Saturday, April 23, 2011

Apple Tracking Customers

Security researchers unveiled this past week that Apple's iPhone was logging the whereabouts of the user's location and storing it on the device.
But it's not just iPhones that are keeping track of their users. Apple's iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and iPad models are also keeping track of consumers whereabouts. Mac computers running Snow Leopard and even Windows computers running Safari 5 are being watched.

The question is why?

The company has remained silent after researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden revealed this Wednesday that the iPhone was storing logs of users' geographic coordinates in a hidden file.

"We're not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it's clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations," the security experts wrote in their blogs.

While Apple has since remained tight-lipped on the matter, not responding to any media-inquires, another privacy snafu last year gives insight into what the company is doing with the information.

In June 2010, Congressmen Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Joe Barton, R-Texas wrote a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs inquiring about Apple's privacy policy and location-based services.

In response the company's general counsel Bruce Sewall wrote a letter explaining its practice, and shedding light on the rationale the company uses to monitor users.

"To provide the high quality products and services that its customers demand, Apple must have access to the comprehensive location-based information," Sewall told Congress in the letter.

After emphasizing Apple's commitment to users' privacy, Sewall said that to provide these location-based services, Apple, its partners and licensees, may collect, use and share customers' precise location data, including GPS information, nearby cell towers and neighboring Wi-Fi networks.

While the security researchers Allan and Warden did not confirm whether the devices were actively sending data back to Apple, Sewall said that it was within Apple's right to do so.

"By using any location-based services on your iPhone, you agree and consent to Apple's and its partners' and licensees' transmission, collection, maintenance, processing and use of your location data to provide such products and services," Sewall's letter reads, citing Apple's End User Agreement.

But he added that the information is collected anonymously and the devices give users controls for disabling the location features.

In addition to giving Apple customers the ability to turn off all location features with one "on/off" toggle switch,
Apple requires applications to get explicit customer when it asks for location information for the first time. Apple also stores the location information in a database only accessibly to Apple, the letter says.
But though Apple says that its location data practices support the services its customers want, analysts and activists say the practice still raises serious questions.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apple Gets Sued by Angry Parents

A band of parents have recently come together and sued Apple for allowing their children to destroy their credit cards in app purchases. They claim that their kids are granted too much access to purchase apps without their parent's consent and feel that they should make it harder to purchase from the Apple Store.

One individual in particular, Garen Meguerian, a father of two from Pennsylvania, is suing on behalf of every parent that is angry about this issue and believe that Apple is scheming against the kids to buy products without knowledge of their parents.

Meguerian stated that he allowed his children to purchase a couple of free games onto the device. But what he didn't know was that to play these games you would need to purchase items within the game itself in order to play. So once Meguerian found out that his kids had purchased items for money on accident, he was furious.

For instance, Smurfs' Village is a free download. Despite this, the object of the game is to build a virtual village, and you need "smurfberries" to build it. The children are provoked to buy these "smurfberries" for money. These smurfberries can cost up to $59!

Although to purchase an item from the App Store requires a password, this password up until recently only lasted about 15 minutes. Now it lasts longer. In just under a minute, some kids were purchasing over $100 in items within these apps without knowing it. Apple is taking millions from the parents of these kids who don't know better, when in reality they think they are getting their children a free game.

The Federal Trade Commission has confirmed an investigation on Apple for in-game purchases and we will likely see a change in their policy for apps.

If  Garen Meguerian is going to try and win a lawsuit against one of the biggest companies in the world, he is going to need a very good lawyer or attorney. Without a good lawyer or attorney, he will make it nowhere and will lose and Apple will reign once again.

New iPhone in September, A5 Chip confirmed

The successor to the iPhone 4 is reportedly scheduled to ship in September this year, according to Apple's suppliers.

Reuters reports that production of the new iPhone is set to begin as early as July, with previous rumours of a 2012 release date apparently being proved false. The site claims to have spoken to three people with direct knowledge of the supply chain of the device, who spilled the beans about the suspected 2011 launch.

However, you may be disappointed if you're expecting a revolutionary new phone, as the yet-to-be-released iPhone 5 is shaping up to be more of an evolution of its predecessor than a radical new design. It will apparently look similar, and the only noticeable upgrade will be a faster processor.

This flies in the face of many wish lists for Apple's next phone, with a better camera, dual-core processor and more internal storage proving to be the most lust-worthy upgrades. In addition, there is expected to be new insurance for the iPhone which will pretty much cover any costs for damages that happen to it.

If these rumours prove to be true, we'll essentially see just a refresh, or the equivalent of an iPhone 4GS when it launches in September, with the iPhone 6 still rumoured to be set for a 2012 released date. This new phone will still dominate other mobile phones and have exceptional phone service.

Also, Apple has sent developers a new iPhone 4 with an integrated A5 processor, confirming the speculation of a A5 processor for the next iPhone. This A5 chip is said to be twice as fast as the A4, a dramatic increase in functionality. With this, they plan to allow developers to test the games on the new processor and see if it runs well. If it shows positive, we will definitely see the next iPhone with an A5 chip just as the iPad 2 runs on.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apple: Successful Second Quarter

Apple’s fiscal second quarter results were well ahead of expectations as the company sold more iPhones and Macs than expected. Apple’s iPad units looked light relative to expectations.
The company reported earnings of $5.99 billion, or $6.40 a share, on revenue of $24.67 billion. Wall Street was looking for Apple to report earnings of $5.37 a share on revenue of $23.38 billion.
For context, Apple’s revenue a year ago was only $13.5 billion. Finance is going well for Apple at the moment.
By the units:
  • iPhones: Apple sold 18.65 million iPhones in the March quarter, up 113 percent a year ago. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster was expecting 16.2 million and the consensus view called for 16.6 million units. That pop in iPhone units indicates that additional distribution at Verizon was a big help. Meanwhile, AT&T kept selling a lot of iPhones.
  • iPads: Apple sold 4.69 million iPads in the March quarter. The timing of the iPad 2 launch and supply constraints made this figure a total wild card. Wall Street was looking for 6.2 million iPads in the quarter. Munster had 5.5 million. Given the uncertainty around supplies, the real iPad sales focus will be for the June quarter.
  • Macs: Apple sold 3.76 million Macs in the March quarter. Analysts were expecting 3.6 million.
  • iPods: Apple sold 9.02 iPods in the quarter. Analysts were looking for about 10 million.
Apple’s outlook fell in line with historical norms. Simply put, Apple lowballs its outlook. The company projected earnings of $5.03 a share on revenue of $23 billion. Wall Street was expecting third quarter earnings of $5.25 a share on revenue of $23.82 billion.
In a statement, CEO Steve Jobs said the company was “firing on all cylinders.” Jobs said the company will “innovate on all fronts throughout the remainder of the year.
On a conference call with analyst, CFO Peter Oppenheimer made the following points:
Key points from Oppenheimer:
  • Mac sales have outperformed PC growth for 20 consecutive quarters. MacBook Air and MacBook Pro led the sales charge. Mac channel inventory was between 3 and 5 weeks. Oppenheimer said:
The growth in Mac sales was fueled primarily by the continued great popularity of the MacBook Air, which was updated in the December quarter, as well as very strong sales of MacBook Pro.
  • Americas and Asia iPhone sales doubled year over year. Oppenheimer said that Apple was able to boost capacity. Apple has 186 carriers in 90 countries. iPhone channel inventory was 4 to 6 weeks.
  • 88 percent of large enterprises deploying or testing iPhone.
  • On iPad, Oppenheimer said there was distribution in 59 countries. “We sold every iPad 2 we could make in the quarter,” he said. He said CIOs continue to embrace the iPad.
  • Apple will open 40 new retail stores in 2011. Three quarters of those stores will be outside the U.S.
Tim Cook, operating chief of Apple, said there wasn’t any supply or fiscal impact due to Japan’s earthquake in the March quarter. Cook doesn’t see any impact in the fiscal third quarter. Apple sources from multiple vendors in Japan and has been able to create alternate plans. Cook said it will stick with suppliers in Japan. However, “the situation remains uncertain,” he said.
On the iPad 2, Cook said he was pleased with the manufacturing ramp and confident that the company could meet “staggering demand.” Cook added he’s confident company “can produce a very large number of iPads in the quarter,” but stopped short of saying supply and demand would be balanced.
Shares gained in afterhours trading, but remain off the 52-week high above the $364 mark. If this continues, they will surely see a bright future ahead in finance for the company.

Key data points:
  • Research and development spending in the quarter was $581 million, up from $426 million a year ago. For the six months ending March 26, Apple spent $1.15 billion on R&D.
  • Apple had $15.97 billion in cash and another $13.35 billion in short-term marketable securities.
  • Revenue in Japan was down 4 percent sequentially.
  • iTunes-related revenue was $1.63 billion in the quarter.
  • Apple’s Mac mix continues to move toward notebooks over desktops.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apple Rejecting Incentives to Installing Apps

Following murmurs of Apple making changes to its App Store ranking algorithms to devalue the effect of downloads alone, new claims have been made that Apple is actively rejecting applications that include features designed to boost installations. The Apple Store has been very lazy on cracking down on these incentives but recently has had some problems with insurance of their company, so now they are desperate to reclaim their status.

A letter sent to developers by Tapjoy, a company that runs a program that promises to "drive 100,000-plus app installs daily" as well as grow revenue by 100 percent, said that an unspecified number of applications making use of the promotional program were being rejected by Apple.

"To be clear, there is no new Apple policy that we are aware of," wrote Mihir Shah, Tapjoy's president and CEO, in the letter picked up by VentureBeat. "It seems there may be a new interpretation of the existing 3.10 clause, which is a bit surprising, as Tapjoy, AdMob, iAd, Flurry, W3i and others all power various forms of app install advertising."

The 3.10 clause Shah is referring to is part of Apple's App Store Guidelines, which highlight manipulating and cheating of user reviews and chart ranking within the Apple Store, threatening to ban offenders:

3.10 Developers who attempt to manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews, or any other inappropriate methods will be removed from the iOS Developer Program

Shah said if that was the case, it was a "misconception" by Apple about the company's pay-per-install program, as well as others like it.
"We believe there are significant benefits to the advertiser (only pay for what you get), the publisher (monetize users who otherwise wouldn't pay), and perhaps most importantly to the users, who not only get to discover new, exciting applications, but receive what is essentially a coupon for ad-funded virtual currency inside one of their favorite apps," Shah wrote. "All of this, of course, adds up to value for Apple as well, by creating a viable and thriving ecosystem."

Despite Tapjoy's claims, not all these companies are convinced Apple has made sweeping changes to its reviews system to bar such features from applications. W3i, a company that offers a similar pay-per-install advertising program, would be a likely target. But company spokesman Ryan Ruud told CNET that "it's too early for us to speculate on alleged rejections or changes to Apple's policy."
Like Tapjoy, W3i's pay-per-install advertising program gives developers and publishers a way to promote applications through its network of participating applications that offer in-game points and rewards to users. The company would not say how many iOS applications make use of the system, but based on the promise of being able to "crack" the Top 25 app lists on multiple platforms, and claims of pushing more than 1.5 million total application installs per day, it's safe to say the number is high.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it was barring applications that made use of such features. CNET also reached out to Flurry, Google-owned AdMob, and Tapjoy for more information about the scale of any rejections for applications that make use of the two systems.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Apple Focused on Gaming

iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are all huge right now and games continue to be one of the most popular uses for these devices. Whether it is driving cars, or getting car insurances for the cars you are driving, gaming is very popular among the Apple Store. Graeme Devine is the former iOS games guru who oversaw the titles for Apple until last December (he now has his own studio GRL Games). Devine knows a thing or two about Apple's gaming plans from the inside, and IndustryGamers asked him about it recently. 
After a pause, he said he "can't talk so much about that" and laughed, but he went on to note that Apple is indeed serious about the games space. The impression that Apple just creates its hardware and doesn't pay attention to the games industry is wrong, he told us.
"Apple is clearly focused on gaming. A lot of people say Apple doesn’t get gaming, but Apple has probably the most popular gaming device on the planet right now, and that doesn’t happen by accident," Devine stated. "Apple is intensely focused on gaming and intensely aware of it. Every ad for the iPod Touch only shows games; no running music."
He continued, "Game Center is a start, but Apple never puts anything out and says, 'Okay, now we’re done.' They only progress that software on, and that’s only going to expand up. I think if you look at the array of Apple between moving some of the iOS stuff onto the desktop, the Apple TV with Airplay, and the iPad and the iPhone, these things are converging. That’s exciting for game developers, I think."
Apple TV in particular presents an intriguing opportunity, and we've heard analysts tell us in the past, that it could easily become the next games console, where you access the App Store from your living room HDTV. It would be pretty easy for Apple to stuff some iPad 2 tech into the Apple TV to make a more high-end system. 
Devine, of course, wouldn't reveal anything, but he seemed jazzed about the idea, which he said "would be crazy cool."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

iPad shakes Hardware Industry

The biggest force for change in Silicon Valley's hardware sector last year was a new kind of computer that many people had never imagined before: The smash debut of Apple's (AAPL) iPad tablet sent shock waves across the hardware industry, which accounts for more revenue, profit and employees than any other tech sector.

While revenue and profit rose for the sector as a whole, sales of Apple's new gadget, introduced in January 2010, helped drive up Apple's revenue 63 percent and profit by a stunning 78 percent. As the Cupertino company's stock price rose 53 percent, Apple passed Microsoft to become the world's most valuable tech company, by market capitalization.

The iPad also symbolized a broader revolution: As competitors scrambled to introduce their own tablets, the industry confronted the prospect of a post-PC world, where many consumers and workers are using Internet-connected tablets and smartphones instead of desktop or notebook computers.
"People are thinking twice about using a PC," said George Shiffler, an industry expert at the Gartner research firm.

PCs are still a major business, especially for Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), the world's biggest tech company in sales and the valley's biggest in employees. But HP made a strategic move last year to buy smartphone maker Palm, acquiring a well-regarded software platform that HP hopes will lure buyers to its own tablets and phones as well as printers and PCs.

Palo Alto-based HP also faced challenges in the commercial tech market, where former allies Oracle (ORCL) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) now sell their own servers and computer systems. HP increased its share of server sales around the world, while expanding in new areas such as data storage and computer security.

While its sales and profits increased, HP's market value fell 29 percent last year; the stock plunged after the resignation of CEO Mark Hurd last summer. Under new CEO Léo Apotheker, the stock has started to recover.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apple Adds 'Do Not Track' to Safari

Apple has jumped on the "do not track" bandwagon by adding the privacy tool to a test version of its Safari browser, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The "do not track" option is included in Lion, the next version of Apple's Mac OS X. It's currently only available to developers, and scheduled to be released later this year. The Journal said mentions of "do not track" started popping up in Web forums and on Twitter; Apple has not made any formal announcements.

A "do not track" option basically provides Web users with the option to not have their online activity tracked. This type of data is highly valuable to ad networks, which can use it to serve up more targeted advertisements. In many cases, relevant ads can be helpful to the Web surfer, baut there is a concern that the average person has no idea what type of information is actually being collected. "Do not track" will provide them more control, according to supporters.

Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla already incorporate versions of "do not track" into their browsers.

The "Advanced" screen in Mozilla's Firefox 4 Options tool now includes a box that, when checked, tells websites that you want to opt-out of tracking used for behavioral advertising. Mozilla added the feature to a pre-build version of Firefox in January, and added it to the beta in February.

Microsoft Tracking Protection was included in the release candidate of Internet Explorer 9, which was announced earlier this year. At the launch event for the RC, Microsoft also announced four partners for Tracking Protection: Abine, TRUSTe, PrivacyChoice, and AdBlock Plus. These firms will provide lists of sites that plant small tracking code on many other Web sites to profile users' site history and habits. The Tracking Protection feature in IE9, which was first introduced in December, will allow users to block this snooping by either using one of these lists or automatically determining the offending web domains. In later February, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards body, gave Microsoft's plan its stamp of approval.

Google, meanwhile, has a Chrome Extention called Keep My Opt-Outs, which empowers users to permanently opt out of ad-tracking cookies.

"Do not track" initiatives got moving in December when the Federal Trade Commission unveiled a broad plan for online privacy, which included the "do not track" provision.

Congress has also stepped into the debate. In February, Rep. Jackie Speier introduced the Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011, which would give the FTC 18 months to come up with standards for companies to follow when it comes to online tracking.

Several people with a very good lawyer and attorney took this idea to court, trying to get more privacy. Although these trials did not go through and make change, these uprises led to reform.
Just this week, Sens. John Kerry and John McCain also introduced a new "privacy bill of rights" law that would give users more control over how their information is used on the Web, while Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican, introduced a similar measure in the House, dubbed the Consumer Privacy Protection Act of 2011. Anyone who goes against this law and takes advantage, well you will definitely need a new lawyer or some attorneys because John McCain will stand up against you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apple Plunges PC Success

For the first time in six quarters, worldwide shipments of personal computers declined during the first three months of 2011, according to reports from Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp. (IDC) released this week. Despite faltering demand for PCs, Apple enjoyed increased sales and market share compared to the year-ago quarter.
IDC's report indicated 80.6 million PCs shipped worldwide during the quarter -- a 3.2% decline from the same time last year. Gartner's figures showed sales dipped by 1.1% to 84.3 million units. In the United States, both firms agreed PC sales dropped from about 17 million units in the first quarter of 2010 to about 16.1 million PCs this year. Meanwhile, Apple watched its figures grow in the US, netting either 8.5% or 9.3% of the market -- a healthy jump from the 7% share the Cupertino-based company saw at the start of 2010. These finance statistics prove just how much Apple is dominating PC.
Apple's iPad may have also taken a significant bite out of PC sales. IDC said tablets like the iPad, which weren't included in either reporting firm's PC shipment calculations, contributed to shrinking demand for more powerful -- and more expensive -- notebooks and desktops.
"With the launch of the iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to buying an alternative device, or simply held back from buying PCs," said Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa.
A recent survey by Google-owned AdMob supported the idea that tablets are changing consumer habits. In the survey, 43% of the respondents said they spend more time using their tablets than their PCs. These changing habits may lead more consumers to ditch their PCs for iPads or other tablet devices.
Although the dip in sales and early indications of changing customer habits sound gloomy, it's premature to predict impending doom for the PC market. Personal computers continue to get faster and more capable, extending their usable lifetimes; people may simply be holding onto their PCs for longer and choosing to postpone upgrades until the economy more fully recovers. Political unrest in the Middle East and last month's earthquake in Japan contributed to softened demand in those regions. Gartner said PC shipments in Japan declined 13.1% in the first quarter. And companies like Apple and Lenovo both saw increased sales in their respective PC families, sparking hope that the PC industry can still find opportunities to compete with phones and tablets. As we see from the finance side of the argument, Apple is definitely beating PC by a longshot.

"The U.S. and world-wide PC market continues to work through a difficult era that we expect will continue into next quarter, but will start to improve in the second half of the year," said Bob O'Donnell, an analyst for IDC. "While it's tempting to blame the decline completely on the growth of media tablets, we believe other factors, including extended PC lifetimes and the lack of compelling new PC experiences, played equally significant roles."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

White iPhone 4 Soon

Apple's white iPhone 4 coming in 'next few weeks'

A new report claims that Apple will finally begin selling the white iPhone 4 by the end of April after having resolved manufacturing challenges that resulted in a 10-month delay.

Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the white iPhone is nearly ready for launch on both AT&T and Verizon, corroborating an earlier report from AppleInsider that the device would launch in April.

In March, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told AppleInsider that a full-lamination problem had prompted necessary changes to the film material on the white iPhone 4, resulting in a now 10-month delay.

The report also tracks with a Twitter message posted by Apple VP Phil Schiller last month. "The white iPhone will be available this spring (and it is a beauty!)," Schiller said.

Earlier this year, AppleInsider learned that Apple had turned to a Japanese company to craft a new paint material in order to overcome the manufacturing problems of the white iPhone 4.

White iPhone 4

Apple repeatedly delayed the product in 2010, citing manufacturing issues. Last October, the company announced that the white iPhone 4 would not arrive until spring 2011.

The extended delay of the white iPhone 4 has prompted speculation that Apple will hold off on releasing a redesigned iPhone this summer. Numerous rumors have now suggested that Apple will instead release the so-called iPhone 5 this fall, with one report suggesting that Apple would not release a next-generation iPhone until after Apple's fiscal 2012 begins in late September.

The Feb. 10 release of the CDMA iPhone 4 on Verizon has also fueled rumors that Apple will choose not to refresh the iPhone this summer. Pundits questioned whether an iPhone update just 4 to 5 months after the Verizon iPhone launch would anger customers who signed 2-year contracts.

The Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker has historically released a new version of its bestselling smartphone every summer in June or July. Last week, analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities noted that Apple is "keeping its iPhone 5 cards extra close to the vest" in order to avoid a slump in iPhone 4 demand ahead of a refresh.

Insiders connected to Taiwan-based touch panel makers indicated Wednesday that Apple has yet to provide them with a production roadmap for the next iPhone. The sources were split, however, as to the interpretation of the situation. Some believe that Apple will release a slightly modified iPhone 4 this summer, while others speculated that a "major overhaul" would come at a later date.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Brand new iMacs for $1049; iPhone 5 in China by October; jailbreak-less iPhone unlock

AppleInsider sponsor MacMall on Tuesday again teamed with eBay to offer readers a killer deal on Apple's 3.06GHz 21.5-inch iMac, selling brand new units for $1,048.99 while supplies last. And one analyst has been told Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to launch in China by October. Finally, hackers have found an iPhone unlock method that apparently does not require a jailbreak and occurs through iTunes.

eBay, MacMall offer 21.5-inch iMac for $1049

The promotion, which is part of eBay's ongoing Daily Deals blowout sale, knocks $150 (or 12.5%) off the entry level iMac, bringing the cost down to $1,048.99, which is the lowest price we've ever seen on this model.

These are brand new, unopened iMacs featuring an Intel Core i3 3.06GHz, 4GB (2x2GB) DD3 SDRAM, 500GB SATA HDD, 21.5" LED-backlit display, ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256MB GDDR3, SuperDrive, Gigabit Ethernet, Airport Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi, SDXC card slot, Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse. There's a strict limit of on per customer.

Readers interested in this deal can compare it to prices from Apple's other authorized resellers in AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide, the iMac segment of which is included below:

On Sale
3.06GHz 21.5" iMac$1,199.00$1,138.94$1,048.99**$1,118.94$1,138.95$1,130.04+$1,137.88$1,149.00 $150.01
3.20GHz 21.5" iMac$1,499.00$1,428.99$1,428.99$1,409.00$1,429.00$1,400.67+$1,428.88$1,399.00$98.33
3.20GHz 27.0" iMac$1,699.00$1,624.73$1,624.73$1,603.00$1,624.74$1,594.67+$1,623.88$1,599.00$104.33
2.80GHz 27.0" iMac (QC)$1,999.00$1,917.94$1,917.94$1,917.99$1,919.00$1,934.18+$1,918.88$1,899.00$81.06
* + or • : Net prices after rebates and AppleInsider's exclsuive 3% discount. The 3% discount coupon is automatically embedded in the links above. It will show up as "Instant Discount(s)" during checkout, only affter you've added the Mac to your shopping cart. Full details via AppleInsider's complete Mac Price Guide.

Rumor: iPhone 5 on track for October launch in China

Analyst Brian White issued a note to investors Tuesday, in which he revealed he attended a China electronics trade show where certain information was relayed. Sources at the event were varied, suggesting the iPhone 5 will debut in June, while others said it won't be unveiled until September.

In late March, numerous reports indicated that Apple has no plans to unveil new iPhone hardware at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple has used the conference in years past to unveil the next version of the iPhone.

Sources at the event also reportedly told White that the iPhone 5 appears on track for an October launch in China. Reports have suggested that Apple does not plan to introduce its anticipated iPhone 5 until after fiscal 2011, which concludes in late September.

For comparison, the iPhone 4 launched in China in late September last year. White said it's possible that, if the iPhone 5 is released later than June, Apple could ramp up its international availability faster than the iPhone 4. That's the same approach Apple used with the iPad 2, which debuted in 25 countries overseas just weeks after it went on sale in the U.S.

Finally, White was also told to expect the iPad 2 to launch in China during June, which would be much sooner than the late September 2010 launch for the first-generation iPad.

Jailbreak-less unlock for iPhone uses Apple's database

Various online services that offer to unlock customers' cellphones for a fee began this week selling an unlock for Apple's iPhone that works through iTunes. This is the first time that such services have been available without a jailbreak. Jailbreaking is an extreme controversy. Many don't know if it is against the law. Well to put it simply, it isn't, you just lose your insurance on your Apple product. If Apple ever tries to take you to court for it, you won't even need a good lawyer or attorney because you will win easily.
iPhone jailbreak community member "MuscleNerd" explained on Twitter that the unlock is accomplished by using access to Apple's database, which allows it to be activated through iTunes. The "illicit" hack costs $169 from the site

The site advertises that it can unlock an iPhone, allowing it to be used on any compatible carrier, with a turnaround time of 2 to 5 days. It also claims that the product is a "permanent" solution, but "MuscleNerd" indicated that Apple has the power to "revoke" an unlock if an iPhone were to be restored via iTunes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

iPhone 5 Rumors

Rumors regarding the next iteration of the iPhone have been flying left and right. If you’ve been following the rumor mill, you know that there’s a lot of potential innovations to be implemented into Apple’s next iPhone.
Will Apple release several different iPhone models at once? Will the next iPhone be considerably smaller than its predecessors? Will Apple release the iPhone 5 on all carriers with a universal baseband?
These, among others, are all questions being asked about the next iPhone. Let’s examine the rumors and try and make sense of it all…

What’s Expected

What we do know, based on Apple’s product cycle, is that a new iPhone announcement should happen this summer. About a month ago, Digitimes released some interesting information regarding Apple’s supply chains. Digitimes reported that Apple was ramping up for iPhone 5 production, which would place Apple’s projected announcement date right around the normal time of the WWDC conference in June (possibly on June 5th).
Apple is planning on increasing the battery life of its next iPhone. A patent has surfaced revealing that Apple is planning on improving the iPhone’s battery life by increasing battery cell density. Every new iteration of the iPhone has had better battery life than the last, so this improvement is almost a given for the iPhone 5.

The next iPhone will most likely have Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. NFC is a relatively new breakthrough in mobile payment, and reports from the likes of Bloomberg claim that Apple will implement NFC into the iPhone 5.
NFC would primarily be used to let the iPhone interface with and make payments for physical products and ads through RFID technology. If you’ve ever used a mobile device to scan a bar code or a QR code, you should have a good grasp of how NFC works.
AppleInsider reports that Apple plans to implement NFC in a new and interesting way,
“White said that his sources have indicated to him that the next iPhone will include NFC technology. However, Apple’s approach will reportedly have “a twist that will make it unique versus his peers.” White did not give any indication as to what the “twist” could be.”

Apple will reportedly make its cloud-based service, MobileMe, free with the release of the next iPhone. MobileMe has always been overpriced and lacking in key functionality when compared to other free web services like Google.
Rumors say that Apple is bringing significant updates to MobileMe. Along with the remarkably reduced price tag, speculation says that MobileMe will become a much more integrated part of the iOS experience in the near future. A streaming iTunes media service could also work in tandem with an updated MobileMe. If the next iPhone is indeed mostly cloud-based, these MobileMe rumors make sense.

A Possibility

Apple could release a smaller iPhone dubbed the “iPhone Nano.” This miniature iPhone would probably be sold unsubsidized (no $200 hardware fee) and depend on internet streaming for content.
The Wall Street Journal has also reported that the iPhone Nano will posses an “edge-to-edge” screen and have voice navigation. A cheaper iPhone Nano could have the potential to increase Apple’s smartphone revenue by over 250% and saturate the market with cheap iPhones on different carriers.
It is worth noting that there have been conflicting reports about the iPhone Nano. The New York Times claims that the iPhone Nano will not be any smaller than the iPhone 4, but that it will be cheaper. The NY Times also corroborated the report that Apple will make MobileMe free.
We shall see what happens.

The next iPhone could have a larger 4 inch display. Digitimes has claimed that Apple will increase the iPhone’s display size to compete with current Android handsets that all boast 4 inch screens.
While Apple has never really been one to feel the pressure of competition, a slightly larger screen on the next iPhone wouldn’t be a stretch. This idea also compliments the rumor that the next iPhone will not have a home button. (Don’t worry, we’ll get there.)
An iPhone with a slideout keyboard? Hey, it could happen.
While the idea of an iPhone with a slideout keyboard does seem unlike Apple, it’s entirely possibly that the (or “a”) next iPhone could have a slideout keyboard. A Taiwanese site called claims that Apple will implement a slideout keyboard in the iPhone 5. We’ll see if this rumor ever comes true.

The next iPhone could have no home button. Boy Genius claims that Apple will replace the home button’s functionality with new multitouch gestures.
A home buttonless iPhone would definitely be a drastic design change. It’s unknown as to how this would effect the jailbreak process (it’s kind of hard to put an iPhone in DFU mode without a home button), but I guess we’ll find out this summer.

The iPhone 5 could have a universal baseband and sport a dual core CPU. Apparently, the Verizon iPhone actually has a universal Qualcomm chip, but Apple has it disabled. It makes sense that Apple would introduce an iPhone 5 “world phone” with the ability to run on any carrier.
A dual core CPU also makes sense for the internals of the next iPhone. Apple always improves performance with each new iteration, and the ARM Cortex A9 processor seems like the next logical step for the iPhone 5.

Far Fetched

An interesting patent suggests that Apple may eventually plan on using its Magsafe connector for power and data transfers on iOS devices. Apple’s MacBooks use Magsafe for power, but Apple wants to have Magsafe replace its USB connector for iPods and iOS devices.
If Apple can successfully achieve power and data through Magsafe, it’s assumable that Magsafe will become the standard connector for all Apple mobile devices in the future. We probably won’t see Magsafe on the iPhone this year, but I’m sure Apple has it on the distant horizon.

LTE has been a question on the iPhone since the technology’s introduction in the mobile space. Apple is definitely working on implementing LTE into the iPhone, but not for the near future. In fact, Apple only recently posted the job listing for an LTE specialist.
While we won’t be seeing LTE in the iPhone 5, Apple will most likely introduce LTE in the generation after this year’s cycle. Apple has never been a company that quickly adopts new technologies, and LTE is no exception to that rule.

Finally, there are some rumors for a new insurance plan for your iPhone. This plan will probably cover almost all damage that an iPhone has even if it might have been your fault. This insurance will only cover you 2 times, but it will be very beneficial if something happens to it.


We could possibly see three different iPhone models released this summer, or Apple could stick with its track record and release one device. Most likely the iPhone 5 will have improved performance and battery life, NFC technology, and some sort of display size change. MobileMe will be apart of the next iPhone announcement, and the biggest design change could be the lack of a home button.
Hopefully this article helped you sort through all of the speculation on the iPhone 5.
Now that you’re familiar with the rumors- What do you expect out of Apple’s next iPhone? What would you like to see? A larger screen? Better camera? I’d just like to be able to buy one in white.