Research firm Gartner recently released its estimates of PC sales in Western Europe for the third quarter of 2011. Despite the overall decline of 11.4% for the market, Apple’s sales in Western Europe were up 19.6% year-over-year. In mobile PC market Apple showed the most significant performance of 28%, comparing to the last year performance.
Gartner especially paid attention to the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, noting that in the UK Apple became one of five top vendors. Apple’s sales here increased up to 21.8% year-over-year. So now the company takes the fourth place in the United Kingdom with 7.8% of the market. Apple’s rival Samsung goes slightly behind with 7.3% of the market, despite the fact that Samsung’s growth there was 39%.
As for the U.S. PC market, Apple took 12.9% for the third quarter, demonstration significant increase in sales both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.
Digitimes is now reporting that Apple have ordered a small number of components for a 15-inch ultra-thin notebook that Apple is said to start shipping this month with mass shipments set for the beginning of March 2012.
Upstream suppliers of Apple have recently started shipping a small volume of components for a 15-inch ultra-thin notebook model from Apple in November and the device could be either MacBook Air or just a thinner MacBook Pro. The new MacBook is expected to appear as early as the second quarter of 2012, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
It remains unclear whether the final version of the 15-inch laptop will be marketed as a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro. Rumors related to the new Apple’s notebook have been circulating since July, when we reported that Apple was finishing up work on a new ultra-thin laptop, and at the end of October it was rumored that Apple was finishing a “test phase” and the new machine was nearing the production. The Mac maker is also rumored to be developing a 17-inch ultraportable MacBook, though such a machine was not mentioned in Tuesday's report.
Back in February, Appleinsider reported that according to people familiar with the matter, Apple appears poised to move its MacBook Pro lines more toward the MacBook Air next year. So it is likely that the new Apple’s notebook will feature a SSD rather than HDD, similar to current MacBook Air models, and would forego an optical drive.
Mike Chambers, Principal Product Manager at Adobe, blames Apple of halting development of the Flash Player for mobile devices, because Apple refused to support Flash on its iOS devices. As he clarified, Adobe will support existing versions of Flash Player for mobile devices, and concentrate on HTML 5 technology.
"Considering how politically charged the issue has been, the decision to stop development of the Flash Player for Mobile Browsers was not an easy decision. However, at the end of the day, there were a number of items that made it clear that putting resources towards its continued development would not be the best use of resources," he wrote.
As it announced last month, Apple is now officially selling the iPhone 4S unlocked and contract free in the U.S.A.
The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a contract commitment. You can activate and use it on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T in the United States. The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint.
If you don't want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you'll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide. To start using it, simply insert the micro-SIM card into the slot on your iPhone and turn it on by pressing and holding the On/Off button for a few seconds. Then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your iPhone.
You can purchase the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB unlocked iPhone 4S for $649, $749, and $849 respectively.
Samsung has made a next step in its legal battle with Apple, having initiated new efforts to ban Apple’s 3G products in Germany. Now Samsung and Apple are arguing over what devices might be covered under the injunction Samsung seeks, which would include a prohibition of sales of iPhones and iPads with 3G features. Apple is now doing its best to protect the iPhone 4S from consequences of the injunction that might be granted. This time Samsung plans to use the same methods and patents that Motorola used recently. The German court granted Motorola Mobility an injunction against Apple covering its German sales.
Now Samsung raises questions that include whether Apple is infringing patents that were licensed by the component manufacturers.
At question is "patent exhaustion," whether Samsung can sue Apple for infringement in using Intel's version of the Infineon chips sold since January 2011, or whether Samsung's rights to sue over patents are "exhausted" after being licensed to a third party building the components.
The second issue in the case is standard-essential patents that Samsung uses. As far as we know, Samsung sued before trying to reach a licensing agreement with Apple. Apple noted that Samsung has never claimed infringement over any of its standards-essential patents "until it decided to retaliate for Apple's assertions of non-standards-related patents."
Rumors about “iPhone 5” have been still circulating, even despite the fact that Apple launched last month updated iPhone 4S. The next-generation iPhone is expected to be released next year and will be redesigned significantly. Business Insider now reports that it has received information from the source who have had access to an iPhone 5 prototype, providing the following details on the device:
We've been told this by an industry source who has been right about future Apple products in the past. We have not been able to verify what he told us with a second source. So we're still treating these details as rumors. You should probably still read this post with a nice fat dose of salt.
The source confirmed that Apple planned to launch the iPhone 5 this year but was forced to change its plans. The source mentioned the following details of the next-generation iPhone:
Capacitive home button
"Flatter" form factor
Much faster than current hardware, but poor battery life
Greenpeace ranked 15 companies across three areas: energy, greener products and sustainable operations and released its "Guide to Greener Electronics" on Wednesday. This time Apple took fourth place in the rating up five places from the previous report. Nokia (4.9/10), Dell (5.1/10), and HP (5.9/10) were on the third, second and first places respectively. Immediately below Apple were Philips (4.5/10), Sony Ericsson (4.2/10), Samsung (4.1/10) and Lenovo (3.8/10).
The organization criticized Apple for the fact that Apple has not specified any target to reduce emissions. Nevertheless, Greenpeace gave the company credit for use of renewable energy and improved energy efficiency. Apple is also very demanding for product criteria. So all of the company's devices are free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants.
But Apple’s relationships with Greenpeace are not limited by positive experience only. "For years now Apple has pushed the environmentally friendly aspects of its products, countering a dispute that began with Greenpeace in August of 2006, when the organization issued a report condemning Apple for the use of toxic chemicals in its devices. Greenpeace also pulled a number of publicity stunts, such as a "Green My Apple" campaign in London in October of 2006, and a "greening" of Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue glass cube in January of 2007."
Aside from pressing the home button to activate Siri, this Siri hack reported by IntoMobile is absolutely thought-controlled. The developers who initiated Project Black Mirror recorded activity of brain waves with ECG sensors, matched them to pre-saved patterns on a MacBook and then direct the matched commands to a chip that translates them to Siri. The developers linked about 25 brain wave patterns to different functions controlled by Siri, and they hope to bypass the need to press the home button with a completely automated solution. You can see on the video above how a developer initiates a call using Siri without pressing the Home button.
Soon after Apple proposed a smaller SIM card standard, a German company Giesecke & Devrient made a proposal of its own standard. The German company that developed the first SIM card in the world has proposed a standard for “nano-SIM ” cards that are 15 percent thinner and one-third smaller than the current smallest micro-SIM cards used in the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and 3G iPad.
Patently Apple posted a new Apple’s patentapplication that describes integration of a speaker into the clip of the iPod nano or iPod shuffle and how a small domed or dimpled cover over the speaker could be designed to produce specific acoustic effects.
In some embodiments, the cavity size may be shaped to create a particular frequency response or to otherwise influence the sound produced by the acoustical element. In some embodiments, the interior surface of the cavity may be modified to increase the size of the cavity, to control the frequency response of the cavity, modify the amount of air displaceable by movement of the diaphragm of the acoustical element, and/or to direct sound waves within the cavity and/or out of the cavity. The shape of the surface may be configured to resonate at a certain desired frequency or frequency range that is desired based on its shape. For example, one or more indentations in the surface may be provided to increase the size of the cavity and/or control the frequency response of the cavity. Generally, the larger the size of the cavity, the lower the frequency that may be resonant within the cavity. In some embodiments, holes may be provided in the surface to adjust the frequency response.
Yesterday Apple released the promised update of the iOS 5.0. The iOS 5.0.1 should fix battery life issues found on devices upgraded to the iOS 5, as well as on new iPhone 4S. Apple publicly said the battery life bugs affected a small number of users. In addition to addressing battery life issues, the update also brings new multi-touch gestures for the first-generation iPad.
This update contains improvements and other bug fixes including:
Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
The update also includes security improvements, as well as a new way for developers to specify files that should remain on a device even in low storage situations.
iOS 5.0.1 is available for iPhone (4S, 4, and 3GS), iPod touch (third- and fourth-generation), and all iPad models. The update is now available to all users through iTunes, and will be soon available as an over-the-air update.
Nuance has dropped a new Dragon dictation app called Dragon Express in Mac App Store. This is a cheaper (introductory price $49), scaled-back version of Nuance’s Dragon Dictate program. The new version can be accessed from the Lion’s menubar and will not require a network connection. You can open the Dragon Express window with a mouse click or keyboard shortcut and instantly begin dictate into the window via USB headset microphone or internal Mac microphone. The transcribed text will immediately appear in the dictate window and from there you can copy, email the text, start a web search with it or share it with your social networking contacts.