The Tech News Blog

May 30, 2013

Apple Unveils 16GB iPod Touch for $229, Drops Rear Camera

16GB iPod touch

Although the iPhone is still the one of the most coveted Apple gadgets, the device generally comes with a contract, making it difficult to give to someone as a gift. As a result, the iPod touch is often a good alternative, and Apple has now quietly introduced an update to its popular device.

The new iPod touch offers 16GB for $229, a 4-inch Retina display, and is only offered in black with a grey backing. What's new? The device does not come with the standard iSight camera, a design decision that not only explains the lower price, but also indicates that this model of the iPod touch may be specifically geared toward music lovers and gamers. Not to worry - there is still a 1.2-megapixel front-facing cam for selfies and video chats.

Also missing, however, is the iPod touch loop, a hardware design feature that allowed users to connect a carrying strap to the device.

The full-featured iPod touches with Retina display sell for $299 (32GB) or $399 (64GB).

April 12, 2013

Apple Settles iPhone, iPod Touch Warranty Case for $53 Million

Original iPhone

Apple has reportedly reached a $53 million settlement over its failure to adequately honor iPhone and iPod touch warranties.

The settlement, published by Wired, will be submitted to the court next week. It sets up a multi-million dollar settlement fund, which will be distributed to those burned by Cupertino's questionable warranty policies.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case dates back to 2010, when multiple state and federal cases were filed against Apple over its refusal to fix faulty iPhones and iPod touches that were still under warranty. Ultimately, the cases were combined into one, large class-action suit currently pending before a San Francisco court. Apple recently agreed to pay up, but does not admit to any wrongdoing.

"Apple has agreed to enter into this settlement agreement to avoid the further expense, inconvenience, and distraction of burdensome litigation," according to the court filing.

Apple provides customers with a one-year standard warranty or a two-year extended warranty. That warranty is voided, however, if Cupertino detects "damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid spill or submersion, flood, fire, earthquake, or other external causes."

March 16, 2013

THX Sues Apple, Claims iPhone, iMac, iPad Speakers Infringe Patent

Apple iPhone 5 (AT&T)

THX has filed suit against Apple, claiming that the tech giant has infringed on one of THX's patent's for "Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems" within the company's iPhones, iPads, and iMacs.

The result? The violations cause THX "monetary damage and irreparable harm," reports Bloomberg, and the company is seeking monetary damages or royalty payments, as well as a court order that would force Apple to cease its alleged infringement.

According to THX's complaint, filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple's infringing the patent on its iPhone 4 (and later models), iPads, and iMacs, "which incorporate narrow-profile speaker units that output sound through a duct or aperture having a narrow dimension."

Here's where it gets interesting. The patent that THX is holding over Apple's head was granted to the company in 2008. U.S. Patent No. 7,433,483 describes, in part, "A narrow profile speaker unit comprises at least one speaker outputting sound towards an internal surface and through a duct with an output terminus, such as a slot, having a narrow dimension, effectively changing the cross-section of the speaker's audio output wave. A pair of speakers may face one another, outputting sound towards a common output slot."

December 13, 2012

Apple iPhone, iPod Touch Infringed on MobileMedia Patents

iPhone 3GS

A Delaware jury this week found Apple guilty of infringing on three patents held by Maryland-based MobileMedia Ideas.

The company sued Apple back in 2010 for infringing on 14 of its patents with the iPhone and iPod, but the case eventually focused on just three patents.

According to court documents, those patents cover technologies for call connections, the ability to reject an incoming call, and a device for personal communications, data collection, and data processing.

The original filing asked for an injunction against further infringement. It mentioned the iPod touch, but also the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, neither of which are for sale on Apple's website anymore.

According to Bloomberg, a decision on damages has not yet been determined. MobileMedia CEO Larry Horn, however, told the news service that the reward could be "substantial."

October 9, 2012

Apple Now Shipping New iPod Touch

Apple iPod touch Many of those who ordered Apple's new iPod touch are receiving notification that the revamped music player is now on its way.

Gigaom reported that Apple has begun shipping the fifth generation iPod to those who pre-ordered it. The blog's mobile site editor Kevin Tofel pre-ordered the device, and on Tuesday received a notification that it is now en route from China via FedEx and is slated to arrive on Oct. 15. Apple previously only provided a vague availability date of "October" for the new iPod touch.

The updated iPod touch boasts a 4-inch screen and looks like much like the new iPhone 5. It measures in at 6mm thin and weighs 88 grams, the thinnest and lightest iPod touch yet.

The device, unveiled on Sept. 12 alongside the iPhone 5, includes Apple's new 8-pin dock connector, which Cupertino has dubbed Lightning. The device comes in pink, yellow, blue, white and silver, black, and slate. The 32GB model is priced at $299 while the 64GB version will set you back $399.

September 12, 2012

Apple Unveils Larger iPod Touch, New Nano

iPod Nano

Apple today unveiled a revamped iPod touch and iPod nano lineup.

Both devices will include Apple's new 8-pin dock connector, which Cupertino has dubbed Lightning.

Pre-orders for the new iPod touch - which will come in pink, yellow, blue, white and silver, black, and slate - begin Sept. 14 and it will be available in stores starting in October. The 32GB model will be $299 while the 64GB version will set you back $399. The existing black and white, fourth-generation iPod touch will still be available: $199 for the 16GB and $249 for the 32GB.

The new iPod nano will also be available in October and will cost $149 for the 16GB version.

A 2GB iPod shuffle will sell for $49 in pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, and silver. RED versions of all three iPods will also be on sale.

September 12, 2012 Search Engine Confirms iPhone 5 Name, LTE

iPhone 5 Search

After last year's iPhone event, there were more than a few people who were disappointed (and angry, oddly enough) that Apple decided to call its new smartphone the iPhone 4S rather than the iPhone 5. For months, the Apple rumor mill had referred to the new device as the iPhone 5; how dare Apple come up with something different?!

For those still waiting anxiously for an actual iPhone 5, it appears the time is now. As first noted by 9to5Mac, the search engine on seemingly confirms that the new iPhone making its debut today will be called the iPhone 5.

If you search for "iPhone 5" via the search box on, the first result is a link to "," though at this point, the link is dead. As The Verge then pointed out, searching for "iPhone-5" pulls up a link to what looks like the press release announcing the new smartphone: "" That also goes to a dead link at this point. But as The Next Web discovered, another placeholder website apparently confirms that the new iPhone 5 will have 4G LTE.

That's not all. The Verge also uncovered a link for a press release that announces the Sept. 12 launch of a new iPod touch and iPod nano, so it appears that the iPhone 5 is not the only thing on the menu.

September 7, 2012

Report: Apple Working on Streaming Music Service

Apple Streaming Music

Many years ago, it was believed that radio would usurp the popularity of live theater. Then, television was expected to kill radio, and in recent years the Internet has been profiled as the multimedia behemoth that would kill nearly all other entertainment formats.

But constant innovations have proven that even seemingly old platforms can remain vital sources of user engagement and profit. Now Apple is reportedly hoping to join the move to bring radio into the 21st century with its own streaming music service.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a custom radio service that would rival those offerred by Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio. Although the streaming radio business is not an easy category to crack in terms of profit, Apple's ability to leverage its existing relationships with music labels for iTunes could mean that the labels would be willing to offer Cupertino more favorable license terms than its rivals.

The report also claims that the service would be limited to Apple devices, essentially cutting out Android and Windows users, and giving Apple loyalists and switchers alike yet another reason to opt into Apple's tightly controlled media ecosystem.

July 24, 2012

Rumor Points to 4-Inch iPod Touch Display

Apple iPod touch (2011)

Amidst rampant rumors that Apple's next iPhone will sport a 4-inch screen, a new report indicates that the next iPod touch will also boast a larger display.

Japanese blog site Macotakara, citing an "Asian source" on Monday reported that the fifth-generation iPod touch will also have a 4-inch LCD display, just like the next-gen iPhone. For comparison, the current iPod touch and the iPhone models sport 3.5-inch screens.

Macotakara's source also claims the next iPod touch will be outfitted with the same processor found on the iPhone 4S. If so, the device will get an upgrade from the A4 to the A5 dual-core processor, which delivers up to two times more power and seven times faster graphics. The next iPod touch could also have other specs in common with the iPhone 4S.

In terms of design, the blog's sources said the next iPod touch will have a different back case design, nixing the current mirrored finish for a new buffered aluminum style. Recent rumors also indicate that the next iPhone will have a metal backside.

The next iPod touch will also have an additional hole on the lower part of the back case, Macotakara's sources said, though the person had no clue about its purpose. Music lovers will apparently have their choice of black or white colored iPod touch models.

Meanwhile, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo yesterday predicted that Apple is planning a busy September and October, and will kick off a string of launches with "all-new" iPod touch and iPod nano models, according to MacRumors. Earlier this month it was rumored that the next iPod nano will be getting a makeover, once again returning to the taller form factor of years past.

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July 10, 2012

Rumor Points to Taller Apple iPod Nano

rumored iPod nano

Apple's next iPod nano could be getting a makeover, once again returning to the taller form factor of years past, according to a new report.

Japanese Apple-focused blog Macotara, citing a "reliable Chinese source," reported this week that the seventh-generation iPod nano will once again sport a rectangular display, which would likely be a touch screen. For those not keeping up, the current nano iteration has a square form factor, and looks similar to an iPod shuffle, only with a 240-by-240-pixel touch screen on the front instead of a click wheel.

In addition to a rectangular form factor, the new iPod nano may have a circular home button like the one currently found on Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices. It may also feature a "dedicated new iTunes service," according to the report.

The refreshed device could arrive this fall alongside an overhaul of Apple's iTunes. Details in the report appear to have come from a source who saw a leaked case for the next-gen device. Apple typically overhauls its iPod lineup once a year in the fall, so the move is not completely unexpected.