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Author Archives: ewilkinson

Moshi for iPad
  • Blendtec is back with another "Will it Blend?" video, this time pitting the iPhone 5 against the Samsung Galaxy S III

     


    Are you ready for a  ridiculous and nonsensical test which has no merit and which proves absolutely nothing?


    Then, the iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III blender test is for you!


    While most of us are just trying to get our hands on one of the newest and best smartphones, Blendtec, a maker home and professional blenders is busy pulverizing them.


    It's pretty much what it sounds like. With a few of these "Will it Blend?" YouTube videos under his belt already, Blendtec's Tom Dickinson asks the question again, pitting the "the latest," i.e. Apple's iPhone 5, vs. what Samsung "claims to be the greatest," the Galaxy S III.


    The iPhone 5 may have a retina display, and the Galaxy S III may have a bigger screen, but which will withstand the blending?

     


    Tom describes both smartphones, highlighting their most attractive features, and then unceremoniously chucks each into its own Blendtec Total blender.


    While the iPhone 5 starts shattering pretty early on, the Galaxy S III holds in there for an impressive amount of time, but eventually meets its end in much the same way as the completely obliterated iPhone, in a pile of black powder.


    In the end, as the blender lids are removed and toxic-looking black smoke wafts up, we're left having to agree with Tom, who concludes: "I think the real winner is the Blendtec Total blender."



    The whole stunt kind of runs opposite to what we do at Pure Mobile. But even though we've got a mission to help people protect their devices, we can't help but get some sort of sick pleasure out of watching this total and utter destruction.


    Though we'd have to agree with Blendtec's disclaimer: don't try this at home!




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  • With the iPad Mini expected to launch soon, the question is not will people want it, but how much will they pay

     


    It won't be a few weeks until Apple actually holds its iPad Mini event. But the October 23 date can't come quick enough for some who are already speculating about all the details Apple is expected to reveal later this month.


    One of the big revelations we're all waiting for regarding the new mini tablet is how much it will cost. And today rumors that sound at least possible (if not probable) began to circulate about the iPad Mini's price.


    One of the leaks, first reported by German blog Schimanke, reportedly comes from the inventory of Media Market, a European electronics retailer, and sets the iPad Mini's starting price at around €249 (about $322 U.S.) That includes the Value-Added Tax that applies in Europe or on European goods sold in North America.


    German blog Schimanke leaked the reported price of the new iPad Mini: starting at €249

     


    Meanwhile, TechCrunch, which reported on the Schimanke leak, has had the good sense to ask whether this estimate is even remotely possible.


    After having looked into the newest iPad's bill of materials (BOM) cost – which essentially summarizes the total cost of each of the tablet's major components – TechCrunch found that Schimanke's estimate is, in fact, within the realm of possibility.


    The Bill of Materials cost for the newest iPad

     


    Factoring in "Apple’s famed commitment to high profit margins," TechCrunch writes that "the iPad Mini reportedly starts at $316.05 for BOM and manufacturing cost per unit, and is sold for $499, giving a rough margin of $182.95."


    As for the the top of the line devices, "the margin jumps considerably, with the $829 64GB Wi-Fi+LTE iPad apparently carrying a manufacturing cost of $408.70, parts included, for a difference of $420.30."


    We won't really know for sure until Apple officially announces the new device's cost, as it's expected to do at the October 23 event, but it seems likely that it'll be in the neighborhood that the rumors so far have described.




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  • Ashton Kutcher snaps a self-portrait on his new iPhone 5

     


    Not so long ago, when celebrities made an appearance on the red carpet, the talk was of the gorgeous date they had on their arm. But of late, the talk's more likely to be about the new gadget they've got in their hand.


    These days, smartphones are celebrities in their own right. And even in paparazzi shots of famous actors and musicians, they often steal the spotlight. So, which devices have the biggest claim to fame, and what A-listers are using them these days?


    Pure Mobile took a dive into the glitz, the glamor, and the hardware and found out which smartphones stole the lead roles and which have been given bit parts.


    Jessica Alba at the nail salon on her iPhone 4S

     


    BlackBerry and iPhone – in all its incarnations – seem to be the top celeb cellphone choices.


    Apple not only claims a VIP user-base including Jessica Alba, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Justin Bieber and many more, it's also among the leaders in smartphone market share period. And it just stands to reason that, if millions of ordinary people are dying for the iPhone 5, celebrities might want one too.


    Sure enough, Ashton Kutcher already using one. And Brad Pitt brought his out at Cannes to snap pictures of the event. We can only wonder when pal George Clooney will upgrade from his iPhone 4 so as not to be outdone.


    George Clooney at the airport with his iPhone 4 (he's probably upgraded since)

     


    Brad Pitt snapping pictures at Cannes on his iPhone 5

     


    But while Apple's iPhone is a smash hit outside of Hollywood, BlackBerry maker RIM has been steadily slowing its user growth. Still, that doesn't seem to have affected its popularity amongst actors, celebutantes and other popular figures.


    Not content with using just an iPhone, Kim Kardashian uses a BlackBerry as well, and sometimes uses both at once. Geez, we didn't know she was even able to formulate two thoughts at the same time!


    Equal opportunity texter Kim Kardashian simultaneously uses an iPhone and a Blackberry

     


    Eva Longoria does a walk and talk on her BlackBerry

     


    Eva Longoria also loves her BlackBerry, as do Snoop Dogg (err, Lion), Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake – all three like to Tweet from a BlackBerrys. So, even though BlackBerry has lost some of its regular audience to Apple and Samsung, it's still one of the top two in Tinseltown.


    Victoria's Secret models promote the Samsung Galaxy Note in Toronto

     


    It's pretty much the opposite case with Samsung. Though the smartphone maker is perhaps Apple's biggest rival these days, the few results we got when searching for celebrities with Samsung devices – like the Galaxy Note or Galaxy S III – were actually from events held or promoted by Samsung.


    Sure Ashley Simpson has been spotted with one, but when's the last time anyone even cared she existed? And the Victoria's Secret models shown with the Galaxy Note (above) were actually hired to promote the device.


    Guess whose famous hands are holding this BlackBerry

     


    But who can claim the most famous user? Sure, the word "famous" is subjective, but most would agree that a figure who's known by nearly everyone in nearly every country, has influence on the world stage, and who is important enough to interrupt any T.V. show on any channel whenever he feels like addressing the press would be top choice.


    Yep, we're talking about the President. BlackBerry has scored possibly the most illustrious user a smartphone maker could ever hope for with Barack Obama.


    But it isn't just that President Obama uses a BlackBerry, he absolutely loves it! He's been described as a BlackBerry addict, and actually fought for the right to keep his "CrackBerry" once in office.


    Yes, president Obama has been described as a BlackBerry addict

     


    "They’re going to pry it out of my hands," the New York Times cited him as saying around the time that aides were trying to take it away. He's since been allowed to keep his beloved smartphone, though it had to go through White House encryption standards.


    Also, there's little chance that the President could ever be wooed by Apple. The Washington Times reported that, when handed an iPhone by an aide on the campaign trail last month, he looked "befuddled."


    Obama seemed unused to the device, saying "Oh, I got to dial it in. Hold on, hold on. I can do this. See, I still have a BlackBerry."




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  • Whether by accident or not, Apple seems to time its events to overshadow those of its competitors.

     


    Here's the thing with Apple. Rumors surface, and create a little buzz, until one of its competitors announces news of their own, and the Apple rumor dies. And then wham! Apple comes out and makes the revelation everyone thought they would, trumping all the interest in whatever it was their competitor has just announced.


    Pure Mobile reported yesterday that Samsung has sent out invitations for a special Galaxy Note II event in New York City scheduled for October 24. It's the kickoff to the the new device's world tour, and was likely to get the lion's share of tech reporting and headline space. Until...


    Well, it turns out that the Galaxy Note II will have to share the spotlight, since Apple's just announced it will be holding an event for the iPad Mini – get this – October 23.


    Likely to be unveiled October 23, Apple's iPad Mini is expected to be slightly smaller and slightly cheaper than its predecesor

     


    When we initially reported on rumors of an iPad Mini event, we cited Forbes (among others) who said to expect invitations to start rolling out on the October 10. That makes us only a couple of days behind schedule.


    The New York Times' AllThingsD reports that Apple is likely to officially unveil the new iPad Mini at the event. That's just one day ahead of Samsung's event, and only three days ahead of Microsoft's plans to launch Windows 8. Seems, like Apple is well timed, indeed.


    Apple promised earlier this year that 2012 would give Apple fans "a lot to look forward to"

     


    Meanwhile, says the Wall Street Journal, we can expect more than just a display of the smaller next generation iPad October 23:


    "Traditionally, when Apple unveils its new devices, it offers two things that competitors sometime do not: a specific date for when the device will be available and a specific price."


    But we're already guessing that the new tablet will be cheaper than the full-sized iPad and we'd be willing to stake a fortune on an iPad Mini launch safely before Christmas.




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  •  


    We at Pure Mobile do love a good mobile device event, and Samsung has promised us yet another one.


    In addition to the rumors of an upcoming Galaxy S III Mini event in Germany (which we reported on last week), Samsung has confirmed an October 24 event in New York City as the first US stop on the Galaxy Note II's World Tour.


    This Samsung "Save the Date" teased with a pic of a stylus but no mention of the Galaxy Note II

     


    Late last month, Samsung was already teasing the affair, with a "Save the Date" card showing a stylus pen and the tagline "The Next Big Thing Is Here." However, the next generation Galaxy Note "phablet" was never shown. But the official invitations, which started rolling out yesterday, do show and name the device, removing all previous doubts.


    The official press invite confirms the Galaxy Note II as the focus of the October 24 event in New York

     


    Still, this is likely to be the beginning rather than the end of all speculation about the new combination phone and tablet. It doesn't mark the release of the new Galaxy Note II, and it won't be the first time the device has been seen.


    So what can we expect to learn about the latest smartphone in Samsung's Galaxy lineup?


    Well, for one, we may finally get some sort of confirmation on the Galaxy Note II's American release date. And hopefully, Samsung will be giving us some notion of its price, too.




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  • Leaked pictures of what appears to be an LG-made future Nexus device surfaced this week

     


    They usually stand for "life's good," but this week, LG's trademark letters stood for something else entirely – "leaks guaranteed."


    If you're building a new smartphone, as LG appears to be, you can pretty much assume someone's going to get a picture of it, and that before too long, the whole of the internet is going to see it.


    All that glitters is not yet to be sold: the sparkly backing of the new LG E960

     


    The leak in question this time is what appears to be an LG-made Nexus device. Judging by the leaked photos, which appeared in the XDA-Developers forum, Engaget says the LG E960 "appears to be a variant of the Optimus G – until you realize that it's using software navigation keys, doesn't quite resemble the international or AT&T Optimus G models and is oddly badged as the 'Full JellyBean on Mako.'"


    The "next Nexus," LG's E960, is shown running on Android 4.1.2

     


    Both Engaget and Mobile Syrup are hailing the new Android-powered LG smartphone as the future Nexus device, with the latter noting the similarities between the E960 and the LG Optimus G.


    It's apparently got the same "rather boxy design, a 1280×768 4.7-inch IPS screen, a 1.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and that awesome-sounding 13MP camera," says Mobile Syrup.


    The device also bears some resemblance to Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, though the E960's corners seem more rounded than those of of the LG Optimus G, and it's backing is flatter, with a sleeker design than that of the Galaxy Nexus.


    A shot of the new LG device, minus the spyproof backing

     


    Meanwhile, says Mobile Syrup, the fact that the E960 has recently passed through FCC  certification "showing off PCS and AWS bands for HSPA+ and AWS bands for LTE," hints that the new smartphone is likely to be available on a number of networks, potentially making it "one of the most multi-faceted unlocked phones on the market."


    Based on the assumption that LG is in fact producing the next Nexus device – which it probably is – there's talk that the LG E960 may be ready by early November.




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  • This week, Verizon customers fell victim to an iPhone 5 bug that sucked data like a vampire

     


    Just in time for Halloween, Verizon has unleashed a horrible and terrifying monster: it's the fabled iPhone 5 data vampire, and for Verizon subscribers lucky (or unlucky?) enough to have Apple's latest smartphone, it's causing huge overages.


    "I have had an iPhone on AT&T since launch. I never went over a gig in any month," wrote one such user in the Mac Rumors forum. "I have used half a gig [on the iPhone 5] in 2 days with Verizon! Worse, it uses LTE while I am at home with a rock solid Wi-Fi connection. If I turn cellular off altogether I can still see, for example, a YouTube video. But if I leave it on, while still connected with wifi, it sucks data like a vampire. WTF??? And, all day, it leaks data even with no apps running!"


    The bug has been a common one for Verizon subscribers using the iPhone 5, causing most of them to go through insane amounts of data in a really short period of time.


    Fortunately, there is a way to slay this monter, but it's not with a wooden stake. Instead, Apple has offered a patch available directly on the iPhone 5 that should fix the issue quickly and without too much hassle.


    To install it, go to Settings > General > About, and wait for the following message and follow the instructions.


    Apple swiftly offered an update for Verizon subscribers on the iPhone 5

     


    "Basically, turn your phone off and on again," says Gizmodo. "After doing that, you should check to make sure the carrier software has been changed to Verizon 13.1."


    Aside from the fact that your iPhone should stop sucking data like Dracula at the blood bank, there's also another piece of good news. Verizon issued a statement clarifying that they're aware of the bug and won't be charging subscribers for the overages it has caused:


    "Under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Apple has a fix that is being delivered to Verizon customers right on their iPhone 5. Verizon Wireless customers will not be charged for any unwarranted cellular data usage."


    So you can sleep soundly tonight after all.



    This post was posted in Apple, General, News and PR and was tagged with Fix, Update, Patch, Data usage, vampire, sucks data, Bug, Data, Wi-Fi, Verizon, iphone 5, Cell Phone, iPhone, Apple

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  • Opower compares the energy used to charge an iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III for an entire year. Image courtesy of Mashable.

     


    If you're a smartphone owner, you're already familiar with the ritual if charging up your device one or more times a day. And the question of how much power you're actually sucking when you do so has probably crossed your mind. It's got to be quite a bit, right?


    But a new study from Opower – which Mashable has provided some nice graphics for – may put your mind at ease concerning your electricity bill and your carbon footprint.


    The report found that the power used to charge a smartphone throughout an entire year is negligible. According to Opower, it takes just 3.5 kilowatt hours per year (an annual energy cost of about $0.41) to charge up an iPhone 5 from 0% to full, year-round. That's pretty cheap.


    The rates were pretty close for the Samsung Galaxy S III, which costs roughly $0.53 a year to charge. Opower says the slight discrepancy is probably due to the fact that the Galaxy's battery is larger.


    But, though the impact of charging an individual smartphone is pretty small, Opower reminds us that, collectively, they do eat up a lot of power:


    "This year alone, Apple expects to sell 170 million iPhone 5s. Those 170 million smartphones will draw enough electricity to power all of the homes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a year."


    Still, Opower predicts that smartphones may help reduce energy consumption over all, since they're now being used in many cases as substitutes for bulkier, more power-hungry devices, like desktop computers and TVs.


    Smartphones and tablets, like the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, Galaxy S III, and iPad, use much less power than many other consumer devices. Graphic courtesy of Mashable.

     


    For instance, says Opower, "An iPhone 5 requires 20 times less energy to operate than a typical laptop – and 100 times less energy than a typical 42-inch plasma TV."


    “Put simply, says Opower analyst Barry Fischer, "a day spent web-surfing and Facebooking on a smartphone or tablet is a much more energy-efficient day than doing the same on a computer [...] the rise of smartphones, like the iPhone 5, is likely to save energy in American homes as it diverts our time from using far less efficient consumer electronic devices.”


    This graphic from Mashable compares the energy used for other consumer electronics relative to the iPhone 5


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  • The bright and colorful Nokia Lumia 920 line is coming in November, but only to AT&T

     


    It's big, it's bright, it's beautiful, and it's coming in November – but only to AT&T?


    Nokia recently unveiled the Lumia 920 at a press event in New York last month. But as TechCrunch and many others reported today, the company just announced that its flagship Windows Phone 8 device would be coming exclusively to AT&T in November, along with the Lumia 820.


    TechCrunch seems to have anticipated this news, brushing it aside to focus instead on how great they think Nokia's new smartphone is:


    "The Lumia 920 has just about everything you could ask for in a smartphone, with a 4.5-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, a relatively large 2,000mAh battery, and of course, the heady combination of Windows Phone 8 and Pureview imaging."


    But others, like Gizmodo, are taking issue with the Nokia's recent deal with AT&T, calling the exclusive "dumb" and citing 5 reasons why.


    According to Gizmodo, the deal is going to hurt Windows Phone 8, and that "the premier Windows Phone device of the year [...] should be made available to as many U.S. shoppers as possible."


    Captain Picard facepalms at Nokia's decision to give AT&T an exclusive

     


    Meanwhile, says Gizmodo, carrier exclusives in general almost never work, and that, in particular, the exclusive Nokia gave to AT&T for the Lumia 900 didn't work either. The argument here is that users don't change carriers just for a new smartphone.


    Another reason why Gizmodo is facepalming over the whole deal? They say that the Lumia 920's Qi wireless charging capabilities should be a major selling point, but that it's being downplayed by the fact that their device with Qi won't be widely available.


    What do you think? Is an AT&T exclusive on the Lumia 920 a good idea? Leave your opinion in the comments section.




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  • Samsung has already patched the dirty USSD code that threatened Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III

     


    As far as sheer volume of interest goes, Samsung outdid Apple this week, with more stories flying around about the Galaxy S III than about the iPhone 5.


    Top of the list was security. According to most of the top tech sites, Galaxy S III owners might have had a bit of a scare this week. That is, if Samsung hadn't already dealt with the problem before anyone even knew it existed.


    Apparently, says Mashable, a vulnerability was discovered in Samsung's Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) that "potentially allowed attackers to remotely wipe the contents of Galaxy S II and III devices," essentially restoring them to factory settings.


    This video, of Technical University Berlin researcher Ravi Borgaonkar at a security conference in Argentina, shows how it's done.



    Thankfully, Samsung's already come out with a patch, and the company issued a statement to Engadget urging users to update:


    “We would like to assure our customers that the recent security issue concerning the GALAXY S III has already been resolved through a software update. We recommend all GALAXY S III customers to download the latest software update, which can be done quickly and easily via the Over-The-Air (OTA) service.”


    So, now that your smartphone is safe and sound, how about encrusting it with crystals? If you're nodding your head in agreement, and if you have upwards of £2099 (about $3370 U.S.) to spare, maybe consider upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S III Swarovski Edition?


    This crystal-encrusted "Swarovski Edition" Galaxy S III may cost you upward of $3370, but at least the case is free

     


    The device, available from Amosu Couture, is set with 500 Swarovski crystals around the bezel, plus an extra 16 around the home button. Sort of pricey and all, but you do get a free calf leather case.


    Now for the really juicy stuff. Hot on the heels of all the rumors surrounding an iPad Mini launch, Samsung's brewing its own big news about something small.


    This leaked German invite to a rumored Samsung Galaxy S III Mini launch reads: "So big can be small. And so small can be big."

     


    According to TechCrunch, which cited "a recently released press invitation," Samsung may be unveiling a smaller scale version of the Galaxy S III (the Mini) at a store in Frankfurt, Germany. The invite, written in German and loosely translated as "So big can be small. And so small can be big," is so far the only proof of such an event.


    But it's already got Samsung fans more than a little excited, if you'll excuse the pun.




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