Well, Duh: Apple Said To Release Adapter For The New iPhone’s Tiny Dock Connector

iphone-5 connector

Earlier today, a Reuters report added more fuel to a particularly nitpicky fire — according to its typically unnamed sources, Apple’s new iPhone indeed sports a smaller, 19 pin dock connector instead of the 30 pin relic the company’s iDevices have clung to for years.

The news itself isn’t particularly shocking — our own John Biggs locked down the 19-pin number last month — but now a new report from iMore points to an even less surprising development. The Cupertino company is allegedly working on a dock connector adapter to keep those iDevice accessories from becoming completely obsolete, or so the story from iMore’s supply chain sources go.

Yeah, There’s literally no way that Apple would risk pissing off longtime iDevice owners by making their scores of old accessories useless in one fell swoop. Sadly, that’s all iMore was able to confirm. At this point, there’s still no word on whether or not such an adapter will find its way inside the new iPhone’s box, nor how much it will cost customers to purchase it separately.

While Apple hasn’t officially confirmed any of this (and don’t expect them to until September at the earliest), there’s more than enough smoke to signal a fire here. What’s more, the incessant clatter of the rumor mill points to plenty of big hardware additions — a larger screen, an LTE radio, NFC, and more — so it’s not much of a stretch to imagine Apple grappling with the prospect of squeezing everything into a slim new chassis.

Like it or not, this sort of move isn’t anything new for Apple. Most recently, the company launched the new MacBook Air and retina MacBook Pro with smaller MagSafe connectors because of their slimmer frames, but Apple has attempted to ease the pain by selling an adapter for $9.99.

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The $99 Vizio Co-Star Google TV Box Is Now Available To Pre-Order


Vizio pulled off a sort of coup with the Co-Star. This $99 Google TV box packs more features than Sony’s latest model and is half the price. Plus, I think the novel UI looks better than the standard Google TV interface. The box, which was announced last month, is now available for pre-order. It costs $99 and will ship August 14th.

The Co-Star ships with a dual-sided remote: QWERTY on one side and a touchpad on the other. A dual-core Marvell Armada 1500 powers the device. It sports the typical apps such as Netflix and Amazon, but also Onlive, which is the Co-Star’s prime attraction.

Onlive turns the Co-Star into a legitimate gaming machine. Owners simply need to pair one of the OnLive controllers to the box. From there, as long as the owner pays for the Onlive service, games are streamed to the box. And as someone who has played with Onlive since the beginning, I can attest that the service has matured from a novelty to a real thing. There is a touch of latency, but it’s hardly noticeable after a few minutes of playing. It’s almost like your mind adjusts for it.

With OnLive, a good price and Vizio’s typical stellar distribution, the Co-Star could turn out to be the star player Google TV so desperately needs.

Onlive develops server-based video game processing, allowing games to run without game consoles or high-end computers, moving away from a system in which games are purchased and downloaded.

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Amazon Finally Cracking Down On 3G Browsing Cap


There’s a little-known stipulation in Amazon’s 3G browsing, available primarily on their e-ink devices. Ostensibly, downloading items over 3G is completely free but browsing the web using the device’s weird and slow experimental interface is capped at 50MB. Most users have never hit that cap and there haven’t been many reports of actual notifications.

That’s recently changed. One user of the Kindle Keyboard 3G noticed the message when he was browsing the web in Canada. He received a message that said he could only browse Amazon.com, Wikipedia, and the Kindle Store. Wi-Fi access was unaffected.

In the terms of use, Amazon notes:

The Experimental Web Browser is currently only available for some customers outside of the United States and may be limited to 50MB of browsing over 3G per month. This limit does not apply when customers are browsing over Wi-Fi.

This could be a reaction to folks tethering their Kindles, resulting in a tragedy of the commons effect where some users are using a piddling amount of data while others are blowing out Amazon’s allocations in a few hours.

via Digital Reader

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As Nokia Completes Scalado Buy, Another ex-Nokia Spinoff Emerges: Oulutalent


Today Nokia announced that its deal to buy imaging company Scalado has been finalized — a sign of another piece of the puzzle falling into place for Nokia as it continues to restructure to reverse huge declines in handset sales. But that dark, Finnish cloud has a silver lining that we’ve been noticing: the emergence of a bunch of startups being formed by many among the 40,000 people that have been laid off. The other day we wrote about how some of the smaller players have been picking up funding from Nokia courtesy of its Bridge program. And now we’ve come across what might possibly be one of the more ambitious spin-offs yet.

Oulutalent is a team of no less than 500 former-Nokia employees based in the town of Oulu. The skills on offer, and the ready-made team, is a testament to what Nokia has had to drop by the wayside, but also what is on the market for the many tech companies out there fighting the war for talent.

Averaging more than 10 years of experience, the group claims to have “created over 50 devices including major blockbusters. In addition to devices, we have done novel cloud services and UI platforms from scratch. We are on the leading edge with touch and LTE phones, Linux and WiMax tablets and we have world-class technical competence on all.”

The group is being led by Pekka Väyrynen, an engineer who developed patented wireless technology for Nokia (that is, the patents that are reported worth up to $6 billion and may well start getting sold off to help Nokia’s cash position).

Effectively, what we have in Oulutalent is a handset-making operation that could in theory be bolted on to a company with mobile ambitions (Amazon? A new Asian entrant? Nokia’s MeeGo spinoff Jolla?); or one that is growing already and needs to expand. It plays on the big area of outsourced operations — something that may have been too expensive for Nokia to maintain may well be hard for another as well; this lets that cost stay off the balance sheet.

Oulutalent notes that it can provide a range of consulting and technical services, from identifying market opportunities and planning product portfolios; to “concepting” (covering hardware and user experience, simulation and prototyping); turning those concepts into products; and then helping with the aftersales.

One twist is that the team is not in full effect yet, with some employees still working out their terms with Nokia, according to a spokesperson for the company.

And another is whether Oulutalent will be able to prove to the market that it’s worth the investment: its success is partly dependent on whether others believe Nokia’s downfall was mainly due to some bad decisions from management; or whether it was also down to those executing on decisions.

Oulutalent is offering itself as a group for “turn-key product creation,” but there may be possibilities to engage smaller teams, too. That is the approach being taken by a similar project called Kyvyt (Finnish for “talent”). Despite its Finnish name, Kyvyt is based in the German town of Ulm, where Nokia also had a large team of people who apparently were working on its low-end Linux based platform Meltemi (another project Nokia left on the cutting-room floor). Kyvyt is offering out its pool of talent as and where it is needed, and it is also running events like job fairs, as well as posting job adverts on its site.

The Oulutalent spokesperson says that it will cooperate with Kyvyt, although declined to specify what that will mean. More detailed information, she says, will be coming out in coming weeks.

Ironically, as Nokia has been cutting staff, it’s taken a few on, too, to focus on areas where it hopes to stand out against handset competitors. The Scalado purchase will see some 50 people join Nokia’s smartphone operations in Lund, Sweden, where Nokia will be incorporating Scalado’s technologies and IP into its imaging business:

“We believe that this acquisition will strengthen Nokia’s leading position in mobile imaging and provide us with a great opportunity to create even better imaging products and applications,” Jo Harlow, executive vice president, Smart Devices at Nokia, said in a statement.

In the bigger picture, Nokia has insisted that it is safe and secure as far as cash reserves are concerned, but at the same time it’s running out of goodwill with the investment community: Nokia’s debt rating yesterday was cut once again by Moody’s, as the agency noted that losses in the current quarter will be even greater than previously thought. The three major credit agencies, Standard & Poor’s; Fitch and Moody’s have all now graded Nokia’s debt down to “junk” status.

Nokia, as before, has said that the “impact on the company is limited” with the company taking action to turn things around. The company says at the end of June it had a cash balance of €9.4 billion and a net cash balance of €4.2 billion, both higher than a year ago.

It’s not clear who is providing the capital to finance Oulutalent, although the Bridge program we wrote about before is basically restricted to startups of four people or less, so it’s unlikely to play a role here. We’re asking questions and will update as we learn more.

Nokia is a Finnish multinational communications corporation. It is primarily engaged in the manufacturing of mobile devices and in converging Internet and communications industries. They make a wide range of mobile devices with services and software that enable people to experience music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games, business mobility and more. Nokia is the owner of Symbian operation system and partially owns MeeGo operating system.

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Analyst: iPhone 5, iPad Mini Coming In September


Apple’s next-gen iPhone — and the much-talked about (but yet unseen) iPad mini — are some of the most hotly anticipated gadgets of the year. And according to a report by relatively on-point KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new iPhone and iPad mini will launch in September.

Thus far, we’ve heard that the iPhone 5 will have a larger 4.08-inch display maintaining the same width as current models, at 640 pixels. TechCrunch has also confirmed — along with Reuters more recently — that the new iPhone will replace its original 30-pin connector dock with a 19-pin mini port.

The iPad mini, on the other hand, is said to be the same thickness as the iPod touch 4G, with a screen measuring 7.85-inches. He expects that iPad mini sales should hit 1.8 million units during the time its available (1-2 weeks) in Q3.

Of course, Kuo (and the rest of the world) expects Q4 numbers for both products to be ridiculously high, with iPhone projections at 55 million units and iPad estimates hitting 24 million (including both iPad mini, new iPad, and iPad 2).

Here’s Kuo’s official word:

Though shipments of iPad mini’s components will start in August, the new iPad line will end production, ready for transition to a modified New iPad line. As such, component shipments will drop in August as iPad mini’s components shipments growth will be offset. On a side note, the modified New iPad shares the same exterior as the original model, but contains modifications to correct its thermal dissipation problem and lower-cost components.

The September timeline is just a prediction made by this analyst, but it makes sense considering we’ve already heard that the iPhone is in production.

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook Air) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod, the…

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Apple’s iPhone was introduced at MacWorld in January 2007 and officially went on sale June 29, 2007, selling 146,000 units within the first weekend of launch. The phone has been hailed as revolutionary with its bundle of advanced mobile web browsing, music and video playback, and touch screen controls. The iPhone is exclusively carried on the networks of both AT&T and Verizon in the U.S. An iPhone can function as a video camera (video recording was not a standard feature…

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The Apple iPad, formerly referred to as the Apple Tablet, is a touch-pad tablet computer announced in January 2010, and released in April 2010. It has internet capabilities running on either WiFi or 3G, and offers an optional dock with a full size mechanical keyboard. The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content. Its size and…

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