I recently went to China (Beijing and Shanghai) a few weeks ago and came across a fake Apple Store in a mall in Shanghai. It was located right next to a fake Sony Store. Here is the picture of me at the fake Apple Store. The products did look legitimate. One of the sales clerk was on a MacBook running Windows XP playing video games. He could have been running BootCamp, Parallels, or VMWare for virtualization. Flying back to the US, ironically I sat next to an Apple Retail Manager for China. We talked about counterfeits as well as the problem of fake branded stores becoming more popular. I also saw a fake iPhone 5 and fake iPad 2 running Java operating system in Budong district in Shanghai. The performance in the fake products was very unresponsive and therefore unuseable.
Apple iPad 2
Apple has unveiled the sequel to its iPad tablet, one of the biggest surprises of last year. The iPad 2 launches in March 2011 and although it is evolutionary rather than revolutionary it is certainly a step in the right direction.
From a physical point of view Apple has achieved the impossible, reducing the thickness of the iPad 2 by 30 per cent to its predecessor and actually making it slimmer than the iPhone 4. It is also 90 grams lighter than the original iPad, which may not sound like a lot but can make a big difference when you are holding it for extended periods. The iPad 2 is designed to be held in the hand for a majority of the time, but Apple has made it easier to lay on a flat surface or rest on a stand by flattening its back, eliminating the curve which could prove problematic.
Inside the iPad 2 is a brand new dual core A5 processor which is up to twice as fast as that in the original. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that it would be nine times more powerful in the graphics department, which is quite a boast and one which should excite gamers and app designers who really want to stretch the visual capabilities of the device.
Apple has embraced the world of photography by equipping the iPad 2 with not one but two cameras. The front-facing camera is designed for FaceTime, its video calling service which uses Wi-Fi to make personal conversations easy over the airwaves. On the rear you have a high megapixel unit for taking still photos and also recording video clips in HD, just like the iPhone 4. Whether users will actually ditch their standalone digital cameras in favour of their tablet is debatable, but it is good to see Apple keeping up with the competition.
All that extra processing power is put to good use not only in games like the gorgeous Infinity Blade but also in the running of new services which will be integrated into the iPad 2`s software. GarageBand, a favourite of Apple computer owners, is becoming available for the iPad, bringing with it virtual instruments, amps and recording which will surely win over more musicians to the device. Apple has also improved iMovie to make editing and playback a doddle and it is harnessing the full dual core setup to its advantage.
The one area in which the iPad 2 has not moved forward is the display. Early indications suggest it is almost identical to the LED backlit model seen on the original. This is fairly acceptable, although its lack of a true widescreen resolution and the rumours of a Retina Display with improved pixel density make it something of a letdown to anyone who has been following the device up to its launch.
The Edifier MP250 “Sound to Go” micro speaker for Mac and PCs is small, compact and portable and selling very well in airport stores in the U.S. for laptop use on the road. The MP250 has been honoured with a Product Innovation Award from the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show to be held in Las Vegas January 6-9, 2011. Price: $49.99. Available online in Canada at NCIX.com and at local computer stores. More info: www.edifier.ca
Attached is a spec sheet and an image, let me know if you’d like a higher res image.
The Edifier MP250 USB is an elegant all-in-one micro speaker system housed in a beautiful brushed aluminium tube finish. Fully portable, this micro speaker system is USB powered with full USB audio streaming capability an an elaborately designed bass passive radiator. Connected to the USB port of a laptop, PC or home-based computer system, MP250 USB provides exceptional audio with far greater performance than any built-in audio solution. Volume control comes from the host device. The system is compact, robust and fully portable, protected by a soft-carry case during transit, enabling audio on the go, for personal or business use.
Price: $49.99. Available online in Canada at NCIX.com and at local computer stores. More info:www.edifier.ca
A technical specification sheet for the MP250 is attached.
About the company:
Edifier has its North American headquarters in Vancouver and, at one time, had its world headquarters in B.C. Its international head office is in Hong Kong and it is one of the largest speaker companies in China with eight million sets sold annually.
Other great Edifier speaker products to feature as Christmas gifts (if you have room).
M20 laptop speaker, iF350 and iF500 from Edifier. Let me know if you’d like product photos and information.
Facebook recently launched their own mail service so users can now have their own vanity email addresses @facebook.com There are some talks that this is a threat to Google’s Gmail. I doubt this is true, at least anywhere in the near future. Yes, it’s true that tweens and teens use text and Facebook to communicate. This, however, will not cause disruption in Gmail. Remember when Google Wave was supposed to be its own Gmail Killer? Why didn’t Google Wave succeed? Because there is nothing wrong with Gmail that really needs complete overhaul. What will likely happen is that we will just be introduced to more options of communicating of our choice and the recipient’s.
- email (Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL)
- Chat (Gtalk, Skype, Chat, FaceTime)
The point is no one service will monopolize communication.
The new MacBook Air models unveiled late last month are the slimmest computers that came from Apple as of late. There are reports, however, that the early MacBook Air adopters have encountered some bugs. Among the issues is a bug where the display flickers or shows horizontal lines of varying colors when a computer wakes from sleep or after hot-plugging a display. Another bug causes the screen to fade from light to dark repeatedly after waking from sleep. Apple’s internal support system includes suggestions for interim fixes in each of these cases, but no permanent fixes are available at this time. Apple has stated internally that the aforementioned issues have been isolated and will be addressed in an upcoming software update. When dealing with customers, Apple employees have been instructed to state that the company is aware of these issues and is working on solutions.
Every great leap encounters a few hurdles.
Apple announced yesterday their new MacBook Air which now uses up to 256 GB Flash storage for performance and longer lasting battery life. This means that the laptop boots up in a second just like the iPad or iPhone and has a stand bye period of up to a month. It comes in two models: 13.3″ and 11″.
You can now also do FaceTime on the Mac as well. Apple also announced their upcoming Mac App Store.
I’m very tempted to get the MacBook Air 13″ but just concerned with the maximum disk space of up to 256 GB. 512 GB would have been the sweet spot.
What are your thoughts?
The Apple Peel 520 allows you to convert your iPod Touch to an iPhone by installing an add on SIM chip. The Apple Peel 520 is planning to come the US. It will convert your favorite portable music device into a fully function iPhone without paying for 3G. You will still have use of WiFi
The Apple Peel 520 is designed like a protective case and comes complete with a dock connector, battery and SIM card. It will provide five hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby use.
The Apple Peel 520 is easy to use after installing the required software. There are two apps that appear on the iPod Touch home screen: Yosian and YsSMS, which provide voice and text support. When the communication module is switched on, a signal bar and a battery icon will appear in the middle of the iPod Touch’s status bar. To make a call, users simply tap the Yosian app icon which loads the numpad screen
The device is currently available in China for 520 Yuan but North American distributor, GoSolar USA said that the first demonstrations of the Apple Peel 520 are expected to arrive in America sometime next week.
“We’re obviously very confident that consumer demand is high for the Apple Peel 520, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the first batch,” said GSLO President and CEO Tyson Rohde.
“As soon as they arrive, we’ll begin distributing demonstration models to retail buyers across the country. The amount of interest in this product that we’ve received from distributors has been staggering.”
GoSolar are looking to sell the peripheral in Radio Shack, Best Buy, Walmart and Fry’s Electronics but no details regarding its retail price in the USA have been released as of yet.