Apple nano-SIM Prototype Pictured

Ahead of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) decision regarding the proposals for future nano-SIM standard, Apple’s nano-SIM prototype has been pictured, reports The Verge.

Apple nano SIM Verge

According to the report, the  “fourth form factor (4FF) UICC,” or nano-SIM standard looks to cut down even more mass off the already tiny micro-SIM used by many handsets like the iPhone. This allows for larger batteries, more components and a slimmer design. The ETSI requires that the new nano-SIM card must have at least eight electrical contacts. However, the layout is up to company which is why the designs submitted by Apple, Nokia, and RIM have three unique designs.

Apple’s prototype design, which is made by SIM maker Oberthur Technologies, looks similar to the existing micro-SIM card minus most of the plastic edging. The contacts are in the same configuration as current cards and potentially could be used in existing hardware if connected with an adapter.

ETSI is scheduled to vote on which of the three designs will become the new standard at a meeting this Thursday.

Rumor: Apple iPhone 5 to Sport 4.6 inch Retina Display

OK, here’s a new rumor for you – the next iPhone will sport a 4.6 inch Retina display, according to a South Korean media outlet.

While the Retina display part is a no brainer, I’m skeptical about the part which says that the iPhone 5 will have a 4.6 inch display. Apple had specifically said that it wouldn’t be competing on display size, as 3.5 inches was the optimum size for one-handed use in touchscreen displays.

Apple’s displays are supplied by Samsung and LG’s display units, but they haven’t commented on the rumor. According to the report, Apple has already placed orders for the larger display from its suppliers.

While Android smartphones have seen display sizes increase every year, Apple has stuck to its original 3.5 inch display size for every version of the iPhone, including the latest iPhone 4S.

The flagship Galaxy Nexus by Google and Samsung has a 4.65 inch display, while the Galaxy Note has a 5.3 inch display.

The report also suggests that Apple will be launching the new iPhone in Q2 2012, which is unlikely, as the iPhone 4S was launched only in late 2011.

I, for one, would prefer a larger display than the iPhone’s. So far, there have been rumors that the next iPhone would have a 4 inch display, which is much more plausible than this new one.

China Now Leads World in iOS and Android Device Activations

This should come as no surprise, but China’s growing smartphone demand has continued to cause a steady rise in the mobile device sales over the past year. New data reveals that the country now has overtaken the U.S. to become the world’s largest market for iOS and Android devices activations for the first time.

Flurry iOS and Android China Activations

Today, a new study from analytics firm Flurry has revealed that in February Chinese mobile users activated more devices running the two top mobile operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. By tracking the data set of over 1 billion app sessions per day across 160,000 apps, the analytical firm was able to measure the growth rate of device activations through software usage. Flurry calculates an app session by the launch and use of a particular app.

In addition, China was also the fatest growing country in app usage as measure by app session growth. The country is the second largest app economy and saw an increase in app sessions over the past year, moving up from 7th place on a 1126 percent increase in app usage since the first quarter of 2011.

Apple’s nano-SIM Proposal Draws Controversy from Motorola, Nokia, RIM

The Financial Times (via Engadget) reports that Apple is planning to go against rival smartphone makers over the next industry standard for miniaturized SIM cards. Apple is apparently planning to suggest its own nano-SIM proposal in Europe’s standards body, ETSI.

According to the report, Apple’s version of the nano-SIM would call for a “drawer” to protect. It would be something similar to the designs already used in the iPhone and iPad. Last May, MacRumors pointed out that Apple had submitted a proposal for a standardized SIM card design. That design was smaller than the micro-SIM currently used in the iPhone 4S and iPad. Supposedly, this would allow Apple to create smaller and thinner devices.

Motorola, Research in Motion, and Nokia are also trying to push their own standards for these so-called “nano-SIM” cards. Nokia has raised objection about Apple’s use of a “drawer” to protect the nano-SIM card.

Apple is said to have already won over support by “most of the European operators”. In addition, the company has also reportedly taken some controversial actions to gain more votes in the final decision on proposals next week.


Apple Could Become Top Mobile Processor Maker by End of 2012

A new study from mobile technology research firm from In-Stat suggests that Apple will pass Intel in the mobile processor business if smartphone and tablet sales continue to grow, and this will probably occur before 2013, reports IDG News Service. 

By the end of 2011, Apple has shipped around 176 million iPhone mobile processors accounting for 13.5 percent of the market and was behind Intel by only 5 million units. Intel represents only a 0.4 percent difference in market share.

This study consisted of processors found in various mobile devices, including the iPod touch, portable gaming devices like Sony’s PlayStation Vita, and e-readers. Desktop computers and servers were not included in the survey.

“Apple’s continued success of the iPhone and iPad, as well as the stronger growth rates of the smartphone and tablet markets than PCs” will help the company catch Intel, said In-Stat Chief Technology Strategist Jim McGregor. “The more successful Apple is, the more credibility it adds to the entire ARM camp and the more competitive the ARM camp becomes as a whole,” McGregor observed.

Apple’s ARM-based A-series chips are already in every iOS device sold, while Intel has just begun to introduce Atom chips in smartphones and tablets.

iPhone Becomes Top Seller in Japan for 1st Time

You know that phone that nobody wanted? Apple’s iPhone 4S? Yeah, that one. Well, it sure seems to be doing pretty well. Today, The Mainichi Daily News reveals that for the first time, Apple has become the top seller in Japan for the first time. Anyone else recollect the time when Japan used to come up with cool phones? Oh, how times have changed.

According to the report by research firm, IDC Japan, Apple has captured the largest share of mobile shipment in Japan for the first time in the October-December quarter, which accounts for 26.6 percent, due to the popularity of the iPhone 4S smartphone model.

Fujitsu Ltd., which took over the mobile phone operations of Toshiba Corp., took second place with an 18.3 percent share, and Sharp Corp ranked third with 15.7 percent.

In 2011, shipments increased for the second straight year, rising 5 percent to 37.96 million units. Sharp topped the shipment rankings for the year with a 20.1 percent share, maintaining the top slot for the sixth consecutive year. Fujitsu-Toshiba followed at 18.8 percent and Apple at 14.2 percent.

Instagram Is Coming To Android “Very Soon”; Will Be Better Than The iOS Version

Instagram is the most popular social networking image sharing service for iPhone users out there. The app allows users to add some wonky effects to their pictures after snapping them, and then uploads them for other Instagram users to enjoy. While there are thousands of similar services for Android like Picplz etc, the lack of an Instagram client for the open OS has always been a huge issue for many iPhone to Android converts.

While Instagram did talk about an Android version of their app quite a few months ago on their blog, the company has since then been quite mum about the app. Today at SXSW, the founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, stated that the official Instragram app for Android is coming “very soon”. Surprisingly, they also mentioned that the app would be in some ways better than the iOS version. Considering how Android developers bitch about OS and hardware fragmentation issues, it is a surprise that the developers of Instagram are instead promising a better app than the iOS version.

Sadly, Systrom and Krieger did not mention a concrete date as to when the app will be released, except that it’s coming “very soon”. Well, until the Instagram apps lands on the Android Market, I will try my best to find out the why people are fascinated with an app that apply color filters on their pics and uploads them, when there are thousands of other similar service.

Via – The Verge

iPhoto for iOS, Updates for iMovie and Garageband Now Available on App Store

With the introduction of the new iPad, Apple also introduced iPhoto for iOS, which will be available from today itself. iPhoto for iOS offers a wide choice of photo editing and comparison features, including auto-enhancements such as straightening photos and fixing contrast. Brush palettes offer a number of editing tools including red-eye removal, lighten, sharpen, soften, and darken. iPhoto can handle images up to 19 megapixels.

With iPhoto for iOS, Apple brings Multi-Touch to photography in a breakthrough way. Browse, edit, and share your photos from your iPad or iPhone, like never before – all the powerful tools you need are at your fingertips. And with iCloud, you can share your experiences as stunning photo journals.

Use simple gestures to quickly sort through photos and find your best shots. A powerful set of Multi-Touch tools helps you perfect color and exposure, crop, straighten, and retouch images. Enhance pictures by adding beautiful, Apple-designed effects with just a tap. Or use fingertip brushes to apply adjustments exactly where you want them. In addition to posting photos to Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter, you can beam photos between your iPhone and iPad, stream photos and slideshows to your Apple TV with AirPlay, and use iCloud to publish photo journals to the web to share your stories with friends and family in a whole new way.

The company has kept its promise, and now iPhoto is available for purchase.  The app costs $4.99 and is available via the App Store for purchase. [Direct Link] In addition, iMovie and GarageBand have also been updated, and are a free upgrade for current owners.


How To Update to iOS 5.1 From iTunes/Manually

iOS 5.1 brings with it performance and battery life improvements, along with some new features. Upgrading to iOS 5.1 is a easy task and you just need to connect your device to the PC and check for updates.

If you are unsure on how to update your device to iOS 4.3 here are the simple steps to update to the latest OS from Apple.

How To Update to iOS 5.1 Through iTunes

Step 1: Connect your device to iTunes using the USB cable.

Step 2: Once iTunes has detected your device, click on the device name in the left hand menu and click on the “Check for Update” in the device description box.


Step 3: Apple will show you a popup message as seen above if an update for your device is available. Click on the “Download and Update” button.

Step 4: Apple will download the iOS 5.1 update and install it on your device. It is important that you DO NOT disconnect the device from the computer during the process. It is also recommended to keep your computer plugged in to the power outlet during the process.

That’s it. The process might take around 10-30 minutes depending on how long it takes to download the update to your computer and install it. Once iOS 5.1 is installed, iTunes will sync your device and you can use it again.

How To Update to iOS 5.1 Manually

In some cases, the iTunes update process might not work for you for several reasons. In those cases, you can also update your device to iOS 5.1 manually. Here are the steps to manually update your device to iOS 5.1.

Step 1: Download the iOS 5.1 IPSW file for your device using the iOS 5.1 IPSW direct download links.

Step 2: Connect your device to the computer using the USB cable and wait for iTunes to detect it.

Step 3: Once your device has been detected – follow the steps given below for different OS.

  • For Windows – Hold the Shift key and then click on the “Check for Update/Update” button.
  • For Mac OS X – Hold the Option key and then click on the “Check for Update/Update” button.

Step 4: In the next dialog browse to the file that you downloaded from Step 1 and select the IPSW file.

Step 5: iTunes will now use the IPSW file and update your device to iOS 5.1. The process should take around 10-20 minutes.

That’s it. Your device will be updated to iOS 5.1 with ease. Please feel free to post your questions in the comments box below.

Mercedes Benz to Integrate Apple’s Siri

Mercedes Benz has announced that it will integrate Apple’s Siri in its new A-Class line of vehicles. Also, the car manufacturer will add even better support for Apple’s iPhone. Siri is the virtual assistant found in the iPhone 4S.

Parent company Daimler recently revealed an in-house-developed “Digital DriveStyle App” that will combine with a Drive Kit Plus for iPhone to incorporate the smartphone with the car’s multimedia system. According to Mercedes Benz, all of the iPhone’s integration functions can be used with Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level Audio 20 system.

Mercedes Benz Siri

In addition, the app will allow access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and will be available for download free of charge” from Apple’s iTunes Store. Other features that were announced were personalized Internet radio, navigation software from Garmin, a “Car Finder” and access to Siri. Sounds amazing! I think over the next few years, we will see car systems becoming more integrated with our devices.

Mercedes Benz says it is the  “first automotive manufacturer” to bring Apple’s Siri to a vehicle through its custom “Digital DriveStyle App.” The iPhone will be connected via an interface that was developed by the company’s accessories division. This accessory will output the iPhone’s display to the vehicle’s display while simultaneously powering and charging the device.

The car manufacturer says that the A-Class will make its world premiere at the Geneva Auto Show next month. In addition, this advanced iPhone integration will be made available in the automaker’s B-, C-, and E-Class this fall.