Free iTunes Movie Rental Codes Being Sent From Apple

Apple is reported to be sending free iTunes movie rental codes to users. Not everyone has received it and the recipients who have so far been able to get an email from Apple seem to have been randomly chosen. Cupertino has not let us officially known on why it has chosen to send out these codes in the first place? Is it to give a boost to the holiday season sales? Are sales dwindling on the whole? No word about this.

It is possible for Apple to be sending out the codes to customers who have been affected by slow HD rental downloads. Earlier this month, we had written about an issue with HD movie streaming that caused buffering times of several thousands of minutes to users. Is Apple trying to win back the trust of these customers?

We do not know as yet. Do let us know if you have received an email from Apple in this regard.

iOS 4.3 Rolling Out On Thursday?

When exactly is the new iOS 4.3 releasing? We had been expecting the upcoming iOS version to initially roll out in “mid-December“. However, reports published at the fag end November suggested that this release may have been delayed until next year.

Now reports from new sources seem to be indicating that the release may actually happen this month. This week rather. According to a recent article on CNET, Apple’s new iOS 4.3 update may happen as early as Thursday, December 9.

The consensus on the possible new features however stays. iOS 4.3 is expected to add support to subscription-based app pricing. At present, application developers may charge developers during download or in-app. However, there is no means to enable a subscription. The new pricing model will highly benefit magazine and newspaper publications that have been seriously exploring the iPad as a potential new channel to sell content.

New iPad 2 Launch By February 2011, Claims New Report

Apple’s next generation iPad was initially thought to launch in January next year. That speculation was soon quashed by yet another report that claimed that the launch will happen on an annual cycle ending in April 2011. Now, here is yet another report that claims February 2011 as the month when customers, at least those in the US, will see the new iPad launching.

According to a note gathered from Apple suppliers by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, the new iPad shall launch within the next 100 days – which is by the end of February 2011. The initial shipment is reported to be for 400,000 to 600,000 units though Apple is expected to place an additional order for 1.6-1.8 million by the end of January to cater to demands.

If these reports are true, then the first quarter of 2011 could be quite eventful for Apple. The company is expected to come up with a CDMA iPhone in early 2011, followed by a white iPhone launch by April or May next year. With iPad 2 launching between these, at least we won’t be needing to go through a slow news week for the next few months!

Apple Mac App Store Launching On December 13?

The Mac App Store – the desktop equivalent of Apple’s successful iOS App Store could be launched as early as next week according to recent reports.

According to sources, Steve Jobs has been keen on rolling out the new application store well ahead of the Christmas holidays and developers were in fact asked to be ready for a December 6 launch. However, that day having passed now, Apple is learned to be working closely with developers to make a December 13 launch a reality.

A December 13 roll-out would be significant since that would bring significant business to Apple via the sale of software products ahead of the Christmas gifting season. It will be interesting to see if and whether the launch actually happens though.

Google Nexus S Vs. Apple iPhone 4 – Features & Pricing Compared

Google unveiled their new Nexus S smartphone yesterday. As expected, the phone will come equipped with the new Android 2.3 platform that has been dubbed Gingerbread. Like all other Google products, this one too is quite likely to be pitted against the iPhone 4. So which one is the better deal this season. We’ll take a look.

Nexus S Vs. iPhone 4

Tech Specs and Features

Dimensions : The iPhone 4 measures 4.5″ x 2.31″ x 0.37″ while the Nexus S measures 4.8″ x 2.48″ x 0.42″. So as you can see, while the Nexus S will come with a larger screen, you may also have to contend with a minor increase in thickness

Display : Apple has all along advertised the iPhone 4 for its best-in-the-industry retina display that packs 960×640 pixels. The Nexus S has a smaller display resolution at 800×480 pixels. But if you are talking about display size overall, Nexus S is better with a 4″ display compared to the 3.5″ multitouch display of iPhone 4

Hardware : Not much to choose from. Both the iPhone 4 and Nexus S are equipped with a 1GHz processor along with a 512MB RAM. The iPhone 4 comes with internal storage between 16GB and 32GB while the Nexus S has a built-in internal storage of 16GB. But unlike most other Android phones, the Nexus S does not have an external storage slot. That could quite surely be a deal-breaker for many.

Camera : Again, not much to choose from. Both phones come with a 5-Megapixel rear facing camera along with a VGA camera on the front for video chatting.

Battery : Apple wins here. One of the most advertised features on the iPhone 4 is the battery that is noted to offer up to 7 hours of talk time. While the Nexus One was noted to offer 10 hours of talk time, the new Nexus S on the contrary only gives 6 hours.

There are a lot of miscellaenous features that will be of interest on both phones. Google however has chosen to emphasize the new NFC technology on the Nexus S that will let users interact with RFID tags that you may find on t-shirts, movie posters, stickers, etc. You can quite surely expect a number of new apps and interactive ads that take advantage of this new feature to follow soon.

The Nexus S will be priced at $199 – the same as the 16GB iPhone 4. The device will be available from December 16 from Best Buy and T-Mobile stores in the US and from December 20 at Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK.

Personally, I do not find any big deal of advancement on the Nexus S that will make it my most-wanted phone. But that is not to say that Nexus S is a poorer choice than the iPhone 4 or any of the recent Android and Windows Phone 7 launches.

What are your views on this?

No More Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit Support For Alternate USB Devices

Apple introduced a dongle named the Camera connection kit along with the iPad back in April this year. This is a nifty accessory that lets users to connect their digital camera to the iPad in order to quickly import or browse images from a digital camera on the iPad.

As users who purchased the dongle have noted since then, the camera connection kit was also capable to connecting to other USB devices like the keyboards, microphones, etc. No longer. Users who have updated their iPad to the latest iOS 4.2 platform are reporting that the dongle is no longer capable of connecting the iPads to devices that consume more than 20mAh.

This limitation does not restrict the accessory’s original function that is to help users connect the iPad to a digital camera. But for those who were thinking of alternate use-cases, the dongle no longer seems to be a useful device.

Buying iPad In UK Becomes More Subsidized & Affordable

Apple iPad in the UK has gotten a lot more affordable. Orange, Three UK and T-Mobile each have announced a slew of new pricing options as well as contract plans that brings the iPad closer to affordability.

This pricing war was set in motion last month by Orange who announced that their iPad 3G-enabled models will now available at a price between £199 and £349. These customers also get some affordable data plans. Close on the heels of this announcement, T-Mobile has announced a plan similar to Orange, except that there is no Wi-Fi hotspot access that is available with the latter.

It is worth noting that both T-Mobile UK and Orange are now part of the same group. Three UK customers have been offered a new data plan that will give them 15GB of data at just £25 per month. Of course, all these plans are available only with new two year contracts.

Apple White iPhone 4 Launch In Spring 2011

The white iPhone 4 drama has dragged on for a long time. Steve Jobs unveiled it like it was the next big thing and only weeks later customers waiting for the white variant were disappointed to hear that the model was being delayed. So much delayed that reports started going around that Apple had decided to kill the project. The delay was being attributed to light leaks, rough and bent frames resulting from flawed manufacturing practice, etc.

Whatever the delay was due to, it is now becoming clear that the white iPhone 4 may not launch anytime soon. Signages that are being put up by Apple on their Stores across the United States have pointed out that the white variant will be made available in “Spring 2011“. If our speculation is true, then this could mean a month or two before iPhone 5 launches in June next year.

White iPhone 4 launch rumor

That will give Apple an opportunity to boost its sale numbers for the quarter; one that is normally low ahead of the next gen iPhone launch.

Buy iPhone 4/3GS From Radio Shack On $50 Discount

American retailer Radio Shack has announced a limited time promotion for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS units that will bring these units to customers at a discount of $50. The promotion begins on December 4 and shall run through the week till December 11. The deal is only applicable on new units and not on the refurbished phones and in case it wasn’t obvious enough – you need to sign up for a new two year contract to be eligible for the deal.

The offer details are not over yet. There are more attractive offerings to be had if you already own an iPhone 3G or 3GS unit. Radio Shack has launched a new “Trade and Save” offer that will credit you with $75 and $125 respectively when you trade in one of these devices in return for a new purchase. That means, if you trade in an iPhone 3GS, you can buy a new 16GB iPhone 4 for as low as $24.99 while the 32GB variant will cost you $124.99.

Of course, it goes without saying that these devices that are traded in need to be in working condition and cannot act like bricks.

Front and Rear Camera On Next Generation iPad Confirmed?

We have been seeing a steady inflow of  rumors relating to the next generation iPad over the past one week. Check here for a slideshow of iPad 2 rumors.

We had already learned from a few sources that the next generation iPad could come with five new features that include retina display and USB support. Now a fresh report claims that the new iPad – rumored to launch in January 2011 – could come with cameras on the front and rear sides of the device. According to the sources, Apple has been working with Largan Precision; a Taiwan based manufacturer, in the production of cameras for their upcoming tablet device. Incidentally, Largan is also the manufacturer of the 5-Megapixel camera sensors for iPhone 4.

We are hearing that Cupertino could bring a VGA front side camera for FaceTime video calling as well as a 5-Megapixel rear camera on the iPad to effectively take on competition from the likes of the Galaxy Tab and possibly Playbook.

Apple continues to lead the market in the tablet space. However, the incorporation of these features will ensure that they will hold on to the lead for some more time. What do you think?