Hey there everyone, and welcome to this weeks T&R.
Ready for another Epic Tech Picture of the Week?! This one is relevant to our Netflix portion of T&R this week:
Let’s move on to this week. I’ve got the latest news regarding the Mac refreshes and the release of Mac OS X Lion. I’ve also got news regarding Netflix (and its disgruntled user base). Finally,Virgin Mobile makes some changes to its price plans. Here are the Tremors and Rumors for this week!
Mac OS X Lion Out Tomorrow(?), Massive Mac Refresh to Follow/Coincide? (Rumor)
MacRumors reports that Apple is preparing to release OS X Lion tomorrow, with an overnight planned for Apple employees tonight. On top of that, 9to5Mac reported that they had received some part numbers from their source “Mr. X” (that isn’t one bit conspicuous), possibly signaling the advent of new Mac models. Originally they were purportedly Mac Pro part numbers, but they have issued a correction to their post. Now it seems we will be seeing a new Macbook model (the white Macbook, which has been cast aside in favor of the much more popular Macbook Pro line) as well as an updated to the Mac Mini lineup. These two models are expected to receive the new Thunderbolt port, as well as the faster, more efficient Sandy Bridge Intel Core i processors. Watch for the Apple Store to close late tonight (if you’re in the States) – a refresh is coming soon! You can check out the latest features of Mac OS X Lion in our Basic and Advanced features articles!
Netflix Changes Price Tiers for Subscriptions, Subscribers Not Happy (Tremor)
Netflix has changed its price subscriptions for its DVD rental/video streaming service, to the outrage of some fans. The new plans are quite a change from before:
$7.99/month for 1 DVD-at-a-time
$11.99/month for 2 DVDs-at-a-time
(** There is no longer a combined unlimited DVDs + unlimited streaming)
$7.99/month for unlimited DVDs, 1-at-a-time, no streaming
$7.99/month for unlimited streaming, no DVDs
With the no-doubt rising costs of shipping physical discs and the slow but sure transition from physical to digital media in the home, Netflix probably sees this as a smart business move. All I’ve seen coming down the Twitter lines are complaints about the changes though. No surprises there – people don’t like to pay more – but it does make sense. Although a lot of people prefer physical discs to own, downloading and streaming videos is becoming very popular, especially because it’s instantaneous in many cases. Of course, digital media brings its own issues to the table, but with a relatively recent exclusivity deal for streaming House of Cards, I’m not surprised that their business model is beginning to shift.
Virgin Mobile, the contract-free subsidiary of Sprint Nextel, has let loose its plans for changes in some of its price plans. FierceWireless is reporting that Virgin, which runs on Sprint’s network and provides low to mid-range phones for its customers, will be increasing two of its Beyond Talk plans: The first, with 300 mins and unlimited text/data, will go from $25/month to $35/month. The other, the same plan with 1,200 minutes instead of 300, will increase from $40 to $45. It’s not all increases though: the unlimited everything plan will drop to just $55/month. And Virgin is completely dropping the $10 Blackberry Mobile fee. Apparently, the changes are being made because Virgin is transitioning from a pay-as-you-go service to a prepaid smartphone alternative. It’s a good choice – Virgin Mobile’s service is solid and it has an unlimited plan for under $60/month now (which is something none of the Big Three can come close to). It remains a cheaper, acceptable alternative to the priciest phones on the market.
This weeks T&R was a bit short – I’ll be sure to have plenty more for you next week!
Got questions? Heard any good rumors lately? Post in the comments or send us an email! (Thanks to Reddit for the image!)