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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

US Department of Defense plans to procure iPhones and Android devices

US Department of Defense plans to procure iPhones and Android devices
Research in Motion has been doing everything it can to keep a certain amount of mind-share with its clients. RIM’s most treasured client is the US government, whose requirement for enterprise manageability and security is paramount.

Technology advances rapidly though, and it appears that several agencies are willing to look at alternative products. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) recently awarded a contract to replace their BlackBerry devices, all 17,000 of them, with iPhones.  All RIM’s vice-president of government solutions could say was to simply reiterate the company’s commitment to bring BlackBerry 10 to market to meet the needs of its clients.  However, we can see what RIM's decision to push the scheduled release of BlackBerry 10 to the first quarter of 2013 is truly going to cost.

RIM’s user base is still growing, but the bulk of that growth is in emerging markets. Business customers always provide a higher margin and somewhat more stability. So while RIM may survive the consumer fluctuations, if this trend on business and government sector clients continues, it will not survive an exodus of business customers, which is happening with alarming regularity in the United States and other parts of the world. 

The Pentagon has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to build a system that will secure and manage over 160,000 Apple and Android devices and be scalable to possibly handle as many as 8 million devices. While this may pose a real threat to RIM, the Canadian manufacturer is well within its ability to compete on this contract with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. That product was released earlier this year by RIM and allows organizations to manage iOS and Android devices concurrently with BlackBerrys on their networks.

However, the solicitation, while noting that it would be useful if this new network would also manage BlackBerry devices, it does not list that parameter as a requirement.  That may mean the department is either willing to manage things separately or, it does not plan to buy any more BlackBerrys. Knowing government spending, that latter is not likely, but opening this door to other platforms is quite revealing.

Source Phonearena

Monday, October 29, 2012

Steve jobs' Yacht "VENUS" Launched in Netherlands

Earlier this year, it was revealed that French designer Philippe Starck was working with Dutch shipbuilder Feadship on a new yacht for the family of Steve Jobs. The yacht had been mentioned in Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs as a project he had been working on since 2009, but the ship was not completed before his death last year. 

Dutch site One More Thing now reports [Google translation] that the ship, christened "Venus", has officially launched, with Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs and their three children participating in the event. 
Photo from @basvanderploeg

The aluminum-hulled ship is said to be 70-80 meters in length and features seven 27-inch iMacs lined up in the wheelhouse to help run the controls. 

Source : Macrumors

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Black iPad mini 16 GB sells out in 35 hours

After just 35 hours of preorder availability, Apple's online store on Saturday showed stock outs of the 16GB Wi-Fi only black and slate iPad mini, with the entry-level tablet joining all white and silver models which quickly sold out on launch day. 

The Online Apple Store is now reflecting a two week delivery time for the smallest capacity black iPad mini, meaning the company has run through its initial supply as demand for the mid-size tablet continues.
iPad mini Supply

When the device was announced on Tuesday, some speculated that the mini's relatively high price tag would dissuade consumers from purchasing the premium tablet, especially given similarly sized products from competitors like Amazon and Google are priced far below Apple's $329 cost of entry. However, when iPad mini preorders went live on Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific, it took mere minutes for all capacities of the white Wi-Fi only model to sell out. 

It remains to be seen how the Wi-Fi + Cellular models have faired as those versions are set to ship in mid-November.

According to Apple design chief Jony Ive, the iPad mini condenses the features of a full-size iPad into small form factor, featuring a 7.9-inch display and thin 7.2-millimeter chassis that weighs only 0.68 pounds.

Source : Appleinsider

iOS and Android : Get ready for GTA Vice City

GTA: Vice City coming soon to iOS and AndroidGrand Theft Auto has been a hallmark franchise in video gaming, and it looks like Rockstar wants to keep up its support for mobile versions of its games. Last year, we saw GTA III hit mobile, and Vice City is about to follow suit with release on iOS and Android.

The details are a bit sparse right now. Rockstar has simply announced that like the 10 year anniversary edition of GTA III that came last year, Vice City is on the way to mark the 10 year anniversary of that game. GTA: Vice City was originally released on October 29th, 2002, but we're going to have to wait until "later this fall" for Vice City to hit mobile devices. Of course, there is less than two months to go in fall this year, so we won't have to wait long. 

Rockstar is promising that the iOS and Android versions of Vice City will feature "native high-resolution graphics and several enhancements unique to the iOS and Android platforms." Anyone else excited for this? 

And, if tradition holds, this means we'll be getting GTA: San Andreas next year. 

Source :phonearena

Apple's Q4 2012 earnings beats revenue expectations, misses profits

Apple has made its financial earnings call for Q4 of 2012 and the news is something of a mixed bag. The company is still making boatloads of cash and its revenues were higher than expected, but Apple's traditional strength - profits - came in lower than had been forecasted. Apple's revenues for Q4 came in at $36 billion, which is just a tad (~500 million) higher than was predicted by analysts, and a full $2 billion higher than Apple's own expectations. Apple stocks earned $8.67 per share, which was slightly lower than analyst predictions, but well higher than Apple's own obviously conservative estimates. 

Apple's Q4 2012 earnings beats revenue expectations, misses profits

Then there were profits, which has long been the calling card of Apple, a company that prides itself on getting huge margins on its products. Apple reported an impressive $8.2 billion in profit, which is not only lower than analysts predicted, but it's the 3rd straight quarter of lowered profits for Apple. As you can see in the chart to the right, after a hugely profitable Q1 2012, Apple's margins have dropped each quarter since.

Apple also reported 26.9 million iPhone sales, up 58% year-on-year, and 14 million iPads sold, a gain of 26% year-on-year. Mac sales were up just 1% compared to last year, at 4.9 million sold, and iPod sales were down 19% at 5.2 million.

Not a bad quarter, and Apple is predicting that Q1 of 2013 will bring in "revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75." Given that Apple tends to be conservative in its estimates, that points to a pretty big Q1 for the company.

Source : Phonearena

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

iPad mini vs Kindle fire vs Nexus 7

Apple just announced their 7.9-inch iPad mini and is now officially ready to enter the fight in the ultra portable tablet market.
iOS is the dominant platform in the large tablet class, but it’s a newbie in the compact segment. So does the Apple iPad mini have what it takes to successfully challenge the already established competition from Google (ASUS) with its Nexus 7 and Amazon with its 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.
We’ve prepared a quick comparison table for you, showing how the iPad mini stacks up against the competition.
Apple iPad Mini
Kindle Fire HD
Nexus 7
Apple iOS 6
Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread
Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
1024 x 768
(163 ppi)
1280 x 800
(216 ppi)
1280 x 800
(216 ppi)
200 mm
134.7 mm
7.2 mm
193 mm
137 mm
10.3 mm
198.5 mm
120 mm
10.45 mm
308 grams
395 grams
340 grams
1GHz dual-core
1.2GHz dual-core
1.3GHz quad-core
NVIDIA Tegra 3
PowerVR SGX543MP2
PowerVR SGX540
GeForce ULP
512 MB
16GB / 32GB / 64GB
16GB / 32GB
8GB / 16GB
microSD card slot
Primary camera
5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels,
autofocus, 1080p video recording
Front camera
Battery Life
10 Hours
11 Hours
10 Hours
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, dual-antenna
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, dual-antenna
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Stereo, with Dolby Audio
November 2, 2012
Currently available
Currently available
$329 / $429 / $529
$459 / $559 / $659 (Cellular)
$199 / $249
$199 / $249
It’s way to early to be drawing any conclusions, but at first glance it seems that Apple isn’t really understanding what the compact tablet class is about. The way we see it – it’s about getting nicely performing and compact tablets at bargain prices.
Of course, no one was expecting Apple to pack their top-of-the-line A6 chip in the iPad Mini and start selling it for $199. But both the display and the pricing are disappointing. We were hoping to see a higher-res display or at least a more up-to-date CPU that could be relevantly put against the Nexus 7′s and the Kindle Fire HD’s.
Instead, the company that introduced Retina displays announced a 7.9-inch tablet featuring a display with just 162 ppi pixel density for the premium price (for the segment) of $329 (16GB).
We are not saying the iPad mini is not worth it – the incredible thinness, light weight and design will probably convince many to pay that price. In fact we believe that a new sales record is probably on the cards. Time will tell, we guess.
Source : Gsmarena