Apple Releases Bridging Cable for iPhone 5, Allows You to Connect Lighting Port and 30-Pin Connector

Apple Lighting to 30-pin connector cableThe iPhone 5 was officially announced by Apple today, much to the surprise of…absolutely nobody. People have been expecting the announcement for a long time now, with many people at least 97% sure that it was going to happen on this exact day. While the Apple fan boys (and girls) out there have been absolutely drooling over the thought of a new iPhone, not everybody was as excited, myself included.

While I applaud the iPhone for its innovation and contribution to the entire smartphone industry, I just haven’t been as blown away by it as other people. The same goes for the iPhone 5. Rumors have been swirling about this device for a long time now, some of which were proven to be complete crap and others proving to be true, like the new dock connector that would be smaller on the iPhone 5 than on any other Apple device.

A lot of people have a major problem with this due to the fact that it essentially means that everything they use in conjunction with their current iPhone, iPad or iPod will be completely useless with the iPhone 5. That means that these consumers will have to throw even more money at Apple in order to get things that work with the iPhone 5.

Naturally, this would make consumers very upset. I mean, who wants to buy all new things because one device isn’t compatible? Thankfully, there is a solution. The new Lighting connector on the iPhone 5 is 80% smaller, with prior devices using the iPod 30-pin connector which was launched back in 2003.

The good news is that this new cable, which measures 8″ long, will be able to bridge the gap between the connectors, allowing you to connect the old cable with the new Lightning port. Apple has stated, however, that not all 30-pin devices will be supported, with the same being true for video and iPod out, which means that you may still be required to purchase new accessories to use with your iPhone 5 and the newly announced 2012 iPod Touch.

It also still means that you have to throw more money at Apple. The new Apple Lighting to 30-pin connector cable will run you $40. A cheaper option (though not much cheaper) is available if you do not require the cable. A $30 adapter is also available, which essentially does the exact same thing.

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Ads on the New Special Offers Kindle Fires Are Permanent

Special Offers Kindle FireAmazon recently announced a new version of the Kindle Fire, the company’s highly popular tablet/eReader device. While many people are excited about the new device, there is one major thing that is driving people away, ads. Amazon is featuring its Special Offers and Sponsored Screensavers in the updated Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tables. The only problem is that you can’t opt out of having them, meaning they are permanent.

As Amazon puts it, these offers display “on the lock screen and lower left hand corner of the home screen.” What that means is that they won’t interfere with the device itself or appear in other apps. This type of stuff first came about on the original Kindle Fire back in 2011 with the program originally designed as a way for users to save money off of the price of a Kindle in exchange for allowing ads to appear on the screensaver and at the bottom of the home screen.

Now, Amazon is charging $20 less for its Special Offers Kindle devices than it does for ad-free ones. Previously, users had the option of opting out of ads after buying a Special Offers Kindle in exchange for an additional $20. However, that is no longer the case, meaning that offers on the lock screen and at the bottom of the home screen will be there to stay.

This is actually a good move for Amazon. By doing this Amazon can sell sponsored spots for advertising revenue and can also push users to spend more money within the Amazon ecosystem using the Special Offers tool. This could also be an effective way for content owners to promote a release to a large audience of users.

The impact of the ads will also probably be entirely positive for consumers as well. Amazon’s pricing on these Kindle devices is extremely aggressive, undercutting almost every major player in the market. It makes sense that this would be one of the ways Amazon would offset that price so they company doesn’t take huge losses in profit. Have small ads on your lock screen and home screen or pay an additional $50 to $75 for a device? The choice is yours.

Source: Mashable – The New Kindle Fire Has Ads and You Can’t Opt Out

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Is Windows 8 to Blame for Sinking PC Sales?

Windows 8 MetroIf you were wondering why there has been a slump in PC sales of late then HP and Dell may have an answer for you. According to both companies, the hard times seen by the PC market can be blamed, in part, on Windows 8. In addition to that, both companies believe that Microsoft’s latest operating system won’t do much to improve PC sales until sometime next year.

Both Dell and HP were in conference calls this week talking about their earnings. During both conversations, the companies pointed to lackluster PC sales as a key problem. Dell was the one to actually come out and say that Windows 8 anticipation had resellers drawing down PC inventories, though the company did say that any benefit the new operating system will have on sales would be delayed until 2013.

IDC also agrees with Dell and HP. According to Senior Research Analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker Jay Chou, “Factors such as Windows 8 coupled with Ultrabooks could present a positive turn of events next year but it also faces some initial hurdles; chief of which is that buyers must acclimate themselves to an operating system that is a dramatic departure from existing PC paradigms. The PC ecosystem faces some work to properly educate the market.”

HP never mentioned Windows 8 by name, though did talk about problems selling PCs because of people who are holding off until they see what’s new later on. “The PC market remains weak, and channel inventory is high across the industry ahead of new product releases,” CEO Meg Whitman added in a statement. “Our PC revenue was down 10% year-over-year, driven by this weakness and an aggressive pricing from our competitors.”

According to Whitman, however, HP may have something to help with this problem. Whitman stated that a new line of PCs and tablets with a focus on design will be coming out this fall from the company. It is speculated that these devices could be designed to compete with Apple’s iPad and Microsoft’s new Surface tablet.

On a side note: The nationwide demand for a computer rental has seen a slow but steady increase over the same period.

Source: PC World – Dell, HP Say Windows 8 Is Trashing PC Sales

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Apple and Microsoft Come to an Agreement Over Smartphone Design

Microsoft Windows PhoneThe lawsuit between Apple and Samsung has been going on for some time now with the only real losers being the consumers. Nevertheless, Microsoft has access to all the patents at the center of the suit, though there are provisions in place so Windows Phones don’t suddenly start looking like iPhones.

Notable developments in other coverage of the heated lawsuit between the two companies: Microsoft has a long-running patent cross licensing act with the iPhone maker. Apple’s director of patent licensing and strategy Boris Teksler was quoted recently discussing the suit.

According to Teksler, “Apple’s long-running cross-licensing deal with Microsoft allowed the Windows maker access to all the patents in the case, including design patents. With that said, there are specific rules in place with that deal to keep the two sides in check so that they don’t make a clone product. There’s a clear acknowledgment that there’s no cloning.”

Teksler is now stating that the company tried to form a pact with Samsung, though certain design approaches and user interfaces were untouchable. At first glance, this deal reflects those untouchables. The tiles in the Windows Phone are totally different from what is seen in the iPhone and Android Phones.

The lack of cloning,

and even resemblance, hasn’t paid off with huge market share for Windows Phone devices, though Microsoft has come up with a different approach and overall the smartphone market is better for it. I still think that this whole patent suit between Apple and Samsung is getting out of hand.

The suit has become so intense that some of Samsung has been forced to stop selling some of its products in the United States. Nobody knows when the suit will end or what the final result could be, though things aren’t looking like they are going in Samsung’s favor.

Source: ZDNet – Apple, Microsoft have smartphone design gentleman’s agreement

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Sharp Increases Production of Supposed Apple Screens

Sharp logoJapanese display manufacturer Sharp, famous for its beautiful HDTVs, is supposedly increasing production of a new screen technology that is rumored to be favored by Apple for some of its new devices. This news comes from the company even as its yearly outlook declined significantly toward another large fiscal loss.

The company, which is based in Osaka, Japan, is one of the largest manufacturers of LCD screens in the world and recently stated that it would invest $150 million to build up its production capacity for IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) display technology, which analysts and media reports are saying will be used in Apple’s upcoming devices, including the the newest update to the iPad.

Sharp finalized a deal last month in which it sold half a core LCD factory and almost a 10% stake in the company to Hon Hai Precision Industry, the parent company of Foxconn Electronics, which is also a main producer of Apple products. Coincidence? I think not.

In addition to that, Sharp says that the new displays cut power consumption by as much as 90% and allow for a far greater detail at the same transparency, keys for prolonging the battery life of portable devices where screens are a major power drain. Sharp also stated that it began mass production of IGZO screens back in April.

Sharp is hoping that such advanced technologies will eventually lead the company back to profitability. However, the company did say that things will get worse before they get better and now expects its losses for the fiscal year through March 2013 to be over eight times worse than it did only three months ago. Sharp also said that it is spending heavily to reconstruct its business after a heavy loss last year along with dealing with falling sales in both Japan and China in addition to overstock.

Source: Computer World – Sharp ramps up production of rumored Apple screens

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iPhone 5 and iPad Mini to Debut on September 12

Apple iPhone 5If you have been waiting for Apple to debut either the iPhone 5 or the iPad Mini then you may be in luck. According to recent reports, many people believe that Apple will reveal both devices in September. According to the blog iMore, which sites “sources who have proven accurate in the past,” Apple will debut both devices at a special event on Wednesday, September 12. After the announcement, the iPhone 5 will go on sale on Friday, September 21.

This report follows one from, a French website, which also pointed to a September 21 release date that was based on info from Chinese manufacturing sources. This spacing is similar to last year’s schedule when Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S on October 4 and then released the device 10 days later.

The sources for iMore didn’t release a specific release date for the iPad Mini, though the site does say it could reach consumers on the same day as the iPhone 5. The smaller version of Apple’s iPad is supposedly going to measure 7″, smaller than the 9.7″ of the current model, though be completely identical in every other way.

Other reports include rumors about the new iPod Touch, which could also debut alongside the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. In addition to that, a new iPod Nano could be thrown into the mix, which could make for a very busy day for Apple. However, the company usually only garnishes its iPhone announcement with updates to the iPod and other products.

Among the information released by iMore’s sources were things that have already been floating around the internet. The new iPhone is supposedly coming with a 4″, 16:9 screen while all new iOS devices would come with a smaller dock connector.

This information, however, is still considered a strong rumor, though the September release date would make sense for Apple financially. Apple launched the iPhone 4S last October and demand for the smartphone rewarded Apple with strong profits in Q4. However, the third quarter for Apple suffered as smartphone users held off on buying new devices in anticipation of the iPhone 5.

Releasing the device in September ensures that Apple ends the calendar third quarter on a very high note with the anticipated heavy demand for the smartphone rolling over into the fourth quarter. Hopefully these rumors are true and we get a new iPhone in September because I’ve had just about enough of people asking me when this dang thing is going to come out.

Source: CNET – Apple reportedly to unveil iPhone 5, iPad Mini on Sept. 12

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Aria AV Launches New Wholesale Technology Rental Website

Attention Tech-Army Members!
Wholesale Technology Rentals
Xponex Media has teamed up with Aria AV Technology

Solutions, LLC to develop a new website that looks, feels and performs better than its predecessor. By collaborating with the CEO of Aria AV, Niraj Jain, Xponex Media has produced a comprehensive website to better facilitate Aria AV’s focus of supplying wholesale technology rentals to technology rental firms.

This is great news for rental companies within the Tech-Army Organization as Raj Jain and Aria AV are highly reputable resources for sub-rentals, cross rentals, and wholesale distribution. In fact, Aria AV has been named’s top supplier. Many representatives of rental companies have praised Raj and Aria for their dedication and professionalism in the industry:

“Raj Jain has the best tech to rep communication I have come across in this industry. He is reachable 24/7 and we often communicate in the evenings and on the weekend so I get bids out quickly. He’s always a step ahead with advice and

ready to offer better more cost efficient solutions for our end-users. He and his team are appreciated, excellent service and equipment hands down.” — Darcy Mann, Tech Travel Agent at

With Xponex’s redesign of Aria AV’s website, rental firms can more easily find the products and services offered and can get a quote quickly.

About Aria AV
Aria Technology Solutions LLC is a Glenview, IL-based company focused solely on Computer & Audio Visual Rentals for the re-rental market. We pride ourselves on providing Tier-One, Show Quality iPads, Tablets, Laptops, Apple Laptops, iMacs, Projectors & Computer Peripherals to re-renters Nationwide.

With professionals with over 25 years of combined I.T. experience, Aria Technology Solutions LLC handles each and every order with a custom, white glove approach. Further, each of our orders go out in non-labeled, cases or corrugated boxes. Absolutely none of our equipment is labeled with our logo or phone numbers.

In addition to wholesale rentals, Aria Technology Solutions LLC offers its customers quality used equipment for sale. Name brand Laptops, Tablets, Desktops and Peripherals are sold daily through our remarketing division. All used products are cleaned, tested and packaged properly before being processed for shipping.

Consistently competitive prices, rapid quote turnaround, breadth of inventory and equipment quality are just a few of the reasons our customers turn to Aria Technology Solutions LLC for all their sub-rental needs. With thousands of products in stock ready for same day shipping, we are ready to meet your needs today! Please feel free to contact us anytime at or via phone at 847-813-6347.

Tech-Army Members Mentioned in this Article
Aria Technology Solutions
Xponex Media

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Samsung Working to Bring Back Galaxy S3 Search Function

Samsung Galaxy S3Samsung recently confirmed that the recent “stability update” for the Galaxy S3, the same one that rendered the on-device search function completely useless, was going to be repaired immediately according to the BBC. A recent statement from Sony said, “The most recent software upgrade for the Galaxy S3 in the UK included the inadvertent removal of the universal search function. Samsung will provide the correct software upgrade within the next few days.”

Reports of this bugged update surfaced earlier in the month when S3 owners discovered that they were unable to use the local search function for the internet, contacts, apps or other information. In addition to that, the customers were not given any warning that this would happen when they downloaded the software, though it may be that Samsung was unaware that it was going to occur. What’s more is that this only affected international users of the device, not users in the U.S.

When the disappearance of the search feature was first uncovered, there were rumors that it was the result of continuing patent lawsuits between Samsung and Apple, especially considering the fact that Apple owns a patent that covers local searches. However, Samsung told the BBC that the company had made a mistake in releasing the software.

Over 10 million units of the Galaxy S3 have been sold since the device launched only a couple of months ago. However, the release of the smartphone has been wrought with delays in shipping and questions pertaining to certain features already patented by Apple.

Samsung has already seen a U.S. ban on one of its other popular smartphones, the Galaxy Nexus, due to alleged patent infringement on Apple’s iPhone.

The good news is that even though users have lost their search function, the problem is only temporary and Samsung is hard at work getting an update out to users that will put everything back to normal.

Source: CNET – Samsung to reinstate the Galaxy S3’s search function

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Windows 8 Coming October 26th!

Windows 8 release dateThe world of PC users can now rejoice as Microsoft has officially announced the actual release date for Windows 8, the next installment in the company’s successful operating system line. The company announced that Windows 8 will become generally available to all users on October 26, 2012.

This date matches prior market estimates on the release date, where users will be able to buy the operating system new or upgrade for a discounted price. In past announcements, Microsoft promised that Windows 8 would be released at some point in October and this announcement shows that the company is following through with its promise.

Microsoft has been continuously releasing information on the different versions of Windows 8 coming out, doubling down on its hybrid interface. Windows 8 is a radical design change from previous versions of the operating system with this version focusing heavily on an interface that integrates well with mobile and touch-centric devices, like smartphones and tablets.

The October 26th release date will give consumers plenty of time to purchase systems running the code for the holiday season. There is no stopping the release of Windows 8 at this point, and the big question on the minds of both consumers and Microsoft is whether or not this operating system will revolutionize the way we use our computers or tank worse than that horrid Windows Vista thing.

Windows 8 will release a solid three months after Apple’s new operating system, known as OS X Mountain Lion. Mountain Lion is set to debut at the end of this month, giving it a good jump on Windows 8. Users will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion for $20 though while PC users will have to pay double that to upgrade to Windows 8.

I’m excited for the release of Windows 8. I love Windows 7 but everybody likes something new and it will be nice to give my PC a fresh new look with a new operating system. The best part is, if I don’t like Windows 8, I can always switch back to Windows 7 so I’m not too worried about Windows 8 not living up to expectations (though I really hope it does).

Source: The Next Web – Microsoft confirms Windows 8 will go on sale from October 26

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OS X Mountain Lion to Release Soon, Gets the Jump on Windows 8

OS X Mountain LionApple recently released its almost completed version of OS X Mountain Lion to developers which means that the company is still on track for a public release of the newest Apple operating system by the end of July. Known as Gold Master, the release should be the final Mountain Lion build given to developers before the OS is available to users.

Apple still has yet to announce the actual, specific release date for the operating system, though many critics and analysts believe it will pop up within the next two or three weeks. Apple released OS X Lion to developers on July 1, 2011 and followed up with the consumer release on July 20. Whenever Mountain Lion is available, users will be able to upgrade for $20 through the Mac App Store, or for free if they bought a Mac on June 11.

OS X Mountain Lion

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