January 4, 2006 @ 12:17 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware, Events)
Apple to bring more pro video products this year

According to ThinkSecret, Apple will unveil several video products during NAB 2006 which takes place on April the …. The new products expected to be released include Final Cut Pro 6, Final Cut Extreme, an even higher definition 30″ display and an improved XServe RAID.

No details are given about Final Cut Pro 6.0, but ThinkSecret claims that Apple is going to launch a new product called Final Cut Extreme. This new product will be very high-end and will directly compete with AVID products while it will be similarly priced at around $10 000.

As for the hardware, Apple is expected to release a larger than 30″ display with resolution upgraded to 4520x2540 pixels and improve its XServe RAID with an InfiniBand link instead of the current fibre channel link.

@ 6:19 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
Apple updates Airport Express and Airport Extreme

Apple has posted a firmware update for Airport Express (to version 6.3) and Airport Extreme (to version 5.7).

Fixes for Airport Express 6.3 and Airport Extreme 5.7 firmware:

-Resolves issue with Audio dropout when playing to AirPort Express with AirTunes
-Resolves issue with Wireless Disabled mode for AirPort Express
-Resolves issue with AirPort Extreme LAN Performance
-Resolves issue when enabling AOL Parental Controls
-Resolves issue with vulnerability to Denial of Service Attacks (bonk)
-Resolves issue with wireless internet access through AirPort via some PPPoA DSL Routers
-Improved reliability when printing through AirPort base stations
-Improved support for RADIUS servers
-Improved support for Network Time Servers (NTP) for AirPort when using an IP addresses

Both updates are available from Apple’s support web site.

January 3, 2006 @ 3:19 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
Apple updates Bluetooth

Apple has posted a firmware update for Bluetooth on its web site.

Here is the description of the update provided by Apple:

The Bluetooth Firmware Update 1.2 improves Bluetooth performance and reliability issues.

When the update package is downloaded, the Bluetooth Firmware Updater application will be launched. Follow the on screen directions to update your Bluetooth Firmware.

The Bluetooth Firmware Updater supports D-Link USB Adapters and Apple internal Bluetooth modules on the following CPUs:
iMac G4
12″ PowerBook
15″ PowerBook
iMac G5
Mac Mini

January 2, 2006 @ 3:23 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Strategy)
MacTels to get more USB ports, keep Firewire

According to reports, Apple will add more USB 2.0 ports to its Mac line-ups along with the switch to the Intel architecture this year at the request of its customers. The company is however expected to keep at least one FireWire port on each of its MacTel products.

Last month, Jason D. O’Grady reported that Apple may be abandoning FireWire on its entry-level laptops in the near future. The news shocked the Mac community as Mac fans hardly believed this could be possible.

Commenting on O’Grady’s report, sources denied the recent rumours and said that the company will add more USB 2.0 ports to its Macs as it’s a major request from customers but it is also claimed that Apple won’t remove totally FireWire “from any existing product line”. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions on the use of the word “existing” in one of their comment.

O’Grady’s report is not totally inaccurate though, as sources do not exclude that Apple could reduce the number of FireWire ports on its Macs in favor of USB. As example, sources mentioned the possibility that the forthcoming PowerBooks include only one FireWire 800 port, confirming a point of O’Grady’s report.

Sources also mentioned the possibility that Apple provides an adaptor that splits a FireWire 800 port into two FireWire 400 ports and claim it is technically feasible. We could not verify if this “FireWire adaptor thing” is possible or not though. So if anyone of you can confirm this, please drop us a mail.

No details were provided on how many USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 or 800 ports Apple’s next generation Mac desktops and laptops will have.

@ 3:22 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware, Strategy, Events)
1TB of monthly bandwidth on .Mac (UPDATE)

Tuaw.com reports (dated 31/12/2006) that Apple has enabled a monthly bandwidth of 1TB a month for each .Mac member. A screenshot is available at World of Apple blog.

The Mac-centric web scpeculates that this could have something to do with a recent report from ThinkSecret claiming that Apple is planning to launch an online video on demand service, with content stored remotely, during MacWorld Expo 2006.

Apple was previously offering 10GB per month to its .Mac customers.

UPDATE: European readers report that they don’t see the upgrade reflected on their accounts.

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 has not been accurate 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 22, 2005 @ 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 @ 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.

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.

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.

December 3, 2005 @ 3:38 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware, Strategy, Events)
New media content system in January?

According to ThinkSecret, Apple will release a new version of the Mac mini and a new version of Front Row, along with a media content system in January.

The site claims that Apple will announce deals with many major studios that will provide movies, video clips and TV shows to this system.

However, the content will never reach the hard disk of the user. Apple will announce a very sophisticated DRM based system that will store all the content you downloaded in a kind of iDisk internet storage space. The author says he doesn’t know if the use of this system will require a .Mac account though.

The site also wonders if the new system will be only available on the Mac mini or if it will be included in all the Mac line-ups.

November 30, 2005 @ 9:07 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
Apple posts iPod Updater 2005-11-17

Apple has just released iPod Updater 2005-11-17 through the Software Update utility. The update, which weights 36.8MB, can be applied to all the iPods but will improve only the iPod shuffle.

Here is the description provided by Apple: (more…)

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