Archive for the ‘iphones’ tag
Apple is putting law enforcement requests on hold, according to one judge. The company has created a waiting list for all the “unlock this device” requests it receives.
After repeat attempts to unlock a suspected drug dealer’s iPhone 4S, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) reached out to Apple for help, as reported by CNET. Apple complies with law enforcement requests, like most big tech companies, to unlock devices or supply data. But, according to Judge Karen Caldwell handling the case, the ATF was told it would have to be placed on a waiting list along with all the other requests Apple receives.
The agent involved explained in an affidavit that it would be up to seven weeks before the request was fulfilled meaning Apple has its hands full with law enforcement aid. But it makes sense as smartphone data can be a pivotal part of the discovery process in a law suit.
Text messages, Facebook messages, emails, pictures, location-data and more would be available to anyone who had the unlocked phone. In the case of a drug dealer, law enforcement would of course want to look for any messages about transactions, or anything that could lead to further arrests in a drug ring.
Of course, this becomes a sticky matter when it comes to whether warrants are involved or not. It could then be considered an unreasonable search and seizure.
This might be a testament to how secure iPhones seem to be. This might also be a testament to how law enforcement might want to invest in more technical resources.
Move over YouTube. Step aside Hulu. Twitter has unleashed Vine. Vine is the microblogging social media network’s video iOS application. A six-second video platform, Vine enables users to capture short looping,
stop-animation style videos with their mobile device that can be then shared on networks like Twitter, Facebook and the Vine hub itself.
The numbers tell it all. There are a growing number of users who have purchased a smartphone, over 125 million of these being iPhones. In addition, there have already been over 35 billion applications downloaded on an iOS device alone.
But, there’s more. Of the half a million users currently on Twitter, approximately 60 percent access the service via a mobile device. According to emarketer, over 90 percent of all mobile video viewers share mobile video content with other mobile users; with the most popular method of sharing being via social media sites.
Even more interesting (and not surprising) is the kind of videos that are most commonly shared via mobile. They are short, funny clips, followed by music videos and trailers. In today’s hyperactive social media environment, Vine seems to be the perfect, no fuss, no muss solution for sharing. Furthermore, Vine could become a good opportunity not only for everyday users but for brands as well. Vine is barely a month old and already a few progressive brands have already started experimenting with the new video app, creating playful, quirky videos. All of this is refreshing to see.
Di Gallo (@digallo) is the Director, Social Media Partnerships at Rogers. Intrigued by the ever changing digital and social media landscape and the impacts on entertainment, fashion and the shopping experience.
There’s been no shortage of tantalizing details coming out of Apple and Samsung’s big legal spat in San Jose, and that trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Case in point: Samsung’s legal team filed a document (first spotted by AllThingsD) the other day that shed some new light on the two companies’ smartphone and tablet sales over the years. The data was put together by the Invotex Group (who also whipped this handy PDF chart outlining what Apple think it deserves in damages), and it appears they’ve left no stone unturned.
Take a look at this little guy, for instance.
Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on there — 24 of Samsung’s smartphone models are under fire in this case, and there’s sales data here for each of them. In case you don’t quite feel like poring over the entire thing, here it is in a nutshell: Samsung sold a total of 21.2 million of those accused smartphone models between June 2010 and June 2012 which works out to $7.5 billion in sales revenue over the two years.
Surprisingly, the top selling Samsung smartphone is the prepaid Galaxy Prevail, with 2.25 million sold during the timeframe in question. Boost Mobile must be mighty pleased.
Apple’s numbers on the other hand are a fair bit more imposing — the Cupertino company has sold over 85 million iPhones since the device made its debut back in 2007 (netting Apple a cool $50.7 billion in revenue), but that’s hardly a fair comparison to Samsung’s figure because of the timeframe involved.
Apple’s financial calendar doesn’t match up terribly well here, but from Q3 (July) 2010 to Q2 (April) 2012, Apple sold over 60 million iPhones. This still isn’t the most accurate number — the provided sales numbers don’t account for every single one of Samsung’s smartphones — but it’s still a considerable difference between the two. Samsung’s Android devices may be taking over the rest of the world, but it’s still got a hell of a fight in front of it here in the states.
Things get even more interesting when we turn to look at tablet performance. Apple has sold a total of 34 million iOS tablets since 2010, raking in $19 billion in revenue as a result. Meanwhile Samsung’s Galaxy Tab sales haven’t been quite as amazing — the Korean electronics giant shipped a total of 1.4 million Galaxy Tabs, Galaxy Tab 10.1s, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTEs between October of 2010 and March of this year.
Again, it’s worth noting that the portrait this data paints is missing some crucial pieces, like the handful of tablets that Samsung has released since March. There’s a small silver lining to be found here though — as Zach Epstein over at BGR points out, Samsung’s average revenue per tablet during that period was just shy of $450, compared to roughly $353 in revenue for each accused smartphone it sold.
Hint: It’s not one of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S smartphones.
The Apple v. Samsung trial continues to reveal juicy details about both companies, with the latest court filing breaking down just how much phones they sold over the past two years, AllThingsD reports.
The biggest surprise? Samsung’s most popular phone in America has been the Galaxy Prevail, a mid-level phone on prepaid provider Boost Mobile. Samsung sold 2.25 million units of the Galaxy Prevail, out of a total of 21.21 million phones sold between June 2010 and June 2012, the filing shows.
In second place for Samsung was the Epic 4G on Sprint, which sold 1.89 million units and was also its biggest revenue generator by bringing in $855 million. The company sold 4.1 million of its Galaxy S II models in total.
The Galaxy Prevail’s success shouldn’t be that surprising: It’s Samsung’s cheapest mid-range smartphone, and since it’s on the prepaid carrier Boost Mobile, it doesn’t come with the same hefty monthly fees as contracted smartphones. The Prevail may be unsexy, but it’s a damn good deal for consumers.
The same documents also bring up questions around Samsung’s reported table sales, Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt reports. While Samsung boasted that it sold more than 2 million Galaxy Tabs in early 2011, the filing shows that Samsung sold only 262,000 tablets in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2010 and 77,000 during the first quarter of 2011. Those numbers don’t include overseas sales, but even counting those Samsung’s numbers seem a bit inflated.
The filing unfortunately doesn’t break down Apple’s device sales beyond iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Apple sold 85 million iPhones during the period (worth $50 billion in revenue) and 34 million iPads ($19 billion in revenue). The iPod Touch is no slouch either, with 46 million units sold earning $1o.3 billion.
Check out the court filing below (via CNet):
Those are just a few of the conclusions of e-commerce optimization giant Monetate’s state-of-the-online-sales-union report for the second quarter of 2012.
Browser wars: not what you’d think
“The most interesting part for me is the browser war,” says Monetate’s chief marketing officer, Kurt Heinemann. “What we’re seeing on the e-commerce side of the fence is that mobile and desktop Safari are actually equal to Explorer.”
In fact, from 8PM to 11PM EST, when all portions of the country are out of the office, Safari accounts for 30 percent of traffic. That’s the desktop and mobile versions combined together, Heinemann adds. And it’s the browser traffic at e-commerce sites of Monetate customers such as Best Buy, QVC, Comcast, National Geographic, and many more.
Over the course of an entire day Monetate’s customers, which include 20 percent of the top 500 internet retailers in the U.S., get 3.3 percent of their visits from Android phones, up 85 percent year-over-year, and 5.4 percent of their visits from iPhones, up 117%.
Interestingly, Android users convert almost 30 percent better than iPhone users.
Yes, Mac users do actually buy more
In the wake of the Great Orbitz Pricing Non-scandal of 2012, in which Orbitz was found to be recommending higher-priced hotels to Mac users than to PC users, the hot question has been: do Mac users actually spend more?
Well, yes, says Heinemann.
“Apple users do have a higher order value. I think that’s a demographic thing — Macs tend to be a little higher priced than PCs.”
In fact, Mac users spend an average of $102.83 versus $88.75 for PC users, and just $84.91 for the cheapskate Linux faithful. On the other hand, the difference basically disappears in the smartphone world: iPhone and Android are almost neck-and-neck at $97 and change, with Windows Phone a little lower at $92.45.
It’s in the tablet world that the order value differences reappear, but in this case it’s the Kindle Fire that loses out. Average orders on the Kindle Fire lag behind those on iPad or other Android tablets by about $10.
“Again, I think that’s a demographic thing,” Heineman says. “Kindle is $200, and iPad is $500 … that’s the primary difference.”
Social vs. search: social still sucks (but so does search)
It’s fairly well known that social traffic to e-commerce sites converts at a lower rate than search traffic. Monetate confirms that: social converts at a measly .59 percent rate, while search is about four times better at 2.59 percent.
The real story which is sometimes somewhat obscured in the debate?
Email kills them both, converting at 4.25 percent … almost double search, and eight times better than social.
“That’s the great nugget there,” according to Heinemann. “In the whole social hype cycle people can easily take their eyes off the numbers, the conversion rates and average order values.”
Heinemann warns against putting too many eggs in the social basket, saying that email converts massively, and retailers need to do smart things to build their email database, and then use it well.
One caveat: there’s significantly more traffic from social than there is from email … so even with a lower conversion rate, social can still provide a significant amount of value.
Image credit: Mirexon/ShutterStock
Google Inc. has been ordered to crack open the wallet and pay a $22.5 million civil penalty for misrepresentaion of privacy policies.
The FTC says Google told users that the Safari browser was set to block cookies by default. Taking their word for it, users continued to surf the web, believing they were free of prying eyes. Not so. The FTC says that for a few months between 2011 and 2012, Google created a work around that placed tracking cookies for their DoubleClick network on millions of Macs, iPhones and iPads.
As if lying to the public wasn’t bad enough, the FTC says Google violated an agreement they had with the government agency that specifically forbid them from misrepresenting privacy options.
In layman’s terms, that means they agreed not to con people, then conned people anyway and lied about doing it.
Does Google care? Maybe that they got caught, but I don’t think they’re losing sleep over the $22.5 million. That’s just the cost of doing business.
Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC, says the penalty is about sending a message to all companies about the evils of non-compliance.
“The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order. No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place.”
The FTC has been pushing for more clarity of privacy options online, firmly suggesting an obvious Do Not Track option throughout the web. The reality is, that even with this option, most people won’t bother to check the box and ad networks will continue to thrive. The big problem would be if they force all web properties to not track by default, requiring people to opt-in if they wish to have cookies while they surf the web.
The Europeans are all over it. Can the US be far behind?
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This morning, I saw a woman reading words on printed paper.
This is the most disruptive thing since Dalton Caldwell’s last bowel movement.
I saw her a few rows ahead of me and was shocked. She was reading this incredibly thin paper that seemed to offer both informative and entertaining content. From what I could see, the paper had obituaries, local news, even comic strips!
I immediately conducted a highly scientific survey of my train neighbors and saw three people on iPhones, two on iPads and two on Macbooks. Two were sleeping—I think. One actually might have been dead.
[Trolls, you can’t get mad that I only saw Apple products BECAUSE IT’S SCIENCE.]
But this maverick was flaunting her paper like nobody’s business. Can you imagine all the applications for this that we haven’t thought of?
Finally, I can read weather and local sports scores in the bathtub with no fear of electrocution from dropping my 17 inch Macbook Pro.
If we all read our news on these printed products, which would obviously be delayed from Internet and TV news, we wouldn’t have to worry about having the Olympics spoiled for us. Since when did Breaking News become so great anyway?
And the fun wouldn’t stop once you’re done reading the words. Think about all the paper mache you’re missing out on—boom! Newspaper to the rescue. Out of toilet paper in your apartment? Family Circus has got ya covered. You could even ball up the pages with your cubicle mates and have summer snowball fights.
Point of sale: much better than the Apple Store.
Competition? I don’t know…Gutenberg? No one currently in the market prints words on paper and distributes it.
Monetization? Child please—these papers will have more targeted ads than Facebook. Imagine, a whole targeted ads section where anyone can buy space and offer to exchange goods or services for money. Some people might even be willing to pay subscriptions for premium versions!
Mobile? Uh, hello? Anybody home? Think McFly! The whole thing is mobile. Carry this with you anywhere it folds right up…Web 12.0, bitches.
All right, that’s my pitch. Now I need some cash. Raise your hand if you invested in Groupon…
Google today agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charge that it bypassed Safari’s privacy settings to serve targeted ads to consumers. Google placed these cookies on Safari users’ computers, despite the fact that, as the FTC notes, “Google had previously told these users they would automatically be opted out of such tracking, as a result of the default settings of the Safari browser used in Macs, iPhones and iPads.” This, according to the FTC, was in direct violation of the earlier privacy settlement between Google and the FTC.
The FTC’s charge focused on the fact that Google exploited a loophole in Safari to place cookies on its users’ computers even though Safari, by default, blocks cookies from third-party sites. As the WSJ reported earlier this year, Safari makes an exception for cookies from sites that users interacted with before by, for example, filling out a form. To place its ad tracking cookies, Google tricked Safari into believing that users were submitting a form to Google and the browser would then allow Google to install its temporary ad tracking cookies.
The existence of today’s fine was first reported last week, but wasn’t official until today. Given that this is a settlement, it’s important to note that today’s “consent order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant that the law has been violated.”
Despite these legal details, the FTC is clearly looking at this settlement as a success. “The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order,” said Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC. “No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place.” One could easily argue, though, that paying a $22.5 million fee isn’t exactly a problem for Google, which had an operating income of over $3 billion last quarter.
We asked Google for a statement regarding today’s announcement. Here is Google’s response:
We set the highest standards of privacy and security for our users. The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page published more than two years before our consent decree, and a year before Apple changed its cookie-handling policy. We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers.
Google has until February 15, 2014 to expire all of the cookies involved in today’s settlement.
Apparently $10,000 is the going rate for a factory-sealed first-gen iPhone. At least, that’s according to two sellers on eBay, who have recently listed the historic device on the bidding site.
I would usually say that most electronics shouldn’t be seen as collectors items, as they only lose value over time and aren’t pivotal enough during their lifespan to warrant a resurgence in value. Yet, the original iPhone is a different story.
This is a device that changed the course of the future. The App Store itself, though not present on the original iPhone, has changed the entire tech industry. Plus, the first iPhone was the very first time we had a usable version of the Internet in our pockets. So yeah, the original iPhone is a big deal.
There have been no bids on either unit, though both come from seemingly trustworthy sellers. Samsonbible is a top-rated seller with 100% feedback, and phsledge also has 100% feedback. Plus, the pictures look totally legit, as even the box is still wrapped tightly in plastic.
Here’s the seller listing:
STUNNING RARE COLLECTORS CHOICE APPLE iPHONE 1ST GENERATION 8GB AND FACTORY SEALED..!!! YOU ARE SEEING A PIECE OF HISTORY..!!!! THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE COLLECTORS SHOW PIECE..!!!! THIS WOULD BE A CROWN JEWEL FOR ANY COLLECTION..!!!! AMAZING FACTORY SEALED BOX..!!! UNOPENED AND THE COLLECTORS DREAM APPLE iPHONE..!!!!!!
THIS IS OFFERED FOR A LIMITED TIME….. !!!!!!! HAPPY BIDDING…!!!!
So, if you have $10,000 lying around and have held on to all of the previous iPhones (or plan on collecting them), hop on over to eBay and check it out. This well may be your only chance — the original iPhone is no longer available for sale.
And even if you can’t afford it, it’s always fun to check out the specs compared to what we’re seeing these days.
[Hat tip to iDownloadBlog for spotting the listing]