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Moshi for iPad
  • By: Aldo Panessidi


    The latest Apple buzz indicates that the next-generation iPhone will feature an upgraded high-definition 3.95-inch Retina display. Apparently Apple is still testing several new iPhone models, but at least one of the samples includes an upgraded 640 x 1,136-pixel Retina display that measures 3.95 inches diagonally. The current iPhone 4S has a 960x640 resolution and 3.5-inch screen.


    Apple’s new iPhone rumored to have 3.95-inch Retina display


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    With an aspect ratio of close to 16:9, the new Retina display is said to be the same width as the current model only taller. Apple is apparently considering adding a fifth row of icons to the home screen in a version of iOS 6.  This would probably be exclusive to the new iPhone since it will be the only one with a larger display.


    This news contradicts last week’s reports from both The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, which stated that Apple had already placed orders for the new iPhone model with its new display panel suppliers. Panel orders could not yet have been placed if Apple is still testing display sizes.


    Apple’s new iPhone rumored to have 3.95-inch Retina display


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    The next-generation iPhone is scheduled to launch this fall with changes that include a new antenna system and an aluminum case.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Apple has taken over Google’s number one spot as the world’s most valuable brand. According to a study carried out by global brands agency Millward Brown, Apple topped the list of the 100 most valuable brands with an astounding 84% increase in value in just the last year.


    Apple beats Google as the world’s most valuable brand


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    Millward Brown calculates that the Apple brand has increased in value by 859% since 2006 and now stands at $153.3 billion. Apple's portfolio of coveted consumer goods rocketed it past Microsoft to become the world's most valuable technology company in 2010.


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    In the past year, Apple has boosted its brand value by 19% to $183 billion. Google occupies second place. IBM is third.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    What a difference a year makes: smartphone users dominate the market


    According to a report released by Nielsen, this is the first time that more than half of all mobile customers in the U.S. own a smartphone. That's up a whopping 38% from a year ago.


    With Android and iOS accounting for more than 80% of the U.S. market, smartphones are changing the way people use their handsets. Smartphone users are spending 39 minutes per day using their apps, up 10% from a year ago. The number of apps downloaded to Apple iPhone and Google Android devices grew 28% over the past year to an average of 41 apps per phone.


    What a difference a year makes: smartphone users dominate the market


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    A Google study also released Wednesday found that 26% of U.S. smartphone owners would rather give up their computer than their smartphone -- a sign that smartphones are truly becoming mini-PCs.


    Despite the increase of apps, smartphone owners spend roughly the same amount of time using them each day:  37 minutes in 2011, compared to 39 minute in 2012.


    Facebook, YouTube, Android market (now Google Play Store), Google Search and Gmail remain the top five most-used apps, according to Nielsen. That isn't particularly surprising, since all of those apps except for Facebook are pre-loaded onto most Android devices.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    After years of eating away at Microsoft’s Internet Explorer market share, Google Chrome took what looks to be a sustainable lead as the most popular Web browser in the world. According to the latest figures from StatCounter, Chrome has a 32.76% of the market versus 31.94% for Internet Explorer and surpasses Internet Explorer in the global numbers for the first time.


    Google Chrome unseats Internet Explorer from the most popular browser spot


    More and more cell phone and tablet users are turning the performance rich chrome as their browser of choice on their devices.


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    Google Chrome unseats Internet Explorer from the most popular browser spotJust a year ago, Internet Explorer was leading the Web browser market share with 43%, followed by Mozilla Firefox with 29%. Chrome came in a distant third with 19%. Twelve months later, IE is down 12% while Chrome gained 13% (due to both IE and Firefox losses). Firefox also lost about 4% of its users and now has just over 25% market share.


    "Whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen, however the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable. At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE," added Aodhan Cullen, commenting on the weekend surges in Chrome usage.


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    Google Chrome was introduced in 2008 and has steadily gained market share in the past four years. Until now, Google’s browser has never been able to dethrone Microsoft in global usage share.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    It looks like Apple’s next iPhone will have a 4-inch display. The Wall Street Journal  has confirmed a number of earlier reports about the new  iPhone’s screen size, and as further confirmation that this is the final word, the paper also reported that the panel orders for the 4-inch screen have been placed with Apple’s suppliers- LG Display, Sharp and Japan Display.


    Apple’s new iPhone and its 4-inch display


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    Rumors on the new Apple’s screen size have been bouncing back and forth for awhile. One minute we hear a 3.5-inch prediction and the next it’s back to the 4.0-inch guess. It looks like the smart money was on a 4-inch screen. Remaining at the 3.5-inch size would have kept the iPhone essentially at the same screen dimensions as the iPhone 4’s that launched way back in 2010.


    Apple's decision to go with the larger screen is, in part, a competitive response to Samsung’s next Galaxy smartphone model that has a 4.8-inch touch-screen. Samsung became the world's largest cell phone maker this year, and sold 45 million smartphones in the first quarter. Sales of the Galaxy phones outstripped the iPhone.


    Apple’s new iPhone and its 4-inch display


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    Some would say that it’s about time Apple increased the iPhone’s screen size. People want larger screens. We are getting used to using smartphones for things we once did on laptops - watch videos, create documents, and read maps. Other smartphone manufacturers have been moving towards bigger displays for quite some time.


    According to Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee, “a shakeup in the design of a larger-screen iPhone could go a long way in boosting its ‘wow’ factor, convincing fans to trade in their old iPhones for new ones. Not only do users pay for features, but they also pay for aesthetics and design. That's as important, or more important, than features. People love the current design -- but it's 18 months old."




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Google jumped its final hurdle in its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility with China approving the deal. The next step may involve layoffs for Motorola Mobility employees in the near future. According to Tech Crunch, layoffs could be on the list of things to do after the deal closes.


    What else will happen to Motorola  Now that they’re owned by Google?


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    Motorola went through one restructuring after the announcement of the Google acquisition last year. When the announcement went public, Motorola had 19,000 employees. Later that year about 800 employees were laid off.  Neither Google nor Motorola have confirmed the possibility of upcoming layoffs.


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    "I'm excited to announce today that our Motorola Mobility deal has closed," said Larry Page, Google CEO. "Motorola is a great American tech company that has driven the mobile revolution, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation, including the creation of the first cell phone. We all remember Motorola's StarTAC, which at the time seemed tiny and showed the real potential of these devices. As the company who made a big, early bet on Android, Motorola has become an incredibly valuable partner to Google."


    While the news of any layoffs under any circumstances is bad news, maybe Google can turn the phone- maker around. Motorola has been in trouble for awhile now. Earlier this month, the company reported a fifth straight quarter of losses including a net loss of $86 million for the first quarter of 2012. In previous consecutive quarters, Motorola reported net losses in the low $80 million area. Motorola hasn’t been able to figure out how to compete with other Android device manufacturers like Samsung and HTC.


    Google also announced today that Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha has stepped down and Google executive Dennis Woodside will take over.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    While RIM wrestles with marrying its BlackBerry Playbook with Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS, one Dutch developer (named “Gamer109X”) decided to find out if a third option would work. He installed Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS onto RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.


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    Surprisingly, the result is a tablet that seems pretty responsive. For those curious to know what a Windows Phone tablet might look like, watch  the following  video of the developer’s PlayBook running Microsoft’s Window Phone OS. Gamer109X said he plans to release his own Windows Phone build for the PlayBook to the public in the coming months.



     


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    If you believe Microsoft’s last position on the tablets, they have no interest in bringing Windows Phone to tablets. That position might be irrelevant once Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform is released. If you think about it, there is no reason to put Windows Phone on a tablet, but Windows 8...




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    One of the biggest problems users have with choosing an Android phone over another platform is figuring out which OS is going to give the best performance with which type of phone. A number of companies, including OpenSignalMaps, have been trying to quantify the problem by analyzing the amount of fragmentation in the market.


    Android Fragmentation Issues Can you name the 4,000 devices that run on Android?


    Using data from 681,900 devices that downloaded OpenSignalMaps software over the past six months, they found 3,997 distinct Android devices running its app. This is a great chart showing the spread:


    Each rectangle represents a unique Android device. The big green rectangle in the upper left is the Samsung Galaxy S II - by far the most popular Android   phone in the study.


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    This shows an incredible number of Android version/display resolution combinations. Analysts at OpenSignalMaps predict that number will continue to grow.  Their report states:  “Android has shown commitment to make it easier to target multiple screen sizes – by introducing the (perhaps ironically named) fragments APIs in 2011 which makes it easier to turn view elements into modules.”


    OpenSignalMaps also took a look at the version of Android each device was running:


    Android Fragmentation Issues Can you name the 4,000 devices that run on Android?


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    More than half of all Android phones are still running version 2.3 Gingerbread, and Gingerbread is all of 18 months old. The newest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, barely shows on the chart.


    Since Google’s Android is free and open for use by any hardware manufacturer, there are thousands of different devices running the OS. “Android fragmentation” is the term given to the spread of different versions of the Android OS across all devices.


    So what does this mean? It’s a really good situation if you want more choice in your hardware. But it's really bad if you want timely software updates or a guarantee the latest and greatest apps will work on your device.


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    The OpenSignalMaps report concluded that the benefits of building apps for Android far outweigh the drawbacks. ”One of the joys of developing for Android is you have no idea who’ll end up using your app. With many devices under $100 unsubsidized, Android phones and tablets are able to reach a market that can’t afford netbooks. For the majority of the world’s population smartphones (and not computers) will be the must-have devices.”


    In case you were wondering where Apple fits in, they don’t have this problem. iOS only runs on one phone, the iPhone, and the latest version still supports the three-year-old iPhone 3GS. Microsoft is following the Apple model somewhat. They require Windows Phone manufacturers meet strict requirements to guarantee that updates go through to all devices in a timely fashion.


    Developer Michael DeGusta created the visualization of what he called Android’s fragmented update history. He wrote, “Ever since the iPhone turned every smartphone into a blank slate, the value of a phone is largely derived from the software it can run and how well the phone can run it. When you’re making a 2 year commitment to a device, it’d be nice to have some way to tell if the software was going to be remotely current in a year or, heck, even a month.”




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Back in January of this year, market research firm Deloitte estimated that 2012 will see entry-level smartphones become more popular with the number of sub-$100 smartphones in use globally will surpass 500 million this year, and by the end of 2012 there will be 200 million NFC-equipped devices in the hands of consumers.  Moreover, it also maintained that it sees apps continuing to play a huge role in the mobile market, with the number of available apps set to top 2 million later this year.


    Almost three-quarters of consumers spend nothing on apps


    More recently, a survey conducted by ABI Research reported that more than 70% of app users spend little to nothing on apps, while the highest 3% of all spenders account for nearly 20% of the total amount spent.


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    While nearly two-thirds of consumers in the United States have spent money on mobile applications on at least one occasion, the total amount being spent isn’t much.  ABI senior analyst Aapo Markkanen stated, “The median amount among the consumers who spend money on apps is much lower than the average, just $7.50 per month. This reflects the disproportionate role of big spenders as a revenue source.”


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    ABI also found that the most successful money-making apps are utility apps used for business purposes and iOS games that utilize in-app purchases. In each case, purchases are made by a very small number of customers.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    It looks like Apple is making some adjustments to its current product inventories in preparation for the upcoming launch of the 6thgeneration iPhone.


    Apple adjusting iPhone inventory in preparation  For new product launch
    According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu in a note to investors, Apple has reduced iPhone orders by between 20% to 25% from the 35.1 million units the company shipped in the first quarter of this year. Wu now expects shipments of between 26 million and 28 million. With the estimated 8.6 million iPhones already in the pipeline, Apple will have an iPhone supply of between four and six weeks in inventory.


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    According to Wu, “From our understanding, the reason for the reduction is not demand related but rather due to the upcoming 6th generation iPhone refresh likely in the September-October timeframe. It appears that APPLE is opting to be conservative with its suppliers to factor in a potential 2-quarter pause ahead of the refresh and also to manage inventory. We believe this helps explain why its June quarter guidance was somewhat more conservative.”


    Apple adjusting iPhone inventory in preparation  For new product launch


    Wu also explained developments on the iPad front. He reported that Apple is finally increasing their new iPad build plans. Shipments of the device were previously held back due to the supply of its new Retina Display, and the situation has been “greatly improved with an additional supplier.” Wu believes that this will help Apple to better meet strong demand for its iPad3.


    Enhance your mobility and turn your device into a power tool!  Discover select accessories such as; stylus & pens, micro SD memory cards, batteries, docking stations, Bluetooth headsets, data cables and XMI Speakers  all specifically designed to make your devices functionally efficient and performance rich.


    For the June quarter, Wu reduced his iPhone forecast from 28 million units to 27 million, and raised iPad shipment expectations from 14 million to 15 million units. Due to improved iPad profitability, Wu increased his gross margin assumption from 42.5% to 43.5% and forecasted $36.1 billion in revenue and $10.16 in EPS. He’s keeping his Buy rating on shares of Apple stock, as well as his $780 price target.




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