May 3, 2010
Posted: 10:02 AM ET
Will the iPad be bigger than the iPhone?
That's true in a physical sense, obviously. Apple's iPhone fits in your pocket. Its iPad - which is a touch-screen computer without a keyboard - would look ridiculous if you put it up to your ear.
But the iPad, it turns out, is also bigger in terms of initial sales.
Apple on Monday announced it has sold 1 million iPad computers in the 28 days the device has been available. The iPhone, which debuted in 2007, didn't hit the million mark until 74 days after it went on sale.
“Demand continues to exceed supply and we’re working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers," Apple CEO Steve Jobs says in a press release.
That begs the question: Will the iPad end up being a bigger hit than the iPhone, which has revolutionized the smartphone industry?
It's very early, and the iPad still has a long way to go. While 1 million iPads have been sold this year, the analyst firm Piper Jaffray says 36 millions iPhones will be sold this year worldwide, according to the blog AppleInsider.
It's also important to note that the iPhone cost $499 and $599 when it first hit the market. Sales didn't really take off until 2008, when Apple slashed the entry-level price of the device to $200, putting it within reach of more consumers.
Let us know what you think in the comments. What, if anything, do these sales figures mean? Is the iPad on track to change popular computing the way the iPhone changed what a mobile phone could be?
April 29, 2010
Posted: 11:50 AM ET
Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Thursday said 200,000 applications are available in his company's mobile app store - and they all benefit because they're not built in Flash.
In a post on Apple's website, Jobs listed reasons none of those apps support Flash, a format that supports video, animation, games and other content and is made by tech competitor Adobe.
Some tech bloggers have criticized Apple for not supporting Flash on its mobile devices, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod. But Jobs said Adobe Flash is a format for the past.
Performance, not business strategy, guides Apple's decision not to use the format, he said.
"Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice," he wrote in the post. "Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short."
Adobe has complained its business "could be harmed" by Apple's decision not to use the format.
Jobs listed several specific reasons Apple doesn't use Flash. Some of the more interesting ones:
_ "iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video," he wrote.
_Apple products run more reliably without Flash: "Flash is the number one reason Macs crash."
_Flash isn't made for touch-screen devices: "... Many Flash websites rely on 'rollovers,' which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot." Apple's touch screens don't use rollovers.
_And, most important, Jobs said, is that Flash slows down app development: " We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers."
What do you think? Is Jobs right, or should Apple support Flash on its devices?
April 26, 2010
Posted: 05:34 PM ET
The Gizmodo-iPhone saga continues.
Gizmodo, the technology blog that recently published details about Apple's next-generation iPhone after paying $5,000 to get its hands on the device, posted documents today showing that police raided one of its editor's homes.
A search warrant posted by Gizmodo says police on Friday seized computers, cameras, hard drives, business cards and computer servers from the home of Jason Chen, the site's editor who last week published details about Apple's unreleased smartphone.
The warrant, issued by a judge in California's San Mateo County, says police were able to raid Chen's home because they had reason to believe his computers were used to commit a felony. The warrant makes specific reference to the unreleased iPhone 4 and gives police the authority to look for e-mails and other documentation related to the gadget.
Gawker Media, which owns Gizmodo, published a statement saying the raid was unlawful because of journalistic protections. Chen works from home, so his house should be protected as newsrooms are, the statement says.
In an account posted on Gizmodo, Chen says he returned home from dinner to find police searching his house.
Chen, who apparently has not been arrested or charged with a crime, says his door was kicked down as part of the search.
For background, you can find Gizmodo's account of how the blog acquired the unreleased iPhone here.
April 22, 2010
Posted: 06:03 PM ET
It's probably been a tough week for Apple engineer Gray Powell, what with him reportedly losing a next-generation iPhone in a bar, only to see photos of the super-secret device later spashed across the internet.
Tech blogs say Powell left the prototype, which was disguised as an iPhone 3GS, behind at Gourmet Haus Staudt, a German beer hall in Redwood City, California. The iPhone was later sold to tech blog Gizmodo for $5,000.
There's been rampant speculation that Powell is in trouble with Apple for losing the phone. But Lufthansa, the German airline, is offering to help the 27-year-old drown his sorrows.
The airline’s director of marketing and customer relations has written an open letter to Powell, dated April 21 and posted on the internet.
“I recently read in the news that you lost a very special phone at a German beer bar in California," writes Nicola C. Lange. "We all know how frustrating it can be to lose personal belongings … at Lufthansa we also noted with great interest your passion for German beer and culture."
Lange goes on to say, "[Lufthansa] would like to offer you complimentary Business Class transportation to Munich where you can literally pick up where you left off.”
The letter was attached to a tweet posted on the airline’s Twitter page Thursday. It said, “If you can help us get in touch with Gray Powell, we’d like to fly him to Munich.”
As marketing gimmicks go, this is a pretty good one.
There was no word as of late Thursday on whether Powell had accepted the offer. But if he does, maybe he should leave his iPhone at home.
April 19, 2010
Posted: 03:11 PM ET
It looks like Apple employees should be keeping their top-secret, next-generation iPhones out of bars.
In a post simply titled "This is Apple's next iPhone," tech blog Gizmodo on Monday showed video of a phone they say is almost certainly a version of the smartphone due to be released this summer.
The phone was found in a bar in Redwood City, California, about 20 miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, according to the post by Gizmodo's Jason Chen with reporting help from several other staffers.
"We're as skeptical - if not more - than all of you. We get false tips all the time," the post read. "But after playing with it for about a week - the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone - and disassembling this unit, there is so much evidence stacked in its favor, that there's very little possibility that it's a fake."
According to the post, the phone had been camouflaged to look like a currently available iPhone.
The Gizmodo post says the phone they found has the following features:
_ flash for its camera
Gizmodo obviously wasn't offering too many details about how they got their hands on the phone.
But in the post, Chen wrote that the person who found it was able to run Apple's new iPhone 4.0 operating system before that system was officially announced last week.
Apple remotely killed the phone's operating system before Gizmodo got their hands on it, he wrote.
The find was being widely considered the real deal in the tech world.
"At this point we’re pretty much certain it is this summer’s new model," wrote Wired magazine. "Somebody at Apple is in big trouble."
Tech blog Engadget posted photos Saturday from a tipster showing a phone similar to the one Gizmodo displayed.
April 13, 2010
Posted: 12:47 PM ET
Surprise, surprise - an app from Web browser company Opera that promises faster surfing in the iPhone and iPod Touch was approved for the Apple store Tuesday, the Norwegian company said.
The free app, which Opera says will cruise the Web up to six times faster than Apple's Safari browser, is expected to be available later today or Wednesday.
The announcement comes after speculation over whether Apple would sign off on the app. The company has taken a hard line on denying outside applications that compete with Apple-created software already on the iPhone.
Opera, which had challenged Apple by launching a months-long publicity blitz before even submitting the app, maintains its browser has strengths different enough from Safari to justify its addition to the Apple Store.
"We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod Touch users a great browsing experience with the Opera Mini app," said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. “This app is another step toward Opera's goal of bringing the Web to more people in more places."
Opera says its browser moves faster by compressing roughly 90 percent of data on a Web page before rendering it. While that doesn't work well for complicated online functions, it makes simply reading Web pages quicker, Opera says.
In the smartphone market, Opera was already available on BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm and Android platforms.
Opera Mini also runs on the Symbian platform and is huge on mobile devices, which accounts for many of its more than 50 million monthly users worldwide, according to the company.
March 30, 2010
Posted: 09:40 AM ET
The move, if it happens, would be a big shift from the current iPhone, which only works in the U.S. with AT&T - a sore point for some users.
The paper cited "people briefed by the company." Spokespeople for Apple, Verizon and Vodaphone Group, an international carrier, refused to comment, according to the Journal.
An AT&T spokesman said there has been lots of incorrect speculation about an iPhone that runs CDMA, a wireless network used by Verizon, Sprint and others.
"We haven't seen one yet and only Apple knows when that might occur," the spokesman told the paper.
Apple did not immediately return a message from CNN.com Tuesday seeking comment.
Apple has had an exclusive relationship with AT&T in the United States since 2007.
The unnamed sources also told the Journal what's considered an open secret in tech circles - that Apple will separately release a new version of its current iPhone this summer. The new phone will be thinner and have a faster processor, two souces reportedly told the Journal.
Speculation that Apple would expand the iPhone to other wireless carriers has abounded for months. Many reports, citing Apple sources, have said such a move was coming.
But the Journal report sent Apple stock soaring Tuesday morning. The stock, which already closed at a record $232.39, jumped as much as 6.41 points (2.75 percent) in after-hours trading.
One source said the non-AT&T iPhones will begin production in September, while others said the schedule is still up in the air.
March 24, 2010
Posted: 04:12 PM ET
Fresh off an announcment that they'll be revamping their popular news-sharing site, Digg on Wednesday went live with a new iPhone app.
The free app is designed to give users a look at the most popular stories on the Web, as chosen by Digg's millions of monthly users.
It lets users browse lists of recent content, rate stories, search for specific topics and save stories to read later.
The app was available Wednesday afternoon in Apple's European store and was expected any time in the U.S., according to a Digg spokeswoman.
Digg will be releasing a similar app for the Android platform soon and plans updates to the iPhone version based on user feedback, said the spokeswoman.
At the South by Southwest Interactive festival earlier this month, Digg CEO Jay Adelson announced an invitation-only beta of a new version of the site which creators say will be faster, more personalized and allow anyone, not just Digg users, to suggest stories to the site.
Founded in 2004, Digg and similar sites like Reddit [which already has an iPhone app] and Mixx have taken a hit as more people use sites like Facebook and Twitter to share links. But Adelson said Digg still has about 40 million monthly users.
What do you think? Is Digg an app worth picking up?
March 22, 2010
Posted: 02:15 PM ET
Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From scifi and fantasy to gadgets and science, if you can geek out over it you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's Marquee and SciTech blogs.
The launch of the iPad is looming, but some of us are still more concerned about what's going to be new for its smaller-statured brother - the iPhone.
There will likely be an update to the phone’s operating system in conjunction with the release of the iPad. The question is – what will we get?
There have been plenty of rumors that this update will be BIG. Of course, "big" is a relative term and could really mean anything.
The hottest rumor is that the phone may actually be able to finally run more than one application at a time.
For Apple geeks, that would be bigger than big - that would be huge - and would bring our beloved iPhone in line with Palm’s Pre.
There are some other smaller features I would love to see come to my favorite technological addiction. Some of these include:
_ Tethering/Hotspot creation: The Palm Pre can do this – time for AT&T to allow the iPhone to do the same – i.e. create a wireless hotspot or allow the phone to be tethered to a laptop so you can surf anywhere. I don’t even care if I have to pay for this feature – just don’t expect me to pay much. (An additional $15 -25 would be in line with what I'd expect).
_ Bluetooth remote profile: The last update gave us Bluetooth streaming for wireless headphones and other audio devices. But for some unknown reason Mr. Jobs neglected to include the profile that lets you change tracks. Please enable this!
_ Custom sound sets: Friends with jailbroken phones (who will remain nameless) lord this over me all the time. Why can’t I make my e-mail, SMS or other alerts sound like whatever I want? Also, why can’t I choose just one email address (my work account for example) to beep/buzz when I get a new email? Right now it’s all or nothing.
Those are just a few of the things that bug me on this phone. And as always, it’s not that the phone isn’t great - it’s that it could be so much better!
What features do you want to see? What isn’t there that drives you crazy? And let's leave new hardware features for another post!
March 19, 2010
Posted: 03:22 PM ET
By some accounts, this week hasn't been so great for Google.
The first bit of bad news concerns sales of Google's Nexus One phone.
On Tuesday, the market analytics firm Flurry released a report saying initial sales of Google's Nexus One phone have been slim compared to the Droid and the iPhone. The firm compared sales of those those phones over the first 74 days they were on the market. In a blog post, Flurry says it chose that time period because that's how long it took the original iPhone to sell 1 million handsets when it was released in 2007.
By comparison, only 135,000 Nexus One phones were sold in that phone's first 74 days. More from Flurry's post:
Google responded to that news by playing up the Android Market, the online store where people with Android phones - like the Nexus One and Droid - buy applications, according to Engadget.
Google issued a statement to CNN, saying:
Not everyone says this news is so bad, though. Concern about the Nexus One's slow start is "more than a little ridiculous," writes Derek Thompson at The Atlantic:
The other potentially troublesome story concerns Google's search traffic.
Microsoft's Bing search engine appears to be making slight inroads on Google, which still dominates that territory. A Nielsen report, issued Monday, found Microsoft searches in February made up 12.5 percent of the search market, compared to 10.9 percent in January. Meanwhile, Google still accounts for 65.2 percent of all U.S. searches.
The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital blog notes that the shift in the search market is "slow going":
What do you think? Is Google, clearly one of the world's dominant tech companies, in any trouble here?
Was its jump into the mobile phone hardware market misguided, or do you think Nexus One sales may still take off? We welcome your thoughts in the comments section below.
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