I Know A Fake When I See One

Today, there are more than a few pics depicting what appears to be the front face of the next iPhone, presumably called the iPhone 6.  Well, I can tell you this.  It doesn't jive with the design direction that Apple is heading towards nor does it work with how best one will interact with a larger screen iPhone.

I'm calling it a fake or someone getting turned around by misinformation.  (Appleinsider).

It's possible that I just refuse to believe that Apple will go back to the iPhone 4 screen ratio and that the pic showed what is essentially a bigger size iPhone 4 or 4S.  Operationally, whatever size the screen that is bigger than the current 4" on the iPhone 5S and 5C, Apple will have to compromise somewhat on the one-hand operation doctrine.

Why are we trafficking in rumors when we've consistently said in the past that we wouldn't?  Well, we've walked a fine line here but I believe we haven't.  Pointing out a bad rumor is a public service in my mind.

Samsung Right Up There With Battery Life - Apple, Google, Microsoft Far, Far Behind

Say what you will about Samsung (good or bad), it appears that Samsung has made battery life a priority, something that I have found lacking in the mobile market in general and, more specifically, lacking over with Apple and other major mobile hardware makers.  I specifically pointed out Apple because this is likely one area where Apple will be forced to copycat Samsung.

For years, Apple has accused Samsung as a copycat.  Apple is both right and wrong.  It's right because Samsung does copy Apple.  Let's be fair about this, folks.  Samsung does.  But it doesn't just copy Apple. 

At the same time, Apple isn't guilt free as far as being a copycat goes.  It has in the past taken the best features from other companies and made it its own.  Albeit, sometimes improve upon them. 

In the mobile where, having impressively long battery life is a feature.  As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the most important feature a phone or tablet can have.  According to Phone Arena, Samsung's new Galaxy S 5 is in a class of its own with battery life that nears that of tablets like Apple's iPad Air with its impressively long battery life.

And I reiterate again, Apple will have to figure out a way catch up to Samsung with better battery life on its iOS devices, specifically the next generation iPhone.  And if I were Samsung, I'd use battery life to hammer Apple or anyone else in its marketing.

Galaxy S5 will sport 8 hours and 20 minutes of battery life while only behind the iPad Air by 18 minutes.  It's biggest phone competitor, the iPhone 5S is way behind at just 2 minutes over 5 hours.  As an iPhone user, I'm very disappointed with its battery life.  Sure, it'll last me a regular day's worth of mobile activity but it's very moderate by most standards.  If I use the camera or wireless features too much, I'd start worry about finding an outlet or making sure I've got my external battery pack handy.

So, this is absolutely a knock on Apple.  But at the same time, Google, LG, HTC, and Microsoft/Nokia are even worse. 

Privacy: Messaging Scanning, If Google And Others Can, Why Not Facebook

I'm never one to defend Facebook.  I think it's privacy policies are horrible and a detriment to society as whole.  Cannot stand the company.  Having said that, I'm a bit perplexed by the class-action suit against Facebook (Electronista) for scraping messages to better target ads. 

I know that its policies says (or had said) otherwise but we cannot expect this not to happen.  All those personal details there just for the taking.  You know it.  I know it.  Every Facebook user should know this.  This is how Facebook works.

It says one thing and does another.  It'll withstand the fines or any public blow-back.  And as far as blow-backs go, there really has not been any in the media.  Some blogs like ours here but not much else.  I've given up trying to preach to others about the evils of Facebook. 

The thing is this.  If Google, Microsoft, and others scrape e-mails, timelines, and messages to better target ads, why is anyone else expecting anything different from Facebook despite what its privacy policy says.  And unless the fines are so big, companies will continue to push the envelope on this.

And whose fault will it be?  The users who are addicted to these social networks.

Apple, American Express, Mobile Payment: Twenty Five Percentage Of a Market Isn't Bad If It's the High-End and Profitable

I have been thinking about mobile payment for a while and have been waiting for the day when I can just leave my wallet at home and just carry around with me my phone as far back as I can remember.  So far, that day is not even remotely close.  But that's the topic for another day. 

Mobile payment is what is on everyone's mind these days with dozens of efforts to try to get it off the ground including early and continuing attempts to make work with NFC.  However, without the support of a few major players like Apple, it's going nowhere.  See, Apple has its own vision for mobile payment and we've see a few pieces of this initiative in Passbook and TouchID.

Whatever and however the implementation Apple decides to proceed with mobile payment, here's the thing to consider.  The iPhone accounts for about 20 to 25% of the mobile market in terms of units sold each year and we don't know if the needle on that will move further up much.  Still, 25% of a market could be seen as a failure, right?

Not if this 25% consists mostly of the high-end portion of the market. And that is exactly what Apple has for the most part.  This is true in terms of iOS device sales as well as the PC market where Apple has only 10% of the overall computer market but seems to be the only computer company that is making any money these days.

What does this have to do with mobile payment.  Consider the four dominant cards available.  According to The Nilson Report, VISA and Mastercard dominates the credit market with American Express account for 12%.  In terms of transactions, American Express accounted for little more than 3.5%. 

However, CardHub showed that in terms of value (data from 2012, it's all I can find on the Internet), American Express accounted for 25% (probably 27%) of value of all credit card transactions - beating out even MasterCard.  Over all, American Express has more than three times the value of transaction per card over its rivals. 

Why is this at all important to Apple and mobile payment?

American Express, considered more exclusive and higher end, just like Apple's products, may not have the dominance in terms of cards issued but the level of spending is what matters most and that is where it has a bigger piece of the pie.

When Apple does enter the payment market with its 600 million iTunes accounts, Apple still will not dominate the handset market.  However, given that Apple users having a tendency to embrace new apps and features, a vast majority of iPhone users will embrace mobile payment if Apple does implement it correctly. 

The same assertion cannot be applied to Android users.  Furthermore, with iOS users more comfortable with shopping on their mobile devices than Android users and spend more per transaction (BGR), iPhone users may help Apple dominate the payment market even if it does dominate the over all handset market.

Like American Express who does not own the credit card market in terms of cards issued, Apple will not show up big in terms of number of mobile payment users compared to Android.  However, like American Express credit card users, iPhone users will rack a higher average total billing than non-iOS mobile payment users.  It's even possible that Apple could dominate the purchase and value market through mobile payment.

That is already happening.  Last Holidays season, iOS users accounted for 5X more sale and spent twice more per transaction than Android users. 

That said, the future isn't written in stone.  No one  knows exactly how Apple's mobile payment works.  Perhaps, an updated Google Wallet could be just what users want.  Key here is competition and the potential that mobile payment holds.  Personally, I'm cautiously expected by the prospects. 

New iOS Features, Like AirDrop, Could Affect Your iPhone's Battery Life

Here is an excellent post from Buzzfeed about iPhone battery life - why it's shorter than you expect and what you should do about it.  For the most part, it's about turning off features you don't need.  It's that simple.  There, i just switched on airplane mode but enabled my WIFI. 

From time to time, we get these posts and they're most rehashing of things we already know about with our mobile devices, specifically here, the iPhone.  However, from time to time, Apple also release not only new hardware but also new features with each annual iOS upgrade. 

Case in point here is Airdrop.  It's a pretty neat feature especially if you've got a lot of folks around you with the newer iPhones like the 5S and you happen to share a lot of files with them.  Otherwise, if you're like me, who either doesn't share much or doesn't have a lot of folks around me with the newest and baddest from Apple, you can turn that feature off. 

And then there's the last reason why your iPhone battery life doesn't last as long as you want it to.  It's because you keep using it.  Let it chill in your pocket, purse, or wherever so you're not constantly updating your Twitter or Facebook feed and actually look up from the people across the table who you're having dinner with and talk to them directly.

HTC's M8 Camera Features - Worth The Upgrade

Here is a good explanation from Slashgear about HTC's new flagship device's camera features, the M8.  It's still stuck on the 4MP UltraPixel marketing.  I know folks will argue that pixels aren't everything.  For the most part, I'd have to agree but I would have like to see some kind of an increase.

The depth-of-field, DOF, and bokeh features are specifically what I'm referring to.  Between the two, I'm more excited about DOF.  It allows amateurs like me produce better looking photos - more professional and less sucky I guess.  It's something that I've had to fake with the iPhone and on other Android devices. 

It'll be interesting to see how well it works in regular mobile warrior hands. 

Say what you will, maybe HTC is on to something by taking the camera into a different direction.  Having said that, it would have been nice to see an 8MP upgrade instead of just the four.  For many of its competitors, they've been increasing the pixel count further and further ahead and at some point, that is going to matter.  Having said that, Apple has been staying with the 8MP count for three years ago and may continue to stick with it for the next iPhone.

We know what Galaxy S 5 camera can do.  We know where HTC stands.  I'm excited to see what Apple and Nokia will take us next.