close

Smart Phones

[TECH NEWS] Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: iPhone X is the first iPhone I won’t buy on ‘day one’

index

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he’s not in a hurry to buy the next iPhone — even though he usually rushes out to upgrade on opening day.

“I’d rather wait and watch that one. I’m happy with my iPhone 8 — which is the same as the iPhone 7, which is the same as the iPhone 6, to me,” Wozniak said, speaking from the sidelines of the Money 20/20 conference. “For some reason, the iPhone X is going to be the first iPhone I didn’t — on day one — upgrade to. But my wife will, so I’ll be close enough to see it.”

Wozniak — who is known to carry several new phones at once — made the remarks just ahead of preorder sales, which open on Oct. 27.

For more than a year before it was released, the iPhone X was hailed as a revolutionary new form factor that could spark a “super cycle” of sales. The phone, unveiled in September, features an edge-to-edge 5.8-inch bright, sharp display, with a smaller chassis than the iPhone 8 Plus. It also has facial recognition.

But Wozniak also said he was skeptical that the Face ID feature would work the way it is supposed to.

Wozniak isn’t the only onlooker who’s uncertain about the new handset. Because the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X were not released at the same time this year, some analysts have struggled to get a handle on how well the phones will sell.

Surveys show that a high percentage of consumers plan to purchase a new iPhone in the next three months but that the iPhone 8 series is accounting for a smaller share of sales than the new iPhones this time last year, according to UBS analyst Steven Milunovich.

“This softness could be good or bad depending on whether users are waiting on the iPhone X,” Milunovich wrote in a Monday note.

Venture capitalist Gene Munster noted that Google searches for “iPhone” seem to have declined 10 percent year over year. But Munster said his firm’s surveys show “positive data points for Apple.”

“The release of the iPhone 8 was underwhelming compared to past iPhone launches, but this is not bad news for Apple. This year’s iPhone cycle will have its units and revenues split between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X,” Munster wrote. “Historically about half of the iPhones purchased in a given year are the most recently released model. This bodes well for iPhone revenue growth.”

read more

Apple looking to ban sale of Samsung products

KJJ

Apple is looking to ban the sale of Samsung gadgets yet again.

The company filed papers Friday related to the patent-infringement trial that was brought to a close in California early this month. In a mixed verdict, the jury found that Samsung had violated three of Apple’s patents and that Apple had infringed one of Samsung’s.

Apple is asking that the Samsung gadgets found to violate its “quick links,” “slide to unlock,” and/or “automatic word correction” patents be prohibited from being sold. Those devices are the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Galaxy S III, and Stratosphere phones.

Newer Samsung gadgets weren’t part of the trail, but Apple’s attorneys address them, as well as future devices, in Friday’s filing, saying the ban should also apply to any “software or code capable of implementing any Infringing Feature, and/or any feature not more than colorably different” from the infringed Apple features.Apple attorneys said the company would “suffer irreparable harm” if Samsung were allowed to continue using the patented features and that “monetary damages cannot adequately compensate Apple for this resulting irreparable harm.”

In the case, the jury awarded Apple only $119.6 million for Samsung’s infringement, much less than the $2.2 billion it had requested. It awarded Samsung $158,400 for Apple’s use of its patented method of photo and video organization in folders.

In a separate filing Friday, Apple asked for a partial new trail on damages.

The two companies have been going at it over patents in the courts for some time now, and the judge in the recent case, Lucy Koh, has twice before refused Apple requests for permanent sales bans on Samsung products.

read more

QWERTY Samsung Gravity Q slides into T-Mobile’s lineup

SamsungGravityQ

T-Mobile is rounding out its feature phone portfolio with Samsung Gravity Q, a QWERTY slider with a 3-inch touch screen.

Selling for $154, or $10 down and $6 each month for the next two years, the Gravity Q carries on the Gravity line tradition of bringing the bare necessities to those looking for a texting phone.

In addition to the four-row keyboard, the relatively compact Gravity Q also features a 2-megapixel camera, a memory card slot that expands up to 32GB, and bookmarks to Web sites for Facebook and Twitter.
You’ll find even more specs at Samsung’s Web site.

read more

Apple Is Said to Be Pressing for Internet Radio Deals

apple_rainbow_logo

After months of stalled negotiations over its planned Internet radio service, Apple is pushing to complete licensing deals with music companies so it can reveal the service as early as next week, according to people briefed on the talks.
Apple’s service, a Pandora-like feature that would tailor streams of music to each user’s taste, has been planned since at least last summer. But Apple has made little progress with record labels and music publishers, which have been seeking higher royalty rates and guaranteed minimum payments, according to these people, who spoke anonymously about the private talks.

While it is still at odds with some music companies over deal terms, Apple is said to be eager to get the licenses in time to unveil the service — nicknamed iRadio by the technology press — at its annual developers conference, which begins June 10 in San Francisco.

Apple has signed a deal with the Universal Music Group for its recorded music rights, but not for music publishing — the part of the business that deals with songwriting. Over the weekend, Apple also signed a deal with the Warner Music Group for both rights. It is still in talks with Sony Music Entertainment and Sony’s separate publishing arm, Sony/ATV, whose songwriters include Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

Representatives for Apple and the music companies declined to comment.

Apple’s Internet radio feature is expected to be free and supported by advertising, and would represent a relatively late arrival by the company into what has become a fast-growing — if low-margin — sector of the music business. Pandora has more than 70 million regular users, the vast majority of whom do not pay, and similar features have been introduced by Google, Spotify and the radio company Clear Channel Communications.

The licensing fees paid by Pandora have been a sore spot for music companies, which see promise in Apple’s service, particularly since it can be linked to sales through Apple’s iTunes store, but want higher rates. Publishers, for instance, are paid about 4 percent of Pandora’s revenue, but want as much as 10 percent from Apple.

Apple is said to be negotiating directly with the music groups because it wants more extensive licensing terms.

read more

iPhone 5S to launch June 20, go on sale July, claims report

iphone-5-botton-back-small

Apple will unveil its next iPhone on June 20 and kick off sales in July. At least, that’s the claim from Japanese Mac enthusiast site MacFan.

Marking its 20th anniversary as a Mac-oriented Web site, MacFan suggests that the next-generation iPhone will take the stage at a Apple event on Thursday, June 20. The new iPhone will then go on sale a few weeks later in early July, as reported by Electronista.

The report further claims that Apple will launch the much-rumored low-cost iPhone in August and target it as a pre-paid device for developing markets such as China and India.

Electronista dubs the rumor plausible but doesn’t indicate where or how MacFan got its information.

A June or July launch timeframe for the iPhone 5S has been proposed by other Apple watchers and even a couple of analysts. Apple did release the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4 during the June and July period and only switched to fall for the iPhone 4S and 5.

How does MacFan’s claims stack up with other recent rumors?

Apple analyst Gene Munster expects the iPhone 5S to launch in late June, followed by the low-cost model in the September quarter.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will announce the next iPhone in June and offer it for sale in July.
Japanese Apple blog Macotakara said earlier this month that production of the next iPhone had already gotten off the ground.

MacFan’s report does echo those of other sources, though it’s gone farther out on the limb by suggesting a specific launch date. And like most rumors, that one should be taken with a grain of salt.

A June 20 event would come hot on the heels of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which typically runs throughout the second week of the month. In the past, Apple actually used WWDC to announce new iPhone models, including the iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3. So, if Apple returns to a June iPhone launch, an announcement during this year’s WWDC seems the more likely timeframe.

Whatever the date, a summer debut for the next iPhone could be a good strategic move on Apple’s part.

read more

Hidden ‘radio’ buttons discovered in Apple’s iOS …

apple-logo

There’s a hint that Apple has something new in the pipeline, and the company appears to have tucked it away inside the latest version of its iOS software.

Discovered last night within a freshly jailbroken iPad: a set of buttons and code references for “radio,” a feature found in iTunes on Macs and PCs, but not on the iPad or iPhone. Making things more interesting is another button suggesting you can make purchases via the radio feature, presumably from iTunes.

The buttons, which were spotted by 9to5Mac, hint at Apple’s much-rumored radio service, a product that will let people stream music much like they do on the popular Pandora service, but with deep ties to Apple’s iTunes library. Rumors that Apple has been working on such a service have floated for years, but heated up last year as talks with labels advanced.

The discovery follows a high-profile jailbreak of iOS 6.1, the updated system software Apple released just last week. A team of developers came up with a tool that gives users deep system-level access to do things like install applications from third-party app stores, change the look and feel of iOS, and add new software features.

read more

MacBook Pros get priced closer to earth The Retina MacBook Pro gets price cuts ranging between $150 and $200

macbook-pro-with-bad-credit

MacBook Pros equipped with a Retina display are not exactly priced to move. Best Buy and Amazon are trying to change that.

Best Buy, for example, is now selling the 128GB version (model MC975LL/A) of the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro Retina for $1,549.99, $150 off the regular $1,699.99 price.

Need 256GB of solid-state storage with that gorgeous Retina screen? That model (MD213LL/A) is now $1,799.99, $200 off the regular price of $1,999.99.

The pricier 15.4-inch models with 256GB and 512GB solid-state drives (MC975LL/A and MC976LL/A, respectively), also got $200 lopped off their regular prices.

Amazon is going even lower, pricing the 128GB 13.3-inch model at $1,515.59, for example.

The online retailer is offering identical discounts to Best Buy on the 15.4-inch models.

These sales may be short-lived (the Best Buy sale is for two days only) but expect more of this kind of discounting from retailers in the future. Apple’s Mac sales sank last quarter to 4.1 million compared to 5.2 million in the same quarter last year.

Some of that is because consumers are opting for the cheaper iPad, but the Retina MacBook Pros may be a factor too. When Apple sells configurations that push the least expensive Retina model to $1,700 ($1,699) at the regular price, that’s not going to win over a lot of buyers.

read more

BlackBerry 10 and Z10 Review

abc_blackberry_z10_ll_130129_wg

 

 

It was 2008 and my BlackBerry Curve’s BBM was overflowing with contacts. I’d plug away on the physical keyboard, quickly firing off messages and emails to my friends and colleagues. Back then, most of them had the same phone or another one of RIM‘s popular handsets, like the BlackBerry Pearl.

By 2010 that list of contacts was empty. All my friends had abandoned BlackBerrys for iPhones or Android phones. I did the same. What choice did we have? While Apple and other phone makers started making phones that did amazing things with rich applications and fast Web browsers, BlackBerry clung to its outdated phone software.

That is, until today. After delays and years of dragging its feet, BlackBerry is finally ready with its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, a complete overhaul of the BlackBerry you’ve known. Even the company name has been overhauled; no longer RIM, or Research in Motion, it’s just calling itself BlackBerry.

 

Its first phone to run the software — the BlackBerry Z10 — starts at $199 on contract at AT&T and other carriers this March, and finally has the hardware to compete with all those other high-speed smartphones you see in people’s hands. Can it be? Is BlackBerry actually back?

A Phone Designed for Software
“That’s a BlackBerry?” “Where’s the keyboard?” That’s the main reaction I’ve gotten to the Z10. The phone looks nothing like the typical BlackBerry with a physical keyboard and almost everything like an Android phone or iPhone. It has a large 4.2-inch 1280 x 768-resolution display and a thin all-black body with a soft-to-the-touch back. It’s not a beautiful or elegant phone, but it’s well-made and comfortable to hold.

Powered by a dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and AT&T LTE, the phone is something that some of the BlackBerrys of past have never been described as being: fast. Not only is it the fastest BlackBerry ever made, it gives even the best Android phones and the iPhone 5 a run for their money in terms of speed, especially when it comes to Web browsing. Unfortunately, that power shortens battery life, but it is fast.

In heavy use, the phone doesn’t last more than a full work day. I was actually lucky to see it last past 5 p.m. on a regular day of heavy emailing, tweeting and surfing the Web. On the plus side, the back cover of the phone comes off, allowing you to replace the battery. The company will also sell a portable charging accessory, which contains a second battery for the phone.

read more