Thursday, April 28, 2011

Foxconn employees leaked iPad 2 design to accessory makers

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Three Foxconn employees are accused of leaking the iPad 2 design to accessory maker and are being charged with it, DigiTimes reports.

Several online shopping retailers in China were able to sell iPad 2′s protective case products before the iPad 2 was even launched, leading Foxconn to suspect that there might have been some employees leaking the design of iPad 2 which it reported to the local police. The local police on December 26, 2010, arrested three employees that were suspected of leaking the design, and officially charged the three employees for violating the company’s trade secrets on March 23, 2011, the reported added.

First iPad 2 cases surfaced last December, a possible indication that some accessory makers may have been given iPad 2 design specs four full months ahead of the official introduction. Our original post was asked to be taken down, yet many more designs appeared. A lot of Apple-related leaks originate these days from Asian suppliers and contract manufacturers, but it has been rare to see those companies press charges against sources.
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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Verizon iPhone hurt Sprint sales

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Sprint Nextel has just reported their first quarter results, their first full quarter of Verizon iPhone availability. Despite adding more than 1.1 million total wireless net subscribers (prepaid: 846,000, postpaid: 310,000), best ever prepaid churn of 1.81 percent, and the lowest prepaid churn of 4.36 percent in over five years, they could have attracted even more customers if it weren’t for that pesky CDMA iPhone.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told analysts on a conference call that Verizon’s introduction of the iPhone “did have an impact on our performance for the quarter”. He would not put a dollar value to it, though. On the other hand, there are indications that CDMA iPhone sales are not currently brisk. Digitimes reports that Apple may have cut CDMA iPhone 4 orders by half to five million units, down from the ten million CDMA units originally commissioned for the entire 2011. Are potential Verizon iPhone buyers simply waiting for a next-generation iPhone?
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If you need a white iPhone 4 now, head to a store, online inventories are going fast!

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The mythical white iPhone 4 has finally landed on store shelves, as Apple promised yesterday. This time it’s for real and long lines in Hong Kong serve as an indication that Apple may have another hit on their hands, even if they only changed the color from black to white. Having waited ten months for Apple to finally produce the elegant device, it’s understandable people don’t want to wait another day.

If you’re in the market for a white iPhone, better head to the nearest Apple store right away because online orders are estimated to ship in 3-5 business days. Ouch. Looks like all stock of white iPhones is being sent to own retail stores, carriers and third-party retailers like Walmart and Best Buy. Makes sense to avoid repeating the iPad 2 launch woes when a lot of disappointed customers left home empty-handed after having waited in the line for hours.



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Credit card giant Visa funds Twitter founder’s Square mobile payment startup

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Jack Dorsey, the man who co-founded Twitter and Square, has managed to secure financial backing for his latter startup. The much-needed cash will be provided by Visa, one of the leading credit card brands. The funding comes on top of existing investments by Sequoia Capital and Khosla Ventures.

Square makes a handy dongle that turns your iPhone or Android phone into a mobile credit card reader. They hit the ground running when Apple put the device on sale on both its online and brick-and-mortar stores.




Reuters reports that Visa got a seat on Square’s advisory board although the extent of their investment remains unspecified.

The funding hasn’t changed anything in Square’s product portfolio. Furthermore, the company continues to offer their free smartphone software and the iPhone/Android dongle.

This could be the beginning of a lucrative side-business for Visa because Square targets people who need to charge clients on the spot, which includes a wide variety of professions and real-life situations.
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South Park spoofs iPhone location tracking

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Apple is again all over South Park. Season 15 of the animated television series premiered yesterday and it aired with a bunch of humorous takes on Apple’s latest PR fiasco surrounding the iPhone location tracking issue. Plus, they also ridicule the iPad as the latest fashion must-have item.

Check it out in Gawker’s reel or go to the official site and watch the entire episode entitled “HUMANCENTiPAD”, it’s worth your time (sorry, they don’t allow video embedding). Plus, the episode also pokes fun of lavish Steve Jobs media presentations.

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Apple Purchases iCloud.com for $4.5 Million?

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GigaOM reports that it has received word that Apple has purchased the iCloud.com domain name for a sum of $4.5 million. The domain had been used until recently by an online storage firm of the same, but the company recently rebranded its service as CloudMe.

My source, who is familiar with the company, says that Xcerion has sold the domain to Apple for about $4.5 million. Xcerion hasn't responded to my queries as yet. At the time of writing, the Whois database showed Xcerion as the owner of iCloud.

For the time being, iCloud.com redirects visitors to CloudMe.com, but presumably Apple will take over the domain when needed if the claim is in fact true.

We had received a heads-up about the iCloud-to-CloudMe rebranding last week, but were unable to dig up any information specifically linking the change to a purchase by Apple at that time. Obviously, specific rumors of Apple acquiring the domain with a specific purchase price lend credence to the original speculation, but we'll still be watching for the domain to officially change hands, presumably to MarkMonitor, the brand management firm that handles Apple's domain registrations (along with those of many other high-profile companies).

Apple of course is said to have completed work on a new cloud-based storage system for media, and appears to be in the final stages of securing deals with record labels before launching the service


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Apple field-testing iOS 5?

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As we nudge closer to WWDC 2011, Apple has reportedly started to field-test iOS 5. This is based on crashlog reports received by iPhone app developer FutureTap. The crashlog didn’t mention if the device was an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch but did show a device running iPhone OS 5.0, or what Apple publicly refers to now as iOS 5.

“Just received the first iOS 5.0 crash report. MKUserLocationBreadCrumb sounds interesting.”

It looks like Apple has made a few changes to the location and mapping APIs used by Where To, the app FutureTap received the crashlog from. The log didn’t reveal very much information outside of the unreleased OS, but it’s good to see they’re working hard in the background as we get closer to a summer release.

What new and exciting things are you hoping we’ll see in iOS 5? Let us know in the comments below!


*thanks Tipb*

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iOS 4.3.3 Coming in the Next Few Weeks?

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It appears that iOS 4.3.3 could be dropping in the next few weeks. In Apple’s recent response to the iPhone’s location-tracking database, the company mentions that an update to iOS is coming, “sometime in the next few weeks.”

Due to a bug in the iPhone’s location database, Apple plans pushing an incremental update to iOS very soon. There’s no word on an official release date, but we should be seeing iOS 4.3.3 before the end of next month.

In its Q&A, Apple said that the next update to iOS would include,

“reduces the size of the crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower database cached on the iPhone,

ceases backing up this cache, and

deletes this cache entirely when Location Services is turned off.

In the next major iOS software release the cache will also be encrypted on the iPhone.”

So, no major updates to speak of, but people that were concerned about the privacy issues related to this location-tracking issue will be able to rest easy.

There most likely won’t be any added features or enhancements to iOS until we see iOS 5 this summer.

In the meantime, jailbreakers make sure to save your blobs. An untethered jailbreak for iOS 4.3.2 was pushed out pretty quickly, and we suspect the same thing will happen if 4.3.3 comes out in the next couple weeks.


*thanks IDB*

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