Tag: iphones

China bans Apple mobile entertainment

Mao Tse Tung - Wikimedia CommonsAlready facing slumping iPhone Sales, the fruity cargo cult Apple will have to explain to Wall Street how it miffed the Chinese government so much that it was banned from running its mobile entertainment empire behind the Great Firewall of China.

Apple online book and film services were switched off over the weekend, which was a bit of a downer given that Jobs’ Mob hoped to spin the service as a way of making pots of cash while people were not buying their iPhones.

Apple’s favourite newspaper the New York Times reported that a state regulator demanded Apple halt the service. The move came after Beijing introduced regulations in March imposing strict curbs on online publishing, particularly for foreign firms.

Apple said in a statement on Thursday that it hopes to make the services available to customers in China as soon as possible and the New York Times said that Jobs Mob had a lot of contacts in the Chinese government who would help out.

However the Chinese government might be a little miffed with Apple. Jobs’ Mob  bragged before a senate committee that it had the power to tell the Chinese government that they were not allowed to lift data from iPhones.

Frank Gillett of research firm Forrester said that this might be the beginning of more pressure on Apple by the Chinese government.

The company released its book and movie services in China only late last year, leaving Chinese consumers little time to form a habit.

Chinese consumers’ appetite for the iphones is critical to quarterly earnings. Apple is expected to post its first-ever quarterly drop in iPhone sales, to about 50 million units, reflecting a saturated global market.

Wall Street expects adjusted earnings per share to drop 14 percent to $2.00 and revenue to drop 10 percent to $52.0 billion.


Samsung leapfrogs Apple

SamsungKorean giant Samsung intends to launch a new smartphone in August, in a move that is seen as spoiling Apple’s next iPhone launch in September.

Reuters, quoting an unnamed source, said the machine will be a variant of Samsung’s Note and will be a phablet, that is to say a device with a bigger screen.

Several sources in the Far East suggest that Apple’s next iteration of iPhones will be launched in September, although it’s unclear whether they’ll be a departure from its existing iPhone family.

Samsung, said Reuters, is still trying to recover from shortages for the curved screen Galaxy S6 smartphone.

Apple’s Taiwanese partners have already started producing iPhones, according to some reports, while the company may incorporate OLED displays for the new models.

Mobile payments set to bloom

ContactlessApple Pay appears to have spurred the company’s competitors to get in on the mobile payment act and a report today said that global shipments of moble phones using near field communications (NFC) totalled 400 million units last year.

That, according to research company Topology, is about 20 percent of total shipments worldwide last year.

Topology predicts that this year that figure will rise to 30 percent this year but the story isn’t over yet. Analysts think the percentage will amount to 60 percent of 1.2 billion units in 2018.

However, there is one challenge vendors have to face, and that’s security.

Ariel Chen, Topology semiconductor analyst, said that trading money over mobile phones needs “very high” security standards and hardware here is better than software.

Chen claims that criminals can use their own iPhones to make payments with card information they’ve stolen.

The answer to this is semiconductor manufacturers working closely with banks and better verification for customers.

Nvidia pins its hopes on “superphones”

The CEO of Nvidia has briefed a clutch of Taiwanese journalists and suggested that a new breed of devices will gain market dominance.

Digitimes said that Jen-hsun Huang talked of superphones – devices that wil run on Google’s Android OS, have some internet capabilities, run multimedia and be smaller than an iPad and bigger than an iPhone.

Tablet PCs, he thinks, will displace netbooks although if he strolled down the road and talked to Acer he’d find that company thinks something differently.

Jen-hsun is thinking of the Motorola Droid X, which uses Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip but he also appears to be boosting ARM based devices too, according to the report.

He also appears to believe that Android tablets will dominate the market in 2011 and that Apple will find itself on the defensive from a Google-led assault. Digitimes is here.

Saudi Arabia starts persecuting CrackBerries too

The movement against RIM’s Blackberry has spread like wildfire to Saudi Arabia as one of the most intolerant Islamic nations in the world decided to join the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and forbid chat that wasn’t based in a server based in El Medina.

Saudi Arabia has joined in the generalist movement against the BlackBerry, it was reported today because its services are outside the jurisdiction of the Saudi state, generally considered to be one of the most backward states in the world, despite its oil wealth.

The dictators/warlords in the country endorsed UAE decisions last month to disable features in the CrackBerry that let people “share information with each other”.

Sharing information is the very very last thing Saudi Arabia wants.

At press time, it was unclear whether the Wahaabi fundamentalists, headed up by a set of monarchs and sheikhs which most scholars believe are largely ignorant of Islam,  had trundled every RIM CrackBerry down to “chop chop” square, and beheaded men and women daring to share information via mobile phones.

Saudi Arabia, according to the CIA World Fact Book, is a fundamentalist kingdom. Only people over 21 years of age and who are male can vote. The monarchy is based on male succession. There are no political parties apart from the diktat of the king.

There is quite a lot of controversy worldwide, amongst Islamic scholars,  whether the birthplace of Mohammad, god bless his name, should be controlled by a gang of ignorant Wahaabis, read wannabees.

The big question, of course, is why democratic governments allow this to happen. The answer is not only just oil. Saudi is considered to be a “stable” influence on the rest of the Caliphate, although we’re not entirely sure Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia and the African Islamic states would agree.

US decides it's legal to rip DVDs and attack iPhones

A ruling by the US copyright office has decided that the internet and gadgets are faster than the speed of thought and has exempted some categories of activity from being infra non dig – that’s legalese for old fashioned or illegal.

The US Copyright Office – here – and we wouldn’t have noticed it apart from this Crunchgear story, said that six classes are now exempt from prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Many thought the DMCA was really crap when it was passed, but the US Copyright Office has really gone off on one here.

It says that it’s OK to “jailbreak” the Apple iPhone; to use your iPhone on networks Apple doesn’t like; to break open DVD encryption; to smash open DVD encryption; to attack dongles attached to your PC; to circumvent the stupid licensing laws on e-books. Er that’s it.

And so says the US Copyright Office in a landmark ruling that we’re absolutely sure will be challenged by many multinationals.

DVD Jon, where be ye?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), claims a success, here.

Intel Westmere gets a good going over

David Kanter, over at Real World Technologies, has an in-depth look at Westmere, introduced by Intel just a day or two back.  The 32 nanometre family follows in Nehalem’s footsteps and Intel is offering multiple cores with 12MB of L3 cache. You can find it here.

British hardware site Hexus reviewed the MSI Radeon HD 5870 Lightning graphics card earlier this week. The guys rate it well, but say the twin fans are a tad noisy and the extra money you pay doesn’t give a great deal of extra performance.

The Tech Report talks about six core desktop CPUs AMD up its sleeve called Thuban – official name Phenom II X6. TC Magazine has revealed clock speeds of three of these babies, with the highest one clocking at 3GHz. Tech Report is here and TC Magazine here.

Bit-Tech looks at some Kingston memory that runs at 1.2 to 1.5 volts. It wonders just what difference that makes. Here.

Anandtech continues to roll, and rolls out a review of the newest member of the Asus Seashell line, powered by the Intel Pineview Atom N450. That’s here.

Tom’s Hardware is engaged in a system builder marathon and looks at a $750 gaming PC. That includes an Athlon II X3 546, Sapphire Radeon graphics, a Gigabyte mobo and a Western Digital Caviar Black hard drive. The system build can be found here.

And finally, MacRumors has revealed the existence of a patent filed by Apple based on iGroups – described as proximity based social networking. Basically it seems to work by using mobile phones exchanging tokens over wi-fi and BlueTooth networks. The  article is here.

Got any reviews Jocky McFrocky can write about? Drop him a line at news@techeye.net. Hoots!

Companies afraid of iPhones and Twitter

A report from Forrester Research suggests that businesses in North America and Europe will spend significantly more on IT security this year.

Over 2,000 companies Forrester survey showed that 42 percent of enterprises will increase their IT security spend by five percent or more this year, while 37 percent of small to medium sized businesses will do the same.

And it’s not cloud computing that’s scaring the corporations – they’re worried about the proliferation of smartphones and Web 2.0 technologies in the workplace. Nearly half of the large companies surveyed considered smartphones to be a security threat, and 38 percent worried about Web 2.0.

The use of iPods, smartphones, Facebook, Twitter and SharePoint sites are also a concern for the companies, as too are the use of cloud computing services by application developers.

Jonathan Penn, a Forrester analyst, said: “In general, this follows the broader trend of IT losing centralised control of technology adoption, deployment and use.”