, it was supposed to be a future Powerbook G4 though.

@ 5:59 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Mac OS X, Software)
Mac OS X 10.4.4 build 8G17

AppleInsider and ThinkSecret both confirm that Mac OS X 10.4.4 is coming soon, as Apple usually releases an update before the year end.

The build 8G17 that was seeded lasy week brings a number of bug fixes for graphics, FileManager and FileSystem according to ThinkSecret.

This update will bring more than one hundred bug fixes. Among them, “AirPort and Bluetooth wireless access, Spotlight indexing and searching, and RAW camera support”, according to AppleInsider.

December 11, 2005 @ 8:04 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Strategy)
iPod wireless… the next step?

According to an AP report, Citigroup Analyst Glen Yeung notes that Portal Player announced that it is planning to acquire a small company that is working on Wireless solutions for its digital audio devices chips.

Portal Player is the supplier of the chip that is inside most of the current iPods and 90% of its revenue comes from Apple iPods. It would not be surprising if Apple uses this new wireless-enabled chip in its next generation of iPods as says the analyst.

It is not the first time Apple is rumoured to be planning a wireless enabled iPod. First rumours started a short time after the company released its Airport Express home audio streaming solution about a year and a half ago.

December 9, 2005 @ 3:24 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Strategy)
Apple to drop FireWire on its laptops?

According to Jason D. O’Grady (PowerPage, posted on ZNet blog), Apple’s next generation iBook will not have a FireWire port but only USB2 ports. The site also claims that the next Powerbooks will only have a FireWire 800 port.

FireWire is a technology Apple has created and promoted for years. All of its products since the early G3s currently have a FireWire port, that also includes peripherials like the iPod or the iSight. Since the release of the iPod shuffle, every new iPod released has seen its support for the FireWire technology dropped in favor of Intel’s USB2 which isn’t known to be better.

We may speculate that this move is related to Apple’s commitment to Intel technologies, since the company announced earlier this year it was switching to Intel processors for its Macintosh products.

@ 1:30 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Mac OS X, Software, Strategy)
Apple developing Cocoa Framework on Windows?

As notices MacRumors, a message on the french site MacGeneration forums posted by an anonymous, claims that Apple is developing its Cocoa framework and development environment xCode to Windows.

It is also reported in the forums post that Apple will port Safari to Windows the day the first Intel-based Mac ships.

The idea is to promote Mac development tools and framework to Windows developers, allowing them to create really universal binaries, independant of the processor and the operating system (Mac OS/Windows).

Earlier OS projects have been doing the contrary. On Linux, Wine simulates (and not emulates) a Windows environment and can run Windows applications. Apple had also a similar project at the early stages of development of Mac OS X (Rhapsody at that time) but it dropped the “Yellow Box” project with the release of Mac OS X.

There are however some reasons to doubt on the credibility of this forum post, time will tell. Meanwhile, I let you make your own opinion on it by giving it a read.

December 6, 2005 @ 6:58 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Strategy, Events)
Apple finds new video content providers for iTunes (UPDATE)

Apple announced today that its adding video content from NBC, Sci Fi, USA Shows on iTunes. It also announced that more than 3 million videos were sold during the last two months.

iTunes now offers Law and Order, The Office, Surface, The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dragnet, Adam-12, Knight Rider (from NBC), Battlestar Galactica, Battlestar Galactica Miniseries (from Sci Fi) and Monk (from USA).

Apple’s stock price (AAPL) reached new all time high at $74.83 today on these good news and on positive analyst comments. UBS has raised its estimates for Apple to earnings of $0.58 (from $0.53), and revenue of $5.2B. UBS’ target price for Apple’s stock is now $86 (from $73). The stock closed at $74.05 and is now trading nearly $74.30 during the after hours trading session.

UPDATE: Apple posted a new Apple/NBC TV ad on its site promoting the new content.

December 4, 2005 @ 5:54 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Events)
iPod prices drop in France (UPDATE)

The French Apple Store updated the price of its iPods today so as to reflect significant drop of the piracy tax on digital audio devices. This tax, which is called te SORECOP tax, is paid to music majors so as to compensate piracy revenue loss. Other brands will also be able to reflect this tax drop on their pricing.

The tax for flash-based digital music devices was as much as 51� for 4GB of storage making it really expensive. Now the 2GB one now sells for 222.99� instead of 239� while the 4GB one sees an even more significant drop to 277.01� from 319�.

Apple also dropped the price of the iPod shuffle 512MB to 106.99� from 109� and the 1GB version is now priced 142� instead of 149�. The 5G iPod saw a price drop as well. The 30GB version costs 325� instead of 349� and the 60GB version costs 446� instead of 449�.

Now the iPod nano becomes really affordable in France too, especially for students which can buy for example an iPod nano 2Gb for 205.74�.

This week, it was also announced that Japan has rejected the tax for digital audio players as well.

UPDATE: Some MacBidouille readers report that Apple refunds the tax to recent iPod buyers! This has yet to be confirmed though.

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