What a 12.9-inch iPad looks like next to an iPad 4 and the MacBook Air

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Earlier this year, a report from a Korean news site claimed that Apple was looking at the possibility of launching a 12.9-inch iPad in early 2014. We called the story ‘crazy,’ as among other things, it called for the monstrous tablet to be named the ‘iPad maxi.’

Surprisingly, though, late last month the Wall Street Journal corroborated the report, saying it had it on good authority that Apple was really working on such a device. And on the off chance that it ever makes it to market, here’s what it could look like…

The folks over at MacRumors have commissioned CiccareseDesign to create renderings of what a 13-inch iPad might look like compared to the current iPad and iPad mini models, as well as the rumored fifth-generation iPad, and a 13-inch MacBook Air.

Here’s the 12.9-inch iPad next to a mini and a 4th gen iPad:

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And here it is next to a 13-inch MacBook Air:

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Now, there’s a lot of math behind this thing, but MacRumors says that the renderings are based on a display with a resolution of 2712 x 2048. That’s why you see an extra row of icons on the Home screen, and why it seems like there’s so much empty space.

While the renderings look great, the obvious question here is why on earth would Apple build such a large tablet? Isn’t the current 9.7-inch model plenty big—or even too big for folks that opt for the smaller 7.9-inch mini? Honestly, I don’t have an answer.

But if I had to guess, I’d say such a device would be geared toward the pro crowd—photographers, videographers, producers, etc. Never underestimate the value of more screen real estate when you’re doing things like showing photos and editing raw footage.

So will we ever see a 13-inch iPad? I don’t know. But if we do, I doubt it will be anytime soon. I agree with some of the chatter I’ve come across on Twitter that iOS, as it is now, would feel rather odd on a 12.9-inch display—as would its thousands of apps.

World’s first iPhone 5 Unboxing.. In Pictures!

I always thought that unboxings were only for video, but I guess they can appear in photo form as well. We look forward to bringing you a video unboxing, but in the meantime, these shots are admittedly pretty mouth watering.

As usual with Apple, everything comes neatly wrapped in a minimalistic package.

Apple snaps up NFC and smart sensors maker AuthenTec for $356 million

Apple has made an interesting acquisition, snapping up smart sensors maker AuthenTec in a transaction valued at $356 million, Reuters reported Friday. AuthenTec makes fingerprint sensor chips used in personal computers.

What’s more, its swipe sensors can read the live layer beneath the skin’s surface and comply with strict government standards. They also produce chips that utilize near-field communication (NFC) technology which is said to be a part of this fall’s iPhone hardware refresh…

Reuters reports that the deal, which was disclosed in AuthenTec‘s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission entails Apple paying $8.00 per share, a premium of 58 percent for AuthenTec‘s shares based on Thursday’s closing price of $5.07.

AuthenTec licenses its technology to the likes of Lenovo, Fujitsu and Dell and recently cut a deal with Samsung to use its technology to bolster enterprise security in the Galaxy maker’s upcoming Android smartphones and tablets.

From SnapTech’s website:

AuthenTec owns many of the foundational technology patents from the fingerprint biometric industry, and today has a broad IP and patent portfolio consisting of nearly 200 issued and filed U.S. patents, as well as additional foreign patent derivatives.

These include patents covering fingerprint sensors and sensor packaging, software and end use. AuthenTec technology serves as a strong foundation for the Company’s smart sensors, identity management software and embedded security.

As for the smart sensors the company makes:

AuthenTec‘s award-winning smart fingerprint sensors provide multiple touch-powered features that extend beyond user authentication to include convenience, personalization and touch control. The Company’s TouchChip area fingerprint sensors and modules comply with government and industry standards and offer the ruggedness, strong security and ease of integration needed for quick and broad deployment.

Sounds like Apple has gotten hold of some interesting tech here.

So, you’ll be able to just swipe your finger across a sensor to unlock a future iPhone? Not so fast. If SeekingAlpha is right, Apple is adding a biometric sensor “so that the iPhone can become a safe and secure payment device”. MacRumors points at one specific sensor byAuthenTen which is marketed for use specifically for authentication for mobile wallets.

Numerous patent filings have made known Apple’s intentions to use NFC in future products. A massive NFC-related patent discovered yesterday describes a number of use cases for NFC-powered iPhones, including connected homes and the ability to control a variety of consumer electronics products.

According to “trusted sources” and strings discovered in the iOS Beta code, the next iPhone could easily incorporate an NFC chip. Another related patent indicates that Apple is interested in pursuing this technology.

Apple was also granted key patents for iTravel and iWallet software that could take advantage of NFC hardware and the Passbook application in iOS 6, which now serves as a central repository for e-tickets, discount coupons and stuff like that.

Apple announces WWDC 2012, kicks off on June 11th & Tickets sells out in two hours !

Confirming speculation, Apple just announced via a press release that its annual developer conference will run this year from June 11 through June 15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, a week after this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo show. Tickets are now on sale, available from $1,599 for conference passes.

If history is anything to go by, WWDC 2012 will sell out in a matter of hours. If you’re planning on attending the conference, better get your tickets right now, right here.

Unlike previous WWDCs, however, this time around Apple is mandating that attendees with conference passes be members of one of their developer programs…

Apple quoted in the press releases its senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Philip Schiller:

We have a great WWDC planned this year and can’t wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers. The iOS platform has created an entirely new industry with fantastic opportunities for developers across the country and around the world.

The mention of the iOS platform is a strong indication that WWDC 2012 could see Apple preview iOS 6, the next major updated to its mobile operating system.

The WWDC website provides an overview of the sessions planned for the five-day conference, including:

• more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of technology-specific topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies
• 100 hands-on labs staffed by more than 1,000 Apple engineers providing developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and OS X technologies in their apps
• the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS and OS X developers from around the world—last year more than 60 countries were represented
• engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with leading minds and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment
• Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad® and Mac® apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.

A scholarship program for full or part-time students age 13 or older is also available. Nominations for the 2012 Apple Design Awards for outstanding iOS and Mac apps are also open.

We’re expecting various other updates at WWDC 2012. Specifically, Apple should update us on the progress of OS X Mountain Lion and likely unveil a refreshed MacBook lineup right on the heels of Intel’s Ivy Bridge announcement.

Whoa, WWDC 2012 sells out in two hours

This is insane: tickets for Apple’s WWDC 2012 conference, which was announced earlier this morning, sold out in mere two hours. Nevermind the $1,599 price tag, tickets went on sale at 1:30pm GMT and by 3:30pm sold out.

In a way, Apple – itself based on the West Coast – screwed developers on the East Coast who woke up to the news that the year’s most important event has already sold out. Here’s to the hoping they put into effect a staged ticket roll-out on a per-region basis next year so all United States-based developers get fair treatment.

This year’s WWDC, which runs June 11-15 at San Francisco’s Moscone West, looks to be Apple’s most popular developer conference yet. I wonder if monster quarterly stats released yesterday and speculation of an iOS 6 preview could have anything to do with such a high interest…

Last year, it took the company some twelve hours to sell out tickets. WWDC 2010 sold out in two weeks. Apple’s annual developer pilgrimage has grown up over the years as its iOS platform gained market share on strong device sales. WWDC has now become Apple’s premiere showcase for its iOS and Mac platforms.

Here, a nice graph showing announcement-to-start-date and time-to-sell-out times.


For comparison, this year’s Google I/O – which will take place from June 27-29 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center – sold out in under twenty minutes. Google I/O 2009 sold out in 90 days and tickets for the last year’s Google I/O conference took 59 minutes to sell out.

For comparison, Google I/O tickets cost $900 for general admission. And unlike Google, Apple doesn’t give away phones or tablets at WWDC.

Apple beats estimates .. Again !

35 million units of the Apple iPhone were sold last quarter - Apple beats estimates, shares jump 6% after hours

Selling a higher than expected 35 million units of the Apple iPhone, Apple reported $12.30 a share in earnings for its fiscal second quarter crushing expectations of $10.04. The strong report sent Apple’s shares up more than 6% in after-hours trading after the stock dropped over 2% during the regular trading session. Revenue for the quarter came in at $39.2 billion, ahead of analyst’s estimates of  $36.85 billion.

For its third fiscal quarter ending in June, Apple called for revenue to drop to $34 billion and earnings per share to come in at $8.68. As usual, Apple is trying to downplay results as analysts are looking for Q2 revenue to come in at $37.4 billion and EPS at $9.95. Apple iPhone sales could slow down in this period as buyers wait for the next-generation model of the smartphone which will probably launch in October.

Besides beating estimates on iPhone sales, Apple sold 11.8 million units of its Apple iPad tablet, short of the 12-13 million tablets that Wall Street expected to be sold

Apple had another record-breaking financial quarter over the last three months. But it also hit several other high points…

  • Apple now has $110 billion dollars in the bank
  • iOS device sales recently crossed the 365 million mark
  • There are now more than 600,000 apps in the App Store
  • 200,000 of those apps are iPad-specific
  • iCloud now has more than 125 million users
  • Apple has 363 retail stores (not counting stores within stores)
  • Retail stores saw over 85 million visitors last quarter

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These numbers are particularly interesting when you consider the short amount of time in which they were achieved. For instance, iCloud has only been around since last October. And Apple’s iOS business is less than 5 years old.

Perhaps most noteworthy, however, is the fact that Apple now has $110 billion dollars in cash and assets. A year ago the company was sitting on just over $50 billion. And it’s not every day that a major corporation doubles its cash hoard in just 12 months.