iPhone 4S gets a gory dissection

By Mike on 7:28 pm

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You want to see Siri take it all off. She's been a naughty user interface, and the people at iFixit are just the guys to show you. Each time Apple releases a new product, they're guaranteed to gut it just to find out what makes it tick. Today, they tackle the iPhone 4S.

What did they find new inside? Not much. It's fundamentally identical to the iPhone 4. The key difference, of course, is the Apple A5 processor. It's a dual core beast. They claim it runs at 1ghz, though some have said only 800mhz. Even at a lower clock rate, it's still a very powerful chip, falling just behind the 1.2ghz powerhouses contained in the latest Android phones. Impressive.

iFixit plays striptease with Siri and the iPhone 4S
The big question is how much RAM does it have. Samsung and HTC have been cramming 1gb of DDR into their phones. According to iFixit, the 4S had the same 512mb it's predecessor had.

Curious about what other things lurk inside Apple's latest phone? Hop on over to iFixit for their full teardown.

Source: iFixit

Image courtesy of iFixit.com

The great RIM death watch

By Mike on 6:25 pm

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No dice if you're trying to send out BBMs today. Server problems at RIM are causing Blackberries world wide to go down. This means all the Crack addicts out there will have to go without email, web, messaging, and apps for the time being. At least the phone part still works, though RIM isn't looking very smart at this point.

The problem was caused by a switching failure in RIM's servers, causing a backlog of data. They said services would be restored by Tuesday. However, they have since said they aren't sure when it will be back. The outage originated in Europe, Africa, and Asia and has since spread to North America.

This is the latest round of troubles for Canada's largest smartphone maker. The company is trying to get a leg up on major competitors such as Samsung and Apple. Market share of Blackberry phones has been on steady decline since the iPhone launched in 2007. The Playbook tablet, their supposed iPad killer, was met with a cold reception earlier this year.

I've been texting my Blackberry friends all day and nothing.  Is my iPhone down?

 Some analysts are already on a RIM death watch. One Canadian bank is calling for the company to oust longtime CEOs Lazaridis and Balsillie. Company shares have hit a 52-week low at just under $20, down significantly from their $70 peak back in February.

Source: Reuters via Dailytech

Steve Jobs Dies

By Mike on 10:17 pm

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Legendary inventor and Apple founder Steve Jobs, has died. He was only 56. Jobs had been struggling with cancer for several years. The illness forced him to step down as CEO of the electronics giant earlier this year.

News of his death comes just one day after the unveiling of the iPhone 4S. Apple CEO Tim Cook released the following statement.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates also left his condolences.
I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.
Love or hate Apple, Steve Jobs was a visionary. Much of the technology we use today was influenced by his creations. He was one of the last true visionaries in corporate America, and proved the American dream still lived. Our thoughts go out to his family. He will be missed.

Source: Engadget

iPod Lives, Zune Dies

By Mike on 11:30 am

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The beat goes on for the iPod Classic. Contrary to rumours, Apple will keep making and selling the iconic music player. Meanwhile, things are not looking so good for the Zune. Microsoft's music player and iPod killer is official dead.

According to the Zune website, Microsoft announced that "Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players."

The Zune has had a bumpy history. It was created as Microsoft's answer to the iPod and iTunes. It even looked and functioned similar to Apple's venerable player. 

The device was launched in 2006 to mixed reaction. While certainly as good as the iPod, it had its problems. Namely a poorly implemented copy-protection system. It was unable to play certain files using PlaysForSure, Microsoft's own DRM scheme. The original Zune was also plagued with a clock bug, which corrupted the system software at January 1st, 2009 at 12am GMT.

Despite it's initial shortcomings, the Zune eventually grabbed ten percent of the US marketshare for all MP3 players. Given the sea of choices at the time, and the dominance of the iPod, it seemed Microsoft was onto something. The original Zune 30 gave way to larger capacity models, a "nano" version, and finally the Zune HD. The latter was an attempt to capitalize on the success of the iPod Touch. With it's nVidia Tegra Processor, unique touch interface, and OLED screen, it was arguably the best Zune. Many of the Zune HD's software features would be implemented in Windows Phone 7. 

Zune 4/8/16 and it's nano sized cousin

Despite great hardware and good software to back it up, the Zune continued to trail in the market. By 2008, sales were dipping. GameStop decided to stop selling the player at their stores due to lack of interest. However, 2008 happened to mark the Zune's international launch. The Zune was made available in Canada. This was the first time it had been sold outside the US.

Perhaps that was the Zune's downfall. It never attracted the same international audience that the iPod did. Microsoft went as far to actively discourage international customers from accessing certain online features. The Zune also failed to clearly differentiate itself from Apple. It was too similar to the iPod, and sold at the same price-point, but lacked the same global support. 

As smartphones began to replace dedicated devices, the Zune's days became numbered. It was a fantastic player, hampered by poor marketing.

Update: Just after publishing this, I spotted a new article that says the Zune hasn't died after all. I guess neither Apple nor Microsoft knows what to do with their MP3 players. You can still buy the Zune HD for a cool $160. 

Title image courtesy of Blogging With Ike