- July 26, 2012
Google warned Samsung against copying Apple with its Galaxy Tab designs, according to a new report. Citing an unredacted version of Apple’s trial brief for its U.S. trial against Samsung, AllThingsD reports that Apple claims Samsung was well aware of its products’ similarity to Apple’s iPhone and iPad, and that the company discussed the fact internally. “Samsung’s documents show the similarity of Samsung’s products is no accident or, as Samsung would have it, a ‘natural evolution,’” Apple claims in its brief. “Rather, it results from Samsung’s deliberate plan to free-ride on the iPhone’s and iPad’s extraordinary success by copying their iconic designs and intuitive user interface. Apple will rely on Samsung’s own documents, which tell an unambiguous story.”
Apple then points to purported evidence showing that Google told Samsung in February 2012 that its “P1 and “P3” tablets—which became the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1—were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.” Samsung’s own Product Design Group purportedly noted that it was “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models, a thought that was repeated by a group of famous designers who said the device “looked like it copied the iPhone too much” during a Samsung-sponsored evaluation. The trial between the two is set to kick off next week.
Apple has released updates to Pages, Numbers and Keynote for compatibility with the new iCloud Documents features in Mountain Lion and the corresponding Mac OS X updates released yesterday. The three apps, now at version 1.6.1, simply now list that they work with iCloud to make documents, spreadsheets and presentations automatically available between iOS devices and the corresponding Mac OS X applications, with changes made on one device now being “instantly available” on the other. The three iWork apps for iOS were originally updated to add iCloud support last fall with the initial debut of iCloud in iOS 5, allowing users to share documents, spreadsheets and presentations between multiple iOS devices. However, iCloud support did not come to iWork for the Mac until yesterday’s release of OS X Mountain Lion; these latest iOS updates appear to be primarily focused on ensuring compatibility with iCloud on the Mac. Pages, Numbers and Keynote 1.6.1 are universal apps and require iOS 5.1 or later. Each is sold separately from the App Store for $10.
Apple has released a minor update to its Podcasts app focused on performance, stability and usability improvements. Originally released last month, the new standalone Podcasts app is designed to replace the Podcast playback functionality previously incorporated into the iOS Music app with additionl features such as the ability to search for and subscribe to new podcasts and download or stream podcast episodes over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection.
In addition to listing “significant improvements to performance and stability,” the Podcasts 1.0.1 update adds several small user interface tweaks, including displaying the number of unplayed episodes for each Podcast in the user’s library, displaying the Podcast titles in Top Stations in place of missing artwork, remembering the last-used playback speed when switching between episodes, and fixing problems with the Subscribe button and Top Stations artwork. Podcasts 1.0.1 is a universal app requiring iOS 5.1 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
- July 26, 2012
Reporting its second quarter 2012 financial results, Sprint has revealed that it sold “nearly” 1.5 million iPhones during the period. According to the company, 40 percent of of those were purchased by new postpaid customers; these numbers compare with sales of 1.5 million and 44 percent, respectively, in the first quarter. Sprint posted a net loss of $1.4 billion for the quarter, noting that over $1.1 billion was accounted for by the shutdown of the Nextel network and lease exit costs for related sites, as well as an “impairment” related to Sprint’s investment in Clearwire.
- July 25, 2012
- Apps + Games
Denys Yevenko has released Cloud Outliner, a new iOS application designed for easily creating and organizing ideas across multiple devices. Cloud Outliner provides a full-featured editor that employs touch-based drag-and-drop gestures for creating and editing outlines along with the ability to select multiple rows to reorder, indent or delete in a single operation and copy and paste rows between different outlines and other iOS apps. Outlines can optionally incorporate checkboxes and users can hide checked rows and view outlines in either portrait or landscape orientation. Outlines can be synchronized to an Evernote account as well as across multiple iOS devices via iCloud where they can be edited from any device and users can also send outlines via e-mail in either plain text or OPML format and import OPML outlines from other applications. Cloud Outliner is a universal app requiring iOS 4.0 or later, with iOS 5.0 required for iCloud support and is available from the App Store for $3.
- July 25, 2012
- iPhone Accessories
Michiel Cornelissen is now offering The Wrap cable organizer. Designed to work with the iPhone’s included charger, The Wrap connects to the charger’s USB port, adding an extra pair of prongs to the side opposite the charging prongs, enabling the entire thing to be used as a cord winder, complete with a pair of hands for holding cords in place. Michiel Cornelissen’s The Wrap is available now and sells for $10. [via Gizmodo]
Apple has released an update to its universal iTunes U app adding new note-taking and sharing features and improvements to searching within the app. iTunes U 1.2 now allowed users to take notes directly in the app while watching or listening to a lecture. An improved search feature now allows users to search for text within posts, assignments, notes and other course materials from any of their subscribed courses, and users can now also share their favourite courses with friends via Twitter, Mail or Messages. iTunes U 1.2 is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Id America has rolled out its new Metropolitan in-ear headphones. The Metropolitan features a lightweight aluminum housing in one of six colors, an in-line remote and mic module, a tangle-free fabric cord, three included sizes of earbuds for a precise fit, and an included microfiber carrying pouch. Id America’s Metropolitan in-ear headphones are available now and sell for $30.
During Apple’s third quarter 2012 financial results conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer made a number of comments related to Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod businesses.
Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, opened the conference call by calling attention to the company’s record June quarter, which he said was fueled primarily by strong iPhone and iPad sales.
He said that iPod sales, though down year-over-year, were ahead of internal projections, and as with the past few quarters, the iPod touch accounted for over half of iPod sales. U.S. share of the MP3 player market remained at over 70 percent. He added that iPhone is now available from over 250 carriers in over 100 countries, and said that the company estimates that the number of Fortune 500 iPhones has doubled over the last year.
Regarding iPad, Oppenheimer said the company was “thrilled” with sales. The company saw very strong year-over-year growth globally, and the iPad is now available in 97 countries. Just under one million iPads were sold into the education market during the quarter, and Oppenheimer said sales of iPad 2 in K-12 market were particularly strong. Notably, the iTunes U app has been downloaded over 14 million times, and over 700 new courses have been added.
Overall, over 410 million iOS devices have now been sold. The App Store now offers 650,000 apps, 225,000 of which are tailored to the iPad. Apple has now issued over $5.5 billion in payments to developers, and now boasts 150 million iCloud users.
During the Q&A session, both executives made several comments of interest.
Oppenheimer said that weekly iPhone sales continue to be impacted by rumors and speculation related to new products, a subject that would come up later, when Tim Cook replied to a pointed question about iPhone transitions. Cook said that he’s happy that people want the next thing, and added that he’s not going to put any energy into trying to get people to stop speculating about what the company may be doing next.
Discussing iPhone pricing in emerging markets, Cook said that the company has been very focused on China, seeing it as an enormous opportunity. He said that he firmly believed that people in emerging markets want great products, so Apple is going to stick to its “knitting,” and continue to make the best products it can.
Cook also discussed the iPad pricing umbrella, competing tablets, and the decision to offer the iPad 2 for $399 alongside the third-generation iPad. He said that iPad 2 did very well during the quarter. In terms of competition, he said Apple has seen tons of tablets come onto the market this year, and doesn’t think any of them have gained serious traction. He said the company is going to keep innovating in the space, and feels really confident about its momentum. Later, when discussing the iPad 2’s price point, he said that the company believed it would help drive elasticity, and it certainly helped in the K-12 market. He added that it’s been a big help to Apple, and he’s glad the company did it.
Discussing the Apple TV, Cook said that Apple sold 1.3 million in the third quarter, up over 170 percent year-over-year, bringing sales for the year to over 4 million. He said that’s still at a level that Apple would call a hobby, but it continue to invest in it, and there are a lot of people at Apple who are believers in Apple TV.
Finally, when asked if Passbook be a stepping stone to a digital wallet, he said that it’s a key feature, and that employees of Apple all found themselves receiving all these tickets and passes. He said it does a great job of pulling all those together in one place. He again called it an important feature, but said that he wouldn’t want to speculate on where it might lead.
Reporting its third quarter 2012 financial results today, Apple said it sold 26 million iPhones in the quarter, an 28 percent increase year-over-year, but down somewhat from 35.1 million units in the prior quarter. Apple sold 17 million iPads during the quarter, up 84 percent from the year-ago quarter and also up from 11.8 million units in the second quarter of 2012. Finally, the company said it sold 6.8 million iPods during the quarter — a 10 percent decrease compared to the same quarter last year. Unit sales of iPhones, iPads, and iPods bring the cumulative totals for the three device categories to 244.1 million, 84.08 million, and 351.08 million, respectively.
Apple posted revenue of $35.02 billion and net quarterly profit of $8.8 billion, or $9.32 per diluted share, compared with revenue of $28.57 billion and net quarterly profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share in Q3 2011. Revenue from Other Music Related Products and Services, which includes revenue from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore in addition to sales of iPod services and Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories, was 2.06 billion for the quarter, up 31 percent year-over-year but down four percent from the prior quarter. Apple’s Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on August 16, 2012, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on August 13, 2012.
“We’re thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we’ve got in the pipeline.”
“We’re continuing to invest in the growth of our business and are pleased to be declaring a dividend of $2.65 per share today,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $7.65.”
- July 24, 2012
RadioShack has announced that it is now offering “refreshed and remanufactured” Verizon and AT&T iPhones. According to the company, customers can receive a free iPhone 4 with an upgrade or new two-year contract, and can purchase 16GB iPhone 4S models for either carrier for $100; 32GB units run $150 on AT&T and $200 on Verizon, while only Verizon-ready 64GB units are available, at a price of $300. In addition, the Verizon models will come with a $50 RadioShack gift card. The company notes that “refreshed” phones are models that have been restored or repackaged internally and will not include a warranty, while “remanufactured” units are used phones provided by a third-party and do include warranties.
- July 24, 2012
- iPhone Accessories
Miveu has announced that its Miveu-X case and chest mount for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is now available. Recipient of an iLounge Best of Show Finalist Award at the 2012 CES, the Miveu-X is a system comprised of an iPhone case that clips over the rear of the phone, offering protection while adding a custom wide-angle lens and a dedicated shutter button. The case clips onto a flexible elastomer plate that’s worn on the chest, with straps running over the user’s shoulders and under his/her arms, allowing for a first-person POV when shooting video while leaving the user’s hands free. Miveu’s Miveu-X case and chest mount for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is available now and sells for $100.
- July 24, 2012
- iPhone Accessories
Scosche has announced that it is now shipping its Railkase for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Originally debuted at the 2012 International CES, the Railkase features a silicone inner layer for shock absorption and an anodized aluminum outer rail to guard against blunt force. The outer rail features a stainless steel quick release latch, so it requires no tools to install or remove, and the case also offers push-through coverage for the volume, Home, and sleep/wake buttons, and open access to all other ports, controls, and cameras. Scosche’s Railkase for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is available now in five colors and sells for $60.
- July 24, 2012
AT&T today released its second fiscal quarter financial results, and announced that it activated 3.7 million iPhones during the period. According to the company, 22 percent of those activations were new to AT&T. Overall, the company sold 5.1 million smartphones in the second quarter—with the iPhone accounting for roughly 73 percent of those—and smartphones represented 77 percent of AT&T’s postpaid device sales, meaning that the iPhone accounted for roughly 56 percent of the company’s total prepaid sales for the quarter. Apple report its third fiscal quarter financial results later today.
Apple has started to air its latest TV advertisement for the iPhone 4S. Entitled “Busy Day”, the 30-second spot continues Apple’s recent trend of using celebrities as typical users of Siri—in this case, Martin Scorsese. During the commercial, the famed director uses Siri to manage his schedule, check on the location of a friend using Find My Friends, and also check on traffic conditions, all from the back of a taxi. The new ad is available for viewing now on YouTube via the above link or in embedded form below.
Apple will indeed offer a 19-pin to 30-pin dock adapter alongside the next-generation iPhone, a new report claims. Citing sources who previously confirmed Apple’s plans to shift to a smaller dock connector, iMore suggests that the adapter will allow for the use of most 30-pin based accessories with future iOS devices. It notes that some accessories may, due to size or shape, be awkward or impossible to use with the new adapter, but that most should do fine. The report does not state whether Apple will include an adapter in the box with the next-gen iPhone, or sell it separately, but does claim that the adapter will be available for the iPhone’s launch. Notably, iMore has had a mixed track record in recent reporting on the new iPhone, initially casting doubt on reported screen and body changes before acknowledging them as accurate.
- July 23, 2012
- Apps + Games
Web Information Solutions has updated Pocket Informant, its personal information manager for iOS devices, adding universal and Retina Display support to the iPad version, an upgraded engine for better performance and stability and numerous other new features and enhancements. With Version 2.5, Pocket Informant HD has been renamed Pocket Informant Pro and is now a universal app adding iPhone and iPod touch support to the previously iPad-only version, while the basic iPhone edition of Pocket Informant remains non-universal but has been upgraded with the other new features and improvements.
Pocket Information 2.5 also introduces a online sync service designed specifically for Pocket Informant to allow users to keep their data synchronized across all of their devices, available as an optional in-app purchase. A rewritten iOS Event engine improves performance and allows users to choose between the custom Pocket Informant editor or the standard iOS editor. Users can also now assign multiple locations to a context and assign locations directly an individual task, complete with location alarms. Locations can be bookmarked and users can view recently used locations. Improvements have also been made to managing subtasks and calendar/tag filtering along with a new “Simple task” mode and several improvements to the date picker. Settings, audio notes and the database can also now be backed up and restored via Dropbox. The new version also improves synchronization with Google Tasks and updates Google Calendar support to accommodate the latest changes by Google and adds localizations in Turkish and Korean. Pocket Informant remains available from the App Store in two separate versions: Pocket Informant ($10) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Pocket Informant Pro ($12), a universal app supporting the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
- July 23, 2012
The U.S. Justice Department has released a document in which it calls the criticism of its eBook price-fixing settlement leveled by Apple and the publishers as “self-serving.” PaidContent reports that the document serves as a reply to the 868 public comments that were filed in response to the announced settlement, the vast majority of which were in opposition to the deal. In the reply, the Justice Department refuses to modify any parts of the settlement, and addresses Apple’s objections at length because of its “central role in the events leading to the underlying enforcement action.” Under the terms of the settlement, Apple and the settling publishers must terminate their existing “Apple Agency Agreements” within seven days of the settlement’s final approval, and can then sign new contracts — but are forbidden for two years from using clauses that limit retailers’ rights to discount. [via DF]
Dexim has announced that it is now shipping with ClickStik Bluetooth Remote + Camera Stand for iOS. Originally debuted at the 2012 CES, the ClickStik package includes a rechargeable Bluetooth remote that works with a dedicated app to allow for remote control over an iOS device’s shutter, as well as remote switching between still photo and video modes. Als included in the package is a universal device cradle, a mini-tripod, a micro-USB cable for charging, and a Velcro strap to allow for various other mounting situations. Dexim’s ClickStik Bluetooth Remote + Camera Stand is available now on Amazon and sells for $50.
- July 23, 2012
Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to sport a smaller, redesigned 19-pin dock connector on the bottom, according to a new report. Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters becomes the latest publication to join the growing chorus of outlets reporting on the existence of the smaller connector. The report claims that the 19-pin port was adopted to “make room for the earphone moving to the bottom”, but surprisingly makes no promises of a 30-pin to 19-pin adapter. For our take on the move to a smaller dock connector, see our Editorial article.