Category: iPod Rumour

Looking Ahead to Today’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” Event

October 4 iPhone 5 Invite

iPhone 5 press invite for Apple's October 4 event

Despite Apple’s own use of iPhone in the event invite I view the term ‘iPhone event” with hesitation, I firmly believe that today’s event being held at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino at 10am Pacific (6pm London) is an iOS device event not just focused on the iPhone.

Much of what I wrote last week on the iPhone rumour cycle and where we’re at remains largely true. Except many onlookers and commentators have placed themselves firmly into one of two camps, the first camp believing that Apple won’t release a device called the iPhone 5 but will instead release a new phone called the iPhone 4s and alongside it an 8GB iPhone 4. The second camp against all odds still believes we’ll see an iPhone 5, some even believe with a complete redesign, and that the iPhone 4s is the new low-end iPhone.

Whatever happens today we know one thing for sure, Apple has kept this rumour cycle the most locked down of them all, or at very least they’ve distracted us enough with iPhone 5 rumours that we’re missing the picture.

I personally remain firmly in the camp of thought that we’ll see an iPhone 4s (N94) today powered by Apple’s A5 system-on-a-chip (SoC), 1GB of RAM, featuring an 8MP camera and available in 16, 32, and 64GB capacities. There are strong rumours that Apple has incorporated a chip capable of GSM and CDMA in the iPhone 4s and that this phone will be capable of HSPA+ on GSM networks. HSPA+ is capable of very fast data speeds with most carriers supporting up to 21Mbps and is often classed as “4G” by those carriers, it’s not.

The iPhone 4s will take the shape of the current iPhone 4 but will be thinner and the antenna design adjusted, presumably to accommodate both CDMA and GSM capabilities.

The iPhone 4s is expected in Apple’s major markets on October 14 but some have suggested a very unlikely imminent release.

Alongside the iPhone 4s Apple will have an 8GB iPhone 4 (N90A for us geeks), it’s by no means a focus of the show, but it aims to hit the low-end market and help penetration in African and Asian markets. Some have speculated that this device has been reworked to make it even cheaper, if this is the case then the changes are very minimal.

Such an iPhone lineup leads to a problem though, every man and his dog is expecting an iPhone 5 and Apple doesn’t appear to have made its usual attempts to dampen expectation ahead of the event. So what else does Apple have up its sleeve?

It’s all in the software and this is where Apple shines. When Apple released the iPhone 3GS (notice a pattern?) in 2009 it was a slight upgrade from the 3G released the previous year. The ‘s’ was said to stand for speed, sure it was faster but it lacked that wow factor. One of Apple’s marquee features for the iPhone 3GS was voice recognition.

Apple looks set to make this the marquee feature of the iPhone 4s and this time do it properly. Everyone knows how voice recognition works on a phone, you say call a contact and it calls someone else. This will all change.

On the 28th April, 2010 Apple bought a company called Siri, at the time they made an iOS assistant app, the app incorporated a technology called ‘natural language processing’. The video below shows the app in action, note how accurate the recognition is.

Mac Rumors have fully embraced this rumour and had a mockup video made of the potential functionality of Siri in iOS 5.

The feature which is currently only scantily visible in betas of iOS 5 is said to be called ‘Assistant’ and be a system wide feature. An icon found in a beta of iOS 5 suggests a microphone button will sit in the bottom left of the keyboard which will enable dictation, but obviously the key point is the tightly integrated way in which information is presented upon making a query.

With Apple expected to unveil this feature at the event later today we should expect another iOS 5 beta for developers, whether this comes in the form of a Golden Master (GM) or not it doesn’t really matter.

iOS 5 will land before the iPhone 4S, possibly as soon as this Friday (October 7).

As I said earlier though this isn’t just an iPhone event, Apple’s current lineup of iPods have been on the market longer than any others as the month of September sailed past with not a hint of an iPod refresh. Much has been speculated about the future of the iPod, some by myself, and I suspect most of it’s wrong.

The iPod touch will naturally take centre stage and will take the form of previous updates with the upper models seeing an upgrade to the A5, extended battery life, they’re unlikely to get much thinner but will be available in white.

As for the other iPods, the rumours are scarce. Some have suggested the iPod classic and shuffle will go the way of the dodo, this may be true for the shuffle but only if the nano comes down in price. The classic, despite my own predictions a year ago, looks set to remain unchanged.

Apple does have one more big feature and that is of course, iCloud. Whilst unveiled at WWDC in June expect Apple to go over the details again, nothing is expected to have changed but we’ll get a date when the service goes live which could be within hours of the event.

Let’s summarise:

  • iPhone 4s available in 16, 32 and 64GB capacities. A5 chip, 1GB RAM, 8MP rear camera, looks like the current iPhone 4 but thinner and with a redesigned antenna. Both GSM and CDMA capable with HSPA+. Available October 14.
  • 8GB iPhone 4 to fill the gap of the low-end market. Largely unchanged.
  • iPod touch available in white and with the A5 chip, design unchanged, same goes for capacities.
  • iPod classic to remain the same, shuffle phased out and nano lowered in price.
  • iOS 5 key feature to be voice Assistant, we’ll see a GM this week and maybe public release on October 7.
  • iCloud available imminently.

Coverage

Apple’s event is being held in front of a select number of members of the media at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino. A simulcast is being held at the Covent Garden Apple Store in London for UK and Europe based media. The event will begin at the following times:

10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
02:00AM – Tokyo (Wednesday 5th)
04:00AM – Sydney (Wednesday 5th)

World of Apple will provide coverage of the news and post-event analysis. Apple is not providing a live video but a meta blog of events can be followed on World of Apple’s Twitter feed or the following sites:

Leaked Photo Suggests Future iPod Nano Camera

A recently leaked photo purported to be of Apple’s seventh-generation iPod nano features a camera hole suggesting that the company could be looking to include a camera in the upcoming.

The image posted by Taiwanese blog Apple.pro posted the photo but was unable to verify its authenticity. But the site is keen to remind readers that the website has correctly leaked each of the previous six-generations of iPod nanos.

When Apple changed the iPod nano form-factor at the last refresh of iPods the company was criticised for taking away the previous camera taking ability.

Purported seventh-generation iPod nano

Purported seventh-generation iPod nano | Image courtesy of Apple.pro

iPod Classic Shipping Estimates Slipping

2010 iPod Family in Packaging

The iPod classic noticeably absent from Apple's 2010 iPod lineup

In a rare turn of events Apple’s iPod classic seems to be running low in Apple’s first and third party retail channels. Apple Bitch has reported that shipping times for Apple’s ageing iPod have slipped to as much as 2-4 weeks on Amazon.com.

Apple’s own website continues to list 24 hour shipping times for the iPod classic but several of Apple’s third party retailers such as J & R, Best Buy and Target show long waits for the classic.

Slipping shipping estimates for a product are a key sign that Apple is set to refresh a model but Apple has stuck to a strict timetable with iPod models and only updates them in September. In September 2010 when Apple refreshed the iPod lineup the classic was notably absent, sparking speculation about the demise of the model.

Mac Rumors speculates that Apple could upgrade the classic with a new 220GB hard drive which is available on the market now.

iPod Touch With Camera to Drop Spring 2010

Following a barrage of convincing evidence that the iPod touch released in September this year was intended to feature a camera rumours now suggest that the models will finally appear in Spring 2010.

The source suggests that the iPod touch will feature the same camera as the iPod nano also released last September.

The iPod touch was rumoured to be set to include a camera prior to the current models release in September, since then it’s been reported that due to bad parts Apple removed the camera at the last minute, a fact proven by teardowns of the units.

iPod Touch Internals Reveal Apple’s Secret

Following last weeks surprise revelation that the newest iPod touch does not feature a built-in camera like its iPod nano counterpart, AppleInsider reported that Apple intended and still intends to add a camera to the iPod touch.

iFixit has subsequently posted photos of the internals of the iPod touch which reveal that Apple was most likely planning to include a camera in the iPod touch and will do in the future. A space in the centre of the circuit board in which a camera would fit matches the positioning of images revealed earlier in August.

Additionally iFixit notes that the iPod touch includes the Broadcom BCM4329 combination Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip which is capable of the new 802.11n standard.

iPod Touch With Camera Still Coming Soon

AppleInsider is reiterating that the iPod touch will eventually receive the video recording camera that adorned the iPod nano at yesterday’s special event.

Notably missing from yesterday’s announcements was any form of significant upgrade to Apple’s flagship iPod, despite rumours before hand that production issues could delay an iPod touch with camera.

AppleInsider publishes that the iPod touch models failed quality assurance testing at Apple due to a batch of poor camera sensors, Apple reportedly “remains committed to delivering camera capabilities on the touch lineup as soon as possible.”

The news comes after Apple CEO Steve Jobs stated that the iPod touch was being marketed as a gaming iPod and the decision to leave out the camera was a financial one.

Part Numbers Reveal iPod Changes

AppleInsider has republished a list of part numbers that are said to depict the new iPod lineup that will be revealed at today’s media event, due to start in under a couple of hours.

The list from AppleInsider which is said to be from a reliable source shows no capacity changes on the iPod nano and shuffle, the iPod classic is being increased from 120GB to 160GB.

Additionally no iPod touch is included, possibly alluding to a no show for the star iPod which has been rumoured to been caught up in production issues.

Finally AppleInsider states that the iPod nano will see significant changes to Nike+ technology.

Lineup with part numbers below.

MC027LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – SILVER
MC031LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – BLACK
MC034LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – PURPLE
MC037LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – BLUE
MC040LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – GREEN
MC043LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – YELLOW
MC046LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – ORANGE
MC049LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – RED
MC050LL/A – IPOD NANO 8GB – PINK
MC060LL/A – IPOD NANO 16GB – SILVER
MC062LL/A – IPOD NANO 1[6]GB – BLACK
MC064LL/A – IPOD NANO 16GB – PURPLE
MC066LL/A – IPOD NANO 16GB – BLUE
MC068LL/A – IPOD NANO 16GB – GREEN
MC070LL/A – IPOD NANO 16GB – YELLOW
MC072LL/A – IPOD NANO 16GB – ORANGE
MC074LL/A – IPOD NANO 16GB – RED
MC075LL/A – IPOD NANO 16GB – PINK
MC293LL/A – IPOD CLASSIC 160GB – SILVER
MC297LL/A – IPOD CLASSIC 160GB – BLACK
MC306LL/A – IPOD SHUFFLE 2GB – SILVER
MC307LL/A – IPOD SHUFFLE 4GB – GREEN
MC323LL/A – IPOD SHUFFLE 2GB – BLACK
MC328LL/A- IPOD SHUFFLE 4GB – BLUE
MC331LL/A – IPOD SHUFFLE 4GB – PINK
MC381LL/A – IPOD SHUFFLE 2GB – GREEN
MC384LL/A – IPOD SHUFFLE 2GB – BLUE
MC387LL/A – IPOD SHUFFLE 2GB – PINK

Rumour Roundup: It’s Only Rock and Roll Event

Apple is set to hold its annual media related event tomorrow and over the last few months speculation of what products are expected to be released have been in steady supply. Apple’s “It’s Only Rock and Roll, but we like it” event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco and be attended by invited media only, a satellite stream will be available in London for European based media.

New iPods with built-in Cameras

Rumours date back to May stating that at least the iPod touch and iPod nano would receive a camera. Reports following this also noted that the iPod nano would move to a 1.5:1 ratio display and a smaller click wheel.

Last month multiple images were revealed that depicted an iPod touch with a camera in the top centre, the photos concurred with previous reports about the positioning of the camera. Photos of third-party cases for the iPod nano and touch also added credence to rumours of built-in cameras.

A last minute report revealed yesterday states that Apple has had production issues with the new iPod models but it is unknown whether Apple will keep the iPod models out of the event completely or simply delay shipping.

Speculation by World of Apple suggests that the third generation iPod touch will be upgraded to similar hardware as the new iPhone 3GS, increasing CPU speed and doubling the internal RAM, adding GPS and having the new oleophobic display coating. Apple may also remove the 8GB iPod touch and add a higher capacity 64GB model.

The iPod classic has been missing from much of the circulating rumours leading to speculation by some that Apple may remove the only hard drive based iPod from its lineup.

Availability of iPhone OS 3.1

In testing since June iPhone OS 3.1 brings several enhancements to the iPhone and iPod touch. The latest beta was released in late July, a significant time ago.

World of Apple believes that the release of iPhone OS 3.1 is very likely.

Cocktail

Cocktail refers to an internal Apple codename which is said to enhance iTunes store album purchases and will include interactive lyric sheets, photos and more. The enhancement is aimed at increasing the sales of complete albums.

Most sources suggest that Cocktail will be introduced onto the iTunes store at tomorrows event.

Beatles on iTunes

Based most on speculation some sources suggested that after years of rumours that famous British band will re-release its discography on September 9th, the date of Apple’s event. The band will indeed re-release its entire discography on Wednesday and will also begin selling a Rockband themed game but the FT.com reports that talks between EMI and Apple have stalled, again.

“Conversations between Apple and EMI are ongoing and we look forward to the day when we can make the music available digitally. But it’s not tomorrow,” Ernesto Schmitt, EMI’s global catalog president, told the FT’s Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.

iTunes 9/Pre-cut Ringtones

A report from early in August pointed towards an update to iTunes which would see the integration of popular social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Additionally the report suggested that iTunes 9 will have the ability to play Blu-Ray discs and make organisation of apps on the iPhone/iPod touch easier.

Recently a report stated that Apple could be looking to offer “pre-cut” ringtones for sale on the iTunes store. Few details were offered but pricing is said to be “far less than $3″.

Apple TV Update

An analyst report late last month suggested that the Apple TV could be due for an update at Apple’s media event. Sources have indicated since then that such an update will not be unveiled on September 9th.

Apple Touchscreen Tablet

Apple’s heavily rumoured touchscreen tablet has been explicity outlined as not being a subject of tomorrows media event. Almost all sources point towards an early 2010 release.

Event Coverage

World of Apple will offer detailed coverage of Apple’s event including news updates, photos and behind the scenes Twitter coverage.

Camera Equipped iPods Scrapped From Media Event

Rumours circulating today suggest that just days before Apple’s September 9th media event the brand new line of iPods with built-in cameras could be delayed due to technical issues.

Both AppleInsider and HardMac have independently reported that Apple has suffered bad parts related to the camera modules potentially delaying the release of the new iPods. It is unknown whether Apple will still announce the product and simply delay the retail release.

Apple’s “Only rock and roll” media event is on Wednesday September 9th.

Photo courtesy of Brad Immanuel.

Apple Confirms September 9th Media Event

Apple has announced that on September 9th the company will hold a media event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. The invitations which contain a take on the Rolling Stones song title “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it,” were emailed to select members of the media earlier today.

The official keynote will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. Eastern) and is likely to follow the pattern of previous years events.

Rumours point towards new iPod nano and iPod touch models featuring cameras and recently a report event suggested that the iPod classic would receive the same treatment.

Also expected is iTunes 9 with support for playback of Blu-Ray discs and possibly have integrated social networking.

Finally the September 9th date has stirred rumours that a deal could be announced that will finally see The Beatles present on the iTunes Store.