Thursday, August 25, 2011

iPhone ’4S’ frame found, antennas differ

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We initially detailled what developers were calling an iPhone 4S’ way back in April. It was essentially an iPhone 4 with an upgraded processor. Then an iPhone that was supposed to be running on T-Mobile USA’s 3G network turned up shortly thereafter with an interesting antenna design.

Today, iPatchiPods.com and MacRumors stumbled upon some of what they think might be ‘iPhone 4S’ bodies. Both sides of the frame are shown above and feature a slightly different antenna design than the iPhone 4 with the only breaks being at the bottom of the phone.

Interestingly, the frame also deviates from the iPhone 4 in where the home button lies, leaving them to speculate that there might not be a home button, there could be a capacitative home button or some sort of other redesign.

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Competitors react to Steve Jobs’ resignation

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Yesterday’s news that Steve Jobs decided to stand down as the CEO of Apple wasn’t entirely shocking to seasoned Apple watchers who knew this day would come. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, if you were willing to read early signs, such as an open-ended sick leave nearly stretching into its ninth month. Wall Street understandably sent AAPL down 4.6 percent to $358.75 in early New York trading in what one investor described as “an emotional trade in the short term” that also affected Nasdaq-100 Index and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index which both declined a fraction of a percent on the news. Meanwhile, companies Apple counts as competitors gained. Both shares of Samsung and LG Electronics, which compete fiercely with Apple on smartphones, gained 2.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, in Seoul trading.

NH Investment & Securities Co. analyst Seo Won Seok says Cook, Apple’s newly appointed CEO, “may try to improve the relationship with Samsung” or even work out a settlement of sorts. The notion has its merits as Steve Jobs was a strong advocate of intellectual property protection as Apple banned the copyist Samsung from selling smartphones and tablets in Australia, the European Union and elsewhere. Jobs exit could also turn into “lease of life” for Sony, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard, HTC and ZTE Corp – all companies under tremendous competitive pressure stemming from Apple’s successes in multiple markets. While Samsung and HTC spokespersons wouldn’t come on the news, top dogs from Sony, Nokia and ZTE would. Here’s how they complimented Jobs’ achievements…



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Apple CEO A tough act to follow

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In an operational sense, today won’t be any different than yesterday at Apple. The people who help curate the sjobs@apple.com email address will probably be putting in some extra hours, the work changing around the placards is probably almost done, and it appears Apple isn’t going to be doing any sort of media tours to ‘help allay investor fears’.

And they don’t need to. Nothing has really changed. I imagine bigger changes were slowly happening behind the scenes a few months ago when Operations VP (incidentally, Tim Cook’s original title) Jeff Williams was promoted to the Executive Bios page. He probably began doing the work of a traditional COO at around that point and, of course, Tim Cook has been acting as a traditional CEO on and off for years.

As Cook’s email to the troops this morning explained, Apple is not going to change – drastically, that is. As any company, Apple is always changing. But Jobs has set up an internal ‘University’ program run by a former Yale dean to make sure that his and other leaders’ values continue to be passed down to Apple’s new VPs and employees.

Steve Jobs hired dean of Yale School of Management Joel Podolny to run the Apple University, an internal group also featuring business professors and Harvard veterans that are writing a series of case studies to prepare employees for the life at Apple after Jobs. These case studies focus on Apples recent business decisions and internal culture, they are exclusive to employees and taught by top executives like Tim Cook and Ron Johnson.
As John Gruber made note, Apple the company is as meticulously designed as any Apple product:

Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself.
Apple is the most valuable tech company in the world, an accomplishment that took fourteen years of fantastic long-term decision making. That same intelligence and foresight has gone into the planning of life after Jobs roaming the hallways. Compare today’s long-prepared news on Apple’s share price (none) with that of HP’s bungled earnings news last week on their share price (–20%).

Renaissance Man
Jobs isn’t just a technologist. He built and directed Pixar into the greatest animation studio in the world ahead of anything Hollywood could produce. He changed the music industry forever.

“For a guy who never recorded a song, or signed a band, or founded a label or a music festival, Steve Jobs has probably had more of an impact on the music world than any other person in the last quarter century – and possibly since Thomas Edison.”
He might have been the best, but for all of his greatness, Steve Jobs was not a perfect leader. There have been a few flops and mistakes. Perhaps Jobs was too trusting of Google early on? Options back-dating happened under his watch. AT&T?

Obviously, the triumphs far, far outweigh the mis-steps. As you look at a 55-year-old man in the body of someone decades older, it’s hard not to imagine what a healthy Steve Jobs with twenty years left at the helm might accomplish. I wouldn’t compare the loss of Jobs’ ability to “move the world forward” to the burning of the Library of Alexandria, but it’s hard to find another such comparison that makes sense. This is the man that ushered in personal computers, then did it again with the Mac GUI, then put iOS on portable devices and ushered in the smartphone revolution that we are in the midst of right now and finally re-invented the Post-PC personal computing device. He might have even done things we don’t even recognize yet. Perhaps he’s killed office park campuses with the Mothership HQ? Maybe Apple releases a wearable device in a few months that changes watches like the iPhone changed phones?

What huge innovations will we miss decades from now?

Perhaps the knowledge of his own mortality pushed Jobs even harder. You don’t need to listen to his famous Stanford speech to understand his appreciation for the opportunity he got as a cancer survivor. He worked every day as Apple CEO, just like yesterday, his last.

So how is anyone supposed to follow Jobs, especially an Industrial Engineer out of Auburn who, comparatively, seems introverted and certainly not as innovative?

Give Cook some credit

Remember, Jobs hand-picked Tim Cook to be his successor. What greater honor could you bestow on someone? Jobs didn’t just pick him out of the air, either: they’ve been working alongside each other for over a decade. Jobs picked Cook to be VP of Operations just months after taking back the reigns at Apple in 1997-98. We’re talking 13 quality years working side by side every day here.

As we know, Jobs isn’t shy about telling people what he thinks or cutting people loose who aren’t meeting his expectations. If there were a better candidate in the world for being the COO and now CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs would have found him or her.

Cook has managed Apple’s employees, partners, vendors and everything else during its decade+ renaissance. Remember, Steve Jobs’ first round at Apple and subsequent venture at NeXT were mired in operational mis-steps. Sure, Jobs learned from his mistakes, but I think Jobs would be the first to give Tim Cook credit for turning Apple into the operations machine it is today.

But can Tim Cook live up to Steve Jobs’ leadership? Read more




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Apple begins to roll out new category home page redesigns in the App Store

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As pointed out by The Next Web Apple has begun to role out a new redesign for category home pages in the App Store. The redesign follows suit with the home page of the App Store, displaying a large horizontal banner which runs through the category’s featured apps. As of now, the redesign is only appearing in the Education and Games sections.

Besides the banner, Apple has removed the section that displayed all of the category’s apps, and has replaced it with the “Staff Favorites” section. Now, the three sections for each category are: ”What’s Hot”, “New and Noteworthy”, and “Staff Favorites”.

The iPad is also seeing these updates — again for only the Education and Games section. The iPad’s “What’s Hot” section is now replaced by “Staff Favorites,” and the banner is displayed. This is most likely on its way to rolling out through the whole App Store.

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Steve Jobs bio will cover the resignation, on track for November 21 release

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Authorized Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, CG-rendered

Steve Jobs’ resignation yesterday will be covered in the upcoming authorized biography by writer Walter Isaacson. Furthermore, publisher Simon & Schuster’s tells, the book is still on track for the November 21 release:

Publisher Simon & Schuster said the highly anticipated tell-all biography, written by acclaimed biographer Walter Isaacson, will include Wednesday night’s announcement from Jobs’ point of view.
The writer “speaks to Jobs regularly and is still working on the final chapter of the book”, spokeswoman for the publisher told PCMag.com.

Amazon lists the $19.50 asking price for the hard cover version of the upcoming biography, a $13 saving over its retail price of $32.50 and just $2.5 more versus its digital-only counterpart that costs $17 in pre-order over at Apple’s iBook store. As you’d imagine, Jobs’ biography is getting scooped up like mad right now. Heck, even that fake Steve Jobs biography from China managed to sell four thousand copies at ten bucks each, and that was five days ago.

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Chrome gets Omnibar history sync, Lion multitouch gestures, and more

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Several new enhancements have surfaced in the latest developer version of Google’s Chrome browser. As previously announced, the software now respects Apple’s multitouch gesturing philosophy in OS X Lion. This means you can flick your finger left or right on your Magic Mouse (or two fingers on a trackpad) to advance and go back in your history. Unfortunately, the browser won’t yet let you double-tap or pinch to smoothly zoom in and out of web pages iPhone-style, like Safari on Lion. Another nice-to-have: You can now rest assured that accidentally hitting the Command + Q combo won’t quit Chrome because a subtle overlay appears telling you to hold down the combo briefly in order to quit (see the above screenshot), which has been around for awhile since past builds.

Chrome now supports Lion’s Full-Screen feature through standard full-screen button found in the upper right corner of the window. The latest nightly build across all platforms also added Omnibar history syncing (see below), in addition to the previously available syncing of extensions, passwords, bookmarks, web apps, autofill items, browser settings and themes. A multi-profile feature has also seen some work in the visual department, even though it is not yet available in nightly Chrome builds for OS X. If you wish to try out those experimental features, we recommend installing the Google Chrome Canary build that runs without a hiccup alongside your existing stable Chrome installation.



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Foxconn: We wish “Steve Jobs well”, expect Apple to “perform well in the future”

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Interesting that Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, issued a statement regarding Steve Jobs’ resignation from his CEO post at Apple. The Asian company wrote in a short email statement to Bloomberg:

Foxconn wishes Steve Jobs will get well. We think Tim Cook has shown good work as stand- in CEO during Jobs’s absences and expect Apple will perform well in the future. The relationship between Cook and Foxconn has been very close and we expect that the relationship will become even closer in future.
Asian companies are traditionally tight-lipped and shy away from commenting on their partners’ business dealings so it’s a bit surprising Foxconn would put out a statement, let alone touch on the subject of Steve Jobs well-being. On the other hand, Foxconn is Apple’s largest contract manufacturer and as such has been instrumental in ramping up manufacturing to meet the growing demand for Apple’s gadgets around the globe.

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The Woz: “Apple just needs to stay financially responsible” in the post-Jobs, post-PC world

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In early reactions to Steve Jobs’ sudden CEO departure to assume the chairman role of the company’s board of directors, Steve Wozniak, the man who co-founded Apple 35 years ago in Jobs parents’ garage, initially told Bloomberg that Jobs once told him that it was his “life’s plan to bring technology to the world”. BYTE.com editor Gina Smith, who co-authored “iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way”, briefly interviewed Wozniak yesterday who said that “Steve needs now to just have some ‘Steve time’. He deserves it”. The Woz doesn’t think much will change in Apple’s DNA following the leadership change. He said:

You’ve got to remember. He was surrounded by great, great people at Apple … and those people are still there. I don’t think the core Apple culture will change because of (Jobs’) leaving, not for a long time. Apple is set up. It just needs to stay financially responsible.
Wozniak told The Next Web that he wasn’t close enough to the Silicon Valley luminary to “tell you what his reasons were for resigning”, adding this on Apple’s culture of secrecy:

A lot of people have been hurt by it when they’ve been affected, but I’m totally behind it. I like to have new products developed without being influenced by outsiders. It’s been one of the greatest things for Apple’s success.



Jobs, of course, is a legendary visionary and the world’s ultimate product developer whose on-hands approach to the creation of Apple’s gadgets helped a great deal turn the ailing company on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1990s into the world’s second most-valued corporation.

“Do you know how many committees we have at Apple?”, Jobs asked rhetorically Walt Mossberg during the D8 conference, before quipping, “Zero. We have no committees at Apple”. The line came in response to Mossberg’s question whether Apple taps market research in developing hit products.

Wozniak also said this about the post-PC, post-Jobs Apple:

He’s probably going to be remembered for the next 100 years as the best business leader of our time. He will watch the company for a while, hope its on such a good track. For a company as large as Apple, corporate culture doesn’t change overnight. The quality of the people doesn’t change



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Tim Cook addresses Apple troops as newly appointed CEO, says “Apple is not going to change”

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If you don’t know by now, former Apple COO Tim Cook will officially be taking over the reins as Apple CEO following Steve Jobs emotional resignation yesterday. While this left some to wonder whether or not the Apple culture Jobs help create would remain, Cook has now addressed the Apple team as CEO (posted below) ensuring the company and devoted followers that the core principles of Apple will indeed stay the same. (via ArsTechnica):

Cook has considerable experience at Apple and in the technology industry as a whole. Having joined the company in 1998 (after working at IBM for 12+ years) as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations, Cook’s work ethic and dedication eventually leaked over to the Macintosh division in 2004, and ultimately landed him in a role as COO where he has been since 2007. Cook is also said to have filled in for many of the key, day-to-day tasks that Jobs (who was recently on medical leave) would have otherwise performed, giving him not only experience at Apple, but also over a years combined experience as CEO.

Tim Cook’s full address to Apple employees as CEO:

Team:

I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.

I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.

I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.

Tim


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- Posted using my iPhone 4