Apple took this week off as a company holiday, but that doesn't mean things stood still.
The week kicked off with a rumor that Apple was planning to open up its Grand Central Terminal retail store in New York in time for Black Friday, but that deadline came and passed. Not all was uneventful though--Apple confirming that the store was "arriving soon."
The space is more than 23,000 square feet and stretches between two balconies. By comparison, Apple's Regent Street store in London is 25,000 square feet, 22,000 square feet of which is accessible to the public.
Some 750,000 visitors transit the station each day--and up to a million a day during the holidays.
As it's done in years past, Apple heldyesterday, offering discounts on a number of its products. It's one of the only times Apple puts things on sale, short of when a product is replaced.
If retail stores and sales aren't whetting your appetite, we've got a heaping plate of rumors below, including one about an iPad with a 3D display. Before getting too excited, the long and the short of it is that plans for the device were scrapped. More on that, and the rest of this week's happenings below.
Apple Talk Weekly rounds up of some of the top Apple-related news and rumors. It appears every Saturday morning and is curated by CNET's Apple reporter, Josh Lowensohn. The column is taking a brief hiatus while Josh goes on vacation, and will return December 24, 2011.
The U.S. International Trade Commission this week said that Apple is not violating patents held by S3 Graphics in its products, and that as a result, it was terminating its investigation on the matter. The decision follows a mixed ruling in July, where an ITC judge found Apple to be infringing on two of S3 Graphics' patents, while not infringing on two others.
The writer of the Oscar-winning film "The Social Network," and long-running TV series "The West Wing," this week confirmed that he's been pitched on penning a film about late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The tidbit follows news from last week about Sony Pictures looking to as Jobs.
The iPhone-related domains that led to pornographic Web sites have been turned over to Apple following a complaint by the company with the World Intellectual Property Organization earlier this month. That case was closed after the owner of the domains agreed relinquish them to Apple.
A month after its release, the iPhone 4S has become the second most popular camera phone on photo sharing site Flickr, trailing its predecessor the iPhone 4, but topping the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The iPhone 4 remains most popular camera (that includes point and shoots, and DSLRs) on Flickr overall.
In a guest post on the Harvard Business Review, former Apple retail chief and now JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson wrote a small post about what he learned during his decade at the company. The long and the short of it, is that it wasn't just selling neat gadgets--it was creating an experience. The post was the first from Johnson since he left Apple at the end of last month.
This week Big Fish Games briefly became the first publisher to offer a subscription service for streaming games on the App Store. Its app called Play Instantly! was ad-supported, and offered limited play time each day, as well as an option for people to unlock it and nix the ads with a paid monthly subscription. The software appeared on the App Store only briefly, before being pulled down. Apple began offering a subscription program for newspapers and magazines earlier this year, but it's never included games.
A report out of Business Insider this week claimed that Apple was prototyping a future version of the iPad with a 3D display, but ended up scrapping those plans after deciding the display could be "a gimmick." The display was said to have worked like Nintendo's 3DS, which does not require the use of glasses to see its 3D effects.
In an interview with CNET this week, DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told us that there are three suppliers providing Apple with QXGA (or 2048x1536 pixel) displays for its next tablet, and that those displays would be shipping to the company sometime next month. Shim added that Apple is also looking into 7.85-inch screens, perhaps for a smaller version of the iPad due in late 2012.
As a follow-up to its report about Apple cooking up another quick update to iOS 5 to improve battery performance issues, German tech site Macerkopf.de said that Apple was pushing the release of that software back by a week due to some nagging issues with memory leaks. Apple released iOS 5.0.1 earlier this month to improve battery life, and fix several security holes.
Apple switching back to Nvidia chips in future Macs?
Apple could be switching back to Nvidia's graphics chips in its Macs next year if a report from Semiaccurate is to be believed. The blog says the chip-maker won Apple's business back, some three years after the company switched to ATI for its graphics needs.
Apple's looking for some bigger guns to run its Web based services, according to a report this week in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal's report said Apple approached one prominent Internet entrepreneur to come on board, and that the company has been seeking the help of recruiters to finder new Web talent.
Ahead of the iPhone 4S' launch, the rumors about Apple adopting Near Field Communications (NFC) chips were hot and heavy, but didn't pan out. Digitimes this week brought it back, saying the technology is still on tap to arrive in a future phone, possibly as soon as next year in the form of NFC technology that's built into SIM cards. NFC allows data transfer between two devices at short distances (about 4 inches). The technology has become a prominent feature in recent Android smartphones, but no Apple devices so far.