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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Moshi for iPad
  • How we all benefit from Apple's new iPhone
    Posted on September 11, 2012 by kduggan


    If you buy an Apple iPhone 5 you’ll be something very good for the U.S. economy. The chief economist at J.P. Morgan, Michael Feroli, estimates that sales of the new iPhone could possibly add from 1/4 to 1/2 percent to the annualized growth rate of U.S. gross domestic product in the last quarter of the year. Since the nation’s total GDP is only expected to grow 2% in the last quarter, the iPhone 5 alone could make up 25% of the entire country’s economic growth!


    A Feroli put it in financial geek-speak, “Calculated using the so-called retail control method, sales of iPhone 5 could boost annualized GDP growth by $3.2 billion, or $12.8 billion at an annual rate.”


    Analysts at J.P. Morgan predict that Apple will sell 8 million iPhone 5s this year, each with an expected retail price of around $600. Add in a couple of adjustments to account for the fact that most of us up our carrier contracts rather than pay full retail, and the price of each phone still puts $400 into the economy.


    Feroli added that his estimate for annualized growth should be taken with a grain of salt, as it “seems fairly large,” but he points out that the iPhone 4S launch a year ago significantly increased retail sales that month. Both online sales and computer sales had their largest monthly increase on record.


    Remember this when you’re handing over a few hundred bucks for your new iPhone. You’re making a contribution to putting the U.S. back on the road to prosperity.


    Apple’s press event, where they are expected to tell all on the new iPhone, is scheduled for Wednesday Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET).



    This post was posted in Apple, New Releases and was tagged with iPhone 5 sales, iPhone GDP, Apple new iPhone, Apple iphone 5

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  • During last weekend’s Disrupt SF Hackathon events, 147 teams had 24 hours to design, build, test and present their products to judges. Only three teams had the chance to demo their projects in front of the crowd. The first place team was awarded a $5,000 grand prize.


    Techcrunch, the sponsor of the event, invited hardware hackers to “Build toys, robots, Arduino cases, or whatever you want and enter the Disrupt Hackathon as an inaugural hardware hacker. We dare you.” 400 hackers took TechCrunch up on their challenge.


    While the Sirious Margarita Maker “a highly complex system that allows you to tell Siri to make you a margarita, and the Memstash app “that helps you memorize anything” gave the winners a run for their money, three other teams beat them and everyone else out of the top prize.


    First Prize: Livebolt


    Livebolt is a cloud-based identity management system. It consists of a metal block that slides on the back of a physical lock. The block responds to an order from an iPhone app. Once a user passes authentication, the iPhone app can authorize the metal block to lock or unlock the user's door.


    Runner-up #1: Autopus


    Autopus is an app that lets sellers on sites like Craigslist to conduct auctions on their own listings. As bids are placed on their stuff, sellers gets notified and can monitor activity in almost real-time.


    Runner-up #2: HeatData


    HeatData provides a way to track the gestures of mobile website users. Knowing how users interact with pages helps vendors determine how to improve the design and UI for their mobile app.


    Many of the other teams didn’t go home empty handed. Sponsors like AT&T, Evernote, dotCloud, Ford, Locu, Microsoft Bizspark, Dropbox, New Relic, Pearson, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Qualcomm Labs, SAP HANA, SkyDrive, TokBox, Twilio, and Zypr all awarded prizes to the teams that made the best use of their services.


    TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the most anticipated technology conferences of the year, and it's underway this week through Wednesday.


    Hold onto your smartphones, tablets and any other device with a broadband connection. There's a lot of innovation going on out there.




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  • Flipboard's new motivation
    Posted on September 7, 2012 by kduggan


    There’s no doubt that Flipboard, the iPad app that displays content from Facebook (FB), Twitter, magazines, and newspapers in a consolidated interface, made a huge splash two years ago. Its design became a techie and fan favorite. For one thing, just like reading a magazine, you could turn pages with the swipe of a finger. Apple named it the best iPad app of 2010. As of July, 20 million users had signed up.


    Now comes the next hurdle for the company. Just like Facebook, Flipboard cannot live on investor funds alone. It has to figure out how to make money through advertising. Co-founder and CEO Mike McCue has been pitching to major brands that ads on Flipboard generate more revenue for advertisers than the tired old banner ads on websites and mobile apps. Flipboard’s design requires readers to engage with an ad as they swipe to turn pages. McCue’s position is that people are ignoring the ads running down the right panel on a website. A Flipboard ad is more like a full-page print ad. In order to get to a magazine's stories, you have to flip through the pages.


    Flipboard is targeting their efforts on magazines like Vogue and Elle whose readers prefer the glossy, full-screen ads typical of those magazines. To encourage companies to advertise through Flipboard and get in front of the readers of these publications, ads of similar quality to those in the print versions are showing up in the Flipboard portfolio. Ads from companies like Verizon, Levi’s, and Universal Pictures are appearing within articles of publications like Vanity Fair and tech websites like Engadget and GigaOM. “They have figured out a way to make print ads look beautiful in a digital environment,” says Alan Cohen, OMD USA’s CEO.


    What do you think? Is Flipboard on the right track with their advertising strategy? The bottom line is whether the print ad format will cause people to buy their advertisers’ products. Would these kinds of ads make you want to go out and spend money any more than a banner ad would? Let us know!



    This post was posted in Apple, General and was tagged with Mike McCue, Flipboard advertising, Flipboard

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  • Now we know a few more details about Nokia’s new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 phones. The big unveiling took place yesterday in New York City, and what we saw was pretty impressive.


    The Lumia makes a big splash with its accessories. It seems that Nokia is determined to pioneer the cause of the wireless charging station.


    The Lumia 920 and 820 both incorporate Qi (pronounced “chee”) tech for wireless charging (an option with the Lumia 820.) Rather than connecting to a dock, all that’s needed to charge one of the phones is to place it on top of a (plugged in) pad. We’d already heard rumor about the design of the wireless charging pad, and what Nokia unveiled was actually three different styles.


    The basic dock that looks like the same type of design as the phone case. It’s streamlined and shiny, and comes in a few bright color choices – red, blue, white, black and yellow.


    The Fatboy Recharge Pillow is a puffy base that looks like a pillow. Its length and width extend at least one inch beyond the edges of the phone when it’s centered on the Pillow. The color choices are the same bright hues as those for the basic dock.


    The JBL PowerUp Charging Speaker is definitely the star of the group. The charging stand includes an NFC chip that will trigger an app launch when you place it in the dock. Just put the smartphone on the stand where it will charge and automatically open your music player or alarm clock. The stand is equipped with high-quality audio speakers and a retro style. Its color choices are black, gray and blue.


    In addition, Nokia said it has made deals with Virgin Atlantic and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to have charging stations in various public locations. Eventually, Nokia wants to see charging stations in public places all over the world.


    Nokia is part of the Wireless Power Consortium. One of the Consortium’s goals is to build a true wireless-charging network with open standards. Qi is part of that design ethic. If your device is equipped for Qi wireless, you'll be able to charge it on any charging base that uses the Qi wireless charging standard.


    No word on pricing or launch date for either phone.




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  • What to expect from Apple's new iPhone
    Posted on September 5, 2012 by kduggan


    Name: You can almost bet the farm that the new name will be iPhone 5. The only other contender would be the “New iPhone”, following in the tradition of the “New iPad.”


    Design: A slimmer, longer, but not as wide, case. A two-toned color scheme. Possibly a metal back like the original iPhone.


    Screen: A four-inch screen with a different aspect ratio than the 4S. A 640x1,136-pixel-resolution screen would allow an extra row of icons on the home screen. This would provide apps with extra screen space above the virtual keyboard, and a better fix for HD videos in landscape mode.


    Dock connector:  A completely new 8-pin connector that will take up less space than the old 30-pin that’s been in use forever. The downside of losing that 30-pin dust collector - the old accessories and cables will be obsolete. Let’s hope Apple provides an adapter.


    Connectivity: 4G LTE has got to be a certainty. Apple did it for the New iPad, and lack of 4G LTE wireless has been a big beef of even the most loyal Apple fans.


    Processor: A couple of alternatives here. A quad-core A6 processor be a more advanced CPU than what's in the third-gen iPad’s A5X processor (with a dual-core CPU and quad-core graphics). The new iPhone might possibly have a smaller A5X processor with the same power but more compact design.


    iOS 6: Many older Apple devices will get the iOS 6 upgrade, but Apple has also indicated that a few features like the new Maps app’s turn-by-turn navigation will only be available on the latest iPhone and iPad models.


    What the iPhone 5 probably won’t have:


    • NFC might not be possible with the slimness of the case
    • Expect only minor camera upgrades. Apple has made significant camera improvements in the last three iPhone models. Look for smaller tweaks like multiburst or a better flash.

    Other rumors have the iPad Mini or new iPods making their debuts alongside the iPhone 5. Don’t bet on it.  Apple will want to get as much mileage out of the buzz with multiple new product announcements. The latest talk on the street has an iPhone launch in September, and an iPad Mini launch in October.




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  • A couple of weeks ago a jury agreed with Apple in their latest lawsuit against Samsung, awarding Apple over $1 billion supporting its claim that Samsung infringed on their patents in the design of eight Samsung mobile phones and one tablet. But, there is method to Apple’s madness, and it isn’t putting Samsung out of business.


    What this verdict does give Apple is the upper hand in “negotiations” that are being conducted through the courts all over the world. Apple’s opponents include five of their largest competitors in the global war for smartphone and tablet dominance. It’s not just Apple claiming patent violations. Most of the mobile behemoths are fighting amongst themselves over license agreements.


    Apple big beef with its device-making rivals like Samsung, it that they use the Android operating system that Google gives away for free. According to Bloomberg Industries, Android accounts for about 60 percent of the mobile market, three times as large as Apple’s iOS. The big prize Apple has its sights on is having the dominant operating system in the device market. The problem many consumers, app designers and device manufacturers should have with Apple’s OS is that it’s a closed-garden operating system while Google’s (and Microsoft’s) is an open system. This means that Apple controls everything. (This was a point that Steve Jobs was always fanatical about.)


    U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh will probably deny a request by Samsung to throw out the verdict. Samsung’s lawyers will file an appeal in a higher court.


    Koh will still have to decide whether to issue an injunction blocking the sale in the U.S. of the nine Samsung devices in the latest lawsuit. If she decides in favor of Apple, Samsung will have to make some design changes, eliminating the offending features or pull them from the market. Samsung probably won’t expend too much effort on this since the nine devices are older ones, and they can still sell them outside the U.S. The hit to their bottom line should be minimal.


    Once the competitors get some legal satisfaction, they’ll make their financial deals over supplying products and components to one another. Even Apple will play nice. (Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer for mobile-device components).In the meantime, the companies are still doing business as usual with one another while they keep their lawyers busy in court.


    Telecom companies and consumers aren’t going to put up with a clearing out of the competition by Apple. Many of us like Android devices like Samsung’s, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS is a welcome addition to the competition. Bottom line: what ultimately happens from all this bickering is up to us.



    This post was posted in Apple, General, News and PR, Samsung, Smartphones and was tagged with patent lawsuits, patent wars, android os, Samsung, Google, Apple

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