Apple online store begins selling refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

13inrmbprefurb011713

It hasn’t even been a month since Apple began offering refurbished 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks with Retina display via its online store starting at US$1,869. And now they have added  the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro to its lineup of refurbished offerings.

The machines start at $1,439 for the 2.5 GHz i5 model with 128 GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, a $260 savings over the $1,699 sticker price of a new unit. Apple’s also offering the 2.5 GHz i5 model with 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM for $1,699 ($300 off, normally $1,999) and the 2.9 GHz i7 model with 512 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM for $2,289 ($410 off, normally $2,699). Shipping times for all three refurbished models run one to three days and, as usual, stock is limited.

Advertisements

Fusion Drive Now Available as Option for Low End 21.5″ iMac

20130105-230821.jpg

Apple is now allowing the entry level 21.5″ iMac to be configured with a 1TB Fusion Drive. The Fusion Drive is a built-to-order option for the iMac and Mac mini that combines SSD and traditional hard drives into a single logical volume.

With Fusion Drive in your iMac, disk-intensive tasks — from booting up to launching apps to importing photos — are faster and more efficient. That’s because frequently used items are kept at the ready on speedy flash storage, while infrequently accessed items go to the hard drive. The file transfers take place in the background, so you won’t even notice.

The 1TB Fusion Drive add-on is a $250 option and was previously only offered on the high end 21.5″ iMac, high end Mac mini and 27″ iMacs.

Apple unveils “The new iPad”


As predicted by many, Apple just unveiled the next iPad called “The new iPad” Yes really that’s what it is called!

Apple’s new tablet computer has arrived and its ultra-sharp 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina display is enough to set it apart from anyone else. The camera takes breathtaking images. It also has much more powerful guts, with a much faster processor, graphics and more memory. And it’s 4G ready. Continue reading

New Thunderbolt devices coming 2012

copied from macrumors.com

DigiTimes reports that Intel has notified partners that the company will “fully release” its Thunderbolt technology in April 2012. Intel is reportedly preparing to launch Thunderbolt-supported motherboards, notebooks and desktop PCs at that time.

Intel and Apple originally partnered on the new technology which has become standard across Apple’s MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iMac. Digitimes reports that the cost of Thunderbolt technology is expected to drop in the second half of 2012, allowing more widespread adoption.While Apple does offer Thunderbolt across most of its product line, the first Thunderbolt products have been limited to relatively high end devices. More widespread adoption should help drive adoption by accessory makers that will benefit both Mac and PC users that use Thunderbolt.

Intel has always said that they see both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt as complementary technologies and plans to support both in their 2012 motherboards.

Jawbone offers refunds for all UP Purchases

Complaints over the durability (or lack thereof) of Jawbone’s UP wristband have led the company to the unusual move of promising refunds to all customers — even if they decline to return the device to Jawbone. Jawbone says current UP owners can keep their wristbands, according to TechCrunch, so long as they promise not to sell them on eBay or otherwise profit from it. A letter from the company’s CEO lays out the plan and promises that Jawbone is retooling to fix the issues.

Meanwhile, all pending orders for the Jawbone UP have been canceled, and Jawbone offers existing users a choice of cash refunds of US$109.43 or Jawbone.com credit of $150.

The Jawbone UP wristband fitness tracker has received generally good reviews, but many users have complained that the hardware fails after a short period of time. In response, Jawbone has withdrawn UP from circulation until it can sort these issues out. This recall/refund scheme will no doubt cost Jawbone a great deal of money, but it may be an acceptable tradeoff if the company reaps enough goodwill in return.

In an official statement Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman says “We recognize that this product has not yet lived up to everyone’s expectations – including our own – so we’re taking action.”

Earlier this year, we unveiled Jawbone’s vision to help people live a healthier life with UP. We’ve been thrilled by the passionate response to this product. We heard from tens of thousands of you through emails, tweets, blog posts and on our forums about how you’re changing your lifestyle and becoming consumers of your own health. In just four weeks, UP users have collectively taken over three billion steps, gotten more than 300 years of sleep and captured hundreds of thousands of meals.

While many of you continue to enjoy the UP experience, we know that some of you have experienced issues with your UP band. Given our commitment to delivering the highest quality products, this is unacceptable and you have our deepest apologies. We’ve been working around the clock to identify the root causes and we’d like to thank everyone who has provided us with information and returned their bands to us for troubleshooting. With your help, we’ve found an issue with two specific capacitors in the power system that affects the ability to hold a charge in some of our bands. We’re also fixing an issue with syncing related to the band hardware. Typically, these issues surface within the first seven to ten days of use. The glitches are purely performance related and do not pose any safety risk.

Every Third Thursday team adds iPad to snowboard

This is probably the coolest snowboard you will ever see!
As and avid snowboarder my heart started beating a little faster when I saw this awesome snowboard.
The guys from Every Third Thursday decided to do something a little more special in memory of Steve Jobs, so they decided to integrate an iPad into their snowboard, as well as adding a lighting logo to the back.
This really can’t be explained you will need to spend the 5 minutes to watch the movie, but trust me it will be well worth it.
Watch and see as the ETT guys hardware needs updating a few times to get this snowboard built right!

Every Third Thursday-by-signal-snowboards-iShred from Signal Snowboards on Vimeo.

Did Amazon just out the new Apple TV?


Interesting move today from Amazon.  Not only did they drop the price of Apple TV to $89.99 matching Best Buy, Amazon has also marked the product name with the number “2010” in parentheses, perhaps suggesting that there will be a 2011 or 2012 edition rolling out soon.

The existing model has been around since September 1, 2010, and a new device might very well replace the single-core A4 with a dual-core A5. That bump would help 1080p playback and smooth out the UI on the Apple TV.

Rumors are suggestion that if a new Apple TV is on the way, it would be likely to hit the market before the holiday buying binge starts — perhaps as soon as the next few days, we will keep our eyes open for any updates.

New Case Brings Dual-SIM capability to Jailbroken iPhones

Vooma has announced an iPhone case with a backup battery and, more interestingly, an unlocked SIM slot. The case works with a jailbreak-only app that emulates the iPhone’s native phone app to allow calls via the external SIM. At its core, the case unlocks any jailbroken iPhone.

TechCrunch’s John Biggs tried a pre-release version of the case and came away impressed:
Once it’s set up the Peel PG92 works seamlessly and even uses a similar interface to Apple’s own dialer – although it’s clear that the programmers had to cut a few corners to get the look and feel correct. For example, the dialing screen is actually a bitmapped copy of the original dialer and the letters and numbers are slightly warped. However, all of the major functionality is recreated in the Vooma app.However, this is clearly a very cool and clever hack and it works without problems on any jailbroken iPhone.

Details are scarce, but it appears that the case fits mini-SIM cards, not the micro-SIM that fits in the iPhone 4 and 4S. Also, the external SIM could be used for voice calls only — data most likely goes through the SIM card that’s installed in the iPhone. Because the external SIM is used via its own app the internal SIM can still be used for voice calls even with the case installed.

The case would be most useful for international travelers who wish to install a prepaid SIM card from a local carrier, without having to unlock their subsidized iPhone from a domestic carrier. Unlocking an iPhone is typically more difficult than a simple jailbreak.

Vooma has a sign-up form on its homepage to get more information on the Peel PG920, but the company has disclosed no details about pricing or availability.

Apple built Siri-specific proximity sensor into iPhone 4S

During iFixit’s teardown of the iPhone 4S, the site came across a component that it couldn’t immediately identify. After subsequent testing, iFixit has determined that the iPhone 4S has an infrared LED that acts as a secondary proximity sensor, and its functions appear to be tied directly to Siri.

All earlier models of iPhones have had a proximity sensor designed to shut the handset’s touchscreen off when you raise it to your ear. This is designed to prevent your face from dialing numbers while you’re on a phone call. The sensor is normally only active during phone calls or when using a VoIP app like Skype.

In contrast, this new infrared LED is constantly active if you have enabled “Raise to Speak” in Siri’s settings. The whole purpose of the sensor is essentially the same as the iPhone’s traditional proximity sensor, just with a different function; instead of deactivating something, this sensor instead activates Siri when you raise it to your ear.

Although the LED is constantly active if you have “Raise to Speak” enabled, it’s most likely drawing a minuscule amount of power and thus not the cause of widely-reported battery issues in the iPhone 4S (which aforthcoming iOS 5 update hopes to address). It’s also worth noting, as iFixit rather humorously does, that although the iPhone 4S will constantly be emitting an infrared beam in your direction as you use it, the beam is completely harmless.

iPhone 4S coming to Poland and 14 other countries next Friday


Apple has just announced that its iPhone 4S will land in Hong Kong, South Korea and thirteen additional countries this coming Friday, November 4, when the company will begin taking reservations in those countries (with the exceptions of Albania, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malta, Montenegro and Panama, where pre-orders won’t be available).

The full list of new markets goes as follows: Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania and South Korea.

With the aforementioned countries included, Apple’s device will be available in 44 markets come this Friday. The company re-iterated that iPhone 4S will be available in 70 countries and on a hundred carriers by the end of the year, “our fastest roll out ever”.

Full Press Release can be found here.