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All posts in iPhone

Tether Returns to iPhone, Circumvents App Store with HTML5 App

Tether serviceTethering has had something of a checkered history on the iPhone, having been unofficially available in more than one Trojan horse that’s slipped past the App Store gates as well as via jailbreak apps. Now the folks at Tether have figured out a way to circumvent the App Store entirely with a new HTML5-based app.

Tether announced on Friday the company’s relaunch of their iPhone app, but don’t go looking for it on the App Store. The new version is completely HTML5-based, requiring an annual subscription to create an AdHoc wireless connection for any iPhone or iPad with a data connection.

“It was clear from our initial application iTether, there was enormous demand within the iPhone ecosystem,” explains Tim Burke, CEO of Tether. “It was unfortunate that Apple decided to remove our application, only 20 hours after we launched. However, this caused us to innovate. Our underlying patent-pending technology behind Tether for iPhone is unlike anything on the market.”

Perfect for frequent travelers since it works worldwide without having to fiddle with network or carrier settings, users simply sign up, pay a per year subscription fee, download a Mac or PC client and browse to the Tether website on their mobile device to tether to an AdHoc network.

For a limited time, the Tether subscription service is only for the first year ( per year thereafter), but keep in mind that carriers frown on such unsanctioned workarounds and you’ll likely get the stink eye from them if you use too much data this way.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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T-Mobile USA Posts Loss for Q4 2011, Blames iPhone 4S, But LTE Coming

T-Mobile girl with tip jarHow bad are things for fourth-place U.S. carrier T-Mobile? Apparently, so bad that they issue a press release to announce fourth-quarter operating results which mentions being “negatively impacted” by the release of the iPhone 4S on three other carriers, right in the first sentence.

T-Mobile USA parent Deutsche Telekom has announced their Q4 2011 financials, but the news isn’t all that fantastic for the nation’s fourth-place carrier. The failure of the AT&T marriage was certainly a blow, although ultimately T-Mo benefitted from the loss with a billion cash payment in December, plus additional spectrum and roaming for its customers.

The problem is one of diminishing returns, as T-Mo USA bled 526,000 customers in the fourth quarter after gaining 126,000 in the third quarter; the carrier only lost 23,000 in the same quarter a year ago.

“The sequential and year-on-year increase in customer losses is a result of intense competitive pressure from the launch of the iPhone 4S by three nationwide competitors in the fourth quarter of 2011,” the press release notes. “In addition, higher connected device deactivations contributed significantly to the net customer loss in the fourth quarter of 2011, including a nearly 265,000 deactivation related to one customer with a yearly service revenue impact of less than million.”

Revenue dropped from .69 billion a year ago to .57 billion, which doesn’t sound so bad considering the carrier is still serving 33.2 million customers. “However, not carrying the iPhone led to a significant increase in contract deactivations in the fourth quarter of 2011,” explained T-Mo USA president and CEO Philipp Humm. “In 2012 and 2013, T-Mobile USA will invest to get the business back to growth, including an incremental .4 billion investment in its network modernization initiative, which will total a billion investment over time.”

So how will T-Mobile USA get its mojo back? It’s all about LTE, which the carrier plans to start deploying in 2013 on the AWS spectrum it received as a bonus for the AT&T merger not going through as planned. “This anticipated network transformation will significantly enhance coverage and performance for customers,” the press release notes — assuming there are many left by the time it lights up.

Perhaps the real question is: Will the 2012 iPhone finally go pentaband (if not LTE) to allow for 3G/4G data on T-Mobile? If so, we can see a healthy market for unlocked iPhone 5 models later this year…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of CellularPCS.com)

 

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iPhone 4S Arrives March 9 on China Telecom

Chinese flag in iPhoneApple may be plagued with a trademark dispute over the iPad name at the moment, but that hasn’t distracted them from expanding the horizons for the iPhone, which will finally debut on China Telecom next month as widely rumored.

Reuters is reporting that Apple has finally put pen to ink on a deal with China Telecom, which will bring the iPhone to two out of three carriers in that country. Despite being ranked as the smallest of the trio, sales with China Telecom is expected to boost Apple’s share of the smartphone market there, which fell to only 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 thanks to offerings by fast-rising Chinese manufacturer ZTE Corp.

“Apple’s iPhone market share in China will be quite steady after its deal with China Telecom,” remarked analyst Jane Wang with Beijing-based Ovum. “The deal is bound to boost iPhone sales, but telecom operators won’t be giving up the mid- and low-tier smartphone market, and sales of those phones will still be quite strong.”

China Telecom is valued at billion despite being the smaller of the country’s three carriers, following in the path paved by second-largest China Unicom. Unfortunately, China’s largest carrier, China Mobile Ltd. with more than 600 million subscribers, uses an incompatible, proprietary 3G technology known as TD-SCDMA which is not supported by the iPhone. The company is expected to begin trials on a 4G LTE network later this year or early 2013 at the latest, which could better position the number one carrier to land the iPhone.

Online preorders for the iPhone 4S through China Telecom will begin on March 2, with sales kicking off on March 9, bundled with a service contract.

“iPhone 4S has been an incredible hit with customers around the world. We’re thrilled to be launching iPhone 4S with China Telecom and can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers in China,” Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Siri Spills the Beans on iPhone 4S Japanese Support

Siri speaks Japanese?Uh-oh! There’s another product leak out of Apple headquarters, only this time it may be hard to discipline the party who spilled the beans. If you don’t believe us, pull out your iPhone 4S and ask Siri what languages she speaks — then try to figure out which one doesn’t exist yet.

AppleInsider is reporting that Siri herself has confirmed an upcoming feature of the virtual assistant. On Tuesday, a number of iPhone 4S users noticed that asking Siri what languages she speaks came back with an interesting answer: “I speak English, French, German and Japanese… so far.” (As seen in the image above — others have seen some variation of this as well.)

Thing is, Siri doesn’t speak Japanese — at least not yet. Going to the Siri settings today as the virtual assistant suggests simply offers the usual three flavors of English plus French and German, same as it ever was. So what gives?

Apparently, Siri herself is responsible for leaking one of her own upcoming features. There have been rumors in recent weeks that the Siri service would expand to include Japanese, Mandarin and even Russian, presumably with the forthcoming iOS 5.1 update that is expected in March alongside the next iPad.

The find isn’t a complete surprise — Apple has already promised that Siri will gain the powers of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian and Spanish this year, particularly important considering how quickly the iPhone 4S has rolled out internationally since launching last October.

The real question is, how will Apple discipline their virtual assistant for the slip? Next thing you know, she’ll be leaving iPhones at a local bar… oh, never mind, that’s strictly for the humans to do…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Apple Posts a Pair of New iPhone 4S Commercials: “Road Trip” and “Rock God”

Apple "Road Trip" commercialThe folks in Cupertino clearly believe that Siri is the future, and to prove it they’ve made it the focus of their iPhone 4S television commercials thus far — not much of a surprise, considering it’s harder to sell improved specs to the general public. (Never mind that Android-based devices continue to try that approach.) Apple continues the same approach with two new commercials.

Apple posted two new iPhone 4S television commercials to its YouTube account on Thursday night, both squarely focused on showing users how they can improve many areas of their life by using Siri’s virtual assistant technology. The spots continue the same approach as the holiday-themed commercial that found Santa Claus using Siri to help deliver gifts on Christmas Eve.

“Road Trip” shows a series of iPhone 4S users in various travel situations using Siri to get out of a jam. Curiously, most of these users have their faces cropped or otherwise obscured to keep the focus on the handset itself, a tactic also used in the Santa Claus spot to great effect. Siri is called upon for directions, finding gas stations, several destinations and even viewing the stars in the sky, such as Orion.

Likewise, “Rock God” follows the exploits of a young man who decides to take up playing guitar through learning how to play such classics as “London Calling” and “Whole Lotta Love,” creating a list of potential band names and finally, notifying friends via text message that the band will be performing in the garage that night. Last but not least, the fledgling rock star reminds Siri to call him “Rock God” from now on, and the virtual assistant is happy to oblige.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Friday Recap: Palm CEO Leaves HP, Apple Beats Samsung, T-Mobile Embraces iPhone

Former Palm CEO Jon RubinsteinWhat a week! Apple is swimming in more cash than they know what to do with, the Macworld/iWorld show is winding down in San Francisco and the EFF is working overtime to keep jailbreaking legal. What’s that? You didn’t hear about that? Why, you’ve come to the right place, then… step right up and have a heaping handful of the best and brightest news for this Friday, January 27, 2012.

Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein Exits HP

The strange, twisted saga of webOS took another interesting turn today with the announcement that former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein (pictured above) has officially left the building at HP. According to The Verge, an HP spokesperson confirmed the departure with a simple “Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well,” apparently in reference to a commitment he was tied to when HP purchased Palm in 2010. Of course, it doesn’t help that the baby he has been nurturing since its introduction in 2008 — that being webOS and its associated Pre, Pixi and TouchPad hardware — has been put out to pasture by HP, with webOS kicked downstairs as a curious open source project whose future is still uncertain. Rubinstein granted Verge boss Joshua Topolsky an exclusive exit interview which is worth a read for any Palm fans still lurking about.

Apple Again Ranked as World’s Largest Smartphone Vendor for Q4 2011

We can’t say we’re too shocked after seeing Cupertino’s record financial results earlier this week, but research firm Strategy Analytics today confirmed that Apple has narrowly passed Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone vendor for the last three months of 2011, with 37 million sold compared to Sammy’s 36.5 million. It’s a bit of a hollow victory, since Samsung still takes home the gold ribbon for the entire year, with 97.4 million smartphones versus Apple’s 93 million, but the better news for the industry is that global shipments are up 54 percent and a record 155 million smartphones were sold in the fourth quarter. Samsung’s market share for the year is 19.9 percent compared to Apple’s 19 percent, with Nokia in third place with 15.8 percent, having shipped 77.3 million devices during 2011.

Like Jailbreaking? Help the EFF Keep It Legal

Many of us take jailbreaking our iOS devices quite seriously, but did you know that an exception to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that made the practice legal is about to run out? According to AppleInsider, the exception granted by the DMCA in 2010 will lapse this year, and could potentially make it a crime for users to jailbreak and unlock their devices. Crazy, right? Thankfully, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wants to come to the rescue and is lobbying for users to speak out and make their voices heard by the DMCA with a new “Jailbreaking Is Not A Crime” website. “The DMCA is supposed to block copyright infringement, but it’s been misused to threaten tinkerers and users who just want to make their devices more secure and more functional,” explains EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “The U.S. Copyright Office should hear from concerned Americans who want to run software of their choice on the gadgets of their choice.” The EFF also seeks to expand the current exception to “specifically cover tablets and videogame systems,” so hit the website and throw your hat into the ring while you still can.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Sets the Record Straight on Factory Workers

Yesterday, The New York Times published an exposé on factory conditions where Apple’s manufacturing is done in China — and to say it didn’t paint a pretty picture is an understatement. Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook is firing back, with an email sent to Apple employees to set the record straight. According to 9to5Mac, who managed to get their hands on a copy of the email, Cook went on the offensive: “For the many hundreds of you who are based at our suppliers’ manufacturing sites around the world, or spend long stretches working there away from your families, I know you are as outraged by this as I am. For the people who aren’t as close to the supply chain, you have a right to know the facts.” Cook has good reason to be defensive about the accusations, since his former role as COO made him directly responsible for the manufacturing of Apple’s products for quite some time prior to being enlisted as Steve Jobs’ heir to the CEO throne last year.

Beginning Sunday, T-Mobile Will Heart iPhone Customers Even More

It’s no secret that there are around a million iPhone users who have chosen to unlock their handsets and hang their shingle at fourth-place carrier T-Mobile, despite the fact that their device is incapable of using the company’s 3G and faux 4G radio bands. T-Mo has quietly supported such customers, but according to TmoNews, that support will be coming out of the closet this weekend. On January 30, T-Mobile “will begin offering additional support to customers using an Apple iPhone on our network.” Such support will include “common procedures, information about feature and specifications and other basic device questions.” T-Mobile has frequently been a safe haven for customers who prefer buying an unlocked device and paying month-to-month or even prepaid, and the carrier seems quite happy to embrace those lost souls into their own bosom.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of The Verge)

 

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Wednesday Recap: PaperPort Notes, iPhone 5 Manufacturing, iOS Beats Android

PaperPort NotesStill reeling from yesterday’s blowout fiscal first quarter financial results from Apple? Then you’ll want to keep reading as we detail a few tidbits of other data culled from the company’s conference call with investors, not to mention a handful of other news that’s making the rounds in the middle of this final week of January. Ready to proceed? Then let’s get started with the latest news from Wednesday, January 25, 2012.

Notes from Apple’s Fiscal First Quarter Results

As we reported Tuesday, Apple had another of those “best quarters ever,” with .33 billion in revenue and a net profit of .06 billion. But those numbers were only the headlines, with plenty of details revealed in a conference call with investors after the news broke. Among them: Apple has 85 million iCloud customers currently signed up for the free service. The App Store continues its ascent, with 550,000 apps in total (170k specific to the iPad). The company’s “hobby” product, the Apple TV, sold another 2.8 million units during the last quarter, which puts the total for the second-generation streaming box at around 4.2 million thus far. Most curiously, Apple CEO Tim Cook claims that the iPad saw no positive or negative effect from the release of Amazon’s Kindle Fire back in November, with a record 15.4 million iPads sold during the quarter. Cook was quick to note: “People who want an iPad won’t settle for a limited function tablet.”

Nuance Wants You To Talk to Its PaperPort Notes App

Siri has introduced voice-activated services to a new audience thanks to the iPhone 4S, but let’s not forget that other companies were pioneering the technology first. One of them, Nuance Communications, today announced the availability of a new free iPad app called PaperPort Notes, which takes advantage of the company’s Dragon voice recognition which allows users to take notes using only their voice. Of course, you’ll still have the option to write notes by hand or with the iPad keyboard, and you can access saved notes from cloud services including Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox or PaperPort Anywhere. The same software is also capable of annotating and highlighting documents, combining pages from both the web or the cloud and even capturing documents with the iPad 2’s built-in camera. Files are saved in standard PDF format so they can be easily shared with others. PaperPort Notes is a free 3.5MB download available now from the App Store and requires an iPad running iOS 4.2 or later.

Rumor: iPhone 5 Ready to Manufacture, Summer Breeze A-Blowin’?

Despite Apple moving 37.04 million iPhones last quarter — largely made up of that iPhone 4S everyone seemed so disappointed by when it was announced in October — the rumor mill is already churning up word that another new iPhone model which could see a triumphant return for early sunny summer. According to 9to5Mac, “a reliable source at Foxconn” claims that the elusive iPhone 5 will soon head to manufacturing, with a confusing array of sample devices floating around the plant in China. OK, so we’ll bite: What’s new? The source claims the new handset will feature a “four-plus inch display” made by LG and a new design which departs from the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S — but not the “teardrop-shaped” version that was floating around in mockups last year. The source seems confident that Apple may unveil the iPhone 5 in time for an early sunny summer release, but color us skeptical.

Netflix Beats the Street, But Isn’t So Cocky About It

It’s been rather quiet on the Netflix front after a tumultuous 2011 for the company, but judging from their fourth-quarter financials, it seems the choppy waters have calmed, at least for the moment. According to AllThingsD, Netflix reported revenue of 6 million and earnings of 73 cents per share, slightly higher than analysts’ expectations of 7 million and 54 cents per share. Although the company previously warned that it would be losing money in 2012, Netflix clocked in 22 million subscribers for its U.S. streaming service, 11.17 for DVD and 1.86 million internationally — numbers that are upwards of 25 percent more than the previous year, which seems to indicate that all may be forgiven with its customers. However, the report concludes with a New York Post tidbit claiming that Amazon may soon offer “a standalone video service,” separate from its Prime-only offering today. “We expect Amazon to continue to offer their video service as a free extra with Prime domestically but also to brand their video subscription offering as a standalone service at a price less than ours,” the company explained, without going into details of how they might respond to such a threat.

Reuters Says iOS Trounced Android in Q4 2011

Apple and Google will likely be in a cat and mouse game for smartphone market share for the foreseeable future, but new research data revealed today appears to give Cupertino the upper hand — which should be little surprise after yesterday’s financial results. According to Reuters, Apple’s U.S. smartphone market share has doubled to 44.9 percent, narrowly passing Google’s open-source Android which slipped to 44.8 percent, down from 50 percent in the previous quarter. The data comes courtesy of research firm Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, who notes that Apple’s share climb has come at the expense of handset makers Motorola, HTC and Sony Ericsson, all of whom reported lower earnings last quarter. The news also isn’t good for Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, whose market share is below two percent in nine key markets where such data is tracked, even after the recent launch of Nokia’s much-hyped Lumia 800 in the U.K. Analyst Dominic Sunnebo still expects Windows Phone to nab “around a 10 percent share of European smartphone sales” later this year.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Wednesday Recap: AT&T Raising Data Rates, Fandor Movies, iPhone on the Rise

Fandor MoviesWith much of the internet blacked out today in protest of the pending SOPA bill, you’re probably ready to read about something — anything! — else to wind down your mid-week “hump day.” Of course, we’re all waiting to see what Apple will serve up to the educational community tomorrow, but in the meantime they’re busy slapping Samsung with another patent lawsuit aimed at the Korean manufacturer’s smartphones — so there’s no end in sight. In the meantime, here’s what else is making news for this wonderful Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

Nielsen: iPhone On The Rise, Android On The Decline

It seems that whenever some research firm makes the bold claim that Android is wiping the mat with iOS, another survey comes along that finds the opposite is true. According to TechCrunch, that’s exactly what’s happening this week with a new Nielsen report on smartphones which reveals that the iPhone is a favorite of 44.5 percent of recent buyers, up from a mere 25 percent in October — good news for the iPhone 4S, which was initially dismissed by many as a modest update from the iPhone 4. Even better news for Apple are Nielsen’s statistics on where Google’s Android lands during the same period, dropping from 61.6 percent to 46.9 percent. The report is quick to note that Android “still leads in total market share with 46.3 percent,” but it would seem the iPhone 4S is definitely a favorite among new smartphone buyers, with 57 percent choosing Cupertino’s latest and greatest.

AT&T Launching New Data Plans on Sunday, January 22

Noting that “customers are using more mobile broadband data than ever before,” AT&T Consumer Blog has announced that new data plans will be in effect starting this Sunday, January 22. Sadly, it’s not the rumored shared data bucket concept the carriers have been dangling over our heads like a fuzzy cat toy — instead, the new plans chip away at the wallets of smartphone users, a few bucks per month. Gone are the and data plans we now know and love, replaced with a far more greedy for 300MB (a increase for a lousy 50MB) or for 3GB (a more reasonable increase for an extra 1GB). Users on the DataPro 3GB plan can increase that to 5GB along with mobile hotspot for another per month, which remains the same. iPad 3G owners will now have three choices: for 250MB (which remains the same), for 3GB or for 5GB. Existing users have nothing to fear — they can keep their current plans for now, but if you’re in the market for a new smartphone or tablet through AT&T, you might want to buy in the next couple of days just the same.

New OS X Lion 10.7.3 Beta Released to Developers

9to5Mac is reporting that Apple quietly slipped out a new beta build of Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3 to developers overnight. The good news is that the release notes cite no known issues, which could point to a public release any day now. The build carries the number 11D46 and follows the previous 11D42 by only a week, with developers asked to focus on iCloud Document Storage, Address Book, iCal, Mail, Spotlight and Safari. If you’re a Mac developer, you already know where to go to download the latest build — for everyone else, sit tight and you’ll get your chance soon enough.

Fandor Movies Introduces iPad App, Subscription Pricing

Catering to both indie films and mainstream movie lovers alike, Fandor Movies has introduced a free iPad app to the App Store today, promising “access to great films that you can’t find anywhere else, including titles often overlooked by conventional movie services.” Does that mean you’ll be stuck with an endless stream of public domain movies from the turn of the century? No way! Fandor’s service includes a “curated library of over one thousand independent and international films and makes it easy to share them with friends on Facebook and Twitter.” The app includes a unique “Spinner” feature that makes it fun to discover new movies, but members can always narrow down their choices by searching by specific genre or even length of a movie prior to spinning. While the iPad app may be free, the service is not — users can dip their toes in the water with a seven-day subscription for only .99 per week, hunker down with a 30-day subscription for .99 per month or go whole hog with a .99 per year annual subscription.

Whited00r Hack Brings iOS 3.1.3 Devices (Partially) Into 2012

Still have one of those original 2007 model iPhones hanging around in a drawer somewhere? It might be time to pull that sucker out of retirement, because a new jailbreak app available via Cydia is promising to breathe new life into your iOS device trapped on version 3.1.3. According to TechCrunch, an app named Whited00or manages “to pack in many of iOS 5’s flourishes and features, from app folders and video recording to multitasking and reminders.” If it sounds familiar, that’s because Whited00or has been in beta for a while but is now ready to rock your iOS 3.1.3 world. Keep in mind that Whited00r doesn’t actually allow you to install iOS 5 — it’s simply a mod offering some of the latest version’s cool features. Best of all, your aging device doesn’t need to be jailbroken already — Whited00r will happily take care of that for you as it does its magic.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Jailbroken iPhone 4S Teased on Video, Redsn0w Updated

Jailbroken iPhone 4SThere’s been a lot of hand-wringing among jailbreakers as to when Apple’s latest iOS devices might be freed from their ball and chains — those being the A5-powered iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, of course. As the “cat and mouse game” with Apple continues, it appears that at least the iPhone 4S may soon be free, judging from a video making its way around the internet.

iDownloadBlog is reporting that an untethered jailbreak for Apple’s A5 devices may be close to completion, according to the hacker known as pod2g. Don’t get excited just yet — there’s no word on when the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S may finally get their much-deserved freedom, but if the video shown here is any indication, we may not have long to wait.

“The video was shot by Dustin Howett, an iOS developer and member of the Chronic Dev Team,” iDownloadBlog notes. “As you can see, he demonstrates a complete, untethered jailbreak on his iPhone 4S.” Further evidence of an incoming untethered jailbreak for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S comes from hacker pod2g himself, who notes on his blog that there is “only a few to wait now.”

Meanwhile, over on the A4 and below front, Dev Team head honcho MuscleNerd tweeted this morning that an update has been pushed out to their popular redsn0w tool, bringing the version number to 0.9.10b4, which “incorporates the 5.0.1 fix for iBooks, and also for sporadic problems with launchctl.”

“Thanks to @xvolks for merging the iBooks (sandbox) fix from @comex’s github into the overall corona untether from @pod2g!” The Dev-Team Blog writes. “As usual, you can choose to install the fix either by re-running redsn0w over your existing jailbreak (de-select Cydia if you do that), or by installing the corona package from Cydia (it’s the same set of files no matter which way you choose).”

If you’re still on an older device (A4 processor or older), head over to The Dev-Team Blog and grab the latest redsn0w — but as always, be sure to read the instructions before proceeding!

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy iDownloadBlog)

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Friday Recap: iPhone 4S Causes Chaos in China, Bloomberg Dishes on iPad 3

iPhone 4S chaos in ChinaIt’s been something of a long week, especially for those trotting around in the Las Vegas desert for the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, which wraps up today. As we sit back and reflect on the week’s events, let’s take in a few more tidbits of news from the last 24 hours, including the troubled launch of the iPhone 4S in mainland China, kudos for Tiffen at CES, Apple’s supplier responsibility report and more for this fine Friday, January 13, 2012. Watch out for those ladders and black cats, folks!

iPhone 4S Retail Sales Halted in China After Launch Chaos

It was probably bound to happen sooner or later, but today’s launch of the iPhone 4S in mainland China was marred by incidents of violence, with the “frustrated crowd” taking aim at the outer glass walls of Apple’s retail store in Beijing (pictured above). According to The New York Times, Apple’s Beijing store didn’t open on schedule and some of the nearly 1,000 people waiting outside relieved their tension by throwing eggs at the storefront. As a result, Apple has “temporarily suspended sales of all iPhones at its five mainland China stores for the safety of customers and employees.” The handsets continue to be available online, both through Apple and carrier partner China Unicom’s website. And you thought buying an iPhone on launch day in the United States was crazy!

OnLive Desktop Hits the App Store

Right on schedule, cloud-based gaming service OnLive unleashed their new OnLive Desktop app for the iPad on Thursday night. Despite a few initial hiccups with some users (including us) unable to access the service after logging in, the free 4.8MB download works like a charm and lives up to the company’s promise of “a seamless, no-compromise, instant-response cloud-based PC desktop.” OnLive Desktop brings a touch-based Windows 7 experience to iPad users, complete with Microsoft Office and cloud-based storage for transferring documents back and forth. Existing OnLive users can use their current login credentials to access OnLive Desktop, and new users can sign up on the company’s website before downloading. Stay tuned, we’ll have a hands-on first look at OnLive Desktop coming on Monday!

CES 2012: Tiffen Dfx v3 Nabs Videomaker’s Best of CES Award

The folks at Tiffen issued a press release on Thursday to announce that their popular Dfx v3 digital effects suite software received some accolades at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which winds down today. Both Tiffen Dfx v3 and Domke RuggedWear bags were named Videomaker’s “Best of CES” for 2012 in their respective categories of CES Spotlight and CES Bag/Case. No one is more thrilled about the win than Tiffen President and CEO Steve Tiffen: “CES 2012 has been a tremendous success for The Tiffen Company. The ‘Best of Show’ awards given to us by Videomaker demonstrate the breadth and depth of design and development excellence we offer to the imaging community, whether they are looking for an accessory, like Domke bags, to keep their photography equipment protected, or comprehensive image editing software like Tiffen Dfx Software, which can be utilized for still and moving images by beginners or pros to do anything from a simple fix to enhance the emotion within their shoot.” A limited-time free trial version of Tiffen Dfx v3 is available from the company’s website.

Apple Issues 2012 Supplier Responsibility Report

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has posted its “Supplier Responsibility Progress Report” for the 2012 calendar year, which outlines the steps Cupertino is taking with both its manufacturers and their working conditions. Among the disclosures is an 80 percent increase in audits last year over 2010, with 229 throughout the company’s supply chain. The report reveals “108 facilities didn’t pay proper overtime wages and 93 facilities has records that indicated more than 50 percent of their workers exceeded the 60-hour work week.” Five facilities were also found with incidents of underage labor. CEO Tim Cook, whose speciality lies in the supply chain process, certainly likes the progress the company has made in the last year. “”I have spent a lot of time in factories over my lifetime and we are clearly leading in this area,” Cook told WSJ. “It is like innovating in products. You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem.” The Apple report is also newsworthy for its first public disclosure of more than 150 companies who provide parts and manufacturing for Cupertino.

Bloomberg Says iPad 3 Will Have HD Screen, 4G LTE

Why not close out CES 2012 week with another of those popular iPad 3 rumors, right? This time we’ve got one courtesy of Bloomberg, who is reporting that Apple’s next iPad will hit stores in March, complete with “a high-definition screen, run a faster processor and work with next-generation wireless networks.” Most of that falls in line with other rumors we’ve heard, but Bloomberg has twisted the arms of “three people familiar with the product” who say the iPad 3 will feature a quad-core chip and tap into both Verizon Wireless and AT&T 4G LTE networks for faster wireless data. “Mass production began at the start of this month, with factories running 24 hours a day in China,” the report claims. “Manufacturing will halt over China’s Lunar New Year holiday this month and then ramp back up to a peak in February,” explains another Bloomberg source. With half of January nearly done, we’ll probably find out soon enough whether it’s all true…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of The New York Times)

 

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