BGR shares several new relatively high-resolution photos of parts claimed to be from the iPhone 5S. These parts have been leaking to repair firms over the past several months, and a number of photos have already been seen, but the new photos do represent the highest-quality look at these parts so far.
Vibrator/audio control flex cable for iPhone 5S
Unfortunately, the photos reveal little about Apple's plans for the iPhone 5S, as they are minor parts generally seeing relatively small changes compared to their corresponding iPhone 5 parts.
The parts include the loud-speaker bracket, ear speaker bracket, vibrating motor assembly, Wi-Fi flex cable ribbon and SIM card tray from Apple’s upcoming seventh-generation iPhone.
Most recently, just last week an antenna-related add-on piece for the iPhone 5S logic board surfaced, although the implications of minor changes observed in the part compared to the iPhone 5 remain unknown.
Following up on its April report breaking down mobile phone shipments by manufacturer for the first quarter of 2013, research firm IDC today issued a new report looking at shipments from an operating system perspective. The report unsurprisingly shows that Android and iOS continue to dominate the smartphone market with over 92% of shipments during the quarter, with Android's broad availability driving it to represent 75% of all shipments.
Apple iOS marked its largest ever first quarter volume on the strength of its iPhone shipment volumes, yet the operating system posted a year-over-year decline in market share and lower year-over-year shipment growth than the overall market. Although demand remains strong worldwide, the iOS experience has remained largely the same since the first iPhone debuted in 2007. That appears ready to change as online rumors and speculation predict a massive overhaul of the user interface when iOS 7 debuts.
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 1Q13 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)
The gains by Android and iOS over the last several years have come at the expense of every other operating system, but IDC's numbers reveal that Windows Phone is beginning to see signs of life with shipments more than doubling year over year, although its share of the market remains low at 3.2%.
Still, Windows Phone was the only minor competitor to gain share over the previous year, with BlackBerry continuing its slide in falling to 2.9%, although IDC suggests the launch of BB10 may bolster BlackBerry's numbers going forward. Linux and Symbian also saw significant share losses as their former supporters have shifted focus to Android and Windows Phone.
Apple's San Francisco flagship retail store has been a particularly high-profile location for the company since it opened nine years ago, but the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Apple has submitted plans to move the store to a new location three blocks away. The new location at Stockton and Post streets will be directly adjacent to Union Square, the focal point of San Francisco's high-end shopping district.
Supervisor David Chiu said he hoped the new silver box-shaped computer store and customer service center would “turbo-charge” the Union Square area, which has long been home to many of the city’s high-end retailers.
The new outlet will occupy the space at Stockton and Post streets formerly occupied by Levi’s and be about 45 percent larger than the existing space, though it will include all the same features.
Rendering of new San Francisco flagship store on Union Square
Apple says that the new location will increase its staff from the current 350 to 400 at the new location, but no timeline for construction and the move has been announced.
The current flagship store at 1 Stockton Street is located directly adjacent to an entrance for a subway station serving both San Francisco's Muni Metro and the broader BART rail system. The new location is several blocks from the main Market Street transit corridor, but remains well served by transit and city officials hope that the new location will help draw more customers into the Union Square shopping district. San Francisco is also in the early stages of work on a new Central Subway line that will include a station directly at Union Square.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the city of San Francisco on a new Apple retail store at Union Square,” Apple said in a statement to AllThingsD. “Our store on Stockton Street has welcomed over 13 million customers since it opened nine years ago, and we look forward to serving them in an amazing new location when this project is complete.”
Word game Say the Same Thing from the band OK Go was the milestone download, with Brandon Ashmore from Mentor, Ohio making the winning download. Ashmore will will receive an iTunes Gift Card worth US$10,000. For the first time, Apple also gave the fifty downloaders after the big winner US$500 iTunes Gift Cards.
“Apple would like to thank our incredible customers and developers for topping 50 billion apps downloaded,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The App Store completely transformed how people use their mobile devices and created a thriving app ecosystem that has paid out over nine billion dollars to developers. We’re absolutely floored to cross this milestone in less than five years.”
The Subcommittee will continue its examination of the structures and methods employed by multinational corporations to shift profits offshore and how such activities are affected by the Internal Revenue Code and related regulations. Witnesses will include representatives from the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, representatives of a multinational corporation, and tax experts.
Representatives from Microsoft and HP testified on September 12 on the same topic.
Apple recently borrowed $17 billion in a bond offering, in part to return cash to shareholders without bringing some of its $100 billion overseas cash pile to the United States. If it were to repatriate that cash to the U.S., it would need to pay a more than $13 billion tax bill.
Apple's App Store today reached 50 billion downloads since its inception in 2008, and along with the milestone comes the end of the company's "50 Billion App Countdown" promotion launched thirteen days ago. The winner of the promotion, who is yet to be announced, will be awarded a $10,000 gift card valid for App Store, Mac App Store, or any other iTunes Store content. Fifty additional winners will receive $500 gift cards.
The milestone is being acknowledged on Apple's website with a graphic showing a "Thanks" message written using award-winning iPad app Paper by FiftyThree.
The App Store took nearly 3 years, 8 months to reach 25 billion downloads, with the next 25 billion downloads requiring only about 14.5 months.
With the last 25 billion downloads coming over a period of 14.5 months, Apple's pace is now at over 20 billion downloads per year or over 50 million per day. As tracked by our sister site AppShopper, Apple has approved a total of nearly 1.2 million apps for the App Store since its launch, with nearly 850,000 of them currently available in the store.
At the Google I/O keynote in San Francisco this morning, Google demonstrated an upcoming overhaul for its mobile mapping apps on iOS and Android and announced an iPad version of Google Maps that will hit the App Store this summer.
The new version of Google Maps will incorporate both restaurant and location ratings from Zagat. Google is bringing Google Offers integration to its mobile maps, offering discounts and coupons from retailers like Starbucks directly in the app. Searching for a restaurant or location within Google Maps will display ratings, reviews, and available offers.
Google also plans to add live coverage of traffic incidents around the world, providing real time alerts with dynamic re-routing capabilities to improve the functionality of its turn-by-turn directions. As for Google Maps on the iPad, Google introduced a new tablet-centric feature called "Experience," which provides indoor maps for a variety of locations, displaying restaurant and shopping options.
While on stage, Google's Mobile Director of Maps Daniel Graf didn't waste an opportunity to poke fun at Apple's Maps. While speaking about Google Maps on iOS, he had this to say: "People called it sleek, simple, beautiful… and let's not forget accurate."
Apple Maps, which was introduced alongside iOS 6 to replace Google Maps, has been heavily criticized for providing inaccurate results and for its lack of crucial features, like transit information. Though Apple has been working to improve Maps, the addition of real time traffic reports, rerouting, and a more personalized experience puts Google Maps even further ahead of Apple Maps.
Google also demoed its redesigned desktop mapping experience, which has a heavy focus on both "immersive imagery" and a more personalized experience. As noted by The Verge, Google Maps will be given a total design overhaul, displaying an edge-to-edge map within the browser window that is accented by a single search box. Maps are vector-based and quick loading, with details on locations and directions provided by information cards.
A lone search box in the upper left gives you access to Maps’ features, as does clicking on elements within the map. Google has integrated Google Now’s card metaphor to present information from a newly built-in version of Google Earth, reviews from Zagat and Google+, Street View, and directions. And new user interface tweaks surface locations and transit routes before you even search for them.
Clicking on a location within Google Maps will display reviews and a 360 degree inside-view option. Maps on the desktop has also been enhanced with imagery that allows users to explore mountains, oceans, and more, as it incorporates Google Earth's 3D view.
Google is currently allowing users to sign up to preview the new Google Maps desktop experience. Google's iPad app and redesigned mobile apps will be released this summer.
Google has unveiled a new unified messaging service that is designed to work on Android, iOS, and the web. Called Hangouts, the app incorporates and unifies several different Google services, including Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and the existing Google+ Hangouts.
Today we're launching a stand-alone version of Hangouts that combines text, photos and live video across Android, iOS and your computer.
Now that Hangouts spans modalities and devices, you can finally fuhgeddaboudit (the technology, that is), and focus on what really matters: creating lasting relationships. And that, we think, is a plus.
Hangouts, which is similar to Facebook Messenger, places an emphasis on "conversations which last," saving chats between users in the cloud and allowing users to access past chats, shared photos, and video call history. The app's interface also emphasizes conversations over contacts and supports both multimedia content and additions like emoji.
According to Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundrota, detailed chat history can be toggled off. “Of course we give you the ability to delete those things,” he said. “But having the ability so save those conversations, I think is delightful and amazing.”
Because Hangouts relies on Google's cloud, both video and text chats can take place on a number of different devices and between multiple people. The app will be available today from Google Play, the App Store, and the Chrome Web Store.
Google today officially announced its new music subscription service, Google Play Music All Access, at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco. As reported yesterday afternoon, the service is designed to compete with Spotify, providing songs on demand that can be streamed to a computer or mobile device.
The service, which is built on Google's existing Google Play Music Store, will cost $9.99 per month with a 30-day free trial available. Google is, however, offering a discount for early adopters. Those who begin the free trial by June 30 will pay just $7.99 per month. The Verge has a rundown on a few of the available features for music discovery and recommendations.
A recommendation engine will guide users towards new music they may have already discovered. As demoed on an Android device — it also works in a standard web browser — All Access incorporates both local tracks and those available for streaming into one master searchable library, a marked improvement over much of its streaming competition.
Google's tagline for Google Play Music All Access is "Radio without Rules," a small jab at Apple's upcoming Pandora-style music service, iRadio. As of last week, Apple was still in negotiations with music labels but is reportedly aiming for a summer launch of its own music subscription service.
At today's Google I/O keynote, Google unveiled Google Play Game Services, which is designed to compete with Apple's Game Center. Like Game Center, Game Services features real-time multiplayer capabilities, leaderboards, cloud saves, and achievements.
The service is not limited to Android developers as Google has developed it to link gaming across Android, iOS, and the web. Google will be providing the SDK for Game Services to both iOS and web developers in addition to Android developers. As noted by Engadget, Game Services more closely resembles the now-defunct OpenFeint social gaming platform than Game Center.
Unlike Apple's Game Center application, what Google's offering is backend support for developers rather than a standalone application. Think of it more like OpenFeint than Game Center – you can sign in using your Google+ login in-game, and that login will track your identity (including leaderboard scores, achievements and saves) across various games and devices.
Several Android games have been updated with the new gaming service, including Osmos, Kingdom Rush, and Super Stickman Golf 2. The service and the SDK are launching today, with the following features:
- Achievements that increase engagement and promote different styles of play. - Social and public leaderboards that seamlessly use Google+ circles to track high scores across friends and across the world. - Cloud saves that provide a simple and streamlined storage API to store game saves and settings. Now players never have to replay Level 1 again. - Real-time multiplayer for easy addition of cooperative or competitive game play on Android devices.
Google's Game Services comes several years after the introduction of Apple's Game Center. Game Center was originally introduced in 2010 and underwent a major overhaul in late 2011.