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Verizon Wireless iPhone Announcement Confirmed February Launch

Update: Verizon has announced the iPhone, and it will launch on February 10, 2011, with the company accepting pre-orders starting on February 3. The iPhone model is slightly tweaked with buttons on the left side of the phone being pushed slightly higher, likely to address the antenna issues with the early models. All other sides look  identical to the AT&T version. There are some differences between Verizon and AT&T plans: Verizon is not offering consumers early phone upgrades, no global roaming, and no ability to simultaneously use voice and data features, as AT&T customers could. The company is expected to offer unlimited data for about $30 per month. The Verizon iPhone also offers hotspot support for up to five devices at the same time to share an Internet connection. The AT&T version does not, but applications for jailbroken iPhone devices are already available with even fewer restrictions. The Verizon iPhone does not come preinstalled with any third party applications, only traditional apps from Apple. It also does not have any branding to indicate the phone is from Verizon, rather, only Apple logos are on the device, just like you’d normally expect from any Apple product. The Verizon iPhone is operating on iOS 4.2.5, likely an OS that includes some tweaks for the CDMA version, without really any other differences except under-the-hood technical additions. When Verizon president and chief operating officer, Lowell McAdam, was asked about users not being able to simultaneously use voice and data, he replied, “people place different emphasis on things…they will make those sorts of tradeoffs,” he went on to say he couldn’t be happier at being able to tell people the iPhone is simply now available on Verizon. Mr. Seidenberg also said the company isn’t going for the Long Term Evolution network for now, just to get the iPhone working on its network ASAP. When asked about possible attenuation issues, he said there was sufficient time to make changes, and he expected the phone to work great on its 3G network. Despite the announcement, the Verizon stock (NYSE:VZ) is trading down about 20 basis points in mid-day trading.

According to people familiar with the matter who leaked information to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon wireless, the largest telecom carrier by the number of subscribers, tomorrow will announce that the company would carry Apple’s popular iPhone smartphone.

According to sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, an iPhone compatible version with Verizon networks would launch by the end of this month.

Reports also speculate that Verizon is preparing to provide unlimited data plans to entice consumers.

A significant number of iPhone users have long complained of poor reception associated with the AT&T network.

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Mac App Store Hits 1M Downloads In One Day

The $300-billion Cupertino-based tech giant, Apple, has announced that more than 1-million applications have been downloaded by Mac users from the company’s just launched Mac App Store.

The Mac App Store currently has over 1,000 applications in its index, including both premium paid and free applications.

It is only available for users running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or higher. Other Mac OS X versions, such as the upcoming 10.7 Lion will also be supported.

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Apple iPad Availability Extends to South Korea This Month

The South Korean mobile telecom operator, KT, says the company will offer the Apple iPad to consumers in the country starting on November 30.

In anticipation of strong demand, the company started accepting preorders on November 17, and has already secured about 50,000 unit sales directly from the pre-orders.

With over a week until the hot tablet becomes available for in-store purchase, pre-sales could top 100,000 units.

KT offers the iPad for 218,000 won (USD $192) with a term, or up to 850,000 won (USD $748) contract-free.

Since the company launched the tablet about 11 months ago, demand has remained very strong, with over 7-million units sold to date.

Rival Research In Motion (RIM) has already unveiled its iPad competitor, the PlayBook, which is slated for a first quarter launch next year, at a price tag below $500, according to company executives.

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Currency Differences Prompt Apple to Lower International Mac Mini Prices

Apple has lowered prices on its Mac mini computers in select international markets, bringing significant savings to some nations, while prices North America remained unchanged by the company.

In Europe, the company lowered its most expensive Mac mini model in price by €150, bringing the new price to €999, the biggest discount in the Mac mini line.

U.S. prices remained unchanged, at $699 and $999 for both the lower and higher-end Mac mini devices, respectively. The new prices due in fact make it cheaper for European consumers even compared to the U.S. prices.

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FaceTime Mac security flaw could give away your personal data

Update: Apple has fixed the problem via a software update on their servers. Even if you have the old version of the client, the problem has been fixed, and no other action is required on your end.

During Apple’s “Back to the Mac” press event, a number of announcements were made, including the availability of video conferencing between Mac computers and iOS mobile devices like the iPhone 4 through FaceTime.

On the same day as the announcement, Apple released a beta version of FaceTime for Mac, which technically works fine with the iPhone 4, but presents security loopholes that could give unauthorized persons access to sensitive account iTunes information.

While using FaceTime on your Mac, by simply navigating through the settings options, you are able to view and change account information, even the answer to your secret security question appears in normal plain text.

The ability to view the security question could allow a user to change the account password by simply entering the answer to the security question after clicking on the Forgot Password link.

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Apple event yields FaceTime, App Store for Mac, showcases OS X Lion

mac-press-eventDuring today’s “Back to the Mac” Apple press event (watch the complete video here), Apple chief executive, Steve Jobs, made a number of important announcements that saw new exciting products and feature add-ons to existing products.

One of many notable announcements, Apple today announced that its hugely popular App Store found on iOS devices like the iPhone 4, will be available on Mac computers starting in about three months from now.

The Mac App Store version will include popular apps found on iOS, with about 70-percent of the apps being free, and the remaining being paid, according to Apple.

The company also used the event to launch FaceTime video chat for Mac computers, finally allowing Mac computer users to participate in video conferencing with iPhone users.

FaceTime was previously exclusive to iPhone 4 devices, but Apple had already said that it would open the service up to allow cross-platform video conferencing. It finally done so today, even though it might not really be construed as cross-platform since it only works on Apple operating systems.

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RIM CEO refutes Steve Jobs’ PlayBook dismissal

The Cupertino-based tech giant, Apple, reported earnings for the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, posting record revenue of $20.34-billion and a record quarterly profit of $4.31-billion in the period.

To mark the most successful financial quarter in the company’s history, Apple chief executive, Steve Jobs, joined the quarterly conference call to discuss the earnings and developments at the company.

Mr. Jobs made a number of interesting comments looking at the future of the company, while criticizing the strategies of top rivals like Google and Research In Motion.

The latest market research data indicate the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion, is losing market share to both Apple iOS and Google Android devices, as users switch to those competing devices that offer a better user experience.

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Apple schedules mysterious Mac OS X press event

mac-press-eventApple has sent invitations to a press event titled “Back to the Mac” that is scheduled for October 20 at the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters.

The company did not disclose specific information about what the event would be used for; rather, it simply opted to send a sleek teaser invite only saying it would be about its Mac operating system.

Over the last couple of years or so, Mac users have felt more and more left out by the company as Apple seemed to have devoted more resources towards its iPhone, and in particular, its iOS mobile operating system.

Just over a year ago, the company released Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the latest big upgrade to the Mac operating system that improved load times and other under-the-hood enhancements, including marginal changes to its user interface, such as by enhancing expose.

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Apple settles backdating stock options fraud lawsuit for $20.5mn

The Cupertino, California-based maker of the Mac computers and iPhone, Apple, has agreed to pay $16.5-million in a class action settlement against the company for alleged securities fraud relating to backdating of stock options.

The New York City Employees’ Retirement System brought suit against the company initially in 2006 in a class action, alleging the company unfairly exercised call options that were backdated.

Strike prices are set up to be out of the money, in order for executives to work hard to drive the company stock price up, at which point they could be hugely compensated with the stock options given they could increase shareholder value sufficiently within their term.

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Apple removes previously approved BitTorrent app from App Store

Days ago, Apple approved the first BitTorrent capable application to run on iOS devices after the app simply slipped through Apple’s rigorous App Store approval process.

Apple has now pulled the app from the App Store, under the grounds that “Apps that enable illegal file sharing” are not permitted to run on iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

The application did more than just manage BitTorrent downloads, it also offered free image and video uploading and sharing, alogn with the BitTorrent capabilities.

The application has now been removed from the App Store and is no longer listed.

Apple has traditionally been very strict in terms of what type of applications can run on their devices.

The company argues this approach makes its iOS devices more secure and provides a superior user experience by keeping certain applications such as adult apps away from children.

The strict guidelines also protect top businesses of Apple, such as its iTunes music store that millions of people use to purchase music on their devices.

Blocking peer-to-peer applications helps to ensure fewer people pirate music, at least directly from their mobile device.

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