Despite rumors to the contrary, it doesn't look like Apple has any plans to ship a 7-inch iPad to compete with other upcoming tablets with similar sized screens.
"It's meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size," Jobs said during Apple's earnings call yesterday afternoon.
According to Jobs, tablets smaller than 10 inches just don't make sense.
"Apple has done extensive user testing and we really understand this stuff," Jobs said. "There are clear limits on how close you can place things on a touchscreen, which is why we think 10 inches is the minimum screen size to create great tablet apps."
Interesting comments coming from someone who represents the company responsible for the iPhone and iPod touch, two touchscreen devices that are decidedly smaller than 7 inches.
If you’re a fan of conspiracies about the Illuminati, the Stonecutters, and how George Lucas died in 1981 while shooting Revenge of the Jedi, then you’ll appreciate me blowing the lid off an even bigger cover-up that cuts closer to our technology-obsessed hearts: The media’s secret pro-Apple bias.
Don’t believe me? I’ve got proof.
In 2008, Apple held a press conference to announce its new unibody MacBook Pro. Now, in my 18 years as a journalist, I’ve been to plenty of press conferences. Technology press conferences (especially product launches) are generally snoozefests, and the only way to get reporters to even show up is to offer free food and booze. Apple’s press conference, however, had to be held in an auditorium that could accommodate 200 or so journalists from around the globe—journalists who had willingly, voluntarily gathered to see the new MacBook Pro.
Steve Jobs is always trying to stay a cut above his competitors with magical and revolutionary moves they can not possibly previse being their run-of-the-mill selves. These magical and revolutionary tools of Steve Jobs' one-upmanship are, often, not only too arcane for his rivals but also for security officials at Japanese airports, who reportedly confiscated the Apple CEO's shurikens (also known as Ninja Stars) when he was about to board his private plane at Kansai International Airport on his way back home from a family vacation in Japan in July, 2010.
According to the latest issue of Japan's SPA! magazine, Jobs was found carrying Ninja throwing stars in his carry-on luggage by security officials at the airport. The story goes that he was barred from boarding his own plane with the shurikens, even though he tried to impress upon the officials that he was unlikely to gain anything from hijacking his own plane. According to the report, he finally left Japan without the magical and revolutionary shurikens, vowing never to return.
But an Apple spokesperson, while confirming the visit, described the incidents mentioned in the report as “pure fiction.” He further added, “Steve had a great time and hopes to visit Japan again soon.”
Early adopters of Apple's iPad knew what features they were forfeiting in order to be at the forefront of the tablet revolution, but what they might not have known is how quickly Apple would render its first-gen slate obsolete.
According to Apple news, rumors, and analysis site AppleInsider.com, Steve Jobs and his Cupertino cohorts are planning to release a second-gen iPad ahead of Apple's 12-month product refresh cycle for iOS devices. Citing "a person with proven knowledge of Apple's future product plans," Apple Insider says there's already a version of an upcoming iPad with a built-in video camera and support for FaceTime.
The source didn't say exactly when the iPad 2 would ship, but did say Apple is trying to push the device in time for this year's holiday shopping season, which is about the same time we should start seeing competing tablets from everyone else. And therein lies the reasoning behind Apple's rush to update its iPad, which has so far been selling well as the only game in town despite a spate of missing features.
After the whole iPhone 4 antenna fiasco, you'd think Apple would be a little reluctant to start flinging mud. You'd also be wrong. During Apple's San Francisco event yesterday, Steve Jobs used part of his time on stage to call into question Google's activation numbers, albeit not directly.
"We think some of our friends are counting upgrades in their numbers," said Jobs, presumably directed at Google's Eric Schmidt, who last month announced Google was activating over 200,000 devices a day. "We think we are ahead of everyone."
In responding to Jobs' accusation, a Google spokesperson got right to the point.
"The Android activation numbers do not include upgrades and are, in fact, only a portion of the Android devices in the market since we only include devices that have Google services," a Google spokesperson told CNN.
If we're to believe Google, then not only was Jobs wrong in his assertion, but the number of Google Android devices could conceivably be higher than the 230,000 Apple devices Jobs says are activated on a daily basis.
Apple can try to spin the media anyway it wants, but the reality is the iPhone 4 “Antennagate” is one of the biggest PR fumbles in the company’s history. It was inevitable that heads would roll over the issue, and it appears as though Mark Papermaster will be the first Apple employee voted off the island. My money was on the guy who left the prototype iPhone 4 in a bar, but hey, you win a few you lose a few right?
Papermaster was poached from IBM back in late 2008 to help oversee iPhone design and engineering, but his legal battle with IBM over a non-compete clause only settled in mid April 2009. In hindsight I’m guessing Apple would say he probably wasn’t worth all the effort, but he must have had a mighty impressive resume to justify all the legal trouble. We have no idea what role Papermaster actually played in the decision to put the antenna in the band, but clearly he is going to take the fall for it none the less. We are willing to guess Steve Job’s career was never in any jeopardy over this one.
Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of Mac hardware engineering is slated to take up the iPhone flag and it will be interesting to see where the antenna ends up under his leadership. Here’s a hint for you Bobby, pick somewhere your hand doesn’t go when you grip the phone normally.
We're still celebrating the decision by U.S. regulators to add some much needed exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which, among other things, makes it perfectly legal for users to jailbreak their iPhones and other mobile phones, and boy is that pissing off Apple.
"Apple's goal has always been to ensure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience," an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement. "As we've said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhone as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably."
We bolded the warranty tidbit ourselves, because really, that's the part that some will construe as a veiled threat from Apple, and others will take as affirmation that, yes, your warranty goes out the window the minute you alter Jobs' magical handset in ways his Cupertino company doesn't approve.
Nobody really knows exactly how many jailbroken iPhones are out in the wild, though some estimates peg the number at around 10 million. And that was before this landmark ruling. With the Library of Congress handing the keys over to users, you can bet an increasing number of iPhone owners will drive off into what's no longer the Forbidden Zone.
Sure, Apple can kill your warranty for doing so, but that's all the company can do, right? Maybe not. If you haven't already, check out our latest edition of Murphy's Law, in which David Murphy explains why he thinks this is just the beginning of a frightening war between Apple and those would dare jailbreak their iPhones.
By now everyone's heard about the iPhone 4's controversial antenna problem, which Steve Jobs has labeled as a "non-issue." But while this is all relatively recent news to consumers, an Apple engineer claims he warned Jobs during the early design phase of the iPhone 4 that dropped calls was going to be a strong possibility, Bloomberg reports.
This isn't just any Apple engineer either, but a senior antenna expert in Apple's ranks who, according to Bloomberg's anonymous source, foresaw the scenario now being played out.
"Last year, Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, informed Apple's management the device's design may cause recpetion problems, said the person, who is not authorized to speak on Apple's behalf and asked not to be identified," Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg goes on to say that a carrier partner also raised concerns about the antenna before its June 24 release. By all indications, this is something that could and should have been avoided, but then again, we'd be left without entertaining quips, both from Jobs himself (telling users they're holding the phone wrong), and from Microsoft, who likened the iPhone 4 to Vista.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that," Microsoft's COO Kevin Turner said during his keynote speech at the Worldiwde Partner Conference.
In his tirade against Adobe's Flash platform, one of the reasons Steve Jobs says Apple doesn't allow the popular plug-in to run on Apple's iPhones, iPods, and iPads is because "Flash has not performed well on mobile devices." In fact, Steve Jobs claims his Cupertino company has "routinely asked Adobe to show us [Apple] Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now." Anyone think a demo of Flash running smooth on the iPad would change his mind?
Probably not, but that didn't stop iPhone hacker "comex" from demonstrating it anyway. This is the same guy who developed the Spirit untethered jailbreak tool for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and now he's gone and ported a version of Adobe Flash runtime for Android to run on the iPad using a compatibility layer, which he's calling "Frash."
"Frash can currently run most Flash programs natively in the MobileSafari browser," reads a description of the YouTube video showing Frash in action. "Frash currently only runs on the iPad, but support for other devices (3GS+ only due to technical restrictions" is planned, as well as support for iOS 4."
Comex says he'll release Frash when it's fully stable, and in the meantime, "developers are welcome to join the effort at http://github.com/comex/frash -- fork it an send a pull request with your patches."
Show of hands, who didn't see this one coming? Anyone? Like you, your neighbor, the local convenience store owner, and even little Billy who's more interested in what SpongeBob is up to than the world of tech, we could see the class action lawsuit(s) coming, and they've now arrived.
Defect in Design, Manufacture, and Assembly (Apple)
Breach of Express Warranty (Apple)
Breach of Implied Warranty for Merchantability (Apple and AT&T)
Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose (Ajpple and AT&T)
Deceptive Trade Practices (Apple and AT&T)
Intentional Misrepresentation (Apple and AT&T)
Negligent Misrepresentation (Apple and AT&T)
Fraud by Concealment (Apple AT&T)
Lawsuits over the iPhone 4's well documented antenna problems have also come from Washington, Massachusetts, and probably a few other places. One of the suits says "the refusal of Apple and AT&T to both acknowledge and offer to fix users' phones is incredulous."
For those of you who may have been abducted by aliens and just now returned to Earth, Apple has been catching heat for what many are saying is a defect in the iPhone 4's design that causes the device to lose a signal when covering the antenna, most often when holding it with the left hand. Steve Jobs called it a "non issue" and suggested holding the device a different way.