Apple’s investors obsess over early iPhone sales like Hollywood producers tracking opening ticket sales for a blockbuster movie.
A big weekend is usually a healthy predictor of consumer demand for the holiday season — not just for Apple, but for the entire consumer electronics industry.
Those Apple watchers can rest easy because the company’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are no bust. Apple said on Monday that it had sold 10 million units of its new and bigger iPhones over the weekend, up from thenine million iPhones it sold last year in the first weekend of sales for the previous generation of iPhones.
The iPhone is still Apple’s biggest cash cow, accounting for about 70 percent of its profit. So early sales can help predict quarterly or even annual results for the company, based in Cupertino, Calif. Read More
Google’s Android software continues to steamroll the competition in smartphones, posing bigger problems for companies like Apple and BlackBerry.
New data Wednesday from research firm IDC found that Apple’s share of the global market slid to 13.2 percent in the second quarter from 16.6 percent in the year-earlier period. Handsets running Android, meanwhile, jumped to 79.3 percent from 69.1 percent.
The signs are particularly ominous for one-time market leader BlackBerry, despite some high-profile product announcements recently. Devices running its software accounted for just 2.9 percent of global smartphone shipments in the three months ended in June, compared with 4.9 percent for the same period in 2012.
Android is given away free to handset makers by Google, whose strategy is to make money on advertising associated with mobile devices. It has long powered smartphones offered by industry giant Samsung, but has lately also benefited by Chinese companies such as Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE. that are grabbing a bigger chunk of the smartphone market. Read More
If you’re looking to get your iPhone or iPad stolen, all you have to do is wave it around on a New York subway. The theft of these high-cost mobile devices has skyrocketed in the Big Apple, and now the NYPD are responding with a new special task force. Yes, there is now a team of NYC police that specifically track down stolen iDevices. Lost your Android phone? Keep walking.
When a phone is reported stolen, the police will ask the victim for the device’s International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) in the case of iPhones and 3G/4G iPads. This data is then passed along to Apple, which can report to the police the exact location of the device — even if it has been moved to a different carrier.
The police will then actually go and find the missing phone or tablet. Tracking WiFi-only iPads is considerable more difficult because they do not have GPS or an IMEI number tracked by carriers. Still, it’s interesting to see the police taking such an interest in recovering stolen gadgets.
According to the cops, this new initiative is not just about returning stolen devices to their owners, but to learn about the patterns of theft in New York. Often tracking down a single stolen device leads to much more stolen property.
A database for phones went live last last year, allowing carriers to block stolen devices via the IEMI number. There is not currently a unified system for tracking those devices, but integrating with law enforcement is another matter entirely. The police usually have more pressing matters to attend to — it’s just the volume of thefts in New York that led to the creation of this task force. Read More
A new report from Reuters adds to the steady trickle of stories that the next iPhone will feature a smaller dock connector with a radically different form factor than the one we’ve come to know over the past nine years. It will give the iPhone’s components more elbow room. Yet the new connection is likely to cause some problems for consumers who have invested in accessories based in the old design over the years. In short, really old accessories are probably not going to work very well. But of course, really old accessories often already have connection issues with the newest iPhones. Newer accessories should work, but will require some sort of adapter.
The latests reports and rumors point to Apple replacing the current 30-pin connection with a 19-pin connection. By losing 11 pins, Apple can make its long-running proprietary connection smaller, which opens up all kinds of design possibilities. iFixit cofounder, Kyle Wiens told Wired: “It’s too big. That’s the fundamental issue.”
Design aesthetics aside, as far as connections go, the 30-pin connection is long in the tooth. Introduced with the third-generation iPod in 2003 as a replacement to the iPod’s Firewire port, the 30-pin connection has been adopted by nearly all of the iPods and all iPhones and iPads. The connection’s size is a result of Apple’s desire to allow backward compatibility with legacy analog connectors, and Apple’s own Firewire connection. Those legacy connections lower the cost of third-party hardware. Building fully compliant USB docks is expensive.
“The primary reason to have all the pins is to make it cheaper for companies to implement accessories.” Weins told Wired: “If your (iPod) alarm clock had to implement a full USB interface, it would cost more. It would be a more expensive device to make.” Read More
Leaked details from iOS 6 show that Apple has beefed up privacy controls for user contacts, something the company was criticized for earlier this year.
Apple will offer users a way to manage which applications have permission to access their contact information as part of a new privacy control panel that’s coming in iOS 6.
The feature comes in tandem with a new privacy pop-up that asks whether users want to give a particular application access to contacts, as pointed out by MacRumors today.
Apple said it would add such a feature as part of a “future software release,” back in February, though the company did not specify when exactly that would be.
At the company’s annual developer conference earlier this week, Apple took the wraps off iOS 6,
which will be released to consumers in the fall. That software was given to developers under a non-disclosure agreement, however, details beyond what Apple shared during its press conference have since leaked out.
Demands for a specialized address book privacy settings came after controversy when Path — a popular iOS and Android application — was found to be collecting user contact information without permission. Path quickly issued an apology on the issue, saying that it was using that data to alert users to when their friends joined the social network. The company then introduced an updated version that required users to opt-in to the feature.
Apple responded by saying “apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines.” Read More
June 7 (Bloomberg) — Apple Inc.’s iPhone will be sold to prepaid customers later this month through Sprint Nextel Corp.’s Virgin Mobile USA brand, marking the device’s second deal with a U.S. pay-as-you-go carrier in the past two weeks.
The company will offer the phone with prepaid plans of $30 to $50 a month starting June 29, according to a statement today. The iPhone 4S will cost $649, while the older iPhone 4 with 8 gigabytes will be priced at $549.
The agreement pushes the iPhone deeper into the prepaid market, making it available to more customers who don’t want to take on a two-year contract. Leap Wireless International Inc., another pay-as-you-go carrier, announced plans last week to offer the phone on its network. While Virgin Mobile is selling the phone for a higher price than Leap, which is offering the 4S for about $500, it has lower-cost monthly rates.
Sprint already offers the iPhone to contract customers, and the Virgin Mobile deal may help the company satisfy a $15.5 billion purchase agreement with Apple, said Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group in San Francisco. The offer also may help the company compete against AT&T Inc., the carrier that sells the most iPhones in the U.S. Read More
Facebook, on the heels of buying Instagram, launched a new camera app for iPhone on Thursday to “share photos in a snap.”
When you open the app, it recognizes you if you’re already logged in to the Facebook app and asks you if you want to continue under that login. And it asks for your permission to stalk you and geolocate your photos.
Facebook launched its fourth iOS app Thursday, called Facebook Camera. (Facebook / May 24, 2012)
It’s very clear from the start that this app is about photos and photos only. Across the top of the home screen you get a camera at top left of a small preview of your phone’s album. Just below you see a feed of your friends’ photos, with the likes and comment tally overlaid.
The edges of horizontal photos extend past the white background of the feed, but you can tap and turn the image to get the full effect. For collections of photos, you see the edge of the next one extending past the white background and you just swipe your finger from right to left to scroll through the album.
The app doesn’t refresh the same way you drag the screen to refresh the main Facebook app. If you try to do it that way, you’ll just reveal your own camera album. The refresh button is under the camera icon. That actually drove me a little nuts. As a Facebook addict, my thumb automatically moves to swipe to refresh the screen.
The app allows you to shoot directly from it and do some minor editing including making slight adjustments to the photo’s orientation. As with every single photo app coming out these days, yes, you’ve got filters — over a dozen of them.
To publish, you tap to create a post and write your text description. You can add more photos, set or remove the location and select what pre-determined group you’ll allow to see your upload.
When it comes to adding more photos to a post, it’s not enough to just select the photo if you shoot it while in mid-post. After you’ve finished tweaking, you actually have to tap the grayed-out checkmark at the top right of the screen when the photo is full screen. Once it turns green, you’re good to go. Read More