Category Archives: iPhone

Latest new and reviews on iPhones

APPLE and SAMSUNG again in court

The latest round in Apple and Samsung’s bitter global battle for supremacy in the more than $300bn smartphone market begins Tuesday in a courtroom a few miles from Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

Apple-vs-Samsung5

 

In courts, government tribunals and regulatory agencies around the world, Apple has argued that Samsung’s Android-based phones copy vital iPhone features. Samsung is fighting back with its own complaints that some key Apple patents are invalid and Apple has also copied Samsung’s technology.

The two have each won and lost legal skirmishes over the last couple of years, and the companies appear oceans apart in settling their differences. Analysts predict continued litigation for months to come.

On Tuesday, the latest chapter opens in a federal courtroom in San Jose, California, where lawyers from the two companies and US District Judge Lucy Koh will begin picking a jury to calculate how much South Korea-based Samsung owes Apple for infringing Apple’s patents on 13 older Samsung smartphones and computer tablets.

Representatives of both companies declined to comment.

With Apple’s Cupertino headquarters about a 10-minute drive from the courthouse, potential jurors will be asked if any family members work for Apple and whether the company’s proximity will have any effect on their views of the case.

A different jury in August found that Samsung infringed six Apple patents to create and market 26 smartphones and computer tablets. The panel ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05bn.

Koh then tossed out $450m (£281m) of that amount after deciding the jury wrongly calculated damages for 14 products. Amid an avalanche of legal filings afterward, Koh reduced the damages at issue to $400m and the products to 13, then ordered a new jury to recalculate damages for those products.

Some four dozen people are listed on the trial’s witness list, many of them experts hired by Apple and Samsung to deliver damage estimates, which range from zero to more than the original $400m.

Despite the amount of money involved, the current proceedings are somewhat of a warm-up for a much larger trial scheduled for March. That trial will focus on newer products still on the market, while the current trial is a battle over products that are several years old and no longer sold in the US. More money is at stake, and Apple is asking that Samsung be barred from selling some of its current devices in the U.S.

In both cases, jurors will hear from experts opining on the global market and offering dramatically differing views on damages. In the current case, the jury will determine damages by deciding – among other issues – whether Samsung’s behavior actually cost Apple sales.

Whatever the outcome, appeals are expected.

“This trial is just about money. Though several hundred million dollars are at stake, that isn’t going to make or break either of the companies involved,” said Mark Lemley a Stanford University law school professor who specializes in technology issues. “But the trial is also the last step in getting this case ready for the inevitable appeal. … That appeal will have broader ramifications.”

Apple transformed the mobile phone industry when it started selling the iPhone in 2007, but its success was quickly imitated and Samsung’s smartphone shipments surpassed Apple’s iPhone sales in 2011.

According to research group IDC, Samsung shipped 81m devices in the July-to-September quarter for a market share of 31%, making it the world’s top seller. Apple is a distant second, having shipped 34m iPhones, for a market share of 1% over the same period.

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BBM on Android and iOS review

AFTER THE RUMOURS, the denials, the leaks and the false starts, it is finally time to welcome the most notorious instant messenger of them all .

Perhaps that’s a little harsh because Blackberry Messenger (BBM) was a hugely innovative alternative at a time when most smartphone users were still battling Windows CE and Symbian.

So, for whatever reason Blackberry has decided to wade into the market already successfully occupied by Skype, Google+ Hangouts, Facebook Chat, Chaton, Whatsapp, Kik, Tango, Viber and at least a dozen more, and we think it deserves a fair trial because, to be fair, it’s not a bad app.

Screenshot_2013_10_21_20_18_41It is being rolled out in stages, so unless you are an existing user, you will have to wait for your email address to be authorised to use the service .  Once you’re in, setting up an account is almost easy.

Unlike Blackberry users, users of Android and iOS devices are required to use their email address as their user name. You’re also required to think up a password, a password reminder question and a password reminder answer. Finally you’re given your PIN, which consists of a not-so-catchy eight character letters and numbers combination begining with “7”. Then you’re ready to add some friends.

Except, if you’ve never had a Blackberry, probably very few of your friends or contacts ever had a Blackberry, and even if they had, you wouldn’t know their PIN, so why would you? Fortunately Blackberry gives you the option to invite people by email, barcode, SMS or social media. So what actually happens is that you spend the next 20 minutes telling your friends that they can chat with you on BBM, by chatting with them on Facebook or Twitter or whatever other social network you use.

And therein lies the rub. The need to communicate with people across networks has overtaken the decision to create and release this app, and therefore rendered BBM a bit pointless, because there are plenty of alternatives that are well established at doing just that.

Of course there are some nice touches. Group chat and broadcast messages are useful touches, but you’d need a big group of contacts to consciously decide to switch to it as your main form of messaging, and there just isn’t enough here to convert anyone.

We like the fact that you can see when a message has been delivered and then read, but many IM apps already do that, and besides, there’s a very good way of telling if someone has received your side of the conversation, because they start talking back. That’s how conversation works.

We also like the fact that you can instantly become BBM buddies with someone using NFC over Android, though this could cause an interesting long-winded turn of events when it suddenly becomes clear you’ve spent the last 10 minutes trying to NFC to an iPhone.

The BBM app user interface is reasonably smooth with a great UI, but lacks a little spit and polish. In some cases avatars failed to appear for our contacts, and there’s an irritatingly persistent notification at the top of the screen that adds little except to stop the BBM app from being automatically closed by the system, a problem that most apps overcame several years ago.

In summary, any kudos that Blackberry deserves for the introduction of BBM as a cross-system tool is outweighed by the fact that while it might have been a hugely popular app a few years ago, it now seems like another third-party system to manage. At the moment, we can’t see BBM making the impact that Blackberry might hope for. This app needs not just to be good, it has to be game changing.

Yes, it is good. But that’s all.

Anti-virus app top preferred security for smartphones

Anti-virus and security software are the preferred protection among smartphone users, indicating competition for new incentives such as biometrics.

PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance have conducted a survey amongst smartphone users as part of the National Cyber Security Alliance Month.

Aimed at understanding consumer behaviour better for improved mobile protection, 1,000 respondents were questioned on their preferences.

Anti-virus or security software is the top rated safety method for 30 per cent of smartphone owners, followed closely by passwords.

Almost 25 per cent are not bothered by security features, while 18.7 per cent are in favour of biometrics.

More than 50 per cent of respondents are comfortable with the use of biometrics, while 45 per cent are also keen to use facial recognition for protective measures.

Hand gesture is trusted by 31 per cent as an alternative security feature.

When it comes to password selection, 76 per cent of respondents indicated they use different PINs for different accounts.

Smartphones are generally more expected to be stolen than wallets, the report revealed.

The surveyors have advised smartphone users to be app download smart and to make use of a lock function or PIN code for mobile device security.

Apple will officially reveal the next iPhone(s) on September 10th

After months of rumours and speculation, Apple looks ready to announce its next iPhone. The company has begun to send out invites for a September 10th event, confirming the date that AllThingsD relayed last month.

What exactly will Apple show off at the event? All signs seem to point to the iPhone 5S, as well as the “budget iPhone”, currently known as the iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5S should be a fairly standard upgrade over the company’s existing model. It’s expected to retain the same design as the iPhone 5, but include a faster processor, improved camera, and possibly even a fingerprint scanner.

The iPhone 5C, meanwhile, has been rumoured to fill out the lower-end of the market. The handset will reportedly feature the same 4-inch Retina Display as the flagship iPhone, but eschew the aluminium unibody for a polycarbonate build to keep costs down. It’s also believed to use slower internal components, and the camera will most likely see a downgrade over current models too.

We’ll find out exactly what Apple has in store for the world on September 10th, and we’ll cover all the news from the event as it happens.

Android rockets and iOS gains, while Windows dips

Summary: Android device shipments leap, but there’s yet more bad news for PC makers as the market continues to slide, despite their experiments with new form factors.

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Android and iOS device shipments are predicted to grow this year, while the number of Windows devices shipped is expected to fall slightly.

According to calculations from analyst Gartner, 866 million Android devices will ship this year (up from 505 million last year. Around 296 million iOS and Mac OS devices will ship (up from 212 million last year) while 339 million Windows devices will ship (a slight dip from 346 million last year). And next year Android is likely to see a billion devices shipped — compared to 378 million Windows devices and 354 million iOS devices. Continue reading

Izzi Orbit for the iPhone 5 delivers top notch photography

The iPhone 5 is an iconic smartphone to say the least, and we already know that it has sold millions upon millions of units. Not only that, there are already whispers of a sequel to the iPhone 5 floating around for the past few months already, where some folks have even speculated that it will arrive in a shade of gold. Yes sir, gold! Still, no iPhone 5 successor was announced at the recently concluded WWDC 2013, but this does not mean the production of accessories for this handset should cease. No sir, and here we are with an accessory for shutterbugs who cannot live without their iPhone 5 – the £199.99 Izzi Orbit which will arrive in black, blue, purple, red and silver shades.

The Izzi Orbit has been machine tooled from aircraft grade aluminium, which is obviously reflected in its price, while delivering superior protection and first rate photography options. Thanks to its patented Peripheral Motion Lock Technology, the iZZi Orbit for iPhone 5 would enable users to obtain instantaneous access to a trio of different high-grade lenses with but a the flick of a switch. You will also be able to ensure your photos look a whole lot better with upgrades such as a 180° Fish Eye, a 67x Wide Angle and a 2x Telephoto lens. Not only that, a Sure Hand Stabilizing Grip will help minimize shakes and bumps, never mind that you are tracking moving objects.

 

Apple is planning a liquid-cooled iPhone (and so are Samsung and HTC)

Original Author: Jonny Evans

The race to take the title of “World’s Most Advanced Smartphone” is driving Apple [AAPL], Samsung and HTC to explore increasingly advanced technologies, with a Digitimes report claiming all three firms are working to develop liquid cooled smartphones in order to boost power efficiency.

NEC beat them all to it

These won’t be the world’s first mass market liquid-cooled smartphones, that title belongs to the NEC Medias X-06E which will be made available on Japanese carrier, NTT DoCoMo.

“Smartphone players such as Apple, Samsung Electronics and High Tech Computer (HTC) have started showing interest in adopting ultra-thin heat pipes for their smartphones and are expected to release heat pipe-adopted models in the fourth quarter, at the earliest, according to sources from cooling module player,” Digitimes reports.

I’m inclined to doubt we will see these players introduce liquid-cooled devices as soon as Q4 on the basis that the report confirms yield rates of the cooling modules used in such devices stand at only 30 percent — I should imagine that’s way too low a yield for inclusion of such tech within mass market devices, but yield rates will improve in future.

There’s also the question of just how useful such tech might be in these devices, though perhaps the principal deployment scenario might be to enable faster graphics and central processors to be used in smartphones. Liquid-cooling is an efficient way to reduce operating temperatures at little cost to battery life.

“Since the conventional graphite plus foil cooling method is no longer able to dissipate enough heat in modern smartphone models efficiently, after 4G becomes a common transmission specification for smartphones in the future, the heat problem is only expected to become worse,” Digitimes suggests.

Cooler, faster and good marketing

A move to adopt new cooling technologies makes a degree of sense. Consumers would be unlikely to slap their cash down for a fan-cooled smartphone as that would be too noisy, but as display and processor technology advances manufacturers will need to improve cooling efficiency, while also protecting battery life.

That’s what Qualcomm (who provide the processor used in the NEC phone) think:

“The hottest phones stay cool”. Qualcomm explains, “Mobile processors are required to process huge amounts of information quickly and without the use of a fan – so some get really hot. That heat is battery life and processing power wasting away.”

The efficiency of liquid cooling systems accounts for their widespread use among advanced computer users choosing to “overclock” their PCs in order to make them more powerful.

The big disadvantage is the matter of what happens if the liquid coolant leaks — you don’t need to be a genius to figure out that your phone will probably stop working if the liquid leaks. Assuming the device is resilient enough to handle a few bumps without breaking the cooling system the trade off for heat dissipation could be invaluable as devices continue to get smaller and slimmer.

A liquid-cooled…iWatch?

Use of liquid cooling systems may also enable devices to be both powerful and cool enough to be worn next to the skin — which could open future opportunities for wearable devices.

Ordinarily this could suggest the potential to include this form of cooling within a future iWatch, but a fresh report from Jefferies this morning claims this gadget will be nothing more than a device designed to work in conjunction with an iPad or iPhone, rather than a fully independent cellphone alternative.

“We do not believe the iWatch will have a cellular chip so it will need to be paired with an iPhone for full functionality. Therefore we use our estimate of the iPhone installed base (250M) as the addressable market,” the analysts said today.

 

Heatmap of smartphone Tweets shows iPhone dominance in wealthy areas

Heatmap of Twitter use shows iPhone dominance in wealthy areas - Jason O'Grady

More than 280 million Tweets posted from mobile phones reveal geographic usage patterns in unprecedented detail.

Author for The Apple Core | June 21, 2013 — 03:11 GMT (20:11 PDT)

 

MapBox has posted an interactive Twitter visualization that shows a heatmap of smartphone Tweets by region, broken down by smartphone brand. It shows the iPhone (red) dominating in affluent areas and Android (green) in poor regions. Blackberry (purple) use is predominantly outside of major cities and in Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Pictured above is a map of Washington, Philadelphia and New York showing a heavy bias toward Tweets from iPhones.

 

Mobile Devices is a map that reveals the information about phone brands that is stored when people use an official Twitter App and is hidden in the metadata attached to each tweet. Each brand of phone is a different color and can be independently toggled. The patterns of usage in each city often reflect economic stratification. For example iPhones, in red, are predominantly in wealthy sections of the city while Android phones, in green, have more coverage in poorer sections. On a global level, national trends reveal a complicated set of cultural preferences. (Tweets from web browsers and from other Twitter clients don’t appear on this map)

 

 

Alleged prototype of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 spotted

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 'leaked' image (SamMobile | TechTastic)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 ‘leaked’ image (SamMobile | TechTastic)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has been in rumors for quite some time now, even as Android fans anticipate its launch at IFA 2013 in Berlin.

SamMobile has now published some photos, which the site claims show the successor of

the Galaxy Note 2. The site has posted four photos in collaboration with TechTastic and it said that the pictures are of the Galaxy Note 3 prototype that is expected to be released later this yar.

Samsung had released the Galaxy Note 2 at the IFA Berlin last year.

The Home button of the device looks very similar to the Home button of the Galaxy Note 2. The screen of the phablet seems to have a thinner bezel than its predecessor. The display is full HD and the size

appears to be somewhere around 6 inches.

According to SamMobile, the device shown in the pictures is a prototype and not the fully ready Galaxy Note 3. The site could not confirm

anything about the exclusive S Pen feature of the Galaxy Note series.

There is no official word on the release of the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, but a few days ago, Samsung Kazakhstan’s website had published the device’s name in its one

of the documents accidentally.

The Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to be coming with 5.99 inch screen with full HD 1920×1080 resolution Super AMOLED display. The smartphone is expected to be powered by the eight-core Exynos 5 Octa or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor. Samsung may launch the device in two versions just like it did with Galaxy S4.

The phone’s functions will be supported by a hefty 3 GB of RAM, and users will be able to store a lot in the device, as it is said to have 32 GB of internal memory, as well as a microSD card slot.

Rumors also suggest that the phab

Samsung Galaxy S4 Protective Cases and Accessories

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let will sport a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, as well as a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat.

Apple’s next iPad mini 7.9 inch Retina display will be Samsung-made

Original Author: Shailesh Shrivastava

Tablet PCApple and Samsung have been busy fighting many patent law suits for a long time, but when it comes to bringing a new device in the market, Apple always finds a reliable supplier in Samsung. A new report suggests that Samsung Display will supply high-resolution Retina displays to Apple for its upcoming next generation iPad mini.

Apple is expected to launch its next generation iPad mini later this year, and Samsung is expected to ship the Retina displays in the third and fourth quarter of this year.

The new iPad mini will sport 7.9 inch Retina display with 2048×1539 pixel resolution. The quality and resolution of the display will be the same as of the current full-size iPad.

According to a report published by a Korean news website, ET News, Samsung is also going to supply 9.7 inch Retina displays with narrow bezel for Apple’s fifth generation iPad.

Apple, reportedly, had been facing supply and quality issues from its display suppliers such as Sharp and AU Optronics. The report also sees this issue as the biggest reason of Apple turning back to Samsung for display panels even after the ‘supply chain change’ plans of Apple CEO Tim Cook.

In January this year, Apple was reported to be slashing the supply of 9.7 inch display panels from LG by 50 percent.

“Apple has reportedly decided to cut shipments for its 9.7-inch iPad products in the first quarter to as low as six million units, down from Apple’s originally estimated 12-15 million units, due to increasing popularity among consumers for the iPad mini,” a DigiTimes report said, citing unnamed sources.

However, the ET News report now suggests that LG Display had been continuously increasing its supply to Apple. LG Display is expected to be the first display panel supplier, but once Samsung Display starts shipping the panels, the competition between these two companies is going to be intense.

A report from App Advice had earlier suggested that the Retina display panels will be produced by Taiwan’s AU Optronics. “The 7.9-inch, 2048 x 1536, 324 ppi display panel that will be mounted on the iPad mini 2 is said to be already set for pilot production by AU Optronics,” the report stated. In addition, iPad mini 2 is speculated to feature an A5X dual-core processor as its quad-core graphics unit will be able to power the device’s Retina screen.

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