Author Archives: Seth Weintraub

KGI: Top 11 new iPhone features for 2015 include Rose Gold option, Force Touch, 12MP Camera, 2GB RAM, more

Artwork by

Artwork by

A special Top 11 list today from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on the next iPhone (6s? 7?) that will be released later this year. Counting down:

  1. Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enrich user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market
  2. Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model
  3. There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose-gold Apple Watch Edition
  4. The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12MP
  5. One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality
  6. The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted
  7. The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes
  8. If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens
  9. The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay
  10. Gesture control support
  11. It’s expected that mass production will start in mid-to-late August. Total shipments will be 80-90mn in 2015, with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.

Some thoughts:

It is interesting that drop tests are what’s limiting sapphire and not GT Advanced production issues we saw last year. Also, Force Touch and gesture support would need to be an OS level upgrade. Will Apple reveal these features (on purpose or accidentally) with iOS 9 in June or wait for a point upgrade in the September timeframe when iPhone and eventually iPad hardware is expected.

As for Rose Gold, it will be interesting to see if Apple is bringing its “Edition” high end line to iPhones along with its premium prices. I hope not.

The 2GB of RAM is a given because the iPad Air 2 had 2GB of RAM. DDR4 is fast. Samsung and LG both released smartphones with amazing cameras this year already. It will be interesting to see how Apple’s 12MP version compares.

Artwork by

Artwork by

We’re still a long way away but it seems like we may have an interesting September.

Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple Inc, Gold, iPhone, iphone 6s, iPhone 7, KGI, Ming-Chi Kuo

For more information about AAPL Company, iOS Devices, and iPhone continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "KGI: Top 11 new iPhone features for 2015 include Rose Gold option, Force Touch, 12MP Camera, 2GB RAM, more" with our community.

PSA: Best Buy has limited stock of 12″ Retina MacBooks shipping now while other retailers discount pre-orders


Apple still shows a 3-5 week wait on the new Retina 12-inch MacBook across the board but one US retailer has them in stock and shipping in certain configurations. Best Buy, who also offers a $50 off coupon for people with access to an .edu email address offers the base model MacBook in both Silver and Space Gray for delivery May 18th.

Macbook-shipping-discount macbook shipping discount

Other US retailers don’t have them in stock but offer discounts and state tax advantages:

As for Apple, we’ve reported that its official stores are now receiving limited SKUs ahead of widespread, global availability at the end of May.

Filed under: AAPL Company

For more news on AAPL Company continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "PSA: Best Buy has limited stock of 12″ Retina MacBooks shipping now while other retailers discount pre-orders" with our community.

Consumer Reports initial tests unable to scratch Apple Watch sapphire, find heart-rate sensors accurate

I can’t remember if we’re still mad at Consumer Reports for Antennagate but they seem to be doing a thorough job at testing the Apple Watch as evidenced in the video below. Notable from their Day 1 tests is that the Apple Watch Sport screen does scratch but only after going pretty far down the Moh’s hardness scale (7-rated) into the unlikely to ever happen category.


The Sapphire Apple Watch however wouldn’t scratch under any circumstances, though it doesn’t appear that Consumer Reports had a diamond pick to test it against. Regardless, for intents and purposes, you likely will never see a scratch on the face of the Apple Watch (the back is a different matter)…

So how did Apple’s watches fare? The sapphire crystal performed as expected, which is to say very well. It survived a 9-rated pick from our kit. The Apple Watch Sport made it up to a 7-rated pick without damage, but was scratched by an 8-rated pick.

So the face of the Apple Watch is definitely harder than that of the Apple Watch Sport. But the performance of the hardened glass of the Sport model is pretty impressive as well. An 8 on the Mohs scale is equivalent to topaz, just one step below sapphire, and it means that it takes quite an abrasive material to scratch Apple’s glass. (We also tried a completely unscientific attempt on the Sport model with a steel key, and it didn’t scratch the glass.)

Consumer Reports also did some heart rate sensor and step counting tests and so far found the Apple Watch sensors accurate. They also submerged the Apple Watch in water for 30 minutes in simulated 3 feet of water which matches up against its rating and found it waterproof.

From all of the tests, both scientific and not so scientific, Apple Watch seems to be passing w/flying colors.

Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch, Consumer Reports, gorilla glass, Mohs scale of mineral hardness, Sapphire, smartwatch, Stainless steel

Continue reading more about AAPL Company, Apple watch, and Apple Watch at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Consumer Reports initial tests unable to scratch Apple Watch sapphire, find heart-rate sensors accurate" with our community.

Apple Watch Edition at Apple Watch Sport (+can of spray paint) price?

It is what is on the inside that counts, right? All Apple Watches are the same under the skin and Casey Neistat, semi-famous for other Apple launch videos, decided he was going to turn his $399 Apple Watch into a $399 Apple Watch with gold spray paint on it. The idea is that passersby would think it was an Edition, and all that comes along with that, I guess.

Casey Neistat-gold-apple-watch

To be honest, the spray paint better matches the “Aluminum Gold” iPhones, iPads and now MacBooks but I have to imagine the button/crown and some of the sensors will take a hit.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Aerosol paint, Apple watch, Casey Neistat, YouTube

Visit 9to5Mac to find more special coverage of Apple watch, Apple Watch, and YouTube.

What do you think? Discuss "Apple Watch Edition at Apple Watch Sport (+can of spray paint) price?" with our community.

The Apple Watch Edition try on experience [1st hand account & Gallery]


Reader Mark Davies went into the Berlin Apple Store this morning to try on the Apple Watch/Sport models but got a little surprise from the employees. Here’s the first hand account…

So I go to the Apple store here in Berlin thinking I made an appointment to see the Sport and Apple Watch editions. When I get there, they check me in and tell me to wait in the line. When my turn comes a really nice Apple employee asks me which models of the Edition I would like to see. I was surprised obviously, and explained that there is no way I would consider buying one with the price. He proceeds to let me try on the Sport and Watch versions and walks me through the demos. Then he asks if I still want to see the Edition models. I say, “sure, why not”…

He tells me to wait in the corner near the accessories and says he will be back in a minute. He comes back with two boxes (blue leather) and says to follow him (with a security guard in tow) upstairs. We take an elevator and walk through a very beautiful hall to a large conference room where a small leather mat is waiting at the table. He explains the packaging. Leather box, with a magnetic lid, and built in lightning adaptor for easy charging (i neglected to get a picture of it).

He lets me try it on and it is significantly heavier than either the sport or stainless steel models. There didn’t seem to be a time limit on how long I can stay (I wasn’t rushed at all even though I had no intent of buying one). I was allowed to take pictures of the watch, room and anything else I wanted to but not the employees.

It felt strange and I can’t help but think that a serious watch buyer would be a little put off by the process. I felt special, but I seriously doubt that someone willing to spend $17,000 on a watch would feel special in the same set of circumstances. There was nothing special about the Apple employee. Just another employee who actually seemed a little nervous. Like he felt almost out of place handling this pricey item.

It was a fun day and I will be buying a Sport edition maybe with model 2 or later in the year.

Have a great launch day.

… One more thing: I also asked about the new MacBook. They did not have a demo model on hand. I was a little surprised by this. I asked why and he said it “didn’t arrive in time”. I thought that was very strange. A global operation like Apple and they can’t get it there for launch day. He said, “maybe tomorrow“. Weird.

IMG_0009 IMG_0005 IMG_0007 IMG_0003 IMG_0008 IMG_0004 IMG_0001 IMG_0006 IMG_0002
Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple watch, Berlin, edition, Stainless steel, store, try-on

For more information about Apple watch, Apple Watch, and Apple Inc continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "The Apple Watch Edition try on experience [1st hand account & Gallery]" with our community.

Review: LaCie’s 4TB Rugged Thunderbolt/USB 3 portable hard drive delivers SSD-like speed at HDD cost

LaCie-Rugged-4TB-USB Plug-Thunderbolt-2

LaCie announced its new 4TB Thunderbolt/USB 3 Rugged RAID portable hard drive ($420 list, $399 Amazon) today, and I’ve had some time to take it for a little ‘spin.’ There are two speedy 7200RPM 2TB portable hard drives RAID-ed together inside to give the device very impressive, almost SSD-like speeds but with the cost savings and huge storage of portable hard drives. At the same time, the package isn’t much bigger than a regular portable hard drive and better yet, it can take a serious beating…

Key Details:

  • Ruggedized housing can survive drops, seals out liquids and dust
  • Two 2TB hard drives are inside, joined via RAID
  • Offers near-SSD speeds but with conventional hard drives
  • Thunderbolt and USB 3 are both supported
  • Thunderbolt cable is integrated directly into the enclosure










The first thing you’ll notice is that the Rugged feels very similar to the rest of the venerable LaCie Rugged lineup, though it is slightly thicker and denser than previous single drive models – as you’d expect.

LaCie has incorporated a built-in Thunderbolt cable which wraps around the edges of the unit and ends up being a foot in length whenfully extracted (see image below). The cable is the thinnest I’ve seen in power-carrying Thunderbolt and the power from a MacBook is enough to power the drives.

LaCie-Rugged-4TB-USB Plug-Thunderbolt

The unit also has a USB 3 port and cable that somewhat awkwardly connects to machines that don’t have a Thunderbolt port (like Apple’s latest 12-inch MacBook and most PCs).

LaCie-Rugged-4TB-USB Plug-wishfull

My 2014 15-inch MacBook Pro’s USB port didn’t supply enough power to spin up the drives; I had to use the included AC adapter which plugs in where the Thunderbolt cable rests. Awkward. See for yourself below:

LaCie-Rugged-4TB-USB Plug

The 4TB Rugged was easy to set up with LaCie Manager as an executable. Putting the RAID together was quick and easy. LaCie also installs Intego Backup Manager for you if that’s what you are into. I uninstalled immediately because I’m a Time Machine guy.

Screenshot 2015-04-07 08.37.46 Screenshot 2015-04-07 08.37.50 Screenshot 2015-04-07 08.37.54 Screenshot 2015-04-07 08.38.13

Partition-wise, the defaults make a PC-compatible 800GB partition and a 3.2TB Mac HFS partition. That use case made some sense so I went with it for the speed tests. I used the industry standard BlackMagic disk speed test which is used to check SSDs and hard drives for video editing on Macs.

I easily saw 250MB/sec speeds when using the built-in Thunderbolt connector. That’s about half of the speed of high end, internal SATA SSDs, but still plenty fast for most regular video editing. If you use USB 3 or RAID 1 redundant mirroring, expect to see speeds in the 130-140MB/sec range.

LaCie Thunderbolt score LaCie-USB3-Blackmagic-score

For the heck of it, I dropped the drive a few times from counter height to see if the RAID configuration was any more vulnerable than a simple hard drive setup. After about five drops from counter height, the drives continued to work fine without a glitch. I wouldn’t recommend doing this on purpose with a RAID drive with important data on it, but it is good to know that you’ve got a good chance of data survival.

Wrap up:

I’ve long loved LaCie’s rugged drives because they are made to be taken on the road along with all of the bumps and bruising that comes along with it. With the 4TB RAID version, LaCie adds incredible size and speed that video/imaging professionals and people with big backups/lots of storage needs will love. The price at $400 is significant but not at all insane when you consider the SSD-class speeds combined with the big 4TB size.

$420,$399 Amazon
Any Mac/PC/Tablet With A Thunderbolt or USB 3/2* Port
Lacie_Rugged Raid_Use-Case LaCie R2D2 3-4 Right LaCie_Rugged Raid_Profile Lacie_Rugged Raid_Lifestyle LaCie_Rugged Raid_Hero LaCie_Rugged Raid_Front LaCie_Rugged Raid_Back LaCie_Rugged Raid_3-4

LaCie Doubles Capacity of Rugged Thunderbolt SSD
CUPERTINO, CALIF. – LaCie, the premium brand from Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), announced today that its iconic Rugged Thunderbolt™ storage solution will be available in a 1 TB SSD capacity. With double the storage, the new LaCie® Rugged is just as portable with no size or weight increase compared to the 500 GB offering. Plus, it still features the lightning–fast transfer rates of Thunderbolt and is tough in the field with shock, dust and water resistance.

“My expeditions take me all over the globe so I need equipment that’s up for any terrain,” said photographer and National Geographic Expeditions expert Kike Calvo. “The LaCie Rugged is my go–to hard drive because its fast speeds help back up my work quickly, and its toughness has yet to let me down. With the addition of drones into my workflow, I’m creating more content than ever before. So larger capacity in the same reliable enclosure means I can take fewer drives and save valuable luggage space.”

The LaCie Rugged delivers speeds of up to 387 MB/s* — three times faster than a standard mobile hard drive**. With these speeds, creative professionals can transfer 100 GB in less than five minutes. The LaCie Rugged even provides enough bandwidth to review and edit photos or video in the field. With a laptop and a LaCie Rugged, a photographer or videographer has everything they need to back up footage or complete a project on location. This time savings and convenience is key for field–based professionals.

“Wherever digital content is created and wherever our customers want to travel to capture and collect it, our LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drive will go as the ideal companion,” said Erwan Girard, Business Unit Manager for LaCie. “With fast Thunderbolt speeds that save hours in the field and now a 1 TB SSD capacity, our customers can focus on the creative process instead of worrying about transfer times or storage limits.”

The LaCie Rugged is MIL–compliant, which means that data is protected even during accidental drops of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet). With its cap in place, the LaCie Rugged is also IP 54–rated for superior protection against dust and water splashing — even during operation. Plus, it is resistant to vibration and shock and is tough enough to be shipped for reliable delivery to clients or partners.

With both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 interfaces, the LaCie Rugged is an ideal match for Mac® and PC users. The LaCie Rugged is fully bus powered through the Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 cables. Plus, the integrated Thunderbolt cable stows neatly when not in use, ensuring that it will never get lost or left behind.

The LaCie Rugged includes everything professionals need for secure backup in the field: a backup software suite and compatibility with Time Machine® and Windows® Backup. It also includes LaCie Private–Public software, which lets users password–protect the entire drive or only certain volumes with AES 256–bit encryption.

See the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt hit the trail:

The LaCie Rugged features a three–year limited warranty that includes comprehensive, complimentary web–based resources, expert in–house technical support, and worldwide repair and/or replacement coverage. It is possible to upgrade this service with warranty extensions and fast product replacement.

The new 1 TB SSD version of the LaCie Rugged, design by Neil Poulton, will be available this month for $949.99 (MSRP) through the LaCie Online Store and LaCie Resellers.

LaCie, the premium brand from Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX), designs world–class external storage products for Apple®, Linux and PC users. LaCie differentiates itself with sleek design and unmatched technical performance. Find out more at

Filed under: Mac, Reviews Tagged: 4TB, external storage, hard drive, LaCie, RAID, rugged, Solid-state drive, TB, Thunderbolt, USB 3

For more information about Reviews, Mac, and Thunderbolt continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Review: LaCie’s 4TB Rugged Thunderbolt/USB 3 portable hard drive delivers SSD-like speed at HDD cost" with our community.

Review: Pad & Quill’s Attaché is timeless, will stand the test of time (Discount+Giveaway)


[Ed. Note: My wife liked this one so much she insisted she review it]

In many ways, my work is old school: unlike my other half, I work in an archive and write about the past. You might call my professional aesthetic “19th century schoolhouse.” Or at most “1920s Paris bookshop.” In other words, Pad&Quill. So when the Minnesota-based makers of the luxurious, leather notebook-style iPhone wallet case sent a new top-shelf work bag to our house, I claimed it. Over the past month I’ve been filling it with my MacBook, iPad, iPhone, papers, pens and books. Voilà the Attaché

The Attaché bag follows the classic standards of its namesake case: it’s boxy, with plenty of space for documents and laptops. The sturdy leather keeps my files from crumpling and my computer from getting dinged — without the bulky (unsightly) padding you usually find in a laptop case.


While the exterior is a nod to the past, the interior reminds me that we live in the twenty-first century. The two compartments I use for my wallet and phone are lined in a bright orange soft suede. A free de-dust-ification every time I use it. Open the zipper pouch and it’s more orange:


The only part of the bag I haven’t found useful are the top straps of the interior pouches. This is because I’m impatient. The layout keeps me organized, but I can’t be bothered to tuck in the contents of those pouches. Instead, I’ve been sticking my lipgloss into the strap loop. The Attaché is fun for a boy or a girl. :)


You can carry the bag by its attaché handle or wear it like I do, à la messenger using a detachable, adjustable strap. If you’re on the shorter side (I’m 5’4”), you might want to have a cobbler add a hole to the belt-like strap. In my case, it sits just perfectly on my hip on the shortest setting.


The hardware used to attach the shoulder strap on either side is extremely robust. This is one of the first things I checked on the Attaché, and here’s why: When I first started my grown-up job, I was carrying a similar, chintzier bag one morning and had the unfortunate experience of having the strap pivot break off while I was greeting my new colleagues. The strap snapped out and the bag dropped right to the floor. Was this former grad student fit for a 9-to-5? I wasn’t feeling it. Not so with the Attaché.


Every detail — copper rivets, interior zipper, front button closure — is sturdy, functional, and beautiful.


The Attaché bag is a welcome complement to the repertoire of Pad & Quill offerings, which began with ultra-slim wallets and sleek Moleskine-styled gadget cases and now include some of the best-looking tech bags you can find (each bag is designed to satisfy). Everything they make is top shelf, with “leaves a good impression”-type quality.


P.S. This bag is truly unisex. But in case you’re not convinced, here’s a picture of a dude wearing the black version. (It’s not a purse, it’s European!)


The Attaché is available on for $440 but Pad & Quill are offering 9to5Mac readers 10% off this bag using code 9to5M at checkout.  Tweet, Facebook Like, Plus this post or sign up for our newsletter (or do all 4 to increase your chances) for a chance to win one in our giveaway.  We’ll notify winner via DM/Facebook/G+/newsletter email and announce the winner on this post next week.

Filed under: Reviews Tagged: Attaché, bags, cases, cloth, Leather, mac case, Pad and Quill, pad&quill, Shoulder strap

For more information about Reviews, cases, and Leather continue reading at 9to5Mac.

What do you think? Discuss "Review: Pad & Quill’s Attaché is timeless, will stand the test of time (Discount+Giveaway)" with our community.