Microsoft Surface tablet back-ordered

microsoft surface
microsoft surface

Call it round one of a Microsoft-Apple hardware heavyweight bout.

A few days before the expected rollout of Apple’s new tablets, all Microsoft Surface tablets are now officially back-ordered in the U.S.

A Microsoft representative confirmed with CNET today that delivery of three Surface RT modelshas been pushed back.

On Tuesday, the same day that sales were launched, the order status of the $499 model (32GB) quickly slipped to three weeks.

Now the $599 Surface with the black Touch Cover (keyboard/cover, 32GB) and the $699 Surface with the black Touch Cover (64GB) are back-ordered “one to two weeks.”

Microsoft also offered this statement.

Surface is available online in eight markets across the world: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Online availability adjusts based on orders and inventory. Regardless of online availability, beginning Oct. 26, 2012, all three Surface SKUs will be available for purchase at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores. Customers can go [here] to find the Microsoft Store nearest them.

Surface is the first Microsoft-branded PC, making it the first Microsoft computer to go head-to-head with Apple.

And Microsoft is injecting fresh competition into the PC market, too. Surface will compete with Windows 8 and Windows RT products from Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Lenovo, Asus, and others.

Apple may phase out iPad 2

apple ipad min

Tablet buyers may see the iPad 2 sink away as the iPad Mini prepares to surface, says Evercore Partners analyst Rob Cihra.

Chira said he thinks Apple could phase out the iPad 2 because the company’s vision leads toward “clearer product tiers,” according to AppleInsider. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Mini at a launch event on October 23.

Launched in March 2011, the 16GB iPad 2 is currently available through Apple at a price of $399 for the Wi-Fi only version and $529 for the Wi-Fi + 3G edition. In contrast, the new iPad starts at a price of $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version and shoots up to $829 for the 64GB model with Wi-Fi and 4G.

Apple has teased at a smaller iPad, using the term “we’ve got a little more to show you” on the invites for the October 23 event. But the company hasn’t yet officially announced any such device, so there’s been only speculation about it. Some reports say the smaller tablet will sport a 7.85-inch screen with the entry-level model offering 8GB of storage and Wi-Fi only access and a price tag of $249.

A few rumors have pinned November 2 as the date the new tablet will go on sale. A “source close to Apple’s supply chain” reportedly confirmed that date to TechCrunch as well.

Apple releases iOS 6.0.1 with over-the-air update tool

Apple has rolled out the first bug fix update to iOS 6 since the software’s release in mid-September.

Version 6.0.1, which went out as a free update this morning, fixes a handful of bugs, including one that Apple says kept iPhone 5 users from installing over-the-air software updates. Apple’s fix includes installing a special “iOS updater” app to help the process along, which is removed from the device after 6.0.1 is installed.

Also included in the update is a fix for a nasty Exchange bug that could delete a meeting for all invited attendees if one user declined an invitation. The issue could be so bad that some companies put into place specific workarounds, warning those with iOS 6 devices to keep from declining invites and use a computer instead.

Here’s the full change log:

 

  • Fixes a bug that prevents iPhone 5 from installing software updates wirelessly over the air
  • Fixes a bug where horizontal lines may be displayed across the keyboard
  • Fixes an issue that could cause camera flash to not go off
  • Improves reliability of iPhone 5 and iPod Touch (5th generation) when connected to encrypted WPA2 Wi-Fi networks
  • Resolves an issue that prevents iPhone from using the cellular network in some instances
  • Consolidated the Use Cellular Data switch for iTunes Match
  • Fixes a Passcode Lock bug that sometimes allowed access to Passbook pass details from lock screen
  • Fixes a bug affecting Exchange meetings

 

Here’s an image of the special installer for iPhone 5 users:


(Credit: CNET)

A report from Boy Genius Report late last month suggested Apple had iOS 6.0.1 in testing phases with all of the above fixes, with mention that the company was also at work on a more full-featured release of 6.1 for after the holidays.

As a frame of reference, it took Apple a little under a month to release iOS 5.0.1 following the release of iOS 5 last October. The release brought mostly bug and security fixes, though also added multitasking gestures for original iPad users. The jump to iOS 5.1, which reworked the camera application on the iPad, and increased the size limit for over-the-air app downloads, came about four months later.

According to Apple, iOS 6 adds “over 200 new features” to iOS 5. Chief among them is Apple’s own maps application, changes to Siri that add more information about movies, restaurants, and sports scores, as well as deep integration with Facebook.