Scottia Productions Digital Bits

Mindless Daily Articles & Bits of Technology News

Two New iPhone Models in the Works – PCW

“According to this article new high and low end iPhone models are coming dependent  upon a consumer’s geographic area.  I do not completely agree with strategies regarding multiple models.  It would seem the overall success of the current iPhone model justifies a single hardware release with additional feature activation via application add-on.  Better video support, Wi-Fi and camera are basic features that should be standard to all iPhones in a mediary pricing rage.  Especially phone upgrades.  I agree with certain geographic locations receiving the “low” end model based on an areas network infrastructure but standard features are standard features.  I would want all hardware features with application add-on.  This newly announced strategy should be interesting to follow.”

Courtesy of PCW Business Center – Authored by John Cox, Network World

iphone-angled-rightAn equity research firm is predicting that Apple will shortly introduce two new iPhone models, tailored for different geographic markets.

That’s a somewhat different perspective from others who have predicted that the recent preview of the iPhone 3.0 operating system indicates that a new high-end model will be unveiled about mid-year. Instead, Daniel Amir, semiconductors analyst with Lazard Capital Markets, says in his report that a high-end phone will be sold in North America and a low-end model in several fast-growing overseas markets, such as Brazil, China, India and Russia.

The LCM analysis was picked up by AppleInsider’s Katie Marsal.

The North American model will have video support, a better digital camera and 32GB of memory. The low-end version will lack video support, and possibly lack a Wi-Fi radio, and have less storage.

There’s been speculation recently that several hardware IDs found in the 3.0 software beta hint at multiple new OS X-based mobile devices, including new models of iPhone, iPod Touch, and possibly entirely new products.

In the report cited by AppleInsider, LCM’s Amir says iPhone shipments are much stronger than expected so far in 2009 and will continue so. He writes that first calendar quarter shipments could reach 4 million units, in part because of an exceptionally strong March, possibly reaching 1.5 million units. While analysts had been expected quarterly shipments to reach 3 million to 3.5 million, Amir is predicting 3.8 million to 4 million.

And he thinks that number could nearly double in the second quarter, though AppleInsider’s Marsal noted the pace might not be sustained if buyers expect a mid-year release of a new model, and postpone buying the current iPhone 3G.

The 3.0 OS release, due out this summer according to Apple, will offer more than 100 changes, and over 1,000 new APIs available to iPhone software developers. Among the base OS changes are support for copy/paste, and for being able to tether a laptop to the iPhone and use the phone to access the Internet. (Watch videos of iPhone apps of the week.)

April 7, 2009 Posted by | Apple, IPHONE | , | Leave a comment

SKYPE IPHONE restrictions stir up lobbying to Europe, FCC – FierceVoIP

“Below is a recent news occurrence of concerns over SKYPE’s affect on Telco firms Globally including usage blocks of SKYPE over 3G networks.  What is interesting to note is the threat of VoIP as a whole on the Telecom industry.  I predict that these proposed 3G road blocks are the first of a series to surface. ”

Courtesy of Fiercevoip.com – Authored by Doug Mohney

SKYPE

The release of Skype for iPhone may have opened a Pandora’s box of legal headaches for carriers. In Europe, Deutsche Telekom (DT) has said it will prohibit the use of VoIP apps on its 3G network, restrict use of said apps on the company’s hotspot network, and cancel the contract of customers who try to work around the restrictions. Meanwhile, public advocacy group Free Press is asking the Federal Communications Commission to investigate AT&T’s implementation of Skype on the iPhone, wondering if restricting use of Skype to WiFi and locking out 3G is a violation of federal law.

Skype is turning up its political lobbying efforts to turn up the heat on DT, calling on supporters to contact European politicians in a blog posting. The Voice on the Net (VON) coalition Europe (http://www.voneurope.eu/, not to be confused with the American version or the dead trade show, is also gearing up against DT’s banning of Skype for iPhone with a press statement saying that blocking of voice apps on mobile devices is “highly detrimental” for European consumers; Skype is a member of the group, along with Google, Microsoft, and Intel.

On Friday, Free Press called for the FCC to confirm that wireless networks must adhere to the FCC Internet Policy Statement, saying that consumers should have the right to access any online content and services on any device of their choosing. Skype for iPhone is one of three examples cited where wireless vendors are limiting the functionality of applications and/or content.

Whether or not the FCC as currently constituted is in any shape to make a policy statement is another issue. Currently, Michael Copps is serving as acting FCC chairman while Julius Genachowski awaits confirmation on Capitol Hill, while there are only two other FCC Commissioners seated at this time.

April 6, 2009 Posted by | IPHONE, SKYPE | , | Leave a comment

Apple’s Latest Patent: An In-Car iPhone GPS Hybrid?

BY Kit EatonThu Mar 26, 2009 at 12:23 PM

The next iPhone could be the center of a sophisticated in-car navigation system, if a recently revealed Apple patent is taken to logical extremes. We’ve mentioned Apple’s extensive patenting of GPS technology before, but that’s mainly covered how the software will work. This time GPS hardware is outlined, and the main focus of the new tech is driver safety.

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GPS units have radically reshaped both personal and vehicular navigation, even though the technology isn’t without its pitfalls. There have been countless reports of “user IQ failures” where 100% dumb reliance on GPS has ended up in disaster–including this one today. It’s really hard to mitigate against that kind of error, but that’s not where Apple’s safety concerns lie.

Instead, the technology is designed to minimize driver distraction, by turning off key components of the unit when the vehicle is moving. It’ll be able to do so through a number of sensors. These wired or wirelessly-connected sensors could monitor the tires, the engine, parking brake or simply use GPS data to detect if the car’s in motion. If it is, the touchscreen would be turned off.

But not completely. The patent describes how a passenger could still operate the touchscreen. To do so the unit would have to know the passenger was touching it, necessitating a bunch of other sensing tech. The task could be achieved with voice, weight, or seat belt sensors, infrared cameras to detect a person, or proximity sensors. Furthermore, the “angle of approach” of a hand could determine who’s touching the screen. And there’s also the mention of biometric sensors that enable or disable the screen lockdown based on user ID–achieved via iris recognition, fingerprint recognition or voice recognition.

All very groovy. But why does this point the way to future iPhone upgrades? Because a patent tries a scattergun approach to cover all the bases of the tech that may be used. The iPhone already has a basic proximity sensor to detect if it’s being held to your ear, and has a sensitive touchscreen. An augmented sensor suite, with new front-facing camera, IR sensors or advanced screen to enable some of the options mentioned in the patent is very possible. There’s also mention in the patent of “functions such as text messaging, mobile device, browsing, and such, based on biometrics, vehicle movement, proximity, and the like,” and suggestions that a camera embedded in the system could be used, when it’s dismounted, for “standard camera functions, such as recording photographs and video clips.”

This looks like a patent for an Apple GPS system, possibly even an in-car one. But to suggest Apple would launch a separate gadget is absurd, considering 80% of the tech’s already in the iPhone. Some of these plans could be achieved with the enhanced peripherals possible with iPhone 3.0 firmware. But some of it could be easily achieved with an enhanced iPhone. And since Apple’s becoming the king of seamlessly combining different technologies into one device, that’s what I’m putting my money on.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Apple, IPHONE | , , | 3 Comments