Apple’s ‘iOS in the Car’ will be top car infotainment interface by 2018

Half of all vehicle infotainment systems capable of smartphone-integration will use Apple’s upcoming “iOS in the Car” by 2018, according to a report by ABI Research.

The iOS in the Car user interface, expected out next year, links Apple’s iOS 7 mobile operating system with vehicle infotainment systems to provide an optimized interface for messaging, navigation and music via a smartphone.

When iOS in the Car was unveiled earlier this year at the Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the 2014 launch will be “very, very important” and a “key focus” for the company going forward.

During the unveiling, Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, displayed a slide with a dozen automaker monikers, including Honda/Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan/Infiniti, Ferrari, Chevrolet/Opel, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo and Jaguar. Cue, whose Apple business unit oversees iTunes, iCloud, the App Store, iMessages, Siri and Maps, said each of those automakers plan to add iOS integration next year.

An ABI Research report released yesterday forecasts that shipments of connected in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems equipped with one or more smartphone integration technologies will grow substantially worldwide during the next five years, reaching 35.1 million units by 2018.

Of those, 43.6% will be equipped with MirrorLink, 49.8% with “iOS in the Car,” and 28.2% with other technologies, ABI said.

“Apple seems to have a plan to roll out this pretty aggressively in 2014. So that’s one of the main assumptions behind this,” said Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research.

MirrorLink is a mobile device to IVI interoperability standard being pushed by the Car Connectivity Consortium, a group whose members represent more than 80% of the world’s auto market, and more than 70% of the global smartphone market.

Smartphone capability advances have dramatically changed consumers’ in-car expectations.

Along with Internet connectivity, consumers have come to expect they’ll be able use whatever mobile application they choose, the IVI feature many consumers value the most, Owen said.

“Car OEMs face the difficult challenges of not only how best to integrate smartphones into their vehicles, but also how to ensure that the integration strategy remains viable throughout the life of the vehicle and multiple generations of smartphones,” Owen said in a statement.

Automakers hand the IVI business over to Apple or Google, so choosing MirrorLink allows them to control that end of the business, Owen said.

At the same time, iOS and Android already has a mature apps market, where MirrorLink would be starting from ground zero.

“They’re still working on version 1.1 of MirrorLink. So the issue now is when it’s going to come out and how many phone manufacturers will include MirrorLink in their phones,” Owen said. “Another issue is whether app developers will produce apps that are designed for MirrorLink.”

While many available technologies can be used to integrate a smartphone with a car’s head unit (the computer brains of the IVI), they have been added to few vehicles to date.

Along with MirrorLink, mobile linking technologies include proprietary software such as RealVNC, Abalto Technologies’ WebLink, and iOS in the Car.

There are also UI screen replication technologies such as Miracast and MHL which are ideally suited for high bandwidth applications such as video streaming to rear-seat entertainment displays. Such technologies could in the future be used by MirrorLink, RealVNC and the like.

Source:  The Computer World

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Boost Mobile iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c Pricing Revealed

Boost Mobile subscribers will soon be able to finally pick up the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c as the company is announcing Apple’s latest smartphones will become available starting on November 8.

Boost Mobile announced details surrounding the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c making their way to the wireless carrier Friday morning. Boost Mobile customers will be able to pick up an off-contract iPhone 5s starting at $550 for the 16GB model, while the iPhone 5c will be sold for $450. Boost Mobile is also making the iPhone 4S available on their service for just $300 across their carrier stores.

The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 4S will come with Boost Mobile’s no-contract Monthly Unlimited plan, which will set back customers just $55 a month.

Apple released the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c across several wireless carriers in the U.S. as all four major carriers received Apple’s latest devices. Boost Mobile announced just last month they would be receiving the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, although at the time, they didn’t disclose how much each device will cost as well as what plans will be made available.

Now that you Boost Mobile subscribers know you’ll be getting the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 4S starting next week, will you be picking one up?

Click here for more info.

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iPhone 5S declared fastest phone in U.K. survey

Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) Apple Inc.’s top-tier iPhone 5S has proven that adding more cores does not necessarily mean better performance, according to a survey by Which, the British tech magazine.

In the magazine’s survey published on Oct. 16, which tested seven flagship phones, the iPhone 5S broke all records in its processor benchmarking tests, proving to be almost twice as fast as the older iPhone 5 and some 50 percent faster than its main rival, Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy S4.

“The results from our benchmarking tests make the iPhone 5S the fastest phone we have ever tested,” said Jon Barrow, a technology researcher at Which.

“It may only have a dual-core 1.3GHz processor, rather than the quad core processors found on many rival smartphones, but as our tests show, more cores do not necessarily mean better performance,” Barrow wrote in the survey.

The British magazine uses the industry-recognized Geekbench software to assess the speed of phones. The software is designed to replicate real-world tasks and calculates both single core and multi core performance.

In terms of multi-core performance, the iPhone 5S had the highest raw score of 2561, followed by the LG G2 with 2355, the Samsung Galaxy S4 with 1939 and the HTC One with 1805.

The remaining models on the list were less expensive phones, including the iPhone 5C in fifth with a score of 1281, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini in sixth with 1135 and the HTC One mini in seventh with 880.

Barrow noted that users will still feel fantastically smooth with most of the phones tested in everyday use, but users of the iPhone 5S will feel a little snappier when swiping through menus and opening apps.

“The iPhone 5S is, however, built for the future. The power of the processor really comes into its own when you’re running power-hungry apps, editing videos, or playing advanced games,” the researcher noted.

“If you need a super-fast processor, then the iPhone 5S is certainly the phone for you. However it’s incredible power isn’t necessary for everyone and the processors in the other phones featured here will usually be fast enough,” Barrow said.

Apple reported record-breaking sales of 9 million units of its top-of-the-line iPhone 5S and less costly plastic-backed iPhone 5C models during the first weekend they went on sale late last month.

The U.S. company reports that demand for its iPhone 5S has exceeded initial supplies, and many online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, British bank Barclays Plc has estimated that only 5 million iPhone 5S units were shipped during the third quarter, but that number should jump to 32 million in the fourth quarter as manufacturers continue to increase their capacity to meet demand.

Source: Focus Taiwan

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Verizon’s iPhone Activations Support 36 Million Sold In The September Quarter

Verizon announced on its September quarter results conference call that it had activated 7.5 million smartphones and that 51% of them or 3.9 million were iPhones. This is the same number of activations as the June quarter when Apple AAPL +0.68% sold 31.2 million iPhones. (Note that my family and I own Apple shares).

In the September 2012 quarter Verizon activated 6.8 million smartphones and 46% or 3.1 million of them were iPhones. The 3.1 million iPhones were also 11.5% of iPhones sold in the quarter.

If Verizon’s 11.5% percentage were to be the same in the September 2013 quarter then Apple would have sold 33.5 million iPhones. However, Apple launched the iPhone 5c and 5s in China and additional carriers such as NTT DoCoMo in Japan which could have sold an additional 3 million iPhones. There should also be some channel fill of the iPhone 5c which helps September quarter unit sales.

I have estimated that Apple sold 36.3 million iPhones in the quarter which would put Verizon’s percentage of iPhones at 10.7%. I have developed a Google GOOG -1.03% Doc that has tracked Apple’s iPhone sales and Verizon’s activations since the March 2011 quarter when Verizon first started to carry the iPhone. It shows the total number of smartphones activated, the number of iPhones and the percentage of Verizon activations to iPhone unit sales. We may get another read on Apple’s iPhone sales when AT&T T +0.7% reports on October 23. Apple reports its results on October 28.

Not surprisingly Verizon’s CFO Fran Shammo said on the call that “We did encounter iPhone supply constraints that created a backlog at the end of September, which resulted in some carryover to the fourth quarter.” I have been tracking the iPhone 5s lead-times which are still typically showing 2 to 8 week shipment delays.

Source: Forbes

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New iPhone App Lets You See Which Spy Satellites Are Watching You

Screenshot of the new iPhone app SpyMeSat, which lets users track overhead imaging satellites.

In case you’re hungry for personal space situational awareness, or are just plain paranoid, a new iPhone app can tell you when and what imaging spacecraft might have you in sight.

Orbit Logic of Greenbelt, Md., has created SpyMeSat, an app that provides notifications when spy satellites and unclassified imaging satellites are zooming above your head and may be taking your picture. A dynamic map shows orbit tracks and the location of remote sensing satellites with upcoming passes over a user’s specified location.

Alex Herz, president of Orbit Logic, said that SpyMeSat is the firm’s first app designed for everyday folks, and a product that extends the company’s customer base beyond the aerospace, defense and government intelligence communities.

“I actually got the idea for the app from talking to friends outside the aerospace industry who were always very interested in space and satellites and imaging from space. This app answers those questions in a fun and interactive way,” Herz told SPACE.com.

Multiple sources

The SpyMeSat app makes use of multiple sources, including orbit data from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The NORAD spacecraft data come viaCelesTrak, a website designed to provide current orbital software, educational materials and links to software to support tracking satellites and understanding orbital mechanics.

That information is melded with available public information about commercial and international imaging satellites.

The iPhone app user can see a satellite’s trajectory around his or her location, as well as get an alert when a camera-snapping or radar-scanning satellite might be in range.

Moreover, the app user can learn more details about each imaging opportunity, and also peruse a page describing the satellite that’s zooming by overhead. According to Orbit Logic, SpyMeSat users can organize the app in several ways, such as modifying the location of interest.

Making a pass

All of the imaging satellites in SpyMeSat are in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of about 500 miles (805 kilometers). Enabled SpyMeSat satellites include such zoom-lens notables as GeoEye, the French space agency’s SPOT-5, India’s CartoSat-2A, DigitalGlobe’s WorldView satellites and Canada’s RADARSAT-2.

Of course, a SpyMeSat imaging-pass notification doesn’t necessarily mean that a satellite is taking your picture. An identified satellite could have its camera in off mode or pointed elsewhere along its ground track.

SpyMeSat does not include all imaging spacecraft. No classified imaging satellites, from any nation, have their orbit information published, so these satellites do not show up in the app.

The app does include imaging satellites with resolution capabilities of some 16 feet (5 meters) or better for which orbit information is published by NORAD. For the most part, these are commercial satellites or openly acknowledged government satellites from other countries.

An artist’s interpretation of Canada’s Radarsat-2 Earth observation satellite in orbit.

Compatibility needs

When pondering the potential uses of this app, might it not help hide nefarious actions from orbiting eyes — say by a terrorist group, somebody whipping up a batch of plutonium or perhaps those involved in human rights wrongdoing?

Herz said that people have already mentioned possible use of the app by terrorists.

“We were careful to only include satellites that are unclassified and whose orbits are published by NORAD. Even the sensor data — resolution, etc. — was taken only from the websites published by the satellite operators. So everything SpyMeSat is using is open and public. Even the computations are basic orbit math taught in colleges everywhere,” Herz said.

“We can also track app downloads by country through the Apple App Store,” he added. “So far, no terrorist countries — unless you consider Brazil, Switzerland, Canada, Germany or Australia, terrorist havens.”

Responding to a SPACE.com query, John Pike, a leading expert on defense, space and intelligence policy and director of GlobalSecurity.org, said: “Anyone who was trying to hide from such satellites was already doing so.”

SpyMeSat requires iOS 6.0 or later. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and is optimized for iPhone 5.

Source: Space

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iPhone 5s takes 64% of Apple’s smartphone sales, 5c with 27%, survey finds

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners polled customers on sales of both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in late September, after both devices went on sale. According to their latest figures provided to AllThingsD, 64 percent of iPhone buyers who bought in late September opted for the new flagship iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 5c, which was release the same day is is the company’s new mid-tier handset, accounted for 27 percent of sales during that time period, according to CIRP. The legacy iPhone 4S, a handset first released in 2011 and now available free on contract, represented the remaining 9 percent of sales.

The new data also suggests that the iPhone 5c is not carving out a larger share of overall iPhone sales than the iPhone 4S managed last year, when it was the company’s $100-on-contract handset.

With the iPhone 5c taking 27 percent this year, it’s just slightly ahead of the 23 percent share the iPhone 4S captured during the same period in 2012, just after the launch of the iPhone 5.

This marks the first year that Apple has launched two new iPhone models at the same time. While the iPhone 5s represents the company’s latest premium device, with a new Touch ID fingerprint sensor and faster A7 chip, the iPhone 5c has been advertised as the company’s mainstream handset, featuring a plastic chassis available in a range of colors.

Market watchers have been particularly interested in how the iPhone 5c will perform in Apple’s smartphone lineup. Investors hope that the new mid-range model will allow Apple to grow its smartphone marketshare by appealing to new customers that wouldn’t have otherwise purchased an iPhone.

But if sales of the iPhone 5c are too low, it could be a sign that the smartphone market is largely saturated. And, conversely, if the iPhone 5c were to prove exceptionally popular, it could eat in to sales of the flagship iPhone 5s and potentially hurt Apple’s margins.

While Wall Street looks on with great interest ahead of Apple’s upcoming quarterly earnings report, the company is unlikely to delve into specifics regarding sales of individual iPhone models. Apple has a policy of not breaking down sales of devices by specific models, citing competitive reasons.

Total sales of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on their launch weekend in late September were 9 million units. About a week remained in the September quarter following that launch. The company will report its earnings from that quarter on Oct. 28.

Read more at Apple Insider

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Apple’s next generation iPads expected on 22 October

Apple’s iPad and iPad mini are expected to see an update on 22 October.

Apple will hold a launch event for the next generation iPad and iPad mini on 22 October according to John Paczkowski of AllThingsD and Current Editorials.

Paczkowski says his sources – who have proved reliable in the past – have indicated that Apple will hold an invitation-only event where it will announce the launch of updates to the iPad line, Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks.

Jim Dalrymple of The Loop also confirmed the date as accurate according to his sources – with his trademark one-word confirmation “Yep”. Dalrymple, too, has a solid track record in confirming or rebutting rumours around Apple. Current Editorials has a less solid record, having previously suggested that the iPhone would be updated on 18 September; it turned out to be 10 September.

Thinner and lighter

The next generation iPad 5 is expected to be thinner and lighter than the current generation full-sized iPad, with thinner bezels and body to match the industrial design of the iPad mini. It is also expected to run Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip, and could include Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor introduced in the iPhone 5S in September.

The iPad mini could also see an update, with upgraded internal parts and a high-resolution display – although there are mixed reports about whether it will move to a “retina” display.

Even before the sale date had formally been announced, the retailer John Lewis forecast on Wednesday that the iPad mini will be its best-selling technology device this Christmas. It reckons it will outpace Microsoft’s Xbox One for sales. But it forecast that Samsung’s Tab 3 tablet and Google’s Nexus 7 will be the third and fourth best-selling.

Expectations are also high that Apple will announce the release of the latest version of its desktop software, OSX ‘Mavericks’, and set a date for the release of the new Mac Pro desktop computer. The latter was trailed in June, and will be the first update to the Mac Pro line since June 2012.

Apple declined to comment on reports of an event or the iPad. Last year the company issued invitations on Tuesday 16 October for a 23 October event, at which it announced the current fourth-generation iPad and iPad mini.

The current iPad featuring a 9.7in high-resolution screen, Apple’s A6X dual-core chip and weighed 652g. The iPad mini features a smaller 7.9in lower resolution screen, runs Apple’s A5 dual-core processor, and weighs 308g.

Source: The Guardian

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