August 20, 2012

Apple nearly scrapped iPhone “multiple times” says designer Sir Jonathan Ive

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 01:50 PM EST (10:50 AM PST)
Apple’s head designer Sir Jonathan Ive has related the the company almost gave up on its design for iPhone “multiple times” after running into seemingly insurmountable technical challenges.

Speaking at a British Business conference coinciding with the London Olympic Games, Ive said, “We nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can’t solve.”

Yesterday, Ive’s comments at the same event that Apple is “really pleased with our revenues but our goal isn’t to make money,” made headlines.

A report by the Telegraph UK added additional comments from Ive describing the difficulties that nearly derailed the iPhone as a product.

“With the early prototypes,” Ive stated, “I held the phone to my ear and my ear [would] dial the number. You have to detect all sorts of ear-shapes and chin shapes, skin color and hairdo…that was one of just many examples where we really thought, perhaps this isn’t going to work.”

Apple subsequently developed a proximity sensor that made the iPhone’s screen unresponsive when held close to the face, eliminating the majority of false touches that might interrupt a phone call. Steve Jobs highlighted that technology when introducing the first iPhone in January 2007.

Ive’s comments on the often invisible technology advancements Apple developed to produce the original iPhone design are particularly noteworthy now that Apple’s competitors, in particular Samsung, are claiming in court that they too had in-house prototypes that resembled the iPhone.

Unlike Apple, Samsung and other makers simply did not productize their full screen concepts by solving some of the same complex issues Apple ran into during its development of the iPhone.

Instead, those companies either put those ideas on hold (as Samsung did), or released half-baked products that may have looked fleetingly like an iPhone, but didn’t work like one, causing customers to reject those products in the marketplace (like LG’s Prada phone, which was introduced just months before the iPhone but failed miserably as a premium priced, limited functionally device based on Adobe Flash Lite).

Some online blog enthusiasts have been trying to gain traction for the idea that Apple has no legitimate claim to original technical or design concepts of the iPhone because they’ve been able to find pictures of prototypes with big screens that look similar to the iPhone that Apple successfully brought to market (despite the objection of pundits who complained about its technology choices, such as the idea that its lack of a physical keyboard would likely cause it to fail in the market).

Samsung has included several “who copied whom” internet memes in its defense in the U.S. District Court case now underway in San Jose, California. Yesterday, Samsung’s Chief Product Officer Kevin Packingham complained to the sympathetic Wired that he found it “unreasonable that we’re fighting over rectangles, that that’s being considered as an infringement.”

Samsung has jumped upon “rectangles” as a simplification of Apple’s entire patent portfolio protecting the iPad and iPhone because Apple’s design patent for the iPad uses the word “rectangle” in describing its signature shape, a design Samsung has boldly copied so closely that its own lawyers were at one point unable to tell the difference in court.

Samsung hasn’t just copied the outside shape of the rectangular iPad, however. It has meticulously copied everything Apple sells down to the shape and design of chargers and accessories to the box the products go in to the lettering and design of the box itself, as well as the software features Apple pioneered to make its iOS devices easy and desirable to use.

Samsung’s copying of the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4 series, and the iPad have been so thorough and complete that retailer Best Buy complained to Samsung that customers were returning the Samsung Galaxy Tab because they thought they’d purchased an iPad.

AppleInsider

Steve Jobs joins George Washington, others in TIME’s most influential Americans list

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 06:08 PM EST (03:08 PM PST)
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was named one of the 20 most influential people in American history according to a TIME feature released on Tuesday, and sits alongside the likes of George Washington, Henry Ford and Albert Einstein.

The TIME report names 20 “trailblazers, visionaries and cultural ambassadors who defined a nation” in chronological order with Jobs rounding out the list as the most recent “influential American.”

TIME calls Jobs the “high priest of the computer age” and runs through a brief history of Apple and its products, and the tech guru’s ultimately life-ending battle with pancreatic cancer.

From Steve Jobs’ short TIME bio:

There was always something of the monkish seeker about Steve Jobs, from his days as a part-time student at Reed College in Oregon, through his Wanderjahr in Asia to his pursuit of perfection in the dazzling products he and his colleagues created.
Jobs was a visionary whose great genius was for design: he pushed and pushed to make the interface between computers and people elegant, simple and delightful. He always claimed his goal was to create products that were “insanely great.” Mission accomplished.

The usual suspects like Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford and Martin Luther King Jr. populate the rest of the top-20 while noted pugilist and outspoken racial equality proponent Mohammed Ali is both the only athlete featured and last living list member.

TIME’s 20 Most Influential Americans

Influential Americans
George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Sacagawea, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Abraham Lincoln
Sitting Bull
Alexander G. Bell
Thomas Edison
Henry Ford
Wright Brothers
Margaret Sanger
Albert Einstein
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Louis Armstrong
James Watson
Martin Luther King Jr.
Muhammad Ali
Steve Jobs

AppleInsider

Apple’s Early iPad Prototype Had 12-Inch Screen, Was 3 Times Thicker Than iPad 2

Apple’s Early iPad Prototype Had 12-Inch Screen, Was 3 Times Thicker Than iPad 2

This early iPad prototype was a mammoth.

Remember that early iPad prototype we showed you yesterday, built between 2002 and 2004, which looked like an old white iBook with a touchscreen? Now some new shots have surfaced that show a comparison between this and the iPad 2, and there are some interesting differences.

First of all, Apple originally built the iPad with a 12-inch display, and it was huge.

Not only did the old prototype look a lot like an iBook, it was almost as big as one, too. According to BuzzFeed, its display measures just under 12 inches diagonally, making it 40% larger than the 9.7-inch display Apple eventually shipped on the iPads we have today.

Apple’s Early iPad Prototype Had 12-Inch Screen, Was 3 Times Thicker Than iPad 2

It also features a 4:3 aspect ratio like the iBooks that were shipping at the same time.

The prototype also measures just under 1 inches thick, making it almost 3 times as thick as the iPad 2, and only around 0.35 inches thicker than the iBook.

Apple’s Early iPad Prototype Had 12-Inch Screen, Was 3 Times Thicker Than iPad 2

Like the iPad we have today, this prototype had very few buttons and ports. It has a dock connector and headphone jack, but there’s no home button, or any other physical controls to speak of.

Thankfully, technology has come a long way since this iPad prototype was produced, enabling Apple to build sleek, (relatively) lightweight devices that we can comfortably carry in one hand, or slip into our bags.

Apple’s Early iPad Prototype Had 12-Inch Screen, Was 3 Times Thicker Than iPad 2

Cult of Mac

MacBook Pro Retina display ship times improve

MacBook Pro Retina display ship times improve

That didn’t take long! One day after the MacBook Pro with Retina display was released, shipping times jumped to 2-3 weeks, and then to 3-4 weeks. Apparently the initial demand for the product has been met or more of the luscious laptops are making their way out of factories, because ship times are beginning to improve.

In the U.S. online Apple Store, ship times are back down to the 2-3 week range; still annoying for those who want to get their new laptop now. The first markets that received the good news were those in the Asia-Pacific sector; now the improved estimates are visible in the Americas and many of the European stores.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Shipping times for Retina display MacBook Pro improve to 2-3 weeks

Friday, July 13, 2012

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 09:23 AM EST (06:23 AM PST)
Apple has begun catching up with demand for its popular new MacBook Pro with Retina display, as estimated shipping times have improved to two-to-three weeks.

Shipping times advertised at Apple’s online store for both models of the 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro were shortened this week, and as of Friday, both the 2.3 gigahertz and 2.6 gigahertz models ship within two-to-three weeks.

The latest shipping estimate from the Apple Store is a slight improvement from the three-to-four weeks that were previously advertised. It’s also the shortest estimated shipping time seen since mid-June.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was announced last month, and was heralded by Apple as “the most beautiful computer we have ever made.” It takes design cues from the MacBook Air by ditching the optical disc drive and relying solely on flash memory, allowing it to have a thinner design while maintaining long battery life.

The standout feature of the new MacBook Pro is its 2,880-by-1,880-pixel Retina display that features 220 pixels-per-inch on the 15.4-inch screen. The new design also cuts glare by 75 percent by removing the glass cover found in previous models.

Apple’s top-of-the-linenotebook also features two high-speed Thunderbolt ports, USB 3.0 connections, a dedicated HDMI port, and a built-in SD card reader. The 2.3-gigahertz model with 256 gigabytes of flash storage has a suggested price of $ 2,199, while the 2.6 gigahertz model with 512 gigabytes of flash storage runs $ 2,799.

Alternatively, the MacBook Pro with Retina display is also available and in stock at Apple Authorized Resellers. Prices through these resellers can be found included below.

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MacMall is offering AI readers an addition 3% off all MacBooks when entering Promo Code APPINSDRMWB33903
MacMall is offering AppleInsider readers FREE FedEx Ground Shipping on all Mac orders through July.
Macbook Air

MacBook Air

Apple Amazon MacMall macconnection B&H Photo & Video OnSale.com J&R Music World Apple Education

Discount

2.5GHz dual 13″ MacBook Pro $ 1,199.00 $ 1,139.99 $ 1,104.77* $ 1,189.99 $ 1,138.95 $ 1,139.99 $ 1,182.95 $ 1,099.00 $ 94.23
2.9GHz dual 13″ MacBook Pro $ 1,499.00 $ 1,424.99 $ 1,406.49* $ 1,489.00 $ 1,424.95 $ 1,424.99 $ 1,488.95 $ 1,399.00 $ 92.51
2.3GHz quad 15″ MacBook Pro $ 1,799.00 $ 1,709.99 $ 1,658.64* $ 1,789.00 $ 1,709.95 $ 1,709.99 $ 1,749.95 $ 1,699.00 $ 140.36
2.6GHz quad 15″ MacBook Pro $ 2,199.00 $ 2,089.99 $ 2,027.24* $ 2,189.99 $ 2,089.95 $ 2,089.99 $ 2,188.88 $ 1,999.00 $ 108.96

MacBook Pro with Retina display

2.3GHz quad 15″ MacBook Pro $ 2,199.00 $ 2,194.00 $ 2,118.48* $ 2,189.99 $ 2,199.00 $ 2,199.00 $ 2,199.00 $ 1,999.00 $ 80.52
2.6GHz quad 15″ MacBook Pro $ 2,799.00 $ 2,794.00 $ 2,700.48* $ 2,789.99 $ 2,799.00 $ 2,799.00 $ 2,799.00 $ 2,599.00 $ 98.52

* + or • : Net prices after rebates and AppleInsider’s exclsuive 3% discount. The 3% discount coupon is automatically embedded in the links above. It will show up as “Instant Discount(s)” during checkout, only affter you’ve added the Mac to your shopping cart. Full details via AppleInsider’s complete Mac Price Guide.


AppleInsider

Flipboard Update Brings New York Times Content To Paid Subscribers

Flipboard Update Brings New York Times Content To Paid Subscribers

If you’re a New York Times subscriber, you’ll be pleased to know that you can now enjoy full access your favorite content via Flipboard, one of the best news readers available on iOS. Even those who don’t subscribe still get a little treat: free access to the publication’s “Top News” section.

All you need to do to gain access to this content is install the Flipboard 1.9.4 update, which is waiting for you in the App Store now, and login with your New York Times account details.

The update comes just weeks after Flipboard version 1.9.3 brought Google+ integration, allowing you to access the content posted to your Circles; YouTube integration; and localization for Germany, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, and Spain.

If you haven’t used Flipboard in a while, then, now’s a great time to get back into it.

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Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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scribol

Cult of Mac

Flipboard enters content deal with the New York TImes

The New York Times announced today that it is bringing its subscription content to the popular social reader app Flipboard. Starting Thursday, June 28, subscribers to The New York Times will be able to read full articles, browse image galleries and watch videos using the Flipboard app. This is the first time all the NYT’s content is available through a third-party service. Previously, the publication only made a part of its content available outside its own digital subscriptions.

Denise F. Warren, general manager of The New York Times‘s Web site, told Brian X. Chen of NYT’s Bits blog that “We realized that we have an opportunity to enable this kind of access for paying subscribers, and we thought it was something we ought to try and see how users react to it.”

This is a worthy addition to Flipboard, which already pulls down content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Reader and other social news sources. This also is the second big news story for Flipboard in the recent weeks. After a two-year exclusive stint on iOS, the app debuted on Android last week.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Workin’ For The Man: Apple Retail Employees Scrutinized In New York Times Profile [Report]

Workin’ For The Man: Apple Retail Employees Scrutinized In New York Times Profile [Report]

Workin’ For The Man: Apple Retail Employees Scrutinized In New York Times Profile [Report]

Let’s look at a few facts.

Apple Retail stores were the number one retailer last year, taking in more money per square foot than any other US retailer, including number two Tiffany, which made a bit more than half of that. Sounds good, right? Then take a look at what a retail employee, Jordan Golson, has to say.

“I was earning $ 11.25 an hour,” he said. “Part of me was thinking, ‘This is great. I’m an Apple fan, the store is doing really well.’ But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it’s kind of tough.”

The disconnect between the incredible success of the corporation and the relatively low-end pay scale of its retail employees, as well as the reasons those retail employees continue to work for Apple, is the subject of a report in the New York Times today.

According to the Times, Apple employs 43,000 people, around 30,000 of whom work in the retail stores. Many of those earn only $ 25,000 per year, as compared to, say, CEO Tim Cook, who is worth more than $ 570 million at the current Apple stock share price.

The Times makes it clear that Apple is still offering their retail employees a better deal than most retailers like the Gap. Apple also offers better benefits than other retailers, according to the report, including health care, retirement account contributions, the ability to buy Apple stock, and a discount on Apple products. Can this be such a bad thing?

Says the Times, “Divide revenue by total number of employees and you find that last year, each Apple store employee — that includes non-sales staff like technicians and people stocking shelves — brought in $ 473,000.” These are seriously high rates of return per employee, none of whom receive a commission on sales, as compared to wireless retailers like Verizon and AT&T, both of whom carry Apple products.

Can this continue? Will the current economic climate allow Apple to increase salaries beyond the reported amounts shared anecdotally with the Times? Why is the New York Times focused on Apple, and not, say, The Gap, who pays less than Apple does?

My thought on this is twofold. One, Apple is winning so hard right now that they’re the biggest target in sight. The Times is simply hinting at it’s own weight. Second, the disparity between the corporate and retail employee pay is striking. It’s hard not to root for the underdog, here. It’s ironic that the underdog company of the 1990s is now “the man” keeping it’s employees down. It was inevitable, however, with the incredible amount of success Apple has had in the past ten years.

Be sure to read through the Times article in full; it’s full of great quotes and ideas about our favorite company.

Rob LeFebvre

Rob LeFebvre is a freelance writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. He contributes to online tech, gaming and iOS websites around the net, including Cult of Mac, 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. He owns and operates GamesAreEvil as well, so it’s surprising he finds time to have two amazing kids, a disco band, and (yes) a day-job.

Feel free to find Rob on twitter: @roblef

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Cult of Mac

Subscriptions for all of Time’s magazines arrive on Newsstand in iOS

By Josh Ong

Published: 01:20 AM EST (10:20 PM PST)
Having reached an agreement with Apple, Time Inc. on Thursday updated the App Store apps for its magazines to begin selling digital subscriptions through iTunes and the Newsstand feature of iOS.

Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue told The New York Times in an interview on Wednesday that 20 of Time’s magazines would be coming to Newsstand.

As the nation’s largest magazine publisher, Time produces popular titles such as People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle and Entertainment Weekly.

Though Time had announced last year that it would bring each of its titles to the iPad, it stopped short of offering digital subscriptions. Lang said that she had made talks with Apple a priority when she took over as CEO in January.

Lang acknowledged that tablets like the iPad are here to stay. “For a magazine or brand like People or Time, a tablet will become an increasingly important part of the experience,” she said. “Our goal is to offer content where our consumers want to read it.”

Time appears to have scheduled the announcement around App Store approval, as the new subscription option for Time’s magazines began arriving early Thursday. A large number of Time Inc.’s iPad apps (iTunes link) have received updates adding the subscription feature.

It’s not immediately clear, however, what kind of agreement Time and Apple have made. Cue said Apple offers “the same terms to everyone no matter how big or small.”

The Apple executive did reveal, though, that Newsstand has more than five million customers and stocks over 5,000 magazines and newspapers. Most customers prefer subscriptions over single issue purchases, Cue reportedly told the publication.

Apple introduced Newsstand last October with the release of iOS 5. Just weeks after it arrived, publishers began reporting that iPad magazine sales had shot up because of the feature. Publisher Condé Nast said last October that subscription sales of the digital editions of its magazines had shot up 268 percent with the arrival of Newsstand. A separate analysis found that Popular Science + enjoyed a sales boost as a result of iOS 5′s new publication-friendly approach to subscriptions.

Consumers have taken to Newsstand rather quickly. iPad users collectively spend $ 70,000 per day on newspapers and magazines in Newsstand, according to research published by analytics firm Distimo in March.

AppleInsider

Absinthe jailbreak for iOS downloaded 1.1 million times

ImageThe hard-working Chronic-Dev Team has announced that just over one million users have jailbroken their iOS devices with Greenpois0n Absinthe 2.0. That’s impressive, considering the jailbreak was released just three days ago.

Greenpois0n Absinthe 2.0 is for firmware 5.1.1 only and available now. Happy jailbreaking.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog