Apple Accounts for Bulk of PC Growth, iPad the Most Popular PC Ever?, Apple A6 Processor, and More
This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News
All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
News, Reviews, & Opinion
- Apple Accounts for 50% of Global PC Growth - 70% if iPad Included
- iPad the Most Popular Personal Computer Ever Made?
- Apple Still Leads the Smartphone Pack in Buyer Preference
- Apple's A6: 3D Design, Built by Taiwan Semiconductor
- Apple Begins Test Production of A6 Processor, a Blow to Samsung
- Apple, Samsung, and LG Working on New iPad Screen
- Forthcoming Motorola Droid Bionic to Dwarf iPhone 5 in Every Respect
- Lenovo Unwraps Trio of 10" Tablets: 2 Androids and 1 Windows Job
Apps & Services
- Spotify Comes to America
- Float, a Revolutionary Free Digital Reading Service
- Writing Kit 1.2 with Dropbox Sync to Any Folder Now Available
- InfiniteLoop Stand Promises to Revolutionize the Way You Use Your Tablet and Smartphone
- Dock to USB Female Cable for Connecting iPad to USB Device
Presentation & Protection
- Personalize Your iPhone Case With Your Favorite Photo
- OEM iPad Leather Case with Detachable Bluetooth Keyboard
- Axion Announces Accessories for iPad and iPod nano
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- Best iPad deals
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News, Reviews, & Opinion
Asymco's Horace Dediu says that Steve Ballmer has stated and Andy Lees confirmed that Microsoft views the iPad and other tablets as just PCs. From a market measurement point of view, market research firm Canalys agrees, while its competitors IDC and Gartner don't, calling the new devices media tablets.
Dediu observes that before deciding whether tablets belong with PCs in market metrics, it's worth taking a look at what the data shows, which he proceeds to do with several illustrative charts, and notes that even excluding iPads, Apple is very close to being fifth largest global PC vendor, with its global market share likely above 5% - and including iPads, Apple would be in second place.
As for platform year-over-year growth, the metrics are:
- Windows: +1.3%
- OS X: +26%
- iOS: +170%
- Android growth can't yet be measured comparatively, since Android tablets haven't been on the market for a year.
...nearly 50% of global PC growth was due to the Mac.
Looking at it another way, in Q2 2011 one million more Windows PCs were sold than in Q2 2010, compared with 903 thousand more Macs and 5.5 million more iPads, Excluding tablets, nearly 50% of global PC growth was due to the Mac. If you include the iPad, Apple was responsible for approximately 70% of PC market growth in the in Q2.
Dediu predicts that If Windows remains marginal on tablets, the PC market will likely tip away from Microsoft in two years (depending on how quickly Apple can build iPads.), and says Microsoft's real challenge will be whether they can keep their business model (selling OS licenses to hardware vendors) as PCs become more device-like, with not only iOS setting the benchmark for performance but Android potentially ready to gobble up share if the market turns slightly more modular.
Dvorak Uncensored's Uncle Dave, a veteran of 35 years of computing and tinkering experience, says he recently got his brother's old iPad when he upgraded to the iPad 2, and notes that Apple has always gone out of its way to make the personal computer approachable to a general audience. He contends that the iPad is succeeding for exactly the same reasons that early Macs were criticized - it is an exceptionally disguised computer, and the formula works better now than it did back in the day, because we have changed.
The audience for computers now, says Uncle Dave, is the audience for the Internet, for email, for being a modern human being, and with this new audience, you can't presume that people have the patience or capacity to understand how to configure printer drivers or troubleshoot kernel exceptions, observing that the number of people concerned about not having root access to their iPads pales in comparison with the number who would freak out if Angry Birds suddenly disappeared, which is why, like it or not, the iPad is arguably the most popular personal computer ever made - the first computer that successfully stoops to most users' level.
PR: ChangeWave has released findings of its latest consumer survey on future demand for smartphones including mobile OS and handset preferences going forward.
ChangeWave Vice President of Research Paul Carton notes that ChangeWave's June, 2011 survey of 4,163 consumers has taken a fresh look at smart phone demand trends including mobile OS and smart phone preferences going forward, focusing on key comparisons between the Apple iOS and Google Android OS including the impact of Apple's new iCloud service along with the latest momentum trends for Motorola and Research in Motion.
This survey focuses primarily on the North American smart phone market with the sample being 89% U.S. respondents and 11% outside the US.
Mobile OS Preferences Among Consumers
The Apple iOS and Google Android OS continue to dominate preferences for mobile operating systems, according to the latest ChangeWave survey results.
Going forward, the Apple iOS remains the number one preference for buyers with 46% of those planning to buy a smart phone in the next 90 days saying they prefer to have the Apple iOS on their new phone, up 2-pts since the March survey.
Firmly in second in the North American market, the Android OS (32%) has registered a slight uptick (up 1-pt) in terms of future buyer preference. In contrast, Research in Motions BlackBerry OS (4%; down 1-pt) has once again hit its lowest level ever in a ChangeWave survey.
Smart Phone Manufacturer Demand
Despite no new Apple model launch, demand still appears strongest for the iPhone in terms of North American planned purchasing.
Nearly half of respondents (48%) planning on buying a smart phone in the next 90 days say they'll get an iPhone up 1-pt since our previous survey in March and the highest level of demand in the smart phone industry.
The same can't be said for Motorola (8%; down 4-pts). After benefiting tremendously in the years Verizon subscribers were barred from the iPhone market, Motorola is now seeing a loss of market share at least partially attributable to the Verizon iPhone release that occurred earlier this year, Carton notes.
Still, he suggests that Motorola's situation is considerably less daunting than that of BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion's, noting that seven of the past 10 ChangeWave quarterly surveys since 2008 have seen a drop in RIM's planned purchase share, and importantly, RIM's customer satisfaction ratings have also fallen in nine of the past 10 ChangeWave surveys, with this latest survey showing them at their lowest level ever for this most critical of indicators.
- A closer look at competition between Apple, Motorola, Research In Motion, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and HTC, among others
- Impact of Apple iCloud
- Operating System satisfaction ratings
Computerworld's Jonny Evans reports that it's interesting to note the next Apple processor, A6, will be made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and will be a 3D IC 28-nanometer low-power powerhouse, sweetly tucked inside your iPhones
Evans notes that a 3D IC is a chip in which two or more layers of active electronic components are integrated both vertically and horizontally into a single circuit, compared with the A4 and A5 Apple chips, which are layered designs: the A4 having three distinct layers consisting of the microprocessor itself and two layers of Samsung RAM.
"Now imagine if these layers worked even better together," says Evans, noting that according to SemiWiki, TSMC's implementation of 3D-IC chips "is said to achieve performance gains of about 30% while consuming 50% less power," and that to make the news even more interesting, TSMC could deliver its first semiconductors with 3D IC interconnects by the end of 2011, according to a recent report by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).
9 to 5 Mac's Mark Gurman reports that according to Reuters, Apple and Taiwan-based manufacturer TSMC have begun a test production run of A6 processors for future Apple devices. TSMC is yet to be confirmed as the producer of Apple's A6 chip when it ships sometime in the future, but the decision is said to be authorized. The only thing holding back the deal is the potential yield rate of the manufacturing.
Korea Times' Kim Yoo-chul reports that Samsung Electronics and LG Display, the world's two largest makers of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), are close to securing big orders from Apple, according to industry sources said.
Yoo-chul says Apple is planning advanced screens for the next version of its immensely popular iPad, but it has been looking to reduce its dependence on Samsung as primary provider of key components, such as flash memory chips, processors (Samsung makes Apple-designed A4 and A5 processors on a foundry basis), and LCDs.
One of Yoo-chul's sources is cited saying that the forthcoming iPad 3 will feature an improved display to support quad extended graphics (QXGA), a display resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio to provide full high definition (HD) viewing experience, but that Apple appears to have no interest in Samsung's organic light emitting diode (OLED) flat screen technology and has also been shifting memory chip orders to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and is currently testing future iPhones and iPads with processors manufactured by TSMC (above), which is also the worlds largest contract chipmaker, much to Samsung's dismay.
International Business Times' Elias Samuel says the most anticipated devices from the beginning of this year have been Apple's as yet unreleased iPhone 5 and Motorola's likewise unreleased Droid Bionic.
Samuel notes that with its Webtop 1.3.0 application, Motorola allows mobile computing users to experience cloud-based computing with easy-to-use docking stations making it simple to get online just the way they would with regular laptops or office desktops.
Comparing Motorola Droid Bionic with speculated features of iPhone 5, Samuel notes that Droid Bionic will come with 4.5" 540 x 960 pixels (qHD) TFT capacitive touchscreen display, while with most iPhone 5 rumors suggesting that iPhone 5 can be expected to closely resemble iPhone 4, pointing towards 3.5" or 3.7", 960 x 640 resolution at 312 ppi display screens.
Moreover, he says the probability of Motorola's Droid Bionic featuring 1 GB RAM is high, with Apple iPhone 5 more likely featuring 768 MB of RAM, similar to HTC's Sensation 4G, noting that with iPhone 5 is expected to feature a processor similar to the iPad 2's, and the possibility of iPhone 5 running on 512 MB RAM can't be ruled out.
Samuel thinks the iPhone 5 coming with 4G LTE is unlikely, since the phone would have to accommodate a big LTE chip, conflicting with Apple being expected to deliver a thinner and lighter device, noting that the iPhone 5 would need to be larger to make that option a reality. So with 4G LTE support, Motorola's Droid Bionic is the clear winner here, with the extra speed making a big difference when transmitting large files, booking tickets online, paying bills, viewing complex sites or streaming video, and when sharing an Internet connection with notebooks, iPads, and other WiFi devices
- Motorola Droid Bionic will have WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, WiFi hotspot support whereas iPhone 5 will have WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot support.
- Motorola Droid Bionic will come with an 8 MP (3264 x 2448 pixels) camera along with autofocus, dual-LED flash, geo-tagging, face detection, and image stabilization support. iPhone 5 will reportedly have an 8 MP camera and will closely resemble the iPhone 4, with 1080p video recording along with dual-LED flash, and may also carry an "HD" FaceTime camera similar to those shipping with the current MacBook Pro lineup.
Samuel concludes that whatever the final specifications of these two smartphones, Motorola Droid Bionic seems to have clearly dwarfed the iPhone 5.
The Register's Tony Smith reports that Lenovo has finally begun shipping not one, but three, 10.1" tablets this summer. The lineup comprises the IdeaPad Tablet K1 at the consumer end and the ThinkPad Tablet for businesses. Sitting between them is the pro-sumer IdeaPad P1. The P1's distinguishing feature is Windows 7 - the other two will run Android 3.1 Honeycomb.
Apps & Services
PR: The award-winning music service that took Europe by storm has now come to U.S. shores, offering millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on your computer and your phone.
Spotify is available in three levels and prices of service: Free, Unlimited for $4.99 per month, and Premium for $9.99 per month. To get the free service, you'll have to enter your email address in a form on the Spotify website and wait to receive an invitation by email. If you're in a hurry, some alternate suggestions can be found at http://bit.ly/pVknRH
This free version gives you a taste of the full Spotify experience. Just download and install Spotify, and you can listen to any track or album you like. You'll have unrestricted access to all the music in the world.
You'll hear occasional ads on Spotify Free, which allows Spotify to pay the artists and musicians for their music. Try Spotify Premium (see below) if you'd prefer to be ad free.
You can share anything you listen to on Spotify. Simply send your friends a link to a track or one of your playlists and Spotify will play it for them.
Unlimited - Ad-Free Music, Whenever You Want
If you'd like round-the-clock access to Spotify, with no ads or time limits, then Unlimited is for you. Over 13 million tracks and albums at your disposal day and night.
With Spotify Unlimited you can listen to whatever you want. Create playlists, build your own library, share music with friends. Just go where the music takes you.
You can also add your own music files to Spotify, so all your music is in the same place.
Premium - The Music Is Everywhere
Want to listen to any track at any time? That's why they created Spotify Premium.
With Premium, you can enjoy all the treasures of Spotify. Unlimited music without advertising to your computer and your mobile phone. Millions of tracks are yours instantly. All you need is your login.
Want to listen offline too? Spotify will gladly sync your favorite playlists, making them available whenever you need them. Perfect for traveling.
- Listen on your mobile - Add Spotify to your mobile phone and you'll have immediate access to all that music - wherever you are, on or offline. Wherever you go, the music flows.
- Premium sounds better - Premium members get premium sound quality. To be precise, you can stream music at a higher bitrate of up to 320 kbps on your computer (not all tracks are currently available in high bitrate). That's some serious high-fidelity listening coming your way.
You'll hear new albums before they're released, and get a chance to win tickets to live shows and big name competitions. For around the cost of one album a month, you can listen to any album, any track, anytime.
With Spotify, creating playlists is as easy as drag and drop. Each new playlist is saved to your account, and will be accessible from wherever you use Spotify.
- Sharing music - Sharing music is one of life's great pleasures. That's why Spotify's made it so simple for you to share tracks and playlists with your friends. When they say simple, they mean one-click-simple.
- Searching all the world's music - When you've got millions and millions of tracks to choose from, where do you start? With a search.
- Mobile music - Introduce Spotify to your mobile phone and you'll have music on tap wherever you go. Play any track live over the Internet, or save your playlists and listen offline, its your choice.
- Offline mode - If you find yourself without an Internet connection, Spotify Offline keeps the music flowing.
Your Spotify Library
Now that you've got so much music at your disposal, you'll need a seriously good library. So Spotify have built one for you. A library that's as clever as it is simple to use.
PR: Scribd has introduced Float, a new application available for free from Apple's App Store that allows consumers to easily read content from more than 150 websites including The Associated Press, FORTUNE and PEOPLE in an all-new custom format.
There are different formats, devices, applications and paywalls for reading web content and we want to offer a better solution.
Float users can consume and organize news, blogs and documents in one place while connecting with friends and readers to discover new interests and information on Twitter, Facebook and Scribd.
"Digital reading is fragmented," says Trip Adler, CEO and cofounder of Scribd. "There are different formats, devices, applications and paywalls for reading web content and we want to offer a better solution."
Float was developed in proactive partnership with publishers in order to build long-term revenue opportunities and ensure readers access to the best content. Along with advertising, premium content from publications will begin rolling out later this year via a simple subscription plan.
Float is designed to work well for casual browsing as well as a deep diving into readers interests. Using new technology, text previously formatted for the web can now be easily read on any mobile device in a floating text reading experience, enabling users to zoom in on text and scroll left to right like the pages of a book or magazine. In addition, content is personalized to reading style and environment, including settings for direct sunlight and eye strain.
Float also includes:
- Content from more than 150 popular websites and blogs, including Allrecipes.com, The Associated Press, The Atlantic, CBSNews.com, Chow, Cnet, Engadget, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, HuffingtonPost, InStyle, People, Salon, Scientific American, TheStreet, TechCrunch, Time, and Wired
- Floating Text that can move up and down like a browser or left to right like a book
- A Reading list for offline reading
- A Feed with reading recommendations from your friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter and Scribd
- A Library that allows you to archive and organize all your reading by date, publisher and title
- One-touch font magnification
- A dozen customized reading styles including Night Time and Sunlight Reading
- Two-click sharing back to Facebook, Twitter, Scribd or email
- Synchronization with all content to Float.com
Float is available now as a product suite, including a web app, a web bookmarklet, and an iPhone app available for free from Apple's App Store. Visit float.com to start getting carried away.
PR: Independent developer Anh Do announces Writing Kit 1.2 for iPad, an important update to his robust Markdown editor for iPad devices. Writing Kit helps you write Markdown-formatted documents, export them as Markdown or HTML files and send to Evernote, Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr, and Twitter. Version 1.2 features the ability to select a custom Dropbox folder to sync your files with, and includes numerous bug fixes for the previous versions.
This update features the ability to select a custom Dropbox folder to sync your files with, and includes numerous bug fixes for the previous versions.
Writing Kit is a robust Markdown editor for iPad that comes with advanced, full-featured researching tools. WIRED Gadget Lab calls it "a mobile research room for iPad" while AppAdvice praises "If you're one who frequently use Markdown and do research while writing, then Writing Kit is definitely for you and worth the admission price".
Simple to use, yet remain powerful - Writing Kit is the true companion for any writers.
Version 1.2 contains the following changes:
- Added: Custom folder for Dropbox sync
- Added: Hoefler Text as a font choice
- Fixed: Dropbox sync implementation
- Fixed: New file is now created in the current directory in File Drawer
- Fixed: Read-only Inbox folder is now ignored and hidden from view
- Compatible with iPad
- Requires iOS 4.2 or later
- 4.7 MB
Writing Kit 1.2 is offered at the introductory price of $4.99 (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category. Review copies are available upon requests.
PR: Tim Gushue, a designer and engineer originally based in San Francisco, has announced the InfiniteLoop: a simple solution to making the iPad truly useful. It helps the iPad to deliver on its full versatility when reading in bed, watching a movie on a plane or doing FaceTime on the go. It works not only with the iPad, but with any other Tablet on the market. Also a smaller version, called the MiniLoop, allows new and infinite uses for your iPhone or any other Smartphone.
Next door to Silicon Valley, home of the iPad, is where Gushue, a designer and engineer crafted the InfiniteLoop: the simple solution to the iPads global gravity problem.
It's an iPad, millions of people use it every day, so why shouldn't there be a stand that can accommodate daily uses such as reading in bed, watching a movie on a plane or doing FaceTime?
"The InfiniteLoop was born out of my frustration and many others frustration. I wanted an everlasting device that could support my iPad anywhere all the time," says Gushue.
Tim published the InfiniteLoop on KickStarter.com, looking for funding for his great project. He reached his target in just a few days, and excited backers keep flooding the project site with comments of excitement, all anxious to receive the product, available later this summer.
Less than a week is left for backing this project on KickStarter, and this is the last opportunity to preorder it in the slick black limited edition, available only for backers.
"As I worked through the process I found that as the device became more versatile, the more simple the physical device became," Gushue explains.
The patented co-molded metal and plastic form that can easily bend to any shape gives the InfiniteLoop the strength and rigidity to hold up a heavy iPad. The suction caps and adjustable side clips also allow it to fit virtually any iPad, tablet or smartphone on the market.
The InfiniteLoop is claimed to be the simplest and most versatile Tablet and Smartphone stand ever created. With full flexibility, it can work virtually anywhere and in any way you can think of.
Lets admit, Apple will change their design again, but you won't have to go and buy another stand.
PR: This Cable allows you to connect your iPad to iPhone, iPod touch, Camera, Card Reader, Thumb Drive... so you can input your pictures / Videos (stored in a folder call DCIM).
- Incredibly easy to download photos from your digital camera (with a DCIM Folder) to your iPad
- Supports moving jpeg (.jpg) / Raw files from Camera to iPad
This accessory if compatible with (see firmware below):
- Apple iPad
- Apple iPad 2
- iOS firmware 4.1.0
- iOS firmware 4.2.1
- iOS firmware 4.3
- iOS firmware 4.3.1
- iOS firmware 4.3.3
- And any future Firmwares.
Note: iPad only reads data (graphics files) from devices / Memory cards with a folder "DCIM".
Presentation & Protection
PR: Kodak has long been a trusted provider of ways to capture and cherish memories, and now Uncommon offers Kodak Gallery members a fun, 21st Century way to carry their memories everywhere
Uncommon has announced that its customizable cases for the iPhone device are now available at Kodak Gallery, giving Kodak Gallery members the ability to personalize their cases using their favorite photos.
Gallery members simply choose a photo. Then Kodak's customization tool lets them position, scale and rotate the artwork turning the ubiquitous iPhone into a one-of-a-kind reflection of a unique personality and personal brand.
More than 75 million people worldwide manage, share, and create photo gifts online at Kodak Gallery.
Photo cases available in the Kodak Gallery include the Uncommon Capsule Case for the iPhone 3G/3GS and the Uncommon Capsule Case and Uncommon Deflector Case for the iPhone 4.
Uncommon's exclusive printing process embeds the image deep into the cases shell, for durable, long-lasting photo images. All models are equipped with an antiglare camera ring to ensure photography is crystal clear. Premium impact-resistant polymers (for all) and twin-shot bezels (for the Capsule cases) frame the artwork and safeguard the display. The case itself is worthy of the cherished device it cradles protection never looked this good.
"Kodak has long been a trusted provider of ways to capture and cherish memories, and now Uncommon offers Kodak Gallery members a fun, 21st Century way to carry their memories everywhere," says Uncommon COO Joe Kavanagh. "We are honored to be working with such a recognized and revered brand in the photo industry. We love helping people create something inspiring and meaningful, and Kodak is the perfect partner to further this mission."
"Now that we've added Uncommon photo cases for iPhone devices to Kodak Gallery, users can express their personality in style," says Peter Amico, Vice President of Product Management and Engineering. "With this new product, users can add unique photos to their case to make certain their phone stands out in a crowd."
- Your photo is embedded deep into the surface of the case using Uncommon's proprietary 3D TATT printing ensuring the ultimate in crisp high resolution print.
- Its twin shot bezel protects while beautifully framing your images.
- Other features include direct access to iPhone switches and ports, and an antiglare camera ring.
Phone 4 Deflector Case
The Deflector by Uncommon provides protection with this scratch resistant one piece case.
You can charge your iPhone while in the case.
Compatible with both AT&T and Verizon iPhones - $34.99
iPhone 4 Capsule Case
The Capsule by Uncommon provides protection with its scratch resistant two piece case
You can charge your iPhone while in the Capsule or remove the bottom piece for docking
Compatible with both AT&T and Verizon iPhones - $39.99
iPhone 3G/3GS Capsule Case
The Capsule by Uncommon provides protection with it's scratch resistant two piece case
You can charge your iPhone while in the Capsule or remove the bottom piece for docking
Compatible with both AT&T and Verizon iPhones
iPhone 3G/3GS Capsule Case - $39.99
PR: This leather case with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard is a solution to turn your iPad into a laptop substitute as well as a convenient tablet and laptop.
When you just want to have a leather case for your iPad, you can detach the Bluetooth keyboard from the leather case, and whenever you need a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad, just put it back.
- A Protective Leather Case for your iPad
- A stand case for your iPad
- A detachable & wireless keyboard for your iPad
- Magnet Enclosure
This case is suitable for:
- iPad 1
- iPad 2
Colors Available: Black
- This is not made of Genuine Leather, it is made of PU.
- This is a third party product, not original product from Apple Inc.
PR: Axion has begun shipping its first two accessories to for iPad and iPod nano to retailers nationwide, the Axion UTile2 Case Protection & Stand for iPad 2 and the Axion Slap-On Band for iPod nano.
Axion UTile2 Case
The Axion UTile2 Case Protection & Stand for iPad 2 allows for a 360 degree rotational view. The fitted design holds the iPad 2 vertically and horizontally while providing three viewing angles.
The case protects both the top and bottom of the iPad 2 from scratches while allowing quick and easy access to the screen with its delicate contours. The hard shell is detachable and can be used as a standalone casing.
Axion Slap-On Band
The Axion Slap-On Band is specifically designed for the sixth generation of iPod nano. The enclosed case holds your Nano securely and protects it from damages while allowing headphone port access. The soft silicone provides a comfortable fit around your wrist. With one quick slap, you are ready to enjoy your favorite music on the go.
"We are very excited about the launch of our first two accessories for Apple products. We are committed to providing variety to our clients and believe this will bring a nice addition to our product line," says Sean Yang, Axion's Director of Sales.
- Axion UTile2 Case Protection & Stand $49.99
- Axion Slap-On Band $19.99
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Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Quadra 950, introduced 1992.05.18. Apple's huge tower has 5 NuBus slots and runs a 33 MHz 68040 processor.
- May 18 in LEM history: 92: Quadra 950 - 99: OS 8.6 more stable - 00: What can you squeeze into a compact Mac? - 01: Friendly LC 500s - Leaving Win2k behind - 05: OS X 10.4.1 update - A new PowerBook with Tiger - Tiger: Lots to like, but some annoyances - 06: 400K floppy click of death - I wish Apple were more like Microsoft - 07: 9.9% notebook market share
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