The U.S. Army Special Operations Command is looking to switch from Android smartphones for its Tactical Assault Kits to iPhones, according to Military.com'sDoDBuzz. The switch away from Android, and specifically Samsung devices, is largely because the devices aren't reliable enough.
The iPhone is “faster; smoother. Android freezes up” and has to be restarted too often, the source said. The problem with the Android is particularly noticeable when viewing live feed from an unmanned aerial system such as Instant Eye, the source said.
Specifically, Android will freeze up and apps will fail to refresh properly when viewing split screens with information on them. This forces the user to restart the phone, wasting valuable minutes. The source tells DoDBuzz that the same process is "seamless" on the iPhone and that the graphics are "clear" and "unbelievable."
The Tactical Assault Kits are made up of a system that links a smartphone to a connected network radio, allowing unit leaders to keep track of their own locations and the locations of their troops on a digital map. It's unclear which version of Android or which Samsung device the Army was using in the Tactical Assault Kit. In 2013, the Department of Defense approved the use of iOS devices for military networks.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Tuesday July 12, 2016 12:04 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Somaltus, LLC has filed a complaint against Apple today in an Eastern Texas district court, accusing the iPhone maker of infringing upon its 2010 patent related to complex battery technologies. The small Frisco, Texas-based firm also filed lawsuits against Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba over the same patent.
The lawsuit claims that the iPhone 6s and any similar devices sold by Apple infringe upon U.S. Patent No. 7,657,386, titled "Integrated Battery Service System," and seeks unspecified monetary damages or, alternatively, a running royalty on sales of infringing devices from the time of judgment going forward.
Defendant sells, offers to sell, and/or uses telephones including, without limitation, the iPhone 6s (the "Product"), for example, and any similar devices, which infringe at least Claim 1 of the ‘386 Patent.
On information and belief, the Product includes a battery service system including a processor (e.g., the A9 chip), which is configured to receive signals from connectors coupled to a battery (e.g., the Product's rechargeable lithium-ion battery).
Specifically, it appears that the infringement claim at least partially relates to the iPhone's process of charging in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity, and then adjusting to trickle-charge mode above 80% capacity.
On information and belief, the processor executes the control codes to continually adjust a charge level to the battery. The Product has a charging system according to which the system operates in fast-charge mode until the battery reaches 80% capacity and then adjusts to trickle-charge mode when the capacity exceeds 80%. When the capacity drops below 80%, the system gain adjusts to fast-charge operation. The purpose of the system is to reduce the charging level applied to the battery at high capacity in order to extend the battery lifespan. Thus, the system adjusts the charging level applied to the battery and does so continuously as the battery charge capacity repeatedly exceeds and drops below 80%.
Somaltus, LLC generally fits the description of a "patent troll," as it does not appear to provide any obvious products or services and lacks an easily identifiable online presence. Nevertheless, it has successfully reached out-of-court settlements with automakers like Ford and Nissan in the past in relation to the same particular patent.
The legal complaint's case number is 2:16-cv-00758 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Wednesday June 8, 2016 11:16 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple analyst Brian White of Wall Street brokerage firm Drexel Hamilton has issued a research note to investors in which he estimates that Apple will reach a bottom in iPhone sales, and overall revenue and profit, in the third quarter of the 2016 fiscal year, a three-month period that ends in late June.
White claimed that all of Apple's supply chain partners that his firm tracks reported May sales that were "softer than historical averages" due to the slowdown, but he forecasted that the much-rumored iPhone 7 series will help Apple's smartphone business return to growth by the second quarter of fiscal 2017.
Until then, the bleeding isn't over. The firm estimated Apple will sell 38.5 million iPhones in the June quarter, down from 47.5 million in the year-ago quarter, followed by an estimated 41 million and 72.3 million sales in the September and December quarters respectively, both of which would also mark year-over-year declines.
White predicted that iPhone sales will then rebound to an estimated 56 million, 45.4 million, and 47.3 million in the subsequent three quarters, signaling a return to modest year-over-year growth throughout 2017. iPhone sales are estimated to reach 76.3 million by the first quarter of fiscal 2018, which would be a record breaker.
It was initially reported that Apple suppliers projected weak demand for the iPhone 7 series due to a "lack of innovation," with other market conditions to blame, but a subsequent report said Apple has asked suppliers prepare for the highest iPhone production target in "about two years."
Apple also reportedly increased iPhone SE orders last month due to strong sales, and the lower-priced 4-inch smartphone should help boost overall iPhone sales.
Mac sales are also expected to bottom out, but not until the second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, when sales drop to an estimated 3.7 million compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter. Mac sales are then estimated to reach 3.9 million, 4.4 million, and 4.44 million in the subsequent three quarters.
Given the current "gloom and doom" sentiment surrounding Apple reaching "extreme levels" this year, Drexel Hamilton believes the company's stock represents an "exceptional value." AAPL is currently trading in around the $98 to $100 range, while the firm has set a "buy" status with a price target of $185.
In April, Apple reported its first year-over-year decline in iPhone sales and quarterly revenue since 2003, and its third quarter guidance of between $41 billion and $43 billion in revenue, which would be up to 18 percent lower than the year-ago quarter, suggests that trend will continue through the first half of 2016.
Brian White is a longtime but somewhat infamous Apple analyst that currently serves as Global Head of Technology Hardware and Software at institutional brokerage firm Drexel Hamilton. He previously worked at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald, where he held the same title, and Topeka Capital Markets.
Apple today uploaded eight new "Shot on iPhone" videos to its YouTube channel, showcasing the video capturing capabilities of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus through videos taken by actual iPhone users around the world.
Each video clip lasts for 16 seconds and is accompanied by music. Video content ranges from a rain storm in Los Angeles to penguins in Antarctica to a hippopotamus in Botswana.
Several of the videos showcase iPhone 6s video features like Slo-Mo, while others are played in reverse or are sped up.
Apple today expanded its "Trade Up with Installments" program for iPhone to France, Italy, and Spain, enabling customers to trade in an eligible older-generation iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone smartphone and put the value of that device towards a new iPhone based on a 24-month payment plan.
When a customer in Italy trades in a used 16GB iPhone 5s for a new 16GB iPhone SE, for example, an amount of €16.98 must be paid each month for the duration of the two-year installment plan. A total of €425.52 would be owed after interest rates are applied to the price. Exact prices vary depending on the combination.
The program is effectively a loan handled by Apple as an intermediary, so customers will need approved credit to qualify. The exact amounts paid may vary depending on the condition of the smartphone traded in. Apple's financing partners include Sofinco in France, Agos Ducato in Italy, and Cetelem in Spain.
"Trade Up with Installments" was heretofore exclusive to the U.S., where the program is financed by Citizens Bank with a 0% interest rate.
Apple recommends that customers speak to a Specialist at an Apple Retail Store for more details. The offer is not available online and is set to end on August 31, 2016 in France, Italy, and Spain. Apple's similar iPhone Upgrade Program remains exclusive to the U.S., so this program is a viable alternative for financing a new iPhone.
Apple has shared a new television commercial called "Thank You Speech" starring actor Neil Patrick Harris. The new 30-second spot promotes hands-free Siri on iPhone 6s in a humorous tone.
Harris asks Siri to read him his "thank you speech" while he stands in front of a mirror practicing with a hairbrush. The How I Met Your Mother star previously had a quick cameo in Apple's recent "Onions" ad.
Apple previously promoted hands-free Siri with its acclaimed "Timer" ad starring Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, with was accompanied by a humorous behind the scenes video. It also shared an ad called "Hey Siri" in December that specifically shows off the hands-free feature.
In line with Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent comments about "very strong" iPhone SE demand exceeding supply, the company has reportedly increased orders for the low-priced 4-inch smartphone in the second quarter of 2016.
DigiTimes claims that the second-quarter outlook for iPhone SE-related chip orders has been revised to more than 5 million units, up from 3.5-4 million, and the upward trend is expected to continue through the third quarter.
In a related report, the Taiwanese website notes that Apple has conversely lowered orders for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus due to declining sales of the flagship handsets. Last week, Apple announced its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, which dropped to 51.2 million from 61.2 million in the year-ago quarter, and provided third quarter guidance that suggests the decline will continue.
While the lower-priced iPhone SE could help Apple combat its overall decline in smartphone sales, Apple analyst Neil Cybart of Above Avalon notes that the device has a lower average selling price (ASP) and smaller profit margins. Those pressures, alongside other warning signs, leads him to believe that Apple "has a significant iPhone growth problem on its hands" right now.
When looking at all of these iPhone warning signs, it is becoming clear that Apple has a significant iPhone growth problem on its hands. The combination of a slowing iPhone upgrade rate and declining number of growth catalysts for expanding the iPhone's addressable market will make it very difficult for management to report unit sales growth going forward given its current strategy. In addition, the iPhone SE highlights how any strategy to fix some of these issues will likely end up jeopardizing iPhone ASP and margin trends.
One of Cybart's warning signs is that "India is not the next China," despite being positioned as one of the next big growth markets for iPhone. India has reportedly rejected Apple's request to import and sell refurbished iPhones in the country, following a similar proposal rejected in 2015, and its regular-priced iPhones are too expensive to attract significant market share in the region.
Nevertheless, the analyst ensures that the iPhone business is "not imploding," citing industry-leading customer satisfaction rates and loyalty trends. He believes that Apple can pull through this declining iPhone environment with a strategy that involves ditching the "S" model nomenclature, focusing on features that customers truly want, and recognizing the iPhone SE's effect on its broader smartphone lineup.
Sunday May 1, 2016 12:49 pm PDT by Mitchel Broussard
A week ahead of Mother's Day, Apple has launched a new commercial centering around a collection of images and video of mothers interacting with their children. The spot continues Apple's "Shot on iPhone" advertising campaign, with each piece captioned by the amateur iPhone user who captured the moment.
Apple began its "Shot on iPhone" campaign early in 2015, showcasing images collected from both professional and amateur photographers around the world. More recently, Apple's iPhone campaign has focused on portraying the features of the device, like Touch ID and Siri.
Wednesday April 27, 2016 7:16 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
The latest data from research firm IDC reveals that Apple's smartphone market share dropped to 15.3 percent in the March quarter as the worldwide smartphone market fell nearly flat during the first three months of 2016.
Apple yesterday reported iPhone sales of 51.2 million during the three-month period ending March 26, compared to 61.2 million units and 18.3 percent market share in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, overall smartphone shipments totaled 334.9 million during the quarter, a year-over-year increase of only 500,000 units.
Despite the plethora of new features found on the newer "S" models, current iPhone 6/6 Plus owners may feel that a 6S upgrade may not be warranted at the moment. Apple also announced the new iPhone SE, which looks to challenge similarly priced Android options in numerous emerging markets where Apple has traditionally been seen as too expensive.
Samsung continued to lead the market with 81.9 million smartphones shipped for 24.5 percent market share, down only slightly from 24.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo rounded off the top five smartphone makers in the quarter as Chinese vendors continue to churn the top of the charts.
Huawei, which manufactures Google's popular Android-based Nexus 6P smartphone, shipped 27.5 million handsets during the quarter for 8.2 percent market share as it attempts to compete with Apple and Samsung in the U.S. market and other regions beyond China. Its market share was 5.2 percent one year ago.
OPPO and Vivo, meanwhile, pushed out Lenovo and Xiaomi respectively for the fourth and fifth spots on the top smartphone vendors list.
With the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple introduced an iPhone Upgrade Program in the U.S. designed to let Apple customers pay a monthly installment fee for a new iPhone and trade it in after 12 months of payments to get the next-generation iPhone.
When it debuted, the iPhone Upgrade Program required customers to purchase their iPhones within an Apple retail store to take advantage of the service, but as of today, the iPhone Upgrade Program is also available as an option when purchasing an iPhone from Apple's online store.
Apple's iPhone purchasing pages have been updated to reflect the change, with Apple's own pricing listed as a payment plan option instead of the carrier pricing options that were previously listed when purchasing an iPhone.
With the iPhone Upgrade Program, installment pricing on the entry-level iPhone 6s begins at $32.41 per month while pricing on the larger-screened entry-level iPhone 6s Plus begins at $36.58 per month. Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program is unique compared to carrier installment plans because it includes AppleCare+ in the monthly price.
The iPhone Upgrade Program is available for devices purchased with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint service.
Apple today uploaded two new iPhone 6s ads to its YouTube channel, highlighting built-in features including Touch ID and the video taking capabilities of the iPhone 6s, including 4K video capture.
The first video, "Fingerprint," focuses on all of the things that can be done with Touch ID beyond unlocking a device, including opening passcode protected apps, checking into flights, signing documents, making purchases with Apple Pay, and starting cars.
With Touch ID on iPhone 6s, your fingerprint does way more than just unlock your phone.
The second video, "Onions," features the 4K video capturing functionality included in the iPhone 6s. In the hyperbolic and humorous video, a child captures her mother cutting onions, which goes viral because of its impressive quality.
4K video on iPhone 6s makes whatever you shoot look amazing. Even onions.
A video surfaced online yesterday purporting to show a vulnerability in iOS 9.3.1 that allows anyone to access photos and contacts on a locked iPhone without having to enter a passcode.
The YouTube video, uploaded by Jose Rodriguez and first spotted by The Daily Dot, depicts a user performing a Siri search followed by a series of relatively simple steps, one of which involves 3D Touch, limiting the exploit to iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices.
The procedure starts by invoking Siri on the locked phone by holding the home button or using the "Hey, Siri" function, and then asking the personal assistant to initiate a Twitter search. When the returned results include contact details such as an email address, a 3D Touch gesture is used on the contact information to bring up a Quick Actions menu. Tapping "Add to Existing Contact" then brings up the iPhone's Contacts list. By selecting a contact and opting to add a photo to the entry, the phone's photo library can also be freely accessed.
The flaw is only applicable if the iPhone owner has previously granted Siri permission to access Twitter account information as well as to Contacts or Photos, operations which require establishing ownership of the device with the passcode or Touch ID. Additionally, if the iPhone has exited a Touch ID grace period, a passcode is still required before using Siri.
Users worried about the vulnerability can protect themselves by ensuring Siri's access to Twitter and Photos is disabled. On your device, go to Settings -> Privacy -> Twitter and if Siri is listed, turn off its access. Likewise, in Privacy -> Photos, turn any listing of Siri access to the Off position. Revoking Siri's access to your Contacts requires the more drastic action of disabling Siri lock screen activation. To do so, go to Settings -> Touch ID & Passcode and turn off the Siri switch.
Apple released iOS 9.3.1 to the public last week, marking the first update to iOS 9 since iOS 9.3 launched on March 21. iOS 9.3.1 came just over a week after the launch of iOS 9.3 and brought a fix for a significant web link crashing issue that affected many iOS users.
MacRumors attracts a broad audience
of both consumers and professionals interested in
the latest technologies and products. We also boast an active community focused on
purchasing decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac platforms.