Sprint is showing its loyal customers some appreciation in the coming weeks with SprintFeed informing us starting Feb. 5 select customers will receive a discount up to $100. The discounts will come in $25, $50, and $100 and will be offered to select “upgrade eligible customers that are at high risk of leaving Sprint” via email and snail mail. So the deal does apply to eligible upgrades, but will as always require a new two-year commitment. Yes, this is a great way to get yourself sorted out with a less expensive iPhone.
The promotion is running from Feb. 5 to March 18, so you might want to check if your account has been flagged for the discount.
- Sprint offers early upgrades to good customers on all CDMA phones (9to5google.com)
- Sprint offering early upgrades to good customers, iPhones included (9to5mac.com)
Apple just released Mac OS 10.7.3 via Software update and manual download. Apple released some peripheral downloads today as well:
- Apple Remote Desktop 3.5.2 Client, Release Notes
- OS X Lion Update 10.7.3 (Server), Release Notes
- Server Admin Tools 10.7.3, Release Notes
- Security Update 2012-001 Server (Snow Leopard), Release Notes
- OS X Lion Update 10.7.3 (Server) Combo, Release Notes
- Security Update 2012-001 (Snow Leopard), Release Notes
Release notes are as follows:
Updating your system
You should back up your system before installation; you can use Time Machine.
Do not interrupt the installation process once you have started to update your system. You may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modiﬁcations installed, or if you’ve modiﬁed the operating system through other means.
Choose Software Update from the Apple () menu to check for the latest Apple software via the Internet, including this update.
Other software updates available for your computer may appear, which you should install. Note that an update’s size may vary from computer-to-computer when installed using Software Update. Also, some updates must be installed prior to others, so you should run Software Update until Software Updates states “Your software is up to date”.
You can manually download the update installer. This is a useful option when you need to update multiple computers but only want to download the update once. These versions of the standalone installers are available from Apple Support Downloads.
The OS X Lion v10.7.3 Update includes Safari 5.1.3 and fixes that:
- Add Catalan, Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, and Ukrainian language support
- Address issues when using smart cards to log into OS X
- Address compatibility issues with Microsoft Windows file sharing
- Address an issue printing Microsoft Word documents that use markup
- Address a graphics performance issue after sleep on some earlier iMacs that use ATI graphics
- Resolve a Wi-Fi connection issue when waking from sleep
- Address an issue that may prevent Safari from opening before joining a wireless network
- Fix a potential issue authenticating to an SMB DFS share
- Include RAW image compatibility for additional digital camerasDirectory Services
- Improve binding to read-only Active Directory Domain Controllers
- Improve binding and login speed for Active Directory users in a domain whose name ends in “.local”
- Improve reliability of Dynamic DNS (DDNS) updates by Active Directory clients
- Allow login with an Active Directory username that contains a space
- Improve compatibility with Active Directory schemas that have been extended with the “apple-user-homeDirectory” and “apple-user-homeurl” attributes
- Fix home directory Dock item for Active Directory users with mobile accounts
- Allow NIS users with MD5-hashed passwords to log in
For information about the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.
- Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta build 11D33 goes out to testers ahead of public release (9to5mac.com)
- Mac OS X finally gets ZFS support thanks to former Apple engineer (9to5mac.com)
- Apple updates AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule Firmware, new iOS-like Airport Utility (9to5mac.com)
- Apple releases OS X Lion 10.7.3 build 11D46 with no known issues ahead of public release (9to5mac.com)
- Apple seeds OS X Lion 10.7.3 build 11D50 to developers (9to5mac.com)
Yesterday we brought you music legend Neil Young’s interview from the “D: Dive into Media“ conference where he talked about Steve Jobs’ love of vinyl and hinted at a high-fidelity music service he worked on with Jobs that was later confirmed by Bloomberg. At the same conference, Edgar Bronfman Jr. sat down with AllThingsD on his last day as chairperson of Warner Music Group. While discussing why record labels are still necessary in an iTunes driven music industry, Bronfman talked about his struggles with Jobs on pricing:
Apple from day one believed in music and content. That was the good news. The bad news is that they decided all songs where created equal, and I fought Steve on that. Ultimately, Apple got the better part of that deal. Ultimately, I wish we’d gotten more pricing flexibility… Apple was there supporting music from day one, and it obviously was a great outcome for Apple…
As for the competition… Bronfman said Google Music is an “oxymoron” and explained the iPhone and iPod content strategy is working, “But it’s not really there on other devices.” Bronfman said Google needs to decide how it wants to structure its content platform but is still “unclear” in how its want to handle negotiations, at least with WMG. He also discussed Spotify and claimed the service has not impacted downloads or sales:
“We see Spotify as incrementally positive. It’s not slowing down music sales or downloads. We would all love to make more money from Spotify, but Spotify needs to make money, too. But artists should know that it is a real and growing revenue stream.”
Bronfman explained why he thinks record labels will not be going away anytime soon, claiming even consumers need the labels too:
“Commercial success still hasn’t come to an artist that isn’t signed to a record label. There are very few artists that can succeed without the help of a record label. The role of the record label is still required, it’s still necessary. I really do think consumers are busy, and trying to sort through millions and millions of artists to find the ones that they might like just requires far too much work. That’s where the labels come in.”
Following reports earlier this month from Bloomberg that iPad 3 production kicked off in anticipation of a March launch, BGR today claimed a source is in possession of an iPad 3 prototype that has provided more information on the device.
A source claiming to be in possession of an iPad 3 prototype provided BGR with images containing details about Apple’s highly anticipated third-generation tablet. From the data in the photos, which contain the output from an iPad 3 using a development and debug tool called iBoot, we can infer plenty of information about the upcoming iPad 3.
BGR claimed the debug reports from the iPad 3 prototype in question have model numbers J1 and J2 (iPad3,1 and iPad3,2), with one being the only Wi-Fi model and the other an LTE/CDMA/GSM combo “for all carriers.” This echoes 9to5Mac‘s findings from last year.
The reports also provided confirmation of an A6 processor (model number S5L8945X) that most have expected Apple to include in the device. We first broke news of a Quad-core chip in the iPad 3 via code snippets in iOS 5.1B software.
According to the BGR report, the processor will be a quad-core variant, “making the upcoming iPad 3 the fastest iOS device ever.”
We’ve seen previous mentions of the Samsung S5L8945X in iOS 5 dumps from the iPhone 4S:
So, while nothing in the report is new, the means by which these were found, reportedly from a prototype iPad 3, seem to confirm previous findings.
A few weeks ago, we reported the latest iOS 5.1 beta-contained references to a quad-core chip for iOS devices. The Bloomberg report from earlier this month also claimed LTE options, a quad-core processor, and said production would “reach full volumes by February.”
- Bloomberg: iPad 3 production starts for March launch, packs Retina Display, LTE, quad-core chip (9to5mac.com)
Update: MIC Gadget says that there is a shutter/overexposure problem with the 1.3 Megapixel camera shutter that Apple is working on and they expect a April-ish type of time frame. We typically put less weight in piggybacking-type reports
Here is more evidence that Apple was (is?) prototyping an iPod nano with a camera on the back and the accompanying hole on the clip. Leaked by the Japanese blog Apple.pro, which leaked a similar set of images in April of last year, the new shots further indicate that Apple could be working (or at least was researching at some point), a next-generation iPod nano with an alleged 1.3-megapixel camera on its back, while still keeping the current model’s size and display.
The hole on the clip looks like it could house camera lens. Such a solution would theoretically separate the camera hardware and electronics inside the diminutive main casing from the optics and sensor hardware integrated on the clip. The clip hole looks very similar to an Apple patent filing published in May 2011, with one of the drawings depicting a belt clip with a hole in the exactly same place as on these spy shots. Two more shots are available after the break.
The publication also pointed to an Apple patent filing from November of last year describing the integrated sound system on the iPod nano, a small piezoelectric speaker integrated into a clip and similar to the iPod Nano’s existing clip. Another possible use of the speaker: Voice-activated Siri control, which would require a network connection that the miniature music player lacks. On the other hand, Bluetooth 4.0 functionality would let the iPod nano become an extension of Siri on your iPhone 4S. Moreover, low-powered Bluetooth 4.0 module would enable other cool features. Note that the Apple.pro blog has been relatively accurate in the past, leaking legitimate images of Verizon iPhone 4 schematics from Foxconn, the mini touch-screen found in the current iPod nano, accurate iPad 2 details, and more.
- Apple replacing original iPod nanos with newest model, iOS 3.1.3 users report difficulties downloading apps (9to5mac.com)
- The next iPod nano is going to have a camera if these new spyshots are real (9to5mac.com)
- LunaTik LYNK iPod nano watchband review (9to5toys.com)
Yesterday we told you a bit about the background of Apple’s newly appointed Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett, who previously ran Dixons and PC World. Apple CEO Tim Cook’s decision to hire Browett came under scrutiny yesterday when Browett’s reputation building what consumers described as “the worst of Best Buy and Radio Shack combined” was quickly highlighted by worried Apple customers following the announcement. Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook apparently responded to concerns in an email to concerned customer Tony Hart calling Browett the “best by far” (via MacRumors):
I talked to many people and John was the best by far. I think you will be as pleased as I am. His role isn’t to bring Dixons to Apple, [it's] to bring Apple to an even higher level of customer service and satisfaction.
An Apple CEO responding to emails is nothing new, but it appears Tim Cook, like Steve Jobs before him, will also occasionally answer emails from concerned customers. Browett is expected to take up his new role in April after moving to Cupertino from his current home in Hertfordshire, England. The full email is below if you are interested in seeing exactly what Hart asked Cook.
Apple television mockup by Guilherme M. Schasiepen
Piper Jaffray’s resident Apple analyst Gene Munster is arguably the most vocal proponent of an integrated high-definition television set from Apple, the mythical iTV. His old predictions were picked up by the press lately thanks to that vague Apple HD TV hint in Walter Isaacson’s authorized Steve Jobs biography, gaining more credence with both Sony and Samsung dissing the idea as old news.
Now, last we heard from Munster was in November of last year when he predicted an Apple television set within a year, costing double a comparable set. In a note to clients issued Tuesday, the analyst warned that his original timing “remains uncertain” but underscored he is still targeting “a late 2012 launch.”
More interesting is Munster’s claim that a “major TV component supplier” told him last month Apple was inquiring about “various capabilities of their television display components,” which sounds a lot like this skeptical New York Times report from October 2011. However, “Without a revamped TV content solution, we do not think Apple enters the TV market,” Munster wrote. Remaking the user interface is easy, but getting Hollywood on board will be tricky, as the Wall Street Journal warned in December.
With that in mind, Munster offers three content scenarios for the Apple television, as quoted by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt…
1. The simplest scenario – Apple could simply enable its television to manage a consumer’s live TV service from within a unified interface much like TiVo does, partnering with MSOs (i.e. the cable companies). [..] In some ways, connected TV’s software is the biggest differentiator that Apple can bring to the table, so this option could still result in a new and fresh product for the television market. Apple could also supplement this with its iTunes Movie rental and purchase service directly on the television.
2. Live TV + Web combo – Apple could offer access to live TV from network channels in combination with other web-based video services. One middle-of-the-road option could be for Apple to deliver live TV from network channels (either over the internet or over the air) to the Apple Television. Apple could then leverage a new App Store for the Apple Television to supplement the basic live TV features with Netflix, Hulu Plus, or any content provider that chooses to build an app for the television.
3. iTunes television subscription - Apple could offer monthly subscriptions, on an a-la-carte basis, for live TV packages with content from content providers. [...] Such an offering would be unlikely given existing licensing arrangements between content providers and service providers as well as the fact that it lies outside of Apple’s core competencies, even in media.
The only “slight” hurdle we see with content delivery over the Internet is those dreaded data caps and bandwidth throttling…
We have shortened the above scenarios for your reading convenience. If you are interested in the full quotes, make sure to check them out over at Fortune’s Apple 2.0 blog.
- Munster: Apple HDTV coming within a year, cost double a comparable set (9to5mac.com)
- Analysts: Apple prototyping television set for a 2012 launch, but it won’t come cheap (9to5mac.com)
- Apple’s HDTV project being headed by iTunes creator Jeff Robbin (9to5mac.com)
The iPhone maker is many things to many people and it is easy to overlook Apple’s powerful marketing amidst the popularity of its gadgets. Yet, the two are inseparably intertwined. No wonder well-known names in business are (again) taking cues from Apple’s marketing cookbook, including United States specialty retailer of consumer electronics Best Buy that uncharacteristically decided to break away from the usual Super Bowl advertising featuring celebrities, which seems to be norm these days.
Instead, its new approach calls for celebrating technology innovators, a concept Apple popularized back in 1997 with the “Think Different” campaign. According to Bloomberg, the retailer opted to feature Silicon Valley inventors, such as Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom and camera phone pioneer Philippe Kahn who will help bring home the message at Sunday’s big game. From the mouth of Best Buy’s Marketing Chief Drew Panayiotou:
Big brands like to hire celebrities. We looked at everyone from George Clooney to Stephen Colbert. We believe the inventors are more than enough. I give those 125 million viewers a lot of credit. I think they’ll appreciate the story. [...] They may not be at the same level as Steve Jobs, but they created some amazing stuff.
Eagle-eyed readers could point out that the retailer last holiday season aired Apple-focused adverts promoting its store-within-a-store displays, seen below. However, Best Buy’s latest creative concept marks a departure from its past Super Bowl campaigns that tapped celebrities, such as heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. Meanwhile, a Taiwanese vendor is treading the fine line between originality and a display of disrespectfulness by featuring a Steve Jobs imitator to drum up excitement for its upcoming Android slab. Check it out that commercial in a clip included right after the break.
Action Electronics, the maker of a 7-inch 1.2GHz Android 2.3.3 tablet called the “Action Pad,” recently began airing a television commercial depicting a high-profile Apple product launch. It sports a Steve Jobs impersonator with angel wings and a halo, proclaiming the Action Pad “amazing,” which —as you know— was among Steve’s favorite adjectives to describe Apple’s latest gadget. “Finally, I can play with another pad,” the actor proclaimed.
Apple famously refuses not to participate in the Super Bowl advertising craze, sans the now legendary “1984″ commercial that aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII (and the poorly performing “Lemmings” one that followed). As you know, it introduced the Macintosh to the world and to date remains one of the most effective commercials in the history of advertising. Unlike Apple, Samsung is focused on pushing its 5.3-inch Galaxy Note with its first-ever Super Bowl advert.
Of course, over the past years, many companies have attempted emulating the Mac maker’s memorable marketing communications and some competitors take Apple head on—the latest example being the Galaxy S II campaign dubbed “Samsunged”. By doing so, Samsung of Korea hopes its anti-Apple message will earn the company accolades with prospective buyers. Another tongue-in-cheek example: Verizon’s “Payload” commercial evoking its previous “iDon’t” and “Pretty” adverts that put Android on the smartphone map.
Speaking to AllThingsD’s Ina Fried, Samsung head of marketing Younghee Lee acknowledged Samsung’s new marketing strategy. She said the company’s marketing department is now focused on communicating the benefits of Samsung products in nontechnical terms rather than bombard customers with long list of features. A former employee of cosmetics brands L’Oreal and Lancôme, Lee acknowledged the power of the Apple brand, and said people everywhere and “Especially in the U.S. are obsessed with Apple.” The executive is keen on stealing some of Apple’s advertising thunder and brand value, alluding “It’s time to change people’s attention.”
- Samsung pushing Galaxy Note with first-ever Super Bowl ad (9to5google.com)
- YouTube and NBC Sports launch Ad Blitz Super Bowl XLVI channel (9to5google.com)
- Apple exec Eddy Cue led initial iPhone discussions with AT&T, profiled as Steve Jobs’ problem solver (9to5mac.com)
Prominent iOS application developer, and friend of the website, Steven Troughton-Smith released a neat new iPhone and iPod touch application called “The Lotto Machine“ that is a random number generator. Besides the great design, the application is unique because of its physics engine. The physics engine is best demonstrated when a user holds down the “Hold to spin!” button that cranks the wheel. The new application also shows off its accelerometer usage when a user tilts their device. As you can see in the video below, as a user moves their phone around in space, the lottery balls also move:
The actual purpose of the beautifully designed App Store application is to pump out random lottery numbers. The application lets you receive up to seven random lottery ball numbers at a time, and the numbers can range up to 60. While the focus of the application’s design is these lottery numbers, you can imagine all the other uses for randomly generating a list of numbers.
Troughton-Smith posted a nice outline and history of the application’s development on his blog:
The Box2D physics engine was key – without it, the app could not exist. There were countless random number generators on the store, but none looked and felt anything like this…. the balls bounce around the drum as you hold the button, and as soon as you let go a series of numbers will pop out of the chute and roll across the shelf. If you move your device about, the accelerometer will also affect the balls and give you a sense of control over the random selection. Not only is it fun to use, but it’s kinda addictive.