Here's more iPhone 5 related news for your viewing pleasure. Apple has announced today that pre-orders for the new iPhone topped 2 million in a mere 24 hours. This is more than double the one million garnered by the iPhone 4S. Currently, demand is exceeding supply, so if you haven't ordered yet, you will likely be waiting until October to get one.
That is, unless you sit out front an Apple store or wireless carrier's store before Friday at 8am. The queue is likely to be long, and the temperatures cold, but it will get you an iPhone 5 on launch day.
"iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "iPhone 5 is the best iPhone yet, the most beautiful product we've ever made, and we hope customers love it as much as we do."
There's just a ton of news coming out about the iPhone 5. If you haven't heard, it's getting snatched up from everywhere quicker and quicker and in higher numbers than ever before. According to AT&T's PR, "Customers ordered more iPhones from AT&T than any previous model both on its first day of preorders and over the weekend."
Of course, AT&T then takes the rest of the press release to brag about how much better the iPhone would be on AT&T verses the other carriers. Apple has also been blown away by the pre-order sales. Incredibly, the iPhone 5 launch stock was gone within an hour of being put online on Apple.com, a new record.
If you want to pick up an iPhone 5 on launch day, you'll need to make your way to an Apple store or one of the various carrier stores and stand outside the the queue that is sure to form. I'll be sitting inside playing on my new iPhone 5 when it's delivered.
If you haven't heard the news, the iPhone 5 is pre-selling like crazy. The initial pre-order stock was exhausted from Apple's store in just one hour, leaving those who didn't stay up out in the cold. Customers are now being quoted up to two weeks for the device to ship, instead of arriving on the 21st of September.
Apple has issued a statement regarding the incredible demand seen: "Pre-orders for iPhone 5 have been incredible. We've been completely blown away by the customer response." Of course, this wasn't too unexpected. Analysts estimates put the number of iPhones sold in the first week somewhere near the 10 million mark.
It's now expected that 5-10 million will be sold in the first weekend. If you still want to get an iPhone 5 on launch day, Sprint is still quoting September 21 as the date. Otherwise, you can queue up outside an Apple store at 8am, or outside an AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint store. At least they had the courtesy to launch it before winter!
In a bit of a scary legal ruling, Twitter was ordered to turn over an Occupy protester's tweets even though their Terms of Service state that tweets remain the property of the users. Theoretically, this would mean that the defendant is required to turn them over and be issued the subpoena for them, but a judge ruled that Twitter had to.
Twitter fought back, citing their Terms of Service for why they shouldn't be required to turn the tweets over, but the judge ruled against them. Twitter was given until today to hand over the tweets, or Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino was going to require Twitter provide financial statements for the last two quarters so that he may assess a fine.
Twitter has apparently caved and given the requested tweets to the court. They will, however, stay sealed until an appeal can be heard. Twitter was joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU in fighting the request for the tweets. This ruling could have wide-reaching implications if the appeal is ruled in favor of the government.
As is sits right now, HP is mainly a consumer laptop, desktop, and printer company, but CEO Meg Whitman believes that they need to expand into the smartphone market. They recently formed a Mobility business unit, which is set to have a focus on tablets, but it now appears they will be working on at least one smartphone as well.
Speaking to Fox Business News, Meg Whitman gave an explanation about why they need to enter the smartphone market. "We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device," she explained. "We are a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."
No specific timetable has been given for when a device would be ready for release, but it appears they may be targeting abroad more than they are the United States. HP already acquired smartphone maker Palm and their WebOS operating system, so it does have a jumping off point. Only time will tell if they make a good device.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has weighed in on the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit, and has said that he hates the result, and doesn't agree with it, and he thinks that it will ultimately be overturned.
Wozniak told Bloomberg in Shanghai:
I hate it. I don't think the decision of California will hold. And I don't agree with it - very small things I don't really call that innovative. I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody's technologies.
Wozniak also commented on the iPhone 5, noting that he hadn't purchased one yet and he's waiting until he plays with it before giving his opinion and comparing it to the competitions offerings. He does hope that the new iPhone 5 takes better pictures than Android-based counterparts:
A better quality on the pictures will mean a lot, because when I show people pictures on my iPhone 4 and my Galaxy S III, they always say the Galaxy S III, or even the Motorola Razr, pictures look better.
We all know just how popular the iPhone 5 is going to be, even if some people can't tell the difference between an iPhone 4S and the new, longer, iPhone 5, but this won't stop it shipping in insane numbers.
Research firm, IHS iSuppli have put out some predictions on the iPhone 5 shipment numbers, where they expect the sixth-generation iPhone to help Apple push smartphone shipments this year up to 149 million units. IHS iSuppli also note that more users would be influenced to upgrade because of the larger display and 4G LTE connectivity.
Daniel Gleeson, a mobile analyst for IHS iSuppli says:
Unlike last year's release of the iPhone 4S, this year's iPhone 5 announcement comes as a significant departure from previous models. The addition of a new, larger screen is a fundamental change in product design. Furthermore, the iPhone 5 is the first member of Apple's smartphone line to feature 4G long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity, accelerating data speeds dramatically compared to previous models. These major improvements will drive strong sales for the iPhone 5.
The online auction house giant eBay has updated their logo. Following in the footsteps of Microsoft, the new logo features a cleaner, more modern design, which eBay says is to reflect who they are today. It's taken them 17 years, but they finally took out a ruler and managed to get all four letters in a straight line.
Seventeen years ago, eBay created a new way for people to buy and sell. Since that time, we've enabled millions of people to launch their own businesses, and helped change the way the world shops for things they need and love. We're pleased to introduce our refreshed logo. It reflects who we are today - a global online marketplace that offers a cleaner, more contemporary and consistent experience.
The new logo will begin to show up across eBay's sites and marketing campaigns in mid-October. As the years have progressed, eBay has tried to diversify into a multi-platform e-commerce giant, which they have seemingly done to great success. As it stands currently, the majority of items sold are listed as new and with a fixed BuyItNow price.
The new logo keeps the color palette as the original, as this is a widely recognizable scheme and order. eBay's president makes the following comment: "The eBay logo is known the world over, so changing it was not a decision made lightly." It's true, the old logo was instantly recognizable, a good sign. It will be interesting how long it takes people to adjust.
AT&T have just come out as the good guys today, where they've issued a press release announcing that you can keep your grandfathered unlimited data plan, even if you move over to the new iPhone, or upgrade using its subsidized pricing.
AT&T's Ralph de la Vega talked about the iPhone and its upgrade process:
We offer customers the flexibility to keep the iPhone data plans they already have or choose any of our individual or new Mobile Share plans. We're proud that more customers choose AT&T for iPhone than any other U.S. carrier and look forward to making iPhone 5 the newest addition to our lineup.
That's pretty great of AT&T to do this, considering the new iPhone sports LTE connectivity for super-fast Internet access. Now, remember that unlimited with AT&T's unlimited plan only goes up to a point, which is 5GB. Once you reach 5GB you'll be throttled until your next billing cycle.
Apple's new iPhone 5 is only a few hours old, with no consumers actually laying their hands on one just yet, the legal battles have begun. Samsung did threaten Apple that they would "immediately sue" the company if they used 4G LTE connectivity, and according to an industry source the Korean Times are reporting:
Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States ― Apple's home-turf ― are our primary targets.
It looks like Google were a little surprised by the patent win by Samsung, but not at the case itself, but with the smaller details. Bloomberg had Google's Vice President of Corporate Development, David Lawee, in front of the camera for an interview.
Lawee says in the interview itself that "we didn't know rounded corners were patentable", and covers that the company wasn't "aggressive" enough in patenting their intellectual property. The one thing I took away from this video is I think Apple have pushed every other large company to re-think where they stand with patents and IP.
Does this mean we're looking at a future of much more back room deals with companies, letting each other use the other company's patents? Or are we looking at companies who will be really held back if they don't have any decent IP or patents of their own? Did Apple just kick every other company in the balls with their Samsung attacks? I think so. Check out the interview over at Bloomberg.
Crowd funding is the new in-thing, with crowd funding site Kickstarter really pushing the envelope. Independent developers and gamers have banded together through Kickstarter, where the gaming category has gone from the eighth most-funded type of project in Kickstarter's history, to the second most popular.
Sitting in the second most popular spot, it has raised more than $50 million so far this year. Looking back over the years, it has increased in a meteoric fashion: 2011 saw $3.6 million, 2010 was much less with just over $500,000 and in 2009, it didn't even tip over $50,000. So in three years, we've gone from not even $50,000 to over $50,000,000. Quite the jump.
Kickstarter have said that 23% of all money pledged has been toward the gaming category this year. The film category has raised $42 million in donations, with Design, Music and Technology making $40 million, $25 million and $16 million in pledges, respectively. These categories make up the top five on the crowd funding site.
Eastman Kodak have already let go of 2,700 employees, and now they've announced that another 1,000 jobs will be cut to save the company $330 million in salary and benefits that would have been paid out. These jobs will be cut before the end of the year.
Antonio Perez, Kodak chairman and CEO has said that their current workforce and cost structure was designed for a much larger, and more diversified set of businesses. This makes sense, as the company has been selling parts of their business, like ditching weight from a sinking ship. They've sold off their image sensor, print film and online photo gallery in the past few months alone.
Kodak has been around for more than 133 years, and only filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January of this year. Ever since, they've been trying to restructure, but we don't know how much longer the company will last in its current capacity.
Microsoft's latest patent for next-gen Xbox would project images from your game, around you in your living room
It looks like the next-generation Xbox is about to get a kick up the arse in terms of immersion within gaming, is a new patent submitted to the United States Trademark and Patent Office from Microsoft is anything to go by. The new technology would completely transform the room your next-gen Xbox is in, into a gaming environment. The patent reads:
An immersive display environment is provided to a human user by projecting a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces around the user. The peripheral images serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display.
This could work in a few ways, with either a projection of an image from the Kinect sensor, or wearable computing. I'd be leaning more toward wearable computing - as this would allow the Xbox and Kinect system to just send the information to the headset, where it would display a 2D graphic in front of the player. This would translate into you looking at your wall, and seeing a crushed wall for example, with an enemy behind it shooting at you. You would then turn physically, facing the wall, to shoot your enemy.
This would definitely be the kind of push I expect in next-gen consoles, especially if we're to see a 5-year or more lifecycle out of them.
Google has partnered with Boingo to make 4,000 of its hotspots available nationwide for free for people accessing them with Android, OSX, or Windows. Interestingly enough, users of iOS and Windows Phone appear to be excluded from this offering, showing Google is really pushing Android with this latest stunt.
The hotspots are available across the United States in "high-traffic locations," coffee shops, hotels, and other areas. Google and Boingo are even offering this service at some of the major airports, including NY's JFK, O'Hare, and Seattle-Tacoma, along with the Boingo-enabled subway stations around Manhattan.
Dawn Callahan, vice president of consumer marketing for Boingo Wireless:
Google Play is the first to take part in our newly expanded Wi-Fi sponsorship network, which reaches millions of consumers each month with place-based brand engagements. Sponsorships like this give users the free Wi-Fi they crave, advertisers the consumer interaction they need, and venues the revenue to offset the costs associated with providing a high-bandwidth Wi-Fi experience.
Google has sponsored this Wi-Fi through Boingo's Cloud Nine Media program, which allows advertisers to sponsor free Wi-Fi, something most people like. The act of sponsoring should bring good will to the company as well as reach new consumers with their brand. The free Wi-Fi ends with the month of September.
Apple sues Polish online grocery store for using 'A.pl' domain, next stop Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit
Alright, this is the stop for ridiculous - anyone who wants to get out and read this news, step off the train and onto the platform, joining Apple. The company who has more lawsuits going than there are stars in the sky are now suing a Polish online grocery store over the 'A.pl' domain.
The Cupertino-based company has asked the Polish patent office, the UPRP, to cancel a trademark belonging to the store. A meeting reportedly took place in August 29, but ended up being adjourned, and deferred to a later date. Polish site Telepolis, has said that if the dispute isn't settled out of court, it could take two to three years to resolve.
Considering that A.PL have absolutely nothing to do with technology, and are an online grocery vendor, Apple are really clutching at straws here. There's no Apple-like imagery on the website, and it's all in Polish, meaning that it really is only for people who can read the language, and I'm sure it doesn't beat against the door of any Apple-owned patents.
The New York Times are reporting that "over the years", EA have tried to buy Valve. If these talks between the two companies ever reached negotiation, would've valued Valve at "well over $1 billion", the Times reports.
But, that $1 billion figure is a huge understatement, as no one truly knows what Valve are worth. Valve are a private company, controlled by founder Gabe Newell, who doesn't release any financial information. Wedbush Securities analyst, Michael Pachter, has estimated that Valve are worth $2.5 billion today.
Newell have said that Valve's employees would scatter, and that Valve would "disintegrate" before they'd be sold. Newell adds:
It's way more likely we would head in that direction than say, 'Let's find some giant company that wants to cash us out and wait two or three years to have our employment agreements terminate.
HP's global staff numbers are expected to get slashed nearly 10% more than previous reports, where up to 29,000 people will lose their jobs with the company. Previous figures pegged HP at cutting 27,000 jobs from their workforce, according to the company's 10-Q quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where they said they will "eliminate approximately 29,000 positions in connection with the 2012 Plan through fiscal year 2014."
Back in May, HP said that they would cut roughly 8% of their global workforce, which would see 27,000 jobs cut, saving around $3-$5 billion which would then be thrown into R&D. The cuts would be done over a two-year period, but overall R&D spending will increase from the 3% of revenue which it stands at now. The filing note also touches on their multi-year restructuring plan, which HP call the "2012 Plan", and is aimed to "simplify business processes, accelerate innovation and deliver better results for customers, employees, and stockholders".
HP also expects charges of around $3.7 billion through the end of the company's fiscal 2014 calendar, with $3.3 billion of this coming from workforce reductions, and $400 million on "other items", including datacenter consolidation. HP have already slashed 3,800 jobs by the end of July 2012, which represents around 7% of the now revised 29,000 figure.
There are some people who think that potential future President of the United States, Republican nominee Mitt Romney is hiding something. There have been various reports, and you can Google (or Bing) it yourself for some more information.
Last week we reported that hackers had gotten their hands on Mitt Romney's previous tax returns, and are asking for $1 million Bitcoin's or they'd release them. Now we have founder and publisher of Hustler magazine, Larry Flynt, hitting the wire that he is offering $1 million as a reward to anyone who can give him Romney's tax information.
Flynt took out a full-page ad in the Sunday's edition of The Washington Post, promising "up to $1 million" for the dirt on Romney's "unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts and business partnerships." When money is being thrown around like this, someone might step forward. But, if you had this type of information, and it did involve, and prove that Romney has something very sinister to hide, that is completely provable, would you really want to share it?
Alibaba Group is China's largest e-commerce firm, which is looking to have a massive year for 2012. The group expects to sell more merchandise than competitors Amazon and eBay, combined. This is according to Alibaba's chief strategy officer, Zeng Ming.
The group is aiming for around 3 trillion yuan ($473 billion) in annual transaction value from their Taobao e-commerce units in the next 5 to 7 years, says Ming. Jack Ma, Alibaba's founder, said that in 2011, Taobao's transaction value for 2012 would reach 1 trillion yuan. Alibaba have not revealed what percentage of online sales come from Taobao, but it seems to be the number one source of the company's profit engine.
Zeng talks of Amazon and eBay, America's top online retailer and auction site, respectively:
From their annual reports we did a rough calculation and we were similar last year but we are growing faster than them this year, so this year we are probably larger than them. The gap is just going to get bigger and bigger when we grow faster.
On the eve of Intel Developers Forum San Francisco, we received word from a SSD manufacture that Toshiba just slashed the price of Toggle Mode NAND Flash by 20 to 25%.
If you recall, just a few months ago Toshiba announced a 30% reduction in manufacturing. Toshiba expected other NAND flash manufacturers to follow suit to increase the cost of flash. Micron took the opportunity to gain market share and either held flash production or increased output. We've seen Micron gain some market share because of it. Companies are even making special Micron flash versions of existing products, like the new OCZ Vertex 4 512GB M (M for Micron) SSD.
With the massive price drop, we can only assume that Toshiba is backing off their reduced output strategy. This is good news for consumers looking for even lower priced SSDs. How good is this for consumers? Well, this is a quote from one of my inside sources:
"Full on price war started today. I just got news from ******, all [our] SSDs are getting cut by around 25%"