According to a report from Piper Jaffray, an international middle market investment firm, Apple might be putting itself in a position to release a netbook sometime in 2010.
Apple hasn't stated publicly any plans to release a low-cost notebook, and such a move would seem to go against the company's M.O. However, the investment firm points out the acquisition of PA Semi, several patents Apple has taken out, and the recent hiring of chip designers as evidence that Apple wants to be more active in the mobile world.
"We are anticipating a new category of Apple products with an operating system more robust than the iPhone’s but optimized for multi-touch, unlike Mac OS X," Piper Jaffray wrote. "The device’s OS could bear a close resemblance to Apple’s mobile OS and run App Store apps, or it could be a modified version of Mac OS X."
The reports suggest Apple could release a touchscreen tablet between 7 and 10 inches for anywhere from $500 to $700, which is out of netbook pricing territory, but might find an audience among those looking for a low-cost Mac. Moreover, the firm says Apple may use a proprietary CPU design.
Not even Intel could have predicted how wildly popular its Atom processor would be, because if it did, it might have scaled back production from the get-go. Instead, the No. 1 chip maker is reportedly keeping its eye on the Chinese market to make sure it doesn't sell too many Atoms, going so far as to reject orders from some China-based white-box vendors, says DigiTimes.
Intel did offer up a response, calling the story unfounded and saying it doesn't comment on industry rumors, but DigiTimes' un-cited sources insist that they're being watched very closely to prevent a surge of Atom chips in China. The sources added that Taiwan-based Intel CPU distributors have had to stop accepting orders from China-based white-box makers.
It might seem strange that Intel would look to sell less product, however fierce competition in China among white-box players has started to cut into traditional notebook sales where there exists a greater profit margin. It's easy to see why, at least in this case, Intel would want to scale back Atom sales, if in fact the chip maker is doing that.
Taiwan IC distributors expect that the supply of Atom processors will fall short of demand by 500,000 units this month in China.
For most users, Microsoft's Live Search is little more than a default setting on new installations of Internet Explorer. This perception is part of why Microsoft has always struggled to gain market share against Google & Yahoo who both hold the number 1 & 2 positions by a fairly large margin. Microsoft has struggled to come up with a strategy for sometime now, but it seems clear that its new strategy is to shed the past by dropping the Windows Live brand in favour of Kumo.
The timeframe for the redesign has been kept secret so far, but according to a forum posting on Neowin, Microsoft has started a clock in the lobby of its search headquarters that is counting down to June 2nd. This date, coincidentally enough, coincides with a speech being given by the head of Microsoft's online servi
ces division at the Search Engine Expo in Seattle. It is here that Dr Qi Lu is expected to formally announce Kumo and demonstrate the upgrades to the search engine. The timing also lines up well with a new ad campaign which is planned for the summer. So far Microsoft hasn't commented on Kumo specifically, and executives have hinted that it is but one of several names being considered at this point.
Early screen shots show several potential improvements that will allow searches to be broken down by relevant categories, making it easier to find information when you search for more general terms. For example; if you search for “Microsoft”, Kumo might give you a category for Windows, Office, Xbox, etc.
What do you think of Kumo as a brand name? What would you call it? And finally, will this get you to use Microsoft Search?
The latest graphics rumor making the rounds for the past month was that Nvidia would be releasing a single-PCB version of its dual-GPU GeForce GTX 295 videocard, however it was unclear what other changes the design alteration would result in. At least until now.
According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, the slimmer, single-PCB GTX 295 looks to be more about cutting costs than adding performance. Following in ATI's footsteps, Nvidia will place both GPUs on a single circuit board, which should help the company save a bit on manufacturing.
However, only the memory is said to getting a small boost, with Nvidia increasing the reference design's frequency from 1000MHz on the dual-PCB version to 1100MHz on the single-PCB. Both the core and shaders clockspeeds will remain the same at 576MHz and 1242MHz, respectively, and despite shelving the second PCB, it will still be a dual-slot card. It will also be half an inch longer, Fudzilla says, measuring a full eleven inches.
If the rumor holds true, look for the revised card to show up by the middle of May with no change to its price point.
If the latest web chatter turns out to be true, then Santa won't be stuffing any 6-core Intel chips in anyone's stockings this year. Instead, news site HKEPC tells us Intel's roadmap for for its 6-core Gulftown chip has been pushed back from Q4 2009 / Q1 2010 to sometime in Q2 2010.
From what we know so far, Gulftown will be worth the wait. Built around the Core i7 architecture, Gulftown will purportedly support HyperThreading, turning those 6 cores into 12. It will also come with two QuickPatch Interconnects (QPIs), 12MB of L3 cache, and hardware encryption support. Perhaps best of all, Intel's 32nm Gulftown likely serve as a drop-in replacement for LGA 1366 socket motherboards and work with current X58 chipsets.
File this away as a rumor until more details emerge, but for the time being, word on the web is that Microsoft is shopping for an ad agency to help launch and promote Zune for mobile phones. Codenamed 'Pink,' the project has made the rounds on the web before and refers to Zune software on mobile phones, which is somewhat less exciting than a Zunephone rumor coming true.
But is this all Microsoft has planned for Zune? As news site Engadget points out, "you don't audition three huge ad agencies just to launch a Zune app on busted ol' WinMo, so there could be something big cooking." Engadget surmises that we could end up seeing a consumer-oriented edition of Windows Mobile that integrates Zune services not just on the Zune HD, but on several third-party phones as well.
Any guesses as to what Microsoft is planning? Hit the jump and share post your predictions.
Apple is reported to have put NAND flash supplies under considerable strain by placing an order for 100 million 8Gb NAND flash chips with Samsung Electronics.
Taiwanese website Digitimes was the first to report on the issue. Sources told Digitimes that NAND supply will remain sparse until the end of May. NAND prices are expected to continue their upward trend on the back of this huge order. This is because NAND flash chip manufacturers are not keen on increasing production.
According to Daniel Amir, an analyst with Lazard Market Capital, Apple’s gargantuan order comprises both 16Gb and 8Gb NAND flash chips. Amir believes Apple’s order for 16Gb NAND is a harbinger of 32GB iPhones being around the corner. The same analyst had reported last month that industry insiders had told him that 32GB iPhones would become available in June, 2009.
The only plausible explanation the tech intelligentsia could muster was that MySpace may be making the change to free the popular MySpace.com domain for a webmail service.
An internal message sent to all MySpace employees, notifying them about the company-wide reassignment of corporate emails, has advanced this theory. “MySpace is migrating from the email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org,” MySpace’s parent company Fox Interactive Media announced in the internal email.
If MySpace does roll out a webmail service, it will become the third largest provider from the off. This is because all MySpace users – around 125 million of them - will be assigned an email address by default.
Citing the Commercial Times, Dow Jones reports Taiwan-based chip maker VIA Technologies will likely sell a stake to US-based graphics chip maker Nvidia through a private placement. Subject to shareholder approval, up to 300 million shares are up for grabs at between NT$9 and NT$12 ($0.27 to $0.35 USD).
Without an official comment from Nvidia, we can only speculate on what the GPU maker's motives might be, but there are two interesting things to note. First is the recent rift between Nvidia and Intel that has the two taking shots at each other. For Intel's part, the CPU maker has taken its disdain for Nvidia's Ion platform public. By cozying up to VIA, Nvidia could perhaps be looking to distance itself from Intel's Atom processor and declare all-out netbook warfare by implementing VIA's Nano processor into its Ion platform.
Secondly, Nvidia has indicated interest in building an x86 CPU. According to Michael Hara, Nvidia's senior VP of investor relations and communications, it's a matter of 'when' and not 'if.'
Nvidia is said to be eying a stake in VIA Technologies. VIA, which manufactures x86-based CPUs, is planning to sell 300 million new shares through private placement. Sources have revealed Nvidia and VIA are holding parleys. However, there is no official word on the names of those interested in buying a stake in VIA. According to Taiwanese website Digitimes, the price of the new shares will range between $0.27 and $.35. Intel has plans of invading Nvidia’s turf with its yet-to-be-released Larrabee GPU. Therefore, a stake in VIA might help Nvidia keep the scales even.