Tag Archives: iPhones

Apple engineer shares details on the iPhone’s long birth

By now most people are familiar with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone, which debuted in a 2007 Steve Jobs presentation that literally paused the humongous Consumer Electronics Show hundreds of miles away.

I vividly remember because I was at that CES and Apple’s announcement took the wind out of everyone’s sails that day. But the story of how the iPhone came to be is less well-known. The concept began in earnest 2.5 years prior to launch, according to Apple senior software engineer Greg Christie.

Steve Jobs with iphone

Christie hasn’t publicly shared details of the original iPhone’s development process until now, but he spoke with the Wall Street Journal in an interview that published on Wednesday. The commentary is filled with little nuggets of how the iPhone went from a secret project called “Purple” to the final disruptive product Jobs demonstrated on stage January 9, 2007. This is the full presentation, which is worth the long watch:

Christie had worked on the Newton as far back as 1996, but in 2004 Scott Forstall approached him to work on the secret initiative to create a music player that also worked as a phone and used a touchscreen for controls. According to the interview:

“Mr. Christie’s team pored over details like the perfect speed for scrolling lists on the phone and the natural feel of bouncing back when arriving at the end of a list. He said his team ‘banged their head against the wall’ over how to change text messages from a chronological list of individual messages to a series of separate ongoing conversations similar to instant messaging on a computer.”

While Christie’s team worked on the software — at one point using an old Mac and plastic touchscreen device to simulate the slower performance of a phone using ARM chips — Jony Ive was working on the glass and overall phone design.

iphone simulator

According to Christie, Ive didn’t even see the iPhone software for months, not until the third major presentation of the nearly finished product. That speaks to the secrecy of the effort, which also required that work take place in rooms that only a few employees could access.

Even after the famous iPhone presentation, Christie says major changes to iOS took place in the final months leading up to the June 29, 2007 launch date. Mail, for example, originally used two viewing panes — one for the email list and one for reading actual messages, much like how Mail works on the iPad today. Jobs smartly shot that down because he felt the iPhone screen was too small.



After all these years, why would Apple make Christie available to tell the iPhone back story? It’s all about the patents. Christie is listed on five Apple patents, including the “slide to unlock” feature, all of which are part of Apple’s current suit against Samsung for copyright infringement.

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Apple has now sold over 500 million iPhones

Apple iPhone Sales 500 Million

Between the reveal of the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8), March has been the month of the Android smartphone, but while the new flagship devices duke it out on stage, Apple has quietly hit another impressive milestone. Forbes reports that as of this month, Apple has sold its 500 millionth iPhone. This lofty goal was achieved less than a year after the company reached 400 million sales in 2013.

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Samsung reportedly wants to ban iPhones at the Olympics (sort of)

Samsung iPhone Ban
Samsung, one of the sponsors of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games that will take place in Sochi, Russia, during February 7th through February 23rd, will reportedly put its money to good use to ban iPhones and competing devices from the show. Specifically, the company has reportedly requested that athletes cover Apple and other logos during the opening ceremony, Bluewin reports, while using those devices to take pictures and record videos. The news has apparently been confirmed by the Swiss delegation.

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Apple says Happy Birthday Mac with a video shot solely on iPhones

Apple isn’t done celebrating the Macintosh’s 30th birthday just yet. To further mark the occasion, the folks in Cupertino dispatched 15 film crews to locales around the globe, armed with 100 iPhones to document just how far Apple has come in 30 …
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Apple releases iOS 7.0.5 with network fix for iPhones in China

A new iOS update is out — but chances are it’s not for you. iOS 7.0.5 is a small, focused update that corrects network provisioning for some iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models sold in China. According to Mac Rumors, the update is only available for certain phones sold in China, as well as some Asia Pacific/European iPhone models compatible with China’s network. The rest of the world, meanwhile, is still waiting on an update to iOS 7.1, which is currently in its fourth beta with developers. That update is expected to introduce some more substantial changes, including access to Apple’s iOS in the Car in-dash driving feature.

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Apple earnings: record-setting 51M iPhones, 26M iPads

At Apple’s last earnings call back in October, CEO Tim Cook said “I think it’s going to be an iPad Christmas.” Turns out he was right. Apple on Monday reported first quarter earnings results of $ 57.6 billion in revenue, net income of $ 13.1 billion and earnings per share of $ 14.50.

Here’s how that breaks down into devices sales:

  • 51 million iPhones, up from the 47.8 million sold a year ago.
  • 26 million iPads, up from 22.9 million a year go.
  • 4.8 million Macs, up from the 4.1 sold a year ago.

Revenue was up from the $ 54.5 billion earned a year ago, but profits were flat from the $ 13.1 billion and earnings of $ 13.81 per share in its 2013 first quarter. Gross margin was down at 37.6 percent compared to 38.6 percent last year.

The results were just good enough to surpass Wall Street’s expectations. On average, analysts were expecting earnings per share of $ 14.09 and revenue of $ 57.46 billion.

As Cook predicted back in October, this quarter’s results were bolstered by the introduction of two new iPads – the iPad Air and the iPad mini with retina display – which came out with plenty of time on store shelves for the holiday shopping season.

This quarter was also notable for Apple as the company struck a deal to begin selling the iPhone on China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in the world. Those numbers are not reflected here, however, since the phone didn’t actually go on sale until January 17. Even so, the company managed to sell quarterly-record numbers of iPhone and iPads.

During Apple’s earning’s call following the release of its numbers, CFO Peter Oppenheimer reiterated the importance of China Mobile. “China is an incredibly important market to Apple and iOS devices already account for 57% of all mobile web browsing in China.”

Right now the iPhone is selling in 16 cities in China, with 300 cities expected by the end of the year. Tim Cook added, “We’ve been selling at China Mobile for about a week, and last week was the best week we’ve ever had for activations in China.”

Oppenheimer also said that the addition of the iPhone to wireless carrier NTT Docomo in Japan helped spur additional iPhone sales. New markets proved to be very important in general, as strong iPhone and iPad sales in those markets helped Apple offset issues like decreasing iPod sales and channel inventory increases.

In North America, on the other hand, iPhone sales contracted year over year. Tim Cook chalked this up partly to supply issues. Apple sold more iPhone 5s’ than projected, and it took the majority of the quarter to get the phone into proper supply. He also mentioned a change in North American carrier upgrade policies, which is also expected to have an impact on the next quarter.

Looking ahead, analysts’ second quarter guidance predicts $ 10.93 per share on revenue of $ 46.05 billion. Apple’s own guidance is a good deal lower, predicting revenue between $ 42 and $ 44 billion, with gross margin between 37 and 38 percent.

Likely due to the lower-than-expected guidance, Apple’s shares fell more than eight percent in after-hours trading, to $ 505, down around $ 45.

This post was updated several times as more information became available.

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WSJ: Apple to release two bigger iPhones, abandon plastic iPhone 5c design

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is planning to release two new iPhones this year, each with a display bigger than the 4-inch iPhone 5s.

From the report, which cites people familiar with the matter:

“The people said Apple plans an iPhone model with a screen larger than 4½ inches measured diagonally, and a second version with a display bigger than 5 inches.”

This rumor isn’t anything new. We’ve been hearing about a bigger iPhone since as early as last summer. What surprises me is just how persistent the rumor continue to be.

HTC One Max size comparison

The report also mentions that both new phones will feature the same aluminum design as the iPhone 5s. Apparently Apple is planning to scrap the plastic body used for the iPhone 5c in any upcoming phone designs, which would back up rumors of weaker than expected iPhone 5c sales. Finally, the report says that the smaller of the two new phones is already being prepared for mass production, while the larger model is still in “preliminary development.”

A bigger iPhone wouldn’t surprise me. 4 inches is beginning to feel pretty small when many new phones now start at 5 inches and up. I would be surprised to see an iPhone with a screen larger than 5 inches, though. After bucking the trend for so long, I just can’t see Apple venture into full-on “phablet” territory.

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NSA seizes full control of targeted iPhones via DROPOUTJEEP malware

The NSA developed in 2008 a software program for iPhones that can selectively and stealthily deliver data from iPhones to the NSA. The program is called DROPOUTJEEP. News of the … Continue reading

Watch this: iQi wirelessly charges iPhones without the bulky case accessory

Last week, I noted an Indiegogo campaign for the iQi: A super-thin wireless charging accessory for iPhones and iPod touch devices that use Apple’s Lightning port. This week, I received an iQi review unit and wireless charging puck. After using it for two days with my iPhone 5s, I can tell you it works as advertised. But you have to see it to appreciate how it works: The iQi is only 0.5 millimeters thin, adding wireless charging without adding bulk.

Because the iQi is so thin, you need to use a soft case or cover with your iOS device in order to wirelessly charge it. Nobody would ever know the capability was there.

And the device probably works best with the Koolpuck charging pad because Qi charging is very particular where you place a device on a charging pad. I like how the Koolpuck sends audio feedback when your iPhone isn’t quite lined up right for charging. Of course, the iQi works with any Qi charging pad as I demonstrate in the video.

iqi in hand

As of now there are still four days left for the iQi Indiegogo campaign, so you can get a iQi for $ 25. Early bird deals for the iQi and Koolpuck priced at $ 50 are sold out, so they now cost $ 65. After using the iQi, I’m sold, mainly because of how well it works and the fact that I prefer very thin cases for my iPhone — if I have to use a case at all, that is.

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Apple’s Schiller: ‘Copied’ Samsung phones sully iPhone’s prestige

Apple Executive Schiller Testimoney
Apple marketing boss Phil Schiller isn’t done raking Samsung over the coals just yet. Per The Wall Street Journal, Schiller told the jury in the latest Apple-Samsung patent trial that he was “shocked” when he first saw Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones because “they went and copied the iPhone.” This was particularly traumatizing for Schiller because he immediately worried that innocent consumers would start associating the iPhone with Samsung’s supposedly subpar plastic offerings.

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