Tag: ios 5

Apple tells the DoJ where to get off

Apple is telling the US Department of Justice that it is its right to organise a cartel which forces users to pay more for ebooks than they need to.

The DoJ has arranged a settlement with most of the publishers who were involved in the price fixing cartel arranged by Steve Jobs. However, Apple, along with publishers Pearson and Macmillan, is reluctant to agree to terms.

It is not just the DoJ either – the European antitrust authorities are investigating possible electronic-book price-fixing, too.

It is not clear why Apple is holding out on the deal. Stubbornly hanging on to Steve Jobs’ arrangement could force an embarrassing trial and a huge anti-trust fine.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the publishers Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hachette Book Group want to settle.

What appears to have  happened is that Apple secured contracts from five publishers about two years ago as it was launching its iPad. Jobs wanted to establish his iTunes bookstore and both he and the publishers needed to break up Amazon’s dominance in the digital book market.

The deal they worked out meant that iTunes got some top books that Amazon did not see – and that the prices were inflated. 

Apple opens new legal front against Samsung

The epic World War One style slog between Jobs’ Mob and Android appears to be opening up for a second push as Apple continues patent trolling on behalf of its dead leader.

Before he died, Steve Jobs pledged to waste his company’s fortunes trying to patent troll the Mobile Operating System Android to death and so far his followers have been doing just that, with limited success.

According to Reuters, rather than learning that obeying a CEO who is dead is not a good idea, Apple has decided to step up the legal pressure on rival Samsung.

Samsung has released new ranges of products based around Android which should have satisfied any court that its phones and smartphones do not copy Apple. The only problem is that the ghost of Steve Jobs which runs Apple, apparently, does not think so.

Apple has asked a federal court in California to block Samsung from selling its new Galaxy Nexus smartphones, which use Google’s newest version of Android, called Ice Cream Sandwich. Apple claims that the phones violate four patents including new features such as a voice-command search function.

Galaxy Nexus was delayed by Samsung in October to pay respect to Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs and is the first phone running on the newest Android version.

Apple said in a filing that the Galaxy Nexus infringes on patents underlying features customers expect from Apple products. This includes unlocking phones by sliding an image and the ability to search for information by voice.

Patent expert Florian Meuller said that the Galaxy Nexus was singled out by Apple because it’s so new, and important.

Jobs’ Mob will now try to keep the product off the shelves until Android manufacturers switch to something which does not offend Steve Jobs’ Ghost or exit the mobile phone market completely. Apparently Apple is not interested in doing licensing deals, which would make it money, but wants to kill the operating system. 

Apple crumbles

Things are not well at Cupertino.

Market shares of the iPhone and iPad are declining, and its cunning plan to claw that back using patent troll tactics are not working.

According to Chosun, US market research firm Canaccord Genuity recently said Apple’s share of the American tablet PC market is forecast to fall from 74 percent in the third quarter to 53.2 percent in the fourth.

Ironically, the market killer is not the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has been the Apple legal department’s obession, but the the cheap and cheerful Kindle Fire which costs just $199.

Analysts think that the Fire is going to grab some 20 percent of the market in only 1.5 months since its release on 15 October.

The figures prove what we have always said. Outfits which copy Apple’s business model by making hugely expensive tablets were on a hiding to nowhere.

Analysts say that the shine has already gone from the iPhone 4S as users wake up to the fact that the phone is, really, an expensive upgrade.  It has a battery life which is shorter than Nicolas Sarkozy and takes lessons in communication from David Cameron by dropping important connections.

Some dealers in Korea have already slashed prices since the product was launched in early November. 

Of course, some corners of the press insist that the drop in sales is because punters are waiting to buy the iPhone 5, but KT and SK Telecom, which market the iPhone 4S in Korea, have been caught off guard by lackluster demand. Apple told dealers to buy a batch of at least 500,000 units and now they can’t flog them.

Telcos there say it is nothing to do with people waiting for the iPhone 5, and is more to do with the popularity of fourth-generation LTE protocol. SK is focusing more on selling LTE phones than the 3G iPhone 4S.

Apparently, the only thing that is keeping Apple relevant is its software and content. How long that will last is anyone’s guess. 

Apple's patent trollage gets ever more bizarre

Steve Jobs’ obsession with shutting down Andriod by spending all his company’s profits on hiring patent lawyers is starting to get out of hand.

A tiny restaurant in Luxembourg named AppleADay which makes “balanced fast food” has had a writ from Jobs’ Mob and ordered to shut its doors.

The reason is that Jobs’ legal hounds have decided that Apple fan boys are so stupid that they will confuse a small bistro with an Apple store.  The fear is that they will buy a sandwich thinking it is the latest slimmed down Air and will complain when they try to plug it in and it does not go.

Apple lawyers may have a point, anyone who is dumb enough to buy an iPhone 4S, which is identical to an iPhone 4, might have some problems with identification. But the rest of the universe, which can tie up its collective shoe laces, should be able to tell the difference between a sandwich bar and an Apple shop.

One of the owners of the restuarant told IT World that all the outfit wanted to do was create bistro menues of fast food that’s healthy. Local authorities gave the name their approval. The logo looks more like the Georgia Peach logo than the Apple computer logo.

Apparently Apple is so paranoid it feels that its international cargo cult will be brought to its knees by a 20 seat restaurant in Belgium that sells only drinks, sandwiches, and desserts.

The owners have offered Apple a deal that it will keep making sandwiches, not computers. We doubt that given the current mentality at Jobs’ Mob this will fly.

Currently Apple is leaning on the EU to mount an anti-trust investigation into its biggest Android competitor Samsung. The EU has apparently agreed to this and ignored the fact that it is Apple which appears to be doing its best to snuff out competition.  

There is some evidence though that Apple’s patent trollage is starting to have an effect on those in the tech community. For the first time it is starting to be seen as the bad guy and “doing evil” according to some commentary sites. Apple’s reality distortion shield has depended on the illusion that it was the creative guy standing up to the evil Microsoft. Now it is doing some things that Microsoft would not have dreamed of doing, that illusion is starting to be shattered. 

Iphone 4S drains battery like a vampire

The design geniuses at Apple, who are yet to come up with an iPhone 4 which did not have some serious design flaws, are scratching their heads about the latest problem which has hit the cargo cult’s latest toy.

Apple recently released the iPhone 4S which was an iPhone 4 with some software that only Americans could use and the stupid antenna design abandoned. While it was a clever idea to make users pay for something that many manufacturers would be morally bound to recall, it turns out that the iPhone 4S has a design problem all of its own.

For some reason the iPhone 4S loses battery faster than its users can charge it. Normally this is not a problem. The iPhone only has to be charged long enough for its users to attempt to convert other people to the Apple cult. It is not as if they use it to call their friends. But it seems that the iPhone 4S can’t even manage this task.

With normal use, it dropped 19 percent in 50 minutes and sometimes the battery dropped away at an even faster rate than that. Battery life has been dropping ten per cent an hour even when the optional location settings have been switched off.

Since the only thing different about the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 is the chip, the fault has been narrowed down to the operating system that was also installed on the phone. It turns out that the iOS 5 can’t really handle the new hardware.

After shedloads of complaints on Apple bulletin boards and lots of suggested fixes an Apple store staff member was able finally to fix the problem.

He claimed it was because the OS’s location services was constantly checking location especially for the Time Zone.

He was able to solve the problem by switching everything off in the Location Services > System Services menu except for Cell Network Search. His phone now lasts “pretty much the whole day”.

While the fault has been causing frustration for users, Apple has done its usual “refusing to comment” thing. To admit there is a fault, means that the iPhone 4S is not as perfect as Apple says it is, and that would create a religious paradox.

However, behind the scenes, the outfit’s engineers have been contacting some iPhone 4S owners who have complained of battery life issues individually and asked them to install a monitoring program on their phones to try to diagnose the problem.

But the Sydney Morning Herald has found another serious software fault affecting battery life on the iPhone 4S

Mathew Peterson, who runs the Australian app development company TheLittleAppFactory, said he found that another problem affecting the iPhone 4S battery life was the iCloud contacts syncing code, which crashes repeatedly when it hit corrupt contacts in a loop.

This harms those who have upgraded from previous iPhone models and causes the phone’s processor to work extra hard. The result is that the phone runs “noticeably warm” and it causes “the battery to drop 20-30 percent in 10-15 minutes”.

It can be fixed by disabling contacts in iCloud or restarting the device. Peterson said that you really have to install the entire OS and then copy the contacts back on. 

Apple blames press hype for indifferent results

Fruity cargo cult Apple is having a few reality distortion fields problems after its financial results failed to meet over-hyped expectations for the first time in years.

Apple turned in profits of $6.6 billion on revenues of $28.27 billion, which no-one in their right mind could describe as bad. But compared to its fourth quarter results in the same period last year, that apparently is hardly brilliant.

Since Steve Jobs returned, Apple has relied on its tame press to hype its products to the nines and play down any faults. The hype about a product will start several months in advance with the press speculating what the company was going to flog next.

But for the first time yesterday, the outfit stunned Wall Street by reporting results that missed expectations for the first time in years and it was all the press’s fault.

According to Apple the reason it did not do so well was because the press hyped the iPhone 4S too much. Eh? What?

The way we saw it was that the press whipped fanboys into a frenzy so that they queued for a product which was the same as the old product. The press did a damn fine job given that the only real difference between the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 was a slightly faster chip and some beta software which breaks the gizmo and is only available in the US.

So why is the bloke to whom Jobs gave the keys to his walled garden, Tim Cook moaning? Why did shares of Apple fell seven percent in extended trading on Tuesday, wiping some $27 billion off the value of the world’s largest technology company?

Apple claims it is because the press hyped the iPhone 4S as an iPhone 5, which it clearly wasn’t. But that is a fairly rubbish excuse given that the phone sold well.

Many analysts seem to think that Apple’s poor results are a glitch which will go away when the iPhone 4S sales kick in. But according to Wall Street the problem with Apple is people expect far too much from it. BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis told Reuters that for Apple to meet expectations they have to sell their quarter’s worth of revenue every 90 days which is tricky. In short, the reality distortion field is starting to crumble.

Normally Apple has been very conservative about its future expectations. Now we are starting to see Apple actually talking up its future expectations.

Cook said he was “very confident” of posting record iPhone sales in the current quarter. The company moved 4 million iPhone 4S units, more than double its predecessor, in its first three days, despite lukewarm reviews.

The iPad was another area where Apple did well, particularly as the only significant rival can be kept off the shelves with patent trollage. 

Apple wins injunction against Samsung down-under

The handbags at dawn war between Samsung and Apple seems to be going in Jobs’ Mob’s favour.

Apple, which is terrified that it might lose market share to Samsung and Android, has been taking out a number of patent troll actions across the world with the idea of taking its rivals product off the shelves.

Now, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian court slapped a temporary ban on the sale of Samsung Electronics’ latest computer tablet in Godzone.

It will take months for the complete case to play out in court and in the meantime Apple is left as the sole significant player in the tablet market in Australia.

The Federal Court, in granting the temporary ban, ruled Samsung had a case to answer on at least two of Apple’s patents. The ban applies on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet until the same court rules on the core patent issue.

However, Judge Annabelle Bennett told the court she wanted the case dealt with early. If Samsung can get the case to court quickly it might be in a position to get its rival product out there. So far, though, Samsung has been reluctant to push anything thing through despite the risk of missing out on Christmas sales, because it says it needs time to prepare a proper defence against Apple’s case.

Apple could also find that it forces Samsung to push a new generation of products onto the market.

Already leaked specs of the new Samsung smartphone show it is set to wipe out the iPhone 4S. If Samsung is forced to bring that to the market early then Apple would regret it.

It would still leave Samsung without a tablet.

Samsung left open the option of appealing against the ruling and pointed out that it would continue to pursue its own patent claim against Apple involving Samsung’s wireless technology.

Apple proves itself superior in court

The gift to modern high-tech computing, Apple has seen off a court challenge from those who sought to screw the company out of money over its rightful use of data.

The game-changing outfit was sued by those who felt that it should not be allowed to collect and make use of personal information without user consent or knowledge.

The plaintiffs claimed that that Apple had lied when it made public statements about protecting user privacy. It was just because the superior design of its iOS system permitted apps that subject consumers to privacy exploits and security vulnerabilities.

They claimed that Apple devices allow apps to track users by using the address book, phone numbers, file system, geolocation, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), keyboard cache, photographs, SIM card serial number, and unique device identifier (UDID).

Apple users were not told about this tracking, the company used this information and Apple did not take any action to prevent tracking and use of information.

But Judge Koh destroyed the complaint saying that the plaintiffs’ were not able to be specific enough and couldn’t prove that it happened to any one.

This is because the complaint sprang from a news story rather than a specific event. Without this, it is impossible to prove that anyone had been harmed. Anyway Judge Koh said Apple might have a good robust defence in its end user agreement.

According to Ars Technica, US courts don’t think that customers suffer if anonymous information is just collected.  Still High-Fives for Apple’s legal team there.  Apparently there is a new iPhone 5 out, we guess the world will start queueing for that any day now. 

San Francisco cops admit they helped Apple search a house

After denying that it had anything to do with the bizzare search of a man’s house, San Francisco’s finest have admitted that they backed up Apple staff as they searched a citizen’s house for a stolen iPhone prototype.

Apple security traced the stolen iPhone 5 to an address and called for police back-up. The company then searched the house before giving up.

According to a police statement four police accompanied two Apple employees to the house, however the two Apple security staff talked with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item.

What is alarming is that neither the police, nor Apple had a warrant to search the house and appeared to be relying on the goodwill of the person who opened the door. After all, a Jobs’ Mob blackshirt is likely to get a door shut in his face, but a law abiding citizen tends to obey people in uniform carrying guns.

However AP quoted Sergio Calderon,  who was the resident of the searched house, as saying the group identified themselves as police and that none had said they were working for Apple, so he let them in.

Earlier statements from San Francisco coppers indicate that there was something wrong with the way the operation was carried out. SFPD spokesman Lieutenant Troy Dangerfield said SFPD requires a supervisor’s approval for personnel who are not law enforcement officers to accompany police during investigations and it was not routinely done.

Later the cops stopped making comments. A cynic would suggest that someone in Apple security asked a higher up in the SFPD to provide back-up for its investigation.

Already the more cynical press claims that the phone has been leaked in the hope that it will publicise the thing without violating Apple’s code of secrecy. It is rubbish of course. If that happened then Apple would certainly not call in a few favours with the cops.

Still, it should anger a few San Francisco residents who can’t get the local plod to take their burglary seriously because of manpower problems. It seems the SFPD are acting as Apple’s own security staff. 

What's NeXT for Apple now Jobs has gone?

The messiah of the Apple cargo cult has walked away from his role as Apple’s CEO after suffering from a bad case of perspective, as we reported at midnight.

Steve Jobs is probably the first person in Apple’s history to suddenly wake up one morning and realise that there are better things in life than shiny toys. In Steve’s case there is his health.

A long time ago we warned Jobs that creating fantasies for fanboys was a largely pointless exercise when your health was on the rocks.

In a letter to the Board, Jobs said that he had always said if there ever came a day when he could no longer meet his duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, he would be the first to let them know. “Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee,” he said.

With the news that he has pushed forward the publication of his autobiography there are some fears that Jobs might be getting very sick.

Jobs co-founded Apple 35 years ago with his school chum Steve Wozniak after dropping out of Reed College. The pair’s breakthrough product, the Macintosh, on which Jobs oversaw development, was introduced in 1984.

But although Jobs was credited with the Mac’s success he was also instrumental in preventing it gaining wide scale acceptance, refusing to allow the technology to be cloned, like the PC.

In 1985 his autocratic rule was challenged and he was fired as chairman in a power struggle on the company’s board. He then started NeXT Inc., a company that developed a sophisticated computer workstation, and later co-founded Pixar Animation Studios.

He returned to Apple, initially as an adviser in 1996, as part of the company’s acquisition of NeXT. The outfit had suffered badly and was unable to dent the reign of Microsoft.

He was drafted back in and shifted the company away from its traditional nice looking PC model, to gizmos and toys such as the iPod. Pushed with clever marketing, Jobs made it appear as if the gadgets had never been invented before. Many still believe that he invented the portable MP3 player.

But Jobs’ masterstroke was to move into the mobile arena first with the smartphone. Smartphones had been around but they had never had Apple’s design applied to them. That, coupled with a fanatical base and a sympathetic press, enabled Jobs to create a mobile hysteria around smartphones.

It was dubbed Jobs’ ‘reality distortion field’ where whatever the man said was considered to be absolutely true. It resulted in a company which was less about viable technology and more of a shallow 21st century cult where products were a replacement for religious satisfaction. Jobs’ Apple managed to keep the cult exclusive by keeping prices high and regularly refreshing products.

Just as interest in the iPod started to die off, Jobs came up with the iPad which successfully dusted off the tablet idea which Microsoft and indeed he had failed to convince the world was viable.

In doing so, Jobs created the “mobile boom” which lead to the development of more mobile consumer gadgets. This boom caught the industry on the hop and it has been slow to find an answer. This is mostly because rivals lacked the slick marketing and the fanatical Apple fanboy base and Tame Apple Press which Apple cultivated.

So far no one has managed to replicate Jobs’ success at this and it is not for a lack of technology.

Jobs also developed a cult of personality based around himself and turned the company into an incredibly secretive and proprietary outfit. He was one of the few CEOs who ignored the trends in open source development and touted total control over products. As a result his iTunes software store became more censored than China as he fought to appease the US Bible Belt.

All this success came at a price. Jobs was sick and took long medical leave in three bursts since 2004. His problem was pancreatic cancer. He had the neuroendocrine tumor removed in 2004 and said afterwards all the cancer was gone, and he did not require chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

In a normal universe, Jobs would have quit and spent loads of money getting better. However the cult of personality which had developed around Apple had forbidden that. Even rumours that Apple’s messiah was under the weather was enough to send the outfit’s stock price falling.

The belief, which had been cultivated by Jobs, was that the business could not do without him. As a result health reports were suppressed. In 2009 it was revealed how sick he was getting, and shareholders were furious that they had not been told.

When information was released, the Tame Apple Press insisted that although pancreatic tumours, which are highly lethal and which kill 95 percent of patients within five years, Jobs had a neuroendocrine tumour which was different. Jobs went missing on sick leave and had a liver transplant. However at the time the world was not reporting some important facts. Only that 44 percent of the patients who were treated for such a tumour with a liver transplant were alive five years later. The age of the patient was crucial and Jobs at 55 just makes the cutoff.

Nevertheless the Apple cult of personality insisted that Jobs had got better and the operation was widely reported to have worked right until this year when Jobs again took time off.

Jobs’ impact on Apple was vital and if other companies match his move into mobile, he could have a dramatic long term effect on the IT industry. However the real danger for Apple is that the reality distortion field around its products will crumble over time.

As such, Jobs has left the company at its peak and it will need to come up with some pretty good moves to match what he managed.

Those who have come to believe that Steve Jobs is their personal saviour, might have difficulty accepting Tim Cook in the same role. It is easy to buy a pile of tat from a man who you think is Jesus, however Tim has an uphill battle convincing anyone that Elijah’s mantel has fallen to him.

Needless to say we expect Apple’s shareprice to suddenly become more realistic today.