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Rumor: iPad production reaches 2 million units per month

It seems that several analysts decided to publish new guesses about how Apple’s sales did last quarter. Among these guesses was one which was a presented by more than one analyst and which suggested that Apple may have increased production of iPads to 2 million units a month. Apple is scheduled to introduce the iPad in nine new  countries this month and it would seem only prudent to continue increasing production as there is no sign that demand is slacking off in the countries where the device is already available and it is more likely than not to face high demand in the new markets. Just today I came across a 64 GB WiFi iPad selling for almost $1800 in a shop in Rio de Janeiro.  This is almost 3 times the value of the device in an Apple Store in the US.  Brazil is not one of the countries where the iPad is already available, but there is clearly strong demand, considering the asking...
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Apple’s secrecy might be responsible for the new iPhone’s reception issues

Apple’s secrecy might be responsible for the new iPhone’s reception issues
A lot of people are complaining about reception issues with the iPhone 4, while a lot of other people say they have had no issues at all. I won’t take sides here to say that there are issues or not, but I will presume for the sake of argument that they do in fact exist. How could such a serious issue such as this go undetected to the point where the phone has not only gone into production but actually sold millions of units?  Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Apple hasn’t sold millions of the iPhone 4.  Their original sales announcement stated that they had sold over 1.7 million iPhones in the first 3 days of sales.  Well, its been four days since those numbers were drawn up and there can little doubt that they have far passed the 2 million units . I would have to say that I can’t imagine that Apple would have really released a product which was as susceptible to interference from the user’s hand as the iPhone 4 seems to be if reports are to be believed, unless this issue was not discovered until very late in the production process.  But how could this happen? Apple’s need for total secrecy around new products might very well lay at the heart of this question.  Let’s go back a short while in time and remember the lost/stolen iPhone incident where an Apple employee left a bar without his iPhone prototype.  At that time several posts that described the prototype made reference that it was inside a case which made it look like an iPhone 3G. Considering Apple’s extreme need secrecy requirements it is quite possible that employees that were testing the phone were required to use the device inside such a case at all times in order to avoid having it seen in public and identified for what it was.  If that was the case then it is all together possible that when the device was field tested, by company requirement, it was always insulated from the user’s hands by the case that meant to disguise its appearance.  In this case most, if not all, of the testing of the phones in everyday usage scenarios would have been done in conditions which would have prevented the people participating in the tests from ever really noticing the problem. Apple uses the incredible secrecy it manages to maintain around its products to great marketing effect.  Certain knowledge that a new device will be released with cool new features would probably affect sales of the current generation much more than the notion that a new model should be released around a certain time of the year.  Also, the general anticipation for seeing what a new product will look like, what will be its features and price help fuel discussion on the media and on the tech blogs resulting in a lot of free advertisement for the company.    All this has always been very positive for the company. It is quite possible that this last round of secret development, despite prototype leakage, may have been hugely beneficial to initial iPhone 4 sales, while at the same time being intrinsically detrimental to the usage experience of a large number of users. *Images: Apple...
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Apple’s party line on iPhone 4 reception problems leaked

It was reported earlier today by Boy Genius Report that they had received a leaked document providing guidance on how Apple Store staff should treat complains about bad reception on the new iPhone 4.   This documents makes it clear that Apple is well aware of the reception issues and that it is sticking by the “it’s-normal with mobiles” position that was first championed by the Steve Jobs in one of the short emails he has been sending users of late. The following is the full set of instructions contained in the document as published by Boy Genius Report: Keep all of the positioning statements in the BN handy – your tone when delivering this information is important. The iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. Our testing shows that iPhone 4’s overall antenna performance is better than iPhone 3GS. Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band. The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas. Do not perform warranty service. Use the positioning above for any customer questions or concerns. Don’t forget YOU STILL NEED to probe and troubleshoot. If a customer calls about their reception while the phone is sitting on a table (not being held) it is not the metal band. ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it. We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers – DON’T promise a free bumper to customers. Boy Genius Report questions if people don’t find it troubling that there is no mention of an impending software fix.  I’m not expecting one any time soon.  Let’s face it, if this is really a serious hardware design issue, finding a “software” solution for it at any time would be pretty incredible, finding it in a couple of weeks is probably too much to expect.  After all, if they already knew what the solution for the problem was they quite probably could have fixed it before complains where popping up all...
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Rumor: iPhone on Verizon in January?!

Today, rumors have been flying left and right about Verizon starting to carry the iPhone as of January 2011.  This would coincide with the company starting to operate a new technology network supporting much faster data speeds. This portion of the rumor is what actually lends it some credence as it seems rather unlikely that Apple would put the effort into developing a version of the iPhone supporting Verizon’s current technology which has gone into disuse elsewhere in the world and which the company will start to migrate from in the not so distant future. If this rumor should prove to be true, we can expect that the iPad will follow soon. The rumor started at Bloomberg and was picked up by several sites.  So far it is just an unsubstantiated rumor on which (as usual) both companies declined to...
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iPad users will probably get iOS 4 before November

iPad users will probably get iOS 4 before November
A piece on Advertising Age that came to my attention through a post by Daniel Eran Dilger on AppleInsider suggests that iOS 4 will not come to the iPad before November.   This was extrapolated from the fact that Apple seems to be telling advertisers with its new iAd mobile advertising network that the service will not be available on the iPad before November. iAd support is one of the features of the new iOS 4 that are not already available in the iPad’s iPhone OS 3.2.  Several of the features that were introduced on the iPhone with iOS 4 were already available on the iPad’s version of iPhone OS, such as spell checking and the support for bluetooth keyboards. I would bet, however, that Apple will actually release the new operating system for the iPad some time before November as to allow time for users to update their devices before the ad service goes live.   It would make little sense to have the ad service going live for the iPad in the same day that people will be starting to update the devices.  There simply wouldn’t be enough users to view the ads on the first couple of days to give advertising customers a good impression of the return they can expect. It is possible that Apple is playing it safe with its advertisers and that it will release iOS 4 for the iPad some time before November so that there is time to ensure that enough users have updated their devices and can therefore see and interact with the ads.  In this scenario we can probably expect iOS 4 for the iPad to be released sometime in...
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Rumor: Apple gathering information about FaceTime calls? What for?

The Apple Core blog on ZDNet has just published a post with information from a supposed Apple leak stating that the company is gathering information about all FaceTime calls being placed on the new iPhone 4.   According to the person providing the information and that seems to claim to be an Apple employee the company would be gathering information on who is calling who and from where. I see no purpose for Apple to gather this information, but then I can see no reason for Google to be collecting information from WiFi networks when their Street View cars where filming streets, so… Who knows?  Maybe it is the next step in Steve Jobs’ final world domination...
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First batch of the iPhone 4 is already sold out

First batch of the iPhone 4 is already sold out
It would seem that the iPhone 4 is going to get as warm a reception, and perhaps even more so, as the iPad had.  This Tuesday was the first day of pre-orders for the phone and it seems that iPhone 4 users were out in force.  At first it was AT&T that changed its target delivery day, but by the end of the day Apple’s online store seemed to have gone through its inventory of iPhones for delivery on the 24th, the first day of sales. Currently the Apple online store is showing a shipping date of July 2nd. It should be fun to see Apple’s sales numbers once they start to make them available.  I’m guessing the iPhone will be outselling the iPad at a brisk pace. Recent rumors suggested that Apple might have had several million phones stocked to ensure that there was no shortage of handsets when the iPhone goes on sale on June 24th. Soon we should find out if this rumor is...
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Is a high resolution iPad comming soon?

Some evidendence that has been dug up in Apple’s own documentation seems to suggest that a high resolution display is already planned for the iPad. Considering how far ahead Apple seams to plan everything these days, we shouldn’t read too much into this. It’s now been about three months since the release of the iPad and it is really doubtful that Apple will release a new version before the end of the year.
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Apple might release a retail store application for iOS devices

A rumor has been floating around that Apple might release a retail store application for the iOS devices.  This application would allow users to make appointments for the Genius Bar at the brick and mortar store of the user’s choosing. It’s possible that such an application will allow users to pre-order products for in-store pick up as well.
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Steve Jobs hints at iPods with cameras

During his keynote at WWDC10 this Monday Steve Jobs mentioned that Apple was going to sell 10’s of millions of FaceTime enabled devices.  Notice that he did not say phones, but devices.  As I don’t think that Apple is going to release a new model of iPad this year, that could only mean new iPod Touch models, equipped with cameras. It would be too soon to replace the first generation iPad, as Apple is barely keeping up with demand.  Adding a cameras and making the iPod more of a communications device Apple will be able to better differentiate the iPad and the iPod Touch (which is being referenced by many as the iPad Nano). In a couple of months we might be seeing invitations distributed to another special Apple media event to introduce a new line of iPods, which will include FaceTime...
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AT&T considering extension of unlimited iPad data plan

Rumors have been floating around all they that AT&T is considering extending the availability of its current unlimited data plan for the iPad, which is being cancelled and replaced by a new plan limited to 2 GB of traffic.   The plan that is being retired was offered for $29.95 while the new plan will be offered at $25,95.  For this difference of $4 you are taken from unlimited data traffic to a mere 2 GB. Its no wonder the unlimited plan is being cancelled.  I seriously doubt that many people would choose to have the limit with such a small difference in cost. AT&T made a huge mistake in presuming that people wouldn’t be using the iPad much in the 3G network and is now compounding that mistake by misshandling the situation.  The way the unlimited access plan is being withdrawn goes against the way the iPad was marketed by Apple and looks like company was baiting users to buy the device and increase the prices of the data plan once a large number of devices were sold. It seems that the current plan will be offered to anyone that buys an iPad before June 7th.  Everyone that contracted the unlimited plan will be able to stay with that plan, but if they cancel, they won’t be able to get it back. Having an unlimited data plan which you could pay for only when needed, without the requirement of a long term contract was, again, one of the major selling points of the iPad in the US, so there is going to be a lot of people outraged at this sudden change in the rules. AT&T is blundering along in this issue and Apple is sure to catch a lot of backlash because of...
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Rumor: Visual Studio for iPhone OS development?

With the possibility that we have all seen the next iPhone in leaked prototypes and pictures in Vietnam, not to mention the notorious misplaced iPhone prototype that was purchased by a gadgets site, people have started to turn to other possibilities on how Steve Jobs might still surprise us in his keynote at WWDC 2010.  The latest rumor?  Microsoft will announce that a new version of Visual Studio will support development of applications for iPhone, iPod and iPad at the event. While this isn’t impossible, as Microsoft has done stranger things in the past, it would certainly be an interesting turn of events.  Specially at a time when Adobe is making noise about Apple not wanting other companies to have development tools for its iPhone OS platform.  If Microsoft were to announce that you can develop for iPhone OS using its Visual C++ development environment it would be consistent with Apple’s position development has to be done using native tools and C++ or Objective-C, underscoring the point that Adobe’s Flash does not meet this criteria. Some have gone so far as to suggest that Steve Balmer would personally announce this new Visual Studio  capability during Steve Jobs’ keynote on June...
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Chinese iPad Clone seems to be really “magical”

Chinese iPad Clone seems to be really “magical”
I ran into a post on geek.com that has pictures and information about a chinese clone of the iPad.  I don’t imagine anyone thought it would be too long before these were around but I was impressed with the device’s truly “magical” nature, to borrow Apple’s favorite term for describing the iPad.  The post provides some information on the claimed specs for the device and it one part really caught my attention: Other specs include a 10-inch screen which supports a 1024×600 display capable of 1080p video… If a device with a vertical screen resolution can be described as capable of 1080p video (which is defined as a video with 1080 lines of vertical resolution) it must be truly magical.  Even the original iPad only claims to do 720p (which is an altogether different concept from 1080p, but coincidentally does have 720 lines of vertical resolution) on a display with 768 vertical lines.     I imagine that even the iPad’s claimed resolution is not that accurate with the difference in the aspect ration of  the display and that of most movies which are now wide screen.   It will be interesting to keep an eye on these clone devices as I am sure they will attract a large number of users who can’t afford an iPad but have seen it in action and liked it or just want to carry around what most will perceive as the hottest gadget on the market.  A well place Apple logo sticker on the back and you might not be able to tell the difference without handling the device and I’m sure either the manufacturers or the retailers will be happy to provide black apple-shaped stickers.     Other tech specs provided for the device include: 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and 512MB of RAM. The device will be running Android 2.1.   The model displayed in the pictures seems to be a prototype for which the designers are still in search of a large scale manufacturer. Images: shanzhaiben.com (via geek.com) Is it just me or is claiming that a device with a vertical resolution of 600 does 1080p video just ludicrous?Not even the original is so “magical” as it does 720p video on a vertical resolution of...
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Will all iPad competition be stillborn?

Will all iPad competition be stillborn?
Over the last couple of months several devices have been touted as iPad competitors, some even as iPad killers. It would seem that nothing could be furthest from the truth then those first comments about several different devices.   In just a couple of days we have had news that HP has moved to acquire Palm, a maker of smartphones which has put a lot of effort into creating its own mobile operating system and that Microsoft has canceled its internal development project on the dual screen mobile device that was being called Courier. Why are these two fact so significant?  Let’s start by looking at the HP acquisition of Palm… From the beginning it has been clear to me that Windows 7 just isn’t going to cut it as tablet operating system to compete with the iPad’s iPhone OS.  It would seem that some people at HP recognized this fact and moved to secure a promising OS from a team with great experience in working in the mobile world and with touch interfaces, but from a company that lacked HP’s deeper pockets to be able to push harder. This is a smart move by HP and one that may provide the missing element for HP to compete with Apple: an OS it has total control over and that can be tailored to HP’s devices.  As a consequence of the move to acquire Palm and its intellectual property HP seems to have delayed the release of its Slate tablet. Delaying the Slate makes good sense as (running Windows 7)  it would be a poor competitor for the iPad and it might tarnish the brand as it moves to produce and release a device running a properly developed (from the ground up) touch-based mobile operating system.  So, while it is possible that HP might still release the Windows powered Slate tablet, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it. Then we have Microsoft’s Courier project.  This has never been more than a leaked story or rumor, a rumor that seemed to be true in essence but not in detail.  It would seem that Microsoft never intended to released the Courier as a product but was instead using it as a testbed for new technologies.  This is a common practice of Microsoft’s research branch.  So it would seem that the Courier that some considered to be a worthy response from Microsoft to the iPad is, in the end, nothing of the sort.  A pity. A company with Microsoft’s history deserves better than to just dwindle away, but that is what is going to happen if they don’t get their act together pretty soon. There were several other devices that caught the attention of the technology media and blogs or at least a lot of rumors.  One other tablet to have figured prominently in the news recently was the JooJoo, from a Singapore based company named Fusion Garage.  This device which looks very good in theory got bad reviews from those that tried, as you can see if you follow the link to Engadget.  There was a lot of talk about the device up till about a month ago but there was also a lot of talk about a lot of pre-orders for the device being canceled before it actually shipped.  These are, however, rumors as far as I know.  The JooJoo though now a shipping product doesn’t seem to have a snowball’s chance in hell of threatening the iPad as a direct competitor. Right now the iPad seems to have been given free rein to grow and expand into the...
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Dell really loves the iPad

Dell really loves the iPad
It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… If that is true we can presume that Dell really admires Apple, if the picture below is any indication.  The picture supposedly shows two future Dell products that are a part of a new line called Streak.  These would be the Streak 7 and Streak 10, when they are released.  The 7 inch version is supposed to be released later this year with the 10 inch version being slated for 2011. As you can see the devices look very much like the iPad.  To be fair to Dell I guess we have to admit that this design has probably been extensively tested and not only by Apple.  The picture above was reportedly leaked to Engadget today, as part of an internal document. Images:...
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