MediaFile

Apple blocks iPad shipment info, report says

ipadpicApple is apparently leaving nothing to chance when it comes to protecting information about its soon-to-be-released iPad tablet computer.

According to a new report by Trade Privacy LLC, a trade data protection company, Apple has blocked all of its ocean freight import records from public view as the company prepares for the much bally-hooed launch of the iPad.  Apple’s trade data is inaccessible from U.S. Customs, the group said.

“As the arrival of Apple’s new iPad approaches, industry competitors as well as the media will be unable to acquire early intelligence on arriving Apple products from overseas manufacturers,” Trade Privacy said in a press release.

In 2008, Web site Import Genius monitored Apple’s import shipments and managed to predict the arrival of the iPhone. But that apparently won’t work with the iPad.  Although the company has yet to announce a formal launch date, the iPad is expected to go on sale at the end of March at the earliest.

Trade Privacy praised Apple — a company that has set the gold standard for corporate secrecy — for its moves to block access to its shipping records. It warned that companies like Microsoft, Google, Samsung and Sony continue to import  “unprotected, exposing their import records … to customers and competitors.”

from The Great Debate UK:

Growth of mobile commerce taps touch Web users

Picture shows Steve Ives, CEO of Taptu. REUTERS/Julie Mollins

As the mobile phone industry puts more emphasis on marketing hand-held smartphones, consumers are finding ways to dodge restrictive model-compatible applications by using Web-based programs.

Unlike single-device applications, mobile touch websites run on most mobile browsers freeing users from reliance on a specific operating system.

A recent study by Taptu suggests that the mobile touch web will play an important role in expanding mobile commerce.

Timeline: iPad joins list of Apple product milestones

apple two steves aThe iPad is just the latest in decades of big milestones and product introductions for Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs.

Here’s a quick list:

1976
Apple LisaHigh school buddies, and dropouts, Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs found Apple Computer. Their first product, Apple I, built in circuit board form, debuts at “the Homebrew Computer Club” in Palo Alto, California, to little fanfare.

1977
The company unveils the Apple II, perhaps the first personal computer in a plastic case with color graphics. It is a big hit.

Leftover Apple…

photoThere were plenty of interesting little nuggets sprinkled throughout Apple’s iPad extravaganza Wednesday, some of which may have gotten lost in the headlines:

    The iPad is an impressive device to handle. It’s light and fast, with a bright screen and easy functionality. Movies appeared without a stutter and the gaming experience was an obvious asset.  The iBook e-reader application had a nice look, but it doesn’t mimic old-fashioned print in the same way that Amazon’s Kindle does. Steve Jobs pointed out that since the iPad runs on a version of the same software that powers the iPhone and iPod touch, many people will be quite comfortable using the new tablet: “Because we shipped over 75 million iPhones and iPod touches, there’s over 75 million people that already know how to use the iPad.” Jobs also noted that between the iTunes Store and the App Store — and the forthcoming iBook store — “we have over 125 million accounts with credit cards all enabled for one-click shopping on all these stores.”

 

    No details on what books will cost on the iBook store. Also nothing on a potential TV subscription service, as had been rumored. The iPad has no camera, as many had speculated it might, and doesn’t support Flash. Not exactly news, but Jobs is still no fan of netbooks:  ”The problem is netbooks aren’t better at anything. They’re slow, they have low quality displays and they run clunky old PC software. So they’re not better than a laptop at anything. They’re just cheaper. They’re just cheap laptops.” As many had predicted, the iPad features Apple’s own silicon, the A4 chip. Apple acquired a semiconductor company, PA Semi, in 2008. Apple just sold its 250 millionth iPod. Safe to say it would be thrilled to see that performance from the iPad.

Verizon grows prepaid but sticking to “bread and butter”

verizonwirelesslogoVerizon Wireless brought in almost half of its customers from its wholesale prepaid business in the fourth quarter, seemingly confirming analyst predictions that this market segment is becoming the biggest driver of mobile.

But Verizon is careful to downplay the importance of any services other than its lucrative postpaid services for high-value monthly bill paying customers.

“That’s our bread and butter. Our real focus is the retail postpaid base,” Chief Financial Officer John Killian told Reuters.

What Apple’s “iTablet” could mean for Asia

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs walks through the crowd after a special event in San Francisco September 9, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

global_post_logoJonathan Adams serves as a GlobalPost correspondent, where this article first appeared.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Here comes, maybe, Apple’s “iTablet.” Or “iSlate.” Or “iWhatever.”

Apple’s so-called “Jesus Tablet” has been described as the ultimate gadget: A netbook, e-book reader, movie player and games platform all in one. It’s going to revolutionize publishing, and education. No mention yet on solving Middle East peace, but surely it’s only a matter of time.

Apple: AT&T a “great” partner (but will they get the tablet?)

appleiphoneFew relationships in the technology world are as closely scrutinized as that between iPhone maker Apple and its exclusive U.S. carrier, AT&T. Complaints about AT&T and its network have reached a crescendo in recent months, and most analysts believe it is only a matter of time before rival Verizon Wireless gets the iPhone, perhaps as early as this June.

When Apple executive were asked about AT&T on a conference call Monday — following its strong December quarter results — Apple executives played nice, to no one’s surprise

“AT&T is a great partner,” said Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.  He continued: “in the vast majority of locations we think that iPhone customers are having a great experience, from the research that we have done. As you know, AT&T has acknowledged that they are having some issues in a few cities and they have very detailed plans to address these. We have reviewed these plans and we have very high confidence they will make significant progress towards fixing them.”

Google steals CES spotlight, and a page from Apple

When it comes to blockbuster product introductions, Apple is king. So it’s not surprising that Google, which is looking to challenge Apple’s iPhone dominance, is stealing a page from the Steve Jobs & Co. playbook. Reuters

Reuters

Google emailed invitations to reporters on Tuesday for “an Android press gathering” that will take place at its Mountain View, California headquarters on Jan 5, as rumours continue to swirl that the company is preparing to release a Google-branded smartphone.

Yes, that’s the same week as the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Sony, Microsoft, Samsung et al will dutifully convene to show off their latest doodads.

Playdom gets acquisitive

Fresh on the heels of its $43 million financing round, social gaming company Playdom announced a pair of acquisitions Thursday in a move to expand its portfolio of games. It acquired Facebook game developer Green Patch and Trippert Labs, which develops games on Apple’s iPhone. Terms of the deal were not released.

Playdom Chief Executive John Pleasants said in a phone interview that while the company’s main goal is to develop its own titles, it will make acquisitions opportunistically. “We have ample cash to do deals on our own,” he said.

Social gaming companies are suddenly on investor’s radar screens. Earlier this week, Electronic Arts said it would pay $275 million in cash for Playfish, a Playdom rival, along with other consideration that could eventually lift the company’s valuation to $400 million. Social gaming companies earn money by selling virtual goods to players.

Not the Droid you’re looking for?

After a few weeks of mysterious adverts promising a better alternative to iPhone, Motorola’s $200 Droid phone finally hit the shelves in Verizon wireless stores on Friday. Unsurprisingly, the launch failed to attract anything like the frenzy of an iPhone launch, which had people camping out for days at its peak.

Still, all the advertising, and the positive reviews from bloggers and gadget gurus including David Pogue and Walt Mossberg, did help to lure some customers to Verizon stores.

Tech website Cnet’s Marguerite Reardon said that she found about 100 enthusiasts lining up for Verizon’s special midnight opening in New York under what could hardly be described as balmy weather conditions. This morning, in a follow up story, her headline read “Slow start for the Motorola Droid?”.