January 27, 2012

Sandvox for Mac updated with slide shows and more Lion features

With iWeb slowly fading into obscurity, Mac users who want to generate websites without a lot of trouble have been turning to apps such as Sandvox. The app was updated today to version 2.5, which is free for users version 2.0 and up.

Prominently featured is a slideshow object that lets users drag a collection of photos to the app, with options for timing, transitions and caption control adjustable in the Object inspector. The traditional Photo Grid now supports displayed captions derived from page contents.

The app also has added a reworked publishing engine and better compatibility for .mkv files and Quick Look support. Several Lion-friendly features have been added, including including Resume, Autosave, Versions and Fullscreen mode. Sandvox is not as easy to use as iWeb, but it trades a bit of complexity for far more power and control over the features of your website. It ships with several templates that make site creation fast and easy, or you can modify those templates to fit your needs.

Sandvox is available in the app store for US $ 79.99 or directly from Karelia Software.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Research suggests business directors more likely to use Apple products at work

Forrester Research recently conducted a survey of close to 10,000 workers in 17 countries to determine which workers are more likely to own and use Apple products. The New York Times has published the results, which show that “business directors” — in other words, bosses — are the employee group most likely to own one or more Apple products and use them at work.

Here’s a breakdown of the survey results.

Who uses Apple products:

  • 43 percent of people earning $ 150,000 or more per year — 87 of 200 respondents
  • 27 percent of people earning $ 100,000 – $ 149,999
  • 23 percent of people earning $ 50,000 – $ 99,999
  • 19 percent of people earning $ 49,999 or less — 1300 of 6800 respondents

21 percent of all 9912 respondents in Forrester’s survey said they used one or more Apple devices for work.

The New York Times notes that the increasing penetration of Apple products into the workplace, often driven by people bringing in and using their personal devices, is wearing down traditional IT department hostility toward the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. However, as Ars Technica notes, the research also shows that while 50 percent of firms in “mature markets” offer Macs, only 30 percent of respondents said their companies support them, leaving many Mac users to fend for themselves at work.

Coupled with reports like Good Technology’s quarterly results on device activations, it seems that the old practice of business and enterprise environments shunning Apple products is shifting quite rapidly. Forrester’s claim that “Windows’ dominance is at an end” is premature, however; while Microsoft’s share of the enterprise pie is no longer as big as it once was, it’s still claiming the majority of users in that sphere.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

More than 80% of smartphones activated at AT&T were Apple’s iPhone

By Sam Oliver

Published: 09:26 AM EST (06:26 AM PST)
Apple’s first carrier partner remains is strongest, as AT&T revealed on Thursday that it activated a record 7.6 million iPhones over the holiday 2011 quarter.

The 7.6 million iPhones activated on AT&T represented 20.5 percent of the total 37 million iPhones Apple sold in its own record quarter, the results of which were announced on Tuesday. AT&T followed up Thursday with its quarterly earnings, in which consolidated revenues were up $ 1.1 billion to $ 32.5 billion.

The iPhone was dominant at AT&T, accounting for 80.8 percent of the 9.4 million smartphones sold through the carrier.In the previous quarter, the iPhone represented 56 percent of AT&T’s smartphone activations with 2.7 million units.
The wireless carrier revealed that a majority of the 7.6 million iPhones it activated in the quarter were the iPhone 4S. That aligns with what Apple executives said on Tuesday, when they revealed the latest model of their smartphone was by far the best selling.

The 7.6 million iPhones activated on AT&T also easily bested the 4.2 million iPhones Verizon activated during the same three-month span. The iPhone accounted for 55 percent of smartphone sales at Verizon.

AT&T also said it was a strong quarter for its Android-based handsets, as Android smartphones also set a new record over the holidays. Specific sales figures for Android and other platforms weren’t provided, but would remain among the remaining 1.8 million non-iPhone smartphones sold in the three-month period. Total smartphone sales were the best ever seen at AT&T, blowing past its previous quarterly record by 50 percent.

The nation’s second-largest wireless carrier added a total of 2.5 million wireless subscribers in the quarter. That means most of the 7.6 million iPhones activated over the holidays were to existing AT&T subscribers.

AT&T saw 10 percent growth in wireless revenues, and 19.4 percent growth in wireless data revenues. It said that 82 percent of its postpaid sales were smartphones.

Computing devices, including the iPad and other tablets, reached 571,000. That was the company’s best-ever quarter, and the carrier now has 5.1 million subscribers with those 3G-connected devices, up almost 70 percent from a year ago.


There Are More iPhones Sold Every Day Than Babies Born

There Are More iPhones Sold Every Day Than Babies Born

Here’s another perspective on today’s numbers that should knock your socks off: Apple’s iPhone sales surpass the world’s birth rate. Not only has Apple become the top smartphone manufacturer in the world, but there are now more iPhones sold than babies born each day.

The iPhone sold 37.04 million units during the first fiscal quarter of 2012. Since one quarter is exactly 98 days, that equals 377,900 iPhone sold per day. The world’s average birth rate is 371,000 babies per day. While these numbers aren’t something to go by moving forward (the birth rate fluctuates and Apple’s sales usually spike during the holiday season), it’s pretty incredible that there are more iPhones sold than human babies born every day.

During today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone 4S was Apple’s best-selling iPhone last quarter. He also noted that Apple is pleased with its “broad range of iPhones,” indicating the continued success of the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. We’re sure that all the Apple-loving newborns out there would agree.

(via The Next Web)

Cult of Mac

Apple now largest computer maker, sold more iPads alone than HP sold PCs

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 07:15 PM EST (04:15 PM PST)
Apple has surpassed HP in both computer unit sales and revenues for the first time, taking the top spot sooner than expected on record sales of iPads. Rather than losing sales to low priced tablets, Apple said it would “continue to innovate like crazy” in the tablet arena.

Apple reported record quarterly sales of 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs, giving the company over 20 million sales of dedicated personal computing devices (distinct from its sales of more than 37 million phones). Gartner reported HP’s worldwide sales for the fourth quarter to be 14.7 million, while Lenovo and Dell sold 12.9 and 11.6 million units, respectively.

Apple was expected to report sales closer to 13 million iPads, an estimate figure that was still well ahead of what Canalys had anticipated last fall when it predicted Apple would outpace HP before the second half of this year.

Both Apple’s revenues and profits were twice as high as Microsoft reported for the same holiday quarter.

iPad not threatened by cheap tablets; it threatens PCs

When asked about the impact of lower priced, “content subsidized” tablets in the market, specifically Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Apple’s chief executive Tim cook noted that he was “really happy” with sales of iPad, pointing out that sell-through had exceeded sell-in, leaving the company with strained inventory levels in the global channel that contradict the notion that the Fire had eaten up potential iPad sales.

Cook said that Apple sees iPad as a “huge opportunity for Apple over time,” reiterating the idea that the company’s management believes “there will come a day when the tablet market in units is larger than the PC market.

“In fact its interesting to note that in the US, it’s clear from IDC’s recent data on desktops PCs that tablets exceeded desktop PC sales last quarter. You can already see different indicators that there is significant momentum in this space.”

Cook on Kindle vs iPad

Cook stated that “in terms of competitiveness, the ecosystem for iPad is in a class by itself,” comparing the 170,000 apps designed specifically for iPad against “just a few hundred” tablet-oriented apps for other platforms.

“I think people really want to do multiple things with their tablets. We don’t really see these limited function tablets and ereaders being in same category.”

Cook said other offerings “will sell a fair number of units, but I don’t think that people that want an iPad will settle for limited function.”

Cook added, “We’re just going to continue to innovate like crazy in this area. And we think we can continue to compete with anyone that is currently shipping tablets, or that might enter in the future.”

iPad eating up PC sales, not hurting Mac sales

Demand for iPads helped to blunt growth among generic PCs across the industry, with Microsoft reporting a 6 percent decline in Windows revenues for the same quarter. However, Apple’s iPad sales haven’t had a negative impact on the company’s own Mac sales.

Instead, it appears that iPad, along with iPhone and iPod, continues to exercise a halo effect that draws customers to Apple’s notebooks and desktops. The company pointed out that it had strong sales in both notebooks and with its desktop iMacs, with average weekly Mac sales being up in every geography.

Over a fifth of its Macs were sold through Apple’s own retail stores, where the company reported that of the 1.1 million Macs sold to customers, half were purchased by users who were new to the Mac platform.


Apple By The Numbers: iCloud, App Store, Education, Retail And More

Apple By The Numbers: iCloud, App Store, Education, Retail And More

Apple held its Q1 2012 fiscal earnings call this afternoon, and the company reported record-breaking numbers across the board. Revenue reached $ 46.33 billion with a net profit of $ 13.06 billion, more than doubling Apple’s profit since this time last year.

We’ve got a roundup of interesting numbers from this afternoon’s call for you to check out.

  • There were 140 million App Store downloads on Dec. 25th alone.
  • 1.5 million iPads are already in use in education institutions.
  • 600,000 copies of iBooks Author have been downloaded since last week’s announcement. 3 million copies of the iTunes U app have been downloaded as well.
  • There were more than 62 million total iOS devices sold in the last quarter, totaling a staggering 315 million iOS devices sold to date,
  • iCloud has 85 million customers
  • $ 4 billion has been paid to developers from App Store sales.
  • There is an average of 22,000 visitors per Apple store each week.
  • Apple has $ 97 billion in cash, with over $ 60 billion offshore. Apple said, “We’re not letting it burn a hole in our pockets.”
  • Tim Cook noted IDC’s research saying that the tablet (iPad) is expected to overtake PC sales in the US.  Cook said, “We’ll continue to innovate like crazy in the tablet area.” He said, ”People thought it was going to be the year of the tablet. It actually was the year of the iPad.”

[image via Jason Snell]

Cult of Mac

Verizon’s 4.2M Q4 iPhone activations were more than half of its smartphones

By Neil Hughes

Published: 12:23 PM EST (09:23 AM PST)
Verizon on Tuesday revealed its quarterly earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011, in which it sold 7.7 million smartphones, 4.2 million of which were iPhones.

Apple’s strong performance in the holiday quarter was downplayed by Verizon, which preferred instead to focus on its high-speed 4G long-term evolution network. Verizon’s official press release, “Investor Quarterly” publication and earnings results presentation slides made no mention of Apple or the iPhone.

The carrier had already revealed earlier this month that it sold 4.2 million iPhones in the December quarter. Verizon’s chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, attempted to deflect concern from some analysts on Tuesday that the high subsidy cost of the iPhone dragged down the carrier’s wireless profits, according to CNN Money.

Shammo said that high costs associated with subsidizing the iPhone are simply the price of doing business with Apple. And those costs gave Verizon 55 percent of its smartphone sales for the quarter, as most customers chose Apple’s 3G iPhone versus the carrier’s selection of 4G LTE phones.

Verizon officials said they are happy with the 2.3 million 4G LTE devices that were activated in the last quarter. The company touted that it has made “significant advancement” in deploying its 4G LTE network, and is well ahead of the competition in that respect.

“Verizon finished 2011 very strong, both in terms of revenue growth and by delivering an 18.2 percent total return to our shareholders for the full year, and the company has great momentum for 2012,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“Verizon Wireless produced particularly strong growth in the fourth quarter. While that diluted wireless margins in the short term, it is good news for revenue and margin growth over the long term, particularly given our leadership in the rapidly developing 4G LTE ecosystem.”

Verizon posted 7.7 percent year-over-year quarterly revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2011, which was a record for the company. Its wireless business had $ 18.3 billion in total revenues for the quarter, up 13 percent from the same holiday period in 2010.

While the carrier’s press materials and news releases didn’t mention Apple, its quarterly bulletin publication did lead off with an illustration of a 3G-connected iPad touting its record revenue growth in the fourth quarter.

Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., and its chief rival is second-place AT&T, which announced in December that Apple’s launch of the iPhone 4S has propelled total iPhone sales to 6 million in the first two months of the quarter. That number was just shy of its quarterly record of 6.1 million iPhone sales with a full month still left to go in the holiday quarter.

iPhone sales are greater at AT&T, where Apple’s smartphone remained exclusive in the U.S. until February of last year when the iPhone 4 came to Verizon. And last fall, the iPhone also came to Sprint, the third-largest carrier in the U.S., as well as smaller regional carriers like C Spire Wireless.

Apple will report its total iPhone sales for the holiday quarter this afternoon, when it releases its own quarterly earnings after the markets close at 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific. AppleInsider will have full live coverage.


Finally A Victory For PCs: HP, Dell Spend Millions More Than Apple On Google Adwords

Finally A Victory For PCs: HP, Dell Spend Millions More Than Apple On Google Adwords

Apple is one of the best-known brands, so no wonder it paid Google just $ 18 million in 2011 for search traffic. By comparison, HP and Dell, which are breathing heavy to keep ahead of the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant ranked No. 1 and No. 2 for spending big bucks flogging their products online.

According to Google, Apple spent $ 17.9 million for Adwords advertising in 2011, making the company the fourth largest advertiser in the search giant’s Computers and Consumer Electronics category. By comparison, HP spent $ 33.3 million as the category’s No. 1 player. Dell is No. 2, paying the Mountain View, Calif. Google $ 26.3 million. Meanwhile, electronics retail giant Best Buy forked over $ 23.7 million in 2011 Adwords spending to take No. 3.

What’s this all mean? Mainly that advertising does not equal marketshare. HP’s new CEO Meg Whitman recently told a French newspaper she expects Apple will become the No. 1 PC maker in 2012. Indeed, Gartner recently announced HP’s marketshare fell to 23.1 percent and growth was -26 percent. Dell, by the way, is also bleeding out — just at a slower pace.

As for Apple, it had nearly 21 percent quarterly compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, according to researchers. In other words, HP and Dell, spending wads of cash on Adwords advertising, lost ground while Apple had double-digit growth despite spending less on ads.

Hm. This just reinforces the power of Apple’s ecosphere powering product sales with little online advertising. The Cupertino, Calif. company instead builds a lasting relationship with consumers. First the heart-warming mass media spots, then the word-of-mouth promotions, followed by iTunes feeding the various devices, making Apple purchases painless with near-zero barriers. While the “halo effect” still exists for Apple products, the growth of iTunes for music, video, books, software and apps makes that early Apple advantage less critical.

Cult of Mac

Unite Twitter, Facebook And More With Your iPhone Contacts Using Smartr Contacts

Unite Twitter, Facebook And More With Your iPhone Contacts Using Smartr Contacts

Xobni has brought its Smartr Contacts service to the iPhone today, which a new app that is likely to change the way in which you handle your contacts list forever. The service takes the pain out of maintaining your contacts list by creating profiles for everyone you’ve ever contacted using your emails, calendars, and social networks. It also puts a face to every name and even keeps track of your recent communication history.

What more could you want from a contacts app? Smartr works with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in addition to your iPhone’s built-in apps, to compile a list of contacts that includes everyone you’ve ever communicated with. It provides you with profile pictures and contact information including telephones numbers and email addresses that you can access with a single tap.

It also has some really clever features that automatically rank your contacts by importance, and track your recent communication history.

The new app’s key features include:

- Automatic. Finds all the people you know from your email, calendar or social networks.
- Personal. Puts a face to every name and email address.
- Insightful. Detects and assigns phone numbers automatically.
- Socially aware. Integrates Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Relevant. Ranks contacts by importance, so the most important people are at the top.
- Fast. Search by first, last, company name or phone number to find anyone.
- Contextual. View email and calendar subjects for each person.
- Convenient. One click access to SMS, call or email.

Smartr Contacts requires you to have a Xobni account, but it’s completely free to signup and use the service. If you’d like to take advantage of the Smartr Contacts service across multiple devices, however, you’ll need to go pro for $ 7.99 per month.

Cult of Mac

iPhone accounted for more than half of all smartphones sold by Verizon Wireless in Q4 2011

Verizon may tout its 4G LTE network, but its quarterly earnings show that customers want the iPhone and are choosing the 3G phone over its 4G counterparts. It’s not just a small number either; about 55 percent of all smartphones sold in the quarter were iPhones.

The carrier announced that it sold 4.3 million iPhones during the final quarter of 2011. This figure accounts for more than half the 7.7 million smartphones the carrier sold and more than doubles the 1.6 million LTE smartphones the carrier sold in the last three months of the year. It’s also 2 million more than the 2.3 million 4G LTE devices the carrier sold (1.6 M smartphones and 700,000 LTE devices), which is impressive when you consider that it’s the iPhone 4 and 4S versus the 20 LTE devices in Verizon’s lineup.

In its aggressive ad campaign, Samsung may dangle its 4G smartphones in front of Apple fans like a carrot, but these quarterly figures show that customers are just not buying that message.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog