Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Microsoft's KIN Dead; next of KIN notified

It's dead, Jim. KIN, that is.

The short-lived social networking phone KIN was sort of smartphone-ish, but not smart enough apparently to keep itself alive. Microsoft has canceled the existing product's launch later this year in Europe on news that sales weren't as strong as expected, and is folding the Kin team into the core Windows Phone 7 team.

Microsoft's statement:
"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones."
It's unclear how long Verizon will continue to sell KIN phones. After all, it sure seems like the product has been disKINtinued.

Severe signal attenuation when holding iPhone 4 'normally': report

Apple continues to say that all cell phones lose some signal when held in your hand. This, in fact is true. It's the severity of that loss on the iPhone 4 that seems extreme. Now we have some numbers to bring to the argument, with a review that clearly details the issue.

While all the iPhone 4 reports normally is "bars", as opposed raw signal strength (RSSI) in dBm, and the Field Test mode ha been removed in iOS4, Anandtech basically jailbroke the iPhone 4 so they could get a numeric readout. The results were interesting.

They compared an iPhone 4, an iPhone 3GS using iOS 4, and an HTC Nexus One. They tested under the following conditions:
  • Cupping Tightly
  • Holding Naturally
  • On an Open Palm
  • Holding Naturally Inside Case
All of the phones showed signal attenuation when held. However, the key is probably the difference between the iPhone 3GS when held normally and the iPhone 4 when held normally. The iPhone 4 exhibits signal attenuation of 19.8 db, vs. 1.9 on the 3GS. That is a huge difference.

Additionally, in terms of the iPhone 4's signal bar display, which is all most consumers have to use, a phone will register from -51dBm, which is standing right under a tower, to -113dBm, which is where a phone will disconnect. Nearly 40% of possible range, from -51dBm to -91dBM is reported as 5 bars. This possibly shows why folks aren't reporting a drop in signal strength; they are seeing attenuation, but the bars don't show it.

It also shows why bars can't be trusted in terms of signal strength.

Finally, Anandtech some sort of non conductive coating on the antennas. The alternative, they noted, would be "bumpers for all," but Apple heavily touts its design and "bare metal" is the way they want to go; any such "bumper-fest" would be admitting a mistake.

Take a look at the full review; it's very interesting.

Coincidence or not? Apple hiring antenna engineers

The iPhone 4's antenna problems are seemingly obvious to many consumers, although Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently said "There are no reception issues. Stay tuned." Is it then, a coincidence that Apple posted 3 new positions for "antenna engineers" on its jobs site on June 23rd, the same day that the antenna issues started flooding in?

It could be. While enGadget noticed the three iPad/iPhone antenna engineer positions posted on June 23rd, they somehow omitted the one that showed up below it when we did a search on "antenna engineer" at Apple's jobs site, ourselves (see above). That opening was posted in January. Still, does that make the other postings a coincidence? You be the judge.

The iPhone 4's antenna issues seem to be exacerbated by its external antenna system. Particularly when held in the left hand, with skin bridging the gap between two antennas (shown), users have seen not just dropped signal strength, but data transfer stoppages and even dropped calls.

Apple's official statement has been that all phones exhibit this issue when held in the hand. That is true, in fact, and can be shown by testing, but there have never been complaints about dropped calls because of holding a device.

125x125 - Banner Ad Summer SavingsAntenna experts have weighed in on the issue, including one who warned two weeks before the iPhone 4's launch that the antenna system would be problematic. At this point, many believe that a fix would not be possible via software.

Meanwhile, Apple's leaked "talking points" for its CS representatives make it clear they are sticking by their guns, and no bumpers, which seem to eliminate the issue (as would any case) will be given away free.

Maybe if they'd filled that January opening for an antenna engineer none of this would be happening. Readers, chime in.

Cisco unveils Cius: an Android-based tablet for the Enterprise

It's no iPad, and it's not aimed at consumers, but it is the first Android tablet for Cisco. The company announced the new Cisco Cius during its annual customer conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

The Cisco Cius will only weigh about 1.15 pounds, and has a smaller screen than an iPad, only 7 inches. The device is definitely aimed at the Enterprise. It will be loaded with s suite of Cisco software products, including Cisco Quad, Show and Share, WebEx, Presence and Cisco TelePresence; it also supports Unified Communications Manager.

The Cius has wi-fi and 3G capability, along with Bluetooth and Micro-USB support. The battery is detachable, though Cisco says the Cius will run for eight hours “under normal usage.”

Customer trials begin in the third quarter, but the device won't ship until early 2011. That's probably poor timing in terms of grabbing attention, as based on Apple's annual cycles for product refreshes the iPad might be seeing an update then.

Still, while the iPad is more consumer-focused, the Cius is definitely aimed at the Enterprise. With integration with Cisco products, it has a real chance for corporate adoption.

Here are the specs of the Cisco Cius:
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G/4G data and Bluetooth 3.0 help employees stay connected on and off-campus
  • HD video (720p) with Cisco TelePresence solution interoperability for lifelike video communication with the simplicity of a phone call
  • Virtual desktop client enables highly secure access to cloud-based business applications
  • Android operating system, with access Android marketplace applications
  • Collaboration applications including Cisco Quad, Cisco Show and Share, WebEx, Presence, and IM
  • 7” diagonal, high-resolution color screen with contact-based touch targets
  • HD Soundstation supports Bluetooth and USB peripherals, 10/100/1000 wired connectivity and a handset option
  • Detachable and serviceable 8-hour battery for a full day of work
  • Highly secure remote connections with Cisco AnyConnect Security VPN Client
  • HD audio with wideband support (tablet, HD Soundstation)

No free bumpers for you iPhone 4 owners: Apple CS

20% Off Entire OrderAbout the only thing anyone talks about nowadays with regards to the iPhone 4 is not how great it is, but how it discriminates against lefties. Seriously, Apple is sticking by its guns, and it's interesting to read what they have told their AppleCare reps to use as "the message."

BGR has received a report from an insider on the talking points AppleCare reps are supposed to use. One thing for sure: no free bumpers are to be given to anyone.
  1. Keep all of the positioning statements in the BN handy – your tone when delivering this information is important.
    1. The iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. Our testing shows that iPhone 4’s overall antenna performance is better than iPhone 3GS.
    2. Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world.
    3. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand.
    4. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band.
    5. The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.
  2. Do not perform warranty service. Use the positioning above for any customer questions or concerns.
  3. Don’t forget YOU STILL NEED to probe and troubleshoot. If a customer calls about their reception while the phone is sitting on a table (not being held) it is not the metal band.
  4. ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it.
  5. We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers – DON’T promise a free bumper to customers.
Interesting talking points, and certainly, we see no taking of blame here. We also see no indication of a software fix. Hmmm.

Law firm begins investigating iPhone 4 reception issues

It was only a matter of time, and while it's still in the preparatory stage, it seems a law firm is looping itself into the iPhone 4 reception issue fiasco. Sacramento, CA law firm Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff (KCR) has begun soliciting iPhone 4 customers over their experiences with the iPhone 4's famous left-handed signal degradation.

On their site, KCR says:
KCR is currently investigating potential problems with the release of iPhone 4.

If you recently purchased the new iPhone and have experienced poor reception quality, dropped calls and weak signals, we would like to hear from you.

Please call us toll free at (888) 285-3333, click "live chat" above to immediately speak with a KCR representative, or email us for more details.
While there is evidence that other phones exhibit signal degradation when held, the iPhone 4's external antenna systems appears to exacerbate the issue. Numerous videos and complaints have arisen, including folks noting not just data slowdown (or shutdown) when holding the device, but dropped calls.

Steve Jobs has said there (in various responses) a) there is no issue, b) hold the phone differently, c) buy a case. At this point, there's no resolution, but there's also no lack of criticism over the latest iPhone revision.

KCR was also in the tech news late last year for its class action lawsuit filed against Facebook and social gaming company Zynga over"special offer" ads in Zynga's popular Facebook games.

It's here; Hulu Plus: $9.99 a month subscription service

Hulu ended months of speculation on Tuesday, unveiling its Hulu Plus subscription service, priced at $9.99 per month. The bad news: despite the fee, you'll still be cursed with ads.

Although will still offer free content, Hulu Plus will be "incremental and complementary to the existing Hulu service." You'll be able to watch entire seasons of currently running shows, not just a trailing series of episodes. There will also be libraries of episodes for older shows, and all this will come streamed completely in HD (720p).

Hulu Plus will also be viewable on an expanded set of hardware. Not only will you be able to watch via your computer, you will also be able to view on the iPad / iPhone / iPod touch (over Wi-Fi or 3G).

Click Here For The Wall Street Journal OnlineThat's not all. It will support Internet-enabled Samsung TVs at launch, and some Internet-enabled Samsung BD players, too. Sony TVs and BD players will come in the fall of 2010, along with Vizio TVs and BD players. Meanwhile, the ubiquitous PS will see support "soon," while the Xbox 360 will get it in "early 2011."

Hulu Plus will launch in July. However, they aren't going to go whole hog with subscriptions, but are instead accepting email addresses for invites to the "Hulu Plus Preview" here. The company also said that if you follow Hulu on Twitter or “Like” Hulu on Facebook, they will hand out invites in "waves" to a randomly selected set from each of those groups from "time to time over the coming months."

It is unclear when they will remove the "invitation" requirement, but hopefully it won't be as long as for services like Google Voice. However, his is another example of one company (Hulu) pushing consumers to use more broadband, while some companies (Comcast, AT&T Wireless) want us to use less. We find that really annoying (as well as a conundrum).

What do you readers think? Do you like the idea of Hulu Plus? Or do you find the possibility of being double-dipped with ads and a subscription fee annoying?

Watch the intro video below:

Nexus Ones finally get their Froyo dessert

This time it's official. The Android 2.2 (Froyo) release is finally here, at least for Nexus One users, after several false alarms. This time, we know it's official, via a Google blog post on Monday afternoon.
Starting today, Nexus One users will begin to receive the Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) over-the-air software update on their phones. This update provides some great new features including support for making your handset a portable hotspot and support for Adobe Flash within the browser. For a complete list of everything we’ve included in Android 2.2, please see the Android 2.2 Platform Highlights.

In order to access the update, you will receive a message on your phone's notification bar. Just download the update, wait for it to install, and you should be all set. This update will be rolled out gradually to phones - and most users will receive the notification by the end of the week. We hope you enjoy these new features.
Google had previously stated the Nexus One (or so-called Google phone) would be the first to get Froyo. Additionally, the Nexus One doesn't have the custom skins or layers of other devices, like TouchWiz or Sense, which make porting more difficult.

The new build is FRF85B. Some of the highlights include built-in wi-fi hotspot support, ability to move apps to the SD card, unlock PIN (finally), and a reported 400+ percent performance boost.

Click here for the Best Buy Free Shipping OffersAs we had said earlier, if Google wanted to take some of the shine off of iOS 4 and the iPhone 4, Froyo would have been released before those, or close to the same time. Oh, wait! Perhaps Google should also create a YouTube video on how to hold a Nexus One, assuming Froyo doesn't degrade antenna performance, at all.

For those wondering, the creamy, yogurty Froyo will come to other devices. We've been promised some devices (such as the Evo 4G, Droid X, Droid) will get the update. The only question is when.

We haven't seen it on any of our T-Mobile or AT&T devices yet, but it is definitely coming for all (at least, all not on custom ROMs; they may have to resort to manual methods).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Verizon to sell iPhone in January: Report

We have predicted in the past that Verizon would get the iPhone in early 2011. We based this on just how "generous" AT&T was with iPhone 4 upgrades. It seems we may have been on the mark.

iSkin products for Mac, iPod, iPhone, and moreBloomberg is reporting that two unnamed sources (what other kind is there?) are telling them that Verizon Wireless will start selling iPhones in January, ending AT&T's exclusive hold on the device.

This would be a major plus for Apple, as well as Verizon. It's no secret while Apple's partnership with AT&T has been profitable for both companies, AT&T's 3G network has strained under the weight of the iPhone. It's unclear if Verizon will have better luck with the sheer weight of the iPhone's data load, but many believe it will.

Download 25 FREE songs at!As Verizon has the largest number of subscribers in the U.S. (AT&T is second), it's also believed that a move to Verizon will not just improve reliability on the device, but give Apple a huge subscriber base to expand to.

Of course, we've heard this Verizon iPhone rumor over and over again. This time, with the suspicious generosity of AT&T, as well as the fact that most believed AT&T's iPhone exclusivity ended this year, anyway, it seems real. What do you readers think?

EVO 4G ROM update pulled after devices bricked

Yesterday, Sprint began rolling out an update to the HTC EVO 4G, with disastrous results for some. Although some competed the update successfully, some bricked their devices when they accidentally applied the update twice.

Wireless Emporium - 75% Off Cellphone AccessoriesIn these cases, the EVO 4G would actually notify users of the same OTA update after they’d already applied it and rebooted. Here's what Sprint said:
While the vast majority of consumers successfully downloaded and installed the most recent HTC EVO 4G software update, we have received a handful of reports from customers having some issues with the update. In light of this, HTC and Sprint have decided to temporarily halt distribution of this software release until we can investigate further. We expect to be able to resume software updates shortly.
Considering how hard it is to order an EVO 4G right now, those with bricked devices will have a hard time getting a replacement. Those users are probably fuming about now.

Update: the update is back now. No word on what happened or what will happen to those owners with bricked devices, but you can assume they'll be taken care of.

Google to stop auto-redirecting China site to Hong Kong

Google, citing censorship as well as the hacking of Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, early started doing an end run around the issue by automatically redirecting Chinese users to its Hong Kong servers, where they could get uncensored results.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011That didn't go over too well with the Chinese government, and with Google's Internet Content Provider license in China up for renewal on Wednesday, Google's now switching tactics.

The new idea, which will be phased in, Google said, over the next few days, would be to add a link for on its landing page for users that redirects to the Hong Kong site.

One could say that Google made a hasty decision before, and realizes, with its license up for renewal, that it need to reverse direction, to stay in the country with the most potential users in the world. It's unclear that China will like this solution any better than the prior one.

If they don't renew Google's license, Google will basically be booted out of the country. Obviously more updates to come.

Nokia shows Apple the right way to hold a smartphone

Since we have been told we are holding the iPhone 4 wrong, Nokia has taken the time to show us the correct way to hold a Nokia smartphone. You mileage may, of course, vary, particularly if you are left-handed and using an iPhone instead of a Nokia phone.

The tutorial shows end users four "elegant" ways to hold a nokia.
There's the Thumb and Finger (upper left (UL), above), the Cup (UR), the Balance (LL), and the Four Edge Grip (LR). Of course, as Nokia states in their tutorial (emphasis ours):

Buy movie tickets online now!We’ve found any of the four grips mentioned above to be both comfortable and as you can see, offer no signal degradation whatsoever. This isn’t a feature you’ll only find on high-end Nokia devices either. It’s something that’s been a part of pretty much every Nokia device ever made (perhaps with the exception of that teardrop 3G one, which was a bit ridiculous).

The key function on any Nokia device is its ability to make phone calls. After all, that’s why we know them universally as mobile phones (or smart phones, feature phones or mobile computers – though the same grip styles work for those, too). One of the main things we’ve found about the 1 billion plus Nokia devices that are in use today is that when making a phone call, people generally tend to hold their phone like a ... well, like a phone. Providing a wide range of methods and grips for people to hold their phones, without interfering with the antennae, has been an essential feature of every device Nokia has built.

Of course, feel free to ignore all of the above because realistically, you’re free to hold your Nokia device any way you like. And you won’t suffer any signal loss. Cool, huh?
Clearly a dig at you-know-what, it is true that even in his review of the iPhone 4, the WSJ's Walt Mossberg said those with lower signal strength in their areas might want to opt for a second phone to carry around with their iPhone. That was before the issue with the antenna was known, simply based on the AT&T network. (finally) releases Android Kindle app

We just complained about how hadn't released Kindle for Android yet, earlier, and viola, it's been announced by and its now in the Android Market. Of course, we won't take any credit for it, but it's sure a coincidence.

Seems like pent-up demand was there; the first time we tried to download the app it failed. We managed to get it downloaded and installed to our Nexus One on the second try.

Unlimited Video Game Rentals - Start Now!Here's the bulleted list of features:
  • Search and browse more than 620,000 books, including 108 of 111 New York Times Bestsellers, plus tens of thousands of the most popular classics for free directly from their Android device. Bestsellers such as "Backlash" by Aaron Allston, "Big Girl" by Danielle Steel, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot, and "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown, and hundreds of thousands of other popular books are $9.99 or less in the Kindle Store
  • Read the first chapter of books for free before they decide to buy
  • Access their library of previously purchased Kindle books storedon Amazon's servers for free
  • Synchronize last page read between their Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Android-powered phone
  • Customize background color, font color, and font size to help ease eyestrain
  • Read in portrait or landscape mode, tap on either side of the screen or flick to turn pages
  • Adjust screen brightness from within the app to make reading easier
It's pretty much the same app as on other platforms, but downloading one of my archived books didn't work too well; it failed twice before we gave up and decided to try it when connected to wi-fi later. Admittedly, we can probably blame it on AT&T.

Amazon's iOS Kindle apps boosted by video, audio clip features has added audio and video multimedia functionality to its iOS apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The changes, announced on Monday, allow embedding of audio and video clips into e-books.

In case you're wondering about the use cases for such clips, a good example in the press release was given using the Kindle edition of London by Rick Steves.
"In the new Kindle Edition with audio/video of Rick Steves' London, the embedded walking tours allow customers to listen to Rick as they explore the sites of London. Rick's narration adds depth to the reader's experience, while listeners can follow the routes more easily with the text."
You won't believe it's not broadband.More from the press release:, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced a new update to Kindle for iPad and Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch, which allows readers to enjoy the benefits of embedded video and audio clips in Kindle books. The first books to take advantage of this new technology, including Rick Steves' London by Rick Steves and Together We Cannot Fail by Terry Golway, are available in the Kindle Store at

"We are excited to add this functionality to Kindle for iPad and Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch," said Dorothy Nicholls, director, Amazon Kindle. "Readers will already find some Kindle Editions with audio/video clips in the Kindle Store today--from Rose's Heavenly Cakes with video tips on preparing the perfect cake to Bird Songs with audio clips that relate the songs and calls to the birds' appearances. This is just the beginning--we look forward to seeing what authors and publishers create for Kindle customers using the new functionality of the Kindle apps."
Ironically, this enhanced behavior won't appear on Amazon's own e-book reader, the Kindle, and thus gives the iPad, it's biggest rival, a major leg up. Still, as with anything like this, the money is made in the "consumables," meaning in this case, the e-books. still has a huge advantage in the number of e-books it carries vs. Apple's iBook store. That, however, won't be there forever.

Meanwhile, where's that promised Android Kindle app,

iPhone 4 parts cost estimated at $188: iSuppli

Market research firm iSuppli has done its typical teardown of a new iDevice, and come up with figures for the iPhone 4. According to iSuppli, a 16GB iPhone 4 costs $187.51 to manufacture (parts only).

That number compares with figures for the 16GB iPhone 3GS of $179, and for the 16GB iPhone 3G of $174. The first generation iPhone (8GB) cost $227 in parts to make.

Those figures do not include manufacturing labor (which we already know is quite low), marketing, advertising, or development. The 16GB iPhone 4 costs $199 with contract, while the 32GB iPhone 4 costs $299. Those are heavily subsidized by AT&T, of course.

Additionally, according to Kevin Keller, who oversaw the teardown for iSuppli, the materials costs on the iPhone 3GS have since dropped to $134 since the 2009 report, as prices of certain components have dropped. An 8GB iPhone 3GS model is still sold for $99.

In terms of specific parts, the so-called highly hyped "retina display" is the iPhone 4's most expensive single component, at $28.50; it "may" have been made by LG Display, iSuppli said.

The new gyroscope chip was supplied by STMicroelectronics at an estimated cost of $2.60. STMicroelectronics also supplied the 65 cent accelerometer. Apple’s A4 processor, which is manufactured by Samsung, reportedly carries a cost of $10.75.

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Apple sells 1.7 million iPhone 4s in first three days

Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s in its first three days, the company announced on Monday. To compare, in the first three days of iPhone 3G and 3GS sales, Apple sold 1 million units of each.

Meanwhile, way back in 2007, it took 72 days to sell 1 million original iPhones. Apple's press release said:
Apple today announced that it has sold over 1.7 million of its iPhone 4 through Saturday, June 26, just three days after its launch on June 24. The new iPhone 4 features FaceTime, which makes video calling as easy as one tap, and Apple’s new Retina display, the highest resolution display ever built into a phone, resulting in stunning text, images and video.

“This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.”
Meanwhile, Apple's fiscal fourth quarter started Sunday. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, in a client note, said he saw several "catalysts" which should prove very positive for Apple's bottom line.
  • An estimated 200,000 iPhone 4s were pre-ordered after Apple pushed back the delivery date (you will recall when the delivery date shifted to mid-July)
  • The launch of the white iPhone 4 in the second half of July
  • The launch in 83 additional countries by the end of September
It does make you wonder how many units Apple could have sold if the still absent white iPhone 4 was around doesn't it?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Everyone joins in the Samsung Galaxy S frenzy

All four of the major U.S. wireless carriers have variants of the Samsung Galaxy S coming in the future, after this morning's post-midnight announcement. T-Mobile had already been running a countdown timer to midnight for more info on its Samsung Vibrant, but the timing Sprint and Verizon's announcements was a surprise (though they already rumored to carry the Galaxy S).

AVG Internet Security - Tough on threats. T-Mobile's Samsung Vibrant was already spec'ed out by the carrier earlier. These Galaxy S variants will all have mostly the same specs, such as a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird CPU, a 5-megapixel camera with HD video recording (720p), a 4" Super AMOLED display, 802.11n, and Android 2.1 and Swype built-in. The Vibrant will hit retail on July 21st, for $199 with a two-year contract (no rebate mentioned), and Radio Shack will begin taking pre-orders on July 1st.

Meanwhile, Verizon's version will be called the Verizon Fascinate. The hardware and software specs are the same. What isn't mentioned by Verizon or Samsung is pricing or availability date. Odds are it will be the same $199 as T-Mobile's (with plan), however, with or without a rebate.

We mentioned all four major wireless carriers, but also in the mix besides the two above, AT&T (with its earlier announced Captivate) and Sprint (more on that later) is U.S. Cellular. Its press release with Samsung was pretty generic, and didn't mention any specific model name, so they may just go with Samsung Galaxy S and stick with a pretty stock software load. No pricing or availability was listed, but $199 is a good bet.

The Sprint variant is perhaps the most interesting. The Sprint Epic 4G (shown) joins the EVO 4G as the second 4G phone on Sprint's network. Unlike the above Galaxy S variants, this one has a slide-out keyboard, and a front-facing camera, to boot. Images of this phone have been leaked onto the web before, and it was rumored to be a Samsung Galaxy S Pro. Once again, no pricing or availability has been mentioned, but you can bet on the same $10 surcharge for 4G service (even if it's not in your area) and considering the hardware differences, it might have a different price, as well.

Samsung is planning an event Tuesday night in New York City, with the actual event starting at 6:30 PM. Here's hoping they will detail availability dates and pricing then for those missing that information above.

Hey, Steve: Android may be for porn, but for video sex chat? iPhone 4

Apple CEO Steve Jobs noted earlier that "Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone," defending the right of Apple to keep such apps off the iPhone. He might want to enhance the FaceTime app to check for boobs while running, based on this Craiglist ad for iPhone 4 video sex operators.

Jobs famous comment about porn on Android came was he explained why the app submitted by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore had been rejected from the App Store. Jobs said via email,
"Fiore's app will be in the store shortly. That was a mistake. However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and (sic) Android phone."
Naturally, while making this statement Jobs completely ignored the fact that there's plenty of porn that can be viewed through Safari.

125x125 - Banner Ad Summer SavingsMeanwhile, folks who want video sex chat can buy an iPhone 4. After all, most Android phones don't yet have a front-facing camera, and as noted by Gizmodo, an enterprising firm has placed a Craigslist ad which offers a free iPhone 4 to video sex chat applicants in the New York City / Long Island area. Of course, telecommuting is just fine. What's interesting is that the firm, which wants to begin operations by Sept. 1st, says it is a non-profit organization (?).

There could be an issue for the firm, unless Apple fixes the reception issues that occur when the iPhone 4 is held in the left hand. While only 10 percent of the population are lefties, that means 90 percent are righties, and might (ahem) hold the iPhone 4 in the left hand to put the right to better use.

Ah, and and now you see why you iPad buyers should have waited for the iPad 2, with the front-facing camera? Of course, it's possible that Apple will simply boot FaceTime off the iPhone 4, since it shouldn't be able to make it into the App Store, should it?

Here's the text from the ad:
iPhone 4 FaceTime Video Sex Line Chat - free iPhone 4 (NYC/LI)

Date: 2010-06-27, 12:06PM EDT
Reply to:

Starting an online interactive pornography firm where woman will use the iphone 4 to video chat with potential customers on a pay as you go basis.

Hours are flexible, pay will increase as the business builds. Woman will receive a free iphone 4 to use as personal time when not working. Woman will talk to potential clients and chat with them and perform various acts as desired by clients. All information will be confidential.

Payment will be based on percentage of sales volume and performance. Potential launch date of the company is 9/1/2010 or based on feedback received.

Woman will receive, as before mentioned, a free cell phone and a very competitive salary.

Please send information and pictures - we would like to launch sooner than 9/1/2010.

Location: NYC/LI
Telecommuting is ok.
This is a part-time job.
This is a contract job.
This is at a non-profit organization.
This is an internship job
OK for recruiters to contact this job poster.
Phone calls about this job are ok.
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Squarish Motorola Charm to come to T-Mobile

News of a new, though still pretty much unknown T-Mobile Android phone hit on Sunday, with what appears to be leaked training material. We've often said the multiple form factors of Android phones give it an advantage, and this is another one: the Motorola Charm.

iSkin products for Mac, iPod, iPhone, and moreThe Motorola Charm is certainly a different looking device. It's powered by Android 2.1 along with MotoBLUR, but in terms of hardware specs, that's still pretty much unknown. So, what do you think? Do you find it "charming," or simply strange?

Also noted in the documents is that the Cliq and Cliq XT will get the MotoBLUR enhancements in the Charm's software (not that it's necessarily a good thing). However, it's also nearly the end of the month, and the last time a Motorola document re: Android 2.1 updates was leaked, both the Cliq and Cliq XT were due 2.1 updates in Q2. Hmmm ...

Left-handers' group calls foul over the iPhone 4

It is still undetermined as far as what exactly is causing iPhone 4 reception issues when the lower-left hand corner of the newest iPhone is covered. Still, a U.K. organization, the Left-Handers Club, a group which boasts 90,000 (yet hasn't updated their site since 2009, based on their home page) is calling it discrimination (or at least, a design flaw).

While ten percent of the population is left-handed, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs has said that those holding it in their left hand are holding it the "wrong way." To this, Lauren Milsom, the group's press rep, reportedly said:
"It seems ludicrous to suggest that 10 per cent of potential users should be told they have to adopt a less natural hand hold to use this latest technology.

"I would strongly suggest that Steve Jobs employs left-handers in his design and testing team in future, and urgently address this issue to ensure the phone is fit for purpose.

"It is disappointing that a leading innovations and design company like Apple have not considered left-handers in their initial design and testing stages of the 4G.

"Clearly more testing is needed to be certain this is the case, but if so, left-handed potential customers need to be warned that the phone will not work for them, until it can be redesigned to remedy the fault."
Apple CEO Steve Jobs' latest reported response on the issue has been "There are no reception issues. Stay Tuned."

Tell that to Phil Mickelson (no, to be clear, we are unaware if Lefty is truly an iPhone 4 user).

At any rate, numerous videos have shown the issue. Rumor is that Apple will release an iOS 4.0.1 version to fix the issue. Either that, or Apple will release a left-handed version of the phone, like some mouse manufacturers.

Where are the white iPhone 4s coming from?

Strange news from across the pond. Although Apple has said that there would be no white iPhone 4s until the second half of July, this Sky News video (below) shows white iPhone 4s twice.

invisibleSHIELDMeanwhile, it's also been reported that at least two stores in San Jose, CA (which is pretty close to Apple's HQ in Cupertino, if you don't know) have the white iPhone. It's clear that the U.S. white iPhone 4s are not for sale, but were in the hands of store employees, although it's unclear about the white U.K. phones.

Apple's model T moment comes from the fact, as noted earlier, that getting that glass back white isn't the easiest thing to do, and those production difficulties are holding up the white version.

Watch the Sky News video:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Steve Jobs on iPhone 4: 'There are no reception issues'

The Daily Mail apparently saw a Tweet from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and rushed out a story about an iPhone 4 recall. Unfortunately, they didn't realize it was a parody Twitter account.

Really, how could they have believed it, anyway? After all, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs emailed a customer, "There are no reception issues." More on that later.

The Daily Mail story (since taken down) appeared as above. You can still see evidence (at least at the time of this writing) if you Google the purported quote from the Apple CEO:
We may have to recall the new iPhone. This, I did not expect.
A little down the page of results, a pair of Daily Mail stories pop up (along with the Tweet itself, above it). However, clicking the Daily Mail links result only in:
The page you have requested does not exist or is no longer available.
Well, apparently they are red-faced, but plenty of sites picked up on the Daily Mail story and posted it themselves, so at least they are not alone.

The problem is that the Tweet in question, leads to a Steve Jobs parody Twitter account (click the image above to enlarge). Whoops.

It's amazing that the Daily Mail fell for this, as there's no way that Jobs would Tweet something like this. It's not his style. On this other hand, this is his style. A MacRumors forum member emailed him about the potential for free bumper cases while complaining about the reception issues, to which Jobs replied:
There are no reception issues. Stay Tuned.
"There are no reception issues" is, of course difficult to believe when it's clear, from videos, that there is. "There are no reception issues we can't fix with software" is hard to believe also, when antenna experts like this one chime in.

"There are no reception issues we can't fix with bumpers," now that is easy to believe. We'll see when the rumored iOS 4.0.1 release comes out.

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