Thursday, January 27, 2011

Schmidt Declares 'Steve is Absolutely Brilliant'

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt discussed his shift to executive chairman and his thoughts on Apple among others at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Schmidt reportedly dismissed rumors that the change in leadership was due to issues over Facebook or Google's dealings with China. He maintained that the change was to simply clarify and tighten the lines of authority between him, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin.

According to FORTUNE, Schmidt said Google partners with Apple on search, maps and YouTube. It competes, on phones. Google also might in theory compete with Apple's Macintosh computer business with its Chrome OS hardware that Google hopes "to announce later this year," Schmidt said.

"Steve is absolutely brilliant," said Schmidt, referring to Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, where Schmidt was a longtime board member. "(He's) the most successful CEO in the world anywhere." Comparing Apple's iPhone and iPad platform to Android, he said: "They managed to build an elegant, scalable, closed system. Google is attempting to do something with a completely different approach."




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Apple Stores in China Outsell Flagship Manhattan Store

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China has Apple's highest-grossing stores worldwide less than three years after Apple opened its first one in Beijing, according to a Bloomberg report.

Revenue in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the first quarter quadrupled to $2.6 billion from a year earlier, Cook said during a Jan. 18 earnings call. Those regions will contribute "well over half" and possibly as much as 100 percent of Apple’s total earnings growth in the next two years, Morgan Stanley estimates.

"We put enormous energy into China, and the results of that have been absolutely staggering," said Apple COO Tim Cook. "It's clear that we're introducing a lot of people to Apple who previously had not been introduced to the company."

On the same earnings call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that the four Apple stores in China generate, on average, the highest traffic and highest revenue of any company stores in the world.







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iOS Apps vs. Web Apps

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AppsFire has analyzed over 1,000 iOS devices and found that only 10% of their time is spent in a mobile browser.

This encompasses both mobile web apps and regular web browsing, so usage of veritable mobile web apps is actually significantly less than 10%. This is in stark contrast to the figure of 50% time spent in native apps, not including the default mail app and other typical telephony apps (mostly default, or pre-installed apps, but also including Skype).

Further Results:
● The median iOS user installs 88 apps to accompany the 20 pre-installed on the device.
● The market for paid apps is quite healthy: 23% of apps on a device are paid apps.
● Games account for much of native app usage: 32% of time spent for native apps (not including telephony or mail) is for games.

Take a look at the graphic below...



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Court Grants Sony's Temporary Restraining Order Against Geohot for jailbraking the ps3

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The United States District Court of California has granted Sony's request for a Temporary Restraining Order and Order of Impoundment against Geohot over the PS3 jailbreak.

Having considered all the papers and arguments, the Court finds that SCEA has shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its claims for violation of the DMCA and CFAA, and that it will suffer irreparable harm unless Defeendant Hotz's violations are enjoined. The Court also finds that a Temporary Restraining Order and Order of Impoundment are necessary to prevent immediate and irreparable injury to SCEA before the hearing on the Order to Show Cause regarding the preliminary injunction can take place, and to preserve the status quo. The Court further finds that the balance of equity and interests of justice support granting such relief.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently addressed the matter. "That [Sony] can silence speech that reveals security flaws using the DMCA and that the mere fact of a terms of use somewhere gives a company permanent and total control over what you do with a device under pain of criminal punishment — are both sweeping and frightening". Its more than a little concerning that the United States Court is upholding Sony's actions.

[Document 50] [Document 51]





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Navigon Updates MobileNavigator Traffic Live, Intros New Car Kit

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Navigon has announced an update to its MobileNavigator Traffic Live feature and introduced a new car kit at MacWorld 2011.

Traffic Live is a feature available to Navigon MobileNavigator users via an in-app purchase for the GPS-based navigation app. The latest update will boost road coverage by 76 percent to more than 200,000 miles of North American roads, according to Navigon. More significant, the update includes more than 87,000 miles of secondary roads like city streets. That enhances the Traffic Live feature’s ability to provide alternate routes; Traffic Live can now detect and reroute local and city traffic, determining which route will get you to where you want to go faster.

Navigon also introduced the Navigon Car Kit which will work with the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4 models. The kit includes a mounting device and suction pad holder for easy attachment as well as a connection cord and car charger.

MobileNavigator North America costs $60 but is being offered for $50 through January 30th. The Navigon Car Kit costs $50 but is being offered for $45 through February 3rd.




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Apple's iPad Revolution

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To celebrate the iPad’s first birthday, OnSwipe has created this infographic to detail its successes.

Take a look below...


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Apple and News Corp Send Out Invitations to Press Event

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Apple and News Corp have sent out invitations to the press for the launch of 'The Daily', a news publications designed specifically for the iPad and other tablets, according to the Loop.

The event will take place at 11:00am EST on Wednesday, February 2nd. News Corp Chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch will be joined by Apple's Vice-President of Internet Services, Eddy Cue to introduce the publication.

Steve Jobs was rumored to be present for the event; however, its likely that Cue is taking Jobs place due to the CEO's medical leave of absence.




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AT&T Activated 4.1 Million iPhones Last Quarter, Adds 2.8 Million Subscribers

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AT&T has posted their fourth quarter results which reveal that the company activated 4.1 million iPhones and added 2.8 million subscribers.

More than 7.4 million postpaid integrated devices were sold in the fourth quarter, including the second-largest quarterly number of upgrades in the company’s history. Integrated device sales included 4.1 million iPhone activations. More than 80 percent of postpaid sales were integrated devices.

Fourth-quarter revenues totaled $31.4 billion, net income attributable to AT&T was $1.1 billion, and diluted earnings per share totaled $0.18 including significant items.

Highlights included:
• $0.18 diluted EPS, $0.55 excluding significant items; compared to $0.46 diluted EPS and $0.50 per diluted share excluding significant items in the year-earlier period.
• Consolidated revenues of $31.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up $653 million, or 2.1 percent, versus the year-earlier period.
• 9.9 percent growth in wireless revenues, with a 9.6 percent increase in wireless service revenues.
• Best-ever wireless net adds, with a more than 2.8 million increase in total wireless subscribers to reach 95.5 million subscribers in service; full-year wireless net adds totaled 8.9 million, the company’s best-ever annual total.
• Continued expansion in new wireless growth areas; connected devices up a record 1.5 million; iPad- and Android-based tablets up 442,000.
• Postpaid subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber) up 2.2 percent to $62.88, the eighth consecutive quarter with a year- over-year increase, driven by continued robust growth in revenues from wireless data services, such as messaging, access to applications and related services. Wireless data revenues grew 27.4 percent, up $1.1 billion versus the year-earlier quarter.
















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System Support Products Releases Key Holder 2.0

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System Support Products has announced the availability of Release 2 of Key Holder for Apple Mac OS X. Key Holder is a password account storage application. For each account, the account name, user, password, Internet URL, and a memo field for miscellaneous notes can be kept. The Key Holder account window is compact and can be shown in a vertical or horizontal orientation, allowing it to be kept open for convenience and easily tucked out of the way.

Enhancements in the new release include:
* Application re-written as a Universal Binary for native execution on both Intel and PowerPC processors
* Multiple account files can now be open simultaneously
* Account window now has an optional user-customizable tool bar
* Replaced the find command with a tool bar search field that filters the account list
* Memo field size has been increased to 3 lines and now includes a scroll bar as necessary
* Memo field will expand with window size when the window is in horizontal orientation

Pricing and Availability:
Key Holder for Mac OS X is currently available for a one-time charge of $14.95 (USD) from the System Support Products, Inc. web site. Registered users of Key Holder who have purchased within 6 months prior to this announcement will be provided with the new release free of charge. Other registered users will be offered Release 2 for an upgrade charge of $8.




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Reggie Ashworth Releases VidConvert 1.0

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Independent software developer Reggie Ashworth has introduced VidConvert 1.0, a new video converter for Mac OS X. VidConvert is a video converter designed to make converting your videos simple and easy. VidConvert will convert just about any type of video into one of the many popular formats of today. Creating videos for your iPhone or iPad, for your Mac or TV, or formats such as DivX and MPEG are just a click away with VidConvert.

You do not need to be an expert to use VidConvert. Simply add a file, select a format and a quality, and click convert. Optionally you can change your save folder from the main window. For advanced users you can select the Advanced quality if you choose to allow such options as custom Frame Rate, Bit Rate, etc. But for most users simply choosing Normal or High quality should be sufficient. After your conversion is finished simply add more files or quit VidConvert and the job is done.

Supported formats include iPhone, iPod, iPad, QuickTime, .mp4, MPEG-1 and 2, DivX, Xvid, and audio only formats such as .mp4 and .m4a. VidConvert can add iTunes compatible videos directly to your iTunes library for convenience and for syncing with your iPhone, iPod, or other iDevice. It's also possible to turn your favorite videos in audio only tracks for playback in your favorite audio device. And VidConvert is not limited to creating videos just for Apple devices, in fact any device that can play one of the supported formats can play a video converted by VidConvert. With VidConvert converting your videos couldn't be easier.

Feature Highlights:
* Supported input - Most any type of video format
* Supported output - iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, QuickTime, .mp4, DivX, Xvid, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, .vob, .m4a, .mp3, .wav
* Normal and High quality presets to make video conversion automatic for most users
* Info panel to obtain Container, Video, and Audio details for each video
* All Apple Devices format to play on all iDevices or Apple TV
* Crop and Trim and more in the Advanced panel to customize your conversion if needed
* Drag and Drop simplicity even with folders of videos
* List reordering once videos have been added
* Easily change Save To folder for each batch
* Progress indicator with time remaining for each file
* Sparkle updater to always have the latest version

Language Support:
* U.S. English with more to come

Pricing and Availability:
VidConvert 1.0 is only $7.99 (USD) for a single user license. A demo which creates 2 minute samples is available.


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Apple TV Surpases iPad in Netflix Viewing Hours

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Netflix has revealed in its earnings release that viewing hours on the Apple TV have now passed viewing hours on the iPad.

The devices with large installed bases – meaning Windows and Mac laptops, Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo Wii – are the most popular devices for watching instantly from Netflix. AppleTV has done very well for us, and in just four months has passed the also-growing iPad in Netflix viewing hours. The Roku player remains a strong performer. Our iPhone and Windows phone applications are very popular, and we’ll have support for several Android phones this year. While Google TV has not yet gone mainstream, the concept of Android and Chrome built into televisions and Blu-ray players is powerful; we’re confident that they will be very successful, and we are investing in our Google TV application. Blu-ray players and TVs with Internet connectivity are the big growth categories for us, as more and more providers are building in Wi-Fi across their product lines.

While its clear that viewing on a television is preferred to the small iPad screen, Apple has sold over 15 million iPads compared to a little more than 1 million Apple TVs.




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Verizon iPhone 4 Pre-Orders Start at 3am EST February 3rd, Trade-Ins Accepted

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Verizon has sent an email to corporate customers detailing the start of iPhone 4 pre-orders, according to MacRumors. Existing customers have the opportunity to purchase the device a week before new customers.

- Make sure you have your My Verizon self-serve account set-up online. Orders can only be placed through your my Verizon account. You can register/setup your account at... myaccount.verizonwireless.com

- On February 3rd at 3am EST, Verizon Wireless will allow our current customers to order upgrades or new lines to their accounts through your My Verizon online account (make sure you have registered before the 3rd).

Verizon also says they will let customers trade in their AT&T iPhones for the Verizon device; however, its unclear if this opportunity is for corporate clients alone. The trade-in prices are as follows:
- iPhone 2G - 16GB: $60
- iPhone 3G - 16GB: $105
- iPhone 3Gs 32GB: $160
- iPhone 4- 16GB: $280
- iPhone 4 - 32GB: $360

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MacBook Pro Supplies Dwindling Ahead of Refresh?

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Supplies of existing MacBook Pro models have reportedly begun to dwindle ahead of a potential refresh.

MacRumors has heard from several sources that supplies of Apple's existing MacBook Pro models, particularly the 15" and 17" sizes, are beginning to run low in Apple stores and at third-party retailers, suggesting that the company may be drawing down stock in advance of an update to the product line. At least one major retail chain has reportedly notified its branches that it has been unable to fulfill replenishment orders, a situation that has been tied to forthcoming product updates in the past.

Apple last updated the MacBook Pro on April 13th. The new models are expected to bring some of the MacBook Air features and the new Sandy Bridge CPU from Intel.




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Second Generation Apple Peel Aims to Turn Your iPod Touch Into an iPhone 4

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The second generation Apple Peel is a case for the iPod touch that aims to turn it into an iPhone 4.

The new Peel adds voice calling, SMS messaging, GPRS and EDGE data, and an iPhone 4 shaped case to your iPod touch. It will reportedly support the iPod touch 4G as well as earlier models.

Not information on pricing or availability has been announced; however, you can see the Peel being demonstration in the video below...




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Apple Posts, Then Pulls, Verizon iPhone Ordering Pages

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During a minor update to their website early this morning, Apple accidentally posted the Verizon iPhone ordering pages, then promptly pulled them.

MacRumors managed to capture screenshots of the pages which reveal a price of $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models. Voice plans start at $39.00/month for 450 minutes, $59.99/month for 900 minutes, and $69.99/month for Nationwide Unlimited. Family SharePlans start at $69.00/month for 700 minutes, $89.99/month for 1400 minutes, and $99.99/month for 2000 minutes.


Data costs $29.99/month for the unlimited plan and an additional 2 GB of mobile hotspot and tethering data costs an additional $20/month.

Messaging plans cost $5 per 250 messages, $10 per 500 messages, and $20 for unlimited messages. The pay per-message rate is 20 cents per text and 25 cents per picture/video message.








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