Lower income groups account for the most significant growth in iPhone sales, showing a 48 percent three month increase in the $25,000 to $49,999 household income bracket, according to a comScore report. Households with income above $100,000 still account for the biggest share of ownership, at 43 percent, but with a growth of only 16 percent across the three month period. The device also showed significant growth of 46 percent in the $50,000 to $74,999 income category.
Security company BlackLine GPS has introduced the Seeker, a GPS-based vehicle tracking device designed to help recover a vehicle if it is stolen. The device constantly monitors the vehicle's location relative to a GPS security perimeter. If a thief moves the vehicle outside of the perimeter, the owner receives a SMS alert message while the company's Recovery Service works with the police to help find the vehicle.
The US Department of Justice on Thursday approved Verizon Wireless' acquisition of Alltel Communications, bringing through a deal that weighs in at $28 billion. RCR Wireless News reports that the deal, which was first officially acknowledged in early June, will provide Verizon with wireless assets in 100 markets, spread over 22 states, including North and South Dakota, Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming, among others.
The late 2008 aluminum MacBooks and MacBook Pros are allegedly incompatible with Kensington locks. Apple lists the feature as a "Kensington lock slot," but owners have reported that the thickness of the aluminum prevents the standard locks from being used. A response from Kensington's technical support department was claimed to read "we are sorry to inform you that the security slot of your laptop 'late 2008' Aluminum MacBook is not compatible with Kensington locks."
Digital device company Aiptek has unveiled the Pocket Cinema V10, a compact projector featuring an integrated media player. The V10 can be used as a stand-alone player or connected to an iPod, DV, DSC, game console, or mobile phone with an AV-out connection. Users can project a screen size of up to 50 inches, with a range of focal distances from 21cm to 180cm. The device supports a resolution of 640 by 380 pixels, using a white LED light source and 3M technology in a housing that measures 125mm by 55mm by 23mm.
Griffin Technology has introduced its latest FM transmitter, the iTrip Auto for iPods and the iPhone 3G. The device features SmartScan technology that is designed to automatically find the clearest frequencies. Up to four stations can be saved as presets, with the current frequency displayed on a back-lit LCD panel. A power switch offers a 3-color visual indication of the charge level. Users can select from a stereo or mono mode for the best transmission.
SharedPlan Software has released the latest version of its project management software, SharedPlan Pro 5. The update offers improved cost and resource management, along with enhanced email security. A deadline scheduling utility has been added to track project. A resource chart is now available to visually indicate which team members are currently working on projects. The task information editor has been reworked, and the software is claimed to be up to 40 times faster when working on large projects.
USBfever has released two leather cases for the iPod touch 2G, a flip-top version and a side-open design. The flip-top case features textured leather construction and a slot for photos, identification, or credit cards. A removable swivel clip is included with the package. Access to the device controls and switches remains uninhibited, while the soft exterior protects the iPod from bumps or scratches.
Digital Foci has launched the Pocket Album Deluxe OLED 2.8 photo viewer with a 4000-image capacity and playback on an OLED screen. The viewer's screen offers a brighter picture, with more contrast and wider viewing angles, than conventional LED screens. The screen is an active matrix, 2.8-inch display rated at a resolution of 320x240 and a contrast ratio of 10,000-1. It offers five hours of playback and can recharge via an included AC adapter or USB power.
At the currently ongoing PDC show in LA, Microsoft is holding demonstrations of its Surface PC for members of the industry and developers. At the same time, Microsoft showed off a notable new version of the Surface PC developed by the software giant's engineers from Cambridge, England. Called SecondLight, it allows the table to project different images than those projected on its screen on a translucent surface such as tracing paper held above the surface. The images are projected through the table itself, with Microsoft describing the technology as a magic lens.
Philips has updated its GoGear SA2925/97 portable audio players with the GoGear SA2940, which adds a 1.5-inch OLED color display. The display can show album art other status information such as track progress and battery status, but the specs are otherwise identical to the outgoing model's, and include 4GB of internal memory, 30 hours of battery life, a bult-in equalizer, and support for MP3, WAV and WMA audio files.
The Motorola RAZR2 V9x handset, which started shipping earlier this month, is now available for purchase on AT&T's website, ahead of any official announcements. Compared to previous RAZRs, the handset features a GPS sensor to take advantage of AT&T's Navigator service, in addition to being slimmer. This includes a 2-megapixel camera with 8x zoom, video playback capabilities and music playback functionality.
iPhone owners should not expect to see the Opera web browser on the device anytime soon, says Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, CEO of the company. Von Tetzschner notes that while engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini for iPhones, Apple is blocking release through the App Store, due its competition with the built-in Safari browser. Opera Mini is used frequently on other smartphones, and speeds up mobile browsing by delivering stripped-down versions of websites.
At the FPD International show currently being held in Japan, Samsung's display division demonstrated its 63-inch plasma display panel with a resolution of 4096x2160 pixels, more commonly referred to as 4K in the industry. The company was able to accomplish this feat by shrinking the size of each pixel, now at 0.339mmx0.363mm (0.13x0.14 inches), by slimming down the barrier rib structure and revising the transparent electrode and bus electrode. These pixels are less than half the size of a typical pixel found in a modern 63-inch, 1920x1080 HDTV.
The N96 smartphone from Nokia is now available for purchase at Best Buy Mobile, priced at a high $800. While the lofty price tag was expected for the company's flagship handset, it's nevertheless more than four times the price of an iPhone or T-Mobile G1, though the N96's price is contract-free. The online Best Buy listing for the Finnish-made smartphone is $100 dearer, at nearly $900. It is, however, back-ordered. Certain Best Buy Mobile stores will have working demonstration models of the handset on-hand for potential customers to play with.
Tao Effect has launched Espionage, offering folder-level encryption for the Mac. Apple's built-in encryption, FileVault, requires the user's entire home folder be encrypted, while Espionage allows the user to pick only specific folders. It also offers similar levels of security, using AES-128- or 256-bit protection. Espionage's ability to encrypt specific folders allows it to isolate important files like email, chat conversations or banking folders, without taking time to encrypt photo collections, movies and other items that don't require high security. Unencrypted data access is three times faster than encrypted, providing a good speed boost to data that is left untouched by Espionage.
Speck has introduced its latest iPhone case, the SwitchWay, for the iPhone 3G. The wallet-style case allows the phone to be held vertically or horizontally, without any conversion or component swap. The phone slides into a padded interior, while the outside is protected by a tougher material claimed to be scuff- and scratch-resistant. Enclosure flaps secure the device without any snaps, straps or latches. The phone can be inserted from the top or the side, depending on which clip orientation is being used.
Apple's third quarter sales for its only cellphone, the iPhone, have vaulted the company into a top ten list of phone suppliers, ousting BlackBerry maker RIM in the process, research group Strategy Analytics says. A Thursday report said Apple's increase to 6.9 million handsets shipments found Apple, along with Samsung and Sony Ericsson, as one of the only major phone makers on the list to increase its market share during the third quarter of 2008.
Evolis has released drivers for its line of card printers that are now compatible with Mac OS X. The company offers a range of printers, including monochrome or four-color process devices that are capable of reproducing images, logos, text or barcodes. Certain models are capable of adding lamination with holograms, or data encoding of magnetic stripes or smartcards. The Tattoo2 products are designed for single-sided color badge production for small organizations or clubs.
HP is strongly considering linking netbooks like the Mini 1000 to cellular data plans, the company's consumer notebook head Kevin Frost tells the Wall Street Journal. Similar to deals in Asia and Europe, HP would offer a heavily discounted mini-computer in return for signing a contract for data access through a carrier and thus give users both a less expensive netbook as well as 3G or greater access.
Having only recently released major patches for both Office 2004 and 2008, Microsoft has posted a new, minor patch for the latter edition of its work suite. Though installed for the whole of Office, the v12.1.4 update specifically addresses a problem within the Entourage mail client. Under copies of v12.1.3, Exchange accounts operating from within Entourage were rendered unable to send meeting invitations or responses.
Packing 1.0 ($1) lets users create and mange a series of packing lists providing a way to plan ahead and ensure nothing is left behind. As users complete their packing lists they are able to check of the item ensuring that redundancy is avoided.
Other World Computing has announced new SuperDrive upgrades for current and legacy Macs. The new drives feature DVD burn speeds up to 20X for desktop tower replacements and 8x speeds for notebooks, iMacs, Mac Minis and G4 Cubes. Dual-Layer DVD burning is supported across the entire line and OWC is offering options for Blu-ray support, LightScribe labeling and DVD-RAM support.
Breaking relatively new ground for Japanese cellphone makers, Sharp on Thursday launched the FULLTOUCH 931SH for Softbank. The AQUOS-branded phone is one of the few full-touchscreen cellphones from the country but is also record-setting through a new, landmark display: the 3.8-inch touch LCD carries a 1024x480 resolution that rivals smaller notebooks and provides an extremely sharp view for browsing and videos, including live TV from its 1Seg tuner. The phone supports two-finger input for zooming into website views and even uses touch to focus its built-in 5.2-megapixel camera.
Issues with RAM may be behind problems affecting some MacBook buyers, anecdotes indicate. Select MacBooks, including ones newly-received from Apple, appear to be crashing within minutes or hours of booting. The lock-ups also appear to ignore the intensity of whatever software a user may choose to run, and diagnoses made using Apple Hardware Test reveal no discernible hardware errors.
Magellan on Thursday announced the release of its newest portable GPS navigation device, the Maestro 4350, with the company's new OneTouch interface meant to reduce driver distraction by allowing users to find the nearest favorite store or other point of interest with a single press of a virtual button. The 4.3-inch, 800x480 touchscreen device also uses Magellan's pedestrian mode, which helps users get to their destination on foot after having parked their car.
SousChef 1.0.1 ($30) helps users find, cook, modify, and share recipes with family and friends. SousChef accesses an online could database made up of all other users' recipes allowing users to find new recipes. The update has added PDF import capabilities as well as improved import accuracy and an expanded ingredient dictionary. [Download - 7.9MB]
Carrier AT&T and PC builder Lenovo say they have collaborated on a project meant to drive down the cost of 3G broadband on notebooks. Buyers of Lenovo notebooks in the ThinkPad T, X and SL series will get a free 30 days of AT&T's DataConnect service, if they sign up for a two-year contract; more critically, models with the necessary Ericsson module will not cost any more than a regular version, which the companies claim will save as much as $150 per computer. The arrangement is being targeted mainly at small- to medium-sized businesses.
The Beatles today confirmed that the first computer-focused release of their music will come through a deal with Rock Band maker Harmonix as well as its partner MTV. The unnamed title, now said to be separate from the Rock Band series in contrast to earlier claims by others, will be devoted solely to the Beatles and should represent a progression through their music. Both of the surviving Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, have contributed input to the project along with widows Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono Lennon.
Nokia is planning the launch of a North America Model (NAM) version of the N85, if a newly posted FCC filing proves accurate. The US agency has been testing a version of the slider smartphone with WCDMA on the 850MHz band, which would let it connect to HSDPA-based 3G with AT&T in the US and Rogers in Canada. Nokia's official announcement of the N85 has only included support for 850MHz using EDGE data and GSM calls.
The work of a current Microsoft executive is behind the existence of Mac OS X and the iPhone firmware, a report suggests. The head of Microsoft's Research division, Rick Rashid, claims that code of his remains within the Mac OS, and by extension the iPhone OS, even after decades of design and evolution. "If you use a Macintosh or an iPhone, which honestly I would not recommend," says Rashid, "you would be using code that I wrote more than 25 years ago."
Acer has brought back its eMachines notebook line-up when it announced the launch of a 14.1-inch widescreen notebook, the eMachines eMD620-5777, on Thursday. The new notebook sports a 1.6GHz AMD Athlon CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard-drive for a price usually associated with much smaller netbooks. Other features of the notebook include a full-size keyboard, integrated b/g Wi-Fi module, a DVD-R/RW drive and an ATI Radeon X1200 graphics chipset that can pull up to nearly 2GB of system memory for its own ends.
NCsoft is opening one of its massively multiplayer online (MMO) game franchises, City of Heroes, to the Mac. The company has used TransGaming's Cider engine, which enables the subscription-based game to operate on Intel-based Macs. Public Beta testing is expected to get underway soon.
Alltel on Thursday became the last major US carrier to take its turn at a full touchscreen cellphone with the Samsung Delve. The handset has some of the styling cues of the Instinct for Sprint but uses non-touch call and menu buttons. Importantly, it also stands as the first American phone to carry Samsung's TouchWiz interface, which lets users add software widgets to the phone's home screen for quicker access to apps or surface-level information. The Delve goes without a smartphone operating system like other high-end devices such as the Omnia, however.
Two new voices have alternately praised and sharply criticized the iPhone as a brand. John Sculley, a former CEO of Apple, describes the iPhone as potentially being bigger than the Mac, mainly as a result of current head Steve Jobs, who Sculley in fact fired. "Jobs's genius is his ability to use technology to create products that define fundamental cultural shifts," claims Sculley. "The Mac defined 'personal technology,' and the iPhone defines 'intimate technology' as a convergence of communications, content and location."
Dell today upped the stakes for all-in-one PCs with the launch of the XPS One 24. The system ups the size of the PC to 24 inches and gives it a new, edge-to-edge 1080p (1920x1080) display with a 16:9 ratio that should make it ideal for watching Blu-ray movies at native resolution. The update also brings a major speed update with a 2.33GHz Core 2 Quad as well as the option of a GeForce 9600M GT for video that makes it a better fit as a gaming system or for heavy-duty HD video decoding.
Western Digital released a new My Passport Studio portable drive with a high-speed FireWire 800 interface. The drive ships pre-formatted with HFS+ and includes high-speed turbo drivers for use with Mac computers, and is capable of working directly with the recently introduced Apple MacBook Pro as well as desktops equipped with the faster port. Other connection options include FireWire 400 and USB for owners connecting to legacy machines.
Motorola today saw its problems mount with news of its summer quarterly results. The company swung from a $60 million profit at the same point in 2007 to a $397 million loss this year due almost exclusively to poor performance from the Mobile Devices group and its cellphone business. Phone shipments plunged a sharp 32 percent year-over-year to 25.4 million handsets and also the company's gross margin on phones dip from 28.4 percent to 24.1 percent as the mix shifted towards lower-cost devices.
Microsoft is in the middle of developing a Mac port of its Live Mesh sync technology, the company has announced. The technology is similar in concept to Apple's MobileMe, but focuses on syncing files, instead of calendars and contacts, with a remote Microsoft cloud server; this is done simply by selecting "Add to My Mesh" from a right-click menu, which uploads a file to Live Desktop and pushes it to other linked devices. Files can be shared between Macs, PCs and Windows Mobile phones, but not with iPhones.
TiVo today revealed the surprise addition of Netflix for TiVo (link active soon), its own adaptation of Netflix's Watch Instantly feature. The update will give TiVo's DVRs access to streaming versions of the roughly 12,000 movies available online and will include both the standard-definition versions as well as the recently unveiled HD versions of some titles that will first be available on the Xbox 360. Like earlier implementations, users must manage their online movie queues from a web browser but can play movies or TV shows in any order from TiVo units.
Japanese cell carrier Softbank on Thursday catered to local tastes with the introduction of an official 1Seg TV tuner add-on for the iPhone 3G. Through a custom App Store download, the adapter gives access to the country's over-the-air digital TV broadcast network over a local Wi-Fi link, allowing residents to watch live shows from the iPhone while leaving the tuner in a bag or pocket. The tuner carries its own battery and can either power the tuner for three hours of TV or serve as a USB battery pack for the iPhone.
After a very rocky launch to its much-anticipated cloud-based web-service, Apple on Wednesday published a new article with details on its recent upgrade to its MobileMe webservices, including better localization, improved and resolved mail and calendar issues, the ability to export vCards from MobileMe contacts and improved performance with Internet Explorer 7. The paid service (about $100/year) offers users push-email, web-based access, online storage, easy photo/movie sharing, data synchronization between multiple Macs, and much more. article outlines more detailed information about some recent improvements and the resolution of known issues that Apple apparently delivered in what it calls a "Late-September 2008 update" to MobileMe services -- released after it updated the MobileMe client software in early September -- but did not formally announce or report the update on its member pages (in August, the company suddenly halted its blog and replaced with a detailed service status page).
iSkin has unveiled the Vibes and Duo cases for the iPod nano 4G. iSkin Vibes features a flexible finish that reflects an artistically-designed pattern, but still allowing the color of the iPod case to show through. Protection is offered with a soft material that covers the device exterior and an integrated screen protector. The click wheel is protected by a non-adhesive film and a separate docking port connector is included.
The Beatles are allegedly making their first stride into digital licensing, according to inside information obtained by The Wall Street Journal, which says Apple Corps is considering releasing tracks for Rock Band. Apple Corps has been notorious for keeping the prized, history-making albums away from digital formats, most famously in response to repeated conflicts with Apple Inc, over the usage of the iconic fruit logos both companies use.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R