Wednesday, October 29, 2008

iPhone Owners: Free Wi-Fi at ATT Hotspots Again

According to Gizmodo, folks with iPhone and still use ATT services (not T-Mobile) should be able to access ATT hotspots again, like at Starbucks.

This is terrific news.  And it's about time.  There have a Jekyll-And-Hyde thing going with ATT giving iPhone owners access to hotspots.

Let's hope this time, it sticks.

Also, if you're an iPod Touch owner, and you feel left out, Starbucks offers a couple of hours of free service if you buy coffee or use your Starbucks card.  And also, if you have DSL through ATT, you also get free access to ATT hotspots.

Things are looking good once again.

Via Gizmodo

Note:  G1 owners also get access to T-Mobile's hotspots for free.  Well, it's part of your service.

Monday, October 27, 2008

$99 iPhone - It's a Matter of When

It's traditional for cell phone makers to drop the price of their devices over time as costs come down.  For the iPhone, I think we'll see a $150 before $99.

But Apple has surprised me lately with moves I didn't think they had the DNA to formulate the behavioral characteristics to make.  Gone are the days of "my way or the highway" approach.  Sometimes.

Take the $200 drop on iPhone just this July for the iPhone 3G.  A younger Jobs might have stuck to his guns.  Now, it's Apple talks about sacrificing near term margins to leave no umbrella room for competitors.

But the impact of a $99 is mind-boggling.  If adoption rates increase 2-3 times, it truly leaves very little room for competitors to move.

Link:  Crunchgear

My only question is what happens to the iPod Touch.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Apple-Yahoo Partnership - Can It Work?

Here's a fun thought:  Apple buying Yahoo.  Here's the thing. Apple won't have to offer Yahoo the premium Microsoft was paying for.  After all, Apple stock has a better upside potential than Microsoft at this moment with the iPhone sales leading the way and Macbooks flying off the shelves.  Essentially, Apple would be saying to Yahoo, "we'll buy you with a small premium and you'll be very thankful for it later".

With Android now a competitor to Apple's mobile platform, despite bloggers love using products from both companies (myself included) who try to walk a fine line on that matter in their posts, Google and Apple are on a potential collision course for mobile supremacy.

Now, Yahoo doesn't want to go under Redmond's sphere of influence.  It'll tolerate Google.  But I think the ranks and files of Yahoo would be very excited about a change of leadership to Cupertino.  Of course, this is only a speculative scenario on my part.

However, if Apple wanted to pull the trigger on this, it has the resources to make this work.  Some stock exchange and cash from the $25 billion war-chest can make it happen (I think they're adding like $2 billion of cash a quarter).  So, say that happens, then what?
  • Yahoo gains the Apple culture and innovative energy.  Yahoo never had a swagger but it'll get one.
  • Yahoo has hundreds of millions of users.  Apple would love to introduce them to its brand and products.  The massive ecosystem for the iTunes and Apple's mobile products, iPhone and iPods, would allow Apple to solidify it's hold on the mobile market.
  • Apple will gain search.  If relations between Google and Apple does sour, Apple will have an alternative route to go to.  
Here are some things that will prevent such a partnership from working out:
  • Apple will have to work with competitors.  Yahoo's services are popular among mobile users but will have to compete on Nokia and Samsung phones with iPhone but work with them to get Yahoo's mobile services on their phone.
  • Too much baggage.  
  • This is something too big for Jobs and company to absorb.  Remember when Apple bought Jobs out to bring him back and after he became CEO?  Remember what happened to your Newton? 
  • Apple's purchases are targeted.  Filling its needs and holes.  Apple might be interested in a small search outfit or mobile ad startup that meet its needs to compete with Google if needed but Yahoo has too much of what Apple doesn't need. 
However, if it does work out, can you imagine the awesome new power of an Apple-Yahoo?  Apple would be able to offer a complete life solution of hardware, software, and cloud computing all in your Mac, iPhone, or iPod.  That is exactly what Apple is trying to offer now with Mobile Me, except, you know, so far, they suck at it.  

But if Mobile Me does get better by the end of the year as Jobs promised, Apple would still have an incomplete solution to compete with Google if relations break down between the two (no search engine of their own being the most important component).  Maybe there won't be war between Apple and Google.  However, an Apple-Yahoo done right could be Google and Microsoft's worst nightmares.

Anyway, it's fun to consider on a Friday.

Note:  At the financial call, Jobs did say Apple could be using its massive cash to hire every talented engineer in the Silicon Valley.  So, the statement kind of stuck with me all week.  I can't shake the feeling that the dude was dropping a hint and, yet, was laughing how we have no idea what Apple has up its sleeves.

Nvidia 9400M Rocks!

For those of you joining us from Onxo, welcome to these benchmark intepretations.  Previously, we talked about Apple's new benchmark numbers and we have been eagerly waiting for independent ones from Macworld.  Here's here.

Macworld is kind enough to bring us additional gaming numbers for the new Macbook.  But in general, it speaks to the wise move Apple made in going with Nvidia.  So, anyone who says Apple don't care about gaming, Steve Jobs appreciate a little apology.

Here goes.  I've eliminated some numbers such as the iMac and new Macbook Pro's 9400M because they were essentially the same as the Macbook's own 9400M numbers.

  • How does the Macbook stack up against the MBP with 8600GT?  Pretty much along the same line as what Jobs said.  The 9400M numbers came in about 62% of the 8600GT.  This is a huge improvement over the X3100, and certain the X4500 had Apple gone with it instead.  
  • How is the Macbook 9400M compared to the new Macbook with X3100?  It did very very well. The 9400M was able to provide 5X more FPS than the x3100.  It would come out roughly 2-3 times more than the X4500
  • I'm a Call of Duty guy and I think we're got a winner with a playable number of 28.4 FPS at 1280x800 and 35.7FPS at 1072x728.  I don't need more than that, thank you.
  • How is the 9600M GT stacked up against the 8600GT?  This is great news for folks who have the older Macbook Pro.  the 9600M GT is averaged only 11% faster than the 8600GT.  It's a good improvement but folks with the older models can go into the weekend feeling good about their earlier purchases.  
There you have it.  But I want to impress upon you the advantages of new models and notes about the early-2008 models
  • New build.  Very sexy and brings the all the Macs into 2008 looks with the new keyboards and with LED screens.
  • The new MBP is ready for Snow Leopard.
  • The new MB has LED screens now.  And better suited for gaming because of the new Nvidia chipset.  Also ready for Snow Leopard.
  • If you bought an earlier model, even 2007 ones, you're still in the game.  If you got a Macbook, your X3100 graphic processor is still in use and you've got a lot of milage left on those Macs.  For day to day work, you're going to be stuck with these elegant workhorses for a long time to come.  That's the thing about Macs, they last.
  • If you bought one of the previous editions of Macbook Pros, you are safe when it comes to graphics and gaming.  You're also likely safe as far as Snow Leopard's GPU feature is concerned. We'll likely hear more about it at Macworld and definitely throughout next year until the Worldwide Developer Conference in June of 2009.
So, I encourage you to head on over the Macworld for the latest numbers.  
Note: Barefeats as additional benchmarks waiting you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blackberry rocks! But...

RIM sold 5.4 million phones.  Valued at $2.1 billion.  Their best quarter.  This comes out to $389 per handset.  That's very good.

But Apple sold 6.9 million iPhones valuing at $4.6 billion.  I'll let you do the wonder RIM is getting killed.  As good as the Storm is, Blackberries have not been able to hold serve since the iPhone 3G came out.  

One more thing...Apple stock was about to tank when the guidance looked bad but then Jobs show up during the financial call and stock jumped 10%...ended the extended session up 13%.  

Look at the analysts who commented on the iPhone  before it came out.

Also of note for Apple fans:
  • Wired reported the Android Marketplace, which I found virtually abandoned yesteryday and today, should be stock up with 50 apps by tomorrow.  the iTunes app store came ready with 500 at launch.   
  • The iPhone app store has ballooned 11X from when it debuted back in June.  Stands at 5,500 apps.
  • The 200 millionth app will be downloaded by tomorrow.
I guess I'll hold off purchasing Solar Baster until tomorrow.  Maybe I'll just get to be the lucky 200 millionth served.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Macbook Benchmarks From Macworld and Other News

Macworld has been busy.  I didn't think they would be this fast but they've got benchmarks up for the new Macbooks.  It's ready for your consumption.

I just want to point out some things about the benchmark as it relates to the new Mac portables.

  • The 2.4Ghz MB more than held its own against the Macbook Pro.  Of the nine tests, it won four of them.  Adobe PS Suite, MPEG encoding, iTunes, and zip archive. With it's dedicated Nvidia 9600 GPU and larger cache, the new MBP won the Speedmark 5, unzip archive, and, obviously, the Quake 4 frame rate with 59 FPS.
  • The 2.4Ghz MB achieve a wonderful 39 FPS in the Quake 4 test, coming at 67% of the MBP number.
  • The 2.4Ghz MB with 39 FPS in the Quake 4 test is more than 5X the early 2008 Macbook.  The new 2.0Ghz MB also bested the early 2008 Macbook more than 5X.
  • The new white Macbook bested the 2Ghz Macbook in 4 of the 9 tests, likely because of the higher clock rate.
Personally, I'm still leaning towards the 2.4Ghz Macbook over the 2.0Ghz version but for folks who are debating between the 2.0Ghz and the new white MB, it's more difficult.  On one hand, the new white Macbooks have a faster chip and firewire while the 2.0Ghz Macbook has an LED screen and new body form.  
So, there you go.  This provides us a good reference and starting point for comparison.  Macworld promises more results soon.
Also, Microsoft is looking to deploy Silverlight on the iPhone and G1 to head off Adobe.  Getting it to work on Android is more likely to happen than on the iPhone.  Adobe has been talking about it for months, most recently in September, but nothing has come of it.  Wouldn't hold my breath there.
Note:  This weekend, I'll be looking into those leftover Macbooks and Pro ones.  There is a lot of value in there.  Right now, I'm torn between an early 2008 Macbook Pro ($1444, $1645) Amazon versus the 2.4Ghz Macbook. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Macbooks Pull Double Duties

In keeping the white Macbook, we'll call it WMB, Apple has effectively created two lines of Macbooks along with the Aluminum Macbook, AMB.

Why the two?  This is simply beyond making Macbooks more affordable for the general public.  In fact, Apple may now finally have a corporate strategy, if only based on looks.

You may not well go into a client meeting with a WMB but going in there looking fresh with an AMB is definitely a plus.  Furthermore, corporations has already begin to realize the benefits of using Macs in their environment.  But Jobs did something brilliant in going after the corporate market.

How?  Steve Jobs said in the Macbook event, you can buy into the aluminum case, LED screen, and much improved graphics experience for $700 less for the low-end AMB and $400 less for the high-end AMB.  Just like Jobs is asking a lot of the boardroom-friendly Macbook Air, he is doing the same with the AMB.

On the other hand, the WMB will still appeal to consumers and educational buyers.  But let's make no mistake.  the WMB is no slouch.  One is still one of the top laptops on the market.  Apple will sell tons of those.

Apple will continue to push into the educational market.  Apple will still be competing with Dell using the best technology Intel can ship but not with the initial cost of the overhead.  The millions of the WMB Apple has turn out will also allow Apple to lower costs while avoiding sacrificing margins.

It's not the $800 some folks in the Internet thought it was realistic enough to pass around.  And $900 didn't happen either.  But with a lot of online stores offering rebates and bundles, we can be looking to pick up a WMB for closer to $950.

Note:  I am somewhat disappointed Apple has not made wireless broadband connectivity an option.  Perhaps when we see WiMax deployed, we'll see something then.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One Last Thing

Thee are a lot of rumors going around the Internet that we will not see a low end Macbook lower than $999.

I have to say that this is more consistent with Apple's behavior. They have crunched the numbers and this is the optimal scenario for them.

For those who might be disappointed with this news, I am going to throw this out there. The lack of change increases the chance that there is a better chance of "one more thing..."

Why do I think that? Consider this. Folks are now expecting what we already know. Nothing new will be offered, or so we think. We'll know in a few hours.

The word is that the some portable Macs will not be upgraded and the eventual upgrade may happen at Macworld. So this leaves Jobs something to talk about at Macworld and today to dazzle us with something totally new.

Posted with LifeCast

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Dawn In Macland

Whether it's $799, $899, or no change in the price of the entry level Macbook, we are in for another big shift in the underlying technology along with OS X that may change computing once again for Mac users.  Well, we should be in for a change.  Nothing is certain until Steve Jobs makes it so.

Tomorrow.  10AM PST.  The follow sites are offering live blogs since Apple issues press passes and has stopped webcasting their events eons ago.

  • Macrumors - via Twitter
  • Engadget - excellent.  If one of the other sites don't work, you can always rely on them.
  • Macworld - you get the bone.  They provide the meat later through the day after the event and into the next day.  
  • Gizmodo - excellent.  The best live site for Mac and other Apple events
  • CNet - it's good to keep in mind.  But they're generally one of the worst
  • Ars Technica
I think those live blogs are good enough.  There are many others and if you think I should include them, let me know.  Macrumors has put together a bunch of "expectations" and pre-announcement analysis.  Sort of like the pregame shows for sports.

Here's what to expect before you get into these live feeds.  Get your morning coffee, donuts, and unplug your phone. Just coffee.  And a lot of this occur while most of us are at work.  Go to work early and get most of what you need to do done.  Block out that hours (10-11 - I don't expect this to go for more than an hour.  And most of what we want to know will already happen in the first 30-40 minutes.  In fact, if this is just straight up Mac portable updates, this won't be a long event.

One of the thing that bug me about this event is that Apple notify the press a bit late.  It is hard to try and reason why is it so.  A matter of expectation?  Trying to not hype to event?  After all, many have been expecting a mystery product that would result in this quarter's lower profit margin.  A lot of folks are talking about price cuts.  Right now, there seem to be some dispute whether that is going to be the case.  

Here is what we should expect.  Jobs go onto the stage and assure the fans that Apple has a great lineup for the coming Holiday Seasons.  He'll tell us the event will be about Macs.  He'll go through the data, how Apple is kicking ass in terms of sales and dollar market-share.  

Before he finally introduces the new Macbooks, he'll might go through the evolution of the Powerbook G4s to the Macbooks and how that was a huge leap.  Now, Apple is taking another one.  Nvidia chipsets with Centrino 2 chips.  And then finally, the new Macbooks.  The audience is somewhat blown away.  And while seeing is believing for the media and bloggers, the enthusiasm will be muted because of all the leaks in the last week.  

Finally, one or two folks, probably Nvidia, maybe Intel, will be paraded onto the stage and talk up the honor it was to be walked all over by Steve Jobs.  After they are yanked off stage, Jobs comes back thanks us and asks us to fork over our credit cards.  

One more thing...well, maybe.  But I doubt it.

Now, there are things I want to see for the new Macbook and from Apple.
  • 3G connectivity.  At the very least, provide it on the Macbook Air and the Pro line.
  • Minimum of 2GB and expandable to 8GB on the Pro line.  If we are truly going to see the $799 price point, expect a mere 1GB.
  • Minimum of 4GB on the MBP.  If the Macbook Air does get upgraded tomorrow, give us 3GB.
  • Dedicated GPU across the board.  Maybe not the MBA but the Macbooks are just crying out for more power.
  • Eight hours of battery life.  
  • LED across the board.  While we're at this, keep the ratio at 16:10.  We know we won't have Blue-Ray drives so there's no need for 16:9 screens.  We will live with the black border when we watch movies.
  • Multi-Touch trackpads - and with more functionality.  Prepare us for the day when we will get Multi-Touch LED screens.  We all know that's coming.
  • Apple TV functionality on Macbooks.  It won't cannabalize Apple TV sales.  A lot of folks still have not experience it before.  Think of it as a way to market Apple TV.  If we like it on our Macbook, we will like it even more on our TV and we'll will go out and buy an Apple TV.
  • I love it if Apple can shave a pound off across the board.  I can live with 1/2 lb on the Macbooks.  
  • We already discussed pricing a bit at the top.  Nobody knows.  $799 is great but I double it.  $200 cut across the board is entirely doable.  
So, there you have it.  My wish list.  Looking forwards to have none of it happen.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

More Blog Momentum For Macbooks To Use Nvidia Chips

Not evidence.  We said momentum.

As you know, there is going to be special Apple event next week to introduce new laptops.
We can be sure that Apple will try to keep up with competitors using Intel's latest Centrino 2 mobile chips.  Beyond, that, it's all rumors and guesses.

We are feel that's valid to talk about the potential use of Nvidia video cards in Macbooks to offer more powerful graphics and game play, something that many critics have felt Apple failed to address since Apple introduced the Macbooks using Intel chips.

So, this is a welcoming news to me as a potential customer who feels it's time to upgrade.  I have been unable to find information that we average users can use to help us decide what to get, I did find this old post from CNet that offers the breakdown of these Nvidia chips.


  • GeForce 9600M GT
  • GeForce 9600M GS
  • GeForce 9500M G
  • GeForce 9400M
  • GeForce 9300M GS
  • GeForce 9200M GS

  • GeForce 9100M G
I'm almost certain the Pro line will gain the 9600 series while at least some of the Macbooks will use the 9300 chips.  Now, it's just a feeling but I think Apple will not give us the 9400M since it maybe be too close for comfort to the Pro line.

Now, I said some of the Macbooks will get Nvidia GPUs.  I think there will be a low end Macbook that will use Intel's X4500 to lower cost (not to mention saving-face for Intel).  I'm guessing the Macbook Air will also use Intel's chipset as well.

Here's something else that's likely to happen.  Apple may use LED across the board on all Macbooks and Macbook Pro.
For pricing, we've read anywhere from $800 to $999 to start at the low end.  The $800 entry point is possible.  But you're talking about 1GB (2GB is possible), LCD, and low-end CPU.  It just good enough to entice switchers.

Note:  I wonder about the Mac Mini as well.  Give me a Mac Mini with a discrete GPU and Apple can have my money.  But I doubt that'll happen.  If the Mac Mini does get an upgrade, it'll almost certainly use the X4500 IGP as well.  
Another Note:  I try not to traffic in rumors but the Nvidia link is coming from multiple sources on the Web.  The rest of the analysis comes from being an Apple nut who's been watching Apple's behavior all these years.  With that said, no mystery product next Tuesday.  Apple talks things up to generate media attention.  No more.  But I love to be wrong.  

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update for October 9, 2008

With the Mac back in the news today.  Oh, sorry.  You heard right.  The Macbook is back to headline once again after ceding media and blog attention to its smaller mobile cousins, the iPod

Onxo Updates:
iPhone-iPod Update:
  • iSmashphone on iNotes for the iPhone.
  • TUAW on Street View and special features for Japanese iphone users.  Emoji should have been on the iPhone to start with.  Next step, make it easier for people to read enovels and comics, Jobs.
  • Touch Arcade on $10K prize for best iPhone/iPod game.
  • Small Wave talks about App Store.
  • iLounge on contract free iPhones in Mexico.
  • Macworld  reports owners very satisfied with their iPhone despite problems.
  • iLounge reports on iTunes store for Russia in 2009.  New Cold War is free market friendly.
  • Indy Star reprints Bloomberg article on iPhone in biz.  MacDaily News reports first Japanese corporate customer.
  • Keep an eye on this.  Judge allows lawsuit against iPhone ties to ATT to go forward.  Possible this may impact other devices and carriers.
  • iPhone Atlas reports French Iron Man Blue-Ray copy has iPhone features.
  • Macworld reports Norway demands Apple drop DRM.
  • Apple Matters explains App Store as a prison.
  • iPhone Atlas on take your iPhone overseas.

Special Apple Event on October 14th!

This just from Appleinsider.

There will be a special event on the 14th to unveil the new crop of Macbooks.  Special secret product or just Macbooks.

We'll know in 120 hours!

Source: Appleinsider

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Does Apple Have to Worry About the Coming "Storm"?

Hardly.  Technologically, the iPhone is still the only game changer in town.  But I'm very glad Blackberry, finally somebody, sought to challenge what no one else has done since the iPho came out about 15 months ago.

This is why Apple does not have to worry.  Storm, with all its wonders, is missing a lot of things the iPhone has.  And some of these things are not likely to come to the Storm if ever.

  • No Wi-Fi.  Seriously?
  • 1GB - in this day and age?  This is the same complaint I have got with the G1.  (15 more days till I get it!)
  • It's bulky.  It's something some executive or manager might like but the bulk of the consumer will still prefer the sleek form factor.
  • Ease of use is still something Apple dominates.
  • Mind set.  Teenagers, college students still identify with the iPod.  That is translating into iPhone.  
  • Innovation.  Innovation.  Innovation.  Apple is the only company today to change the landscape of the mobile market while everyone is still trying to figure out what is going on.
Technically, the iPhone as a package is difficult to beat.  Storm does a good job at coming in second.  Not a close second.  Given the business features that is innate in Blackberry smartphones, RIM has something that allows it to hold serve.  

As a consumer devices go, a good analogy is the old IBM versus Apple of the 80s.  Think of Blackberries as IBM and the iPhone...well, it's still Apple.  But this time, the corporate assault Apple is mounting on Blackberry's turf is more evident.  

Verizon is not going to see defection to Storm the way ATT has seen new subscribers coming from its competitors because of the iPhone, particular at the expense of Verizon.  But Storm is just what Verizon needs to keep people from leaving.

Another issue may be pricing.  Given how bulked up Storm is with the latest and greatest tech from RIM, one would assume it's going cost a bit.  We'll find out soon enough.  RIM, Verizon, and other partners seem to be very hush-hush about this.  If I had to guess, they will try to under cut the iPhone.  

Why?  Because they have to.  Because people want the iPhone.  You don't think people will gobble up the iPhone if it was made available on Verizon's network?  $150 seems about right.  But if they really want to hurt Apple, they need to make it free.  

It's the only want for RIM and Verizon to change the dynamics of this mobile arms race.

Note:  Apple has warned about margins in the last financial report.  Rim did the same because they higher costs due to launching new products.  RIM has only Blackberries.  As great as Storm is in my opinion, failure is not an option for RIM.  

Impact:  Look for Apple to counter regardless of what RIM does or how they price Storm.  

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update For October 6, 2008

We did not post a lot of Mac updates last week because there really was not a lot to write about and I don't want to waste your time for the sake of clicks.

Just to recap a bit from last week, Apple finally lifted their nondisclosure agreement for iPhone developers. I can't call it the right move.  It was just "a move" that really should have been done.  Apple really screwed up by not communicating with the iPhone community on this issues.

Also today, NDP stated the iPhone took command of the smartphone market with 17% of total units moved.  It's possible Apple has already broken through the 10 million mark it set for itself for total 2008 sales.

Onxo Updates:

iPhone-iPod Update:
  • iSmashphone on iNotes for the iPhone.
  • TUAW on Street View and special features for Japanese iphone users.  Emoji should have been on the iPhone to start with.  Next step, make it easier for people to read enovels and comics, Jobs.
  • Touch Arcade on $10K prize for best iPhone/iPod game.
  • Small Wave talks about App Store.
  • iLounge on contract free iPhones in Mexico.
  • Macworld  reports owners very satisfied with their iPhone despite problems.
  • iLounge reports on iTunes store for Russia in 2009.  New Cold War is free market friendly.
  • Indy Star reprints Bloomberg article on iPhone in biz.  MacDaily News reports first Japanese corporate customer.
  • Keep an eye on this.  Judge allows lawsuit against iPhone ties to ATT to go forward.  Possible this may impact other devices and carriers.
  • iPhone Atlas reports French Iron Man Blue-Ray copy has iPhone features.
  • Macworld reports Norway demands Apple drop DRM.
  • Apple Matters explains App Store as a prison.
  • iPhone Atlas on take your iPhone overseas.
Mac Update:
  • There are some rumors flying about.  We won't be getting into it.  But one of them is feature specific in the sense that it's missing from current Macbooks.  A dedicated GPU.  Let's hope we see them finally in Macbooks.
  • Esquire on Jobs and his legacy
  • Computerworld on no need for Jobs.
  • Net Applications on Safari growth - 6.65% for Safari, IE drops big time.  Include Chrome, Webkit share rises to 7.4% - striking distance of Firefox.  
  • Net Applications on OS Share - scary thing, OS X within striking distance of Vista.  It will depend on Apple's plans but can happen.  Snow Leopard to gain Exchange support and we will certainly see Windows 7 delays.  Let's meet in 18 months.

iPHone Takes Pole Position

The buzz this morning is the NDP data point to a dramatic change in leadership in the smartphone sector.  Who are the top sellers?

  1. iPhone
  2. Blackberry Curve
  3. Blackberry Pearl
  4. Palm Centro
Here are some statistics to chew on:
  • 30% of people who bought iPhones were new customers to ATT versus industry numbers 23% customers switchers
  • 47% - nearly half of new iPhone owners came from Verizon
  • 24% - nearly a quarter of new iPhone owners came from T-Mobile (I'll be staying with T-Mobile for the G1 experience)
  • 19% of new iPhone customers came from Sprint
  • 11% of smartphones sales were iPhone before iPhone 3G intro.  17% after iPhone 3G was made available.  About a 55% increase.
  • NDP surveyed 150K customers for this report
Related links:
Analysis:  I'm glad.  For two reasons.  The new comer comes in and shake things up.  This time it's Apple.  Next time, it may be Android.  who knows.  For all these wireless giants who think otherwise, it's good to see them take it on the chins.

The second reason is that the humbleness is also being shared by Verizon and other wireless carriers.  Open your network, guys.  It's not about letting phone makers take control but let the consumers choose. Verizon can't wait for Storm to be in their stores.  Or can they?  Pricing is so secretly guarded it's making Apple look bad with all their recent product leaks.

Here's the bottomline.  The mobile and wireless market has changed dramatically.  All I've seen about "G1 openness" from T-Mobile, Sprint's fine prints, and Verizon trying to redefine their open network initiative are mere Orwellian double-talks.

Winners: All mobile warriors.

Can Apple Make America Read Again?

It's been widely known that when approached about ebooks, Jobs said Americans just don't read anymore. I initially took offense to that until I realized there might be some truth to that.

I don't know if reading is now an elitist thing to do but I was at Borders last night and I did see a good crowd there.  I was at a different book store last week and I saw quite a line at the checkout counter.  So I think it isn't that folks aren't ready anymore.

The truth is, people aren't reading ebooks.  Ebooks have been around for quite some years now.  And digital growth for books are not growing as fast as other media like music.

Can Apple Make America Read Again?  Maybe.  According to Forbes, Apple may have overtaken Kindle with respect to the number of folks using iPhones to read ebooks.  I encourage heading over to look at it a bit.

I don't like the flippant use of download numbers to suggest that more folks are using iPhone to read books than Kindle, the fact that folks have downloaded about 400,000 copies of Stanza is pretty significant.  I can tell you I've downloaded Stanza myself but I use mainly eReader because I have been able to buy books on it when I used my Palm Zire 72 as my reader.

I look forward to see Stanza's sales figure once they have lined up publishers for sales.  Right now, books from Stanza are free.  In fact, I also look forward to eReader download figures and sales figures from iPhone owners.

So, how is iPhone, with a smaller screen and not meant as an ereader gaining such a big follow?  The iPhone is a mobile device.  Not an ereader.  That is why.  With the iPhone, there is no need for people to carry a separate device just to read books.  Not to mention that with the iPhone or future devices like it, downloading an app is far cheaper than buying a dedicated reader.

The Kindle costs $360.  With a medium cost of $9.99 for top sellers, you would have to buy 36 books before breaking even.

Source:  Forbes

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mobile Tip: Use Fring On the iPhone to Make Free Calls

You might know from Onxo or else where that Fring, an IM/VOIP, app was made available yesterday for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Now, it looks very straight-forward.  I'm asking my friend if he can give a try.  I'll get back to you with our own results.

Here is the Youtube link.  If we have an opportunity to post our own instructions, we'll let you know.

Via Macrumors

You can download from iTunes link here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Macbook Versus Viao SR Versus HP DV3500t

I'm in the market for a new Macbook.  Possibly a Macbook Pro.  I make it a point to check out the competition to see how the specs fair and like most mobile warriors, I check out the prices as well.

I've been taking a hard look at  the newly introduced HP DV3500t 13" LED with a dedicated GPU for $1100 (I added $100 because I would want the LED option) and Sony's Vaio SR series ($1200).  But are competing with the Macbooks and whatever upgrades Apple will be offering.

But these three looks to offer serious competition going forward.  All things being equal, it's a no brainer for me to pick the machine that runs OS X and, if needed, Windows.

However, HP has upped the game with a GPU that allows serious gaming.  Hope we'll see the Macbook follow up or come up with a major price drop.

Look-wise, the dv2500t, well, it's a standard PC laptop.  The Macbook we're familiar with.  Sleek.  Well designed.  Looks great to work on.  The SR is one of the best looking laptops out there.  It has a click keyboard as the Macbook and the color is just amazing.  You can tell that Sony is going hard after the Mac crowd.  It's aimed at folks like me.

My only problem is if I were to get the dt3500i or the SR, I'll be spending the life of the machine gettig rid of the crapwares that inevitably come with Windows laptops.

I'll make my decision on about a month but HP and Sony sure are making a great push into Apple's Macbook comfort zone.  Sony's SR has only the X4500 IGP from Intel.  I'm hoping Apple will offer a dedicated graphics solution though.

Note:  I'll put up a comparison chart after Apple updates its Macbook so we can compare features more accurately with updated laptops.

So, if by some chance I decide against the Macbook and go with the SR or the dv3500t, I don't think I'll be disappointed.

MacWind (Or Macbook Mini if you prefer)

Like a lot of folks, we're waiting Apple to release the next generation of Macbooks.  Word on the steets (Internet Drive) is middle of October.  Well, apparently someoneis not willing to wait that long.

Meet MacWind.

Wired has been writing a series on hacking and installing OS X on MSI's Wind.  You can check it out below.  In fact, there are now fixes and drivers to make this baby easier to use.  In fact, with some Wi-Fi issues, there will be new genuine OS X drivers from Realtek as well.

Also check out our post  on the best non-Mac Macbooks.

Impact:  This is becoming more than jus tone guy's obsession.  Wired has legitmized OS X hacking with these posts.  I can't help but wonder if Apple is secret monitoring the situation.  It may well create a deeper and more obsessive cult than the general mainstream Apple fanboys.

Also, we may see more OS-hack-friendly netbooks in the future from the likes of Asus and other Asian brands.

Source: Wired

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Podcaster - Review

Oh, you didn't know Podcaster was still available, did you?

Well, not officially since Apple killed off any sanctioned avenue for Podcaster's developer to get it on the iPhone.  Fortunately, iPhone owners' got a lot of smart developers who brought us tools for jailbreaking and unlocking.  And that's how I found Podcaster.  I clicked on Cydia on my iPhone and "wow, podcaster!"

Well, here's the catch.  It'll cost $5.  Not a bad price for an app that let's you directly access, download, and listen to podcasts.  Traditionally, Apple wants you to hook up the iPhone or iPod Touch to iTunes to access any podcast you may subscribe to.  (Control?  Yes.)

Here's the thing.  You don't have to do that.  In some instances, you can access the podcast directly from the podcast website.  So along came Podcaster and it made much easier to access your podcast.

Podcaster was seen as an attempt to cut the umbilical cord between iTunes and Apple's mobile devices. Apple will not allow it to be substituted or cut.

Now, Podcaster works just like another other authorized or unauthorized app.  Before paying for it, there is a two-week trial period.  You can add podcasts.  It'll take you to a search page where you can see if your favorite podcast is part of its directory.  I did a few searches and did not find only a couple of podcasts I subscribed to on iTunes.

Once you find your podcast, click on it and Podcast will start to import a listing for the podcast.  Then simply click on your podcast and you'll find yourself looking an available list of episodes.  Tap what you want to listen to and you're set.

It's easy.  If you had told me this was an app created by Apple, I would have believed it.  Give it a try if you've got a jail-broken iPhone.  Support Podcaster if you find it very useful.  Apple will be hard-pressed to create something just as simple and enjoyable to use.

Note:  Short history on Podcaster.  It was rejected by Apple because it duplicated a function that they may have now or may have in the future.  Finally after some cat-and-mouse games, Podcaster showed up on Cydia.

Another Note:  Apple lifted the NDA on the developers today.  It is working to create a new agreement.  I also hope they create a guideline for developers on what constitutes an acceptable app.

Mac-iPhone Update for October 1, 2008

You probably already know unless On Apple is your sole Mac and iPhone information but Apple withdrew their NDA.

And just as we wonder why they continued to implement the NDA, we now switch to why withdraw it now?  Their claim:  competition.  

But it does make sense since all their main competitors, including Android, is out on the market or soon will be.  There won't be any need for Apple to hold developers hush-hush.  Although, I just have to wonder though.  

Since anyone can download the iPhone SDK and have a peek around, what why would the NDA be an issue?  We had speculated on why the NDA was so important to Apple but we were right when we said it wouldn't go on forever.

iPhone-iPod Update:

  • Yesterday, the biggest news was Adobe making a boneheaded announcement about Flash for the iPhone pending Apple's approval.  With the NDA lifted, Adobe should be able to say more about it.  No word.  Wouldn't bet in it happen unless Adobe makes a lot of concessions to Apple.
  • Cult of Mac does not think Apple will close the iTunes store if the copyright review board decides to increase royalty to publishers.  Now Apple shutting down iTunes in Norway, that's another story.  
  • CNet's take on the copyrights fee.
  • RCR Wireless reports on CBS's iphone app and finds that news is in the eye of the beholder.
  • iPhone Atlas on take your iPhone overseas.
  • Phone Arena reports no LTE network on ATT for another 5 years.  Maybe we'll have the iPhone on WiMax or another network by then.  Don't think Verizon. They're sharing their next gen network with ATT.  And Sprint has been evil  with plans to be stingy with WiMax .
  • Onxo feels iPhone games should contain more depth.
  • 9To5Mac believes unlocked iPhone 3G is a way to get into China with accepting China Mobile's terms.
  • Macworld  reports owners very satisfied with their iPhone despite problems.
  • Mobility Today says Pay and Go iPhone available in the UK - will cost you.  But no contracts is very attrative.

Mac issues:

  • Onxo on the best non-Apple Macbooks.
  • Onxo on our "Mac Hybrid".
  • Ars Technica on impending Snow Leopard releases.
  • Applelinks provides an overview of Adobe's new suite of creative programs.
  • MacObserver  on new GIMP, open-source Photoshop-like program.
  • Macworld  reports Netflix will allow Mac users to view video by the end of the year.
  • Appleinsider reports one in five laptops were Macbooks.
  • Net Applications on Safari growth - 6.65% for Safari, IE drops big time.  Include Chrome, Webkit share rises to 7.4% - striking distance of Firefox.  
  • Net Applications on OS Share - scary thing, OS X within striking distance of Vista.  It will depend on Apple's plans but can happen.  Snow Leopard to gain Exchange support and we will certainly see Windows 7 delays.  Let's meet in 18 months.

When are the Macs Getting M4 Chips? Prediction: MacBook Pro With M4 At the WWDC

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