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Report: White iPhone 4 arriving by end of April

While the wait persists for an iPhone 5, a new report says the much-delayed white version of the current-generation iPhone 4 will go on sale by the end of the month.

Citing three sources familiar with Apple's plans, Bloomberg reports that the company intends to put the white version of the popular handset up for sale "in the next few weeks" for both AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers.

Bloomberg also said that Apple does not plan to announce a follow-up to the iPhone 4 at the Worldwide Developers Conference slated for early June, adding additional fuel to rumors that Apple is behind on its usual handset release schedule.

Apple promised a white version of the iPhone 4 when it first announced the phone, though the company failed to ship it alongside the black version that's been on sale for the past 10 months. At the time, the company said the alternate color was proving more "challenging to manufacture than we originally expected."

According to Bloomberg's sources, the sizable delay had been attributed, in part, to the white model's paint peeling when it got hot. An analyst report published last month said Apple had changed the film material being used to keep the device laminated, putting the company back on track to ship the phone in April.

When introducing the iPad 2 early last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs made it a point that the iPad 2 would ship in both black and white from day one. The company delivered on that promise. Days later, Phil Schiller, Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing, posted a note on Twitter saying the white iPhone 4 would be available this spring.

Apple broke its own record in its last fiscal quarter, selling 16.2 million iPhones. The company announces its second fiscal quarter earnings next Wednesday, with some analysts predicting it's sold an even higher number during that time.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Bloomberg report.


 

Sony Ericsson delivers exclusive Android Market channel

Sony Ericsson begins highlighting 
exclusive content for its customers.

Sony Ericsson announced today that it has started its own channel in the Android Market. Designed specifically to work on Sony Ericsson products, the channel replaces the "My Apps" link found on the landing page of the market. According to Sony Ericsson's blog, this spot will be used to offer exclusive content in the form of games and apps that best enhance the experience for the company's devices.

Starting off, Sony Ericsson is offering plug-ins for itsTimescape and camera application, but the eventual plan is to provide other developers a platform to promote their efforts. Users are encouraged to submit ideas and feedback to help shape the future of the channel.

It's worth pointing out that since this channel is carrier dependent, some customers might not see this feature. Many providers like to tailor the Android Market around their own services and apps, but customers who buy a Sony Ericsson phone direct from the manufacturer should see the new channel.

 


 

Tablets to beat iPad

 

   

Benchmark battle: Chrome vs. IE vs. Firefox

There's no doubt the latest crop of stable browsers from GoogleMicrosoft, and Mozilla are the best the companies have ever produced. But how do they perform when tested under identical conditions?

CNET put the latest stable versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer through a gauntlet of benchmarks that considered JavaScript and HTML5 performance, as well as boot times and memory usage. (Opera and Safari were not tested because they have not been updated recently, and neither has yet implemented hardware acceleration close to the level that the other three browsers have.) Note that these charts are at best a snapshot in time, and are dependent on the hardware being used and any extensions installed. The full charts are below, followed by analysis and an explanation of our methodology.



*JSGamebench was conducted by Facebook developers. The test was included because it's a publicly available test of real-world gameplay, though we opted to use Facebook's published data for simplicity's sake. The hardware acceleration using WebGL results were not included because only Firefox 4 and Chrome 11 were included in the test group, and Chrome 11 was not tested by CNET this round because it's still in beta.




Chrome 10 Internet Explorer 9 Firefox 4
SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms) 336.20 250.60 292.37
Kraken (ms) 8,806.30 15,606.77 7265.13
V8 v6 (higher is better) 5,173.67 2,235.33 3540.33
JSGamebench 0.3* (higher is better) 322.00 1,156.00 1,482.00
Boot time (s) 26.22 21.86 17.80
Memory (kb) 390,532 205,616 148,020







Though the competition is extremely close in some cases--especially JavaScript rendering--Firefox 4 is strongly favored by HTML5 processing, boot time, and memory usage. Overall, I'd judge from these results that Firefox 4 is the winner this time around.

Chrome, however, is absolutely killing it on Google's V8 benchmark. Expect the next version of Chrome to perform much better on the JSGamebench test, once hardware acceleration has been fully enabled. You currently have to toggle a few switches in about:flags to get it all. Also expect Chrome's boot time and memory performance to improve--Google has said it plans to spend more time working on Chrome's memory hogginess in the coming versions.

Given the renewed resurgence in Internet Explorer, it's also hard to imagine that the IE development team isn't already working on making the browser better.

Also of interest is that the SunSpider results are extremely close. The gulf between 250 milliseconds and 290 milliseconds is just not going to be that detectable by the average person.


How We Tested

Our test machine was a Lenovo T400, with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 chip running at 2.53GHz, with 3GB of RAM, using Windows 7 x86. We used four publicly available tests: WebKit SunSpider 0.9.1Mozilla Kraken 1.0Google V8 version 6, and JSGameBench 0.3. All tests except for JSGamebench were conducted using a "cold boot" of the browser, that is, both the computer and the browser being tested were restarted before each test. Each test was performed three times, and the results you see are the averages. Browsers had all extensions and add-ons deactivated for the tests.

We opened five Web sites for all tests, in addition to any test site. These were: talkingpointsmemo.comaol.comyoutube.comnewyorktimes.comgiantbomb.comcnettv.cnet.com.

The boot time benchmarks were conducted by manually starting a stopwatch when clicking on the browser's taskbar icon, and then hitting stop when the last tab's resolving indicator stopped rotating. One half-second was subtracted from Internet Explorer 9's pre-averaged times to account for the extra time it took to hit the Reload previous session link, since the browser doesn't support that feature the way Firefox 4 and Chrome 10 do.

The memory test was conducted by opening the aforementioned set of tabs and looking at Google Chrome's memory manager. You can access it by typing "about:memory" into the Chrome location bar. The figure we used is the Private Memory, which only totals memory used by the browser that's not shared by other processes. It's also useful because it tallies all of Chrome's open tab memory usage into one convenient number.



 

Everything you need to know about Firefox 4

To get you started with the Editor's Choice-winning Firefox 4, here's CNET's First Look at the browser.

 

 

One of the best features in the browser is Firefox Sync, which will not only synchronize Firefox across multiple computers, but it will also sync to your Android version of Firefox 4.

 

 

Firefox has a deep backbench of add-ons to provide features not found in the standard version of the browser, and you can also customize the interface in ways that you can't with other browsers. Here's how to make your Firefox 4 look like Firefox 3, in case you really miss the old design. It's also a good hands-on tutorial for add-on use, in case you're new to Firefox add-ons.

 

 

In the following How To video, we show you how to make Firefox load tabs a bit faster than it does out of the box. This is a great tweak for users who have 20 or 30 tabs open.

 

 

App Tabs are a new feature in Firefox to keep your most-used tabs in the same position every time you load the browser. Here's how they work.

 

 

Another useful new feature in Firefox 4 is Tab Groups, also known as Panorama. This allows you to keep your tabs accessible but out of sight until you want them. It's excellent for organizing tabs between different interests, and you can label the groups as well.

 

   

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