Monthly Archives: May 2013

Apple Raises iPad and iPod Prices in Japan


Apple has raised the prices for the iPad, the iPad mini, and the iPod touch in its Japanese online store, Business Insider editor Joseph Weisenthal noted on Twitter (via NHK).

Over the past several months, the Japanese yen has weakened in value, hitting ¥100.69 against the dollar earlier today, which is said to be the reason why Apple has increased its prices.


Previously, the entry level fourth generation iPad and iPad mini were priced at ¥42,800 and ¥28,800, respectively. As of today, the prices for the base products are ¥49,800 and ¥32,800. The increase is equivalent to approximately $40 for the iPad mini and $70 for the iPad, raising the price of the iPad mini to $324 and the price of the iPad to $492.87.

The iPod touch has also had its price inflated, with the entry level 32GB 5th generation version now priced at ¥29,800, up from ¥24,800.

This is not the first time that Apple has raised the price of its products. In 2011, the company began charging more for all of its products in the UK in order to compensate for an increased VAT tax.  by macrumors

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Posted by on 31/05/2013 in IT


Nuance CEO Confirms Siri Partnership with Apple

siri_iconNuance has long been given credit for powering Siri’s speech recognition capabilities, but neither the company nor Apple have ever confirmed the partnership, until today. Speaking at the D11: All Things Digital conference in Palos Verdes, California, Nuance CEO Paul Ricci admitted that Nuance technology powers Siri.

“We’re a fundamental provider for Apple,” he said.

Though Nuance did not previously admit to an Apple partnership, there have been numerous hints that all but confirmed Nuance’s Siri role. Siri, which was acquired by Apple in 2010, was built using voice recognition technology from Nuance, and in 2011, pre-release iOS 5 screenshots revealed hidden Nuance preferences.

Besides powering Siri, Nuance has its own dictation and speech recognition software. It has also formed partnerships with several other companies and Siri competitors, such as Amazon’s Evi, and released an API for developers.

Though Nuance is responsible for Siri’s voice recognition capabilities, Ricci did point out (via The Next Web) that other Siri abilities are the work of other companies. Siri integrates with many different services to provide query results, like Yelp, OpenTable and Wolfram Alpha.

Apple is expected to increase Siri integration across its products with both iOS 7 and OS X 10.9. Reports from earlier this year suggested that Apple was working closely with car makers to provide more comprehensive “Eyes-Free” in-car Siri integration and OS X 10.9 is rumored to include Siri support.  by macrumors

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Posted by on 31/05/2013 in IT


Apple Cuts Education Pricing on Non-Retina 13-Inch MacBook Pro, Now Starts at $999


Alongside today’s introduction of a new stripped-down 16 GB iPod touch, Apple has also reduced pricing for educational customers on its 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro. The prices have been cut by $100 for both the low-end and high-end stock configurations, bringing pricing down to $999 and $1299 respectively. The new prices on both models are $200 below Apple’s standard retail pricing.

Education pricing on the non-Retina 15-inch model remains unchanged at $1699, while the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro continues to start at $1399 for education customers. The discounted education pricing is available to employees of K-12 schools as well as faculty, staff, students, and parents of students at higher education institutions.

(Thanks, James!) by macrumors

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Posted by on 31/05/2013 in IT


Apple Reaches Milestone of 100 Million iPod Touch Units Sold


Following today’s launch of a new stripped-down 16 GB fifth-generation iPod touch, The Loop reports Apple has disclosed that the company has reached a milestone for the device with over 100 million units sold since its launch in 2007.

    In addition to launching a new model of its iPod touch on Thursday, Apple told me this morning that it has sold more than 100 million units of the iPod touch since its introduction.

    The iPod touch was launched in 2007 and took the design of the iPhone, minus the calling ability. It has since become one of Apple’s most popular products.
Historically, Apple has not disclosed the number of iPod touch units it sells each quarter, generally announcing only that the device accounts for more than half of the company’s total iPod sales. The company revealed in documents filed in its lawsuit against Samsung last year that it had sold 46.5 million iPod touch units in the United States alone, but firm numbers have otherwise been difficult to come by.  by macrumors

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Posted by on 31/05/2013 in IT


San Francisco Mayor to Take Another Look at Apple’s Proposed Union Square Store Following Criticism


Earlier this week, the San Francisco Chronicle addressed some criticisms of Apple’s proposed flagship store for the city’s Union Square retail district, a store that would replace the current flagship a few blocks to the south. While the announcement of Apple’s plans several weeks ago had been accompanied by glowing remarks from city politicians, critics have pointed to a long blank wall along Stockton Street and the removal of a popular fountain behind the store as significant issues for the plans.
The Chronicle now follows up on the situation, quoting San Francisco mayor Ed Lee as saying that he hadn’t realized Apple’s plans called for removal of the fountain and reporting that he would be taking another look to see if it could be kept.

    “We weren’t necessarily focused on that side,” Lee said, referring to a plaza along Stockton Street where the fountain stands. “It wasn’t part of our discussion.” […]

    “I need to take a look and visualize” how the fountain would or would not complement Apple’s proposal for a raised narrow plaza between its store and the Grand Hyatt. The hotel tower was built in tandem with the plaza and the retail building in the early 1970s. “We have to see whether it might fit in.”

Lee also addressed the issue of the 80 foot-long blank wall along Stockton Street, noting that city officials had raised objections to it during initial discussions and that Apple had been “very receptive” to those concerns. The city places distinct emphasis on activating the street-level experience in the pedestrian-oriented Union Square shopping district, and Apple’s plans would create a significant gap in that experience.

The project still needs to proceed through reviews by the city’s planning and historic preservation commissions, and it could see tweaks as a result of discussions with those groups. Apple has not commented further on the project, and the Grand Hyatt hotel that owns the property and fountain simply notes that “it’s too premature” to address whether there may be changes to the proposal.  by macrumors

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Posted by on 31/05/2013 in IT


Apple Launches New 16 GB iPod Touch With No Rear Camera for $229


Apple today made a quiet update to its iPod touch lineup, launching a new 16 GB fifth-generation model without a rear camera for $229. The new iPod touch, which is only available with a black front and silver back, replaces the fourth-generation iPod touch that Apple had continued to offer since the introduction of new models late last year. The new model is available now in Apple’s online store and should be available in the company’s retail stores starting tomorrow.
Apple introduced the redesigned fifth-generation iPod touch last September with the same 4-inch display seen on the iPhone 5 and a number of other enhancements. But with the new hardware pushing the entry-level price to $299 for a 32 GB model, Apple decided to continue offering the fourth-generation models at cheaper $199 (16 GB) and $249 (32 GB) price points.

Now, with production on the fifth-generation models having been underway for roughly eight months, Apple has found a way to shave costs through both natural component cost declines and the removal of several features to be able to offer a stripped-down fifth-generation model at pricing close to that previously offered for the fourth-generation models. Beyond the loss of a rear camera, the new entry-level iPod touch also omits Apple’s “Loop” wrist strap introduced on the fifth-generation models last year.

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted that Apple would discontinue the fourth-generation iPod touch in favor of a stripped-down fifth-generation model without a rear camera. Kuo had believed that Apple would introduce an 8 GB version of that device for $199, but Apple apparently decided that 16 GB of storage should be the minimum for the iPod touch lineup. by macrumors

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Posted by on 31/05/2013 in IT


Samsung’s 65- and 55-inch 4K TVs launch next month in Korea for less than $8,000


Samsung’s first 4K TV came with an eye catching 85-inch frame design and an eye popping $39,999 MSRP, but its next two will apparently be much more reasonable. The 65- and 55-inch versions have just been given a release date and pricing information in Korea and while still expensive, they’ve followed Sony’s lead to a sub-$10,000 price point. The machine translated press release indicates pre-orders should start June 1st, with the 55-inch model available for 6.4 million won ($5,670), and the 65-inch version for 8.9 million won ($7,913). Naturally, they include Samsung’s upscaling technology and support for the Evolution Kit CPU upgrade as well, and as seen in the pics (above and one more after the break) feature a more standard frame design.  by  engadget


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Posted by on 31/05/2013 in IT

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