Thursday, August 4, 2011

comScore: iPhone continues to gain ground even without a refresh

While Google passed the 40% smartphone share (Microsoft must be happy!) in the US threshold, Apple continues to outpace the industry as a whole posting modest 1 point gains in the US smartphone category according to comScore. Apple moved up from 25.5% in March to 26.6% in June on the year old iPhone 4 model which also saw its US debut on Verizon.

Apple also moved up in the hardware category, below:

Apple outpaces Samsung and LG for the quarter at the expense of Motorola and RIM. No shocker there.

*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Jailbreak hotspot-ers: AT&T is moving you to a tiered data plan involuntarily

We’ve gotten word from some readers that AT&T is moving forward and removing unlimited plans for users who jailbreak iPhones to tether or hotspot off of AT&T’s unlimited data plans (for those grandfathered):

I was just informed that as of Thursday August 11th 2011, if you use MyWi or any tethering on the phone or using the phone as a modem, AT&T will automatically change ur unlimited plan to a 2Gb tethering plan for 45 dollars without the customers consent. This is for those who received emails or texts about the use of tethering without an AT&T tethering plan.
An AT&T spokesperson has confirmed this, but not August 11th as a hard cutoff date, saying:

Earlier this year, we began sending letters, emails, and text messages to a small number of smartphone customers who use their devices for tethering but aren’t on our required tethering plan. Our goal here is fairness for all of our customers. (This impacts a only small percentage of our smartphone customer base.)

The letters outline three choices:

1) Stop tethering and keep their current plan (including grandfathered unlimited plan)

2) Proactively call AT&T or visit our stores and move to the required tethering plan

3) Do nothing and we’ll go ahead and add the tethering plan on their behalf — after the dated noted in their customer notification

Is this fair of AT&T? Well, it is certainly fair that people pay for the data that they are using and unlimited tethering turns your iPhone into a data sucking monster. AT&T’s service to others is obviously affected, so they have to do something about it and this seems like a reasonable solution. The obvious retort is that some may have purchased their unlimited plans back when unlimited really meant unlimited, jailbroken or not.

The matter doesn’t appear up for debate however. MiWi users: get your free data this week and hope AT&T doesn’t decide to move you over early.

Also: Is the additional $20 for the tethering option fair on top of the already tiered data? Much less so.

*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Purported parts for next generation iPad and iPhone emerge ahead of rumored fall launches

Apple is rumored to launch a new version of the iPad sometime this fall with the main purported change being a 2048 x 1536 Retina Display. If new parts posted on an online reseller are any indication, this new iPad’s internal structure may be modified as well. The iFixYouri iPad repair shop has taken a look at these new parts and have provided us with descriptions for each of the four. The part you see on top is basically the full external button control cabling system for the next iPad. This includes the power switch, volume keys, and silent/ringer switch.

In terms of the authenticity of the purported iPad 3/HD parts, iFixYouri iPad 2 repair also tells us that the material used to build these parts is the same material found on the iPad 2 parts, but the structure and location of switches is completely different. More part images below, including one for the iPhone 5…

The image above shows a close up view of the power button (B1), volume up button (B4), and silent/ringer switch (B3)

The above image shows a close up of the volume up (B2) and down keys (B3)

The above image is the backside of the cable on the top of the post

Additionally, Chronic noticed that purported parts for the iPhone 5 have also emerged today. This is the iPhone 5′s proximity sensor:

*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Lion USB sticks now available for $69 through AppleCare, free to some Update: Debunk

Our good friends in Applecare alerted us to the fact that Lion USB keys were now available and in stock through AppleCare. While officially they will cost a lofty $69, it appears, at least from the wording above, that some customers that aren’t able to use Lion’s recovery tools may be eligible to receive the USB drive at no cost.

We’ve detailled how to make a Lion recovery key from a Snow Leopard Key (automated or on your own, cheap) so don’t put Apple though the hassle, OK?

Update: We’ve been debunked by the new AOLEngadget! Head below for details.

We made an effort for clarification but I don’t even think Engadget knew what they are talking about. The full post is screenshotted below:

First of all, why not link to the original post to give your now confused readers some context? Even if you hate some sites, it shows you hate your readers more.


But physical media devotees needn’t worry too much — the company quietly announced at launch that the latest version of OS X will also be available on a USB key, for the lofty price of $69 — which, incidentally, still requires Snow Leopard, unlike what has been previously reported.
Really? What’s the point of physical media then? We can’t verify the Apple sticks will or won’t boot, but if they can’t, what’s the point? BTW, disks made from the Lion install DO boot, so its likely that this is strike#2. Also, how does one install Snow Leopard on one of the new Mac Minis or Airs that won’t take Snow Leopard?

And finally,

Rather, the “recovery media” discussed is actually a restoration tool for AppleCare employees, used to fix faulty systems.
AppleCare employees are phone(!!) support. What good is physical media going to do them on the phone? Even Apple Store employees have LaCie drives at their disposal with at least three different Lion images on them so it isn’t clear why they’d want a slower USB disk as well.

For verification, we called AppleCare and they verified the screenshot above. Lion USB sticks can be ordered now for delivery next week.

As for Engadget and their ‘debunking,’

We hate to be the burster of bubbles

By they way, good job watermarking your Lion Installer Screen. Jeez.

*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Apple to release 4G TD-LTE iPhone, China Mobile allegedly confirms

According to Giz-China, Apple has reached a landmark agreement with China’s and world’s biggest and most valuable wireless operator, China Mobile, that will see the two companies join forces on bringing a next-generation iPhone to China Mobile’s fourth-generation TD-LTE network:

China Mobile claims that it has reached an agreement with Apple to bring to bring its 4th generation TD-LTE mobile data connection to the next generation iPhone. The claim isn’t exactly new news as it was originally reported back in May, and doesn’t specify which model of iPhone it will be in, but could hint at the next generation iPhone actually being an iPhone 4S type device, with updated 4G capabilities, rather than a totally new iPhone 5 design.
The official confirmation seems to support an earlier report alleging that the two companies were working on such a deal, further corroborated by the image of Tim Cook visiting China Mobile’s headquarters in June. Guardian suggested that Apple’s carrier partners are receiving iPhone units for field-testing, which 9to5Mac reported back in June. As with all leaks and rumors coming these days, especially from Asia, indicating that Apple is prepping for a Fall launch of the next iPhone, you’re advised to take this report with healthy dose of skepticism. It would be nice, however, if Apple brings the next iPhone to China Mobile’s 600 million subscribers. Apple has hinted during the last earnings call that China is becoming the key growth driver for them, growing sixfold from $630 million in revenues in the second quarter of 2010 to $3.8 billion in the June quarter of this year, representing a 13.3 percent of Apple’s total business by revenue. Bucking the trend, Apple is set to open new stores in the country this year and is working with manufacturing partner Foxconn which will spend $1.6 billion on its own stores in China that will sell Apple products.

A report from via AllthingsD goes further saying a two tiered model could have a $70B-$200B upside:

China Telecom will offer two types of iPhone that include the iPhone 5 and a ‘simplified iPhone 4,’” says White. “Essentially, this potential ‘simplified iPhone 4′ would be a more economical version of iPhone to target a broader customer base in developing countries such as China, allowing for an expanded market opportunity.”

When asked during the last earnings call by a Wall Street analyst about the prospect of the long-awaited China Mobile deal and pre-paid iPhones, Apple’s op-chief Tim Cook provided this telling expose:

Pre-paid or unlocked phones (phones without contract) are very key in China. And very key in a number of emerging markets where credit systems are not as well established as in Western Europe, USA, Japan, etc. The iPhone volume for the first 3 quarters of the fiscal year was up 5X year over year. We are not saying at all how to play perfectly in the environment. We have more to do and more to learn. We feel very good about our progress. We are taking those learnings and applying them to other markets as well.

*thanks 9to5mac*

Well if you think about it from an AT&T point of view, hspa+ in their eyes is 4G so the iPhone 4 is a 4G compatible iPhone. However I don't believe Apple would put it's neck on the line for a 4G LTE network that is still not 100% coverage in big cities.

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- Posted using my iPhone 4