All posts by Parth Dhebar

Parth Dhebar is a 18 year-old entrepreneur. He is the founder of Simple Reviews, a blog focused on reviewing iPhone and iPad applications. Parth is a recognized name in the industry, known for covering Apple news. He is an editor at Techie-Buzz covering news on Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @pdparticle.

Apple May Not Be Interested in Bidding for English Premier League Streaming Rights

It seems that the rumored Apple TV is media’s new unicorn because the rumors just don’t stop. In fact, it has gotten to a point in which a “source” will follow up on a rumor and call it uncertain. For example, just yesterday it was reported that Apple maybe interested in bidding for the rights to stream English Premier League (EPL) football matches. In fact, the bid in television rights would generate billions of dollars in revenue for the teams and league.

Today, The Guardian has followed up with a new report denying that Apple will place the bid. According to the report, Apple has ruled itself out of the running for the rights. In fact, despite the speculation, Apple has not discussed bidding for the rights at all and is unlikely to do so.

The Premier League is preparing to go to market with its lucrative television contract in the second quarter of this year, but the technology company Apple is believed to have ruled itself out of the running for the rights. […]

However, despite speculation it is understood that Apple has not discussed bidding for the rights and is unlikely to do so, despite rumoured plans to launch an Apple TV device.

Its model relies on taking a cut of the revenue from existing content producers by retailing its content through its AppStore or iTunes service.

The article also notes that live matches broadcast by Sky are already available on iOS devices via the channel’s SkyGo app and that archived Premier League content is available through iTunes. Due to these two distribution methods, it would make it less likely that Apple would spend a lot of money on such a streaming deal.

Apple Settles Multi-Touch Patent Lawsuit from Elan for $5 Million

Back in 2009, Elan sued Apple over alleged infringement of a patent related to the detection of multiple-finger input as on the company’s iOS devices, notebooks, and several accessories. Apple counter-sued back in 2009 in an attempt to win the dispute. Then in 2010, Elan turned to the U.S. International Trade Commission to seek a ban on imports of Apple’s products, but the ITC ruled in Apple’s favor last year.

Today, Apple has reached a settlement with Elan Microelectronics Corp., in which the company will pay out $5 million. That may sound like a lot, but that is a relatively small payout for the company with over $80 billion in cash in the bank. Reuters reports that Taiwan-based Elan will also share patents with Apple as part of the settlement. Apple’s small payout comes months after the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Apple did not infringe on Elan’s patent. Elan had accused Apple of “knowingly and deliberately” infringing on its technology for products like the iPhone, trackpads and the Magic Mouse.

This settlement means that Apple has one less patent infringement lawsuit to deal with. Currently, the company is involved in patent infringement lawsuits with copy-cat Samsung, HTC, and Motorola.

Apple Hires Adobe Executive Todd Teresi to Run iAd Program

Two years ago, Apple introduced iAds, which is Apple’s mobile advertising platform for its iPhone, iPod touch, and iPhone line of mobile devices. Last year, it was reported that  Andy Miller, the former founder and CEO of Quattro Wireless who was the vice president of mobile advertising and head of the iAd program at Apple, left the company. Since then, Apple has been looking for a replacement for the  executive.

Today,  Bloomberg‘s Adam Satariano reports  that Apple has hired Adobe executive  Todd Teresi  to lead its iAd mobile advertising unit. According to the report, he has been lured away from his position, VP and GM of Media Solutions at Adobe to take place of former Apple Vice President of Mobile Advertising, Andy Miller, who left in August 2011. Teresi will be a key player in Apple’s online marketing presence when he takes over the iAd division. According to his LinkedIn profile, Teresi worked his way through many  management  positions  at Yahoo!  including  Senior Vice President, and served as Chief Financial Officer at Quantacast before taking his most recent job at Adobe.

Before Teresi, Eddy Cue has been temporarily  overseeing  the iAd division at Apple.

 

iPad App Store Hits 3 Billion Downloads

App Store logo

The growth of Apple’s iPad has been mind blowing in all areas. In fact, when it first launched, it was  considered  to be a failure, but now the iPad has become a PC replacement for many. Apple’s iPad sales have not only been amazing, but App Store growth has been too.

Now ABI Research, a research firm, has announced in a press release that 3 billion applications have been downloaded since the iPad first launched in 2010. In addition, the iPad represents nearly a fifth of all cumulative iOS downloads, despite the fact that it debuted nearly three years after the iPhone, and two years after the iOS App Store opened. Also, it is  estimated  that 120,000 applications have been created specifically for the iPad  available on the App Store as of the third quarter of 2011. That number sounds consistent with news that appeared last June after the number of applications on the App Store passed 100,000. ABI’s data does not include iPhone applications, which can also be run from the iPad but do not take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen.

In the end, Android and Android tablets are still “winning” though. Yay, oh wait…

Apple to Announce Q1 2012 Earnings on January 24

Earlier today, Apple updated its investor relations page to inform  that it will  announce  its earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2012 and host a live conference call regarding the earnings on Tuesday, January 24.  The conference call at 5:00 PM Eastern / 2:00 PM Pacific will reveal the earnings  itself, which is usually  announced  at 4:30 PM Eastern.

Apple’s conference call webcast discussing Q1 – 2012 financial results will begin at 2:00pm PT/5:00pm ET on Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

Last quarter,  Apple announced that  fourth quarter profits rose nearly 54 percent to $6.62 billion  driven by record sales of more than 11 million iPads and nearly 5 million Macs.  Surprisingly, these numbers were considered to be below expectationsby analysts/Wall Street and this was Apple’s first miss since 2002. However, it was not  emphasized enough that during the call, officials at Apple had already started to project that the were “confident”    they would set new company records for both the iPhone and iPad. In fact, it is projected that this quarter will be a $40 billion quarter for Apple.

Currently, Wall Street expects Apple to report profits of $9.83 billion on revenue of $38.16 billion. A total of 46 analysts polled skew as high as $10.74 billion and as low as $8.88 billion in their predicted revenue.  The December quarter not only included the  holiday  shopping season, but also the launch quarter for the iPhone 4S. During the quarter, it was Apple’s fastest iPhone roll-out yet. They debuted the quarter in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Hong Kong, India, Russia, Brazil, and Taiwan.

Apple May Bid for English Premier League Streaming Rights

Lately, rumors of a future Apple TV have been all over the place. A week ago,  a new  rumor  suggested that Apple might launch a 32-inch and 37-inch TV next year. Like that wasn’t enough, another report suggested that  Apple is expected to use its custom-built chips like in the iPhone and iPad for its rumored TV. Like I said before, that rumor might actually turn out to be true since Apple is already using custom-built chips known as the A5 processor in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

Now, The Daily Mail (via  MacRumors)  claims that Apple maybe interested in bidding for the rights to stream English Premier League (EPL) football matches.  The EPL is the top football league in England, and one of the premiere football leagues in the world. In fact, the bidding in television rights is expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue for the teams and league. Apple in the past has added live sports content to its $99 Apple TV since fall of 2010. The device currently offers access to MLB, NBA, and NHL.

The Premier League is seen as the type of premium content that will help establish Apple TV in the UK and boost iPad sales, while the iTunes subscription service infrastructure is already in place.

The involvement of Apple – and their great multimedia rivals Google are also expected to make similar soundings – would give the PL a hugely competitive market at a time when the price of other TV sports rights are in decline.

If this rumor turns out to be true and Apple wins the bid, I hope the company’s next target will be towards acquiring rights for streaming cricket.

Rumor: Apple’s January Media Event to Involve Digital Textbooks and Education

Oh boy, rumors regarding Apple’s January Media Event seem to be showing up by the day. Just yesterday, it was  reported  that Apple is planning a special event in New York for the end of this month.  The event is reported to be for a media-related announcement and not for the iPad 3 or an Apple television set.

iPad iBooks

Then, just a few hours after that rumor appeared, TechCrunch reported that the event would focus on publishing and eBooks (which are sold through Apple’s iBooks platform) rather than iAds.  TechCrunch’s  Alexia Tsotsis also noted that attendance would be  more publishing industry-oriented than consumer-focused.Now, journalist Clayton Morris of  Fox News  suggests that Apple will in fact hold a media event in New York later this month. This location was chosen because it is  “more centrally located for textbook and publishing.”

He also said that the event was  originally  scheduled for late fall of 2011, but was postponed. Wait a second, how can something not  announced  to the public be  considered  as “delayed?” According to the report, the press conference will be regarding iTunes U. iTunes U is an easy and fantastic way for students to access educational content for free.

Morris also said that  event will feature “a big announcement in a demure space.” He expects “at least two large project announcements as they relate to Apple in education.”

Here is what I know from sources involved:

– This event will focus on iTunes University and Apple in education
– I learned of the event back in September when it was originally scheduled for late Fall in New York but it was eventually postponed.
– The event will be in New York rather than in the Silicon Valley because New York is more centrally located for textbook and publishing.
– This initiative has been in the making for years.
– The announcement will be small in size but large in scope: a big announcement in a demure space.
– I expect at least two large project announcements as they relate to Apple in education.
– Steve Jobs was intinimately [sic] involved with this project before his passing. He gave a hat tip to the textbook side of this project in the Isaacson biography.
– This will not be a hardware-related announcement.

So from these rumors so far we can conclude the following:

  • Chances of an event happening at the end of the month is likely
  • No new products will be  announced
  • The event will be regarding iBooks/iTunes U, but it will also be  considered  to be a big  announcement.

Apple’s January Event Reportedly About Publishing and iBooks

iPad iBooks

Just a few hours ago, it was reported that Apple is planning a special event in New York for the end of this month.  The event is reported to be for a media-related announcementand not for the iPad 3 or an Apple television set.

Now, TechCrunch reports that a source had independently confirmed plans for the end-of-January event, which was first reported by AllThingsD. According to this new report, the event will focus on publishing and eBooks (which are sold through Apple’s iBooks platform) rather than iAds. TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis’s also noted that attendance would be  “more publishing industry-oriented than consumer-focused.”

According to the source the event will not involve any hardware at all and instead will focus on publishing and eBooks (sold through Apple’s iBooks platform) rather than iAds. Attendance will also be more publishing industry-oriented than consumer-focused.

The source also said Apple would reveal new improvements to its iBooks platform at the event, though the tipster described the announcement as not “major.” In addition, due to the original report suggesting that Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue will play a role in the event, rumors suggested that the event would be related to either advertising or publishing. I guess we are all in for a surprise.

 

Rumor: Apple Planning ‘Media-Related’ Event in New York This Month?

Eddy Cue

The new year has just begun and apparently rumors related to Apple have already started to appear. Today, AllThingsD reports that Apple is planning a special event in New York for the end of this month.  The event is reported to be for a “media-related announcement” and not for the iPad 3 or an Apple television set. If this is the case, then I’m guessing some sort of partnership will be announced.

According to sources close to the situation, Apple is planning an important — but not large-scale — event to be held in New York at the end of this month that will focus on a media-related announcement.

Per the usual caveat, the tech giant is well known for moving around their public show-and-tells, so this could certainly change at any moment.

According the to the report, the New York location makes it possible that the  announcement  has something to do with advertising or publishing. It should be noted that many of Apple’s media and advertising operations under senior vice president Eddy Cue have significant presences in New York City. For example, last year, Apple expanded its New York office space for iAds and business projects. Eddy Cue is also said to play a role in the event.

Last year, Apple participated in a couple of New York-based media event, although other companies mainly hosted both of these events:  the Verizon iPhone  announcement  and the launch of The Daily.  

 

Developer Interview: Safeer Mohiuddin

Safeer Mohiuddin is a  nineteen  year old developer and the Co-Founder of  mezz. Mezz is a real-time hyper local mobile application and platform that allows you to discover and share activities, events, food and other happenings nearby.  You can follow him on Twitter    @SafeerMohiuddin.

Safeer Mohiuddin

Me:   When did you start learning how to program and how did you learn?

Safeer Mohiuddin (SM):  I started learning how to program in my freshman year at Monta Vista High School. I took one Java course and then after that I took several other programming courses at the local community college while I was in high school.

Me:   What made you interested in learning iOS development?

SM:  I got the iPhone when it first came out and it’s been truly amazing to see how far the platform and the apps have come along. I wanted to develop an app that other people would use and I thought it was something achievable in a short amount of time.

Me:  How did you think of the idea for mezz? Has the app been successful?

SM:  As a kid who has lived in the suburbs my entire life, I always wanted to experience the city life. The city life is always vibrant and there’s always things going on but it’s really hard to find about all that stuff. Over the summer, My friends and I hung out a lot but there were too many times where the conversation would go like What do you wanna do?I don’t know. Repeat that happening like 50 times in one day. Besides Xbox and movies we wanted to find something new to do. Whether it was just a pickup game, music in the park, concerts, new restaurants…we just wanted an easy way to find something to do.

We did a soft launch in Mid-November and have a couple thousand users. We are working on making sure we are providing the highest level of quality of local happenings. I believe that we are on a path to major success and that there have been certainly mini-successes that we have achieved. The most important thing at such an early stage is to get user’s feedback and improve and iterate.

Me:  How do you manage college and work on Mezz at the same time?

SM:  It’s extremely difficult. I tried it for a month and I wasn’t doing my best at school or Mezz. I needed to prioritize the two and dedicate 100% of my time to one. I decided that opportunities like this don’t come too often and took on Mezz full time.

Me:  What’s your work setup like and workflow on a given task?

SM:  I spend a lot of time thinking about the task before I actually go out and do it simply because as a small startup there is so much to do with so little resources and tasks need to be prioritized.

Me: How do you handle a deadline?

SM:  I’m very conscious of deadlines. Obviously things can go wrong and things can take longer but it’s important to stay focused. If working on a task is significantly delaying other tasks than it needs to be reprioritized.

Me:  What are your thoughts on Android’s Market potential as an actual sales drive? vs the App Store?

SM:  As a developer for both Android and iPhone, the fragmentation on Android in terms of development and the number of different markets is very distracting. It drives focus away from development.

Me:  Thoughts on an openvs. a closedOS? What benefits do you think each one brings to a developer?

SM:  This is a very feisty debate but as a developer I prefer a closed OS. If users want the highest level of experience on their smartphones than the opportunity must be given to developers to develop something that they can fully control. If there are too many variables in the equation, it is very difficult for developers to be able to develop an app with high quality standards.

Me:  Do you think a consumer cares about whether or not the OS they are using is open?

SM:  I don’t think they care but that doesn’t mean that they will be affected by it. I think many consumers don’t realize what are the end results of an open’ vs closed’ platform.

Me:  If you can share, what cool projects are you working on right now?

SM:  Right now I am working only on mezz. Mezz is a real-time hyper local mobile app and platform that allows you to discover activities, events, things to do, food and much more.   The content on mezz comes from anyone posting on mezz as well as locally relevant Tweets and other API’s. We envision mezz to be the aggregator of all local content.

In my little spare time, I’m helping a couple other people jumpstart their companies by giving them advice and support.

Me:  What are you most proud of?

SM:  When I was 16, I started buying and selling iPhones. I made enough money to buy my own car. It was a major personal accomplishment for me because it gave me a sense of ownership and responsibility. It wasn’t about getting a car because I could have easily asked my parents but more of a step towards independence and a start towards an entrepreneurial journey.

 

Apple’s Jonathan Ive Awarded Knighthood

Jonathan Ive

We all know that Apple product designs are world famous and the man behind this is Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of Industrial Design. Earlier this year, his brilliant work was featured in a German exhibition. Today, BBC reports that he has been named a Knight Commander of the British Empire in the U.K.’s 2012 New Year Honours list. He described the honor as “absolutely thrilling.”

This allows Jonathan Ive to go by “Sir Jonathan.” The knighthood, which is for “services to design and enterprise,” is a step up from his previous title of Commander of the British Empire, which was awarded in 2005. Ive also said that  he was “both humbled and sincerely grateful” by the commendation. In fact, Jonathan Ive  grew up in Chingford, a town northeast of London, and credited his silversmith father of inspiring him as a designer.

Jonathan Ive started working for Apple in 1992, and according to Jobs’ biography he became a “spiritual partner” of co-founder Steve Jobs. Jobs also said that  had left Ive with “more operational power” than anyone else at the company.

Well earned, sir.

Apple Could Obtain $10 Per Android Device Sold

Apple logo
Oh boy, while Apple is trying to save their intellectual property from not being stolen, analysts are telling what Apple should do. Apparently,  Kevin Rivette, managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors LLC, said in an  interview with  Bloomberg  that he believes Apple could probably collect up to $10 in royalties for every Android device sold. In fact, that would be twice per unit Microsoft is believed to be receive for each HTC Android device sold. You can read the entire article on Bloomberg‘s website, but here I’m going to go off on a little rant…

I disagree with this argument. Forget the fact that Apple never listens to analysts (be glad they don’t) and analysts can never predict anything correctly when it comes to Apple, but what Rivette forgets is that Apple doesn’t need the royalty money from Android phones. Nope, not one bit. In fact, Apple isn’t Microsoft. Period. What I mean by this is that Microsoft only makes software, while Apple makes hardware and integrated systems. This allows Apple to make money on hardware it develops and take control year after year on the product it develops (iPod, iPhone, iPad). The money lies here. With over $80 Billion in cash, it is very apparent that Apple is not in the game for a few bucks, but instead in the game for the big bucks.  Also, by taking this route Apple would lose one key  competitive  advantage over its competitors  â€” innovation.  In fact, the key reason why companies are copying Apple is so they can take advantage of their success. The copying is so accurate that Samsung lawyers couldn’t even tell their products apart. Apple’s battle with Samsung is only one of the countless number of cases Apple is fighting against copycats.

Why exactly should a company that’s innovating, thinking of innovative products first, leading in design, and is extremely profitable resort to such an extreme  measure?

 

Apple TV May Run on Custom-built Chips

Lately, rumors for the Apple TV have been all over the place. Just yesterday, a new rumor suggested that Apple might launch a 32-inch and 37-inch TV next year. Well if that wasn’t enough, a new rumor today suggests that instead of utilizing third party chips from companies such as Intel, Apple is expected to use its custom-built chips like in the iPhone and iPad for its rumored TV. This one actually seems to make sense since Apple is already using custom-built chips known as the A5 processor in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

According to DigiTimes, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering and Siliconware Precision Industries are three companies that are expected to bid on orders with Apple. These companies could potentially build custom ARM-based chips to power this rumored Apple TV.

In addition, the rumor suggests that Apple has already signed a  foundry agreement with TSMC earlier this year. That deal was said to be for next-generation “A6″ and “A7″ processors for the iPhone and iPad, but it’s possible an Apple television could also utilize the advanced chips.

DigiTimes also once again  emphasized  that Apple is expected to launch the TV by the end of 2012.

Foxconn Investing $1.1 Billion to Increase iPhone Production Capabilities

Foxconn is most famously known for making Apple products, and with the amount of demand for Apple products, Foxconn can’t afford not to expand its production  capabilities. Now, a recent report from MICGadget reveals that Apple’s main production partner is said to double its iPhone production lines. Why? Because the iPhone has a tiny amount of marketshare and is doomed. Just kidding! The real reason according to the report? It is in order to meet the  continued  demand for the iPhone. Doomed indeed folks!

The Foxconn Science Park located in Zhengzhou, Henan, China will undergo expansion very soon and is expected to cost Foxconn around $1.1 Billion to complete. Remember, this expansion is specifically for iPhones and not for you know, the platform that’s “winning.” The expansion will allow Foxconn to double the amount of iPhones produced at the plant each day, doubling the output to around 200,000 (up from the previous 100,000 units), and will reportedly also employ up to 130,000 people.

The expansion plan, which will cost 7 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion), will increase its current production lines and expects to bring US$20 billion in sales revenue in 2012.

Rumor has it that Foxconn is reportedly also planning to makes its production procedure for the iPhone and iPad completely automated with the aid of 1 Million robots, by the end of 2014.

Apple to Launch iPhone 4S in Mainland China Before Jan. 23

Rumor has had it for a long time that the iPhone 4S will become available one day in mainland China, but nobody knew when. The iPhone 4S is already available for purchase in Hong Kong. Today, a new report seems to reveal that Apple will be launching the iPhone 4S in mainland China before the Chinese New Year.

iPhone 4S

China’s  People’s Daily  reports that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted China Compulsory Certification for the iPhone 4S on Dec. 22. This means that Apple has met all of the requirements necessary in order to launch its latest smartphone in mainland China. Now you may be thinking this is just another iPhone launch, but really, it is a big deal. Why? Because Apple has just started entering the Asian market, and China offers the world’s largest mobile phone market. This  translates  into a gigantic revenue stream for Apple. In fact, international sales contributed to 63% of last quarter’s earnings.

The report also says that the iPhone 4S will debut “at the beginning of January 2012,” and will hit the market before the Chinese New Year. That takes place on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012.  In fact, Chinese New Year is the biggest shopping event on China’s calendar.