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Mar 14, 2012

AMD Prepares A4-3420 Llano-Based APU for May/June Release

Even though this summer will mark the introduction of the company’s second generation high-performance Trinity APUs, AMD will continue to expand its current A-Series processor lineup with new models based on the Llano architecture.

One of these upcoming APUs, dubbed the A4-3420, was recently uncovered by the Donaim Haber website, which has learned that this new processor is expected to arrive in May or June of this year.

Just as its name implies, the A4-3420 will be a slightly faster version of the company’s A4-3400 APU that was introduced in 2011.

The most important change brought by the A4-3420 when compared to its predecessor, is the slightly faster core speed, as the APU will now work at 2.8GHz instead of the 2.7GHz default clock of the A4-3400.

Otherwise, the two chips are basically identical, both of them coming with dual computing cores, 1MB of Level 2 cache memory and an on-die Radeon HD 6410D graphics core.

Those of you who aren’t familiar with AMD’s integrated GPUs should know that the 6410D features 160 shader units running at 600MHz, and fully supports Microsoft’s DirectX 11 API.

Much like the current A4-3400, the updated 3420 also includes a dual-channel memory controller with support for DDR3-1600 speeds.

The TDP of the chip is apparently set at 65 Watts and is compatible with motherboards using the FM1 socket.

According to Donanim Haber, AMD will price the A4-3420 at $65 US (almost 50 EUR), which makes it less expensive than the A4-3400 ($71) and the A4-3300 ($66).

The A4-3420 will most probably be one of the last Llano APUs to see the light of day, as in June or July this year AMD is said to introduce the Trinity accelerated processing units based on the Bulldozer architecture.

Intel 7-Series Ivy Bridge Motherboard BIOSes Now Available, DX79SI Gets New BIOS Too

Its 7-series chipsets might not be official yet, but this hasn’t stopped Intel from adding to its support website BIOS updates for three of the company’s upcoming Ivy Bridge motherboards.

The LGA 1155 boards in question are the Z77-based DZ77GA and DZ77BH, which are joined by the DH77EB built around the company’s H77 chipset.

All three of these solutions are expected to become official at the end of April, as far as we know.

Sadly, details about their specifications are scarce at this time, but if for some reason or another you would want to download their BIOS, you can do so by following these links: DZ77GA, DZ77BH and DH77EB.

If you don’t own any of these 7-series solutions, but have the Intel DX79SI motherboard for LGA 2011 processors, you can get its latest 0430 BIOS from links provided below.

AMD Radeon HD 7990 Launch Set for April 2012, Says Report

In about a month away from now, AMD is said to introduce a new high-performance dual-GPU video card, based on the company’s Graphics Core Next architecture, which will be dubbed the Radeon HD 7990.

A specific launch date isn’t available so far, but Donanim Haber has found out that the graphics card is scheduled to arrive this April.

Most likely, the Radeon HD 7990 will be built using two Tahiti XT graphics cores that will be linked together via CrossFireX.

If AMD goes for the Tahiti XT graphics core, this could mean that the card should feature 62 Compute Units for a total of 4096 stream processors, 256 texture units and 64 ROP units.

Each one of the two GPUs will also feature a 384-bit wide memory, bus that will be connected to 3GB of GDDR5 video buffer, delivering a whopping 6GB of VRAM on a single graphics card.

The clocks that the memory chips or the two GPUs will run at are unknown, but most probably AMD will have to go lower than the 925MHz/1.375GHz (5.5GHz effective) frequencies used for the HD 7970, in order to decrease the power consumption and the heat output of this dual-GPU monster.

The good news for AMD is that thanks to its ZeroCore technology the HD 7990 can completely shut down the secondary GPU when not in use.

So far, no details regarding pricing have been uncovered, but given the $549 (420 EUR) MSRP of the HD 7970, this dual-GPU Radeon is expected to easily surpass the $700 US barrier.

Nvidia is also said to prepare a dual-GPU graphics card of its own based on the company’s upcoming “Kepler” GK104 core, which will apparently be made available in May this year.

Synology DS112j Personal Cloud Storage NAS Comes Packed Full of Features

Synology has just announced that is has expanded its NAS portfolio with the addition of a new single-bay solution, dubbed the DS112j, which was designed to be used as a personal cloud storage device courtesy of a range of apps designed for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Those apps allow users to access the data they have stored on the DS112j, including documents, music, video and photos, as well as to receive live streaming video from home surveillance webcams.

The device itself can accommodate a single 3.5-inch storage drive and comes with a new milk white chassis that adds a dash of style to Synology's NAS.

Things have also changed on the inside of the DS112j, as the 1GHz processor and 128MB of RAM are now cooled by a low-rotation 60mm fan that enhances heat dissipation, while also minimizing the noise produced when running to 17.1 dB(A). 

Power consumption is estimated at 12.1W in operation and 4.4W in hibernation, making the new NAS a great deal more power efficient than the 2-bay DS212j, which is also part of the company’s personal cloud solutions series.

As far as connectivity is concerned, the DS112j comes equipped with one Gigabit LAN port and two USB 2.0 connectors. The NAS is compatible with 4TB hard drives.

"Synology DS112j comes at an entry-level price point, but makes no compromise in the richness of features offered by Synology," said Darren Lin, a product manager of Synology Inc. 

"It is a gateway to Synology's unique cloud services and applications, making it easy for users to keep their data in sync across all their PC, mobile devices, DS112j and carry terabytes of multimedia files anywhere," Lin added.

According to Synology, the DS112j is shipping as we speak, but no information regarding pricing has been revealed so far.

HTC Explains Micro Arc Oxidation on One S, Video Available

HTC’s One S smartphone will arrive on shelves with the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform and with the HTC Sense 4 UI on top, while promising great performance capabilities courtesy of a dual-core 1.5GHz application processor. 

However, this is not all that the handset has to offer, and the Taiwanese mobile phone maker is set to make sure that we’re aware of that. 

Thus, the company came up with a video to detail one of the “cool” features that this device arrives on shelves with, namely a durable body that also feels great in the hand. 

For that, HTC is zapping the aluminum body of the device with 10,000 volts, the equivalent of lightning. 

This is not necessarily needed for the device, but it does offer that level of “wow” that many are seeking in a new gadget. Have a look at the video embedded above to learn more on the matter.

Galaxy S III Said Again to Be Waterproof

One of the features that Samsung might include inside the upcoming Galaxy S III smartphone would be waterproof capabilities, some of the latest rumors around the web suggest. 

Apparently, Samsung might have partnered with P2i, the electronics waterproofing company, for the addition of this special feature to the upcoming handset. 

A recent article on TechRadar notes that P2i already confirmed working with a large Korean manufacturer on the matter, and that carriers were also interested in launching devices that featured such capabilities. 

"We're working with major carriers to create a standard of performance for water repellence which can give OEMs something to work to when creating smartphones,” Eric Cohill, COO for P2i, reportedly stated during an interview with the aforementioned website. 

Whether this means that the next generation flagship Android-based mobile phone from Samsung will include the capabilities as well, it remains to be seen. 

One thing that is certain, however, is that it should not be too long before waterproof devices conquered the worldwide market, the same as they did with the market in Japan. 

"There are several hundred pound gorillas in the phone industry, we've got the 'fruity companies' and the big Korean brands, and they're all becoming interested in our technology as they don't want to be second best in the market,” the company reportedly stated.

"There's a lot more excitement this year, and we're talking to a major US carrier to set an internal baseline for standards which could affect the decisions these networks make over which phone to range.”

P2i's technology is currently included in Motorola’s Life-proof range of phones, such as the Motorola Defy+.

Apparently, users are also interested in owning devices that are water repellent, which means that the feature might soon become an industry standard, the same as many other smartphone capabilities. Stay tuned for more on the matter.

HIS Passive Cooled Radeon HD 6670 iSilence 5 Makes Appearance

Over the years, we have grown accustomed to HIS' in-house Radeon HD designs and today the company has released another such solution based on AMD's HD 6670 GPU, the HIS 6670 iSilence 5 1GB DDR3, which was built specifically for HTPC enthusiasts.

The video card was designed in order to provide noise-free operation and uses a passive heatsink to dissipate the heat produced by the HD 6670 graphics core.

This covers most of the card’s PCB and increases cooling efficiency by maximizing the heat dissipation surface. Heat is conducted from the GPU and into the aluminum fin array via four copper heatpipes. 

The good news is that the advanced cooling assembly used by HIS doesn’t require more than two slots inside the system case, which means that it can even be used in 2-way CrossFireX setups (if paired with an AMD motherboard). 

As far as the operating clocks of the card are concerned, HIS set the GPU frequency at AMD's recommended 800MHz, but the memory has been downgraded from the recommended 4GHz data rate GDDR5 to 1GB of DDR3 working at 1600MHz.

The rest of the 6670 iSilence 5 specs are nothing out of the ordinary as the graphics card features the usual VGA, DVI and HDMI video outputs.

HIS' latest creation is available in the retail market as we speak, with pricing set at £60 excluding VAT, which roughly translates into 72 EUR or $94.3 USD.

AMD's Radeon HD 6670 is based on the Turks graphics core, which includes 480 streaming processors, 24 texture units, 8 ROP units and a 128-bit wide memory bus.

The low TDP of the Radeon HD 6670 core means that the card doesn’t require any external power, which makes it perfect for upgrading your system without having to supply a beefier PSU.

HTC One X with Quad-Core CPU Receives FCC Approval

Back in February when HTC unveiled the One series of Android phones, the company promised that all HTC One devices would be available on the market as soon as Q2 2012.

The Taiwanese handset maker has teamed up with more than 140 carriers in orders to offer these HTC One smartphones worldwide, as fast as possible.

One of the carriers that confirmed plans to release the HTC One XL is AT&T. The smartphone has already been approved by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) earlier this month.

However, the guys over at Pocketnow spotted the HTC One XL sibling, the One X at FCC, which means that the quad-core device will make its entrance in the United States as well.

HTC One XL will be available at AT&T with LTE support, but with a dual-core Krait processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. 

Customers who choose the HTC One X will be provided with only HSPA+ download speeds up to 21Mbps, but the smartphone is equipped with a 1.5 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

Currently, HTC One X is priced at 770 USD (tax included) in the United States, but this is subject to change. No word on any of the two devices release dates or pricing options yet, but more details will be provided within the next few weeks.

HTC One XL and One X are powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and feature Beats Audio. Moreover, each boasts a 4.7-inch Super IPS LCD2 capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720 x 1280 pixels) resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass coating.

An impressive 8-megapixel rear camera is available as well, which features HTC’s Imaging technology, autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording. There’s also a secondary 1.3-megapixel camera for self-portraits and video chats. Stay tuned for more updates on the subject.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Spotted at FCC with AT&T 3G Radios

Officially unveiled back in February, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is slated for a March release in the UK. However, Samsung confirmed the slate would be launched worldwide within the following months.

In this regard, it looks like we’re closing to a release in the Unites States as the tablet has just been spotted at FCC (Federal Communications Commission) by the folks over at Engadget.

Even though there are no details on the tablet’s price tag and release date, it appears that Galaxy Tab 2.0 (7.0) has been approved with AT&T’s 3G radios. 

Based on the popularity of the original model, the second generation of Galaxy Tab 7.0 will probably be available in the United States through multiple carriers.

Codenamed GT-3100, the slate is expected to hit shelves within the next several weeks, though this has yet to be confirmed by Samsung.

This is one of the few tablets to offer support for GSM voice communications, SMS and MMS. In addition, the slate boasts HSPA+ and HSUPA support, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP.

Furthermore, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is powered by a dual-core processor clocked at 1 GHz and packs 8GB of internal memory, 1GB of RAM and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 64GB).

Samsung also announced that two additional models would be available on the market, a 16GB variant and a 32GB version. All three will probably be launched at the same time.

As the name suggests, Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) sports a 7-inch PLS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports 600 x 1024 pixels resolution. There’s also a 3-megapixel camera on the back and a secondary VGA front-facing camera for video calls.

Software-wise, the slate runs the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX user interface on top.

The First Photos Taken with Apple's New iPad

The Vietnamese source that obtained one of the first Retina display iPads is dishing around photos taken with the tablet’s five megapixel rear camera, following an unboxing and a benchmark.

After unboxing and assessing the new iPad’s processing capabilities, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn proceeded with tests on the tablet’s rear camera, which Apple boosted to 5 megapixels (from 1 megapixel in the iPad 2). The camera module also uses some advanced optics that go far beyond the iPad 2, but not quite where the iPhone 4S stands.

Still, the new iPad churns up much clearer images compared to its predecessor. The Vietnamese source itself admits that more tests need to be done in order to fully determine its capabilities.

Check out the full batch of photos taken with the third-generation iPad right here.

GeForce GTX 680 Is 40% Faster Than AMD Radeon HD 7970, Slide Claims

We tend to be skeptical about marketing slides, especially those made by a company in order to promote their new products, but the one NVIDIA leaked recently still deserves a once-over. 

The slide in the picture appeared on the NGF Community forums and is basically a comparison chart between the upcoming NVIDIA board and AMD's two strongest, single-GPU Radeon cards. 

The pink bar is the Radeon HD 7950, the red bar is the HD 7970 and the green bar is, naturally, the one corresponding to the GeForce GTX 680. 

All three cards were benchmarked in a variety of games, both with and without AA (anti-aliasing). 

There seems to be a single instance where the Keplerbased adapter did not leave the other two behind: Civilization V, but only with 4xAA. GTX 680 still led when AA was disabled. 

At the other end of the spectrum, there is the Battlefield 3 benchmark with 4xAA enabled. NVIDIA may or may not have been using the FXAA algorithm when it conducted these runs. 

Either way, the Santa Clara, California-based company is dead set on leaving AMD's Radeon HD 7970 in the dust. 

This leak basically implies that the GeForce GTX 680 is up to 40% faster than the Radeon HD 7970, and much better than the 7950. 

If the GPU maker delivers on this hype, it won't have a hard time earning the fastest-GPU crown. We'll wait to see before we believe, though. 

NVIDIA will launch the GeForce GTX 680, powered by the GK104 Kepler graphics processing unit, on March 23, assuming prior reports are valid. After that, a dual-chip beast will be launched, in May. 

Until then, NVIDIA customers should make the best of the hardware they already own. One way to do that is to get the latest driver, the 296.10 WHQL version, that appeared just the other day. There is even a software package for Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, or the preview anyway. Go get it below.

Mozilla Ready to Capitulate in HMTL5 Video War, Firefox May Start to Support H.264

A long time ago (a couple of years ago) the HTML5 video wars, with the patent-encumbered H.264 pitted against the open and Google-backed WebM, were grabbing everyone's attention. Sides were chosen, battles were waged. Things quieted down after an while and it seems, unlikely or not, that the Mozilla-Google group has lost or if it hasn't lost yet, it's close to admitting defeat.

In fact, the problem, from Mozilla's point of view, was that there was no Mozilla-Google group to speak of. Google promised something, but hasn't delivered. It has converted much of its YouTube library to WebM, but it hasn't dropped support for H.264 from Chrome.

So now Mozilla has come to the unfortunate realization that it is fighting an already lost war and that it's only hurting its users by continuing to not support H.264 and other proprietary codecs.

Andreas Gal, Director of Research at Mozilla, opened a discussion proposing a patch that will enable Firefox, on mobile devices aka Android and Boot 2 Gecko, to use existing hardware decoders for HTML5 video.

Currently, Firefox only supports WebM and Theora for HTML5, but most of the videos online are encoded in H.264. The reason why most Firefox users are able to play most videos online is because they use the Flash fallback option, that web developers (almost) always include.

"I want to land bug 714408 on mozilla-central as soon as I get review for it. It adds hardware-accelerated audio/video decoding support to Gecko using system decoders already present on the system," Andreas Gal wrote.

While the post and the title of the thread don't look like anything major, it is in fact a discussion on whether Mozilla should give up and start supporting H.264 video. The consensus, while not universal, is that users are hurting and that WebM is not going to win.

It's a heated discussion with everyone from Asa Dotzler, to Christopher Blizzard, to Brendan Eich pitching in, and, while there is no clear conclusion yet, it seems that Mozilla is about to go ahead and figure out a solution to support H.264 video along with MP3 and ACC for audio.

One idea, the one proposed in the first place, is just to use whatever codecs are found on the device. This works for mobile devices, but leaves Windows XP users and some Linux users out in the cold, unless they manually install H.264 codecs.

Another rather more controversial solution would be to simply license H.264, which would cost a significant amount but nothing Mozilla can't handle, and then build support for it into the browser ensuring that all users can benefit.

But this leaves the question of distributing the source code for others to use, others who won't have a H.264 license as well as the problem of figuring out how many actual users Firefox has, not a simple task, in order to determine how much it has to pay.

There may still be some surprising developments, but the general view at Mozilla is that WebM lost and that Google abandoned the fight leaving Mozilla to bear the grunt. 

Script: Site Layout Customizer

Any WordPress developer can tell you that creating a custom layout for the WP frontpage (loop file) is probably the biggest nightmare when building a non-standard blog.

While in the past multi-column layouts drove developers mad and even made them switch platforms altogether, these days, with the help of a little plugin called “Site Layout Customizer,” almost any front-page design is possible in WordPress.

Building a newspaper layout proved quite easy in our tests, the only thing we lacked was enough dummy content in our localhost installation to take a proper snapshot of our masterpiece.

To embed the custom-built layout, the plugin creates a custom shortcode that can be embedded in any WP page. Just designate that page as the site's new homepage, and thus you replaced the rigid old WP loop and have a brand new magazine-like website.

Of course, the plugin is available in the WordPress plugin repository as well.

Download Site Layout Customizer here.

HTC Announces Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for 16 Handsets

Taiwan-based handset vendor HTC Corporation has just confirmed plans to bring 16 devices to the latest version of Google’s Android operating system. 

The mobile phone maker was already pushing out updates for two of its devices on the European market, namely HTC Sensation and Sensation XE, but that was only the tip of the iceberg, it seems. 

Yesterday, Samsung too started to deliver the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system flavor to its users, though only the owners of Galaxy S II devices out there are receiving it at the moment. 

Apparently, HTC plans to be one step ahead, and the company has made it clear that Ice Cream Sandwich will be available for many of its customers in the not too far future. 

The list of smartphones includes a variety of devices available on the market in the United States, such as DROID Incredible 2 by HTC, HTC Amaze 4G, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G, HTC Sensation 4G, HTC Rezound, HTC Raider, HTC Rezound, HTC Rhyme, HTC Thunderbolt, HTC Vivid. 

Along with them, there are devices that made it to shelves all around the world, including HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL, and HTC Sensation XE. 

The company has yet to unveil specific release dates for most of the said phones. At the moment, the update is being rolled out on the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE. 

“As for timing, we’re in the early stages of rolling out Android 4.0 for the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE and upgrades will be more widely available in the next few weeks. The update for the HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Sensation XL will follow,” HTC’s Darren Krape notes in a blog post. 

“Please note, once we start pushing out updates it will take time for all carriers in each country to get the update. We are working closely with our carrier partners to nail down update schedules for our other smartphones and will have more to share very soon.”

Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Lineup Also Includes Pentium G2120 Embedded CPU

Together with desktop and mobile Ivy Bridge processors, Intel will also introduce in 2012 a series of embedded Pentium chips based on its new 22nm architecture, such as the Pentium G2120 CPU which has just recently been detailed.

The yet to be released processor closely resembles Intel’s upcoming Pentium G870 desktop Sandy Bridge SKU, as both models operate at the same 3.1 GHz frequency.

In addition, both of these chips feature 3MB of L3 cache, on-die integrated graphics and a similar feature set.

What this means is that users won’t get support for technologies such as the AVX or AES instruction sets, Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, but the chips will offer VT-x virtualization instead.

The main difference between the embedded Pentium G2120 and the upcoming Pentium G870 SKU is that the former will sport an ECC-compatible memory controller. 

Intel’s Pentium G2120 will have a Thermal Design Power of 65 Watts, and allows for up to 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory to be installed.

Unlike most other Intel embedded processors, CPU-World reports that the Pentium G2120 will use the LGA 1155 socket. Its on-die GPU has a base frequency of 650MHz, which can be boosted up to 1050MHz when the need arises.

The processor is said to be released in the fourth quarter of 2012, but no information regarding its price has been uncovered.

In addition to the Pentium G2120, Intel’s embedded Ivy Bridge CPU lineup will include at least two other chips, the Core i3-3120ME and i3-3217UE.

Both of these were revealed in January of this year and pack two computing cores with Hyper-Threading support.

The ultra-low power Core i3-3217UE will work at 1.6GHz, includes 3MB of Level 3 cache memory, and has a 17W TDP, while the Core i3-3120ME also features 3MB of cache, but its higher 35W TDP enabled Intel to raise its operating frequency to 2.4GHz.

Fujifilm Promises Fixes for X10 and X-S1 Camera Bloom Problems

Though the Fujifilm X10 and X-S1 cameras were pretty well received last year, they have some problems, or some do anyway.

A number of customers set inquiries regarding a “blooming” or “white disk” effect that causes exceptional highlights in a picture to appear as strongly, delineated rounded shapes.

The company is working on a solution, namely a modified sensor, one that should show up in late May, 2012.

Before then, though, their firmware will be upgraded, so that the white disk occurrence is reduced, especially in EXR mode.

Scenes that are likely to suffer from the problem will be recognizable while taking a shot. This will automatically increase the ISO and optimize the DR (dynamic range).

It won't totally eliminate the problem, but it will make it less noticeable at least.

The X10 already got the firmware in February, but the X-S1 will only get its own on March 21, 2012.

Nvidia “Kepler” GeForce GT 640M GPU Benchmarked in Acer M3 Ultrabook

Even though Nvidia hasn’t officially announced its 600-series of mobile GPUs based on the Kepler architecture, the first benchmarks of such a graphics core, the GeForce GT 640M, have already made their appearance on the web.

This 28nm GPU was used by Acer in its recently announced Aspire TimelineU M3 Ultrabook, which was reviewed by AnandTech just a few hours ago.

According to the specifications accompanying Acer’s notebook, the GT 640M graphics core runs at speeds up to 625MHz and includes no less than 384 CUDA cores.

This is four times the number of shaders packed by its predecessors, the GT 540, if we are to believe what Acer tells us.

In the TimelineU M3 Ultrabook , the GT 640 graphics core is linked via a 128-bit wide bus to 1GB of DDR3 memory that works at 900MHz (1.8GHz data rate), but Nvidia also allows for this GPU to be paired with faster GDDR5 VRAM.

Besides the Nvidia Kepler graphics card, Acer’s ultra-thin notebook also includes an Intel Core i7-2637M dual-core CPU with a base frequency of 1.7GHz and 2.8GHz maximum Turbo, as well as 4GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory.

The Ultrabook was put through various benchmarks, including Battlefield 3, Skyrim or Dirt 3, to test its gaming performance.

These have revealed that the GeForce GT 640M is a significant upgrade when compared with the GT 540M it replaces, as it manages to deliver playable frame rates in all of the games tested at the notebook’s default 1366x768 resolution.

So far, we don’t know when Nvidia plans to officially announce its new 600-series mobile GPUs based on the Kepler architecture.

The first desktop part based on this design, the GeForce GTX 680, is rumored to be launched on March 23.

iPhone 5 Reportedly Thinner Thanks to inCell Display

An analyst with Jefferies issued a research note this week catering to some of the tech industry’s most beloved rumors, including an Apple "iTV", and the iPhone 5.

On the latter, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said, “We believe Apple is partnering with Toshiba Mobile Display on inCell technology for potential inclusion in the iPhone 5 or beyond.”

“Our view of inCell remains skeptical, but if they do achieve commercial yields we see this as almost as powerful a change as a move to OLED would be,” added Misek.

Thanks to inCell, Apple’s next iPhone would not only be thinner, it would boast an amazingly responsive touch-display, Misek said.

“It would remove the need for touch assemblies,” he noted, “allow them to reduce the thickness of iPhones considerably, and would enable unbelievably smooth and sensitive touch experiences for Apple devices,” he said.

There is much debate as to whether Apple will introduce its next iPhone at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference or during a special event this fall, much like the iPhone 4S.

It is also speculated that the company will drop the numbering, to be in line with “the new iPad” that just rolled out.

Peter Misek also reignited some Apple TV rumors this week telling investors that his recent visit to Asia had churned up some interesting information regarding the company’s plans with the business pillar that Tim Cook still labels as a “hobby”.

He stated in a research note, “we believe specialty components have begun to ship to Apple's Asia panel suppliers with polarized films, filters, and IGZO components starting to move in small quantities.”

Jefferies expects commercial production to commence in the May - June timeframe. Apple is said to plan an initial batch of 2M to 5M builds. The device is estimated to arrive at Apple’s retail outlets in the fourth quarter of this year, going by Misek’s estimates.

TAG Heuer Launches €2.800 (3,650 USD) Android Phone for Racing Fans

Swiss company TAG Heuer renown for the watches it manufactures for those who can afford it, has just announced the upcoming availability of a luxury mobile phone. 

This is not the company’s first handset as TAG Heuer launched last year in June a €4,700 Android phone made of alligator leather, the LINK Phone.

Today, Louis Vuilton’s division of luxury goods, TAG Heuer launched a new luxury smartphone inspired by Formula 1 racing cars, the Racer.

TAG Heuer Racer will be available on the market from July. Customers would be able to purchase this expensive smartphone for “only” €2,800 (3650 USD). 

The smartphone is mostly made of carbon fiber and titanium, and looks rather bulky. However, the things that matter most are its sturdiness and the fine lines that set it apart from other Android smartphones.

Although the company confirms that the Racer comes with the latest mobile operating system launched by Google, it’s highly unlikely that it will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform, though not impossible.

Given the fact that it features four touch-sensitive keys, we are tempted to believe that TAG Heuer Racer will be powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. 

It is also worth mentioning the smartphone will run a “customizable 3D user interface” on top of Android platform.

No other detail on the smartphone’s specs sheet is available for the moment, but we can assume that the device will be equipped with a 1GHz single-core processor and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

TAG Heuer mentions that the Racer is part of a larger “collection” of luxury phones, so we can expect that the company will launch other models in the following months.

Customers who can afford it can find the TAG Heuer Racer at watch and jewelry stores, boutiques, as well as luxury mobile boutiques.

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