Australian Government Accuses Apple over 4G Marketing Claims on New iPad

One of the features Apple introduced with the latest generation of the iPad a couple of weeks ago was 4G/LTE capabilities. Today, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking Apple to court over “misleading” advertisements showing its latest iPad running at 4G speeds in Australia. Apparently the issue is raised by the company’s use of “4G” in its marketing terms for the WiFi + 4G/LTE models of the new iPad, while 4G LTE compatibility is only offered in the United States and Canada due to different frequency bands used for LTE in different countries.

Dye to Apple’s wrong use of 4G/LTE words, the ACCC has announced that it will pursue injunctions, fines and other remedies in its case. The commission wants to ensure that consumers “are made aware of the correct technical capabilities” of Apple’s new iPad. The company has posted fine print in several areas on its website regarding LTE connectivity not being available in most countries.

However, the ACCC thinks that this isn’t sufficient and that Apple should remove using the “4G” term in association with the iPad  in countries where the device is incompatible with LTE networks.

Four Issues With The New iPad and Their Solution

It’s been a week now since the ‘new iPad’ hit the retail stores in the United States. The early reviews of the tablet are out, and like every time, Apple has not failed to impress users and shut up its critics, even though the initial reaction of the new iPad was underwhelming.

However, the new iPad, like some of the past few product releases from Apple, has some launch issues that will be sorted out as time progresses. Below is a list of the popular problems, which owners of the new iPad are facing, right now-:

1) Hot! – So yeah, the new iPad is hot, and I mean literally. Reports have already suggested that the new iPad is up to 9.6 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the iPad 2. Apple forums are already flooded with complaints from user about the new iPad overheating.

The reason behind the new iPad overheating is the new A5X SoC, specifically the PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU, and the Retina Display. To power such a pixel-full display, Apple had to make sure that the new iPad had a very powerful GPU and the PowerVR SGX543MP4 certainly fulfills that requirement. More pixels means the GPU has to work harder thus generating more heat. The A5X SoC is quite a bit larger than A5, which is the main culprit behind the new iPad getting warm. However, a gadget getting hot, sometimes too hot to be unusable, is nothing new. The popular Galaxy S II also has a similar issue, where it would sometimes get so hot that the user actually has to wait for the phone to cool down before he could again use it.

2) Poor Wi-Fi Reception – Since the last couple of days, quite a few users are reporting that the new iPad has poor Wi-Fi reception. Compared to the iPad 2, the new iPad reports two-third of the signal strength. For some users, the new iPad will simply drop Wi-Fi networks after sometime.

The original iPad had also faced similar Wi-Fi issues, and so this is nothing to be surprised about. Hopefully, the next iOS update from Apple will fix the poor Wi-Fi reception issue on the new iPad.

3) Poor Battery Life – The new iPad sports a battery bigger than the one found in MacBook Air (2010) model. The 42.5whr battery has enough juice to power the Retina Display, the 4G LTE baseband and the quad-GPU for up to 9 hours. However, some users are reporting poor battery life with their new iPad.

Reports have confirmed that the new iPad continues charging itself for up to 1 hour after the battery indicator shows 100%, and it actually helps in increasing the battery life. Also, if you are gaming too much or watching too much video on your new iPad on YouTube via Verizon’s or AT&T LTE network, your iPad is bound to get hot and last only a few hours.

Since the battery capacity has increased tremendously, the new iPad will also take longer time to charge than its predecessors.

4) Heavier Apps – Thanks to the Retina display on the new iPad, all apps optimized for the tablet will be up to 5 times heavier than its iPad 2 version. There is not much developers or users can do about it, except for making sure that they buy a higher capacity variant of the iPad.

Frankly, I don’t think any of the above issues are really a deal breaker for the new iPad owners. New iPad owners will ultimately get used to the device heating up and the longer charging time. Apple should fix the Wi-Fi connectivity issue in the next iOS update, until and unless it’s a hardware issue.

‘Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition’ Coming to iPad

The popular 1998 PC role-playing game, Baldur’s Gate, is being remade by the original maker Overhaul Games. Overhaul Games’s new version will be called Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition iPad

In addition, the company has announced that the new version will also be available for iPad and be available in the summer of 2012. IGN has already had some hands on time with an early build.

The iPad port will include all the improvements and additions found in the PC version, including full integration of the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack. The title is also running on the refined Baldur’s Gate II Infinity Engine, allowing gamers to experience the original adventure with the sequel’s refined graphics options and other engine tweaks.

IGN  also reports that the new version of the game will feature new content, more quests, and a new party member. In fact, the early build of the iPad version runs smoothly. However, the game’s interface has not yet been remade to be more touch friendly. The changes are still in the works, but pinch and zoom has already been implemented. The iPad version is expected to launch this summer.

Asus Wants to Be the Top Tablet Maker… After Apple

Samsung is currently the top Android tablet maker, thanks to its assortment of Galaxy tablets of various hardware configurations and sizes. However, Asus is aiming to become the top non-Apple tablet maker.

Asus has seen some amount of success with the Transformer and Transformer Prime tablets, which have been appreciated for their innovative form factors. It is rumored to be the manufacturer of the upcoming Google Nexus tablet, which will be a budget Android tablet priced at $149 to $199.

With the Nexus tablet, Google plans to regain control of budget tablet market, which is currently dominated by Amazon and Chinese tablet manufacturers who don’t use Google’s official version of Android, contributing to further Android fragmentation.

While Apple dominates the tablet market by a huge margin, there is no other competitor with a significant market share. With the Nexus tablet and Google’s backing, Asus has a good chance of becoming the #2 tablet maker globally.

Microsoft also plans to launch Windows 8 by summer 2012, with devices launching starting October 2012. It will probably compete with Apple in the premium tablet segment, as there is unlikely that any manufacturer will launch $200 Windows 8 tablets, at least initially.

It’s interesting how most tablet makers are realistically aiming for the number two spot in the tablet market. With Apple’s brilliant operational setup and economy of scale, it is almost impossible to beat it on price while offering a tablet nearly as good as the iPad, even if they sacrifice Apple’s generous profit margin.

iTunes Movie Trailers App Updated for iPad’s Retina Display

Just yesterday, we reported that Netflix had updated its app for the iPad’s Retina display. In addition, Netflix had announced via their official Twitter account that HD video streaming will be coming soon.

Today, Apple has updated their iTunes Movie Trailers app to add support for the iPad’s Retina display. The trailers app makes it easy to access the content on Apple’s own Movie Trailers website and really puts the stunning Retina display in perspective. The app works both on Wi-Fi and 4G/LTE.

Apple’s iTunes Movie Trailers app is available as a free download via the App Store. [Direct Link]



Review: iPhoto for iOS

The photo editing software originally created for Apple’s desktop operating system, OS X, is now available for iOS devices as well. iPhoto for iOS has been completely re-imagined for the “post-PC era”. This new application was released alongside updates for iMovie and GarageBand. Both these apps also offer an easy to use interface and phenomenal functionality made to take full advantage of your Retina displays. iPhoto for iOS offers an easy way to view, edit, and share photos in various ways.

iPhoto for iOS 2

This app allows you both simple and pre-packaged changes for your photos as well as some advance abilities where you decide how each pixel should look like. Apple has designed effects to easily allow users to make one-shot changes to your photos. Another nice option is the fingertip brushes. The fingertip brushes allow you to take parts of your photo you want to change and changing them at will. Your photos, tags, and other elements like location are collected into one tool kit, which you can use to make a journal.

iPhoto for iOS 3

iPhoto for iOS

The application is available for $4.99 via the iTunes App Store and requires that you have an iPhone 4 or later or iPad 2 or later. Also, the app requires your devices to run iOS 5.1. At $4.99, you can’t go wrong and this app is definitely worth a purchase. In fact, the app just hit a million users today.

Netflix App Updated for New iPad Retina display

With the introduction of the new Apple TV, Netflix announced that it will offer 1080p streaming for the new Apple TV with direct iTunes Store Account billing.

Netflix for iOS Retina display app update

Today, Netflix has updated its iOS app for the iPad’s Retina display. Version 2.1.1 not only adds higher resolution artwork but also fixes VoiceOver, improved playback on external displays, and other minor tweaks. In addition, Netflix has promised its users via the official Twitter account that HD video streaming is in the works and will be available soon!

The @Netflix iPad App now has high resolution icons and images, enhancing Netflix on the new iPad, HD video to follow later. Enjoy!

The Netflix iOS App is a free download, but you need a Netflix account to use it. [Direct Link]


iPhoto for iOS Hits 1 Million Users

During the new iPad keynote, Apple introduced iPhoto for iOS. iPhoto for iOS is a new application for iOS that allows users to quickly edit their photographs in an easy to use way.

Today, Apple has revealed (via LoopInsight) that the recently released iPhoto for iOS has sold a million copies from the App Store in just 10 days. According to the report, there are now a million users of iPhoto for iPad and iPhone. This number applies to users and not downloads, meaning that the company sold a million copies of the software.

Apple told me today that its newest iOS app, iPhoto, hit 1 million users in less than 10 days after its release. It’s important to note that figure is users, not downloads. It’s quite possible that one user downloaded the app multiple times, but Apple isn’t counting those, only the unique users.

In fact, in just two weeks, at $5 a copy, Apple made $5 million from the app in the first 10 days of availability. The new version of iPhoto takes advantage of the multi-touch capabilities of the iPad and iPhone. The app also supports sizes up to 19 megapixels. Currently, iPhoto is the second most popular paid application in the iPad App Store. In the iPhone App Store, iPhoto is currently the 18th best selling paid application.


Apple Responds to Heat Complaints on New iPad

It seems that with every Apple product launch, the media loves to wreak havoc on Apple in whatever way they can. Remember Antennagate? Well, now the media is causing controversy over heat complaints about the new iPad. Apple has responded only hours after  an infrared test of the new iPad showed it running 10 degrees hotter than the previous-generation iPad 2. The new iPad was measured at 92.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while the iPad 2 measured 83 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Loop reports that Apple issued a statement regarding the heat complaints about the new iPad. The company says that the iPad operates “well within our thermal specifications”.

“The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications,” Apple representative Trudy Muller, told The Loop. “If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”

This is beyond ridiculous, really. Customers aren’t complaining, and yet media thinks it is OK to cause problems. Maybe media needs to get its definition of “hot” checked, really. Of course one needs to cautious. After all, Consumer Reports iPhone 4 recommendation affected sales. Oh wait, no it didn’t!

I have been using the new iPad for 4 days now and have not had any issues at all. Yes, the iPad does get “warm”, but not “hot”. Can somebody please point out a device that doesn’t get warm while using?

Anyway, this isn’t going to affect sales by any means. In fact, yesterday, Apple announced that they had sold 3 million iPads in just 4 days.

Apple Sold 3 Million iPads in Just 4 Days

Earlier today, Apple announced that it will offer a $45 billion dividend and share repurchase program. In addition, during the call, one analyst asked if Apple would be issuing a press release about last weekend’s launch sales numbers for the iPad. The company said they had a “record weekend” and were “thrilled with it.”

Later this afternoon, Apple announced that it has sold 3 million new iPads in less the four days of availability, calling it the “strongest iPad launch yet.” 3 million sold of something that nobody wanted and is just an “incremental upgrade”. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

CUPERTINO, California―March 19, 2012―Apple® today announced it has sold three million of its incredible new iPad®, since its launch on Friday, March 16. The new iPad features a stunning new Retina™ display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics, a 5 megapixel iSight® camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life* while remaining amazingly thin and light. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G supports ultrafast 4G LTE networks in the US and Canada, and fast networks around the world including those based on HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA.**

“The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold―the strongest iPad launch yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.”

To put this in perspective:

  • It took Apple 28 days to sell 1 million iPads after the device was made available in April 2010.
  • 2 million iPads sold in less than 60 days.
  • 3 million iPads were sold in 80 days!
In addition, the new iPad has sold 3 million units in 4 days, while the iPhone 4S sold 4 million units in 3 days last October (the iPhone 4S went on sale in 7 countries on October 14, 2011). The launch of the new iPad was very successful for Apple indeed.