Monthly Archives: August 2011

Macworld Benchmarks 2.7GHz Core i7 Mac mini with SSD

Macworld posted a new article yesterday showing the performance of a BTO Mac mini with a 2.7GHz Core i7 processor and a 256GB SSD. Needless to say, this machine did quite well in their series of testing. It outperformed the two base models of the 2011 Mac mini by a significant margin in just about every test. It even smoked past the entry-level 21.5″ iMac in tests depending on hard drive performance. This boost in performance doesn’t come cheap though. The BTO Mac mini prices out at $1499, which is $700 more than the base 2.5GHz Core i5 Mac mini and $300 more than the entry-level 21.5″ iMac. That isn’t exactly a value proposition for most people, but it’s still fun to see how they compare. So, head on over to Macworld for all the details.


Bloomberg’s Jaroslovsky Reviews Revamped MacBook Air

Bloomberg’s Rich Jaroslovsky reviews Apple Inc.’s revamped MacBook Air laptop computer. The Air comes in two models. The smaller, weighing in at just under 2.5 pounds, has an 11.6-inch screen and 2 gigabytes of memory. Starting at $999, it is the cheapest MacBook of any kind. The larger, weighing just under 3 pounds, has a 13.3-inch display and 4 gigabytes; it starts at $1,299. (Source: Bloomberg)

Mac sales climb after launch of OS X Lion and new MacBook Airs

Apple’s current quarterly earnings should receive a nice boost from brisk sales of Mac hardware says analysts. This summer increase can be attributed to the July introduction of OS X Lion and new MacBook Air and Mac mini models.

The latest NPD report suggests Mac sales may climb 26% year over year, which is six times the growth of the overall PC market. Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes is a bit more conservative with his estimate of 18% year-over-year growth for Mac sales. And, lastly, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is similarly optimistic about Mac sales. Munster believes enthusiasm for the new hardware and software will help Apple ship 4.5 million Macs this quarter.

Based on these estimates, it’ll be a good year for the Mac. Mac sales will continue to grow and Apple will gain market share in the PC industry. These glowing figures are a refreshing change from the rest of the PC industry which is slumping.

Three Apple store grand openings this weekend in Charlotte, Little Rock and Paris

This Saturday, Apple is opening a new international store at the Carré Sénart shopping mall south of Paris.

Last week, Apple opened three new retail spots in the United States, England and Spain and this week the company continues its ambitious retail expansion with three grand openings scheduled Saturday in France and America, ifoAppleStore reports. The publication says two new stores will open in American states of North Carolina and Arkansas. The latter is interesting because it will be Apple’s first store in the state of Arkansas, found in Little Rock’s Promenade at the Chenal mall. Another store is set to open for business at the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolia. Apple has also been operating the Southpark store in the area since 2004. The publication sums up Apple’s retail gains in the US:

With the addition of Arkansas, Apple now has stores in the District of Columbia and 44 states. Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, West Virginia and Vermont are still without an Apple store.

A new store in south of Paris will also be interesting, found at the Carré Sénart shopping mall south of Paris and seen in the above shot. “The store will be the fourth store in the region and the ninth in the country”, ifoAppleStore writes. Apple is also set to open its priciest store ever in Hong Kong next month and has inked a ten-year deal on ‘world’s biggest’ store that will be integrated right inside New York’s landmark Grand Central Terminal station. A pair of new stores is also set to open in Germany’s City-Galerie and Jungfernstieg and three in Spain.

And in Bologna, Italy, Apple has changed the shape of some windows and the roof in order to uniform the store building in the city center, as seen in the “before” and “after” photographs courtesy of SetteB.IT. The Bologna store is most likely to become Apple’s ninth retail spot in the country, following planned store openings in Marcianise (EC), Misterbianco (CT) and in Campi Bisenzio (FI).

Apple gets magnetic coupling patent for possible use in iOS devices

Apple has been granted a patent that covers magnetic coupling connectors that could be used in future iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. The patent, titled "Techniques for coupling interfaces parts using moveable magnetic elements," describes a technology similar to the MagSafe connectors Apple introduced in 2006 to its MacBook lines that allows the power cord to separate from its host device if too much pressure is applied to it too quickly, as happens when one trips over a power cord attached to a laptop.

The patent application specifically shows a figure that looks like the first generation iPad with a MagSafe power connector. The patent does not, however, describe a MagSafe dock connector. Currently the 30-pin dock connector is how iOS devices receive power, but one can assume Apple could adapt the MagSafe technology to fit dock connectors, or of course, Apple could conceivably eventually eliminate the 30-pin connector and replace all iOS devices with a smaller MagSafe/Thunderbolt hybrid port that would allow for lighting-quick syncing complete with MagSafe's "anti-trip" technology. Interestingly, this is the second patent granted to Apple that refers to a MagSafe-like connector on an iPad. The first was in October 2010.