Friday, November 30, 2012

This Week In Apple: Unlocked iPhones, Slimmer iMacs, iTunes 11 and China

This week has been a busy one for the geeks over at Apple. Earlier this week Apple announced that their new slimmer more powerful iMacs would be going on sale today.The company followed that up with the release of an unlocked iPhone 5 which is now on-sale directly from Apple. To round out the week Apple today announced that the Wi-Fi versions of the iPad mini and fourth generation iPad with Retina display will officially be available for sale in China on Friday, December 7, and iPhone 5 will be available on Friday, December 14.

New 21" and 27" iMacs

The new slimmer iMac will come in two variants with ample upgrade options.

First is the 21.5-inch iMac which will be available with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M for a suggested retail price of $1,299; and with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US).

Net up is the 27-inch iMac which is available with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M for a suggested retail price of $1,799; and with a 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX for a suggested retail price of $1,999. 

The 21.5-inch iMac comes with 8GB of memory and can be configured online with 16GB. On the 27-inch iMac, 8GB of memory comes standard, and you can upgrade to 16GB or 32GB. For those looking to boost in video performance you can opt for an upgraded NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX GPU and those needing more processing power can opt for a quad-core Intel Core i7 at up to 3.4GHz.

Unlocked iPhone 5 Directly From Apple

If having the ability to pick and choose your carrier is your thing then you might want to opt for a new unlocked iPhone 5 directly from Apple. But be warned these unlocked device carry a hefty price tag!

As of today, instead of choosing from carriers Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon when buying the device at the online Apple Store, the tech giant is also offering the option of an "unlocked and contract-free" iPhone 5. Unlocked phone carrier the full price not that traditional subsidized pricing you see at your carrier. Prices start at $649 for the 16GB model (compared with the subsidized $199 entry price on contract), $749 for the 32GB model, and $849 for the 64GB model.

"The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a wireless contract commitment," Apple wrote in its description of the unlocked device. "If you don't want a multiyear service contract, or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone is the best choice."

iTunes 11 Now Available

Apple's iTunes 11 is a complete makeover to Apple's media service. Now offering a more streamlined simplified interface, more iCloud integration, and adding a new mini player. Other highlights include a completely redesigned player view, a new library view, a new recommendation system, a redesigned store, enhanced iCloud and iTunes Match support, and a new feature that finally saves the position of a video or audio book if you pause on one device and continue playing on another. iTunes 11 is available immediately for both OS X and Windows, and it can be downloaded via this link or using Apple’s software update feature.

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