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PC Shipments Beat Expectations Despite Great Ods, According to IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 68.5 million units in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), a year-on-year decline of -6.7%, and slightly ahead of previous projections, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Following a strong second half of 2014, which benefitted from the tailwind of the Windows XP refresh and pockets of price-driven consumer activity, the Q1 market faced multiple headwinds - including inventory build-up of Windows Bing based notebooks, commercial slow down following the XP refresh and constrained demand in many regions due to currency fluctuations and unfavorable economic indicators. As a result, growth and volume declined with Q1 shipments below 69 million units, the lowest recorded volume since Q1 2009.

Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display & MacBook Air

Apple today updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the all-new Force Touch trackpad, fifth generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Graphics 6100, two times faster flash and longer battery life, bringing even more performance and capabilities to our pro customers.* Apple also today updated the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air with fifth generation Intel Core processors, Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2, and added up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air, making the perfect everyday notebooks even better.

"Today the popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Air all received significant upgrades," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest processors, more powerful graphics, faster flash, longer battery life and the all-new Force Touch trackpad. We're also bringing the latest processors and graphics, and faster Thunderbolt 2 to the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, as well as up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air."

Apple Announces its Slimmest MacBook Yet

Apple announced its slimmest MacBook yet, equipped with the Retina display. Barely ripping the scales at 1 kg, just 13.1 mm thin (at its thickest point). Dressed in an all-metal unibody, including the antenna. Bolstered by a slimmer "butterfly" keyboard that's slimmer and more precise; and a new 12-inch Retina display with 2304 x 1440 pixels resolution; and a slimmer Taptic-engine backed trackpad. The best part? It's versatile connector that combines power, USB-C (10 Gb/s), DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, and more.

Under the hood, the MacBook Retina features a completely fanless design, and a logic board that's 67% smaller than the previous generation. The notebook is driven by an Intel Core M processor (5W TDP). With a new space-efficient layered battery, it offers 24-hour battery life, including 10 hours video playback. Storage is care of a 256 GB PCIe SSD. Connectivity includes 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.0. And then there's OS X "Yosemite." The MacBook Retina comes in silver, space-gray, and gold. Prices start at US $1,299 for the base-model with 8 GB RAM, 1.1-2.4 GHz processor, 256 GB SSD storage; and $1,599 for a 1.2-2.6 GHz processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 512 GB storage.

SanDisk Intros Two Smartphone-friendly Flash Drives

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today introduced two new, innovative mobile memory solutions that help consumers manage and transfer content captured on their favorite devices. The company's first Dual USB Drive with Type C connector, ideal for Type C-ready connected devices, and the 128GB iXpand Flash Drive, designed for iPhone and iPad, both enable consumers to quickly and easily transfer content directly from a mobile device to a Mac or PC computer.

According to a recent industry report from IDC, this year people will capture and share an estimated 1.6 trillion images, and seven out of 10 of those images will be captured on a mobile device. With this rising trend, users want to be able to easily share and store their content across multiple devices and operating systems - in a seamless, intuitive and secure way.

Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 first quarter ended December 27, 2014. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $2.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter's revenue.

The results were fueled by all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store. iPhone unit sales of 74.5 million also set a new record.

PC Leaders Continue Growth And Share Gains As Market Remains Slow: IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), a year-on-year decline of -2.4%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Total shipments were slightly above expectations of -4.8% growth, but the market still contracted both year on year and in comparison to the third quarter. Although the holiday quarter saw shipment volume inch above 80 million for the first time in 2014, the final quarter nonetheless marked the end of yet another difficult year - the third consecutive year with overall volumes declining. On an annual basis, 2014 shipments totaled 308.6 million units, down -2.1% from the prior year.

Although the U.S. and Europe remained stronger than other markets, growth in these mature regions slowed from earlier in the year. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) continued to strengthen, seeing only a very slight increase in volume as a number of public projects and improving consumer demand helped stabilize the market. Similarly, commercial demand, which boosted growth earlier in the year, has slowed while consumer demand is gradually coming back. Nevertheless, the market progress has been fueled by low-priced systems, including growth of Chromebooks and promotion of Windows 8 + Bing. Constraints on Bing promotions, such as limits on larger-sized devices, could remove a key market driver while some fourth quarter production was attributed to getting ahead of holiday-related production constraints in Asia in the first quarter, effectively shifting volume from early 2015 into the end of 2014.

Apple's Next 12-inch MacBook Air to Feature USB 3.1 and Core M

Apple's next entry to its pathbreaking ultra-portable notebook, the MacBook Air, will be a new 12-inch screen size version. As with every new MacBook Air release for the past two years, there's talk of a screen resolution jump to "Retina" standards. Apple is preparing other cutting-edge hardware updates.

To begin with, Apple will tap Intel's latest Core M "Broadwell-U" chip, an SoC that combines a dual-core "Broadwell" CPU with graphics, a dual-channel DDR3L IMC, and system agent onto a single chip, with an overall TDP of 15W. Apple is working on a new fanless cooling system for this chip. The other big feature-set upgrade is the USB 3.1 port, which Intel plans to launch with the system agent for its next processor platform. USB 3.1 doubles bandwidth to 10 Gbps, and steps up power-delivery, letting you charge your portable devices faster.


Source: Expreview

Dell to Price its 27-inch 5K Monitor Under $2,000

Dell plans to launch the first consumer 5K monitor some time in December 2014, priced at just under $2,000 a pop. This comes in the wake of Apple launching the first consumer product with a 5K display, its latest iMac Retina all-in-one desktop. Dell's UltraSharp UP2715K is a 27-inch display with 5K (5120 x 2880 pixels) native resolution, which lends it a staggering 218 ppi of pixel density. Compare that to the 157 ppi of 28-inch Ultra HD monitors. 5K is four times as many pixels as WQHD.

The UltraSharp UP2715K features a 10-bit IPS panel, with 99 percent Adobe RGB and 100 percent sRGB palette coverage, and a 12-bit LUT. It offers viewing angles of 178°/178°, 8 ms response time, 350 cd/m² maximum brightness, and 1000:1 static contrast-ratio, with dynamic mega-contrast. The display needs two DisplayPort connections for sufficient bandwidth, to beam those many pixels at 60 Hz. There's also a mini-DisplayPort, but using that would either cap resolution at 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz, or drop refresh-rate at the native resolution.


Source: TFT Central

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended September 27, 2014. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $42.1 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $37.5 billion and net profit of $7.5 billion, or $1.18 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38 percent compared to 37 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter's revenue.

Apple's board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $.47 per share of the Company's common stock. The dividend is payable on November 13, 2014, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 10, 2014.

Angelbird SSD wrk for Mac Ships with Hardwrk SATA3 Adapter Kit

Angelbird, Austria's premium SSD manufacturer and hardwrk, specialist for MacBook Upgrade Kits, now offer an attractive bundle containing a SSD wrk for Mac and a SATA3 Adapter Kit for MacBook (Pro).

The bundle allows users to benefit from all the advantages of the SSD wrk for Mac and the SATA3 Adapter Kit for MacBook (Pro). Angelbird's SSD wrk for Mac is the only third party SSD that supports TRIM for Mac out of the box. The combination with hardwrks SATA3 Adapter Kit for MacBook (Pro) allows for interesting configuration options. You can either use the strong performance of the SSD wrk for Mac in a set-up that is designed for maximum speed or in a Fusion Drive. Customers can choose between the capacities 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB.

Apple Introduces 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display

Apple today unveiled the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, featuring the world's highest resolution display with a breathtaking 14.7 million pixels. At this amazing resolution, text appears sharper than ever, videos are unbelievably lifelike, and you can see new levels of detail in your photos. With the latest quad-core processors, high-performance graphics, Fusion Drive and Thunderbolt 2, iMac with Retina 5K display is the most powerful iMac ever made - it's the ultimate display combined with the ultimate all-in-one.

"Thirty years after the first Mac changed the world, the new iMac with Retina 5K display running OS X Yosemite is the most insanely great Mac we have ever made," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "With a breathtaking 14.7 million pixel display, faster CPU and graphics, Fusion Drive, and Thunderbolt 2, it's the most beautiful and powerful iMac ever."

Apple Updates the Mac mini

Apple today updated Mac mini with the latest technologies and a new lower starting price, making Apple's most affordable Mac an even better value. Mac mini now features fourth generation Intel Core processors, integrated graphics that are up to 90 percent faster, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Thunderbolt 2 and is still the world's most energy efficient desktop.

"People love Mac mini. It's a great first Mac or addition to your home network, and the new Mac mini is a nice upgrade packed into an incredibly compact design," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "With the latest CPU and graphics, faster Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, OS X Yosemite, and starting at just $499, the new Mac mini is the best value ever."

Apple OS X Yosemite Available Today as a Free Upgrade

Apple today announced that OS X Yosemite, the latest major release of the world's most advanced desktop operating system, is available as a free upgrade for Mac users from the Mac App Store. Yosemite delivers a fresh, modern look and introduces Continuity features that make it easy to hand off activities between Mac and iOS devices and even make and receive iPhone calls from your Mac. Yosemite also includes a new Today view, a redesigned Spotlight and updated versions of Safari, Mail, Messages and iTunes.

"OS X Yosemite is the most advanced version of OS X we've ever built, with a brand new design, amazing Continuity features and powerful versions of the apps you use every day," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "OS X Yosemite ushers in the future of computing, where your Apple devices all work together seamlessly and magically. It's something only Apple can do, and it's available today."

8K A Great Challenge: NVIDIA and AMD

Even as 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) is beginning to enter the consumer mainstream, with 28-inch displays being priced around $600, and Apple toying with 5K (5120 x 2880), with its next-generation iMac Retina desktops, Japanese display maker Sharp threw a spanner in the works, by unveiling a working prototype of its 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels) display, at the CETAC trade-show, held in Japan.

Two of the industry's biggest graphics processor makers, NVIDIA and AMD, reacted similarly to the development, calling 8K "a great challenge." Currently, neither company has a GPU that can handle the resolution. 8K is four times as many pixels as 4K. Driving an Ultra HD display over DVI needs two TMDS links, and DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 have just enough bandwidth to drive Ultra HD at 60 Hz. To drive 8K, both NVIDIA and AMD believe you would need more than one current-generation GPU, the display should connect to both cards over independent connectors, and somehow treat the single display as four Ultra HD displays. We imagine Sharp demoed its display at a very low refresh rate, to compensate for the bandwidth limitation. After 10 years of Full-HD tyranny, display resolutions are finally beginning to see their normal rate of development. It's time now for GPU developers and display interconnects to keep up.


Source: Expreview

PC Shipments Down By 1.7% in Q3, According to IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 78.5 million units in the third quarter of 2014 (3Q14), a year-on-year decline of -1.7% and a sizable improvement over the forecast of -4.1%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Many of the trends from the second quarter remained relevant and contributed to the 3Q14 results. Commercial PC purchases played a key role in many markets, with the top three vendors - Lenovo, HP, and Dell - all showing solid year-on-year growth. Conversely, fierce competition and a spiral toward tablet-like prices helped to further consolidate the market. Shipments of entry systems, including Chromebooks, continued to inject an important source of volume and sustained improved consumer demand in certain markets over recent quarters.

Apple Readying iMac Retina with 5K Display

Apple's next iMac desktop could flaunt the company's "Retina Display" moniker, which stands for pixel density that matches that of your retina. Apple's idea of Retina display on a 20-something inch desktop is 5K, which is 5120 x 2880 pixels, or four times the resolution of WQHD (2560 x 1440), or sixteen times HD (1280 x 720). Early betas of Apple's OSX "Yosemite" feature references to display resolutions upwards of 5K, including 5760 x 3240, and 6400 x 3600.

At 27-inch, 5120 x 2880 would give the Mac a staggering 217 ppi of pixel density, which is not very far from the 263 ppi which 9.7-inch iPads offer, with their 2048 x 1536 resolutions. To put 217 ppi into perspective, a 28-inch Ultra HD display offers 157 ppi, and Apple's current 27-inch iMac with WQHD display offers just 108 ppi. A mainstream 24-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display offers just 91 ppi. The GPUs that drive these next-gen iMacs are anyone's guess. Both current-generation AMD, and NVIDIA's new GTX 980 cap out at digital resolutions of 4096 x 2160.


Source: 9to5Mac

Apacer Rolls Out Two M.2 2242 SSDs

Since the PCIe SSD was adopted by Apple as a standard accessory in MacBook Air in 2013, its excellent flash storage performance featuring high-speed transmission has led the competition to follow, including the fully PCIe SSD-supported Microsoft Windows 8.1 operating system and the new generation Intel CPU chip. According to a survey conducted by the global market research firm TrendForce, the transmission speed of PCIe G2 (PCIe Generation 2.0) surpassed that of SATA III SSD in 2014. Moreover, several high-end notebooks are expected to replace SATA III SSD with PCIe SSD since Apple and Microsoft are boosting the market demand. With the price gap between them shrinking, PCIe G2 will potentially become the mainstream specification in the PC SSD market in 2015.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Apple today updated MacBook Pro with Retina display with faster processors, double the memory in both entry-level configurations, and a new, lower starting price for the top-of-the-line 15-inch notebook. MacBook Pro with Retina display features a stunning high-resolution display, an amazing design just 0.71-inches thin, the latest processors and powerful graphics, and up to nine hours of battery life, delivering unbelievable performance in an incredibly portable design.* Apple today also lowered the starting price of the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro, a very popular system with Windows switchers, by $100 to $1,099.

"People love their MacBook Pro because of the thin and light, aluminum unibody design, beautiful Retina display, all day battery life and deep integration with OS X," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The MacBook Pro with Retina display gets even better with faster processors, more memory, more affordable configurations and a free upgrade to OS X Yosemite this fall."

Apple Reports Third Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 third quarter ended June 28, 2014. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $35.3 billion and net profit of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 59 percent of the quarter's revenue.

Apple's board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $.47 per share of the Company's common stock. The dividend is payable on August 14, 2014, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 11, 2014.

Apple Introduces New Entry Level 21.5-inch iMac

Apple today introduced a new 21.5-inch iMac starting at just $1,099, making the world's leading all-in-one desktop even more affordable. Featuring a stunning ultra-thin design, brilliant display, Core i5 processors and the world's most advanced operating system, the new iMac is the perfect entry-level Mac desktop.

The new 21.5-inch iMac features a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 2.7 GHz, Intel HD 5000 graphics, 8 GB of memory and a 500 GB hard drive. All iMac models include next generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and two Thunderbolt ports and four USB 3.0 ports for excellent expandability and support for high-performance peripherals.

Apple Announces OS X Yosemite

Apple today announced OS X Yosemite, a powerful new version of OS X redesigned and refined with a fresh, modern look, powerful new apps and amazing new continuity features that make working across your Mac and iOS devices more fluid than ever.

The new Today view in Notification Center gives you a quick look at everything you need to know, all in one place; iCloud Drive is located within the Finder and can store files of any type; and Safari has a new streamlined design that puts the most important controls at your fingertips. Mail makes editing and sending attachments easier than ever; Handoff lets you start an activity on one device and pass it to the other; and Instant Hotspot makes using your iPhone's hotspot as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Yosemite even gives you the ability to make iPhone calls on your Mac.

Apple to Acquire Beats Music & Beats Electronics

Apple today announced it has agreed to acquire the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and Beats Electronics, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software. As part of the acquisition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple. Apple is acquiring the two companies for a total of $3 billion, consisting of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time.

"Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "That's why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world." "I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple," said Jimmy Iovine. "The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple's unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple's deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special."

Apple Updates MacBook Air

Apple today updated MacBook Air with faster processors and lower prices, making the perfect everyday notebook an even better value. Now starting at $899, MacBook Air features powerful processors, fast flash storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, up to 12 hours of battery life and Apple's iLife and iWork apps, giving you everything you need to handle all your work, all day long.

"With MacBook Air starting at $899, there's no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Macs have never been more popular, and today we've boosted the performance and lowered the price of MacBook Air so even more people can experience the perfect everyday notebook."

Apple Expands Capital Return Program to Over $130 Billion

Apple today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized another significant increase to the Company's program to return capital to shareholders. The Company expects to utilize a total of over $130 billion of cash under the expanded program by the end of calendar 2015. As part of the program, the Board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $90 billion from the $60 billion level announced last year. The Company expects to continue to utilize about $1 billion annually to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.

Additionally, the Board has approved an increase to the Company's quarterly dividend of approximately 8 percent and has declared a dividend of $3.29 per common share, payable on May 15, 2014 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 12, 2014. The Company also plans to increase its dividend on an annual basis. With annual payments of $11 billion, Apple is among the largest dividend payers in the world. From August 2012 through March 2014, Apple has spent $66 billion in cash on its capital return program.

Apple Reports Second Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 second quarter ended March 29, 2014. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $45.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion, or $11.62 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $43.6 billion and net profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.3 percent compared to 37.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter's revenue.

"We're very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We're eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market."
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