China Mobile iPhone
China Mobile, coming late to the iPhone party, will finally offer iPhone 5c and 5s to its vast Chinese subscribers which account for roughly 740 million, around 18 December 2013. (Telstra, Australian leading mobile operator, has around 15.1 million subscribers.)
Apple has been aggressively pushing for market share in China, a market Apple deems very lucrative. While China Unicom and China Telecom have stricken a deal with Apple to offer iPhone on their 3G networks, China Mobile, world’s largest mobile operator, was still not offering iPhone. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was reported to have traveled to China to talk with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua back in July. The two seemed to have a potential deal.
News of a finalized deal has been expected since September, as the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c were the first iPhones supporting China Mobile’s TD-LTE standard. Apple also received the final license it needed to operate on China Mobile’s wireless standard back in September following the launch of the newest iPhones.
Black Friday, the one-day only shopping event, is back again. Apple’s Australian online store not only gives ideas for gifts, but also offers gift cards.
Gift cards are available with the purchase of the following items (prices from Australian store):
- iPad Air: A$ 75 gift card
- iPad mini: A$ 50 gift card on non-Retina models, no gift card on Retina models
- iPad 2: A$ 50 gift card
- iPod touch: A$ 50 gift card
- iPod nano: A$ 25 gift card
- MacBook Air: A$ 150 gift card
- MacBook Pro: A$ 150 gift card for both Retina and non-Retina models
- iMac: A$ 150 gift card
- Apple TV: A$ 25 gift card
- AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule: A$ 50 gift card
- Various accessories: Gift card amounts vary
U.S., Canada and European Countries will also receive the Black Friday shopping discounts.
The developer of Kinect, part of Xbox 360, Microsoft’s home entertainment console, is now acquired by Apple. Israeli 3D body sensing firm PrimeSense who worked with Microsoft on the development of the first generation of Kinect has been purchased at a price tag between $300-350 million.
With Apple reportedly working on a new Apple TV, this acquisition further indicates Apple’s move to release a motion-controlled TV, allowing Apple to add controls with body movements and hand gestures to its products. A delegation of PrimeSense senior executives was reported to have visited Apple’s engineering offices recently.
Apple spokesperson commented “ Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
In January last year, Apple acquired Anobit, an Israel-based maker of flash memory technology.
Apple October 22 Event
The new Mac Pro, which was previewed in the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, is expected to hit the market by Mid-November, just in time for the holiday season.
Alongside the Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, full-size iPad and iPad mini are all expecting a refresh. The updated Macbook Pro is expected to take full advantage of the new Intel Haswell processor, giving the Macbook Pro more horsepower and less power consumption. Other potential features for the upcoming Macbook Pro include faster PCI Express-based flash storage, as well as a faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The 5th Generation iPad and the 2nd Generation iPad Mini are expected to house more powerful processors, with the updated iPad Mini featuring a long-waited Retina display.
Apple is expected to unveil both the 5th generation iPad and the 2nd generation iPad mini during an October 22 event that will also showcase other Apple products such as OS X Mavericks, the Mac Pro, and potentially may also include the announcement of a refreshed MacBook Pro line.
Apple has raised at least $65 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa through its partnership with RED charity. Product RED is a brand licensed to partner companies such as Apple, to develop a product with a RED logo and to donate a certain amount of profit after the sale.
Apple’s current lineup of RED products includes iPod nano, iPod shuffles, iPad Smart Case, iPad mini Smart Cover and iPhone Bumper and the new iPhone 5s case.
RED is affiliated with several other companies in addition to Apple, including Starbucks, Nike, and American Express, raising more than $200 million to date.
Dell shareholders have finally approved the proposal in which Michael Dell, Dell’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, will acquire Dell in partnership with global technology investment firm Silver Lake Partners. It was announced back in February, seven months ago.
Dell stockholders will receive $13.75 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, plus payment of a special cash dividend of $0.13 per share to stockholders of record as of a date prior to the effective time of the merger, for total consideration of $13.88 per share in cash. The agreement also guarantees the regular quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share for the fiscal third quarter would be paid to holders of record as of a date prior to closing. The total transaction is valued at approximately $24.9 billion.
Mr. Dell mentioned Dell would continue to expand its enterprise solutions and services businesses while strengthening its PC and mobile markets. Going private gives Dell the room to shake things up and make some really bold moves without shareholder scrutiny.
The deal is expected to close by the end of Dell’s FY2014Q3 provided it passes the usual regulatory approvals.
The Spigen Ultra Flip View is a pretty cool cover for the Samsung Galaxy S4. It has a flip cover viewing window that still allows you to answer calls and view notifications when its closed. I was surprised that the phone doesn’t need an app installed to support the screen’s behaviour. It works straight out of the box and the screen behaviour changes immediately when the cover is closed. The other cool feature is that the screen auto wakes when you lift the cover from the screen.
All the buttons have cut outs for them but the volume rocker gets covered up when you close the flip cover. I felt like there should have been another hole for it as I tend to use the volume control a lot for listening to music. Its not a major flaw as you can still push through the soft hinge but it still feels like an oversight.
In terms of looks, the Ultra Flip is pretty stylish. The front and back have a sort of brushed steel pattern and the edges have a smooth surface to contrast. It’s a great cover to have on your phone if you want it to stand out a little. I also think it has a pretty “professional” look about it, as if it was something you’d pull out of suit jacket (Especially if it’s in black).
I definitely recommend it if you are looking for something that’s stylish, protects your screen from scratches and makes your phone look a little different from all the Galaxy S4s out there. You can pick one up here at mobilezap.com.au
Nokia’s Lumia phones have been the biggest supporter of Windows Phone; yet, Microsoft was not in direct control of the brand. It was a partnership with Nokia. Today, Microsoft finally unites the Lumia phones with its own brand. Microsoft will pay 3.79 billion Euros for Nokia’s business, plus another 1.65 billion Euros for its portfolio of patents by the first quarter of 2014. Microsoft’s outgoing CEO, Steve Ballmer, called this acquisition “a bold step into the future”. He said “now is the time to build on this momentum and accelerate our share and profits in phones.”
This acquisition gets Microsoft closer to the model Apple and BlackBerry have enjoyed, an end-to-end control in mobile. Does the 5.44-billion Euro make Microsoft a more devices and services focused company?
The Redmond based tech giant has confirmed that the touch-friendly Windows 8.1 has been completed and hardware partners, such as Dell, HP and so on, can now load Windows 8.1 into new computers.
Windows 8.1 will be available in retail stores on the 18th October while digital upgrade copies will be available for regions such as Australia as early as 2am and New Zealand as early as 12am on the 17th October.
Interestingly, MSDN or TechNet subscribers who usually get early access to new releases also need to wait until the 18th October along with the general public.
Microsoft has made a number of changes to address users’ complaints of Windows 8.
- Smaller and larger Live Tiles
- Support for desktop wallpapers behind the Start Screen
- The Start button
- An option to boot to the desktop
- Support for multi-monitor
- Integrated Bing search
Since its inception, Microsoft’s eco system, Windows Phone has been criticized for a lack of apps. As of 7th August, Windows Phone users can expect more apps from Microsoft. Bing Weather, News, Sports, and Finance are now available to download from the Windows Store, following their counterparts on Windows 8, a x86 and x64 based operating system, and demonstrating Microsoft’s long promised ability for Windows Phone developers to port apps between each platform easily. (Windows 8 runs on processors like Intel and AMD while Windows Phone 8 runs on Snapdragon and Tegra 3.)
If you are not a Windows Phone user and want to get started, Harvey Norman is offering a Nokia Lumia 520, which runs on Windows Phone 8 and it only costs $148 outright.
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