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Apple’s thinner 13- & 15-inch MacBook Pros expected in April ‘at the soonest’


By Katie Marsal

Published: 10:48 AM EST (07:48 AM PST)

New 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros with a thinner and lighter design are expected to launch in April “at the soonest,” with an initial shipment of just under a million units.

Sources in Apple’s upstream supply chain indicated to DigiTimes that Apple will launch upgraded MacBook Pros as early as April, with about 900,000 units expected to be shipped at launch. A redesigned version of the 17-inch MacBook Pro is apparently not expected at launch, as it was not mentioned in Wednesday’s report.

That’s consistent with what AppleInsider detailed earlier this month, revealing that Apple will launch a larger 17-inch model later than the 15-inch model the company is said to be prioritizing. Apple employed the same approach when it redesigned its MacBook Pro lineup in 2008, as the lower-volume 17-inch model became available a few months later.

Apple’s upgraded MacBook Pro lineup along with new MacBook Airs and the forthcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac operating system upgrade are expected in the industry to pose a “significant threat” to notebooks designed to Intel’s thin-and-light Ultrabook specification.

“Since Intel is delaying the mass supply of its Ivy Bridge CPUs from April to June, notebook vendors are concerned about… the postponed launch schedules of their ultrabooks, as it may give Apple advantages in terms of time-to-market,” the report said.

Earlier this week, an Intel executive indicated that the company’s next-generation Ivy Bridge chips are expected to debut eight to 10 weeks later than previously planned. That would push the launch of those chips from April until June.

MacBook Air

But it’s possible that Apple could still launch new notebooks powered by Ivy Bridge as early as April, if Intel were to give the Mac maker early access to its first run of processors. In the past, Apple has been given early availability of Intel’s latest technology before other PC makers.

As Apple gears up to revamp its MacBook Pro lineup and borrow design cues from its successful MacBook Air, PC makers are still hoping to capitalize on the Ultrabook specification being pushed by Intel. Ultrabooks are intended to be less than 21 millimeters thick, weigh no more than 3.1 pounds, use flash-based solid-state drives, and offer 5 to 8 hours of battery life.

But initial Ultrabooks from Windows-based PC makers struggled to compete with Apple on price, as the entry-level 11.6-inch MacBook Air carries a $999 cost. And they also felt the squeeze from Apple on components, as PC makers struggled to obtain unibody metal notebook chassis for their products.

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20% of non-iPad buyers would consider a $399 entry-level iPad 2


By Neil Hughes

Published: 02:44 PM EST (11:44 AM PST)

With Apple expected to introduce its third-generation iPad next week, a survey of consumers not planning to buy an iPad shows that 20 percent would change their minds and buy an iPad 2 if Apple continues to sell last year’s model for $100 less.

RBC Capital Markets conducted a survey of 1,100 consumers at the end of 2011 about their tablet buying plans. Among those who indicated they were not planning to buy an iPad 2 in the next 90 days, 20 percent indicated they would be “likely” to buy Apple’s second-generation tablet if it were sold for $399 and up.

Apple’s entry-level 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 currently costs $499, but there have been suggestions that Apple could continue to offer its second-generation model at a reduced price after a so-called “iPad 3″ becomes available. The company already employs this approach with its iPhone lineup, as the latest-generation iPhone 4S is sold alongside the iPhone 4, first released in 2010, and the iPhone 3GS, which debuted in 2009.

Analyst Mike Abramsky with RBC said in a note to investors on Wednesday that if Apple were to continue to sell the iPad 2 at a reduced price, it could allow the company to not only expand its addressable market, but also head off lower-priced competitors like the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire.

Abramsky believes Apple’s next iPad will include a quad-core “A6″ processor, along with 4G long-term evolution high-speed data connectivity and a high-resolution Retina Display. He assumes that the next iPad will be on sale soon enough for it to have an effect on Apple’s current fiscal quarter, which concludes at the end of March.

The next iPad is also expected by Abramsky to offer a glimpse of what Apple plans to include in its sixth-generation iPhone, expected to debut later this year.


“Like the iPad 3, iPhone 5 may include a quad-core A6 processor and LTE,” he wrote. “Despite the success of the iPhone 4S, we believe these features along with a possible larger screen may drive a significant iPhone 5 upgrade cycle.”

Apple on Tuesday officially announced next week’s media event where it is expected to unveil its third-generation iPad. AppleInsider will have full, live coverage when the keynote kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, March 7.

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Proview and Apple argue in China higher court over ‘iPad’ trademark


By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 03:47 PM EST (12:47 PM PST)

Apple and Proview squared off in a high court in Beijing on Wednesday over use of the “iPad” name, where Apple accused Proview of “conspiratorial” actions to gain money.

The hearing is the result of an appeal from Apple, which lost a decision to Proview in a lower chinese court in December. The high court said Wednesday afternoon that a decision on the case is now pending, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In the arguments before the court, Apple officials said they are “disappointed” that Proview didn’t hold up its end of the deal for the iPad trademark. They also said that it’s the management of Apple that has created value in the iPad name.

Proview countered that Apple has set a “terrible example in the Chinese intellectual property market” in using the iPad name without proper authorization. Proview officials believe that Apple was illegally deceitful when it bought the rights to the “iPad” trademark through a special purpose company named IP Application Development Limited.

However, an attorney for Proview also said in court on Wednesday that the company is “open” to talk about compensation in return for Apple’s use of the iPad name. Reports have claimed that Proview is seeking as much as $2 billion from Apple.

iPad 2

Proview and Apple are involved in a number of lawsuits throughout China, as Proview is attempting to block sales of the iPad and even exportation of the device, which would effectively bring worldwide sales to a halt. Proview has even taken its legal action against Apple to the U.S., filing suit in California over the “iPad” trademark.

At its peak, Proview was the manufacturer of a stripped-down PC it called the Internet Personal Access Device, or iPAD. The company also found some success building monitors before the global financial crisis hit and pushed it into bankruptcy. Now, it’s a near-dead company with its ownership of the “IPAD” name its only major asset.

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RIM demos media sharing on BlackBerry 7.1 at Mobile World Congress


We’ve seen quite a few demos from RIM this week at Mobile World Congress and while some of the stuff we saw was just concept ideas, one thing they’ve been showing off is already available and that is the media server capability built into BlackBerry 7.1. We’re not entirely too sure that what RIM’s angle is here. They’ve never officially announced the media server capability in 7.1, in fact — it’s not even in the currently available carrier releases. We only caught wind of it thanks to a heavy set of OS leaks that showed up previously. Either way, RIM has been showing it off at Mobile World Congress and if you want that capability now, you’ll have to install a leaked OS.

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