July 2, 2012

After 5 years, Apple’s iPhone has generated $150B in revenue

By Neil Hughes

Published: 08:00 AM EST (05:00 AM PST)
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the first iPhone. Since then, Apple’s smartphone is estimated to have generated the company $ 150 billion of cumulative revenues worldwide.

The first iPhone officially launched on June 29, 2007, making this Friday the official five-year anniversary. Recognizing the milestone, Strategy Analytics on Wednesday offered its latest statistics, noting that Apple has shipped 250 million iPhones cumulatively worldwide, generating $ 150 billion in cumulative revenues.

“The iPhone portfolio has become a huge generator of cash and profit for Apple,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. “A quarter of a billion iPhones have been shipped cumulatively worldwide in the first five years since launch and Apple reaches its fifth birthday at the top of its game.”

While the first five years of the iPhone have been an undeniable success for Apple, propelling the company to become the largest in the world by market capitalization. But Mawston said the next five years could be more difficult for Apple, as the competition improves and some mobile operators become concerned about subsidies spent on the iPhone.

Currently, the iPhone is so popular that Apple sells more handsets per day than there are babies born in the world, according to VoucherCodes.co.uk. The retail outlet also noted that since the release of the iPhone, Apple’s worldwide brand ranking has catapulted from 44th place to No. 1.

The first iPhone was introduced in early 2007 by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as three devices in one: a “revolutionary mobile phone,” a “widescreen iPod,” and a “breakthrough Internet communications device.” Since then, the iPhone’s upward trajectory has been consistent, as Apple continues to deliver record breaking quarters and sales continue to grow.

In the last quarter alone, Apple shipped 35.1 million iPhones, helping to propel the company to the 250 million milestone that Strategy Analytics believes the company has crossed ahead of the iPhone’s five-year anniversary. In its last quarterly earnings conference call, Apple executives announced that more than 360 million iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, had been sold to date.


The Next iMac May Not Have A Retina Display After All

The Next iMac May Not Have A Retina Display After All

The Next iMac May Not Have A Retina Display After All

Rumors about a possible Retina display iMac have been floating around almost as long as the Retina display itself. From the time the iPhone 4 was introduced, people began speculating that Apple’s Mac line would eventually receive a display upgrade as well. Now that this rumor has come to fruition in the case of the new MacBook Pro, it would only make sense for these new displays to trickle down to all of Apple’s other computers.

Word is now spreading that this might not be the case, though. We may have to wait a little while longer for an iMac with a Retina display.

Instapaper developer Marco Arment today posted his thoughts on what would likely be be holding up the update cycle of the iMac and Mac Pro. Obviously, the issue of creating an insanely high resolution display topped the list. Creating a display with a resolution of 5120×2880 is no easy feat to accomplish, and requires higher production costs than today’s displays.

Shortly after publishing his thoughts, Arment received word that we will not see a Retina display on the new iMac, saying: “I’ve now heard from multiple sources that while an iMac update is indeed coming this fall, it will not have Retina displays.”

While disappointing, this is no real issue, as an update to the iMac could still bring substantial improvements, including Ivy Bridge CPUs, USB 3.0, and improved graphics cards. Not to mention improved SSD options, which are currently only BTO.

Like with all rumors, only time will tell.

Cult of Mac

Retina MacBook Pros Don’t Have IGZO Displays After All, But Imagine When They Do!

Retina MacBook Pros Don’t Have IGZO Displays After All, But Imagine When They Do!

Retina MacBook Pros Don’t Have IGZO Displays After All, But Imagine When They Do!

Yesterday, we reported that according to the speculation of display expert Dr. Raymond Soneira, the new Retina MacBook Pro could conceivably use Sharp IGZO display technology originally meant for the new iPad.

At the time, we were a little skeptical of the claim. Turns out we were right, as the new displays don’t use IGZO at all.

The confirmation comes from a tweet by iFixIt, which notes that the display is actually manufactured by LG Philips, not Sharp.

IGZO technology — which vastly decreases the amount of battery power needed to drive a display — was speculated to be included in the Retina MacBook Pro because the jump in battery size from the old MBPs to the new ones was not as big as that seen between the iPad 2 and new iPad.

However, as we explained at the time, there were a lot more gains to be made in battery life in the Retina MacBook Pro by switching to Ivy Bridge processors and abandoning spinning disk drives in favor of solid state storage.

Looks like we were right. Now imagine how much battery you’ll get out of 2013 MacBook Pros with Sharp IGZO displays if this is what an LG-driven MacBook Pro can do.

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is Cult of Mac’s Deputy Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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Apple releases new Thunderbolt software update after boot problems

By Josh Ong

Published: 11:15 PM EST (08:15 PM PST)
Apple has released an update to its Thunderbolt software after reports arose that the previous version was causing boot-related problems for some Mac users.

The Cupertino, Calif., company on Monday pushed out version 1.2.1 of its Thunderbolt software, adding support for its Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet adapter. The download weighs 526kb and requires OS X 10.7.4 or later.

An earlier version of Apple’s Thunderbolt software arrived last week, but it is believed to have caused freezing and boot error problems on a number of Macs. The problems were reportedly caused by a kernel extension that was making the connectivity kernel incompatible with the machines.

The new Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet adapter is designed to pair with Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. In order to make the new notebook thinner and lighter, Apple cut several ports and components, such as an optical disc drive and the Ethernet port, from it.

Though Apple has sold its MacBook Air computers without Ethernet ports for years, it sold USB adapters for them.


iOS 6 Now Knows How To Capitalize After Quotes & Emoji

iOS 6 Now Knows How To Capitalize After Quotes & Emoji

One of this smaller things that has always frustrated me about the iOS keyboard is that I have to capitalize letters manually before and after quotation marks, and after emoji. It’s not that it’s difficult to do, it’s just that the keyboard built into iOS is already capable of some clever things, so why can’t it do this?

Well, in iOS 6, it can.

When you start or end a quote in iOS 6, the keyboard automatically switches to capital letters after the first and last quotation marks — you no longer need to hit shift and do it manually. Furthermore, if you add emoji after a sentence and you ended that sentence with a period, the keyboard will switch to capitals here, too.

Again, you may not have noticed it if you’re not too bothered about whether or not your text messages and emails are written correctly, but in previous iOS releases — all the way up to iOS 5.1.1 — the keyboard didn’t do this.

It’s another minor change in iOS 6 that will no doubt make a big difference to some users. I already love it.

Cult of Mac

Users reporting boot failures after installing Thunderbolt software update

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 05:20 PM EST (02:20 PM PST)
Some users who have downloaded Apple’s recently-released Thunderbolt 1.2 software update are finding boot-related problems that can cause Mac instability to the point where the computer becomes unusable.

According to various posts on Apple’s Support Communities webpage, the software update pushed out on Monday to bring compatibility for the new Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet Adapter has reportedly been causing a number of Macs to freeze and suffer boot errors.

It is unknown how widespread the problem is, though affected users are reporting kernel panic crashes or improper boots that force drastic action before the Macs are once again operational. Remedies for the bug include a reapplication of the combo updater, restoring from a backup or a complete reinstall of OS X. As of this writing, only OS X 10.7.4 Lion users have experienced the issue.

A report from CNET has found that the Thunderbolt update applies to a single kernel extension called “IONetworkingFamily.kext” and is possibly carrying a bug that makes the connectivity kernel incompatible with Lion Macs. The report also noted the process of installing the new Thunderbolt software cannot be reversed since it is an extension that is being updated and not a completely new kernel.

While the problems persist Apple hasn’t yet pulled the update from its Support Pages and the company hasn’t issued a formal statement as to what could be at issue.


AirFoil Speakers Touch Resurfaces In App Store After Facing Rejection From Apple

AirFoil Speakers Touch Resurfaces In App Store After Facing Rejection From Apple

Rogue Amoeba’s AirFoil Speakers Touch app was recently pulled from the App Store by Apple without any notice. Before getting yanked, the app was updated with an “Enhanced Audio Receiving” feature that essentially turned an iOS device into an AirPlay audio receiver. Apple didn’t like Rogue Amoeba’s use of receiving audio through AirPlay, and the company released a short comment saying “Apps that use non-public APIs will be rejected.” That was it.

The good news is that AirFoil Speakers Touch is back in the App Store after a back and forth with Apple. The bad news is that the newest app version is missing the aforementioned AirPlay audio feature. According to Rogue Amoeba, Apple reps admitted that the whole situation was “poorly handled” on their end.

Rogue Amoeba’s public statement after Apple issued its official comment:

As far as we can tell, Airfoil Speakers Touch is in full compliance with Apple’s posted rules and developer agreements. We’ve already filed an appeal with Apple’s App Review Board, and we’re awaiting further information. Unfortunately, Apple has full control of application distribution on iOS, leaving us with no other recourse here.

And now Rogue Amoeba in a blog post today:

Earlier this week, we had a chance to speak to Apple for the first time since they initially told us Airfoil Speakers Touch was being removed from the store two weeks ago. We’ve finally gotten some answers.

We now know that Apple’s issue with Airfoil Speakers Touch was specifically related to its recently-added ability to receive audio directly from iOS devices and iTunes. This was not properly conveyed in our initial conversations prior to the removal of Airfoil Speakers Touch from the store, and Apple’s representatives apologized for the fact that the entire process was “poorly handled”.

It’s clear that despite previous claims, Airfoil Speakers Touch was not in fact using private APIs. The Enhanced Audio Receiving add-on was implemented entirely from scratch and conformed to Apple’s published guidelines.

Regardless, Apple is using the authority they provide themselves in the guidelines and program license agreement to remove apps they don’t like. Specifically, they cited a provision in the App Store Review Guidelines which allows them to reject apps “for any content or behavior [they] believe is over the line”. That’s certainly disappointing, and frustrating, but it’s the nature of the system Apple has created.

If nothing else, we’re gratified to at least have come to an understanding that we didn’t violate the guidelines – Apple simply doesn’t want us providing this functionality in the App Store. Ultimately, if Apple doesn’t want it, we can’t provide it and users can’t have it.

You may be asking why Apple would want to prevent users from having this functionality. Only Apple can provide a full answer here. We do know that Airfoil Speakers Touch’s ability to receive audio directly from iTunes and iOS enabled some users to forgo purchasing expensive AirPlay hardware, hardware which Apple licenses. It seems Apple has chosen to use their gatekeeper powers to simply prevent competition.

No kidding. Pulling an app without reason and then choosing to release a short comment to a news outlet instead of contacting the developers? Apple could have handled this whole thing so much better. This is the problem with the App Store. Apple wields total control, and you can be cast out without explanation.

After all the hoopla, AirFoil Speakers Touch is back in the App Store, and the offending feature has been removed. If you still want to receive audio over AirPlay like before, Rogue Amoeba has a handy guide to work around the new restriction.

Cult of Mac

RIM chief forecasts grim Q1 performance after shares halted

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 06:40 PM EST (03:40 PM PST)
Shares of Research in Motion were halted briefly early Tuesday ahead of an announcement from CEO Thorsten Heins, who said to expect an operating loss for the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2012.

When trading resumed after Heins’ promised statement, RIMM shares saw a sharp 13 percent decline over growing concerns that the company’s continuing woes, but ended the day up 2.09 percent, reports Barron’s.

The news comes on the heels of recent reports that the value of RIM’s unsold inventory grew to some $ 1 billion last quarter, up from $ 618 million a year ago and double what it was in 2008. The total doesn’t include unsold smartphones and tablets held by resellers around the world and it is expected that the company will be forced to write down the huge stockpile of devices.

In his statement on Tuesday, Heins said that “RIM is going through a significant transformation as we move towards the BlackBerry 10 launch, and our financial performance will continue to be challenging for the next few quarters.” He cites growing competition in the smartphone sector as driving the poor results, but remains optimistic about the company’s direction and says it will continue to be “aggressive” in both enterprise and consumer markets.

The CEO expects first quarter performance to yield an increase to the $ 2.1 billion cash position it held at the end of the last fiscal year.

Also revealed in Heins’ announcement was the company’s retention of three financial advisors from J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and RBC Capital Markets to help “assist the Company and our Board of Directors in reviewing RIM’s business and financial performance.”

“These advisors have been tasked to help us with the strategic review we referenced on our year-end financial results conference call and to evaluate the relative merits and feasibility of various financial strategies, including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives,” Heins said.

Heins points out that, despite the negative outlook for the upcoming quarters, there have been positive changes made in recent months:
Despite the current challenges, we have made significant progress on a number of fronts in the past few months:

  • Our annual BlackBerry World conference and BlackBerry 10 Jam took place earlier this month and both were tremendously successful. More than 5,000 developers, partners, carriers and enterprise customers from 115 different countries saw the first glimpses of our next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform and their response was encouraging.

  • Our developer partners have been enthusiastic with the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha prototype unit we distributed at BlackBerry World and many are well underway in developing applications to be ready for the launch of BlackBerry 10 in the latter part of calendar 2012.

  • The support and enthusiasm from our developer community is also reflected in our app growth, where we now feature more than 80,000 apps, which represents a 220% increase from one year ago, and more than 15,000 apps for PlayBook compared to less than 2,000 last year. We believe this bodes well for our ecosystem as we get set to launch BlackBerry 10.

  • We are making steady progress with the innovation of our next-generation BlackBerry 10 mobile computing platform, which is still on track to launch in the latter part of calendar 2012.

  • Our global subscriber base continued to grow this quarter to approximately 78 million, driven primarily by growth in international markets, which is partially offset by high churn in the United States, and our BBM user base has grown to approximately 59 million users globally.

  • Our strong brand internationally was recently enhanced with the successful launch of two new BlackBerry 7 phones in India and Latin America.

Also announced today was the hiring of two new executives, Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear and Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben. Tear will take the position once held by current chief executive Heins, who replaced co-founders and longtime co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, while Boulben replaces Keith Pardy.

Heins reiterated a high level of confidence in the upcoming BlackBerry 10 ecosystem, mentioning the OS no less than nine times in the brief statement. RIM’s next-generation platform has seen a number of delays and a recent prototype was described as being a mini PlayBook.

Most recently, reports pointed to a major upcoming job cut that could see the termination of up to 40 percent of RIM’s workforce.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company is scheduled to hold its first quarter fiscal 2013 conference call on June 28 with discussions ranging from today’s issues to overall company performance.

As of this writing, after-hours trading saw RIMM shares down 7.75 percent at $ 10.36.


Apple’s VP of Europe steps down after 12 years

French newspaper Le Figaro is reporting that Pascal Cagni is stepping down from his position as Apple’s vice president of Europe. Cagni was hired by Steve Jobs in 2000 and has served as Apple’s European VP for 12 years. He was responsible for Apple’s explosive growth in the EMEA region, which saw revenue grow from US$ 1 billion to $ 19 billion per year under his leadership.

This resignation hasn’t been confirmed by Apple or Cagni and, as pointed out by The Next Web, Cagni’s LinkedIn account has not been updated. Given the newness of this change, this radio silence is expected.

[Via The Next Web]

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Apple And Samsung Headed To Court After Mediation Talks Go Nowhere

Apple And Samsung Headed To Court After Mediation Talks Go Nowhere

Tim Cook and Choi Gee-sung sat down for nine hours on Monday and seven hours yesterday in an attempt to come to some sort of solution to the litigation mess between Apple and Samsung. Many were hopeful after Tim Cook admitted he’s not a fan of litigation and prefers to “settle versus battle.” Things showed even more promise after Samsung mentioned the possibility of cross-licensing, but after two days and 16 hours, they still couldn’t come to any “clear agreement.”

I suppose it was bit naive to think they would come to some sort of agreement — especially after they’ve been taking shots at one another for over a year now. Apple continues to accuse Samsung of copying its design and Samsung continues to demand Apple pay royalties for using its wireless transmission technology. Looks like the two companies will be heading to court in July to finish this game of courtroom chess once and for all.

At this point, even I am curious to see how it ends. Either way, the lawyers are salivating at the mouth.

(Via Cult of Android.)

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