Report: iOS 7 May Hit iPhones and iPods Before it Comes to iPads

iOS 7

Apple is supposedly having an event on September 10, and one of the rumored announcements for this hypothetical event is the final version of iOS 7. While support is planned for the iPhones 4, 4S, and 5; the fifth-generation iPod touch; and the iPad 2, iPad mini, and both Retina iPads, a report from 9to5Mac says that the tablet builds are running behind the phone builds and may be delayed slightly. Citing “chatter within Apple” and a feeling among developers that the iPad builds are relatively “unstable and unreliable,” the report says that Apple may opt to upgrade its tablets in a 7.0.1 release that trails the iPhone’s upgrade by a few weeks. The beta builds of iOS 7 also came to the iPhones first-the public beta introduced after WWDC supported iPhones and iPods, but it wasn’t until Beta 2 was issued two weeks later that the software could be installed on iPads.

Read the full story at Ars Technica.

Shelly Palmer Radio Report – February 4, 2014

If you’re staying at the Aloft Hotel in Manhattan or Silicon Valley, you’ll soon have a brand new way to get into your room. These two Starwood Hotels locations are fitting all of their rooms with technology that will let you unlock your door by using your smartphone as a room key. The best part of all? You don’t even need to check-in at the front desk. Guests will get a message in the official Starwood app before they arrive, containing a virtual key that unlocks your hotel room via Bluetooth. The tech is compatible with all iPhones 4s and newer, as well as on Android phones running version 4.3 or later. While some hotel owners have found that many travelers prefer to talk to a person when they check in to a hotel, many others have been searching for ways to eliminate the traffic jams that can sometimes be found at a hotel’s front desk. Could this tech become a new standard in the hotel industry? We’ll find out when the feature rolls out this spring.

Apple Announces the iPhone is Headed to China on January 17

iPhone 5s

Apple and China Mobile just announced that they’ve reached an agreement that will see the iPhone 5s and 5c launch on the China Mobile’s 4G and 3G networks early next year. Pre-registration is supposed to begin on December 25, with phones actually available on January 17 of next year. “China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world’s largest network,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in the release. China Mobile says it has more than 760 million customers. Apple has been in talks with the network since 2011, and The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that a deal had been reached. According to a recent report from Canalys, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan collectively account for 39 percent of the global smartphone market, with Apple ranking fifth in the region’s smartphone sales.

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

AT&T’s ‘Next’ Follows T-Mobile’s ‘Jump,’ Allows for Mobile Upgrades Every 12 Months

AT&T

Rather than “rethinking possible,” AT&T is rethinking its plans, as it becomes the latest wireless carrier to offer customers the option to upgrade their phones more frequently. Starting July 26, AT&T will offer new “Next” plans for smartphones and tablets, on a post-paid basis. The plan allows customers to trade in their devices (feature phones excluded) every 12 months, provided the customer pays a monthly installment fee based on a 20-month cycle. So, you would take the full retail price of a smartphone or tablet, divide it by 20 and add that cost to your monthly traditional or family-share AT&T plan. Twelve months later, you trade in that device for a new one, and a new cycle begins. If you decide you want a new phone before the 12 months is up, Next owners still owe the cost of the remaining months’ fees.

Read the full story at All Things D.

Report: Verizon’s ‘VZ Edge’ Would Let Customers Pay Monthly for Smartphones, Upgrade Early

Verizon

Back in April, after extending upgrade periods to a full 24 months, Verizon introduced a new device payment that would allow customers to upgrade phones by purchasing them at full prices with the payments spread out over a 12-month period. According to sources of ours, Verizon will introduce a new upgrade initiative on August 25 called “VZ Edge” that will allow customers to upgrade their phones much more frequently to “stay on the leading edge of technology.” In an training slide detailing the new plan, we can see that Verizon is offering up VZ Edge as a way for customers to avoid signing contracts and upgrade fees, while remaining on the “best network” and with the latest devices. All of the specifics are not yet available, but this slide does mention that if customers are on the previously mentioned monthly payment plan, that they can upgrade to a new device at any time once they have paid off 50% of their current phone.

Read the full story at Droid-Life.

The Copycat Culture of Tech Hits the Mobile World in Full Force

T-Mobile Jump

Tech culture is a funny thing. If you track tech news, releases and new ideas closely enough, you’ll notice there’s a very apparent trend that pops up all the time:

  1. Some company has a truly original idea.
  2. Every competing company copies that idea.

It’s funny and sad at the same time, and it’s the same thing that happens every time there’s a truly unique idea in the tech world.

A Truly Original Idea

The most recent example of this has been the ability for tech-happy smartphone owners to upgrade their phones far more often than once every two years. T-Mobile made a big splash in the mobile market last week when it announced ‘Jump,’ which would give customers two mobile upgrades every year for an extra $10 per month. (As a refresher to the new way T-Mobile sells smartphones since they no longer have mobile contracts, you can catch up here.)

Jump is a great idea! A truly original idea. People love upgrading their phones and hate having to wait 20 months two years for a new gadget. (Let’s put aside the fact that you don’t save a much money by constantly upgrading your phones and you no longer have back-up phones to give someone or use in case of emergency. It’s still a very original idea.)

… and the Rest Shall Follow

You know what’s NOT original? The fact that AT&T just announced an almost identical program: Next. (All Things D notes that AT&T issued a memo teasing Next before T-Mobile announced Jump, so it’s unclear whose idea came first. The bottom line is still the same: derivative ideas.) Next would be slightly different from T-Mobile’s plans in a few ways: You’re eligible for an upgrade every 12 months, not six; you don’t need to put a down payment on your device; and there’s no additional monthly fee. It would be more forgivable of a copycat if it was better, but the numbers don’t add up. T-Mobile’s not scared, either, as an executive said it’s a “poor imitation” of Jump.

Want to hear a funny story? Verizon’s reportedly planning the same type of program, called VZ Edge, which would launch in August. The plan is almost identical to Next, which means it, too, is a slight derivation on Jump.

It’s just that type of copycat culture. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sprint announce something similar, except Sprint seems to be doing its own thing over there, with Unlimited, My Way essentially giving you unlimited everything forever and ever.

Not an Isolated Incident

Think back to the biggest tech breakthroughs of the last few years: iPhone, iPad, etc. Every major breakthrough has been imitated and copied and modded and tweaked by just about every company under the sun. I’ve just never seen it happen as quickly as we’ve seen phone carriers do their thing this week.

And this isn’t the last time we’ll see this type of behavior this year. The Pebble Smartwatch was last year’s Kickstarter darling, and recently hit store shelves. You know who else is interested in the smartwatch business? Oh, just about everyone: Google. Apple. Mozilla. Microsoft. TomTom. Sony. Dell. It’s amazing. For a while, I seemed to be posting a story about a new company wanting to enter the smartwatch business… and I know we’ll see the same thing once Google Glass becomes more prevalent.

Innovation breeds competition, which helps create better products for all of us to buy and use. I’d just like to see more unique ideas, rather than everyone piling on whichever bandwagon is hot this hour.

Shelly Palmer Radio Report – July 17, 2013

If you’ve ever wanted to take massively-sized photographs without lugging around a DSLR camera, I’ve got a smartphone for you. Last week, Nokia unveiled the Windows 8-powered Lumia 1020, complete with a 41-megapixel PureView camera and Carl Zeiss optics. Yep, you heard me right – 41 megapixels. The massive 41-megapixel images are processed by new Pro Camera and Smart Camera software, which are also hitting other Lumias soon. Since a 41-megapixel image is far too big for a mobile upload, the Lumia 1020 actually saves two versions of each photo you take: the full 41-megapixel image as well as a 5-megapixel version, which is far more conducive to sharing on Facebook. The rest of the Lumia 1020’s specs are good, not great: it features a 4.5-inch AMOLED display, a dual-core processor and 32 gigs of storage. If you’ve absolutely got to own the phone with the best built-in camera on the market, the Nokia Lumia 1020 will hit AT&T store shelves exclusively on July 26 for $299 with a new two-year contract.