One of the rumors that took the blogosphere by storm in the weeks before the fifth generation iPhone release and died out in general disappointment after iPhone 4S was unveiled, has come to life again.
Apparently, the iPhone 5 will finally offer to Apple fans the expected support for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. The most obvious and talked about application of this technology would allow users to make payments to specific vendors using only their smartphones.
9to5mac, one of the most prominent websites for Apple rumours, published a report revealing information from a “well-connected developer” who suggested the Cupertino based company has put its software engineers to work intensively on the technology, and are “heavy into NFC”.
The source was sure enough about the NFC enabled iPhone 5, “enough to bet the app development on.” In addition, the New York Times seems to confirm the rumour suggesting that Apple has secured key NFC patents.
Reports suggest this feature will reach the mainstream in the next couple of years, but for now there is a limited number of retailers who are willing to invest in specially designed terminals with support for NFC payments.
Under the circumstances, smartphone makers haven’t felt overly encouraged to push the technology. However, as is often the case, when Apple gets on board that alone can be the required impetus to drive a technology towards widespread adoption.
It’s rumor day, hurrah! Two separate reports have surfaced today regarding release times for Apple’s next generation iOS devices, the iPad 3 and the iPhone 5, as well as something bizarre that we’ve never actually witnessed previously — a rumor about “strange” happenings and events.
Strange events … umm, WT actual F
Macotakara is saying that Apple’s going to hold a “strange” event in February that may be similar to the iBooks 2 and iBooks Author announcement that took place in January. There’s no mention of what will be announced, or even where or when the announcement will take place, just a mention of “strange” and February. Take that one for what it’s worth, because we’re still trying to figure out how “strange” plays into this whole rumor.
The iPad 3
In addition to the “strange” rumor, Macotakara (english) is also indicating that the iPad 3 will be announced in March. Which is great, because Bloomberg actually reported that on January 13, 2012. Traditionally, iPads have been released in the spring, and March foots the bill here. So the real question here is … Who wants to buy my iPad 2?
On the next-generation iPhone
This next rumor is a little hard to stomach. According to Digitimes, who has a track record worse than most other rumor blogs, the iPhone 5 is going to be released at WWDC in June, despite the iPhone 4S being on the market for just 8 months leading up to that point. Up until the 4S, Apple would release a new iPhone every single summer, but the 4S announcement slid into the fall. Digitimes is suggesting that we’re heading back to a summer release schedule, with two iOS devices being released within months of each other (March for the iPad, and June for the iPhone).
Wait, no iOS rumors?
If anything, Digitimes should be rumouring about WWDC and an iOS 6 preview. WWDC is where the next iOS often gets shown to developers. But nope, Chuck Testa iPhone 5 rumors.
The tech world is thick with Samsung Galaxy S3 rumors. The Galaxy S 2 upgrade is largely awaited by Android and Samsung fans. It is not yet clear when Samsung will surface the handset. As per Samsung’s routine, we can certainly expect for the device to come out by mid this year. It is almost certain now that the Korean tech maker is going not to announce its Galaxy S3 at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Samsung sources have reportedly exposed to Tech Radar that the Galaxy S 3 would be launched not in MWC 2012, but in another event closer to its commercial release.
Samsung demonstrated its Galaxy S 2 models at the WMC 2011. So the tech world was expecting the congress to have a look at what should be the best ever Galaxy S upgrade ever. It is not known why Samsung has delayed the announcement of Galaxy S 3. Maybe, as per some analysts, it might be a strategic decision; the company will have to see what an iPhone 5 would look like before designing its competitor to the new Apple handset. Whatever the reasons are, here we talk about five much-expected features that Samsung fans hope to have on its Galaxy S 3.
3D screen effects or a 3D version
3D is the new trend in tech world. TV, tablet and mobile makers are rolling out high-end 3D gadgets. Samsung is already much late to foray into the 3D market. Indeed, we can certainly look for some 3D touch with the upcoming Galaxy S 3. There may either have a 3D-capable screen on Galaxy S 3 or, as many rumor mills predicted, a special 3D version for the Galaxy S 3. Whatever, customers are greedily looking for a high quality 3D handset from Samsung, the biggest Android product maker in the world.
Quad core processor
It is yet another much-wanted feature on Galaxy S 3. Many tech makers have already started working with NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 quad core CPU-powered gadgets. Asus has even realized the world’s first device, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, with quad core processor. As per rumors, Apple may slot in a quad core processor in its next iPhone 5. So, we can look forward for Galaxy S 3 with a quad processor, which will power up a device five times better than Galaxy S 2 with a dual core processor.
Samsung has recently developed a flexible display technology. Possibly, the next Galaxy S handset may be up with this flexible screen, which means you can bend the device causing no breakout. Handsets with flexible displays will not be damaged in accidents, shocks and falls. This safety mechanism for display also lets the device work using less power than a device with normal display. However, Samsung has not confirmed chances for flexible display on Galaxy S 3.
12-megapixel rear camera
In order to raise severe rivalry to iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S 3 will come up with a 12-megapixel rear camera. It is a time smartphones are coming up with advanced camera sensors making them as powerful to replace even the digital cameras. A state-of-the-art 12-megapixel sensor will let users grab high clarity images and videos, of course, Full HD 1080p video as well.
Thinner and slighter
Galaxy S 2 is already one of the thinnest and lightest smartphones in the world. But recently a set of handsets from Motorola and small tech makers like Huawei and NEC have challenged Galaxy S 2 in waist thinness. Indeed, Samsung will be rolling out its next major Galaxy S upgrade with a far thinner body.
Samsung, the world’s leading mobile vendor, will attempt to make a clear domination over its competitors like Apple, Motorola and HTC with its next Galaxy S 3 model. Needless to mention, it will be a handset with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Powered by the latest Android version, Galaxy S 3 should be able to hoist critical challenge to iPhone 5, the possible 2012 upgrade to Apple iPhone. Hardware potentials should stand out the Galaxy S 3 among other Ice Cream Sandwich products.
The key new part of the update is the addition of a new effect called “Depth” that brings what’s known as tilt-shift capabilities to Path’s photo taking feature. Tilt-shift photography lets you adjust the depth of field to take photos in which certain items are in focus and others are out of focus. The proliferation of affordable, high quality digital cameras has made tilt-shift photography increasingly accessible and popular with mainstream shutterbugs, so it’s a nice addition to the Path app, which has had a big photo-sharing component since its inception.
It bears mention that there are a number of dedicated tilt-shift apps for iOS devices already on the market, and Instagram also added the capability to the 2.0 version of its app that launched back in September. More than anything, Path’s latest update shows that its team is working hard to keep its service fresh and relevant in an ever-growing world of apps that compete for users’ time and attention. Adding useful new features in an incremental way is a good way to do that.
Also in the iPhone app update, Path added the capability to tap, pinch, rotate, and zoom photos and videos while viewing them at full screen. Path’s Android app has not been updated in a similar way, which may be because there is so much discrepancy between the camera capabilities on devices that run the Android operating system.
Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.
- 12 tech leaders’ resolutions for 2012
- Connected world: the consumer technology revolution
- NewNet Q4: Platform mania and social commerce shakeout
Article source: http://gigaom.com/2012/02/01/path-iphone-update/
On any given day, it’s not unusual to see a new Apple rumor pop up. But today is special. Today we’ve got not just one, but three Apple rumors regarding the launch of the iPad 3 and iPhone 5, plus a “Strange” event that may occur this month.
Let’s tackle these one by one, shall we?
iPad 3 in March
This supposed iPad 3 release date comes from the Japanese blog MacOtakara, which has a decent track record on Apple rumors. Last March, the blog reported that Apple’s next iPhone wouldn’t go into production until September, bucking the trend of a summer launch. That turned out to be spot-on, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt here. If the iPad 3 doesn’t launch in March, April at the latest seems like a safe bet.
iPhone 5 at WWDC
Every June, Apple holds the Worldwide Developers Conference, where software makers can come and learn how to make better apps. WWDC has also been the launching ground for new iPhones in 2008, 2009 and 2010, but last year, Apple held off until October for the iPhone 4S.
Now, a couple rumors suggest Apple will get back on track with a summer iPhone 5 release date. One report comes from 9to5Mac, citing an unnamed Foxconn employee, and the other comes from Daiwa Securities, cited by DigiTimes. But John Gruber, who’s very reliable on Apple rumors, refuted 9to5Mac’s report, and with Apple selling way more iPhones than ever, I see no reason why Apple would rush on a new model. At this point, the rumor of a summer iPhone 5 launch seems pretty shaky.
Mystery February Event
MacOtakara’s report also mentions that Apple will hold a “Strange” event this month, one that won’t be focused on products. As SlashGear notes, this could refer to a new service, similar to iCloud or iBooks Textbooks, instead of new hardware. My wildest guess is that Apple has finally made some new content deals with TV studios, setting the stage for an Apple television late this year, but I wouldn’t put much stock in this rumor until we know whether the event is even happening. Between last month’s iBooks event and an iPad 3 launch event rumored for March, cramming in yet another press conference seems unlike Apple.
That noise echoing through the iOSsphere is the sound of Chinese workers clamoring to be allowed to build the Next iPhone.
This week: If they build it, we will buy it; the inexplicable lure of Near Field Communications; pray for shared data plans;
and why Apple keeps flaws in the iPhone.
You read it here second.
“The lesson here is that you shouldn’t always trust Apple rumors, even if they come from somebody at Apple.”
Keith Wagstaff, Time’s Techland blog, helpfully cautioning us after he learned of Apple’s practice of assigning newly hired
engineers to dummy projects until they’ve been inculcated with the Apple Way; but unhelpfully, not telling us when we should
trust Apple rumors.
Chinese workers flock to build iPhone 5
Actually, they’re probably just flocking for jobs, because Foxconn, the prime manufacturer for iPhone, plans to add 100,000
jobs in Zhengzhou, in north-central China, according to a post at M.I.C. Gadget, which had an English report, and photos, of the long lines of applicants waiting for hours outside an employment agency
screening for Foxconn.
But the iOSsphere, linking to that post, quickly re-interpreted it, making it all about the iPhone.
“Even as the protests against Apple’s workers mistreatment practice are surging incessantly, there are still thousands of
Chinese job seekers who are lining up in front of the gates of Foxconn, the company’s major product manufacturer in China,
hoping that they will be hired to work on iPhone 5 production,” posted Wendy Li, for International Business Times. The headline: “iPhone 5 Production Set to Begin: Numerous Chinese Job Seekers Line up
in Front of Foxconn Doors”
Ms. Li didn’t pull any punches: “Although Foxconn is best known for its harsh working conditions, long hours, child labor,
and lack of respecting workers’ rights, the long lines prove the ‘hell factory’ is better than other alternatives for many
But it turns out she was stealing punches, almost word for word, from a post by The Atlantic Wire’s Rebecca Greenfield: “All the media coverage of Foxconn, with its harsh working conditions, long hours, child labor, and lack of workers’ rights,
might make it hard to believe the demand for these jobs.”
Three years of the Obama Hope and Change Economy in the U.S. might make it much less hard to believe. Greenfield adds this
gem from Nobel-Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman who “noted way back in the ’90s, these factories ‘are a big improvement
over the previous, less visible rural poverty,’ he wrote in an early Slate piece. Industrialization, hardships included, is
a necessary step toward modernity, the argument goes.”
We’re all for making sacrifices. As long as it’s someone else making them.
iPhone 5 will use NFC link to support Mastercard/Paypass
9to5Mac puts 2 and 3 together and comes up with 4. “Mastercard/Paypass to be NFC partner with Apple on iPhone 5?“
At Macworld last week, 9to5Mac’s Sean Weinbtraub talked to a “well-connected developer” who was building an iOS app that can
use the short-range Near Field Communications radio link that lets mobile devices tap a point-of-sale terminal and do stuff
like make electronic purchases. Or as the U.K.’s irrepressible The Register calls it, “pay-by-bonk tech.”
Weintraub reports that the developer says that “he had no hardware knowledge, but he had spoken to Apple iOS engineers on
multiple occasions, and they are ‘heavy into NFC.’”
Having settled that, Weintraub notes “The question is now: Who will Apple partner with for its payment systems? Over the weekend
we received some hints…”
The hints come via Weintraub’s quotes from and link to a Fast Company interview with Ed McLaughlin, identified as head of emerging payments at MasterCard, who says “I don’t know of a handset manufacturer
that isn’t in process of making sure their stuff is [MasterCard] PayPass ready.”
The interviewer asks whether the contactless payments industry needs Apple to hit critical mass. “Well, anytime someone with
a major base moves forward, it advances what you’re doing. So of course,” McLaughlin says. It’s hard to imagine a more generic
answer, but in the iOSphere, that’s all you need for transformation.
“Apple, of course, has the magical ability to transform whole industries,” writes Fast Company’s Austin Carr, referring no
doubt to Steve Jobs’ rumored use of the “Harry Potter Wand with light and sound,” now just $8.09 from Amazon.com. “No one paid for music digitally before Apple unveiled iTunes; virtually no one listened to MP3 players, or carried smartphones, or played with tablets before Apple entered the markets. (And we have good reason to believe they are angling into wireless payment territory.)”
Carr oversimplifies the development of iTunes, which required extensive negotiations with the record labels, who were under
pressure to come up with some kind of strategy for digitized content. (The details are analyzed in Robert Levine’s excellent
recent book “Free Ride: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back“.) The mobile payments industry essentially requires a secure interface with a secureable mobile device, a far different
issue than that facing the music industry.
iPhone 5 will have shared data plans
The start of this rumor seems to be an Engadget post by Sean Buckley, who apparently was pointed to some purported Verizon Wireless employee training materials showing a new
data account structure.
“We’ve been told that training material for an update to the outfit’s internal account management application includes screenshots
(one of which you can see above) that show a new section labeled ‘account level data plans,’” he writes. “The new section
apparently shows an account level charge for data allowance and a 9.99 charge per line.”
Both Verizon and ATT last year said they were working on creating new data plans that would let a family, or presumably a
business, buy a bucket of “data minutes” and then share them, or share them among multiple devices instead of needing separate
cellular accounts, and bills, for a phone, tablet, and laptop.
Apple may be planning on introducing the iPhone5 during its annual World Wide Developer Conference this year, according to Daiwa Securities. The firm goes on to say that Apple will host the event in June even though an official announcement hasn’t been made yet.
Apparently the new iPhone model will use glass-to-glass touch panel technology — another detail that Apple hasn’t shared. If so, the new touch panels will probably come from TPK Holding and Wintek.
Apple last updated its smartphone with the release of the iPhone 4S in October, which was out of cycle with previous launches. Introducing a new model in June would make the iPhone 4S only about eight months old when it gets replaced and previous iPhone models have been available for at least a year before newer versions come out.
Moscone West, the venue Apple uses for its developer conference, shows June 11 through June 15 blocked out for an unnamed corporate meeting, which does fit with the timing of the Daiwa claims. Apple, however, hasn’t said yet when the conference will happen, nor has it confirmed when new iPhone models will ship.
[Thanks to DigiTimes for the heads up.]
As rumors of an iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 both expected to debut sometime in mid-2012 continue to grow, the iPhone vs Android battle is set to be taken to a whole new level. However given that we don’t know the specs of either one of these upcoming flagship smartphones, we thought of looking at the current generation of Androids and the iPhone 4S to see where both mobile platforms stand at this time.
Given that there is only one iPhone 4S variant (albeit in different colors and storage sizes) versus a whole army of Android smartphone options, let’s phrase this comparison as to what you can do if you chose an Android phones over and iPhone, and keeping in mind that many of these advantages vary from each Android to Android.
Android vs iPhone: What Android phones can do that iPhone can’t
True 4G: LTE WiMAX - Certain Android phones like the Motorola DROID Bionic and HTC Thunderbolt boast 4G LTE connectivity. Over on Sprint, you can find multiple WiMAX capable devices as well as upcoming LTE devices like the Sprint Galaxy Nexus. Lastly ATT has also announced a couple of LTE devices for 2012. In the case of the iPhone 4S, all three carrier variants only offer 3G speeds.
Widgets: One of the most-talked about feature of Android phones will no doubt have to be widgets. The ability to see certain information without clicking on the app is not only a timesaver but allows for a more richer app experience. The ability to add widgets to your Android phone’s home-screens will also be one of the many reasons why Android phones come in different screen size options ranging from the 3.7-inch HTC Desire to the humungous 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note.
Removable batteries: While there are some Android phones that no longer offer this option (Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola DROID RAZR), the majority of Android smartphones have removable batteries which makes it convenient to keep a spare battery on you anytime you are away from an AC outlet.
Removable SD card storage: Another great benefit is that you can swap your SD card in situations where you are busy snapping pictures with your Android phone’s camera and hit a storage limit. It is also useful for music hoarders and those that carry many files around and use their Android phones as a USB.
In addition to a wider variety of choice (different form factors, screen sizes and display technologies, connectivity options, NFC, etc.) there are the little things that Android phones can do which the iPhone can’t:
- Ability to replace the keyboard, SMS client, Email client and default web browser.
- Copy music and other media from your Android phone to any 3rd party computer.
- Install Software from third party sources (not just limited to the Android Market or App Store).
- Free turn by turn navigation.
- iTunes tethering not required to manage music or sync other information in your device.
Did we miss out on any other Android features that the iPhone 4S doesn’t support yet? If so please sound off in the comments below.
By now you must have read the numerous reports and rumors that Apple plans to get both the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 on 4G LTE this year. Given that the recently leaked iBoot data for the iPad 3 shows a LTE variant, as well as the fact that the current 3 US carriers that offer the iPhone are all on LTE (Verizon, ATT and Sprint), the likelihood that an army of Apple users will be swarming the LTE network soon is very high.
iPhone 5 and iPad 3 rumors hint 4G LTE connectivity
While Verizon Wireless was in the lead in the LTE race when they launched the HTC Thunderbolt back in early 2011, ATT has been trying to catch up ever since and now offers a host of LTE capable smartphones: HTC Vivid, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the LG Nitro HD. Sprint too is taking LTE seriously and will be launching their first LTE phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, very shortly.
While the blazing LTE speeds are a far cry from the 3G we are used to, the days of hitting such high download/upload speeds may be numbered. If and when the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 do get on the LTE network, we can expect huge masses of LTE users to eventually bog down the network.
So enjoy it while you can folks!
Samsung ‘Galaxy S II Plus’ could premier before Galaxy S III
+1 [1 votes]
Do you remember long ago when Apple went ahead and held out from releasing an iPhone 5 – and just went along with the 4S instead? We could see a similar strategy from Samsung concerning the future of their ‘Galaxy’ flagship device. It has recently come to our attention that Samsung won’t be showing off the GSIII at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain – thus makes perfect sense there may be a middle man underway.
A Galaxy S II Plus benchmark has been logged in the An3DBenchXL database, and fits our specifications of what this device could carry. The data shows it running Android 2.3.4 with a 1.5GHz processor, and WVGA display. It could very well be running the same processor as the Note.
To refresh your memory, there was indeed a Samsung Galaxy S Plus, so it makes sense to have a Galaxy S II Plus. The line has been practically flawless, and moved Android’s reputation in a very positive direction – so why change now? Most of our questions will probably be solved at MWC, but until then – we run on leaked data and speculation.