Welcome back to Apple Talk Weekly. We're back from hiatus with a weekly dose of the top Apple news and rumors.
Despite the holiday season being in full bore, it's been a busy week for Apple, starting with a win against HTC in its complaint to the International Trade Commission. That was followed shortly thereafter by the apparently successful purchase of an Israeli memory chipmaker, and another legal volley against Samsung in an Australian court.
There were, of course, other goings-on, like some changes to the iTunes store, talk of "prototype" Apple retail stores, and a posthumous Grammy win by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Read more about those stories, and the rest of this week's Apple 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 International Trade Commission this week ruled in favor of Apple in its complaint against HTC, alleging that the Taiwan-based company was infringing on 10 of its patents with its mobile devices. The ITC ruled that HTC was in fact, violating one of those patents, and gave the company until April of next year to comply with a software fix. Later in the week, HTC said it already a workaround for the issue ready to go. See also:
Israel-based flash memory maker Anobit is now owned by Apple, according to reports this week. A story from Israeli news site Calcalist says the deal has gone through, and cost Apple somewhere in the $400 million to $500 million range. The apparent acquisition should beef up Apple's in-house hardware efforts, and adds to its previous hardware acquisitions including Intrinsity and P.A. Semi.
A federal court in Australia was the scene of another Apple legal volley against Samsung this week. In a hearing, Apple said Samsung was infringing on "at least 10" of its design patents with the designs of its smart phones and 10-inch Galaxy Tablet. This follows moves by Samsung to change its tablets in that market to comply with a previous Apple complaint.
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs will be posthumously awarded a Grammy this year. The Recording Academy this week said that Jobs was to be given one of the organization's Special Merit Awards for helping how people consume music, TV, movies and books. Apple itself nabbed a technical Grammy in 2002 for its audio software efforts.
Apple is planning to give its Palo Alto, Calif., retail store a reboot as part of an upcoming construction project that will build a new store just a block away. The $3.15 million project will bring a 15,030-square-foot store to the area, which Apple says will serve as a prototype of sorts. It's the latest in a series of projects to revitalize some of Apple's retail locations.
Apple tweaks "complete my season" and "album" iTunes Store services
Apple made two key adjustments to its digital media store this week, the first being the quiet removal of a policy that would only give users 180 days to complete an album at a limited price after purchasing selected tracks. The second bit adds the completion feature to TV shows on iTunes, letting users subscribe to an entire season after having purchased an episode or two, without having to re-buy those same shows when purchasing a whole season.
Apple replacing overheating first-gen Nanos with new models
Despite having promised those with recalled first-generation iPod nanos replacements from the same generation, some users have been getting back Apple's latest model instead. Apple's original stance on the issue was to provide users with refurbished versions of the same model.
Apple chatting up TV plans with media execs
A report from the Wall Street Journal earlier this week noted that Apple's been talking to a handful of media executives about TV, particularly with how it could make use of voice and physical movement. Apple is expected to debut a TV set as soon as next year. The company's current living room effort centers around its $99 set top box, the Apple TV.
Apple working on wearable Siri gadgets
Apple and Google are said to be working on gadgets that can be worn, things like wristwatches and curved glass iPods. Those details, which came from a New York Times report this week, said such ideas were still in the conceptional phase, and could tap into Apple's recently-released, iPhone 4S exclusive Siri voice assistant to become more useful.
No 7-inch iPad in 2012, analyst suggests
With a recent rumor pointing to a smaller version of the iPad being on the way, analyst Brian Blair of Wedge Partners this week told investors that such a product would be unlikely. "(Steve) Jobs was emphatic in his view that 7-inch tablets were dead on arrival, and we believe it would be unlikely to see the company test the waters in this category anytime soon," Blair wrote. As an alternative, Blair suggested that Apple would keep the iPad 2 around, like it does with previous versions of its iPhone, and selling it at a lower price point.
iPad 3 launch to coincide with birthday of Steve Jobs
A report out of Focus Taiwan this week (via 9to5Mac) claimed that Apple was pushing its suppliers hard to get the next iPad ready to go in time for the birthday anniversary of late company co-founder Steve Jobs on February 24. That included making employees at Apple's manufacturing partners avoid taking vacation during the holidays.