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HBO Go now available for iOS, brings over 1,400 shows with it

HBO has finally released their much-awaited HBO Go iOS app for iPhone and iPad devices. The app gives HBO subscribers free access to over 1,400 shows in addition to many sports event and full-length films. What’s great is that the app offers up all of HBO’s quality programming — True Blood, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Boardwalk Empire, and more — and the app streams over 3G in addition to Wi-Fi. It’s available now in the App Store if you want to get your Nucky Thompson on.

Fring 4-way Video Chat, Out of Beta

We first mentioned Fring in July of last year. They have been working on an application that rocks videochat on a handheld to something of a new level. Then earlier this month they released the Beta. If this is all new to you like it is to me, they designed an application that will set up a video chat room for up to four people at once. It’s available for both Android and iOS.

Fring released this promo video showing you the way this will allow you to connect with groups of friends to create unique personal moments of joy and beauty. It’s a fun little advertising spot and really does showcase the possibilities with this kind of technology. I especially enjoyed the short scene that implies you should take your friends with you when you’re peeing in public. It reminds me of a friend who would tweet their toilet shenanigans with alarming regularity, pun intended.

One thing I noticed…

Fringing? Really? It always bothers me when marketers jump forward like that and try mutate their own memes. It always looks and feels hokey and artificial. Listen up, let the meme pools do their work, that’s what they’re for. Google never wanted “google” to be an English verb (publicly anyway), that just evolved naturally out of the language.

Linguistic foibles and tangents aside, this app seems to be a similar tool to Cloudtalk, except Cloudtalk is more focused on asynchronous messaging, where there can be a significant time delay in response. Fring is more about synchronous messaging, where all parties are streaming the video data up and downstream at the same time. This is a good sign for the app ecosystems. These are similar, but slightly different applications that might be competing to fill a similar, but distinctly different, niche. Which do you prefer?

Apple’s Q2 Sales Results Show 18.65 million iPhones, 4.69 Million iPads, Apparent Growth

It appears that Apple’s sales call has shown the company to – surprise – be growing wildly, while the numbers on iPad sales specifically seem to be ever so slightly slipping. The sales call included the computer giant’s fiscal 2011 quarter ending on March 26th, 2011. During this quarter they’ve posted record second quarter revenue of $24.67 billion as well as record second quarter net profit of $5.00 billion, this translating to $6.40 per diluted share. Stock prices at the moment I publish this post:

And of course, it should be clear why sales for the original iPad “slipped” this past quarter: everyone knew, or at least suspected, that the iPad 2 was coming. Why purchase a tablet when you know a much better tablet is coming down the sled hill? Therefor watch, if you will, these numbers blast into outer space on next quarter’s call.

Oh Apple, you wily bunch, when will you ever stop growing?

Never, never ever, that’s what Steve Jobs essentially said on this call, “With quarterly revenue growth of 83 percent and profit growth of 95 percent, we’re firing on all cylinders. … We will continue to innovate on all fronts throughout the remainder of the year.” Unless the end of the year comes, that is. In reality, compared to the numbers last year with revenue at $13.50 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.07 billion, or $3.33 per diluted share, I and we are thinking their growth shows more than a little growth possibility.

Have a peek at the statistics below, and I’ll leave most of the conjecture up to Ben, but I’ve gotta say: no matter how you look at it, Apple continues to sell a whole barrel full of iProducts and will continue to do so until the end of time. They show no signs of letting up any time soon, and what we can all take away from this sales call is that the whole crew is definitely still on all four wheels.

April 20, 2011 20:30 UTC
Apple Reports Second Quarter Results

Record March Quarter Drives 83 Percent Revenue Growth, 95 Percent Profit Growth

Record iPhone Sales Grow 113 Percent

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 second quarter ended March 26, 2011. The Company posted record second quarter revenue of $24.67 billion and record second quarter net profit of $5.99 billion, or $6.40 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $13.50 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.07 billion, or $3.33 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 41.4 percent compared to 41.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 59 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple sold 3.76 million Macs during the quarter, a 28 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 18.65 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 113 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 9.02 million iPods during the quarter, representing a 17 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. The Company also sold 4.69 million iPads during the quarter.

“With quarterly revenue growth of 83 percent and profit growth of 95 percent, we’re firing on all cylinders,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We will continue to innovate on all fronts throughout the remainder of the year.”

“We are extremely pleased with our record March quarter revenue and earnings and cash flow from operations of over $6.2 billion,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $23 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $5.03.”

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q2 2011 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PDT on April 20, 2011 at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/earningsq211. This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.

This press release contains forward-looking statements including without limitation those about the Company’s estimated revenue and earnings per share. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ. Risks and uncertainties include without limitation the effect of competitive and economic factors, and the Company’s reaction to those factors, on consumer and business buying decisions with respect to the Company’s products; continued competitive pressures in the marketplace; the ability of the Company to deliver to the marketplace and stimulate customer demand for new programs, products, and technological innovations on a timely basis; the effect that product introductions and transitions, changes in product pricing or mix, and/or increases in component costs could have on the Company’s gross margin; the inventory risk associated with the Company’s need to order or commit to order product components in advance of customer orders; the continued availability on acceptable terms, or at all, of certain components and services essential to the Company’s business currently obtained by the Company from sole or limited sources; the effect that the Company’s dependency on manufacturing and logistics services provided by third parties may have on the quality, quantity or cost of products manufactured or services rendered; risks associated with the Company’s international operations; the Company’s reliance on third-party intellectual property and digital content; the potential impact of a finding that the Company has infringed on the intellectual property rights of others; the Company’s dependency on the performance of distributors, carriers and other resellers of the Company’s products; the effect that product and service quality problems could have on the Company’s sales and operating profits; the continued service and availability of key executives and employees; war, terrorism, public health issues, natural disasters, and other circumstances that could disrupt supply, delivery, or demand of products; and unfavorable results of other legal proceedings. More information on potential factors that could affect the Company’s financial results is included from time to time in the “Risk Factors“ and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations“ sections of the Company’s public reports filed with the SEC, including the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 25, 2010, its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 25, 2010, and its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 26, 2011 to be filed with the SEC. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, which speak as of their respective dates.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit Apple’s PR website (www.apple.com/pr), or call Apple’s Media Helpline at (408) 974-2042.

© 2011 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS and Macintosh are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

iOS ecosystem still overshadows Android tips research; iPad will dominate slates

Android‘s dominance in smartphone popularity may be squeezing Apple, but that pattern of user preference hasn’t spread to tablets yet – and may not for some time. They’re the opinions of several new reports out this week, with comScore discovering that, unlike when solely phones are considered, Apple’s entire iOS range beats out Android in popularity by 59-percent.

That difference, particularly when it comes to tablets, looks unlikely to change other experts reckon. Goldman Sachs released a 68-page report on the state of the tablet ecosystem, Business Insider reports, concluding that Apple is likely to dominate proceedings for at least the next two years.

In fact, Goldman predicts that Apple could well hold 71-percent of the tablet market in 2012, despite the growing number of Android 3.0 Honeycomb models. It’s a shift that will see Microsoft and Intel particularly undermined, they claim, as ARM-based models continue to oust x86 tablets running Windows.

A Half-Baked PlayBook is the tip of the Firmware Nightmare

If there’s one message that comes through loud and clear about the BlackBerry PlayBook – both in our review and in others – it’s that RIM’s first tablet is half-baked in its current state. The 7-inch slate is dependent on a phone for half of its key apps, glitchy in more places than it should be, and has left reviewers warning would-be early-adopters that it might even be too early for them to consider, well, adopting. Welcome to the firmware nightmare, where every device is a work-in-progress and nobody is ever quite satisfied.

The PlayBook is just the latest in a growing number of devices pushed to market before they’re fully cooked, with manufacturers selling us on the promise of what their shiny hardware will do however many months down the line, after they’ve had a chance to similarly buff the software. Motorola’s XOOM is another good example, with a non-functioning memory card slot and missing Flash support at launch, but we’re increasingly seeing it in phones and other devices too.

Once upon a time, we’d buy a phone, live with it – and its stock feature-set – for the length of whatever agreement we’d signed up to, and then upgrade to The Next Big Thing. Now, there’s an expectation that our devices will evolve in features, functionality and stability over time: become better tomorrow than the gadget it is today.

That accelerated software cycle has, however, given manufacturers a green card to release before things are entirely ready. Consumers are treated as beta testers, hooked in with hardware and the promise of what that hardware is capable of, with the firmware to actually make all that a reality delivered somewhere down the ownership line. As our own Vincent Nguyen said, buying RIM’s latest is very similar to buying on credit: “Buy our PlayBook now, and we promise to deliver later.”

On the flip side, meanwhile, there’s a fresh sort of upgrade anxiety, a sense that the next great firmware for our phone, or our tablet, or some other gadget is just around the corner. It’s the new obsession, and it leads to all manner of paranoia when that next update isn’t quite as timely as we’d like it. Most carriers and manufacturers have told me horror stories of frenzied consumers baying frantically for the newest software release, whether that be Gingerbread on their phone or iOS on their tablet. The device you have today – the device you chose to buy in the first place – isn’t good enough any more; it’s a short, if obnoxious step to blaming OEM and network for purposefully undermining your user experience. I know of at least one PR person who, after a disgruntled and impatient smartphone owner managed to discover their direct number, called them repeatedly throughout the day accusing them of deliberately withholding their upgrade.

We’re all complicit – users chasing the holy grail of functionality, manufacturers chasing sales – but I can’t help but think that the pendulum has swung too far. When impatience, our own and that of vendors, shifts us from the occasional glitch to entirely absent apps, when we have hardware proudly mentioned on the spec sheet and yet that we can’t actually use, that’s not future-proofing but a false economy. Give me a device that serves its purpose 100-percent of its life, rather than something I’m expected to coddle until the potential catches up to the promise. In the meantime, I’m going to try to expect less from tomorrow and insist on more – even if that means more moderation – from today.

Apple releases iOS 4.3.2 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch; iOS 4.2.7 for Verizon iPhone

In line with BGR’s exclusive report earlier this week, Apple on Thursday released iOS version 4.3.2 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The only changes noted by Apple are bug fixes and security updates. Apple does specifically note that the update fixes a crash related to FaceTime, as we reported, and it also fixes some iPad 3G + Wi-Fi connectivity issues. Also of note, iOS 4.2.7 — also a minor update with bug fixes and security updates — is now available for Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4. Both updates are available immediately via iTunes.

Tour Of MyGreatFest Venue, The World’s First iOS Jailbreak Convention Taking Shape [Video]

The guys over at MyGreatFest have put together a short video showing off the venue for the world’s first iOS and jailbreaking convention, to be held in London on September 17th 2011.

The venue, The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London, is an impressive, open space that will play host to some of the biggest names in the iOS and jailbreaking community with a talk from Jay (Saurik) Freeman promising to be one of the many highlights.

Our mission is to become the largest jailbreak/(i)community convention for coders, themers, hackers, developers or any other mobile device user. To leave others with the better understanding of what jailbreaking actually means to us, and that it does not stand for piracy. We aim to build upon a community that we believe to be the best there is. So please, tell the world our mission. MyGreatFest, for the community, by the community.

Schedule of MyGreatFest is also up!

Now this timetable is a representation of what will happen on the stage throughout the day, this is in no way a strict timetable. We do urge all attending to walk around have some fun, play some games, look at the stalls etc.

9 to 9.30
Arrive to event, have a complimentary coffee or tea. Have a look around.

9.30 to 9.50
People to be seated, Craig Fox will welcome all to the event. And introduce team involved.

10 to 11
45 minute talk from Joshua Lee Tucker aka @Darkmalloc and 15 minute Q&A session.

11.10 to 12.10
45 minute talk from @GiffGaff (Uk sim card company) and 15minute Q&A session.

12.20 to 1.10
Lunch

1.15 to 2.15
40 minute talk from Vincent Van Mieghem aka @veence and a 15 minute Q&A session.

2.20 to 3.20
45 minute talk from Elias Limneos aka @limneos and a 15 minute Q&A session.

3.30 to 4.30
45 minute talk from Chris Simpson aka @apocolipse269 and a 15 minute Q&A session.

4.40 to 6
1 hour talk from Jay Freeman aka @Saurik and a 20 minute Q&A session

6.10 to 6.30
Craig Fox will come on stage and announce all giveaway winners and games tournaments winners.

Apple iPad stock shortages tip iPad 2 imminent

Stock shortages of the first-gen iPad are being cited as evidence that Apple is readying the second-gen model for imminent release. UK retailer Carphone Warehouse is out of stock of all 3G-enabled models, as well as the 64GB WiFi version, while carriers in the country have already started throwing further subsidies at the Apple tablet, potentially to clear out final supplies.

 

Orange UK is now offering the iPad 3G from £99 ($160), half price compared to its regular subsidy, as long as buyers take out a 24-month data agreement. Meanwhile, reports of stock shortages have also been reported at European distributor Ingram Micro, with no remaining supplies of of the 16GB and 64GB WiFi-only iPads or of the 64GB 3G iPad, and “very low” supplies of the other versions. Canadian retailers are also believed to be affected.

Apple is expected to announce the iPad 2 imminently, with the tablet believed to have the same size and resolution of display but use a new, improved IPS panel with reduced reflections and better outdoor visibility. Slimmer and flatter than the first-gen iPad, the iPad 2 is also expected to add in twin cameras for Face Time support.

[via 9 to 5 Mac]

Apple Major Product Launch Possible for Next Week

It appears that a source “familiar with the matter” has come forth to AppleInsider to spill the dish on some big fat Apple news about what might be a product launch next week. This release might have to do with inventory levels of the MacBook Pro or because Apple fans are ravenous as ever, either way it appears that rumors for two weeks from now are bunk, and next week is the source of heavenly Apple light. This meeting or press conference might well be the place where the next generation of MacBook Pros originate, and that’d be alright with yours truly as this 2007 MacBook is just about to hit the bin.

 

Included in the hints handed to our pals over at AppleInsider today were notes on the possible inclusion of Sandy Bridge processors as well as enhancements to the notebook line that include a unibody chassis redesign. Furthermore, Italian tech blog iSpazio has received part numbers for several new notebooks to be released by Apple including two 13-inch models, three 15-inch models, and one 17-inch model. The numbers iSpazio received where the following: MC720, MC721, MC723, MC724, and MC725.

An interesting additional note from AppleBitch includes a change in shipping times to customers, moved from 24-hours to between 1 and 5 days. The change from one to five is being seen in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Malaysia. AND earlier this month, again according to AppleInsider, US customers were beginning to hear of a wait time of between 4 and 6 weeks for replacements to build-to-order machines, with custom-configuration replacement requests possibly having to wait for up to eight weeks.

What does it all add up to? Some sweet new laptops with bright shiny screens, faster processors, and some sort of extra feature that will blow everyone’s socks off. Or it could just be a new line of laptops that are just a little bit better, maybe with some sort of cosmetic improvement. Whatever it is, it’s coming inside two weeks, maybe one. Get your waiting caps on and make sure you have plenty of bandwidth for all the Apple blogging you’ll be doing.

78% Of All Web Videos Encoded For iOS

But iPhone doesn’t play Flash based videos”, has been a statement I’ve heard for quite some time now when friends and family ask for advice choosing a new smartphone. What I advise them is always based on the individual and their needs. Sometimes I will steer them towards iOS, other times Android. The thing I always tell them is, don’t eliminate iOS simply because it lacks Flash support, as most web content is encoded to play on Apple Devices.

According to Encoding.com, a company that encodes approximately a million videos a month from all sorts of media conglomerates like MTV and PBS, nearly 78 percent of it’s customers encode their mobile video content to play on iOS devices. Only four percent specifically select Android encoding, while the last 18 percent being gobbled up by the 3GP format.

This is not to say that 78 percent of the video only works on iOS and not other platforms, what Encoding.com states is their customers specifically select iOS encoding, but don’t select Android. Videos will still play on the Android platform, but if a content provider specifically selects Android it will be optimized for that operating system. This is not a huge surprise as iOS is still default, but Encoding CEO Jeff Malkin predicts Android numbers will increase as it continues to gain market share.

The 1400 clients that Encoding.com is working for are pretty representative of the industry as a whole, ranging from individual websites, public relations and advertising firms to retailers and broadcast networks. Content providers like to see huge gains before they encode specifically for a device or platform, and as of right now, iOS is on top, but as noted Android is making quick gains.

An interesting side note, encoding on the web as whole, H.264 format is continually growing, while Windows Media has slipped to 1.2 percent of total encodes and is on the verge of extinction.

Based on these trends content providers are making a huge effort to optimize content for mobile devices, which should make the tech savvy readers of TechnoBuffalo extremely happy as more content will be optimized for your mobile lifestyle.

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