Apple is preparing to enhance its Apple Store-based iPhone sales operations in the United States around pre-paid and month-to-month plans in order boost sales, according to a source briefed on the upcoming initiatives. For the first time in U.S. Apple Stores, customers will be able to purchase an iPhone at full-price and then connect the phone to a pre-paid plan or a month-to-month plan within the store. Previously, iPhone customers could only buy full-priced iPhones as unlocked devices then connect the devices to pre-paid plans or month-to-month plans via a previously purchased SIM-card or through a carrier store…
While the Wall Street line is that the smartphone market is saturated and iPhone and iPad growth is done, Tim Cook clearly thinks otherwise. Business Insider highlighted Cook’s comment on the migration Apple is seeing from Android phones.
“Over 130 million customers who bought an iOS device in the past 12 months were buying their first Apple device,” said Cook before introducing iOS 8, the new software for the iPhone and iPad. “Many of these customers were switchers from Android. They had bought an Android phone — by mistake. Then had sought a better experience … And a better life. And decided to check out iPhone and iOS.”
He added, “Nearly half of our customers in China in the past six months switch from Android to iPhone. This is incredible.”
According to multiple sources, Facebook will unveil a new service today that can identify television shows and music playing in the background. The new software, which will be available via an updated App Store app on iPhone and a Google Play app on Android, will work in tandem with your smartphone hardware’s microphone. Facebook is said to be integrating the feature so Facebook users can more easily share what music they are listening to or what TV show they are currently watching to their Timelines. In iOS 8, Apple will unveil a new Siri feature in partnership with Shazam to identify songs playing in the background. Update: Official announcement after the break… Read more
Korea Times (via Fortune) is reporting that Apple and Samsung are in talks designed to settle all future patent disputes out of court. FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller believes that a settlement will be reached “very soon.”
“Things should come to an end during the summer. Apple doesn’t have an endgame strategy. Its agreement with Google shows that its management is looking for a face-saving exit strategy from Steve Jobs’ thermonuclear ambitions,” Mueller said …
According to a court filing discovered by Reuters, Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit have agreed to settle their ongoing smartphone patent litigation battle against each other. In a statement, the two companies said that this agreement does not include the ability cross license each other’s patents, but rather the promise to “work together in some areas of patent reform.”
The two tech giants have been battling it out over various patents for several years now, both directly and indirectly. It’s important to note, however, that this agreement is solely between Apple, Google, and its Motorola Mobility unit. This does not apply to any lawsuits between Android device manufacturers, such as Samsung and HTC, and Apple. Although theoretically, it would apply to patents owned by Google that device manufacturers are licensing.
A verdict was reached in the latest Apple v Samsung battle just a few weeks ago, with Apple being ruled as the victor, albeit small. The court ruled that Samsung owed Apple $119 million, which is far less than the $2 billion it was seeking.
For some time now, iOS users have cited the quality and quantity of third-party software available for the platform as an important factor in their choice of mobile devices. Over the years Android has amassed its own collection of apps and users have continued butting heads over which system had the better selection.
Now, six Columbia University students have bridged the gap between the two platforms with something called Cider (via The Next Web). Not to be confused with the other Cider software (for OS X), the Android version of Cider essentially fools iOS applications into believing they’re running on an actual iPhone or iPad.