TSMC Reportedly to Begin Trial Production of Apple’s A6X Chip This Quarter

A new report from AFP claims that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will being trial production of Apple’s A6X chips sometime this quarter. The chip is currently used in the fourth generation iPad. By doing so, this will reduce Samsung’s role in Apple’s supply chain significantly.

The Taiwanese company has been contracted to manufacture the A6X chip, which drives Apple’s iPad4 tablet, with trial production set for the first quarter of this year, Taiwan’s Commercial Times reported.

The move is the latest in a strings of efforts by Apple to switch mass manufacturing contracts away from Samsung, it said.

Apple has been long rumored to switching its mobile chip manufacturing from Samsung to TSMC. The iPad maker, has been interested to remove Samsung’s presence from its iOS devices as the companies are involved in a number of patent infringement lawsuits around the world. The entire transition from Samsung to TSMC chips is expected to take as long as 18 months to complete.

Apple Acknowledges Do Not Disturb Bug

Earlier this week, MacRumors reported that some users discovered the scheduling portion of “Do Not Disturb” feature in iOS 6 feature fail to work after New Year’s Eve. The feature would turn itself on as scheduled, but would not turn itself off automatically. Now, Apple has acknowledged the bug in a support article and says that Do Not Disturb scheduling will begin working properly again after January 7, 2013.

Symptoms

After January 1st, 2013, Do Not Disturb mode stays on past its scheduled end time.

Resolution

Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off.

To turn off the scheduling feature, tap Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb and switch Scheduled to Off.

 

Apple Airs “Do Not Disturb” ad

Apple released a new television ad featuring iOS 6’s “Do Not Disturb” feature. Professional tennis players Serena and Venus Williams are shown playing ping-pong against the narrator in a dream:

Ever had a really cool dream? I’m having one right now. I don’t want to be disturbed. And I won’t because before I went to sleep, I set this. Now my iPhone knows not to ring unless its important. Cause disturbing this would just be… Wrong.

Hackulous Shuts Down

iDownloadBlog notes that the popular iOS pirated app community Hackulous has announced that it is shutting down. Hackulous’s most popular apps Installous and AppSync will no be made available.  A statement from Hackulous reads:

We are very sad to announce that Hackulous is shutting down. After many years, our community has become stagnant and our forums are a bit of a ghost town. It has become difficult to keep them online and well-moderated, despite the devotion of our staff. We’re incredibly thankful for the support we’ve had over the years and hope that new, greater communities blossom out of our absence.

Piracy is a major problem for many iOS app developers as there have been many instances of piracy forcing developers to remove their apps from the App Store. Good riddance.

Increase in iPhone and iPad Thefts Cause for Rise in New York City Crime Index

Today, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show that there has been an overall increase in the city due to theft of Apple products, according to The New York Times. There were 3,484 more major crimes in 2012 than a year prior, but Apple product thefts alone were 3,890 greater than in 2011.

Bloomberg said that thieves in New York prefer Apple products and notes that mobile devices from Apple’s competition, such as Samsung, were not included in the numbers. Bloomberg’s press secretary, Marc La Vorgna, also said New York’s overall crime figure saw an increase due to Apple products: “If you just took away the jump in Apple, we’d be down for the year,” he said.

The mayor suggested that citizens should keep their Apple products in a pocking, making the device harder to steal.

Apple Releases ‘I’ll Be Home’ iPad mini Holiday Television Ad

Tonight, Apple released a new television ad featuring the iPad and the iPad mini with a young girl singing Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” to her grandfather via FaceTime.

I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me. I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.

 

Apple Releases iOS 6.0.2 Software Update

Apple has released iOS 6.0.2 for iPhone 5 and iPad mini. The release notes for the iPhone note only that an unnamed Wi-Fi bug has been fixed.

iOS 6.0.2 Software Update

This update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:

• Fixes a bug that could impact Wi-Fi

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

The update can be downloaded via Software Update in Settings or via iTunes.

Apple Seeds iOS 6.1 Beta 4 to Developers

Today, Apple has released the fourth beta of iOS 6.1 to developers. The release has a build number of 10B5126b. In addition, Apple has released beta 3 of the Apple TV and Xcode 4.6 Developer Preview 4.

Registered developers can download the betas via Apple’s Developer page or via Software Update on iOS devices with a previous iOS 6.1 Beta already installed.

Over 2 Million iPhone 5’s Sold in China During Launch Weekend

This evening, Apple announced that the sales of the iPhone 5 exceeded two million units in its first weekend of availability in China.

“Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products.”

Back in September, the sales of the iPhone 5 exceeded over 5 million during its initial launch in 9 countries including the U.S.

Google to Release iOS Maps App Tonight

Last month, it was reported that Google was getting closer to submitting a maps app for iOS. Now, AllThingsD reports that Google plans to release the maps application tonight.

Google plans to release its much-awaited iOS Maps app tonight, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Unlike the Google’s Maps app that was included with iOS 5 and earlier, it is also reported that the new maps app will also offer free turn-by-turn navigation as has been available on Google Maps for Android and which Apple provides in its Maps app.

iTunes Store Movie Content Goes Live in 42 New Countries

Earlier this month, we reported that the iTunes Music Store has launched in 56 new countries, nearly doubling the countries with access to the store. In the press released, Apple noted that movies were also being launched in Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia with “select additional countries” also scheduled to offer the film content.

Now, MacRumors reports that movies had gone live in those countries, AppleInsider has compiled a list of 42 new countries where movies are now available.

– Europe: Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine

– Africa, the Middle East and India: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Cape Verde, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Zimbabwe

– Asia Pacific: Micronesia, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan

– Latin America and the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago

This means that just ten of the 56 countries that started to offer music content earlier this month have yet to begin offering movies. These countries include: Barbados, Bermuda, Burkina Faso, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, and Uzbekistan.

Chinese iPhone 5 Preorders Exceed 300,000

This Friday the iPhone will go on sale in China, and just days before, the nation’s second largest carriers revealed that preorders for the device has surpassed over 300,000 units less than a week after initiating reservations.

In a post on Sina Weibo microblog (via MacWorld), China Unicom said pre-sale orders for Apple’s iPhone 5 is now at over 300,000. This means that the carrier added around 200,000 reservations to the 100,000 recorded a day after reservations were made available.

China Unicom is Apple’s largest partner in the country, with China Telecom coming in second.

T-Mobile USA to Begin Selling Apple Products in 2013

Today, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann announced at his company’s analyst day event that T-Mobile USA will begin selling Apple products in 2013. T-Mobile also made the announcement in a press release. The carrier did not mention specific products, but Apple’s iPhone and iPad lineup are the only cellular enable devices offered by the company.

“T-Mobile USA has entered into an agreement with Apple to bring products to market together in 2013,” the release said. T-Mobile is the fourth largest carrier in the U.S., but regardless of its size, the iPhone has not been offered on that carrier to date. In addition, T-Mobile USA will also be offering LTE service for its customers in 2013.

Apple also confirmed to The Loop that it has struck a deal with T-Mobile.

 

Google Updates YouTube for iOS App

Today, Google has updated the YouTube app for iOS. This update adds native support for the iPad and the iPhone. In addition, the app now supports AirPlay, offers more advanced playlist management, improved voice over support, and more.

Google’s Horia Ciurdar says that more than 25 percent of all YouTube watching happens on mobile. Since the launch of the YouTube app back in September, Ciurdar says Google has “been hard at work to improve the app based on your feedback.”

Now the YouTube app will get ‘enhanced’ AirPlay support, letting you shoot your videos over to your Apple TV. Videos are also said to start faster and play more smoothly. Google has also improved VoiceOver support for those with visual impairments.

YouTube also says that users will find improved performance and faster video loading with this update.

The app for iOS is available for free from the App Store. [Direct Link]

iPhone 5 to Launch in More Than 50 New Countries in December

Today, Apple announced that the iPhone 5 will be made available in more than 50 new countries in December. The full list of December launches includes:

December 7: South Korea

December 14: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela

December 21: Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia, Uganda and Vietnam