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Bryan M. Wolfe
| October 2, 2011
This Week's Top News: Hundreds Of Stories, Ten Of The Best
Each week AppAdvice offers hundreds of stories about what is new with the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad and about the tech industry in general. Here are ten of the best for the week that was. Everything You Need To Know About The iPhone 5 In June 2010, Apple unveiled the iPhone 4. Since that time, we’ve heard almost daily rumors about the next iPhone. You know, the one Apple will finally announce next Tuesday. Now, the folks at AllAreaCodes.com have arranged all the iPhone 5 facts, rumors, and corrections since last June and placed them on one nice infographic. Website Leaks "iPhone 5" Specs, Before Removing Them After reporting that Apple leaked in iTunes the fact that a new iPhone will be called the iPhone 4S, we have additional news that suggests an iPhone 5 is still possible too. TUAW is reporting that one of its readers saw the attached image today on an i-Wireless prepaid cell phone section of the Cincinnati Bell Website. Although the page was quickly removed (we're glad we weren't on the receiving end of that call from Apple legal), it does suggest that the iPhone 5 isn’t dead yet. Still, we’re not so sure. For one, everyone knows Apple is announcing a new iPhone on Tuesday. As such, retailers across the world are most likely preparing template pages for their websites this weekend in anticipation. In this case, some techie probably hit “publish” instead of “draft.” Also, calling the iDevice an iPhone 5 is not that surprising. After all, until a few weeks ago, rumors suggested iPhone 5 would be the name of Apple’s new handset. [caption id="attachment_232745" align="aligncenter" width="642" caption="Waiting For The iPhone"][/caption] Apple Leaks The "iPhone 4S" In Latest iTunes Beta We have bad news, folks. It seems like the many rumors suggesting that Apple will be unveiling a slightly improved iPhone 4S come Tuesday, rather than a brand new shiny iPhone 5, might actually be correct. As discovered by 9to5Mac on Saturday, files inside the latest beta 9 version of iTunes refer to an "iPhone 4S," codename N94, and contain reference images that look just like the current iPhone. Following this discovery, Apple has removed the latest beta version of iTunes from its developer portal, which pretty much confirms the veracity of 9to5Mac's claims. The Kindle Fire – Losers Don’t Include Apple, iPad With the November 15 debut of Amazon’s Kindle Fire now official, attention turns to what this means to Apple and the iPad and to the tablet industry as a whole. The answers might surprise you. The Kindle Fire Debuts Admit it, you’re interested in hearing more about Amazon’s new tablet. So are we. In fact, minutes after the new device debuted in the Amazon store, three AppAdvice writers quickly placed orders for their own $199 slice of something new. However, this doesn’t mean any of us have suddenly jumped off the iPad bandwagon. In fact, we’re more excited about the iPad’s future than ever before. In our estimation, the Kindle Fire’s entry isn’t so much a threat to the iPad, as proof that the tablet industry as a whole is going mainstream. Now, for the first time, consumers will have a choice of two solid products, each at a different end of the pricing scale. And that is a very good thing. [caption id="attachment_232752" align="aligncenter" width="642" caption="The Kindle Fire"][/caption] How Long Does Your Wireless Provider Store Your Data And Why? A memo was leaked from the Department Of Justice titled: Retention Period Of Major Cellular Service Providers. This provides information on how long wireless carriers store sensitive customer data. The document was marked “Law Enforcement Use Only” and dated August 2010. This information was reported by Wired.com based on a copy of the document as well as additional information provided to them. One of the reasons for the document is to provide law enforcement with information in case they need to search mobile phone records linked with a crime. This document shows how far back they would be able to search, depending on the particular wireless provider. AT&T Begins Throttling Heavy Data Users - You've Been Warned As promised, AT&T has started throttling unlimited plan customers who consume an excessive amount of cellular data. Back in June, we heard that AT&T was aiming its crosshair at unlimited customers who were in the top five percent of the carrier's "heaviest data users," and that the company would begin firing from October 1. As outlined in AT&T's official statement, which hit the Web in June:
One new measure is a step that may reduce the data throughput speed experienced by a very small minority of smartphone customers who are on unlimited plans – those whose extraordinary level of data usage puts them in the top 5 percent of our heaviest data users in a billing period. In fact, these customers on average use 12 times more data than the average of all other smartphone data customers. This step will not apply to our 15 million smartphone customers on a tiered data plan or the vast majority of smartphone customers who still have unlimited data plans. Starting October 1, smartphone customers with unlimited data plans may experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle reaches the level that puts them among the top 5 percent of heaviest data users. These customers can still use unlimited data and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle. Before you are affected, we will provide multiple notices, including a grace period.Now, it looks like the process of limiting the data usage of so-called "data hogs" has begun. As you can see in the above screenshot, one AT&T user has already been warned by the carrier, and will likely "get throttled" as a result. Why Facebook Almost Unfriended Apple (And Vice Versa) It’s no secret that among tech companies, Apple and Facebook have often had a love/hate relationship with each other. Now we’ve learned the two almost became outright enemies over HP’s discontinued TouchPad, according to an exclusive report by Mashable. It was September 2010 when Apple’s now-panned Ping Music service debuted that the two companies began butting heads, at least publicly, for the first time. Beforehand, both worked closely together with one underlying goal – to beat Google. Initially, Facebook was happy with Ping’s progress and allowed Apple to use its API within the service. However, at the same time, the two companies couldn’t agree with how integrated Facebook would be with Apple’s iOS 4. [caption id="attachment_232755" align="aligncenter" width="642" caption="Apple and Facebook"][/caption] Next iPhone Likely Available In Three Flavors When it debuts next week, Apple’s new iPhone will come in three storage capacities, according to 9 To 5 Mac. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5/4S on Tuesday at an event from the company's Cupertino, California campus. When the handset arrives in stores, customers will be able to purchase a 16GB, 32GB and 64GB model. The current model, the iPhone 4, is available in 16GB and 32GB. Assuming this news is correct (this remains a rumor), the next iPhone would be the first to include a 64GB model. The Next Phone To Support HSPA+ ‘4G’ Technology? When Apple finally unveils its next-generation iPhone, it might support HSPA+, which is sometimes referred to as “4G” technology. This rumor is solely based on a screenshot of a presentation made by a China Unicom executive at this week’s Macworld Asia event, then first reported by Macotakara. So, what does this mean? That depends. According to the report:
Japanese IT news site "PC Watch" tells that, Research vice president of China Unicom, Huan Wenliang, told iPhone 5 will support W-CDMA based high-speed data transfer standard HSPA Evolution "HSPA+" (21Mbps) at keynote speech in Macworld Asia 2011.Keep in mind, in the United States, HSPA+ isn’t LTE 4G, which is slowly being rolled out by carriers, including AT&T and Verizon. In fact, according to MacRumors, HSPA+ is better defined as “3.5G.” As such, if this story is correct, it would only benefit U.S. customers using AT&T, since Verizon doesn’t have a similar service. The Time Has Come To Say Goodbye To Two iPods Apple is about to say sayonara to two of its iPods, the iPod classic and iPod shuffle, as early as next week. This news, first published by Tuaw, would make the iPod nano the company’s entry-level device. In doing so, Apple’s entire line of mobile devices would be multitouch. Calling its source “NOT an analyst,” Tuaw claims Apple will soon kill off its sixth-generation iPod classic, which first came on the scene in 2007. Of course, doing so would be a significant move by Apple. The iPod classic (simply known as the iPod prior to 2007) has important DNA, with the first such device released in 2001. In fact, it’s safe to say the original iPod saved Apple and eventually lead to the iPhone and iPad.