Tag - GSM Association
Electronista is traveling to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2012. Updates may come in at unusual times, but we should have updates over the weekend, especially mid-Sunday, as most of the cellphone and tablet world shows its hand. Hands-on coverage will continue through mid-week.
Apple's rumored fight over embedded iPhone SIMs may have cost it valuable carrier discounts. Sanford Bernstein analyst Robin Bienenstock noted that subsidies in larger European countries had been reduced by 40 to 150 euros ($53 to $198). The carriers had also pulled promo graphics from their main pages, the analyst said, suggesting they may have been reluctant to keep giving the phone its full attention.
Apple's rumored decision to avoid embedded SIMs may have only been for the 2011 refresh, sources argued Tuesday. The company has purportedly reassured European carriers that the iPhone 5 will still depend on removable micro SIM cards but has given signs that it would shift over later on. Tips to the Financial Times didn't reveal whether that meant 2012 or still-longer plans.
European carriers are discussing the possibility of retaliating against Apple if it goes ahead with a rumored plan to use embedded SIMs in iPhones, leaks from the industry alleged Thursday night. The parent companies of O2, Orange and Vodafone have reportedly been worried that Apple was trying to take control of the "relationship" the carriers have by letting customers buy without having to talk to the carrier. An unnamed executive at one of the companies told the Financial Times that Apple could risk a "war" if carriers decided to stop subsidizing the iPhone on contract.
The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) founded earlier this year has just aggregated 32 new members. The newcomers include Opera Software, Oracel, Fujitsu, Rogers and China Unicom, among others, joining the original 24 companies such as LG, Samsung, Telefonica and Orange. The goal of the alliance is to create a common, global app store that will offer software for multiple platforms and devices.
Organizers for the GSM Association's Mobile World Congress revealed today that Apple would have an unofficial presence at the phone trade show through Macworld Mobile. The magazine will have full-day training and sessions for developers specific to iOS devices. The next Congress is due to start February 14 next year.
The GSM Association today unveiled an alliance for a common app store platform meant to challenge Apple. Known as the Wholesale Applications Community, the service will create an open, standard way of developing and selling apps across multiple phone operating systems and networks. The partnership will include phone builders LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, as well as 24 major carriers that include all four major US networks and major internationals like China Mobile, Orange and Telefonica.
The security of GSM phone calls dropped again late Monday with word that the standard's second, more guarded encryption standard has been broken. Following a first crack of the simpler standard, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science say they have cracked the A5/3 security cipher (nicknamed Kasumi) by using what's known as a "sandwich" attack. The group accomplished its goal by creating a distinguishing trait for the key and using just four related keys to determine the key for Kasumi itself.
German software engineer Karsten Nohl said at the Chaos Communication Congress hacker expo today that he and a group have cracked and published the primary encryption code for GSM, the protocol that handles most non-3G cellphone calls. The team says it has used legal methods to break the A5/1 standard, which prevents easy snooping, and has made available a 'code book' of binary data that could theoretically be used to decipher the content of a call within hours or even minutes rather than weeks.
Most cellphones could use a single, interoperable standard for their power chargers within three years if a GSM Association initiative proves successful. The partnership includes phone makers like LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson as well as carriers like AT&T, KTF, Telefonica, T-Mobile and Vodafone; all have developed a format that would use micro USB as the standard and cut the typical power use by about half. The plan would cut back on the number of chargers thrown out after switching phones as well as reduce the amount of energy used to keep phones running.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE