Apple is back in court, developers are in the WWDC raffle, Microsoft is at the top of the charts, Tim Cook might be ready to spend some money, the iPhone might get a bayonet camera lens mount, Greenpeace give Cupertino an A, anyone can make an iAd campaign, and Anand Lal Shimp shows why ‘Cyclone’ is the right codename. Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many things that happened around Apple over the last seven days.
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The Next Round Of ‘Apple Vs. Samsung’ Is Under Way
The ongoing dispute over patents between Apple and Samsung heads back to the courts, as Apple request $2 billion in damages in five patent cases (reports The Verge and others).
Apple approach in this case is similar to their previous success in courts – that the mix of hardware and software elements in the original iPhone came from years of research, they shouldered the risk of disrupting the market, and Samsung did not contribute to that process.
Both parties have twenty-five hours to make their case (presumably the Judge has a chess clock on the bench) so expect an initial judgement by the end of April.
WWDC Ticket Raffle Announced
Apple announced the opening of the application process for this year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference. It will be held in Moscone West between June 2nd and June 6th. If you were a registered developer at the time of the announcement, you can apply to go into the random draw for the right to buy a ticket. I’m expecting attendance patterns to follow previous years, with a cap of 5,000 developer tickets and 200 student scholarships to be made available.
MS Office on iPad… 12 Million Downloads Later
Following on from last week’s release of MS Office for iPad, Microsoft has announced the three apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) have been downloaded over twelve million times. Presumably that’s less than twelve million users as I would expect most Office 365 subscribers to download all three elements. Nevertheless MS Office topped the charts in iTunes on its release, and as of posting this article the three apps continue to occupy the top three slots in the Free Apps chart.
Is Tim Cook Ready To Spend Some Money?
Apple is looking to strike a deal with Japan’s Renesas Electronics over a smartphone chip unit (reports Nikkei Asian Review). Renesas SP Drivers is a joint venture between Renesas, Sharp, and Powerchip. Staff writer Yuichiro Kanematsu believes ”Apple is said to be seeking Renesas’ entire 55% stake for an estimated 50 billion yen ($479 million)”. Given Apple’s apparent interest in new techniques for manufacturing a sapphire based smartphone screen, it makes sense they would also want to explore the outer limits of driver and display technology, especially if they have a focus on saving batter power
Bayonets At The Ready
Looking to push the boat out in the imaging stakes, Apple Insider notes another US Patent granted to Apple that covers bayonet mountings on a mobile device. Similar to the arrangement on DSLR’s, the patent details the physical attributes of the connector and the notes that this design is less obtrusive than using a screw style fitting, and more secure than using a magnetic system.
Whether this will turn up in the next iteration of the iPhone or iPad, whether it will be used further down the line, or it is simply a patent that is filed away as ‘a good idea and never used remains to be seen, but with photography remaining an important part of smartphone marketing, this is likely to show up sooner rather than later.
Greenpeace Give Apple An ‘A’
Apple has been awarded three ‘A’ grades by Greenpeace in the environmentalists’ campaign for clean energy.
The ‘Clicking Clean: How Companies are Creating the Green Internet‘ report looks at all the major players in the current market (reports CNet), and the Cupertino based company is the only listed company with a 100% rating on the use of clean renewable energy, including wind and solar power, and is “the first company to achieve its 100% renewable energy goal to power its iCloud.”
Greenpeace is looking for more than Apple to reach that 100% level. Facebook and Google have also committed to reaching this target, and the ultimate aim of the Clicking Clean campaign is to “power the Internet with 100 percent renewable energy.”
iAd Opens Up To Non-Developers
Previously only open to mobile developers with an Apple ID, the iAD platform is now open to anyone with an Apple ID (reports AdAge). Using the iAd Workbench tool, users can sign up and have a campaign running in under two days. The advertising units, which will support short videos, can point users to mobile applications as well as promoted iTunes content or a separate website.
CPC and CPM campaigns are available, although there’s no official word on the effective rates. iAd’s net revenue in 2012 was $260 million, and is expected to double this year to $487 million (eMarketer) and a 2.7% share of the US mobile advertising revenue.
Anandtech Examines The A7
Anand Lal Shimp has been taking a detailed look at Apple’s A7 chip over on Anandtech as he revisits his iPhone 5S review to answer his personal question of “how did Apple double the CPU performance without scaling the frequency?” Time for a direct quote:
As far as I can tell, peak issue width of Cyclone is 6 instructions. That’s at least 2x the width of Swift and Krait, and at best more than 3x the width depending on instruction mix. Limitations on co-issuing FP and integer math have also been lifted as you can run up to four integer adds and two FP adds in parallel. You can also perform up to two loads or stores per clock.
The A7 chip is Apple’s first 64 bit ARMv8 processor, and is currently powering the iPhone 5S, 5C, the iPad Air, and the iPad mini with Retina Display. The micro-architecture inside that chip (codenamed ‘Cyclone’) is going to be used for many years across Apple’s mobile hardware portfolio. Shimp has detailed why there is more than enough performance in hand for Apple to deliver improved performance for users and developers future hardware.
That’s it for this week on the Apple Loop, have a great weekend, and see you here next week! Forbes’ previous Apple Loop column can be found here.