December 28, 2012

Since the removal of YouTube, and Maps as preloaded Google apps within iOS, Google has been especially adept at developing its own set of iOS apps. We previously detailed how Google wants to own the iOS ecosystem on the apps level, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. It appears Google now has a dedicated iOS app team which builds cohesive apps rather than having each business unit build its own apps. expand full story

2012 was an incredibly prolific year for Apple in terms of products and company-related changes including being the first year without Steve Jobs at the helm. In line with Apple’s big year, 2012 was also a significant year for 9to5Mac’s leadership in digging up information on Apple products. As we close this year and transition into 2013, we have compiled our most important and popular stories of 2012…

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In September, we noted some statistics from the NYPD that claimed Apple-related crimes were increasing 10 times the 4 percent increase other crime in the city was experiencing. Today, New York City Michael Bloomberg is once again pointing to thefts of iPhones and iPads as the cause of the increase in the city’s annual crime index (via The New York Times):

Crime in New York City inched up this year, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Friday fingered the culprit: too many iPhones and iPads were being swiped.

As of Monday, the Police Department recorded 3,484 more crimes than for the same period last year. A full breakdown of the year’s crime statistics was not immediately available, but city officials were quick to focus on the Apple figure. The increase in Apple product thefts: 3,890.

“If you just took away the jump in Apple, we’d be down for the year,” said Marc La Vorgna, the mayor’s press secretary.

 

Screen Shot 2012-12-28 at 1.03.19 AM

Digitimes expects Apple to unveil refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models in June 2013. The report claims that Apple has already issued requests to its supply chain partners to prepare to build the revised notebooks. Digitimes frames the news as concern for Ultrabook vendors.

Digitimes also says that the new MacBook Air models will include new processors, but the computers will likely retain the current industrial design. The current MacBook Air design was introduced with the late 2010 model. Apple last updated the MacBook Airs in June 2012 with faster processors, new RAM and storage options, USB 3.0, and a FaceTime HD camera.

Separately, the report also believes that current MacBook Air models could see price drops ahead of the product refresh, but this would be unlike Apple’s typical Mac upgrade strategy. Apple’s common Mac update strategy is to succeed a current Mac model with the refreshed version without providing official price drops ahead of these refreshes.

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December 27, 2012

As users powered on their new iOS devices and received iTunes gift cards on Christmas day, a strong surge of app downloads obviously followed. According to analytic firm Distimo, App Store downloads increased a whopping 87 percent on Christmas Day, compared to the rest of December 2012. With the increased downloads, revenue consequently rose 70 percent. Interestingly, the iPad and iPad mini seemed to be the most popular iOS gift given, as downloads and revenues rose by 140 percent and 83 percent, respectively.

Distmo also looked at the most downloaded applications from the App Store on Christmas day. They included Google’s standalone YouTube app and the recently released Apple Maps alternative Google Maps at the top. Other top downloads, excluding Apple’s in-house apps like iWork, included: ElfYourself by OfficeMax, Where’s My Holiday?, and Skype for iPad. The numbers that will give us a real look at how iOS device sales were during the Christmas quarter will be during Apple’s January earnings call with investors, where record sales are expected.

Competitor Amazon, who doesn’t like to give hard numbers, detailed some of its shopping statistics for the holiday season. The Seattle-based online retailer said that Christmas day brought the busiest day ever for digital downloads of movies, TV shows, apps, and more. The Angry Bird fans were also busy with purchases, as Angry Birds plush toys would stack up to 285 times the height of the world’s tallest tree in California. Research firm Flurry also detailed that Christmas 2012 saw the highest amount of activated gadgets than any other day in history.

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