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середа, 8 лютого 2012 р.

iPhone 5 rumors: “macroscalar” architecture to be featured on iPhone 5 and iPad 3?

Apparently, the Cupertino tech giant is getting ready to implement the technology on its upcoming products, which many assume to be the highly-anticipated iPhone 5 and iPad 3.

Macroscalar provide better support for the performance of a processor, while consuming less power.

Last year in July, ZDNet wrote an article in which they detailed Apple’s macroscalar architecture, explaining how the technology could help to improve the processor efficiency.

“The macroscalar processor addresses this problem in a new way: at compile-time it generates contingent secondary instructions so when a data-dependent loop completes the next set of instructions are ready to execute. In effect, it loads another pipeline for, say, completing a loop, so the pipeline remains full whether the loop continues or completes. It can also load a set of sequential instructions that run within or between loops, speeding execution as well.”

The patent summary describes an example of where “a processor receives instructions of a program loop having a vector block and a sequence block intended to be executed after the vector block, where the processor includes multiple slices and each of the slices is capable of executing an instruction of an iteration of the program loop substantially in parallel. For each iteration of the program loop, the processor executes an instruction of the sequence block using one of the slices while executing instructions of the vector block using a remainder of the slices substantially in parallel.”

Here are some examples of software that Apple believes this processor might be featured on in the future:

“Computer software for personal information management; database management software; database synchronization software; character recognition software; voice recognition software; speech to text conversion software; voice-enabled software applications.”

Apple is likely to develop this type of architecture since the company designs its own processors, software and hardware.
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TORONTO: Oil field services company Halliburton plans to stop issuing BlackBerry smartphones to employees and switch over to Apple's iPhone, which it said was better suited to its needs, marking another setback for Research In Motion.

RIM's BlackBerry smartphones have long dominated corporate mobile communications with on-the-hip email and security credentials, but are increasingly challenged by Apple products and smartphones running Google's Android software.

"We are making this transition in order to better support our mobile applications initiatives," spokeswoman Tara Mullee Agard said in an email.

The Houston-based company will switch 4,500 BlackBerry-toting employees across to iPhones over the next two years, Mullee Agard said, adding that Halliburton would supply the devices. Apple is helping with the transition, she said.

Even before a major RIM outage last October left many workers without email on their BlackBerry, companies had been considering alternatives.

Last year, Credit Suisse started allowing bankers to use their Apple and Android devices on the company network - one-third of its 25,000 BlackBerry users have switched.

Barclays Capital also allows some employees to use iPhones and iPads. Standard Chartered switched from BlackBerry to iPhones for many users last year.

Companies that had previously supplied workers with a BlackBerry and paid RIM a monthly service fee can save by encouraging use of personal devices.

Yet while many large corporation say they are testing how the iPhone and other devices can handle their email and other corporate data, it is unclear how many will ultimately abandon the BlackBerry entirely.

RIM has nevertheless recognized the threat and in November announced it would offer security features for iPhone and Android from within its existing BlackBerry service for corporations.
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Apple Lifts iPhone 4S Sale Suspension in Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong and mainland China have resorted to selling the popular Apple iPhone 4S strictly via an online application process, after clashes broke out between competing scalpers last month, suspending all sales of the devices in the region by Apple.

According to information published on Apple’s Hong Kong official website, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day, consumers will be able to access the registration system and complete the information, including the products they want, such as iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS; their names; and their Hong Kong identity card numbers. Those who successfully book the iPhones will receive a confirmation email from Apple, informing them of the time to retrieve the products.

Last month’s launch of the iPhone 4S product brought violent clashes between speculative buyers. Known as scalpers, they buy the devices from Apple, but resell on the black market at a much higher price.

The alleged scalpers lined up for hours outside a Beijing Apple store, but violence broke out as the 6 a.m. opening approached, forcing the staff to suspend all sales.

The online application attempts to ward off scalpers and streamline the ordering. According to the AppleInsider forum, Apple’s Chinese online store has been taking orders since last Wednesday, though customers may not be receiving the actual device for some time as current estimates are quoting a ship date of “February.”

“If you pay today, you might get the items tomorrow, and no later than March 2,” said an Apple sales representative.

The iPhone 4S is the latest smartphone from the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. It is rumored to be planning a release of the iPad 3 some time this year.
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Halliburton abandons BlackBerry, picks up iPhone

Research In Motion Ltd. has lost another major enterprise customer, this time to Apple Inc., in another blow the BlackBerry maker’s corporate reputation.

Halliburton Co. became the latest major enterprise customer to abandon RIM on Tuesday in favour of Apple’s iPhone, the Canadian company’s largest rival. The Houston, Texas-based firm — among the largest energy services providers in the world – plans to replace about 4,500 company-issued BlackBerrys with iPhones within two years.

“Over the next year, we will begin expanding the use of our mobile technology by transitioning from the BlackBerry (RIM) platform that we currently use to smartphone technology via the iPhone,” reads an excerpt from an internal memo to Halliburton staff obtained by the AppleInsider blog.

Haliburton confirmed the transition to several media outlets on Tuesday, saying the move was being made “in order to better support our mobile applications initiatives.”

Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM has been losing ground to Apple and other devices based on Google Inc.’s Android platform for several quarters in the consumer market. RIM’s share of the United States smartphone market has plummeted from a high of 42.1% two years ago to just 16% by the end of 2011.

Among businesses, which have long served as company’s core customers, RIM has also been gradually falling out of favour. In November 2010, computer maker Dell Inc. ditched approximately 25,000 BlackBerry smartphones and issued employees with devices based on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 7 platform instead.

Apple has long used its quarterly earnings calls to publicize stats which highlight the company’s push into BlackBerry’s backyard. Between 60% and 80% of all Fortune 500 companies are considering supporting the iPhone on their corporate networks, according to the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.

That figure shot up to 91% in a recent survey by market research firm Gartner Inc., the results of which were published last September.
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Still, although Apple continues to tout the number of companies that are “testing” the iPhone, how many of those companies are considering abandoning BlackBerry entirely remains unknown.

Two of the largest companies on that list, Bank of America and Citigroup, which together boast more than 500,000 staff, have been looking into switching from BlackBerry to iPhone for more than a year. That does not include the impact Apple’s iPad tablet is having on enterprise device sales.

Part of the reason for RIM’s waning enterprise dominance is that BlackBerry is no longer the only device major IT departments consider secure enough for corporate use.

Just last week, Google Inc.’s Android platform reportedly received approval for use by certain members of the United States military and government agencies and bring-your-own-device policies (BYOD) are becoming increasingly popular in the enterprise.

As RIM rushes to bring its highly anticipated BlackBerry 10 platform to market later this year, the company’s shareholders are undoubtedly hoping the “unstoppable BYOD train coming down the tracks” can be halted by the new software.

(Update 6:06 p.m. ET: RIM responded to a request for comment late Tuesday evening with the following statement)

“While we can’t speak on behalf of any one specific customer, it’s fair to say that RIM is working very closely with its enterprise customers around the world to upgrade their older BlackBerry devices to the new, much faster and more powerful BlackBerry 7 series of smartphones. As mentioned at today’s developer conference, we’re seeing over 6 million applications downloaded from BlackBerry App World each day with over 2 Billion downloads to-date. Over 90% of the Fortune 500 use BlackBerry today and RIM will continue to work closely with these customers to retain, grow and delight this important customer base.”

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Be A Master of Your iPhone Life with 4Videosoft's Five-in-One iPhone Mate

BEIJING, Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- 4Videosoft's iPhone Mate, the newly updated multifunctional iPhone software, can help you totally enrich your iPhone life.

This multipurpose iPhone App is professional and powerful and is packed with five versatile iPhone products: DVD to iPhone Converter, iPhone Video Converter, iPhone Transfer, iPhone Manager SMS and iPhone Ringtone Maker, with which you can easily convert any DVD and popular video file to the video and audio formats supported by your iPhone, such as MP4, MOV, M4V, MP3, AAC, WMA, etc.

There is fantasy-like capability of reliable and secure files transferring and storing with this iPhone tool, which makes it so easy to transfer various iPhone files like video, audio, photo, ringtone, etc. to a computer or to iTunes, as well as import local files to an iPhone directly and losslessly. Moreover, it can be used to backup iPhone SMS (MMS) and contacts to a computer as a database and make customized iPhone M4R ringtones with "fade-in" and "fade-out" effects from DVD, video or audio files you select. The high compatibility of 4Videosoft's iPhone Mate assists you to transfer files for the iPhone, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2 and iPod freely.
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iPhone solely generates more revenue than whole of Microsoft

Recent revenue figures released by Apple and Microsoft were a bit shocking. Apple quarterly report revealed revenue of $46.33 billion while Microsoft who released their quarterly report few days before Apple, showed $20.9 billion revenue.

Even Apple?s iPhone solely generated $24.4 billion revenue, which is more than the whole Microsoft including its Xbox, Windows, Microsoft Office and Windows Phone. Apple sold a whopping 37.04 million iPhones, and 15.43 million iPads in the quarter up until December.

These fixtures are quite surprising, considering the fact that Apple only overtook Microsoft's market in May 2010, and this was the first time it had been ahead of Microsoft since 1989. However, it?s amazing that how Apple took complete financial dominance over its biggest rival within 5 years of completely reviving the smartphone market.

Though Microsoft still beats Apple in terms of computer market share, and Android maintains a solid lead in the mobile market.
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iPhone app controls tiny Hot Wheels car

Most remote control cars come with dual stick controllers, but Hot Wheels opens up many more driving options with its iPhone controller app.

Although a little clunky to set up, Hot Wheel's iNitro Speeders gives the option of using an iPhone to control its little remote control cars. The iPhone app includes the standard dual stick controller, but also lets you drive the car with the iPhone's accelerometer, choose a predefined driving pattern, or draw your own pattern.

Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders Ken Block Fiesta

The iNitro Speeders car is less than two inches long.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Hot Wheels sent us the iNitro Speeders kit with a Ken Block Fiesta car, one style of about eight. The Ken Block Fiesta is only 1 3/4 inches long, with a 1 inch width body. The body style is very close in look to the actual car on which it is based, but the wheels stick out far from the body.

The car comes with a carrying case that serves as charger and physical controller. This case has the dual stick controller setup, with forward and reverse on the left, and turning on the right.

Push the control stick forward, and the car takes off like a shot. Hit the turn stick and it pulls 180s and 360s. The car is a little too fast, making it difficult to control. Instead of having the front wheels actually pivot, the car turns by torque, shifting power to the left or right.

But the cool thing is the iPhone app controller. The car relies on infrared signals for its remote control, something not native to the iPhone. So Hot Wheels includes an infrared module that plugs into the iPhone's headphone port. It is not the most elegant solution, but it works.

After a calibration function, which does not seem to make much difference, the app shows five different methods of controlling the car. The first is the dual stick controller, which offers some interesting graphic choices. It works just like the carrying case controller, and is equally difficult to do much but make the car go zipping off in random directions.

Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders Ken Block Fiesta

The iPhone app lets you draw custom paths for the car to follow.
(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

The accelerometer option lets you control the car by tipping the phone forward and back, right and left. This one might be easier to use for people with a fine sense of balance. However, we still found the car charging off, albeit making more interesting maneuvers that were almost under control.

An option called Slide shows something like the old Spyhunter game graphic, and you control the car by moving your fingertip up or down over the graphic. This method seemed to be the easiest for actually controlling the car.

We found the final two options the most intriguing. The first lets you select patterns, such as a figure eight or spiral, which the car will follow. The second is similar, but you can actually draw a pattern, then make the car follow it, kind of like a cross between an Etch A Sketch and a car controller.

Hot Wheels says the iNitro Speeders are appropriate for children eight years old and up. Not many children that age own an iPhone, but many a parent hands over a phone for games. And although having to attach the control module to the iPhone is a little clunky, the app gives some interesting control possibilities. It also includes a built in racing game you can play anywhere.

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Exclusive: Vonage CEO on His Company’s New iPhone and Android Apps

While the mobile calling game is stocked with big names like Skype, and start-ups like Pinger and WhatsApp, Vonage thinks there is still room to become a serious player.

On Wednesday, the company is debuting a new Android and iOS app, Vonage Mobile, that allows for free calling and messaging within the company’s network. International calling off of the network can be done for a price that the company says is far less than that charged by cellular carriers, and below that charged by Skype.

Like some of the start-ups, but unlike Skype, Vonage Mobile works with a user’s existing address book and phone number. And Vonage says its HD audio quality and brand should help it compete against the smaller rivals.

“We think there is a very large marketplace, and while it is fragmented right now, three to four years later, there will be a couple of winners,” Vonage CEO Marc Lefar told AllThingsD.

Last year, Vonage debuted several apps, although mobile has yet to become a big part of the company’s business.

“In the larger scale of a $900 million business, it is still small part of our revenue stream,” Lefar said.

The new program, which incorporates some features of the older apps, allows users to call and text those with the app (and invite others to join). To call people outside the Vonage network, users can buy credits directly from the Android Market and iTunes App Store.

As an added enticement, the company is also offering free calling to numbers in the U.S. and Canada. Eventually, Lefar said, the company expects to charge about a penny a minute for such calls.

Perhaps more interesting is a feature that is still in development that would let one receive calls on their main number while traveling internationally without incurring steep roaming charges.
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iPhone 4S powers Apple to lead smartphone segment

iPhone 4S helped Apple to climb back into the leadership position the smartphone segment during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to market researcher IDC.

Apple shipped 37 million units during the quarter, giving it a global market share of 23.5 per cent, IDC said, followed by Samsung which shipped 36 million units.

The worldwide smartphone market grew 54.7 per cent year over year to 157.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, said IDC.

"Although the iPhone 4S disappointed some detractors by lacking 4G LTE connectivity or a different size screen, demand was high for the device. In addition, the combination of holiday seasonality, the delay in product launch from 3Q to 4Q, and the addition of multiple mobile operators helped drive volumes higher," IDC said in a statement.
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Health Discovery Corporation Debuts MelApp 2.0 for iPhone

SAVANNAH, Ga., Feb 08, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Health Discovery Corporation HDVY +18.53% , the molecular diagnostics company that launched the first SVM-based image analysis iPhone app for melanoma risk assessment, MelApp, today debuts MelApp 2.0 for iPhone. This updated version introduces a new Quiz feature that better educates users on melanoma cases with sample histories and provides the ability to practice assessing the risk factor from a collection of chronicled case photos. New functionality improvements include the capability of drawing the outline of their mole or freckle to better define its location within the captured images.

"In developing this new version, our focus was on better functionality, but above all, educating users on the dangers of melanoma, signs, symptoms, and how to check your skin most effectively," said Stephen D. Barnhill, M.D., Chairman and CEO of Health Discovery Corporation. "Health Discovery Corporation's scientific expertise lies in the development of clinical tests and medical screenings; and the development and improvement of the MelApp mobile app is an extension of using our advanced mathematical techniques to potentially save lives."

Now available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android, MelApp is available for download at the iTunes App Store and Android Marketplace at a special price of $1.99.

MelApp uses highly sophisticated patent protected mathematical algorithms and image based pattern recognition technology to analyze an uploaded image. The app was validated using an image database licensed from Johns Hopkins University Medical Center and uses a device's camera feature to deliver a risk analysis of user's photographed skin lesions within seconds. In addition, MelApp can use a smartphone's GPS to refer users to physicians specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma for proper medical attention.

Physicians who diagnose and treat melanoma can become a subscribing member of HDC's physician referral network by contacting melappreferral@healthdiscoverycorp.com. For support and technical inquiries, contact support@healthdiscoverylabs.com. MelApp by Health Discovery Corporation is available at a special limited time introductory price of $1.99. For more complete details, visit http://www.melapp.net , http://www.facebook.com/MelApp or http://twitter.com/ #!/SafeHealthApps.

About Health Discovery Corporation

Health Discovery Corporation is a molecular diagnostics company that uses advanced mathematical techniques to analyze large amounts of data to uncover patterns that might otherwise be undetectable. It operates primarily in the emerging field of personalized medicine where such tools are critical to scientific discovery. Its primary business consists of licensing its intellectual property and developing its own product line of biomarker-based diagnostic tests that include human genes and genetic variations, as well as gene, protein, and metabolic expression differences and image analysis in digital pathology and radiology. For more information, see www.healthdiscoverycorp.com .

Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the accuracy of which is necessarily subject to risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, statements regarding future performance, opportunities and investments, and anticipated results in general. From time to time the Company may make other forward-looking statements in relation to other matters, including without limitation, commercialization plans and strategic partnerships. Actual results may differ materially due to a variety of factors, including, among other things, the acceptance of our approach to applying mathematics, computer science and physics into the disciplines of biology, organic chemistry and medicine and our products and technologies associated with those approaches, the ability to develop and commercialize new drugs, therapies or other products based on our approaches, and other factors set forth from time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

All forward-looking statements and cautionary statements included in this document are made as of the date hereof based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or cautionary statement.
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Should Apple put Siri on the iPhone 4 this year?

It looks like the mystery is over. After the unveiling of the iPhone 4S and Siri, owners of the iPhone 4 were pretty vocal about the fact that they couldn't have the new feature. There were all sorts of reasons given, but all of them were seemingly ignored when word (and video) broke out showcasing Siri working pretty well on an iPhone 4. Sure, you can put Siri on your iPhone 4 right now, but you need to be technologically advanced and ready to dig deep into your iPhone 4's software. It isn't an easy task at all, and most iPhone 4 owners probably won't make the effort.

But a report from CNET yesterday seems to have put an end to the debate, more or less. As it turns out, it does come down to processor hardware and features. According to the report, Apple utilized technology provided by a company called Audience, which was limited back in 2010 when the iPhone 4 launched. However, Audience's second-generation technology was released in 2011 and the iPhone 4S took advantage of it, making Siri a possibility. It comes down to noise-reduction technology, which Apple had built right into the dual-core A5 processor, and Audience's "far-field speech" technology.

This latter bit is apparently the brunt of the issue between Siri and the iPhone 4. This "far-field speech" technology makes it possible to use Siri from a distance, coupled with the noise-reduction technology. So, while there are plenty of technical reasons thrown in there, it reads like it comes down to this: you can use the iPhone 4S at arm's length, and you can't do that with the iPhone 4, so Siri is only fully capable of running on the iPhone 4S.

I've seen commercials with Siri on board the iPhone 4S, showcasing the new feature in all of its glory. But, you know what I don't see? People using their iPhone 4S at arm's length, speaking (or yelling) at their phone trying to get results from Siri. Nope, I see people holding their phone right up to their face, speaking normally. So, from what I've read and seen (and used), there really is no reason why the iPhone 4 can't run Siri.

Like I said above, there are people who have loaded an iPhone 4 with Siri. And if you've used Siri before, then you have probably used it right up close and personal, and probably never at arm's length away. It's great that Apple used the latest and greatest technology within their A5 processor to make sure that the iPhone 4S had the best graphics and top-notch noise-reduction capabilities, but it seems strange to me that Apple would bar the iPhone 4 from the voice-activated assistant feature just because you can't hold the phone further away from your mouth.

When the iPhone 4S was first unveiled, and Siri along with it, and word came down that the iPhone 4 would be missing out on this prodigal feature, my initial thought came down to sales. Apple wanted to sell the iPhone 4S, and considering the marginal update compared to the iPhone 4, they needed something to make it standout. The A5 dual-core processor was apparently not enough, so Siri was the top application to promote and make exclusive. People were obviously going to get upset, but they needed to move units, and Siri made that possible thanks to its exclusive nature on a new device.

And I think that's still the majority of the case. And that's why I'm thinking that this year, when Apple unveils the next iPhone, they perhaps bring Siri out of its Beta position and release it as a download within the App Store. Make it available as a public download for everyone with an iPhone 4. Even if that means you charge $9.99 to get it, at least make it an option. Because we know that an iPhone 4 can run Siri. And, based on your commercials Apple, we know that you don't want people holding their phone as far away from their face as possible to "talk" to Siri.
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Apple’s 2012 roadmap: iPhone 5, iPad 3, iOS5.1 and iTV

Apple’s stock skyrocketed in 2011, following the company’s record Q4 performance. Many reports claimed this was solely the iPhone 4S’s doing, which has already outsold its predecessor by over 70 per cent. It’s an interesting theory – but it misses the point.

What’s more likely is that it’s a combination of everything – the iPhone, the iPad, the iPod and the Apple PC – and, of course, the unprecedented power of company’s global brand. Looking back over the past couple of years it would seem that Apple has now settled into something of a rhythm, releasing a new iPhone and a new iPad once a year as well as a couple of iOS updates.

We don’t think 2012 will be any different, and Tim Cook will no doubt be eager to keep this dizzying momentum going for as long as possible. And while nothing lasts forever, 2012 is still shaping up to be quite a year for technology – especially in the world of Apple.

Here is a list of everything we expect to see from Apple this year and how we think it will rate.

iOS 5.1 (February/March)
What will come first, the iPad 3 or the launch of iOS5.1? At this point in time no one really knows. One school of thought claims that Apple will do two separate events – one in February for the launch of iOS 5.1 and another in March for the iPad 3. The other says Apple will host a single event, most likely in late February or early March, and launch both the iPad 3 and iOS5.1 simultaneously.

According to reports there will be additional functionality added to Siri in iOS5.1, such as the ability to interact with device Settings and other ‘select’ applications, as well a fix for that battery bug that has been plaguing iPhone 4S users the globe over, as well as a new keyboard for email with an easy to access ‘@’ symbol.

We’ve also heard reports of that Apple has made some minor improvements to PhotoStream and has also added the ability to use iTunes Match over 3G. That’s just about all we know about iOS5.1 at present – but you can expect to hear lots more about it as we approach the end of the month.

On a personal note, we’d also like to see Siri-powered UK-based Maps integration in place inside iOS5.1. Siri-led navigation would be a big USP for Apple too, competing with Nokia’s excellent Drive application that’s present inside ithe Finnish manufacturer's Lumia handsets.

There’ll no doubt be plenty of additional extras inside iOS5.1 that has not yet leaked online, such as tweaks to the camera application and the usual security updates. But as usual Apple is keeping things very hush-hush. It doesn’t really matter though – there’s not long to wait now anyway.

iPad 3 (March)
Despite the absolute plethora of Android-powered tablet devices currently on the market, Apple was, at the end of Q4 2011, still the number one tablet manufacturer on the planet – albeit by a smaller margin than in 2010.

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple sold 15.4 million iPad devices in Q4 of 2011, securing itself 57.6 per cent of the market. Google’s Android platform secured second place with 39.1 per cent, according to the same report, illustrating rapid year-on-year growth.

But is this really that surprising with literally hundreds of tablet devices now using Google’s Android operating system? No. It’s an inevitable fact of life. Android powers more products than Apple’s iOS platform does. Of course it’s going to be bigger.
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British engineer behind Apple's iPhone and iPod in shock exit after a decade of success

Apple's British-born iPhone and iPod engineering chief has left the company after ten years, according to reports.

David Tupman presided over launches such as early generations of the iPod, as well as the first iPhone's launch five years ago.

Tupman has more than 70 patents in his name.

The move has puzzled observers, as it's not clear where Tupman has gone - and he left as Apple's results hit a high, driven largely by the success of its iPhone division.

Sources speaking to 9to5Mac said that Tumpan had left late last year.

The site reported that his office phone line had been deactivated.

Last quarter, Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones.

Tupman's official title was Vice-President of Hardware Engineering, iPhone and iPod division.

The engineer had risen through the ranks at mobile computing company Psion, before joining Apple a decade ago.

Tupman reported to Tony Fadell, who led the team that designed the iPod at Apple.

Fadell is often described as the 'father' of the iPod.

Unconfirmed reports said that Tupman had joined Fadell at his new venture, hi-tech thermostat start-up Nest, but a spokesman denied that Tupman had joined the company.

His LinkedIn profile also still shows him as being at Apple Computer.

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Apple takes iPhone and iPad out of German online store

Apple has removed the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 and all 3G-capable iPads from its online store in Germany.

Florian Mueller, writing on the Foss Patents blog, reports that an injuction against Apple granted to Motorola in December is the most likely cause of the removal of the products.
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"At this stage I am absolutely convinced that the removal of those products from Apple's online store is a result of Motorola Mobility's enforcement of a ruling that was handed down in early December, and not related to today's ruling," Mueller said.



"It must be nothing more than a coincidence that Apple's announcement of the removal of products -- which some observers believe already happened last night, prior to the ruling -- comes on the day of a different court decision."

Today's court decision referred to by Mueller also went in Motorola's favour and a Manneheim court granted the company a permanent injunction against the push email service of Apple's iCloud and any devices that can access it.

But the removal of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 3G-capable iPads from the German Apple Store is more likely to do with Motorola's victory in the December case and a dispute over patents relating to the GPRS radio communication standard.

However, the iPhone 4S, which uses a Qualcomm baseband chip unlike the other devices which use chips made by Infineon and Intel, doesn't fall foul of the previous injunction.

Germans can still buy the products from Apple Stores and third-party retailers in the country, according to Mueller.

UPDATE 1600GMT: Apple says it will reinstate the products on the German Apple Store website after a court this afternoon lifted the injunction, reports the BBC.

"All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple's online store in Germany shortly. Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago," the company said in a statement.
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Today’s Top Stories: Sprint’s iPhone Sales, Amazon’s Deal With Viacom

Welcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening in the digital world. Today, we’re looking at three particularly interesting stories.

Amazon and Viacom to Sign Video Deal This Week

Amazon and Viacom are poised to sign a video deal as soon as this week, Reuters reports. If true, this might be another step toward Amazon’s launch of Prime Instant Video as a full-fledged Netflix competitor.

Sprint Reports Strong iPhone Sales

Sprint’s Q4 2011 earnings report is out, and strong iPhone sales are among the highlights. The company reported total net subscriber additions of 1.6 million during the quarter and 1.8 million iPhone sales, 40% of which were to new customers.

Path Uploads Your iPhone Address Book to Its Servers

Social Network Path uploads the entire address book of its users’ iPhone to its servers, Arun Thampi discovered. Path CEO Dave Morin has responded, admitting that Path indeed does this, but only in order to “help the user find and connect to their friends and family on Path quickly and efficiently as well as to notify them when friends and family join Path.”
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Best iPhone apps: Five free apps for Valentine's Day

Next Tuesday is Valentine's Day and if you feel like declaring your love for your sweetheart, there are plenty of ways your smartphone can help in your quest to shower your beloved with affection. But rather than a text or a phonecall, why not check out the hundreds of Valentine's Day related apps that let you do everything from send personalised greetings cards to find a partner online with your Apple iPhone. Here's our five favourite iPhone apps for Valentine's Day.

Touchnote Postcards

With this app you can print photos from your Facebook or those stored on your Apple iPhone into unique postcards and greetings cards, that you can add text to and then have delivered right to your beloved's door.
ChuChuTune

If music is the food of love, then it's well worth checking out how compatible you and your sweetheart are based on your musical tastes. To do this, simply download this free app on yours and your other half's iPhone, then press Play and face the screens of the handsets together. The app will then play a random playlist from the tracks stored on your phone and work out if you're compatible.


Of course, if you don't have a partner to shower with gifts and affection this Valentine's Day, why not employ the help of an internet dating service to find one. Unlike of services, such as match.com, PlentyofFish allows you to send emails to potential suitors for free.
Happy Talking Cupid

Not only does this cute cupid repeat anything you say to him, you can also tickle him and even have your photo taken with him, which you can customise with a Valentine's message and share with friends and family.
Romantic Ideas 500

If you're stuck for something romantic to do on Valentines Day, this free app offers hundreds of ideas that are sure to get your in your partner's good books.
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iPhone 'hero' the big seller, but Android is closing in

An outbreak of iPhone fever made Apple the hottest smartphone maker worldwide at the end of 2011 but handsets powered by Google's Android software were shaping up as true winners in the market.

Worldwide shipments of smartphones soared 54.7 per cent in the final three months of 2011 from the same period a year earlier, with California-based Apple making the most popular models, according to an IDC report released this week.

Smartphone makers shipped 157.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to 102 million in the same period the prior year, IDC reported.

A total of 491.4 million smartphones were shipped during the year, up a "strong 61.3 per cent" from the 304.7 million units in 2010, according to IDC.

Apple had a 23.5 per cent share of the global smartphone market, followed by Samsung and Nokia with 22.8 per cent and 12.4 per cent respectively.

"So-called 'hero' devices, such as Samsung's Galaxy Nexus and Apple's iPhone 4S, garner the bulk of the attention heaped on the device type," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.

"But a growing number of sub-$250 device offerings, based on the Android operating system, have allowed Google's hardware partners to grow smartphone volumes and expand the market concurrently."

While Apple tightly controls iPhone hardware and software, Google makes the Android mobile device operating system available free to smartphone manufacturers who have been building it into ranks of handsets.

Android and iPhone smartphones accounted for slightly more than 90 per cent of US smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2011, industry-tracker NPD Group reported.

Android commanded 48 per cent of the market compared to Apple's 43 per cent, according to NPD.

NPD figures indicated that Android handsets were more popular with first-time smartphone buyers in the United States, with its share of that market at 57 per cent compared to Apple's 34 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year.

"Android has been criticised for offering a more complex user experience than its competitors, but the company's wide carrier support and large app selection is appealing to new smartphone customers," said NPD analyst Ross Rubin.

Apple jumped into the third spot in the overall global mobile phone market from fifth place in the final quarter of the year due to a record-breaking quarter for iPhones, according to IDC.

Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones in the quarter which ended on December 31, giving it a market share of 8.7 per cent.

Nokia remained king, shipping 113.5 million mobile phones in the final quarter of the year to claim nearly 27 per cent of the market.

Samsung was second with 22.8 per cent of the market, or 97.6 million handsets shipped.

South Korea's Samsung, a star producer of Android smartphones, hit a new milestone in the final quarter of the year, more than tripling handset shipments to top the 35 million mark for the first time.

Nokia and Canadian BlackBerry maker Research In Motion saw shipments drop by 30.6 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

Nokia hopes to reverse the losing trend with a new line of smartphones based on mobile gadget software crafted by US technology colossus Microsoft.

A total of 427.4 million mobile phones were shipped in the final months of 2011 in a 6.1 per cent increase from the same quarter a year earlier, IDC said.

IDC warned that the growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 was weaker than the 9.3 per cent seen in the prior three-month period of the year.

"The introduction of high-growth products such as the iPhone 4S, which shipped in the fourth quarter, bolstered smartphone growth," Restivo said.

"Yet overall market growth fell to its lowest point since the third quarter of 2009 when the global economic recession was in full bloom."
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iPhone drives Sprint growth, but drags loss to $1.3B

Sprint Nextel saw the biggest surge in new customers in six years thanks to the iPhone, but that growth came at a hefty price.

Sprint reported a loss of $1.3 billion, or 43 cents a share. In the year-ago quarter, the company posted a loss of $929 million, or 31 cents a share. The results included a loss of $241 million, or 8 cents a share, due to one-time costs related to asset charges on property, plant, equipment, as well as severance costs, and its investment in Clearwire, which provides Sprint with 4G WiMax service.

Wall Street analyst had an average forecast of a loss of 37 cents a share on revenue of $8.69 billion.

Like Verizon and AT&T, Sprint showed impressive customer growth in the period as customers lined up to buy the iPhone 4S. But also like its larger rivals, the company paid out a massive amount in subsidies to Apple. The result: a setback to the company's road to profitability.

The dilemma is the more iPhones are sold, the bigger the near-term hit. Sprint activated 1.8 million iPhones in the period, and said 40 percent of those activations came from customers new to Sprint. Unlike Verizon and AT&T, Sprint offers an unlimited data plan alongside the iPhone.


That Sprint posted a loss isn't a shocker; the company has warned that costs related to the iPhone, as well as its 4G LTE network deployment, would pressure margins in the coming year. Chief Financial Officer Joe Euteneuer warned the iPhone was going to be 40 percent more expensive than other smartphones. The company is asking Wall Street for a bit of patience as it works to deploy its own next-generation network and gets its customer growth back on track.

Hesse has said he is willing to pay the high costs of the iPhone because missing out on the product has been the company's biggest source of customer defection. With the iPhone, he hopes to garner more loyal customers willing to pay more revenue each month.

Sprint added a total of 1.6 million net new customers, driven in part by 161,000 customers who signed a long-term contract with Sprint. Getting to growth in so-call postpaid customers has been a challenge for Sprint because results have always been weighed down by losses on the Nextel side.

The flagship Sprint brand added 539,000 new postpaid customers, while Nextel lost 378,000 customers. The defections continue as the company prepares to shut down the Nextel's iDEN network next year.

It also added a net 507,,000 prepaid customers who signed up through its Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile services, and its government-subsidized low-income Assurance Wireless offering. The results include losses from the Nextel prepaid services.

Its wholesale business, which Sprint leans on heavily for growth, added 954,000 net new customers through resellers and affiliates.

Sprint reported a customer turnover rate of 1.98 percent, a tick up from 1.86 percent a year ago. The company blamed the higher defection on involuntary disconnections from customers who couldn't pay their bills or violated their terms and conditions. Sprint said it tightened its credit standards in the third and fourth quarter to avoid seeing similar issues.
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