This week was perhaps the busiest one of the year for Apple, with the release of a new iPhone, a new version of iOS, a handful of new iOS apps, iCloud, and updates to its Mac OS X and iLife software.
While we're still waiting for official numbers, from the looks of it the iPhone 4S is off to what's expected to be the strongest start for any iPhone yet. Buyers lined up overnight around the world to get their hands on Apple's latest phone, which went on sale yesterday. Carriers like AT&T and Sprint Nextel have already said they had theas a result. Keep in mind that's on top of the phone pulling in more than a million preorders in its first day of being on sale.
This week also brought the, which hit just a few days before the new iPhone. That software, which debuted at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, adds about 200 new features to recent model iPhones, iPods, and iPads. That was joined by , Apple's new cloud service that's now built into Mac OS X, iOS and that next year will completely replace MobileMe.
Read on to get some of this week's big Apple news and rumors.
News of the week
CNET was on the scene around the world yesterday, covering the launch of the iPhone 4S. As expected, the lines were big, but Apple ended up having an otherwise uneventful launch day, moving through sales at a brisk pace. We'll probably find out how brisk early next week, when the company reports its quarterly earnings.
Given the meltdown that was trying to preorder an iPhone 4S in the wee hours of the morning last week, it all made a little more sense on Monday morning when Apple said it had received more than 1 million preorders in the first 24 hours of the phone's going up for sale. That's compared with last year's 600,000 preorders for the iPhone 4.
After a four-month wait, Apple released iOS 5 to consumers this week. The new software brings some 200 new features to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users. Some users ran into problems getting it to install though, with Apple's servers getting . Others ran into issues with missing data, and updates that required to get the software to install correctly.
Alongside the launch of iCloud for iOS, Apple pushed out an update for the latest version of Mac OS X Lion that adds iCloud features. That includes sync for e-mail, notes, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, documents, and photos in iPhoto through iCloud's Photo Stream feature.
Just before pushing out iOS 5 to users, Apple added two new apps for the iOS platform: one for keeping track of other friends with iOS devices, and another for setting up and managing the company's wireless networking equipment. Both are free apps that require that users be on iOS 5.
After numerous developer betas, Apple this week brought iTunes 10.5 to the general public. The software brings a slick Wi-Fi sync feature that lets you sync up your iOS device with iTunes without having to plug it into your computer. Missing, however, was the long-expected iTunes Match feature, the one that would scan your music library and grant you a high quality copy of it from Apple's iTunes Store if you're a subscriber to the paid service. The feature was deactivated in the version that shipped out to consumers, though it's expected to be reactivated soon.
Apple closed out the week on a big high, with shares of the company's stock closing at $422. That's less than a dollar shy of the all-time high for trading, which happened last month.
In the legal spat between Apple and Samsung, Apple nabbed a considerable win this week, when the Federal Court of Australia awarded it an interlocutory injunction against Samsung selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 for infringing on Apple's patents. That order sticks until a full patent case can be heard by a judge. The same day, a U.S. Judge said that on Apple patents. No injunction has yet been ordered, or decision made, in that U.S. case.
In the continuing saga of last year's lost iPhone 4 prototype, two men pleaded no contest this week to the theft of lost property in the case. The men were accused of selling the device to gadget blog Gizmodo last year, and were sentenced to one year of probation, along with 40 hours of public service and $250 in restitution to Apple.
Rumors of the week
Apple is said to be in talks with Hollywood studios to get movies streaming through iTunes. Citing sources with knowledge of the talks, The Los Angeles Times this week said that Apple was hoping to get that service off the ground by the end of this year, or early next year. Apple already streams TV shows and movie rentals to devices like the Apple TV. This would add that feature to purchased content, and widen the range of devices that could stream, the report suggested.
Beyond its acquisition of low-power-chip firm PA Semi in 2008, and the reported purchase of chipmaker Intrinsity last year, Apple is now said to have some 1,000 engineers working to improve its processors. TechCrunch, floated that number based on a conversation with what the outlet called "a veteran Silicon Valley CEO who knew (Steve) Jobs."
Apple could be readying production on the next iPad. That's according to Susquehanna Financial analyst Jeff Fidacaro, who this week told All Things Digital that "supply chain checks" put iPad 3 production somewhere in the ballpark of 600,000 to 1 million units to be built this quarter. So when's that device landing? Not until early next year, Fidacaro suggested.
Despite the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs having once dismissed 7-inch tablets as being too small, new murmurs suggest the company has a smaller size iPad in the works to compete with Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire tablet, which ships next month. Amazon is not the only one to have tried sub-10-inch tablets, with Samsung, HTC, RIM, and others offering devices in that range.
Apple Talk Weekly is a roundup of some of the week's top Apple-related news and rumors, curated by CNET's Apple reporter, Josh Lowensohn.