Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Movie Clip: Mission Impossible 4 (Spoiler Alert: The iPhone Is In the Movie!)

No longer a Tom Cruise fan?  I don't know one way or another.  I just like a good movie with actions, explosions, and any attempt to develop a story.

MI4 seems to have all of them.  Oh, yeah, the iPhone also has a small part in the trailer.

What do you think?  In the poster, TC actually looked like Lestat again with the longish hair.

Source:  Digg.

Battery Tip: Turn On Airplane Mode And Use only WiFi

I’m an a Battery life on the 4S is on par with the iPhone 4 as far as usage goes.  But because the iPhone 4S is just begging to be used in ways that the 4 isn't, dictation, Siri, Notification Center, etc, the battery life can seem to be shorter as a result.

So, I've been going a little more extreme with respect to trying to be more conservative and squeeze every last second of power I can get out of the 4S.  

I’m an a WiFi environment most of the time – home, office, Starbucks.  So, I have the luxury to do what I am going to suggest to help you extend the battery life on the iPhone:

Turn on Airplane mode and then turn on WiFi if needed.  I’ve also turned off location and alerts when I’m at work.  I still let e-mails and messaging go through.

There it’s that simple.  And using Siri and dictation will eat up battery but since I got the 4S, I’ve been Siri daily and dictating my notes, messages, and e-mails.  If you don’t, you’ll also see better battery life as well.

I know some people go as far as to turn off WiFi.  I’m not that far gone.  I suppose that if you're just reading, like I've been doing a lot late on the iPhone, WiFi isn't going to be needed just to do that.

4S Battery issues?  And at the time of this writing, I understand that Apple is seeking out users who have experience battery issues with their 4S.  Personally, I haven’t see the level of battery drain that some others have. (The Guardian)

iPhone Launches In Massive Second Wave

Apple is set to unleash the iPhone 4S another wave of countries even as some iPhone shortages persist.  22 countries and city-states in all.

 Pop (M)
 Austria        8.40
 Belgium      10.80
 CzechRepublic      10.50
 Denmark        5.60
 Estonia        1.30
 Finland        5.40
 Hungary      10.00
 Ireland        6.20
 Italy      60.70
 Latvia        2.20
 Lithuania        3.20
 Luxembourg        0.50
 Mexico     112.20
 Netherlands      16.70
 Norway        5.00
 Singapore        5.20
 Slovakia        5.40
 Slovenia        2.00
 Spain      46.00
 Sweden        9.40
 Switzerland        7.90

I've left Leichtenstein blank because they've got on 36K people in the whole country.  That's smaller than the city I live in.

As you can see, this is a massive 334 million people who will be eligible for the iPhone this weekend.  I don't anticipate another 4 million moved in these countries alone like Apple was able to do in its first weekend of the iPhone 4S sale.

Still, combined with all the other territories that already have the iPhone on sale, we could potentially see that figure repeated yet again.  In two weeks since it's gone on sale, I wonder if Apple will have sold 10 million by the end of Sunday.

Well, let's not get too ahead of ourselves.  As popular as iPhone 4S is, one key drive for its sale is still not ready in many of these countries:  Siri. So far, Siri is only available in English, German, and French with limited use outside of the US for now, even Canada.

Source:  Apple.

Siri: Week Two, Any Change In Your Mobile Routine?

It's been two weeks since the iPhone 4S went on sale.  By now, I'm guess about 6 to 8 million iPhone 4S's have been moved off the shelves and into user hands all over the world.  I reckon we'll see 10 million by the weekend as the 4S goes on sale in more than half a dozen countries.

So, I think I'm in good company when I ask you.  Has Siri changed how you do things with your mobile device?  Now, if you're new to the whole smartphone scene and the 4S is your first mobile device, I can safely say that you're blown away.

For the rest of us, Siri could be the reason why we upgraded.  And I can tell you this.  I'm blown away just by what it can do as well and it's only in beta.

What can it do?  Well, it cuts down on a whole lot of tapping away on the screen.  You speak to Siri, make a request. Task done.  Making calls, sending messages or e-mails, or schedule an alarm or appt.  But that's the easy part, isn't it.

It's the search for answers.  And if your questions are directed, you can get most answers from Siri directly.  No more opening the browser and typing in your search.  No more opening up Google app or going to search. It really bypasses the whole routine.

Maybe this is why I've been reading more than a few posts about the threat that Siri is to Google and search as we know it in general.  Imagine what happens in a few years.  Never mind that.  Just think what'll happen once Apple brings Siri to OS X on the Mac! This alone could change the whole PC dynamics even further.

As you can from above, there is still a few things that Siri cannot do by command.  I don't know if this is a beta thing or not.  I am pretty certain that most tasks like this will come to us soon.

You'll be be getting a couple more posts on what I think Siri can potentially do once its out of beta and when migrates over to the desktop.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mobile: Taiwan Concerned About Apple's "Slide To Unlock" Patents; Directs Gov Agencies To Deal With Potential Suits From Apple

You may know by now that Apple has been awarded Patent Office the "Slide To Unlock" patent.  It's a very blatant copying by Android OS.  I'm find with it.  Companies copy each other all the time.  However, the Chinese provincial government of Taiwan is worried that its local firms, HTC, will come under additional lawsuits from Apple.

This is where innovation comes into play.  Why not just find a way around the patent?  You know, innovate?

See?  WebOS has its own way of doing it.  I don't see why others like Google can implement their own unlocking mechanism.  Android 4 has facial recognition, right?

Here's the thing.  Why a lock screen at all?

Source:  Focus Taiwan.

Note:  I know that Taiwan is still recognized by some island nations as an independent country and that China considers Taiwan as a breakaway province.  Still, the willingness of Taipei to capitulate to Beijing's wishes shows that its only a matter of time before Taipei begins to take orders from its archenemy.

Notification: Getting Directly to the App/Task From Lock Screen

You've noticed by now that you can see your notifications directly from your lock screen if you're running iOS 5.  Pretty neat, I know.  But once you've unlock it, the notification goes away.  Then you've got two ways of looking for notifications.  Hunt for them on your iOS device or use the Notification Center.

Apparently, there is a way to get to your most important notification directly after unlocking your screen.  I happened to have discovered it by accident a couple of days ago and only now have the time to share it.  And if you already know what I'm talking about, cool.

So, when you want to unlock your iOS device, you have to slide the locking mechanism.  Well, you can do the same with your notification.

If you have more than one notification from different apps, you simply choose the notification that you want to get to first, and your iOS device will take you to that app.  As you can see, my "slide to unlock" remains in its free-state position while I was in the midst of slide the icon for my Hanging game, which had sent me a notification earlier.

Now, if you've got a lock code, you type in your lock code and then it'll take you to your app.

It's rather neat.  Another example of Apple showing us a feature that we didn't know we wanted/needed until they made it available to us.

Android Devices Web Hogs?! Sprint CEO Said So

According to Sprint's CEO, Dan Hesse, the iPhones are less of a Web hog than Androids.  Does that make sense?  I always thought it was the other way around.  In fact, he said the iPhone is 50% more efficient than the Androids.

I am a bit surprised by this but Hess did give some reasons for this.  He attributed this to Apple's stricter app development policies - like accessing the network less frequent where as Android apps have a wider and freer playing field for developers.

Furthermore, he attributed the iPhone's better ability to offload data to WiFi hotspots better than its Android competitors.

What is interesting is that this could end up being a big deal when companies negotiate with carriers over cost of acquiring a smartphone.

At the same time, we have to wonder if this is a ploy being used by Sprint to bring to the negotiation tables in future smartphone talks with device makers.

Bloomberg TV+ Allows 24 Hour Streaming - Nice!

This is why it's so exciting to be alive now.  Those of you younglings who were not around or aware of the computer revolution in the early 1980s are now a part of another revolution - mobile computing coming of age. Not quite but here is another sign that we're trying to get to mobile nirvana as Steve Jobs envisioned it.  

Bloomberg TV+ is a new app for the iPad that allows users access to Bloomberg TV for free with 24 hour streaming.  I can tell you this already.  My service provider ain't gonna be too happy.  

I'm being lazy so I lifted some pertinent info from the iTunes page for the app:

- Live TV: Bloomberg Television Live 24-hours a day
- Featured videos: The biggest business stories right now prioritized by importance
- Last 24 Hours: All the important business stories from the last 24 hours
- Exclusive interviews with the most influential people in business, finance and investment
- Original content produced for mobile
- Bloomberg's critically acclaimed shows on demand

- Download videos for offline viewing
- Get extra content on people, companies and topics while watching
- Search our extensive library of video content
- Set and receive reminders for upcoming programs on Live TV
- Share videos via Twitter, Facebook and Email
- Customize your interactive scrolling ticker and get the latest news and market information
- Enjoy all of this in portrait or landscape; fully optimized for both

Who needs CNBC when you've got Bloomberg that provides more detailed and analytic news that isn't filled with analysts who rather be rock stars than financial stars?

There is no doubt that BTV for the iPad will be a huge success.  A vast majority of financial firms and Fortune 500 companies already deploy the iPads as a part of their IT arsenal.  They'll want this on the go.  CNBC charges for their live video and I'm not aware their iOS apps allow streaming.

Furthermore, other studios and cable channels should watch this closely.  The mobile market is a revenue stream that they cannot forgo.  I think Bloomberg already saw the cord-cutting as inevitable and going mobile now and ahead of everyone else is the way to go.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mobile: Nintendo To Report More Over $1 Billion In Loss For First Half of Year

Nintendo is in a pretty dark place right now.  Sales are not going well and its products are no longer competitive.  It all started a few years ago when mobile gaming changed.  And certainly, I did not expect this.  Neither did the powers-that-be at Nintendo Japan.

And this was lead off by the iPod touch and now the weight whole iOS ecosystem is crashing down on Mario, Pikachu, and company's heads.

More at Greenjava.

Windows Phone: Though Not Impressive, There Is Plenty To Be Excited About Nokia's First Windows Phone - Lumia 800

There is plenty to be excited about with Nokia's first Windows Phone device.  Now, we have to be careful about this because it's not necessarily a winner in terms of sales because it's not on sale yet.  And when it does go on sale, it's limited to a few European markets.

Google To Original Nexus One Users: Thanks For Buying But No Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4) For You

I don’t know about you but I find what Google is telling Nexus One users totally unacceptable.  If you’re using Nexus One, you’re stuck on Android 2.x.  You’re done.  Finished.  Enjoy it as it is because your device will not be getting Ice Cream Sandwich.

If you want it, fork over some more money for the Galaxy Nexus. Ordinarily, I would agree except for a couple of things.  One, the Nexus One is still being sold on the market.  So, basically, people who bought into it will never be able to enjoy the latest and greatest features.

Second, why won’t it work with Android 4?  Is this some sort of a revenue grab by Google?  It totally doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Just to put some of this into perspective, the Nexus One came out on January 5, 2010 and it was rolled out months after that over the world.  You’re got a device that is less than two years old.  Less than a year old for some users.  And you’re telling me it’s specs are so bad that it cannot run Android 4?

The Nexus One did not go on sale in Europe until April of 2010 and around July of 2010 in Asia.

Now, the iPhone 3GS is upgradeable and running plenty fine with Apple’s latest OS update, iOS 5.  It was released back in June of 2009.  Now, people will argue that the 3GS and even the iPhone 4 are not benefiting from features like Siri that the iPhone 4S has.  Granted.  Absolutely.  But other improvements like faster browsing and notifications are still available to iPhone 3GS users.  Wouldn’t surprise me if iOS 6 will still work with the 3GS since Apple is still selling this legacy mobile device.

I don’t know if you guys agree with me on this but like the 3GS, the Nexus has plenty of mileage left with the hardware that it has.  I know the CM guys will step and make sure the Nexus One is taken care of.  Nevertheless, Google just screwed over millions of Nexus users royally.

I think mobile platform providers should provide upgrades for up to two years at the minimum.

More at TmoNews.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Does Record Blackberry Trade-Ins Mean?

According to Gazelle (Electronista), buyer of used gadgets and electronics, reported a record number of Blackberries were traded in last week.  And this was a record that broke another record number of Blackberry trade-in a month ago.

Amazon Had A Bad Quarter; Could Get Worse Long Term Once Apple Gets Into Payments

You know what's interesting about Apple's 30% cut from apps to movies to books?  It's 30% of someone else's money that it is taking for itself.  Now, Apple has said that the 30% take it's enforcing allows it only to operate its stores at around break-even point.  Still, as more people go digital, all that money is going to add up.

And this is even before Apple, with access to around two hundred million credit cards, begins to get into the mobile and online payment business.  I get the feeling that Apple isn't looking at credit card like transaction fees.  I think Apple wants a piece of the profit as well. Apple could leverage its considerable knowledge of its customers and move into deals with retailers in ways unlike anything we've seen before.

And Amazon, which has just reported its own Netflix-like earnings and missing expectations, expectations that were not unreasonable like those imposed on Apple, needs to be aware of that.

Apple will be working out deals with retailers not unlike one like its got for its app developers and the app store where it'll take a percentage of the transaction.  Probably not 30% but it'll want something in return.

Thus, it's unlikely that Amazon could come to some sort of a deal with Apple because of its already thin margins.  And with Apple and Amazon competing in the tablet and digital sales, Apple could possibly steal customers away from Amazon in areas where it will hurt Amazon the most.

How?  Essentially now, Amazon is uses profits from other areas to subsidize its digital content expansions and efforts.  Amazon is losing money on each of the Kindle Fire it sells, hoping to make it back through digital sales. At the same time, sales from other departments are allowing Amazon to make content deals like TV and movies for streaming or sale.

Once Apple gets into the payment business, one of two things or both will happen.  Apple will steal sales from Amazon because Apple will shepherd its iTunes users to its partners or Amazon will play ball and give Apple money.  And either way or both, Apple will wants its pound of fresh from Amazon.

Apple has built a large platform and with it a very lucrative ecosystem unlike anything we've ever seen before.  Even with Microsoft's desktop dominance, it is not able to extract the kind of money that Apple has been able to or will be able to.

The only way Amazon can escape this fate is if there is a wholesale departure of iOS and Mac users over to its Kindle platform.  Right now, Jeff Bezos and company, will need to convince investors that sacrificing  hundreds of millions, possibly billions today as it invests and builds out its digital future will bring in a lot of profits later on.

Of course, Bezos did it once just after the bubble in early 2000.  This time, Amazon will need to do it again against a vastly complicated and competitive Apple with $86 billion in the bank.

Could There Be A Run On iPhone 4S Soon?

According to a variety of reports, Apple was not the only one to have missed their forecast on iPhone sales.  Both AT&T and Verizon all saw lower number of activations - largely due to people waiting for the iPhone 4 successor.

On top of that, what is scary about iPhone's potential growth is that Android and other competing devices, with newer models, did not see their sales increase.  It just sounded like people either wanted to jump ship to the iPhone 4S or that they simply wanted to see what Apple will be offering.

Then the Blackberry blackout happened.  It was an early Christmas gift for Apple.  According to a new survey, about 40% of Blackberry users now want to get an iPhone.  And this is only the beginning.  Since we do not know how this survey was conducted and who were a part of it, we can safely believe that this is only the beginning.

After all, the consumerization of IT is in full swing.  On top of that, Apple is looking like the place to be if you want the latest and greatest from the perspectives of Blackberry users and possibly Android users who are looking at the iPhone, particularly those on the Sprint and Verizon networks, now that its available to them.

The next couple of quarters is going to be very important.  Apple should be able to grow its market here in the US but it really depends on how much.  We'll be watching to see if it's enough to push RIM further back and bring Android back from the dominating position it is in right now.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving and shopping gets into full swing, don't be surprised of Apple finds itself that it cannot keep up with iPhone demands.

One more thing. Siri.  Let's face it.  If Google did not come up with an answer for it with Android 4, there is just no way RIM has something in the works that is even remotely close.

Source:  Cult of Mac.

PCs Not Going Away But Tablets Is Where Future of Mobile Computing Is At; Change Over Has Started

For those who still doesn’t get what’s going on, consider this.  The iPads alone have pretty much vanquished the netbooks and really put a hurt on companies likes Acer that had relied on netbook shipments to pad their PC sales numbers.

According to ABI Research, 7.3 million netbooks “shipped”, not sold.  On the other hand, 13.6 million tablets were “shipped”.  Again, not all of it sold.  As you can see, the volume of tablets shipped doubted that of the netbooks.  And while many research firms refused to face this facts, this started in Q2 of 2010 when the original iPad went on sale.  It’s only now that these firms realized what’s going on.

Even as Acer, which had relied on netbook figures to pad their PC shipments, was going through financial pains, research guys and analysts refused to face the facts.

Now, let’s be clear about something here – iPads alone accounted for a vast majority of that tablet figure.  Of the 13.6 million tablets, about 75% of that were iPads.  This is higher than the 68% figure ABI came up with. Close you might say, right?  Wrong.

Here’s why iPad figures should be high if you want to go with what’s shipped, not just sold.

In Q2, Apple sold 9.25 million iPads.  Sold. Not just shipped.  Now, Apple also ended up with about a couple of weeks of inventory because supplies were so tight.  So, let’s add another million to what Apple has in inventory.  That means Apple both sold and shipped closer to 10.25 million iPads.

Based on this figure, Apple accounted for more than 75% of all tablets shipped in Q2.  And no one really knows what the actual netbook sell-through rate is.  The 9.25 iPads sold could alone have doubled those of actual netbooks sold.

Source:  Boy Genius Report.

Tablet: Some Were Disappointed By iPad Sales, But Could The iPhone 4S Have Been The Culprit?

The general move to tablets is well under way now.  It doesn’t matter if you’re an iPad user which constitute a vast majority of sales (not just shipped) and near totality in Web traffic from tablets or an Android tablet, Playbook, or Touchpad user, we are a special breed of pioneers who are blazing a trail towards new means of mobile computing and entertainment.

One of the most interest things is that while Apple has sold millions upon millions of iPads, there does not seem to be a general acceptance that tablets are here to stay.  Moreover, the sales of iPads is something that is watch so closely over that any slip up is cause to disparage the tablet market in general, and specifically, something for analysts and pundits to find fault in Apple.

Apple sold more iPads than its internal numbers reported and above Wall Street concensus.  No, it did not sell thirteen, fourteen, or even fifteen iPads.  But it sold enough.  Eleven point one million iPads to be exact.  That’s a 166% increase from a year ago.

Still, if you want to find fault with this figure, I’ll give you one.  iPhone 4S rumors and the persisting rumors that went all the way back to even before the iPad 2 was introduced by Steve Jobs on March 2, 2011.  A hint, rumor, or whatever you want to call it from John Gruber of Daring Fireball hinted that even though Steve called 2011 the year of the iPad 2, we might see an iPad 3 this fall.

For the next few months, iPhone and iPad rumors worked in tandem to provide eyeballs for blogs and, worse, mainstream media – putting kids through college and food on tables through the ads displayed. Worse, sales of the iPad, like the iPhones, were put off as consumers anticipate an iPad upgrade.

So, if folks want to find a culprit to their wild iPad sales predictions, they need to lay the fingers squarely where it belongs.  The iPad sales could have also been affected by other tablet rumors like Amazon’s tablet plans which we now know is the Kindle Fire.

We’ll have to see just where the iPad sales for the Holidays quarter take us.  Keep in mind that iPad 3 are rumored to be going into production right about now so I would not be surprised if that rumor snowballs into something much much bigger.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Apple’s “Think Different” Attitude Includes How It Perceives Talent

Would you make Tim Cook the CEO of one of the most profound, visionary companies in the world?  Would you leave in the hands of Cook, Ives, Schiller, and a few others without Ivy League education a vision that that time and time again created change in a civilization-wide scale?

Sure, today, you would.  But back in the late 1990s, if you were Steve Jobs, would you have hired them for the jobs to turn Apple around?  Chances are, you probably would not.

I wouldn’t.  And that lies in just how differently Steve Jobs, and now Apple, things about the world.  And I’m glad that this Forbes post highlighted just how differently Apple sees talent.

And the post goes on to say that there does not seem to be a formula about how Apple looks for people it finds talented.  Absolutely right.  If there was one, I don’t think Apple would be as successful as it is today.  However, I know this much.  B-schools, Ivy Leagues, and others have their values and as well as disadvantages.  Look at Washington today.  It’s run by a long of Harvard and Yale folks for the last couple of Administrations and look where its gotten us.

Please, understand that I am not disparaging these schools or the education its students pick up.  But it does create a group-think that maybe a company like Apple or any other organization that prides itself on pushing the limits of what is possible are not looking for.

Siri – It’s About Speed, A Serial Killer Convinced My Friend To Go With iPhone 4S

Last night I had dinner with a good doctor friend.  We got to talk about the state of the health system as he sees it from the trenches in the ER, his office, and, more importantly, his patients.  But he’s a tech guy too and now, he’s not sure he’s getting the Galaxy S II or the Galaxy Nexus, two of the top Android devices I recommended to him.

He had expressed a desire to leave Apple’s ecosystem.  I told him, yeah fine, he’ll love the Galaxy phones because he likes a more opened approach.

Then for some reason, we hit the topic about the Night Stalker.

He was a serial killer in the mid-80s.  Anyway, he asked if he was still alive.  I didn’t know.  The only thing I remembered about him was that he scared the crap out of him as a child.

Instinctively, we both when for our phones.  He has a 3GS and I’ve got my 4S.  I was able to get the answer from Siri via a Web search even before he opened Safari.

It was fast, accurate, and Siri blew him away.  Now, he’s leaning towards getting an iPhone again.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apple Posted Celebrating Steve Special Event

Apple is kind enough to post their all-hands event to celebrate their iconic and visionary leader, the late Steve Jobs.  You can click through here to Apple's webpage.

Got it from Daring Fireball.

Steve Jobs Biographer on 60 Minutes Video Up On Web

CBS has put up transcripts and videos online from their 60-Minutes program of an interview with Walter Isaacson, the author of the Steve Jobs biography.

Personally, I'm waiting to read the book first before I watch the video.  Inevitably, there will be spoilers.  I have been trying to avoid reading posts that unveil interesting bits of information from the biography.  I've been success for the most part but avoiding headlines from my RSS reader was a bit more difficult.

The book should be available for download tomorrow, in a few hours to be exact.  You can get them through Nook, Kindle, or iBooks on your iOS device as Steve would want you to.

Or you can do it old-school style and order it online.

Would You Want OS X Officially Available On Your Non-Apple PC?

According to Compaq's former CEO, Steve once tried to see if he was interested in licensing OS X from Apple and offer them along side Microsoft's Windows.  This offer was made back in 1999 by Steve Jobs to Compaq.

But only for a moment, both sides bursted out laughing and that was the end of it.  Still, I would love to seen OS X running on a non-Apple laptop.  Desktops, not so much.  And not all laptops and certainly not on netbooks.

But there are a few laptop makers that do come up with some pretty nice designs.  I've complimented Sony's designs in the past.  And on top of that, Sony at times offer higher specs than some of Apple's Macbooks.

For instance, Apple's 13" Macbooks has resolutions that go up to 1440x900 while someone of Sony's Air-like Vaios go up to 1920x1080.  And more than a few of them comes with 8 GB of RAM while the Air goes up to 4 GB, but only if you ask for it and are willing to pay for it.

Now, keep in mind, the VIAOs I'm talking about do cost more than the Air but still, I like having those options available to me.

There are probably ways get OS X running on these VIAO laptops I'm talking about but it's not quite an easy to do.  And certainly not what Apple wants.

Perhaps, one day, we'll see OS X run openly and legally on other PCs.  Until then, we can only think of the possibilities.

iPhone or Another iOS Device with 4-6" Would Be Easier for Reading

I'm read a couple of books in the iPhone now.  iBooks and Nook app.  I'm considering getting the Barnes and Noble Nook reader because I like having a bigger screen to read a book with.  It has nothing to do with the e-ink.

In fact, I find the e-ink a bit dated.  It's slow and I'm just not used to the touch function on these dedicated readers.  Rather, I should say the lack of touch in the readers.

So, would I have liked the iPhone 4S to have a 4" screen?  Sure.  It means bigger fonts or you can fit more text into one page.

But should Apple release a device with around 6" +/- 1", Apple could end up locking up the reader market rather quickly.  In previous posts about the tablets and screen sizes, we always focused on productivity rather than consumption.

What do you think?  Would get an iOS device with 4-6" just for reading?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One Day, Screen Resolution So Dense, It'll Look Like Paper

This week, we learned about Toshiba's newest invention - a 6.1" screen capable of 2560x1600 resolution providing us with a 1.6:1 ratio and nearly 500 ppi (pixels per inch).

 Right now, the highest resolution on a commercial device is in the iPhone 4 series and the iPod touch with the Retina display with at 326 ppi.

Of course, at some point, the density on the displays will get so dense that it's not going to matter much.  It's why I don't think companies are using their screen resolution as a bragging right (except maybe Apple).

Within the next couple of upgrade cycles for screens on our mobile displays and even laptops, the ppi will be so dense that things will look like almost like it is now on paper.  Maybe even better.

Some think that this 6.1" screen won't find a home but I don't see why not.  We have tablets ranging from 7" to 10".  And the smartphones go from about 3" all the up to the Galaxy Note at 5".  It's interesting the sizes between 4.5" to 7" are so rare.

It's only a matter of time before some device makers decide to give those sizes a try.  I would not mind something around 6". It's always one of those sizes that I think would be perfect for reading, use as a scratchpad, writing notes, watching videos, or playing games.

First one to build this for me - 6" tablet with dual-core, 32 GB of RAM, frontal/rear cameras, 10-12 hours of battery life - and you get my money.  Oh, and in 3D.

Yup, Toshiba said future improvements will mean 3D display for this 6.1" screen.

For now, it doesn't look like we'll see this in a tablet any time soon.  We have seen such displays of tech but doesn't come to the market fast enough.  There are only a few companies that with the capital and confidence in knowing that they can and will sell through a bunch of these tablets.

Via Toshiba, New Launches, Slashgear, Techradar.

T-Mobile Says No To the iPhone Unless Apple Will Play Ball

According to T-Mobile, they did not want the iPhone unless Apple makes one that works with its 3G network.  If you're a T-Mobile customer, you'll know what I'm talking about.

See, T-Mobile's 3G network is not exactly compatible with other GSM networks because it runs on a different frequency.  Without getting into the specifics, and the current GSM iPhone can work on T-Mobile's except the user will only be able to achieve 2G wireless speed.

However, about one million T-Mobile suffer through this the EDGE speed rather than switch over to AT&T.  Perhaps, because of this fact, T-Mobile figures it stands a chance of going at it as the AT&T alternative and entice everyone else with non-iPhone offerings.

According to T-Mobile's senior vice-president of marketing, "T-Mobile thinks the iPhone is a good device and we’ve expressed our interest to Apple to offer it to our customers. Ultimately, it is Apple’s decision. The issue remains that Apple has not developed a version of the iPhone with technology that works on our fast 3G and 4G networks. We believe a capable version of the iPhone for our 3G and 4G networks would offer an additional compelling option for our customers on a fast 4G network."

What is boils down to is sour grapes.  Now, if I were in his position and I have his job, I probably might try to offer some sort of truth about the importance of the iPhone and try to let people know that the reasons why the one million iPhone users would rather go with a slower Internet speed rather than go over to AT&T.

But it's too late obviously.  T-Mobile is going down a slow spiral either as a part of AT&T's mobile empire or, if the merger doesn't go through, well, I hate to think what would happen.

I'm sad.  Left T-Mobile after eight years for Verizon.

Source:  Gigaom.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Special Friday Video Clip: Angry Birds!!!

If you're new to the blog, I'll explain again.  When I was in college, we used to get time off on Fridays to go watch a movie in Westwood (that's right.  UCLA, BABY!!!).  It was awesome...we had the best professor ever.

Anyway, I'm continuing this tradition online whenever I could and find a video worth sharing on a Friday afternoon/evening.

Today, a 4 minute Angry Bird short!  Enjoy!

Come back this weekend for more updates!

On Steve – Leaks of From His Book Spoiling It

I’ve been avoiding posts that has made references to Steve Jobs’ newest, first, and last authorized biography.  I know how the business works.  Someone in the print news gets a copy of it and start blabbing the most important details.

Personally, I have the disciple to wait to get it on my iBooks and read it the way Steve would have wanted me to.  Of course, I’ll probably end up buy a copy of the physical book as well.

I’m considering just what is the best way to talk about it without pointing it.  I’m sure you like that as well.  I have a couple of ideas.  If you’ve got any, let me know.  I promise to make sure that I don’t spoil things the way these other sites are doing.

So It Begins: Mobile War Bleeds Into The Console War - Collatoral Damage? The Consoles Of Course

Apple and Google as slugging each over like giants that they are and every blow that is thrown, each counter punch, is felt far and wide on all corners of this Earth.  And now, it looks like the mobile war is going to expand a bit.  This time, it's going into the living rooms.  Android 4 will enable users to gamepads while their devices are connected to a TV via the HDMI cable.

And perhaps, while Google TV has failed to capture the hearts and minds of the consumers, by enable Ice Cream Sandwich (that's the code-name for the latest Android OS) devices to hook up to the TV and enable users to do more with their devices, Google might have just found a way into the living room.

It is also likely that Apple has some tricks up their sleeves.  Apple's Airplay technology enables users to mirror what's on the screen of an iOS device like the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.  However, it requires that the user purchase an Apple TV as a bridge.  

So, both companies are looking to make this critical push into the living room this Holidays season.  This new front in their fight will continue into 2012 and likely for years to come.

Where does that leave the console makers?  Nintendo is already feeling the effects of increased competition from Microsoft and Sony.  I had hoped that the 3DS would give Mario and Friends 12 to 18 months of breathing room but dismal hardware and gaming sales have left Nintendo with very little maneuvering room.

Sony's play with Android should be able to help it somewhat but Playstation Suite, at times, feels like an afterthought.  It it as if it is there in case Vita, Sony's PSP heir, fails.  And while PS 3 is still chugging long, advances in CPU and 3D power on mobile devices has put mobile phones and tablets within striking distance of comparable graphics as the consoles.  

This is the same for Microsoft's Xbox 360.  

Both Microsoft and Sony have their own visions and plays for the living that also extends to mobile but, at times, they feel like defensive moves.  Over time, consumers are going to realize their mobile devices can do so much more than make calls, check Facebook updates, and watch Youtube videos.

Now, we're able to play HD games and videos.  Oh, let's not forget music as well.  You know, pretty much everything consoles can do, and probably more.  And as far as market size, mobile is so much bigger - we're talking in the billions of units versus tens of millions of consoles a year sold.

Source:  Droid Life.

Remember How I Said Wall Street Is Nuts, UBS Has Not Learn A Thing

UBS's Apple analyst is reporting that Apple will sell 42.5 million iPhones in the current quarter.  Yesterday, my sub-amateurish attempt to predict that Apple will do has me believing Apple will sell between about 30.5 to 34.5 million iPhones through the Holidays quarter.

How did UBS come to their insane 42.5 million iPhones?  Well, you can go to Barron's to check it out but I would not waste my time.  He basically made a bunch of assumptions that really has no basis.  UBS's current iPhone figure is 28 million.  They are say based on ratio of US and international sales and US carriers reporting users waiting to upgrade their iPhones, Apple will have a 14.5 million iPhone sales upside to their current figure.

If all other things stay the same and let's enter this fairyland and assume UBS is right, it would mean that Apple would have nearly $49 billion in revenue this quarter - about a 32% increase above their $37 billion guidance.

You know what that sounds like? It's sounds like the kind of Wall Street expectations in the just ended quarter where analysts go way ahead of themselves.  Apparently, they haven't learned a thing.  Boy, these guys have very very short memories.

I'm gonna put this dumb-dumb's name out there.  It's Maynard Um of UBS.  Last quarter, he thought Apple would come in 20% above their guidance at $30 billion (Apple beat guidance by 13% with $28.3 billion).  So now, Um is saying Apple will beat their $37 billion guidance for this Holidays quarter by 32%.

Sorry, as much as I like to believe that, reality doesn't work this way.  Apple may well be able to sell more than forty million iPhones in a quarter, but I doubt its this quarter.

Source:  WSJ Barron's (inching closer to be the new Digitimes of the West - and it's not a compliment).

Tablet: What I want From Quad-Core Tablets - Split Screens

Transformer 2 from Asus, when it comes out in November, will be the world's first quad-core device - by that, I mean a tablet that has double the core of the current crop of tablets including the iPad 2, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Xoom, and others.  So, I ask you this.  What exactly do you do with all that processing power that you cannot already do on the tablets today?

iOS 5: If Not Siri, Apple Should Give Other iOS Users Dictation

Siri is has the potential to give Apple and edge in the next computing evolution, revolution if done correctly, but Apple has to move quickly.  I mean it has to maintain the lead the the iPhone gave it in 2007 when the rest of the wireless industry was caught flat-footed.

And if what the wireless chiefs at Google and Microsoft said about smartphones not being good digital assistants, I've got a word or two for them:  the mobile revolution we're currently in started with personal digital assistants, you know, PDAs.

But back to voice.  Google has a healthy if not overtly static set of commands.  For the last few years, Apple was way behind in those efforts.  With Siri, Apple has shown just how serious it was about not only voice but creating a working and  helpful assistant that gives mobile warriors a new way to interact with their mobile devices.

Others in the industry will mistaken that with voice commands.  It's evident in the dismissive attitudes that Apple's competitors have demonstrated so far.

And yes, Siri is still in beta but if Apple really want Siri to take off, let the rest of the iOS devices at least gain the ability to speak at their devices - let people dictate messages.  Feel comfortable speak to their iPhones, iPod touches, or iPads and not just at them.

I personally do not see why Siri works only on the iPhone 4S and if its a ploy for Apple to get users to upgrade to it, I accept and respect. But it does need to know that it needs to move quickly and blow everyone else away.

Free iPhone 3GS Could Be AT&T's Savior and Secret Weapon - Even They Were Surprised

The iPhone 3GS is more than two years old.  And yet, it continues to wreck havoc on the mobile landscape.  And now, with the iPhone 3GS free with a two-year contract, it is apparently selling so well that AT&T is out of stock.

According to AT&T during its financial call, “we have another device that I think is going to dramatically change those people that are on smartphones and quick messaging devices, the [iPhone] 3GS, which is free with a 2-year contract. We’ve seen a tremendous, tremendous demand for that device even though it’s a generation old. And actually, we’re getting more new subscribers coming on the 3GS on the average than other devices. So we also have an inventory sold out on that device.”

Yup, out of stock.  And get this.  The iPhone 4 and the 3GS were responsible for more than 56% of AT&T's activations in the last quarter - a quarter that Apple has said which the sales of iPhone were affected by the rumors of pending upgrade from Apple.

That was at a time when the 3GS was still $99.  It was not until last week that the 3GS went free.

I don't know just how big of a quarter that Apple thinks it'll have this Christmas.  The 3GS maybe 28 months old, it bought off the Palm Pre, dozens of Android devices (some made to look like the 3GS to confuse customers), start the slow downfall of the Blackberries, and kept Windows Phone with a couple of percentage of marketshare.

Apple decide its tenure isn't over yet. And why would Apple retire it?  The 3GS does not have the most impressive specs anymore.  But when it comes to providing actual mobile computing experience, it still has a lot to offer.

The iPhone 3GS is capable of running the iOS 5.  Obviously, it won't run all of the new iOS 5 features but it will benefit from some of the iOS 5 improvements.  My question is will it be able to run iOS 6?

And what new features can it continue to benefit from future iOS upgrades? However, judging by the folks who are buying the 3GS, I'm not sure they care to have all the latest and coolest bells and whistles.  They now have an iPhone.

And as Steve Jobs once said "It's like giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell".

Via Cult of Mac,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

First iPhone 4S Commerical - It's About Siri, Obviously.

Here is the first iPhone 4S commercial from Apple. Obviously, it's about Siri.

It's good but I think it doesn't tell a story like some the FaceTime commercial but it was able to deliver the message about Siri.  You don't hear from Siri until the end of the commercial.

Don't have an iPhone 4S and you're on the fence?  Does this commercial convince you?

Source:  Mac Daily News, Appleinsider.

Location-Based Services With Friends Could Be Fun - If You Avoid All A Sense of Creepiness From The Service Providers

I wish I had this when I was in high school.  Checking in, broadcasting my locations to my friends, find out where my friends are, and generally socializing with them over our mobile devices.  I think I was sociable enough when in high school and college that I could get a kick out of this.

I started thinking about this when I was using Find My Friends and Latitude with Dave the Mobile Sage, my brother, and a couple of other friends.  It was fun because I trust these folks.  And when my mom gets her updated iPad 2 next week, she'll be able to check up on her adult children to know that they are safe.  Mom are that way and always will be.

Obviously, there are times when you don't want people to know where you are at all times so you can hide from them if you like.  The settings for both of Apple and Google's services are easy enough.  What you kinda have to worry about is if you forget to play with the settings.

More at Greenjava.

iCloud: Others Have Done Cloud But Apple's Ecosystem Is Going To Be Where Cloud Takes Off

We are starting to see some signs of life with iCloud integration.  I don’t mean just with Apple’s apps like Mail, music, or photostream.  Nor am I talking about Pages or Numbers.  It’s the third party apps that are starting to come out that is interesting and I figure Apple’s iCloud could be huge for the app market.

There is Remember the Milk and Goodreader, two apps, that I can think off right off the top of my head.  I’m sure there could be other docs related apps that will take advantage of the storage feature in iCloud.

Personally, I’m looking for a way to upload videos that I take.

And looking through my list of apps, I can see a few that I would like to have immediately.  I have a few art apps like Brushes and Sketches that I sometimes like to dabble on.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be be able start start something in the iPhone and move it over to the iPad or desktop version?

In some ways, I iCloud is an extension of what I already can do with Evernote and Springpad but I want it for more than just text syncing.

If want create something on Garageband on the iPad, I also want to be able to see it immediately on my Mac.

And that is the essence of iCloud after all.  And furthermore, some people might noticed that some of their mobile app versions are a bit dumbed down than their desktop apps.  It’s the developers fault.  And if they want iCloud syncing, they need to make sure parity of features is essential.  Otherwise, it makes no sense for an user to create a file and not be able to fully edit it on their iOS devices.

In looking at my list of apps that I’ve bought over the last two years, I can see other examples where developers can integrate iCloud with their apps.  And what’s cool is that Apple is givng developers an opportunity to push mobile use in a new direction.

I can’t wait to see what we’ll see in the coming months.  In fact, I've got a brilliant app idea where iCloud could play a crucial role. Of course, I need to learn to create an app first.

Note: If you're on iOS 5 or Mac OS X 7.2, you really need to register for an iCloud account.  It's free and you've got nothing to lose.  You'll begin to see what I'm talking about here.

My Own Earnings Prediction For Apple's 1Q 2012 (Oct-Dec)

Earlier, I said would come up with my own estimates for Apple's current quarter earnings.  The reason I am doing this is because I want to prove just good or bad my numbers compared to the overpaid Wall Street guys who have been so clueless about what makes Apple tick - they've miss massively by underestimating Apple.  But what's different about this past quarter is that they got ahead of themselves and ended up punishing Apple for it.

By the way, you know that guy who stuck with his prediction that we'll seen an iPhone 5 just a day before Tim Cook and company denied him? I focused on this dude because not only was he so boldly wrong, he came back the following week to make more predictions about Apple bringing a smaller iPad to compete with the Kindle Fire. His name, Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities, was off and historically, far worse than his peers.

Before, I give my numbers, let's examine White's.

  • Apple earned $28.3 billion - White went with $30.78B
  • Apple sold 17.1M iPhones. White went with 21.97M iPhones
  • Apple sold 6.6M iPods. White went with  7.16M iPods
  • Apple sold 11.1M iPads. White went with 15.56M iPads
  • Apple sold 4.9M Macs. White went with 4.24M Macs.
Dude did not come close in any category.  I don't know where the dude gets is earnings estimates from but I know this.  My numbers cannot be worse than his.

For next quarter, Apple said they'll make $37 billion, and that was above Wall Street estimates. And since I'm new at this, you'll have to allow me a small range to start.  I'm going with:
  • Apple to earn between $41.4 to $42.5 billion
  • Apple to sell 30.4 to 34.8 million iPhones.
  • Apple to sell 14.5 to 15 million iPads.
  • Apple to sell 5.2 million Macs.
  • Apple to sell 15 million iPods.
So, keep those numbers hand and we'll see just how my numbers (figuratively pulled out of my "you know") are compared to these "professionals".  For the record, White thinks Apple will only come in with $37.9 billion.

Note:  As for the smaller form factor iPad - I've been advocating this for a better part of a year.  And so have many others.  So if and when Apple does come out with a sub-10" iPad, I'll mentioned that White was in the right.  Of course, it's like they said - a broken clock is right twice a day.

Another Note:  I reserve the right to play with my predictions as news becomes available, just like the analysts do.  In particular, we don't know when China will get the iPhone 4S yet.  China is Apple second most important market.

Apple and Google’s Billions In The Bank – It’ll Stay There, Microsoft and Others Likely To Do the Same

One of the thing that Apple, under Steve Jobs’ guidance, is its uncanny ability to be so surgical in its where they put their innovative energy and what specific technologies to innovate and bring to the market.  At the same time, this uncanniness also extends to its ability to time it just right to bring the technology to market.  Which brings me to the $80+ billion that Apple has stashed away in various accounts and long/short-term investments.

While some companies have caved into pressures to buy back stocks to boost values or to give some of that money back for whatever reasons, Apple has resisted this call.  And as a mobile fan, you have that to continue.  No money for stock buybacks or dividends.  Some today but in today’s heated war in computers and mobile, you want companies to build up huge war chests to go after opportunities.

This goes for Google as well as Microsoft.  Google isn’t issuing dividends or giving money back to the shareholders in other ways.  I predict that Microsoft will probably stop doing it for a while.  They need their billions and here’s why.

For all those who are clamoring for Apple to open up its wallets, they simply don’t get it.  What Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others are doing is fighting for not only specific markets.  It’s not only about mobile dominance.  It isn’t trying to get ahead in the video or music market.  Nor is it about clouding around with new server farms or apps.

It’s about fighting to shape the future.  This is the vision thing that everyone says Steve Jobs is so good at.  This is about Larry Page’s vision for the future surrounding Google’s webapps.  It’s also whatever vision that Microsoft has.

I have had some personal experience in this matter.  Our businesses issued dividends to our partners from time to time but those are quite rare. We build up cash and when needed, we invested them in difficult times, to secure supplies and our positions in the market, and always knew that when opportunities presented themselves, we could always seize the moment.

This is the same for my personal finances.  So, I get why these tech giants are doing with their cash.  I just don’t get why the “always wrong” and overpaid Wall Street guys don’t.

As China Become A Bigger Mobile Computing Market, Look For Their Influence On The Rest Of The World's Mobility

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the obvious during Tuesday afternoon's financial call with analysts:  China is huge.  It is now the second biggest market for Apple outside of the United States.  For Apple, it means sustained growth and greater demand for its products.

For mobile warriors outside of China, look for this to influence how Apple and other companies design their porducts to cater to Chinese mobile warriors.  And I think that will end up trickling down to the rest of us.  For instance, the QWERTY keyboard has such an influence on the world that it is difficult to imagine using anything else.

Apple has a layout that allows user to write in the Chinese characters with their finger.  I think other companies like Microsoft could conceivably do the same or allow the use of a stylus.  And obviously, dictation with greater access in iOS 5 will move things along.  Google has done quite a bit with Translate, the mobile app that allows users to type in words for direct translations.

And more than that, app developers will increasingly take notice of who their users are and cater them accordingly.  Already, the app market in China is one of the biggest in the world.

On top of that, launch schedules can be greatly influenced by China's growing mobile market.  I fully expect Apple, Samsung, and, in particular, HTC to grant greater emphasis on China.  In the past, mobile devices would not make their ways into China until months to even a full year after they've been launched in the US and elsewhere.  You can bet on that to change.

iPad and WWDC Prediction: Apple Will Upgrade Siri And Users Will Not Be Able to Choose Between ChatGPT or Gemini

At this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple is set to unveil major upgrades to its virtual assistant Siri. These enhanc...