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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Deutsche Telekom Signed Up 70,000 iPhone Customers

It appears that Germans are just as interested in Apple Incorporated’s iPhone as American customers. German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) said that it had signed up 70,000 iPhone customers in the 11 weeks since November 9, 2007.

Deutsche Telekom's mobile telephony arm T-Mobile is the exclusive seller of U.S. Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone.

"The iPhone is by far the most sold multimedia device in T-Mobile's portfolio," the head of T-Mobile Germany, Philipp Humm, said in an interview published on T-Mobile's Intranet, or in-house Internet web site.

French operator France Telecom (FTE.PA) had sold more than 70,000 iPhones since they arrived on November 28.

Apple Inc said on January 15 it had sold 4 million iPhones since the launch at the end of June.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hacker creativity drives Apple iPhone innovation

Since the iPhone was born, there’s been a rift in the user community between those who keep the iPhone the way Apple intended, only updating when Apple releases something new. On the flip side, there’s the “jailbreak” community, who has been opening up the iPhone to new applications and uses, though admittedly to the detriment of some user’s phones, for the same amount of time. Whether Apple admits to it or not, the iPhone “hackers” have been responsible for all the recent innovation to the iPhone.

That isn’t really limited to the iPhone. Apple is famous for working off the ideas established by open source programmers. For instance, Virtue Desktops, an open source free app that allowed users to have multiple desktop spaces available, was essentially copied and made better by Apple in the application Spaces for Leopard.

With the iPhone, there were tons of games and applications created by “hackers” who wanted users to have the full range of the iPhone platform without all the nuisances of Apple’s limitations. That looked like games, multiple home screens, rearrangeable icons, ringtones, and more.

Far be it from Apple or Steve Jobs to not jump on an opportunity to release the ideas of others in a more streamlined, secure format to the general public. In the wake of those hacks, look how closely Apple’s updates have paralleled the works of the hacking community. That isn’t to say Apple is wrong for doing so. It just goes to prove that open source platforms and “hacking” or creativity as some like to call it are a necessity, and the companies that follow that community’s lead will benefit.

All the users who never jailbroke their iPhones are holding their noses high because Apple came around with the innovations in a secure form, but without those revolutionaries, there is a very good chance the majority of users wouldn’t have the features in their iPhones they now do. So keep on jailbraking and pushing the limits, oh programmers and vigilantes.
Monday, January 28, 2008

Apple's Math Could Point To iPhone Overstock

Financial analysts are looking for an answer to Apple's iPhone mathematics problem. What raised concern on Wall Street is the discrepancy between the number of iPhones Apple says it has shipped since launching the gadget last summer and the number of iPhones sold by AT&T, the exclusive wireless service provider in the United States.

In reporting quarterly earnings this week, Apple said it had shipped 4 million iPhones. During its quarterly report, AT&T said it had about 2 million iPhone customers as of the end of 2007.

Both sides have said they're happy with the product's performance in the market, and Apple remains confident that it can hit its target of 10 million phones shipped within its first year of sales. But financial analysts are wondering whether there's trouble brewing.

Analysts at Sanford Bernstein have come up with some slightly different numbers than the vendors, reported Friday. Bernstein estimates that Apple shipped 3.75 million phones in total, and telephone companies worldwide have activated 2.35 million. Assuming that 20% of the unactivated phones may have been unlocked to work on other networks that still leaves 670,000 iPhones unaccounted for.

If Bernstein's estimates are correct, then Apple may have to contend with a growing pile of unsold iPhones, TheStreet said.

Apple did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Beyond the troubling iPhone numbers, Apple's stock took a beating in after-hours trading following its financial report, despite record earnings. Investors apparently are getting the jitters over a possible global economic slowdown that could hurt Apple's consumer electronics sales, which include the iPhone, iPod, iMac, and MacBook. Financial analysts also are concerned that Apple's iPod sales may be slowing.

What has been going gangbusters at Apple are Macintosh computer sales? The company reported it shipped 2.32 million computers in the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 29, which represented a 44% increase in shipments and a 47% boost in revenue when compared with the same period a year ago.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

iPhone Looks Ripe For Another Discount

From the latest sales figures from Apple and partner AT&T, the iPhone is looking ripe for another discount. Figures culled from the pair’s releases, there seems to be an inventory glut or a lot more jail breaking than anyone is admitting. So what is Apple going to do?
Simple, do what they did before: drop prices. We know they’ve got the 3G phone waiting in the wings. 3rd party applications are raging to be released. AT&T dropped the no business discount they had going. All these signs point us to new introduction and price drop for current product.

I think Apple found the sweet spot of $399 and will likely put the new 3G phone there. We’ll most likely see some kind of cosmetic change to the design, just to make a visual differentiation and make the masses crave the new.

P.s. How soon? That is the magic question. If Apple stock keeps down-ticking and stock continues to grow, it will be sooner than later. Possibly as early as next month’s SDK kick-off. That is my guess. What is yours?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Users Of The iPhone Can find Their Location By The Help Of Skyhook

The big idea came on a trip: Ted Morgan and Michael Shean used Wi-Fi signals in their travels so often to pick up e-mail; they saw a business opportunity in their future. What if they could figure out locations and directions via Wi-Fi signals instead of the more commonly used Global Positioning System (GPS)?

After discovering that it could work, they left their jobs at e-billing company eDocs and formed Skyhook Wireless in 2003. The Boston-based firm raised $16.8 million and signed up several partners to showcase the technology, including AOL (TWX) and mapping firm Navteq (NVT).

Last week, Skyhook was thrust to center stage courtesy of Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs. He not only demonstrated Skyhook at the Macworld conference here, but also gave a detailed and spirited explanation of how the technology works. "Isn't that cool?" Jobs said. "It's really cool."

Now, users of the iPhone and the iPod Touch (an iPod that can pick up Wi-Fi signals) can find their location and, in conjunction with mapping information from Google (GOOG), get instant directions. The feature is part of a software update that is free for the iPhone and $20 for current Touch owners.

The alliance and plug from Apple are "enormous for us," Skyhook CEO Morgan says. "It's a huge endorsement of the technology."

Morgan won't discuss terms but says Skyhook generally gets a royalty on each device sold, similar to how GPS tech companies work with device manufacturers.

USA TODAY caught up with Morgan and Shean during their Macworld visit. During their time together, they drove around the city to see if the iPhone really could tell if they were near the Golden Gate Bridge, at Fisherman's Wharf or cruising down zig-zaggy Lombard Street.

No wrong turns: Skyhook worked as advertised.

Morgan explained how the technology works: "Every Wi-Fi access point, whether public or private, sends out a signal every second or so, like a lighthouse. We pick up those signals and use our technology to calculate your exact location."

To get the system up and running, Skyhook sent teams of drivers around the USA and Canada to map out hot spots; it now has 70% of North America covered. Skyhook vehicles now are cruising Europe and Asia to add to the database.

Skyhook isn't the only company touting GPS alternatives.

Google introduced its free "My Location" technology in late November, picking up its information from cell phone towers. Google's offering works on a handful of Motorola (MOT) and Sony Ericsson (SNE) phones, smart phones from BlackBerry (RIMM) and "most" Windows (MSFT) Mobile devices, Google says. Apple uses both Skyhook and Google technology on the iPhone. It looks for Wi-Fi signals first, and if there are none, it switches to Google's cell-tower information.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Apple’s Unstoppable Revenues - It is Myth or Real

Apple’s holiday performance showed signs that the company’s not unstoppable in 2008. In particular, Apple’s cautious outlook, weakness in U.S. iPod growth and the unpredictability of iPhone sales left pessimists plenty of reason to doubt.

Apple turned in revenue of $9.6 billion and profit of $1.6 billion for the holiday quarter, blowing past the average analyst estimate. The company shipped a record 2.3 million Intel (INTC)-based Macs during the period, and actually sold as many iPhones as computers. In the process Apple generated $2.7 billion in cash, bringing its war chest to $18.4 billion.

On the conference call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer admitted that iPod sales merely met the company’s expectations, rather than exceeding them. Part of the reason, he said, was that U.S. iPod sales weakened in December - it took overseas sales to make up the difference. “In the U.S., in the gift-buying season, we saw a slightly different curve, that was made up for in our very, very good growth internationally.” - he said.

It was clear that Apple executives weren’t sure what to make of the iPod slowdown. Maybe it’s the U.S. economy. Maybe the presence of the higher-priced iPod touch convinced people to save up and buy one iPod instead of two, they suggested. And then there’s the possibility that the iPhone is starting to eat into iPod sales. “In the U.S., where iPod unit sales were flat year over year, it could have been one of the factors, but other factors played into that as well, so it is very difficult to say with any precision whether there was cannibalization or not,” - said Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Cannibalization would be a bad thing. It would mean that iPhone growth doesn’t purely add to Apple’s results — it also takes away from the iPod.

For this current quarter that will end in March, executives promised revenue of $6.8 billion and earnings of about $850 million. And while ordinarily analysts would take that number with a wink and expect Apple to easily beat it, this year they’re not so sure Apple can.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do Corporate Customers Need iPhone?

Why not? After all, iPhone combines three amazing products: a revolutionary mobile phone, a wide screen iPod and a breakthrough Internet device with rich HTML email, web browsing, searching and maps. Those featured coupled with great communications and productivity tools for business professionals, make iPhone a cool device for corporate users.

Many analysts think right the opposite. Nevertheless, AT&T have decided to appeal to the corporate sector. The full offering can be found here:

I think this is a right time to "introduce" iPhone to the corporate sector. According to Associated Press, IBM will be introducing Lotus Notes package for Apple's wonder device.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Apple Announces iTunes Movie Rentals for Apple TV, iPhone And iPod

Steve Jobs just announced movie rentals via iTunes at this year's Macworld expo. Apple will be partnering with studios such as Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Sony, Disney, and more. According to Jobs, the service will feature not only great first run titles, but a library of past favorites as well.

New releases will cost $3.99 (USD), while older flicks will come at a cheaper $2.99. Once a film is rented, the viewer will have up to 30 days to watch the film he or she rented. So, if you rent a film only to find out that something has come up and you won't be able to sit down with your popcorn and soda to view it, no worries. Once you start viewing, however, you'll have 24 hours to finish watching (similar to most cable or satellite television movie rental services).

Another great convenience of the service is the ability to watch your rental on any one or multiple devices. Watch the film on Apple TV; watch it on your iPhone or iPod. It's all good. The best part? If you don't finish your movie on Sunday night, you can stop it, transfer it to your iPhone and watch it on the train on your way to work (as long as it falls within the 24 hour rental period).

According to Jobs, the service is FAST too, reportedly after selecting a rental - video will begin streaming in 30 seconds or less. Not bad.

iTunes video rentals will be available as of today through a soon-to-be-released iTunes update.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Two New Jailbroken iPhone Apps

The New Zealanders as Polar Bear Farm announced two native applications for jailbroken iPhones capable of running third party applications. The programs, referred to as ShowTime and Search, allow users to capture video and search through contact information, respectively.

ShowTime, which is still in development, is capable of capturing video at a 320 x 427 resolution at six frames per second and can record up to five seconds on the unlicensed version of the software and an unlimited amount of video for licensed users. The video is captured in a raw, uncompressed file format. Future plans for the program include allowing for a higher capture frame rate and a post process option to transcode to a standard video format.

Search, the second program, allows users to search through contact lists on the iPhone by beginning to tap out search criteria such as a name, company, position or notes filed on the contact. Users can also search through iPhone calendar events by entering an event’s name, time, location, etc. into the search engine. The program can also help sift through events entered into the iPhone’s calendar program, helping to locate a specific event months down the road without having to tap through weeks or months of events as part of the location process. Polar Bear Farm says it would like to include complete contact information, physical addresses, contact pictures and other data in the returned results, localization for international users and possibly a more generalized/Spotlight style search style.

The programs have no cost, but the company is accepting donations via PayPal. If you’re in San Francisco this week, you can see Polar Bear Farm at booth 4030 in Moscone West.

Monday, January 21, 2008

iPhone 'fails to live up to hype' in Britain

The long-awaited iPhone has failed to match the hype with sales of Apple’s ground breaking gadget falling short of expectations.

Mobile network giant O2, which is the only network provider in the UK for the handset, sold 190,000 for the first eight weeks from the iPhone’s launch in November - 10,000 short of the figures it predicted, according to the Financial Times.

02 had anticipated selling 200,000 iPhones in the first two months, but analysts predicted the sales would be far higher after pre-launch hype led to expectations that the £269 phone would quickly become a best seller like its iconic iPod predecessors.

But the high price tag and restrictions on using the phone on just a single network is thought to have put many consumers off buying the ground-breaking touch sensitive mobile phone.

Customers buying the phone were required to take out an 18 month contract at £35 a month, facing an outlay of £899.

Apple also released software updates in a bid to prevent people from having their iPhones "chipped", which allowed them to use the phone on other networks.

O2 has insisted that the iPhone has attracted "unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction" and said the iPhone was its fastest ever selling handset.

It also said that the device had triggered a three-fold increase in the number of people visiting its stores in the past two months.

Consumer technology analysts Gartner, however, had predicted in November that sales of the iPhone could reach up to 400,000 in the first two months.

The first weekend of iPhone sales sparked fears that uptake would be disappointing after UK stores failed to attract the long queues seen outside retailers in the United States when the phone was launched there earlier in the summer.

Apple chief Steve Jobs this week revealed that the company has sold more than 4 million iPhones worldwide - an average of 20,000 iPhones a day.

Speaking at Apple’s technology showcase MacWorld Expo, he also announced new software, including an upgraded location detection feature, in a bid to attract more customers.

Apple and O2 have both declined to comment on iPhone sales figures in the UK.

The O2 figures come as Carphone Warehouse, which has also been selling the iPhone in its stores, reported disappointing sales figures over the Christmas period.

It reported an 11 per cent rise in connections of all mobile phones compared to the anticipated 15 per cent.
Sunday, January 20, 2008

iPhone Is Selling Like The "Hot Cakes"

The iPhone is selling like the proverbial hot cakes and has topped 4 million but it’s doubtful that the trendy phone will hit its original, lofty sales estimates of 10 million units in a year.

Steve Jobs said at Macworld Expo 2008 that the iPhone is selling at an average of 20,000 units a day which is impressive but with just five months to go until it turns one it’s unlikely that the iPhone will sell another 6 million. After all, the Silly Season that is Christmas has passed and there’s no other shopping spell like it. So far, UK punters have said the iPhone is too expensive.

A recent story by The Mail on Sunday has just claimed that Apple "gagged" UK iPhone partners, O2 and Carphone Warehouse, from discussing sales figures because of poor UK sales.

It’s somewhat telling that Jobs was expected to break out some European sales figures for the device at Macworld this week but, quite noticeably, didn’t.
Friday, January 18, 2008

Consumer And Business Sides of iPhone

There are two sides to the iPhone: Consumer and business. In true Apple tradition, the iPhone pushes the technology envelope and delivers a pleasing user experience. For businesses, the iPhone introduces a new device for which companies need to set a policy. If they don't, they will find employees purchasing the iPhone and coming in expecting IT to connect them to the corporate mail server and mobile applications.

For consumers, the iPhone is similar to the iPod, though much larger than some models, and includes a screen that rivals any on the market.

But iPhone is different in how the user interacts with the device. There are no hard keys on the phone; it is operated via the touch screen. The interface is clear and intuitive, though some say it is slow at times and lacks features like easy one-touch auto-dialing.

Perhaps the biggest complaint connected with the iPhone is that the battery cannot be changed. This tells that Apple is hoping people will buy it, use it for a couple of years and replace it when it no longer holds a charge.

For businesses, the iPhone has more negatives than positives. It does not support direct connection to corporate e-mail systems, like the Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices. Also, iPhone requires the use of iTunes, so if your corporate IT policy does not allow iTunes to be installed on work PC’s, the iPhone is a no go.

Perhaps, the biggest disappointment is in the wireless carrier. In the Seacoast, AT&T has probably the poorest network coverage of the major three carriers. It's unfortunate that the iPhone will not soon be available on Sprint or Verizon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

iPhone 1.1.3 Firmware Update Brings New Headache

All unlocking hacks for iPhone successfully fail with the 1.1.3 firmware update. Even hardware-based TurboSIM is totally useless. This is quite a problem for unofficially unlocked iPhone users.
Another major problem is that no downgrade is available from 1.1.3. In plain English this means that unless hackers find a solution, after applying the 1.1.3 update, your iPhone will become totally useless.
Monday, January 14, 2008

iPhone Accessories

iPhone Bluetooth Headset
Answer iPhone calls wirelessly with this compact and lightweight Bluetooth headset. The iPhone Bluetooth Headset features a single button that lets you receive phone calls simply and intuitively. And it delivers up to 5.5 hours of talk time and up to 72 hours of standby time thanks to its built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. An iPhone Dual Dock and iPhone Bluetooth Travel Cable are also included.

iPhone Dock
The iPhone Dock offers easy access to a USB port for syncing or charging, and audio line out for connecting to powered speakers. Also includes an Apple USB Power Adapter and an Apple Dock Connector to USB Cable.

iPhone Dual Dock
Give both your iPhone and your iPhone Bluetooth Headset a place to call home. The iPhone Dual Dock also includes an Apple USB Power Adapter for convenient charging.

iPhone Stereo Headset
The iPhone Stereo Headset is designed like the Apple iPod headphones and features a high-performance microphone fitted with a windscreen. You can quickly answer and end iPhone calls and control basic music playback simply by pressing a button on the mic.

iPhone TTY Adapter
This adapter lets you use your iPhone with standard TTY devices. Just plug the cable from your TTY device into one end of the iPhone TTY Adapter, then plug the other end of the adapter into your iPhone.

iPhone Universal Dock Adapter 3-Pack
These Dock Adapters enable your iPhone to connect to the iPod Universal Dock and other products that use the Universal Dock system. You can even conduct speakerphone calls with your iPhone in the Dock.

iPhone Bluetooth Travel Cable
Use this cable to charge your iPhone Bluetooth Headset while you sync or charge your iPhone.

AirPort Extreme Base Station
The perfect wireless solution for iPhone, the all-new AirPort Extreme offers blazing speed and greater range. iPhone will automatically connect to your AirPort Extreme wireless network so you can surf web pages and download email at up to broadband speeds.

Apple USB Power Adapter
Use this compact, convenient USB-based adapter to charge your iPhone or iPod at home, on the road, or whenever it’s not connected to a computer. An Apple Dock Connector to USB Cable is included.

Apple Dock Connector to USB Cable
This USB 2.0 cable connects your iPhone or iPod — directly or through a Dock — to your computer’s USB port for efficient syncing and charging, or to the Apple USB Power Adapter for convenient charging from a wall outlet.
Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bank of America Surprises iPhone Users

It is a known fact that iPhone has not penetrated in the corporate sector yet. It might take a while for Apple's device to conquer the corporate sector, however there are many signs that large companies take iPhone into account.

At least, Bank of America, yes, the nation's one of the largest banks, has implemented a version of the site designed specially for iPhone. Interestingly, this was discovered purely by chance by Dan Moren, who desperately needed to find out the location of a nearest BoA ATM.

You can read the full story at:
Saturday, January 12, 2008

What Else Can Your iPhone Do?

iPhone (IMHO) was a wonder of the year 2007. Many people argue that the device is over-hyped. One way, or another, the device has made a huge impact on the mobile phone market. It won't be an exaggeration to say that iPhone has changed the whole industry.

But Steve doesn't want to stop here. The next generation of the device will be equipped with GPS navigation, 3G radio support and probably a couple of other, less interesting features. In principle, the lack of GPS and 3G is iPhone's major problem right now. Add those two features and then it will be veeery difficult to argue that it's not a wonder device.

However, Jobs does a great job on the business side as well. Apple is obtaining a patent for cashless payment system via the iPhone. This patent will allow people to order stuff on their phones via Wi-Fi, pay for it, and skip everyone in line that doesn't have an iPhone.

Imagine, you enter McDonald's, open the menu on your iPhone, order your Big Mac menu and enjoy your meal while others are still standing in the queue. This system can be used in many spots.

Many people have serious doubts about success of this system. However, we shall not forget that in business those products and services become successful that deliver extra value and create additional utility. So, this system, if carefully implemented, has all chances to become successful.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Would You Risk Your Life for Your iPhone?

Stories about people with iPhones doing weird things keep coming. As you can recall, there was a man who was on a plane and nearly got arrested because of using his wonder device onboard. But that's really nothing in comparison to Bijan Rezvani's story.

The guy was in New York in his holiday and suddenly dropped his iPhone onto train tracks. What would you do in such a case? Well, let me guess. If it were a regular device, you would just regret and forget, and would start looking for a new device. Yes, most people would do that but not a crazy iPhone owner. Moreover, when such a cool device is your first phone you may do everything for it.

Rezvani jumped between the electrified subway tracks and started searching his iPhone. Heroic action indeed. Mr. Jobs, this man deserves a medal of honor. But wait, have I forgotten to say that his iPhone was unlocked? Yes, it was unlocked and an NES emulator has been happily living there too.