Matt Burns reporting for TechCrunch:

The deal values SanDisk at $86.50 a share, which is a 15% premium on the previous day’s closing price, giving the company a value of $15.4 billion. SanDisk is currently up 4.78% in pre-market trading.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you already know how much I love Western Digital’s products. On one hand, all my computer storage has been handled reliably by Western Digital while on the other hand, all my camera storage has been handled reliably by SanDisk. I’m excited to see both these companies come together.

Squarespace is the best way to build a website or e-commerce store.

Calling Out Some Rotten Apples in The Cupertino Company’s Lineup

This is a guest post by my buddy & ex-Apple enthusiast, Rohan Naravane. He’s previously written about the Apple TV here on Nuclear Bits.

Back in early 2013, a rumour of a mid-range $350 iPhone had picked up steam. We all know how that unfolded, when later in the year the iPhone 5c launched for an unapologetic $549. Ever since then, Apple has cautiously steered away from making any products that are deemed ‘value-for-money’. It is the company’s right to create products for markets they see fit. There’s no point cribbing about why Apple doesn’t make reasonably-priced products, the same way there’s no point cribbing about why BMW or Mercedes doesn’t make a reasonably-priced car. But there’s one misconception that I’ll attempt to clear out — every product that comes out of Apple’s stable is not gold. Meaning, every product lineup has multiple SKUs that vary in configuration. But despite these base models being more expensive than the competition, all of them necessarily aren’t as powerful as people will imagine them to be.

1. iMac

If you thought the iMac was a powerful desktop computer, you’re right, as long as you don’t consider the base 21.5 inch model. It’s powered by a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, which coincidentally is the same chip used in the MacBook Air. So although from the outside, the base iMac may look the same as the next model that has a meatier quad-core 2.8GHz chip, good luck trying to use that machine for anything more than web browsing, office productivity apps or consuming audio-visual content. People wanting to work on graphics or video editing might as well just forget about buying any 21.5-inch iMac altogether, as dedicated graphics are available only on the 27-inch models (even the 4K 21.5-inch iMac does not have one). Also, based on personal experience & the experience of many other Mac users, the biggest performance bottleneck for these machines will be their 5400rpm hard drives that aren’t user replaceable. Much like dedicated graphics chips, Fusion Drives (a combination of faster SSD storage & spinning hard drive) are available only on the two top-end 27-inch iMacs by default. Considering that a MacBook Air comes with a high-speed flash memory & the same processor, I wouldn’t be surprised if in day-to-day performance, the MacBook Air appears to be more swift than the base 21.5-inch iMac.

If you thought you spending Rs. 91,900 on the entry-level iMac was good enough for some serious work, think again.

2. MacBook Air

Talking about the MacBook Air, it is a good option for people wanting a really thin and light laptop with generally fast performance, great build quality and a really long battery life. The MacBook Air uses a speedy solid state storage (SSD) that helps improve responsiveness considerably, despite its low-voltage 1.6GHz Core i5 processor. But just like how the slow spinning hard drive is a bottleneck for the iMacs, the MacBook Air’s bottleneck lies in its non-upgradeable 4GB RAM. Speaking out of experience, if you want to use more than a couple of resource-intensive apps (like Google Chrome) at the same time, you’re going to need at least 8GB of RAM on your Mac. I’ve seen a few MacBook Air users complain about how their computer behaves sluggish when they use many apps at once. Although you can customise a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM in countries where the Apple Online Store is available, unfortunately, you’re stuck with 4GB here in India.

The MacBook Air is sold for dirt-cheap these days, with 13-inch models available for less than Rs. 60,000 on e-commerce stores. That’s a good price for a sexy product, provided you’re going to go easy on it.

3. MacBook Pro

The 13″ MacBook Pro is the last remaining model of the original Pro series, with the rest being replaced with their Retina-display-laden, thinner, lighter, faster successors. This model, like the MacBook Air, sells cheap for under Rs. 55,000 online. We’ve already seen how spinning hard drives and a mere 4GB of RAM are known to be performance bottlenecks on the base iMac and MacBook Air respectively. But with the base MacBook Pro 13-inch, you get the worst of both worlds. Don’t let that powerful-sounding 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 fool you, because it’s going to be saddled with two slowpokes — 4GB of RAM and 500GB of the traditional 5400 rpm hard drive.

All hope isn’t lost though — this almost-phased-out laptop is more traditional than other Macs, in the sense that both those culprit components are user-replaceable. Personally, I’ve upped the RAM from 4GB to 8GB in many MacBook Pros, and users have seen a noticeable speed bump. Similarly, replacing the hard drive with an SSD has also resulted in a MacBook Air-like performance! Lastly, the faint-hearted may look away, but you can even remove the DVD drive and put an SSD in its place, while keeping the hard drive intact. This will give you faster performance without losing out on storage space! (I have been using a 128GB SSD + 750GB Hard Disk on my 13″ MacBook Pro 13 for over a year now).

4. iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus

The iPhone 6s has already gotten enough flak on the internet for being the overpriced premium smartphone many secretly won’t mind buying, if it was priced many, many thousand rupees cheaper. After using the phone for a few days, it’s certainly worthy of the attention it gets. But for a product as highly priced (Rs. 62,000 for the base model in India), the measly 16GB of fixed memory on the base model is like getting the boot space of a Honda Jazz in the base model of a BMW 7-series. Considering that the phone can now record 4K videos (that takes a third of a gigabyte every minute), considering that the phone has a bigger 12MP camera sensor that will take bigger size photos, considering that every ‘Live Photo’ you take is recording a 3 second video clip as well, 16GB is way too less.

And god forbid if you’re interested in buying the bigger iPhone 6s Plus, because you’ll be paying Rs. 10,000 extra for the bigger 5.5-inch screen, followed by another Rs. 10,000 for the a storage option bigger than 16GB (Rs. 82,000 or about $1265).

These, I think, are some of the Rotten Apples in the company’s product lineup. Bottom line — if you’re considering buying Apple products, please be clear about what your usage is going to be, and choose wisely.

Rohan Naravane rambles tech on Twitter @r0han every few hours. And in between that time, he manages Content and User Experience at Pricebaba also.

Richard Lawler writing for Engadget:

[…] Tim Cook revealed that yes, the new Apple TV will arrive this month as promised. The taller, more powerful fourth generation box is due to ship next week, bringing along its touchpad remote and access to the App Store with tvOS. There were no specifics about in-store purchases or online orders, so those waiting may not have to wait until next month after all.

I’m excited to pick up the 32GB Apple TV for myself, but it’ll be interesting to see what Apple prices it at. I’m also hoping India makes it in the first wave of launch countries.

OnePlus to Start Manufacturing Phones in India

OnePlus, the company behind the immensely popular phones OnePlus One and OnePlus 2, has announced that it will start manufacturing phones locally in India. The company will be using Foxconn’s Rising Stars Factory in Andhra Pradesh at Sri City: Integrated Business City by the end of 2015.

Foxconn, which will also start producing handsets for Micromax and Gionee, operates the 30,000 square feet facility in Andhra Pradesh with a cumulative peak capacity of producing up to 500,000 units per month and is poised to generate employment for over 1000 full time workers there.

Pete Lau, Founder & CEO of OnePlus, said:

Today is a big day for us. Producing smartphones in India is one of the most important decisions that we have made so far at OnePlus, and we are thankful to the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Foxconn for helping us make this happen. India being one of our biggest markets worldwide, we are committed to a long term sustainable growth path. This move will strengthen our presence and help us step up momentum in India.

The OnePlus One is currently on sale on Amazon India for INR 17,999 whereas the OnePlus 2 is still invite-only and costs INR 24,999.

Twelve South Introduces Forté — A Luxury Stand for Apple Watch

Twelve South

Twelve South is one of the coolest companies out there making accessories exclusively for Apple products. I’ve talked about a few of their products in the past and personally own a couple myself. Today, Twelve South has introduced Forté — a beautiful luxury stand for the Apple Watch.

Forté is the most luxurious Twelve South product to date. The weighted base mirrors the graceful, rounded edges of your Watch’s face. Rising from the base is a slender chrome arm that prominently holds Apple Watch for charging and viewing notifications, while concealing the charging cable. It perfectly compliments the stainless steel or new aluminum finishes. A genuine leather pad protects Watch bands, from the sport band to the 18-karat yellow gold Edition bands, and all those in between.

Forté for Apple Watch is available now for $59.99 via the Twelve South website.

Apple’s New Magic Accessories Lineup

Apple's Magic Accessories

Along with a new iMac lineup, Apple has also today introduced an all new lineup for their Magic accessories for Macs. The company today launched an all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and the Magic Trackpad 2, all of which now sport built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can be charged with any Lightning cable. The company has given special attention to the batteries and power management, such that you get up to an hour of usage with just one minute of charging, while a full-charge takes around 2 hours.

These new accessories will be available in India in about two weeks, at prices mentioned below.

Apple Magic Keyboard

The Apple Magic Keyboard replaces the previous generation ‘Apple Keyboard’ and features an updated design and a re-engineered scissor mechanism that offers 33% more key stability. This new keyboard also sports full-sized keys with the new in-house San Francisco font seen in iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan.

The Apple Magic Keyboard is priced at ₹8,300 in India.

Apple Magic Trackpad 2

The new Magic Trackpad 2 is a much more substantial update compared to the Magic Keyboard. It is 29% larger than the previous generation and features an all-new design, similar to the new keyboard. The Magic Trackpad 2 also now features Force Touch, giving you access to more ways to interact with your Mac. Of course, you can still use Multi-touch to navigate.

The Apple Magic Trackpad 2 is priced at ₹11,200 in India.

Apple Magic Mouse 2

The Apple Magic Mouse 2 only changes internally to house the new lithium-ion battery. There are no new features added to the mouse, except for this ugly way to charge it.

The Apple Magic Mouse 2 is priced at ₹6,600 in India.

Apple Updates its iMac Lineup, Adds 21.5″ Retina 4K Model (India Pricing)

Apple's New Retina iMacs

Apple has today announced a refresh of its entire iMac lineup by introducing a new 21.5″ Retina 4K model to the iMac family and updating the other iMac models with better hardware. The company now has three iMac models in 21.5-inch sizes, two of which feature a 1920×1080 Full HD display while the third features a 4096×2304 Retina 4K display. On the other front, there are three 27-inch models, all of which feature a 5120×2880 Retina 5K display.

The new iMacs also feature updated hardware, with the 27″ iMacs rocking the new Intel Skylake processors and AMD graphics while the 21.5″ iMacs still sport the older Broadwell chips and Iris Pro graphics. The displays feature a wider, “P3-based” color gamut that provides a 25 percent larger color space that enables more brilliant and true-to-life colors on the screen. The iMacs also feature two Thunderbolt 2 ports and newer Fusion Drive config that makes the lower-end iMacs more affordable.

Here is the pricing of the new iMacs for India:

21.5 inch models:

Intel Core i5 1.6GHz
1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive
Intel HD Graphics 6000
1920×1080 LED-backlit display

Intel Core i5 2.8GHz
1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive
Intel HD Graphics 6200
1920×1080 LED-backlit display

Intel Core i5 3.1GHz
1TB (5400-rpm) hard drive
Intel HD Graphics 6200
4096×2304 Retina 4K display

27 in models:

Intel Core i5 3.2GHz
8GB RAM (2x4GB on four slots)
1TB (7200-rpm) hard drive
AMD Radeon R9 M380 Graphics
5120×2880 Retina 5K display

Intel Core i5 3.2GHz
8GB RAM (2x4GB on four slots)
1TB Fusion Drive
AMD Radeon R9 M390 Graphics
5120×2880 Retina 5K display

Intel Core i5 3.3GHz
8GB RAM (2x4GB on four slots)
2TB Fusion Drive
AMD Radeon R9 M395 Graphics
5120×2880 Retina 5K display

The previous generation 27″ Retina iMacs were priced at ₹1,59,900 and ₹1,79,900, so the pricing has gone up by ₹5000 and ₹9000 for the higher end models.

Daniel Van Boom writing for CNET about the high pricing of the iPhone 6s in India:

[The iPhone lineup] will cost more in India than any other country, starting out at 62,000 rupees for the 16GB 6S — that’s the equivalent of $955, AU$1,310 or £620 for the entry-level model.

On the other end of the spectrum is the top-of-the-line 128GB 6S Plus, which will cost 92,000 rupees, which converts directly to about $1,415, AU$1,950 or £925.

He adds:

Ironically, the high pricing could prove a costly move for Apple, with analysts saying that such expensive smartphones will alienate almost all of its prospective userbase in India. Though Samsung and its Galaxy S flagship devices have a presence in the Indian market (with the S6 starting at around 40,000 rupees — $615, AU$840 or £400) the most popular smartphones are budget, sub-$200 devices like Chinese handset maker Xiaomi’s RedMi range and products made by local brand Micromax.

I don’t know about others, but I’m fairly certain that I’m waiting it out for iPhone 7. Unless something happens to my current iPhone 6 and these prices drop over the next few months.

The Original LIFX Smart Bulb Gets a Price Cut to $60

LIFX Smart Bulb

LIFX is a family of LED Smart Bulbs. These bulbs connect to your router over Wi-Fi and can be controlled using an app on your smartphone or tablet. Because these bulbs are always connected to the internet, you can use the power of IFTTT recipes to customize their behavior and mould them to your liking. These bulbs also do not require any ‘Hub’ and work independently.

Currently there are 3 products in the LIFX family:

  1. The Original — 16 Million Colors and 1000 lumens
  2. White 800 — 1000 shades of white and 890 lumens
  3. Color 650 — Full Color Downlight and 650 lumens

I presently have two LIFX Original bulbs in my house, with a third one on its way. I purchased the first one 18 months ago and I love everything about it.

Today, the company has just announced that The Original LIFX bulb has received a price cut from retailing at $99.99 to just $59.99 now. If you’ve been on the fence about smart bulbs, now’s a good chance to grab one.

You can order The Original LIFX Smart Bulb from Amazon or directly from their website, with both offering you Free Shipping in the US.

Official Release Dates for Upcoming Disney Pixar Films

The official @DisneyPixar Twitter handle just tweeted out the official release dates for their upcoming films through 2019.

Release Dates for Disney Pixar Films

I am very excited for The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory, but not so much about Cars 3.