Jun 8 2010

Apple unveils the iPhone 4 at WWDC

Yesterday, Steve Jobs unveiled one of the most anticipated products of the year, the Apple iPhone 4 and the consensus seems to be that it did not disappoint. There are many new upgrades and additions to this phone, such as a new body, better display, a second camera, and new OS to name just a few.

The Body:

Its dimensions come out to 4.5×2.31×0.37 inches. The phone weighs 137 grams, making it just a bit heavier than the 3GS (by 3 grams). However, the differences in size and weight are minor enough that they are probably indiscernible to most. The back of the phone has become flatter, the edges more squared off, giving the phone a more powerful look and feel.

The Display:

While the screen is slightly smaller than the 3GS, the phone makes up for that with twice the resolution of older iPhones 960 x 640 as compared to 480 x 320. Keep in mind that the EVO 4G only sports an 800 x 480 resolution. The phone’s pixel density (or PPI) is also the highest of any current smartphone. Having an improved display will become extremely useful in the context of watching videos, which will become even more commonplace with the arrival of the new Netflix app.

The Cameras:

The iPhone 4 comes with an additional camera, a front camera which will be used for face chatting, along with an improved 5-mexapixel back camera with LED flash.

The OS:

One of the biggest surprises is the introduction of a new OS to the phone, the iOS 4. You can read more about the iOS4 here.

Misc:

The phone will run on the a4 processor, the processor also being used in the iPad. Additionally, the iPhone will come with a 16% larger battery than the one found in the 3G, which will result in an improvement in battery life by 40%. Not bad Steve. This will allow up to 7 hours of talking, 6 hours of browsing, and 10 hours of video.

Pricing:

For all those interested in purchasing this new phone (in either Black or White) and who live in the US, UK, France, Japan, and Germany, it will be available on June 24th. The rest of the world will have to wait anxiously till July. With a new contract, the 16GB version will cost you $199, and the 32GB, $299. Without a contract the phones will cost $599 and $699 respectively.

Check out a video of the new iPhone 4g:

iPhone 4 video

Via Techcrunch

May 31 2010

Apple Sells Two Millionth iPad

Wow. The iPad has turned out to be way more successful than I expected it to be. Apple has announced today that it has sold its two millionth iPad. Keep in mind that this milestone comes less than a month after the sale of the one millionth iPad and less than sixty days after the initial release of the iPad on April 3.

The iPad was released internationally and, according to Steve Jobs in a press release, “customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do.”

Apple has also announced that the App Store now has over 5,000 native iPad apps and over 200,000 apps total. Though Apple has not revealed specific sale figures for each of the iPad models or the number of iPads sold in specific countries, avid Apple watchers are hoping for such statistics at the Worldwide Developers Conference, coming up next month.

Via PC World, image via Apple.

May 27 2010

Predictions for Apple’s WWDC

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is quickly approaching and, as usual, the tech blogosphere abounds with rumors about what Apple will introduce this year. Last year, Wired accurately predicted some major introductions Apple made at WWDC and it has predictions again for this year. Only time will tell if the predictions prove to be accurate.

It’s safe to assume that Apple will introduce its next major iPhone at WWDC. Thanks to some careless Apple employees, the public knows the next iPhone looks like, but we don’t know what it actually can do, as none of the prototypes found were shown doing anything. The 4G iPhone is going to have a front-facing camera, which could be its single major feature.

iPhone OS 4 will also probably be announced. It’s been talked about already, but will probably will be explained in detail at WWDC. From what has already been revealed about the next iPhone OS, it sounds like it will be amazing.

Unfortunately, there will not be a Verizon iPhone, at least not at this WWDC. We’ll have to wait longer for that. And Steve Ballmer will not be at WWDC, contrary to a rumor that circulated the Internet today.

Via Wired.com, image via Wired.com.

May 27 2010

Apple Releases iPad in Europe

Starting on Friday, the iPad will be turned loose to countries other than the United States. Apple is releasing it in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany on Friday and in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands sometime in July. Major European carriers that will offer service for the iPad have already announced their data plans.

A researcher with Gartner Inc. has said that the iPad is extremely unique and is in a category of its own when it comes to mobile products. Though other companies are planning to manufacture tablets, at this point the iPad really does not have a rival. Gartner has forecasted that the iPad will count for the majority of sales of touchscreen tablet products this year.

In the UK, computer retailer DSG has exclusive rights to sell the iPad for sixty days. In France, there is no one chain of stores with exclusivity.

Via The Wall Street Journal, image via Apple.

May 26 2010

Apple Controls 70% of US Music Downloads

Apple’s iTunes music store controls a very large share of the US music market, according to NPD group, a market research firm. The iTunes store now has a 70 percent share share of music downloads, up one percentage point from 2009. The market share of Amazon’s download service, AmazonMP3, grew 4 percentage points and is currently at 12 percent.

This data will probably be of interest to antitrust regulators who are rumored to be in the early stages of an investigation against Apple. Apple allegedly pressured music companies to pull support for an Amazon promotion called “MP3 Daily Deal.” According to unnamed sources, a complaint from Amazon has sparked the inquiry.

According to an NPD analyst, however, Apple deserves its dominance in music downloads. “Apple came [into the digital download business] and did it right,” he said.

Overall, Apple’s iTunes counts for 28 percent of all music purchases, including both CDs and digital files.

Via Computerworld.

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May 26 2010

Apple Overtakes Microsoft

As of Wednesday afternoon, Apple has overtaken Microsoft as most valuable technology company. At the close of trading, Apple was valued at nearly $223 billion compared with Microsoft’s $219 billion.

The rankings could of course change, but for now, Apple is ahead, which is not surprising due to the company’s recent success due to the iPhone and the iPad. Apple’s share price has risen dramatically over the past year to $244. Microsoft’s has also risen, but not as dramatically: a year ago, its shares closed at $20, today they closed at $25.

Microsoft and Apple have had a rivalry for years. Microsoft was the dominant company for a long time but it appears now that the tables have turned. The iPod and iPhone have helped facilitate Apple’s rise as a true technology giant that has become a lot more successful than Microsoft. As Apple has grown, it has faced problems and criticism for its policies.

Via The Wall Street Journal.

May 26 2010

Netbooks Sales Take a Pounding from Apple iPad and Cheap Laptops

According to a recent survey done by Retrevo, a consumer electronics website, netbook sales aren’t doing so hot, mostly because of competition from the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops.  The study surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.

The Retrevo survey asked consumers whether they are planning on buying an Apple iPad or a netbook.  An overwhelming 78 percent said they would choose an iPad while only 22 percent said they would choose a netbook.

The survey also asked consumers whether they held off on buying a netbook after they heard that the iPad would be released in a couple months.  70 percent of respondents said they would hold out, and 42.86 percent of these actually did end up buying an iPad, while 57.14 percent of these ended up purchasing a netbook.  30 percent of overall respondents did not hold out for the Apple iPad and originally moved forward with a netbook purchase.

The iPad has already sold more than one million units and there’s no doubt that iPad sales are still going strong.  Two of its major advantages includes portability and relatively long battery life.

Even though consumer data indicates that the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops are crippling netbook sales, analysts say that in the near future at least, netbook sales will not be greatly effected due to price-to-value differences.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things really turn out.  Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.

Via PCWorld.

May 25 2010

Apple Discontinues iPhone 3G

Apple has discontinued the 8 GB iPhone 3G (this was, until its discontinuation, the oldest iPhone sold by Apple, not the iPhone 3GS). The phone is no longer available for order on the Apple website.

This move is not really surprising because Apple is expected to introduce a new iPhone soon. Plus, the company was offering a pretty good discount on the iPhone 3G. Once the new iPhone is out, the iPhone 3GS will probably become discounted as well.

There are other signs that a new iPhone will be arriving shortly: Wal-Mart has lowered the price of the iPhone 3GS to $97 (just as a side note, the idea of Wal-Mart selling iPhones is wrong in so many different ways) and there have been reports that Apple is casting for a new iPhone commercial. Plus, there was that iPhone lost in a bar a little while back.

iPhone 3GS, your days may be limited.

Via CNET, image via Apple.

May 25 2010

Google Buys AdMob, Threatens Apple

Apple has been trying to break into mobile advertising recently and it seemed as if it would succeed in this endeavor due to iAd, a mobile ad service the company launched last month. However, Google is not going to give up its primacy in online advertising without a fight, as evidenced by a recent acquisition, AdMob Inc. With the purchase of this company, which was just recently cleared by regulators, Google will become the largest mobile advertising company.

Google’s acquisition of AdMob could make Android more attractive to advertisers who want to reach a large audience. This in turn could facilitate Android’s growth and even allow Android to surpass Apple by 2013. Though Apple is still a lot more widespread than Android, Android is increasing at a much faster rate and this incredible increase will allow it to pass Apple in the near future.

Both Apple and Google have declined to comment about the situation.

Via Business Week, image via AdMob.

May 24 2010

Google To Steal Apple’s ‘Cult’ Status?

At Google’s developer event last week, something strange happened: the high energy present made it more like an Apple event than a Google event. Could Google be ascending in popularity and eventually achieve the cult status that Apple has held for so long?

Many people are showing support for Android, and some have suggested that this means Apple is now trying to catch up to Google. At the event, Google introduced Froyo, the updated version of Android, which got people talking. Apple needs to do something new and exciting at WWDC or it will be left behind.

The funny thing is, in this whole Apple vs. Google battle, Microsoft is left out. Apple is cool, Google is on the way to becoming cool, and Microsoft is so uncool that it’s forgotten. But if Google wants to continue being in the ascendant, it needs to deal with some major issues, such as how Android and Chrome OS will work together.

Via CNET, image via Google.

May 24 2010

Apple Ends ‘Get a Mac’ Ads

Yesterday was a sad day indeed for Apple geeks. Apple ended its amusing ad campaign of “Get a Mac” ads featuring two actors representing Mac and PC computers. Not only has Apple ended this specific ad campaign, it has removed all the ads from its website and replaced them with the rather ordinary and even boring “Why You’ll Love a Mac” section.

Justin Long, the actor who played the Mac character in the ads, let it slip last month that Apple was going to end the “Get a Mac” ad campaign. Still, the end of the campaign seems a bit sad to us Apple fans and the removal of the ads from Apple’s website really drives home the point that it’s over.

I know some people did not like the “Get a Mac” ads (I saw them described as “snarky” somewhere) but I thought they were quite funny and clever. I will miss the “Get a Mac” ads.

Via CNET.

May 20 2010

Apple Opens International iPad App Store

In preparation for the international release of the iPad at the month, Apple is in the process of bringing the iPad App Store to customers outside of the United States. Previously, users had to download iPad apps through iTunes and then transfer them by sync, but with the changes, users will be able to browse and download apps from the iPad itself.

The iBooks application is still not available outside the US, though international users allegedly can use it by making a US iTunes account. Some analysts have said that there are some international readers with iPads.

Via USA News Week, image via Apple.

May 19 2010

Apple Fixes Java Security Holes

Apple has released a security update for Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 that fixes security vulnerabilities in Java for Mac, including a vulnerability that is more than a year old. The update is available through the software update pane in System Preferences or on Apple’s website. Here’s a summary of some of the vulnerabilities that are fixed:

  • In Java 1.6.0_17 and 1.5.0_22, the most serious vulnerability allows a Java applet to execute arbitrary code outside the Java sandbox.
  • There is an issue in the handling of mediaLibImage objects. A maliciously crafted Java applet can lead to unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.
  • An issue in the handling of window drawing allows a maliciously crafted applet to terminate applications or execute code.

Via ZDNet, image via ZDNet.

May 19 2010

Google’s Android Beats Microsoft, Challenges Apple

Google’s Android operating system was the fourth most popular during the first quarter, according to the research firm Gartner. Android was in ten percent of smartphones sold, which put it behind Nokia’s Symbian, Research in Motion, and Apple. Gartner said that Android will beat Apple as soon as there are more handset makers using it.

Even though Apple’s App Store boasts over 200,000 apps to Google’s 38,000, Android’s openness has made it become more popular with developers. Many developers are choosing to write apps for Android, not Apple. Developers typically choose a limited number of mobile platforms to write software for.

Microsoft’s mobile OS has become less and less popular on smartphones. Microsoft is trying to compete with the iPhone by having high standards for handsets that use its software. But more and more handset makers are turning to Android, which is free—Microsoft charges a licensing fee to those using its software (it is the only major company to do so).

Via Reuters, image via Reuters.

May 17 2010

Apple Preparing 24 Million iPhones

You can tell that it’s almost time for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference because of all the iPhone-related speculation in the tech blogosphere (Apple normally announces major iPhone updates at WWDC). The latest speculation concerning the next generation iPhone concerns how many units Apple plans to sell.

A report has said that Apple plans to ship 24 million units by the end of 2010: 4.5 million by the end of June and a further 19.5 million by December. This is a rather sudden upsurge, being that Apple has sold about 50 million iPhones since the introduction of the phone in 2007. The expected upsurge could be explained by a drastic price cut for the phone, which would encourage more people to buy it. Or, Apple could be planning to let companies other than AT&T carry the phone (though this is unlikely, at least in the short-term).

Apple plans to promote the next generation iPhone as an e-reader and encourage users to buy iBooks for it.

Via CNET, image via Gizmodo.

May 16 2010

Sony Introduces VAIO P-Series Netbooks to Compete with Apple iPad

Watch out Apple!  Sony and other netbook manufacturers just might jump into the tablet PC manufacturing business soon.  In fact, Sony recently released their new Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks, which feature new Intel Atom processors, as well as several other new features, including an undersized keyboard with a centralized pointing stick, and a touchpad on the right side of the LCD bezel and mouse buttons on the left side of the LCD.  The setup is essentially similar to that of a tablet.  The Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks also have accelerometers, so users can use the device in portrait mode.

Sony’s newest netbooks will be available in several unique colors: electric orange, neon green, and icy white — definitely sure to catch passerby’s attention.  The P-Series netbooks are available for pre-order and start at $800 each for the base model.

Via TimesNewsLine.

May 13 2010

Apple Offers MobileMe Upgrade

On Wednesday Apple posted a notice offering an upgrade in MobileMe, its cloud-based service that offers email and photo galleries, among other things. The upgrade concerns a beta version of the MobileMe mail service. MobileMe users now have a small banner that says, “Mail Beta coming soon” and can request an invitation.

Apple has said that the new version of the MobileMe mail has a widescreen option, single-click archiving, server rules, a formatting toolbar, faster performance, and improved security. Users’ beta access is not activated immediately.

I do not use MobileMe—I tried the free trial and found it very confusing (when I informed an Apple employee of this, he was shocked). I do think that MobileMe mail needs an upgrade because it is very unreliable, as some friends who use it have sent me emails that were never delivered.

Via PC Magazine, image via Apple.

May 12 2010

HTC Files Claim Against Apple

HTC did vow to defend itself against Apple and now it has done so by filing a patent infringement claim with the International Trade Commission saying that Apple has infringed on five HTC patents.

Analysts have said that Apple’s lawsuit against HTC is actually an attack on Android and therefore Google. HTC has recently signed an agreement with Microsoft related to HTC’s Android-based handsets, which led analysts to speculate that Microsoft was giving covert support to HTC in its battle with Apple.

Apple and HTC’s conflict is just one of many, though. There is an ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Nokia concerning patents, and Motorola has also filed a claim with the ITC against RIM, the maker of BlackBerry.

Though all companies have a right to their intellectual property, it appears that patent lawsuits are often used to stifle competition.

Via PC World, image via BBC News.

May 9 2010

The Apple iPad is Cannabilizing the Netbook Market

Before the Apple iPad was released, nobody knew what space it would compete for in the computer market.  Would it replace a laptop?  Would it compete as a netbook?  Nobody really knew.  After its April release though, it’s clear that the iPad tablet does indeed compete against, and in a significant number of cases can replace, a laptop unit.

According to March 2010 data collected by Alphawise, 44% of those buying iPad devices have decided to forgo buying a laptop as a result.  Their main needs in getting a laptop were to check e-mail and to browse the web — things they can also do from an iPad.

Here’s a fancy chart showing Apple’s iPad cannabilization:

Not only has the iPad been cannibalizing laptop sales but it has also been cannibalizing netbook sales as well.  The chart below shows the decline in netbook sales growth starting at the beginning of 2010.  A significant amount of this decrease was rumored to be due to the upcoming release of the Apple iPad.

Now that the iPad’s out, think it’ll be able to avoid the same fate that has come of other computing products?  Apple’s pretty good at innovation, so it’s very likely.

Via ISmashPhone.

May 9 2010

Verizon and Apple Won’t Partner This Year

Everyone who was excited about the alleged impending partnership of Apple and Verizon will be disappointed to hear this: Apple and Verizon will most likely not be teaming up to release a 4G version of the iPhone this year. The evidence for this? Apple has extended its exclusive iPhone contract with AT&T by six months.

This does not mean that Apple will not be releasing a 4G version of the iPhone with AT&T as the carrier. In fact, that is what many people are expecting. Apple often announces important things like that at its Worldwide Developers Conference each June. Apple would be foolish not to offer a 4G iPhone in the near future—some analysts have suggested that Apple is falling behind in the 4G market.

After the exclusive contract with AT&T ends, Apple should let other wireless companies carry the iPhone. It would be the smartest move on its part because there are many customers who would love to have iPhones but cannot due to not having AT&T.

Via Social Media SEO, image via Social Media SEO.

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