Archive for November, 2007
The upcoming Apple Software Development Kit ( SDK ) due to be released in early ’08, however, promises to change all that. Writing applications that run natively on the iPhone OS should then be possible using the framework that Apple provides. But what if you didn’t have to mess with the iPhone application framework and Objective C language and could just write code using BASIC language? The obstacles for entry into the third party iPhone app development could be virtually removed resulting in thousands of individuals writing free or for pay software. Exciting, wouldn’t you say? Well, I’ve received word from Ivan A. Lopez of REAL Software Inc. Customer Service that REAL Software has a goal of developing a version of REALBasic for iPhone.
Now I should mention that it may still be possible that Apple limits the iPhone SDK distribution only to select developers and/or reserves distribution of iPhone apps on iTunes to just those that are officially approved. Still, the potential for jail-broken native third party apps is too great to ignore.
If you’d like to help convince REAL Software that REALBasic for iPhone makes a lot of sense, follow the link to email them and voice your support.
The Apple iPhone has revolutionized the portable handheld market. Ever since the introduction of iPhone and then iPod Touch model, manufacturers have been ramping up the production of touch-screens and device makers are looking to somehow integrate them in their designs. It’s been a tough 11 months of analyzing, copying, and readying prototypes after the revealing of iPhone back in January. Handset makers as well as portable media player manufacturers feel that they have to answer the challenge of the touch-screened iPhone/iPod or risk losing market share to Apple.
So it came as no surprise when I heard the Chinese device manufacturer Meizu will debut its iClone at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show ( CES ) in Las Vegas. HTC ( Voyager ) and LG ( Venus ) already have a touch-screen model out and Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola will likely debut prototypes with more manufacturers to come later.
In the portable media player space, Samsung already has its P2 model out and I expect touch-screen prototypes from SanDisk, Creative, Cowon, iRiver, and perhaps even Microsoft. That’s not to mention a bevy of Chinese knock-offs that have already been introduced. Two things they’ll be hard pressed to replicate though, is Apple’s hardware quality and the 100+ patents used in the making of Apple models. Try using one of these iClones and you’ll see, for example, how much you miss the multi-touch feature of the iPhone that makes device interactions so fluid and responsive.
So come January ’08, the iClones will attack but will they succeed in making a dent in Apple’s lead? Stay tuned as I hope to bring you news and analysis about the competition from CES ’08.
Apple has filed for 3 different patents describing an input device mechanism ( keyboard/mouse ) with full-hand recognition multi-touch surface. The drawing submitted by Apple shows a device with curved surface able to recognize complicated hand gestures and responding to motion produced by different parts of the hand.
Should Apple acquire AMD? SeekingAlpha counts ten reasons why Apple should just buy AMD including reduced costs and improved profit margin for Apple and also AMD’s energy saving chip architecture. I personally see better value in buying Adobe and keeping Intel and AMD competing for manufacturing the best product.
The Apple iPhone effect is already being felt by various hardware manufacturers. RIM ( Research In Motion Ltd. ), the maker of the popular Blackberry handsets, is developing a touch-screen device to compete with the iPhone. Unstrung.com reports that the new ‘9000-series’ platform, due in Q1 ’08, will feature a full touch sensitive face and an entirely new operating system. If true, this move would signal a 180 degree change of direction for RIM, which up to now has been fully committed to its own unique keyboard integrated handset design.
Apple Store has posted its one-day only Black Friday deals on a number of Apple products including iPods. While you may find these iPods at slightly lower prices elsewhere, keep in mind that Apple Store offers free shipping on orders over $50 and free laser engraving on all iPods, plus you may be able to combine other discounts ( ie educational, business ) as well.
iPod Shuffle 1GB: $68
iPod Nano 4GB: $138
iPod Classic 80GB: $228
I have some exciting news about new iPods on this Thanksgiving eve. My insider has confirmed to me that Apple will ditch the iPod Shuffle and introduce a similarly dimensioned player with a screen in capacities of 1 and 2 GB. The all-aluminum case will remain although it will look more in keeping with the rest of the iPod line. Asked about the screen, I was told that a 2 color OLED is in the cards. The click-wheel is apparently smaller than the current generation Shuffle. Price-wise, the new player was described as being “very competitive” which I take it to mean significantly below the current 1 GB $79 Shuffle.
We also talked about the time frame for this release and it seems that Apple is keen to introduce the new players in Q1 ’08 in order to soften the blow from seasonally slow post holiday iPod sales. This would also confirm that Shuffles have a product lifetime of about 16-20 months which has proven to be the case so far.
Pictured above is an artist’s rendition of what this new player from Apple might look like based on what we know so far.
Over the past few days, an Apple enthusiast site has been reporting that TIM ( Telecom Italia Mobile ) is interested in carrying the iPhone in Italy. As the market-leading cellular service provider in Italy, TIM is a giant in the Italian telephony market in both fixed line and cellular space and would be considered the prime candidate ( in terms of assets owned and resources possessed ) for making a deal with Apple to be the sole carrier of iPhone. Furthermore, TIM’s 3G service is the single fastest growing compared to other alternate carriers so it would be best suited to carry a 3G iPhone in the future. TIM also operates in a number of other international markets such as Brazil and Peru.
Fund manager Stephen Coleman, of Daedalus Capital LLC, makes a bold prediction that shares of Apple “will reach $600 in 18 months.” His prediction is partly based on strong sales of iPhone plus “a cut of monthly wireless service fees from AT&T” valued somewhere between $10-$20 over a 24 month contract period. I wonder what 3 iPhone models would do to Apple’s bottom line and stock price.