colinneagle writes: In January 2007, Steve Jobs took the stage at Macworld, introduced the iPhone, and forever changed the smartphone landscape. You might remember that he also prank called Starbucks during a demo meant to show how easy the iPhone made it to find nearby coffee shops using Google Maps and call one up. "Yes, I'd like to order 4,000 lattes to go, please. No, just kidding. Wrong number. Goodbye!"
That Starbucks, and the woman who answered his call, still receives joke orders for 4,000 lattes. Incredibly, FastCompany was able to track down the woman who answered Jobs call. Her name is Ying Hang "Hannah" Zhang and she still works at the very same Starbucks.
Adding to the humor is that store managers weren't even aware of the significance of the fake orders until FastCompany contacted them and alerted them to the existence of Jobs's now iconic iPhone introduction.
colinneagle writes: While Steve Jobs' ire in regards to Android is well known, a recent report from Reuters relays that current Apple CEO Tim Cook never wanted to sue Samsung in the first place.
"Tim Cook, Jobs' successor as Apple chief executive, was opposed to suing Samsung in the first place, according to people with knowledge of the matter, largely because of that company's critical role as a supplier of components for the iPhone and the iPad. Apple bought some $8 billion worth of parts from Samsung last year, analysts estimate."
In various earnings conference calls, Tim Cook has repeated that he hates litigation, but has still toed the party line by exclaiming that Apple welcomes innovators but doesn't like when other companies rip off their intellectual property.
colinneagle writes: Yesterday saw the first clip from the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as Jobs and Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak. In the clip, Jobs (played by Ashton Kutcher) is raving about the operating system that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (played by Josh Gad) created. While Jobs is certain that this will become a ubiquitous product for mass consumption, Wozniak needs convincing.
Following the release of the above clip, Wozniak sent an email to Gizmodo telling them that the clip is way off base, to the extent that it never even occurred!
"Totally wrong. Personalities and where the ideas of computers affecting society did not come from Jobs. They inspired me and were widely spoken at the Homebrew Computer Club. Steve came back from Oregon and came to a club meeting and didn't start talking about this great social impact. His idea was to make a $20 PC board and sell it for $40 to help people at the club build the computer I'd given away. Steve came from selling surplus parts at HalTed he always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs (this was the 5th time).
colinneagle writes: When it comes to Apple, the "what have you done for me lately?" mentality reigns supreme. This in spite of the fact that Apple upgraded its entire product line in 2012: completely revamped iPods, the hyper-successful launch of the iPhone 5, new Macs, and of course the iPad Mini. That's an extremely agressive upgrade cycle for a company, that if you read the headlines, has seemingly forgotten what innovation even is.
For some bizarre reason, Apple is always being chastised for not introducing the "next big thing" at every event, as if innovative and disruptive products are simply formed out of thin air and should be delivered on a timely schedule, like opening day of Major League Baseball.
During the third quarter of 2012, for example, Amazon posted revenue of $13.18 billion and a net loss of $274 million. Nevertheless, shares of Amazon did not plumment and are currently trading at what is close to an all-time high. And, on the other hand, we have Apple, a company so profitable that if making money hand-over-fist were a crime, it would be sent to death row. And yet shares of Apple, in case you haven't been paying attention this week, are trading at 52-week-low levels. Not only have investors latched onto the WSJ story regarding Apple's reduction in iPhone 5 display orders, but now analysts are coming out of the woodwork singing the same old tune about how Apple's innovation is tapped out. And yet, Apple next week may very well announce its most profitable quarter in company history, or at the very least, come very close to it.
colinneagle writes: Tony Fadell played an instrumental part in Apple's resurgence. Indeed, Fadell joined Apple in February 2001 where he got to work designing the original iPod. As an engineer who has worked on a number of products for a variety of tech-oriented companies, Fadell is in a good position to assess just what makes Apple's design process different from the rest of the pack.
Speaking at the Bloomberg Design Conference this week, Fadell explained that a key and yet often overlooked difference between Apple and other tech companies is that Apple ships 99% of the products that pass certain internal milestones. By way of contrast, during Fadell's tenure at Philips — where he was charged with overseeing the company's audio strategy — the iPod guru noted that Philips would axe 9 projects out of 10, even if a particular product was about to ship.
"When you’re in a culture that has a point of view, and drives to launch everything it does, you know you’re on the hook and you better bring your best game every time," Fadell explained.
In a previous interview, Fadell also explained that his superiors at Philips were all business managers who looked exclusively at numbers. That mindset, Fadell explained, does not lend itself to innovation.
colinneagle writes: There's been a whole lot of discussion surrounding the Wall Street Journal's initial story claiming that Apple cut its order of iPhone 5 components in half. One of the more interesting threads is that Apple's iPhone 5 display orders were scaled back because yields are improving. So says JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz, who labeled the WSJ's article as "more noise" meant to spook investors.
"In our view, the potential order cuts are a direct result of manufacturing yields improving following the fast-and-furious product roll-outs of the iPhone 5 as well as new iPads and Macs," Moskowitz explained in a note to investors.
Furthermore, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu — who has a typically hit or miss track record with respect to Apple rumors — issued a note to investors today saying that Apple's iPhone 5 demand remains robust, this according to suppliers.
colinneagle writes: The Next Web reports that the two are at loggerheads over a new version of SkyDrive, which has a paid storage option because Microsoft doesn’t pay Apple a 30% cut of subscription revenue generated by paid storage services. A main sticking point is that Microsoft does not want to pay Apple the 30% cut, which runs in perpetuity regardless of whether users continue to use an iOS device or not, because the billing is done through their Apple account.
So if a user signed up for the enhanced-capacity drive on their iOS device and then moved to a non-iOS phone (say, a Windows Phone), Apple would still collect 30% of their fee for storage even though they aren’t using the iOS device any more. Microsoft is understandably not keen on this.
The problem is not limited to just SkyDrive. AllThingsD reports that this fee is also applied to Office 365 subscriptions sold through Microsoft Office for iOS, which Microsoft has all but acknowledged will be launched sometime next year.
Now the real test for Microsoft will be how it behaves when the shoe is on the other foot.
colinneagle writes: Purusant to a UK Judge's orders, Apple last week posted a statement on its website admitting that Samsung's Galaxy Tab was not a rip off of the iPad. Apple, in typical fashion, however, decided to do things their own way and posted the following statement on their website.
In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:
"The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design."
"The informed user's overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."
Consequently, Apple has since been ordered to change the statement on its website within 24 hours, though Apple initially asked for two weeks — a request which was summarily denied.
colinneagle writes: It's endemic of 21st century journalism how this news story broke: a Microsoft product in the Czech Republic spilled the beans on a native iOS and Android port of Office 2013 for March of 2013, which was picked up by the Czech site IHNED.
Microsoft was quick to issue a denial to the press. "The information shared by our Czech subsidiary is not accurate. We do not have anything further to share at this time." Translation? They are doing it. Maybe a few facts are off, but they are doing a port. It's not a flat-out denial; it's a claim of inaccuracy. That's all the wiggle room a company needs to avoid being called a liar.
It's an acknowledgement of two facts: the iPad is the tablet of choice at the moment, and the enterprise really likes its tablets. At the Tablet Strategy conference last April, Chris Hazelton from 451 Research said its own research showed 78.4% of companies surveyed allowed employees to bring in their own devices. That contrasts with just 18% of employers actually providing their employees with tablets. Supporting iOS and Android means no matter what tablet you use, Office will be there. And isn't that what Microsoft wants in the end?
colinneagle writes: Two weeks before Microsoft finally announced a launch date for its anticipated Surface tablets, I happened to be riding the bus in Chicago where I came across a particularly bizarre advertisement for Microsoft's upcoming tablets on the side wall of a car wash. So I hopped off the bus and decided to go up for a closer look, and sure enough, this wasn't some amateur tech-nerd's version of graffiti, it appears to be some legitimate Microsoft guerrilla style marketing.
Note that this is on the side of a car wash in a dingy old parking lot.
So is there an explanation for this? I mean, it's odd that Microsoft would be advertising for a product with no release date (at the time) and still no advertised pricing. Well, as it turns out, there is a method to Microsoft's madness. The location of the advertisement is in rather close proximity to a heavily trafficked Apple Store in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. And by close I mean its just.1 miles away.
Some of the best examples: the disappearance of Sweden's second largest city, Gothenberg; a Japanese plaza in Sao Paolo, Brazil; and the nicest Burger King you'll ever see.
Apple, quiet to this point, has acknowledged that there are issues to be addressed and went so far as to issue a statement to All Things D. Notably, All Things D was also informed that Apple's Maps team was put "under lockdown" to address many of the complaints users have found with the new service.
While it remains to be seen how long it takes before Apple's Maps app to gain some footing, users in the meantime can still access Google Maps via their mobile Safari browser. Further, 9to5Mac is reporting that Google already has a standalone Maps app for iOS ready to roll out to the masses; the only thing they're now waiting for is the green light from Apple's app review team. The well connected Jim Darlymple, however, disputes that report.
colinneagle writes: In line with previous promises from Samsung executives, the Korean-based electronics giant recently filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California indicating its plans to file in the near future an ammended complaint which will include the new iPhone 5 in its patent infringement actions against Apple.
"Based on information currently available," the filing reads, "Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models. Samsung plans to file a motion to amend its infringement contentions to address the iPhone 5 as soon as it has had a reasonable opportunity to analyze the device."
Again, Samsung's filing isn't at all surprising given that it had previously promised to sue Apple over LTE functionality in the iPhone 5 within 24 hours of the device's release. It'll be interesting to see if Samsung goes down this road given that Apple has an insane number of 4G-related patents to its name, as the result of the $4.5 billion consortium bid for a large collection of Nortel patents many months back.
4G patents aside, Florian Mueller notes that Samsung, at the very least, will allege that the iPhone 5 infringes upon the same eight patents the company has already asserted against Apple, two of which include standards-essential patents. Notably, Samsung has been wholly unsuccessful in its efforts to assert standards-essential patents against Apple in any of the multiple jurisdictions its filed lawsuits in.
colinneagle writes: Apple's iProducts have little to no enterprise support. The company has shunned the enterprise, and Steve Jobs famously said he "hated" it. So securing that iPad or MacBook is no easy task, and that might be the opening for Microsoft to whack you when it comes to expensive licensing requirements for Microsoft client and server products.
A survey of almost 800 enterprise-size customers by Directions on Microsoft showed that 67% already allow employees to use personal devices such as an iPad to access corporate IT infrastructure and assets.
So you could find yourself needing an Office license even if it's merely being displayed on an iPad, which is working as a dumb terminal.
colinneagle writes: Yesterday, a hacker claiming an affiliation with AntiSec released 1 million Apple unique device identification numbers (UDIDs) from iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. The Pastebin post with the data claims it was stolen from the FBI.
Some simple instructions emerged quickly after the hack that show users how to find out if their device was among those compromised in the attack.
First, this Innerfence post — http://www.innerfence.com/howto/find-iphone-unique-device-identifier-udid — gives pretty straightforward instructions on finding and copying an individual devices UDID. By simply plugging an iOS device into a computer equipped with iTunes, then entering the Summary tab for the device in iTunes, the user will see the serial number for his or her iOS device. Clicking on the serial number will reveal the 40-character identification number.
The Innerfence post advises copying the number with the clipboard function, which can be done by highlighting the UDID number, clicking Edit in the menu bar in iTunes and selecting Copy.
In response to the attack, Florida-based Unix developer Sean Maguire has created this tool — http://kimosabe.net/test.html — where any user can enter a UDID number to see if it was included in the pool of data leaked by AntiSec.
colinneagle writes: Wayne Goodrich claims he is a victim of a post-Steve-Jobs Apple, and is pursuing legal action against the company for dismissing him from the company last December, the Telegraph reports. Goodrich claims that Jobs told him on multiple occasions that he would be an Apple employee as long as he wished, on account of his previously valuable contributions to the company's products.
According to the Telegraph, Goodrich claims he lost his job in December for "business reasons" that he maintains were not related to his work. However, Goodrich claims that Jobs told him in a one-on-one meeting with Jobs in 2005 that he had absolute job security, and repeated in 2010 that even if Jobs was no longer around, Apple would find another position for Goodrich, the Telegraph reports. Goodrich has ties to the development and execution of the iPhone, iPad, and Siri, the lawsuit claims.
The suit seeks compensation for Goodrich's lost pay, benefits, and emotional distress, the Telegraph reports.
The Goodrich case is the latest result of the lingering effect of Jobs since his death last October, which hasn't prevented his name from being attached to commentary on Apple products. In May, a Fortune article profiling new Apple CEO Tim Cook cites an anonymous "former insider," who insisted that "Steve [Jobs] would have lost his mind over Siri."