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InIcon Set to Debut Steve Jobs Action Figure in February

If you are really into collecting things like action figures, you may want to listen up. It has recently been discovered that a completely unauthorized replica of the late Steve Jobs is planned by Chinese manufacturer InIcon. The figure is extremely lifelike and will be a highly collectible product...

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Apple Able to Keep Up with Demand for iPhone 5

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 20-11-2012

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Apple iPhone 5 whiteDespite the fact that the Samsung Galaxy is the world’s best selling smartphone, demand for the iPhone 4SXL, I mean iPhone 5, is still through the roof. Demand was so high, as a matter of fact, that Apple’s production plants, specifically Foxconn, were unable to keep up with the demand, severely angering Apple. Thankfully (for Foxconn employees at least) it only took about two months for Apple to almost catch up with iPhone 5 demand.

One of the top Apple analysts for Piper Jaffray, Gene Munster, has been tracking iPhone 5 availability at 100 Apple Stores around the United States for the past month. In that time, Munster has reported that there have been significant improvements in the past 10 days.

As of Tuesday, iPhone 5 smartphones running on AT&T were in stock at 82% of Apple stores with 72% of Verizon stores having the device in stock and 92% of Sprint stores having the newest Apple handset. In addition to that, shipping times for customers ordering online have decreased to about two weeks after having been stuck at three to four weeks since the phone launched on September 21.

According to Munster, Apple is “nearing full availability” for the iPhone 5 just in time for the holidays. The iPhone 5 debuted exactly two months ago to much fanfare, despite it essentially being the iPhone 4S with a larger screen and 4G LTE connectivity.

However, opening weekend sales were lower than expected due to supply constraints. Since then, Apple’s stock of the phone has been hit by concerns that the company’s manufacturing partners are unable to produce the latest iPhone fast enough to keep up with consumer demand.

The biggest question that Apple is facing now is whether or not the increased availability of the iPhone is due to an increased productivity from Apple’s manufacturing plants or a decreased demand for the phone which, to be honest, wasn’t as revolutionary as people expected it to be.

Source: Mashable – Apple is Finally Catching Up to iPhone 5 Demand

 

New Case from Fotodiox Promises to Remove Purple Lens Flare on iPhone 5

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 09-10-2012

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Fotodiox camHoodieOf all iPhone 5’s shortcomings, one of them may actually be a benefit to another company. This shortcoming comes by way of the iPhone 5’s camera with its purple lens flare problem. Fotodiox, based in Illinois, has just developed a new iPhone 5 case that promises to “greatly reduce purple lens flare”.

There isn’t anything really revolutionary or mind blowing about the case that allows it to accomplish this feat. The case simply has a piece of rubber that acts as a lens hood to keep stray light from coming in. The rubber piece is held in place by the actual case, which is designed to keep the back and sides of your phone from incurring damage.

If you are unfamiliar with the purple lens flare then count yourself lucky. The problem is that a purple color usually shows up on the edges of photos when a light source is immediately nearby. Unfortunately, the problem can also occur even when the lights are off frame. In addition to that, it can affect both pictures and videos.

Many Apple customers have been complaining about the issue ever since the phone launched last month. A support document that went up on Apple’s website noted that “most small cameras” exhibit this effect when there’s a nearby light source that is out of the frame of view.  Apple also stated that you would need to readjust your camera or block off any light using your hand to get rid of the problem completely.

If you are suffering from purple lens flare on your iPhone 5 and you want a semi-cheap alternative that also protects your phone, then you should look into Fotodiox’s camHoodie case. The case is available now from Fotodiox for only $24.95.

Source: CNET – New iPhone 5 case offers to fix purple flares

 

The iPhone 5: Nothing Special, Nothing New, Nothing Groundbreaking

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 11-09-2012

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Apple iPhone 5 Debut

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 5, an announcement that has been long anticipated and much hyped, but is the new phone worth the wait? Initial inclinations point to no. While the iPhone is lighter, thinner and faster than the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, it doesn’t bring anything new or groundbreaking to the table that hasn’t already been done by Android or other smartphone developers.

If you come down off your excitement high for a moment and really look at the new iPhone, has Apple really added a single, legitimately new feature? The answer is no. There is nothing groundbreaking here, nothing that will make people look at the iPhone 5 and honestly go “wow”. I mean, the biggest thing Tim Cook and company stressed during the announcement was all the work that went into the new, larger screen, which is still smaller than other devices, like the Galaxy S III from Samsung.

The lack of any real new feature won’t mean much to the average Joe consumer. Most of these people can’t see past the words “Apple iPhone” anyway, so you could essentially hand them a brick that says Apple iPhone on it and they would think it was the best thing on the market. But for anybody with half a brain that does their research, they will see that the iPhone 5 isn’t the market buster that it was poised to be and is, in fact, just another smartphone for sale.

When you break it down, what exactly did Apple talk about during the press conference? There was a lot of talk about the addition of 4G LTE, something that has actually been on a lot of smartphones for over a year now. There was talk about the ability to take a photo directly from a video, which is cool until you realize that the Galaxy S III and One X can do the same. Putting together a group of photos in Panorama mode was also mentioned, though is also available on the new Droid Razr phones.

If you haven’t been paying attention, there is nothing here that sets a new bar for the industry, at least not in the way the original iPhone or iPhone 3G did. Everything that the new iPhone 5 has to offer has already been done before by other developers, leaving Apple, for one of the first times ever, behind the curve.

Yahoo! has actually made a nice comparison chart pitting the new iPhone 5 against some of the other popular smartphones on the market, including the phone I recently purchased, the Galaxy S III from Samsung. The list, which can be found below, compares the iPhone 5’s screen size, operating system, cameras, battery and size, offering some pretty interesting statistics if you ask me.

Screen Size

  • Galaxy Note II – 5.5 inches, 1280 x 720, 267ppi
  • Galaxy S III – 4.8 inches, 1280 x 720, 306 ppi
  • Motorola RAZR HD – 4.7 inches, 1280 x 720, 312ppi
  • Lumia 920 – 4.5 inches, 1280 x 728, 332 ppi
  • iPhone 5 – 4 inches, 1136 x 640, 326ppi

Operating system

  • Galaxy Note II – Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Motorola RAZR HD – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Galaxy S III – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Lumia 920 – Windows Phone 8
  • iPhone 5 – iOS 6

Cameras

  • Lumia 920 – 8.7 megapixels (rear), 1.3 megapixels (front)
  • Galaxy Note II – 8.0 megapixels (rear), 1.9 megapixels (front)
  • Galaxy S III – 8.0 megapixels (rear), 1.9 megapixels (front)
  • Motorola RAZR HD – 8.0 megapixels (rear), 1.3 megapixels (front)
  • iPhone 5 – 8.0 megapixels (rear), 1.2 megapixels (front)

Battery

  • Galaxy Note II – 3,100mAh (No official stats given)
  • Motorola Razr HD – 2,530 mAh (10 hr video playback, 6hr web browsing, 6hr GPS usage)
  • Galaxy S III – 2,100 mAh (No official stats given)
  • Lumia 920 – 2,000 mAh (10hr 3G talk time, 67hr music playback, 6hr video playback)
  • iPhone 5 – (8hr 3G/LTE talk time, 10hr web browsing via wifi)

Size

  • Galaxy S III – 70.6 x 136.6 x 8.6 mm, 133g
  • Motorola RAZR HD – 67.9 x 131.9 x 8.4 mm, 146g
  • Galaxy Note II – 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 180g
  • Lumia 920 – 70.8 x 130.3 x 10.7 mm, 185g
  • iPhone 5 – 58.6 x 123.8 x 7.6 mm, 112g

The stats speak for themselves. In comparison to the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is the most popular 4G LTE smartphone on the market right now, the iPhone 5 has a smaller screen, a lower-resolution front-facing camera, a weaker battery, and is generally smaller all around. In fact, the iPhone 5 ranks last in every single category out of all the phones listed (Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III, Razr HD, Lumia 900, iPhone 5).

Overall, the hype surrounding the iPhone 5 was more than what Apple delivered. What we have here is a somewhat generic 4G LTE smartphone that is outmatched by at least four other phones, not to mention the fact that it brings absolutely nothing new to the table. Add that to the fact that Apple could be sued by HTC and Samsung for (ironically) patent infringement over 4G LTE technology and you have one big dropped ball from Apple.

If you still think the iPhone 5 is the greatest thing since sliced bread then by all means, throw your money at Apple once again. Pre-orders for the device will become available on Friday, September 14th with actual shipments of the phone going out on September 21st. Pricing is the same as the launch of the iPhone 4S with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions available for $199, $299 and $399, respectively.

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Apple Drops from #1 Spot in Mobile Market, Replaced by Samsung

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 27-04-2012

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Samsung Galaxy S2It’s finally happened. Apple has finally been knocked off the number one spot, at least as far as smartphones are concerned. According to recent reports, Samsung saw shipments of smartphones skyrocket over this same time last year, allowing the company to surpass Apple in worldwide mobile phone shipments. At the same time, Nokia saw its share drop significantly.

Samsung’s share in the global mobile phone market increased from 12.2% in the first quarter of 2011 to an astounding 30.6% in the first quarter of 2012. But just because it lost the number one spot doesn’t mean that Apple didn’t increase as well. The Cupertino company saw its share increase from an 18.1%  share (2011) to a 24.1% share (2012).

The entire market saw an increase too as overall global smartphone shipments increased 41% annually to total 145 million units in the first quarter of 2012. Apple and Samsung combined to account for over half of that number. According to Executive Director at Strategy Analytics Neil Mawston, “Samsung and Apple are outcompeting most of their major rivals and the smartphone market is at risk of becoming a two-horse race.”

Samsung’s growth is stemming from the company’s very successful Galaxy devices, as well as some other products. “Samsung’s global smartphone shipments rose 253% annually…as demand surged for its popular Galaxy models such as the Note, S2 and Y,” Strategy Analytics noted. Unfortunately, all this good news for Samsung and Apple means bad news for Nokia, who saw its shares drop heavily from 23.5% in the first quarter of 2011 to 8.2% in the first quarter of 2012.

Tom Kang, Director of Strategy Analytics, stated, “This is Nokia’s lowest market share level in the smartphone category since 2002. Nokia’s new Microsoft Lumia portfolio has recently gotten off to an encouraging start in the critical United States market, but shipments there are not yet large enough to offset the firm’s tumbling Symbian volumes in the rest of the world.”

The good news here for Apple is that they manage to remain near the top despite only having two smartphones, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, on the market. Samsung, on the other hand, has a lot of different options for customers to choose from, which means that there is a greater chance for people to find a phone that fits them the best. I feel like as soon as the iPhone 5 drops, Apple will be right back on top.

Source: CNET – Samsung tops Apple in global mobile phone shipments

 

The iPhone 4S Still Going Strong

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 11-04-2012

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Apple iPhone 4SChangeWave recently released some new data that revealed that 56% of the people that were polled that plan on buying a smartphone in the next 3 months have decided that they will choose to go with Apple’s newest handheld, the iPhone 4S. This is a 2% increase from the 54% who planned to buy an iPhone 4S in the poll that ChangeWave conducted back in December.

Apple has gained some substantial ground in the last three months while the company’s main rival, Samsung, remained at a constant 13% of consumers who said that they would pick a smartphone from Samsung. Motorola, on the other hand, saw a 1% decrease which drops them to 6%. Third place goes to HTC, which also stayed stagnant at 3% while BlackBerry managed to to increase 3% in the March survey.

The iPhone 4S saw an increase in demand in March when the device was the second-highest share ever tracked by ChangeWave. Consumer demand for the iPhone only saw higher numbers in a poll conducted back in September, just before the device was actually officially announced.

ChangeWave also released a survey back in December that found that the early purchasers of the iPhone 4S were generally happy with their purchase of the device. A total of 96% indicated that they were satsified. The iPhone 4 saw higher numbers with 93% indicating that they were satisfied after they received their device.

Apple’s most successful smartphone to ever launch was the iPhone 4S, which allowed Apple to have a record quarter in the holiday season of 2011. During that three month season, Apple sold an astounding 37 million iPhones with the high-end iPhone 4S  being the absolute most popular device.

What say you? Do you have an iPhone 4S? If you do, are you happy with it? Do you plan on buying an iPhone 4S in the next three months or are you holding out for the eventual release of the iPhone 5? I know one thing, if I decide to upgrade to an Apple smartphone, I will be waiting for the iPhone 5. There’s nothing worse than getting a brand new phone only to have the next installment coming out two months later.

Source: Apple Insider – Demand for Apple’s iPhone 4S continues to grow 6 months after launch

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Next iPhone Will Be 4G LTE Capable According to Sprint CFO

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 28-03-2012

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Sprint iPhoneFinancial Chief for Sprint Joe Euteneuer recently squirmed around the idea of a 4G LTE iPhone coming to the wireless provider, marking the latest indication that the next generation of the iPhone will be shipped with the ultra-fast wireless connection provided by Sprint, Verizon and AT&T.

Euteneuer spoke to investors at a conference this week, though he didn’t say officially that such a device was headed for Sprint. What he did say was that the company has an agreement with Apple, similar to the one Apple has with AT&T and Verizon, which hinted that technology designed for those networks would also make its way to Sprint.

According to a statement by Euteneuer, “If you make the assumption that they launch a device at a similar time that they did last year, you’re basically done with the major markets. So I don’t think we are really disadvantaged at all.”

Sprint is currently smack dab in the middle of getting its very own 4G LTE service out to customers and plans on having the much faster wireless technology in as many as 10 cities by the end of June. Verizon currently has its 4G LTE service in 196 cities and 22 major airports with AT&T having the service in 28 cities. In addition to that AT&T counts its HSPA+ networks as “4G”.

Sprint last year became the most recent recipient of Apple’s coveted iPhone after the device initially launched on AT&T and then slowly moved to Verizon. Sprint committed to investing $20 billion for over 30 million handsets over the next few years, however, as part of that deal.

Apple is expected to include 4G LTE technology in its next iPhone, which is rumored to debut this fall. In addition to that, the company managed to debut its very first 4G LTE device, the iPad 3 (or The New iPad), earlier this month. The iPad 3 supported the 4G LTE networks of both AT&T and Verizon but not Sprint’s as it isn’t completely active yet.

Source: CNET – Sprint CFO hints at LTE iPhones in the future

New Apple CEO Tim Cook to Unveil iPhone 5 at October 4 Event

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 22-09-2011

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Tim CookOn October 4, 2011 Apple fans from around the world will cry out in triumph and amazement as that is the day of the next big media event from Apple. It is also the day that the company, known for its popular iPad and Mac computers, will unveil the next installment in its other popular franchise, the iPhone 5.

There have been a lot of differing opinions about the exact timing of the event, some of which even suggested that it would take place this month. However, it has generally been assumed that the event, as well as the unveiling of the iPhone 5, would take place in October.

And while it is true that Apple could change its plans whenever it feels like it, multiple sources have said that October 4 has definitely been selected by the company as the unveiling date of the iPhone 5. In addition to that, sources added that the plan, as it stands right now, is to make the device available for purchase within a few weeks after the announcement.

While the unveiling of the iPhone 5 is definitely the highlight for fans and consumers, the event itself holds more importance for the company. This event will mark the first big event for new Apple CEO Tim Cook, who took over for Jobs when he resigned last month for personal reasons.

It is this fact that also alludes to the fact that Cook himself will preside over the unveiling, much like Jobs did when he was in charge. If Cook were to pass the event off to another Apple employee, even one as trusted as key executive Phil Schiller, it would undermine his entire position and present an image to the Apple public that the job may be too much to handle.

I can find no better event to mark the first for Cook than the unveiling of Apple’s most anticipated product in the iPhone 5. So stay tuned for all the information and details that are sure to arise from the event on October 4, it should be one to remember.

Source: All Things D – Apple’s Next Event to Be Held on October 4, Starring Its New CEO


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WWDC 2011 Will Not Feature the iPhone 5

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 29-03-2011

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WWDC 2011If you recently bought tickets to the upcoming Apple 2011 Worldwide Developers Conference in hopes of seeing some exciting new hardware, then you may want to look into getting a refund. Apple recently released the dates for the event which is scheduled for Monday, June 6 through Friday, June 10, 2011. To add to that, the wording of the announcement all suggests that this year’s WWCD will be largely based around Apple software not Apple hardware.

Don’t believe me? Well then take a look at a quote from the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple Phil Schiller. “At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS. If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.” Sounds pretty clear cut if you ask me.

If you are not the aforementioned type of person and are hoping to catch a glimpse of the upcoming iPhone 5, you may not want to get your hopes up just yet either, even if Apple has used WWDC to unveil the next generation of iPhone in the past. Explicit reports are coming in from all over that this year’s event is a software event. One source even said, “If you go looking for an iPhone 5, you’re probably going to be disappointed.”

All this does, however, kind of make you wonder just what exactly Apple has in store for the iPhone 5. Some speculation concerning the iPhone 5 is that the reason for the postponement of the unveiling and release date could be because the iPhone 5 will be running on 4G LTE networks. AT&T is expected to launch their LTE networks by the middle of the year and Verizon already has their LTE networks up and running. Not to mention the fact that Wang Jianzhou, Chairman of China Mobile, said this earlier in the month, “Steve Jobs has expressed his interest in an LTE iPhone and is willing to start the development at an early date.”

Some interesting information is floating around out there but we won’t know more until Jobs and Apple release something official. All we have now is speculation and rumor.

Source: All Things Digital – No iPhone at WWDC 2011

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Verizon’s iPhone 4 Launching Ahead of Schedule

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 12-02-2011

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Verizon iPhone 4The big news for the past couple of weeks has, without a doubt, been the deal made between Apple and Verizon which saw the very first iPhone on a carrier other than AT&T. Apple’s one-of-a-kind smartphone has been on AT&T exclusively since the original iPhone debuted in 2007. A mere four years later we now have the iPhone 4 and the first iPhone to be released on a carrier other than AT&T.

People have been eagerly awaiting the physical release of the iPhone 4 at Verizon stores across the country and it appears that they may be getting them sooner than expected. According to insider reports, Apple has begun shipping their first online orders for the smartphone an entire week earlier than initially expected.

Orders that were placed on February 9th were slated to be delivered on or before February 18th. However, shipping notices are now being sent out, specifying a “deliver by” date of February 16th. According to reports, Apple supposedly stockpiled an initial production of two million CDMA iPhone 4 units in December and January, reserving an unknown proportion of the initial phones to give to its existing customers as pre-orders on February 3rd. The initial batch of phones was sold out on the first day.

Apple began accepting web orders on the 9th of February offering either reserved in-store pickup or free delivery for those patient enough to wait a week or two for their new phone to ship and arrive. The initial orders estimated a five day shipping delay after the initial ship date.

This appears to be a more efficient ordering process that is capable of handling the demand for this new iPhone 4 and the new carrier. It prevented the long lines that plagued the initial iPhone 4 release for AT&T last summer.

Source: Apple Insider – Apple begins shipping Verizon iPhone 4 web orders one week early

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It Has Happened, the iPhone Comes to Verizon

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 15-01-2011

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Verizon iPhone 4It’s happened. The one thing everybody has been waiting for and the one thing AT&T has been dreading, the iPhone 4 is now available on, in my opinion, the best network available, Verizon. There were a lot of naysayers out there that kept touting their babble about how the iPhone would never see release on any other carrier than AT&T, but all their crap has been put to rest and thank God for that!

After talking up his new LTE network, Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon, confirmed a CDMA (non-LTE) version of the iPhone 4 will be coming to Verizon Wireless next month. These talks began way back in 2008 (nothing like three years of anticipation to really boost sales right?) and the actual phone has been in testing for a year which means Verizon and Apple were determined to get this one right.

Pre-orders for existing Verizon customers will start on February 3rd for your standard $200 for the 16GB model and $300 for the 32GB model, both on a new 2-year agreement. Everybody else will have the ability to get one February 10th. In case you were wondering, the Verizon iPhone 4 is Verizon 3G (EV-DO) only, no 4G data or GSM roaming. This isn’t a world phone or an AT&T + Verizon phone, it is simply a Verizon phone.

Aside from the Verizon connectivity, the phone is virtually exactly the same as the AT&T version although Verizon’s CDMA network does not support simultaneous voice and data as does the GSM version. It does, however, have the new antenna design that was being thrown around last week but only because CDMA requires a different configuration of antenna. This also equates to a slight bump where the volume and mute buttons are which means Apple may need to design a new case. When it comes to software, there is a big innovation via five user WiFi hotspot functionality. This is standard on all Android phones whereas Apple has limited the iPhone to only being able to tether directly to one computer.

Millions of dreams have come true with this agreement between Apple and Verizon. I, for one, am extremely pleased as, being an avid Verizon customer myself, I will no longer have to listen to the iPhone lackies touting about how AT&T, which was recently rated as the worst carrier in the country, is “so much better” because they have the iPhone. Well, you AT&T pawns, all I can say is now Verizon is better than you in EVERY way possible.

Source: Engadget

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