Belkin and Google debut USB-C cables, including low-priced Ethernet, DisplayPort, HDMI and micro-USB adapters.

googleusbc

Coinciding with today’s announcement of the dual USB-C port-equipped Chromebook Pixel 2 laptop, Google and Belkin today announced separate collections of new USB-C cables and adapters. These new options go well beyond Apple’s upcoming USB-C accessory lineup for the 12″ MacBook, while also including some familiar options at lower-than-Apple prices. They’re amongst the first USB-C accessories to be announced by major manufacturers, as inexpensive USB-C cables from smaller companies are beginning to make their way onto Amazon for pre-order…

googleusbc2

On the data and power side, Google’s USB-C lineup notably includes a $13 USB Type-C to USB Adapter, capable of converting a full-sized USB plug into a USB-C plug, as well as a $13 USB Type-C to USB Cable, which could connect a computer with USB-C to a full-sized USB port on typical USB batteries, wall chargers, and hubs. A $60 Universal Type-C Charger (60W) features a 12-foot USB-C cable attached to a boxy wall adapter, promising to serve as “one universal charger for your next-generation [USB-C] devices.” It’s highly likely that the first two accessories will work with the 12″ MacBook, and quite possible that the Charger will, as well.

googleusbc3

Google also introduced a $40 USB Type-C to HDMI Adapter, which turns a USB-C port into an HDMI-out port for half the price of Apple’s USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter, and a $40 USB Type-C to DisplayPort Cable, which goes directly from a USB-C port to a DisplayPort monitor. The HDMI Adapter supports up to 4K/30Hz output, while the DisplayPort Cable supports 4k/60Hz output. It’s unclear whether video accessories such as these will work with the 12″ MacBook, but if Apple supports “the USB Type-C alternate mode specifications for video,” they should work. All of the Google cables are shipping within 1-2 days.

belkinusbc

Belkin announced a collection of nine USB-C cables ranging from $20 to $30 in price, most notably including a USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter ($TBD), and new cables that convert USB-C to larger USB formats including Micro-USB ($20)USB 3.1 Micro-B ($30)USB 2.0 Mini-B ($20), and USB 2.0 USB-B ($20). Belkin will also offer a USB-C to standard USB Adapter ($30), a USB-C to standard USB 2.0 Cable ($20), and a USB-C to USB-C Cable ($30). All of Belkin’s cables will ship this summer.

Mac Pro Launch Nears as Apple Business Staff Begin Offering Price Quotes.

mac_pro_2013_roundup_headerWith potential customers of the new Mac Pro eagerly awaiting any sign of a more concrete launch date than the “December” timeframe announced by Apple at its October media event, increased activity from Apple’s business team members suggests that a launch may indeed be very near.

While Apple has publicly remained silent on pricing for various Mac Pro configurations beyond the $2999/$3999 stock models in shown in its U.S. online store, members of the company’s business sales team have on occasion been offering pricing quotes on build-to-order configurations upon request.

One Canadian forum member at FCP.co posted late last month that he had been quoted $9700 for a maxed-out Mac Pro with 1 TB flash storage, 64 GB of RAM, dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics, and a 12-core processor. Given Apple’s current currency conversions, U.S. pricing should fall in the range of $9400-$9500, although that quote almost certainly incorporates a small discount made available to certain business customers. A somewhat lower-specced model with 512 GB of flash storage and an 8-core processor was quoted at $7700 Canadian.

But while Apple business team members have had some access to the full price list for the new Mac Pro for at least several weeks, team members appear to have become more proactive over the past several days, contacting business customers who had previously expressed interest in the new Mac Pro to offer them price quotes ahead of the official launch.

One MacRumors forum member yesterday posted a price quote he received from an Apple business sales representative for a build-to-order Mac Pro configuration, a higher-end stock model upgraded with additional RAM and flash storage. Pricing for that configuration came to $4464 in the quote, but retail pricing would be slightly higher.

mac_pro_2013_business_quote
A second MacRumors reader reported today that he was contacted by a member of Apple’s business sales team requesting desired configuration options for the purposes of generating a price quote. The Apple representative indicated that a price quote could be available by Monday, December 16, but it is unknown if that corresponds to any public release of additional information for that date.

Aside from the recent activity from Apple’s business sales team regarding the new Mac Pro, the rapidly approaching holidays also led to speculation that a Mac Pro launch could come sooner rather than later. Next week is the last full week before Christmas, and with many Apple employees having time off around the holidays, the company would likely prefer to avoid conflicts with the holidays as much as possible.

An alternative theory suggests, however, that Apple may still be working to secure the component volumes it needs to produce a launch batch of the machines. As a result, the company could have little alternative but to launch the new Mac Pro in small volumes at the very end of the month in order to technically meet its stated launch timeframe while being able to push the bulk of its initial deliveries into early 2014.

Source:  Mac Rumors.

iPhone pricing changed on T-Mobile, down payment decreased, monthy fee increased.

Tmo iPhone price change

As of today, T-Mobile has changed around its iPhone 5 pricing structure. The company that has done away with contracts has reduced the down payment on the iPhone $5, making the initial cost of a 16GB version $145.99. This is the second time in less than three months that the carrier has changed its pricing structure for the iPhone.

In addition to lowering the down payment of the iPhone, T-Mobile also decided to increase the monthly equipment installment by $1, meaning it will now cost $21 per month. This means that over the lifetime of the device, users will most likely end up paying more than before this price increase because of the increase in monthly payments, unless of course, the consumer has the device for less than five months.

While I don’t use T-Mobile, I do like the idea of the contract-free plans. Although I don’t plan on switching, some of the deals from the carrier seem pretty good. Unfortunately, this pricing change shows an increase in price, and the deal isn’t as sweet as it was when the iPhone originally cost just $99 down from the carrier.

What do you think of T-Mobile’s pricing system and this price change? Do you like T-Mobile’s contract-free system? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Source: TodaysiPhone.

MAPi Cases launches new iPhone 5 cases with some new prices.

mapicases

If you saw the MAPi Soli iPad mini case that Cam reviewed a week or two back and took interest in its cases, then here is a chance for you to get one for your iPhone 5. MAPi has announced a few new iPhone 5 case lines that also come with a new price tag. These new cases, which are dubbed “budget friendly”, include the Poros Caller ID pouch, the Altos Flip Wallet case, the Pella Shell case, and the Taos Snap Wallet case. If any of these sound interesting, you can check out the press release below for a little more description:

MAPi Cases Launches New Line of iPhone 5 Cases at New Price Points
 
New iPhone 5 case styles made from fine European leather now available at new budget-friendly prices
 
ATLANTA, GA (March 28,2013) — MAPi Cases, a leading manufacturer of innovative smartphone and tablet cases made from the world’s finest leather, announces four new varieties of stylish and protective cases for the iPhone 5. The new product will be showcased for the first time at the CTIA Wireless show in May, and range in price from $25 to $55. These new offerings from MAPi Cases introduce high quality products at an introductory price point that makes luxury leather cases accessible for all consumers.
 
“We are adding the new models to the MAPi lineup of iPhone 5 because we want to show we are committed to brand development. Our iPhone 5 model platform needed a little refreshment, mid-cycle,” said Emre Sener, CEO of MAPi Cases. “These new models are slotting into price points where we had gaps, and setting us up as a strong competitor against manufacturers in China. With these additions and new color selections of our existing models, we have also significantly broadened our customer demography.”
 
Expanding on MAPi’s extensive lineup of luxury iPhone 4/S and iPhone 5 cases, the new additions to the MAPi iPhone 5 lineup include:
 
Poros – Caller ID Pouch
The Poros is a simple, yet stylish, premium soft leather pouch case with a unique opening that makes caller ID visible when the iPhone is in the case. A simple pull out tab makes it easy to remove the case, and the soft lining will clean the iPhone screen every time you put your device away. Poros is available in three colors of soft textured premium leather: black, brown and red.
 
Altos – Flip Wallet Case
Altos is a wallet style case with a snap-in cradle to securely hold the iPhone 5. A leather front cover flips over the screen and is held with a magnetic closure for full bodied protection of the device. The soft fabric lining further prevents scratches and abrasions as well. The Altos is available in five luxurious premium leather colors: black, brown and red.
 
Pella – Shell Case
A minimalist shell-style case, the Pella provides the option for protection without adding bulk. A premium leather inlay, using color accented stitching, is sewn to an engineered polymer for superior protection. The Pella gives a sleek look and feel that is easy to snap on and off when desired. Additionally, the Pella case is designed to be usable with most charging docks without needing to be removed.
 
The Pella is available in five premium smooth leather colors: black, brown, red, white and tan; as well as two crocodile patterned leather colors: croco black, and croco brown.
 
Taos – Snap Wallet Case
Another new wallet style, the outside of the Taos is 100 percent premium European leather, while a plastic cradle inside securely snaps the iPhone 5 into place. A leather front cover, with soft lining, provides an added layer of protection, as well as style.
The Taos is available in three luxurious leather colors: black, brown, and red.
MAPi cases are hand crafted in Istanbul, Turkey using 100 percent, premium European leather. Cases are also available for other smartphones, such as the BlackBerry Z10, as well as the iPad and other popular tablets.
 
The new MAPi iPhone 5 cases, ranging from $25 to $55, are now available for pre-order on www.MapiCases.com and through retailers such as Amazon.com.
 
###
 
About MAPi Cases
MAPi Cases is the home of premium, high-quality leather cases and is becoming the quintessential brand for elegant and chique case styles for BlackBerry, Apple, Amazon and Samsung devices. All leather cases are handcrafted from 100% European leather and designed for elegance, style and function. MAPi Cases uses 100% premium quality leather, which is handcrafted at manufacturing facilities in Istanbul, Turkey, All MAPi Cases display the Eagle Insignia which is the symbol of quality and elegance. MAPi Cases is an LLC organized in Atlanta, GA. MAPi –Leather like no other.

Source: The Mac Observer.

55 EA Games for iOS dropped to $0.99.

In what could be the coolest sale of the century, EA has dropped the price on a massive 55 of its games for iOS.

For a limited time only, 55 titles, including massive hits FIFA 13, Mirror’s Edge, Need for Speed and Monopoly will retail for less than $1, don’t expect this sale to last for long. The move is EA’s fourth annual “Sweet Deals” initiative, which is sure to empty the bank accounts of many many iOS users.

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 17.17.11

I imagine that if you bought all the titles named, you could probably save yourself around 100$, possibly more. This sale is a phenomenal event, so be sure to head on over to the App Store and grab yourself a bargain now!

Source: TodaysiPhone.

Reduced iPhone 5 Parts Orders Rumors Send Apple Shares Briefly Below $500.

Reports claiming Apple has reduced iPhone 5 parts orders in the face of weaker than expected demand caused Apple stock to briefly drop below $500 Monday morning, as traders reacted to the news.

Seen above – The price of Apple stock at the time of this article.

AppleInsider: 

AAPL shares were down nearly 4 percent before the market opened, a hit that came after both The Wall Street Journal and Nikkei issued reports claiming that Apple had slashed iPhone 5 component orders due to weak demand. The company is said to have cut “roughly half” of its orders for the 4-inch display on its latest smartphone, and also initiated a drawdown on other components in the current quarter, which concludes in March.

This comes just over a week before Apple is set to announce their earnings for the December quarter. Sales of Apple products are expected to be record setting. Analyst have had high expectations for the iPhone in particular, with some expecting sales of 50 million.

Apple’s stock has fell nearly 17% over the last three months, with word that investors are concerned about Apple’s gross margins in 2013, with additional concerns voiced about the company’s growth potential.

The company’s high point came in the middle of September, as its stock briefly hit more than $700 per share.

Source: MacTrast.

iPad Mini model and pricing leaked.

Apple’s iPad Mini is not yet a real product: It has not been announced yet. However, that may change soon with talk of an upcoming event. And now there is a retail inventory system reportedly showing tablet pricing in 4 different storage capacities with WiFi and cellular.

ipad-mini-mock-7

Apple’s iPad Mini has yet to be announced, but the device is reportedly appearing in a consumer electronics retail inventory system, complete with model and pricing information.The MobileGeeks site has a picture of the system, depicting various capacities and wireless capabilities with pricing starting at 249 Euros (US $ 322.60) for an 8 GB iPad Mini with Wi-Fi only.

According to MobileGeek’s source, the inventory screen cap is from systems used by Media Market / Saturn; a retail group with 70,000 employees that operates stores in 18 European and Asian markets. Reported capacities for the iPad Mini will be in 8, 16 32 and 64 GB models with WiFi and each will also be available with integrated cellular radios, making for 8 different configurations.

We won’t know for sure if this pricing is accurate until Apple introduces the product, of course. But the prices sound reasonable; especially you translate the Euros directly to US dollars instead of converting them a common practice. In fact, earlier today when recording our weekly podcast, I speculated that a 16GB WiFi iPad Mini would be priced at $ 349; the exact same amount in Euros that MobileGeeks has found.

The new iPod touch priced at $ 299 may have provided some iPad Mini pricing insight. Apple wouldn’t likely have the iPod touch compete directly with a small iPad and if this pricing hold true, it isn’t. My 32GB iPod touch cost $ 299 and the same capacity for an iPad Mini appears to be $ 449; a difference large enough that keeps the two from competing on price, for example.

A trio of Nexus 7 tabletsAt $ 249 for an 8GB model, some will note that the same storage capacity on a Nexus7 or KindleFire HD is $ 50 less. That’s true and it fits with Apple’s ability to get a premium price from those wanting to use its ecosystem of apps and media. In other words, I could easily see people spend the extra $50 for a Mini iPad over Android competitors.

We also know that an 8GB Nexus 7 costs roughly $152 in parts and production. An 8 GB iPad Mini with WiFi would likely cost a similar amount and at $ 249, that gives Apple a 38.6 percent profit margin on the low model with even higher margins on the other models. Based on that, I suspect these prices are legitimate, although they could just be placeholders. At the very least, they certainly make sense to me.

Source: gigaom.