Jun 9 2010

Sprint overestimates EVO 4G sales

It seems that Sprint got a bit too excited about its decent EVO 4G sales. It had originally stated that it sold 3x as many phones within the first day that their best phones had sold over 3 days. What it actually meant was that it sold in one day 3 days worth of phones. They double counted that triple multiplier it seems.

Regardless, they are sold out of the EVO 4G and analysts estimate that it sold a not too shabby 150,000 on launch. Nowhere near a 1 million unit iPhone kind of launch, but an achievement for Sprint and Android nonetheless.

via cnet

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 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 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 23 2010

AT&T Raises Termination Fee

AT&T has announced that it is raising its early termination fee (ETF) for smartphones from $175 to $325 starting June 1. Customers who were considering breaking their contracts with AT&T have just one week to decide before leaving AT&T early gets way more expensive.

The hike in this fee has fueled rumors concerning the iPhone’s AT&T exclusivity. Though AT&T insists that the price increase is unrelated, one cannot help but wonder: is Verizon perhaps going to be carrying the iPhone in the near future?

Those who choose to leave AT&T now face an uncertain future because there really is no guarantee that Apple and AT&T are going to let other carriers, such as Verizon, provide service for the iPhone. Even if Verizon does begin to offer iPhone service, it will not be until late June or early July, which means customers hoping to switch would have to go about a month without a phone, which is almost unthinkable in our society. If Verizon does not end up carrying the iPhone, customers will be forced to choose other Verizon phones—luckily, the company does have some great choices out there (my personal favorite right now is the HTC Incredible).

Via PC World, image via PC World.

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

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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 17 2010

New iPhone Features Revealed

Apple is usually so good at keeping secrets, so this news is rather surprising to hear: a blogger in Vietnam has leaked images and product details concerning Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4G. The phone is due to be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference from June 7 to June 11.

New features include a camera in front, metallic buttons, and a higher resolution screen. Video chat will also be available on this phone. The first leaks concerning the new phone were reported by Gizmodo, which ended up getting it in trouble with Apple legally. (Good luck to Apple being able to take legal action against the blogger in Vietnam.)

It is still unclear if the iPhone will continue to be carried exclusively by AT&T or if Apple will work out a deal with Verizon sometime in the future.

Via QuickPWN, image via QuickPWN.

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.

Apr 19 2010

Apple Sued Because of Liquid Sensors

An Apple customer is suing Apple for denying service to her iPhone because of allegedly inaccurate liquid sensors. Apple began putting liquid sensors in iPods and iPhones in 2007 and in MacBooks and MacBook Pros in 2008. The sensors show if a device was damaged by water. Devices that have been damaged by water are not covered under Apple’s one-year warranty or its AppleCare Protection Plan.

The plaintiff has alleged that she has had two iPhones stop working within a span of six months. She was denied service both times when she brought them to the Apple store because the phones had allegedly been damaged by liquid. However, she insists that neither phone ever had any liquid exposure.

She is suing Apple for having an illusory warranty policy. The complaint says that Apple does not attempt to verify if the liquid sensors are properly triggered or not.

Via InformationWeek, image via Apple.

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Apr 18 2010

iPhone 4G Found in a Bar?

The latest, slightly ridiculous Apple rumor concerns the upcoming 4G iPhone, which is expected to be released as early as this June (AT&T has allegedly barred employees from taking vacations this June, so maybe something big is going to happen).

Images that are allegedly of the upcoming iPhone surfaced on the Internet today, acquired in very strange circumstances. A 4G iPhone was allegedly found on the floor of a San Jose bar in an iPhone 3G case. The device in question has a front-facing camera, 80 GB of storage, and an OS that is definitely different from the current iPhone OS.

However, some blogs are asserting that the phone in question is actually a Japanese counterfeit of the iPhone, which I think is very plausible. It seems very unlikely to me that a company as secretive as Apple would let an iPhone 4G anywhere near a bar (or any other public place, for that matter).

Via CNET, image via Engadget.

Apr 16 2010

Opera iPhone App is Hugely Popular

The Opera iPhone app, released two days ago, has already proven to be a huge success. It was at the top of the download chart within twenty-four hours of being released and has been downloaded over one million times since its release. Apple took three weeks to approve it for sale in the app store.

Opera Mini is not the first iPhone app that is an alternative to the Safari browser. A browser app called iCab was released in May 2009. However, Opera Mini is one of the first well-known browsers to be developed for the iPhone.

Apps have to be written for particular phones to offer a good quality experience. Opera has not developed an app for the iPad, instead saying that the iPhone version of Opera Mini will work on the iPad.

Via BBC News, image via Opera.

Apr 12 2010

Apple Approves Opera for iPhone

Apple has approved Opera Mini for the iPhone, which is big news because it is the first alternative web browser for the iPhone. Opera Mini will help users where the AT&T network is most congested, like San Francisco and New York.

Ironically enough, for Opera Mini to be approved, it had to be deemed not a web browser because of Apple’s developer agreement. The agreement does not allow alternative JavaScript rendering engines on the iPhone. Though the iPhone has had alternative browsers previously, all of them were actually skins for the Safari browser.

Technically, Opera Mini does not render web pages. Opera’s servers render the pages and Opera Mini renders a compressed markup language called OBML. This actually makes Opera Mini more like a PDF reader than a web browser.

People who have used Opera Mini have said that it is extremely fast, rendering web pages in ten seconds, as opposed to the thirty that Safari took. Opera Mini also reduces data traffic, which should give speed improvements to crowded areas.

Via PC Magazine, image via Opera.

Apr 9 2010

iPhone 4 to Support Multitasking

Well, it will kind of, sort of support it. In its iPhone OS 4.0 announcement on Thursday, Apple said that the iPhone 3GS, iPad, and iPod Touch will support a kind of multitasking. Instead of letting third-party apps run in the background, Apple will offer seven background services to developers that will allow them to make it look like their apps are running in the background. Let’s take a look at these seven services.

1. Background audio. A big complaint from iPhone users is how Pandora cannot play in the background. With this service, Pandora will be able to run in the background as you use your other apps.

2. Voice over IP. VoIP apps will actually be able to run in the background now, making non-cellular calling actually viable. I wonder how AT&T feels about this.

3. Location Services. With this service, GPS navigation apps will continue to navigate even when they’re not open.

4. Push Notifications. Developers can request to have Apple’s cloud-based server alert users when new information is available.

5. Local Notifications. This is clever: a third-party app can have an alarm that will pop up on the screen and tell you to bring that app to the front.

6. Task Completion. This lets apps finish tasks in the background. The only caveat is that the task must be started while the app is active.

7. Fast App Switching. This will allow apps to save their states so the can pop up to the foreground quickly and look like they have been running all along.

All in all, these are some great features for the next iPhone OS and I look forward to it.

Via PC Magazine, image via Apple.

Mar 30 2010

Verizon Stock Rises Due to iPhone Reports

Verizon’s stock rose today due to reports that the company will most likely be the next carrier for the iPhone. Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in the United States and rumors concerning its possible future involvement with Apple have been mentioned for some time now.

Verizon’s stock rose the most in four months due to the rumor, reported in the Wall Street Journal. Both Verizon and Apple have declined to comment, so at this point nothing is certain concerning Apple-Verizon rumors.

Verizon could add as many as 3.5 million new contract customers in the first six months of carrying the iPhone, should it decide to do so. There is a lot of demand for the iPhone among Verizon customers, both those who would be upgrading to new phones and those who want iPhones right now but cannot have them because of being on Verizon’s network.

Verizon’s stock rose 78 cents today, closing at $31.23 at 4:00 pm.

Via BusinessWeek, image via Verizon.

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Mar 29 2010

Rumor: Apple is Preparing Verizon iPhone

According to some unnamed sources, Apple is preparing to release an iPhone that will be compatible with the Verizon network. One of the companies that builds iPhone software is reportedly working on an iPhone that will run on a CMDA network, which is the network Verizon uses in the United States. The CMDA iPhones are supposed to go into mass production this September, but it is unknown when Apple will release them.

There have been many rumors about a Verizon-compatible iPhone for some time now. Most of them seem to be wishful thinking (Verizon people, I feel your pain–I had Sprint for a year after the iPhone first came out). Apple’s exclusive contract with AT&T appears to preclude the possibility of there being iPhones compatible with other carriers, but it is unknown how long the AT&T contract is supposed to last. In other countries, the iPhone does have multiple carriers.

Via CNET, image via CNET.

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Mar 28 2010

Pwn2Own Competition Shows No Mercy For Browsers, OSes, or Phones

Up north in Vancouver, the well known computer security conference CanSecWest got off to an impressive start with its famous Pwn2Own competition.  The goal each year is to take down various different platforms to highlight their security holes.  And this year showed that no matter what you run, you probably are not safe.

For example, German hacker “Nils” managed to take down a Windows 7 PC which was running Firefox.   Using a previously unknown hole, he took total control over the PC.  Before this, Charlie Miller managed to take down a Mac OS X machine running on Safari, and Dutchman Peter Vreugdenhil took down another Windows 7 PC using Internet Explorer 8.

Most disturbing, however, was probably the attack against iPhone users. Two Europeans by the names of Vincenzo Iozzo and Ralf Phillipp Weinmann managed to lead an iPhone to a webpage where in 20 seconds the entire SMS database, including previously deleted messages, was stolen.  All of the bugs were reported to the software’s creators by Pwn2Own and won’t be released until they are fixed.

Via ZDNet

Mar 24 2010

Steve Jobs Emails Apple Customers

I am so incredibly jealous—I want an email from Steve!

According to the latest news, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs has been personally responding to Apple customers’ emails. One user asked him about a universal inbox on the iPhone’s Mail app. The current app supports multiple accounts but each account has a separate inbox. Jobs said that the iPhone will have this capability.

Another customer asked Jobs about whether transferring Google Docs to the iPad through iWork.com or iDisk. Jobs replied in the affirmative. Both of these messages from Jobs bore the tagline “Sent from my iPad.”

Another customer wrote to ask about whether Apple plans to support Picasa’s faces and albums features. Jobs said, “No, but iPhoto on the Mac has much better Faces and Places features.” That email was sent from Jobs’ iPhone which is apparently running the older version of the iPhone OS.

Other emails have concerned the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines of computers and the availability of the iPad from Apple resellers.

Via Computerworld, image via Wikipedia.

Mar 21 2010

HTC Plans to Defend Itself Against Apple

HTC, the company that Apple is suing over twenty alleged patent infringements, has said in a press release that it does not agree with Apple’s move to file the lawsuit and intends to defend itself.

HTC does not only say that it is innovative—it has a timeline that demonstrates this claim. Here’s a quick list of the company’s firsts regarding smartphones and PDAs:

  • First Windows PDA (1998)
  • First Windows Phone (June 2002)
  • First 3G CDMA EVDO smartphone (October 2005)
  • First gesture-based smartphone (June 2007)
  • First Google Android smartphone (October 2008)
  • First 4G WIMAX smartphone (November 2008)

Some of these occurred long before the iPhone was even out. Unfortunately for HTC, lawsuits can drag out for a long time, which could cause the company financial strain (Apple is so powerful that it probably would not be affected at all). I’m no lawyer, but Apple may be quite off the mark with its lawsuit against this company.

Via ZDNet, image via ZDNet.

Mar 17 2010

Apple To Stop Selling Screen Protectors

No screen protector for you!

According to the website iLounge, Apple is planning to ban the sale of all protective screen film products in both its online and retail stores starting in May. Screen protectors are some of the most popular third-party products that Apple sells. The ban will affect both screen protectors sold alone and products that include screen protectors and applies to all Apple product lines.

The most popular iPhone and iPod cases contain anti-glare film, so this is certainly not due to lack of popularity. Analysts have speculated that Apple is banning screen protectors to promote the durability of their screens.

Screen protectors will still be available elsewhere, so Apple’s move remains puzzling. My guess is that iPhone and iPod Touch users will continue to use screen protectors (though they really are not needed) and buy them elsewhere. Apple is only hurting itself with this move because it will be losing sales.

Via CNET, image via Apple.

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