iPad 2 Rear Camera Resolution Only 1-Megapixel?

A number of next generation iPad cases were outed in the past few weeks that have indicated at the possibility of us seeing two cameras – one on the front and another on the rear side of iPad 2. Now, developers scouring through the snippets of code on the latest iOS SDK have confirmed these rumors. The code does contain references to the two cameras.

However, in what could come as a huge disappointment, Apple could be offering a minimal 1-Megapixel rear facing camera and a VGA resolution front facing camera on this upcoming device. This is unlike popular speculation that the iPad 2 could offer an iPhone 4-like 5-Megapixel camera. This is also lower than the camera specs on the first generation Samsung Galaxy Tab that came with 3-Megapixel and 1.3-Megapixel cameras.

For what it’s worth, Notion Ink Adam, the highly anticipated Android-based tablet shipping this week will come with a 3.2-megapixel swivel camera that will outdo both the Galaxy Tab and the rumored iPad 2.

Average Salary At Apple Under $50K?

Apple might be one of the best technology companies but it does not seem to be the best place to work – at least going by what an average employee would earn. According to a recent post on New Yorker, while Apple is a great bet for investors, the average employee in the United States takes home just around $46,000.

Do note that this number is inclusive of employees at all levels of the workforce – right from engineers to janitors, sales associates,etc. Excluding those employees at the Apple Stores, the average income raises to $107,719 which is relatively higher but is still not accurate given that Apple retail stores employ a significant chunk of the workforce.

Apple has seen a lot of success in the past couple of years and that has seen its stock rise significantly. The company is now among the biggest companies in the world and it will be interesting to see if Apple would now be looking at better incentivizing its employees who have contributed to its success by hiking their salaries.

China Unicom iPad 3G To Start Selling In China

China has been one of Apple’s important markets outside North America. However, stringent government regulations had meant the company was not allowed to sell the 3G variant of the iPad in the country – until now. An Apple spokesperson has confirmed that his company has managed to seek Chinese government approval to sell iPad 3G in the country. Like with the iPhone, China Unicom will be in charge of distributing and marketing the iPad 3G in the country. Chinese customers already have access to the WLAN variant of the iPad which is simply the domestic Wi-Fi equivalent.

Although clearances have been given, Apple has not given us an exact date when the device will actually become available on the stores. We will update you about that when we get to hear more about this.

White iPhone 4 Launch On February 27?

Just a day after we had written about a possible launch of white iPhone 4 in the next few weeks comes a report that Best Buy could be prepping for the launch of the white iPhone 4. According to leaked screenshots of the Best Buy back-end inventory system, the white iPhone 4 is scheduled to launch on February 27, 2011. This is consistent with earlier rumors about a Spring 2011 launch and yesterday’s story about a similar listing discovered on Vodafone Germany’s inventory database.

White iPhone 4 on Best Buy

Like with the Vodafone Germany story, the Best Buy system too contains two separate SKUs for the 16GB and 32GB variants. In addition to this, the system also contains features description consistent with what was available on the Apple website in June last year when the white iPhone 4 was first unveiled.

February 27 turns out to be a Sunday and we are not sure if Apple would want to move away from its traditional launch days of Thursday and Friday. What do you think?

White iPhone 4 Launching Shortly?

Has Apple finally managed to work out the kinks that it had been facing with the white iPhone 4? Last month we wrote about an obscure footer message on Apple Store posters that hinted at a possible spring launch for the white iPhone 4. It now looks like these speculations could turn out right.

A Vodafone Germany employee has now leaked a screenshot of a back-end inventory system that contains listings for the 16GB and 32GB variants of a weiß (white) iPhone 4. No more information is available. But considering that the Verizon iPhone 4 is soon on its way, we expect a CDMA iPhone variant to make its way into other parts of the world by spring – with high chances for Apple to launch both a CDMA and a white iPhone model at the same time.

White iPhone 4 Germany

What this means is that we might also expect Apple to bring the white iPhone 4 to its primary market in the United States earlier than that. Can we expect a February launch of the white iPhone in the US? We will have to wait and watch.

Apple iTunes Integrating With Safari To Increase Browser Market Share?

This is a rumor that you must take with loads of skepticism. Folks at a popular podcast show have claimed that Apple could be working on integrating its popular iTunes service with its Safari web browser in a bid to spike up the market share of the latter.

According to the source, the company may have already thwarted its plans to build cloud-based iTunes service that would be accessible from any browser. Instead, the new plans will make Safari the only browser that could load the music service. The source further adds,

“Moving iTunes organizational side-bar into Safari isn’t a monumental task. Safari would skyrocket in use as a result of integrating the software titles together.”

The news-quote appears dubious not just because of the untrusted source. It’s also because Apple might not be hedging its iTunes market share in its bid to improve Safari’s market share. Although iTunes is a pretty popular application, the software is pretty bulky and might not be ideally suited for use as an internet browsing application – something that would require it to be pretty lightweight.

In any case, this is a very interesting rumor and we look forward to such a move sometime down the line. An announcement in this regard is expected around the iPod Touch media event in September. That’s a long time from now and hopefully, we will hear a lot more in this regard by then.

Business Impact Of Steve Jobs’ Medical Leave Could Be Significant

Apple CEO Steve Jobs yesterday wrote to all employees at his company noting that he was taking a medical leave of absence. This is not the first time Jobs will be taking time away from his responsibilities as CEO. Steve Jobs is a former pancreatic cancer patient who also had a liver transplant two years back. There was speculation earlier that Jobs – who was becoming increasingly frail over the past few months – could be taking another leave of absence soon.

What has bothered industry observers however is the open-ended nature of Jobs’ letter. Unlike the earlier time, when the company founder had promised to return in a few months time, the latest email from Steve Jobs’ does not mention a possible return date. In addition, he also writes about the “exciting plans we have in place for 2011” – indicating that this time it could be longer.

Steve Jobs has been the face of Apple since he took over the company as CEO in the mid-nineties. The American stock market was closed on Monday that should have helped prevent frantic panic-selling. The Apple stocks (NASDAQ : AAPL) however tanked in Germany falling by over 6%. The impact on immediate stock prices at NASDAQ will be apparent when the stock market opens on Tuesday.

What is concerning though is Apple’s plans for the rest of the year. The company is expected to launch a number of new products including the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 this year. The next few months will be testing times for Tim Cook, the COO at Apple who will take over the company in Jobs’ absence. Steve Jobs meanwhile, will continue being the CEO and will take part in all major strategic decisions.

More Details About New iPhone & iPad Hardware

Apple could be bringing some sophisticated display technology to the next generation iPhone and iPad. We had recently pointed out that the price of iPad 2 display screens on third party vendor sites were significantly higher than older versions that hint at a possible enhancement of technology.

Now, artwork included with the new version 1.1 of Apple’s iBooks application gives us more evidence of this upcoming display enhancement. The list of artwork includes icons named iPadx2 and iPhonex2 that have icons sized double that of icons named ‘iPad‘ and ‘iPhone‘. While it may be a tad too premature to comment on this rightaway, indications are that these larger sized icons may be to accommodate the screen resolutions of the upcoming devices that, at 2048×1536 pixels may be double that of the current generation devices.

Not just this, we have also heard about the GPU specifications on iPhone 5 and iPad 2. According to some quarters, the new iPad and iPhone variants will be equipped with a dual core SGX543 GPU and a new A5 multi-core chip as CPU.

While all of this indicates a device much more powerful than the current variants, the only concern now is that of the battery performance. Will Apple be able to accommodate all of these performance enhancements without significantly affecting the battery life of the device? This will be worth the wait.

New iPad Spare Parts Put Online For Sale

More details about the upcoming Apple iPad 2 keeps coming in. Last week, we had heard about a possible launch date of April 2 or 9 for the new iPad that might come without a home button. Now, according to a posting on a third party vendor site, the iPad could come equipped with a vibrating motor – something that the current version lacks.

It is not clear if GlobalDirectParts – the company that has published this part has inadvertently mislabeled an iPhone part as one for the iPad, but given earlier leaks from this vendor, we are tempted to believe that the vibrating motor is indeed one for the iPad.

Besides, the vibrating motor, the site also has an “iPad 2 LCD screen” for sale. Interestingly, this “out of stock” product is priced $218.19 that is significantly higher than the $144.99 that the company charged for the LCD screen on the original iPad early last year. Given these higher costs, there is a likelihood, that the new iPad could actually come with the much rumored retina display. What do you think?

$10,000 Free iTunes Gift Card For ‘Countdown To 10 Billion Apps’

Looking to get some free iTunes gift cards? This week could turn out lucky for you. Apple has launched a ‘Countdown to 10 billion apps‘ site that rewards one of its users with an iTunes gift card worth $10,000. To win the gift card, users can either wait to hit the download button on their favorite app close to the 10 billion mark (the download count is currently hovering around the 9.79 billion mark) or use an alternate entry form to enter the fray without any download or purchase.

The announcement is reminiscent of the contest that Apple held in February last year when the company marked the download of 10 billion songs from iTunes. It is worth noting that the winner back then was rewarded with a similar iTunes gift card. You can check out all the  contest details and rules in the official website here.