Sandeep Venugopal’s Weblog

August 11, 2008

Rumour: Apple’s secret kill switch in iPhone!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 7:51 pm
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It looks like Apple is keeping a closer hold on the iPhone’s apron strings than anyone thought, if information uncovered by Jonathan Zdziarski is to be believed. Speaking on iPhone Atlas on Wednesday, Zdziarski – author of a book on iPhone application development – explained that he was performing “forensic examination of an iPhone 3G” when he discovered a suspicious configuration file in the CoreLocation section of the memory. Upon investigating, he discovered a link to a page on Apple’s website which appears to contain the skeleton for a future application blacklist. The page, called ‘unauthorizedApps’, seems to exist so the iPhone can occasionally download a copy and check the signatures of banned applications against installed applications – if a match is found, the app is disabled immediately. Zdziarski believes that this functionality exists “to disable applications that the user has already downloaded and paid for, if Apple so chooses to shut them down.

Clearly, there are legitimate reasons why such functionality should exist – although slightly fewer for why it’s undocumented and downright concealed – including the possibility that Apple can update iPhones with a sort of anti-malware by listing known ‘bricking’ programs in the blacklist. However, it demonstrates that even a ‘jailbroken’ iPhone might not escape Apple’s clutches for long – and how sure can you be that Installer.App or your favourite non-Apple approved software won’t hit the blacklist once it’s activated? Anyone here worried about the possibilities of a hidden remote app killer developed by Apple, or does the Cupertino company just have your best interests at heart?

Source: Bit-tech, Martin

July 20, 2008

iPhone 3G: long lines, activation problems!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 8:30 pm
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The launch of Apple Inc.’s much-anticipated new iPhone turned into an information-technology meltdown on Friday, as customers were unable to get their phones working. “It’s such grief and aggravation,” said Frederick Smalls, an insurance broker in Whitman, Mass., after spending two hours on the phone with Apple and AT&T Inc., trying to get his new iPhone to work. In stores, people waited at counters to get the phones activated, as lines built behind them. Many of the customers had already camped out for several hours in line to become among the first with the new phone, which updates the one launched a year ago by speeding up Internet access and adding a navigation chip. A spokesman for AT&T, the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the U.S., said there was a global problem with Apple’s iTunes servers that prevented the phones from being fully activated in-store, as had been planned.

Instead, employees are telling buyers to go home and perform the last step by connecting their phones to their own computers, spokesman Michael Coe said. However, the iTunes servers were equally hard to reach from home, leaving the phones unusable except for emergency calls. The problem extended to owners of the previous iPhone model. A software update released for that phone on Friday morning required the phone to be reactivated through iTunes. When the first iPhone went on sale a year ago, customers performed the whole activation procedure at home, freeing store employees to focus on sales. But the new model is subsidized by carriers, and Apple and AT&T therefore planned to activate all phones in-store to get customers on a contract.

Souce: AP, Martin

June 25, 2008

Chrysler equips new cars with wireless internet! Niceee…!

Stuck in a traffic jam and really hoping you could update your Facebook page? You soon may be able to in a Chrysler. The No. 3 of the Big Three U.S. automakers will announce a wireless Internet-access option for all 2009 models on Thursday, according to various media reports. Costs of the option — called UConnect Web — and service subscriptions have not been finalized, according to Wired magazine and the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a notion of always wanting to be connected wherever you are,” Scott Slagle, Chrysler’s senior manager of global marketing strategy, tells the L.A. Times. “There’s a demand for that.”

The cars will receive 3G cellular broadband signals, then route them to any Wi-Fi enabled devices in or around the vehicle. Traffic-safety advocates are less than enthused. “Stop already!” Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety told the Times. “Clearly this is a problem. Our cars are becoming just another place to catch up on calls and now e-mail, and that’s a real safety problem.” It remains to be seen which models will get UConnect and what it will cost. Chrysler says it will be competitive with laptop wireless cards, and customers won’t be tied to long contracts.

Source: ABC, Fox, Martin

Apple to make $26 on every sold iPhone 3G! WoW!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 8:02 pm
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According to a preliminary analysis by iSuppli Corp., the new Apple iPhone 3G materials and manufacturing cost is $173. The initial retail price of the phone announced by Steve Jobs will be $199. iSuppli has performed a breakdown of the costs using insights from its analysis staff to develop estimates of iPhone content, suppliers, and costs. “The new iPhone is significantly less expensive to produce than the first-generation product, despite major improvements in the product’s functionality and unique usability, due to the addition of 3G communications,” said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, director and principal analyst for iSuppli.

“The original 8Gbyte iPhone carried a cost of $226 after component price reductions, giving the new product a 23 percent hardware cost reduction due to component price declines.” Tina Teng, wireless communications analyst at iSuppli, added that if the 3G iPhone design is unchanged, the cost should drop down to $126 in 2012. Although the base iPhone 3G will sell for just $199 at retail, Apple will receive far more than that with AT&T footing the bill as it does with most phones. Wireless carriers subsidize much of the cost of devices and make up the difference with revenue from new and existing subscribers.

Source: Betanews, PC World, Martin

June 19, 2008

$199 iPhone 3G introduced by Apple! Niceee…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 6:41 pm
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In his keynote address to open Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) on Monday, Steve Jobs officially announced the iPhone 3G. Perhaps the most important revelation was the price, which at $199 for the entry level (8GB) model is half the original’s current $399 pricetag. He indicated that the price was based on research where consumers who have so far passed on the iPhone said cost was the biggest barrier.  Not surprisingly he didn’t talk about his previous prediction of 10 million iPhones sold by the end of 2008. Why is that significant? Maybe because at the current (pre-iPhone 3G) prices it appears unlikely to happen.

In fact despite “selling out some number of weeks ago,” Jobs said only 6 million have been sold in the approximately 11 months since the initial launch on June 29 of last year.  Jobs showed off the speed difference between the iPhone 3G’s “amazingly zippy” performance on newer 3G networks, compared with the EDGE connection available to owner’s of the original. The same web page that took nearly a minute to load using an EDGE connection took just over 20 seconds across 3G. He also compared it to a Nokia N95 and Treo 750, which reportedly took 33 and 34 seconds respectively to load the same page (using 3G) while delivering it in a less complete mobile format. He also pointed out that 3G speed is “actually approaching Wi-Fi.”

Other changes include the use of plastic instead of aluminum for the back (presumably to bring production costs down), as well as the addition of a 2 Megapixel camera and GPS. Near the end of his presentation a map showed 70 countries where the 3G iPhone will officially be available while ‘It’s a Small World’ played in the background. By contrast, the original iPhone is only offered in 6 countries. The iPhone 3G’s initial launch, on July 11, will actually only include 22 countries, with the other 48 planned by year’s end.

Source: Afterdawn, Martin

April 27, 2008

June 9 is the date for New 3G iPhone!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 11:32 pm
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The 3G iPhone will be announced June 9, the likely date of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, analysts said in research notes on Thursday. The 3G iPhone will be the “first of an impressive wave of new products” from Apple, wrote Citi analysts Richard Gardner and Yeechang Lee. They also expect an updated Mac laptop and iPod lines. The Apple conference is scheduled for June 9-13 in San Francisco. In addition to a 3G iPhone release in early June, the 2.5G model could have a “minor casing change” and a price drop to between US$299 and $349, compared to the current $399, wrote Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research, in a research report.

Those predictions are consistent with a February prediction Gardner made that 3G iPhones will be announced by midyear. The 3G iPhone release will help Apple meet its target of shipping 10 million iPhones in 2008, Gardner wrote at the time. Apple is confident it will sell 10 million iPhones this year, officials said during a conference call on Wednesday to discuss the company’s second-quarter earnings. Apple sold more iPhones than expected during the quarter and iPhone inventories were not enough to meet the strong demand.

Source: Yahoo, Martin

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