Category Archives: iOS Devices

Apple premieres another new iPhone ad, this time focusing on iOS 8’s voice message feature

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Following the release of two new iPhone ads earlier this week, Apple has put out yet another commercial for the iPhone 6. Like the others, “Voice Text” features Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and pop star Justin Timberlake discussing the newest features on Apple’s smartphone.

In this ad, Fallon and Timberlake demonstrate the many uses for the new voice messaging feature included in iOS 8, such as including sarcasm or difficult-to-spell words in a reply. You can check out the full ad below:


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: ad, commercial, iPhone, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, TV spot, Voice messages, voice text

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Predicted cannibalisation of iPads by larger iPhones underway as iPhone 6/Plus changes browsing habits

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Predictions that larger-screened iPhones would cannibalise iPad usage look to be confirmed by some stats from the Pocket app that allows you to save webpages, videos and other content for reading later.

Pocket reported in a blog post today that while 55% of owners of the iPhone 5s viewed content on their phone rather than iPad, the number leapt to 72% for the iPhone 6 and 80% for the iPhone 6 Plus …

iPhone 6 owners used their iPads significantly less than owners of smaller iPhones, suggesting that they are leaving their iPad at home more of the time.

The bigger your phone is, the less you’re going to use your iPad. Users with an iPhone 6 now read on their tablets 19% less during the week and 27% less over the weekend. Those with a 6 Plus are on their tablets 31% less during the week and 36% less over the weekend.

Pocket said that switching to a larger-screen phone also meant owners read and watched far more content than those with smaller phones – a third more for iPhone 6 owners, and almost two-thirds more for the 6 Plus.

The one place where the iPad continued to remain unchallenged, however, was after 9pm, suggesting that the iPad remains the device of choice for the sofa and when reading in bed.

iPad sales have been slowing since Apple’s fiscal quarter 2. Apple makes more money from iPhone sales than from iPads, meaning that while an existing iPhone owner deciding they don’t need an iPad is bad news, a new customer deciding to buy an iPhone instead of an iPad is good news.

Via Quartz


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Android (operating system), Apple Inc, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPhone 6, iphone 6 plus, Pocket

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IDC: iPad’s first year of decline expected as worldwide tablet growth significantly slows

ipadThe latest numbers from market research company IDC reveal that worldwide tablet growth is expected to have significantly declined in 2014, with just 7.2% year-over-year growth compared to 52.5% in 2013. A contributing factor will likely be the iPad’s first year of decline as the tablet’s market share continues to fall because of a growing number of cheaper alternatives.

IDC finds that the slowdown in sales of both the iPad and the broader tablet market is largely unsurprising, given that tablets have a longer upgrade cycle that is closer to that of computers than smartphones. It was originally expected that tablets would be replaced every 2-3 years, but many tablet users are holding onto their devices for longer than that.

“What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. “We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks.”

Worldwide Tablet Year-over-Year Growth 2014

IDC claims that the landscape of the tablet market could change based on industry reaction to Windows 10, what Google does in this space with its Android and Chrome OS efforts, and Apple’s product line extension with the oft-rumored iPad Pro. “The next six months should be really interesting,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director for Tablets.

Apple introduced the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 at its October media event earlier this year, although each tablet is more of an evolutionary versus revolutionary update compared to the tablets before them. The flagship feature of each tablet is the addition of Touch ID, while the iPad Air 2 in particular gained a thinner build and improved display, faster Apple A8X chip, upgraded iSight and FaceTime HD cameras and faster wireless over both Wi-Fi and LTE.


Filed under: iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: growth, IDC, iOS, iPad, Market share, tablet, worldwide

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Apple crosses $700 billion market cap milestone, stock price up 50% since January

AAPL $700B

Apple stock ($AAPL) crossed yet another momentous milestone for its financials, hitting $700 billion market capitalization as the stock ticked over $119.65. At a pre-split price, this tallies $837.13. The stock last peaked in late 2012, when it topped out in the mid $650’s. That’s a $50 billion increase from two weeks ago.

Through 2013, the price tumbled over investor doubts about new product categories and Cook’s leadership. In recent months, though, $AAPL stock has returned and surpassed its 2012 highs. The reduction in shares due to Apple’s buybacks program has been more than offset than share price growth, off the back of the company’s strong earnings and forecasts.

As a result, $AAPL’s share price has increased by 50% since January 2014, with market cap rising by almost the same multiple. The company remains the #1 most valuable company, beating out second-place Exxon Mobile (which has a market cap of $400 billion) by hundreds of billions.

Looking forward, investors are eying Apple’s holiday quarter success to truly gage the uptake of Apple’s latest round of products, headlined by the iPhone. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has estimated Apple will sell 71 million iPhones in the holiday quarter. Investors have also been enthused by the monetization potential of Apple Pay and the Apple Watch, although how much that will contribute to the bottom line is still up in the air. Apple is forecasting up to $66.5 billion in revenue for the holiday quarter, yet another record to add to the book if it meets its estimates.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, market cap

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Retailers w/ iBeacons have upper hand this holiday as shoppers embrace location-based offers

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The latest stats from Swirl Networks, the company behind a number of beacon deployments at high-profile retailers, shows that shoppers in the US are embracing Bluetooth beacons and along with it Apple’s iBeacon framework for app developers sending location sensitive notifications to users. More specifically, data collected from the company’s beacon deployments in recent months shows that beacons are influencing the way we shop with more than half engaging with the feature and many redeeming beacon offers when making purchases. 

“This holiday season, retailers with beacon marketing capabilities in place will have a distinct advantage over those who do not,” said Hilmi Ozguc, founder and CEO of Swirl. “Proximity marketing has the power to transform the customer experience, increase brand affinity and drive sales uplift. Early adopters are seeing remarkable results and generating highly valuable learnings that they are using to optimize future campaigns. For retailers who haven’t yet deployed beacon marketing programs, it should be a top priority for 2015.”

The report shows that many shoppers haven’t been shy about engaging with iBeacon apps with around 60 percent opening and engaging with beacon-triggered content and roughly 30% redeeming “beacon-triggered offers at the point of purchase.”

Some other stats shared by Swirl today:

Beacon marketing campaigns are influencing shopper behavior:

-73 percent of shoppers surveyed said that beacon-triggered content and offers increased the likelihood to purchase during their store visit

-61 percent said they would do more holiday shopping at stores that delivered mobile content and offers while they shop

-61 percent said they would visit a store with beacon marketing campaigns more often

-60 percent said they would buy more as a result of receiving beacon-triggered marketing messages

The report isn’t exactly unique, but it does show what other early stats on beacon usage show. Earlier this year we noted that one brand was able to increase sales with purchase intent up 20x representing a 500x increase over average mobile ad engagement.

I wrote earlier this month that beacon networks, those that allow app developers, brands, and retailers to all take advantage of single deployment, are proving to be the best way to go for wide adoption of iBeacon app features among users. Imagine some of the stats above are based on retailers that only offer users a single app experience. Retailers opening up the experience to a long list of already in-use apps, as shown by the latest data from comScore’s Mobile Metrix, increases engagement significantly.

Swirl has deployments in a number of notable retailers in the US and Canada including Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay, Urban Outfitters, Alex & Ani, Kenneth Cole and Timberland stores.


Filed under: Apps, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: beacons, Holiday Shopping, iBeacons, Retailers, Shopping, Swirl Networks

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BlackBerry offering up to $550 for your iPhone through limited-time ‘Trade Up’ program

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Itching to “trade up” from your iPhone to a shiny new BlackBerry Passport? Thanks to BlackBerry’s latest promotion, you’ll be able to do just that. The program will let Passport buyers get up to $550 in credit towards the new device when they trade in an iPhone 4s or higher.

In order to get the full amount, you’ll need to trade a brand-new iPhone 6 (or presumably a 6 Plus, though it’s not specifically listed on the chart). The trade-in value for each device is actually much lower (ranging from $90 to $400), but shoppers buying a Passport will get a “top-up” worth an additional $150.

If, for whatever reason, you’d like to take advantage of this offer, you’ll need to wait just a few weeks. The program goes into effect on December 1st and runs through February 13th.

The Passport sports a square 1440×1440 resolution display and a “touch-enabled” physical keyboard. It went on sale earlier this month.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 1.58.00 AM


Filed under: iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: BlackBerry, iPhone, passport, trade-in

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Hands-on with Pinć, a $99 VR headset for iPhone 6 w/ Minority Report-style user interfaces (Video)

Pinc-VR_headset

Last week I met up with the people behind Pinć (Pinch), an under development VR headset that utilizes Minority Report-style user interfaces opposed to the mostly gaming experiences we’ve seen thus far from the competition. There are also a few other big differentiators for Pinc: it doubles as an iPhone case, uses hand gestures tracked by the iPhone’s camera for input, and includes a full SDK for developers built on Unity.

Pinć utilizes a wireless ring (or pinchers) on each hand that allow users to navigate with touchscreen-like hand gestures when tracked by the device’s camera. The experience allows for a much more intuitive controls familiar to touchscreen users and seems to make a lot more sense for immersive virtual reality than a controller or buttons used by other headsets.

All the apps currently running on Pinć were built by the company, but it plans on releasing an SDK that will offer devs a toolset for building mobile apps that support Pinć and utilize the company’s 3D user interfaces.

While the company is focusing on all casual, mobile app user interfaces rather than gaming like the Oculus Rift or other competitors, a big focus for Pinć is retail. The company plans to build its own virtual reality shopping mall that will allow users to shop at various retailers with a full on virtual reality experience for browsing, customizing and purchasing items. Pinć provided the following screenshots of what the shopping experience might look like when the product ships next year:

shops1 shops4 shops3 shops5

So far early prototypes of Pinć leave a little bit to be desired in terms of fit and finish, and the tech demo, which wasn’t yet running on Unity, was a little too early and buggy for me to pass judgement. I was able to wear an early prototype and navigate the UI pictured above, although the product I tried was far from finished (a 3D printed prototype actually) and the software was not up to snuff in terms of what’s promised in the videos as far as fluidity and ease of use. The company does, however, seem to be pretty confident that its latest build of the software running on Unity and tweaks to hardware in the coming months will bring the experience up to speed and ready to launch for devs and early adopters by spring of next year.

While the version I demoed in the video above is still in prototype mode, you can expect a finished product to look closer to renders the company provided below:

slice_expanded ring case_app

When it comes to hardware Pinć is certainly not the first accessory attempting to bring an Oculus Rift-style VR experience to mobile devices— Google recently launched its Cardboard experiment, Samsung has Gear VR for its Note 4, and other companies have similar products that utilize the iPhone’s display— but Pinć’s software, integration into a standard-looking iPhone case, and gesture based input system make it one of the most promising implementations I’ve tried yet.

The company is launching a crowd funding campaign for the project starting today with a Discovery Edition of Pinc available for $99 and shipping by June of next year.


Filed under: iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: ocul, Oculus, Pinć, rift, Virtual reality, vr

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