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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

 

Foxconn Unable to Keep Up with iPhone 5 Demand, Apple Gets Angry

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 06-11-2012

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Apple iPhone 5 whiteFoxconn, Apple’s controversial manufacturer of almost all things with the prefix “i” isn’t producing as many iPhones as Apple wants, nor are they producing them fast enough according to the company’s chairman. Foxconn is arguably the biggest supplier of parts and construction for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc…

According to Foxconn Chief Terry Gou in a recent interview with Reuters, “It’s not easy to make the iPhones. We are falling short of meeting the huge demand.” In addition to that, Gou was unable to say which iPhones are actually difficult to produce as Apple is still currently selling three different models: the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

Despite not revealing the product, it is presumed that Gou was referring to the latest iPhone 5. An unidentified Foxconn official told The Wall Street Journal last month that producing the iPhone 5 is “very complicated”, causing supply issues. The official went on to say that the smartphone is “the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled.”

Apple’s iPhone 5 is thinner and taller than its predecessors and also comes with a few improvements over the 4S, including 4G LTE support and a new, smaller Lightning port. That means that Foxconn’s workers are putting a lot of components into an increasingly smaller shell.

Apple is definitely displeased. The iPhone 5 is scheduled to ship in three to four weeks for people who order it now with customers who are actually going to the store to buy one facing similar wait times. Apple is all about getting its technology into as many hands as possible as fast as possible, so set backs like this are almost inexcusable, especially with other smartphones on the market, like the Galaxy S III, being highly favorable replacements to the iPhone.

Source: CNET – Foxconn chief: We can’t keep up with iPhone 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

 

Apple’s Maps Fiasco

Posted by rbeagle | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 04-10-2012

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by James Kenny

On what is supposed to be a triumphant week for Apple with the release of their new flagship iPhone 5 and the updated iOS 6, there is one glaring problem that has many of Apple’s customers up in arms, the updated Maps app for iOS 6. Since the release of iOS 6 to the public on Wednesday, there has been criticism from all over the globe decrying Apple’s new mapping application, which takes the place of the standard Google Maps app that has existed on the iPhone from the very beginning.

The replacement of the standard Google Maps application by an app that was built and designed by Apple themselves is just another stage in the ever continuing war between Apple and Google for domination of the world’s mobile market. Apple, with this update to iOS, is attempting to cut as many ties to Google as possible, most notably with the new mapping application and the removal of the standard YouTube video app, which of course is owned by Google.

Much of the criticism of the new mapping application has been about missing locations, such as the Statue of Liberty, and the lack of public transit directions. While the new mapping application offers iOS users free, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation for the first time, a feature already included on android phones, it does not necessarily make up for the many omissions that exist. Part of the problem is the fact that Apple is relatively new to the “mapping game” and that compared to what is arguably the industry standard, they come up a bit short. Apple is confident however that the more people use the iOS 6 application, the better its mapping system will get, just as Google maps improved with millions of users’ input. In the meantime, however, customers of Apple’s popular mobile operating system are not pleased and are demanding Apple fix the problems that exist.

Ultimately it remains to be seen how Apple will update its new Maps application, and if it will indeed improve to the standard that Google Maps has set. It is rumored that Google may release a standalone app that, like they did with YouTube, may satisfy the needs of iOS users. While this will assuredly prolong the war between the two giant tech companies, it may satisfy the customer base that just wants to know where they are going.

New Apple Patent Could Shut Down iPhone Cameras when Entering “Sensitive Areas”

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 25-09-2012

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iPhone cameraIn recent Apple patent news, and for the first time recently patent news that DOESN’T involve the company suing somebody, a patent was granted to Apple enabling them  to wirelessly disable the camera function on specific iPhones in certain locations, which naturally sparked a flurry of fear among consumers.

Needless to say, smartphones have made it extremely simple to take a video and upload instantly to millions of people on the internet. Some of the most popular videos on the internet today are ones captured on cell phones depicting fights, protests, riots or other crazy events involving civilians and authorities. This allows viewers to get a point of view that other news outlets fail to capture, the one from right in the middle of the action.

According to U.S. Patent No. 8,254,902, in theory, “apparatus and methods of enforcement of policies upon a wireless device” could be implemented with the push of a single button. The patent itself states:

Apparatus and methods for changing one or more functional or operational aspects of a wireless device, such as upon the occurrence of a certain event. In one embodiment, the event comprises detecting that the wireless device is within range of one or more other devices. In another variant, the event comprises the wireless device associating with a certain access point. In this manner, various aspects of device functionality may be enabled or restricted (device “policies”). This policy enforcement capability is useful for a variety of reasons, including for example to disable noise and/or light emanating from wireless devices (such as at a movie theater), for preventing wireless devices from communicating with other wireless devices (such as in academic settings), and for forcing certain electronic devices to enter “sleep mode” when entering a sensitive area.

In layman’s terms, an encoded signal could potentially be transmitted to all wireless devices entering a “sensitive area” which would command them to disable all recording functions. However, one of the biggest questions here is who is in charge of determining these “sensitive areas”?

The biggest fear here is that this can and will be used by authorities at certain times to control what you can and cannot record on your own phone. This comes right after innovation by technology companies making wireless connectivity a major component on the latest smartphone cameras.

This could severely impact photographers and citizen journalists as this patent could constitute the creation of virtual walls around certain areas that would automatically shut off your camera whenever you crossed the barrier. The lighter side is that patents are filed every day that never come to fruition, which could be exactly what happens to this one, though it still lets off an ominous feeling of what the future may hold.

Source: International Business Times – Apple Granted Patent to Disable iPhone Recordings Near Government Buildings or Political Events

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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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New 3D Google Maps Coming to iOS

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 05-06-2012

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3D Google Maps on iPadGoogle recently unveiled what it is calling the “next dimension” of its Google Maps service with new full 3D renderings for Google Earth that were demonstrated live on Apple’s iPad. Google has been utilizing automated technology to extract data from aerial models captured by planes owned by Google. Google uses the imagery from these planes to create 3D mapping imagery.

Images of the ground are taken at 45 degrees from four different angles. Those pics and data can then be combined to recreate maps in 3D. The entire process allows 3D maps to be created without human interaction, which was necessary with previous iterations of 3D imagery in Google Earth.

Google first demonstrated the technology by showing off individual buildings and cities on Apple’s iPad instead of an Android device. However, Google did announce that the service would be coming to both iOS devices and Android devices and that the technology would be part of both the Google Maps service and the company’s Google Earth application.

Google also hopes that it will have communities of nearly 300 million people mapped out in its new space. In addition to that, the company revealed that it will bring an offline version for its Maps software to Android devices and is working “very hard” to bring offline maps to iOS as well, though it hasn’t offered up a time table for that.

This reveal comes just days before Apple is supposed to hold its own keynote address at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference. At the conference Apple is expected to unveil an all new version of the Maps software for iOS, which will get rid of Google Maps.

It has already been reported that Apple’s new mapping technology will reach iOS later on this year and is expected to be a part of iOS 6, the much anticipated next-gen operating system from the company. The mapping intentions of Apple have also been clear since 2009 when the company started acquiring mapping technology companies. In that year Apple purchased Placebase, Poly9 in 2010 and C3 in 2011.

Source: Apple Insider – Google unveils new 3D maps coming to iOS and Android

 

Taller, Bigger Screens Could Be Coming to the Next-Gen iPhone and iPod Touch

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 22-05-2012

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taller iPod Touch screenRumor time! Here on the internet it’s always rumor time, especially if you’re talking about Apple. The newest rumor comes in the form of a new screen size for the unannounced iPhone 5. A recent leaked image of a supposed iPod Touch screen panel has hit the internet, showing an increased screen size for the device.

Macrumors dropped images of white and black front panels that supposedly belong to the next generation of Apple’s iPod Touch. The images show panels that measure the screen at 4.1″ diagonally, a full 0.6″ larger than the last four generations of the device.

It is still unclear as to whether or not these photos are legitimate or not, or whether Macrumors’ source is legit either, though Macrumors has a pretty good track record with their sources and leaks. The site was able to post some pictures of the third-generation iPad panel with specs that matched the final product several weeks before the device was even announced.

What is even more interesting is that these pics come right on the heels of a blog post made on Apple blog 9to5Mac that Apple is testing two new iPhone variants, one of which will include a 3.95″ display. In addition to that, recent claims from The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg state  that Apple is planning on increasing the screen size of the next iPhone.

The photos of the screens weren’t the only thing posted by Macrumors. The site also posted pics of what could be the new front and rear camera parts as well as the home button that could all be heading to the next generation of the iPhone.

It is expected that Apple will follow a similar release schedule for the iPhone 5 like it did last year with the iPhone 4S with the release of the new device coming this fall. It is also rumored that Apple will be dropping some hardware updates in the next couple of weeks at its annual developers conference where it will debut retooled versions of the company’s notebooks and a new version of iOS.

Source: CNET – Taller iPod Touch screen parts already spotted in the wild

 

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