Apple announced during its press conference on Wednesday that the latest version of its mobile operating system would become available for download later in the day. iOS 5.1 has now been released for the iPad 2, iPad, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and second and third-generation iPod touch handhelds, and the new iOS build brings Japanese language support for Siri along with a number of additional updates. And ridiculous though it may be, AT&T iPhone owners will now see “4G” in place of 3G next to their signal bars while connected to HSPA. We detailed key changes in our exclusive hands-on with the software last month. iOS 5.1 is currently in the process of being made available through iTunes and over the air, but impatient users can download the appropriate update via the read link below. More →
A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit targeting the iPhone 4′s antenna and reception problems, reports CNET. U.S. residents who bought the handset will be offered either $15 or a free bumper case, however the offer is only valid for those individuals who did not take advantage of Apple’s previous offer. The settlement comes from 18 separate lawsuits that were consolidated into one, all claiming that Apple was “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.” Original buyers will be notified via email before April 30th, or they can visit http://www.iPhone4Settlement.com, although the site is not yet live. After the notifications are sent, the claims period will last for 120 days. More →
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency within the United States Department of Commerce, will stop using BlackBerry phones later this year and instead supply workers with Apple’s mobile devices. In a memo relayed by Loop Insight, NOAA’s Chief Information Officer and Director for High Performance Computing and Communications said that support for BlackBerry phones will cease in May of this year. Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will replace the agency’s BlackBerry handsets, and NOAA plans to adopt current and future generations of Apple’s iPad tablet as well. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones have been the U.S. government’s go-to solution for wireless devices due to their enhanced security and robust messaging capabilities. Loop Insight’s report did not indicate that the NOAA memo provided an explanation for the agency’s decision. More →
Sprint on Wednesday reported its results for the fourth quarter of 2011. The nation’s No.3 carrier sold 1.8 million iPhones, 40% of which were sold to new subscribers, and it managed 1.6 million total net subscriber additions in the quarter — its best performance in terms of customer acquisition since 2005. Sprint still posted a net loss of $1.3 billion in the quarter, however, or a diluted loss of $.43 per share. The carrier saw net operating losses increase to $438 million from $139 million in the same quarter a year earlier, and Sprint now has a total of 55 million subscribers including 33 million post-paid customers. The carrier notes that it recorded adjusted OIBDA of $842 million in the fourth quarter and $5.1 billion for the full year, representing the its first year of positive adjusted operating income since 2006. Sprint’s full press release follows after the break.
Apple was the top smartphone vendor in the United States last quarter according to new data released on Monday. A new report from market research firm The NPD Group suggests that the three best-selling smartphones in America last quarter were all iPhones. Apple’s new iPhone 4S was deemed the top-selling smartphone this past holiday quarter, followed by the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS, which is now free on contract from AT&T. Two versions of Samsung’s Galaxy S II smartphone rounded out the top-5. Read on for more. More →
Sales of Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G resumed on Friday after a permanent injunction had gone into effect early Friday morning. ”All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly” an Apple spokesperson told SlashGear in a statement. “Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.” Apple’s iOS devices with embedded 3G were deemed to being infringing on a Motorola patent this past December. A judge ordered an injunction at that time that went into effect on Friday, forcing Apple to remove the infringing devices from its German website. Motorola filed a separate complaint against Apple’s new iPhone 4S last month. More →
Apple’s aggressive litigation strategy against Android vendors over the past year has seen precious little return considering the huge investment it reportedly requires, and on Friday things took another turn south for the Cupertino, California-based technology giant. A court in Germany has issued a permanent injunction against the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, upholding a ruling issued in December. Online sales of the phones have been banned in the country, and Apple has removed the devices from its German website. All iPhone models and iPad 2 models are still available for sale at local retailers, FOSS Patents reports. The ban is the result of a patent complaint filed against Apple by Motorola Mobility in Germany, claiming Apple’s iOS devices with embedded 3G connectivity infringe a Motorola patent related to UMTS technology. Late last month, Motorola filed a new complaint in Germany targeting Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S. More →
Most new iPhone buyers are choosing the iPhone 4S, according to a new report. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released data on Thursday that suggests Apple’s latest iPhone model accounts for 89% of all Apple smartphones sold since the iPhone 4S was released in October. We’re a bit surprised by the figures; the new iPhone offers beefier specs and a better camera than previous generation models, but the iPhone 3GS is free on a contract with AT&T and the iPhone 4 is still available at a discount in several markets. Still, those devices accounted for just 4% and 7% of all iPhone sales, respectively, since October according to CIRP. The research firm told AllThingsD that the 16GB iPhone 4S was the most popular model. It was responsible for 45% of all iPhone 4S sales, followed by the 32GB model (34%) and the 64GB model (21%). “An amazing 19 percent of all iPhone buyers upgraded from the iPhone 4, a phone barely a year old at the time of the launch,” Mike Levin, CIRP’s co-founder, told AllThingsD. “Forty-two percent of iPhone buyers broke existing carrier contracts to get the new iPhone 4S. And 19 percent of these iPhone 4S buyers sold their old iPhone in the secondary market.” More →
Apple’s share of the global smartphone market reportedly topped the market share of all Android vendors combined in the fourth quarter last year, and nowhere was the iPhone’s lead more dominant than at AT&T. The nation’s No.2 carrier on Thursday reported its earnings for the December quarter, stating that smartphone activations totaled 9.4 million units. Apple’s iPhone lineup accounted for 7.6 million activations, or 81% of all smartphones AT&T activated during the three months ended in December. Considering the handful of BlackBerry smartphones and Windows Phones the carrier sold last quarter, all of AT&T’s Android phones combined were responsible for under 19% of the carrier’s smartphone sales. Android handsets continue to proliferate globally and with a number of stunners due to be unveiled next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the tide will certainly soon turn back in Google’s favor. The iPad 3 is due to launch in the coming months and a completely redesigned iPhone on the horizon, however, and Apple may very well top its record-setting fiscal first quarter later this year.
Apple’s monster holiday quarter is the talk of the tech world, with the technology giant having just reported the second most profitable quarter ever among U.S. companies. The company’s $13.06 billion in fiscal first-quarter profit on revenue that surpassed $46 billion is staggering, and iPhone shipments that surpassed 37 million units played a huge role in Apple’s record-setting quarter. While market share is a statistic many deem unimportant, another impressive entry in Apple’s laundry least of first-quarter feats may be one of its most impressive yet: with just three models currently available, Apple’s share of the smartphone market may have surpassed that of Android in the fourth calendar quarter of 2011. Read on for more. More →
An internal document allegedly obtained from T-Mobile says the iPhone offers a “poor” customer experience on T-Mobile’s network. While it’s arguable that is a true statement since current iPhone models don’t support T-Mobile’s 1700MHz and 2100MHz 3G/4G bands and can only run on a second-generation EDGE network, there are now well over a million T-Mobile customers currently using unlocked iPhones on its network. The internal document instead asks customer service representatives to suggest customers buy T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ Android devices instead. We certainly understand where T-Mobile is coming from; obviously it wants to be able to control its customers’ experiences on its network. Plus, EDGE is far slower than the carrier’s HSPA+ network. As TMoNews points out, it’s more probable that customers find their data experience “limited” but not “poor,” given that some customers may argue that the iPhone itself offers a better hardware and software experience than several of T-Mobile’s 4G phones. More →
Singapore-based wireless carrier M1 began offering camera-free iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets on Friday. The Singaporean government does not allow its soldiers to carry phones equipped with cameras, but requires that all men serve two years in the military. M1 no doubt wanted to address those potential customers who wanted iPhones but could not carry one with a camera. The camera-free iPhone 4 starts at $449 while the high-end iPhone 4S is priced at $974. According to CNET Asia, Singtel and StarHub are also planning to offer camera-less iPhones, although it’s unclear when the device will be launched on those carriers. It is unclear if or when camera-free versions of the iPhone will become available outside Singapore. More →
Nissan on Monday announced the company’s new Scratch Shield case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The case is made of ABS plastic that is designed to create a rigid, robust and tighter-fitting case. Perhaps the most exciting news is the case’s unique ability to heal itself. Nissan’s Scratch Shield paint is the world’s first paint technology that allows fine scratches to quickly mend themselves. The paint is the same that is featured on numerous Nissan and Infiniti automobiles throughout the world. When damage occurs to the coating, the chemical structure is able to react to change back to its original shape and fill the gap, thus “healing” the blemish. The healing process takes between an hour and a week depending on the damage. The Scratch Shield is currently being beta tested in Europe, with the technology also being licensed to NTT Docomo for use on mobile phones. If Nissan is satisfied with the results from the beta test, we can expect to see the case released to the general public later this year. Read on for Nissan’s press release. More →