- March 10, 2011
According to the latest data from IDC, Apple’s iPad accounted for 73 percent of the 10.1 million media tablets shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010. The research firm states that although this number was down from 93 percent share in the third quarter, it still expects Apple to maintain a 70-80% share of the market in 2011. “Strong holiday sales of media tablets were in line with IDC projections and strong consumer interest in the category while device vendors scrambled to offer products competitive with Apple’s iPad and now iPad 2,” said Loren Loverde, vice president, IDC Consumer Device Trackers. “Media Tablets are on pace to reach shipments of roughly 50 million units in 2011.” Overall, Apple held an 83 percent share of all tablets shipped in 2010.
As noted in our Instant Expert article, some second-generation Apple TV users are finding that their International NBA League Pass subscription does not include access to the new NBA League Pass feature of the Apple TV. According to an email from the NBA League Pass service posted on Apple’s discussion boards, “The application you are looking at on Apple TV is for the US League Pass which is a different product for the International League Pass. At this time NBA International League Pass does not have an Apple TV application.”
Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) have entered into an agreement that will see the latter make the A5 dual-core processor on a foundry basis, according to a new report. Citing anonymous sources, EETimes reports that the deal could be a blow for Samsung, which makes the A4, although it notes that it’s unclear whether Samsung will also make A5 chips for Apple. According to one source, Apple will use TSMC because Samsung competes with the iPhone and iPad, because TSMC has the highest yielding 40-nm process, and because it has the most 40-mm capacity.
In a recent interview with Tech Radar, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson made several complimentary comments about Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs. When asked about the biggest name in technology, Branson responded “Steve Jobs,” adding, “I hope he gets through his current illness. He’s the entrepreneur in the world I most admire and I think [Apple] is the brand I most admire.” Continuing, he said, “[Jobs] is the greatest comeback artist as well. He’s twice been down and out and fought his way back and created a brilliant global company. Everything he does is real class and if he wants to rename his company Virgin Apple I’d be happy to merge! It’s a great brand and a great company and may he get well soon.”
- March 9, 2011
Google has announced that its Instant Previews feature is now available on select mobile devices, including those running iOS 4.0 or later. The feature places a magnifying glass icon next to each search result, allowing the user to hop between traditional results and visual search results that provide a swipe-through gallery of site snapshots. To take advantage of the new feature, simply do a Google search from any iOS 4.x device.
M.I.C. Gadget has obtained what it claims is a “engineered prototype” iPhone leaked from Foxconn’s factory in Shenzhen. The device, which is in a working state and contains 64GB of internal storage, is physically similar to the iPhone 4 prototype photographed by Gizmodo last year. As Mac Rumors notes, the device’s serial number indicates that it was produced in early 2010, meaning it is more likely evidence that Apple considered releasing a 64GB iPhone 4 model than evidence of any future 64GB iPhone model from Apple.
A number of UK mobile carriers have announced their plans for the iPad 2. According to posts on the Twitter accounts of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK PR Manager Conor Maples, both T-Mobile and Orange—collectively known as Everything Everywhere—will be selling the iPad 2 in the UK once it’s made available in the country “later this month.” O2, meanwhile, has confirmed that will not be stocking the iPad 2, but will allow customers to use the carriers’ Pay & Go Mobile Broadband iPad tariffs. [via Macworld UK]
TiVo is considering offering live streaming of content from the company’s DVR boxes to the iPad, according to a recent survey. Engadget reports that several readers have reported receiving surveys from TiVo in which they’re asked their opinion on an option to “stream live TV, DVR recordings and TV shows from a cable company’s On Demand library to one’s iPad.” As is typical with surveys, the wording of this question is in no way confirmation that such a feature is coming, but is instead evidence that the company is exploring the possibility.
- March 4, 2011
Apple has introduced Joint Venture, a new Retail Store program aimed at small businesses. Under the plan, businesses pay $499 a year for up to five systems—each of which can include a Mac, two displays, an iPhone, an iPod, an iPad, and Apple peripherals—and in return get help from Apple in setting up the computers, transferring any necessary data, and installing any software, up to three in-store training sessions a year, a number for phone-based Apple Genius support, a dedicated Joint Venture website, and, should a covered system need service, access to a loaner MacBook while the system is down. For more information, see Apple’s dedicated Joint Venture webpage.
AT&T has confirmed that it will offer support for the Personal Hotspot feature of iOS 4.3 at launch, according to Electronista. The feature expands on iOS’ prior tethering feature, allowing up to five devices to share an iPhone 4’s cellular data connection over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB. Notably, the feature will cost the same amount—$20 with 2GB of extra data on top of the $25/2GB data plan—as the prior tethering option. The carrier has also announced that it will offer postpaid billing options for tablets, allowing users to choose between the $15/250MB or $25/2GB plans, add the plans to existing monthly wireless statements, and pay at the end of the month. Unlike with the prepaid plans, users who exceed their monthly data allotment are charged $10 for each 1GB of overage, instead of having to pay for a second monthly term at the $15 or $25 price levels.
Following Apple’s announcement of the iPad 2, Lee Don-joo, senior vice president of Samsung’s mobile unit, made several comments related to the new device, according to the Yonhap News Agency. Comparing it to Samsung’s recently announced Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, he said, “We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate,” adding, “Apple made it very thin.” Lee also appeared to be concerned with pricing, saying that “The 10-inch (Galaxy Tab) was to be priced higher than the 7-inch but we will have to think that over.”
Speaking with reporters at a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou said that Apple CEO Steve Jobs wants to make a version of the iPhone that works on the carrier’s proprietary TD-SCDMA 3G network. “Jobs has said he’s very interested in developing an iPhone that will run on TD,” he said. China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile carrier with over 580 million subscribers as of January.
A new report claims Apple is considering using a four-inch screen in the fifth-generation iPhone. Citing upstream component suppliers, DigiTimes reports that production lines for the next-generation iPhone have begun testing, and that Apple is interested in expanding the screen size of the iPhone to four inches to help it compete with Android in the four- to seven-inch smartphone/tablet market. Notably, an increase in screen size without a similar increase in resolution could leave Apple marketing a four-inch “Retina” display that has fewer pixels per inch (ppi) than the 3.5-inch version from the prior model.
Verizon has announced a new promotion for its FiOS bundles that includes a “free” iPhone 4. If a customer signs up for FiOS TV + FiOS Internet + home phone service on a two-year contract and a $200 Visa Prepaid Card which can be used towards the purchase of an iPhone. In addition, customers who sign up for the bundle and add Verizon Wireless service to the package receive an extra $9.99/month discount.
AT&T has started to air a new television commercial for the iPhone 3GS. Referred to in the commercial as “the phone that changed everything,” the 8GB iPhone 3GS appears in front of a plain background as the 30-second spot highlights the device’s recently-dropped $49 price tag. The spot is likely another move by AT&T to retain as many iPhone customers as possible, as Verizon doesn’t have an equivalent iPhone model—at an equivalent price—to offer customers, although that situation could change following the announcement of the fifth-generation model.
Speaking in an interview in Barcelona, Spain, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made several positive comments relating to the end of iPhone exclusivity in the United States. “It’s good for the industry, you can’t turn on a TV now without seeing an Apple commercial,” Stephenson told Bloomberg. “So the iPhone is getting broadly promoted.” He also admitted that his company would lose some customers to Verizon Wireless, saying, “When you have an iconic device and you lose exclusivity to another carrier, it’ll have an effect, obviously. Verizon is going to have a lot of success with the iPhone, just like we did.”
- February 7, 2011
Apple has hired a new team of lobbyists to represent its interests in Washington, D.C. Citing official lobbying disclosures, Politico reports that Apple hired the firm Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock on February 1 to handle “innovation” issues for the company. The report notes that Apple spent just over $1.6 million on lobbying in 2010, compared to the almost $7 million spent by Microsoft during the same period. Among the lobbyists at the firm are president Mark Isakowitz, who spent time on former President George W. Bush’s transition team, Kirk Blalock, who served under Bush as special assistant and deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison, and Kristen Chadwick, another former Bush special assistant.
Some NFL teams are considering abandoning physical playbooks in favor of iPads, according to a new report. Citing Pete Walsh, head of technology for the Dallas Cowboys, Cnet reports that the Cowboys and at least a “couple” of other teams are considering the move, which could save them as much as 5,000 pages of paper printouts per game. Walsh also cited as a positive the ability to remotely wipe the device should it become lost, which could keep all the plays for the following week’s game from falling into opposition hands. Still, Walsh said all privacy and security concerns would have to be met before such a transition could be made, adding, “I’ve got that responsibility to the Jones family to make sure those [football] assets don’t get out there.”
Speaking in an interview with Beet.TV, Ann Derry, Editorial Director for Video and Television for the New York Times, said the paper was supplying reporters with iPhone 4s to record and upload video to the paper’s server. According to the report, the NYT is using an app made by Aspera to handle the file transfers; the first staffer to use the system was Andrew Ross Sorkin, who used it for his Davos coverage. The report describes the audio portion of Sorkin’s shot as “surprisingly good;” Derry herself called the iPhone 4 a “game changer” for the paper’s video news gathering operations. [via TUAW]
During yesterday’s Super Bowl, News Corp. aired a new commercial for The Daily, its new tablet-based newspaper. Touting the product as “the world’s first daily tablet newspaper,” the spot demonstrates several of the app’s features, and repeatedly shows it being displayed on an iPad, despite the fact that the commercial makes no direct reference to Apple’s tablet. The 30-second spot is available for viewing on YouTube or below in embedded form. Our full review of The Daily is available here.
- January 19, 2011
A new string has been found in the iOS 4.3 beta that suggests the iPad may be getting a proximity sensor in a future version. MacStories reports that the new string is tied to a property called “pad_case_lock,” and is described as a way to “Automatically lock and unlock your iPad when you close and open the iPad cover.” Such a feature would most likely require a proximity sensor, and could be of help to those who carry their iPads in folio-style or other covered cases. [Thanks, Mike]
Citing new text on Apple’s online stores, M.I.C. Gadget reports that Apple is now imposing a one per customer limit on iPhone 4 orders in both Hong Kong and China. The report speculates that the limitation is due to a combination of high demand and the prevalence of scalpers in the two markets.
Following an earlier report citing internal Best Buy information that AT&T is planning changes to its text messaging plans, GearLive is now citing similar documents which show that the big box retailer plans to steer customers away from the Verizon iPhone. According to the document, Verizon’s recent focus at CES was on 4G, LTE-enabled devices—devices which Best Buy apparently plans to push on customers—while the iPhone 4 will “still be puttering at EVDO speeds.”
Mobile analytics company Zokem has posted the results of its 2010 Mobile Life panel in the U.S. According to the study of over 1,500 smartphone users, the iPhone had the highest loyalty ranking of any smartphone platform—more than 80 percent higher than Google’s Android—and among non-iPhone users, the number one preference for the next smartphone is iPhone, although users of Blackberries and Android devices are still more likely to choose a similar device than switch from their current platform with their next smartphone purchase.
- September 20, 2010
Rovi Corp. has announced a multi-year licensing deal with Apple that allows it to use Rovi’s technology. The Wall Street Journal reports that Rovi declined to provide more details as to exactly what technologies Apple was interested in. According to Rovi’s website, the company “licenses leading interactive program guide (IPG) and digital content protection technologies to third parties to facilitate navigation of digital entertainment media and protect valuable assets. ”
Apple has reportedly acquired Polar Rose, a small Swedish company that specializes in facial recognition. Norwegian website Mac1.no reports (Translated Link) that the company offers several products based on its technology, including FaceCloud, a facial recognition service for websites, and FaceLib, which offers similar functionality on mobile phones. The company also makes a product called Recognizr that can store an image of a person and then recognize that user in a video stream, which could potentially allow products to recognize users using a forward facing camera and customize the user experience based on their preferences. [via AppleInsider]
Best Buy CEO has issued a statement backpedaling from a recent quote attributed to him that said the iPad had cannibalized sales of laptop PCs by as much as 50%. “The reports of the demise of these devices are grossly exaggerated,” Dunn said. “While they were fueled in part by a comment in the Wall Street Journal that was attributed to me, they are not an accurate depiction of what we’re currently seeing. In fact, we see some shifts in consumption patterns, with tablet sales being an incremental opportunity. And as we said during our recent earnings call, we believe computers will remain a very popular gift this holiday because of the very distinct and desirable benefits they offer consumers. That’s why we intend to carry a broad selection of computing products and accessories to address the demand we anticipate this season.”
O2 in the UK has reduced the amount of data it is offering iPad users on its data plans. 3G.co.uk reports that the carrier’s £15 plan now offers only 2GB of data instead of the previous 3GB, and that the £2 daily plan now offers only 200MB, down from 500MB. O2 says the previous limits were based on a promotion which was scheduled to end on September 30, although the report claims that the company gave no mention of the expiration date in its promotional materials advertising the tariffs.
- September 9, 2010
The sixth-generation iPod nano’s OS contains code that points to potential video playback features. Erica Sadun of TUAW reports that the device’s internal settings property list contains options for captions and alternative audio, hinting that video playback support may be added to the device sometime in the future; it is also possible that this code is simply left over from the prior iPod nano OS.
Apple has re-enabled the iPhone’s Field Test mode in iOS 4.1, Gizmodo reports. To activate Field Test mode, simply dial *3001#12345#*—once activated, the phone’s signal bars will change to a negative number, with higher negative values equaling reduced signal strength. Users can switch between the numeric and bar signal strength indicators by tapping on the designated signal reporting area, and can leave the testing mode by pressing the Home button.
Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand’s top mobile phone operator, has announced plans to offer the iPhone 4 in the coming months. Reuters reports that Singapore Telecommunications owns 21% of AIS, which will become the third iPhone carrier in the country, behind True Move and Total Access Communication. No pricing or further release information has yet been announced.
TomTom has announced that it will offer free adapters to owners of its Car Kit for iPhone allowing the accessory to work with the iPhone 4. Current customers will be able to claim their free adapter beginning tomorrow on a dedicated webpage; the company began shipping the adapter in the Car Kit packaging on September 1st.
- September 8, 2010
Wired Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson recently tweeted that a T-Mobile manager “casually mentioned to [him] that they’re going to get the iPhone 3GS (but not 4, oddly) later this year,” and asked if this was common knowledge. As Business Insider points out, it is odd that Anderson would broadcast this rumor over Twitter instead of giving it to one of Wired’s reporters to research and report.
Asymco has posted an analysis of Apple’s recent announcement that it has sold 120 million iOS devices, using it to estimate total iPod touch sales to date. Based on sales of 59.6 million iPhones sold through June, and 3.2 million iPads sold, along with estimates of 8 million iPhones and 4 million iPads sold during August and July, Apple has sold 45.2 million iPod touch units, or 37.7% of all iOS devices sold thus far.
According to an internal Google document obtained by Advertising Age, Apple spent just under $1 million on AdWords advertising during June. This compares to the Google’s top advertisers Expedia, which spent $5.9 million, Amazon, which spent $5.8 million, and eBay, which spent $4.2 million in June.
For the launch of the fourth-generation iPod touch with FaceTime, Apple has put up new window treatments (Pictured) at its retail stores, highlighting the ability to do FaceTime calls between the iPhone 4 and the iPod touch 4G. A larger version of the image appears below.
- September 6, 2010
iLounge will be only modestly updated today as our editors celebrate Labor Day. We hope you, your family, and friends enjoy a relaxing holiday together.
iOS 4.1 will be released for the iPhone and iPod touch on September 8, 2010, according to a small banner on Apple’s United Kingdom website. The text, which has since reverted to ‘Coming Soon,’ did not appear on the United States Apple site, but is likely to be accurate. A subsequent release of iOS 4.2 to let iPad users in on the fun is still planned for November. (via Macworld UK)
The new iPod touch 4G packs a vibrating motor, apparently to signal incoming FaceTime requests while the device is in silent mode, notes an FCC teardown of the new device. This motor adds one of the few remaining iPhone hardware features that previously differentiated the iPod touch from its more powerful cousin; it is likely activated and deactivated in Settings, as the iPod touch has no ringer switch. (via MacRumors)
China Unicom will begin offering Micro SIM-sized “USIM” cards for the iPad beginning tomorrow, September 1, according to a new report. Chinese-language Sina reports (Translated Link) that the card is primarily aimed at customers importing iPads from other markets, as the official launch date for the iPad in China has yet to be announced.
The Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock, U.K., has moved all its students away from pen and paper and onto iPads. The Daily Record reports that the move was the idea of Frasier Speirs, the school’s IT teacher, who also happens to be an accomplished Mac and iOS developer. Speirs wrote on his blog that the first day was an “unqualified success,” adding that he “got the impression that the kids were almost relieved to be working with iOS. I have no doubt that, for a lot of them, it’s already the OS they interact with most often.” [via MDN]
A quartet going by the name of “The iPad Orchestra” has been featured in an online video. The four members of the group each play a separate iPad, using the app Seline HD to simulate the sounds of the clarinet, cello, flute, and violin. The performance pf “Sweet Dream” by Ilya Plavunov captured in the video was given for a live audience on August 8th; the video is available for viewing in embedded form below.
Uzibull has introduced its new Ektopad case for the iPad (Pictured). The Ektopad is a silicone case featuring molded grips on the ends and back for gaming, an interior rib structure for added protection, openings on the corners for attaching the included woven elastic strap, openings for access to the headphone port, dock connector, power button, and orientation lock switch, push-through button covers for the volume buttons, and open access to the screen and Home button. Uzibull’s Ektopad case for the iPad is available now and sells for $40.
- August 18, 2010
Apple has posted a new job listing seeking a full time iTunes Pan-EU Label Relations representative. According to the posting, the job will involve “securing comprehensive and innovative promotions around key releases,” “foster[ing] the relationship with the key account managers at the record labels, making iTunes the most important partner in helping the label to drive the digital market,” and helping to “coordinate and implement European wide projects for iTunes.” The employee will report to Carl Ekdahl, head of iTunes Pan EU, and will be based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
HBO recently revealed that it plans to offer its HBO Go streaming service to iPad users within six months. Speaking in an interview, HBO Co-President Eric Kessler said the company holds cable and Internet rights to films from Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox and Universal, none of which it plans to share with emerging rival Netflix. “There is value in exclusivity,” Kessler said, adding that consumers “are willing to pay a premium for high quality, exclusive content.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has indicated that his company would like to reach a deal with HBO to offer the company’s TV show and movie catalog via Netflix’ own online streaming service.
Lucasfilm’s online Star Wars shop is now taking pre-orders for an R2-D2 hard case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS (pictured). According to a concept image on the case’s store listing, the case will feature R2-D2-inspired graphics, “sculpted details,” and open access to all ports and controls, possibly with pass-though button covers for the volume and power buttons. The R2-D2 Hard Case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS sells for $30 and is expected to ship in October.
Millennial Media has released its Mobile Mix report for July 2010 (PDF Link), with Apple continuing its run as the leading device manufacturer on Millennial’s network. Apple represented nearly 35% of all impressions on the network in July, with the iPhone representing 25% of all mobile phone requests. iOS was the leading OS on the network, with a 55% share of impressions, and ad requests from iPad units grew 327% month-over-month. Millennial Media’s numbers are based on impressions served on its network of mobile sites and apps, which reaches 81% of the U.S. mobile audience, according to the company.
- August 17, 2010
Apple has been awarded two new U.S. patents related to the iOS’s slide to unlock screen and on-screen keyboard. The patents, each entitled “Animated graphical user interfaces for a display screen or portion thereof,” relate solely to the user interface elements’ ornamental design and not to the actual function of the objects.
A large number of albums from English rock band Pink Floyd have been removed from the iTunes Store and other digital storefronts due to the expiration of a contract between the band and its label EMI. AppleInsider notes that the band’s contract covering all works since Dark Side of the Moon—including well-known recordings such as The Wall and Wish You Were Here—expired on June 30, paving the way for the removal of the albums. The report also mentions that Pink Floyd won a lawsuit against EMI in March, in which a U.K. court determined that the band could keep EMI from selling its songs as singles as opposed to full albums.
Online video sharing service Vimeo has launched its new “Universal Player” which allows users to embed video in iOS-friendly HTML5 format. According to a post on the company’s blog, the Universal Player can automatically detect what kind of device is viewing the video and choose the correct player based on the device’s capabilities. Previously, Vimeo only served HTML5 video from its own website.
iSkin has introduced its new Pulse Sports+ case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The Pulse Sports+ is made from two layers of Microban-treated silicone, the outer layer of which provides reinforcement while doubling as a hand band. It features built-in port protectors, open access to the screen, ring/silent switch and camera, and push-through button covers. The iSkin Pulse Sports+ case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now in five colors and sells for $30.
- August 9, 2010
AT&T may be indicating that its iPhone exclusivity deal with Apple is nearing its end. In a recent 10Q filing, AT&T added new language citing the end of exclusivity agreements for a “number of attractive handsets.” The Wall Street Journal, citing CLSA’s Steven Fox, notes that the language was not in the company’s prior 10Q. In addition, AT&T also said that it does not expect any such exclusivity terminations to have “a material negative impact” on Wireless segment income.
Apple has added new functionality to iAds that lets developers sell apps directly from within iAds, eliminating the need to launch the App Store. 9 to 5 Mac reports that the new ads are essentially the equivalent of an App Store page, and that developers can use the money/credit they earn in iAds to promote their apps through the new advertisement type, helping Apple to fill ad slots.
Warner Music’s growth in revenue from digital music sales fell for the second year in a row, contrasting with iTunes’ growth over the same period to provide a small suggestion of how much app sales have meant to iTunes’ revenue. Asymco notes that Warner’s digital music revenues grew just 3.7 percent in the past quarter, leading CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. to say that the company is looking “beyond the iTunes model” to boost growth. By contrast, Warner’s digital music revenues grew 4.5 percent a year ago and 39 percent the year before, while iTunes’ revenues have grown by 27%, 17% and 35% over the same periods, respectively.
Apple has altered its paid application contract to let developers offer education discounts on bulk app purchases. Mac|Life has posted the relevant language, which states, “[t]his amendment enables you to offer a 50% discount to education institutions on multiple copies of the same app as described in Section 3.1 in the amendment above. If you agree to participate, you can apply the discount to individual apps in the Manage Your Applications module, or you can apply it to all of your current apps at once.”
- July 20, 2010
Apple will announce its third quarter 2010 earnings later today. As it has done in the past, the company also plans to conduct a conference call to discuss its third fiscal quarter results; the call will begin at 2:00 p.m. PST and will be available as an audio webcast.
Apple has responded to an inquiry from the House of Representatives into its location data collection techniques. According to Cnet, the 13-page letter explains that Apple previously shared information with Google and Skyhook, but now keeps its database of call tower locations, Wi-Fi access points, and anonymous GPS coordinates to itself. It does not collect any personally identifying data, such as SSIDs or data.
According to the latest data from IDC, 66% of current iPhone owners will delay their purchase of the iPhone 4 because of the handset’s well-documented antenna and reception issues. Macworld UK reports that despite the low numbers among current owners, 74% of those who don’t own an iPhone and plan to purchase one said the ongoing issues would not delay their plans. ““It looks like a perfect example of the difference between behavioral economics and market economics,” said Will Stofega, a mobile device analyst for IDC. “The iPhone 4 clearly isn’t working as it should, Apple’s saying that ‘We’ll give you a Bumper,’ but people seem committed to the iPhone. Many of them see this as overblown, and that Apple will fix it.”
Apple’s need to initially delay shipments of white iPhone 4 units was due to problems at Lens Technology, a small Chinese company responsible for transforming fine raw glass into the final iPhone glass panel. Engadget reports that the company’s factory is still working on the right combination of paint thickness and opacity to allow for attachment of the digitizer while keeping the panel the correct color of white. The report goes on to state that Lens can currently only match half of Apple’s demand, posing a bottleneck to the supply chain.
- July 14, 2010
Speaking at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., Microsoft COO Kevin Turner made several disparaging remarks about the iPhone 4, according to a Computerworld report. “It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I’m okay with that,” Turner said, referencing Microsoft’s replacement for Windows XP that was heavily criticized. He later poked fun at the phone’s reception issues, saying, “one of the things I want to make sure you know today is that you’re going to be able to use a Windows Phone 7 and not have to worry about how you’re holding it to make a phone call.”
A new NPD survey of over 3,800 iTunes users age 13 and up has revealed strong demand for Apple streaming options. Paid Content reports that based on the results, between seven and eight million iTunes users in the U.S. would have “strong interest” in a $10/month streaming service, with even higher demand—in the 13-15 million range—when free streaming access to users’ own iTunes libraries is included.
Apple is preparing to roll out a number of changes to its Genius Bar service areas at its retail stores. Mac Rumors reports that the changes will include active queue management, which will see other qualified employees more over to the Genius Bar as need to help handle walk-ins, the ability for technicians to handle more than one customer at a time when the first customer’s appointment is running long due to lengthy diagnostics or other time-consuming activities, a push for completing overnight repairs while removing some of the focus on “while you wait” repairs, and MobileGenius software deployed on iPod touch units around the store to allow other employees to provide rudimentary support while reducing clutter at the Genius Bar.
The iPhone was the subject of the “Top Ten” list on last night’s episode of the Late Show with David Letterman. Entitled “Top Ten Signs You’ve Purchased a Bad iPhone,” the list included reasons ranging from slightly humorous to slightly gross, but serves as yet another example of negative press for Apple due to the iPhone 4’s ongoing issues.
- July 7, 2010
A white iPhone 4 has been obtained and unboxed, with the photographs posted online. M.I.C. Gadget has posted photos of the delayed handset’s box, as well as the device itself, including the proximity and ambient light sensor holes above the earpiece speaker.
SparkPlug Industries has introduced the SparkPlug Flash for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The dock-connecting accessory features a cluster of four LEDs on the rear to illuminate photos, and a touch sensor for controlling the light. The SparkPlus Flash for the iPhone 3G and 3GS is available now and sells for $20.
Apple has started accepting iPhone 4 LED flashlight applications submitted to the App Store. Mac Rumors reports that developer Michael D’Ulisse submitted his Flashlight - For iPhone 4 app on June 25, but was told by Apple that such apps would be rejected as “inappropriate use of hardware.” D’Ulisse appealed to Apple executive Phil Schiller, who reportedly met with the App review department and got the guidelines changed to allow in D’Ulisse’s app and others like it. Notably, the same effect can be achieved by simply turning the flash to “On” when the Camera application is open and in video mode.
The iPad is gaining traction in a number of large corporations, according to a Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile. According to the article, Wells Fargo SAP, Tellabs, and Mercedes-Benz are all working to integrate the tablet into the company’s workflows, with Megan Minich, a Wells Fargo senior vice-president, saying that the company has “got a bunch ordered that we can’t get yet.”
- July 1, 2010
Apple has released an updated configuration profile that claims to fix problems with Exchange ActiveMail syncing some users were experiencing after upgrading their devices to iOS 4. According to Apple’s support document on the issue, some users were noticing “that Exchange ActiveSync Mail, Contacts, or Calendars do not sync, or sync very slowly. In addition, some Exchange Server administrators may notice their servers running slowly.” To fix the issue, users simply need to download the new configuration file, which is linked on the support page, install, and reboot their devices.
iFixIt has posted a teardown of the gyroscope found within the iPhone 4. According to the brief article, the microelectromechanical system (MEMS) chip consists of a plate, called a “proof mass,” that gets displaced when a user rotates the phone. A processor senses the proof mass’ displacement via capacitor plates, and converts the capacitive signals into a digital signal which is then sent to the phone’s processor.
GelaSkins has introduced its new line of skins for the iPhone 4. GelaSkins for the iPhone 4 (pictured) are cut to precisely fit the device, protecting the front, back, and, optionally, the sides—which the company suggests might help alleviate the reception issues caused when skin is in contact with the phone’s metal band. In addition, the skins feature 3M adhesive technology for easier application and residue-free removal, and include access to the GelaSkins wallpaper gallery. GelaSkins’ protective skins for the iPhone 4 are available now and sell for $15 each.
Oklahoma State University is planning to pilot an iPad initiative during the Fall 2010 semester with select courses. According to Macsimum News, the courses will be from the School of Media and Strategic Communications and the Spears School of Business at both the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses. The iPads will reportedly be used for academic purposes, as well as to explore innovative and tactical uses specific to each school’s industry needs. “We will evaluate the academic enhancement to the courses, how the iPad and its specific apps and web-based tools can be integrated in this capacity, and perhaps most importantly, how the integration of these mobile tools can expand the tactical abilities of students as they enter the workforce,” said Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis. “This pilot initiative will provide valuable insight into the research benefits of the Apple iPad in the classroom.”
- June 30, 2010
Core 77 has posted a lengthy interview with Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive, focused on the design of the iPhone 4. “A big part of the experience of a physical object has to do with the materials,” Ive said, discussing the design process behind Apple’s latest handset. “Whatever people’s feelings are about the actual design of the product is of course subjective. But objectively I can say that the manufacturing tolerances are phenomenal. And we determined this, we designed it from the very beginning to meet those goals.” Much more in the full interview.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently responded to a customer email promising HD video uploads from the iPhone 4 at some point down the road. MacDailyNews reports that a reader wrote Jobs, asking, “What’s the point of building in HD video capabilities when the compression upon uploading directly to youtube makes the video’s [sic] useless and not viewable?” Jobs reportedly responded, “You can upload them via a Mac or PC today. Over the air in the future,” referencing the fact that users currently have to sync HD videos over to their computer in order to perform full-resolution uploads.
Case Closed has introduced its new Wool Felt case (pictured) for the iPhone 4. Available in both horizontally- and vertically-opening varieties, these sleeve-like cases are made from 3mm-thick wool and feature colored ultrasuede tabs with Velcro closures to hold the device securely in the case. Case Closed’s Wool Felt cases for the iPhone 4 are available now and sell for £21, or roughly $31.
XO Skins is now offering its new Skin Protectors for the iPhone 4. These film-style protectors come with a bottle of application spray and an applicator/squeegee, and an instruction card, and are available in full-body or screen-only packages for $20 and $12, respectively.
- June 29, 2010
A number of users are reporting problems getting their iPhones and iPod touches to work with previously-compatible car stereo head units. Owners of Pioneer, JVC, Alpine, and Kenwood receivers have reported problems with their units reading and recognizing the iPhone or iPod, as well as problems playing music back should the device be recognized. The issues also appear to affect users of some iPod- and iPhone-compatible factory stereos; it is unknown whether the issues can be fixed by a software update from Apple, or whether the head units themselves will require updating.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to appear next month at the annual Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. BusinessWeek reports that the conference is frequently attended by notable CEOs and leaders from both the technology and media industries, and speculates that Jobs may be attending in hopes of convincing executives to offer more content for Apple’s products. Jobs has attended the conference twice in the past, in 2005 and 1999; the event has been closed to the press in recent years.
Apple has agreed to let Foxconn shift some of its production of Apple products from its Shenzhen compound to north and central China, according to the Financial Times. The report states that the move is aimed at containing costs, and follows substantial wage increases for a large part of the Shenzhen workforce after a rash of suicides gained international attention earlier this year. Foxconn is said to have proposed to Apple both Tianjin in the north and Henan, China’s most populous province, in central China as potential production sites.
Director Michael Koerbel of Los Angeles, CA has completed a short film entitled “Apple of My Eye” which was shot and edited completely on the iPhone 4. The roughly one minute and 15 second film cost $103 and took 48 hours to make, using the iPhone 4’s 720p HD video recording capabilities and Apple’s iMovie for iPhone video editing application. The film is available to watch on Vimeo and can be seen in embedded form below. [via Macworld UK]