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Mar 15
High tariffs nix Apple retail store in Brazil?

Steve Jobs has allegedly told a Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) government official exactly why no retail store is planned for the country -- ”super crazy” import taxes, he wrote in an e-mail, according to to the "ifoAppleStore" site (http://www.ifoapplestore.com/db/2010/03/15/no-to-retail-store-in-brazil-...).

Jobs’ remark highlights an on-going trade dispute between the U.S. and Brazil over cotton trade, and how international affairs can affect the selection of store sites, the article adds. As reported by "MacMagazine Brazil" (http://...

| Read more »
Mar 15
ABI Research: smartphone market 'reborn' in...

Fourth quarter mobile handset sales almost always outpace the performance seen in the rest of a year. But according to the latest market data from ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com), the final quarter of 2009 was remarkable for the strength of smartphone shipment growth compared to the rather lackluster preceding nine months.
 
“4Q 2009 saw 25% more smartphones shipped than 3Q,” says analyst Michael Morgan. "Granted, the fourth quarter is usually better than the third, but 3Q saw only a 3.6% growth over the second quarter. The robust strength of this market’s recovery is very encouraging indeed.”
 
Individual vendors had plenty to be pleased about. Apple had its best smartphone quarter on record. Nokia did extremely well, shipping 21 million smartphones compared to its usual 15-16 million. BlackBerry had a strong showing as well.
 
The good performance was driven...

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Mar 15
IDC: computer market rebound will drive double-digit...

After a severely constrained first half, steeply discounted computers along with improving economic conditions steered the global computer market back into the black in the latter half of 2009. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) "Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker,"the yearly growth rate for the worldwide computer market in 2009 was 2.9%.

Portable computers remained the key market driver, with shipments increasing 18.4% in 2009 compared to 2008. Consumer purchases of portables were the sole driver of the market, growing at 38.5%, according to IDC (http://www.idc.com). Commercial shipments were severely strained but showed signs of life near the end of the year as fourth quarter growth came in just under 1%, providing a glimpse of an anticipated commercial refresh in 2010. As a harbinger that the pace of ASP declines will moderate, mininotebook growth slowed in the fourth quarter as the volume of other...

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Mar 15
Turn off Wi-Fi to help prevent laptop theft

Credant Technologies (http://www.credant.com), an endpoint data security specialist, says laptop users should turn off their Wi-Fi signals before stowing their laptop in the boot of their car or stashing their laptop in the office cupboard or desk drawer, apparently out of sight of thieves.
 
Why? Due to the widespread availability of low-cost keyfob WiFi detectors and sophisticated directional detectors that can be used by thieves to detect the presence of an out-of-sight laptop," he added. Plus, auction sites are selling WiFi detection kit for "pocket money prices," says Credant.
 
Apparently, the real focus of identity thieves is the company laptop, which, as well as being a saleable item in its own right, can also contain valuable company data that can potentially be sold to the highest bidder online. Just because the latest laptops have a set time -- sometimes up to 30 minutes -- before...

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Mar 11
Is the iPad the beginning of the end for the Mac? No

In a report for "PC Mag" (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2361204,00.asp), Sascha Segan says that the rise of the iPhone OS-based iPad could be the beginning of the end for the Mac platform. I understand his reasoning, but that's just not going to happen.

Segan says that if Apple could have a do-over, it would use the iPhone OS for its computer line. He thinks that the iPad should be thought of as "the new Mac -- a "new mode of home-based computing that Apple hopes will bubble up through its product line."

"This means no independent software stores, fewer open-source projects, and perhaps a blanket ban on BitTorrent, Flash, and Firefox," Segan writes. "It means a much more restricted peripheral market. The Mac will no longer be a PC as we know it -- it will be an 'end-to-end experience' like the iPhone."

According to his prognosis,...

| Read more »
Mar 11
Strategy Analytics: iPhone owners most likely to...

iPhone owners are not only most satisfied with their phones, they are most likely to buy their next phone from Apple, as well, according to a recent study from Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com), which found a strong correlation between satisfaction and repeat purchase intentions.

The research group's report, “iPhone Owners Most Satisfied and Likely to Repeat Purchase,” analyzes satisfaction across 12 features, as well as repeat purchase intentions for leading mobile phone manufacturers. Key findings include:

° Over half of the device users surveyed are less than satisfied with their current web browsing experience;

° Owners of 12-key keypad products in the US are least satisfied with the text input experience; and

° In Western Europe, although LG owners indicate higher satisfaction levels, that information does not necessarily translate to higher...

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Mar 11
Apple patents range from quickstart workout generation...

A plethora of Apple patents have appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. Here's a summary of each.

Patent number 2010062905 involves a method for a quickstart workout generation and calibration. Systems and methods for generating a quick start workout template and calibrating an electronic device using the workout template are provided. The electronic device may create and store a workout template to be used in conjunction with a workout. The workout template may be selected in a quick start fashion to restart the same workout. The workout template may be defined at least in part by a selection of any suitable workout goal and/or any suitable associated media. If the media associated with the workout goal is changed or is removed, a new workout template may be created. The electronic device may be calibrated or recalibrated using the workout template. If the electronic device is calibrated or re-calibrated with respect to a particular sensor, the...

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Mar 11
Apple patent offers a 'virtual competitor'...

Apple wants you to work out harder by competing against a virtual competitor per a new patent (number 2010062818) at the US Patent & Trademark Office. The patent is for a portable electronic device for providing real-time interaction between a user performing an exercise routine and a virtual competitor.

Some embodiments of the portable electronic device may include a sensor for receiving a plurality of user performance metrics associated with the user, a processor for generating a comparison between the plurality of user performance metrics and a competitor workout file associated with the virtual competitor, and a display for displaying a summary of the comparison in real-time. The inventors are Allen P. Haughay, Jeffrey T. Lee and Irwin W. Graves Jr.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Fitness enthusiasts sometimes need new sources of motivation, such as when training indoors during inclement weather. Modern health clubs partly serve this...

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Mar 11
Of albums, iTunes LPs and the iPad

I'm enough of a dinosaur that I want my albums in CD form, for the most part. However, I have bought some iTunes LPs and, if I decided to go all digital in the future, this is the format I'd prefer.

Unfortunately, it seems the iTunes LP isn't doing well. But let's back up. When the format was unveiled in September 2009 as part of iTunes 9, it was described by Apple as "the evolution of the music album" that delivers "a rich, immersive experience for select albums on the iTunes Store by combining beautiful design with expanded visual features like live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, liner notes, interviews, photos, album credits and more." In other words, it was intended to evoke the feeling of spinning an LP record and holding the jacket in your hands.

However, according to some sources, the format doesn't seem to be taking off. Paul Bonanos, writing for "Salon" (...

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Mar 10
iPhone could overtake Blackberry in market share next...

New data from Trefis (http://www.trefis.com), a new financial platform that allows you to see how a company's products impact its stock, says the iPhone could overtake the Blackberry in market share in 2011.

As reported by "Forbes" (http://blogs.forbes.com/greatspeculations/2010/03/05/iphone-could-overta...), Trefis says RIM’s market share lead over Apple has been shrinking and Apple will be able to overtake RIM market share by early 2011. Trefis believes sales of the iPhone will eventually outpace BlackBerry sales for the following reasons:

° Apple’s ecosystem of consumer products (Macs, iPad, Apple TV) and services (iTunes, iPhone apps) make the iPhone a more...

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Mar 10
Gaming on the Mac picking up Stream

Now that Vale is bringing its Steam, Valve’s gaming service, and Source, Valve’s gaming engine, to the Mac, the Mac gaming situation should improve.

Not that it's been terrible. However, gamers have long complained about the lack of Mac games -- at least compared to the bazillion gaming titles for the PeeCee.

Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks application programming interfaces, and Valve has added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac.

"The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward," Steam development director John Cook told "IT Wire" (...

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Mar 09
Analyst: iPad will beat Kindle's all-time sales...

Apple could have the bestselling e-book reader of all time in just three months on the market, according to an estimate from FBR Capital analyst Craig Berger.

In a note to clients -- as noted by the "Latest Electronics" site (http://www.latestelectronics-dennis.com/?p=3117) he thinks Apple is set to ship five million iPads just in the first half of 2010. At this rate, the tablet would push past Amazon’s unofficial lifetime record of three million Kindles in just the three-month span between early April and the end of June.

Saturday, April 3 is when the iPad will go on sale in the U.S. At least the Wi-Fi only version will; the Wi-Fi + 3G model will hit US store sleeves in late April.

In addition, all models of iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April. Beginning a...

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Mar 09
EFF criticizes the iPhone Developer Program License...

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) -- an organization founded to promote rights in the online and networked world -- has blasted the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, saying that the "entire family of devices built on the iPhone OS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) have been designed to run only software that is approved by Apple - a major shift from the norms of the personal computer market."

"Overall, the Agreement is a very one-sided contract, favoring Apple at every turn," says the EFI. "That's not unusual where end-user license agreements are concerned (and not all the terms may ultimately be enforceable), but it's a bit of a surprise as applied to the more than 100,000 developers for the iPhone, including many large public companies. How can Apple get away with it? Because it is the sole gateway to the more than 40 million iPhones that have been sold. In other words, it's only because Apple still "owns" the customer, long after each iPhone (and soon, iPad) is...

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Mar 09
Apple wins design patents for iPod shuffle, MacBook...

Apple has won three design patents from the US Patent & Trademark Office. They involve a power supply, the iPod shuffle and the MacBook Air

Patent number D11,415 is for the ornamental design of a power supply. Patent number D611,470 is for the ornamental design of an electronic device (the Apple remote). Patent number D611,469 is for the ornamental design of another electronic device (the MacBook Air).

The inventors on all the patents are Bartley K. Andrew, Daniel J. Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard P. Howarth, Jonathan P. Ive, Steve Jobs, Robert Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Douglas B. Satzger, Christopher J. Stringer, Eugene Antony Whange and Rico Zorkendorfer. Three other patents by Apple have also appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. Following is a summary of each.

Patent number 7,675,529 is for a method and apparatus to scale graphical user interfaces. To scale a...

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Mar 09
Analyst: iPad content to equal almost 30% of revenue...

According to Broadpoint analyst Brian Marshall, the sale of applications, e-books, newspapers and magazines for the iPad is predicted to equal nearly 30% of the revenue Apple will earn from selling the hardware by the end of 2011.

In a note to clients -- as noted by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com), the analyst believes content revenue will top 10 percent of total iPad hardware revenue by December of 2010, and a year later that number will nearly triple. He's increased his forecast for iPad shipments in the 2010 calendar year to four million units, up from a previous prediction of 2.2 million.

Marshall told clients that "if the device lives up to its potential," he could see it shipping more than seven million in this year alone. "We believe the iPad offers a rich media experience that will translate into a content-based recurring revenue stream over time," he says.

...

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Mar 09
Analyst: Apple's lawsuit against HTC a '...

Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner has issued a behind-the-scenes report on the patent suits Apple filed last week against HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker. As noted by "Fortune" (http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2010/03/09/apple-talks-tough...), Reiner told clients:

"Starting in January, Apple launched a series of C-Level discussions with tier-1 handset makers to underscore its growing displeasure at seeing its iPhone-related IP [intellectual property] infringed. The lawsuit filed against HTC thus appears to be Apple's way of putting a public, lawyered-up exclamation point on a series of blunt conversations that have been occurring behind closed doors.

"Our checks also suggest that these warning shots are...

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Mar 09
How about a division to help companies to integrate...

Recently I pondered (http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/is_closer_integration_betw...) whether closer integration between Mac OS X proper and the iPhone OS was coming. Regarding that convergence, I would like to see Apple either license or get into the business of helping a lot of different companies upgrade their interfaces.

Like what? Home phones, office phone systems, auto information displays and controls, ATM machines, home information and security systems, etc. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Now I don't think Apple will license the Mac or iPhone OS. However, there many areas where Apple isn't likely to get directly involved or where the company has little or no interest in making hardware/...

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Mar 08
Analyst predicts continued upward swing in Mac sales

Using recent figures from the NPD research firm (http://www.npd.com) Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is predicting a continued upward swing in Mac sales in the months ahead.

"We expect the strong year-over-year growth in NPD data that we saw in January to continue in the month of February," he wrote in a note on Monday -- as noted by "TheStreet.com" (http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/story/10697430/1/apple-dell-h-p-poised-f...). "We believe this represents a buying opportunity ahead of NPD data for the month of February on March 15."

Mac shipments climbed 33% during the first fiscal quarter of this year reaching 3.36...

| Read more »
Mar 08
IDC computer market predictions look good for the iMac...

Many of the trends that influenced the worldwide computer market in 2009 will continue to resonate in 2010, but their impact will change as new market forces come into play. The news is good for Apple laptops and the iMac and, well, not bad for the iPad.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the lower prices brought on by last year’s challenging economy will create new opportunities for emerging sub form factors, such as ultrathin portables and all-in-one desktops.

“We’re expecting consumer and commercial personal computer buyers alike to be more experimental with new types of computer, especially because of their lower price points,” says Bob O’Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays. “Hardware vendors and software developers should seize the opportunity to promote differentiation by rewriting the computing experience to match the new variety of Personal Computer sub form factors arriving in the market.”

IDC’s predictions for...

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Mar 08
Blu-Ray still (slowly) gaining ground

It appears that the pundits who predicted that Blu-ray would never make it are wrong. It’s been an uphill battle—especially once the economy bottomed out—but the next gen optical technology continues to gain ground, if slowly.

Overall, worldwide DVD and Blu-ray player and recorder unit shipments declined to 137 million units in 2008. The In-Stat research group expects a modest increase in 2009, with a more healthy increase in 2010, spurred by high volume shipments of Blu-ray players.

Standard Definition DVD players will decline at a slow but steady rate as consumers opt for Blu-ray for replacement or upgrades in the primary television room. DVD players will continue to ship in areas where HD programming is less accessible including Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia, and for secondary television sets within a household.

In North America, significant price drops of Blu-ray players are driving unit shipments to triple in 2009. With Blu-ray...

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Mar 05
Analyst: Apple will sell 33 million iPhones this year...

In a note to clients, Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig thinks Apple will see 33 million iPhones this year even without a deal with Verizon deal, as many folks have expected -- or at least hoped for (including Yours Truly).

However, for Apple to continue to grow the iPhone market, it has to had more carriers at some point, he told clients. If Apple did indeed add a Verizon iPhone to its offering, Craig predicts that would see another eight million of the devices sold in 2011.

Without a Verizon deal, Craig told clients he's upping his “base case” for the iPhone next year. He thinks 2011 units could go as high as 55 million if more carriers, including Verizon, are added by Apple.

| Read more »
Mar 05
ChangeWave: huge wave of iPad demand striking Amazon

A ChangeWave (http://www.changewave.com) survey of 3,171 consumers -- conducted in the aftermath of the January iPad announcement -- shows a huge wave of pre-launch demand for the iPad and offers key evidence that the Apple tablet will have a major impact on the e-Reader, laptop and home entertainment markets.

In particular, while a handful of e-Reader manufacturers – most prominently Amazon – clearly have a major head start, the survey findings show the iPad is poised to profoundly shake up this market. Among consumers who already own an eBook reader, the Amazon Kindle (68%) towers over its next closest rival, the Sony Reader (10%). But to gauge the potential impact of the iPad on this market, we asked eBook reader owners whether they would have purchased their current e-Reader if the Apple iPad had also been available.

One part of ChangeWave's survey asked "Now think back to when you purchased...

| Read more »
Mar 05
Apple Remote to 'go universal'?

An Apple patent (number 20100052870) for an intelligent infrared remote pairing has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. It indicates that Apple may be eyeing its own universal remote control or, more likely, expanding the range of the current (or future versions of the) Apple Remote.

Systems and methods for associating a remote controller with a device are provided. The systems and methods generally relate to receiving a request from a remote controller to pair the remote controller to a device at several devices and determining at each of the several devices the strength of the wireless pairing request signal received by that device. If a device determines that its received signal is the strongest, the device may be paired with the remote controller. If instead a device determines that its received signal is not the strongest, it may ignore subsequent communications received from the remote controller. The inventor is Nicholas Vincent King.

Here's...

| Read more »
Mar 05
Migration Kit: inventory/stock control software for...

For those new to the column, Macsimum Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs -- or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as dentistry, accounting, etc.) This week we look at inventory/stock control software for the Mac.

BestellWas!

BestellWas! (http://www.everling-net.de/) is a German merchandise and inventory control system for a small or middle size mail order business. Package modules include contact management, article and services management with automatic inventory control, accounting as well as mass mailing functions. The Mac OS X software is ready for use with the Euro and offers many reporting features.

Business Open

Business Open (http://...

| Read more »
Mar 04
iPad delays? Yes. No. Yes. Maybe

Will the iPad launch be delayed? Yes, no, and maybe.

Checks in Taiwan find some minor delays on production of the Apple device, according to ThinkEquity analyst Vijay Rakesh -- as noted by "Barron's" (http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/03/04/apple-thinkequity-re...). His findings echo a similar assertion by Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek. However, Misek's assertions were contradicted by a "DigiTimes" report that said there are no delays.

“The manufacturing of the iPads was supposed to pick up in February, buy volumes in March are still low,” Rakesh wrote in note to clients. “But checks are indicating iPad volumes will pick back up to the 800,000-1 million units/month [range] into...

| Read more »
 
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