The Apple Byte's Buyer GuideWe'll break down whether its a good time to buy or if you should wait to purchase your next piece of Apple hardware. Plus new details for the next-gen iPad!
-What's good? I'm Brian Tong and welcome to the AppleByte. Now, I hope everyone at home is enjoying your Thanksgiving time off with your friends or your family. And if you like me, you filled your tummy up with your favorite treat: tofurkey. Oh, I love its rubbery texture! Mmm! Now, in tasty news, details are finally starting to come together for the next gen iPad. We can all agree that we'll probably see a camera for Face Time chat. Steve Jobs ruled out any 7-inch tablet hopes. It will bring a faster processor and more storage capacity. A retina display at that size is still a reach right now. But what about an iPad that's compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks? Reports say the iPad will use a "world mode" chip to be compatible with any carrier in the world. We may also see a slimmer and lighter design iPad because a patent discovered AppleInsider shows that Apple is exploring the use of carbon fiber wrapped around a metal frame to create a strong but light casing. The patent drawings are even just like the back plate of the iPad. So, this one looks like it could be happening. And Digitimes is also reporting that the circuit board suppliers for the second iPad will ship out components for production in December with a target launch for the first quarter of 2011. So, it's a safe bet we'll be barraged with more news and rumors, but we'll keep you guys posted with the latest. Now on more iPad news, there's no need to go to an Apple store to get an iPad. TJ Maxx and Marshalls are reported to both be selling the entry-level Wi-Fi 16 gig model for $399----a $100 less than its retail price. SJ responded and said, "They are not an authorized seller." But TJ Maxx has said they purchased the iPads for $500 and they're selling them at a loss for publicity. In iPhone news, there were rumors that Apple was working on a custom-built SIM card so that you could buy the iPhone from an Apple store and then activate it for any carrier from your home. Let's just say international carriers weren't big fans of that and they don't want Apple to control the entire process. So, they threaten to only sell a non-subsidized iPhone which costs $600 up front, and Apple stopped pursuing the technology for the time being. Alright, here's a tip that's an-oldie-but-a-goodie for those of you that have made a boo-boo when purchasing Apps. There are times where some of us get a little app happy (I know you've been there) and we purchased the wrong app from Apple's App Store. I recently purchased the Iron Man 2 game. I know, don't judge me. But I accidentally purchased the iPhone version instead of the one for the iPad. I'm Brian Tong for CNET.com, and I'll show you a little trick that a lot of people don't know about----how to return apps that you've already purchased. Now, before we jump in to this, I wanna emphasize that this is not intended to be used to buy an app then return and hurt the developers, because these guys are the people that are making our gadgets more enjoyable. So, let's respect that. Alright, the first thing you have to do is purchase some apps from the App Store through your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or computer, or wherever. Now, once you've done that, jump in to iTunes and in the top right hand corner, find your username, select "Account", and log in. Let's go to your purchase history and then you'll see a list of dates and order numbers. Select the date that you made the purchase and you'll see an order breakdown. Then, click on "Report A Problem" and an option will show up next to the price of each app. Find the boo-boo that you made. In this case, it's going to be Iron Man 2 for me, that was $6.99, and click "Report A Problem." A prompt will appear, and you'll need to select the problem that you had and add any comments. I explained my Iron Man 2 issue and also told them how I purchased the iPad version immediately afterwards. Submit it and you'll receive a confirmation e-mail. It only took about a day for an iTunes rep to get back to me, but I received an e-mail telling me the charges would be reversed. Now, that's customer service. There's really no reason to return the 99-cent app, and you do have up to 90 days to request a refund, but hopefully, this features helps you the same way it helped me out. I'm Brian Tong for CNET.com with your "how to" for refunding apps. Respect your developers and use it wisely. Thanks, Brian. Okay. It's the holidays and you'll probably want some real good advice about when is a good time to buy that specific Apple gadget. We get tons of e-mails about it. So, we wanna give you the Apple's Buyer Guide or what we like to call here the AppleByter's Guide. Get it? Alright, we have 3 Apples: green means it's good to go; yellow means it's in the middle of its product life cycle, so, it's okay but it might be worth holding out a little longer; and red means wait for an update soon. Now, things are fluid and unpredictable, but this is using the best info we have, so first up, the iPhone 4. Now, it really depends on your carrier. If you're on AT&T, it's a solid time to buy, and that's worthy of a green apple. New models will be probably coming around June or July since it's a yearly update. So, you're smack in the middle. Now, if you're on Verizon, we're throwing out the red apple. Don't switch over to a different carrier. Just be patient because all of the major websites point to sometime in January for the iPhone 4 to potentially come to Verizon. Keyword is "potentially." Now, if you're looking for an iPad, it's worth of a yellow ***CUT DICTATION***