December 4, 2021

Bits Blog: Apple Introduces New iPhone

Things are winding down. The Foo Fighters wowed the crowd enough that people actually put down their iPads and laptops and gave the band a standing ovation. People are now filing out of the auditorium and walking into the hands-on area to see the new iPhone 5s with their own eyes.

“I hope you are as excited as we are,” says Mr. Cook.

Thanks for following our updates, and watch for our complete article about the event soon.

Yup, it’s the Foo Fighters, rocking out on stage in the Yerba Buena auditorium. Dave Grohl is singing “Times Like These.” I’m guessing this isn’t Apple’s signature “one more thing,” but you never know.

They’ve moved on to “There Goes My Hero.” Brings back memories: I totally slow-danced to this song in a musty bar somewhere.

Mr. Cook really should have hired Beyonce to close out the event with her hit “Upgrade U.”

Mr. Cook is back, introducing a live performance from the …. Foo Fighters?

A new 2-gigabyte iPod shuffle costs $49, and the 16-gigabyte Nano costs $149. The older 16-gigabyte iPod Touch is now $199, while the 32-gigabyte one costs $249. The new, souped-up iPod Touch starts at $299 for the 32-gigabyte model.

Audio technology is serious business for Apple. The company is showing a super-scientific video detailing how its new earbud design boosts the acoustic chamber in the ear, or something, and how sound travels from its earbuds into a user’s ear canal. It’s hard not to read this as a dig at HTC and Beats by Dre, which have teamed up to release special audio technology and headsets with HTC smartphones.

Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

Looks like Apple’s refreshing all of its accessories. In addition to rolling out new connector cords, the company is releasing a new version of its headphones, called EarPods. To date, the company has shipped 600 million of its signature white earbuds.

The new iPod Touch will also have Siri, so that should keep the kids entertained for awhile. Also, yellow is apparently the new black as well, because the new Touch comes in yellow, as well as blue, black and red. (Anyone else think they look kind of like a Lumia?)

Nick Bilton/The New York Times

More details on how the iPod Touch is stepping up its game: It will allow 40 hours of music playback and 8 hours of game play. Apple’s including a 5-megapixel camera with a flash on the new Touch, one that will have the same lens as the iPhone 5.

David Pogue notes on Twitter: “There’s a tiny metal circle on the back of the new Touch. Push it, it pops up, so you can attach a wrist strap.” Apple’s bringing back the wallet chain?

The crowd is loving a demo of a game called Clumsy that lets players mess around with a cute ninja character.

The iPod Touch is Apple’s prime gaming machine, with access to 175,000 games and entertainment apps. The company is introducing a skinnier version of the Touch, one that weighs 88 grams, is 6 millimeters wide and features the company’s high-resolution “retina” display. The Touch is also getting the A5 chip, giving the machine a boost in handling graphics.

The new Nanos have multitouch screens. Runners will be able to make use of a pedometer and Nike+ apps. Bluetooth integration will let users send music to their car stereos and wireless speaker systems like Jawbone’s Jambox.

We’ll aim to answer your questions about the Apple announcements. Leave a comment on this post and our reporters will pick a batch to answer.

To date, Apple has sold 350 million iPods. Apple is rolling out a new version of its Nano, the seventh edition of the smallest iPod. It is razor-thin, as in 5 millimeters, and uses the new Lightning connector tech. It comes in seven colors.

One of the cooler features of the new iTunes redesign: Users will be able to see upcoming concerts and other information about the artists in their library. Very similar to some of the offerings in Spotify. The update will roll out in late October.

The new iTunes looks very similar to Rdio, the streaming music service, with square music covers in the middle of the screen, playlists and account info on the side.

Nick Bilton

The new iTunes incorporates iCloud right into it, meaning that users who are watching a movie on one device, like an iPad,  can seamlessly pick it up on another device, like an iPhone.

Nick Bilton/The New York Times

Apple now has more than 200 million customers using iTunes in the cloud, Mr. Cue says. In addition to introducing a new iTunes Store app, Apple has also upgraded  iTunes  for the Mac. The new iTunes makes it easier to create playlists for parties — you can quickly browse through a library and drag and drop songs into groups.

Nick Bilton/The New York Tiumes

So it seems that it is now standard for Apple executives to come on stage with their shirt untucked: Mr. Cook, Mr. Schiller and now Mr. Cue. What’s next, Birkenstocks?

Nick Bilton

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president for Internet software and services, is on stage talking about upgrades to music. Apple has 435 million iTunes accounts on file. And the company is releasing a new version of iTunes. More than two-thirds of iTunes purchases come through iOS devices, so Apple revamped iTunes to reflect that, Mr. Cue says. ITunes customers can now share information about their purchases through Facebook and Twitter.

Mr. Schiller says the starting price of the iPhone 5 will be same as previous phones, $199 with a two-year contract and 16 gigabytes. The iPhone 4S will go to $99. The iPhone 4 will be free with contract. The phone goes on sale Sept. 21. Apple will start taking orders for the new phone  on Friday, and hopes to have it in 100 countries by the end of the year.

The video is showing off some of the splashier features of the new iPhone and operating system, like the maps, Siri’s souped-up capabilities and the ability to make FaceTime calls over cellular networks.

And here’s the iPhone 5 video: Jonathan Ive talking about the iPhone like he just met the woman of his dreams. I need a Kleenex.

Nick Bilton

Apple is expanding its Siri voice assistant in iOS 6 so you can get sports stats and movie recommendations and make restaurant reservations. You can post directly to Facebook with Siri by dictating status updates, Mr. Forstall says.

Nick Wingfield

The new Apple maps feature is another way Apple is slowly eliminating Google from iOS. As the new maps app will work on the iPad, too, it will be interesting to see if it will eventually come to Macs.

Nick Bilton

Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

Apple hasn’t given a clear sense of why it changed the connector, other than it being smaller. I’d assume it’s to make the battery larger, but I’m surprised there was no explanation of a real benefit, like faster data speeds.

Brian X. Chen

Scott Forstall, who is in charge of iPhone software at Apple, is on stage now, giving us a tour of iOS 6, the next version of Apple’s mobile software, on the iPhone 5. Apple’s new Maps feature will include turn-by-turn navigation and three-dimensional maps, and will show users places they might be interested in checking out, like restaurants and coffee shops.

Mr. Schiller is introducing the new iPhone connector cord, which is called Lightning. He says its more durable, reversible and “80 percent smaller.” The new cord technology is already embedded in many third-party systems. But before you start freaking out about having to rush out and buy new cords: Apple will also be selling an adapter, so all of those drawers full of old Apple chargers and connectors won’t have to go to waste.

Apple is gussying up its phone-calling technology — for those who still bother to make phone calls. The iPhone 5 is outfitted with three microphones and a noise-canceling earpiece.

Finally — the phone’s front-facing camera gets an upgrade, meaning that FaceTime conversations will no longer make video chatters cringe.

Mr. Schiller notes that these photos are from the iPhone 5’s actual camera, “untouched.” Seems to be a knock on Nokia, which got flack for a misleading video that wasn’t actually shot with its newest phone.

Brian X. Chen

Nick Bilton/The New York Times

The new iPhone 5 camera will let users share their photo streams with friends. In addition, the camera has special software that will let users take panoramic photographs. Mr. Schiller is showing off a nice picture of the Golden Gate Bridge and bragging about its quality.

The iPhone camera is getting an upgrade. It now has an 8-megapixel sensor, backside illumination and a five-element lens. The improvements will be a big boon for low-light photography, typically the iPhone’s Achilles heel. The iPhone also includes a sapphire crystal to sharpen images, as well as systems to reduce digital noise and speed up the time it takes to snap a picture.

The guy behind me just moaned. “Geez, that’s really nice.”

Nick Bilton/The New York Times

Mr. Schiller’s back. The iPhone 5 has a larger, juicier battery, which includes 8 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of LTE browsing and 10 hours on Wi-Fi, he says.

Rob Murray, executive producer at Electronic Arts Studios, just took the stage to demonstrate a racing game. It looks crisp and real. This could be a big deal for apps makers, large and small.

The new machine has speedier innards, thanks to a new A6 chip designed by Apple. The chip is twice as fast in terms of CPU and graphics, Mr. Schiller says. “Not only is it a jump forward in performance, it’s 22 percent smaller,” he says. The chip means Web pages load twice as fast.

Good news for those sick of dropped signals and sluggish iMessage delivery: The iPhone 5 has chips that support additional bands and frequencies. It can handle HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and most importantly LTE, capable of delivering up to 100 Mbps per second. Mr. Schiller is detailing the carrier partners for the new iPhone: ATT, Verizon, Sprint, Telefonica, to name a few, in Europe, Australia, Asia.

Now, Mr. Schiller is demonstrating how the roomier screen of the iPhone 5 can be used by apps makers. The screen has 40 percent more color saturation, he says, which is the “most accurate display in the industry.”

He’s showing off new versions of a CNN app and an OpenTable app that takes advantage of the larger screen, giving more space for details and photographs.

The iPhone’s width is just right for navigating with your thumb, says Mr. Schiller, to make it easy to send text messages, swipe through pages and browse the Web. Seems like a dig at Android devices with wider screens.

The additional vertical space on the iPhone 5 screen will let users add a fifth, additional row of apps on the home screen — more room for Web browsing and reading, Mr. Schiller says.

The actual iPhone 5 matches previously leaked images from Asia. This shows that it’s gotten tough for Apple to maintain its culture of secrecy with so many component partners overseas.

Brian X. Chen

It’s the thinnest phone ever made, says Mr. Schiller. It is 7.6 millimeters thick, or 18 percent slimmer than the iPhone 4S. The phone weighs 112 grams, which is 20 percent lighter than the previous iteration. The new screen is a 4-inch display, with the same high-resolution 326 pixels per inch as the previous version. It’s 1,136 by 640 pixels, 16×9 aspect ratio.

The next-generation iPhone emerges from the stage, riding on a pedestal. “It is an absolute jewel,” he says. “The most beautiful product we’ve made, bar none.”

It’s made of aluminum and steel, he said.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mr. Schiller is walking us through each version of the iPhone. “Today, we’re going to introduce the iPhone 5,” he says.

Last quarter, Apple sold its 400 millionth iOS device. “Today, we’re taking it to the next level,” Mr. Cook says. Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief, is taking the stage.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTim Cook, Apple’s chief executive.

Mr. Cook, normally Mr. Nice Guy, is being funny and sarcastic. Noting that the iPad accounts for 91 percent of tablet Web traffic, Mr. Cook says, “I don’t know what these other tablets are doing.” (The crowd laughs, of course.)

Nick Bilton

Apple now has 700,000 apps in the store, 250,000 for the iPad alone. That number elicited a few whistles and a loud smattering of applause. “There’s something in the App Store for everyone,” Mr. Cook says. The average customer is using more than 100 apps, he says.

Now Mr. Cook is talking about the latest iPad. It was announced in March, and the company sold 17 million iPads in the last quarter. “Yes, we are in a post-PC world,” Mr. Cook says. In total, there have been 84 million iPads sold through June. The iPad, said Mr. Cook, has 62 percent of the worldwide tablet market.

Mr. Cook says Apple customers have downloaded 7 million copies of the company’s latest Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, “making it the fastest-selling OS of all time.” In July, MacBook laptops grabbed a 27 percent share of the overall laptop market, he says.

Apple now has 380 stores in 12 countries, with the next one opening on Friday, Mr. Cook says. Apple is opening its first store in Sweden. Mr. Cook says 83 million customers visited Apple stores in June.

Mr. Cook is walking on stage, wearing a nice black button-down and blue jeans. He’s showing off photographs of an Apple flagship store in Barcelona. “It’s an amazing time at Apple, an extraordinary time.” He’s showing a video of an Apple store in Barcelona.

We’re here in the auditorium, people are filing in and the room is brimming with journalists, noted Silicon Valley venture capitalists like Ron Conway, and well-known apps makers like Ge Wang, founder and chief executive of Smule. Spotted in the front row: Al Gore.

Article source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/live-updates-from-the-apple-iphone-event/?partner=rss&emc=rss

State of the Art: Epson’s Megaplex Is a Home Theater Powered by iPhone

These days, this business of phone-as-brain goes way beyond stand-alone apps. Nowadays, the iPhone handles the computing, connection and display tasks for a huge range of hardware from other companies. Why should they jack up their products’ prices by selling you a screen, memory, processor, microphone, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you’ve already got all of that in your pocket?

There are blood pressure monitors (iHealth), bathroom scales (Withings), physical activity monitors (Jawbone), sleep monitors (Zeo), credit card readers (Square), security cameras (iZon), remote-control helicopters (Parrot) and, of course, about 73,001 speaker systems. All of them rely on the iPhone as a brain.

Until the Epson Megaplex came along, however, one screamingly obvious iPhone accessory didn’t seem to occur to anybody: a home theater projector.

Why is it such an obvious idea? Because these days, millions of people carry around their photos, videos and music on their iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. The world is teeming with charging docks that also play their music. It shouldn’t have taken so long for someone to create a dock that also plays the photos and videos.

But that’s what the Megaplex does. Tucked in the back is a retractable tray containing the standard charging connector for Apple i-gadgets. Insert your phone, iPad or Touch, and suddenly you can play its music through the Megaplex’s speakers — or view its TV shows, videos, slide shows and presentations on a screen, wall or ceiling, 300 inches diagonally.

Now, there have been projectors for Apple devices, which throw a 40-inch image onto the wall with 40 lumens of brightness, requiring a totally dark room. But the Megaplex is a true desktop projector, like the ones you find in boardrooms and home theaters. It pumps out 2,800 lumens, which is enough to see even with the lights on or sunshine coming in.

But if you do create a completely dark room for the Megaplex, oh boy; 2,800 lumens in 720p hi-def looks stunningly bright and clear. Like a movie theater in your home, which I guess is the point.

From Epson’s perspective, the Megaplex wasn’t such a stretch; the company already makes a wide range of projectors, some very similar to this one, that don’t have the iPhone connector.

In fact, there are two Megaplexes. The nicer one is the MG850HD; it costs $650 online and offers that 2,800-lumen, hi-def picture. You can save about $100 by buying its little brother, the MG-50, which isn’t hi-def and offers 2,200 lumens. (Tip: Go for the nicer one.)

You might think that $650 is a lot to pay for an accessory, but that’s right in line with non-iPhone home theater projectors of this type. In fact, this one’s better than many of its rivals, for a couple of reasons.

First, it has built-in speakers, which many don’t. Stereo speakers, 10 watts. These puppies are loud. They’re not audiophile quality — you’ll get crisper highs and thuddier lows from, say, a Bose audio dock — but if you need more than their boombox quality, you can always hook up a sound system.

Second, the Megaplex has inputs for everything. You can plug in a DVD player, Blu-ray player, Xbox or PlayStation, still camera, camcorder, just about anything, and blast its image onto your screen or wall. You can plug in a laptop or USB flash drive, the better to project your PowerPoint slides or family photos. There’s even a microphone input, so you can use it as a public address system.

Third, there’s a carrying handle. The thing weighs only 8.5 pounds, so it’s not like it’ll send you to the chiropractor. It’s shiny black, 4.5 x 13.4 x 11.5 inches. But the handle emphasizes the Megaplex’s aspirations to be a one-piece home theater machine that you can take to a friend’s, and it’s a nice touch.

Finally, you benefit from jumping into the projector game in 2011. These things have come a very long way. For example, it’s shockingly easy to focus and aim the image, thanks to a pair of levers on top — one for projection size, one for focusing. There’s even a keystone-correction lever right there on top, which you use to make the projected image perfectly rectangular if the screen is at an angle. On most projectors, you have to visit menu hell to perform this kind of adjustment; on the Megaplex MG850HD, you can fix a nonsquared image with the flick of a finger.

E-mail: pogue@nytimes.com

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=3ed63426d57777877738044da4bf64dc

For Their Children, Many E-Book Fans Insist on Paper

This is the case even with parents who themselves are die-hard downloaders of books onto Kindles, iPads, laptops and phones. They freely acknowledge their digital double standard, saying they want their children to be surrounded by print books, to experience turning physical pages as they learn about shapes, colors and animals.

Parents also say they like cuddling up with their child and a book, and fear that a shiny gadget might get all the attention. Also, if little Joey is going to spit up, a book may be easier to clean than a tablet computer.

“It’s intimacy, the intimacy of reading and touching the world. It’s the wonderment of her reaching for a page with me,” said Leslie Van Every, 41, a loyal Kindle user in San Francisco whose husband, Eric, reads on his iPhone. But for their 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Georgia, dead-tree books, stacked and strewn around the house, are the lone option.

“She reads only print books,” Ms. Van Every said, adding with a laugh that she works for a digital company, CBS Interactive. “Oh, the shame.”

As the adult book world turns digital at a faster rate than publishers expected, sales of e-books for titles aimed at children under 8 have barely budged. They represent less than 5 percent of total annual sales of children’s books, several publishers estimated, compared with more than 25 percent in some categories of adult books.

Many print books are also bought as gifts, since the delights of an Amazon gift card are lost on most 6-year-olds.

Children’s books are also a bright spot for brick-and-mortar bookstores, since parents often want to flip through an entire book before buying it, something they usually cannot do with e-book browsing. A study commissioned by HarperCollins in 2010 found that books bought for 3- to 7-year-olds were frequently discovered at a local bookstore — 38 percent of the time.

And here is a question for a digital-era debate: is anything lost by taking a picture book and converting it to an e-book? Junko Yokota, a professor and director of the Center for Teaching Through Children’s Books at National Louis University in Chicago, thinks the answer is yes, because the shape and size of the book are often part of the reading experience. Wider pages might be used to convey broad landscapes, or a taller format might be chosen for stories about skyscrapers.

Size and shape “become part of the emotional experience, the intellectual experience. There’s a lot you can’t standardize and stick into an electronic format,” said Ms. Yokota, who has lectured on how to decide when a child’s book is best suited for digital or print format.

Publishers say they are gradually increasing the number of print picture books that they are converting to digital format, even though it is time-consuming and expensive, and developers have been busy creating interactive children’s book apps.

While the entry of new tablet devices from Barnes Noble and Amazon this fall is expected to increase the demand for children’s e-books, several publishers said they suspected that many parents would still prefer the print versions.

“There’s definitely a predisposition to print,” said Jon Yaged, president and publisher of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, which released “The Pout-Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen and “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman.

“And the parents are the same folks who will have no qualms about buying an e-book for themselves,” he added.

That is the case in the home of Ari Wallach, a tech-obsessed New York entrepreneur who helps companies update their technology. He himself reads on Kindle, iPad and iPhone, but the room of his twin girls is packed with only print books.

“I know I’m a Luddite on this, but there’s something very personal about a book and not one of one thousand files on an iPad, something that’s connected and emotional, something I grew up with and that I want them to grow up with,” he said.

“I recognize that when they are my age, it’ll be difficult to find a ‘dead-tree book,’ ” he added. “That being said, I feel that learning with books is as important a rite of passage as learning to eat with utensils and being potty-trained.”

Some parents do not want to make the switch for even their school-age children. Alexandra Tyler and her husband read on Kindles, but for their son Wolfie, 7, it is print all the way.

“Somehow, I think it’s different,” she said. “When you read a book, a proper kid’s book, it engages all the senses. It’s teaching them to turn the page properly. You get the smell of paper, the touch.”

There are many software programs that profess to help children learn to read by, for example, saying aloud a highlighted word or picture. Not all parents buy in; Matthew Thomson, 38, an executive at Klout, a social media site, has tried such software for Finn, his 5-year-old. But he believes his son will learn to read faster from print. Plus the bells and whistles of an iPad become a distraction.

“When we go to bed and he knows it’s reading time, he says, ‘Let’s play Angry Birds a little bit,’ ” Mr. Thomson said. “If he’s going to pick up the iPad, he’s not going to read, he’s going to want to play a game. So reading concentration goes out the window.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/business/for-their-children-many-e-book-readers-insist-on-paper.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Businesses, Too, Have Eyes for iPads and iPhones

SAN FRANCISCO — Steven P. Jobs never cared much for selling Apple products to big businesses.

The late Apple chief executive so disliked the process of catering to the needs of business, rather than those of consumers, that he called chief information officers in corporations “orifices” at a conference in 2005. “There are 500 men and women in the Fortune 500 — C.I.O.’s — that you have to go through,” Mr. Jobs said then.

A funny thing happened, though, in the last few years. Big companies started buying Apple products — a lot of them — for their employees. The iPad and iPhone have given the Apple symbol a presence in workplaces that Apple never enjoyed when it was strictly focused on selling Macintosh computers.

While corporate technology buyers say Apple does not try to hide the fact that consumers are still its top priority, they note that the company has gotten easier to work with in recent years, adding features to its devices that make them more palatable to business. It also doesn’t hurt that Apple’s new chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, is known to be far more at ease meeting with the C.I.O.’s Mr. Jobs once so memorably disparaged.

“What they’ve done in the past few years is really started thinking in a deeper way what the enterprise needs,” said Rich Adduci, chief information officer of Boston Scientific, a medical device manufacturer that has distributed about 3,000 iPads to its field sales people, and expects to buy 1,500 more by the end of the year.

Apple, which declined to comment for this article, has begun to drop hints that it sees the corporate market as a big growth opportunity. During recent earnings calls with Wall Street analysts, Apple executives have boasted about the portion of Fortune 500 companies testing or deploying iPads and iPhones — 92 percent and 93 percent, respectively, Apple said last month.

“You never heard those stats before,” said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray. “The reason why is they struggled for decades, and finally they have a story to tell in the enterprise.”

Among the big customers Apple has won recently is the home improvement retailer Lowe’s, which says it bought about 42,000 iPhones to be used by employees on store floors. Instead of having to find a computer, the employees can use the devices in store aisles to check inventory, pull up how-to videos and help customers estimate costs for painting, flooring and other projects.

Airlines have begun to use iPads to replace the printed aircraft flight manuals, navigation charts and other material that pilots are required to bring on board. The binders holding those manuals typically had to be popped open every few weeks by pilots so they could replace pages with updated information. With iPads, the updating occurs electronically.

All of Alaska Airlines’ more than 1,400 pilots now have iPads, and United and Continental Airlines, which have merged, started giving iPads to all 11,000 of its pilots in August.

“We’ve shown we can retrieve an electronic page faster than we can retrieve a printed manual,” said Captain Joe Burns, a United pilot and managing director of technology and flight tests for the airline.

The iPad, in some cases, is proving to be an attractive substitute for laptops in situations where portability and speedy access to information matters. Technicians for Siemens Energy, for example, routinely have to scale 300-foot towers to service wind turbines, sometimes in blistering heat in places like West Texas. Some of the technicians have been using laptops to read manuals and run through checklists when they’re doing this work, but the devices are too bulky and take too long to boot up, said Tim Holt, chief executive of Service Renewables for Siemens Energy.

Now the company is outfitting its wind service technicians with iPads, which are light, start instantly and have cameras that let workers send pictures to a technical support department if they need help troubleshooting an issue. About 350 technicians have the device already; within five years, about 5,000 should have it, Mr. Holt said.

Information technology departments, though, may find working with Apple a challenge. Historically among I.T. managers, Apple Macs were largely shunned as too expensive, and the company was viewed as not serious about making the computers blend well in corporate environments.

Mr. Holt said there was “pushback” initially from the central I.T. department of Siemens in Germany about the prospect of using iPads as part of its technology arsenal.

Also, although Apple’s secrecy about where its products are headed may help it make a big marketing splash in the consumer market, corporate I.T. departments like to know more so they can budget for big new technology investments.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=ed08e3c395cbe503229b5a54820e4d6b

Workers’ Own Cellphones and iPads Find a Role at the Office

SAN FRANCISCO — Throughout the information age, the corporate I.T. department has stood at the chokepoint of office technology with a firm hand on what equipment and software employees use in the workplace.

They are now in retreat. Employees are bringing in the technology they use at home and demanding the I.T. department accommodate them. The I.T. department often complies.

Some companies have even surrendered to what is being called the consumerization of I.T. At Kraft Foods, the I.T. department’s involvement in choosing technology for employees is limited to handing out a stipend. Employees use the money to buy whatever laptop they want from Best Buy, Amazon.com or the local Apple store.

“We heard from people saying, ‘How come I have better equipment at home?’ ” said Mike Cunningham, chief technology officer for Kraft Foods. “We said, hey, we can address that.”

Encouraging employees to buy their own laptops, or bring their mobile phones and iPads from home, is gaining traction in the workplace. A survey published on Thursday by Forrester Research found that 48 percent of information workers buy smartphones for work without considering what their I.T. department supports. By being more flexible, companies are hoping that workers will be more comfortable with their devices and therefore more productive.

“Bring your own device” policies, as they are called, are also shifting the balance of power among electronics makers. Manufacturers good at selling to consumers are increasingly gaining the upper hand, while those focused on bulk corporate sales are slipping.

The phenomenon is upending the corporate market, which has traditionally hinged on electronics makers cultivating tight relationships with I.T. departments. Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, have long dominated the workplace, but Apple and its consumer-friendly blockbusters — the iPhone, iPad and MacBook — have made major inroads.

It’s not just electronics. A variety of online services that were originally aimed at consumers are crossing over. Google is hoping that people using its Gmail and Google Docs products will produce a guerrilla movement inside corporations strong enough to displace Microsoft and its Office suite of software.

Skype, the Internet calling service that started as a way to call friends at no charge, is pushing into the workplace. Dropbox, originally pitched as a way for people to store and share personal documents online, has also gained a foothold in businesses.

“You shouldn’t reject things that make employees more productive, and if those things happen to be consumer technologies, so be it,” said Ted Schadler, an analyst with Forrester Research.

Corporate I.T. departments often resist allowing consumer technology on their networks because of security concerns. Adding a hodgepodge of devices and services also complicates their job.

But I.T. departments are gradually warming to the idea simply because their bosses left them little choice. The I.T. staff may grieve for their lost power, but they do it.

“They’re over the denial and anger stage, and now they are in the acceptance and ‘How can we help?’ stage,” said Mr. Schadler, who co-wrote the book “Empowered,” which addresses consumer technology in the workplace. “What broke the camel’s back was the iPad, because executives brought it into the company and said ‘Hey, you’ve got to support this.’ ”

A survey of more than 1,700 information workers earlier this year by Forrester showed how much of the equipment-buying decision rests with employees. Nearly half of the respondents said that they bought their work smartphone while 41 percent said their employer paid; 9 percent said the cost was shared between the two.

Netflix’s “bring your own device” policy takes into account the blurring of the lines between work and personal time.

“As long as they’re productive, innovative and engaged, we’re happy,” said Steve Swasey, a spokesman for Netflix. Kraft Foods’ “bring your own laptop” policy started a year and half ago, and now around 800 employees receive a stipend — Kraft declined to say how much — to buy either a Windows or Mac computer. Workers who want laptops that cost more than their stipend must pay for the difference out of their own pockets.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=f3e15c235edc078dbc6bc9888526561e

Sell Big or Die Fast

Last year, Microsoft pulled the plug on its Kin mobile phones only 48 days after they went on sale.

In recent years, technology companies have been cutting their losses with increasing speed. Google proudly released Wave, its platform of collaborative work tools, to the general public in May 2010. It canceled Wave 77 days later. Palm announced its first tablet, the Foleo, on May 30, 2007. By Sept. 4, the company halted development and the product was never sold.

Pure Digital, maker of the Flip camcorder, had planned to release the Flip-Live on April 13, but Cisco, which had acquired Pure Digital in 2009, shut the entire division on April 12.

These days, big technology companies — particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer over time.

When Microsoft released the Xbox 360 in 2005, there were widespread reliability issues and the console faced serious competition from the Nintendo Wii, yet the company stayed the course, and now the Xbox is one of the best-selling video game consoles of all time. That kind of tenacity seems to be in diminishing supply.

Some analysts trace the origin of this blockbuster-or-bust mentality to Apple. Each release of the company’s popular iPads and iPhones crosses over into being a mainstream media event. Al Hilwa, an analyst at the research firm IDC, described the accelerated lifecycle of high-end hardware as “Darwinian.”

“There’s a level of desperation from anyone whose name is not Apple,” said Mr. Hilwa.

The crush of tech bloggers and Twitter-using early adopters who chronicle every bit of news — good and bad — about new phones and tablets also raises the stakes around how well new products perform in the marketplace.

“You know pretty quickly, and in a very public way, whether a product is successful or not,” said Mr. Hilwa.

Similar to opening week at the movies, early reviews on the Web panning a new tablet or phone can be disastrous for its makers.

“Once you lose momentum, its hard to regain it,” said Chris Jones, an analyst at Canalys.

The rapid life cycles of products can play with the affections of consumers, who may rush out to be the first on their block with a new product, only to find that the manufacturer has canceled any future support or development weeks after it went on sale.

Neal LoCurto, the owner of TeamLogic IT, an information technology consulting company in Syosset, N.Y., said he bought his TouchPad the morning it went on sale. “On release day I went to Best Buy that morning and waited at the door,” Mr. LoCurto said. “I was the first one in and the first one out.”

Mr. LoCurto, who ultimately grew unhappy with the TouchPad because of the lack of apps, received a refund for his TouchPad, but he says he no longer trusts H.P. “I feel like they lied to us,” Mr. LoCurto said. “They didn’t give it a chance.”

Companies kill new products more quickly now because of the higher cost of staying competitive, said Jim McGregor, research director for In-Stat, a market research firm. Quickly pulling the plug on an obvious failure makes sense, although it can be embarrassing.

“The life cycles are very short because there is obviously huge competition,” Mr. McGregor said. “Even if you do have a blockbuster, you know you’re going to get leapfrogged in six months. You have to come out with something that really knocks off the pants and then follow it up. You can’t just sit there and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a success.’ ”

In the case of the TouchPad, analysts agree it failed because its operating system, webOS, had few of the apps that made Apple’s iPad a runaway hit, he said. Microsoft’s Kin had a similar problem.

Mr. McGregor said that Google TV, Google’s Internet-connected television accessory, faded into obscurity because of content providers declined to make their content available. Google had lined up various manufacturers as partners, including LG, Toshiba and Sharp, only to tell many of them last December to delay the release of their Google TV products. While Google’s strategy for Google TV remains unclear, none of those partners have come out with a Google TV product.

“The content is worth more than the device,” said Mr. McGregor. “If you don’t have everything — the content, the applications and the experience — you might as well drop your anchor and jump off the ship.”

Even mighty Apple was not always so skilled. Like other companies today, Apple suffered a streak of bad luck with new products more than a decade ago and, like them, it cut its losses. The company killed the Power Mac G4 Cube, a desktop computer, in 2001 after only 11 months because consumers believed the price was too high and balked at having to buy a monitor separately.

Two days after announcing it would kill the TouchPad, H.P. started unloading its inventory through a fire sale. The steep discount — 80 percent off the original price — succeeded in setting off a buying frenzy that H.P.’s executives had hoped for when they introduced the device.

H.P.’s online store, along with Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart, quickly ran out of TouchPads after putting them on sale for $100 for the 16G version and $150 for the 32G version. When originally available in July, they were listed at $500 and $600.

People strategized on online message boards about how to find a TouchPad. H.P.’s call center was overwhelmed.

“All this clamoring for the TouchPad, kind of bittersweet,” H.P.’s customer service arm said in a post on Twitter.

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The Paperless Cockpit

But instead of carrying all that paperwork, a growing number of pilots are carrying a 1.5 pound iPad.

The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized a handful of commercial and charter carriers to use the tablet computer as a so-called electronic flight bag. Private pilots, too, are now carrying iPads, which support hundreds of general aviation apps that simplify preflight planning and assist with in-flight operations.

“The iPad allows pilots to quickly and nimbly access information,” said Jim Freeman, a pilot and director of flight standards at Alaska Airlines, which has given iPads to all its pilots. “When you need to a make a decision in the cockpit, three to four minutes fumbling with paper is an eternity.”

Alaska Airlines received F.A.A. approval in May to permit its pilots to consult digital flight, systems and performance manuals on the iPad — cutting about 25 pounds of paper from each flight bag. The e-manuals include hyperlinks and color graphics to help pilots find information quickly and easily. And pilots do not have to go through the tedium of updating the manuals by swapping out old pages with new ones because updates are downloaded automatically.

In the next phase of what Alaska Airlines calls Operation Bye, Bye, Flight Bag, the carrier plans to petition the F.A.A. to use the iPad to read aeronautical charts, saving another five pounds of paper per pilot. Counting both the pilot and co-pilot, that would remove 60 pounds of paper from the cockpit — a significant savings not only in paper and printing costs but also in fuel because planes are that much lighter.

Because Apple’s tablet computer weighs less and is more compact than a laptop and its touch screen easier to manipulate, its introduction in 2010 made the move away from paper in the cockpit easier.

Switching to the iPad is also expected to reduce health care costs and absenteeism from shoulder and back injuries associated with hoisting heavy flight bags, said David Clark, pilot and manager of the connected aircraft program at American Airlines. “Cockpits are small, and lifting that thing up and over your seat causes damage, particularly when you consider a lot of pilots are over 40.”

American Airlines won F.A.A. approval last month for its pilots to use the iPad to read aeronautical charts. American received authorization last year to use the device instead of paper reference manuals. Executive Jet Management, a NetJets company owned by Berkshire Hathaway, received the F.A.A.’s permission in February for its pilots to read aeronautical charts on iPads.

Moreover, the F.A.A. said pilots at the two airlines would not have to shut off and store their iPads during taxiing, takeoff and landing because they had demonstrated that the devices would not impair the functioning of onboard electronics. Alaska Airlines pilots, like passengers, still have to put their iPads away during those critical phases of the flight.

“Each airline must submit a unique proposal on how they want to use the iPad and prove that both the device and software application are safe and effective for that proposed use,” said John W. McGraw, the F.A.A.’s deputy director of flight standards. Executive Jet Management, for example, had 55 pilots test the iPad on 10 types of aircraft to prove that it was reliable and that it would not interfere with flight instruments. The iPad was also subjected to rapid decompression at a simulated altitude of 51,000 feet.

Private and corporate pilots, however, do not have to go through the same approval process. According to F.A.A. regulations, they are responsible for determining what technologies are safe and appropriate for use in the cockpit. As a result, iPads are quickly becoming essential tools in planes ranging from Gulf Stream G650s to Piper Vagabonds.

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Apple Sues Samsung, Says Stop Copying Us

Apple is one participant in a web of litigation among phone makers and software firms over who owns the patents used in smartphones, as rivals aggressively rush into the smartphone and tablet market which the U.S. firm jumpstarted with iPhone and iPad.

Nokia and Apple have sued each other in numerous courts and as recently as last month Nokia filed a complaint with the U.S. trade panel alleging that Apple infringes its patents in iPhones, iPads and other products.

Samsung is one of the fastest growing smartphone makers and has emerged as Apple’s strongest competitor in the booming tablet market with models in three sizes but it remains a distant second in the space.

“If Apple fails to fend off Android, it will within a year or two find itself in a situation like Research in Motion, even if at a higher level (initially),” said Florian Mueller, a technology specialist and blogger on patent battles.

“Apple has realised this already as its new lawsuit against Samsung shows, but given what’s at stake, I think Apple would have to do much more than this. It would have to sue more Android device makers and over more patents.”

Samsung’s Galaxy products use Google‘s Android operating system, which directly competes with Apple’s mobile software. However, Apple’s claims against Samsung focus on Galaxy’s design features, such as the look of its screen icons, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit, filed on Friday, alleges Samsung violated Apple’s patents and trademarks.

“This kind of blatant copying is wrong,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in a statement.

Apple is bringing 16 claims against Samsung, including unjust enrichment, trademark infringement and 10 patent claims.

“…Samsung has made its Galaxy phones and computer tablet work and look like Apple’s products through widespread patent and trade dress infringement… By this action, Apple seeks to put a stop to Samsung’s illegal conduct and obtain compensation for the violations that have occurred thus far,” Apple said in the court document.

Samsung’s shares closed up 0.9 percent after slipping to their lowest level in one month in a broader market down 0.7 percent.

Samsung said it would respond to the legal action “through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property.”

“Samsung’s development of core technologies and strengthening our intellectual property portfolio are keys to our continued success,” it said in a statement.

Samsung faces the challenge of moving beyond being a hardware company, clever at copying ideas, to becoming more creative, better adept at software, at a time when consumer gadgets are getting smarter all the time.

It has yet to come up with the kind of original, iconic, market-leading products that powered brands such as Apple’s i-series or Sony Corp‘s Walkman. Nor has it taken the kind of initiatives in software that Google and Apple did to thwart Microsoft.

FORMIDABLE RIVAL

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has criticised Samsung and other rivals in presentations of new products or technology debates. Analysts say Samsung’s response to this has been muted, partly because Apple was Samsung’s second-biggest customer last year after Sony.

Apple brought in around 6.2 trillion won (3.5 billion pounds) of sales to Samsung in 2010 mainly by purchasing semiconductors, according to Samsung’s annual report.

John Jackson, an analyst with CCS Insight, said Samsung is essentially Apple’s only real tablet competitor at this stage. “It’s clear that they do not intend to let Apple run away with the category,” Jackson said.

“This is more like a symbolic move by Apple that it is quite serious about rivals advancing and it is trying to hold back its close competitors,” said John Park, an analyst at Daishin Securities in Seoul.

“Samsung is unlikely to respond aggressively given that Apple is its core client in the component business,” Park said.

To better compete with Apple, Samsung redesigned within weeks its new 10.1-inch tablet, first introduced in February, to make it the thinnest in the category after Apple set the trend with its iPad 2.

The global smartphone market is expected to grow 58 percent this year and Android is set account for 39 percent of the market, while the tablet market is likely to quadruple to 70 million units, according to research firm Gartner.

Apple’s iPad will still dominate, controlling more than half of the tablet market for the next three years, but its share is seen gradually declining to 47 percent in 2015 from 69 percent this year, giving way to Android devices.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al, 11-1846.

(Additional reporting by Tarmo Virki in HELSINKI and Miyoung Kim in SEOUL; Editing by Anshuman DAga)

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Dispute Over Time Warner Cable’s Streaming to iPad Bursts Into the Open

That question has divided the television industry in recent weeks, ever since Time Warner Cable started streaming several dozen TV channels to customers’ iPads. Immediately, channel owners like Viacom and Scripps Networks seized on the streaming capability as a contract violation — in part because they want cable companies to pay them more for the privilege to stream.

Legal threats were made last week, and the dispute was brought into public view on Monday when Time Warner Cable introduced a Web campaign that promoted “more freedom to watch on more screens” and asked, “Why do some TV networks want to take it away?” The television industry is, in effect, joining book publishers in being unsettled by the iPad and the new era of tablets. There is little doubt that people will be watching more TV on tablets in the future. (Imagine a son watching “SpongeBob SquarePants” on an iPad while his father watches basketball on the big-screen TV.)

What is undetermined is whether people will be watching through an application provided by their cable company, an individual channel’s app, or through a paid service like Netflix.

To stream programs from Time Warner Cable, customers download an iPad app through the Apple iTunes store, log in to verify their account, and choose from a selection of live channels like CNN and Comedy Central. The iPad app only works inside the home, and only for customers who receive both television and Internet from the operator.

Other cable television operators say they are coming out with their own streaming apps soon. Cablevision’s app could come out this week.

But some channel owners say that companies like Time Warner Cable should be consulting with them more closely before introducing new products. “Portability is a different business proposition,” said an executive at one of the major channel owners, suggesting that there should be a premium paid for the ability to take a TV show into bed or into the bathtub. One commercial for Time Warner Cable’s app actually shows a person watching TV on a tablet while taking a bath.

The executive said Time Warner Cable should have “worked out the business issues” with channel owners before coming out with the app. The chief issue is counting the audience: another executive said there had been a “stampede” of channel owners asking the Nielsen Company to include iPad streaming in its ratings of programs.

The channel executives spoke only on condition of anonymity because their parent companies had refused to comment on the dispute.

But Scripps, the owner of HGTV and the Food Network, said earlier this month that it “has not granted iPad video streaming rights to any distributor and is actively addressing any misunderstandings on this issue.”

Melinda Witmer, an executive vice president at Time Warner Cable, said in an interview last week that she thought the current dispute was “fundamentally about money and leverage,” not about the language of contracts. “I already bought these rights,” she said.

Ms. Witmer compared the complaints of channel owners to a person who waves a gun around and winds up shooting themselves in the foot. For distributors that depend on monthly subscription checks from customers, new products like iPad apps are ways to keep the payments coming — and that revenue, of course, is ultimately shared with the channel owners.

Some channel executives said Viacom, the owner of MTV, VH1 and other channels, is taking the most aggressive stance against the streaming app. One of the complaints is that the app now includes only a portion of all the channels that are available through the traditional set-top box. Time Warner Cable is offering 32 channels for the iPad.

Cablevision is expected to change that. Its app will transplant every existing channel and video-on-demand option to the iPad, literally making it into a TV set. The company declined to comment Monday.

Verizon and Comcast have said that they were also working on streaming apps for iPads. But for now, the Time Warner Cable skirmish may make other cable companies or distributors think twice about replicating TV on tablets. Comcast, for instance, has not added live streaming to its iPad app yet; instead, it has focused on adding on-demand programming.

Comcast is the nation’s largest cable company; Time Warner Cable is No. 2.

The cable distributors have trod lightly into an area that will most likely prompt more fighting with channel owners: out-of-home viewing by customers.

Not every channel owner is arguing against the streaming notion, however. Time Warner, which was separated from Time Warner Cable two years ago, is comfortable with the current app, and its recent contract renegotiation with Comcast specifically included tablet streaming rights.

Ms. Witmer of Time Warner Cable said she thought some of the resistance by channel owners stemmed from a lack of understanding of the technology. “In fairness, truthfully, to all the executives in this industry that are trying to run businesses that are part of this ecosystem, it is exhausting — exhausting — keeping up with everything that is changing rapidly,” she said.

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Unboxed: In a New Web World, No Application Is an Island

How’s that? Isn’t the Web already the crucial utility of online commerce, information and entertainment? In many ways, it certainly is. The Web’s importance is indisputable — but there are signs that it is slipping. Investment, innovation and energy have been shifting elsewhere in computing — mainly, to shopping, gaming and news applications for smartphones and tablet computers.

These applications often tap into Web sites for information on all manner of things. But they do not reside on the open Web, and cannot be searched and linked to one another in the same way Web applications can. Think of the apps tailored for Apple’s iPhones and iPads, or those made for Google’s Android operating system. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have similar characteristics, as walled gardens that are connected to the open Web but are separate from it.

This is the trend that Wired magazine described last September, under an intentionally exaggerated headline: “The Web Is Dead.”

And Tim Berners-Lee, the Web’s creator, issued a warning in the December issue of Scientific American. “The Web as we know it,” he wrote, “is being threatened.” The danger, he added, is that “the Web could be broken into fragmented islands.”

But the Web’s fortunes may soon brighten remarkably. The scenario relies on a collection of technologies, already years in development, that is starting to make its way into the mainstream of computing. HTML5 is the geeky umbrella term for this assemblage. (It’s the fifth generation of HyperText Markup Language, which is the way Web pages are written in code.) Engineers say the technology will make it possible to write Web applications, accessed with a browser, that are as visually rich and lively as the so-called native applications that are now designed to run on a specific device, like an iPad or an Android-based tablet.

The Web browsing software that is needed to bring HTML5 to life has recently arrived. Last week, Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, released the newest version of its browser, showing off its support for the new technology. A week earlier, Microsoft brought out its new Internet Explorer tuned to run HTML5. The Safari brower from Apple, meanwhile, also supports the new technology, and the company has particularly embraced HTML5’s video-playing feature as an alternative to Adobe’s Flash player. And the Chrome browser team from Google has long been a leader in HTML5 development.

The technology, by all accounts, is an innovative achievement. HTML5 represents the “next big step in the progress of the Web,” says Jeffrey Jaffe, chief executive of the World Wide Web Consortium, which guides the development of technical standards. Paul Mercer, a veteran Silicon Valley software designer, says the technology will make it possible to “achieve the dream of expressive, interactive applications on the Web that are Cupertino-class,” a reference to the headquarters of Apple, where Mr. Mercer worked for years.

There are also potentially sweeping business implications, executives and investors say. The technology could alter the playing field in the emerging market for digital media and mobile applications, creating new market opportunities.

“Right now, we’re in a native apps world,” says John Lilly, a venture partner at Greylock Partners, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. “But people are underestimating the power of the Web. I think we’re going to see an explosion of Web-based apps over the next couple of years.”

Indeed, start-up companies like Zite and Flipboard present media content in magazine-style pages on the iPad, using HTML5. The free software from Flipboard, for example, taps a user’s online social networks for reading recommendations. Flipboard is also working with publishers, offering them tools for automating the display of pages on the iPad.

“You’re seeing this increasing move to HTML5 among publishers,” says Mike McCue, the company’s C.E.O.

In theory, the technology could give publishers a powerful counterweight to Apple, the early dominant distributor of paid media content. Apple has leading devices in the iPhone and iPad, and media companies use its software to tailor their content for them. And the company’s App Store is the hub for retail distribution online.

Publishers flinched, though, when Apple announced in February the terms for digital newspaper and magazine subscriptions sold through its App Store: Apple will get a 30 percent cut and the customer information, unless a subscriber agrees to pass some of that data on to a publisher. The 30 percent is the same that Apple collects on music and games sold through its store. Publishers had been pushing for better terms and sharing of customer information, because they would be selling continuing subscriptions instead of one-time transactions, like an individual song or an album.

Most major publishers are experimenting with HTML5 today. (The New York Times version, using the new technology, is at nytimes.com/skimmer.)

Yet even if HTML5 allows publishers to make applications that shine on the iPad without Apple’s software, the distribution power of Apple won’t necessarily decline. The company could still end up running the leading marketplace in online publishing sales if the iPad remains the runaway leader in tablet computing — just as the popularity of iPod music players has reinforced sales at the company’s music store.

So far, publishers mostly plan to use the new technology to streamline digital development, thereby cutting costs. Ideally, they say, HTML5 would be the main technology used for all mobile programs, with some tweaking of applications on each device.

“If HTML5 lives up to its promise, that would make my life easier,” says Joe Simon, chief technology officer at Condé Nast. The publisher has built dozens of iPhone and iPad applications in recent months for its 18 magazines, and will soon introduce Android applications for the Motorola Xoom for The New Yorker and Wired.

THE rivalry between the worlds of the Web and native applications, analysts say, is set to play out over the next couple of years. There are strong advocates in each camp, even within companies. Google, for example, straddles the two worlds, with its Android team as well as its developers of HTML5 technology.

Sundar Pichai, vice president for product management for Google’s Chrome browser, is betting on the triumph of HTML5. “In the mobile world, the dominant model is native apps,” Mr. Pichai concedes, but he adds that the real competition is just beginning. “As these ecosystems evolve,” he says, “I think the incredible advantages of the Web will prevail.”

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