Android and iOS continue US growth at expense of others

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Jun 052011
 

The latest US mobile subscriber market share report from comScore shows that Google Android and Apple iOS continued to grow in the three month average period ending April 2011. That growth came at the expense of RIM, Microsoft, Palm which all saw their market share drop over the same period. Here are the latest results:

  Jan-11 Apr-11 Point change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100% 100% N/A
Google 31.2% 36.4% 5.2
Apple 24.7% 26.0% 1.3
RIM 30.4% 25.7% -4.7
Microsoft 8.0% 6.7% -1.3
Palm 3.2% 2.6% -0.6

Meanwhile, Samsung remained the top handset manufacturer overall with 24.5 percent market share. It was followed by LG, Motorola, Apple, and RIM.

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Steve Jobs to unveil iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion, and iCloud at WWDC

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May 312011
 

Apple

Apple today confirmed that Steve Jobs, the company’s CEO, will deliver the keynote at the upcoming WWDC. As expected, it will focus on software:

At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

Apple’s iCloud service is expected to replace the current MobileMe cloud service and add new features such as a music streaming and storage service.

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Apple iOS 5 to feature revamped notifications and widgets?

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May 292011
 

Apple

Without providing much in terms of details, TechCrunch is reporting that Apple’s upcoming iOS 5 (widely expected to be unveiled at WWDC) will feature a completely revamped notification system as well as widgets.

Apple is also pushing journalists to attend this year’s WWDC as “the software announcements will be huge.” The emphasis on software lends credence to earlier rumours that Apple will not announce a new iPhone at the event.

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Apple testing MacBook Air powered by iPad 2 A5 processor?

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May 272011
 

Apple

A new report from Japanese site Macotakara.jp suggests that Apple is testing a new MacBook Air powered by an A5 ARM processor, the same as found in the iPad 2. It goes on to indicate that the “test machine performed better than expected.”

It’s not clear if the test system is powered by Apple’s full-fledged Mac OS X or by the ligher iOS currently powering iPhones and iPads.

Macotakara points out that this may be nothing more than an experiment given that such a processor switch would require developers to modify their applications as existing versions would not work. Could Apple be thinking of porting MacOS to the ARM architecture or extend iOS to its PC lineup sometime in the future?

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Android and iOS continue to gain market share in Q1 2011

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May 212011
 

Gartner earlier this week released its Q1 2011 “Market Share Analysis: Mobile Devices, Worldwide” report. Smartphones continued to outpace the overall mobile communication market which saw shipments of nearly 428 million devices.

“Smartphones accounted for 23.6 percent of overall sales in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 85 percent year-on-year,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “This share could have been even higher, but manufacturers announced a number of high-profile devices during the first quarter of 2011 that would not ship until the second quarter of 2011. We believe some consumers delayed their purchases to wait for these models.”

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Apple iOS 5 to include OTA updates for iPhone?

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May 052011
 

Apple

Over-The-Air (OTA) updates may be coming to the Apple iPhone with iOS 5. A report by 9to5Mac.com which cites multiple anonymous sources indicates that the feature will be included in the first release of iOS 5. Subsequent point releases would then use the feature rather than having users connect their iPhones to iTunes to perform the update.

The feature may not be available to all users though as it will require the support of carriers. Apple and Verizon are apparently already in discussions but it’s not clear if Apple is also already negotiating with other carriers.

With current updates topping out over 600MB, it is likely that a move to OTA will also see Apple move from full OS downloads to incremental updates. Today, iTunes also provides a backup in case of a failed update. This could become a cloud-based service with iOS 5.

It is possible that OTA updates will also be coming to the Apple iPad and iPod touch.

Apple is expected to unveil iOS 5 at WWDC in June.

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Apple iPhone 5 to sport a teardrop profile?

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Apr 242011
 

Back in early March, an iPhone 5 mockup surfaced along with rumours that Apple’s next smartphone would sport an aluminium back rather than a glass one like the iPhone 4. Now, Joshua Topolsky, the former Engadget editor-in-chief, has posted a mockup of what he thinks the Apple iPhone 5 could look like on his Thisismynext.com blog. While most rumours have suggested the the iPhone 5 will not be very different from the current incarnation, his own sources suggest something quite different:

Another iPhone 5 mockup

Topolsky’s sources indicate that the iPhone 5 will be a thinner device with a “teardrop” shape reminiscent of the MacBook Air profile. The home button will get bigger and will also act as a gesture area (to support gestures in a future iOS release). The display would grow to 3.7-inches and run from edge to edge but would maintain the current resolution to retain the Retina Display technology label. Here again is a suggestion that it will use Qualcomm’s dual GSM/CDMA Gobi chipset (also heard just days ago from Verizon).

Topolsky’s sources are less certain on whether the iPhone 5 will support inductive or touch charging and NFC.

Am I the only one who thinks this design is far sexier than the iPhone 4?

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Apple announces WWDC 2011 dates

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Mar 282011
 

Apple

Apple today announced that the its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place from June 6th to June 10th 2011 in San Fransisco at the Moscone West Center.

“At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.”

Five technology tracks will be offered: Application Frameworks, Graphics, Media, and Games, Developer Tools, Internet and Web, and Core OS.

Apple has also introduced its last two iPhones at WWDC. Will we see the unveiling of the iPhone 5 this year?

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Forget those smaller Apple iPhone rumours

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Feb 212011
 

Apple

The New York Times is dismissing recent rumours that Apple will soon release a smaller iPhone form factor. Citing “people briefed on Apple’s plans,” the report indicates that Apple has no plans to introduce such a device any time soon.

Not only would a smaller iPhone not be significantly cheaper to manufacture, it would also likely force developers to rewrite their apps to support the smaller display, something that Apple wants to avoid. There are also suggestions that it would be more difficult to operate. Instead, Apple will continue its current practice of offering older models at reduced prices when it introduces the next version, expected to be released this summer.

Aside from the latest iPhone, Apple is also at work on new voice commands that will make it easier to operate the device. It is also apparently enhancing its MobileMe service with new capabilities such as cable-free file syncing. It could also drop the price of this service from the current US$100 to free to compete against similar offerings from rivals such as Google.

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Apple working on smaller and cheaper iPhones?

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Feb 122011
 

Apple

A report by Bloomberg suggests that Apple is working on new iPhone form factors. People “who have been briefed on the plans,” report that one version would be both smaller and cheaper than the current models.

The cheaper device would allow Apple to compete against the growing number of Google Android devices which are available from entry-level up to high-end handsets. Apple has considered selling this smaller device as low as US$200 without a service contract. It would achieve the lower price by using current components rather than next-generation components that will likely make into the next full-size iPhone.

Apple is also looking at a dual-mode phone which would support both GSM and CDMA. This would allow a user to switch networks without having to switch SIMs.

Rumours of a cheaper iPhone model first surfaced back in early 2008 and have never really gone away. It appears that Apple has been considering such a device for a while. The question is whether it will ever hit the market.

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Apple counting down to 10 billion App Store downloads

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Jan 172011
 

Apple

Apple has begun counting down to the 10 billion downloads milestone in its iOS App Store.

As of today, nearly 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store worldwide. Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks. Download the 10 billionth app, and you could win a US $10,000 iTunes Gift Card. Just visit the App Store, and download what could be your best app yet.

The Apple App Store was launched in July 2008. It took about a year to top the first billion download mark.

As I write this, the App Store download counter stands at 9.865 billion downloads.

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Apple asks Gizmodo to return lost iPhone prototype

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Apr 202010
 

Apple

Apple has asked Gizmodo to return the Apple iPhone prototype lost in a bar a while back. The terse letter comes from Apple’s legal department:

It has come to our attention that Gizmodo is currently in possession of a device that belongs to Apple. This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple. Please let me know where to pick up the unit.

Gizmodo revealed yesterday that it was in the possession of the device (presumably a fourth-generation iPhone after pictures surfaced on the weekend.

As Brian Lam, Gizmodo’s Editorial Director, points out, the letter from Apple goes a long way to prove that the prototype is in fact real. Now, the question is when will we see this device in its final form for real (rumours suggest June 22nd)?

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Apple sells 300,000 iPads on first day of sales

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Apr 052010
 

Apple

Apple sold over 300,000 Apple iPads on the first day that it was available in the United States. This includes pre-orders. It also indicated that over one million apps had been downloaded from the Apple App Store and over 250,000 ebooks from its iBookstore on that day alone.

“It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world-it’s going to be a game changer,” said Steve Jobs, Appl”s CEO. “iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad.”

It remains to be seen if Apple will be able to continue to maintain this momentum. It should at least in the short run as international and 3G iPad sales begin later this month.

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iPhone dispute between Apple and Cisco settled

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Feb 222007
 

Apple and Cisco have settled the lawsuit over Apple’s use of the Cisco-owned iPhone name. Going forward both companies will use the iPhone brand and they will also explore ways to make their products and services more interoperable.

As part of the agreement, the two companies have agreed to dismiss all iPhone trademark legal actions. Other details of the settlement were not revealed.

And with that, Apple clears another iPhone hurdle. But a few, like a potential lawsuit from Canadian company Comwave Telecom which owns a Canadian trademark on the iPhone name and Quantum Research threatening another lawsuit over the touchscreen technology, still remain.

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Cisco sues Apple over iPhone trademark

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Jan 102007
 

Yesterday, the news was that Cisco and Apple were in discussions over the use by Apple of the name iPhone for its new mobile phone and a final agreement was expected shortly. Today, the news is not quite so optimistic with Cisco filing a lawsuit against Apple today for the infringement of Cisco’s registered iPhone trademark. “Today’s iPhone is not tomorrow’s iPhone. The potential for convergence of the home phone, cell phone, work phone and PC is limitless, which is why it is so important for us to protect our brand,” said Mark Chandler, senior vice president and general counsel, Cisco.

Apparently, Apple has tried since 2001 to get the iPhone trademark. The suit alleges that Apple went as far as setting up a front company to try to acquire the rights.

Cisco is seeking an injunction to prevent Apple from using the name as well as damages.

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