Apple is expected to add a backlit keyboard to the new MacBook Air models when it refreshes the laptop line, AppleInsider reported on Tuesday. The Cupertino-based firm used to offer the feature on its high-end MacBook Air laptop, but oddly omitted keyboard backlighting during the last refresh. Apple is expected to take the wraps off of its new models during the week of July 21st, and the notebooks are rumored to offer the new Thunderbolt I/O port in place of a DisplayPort, OS X Lion, and Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors. Other rumors have also suggested that Apple will offer 400MBps SSD modules. We’ve heard that Apple has an overnight shift planned on July 13th, too, so we’re still keeping our fingers crossed that an announcement could come even sooner. More →
Checks performed by Canaccord Genuity analysts T. Michael Walkley, Charles John and Matthew D. Ramsay show that Apple’s devices maintained their dominance in the U.S. market in June. The firm contacted carrier retail stores across the country to determine which smartphones were the most popular last month. At AT&T stores, Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and the Samsung Infuse 4G were the most popular devices, as they were in May. Apple’s iPhone 4 was also the best-selling smartphone at Verizon Wireless stores again in June, followed by the Samsung DROID Charge and the HTC Thunderbolt. The brand new HTC EVO 3D topped EVO 4G and Epic 4G sales at Sprint last month, and the HTC Sensation 4G, Samsung Vibrant 4G and myTouch 4G were top-3 at T-Mobile. Canaccord found that iOS and Android showed growth in June while BlackBerry sales slid at all four carriers, and Motorola’s North American sales continued to slow as well. A chart showing Canaccord’s findings over the last six months can be seen below. More →
Apple has started to ask Apple Store employees to prepare for an “overnight” shift on July 13th — a sign that the company is prepping a new release of some sort on the next day, 9to5 Mac said. Apple has already confirmed that Mac OS X Lion 10.7 will land in July, and we’re placing bets that’s what we’ll see on the 14th. However, we’re also expecting refreshed MacBook Air notebooks in the imminent future and, since the new MacBook Air will no doubt run OS X Lion, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it launch at the same time. Other specs for the refresh likely include Intel’s new SandyBridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O in place of the DisplayPort. There have even been rumors of a black anodized aluminum high-end MacBook Air, although we’re not so sure that will ever see the light of day. The good news is we just have six more days until we find out. More →
Apple will refresh its MacBook Air line of computers on July 19th, iClarified reported on Wednesday. We began to suspect the update was imminent when early reports suggested that global supplies for the computer were in short supply in late May. Those reports were solidified earlier this week when stock of the MacBook Air at Best Buy and Amazon was depleted. The device is expected to pack the new Thunderbolt I/O port in place of DisplayPort, Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, and the brand new OS X Lion operating system. 9to5 Mac said that Apple will likely offer Intel’s 1.8GHz Intel Core i7, 1.7GHz Core i7, and the 1.7GHz Core i5 in its new machines. We love the current design of the MacBook Air, and rumor has it that there won’t be any hardware tweaks. We suppose that could mean the rumored anodized black version will never see the light of day. The good news is the long wait is nearly over. More →
It looks like we may finally see Apple unveil its mid-2011 MacBook Air models some time this week. Best Buy has stopped shipping all MacBook Air notebooks as of this past weekend. The online retailer is still taking orders, however, which indicates that Apple will likely not adjust pricing when it issues its refreshed models. Of note, unless Apple introduced an entirely new model at a much lower price point, this puts earlier rumored sales targets of 8 million units well out of reach. Several sellers on the Amazon.com website are showing low inventory or stockouts as well, further supporting the notion that Apple has stopped refreshing distributor inventory as it prepares to begin shipping updated MacBook Air models. Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Airs are expected to feature Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports, among other changes. More →
Apple plans to ship more than 8 million MacBook Air computers in the third quarter of 2011, DigiTimes claims in a new report on Friday. The number represents more than twice the total number of Mac computers Apple shipped during its fiscal second quarter. DigiTimes‘ report cites sources within Apple’s supply chain in stating that combined MacBook production was ramped up to 2.2-2.4 million units in June, and Apple is expected to yield 2.7-2.8 million units in July. The Cupertino-based company is expected to release refreshed MacBook Air models ahead of the release of its new Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, and the notebooks should feature Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports. The anticipated spec boost is expected to cause a surge in MacBook Air sales, but a target of 8 million units in a single quarter doesn’t seem terribly realistic; Apple shipped a total of 3.76 million Mac units in its March quarter, including its MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and Mac Pro lines. Unless Apple also plans to announce a drastic price reduction when it unveils its new MacBook Air PCs in the coming weeks, we don’t see the company coming anywhere close to shipping 8 million units next quarter. More →
Verizon Wireless announced on Tuesday that it will expand its 4G LTE network to cover several new markets on July 21st. The following areas will receive coverage at that time: Huntsville, Alabama.; Augusta, Georgia.; Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.; Springfield, Massachusetts.; Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro-Winston, and Salem-High Point, North Carolina; and Knoxville, Tennessee. The carrier also said that it will expand the size of its current 4G LTE network in San Diego and Los Angeles. Read on for a press release describing Verizon’s California expansion. More →
It has been widely reported that Apple is planning to refresh its MacBook Air family later this month or early next month, and now there’s a new rumor that may make the wait even more worthwhile. According to MacRumors, the refreshed top-end MacBook Air model may also be available with a new anodized black aluminum finish — a color option that hasn’t been seen since Apple did away with the black MacBook. The image above is from Colorwave, which offers custom paint jobs for a variety of gadgets, but it’s a good idea of what such a product could look like barring the trackpad. Apple’s refresh is also expected to deliver support for the new Thunderbolt I/O port as well as Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors. We’re definitely excited to see what the refresh entails, and the good news is we almost certainly won’t have a long wait to find out. More →
Here’s some good news for DROID Charge, LG Revolution, and HTC ThunderBolt owners: BGR has independently confirmed with Verizon Wireless that the carrier is extending its free 4G LTE mobile hotspot offer on those devices from June 15th to July 6th. Verizon Wireless will issue a software update on July 6th that deactivates the free promotion. Users will then need to pay for the service, and Verizon says 4G phone owners do not qualify for the 1GB $20 monthly option. While the carrier hasn’t yet confirmed new hotspot pricing, the next tier data plan is the $35 3GB monthly hotspot data plan, so that may be the new requirement.
According to Reuters, Apple is poised to refresh its popular thin and light MacBook Air family later this month. The news outlet cited a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily, which suggested that Apple’s first shipment will include 380,000 of the new Air units. The report is in line with earlier rumors suggesting supplies of the MacBook Air were drying up nearing a possible refresh; one analyst with Concord Securities recently suggested that Apple will upgrade its MacBook Air family in June, too. The new models are expected to carry Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs, new Thunderbolt I/O ports, and improved Intel graphics. Apple last refreshed its MacBook Air family on October 20th, 2010. More →
On Friday AmazonWireless announced a pretty stunning mobile phone sale. It’s now offering the HTC ThunderBolt and Motorola DROID X 2 for $99.99, the Samsung DROID Charge and LG Revolution for $149.99, the HTC Incredible 2 and HTC Trophy for $49.99, and the PlayStation Certified Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY for just a penny. The sale ends on June 8th, so if you’re a Verizon Wireless subscriber looking to save some money for summer barbeques, here’s your shot. More →
Awaiting yet another 4G LTE device to take advantage of the fastest 4G network in the country? The LG Revolution for Verizon Wireless might be your handset… on second thought, maybe not. While we had high hopes for the LG Revolution, even in our short time with the phone, we came away disappointed. The device itself feels a little thinner than the chunky HTC ThunderBolt and it’s more comfortable to hold and use, but most of the positives end there. We can’t stress this enough, but the display on the Revolution is just disappointing. It’s dull, lacking colors, and looks extremely pixelated. LG’s custom UI doesn’t help as well, as it feels like a knock-off version of Samsung’s TouchWiz without the added benefits. LG’s default keyboard in Android is the poorest attempt at a software keyboard we’ve seen lately, and the way LG organizes their app drawer is chaotic. We haven’t spent enough time with the device to get a good handle on the battery life, but if it’s anything like the ThunderBolt, well, you’re going to be looking for an extended battery STAT. Check out our LG Revolution hands-on gallery below while we get revolving on the review.
Verizon announced on Monday that it will activate its blazing fast 4G LTE network in 23 new markets on June 16th. The service will soon be available in Hartford, Connecticut; Harrisburg, State College, and Erie, Pennsylvania; Dayton and Springfield, Ohio; Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina; Sacramento and Fresno, California; Spokane, Washington; Boise, Idaho; Salt Lake City, Utah; Flint, Grand Rapids, and Lansing, Michigan; Indianapolis and Forth Wayne, Indiana; and Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Verizon also said that it will expand its existing 4G footprint in Detroit and the San Francisco Bay area, and that it remains on course to fill out its entire 3G footprint with 4G data connectivity by the end of 2013. So far we’ve reviewed two 4G-capable phones from Verizon — the HTC ThunderBolt and the Samsung DROID Charge — and the carrier’s LTE network has blown us away on both devices.