Rumors of an iPhone nano are almost as old as the iPhone itself: the first such mumblings began in 2008. Now, Patently Apple suggests that Apple definitely was once, or still is, considering a smaller version of the iPhone. The patent in question shows a device with multiple inputs and hardware buttons or LED lights that would allow a user to interact with the phone. Given the touchscreen technology used in today’s iOS devices, we suspect this patent from 2006 would no longer reflect what an “iPhone nano” might look like. In any case, it is arguable that Apple does not need to create an “iPhone nano” now that it sells a $50 iPhone 4 and a free-on-contract iPhone 3GS. The patent was just one of 20 recently published patents that were granted to Apple. More →
During the “Let’s Talk iPhone” keynote on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California today, Apple updated the iPod nano with a new multitouch display. Building on a number of watchband accessories that were made available for the last-generation nano, Apple has also created 16 different clock faces on the media player. Users also do not need to purchase additional accessories to take advantage of the nano during workouts; it will automatically begin tracking your walk or run. The new nano is available now and Apple is stocking seven different colors. The 16GB model is priced at $129 and the 16GB mode is priced at $149.
Apple’s next-generation iPod nano may ditch the clip design and instead feature a 1.3-megapixel camera, according to leaked images posted by Taiwanese blog Apple.pro. The overall design of the unit looks similar to the current iPod nano, although there’s a chrome border around the new camera and the metal exterior has a noticeably deeper green hue, which suggests new colors are on the way. We’re a bit surprised at the lack of a clip on the nano, though, as most people we’ve seen with the music player use it — so perhaps it’s possible the clip can be removed to expose the camera lens. Either way, the form factor definitely matches earlier leaks of the next-generation iPod nano. More →
We’re big fans of ZShock and its work, so when the company decided it was going to do what it does best on a Lunatik iPod nano watch case, we had to get our hands — and wrists — on one. It takes ZShock around 3-4 weeks to create and carefully hand-set the diamonds into pave settings on the white gold watch case. The craftsmanship on here is amazing, and just what you’d expect from one of the most innovative jewelers around. The all-diamond ZShock Lunatik iPod nano watch retails for around $18,000, though custom orders with different metals and even different diamonds and stones are possible from www.zshock.com. Make sure to check out some photos of the diamond Lunatik iPod nano watch in our hands on gallery!
As sure as The Wall Street Journal’s sources were that Apple was cooking up a miniature iPhone for release in the near future is as sure The New York Times seems to be that the iPhone nano’s future isn’t very near. The Times says Apple is indeed pondering a cheaper iPhone model, but it won’t be any smaller in size. The report does not delve deeply into how Apple might make a less expensive iPhone model, though it does suggest Apple might opt for cheaper internal parts such as a lower-quality camera and smaller memory modules. Apple is currently focused on finishing its next-generation iPhone, however, which will launch this summer. The device will be approximately the same size as the iPhone 4, the report states, and it may offer more robust voice controls. The Times also says Apple will soon expand its MobileMe services and make them free for iPhone users, which jibes with earlier reports. More →
Analytics company iSuppli has completed their analysis of Apple’s sixth-generation iPod nano. The company concludes that the small, square, touch-screen media player costs the Cupertino company $45.10 to manufacture; $43.73 in materials and $1.37 in manufacturing costs. The most expensive components on the device are the 8GB of NAND Flash memory ($14.40), the display ($11.50), and the Samsung processor ($4.95). Apple sells 8GB model of the device for $149. Not a bad profit margin, eh? More →
Following up on the iOS 4.1 announcement, Apple unveiled three new iPod models to refresh their music player lineup. The iPod Shuffle will go back to its familiar matchbook-like form, complete with buttons and clip, and will hold 2 GB of music; the new Shuffle will be available in five different colors and retail for $49. As reported across the internet, the new iPod Nano will be a small, multitouch, square device, have a clip — like the Shuffle — and will be sold in seven different colors; including a Product(RED) version. It will be available in an 8 GB model for $149 and a 16 GB model for $179.
And of course, the iPod Touch was not left out of the upgrade festival. Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs touted that the iPod Touch is the most popular portable gaming device in the world; outselling Sony and Nintendo combined. The new device is thinner, lighter, has Apple’s Retina display, 1 GHz A4 processor, front facing camera with FaceTime support, rear-facing camera with 720p HD recording, iOS 4.1 support, and 3-axis gyroscope. The iPod Touch will retail for: 8GB $229, 32 GB $299, 64 GB $399.
All the new iPod models will be available for pre-order today and will begin shipping next week.
Yesterday, MIT showcased an oil-skimming, autonomous robot dubbed the Seaswarm. As the devices site explains, “Seaswarm uses a photovoltaic powered conveyor belt made of a thin nanowire mesh to propel itself and collect oil.” The robot, which is meant to hunt oil in packs (hence Seaswarm), costs around $20,000 and is powered by solar cells on the top of the device. Multiple robots can self-organize their swarm, without human support, using GPS and Wi-Fi. The device, which CNN describes as, “a treadmill conveyor belt that’s been attached to an ice cooler” drags around nanowire mesh that can absorb 20 times its weight in oil without absorbing any water. When the material is saturated with oil, it can be rolled up and left in the ocean for later pickup (it floats) or can be burned off using a heater located in the robot’s body. The nano-material used releases oil when heated to the proper temperature; which will allow skimmed oil to be recycled and repurposed. MIT estimates that 5,000 skimmers, running 24-hours a day (which they are designed to do), could have cleaned up an oil spill the size of the Gulf of Mexico in one month. MIT plans to continue researching and improving the robot over the next year before looking for a potential buyer. Not exactly mobile technology, but pretty cool technology nonetheless. We’ve got a video explaining how the device works queued up for you after the break. More →
If you’ve been dying to grab some Apple gear but are waiting for a tiny bit of incentive (seriously, we mean tiny), today might be the day. Available online from Apple’s online store as well as in all Apple retail stores (with extended shopping hours), you can currently save a little money on practically anything they carry. Here’s what your savings will look like, just as we reported:
- iMacs are discounted $101
- iPod nanos are discounted $11
- iPod touch in 8GB, 32GB, or 64GB are discounted as much as $41
- Apple TVs are discounted $21
- AirPort Express is now $88 instead of $99
- Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboards are $5 off each
- Monster Beats headphones in exclusive Apple silver are discounted $71
There’s a lot, lot more so click on over, or head on over depending on how social you want to be today. More →
Our Apple tipster (who accurately predicted organizable iPhone homescreens in iTunes as well as integrated social networking components) is back at it again! This time we’ve been sent an image that we’re told is a “product mockup that may coincide with the launch of a revised Apple TV.” It seems a little far-fetched that this unit’s only purpose would be to control an Apple TV, and you can even see a Safari option on the mockup. To be honest, it looks like a touch screen iPod nano, just longer. We’re going to dig a little bit and see what we can find, but we figured we’d run this with a high dose of caution for informational purposes.
In addition to an update to iTunes, Apple also announced a refresh of its iPod lineup at its annual fall event. First up is the iPod touch which saw a price drop, capacity increase and a hardware upgrade. The iPod touch is available in the traditional 8GB capacity for $199, 32Gb for $299 and 64Gb for $399. The 32Gb and 64Gb models are 50% faster than the current iPod touch and features OpenGL ES 2.0 support, presumably sharing the same underlying architecture as the iPhone 3GS. The iPod Classic has been bumped to boost to 160GB with a steady-state price at $250. The Shuffle got a brand new paint job and a price drop with a 2GB Shuffle available in a smorgasbord of new colors for $59, and a 4GB special edition model available for $99. The biggest changes to the lineup occurred in the Nano which to the surprise of no one has received, insert drum roll here, a video camera. Now we know where all of those rumored camera modules went. The new iPod Nano features a larger 2.2 inch screen, polished anodized aluminum case, video camera, microphone, speaker, YouTube integration, CoverFlow, VoiceOver, Genius mixes, Voice recorder, a pedometer and FM radio. The iPod Nano is also available in multiple colors with the 8GB model priced at $149 and the 16GB at $179. All models are now live and available on Apple’s website.
Now before we get into these screen caps our disclaimer must be made explicitly clear: This is superduperultramegaturbo rumor/skeptical status. Right then. A German blogger claims to have dug up a hand full of iTunes 9 screenshots while sifting through a Chinese Apple forum. Yeah, we know — did you not read our disclaimer? For those of you who are late to the party, we exclusively scooped a handful of features said to be coming to the next version of iTunes and then followed up this morning with some tasty new info. Should these screenshots be authentic, they definitely firm up several of the items we listed including Last.fm integration and some kind of integration with Facebook and Twitter as shown in the first screenshot below (social playlists?). Hit the jump for the rest of the shots and a bigger version of the image above.
Ok people, you know the drill. Standard disclaimer here: patents may give us some preliminary details about a future product but companies — especially Apple — will patent anything and everything so don’t be too surprised if much of this patent never materializes. The biggest takeaway is likely the simple fact that Apple is indeed working on an iPhone nano in some capacity, as we’ve expected for quite a while now. That said, a reported patent unearthed this morning may shed some light on Apple’s preliminary designs where the elusive iPhone nano is concerned. According to the details revealed in the patent, Apple may in fact be considering a device that puts a new spin on touch interfaces by moving the touch surface to the back of the device. The front of the handset would be comprised entirely of a display and the back would be a “force-sensitive touch based surface”. Sounds… Interesting. The concept of controls on the rear of a device is nothing new but it has yet to reach the market in any significant way because, well, it’s counter-intuitive. Unless this design manifests itself with a front-facing touchscreen as well (for typing, etc) the safe bet is on this iteration of the iPhone nano never leaving Apple’s lab. Hit the jump for more images.