iPhone Live! podcast is tonight people and we want you to show up and chat with us!
Time: 6pm PT, 9pm ET, 2am GMT so you better be there!
iPhone Live! podcast is tonight people and we want you to show up and chat with us!
Time: 6pm PT, 9pm ET, 2am GMT so you better be there!
BGR is reporting that, according to one of their Apple sources, the first week of sales for the new Verizon iPhone were purportedly smaller than Apple and Verizon expected. The figures were drawn from five Apple retails stores covering the first five days of availability, including two “very, very prominent” locations and show a dwindling margin between AT&T and Verizon sales after the first 48 hours of availability:
- Thursday: Verizon = 909, AT&T = 539
- Friday: Verizon = 916, AT&T = 680
- Saturday: Verizon = 660, AT&T = 471
- Sunday: Verizon = 796, AT&T = 701
- Monday: Verizon = 711, AT&T = 618
The difference between Verizon and AT&T sales were as low as 12% by day four, although the Verizon iPhone still managed to out-sell that of AT&T. We’re not exactly sure what Apple’s expectations were, but regardless it looks like the Verizon iPhone has still been out-selling the AT&T iPhone since day one.
They were also told that online pre-orders between Verizon and Apple amounted to around 550,000 units after selling out within the first 18 hours. The majority of Verizon iPhone buyers were Android switchers at 30% followed by sales to ex-Blackberry users at 25%. Only 14% of Verizon iPhone sales were to former AT&T iPhone users.
There are probably a fair amount of people still locked into contracts, on family plans, or corporate accounts who may have to wait to switch. That could be a gradual process to say the least. Still, given all the hype do you think store sales numbers should have been higher out of the gate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Verizon iPhone didn’t meet initial sales expectations? is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
The Verizon iPhone is one of the most anticipated smartphones in recent memory, made even more so by the endless rumors and years of waiting those who wanted it had to endure. Now it’s here and while the radio has changed it’s still pretty much the same iPhone 4 Apple shipped on AT&T back in June 2010. A 7 month old phone on a brand new network is not something iPhone users have had to consider in the past. Is it worth the wait? Is Verizon really a better network? Does CDMA have important shortcomings you need to be aware of? Will the entire thing be rendered moot when Apple announces an iPhone 5 in June?
Figuring out the answers to these questions and more have kept all of us at TiPb extremely busy over the past couple of weeks. So hit the jump and on for our full Verizon iPhone review!
Since the Verizon iPhone 4 is still an iPhone 4 we’re only going to look at and compare the differences between the Verizon model and the AT&T/GSM model here. If you haven’t already, check out our original iPhone 4 review to see all the features that are similar including FaceTime video calls, Retina Display screen, 5mp camera and HD video recording, etc.
You’ll get the standard Apple headphones, the wall adapter, a sync cable, and your manuals. The only difference is really the phone and the back of the box.
The back of the box simply specifies the carrier. Other than that, everything should be the same. Oh let’s not forget that you won’t get a handy dandy micro-SIM removal tool, since CDMA phones don’t use them.
The Verizon iPhone has different breaks in the antenna band than its AT&T/GSM sibling. Even though the antenna band was redesigned for CDMA, I don’t see any improvement when it comes to the “death grip” issue (see our explanation of “death touch” vs. “death grip” for more on this). If anything, I experience it more than I do on my AT&T iPhone 4. I’m not sure if attenuation on the Verizon version is worse because of a difference between CDMA and GSM or if it’s something else. I experience the issue on my AT&T iPhone but it seems that the signal doesn’t drop as quick and when it does, it goes up quicker when I’m not touching the break in the band. The Verizon version seems to lose bars a lot quicker and it takes a bit longer for them to come back.
As most people have already figured out, putting a bumper or a case on your phone will solve the death grip problem.
Other than the breaks in the antenna bands, the mute switch and volume buttons are moved down about 2mm on the Verizon iPhone 4. This is because of the break in the antenna at the top left of the phone. For users coming from an AT&T iPhone 4, this can be annoying as many current iPhone 4 cases will not work as the silent switch and volume buttons are positioned differently.
The only other difference I have found is that the Verizon iPhone 4 doesn’t have the FCC and other clearance marks on the back the way the AT&T/GSM version does.
The AT&T/GSM iPhone 4 is currently running iOS 4.2.1. The Verizon iPhone 4 launched with iOS 4.2.6. The only major feature 4.2.6 adds is personal hotspot capabilities (called mobile hotspot on other devices). AT&T has announced that they will offer mobile hotspot as well but no dates have been given yet, and it will require an iOS 4.3 update. Currently AT&T offers internet tethering for iPhone users but you are limited to Bluetooth and USB tethering.
The Verizon version supports wifi tethering for up to 5 devices. This is extremely nice if you’re somewhere without wifi and need to access the internet from a wifi only device (like a wifi iPad). You can simply enable the mobile hotspot feature and it’ll show up as a wireless network on your other device. You can also choose to add a password if you’d like. We’ll cover that below.
If your’e coming from an AT&T iPhone, you’ll feel right at home. Actually, if you’ve ever used an iPod of any kind or an iPad, you’ll already know what to do. The Verizon iPhone is no different than its AT&T brother. Plug into iTunes, sync your content, and you’re good to go. Verizon also offers a contact transfer app for current customers that’ll easily bring down all your contacts wirelessly for you (given you use Verizon’s contact backup service). If you need more help:
There’s really nothing new here, both iPhones will sync and store data in the same manner.
All the apps that run on the current AT&T/GSM iPhone also run on the Verizon iPhone (with the sole exception of carrier branded apps, like AT&T Navigator.) Apple has hundreds of thousands of apps and games available for the iPhone and Verizon will be releasing some carrier-specific ones as well, hopefully something to tie into their NFL deal. Here are some good starting points:
CDMA is long known to handle calls better than GSM. But is that really true? When it comes to clarity, sure. But you do lose some features when using a CDMA iPhone. Conference calls are only good for up to 3 people, including yourself. The way calls are handled can differ too. On AT&T, if you initiate a conference call, you can merge the calls, split them off, and hang up separately. On Verizon, hanging up on one will hang up on both. This is also a downside of the current version of CDMA Verizon is utilizing.
In most of our Verizon voice tests, call clarity was always on par with AT&T or better.
Personal hotspot is definitely a welcome feature to iOS. It’s also only available for Verizon customers at the moment. AT&T has stated they have plans to release it, presumably with the launch of iOS 4.3, but no date has been given yet.
This feature allows you to turn your phone into a wireless hotspot. Up to 5 devices at a time can connect and use your iPhone 4’s internet connection. We tested this pretty thoroughly and found that it works as promised. I was pretty impressed with the speeds and reliability.
Verizon is offering their customers unlimited (though potentially throttled) data, while AT&T only offers 250MB and 2GB data tiers. This is a huge selling point for them. But can their network handle the traffic? From our experience, yet it can. Quite well actually. Leanna and I both conducted speed tests. Mine in the Chicago area and hers in the Denver area. While AT&T was much faster for me, in real world situations (even tethering), neither of us had issues with Verizon and it always loaded pages within seconds of our AT&T iPhones. Sometimes it even loaded them quicker.
Data speeds and network reliability will, of course, heavily rely on coverage in your particular area. AT&T typically handles well in larger populated areas while Verizon has been known to have a strong network in rural areas as well. We conducted several Verizon iPhone 4 speed tests and the results were more than respectable.
That’s really a decision each individual person is going to have to make. As always, you should base it on what the coverage is like where you live. For some, AT&T and Verizon may both be strong players in your area. If you’re in that situation, take a look at each carrier and what benefits GSM has over CDMA and vice versa. We also did a Verizon iPhone 4 vs AT&T iPhone 4 comparison. We pitted them against each other, and both held their own. You’ll really have to weigh out what options are more important to you. Do you need simultaneous voice and data or are you more concerned with call clarity? The little differences can end up being annoying over time so it may be worth it to weigh your options and choose the carrier that’ll best fit your individual needs.
A lot of potential Verizon switchers have been asking if they’re able to jailbreak if they switch. The answer to that is a big fat yes! greepois0n supports the Verizon iPhone as well. I jailbroke mine on launch day without a hitch. We’ve also got a complete guide up on how to jailbreak the Verizon iPhone 4. So if you’re a jailbreaker (or want to be), make sure to give that a look.
We had quite a week playing with the Verizon iPhone 4. We came away feeling that Verizon is definitely capable of delivering a great customer experience. I’d have no qualms about using the Verizon iPhone 4 if you don’t need simultaneous voice and data or don’t mind some of the little annoyances that come along with CDMA. The plans on both carriers are roughly similar with the exception of Verizon offering unlimited data while AT&T only offers tiered.
Now that Verizon finally has the iPhone, both businesses are going to have to compete for our business. For almost 4 years, AT&T hasn’t had to compete for iPhone revenue. If you wanted an iPhone, you were going to play by their rules. Those days are long gone and we have a feeling it’s going to get pretty interesting from here on out. Let the carrier wars begin!
The Griffin Slap for iPod nano is a fun, colorful watch adapter that children of the 80s will no doubt appreciate. It gets its name from how you use it — just grab it by the strap and slap it onto your wrist. It wraps around and voila — iPod nano watch!
But how does it hold up in use? Read on for the review!
To put your iPod nano into or take it out of the Giffin Slap you just pop it in and pop it out. Seriously. It’s that simple. It also wears really well and you don’t have to worry about it falling off.
It has cutouts for all the usual buttons like power and volume and a cutout for the 3.5mm headphone jack. Yes, I did wear it around with my earphones trailing from my wrist to my head and yes, I did get some stares. It’s not ideal but until Apple adds Bluetooth to the iPod nano its the only option for those who actually want to use it as an iPod music player.
Which brings me to my last point — this really is an iPod and not a watch. That’s too bad because it shows Apple could make a super sweet watch. The iPod nano in the Griffin Slap is really cool but a bit of a novelty. It’s not that quick to check the time, the UI remains a bit of a challenge to use and there are basically a lot of functionality gaps that still need to be overcome.
Still if you have an iPod nano the Griffin Slap is a lot of fun and definitely something to add to your case collection.
The Griffin Slap for iPod nano comes in black, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink and is available from the TiPb iPod nano accessory store!
Apple, the most audaciously disruptive company in the history of technology, has once again raised the ire of old industry incumbents, the hopes of independent players, the fears of passions of developers and consumers, and the post counts of bloggers by announcing their new in-app subscription service for iPhone and iPad. And make no mistake, their press release yesterday was as strategic as any Open Letter ever penned and posted by Steve Jobs.
But is it a greedy money grab, a noble defense of consumer privacy, an arrogant power play, a savvy business move, or a bold if risky gamble by Apple to once again, for the umpteenth time, redefine how an industry works? All of the above?
Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Apple’s new App Store subscription service and the policies that surround it… after the break.
The first, best thing about Apple’s new subscription service is that it will be drop dead simple for consumers. Pretty much every iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad user on the planet knows how to use the App Store and most know how to use in-app purchases. Being able to buy a subscription to a newspaper or magazine as easily as you buy smurfberries is a huge plus. If you don’t understand how truly revolutionary that is, go try to subscribe to a real world magazine today. I dare you. There’s paperwork, billing info, delivery info, offer after up-sell offer — and that’s not even counting the pain of trying to fix things later when you get over-charged or your copy of People keeps arriving at the dry cleaners down the street. If you think I’m exaggerating or trying to be funny I’m not. It’s a terrible user experience.
Second, media companies don’t really sell newspapers or magazines, they sell you (more specifically your eyeballs). Think Google invented selling ads for you to look at, and then selling the data about you looking at those ads back to the advertisers? Think again. Those billions of dollars of business existed in the paper world for decades before Google took it high tech. This was one of the largest areas of contention between Apple (who sells products) and media companies (who sell us) — they wanted our demographic data and Apple didn’t want to give it to them. Yes, evil Apple. Say what you want about them but Apple’s business is straightforward — you give them tons of money and they give you pretty things to use. Media is different — you give them tons of money, they give you something pretty (or ugly, depends), chock full of adds, and then sell all your information back to the advertisers and marketers. Most of us don’t realize it so it hasn’t been a big deal. Apple does realize it and wants media companies to ask us before they take our data. This displeases the media companies. As Kontra points out, that should make us very, very happy.
Third, Apple is once again disintermediating an industry and that ultimately offers consumers more choice. Just like iTunes has helped get around old world record labels and their indentured service contracts, iPhone helped get carriers to stop mutilating our smartphone experience, and the App Store helped smart indie developers make millions, in-app subscriptions will let small and medium size publishers produce periodicals in a way only giant megacorps can today. It gives them access to 150 million potential devices, the massive iTunes credit card pool, the App Store’s simple payment processing system, and all the hosting, transaction, and marketing Apple provides. That’s right, they get a shot at being promoted on the App Store and everything that goes with it — just ask a developer like Glass House Apps what being featured by iTunes means to their business. All included in a simple 30% fee. So just like consumers now get tons of media (like podcasts) and apps that might not have been possible outside Apple’s distribution system and platform, we may now get publications as well.
That’s a lot of win.
“Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.”
So if you already subscribe to a newspaper, and you download their app, they get to keep all your money. If you download the app first, then subscribe, they have to give 30% to Apple. And they can’t make the in-app version 30% more expensive than an out-of-app version, nor can they provide a link for you to go outside the app to subscribe on the web and cut Apple out of their 30%. In other words: if your customer comes in via iOS, Apple is going to get PAID.
Our local movie chain sells soft drinks for $5 (yeah, ouch) and the Burger King inside the movie theater also sells soft drinks for $5. Down the street, outside the movie theater, Burger King sells them for much less. Imagine they weren’t allowed to? Sure the movie theater delivers an expanded, captive client base but it’s a bitter, begrudging, why-$5-for-a-coke client base. John Gruber equates it to Disneyland, where if you want to do business inside the Magic Kingdom, Mickey gets his cut.
As mentioned above, for the App Store that 30% cut gets you hosting, bandwidth, credit card transaction processing, delivery, reporting, and several incredibly valuable assets — the App Store’s ease of use, it’s consumer confidence, and its huge visibility.
But that doesn’t mean as much to big media as it does to smaller companies. Big media is used to distributing its own content, handling its own transactions, doing its own marketing, and most importantly — enjoying and monetizing its own direct relationship with customers. Their whole business is predicated on that old-world model (even newer media enterprises) and it’s not a model that supports giving Apple 30%. (It’s also a model that’s often needlessly consumer hostile, but that’s a choice not a requirement.)
Take Netflix for example. Existing subscribers in the US and Canada are exempt but Netflix plans to expand internationally and given the popularity of iPhone and iPad around the world it’s not hard to imagine many of their new customers might come by way of the App Store. Netflix already has to pay huge licensing fees to Hollywood (and may have to pay much, much more soon). Their $8 price tag probably can’t handle giving $2.40 to Apple. They can’t charge $11 in-app and $8 on the web, so do they raise the price to $11 for everyone or just leave the App Store and iOS? Would Hulu? Would DropBox or any other company that up-sells expanded services and provides access to them via the App Store?
Sure record companies probably didn’t like the idea of $0.99 iTunes singles, decried the breaking of the album and the power of Apple, but at least record companies sold something — music. Not ad-supported music. Not music supported by selling info on who was listening to the ads in the music. They sold the actual music. Newspaper and magazines are a very different business from music and movies or apps. Since subscriber data is opt-in, and my subscribers — finally given the choice — will likely decide not to opt in, the price can’t be subsidized by aggregating and selling viewing data augmented by subscriber demographics either.
That’s a tough, bitter pill for large, existing media companies to swallow.
When cross-compilers were banned from the App Store, Adobe — every bit the proprietary, controlling, developer-locking scoundrel Apple was — went running to the government in hopes the threat of anti-trust action would cause Apple to back down. And Apple backed down (though one look at Epic Unreal 3 may have done more than Adobe’s whining). No doubt media companies may employ the same strategy when it comes to fighting the twin provisions of “having to offer the same content via in-app purchase” and “having to offer the same or better pricing in-app”. Since Apple is a high-profile, headline grabbing target, the US and EU might choose to “investigate” and Apple might well back down again.
None of that will intentionally be for the benefit of the consumer. (We may benefit from the results but don’t assume the media companies or government prosectors care one bit about us in that process.) Say what you want about Apple but they sell user experience, media companies and governments don’t. At the risk of repeating myself far too often — in the battle between King Kong and Godzilla we’re not the popcorn munching audience enjoying the show, we’re the citizens of Tokyo trying not to get crushed beneath giant ape and lizard feet.
Theories are also being batted around that media companies like Amazon could simply sell read-only versions of their apps but that likely violates App Store policy just the same. The only other viable option is web apps, accessible from iPhone, iPad, and Android, webOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry alike. So far web apps haven’t provided the speed, convenience, and overall user experience that native apps can but with huge media companies, especially web-savvy ones, behind them, Seth Weintraub believes they could become a viable alternative.
Worst case we see Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other massive and massively popular properties leave iOS as a platform. Perhaps they offer a web app instead, perhaps not.
Best case Apple offers tiered service — simple transactional processing for existing media giants at a much lower cut, full on agency for small and independent publishers who need the services the App Store provides. Big media will still have to change and evolve their business models, learn to sell products rather than selling their customers, but just like the App Store it could lead to phenomenal, platform defining success for those that best and most strategically embrace it.
Likely case we see a lot of grumbling in the media, so headlines about government oversight, a lot of finger pointing, an announcement from Google for publishers (that’s not opt-in), and a bunch more editorials like this (though hopefully much shorter and better written). Then we’ll really find out what works and what doesn’t with Apple’s new in-app subscriptions, and both Apple and publishers will adapt and improve the system the same way the App Store and developers have been improving it for the last 2.5 years.
They’re unified in wanting our money, after all.
Apple’s new subscription service: the good, the bad, and the ugly is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
Warner Brothers today released two of their movies, Dark Knight and Inception, as applications in the App Store and is available in 35 different countries. (The interesting thing to note is that 23 of those countries are unable to get these two movies through iTunes.) The apps are free and they come ready to go with a five minute preview of each film along with games, trivia, extras and other materials for users to enjoy. If you decide you want to watch the movie you have two options at that point. You can choose to stream the movie or download it to your device to watch at a later time. Dark Knight is currently available for $9.99 and Inception is available for $11.99. Thomas Gewecke, president of digital distribution made a short comment about their new “apps.”
We think this is an innovative way to build a global footprint on devices that are optimized for video viewing.
Yes it is definitely an innovative way to allow countries without iTunes movie access to have a chance at getting these movies but is it against Apple’s new App Store developer guidelines? Specifically they say that apps that are for media should be sent to iTunes and not the App Store. So who knows if these two movies will make it as apps for long but if they do this opens up a whole new way to get movies on your iOS devices. Will you be downloading these movies as apps? Do you like the idea of downloading movies as apps instead of the standard way from iTunes? Tell us what you think in our comments section.
Warner Bros. launches Dark Knight and Inception as apps is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
Jetstar Airlines are going to offer passengers in-flight iPad’s for AU$10 per flight from April, pending licensing agreements with Apple. We reported that Jetstar Airlines had a successful trial period for a iPad based in-flight entertainment system, last summer with the intent to launch before Christmas, so it’s safe to say things went well.
The iPads will come preloaded with movies, music, magazines, books, and apps, replacing the current in-flight entertainment systems. The launch will start on Jetstar A320 flights, but marketing manager David May says:
If everything goes as planned — and I see no reason why it wouldn’t “fly” — the airline will expand the service to every aircraft “because the iPads are so much slimmer and lighter than our existing units”
So, would you want your local airline to implement an iPad-based entertainment system? Would you use it?
Jetstar Airlines to offer in-flight iPad’s for AU$10 is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
Cult of Mac, who previously rumored a storage-free iPhone nano, is now offering some more potential details on that rumored MobileMe update, including functionality that would make it a mashup of Ustream and Foursquare. According to a “source who wishes to remain nameless”:
the centerpiece of the new MobileMe services is a dynamic webpage that sounds like a mashup of Facebook, Foursquare and Ustream. The webpage will collect a ton of information that is automatically uploaded from an iOS device, including the user’s location, photos they’ve taken and video they’ve shot. It will also detail music they’re listening to, games they’re playing, applications they’re using, music and apps they’ve purchased, web sites they’ve visited, status updates, and so on. Users can even send live video to their page, much like the live video-streaming service Ustream.
They also say Apple will offer privacy controls for those who may wish not share. A second service called “Tokens” is also discussed:
Tokens (the name is temporary) allows users to tag GPS locations with information, tips and interesting photos. Users can see what tokens others have left behind. The information could be restaurant reviews, meal recommendations, special deals offered by retailers, or photos of events that took place there. However, the system is complex and Apple is having trouble getting it to work properly, our source said. (And yeah, Apple can’t seem to make the simple version of MobileMe work properly now – but that’s another story).
I’m not going to lie, this isn’t really what any of us had been hoping for in a MobileMe revamp. In fact it sounds a little like the Kin services! We’ve discussed universal login so you can enter your password to activate an iPhone or iPad (rather than tether to iTunes) and pull down all your settings. We’ve talked about iTunes.com media streaming so you don’t have to choose which of your music and movies you sync over USB. We’ve begged for them to just buy DropBox already. We’ve never really sat down and dreamed about another Foursquare, Gowalla or Places — or Ustream for that matter.
Is this the MobileMe revamp you’ve been looking for? Let us know in comments!
More details on the new MobileMe — becoming Ustream + Foursquare?! is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!
FX Photo Studio HD: Now updated to 3.0.0 with 41 new photo effects and much more! [$2.99 - iTunes link]
Camera+: Update to 2.1 brings performance enhancements, interface improvements and a limited time sale! [$0.99 - iTunes link]
Hipstamatic: Updated with Quicksta snap queue, camera bag organization, and limited edition FreePak [$1.99 - iTunes link]
Adobe Ideas: This digital sketchbook is updated to include VGA Out and the option to purchase a feature that will give you 10 drawing layers. [Free, with in-app purchases - iTunes link]
Tax FAQs: Have the answers to the 50 most frequently asked tax questions at your fingertips. [$0.99 - iTunes link]
Any other big apps or game releases or updates today? If you pick any of these up, let us know what you think!
New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Wednesday, February 16 is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
Earlier today when Apple announced in-app subscriptions would be available to all they also updated the iOS App Store review guidelines reflecting the change. And it looks like Apple threw in a few additions, one which specifically warns against developers who “cheat the system”.
If you attempt to cheat the system (for example, by trying to trick the review process, steal data from users, copy another developer’s work, or manipulate the ratings) your apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the developer program.
That’s a pretty stern warning to devs who piggyback off of the success of other developers, and will hopefully help cut down on other manipulations of the system we’ve seen before. Other additions in the updated guidelines include:
We’re combing through the update, but let us know if you see anything big we might have missed in the comments!
Apple updates App Store developer guidelines, warns against “cheating the system” is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.
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