O'Grady's PowerPage » iPhone

Samsung edges out Apple in holiday customer satisfaction report

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 11:59
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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Samsung just beat out Apple in terms of customer service this holiday season.

Per Engadget and Boy Genius Report, the latest stats from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which surveys 70,000 consumers every year, show Samsung slightly beating out Apple by two points with a satisfaction score of 81. Sure, it’s not a huge lead, but it’s a big jump for the company from last year’s score of 76. Apple, meanwhile, saw its score fall more than two points since last year. It’s always tough to read much into these numbers (was it the Galaxy S5 that helped, or just Android improvements?), but it’s still a decent win for Samsung. Don’t be surprised if Samsung ends up marketing the heck out of this during the Super Bowl.

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Rumor: Samsung fanless notebook hints at upcoming fanless 12-inch Retina Display MacBook Air

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 11:38
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, Rumor

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The 12-inch Retina Display MacBook Air may be fanless thanks to Samsung.

Per 9to5Mac and The Verge, Samsung has pre-announced the Ativ Book 9 ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show. Interestingly, this notebook features many of the technical specifications that have been rumored for the future 12-inch Retina MacBook Air. The announcement of the Ativ Book 9 validates that a fanless high-resolution ultrabook is indeed possible in the short term.

The Book 9 laptop features a 12.2 inch screen with a 2600×1600 resolution, implying a 250 PPI. At normal viewing distances, Apple could easily describe the display as ‘Retina’. For comparison, the ‘Retina’ 15 inch MacBook Pro has 216 pixels-per-inch. The Book 9 is powered by a next-generation Broadwell CPU, which has drastically lower power consumption and heat dissipation enabling the product to be fanless.

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Some iPhone 6 owners citing that cards can’t be entered into Apple Pay after software restore

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 10:53
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, Software

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This will need to get sorted out.

Especially if the only current resolution requires replacing the handset.

Per 9to5Mac, a bevy of users in the Apple Support Communities are reporting that they are unable to add cards back into Apple Pay after their phone has been restored – whether as a new phone or from a backup. According to reports there, Apple has been able to resolve the issue only by replacing the phone.

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Apple accounts for 51% of devices as Christmas gifts

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 10:51
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, retail

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These are the days of giving devices as gifts.

Specifically, Apple devices.

Per Flurry, 2014 turned into a banner year for Apple, its devices accounting for 51 percent of the new device activations worldwide Flurry recognized in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (December 19th – 25th). Samsung held the #2 position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with 5.8% share for mostly Lumia devices. After the top three manufacturers, the device market becomes increasingly fragmented with only Sony and LG commanding more than one percent share of new activations on Christmas Day. Up-and-comers Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than one percent share on Christmas Day. One reason is surely their popularity in Asian markets where December 25th is not the biggest gift-giving day of the year.

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Rumor: Apple could return to smaller, 4-inch form factor with iPhone 6s mini in 2015

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Date: Friday, December 26th, 2014, 06:08
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

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If you’re a fan of the pre-iPhone 6 form factor, you might be in luck.

Per AppleInsider, analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company issued a note to investors this week claiming that Apple has been working on a new 4-inch iPhone model that could debut in 2015.

According to Arcuri, it’s “possible” that Apple could launch three new versions of the iPhone next year, with a so-called “iPhone 6s mini” at 4 inches joining the current-generation screen sizes.

The analyst said his sources suggest the specifications of the 4-inch model could be similar to last year’s iPhone 5s. But the device may feature a new design with curved screen edges, much like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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Quick change to Apple Pay site hints at retailers that may be unable to incorporate new payment method in 2014

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Date: Wednesday, December 24th, 2014, 09:47
Category: iOS, News, retail, Software

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With literally a week left in 2014, a change to an Apple web page hinted at organizations that might not be able to incorporate Apple Pay within 2014.

Per MacRumors, Apple today slightly altered its micro site dedicated to Apple Pay to update the status of several of its partnerships. Retailers that teamed up with Apple and plan to implement Apple Pay support in retail stores and apps in the near future are now listed under sections labeled “Coming soon” instead of “Coming later this year.”

The minor change in language suggests that many of Apple’s Apple Pay partners will not be able to implement Apple Pay support in the last week of 2014, instead rolling out support in the first months of 2015. Many retailers that have chosen to implement Apple Pay may still be working to train employees, update hardware, and swap out point-of-sale systems, leading to variable launch dates.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook “deeply offended” by allegations raised by BBC undercover report of Chinese factories

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 22nd, 2014, 09:07
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPhone, Legal, News

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This is going to take some dealing with.

Following the BBC’s story in which the news association sent undercover reporters to capture hidden camera footage of poor working conditions and mistreated employees in Apple’s Chinese factories where its iPhone and iPads are assembled, Apple CEO Tim Cook state that he was “deeply offended” by the allegations at hand.

According to telegraph.co.uk, in an email to around 5,000 staff across the UK, Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said both himself and the chief executive were “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way”.

“Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions,” he continued. “Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.”

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GIFT GUIDE 2014 – The TrackR bravo

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 19th, 2014, 14:03
Category: Accessory, Bluetooth, Gift Guide, iPhone

GIFT GUIDE 2014 - The TrackR bravo - Jason O'Grady

Have you ever said “I wish there was a way to call my keys.” I used to say it all the time while scrambling through my couch cushions looking for my car keys (usually making me late to get somewhere.)

Enter the Bluetooth tracking tag. Introduced in 2009, these small Bluetooth ‘fobs’ can be attached to anything from keyrings, to bags, to kids. Once paired with your smartphone you can find them using the Bluetooth feature on your smartphone via an app. They’re undeniably handy.

My favorite tag – in an overcrowded market – is The TrackR bravo ($29, pre-order).

[I've been testing a pre-production of The TrackR Bravo design and it has the potential to be the best Bluetooth tracker on the market. If you can't wait until Bravo ships in January, keep on reading to find out about TrackR's other tags which are available now.]

TrackR started as Phone Halo in 2009 and introduced its Bluetooth tracker at the Demo conference in spring 2010. The company offers three models, the Sticker and Wallet are shipping now and the super-small Bravo (which raised $1.2M on Indiegogo) and will begin shipping in January 2015.

Read the rest of my review of the TrackR lineup after the jump:

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Apple drops ship time for iPhone 6, 6 Plus handsets to one day, Retina 5K iMac back in stock

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Date: Friday, December 19th, 2014, 09:35
Category: iMac, iPhone, News, retail

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Apple is catching up with demand and you might be able to snag an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or Retina 5K iMac for Christmas.

Per AppleInsider, Apple appears to be catching up with demand for its latest devices as the Online Apple Store on Thursday shows one-day ship times for most iPhone 6 Plus storage configurations, 1 to 3 days for iPhone 6 and immediate availability for the Retina 5K iMac.

Apple’s online storefront has been updated to reflect iPhone 6 Plus shipping estimates of one day for 16GB and 64GB models in all three colors and major U.S. wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Ship-by times for iPhone 6 models in the same capacities also dropped to 1 to 3 days.

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Apple puts forward 64-bit requirement for iOS application developers, cites June 1st, 2015 deadline

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Date: Wednesday, December 17th, 2014, 18:06
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software

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It’s time for iOS developers to go all-in on 64-bit come next June.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Wednesday alerted members of its development community that existing applications on the App Store will need to include 64-bit support for any updates submitted after June 1 of next year.

The clarification from Apple comes after developers expressed confusion regarding the company’s 64-bit app update policies. With Wednesday’s announcement, developers now have more than six months to prepare for the switch.

All newly submitted apps will require 64-bit support beginning on Feb. 1, 2015. They must also be built with the iOS 8 software development kit as of that deadline.

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