July 2, 2012

Five Years Of iPhone [Video]

Five Years Of iPhone [Video]

Five Years Of iPhone [Video]

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of the original iPhone, the phone that undoubtedly changed the world forever. To celebrate 5 years of iPhone, I’ve put together a little video showing just how much the iPhone has impacted not only our culture, but our everyday lives. Check out the video after the break.

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Michael SteeberMichael Steeber is a student who is obsessed with everything Apple. He enjoys making videos and runs the MSComputerVideos YouTube channel in his free time. You can follow him on Twitter as well.

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Cult of Mac

Apple Analyst Gene Munster Feels Siri Searching Is Still Two Years Behind Google

Apple Analyst Gene Munster Feels Siri Searching Is Still Two Years Behind Google

Although it sometimes doesn’t understand everything you say, it’s hard not to like Siri. After all, the voice-controlled assistant has made it easier then ever to perform all kinds of tasks on a smartphone using only the natural language that we use on a daily basis. But as we are well aware, Siri isn’t perfect.

Especially when it comes to answering your questions. In fact, Apple analyst Gene Munster believes she’s still two years behind Google after she only managed to answer 68% of the 800 questions he asked in a quiet room.

Munster threw 1,600 questions at Siri altogether. In addition to the 800 asked in a quiet room, another 800 were asked on a busy street in Minneapolis. He then threw the same 1,600 questions at Google. Let’s be clear: not Google Voice, just traditional, text-based Google search.

Rather unsurprisingly, Munster found that Google is far more accurate than Siri after it answered 86% of his questions accurately. Munster gives Google search a B+ grade, while Siri could only achieve a D.

Although it does seem like an unfair test — at least to me — Munster did discover some interesting things.

Siri is great at comprehension, understanding over 80% of the queries presented to it. That doesn’t come close to the 100% comprehended by Google, however. Bearing in mind, again, that these queries were typed into Google — not spoken.

On a noisy Minneapolis street, Siri comprehended 83% of our queries. We believe this is the most accurate representation of Siri’s comprehension because Siri is rarely used in a perfectly quiet setting. As a point of comparison, we performed the test in a quiet room where Siri was able to comprehend 89% of queries. Siri will need to improve from a B in comprehension to at least an A if it is to be considered a viable alternative to Google (A+), which could take two or more years.

Siri isn’t all that accurate. It was able to answer just 62% of the questions put to it out on the street, and just 68% of the questions put to it in a quiet room.

Siri accurately answer 62% on the street and 68% in a quiet room. (See page 2 for difference between comprehension and accuracy). We believe accuracy is where Siri needs the most improvement if it wants to rival Google. Currently, we measure Google at 86% accuracy in the US based on comScore result page per search data.

In order to become a viable search alternative to Google, then, Siri must match or surpass Google’s accuracy grade of B+. It’s currently on a grade D, according to Munster.

Finally, Munster believes that in iOS 6, Siri’s dependency on Google will decrease by 12%, from 60% to 48%.

We estimate that changes to Siri iOS 6 will decrease dependency on Google by 12%, from 60% to 48%. Apple has made several significant changes to Siri on iOS 6 that will decrease Siri’s dependency on Google. First and foremost, Apple’s in-house maps app will eliminate Siri’s dependency on Google for navigation. Second, Siri’s new integration of Yahoo Sports, Open Table, Rotten Tomatoes, and Fandango will provide answers for sports scores and statistics, restaurant reservations, movie show times, and ticket purchases.

It’s clear Siri still has a long way to go until it can replace typing when it comes to answering your questions, then. But it would have been interesting to see how it fairs against Google Voice search. And as we must keep reminding ourselves, Siri is still in beta.

Cult of Mac

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.

AppleInsider

Thief Who Used Fake Credit Cards To Buy $1 Million Worth Of Apple Goods Gets 9 Years In Prison

Thief Who Used Fake Credit Cards To Buy $  1 Million Worth Of Apple Goods Gets 9 Years In Prison

A gang leader who orchestrated the production of counterfeit credit cards and then used them to purchase over $ 1 million worth of iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks from Apple stores throughout the United States has been sentenced to up to nine years in prison.

29-year-old Shaheed Bilal pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the second degree in a court in Manhattan, New York, and will spend between four and a half and nine years in prison. Had he have been convicted at a trial, he would have been handed 15 years.

Along with members of his family — who helped recruit shoppers who were willing to use the counterfeit cards — Bilal managed to purchase over $ 1 million worth of Apple goods over two and a half years. These devices were then sold on to stolen goods dealers in Brooklyn, New York.

Bilal’s brothers, Ali and Rahim, were sentenced to one to three years and two to six years respectively. But the trio didn’t make up the whole gang; over 16 people were charged in total.

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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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Cult of Mac

Apple secures Liquidmetal exclusivity for two more years

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 05:18 PM EST (02:18 PM PST)
A filing with the U.S. Securiites and Exchange Commission reveals that Apple has re-upped its exclusive agreement to license Liquidmetal intellectual property, extending the company’s access to the alloy technology until early 2014.

While a Liquidmetal-sporting next-generation iPhone may not be in the cards for a 2012 release, Apple is presumably looking into fashioning products out of the unique metal that could make their debut sometime in the next two years.

The SEC document, originally filed on Friday and announced on Monday, is an extension to a Master Transaction Agreement (MTA) into which the two companies originally entered in August of 2010. Under the terms of the initial MTA Apple contributed $ 20 million to Liquidmetal subsidiary Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, in return for exclusive rights to any IP created or acquired by the company for use in the iPad maker’s products. That agreement ended in early February.

With the new amended document, Apple extends the terms of the original filing until February 2014, giving the Cupertino-based computer giant an extra two years to develop facilities and technology capable of employing Liquidmetal in consumer electronics.

It was rumored in April that the next-generation iPhone would be made from the alloy, however Liquidmetal inventor Dr. Atakan Peker said in May it would cost $ 300 million to $ 500 million dollars and at least three years of development to ready the metal for mass production yields.

Liquidmetal is a super-strong metal alloy with unique properties would be suitable for use in a number of consumer product applications. Apple first used the metal in a SIM card ejector tool for the iPhone 3G though it seems the small implementation was a test and the material has yet to make a follow-up appearance.

AppleInsider

FCC proposes first cellphone radiation investigation in 15 years

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 10:10 PM EST (07:10 PM PST)
Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission Julius Genachowski released a proposal on Friday to formally investigate whether wireless radiation is carcinogenic and should thus be regulated more strictly.

If the proposal is approved by a majority of the FCC’s four other commissioners, the inquiry will move forward with an investigation of existing cellular radiation regulations as well as whether wireless devices used by children should carry be subject to higher standards, reports The Wall Street Journal. It has been 15 years since the commission last examined the issue.

A number of independent studies have raised concern over wireless radiation emission and its possible role in causing brain tumors, though a lack of conclusive evidence has kept the debate from being resolved. The proposed inquiry is not meant to put these questions to bed and an FCC official said that the agency has no plans to create new rules based on any possible findings.

“The great weight of the most credible scientific evidence tells us there is no causal link between cellphone usage and brain tumors,” said FCC commissioner Robert McDowell (R-Va.). “Nonetheless, it is prudent to reassess our methodology and procedures from time to time, provided we don’t cause unwarranted concern among cellphone consumers along the way.”

While wireless industry proponents have downplayed any perceived link between cancer and cellular radiation environmental and health groups have repeatedly called for a formal government investigation. Those requests have thus far fallen on deaf ears and the FCC has been criticized for not looking into the issue sooner. According to two FCC officials, the Government Accountability Office is investigating the commission’s lack of action and will release a report soon.

“We fully expect that the FCC’s review will confirm, as it has in the past, that the scientific evidence establishes no reason for concern about the safety of cellphones,” said CTIA Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls. The CTIA is an international nonprofit organization that represents the wireless communications industry.

The FCC’s commissioners are expected to green light the inquiry, though it is unclear how it will conduct the investigation or what it will do with the subsequent results.

AppleInsider

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every year thousands of Apple developers flock to San Francisco to attend Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference to be educated in all things Apple. Over the past decade the conference has undergone some big changes as Apple has introduced products like the iPhone, Mac Pro, Intel Processors, Mac OS X operating systems, and much more. An event that used to be lightly attended has now become the most popular developers conference in the world and sold out within 2 hours this years. Here’s a look at the banner images of WWDC over the past 10 years.

2002

Apple announced OS X 10. 2 (Jaguar), QuickTime 6, and held a mock funeral for OS 9 to tell developers there would be no more Mac OS 9 development.

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

2003

Apple busted out the Power Mac G5 and previewed OS X 10.3 (Panther). They also launched Safari 1.0 as well as iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and iChat. All attendees received a free iSight web camera too.

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

2004

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was a the big story at WWDC 2004, with lots of signage making fun of Microsoft. Apple also introduced new displays, and iTunes 4.9 that had integrated podcast support.

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

2005

The biggest announcement at 2005’s WWDC was that Apple would be switching over to Intel processors. OS X 10.5 (Leopard) was previewed and Apple announced that the iPod had gained a 75% market share.

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

2006

The glorious Mac Pro was announced to replace the Power Mac G5. Full 64-bit app support, Time Machine, Boot Camp, Front Row, and a few other enhancements were announced for Leopard.

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Every WWDC Banner Ever For The Last 10 Years [Gallery]

Cult of Mac

RIM stock falls to lowest level in eight years on bearish trading

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 06:30 PM EST (03:30 PM PST)
Embattled Canadian smartphone maker RIM saw its stock dip into single-digits on Monday to end trading down 5.85 percent at $ 9.66, a price not seen since December 2003.

Shares of the Waterloo, Ontario company dropped below the $ 10 mark on a flurry of bearish options trading and the announcement that competing smartphone maker Samsung would launch its anticipated Galaxy S III on America’s four largest wireless networks later this month.

The BlackBerry maker may continue to hemorrhage value when trading resumes on Tuesday as active put buying and call selling of weekly options signal a further slide downward, reports Forbes. During the first half of Monday’s trading session, RIMM saw 1,250 puts at the $ 10 strike set for Jun. 8 yielding an average premium of $ 0.23 each. This places put buyers ing the position to see profits as long as the stock stays below the $ 9.77 breakeven price when the options expire later this week.

Upside call sellers also stand to profit from a continuation of poor trading performance as 6,200 calls traded at the $ 10 strike against open interest of 648 positions. Over 2,100 calls were sold at the Jun. $ 10 strike at an average premium of $ 0.28 each.

Monday’s bets against the company come on the heels of chief executive Thorsten Heins’ May announcement of plans to cut some 40 percent of RIM’s workforce by early 2013. Further compounding the company’s troubles are a number of high-profile resignations including former co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, with the latest departure being RIM’s Chief Legal Officer Karima Bawa.

The once-dominant BlackBerry platform experienced a brisk decline following the introduction of Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google’s Android mobile operating system. The latest IDC data shows that BlackBerry only accounts for 6.4 percent of the global market while Apple’s iOS and Android took 82 percent combined.

It was reported in May that the company’s inability to sell BlackBerrys and PlayBooks inflated the value of unsold inventory to over $ 1 billion at the end of the last quarter.

RIM is looking to its next-generation BlackBerry 10 OS to salvage the company, though some analysts see the delayed platform is too little, too late.

AppleInsider

RIM sees stock fall to lowest price in eight years on bearish trading

Mac Connection End of Summer Sale

Early 2011 MacBook Pro Model

Apple

Price

Discount

2.2GHz quad 17″ MacBook Pro $ 2,499.00 $ 1,901.18* $ 597.81
2.3GHz quad 17″ MacBook Pro $ 2,649.00 $ 2,036.99* $ 612.01

MacBook Pro Model

Apple

Price

Discount

2.4GHz dual 13″ MacBook Pro $ 1,199.00 $ 1,085.37* $ 113.63
2.8GHz dual 13″ MacBook Pro $ 1,499.00 $ 1,382.19* $ 116.81
2.2GHz quad 15″ MacBook Pro $ 1,799.00 $ 1,628.57* $ 170.42
2.4GHz quad 15″ MacBook Pro $ 2,199.00 $ 1,978.75* $ 220.35
2.4GHz quad 17″ MacBook Pro $ 2,499.00 $ 2,238.74* $ 260.26

APPINSDRMWB33196

AppleInsider

Ars looks at 25 years of HyperCard

Ars Technica has a wonderful writeup today about Apple’s HyperCard, which would be celebrating its 25th birthday if it was still around. HyperCard was a wonderful tool; it provided a way for non-programmers to link “cards” of information with simple scripts and a variety of common Mac user interface elements. A button could play a sound, link to another card, or even perform calculations, so it was everyman’s way of creating “stacks” of cards that could do amazing things.

How important was HyperCard to the world? Although we don’t hear much about it today, it was the first implementation of what Ted Nelson proposed as early as 1960 as “hypertext.” Many of the early Web browsers borrowed heavily from the design and functionality of HyperCard, with Mosaic and Netscape being the progenitors of today’s modern browsers. HyperCard was developed by original Mac team member Bill Atkinson and made it to market in 1987.

Reading blogger Matthew Lasar’s writeup on HyperCard brought back many memories for me. I can recall attending a seminar at an Apple office in Denver about HyperCard and its core scripting language, HyperTalk, shortly after its release. Author Danny Goodman ran the seminar and copies of his “Complete HyperCard Handbook” were handed out to everyone in attendance. That quickly became my favorite reference, and I began to create HyperCard stacks by the dozen.

I actually made money selling HyperCard stacks through Heizer Software’s “Stack Exchange,” where I sold a variety of reference stacks I had created. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, I gave a number of talks at the Institute of Gas Technology’s annual Chicago IT conference talking about the use of hypertext and HyperCard in business.

While HyperCard hasn’t been included with Macs for quite a long time (it used to come on a set of three floppies with every new machine), its descendants live on. The World Wide Web, SuperCard, and RunRev all owe a lot to Bill Atkinson’s brainchild.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog