Friday, August 29, 2008

Apple To Break New Grounds

I think we'll see something from Apple in the next year that will break new grounds on computing but I wonder if we at Onxo and others are thinking too linearly.  And I wonder if we'll see the new breakthrough product this fall at all.

As folks fan out across the Internet and in the real world, people are looking for Mac tablets as the new products in the pipeline that everyone is blogging about.  What if it's not a Macbook in a tablet?  You know what?  It's not.  

What is it then?  Well, if there is something new and groundbreaking, it will along the line of netbooks that are all the rage right now but in a tablet form.  Think a bigger iPod Touch with a bigger screen.  5 inches.  7 inches.  10 inches.  

You're like "okay".  Alright.  Let me make my case.  Apple wants to rock and rule the mobile world.  It's not going to do that with a regular tablet.  Ask the UMPC folks.  Also ask their users about battery life.  We already know the answer on that score.  Horrible battery life and the designs and UI is just worse than subpar.  

For Apple to make an impact, it'll need something better and the iPhone and iPod Touch is not enough  enough.  As others like Archos recently introduce their media player with Internet features, expect others to follow if Archos is successful.  

Apple may have already thought along that line a while back and it knows someone will come along and try to come up with an Internet-enabled media player.  So again, Apple will need something different on that score.  

So recall that Steve Jobs said to expect more products using the Mac OS currently powering Apple's mobile offerings.  Now making a little more sense now?

Good.  Now also consider the recent purchase of PA Semi.  Also recall that Jobs has said Apple will be using technology from their new addition.  Whether this is happening sooner or later, no one truly knows right now.  But additional mobile devices like the iPod Touch with bigger multi-touch screens like those Appleinsider dug up this week is becoming more likely.

With a more robust mobile device that will allow you to be more productive, longer battery life, and the portability of  a laptop, this will be something just about any mobile warrior will want:  Internet, OS X, iPhone Apps and maybe even traditional Mac applications, bigger screen, battery life.  

If you need more, there's the Macbook or the iMac.  Something smaller,  you have the choice if the iPhone or iPod Touch.  The new midrange mobile device will not take away sales.  If anything, it's an additional tool that you can carry with you if you don't need your Macbook or if your needs are more than what the iPhone can handle, this mobile unit will be perfect.

Let's not kid ourselves.  Apple will place this device on the market perfectly so that you'll still need a full sized laptop or the iPhone.  Cannibalization won't be an issue.  

How likely are we going to see this.   The PA Semi buyout was a while back and we don't know how long Apple may be planning or working with them.  If not it's not ready and Apple sees a need to get just such a mobile device onto the market, there are other chips it can consider using.

For example, the Inquirer is reporting a shortage of Intel's Atom chip.  Could Apple be behind the shortage?  It's a leap on my part but definitely possible.

And finally, what about Macworld.  You've always said we'll see nothing new until Macworld.  Well, I still stand by that.  But what if Apple surprises us this fall with this new mobile device or something else, then what will we see at Macworld 2009?  

Jobs can't spend the whole keynote recapping what great Holidays and New Year Apple just had.  Honestly, I don't know.  That's the problem and why I don't think we'll see anything new.

Perhaps he can talk about new iLife products, refresh the iPhone with more memory, or finally get serious about Apple TV (again).  

Mobile Tip: Give Your iPhone Away

Selling the iPhone as Macworld suggests in their article may have been prudent before the new iPhone came out but now, it's really not something worth pursuing.  Yes, there is a market out there for it but the premium it commands simply is not there anymore.

Give your iPhone away, unlocked.  That's right.  If you're going to get locked into a new contract, might as well get the new iPhone 3G.  Find a deserving friend or family member and pass it along.  Let them use it with their current contract.  Imagine the enormous amount of good will it'll generate as well.  If you really want, sell it to them cheap.  Here's why:

  • You may have already invested in apps already.  It easier to pass it a long to someone and not waste what you've already got.
  • It's an iPhone.  Not an iPod Touch.  Seems like an awful waste to me.  On that subject, the mapping does not work as well if you're only relying on WiFi.  
  • If you're as passionate about mobile devices as we are, you can know that whoever you pass your iPhone too will take good care of it.  
  • It's jailed broken and unlocked.  If something happens, you're able to help the person out.
  • You will another convert for the Apple fan club.  Think of the halo effect it might generate as well.  They might graduate to a Mac or a new iPhone in the future.

So, this is exactly what I'm going to do.  After that, I'll be moving onto the new Android phone simply because I like trying new mobile devices.  But rest assured, I've not abandoned Apple's mobile platform.   I'll also be investing a next generation iPod Touch when it comes out.

Regardless, make sure you wipe your data before you give it away.

Dell Earnings Show Innovation Is Not Simply Changing Looks

Dell's earnings was down quite a bit last week.  As a result there was a lot of questions for Dell's future and the industry at large.  Could what happened to Dell's earnings report this week be what is coming for the rest of the tech industry?  More importantly, could this have been avoided?  It all depends on what they said happened and what the reality is.

The economic state the world is in now definitely has an impact on tech spending and there is no argument from anyone about it.  I think we're in for a longer period of slugginess than I think anyone care to admit.  It was good that US Treasury finally acknowledged that we've got issues.  Now, does this bad quarter for Dell also extend to IBM, HP, or Apple?

Obviously, we won't know until these companies report their earnings.  But does this point to a deeper problem being suffered by tech companies these days?  Technology has improved incrementally but stagnation from the labs of these tech companies is also evident.  The biggest technological improvement, if you can call it that, is the proliferation of these so-call netbooks.  Seriously, that's the best these companies have been able to come up with in the last couple of years.  

As far as mobility is concerned (or computing or electronics in general), there really has not been true innovation since Intel and Microsoft tried to convince us that UMPCs are the next step in mobile computing.  True mobility means being able to take your mobile device anywhere you want and being able to power it. It was cool watching the promotional videos for this new class of devices but the truth is of the matter is we're not there yet.  Battery life is one component.  Guess what the other is?

Wireless connectivity also plays a big part.  In truth, whether it'll be 3G, WiMax, or whatever gen 4 mobile 

Once we have these two components in place, there will also be the matter of creating mobile devices that can truly take mobile work, computing, and entertainment to another level.  Building wireless capability like Intel is doing with WiMax is a good first step but mobile devices like tablets or some new class of mobile devices, which we believe Apple and Google are trying to create and dominate, 

So in summary, and we'll make it sound like all this is a piece of cake, is as follows:

  • New battery technology - fuel cell, or a combination of super efficient components and battery packaging.
  • Wireless broadband - we're talking about unmetered, unfettered access.   About a week ago, Onxo discussed what the Federal Communications Commission chairman wanted for the US.  
  • True revolutionary UI and packaging for the form.  
HP has announced their intention to release touch-screened computers next year.  We already have a variety of such devices on the market, albeit incomplete solutions what seems like lackluster implementation, and totally lack of user experience.  

We'll just have to wait until that happens.  Who's going to offer us the total convergence that offer the best complete mobile solution?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update for August 28, 2008

Here is the situation with the 3G connectivity for the iPhone.  Folks, if you have not upgraded to the newest update, do so now.  Why is that?  According to ATT, because you have not upgraded, your 3G problem won't be solved because the iPhone is drawing more power than it needs.  On top of that, you're making it so that others cannot connect to the tower because you're drawing too much power.  For more, Mac Daily News has the info.  So, upgrade tonight.

But hey, can you really blame iPhone owners for being apprehensive about updating when we hear how our iPhones may get worse than before.  Crashes.  Crashes.  Crashes.  This is what happens when we're told to upgrade and we're not told what it's for.

iPhone-iPod Update:

  • TUAW reports on how Guy Kawasaki is able to his iPhone juice going.  Here, Onxo has ours.  he's certain headed in the right direction.  I've use my phone sparingly and I used to average about 3 days before charging.  After upgrading the 2.0 and using more apps, I'm averaging about 2 days between charges.  That also includes watching 30-60 minutes of videoes and iTunes music for workout.
  • The iPhone Blog reports Rogers will extend the promotional data plan till the end of Sept.
  • Onxo has some information regarding the new Android Marketplace from Google.  Game on, iPhone lovers and Google fans!
  • Onxo on why NDA is still in effect for iPhone app developers.
  • Onxo wonders if iPhone might ruin mobile gaming.
  • Macrumors is reporting (via Macworld) a Sept iPhone update will fix a plethora of problems - security being the main one.
Mac Update:
  • Still waiting on refreshes.  Meanwhile, see what the competition is up to.  Meet Samsung's X360 (not Xbox 360) from Crunchgear.  
  • Here's a bit of speculation on my part.  Everyone complained when the Macbook Air (MBA) came out and how the screen was 13" and not 11" or 12".  Could apple be trying to create something in that range weighing in at 2 lbs or so and call the old MBA the new Macbook?  Think about it.  Apple has been talking about doing away with optical drives for a while now, right?  This is a very risky proposition but it isn't as if Apple has not done something like this before.  Okay fine.  Just some fun thoughts on my part.  You'll have to forgive me.  This is all Apple's fault for not bring out the new Macbooks faster.

Mobile Update for August 28, 2008

The biggest new today is the announcement of the Android Marketplace by Google.  To make this fast pace development easier to follow, we've put together some recent links ranging from discussion about Android's effectiveness in the marketplace to T-Mobile pre-orders to pro-Android propaganda from Google fans.

So, what's the big deal about the marketplace?  The iPhone already has its own app store.  Just copying, eh?  Well, not exactly.

  • It's called "marketplace" because developers have more freedom than what iPhone developers have experienced from Apple.  The NDA for the iPhone SDK is still in effect.
  • Open content distribution system.
  • Still in Beta.
  • Feedback and rating system like Youtube
  • 3 Steps to getting into the marketplace:  1. Register,  2. Upload and describe content,  3.  Publish
  • Dashboard and tools to help drive traffic.
  • Not all details are finalized.
So, there you have it.  Enjoy.

Mobile Device Update:
  • NYT reports no Kindle this year.  According to NYT, “Don’t believe everything you read,” Mr. Berman said. “There’s a lot of rumor and speculation about the Kindle. One thing I can tell you for sure is that there will be no new version of the Kindle this year. A new version is possible sometime next year at the earliest.”
  • Ubergizmo reports on what Microsoft is doing with ViFi and driving.
  • Electronista introduces X360 to challenge Macbook Air.  Doesn't play Xbox 360 games though.  I'm simply shocked no one has made this joke yet.

Mobile Issues:
  • Nortel updates 4G network to avoid drops (Crunch Gear)
  • Daily Wireless reports new 802.11r, roaming standard.  Can improve VOIP.
  • Onxo wonders why laptops do not have subscription fees to lower initial costs.
  • Yahoo via Rueters has good news for you mobile warriors in the EU.  May see laws to lower rates.

Piling On Android or Against iPhone

Would you get a smartphone based on Google's open-source Android OS?  That's the question we won't really know until months or even a year later.  However, the phone seems to be geared towards specific groups.  Fans of Google and folks who may not like Apple very much.  And those who are anti-iPhone may not even gravitate towards T-Mobile's HTC Dream or whatever it's called these days.

Here are some quick links to understanding what the Android platform is about.  Be warned that they are very skewed in one direction or another.

Whatever is finally said and done, there is so far no talk of an iPhone killer from Google or its allies.  It's a very smart move on their part.  The excitement will be there.  You can feel it if you follow the Google crowd.  May not as crazy as the iPhone folks.  
Once the dust settles in the next month or so and the fans have had their fill, the next challenge will be if the average Joe shows up.  I know I will.

Laptop With A Subscription Fee

Pricing on desktops and laptops are very fierce.  The margin on laptops are better than desktops but with laptops now approaching $500 and with netbooks occupying the $300-$400 range, there really is no room move around.  Companies are forced to bundle softwares in hopes of earning extra revenues.

On the other hand, Apple avoids doing so but bundle their own software on the Macbooks.  But the entry cost is hundreds higher even if you do get a superior OS and bundled applications that are actually useful.

Perhaps it is time for manufacturers to rethink this a bit.  In the phone and smartphone business, the practice in the US is to sell a mobile device at a loss but lock a customer into typically a 2-year contract.  This makes everybody happy.  The consumer gets the phone he or she wants with a lower upfront free, the wireless provider is almost guaranteed a steady revenue stream for 2-years, and the device maker has a sale.

Can this model work for laptops as well?  With WiMax on the horizon, WiFi services more of a presence, and a variety of wireless broadbands now available on the market, perhaps the usually suspects of wireless providers and laptop brands should get together and offer a bundle much like what is taking place in the mobile realm.

There are some companies out there that have similar offers wit iMacs and DSL services, so why not wireless.  Keep in mind, with DSL services, models are free if an annual contract is signed.  In fact, we're half way there already.

Take ATT.  I've got DSL with Ma Bell.  More than that, because of this association, I have access to WiFi at any ATT-operated hotspots.  Offer me a few hundred bucks off my next laptop purchase and feel free to lock me in for 2-years.  I'm not going anywhere.  The cable companies can also do the same.

It's a situation for everyone to gain a little something.  Now, the argument is that the consumer will pay more over time.  I get that.  For a lot of folks, if not for the initial subsidies on the iPhone, Blackberry, or Palm, the push by these respective companies would not be very successful.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

LCD Changes - More Entertainment Friendly Widescreens On The Way?

It's been a while since I've seen 4:3 aspect-screen laptops for a while.  If you look carefully, you can still find it at your local electronics superstore.  These days, we pretty much see only widescreen laptops.

My original Powerbook 1400cs had a resolution of 800x600.  Then a series of Windows laptops took me to 1024x768.  Finally, my current Powerbook rests at 1280x800.  I love the wide aspect as it gave me room to fit chat windows, widgets, or notes that I happen to have open.  The higher resolution the better in my mind, so long as my eyes can take it.

But in Yahoo News' (via PC Magazine) article regard laptop screen size, the argument is against laptop makers produce screens with 16:9 ratio, a move away from the mostly 16:10 screens on the market now.  In a move towards 16:9, the height of the screen is sacrificed.

The article only provide the dimensions of the screen and we added the size or resolution to offer mobile warriors more perspectives of the change.

What we see are the loss of screen surface area as well as resolution.  What we also see is the changes in the resolution as a result.  For work, this can impact buying decision but according to Yahoo, we may not have the luxury of such a choice as laptop makers will move mostly to 16:9 screens.

Here are some points we've gathered from the article:

  • Bigger screen the better.  One way to compensate for the loss in resolution and surface area is to move to a bigger screen.  The increase in weight will vary from model to model.
  • 16:9 is better for movies.  
  • Battery life may increase in additional to any Intel changes to next generation mobile platforms due to a smaller surface area the laptop battery has to power.
Are the manucturers doing this to because of the bottom line?  Perhaps.  However, if I can  get longer battery life and a lighter laptop, it could be a change in mobility however minute.  For mobile workers who need that extra space, it would be natural for them to gravitate towards a laptop with a bigger screen.
The assertion that the change in aspect is for cost saving is likely true, also keep in mind that more people are using laptops as their desktop replacements and bring with them certain habits including watching movies on their computer.  And if it is perceived by the consumers that 16:9 screens provide better entertainment experiences and extending battery, this is going to happen and there really isn't something we can do about.  
This is hardly a "write to your Congressman" situation.  
When the change over from traditional 4:3 screens to widescreens was made, it also changed the work habit of mobile warriors.  I encountered programmers who stuck with their 1600x1200 LCDs so they can see more lines horizontally.  At the same time, spreadsheet warriors occupy both sides of the argument.  On one side, they like to see more rows just as the programmers do while some like to see more columns.
I have read some interest comments from users regarding this issue and that comes to mind is the 16:10 allow for the control to be displayed without hinder viewing of movies.  
I trust this is probably the end of aspect ratio changes for years to come.  

Apple's NDA on SDK: An Opening For Others To Shine

Does anyone know the reason why Apple is still imposing the NDA after the iPhone SDK is now out of beta and the App Store is working cheerfully?

In this Los Angeles Times article about developer suffocation at the hand of Apple, this particular control is even beyond anything that has come out of Apple in recent memory.  Personally, I am waiting for books on the iPhone SDK to be release and, as LAT indicated, publishers are afraid they'll get the dark suits from Cupertino knocking on their doors with law suits.

One likely possibility is that there are things Apple is working on and they have not quite finished yet.  Basically, we're still in some sort of beta program and until Apple has all the i's dotted and t's crossed, the power that be at Apple has decreed no one will have the ability to talk about it.

However, this could be the opening other smartphone makers should welcome.  One of the early concerns was that Apple and iPhone was going to attract developers to its platform.  By declaring to be more open, it could be just enough to woo developers who previously only develop for the iPhone.

After all, Android, Symbian, and a couple of other Linux flavors are all open source projects.  Google has a tight control on Android but all these platforms can make the most of this opportunity to pour more effort in attracting more publishers and programmers.

Make no mistake.  This NDA will end and Jobs' RTF will take over once more.

Note:  $1.  According to the MacObserver, developers are subcontracting themselves to each other for $1 to get around the NDA.

Mac-iPhone Update For August 27, 2008

I don't want to waste your time regurgitating what others have reporting.

Right now, we can clearly see the fire of innovations brewing at Mount Cupertino.  The armies of Jobs is ready to unleash something we've never seen before (probably not) and at cheaper prices (very likely).

We're in a lull as we wait for the following:

  • iPod line update
  • Macbook/Macbook Pro update
  • iPhone 2.1 update
The biggest issue remains to be 3G connectivity but recent reports seem to suggest the problems may be the wireless providers and not the iPhone 3G.  The Blackberry Bold also has the same issue.
Also keep an eye on T-Mobile and Google.  Supposedly, folks will be able to pre-order the first Android-based phone in mid-September.  While a war between Google and Apple fans is not necessarily, a quick look around Android-centric sites is showing phandroids are excited and may be looking to mix it up.  
Personally, I'm saying "bring it".  I love my iPhone and these annual updates just isn't fast enough for me.  Oh, hey, I'm not taking sides though I see the benefits in all this.
If Apple and Google were to go at it (through innovation rather than mud-slinging), maybe we'll see the two tech giants and others caught in between pick up the pace of releasing new features and gadgets.

Mobile Update For August 27, 2008

Yesterday, Microsoft's 120GB Zune popped onto folks' radars and Microsoft confirmed its existence.  Furthermore, it also said there were other things it is working on.

At this point, we're going to get a lot of conjectures and rumors.  The consensus is for Microsoft to make their own Zune Touch or at the very least, a Zune with a bigger screen.  In the past, some iPod fans had hoped that Apple would produce an iPod Touch with a high capacity disk drive.  The problem with that is that such a device would come at the sacrifice of the battery life.  This would negate having a large drive.

And what's the point of having dozens of movies without the means to play it?  At 32GB now (64GB is like this Winter), that is not bad at all.

Back to Zune.  Love to see Microsoft overshoot the iPod line for once and not just follow a year behind. What may help?  Recently, Archos created their own media player and added Internet features onto it.  Perhaps, Microsoft will give that a try.

Just hoping is all.

Mobile Device Update:

  • Blackberry Sync reports RIM has information on the new 4.6 updates and features.  So far, it sounds like features it should have had to begin with.
  • Crunchgear has a simple review of the Treo Pro.  Mobility Today has a video of The Street review.
  • Daily Tech reports certain features like instant messaging will be omitted from Android for now.
  • Gizmodo via Appleinsider is saying there's nothing wrong with the hardware.  It'll be interesting what the woman who sued Apple for the 3G issues is going to do now.
  • ixploria reports that Adobe Photoshop will be coming to mobile devices.
Mobile Issues:
  • We discuss about municipal WiFi networks.
  • Computer virus reaches the International Space Station.
  • Can XP be turned into a mobile platform?  We think Microsoft shouldn't be too quick to retire it just yet.
  • InfoWorld reports Intel is saying WiMax will allow device makers to introduce WiMax devices to the market quickly.

ISS Laptops Catch Computer Virus

Talk about mobility.  It doesn't get any more mobile than taking your laptop onto the International Space Station.  Nor is catching or bring a computer virus up there.  Wired has reported that two laptops aboard the ISS has caught a computer virus.

You'd really have to wonder with all the security involved, how this can happen.

Sadly, this is not the first time.  More than that, NASA, at least publicly, is not calling this a big problem.  Privately...

According to NASA, everything is scanned before it's allowed to go up to the ISS.  A storage device, as it may be the case here, was taken up there without being scanned or authorization. Both possibilities points a great lapse in judgment and likely violation of protocols to the greatest degree.

Regardless, if this can happen to astronauts more than 200 miles above Earth, it can happen to any of us.  I'm sure the Mac guys should have a field day with this one.

A Model For Expanded WiFi Coverage (But Not For Everyone)

Google and a few tech companies joined together in a nonprofit organization to cover Milpitas, California with free WiFi access.  Google and a few big companies like Intel and Microsoft are actively pursuing technology to use white space for wireless broadband access.

In the meantime, WiFi is the best thing going for wireless access and under the agreement, the city would use the group for technical support and to run the service.  In return, access would be provided to the local government and the city's residents.

The WiFi coverage for Milpitas was originally an Earthlink sponsored project.  These days, Earthlink has had problems keeping its promises with respects to wireless access.  Ask Philly.  Nevertheless, Google decided this is too important to let go.  Milpitas may not be as famous as Redmond and Cupertino but it is home to little known companies like Sandisk, Cisco, Seagate, and Creative.  Maybe you've heard of them.

I've often wonder, however, just how such an endeavor is possible in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles or other major cities without a centralized population.  I've worked in downtown Los Angeles, on the Westside, Compton, near LAX, and other parts of South Central.

We are talking about miles and miles.  And if a major city like Los Angeles wanted to pursue such a venture, just where would it start?  Near schools and areas where broadband access is traditionally poor or difficult gain?

Just for a bit of perspective, here is some data on the cities:

  • Milpitas - 13.6 sq miles, pop. 63K, 4.6K/sq mi, 
  • Philadelphia - 135 sq miles, pop. 1.5M, pop density 11K/sq mi
  • Los Angeles - 498 sq miles, pop. 3.85M, pop density 8.2K/sq mi
  • Torrance, CA - 20. sq miles, pop. 138K, pop density, 6.7K/sq mi

The data are only for the population in the city and if we were to count those in the urban parts, Los Angeles' population grew to almost 18 million while Philadeliphia nears 6 million.  Based on population density, it is entirely possible.

The Philadelphia network costed Earthlink $17 million and it was not completed.  For my city of Torrance and Milpitas, the cost would be conceivably lower and with local business support, it is a sustainable project.  There is no cost associated with a Los Angeles WiFi network when it was announced by its mayor.  But based on the cost for the Philadelphia network, the cost for LA maybe $42 million ($2000 ea wifi node x 42 nodes x 500 sq mi).

It is a very daunting task and yet, it is something that must be done.  Previously, we equated providing national wireless coverage to the national healthcare issue and I can't help break away from that though.  I don't know if it's fair to ask corporations to foot the bills and I'm sure Google and its associates are necessarily doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.  Just imagine the amount of good will they'll receive.

Perhaps though, Google and its partners recognize the need as we do at Onxo that a connected population, preferably wirelessly, is key and important to fostering a workforce locally in the the US and sustaining the talent they'll need in an increasingly competitive global economy.

And if they have to, they'll do it one city at a time.

Note:  Google already provides Mountainview with WiFi access.  Also, over 500 cities have expressed interested or have plans to create their own public WiFi network.

Related Articles:

  • Daily Wireless on Philly's WiFi Letdown
  • Onxo:  Wireless Access Like Healthcare
  • CNet:  Private Investors Saves Philadelphia WiFi

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mobile Update for August 26, 2008

I suspect we'll be talking more about Google and Android over the next few weeks as they will dominate with the G1.  We'll see a lot of iPhone killer discussions.  Personally, as an iPhone owner I welcome another player in the mobile realm as this will only make things interesting and drive up competition.

But for Android, I wonder if they're going down the same path as Apple is.  Creating not just smartphones but a new market of mobile devices and new ways for mobile warriors to flex their brains and truly be mobile.

Just as MobileMe is locked in with the iPhone, Google's cloud offerings will play a big role with Android phones.  I love to see how the two innovative companies drive their philosophies into the mindset of users.

Similarly, we'll see how are others like RIM, Nokia, and Microsoft are going to respond.

Mobile Device Update:

  • Daily Tech reports Nokia's N96 will be available for a low low price of...(being sarcastic)
  • Engadget Mobile an unboxing of Blackberry Bold for those of us in the Middle America who won't see it for a bit longer.
  • Appleinsider is reporting that Blackberry Bold has similar 3G issues as the iPhone.  When the 3G connectivity problem first surfaced, providers happily guided users to point finger at Apple.  Still, it's too early and we'll have to see if Wired's report plays out.
  • Android Guys has more details on the Dream.  TmoNews has more specs for the first ever Android phone.  There are conflicting information about messaging however.  Read with care.
  • PC World is saying Android will be less as Google takes out Gtalk and certain Bluetooth support.

Mobile Issues:

  • Daily Tech reports a few companies including Google comes to the aid of Milpitas, CA after Earthlink screws them over.  An alliance of companies will continue to offer free WiFi.
  • Onxo asks why Microsoft doesn't just use XP as a mobile platform.  After all, the XP is finding its way onto the XO and Apple managed to fit OS X onto the iPhone.
  • Onxo on movement powered chargers.

Mac-iPhone Update for August 26, 2008

Verizon is set to do battle with the iPhone's likely nonexistent 3G problems.  As reported by Daily Tech, Verizon has a list of things for its drones to offer potential customers.  But before anyone gets all hot about this, at least they don't have a commercial of Verizon's "can you hear me now" guy and an "iPhone guy", you know, the way Apple's commercials portray the Mac and PC.  Not yet.

Is what Verizon doing wrong?  Politics.  Image.  Media.  Apple fudges facts too.  So, Apple will just need to do better.  Maybe you can take comfort in knowing that Verizon is being sued for voicemail the way Apple was before.

iPhone-iPod Update:

  • Appleinsider is reporting that Blackberry Bold has similar 3G issues as the iPhone.  When the 3G connectivity problem first surfaced, providers happily guided users to point finger at Apple.  Still, it's too early and we'll have to see if Wired's report plays out.
  • iSmashPhone reports EA's Spore now available for the iPod.  
  • MacsimumNews is reporting there is greater corporate interest in iPhone 3G purchases.  I imagine this will likely increase once all the 3G nonsense are behind us.
Mac Update:
  • Still waiting for new gears.
  • CNet is reporting Apple is being sued for being anti-competitive...guess by who?
  • Macworld is reporting Mac has greatly increased share of enterprise market.  I wonder if this is really such the case or just that no one really bothered asking about it before.

XP Can Be A Powerful Mobile Platform

Windows Mobile plays a very import part of the smartphone arena.  And while its interface is dated, device makers have been able to create their own skin to compensate.  Still, the underlying machinery of Windows Mobile 6 are also old.  

We know a new version of Windows Mobile is on the way in 2009 but it's unclear how it'll stack up to recent offerings from competing platforms.

Suppose Microsoft were to offer XP as an alternative mobile platform instead of forcing it into retirement to make way for Vista.  Much like what Apple has done with the iPhone OS, which is a variant of the Mac OS, Microsoft uses XP as a mobile platform.  

After all, XP is quite popular still with PC users and migration to Vista has not been what Microsoft has been hoping for.  Furthermore, XP is being offered on a variety of netbooks to complete with Linux. And this summer, XP is the default OS on One Child Per Laptop's XO.  

So, if XP can be installed on a machine with only 1GB of storage, why can't it also be installed on mobile devices as well?  Apple did it with the iPhone and the iPod Touch.  Surely, the same can be done with XP.  It would be more powerful than Windows Mobile but require less CPU power than Vista.  And with Intel's Atom chip, such a combo can power a mobile device that can satisfy mobile warriors with the right balance of power and battery life.  

 And in one move, Microsoft may be able to legitimize and bolster it's position in the war of mobility.  Because let's be honest, there ain't a whole lot going on with Windows Mobile.  And if HTC and Samsung are patching their own user interface, give them something better to work with.  

Related Articles:
  • Onxo:  Zune Surprise?
  • Onxo:  Zune Marketplace on Nokia Phones - Very Potent
  • Gizmodo:  What's Wrong With Windows Mobile?
  • Information Week:  Windows To Copy the iPhone
  • Network World:  iPhone to Fail to Dominate (Onxo has always maintained the market it too big for anyone to "dominate".  And what market are they talking about?  It's a big-big market.)
  • ZDNet:  Microsoft Outlines WM 7 And 8
Note:  If Microsoft were to do this and called XP "Windows Mobile 8".  I'm not sure people would mind.  

Blurry of Virtual-Real World

At some point in our mobile careers, virtual meetings may be something we all have to get used to.  Doing business in virtual worlds.  Beyond just WOW or other forms of gaming.

But according to MSNBC, this has taken on a whole new life from Second Life to the real world as we know it.

A woman who planned a real kidnapping of her virtual boyfriend whom she met in Second Life was arrested.  She drove to his house to do just that but apparently he saw her and called the cops. 

Honestly, I had never consider blurring of realities to be an issue for mobile warriors.  Certainly, not so soon.

Motion-Powered Chargers

The bane of mobility is battery life.  I think pretty much everyone is in agreement on this point.

In about a year, we may get some relief.  M2E Power will be introducing a charger based on motion to create energy to charge mobile devices.  I imagine it'll be frictional energy will be converted into electricity to charge the mobile devices.  According to Symbian Freak, they are reporting six hours of motion can add 30-60 minutes of additional talk time to a mobile phone.

It depends on what kind of mobile warrior you are but it is difficult to imagine anyone move around for six hours each day.  However, until we know what kind of motion and how strenuous it has to be, we can only imagine the applications for just such a charger.  There could be a wide range of military applications.  For recreational purposes, people who go on hikes or camping trips.

The article seems very optimistic about the prospect, I'm still a bit more reserved about how well it works and how our mobile behaviors may be changed by this.  Are we more like to take walks to the water cooler to make sure our phone has a extra minute of talk time?

To be sure, when I go for a run carry the charger and my iPod with me, it may be something that will interest me greatly.  Personally, I'm very interested in renewable power and this sounds like one of those.
So, just to recap a bit on some alternative charging formats, there is solar, wind, and now motion.  Now, I'm just waiting for the point where solar backpacks are efficient enough to charge super-efficient laptops.  Then I'll be happy.

Again, the impact of such a device may be extensive but we won't know until it's actually in use.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update for August 25, 2008

As we've said in today's mobile update,  Apple may not be to blame for the 3G drop calls and connectivity issues.  The problems may actually be at the feet of the carriers.  Wired also reported an analysis by Teknik & Trender indicated iPhone's reception is no worse or better than other 3G devices on the market.

We will surely hear more in the coming days this week.  As you may already know, Apple was sued by an individual for 3G service issues.

One other thing I want to mention at the top here is Apple's app store commercial.  From iSmashPhone, we have this iPhone commercial:

It seems to be a natural progression with iPhone commercials for Apple to highlight each iPhone feature but the timing of this is interesting.  Maybe we at Onxo is reading too much into this but with T-Mobile offering their own app store for the Android platform and others soon to following, this could be Apple's way of trying to get ready for the barrage of new devices soon to flood the market.  

iPhone-iPod Update:

  • Japan has it and Mexico will soon have it.  Yahoo News is reporting banks in Mexico will allow customers to use their mobile devices to pay for services.  We can download music at Starbucks.  Okay, that sounds really sad.
  • Engadget has information on the iControlPad for the iPhone, turning the iPhone into a real gaming machine with buttons.  Jobs was overheard saying, "they put buttons on my iPhone!"
  • iPhone Atlas has a fix for OS 2.0.2 that is causing more problems than before.
Mac Update:
  • Still waiting on the updates.  There are beginning to be rumblings about special September events but we already know that.  Be patient.  

Mobile Update For August 25, 2008

The biggest news today is the Democratic Convention.  While there won't be a lot of about technology or mobile issues being discussed, Onxo feels Americans in general should get back into the know about who the people are that are trying seize the opportunity to lead the nation for the next four years.  The Republican Convention will follow in two weeks.

Now, today's biggest mobile issue is reports that Apple may not be to blame for the 3G drop calls and connectivity issues.  The problems may actually be at the feet of the carriers.  Wired also reported an analysis by Teknik & Trender indicated iPhone's reception is no worse or better than other 3G devices on the market.

To be sure, Wired thanked participating websites that are heavily Apple centric sites.  With that said, a lot of users are unhappy with their 3G situations and aren't likely to be protecting Apple in anyway for this study.

Mobile Device Update:

  • GMS Arena is reporting new phones from Nokia.  Supports the N-Gage platform.  Earlier, I indicated some companies making the mistake of mashing features together with any kind of cohesion.  Nokia is dangerously close to doing that.
  • Engadget reports Asus offers EEE users their own cloud.  Not sure if this is what we talked about earlier, but Asus was interested in providing their own MobileMe like service for their EEE users.
  • Yahoo News said Intuit offers web-based access to Quickbooks for Blackberry and the iPhone.  It's nice to see that web app development are still progressing even after everyone is trying to create their own app stores.
  • TmoNews reports Dallas is 3G live for T-Mobile users.  Moving west...
  • Mobile Catcher reviews iPhone 3G, Diamon, and Instinct.
Mobile Issues:
  • Yahoo News reports Mexicans may soon be able to pay for services via their cell phones.  Well, so what?  We Americans can...will get back to you on that one...
  • RCR Wireless reports Google launches its own election site.  Good to know.  We can keep track on which politicans are trying to screw us mobile warriors.  You can go there directly.
  • Most of the major news outlets have a mobile version of their regular website.  If you have a phone with a WAP browser and access to the Internet, you'll likely be able to find a mobile site of your favorite news source.  If you're on the iPhone or a smartphone with full-featured browser like Opera or a variant of the Web-Kit, you should have no problem accessing the regular site.  Mobile sites do offer no nonsense material without much of the graphics, enabling you to get right to the material.  

Apple, Archos, And Now, Cowon ( - Changing Computing

Last week, Archos did its best to show who rules the mobile tablet by comparing its new Archos 5 and Archos 7 offerings to the puny ipod Touch.  How did it do?  Aside from horrible battery issues, rather well.

Now, Engadget is reporting Cowon is doing their own version with the 4.3" or 7" touch screen, FM tuner, GPS, and TV tuner.  We're not going to be seeing this state side but it's indicative of what we're going to see going foward.

Cowon' new devices, unlike Archos' offerings which double as Internet tablets, are purely media players.  When I found out, I was a bit disappointed.  The iPod Touches, of course, run on a variant of the Mac OS X and is being offered as a new mobile platform.  However, it occur to me a new class of mobile devices with more power than smartphones and sheds any shape or manner in which traditional laptops are used is on the rise.

It'll be interest to see what else we're going to see this autumn for the Holiday Seasons and beyond with the consumer show or two and Macworld just months away.  No one knows what Apple will grace us with but it's not difficult to see more mobile players try to pry consumers away from the iPod Touches with their own media player-Internet tablet.

If anything, these mobile devices are more of a threat to netbooks because they will likely be in the same price range.  Furthermore, these new devices may usher in a new form of computing that relies exclusively on widgets and more sophisticated cloud systems like Google's online apps.

The key to the success of these devices will hinge on whether its a true mobile platform or a mistake that some device makers will certainly make:  incorporating Internet features into a media player or mashing together an Internet device with media features.

Can iPhone Ruin Mobile Gaming?

Can  the iPhone and the App Store ruin gaming?  The answer is, of course, yes.  The following-up question would be:  how likely?

Well, it's too early to tell right now but the risks should not be ignored.

I've enjoyed playing games on the iPhone for weeks now and I'm likely like buying or downloading a new game every other week.  These games do not cost more than $10.00.  It costs less than a movie ticket or a lunch in some cities.

Right now, iPhone is the biggest casual gaming platform in the eye of the media and the success or failure of mobile gaming may rest on how well developers do in the months after the initial rush of iPhone users get their fill of the app store (close to 3,000 apps and counting).

So, at what point will we know if the iPhone will be something for a developer to contemplate a long-term business strategy in?

  • Installed base.  Right now, we're looking at anywhere between eight to ten million by the end of the third quarter of 2008.  We may see another five to seven.  This will mean we're looking at a installed base since the app store was introduced of about thirteen to seventeen million iPhones along.
  • How many installed base of iPod Touches are there?  Apple does not provide a breakdown of iPod Touch sales but conservatively, if we were to estimate about 25% of all iPods sold since third quarter of 2007 are the touches, it's possible we're looking at another ten million.
  • Adding the iPod Touches together with the iPhones, we may have about another fifteen million iPod Touches by the end of 2008.
I realize there is a lot of flaws in my very rough estimation.  Lots and lots.  So, let's say we've got 30 million eligible Apple gaming devices by the end of 2008.  That's a number for a viable platform, isn't it?  Definitely.

So, what's the problem?  Well, cost is a major factor in deciding whether to support a platform like the iPhone.  You want to recoup the costs quick and then start to making the big bucks.  But with games from $5 to $10, it can take a while depending on the production budget.  

In the realm of PSP and DS, games can cost from $25 to $40 with tens of millions of established base.  While there is risk in just about any game development, at the same time, it is established and acceptable risks.  Developers have a good idea what they are getting into.  

For the iPhone, it can be a established gaming platform but chances are, Apple is not likely to promote it as a challenger to established mobile gaming devices because the iPhone is so much more than for gaming.  It's a new mobile computing platform.  The fact it can do gaming is only of many features the iPhone/Touch is capable of.

With independent developers, where they have limited resources but a wealth of talent and brilliant idea. After a few months of hard work on nights and weekends, they can churn out an overnight hit that only cost them some sweat, Cheetos, and a few six packs of Mountain Dews.  

Now, take Sega's Super Monkey Ball that has thus far raked in 300K, about $2.1 million after subtracting Apple's cut (they're likely closer to 600K or 700K by now, or $4.2-5 million).  This is like a small chunk compared to what they can get with DS or PSP.  To reach $5 million in revenues at $20 a copy on Nintendo's DS, only has to sell 250K copies.  

There's an added element to the app store.  The reviews on such a centralized app store can be a good thing just as much as it can be bad for developers.  Established games with big development costs need to charge out of the gate really fast.  The reviews on iTunes can often be brutal and keep an app from any kind of momentum from the start.  From what I've seen, much of the complaints are about cost of the games itself and not really with the game play.  Such "reviews" do nothing to help users decide if a game is something they might be interested in buying and downloading.

Nevertheless, studios do have to pay attention and participate in the mobile gaming industry because of the potential it may bring.  Billions of dollars.  With the iPhone, they can take comfort in the fact that it will have a big installed base and it will only increase in the years to come.  By some estimates, Apple is looking to move anywhere from 30-45 million iphones in the next 12 months.  

That's just iPhones.  We may be looking at even a bigger installed base for iPod/iPhone gaming once the number of iPod Touches are added a year from now.  With a potential of 100 million to 120 million devices to support mobile gaming once Apple's mobile market is established, the risk is mitigated some what.  

But the risks remain and Apple need to do more to make sure mobile gaming is just as much as important as corporate and iPod features.  If gaming cannot take off on such a large platform, how can developers make it on others?  If the iPhone fails to help move mobile gaming forward, developers may be less likely to take chances on other platforms.  

There are some things Apple can do that'll help a lot (some are things other platforms can follow as well):
  • Create gaming workshops or participate at consumer and gaming conferences to show that Apple is serious about mobile gaming.
  • Dedicate an entire section of the Apple's website to just gaming and promote gaming as it does with music and video.
  • Allow apps to also work on Apple TV.  
  • Foster in  house gaming development to show it has confidence in its mobile platform.
Love to hear what you think.  

Note:  Of course, developing for Apple also means putting up with their insane NDA and them pulling your apps for no reason.  

One more note:  Developers have been known to play with pricing from time to time in an attempt to increase demand and revenue.  

Related Articles:
  • Choppers a Huge Success (Touch Arcade)
  • iPhone Popular For Gaming (Onxo)
  • iPhone Will Not Clobber DS (Onxo)
  • iPhone Will Not Win Gaming (Gizmodo)

Mobile Cost: Is $500 for a Mobile Device

When Nokia's N95 came out onto the market, it was not immediately available everywhere but it was one of it's kind.  And that was why it was able to command a premium.  When the 8GB iPhone came out, was at $600 before Apple quickly lowered the price by $200 to increase demand.

This year, when the 3G iPhone was release, the price was $200-$300.  Sprint's Instinct at $129.  Still, there are smartphones coming out with prices closer to the $400 to $500 range.

Worth it?  This is a tough one.  A lot of phones out there in the $400-$500 price range are meant for entertainment purposes.  However, I've not see one with the kind of internal storage the iPhone has.  It's terrific a lot of these devices have a memory slot but if I'm going to have to pay $500 for a phone, I want to have a few GBs in there as well.

And in terms of productivity, netbooks are closer in this price range than ever before.  The EEE PC can be found as low as $350.  The sacrifice here is mobility but you'll have to way its sacrifice against increase productivity, a much bigger QWERTY keyboard, and screen.  A friend and I often discussed this point.

On one hand, mobility is very important to me.  Being able to take out my iPhone and start writing and get update information is very useful, not to mention very mobile.  Taking a netbook, finding a WiFi AP or tethering it to a phone, takes an extra couple of steps but once set up, you're literally sitting on front of a true computer.

One argument for the netbook is the faster efficient chips that are being used.  Intel's Atom chip is fast whether you're running Linux or XP.  And if you're running XP, you are not missing anything in the Windows world as it seems like most of enterprise are holding onto XP as if their lives depend on it.

Having said that, there is something a smartphone has over a netbook right now.  Battery life.  With moderate use, the smartphone can last most of the day while a netbook's internal battery lists anyway between two to three hours.

Either way, you are getting a lot of computing power in today's mobile devices.  You can't go wrong with a $500 mobile phone but you really should know what you're getting into and balance the needs between being mobile and productive.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update For August 22, 2008

For the mobile Mac, Macdailynews is reporting that two potential chips announced at the developer forum this week may be headed to the Macbook Air. The speed of the chip is about the same as the current version in the MBA but it will be running at a faster bus and likely with the newer X4500 integrated graphics card.  And in case you're in the market for a new MBA, you'll have to wait until September if Apple is going to continue using these smaller packaged chips.

Apple's iPhone is now available on 21 more countries.  So far, no one seems to be covering it so much, I guess with the Olympics going on and all.

iPhone-iPod Update:
  • iPhone Atlas is reporting that Apple has confirmed 2.0.2 will fix some 3G problems.  However, ATT and Apple are talking a more proactive role in convincing iPhone owners to upgrade.
  • Check out our pick for Friday's movie.  It's got a "maybe" real hologram and the iPhone.
  • Macdailynews has reported Apple signed with Russian carriers to start selling iPhones in September.
  • TUAW is reporting 45 million iPhones in 2009?
Mac Update:
  • Apple has released an update to the Macbook Air.  Firmware update.  Sorry, not the real thing.
  • Roughly Drafted has a must read article if a secured MobileMe is of concerned to you.  Well, an unsecured MobileMe, perhaps.
  • eWeek blogs on Mac sales picking up steam with enterprise. 
  • There is another app, pearPad, that turns the iPhone into a remote touch pad.  Another app, Pad, also does the same thing.  Macsimumnews reports.

Mobile Update for August 22, 2008

Apple's iPhone is now available on 21 more countries.  So far, no one seems to be covering it so much, I guess with the Olympics going on and all.

On Onxo, we talked about the prospects (not good) about FCC Chairman's dream of providing wireless broadband for all of the US.  Please read to find out why it'll be difficult and we must try away.

The other big news today is Yahoo News reporting Google and Verizon buddying up to use Google Search as the default search engine for its phones.  Not a bad day's work.  But until it happens, it may be Verizon just playing Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo against each other to get the better deal. Verizon and Google were bitter rivals leading up to the 700Mhz auctions.  So, it's news that they are even talking.  Business is business.

Mobile Device Update:
  • XO laptop gains acceptance when every child in Niue will get one.  
  • TmoNews has more updates on the latest T-Mobile lineup for the 3G launch.
  • Mobile Computer on comparing Bold and iPhone Browsing.
Mobile Issues:

Friday Movie: Hologram on the iPhone

This is from Macenstein.  It's a 3D looking video of a Felix-like creature walking aimlessly around the screen.

As you rotate the iPhone, it manages to keep the 3D look and feel.  In the video, the iPhone is on the surface but yet when you tilt the screen, you can still see the 3D effect.  Awesome!

iHologram - iPhone application from David OReilly on Vimeo.

I don't know if we'll ever see it in the app store or if its just a demo.

Have a great weekend!

VP Pick Via Text Messaging

Just want to pass this along.  Regardless if whether you're are a Senator Barack Obama supporter or a Senator John McCain supporter, this is kind of exciting and as far as we know, the first.  

Senator Obama, the presumptive Presidential nominee from the Democratic Party, has decided on his running mate but is trying to keep it a secret and wants only YOU to know first.  You and thousands if no millions of folks who signed up with his campaign on the Internet to receive updates through text messaging.

The name of his VP candidate will be text out in the next 24 hours.  If you're interested in this historic occasion, you can sign up to get the text message here.

It's just something to do if you've got nothing else going on this're chilling by the pool and bleep!  You pick up your Sidekick, iPhone, and/or Blackberry.  Oh, Obama pick...

Update (12:50PM PST):  There are going to be quite a few updates between now and then.  All of them fake.  Look at the address to make sure you're getting the real thing.  CNN reports.
Note:  Onxo is not endorsing anyone.  But from a mobile stand point, this is just a glimpse of what the future will be like in politics.  Want to vote with your mobile device one day and forget about those hackable election boxes?  Could happen!

Wireless Access Is Like Healthcare Debate

A couple of days ago, in an interview with USA Today, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said he would like to see wireless broadband access for all of the US, particularly rural areas.  As Martin put it, it's a social obligation.  As some people believe it, it is a necessity for the twenty first century.
While noble endeavor, there are issues that needs to be resolved before this can go forward.  What does Martin want the FCC to accomplish?
  • FCC is particular concerned about the rural area being left behind where Sat broadband and dial-ups dominate.
  • Will want to use wireless spectrum to bridge gap between rural and urban areas.
  • Will want only 25% of this block of spectrum be used to offer free wireless.
  • This spectrum is known as AWS-3.  
  • T-Mobile, who paid for AWS-1 believes this will disrupt their services.
  • FCC engineers are working on interference issues.  
  • The universal service fund will be used to subsidize cost for lower-income families - traditional phone companies operating in rural areas will object because they draw on the fund to offset costs (or pad profits).
Just how successful can Chairman Martin be? 
Well, if this is going to be anything like healthcare, not very.  Here is why I think this will be like health care.  Going forward, wireless technology will revolutionize everything we do and how we do it.  Specifically, the how we will do it is the most important aspect about mobility.

There will be billions at stake.  Consider the two camps in health care.  One wants a government sponsored healthcare while the other wants no government involvement but liberalizing the laws to allow for great competition to keep cost down and, hopefully, better care in the process.

Now back to wireless.  On one side, there is the side of the telecoms who believes competition and a hands off approach from the FCC and other government entities (hint, hint...Congress) will foster innovation and lower costs.  On the other hand, there are those who are pushing for free access for everyone.

Free access is to government sponsored healthcare as is private insurances competing for our business is to telecoms competing to for our wireless business.

In the United States, we abhor big government and the fiscal conservatives makes sure we don't forget it.  But we are also a charitable people.  There is a sense also that we are falling behind in areas of technology.  With a society that is connected literally and figuratively, the US can only be in a better position in a global economy that requires instant information and a workforce that is well versed with the right skills and tools to compete effectively.

Good luck.  Love to see it happen finally.  There definitely is a middle ground to make it happen.  We just need the will to make it so.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update For August 21, 2008

iTunes is Blocked in China.  We got the tip from Sydney Morning Herald but it's all over the Web now.  What's interesting as far as we're concerned is if Apple allowed this audio protest to go through.  
We're like to hear more about this in the coming days.
iPhone-iPod Update:
  • iPhone Atlas may have a solution to crashes.  It's one of those things that Apple should have made clear to all of us from the beginning.  Regardless, a Sept fix is coming.  Jobs had promised.
  • Huge second wave launch going on right now in more than twenty countries.  
  • With about 2,500 apps in the App Store, the whole thing is a hit with users despite the 3G problems.  Macworld has more.
  • We've all read about rumors that Apple may have experimented with buying coffee at Starbucks with your iPhone.  Now, Japan is looking to make it easier to buy just about everything.  Onxo reports.
Mac Update:
  • Still waiting on updates.  Intel has been busy but Apple will do what it wants when it wants.  Still, encouraging news with Apple's back-to-school sales.  
  • In case you're interested on a new Macbook, Tom's Hardware benchmarked a few that will give you more information to help you decide.  (Onxo)

Mobile Update For August 21, 2008

Well, here we are.  The Blackberry Bold is now officially available on North America.  Just not the US.  Just not Mexico.  That's right.  Canada.  Unfortunately, they've got Rogers.  They've also got the iPhone.  It'll be interest to see how this plays out for the reporters who insist on the need for an iPhone killer.  Last we checked, Blackberry still rocks.

The other big news?  iTunes is Blocked in China.  We got the tip from Sydney Morning Herald but it's all over the Web now.  What's interesting as far as we're concerned is if Apple allowed this audio protest to go through.

We're like to hear more about this in the coming days.

Mobile Device Update:

  • Huge second wave launch going on right now in more than twenty countries.
  • Onxo on what we can do with wallet phones from Japan.
  • Gizmodo has the scoop on who the fake nominee for Obama's running mate is going to be via text message.
Mobile Issues:
  • Yahoo News reports Intel breakthrough in wireless charging.  In late July, we brought you a bit of information on Powermat, which uses magnetic induction to power devices in a home.
  • CNet News reports that China is treating journalists fairly.  By if fair, you mean being subject to the same censorship as ordinary Chinese, then yes.

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...