Apple hires designer Jan-Michael Cart praised for his iOS interface concepts


Apple is hiring dozens of talented people on a daily basis, but this one deserves your attention. Jan-Michael Cart, a mass media arts student from Georgia, is the brains behind a bunch of very insightful iOS interface concepts you’ve likely seen on the web, as noted by iPhoneinCanada.ca. This includes the notification center and application switcher mockup videos below.

As Apple is always on the lookout for young blood, Cart’s work caught the company’s attention and they decided to hire him as an intern, he announced in a blog post:

Soon I will be embarking to California, where I will be interning at a fruit company for seven months. I will be updating this to chronicle my adventures and misadventures in the Bay Area for my family, friends, and followers online. Stay tuned, I leave in less than a month!

“And like that, my time has come — I am now a member of the Apple community”, he confirmed on the front page of his personal web site. Congrats to Cart on his new gig! We sure are looking forward to seeing some of his great concepts implemented in iOS.

Heck, even the BlackBerry maker Research In Motion hired the Astonishing Tribe design shop to make the PlayBook tablet’s operating system aesthetically appealing. Watch Cart’s Dynamic Icons and Speech Recognition user interface concepts right after the break and don’t forget to check out his YouTube channel.

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire vs. Apple’s iPad 2


With the $199 Kindle Fire out of the gate, the inevitable questions pops into mind: Which is faster overall, the Amazon or Apple tablet?

The comparison isn’t really fair because Amazon skimped on internal components, which was key to its breakthrough $199 price point. An iFixit teardown reveals Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4430 chip inside the device, also  found inside Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

For starters, iPad 2 boots much quicker than the Amazon tablet – again, due to its more efficient dual-core processor and optimized software. Browsing the web? No surprises here either, Safari on iPad 2 stormed ahead, performing noticeably faster than Amazon’s Silk browser which offloads page rendering to the Amazon cloud. One thing to remember: In this test, Kindle Fire was loading Flash content which of course is not supported on Apple’s device.

The iPad 2′s graphics unit, praised for its nine times performance jump, helps with scrolling, which is pretty choppy most of the time on Amazon’s device. One surprising finding is that Kindle Fire streams Netflix smoother than iPad 2, most likely due to the new version of their Android client which is not yet available for Apple’s platform.

This is not the most scientific test in the world, mind you. Again, as 9to5Google noted in its quick review, there’s really no comparing Kindle Fire to iPad 2, be it on the price, overall polish, performance or shininess. As for the speed, mainstream buyers may not be interested in raw specs anymore and Amazon has priced this thing out of the range of the Samsungs and BlackBerrys of this world so it’s more of a competitor to Android tablets than to Apple.

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Sprint tells employees not to discuss upcoming iPhone 5 launch

While it may seem obvious, Sprint is telling its dealers not to discuss the possibility of an upcoming iPhone 5 according to SprintFeed.

If the nation’s third largest carrier wasn’t getting the iPhone, would they put in such harsh lockdown measures?  Why not instruct employees to tell customers to look at a nice Blackberry or Android instead?  Color us skeptical.

Earlier this month, the WSJ reported that Sprint would be getting the iPhone 5 at launch.  That followed our report a month earlier that Sprint engineers were preparing for the iPhone 5.  In May, an Engineering job had been advertised for an iPhone technician to work in Sprint’s HQ city, Kansas City.

T-Mobile is also likely to get access to the iPhone 5 later this year, though they already have 1 million iPhones on their network. Read more

Virgin hikes plans and introduces throttling, just in time for an iPhone?

We’ve discussed the next generation ‘value-tier’ iPhone.  But we weren’t the first.  Apple COO Tim Cook was.

While Tim stopped short of explicitly stating that Apple would pursue a lower price iPhone, he did state that Apple was working hard to “figure out” the prepaid market and that Apple didn’t want its products to be “just for the rich,” but “for everyone”; he also stated that Apple “understood price is big factor in the prepaid market” and that the company was “not ceding any market.” ….He further noted that the handset distribution model was poorly constructed and that Apple would look to “innovate” and do “clever” things in addressing that market.

That was the WSJ tapping the line (har) of  Bernstein Research’s Toni Sacconaghi in February.

Today, Virgin announced that it was hiking its data plans to $35/month for unlimited data which coincides with the launch of a big Android phone. But more interesting, to me anyway, was that Virgin is changing its ‘unlimited’ to ‘unlimited with throttling at 2.5GB’ in…October.

Beginning in October 2011, Virgin Mobile will also move to reduce data speeds when a customer’s data usage exceeds 2.5GB in a month but still provide unlimited 3G access without a contract, usage cap, overage or activation fees. Based on current usage patterns, fewer than 3 percent of Virgin Mobile USA customers use more than 2.5GB of data usage per month. After reaching this level, this minority of customers may experience slower page loads, file downloads and streaming media. When a customer’s next month begins, the data usage meter starts back at zero with unlimited 3G speeds.

If Apple was going to do a pre-paid carrier in the US, it would certainly be Virgin (vs. Cricket, US Cellular, Boost).  If Virgin did do iPhone, they’d certainly want to put measures in place to prevent the iPhone from killing its network.


image via

We got word yesterday that AT&T was changing its iPhone insurance plans on October 4th, perhaps signaling some new models.  With what we had, we’d have given the info about a 25% shot of being legitimate.  However, since then, we’ve heard that a big commotion was made about that information being made public.  Based on that and today’s Virgin announcement, we’re thinking the probability of that date being right has increased significantly. Read more

AT&T raises iPhone device tier on October 4th, perhaps signaling launch date?

We’ve just been handed some internal AT&T information on device changes:

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A new tier of device will be created in AT&T’s phone database on October 4th (a Tuesday:) which will require a higher rate of insurance.  iPhone (and other devices) will move there on the arbitrary October 4th date.  It is curious that the iPhone was mentioned specifically and not other devices.

While light years away from a new iPhone launch date confirmation, it could be a sign that new iPhones will hit AT&T in this timeframe.

In any case, it might be a good idea to buy insurance before that date as the monthly prices are going up.

Thanks at&T! Read more

Apple consortium wins Nortel patents with $4.5B bid

A consortium including Apple Inc, Microsoft, EMC Corp, Sony, Ericsson, and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion bought bankrupt telecommunications gear maker Nortel Networks Corp’s remaining portfolio of 6000 patents for $4.5 billion, in an auction that began early this week.

RIM reportedly paid $770 million, Ericsson paid $340 million.  It wasn’t immediately clear how much Apple paid.

Google had originally opened bidding with a $900 million bid.  The consortium of strange bedfellows will split up the portfolio based on the split of the purchase price.

The sale is subject to Canadian and U.S. court approvals which will be sought at a joint hearing expected to be held on July 11.  Full press release follows:

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Apple is US smartphone market leader, Nielsen data shows

Apple’s battle with Android continues with the latest Nielsen market share data revealing iOS remains the dominant smartphone OS, at least right now.

Android is picking up users: according to November data from The Nielsen Company, the popularity of the Android OS among those who purchased a smartphone in the last six months (40%) makes it the leading OS among recent acquirers. Read more

CES 2011: Ford autos win an iPhone app habit

Henry Ford may famously be thought to have said, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black,” as he invented mass production, but now it looks like the veteran auto company has an iPhone fixation, revealing support for the Apple device in future generations of its vehicles running the Ford Sync AppLink platform.

Some may note my determination that Apple has a story to tell in the automobile industry — perhaps partnerships will make this story thrive. So, what will this mean? Read more

RIM round-up: Mac software, results, PlayBook delayed

Research In Motion’s in the news today: not only is its iPad-killing PlayBook delayed until around the time iPad 2.0 is expected to ship, but Mac users with a BlackBerry can now download the latest desktop connection kit. Meanwhile the company’s financial results were alright but nothing supercalifragilistic.

By the numbers then: Read more