The Apple Roundup: Did Sharp just violate Apple partner rule No. 1?

Here’s our daily pick of stories about Apple from around the web that you shouldn’t miss. Today’s installment: Sharp’s president hints at coming iPhone, why annoyance at Apple’s new round of ads isn’t new, the Mac’s growth trajectory, and pics of Apple mysterious new NC facility.

Photos: Next-gen solar tech at Intersolar

One of the largest solar conferences in the U.S., Intersolar, kicked off on Tuesday in downtown San Francisco, and is expected to draw around 22,000 attendees in the solar and power sectors this week. Here’s photos of the latest solar gear shown across two floors.

The global solar industry aims at Japan

Japan plans to close its last nuclear reactor this weekend, a move that will take nuclear power out of its energy supply for the first time since 1966. Among those who will celebrate that will be solar companies as Japan gets ready to boost its renewable energy production and opens up its market more to non-Japanese players.

Innovations emerge to boost solar panel power

Power electronics that can boost energy production from solar panels has emerged in recent years as a favorite among venture capital investors. On Monday, that trend continues with the announcement that an Israeli startup, SolarEdge, has raised $37 million from VCs.

Solar Millennium sells off massive solar project pipeline

Remember that gigawatt solar farm called Blythe in California that turned down a $2.1 billion federal loan guarantee? That project and 1.25 GW of other solar farm proposals are being sold by Solar Millennium to Solarhybrid, the two German companies said Thursday.

Solar Monitoring Startup Fat Spaniel Sold!

Inverter maker Power-One has bought venture-backed Fat Spaniel Technologies, adding to a list of renewable energy acquisitions this year. The deal is necessary for Fat Spaniel which has endured a tough market.

Sharp Launches Galapagos: E-books and Tablets

Japanese consumer electronics giant Sharp has entered into both the e-book and Android tablet business with the announcement of the Galapagos cloud media service. Galapagos will launch initially in Japan in December, and will offer e-books, magazines and newspapers with automatic push delivery.

Sharp Buys Solar Developer Recurrent Energy for $305M

Why develop your own project pipelines when you can just buy them? That seems to be a strategy among large solar electric equipment manufacturers such as Sharp, which announced Tuesday its plan to buy Recurrent Energy for about $305 million in cash.


Is Energy Management the Killer App For the Home Automation Market?

The market for home automation technology is kind of like recycling: Many talk about the benefits, but a lot fewer end up participating. That’s always been the problem with home automation products; gadgets and networks that are installed in homes and enable users to wirelessly and remotely manage digital security, entertainment systems, and appliances have sparked some popular interest, but never mass-market adoption. Only 2.8 million home automation systems are expected to be shipped in 2011, according to data from ABI Research.

But today home-automation companies like Control4 and AlertMe are using their products as a door into the emerging home energy management market. By either repackaging existing technologies or adding on new energy-focused divisions, the startups see an opportunity to piggy-back on an industry that is set to benefit from the vast amounts of stimulus money that will be invested in the smart grid ecosystem. Add to that growing interest from some early adopters looking to cut home energy bills and carbon footprints, and some are wondering: will energy management really be able to deliver the killer app that could kick start the slow-moving home automation market?

Comcast out of the Mouse Trap

Comcast has finally called off its bid for Disney. Brian L. Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast, said “We have…