Report: Mac OS X 10.9 Taking Page From iOS
Apple's next Mac OS X update is likely to arrive this summer, with a few updates that bring it even more in line with iOS, 9to5Mac reported.
OS X 10.9, codenamed "Cabernet," will not be a complete system overhaul. According to 9to5Mac, which cited unnamed sources, new operating system subtleties include Finder tags and a tabbed browsing mode. And, to the benefit of OS X "power users," version 10.9 reportedly allows the ability to run full-screen apps on one monitor, while accessing other desktop spaces on a second screen.
Other changes include a redesigned Safari back-end, for improved page loading, speed, and efficiency, 9to5Mac said, as well as app switching and pausing tricks, which trickle down to CPU and battery-life improvements.
The OS update seems to be more about dressing up existing features than it is about introducing new ones, which TechCrunch pointed out stays in line with Apple's recent OS X development strategy. Most alterations will be reserved for under-the-hood improvements, which won't affect users in a big way.
Mac Sales Dip Amidst iMac Constraints, iPad Cannibalization
Mac sales dipped slightly in the fourth quarter, and while Apple CEO Tim Cook attributed part of the drop to iPad cannibalization, supply constraints with the iMac also played a big role, he said.
Apple sold 4.1 million Macs during the quarter, which was down from the 5.2 million it sold during the same time period in 2011.
In a Wednesday conference call with analysts, Cook said the decline is due to three main factors: iMac constraints, the fact that the 2012 fourth quarter was shorter than 4Q 2011, and channel inventory.
Overall, iMac sales were down 700,000 year over year. Apple's revamped iMacs were released in late 2012, but there were "significant constraints" that prevented Cupertino from getting its new desktops to everyone who wanted them. "We believe our Mac sales would have been much higher absent those constraints," Cook said.
Meanwhile, 4Q 2012 was 13 weeks long whereas there were 14 weeks during 4Q 2011. "Last year, in the average week, we sold 370,000 Macs," Cook said.
Finally, channel inventory was down by about 100,000 units without the iMac. "So, if you just take these three factors, they bridge more than the difference ... between this year's sales and last year's sales," Cook concluded.
Some Apple Mac Production Moving to U.S. in 2013, Cook Says
Apple chief Tim Cook confirmed this week that some parts of Mac production will come to the U.S. starting next year.
"Next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac," Cook said in a far-reaching interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. "We've been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013."
Reports of a U.S.-made Mac made the rounds earlier this week when TechCrunch reported that some of the new iMacs said "Assembled in USA."
While many of Apple's products are produced overseas, it does have a plant in Elk Grove, Calif. TechCrunch pointed to a Sacramento Business Journal article from September, that said the Elk Grove facility had grown to 1,800 employees, up 50 percent from last year.
Cook did not comment on where in the U.S. the Macs will be produced. He conceded that Apple won't be working alone; "well be working with people, and we'll be investing our money," he said. But Cupertino will shell out "over $100 million," he said.
"We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it's broader because we wanted to do something more substantial," he said.
Flashback Trojan Still on 140,000 Computers
The impact of the Flashback Trojan that hit more than half a million Macs earlier this year is on the decline, but it is still present on at least 140,000 computers, according to new stats from Symantec.
"The statistics from our sinkhole are showing declining numbers on a daily basis," Symantec said in a Tuesday blog post. "However, we had originally believed that we would have seen a greater decline in infections at this point in time, but this has proven not to be the case."
The number of computers currently infected has "tapered off," but is currently hovering around the 140,000 mark, Symantec said. Given the number of tools released to fix the issue, the firm expected "a dramatic decrease."
Last week, Symantec said it had detected about 270,000 computers infected with the Flashback Trojan, down from a high of 600,000 on April 6 and 380,000 on April 10. For more, see the chart below.
Flashback Trojan Hits 550,000 Macs
Analysis of a recent Java flaw exploited by the Flashback Trojan reveals that more than 550,000 Macs were affected in the U.S. and abroad, according to anti-virus vendor Doctor Web.
"This once again refutes claims by some experts that there are no cyber-threats to Mac OS X," Doctor Web said in a Tuesday blog post.
About 56.6 percent of the infected computers, or 303,449, are located in the U.S., while 19.8 percent are in Canada, 12.8 percent are in the U.K., and 6.1 percent are in Australia, Doctor Web said. For more, see the map below.
As PCMag's Security Watch noted yesterday, Mac users did not have to download or even interact with the malware to become infected. Websites exploited a Java flaw that let Flashback.K download itself onto Macs without warning. It then asked users to supply an administrative password, but even without that password, the malware was already installed.
"The exploit saves an executable file onto the hard drive of the infected Mac machine. The file is used to download malicious payload from a remote server and to launch it," Doctor Web said.
Apple’s 2011 iOS Sales Larger Than Mac Sales in Last 28 Years
Apple during 2011 sold a total of 156 million devices running its iOS mobile operating system, Dediu wrote in an analysis Thursday. In contrast, Cupertino sold 122 million Mac OS X computers during its 28-year history.
Dediu on Thursday released a graph plotting each major computing product Apple has sold throughout its history (below). He was inspired to create the graph after reading statements Apple CEO Tim Cook made during an appearance at a Goldman Sachs investor conference earlier this week.
Cook admitted that even Apple was surprised by the staggering number of iPads it has sold to date — 55 million.
"This 55 is something no one would have guessed, including us," Cook said during the speech. "To put it in context, it took us 22 years to sell 55 million Macs. It took us about 5 years to sell 22 million iPods, and it took us about 3 years to sell that many iPhones. And so, this thing is, as you said, it's on a trajectory that's off the charts."
Mac App Store Downloads Hit 100 Million
Apple said Monday that downloads for its Mac App Store have topped 100 million, just shy of its first birthday.
"In just three years the App Store changed how people get mobile apps, and now the Mac App Store is changing the traditional PC software industry," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a statement. "With more than 100 million downloads in less than a year, the Mac App Store is the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world."
The Mac App Store launched on Jan. 6 and quickly hit one million downloads. When Apple released Mac OS X Lion in July, it was initially available exclusively as a Mac App Store download, though Apple later released it on a USB drive.
In its statement, Apple touted the achievements of some of the companies using the Mac App Store, including Autodesk, Pixelmator, and algoriddm.
Apple Sees ‘Robust’ iPhone, iPad, Mac Sales Over Black Friday
Though Apple's Black Friday discounts weren't exactly mind-blowing, the retailer saw brisk sales over the holiday weekend, with many stores selling out of the iPhone 4S.
Analysts at Deutsche Bank conducted retail checks at more than 200 stores over the Black Friday weekend, including 100 Apple Stores and 100 AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target stores.
Despite the fact that the iPhone 4S was not among the devices to get a Black Friday price cut, analyst Chris Whitmore said his team found "extremely robust demand for the iPhone 4S."
Approximately 75 percent of the stores surveyed sold out of the next-gen smartphone on Friday, though that dropped to 30 percent by Saturday as stores received new shipments.
"Checks indicated stores were running through supply briskly due to high customer demand and store reps stated that it was only a matter of time before they ran out of stock," Whitmore wrote in a Monday note to investors.
At partner stores, Whitmore said he found "mixed inventory" for the iPhone 4S. About 50 percent of AT&T stores were sold out over the weekend while Verizon was sold out nationwide. Sprint stores, however, had "adequate" inventory.
Mac OS X Trojan Leeches Off Your GPU to Mine Bitcoins
Another day, another piece of Mac malware. This time security firms have discovered a Mac OS X Trojan that steals processing power to create Bitcoin, a virtual currency beloved by libertarians, computer programmers, and hackers of all shades.
OSX/Miner-D, nicknamed "DevilRobber" by AV companies, is being distributed through torrent sites. It installs a Java-based application called "DiabloMiner" that uses your Mac's graphics processing unit (GPU) to generate Bitcoins.
Security vendor Intego said the malware was a combination of a Trojan horse, a malicious app hidden inside another application, a backdoor, an application that opens ports and accepts unauthorized commands, and a stealer that steals personal data and existing Bitcoins from your computer. It's also categorized as spyware because it sends personal data to remote servers, Intego said.
Apple Sells More Than a Million Copies of OS X Lion in One Day
Apple on Thursday announced that the company's customers had downloaded more than a million copies of OS X Lion on Wednesday, the fastest pace in Apple's history.
In snapping up Lion, Apple customers apparently set new records for Apple's eight major operating system. The release also comes amid news that Apple may begin ditching boxed software.
"Lion is off to a great start, user reviews and industry reaction have been fantastic," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, in a statement. "Lion is a huge step forward, it's not only packed with innovative features but it's incredibly easy for users to update their Macs to the best OS we've ever made."