Gartner: iPhone sees growth while Samsung continues to slow, Apple to have record Q4

iPhone 6

Gartner today published its third quarter numbers, showing overall growth in the smartphone market and a strong quarter for Apple. Mobile devices overall saw as many as 456 million sold with smartphones taking a 301 million slice of that pie, which comes out to a solid 66% (up 20% from last year). This shift in the market seems to be hurting Samsung and Nokia the most, because while the Korean giant is still leading the pack, this year smaller companies with slimmer margins seem to be taking some of its foothold.

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Apple airs new ad for the holidays: ‘The Song’

Continuing its ‘From one gift come many’ campaign, Apple has published a new commercial entitled ‘The Song’. The ad depicts a young woman listening to a song on a record player, from her youth. The girl then learns the tune using their guitar, recording the tune on a Mac.

The girl then leaves an iPad preloaded with the same song for an older relation, her grandmother, provoking the same emotions of her childhood and memories. The ad concludes with a Happy Holidays message from the company. Apple describes the ad with the following prelude on its website:

Some gifts create a million more. Watch as one budding musician uses Mac and GarageBand to make a heartfelt song for her grandmother.

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Apple fast tracks CarPlay hardware development w/ official MFi specs for head units

carplay

Apple’s new CarPlay iOS feature has recently arrived through a limited number of in-dash vehicle entertainment systems and aftermarket products, but Apple has now introduced official guidelines for companies building CarPlay hardware through its Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program, according to sources.  Read more

Robinhood launches on App Store, brings zero-commission stock trading to the masses

Robinhood App

For several years, my grandmother has encouraged me to get involved with the stock market. While she was successful at persuading my older brother into investing in penny stocks, I have never taken the initiative to learn how the stock market truly works. For that reason, I was excited when I heard about a brand new app called Robinhood, which provides zero-commission stock trading at your fingertips.

While online brokers are nothing new, with existing firms such as Interactive Brokers and E-Trade, Robinhood is a mobile-first service that doesn’t require a desktop. Whether you are a twenty-something college student that doesn’t fully understand how the stock market functions, an experienced Wall Street stock trader, or fall somewhere in between, the app makes stock trading easier for the masses. Read more

Fresh supply chain rumor reiterates Apple Watch headed for mass-production in January

apple-watch

A report by Taiwan’s United Daily News claims that Apple supplier Quanta will begin mass-production of the Apple Watch in January, echoing an earlier supply-chain rumor from September. It claims that the initial production run will be between three and five million units.

The report says that there have been ‘breakthroughs’ in yield issues, and that the company increased its production staffing from 3000 to 10,000 workers in the second half of the year, with further recruitment ongoing …  Read more

Grab a big iOS App designer bundle (MSRP: over $1000) for only a few bucks

From 9to5Toys Specials:
Programming-classes-cheap

Specials.9to5toys.com is running a **special** on an iOS app designer bundle that up and coming iOS app designers will likely want to take advantage of.  This is an “NYOP bundle”, meaning that people can name their own price to get 2 courses (Learn Mobile Web Design Using Bootstrap & Learn To Build Cross Platform Apps). Or, if you beat the average price, you’ll get the entire bundle (7 courses & assets). This evening that is only a few bucks plus 10% goes to charity of your choice and high bidders get a chance to win a Gold iPad Air/ iPhone 6. The bundle includes:

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Apple releases iOS 8.2 beta 2 for developers

iOS 8.2 beta 2Apple has just released the second beta of iOS 8.2 to developers, for testing, as an over-the-air update.  The beta can also be downloaded from Apple’s developer site. iOS 8.2 includes WatchKit, so developers can create apps and Glances for Apple Watch. You can read about how such apps work with our previous coverage of the WatchKit APIs. Apple released the first beta of iOS 8.2 a few weeks ago.

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Apple & IBM announce first batch of MobileFirst iOS apps for enterprise

apple-ibm

Following an announcement earlier this year that Apple was teaming up with IBM to deliver a number of enterprise solutions, today Apple has officially announced the first wave of iOS apps being released through the partnership. As part of IBM’s “MobileFirst for iOS,” Apple and IBM today announced 10 new apps designed specifically for businesses including banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and for governments and airlines.

“This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, and we can’t wait to see the exciting new ways organizations will put iOS devices to work,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done.”

The apps launching today through the partnership include Plan Flight and Passenger+ for the travel industry, Advise & Grow and Trusted Advice for the banking and financial industries, Retention (insurance), Case Advice and Incident Aware for government, Sales Assist and Pick & Pack for retail, and Expert Tech for telecommunications industries. Apple notes that the apps offer customizable experiences and are “managed and upgraded via cloud services from IBM specifically for iOS devices.”

In addition to the new apps, which Apple described in more detail in its press release below, Apple noted other services that will go hand-in-hand with the apps. Those include integration with IBM’s Mobile Platform and Enterprise solutions as well as AppleCare for the Enterprise, Apple’s new business specific tech support service introduced as part of the IBM deal.

Apple’s full press release is below:

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Apple releases iOS 8.1.2 with fixes for bugs including ringtone issues

iOS 8.1.2

Apple has released iOS 8.1.2 as an over-the-air software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users running iOS 8. The latest release contains bug fixes for users as well as a fix for a problem regarding ringtones purchased from Apple being removed from devices. We’ll check out the software release for any significant changes or issues and update accordingly. Read more

Apple TV adds revamped YouTube app (with ads), new channels from DailyMotion, UFC and more

Apple TV is receiving a flurry of new channels today. Most prominently is a brand new YouTube app, to bring the client up-to-date with some of the other platforms. The new app reflects the design of other set-top box clients, with easier access to subscriptions and search functions. For the security conscious, the YouTube app now uses OAuth to login rather than naive password entry (by visiting youtube.com/activate)

Unfortunately, this YouTube update also means that Apple TV users will start seeing ads for the first time on the platform. Naturally, some users will be disappointed by this addition — it is not possible to opt out of the update.

Aside from YouTube, Apple TV is also getting four entirely new channels from various providers. Rolling out today are channels for Conde Nast’s ‘The Scene’, ‘Fusion’, Dailymotion (a video upload site from France) and UFC for premium subscription fighting and martial arts content.

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Review: Harman Kardon Esquire Mini is the best iPhone speakerphone you can fit in your pocket

Harman Kardon Esquire Mini - Lifestyle (2)not me

I reviewed two portable Bluetooth speakerphone options earlier this year: The Philips WeCall ($145) vs. Logitech P710e ($125) . Both are square and have internal batteries and make conference calling easy. But for their ~$150 price tag, I wondered if you could get more portability and style without sacrificing sound quality.

Harman Kardon Esquire Mini Black (3D View) 02

The answer to those questions is the Harman Kardon Esquire line of portable speakerphones. Below, I take a look at the Esquire Mini which retails for $149.99 and can be found as low as $145 at Amazon or $135 at World Wide StereoRead more