Tag: ipad 2

Apple slapped with $1.9 million fine Down Under

Apple has been slapped with a $1.9 million fine after it agreed to settle a case brought by Australian regulators.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was not all that thrilled by the fact that Apple marketed the new iPad as a 4G device in Australia, namely because its 4G LTE chips does not support Aussie 4G frequency bands. Regulators argued that Apple’s claims mislead consumers, who believed they could use Telstra’s 4G network.

Apple eventually agreed to drop the “Wi-Fi +4G” branding from the iPad and substitute it with something a bit more truthful, “Wi-Fi + Cellular.” Apple originally argued that some network frequencies classified as 3G in Australia operate as 4G elsewhere. Eventually Apple decided that it is better to take a slap on the wrist and make the whole problem go away.

In addition to the US$1.9 million fine, Apple will also have to settle court costs estimated at A$ 300,000. It doesn’t sound like much for Apple to stomach, after all the outfit claims to have sold more than three million new iPads worldwide since March, and sales of the old iPad 2 are still going strong. 

Proview convinces court to seize Apple's iPad

Proview Shenzhen, the company which insisted that Apple’s iPad infringed on its own trademark and not the other way around, has convinced Shijiazhuang investigators to seize iPad 2s from the shelves.

Late last year, Apple suits were telling Proview that it was most certainly in the wrong and needed to bow down and admit defeat – the iPad was Apple’s trademark. Unfortunately for Apple, its reality distortion field was out of charge and Proview showed the Intermediate People’s Court in Shenzhen, China a lawfully registered trademark for iPad back in 2000. 

As TechEye commenter rich the engineer said at the time: “Communists are never impressed with religious arguments” and the courts chucked the book at Apple. Proview’s argument was that, although Apple had bought the rights to the iPad trademark from an affiliated company in Taiwan, Proview could still use the name on its home turf.

Gao Wei, of the inspection team, told the Chinese press: “We are now combing the sales records of the Apple stores where we confiscated the iPads”.

Now, according to the Telegraph, a two-day probe saw 45 of Apple’s iPad 2s taken off the shelves. Apple stores will have to face a mystery fine.

Foxconn tipped for next gen iPad production

Terry Gou’s manufacturing churn-house Foxconn is tipped to be producing Apple’s next generation iPads as early as January and ramping up production in February.

Other manufacturers are rumoured to be sending in parts and components for a new line of Apple tablets to OEM contractors and cutting down on shipping the innards of the iPad 2. 

Chinese sources are suggesting that the iPad 2 production lines will keep piecing the tablet together over the fourth quarter of 2011 – at up to 15 million units – but that will drop sharply in the first quarter of 2012 to as little as 4 million units.

Digitimes has heard on the grapevine that Foxconn won the contract for a new generation of iPads. The sources expect a next gen line to hit 9.8 million units in Q1 2012. Some other murmurings in the East reckon rival manufacturer Pegatron will have the lion’s share of the order for the iPad 3. 

Apple is, of course, maintaining a deafening silence about future products. 

Early Kindle Fire teardown appears

Industry tinkerers at IHS have begun their tearing apart of Amazon’s upcoming offering, the Kindle Fire tablet, and have found some surprises.

Actually, the Fire isn’t going to cost Amazon as much as early analyst predictions. The online retailler managed to secure some budget components, using procurement advantages, meaning although the tablet is still subsidised it won’t cost as much for the company. 

Up against Apple and the iPad – though at a far cheaper price point – Amazon has stuck a lower capacity battery into the Fire than Cupertino’s product, or even RIM’s Playbook. Its got basic 4Gbits of low-power mobile DRAM, according to IHS, compared to newer smartphones on the block which tend to run at 8Gbits. 

The Fire’s battery capacity runs at less than RIM’s PlayBook, which has 20 Watt-hours, and the iPad 2 which has 26 Watt-hours. Amazon’s product sits at roughly 16 hours. 

Other tricks to keep the price down, says IHS, include the teeny 7-inch display, eschewing 3G and 4G, and using plastic and stamped components instead of aluminium. In fact, the Fire won’t even have the magnesium found in the cheap-as-chips regular Kindle.

Amazon also decided against a wireless module which would integrate WLAN, Bluetooth and FM radio, plumping for a WLAN-only model from Jorjin. It’s based on Texas Instruments‘ WL1270, which is a WLAN only chip that has made few appearances in the wild.

Still, IHS predicts the suppliers are going to turn quite the buck from the Fire, in particular Texas Instruments. Because TI won contracts for all of the major integrated circuit slots, it should benefit from $24 worth of TI design for every Fire flogged. 

*Update IHS has updated its bill of materials outlook. Preliminary figures suggest that, including manufacturing service expenses, the cost sits at $201.70. The BoM by itself is $185.60, slightly trimmed down from September predictions of $191.65 and $209.63 in total.

The most expensive part of the Fire is its display, which runs into $87 or 46.9 percent of the full bill of materials, making use of E Ink Holding’s FFS technology as licensed by LG Display. 
It’s got 8 gigabytes of eMMC NAND flash memory, says IHS, which looks to have been supplied by Samsung. Elpida supplies the 4 gigabites of DRAM, meaning the memory cost $22.10 or 11.9 percent of the bill of materials.

Britons wish for iPad 2 over world peace

You can never trust these PR surveys too much, but one has just suggested that the good people of Britain, if they could have any wish, would prefer an iPad 2 over world peace.

Topping the list was ‘one million pounds’, presumably because with that you can buy many, many iPad 2s.

The rest of the chart is a grim suggestion about the state of affairs – other entries were ‘be famous’, ‘cosmetic surgery’, ‘sports car’, ‘mansion’, ‘meet a celebrity’ and ‘own a designer wardrobe’.

One, who clearly missed out on the JD Sports free-for-all this grim summer, said they’d like an unlimited supply of new trainers. 

The problem with these surveys is whoever conducts the research can pick and choose who they ask and what they ask. It looks like Tellallofmyfriends.com exclusively inquired with under-18s at the early auditions of The X Factor, or at least you’d hope so.

Apple still reigns in UK tablet market

If there’s one thing the people of Britain like, it’s binge drinking. But if there is more than one thing, they’re also into tablet computers, at least according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech [sic] and its tablet tracker.

Of course, what this means at the moment is that people enjoy using the iPad. The next nearest competition is from Samsung’s Galaxy range, holding a massive six percent, which is way, way too much Apple’s lawyers will agree. 

What is interesting about the forecast is that the beancounters expect the tablet trend to continue.

Thanks partly due to all the adverts last Christmas, consumer awareness of the luxury devices is at an all time high in the UK. Of the people it asked, the researchers found roughly a third  fancied some sort of tablet next year, but were not sure which brand to go for.

Of course, it’s no surprise Apple’s iPad remains the top dog. Most people on the street will be more aware of the iPad than tablets in general, it was the first to market, caused the tablet boom, and spurred copycats. Apple did not invent the tablet but it did rebrand it and make it desirable.

With others on the ropes thanks to aggressive legal footwork from Apple, it’s tough to see a competitor in plain sight, but perhaps Google will manage something now that it has the hardware weight of Motorola on its side.

Windows 8 should be some kind of spanner in the works if Microsoft does it right.

Earlier this year, we heard how Samsung execs were surprised at the popularity of their devices, despite coming a clear second, because the first generation was only on the market for the sake of being on the market.

Meanwhile, HP pulled its TouchPad from the shelves. At a knock down price on its way out, the device sold like hot cakes and is proof that competition is possible if you can get the price right.

Yet another fake Steve Jobs doppelganger surfaces in Taiwan

Apparently, the Doppelganger Effect in Taiwan doesn’t stop, and this week, an entirely new TV commercial with a new American expat playing the role of “Steve Jobs” has begun airing on TV screens across Jobs-infatuated Isla Formosa. 

Again, no word on whether Apple execs have seen the advert (most likely not) or if they intend to sue for infringment of copyright and lookalike trademarkedness (most probably there is no lawsuit in the pipeline).

This new fake Steve Jobs comes at a sensitive time in Apple’s corporate history. While Taiwanese are more than respectful of the ailing tech wizard’s health and are certainly cheering for him to make a speedy recovery, the new TV spot – just 15 seconds long – was made before the resignation letter was released.

It was planned at least two months ago when it was shot in a Taipei studio for a local snack company called Vedan Enterprise Corporation in central Taiwan’s bustling ”second city” of Taichung.

The new spot is also giving away a free iPad to those who buy the junk food snack packs and enter a drawing, Kety Chen at Vedan told this gimlet-eyed doppelganger sleuth by phone.

While not as good a lookalike as Mr Jobs as Brook Hall was in that earlier TV spot for a popular tea drink (now off the air in Taiwan, but archived for all eternity on YouTube, with over 200,000 hits and counting), this new fake Apple CEO looks the part if one stretches the imagination across the seas and plants it firmly in Asian terra firma.

And yes, this new snack food advert is making waves in the Chinese-language blogosphere and giving Jobs fans in Taiwan and around the world another viral video to file away in the doppelganger department. 

Sadly, it comes at a sad time in Jobs career, and we wish him the best of health from here on out.

Ancient idea of paperless office touted again

In 1975, the venerable Business Week touted the idea of the paperless office. That was around about the time that people were predicting that computers would give us heaps of leisure time to do all those things we wanted to do, such as spending more time with our kids, thinking, and other fun things.

These two paradises never came to be. Instead computers have not only caused countless layoffs, our security systems depend on the unreliable pesky things and worse than that, we and our kids are locked into computer screens, into our smartphones and our DSes, and it’s now not considered bad manners, in mid conversation, to pick up your CrackBerry and read your emails.

But today the chimera of the paperless office is being touted again. ICSA Software, a company selling something called Blueprint Boardpad 2, claims that board meetings of the UK’s largest companies will be “completely paper free by 2014”.

It is not entirely disinterested in the matter of course – it has just released a miracle application for the iPad.
Group CEO, Mike Evans claims: “No other application can guarantee the same security of data and offer so many features that save time, reduce waste and cut the huge cost of board meetings for large companies. In the future, every large company will move to a system like this one but, currently, Blueprint BoardPad 2 is far and away the most advanced.” He would say that.

It also has advanced security features, Evans said.

This may be good news for makers of tablet like Apple, but if Evans’ prediction, made 36 years after the idea was first proposed, will cost fear, trembling and malediction in some boardrooms. We suspect that makers of printers are relying on us humanoids to keep printing out those bits of paper rather than endlessly gazing into screens, however bright and shiny they are.

Steve Jobs boards the Chariot of Fire

The final book of Jobs

1: And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Jobs into heaven by a whirlwind, that Jobs went with Cook from Cappuccino. 2: And Jobs said unto Cook, “I have decided that the LORD hath got it all wrong and the universe is being mismanaged. Therefore I have come unto you to say I am going to sort out the LORD and tell him what he needs to do.” 3: And the sons of the fanboys that were at Bethel came forth to Cook , and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away Jobs from thy head today? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. 4: And the Fanboys did say unto Cook that he should not let Jobs depart into heaven, for without him there would not be the toys that shineth, and they would have too much money in their bank accounts. 5: And Cook did spake and say: “If Jobs departeth unto heaven there shall be toys that shineth and new ideas for the Children of Apple should follow him.” 6: And Fanboys did spake and say unto Cook: “But Lo that you and Jobs have been telling us that all innovation is naught which proceedeth not from the mouth of our Jobs” 7: And Cook said unto Jobs: “Look, if thou bugger off to sort out the Almighty, how will I convince the fanboys to follow me?” 8: And Jobs took his iPad, and unto Cook. I hand unto thee my contact book of Tame Journalists and I have sent out an email unto them where they will write long diatribes about how it will be “business as usual at Apple” while I am sorting out God. Even unto Richard Quest on Cnn who shall write screeds of depressed stories as if his dog hath died. 9: And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Jobs, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Cook said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 10: And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing for thou art simply a mortal and carry none of my genius. For thou shall not be the head of my new religion, and I shall give you the keys to my drinks cabinet. But the fanboys shall only worship the One True Jobs and will only buy stuff that they think I shall like. 11: And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Jobs went up by a whirlwind into heaven to tell the LORD how to run things. 12: And Cook saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more and took hold of his own iPad and cleaved it in twain out of grief. 13: He took up also the iPad of Jobs that fell from him, and went back, and stood by Starbucks; 14: And he took the iPad of Jobs that fell from him, and did email the Tame Apple Press and they asked him “Where is the LORD God Jobs? “ and he said unto them “Meet me, sent unto my iPad” . 15: And when the Tame Apple Press saw him, they said, The spirit of Jobs doth rest on Cook. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 16: And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy fanboys let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master Jobs: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And Cooke said, Ye shall not send (sent from my iPad) 17: They sent therefore fifty fanboys and they sought three days, but found him not. 18: And the Tame Apple Press said unto Cook , Behold, I pray thee, the situation of thine Company is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the the innovation is naught, the ground barren and the share price is inflated. 19: And he said, Bring me a new iPad, and flatten it by taking out the chip. And they brought it to him. And Cook went forth unto the fanboys and he spake and said “The Spirit of Jobs is upon me and I give thee a super thin tablet.” 20: And the Tame Apple Press asketh: “Does it work?” And Cook said unto them “Of course it worketh not, but we shall make it even more expensive.” 21: And the Tame Apple Press did enthuse, even unto the New York Times which was so excited it came. Great was the orgasm of the New York Times. 23: And people did say that there was a halo upon Cook from that day forth, and they knew that the word of Jobs was coming from him.

Channel partners begin iPad 3 bean spilling

Channel and manufacturing partners are loosening their lips with a staggering amount of information about the iPad 3 over in Taiwan.

Taiwan Economic News has the scoop. According to its sources, some of the components and assembly line will remain the same. LG Display will be supplying the panels for the iPad 3, and Hon Hai, aka Foxconn, will mostly put the machines together. 

More panel makers enter the fray from Taiwan, which is good news for that country’s industry in general, including a backlight module producer that already has Apple backing called Radiant Opto-Electronics Corp. Panel makers TPK and Wintek will be in the chain. TPK has allegedly penned in delivery for September, with monthly shipments reaching up to one million units by December.

As the tiff with former Frenemy Samsung escalates about competing products and intellectual property, Apple is reportedly digging its heels in by heading to Japan’s Sharp instead. Sharp has, the Taiwanese sources say, started a new production line for Apple alone.

Apple plans to take a couple of steps back from its heavy reliance on Foxconn’s work, CENS says, and will introduce Pegatron into the assembly line as a back-up to keep production steady.

Sources say Cupertino opened its eyes when a Hon Hai building blew up and prompted a glitch in Apple’s iPad 2 supply line.