Category Archives: iOS Devices

U.S. court rules that phone passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment, but fingerprints aren’t

touch-id

While Touch ID makes sense for most of us as a secure and convenient way to protect our phones, there is one group of people who may want to stick to good old-fashioned passcodes: criminals.

A Virginia District Court has ruled that while phone passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment, which says that those accused of crimes cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves, there is no such protection against using a suspect’s fingerprint to unlock a phone … 

The ruling was reported by Hampton Roads in the case of David Baust, an EMS captain accused of trying to strangle his girlfriend.

Prosecutors had said video equipment in Baust’s bedroom may have recorded the couple’s fight and, if so, the video could be on his cellphone. They wanted a judge to force Baust to unlock his phone, but Baust’s attorney, James Broccoletti, argued pass codes are protected by the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits forced self-incrimination.

Judge Steven C. Frucci ruled this week that giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample or an actual key, which the law permits. A pass code, though, requires the defendant to divulge knowledge, which the law protects against, according to Frucci’s written opinion.

As a ruling in a District Court, there is plenty of scope for either aspect of the ruling–that passcodes are protected and that fingerprints aren’t–to be over-turned on appeal, but it’s an interesting argument.

Sophisticated lab techniques make it possible to fool Touch ID using only a high-resolution photo of a fingerprint. The approach was first demonstrated on an iPhone 5s and later shown to work also with the more sophisticated sensor on the iPhone 6.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Crime, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, police, Touch ID

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Apple’s market-leading tablet share falls to 22% against growing cheap media consumption options

IDC-tablets-Q314-01

Worldwide unit shipments for the top 5 tablet plus 2-in-1 device vendors over last five quarters

New data from IDC tracking worldwide tablet shipments shows that Apple has maintained its lead during the third quarter despite “a decline in overall iPad shipment volume in 3Q14.” Specifically, Apple grabbed 22.8% of the market with 12.3 million shipments during the quarter compared to 14.1 million units and 29.2% share in the year ago quarter. That compares to Samsung at 18.3% of the market and 9.9 million units shipped up from 19.3% and 9.3 million units shipped in the third quarter last year:

Apple, during its earnings call, noted that the iPad’s lifecycle is extending. Combined with consumer anticipation and the release of the latest iPhones, IDC saw a decline in overall iPad shipment volume in 3Q14. Although Apple has recently updated and expanded its iPad lineup to its widest offering ever, IDC still expects 2014 to be the year of the iPhone… Samsung has slowly begun to focus on markets like North America and Middle East and Africa (MEA), where low-cost Asian vendors haven’t been able to gain a foothold just yet. Although Samsung’s share declined slightly compared to last year, it was able to experience 5.6% growth and was able to maintain its number 2 rank among the top 5.

While pointing out that tablet shipments have grown 11.5% year over year worldwide, IDC also reports that it “saw Verizon continuing to sell connected tablets at a fast pace, a strategy that we believe other carriers will replicate in following quarters.” If you’re wondering why RCA has entered the top 5 this time around, IDC attributes it to “one large deal linked to back-to-school and channel fill ahead of Black Friday.” The RCA shipments and Verizon sales, according to the report, account for a higher 18.5% growth for tablets in the US.

While Apple and Samsung remained in the number 1 and 2 spots, the companies are followed by ASUS (down one point to 6.5% market share), Lenovo (up slightly to 5.7% share), and RCA up 194% since last year to 4.9% of the market. The “Others” category, however, makes up 41.8% of the market in IDC’s research with 22.5 million units shipped.

IDC-Q314-tablet-shipments-01

It’s not clear how many cheapo, white box tablets make up the others category, but IDC notes that the data in its report includes “both slate tablets and 2-in-1 devices.” You can imagine Apple’s share of tablets people actually use is much higher than 23% it grabbed in IDC’s report. IDC says “Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.”

Worth noting is that leading into Q4 Apple has two new iPad models, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, that will likely give the company a big boost in sales for the important holiday quarter. Both tablets officially went on sale last week in the US and several countries abroad.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, IDC, iPad, marketshare, Tablets

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Android Wear Devices won’t be iOS or Mac compatible this year

android-wear-moto-360-100388314-orig

Google invited us to check out their new line of Nexus products running Lollipop earlier today.   The Motorola Nexus 6 is about the size of the iPhone 6 Plus with a slightly bigger screen and thicker/heavier profile. On the other hand, the HTC Nexus 9 is smaller than the iPad Air with a 9-inch display and stereo speakers. Both run Android 5.0 Lollipop which has a new Material Design. The new products will go up against Apple’s iOS devices for global electronics consumers’ holiday shopping money.

However, one set of devices won’t be competing for Apple users’ shopping dollars. An Android Wear project manager told me that there were no current plans to make Android Wear compatible with iOS but that they were continuing to evaluate other platforms because they wanted to get Wear devices into as many hands as they could. When I pressed and said something to the effect of “if ever there was a time to sell these to Apple users, it was the holiday season before the Apple Watch is released”, the product manager said something akin to  “Our Christmas lineup of announcements is set and over”.

On one hand, it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard. After all, Google eventually got Google Glass to work on iOS devices.

Microsoft, on the other hand, just announced its new Fitness Band which will work with Android, iOS and of course Windows Phones.

Macworld today suggested that you take a $99 Pebble for a spin to see if it could act as a smartphone gateway drug until users get their Apple Watch fix next year. 

I will say that if you are contemplating getting an Android Wear device, the only one worth your time is the Moto 360. Most of you will obviously be better off waiting however.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Android Wear, Apple watch, iOS

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Apple reportedly in ‘preliminary contact’ with distributors to bring iPhone to Iran

iphone6

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is in early talks with “Iranian distributors” to bring the iPhone to Iran:

Apple Inc. is in preliminary contact with Iranian distributors about a possible entry into the country should Western sanctions ease sufficiently, people familiar with the matter said.

The report notes that financial and banking sanctions as well as political tension has thus far prevented companies like Apple from conducting business in Iran, but points to a policy change in May that lifted the ban on sales of “consumer communications technologies” in the country. The report goes on the claim that “senior Apple executives” have already met with “potential Iranian distributors” at Apple’s regional headquarters in London.

In the conversations, the Cupertino, Calif., company explored the possibility of having Iranian partners sell Apple products at so-called premium resellers, three of the people said. Instead of company-operated Apple stores, such outlets would be midsize franchisees that sell Apple products only, —a model the company has used in Europe and Asia, the people said.

In addition to meeting with potential distributors from the region, the WSJ reports that Apple has been in talks with the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Frozen Assets Control to the possibility of conducting business in Iran.

Apple has consulted the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Frozen Assets Control to assess under what conditions it could start operations in Iran or how it could pursue a formal relationship with Iran-based customers, according to two people familiar with the matter. Such contacts have involved discussions over how to seek U.S.-government clearance to repair products purchased in Iran or send spare parts.

The report adds that despite existing sanctions, communication between executives of United States-based companies and Iran-based companies is not barred, although such talks are unpopular due to political tension.

Apple’s potential market for exporting the iPhone to Iran is already visible, the WSJ notes, as an existing black market and even some upscale retailers currently own iPhone and iPad distribution in the country. The Wall Street Journal also points out the potential 77 million customers in Iran with 42% of the population under 25 with a large middle class.

In its most recent earnings report, Apple shared that 60 percent of its revenue for the quarter came from international sales.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, international, iPhone, iPhone sales, Iran, Iranian distributors, sanctions, U.S. Treasury’s Office of Frozen Assets Control, United States, Wall Street Journal

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T-Mobile kicks off sales of new iPads, but no 128GB iPad Air 2 yet

apple ipad air 2

Following opening up preorders for Apple’s new iPads last week, T-Mobile announced today that the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are now available to purchase from both its online and brick and mortar retail stores. T-Mobile’s website, however, notes that the 128GB iPad Air 2 is not yet available and currently only offers the 16GB and 64GB variants.

Sales at T-Mobile follows preorders through Apple, AT&T, Sprint and others kicking off earlier this month with first shipments of the device arriving last week. Apple, Sprint, and other carriers started sales of the device in stores last week.

Why exactly T-Mobile doesn’t have the 128GB model is unclear, but availability of certain models through carrier and retail partners has varied greatly from company to company since the launch last week. Through Apple’s website in the US, most versions of the 128GB iPad Air 2, apart from the Space Gray color option, have the same 1-3 day shipping estimate as the 16GB and 64GB models.

Through T-Mobile the iPads will be available through T-Mobile’s financing options for Simple Choice plan customers starting at $0 down for both tablets. $0 down with monthly payments (approx. $26 for iPad Air 2 and $22 for iPad mini 3) is for the 16GB entry level models, while the 64GB model will be available for $99 down and the 128GB models for $199 down.

The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are available from T-Mobile’s website and in-stores now.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: 128GB, Apple, in-store, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, sales, T-Mobile

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T-Mobile kicks off sales of new iPads, but no 128GB iPad Air 2 yet

apple ipad air 2

Following opening up preorders for Apple’s new iPads last week, T-Mobile announced today that the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are now available to purchase from both its online and brick and mortar retail stores. T-Mobile’s website, however, notes that the 128GB iPad Air 2 is not yet available and currently only offers the 16GB and 64GB variants.

Sales at T-Mobile follows preorders through Apple, AT&T, Sprint and others kicking off earlier this month with first shipments of the device arriving last week. Apple, Sprint, and other carriers started sales of the device in stores last week.

Why exactly T-Mobile doesn’t have the 128GB model is unclear, but availability of certain models through carrier and retail partners has varied greatly from company to company since the launch last week. Through Apple’s website in the US, most versions of the 128GB iPad Air 2, apart from the Space Gray color option, have the same 1-3 day shipping estimate as the 16GB and 64GB models.

Through T-Mobile the iPads will be available through T-Mobile’s financing options for Simple Choice plan customers starting at $0 down for both tablets. $0 down with monthly payments (approx. $26 for iPad Air 2 and $22 for iPad mini 3) is for the 16GB entry level models, while the 64GB model will be available for $99 down and the 128GB models for $199 down.

The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are available from T-Mobile’s website and in-stores now.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: 128GB, Apple, in-store, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, sales, T-Mobile

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Kantar: iOS market share outgrowing Android in Europe, slipping in US & Japan

kantar

The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that iOS market share is just outgrowing Android across the five largest markets in Europe, growing 1.5% year-on-year against Android’s 1.4%, but dropping 3.3% in the USA.

iOS market share now stands at 32.6% in the USA and 15.4% across the top 5 European markets … 

It’s worth repeating our usual disclaimer here: Apple has never chased absolute market share–which includes a huge range of low-end Android handsets–instead focusing only on the smaller market for premium devices. Apple sales can be growing strongly while at the same time losing market share as the overall size of the market increases thanks to sales of cheap devices in emerging markets.

Kantar’s data, covering July to September, also only includes a very small slice of iPhone 6 sales, but even this was enough to reflect the strong early start which was demonstrated by record sales in the opening weekend.

It is clear that demand has been high for the eagerly awaited new models [...] demand for the iPhone 6 has been very healthy.

The company noted that, unsurprisingly, early iPhone 6/Plus sales were to existing iPhone users.

Initial sales of the new iPhone models have overwhelmingly been from existing iPhone owners (87%). This is not surprising as consumers who already own Apple products tend to remain loyal and are keen to get their hands on new models. Drawing in customers who are switching from competitor brands is more likely to happen once offers and promotions on the new iPhones start to kick-in.

With limited hard data on the sales split between the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it’s interesting to see that, in Europe at least, the smaller model has been by far the most popular.

Across Europe’s top five markets, the iPhone 6 has outsold the larger iPhone 6 Plus by five-to-one.

The most dramatic fall in iOS market share was in Japan, where local companies Sony and Sharp have been enjoying a great deal of success. All the same, a year-on-year fall of 15.9% seems very high when Apple had put its own market share in the country at 70% just six months ago.

Via TechCrunch

 


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices

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