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Article source: http://www.afterelton.com/node/44170
Multiple sites say Microsoft may be planning to release its “real” iPhone 5 killer, the Microsoft super phones in Q3.
New iPhone 5 news say Microsoft is releasing its first set of “iPhone-killers” next year based on the leaked document. According to the leaked roadmap, the next Windows Phone version will arrive in Q2 of 2012, possibly in June or July which is the original iPhone season. The new Windows Phone upgrade is called “Apollo” and the document suggests that Q2 Windows Phone smartphones are with “the best prices,” and no word about the so-called “Super Phone.”
But in Q4, still according to the roadmap, Microsoft may be planning to launch its first set of Super-phones, plus the increase of overall volume. Apparently, Q4 is now the release date season of the iPhone courtesy of the new iPhone 4S. In fact, one rumor circulating online is suggesting that Apple will now continue its Fall iPhone release date, adding that the iPhone 5 is the next smartphone that will include aluminum, plus other new enhancements including the reportedly bigger screen.
Now the question is: Can Microsoft compete against the iPhone 5 next year? If so, then how?
Possibly the best answer is Nokia, Microsoft’s new solid partner. But the problems are the bad publicity that the Nokia Windows Phones are getting, plus the reported poor sales. In fact, a report this month has suggested that the Lumia handset is failing to “spark interest.”
According to Reuters, Europeans are not attracted to the Windows Phone-flavored Nokia phones.
The survey was conducted by Exane BNP Paribas, and the result, only 2.2 percent of surveyed buyers want a Lumia phone, the first set of Nokia running the beautiful Windows Mobile operating system, while the iPhone 4S and the Android-based Samsung Galaxy S II lead. Nokia is currently selling two Lumia phones, the more expensive Lumia 800 and the mid-range Lumia 710.
If Nokia’s first Windows Phone is failing, then how can the company compete against the iPhone 5?
Google’s platform, the Android, is currently the most popular operating system in the United States, while the Windows Phone is still struggling. Multiple data say Google owns 40 to 50% of the market share, while Microsoft maintains its 2 to 5 percent.
If the Windows Phone can’t beat the Android, then how can it rival the iPhone 5?
Speaking of the iPhone, Apple is still the most popular smartphone maker in the United States, while Android manufacturers and RIM’s BlackBerry grabbed the remaining spots in the top 5. According to Nielsen, Apple leads the market with 29% market share, followed by Taiwan’s pride HTC with 21%. BlackBerry is the third most popular with 17%, followed by Samsung and Motorola both with 11%. It is worth noting that HTC and Samsung also manufacture Windows Phone smartphones, but Samsung’s press statements (no word from HTC) always say that majority of blockbuster phones are Android-based. The company’s most popular is the Samsung Galaxy S II, and recently, the tabphone Samsung Galaxy Note scores its first 1 million.
In related news, Microsoft is also expected to release its new computer operating system next year aside from the two Windows Phone updates, the Windows 8, but no word yet from the tech giant if it will also power some smartphones.
Some sites say the much-anticipated Metro-inspired platform will support voice calls, so let’s wait (and watch) if Microsoft will use Windows 8 as its weapon of mass destruction against the iPhone 5, and not the failing Windows Phone (and Nokia).
Apple’s plans to develop the long rumoured Apple TV are apparently progressing well. DigiTimes, the Taiwanese website with sources from Apple’s supply chain, published a fresh report revealing that Apple is looking for manufacturers for custom chipsets for its upcoming ‘iTV’ sets.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering and Siliconware Precision Industries are expected to send their offerings to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. The three companies are working on building ARM based chips for Apple TV, similar to how the A4 CPU from the original iPad is used in the current Apple TV set-top box.
TSMC is already thought to have a deal to manufacture A6 and A7 chips for Apple’s next generation iPad and iPhone models, which could also be utilised in the Apple TV sets according to Apple Insider.
In addition, DigiTimes reports that the supply chain might include long time partner and legal foe Samsung Electronics for the manufacture of chips and displays to be integrated in Apple TV, while Sharp is also in the frame for some action.
Foxconn Electronics is the most likely manufacturer to handle the assembly orders, as the company has a long standing partnership with Apple, and it is not expected to be overlooked by decision makers.
The Taiwanese website also points towards the production schedule: “Apple is expected to finalize hardware standards of its TV at the end of second-quarter 2012, and will place orders for the customized chips and other components directly with its contract manufacturers.”
Apple’s Patent Background
Apple’s invention background points to the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch having to have a lightweight battery yet have enough power to use the device and store information. In order to maximize an amount of time that an iOS device could operate while powered by the battery, the power consumption of the iOS device must be optimized for current operating conditions.
Depending upon the display technology, the display could consume a substantial amount of power when active. This is especially true of transmissive type displays (such as liquid crystal display, or LCD) that require an illumination source (also referred to as a backlight) that have a particularly high power demand. However, LCDs could be manufactured to be lightweight and thin, making them eminently well suited for use in small form factor portable electronic devices in spite of their high power requirements.
Therefore, a system, method, and apparatus for maintaining the ability of a user to interact with an electronic device for longer times are desired.
Apple states that their invention covers small form factor electronic devices that include a processor and an interface engine in communication with the processor and a sensor coupled to the processor. The sensor is arranged to detect at least one environmental factor and pass an indication of the detected environmental factor to the processor.
The processor and the interface engine cooperate to determine if an environment of the electronic device has changed, identify an updated human interface when the environment has changed, and cause the small form factor electronic device to present the updated human interface only if a level of interactivity corresponding to the updated human interface is at least greater than a threshold level of interactivity.
For example, if the electronic device is battery powered and presents visual information using a transmissive type display (that requires backlight illumination), then providing an alternative human interface that relies upon enhancing the presentation of the visual content by increasing the amount of light (and therefore power) provided by the backlight in an environment of high ambient light (such as sunlight) is counterproductive to the maintenance of a long battery life.
Shifting to Non-Visual Modes to Preserve Battery Life
Accordingly, the alternative human interface in the bright sunlight scenario should rely on mechanisms other than increasing the backlight in part or in whole to maintain the minimum level of interactivity as well as the useful life of the battery. For example, the alternative human interface in a bright light environment could rely upon non-visual interface modes such as a haptic interface mode, an audio interface mode, an inertial interface mode, and so on used singly or in combination.
Apple’s introduces us to the Multi-Modal Human Interface (MMHI)
Apple states that it should be noted that the environmental factors considered when determining an appropriate alternative human interface could include those external to the electronic device such as ambient light, ambient sound, and context of use. The environmental factor considered could also include those internal to the electronic device such as battery level and display technology. The embodiments described are particularly well suited for small form factor battery powered electronic devices having a display and could be implemented automatically based upon the detection of specific environmental factors at predefined levels.
In a particular embodiment, the alternative human interface could take the form of a multi-modal human interface (MMHI) provided by an MMHI engine. The MMHI engine could provide an updated MMHI arranged to automatically maintain a pre-determined level of interactivity between a user and the electronic device. In addition to maintaining at least the pre-determined level of interactivity, the updated MMHI could preserve selected operational resources, such as battery charge, when the electronic device takes the form of a portable computing device powered by a battery.
Apple’s patent FIG. 1 shown below illustrates a simplified block description of multi-modal human interface (MMHI) engine.
An iPad with a Multi-Modal Human Interface Engine
Apple’s patent FIG. 2 shown below illustrates an iPad device having an associated MMHI engine.
As the situation may require, being able to update the MMHI (108) in such a way that a user could interact with an iPad (or other iOS device) without having to rely on visual indicators could be very useful. For example, it would be advantageous to not rely on visual indicators provided by display when the display isn’t viewable or that using the display would adversely affect the operation of the iPad by, for example, severely reducing expected operating time at a current operating state.
The reduction in expected operating time could be caused by many factors such as the inordinate power drain required to support a transmissive type display in an environment of high ambient light. For example, as well known in the display arts, transmissive displays rely upon an external light source (referred to as a backlight when used in the context of a liquid crystal display, or LCD) to provide images for viewing. The backlight could require substantial amounts of power to operate in even the most optimal light conditions. However, when light conditions change (going from dark to bright, for example) there may not be sufficient power resources available to drive the display in the bright environment sufficient to overcome the ambient light conditions. The bright light could “wash” out any images presented on the display severely restricting the ability of a user to interact with their iPad.
In order to maintain the ability of the user to interact with their iPad as well as maintaining battery charge and therefore expected battery life, the MMHI could be updated in such a way as to not rely on the display (or at least substantially reduce the reliance on the display.
Interactivity previously provided by the display (and more precisely the display and touch sensitive layer 204) could be provided in the alternative by other interface mechanisms acting singly or in cooperation with each other. For example, with the display effectively out of the loop so to speak, haptic actuator 124 and/or speaker 126 could be used separately or in tandem to provide a human interface that at least preserves the ability of a user to interact with their iPad as well as preserve battery charge. The preservation of the battery charge could also prolong useful operation of the iPad than would otherwise be possible using the display as the primary mode of interaction.
While the invention’s documentation is focused on some exacting examples, we’re able to recognize that what Apple is actually trying to achieve here, is very much in sync with their Smart Bezel project. In fact our April 2011 report is a great point to refer back to in order to get the bigger picture. In fact, the current patent by itself is very cryptic and very much an island to itself until you realize it’s a part of a much larger context of the Smart Bezel project. See our other reports to get the bigger picture: One, two, three, and four. The latter covers Apple’s consideration of implementing a hybrid type of display to in order to conserve display energy for future iDevices.
Apple only hints of the smart bezel concept ever so indirectly in this current patent by pointing to the bezel’s multi-modal interface being located in the bezel area, which is also supported by patent point 122, the display. The display is noted as being both the main display area of a typical iPad as well as being represented in the bezel. For technical and perhaps legal reasons, Apple has to separate their various smart bezel technologies into distinct segments that are deadly focused. But for us the consumers trying to understand it, you need to remember the context of the Smart Bezel Project.
Automatically Switching UI Modes Conditions
Apple’s patent FIGS. 3-5 noted below graphically illustrate various configurations of the MMHI based upon representative local environments detected by the sensor and evaluated by the processor in cooperation with the MMHI engine. For example, patent FIG. 3 shows us a situation whereby the iPad is exposed to an environment having little or no ambient light, such as at night. In Patent FIG. 4 we see a situation where the local environment of the iPad has changed from one of low ambient light of FIG. 3 to one of high ambient light as one would expect from bright sunshine. In each instance where the iPad’s environmental conditions change, we see that the iPad’s future MMHI will provide optional interfaces to assist the user better interact with their iPad.
In Apple’s patent FIG. 5 noted above we see an illustration where the MMHI is configured to operate in “driving mode” when the sensor detects that the iPad is moving at a greater than threshold speed, such as for example, 20 mph indicating motion in a moving vehicle. In this situation, the processor and the MMHI could cause the MMHI to rely upon a more limited range of interface modes consistent with safe driving (the presumption being that the user is driving the vehicle, be it car or bike) and the iPad should not provide a distraction. In this way, the MMHI could be configured by the processor in cooperation with the MMHI engine to rely upon the audio interface mode (think Siri) by way of a speaker and/or the speech/sound recognition mode and microphone in order to maintain user interactivity in a safe driving environment.
Apple’s patent application was originally filed in Q2 2010 by inventors Jesse Boettcher, Jeffery Lee and Aram Lindahl.
An Interesting Patent Application Twist Published Today
For Interest Sake: One of Apple’s continuation patents that were published today dates all the way back to 2007. Interestingly, this patent officially lists Apple as: Apple Inc., a Delaware corporation. Was it in error or is there an alternative explanation? If you think that you have a plausible explanation for this, send in your comments.
Notice: Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn’t be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. Apple’s patent applications have provided the Mac community with a clear heads-up on some of Apple’s greatest product trends including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iOS cameras, LED displays, iCloud services for iTunes and more. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Despite numerous lofty predictions from analysts and market watchers, 2011 wasn’t the year of the tablet. Not by a long shot. Apple’s iPad 2 continued to sell well this past year but among dozens of rivals, only a handful of tablets managed to garner even the slightest interest from consumers. No, 2011 was the year of the smartphone. Global smartphone penetration is now approaching 10% and in the United States, nearly half of all cell phone users own smartphones. While smartphones proliferated all year long, 2011 would save the best for last: at the start of the fourth quarter, Apple launched its latest iPhone handset and as the year drew to a close, Verizon and Samsung released the Galaxy Nexus.
The frequency and breadth of rumors leading up to Apple’s next-generation iPhone announcement was astounding in 2011. Some reports suggested the next iPhone would be a modest bump compared to the iPhone 4 while others said it would be a full-fledged redesign. A number of sites, including BGR, reported information from proven sources suggesting that the new iPhone would feature a larger display and a new case design. Even The New York Times was hearing rumblings of an all new iPhone design. There were also a dozen reports suggesting an “iPhone 4S” and an “iPhone 5″ would launch simultaneously.
Meanwhile Samsung and Google were quietly working on a next-generation flagship Nexus phone that would be the first smartphone to launch with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board. At least, the companies were quietly working on the handset until BGR issued a pair of exclusive reports exposing a number of details surrounding the new phone.
As summer heated up and a number of new smartphones were hitting the market, BGR learned that Google’s new flagship phone would launch as a Verizon Wireless exclusive in the U.S., and the carrier was looking to slap its renowned “DROID” branding on the handset. October was the initial launch month set for the new pure Google device, and Verizon even passed on another popular Samsung phone to make room for the new Ice Cream Sandwich-powered phone. October was shaping up to be quite a month, as new information pointed to a mid-October launch for Apple’s next-generation iPhone as well.
October finally came, and Apple announced the iPhone 4S. With sky-high iPhone 5 expectations, however, not everyone was impressed with Apple’s new smartphone. It wasn’t until the smoke cleared that consumers realized Apple had another winner on its hands, and the new camera, faster chipset and Siri made the iPhone 4S a force to be reckoned with. Only one device might pose a real challenge to the new iPhone, and BGR exclusively revealed its full specs just days after the iPhone 4S was unveiled.
But alas, Samsung and Google announced that they were delaying the announcement of their new superphone for reasons that were never truly made clear. Apple would go on to sell more than 4 million iPhone 4S handsets during the device’s debut weekend alone, and the Galaxy Nexus was finally unveiled a day after Apple revealed the staggering iPhone sales figures. There was still no word on when we could expect Verizon to finally launch the phone, however, and two more months would pass before the carrier finally offered Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus to subscribers for $300 on contract.
BGR reviewed the iPhone 4S and we were very impressed with Apple’s update. We were also blown away by the Galaxy Nexus, calling it our “favorite Android device in the world” in our full review. Even after a month with each handset, the iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus remained our favorite smartphones of 2011. With the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress just around the corner, Apple and Samsung’s flagship phones will undoubtedly see some solid contenders emerge. Whether or not they’ll be able to supplant these two phenomenal phones, however, remains to be seen.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) — 2011 has been full of rumors about the elusive Apple(AAPL). Product launches and potential delays from the tight-lipped iPhone maker are speculated about at a mind-blowing pace by industry experts and bloggers as consumers eagerly await any news about the latest and greatest gadget.
Here are five of our favorite rumors about Apple from the past year.
Industry experts and bloggers spread rumors about Apple products at a mind-blowing pace, and 2011 was no exception.
Apple is reportedly developing a full blown television set to be released towards the end of 2012. The product would be a departure from Apple’s previous foray into the TV market, which was a set top box launched in 2006. It will reportedly come in both 32-inch and 37-inch screen models.
Rumors about the TV started flying after Apple founder Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he had “finally cracked” the code on developing an integrated TV that could sync across multiple Apple products.
The long-awaited iPhone 5 may finally be a reality. After the device failed to materialize in 2011, it may emerge next fall, according to reports. If rumors are true, the totally redesigned iPhone 5 will have a larger display than its predecessor and could feature an improved Siri, a faster processor and near field communication technology allowing consumers to make payments with their phone.
Apple may unveil two newly updated iPads in January, according to reports. With three versions of the iPad, Apple could broaden its offering with entry level, mid-range and high-end products. The move will reportedly help Apple to compete with Amazon’s(AMZN) Kindle Fire as well as mid-range devices.
The new iPad models are said to have 9.7-inch screens, like the current model, but with a higher screen resolution.
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Two new iPad models?
This week has been full of juicy Apple rumors, with whispers that the iPhone 5 could be fully redesigned and released in the fall of next year and that a mini-iPad (7.85 inch screen) could be released in 2012 to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire. Digitimes reports that two new iPad models could be announced as soon as January 26, 2012. Their supply chain sources note a new iPad could be released at the end of the first quarter and the 7.85-inch mini-iPad could launch toward the end of the year.
“Global shipments of tablet PCs are expected to reach 60 million units in 2011, of which 70% will be Apple’s iPads. To cash in on market demand as well as market expectations, Apple is expected to release its next-generation iPads at the end first-quarter 2012,” Digitimes reports. “However, in order to cope with increasing market competition including the 7-inch Kindle Fire from Amazon and the launch of large-size smartphones from handset vendors, Apple has been persuaded into the development of 7.85-inch iPads, the sources indicated.”
The 7.85-inch panels are being purchased from LG Display and it is also rumored that Apple will buy panels from AU Optronics (AUO) with production of the smaller iPad model to begin in the second quarter of 2012. Samsung will manufacture quad-core A6 processors for Apple, instead of the dual-core A5 used in the current iPad 2.
Digitimes does not have a perfect track record with rumors, but they are usually spot on, causing many to take these rumors as fact.
Start spreading the news…
This article published on
Thursday, December 29th, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Contact the editor
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The rumors about the features and launch date of the new iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5, has stopped swirling even after Apple released iPhone 4S in October. The latest rumor (http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/274039/20111229/iphone-5-launch-date-features-redesign.htm) suggests that the next generation iPhone will feature a redesign of the case as well as the antenna system.
Earlier, several sites reported that the new iPhone will feature an improved Siri, 4G LTE, a powerful A6 Quad-core processor, NFC (Near Field Communication), a bigger screen and a better battery life.
In other words, iPhone 5 would be an iPhone 4S on steroids.
We don’t want to bet on when iPhone 5 is going to be launched but if you’re one of those who bought an iPhone 4S for Christmas (or is about to buy one, to celebrate the new year), and haven’t yet bought a protective case to shield your device against the occasional bumps and drops, we suggest that you seriously consider the following top 5 iPhone cases (brands) that are not only rugged but also fashionable.
Start the slideshow to begin.