This year is likely to be another big one for Apple — even if we don’t see that much-anticipated television set. One new product the Cupertino could have up its sleeve is an internet radio service called “iRadio.” It’s reportedly been negotiating the necessary deals with the music labels, and one analyst expects the service to be integrated into iTunes within the next 12 months, competing with the likes of Pandora.
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Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.
Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
Today, we’re looking at last-minute stocking stuffers. To be honest, if you still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, you should really be out hitting the malls today. But seeing as you’re here reading this instead, here are a few ideas.
Google is gearing up to offload Motorola’s set-top box business as it looks to concentrate its efforts on competing with Apple’s iPhone. The company has been trying to sell Motorola Home Business, which supplies set-top boxes to cable television providers, for around $2 billion, and it has reportedly received multiple offers already. Once it’s gone, Google will focus on high-end smartphones.
I heard several interesting things about Steve Jobs and some intriguing Apple TV rumors. One of the rumors made me think that Tim Cook’s new Mac — the one that is going to be made in the U.S.A. — might actually be a big-screen Apple TV.
Here’s what I heard:
- The software was developed at the behest of Steve Jobs himself, who persuaded FuzeBox to make the software not just for the Mac, but for an upcoming Apple TV.
- Steve Jobs gave the company a special dev lab on Apple’s campus.
- According to FuzeBox’s CEO, the upcoming Apple TV has a 60-inch screen. It has no inputs whatsoever, except an AC power cord. No wires. You can’t plug in a cable box or a game console. Nothing.
- It does have Gigabit wireless Wi-Fi and gesture controls, equivalent to Microsoft’s Kinect accessory for the Xbox.
- And finally, the story of how FuzeBox got an ultra rare meeting with Steve Jobs is worth telling — details below.
Now, I’m the first to admit that not all of this adds up. I got it from Jeff Cavins, FuzeBox’s CEO, who told a good tale, especially after I’d had a couple of pints. While I was fascinated and entertained, it didn’t get to pin him down on details. The party was loud and crowded, and we were constantly interrupted. So mostly for entertainment purposes, this is what he said:
On Thursday, Jefferies analyst James Kisner revealed that the much-anticipated Apple television, the product we’ve been talking about for well over a year, is almost ready to make its big debut. In fact, Kisner said its launch was “imminent.”
According to sources for AllThingsD, however, it’s not quite as close as Kisner would have you believe. While Apple has indeed held talks with a number of large cable companies, it seems it hasn’t yet spoken to TV programmers. With that in mind, it seems the Apple television is some way off just yet.
While Apple still hasn’t released a full-fledged television, rumors have been circulating that they might be working on a cable set-top box for cable providers as well. The big question has been whether or not cable providers would allow Apple to come in and take control of the TV experience.
According to Time Warner Cable’s COO, they’d be more than happy to let Apple come in and have control of the TV interface if it makes the customers’ experience better.
Following the unveiling of the iPhone 5 and a new family of iPods on Wednesday, Apple has begun selling a new Lightning to Micro USB adapter for customers in Europe. As its name suggests, the adaptor allows users to charge and sync their new iOS device using a Micro USB cable — in compliance with the rules laid out by European Commission.
Wondering what Apple will call its new dock connector? No, it won’t be the “9-pin connector” — this is Apple we’re talking about, the company behind the Thunderbolt port. Instead, it’s expected to be labeled “Lightning,” and the kooky names don’t stop there. The Cupertino company is also expected to unveil a new set of earphones at its iPhone 5 event today, which will reportedly be called “Earpod,” along with a new iPod touch accessory called the “Loop.”
Information about the fabled iTV has been bouncing around the rumor-mill for a few years now. Supposedly, Apple is going to build an HDTV that has a ton of cool features, such as Siri, FaceTime, iTunes Streaming, iCloud and the works. It’s a dream device. Like a big ass iPad you can mount on your wall to watch the series finale of Breaking Bad on.
The iTV was supposed to launch at some point this year, but we haven’t seen any hardware leaks for it, and now the rumor is that Apple won’t launch it until 2013. But does Apple really need to make an HDTV? Would a really awesome Apple TV style set-top box for cable companies be a better, cheaper, option than trying to get an iTV into every home? We can see the benefits on both side of the coin, but we’re really curious to hear what you guys think. Should Apple just come out with an improved Apple TV instead of an iTV? Or do something else entirely?
Apple retail stores are now installing special dock connectors to prevent iOS devices from being stolen. They look just like the regular USB cable that ships with every iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but they feature a nifty anti-left lock that prevents them from being removed from the device — essentially tethering the unit to the table.