Apple has dropped its estimated shipping wait time for new orders of the third-generation iPad in Europe. Brief checks of Apple’s online stores in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy show that the all models of the device—including both black and white variants of either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G models, across all capacities—are listed as shipping within 7 business days, down from the previously quoted delay of 1-2 weeks. Apple recently dropped its estimated shipping wait times for new third-gen iPad orders from the US and Canadian stores, as well, suggesting that the company is closer to reaching optimal supply/demand balance for the new model. [via Cult of Mac]
Thursby Software Systems has released PKard Reader, the world’s first smart card authentication solution for logging into secure web sites on iOS devices. Consisting of a free universal iOS app and a $150 card reader accessory, the PKard solution allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to access secure sites requiring two-factor smart card authentication, such as corporate and government web portals and collaboration sites. The PKard Reader accessory supports industry standard CAC, PIV, PIV-I and CIV smart cards and the solution is designed to operate in the background to maintain the secure connection once authenticated, allowing the user to switch apps without compromising security or needing to re-authenticate.
Using the PKard Reader, corporate and government employees who require access to secure smart card protected sites can now more effectively do so while on the go without needing to be tied to a desktop or laptop, with the same smart card and PIN that they already use. Further, no changes need to be made on back-end servers to support the PKard Reader solution, allowing users to easily transition to accessing the same secure sites on their iOS device as on their computer. ALmost five million Federal workers at hundreds of U.S. government agencies and the Department of Defense are issued smart cards for secure web access and it is estimated that almost one third of large corporations worldwide are now issuing smart cards to their employees, particularly in the healthcare and financial sectors. The PKard Reader accessory is available directly from the company’s web site; the iOS application is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
The new, cheaper model of the iPad 2 has been found to have better battery life than its predecessor thanks to its smaller A5 processor, according to a new set of tests. Anandtech reports that the iPad 2,4—Apple’s internal reference for the new iPad 2 variant—offers significant battery life improvements over the prior iPad 2, with the increase ranging from 15.8 to 29 percent depending on the task. For example, the iPad 2,4 was able to playback a 720p video file for over fifteen hours on a single charge, easily besting the thirteen hours of the prior model. Notably, there have been conflicting reports as to how big an improvement users can see from the revised iPad 2; prior tests showed a far smaller improvement over the previous version. There appears to be no way to tell whether or not an iPad is a 2,1 model or a 2,4 model from outside the box, so consumers are currently left to guess as to which model they might be purchasing.
Apple increased its share of the worldwide tablet market in the first quarter of 2012, according to the latest data from IDC. Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, good for 68 percent of the market, as sales of Android tablets declined sharply. Amazon, which had captured 16.8 percent of the market in Q4 2011 with its Kindle Fire tablet, saw its share of the market fall to just 4 percent in Q1 2012, allowing Samsung to pass them for second-place; Amazon was the third-largest tablet maker in the quarter, and was followed by Lenovo and Barnes & Noble.
Chillingo has released an update to its highly-acclaimed physics puzzler Contre Jour HD (iLounge Rating: A) adding support for the iPad Retina Display along with 20 new levels. Contre Jour HD challenges players to move a small creature through a variety of levels consisting of resculptable platforms, ropes and slingshots to collect glowing lights and reach the exit while avoiding various obstacles and pitfalls. The latest update adds 20 new levels set in a jungle environment along with new movable tentacles and platforms; a bonus ending sequence is also now available for players who manage to collect all 300 lights in the game. In addition, players can now purchase the Contre Jour Soundtrack, produced by David Ari Leon, from directly within the game. Contre Jour HD is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $3.
Apple has once again dropped its estimated shipping wait time for new orders of the third-generation iPad. According to a brief check of Apple’s online store, the estimated wait for all models—including both black and white variants of either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 4G models, across all capacities—is just 3-5 days, down from 5-7 business days. As has been the case in the past, the changes appear to apply only to the US and Canadian stores, as quick checks of several international Apple stores show that the device is still listed with a 1-2 week wait in most other countries.
Return7 has released a major update to PlaceTagger adding support for the iPad and for synchronization of location data via iCloud. PlaceTagger allows iOS devices to be used for recording location data while taking photos with a digital camera; recorded data can then be added to the photos as geo-tags during import using a companion desktop application.
With PlaceTagger 2.0, users can now synchronize location data between devices using iCloud rather than requiring a direct USB connection; a $5 Mac app, sold separately on the Mac App Store, provides geotagging of photos during import. Alternatively, users can geotagging photos imported directly to the iPad using the Apple Camera Connection Kit. GPX track export is also available for geotagging with any third-party application supporting the GPX format. The new version also sports an entirely new user interface with an integrated map view for displaying location data and improvements to the GPS recording precision. PlaceTagger 2.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $5, or as a free update for users of an earlier version. The companion Mac app is available separately from the Mac App Store for $5.
Tapbots has updated its Tweetbot apps for iOS with a new and improved tweet detail view and integration with Droplr and Storify. Tweetbot 2.3 now sports a redesigned tweet detail view that displays inline conversations and replies; the tweet detail view is accessed by swiping right to left on a tweet and users can return to the timeline by swiping left to right. The conversation view has also been updated to display both the conversation and replies in a single list. The update also adds the ability to e-mail or link to Twitter conversation threads via the Storify online social story service directly from the conversation view.
Additional enhancements in the latest update include integration with Droplr for media and link sharing, the option to turn off the display of the timeline sync bookmark icon, and general user interface and e-mail format improvements. A play icon is now displayed on video thumbnails to help distinguish them from images, and Vimeo links now also display a video thumbnail. In addition, higher resolution images can be uploaded when using a Wi-Fi connection. Tweetbot 2.3 is available from the App Store in two separate versions for $3 each: Tweetbot for the iPhone and iPod touch and Tweetbot for iPad.
Apple is today launching the third-generation iPad in nine additional markets. According to the company, the device is launching in Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand today. Apple earlier this week announced sales of 11.8 million iPads during the March quarter, and called the manufacturing ramp-up for the device extremely successful.
Apple has started replacing with iPads the iMacs that have traditionally served as kids’ areas in its retail stores. iMore reports that the kids’ tables, which previously held four iMac computers in an outward-facing display, now sport four iPads instead. As with the iMacs, the iPads have a variety of kid-friendly apps installed; it is unclear when the switch was made, or if Apple has yet made the switch at all of its retail stores. [via MacRumors]
According to new data from The NPD Group, one-in-four iPad purchases are made by first-time Apple owners. The Apple Ecosystem Study found that 33 percent of US homes own Apple products, and while a majority—69 percent—of those own iPods, iPad ownership is growing. While 70 percent of long-standing Apple owners report that an iPod was their first Apple product, that number declines to just 57 percent among those buying their first Apple product in the last two years. Accordingly, the iPhone and iPad account for one-third of first-time Apple purchases since 2012. On average, Apple households own 2.4 Apple devices.
Popular business networking service LinkedIn has released an update to its iOS app adding native iPad support. LinkedIn 5.0 is now a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with a redesigned user interface specifically optimized for the new iPad and the Retina Display. The update also adds a new calendar feature that allows users to quickly access LinkedIn profile information for other participants in scheduled meetings and a redesigned updates view for a more accessible overview of connections, industry news, groups and other relevant information. LinkedIn 5.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Halfbrick Studios has released a major new content update to its hit game, Jetpack Joyride, adding a multitude of new gadgets along with new achievements and missions. Jetpack Joyride is a side scrolling action/adventure game that puts players in the role of Barry Steakfries who breaks into a secret laboratory to commandeer experimental jetpacks from a group of evil scientists and must use them to escape from the lab. Version 1.3 adds 15 new gadgets such as Air Barry sneakers for leaping obstacles, Nerd Repellant for avoiding scientists, an Insta-Ball for gaining a few extra meters by bouncing off the floor and many more crazy and cool new items to help push the envelope, earn higher scores and just generally have fun with. Along with the new collection of gear, the update adds four new Game Center achievements to unlock and a new set of missions to challenge players to make best use of the new toys. Jetpack Joyride is available from the App Store as a free download.
Rogue Amoeba has released a major update to Airfoil Speakers Touch adding native iPad support and a new optional feature for receiving audio directly from iTunes and other AirPlay audio sources. Originally designed as a companion app for the company’s Airfoil for Mac and Windows, Airfoil Speakers Touch allows users to listen to audio streamed wirelessly from their computer to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Version 3.0 adds a new “Enhanced Receiving” feature, available as a $3 in-app purchase, that presents Airfoil Speakers Touch as a remote AirPlay audio device, allowing users to stream directly from iTunes and other iOS devices without requiring Airfoil to be running on the computer. The new version also adds support for remotely controlling and displaying track info and artwork from a number of additional sources streamed via Airfoil for Mac. Airfoil Speakers Touch is now a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. Streaming audio from a computer requires Airfoil for Mac or Airfoil for Windows or an AirPlay compatible application such as iTunes with the purchase of the $3 in-app upgrade for Enhanced Receiving.
During Apple’s second-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 March 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. Regarding the iTunes Store, Oppenheimer said that the catalog now includes over 28 million songs and 45,000 movies.
iPhone sales more than doubled in the Asia Pacific region, according to Oppenheimer, who added that the January launch of the iPhone 4S in China and the addition of China Telecom as a second carrier were responsible for a lot of growth. Cook later stated that the company saw 3X year-over-year revenue growth in China. Oppenheimer said that the manufacturing ramps for both the iPhone 4S and the third-generation iPad were extremely successful, which enabled the company to fulfill demand in the March quarter, compared to the June quarter last year. As a result, the company is expecting a sequential decline in iPhone sales.
The company was “very pleased” with iPad sales during the quarter—including sales of the third-generation model, which is now available in over 40 countries. iPad sales more than doubled in each segment, and as a result, the company is slightly supply-constrained. Oppenheimer said that the iPad is about to enter the K-12 institution buying season, which the company expects to boost sales, and later added that the company is selling third-generation iPad units as fast as it can make them.
When asked about what the company is learning about lower price points on the iPhone and iPad, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is thrilled with the results they’ve seen thus far, although obviously it’s only been a few weeks. He added that the lower price of the iPad 2 unlocked some education demand, probably more price-sensitive customers, and in some countries, there was a marked change in demand. The company is not sure yet what the mix of third-gen iPad to iPad 2 will be, but said that on absolute sales of the iPad 2, what the company is seeing is exciting. Cook went on to say that the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 contributed to the 35 million in iPhone sales—the company’s second biggest quarter in terms of iPhone sales.
Overall, more than 365 million iOS devices have been sold, and the App Store now offers over 600,000 apps, 200,000 of which are built specifically for the iPad. Oppenheimer added that iCloud now has over 125 million customers signed up.
Finally, when asked about the company’s ongoing legal disputes, Cook said that he has always hated litigation, and just wants companies to invent their own stuff. He added that if Apple could reach agreements where it would be guaranteed that companies would be using their own inventions, and that included a fair settlement on stuff that’s occurred, it would be happy to settle instead of battle. That said, he added that Apple can’t become the developer for the world—that the company needs people to invent their own stuff.
During the company’s Q2 2012 Financial Results Conference Call, Apple CEO Tim Cook made several very interesting comments regarding the merging of traditional PCs with tablets. Cook said that while any two types of products can be forced to converge, the resulting products involve tradeoffs, and eventually reach the point at which they no longer appear to anyone; combining products creates compromises that do not please either user. He used the MacBook Air as an example of continuing innovation in the Mac space, and said that it appeals to someone who has somewhat different requirements than an iPad user. Cook specifically said that Apple will not make the compromise of convergence, adding that while others might converge their lines—especially for defensive reasons, such as seeing their computer or tablet sales flagging—Apple will play in both markets simultaneously.
Reporting its second quarter 2012 financial results today, Apple said it sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, an 88 percent increase year-over-year, but down slightly from 37.04 million units in the prior quarter. Apple sold 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, up 151 percent from the year-ago quarter and down from 15.43 million units in the first quarter of 2012. Finally, the company said it sold 7.7 million iPods during the quarter — a 15 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 218.1 million, 67.08 million, and 344.28 million, respectively.
Apple posted revenue of $39.19 billion and net quarterly profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share, compared with revenue of $24.67 billion and net quarterly profit of $5.99 billion, or $6.40 per diluted share in Q2 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 $2.027 billion for the quarter, up 32 percent year-over-year and down 6 percent over the prior quarter.
“We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”
“Our record March quarter results drove $14 billion in cash flow from operations,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.68.”
Apple infringed on a single Motorola Mobility patent in its production of the iPhone, iPad, and several other products, according to an International Trade Commission judge. Reuters reports that ITC Judge Thomas Pender handed down his preliminary ruling in the dispute today, stating that Apple had infringed one Motorola patent, but did not violate three other patents which Motorola accused it of infringing. Judge Pender’s ruling is not final, and will be reviewed by the full commission before a final ruling is issued in August.
Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of China’s National Copyright Administration, has said that the government regards Proview as the rightful owner of the iPad trademark, according to an Associated Press report. “The dispute between Apple and Shenzhen Proview concerning the iPad trademark is going through the judicial process,” Yan said in a news conference, adding that “according to our government’s laws, Shenzhen Proview is still the lawful representative and user of the trademark.” A lawyer for Proview said last week that the two companies were in talks aimed at resolving the ongoing dispute; Xiaohong’s remarks will likely put added pressure on Apple to find a solution.
Waves Audio and Musicsoft Arts have teamed up to release Mashup, a new DJ mixing app designed to provide pro DJ’s with a sophisticated mobile DJ booth on their iPad. Replacing complex and expensive DJ gear, Mashup provides two rotating stereo decks and a mixer capable of playing all standard unprotected audio formats, an advanced scratch engine, resonant filters with a large touch-ribbon UI and hi-end equalizers with larger interface controls. Users can create unlimited playlists on the fly, setup auto-sync and beat matching between decks and record mixes in stereo for further editing, mixing and sharing in other apps. Tracks can be selected from the iOS music library or purchased from an in-app DJ Shop with a collection of tracks from top DJs such as Junior Sanchez and Kris Menace. Users can also pair Mashup running on an iPhone or iPod touch with the iPad version over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for DJing with headphones.
Mashup is designed to provide superior audio processing on the iPad with technology developed by Waves Audio, a leading developer of professional audio signal processing technologies and recipient of the 2011 Technical Grammy award. In addition to the standard audio engine with features such as resonant filters and noise-free scratching, users can also optionally upgrade to Waves’ unique MAXX sound enhancing engine which provides boosted base frequencies and improved volume designed for any listening environment from headphones to large cabinet speakers. Mashup is a universal app requiring an iPhone 4/4S, fourth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2 or third-generation iPad and iOS 4.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $40; the optional MAXX add-on is available via in-app purchase for an additional $5.