It’s deemed likely that Apple had the top-selling cellphone in Japan this past fall, but how did it do in all of 2011? Quite well, if you go by MMRI’s estimates. The iPhone had 30 percent (almost 7.3 million) of the Land of the Rising Sun’s 24.2 million sales among individual smartphone labels, or nearly double Sharp’s 17.5 percent. Don’t think that Android-powered smartphones like the Aquos SH-12C didn’t make an impact, though: virtually every other smartphone in Japan, 69 percent, was running some flavor of Google’s mobile OS. Apple managed to shake up a sometimes insular overall keitai market as well, having come just short of Fujitsu for the top spot in all cellphones. Researchers are expecting the smartphone space in Japan to grow by a healthy 15 percent in 2012, although it’s still a wildcard as to whether or not KDDI’s iPhone support will keep Apple riding high for another year.
Months before the next iPhone has been released, Apple is interested in seizing the domain iphone5.com from fans. In a case filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Apple plans to gain ownership of the domain with the help of the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), which allows a trademark holder to file a dispute against the domain-name holder if there is a copyright violation, or if the domain contains content that is damaging to the trademark holders reputation.
Interestingly, iphone5.com is home to a small community of diehard iPhone fans who are anxiously waiting for the next Apple smartphone. Needless to say, the seizure of their website by the company they love causes mixed emotions, with some members in opposition of the shutdown:
“Yes, You as the community can play a huge part in all this. we as members here before the 4s was even released at iphone5.com should stand our ground against Apple. We have every right to be a fan of the iPhone and to talk and discuss about it. THEY WIILL NOT SHUT US DOWN!!!!!
Call Corporate Of Apple and tell them to stop there persuit!! Blow up there phones, Spam there emails, call there Administration! Do something to get our point across. [sic]“
And others who are supportive of the shutdown:
“First of all, “iPhone” is a registered trademark of apple.
I’m sure many of users would like to type in “www.iphone5.com” and see that iPhone 5′s picture shining in front of their eyes, instead of seeing a forum that’s consisting of around 300-400 members, (and I’m sure more to come over publicity)
When the iPhone 5 is out, your domain name will lose its loyalty and who will come here to get all the upcoming information about the iPhone 5? When apple’s website has enough information provided when it’s out, this forum will be useless.
I’m sure if you were apple, you would want the same thing, you’ve had your time on the domain, now it’s time to give it up. [sic]“
There is a good chance Apple will be successful in the acquisition of iphone5.com, but the question remains how, if at all, the company will use it. It’s very possible Apple will go the route Samsung went with the Galaxy S III, and use it as a teaser page.
A new wave of rumors surrounding the next iPhone suggest that the device will be getting in-cell touchscreens.
Compared to the current multi-layer touch panel technology, the new screens are thinner and lighter as they allow manufacturers to integrate the touch feature directly into the LCD. The result would be a substantially thinner smartphone and alternatively more room for hardware and new features, which could allow Apple, for example, to design a layered 3D display.
The Internet rumor mill currently pinpoints the possible launch of the iPhone 5 at June 2012, based on a recruiter claim that Foxconn is hiring 18,000 new workers to support the launch of the device.
In-cell display technologies are currently only within reach of Sharp (in which Foxconn has invested heavily) as well as Toshiba, which might put other Apple display suppliers at jeopardy. Digitimes reported that TPK Holdings and Wintek, which could suddenly see their revenues drop, even if TPK said that it is working on touch-on-lens single-glass solutions for smartphones and tablets.
The publication noted that Sharp will be producing in-cell display panels at its 5.5G factories, while Toshiba is moving the technology to 6G and will begin mass manufacturing this quarter.
Sexting on your iPhone or plotting out an illicit relationship via SMS is pretty convenient except for one thing: if someone sees your phone, you’re screwed, embarrassed and exposed. Black SMS is an app that’ll encrypt your messages so you never have to worry about getting caught.
Here’s how it works. When you download the Black SMS app, you attach a password to your message and then type whatever you’d like into the app. Once the message is complete, hit Send and the app will automatically open your SMS app. Paste the message and the recipient (and everyone else) will only see a black text bubble. SECRET AND ENCRYPTED BLACK TEXT BUBBLE, that is. The person on the receiving end then copies the black bubble and unlocks the message by pasting it into Black SMS with the password. If it sounds convoluted, well, it is. But hey, keeping secrets ain’t easy.
Black SMS also offers options to send messages through e-mail or as a link but it’s not nearly as mischievous as having a black bubble pop up in your messages. What can the black bubble hold! What does she want to tell me? Am I about to get lucky The app costs a buck but if you’re the type of person that needs encryption in messages, it’s totally worth it. One big downer? No pictures so uh, no real sexting. Woo with words, baby, woo with words.
Apple’s iPhone 4 launch was marred by something the tech press dubbed ‘Antennagate.’ The phone’s new antenna design meant that holding the phone in a certain (and fairly common) way meant decreased signal and even dropped calls. Apple fixed the issue by offering every iPhone 4 owner a free bumper case that would protect the antenna from human interference. However, not everyone wanted to use a case or bumper with their phone and Apple has finally settled with customers not satisfied with the offer of a free bumper.
If you didn’t get a bumper (or did but are unwilling to use it), you can head over to iphone4settlement.com and pick up $15 for the trouble that pesky antenna has caused you. The site explains the steps iPhone 4 owners must have taken to be eligible for the cash payment:
“To be eligible for the cash payment, you must have: (a) experienced antenna or reception issues; (b) been unable to return your iPhone 4 without incurring any costs; (c) been unwilling to use a case or free bumper for your iPhone 4; and (d) completed certain troubleshooting steps or are unable to complete the troubleshooting steps because you no longer own your iPhone,” reads the message on the homepage. “The settlement will provide a $15 cash payment if you are a United States resident who are or were the original owner of an iPhone 4, and who experienced antenna or reception issues, and satisfy other requirements explained on this website.”
iPhone 4 owners in the United States have until June 15 of this year to exclude themselves from the suit (which would leave them free to sue Apple over the same issue at a later date). The deadline for objections to any part of the settlement is also June 15. Those who want to file a claim to get their $15 will have to do so by August 28 of this year. The settlement is scheduled for final approval on July 13.
Ever since it launched, the iPhone has been available to AT&T customers. However, though elsewhere in the world the iPhone unlocked can run on multiple carriers, those with iPhones from AT&T don’t enjoy the same luxury. As a result of the AT&T lock, their phones can’t be used on other networks that use the same bands, even though there is no other fully compatible 3G network in the U.S. However, that may change. According to a 9to5 Mac source, Apple CEO Tim Cook has convinced AT&T to unlock the device for at least one customer.
“Today, a reader and trusted tipster reached out to us and explained that a personal email to Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, who is known to keep up Steve Job’s long-time tradition of answering customer emails, resulted in AT&T making a “special one-time exception” to fulfill a request it previously refused.”
The story goes that this customer’s job saw him reassigned to Canada. Wanting to use his phone in the Great White North, he called AT&T to unlock his phone. AT&T told him only Apple could do that. A call to Apple directed him back to AT&T, who in turn advised him to ‘just jailbreak’ his phone. Frustrated with all of the back and forth, he emailed Tim Cook and explained what was going on.
The customer didn’t receive any email back from Tim, but he did get a call from AT&T saying they had received his email from Cook and a request to make an exception and unlock the phone. His wife also received a phone call from Tim’s personal assistant who wanted to check that AT&T had been in touch and the phone had been unlocked.
Obviously this is an exception, but it shows that ol’ Tim isn’t beyond simple customer service. We hope he’s prepared for more requests, now that this story has gotten out.
Now that the iPad 3 is official, the Apple rumormill has set its sights on the next as-yet-unannounced Apple product: the new iPhone. The latest says that the iPhone 5 will have a larger display than iPhones of years gone by.
Earlier this month, Apple took the wraps off not one, but two new products. The company gave us both the iPad 3 and a new Apple TV. However, true Apple fans are never satisfied and the rumor mill has already set its sights on the next hotly-anticipated Apple product. According to the latest rumors, the new iPhone will pack a 4.6-inch display, which is more than an inch bigger than the iPhone 4S.
The news comes by way of South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper (via Reuters), which cites information from an industry source in reporting the details. This industry source says Apple new iPhone will have a sharper and bigger 4.6-inch “retina” display. If the rumors are true, this will represent the first change in display size for the iPhone. Apple has maintained a 3.5-inch display size for every iteration of iPhone from day one. However, with most of its rivals producing bigger devices, Apple’s iPhone is starting to look a little bit small when it comes to screen real estate.
Another interesting tidbit from Maeil Business Newspaper’s source is that the iPhone will be launched in the second quarter. This means that after releasing the iPhone 4S last fall, Apple is preparing to revert to its old iPhone refresh cycle of a new phone every summer. The report doesn’t mention whether or not this iPhone will be called iPhone 5, as is rumored, or if Apple will drop the number completely, as it did with the iPad this year.
Think the iPhone is popular in the States? Well, the device is taking off in Asia as well. Based on a report from research firm IDC Japan, Apple snagged the largest share of mobile phone shipments in the country for the quarter at 26.6%, ending the market dominance of local manufacturers. Popularity of the iPhone 4S rose during the period from October to December and propelled the device maker past Fujitsu / Toshiba’s mark of 18.3% and third place Sharp, coming in at 15.7%. Sharp still owned the top spot for 2011, though, with 20.1% of total shipments while Apple finished the year third with 14.2%. For more stats on the Japanese smartphone market, hit the source link below to read on.
We’re still not sure how iTether temporarily snuck into the App Store the first time around, but the developers behind that software have returned with a new version that skirts Apple’s guidelines entirely. While Tether.com has standard apps available for BlackBerry and Android users, the new approach on iOS relies on creating an ad-hoc network from a PC, and then visiting the appropriate webpage on the iPhone. Log in to the website, and the company’s “patent-pending” software does the job of tying the two connections together wirelessly through the magic of HTML5, no jailbreaking or other hackery needed. The cost for the service is $30 a year, although it’s currently available for the first year at $15 — no free trials, and of course what happens to your data plan is between you and your carrier. Check out the video above for a demonstration or hit the company’s website for more details.
For a company so focused on secrecy, Apple never really did all that good of a job keeping its connection with Corning under wraps. We’ve always suspected that the company enlisted the Gorilla Glass maker for the iPhone, though it didn’t really go out of its way to admit it — even going so far as omitting the New York-based company from its 2011 suppliers list. Cupertino offered it a little love today, however, giving Corning a nod in its chipper job creation report. While it didn’t actually mention Gorilla Glass by name on the page, Apple was happy to talk up the “Corning employees in Kentucky and New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone.”