iNews Review

Apple vs. RIM, iPhone User Profile, Canadian iPhone Petition, iPhone SDK Updated, and More

This Week's iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.04.04

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review, and general Mac news is in Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

iPhone News, Reviews, & Opinion

iPhone/iPod Add-ons

iPhone Add-ons

iPod Add-ons

iPod and iPhone Deals

iPhone News, Reviews, & Opinion

Smart Phone Industry Battle a Two-way Race Between RIM and Apple

The battle for supremacy in the smart phone industry has transformed into a two-way race between Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry and the Apple (AAPL) iPhone, according to a March 17-24 ChangeWave survey of 3,597 consumers.

The survey shows RIM dominating in terms of current consumer smart phone market share; however the Apple iPhone shows tremendous momentum going forward. In addition, the survey reveals accelerating woes for smart phone maker Palm (PALM) and its Treo.

smart phone market shareIn terms of the current marketplace, the RIM BlackBerry (42%; down 1-pt) maintains its huge lead among consumers while second place Palm (16%; down 2-pts) continues a two-year decline. This was the seventh-consecutive ChangeWave survey in which Palm's market share has dropped.

Closing in fast on Palm is the Apple iPhone (9%), which continues to score exceptional growth in the smart phone market. Customer satisfaction ratings point out why.

The iPhone receives an astonishing 79% Very Satisfied rating among its owners - considerably ahead of all other manufacturers in the smart phone market including second place RIM (54%). Palm (22%) once again ranks at the bottom in terms of customer satisfaction.

Future Growth - The iPhone Has Momentum

Better than one-in-three (35%) respondents planning to purchase a smart phone in the next 90 days say they'll purchase an Apple iPhone - a 12-point leap since the previous survey in January.

"The biggest reasons for the surge are the recent Apple announcements on the iPhone Software Development Kit and the new 2.0 Operating System," said Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing. "One-in-10 respondents now say they're more likely to purchase an iPhone in the future because of the new smart phone software."

Mobile OS Wars: RIM vs. Apple vs. ....the Google Android Operating System?

The ChangeWave survey also asked respondents which mobile operating system they'd like to have on the smart phone they plan on buying. Once again, the consumer market is dominated by the RIM and Apple operating systems.

Although the Google (GOOG) Android operating system isn't being offered yet to the general public, the survey does provide an initial look at the Android's market potential. And while the number of respondents saying they're Very Likely to use the Android was just 2%, another 15% did say they're Somewhat Likely to use the new OS.

"These numbers do show some consumer interest in the Android Operating System," said Smith, "but based on the ultra-competitive battle between RIM and Apple, there's little likelihood of the Android gaining traction on either one's OS. They're sucking up all the oxygen in this market."

"The Android's potential niche appears to be with a handful of second tier smart phone players like HTC," he added.

Key Findings Profile iPhone Users

Rubicon Consulting reports:

"The Apple iPhone is easily the most publicized new mobile device in recent memory. But despite all the discussion about the product, there's relatively little hard information available to the public on its impact. How is it being used? What effect is it having on customers and on the technology industry?

"To help answer those questions, Rubicon Consulting conducted a detailed survey of 460 randomly-selected iPhone users in the US. This report summarizes the findings from the survey, and what they mean for users and other companies.

"Here are some of the key findings:

  • iPhone users are very satisfied. The iPhone users we surveyed report very high levels of satisfaction with the product. They are using its features extensively. (Page 12.)
  • E-mail is the #1 function. The most heavily used data function on the iPhone is reading (but not writing) e-mail. (Page 13.)
  • The iPhone increases mobile browsing... More than 75% of iPhone users say it has led them to do more mobile browsing. (Page 14.)
  • ...but it has drawbacks. About 40% of iPhone users say the iPhone has trouble displaying some websites they want to visit. (Page 25.)
  • The iPhone is expanding the smartphone market. About 50% of iPhones replaced conventional mobile phones, 40% replaced smartphones, and 10% replaced nothing. Among conventional phones, Motorola Razr was the phone most often replaced. Among smartphones, Windows Mobile and RIM Blackberry were most often replaced. (Page 19.)
  • A third of iPhone users carry a second phone. There have been anecdotal reports of iPhone users carrying a second mobile phone, either for basic voice calling, or for other functions like composing e-mail. The survey confirmed those reports. (Page 20.)
  • A quarter of iPhone users say it's displacing a notebook computer. 28% of iPhone users surveyed said strongly that they often carry their iPhone instead of a notebook computer. (Page 22.)
  • Users are young. About half of iPhone users are under age 30 (page 29) and about 15% are students (page 31).
  • Apple sells to its installed base. At least 75% of US iPhone users are previous Apple customers - they used either iPods or Macintosh computers. (Page 28.)
  • The iPhone increases phone bills. The iPhone has increased its users' monthly mobile phone bills by an average of 24%, or $228 extra per year. (Page 17.)
  • The iPhone leads people to change carriers. Almost half of iPhone users changed carriers when they got the iPhone. (Page 18.)
  • AT&T's gamble pays off. The iPhone has probably increased AT&T's gross service revenue by about $2 billion per year. (Page 4.)

"Implications

"What do these findings mean for the mobile industry and mobile users, and what will happen next?

"Can Apple reach beyond its early adopters?

"The survey showed that most iPhone users are relatively youthful technophiles; half are under age 30, and a third of them even carry more than one mobile phone. This group of customers is great for launching a product, but there aren't enough of them to create sustained growth. The biggest question about the future of the iPhone is whether Apple can reach beyond the early adopters to generate substantial amounts of mainstream demand for the iPhone."

Use 2 Gmail Accounts to Manage iPhone Email

Mac OS X Hints contributor blafusel says:

"I am an avid Google Mail user, and recently purchased an iPhone (how couldn't I, after seeing the SDK demo). I configured the iPhone Mail app to use my Google Map IMAP account. Works like a charm, but, a lot of times I want to send reminders home from the iPhone. Obviously I'd see those mail on the iPhone as well. Too much information. So here is what I did...."

The iPhone Train Keeps Coming

Forbes' Brian Caulfield says:

"Don't think Apple can hit its goal of selling 10 million iPhones this year? Think again. Chief Executive Steve Jobs is about to open a fresh crate of pain for the rest of the mobile-phone industry.

"Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, has secured an exclusive contract to build the next-generation iPhone, Dow Jones reported Friday. The report, which cited an unnamed source, is in line with Apple's (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) usual practice of outsourcing the gritty business of building its products to big contract manufacturers in Asia. Apple declined to comment on the report."

Countdown to iPhone 2.0

Fortune's Scott Moritz reports:

"Apple is gearing up for a big bump in sales of the next generation iPhone, if new production plans are any guide.

"The plans show the faster iPhone will be rolling off the assembly line this summer. The initial order calls for 11 million iPhones to be built this year, with that total split between the existing 2.5G phone and the upgraded 3G phone, according to people familiar with the plan."

Brain Cancer Fears over Heavy Mobile Phone Use Resurface

smh.com.au's Asher Moses reports:

"A top Australian neurosurgeon says the world's heavy reliance on mobile phones could be a greater threat to human health than smoking and even asbestos.

"Vini Khurana, who conducted a 15-month 'critical review' of the link between mobile phones and malignant brain tumours, said using mobiles for more than 10 years could more than double the risk of brain cancer.

"He has called for 'immediate and decisive steps' by industry and governments to reduce people's exposure to invisible electromagnetic radiation emitted by handsets.

"Dr Khurana also called for a 'solid scientific study' observing heavy mobile phone users for a period of at least 10-15 years."

The Great Canadian iPhone Petition

iphoneworld.ca says:

"It's been a long while since the iPhone was announced, launched in the USA, launched in Europe, and underwent so many different changes (including the 16 GB version launch and iPhone SDK launch) that it's not even the same device we've seen in January 2007, when iPhoneWorld.ca itself was launched.

"One thing never changed: Canadians still don't know when they will even get their hands on Time Magazine's Invention of the Year 2007. All requests for additional information through official channels don't yield any results, or rather, produce highly conflicting reports. In the meantime, one can see more and more iPhones on the streets of Canada and wonder how they got here.

"That's why iPhoneWorld.ca and our friends from iPhoneInCanada.ca, the two largest Canadian iPhone news and information portals with a combined monthly audience of over 100,000 unique Canadian readers a month, teamed up to bring you The Great Canadian iPhone Petition."

iPhone/iPod Add-ons

iSpeak It: Listen to Documents on Your iPod

PR: Listen to your documents on your iPod or iPhone.

iSpeak It is a file-to-audio converter that serves as a perfect companion to the iPod or iPhone. iSpeak It loads Word, PDF, Pages 2, RTF, AppleWorks, text and HTML documents. It downloads news, weather forecasts, driving directions, and arbitrary web pages as well as RSS feeds. iSpeak It then uses the Mac's text-to-speech engine and iTunes to convert the text into an MP3/AAC track.

New in version 3.3.4:

  • Improves the processing of PDFs and pages documents.
  • Improves RSS processing.
  • Fixes problems with News and Directions downloading.
  • Fixes a problem with slashes ("/") in the track name.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

System support: PPC/Intel

$19.95 Shareware

iPhone Add-ons

Unity Coming to iPhone

PR: Unity Technologies, a 3D game development tool provider for creating console-quality games for the desktop and Web, today announced that the company will support game development for the popular iPhone platform.

The Unity engine is the core technology that facilitates visually rich, engaging 3D game play, whether it's on a traditional desktop, or on the Web at major gaming sites like shockwave.com, or now on the world's leading mobile device - the iPhone.

"With iPhone support, Unity is poised to become the single source for game developers who want to create best-of-breed, 3D-quality games that can be easily and quickly ported to all platforms, including consoles, devices, PC/Mac, and now, the iPhone," said David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies. "Specifically, Unity's support of iPhone addresses the developer's need to create more and better mobile/portable games that support the consumers 'on-the-go' lifestyle."

Since its launch in 2005, Unity has enabled game developers of all sizes to get their game made faster and more efficiently across a variety of platforms. With support of the iPhone platform, the Unity engine becomes platform agnostic and significantly expands the reach and capabilities of the tool. As a fully supported deployment platform, developers can now use Unity to drive development of the best games to iPhone's massive mobile market and beyond.

Unity Technologies has created an iPhone beta program that will provide hands-on support to drive 3D content creation and deployment of mobile games. Game developers who are interested in joining the iPhone support program should contact Unity at iphone@unity3d.com About Unity Technologies

Unity Technologies is a 3D game development tool provider, enabling the creation of totally dynamic online content that rivals the newest games on the console market. Based in Copenhagen with an office in San Francisco, CA, Unity provides tools to game developers and creative visualization professionals alike to deliver the best 3D web content. The Unity engine is currently being used by leading game developers, educational institutions and industry visionaries including: Smashing Ideas, Trigger, Freeverse, Shockwave.com, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Flashbang Studios, ThreeMelons and Skyworks Technologies.

USB Fever iPhone Replacement Camera

PR: $29.99

Shipping to Worldwide destinations at US$2.99/order

Phone Wallpaper X Lite

PR: Polo Planet Software releases Phone Wallpaper X Lite, a powerful and easy-to-use tool for editing and managing wallpapers for mobile phones or PDAs. Phone Wallpaper X Lite version supports Bluetooth-enabled devices as well as connection with Motorola mobile phones and memory cards through USB.

Polo Planet Software releases Phone Wallpaper X Lite, a powerful and easy-to-use tool for editing and managing wallpapers for mobile phones or PDAs. Phone Wallpaper X Lite version supports Bluetooth-enabled devices as well as connection with Motorola mobile phones and memory cards through USB.

Adaptable graphic editor makes it possible to enhance photos with the most popular Core Image filters and flip or rotate them. You can also crop and resize your photos into several predefined resolutions. Export into graphics formats JPEG and PNG is available.

Wallpaper gallery includes a set of ready-made wallpapers of different resolutions. Gallery allows to choose pictures for uploading and displays the quantity and the size of the chosen files. You can add the created wallpapers and upload them into mobile phones in batch mode. It is possible to organize newly created wallpapers in folders.

The Lite version of Phone Wallpaper X contains the following minor restrictions: simplified upload process, reduced set of editing tools; Address Book is not supported.

Key features:

  • Cropping, resizing and editing of images;
  • Adaptable graphics editor featured the Core Image filters;
  • Wallpapers Gallery for organizing images;
  • Transfer wallpapers to cell phones in batch mode through Bluetooth or USB;
  • Export to graphic formats.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or higher (Leopard OS X compatible);
  • At least 15 MB of free disk space.

Phone Wallpaper X Lite is a shareware at the price of $8.95 .

Apple iPhone SDK 2.0b2 Developer Kit for iPhone

PR: The iPhone Developer Program provides a complete and integrated process for developing, debugging, and distributing your free, commercial, or in-house applications for iPhone and iPod touch. Complete with development resources, real-world testing on iPhone, and distribution on the App Store, you have everything you need to go from code to customer. The iPhone SDK includes the Xcode IDE, Instruments, iPhone simulator, frameworks and samples, compilers, Shark analysis tool, and more.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

System Support: Intel

Free

iPod Add-ons

Taking Your iPod touch to the Max

PR: Following on from her well-received title Taking Your iPhone to the Max, Mac Guru Erica Sadun switches her attention to the iPod touch with her new book, Taking Your iPod touch to the Max. Taking Your iPod touch to the Max provides a thorough and enjoyable introduction to the iPod touch, covering all the best, and undocumented tricks and shows readers exactly how to use and enjoy Apple's latest iPod.

Following on from her well-received title Taking Your iPhone to the Max, Mac Guru Erica Sadun switches her attention to the iPod touch with her new book, Taking Your iPod touch to the Max, and shows readers exactly how to use and enjoy Apple's latest iPod.

The iPod touch has taken Apple's all-conquering iPod to another level, by adding a wealth of new and potentially overwhelming features. Taking Your iPod touch to the Max provides a thorough and enjoyable introduction to the iPod touch, and also shows how to get the most from it, covering all the best, and undocumented, tricks.

Readers will learn how to set up their iPod touch and how to interact with its screen, before being introduced to each bundled application, including those added in the January Software Upgrade. They'll discover how to connect to the Internet, send and receive e-mail, listen to music, watch videos, and synchronize calendars, all through their iPod touch. Taking Your iPod touch to the Max then goes further, providing hints, tips, and plain commonsense suggestions that will ensure readers are making the most of the iPod's hidden potential.

While catering to both Mac and PC iPod touch users, Taking Your iPod touch to the Max is the latest in a growing number of Mac-related titles published by Apress. Other titles include Taking Your iPhone to the Max, Mac OS X Leopard Beyond the Manual, Foundations of Mac OS X Leopard Security, Creating Mac Widgets with Dashcode, and AppleScript: The Comprehensive Guide to Scripting and Automation on Mac OS X.

The author, Erica Sadun holds a PhD in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has written, cowritten, and contributed to almost two dozen books about technology, particularly in the areas of programming, digital video, and digital photography.

An unrepentant geek, Sadun has never met a gadget she didn't need. Her checkered past includes run-ins with NeXT, Newton, and a vast myriad of both successful and unsuccessful technologies. When not writing, she and her geek husband parent three adorable geeks-in-training, who regard their parents with restrained bemusement. Her previous titles include Eight Ways to Get the Most from Your Zune, the O'Reilly Short Cut, and Modding Mac OS X, also with O'Reilly. She also wrote Taking Your iPhone to the Max.

Title: Taking Your iPod touch to the Max
Author: Erica Sadun
ISBN-13: 978-1-59059-987-7 | ISBN-10: 1-59059-987-X
Pages: 240 | eBook
Price: $17.49

Printed Book Price: $24.99

iPDA 4.1.1 (Formerly iPod It) Transfers PIM Data to Your iPod

PR: iPDA can transfer your PIM data to your iPod so it's available whenever you need it; iPDA supports transferring information from Entourage, Gmail, Stickies, Mail, Address Book and iCal (including Google calendars). You can transfer Word, PDF, Pages, RTF and text documents for quick access and reading on the go. You can even download weather forecasts, news and RSS feeds directly to your iPod.

New in version 4.1.1

  • Improves Documents, Stickies and Mail processing such that they properly support extended characters, diacritics, etc.

New in version 4.1

  • Adds full Entourage 2008 support.
  • Gmail messages now appear in their own Gmail folder on your iPod so you can sync both your local mail and Gmail.
  • Improves RSS feed processing.
  • Fixes News downloading to account for US election news.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later, Apple iPod.

System support: PPC/Intel

$19.95 demoware

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