Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

What Does Prem Watsa See in BlackBerry?

September 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Chris Hughes | © University of Waterloo, Graphics, Photo/Imaging With the announcement of its proposed $4.7 billion takeover bid, Fairfax Financial Holdings and its chairman, Prem Watsa, answered the long-running question, “Who would ever buy BlackBerry?” But in doing so it posed a new one as well: Why? And that’s not a particularly easy question to answer either. Just what does Watsa see in the collapsing smartphone pioneer, which just days ago announced a nearly $1 billion shortfall in second-fiscal-quarter earnings and plans to sack 40 percent of its workforce? Something that few others seem to be able to visualize — a long-term play in which BlackBerry successfully reinvents itself? Or is this bid simply a last ditch effort to put a floor beneath BlackBerry’s tumbling share price in the hopes of enticing other potential buyers and saving Fairfax’s investment in the company? In a Monday statement announcing Fairfax’s offer, Watsa said it was the former, describing the move as one that “will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry.” In that sense, the deal is simply the latest manifestation of Watsa’s faith in what he once described as “Canada’s greatest technology company.” As Watsa wrote in a March letter to Fairfax Financial shareholders , “The brand name, a security system second to none, a distribution network across 650 telecom carriers worldwide, a 79 million subscriber base, enterprise customers accounting for 90 percent of the Fortune 500, almost exclusive usage by governments in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., a huge original patent portfolio, an outstanding new operating system developed by QNX and $2.9 billion in cash with no debt, are all formidable strengths as BlackBerry makes its comeback!” But that was more than six months ago, and in the time since, BlackBerry has slipped deep into the mud that’s been sucking at its boots since it first dismissed the iPhone and Android as credible threats to its business. Sure, the company does have some potentially valuable assets in its patent portfolio and secure messaging platform, BlackBerry Messenger. And there’s a few billion in cash and investments as well. But BlackBerry is hardly a company poised for a comeback. These days, it’s a sadly diminished pioneer sliding inexorably toward irrelevance. So, again, does Watsa really believe he can take BlackBerry private and recapture some of its former glory? Certainly possible — if he continues to hold the same long-term view of the company he’s always had. “Is [BlackBerry] going to turn around in three months, six months, nine months? No,” he said last year. “But if you’re looking four, five years. … We make investments over four or five years.” Maybe that’s Watsa’s game here as well, assuming Fairfax can actually secure the financing it needs to acquire BlackBerry. Or maybe he’s planning to sell it for parts at some point down the line

Read More

Apple CEO Tim Cook Joins Twitter, Tweets About iPhone Launch

September 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted his first tweet on Friday after visiting the Palo Alto Apple Store to witness the launch of the new iPhones. “Visited Retail Stores in Palo Alto today,” Cook tweeted. “Seeing so many happy customers reminds us of why we do what we do.” Cook quickly amassed more than 14,000 followers for his @tim_cook account. So far, Cook is following about a dozen accounts, including the Auburn student newspaper, the RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights, CNN host Anderson Cooper, and Apple colleagues Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue.

Read More

Apple: Demand for New iPhones Has Been "Incredible"

September 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple said that Friday that it is sold out of some iPhone 5s models amid what it described as “incredible” demand. “Demand for the new iPhones has been incredible and we are currently sold out or have limited supply of certain iPhone 5s models in some stores,” an Apple representative told AllThingsD . As previously noted, availability for the gold iPhone 5s is now listed as “October” with 7-to-10 day wait times quoted for the silver and gray models. Carrier sources told AllThingsD earlier this week that they expected the 5s to be in extremely short supply with one carrier source describing their inventory situation as “grotesquely unavailable.” Meanwhile, supplies of the iPhone 5c appear to be more plentiful, with Apple.com still listing 1 to 3 day wait times for all colors of that model.

Read More

Yes, Apple Is Working on a Fix for the iOS 7 Lock Screen Hack

September 19, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple When it debuted Wednesday, iOS 7 brought with it a slew of bug fixes to Apple’s mobile operating system , but it brought a new vulnerability as well — one that can be exploited to bypass the lock screen on iOS devices. Like most iOS lock screen vulnerabilities, the hack to exploit it is somewhat involved (see video below). But once it’s performed, it affords access to an iPhone’s stored photos — and the email and Web services accounts the device’s owner uses to share them. It’s not clear whether the hack works on Apple’s newest iPhones, the 5s and 5c, but I verified it here on an iPhone 5 and iPhone 4. Apple knows of the vulnerability and is working to correct it. “Apple takes user security very seriously,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD . “We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.” In the meantime, you can protect yourself against it by disabling access to Control Center on your iOS device’s lockscreen.

Read More

Early Measure Shows Massive iOS 7 Adoption on Day 1

September 19, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It took some iPhone owners a while to get it, but clearly a ton of Apple users downloaded iOS 7 on Wednesday–the first day it was available. A study from mobile advertising network Chitika showed that less than 24 hours after being made available, iOS 7 was accounting for just more than 18 percent of North American iOS traffic on the sites it tracks. That’s three percentage points higher than Chitika saw for iOS 6 in its first day. “This level of adoption represents another proverbial feather in the cap of Apple, as it bests the impressive adoption rates of iOS 6 in the same time period last year,” Chitika said in a report to be published on Thursday. Although it’s only one measure, Chitika’s numbers clearly show a huge number of Apple users couldn’t wait to try out the new operating system. (While iOS 7 had been in beta testing, only about half a percent of users were using iOS 7 prior to its official launch on Wednesday.)

Read More

A New Touch for iPhone

September 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

[ See post to watch video ] Apple brings out a new top-of-the-line iPhone model every year, but a redesign only every other year. In the intervening cycles, the company tends to keep the phone’s exterior the same, but change the innards and the software. This is one of those in-between years, but the new iPhone 5S has a potentially game-changing hardware feature and a radically new operating system. The iPhone 5S’s reliable, easy Touch ID. The iPhone 5S is the first digital device I’ve seen with a simple, reliable fingerprint reader—one you can confidently use, without a thought, to unlock the device instead of typing in a passcode. You can even use this fingerprint reader, called Touch ID, to authorize purchases from Apple’s App, iTunes and e-book stores. It sounds like a gimmick, but it’s a real advance, the biggest step ever in biometric authentication for everyday devices. After using Touch ID, I found it annoying to go back to typing in passcodes on my older iPhone. The new iPhone 5S, which starts at $199 with a two-year contract and goes on sale for all major carriers on Friday, has a beefier processor that Apple says can double its performance. And it has a better camera. Then there’s the new operating system on this phone, called iOS 7. Its new look, new user interface and new functions represent the biggest overhaul to the iPhone’s core software since the original model launched in 2007. Nearly everything has been improved, including multi-tasking, notifications, access to common controls, email, Web browsing and Siri.

Read More

Adobe to Launch Project Mighty Digital Pen for Creative Professionals, Instagram Generation

September 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

You may know Adobe as a creative software company, but soon, it will also be in the creative hardware business. Today, Adobe announced that it plans to bring its Project Mighty cloud-connected pen and Project Napoleon digital ruler to the market in the first half of 2014. Both will be manufactured by Adonit , an Austin-based company that makes styli for the iPhone and iPad. First introduced at the Adobe Max conference in May, Project Mighty is a digital stylus that works with the iPad and Adobe’s Creative Cloud, so you can carry and work on your drawings on multiple devices. The Bluetooth-enabled pen is pressure sensitive, allowing you to draw lines of varying width. And a button near the base of the pen brings up various tools, like different pencil tips and colors. Meanwhile, Project Napoleon is a digital ruler that projects guidelines when placed on the screen, so you can can draw precise lines and edges for architectural projects and the like. In addition, Adobe developed two apps from the ground up for Napolean: a drafting app called Project Parallel and Project Contour, which is similar to Adobe’s Kuler app but for shapes. It’s all an interesting idea, and I had fun playing around with the devices when I visited Adobe last week. But why is the company getting into the hardware business? Michael Gough, vice president of experience design at Adobe, said part of the reason is because the company realized that its core customers were changing. “Our current base of professional creatives are changing dramatically

Read More

Apple’s New Ad Grabs One of Rock’s Best Songs

September 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

There’s a new Apple ad. It’s for the iPhone 5c. No need to say much. But since you are still here, here’s the source file for the ad’s soundtrack, via Sleigh Bells’ 2010 “Rill Rill”: Still here? All right! Now things get really good, because you get to hear the source file for “Rill Rill,” courtesy of Funkadelic. For some reason, this 1971 song got renewed life in the last few years*. Which is great, because it’s one of the best songs ever: Ah.

Read More

ATD in the Media: New iPhones, Twitter IPO, NSA Surveillance

September 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Team AllThingsD popped up all over the airwaves and the Interwebs during this big week of tech news. Want to hear our voices and see our faces as we analyze the news? Below are highlights from the networks that post their shows online: Here’s Walt Mossberg’s takeaways from the Apple event on WSJ Live : Here’s what he said on CNBC beforehand: Ina Fried also appeared on KCRW’s “To the Point” in anticipation of the Apple event: Do you want to hear Mike Isaac’s take on the Twitter IPO ? You got it. Here he is on CNBC : Twice: Arik Hesseldahl talked about tech companies defending their records on surveillance on RT America News : And lastly, Lauren Goode explained her experience with personalized shopping services like StitchFix and Le Tote on WSJ Radio .

Read More

ATD Week in Review: New iPhones, Twitter’s IPO and the 64-Bit Question

September 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week: On Thursday, Twitter filed for its initial public offering confidentially, under a new “secret” IPO process made possible by the JOBS Act. Just one day before, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urged the social media rival not to be afraid about going public. But it may not be all good news — Twitter’s actual growth rate seems to be below CEO Dick Costolo’s 2013 projections. At an event on its Cupertino campus on Tuesday, Apple unveiled two new iPhones, the 64-bit iPhone 5s and the cheaper (but not that cheap) 5c . The company’s share price stumbled the next morning , dropping five percent and taking about $20 billion in market value with it.

Read More