A week of Apple rumor confirmations, and egg hurling
Three high-profile rumors were validated this week, as was the interest in the iPhone 4S in China--eggs were thrown there by an angry mob. Find out why in this week's edition of Apple Talk Weekly.
The technology world spent this past week with its collective eyes glued to the Consumer Electronics Show. But there was a truckload of news in Apple land, including announcements that confirmed three high-profile rumors.
Amid the product unveilings going on at CES in Las Vegas, Apple quietly sent out invites to an education-related event that it's holding next week in New York. That matched up with rumors from last week claiming the company was gearing up for an event across the country from its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.
That confirmation was joined by two others. Target confirmed that it was, in fact, building special displays for Apple products in 25 of its stores as part of a larger initiative to bring boutique shopping experiences into the fold. That was joined by a report from Bloomberg, with Apple confirming that it had purchased Anobit, a chipmaker it was rumored to have bought in early December.
For more on these and other stories, read on.
Apple Talk Weekly is a collection of some of the week's top Apple news and rumors. It appears every Saturday, and is curated by CNET's Apple reporter, Josh Lowensohn.
Smack dab in the middle of the Consumer Electronics Show, Apple stole some of the thunder, sending out invites to a special event it's holding next week at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The event, which takes place on the 19th, is rumored to focus on Apple's iBookstore and text books.
This week brought the iPhone 4S to customers in China, but things got off to a rough start. Apple's flagship store in Beijing didn't open on time, and later said it wouldn't be selling the device at all. An angry crowd threw eggs at the store, and several fights broke out between customers. In a statement, Apple said it would in two of its Chinese retail stores, pushing shoppers to purchase one on the Web instead.
Yesterday, Apple published the 2012 edition of its supplier report, its audit of the suppliers that it says manufacture 97 percent of its products. The big surprise was a full listing of third-party companies it uses, information that up till now had not been shared with the public. Alongside the release of the report, Apple joined the Fair Labor Association, a third-party auditing group that will keep tabs on what goes on in those factories and issue publicly available reports.
Yesterday, the International Trade Commission issued an initial determination on Apple's complaint against Motorola, ruling that Motorola's Droid smartphones do not violate three of Apple's patents. The ruling is preliminary and now goes to an approval stage with the ITC's six-member commission.
Kodak took aim at Apple once again, adding to its existing lawsuits with new complaints filed with the International Trade Commission and local courts this week. In its complaint, which also targets HTC, Kodak says the two companies are infringing on a number of its patents with their smartphones and tablets, and is seeking a sales ban.
Where there's smoke, there's fire--or so the saying goes. That indeed turned out to be the case this week, with Apple finally acknowledging its acquisition of Israel-based flash-memory maker Anobit. Reports of the sale date back to December. Apple has acquired a handful of companies in recent years, but has a long history of not announcing those deals. Most recently that's included the pickup of Quattro Wireless, which it rolled into iAds, and Siri, which became the namesake feature of the voice assistant in the iPhone 4S.
The store-within-a-store concept that Apple Insider reported last week is, in fact, coming to a handful of Target stores. Target this week announced plans to bring specialty Apple displays to 25 of its locations. Which stores, and when they're rolling out, are yet to be unveiled.
A report from Bloomberg yesterday pegged March as the month we'll get a follow-up to the iPad 2. Citing manufacturing partners in Asia, the outlet said the new tablet will be packing a quad-core processor, along with support for 4G LTE networks. The display on the tablet is also said to be making the jump to HD, falling in line with a number of earlier reports pegging this next model as the one with the same pixel density as can be found on Apple's latest-generation iPhones and iPod Touches.
The iPad 3 is seemingly months away, but in a report this week, iLounge says it's already gotten its hands on the device. iLounge Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz wrote that the new model looks nearly identical to the iPad 2, right down to the button placement. The only change is that it's 1mm thicker, the report said.
Display maker Sharp is out of the running for sourcing Apple with displays for Apple's next-generation iPad. That's according to Korean outlet Electronic Times Internet News, which said that the work instead went to LG Display and Samsung after Sharp could not meet Apple's specifications for the high-density pixel displays.