Archive for the ‘I Cafe’ Category

Apple Starts Allowing Ringtone Maker Apps

MobileCrunch has pointed out that with the recent loosening of app store restrictions, you can now find a number of ringtone makers in the store. These apps either record directly from the mic, or take audio from your iTunes library, and cut and reformat it to be played as a ringtone — the downside is that you can’t save it as a ringtone directly inside the phone, you have to sync it with your computer first.

As cool as this is, I’m a little bit fuzzy on if this is really a change. MobileCrunch points out five apps:

Four of those are very recent, but Ringtone Designer Pro has been kicking around the app store since late July. I don’t know if it offered the same functionality at that point, but it was definitely there before the change to the app store.

Frankly, I’d be much more excited if we could finally add custom SMS alerts.

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S. Korea Passes One Million iPhones Sold

In the nine months since the iPhone went on sale in South Korea, more than one million of the handsets have been sold, and that was before the iPhone 4 landed. KT Corp, the authorized seller of iPhones for South Korea, said 1.02 million iPhones were activated as of August 16, almost a month before the IPhone 4 launched on September 10.

The number of smartphone users in South Korea is expected to massively increase, from 500,000 last year to 4.8 million this year, and KT Corp said iPhone users were consuming 32x as much data as dumbphone users, and 4x as much as other smartphone users.

[Electronista, via TUAW]

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iPad Has Highest Customer Satisfaction Of Any Product. Ever.

At least, according to the ACSI (the American Customer Satisfaction Index). In a recent report, satisfaction with Apple computers reached 86%, their highest ever, and 9% above any other manufacturer. This increase was due to the iPad, says CNBC:

the iPad, even at this early stage, pulled up Apple’s overall numbers – which makes it the highest-scoring product Apple has, and therefore the highest-scoring product ACSI has ever tracked.

While the study has never looked at iPods or iPhones (though they plan to in the near future), that doesn’t make the intense popularity of the iPad any less impressive. People really love those tablets.

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AT&T Puts On Brave Face, Says Not Worried About Exclusivity

At an investor conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson played down worries about losing AT&T’s exclusive hold on the iPhone in the USA. He talked up the number of people involved with AT&T in ways independent of their iPhones. “If you look at the iPhone base, about 80% is either on a family-talk plan or in a business relationship with us,” he explained. “Those customers tend to be very sticky. They don’t churn very frequently.”

Stephenson also pointed out that 2/3 of iPhone users were on AT&T before the phone debuted.

Yeah, but how many of those would have defected if the iPhone had debuted with someone else. AT&T’s service with the iPhone is notoriously bad, giving birth to the joke that the iPhone is amazing at everything, except making phone calls. I think Ma Bell might be in for a bit of a shock if the iPhone ever does jump ship.

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Facebook App Gets Update, Fixes What It Broke

If you’ve used the iOS Facebook app in the recen past, you’ve probably been bugged by the utterly broken notification system, which pops up with badges and alerts for things you’ve already seen. Facebook has just pushed out an update for the app, which fixes this and a number of other bugs, including a number with the new Places feature. Here’s the complete list of fixes:

- Improved, more streamlined login experience for developers using the Facebook SDK
- Fixed a crash when receiving push notifications
- Fixed a crash when navigating in Messages
- Fixed inconsistent notification counts in notification bar and application badge
- Fixed a problem where people would appear twice in Here Now on a Place view
- Fixed a problem that could cause the toolbar to not be shown on a Place view

[via TUAW]

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Apple And Facebook Negotiated Over Ping For 18 Months

According to Silicon Alley Insider, Apple and Facebook were in talks for a year and a half about integrating Facebook into a discussed musical social network from Apple. Apparently, after that period they were not able to reach a satisfactory deal about cross compatibility, so Apple went ahead and launched Ping without Facebook’s help. While you could originally import friends from Facebook into Ping, this was quickly killed by Facebook, as the heavy traffic broke the rules of their API.

The original plans seem to have called for a much tighter integration between the two companies:

While we don’t know the details of their discussions, it makes sense that Apple may have wanted to build Ping as a music-tracking and sales service on top of Facebook’s social graph. This could have allowed Apple to get what it wanted out of the relationship — more iTunes and iPod sales — without having to build a social network from scratch.
Still, I can’t believe they couldn’t agree on terms for basic connectivity, it seems ludicrous for it to be completely lacking.
[via MacRumors]

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AT&T Gets Slammed Over San Francisco Dead Zones

AT&T is notorious for having poor coverage in two of the most technologically dense spots in the country: New York and San Francisco. While the situation in the Big Apple has slowly been getting better, the Bay Area still suffers from horrible reception — ironic considering that Apple is based nearby.

As part of an effort to map areas of wireless dead zones, the San Francisco Business Insider has put together a website were users can submit a location where they can’t get a connection, and who their provider is. And they’re all AT&T. Even though Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and Other are included in the submission, it seems like all the submissions are for Ma Bell. Ouch, that’s pretty damning. And right in the heart of the city, too.

[via TechCrunch]

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Apple Brings In The Lion’s Share Of Mobile Profits

T. Michael Walkley, analyst at Canaccord Genuity posted this incredible stat, showing just how well Apple does for themselves in the cellphone world:

…Nokia, Samsung and LG combined sold roughly 400M mobile handsets worldwide in the first half of 2010 with a combined value share of 32% of handset industry profits, while Apple sold roughly 17M units over the same time period and captured an estimated 39% of industry profits, or greater than the top three global handset OEMs combined. Apple leads the industry in every metric except for unit share…

In other words, Apple is making more from the iPhone than those three companies are making from all theirs combined. Wow. The graph put together Fortune shows just what a discrepancy that is.

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John Gruber Slams 7-inch iPad Rumors

We’ve previously heard rumors of a smaller iPad, a position boosted by Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who yesterday sent out a note to investors saying a 7-inch second iPad would land in 2011. The ever knowledgeable John Gruber took issue with this statement, not on the grounds that he had contrary evidence, but that Kumar has an absolutely abysmal track record. Gruber points out that he has been wrong about iPad pricing models, claimed the iPad would be on Verizon, that the iPad supply would far outstrip demand, and many more.

This is why we mock analysts.

While I have trouble believing that Apple would split the market on the iPad with a smaller version, it’s not outside of the real of possibility. But, if I were a betting man, I’d put my weight behind Gruber.

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The iPhone Of Night Clubs

Presented without comment, the Red Devil Lounge.

[SFist, via Geekosystem, via Gizmodo]

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