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Apple introduces hi-res laptop, iPhone with Facebook

Apple on Monday announced a new laptop with a high-resolution display it says will contain 3 million more pixels than a high-def television.

The new “retina display” MacBook Pro measures 15.5 inches across and contains an Intel quad-core i7 processor. It will feature up to 16GB of memory and up to 768GB of internal flash storage, Marketing Vice President Phil Schiller told attendees at the company’s annual developers’ conference here.

Schiller said the new computer’s screen — the same high-res display that is in the company’s new iPad — is the highest-resolution display of any notebook, or simple laptop, on the market. Users will get up to 7 hours of battery life, he said.

The new MacBook Pro will retail for $2,199 for an 8GB model.

Schiller also unveiled upgraded MacBook Pros without high-res displays but with processors he said will be 60% faster than current models. The 13-inch model will sell for $1,199 to $1,499, depending on storage, while the 13-inch will be $1,799 and $2,199. They start shipping today, he said.

Schiller also introduced MacBook Air laptops with faster, new-generation Intel core processors. Prices for the 11-inch MacBook Air range from $999 to $1,199 — $100 less than before — while the 14-inch is $1,199 and $1,499. They also become available today, which explains why Apple’s online store was down Monday morning.

CEO Tim Cook kicked off the keynote at the company’s first World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) since co-founder and longtime chief Steve Jobs died last fall.

As usual, Cook began the keynote with a batch of new stats about Apple’s impressive growth. The App Store now has 400 million accounts — the largest number of accounts with credit cards anywhere on the Internet, he said. Some 650,000 apps are now available.

“Customers have now downloaded an astounding 30 billion apps,” Cook said.

Apple has sometimes used past WWDCs to unveil new iPhones. But because its most recent model, the iPhone 4S, launched only eight months ago, most observers don’t expect the next one to come until the fall.

Facebook Integration

Fresh off a disappointing initial public offering, Facebook is getting a big boost from Apple, which is building the social network deep into its iPhone and iPad software.

With the next version of Apple’s software, users will be able to update their Facebook status by talking to their phones.

Users will also be able to “Like” movies and apps in Apple’s iTunes store, Apple executive Scott Forstall said in San Francisco at Apple’s annual developers’ conference.

Siri, Apple’s voice-command application, will add a host of new languages, including Spanish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese, Forstall said. “She” will also be able to launch applications and movies.

Apple hasn’t said when the new software, iOS 6, will be available. It will run on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.

KESQ News Team

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