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Steve Jobs

Today, we look back upon a man who revolutionized the technology industry multiple times, changing the industry for the better. Without Steve, we may have still been using phones with Blackberry-style keyboards, and Blackberry itself wouldn’t be looking to withdraw from the consumer smart-phone market. We might’ve still used computers without a graphical user interface (GUI) until much later in the 20th century. The Walt Disney Company would have still been producing failing animated movies. Today we celebrate the legacy of Steve Jobs, who died two years today on October 5, 2011. Steve on the topic of death:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

Tim Cook sent out an email to all Apple employees yesterday, it read:

Team-

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of Steve’s death. I hope everyone will reflect on what he meant to all of us and to the world. Steve was an amazing human being and left the world a better place. I think of him often and find enormous strength in memories of his friendship, vision and leadership. He left behind a company that only he could have built and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We will continue to honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to the work he loved so much. There is no higher tribute to his memory. I know that he would be proud of all of you.

Best,
Tim

Sanford Speech

One of the best ways to honour the legacy of Steve Jobs is to watch the iconic Sanford Commencement Speech he made in 2005:

We all miss you Steve, and the world (at least of technology) is a better place because of you.

R.I.P. Steven Paul Jobs

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Apple’s Big Event

With Tuesday’s big event over, here’s the recap of what Apple did, and did not announce.

What Apple did announce that we predicted:

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Fingerprint Sensor for the iPhone 5s

Apple released the iPhone 5s, with the oft-rumoured fingerprint sensor, or in Apple’s words “Touch ID”. It’ll be able to unlock your phone, and make iTunes purchases. The fingerprint(s) will be stored in a part of the 64-bit A7 processor of the 5s in which only the fingerprint sensor can access. Apple says that the fingerprint(s) will not be stored in iCloud, nor will they be stored in Apple’s servers. No other part of the phone is able to access the fingerprints other then the sensor itself. The fingerprints are also encrypted according to Apple. Many people are skeptical of the safeguards Apple can put in place to stop hackers from accessing your fingerprints, Kevin O’Leary even chimed in before the event to say that he believed that consumers wouldn’t adopt the security feature, as hackers could get into the fingerprints and use them for all sorts of sordid deeds, such as wrongfully framing someone for a crime using their fingerprints.

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64-Bit A7 Processor in the iPhone 5s

Apple unveiled the first 64-bit processor on a mobile phone, a whopping 40x faster than the original iPhone, and 56x better graphics performance than the original iPhone. As well, a new benchmark has come out testing the graphics performance of the iPhone 5s, although you

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As well, Forbes explains nicely why Apple added the M7 motion co-processor to the iPhone 5s

Much like a GPU takes the graphical calculations away from the CPU to free it up for more important core tasks, the M7 chip reduces the load on the CPU. It will take the raw data from the various movement and geo-location hardware sensors, and directly output workable data for applications to use. As a dedicated chip, this should reduce the battery demands across the system, as well as freeing up more processing time on the CPU.

It could also be used in conjunction with an iWatch to perhaps power the more demanding tasks an iWatch would have to face, or just taking in data from all the sensors inside of the iWatch, and outputting them into some sort of fitness app. This would also free up the load on the CPU, as an iWatch won’t have to rely on it at all.

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New Colours for the iPhone 5s

 

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The 5s now comes in three colours, gold, “space tray”, and silver. They all look stunning, but I would prefer to buy the gold version if I was in the market for a new phone. Here’s a quick pole on what iPhone colour you would prefer:

 

 

 

 

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Improved Camera

The iPhone 5s has been improved greatly over it’s predecessor, with a larger aperture (f2.2), dual-led flash, a larger micron pixel size (1.5), a new image signal processor (ISP), auto image stabilization, burst mode (10 frames per second), and Slo-mo (120fps at 720p). For an in-depth analyses of the camera, check out Mathew Panzarino’s write-up over at TechCrunch.

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TD-LTE and LTE-Advanced

Both the iPhone 5s and 5C support TD-LTE, the LTE frequency of choice for the largest carrier in the world, at 700 million subscribers, China Mobile. This enables Apple to have the choice of signing a deal with China Mobile. The iPhone 5s will also support LTE-Advanced, which allows for 1 Gbps download speeds over a wireless signal for fixed mobile broadband and 100 Mbps for actual mobile broadband (moving in a car or bus, for example). This allows the iPhone 5s to be prepared for the upcoming overhaul of LTE structure to support LTE-Advanced.

iPhone 5c

Apple did release the iPhone 5c, after months of rumours, speculation, and leaked pictures. The 5c has largely the same internals as the the iPhone 5. As predicted, Apple did eschew the wonderful two-tone design of the 5, which was of paramount importance to it’s sales, for polycarbonate shells in a multitude of colours. The polycarbonate shells is very scratch-resistant in comparison to the iPhone 5, due to the lacquer hard coat sprayed onto the casing of the iPhone. For a deep analysis of the work Apple put into manufacturing the polycarbonate casing of the iPhone 5c, head on over to Gizmodo. With Apple pricing it as 550$ unlocked, the iPhone 5c is not positioned as the budget-iPhone once predicted, but as an iPhone that appeals to an even larger consumer base, as the plastic MacBook once did.

What Apple didn’t release in the September 10th event:

128 GB iPhone

Apple did not release a 128 gigabyte iPhone 5S today, so perhaps we’ll see just an Apple Store refresh in early 2014, following in the footsteps of last year’s iPad 4.

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802.11ac Wifi

To our chagrin over at The Leafs Fan, Apple did not utilize a new wifi chip in the iPhone 5s that could take advantage of 802.11a wifi, also referred to as gigabit wifi, has already been implemented in the MacBook Air and Airport wifi bases. Hence, it seemed like a logical upgrade for the iPhone 5s.

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Updated Apple TV

Apple did not announce updated Apple TV hardware or software at Tuesday’s event, with rumours coming after the event suggesting a hardware refresh in an October event.

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Updated Retina MacBook Pro

Apple didn’t announce, or even hint at an upcoming release of Haswell equipped Retina Macbook Pros. As previously mentioned in our September 10th article, The update for the MacBook Pros is likely to be new Haswell (obviously) processors with Intel Iris 5100 graphics for the 13-inch and Intel Iris Pros for the 15-inch. The difference between the two is minor, with the Pro coming with 128 MB of DRAM. One thing that is commonly debated is whether or not the 15-inch will come with a discrete GPU or just stick with the iGPUs. The most likely scenario is that the 15-inch will follow in the path of the 13-inch and drop the discrete GPU, as noted by a leaked Geakbench benchmark, which did not discover a discrete GPU in the 15-inch. There have also been rumours that Apple will get some sort of special order Iris integrated GPU from Intel with more execution units and more cache, as a result of the Iris Pro being slightly less powerful then the graphics card of last year’s 15-inch, the Nvidia 650m. Don’t expect any major design changes from last years models, the only change will most likely come from the 13-inch shaving off a few millimetres.

That concludes our overview of Apple’s September 10th event, and stay alert for our October event(s) predictions that are coming soon.

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Apple Campus Prepped for Sept. 10 event

Apple has begun prepping the Infinite Loop Campus for the September 10th event, and the outside of the Campus has been covered in banners matching the invitation sent out to the press on September 3rd. Look to our September 10th predictions for all the details on the event. Any information on the event should be sent to theleafsfanwordpress@gmail.com.We’ll update this post as soon as we receive more information.

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Thank you

We’ve been getting tons of traffic here at The Leafs Fan, and I would like to say thank you to all the wonderful people over at the MacRumours forums who have supported the website. I would also like to say thank you to everyone else who has visited my website, whoever that may be.

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Apple September 10th event Predictions

On September 3rd, Apple sent out invitations to it’s rumoured September 10th event, with new iPhones, iOS 7, new Macs, and whatever else Apple has in store for us. These are our predictions for the September 10th event:

iPhone 5S:

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The iPhone 5S is expected to retain the impeccable two-tone design of the iPhone 5. It is, however, expected to come in Champagne and Graphite colours, in addition to the slate and silver options already present in the iPhone 5.

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The camera of the iPhone 5S is expected to get a megapixel boost to either 12mp or 13mp. The size of the aperture is also expected to increase. It is also expected to improve the CMOS sensor and the imaging processor, as well as a new dual-led flash.

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The iPhone 5S will get a new Apple A7 processor, which is expected to be 31% faster than last years A6, and may be bumped up to a 64-bit processor, although we have yet to see any real proof of this. The graphics of the iPhone 5S will also be improved, perhaps a more important inclusion as a result of the gamification of iOS in iOS 7. There have also been rumours of a 128 GB iPhone, and that some colours may be exclusive to that model. Apple may make 32 GB standard and keep the iPhone lineup with three storage options, or they may decide to go the way of the 128 GB iPad 4 and just add a fourth option to the lineup. Either option is feasible. As well, new radios in the iPhone 5S will probably support the AC wifi standard, as well as TD-LTE and Advanced LTE

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The supposed “killer” feature of the iPhone 5S is a fingerprint sensor embedded into the home button, which may or may not result in a design change of the home button. The fingerprint sensor could help boost the security of the 5S, as well as replacing passwords in many applications for the iPhone. Hence, this could help provide Apple a new way to thrust itself into the mobile payment market, using the fingerprint sensor as a secure authenticator for purchases. This could also perhaps provide Apple a new way to unlock Macs from their iPhone, by maybe connecting the iPhone through BlueTooth to the Mac, and scanning your finger through the fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone. Of course this is all in theory, however, I believe this is a feature that could possibly blow the competition away, as many smartphones do not have the space the home button provides on the iPhone to place a fingerprint sensor. Moreover, AuthenTec was the leading provider of fingerprint sensors in the tech industry, and Samsung and others would be hard pressed to find another company that could provide the same function with the reliability and quality of AuthenTec fingerprint sensors. Therefore, I can see why many analysts have been calling this the iPhone 5S’ number one new feature.

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iPhone 5C

The iPhone 5C is Apple’s realization that in emerging markets, it’s very hard to sell phones at prices that are often unsubsidized at such high prices. Hence, the iPhone 5C (at least that’s what we think it will be called) was created. Christian Zibreg from iDownloadblog makes a good point, saying:

Assuming Apple sticks to its mid-cycle S-upgrades, what is a 2014 plastic iPhone going to be called? An iPhone 5CS? An iPhone CS? An iPhone 6C? What about 2015? There should be an iPhone 6S in 2016 so what’ll they call its budget variant, an iPhone 6CS?

We know that this iPhone will have the same internals as the the best-selling iPhone of all time, the iPhone 5. However, Apple will eschew the wonderful two-tone design of the 5, which was of paramount importance to it’s sales, for polycarbonate shells in a multitude of colours. The polycarbonate shells is very scratch-resistant in comparison to the iPhone 5. The device is expected to cost around the 350$-450$ range. The iPhone 5C has been confirmed by the Wall Street Journal to be carried on the largest carrier in the world, China Mobile. Apple has never made a deal with China mobile, and with 700 million subscribers, it would be a huge boost to Apple’s bottom line.

iPads

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Recent rumours swirling around, and the fact that Apple released iPads in October of last year all point to an October launch. The iPad 5 will most likely adopt the design of the iPad Mini, and it will also probably adopt the A7X processor and graphics. The iPad Mini will probably go Retina this year, with an A6X chip, and a lower-cost iPad Mini (no retina) will go on sale next year.

iPods

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We haven’t seen any leaks whatsoever for any iPods, and I really don’t expect any new iPod touches unless Apple goes against it’s tradition of launching a new iPod touch every two years. A new iPod nano could be in the works, but it’s anyone’s guess what the difference will be from the previous generations. Perhaps an iPod classic refresh in which it adopts the lightning connector.

MacBook Pro

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The classic MacBook Pro is likely to be discontinued by Apple this year, in favour of the Retina MacBook Pros. The update for the MacBook Pros is likely to be new Haswell (obviously) processors with Intel Iris 5100 graphics for the 13-inch and Intel Iris Pros for the 15-inch. The difference between the two is minor, with the Pro coming with 128 MB of DRAM. One thing that is commonly debated is whether or not the 15-inch will come with a discrete GPU or just stick with the iGPUs. The most likely scenario is that the 15-inch will follow in the path of the 13-inch and drop the discrete GPU, as noted by a leaked Geakbench benchmark, which did not discover a discrete GPU in the 15-inch. There have also been rumours that Apple will get some sort of special order Iris integrated GPU from Intel with more execution units and more cache, as a result of the Iris Pro being slightly less powerful then the graphics card of last year’s 15-inch, the Nvidia 650m. Also duly debated on the MacRumours is the date in which the reveal will take. There have been rumours of a September 10th event reveal. I am of the opinion that the new Retina MacBook Pros will be announced in September and launched at a later date, because we’ve seen the launch of the Mac Pro announced several months before it’s actual launch. The Retina MacBook Pro is in need of a refresh, it seems as if all the pieces are in place for a launch, or will be in place very soon, but I would think that a September 10th launch is a bit too early, and perhaps somewhere between either being launched from September 20th- 30th, or being announced in September and launched alongside the Mac Pro would be good dates for Apple. MacRumours forum member GSPice has been kind enough to allow me to use his poll on the MacRumours forum of when Apple will release the new Retina Macbook Pros, and if the 15-inch will come with a discrete GPU. Don’t expect any major design changes from last years models, the only change will most likely come from the 13-inch shaving off a few millimetres.

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iMacs and Mac Minis

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It is very unlikely that Apple will announce new iMacs and Mac Minis during the September 10th event, and very likely that it will be unveiled beside the new Mac Pros, as we’ve heard about zero rumours about either of these devices. These devices will gain Haswell processors and the Mac Mini could see a redesign at the October event. The iMac, coming off it’s redesign from last year will most likely not see any design changes. This also could be the year that the base 21.5″ model loses the discrete GPU in favour of the Iris Pro iGPU.

Apple TV

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According to recent rumours, the Apple TV could go without a refresh in 2013, instead opting for a big software side upgrade, in the form of perhaps an Apple TV Appstore.

iOS 7

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Expect Apple to reiterate iOS 7’s features. Perhaps some hidden software feature for the iPhone 5S will make an appearance, and maybe a feature for all devices that they withheld from developers. iOS 7 for the iPhone is probably going to be released to the public on September 3rd, with the iPad version coming in October.

OSX Mavericks

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Mavericks, according to recent rumours, will be released in October alongside the Mac Pro, iMac and Mac Minis. Expect again for Apple to reiterate the features of Mavericks, probably with less oomph then with the iOS 7 rehash.

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Microsoft buys Nokia’s “Devices and Services” for 7.1 billion dollars

Microsoft announced today that they had acquired longtime Windows Phone partner Nokia for 7.1 billion dollars. A press release co-written by departing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was sent to the media today:

Building on the partnership with Nokia announced in February 2011 and the increasing success of Nokias Lumia smartphones, Microsoft aims to accelerate the growth of its share and profit in mobile devices through faster innovation, increased synergies, and unified branding and marketing. For Nokia, this transaction is expected to be significantly accretive to earnings, strengthen its financial position, and provide a solid basis for future investment in its continuing businesses.

Its a bold step into the future a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies. Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsofts share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services, said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive officer. In addition to their innovation and strength in phones at all price points, Nokia brings proven capability and talent in critical areas such as hardware design and engineering, supply chain and manufacturing management, and hardware sales, marketing and distribution.

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More iPhone 5C packaging leaks

From all the leaks that have accumulated over the last month, we it seems the we would know exactly what the iPhone 5C look like and the it has internals. The only thing we don’t know is if Apple may throw something at us in the software for the iPhone 5C. Anyways, here are some more pictures of the iPhone 5C packaging, as well as a video of the 5C in use in Safari.

This photo seems to look a lot like the multiple artist’s renderings of the predicted “budget iPhone” before the flood of leaks that has inundated the media began.

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This photo is depicting multiple iPhone 5Cs in their packaging, perhaps to be shipped to Apple to stockpile enough to meet at least some of the demand that comes with any new iPhone launch.

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This photo seems to show a green iPhone 5C in it’s packaging.

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Also, there seems to be a video of the iPhone 5C using Safari, although it could just be an iPod Touch or iPhone 5 in a case. The video is very blurry and was recorded at a low resolution.

Let us know what you think of the 5C in the comments.

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