Keys-by-TEARN mobile platform
Diary of a passionate, tech Dad
from TEARN i.e. teach to learn

Showing posts with label Apple iPhone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apple iPhone. Show all posts

Oct 10, 2012

Rumored iPad Mini Could Push Holiday iPad Sales to 30 million; Easily the most wanted stocking stuffer

Here are the headlines for the new iPad mini:
  • iPad mini could push total holiday iPad sales to nearly 30 million BGR‎ - by Brad Reed‎
  • Launch of 'iPad mini' could push total holiday iPad sales to 30M Apple Inside

  • Apple dominates multiple markets:
  • Number one with music and music players, displacing SONY products.
  • Neck and neck with Samsung on smart phones. Samsung has the political advantage in China; whereas Apple has the product advantage - including the best app store.
  • Number one in tablet sales - essentially displacing the netbook market.
  • A respectable third in PC shipments. Counting tablets as PC's, Apple is run-away global leader.

  • Apple nay-sayers have little credibility. With the right price point, packaging, and promotion - the iPad Mini will be the most wanted gift for Christmas. Do you agree?

    Aug 24, 2012

    Apple awarded $1 billion in Samsung patent infringement case

    SAN JOSE - Apple Inc. won an overwhelming victory over rival Samsung Electronics Co. in a widely watched federal patent battle, a decision that some worry could stymie competition in the fast-moving markets for smartphones and computer tablets.

    Aug 13, 2012

    Cupertino Restaurants - The leading mobile network for Suburban cities

    TEARN media released the Cupertino Restaurant app for ordering from smartphones; with 15% of the restaurants participating. For web access, visit

    About Cupertino

    Cupertino is a city in Santa Clara County, California in the U.S., directly west of San Jose on the western edge of the Santa Clara Valley with portions extending into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The population was 58,302 at the time of the 2010 census.

    Why Cupertino as the first city for mobile commerce?

    Forbes ranked it as one of the most educated, wealthy small towns. It is best known as home to the worldwide headquarters of Apple Inc, as well as the laboratory for Lab 126, Amazon's Kindle Fire development team of thousands. Other Fortune 1,000 companies include Seagate, Agilent, and Symantec - while hundreds of high-tech start-ups work from their Cupertino homes.

    Restaurants in Cupertino

    About 200 restaurants serve the various ethnic groups who live and work in Cupertino. 15% of these Casual Dining (CDR), Quick Serve (QSR), and Fine Dining (FDR) restaurants have signed on to provide smartphone access to their menus and/or payment for their orders. This list includes BBQ from Hawaii, Greece, Armenia, Mexico, and India; Chinese, Indian, Thai, Italian, Californian, Mexican, and American venues; and unusual snacks like Beard Papa or Verde Pearl Tea.

    Mobile Ordering from MoAPPo

    MoAPPo integrates four digital businesses with mobile apps, Wi-Fi hotspots, payment, and online ordering experiences. One of the companies dominates the Wi-Fi hotspots in Silicon Valley while another has already gained 8 million downloads.

    The Cupertino Restaurants App allows users to sign-up once, save their payment data, and save time at any of their favorite restaurants.

    The innovative app supports various iPhone/iPad/iPod configurations; multiple versions of Android phones; multiple Kindles from Amazon; Palm, Blackberry, and Window Mobile; and many featured phones from Nokia, Pantech, and LG. No other company provides the same level of device support for menu display.

    Feedback Welcome

    Try the app. Provide feedback. Watch us grow to service all Bay Area restaurants.

    Feb 7, 2012

    For The First Time Ever, Smartphones Outsold PCs Last Quarter

    Quarterly smartphone sales outpaced PC sales in the fourth quarter of 2011. In fact, it wasn't even close. Mobile market research firmCanalys estimated that 158.5 million smartphones were sold in the last quarter, compared with 120.2 million personal computers (including tablets).

    This means the touch access to the web is now bigger than access through PC and desktops.

    Jan 18, 2012

    iPhone Dominates Smart Phone Purchases During Christmas 2011

    As of Q42011, 46 percent of US mobile consumers had smartphones, and that figure is growing quickly. In fact, 60 percent of those who said they got a new device within the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.

    Aug 9, 2011

    Apple Becomes the Most Valuable Company in the World

    The silver-lining with the current, investor confidence meltdown is that Apple will become the most valuable company in the world - passing Exxon/Mobile. Is this justified?
    • Oil prices are dropping in response to expected weaker demand world-wide. Thus, Exxon's value is falling fast.
    • The less people drive and travel, the more they seek to communicate using digital means.
    • Who wins?
    For fundamental investors, consider the following:
    • Growth, who has higher growth potential - Apple or Exxon?
    • Earnings. Contrary to some Wall Street reports, Apple's quarterly earnings are already in the same ballpark as Exxon. What will be the result during the upcoming Christmas season?
    • Risk - Apple is diversifying by region; dependence on any one telecom operator or channel of marketing; mangement; and product line. Exxon depends on oil - PERIOD. Exxon does pay a dividend, but Apple has one of the largest cash balances in the world.
    • Execution - Apple gets it right. Exxon depends on OPEC - which controls its future.
    So, which company is worth the most? You decide.

    Aug 5, 2011

    Apple Takes Lead In Smartphone Shipments, But Samsung Is On Its Heels

    According to a report from IDC, Apple shipped more smartphones than any other manufacturer in Q2, stealing bragging rights from a strugglingNokia. With 20.3 million units shipped, Apple managed to nab a 19.1 percent market share, representing year-over-year growth of 141.7 percent. Samsung and Nokia followed behind, with RIM and HTC bringing up the rear.

    It’s worth noting that HTC posted record numbers this quarter with 166 percent YOY growth to claim an 11.7 percent market share, up from 8.9 percent last quarter. The HTC Sensation and Evo 3D had quite a bit to do with that, along with HTC’s increasing prominence in China. Even though the company ranks fifth, it still seemed to eat a large portion of RIM and Nokia’s share. But HTC wasn’t alone in that — Samsung took a big bite, too.

    In fact, Samsung’s had an amazing year, seeing year-over-year growth of 380.6 percent. Much of that success can be attributed to the Samsung Galaxy S II, which sold 3 million units in its first 55 days on the market. If they can maintain anything like that growth for a little longer, they’ll leapfrog Apple with ease.

    Now for the bad news. RIM shipped a little over one million more smartphones this quarter than it did in the same quarter of 2010 — which would be a respectable bump if the smartphone market itself hadn’t seen far greater growth, hitting 106.5 million shipments overall this quarter. So while RIM didship more handsets, they actually lost a ton of market share. (FULL)

    Apr 10, 2011

    Opening New AppStores With Enterprise Partners

    Dozens of enterprises have worked with TEARN media to open their digital appstore. We have invested substantial time to support their efforts. Unfortunately, we see too many problems.

    Get the Bugs Out

    Here is our advice to our partners.

    First, eliminate the hundreds of small bugs that prevent a positive user experience. Kill the bugs, fast.

    Second, avoid feature creep - attempting to keep-up-with-the-joneses. No new team can catch up to Apple's 5-year, multi-billion development effort.

    And third, stocking your store with the same New York Times and Angry Bird app won't make you better. You can't catch up to Apple's 350,000 apps.

    What's the Answer?

    The answer is to understand customers and look for large customer sets that have been ignored by Apple and Google. Then build your store, stock it with relevant apps, and serve your customers - simple advice from a hands-on partner who is working to make you successful.

    We wish each enterprise the best of luck with their appstores.

    Mar 3, 2011

    Automatic Bookmarks for Keys Mobile Apps

    Automatic bookmarking of each app has been released to iPhone, Android, Palm, Blackberry, Chrome, Safari, and other platforms. It's a significant change for the user experience and a new feature that allows rapid release of more enhancements.

    Fat Library of E-books

    Each Keys mobile app is a collection of 30 to 200 terms, hundreds of images and videos, and activities like Learn, Watch, Spin, Match, and Guess that aid learning and memorization. When compared to e-books, each app can have thousands of pages - ie thicker than the textbook to the right.

    As our library has expanded to over 600 apps, we needed a better way to track the status in each app.

    The automatic bookmark feature has no user interface - it just works. When you select a term, that bookmarked term travels from activity to activity. When you restart an app, the last term shows immediately. In short, it's a bookmark.

    The Technical Details

    We use local storage, a feature that is supported by the iPhone, iPad, and iTouch (v2 or better); Android (v2+); HP Palm (all versions); Blackberry (version 5+); Safari (v4+); Chrome (v4+); Opera (v10+); Firefox (v3.5+); and Explorer (v8+). Other browsers from Japan and Nokia may support the same feature. IE6, IE7, older Firefox browsers won't have the automatic bookmarking.

    Using local storage, we'll be able to release many more features that enhance the learning experience.

    PS: A belated thank you to the 1,500,000 users who have downloaded Keys. And a special thank to the Amazon tech who suggested this approach to improving the user experience.

    Jul 21, 2010

    JP Morgan Slaps A $400 Price Target On Apple (AAPL)

    After reading Wall Street's view of the effect, let's take a look at the cause.

    After Apple's earnings blowout and big guidance, JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz is slapping a $400 price target on the stock.

    The Street is going wild for Apple today, but this is the most bullish thing we've seen yet. Moskowitz says the earnings will bring the message back to Apple's amazing financials and away from Antennagate. Here's his bullet points for why Apple will soar:

    • Big results should focus investors back on the model. For F3Q10, Apple reported record revenue of $15.7 billion and EPS of $3.51, versus Street consensus estimates of $14.75 billion and $3.16. Our estimates had been $14.81 billion and $3.11. Gross and operating margins came in at 39.1% and 27.0%, versus our estimates of 38.6% and 26.2%. Apple generated cash flow from operations of $4.4 billion.
    • Gross margins come in well above prior guidance. Gross margins for F3Q were 39.1% and 310 basis points above guidance. We believe F4Q guidance of 35% gross margins is conservative as the ramps of iPad and iPhone 4 platforms should achieve greater economies of scale. We do not expect the gross margin guidance to be a topic that carries much risk as the iPad and iPhone 4 should ride the cost curve just a few quarters out.
    • iPad roars out of the gate. Apple reported 3.27 million iPad unit shipments from 10 countries in the quarter, versus our estimate of 3.75 million units. At this point, we do not think the iPad will cannibalize sales of other Apple products as some fear. In contrast, we think another “halo effect” could be in the making, whereby sales of the iPad drive customers to purchase other Apple products, such as the Mac for home use while the iPad is used on the road.
    • We reiterate our Overweight rating and increase our Dec-11 price target to $400, from $390 previously.Apple is also on the J.P. Morgan Analyst Focus List. While the media-driven frenzy over the iPhone 4 antenna issue is not likely to fade yet, we believe Apple's quarterly performance should restore focus back on the model's high-growth stature. At 13.9x our revised C2011 EPS estimate, versus the peer group average of 12.6x, we believe Apple is trading like a value stock and not as the high-growth story in large cap equities.

    Cause Drivers on Apple Growth
    • Digital Libraries - Apple owns customers often for life. iTunes is their collection of music and video. The AppStore is their collection of purchased apps. iBooks is their collection of purchased e-books. MobileMe is their effort to manage user contacts and photos. As long as users buy Apple products, these libraries move seamlessly with each device purchased.
    • Repeat Purchases - Battery powered products have a built-in obsolescence, usually 12 to 24 months depending on how you discharge/charge your batteries.
    • Stickiness - The net effect is that customers buy and stay with Apple products regularly and often for life.
    With 70% dominance of the digital music through iPod owners, why would anyone be surprised that Apple would eventually gain the same dominance of smartphones, all mobile phones, and mobile tablets?

    Why are Mac purchases accelerating? Millions of developers are required to buy the latest Macintosh and Snow Leopard to develop for iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Why has Wall Street missed this cause-effect relationship?

    Keep in mind that AT&T and Verizon are not even in the top ten among global mobile services. Anecdotal observations from the USA about the pissing battle between Verizon and AT&T is like the blind men with the elephant. The market view needs to be global.

    Remember that Apple's share of phones is still growing; smartphone share of all phones is growing; and mobile phone use dwarfs PC use by billions. Already, the iPhone share of global, mobile acccess is 70% or higher, far greater than their small share of smartphone ownership. This means that iPhone users are the only mobile users who actually use their phones to surf.

    Despite large numbers of Android sold, their users seem to behave like the even larger numbers of Nokia users in the world, which is little use of the phone for web access. That's not a good sign for Android.

    What are Apple competitors doing to catch up?
    • Android is free, thus selling lots of phones. But, the platform is suffering from fragmentation among OEM and carrier initiatives, thus making it difficult to build any cohesive user experience. No one company manages the total user experience.
    • Microsoft and Nokia lack the customer loyalty and market credibility to match Apple's success. They have failed too often in this space.
    • RIM, Motorola, and HP/Palm might have a chance to build the same kind of customer relationship with a large audience, but they need to innovate faster.
    Global Brand Among Billions

    The real message for Apple is global dominance like the Coke brand. Does that justify Apple becoming the highest market value company in the world? If you don't believe their yuppy image, then watch their earnings growth.

    It's a matter of time.

    Jun 18, 2010

    The Science of iPhone Cool

    The iPhone, iPod, and iPad product lines have propelled Apple toward becoming the most valuable company on Earth. Currently, Apple is number two, behind Exxon Mobile, having just past Microsoft as the most valuable technology company.

    Apple has gained the cool image - that is unmatched among large corporations. How did they gain that image?

    How can a developer extend the science to improve the app product?

    Cool Marketing and Packaging

    Apple's advertising has always been dead on.
    • The right actors and actresses to match the image of younger, affluent consumers.
    • The right music to match the image.
    • The right storyline.
    • And the packaging appeals - a quality that other consumer electronics companies seem to fail to emulate.
    Apple is not the only company to spend heavily for advertising. Spending a ton does not even begin to explain the huge leverage of Apple's cool image that gains far more value than can be explained by the money spent.

    Chicken and the Egg

    Behind the marketing, it's the Apple products. Unlike the chicken and egg conundrum, the iPhone product comes before the image. Without the product, the cool image can't be sustained.

    Is it just the box that appeals?

    Can a box of semiconductors evoke such emotions?

    Is there some science behind the iPhone?

    What's Different?

    The iPhone dumped the keyboard on the mobile phone, making room for a larger touch interface.

    Touch is not new. Why did Apple succeed when others failed?

    Apple's notorious attention to details differentiates them from competition. The touch implementation is one of the most important components of their execution. Their touch is a magic formula that is as closely guarded as the Coke formula for coca-cola.

    Each touch needs to distinguish among:
    • Tap - to select a link or option.
    • Double-tap - to zoom or unzoom the page.
    • Pan - when the page slides following the finger movement.
    • Flick - where the page flows, and bounces off the top and bottom.
    • Hold - to enable additional options for users.
    • Multiple finger actions that enable more choice.
    Much of these methods, timings, and exact interactions are trade-secrets, if not patent protected. There is a mathematical science behind the iPhone cool. It's the touch-and-feel.

    Apple has gotten it right. Users love the feel, how it makes them look when they use the iPhone in public, and the intuitive flow from task to task.

    To realize how Apple has changed the world.
    • The mousewheel uses a downward motion to scroll down.
    • The iPhone uses the pan up to scroll down.
    People seem to prefer the iPhone model - a huge change in habit in a short period of time. When switching between iPhone and desktop, I find myself pushing the mouse pointer on web pages - absolutely amazing how habits have changed so quickly.

    Is the Advantage Sustainable?

    Google Android, Microsoft, RIM and Nokia fear patent infringement. They have tried to develop their own, different secret-forumla. Many others have tried with camera and GPS interfaces, but one touch shows that they don't have the full magic .

    Palm/HP, with x-Apple employees leading the way, most closely emulates the iPhone touch-and-feel. Palm hopes that their own substantial base of mobile device patents can be leveraged to avoid problems when competing with Apple.

    When users are comfortable with a particular feeling, it's hard to change the pattern. Only Apple seems to be able to change habits without the users feeling the pain.

    Extending the Advantage

    As app developers, we seek to extend the model and continue the innovation streak. But, the secret formula limits change.
    • If you extend the method, you need to match the exact touch-and-feel as deployed by Apple. Legal issues aside, if you don't get it exactly right, users would object that the app does not feel exactly right.
    • If you don't extend the model, then apps look very similar among 200,000 apps.
    Our Keys has extended the iPhone touch-and-feel as follows:
    • By restricting the width of the page to the width of the viewport, left and right scroll is no longer needed. Thus, we can control left and right touch motions while retaining Apple's exact feel for up and down movement.
    • A left or right flick transitions to the next object or page.
    • With simple objects, like pure text or photos, a page-turning or flow model works well for the transition - since the next and previous object can be prepared prior to display.
    • With complex objects that include multiple components for each page, our boomerang transition allows preparation of the complex page during the animation, thus showing the results on completion.
    • The flow-selector activates on tap. We then emulate the bounce of the iPhone flick as closely as possible.
    • Pan from the flow selector to avoid the 1/10th second delay that is built into the iPhone formula for tap.
    As we master multi-touch management, there may be more opportunities to innovate - without disrupting the iPhone's core touch-and-feel.

    Message to Developers

    Over 40-years in computing, I've developed numerous methods that have become public services, including spreadsheets and clairvoyant search.

    Developers are welcome to deploy flick left, flick right, boomerang-like transitions, and flow selectors in their apps. Please acknowledge this blog and the Keys platform as your source for the idea by linking this post. Fair use copyright requires attribution. Thank you.


    Do users appreciate this level of detail?

    Try Keys and provide us your feedback.

    It certainly matters for Apple, Palm, and Android.

    Jun 17, 2010

    Verizon iPhone Signs Send Apple Soaring

    NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- More reports of Apple's(AAPL) production plans for a CDMA iPhone stirred up the simmering anticipation for a Verizon(VZ) iPhone and has sent Apple shares to a new all-time high. According to Digitimes, Apple's contract manufacturers plan to ship a CDMA version of the iPhone in the fourth quarter. This information confirms a report last month from TheStreet that Apple had told its iPhone manufacturing partners to start full-scale production of a CDMA iPhone to be available as a Verizon iPhone, as early as November.
    Apple iPhone 4
    Apple iPhone 4

    The news comes as pre-orders for Apple's redesigned iPhone 4 have outpaced supply and have even exceeded the sales volume of the previous iPhone by a factor of 10.

    Analysts and tech watchers will now try to figure out whether the new iPhone will be a success limited largely to AT&T(T) customer upgrades, or if the shiny new device will attract hoards of new subscribers from other carriers like Verizon, Sprint(S) and Deutsche Telekom's(DT) T-Mobile.

    For Apple investors, the arrival of a new iPhone is only one part of a necessary two-part move to unleash an entirely new growth cycle. That elusive second part is, of course, Verizon and its 92 million subscribers.

    The fact that Apple and Verizon have never seen eye-to-eye helps complicate the otherwise no-brainer predictions for an inevitable Verizon iPhone.

    Apple shares hit $272.90 early Thursday on reheated Verizon iPhone news and the brief reappearance of a rumored 4-for-1 Apple stock split. By midday, Apple shares were up 2% to $271.45.

    May 5, 2010

    Verizon Rep: It's just like an iPhone ;-)

    While visiting a Verizon store, I overheard a customer conversation.
    Do you have the iPhone?
    Is Verizon listening to their customers?

    Verizon's Challenge

    Verizon is the largest wireless network in the United States. (FYI - very small when compared to China Mobile and China Unicom as an aside.) Despite the massive advertising pissing-battle on TV, their 3G network is marginally faster than AT&T's network, equal when using the Wi-Fi option, and behind when shared with telephony services.

    Verizon rejected Apple and enterprise politics block adding the iPhone to their product mix. AT&T has already announced that they will add Android phones, opening the door for Apple to choose more wireless partners in the USA.

    Verizon offers Blackberry for business users, Palm Pre/Pixi for female customers, and the Android Droid series for tech-savvy customers. Thus, they concluded that they don't need the iPhone.


    Troubles on the Android Platform

    Verizon has pushed millions of Android phones to customers - made by Motorola, HTC, and Samsung. (ed: still a small fraction of iPhone, iPad, iPod shipments) Unfortunately, of the six phones tested:
    • 2 failed to boot
    • 1 crunched its content to less than 320px resolution
    • 1 unit's touch typing failed to recognize any letter correctly
    • 1 worked great, but had a few small quirks
    • 1 worked perfectly
    • All had Android 1.5 or better
    As an app developer, I've pointed out the weakness of the Android strategy. Who is to blame for this inconsistent user experience? Google, Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Verizon, Taiwan, or the developer? Let the fingerpointing start.

    Although the press has accused Apple of taking tough stances with wireless partners, developers, and Taiwan manufacturers, it's clear that Apple takes the user experience seriously and takes ownership of the issue.

    On the Android platform, who takes ownership?

    What the Verizon Customer Wants

    Let's get back to the customer.
    • She wants to stay with Verizon
    • Her kids have asked for the iPhone
    • She is told that the Droid is just like an iPhone. Is it? Which one?
    • She asked about iTunes
    • She is told that Verizon already has iTunes -- using MP3
    • She asked when Verizon will offer the iPhone
    • The rep lied, soon ;-)
    Should Verizon make their reps look like a bunch of out-right fibbers? Politics aside, isn't it time for Verizon to listen to their customers?

    May 1, 2010

    iPhone Using Objective C

    The iPhone has a complex development system with dozens of moving parts.
    • Only a Macintosh running Snow Leopard is supported.
    • Base code is Objective C - purchased from Next Computer in the 1990's.
    • Huge library of objects support various services offered on the iPhone. The simple list would swamp all the content at this blog.
    • Xcode is the development software.
    • Interface Builder is a graphical tool to replace using HTML to specify user-interface parts.
    • Emulator for testing the finished app.
    • Keychain is the certification process to protect apps from tampering by viruses and spies. Android and Palm don't offer this option.
    • The developer portal issues certificates for use by third parties.
    • The same portal has features to support tests of apps across a larger sample of phone devices, and development by a large staff of technical personnel.
    • The iTunes Connect portal allows submission and tracking of apps.
    • The iTunes store is the user-facing browser for finding accepted apps.
    • The iPhone appstore is the device specific access to the same apps.
    Working with Apple

    Fortunately, Apple HQ is 5 minutes away. As one of the original Macintosh developers in 1984, I have limited access to their personnel. Further, Apple has changed to become very proactive in supporting some developers.

    Is this proactive support available to all developers? I don't know. (BTW, thanks to JR, Steve, Richard, and Lisa.)

    Coding aside, which is far too complex to discuss, here are some of my significant personal findings:
    • The app submission process is a six-way sync of information - where millions have failed to follow the steps necessary to set up their app storefront. Hopefully Apple can use the six-way sync model that I supplied to better understand their own product and simplify for future generations of developers.
    • Working with Apple, we did find and fix a small bug in that complex process.
    • It's very simple to create a web-clip that links an app to a web URL. This was the method used by most of the early apps. This route has been shut down. Apple won't accept web-clips moving forward.
    • Apple promotes an Object, View, Controller, Model pattern. I'm not sure anyone can explain in laymen words what this means - however, it is a basis for innovation that goes far beyond iPhone coding - perhaps to encapsulate all learning.
    • Objective C is a highly structured language requiring full declares and exact match among objects - similar to PL1 on mainframes. If you are used to a loose language like Javascript or Fortran, beware that the learning curve is massive.
    • The development tools includes a huge vocabulary that includes thousands of terms - far more complex than learning the 4,000 terms of our forthcoming, 4-book bio-series.
    • The Interface Builder is a mature tool for managing the user visible parts. However, the process to synchronize the parts with the code is anything but intuitive. Even most of the examples produced by the Apple staff uses internal code to generate interface components, minimizing the use of the graphical tool. Once learned, this tool accelerates app development.
    Once the iPhone platform is mastered, magic occurs. The finished app just works.

    Hopefully, the marketing magic of Apple rubs off on its app developers as well.
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