Technology news can seem like “all Apple, all the time” pretty much, well, all the time. With the recent hype storm over the new iPhone 5, and the storm of derision that greeted iOS 6 and its lousy Maps app, there’s still some explaining to do before we can move on to other topics.
Here are the latest twists and turns on Apple’s rollercoaster ride through recent headlines, including the latest word on the iPad mini.
The comScore industry watchers say that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 took a mere three days to nearly match the iPhone 4S’s first month of online sales. Incredibly, Wall Street was disappointed in the record 5 million units. Meanwhile, reports of a labor strike at a Foxconn factory have raised questions about iPhone shipment disruptions, and brought working conditions under scrutiny once again.
As users are rapidly finding out, the new and far-from-polished Maps app that replaces Google Maps isn’t particularly good at navigation, which brought a swift apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook. The maker of the iconic iMac has a firm, iTunes-powered grip on a big chunk of the entertainment biz, along with an historically sterling reputation. This debacle hurt; just how much remains to be seen. Google Maps is, thankfully, still accessible - but only from the browser for now.
Apple makes its quarterly conference call on October 25. Continuing the trend that began in 2010, the company is selling more of its MacBook laptops than desktops, and iPod sales are strong. The CRE iPad rental has always been a big hit, reflecting its ongoing strength in the retail market. The firm may, in fact, set a few records in Q4, but so much is expected of Apple that the business press may still grumble.
AppleInsider.com reports that Martin Hajek, the artist who wowed the media with his speculative renderings of the iPhone 5, has also created 3-D images of the so-called iPad mini which is expected to be released later this month. Based on data assembled from numerous leaks to the press, his illustration of the classic black-bezeled case with aluminum back looks great, but less like a scaled-down iPad and more like a stretched-out iPod.
The Thunderbolt connector that brings 10Gbps transfers to our MacBook Pro rentals and other new Macs is joined in the Apple lexicon by a related term. Lightning is the name of the new “iDevice” connector and port. Plugs are smaller and sturdier than the “30-pin dock connectors” they replace, as well as being symmetrical so they go in whichever way they’re facing. Already in use on the iPhone 5, it also seems likely to appear on the iPad mini.
Despite no official statement from Apple at all about the product, the Wall Street Journal put its considerable reputation behind an October 3 report that production of the iPad mini had already begun. It is expected to debut sometime in late October, in time for holiday shopping.
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