China Mobile said to be ‘keen’ on selling iPhone, issues that remain are ‘commercial and technical’

Xi-Guohua-china-mobile-iphone

China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua

China Mobile, the world’s largest Telecom with close to 700M subscribers, reported mixed earnings today on slow growth of its smartphone business relative to its competitors which both carry the iPhone. Chairman Xi Guohua noted this and said that talks with Apple on carrying the iPhone were progressing.

“Both sides sounded keen (during recent talks),” Xi told a news conference after announcing the company’s first-half results.

“Good progress was made in preparing for the commercialization of TD-LTE,” Xi said, referring to 4G “long-term evolution” network technology that may support newer iPhone models.

Dow Jones’ Paul Mozur noted the remaining issues to be worked out:

Working out the hurdles and signing up the world’s largest telecom would obviously be a big win for Apple and CEO Tim Cook, who would probably love to announce the carrier relationship at the upcoming September 10th iPhone event in San Francisco.   Read more

Google previews upcoming iOS features in Google Maps app

Google-maps-explore-iosAs reported on 9to5Google last night, Google is rolling out a huge update to its maps app for Android but they are also promising the updates will hit iOS ‘soon’.

  • Designed for tablets: A dedicated tablet design brings all the features of this new app to Android tablets and iPads, which makes exploring the world from the comfort of your living room much more fluid, smooth and fun.
  • Enhanced navigation: In addition to current traffic conditions, we’ve added two new features to help you navigate around traffic. You can now see reports of problems on the road that you can tap to see incident details [Hello Waze]. While on the road, Google Maps will also alert you if a better route becomes available and reroute you to your destination faster. This feature is available only on Android and is coming soon to iOS.
  • Reviews, Zagat and Offers: There’s a new 5.0 star rating system that gives you a quick read on how your friends and others rate places like restaurants, bars and cafes. For an expert’s opinion, the Zagat badge of excellence and curated lists are integrated into search results so you can quickly spot the very best places. From “Best Restaurants to meet for a drink in NYC” to “Best Restaurants in the Mission” in San Francisco, Zagat’s there to help you uncover the local gems.

There’s also a lot of housecleaning, including retiring Latitude (another one bites the dust!) and some changes to offline and My Maps.

The updated Android app looks a lot like the Maps app Google released for iOS at the end of last year (prominent reviewers called the iOS Maps app much better than Android’s Maps app). Another interesting fun fact: Because carriers and manufacturers are so slow to update Android, only 60% of Android users will be able to use the new maps (Android 4.03+ only), while over 90% of iOS users are on iOS 6+, which will get the new features. Read more

Traveling to San Francisco for WWDC [Gear Guide]

I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco this year for WWDC and experience the City by the Bay for my first time. Though I wasn’t among the lucky few to attend the keynote this year, that hardly robbed me of any adventure in the journey. Because this was my first time making the trek (and I was technically covering a portion of the event for work), I deliberately planned what gear was most appropriate for trip and sort of compiled a list of recommendations based on my experience below. Read more

Government officials call on Apple, Google & others to secure smartphones following increasing thefts

Apple police

After sending a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google, and others questioning if the companies could be doing more to prevent increasing thefts of smartphones, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has now scheduled a face to face meeting with the companies to discuss the issue.

NYDailyNews reports Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon will meet with representatives from Apple, Google, Motorola, Samsung and Microsoft at a June 13 “smartphone summit” in New York.

Schneiderman wants the same thing that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has been pushing device makers on in recent months– a ‘kill switch’ that would render a device inoperable and discourage thefts of devices:

Letting customers shut down their phones would make them worthless on the black market and reduce so-called “Apple picking” — the fastest-growing street crime in New York City. Schneiderman cited statistics that show a 40% jump in the theft of mobile devices in New York City in 2012.

Back in December, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed thefts of iPhones and iPads were the cause of the increase in the city’s annual crime index and the NYPD’s most recent report showed crimes involving Apple products in the city had increased 40 percent. Read more

Apple confirms WWDC keynote address scheduled for Monday, June 10th

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 9.47.05 AM

Apple has confirmed to AllThingsD that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will kickoff with a keynote address on Monday, June 10th. Apple typically kicks off its WWDCs with keynotes.

Apple previously said that it would debut new versions of iOS and OS X at WWDC. The conference runs from June 10th until June 15th. We’re expecting Apple to debut a redesigned iOS 7 with improved in-car integration, more social network connectivity and OS X 10.9 with an improved Finder and power-user features.

We will have live coverage from Moscone in San Francisco during the keynote.

Read more

Apple to open gorgeous new San Francisco retail store in Union Square

Update: AllThingsD got its hands on some better images (above) and a statement from Apple on the new store (below):

“We’re thrilled to be working with the city of San Francisco on a new Apple retail store at Union Square…. Our store on Stockton Street has welcomed over 13 million customers since it opened nine years ago, and we look forward to serving them in an amazing new location when this project is complete.”

San Francisco Chronicle reports today that Apple has now submitted plans to open a new store in San Francisco’s Union Square. The new location would apparently replace Apple’s old retail location just a few streets away at Stockton and Ellis.

The new building is said to give Apple around 45% more space than its old San Fran retail location and will apparently occupy a building formerly home to Levi’s in Union Square at Stockton and Post Streets.

Apple thinks it will add about 50 jobs on top of the 350 it employees at its current Stockton street location: Read more