Tag: itunes

Chinese court bans iPhone 6 sales

big-trouble-in-little-chinaFruity cargo cult Apple is having Big Trouble in Big China after its iPhone 6 phone was banned from by a court because Jobs’ Mob is alleged to have stolen the designs of a Chinese company.

A Chinese regulator has ordered Apple to stop selling two versions of its iPhone 6 in Beijing after finding they look too much like a competitor, but Apple insists that sales are going ahead while it appeals.

While Apple is hoping that Chinese sales will save its bacon, the outfit is having huge problems getting its goods to market behind the bamboo curtain. Apple’s iBooks, iTunes Movies, music service has also been banned in China. Meanwhile what is left of Apple’s business faces completion from local brands including Huawei and Xiaomi.

The order by the Beijing tribunal said the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus looked too much like the 100C model made by Shenzhen Beili, a small Chinese brand. The order was issued in May but reported this week by the Chinese press.

Apple said a Beijing court stayed the administrative order on appeal and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus still were on sale.

Already Apple has to share the name “iphone” with a Chinese bag maker, which got the name first. Apple said it would appeal that judgement too.

Apple will help people find their cars

 Presstitutes working for the Tame Apple Press are getting all excited about a feature which will help the absent minded remember where they left their car.

The news has been around since September, but like many things Applish, like the iWatch, nothing really happened. Despite its software compontant it was not mentioned during WWDC last week either.

However some new icons found inside the Maps application indicate that the feature was in development at some point and is likely still be worked on.

What it appears to be is it is testing a tool for its Maps app that, with the M7 chip, could analyse when your car is parked. When you park your car, the iPhone will register the car’s location. Now when you return to the parking lot, your iPhone will be able to help you assist with finding your car since it knows the vehicle’s location.

Apple’s latest mapping software contains six images dedicated to the parked car location feature, each a purple pin with a car-shaped glyph. It’s very likely that this is one of the many features cut from what is now the first public beta of iOS 8 late in development.

The idea has a few problems. Firstly it involves the use of Apple maps which is a little like relying on the appearance of a London bus. It can’t find an Apple store, or its own backside with both front and rare sensors. It could tell you your car is in St Petersburg, or in the middle of the ocean when it is in your garage. Secondly, if it is GPS based it will have some trouble telling you which floor your car is parked on, which is half the problem when you lose your second most valuable asset. However the biggest issue is that Google has already got a very good system of finding a parked car and has had it for nearly three years.

Last year, Google Maps for Android began introducing floor plans of shopping malls, airports, and other large commercial areas. Nokia, has an indoor positioning system, but using actual 3D models, rather than 2D floor plans. Two years ago Broadcom released a new chip (BCM4752) that supports indoor positioning systems.

So all up Apple is coming so late to the party, it might has well have not bothered showing up, and yet it is still being touted as a super-cool innovation. 

Apple tries to be cool and buys Beats

Fruity inventor of the rounded rectangle, Apple, has just written a $3 billion cheque to buy the music outfit Beats.

The company will bring recording mogul Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre into Apple into the cargo cult as part of the acquisition of the music streaming and audio equipment company.

Apple is treated with suspicion in the music industry and it is thought that Iovine and Dre might help that . Jobs’ Mob wants to do more on subscription services, a market expected to eclipse song downloads in the long run.

Iovine’s music industry relationships could make the notoriously difficult licensing negotiations for a future streaming service more likely.

It is the biggest deal that Apple has signed, normally Apple buys companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars rather than billions, and Beats does not have that many customers. But iTunes sales are falling and Pandora and Spotify are giving it a good kicking.

Apple is also gaining a line of high-end headphones popular with a young urban demographic, bumping up its “cool” factor. But industry executives say the company was most impressed with Beats’ five month-old music service.

The best part of the deal as far as Apple is concerned though is getting hold of Iovine who is best known as the co-founder of Interscope Records, a rap music pioneer that branched out to include acts like Lady Gaga and U2. 

Apple has another crack at a product ban

The fruity cargo cult Apple is trying to get its rival Samsung banned from the US again.

The move follows a jury verdict that Samsung Electronics infringed three of its patents. Apple is seeking a US sales ban on some older models of the South Korean company’s smartphones.

The nine devices targeted by Apple for a US sales ban include the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S3 and Stratosphere.

Apple, which on May 2 won $120 million of the $2.2 billion it sought, identified nine devices it wants barred in a May 23 filing with US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.

Of course Apple is unlikely to win the ban. Koh has twice rejected the iPhone-maker’s requests. To make matters worse the jury also concluded that Apple infringed one of Samsung’s patents and the Galaxy-maker has not yet requested a ban of Apple gear.

Both sides are now facing the fall out of plummeting global smartphone shipments. Samsung sales fell 31 percent from 32 percent a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple’s share fell to about 15 percent from almost 18 percent in the same period, while Chinese producers such as Huawei and Xiaomi have been making gains. 

Apple in Gigantic marketing cock up

The marketing team at Apple appears to have taken a page from spam which promises men large endowments if they buy their products.

The latest advert for the Apple iPhone Phone 5S has a soundtrack from a popular beat combo called the Pixies crooning a number called Gigantic.

Obviously, the people at Apple thought “gigantic” is exactly the sort of message it wanted to get across — after all it does have a bigger screen, sort of.

However they should have looked at what the lyrics were really about before paying for the licence to use it on their adverts.

The song is all about a woman’s observation of an attractive black man making love to another woman, culminating in the chorus: ‘Gigantic, gigantic, gigantic… A big, big love.'”

In otherwords, it is about how a bloke with a large wang is a good thing. When you know this the advert takes on a completely new meaning. It is about associating your phone with getting a big dick, rather than just a big dick actually owning one, which is closer to the reality.

But what Apple has failed to realise is that when it comes to comparing size, its latest effort is not really that big in comparison to its rivals. So while it is bragging about the size of its screen it does so knowing that there are people out there which much bigger offerings which can make customers’ eyes water.

Then we would have thought that a large number of its customers are women who would not really want to be waving a penis extension about. All up, this is probably another own goal from Apple.

Tablet sales flatten

Tablet sales are starting to flatten and are not making the latest estimated quarterly shipments, according to beancounters at IDC.

The analysts say that there is still some growth, but nothing like the previous steep rise.

Apple suffered the most dropping from 40 percent to under 33 percent of the total market share. Second was Samsung, which went from 18 percent to 22 percent. Lenovo also jumped, but was still fourth behind Asus that saw a drop of almost three percent.

The figures show that Apple is continuing to lose ground to Android as the market itself starts to slow down. The iPad’s loss was more or less equivalent to the gain for Android tablets. IDC briefly mentioned Windows tablets to say its share remains small but is gaining traction.

On the Android side, Samsung once again secured silver with shipments of about 11.2 million units, growing by more than five percentage points. Asus shipped 2.5 million units during the quarter, Lenovo shipped 2.1 million units, and Amazon rounded out the top five with one million units.

IDC Research Director Tom Mainelli said in a statement that the rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s.

“In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments,” he said. 

Apple iPad sales plummet

The fruity cargo cult Apple is watching its iPad sales slump as millions start to wonder why they are wasting their cash on the keyboardless netbooks.

Canalys beancounter Tim Coulling said that it was the sharpest decline ever and was on account of Apple trying “to run down” its iPad inventory.

He said that this was a smart move as tablet stock in the channel rose due to strong seasonal shipments in the previous quarter. In other words, Apple made too many over the Christmas break which sat on the shelves.

Coulling however does not believe that Apple’s tablet days are over. He thought that Apple’s Q1 performance did not indicate a decline in the tablet category, despite growing pressure from larger-screen smart phones.

He thinks that consumers, and increasingly businesses, are continuing to adapt, with tablets acting as disruptors and finding their place as desktop and notebook replacements.

Couling added that Apple’s ecosystem and the recent launch of Office for iPad should ensure it is well placed to remain a leader for some time.

According to the rest of the Canalys report into sales, Global PC shipments rose five percent year on year to reach 123.7 million units in the first quarter of 2014.

Roughly 41 percent of those shipments belonged to the tablet category and about 38 percent to the species notebook, with desktops making up the rest.

In the non-tablet PC category, the end of Windows XP helped arrest the decline in notebook shipments somewhat, limiting it to seven percent. This factor also helped desktop shipments remain flat year on year, Canalys said.

The quarter was particularly good for Lenovo as it managed to raise its PC market share from 10 percent to 12 percent, shipping around 15 million units worldwide. “It achieved solid annual growth in all PC categories and is now placed first, second and third in the notebook, desktop and tablet markets respectively,” the report added.

Most of the growth came from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Canalys analyst James Wang pointed out that Lenovo managed an impressive 61 percent year-on-year growth in shipments there.

“‘Lenovo was quick to move with new form factors and its Yoga line now dominates the global convertible notebook market,” Wang said.

“In addition, it has diversified its tablet portfolio and has product SKUs in all key market segments. Unlike Apple, with its ‘one size fits all’ tablet strategy, Lenovo and others are free to tailor tablets to specific market segments. The tablet form factor is well liked by both young and old consumers; product customization can be beneficial in both cases,” Wang said. 

Apple TV can’t connect to iTunes

Engineers at the fruity cargo cult Apple are left having to explain to the supreme darlek why its iTunes upgrade meant that the Apple TV could not connect to its flagship iTunes.

Apple’s business model depends on a walled garden of delights, where Apple fanboys buy an expensive bit of gear and then go to Apple’s own site to buy all their media content. With a bit of luck, users never visit any other sites and only obtain information on the outside world through Jobs’ Mob reality distortion field.

All that was put at risk after it was revealed that the Apple TV, which is mostly supposed to connect to iTunes, could not manage the job any more. It seems an update of the iTunes software broke the Apple tellies,

Now you would think that not only would Apple be aware of the problem, but also such a stupid mistake would be rapidly fixed. However, that would not be taking into account the fact that Apple has to acknowledge that it made a mistake, and this often takes therapy.

The problem was first reported on April 17 on Apple’s official support forums. By now that thread has become quite lengthy with repeated complaints by Apple TV users who are unable to make their set-top boxes connect to iTunes. The first generation Apple TV was released back in 2007 and the company sold it until 2010, so there are quite a few of them out there.

One poster described that this simply happened out of nowhere. He had full access to iTunes Store the night before, but in the morning it started displaying an “iTunes Store Not Available” message. Access completely disappeared, except for movie trailers, after he unplugged the Apple TV.

Nothing seems to work.

Of course, in Apple philosophy nothing is supposed to be backwards compatible if it was sold four years ago so we don’t fancy Apple users’ chances that it will see the need to fix the problem that quickly. 

Apple ebook ruling could spill over into iTunes

Since being found guilty of conspiring in an e-book price fixing cartel, Apple’s wider content biz is now being scrutinised by the US’ Justice Department.

The Department is concerned that Apple may have engaged in similarly anticompetitive behaviour in selling content through iTunes, such as films, music and TV programs.

Bill Baer, the assistant attorney in charge of the Department’s antitrust division, said a proposed order will stop “Apple’s illegal conduct” and both Apple and its senior executives “will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future”, the WSJ reports.

Funnily enough, it was Apple’s drive to selling content online that was, as the time, seen as a seismic shift while content companies were struggling with file sharing networks like Limewire. But the Department is worried that it may have, or may currently be conspiring with publishers in a similar way to its e-books division.

Apple may also have to cope with a proposed monitor that will keep a stern eye over Apple in the e-book market as well as preventing it from entering e-book contracts for five years, removing the company’s chief ability to keep prices competitive.

Last month, US district Judge Denise Cote said the evidence pointed to Apple leading an e-book price fixing conspiracy.

Political books censored by iTunes China

Just after Apple CEO Tim Cook apologised to China for selling customers short on their warranties, it has emerged that Cupertino has had to remove books banned by the country’s government from the iTunes store.

The Financial Times said there were ten works on iTunes the Chinese government found controversial, three of which were by Chinese writer Wang Lixiong. Hao Peiqiang, an app developer, spilled the beans.

Wang’s books are largely banned in China for the author’s political activism.

One banned book, Bloomberg noted, was about China’s future role in Tibet. Another one talks about being detained for political activism and the third of Wang’s books outlines the collapse of China’s government.

Dissident talk about Tibet faces suppression from China’s ruling CCP.

The books are still available in other territories. At the moment Apple is keeping shtum. 

Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook conceded that the company has “much to learn about operating and communicating in China”.