Market research firm iSuppli took a chisel and a calculator to Apple's second-generation Apple TV and what they found was a fair bit of iPad and iPod touch DNA inside.
"The first Apple TV was built like a nettop computer. The architecture was basically a stripped down, small form-factor desktop PC," said Andrew Rassweiler, director, principal analyst, and teardown services manager for iSuppli. "The second generation Apple TV is more like an iPad or iPod touch with no display. The Apple TV's A4 processor core, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip, and power management chip are the same building blocks used in the iPad, iPhone 4, and iPod touch."
According to iSuppli's teardown analysis, the Bill of Materials (BOM) of the second-gen Apple TV comes out to two pennies shy of $62. After factoring in the cost of manufacturing, iSuppli reckons Apple spends a nickel short of $64 on each new Apple TV box it grows.
The most expensive part inside is the Samsung A4 processor, which iSuppli pegs at $16.55. Memory adds another $14, while all the other parts cost less than eight bucks a pop.
LED backlit displays still command a premium over typical LCD panels, but things are steadily improving. Enter Samsung, which just announced its new line of affordable 31 series LED monitors.
"The 31 series LED monitors fit the needs of consumers looking to upgrade to an LED monitor on a budget, especially this holiday season," said young Bae, director of display marketing, Samsung Enterprise Business Division. "This line of monitors, designed with students and small and home office users in mind, stays true to Samsung's legacy of sleek design and superior LED performance."
So far the 31 series consists of four models, including the 20-inch BX2031, 21.5-inch BX2231, 23-inch BX2331, and 24-inch BX2431. Save for the BX2031, each one sports an ultra-slim 19mm design, Full HD 1920x1080, 2ms response time, 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and 2 HDMI inputs. The BX2031 differs in that it carries a 1600x900 resolution, 5ms response time, and VGA and DVI-D inputs (no HDMI).
The 31 series will ship later this month for $169 (BX2031), $199 (BX2231), $239 (BX2331), and $279 (BX2431).
It's said that real men wear pink, and during this time of the year, so does everyone who wishes to show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Even NFL players can be seen sporting pink chin straps, cleats, and other gear.
But you don't have to lace up and hit the gridiron to get your pink fix. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Microsoft has released a pink wireless mouse and will donate part of the proceeds towards finding a cure.
"The Microsoft Hardware Team is doing what we can during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to create a special edition pink mouse," Microsoft explains. "We're donating 10 percent of the selling price to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest and most progressive grassroots network of survivors and activists fighting to end breast cancer forever."
The wireless rodent runs $40 and uses Microsoft's BlueTrack technology. It comes with a 2.4GHz dongle that you can leave plugged in or stow in the mouse's underbelly. As for the donation program, Microsoft says it will include sales all the up to September 11, 2011.
While we're on the subject, we'd be remiss not to mention Stanford's Folding@Home distributed computing project. You can read more about this free program here, and how to join Team Maximum PC here.
Samsung's P2770FH came to market just a tad late to lay claim as the world's first LCD to sport a 1ms response time (that distinction belongs to Viewsonic's VX2739wm), but it is one of only two computer monitors we're aware of that comes marketed as such.
"The P2770FH's groundbreaking 1ms response time offers an unbeatable experience for users looking to immerse themselves in computer gaming or movies," Samsung said. "Video editors will especially appreciate the lightning-quick response time, which eliminates motion blur and ghosting effects that hinder accuracy during the editing process. Additionally, computer gamers will benefit from the quick response, allowing them to fully enjoy game play and engage in a more fulfilling experience."
The 27-inch panel features a Full HD 1920x1080 resolution, 17,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (1,000:1 static), HDMI, DVI-I, audio- and optical-out, and Samsung's "Touch of Color" accents.
Look for the P2770FH to ship later this month for $400.
If you scoff at the idea of paying hundreds of dollars for a high-end set of headphones, then you're probably not going to pony up $2,749 for Ultrasone's new Edition 10 open-back headset. We didn't inadvertently mash an extra number on our keyboard, folks, these headphones run just shy of three large. Just what exactly constitutes a $2,749 pair of headphones?
"The outer ear cup is finished with galvanic Ruthenium plating and with a Zebrano wood inlay, which is coated with eight layers of clear lacquer for protection," the German headphone maker explains. "The Edition 10's inner ear cup, as well as the head-pad, is adorned with reddish brown Ethiopian sheepskin. This type of leather is known for being the most supple leather available, achieving the maximum level of comfort and sound isolation."
So there you have it -- part of the markup is due to the "supple leather," plus a gaggle of other marketing bullets, like Titanium plated drivers, Kevlar coated cables, and a hand-crafted Zebrano wood headphone stand housed in its own wooden box.
Despite being Handheld's smallest and lightest rugged handheld PDA yet, the company claims its new Nautiz X3 was designed with field work in mind. Towards that end, the tough and rugged PDA comes ready to withstand drops from 1.8 meters and can operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -20C to 60C.
"The Nautiz X3 is a true breakthrough – it’s a unique product in today’s market. We’re offering a handheld PDA that’s smaller and lighter than most similar computing tools – and yet it still meets IP65 and MIL-STD810G standards. It has fast voice and data performance – plus all the performance features you’d expect from a rugged PDA which makes it go beyond a smartphone. It has a combination of size, performance, ruggedness and value that the market hasn’t seen before," said Jerker Hellström, CEO and Chairman of the Handheld Group.
On the hardware front, the Nautiz X3 packs an 806MHz X-Scale processor, 256MB of RAM, and 512MB of Flash memory for storage chores. It also comes with a 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen, 3300mAh battery, 3MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, WLAN, Bluetooth, 3G, and and Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional.
From the makers of the ill-fated 3DO game console comes the “Jungle” handheld gaming system. Let us rephrase the last line for accuracy's sake: from one of the four manufacturers of the … . If you haven't guessed it already, we are talking about Japanese consumer electronics company Panasonic.
With the 3DO debacle buried under tons of “time sand,” Panasonic is gearing up to invade the handheld gaming space on the back of an upcoming portable device focused entirely on online gaming and MMORPGs. The Jungle, as the device is called, reportedly runs a Linux OS, and according to Fudzilla, features a Tegra chip.
Not a lot is known about the Jungle. Even the official site only features a video teaser and a sign-up-to-stay-updated form at this stage.
There's no way to tell if this is a legitimate shortage, or just a ruse to stoke the fires of demand, but T-Mobile says they cannot accept any more pre-orders of the T-Mobile G2. They claim the reason for this is high demand. The phone goes on sale officially tomorrow, but some stores have already been selling it. Customers will be able to order the phone as normal tomorrow, but T-Mobile isn't making any promises about shipping times.
The G2 is a sliding QWERTY Android phone that is very much the spiritual successor to the original G1. The phone runs Android 2.2 Froyo, and supports T-Mobile's speedy HSPA+ network. Some early reports of loose hinges and missing storage seem not to have hurt demand too much. Customers might even find devices scarce tomorrow, depending on how much of the stock T-Mobile sold through on pre-orders.
Let us know if you manage to pick on up. If you've already got one, is it living up to the hype?
If you recently bought a smartphone, there's a solid chance it was an Android device. According to some new numbers from Nielsen Research, In August 2010, 32% of smartphone buyers went with phones running Google's Android mobile operating system. That's a rise from July, when the value was only 28%. Apple's iPhone was slightly behind at 26% for August. RIM has taken a pounding as of late seeing their monthly numbers fall from 35% back in June, to a mere 25% in August.
These numbers are good for studying the rate at which a phone sells, but overall success is perhaps more aptly measure by total market share. That is, how many people are using each operating system. Here, the numbers tell a different story according to Nielsen. Apple is holding steady over time, with a current market share of 28%. RIM has fallen slightly, but is still in the lead with 31%. Android, while killing it in the monthly sales figures, is still playing catch up with 19% current market share.
The huge rise in Android sales makes it the only major OS that's actually gaining right now. It may only be a matter of time before the army of Android phones overwhelms the iPhone and Blackberry.